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

 DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Wednesday, November 1,1995

Contents Page.N&

No truth in report on six months delay in labour scheme Survey on student drug abuse................

Revised form for textile export licence.....

Injured employees should be compensated on time

4

1

No truth in report on six months delay in labour scheme ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Referring to a report in a Chinese newspaper today (Wednesday), the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, said there has been no change to the Government's proposal on the Supplementary Labour Scheme (SLS).

"The report which alleged that the Government is considering delaying the proposed SLS by six months is totally without basis.

"I have said on many occasions that I am willing to discuss the SLS with Legislative Councillors, the Labour Advisory Board, and employees and employers representatives. I have been doing this in the past few weeks and will continue to do so," Mr Wong said.

"There is still some time before the proposed implementation date of the SLS. I remain hopeful that with goodwill on all sides, we can come to an arrangement which would allow, under clearly defined rules and after satisfying the most stringent requirements, the employment of foreign workers in specific cases where the vacancies cannot be filled locally. The SLS proposes to do precisely that."

He reiterated that the Government agreed entirely with the position of the trade unions that foreign labour should not be allowed to take away jobs from local workers.

r • 4 . .

"I have had several usefill discussions with the trade unions and made it clear that Government would attempt to address their concerns in a positive manner and with flexibility," he said.

End/Wednesday, November 1, 1995

Survey on student drug abuse

*****

The Education Department is conducting a survey to find out the size of the at-risk group among students and the need for support services in schools.

A spokesman for the department said the survey would help the Government to work out an effective remedy to the problem of drug abuse among young people.

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The spokesman said primary and secondary school principals are required to consult class teachers, discipline teachers, guidance teachers and school social workers before completing the questionnaires.

In the questionnaires, school principals have to estimate the number of students who are at risk and suggest the kind of preventive programmes they need.

The completed questionnaires should be returned to the Education Department on or before November 25.

To demonstrate the Government’s support in combating drug abuse, the department has set up a Drug Education Resource Comer in the Sex Education Resource Centre at Teachers’ Centre in North Point this September.

To enhance in-service teacher training on drug education, the department has organised one-day courses for primary school teachers and three-day courses for secondary school teachers.

> .......................

Meanwhile, a pilot scheme involving 20 secondary schools is implemented in the 1995-96 school year to promote the development of school-based drug education courses.

End/Wednesday, November 1, 1995

Revised form for textile export licence ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Trade Department announced today (Wednesday) that a revised textile export licence Form 4 would be put into use as from next Monday (November 6).

Export licence (Textiles) Form 4 "Form TIC 353 (Rev 1995)" is used to cover the export of textiles not subject to quota restraint and the re-export of textile articles.

A spokesman for the department said applicants using the revised form should pay special attention to changes which are as follows:

3

* Declared exporters or manufacturers, who are not registered with the department for textiles controls purposes and who do not have a textiles controls registration (TCR) number, are required to fill in their business registration (BR) number. The BR number may be omitted for applications covering personal effects or gifts.

The exporter's and manufacturer's declarations have been modified.

* The space for affixing stamps has been extended;

■■4’ >

* The relevant "vehicle no" should be declared on the licence form if applicable.

* The conditions of licence and explanatory notes at the back of the licence form have been updated.

The important warning at the back of the licence form has been revised in accordance with amendments to the Import and Export Ordinance and its subsidiary regulations.

The spokesman said the revised Form 4 would be available for sale as from November 6 at $2.50 per set or $20 per pad of 20 sets, at the Trade Department Collection Office, Room 813, Trade Department Tower, 700 Nathan Road, Kowloon.

The new form will also be on sale at the Government Publications Centre, Low Block, ground floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong, he added.

The spokesman said to facilitate traders in the running down of their old stock, applications on both the existing and the new forms would be accepted concurrently up to December 16.

"Starting from December 18, only the new Form 4 will be accepted for applications, including resubmission of deferred application on fresh licence form," he said.

End/Wednesday, November 1, 1995

Injured employees should be compensated on time ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

The Labour Department today (Wednesday) reminded employers that periodical payment to employees injured at work should be paid on normal pay days.

An employer is liable to pay periodical payment at the rate of two-thirds of preaccident earnings as compensation to an injured employee for temporary incapacity (sick leave) which results from the work accident.

'•f ft

Under the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance, the principal contractor is also liable to pay periodical payments to injured employees of his sub-contractors.

Shun Hing Construction Company Limited at Lai Chi Kok Road, Kowloon, being the principal contractor, was recently fined a total of $15,000 at Kwun Tong Magistracy for failing to pay an injured employee periodical payments within seven days after due day for three wage periods.

The Magistrate also ordered the company to pay an amount of $1,500 to compensate the employee who suffered from the late payment. The direct employer, Ma Yau-nung, was also fined $6,000 for three summonses earlier this year.

Labour Officer (Prosecutions), Mrs Tonia Leung, said failure to pay periodical payments to an injured employee vVithiri the statutory period was an offence under the Employees' Compensation Ordinance. The maximum fine for the offence is $25,000.

End/Wednesday, November 1, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, November 2,1995

Contents Page No.

Joint Communique of JLG meeting....................................... 1

Overhaul of Bankruptcy Ordinance underway............................. 2

First issue of 7-year Exchange Fund Notes to be launched.............. 3

HK's foreign exchange reserves to be published quarterly.............. 4

Investigation results of Vitasoy drinks...........................

DHA and DB members visit service centre for new arrivals.............. 6

Management initiative explained....................................... 2

Signalling of distress call to be standardised........................ 8

Pre-war building in Sai Wan to be demolished.......................... 9

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

- 1 -

Joint Communique of JLG meeting * * * * *

The Joint Liaison Group held its thirty-fourth meeting in Peking from October 31 to November 2, 1995.

The Group had a discussion about the Transfer of Government, including the transitional Budget and related matters, transfer of Archives, Government assets, the Handover Ceremony etc; matters relating to Hong Kong's international rights and obligations; Hong Kong's Air Services Agreements and air services arrangements between Hong Kong and Taiwan; Civil Service matters; the Defence of Hong Kong and Public Order; franchises and contracts extending beyond 1997 and related matters, (including Reclamation plans, the Railway Development Strategy and Container Terminals); Hong Kong's Sewage Disposal Scheme; Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements between Hong Kong and relevant countries; Surrender of Fugitive Offenders Agreements between Hong Kong and relevant countries; Mutual Legal Assistance in criminal matters between Hong Kong and certain countries; the Reciprocal Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in civil and commercial matters between Hong Kong and foreign countries; Localisation of Laws; Adaptation of Laws; the court of Final Appeal; the implementation of the provisions of the Joint Declaration relating to the Right of Abode in Hong Kong after 1997; Visa Abolition Agreements; Retirement Protection and Social Welfare; Vietnamese Migrants in Hong Kong (boat people and refugees); Intellectual Property; and the Transfer of Sentenced Persons.

The next meeting of the Joint Liaison Group will take place in Hong Kong at a time to be decided.

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

- 2 -

Overhaul of Bankruptcy Ordinance underway ♦ * * ♦ ♦

The Government is constantly updating the legal and administrative framework regarding insolvency to meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century, the Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, said this (Thursday) morning.

Speaking at the 1995 INSOL Asia Pacific Conference, Mr Tsang said a major overhaul of the Bankruptcy Ordinance was underway with a view to introducing amendments in the present legislative session.

He added that the Law Reform Commission was now reviewing the winding-up provisions of the Companies Ordinance and had recently produced a document on Corporate Rescue.

"As some of you will be aware, we have also commissioned a wide-ranging review of the other parts of the Companies Ordinance," he said.

On streamlining the administrative framework, Mr Tsang said the Official Receiver's Office and the Companies Registry had undergone significant organisation changes and restructuring over the past three years.

He said both the Companies Registry and the Official Receiver's Office were hived off from a former conglomerate known as the Registrar General's Department.

"The Registry was subsequently established, in August 1993, as one of the first two trading funds in the Hong Kong Government. The benefits of allowing the department to retain and reinvest its own revenues are already becoming apparent.

"The Official Receiver's Office meanwhile was revamped and a dedicated grade of Insolvency Officers established," he said.

Mr Tsang said economic development and responsibility went hand in hand.

"We need a stable and healthy business environment for our economy to continue to flourish," he said.

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

First issue of 7-year Exchange Fund Notes to be launched ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, announced today (Thursday) the Government’s decision to launch the 7-year Exchange Fund Notes.

V:- c. .

In a speech to the Seminar on Global Payment Systems organised by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) that opens today, Mr Tsang said the first issue of the 7-Year Exchange Fund Notes, which will be offered on a quarterly basis, will open for tender later this month.

Existing Exchange Fund paper has maturities of two years, three years and five years. -

’’The development of Exchange Fund Notes has provided a reliable benchmark yield curve for Hong Kong dollar debt,” Mr Tsang told the seminar of central bankers and market practitioners from around the world.

"We believe that now is the right time to extend the yield curve by issuing 7-Year Notes. This will be another milestone in our efforts to develop Hong Kong’s debt market."

• •*» ’ • -■ - ■ :v ' u '

Preparation of the launch of the 7-Year Exchange Fund Notes has geared up following the favourable market reception to the 5-Year Notes, which were first introduced in September last year. So far, five issues have been offered, with an average rate of over-subscription of 3.34 times.

Chief Executive of HKMA, Mr Joseph Yam, said: "The introduction of the 7-Year Notes underscores HKMA’s continuous efforts to broaden and deepen the Hong Kong dollar debt market with the increase of the supply of top quality and highly marketable debt instruments."

The Chinese side has expressed full support for the issuance of 7-Year Exchange Fund Notes, given its importance to the development of the Hong Kong dollar debt market.

The Exchange Fund Notes Programme was introduced in May 1993, with the launch of 2-Year Notes to replace the 2-Year Government Bonds.

This was followed by the issue of 3-Year Notes in October 1993 and 5-Year Notes in September 1994. So far 24 issues of Exchange Fund Notes have been issued, of which 22 issues, valued at $13.2 billion, are outstanding.

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

HK’s foreign exchange reserves to be published quarterly ♦ * * ♦ ♦

The Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, announced today (Thursday) that the Government has decided to publish the size of Hong Kong's foreign exchange reserves every quarter instead of every six months.

Mr Tsang told the Seminar on Global Payment Systems organised by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) today that he has decided, in consultation with the Exchange Fund Advisory Committee, to move to greater transparency and openness regarding data on the Exchange Fund, which is managed by HKMA.

Beginning with the third quarter, figures for the foreign exchange reserves in the Exchange Fund will be released on a quarterly basis.

"The Mexican crisis has raised concerns about the timeliness and consistency of international data, especially data on the balance of payments and external reserves ... the world today feels that full disclosure and transparency is preferred, and as an international financial centre and a good global citizen, Hong Kong will undertake to provide the world with the full picture of our success story," said Mr. Tsang.

In the past three years, HKMA has taken important steps toward greater accountability and transparency of the Exchange Fund.

In 1992, the size of the Exchange Fund was disclosed for the first time, and the balance sheet of the Fund had since been published on an annual basis.

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Starting this year, data on the Exchange Fund are available on a six-monthly basis. At the end of June, the size of Hong Kong's foreign reserves stood at US$53.6 billion.

"We are encouraged by the favourable reception to our move to six-monthly figures on the Exchange Fund," said the Chief Executive of HKMA, Mr Joseph Yam.

"We think it's time we moved to quarterly publication of the size of our external assets to remind the world at more frequent intervals of the strength of our financial position and the success story of Hong Kong."

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

Investigation results of Vitasoy drinks

*****

In connection with recent complaints involving "off-taste" in Vitasoy products, the Department of Health revealed today (Thursday) that no harmful substance had been found in the analysis of the products concerned.

A spokesman for the department said investigation was conducted immediately following reports by consumers in October that fishy taste was found in a number of packages of the Vitasoy products and a recall by the manufacturer of the relevant batches from the local market.

"Staff of the department had visited the production plant to look into the production process and a total of 41 samples from the batches of products involved were taken," he said.

"Test results from the Government Laboratory indicated absence of heavy metals, preservatives, organic solvents and disinfectants in the samples.

"Bacteriological analysis of the samples by the Department of Health's Institute of Pathology also revealed absence of bacteria.

"There is thus no evidence to suggest that the product would pose health risk to the public."

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

*

- 6 -

DHA and DB members visit service centre for new arrivals

♦ * * ♦ *

The Director of Home Affairs, Mrs Shelley Lau, visited the International Social Service (1SS) Hong Kong Branch this (Thursday) morning to look at the services provided by the organisation for new arrivals from China.

The visit is part of Mrs Lau's on-going programme to visit organisations which provide services to new arrivals to familiarise them with Hong Kong's lifestyle and to facilitate their assimilation into the local community.

The Chairman of the Wan Chai District Board, Mrs Peggy Lam, and four DB members also joined today's visit at Mrs Lau's invitation.

Speaking to the media after the visit, Mrs Lau said the Governor stated in his Policy Address last month that the Government intended to expand orientation and information services for new arrivals to ease their process of integration into the community.

The Home Affairs Department (HAD) has been given direct responsibility for monitoring and assessing services for new arrivals.

Towards this end, Mrs Lau has set up a steering committee which she personally chairs.

"The HAD will enhance the co-ordination between government departments and voluntary organisations which provide services to the new arrivals.

"Through the District Officers' liaison network, we would try to make sure that these services reach those who need help and that groups which are especially at risk are identified and offered assistance.

"I think it is important that new arrivals know what services are available to them once they enter Hong Kong," Mrs Lau said.

HAD is now working with departments and organisations concerned to produce a handbook of services which will be distributed to new arrivals when they clear immigration on first landing. This handbook will complement a video, which the ISS will produce with HAD's assistance.

”In the meantime, I will also discuss with District Board chairmen and members to seek their views on the most effective ways to help new arrivals to integrate into the local community as quickly as possible,” Mrs Lau added.

During today’s visit, Mrs Lau and the DB members were told that each year ISS provided orientation and counselling services to more than 20,000 new arrivals from China who have been here for less than two years.

These programmes include English and Cantonese classes, outings, social gatherings and support groups.

A government-subvented organisation, ISS makes quick contact with new comers from China at the Hung Hom Station and the Immigration Department soon after their arrivals.

"The new arrivals are part of our community, the Government will make all efforts to assist them to assimilate into our community and help them overcome problems," Mrs Lau stressed.

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

Management initiative explained ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

In response to press enquiries regarding the views expressed by the Local Professional Officers Association of the Marine Department on a Marine Department management initiative, the Director of Marine, Mr Ian Dale, today (Thursday) said:

"I find it difficult to understand the stance that the association appeared to have adopted on the issue.

"The management initiative is essentially an internal management approach intended to create a practical framework that will allow the Marine Department to recruit the professional staff it needs to provide the necessary services to the port and the public at large well into the next century.

"It has nothing to do with port integrity and safety which are the principal objective of the Marine Department.

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"Levels of safety are a function of the standards set by the department based on international convention requirements, and staff must meet those standards.

"An academic qualification alone is not the way to ensure this is achieved. Experience and in-house training are as important if not more so.

"I am sorry that a small number of my professional staff seem to be taking a narrow and parochial view of both the department's future development, and the needs of the community. But 1 am encouraged that the vast majority of my professional officers agree with the initiative."

End/Thursday. November 2, 1995

Signalling of distress call to be standardised *****

The Government is introducing the Merchant Shipping Safety (Signals of Distress and Prevention of Collisions) (Amendment) Regulation 1995 to implement the amendments stipulated in the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972.

These amendments, of technical nature, will come into effect on November 4. They include:

(a) standardising the signals to be displayed by:

(i) vessels engaged in trawling, regardless of their length;

(ii) vessels engaged in fishing, other than trawling, regardless of their length;

(iii) vessels engaged in fishing in close proximity to each other, by making it compulsory, rather than optional, for such vessels to display certain additional signals; and

(iv) larger vessels engaged in trawling and pair trawling, by making it compulsory, rather than optional, for such vessels to display certain signals relating to their operation.

9

- 9 -

(b) adding provisions regarding certain vessels to regulate for example, the horizontal positioning of the forward masthead light in small vessels, the use of two all- round lights on vessels where it is impracticable for one light to meet the visibility requirements and the vertical positioning of the masthead light on high speed craft; and

(c) the addition of signals from survival craft radar transponders to the list of signals to indicate distress and need of assistance. t

The Regulation will be published in the Government Gazette tomorrow (Friday).

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

Pre-war building in Sai Wan to be demolished ♦ * * ♦ ♦

The Building Authority today (Thursday) declared a two-storey pre-war building in Sai Wan as dangerous and should be demolished for public safety.

The Buildings Department posted a Notice of Intention at No 23 Yu Lok Lane, Sai Wan, this morning informing the occupants that demolition work would commence after a Closure Order was applied from the Kong District Court at 9.30 am on December 29.

The Chief Building Surveyor (Dangerous Buildings) of the department, Mr Kwok Yui-chung, said the building was mainly constructed of brick walls and timber joists.

"Many of the joists are badly rotten, and the timber staircase giving access to the roof has partially collapsed. Serious cracks also appear on the walls.

"The building is so dilapidated that it is considered structurally dangerous and beyond repair. It is necessary to close it for demolition in order to ensure public safety," he said

The Housing Department and the Social Welfare Department have contacted the affected occupants from two families to arrange for resettlement and to render assistance if necessary.

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

10

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

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

• Opening balance in the account 2,692 0930 -115

Closing balance in the account 1,261 1000 -121

Change attributable to : 1100 -118

Money market activity -141 1200 -115

LAF today -1,290 1500 -115

1600 -141

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.4 *+0.3* 2.11.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.22 2 years 2708 6.06 100.72 5.70

1 month 5.34 3 years 3810 6.15 100.43 6.08

3 months 5.49 5 years 5009 6.95 101.51 6.69

6 months 12 months 5.53 5.56 5 years M501 7.90 103.43 7.13

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $26,568 million

Closed November 2, 1995

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, November 2,1995

SUPPLEMENT Contents Page No.

CS in LegCo debate on motion of thanks................................. 1

FS in LegCo debate on motion of thanks................................. 7

SHA in LegCo debate on motion of thanks............................... 14

Methodologies used to set CSSA rates further elaborated............... 20

SHW in LegCo debate on motion of thanks............................... 24

Critics of Supplementary Labour Scheme challenged..................... 31

Review on graduate teacher posts completed by year end................ 32

SEM in LegCo debate on motion of thanks............................... 34

S for W in LegCo debate on motion of thanks........................... 42

S for T in LegCo debate on motion of thanks........................... 45

S for H in LegCo debate on motion of thanks........................... 51

S for S in LegCo debate on motion of thanks........................... 57

STI in LegCo debate on motion of thanks............................... 68

The Road Traffic Ordinance............................................ 71

Legal Aid Regulation.................................................. 72

Legal Aid....

Contents

Eage No.

Legal Aid Criminal Cases Rules............................................ 74

Costs in Criminal Cases Bill introduced into LegCo........................ 75

Costs in Criminal Cases Bill.............................................. 77

Lands Tribunal Bill....................................................... 80

Container terminal developments....................................... 81

Broadcasting Bill.......................................................   82

Licensing applications at Trade Department................................ 83

Liaison Office between Government and Preparatory Committee........... 84

Accommodation for the elderly............................................. 86

Proposals for tax concessions on rent or mortgage......................... 88

Training of product and software design personnel......................... 89

Polluting industries in residential areas................................. 91

Seismic risks and building design......................................... 93

Curriculum Development Institute staff recruitment........................ 95

MTRC power failure incident............................................... 96

Women employed in industrial sector....................................... 97

Community Rehabilitation Network Scheme................................... 99

UNHCR debt to Hong Kong.................................................. 100

Petrol filling station safety............................................ 101

Death of school children while attending classes......................... 102

Design standards for secondary and primary schools....................... 103

1

CS in LegCo debate on motion of thanks * * * ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Chief Secretary, the Hon Anson Chan, in the Legislative Council debate on the motion of thanks today (Thursday):

Mr President,

This afternoon my colleagues have attempted to respond positively to the many comments and suggestions made by Hon Members during this debate. I hope it would be clear froni their speeches that far from being a ’’sunset Government”, we have made significant progress in a wide range of Government programmes since 1992. Furthermore we have ambitious plans to improve both the range and quantity Of our services in the years to come. As some Members have recognised, these programmes are set out in detail each year in the Policy Commitments issued by each Branch Secretary, and reported on each year in our Progress Report. In the latter report, we have acknowledged both our successes and our failures as part of a sustained effort to make the Administration more open and more accountable. I believe we are unique in the world in doing this.

.... *

As my colleagues have already noted the Policy Commitments provide the answers to many of the complaints and criticisms made in this Council last week. In particular, they show that our programmes extend well into the future, beyond 1997, often into the next century. This should not be surprising. Hong Kong will not come to an end on 30 June 1997. Nor will its Administration. Even though there may be a few changes of personnel - as the Governor has often pointed out, there must be at least one! - the vast majority of civil servants will be at their desks, doing the same jobs and implementing the same policies, on the next working day after the transfer of sovereignty.

Co-operation with LegCo h su*. '

———p——— • tr*. .

■■ ( < -.fX i U' •• ■

Many Members commented on what the Governor had to say about cooperation between the executive and the legislature. Unfortunately, most focused on the three sentences in which he referred to his constitutional power to refuse assent to legislation, and ignored the context in which he put this. Some even complained about ’’executive dictatorship”, a concept which I find rather hard to accept when the Administration has no votes at all in this Council.

2

Let me remind Members what the Governor actually said. He made it clear that the Administration is committed to working together with Members of this Council on behalf of the community we both serve. But he also recognised that the buck ultimately stops with him, and that if he honestly felt that it was necessary in the best interests of Hong Kong, he would have to make use of the constitutional powers granted to him. This was no more than a recognition of the constitutional position. And it certainly was not meant as a threat, and I am frankly surprised that it should have been interpreted as one.

Be that as it may, many Members have expressed their concern that the Administration is not serious about co-operating with this Council, and that we do not take enough account of Members’ views and suggestions. This is simply not true. We are fully committed to co-operating with this Council. How could it be otherwise, when we have to obtain your approval for every one of our legislative and financial proposals, without a single vote of our own to rely on? Almost every major piece of enacted legislation reflects the valuable input of Members of this Council. Many of the policy commitments are based on the initiatives and priorities of this Council. Of course, we may not always be able to accept every point that Members put to us. In such cases we will have a duty to do our best to explain our position. But it is wrong to suggest that the Administration must be at fault whenever it does not fully meet LegCo's wishes. Neither of us can claim to have a monopoly of wisdom. The important thing is that we should respect each other’s constitutional role, and seek to foster a better mutual understanding and co-operation. Cooperation is after all a two-way process. At the end of the day, the executive has to decide what proposals it wishes to put forward, and the legislature has to decide whether or not it is prepared to accept them.

Two specific areas in which the Governor suggested that cooperation would be useful were in considering whether there was a need for more formal channels of communication between the executive and this Council, and in relation to the programme of legislation that we have put forward for the 1995/96 session. I have already written to the Chairman of the House Committee to set out the issues relating to the handling of Government business in LegCo that we wish to discuss with Members. I understand that the Sub-committee on Procedural Matters will be considering these next week, and I look forward to receiving their views. But I want to repeat now what the Governor said three weeks ago - our hope is that we can move forward by consensus whenever possible, rather than on parallel tracks, and we will spare no efforts to try and achieve this consensus.

3

Co-operation with China

I turn now to our relationship with China. Many Members have called for intensified efforts from the Administration as we move into the final phase of the transition. And rightly so. With only twenty months now left before 30 June 1997, there are still many issues important to people’s livelihood, and to the economic and social development of Hong Kong, that need to be resolved quickly. Let me reaffirm our commitment to co-operate fully with China to ensure that these issues are resolved and that there is as smooth a transition as possible.

It goes without saying that we will continue to work towards the successful resolution of all items still on the JLG agenda. In this respect, L am glad that we have made some progress in JLG XXXIV, which has just ended in Peking earlier today.

On economic issues, we reached full agreement on the Intellectual Property regime to be applied to Hong Kong after 1997, including the localisation of Hong Kong's Registered Designs law, Patents law and Copyright law and the continued application of the Patent Co-operation Treaty after 30 June 1997. While CT 9 still remains to be resolved, the Foreign Ministers agreed last month that both sides should intensify their efforts to develop Hong Kong's container port. We will continue to work for a satisfactory resolution of this long-standing problem.

On legal issues, we agreed on the continued application to Hong Kong of two important civil aviation treaties on the carriage of goods by air, on one international convention on telecommunications which completes the arrangements for guaranteeing Hong Kong's continued participation in the International Telecommunication Union, and on a bill to localise the U.K. legislation on whaling. We have also agreed a model text for bilateral treaties relating to the transfer of sentenced persons. Much still remains to be done, but I am sure it is the wish of both sides to intensify co-operation so that the important issues still remaining on the agenda can be resolved.

Many Members also spoke of the need to co-operate fully with the Preparatory Committee. As the Governor made clear in his Policy Address, we will offer every practical assistance to the Preparatory Committee. The Committee will play an important role in the establishment of the future Special Administrative Region Government. It is important, therefore, that there should be close co-operation between the Hong Kong Government and the Preparatory Committee. We will do our best to ensure that this is the case.

4

Some Members expressed concern that the Preparatory Committee might develop into a second power centre or that civil servants might be placed in a situation where their loyalties were divided. I would like to reassure Members that we too are aware of these potential problems. In co-operating with the Preparatory Committee, we will ensure that whatever we do is fully consistent with the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, that the Hong Kong Government’s power of administration is not compromised in any way and that civil servants are not subject to conflicting loyalties. Within these parameters, however, we are prepared to be flexible and we stand ready to offer any assistance necessary to ensure a smooth and efficient transition.

We have, in fact, already begun to discuss with the Chinese side what sort of assistance the Preparatory Committee will require. I can assure Members that our dealings with the Preparatory Committee will be based on the important principles of openness and transparency, and that members of the community and Members of this Council will be briefed regularly on our exchanges.

Let there be no misunderstanding. This Administration will continue to govern Hong Kong until 30 June 1997. There can be no question of a parallel government, or of the Hong Kong Government shirking its responsibility. We are fully committed to taking all action necessary to ensure that after 1997 the Hong Kong SAR enjoys the high degree of autonomy pledged to it in the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law.

The civil service

I turn now to the civil service. Only a few members felt it necessary to comment on the civil service in last week's debate. I very much hope that this was because Members of this Council recognise that the civil service is performing well, and that it is maintaining its high standards of service to the community. Indeed some Members spoke highly of the civil service's professionalism.

A few Members also referred to the need to maintain morale in the civil service, and I was grateful that this issue was recognised. I am sure that Members agree that maintaining a strong civil service is critical to achieving a smooth transition in 1997. We recognise of course that many civil servants are worried about 1997. One way to alleviate these worries is for them to get to know their Chinese counterparts better - at all levels. Some Members still seem to believe that there is limited contact between Hong Kong and PRC officials. The truth is very different. At working level, many departments have literally daily contact with the Chinese side on both day to day and more important issues. And a large and increasing number of officials from both sides visit the territory of the other on familiarisation tours, fact finding missions and sponsored visits.

5

Nevertheless, while many of our Secretaries and Heads of Departments have working contacts with their Chinese counterparts, we accept that there is scope for these to be broadened and deepened. We were therefore very pleased when the two Foreign Ministers announced last month that there would be informal get togethers, in Hong Kong, between senior Hong Kong civil servants and officials of the Chinese Government. This will enable both sides to get to know each other better, not only in the work context but also at a personal level. Both sides are keen to begin this process, and we have now agreed with the Chinese side on the detailed format of the get-togethers. I hope that it will be possible for the first meeting to take place later this . „ month. J. j.

Another way of maintaining morale in the civil service is to ensure that we are well prepared for the transition, in terms of our understanding of China and its systems and by increasing the use of Chinese, including Putonghua. We have therefore ■ k embarked on a major programme to provide training on China related issues and to improve our ability to work and communicate in Chinese. Our aim, as Members will ' know, is to become a biliterate and trilingual civil service. But it is very important .. that, in our quest to upgrade our standard of Chinese, we do not allow our high standard of English to slip. And we must ensure that our expatriate colleagues are given the opportunity to continue to contribute to Hong Kong's development. We have some way to go before we achieve our goal. But Members' approval last week of $112M for the purchase of computer equipment and the provision of related training will help us considerably.

Corruption

Finally, I would like to say a few words about corruption and the work of the IC AC. Members made various comments about the current and future role of the ICAC, its powers, transparency, accountability and resources. The public has also told us through surveys that they are concerned about the future of the ICAC beyond 1997. I would like to make three points:

(a) The Basic Law provides for the continuation of the ICAC after 1997;

(b) We are determined to continue to fight corruption in Hong Kong both before and after 1997, as successfully as we have done in the past 20 years; and

6

(c) The ICAC was established as a result of public demand in 1974. Continued public support will see the Commission through 1997 and into the 21st century.

The Commissioner of the ICAC recently visited the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office in Peking. Officials there made it clear that the Chinese Government wanted the fight against corruption in Hong Kong to continue vigorously both before and after 1997, to maintain confidence in Hong Kong and ensure that it continued to be an international financial and business centre. They also stressed the importance of cooperation between the ICAC and the anti-corruption authorities on the mainland, a view entirely shared by the Commissioner.

The Administration shares members' views that the ICAC must have sufficient powers to combat corruption. As Members will know, these powers were reviewed in 1994 by the ICAC Review Committee. The Committee's recommendations were accepted by the Government and the legislative proposals necessary to put them into effect are the subject of a Bill currently before this Council. The recommendations of the Committee for increased transparency in the ICAC and for changes to some of the ICAC's Advisory Committees were also agreed and are being implemented. In particular, Members of this Council will continue to be appointed to the Advisory Committee on Corruption, the main advisory committee for the ICAC.

The Commissioner believes that, despite the increase in reports of corruption, he has sufficient resources for the time being. If he sees a need for additional resources, he will seek them. Corruption in the public sector, particularly in the disciplined services, will continue to be the prime concern of the Commission. But the education of young people about the evils of corruption is not being overlooked. The ICAC will soon be holding a major conference to launch a Youth Ethics Programme. The Administration will continue to place great importance on the work of the ICAC.

To conclude Mr President, let me reaffirm the Administration's determination to work constructively with members of this Council and with the community in achieving the ambitious goals we have set ourselves. Together, I believe we can demonstrate that Hong Kong is ready for a fully elected legislature, a legislature that can contributes towards stability and a smooth transition while at the same time creating wealth so that we can continue to make social progress. This must be our common objective. Members of this Council play a vital role in our system of Government and my colleagues and I look forward to working closely with all members as part of an Administration in which hopefully the sun never sets.

Thank you, Mr President.

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

7

FS in LegCo debate on motion of thanks

. .J z ♦ ♦ * * ♦

Following is the speech by the Financial Secretary, the Hon Donald Tsang, in the Legislative Council debate on the motion of thinks today (Thursday):

‘ ‘ ’ .... • . ...... •; _

Working with LegCo for the Public

-i

In his Policy Address, the Governor said that the Civil Service, no matter how effective its performance, never expects headlines in the press to read "Government does a great job". He also predicted that the response of this Council to his Address, to the Progress Report and to the Policy Commitments, would be a blend of fair-minded appreciation of what has been achieved and demands for higher standards, new policies and greater accountability. He was right in the case of a selected number of speeches that ! heard on Wednesday and Thursday last week, but the focus of many others seemed to fall elsewhere.

Before I respond to the many specific proposals advanced by Members in their contributions in this debate, I would like to take up two important general issues. The first concerns the assertion, made specifically by several members and implied by many others, that the Government does not listen hard enough to the views of this Council or to the community. ; .... , .

Let me emphasise just how seriously the Hong Kong Government takes your comments and criticisms.

Many of the 471 outstanding Policy Commitments from the Governor's first three Policy Addresses had their origins in suggestions from Members of the Legislative Council.

Many of the 343 new initiatives announced by the Governor this year also have their origins in ideas and suggestions from Members of the Legislative Council.

1 • ife'Jhf.i.

The consultation on the Budget, which began before the summer recess, is a six-month process of listening to the views of Members of this Council to ensure that the Budget addresses the real concerns of the community. As Members know, I have recently started the second stage of this vital exercise.

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Of course the Government listens. And the Government also responds. This is the second general point I wish to make. Over the past three years there has been a revolution in the culture of our public service. The principles of performance and service are now the very essence of the relationship between the Civil Service and the community. I hope Members will not lose sight of this essential fact of Hong Kong's political and administrative life as they make their contributions to the many important debates which lie ahead of us in this session.

The Chief Secretary will have more to say on the subject. Sufficient for me to say briefly here that the totally transparent way my colleagues have spelt out our policy commitments and evaluate the results every year have given a whole new meaning to public administration.

In his Policy Address last month, the Governor stressed that the Government and the Legislative Council must work together, otherwise any plans to improve our services will amount to nothing more than good intentions. The Administration takes this policy to heart. My colleagues and I attach great importance to the views of this Council in shaping our proposals to Members. Of course, there will be differences of opinion. Of course, the Government will sometimes express its views very forcefully. Of course, there will be vigorous debate. But our guiding principle, our shared guiding principle, must be the best interests of the community we serve. Equally, the community has the right to know in full the arguments for and against the policy proposals under debate in this Council.

It falls to me to start the Government's response to the many important points made by Honourable Members last week. For me as Financial Secretary, the single most important issue was the very real concern which Members expressed over their perceptions of the current state of Hong Kong's economy.

I have been presented with a very substantial agenda. Members have asked me to produce packages to stimulate the economy, and to reduce inflation, unemployment, the income gap and taxes. In themselves, these are all laudable objectives, which the Administration is fully prepared to discuss further with Members. I will address these issues individually today and, in more detail, during the separate debates in this Council scheduled for next week.

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The Economy,,j

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Let me start with the general state of Hong Kong's economy. I have heard Members use the term "recession" to describe its present or projected condition. I do not believe that "recession" is an appropriate way to describe our economy, which is v,„ growing this year at a rate pf 5% in real terms. A commonly accepted definition of a recession is when the actual level of an economy's GDP has fallen -1 repeat - fallen over a continuous period of, at least two consecutive quarters. We are scarcely in such a situation. In the first quarter of 1995, the economy grew by 5.9%, due to a

• A J particularly strong rise in export levels. As some members have pointed out, it is simple arithmetic that in forecasting a 5% growth for the year, the growth rate is likely to moderate to below 5% during the latter part of the year. But, for the year as a whole, I would still expect the economy of Hong Kong to achieve real growth of around 5%. This is very much in line with the forecast trend growth rate on which the Government bases its revenue and spending plans.

I acknowledge that this growth rate represents a slower pace of economic expansion than we had forecast at the start of the year. But I do not accept that a reduction in our forecast growth rate for the year from 5.5% to 5% justifies the more iOl. lurid media reports of doom and gloom that have accompanied the release of recent economic data. By no stretch of the imagination can Hong Kong be described as in recession or even threatened by recession. What we are seeing now is a moderation of the very rapid speed at which our economy grew in the latter part of the eighties.

The present rate of 5% growth would be the envy of many industrialised countries, which understand the full meaning of the term ’’recession” because they have suffered sustained declines in GDP. Through hard work and some good fortune, Hong Kong, like many of this region’s economies, has remained largely untouched by the latest global recession.

While we should never be complacent about our own performance, we must , accept that, even for resilient and entrepreneurial Hong Kong, an open economy means that, we cannot escape completely from the consequences of major shifts in the market-place or cyclical downturns of the global econorhy. This means that, from time to time, the pace of growth will slow down. Let me emphasise that it is the pace of growth that may decline. But I do not expect that, even in a global recession, Hong > Kong’s GDP will fall in actual terms. I base this confidence on Hong Kong’s record of -.i unbroken annual growth in GDP for the past 35 years.

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At the moment we are in the phase of the business cycle which brings lower growth. We are currently experiencing a slow-down in domestic consumption after several years of remarkable buoyancy. A period of consolidation of the stock and property markets began somewhat earlier and has also affected local sentiment and consumption and, of course, reduced the "feel good" factor.

However, let us place all this in context. We continue to perform well on the external trade front. In the first nine months of this year, domestic exports, re-exports and exports of services all grew in real terms, with the last two in particular registering double digit increases over the same period in 1994.

The growth in investment activity has also been impressive over this period. Investor confidence has remained solid. Retained imports of capital goods were up by 28% in the major sectors for the first nine months of this year.

With significant injections of public and private funds taking place in such infrastructure projects as the Airport Core Programme over the next few years, and potential projects, such as the Railway Development Strategy, on the drawing board, a high level of investment looks set to continue well into the next century.

Short-Term Economic Stimulus

These facts scarcely point to a recession. But I must repeat : we are not complacent about our economic performance, and I am grateful for Members’ suggestions about ways to overcome our current problems and improve our future performance. But there are limits to what can be done. Before we embark on new policies, we must be certain that the proposals for change are necessary, and not just short-term gestures which could do lasting harm; they must be effective, and not just a matter of throwing taxpayers' money at problems; and they must be within the Government's proper responsibility and not just an excuse for clumsy intervention in the economy.

I will have more to say on this and on our longer-term economic strategy during the Motion Debate on the economy next week. But, in general, I would ask Members to bear in mind the experience of advanced economies elsewhere that short-term measures designed to "kick-start" the economy can be costly, are often of doubtful usefulness and can have harmful consequences over the long term.

11

Members have suggested that Government should set up an Economic Development Board, Council, Committee, or similar agency, with public participation. This new body would be tasked with steering Hong Kong's economic development in the "right direction", winning more foreign inward investment, tackling our economic problems and making us more competitive. These are all worthwhile endeavours.

But it is not immediately clear to me whether Members are proposing policy-making and executive powers for this body or whether it would function simply as an advisory capacity. If the latter, I doubt whether the formation of such a body would add much more than an extra layer of redundant bureaucracy to the existing and well-tried network of advisory committees, boards and committees. These already provide the Government with valuable views and suggestions on economic and related issues. The Governor's Business Council and my own Economic Advisory Committee are two such examples.

If, on the other hand, the intention is that we should give this body powers to make and implement policies for economic development, 1 would have serious reservations. So 1 think would a majority of Members of this Council. First, this would derogate from the Government's existing duty to formulate policy on economic issues. Second, such a body might lead us to stray from our fundamental economic strategy which leaves the private sector to generate our economic growth free from government direction and interference. The direction on the private sector has served us well during more than three decades of sustained economic growth. It is generally accepted by the community. I am by no means convinced that a radical departure from our well-tried economic principles would be in Hong Kong's best interests.

Revenue Measures

I am grateful for Members' suggestions regarding possible taxation measures that we might adopt in order to advance our economic interests. As I mentioned earlier, I am now in the process of consulting Members on the revenue measures for the next Budget. This consultation exercise is an important part of the Budget exercise. I can assure Members that we will be considering their views and advice in detail and with great care before I formulate my proposals for the next Budget.

1 am sure that Members will wish me to consider their ideas for tax cuts with one eye on our established fiscal policies and on the other on our actual budgetary position. We will need first to ask ourselves two questions : First, can we afford the concessions? Second, will the lower taxes provide relief where it is needed most ? And, while tax concessions are superficially attractive, they can have very serious and wide-ranging implications for our economic performance as a whole.

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On a matter of budgetary strategy, I would also like to remind Members that the Governor in his Policy Address proposed a convincing way to reassure Hong Kong and our trade and investment partners of our commitments to financial stability and to an open economy. This would be for Members to endorse the simple rule that government expenditure should increase over time only in line with the trend growth rate of economic growth. I hope Members will give further careful consideration to this suggestion.

Members have also expressed their and the community’s legitimate concerns about inflation, unemployment and the gap between the rich and poor. They deserve, and receive, our continued attention.

Inflation

Our current level of inflation remains relatively high. However, allowing for some short-term volatility in consumer prices, the underlying trend during the course of the year has been downward. The year-on-year rate of increase in Consumer Price Index (A) was 9.5% in the first quarter, 9.2% in the second and 8.6% in the third. As the US dollar gathers strength, inflationary pressures from imports are falling. Locally-generated inflationary pressures are also easing up. We have stabilised the property market through the package of measures we announced last year, we have also stepped up our efforts to provide more land for development.

Inflationary pressures generated by the labour market have cased. As we move from a manufacturing to a service-based economy, wc haw experienced a structural change in the labour market, resulting in a temporary skills mismatch. In addition, the labour supply is growing this year more rapidly than demand for workers as more former residents return to Hong Kong and the new immigration quota brings in young people of working age from China.

Land and labour are the key resources for our overall production capacity. By ensuring a larger and more stable supply of both for the future, we will help to stabilise costs, contain inflation and maintain our competitive edge.

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Unemployment

There is of course a less welcome side to any slackening of the labour market I am well aware of the impact of increased unemployment on those who lose their jobs and on their families. We regard the rise in the unemployment rate as a matter for serious concern. The Governor held a summit in June to discuss unemployment with union and business representatives. That led to immediate measures to tackle the problems which had aggravated the situation: illegal employment and skills training and matching. The Governor has organised a second summit for next Thursday. 1 am sure its deliberations will make a further valuable contribution to tackling this issue.

The Secretary for Education and Manpower will have more to say on the steps being taken. I would simply like to point out that from the perspective of Government, the private sector and the employee, it is clearly in the best economic interests of Hong Kong to have a work force that is stable, well-trained and fully employed, and one that enjoys a good working relationship with its employer. Industrial harmony has been a notable feature and important contributor to Hong Kong’s economic success over the past years. It is essential for the maintenance of our future growth.

Income Gap

Members have also drawn attention to the problem of the growing gap between the rich and poor. This is a long-term social issue rather than one related to short-term fluctuations in the economy. Over the past ten years or so, those at the higher end of the income spectrum have enjoyed faster rises in income than those at the lower end. The lower income groups, nevertheless, have recorded considerable income increases over the period. This means that their well-being has also been improving in real terms, although at a slower rate.

In a free market economy such as ours, we do not set ourselves the objective of a completely even distribution of income. Instead, we set ourselves the objective of trying to ensure that everyone benefits from economic success. That is why we have gradually refined our tax system to assist the less well-off. That is why our public housing programme provides highly-subsidised accommodation for nearly half of all our households. That is why we have adopted substantial welfare measures and have increased welfare spending within our overall spending guidelines. And that is why in the past three years, we have increased the average monthly CSSA payment by 60%. Provided we can afford them, we will continue to make improvements to the scope and level of social welfare assistance in our community.

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Conclusion

Overall, Hong Kong's economy is in good shape. We are not staring at a recession. Our sound economic policies have served us well for many years and look set to do so for many years to come. Market forces have effectively corrected the earlier over-heated property sector and are already working on the apparent over-supply of labour. Inflation is coming down. At the same time we are channelling resources, in accordance with the principle of "living within our means", to help those who are most in need of them.

I said at the beginning of my speech that Government listens and Government responds. In closing, I should like to assure Members we are indeed here to listen to and respond to their views. We look forward to forging a close and effective partnership with them in the service of the people of Hong Kong in the challenging times that lie ahead.

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

SHA in LegCo debate on motion of thanks *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council debate on the motion of thanks today (Thursday):

Mr President,

Equal Opportunities

A number of Members have raised the subject of equal opportunities in this year's Policy Debate. The first point I would like to make is that the Government remains wholly committed to the principle of equal opportunities for all. Implementation should be done on a step by step basis. The enactment of the Sex Discrimination Ordinance and the Disability Discrimination Ordinance some three months ago are direct results of that commitment. The two Ordinances make it unlawful to discriminate against a person on the grounds of sex, marital status, pregnancy and disability. They guarantee that the people of Hong Kong will enjoy a similar level of legal protection, in respect of equal opportunities between the sexes and between people with and without disability, as is provided for in other advanced societies.

15

Discrimination is an issue which is closely associated with societal values and personal beliefs. Public education is needed to enable the community at large to have a full understanding of the meaning of "equal opportunities for all". We have, since the enactment of these two Ordinances, actively promoted awareness of their provisions. We have also allocated additional resources to step up public education on equal opportunities. The Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education has launched activities to promote equal opportunities.

Equal Opportunities Commission

To facilitate the early commencement of the Sex Discrimination Ordinance and the Disability Discrimination Ordinance, preparation for the establishment of the Equal Opportunities Commission is now w'ell underway. A preparatory team has been set up in Home Affairs Branch to oversee all the necessary arrangements and work is progressing well. We hope to bring the Equal Opportunities Commission into operation by the end of this year. The Commission will have an annual recurrent budget estimated at $65 million. Proposals for Rinding the Commission will be submitted to the Finance Committee shortly.

Studies on Family Status and Sexuality

In respect of other areas of discrimination, the Government committed in July this year to undertake studies on discrimination on the grounds of age, family status, and sexuality, and to report to the Legislative Council the conclusions of these studies within the current legislative session. The study on age discrimination is being undertaken by Education and Manpower Branch, and my colleague, the Secretary for Education and Manpower will explain separately what his Branch is doing in this regard.

Home Affairs Branch has already embarked on studies with respect to discrimination on the grounds of family status and sexuality. These involve extensive research and assessments of the problem of discrimination. Our research involves an examination of experience overseas and a scries of discussions with interested groups to identify the problems and possible measures to tackle them.

16

In respect of the study on sexuality, an opinion survey has just been completed to ascertain public attitudes in this area. Some have questioned the necessity, and even Government’s motives, in conducting such a survey. I would like to explain briefly the Government's position in this regard. Unlike family status and age which have been discussed widely in the public domain, there has not been a focused discussion in respect of discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation. An informed public debate on the matter, we believe, is possible only if we have a full understanding of the different concerns of the community as a whole. We have also been obtaining the views of various groups, including groups representative of homosexuals, to ensure a full and fair understanding of the issues in question.

After we have completed on research and assessments of the problems involved, we will come up with proposals on various measures to tackle the problems identified, including legislative options. Our target is to publish the relevant consultative documents before the end of the year for public consultation over a twomonth period. If, after this exercise is completed, it is concluded that the legislative option should be pursued, we would aim to introduce the legislation into this Council before the end of the current session.

Private Members' Legislation

Some Honourable Members have indicated interest in reviving proposals contained in the private member's equal opportunities legislation proposed by Ms. Anna Wu in the last legislative session. 1 hope Honourable Members will recognise the unity of our common purpose in seeking to promote equal opportunities. The studies now being undertaken by the Government are essential for ensuring a full appreciation of the different issues involved and we have set a tough timetable for their completion. I urge Honourable Members to allow the Government time to complete this necessary work before considering whether or not to undertake legislative initiatives of their own in this area.

17

Women's Rights and CEDAW

Some Members suggested that a central body should be established to oversee matters concerning women rights. The Government operates on a functional basis and policies pertaining to women are being vigorously implemented by different Government departments and subvented agencies. Different aspects of women development, including worker retraining, family, health, other supportive and remedial services, are addressed by various government departments such as Labour Department, Department of Health, and Social Welfare Department. A separate body to oversee women issues would only result in overlap and duplication of work. The Home Affairs Branch has for some time been playing a co-ordinating role in women issues, and we believe such role has been strengthened through our participation at the Fourth World Conference on Women of the United Nations in September this year. Since the Conference, we have forged much closer ties and co-operation with nongovernment organisations. This will facilitate the implementation of the Platform for Action adopted at the Beijing Conference.

Implementation of the Platform is an on-going process demanding the commitment and continual efforts of both the Government and non-govemment organisations. Different parts of the Government will be involved, and the Home Affairs Branch, as co-ordinator within Government on women issues, has already initiated discussions with women's groups to seek their views on the implementation of the Platform for Action.

In respect of women's rights, we are also keen to see the early extension of CEDAW to Hong Kong. After we announced in June 1994 the intention to seek the extension, we had initiated discussions with the UK Government. The discussion had to be held in abeyance because the UK was reviewing its reservations under the Convention. The UK recently announced at the World Conference in Beijing held in September its intention to withdraw many of its current reservations in respect of CEDAW. We have since then examined the impact of the withdrawal of such reservations on Hong Kong. The draft list of reservations that should be extended to Hong Kong is now being finalised. We will seek to agree with the UK Government the list of reservations as soon as possible, preferably before the end of this year. Once an agreement has been reached, we shall commence consultation with the Chinese Government through the Joint Liaison Group.

18

Bill of Rights Ordinance

Several Members have referred to the proposals by the Legal Sub-group of the Preliminary Working Committee (PWC) to repeal sections of the Bill of Rights Ordinance and readopt the former versions of certain laws that have been amended following the Ordinance's enactment. The proposals have raised widespread expressions of opposition in the community. The Government's position is clear. We attach great importance to the protection of human rights through the rule of law, an independent judiciary and the Bill of Rights Ordinance. Article 39 of the Basic Law makes it clear that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights shall be implemented through the laws of Hong Kong. The amendments to the six pieces of legislation referred to by the PWC were intended to bring the relevant laws into line with the ICCPR. There is no inconsistency between the Bill of Rights Ordinance and the Joint Declaration and Basic Law and we see no reason for it to be amended in the way that has been suggested. The community has made it clear that we regard the Preliminary Working Committee's proposals as a retrograde step, one that will create a great deal of uncertainty and seriously undermine confidence. We have taken the matter up at the meeting of the Joint Liaison Group this week and will continue to press the Chinese side through formal channels.

Rural Planning & Improvement Strategy (RIPS)

Some concerns have been expressed over the slow progress of work in the implementation of the Rural Planning & Improvement Strategy (RIPS).

Let me reassure Members that Government is fully committed to completing the RIPS programme within the original timeframe of 1999/2000. Of the $5 billion available for this programme, $3.4 billion has been earmarked for Major Works which fall under the responsibility of the Director of Territory Development costing over $15 million each, and $1.6 billion for Minor Works which fall under the responsibility of the Director of Home Affairs costing less than $15 million each.

19

I took over responsibility for the RPIS Minor Works in August 1994. We have already made swift and effective progress in speeding up the implementation of the Minor Works, in no small part due to our long and close links with the rural community. Since taking over, we have introduced a two-tier committee system to encourage local participation and to involve the rural community more closely in the Minor Works programme. The central Steering Committee, chaired by the Director of Home Affairs and comprising New Territories (NT) District Board Chairmen, Heung Yee Kuk representatives and senior Government departmental officials, is tasked with overseeing the general implementation of the RPIS Minor Works programme and offering advice and assistance to help speed up the programme’s implementation. To complement this, each NT District Officer chairs a District Working Group, comprising local leaders and Government representatives, which is responsible for overseeing the programme within its district, setting district priorities for projects and assisting to overcome any objections or disputes arising from implementation of the projects.

New Arrivals

Lastly, I would like to turn to the subject of services provided to new arrivals from China and explain how we plan to monitor and assess the services provided to them, so that their needs are met as far as possible.

The most frequent problems facing new arrivals are educational needs, language training, social services, as well as their lack of familiarity with Hong Kong generally. The Government is anxious to ensure that Hong Kong continues with its fine tradition of integrating new arrivals into the wider community. To this end, we are already subventing the International Social Service - Hong Kong Branch (ISS) to run a Traveller’s Aid Desk at the Kowloon Railway Station where new arrivals are helped to make contact with their relatives and given general information on the social sen ices available. The ISS also operates an office at the Immigration Department so that when the new immigrants apply for their Hong Kong Identity Cards, they have another opportunity to seek assistance and be referred to relevant social sen ices.

Regarding education, support services are available to help children of new immigrants to adapt to Hong Kong. These include induction and remedial English programmes organised by agencies, remedial teaching and special counselling services provided by schools.

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Apart from the above, the Director of Home Affairs who has been tasked to monitor and assess the services provided for new immigrants, has established a steering committee bringing together service providers, such as the various Government departments providing direct services, as well as Non-Government Organisations, to ensure that we are providing the right services and that these services are reaching their target. To complement the work of the committee, each District Office will collect and collate information on new immigrants in the respective district, to monitor and assess the services which are provided to them, and to reflect the findings through the steering group to the departments and agencies concerned. This will ensure that the needs of new arrivals are met in a comprehensive and coordinated manner.

We hope that with these initiatives, we can case the process of integration for new arrivals into the community at large as quickly and effectively as possible.

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

Methodologies used to set CSSA rates further elaborated *****

To peg the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) rates to 30 per cent of the median wage as suggested by some Legislative Councillors would be totally contrary to the Government's philosophy of assessing payments against individual needs.

This was stated by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok. during the motion debate in the Legislative Council today ( Thursday) to thank the Governor for his Policy Address.

Mrs Fok said CSSA provided the vulnerable with a safety net to meet basic needs for food, clothing, housing, fuel, light, water and transport as well as for household goods.

In addition, payments are made to meet the education expenses of children. Medical treatment for recipients at public clinics and hospitals is free.

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"To set rates by reference to a percentage of the median wage would be too rigid to address needs; it should also be borne in mind that the median wage can drop in times of recession." she said.

"At such times it would not necessarily be wise to decrease welfare payments as well.

"It may be of some academic interest to note that the average CSSA payment for a single elderly person already represents about 29 per cent, and for a family of four represents 95 per cent of the median wage."

Turning to suggestions from members to increase the CSSA standard rates in line with the recommendations in Professor MacPherson's Report of June 1994. Mrs Fok maintained that the approach adopted in the Report was to provide a level of financial support to the vulnerable to enable them to enjoy a certain lifestyle.

This approach, she added, inevitably involved certain subjective judgments as to what type of lifestyle should be assumed to be appropriate, especially in terms of recreational and social activity.

While the Government’s basic philosophy is different from that adopted in the Report, the methodologies used by both are not that far apart.

"But we have one key advantage in that we have been able to use the statistics produced by the first six months of the latest Household Expenditure Survey (HES)." Mrs Fok explained.

"This has enabled us to compare our CSSA standard rates with what CSSA recipients say they spend and with what people in lower income groups also say they spend monthly.

"These statistics showed us quite clearly that the CSSA standard rates for certain groups of recipients were too low. As a cross-check on the results of this HES-based methodology, we also built up a basic needs budget for each category of CSSA client.

"Although more work needs to be done to refine further this approach, the preliminary results broadly supported the conclusions we reached using the HES method."

For comparison purposes, the Government has compared the expenditure patterns of CSSA recipients with the group nearest to them in terms of financial resources, that is the lowest five per cent income group.

22

"The result of this exercise, I can confirm, would have been the same even if we had used the lowest 15 per cent income group.

"In other words, the monthly expenditure of all persons in the lowest 15 per cent income group was lower than the CSSA standard rate payment for all categories other than adults and elderly persons living in a family.

"I fully understand members' surprise regarding some of this data, especially those relating to the elderly. But we cannot simply ignore what the Survey tells us."

Some members had called for an increase in the level of assets a person should be able to hold while being eligible for CSSA payments. This related to a desire of some members to widen the CSSA safety net to support more of the unemployed.

In this respect, Mrs Fok strongly cautioned against any attempt to "hijack" the CSSA scheme to address problems it was never intended to address, whether this be unemployment or, retirement protection.

She reiterated that CSSA was a non-contributory scheme created to provide a safety net to meet basic needs. Elsewhere in the world, schemes designed to support appropriate lifestyles for the unemployed or for retired persons were contributory in nature.

As regards the Hon Law Chi-kwong's request to fund social security and welfare services from separate accounts, Mrs Fok emphasised that within the limits of welfare spending, it was important to strike the right balance between spending on social security and direct welfare services.

Spending on welfare has been growing rapidly; this year it will have increased by 24 per cent in real terms over last year.

Since 1991-92, as a proportion of total recurrent public expenditure, welfare expenditure has grown from 7.8 per cent to 9.2 per cent.

"This is good news, but we must be careful not to allow the lion's share ot this increased expenditure to go on social security funding instead of on the necessary sustained upgrading and expansion of welfare services," said Mrs Fok.

"When we come to examine the full recommendations of the CSSA Review, we must bear in mind that the total funding available for welfare is limited.

"There is inevitably, therefore, a trade-off; greatly increased expenditure on social security could, indeed, mean relatively less for expanding welfare services."

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Mrs Fok also touched on the need to continue to nurture with care the cooperation and partnership between the Government and the non-govemment sector to meet the welfare needs of our community. However, she said to nurture was not to freeze that relationship.

"It must be allowed to grow and respond to changing times. A constructive dialogue is currently in hand regarding how we might modernise our subvention systems to allow our partnership with the NGO sector to grow stronger and flourish well into the next century.

"The Subvention Consultancy Study will, I hope, make some fundamental recommendations for change. Those changes are likely to give the NGO’s much greater freedom to deploy resources provided by Government in a more effective way to meet the standards of performance required in all service areas,” she said.

Turning to the health side, Mrs Fok said the Government objectives in the promotion of primary health care were clearly defined.

She noted that the main health problems in our community were addressed through a comprehensive programme of promotional, preventive, curative and rehabilitation services. The establishment of a Health Care and Promotion Fund further illustrated the Government’s commitment to increasing health promotion, preventive care and associated research. In disease prevention, the immunisation and health education programmes for children are on-going and a new Student Health Service has been introduced.

It is also Government's policy to improve the oral health of the population by promoting oral hygiene and oral health awareness in the community, targeting in particular young people. Curative service is also provided to specific groups on a need basis.

On some members’ comments about the Government’s monitoring mechanism of the Hospital Authority, Mrs Fok said the Authority was required by law to furnish the Secretary for Health and Welfare with all relevant information relating to its operation and the facilities for verification of such information.

The Authority’s Annual Accounts and Annual Report are tabled in the Legislative Council. Quarterly meetings are also held between the Government and the Authority to review its performance against agreed targets.

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She further assured members that adequate staff would be recruited to avoid possible delays in the commissioning of new hospitals.

To address some members' concern over the improper use of drugs by medical practitioners, Mrs Fok said a working group had been set up to see how the medical profession's code of practice on the improper use of drugs could be tightened.

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

SHW in LegCo debate on motion of thanks

*****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council debate on the motion of thanks today (Thursday):

Mr President,

I wish to thank Members for their useful comments and views on Health and Welfare matters and welcome this opportunity to reply to some of them.

Let me start with Health Issues.

On the promotion of primary health care, our objectives are clearly defined. The main health problems in our community are addressed through a comprehensive programme of promotional, preventive, curative and rehabilitation services. In collaboration with the private sector, we provide a wide range of primary health care services.

Demographic characteristics and medical needs of the target community are the key factors which we take into account in providing clinics and health centres. My policy commitment already sets out our plan to increase primary health care centres, as well as providing elderly health centres and woman health centres. Other than these, in disease prevention, our immunisation and health education programmes for children are on-going and we have introduced a new Student Health Service. The establishment of a Health Care and Promotion Fund further illustrates our commitment to increasing health promotion, preventive care and associated research.

25

Dr the Hon Leong Che-hung suggested the development of a proper dental care policy. In oral health care, our emphasis is on prevention. Our policy on dental care therefore aims to improve the oral health of the population by promoting oral hygiene and oral health awareness in the community, targeting in particular our young people. Basic dental care is provided to some 380,000 primary school children through the School Dental Care Service.

Curative service is provided to specific groups on a need basis. We provide emergency dental service to the community at eleven dental clinics throughout the territory. Curative service is also provided to hospital patients as well as mentally and physically handicapped persons. CSSA recipients can obtain an allowance under the CSSA for private dental services.

Some Members spoke about the Government's monitoring mechanism of the Hospital Authority. The Government monitors the Hospital Authority's operation through a combination of statutory provisions and administrative arrangements. The Hospital Authority is required by law to furnish me with all relevant information relating to its operation and the facilities for verification of such information. The law further provides for a copy of its accounting statement and annual report to be tabled in this Council. Quarterly meetings are also held between Government and the Authority to review its performance against agreed targets. The Hospital Authority Board, comprising mainly unofficials including two Members of this Council, on which I am also represented, plays a very important role in the planning and management of hospital services. 1 shall of course continue to keep in view the effectiveness of the monitoring mechanism which is currently in place.

With regard to the roles of the public and private healthcare sectors, we see a clear need for both. Our policy is to encourage collaboration to ensure quality and continuity of patient care. In this respect, the Hospital Authority is in dialogue with private doctors and hospitals on how closer collaboration can be effected through a better referral system. The aim should be to make the best use of both public and private sector resources to meet community needs.

The Hon Michael Ho has asked for an assurance that adequate staff will be recruited to avoid possible delays in the commissioning of new hospitals. Adequate manpower is fundamental to the provision of healthcare services. We are mindful of the need to recruit adequate healthcare staff, particularly nurses, to ensure the timely commissioning of our new health care facilities. A planning process is in place to work out in advance with the Hospital Authority the projected manpower requirements and to draw up corresponding training and recruitment plans.

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Some Members have expressed concern over the improper use of drugs by medical practitioners. To address this matter, the Hong Kong Medical Council, together with the Department of Health and the Hong Kong Medical Association has set up a working group to see how the medical profession's code of practice on the improper use of drugs can be tightened. The outcome of the working group's deliberations is expected by early 1996.

Government's health policy is clear. It is that no one should be denied adequate medical treatment through lack of means. With increasing demand and escalating costs, there is understandably a growing concern over the community's ability to finance our healthcare system. We are not alone in this. Many developed countries are facing this very same situation. We will be consulting Members in due course on proposals for a long-term healthcare financing strategy, including the issue of itemised charging about which several Members have spoken. One key issue that first needs to be resolved is how to improve public sector services while containing costs and recognising the role of the private sector.

Welfare Issues

I should now like to turn to welfare issues raised by Members and will start with social security payments. The Governor announced significant increases in the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance - or CSSA - standard rates for adults and elderly persons living in a family unit with effect from April next year. This is a proposal which will cost about $300 million to implement and will benefit about 52,000 people. We estimate that it will increase the average payment to a family of four to $9,180 per month.

Members have raised a series of specific concerns relating to this announcement which I should like to address today.

Many expressed the view that CSSA standard rates should be increased still further - especially those for the elderly - and some suggested that reference should be made to the recommendations in Professor MacPherson's Report of June 1994.

We gave a considered response to that Report at a meeting of this Council's Welfare Services Panel on 7 September 1994. The approach adopted in the Report was to provide a level of financial support to the vulnerable to enable them to enjoy a certain lifestyle. This approach inevitably involved certain subjective judgments as to what type of lifestyle should be assumed to be appropriate, especially in terms of recreational and social activity.

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Our approach to social security is different. We consider it to be a safety net. It is this fundamental difference in approach which has led us to arrive at different payment levels. The level of payments in our system are set to cover basic needs for food, clothing, housing, fuel, light and water and transport as well as for household goods. In addition, payments are made to meet the education expenses of children. Medical treatment for recipients at public clinics and hospitals is free.

Whereas our basic philosophy is different from that adopted in that Report, our methodologies are not that far apart. But we have one key advantage in that we have been able to use the statistics produced by the first six months of the latest Household Expenditure Survey (HES). This has enabled us to compare our CSSA standard rates with what CSSA recipients say they spend and with what people in lower income groups also say they spend monthly. These statistics showed us quite clearly that the CSSA standard rates for certain groups of recipients were too low. As a cross-check on the results of this HES-based methodology, we also built up a basic needs budget for each category of CSSA client. Although more work needs to be done to refine further this approach, the preliminary results broadly supported the conclusions we reached using the HES method.

I shall pause here to address a technical point raised by some Members about our methodology. For comparison purposes, we looked at the expenditure patterns of those in the lowest 5 per cent income group - that is the income group immediately above those on CSSA. We did so because we consider it natural to compare CSSA recipients, the most vulnerable in our community, with the group nearest to them in terms of financial resources. For those uncomfortable with this approach, I can offer some further elaboration.

The result of this exercise, I can confirm, would have been the same even if we had used the lowest 15% income group. In other words, the monthly expenditure of all persons in the lowest 15% income group was lower than the CSSA standard rate payment for all categories other than adults and elderly persons living in a family. I fully understand Members’ surprise regarding some of this data, especially those relating to the'elderly. But we cannot simply ignore what the Survey tells us.

When our comprehensive Review of the system is completed next year, we shall of course present all our recommendations to this Council and there will then, no doubt, be an important and fully informed debate on them.

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Our Review covers much more than just assessing the level of standard rates. Even that assessment is not complete yet because we still need to examine carefully the full 12-month data from the HES and to refine further our cross-check methodology of building up a basic needs approach. Other issues being considered in the Review could also have a major impact on the level of support provided to CSSA recipients.

Before leaving this subject, I should like to comment on a specific proposal made by some Members who suggested that CSSA rates should be pegged to 30% of the median wage. This would be totally contrary to our philosophy of assessing payments against individual needs. In our system, very few recipients receive exactly the same payment because standard rates vary according to the age of recipients and the payment of special grants vary according to the precise nature of their special needs. If our safety net is to address needs, such an approach is necessary. To set rates by reference to a percentage of the median wage would be too rigid to address needs; it should also be borne in mind that the median wage can drop in times of recession. At such times it would not necessarily be wise to decrease welfare payments as well. We do already have a mechanism for regularly increasing all CSSA rates in line with a special inflation index to ensure their real value is maintained. It may be of some academic interest to note that the average CSSA payment for a single elderly person already represents about 29%, and for a family of four represents 95% of the median wage.

Some Members have called for an increase in the level of assets a person should be able to hold while being eligible for CSSA payments. I believe this recommendation is connected to wider concerns Members have expressed about the plight of the unemployed and how the CSSA scheme can be revised to address their problems. Of course, an unemployed person is eligible for CSSA support if his financial situation meets the eligibility criteria. But I would strongly caution against any attempt to "hijack” the CSSA scheme to address problems it was never intended to address, whether this be unemployment or, indeed retirement protection. The CSSA is a non-contributory scheme created to provide a safety net to meet basic needs. In other places, schemes have been devised to provide unemployment benefits or old age pensions but these schemes are normally contributory. Indeed, the mandatory provident fund scheme to be set up here is a contributory scheme designed to provide financial support in retirement. These schemes are often designed to support a lifestyle well above the basic needs level we seek to maintain in our safety net.

29

On a point also related to social security, I note the Honourable Law Chi-kwong's request that social security and welfare services should be funded from separate accounts. I assume that the objective behind this suggestion is to make it easier for us to increase spending on both simultaneously. But we must be realistic. The size of welfare spending as a part of the overall government spending can only be so large and can only increase so fast. Within the limits of welfare spending, it is important to strike the right balance between spending on social security and direct welfare services. Spending on welfare has been growing rapidly; this year it will have increased by 24% in real terms over last year. Since 1991/92, as a proportion of total recurrent public expenditure, our expenditure on social welfare has grown from 7.8% to 9.2%. This is good news, but we must be careful not to allow the lion's share of this increased expenditure to go on social security funding instead of on the necessary sustained upgrading and expansion of our welfare services. Even a minor upward adjustment in social security payments can lead to a very significant increase in recurrent expenditure. Getting the balance right is a key issue. When we come to examine the full recommendations of the CSSA Review, we must bear in mind that the total funding available for welfare is limited. There is inevitably, therefore, a trade-off; greatly increased expenditure on social security could, indeed, mean relatively less for expanding welfare services.

In the case of the elderly in particular, this balance between financial support and the provision of welfare services merits careful consideration. The Governor's address highlighted the major initiatives in hand to meet the service needs of the elderly. Yes, we have suffered some minor delays in the provision of some services and we are doing all we can to meet our targets. We must remember just how ambitious some of those targets are. For example, by the end of this financial year, we will have provided an additional 4,400 residential places, 35 social centres and six multi-service centres for the elderly. I understand Members' desire to see these programmes completed even more quickly but I would hope that this desire would not blind them to the significance of what has already been achieved.

The Honourable Christine Loh highlighted the need for more outreach and home help services for the elderly. I could not agree more. I should like to see such services expanding more quickly and will be considering how to develop our existing programmes more effectively in this respect, and in particular by building on the Older Volunteers Programme which is still at only its early stages of development. We shall also be assisted in developing new ideas in this regard by a consultancy study on the needs of the elderly which we aim to commission early next year.

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Much of our recent rapid expansion in services for the elderly has been funded through the Lotteries Fund and I note the concern of the Honourable Law Chi-kwong that this Fund may be depleted by 1997/98 when the $2.3 billion injected into it in 1992 has been used up. On 29 March this year, I assured this Council that the General Revenue Account will be able to absorb after 1996/97 all the recurrent welfare expenditure currently provided from the Fund. This has already been taken into account in our current financial forecasts.

I should like to conclude by referring to another important point raised by Members which is the need for us to continue to nurture with care the co-operation and partnership between the Government and the non-govemment sector which is critical to the successful provision of services to meet the welfare needs of our community.

To nurture is not, however, to freeze that relationship. It must be allowed to grow and respond to changing times. A constructive dialogue is currently in hand regarding how we might modernise our subvention systems to allow our partnership with the NGO sector to grow stronger and flourish well into the next century. The Subvention Consultancy Study will, I hope, make some fundamental recommendations for change. Those changes are likely to give the NGO's much greater freedom to deploy resources provided by Government in a more effective way to meet the standards of performance required in all service areas. If, working together, we achieve this goal we shall have made a significant change for the better in the provision of welfare services in Hong Kong.

On that point of hope for the future, Mr President, I should like once again to thank Members for their support and for their comments. I look forward to working with them in this session to improve the provision of health and welfare services for the community.

Thank you.

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

31

Critics of Supplementary Labour Scheme challenged *****

The Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, today (Thursday) told the Legislative Council that a complete ban on the importation of labour is not the answer to unemployment problems and he challenges anyone to come up with a more open, fair and strict scheme than Government's proposed Supplementary Labour Scheme (SLS).

Speaking at the resumed debate on the Motion of Thanks on the Governor's Policy Address, Mr Wong stressed that Hong Kong as an open and flexible economy must have the option to supplement the workforce with imported workers to fill vacancies that could not be filled locally.

"This ability to respond quickly to labour requirements is a major component in the maintenance and furtherance of our competitiveness. There may also be jobs which, because of their nature, may no longer be attractive to our now more sophisticated labour force," he said.

Mr Wong said up to now, heTiad not heard any rational argument as to why in these circumstances and following the termination of the General Scheme, the Government should not even retain a policy option of employing a limited number of foreign labour.

He noted that public feedback as expressed in an independent opinion poll and media comments had been generally very supportive of the proposed scheme.

Also, the Labour Advisory Board (LAB) at a meeting earlier today had agreed in principle to take on the role of monitoring the operation of the scheme.

"Procedures for vetting the applications and monitoring the scheme have been discussed and will be finalised having regard to the advice of the LAB members. They will be both stringent and transparent," he said.

Mr Wong pointed out that in his discussions with many Legislative Council Members in the last few weeks, he did not feel that there were fundamental differences between the Administration and Members on this issue.

"We share a mutual concern to ensure that local workers are not deprived of job opportunities," he said.

He urged Members to consider the Government's proposal in a positive light as the Government's attitude had always been positive and open.

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"I hope Members will adopt a similar stance so that we can resolve this issue as expeditiously as possible," he said.

Noting that critics of the proposed SLS claimed that the Government merely gave a new name to the General Scheme which had been terminated, Mr Wong said this was not a fair nor reasonable comment.

"Our proposed scheme is different from the existing scheme in three main areas. First, it has no industry sub-quota; application for imported labour will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

"Secondly, the application has to pass three tests, namely, open recruitment, Labour Department's job matching programme and the alternative of ERB retraining, before it is processed further.

"Thirdly, the operation of the scheme will be monitored by the Labour Advisory Board and by the Manpower Panel of the Legislative Council," he said.

Mr Wong said the special scheme for the new airport and related projects was of paramount importance to the completion of the new airport on time and it was not covered in the earlier review on the general scheme.

He assured that adequate measures had been in place to safeguard the employment opportunities of local workers and the Government had no intention to make any changes to the airport scheme.

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

Review on graduate teacher posts completed by year end ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

The Government is aware of the possible mismatch between demand and supply of primary graduate teachers before 2007 and has set up a Working Group under the Education and Manpower Branch to consider the issue and recommend solutions.

The Working Group expects to complete the review by the end of this year.

33

This was stated by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, today (Thursday) when he spoke at the resumed debate on the Motion of Thanks on the Governor’s Policy Address.

$ Zf

Mr Wong said he noted that concern had been raised about insufficient number of primary graduate posts to meet the Education Commission Report No. 5 target of such posts which represented 35 per cent of all primary teacher posts by the year 2007.

He said the Government, recognising the importance of provision of graduate posts, had provided 360 posts in the past two years and another 300 would be provided in 1996-97.

"The 35 per cent target was accepted by the Government as a planning target. The Working Group under the Education and Manpower Branch will assess this target having regard to the impact of the scheme on the quality of primary education so far, the future development of primary education, as well as the financial implications involved and make recommendations on the rate of provision for the medium term," he said.

t. ;

Mr Wong also pointed out that it was only one of the many measures the Government had taken to raise the quality of primary school education. Other measures include:

* provision of additional teachers to both primary and secondary schools to reduce class sizes. The Government has provided over 2,000 additional teachers and reduced the ratio of pupils to teachers to 24 in primary and 20 in secondary schools two years ahead of schedule;

♦ introduction of special measures to assist the lower achievers and the less motivated;

• j.

commencement of a massive programme to improve the teaching and learning environment of our schools;

* establishment of the Hong Kong Institute of Education to upgrade teacher education and standards;

* introduction or re-inforcement of a series of other measures such as promotion of Chinese as medium of instruction, diversification of the school curriculum, and introduction of the School Management Initiative and Target Oriented Curriculum.

> /’K.

•I’.-IL

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

34

SEM in LegCo debate on motion of thanks ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ S» 1

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph Wong, in the Legislative Council debate on the motion of thanks today (Thursday):

I am grateful to Members who have spoken on education and manpower issues in the Motion of Thanks on the Governor's Policy Address.

Education

There appears to be a misunderstanding that because not all important educational issues have been mentioned in the Policy Address, education is being relegated to a role of lesser importance in the overall Government policy. Nothing is further from the truth. Education has been and will continue to be at the fore front of Government's priorities. This is fully borne out by the fact that our education budget has remained the single largest recurrent expenditure item in Government over the past five years - at around 20 - 22%. In money terms, it has grown from $16.6 billion in 1991-92 to $30.3 billion in 1995-96, representing an increase of 82% or 26% in real terms. While tertiary education has claimed a larger share of this growth to achieve the programme of expansion started in 1989, basic school education has also seen a substantial increase from $11.3 billion to $18.6 billion representing an increase of 64% or 13.3% in real terms over the same period. Against a net reduction in school population by 50,000 or 5.2% over the same period, such increase has assumed greater significance than it appears. Indeed, it has enabled our on-going improvement programme to continue including:

* the provision of additional teachers to both primary and secondary schools to reduce class sizes;

the introduction of special measures to assist the lower achievers and the less motivated.

* the launching of a programme to upgrade teaching posts in both our primary and secondary schools.

* the commencement of a massive construction programme to improve the teaching and learning environment of our schools.

* the establishment of the Hong Kong Institute of Education to upgrade our teacher education.

35

the introduction or re-inforcement of a series of policy initiatives aimed at enhancing the overall quality of our students such as the policy on medium of instruction, diversification of the school curriculum, the introduction of the School Management Initiative and Target Oriented Curriculum.

Notwithstanding these improvements, we are in no way complacent as some Members seem to suggest in their speeches. On the contrary, we have been working hard to lay the solid foundation for the 21st century and to develop high quality education:

* the University Grants Committee will be submitting to Government its Report on the Review of the Development of Higher Education in early 1996, setting out the vision, goals and objectives for higher education into the next century;

* the Education Commission is expected to submit its anxiously-awaited report on Language Proficiency by the end of this year. This report should provide us with a comprehensive strategy in enhancing the language proficiency of our school students in Chinese, English and Putonghua.

* the next immediate tasks of the Education Commission are to complete its final report on school quality and publish its consultative document on school funding, both in 1996.

* the Board of Education is conducting separate reviews on the nine-year compulsory education and special education and expects to complete them in the first half of 1996.

* to complete the review on the school sector, the Education Commission will commence its review on the post-compulsory school education in early 1996.

The recommendations from all these reviews plus those from the Working Party on Kindergarten Education expected by the end of 1995 will provide the Administration with not only an overall perspective of our education system but more importantly, the opportunity to develop our education policies and strategies for the next century in a coherent and forward looking manner.

36

I hope I have said enough to reassure Members of Government’s determination to continue to develop and improve our education services. In particular, I hope the Education Commission’s report on Language Proficiency should address the concerns of some Members on the need to improve the language standards of our students. In this respect, I note the suggestion that we should speed up the learning of Putonghua in our schools. I agree entirely. In my policy commitments, I have already pledged that all our school children can start their formal Putonghua lessons from 1998. This timetable has been proposed to take account of the minimum two-year lead time needed for the preparation of the curriculum and publication of the new Putonghua textbooks required. But we lose no time in preparing our children; we will seek approval of a capital sum of $30 million from the Finance Committee this month, so that summer Putonghua classes will be organised in 1996, 1997 and 1998.

I should now like to respond to other specific comments made by Members.

Curriculum

A number of Members have called for broadening of the school curriculum to meet changing needs. Reviewing of the curriculum is an ongoing process. For example, an evaluation of computer subjects will take place this year to ensure that they reflect the latest technological changes and trends of computer applications. Another example is the current revision of the guidelines on civic education which will be completed in 1996. Nevertheless, I share Members' concern on the continuing need to develop our curriculum and shall pass it to the Curriculum Development Council as a timely reminder of their role in this respect.

Primary Graduate Posts

Concern has been raised about insufficient number of primary graduate posts to meet the Education Commission Report No. 5 target of such posts representing 35% of all primary teacher posts by the year 2007. The provision of graduate posts is one of the many measures Government has taken to raise the quality of primary school education. We recognise its importance. We provided 360 posts in the past two years and will provide another 300 in 1996-97. Government is aware of the possible mismatch between demand and supply of primary graduate teachers before 2007 and has set up a Working Group under the Education and Manpower Branch to consider the issue and recommend solutions. The Working Group expects to complete its review by the end of this year.

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Special Education

Some Members have expressed concern on special education. This subject was discussed at length in a motion debate in this Council in June this year. I shall not repeat the details here. I just wish to emphasise two points. First, integration has been and will continue to be at the heart of our policy on special education. To support this policy, we have developed over the years a comprehensive network of services to ensure that as many children with special education needs as possible are educated alongside their peers in ordinary schools. Secondly, we look forward to receiving the recommendations arising from the Board of Education’s review of special education and will examine them positively.

I leave Education by restating its two very important goals. One is to develop the character and potential of our youngsters to enable them to lead a full, meaningful and dignified life. The other is to train up a large enough pool of people with the necessary knowledge and skills to meet the ever growing demands of the economy and our society at large. This brings me to manpower.

Manpower

It has been suggested by some members that we do not have a manpower policy. This is simply not true. Government’s policy is to ensure that there is a stable and well-motivated workforce to support our economic growth. Also, we aim to maintain in Hong Kong a level of labour standards which compares favourably with those of our neighbouring countries with similar economic developments and social-cultural background.

Our policy objectives are geared towards meeting the requirements of our economy both in the short and in the long term. In pursuance of this, the Education and Manpower Branch conducts manpower studies regularly to assess the kind of education which the working population should possess. These studies provide statistical projections of manpower supply and requirements by educational levels for the purpose of assessing whether under existing and planned education provisions, the mix of manpower supply in terms of educational levels will be broadly in line with the future needs of the economy. The latest report published in 1994 projected our manpower requirements up to the year 2001. I am considering whether it will be useful to attempt an update in advance of the 1996 Census exercise.

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Vocational Training

As part of the process in determining the overall manpower requirements of Hong Kong, the Vocational Training Council (VTC), through its training bodies, conducts surveys biennially of the manpower requirements of the different sector of the industries. These studies provide a solid basis upon which the VTC develops its courses for the students. Last year, some 100,000 places were offered in the VTC programme. Next year, we will spend $1.4 billion on the VTC programme offering about 110,000 places.

The VTC has been making a valuable contribution to our manpower supply. But we should not be complacent. We must ensure that the young people attending VTC courses will continue to be provided with a comprehensive system of technical education and industrial training suited to Hong Kong's ever changing needs. 1 therefore intend to commission a consultancy to undertake a review of the VTC including its programme of activities. We shall of course work closely with the VTC in this important exercise.

Employees Retraining Board

Hong Kong's success has been built on the dedication of entrepreneurs and the hard work of our labour force. The economy of Hong Kong took off in the 50s when our factories began to produce goods that were sold all over the world. The workers in the factories were skilled, industrious, productive and flexible. Those qualities were instrumental in making Hong Kong what we are today. Many of the workers who have helped to build this dynamic economy are still in their prime. We need to upgrade the skills of those who are already in our workforce and to equip those who have been displaced as a result of the economic restructuring. The Employees Retraining Board (ERB) was set up in 1992 precisely for these purposes. In the short time since its establishment, the ERB has provided over 80,000 training places. This is a reflection of its popularity and the eagerness of our workers to improve themselves.

I am convinced that ERB will continue to remain an integral part of our manpower supply. I am also convinced that it has the potential to provide an even better service to our workers. So it is only right that we take stock of what we have done and ask ourselves some searching questions. I have started discussions with the ERB on the commissioning of a consultancy study to review the direction and strategy of our retraining programme. Both this and the VTC study will be completed early next year. They will provide Government and the two bodies with a very good basis for setting our sights in the next 5 or 10 years.

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Importation of Labour

I share the concern of many Members over the current difficulties faced by the unemployed in finding jobs. But a complete ban on the importation of labour is not the panecea. As an open and flexible economy, Hong Kong must have the option to supplement our workforce with imported workers to fill vacancies that cannot be filled locally. This ability to respond quickly to labour requirements is a major component in the maintenance and furtherance of our competitiveness. There may also be jobs which, because of their nature, may no longer be attractive to our now more sophisticated labour force.

When the General Labour Importation Scheme was introduced in 1989, the labour market was very different from what it is now. We have conducted a thorough review of this scheme and put forward proposals for its termination and replacement by a very limited Supplementary Labour Scheme. Critics of the proposed Supplementary Labour Scheme claim that in essence it is the same as the General Scheme but with a new name.

* This is not a fair nor reasonable comment. Our proposed scheme is different from the existing scheme in three main areas. First, it has no industry sub-quota; application for imported labour will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Secondly, the application has to pass three tests i.e. open recruitment. Labour Department’s job matching programme and the alternative of ERB retraining, before it is processed further. Thirdly, the operation of the scheme will be monitored by the Labour Advisory Board and by the Manpower Panel of the Legislative Council.

In short, our proposal ensures that local workers have first priority and every opportunity to fill the available vacancies. I challenge anyone to propose a more open, fair and strict scheme. This perhaps explains why public feedback as expressed in an independent opinion poll and media comments have been generally very supportive of the Government's proposal. The Labour Advisory Board (LAB) has met earlier this afternoon to discuss the proposed Supplementary Labour Scheme. I am glad to inform Members that the LAB has agreed in principle to take on the role of monitoring the operation of the Scheme. Procedures for vetting the applications and monitoring the Scheme have been discussed and will be finalised having regard to the advice of LAB members. They will be both stringent and transparent.

40

I am aware that imported labour is a very sensitive issue. Government is equally concerned over the plight of the unemployed. But I repeat: the sole purpose of the proposed Supplementary Labour Scheme is to allow the entry of a limited number of foreign workers to take up jobs which cannot be filled locally. No one. and I repeat no one has put forward a rational argument as to why in these circumstances and following the termination of the General Scheme, we should not even retain a policy option of employing a limited number of foreign labour. As a Government, we cannot afford to lose sight of the wider community interest. I urge Members to consider the Government's proposal in a positive light and 1 will spare no effort in discussing our case within and outside this Council.

Before I leave the subject of importation of labour, 1 want to make it clear once again that our review did not cover the Special Scheme for Importation of Labour for the New Airport and Related Projects. That scheme is of paramount importance to the completion of the new airport on time. Adequate measures are in place to safeguard the employment opportunities of local workers. We have no intention to make any changes to the scheme.

Industrial Safety

Earlier on, I referred to the importance of training and retraining. In addition to upgrading the skills of our workforce, we must also ensure that there is an increasing awareness of safety practices. We need to do more to reduce the unacceptable number of deaths and injuries in industrial undertakings particularly among workers in the construction industry. The consultation paper on industrial safety which was published in July proposed a series of measures to improve safety practices. We have completed the public consultation exercise and 1 am pleased to report that there is general support for the new policy initiative of introducing a safety management system in our work places. We will also propose to increase Government's monitoring and enforcement responsibilities. We are finalising our policy proposals and I shall be putting forward legislative proposals to Members for consideration in 1996.

Age Discrimination

I would like to say a few words about the issue of age discrimination in employment. This is not an area where we arc standing still. I have set up a working group to look into age discrimination in employment. The Working Group will:

- 41 -

(a) ascertain the extent to which age discrimination is a problem in Hong Kong; and

(b) consider what Government measures, if any, should be adopted to tackle the problem.

The working group is now examining information on administrative and legislative provisions relating to age discrimination in a variety of overseas jurisdictions. We are interested in those places where this issue has been resolved without recourse to legislation as well as those where the legislative route has been followed.

Later this month we shall select a consultant to carry out a fact finding survey on this subject. The results of this survey, as well as our assessment of what has been done overseas, will be incorporated in a paper for public comments in early 1996. In the meantime, I shall continue to ask employers not to use 'age’ as a factor when recruiting staff. I shall keep the Manpower Panel of the Legislative Council closely informed of and, where appropriate, involved in this worthwhile exercise.

Labour Relations

Mr President, I would like to conclude my statement by emphasising that Hong Kong’s success is based on its excellent labour relations. This has contributed immeasurably to business confidence in Hong Kong. Our system, which involves both employers representatives and employees representatives with Government playing a mediating roles has served Hong Kong well. We should continue with this well tried formula. Government is committed to improving labour rights and benefits in keeping with our economic growth and in tune with the community’s aspirations. We will continue to search for and strike the right balance between the interest of employers and the welfare of our workers. I see no fundamental conflict between the two in the long or even in the short term.

The Legislative Council has a vital and positive role to play in the decisionmaking process. I will endeavour to work with employers and employees representatives, and in particular with Members of the Council on labour issues. I look for co-operation and solution, and I see no need for confrontation and division. I am confident, with goodwill and an open mind, working together, we will continue to improve the rights and benefits of our well-deserved labour force.

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

42

S for W in LegCo debate on motion of thanks * * ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Works, Mr Kwong Hon-sang, in the Legislative Council debate on the motion of thanks today (Thursday):

Mr President,

I wish to respond, to the remarks by Hononable Members in respect of improving slope safety.

Accelerating the current LPM Programme

I wish to reassure members that we are determined to accord slope safety a higher priority. We have advised members that S1.3B have been provided for the investigation and necessary upgrading works on potentially hazardous man-made slopes in the existing Catalogue of Slopes compiled in 1977/78. Besides, increased staff resources of some 160 posts have been approved since last year to facilitate acceleration of the LPM Programme. A further 25 posts have been approved in this financial year. These will assist in completing all the investigation and necessary upgrading works on slopes in the existing Catalogue by the year 2000. We take note of Members' concern on the expediency of these works, and will try all possible ways to finish the necessary works as early as possible.

We are taking a pragmatic approach to deal with the Landslide Preventive Measures Programme. Slopes affecting busy roads and footpaths will be given a higher priority in the accelerated Programme.

In fact, the $1.3B has included a provision of S100M to deal with some other slopes not included in the existing Catalogue, but which are considered to be posing some degree of danger.

43

Revising the Catalogue

There are about 10,800 slope features in the Catalogue compiled in 1977/78. We have estimated that some 25,000 additional slopes formed before the setting up of the Geotechnical Control Office in 1977 will likely be identified and added to the Catalogue. The reason for this substantial increase in number is that the Catalogue of 1977/78 concentrated on man-made slopes in urban areas of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. Only the larger man-made slopes in the New Territories were included. By adopting the urban areas' man-made slope registration criteria for the New Territories, the number of additional slopes to be included will therefore be significant. We plan to request for more resources in the next financial year in order to follow up with investigation and upgrading works where necessary.

■ - . < '■

In addition, man-made slopes formed after the setting up of the Geotechncial Control Office will also be included in the Catalogue.

Natural Slopes

Natural slopes cover some 60% of the total land area in Hong Kong. While it is impractical to catalogue every single natural land feature in the Territory, we have commenced a consultancy study to prepare a catalogue of old landslide sites on natural hillsides over the Territory from aerial photographs. This study is expected to be completed in March 1996.

The catalogue of old landslide sites will be used for assessment of the risk posed by natural hillsides which will take about one year to complete. Necessary follow up actions would then be made after these assessments.

Other Measures

Besides expressing concern on the need to accelerate slope improvement works, Members also asked the Government for details of other measures being implemented as mentioned in the Policy Address and suggested that risk assessment criteria should be amended. We wish to briefly advise Members of the progress on the following works.

44

SIMAR

Regarding the identification of responsibilities for the safety of man-made slopes, the GEO is assisting the Lands Department in compiling an inventory of slope ownership. This is under a project known as Systematic Identification of Maintenance Responsibilities of all registerable slopes in the Territory (SIMAR). The project will start in early 1996 and is scheduled for completion in 1998. Once the maintenance responsibility is clearly established, the Government will be in a better position to ensure that the necessary slope maintenance or upgrading works are undertaken by the responsible party.

' ' 1 , ' ' ’

Legislative Control

Changes to existing legislation will be introduced to call for the investigation of buried drains which may affect slope stability and to ensure that waterpipes are kept out of slopes. New legislation for the mandatory periodic inspection and maintenance repair of slopes and buried services will also be considered. Other measures may include requiring private owners to certify the safety of slopes registered under their responsibility.

Risk Assessment Criteria

Regarding risk assessment, the GEO has reviewed the Consequence Classification System (formerly called Risk Classification) for slopes and the associated Priority Classification for LPM Action for the selection of slope for investigation and upgrading works. GEO have taken steps to consult the geotechncial profession on the proposal and intend to consult the LegCo Panel on Planning, Lands & Works at appropriate time. • • • 4

Conclusion

We believe the above should have addressed Members’ concern regarding slope safety. We fully understand that this concern is shared by the public at large. We will continue to step up our efforts to complete the on-going Programme and to implement the additional measures to improve slope safety in an efficient, systematic and cost-effective manner. 5

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995 v,

- 45 -

S for T in LegCo debate on motion of thanks

♦ » ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, in the Legislative Council resumed debate on Motion of Thanks on the Governor’s Policy Address today (Thursday):

Mr President, . ;

I am very grateful to those Honourable Members who have spoken on transport issues in this debate. No doubt their comments reflect public views and aspirations and provide the Administration with a clear indication of what they believe the priorities, in transport terms, should be. The fundamental message seems to be to urge the Administration to plan ahead and speed up projects. A study of the Progress Report clearly illustrates that action is in fact already in hand in respect of many of the suggestions put forward by Honourable Members. We have a fall and ambitious programme and are very much on target in meeting our commitments.

All major cities have transport problems and face congestion during rush hours. Hong Kong is no exception but we should not be shy in recognising that we have one of the best transport systems in the world. That said, I am amongst the first to acknowledge that there is no room for complacency and that there is scope to do better. Indeed, we are looking ahead and will spend some $30 billion in the coming 5 years to expand our infrastructural network and enhance traffic management schemes.

Let me now try to put into perspective some of the major points that-Honourable Members have made:-

Northwest New Territories and Tuen Mun Road

With a population of over 700,000 in the Northwest New Territories I agree 100% that the present transport network is over stretched. There are many reasons for this but I believe there is little to be gained in attempting to identify what went wrong. Rather, and more important, we should focus our energies on practical measures to cope with present and future demand. This is precisely what the Administration is doing. _ .

46

The past 2 to 3 years have seen the completion of major projects. The New Territories Circular Road has been widened and improved thus providing for better access from the east. The Tuen Mun/Yuen Long Eastern Corridor was opened in 1993, and the Yuen Long Southern Bypass in November 1994. Other measures such as bus only lanes, the improvement of the Au Tau Roundabout and the provision of more ferry services are also in hand. In addition, certain sections of Castle Peak Road are being widened and, in this respect, I can assure Honourable Members that thorough traffic impact assessments will be conducted in respect of proposals for development projects. Looking further ahead Route 3 is now under construction and we are pursuing the implementation of the Western Corridor Railway. There are also plans to provide additional lanes along Tolo Highway - we expect work to commence towards the end of 1998.

The closure of Tuen Mun Road resulted in a horrendous nightmare. Let me again, on behalf of the Administration, apologise for the considerable inconvenience and frustration that this caused to the tens of thousands of residents in Tuen Mun and Yuen Long. The Government firmly believes that, given the advice of experts that there was a real danger of landslips, we had no choice but to close the highway and that it was the correct decision. There was no question of subjecting commuters to any risk of injury or fatality. We did our level best to alleviate transport problems through special traffic arrangements by providing additional bus and ferry services. There are of course lessons to be learnt and we shall certainly draw on the experience to improve contingency arrangements. We are now considering how best to complete the climbing lanes along Tuen Mun Road with minimal disruption to traffic. The District Boards concerned and the LegCo Transport Panel will be fully briefed and consulted before work proceeds.

Railways

I now turn to Railways. Many Members have urged us to accelerate the completion of the three top priority projects identified in the Railway Development Strategy. As Honourable Members know the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation and the Mass Transit Railway Corporation have been invited to submit detailed proposals for the construction of the Western Corridor Railway and the extension to Tseung Kwan O respectively. As for the third priority, we have just engaged consultants to advise on an intermediate capacity system from Ma On Shan to Tai Wai, coupled with the loop from Hunghom to Tsimshatsui.

47

At this point let me deal with the repeated request from this Council as well as District Board Members to extend the WCR line from Tuen Mun North to Tuen Mun Town Centre. As promised, we have asked the KCRC to examine this option when extending the invitation and providing them with the brief to undertake this project. Although the Administration awaits a formal submission from the KCRC, I am pleased to be able to advise Honourable Members that the Corporation considers that, based on its preliminary investigations, such an extension is technically feasible and can be provided by 2001. I can assure Hon Members that the Administration will adopt a positive approach in studying the proposal to bring the railway to Tuen Mun Town Centre. Indeed, the recent experience arising from the closure of Tuen Mun Road underlines the urgency to provide an alternative transport mode.

In so far as the WCR is concerned 1 should also highlight the fact that we see the need for a new passenger terminal at Lok Ma Chau. This is being discussed with the Chinese under the Infrastructure Co-ordinating Committee. But Lo Wu will continue to be the crossing point for through trains, eventually linking up with the WCR to provide a direct freight service to the container port as well as an alternative route for international passengers with a terminus at West Kowloon.

Some Members have urged the early implementation of a number of other railway projects, such as MTR extensions on Hong Kong Island and other railway proposals in Southeast Kowloon. Such possible alignments have been identified in the Railway Development Strategy. We shall constantly review these projects. But it would be totally unrealistic to accord them higher priority than the three rail projects which 1 have outlined. Apart from substantial costs, I doubt very much that either we or the railway corporations have the manpower and other resources to take on yet additional railway schemes all at the same time.

We should not forget the Airport Railway. Construction is in full swing with the opening scheduled for June 1998 at the latest. With MTRC's excellent track record on project management, we are confident that the Airport Railway will come into operation on target.

The Lantau Line of the Airport Railway will, of course, also serve Tung Chung New Town and provide an alternative rail link from Tsucn Wan to Central thus relieving pressure along the Nathan Road Corridor.

48

Traffic Congestion and Public Transport Services

I now turn to congestion on our roads and the importance of public transport services.

I have often said, and make no apologies for repeating yet again, that we simply cannot build our way out of congestion. Our fundamental policy is clear-cut: to manage road use and improve the availability and quality of public transport. The public consultation exercise and debate in this Council earlier this year on measures to address traffic congestion demonstrated strong support for the adoption of the userpays principle through the implementation of an Electronic Road Pricing System. Transport Department is now drawing up and finalising a study brief. We expect to invite tenders for a consultancy by the middle of next year. This will be followed by a pilot scheme before full implementation. We shall brief and consult this Council and District Boards as the exercise progresses.

Although fiscal measures to alleviate congestion did not find favour with many Hon Members, past experience has proven that such measures do have an immediate impact. The substantial growth in the number of private cars up to the early part of this year was particularly worrying. Although the market has self-adjusted for now, the stark reality is that our road systems, even with the substantial investment in infrastructural projects which are planned, cannot cope with an annual growth of more than 2 to 3%. That is why, unpopular though it may be, the Administration has to be ready to take action should circumstances so warrant. We are now drafting legislation to provide the Administration with the requisite powers to increase Annual Licence Fees and impose passenger taxes at the tunnels and expect to submit bills to this Council for consideration early in the New Year. If and when the Administration believes that such fiscal constraints actually need to be imposed, Hon Members will of course be consulted and have the opportunity to examine and vet the proposals in detail.

It is no fluke that in Hong Kong we have one of the best public transport systems in the world. We have a wide range of transport modes at affordable prices. We have a successful formula: the key factors are that public transport is provided by operators who run their business on commercial principles, there is no government subsidy and we have an effective regulatory framework.

49

We encourage private sector participation by allowing transport operators to obtain a fair and reasonable return on their investment. This is a pre-requisite if operators are to re-invest in service improvements to meet public demand for higher public demand for comfort and reliability. They in turn depend on fare increases to meet increasing costs. Indeed, the inevitable cycle of submissions for fare adjustments from transport operators has commenced. Such submissions will be scrutinised by the Administration before Members are consulted.

A number of Honourable Members have expressed concern about ferry services and the importance of ferries as an alternative transport mode. In the past two years, there have been significant improvements in services to the NWNT. For example, three new high speed catamarans have been deployed on the Tuen Mun route to cater for the morning rush. Two new routes have also been introduced - one from Tuen Mun to Wan Chai and one from Gold Coast to Central. Special feeder buses and green mini-buses have been provided to connect ferry piers with residential areas and these services will be strengthened. In the next 12 months, peak hour capacity between Tuen Mun and Central will be increased by 10% through the provision of one more catamaran. Some Members have suggested a shuttle service, at least during rush hours, between Tuen Mun and Tsuen Wan. This will be explored. But it must be recognised that ferry services can only be viable if there is adequate patronage.

Mr President, the Administration will continue to review its policy on ferry services and take steps to encourage investment. For example, we are finalising the detailed terms of a pier development package with the Hong Kong and Yaumati Ferry which would enable the ferry company to implement service improvements to the NWNT and the outlying islands with fares kept at reasonable and affordable levels.

On taxis, the Transport Advisory Committee completed a comprehensive review in early 1994. Many measures to combat malpractices have been implemented. These include stiffer penalties and the display of I.D. cards by taxi drivers. I believe that this Council is also aware that we have introduced cross-harbour taxi stands on a trial basis for the greater convenience of both passengers and taxi operators. Separately, the Transport Advisory Committee has just embarked on a full review of public light bus policies to see how these services can be improved. My colleague, the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands has referred to proposals to require taxis and public light buses to switch from diesel to petrol. The views of the trade will be fully taken into account as part of the public consultation exercise now in hand.

50

Parking

Several Members have referred to "park and ride" in the context of congestion. This proposal was advocated during our consultation exercise. We are actively looking for suitable "park and ride" sites. The Town Planning Board has recently approved an MTRC proposal to develop a transport interchange at Choi Hung MTR Station that will incorporate such facilities. We have earmarked $60 million as Government's contribution for this project and will be seeking funding support from Finance Committee in 1996.

We also have two related studies, progress on which, unfortunately, has slipped somewhat because of the very heavy workload in Transport Department. The Parking Demand Study is nearing completion and should be ready by the end of this year.

We recognise the existing shortfall in the provision of goods vehicle parking spaces. This is being addressed in the Freight Transport Study. Sites are difficult to obtain. One possible long term solution is the provision of permanent multi-storey lorry parks near the container port and in industrial areas. In the shorter term, we will do our best to provide lorry parks on short term tenancy sites.

Mr President, my colleagues and I look forward to working closely with the Transport Panel of this Council in the year ahead. I am particularly pleased that the Hon Miriam Lau and Hon Zachary Wong have been re-elected as Chairperson and Vice-Chairman of the Panel and that another 17 Members have joined the Panel. This demonstrates the tremendous interest and concern in the transport portfolio. We all share the same goal of improving transport services both in qualitative and quantitative terms. To achieve this we need to work in partnership.

Thank you, Mr President.

End/Thursday. November 2, 1995

51

S for H in LegCo debate on motion of thanks ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic Wong, in the Legislative Council debate on the motion of thanks today (Thursday):

Mr President,

The Housing Branch was set up less than a year ago to co-ordinate and direct our housing policy, and to ensure that the Government’s ambitious targets for increasing the production of flats in the public and private sectors could be met. As I said in my introduction to this year's Policy Commitments, we have been able not only to demonstrate significant progress towards meeting our production targets, but also to focus on the quality of our housing stock, and particularly on the quality of our public rental housing.

This year we have made another 36 policy commitments, relating to public rental housing, subsidised home ownership and private housing. We need the cooperation and support of this Council, the Housing Authority, the Housing Society and the private sector in achieving all our targets. I welcome the comments and suggestions made by Honourable Members last week, and would like to respond to some of the main issues raised.

Public rental housing

First, I shall deal with public rental housing. Despite the increasing aspirations of the community to home ownership, there is no doubt that public rental housing remains one of the main pillars of our social policy. The total supply of public rental housing flats up to 2001 will be in the order of 240,000. This figure comprises the 141,000 new flats to which we are committed, and about 100,000 flats to be vacated by tenants and then refurbished for re-allocation. This increase in supply should be sufficient to reduce the average waiting time for public rental housing for eligible applicants from seven years at present to just under five years by 2001, without compromising our ability to meet other commitments in respect of redevelopment, squatter and Temporary Housing Area clearances, compassionate rehousing and overcrowding relief.

52

Some Members have cast doubt on our ability to achieve such a substantial reduction in waiting time. As the Governor said in his Policy Address, this will be no easy task. But we are determined to use our best efforts to achieve it. Against the background of our flat availability position which I have just mentioned, we shall be helped by the historical trend that the number of persons who join the general waiting list but are eventually found not eligible, or who are rehoused through other schemes or quotas, accounts for about half of all applicants on the list. We shall also be able to increase the number of flats to be allocated to successful waiting list applicants from 1998 onwards, after our existing Temporary Housing Area residents and urban squatters on Crown land have been offered rehousing.

I also note that some other Members, far from regarding our target as over-ambitious, have asked us to reduce waiting time still further by allocating more land to the Housing Authority for the construction of more public rental flats. I would like to make our position clear on this. We have already allocated to the Housing Authority some 223 hectares of land, comprising new and redevelopment sites, to meet the target of building 141,000 new rental flats. In addition, about 185 hectares have been allocated or earmarked for building 148,000 home ownership scheme flats. These amounts of land are sufficient to achieve our present targets. Whether or not these targets need to be modified will depend on the outcome of our comprehensive assessment of housing demand in the next ten years, which is now approaching its final stage. This assessment will take into account factors such as population growth, the timing of redevelopment and the market price of private housing. Should an increase in demand be indicated, we will use our best endeavours to make additional land available as expeditiously as possible. We will also follow up Members’ suggestion of increasing the plot ratio of public housing sites, so as to make the best use possible of our limited land resources. This suggestion tics in very well with our own thinking.

A few Members expressed concern about our pledge to privatise gradually public rental housing estate management. The fact is that our experience with similar arrangements in Home Ownership Scheme courts has shown that customer satisfaction with private management agencies is high. In addition, savings can be achieved, and scarce human resources can be released for redeployment elsewhere in the public sector where they are needed for new or improved activities. Having said this, I should make it clear that we do not intend to proceed precipitately. We shall carry out a pilot scheme in three selected rental estates, beginning in early 1996. Residents will themselves be able to monitor the performance of private management agencies both directly and through the Estate Management Advisory Committee scheme.

53

I wish also to respond briefly to the comments of some Members on the subject of better-off tenants. The reason for the proposed policy was clearly stated by the Governor in his Policy Address: it is plainly wrong that public rental housing should continue to accommodate tenants who have the financial resources to meet their own housing requirement. We must ensure that heavily subsidised housing is enjoyed by those who need it most. Where tenants can afford to buy their own homes, whether at subsidised or market prices, or to rent accommodation in the private sector, they should make way for others whose only hope of finding decent accommodation lies with public rental housing. This is a case where the need to make the best use of scarce housing resources and the basic considerations of fairness point in the same direction.

Temporary housing

Turning to temporary housing, some Members have criticised the Government for not honouring its pledges on Temporary Housing Areas. I would like to reiterate publicly again that we will honour in full the three pledges. We are well on target to fulfilling these pledges. Indeed we will be able to go one step further : that is, by the end of 1997, all TH A residents at the end of September this year will be offered rehousing in public rental estates.

Separately, as a result of future clearances and increased immigration from China, there will still be a genuine need to retain some THAs in the foreseeable future. This is why we have announced the need to retain and refurbish 13 THAs after 1997 for new residents, but we are determined to improve the living conditions by a renovation programme and improved management. 1 am grateful to the Honourable Lee Wing-tat for his suggestion that some older rental blocks in the urban fringe areas should be retained for use as vertical THAs. This is in fact one of our new Policy Commitments. These high-rise blocks will have many advantages over the conventional wooden THA units. They will be in more convenient locations and offer better security, fire safety and environmental conditions. A pilot scheme has already been implemented in one public rental block, and we will expand this programme in 1996. In addition, new designs of temporary accommodation, with more space and better quality living standards, will gradually be introduced to replace the existing type of temporary housing.

54

Home ownership

I referred earlier on to some Members’ differing views on our flat production targets for public rental housing. I detect the same ambivalence with regard to home ownership and, in particular, to our subsidised home ownership schemes. Some Members would prefer us to take a left-hand path (so to speak), and others a righthand one. In fact, it is misleading to compare directly our public rental and home ownership production figures. These two different types of public housing are needed to achieve two different social objectives. Public rental housing is intended for those who are in genuine need and have not yet reached the stage where home ownership is a real possibility. On the other hand, our subsidised home ownership schemes are designed to meet the increasing aspirations of a high proportion of our low and middle income families to own their own homes. In fact we will build over 175,000 Home Ownership and Sandwich Class Housing flats by 2001, a significant increase on last year’s announced target. Loans will also be provided to over 16,000 families to help them buy their own homes in the private sector. We believe that this home ownership programme for over 190,000 families is not only important in meeting increasing demand from individual families, but is also desirable in itself as a means of fostering social stability in Hong Kong. I sincerely hope that we can make up lost ground in achieving our original target of "just under 60%" for home ownership by 2001.

I would like to acknowledge the views of some Members in support of the sale of public rental flats to existing tenants as a means of increasing home ownership. We will certainly examine ways to make it easier for tenants of public rental flats to own their own homes, including the option of selling public rental flats to existing tenants.

I would emphasise that the increase in our subsidised home ownership programme will not be at the expense of public rental housing production. Based on present targets, the public rental housing to home ownership scheme ratio by the end of this century will still be seven to three. This is a high proportion of public rental housing by international developed territory standards; even much higher, for example, than in Singapore, Taiwan or England.

55

Private sector

I turn now to the private sector. We rely on private sector developers to meet about 40% of our total target production of over half a million new flats over the n&t six years. I am fully aware of the difficulties which developers sometimes face in acquiring land and in obtaining all the Government approvals required before they can deliver flats to the market. For this purpose, we have set up a Housing Project Action Team to facilitate this process for any major development - major in the sense that it will contribute 500 or more flats to our production target. Developers are encouraged to approach me or my colleagues in the Housing Branch with projects where they are experiencing difficulties. Members may wish to know that we are already monitoring or fast-tracking in this way over 50 projects, involving more than 120,000 flats throughout the territory.

While we recognise and, indeed, actively support the role of the private sector in achieving our housing production targets, we must be careful to resist the siren’s calls (if I may borrow a phrase from my colleague the Financial Secretary) of those who ask us to relax significantly or even abandon our measures to contain speculation in the residential property market. As several Members have rightly pointed out, the measures introduced by the Government in June last year have successfully dampened speculation and stabilised property prices. The residential property market is now dominated by end-users who actually purchase property from developers first-hand. Developers realistically react to changed market sentiment by cutting prices and by offering attractive sales packages and supplementary financing. Housing affordability has also improved. We are satisfied that the anti-speculation measures are achieving the desired results without undue interference in market forces. We do not intend to introduce further restrictive measures, but we must still guard against the rekindling of speculation. Hence, we will keep a close watch over developments and will continue to review the situation on a regular basis.

Meanwhile we have received proposals to increase the operational flexibility of both developers and purchasers so as to facilitate property transactions within the existing regulatory framework. We are examining these proposals with great care, to see whether some operational flexibility can be allowed, without giving rise to speculative activities and without compromising the integrity of our price-stabilisation package.

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Long Term Housing Strategy

Mr President, I shall shortly be embarking on a review of our Long Term Housing Strategy. I am pleased that several Members have welcomed this. Let me say a few words about the scope of the review. We will consider all major aspects of housing policy, and will determine the way in which we manage the enormous resources required to provide decent and affordable housing for the community. To give some key examples:

(a) we will project housing production targets forward for the next 10 years to 2005-2006, taking into account our latest projections of housing demand;

(b) we will examine carefully the appropriate split between flat production in the private, public rental and subsidised home ownership sectors;

(c) we will review public housing policies regarding eligibility, subsidy, redevelopment and clearance; and

(d) we will identify gaps in provision.

We have already set up an inter-departmental working group in the Housing Branch to conduct research and produce background materials and papers. To give the review direction and focus, a high-level steering group will shortly be formed, chaired by myself, and including people from the public and private sectors in their personal capacities. Very shortly, I shall invite Members of this Council to meet with me and to give their views on possible future direction. Views from interested groups will also be welcome. We will then consider all these views during our review before compiling a report for public consultation. Mr. President, this review will take time to complete, but it is an important exercise. We must get it right. I look forward to lively and constructive debate on all the issues involved over the months ahead.

Thank you Mr President.

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

- 57 -

S for S in LegCo debate on motion of thanks * * * ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in the Legislative Council debate on the motion of thanks today (Thursday):

'* ' J ' - • • ’ • i’ ■;

” -"*■»* ..u< :o o:1/ „•••. •

MrPresident, - >.■

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The security of our community underpins the stability and prosperity of Hong .Kong. The people of Hong Kong attach great importance to the maintenance of law and order and public safety. The Hong Kong Government shares this sense of importance. There should be no doubt about the Government’s determination to preserve Hong Kong's status as a well-ordered society, subject to the rule of law. We shall do our utmost, now and beyond 1997, to achieve the highest possible standard in fighting crime, and in protecting the lives and properties of people. We shall spare no effort in maintaining die confidence and respect which our disciplined services enjoy in the community. I shall take the opportunity today to share with Honourable Members our policy directions, and the plans and actions to which we are committed in order to achieve specific objectives. giCI

- . ' if” .

Policy Direction

Our policy directions. First, we aim to live up to the growing aspirations of our community. Secondly, we aim to keep up with the times, by maximising efficiency through management reform and increased use of modern technology. Thirdly, we aim to work together with the Chinese side to resolve the key issues for a smooth transition in 1997.

58

Living up to the Community's Aspirations

Combating Crime

When most of us go home in the evenings to our families, or when we go out during the holidays to enjoy ourselves, these are the very hours when our policemen are actively tackling crime on the streets. There are 21,000 police officers, comprising 78% of the Police Force, involved in front-line operational duties. Apart from policemen seen in their uniforms walking the beat or on operational patrols, many of them are working in plain clothes in the prevention and investigation of criminal activities. Yet others are performing essential tasks such as anti-illegal immigration operations at the border, or pursuing smugglers at sea. Nevertheless, the Government perceives clearly the wish of the community to have more visible police presence on the streets to fight crime and to deter potential offenders. As the Governor pointed out in the Policy Address, we now have an extra 800 police officers on the streets compared with 1992. We are on schedule to meet last year's Policy Commitment to deploy an additional 400 police officers for front line duties. A further 220 will also join the front-line in 1996-97.

Although the overall crime rate in the past 3 years has increased by about 5%, the violent crime rate, unlike that in other metropolitan cities, has actually fallen by some 11%, and the number of armed robberies has dropped by a remarkable 62%. There is of course no room for complacency. This year, we have strengthened the capability of the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau, and the Criminal Intelligence Bureau; next year we will provide considerable resources to strengthen the anti-triad units in Police Regions and Districts. These measures, together with the enactment of the Organised and Serious Crimes Ordinance, should enable the Police force to break the back of organised crime syndicates. Some Honourable Members have expressed their concern on increases in pickpocketing, syndicated shopthefts and juvenile crimes. Let me assure you that the Police will continue to pay particular attention to detecting and preventing such crimes, with their additional resources and better criminal intelligence capability. As regards juvenile crime, we have in May this year published the Report on the Research on the Social Causes of Juvenile Crime, which was commissioned by the Fight Crime Committee. We have received feedback from the community and concerned groups, and are now drawing up an action plan to implement the recommendations arising from the Report, which cover educational, social welfare, correctional, Police and research aspects. This will be ready by the end of the year. I am confident that with the coordinated efforts of the many Government departments and non-governmental organisations involved, the problem of juvenile crime will be kept under control.

59

Fire and Ambulance Services

Apart from maintaining law and order, it is also the community's wish to strengthen the Government's capabilities to safeguard lives and properties from fire and other hazards. We shall be providing an additional 66 posts to reinforce the staff at existing fire stations, and will be adding a further 161 posts to man two new fire stations in 1996-1997. We will also be introducing new legislation in this session to enhance fire prevention and protection in old commercial buildings. To enable us to meet our targets for responding to emergency ambulance calls, we have just completed a consultancy study on our ambulance service. We are already beginning to implement the recommendations from that study, and expect to see improvements in service in the next year.

Illegal Employment

No less than six Honourable Members called for stronger actions against illegal employment, which undermines our immigration control and threatens employment opportunities for our residents. We are determined to take resolute action to combat the problem. So far this year, we have already increased the number of raids by 86% over the same period last year, leading to an increase of arrests of employers by 12% and illegal workers by 19%, and an increase in prosecution by 6% for employers and 54% for illegal workers. With the doubling in strength of the Immigration Department Task Force to 92 officers last month, we will be able to carry out more targeted raids in the coming months. We will also be introducing a number of administrative and legislative changes over the next few months to make it easier to prosecute and convict offenders, especially unscrupulous employers. These measures include the introduction of the "W" prefix to Identity Cards of foreign domestic helpers to enable easier identification of their status; requiring contract workers to surrender their identity cards to the Immigration Department for cancellation at the end of their contracts; and requiring employers to inspect contract worker's travel documents to make sure that they can be legally employed before offering employment. Our proposal to increase the level of fines for illegal employment and other immigration offences has been submitted to this Council, and I hope Honourable Members will give their support to it. We will also continue to heighten community awareness of the illegal employment problem by having Immigration Department officials visiting and talking to trade and industry organisations and targeted business premises, and by publicising messages against illegal employment through APIs and other publicity materials. I join Honourable Members' appeal to the public to help us by reporting illegal employment activities to the Immigration Department through their telephone and fax hot lines.

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Correctional Services

As we step up our enforcement action against crime and illegal employment, we will face increasing pressure on accommodation in our correctional institutions. Over-crowding in our prisons has been a long-standing problem; unfortunately it is still with us today despite the addition of 970 custodial places since the beginning of 1994. In the coming three years, we plan to increase penal accommodation by at least 1,000 places; this will provide some relief, not only to the crowded conditions in our prisons, but also to the pressure on staff. We will continue our search for additional penal accommodation.

A modern and humane correctional service is not just about locking up people in gaol. It is also about reform and rehabilitation. The Correctional Services Department already runs a variety of rehabilitation programmes, particularly for drug addicts and young offenders, successfully. This year, we have legislated for a postrelease supervision scheme, which is aimed at reintegrating those who have completed their terms of imprisonment back into society. Next year, we plan to introduce legislation to give the Board of Review, Long Term Prison Sentences statutory powers to deal more effectively with prisoners serving long or indeterminate sentences.

Image of the Disciplined Services

Before I turn to the second policy direction, I feel obliged to respond to Honourable Members' concern about corruption in the disciplined services, with particular reference to the Police Force. We have, over the years successfully built up a clean and honest reputation for our disciplined services. The Government is fully confident to keep it that way; the community expects us to do no less. Although there are a few bad eggs who have committed corruption and other crimes, this should not be allowed to tarnish the reputation and image of the disciplined services as a whole. The ICAC will investigate all corruption cases vigorously, and has recently deployed 30 additional staff to deal with corruption in the disciplined services. Honourable Members may also be assured that the Police Force Management is fully committed to combating corruption. Indeed, some of the recent reported corruption and criminal cases were uncovered as a result of Police investigations. A high-level Force AntiCorruption Strategy Steering Committee has recently been set up, with ICAC participation, to develop a code of ethics and enhance anti-corruption training. Corruption prevention is given particular attention in the review of Police procedures and at all levels of training. Internal guidelines are issued to commanders to help them identify and monitor police officers who, because of their lifestyles, are more at risk to corruption. And, in response to the invitation of this Council's Security Panel, the Commissioner of Police, Mr Eddie Hui, and I will discuss in more details all these issues with Honourable Members at the Panel's meeting on 13 November.

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I fully agree with Honourable Members that a credible police complaints system will increase public confidence in our Police Force. We have introduced a series of measures to enhance the transparency of the system; for example, by empowering the Independent Police Complaints Council to interview witnesses, by installing CCTV and introducing video or tape recording of statements taken in CAPO offices. We are also conducting a comparative study of the police complaints systems in other jurisdictions to learn from their experience, and to see what further improvements might be made. A joint IPCC/Police/Security Branch study team has just completed its visit to five North American police jurisdictions; a further round of study visits to other jurisdictions will take place early next year. At the same time, we are discussing with the IPCC arrangements to implement, on a trial basis, the Lay Observers Scheme, under which investigations by CAPO will be observed by upright citizens, and arrangements to second a suitable directorate-grade Administrative Officer to the IPCC to enable it to observe and review more closely CAPO procedures. We are also drafting a bill to give statutory status to the IPCC. I expect to see all these efforts bearing fruit in the coming year.

I am confident that most of our men and women colleagues in the disciplined services will do nothing to compromise the well-deserved respect which they enjoy in the community. They are highly professional, often risking their lives to protect the community from crime and other adversities. They deserve our thanks for doing a goodjob.

Keeping up with the Times: Greater Efficiency and Better Services

In a world of increasing sophistication and rising expectations, there is the inevitable demand for quality service. That brings us to our second policy direction of keeping up with the times. All the disciplined departments under Security Branch are committed to a continuous search for new and better ways to deliver their services to the public with greater effectiveness and efficiency.

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The Immigration Department is conscious of the need to look for ways to reduce the processing time for its document and control procedures, so as to bring more convenience to the public in applying for travel documents and make travelling through our control points a less onerous experience. The Department has already taken a number of measures to simplify the visa application procedures to reduce processing time. Since October 1994, we have allowed applications for visas for residence, investment, employment and study to be directly submitted to the Hong Kong Immigration Department. In February, 1996, this convenience will be extended to visit and transit visas from most countries. Simplification of procedures have also allowed us to cut down the processing time for permits of Taiwanese visitors from seven to five working days. Part of the strategy to improve efficiency is the wider application of modem Information Technology. The introduction of a new computer system and optical readers at our Immigration control points save 20 seconds of processing time for each traveller who has a machine readable passport, and 4 seconds for holders of identity cards. We are also examining the feasibility of a "smart card" system, which will enable travellers to complete clearance procedures at our control points even quicker. Streamlining procedures has also reduced the time required to process applications for naturalisation as British Dependant Territories citizens from 12 months to eight months. Upon the frill implementation of the Information Systems Strategy, we expect to save some 600 posts.

The Fire Services Department is introducing new equipment to improve its communication and control system. This includes a digitised Geographic Information System that will allow fire appliances to obtain geographical information about the location of fires more quickly and accurately, and thus to respond faster to emergency calls. The Department is also developing a Fire Protection Information System, which will improve the communication and coordination between the Fire Protection Bureau and regional offices on fire prevention advice. One of the aims of our recent ambulance service consultancy study is to develop PC-based computer modelling techniques for future service planning. This is now being implemented.

The Correctional Services Department has also taken steps to modernise its operation. We have recently completed the installation of the Penal Records Information System, which has brought about efficiency improvements in its records system We are also modernising the security systems in our penal institutions to provide a more secure environment and improve the operational effectiveness of the Department.

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We accord the highest priority to have a modem and efficient Police Force. The Police Management Review, begun in 1992 and completed in 1994, critically examined ways to improve the command structure, the use of modem technology and the manning levels of the entire Police Force so that it will be properly structured and equipped to meet future challenges. We have made a start to implement some of the recommendations arising from the Review this year; we will take forward the rest in the next few years. Furthermore, by implementing the Police Information Technology Strategy, work currently done manually will be done by computers. This will create the opportunity for even more police officers to be re-deployed for operational duties in the future. Plans are also being formulated to modernise report and interview rooms in police stations, so as to provide a more pleasant environment for members of the public to report crime.

Facing the Future: 1997 and Beyond

In addition to keeping abreast with the community's aspirations, we are actively planning for our future post-1997. We are committed to resolving the key transitional issues, working closely with our Chinese colleagues. Concern was expressed by Honourable Members on the progress of discussions with the Chinese side on the Right of Abode, on the issue of the HKSAR passport and on travel convenience for Hong Kong residents in the future. These are matters of great importance to our community, and their early and satisfactory resolution will enhance confidence. We will continue to work with the Chinese side to assure third countries that the HKSAR passport will be a first class document, that it will be up to international standards and can be accepted as a secure travel document. Indeed, we shall soon be seeking funds from this Council to develop a sophisticated computer system to enable HKSAR passports to be issued from 1 July 1997. We will be working hard to secure arrangements that will give the greatest possible degree of travel convenience for Hong Kong residents post 1997. We will continue our efforts to resolve the Right of Abode issue in discussion with the Chinese side, with the object of enabling Hong Kong people to retain or acquire their right of abode through simple procedures.

Our planning for a smooth transition goes well beyond these important immigration issues. To name a few others :

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* First, we are making preparations for a smooth handover of defence responsibilities to the Chinese Central Government. From 1 July 1997, the People's Liberation Army will be responsible for the defence of the Hong Kong SAR. The agreement on defence lands, reached in the Joint Liaison Group last year, has laid a good foundation for this. The Government and the out-going British Garrison are stepping up our efforts to cooperate with the Chinese authorities to ensure that the task is completed successfully and in good time.

Secondly, we are working in close consultation with the Chinese side on a series of arrangements to combat trans-boundary criminal activities. We are, for example, negotiating a network of new bilateral agreements with third countries on the surrender of fugitive offenders which will remain in force after 1997. We are also negotiating new bilateral agreements with third countries for the provision of mutual legal assistance in criminal matters. Subject to further consultation with the Chinese side, we will be putting legislation to this Council to bring these new agreements into force as soon as possible.

* Thirdly, we are engaged in continuing liaison with the Chinese authorities, through Interpol and through border liaison channels, to improve our joint efforts in combating cross-border crimes, smuggling, illegal entry and other immigration offences. The results are evident, for example, in the significant reduction of stolen luxury vehicles in recent years, in the swift and successful cracking of the Macao jetfoil robbery case a few months ago, and in the substantial reduction in the number of pregnant Two Way Permit holders coming to give birth in Hong Kong in the first nine months of this year. We are also engaged in discussions with the Guangdong authorities on the boundary of administration of Hong Kong, so as to clarify ambiguities on the ground and at sea, and thus achieve a smoother working relationship with our neighbour.

Fourthly, we have now reached agreement in principle with the Chinese side on the negotiation of arrangements with third countries on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons which will continue beyond 1997. These will replace current UK-based arrangements under which persons sentenced to imprisonment in another territory can, subject to the agreed conditions, return to their home country to serve out their prison terms.

Mr President, I shall now turn to two specific issues over which Honourable Members, and indeed the community, have expressed particular concern.

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Combating Drug Abuse

Tackling drug abuse, particularly by young persons, is a top-priority issue for the Government. Despite the drop in the number of newly reported young drug abusers from 1,600 in the first half of last year to 1,108 in the same period this year, there is no room for complacency; the total number of reported young drug abusers is still on a rising trend. Since the Governor's Beat Drugs Summit in March this year, we have pursued vigorously the commitments made in our Forward Action Plan, and the many constructive ideas suggested by the Summit participants. The second quarterly report on progress made in implementing these plans and suggestions will be published shortly; Honourable Members will then be able to see clearly how much we have done. But in response to some of the specific concerns expressed by Honourable Members, the Medical Council and the Pharmacy and Poisons Board are discussing possible new measures to further tighten control on malpractice and the illegal sale of drugs. To clamp down on the sale of soft drugs to young persons, the number of pharmacy inspections per month has been increased from 560 to 700, and a special task force to help prosecution of offending drug retailers has been set up. Maximum penalties for the illegal or improper sale of drugs by pharmacies have been raised recently. We have strengthened the Police Narcotics Bureau, and updated the legislation against the laundering of drug proceeds to enable better enforcement action against drug traffickers.

The Education Department has taken a series of steps to beef up preventive education, targeting not only the students but also their parents; it is also carrying out a programme of assistance and training to schools and teachers to enable them to perform their essential task of educating their students to stay away from drugs more effectively. The Social Welfare Department has also set up a team of specially trained social workers to help young drug abusers.

On the treatment and rehabilitation front, the Hospital Authority have established six substance abuse clinics this year. We arc proceeding with the establishment of two additional residential treatment centres for young opiate abusers, and a new counselling centre in the New Territories for psychotropic substance abusers.

Honourable Members have welcomed the Beat Drugs Fund announced by the Governor in his Policy Address. This will provide a substantial additional source of funding for worthwhile anti-drug projects. All non-governmental organisations, including the religious rehabilitation agencies, will be able to apply to the Fund for project financing. 1 am confident that the cumulative effect of all these measures will have a considerable impact, and save more of our young people from the dangers of drug abuse.

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Vietnamese Migrants

Finally, let me respond to some Honourable Members' concern on the Vietnamese Migrants (VM) problem. We share the community's wish to see an early end to this unwelcome burden on Hong Kong. We remain fully committed to resolving this problem as soon as possible.

All the VMs in our detention centres came after June 1988. when we began the screening policy. They have gone through scrupulously thorough screening procedures, and have been determined to be non-refugees. Under the Comprehensive Plan of Action (CPA), which was agreed in 1989 by over 70 countries (including China) as the strategy to deal with the VM problem, all screened-out VMs must return to Vietnam. There is no other course. Indeed, over 47,000 Vietnamese Migrants have since returned to Vietnam through the voluntary and orderly repatriation programmes, rather than wasting their lives in the camps.

Sadly, false hopes of overseas resettlement have stalled the voluntary repatriation programme in recent months. Any suggestion that adds to such false hopes but without any realistic prospect of their fulfilment, will clearly harm our efforts to repatriate the remaining 21.000 Vietnamese Migrants. We have already seen the damage done by legislative initiatives in the US Congress. Any suggestion that the UK should take all the VMs if any of them should still be in Hong Kong by July 1997 will exacerbate the damage, and work against what we - the Government, the people, and indeed the international community - all want to achieve.

We are experiencing a trough in the voluntary repatriation programme, but that is no reason to be despondent. We are liaising closely with the UNHCR and the US Administration which, we understand, is working hard to repair the damage done by the US Congressional initiatives. As I now speak, a US Administration delegation is in Hanoi to discuss with the Vietnamese Government measures to re-generate voluntary repatriation. We hope that voluntary repatriation under the CPA will pick up again before too long. In the meantime, we will step up the pace of the Orderly Repatriation Programme. This is no easy task, as events in the last few months have demonstrated. Our Correctional Services and Police officers, who have displayed exemplary professionalism, courage and restraint in carrying out these operations in often dangerous circumstances, deserve a vote of gratitude from the community.

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A few Honourable Members have also questioned the port of first asylum policy. I understand that a Motion Debate on this issue may be moved shortly, and will respond in full on that occasion. But let me make just one point at this stage : the most pressing problem we face now is not new arrivals, but how to return to Vietnam the 21,00Q VM's who are already here. Abolishing the port of first asylum policy will not help us tp do that at all. On the contrary, it will tarnish Hong Kong’s reputation as a humane society, and will do nothing in our efforts to enlist international support to resolve our current difficulties. This is certainly not what we wish to see, especially when what is most needed is concerted effort by the UNHCR and the CPA countries to achieve the early repatriation of all screened-out Vietnamese Migrants. Frustration at the current, unsatisfactory state of affairs is understandable, but that is no substitute for clear-headed thinking on what is the best course of action to achieve our common objective. • iv . .

Concluding Remarks . . - ■ .

«.. . ......

■ j

Mr .President, I hope I have said enough to demonstrate that, in the Security programme areas, we are a forward-looking administration, with clearly defined policy directions and achievable objectives and targets. Our planning horizon extends well beyond 1997. We have set ourselves ambitious goals, and we look to the support of this Council and the community in achieving them. We take constructive criticisms in a positive spirit, because we are dedicated to achieving the highest standard of public service. Above all, the men and women of the Disciplined Services take pride in serving their own community,' not only now but well into the twenty-first century.

1 »i, '

Thank you, Mr President.

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

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STI in LegCo debate on motion of thanks ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Trade and Industry, Mr Chau Tak-hay, in the Legislative Council debate on the motion of thanks today (Thursday):

Mr President,

The effects of the economic restructuring understandably continue to be a concern of the Government, this Council and the community. I am therefore pleased to see the support expressed by Honourable Members for the Government's initiative to seek to promote the development of the service industries. Building on Hong Kong's success as an international services centre, the Financial Secretary's task force is looking into the strengths and weaknesses of individual service sectors, and measures to create a domestic environment conducive to the further development of services. The task force will carry out extensive consultation with the business sector and professional experts in the coming months.

But let me make it very clear that this initiative does not mean that we are going to develop the service industries at the expense of the manufacturing sector. Nothing is further from the truth. In this regard, the Government shares the view expressed by some Honourable Members that the future of our manufacturing industry lies in the use of high-tech processes and the production of high valued-added products.

However I am baffled by what many Honourable Members perceive as the role of the Government in our industrial upgrading. Almost without exception, Honourable Members who spoke on this subject advocated, explicitly or implicitly, an interventionist approach by the Government. An extreme example is the attribution of the success of our neighbouring countries to their governments having followed "the Japanese example in which the powerful Ministry of International Trade and Industry has coached some companies for excellence, even dominance, in certain specialities to the country's benefit". Nothing can be more wrong-headed and more mind-boggling than these demands that we should turn Hong Kong's free and open economic regime -a regime that has over the past few decades made Hong Kong the economic wonder of the world - into one in which entrepreneurs are made to dance to a tune composed by bureaucrats!

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We are not apologetic at all about our policy of minimum intervention and maximum support. It is our firm conviction that the Government's role should be confined basically to maintaining macro-economic stability, creating an environment that is the most business-friendly in the world, providing education and training for our workforce and building up the physical infrastructure required to support economic activities. We believe, wholeheartedly, that the Government should not attempt to direct or manage the economy at the macro level or to second guess markets and entrepreneurs at the micro level. This is because our entrepreneurs make better business decisions than civil servants. Indeed the very success of our economic way of life is to trust the markets and to let competition take command. In short, Adam Smith's "invisible hand" of the market is much to be preferred to the dead hand of government interference.

In addition to maintaining a favourable climate for business and economic development, the Government has invested in projects which are specifically targeted at supporting industrial upgrading. ,,

We have three industrial estates catering to companies which are able to bring new or better technologies or products to Hong Kong and which cannot operate in multi-storey buildings. We are looking into the need for a fourth industrial estate.

The Hong Kong Productivity Council with its network of subsidiary companies provides a wide range of services to help manufacturers upgrade their productivity and technology.

The Industrial Technology Centre was opened this year providing accommodation, support and services to new technology-based businesses. We will look into the possibility of setting up a second industrial technology centre.

A fond of $200 million has been allocated for applied research and development.

On top of that, we have also set up an industrial support fond for the purpose of providing financial assistance for projects seeking to upgrade the technological skills of and to facilitate technology transfer to the manufacturing industry. In its first two years, $180 million was injected into the Fund in 1994-95 and $210 million in 1995-96; and subject to the approval of the Finance Committee, $250 million will be made available in 1996-97.

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* The Industry Department's inward investment programme is designed to attract overseas investors who can bring useful and relevant technologies to Hong Kong.

I note the support for the construction of a science park. As Honourable Members know, we have completed a consultancy study report and are consulting interested parties. We look forward to discussing this project with the Trade and Industry Panel of this Council later this month.

Some Honourable Members also asked for greater co-operation with China to help develop Hong Kong's industrial technology. This is already happening. We have established an Applied Research Council to support joint applied research and development projects between Hong Kong entrepreneurs and major research institutes in China. During my visit to Beijing last month, I discussed with State Councillor Song Jian, who is the Chairman of China's State Commission on Science and Technology, the possibility of encouraging and facilitating further co-operation between Hong Kong entrepreneurs and Mainland scientists; and, with his enthusiastic support, I am optimistic about the prospects for such co-operation.

Turning to competition policy, I should like to stress once again that the Government is fully committed to the promotion of competition, which is the best guarantee of economic efficiency and reasonable prices for consumers. Where necessary, we will use appropriate and pragmatic measures to rectify any unfair business practices, safeguard competition and protect consumer interests.

As Honourable Members are aware, we have provided funds to the Consumer Council to conduct a series of sector-specific studies on competition. So far, studies on banks, supermarkets and gas supply have been completed. The Government has responded, positively and constructively, to these reports and already provided responses to the studies on banking and the supermarket industry. Our response to the report on the domestic water heating and cooking fuel markets will be ready early next year. The Consumer Council will complete studies on telecommunications, broadcasting and the residential property market by the end of this year. The Consumer Council's study on the overall state of competition in Hong Kong is expected to be completed in early 1996.

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We will consider whether additional administrative or legislative measures to promote healthy competition are necessary in the light of the findings of these studies. I wish to emphasise that we are adopting a step-by-step and pragmatic approach in the formulation of the frameworks that are most suitable for promoting healthy competition in the different sectors of our economy. At this stage, we are open-minded as to whether comprehensive legislation on competition or fair trading should be introduced in Hong Kong and we await the Consumer Council's overall study with interest.

End/Thursday. November 2, 1995

The Road Traffic Ordinance ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, in the motion debate on the Road Traffic Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 8) Order 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Thursday):

Mr President,

The fees for the inspection of private cars and light goods vehicles at Government Vehicle Examination Centres were increased in June 1995. The Road Traffic Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 8) Order 1995 seeks to bring to the same level the fees for similar inspections at Car Testing Centres which, although privately owned, are designated by Government under the Road Traffic Ordinance to provide vehicle testing facilities. The Order also seeks to adjust the fees payable for Certificates of Roadworthiness.

It is only fair and to be expected that a vehicle owner should pay the same fee to have his vehicle inspected either at a Government VEC or a CTC. In this respect, 1 am glad that the Honourable Ron Arculli has accepted this and has not sought to amend section 2 subsection (b) of the Order which seeks to standardise these fees.

Section 2(c) of the Order seeks to revise the fees for Certificates of Roadworthiness. This is the mechanism through which the Administration recoups costs in respect of providing staff to administer the CTC scheme. Our team qualify CTC vehicle testers and are responsible for checking the facilities at and monitoring the quality of service provided by CTCs. Such monitoring is necessary to ensure that the standards of vehicle examinations are uniform.

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The fact is that vehicle owners do not pay anything extra for roadworthiness certificates. It is the CTC operators who pay the Administration out of the fees that they will collect. Indeed the schedule of charges already include administrative costs. I therefore see no logic or justification whatsoever in seeking to repeal section 2(c) of Order.

Mr President, if the Motion is adopted, this will result in a distinct element of inconsistency on the Council's part. May 1 respectfully remind Honourable Members that in adopting in 1994 the Public Accounts Committee recommendations on the Audit Report on "Fees for Vehicle Examinations", Members specifically expressed the firm view that fees for vehicle examination services should be set on a full cost recovery basis and that the level of fees should be revised annually to avoid substantial adjustment at irregular intervals.

Mr President, to support the Motion now under consideration would in effect mean that Honourable Members are vetoing what they themselves so strongly advocated should be the practice that the Administration should follow in reviewing and adjusting vehicle inspection fees. I therefore urge Members to vote against this Motion.

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

Legal Aid Regulation *****

Following is the speech by the Chief Secretary, the Hon Anson Chan, in moving the resolution on the Amendments to the Legal Aid (Assessment of Resources and Contributions) (Amendment) Regulation 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Thursday):

Mr President,

1 move the first motion standing in my name on the Order Paper.

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The Legal Aid (Assessment of Resources and Contributions) (Amendment) Regulation 1995 (the Regulation) adjusted the contributions payable by persons granted legal aid under ordinary circumstances and provided for a variation of the resources limits for persons granted legal aid for meritorious Bill of Rights cases to the Director of Legal Aid. The Regulation was gazetted on 28 July. It commenced operation on the same date as part of the subsidiary legislation of the Legal Aid (Amendment) Ordinance 1995, which was passed by this Council on 14 June. The Regulation was laid on the table in the Council on 11 October.

I am grateful to the Legal Service Division of the Legislative Council Secretariat for raising a number of drafting issues concerning the Regulation. The Administration accepts the points made and is now proposing a number of technical amendments.

First, a necessary consequential amendment to the Legal Aid (Assessment of Resources and Contributions) Regulations (the principal Regulations) resulting from the Legal Aid (Amendment) Ordinance 1995 has been inadvertently omitted. The Regulation at present amends Schedule 3 to the principal Regulations to provide for a variation of the resources limits for meritorious Bill of Rights cases. Cases relating to any inconsistency with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights have been left out. The new section 2(c) of the Regulation provides that meritorious International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights cases are also included.

Secondly, Part IV of Schedule 3 has at present no direct reference to a regulation in the text of the Legal Aid (Assessment of Resources and Contributions) Regulations. The new section 1 of the Regulation repeals Part IV of Schedule 3 and transposes it as the new regulation 15 of the principal Regulations.

Mr President, I beg to move.

End/Thursday. November 2, 1995

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Legal Aid Criminal Cases Rules

*****

Following is the speech by the Chief Secretary, the Hon Anson Chan, in moving the resolution on the Legal Aid in Criminal Cases (Amendment)(No 3) Rules 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Thursday):

Mr President,

1 move the second motion standing in my name on the Order Paper.

The Legal Aid (Amendment) Bill was passed by this Council on 14 June and received the assent of the Governor on 15 June. Under sections 9 and 9A of the Criminal Procedure Ordinance, the Chief Justice made the Legal Aid in Criminal Cases (Amendment) (No. 2) Rules 1995 after the Bill has been passed into law. The Ordinance and its subsidiary legislation, including the Rules, came into effect on 28 July.

Rule 16 of the Legal Aid in Criminal Cases Rules provides that the Director of Legal Aid may require a person granted legal aid to pay a contribution towards the sums payable on his account by the Director. It has now been found that as a result of the earlier amendment, Rule 16 now covers only legal aid applications for proceedings in which a breach of the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance is an issue and has possibly omitted legal aid applications under ordinary circumstances. The present amendment to Rule 16, as amended in the Legal Aid in Criminal Cases (Amendment) (No. 2) Rules 1995, is required to ensure that the ordinary applications for legal aid in criminal matters are covered, as well as Bill of Rights cases.

In accordance with sections 9 and 9A of the Criminal Procedure Ordinance, the Chief Justice has made the Legal Aid in Criminal Cases (Amendment) (No. 3) Rules 1995 on 14 October. The Rules now require the approval of this Council by Resolution.

Mr President, I beg to move.

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

75

Costs in Criminal Cases Bill introduced into LcgCo ♦ * * * ♦

A Bill which sets out a fair and coherent set of principles governing the award of costs in criminal proceedings was introduced into the Legislative Council today (Thursday).

Moving the second reading of the Costs in Criminal Cases Bill, the Attorney General, the Hon Jeremy Mathews, said the purpose of this Bill was to reform the existing law and practice governing the award of costs in criminal cases by removing anomalies and inconsistencies and by providing a clear set of principles applicable to all levels of criminal courts.

Mr Mathews said: "At present, in the magistrates' court, costs may be awarded to a defendant who has been acquitted only if the magistrate is satisfied that the proceedings ought not to have been instituted or pursued.

"But in the High Court and District Court, a different test applies, in that costs are normally to be awarded to the acquitted defendant unless there are positive reasons for their not being so awarded, namely that he has brought suspicion on himself and has misled the prosecution into thinking the case against him is stronger than it is." he said.

"Thus, in the magistrates' courts, an acquitted person carries the burden of demonstrating that the prosecution is at fault; in the District Court and High Court, he will normally be awarded costs unless he is at fault or the acquittal turns on a technicality."

Mr Mathews said the Bill provided that the same guiding principles for the award of costs should apply in all courts, and that the court should be given a complete discretion on the question of costs.

That discretion, he added, should normally be exercised in favour of the acquitted person unless there should be positive reasons for not so doing.

He noted that the Bill also provided that costs limit in the magistrates' court should be increased from $5,000, which was set in 1981. to $15,000 unless they were to be assessed by an official of the court or had been agreed by the prosecution and the defence.

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It also gives courts at all levels a discretion to award costs in favour of a defendant where he is charged with multiple offences but is acquitted of one or more of them, he said.

Mr Mathews pointed out that the Bill also empowered the Court of Appeal to award costs to a defendant where it substituted on appeal a sentence substantially at variance with that passed by the court below.

The reason is that although such costs may not have been occasioned through any fault of the prosecution, but rather because the trial judge imposed an inappropriate sentence, the defendant should not be left out of pocket when he has been obliged to appeal against a sentence which is held to be flawed.

In respect of prosecution costs, Mr Mathews said the Bill provided for costs to be ordered in favour of the prosecution in summary proceedings, indictable proceedings, and where a judge or the Court of Appeal dismissed an unmeritorious appeal lodged by a defendant.

However, the liability for costs of a legally-aided defendant should not exceed his contribution paid or payable to the Director of Legal Aid towards the costs of his defence.

On the issue of wasted costs, Mr Mathews noted that the Bill arms the courts with the power to prevent persons from suffering losses and expenses as a result ol unjustifiable conduct.on the part of lawyers by enabling them to order the legal or other representative to pay the whole or part of wasted costs.

In order to allay the concern that the interests of the legal or other representatives might not be adequately protected if the court intends to order wasted costs against them, the Bill provides that no wasted costs order should be made unless the legal or other representative concerned has been given a reasonable opportunity to appear before the court to show cause why the order should not be made.

The Bill also provides for avenues for appeals against costs orders made by the court.

Mr Mathews said: "Where any of the parties to the proceedings is not satisfied with an order for costs, he or she can appeal against that order, or apply for those costs to be assessed by the court, or apply for a review of that assessment."

End/Thursday, November 2. 1995

77

Costs in Criminal Cases Bill ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Attorney General, the Hon Jeremy Mathews, in moving the second reading of the Costs in Criminal Cases Bill in the Legislative Council today (Thursday):

Mr President,

I move that the Costs in Criminal Cases Bill be read a second time.

The purpose of this Bill is to reform the existing law and practice governing the award of costs in criminal cases by removing anomalies and inconsistencies and by providing a clear set of principles applicable to all levels of criminal courts.

Defence Costs

I will deal, first, with the Bill's proposals concerning defence costs. At present, in the magistrates court, costs may be awarded to a defendant who has been acquitted only if the magistrate is satisfied that the proceedings ought not to have been instituted or pursued. But in the High Court and District Court, a different test applies, in that costs are normally to be awarded to an acquitted defendant unless there are positive reasons for their not being so awarded, namely that he has brought suspicion on himself and has misled the prosecution into thinking the case against him is stronger than it is. If the defendant is legally-aided, then any award of costs will be limited to the extent of any contribution he has made towards the costs of his defence.

Thus, in the magistrates courts, an acquitted person carries the burden of demonstrating that the prosecution is at fault; in the District Court and High Court, he will normally be awarded costs unless he is at fault or the acquittal turns on a technicality.

It is difficult to justify the different principles applicable in the award of costs in criminal proceedings. The Bill, therefore, provides that the same guiding principles for the award of costs should apply in all courts, and that the court should be given a complete discretion on the question of costs. That discretion should normally be exercised in favour of the acquitted person unless there should be positive reasons for not so doing.

78

To remove the different principles governing the award of costs to an acquitted defendant in the magistrates court and superior courts, Part II of the Bill provides that courts at all levels have a complete discretion on awarding costs to a successful defendant at trial or otherwise, and on appeal.

Clause 3 Subclause(2) provides that costs in the magistrates court should not exceed $15,000 unless they are to be assessed by an official of the court or have been agreed by the prosecution and the defence. The amount of $15,000 represents a substantial increase from $5,000, which was set in 1981.

Clause 6 gives courts at all levels a discretion to award costs in favour of a defendant where he is charged with multiple offences but is acquitted of one or more of them.

Clause 9(2)(b) empowers the Court of Appeal to award costs to a defendant where it substitutes on appeal a sentence substantially at variance with that passed by the court below. Although such costs may not have been occasioned through any fault of the prosecution, but rather because the trial judge imposed an inappropriate sentence, the defendant should not be left out of pocket when he has been obliged to appeal against a sentence which is held to be flawed.

Prosecution Costs

I turn now to that part of the Bill dealing with the prosecution costs. Part III of the Bill provides for costs to be ordered in favour of the prosecution in summary proceedings that’s in (Clause 11), indictable proceedings (Clause 12), and where a judge or the Court of Appeal dismisses an unmeritorious appeal lodged by a defendant that’s in (Clause 13).

I should make it clear that it will not automatically be the case that the prosecution will ask for or be awarded its costs where there is a conviction. Generally speaking, the prosecution will not seek costs in relation to any defendant or appellant who has a Legal Aid Certificate. However, in other cases where the prosecution is satisfied that the defendant or appellant is financially capable of paying costs, the prosecution may seek an order for costs. Of course, discretion must be used and if it is considered that there is no prospect of enforcing the order there is not much point in making any application for costs.

79

Similar to Clause 3(2), Clause 11 Subclause (2) increases the costs limit in the magistrates court from $5,000 (set in 1981) to $15,000; again, costs may only exceed that amount if they are to be assessed by an official of the court or have been agreed by the prosecution and the defence.

Clause 16 of the Bill provides that liability for costs of a legally-aided defendant should not exceed his contribution paid or payable to the Director of Legal Aid towards the costs of his defence.

Wasted Costs «B «B «B bb mb ***** * ** **

At present, there are no provisions governing wasted costs in criminal cases, so that where loss or expense is caused to any person by the unjustifiable conduct of criminal litigation by either side's lawyers, there is no remedy. That cannot possibly be right. Clause 18 of the Bill arms the courts with an effective remedy for the protection of the injured. That clause enables the court to order the legal or other representative to pay the whole or part of wasted costs. Clause 2 of the Bill defines wasted costs to mean any costs incurred by a party to criminal proceedings as a result of an improper, unreasonable or negligent act or omission bn the part of his legal or other representative, or where, in the light of any such act or omission occurring after such costs had been incurred, it is unreasonable to expect that party to pay. I should make clear that the court's power to make a wasted costs order would extend to the prosecution as well as to the defence. >

In order to allay the concern that the interests of the legal or other representatives may not be adequately protected if the court intends to order wasted costs against them, Clause 18 Subclause (2) provides that no wasted costs order shall be made unless the legal or other representatives concerned have been given a reasonable opportunity to appear before the court to show cause why the order should not be made. It is intended that rules will be made under Clause 22 of the Bill to make detailed provision for this safeguard.

Appeals

•J*, < ;... • ; • * ' ' ...

The Bill also provides for avenues for appeals against costs orders made by the court. Where any of the parties to the proceedings is not satisfied with an order for costs, he or she can appeal against that order under Clause 19, or apply under Clause 20 for those costs to be assessed by the court, or apply under Clause 21 for a review of that assessment.

80

Mr President, the Bill sets out a fair and coherent set of principles governing the award of costs in criminal proceedings. It arms the courts with the power to prevent persons from suffering losses and expenses as a result of unjustifiable conduct on the part of lawyers. The Bill makes significant improvements to the administration of criminal justice and I commend it to this Council.

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

Lands Tribunal Bill ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in moving the second reading of the Lands Tribunal (Amendment) Bill in the Legislative Council today (Thursday):

Mr President,

I move the second reading of the Lands Tribunal (Amendment) Bill 1995.

The Bill seeks to provide the Lands Tribunal with express jurisdiction under section 8(7) of the Lands Tribunal Ordinance (Cap. 17) to make orders for vacant possession, founded on the termination of tenancies, by notices of termination served pursuant to Part IV or V of the Landlord and Tenant (Consolidation) Ordinance (Cap. 7).

Under the Bill, the Lands Tribunal is to be regarded as always having had this jurisdiction. This is to overcome the decision of the Court of Appeal in a civil appeal case in 1993 which held that the Lands Tribunal did not have such jurisdiction. Prior to this decision, the Lands Tribunal was believed to possess such jurisdiction.

We also take the opportunity to amend the Lands Tribunal Ordinance (Cap. 17) to reflect the current position on the appointment of members of the Lands Tribunal.

Mr President, with these remarks, I commend the Bill to Honourable Members for favourable consideration.

Thank you, Mr President.

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

81

Container terminal developments * * * * *

The following is a question by the Hon Choy Kan-pui and a written reply by the Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Gordon Siu, in the Legislative Council today (Thursday):

Question:

Since the Chinese Foreign Minister and the British Foreign Secretary have reached an understanding to seek a solution to the Container Terminal issue in the territory, will the Government inform this Council whether it has submitted or is planning to submit in the near future a new proposal to the Chinese side, so that the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group can discuss the new proposal and come to a decision early; if so, when has it submitted or when will it submit the new proposal?

Reply:

Mr President,

We are much encouraged by the consensus reached by the Foreign Ministers of China and the United Kingdom that progress should be made on our container terminal developments.

These are matters which we have raised consistently at the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group for the last two years.

We have been discussing with the Chinese side a number of ways in which we might be able to make progress. We are clearly anxious to establish common ground so that an early resolution to the problem can be achieved. We will continue to press for a solution and are working hard to achieve this end.

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

82

Broadcasting Bill * * ♦ * *

Following is a question by the Hon Andrew Cheng and a written reply by the acting Secretary for Recreation and Culture, Mrs Rachel Cartland, in the Legislative Council today (Thursday):

Question:

Regarding the Government's failure to introduce the proposed omnibus broadcasting bill into this Council in the last session, will the Government inform this Council whether:

(a) the Government will introduce the bill into this Council in this session; if so. when it will be introduced; if not, why not;

(b) approval of the Chinese Government is required before the bill can be introduced into this Council; if so, whether it is because the bill involves such issues as the ratio of foreign owned shareholding of a broadcasting corporation and cross-media ownership?

Reply:

Mr President.

It remains the Government's intention to introduce the Broadcasting Bill for consideration by Members in the current Legislative Council session. We cannot yet be more specific about the precise timing. This will depend on the progress of drafting and the time taken for consultation with relevant parties, including the broadcasting industry. As the bill is intended to provide a regulatory basis for the broadcasting industry extending well beyond the change of sovereignty, we intend to consult the Chinese side before finalising it for enactment by this Council.

End/Thursday. November 2, 1995

83

Licensing applications at Trade Department ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Henry Tang Ying-yen and a written reply by the Secretary for Trade and Industry, Mr Chau Tak-hay, in the Legislative Council today (Thursday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council :

(a) of the respective average numbers of licensing applications and related enquiries received daily by the Trade Department, and whether there are low and peak seasons in submitting applications and making enquiries;

(b) of the average time taken for processing each application as well as the average waiting time for making an enquiry; and

(c) whether the Trade Department will consider opening their offices during lunch time to handle applications, as in the case of other government departments such as the Transport Department and the Home Affairs Department, if not, why not?

Reply:

Mr President,

Trade Department deals with a wide variety of licence applications, the majority of which are concerned with textiles export control.

In 1994, the Department received 1.45 million textiles export licence applications, of which 650,000 were restrained licences and 800,000 were nonrestrained licences. On average, therefore, the Department received 2,200 restrained licences applications and 2,700 non-restrained licences applications per working day. The peak seasons usually occur before the final licensing date at the end of the year, before Lunar New Year Holidays, and before and after long holidays. There can be as many as 15,000 (restrained) and 4,500 (non-restrained) licence applications in a day. The Department does not keep statistics on the number of enquiries on textiles related sendees but the number is substantial according to experience.

84

The target processing time for textiles export licences is two clear working days. The Department managed to achieve this target last year. As for enquiries, most are answered instantly by the relevant desk officers.

Other more significant kinds of licences processed by the Department are concerned with textiles imports, various non-textiles imports and exports, as well as certificates of origin. In 1994, Trade Department received about 1,480 such applications per working day. The Department was able to deal with them in accordance with its performance pledge which ranged from 24 hours to 14 days, depending on the kind of licence involved. In general, there is no peak or low season in the year for these kinds of applications.

Trade Department does not have any plan to operate its licensing service regularly during lunch time. To keep the service counters open during lunch time, additional staff will have to be deployed. This would push up operating costs, hence licence fees. This will not be welcomed by clients. Alternatively, the existing staff resources may be re-deployed to cover the lunch hour. I his would affect service to clients during the normal office hours. Given the cost consideration and the fact that licence application is part of the normal business activities of exporters, it is not unreasonable to expect them to handle their applications during the normal office hours.

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

Liaison Office between Government and Preparatory Committee

*****

The following is a question by the Hon Allen Lee and a written reply by the acting Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, in the Legislative Council today (Thursday):

Question:

In regard to the Government's proposal to set up a Liaison Office to co-ordinate liaison matters between the Government and the Preparatory Committee, will the Government inform this Council of:

85

;..g<1G0?a

(a) the functions and scope of duties of the Liaison Office;

(b) the criteria to be adopted by the Liaison Office for determining which categories of information on the Government and government officials will be provided to the Preparatory Committee; and , ,

(c) the criteria to be adopted by the Liaison Office for providing the necessary practical assistance to the Preparatory Committee and the Chief Executive (Designate)?

t . . '

Reply:

The Liaison Office will be the designated channel of communication between the Hong Kong Government and the Preparatory Committee. Where, in the course of its work, the Preparatory Committee requires information or assistance from Policy Branches and Departments, the Liaison Office will provide a central point of contact for the Committee, and will manage the process within the Hong Kong Government.

• / pr; t > •* • •

' ... •

The Liaison Office will be part of the Hong Kong Government, and will be headed by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs and staffed by civil servants. It will report directly to the Chief Secretary aiid the Governor. Details regarding the operation of the Liaison Office are still being worked out. We have already approached the Chinese side to take forward discussions on the types of assistance which the Preparatory Committee will require.

In co-operating with the Preparatory Committee and, in due course, the Chief Executive (Designate), we will ensure:

(a) that the authority and credibility of the Hong Kong Government to administer the territory until 30 June 1997 are not compromised;

(b) that the arrangements for co-operation are fully consistent with the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, and are in the interests of Hong Kong; and (c) that the morale and confidence of the Civil Service are not affected.

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

86

Accommodation for the elderly ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Fung Kin-kee and a written reply by the Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Thursday):

- - ■ 4 * **.•’■’ * '

Question:

With regard to its commitment of providing decent accommodation for all elderly people currently living in bedspace apartments by the end of 1997, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the respective numbers of elderly people currently living in bedspace apartment and cubicles;

(b) of the types of resettlement housing for the elderly currently living in bedspace apartments, what is the breakdown by types of housing units expected to be set aside for rehousing these elderly people in each of the next two years;

(c) whether there is any plan to rehouse the elderly living in cubicles; if so, what is the breakdown by types of housing units expected to be set aside for rehousing these elderly people in each of the next two years; if not, why not; and

(d) what is the definition of "decent accommodation" mentioned by the Government?

Reply:

Mr President,

Under the Bedspace Apartment Ordinance, bedspace apartments (BSAs) are defined as premises which comprise 12 or more bedspaces under rental agreements. There are now some 150 BSAs with about 3,200 lodgers. Based on a survey conducted by the Home Affairs Department in late 1993, about 38% of the lodgers were over 60 years old. Thus, the existing elderly population living in BSAs is estimated at about 1,200.

We do not have the elderly population figure for those residing in cubicle-type apartments as the scope of the Bedspace Apartments Ordinance does not cover this type of accommodation.

87

Elderly lodgers, whether in bedspace apartments or cubicles, may be rehoused either in welfare institutions operated by non-govemment organisations, or in public rental housing including purpose-built singleton flats, and other small flats. Housing for Senior Citizens flats and refurbished flats either on a single or shared, basis. A breakdown of the supply of public housing flats for elderly people in Hong Kong in the next two years is given below:

1996 1997

Housing for Senior Citizens flats 1,430 2.000

Singleton/small flats(*) 3,850 5,090

Refurbished flats(*) 2,730 2.620

Total 8,010 9,710

(♦) flats suitable for housing singletons, including

elderly persons

There are special schemes designed to fast-track elderly people's applications on the Waiting List. Elderly people may apply under the Elderly Single Persons Priority Scheme or the Elderly Priority Scheme for two or more elderly persons. Beneficiaries of these schemes will be rehoused in approximately two years after registration. Every year, about 3,000 elderly people are rehoused through these priority schemes. In addition, the Housing Authority sets aside a number of flats for compassionate rehousing cases recommended by the Social Welfare Department. Each year, about 600 elderly people, some from bedspace apartments and cubicles, are rehoused in public rental housing estates through this quota.

Apart from flats provided by the Housing Authority, the Hong Kong Housing Society also provides 830 flats for elderly people.

We have launched a series of publicity and outreaching campaigns to encourage elderly people living in sub-standard private accommodation, including those living in both bedspace apartments and cubicles, to register on the Waiting List of the Housing Authority.

Decent accommodation refers to permanent housing with adequate living facilities, which provides a degree of privacy and basic management care.

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

88

Proposals for tax concessions on rent or mortgage ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

.Following is a question by the Hon James Tien Pei-chun and a written reply by the Secretary for the Treasury, Mr K C Kwong, in the Legislative Council today (Thursday):

Question:

At present people in the territory especially those in the low-income bracket have to bear a heavy mortgage repayment burden. Moreover, there were between 300 and 400 forfeiture of deposit cases a year in the purchase of Home Ownership Scheme flats over the past two years and there is a tendency for such cases to continue to increase. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it will reconsider adding a "Housing Allowance" in the salaries tax personal assessment, which will enable taxpayers to enjoy tax exemption of an amount set at $20,000 per annum on actual expenditure on rent or mortgage repayment, so that the burden of taxpayers with heavy expenditure on housing can be alleviated?

Reply:

Among our key It revenue principles are maintenance of a low, simple and predictable tax regime and provision of tax concessions where most needed, having regard to our budgetary position. The Financial Secretary is currently consulting Members on the revenue measures for the 1996-97 Budget. Proposals for tax* concessions for accommodation expenditure have been raised by Members in that exercise. We will examine these proposals carefully, having regard to the principles stated above, before the Financial Secretary formulates the revenue measures for the coming Budget.

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

89

Training of product and software design personnel * * * * *

Following is a question by the Hon James Tien Pei-chun and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Thursday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council of the following:

(a) what is the present situation regarding the demand for "hi-tech personnel" in product and software design in the industrial sector in the territory; and

(b) are the Government's efforts in providing training in this field adequate; what is its long term policy, and what is the amount of funds that will be spent, in this regard?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The latest manpower information available from recent surveys indicates that our manufacturing industries' annual requirement for product design technologists is about 35 persons, who are mainly product engineers. In the area of software design, the annual demand by the industrial sector is about 35 at the managerial level and 400 at the support level.

(b) It is Government's long term policy to provide a sufficient number of trained personnel to meet the industries' needs. Government believes that its efforts to provide training in the field of product and software design are adequate. The Vocational Training Council (VTC) trains design personnel in its technical colleges and technical institutes. The VTC's two technical colleges run higher diploma and higher certificate courses in manufacturing engineering with a design stream. The planned total final year places are 70 and 60 respectively. The technical institutes also expect to turn out 238 design graduates in various diploma level disciplines. In software design, there is a total of 75 higher diploma and 90 higher certificate final year places. The technical institutes also produce about 350 diploma level graduates in computing studies.

90

Besides supplying new graduates, the VTC provides training to upgrade and update in-service design personnel in its Electronic Design Technology Training Centre, the Precision Tooling Training Centre, the Plastics Industry Training Centre and the Information Technology Training Centre. In total, these centres provide 3,540 places amounting to 156,500 trainee hours.

VTC expenditure on the student and trainee places indicated above amounted to $76 million a year at 1995 prices.

Training of personnel in this field is also provided by the tertiary institutions under the University Grants Committee (UGC). In 1994-95, there were 4,310 student enrolments in programmes under the Academic Programme Category (APC) of Information Technology and Computing, at an estimated cost of $600 million. The number of students is projected to increase in the next two years, to 4,661 in 1996-97.

Apart from the expenditure on the relevant APC, there are other projects funded from the UGC's Central Allocation Vote and under the Research Grants Council's Cooperative Research Centre scheme which are related to the development and training of personnel in information technology. These projects are: the establishment of a centre of software technology facilities, a computer integrated manufacturing facility for training and teaching of information technology and other related subjects, the establishment of an institute of micro systems to facilitate the research and training in semi-conductor and micro-electronics, and Cooperative Research Centre pilot schemes in open systems technology and the application.of image technology in fabric inspection. The total funding approved for these on-going projects amounts to some $46m.

To ensure that Hong Kong's needs for a comprehensive system of technical education and industrial training are being met in the light of the restructuring of Hong Kong’s economy, we shall soon be undertaking a review of the system of providing technical education and vocational training. This would include the specialist areas mentioned above.

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

91

Polluting industries in residential areas ♦ * * * *

The following is a question by the Hon John Tse Wing-ling and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Thursday):

• ■ ' ' ' f *

Question:

Regarding the problem of industrial facilities (such as garages) which pollute the environment being located in residential areas, will the Government inform this Council of the following:

(a) how many commercial establishments engaged in polluting industries are ... located in residential areas in the territory;

(b) what impacts do such industries have, in so far as environmental hygiene is concerned, on the residents nearby, and how many residents are affected; and

(c) what short-term measures and long-term policy the Government has put in place to deal with this problem; and whether consideration will be given to relocating such commercial establishment and giving them compensation?

Reply:. ■ >

Mr President,

(a) "Commercial establishments engaged in polluting industries", which has not been defined in the question, is not a standard industrial classification on which government collects statistics. Nevertheless, using the example given in the question, there are, within the purview of the Environmental Protection Department, three main types of trades which might be considered polluting industries located in residential \ areas. Their numbers are:

Garages/auto-repair shops Petrol filling stations Pig roasting shops

768

86

99

92

(b) The emission of paint mist, smoke and dust, if excessive, may cause eye and throat irritation to people nearby. In addition, these shops may cause littering, traffic (in the case of vehicle repair shops), and safety problems. However, there are no statistics on the total number of residents affected.

(c) As far as short term measures are concerned, the cunent policy is that no industrial undertaking of any kind will be permitted in a building which is restricted, under the lease, to residential use. Lands Department would take lease enforcement action against such industrial undertakings. No compensation nor relocation is offered to industrial undertakings displaced from residential buildings as a result of lease enforcement action. Lands Department would also terminate industrial undertakings in unsuitable areas held on short term tenancies/short term waivers.

Pollution problems associated with industrial undertakings in residential buildings can be dealt with under the provisions of the Air Pollution Control Ordinance, Water Pollution Ordinance and Waste Disposal Ordinance.

Measures by way of negotiation with the operators are also adopted. For instance, an informal code of practice has been formulated with the vehicle repair merchant association. Should it be complied with closely by the operators, it would reduce the impact of such undertakings on the residential area.

A large number of industrial undertakings are found in older residential areas and have probably been in existence before the area came under statutory planning control. Such industrial undertakings are tolerated. However, upon redevelopment, uses of the building would need to conform with the zoning of the plan. Industrial undertakings would thus be phased out in the long term from residential areas upon redevelopment.

Other long term measures would include identification of possible sites for accommodating potentially polluting industries in industrial buildings and disposal of suitable sites through land sales.

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

93

Seismic risks and building design

*****

The following is a question by Dr the Hon Samuel Wong and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in the Legislative Council today:

Question:

According to the "Code of Practice on Shock-proof Design in Buildings and other Constructions" adopted by the Chinese Government, Hong Kong is zoned in an area with the same seismic hazard as Shanghai. It was also pointed out in independent studies carried out and published in the territory that the zoning for Hong Kong as set out in the above-mentioned Code of Practice is reasonable. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council:

«. I ■ v.

(a) what measures has the Government taken to reduce the damage caused by seismic activity;

(b) whether the Government will require the relevant authorities to apply additional rules in the design of low-rise buildings; and

(c) whether the Government will introduce or amend building design regulations requiring the design of Government or institutional buildings, as well as civil engineering projects such as bridges, power stations in the territory to withstand a certain degree of seismic hazard ?

h, Reply:

Mr President,

The answers to the three parts of Dr the Hon Samuel Wong's question are as follows:

(a) To reduce the possible damage caused by seismic activity, the Building (Construction) Regulations require all private buildings to be designed to withstand the dynamic motion caused by a reference wind gust of 250 km/hr, and adequately restrained in both the superstructure and the foundation in such a manner that accidental damage to any structural member will only affect the local part of a building. The motion on buildings owing to seismic risk of Hong Kong is generally covered by the design requirements on wind load and structural stability.

94

To help ensure adequate protective measures are put in place, the Civil Engineering and other concerned Government Departments regularly assess the seismic risk of Hong Kong, sometimes with the assistance of seismologists from the UK and China. During the past few years, a number of studies have been carried out on issues such as:

(i) data of earthquakes occurring in the nearby regions;

(ii) the tectonic setting of Hong Kong; and

(iii) the effects of seismic loading on slopes, retaining walls, reclamations and buildings. In addition, the Government is upgrading the local seismic monitoring network;

(b) The structural design of each type of building/structure has to be considered on a case-by-case basis. The relevant authority will require the inclusion of seismic risk in the structural design of a building/structure as the case may be; and

(c) The relevant Building Regulations and Codes of Practice are regularly reviewed, taking into account the latest data of the seismic risk of Hong Kong. For example, in the current review of the Code of Practice for Structural Use of Concrete, seismic effect is one of the subjects being considered by a Committee including representatives from the relevant professional and academic bodies.

Structural designs of Government and Housing Authority buildings follow closely the requirements of the Building (Construction) Regulations and the relevant Codes.

As regards highways, railways and facilities with special post-disaster functions, such as the new Chek Lap Kok Airport Terminal Building, seismic risk is normally included in the design as an additional factor which may affect their structural stability, i.e. they should be able to withstand earthquakes of a scale comparable to the seismic risk of Hong Kong.

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

95

Curriculum Development Institute staff recruitment ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Anthony Cheung Bing-leung and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Thursday): *

Question:

In his reply to the question raised in this Council last year on the open recruitment of staff in the Curriculum Development Institute (CDI), the Secretary for Education and Manpower stated that it was the objective of the Government to increase the proportion of posts filled by open recruitment to 60% by 1998-99. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the progress of recruitment so far, and a breakdown of the number of recruits by their professions; and

(b) the recruitment target set for the coming year?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The number of non civil service posts in the Curriculum Development Institute (CDI) has been increased to 50. Of these 50 posts, 41 have been filled as follows:

• • • *.'••••

1 Assistant Director (Curriculum Development Institute)

25 as subject specialists

9 for curricula development

2 for research; and

4 for education television and technology.

Recruitment for the 9 vacancies was conducted in October 1995. Suitable candidates have been selected and appointments are expected to be made shortly.

(b) Up to 8 more non-civil service staff are expected to be recruited by CDI in 1996-97.

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

96

MTRC power failure incident

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

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

Questions:

In regard to the recent incident of power failure of the Mass Transit Railway which occurred during the morning rush hours and which resulted in disruption of train services for several hours, will the Government inform this Council whether it is aware of the following:

(a) what were the causes of the incident?

(b) how the Mass Transit Railway Corporation (MTRC) will prevent similar incidents from occurring in future?

(c) what contingency measures does the MTRC have to divert passengers in the event of a serious incident occurring during rush hours?

(d) whether the measures mentioned in (c) are effective; if not, whether the MTRC will be asked to review such measures and devise new ones; and

. • • •

(e) whether the MTRC has any plans to purchase buses for emergency and contingency use; if so, when such plan will be put into effect; if not, why not?

Reply:

Mr President,

The MTR service disruption between Kowloon Tong and Choi Hung Stations on 22 September 1995 lasted for 3 hours and 45 minutes. This was caused by the loss of power supply resulting from a fractured insulator supporting the overhead power line. At no time during the incident was passenger safety at risk.

97

The cause of the fracture is still being investigated. In the meantime, MTRC has, as a precautionary measure, replaced those insulators in that particular section of the tunnel where the fractured one was located. The Corporation has also inspected all other similar insulators and confirmed that they are in order.

In accordance with contingency procedures for dealing with a major service disruption, the, MTRC alerts the Transport Department and other public transport operators immediately of the need to provide alternative transport services. The Corporation also informs members of the public of service suspensions through announcements at MTR stations and through radio and TV stations.

The above procedures were followed on 22 September. For example, in response to this emergency, KCRC informed passengers that they should avoid changing at the Kowloon Tong Station for journeys to East Kowloon. KMB deployed extra buses on routes linking East Kowloon with Kowloon Tong, Tsim Sha Tsui and Hong Kong Island, and carried over 80,000 additional passengers.

It is impracticable for the MTRC to acquire and maintain a fleet of buses to cater for emergencies as this has substantial costs and operational implications. Overall, co-operation from other transport operators has been readily forthcoming. Nevertheless, the Corporation will draw on the experience of this particular incident to see how such interface can be enhanced and will also consider ways to improve communication with passengers and the public about re-routing alternatives and resumption of service. ;r.. .

■■ ' . - -

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

Women employed in industrial sector ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Lee Kai-ming and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Thursday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council of:

98

(a) the total number of women employed in the industrial sector; and

(b) the person-times and number of hours of overtime work undertaken by women employed in the industrial sector this year, together with the number of those employees who were required to work beyond 11 pm?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) According to the statistics of the Census & Statistics Department 176,350 women were employed in the manufacturing industry in June 1995, accounting for 44% of the total number of persons employed in the industry.

(b) The Women and Young Persons (Industry) Regulations of the Employment Ordinance regulate the employment of women in industrial undertakings in respect of the hours of employment, and overtime employment. According to Regulation 10 of the Regulations, any employer who wishes to employ women in excess of the working hours specified under the Regulations have to notify the Commissioner for Labour in writing before such overtime employment is to begin. During the first nine months of this year, employers from 1,551 industrial undertakings reported overtime employment of women under the above Regulation. A total of 39,345 women workers and 117,620 hours of overtime employment was involved. We have no statistics on the person-times of overtime work undertaken by women in the industrial sector. However, Regulation 10(2) of the above Regulations stipulates that no woman may work overtime in an industrial undertaking for more than 200 hours in any year or 2 hours in any day.

According to Regulation 8 of the above Regulations, the period of employment of any women in any industrial undertaking shall neither begin earlier than 6 am nor end later than 11 pm, except with the written permission of the Commissioner for Labour. In the first nine months of this year, such permission was given to the employment of 1,658 women in the industrial sector to work beyond 11 pm.

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

I ibc

99

Community Rehabilitation Network Scheme

*****

The following is a question by the Hon Elizabeth Wong and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok. in the Legislative Council today (Thursday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council whether it supports the Community Rehabilitation Network Scheme, which is currently funded by the Jockey Club; if so, when will the Government fund the entire scheme through subvention from general revenue; if not, why not?

Reply:

With Government support, in April 1994, the Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation was successful in its bid for a grant from the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club for the setting up of a Clearing House and two Community Rehabilitation Network centres for two years.

We shall shortly be seeking funding from the Lotteries Fund to cover the operation of the Clearing House and the two existing centres in 1996/97. The Society is also planning an additional centre at Lei Cheng Uk Estate. We shall be bidding for funds in the resource allocation exercise for the 1997/98 financial year with the aim ol subventing directly the existing services and that new centre. Thereafter, we shall discuss with the Society the need and timing for any further expansion of the scheme.

End/Thursday. November 2, 1995

- 100 -

UNHCR debt to Hong Kong *****

Following is a question by the Hon Henry Tang and a written reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in the Legislative Council today (Thursday):

Question:

In view of the huge amount of outstanding debt which the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has yet to repay the Hong Kong Government for looking after and maintaining the Vietnamese migrants (VMs), will the Government inform this Council of the following:

(a) what is the total sum presently owed by the UNHCR, when is this sum expected to be repaid in full, and what is the time-table for repayment;

(b) how much is the Government required to contribute towards such cost before the repatriation of all VMs, and what are the purposes for which the Government's contributions will be used; and

(c) will the Government seek the commitment of the British Government to repay any outstanding debt not fully repaid before July 1997?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) Under the terms of a Statement of Understanding, entered into with the Hong Kong Government in 1988, the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR) is responsible for meeting the costs of the care and maintenance of the Vietnamese migrants (VM) in Hong Kong's camps. Since 1989, the UNHCR has only been able to reimburse a proportion of these costs and, as at 30 September 1995, owed the Hong Kong Government about $1 billion.

As we have done in the past, we shall continue to remind UNHCR to discharge their debt to us. The UNHCR has re-affirmed their commitment to repay the amount owed on many occasions, most recently in September this year. But UNHCR has no independent funds and relies on contributions from the international community.

101

(b) The principal costs associated with the VM problem which are borne by the Hong Kong Government relate to the operation of the detention centres, the provision of medical services and the orderly repatriation programme. These costs will amount to about $750 million in the current financial year. The costs in future years will depend on the pace of repatriation.

(c) The debt is owed to the Hong Kong Government by UNHCR. The UNHCR has re-affirmed their commitment to repay the debt. The United Kingdom was not a party to the 1988 Statement of Understanding.

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

Petrol filling station safety

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Tse Wing-ling and a written reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in the Legislative Council today (Thursday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council of the following:

(a) how many petrol filling stations are at present located less than 50 metres away from residential buildings in the territory; and

(b) what measures does the Government have to prevent the danger being caused to the residents in the event of a an outbreak of fire at one of these petrol filling stations?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) There are, at present, 90 petrol filling stations (PFSs) located less than 50 metres away from residential buildings in the territory.

102

(b) The Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines (Chapter 11) provides details on planning considerations for PFSs. They should be situated on open ground, or at acceptable areas within commercial or industrial buildings, and shall not in any case be located inside any residential buildings.

In accordance with the Institute of Petroleum Marketing Safety Code, tank openings and dispensers of PFSs should be located with their centre lines not less than 4.25 metres from any fixed source of ignition or from the boundary of the PFS. Where such safety distance cannot be provided, stringent fire protection measures will be required.

Depending on the location and layout of the PFSs, fire protection systems may include the provision of a drencher system, an automatic foam water spray system, mechanical ventilation system, portable fire fighting equipment and warning signs. Complete fire separation of the PFS from other parts of the building will also be required if the PFS is located inside a building. In addition, the design of storage tanks, pipings, pumping/dispensing systems and electrical installations have to comply with standards stipulated by the Director of Fire Services. Licensing conditions govern traffic management at PFSs, product delivery and dispensing procedures, and the actions to be taken in an emergency.

These precautionary measures and controls have proven generally effective. Nonetheless, in the event that a fire occurs at a PFS, there is a pre-determined Fire Services attendance so that well-trained operational crew will quickly attend the scene of the incident.

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

Death of school children while attending classes ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The following is a question by the Hon Zachary Wong Wai-yin and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Thursday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

103

(a) of the number of school children who died suddenly whilst attending classes in schools over the past three years, together with the causes of their death; and

(b) what measures does the Government have to prevent the occurrence of such deaths?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) Over the past three years, there is only one such case. This concerns the death of an eight-year-old girl during a Physical Education lesson on 10 October 1995. The cause of death is still under investigation.

(b) Section 55 of the Education Regulations requires that every' school should have at least one first aid box and at least two teachers trained in administering first aid. In addition, the Education Department has issued to all schools a handbook on ’’Safety Precautions in Physical Education for Hong Kong Schools". Annual seminars on safety precautions in Physical Education are also conducted for Physical Education teachers and the chairpersons of the subject panel.

After the exact cause of death in the present case is known, we will consider whether further preventive measures should be taken.

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

Design standards for secondary and primary schools * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Cheung Man-kwong and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Thursday):

Question:

With regard to the latest design standards for secondary and primary school premises, will the Government inform this Council :

104

(a) of the details of the design standards, together with a list showing the numbers and areas of various rooms, utility areas and venues; and whether new school premises must be built to these standards;

(b) of the number of secondary and primary schools whose designs have yet to meet these standards at present;

(c) of the names of the 20 secondary schools and the 20 primary schools whose designs fall short of these standards by the widest margin in terms of total floor area and open playground area per student;

(d) whether the Government has any schedules for the improvement, expansion of extension of all schools of sub-standard designs, so as to bring them up to standard as soon as possible; and

(e) whether the Government has put in place any interim arrangements and measures to assist those schools which are significantly below standard in improving their crowded environment before the completion of the up-grading projects recommended in the Education Commission Report No. 5 for the existing secondary and primary schools?

Reply:

Mr President,

The Education Commission recommended in its Report No. 5 that all new schools should be built to an improved standard to provide additional space for teachers and students, and that all existing schools should be brought up to this new standard under a phased improvement programme. The Government accepted this recommendation. In November 1993, it introduced a new schedule of accommodation for building new schools. Details are at Annex A. In 1994, it commenced a School Improvement Programme to improve in stages all existing schools.

(a) The improved standard as set out at Annex A applies to all new schools the planning of which commences after November 1993 except where because of nonavailability of standard school sites and the need to meet significant shortfall of school places, schools have to be built on smaller sites.

- 105 -

(b) As explained in the introductory paragraph, all existing primary (499) and secondary (369) schools in the public sector need to be brought up to the improved standard.

< ' * . Z. 4

(c) We are not able to provide names of those schools whose designs fall short of the improved standard by the widest margin as we do not have precise information on the total floor area and open playground area per student of every school in Hong Kong. In general, the majority of the schools whose designs are significantly below the latest standard have been included in the early phases of the School Improvement Programme.

(d) We aim to bring all existing public sector schools to the improved standard by 2003 under the School Improvement Programme; the first two phases involving 240 schools are already in progress and expected to be completed by 1997.

(e) The majority of those public sector schools which are significantly below the improved standard have already been included in the early phases of the School Improvement Programme. For those schools found not feasible for improvement works because of physical and technical constraints, consideration would be given to upgrading the environment of these schools on a case by case basis through other appropriate measures such as reduction of school size or relocation.

106

Annex a

SCHSDULB OF ACCOMMODATION FOX 26-CXA88ROOX SECONDARY SCHOOL

8 ITEM NO. DESCRIPTION NO. INTERNAL FLOOR AREA (sq.m.)

1 classroom • 26 1 456 (056)

2 Remedial Teaching Room 3 84 (Q28)

3 Special Room 14 2 XIS

II 4 Principal's Office x 14

5* staff Roon 3 224

6* Staff Common Room 1 • 56 । ,(-i'

7 career Master's Room X 14

8 Office for Teacher of Special Responsibilities X 14

9* Interview Room 3 42

I 10 General Office 1 64

XI Medical Inspection Room 1 14

0 12 Printing Room 1 * 14

13 Pantry 1 6

14 store Room 12 185

15 assembly Hall 1 461

16 Dressing Room/chair Store 1 174

17 Covered Playground 1 1 474 292

18* student activity centre 1 176

19 PE Store 2 44

20 Changing Room 2 112 (056)

21 Dark Room X 20 '

22 Timber Store • 1 28

H 23 Wet Wood Store X 12

|| 24 Dangerous Goods Store 1 7

25 Tuck Shop X 20

8 26 Staff Toilet na# HA# . |

fl 27 Pupils' Toilet NA# NA#

| 28 Menial Staff Quarters 2 64 (032) |

107

SCHEDULE OF ACCOMMODATION FOR 30-CLASSROOM PRIMARY SCHOOL

|l ITEM NO. DESCRIPTION NO. INTERNAL FLOOR AREA (sq.m.)

1 Classroom 30 . • 1 SOO (GS6)

2 Remedial Teaching Room 3 84 <m)

3 Special Room 4 294

4 * Library i 112

5 Headmaster's Office 2 28 (Q14)

6 * staff Room 3 224

7 * staff Common Room 1 55

a SGO's Office 1 14

’ 9 * Interview Room 2 42

10 General office 1 44

Medical Inspection Room 1 12

12 Printing Room * 1 14

II 13 Pantry 1 4

14 Store Room 9 87

15 Assembly Hall 1 451

14 Dressing Room/Chair Store 1 174

17 covered Playground 1 1 474 292

18 * student Activity centre 1 174

19 PE Store 2 44

20 Changing Room 2 54 (Q28)

8 2x TucX Shop 1 20

8 22 staff Toilet NA# NA# 1

B 23 Pupils' Toilet NA# “• MA#

24 Menial staff Quarterfl 2 <4 (@3$) y

NOTE * : Additional accommodation recommended by the Education Commission Report No. 5.

/ : The no. and size of the staff and pupils', toilets are determined.by the no; of latrine facilities required?

End/Thursday, November 2, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Friday, November 3,1995

Contents Page No,

Government welcomes UN Committee report on human rights................. 1

HK people commit themselves to voluntary services....................... 4

Employers urged to abandon discriminatory policy on age................. 4

Better employment opportunities for disabled persons.................... 6

BDTCs bom between 77 and 81 must apply for BN(O) passport............... 7

Long and Meritorious Service Certificates presentation.................. 8

Town Planning (Amendment) Bill gazetted............................. 11

Changes to bring inheritance laws more up to date...................... 12

Lands Department launches Vision and Mission Statement................. 13

Board amends Yuen Long Outline Zoning Plan............................. 14

Bargains at Correctional Services Autumn Fair.......................... 16

Land Registry to improve services...................................... 17

Unlicensed guesthouse operator fined................................... 18

Special postmark to mark centenary congress............................ 19

Tenders invited for construction of service reservoir.................. 19

Two lots of land up for auction........................................ 20

Moneymarket service launches new functions............................. 21

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations................... 22

1

Government welcomes UN Committee report on human rights ♦ * ♦ ♦ *

The Government today (Friday) welcomes the concluding observations made by the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) after its hearing in Geneva last month on the civil and political rights situation in Hong Kong.

The Committee's concluding observations and recommendations were published in Geneva today following its examination of the British Government's report on Hong Kong under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in Geneva on October 19 and 20.

A Government spokesman welcomed the Committee's appreciation to the UK Delegation, which included five officials from the Hong Kong Government, for "the high quality of the report, abundance of additional information and detailed and frank answers provided in response to the oral and written questions posed and comments made by the Committee during its consideration of the report".

The spokesman pointed out that it was particularly significant for the Human Rights Committee to issue a statement to facilitate the continuing discharge of reporting obligations for Hong Kong after 1997.

The Committee took the view that, as a matter of international law, human rights treaties devolve with territory, and that States continue to be bound by the obligations under the ICCPR entered by the predecessor State. Once the people living in a territory find themselves under the protection of the ICCPR, such protection cannot be denied to them by virtue of the mere dismemberment of that territory or its coming within the jurisdiction of another State or more than one State.

The Committee also referred to the Joint Declaration whereby the parties have agreed that all the provisions of (he ICCPR as applied in Hong Kong shall remain in force after July 1, 1997, which provisions include reporting procedures under article 40. As the reporting requirements will continue to apply, the Human Rights Committee considers itself competent to receive and review reports that must be submitted in relation to Hong Kong.

The Committee accordingly concluded that it is ready to give effect to the intention of the parties to the Joint Declaration and to cooperate fully with them to work out the necessary modalities.

2

The spokesman explained that this constituted an extremely important and helpful statement of international law principles and expressed the hope that the two sovereign states concerned would cooperate with the Human Rights Committee to ensure that reporting for Hong Kong would continue after July 1997.

He also said the Committee's request for a special report in 1996 would be met.

In addition, the spokesman welcomed the Committee's recognition for the significant number of measures that the Government had taken in recent years to enhance the protection of human rights in Hong Kong.

The following arc the positive aspects mentioned by the Committee in its concluding observations released today:

* The Committee welcomes the initiatives taken by the Government with a view to ensuring the full implementation of the Covenant in Hong Kong, in future as well as at present. In that regard, the Sino-British Joint Declaration on the question of Hong Kong appears to provide a sound legal basis for the continued protection of the rights as specified in the Covenant.

* The Committee welcomes the enactment of the Bill of Rights Ordinance in June 1991.

* The Committee takes note with appreciation of the various ordinances that have been reviewed as to their conformity with the Bill of Rights and amended accordingly, and also appreciates the continuing process of reviewing and updating of relevant legislative provisions in that regard.

* The Committee welcomes efforts being made by the authorities to disseminate information on human rights to members of the judiciary, civil servants, teachers and the public in general, including school-age children.

The Committee further welcomes the recent enactment of the Sex Discrimination Ordinance and the Disability Discrimination Ordinance, the aims of which include the elimination of discrimination against women and disabled persons. It welcomes the oral information provided by the authorities that an Equal Opportunities Commission will be established in the first quarter of 1996 with power to recommend draft laws and draft amendments to these ordinances.

3

* The Committee welcomes the enactment of the Crimes (Torture) Ordinance, which gives domestic effect to part of article 7 of the ICCPR.

The Committee has also raised a number of issues and made some recommendations concerning the electoral system, a Human Rights Commission, the living conditions of Vietnamese migrants, the investigation of complaints against the Police, the Sex Discrimination Ordinance, and the Chinese version of charge sheets and court documents.

The spokesman said the Government would consider all the points made by the Committee carefully.

In fact, he said the Government had already taken steps to address some of the issues of concern raised.

For example, he said, preparing bilingual charge sheets was now a standard practice in all magistrates' courts and the District Court and the practice would be extended to the High Court in December.

On investigation into complaints against the Police, the spokesman said as the Secretary for Security told the Legislative Council yesterday (Thursday), the Security Branch was discussing with the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) arrangements to implement, on a trial basis, the Lay Observers Scheme, under which investigations by the Complaints Against Police Office (CAPO) would be observed by upright citizens, and arrangements to second a suitable directorate-grade Administrative Officer to the IPCC to enable it to observe and review more closely CAPO procedures.

"So it is a step in the right direction," the spokesman noted.

As regards the screening of Vietnamese detainees, the spokesman said the refugee status of these people was already expeditiously determined by the Immigration authorities with an appeal to an independent Refugees Status Review Board and a further right of Judicial Review to the High Court with legal aid being provided.

On the Committee's concern about legal aid for Bill of Rights cases against the Government and public officers, the spokesman said the Director of Legal Aid's discretion to waive the means test in criminal cases had recently been extended to Bill of Rights civil cases.

End/Friday, November 3, 1995

4

HK people commit themselves to voluntary services ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

Hong Kong people are always prepared to contribute to voluntary services, the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said.

Speaking at the Civil Aid Services Annual Dinner this (Friday) evening, the Governor said the strong volunteer spirit in Hong Kong reflected how free, vigorous and decent the city was.

Mr Patten praised members of the Civil Aid Services for devoting their skills and professionalism to the work of mountain rescue, countryside fire protection, support for the full time emergency services and many other activities.

He also thanked the volunteers for their contribution and support in so many civic services such as the recent elections.

Also speaking at the Annual Dinner, the Commissioner of Civil Aid Services, Mr Norman Leung, expressed his gratitude to other volunteer groups, Government Policy Branches, Government Departments and non-govemment organisations for their co-operation and assistance to the Services.

End/Friday, November 3, 1995

Employers urged to abandon discriminatory policy on age ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, today (Friday) made a strong appeal to employers to abandon the practice of stipulating an age requirement when recruiting staff.

Addressing the 12th Anniversary Annual Ball of the Retail Management Association, Mr Wong said while he was very pleased to note that the majority of employers did not specify age requirements in job advertisements, more needs to be done, especially in sales and service sectors where workers' age requirement was most commonly stipulated.

5

He pointed out that in a survey carried out by the Labour Department last month, of more than 25.000 job advertisements surveyed, over 86 per cent of them had no age requirements, representing a three per cent improvement over a similar survey conducted in July this year.

Mr Wong said the fact that some employers insisted on employing only the relatively young had led to a perception within the community that there was age discrimination in the area of employment, and that it was adversely affecting the employment opportunities of the middle-aged, particularly women in their 40s and 50s.

To encourage fair and equitable recruitment practice, Mr Wong said he would be writing personally to those organisations which he understood maintained an age discrimination policy and inviting them to abandon such a practice.

This is in addition to organising seminars and speaking engagements and encouraging employers’ associations to do their part in this regard.

Recognising the Retail Management Association's continued efforts to promote non-discriminatory recruitment practices among employers in the retail industry, Mr Wong said the appropriate factors that needed to be considered in the recruitment process should only include genuine job qualifications, for instance, educational attainment, previous work experience, or specific job-related skills.

He took the opportunity to congratulate a retail clothing group which, after some initial reluctance, is now successfully employing salesladies aged 30 and above who have undergone a retraining course specifically designed by the Employees Retraining Board for that company.

Outlining what the Government had done in recent years to eliminate discrimination in a wide range of areas, Mr Wong said his branch had set up a Working Group on Age Discrimination to ascertain the extent to which age discrimination in employment was a problem in Hong Kong, and consider what government measures, if any, should be adopted to tackle the problem of age discrimination in employment.

End/Friday, November 3. 1995

6

Better employment opportunities for disabled persons ♦ ♦ * * *

The Working Party on Training and Employment for People with Disabilities has recommended to enhance the employment opportunities of disabled persons, in particular to arrange more capable sheltered workers to move on to supported or open employment.

This is stated by the Director of Social Welfare, Mr Ian Strachan, when he officiated at the opening ceremony of the Wai Ji Christian Service Headquarters in Tai Hang Tung Estate this (Friday) afternoon.

Mr Strachan said another recommendation is to set up, on an experimental basis, a marketing and resources unit to co-ordinate marketing issues for sheltered workshops.

’’Sheltered workshops are one of the earliest rehabilitation services for persons with a disability. They provide sheltered employment for disabled persons who are unable to secure a job in the open market.

’’Being able to go to work has far reaching implications on an individual, particularly for the disabled. Going some place, learning a skill, meeting people and earning income are all important to the overall well being of the sheltered workers,” he said.

Pointing out that Hong Kong's economy had now changed from manufacturing industries to service industries because many factories had been relocated to mainland China to take advantage of the cheap land and labour there, Mr Strachan said this fact also affected the job orders of the sheltered workshops.

"Problems of restructuring sheltered workshops and increasing the productivity of sheltered workers have therefore become all the more urgent.

"In order to look into these problems in detail with a view to improving disabled persons’ training and employment prospects, a working party was set up by me in 1994," he said, adding that the working party had completed its task and published its report in July.

Noting that the report had been widely distributed to concerned parties for consultation, Mr Strachan urged interested parties to give their comments which would be collated for the endorsement by the Rehabilitation Advisory Committee over the next few months.

End/Friday, November 3, 1995

7

BDTCs bom between 77 and 81 must apply for BN(O) passport *****

The final date for Hong Kong British Dependent Territories citizens (BDTCs) bom between 1977 and 1981 to apply for British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) passports is March 30, 1996, a Government spokesman reminded the public today (Friday).

Hong Kong BDTCs (such as persons bom, 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.

Eligible applicants bom between 1977 and 1981 must submit their applications on or before March 30, 1996. To avoid last minute rush, they are advised to apply early.

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.

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 which justify his late application.

A BN(O) Late Registration Appeals Advisory Committee has been established to advise the Governor on those late applications which 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, need not apply again.

- 8

To save time in queuing up at Immigration Offices, eligible applicants should send in their applications by post or make use of the drop-in box service. Drop-in boxes are installed at the Immigration Headquarters and branch offices throughout the territory.

Only persons who are not holding Permanent Identity Cards (including children under the age of 11), who have lost their previous passports, or who need the passport for urgent travel should apply in person.

For children under 16 years of age, their applications must be made by their parents or legal guardians.

For more information, members of the public may telephone 2824 1177 (English) or 2824 1717 (Chinese).

Ertd/Friday, November 3, 1995

Long and Meritorious Service Certificates presentation

*****

The Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, today (Friday) presented the Long and Meritorious Service Certificate to the Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, in recognition of his more than 28 years of service in the Government.

The Chief Secretary also presented certificates and commemorative gold pins to five veteran members of the Administrative Service who have served for 30 years or more.

They are the former Secretary for Security, Mr Alistair Asprey; the Director of Social Welfare, Mr Ian Strachan; the Director of Buildings, Mrs Helen Yu; the Secretary of the Port Development Board, Mr Tony Clark; and the Deputy Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Kevin Mak.

Mr Asprey, who is now on his pre-retirement leave, returned to Hong Kong for this special event.

9

Mrs Chan also presented 20-year certificates to 26 senior officers who have served the Government between 20 to 30 years. The group includes the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui; the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong; and the Director of Education, Mr Lam Woon-kwong.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Secretary of the Civil Service, Mr Michael Sze, said the award pointed to an officer's commitment to and perseverance with a career in the Administrative Service which offered new challenges each day.

"This is something you should be proud of. I urge you to put the certificates in a conspicuous place and not to worry about them becoming a hint of your age," Mr Sze added on a lighter note.

Another 26 officers who are recipients of the 20-year and 30-year certificates were unable to attend today's ceremony.

At the same reception, the Chairman of the Administrative Service Association, Mr Chau Tak-hay, welcomed 30 newly-appointed Administrative Officers and bade farewell to the former Postmaster General, Mr Mike Pagliari, who retired recently after 28 years of service in the civil service.

Recipients present at the presentation ceremony today are:

30-Year Certificates and Gold Pins

Mr Alistair Asprey

Mrs Helen Yu Mr Kevin Mak

Mr Ian Strachan Mr Tony Clark

10

20-Year Certificates

Mr Donald Tsang Mr Joseph Wong Mr Nigel Shipman Mr Stephen Ip Mr Nigel French Mr Gordon Jones Mr Leo Kwan Mr Alan Lai Mr Benjamin Tang Ms Sandra Lee Mr Anthony Reynaids Ms Maria Kwan Miss Yvonne Choi Mr Robert Chan

4

Mr Rafael Hui

Mr Lam Woon-kwong Mr Robert Footman Mr Canice Mak Mrs Regina Ip Mrs Fanny Law Mr Keith Kwok Mr Leung Pak-chung Mr Lee Lap-sun Mr Michael Rowse Mr Patrick Lau Mr Peter Cheung Mrs Agnes Allcock

Recipients not present at the presentation ceremony are:

30-Year Certificates and Gold Pins

Mr Michael Leung Mr Anthony Bennett

20-Year Certificates

Mr David Weeks Mr Ng Hon-wah

Sir David Ford Mr Peter Lai Mr John Telford Mr Clinton Leeks Mr Martin White Mr John Burrett Mr Thomas Tso Mrs Brenda Fung Mr William Hui Ms Miranda Chiu Mr Edward Brown

Mr Michael Suen Miss Denise Yue Mrs Alice Lai Mr Leung Chin-man Mr Philip Chok Mr Thomas Chan Mr Michael Lee Mr Derek Gould Mr Wong Hon-ho Miss Maureen To Mrs Teresa Wong

End/Friday, November 3, 1995

11

Town Planning (Amendment) Bill gazetted *****

The Government today (Friday) published in the Government gazette the Town Planning (Amendment) Bill 1995.

Outlining the main features of the bill, a spokesman for the Planning Department said it would enable the Town Planning Board (TPB) to appoint committees among its members to hear objections to draft plans.

"Each committee will comprise at least five members from the Board and the majority shall be members who arc not public officers," he said.

The spokesman explained that under the existing Town Planning Ordinance, TPB will give preliminary consideration to an objection to a draft plan in the absence of the objector.

If the objector refuses to withdraw the objection after being notified of the Board's view, he will have the right to attend a hearing before TPB.

"As a result of an extension of the statutory planning function to cover the rural New Territories, the number of objections to draft plans, planning applications, reviews and planning appeals had increased rapidly in recent years.

"There is a backlog of more than 1,000 objections and about 30 appeals pending hearing by the TPB and the Town Planning Appeal Board (TPAB).

"It is expected that the hearing of objections can be expedited when these committees are in operation," he said.

Another provision of the Amendment Bill is to enable the Governor to appoint more than one Deputy Chairman of the TPAB panel.

"This will allow more Appeal Board hearings to be held concurrently and thus expedite the hearing of the outstanding planning appeals," he added.

The spokesman said two technical amendments would also be introduced.

"The first amendment is to put it beyond doubt that a judge may be appointed to the TPAP panel while the second one clarifies the nature of a continuing offence of not complying with the requirement of the notices in relation to unauthorised development served by the Planning Authority under section 23 of the Town Planning Ordinance.

12

"In all, the provisions in this Amendment Bill will improve the efficiency in the operation of the TPB and the TPAB.

"Action is now in hand to prepare another amendment bill to make the planning system more open and accountable to the public.

"Amendments will include provisions to streamline procedures and to adopt a planning certificate system," the spokesman said.

End/Friday, November 3, 1995

Changes to bring inheritance laws more up to date *****

A number of important changes recently made to the laws of inheritance have come into force today ( Friday).

The commencement notices of the Wills (Amendment) Ordinance 1995, the Intestates' Estates (Amendment) Ordinance 1995 and the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Ordinance are gazetted today.

A spokesman for the Home Affairs Branch (HAB) said the ordinances, which were enacted in July, aimed to bring the laws on inheritance up to date and to remove legal anomalies that have emerged over the years.

He also said HAB had published a bilingual leaflet to introduce to the public the main contents of the three ordinances.

The Wills Ordinance sets out the legal rules governing wills and several major changes are explained in the leaflet.

One of the key changes is that a will of a Chinese person written in Chinese after the amendments take effect no longer enjoys the previous exemption from the statutory rules on making wills.

The Intestates' Estates Ordinance provides for the distribution of the estate of a person who dies without making a will or whose will deals with only part of his or her estate.

13

The main effect of the amendments is to improve the position of the surviving spouse, the spokesman said.

Meanwhile, the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Ordinance has replaced the Deceased's Family Maintenance Ordinance.

This ordinance aims to help those persons who have not been fairly provided for under a will or the law of intestacy. It also provides for a broader scope of persons to apply to the court for financial provision from the estate of the deceased.

Copies of the leaflet on the changes to inheritance laws are now available at the district offices and the marketing office of the Government Information Services on the 17th floor, Siu On Centre, 176- 192 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai.

End/Friday, November 3, 1995

Lands Department launches Vision and Mission Statement

*****

The Lands Department today (Friday) launched a Vision and Mission Statement to promote staff awareness of the department's overall objective of serving the community.

At a launching ceremony, the Director of Lands, Mr Bob Pope, said the department pledged to serve I long Kong by providing the highest quality of service in the administration of land in the territory.

"Our mission is to administer land, one of Hong Kong valuable assets, to the best of our ability and in the interests of the community.

"We will also try our best to maintain the highest quality of service in the surveying and mapping of land in Hong Kong," he said.

As a first step towards achieving the vision and mission, a scries of staff motivation activities was held over the past few months to promote staff awareness of the department's main functions and to foster staffs sense of belonging and unity, Mr Pope said.

14

’’Meanwhile, the department is undergoing comprehensive computerisation which aims at improving its overall efficiency. This will be completed by the middle of next year," he said.

At the launching ceremony today, Mr Pope presented prizes to winners of the departmental Slogans Competition, Tie and Scarf Competition and Photography Competition.

Mr Pope also presented framed Vision and Mission Statements to the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung; the Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic Wong; the Deputy Secretary for Works, Mr Keith Kwok; the Deputy Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr Michael Stone; the Director of General Grades, Mr Cletus Lau; and the Assistant Director of Efficiency Unit, Ms Kitty Choi.

End/Friday, November 3, 1995

Board amends Yuen Long Outline Zoning Plan ♦ ♦ * * *

The Town Planning Board today (Friday) announced amendments to the draft Yuen Long Outline Zoning Plan.

The major amendment to the draft plan is to rezone an area, about 4.28 hectares, to the west of Hung Tin from ’’Industrial" and "Govemment/Institution/Community" ("GIC") to "Village Type Development" and "Comprehensive Development Area" to resolve industrial/residential interface problems in the area.

Other amendments include the provision of two sites for residential development.

A 2.74-hectare site located to the south of Ma Tin Road near Yuen Long Town Park has been rezoned from "GIC" to "Residential(Group B)".

15

A 0.42-hectare site at the junction of Ma Tin Road and Yuen Long Tai Yuk Road which is zoned "Other Specified Uses (Public Car Park with Ground Floor Retail Shops)" has been re-annotated to incorporate the residential element.

Technical amendments to the plan include amendments to the schedule of uses for the "Other Specified Uses (Industrial Estate)" zone.

The amendment plan (No. S/YL/2) is available for public inspection until November 24 during normal office hours at:

Planning Department, 16th floor, Murray Building^ Garden Road, Hong Kong;

* Tuen Mun and Yuen Long District Planning Office, Level 11, Metroplaza Tower I, 223 I ling Fong Road, Kwai Fong, New Territories; and

* Yuen Long District Office,

Yuen Long District Office Building, 269 Castle Peak Road, Yuen Long, New Territories.

Any person affected by the amendment plan may submit written objections to the Secretary of the Town Planning Board, c/o Planning Department, 13th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong before November 24, 1995.

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

End/Friday, November 3, 1995

16

Bargains at Correctional Services Autumn Fair *****

The Correctional Services Department (CSD) will hold its 43rd Autumn Fair tomorrow (Saturday) at the Stanley football field near Stanley Prison. Admission is free and all are welcome.

It will be the last CSD Autumn Fair to be held at this venue.

"This fair is especially memorable because the Stanley football field will soon be converted into a medium security prison," a spokesman for CSD said. A variety of products including arts and handicraft items, stuffed toys, rattan and wooden furniture will be on sale at some 30 stalls.

The products are made by inmates at their leisure time during their detention in various penal institutions managed by the department.

Apart from making bargained purchases, visitors can also enjoy a rich programme of entertainment performed by different organisations, including the Fringe Mime and Movement Laboratory, Hong Kong Parachute Club, Hong Kong Wushu Union, SKH Bishop Mok Sau Tseng Secondary School. Wai Yee Dance Group, CSD’s Dog Unit, Cape Collinson Band and Tai Lam Girl's Pipers and Marching Team.

There will also be snack stalls and game stalls for children.

The fair will be held from 11 am to 5 pm. Mrs Serena Mong, accompanied by the Commissioner of Correctional Services. Mr Raymond Lai Ming-kee. will be the guest of honour to officiate at the opening ceremony.

As parking space are limited, visitors are advised to travel by public transport. They can take Bus No 6. or No 260 (from Central). No 73 (From Wah Fu Estate). No 63 (From North Point) or No 14 (From Sai Wan Ho).

End/Friday. November 3. 1995

17

Land Registry to improve services ♦ * * * ♦

The Land Registry is to further improve its services to the public by introducing an advanced computer technology for storage and retrieval of land records.

Work is in the pipe-line to set up a "document imaging system" that will enable the Land Registry to scan memorials or other registered instruments and convert them into electronic images for storage in electronic storage media, such as optical disks.

The new system, which is expected to be introduced by early next year, will lead to faster retrieval of land records and a substantial reduction in storage space.

It is envisaged that this system subsequently may be linked up with the existing Direct Access Service of the Land Registry.

In parallel, the Land Registry is microfilming old register cards in the urban area that will lead to the disposal of these old register cards.

To further streamline its services, the Land Registry also plans to stop accepting deposit of any deeds or conveyances for safe custody because safe deposit services are widely available from banks and only few deeds have been deposited in the Land Registry.

However, the Land Registrar will continue to keep safe custody of deeds and conveyances already deposited with him.

The above proposed changes require legislative amendments contained in the Land Registration (Amendment) Bill 1995 and the Land Registration (Amendment) Regulation 1995 gazetted today (Friday).

End/Friday, Novembers, 1995

18

Unlicensed guesthouse operator fined ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A guesthouse operator was fined $12,000 in South Kowloon Magistracy today (Friday) after pleading guilty to operating an unlicensed guesthouse in Tsim Sha Tsui.

The court heard that officers of the Home Affairs Department's Office of the Licensing Authority had conducted a joint operation with the police against illegal guesthouses in Tsim Sha Tsui on May 3.

During the operation, undercover officers found a premises at the sixth floor, Chung King Mansions, 36-44 Nathan Road, was being operated as a guesthouse without a licence.

The operator of the guesthouse was subsequently charged with contravening Section 5 of the Hotel and Guesthouse Accommodation Ordinance.

A spokesman for the department said unlicensed guesthouses would not be tolerated and enforcement action would continue to be taken to eliminate such premises.

He said efforts would be stepped up to ensure all guesthouses met the required building and fire safety standards and were properly licensed.

He appealed to members of the public to help in the effort to crack down on unlicensed guesthouses by reporting them to the Office of the Licensing Authority on 2881 7034.

End/Friday, November 3, 1995

19

Special postmark to mark centenary congress

*****

The acting Postmaster General, Miss Nancy Law, announced today (Friday) that a special postmark will be introduced to commemorate the Roentgen Centenary Congress to be held in Hong Kong between November 8 and 12.

The Roentgen Centenary Congress was organised by the College of Radiology to celebrate the 100 years of discovery of X-ray.

While the Post Office will not issue any philatelic item on this occasion, a special postmark will be made available for hand-back service at November 8 for any privately-made covers bearing an indication of the event at the following seven philatelic offices:

Beaconsfield House Post office

General Post Office

Granville Road Post Office

Peak Post Office

Sha Tin General Post Office

Tsim Sha Tsui Post Office

Tsuen Wan Post Office

End/Friday, November 3, 1995

Tenders invited for construction of service reservoir * ♦ ♦ ♦ *

The Water Supplies Department is inviting tenders for the construction of a fresh water service reservoir in Lung Kwu Sheung Tan, Tuen Mun.

The contract includes site formation work, construction of a service reservoir with a capacity of 13,500 cubic metres and the laying of associated water mains and drainage pipes.

It is part of a programme which aims at improving fresh and salt water supply to the western areas of Tuen Mun.

Works are expected to start in February next year for completion in two years.

20

The above work forms part of a public works programme which aims at improving fresh and salt water supply to the western areas of Tuen Mun.

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

Tender offers will close at noon on December 1.

End/Friday, November 3, 1995

Two lots of land up for auction ♦ * * ♦ ♦

Two lots of Government land on Hong Kong Island and the New Territories respectively will be offered for sale at a public auction on November 27 (Monday), it is announced in the Government Gazette today (Friday).

The auction will start at 2.30 pm in the Concert Hall of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui.

The first lot, located in 26 Mount Kellett Road, The Peak, has an area of 1,936.1 square metres for private residential use.

The developer has to complete a gross floor area of not less than 746 square metres on or before December 31, 1998.

Located in Wo Tik Street, Tsuen Wan, the second lot has an area of 572 square metres for non-industrial use, excluding godown and hotel.

The developer has to complete a gross floor area of not less than 2,204 square metres on or before December 31, 1998.

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 will also be available at the District Lands Offices of Sha Tin, Tuen Mun, Yuen Long, Tsuen Wan, Sai Kung, Kwai Tsing, Tai Po, North and Islands.

End/Friday, November 3, 1995

21

Moneymarket service launches new functions. ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced that the Central Moneymarkets Unit (CMU) Service, the central custodian and clearing system for debt securities would shortly be introducing two new functions. The new functions are delivery vs payment (DvP) for private sector debt instruments and the clearing of debt securities denominated in foreign currencies.

the announcement was made by the Chief Executive of HKMA, Mr Joseph Yam, in his presentation at the Seminar on Global Payment Systems today (Friday).

He said: ”DvP facility would help reduce settlement risk in the trading of securities lodged and cleared with the CMU/’

He further commented: "So far the CMU only accepts Hong Kong dollar denominated debt securities because the CMU Service is designed and set up to promote the l^bng Kong dollar debt market.

A

"It is a logical step for CMU Service to widen its coverage to debt securities denominated in foreign currency."

At present, the CMU Service only offers Free of Payment (FoP) facility in securities transfer without handling cash settlement. By offering the DvP facility, the settlement risk can be eliminated when delivery of securities only take place when there are good funds available to settle the transaction.

The DvP facility will be operative on December 18.

A spokesman from HKMA said: "As part of our efforts to improve the robustness of our debt securities clearing system and the interbank payment system, we will be able to offer DvP function on a real time basis when we go live on the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) in December 1996.

"The end-of-day DvP facility will be part of the interim measures to reduce settlement risk in debt securities transaction prior to December 1996."

To meet international standards and minimise settlement risks, Hong Kong is moving towards a Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS) from the existing next day settlement system. The implementation has made good progress so far according to the project schedule agreed by the Committee on Payment System.

22

When RTGS is fully implemented by the end of 1996, it will be among the most advanced and robust payment systems in the world.

The second enhancement for the CMU Service to meet the demand of the market is to cover the foreign currency instruments.

The move does not involve significant procedural or system changes. The CMU will be accepting foreign currency debt securities for clearing starting from January 15, 1996.

CMU was originally set up in 1990 to provide clearing facility for Exchange Fund Bills and later Notes.

In January last year, CMU extended its services to provide a central custodian and clearing facility for private sector debt securities denominated in Hong Kong dollar.

The service has been very favourably received by the capital market. As at September this year, 233 debt issues with a total nominal value of HKS62 billion have been lodged with CMU, representing 84 per cent of all Hong Kong dollar debt securities issued during the period.

End/Friday, November 3, 1995

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

Time Cumulative change

$ million (hours) (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,261 0930 +1311

Closing balance in the account 2,372 1000 +1311

Change attributable to : 1100 +1316

Money market activity +1,311 1200 +1316

LAF today -200 1500 +1316

1600 +1311

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.5 *+0.1* 03.11.95

23

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.22 2 years 2708 6.06 100.82 5.63

1 month 5.33 3 years 3810 6.15 100.65 6.00

3 months 5.47 5 years 5009 6.95 101.90 6.59

6 months 5.51 5 years M501 7.90 103.75 7.04

12 months 5.53

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $10,702 million

Closed November 3, 1995

End/Friday, November 3, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Saturday, November 4,1995

Contents Page No.

Health ambassadors to promote healthy life-style......................... 1

New format certificates to be issued by Immigration...................... 2

Tenders invited for purchase of "Sir Cecil Clementi"..................... 3

First man to finish Trailwalker.......................................... 3

Tsuen Wan Sports Festival opens.......................................... 4

Salt water cut in Kwai Chung............................................. 4

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

Sunday, November 5,1995

Contents Page No,

Governor's statement..................................................... 6

The Governor's "Letter to Hong Kong"..................................... 6

Credit union movement contributes to community........................... 9

$274 million Lotteries Fund approved.................................... 10

New address for Employees' Compensation Office.......................... 10

1

Health ambassadors to promote healthy life-style ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The earlier one starts a healthy lifestyle, the more effective it will be on disease prevention, Deputy Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Doris Ho, said today (Saturday).

Speaking at the Second Health Ambassador Graduation Ceremony, Mrs Ho said studies had shown that there was a close relationship between many chronic diseases and lifestyle.

She paid tribute to the Health Ambassador Training Programme which is designed to provide health information for different spectrums of people like women and students.

Mrs Ho noted that after completing the course, the health ambassadors would take up the responsibility of delivering health messages in their neighbourhood so as to promote the health status of the community as a whole.

Also speaking at the ceremony, the acting Director of Health, Dr T A Saw, pointed out that the success of health education was not only rested with health professionals’ efforts, but also on public’s enthusiastic participation.

’’Disease prevention is better than treatment, and health education is disease prevention's crucial key,’’ he said.

He was confident that the health ambassadors would live up to their mission in health promotion and cultivation of a healthy community by bringing the health message to their peers, their districts and even the community.

He noted that during the last year, the health ambassadors had held some 100 health educational activities, and the participants totalled 30,000. This fully reflected each and every health ambassador’s effort and success.

A total of 795 health ambassadors graduated today, including 555 students from about 110 schools and 240 women.

The Health Ambassador Programme is an innovative step over the conventional reliance on health activities rendered by health professionals.

The concept is to draw community support to and participation in spreading health messages.


- 2 -

Community members joining the programme are required to attend training sessions which cover health topics like healthy lifestyle, mental and physical health.

The Department of Health Will organise advanced courses for those ambassadors who are interested to learn more. - • , . It

' j

End/Saturday, November 4, 1995

New format certificates to be issued by Immigration ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Immigration Department announced today (Saturday) the introduction of new format certificates for birth, death and marriage registrations in conjunction with the implementation of a new computer system to automate the registration process.

"The new computer system is developed under the department's Information Systems Strategy to automate the registration process and the printing of certificates with the computer," a spokesman for the department said.

i i . ,

"All registries located in Hong Kong, Kowloon and the New Territories will be yj. linked up by a dedicated communications network to facilitate data transfer between offices. This will help shorten the processing time for record search and the issue of certificates from 17 to 14 working days. . ,

"To tie in with the operation of the new system, a revised format of the certificates for birth, death and marriage registrations will be introduced. Specifically, the information particulars on the certificates will be presented in a row form as opposed to the existing column form. This new format will also apply to the certified copies to be issued in respect of birth and death entries registered before the system comes into operation. ->:i_

"However, certified copies of marriage certificates will continue to be in the form of microfilm hardcopies produced from the duplicate kept by the registry.

"The new format certificates for birth and death registrations will be introduced on Monday (November 6) and the new format marriage certificates on November 20. The existing format certificates will continue to be valid and acceptable for the purposes of the respective ordinances," the spokesman added.

End/Saturday, November 4,1995

3

Tenders invited for purchase of "Sir Cecil Clementi" ♦ * * ♦ ♦

The Government is inviting tenders for the purchase of the unserviceable launch "Sir Cecil Clementi".

The launch, named after the Governor between 1925 and 1930, the late Sir Cecil Clementi, has a length of 23.7 metres and a breath of 5.4 metres. She weighs 80.63 tons.

Tender forms are obtainable from the Procurement Division, Government Supplies Department, 12 Oil Street, North Point, Hong Kong; the Central and Western District Office, ground floor, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central, Hong Kong; and the Mong Kok District Office, Mong Kok Government Offices, ground floor, 30 Luen Wan Street, Kowloon.

The closing date for tenders is December 21, 1995.

Further particulars are obtainable from the Procurement Division, Government Supplies Department, 12 Oil Street, North Point, Hong Kong (Tel.: 2802 6253).

End/Saturday, November 4, 1995

First man to finish Trailwalker *****

The first man to finish Trailwalker 95 was the sole survivor of a Gurkha team from the Queen's Gurkha Signal Regiment. Signaller Manbahadur Thada lost about 50 minutes helping to carry his teammate to safety (hamstring injury), who was injured between checkpoints 3 and 4. Thada was then about 30 minutes behind the leading team, but in a remarkable solo effort he regained the lead, accompanied by Queen's Gurkha Support too, cross the finishing line first, after 13 hours 54 minutes.

The winning team (Carlingford Comets) finished in 14 hours 26 minutes.

Thada was a member of last year’s winning team.

End/Saturday, November 4, 1995

- 4 -

Tsuen Wan Sports Festival opens

* ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Members of the public will have an opportunity to enjoy a wide variety of sporting events during the 16th Tsuen Wan Sports Festival starting from tomorrow (Sunday).

The festival is jointly organised by the Tsuen Wan Sports Festival Committee and the Federation of Tsuen Wan District Sports and Recreation Association with the assistance of the Tsuen Wan District Office.

Apart from popular sports such as football, basketball, badminton, ping-pong and archery, the committee has also arranged some specially-modified sports games for the disabled.

The festival will also stage some sports not commonly seen in Hong Kong, including demonstration flights of remote-control model planes and street soccer.

The chairman of the committee, Mr Chan Sung-yip, said this annual sports festival aimed to give members of the public a chance to participate in different kinds of sports activities and to promote community spirit.

Sponsored by the Tsuen Wan District Board, the Regional Council and local organisations, the sports festival will take place from tomorrow till November 26.

End/Saturday, November 4, 1995

Salt water cut in Kwai Chung

*****

Flushing water supply to some premises in Kwai Chung will be temporarily suspended from 10 pm on Tuesday (November 7) to 6 am the following day to facilitate water mains work.

The affected area includes all premises in Sheung Kwai Chung and Kwai Chung area, south of Shing Mun Road, east of Wo Yi Hop Road, Lei Muk Shue Estate, Shek Yam Estate, Shek Lei Estate and On Yam Estate.

End/Saturday, November 4, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority mpne; market operations * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

• • • * . ■ J .: $ Million Time (Hours) Cumulative Change ‘ ($ Million)

. z -r—. —— ————

Opening Balance in the account 2372 09:30 +200

Closing Balance in the account Change Attributable to: 1,727 10:00 11:00 +200 +200

Money Market Activity Laf Today +200 -845 11:30 +20(

Laf Rate 4.25% Bid/6.25% Offer TWI 122.5- *+0.0* 4.11.95

End/Saturday, November 4, 1995

6

Governor’s statement

*****

The Governor of Hong Kong, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten made the following statement today (Sunday):

I was shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Mr Rabin was an outstanding statesman who gave a lifetime of service to the people of Israel. It was a cruel irony that he should have lost his life for his courageous efforts to bring peace to his country and its neighbours. On behalf of the people of Hong Kong, I offer my deepest sympathy and condolences to the government and people of Israel.

End/Sunday, November 5, 1995

The Governor's "Letter to Hong Kong"

*****

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

I got home last Sunday from just over a week away in Britain. It was a glorious day to return. Warm. Sunny. Not much humidity. And was I imagining it? -1 didn't get a whiff of the not always so fragrant harbour when I got off the 'plane.

Anyway, Hong Kong looked beautiful, bustling and cheerful. All seemed fine with the world, which would have pleased all our well-wishers overseas. And there are a lot of them. When I said at the airport that, once again, I'd been struck by the interest in Britain about what's happening in Hong Kong, and struck too by all the support for us, I wasn't kidding. At conferences and dinners for businessmen, the halls were full, and the sympathies were generous. Anson Chan found exactly the same thing when she was in Japan the other day.

But I do sometimes ask myself whether ever-bigger audiences are necessarily a good sign. One reason why people come to hear us speak is that they want to be reassured by what we say. Reassured by our answers about Hong Kong's unique future. In many ways, I'd of course be happier if the crowds were smaller and the need for reassurance all the less.

.rj . - 7 -

So what do I say in an attempt to remove the anxieties from furrowed brows?

I start by reminding people how many times Hong Kong has been killed off in the headlines before. You could paper the walls, with our premature obituaries. Why don't people who write about or comment on our affairs, try to keep a sense of proportion? Why don't they remember any history?

When the Joint Declaration was signed over ten years ago, much of the world said that Hong Kong was finished. One famous business magazine predicted that there'd be no more big building projects in Hong Kong. Just look out of the window and see how right that forecast was. So, today, when people say, "it's all up", just remember that since those things were said in 1984, our economy has grown by over 80 per cent. Our exports have shot up by over 400 per cent. There are proportionately about eight times as many young people going to tertiary colleges. We've built new tunnels. New houses. New skyscrapers. New hospitals. New homes for the elderly. Our reserves have grown by 600 per cent. Our place as one of the best and brightest business centres in the world has been confirmed. So, if that's what it's like to be on the scrap heap, maybe we should be searching for a few more.

Turn the clock on to Tiananmen in 1989, or to the row with China in 1992 and the following year about keeping our promises on democracy. When you see what's happened since those dates - again, when calamity was forecast, collapsing skies, collapsing markets - it's the same story. Hong Kong kept its nerve. To borrow a phrase, we kept cool and kept on collecting.

1997 colly-wobbles deserve to be treated, first, with a good dollop of history and experience.

But that isn't going to be enough. What more is required?

First, it really is important to make clear that we're certainly not going to make big changes in Hong Kong before 1997. Now we've got a wholly elected legislature -just as was promised - we should show clearly to the world that its vigorous activities are wholly compatible with good government and good economics. That doesn't mean that nothing changes. It requires, as I've said before, give and take. Not all give from one side, and all take from the other. Whatever we do in working out our relationship, we mustn't depart - or give the impression of departing - from the economic policies that have made Hong Kong so successful.

8

Does anyone really suppose that Hong Kong has been following the wrong path? That .we've made a mess of things? That 35 years of uninterrupted growth is a sign of fundamental error?

What's the right way, the Hong Kong way, of doing things? Low taxes. Prudent spending - which because it's prudent goes steadily on upwards. Up 50 per cent in real terms on care for the elderly in three years. We don't interfere with business. Don't prop up the failures. Don't subsidise the successes. We look to the long-term, and we know that free lunches aren't the way to invest in that long term. If you only take decisions on the basis that they may be popular tomorrow morning, the long term and its bonuses never come. And, by the way, you aren't always very popular tomorrow morning either.

Funnily enough, the German Chancellor, Helmut Kohl, was telling his party two weeks ago that Europe had to follow these lessons in order to compete with Asian economies like Hong Kong. It's an important lesson for Europe. But we shouldn't forget it ourselves.

It's beyond '97 though, that the real worries focus. Why pretend otherwise? It's better, healthier, more sensible, to face up to those anxieties openly, rather than make your own private post-'97 arrangements while declaring that there's nothing to worry about.

What do people worry about? Simple. That things are going to change. The way we are governed. The way we do business. The way we live. And when these things are threatened, it doesn't make sense to brush it all under the carpet, hope that no one will notice, and keep your fingers crossed that all will somehow be all right come the day.

What Hong Kong has to go on doing is making clear that it cares. Making clear that it expects promises about its way of life to be kept. Making clear that guarantees of the survival of our system are not there to be redefined on a speciously legalistic whim.

The best guarantee for Hong Kong, and I shall never tire of saying this, is Hong Kong. If we want things to stay as they are, and if we say that politely but firmly, then they will. Or at the very least, the outcome we want is much more likely.

People outside look with admiration at what Hong Kong has achieved. The

whole world will cheer when we go - as we can - from strength to strength.

9

And what does that strength mean?

I quoted one economist pundit the other day who said that if Hong Kong went on like this, it would - within half a working life time - be the richest city in the world. That’s the message, someone said to me recently, to tell people. Well, yes - but Hong Kong will only be that rich if it stays free, open and decent. That’s the key. No one should be allowed to forget that.

End/Sunday, November 5, 1995

Credit union movement contributes to community ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

li.

The credit union movement has made useful contributions to our community since its inception in Hong Kong in 1964, the Director of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr Lawrence Lee, said today (Sunday).

• .1

Dr Lee, who is Registrar of Credit Unions, was speaking at the celebrations marking this year’s International Credit Union Day.

The credit union movement has grown substantially ever since it was founded more than 30 years ago by pioneers and leaders such as Father John Collins and Mr Andrew So, he said.

• I J . ’. •

”At present, there are 69 credit unions and over 50,000 members, with savings totalling about $666 million. The membership and savings have increased considerably by 133 per cent and 1,700 per cent respectively in 10 years.

’’With the enthusiastic support of the members and the dedicated efforts of the volunteer workers, I have confidence that the movement in Hong Kong will continue to sustain its achievement under the co-ordination and leadership of the Credit Union League,” he said.

Dr Lee pointed out that the Credit Unions Ordinance had been amended in June this year.

The amendments, he said, had simplified the winding-up procedures for credit unions, thereby facilitating the liquidation of inactive credit unions.

10

’’This in turn will provide a healthy environment enabling us to concentrate our efforts to promote the credit union movement in Hong Kong,” he added.

Dr Lee also took the opportunity to present outstanding and long service certificates to people who have made significant contributions to the local credit union movement.

i:■ • ’

End/Sunday, November 5, 1995

l' - 4- • ***

$274 million Lotteries Fund approved ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A total of $274,427,400 has been approved from the Lotteries Fund to finance various social welfare service programmes during the third quarter of 1995, a spokesman for the Social Welfare Department said today (Sunday).

"Of the amount, $88,976,900 are earmarked to family and child welfare services, $112,956,000 to elderly and medical social services, $66,571,400 to rehabilitation services, $2,203,700 to youth services, $393,900 to community development services and $3,325,500 to social welfare support programmes," the spokesman said.

The Lotteries Fund was established for the purpose of financing, by way of a grant, loan or an advance, the operation or development of social welfare services and medical or educational projects with a welfare content.

End/Sunday, November 5, 1995

New address for Employees' Compensation Office ***** ’ I * * f t

•( I. ' .>• '

The Labour Department's Employees' Compensation Division (Kwai Chung) Office will move from Kwai Hing Government Offices to Tsuen Wan on November 14 (Tuesday).

The new office is on sixth floor, Tsuen Wan Government Offices, 38 Sai Lau Kok Road.

Telephone numbers for public enquiries will be changed to 2417 6242 and 2417 6243 on the same day.

End/Sunday, November 5, 1995

4

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Monday, November 6,1995

Contents Eage_Nth

HK plays leading-by-example role in APEC............................ 1

Gross Domestic Product for second quarter 1995 ..................... 2

Precautionary measures against food-borne diseases.................. 6

Access by Internet to Government tender opportunities............... 7

Contract for new Government Flying Service HQs signed............... 8

AG to lead delegation to China......................................

RAF 28 (AC) Squadron fly-past to mark its 80th anniversary.......... 10

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

Tender for the 11th issue of two-year Exchange Fund Notes........... 11

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

1

HK plays leading-by-example role in APEC *****

Hong Kong, with its traditional strength deeply rooted in free trade and an open economy, is playing a leading-by-example role in APEC, the Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, said today (Monday).

Speaking at a conference organised by the Far Eastern Economic Review, Mr Tsang said: "What we in Hong Kong bring to APEC is the proof that freedom and openness work, that the courage consistently not to interfere is rewarded by greater competitiveness and greater prosperity for the community as a whole."

Mr Tsang, who will be attending APEC’s Economic Leaders Meeting in Osaka later this month, said that in the year since the Bogor Declaration issued by the Leaders in November last year, Hong Kong had emphasised the virtues of collectively courageous but autonomous reforms.

"We have tried to build on the sort of examples of successful development and successful economic reform.

"In particular, we have argued the case for rolling back the barriers which impede the free flow of goods, services and capital around the region," he said.

Mr Tsang noted that the Bogor Declaration outlined the development of free trade in APEC, to be implemented by 2010 for developed economies, and by 2020 for developing economies.

"If the vision of free trade within the APEC region outlined at the Leaders Meeting in Bogor a year ago represented the bones, then the upcoming meeting in Osaka will be to put flesh on those bones," he said. "The Action Agenda developed by APEC officials in 1995 represents the road map by which APEC economies can achieve the Bogor vision."

Mr Tsang said APEC senior officials had worked hard on a very wide range of specific areas for action which included not only the removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers, but also customs procedures, industrial standards, government procurement, competition policy, intellectual property rights, services, rules of origin, human resource development, the environment, energy and deregulation.

2

"We have been assured that at Osaka, we will be presented with concrete and achievable plans complete with mid and long term objectives, target dates for specific measures and processes for reviewing progress." Mr Tsang added: "Our vision for Hong Kong in the 21st century is that of a vital and dynamic service centre, playing an active part in the development of the Region through APEC.

"APEC Leaders have articulated a vision of free trade and investment - the unimpeded flow of goods, services and capital - for the world's most dynamic region. We embrace that vision wholeheartedly.

"These developments can only serve to strengthen Hong Kong's role as the business hub of the Far East - New York, London, Amsterdam and Venice all rolled into one place."

End/Monday, November 6, 1995

/ • C . • • ■ . • - * t: •. *. .

Gross Domestic Product for second quarter 1995 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

In the second quarter of 1995, Hong Kong's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 4.8% in real terms over the same quarter in 1994, according to the preliminary estimates released today (Monday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

Re-exports, growing at 14.9% in real terms over a year earlier, continued to provide the main impetus to overall economic growth in the second quarter. Domestic exports also recorded a sustained increase, by 3.3% in real terms over the same period.

Exports of services continued to show a strong increase, by 13.1% in real terms over a year earlier. While tourism recovered steadily, offshore trading activities and . various trade-related services surged further. ( ,

•' • • • . . . ? • ; 1

On investment spending, gross domestic fixed capital formation picked up to a 7.6% increase in real terms in the second quarter. Within this component, construction output in the public sector staged a strong rebound, after a temporary slow-down in the first quarter. Private sector building activities remained weak, however. Putting these together, overall expenditure on construction still grew notably by 8.9% in real terms. Expenditure on machinery and equipment remained robust, rising by 15.8% in real terms in the second quarter over a year earlier.

There was a further accumulation in stocks during the second quarter of 1995, reflecting mainly the build-up in stocks of raw materials for production and for infrastructure construction.

3

Consumer spending, on the other hand, remained slack. Private consumption expenditure grew by only 1.4% in real terms in the second quarter over a year earlier. The slow-down was mainly associated with the setback in spending on motor cars and other durable goods. Spending on consumer non-durables and on various services continued to show some increases.

Government consumption expenditure (defined in national accounts terms) increased by 2.3% in real terms in the second quarter over a year earlier.

Imports continued to record a large increase, by 13.6% in real terms in the second quarter over a year earlier, reflecting mainly the strong import requirements for production and capital investment. Imports of services grew by 8.7% in real terms over the same period.

Revised estimates of GDP and its components for the first quarter of 1995 and the earlier periods are also released today. The real growth rate of GDP for the first quarter of 1995 remains unchanged at 5.9%, same as the preliminary estimate released in August 1995.

The implicit price deflator of the GDP rose by 3.9% in the second quarter of 1995 over a year earlier. This was mainly due to the continued deterioration in the terms of trade, brought about by the faster increase in import prices which had an initial effect of lowering the rate of increase in the GDP deflator. Excluding this effect, the domestic demand deflator rose by 8.0% over a year earlier.

Summaries of the latest GDP figures are presented in Tables 1 and 2.

More detailed quarterly estimates of GDP from the first quarter of 1993 to the second quarter of 1995 are published in a report entitled "Quarterly Estimates of Gross Domestic Product 2nd Quarter 1995".

This bilingual report is now on sale at $8 per copy at the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong; and at the Publications Unit of the Census and Statistics Department, 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 2582 5077.

4

4

Table 1 Expenditure-based GDP Estinates first quarter of 1993 to second quarter of. 1995

GDP at Current Market Prices

GDP at Constant (1990) Market Prices

Year/quarter HK$ Mn % change over sane period of the preceding year HK$ Mn % change over same period of ’ the preceding year

1993 899,869 15.5 691,932 6.4

1994 1,022,658 13.6 729,514 5.4

1993 Ql 202,821 16.5 159,841 6.6

Q2 215,256 15.6 165,255 6.3

Q3 238,169 15.1 183,105 6.5

Q4 243,623 14.9 183,731 6.1

1994 Ql 234,074 15.4 16^,345 5.9

Q2 246,538 14.5 174,007 5.3

Q3 268,455 12.7 192,989 5.4

Q4 273,593 12.3 4 193,173 5.1

1995 Ql 262,339 12.1 179,345 5.9

Q2 268,489 8.9 182,348 4.8

End/Monday, November 6, 1995

Table 2 Expenditure-based GDP Estimates

Year-on-year growth rates, first quarter of 1994 to second quarter of 1995

Expenditure % change over same period of the preceding year

Components of GDP At current market Drices At constant (1990) market prices

1994 1995 1994 1995

01 Q2 Ql Ql Annual 01 Q2 Ql Q2 03 Q4 Annual 01 Q2

Private consumption expenditure 17.9 15.2 13.8 13.4 15.0 10.6 11.8 11.3 6.1 4.6 4.0 6.4 0.8 1.4

Government consumption expenditure 16.1 14.7 14.4 13.9 14.7 13.7 13.2 4.9 3.4 2.9 2.8 3.5 2.9 2.3

Gross domestic fixed capital formation 26.6 17.6 11.5 27.1 20.5 6.1 13.2 15.5 8.7 6.4 23.6 13.5 3.9 7.6

of which : Construction 23.5 17.0 20.0 21.6 20.7 3.8 19.0 16.7 10.6 17.9 15.5 15.3 -3.3 8.9

Machinery and equipment 15.4 8.9 4.2 46.0 18.3 31.0 32.3 11.9 8.0 2.6 40.3 15.5 21.8 15.8

Total exports of goods 8.6 11.3 12.6 14.1 11.8 20.1 16.7 7.7 11.3 10.8 11.3 10.4 17.6 12.7

Imports of goods 9.8 15.8 17.4 22.3 16.6 27.5 21.5 8.3 15.1 14.7 17.1 14.0 21.7 13.6

Exports of services 16.3 12.6 14.8 20.2 16.0 21.1 21.4 9.6 5.8 7.7 11.8 8.7 12.7 13.1

Imports of services 15.2 12.8 15.9 19.3 15.8 22.9 20.6 11.0 7.6 8.5 9.8 9.2 11.2 8.7

Gross Domestic Product 15.4 14.5 12.7 12.3 13.6 12.1 8.9 5.9 5.3 5.4 5.1 5.4 5.9 4.8

i

LH

I

6

Precautionary measures against food-borne diseases

*****

The Department of Health today (Monday) called on the public to adopt proper food hygiene practices when having hotpots in winter.

Making the appeal, the Assistant Director of Health (Hygiene), Dr P Y Leung, warned the public of possible food-borne diseases such as food poisoning and hepatitis A.

•'Staff of food establishments should always observe hygiene practices in preparing food for hotpots," said Dr Leung.

"Customers, on the other hand, should make sure that food items are thoroughly cooked before consumption."

Housewives should also observe good hygiene practices when preparing hotpots at home.

Dr Leung advised the public to observe the following precautionary measures:

For shellfish

(a) Use only wholesome and preferably live ones;

(b) Remove the dirt with a brush and rinse shellfish thoroughly in clean water;

(c) Discard the intestines and other dubious or inedible parts such as shells;

(d) Cook thoroughly before consumption; and

(e) Keep under refrigeration if not for immediate consumption.

For vegetables

(a) Do not patronise illegal hawkers;

(b) Do not buy those with an obvious strange smell;

(c) Remove the outer leaves;

(d) Wash well in clean water and immerse in water for one hour;

7

(e) Or use boiling water to blanch the vegetable for one minute. Water used for blanching should be discarded; and

(f) Cook thoroughly.

"Wholesome raw materials, proper washing and handling, and thorough cooking are the best measures against gastro-intestinal disease. Members of the public should observe these hygiene practices at all times," Dr Leung added.

End/Monday, November 6, 1995

Access by Internet to Government tender opportunities *****

The Government Supplies Department (GSD) has put its invitations to tender for the supply of goods and services on the Internet through a GSD Home Page, the Director of Government Supplies, Mr Nigel Shipman, announced today (Monday).

The Internet address is http://www.hkstar.com/gsd/tender.htm.

"By this new arrangement, overseas and local suppliers will gain easier access to information about current Government tender opportunities. In return, this arrangement will widen GSD's source of supplies and help the Department to obtain competitive prices and best value for money in its purchases," Mr Shipman said.

"The GSD Home Page contains a short introduction to the Government purchasing procedures and sets out the tender invitations by product groups and by tender closing time. The contents are updated weekly. Further enquiries may be directed to GSD by phone at 2802 6290 or fax at 2807 2764 or by E-mail."

"Tender documents may be collected at the Government Supplies Department at Oil Street, North Point, The Central & Western District Office at ground floor, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central or The Yau Tsim Mong District Office at Mong Kok Government Offices, ground floor, 30 Luen Wan Street, Kowloon. Completed tenders must be placed in the designated tender box before the tender closing time," Mr Shipman explained.

8

The Government Supplies Department is the central purchasing and storage organisation for the Hong Kong Government. The types of commodities that GSD purchases are diverse: from simple office stationery and domestic appliances to sophisticated communications systems and helicopters. The major purchases are textiles, computer systems, pharmaceuticals, equipment for medical, communications and scientific uses and water pipes and fittings. In 1994-95, the total value of GSD purchases amounted to HK$5.1 billion.

Apart from being publicised on the Internet, tender invitations are published in the Government Gazette, South China Morning Post, Sing Tao Daily, Hong Kong Economic Journal and Hong Kong Economic Times every Friday.

End/Monday, November 6, 1995

Contract for new Government Flying Service HQs signed ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

The Architectural Services Department (ASD) today (Monday) signed a $467.6 million contract for the design and construction of the new Government Flying Service Headquarters at the new airport in Chek Lap Kok.

The contract was signed by the Deputy Director of Architectural Services, Mr S.H. Pau, and a representative of the contractor, Hsin Chong Construction Company Limited.

Speaking after the contract-signing ceremony, a Chief Architect of the ASD, Mr Peter Yuen, said the project was part of the Government's facilities in the Airport Core Programme.

"Work is scheduled to be completed in mid-1997," he said.

Located on a piece of 75,000-square metre land along the south-western edge of the airport island, the new headquarters will comprise a three-storey office and workshop building, a single-storey aircraft hangar, ancillary buildings, an aircraft apron and associated facilities.

"The general image of the development will be high-tech and light-industrial to keep in line with other buildings on the airport island," Mr Yuen said.

9

The Government Flying Service now operates a fleet of 10 helicopters and four fixed-wing aircraft. It provides flying support to government departments and maintains a round-the-clock emergency air-sea search and rescue service.

"Upon completion of the new headquarters, we will transfer our operational base from Kai Tai airport to the new airport," said the Controller of the Government Flying Service, Mr Brian Cluer.

Turning to other government works undertaken by the ASD for the new airport, Mr Yuen said all were moving ahead smoothly.

"Construction works on the Air Traffic Control Complex and Tower and the radar stations are in an advanced stage.

"Meanwhile, works have recently started on the Airport Police Station, the Sub-Divisional Fire Station and meteorological facilities. In the coming months, work will commence on the Air Mail Centre, the fitting-out of Government's facilities in the Passenger Terminal Building and the Air Cargo Complex," he said.

End/Monday, November 6, 1995

AG to lead delegation to China ♦ * * * *

The Attorney General, Mr Jeremy Mathews, will lead a delegation of the Legal Department on a nine-day visit to Beijing and Shanghai on Thursday (November 9).

The delegation will call on the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office and ministries and departments that are responsible for law and the administration of justice, with the view to enhancing communication on a range of legal issues relevant to the transition of sovereignty over Hong Kong.

The delegation comprises a representative cross-section of senior directorate counsel from each division of the Legal Department and a representative from the Constitutional Affairs Branch.

End/Monday, November 6,1995

10

RAF 28 (AC) Squadron fly-past to mark its 80th anniversary

*****

Four Wessex helicopters from the 28 (AC) Squadron, Royal Air Force, will fly in formation past the Prince of Wales Barracks at 1.15 pm tomorrow (Tuesday) to mark the Squadron's 80th anniversary. The Commander British Forces, Major General Bryan Dutton, will take the salute on the roof of the building.

The 28 (AC) Squadron was formed in 1915 and flew Sopwith Camels in France during the First World War. The Squadron has been equipped with a variety of aircraft over the years, including Spitfires, Vampires and Hunters, before the introduction of the Wessex's in 1972.

In 1993, two members of the Squadron were awarded the Air Force Cross for the rescue of survivors from the freight Lian Gang, during Typhoon Koryn. In 1994, four members of the Squadron received an award for the Most Outstanding Rescue when they saved 14 Chinese crewmen on a junk which was in difficulties during a severe tropical storm.

The Squadron has now been resident in Hong Kong for 45 years.

End/Monday, November 6, 1995

Water storage figure ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

Storage in Hong Kong's reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 98.9 per cent of capacity or 579.800 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 553.661 million cubic metres of water, representing 94.5 per cent of capacity.

End/Monday, November 6, 1995

11

Tender for the 11th issue of two-year Exchange Fund Notes ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority announced today (Monday) that the tender for the 11th issue of two-year Exchange Fund Notes will be held on Monday, November 13, 1995 for settlement on Tuesday, November 14, 1995.

Similar to the previous issue, an amount of HK$500 million two-year Notes will be on offer. In addition to that, another HK$100 million will be held as reserve by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority for supply to Market Makers in the secondary market. The Notes will mature on November 14, 1997 and will carry interest at the rate of 5.60% 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 at 30th floor, 3 Garden Road, Hong Kong (or telephone 2878 8150). Each tender must be for an amount of HK$50,000 or integral multiples thereof.

Tender information for the 11th issue of 2-Year Exchange Fund Notes is as follows:

Issue Number : 2711

Tender Date and Time : Monday, November 13, 1995, 9.30 am. to 10.30 am

Issue and Settlement Date : Tuesday, November 14, 1995

Amount on Offer : HKS500 million plus an additional HKS100 million as reserve stock for the Monetary Authority

Maturity : Two years

Maturity Date : November 14, 1997

Interest Rate : 5.60% per annum payable semi-annually in arrears

Interest Payment Dates : May 14, 1996, November 14, 1996, May 14, 1997, November 14, 1997

12

Tender Amount : Each tender must be for an amount of HK$50,000 or

integral multiples thereof. Members of the public who wish to tender for the Notes may approach Market Makers or Recognised Dealers on the published list

Other Details : Please see Information Memorandum published or

approach Market Makers or Recognised Dealers

End/Monday, November 6, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

• . J. $ million Time (hours) t Cumulative change (Smillion) *«*«■«•**

Opening balance in the account Closing balance in the account Change attributable to:

Money market activity LAF today

1,727 0930 +850

2,578 1000 +850

1100 +850

+851 1200 +851

NIL 1500 +851

1600 +851

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.4 *-0.1* 6.11.95

13

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.16 2 years 2708 6.06 100.80 5.65

1 month 5.32 3 years 3810 6.15 100.56 6.03

3 months 5.48 5 years 5009 6.95 101.65 6.65

6 months 12 months 5.52 5.53 5 years M501 7.90 103.60 7.08

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $8,720 million

Closed November 6, 1995

End/Monday, November 6, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Tuesday, November 7,1995

Contents Page No,

New legislation to enhance fire safety....................................... 1

Report on rockfall incident released......................................... 2

Independent reviewer for landslides appointed................................ 2

Postmaster General and Deputy Postmaster General appointed................... 3

Academic forum on Hong Kong in Transition.................................... 4

Operation against illegal radio apparatus in taxis........................... 5

Stanley Prison inmates' brilliant results in exams........................... 6

Gurkhas to take part in field training exercise.............................. 6

Dangerous structures on hillside need to be demolished....................... 7

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results.................................. 8

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

9

1

New legislation to enhance fire safety

♦ ♦ ♦ » ♦

The Government is in the course of drafting new legislation to require commercial premises, particularly those located in old buildings which do not have any sophisticated fire protection systems, to upgrade their fire safety installations, the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, said today (Tuesday).

Speaking at the opening of the Fire East ’95 Conference, Mr Lai said in an effort to further promote fire safety, commercial premises would be required to upgrade their fire safety installations, including retrofitting automatic sprinklers.

’’Fighting and preventing fire is an on-going battle, with no room for complacency,” he said.

"With the implementation of this legislation, we will make Hong Kong a safer place for our citizens and visitors.”

Mr Lai noted that fire could pose a great hazard in Hong Kong, where there are over six million people living in about 1,000 square kilometres of land.

’’Fortunately, we have in recent years been able to keep our fire losses consistently low compared with other major cities around the world.

’’This is possible because we have such a well-trained and well-equipped Fire Service, whose staff carry out their duties with a high degree of professionalism, courage and efficiency," he said.

The purpose of the Fire East '95 Conference is for participants to share ideas and experience as professionals, so that they can continue collectively to develop strategies and solutions to minimise the harmful effects of fires.

End/Tuesday, November 7, 1995

w

- 2 -

Report on rockfall incident released ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Highways Department today (Tuesday) released a report on the rockfall incident which occurred on Tuen Mun Road on August 18, 1995

The report noted that the investigation into the incident is still going on. The rockfall might have been caused by a fracture of a rock mass along a hidden place of weakness during hand splitting of rock. The adjacent rock joints might have been affected by water infiltration due to a prolonged period of heavy rains.

The Assistant Director of Highways, Mr Peter Orange, said: "The Police are carrying out their own investigation into the incident that caused the death of a driver and injury of a passenger.

"The Police investigation may lead to a decision by the Coroner to hold an inquiry. The reports by the Contractor and the Supervising Officer cannot be released at this stage without prejudice to the impending inquiries," he said.

The Highways Department report released today also gives a brief account of the subsequent road closures and the way forward in completing the road widening work on Tuen Mun Road.

Copies of the report are available from the Major Works Project Management Office of the Highways Department, third floor, Ho Man Tin Government Offices, 88 Chung Hau Street between 9 am and 5 pm on weekdays.

' • ■ ■ . .. . . • . ->

End/Tuesday, November 7, 1995... h .

Independent reviewer for landslides appointed ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Geotechnical Engineering Office (GEO) of the Civil Engineering Department has appointed one of the members of the Slope Safety Technical Review Board, Sir John Knill, to conduct an independent technical review of the GEO's investigation into the two landslides at Fei Tsui Road and Sham Wan.

Sir John is Professor Emeritus of Engineering Geology and Senior Research Fellow at the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, the University of London. He is an expert in engineering geology and was the Chairman of the Natural Environment Research Council in the United Kingdom.

3

He has extensive experience in the application of geology to slope stability problems, and was a member of the 1976 Independent Review Panel on Fill Slopes in Hong Kong following the Sau Mau Ping disaster.

Sir John visited the GEO between September 5 and 8 to be briefed on the background information on the incidents and to agree to the general scope of the investigation. He has just completed his second four-day visit starting October 31.

"Excellent progress has been made with the investigations into the cause of these two fatal landslides which occurred in August and these will be completed in the near future," Sir John said.

Sir John will visit Hong Kong again in early December to complete his review.

End/Tuesday, November?, 1995

Postmaster General and Deputy Postmaster General appointed ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government announced today (Tuesday) the appointments of Mr Robert Footman as the next Postmaster General and Mr Luk Ping-chuen as the next Deputy Postmaster General.

Mr Footman, Head of the Efficiency Unit, and an Administrative Officer Staff Grade Bl, was selected for the Postmaster General post through an in-service competition.

"The in-service trawl was arranged to widen the field of candidates and select the best person for the job. The same method was used in selecting the Director of General Grades," a government spokesman said.

Mr Footman's appointment is for three years succeeding the former Postmaster General, Mr Michelangelo Pagliari, who has retired since October 17. Mr Footman will assume the post on November 20.

Mr Luk has served in the Post Office for over 27 years and was recommended by a promotion board as the next Deputy Postmaster General. He will take up the appointment in early 1996.

Following are biographical notes of Mr Footman and Mr Luk:

- 4 -

Mr Robert Charles Law Footman

Mr Footman, aged 43, joined the government as an Administrative Officer in 1974. He has served in a number of departments including a District Office, the former Environment Branch, and the Trade Department.

He was promoted to Administrative Officer Staff Grade C in 1983 and to Administrative Officer Staff Grade Bl in 1992. He is now Head of the Efficiency Unit in the Chief Secretary's Office.

Mr Luk Ping-chuen

Mr Luk, aged 49, joined the Post Office as an Assistant Controller of Posts Class II in 1968. He was promoted to Senior Controller of Posts in 1981 and to the current rank of Assistant Postmaster General in 1992. He has acted as Deputy Postmaster General on a number of occasions previously.

End/Tuesday, November 7, 1995

Academic forum on Hong Kong in Transition ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Hong Kong Baptist University, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and the Central Policy Unit of the Hong Kong Government will cosponsor a full-day forum on "Countdown to 1997: Hong Kong in Transition" on Friday (November 10).

The forum will bring together leading local and overseas academics, professionals and government officials to discuss and exchange views on issues relating to Hong Kong's transition.

In the morning sessions, the topics covered include Politics in the Transition and Transitional Issues of Note.

In the afternoon, there will be a round-the-table discussion on Public Opinion in the Transition.

- 5 -

The Director of the David C Lam Institute for East-West Studies of the Baptist University, Professor Herbert Tsang, will give welcoming remarks in the morning and the closing remarks will be made by a member of the Central Policy Unit, Mr Mike Hanson, in the afternoon.

End/Tuesday, November 7, 1995

Operation against illegal radio apparatus in taxis ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

•The Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) and the Police today (Tuesday) conducted an operation in Hong Kong Island to combat illegal radio apparatus installed in taxis.

Over 20 officers from OFTA and the police were involved in the operation during which nine persons suspected of contravention of the Telecommunication Ordinance were arrested.

OFTA is very concerned about the interference caused by illegal radio apparatus installed in taxis because of the effects it has on legitimate users of the radio spectrum.

A spokesman for OFTA pointed out that it was an offence to install radio apparatus in taxi without a licence granted by the Telecommunications Authority or to incorporate any unauthorised frequency channel in any licensed radio apparatus. On summary conviction, an offender is liable to a fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for two years. The radio apparatus involved is also subject to forfeiture.

For any enquiries regarding licensing of radio apparatus, please contact:

Office of the Telecommunications Authority,

29th floor, Wu Chung House,

213 Queen’s Road East,

Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Tel: 2961 6680

End/Tuesday, November 7, 1995

6

Stanley Prison inmates' brilliant results in exams

• , *****

An inmate of Stanley Prison has scored the best result in accounting, beating over 2,000 entrants world-wide in the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry Examination (LCCI) and coming first in cost accounting.

He is among 76 other inmates of the maximum security institution run by the Correctional Services Department (CSD) who will receive certificates after having recently passed various public examinations, at a presentation ceremony to be held at Stanley Prison on Friday (November 10).

Three other inmates have also achieved good results, obtaining Full Technological Certificate of the City and Guilds of London Institute which is equivalent to a diploma in electronic engineering.

The Stanley Prison inmates obtained a total of 51 distinctions and 39 credits in examinations organised by the Hong Kong Examination Authority, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Pitman Examinations Institute, City and Guilds of London Institute, University of London and the Association of Accounting Technicians.

The Head of Secretariat and Corporate Affairs of the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club, Mr David Yau, will officiate at the presentation ceremony.

End/Tuesday, November 7, 1995

Gurkhas to take part in field training exercise * * * * *

The public are advised that the 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles will be taking part in a field training exercise throughout the New Territories (Tolo. Shing Mun. Tai Lam Country Park, Ta Kwu Ling, Ma On Shan and Sai Kung) from 6 am on Monday (November 13) to 6 am on Saturday (November 18).

Over 600 troops will be involved in the exercise and they will be using blank ammunition and pyrotechnics.

End/Tuesday. November 7, 1995

4

- 7 -

Dangerous structures on hillside need to be demolished

The Building Authority today (Tuesday) declared a number of squatter structures on the hillside adjacent to Grantham Hospital in Wong Chuk Hang Road as dangerous and should be demolished for public safety.

The Buildings Department posted a Notice of Intention at the structures this morning informing the residents that demolition work would commence immediately after a Closure Order was applied from the Hong Kong District Court at 9.30 am on December 19, 1995.

I . ...

The Chief Building Surveyor (Dangerous Building) of the department, Mr Kwok Yui-chung, said according to the advice by the Geotechnical Engineering Office of the Civil Engineering Department, the slope was unstable and liable to become dangerous after heavy rain.

Besides, some of the squatter structures were so dilapidated and poorly maintained that they were no longer suitable for use as residence. Some stilt supports also showed signs of instability.

v '• rt-

”For the safety of the residents and the general public, it is necessary to vacant and demolish the structures so that we can carry out preliminary remedial work to the slope.

"In the long term, as the affected slope is located on private land, we will issue a Repair Order to the owner asking him to carry out permanent remedial work,” Mr Kwok said.

The Housing Department, the Social Welfare Department, and the District Office have already contacted the residents to arrange resettlement and to render assistance if necessary.

End/Tuesday, November 7, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results

*****

Tender date 7 Nov 1995 7 Nov 1995

Paper on offer Issue number EF BILLS - " - 'll .AV Q545 EF BILLS H577

Amount applied HKS8.230 MN ‘ ".1 ,n(j HK$2,990 MN 'IV- . i. ■ ts i

Amount allotted HK$ 1,500 MN HKS800 MN

Average yield accepted 5.50 PCT 5.52 PCT

Highest yield accepted Pro rata ratio 5.50 PCT About 86 PCT 5.53 PCT About 60 PCT

Average tender yield Tenders to be held in the Tender date Paper on offer 5.55 PCT 5.54 PCT t A -<• • • • . ? . J .* • ■ Hong Kong Monetary Authority " .. . .... u y, week beginning 13 NOV 1995 t-ix;7 .< i . 13 NOV 1995 14 NOV 1995 EF NOTES ■' EF BILLS

Issue number Issue date 2711 14 NOV 1995 Q546 15 NOV 1995

Maturity date 14 NOV 1997 14 FEB 1996

Tenor 2 YEARS 91 DAYS

Amount on offer HKS500+100MN HK$l,500+300MN

Coupon 5.60 PCT

End/Tuesday, November?, 1995

- 9 -

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

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,578 0930 -3

Closing balance in the account 1,588 1000 -3

Change attributable to : 1100 -3

Money market activity -3 1200 -3

LAF today -987 1500 -3

1600 -3

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.4 ♦+0.0* 07.11.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.24 2 years 2708 6.06 100.77 5.67

1 month 5.34 3 years 3810 6.15 100.48 6.06

3 months 5.50 5 years 5009 6.95 101.52 6.69

6 months 5.52 5 years M501 7.90 103.50 7.11

12 months 5.55

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $12,393 million

Closed November 7, 1995

End/Tuesday, November 7, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Wednesday, November 8,1995

Contents Page No.

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

Transcript of CS's media session............................... 6

Second quarterly progress report on anti-drug actions.......... 7

SHW welcomes timely recommendations from Director of Audit..... 8

No reason to doubt UNHCR's commitment.......................... 9

Bill to benefit minor offenders to be gazetted................. 12

Arts Development Council representative organisations.......... 14

Governor visits two factories in Tai Po........................ 18

US' unilateral changes to origin rules......................... 19

Dedicated service in Labour Department recognised.............. 21

Action taken to curb illegal land encroachment................. 22

Gurkhas build block for Drug Rehabilitation Charity............ 22

A New Territories lot to let................................... 23

Car examination fees to be revised............................. 23

Illegal rooftop structures to be cleared....................... 24

Salt water cut in East Kowloon................................. 25

HKMA MTRC note programme tender results........................ 26

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations........... 26

1

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

The following is a transcript of the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten's media session this (Wednesday) afternoon after visiting two factories in Tai Po:

Governor: Good afternoon. I am very pleased to have been able to spend this afternoon on this industrial estate once again, visiting first of all the security printers, Thomas De La Rue and then coming here to Motorola, a firm which I know pretty well because I've presented them a number of awards in the past for their high performance. Any one who ever suggests that manufacturing industry is dead in Hong Kong or that we don't need manufacturing industry should come and see Motorola and see what they are doing at the highest end of technology, the cutting edge of technological development, an outstanding firm, giving employment to two and a half thousand people here in Hong Kong and enormously adding value in all that they do. It underlies the importance for us of developing our skill and knowledge base and' ensuring that industry works as closely as possible with tertiary education institution and the opposite of that as well. So, I want to see as continuing to excel in the electronics industry. I'm sure that's one of ways in which we will provide more secure employment in the long term for everyone here in Hong Kong.

Question: (inaudible) f • • • • . . . • . . . f

•* ’■ . • • ' ’4

. I • • \< Ji - t . • • • .

2

Governor: On the first point that you raised, we'll be reporting back to the summit on employment tomorrow. On the measures that we've taken since the last summit, the action plan that you mentioned will be demonstrating the progress that's been made on issues like increasing the efforts that we are making to stamp out illegal employment, on the efforts we’ve made to step up the job matching programme and to improve retraining and indeed to re-focus the whole of our training efforts. We'll also be reporting on the proposals that we've put forward for discussion on the importation of labour and I very much hope that we can at tomorrow’s summit start develop a consensus on the measures that need to be taken in our labour market to give us secure long term employment. I do think we want to focus on the medium and longer term as much as possible though there are obviously some short term anxieties. I also hope that we can work together with the employees and employers because this is a problem which the whole community faces and one which we’ll tackle most successfully if we tackle it together. I think that people have perhaps, on your second question, people have perhaps in the last few years, because we’ve seen so much manufacturing capacity move to Southern China or to other parts of the region where labour unit costs are lower. I think some people have started to think that we can manage in Hong Kong completely with our service industry. Well, service industries are important and we want to ensure that we give them all the support they need, which is why the Financial Secretary has set up his task force on the service industries. But manufacturing industry is very important as well, 13 or 14 per cent of our employees working in manufacturing, many of them in first class, high class plants like this one. Obviously for the future, we can’t put all our eggs in one basket. We’ve got to ensure that we have as broadly based employment in the economy as possible.

Question: Mr Patten, you just mentioned that you hope that there will be consensus amongst the employees and employers tomorrow. But now the .... Do you think tomorrow’s meeting is likely to be ...

3

Governor: No I don't. The last meeting was helpful and I hope tomorrow's will be helpful as well. The Government is trying to work as I said with employers and the employees. I don't like talking about both sides of industry because everybody should be on the same side and that's what we want to see happening tomorrow. I do think it's important for us in Hong Kong to keep our sights very firmly on the medium and longer term. The principle reason for the increase in unemployment in the last year or so has been firstly a very substantial increase in the number of people who are working in Hong Kong and that's not directly related to the labour importation scheme. There are other reasons for it, returning emigrants from Canada and Australia and so on and legal Chinese immigrants over the last year. Secondly the slowing down in consumer spending which has had an effect on employment in retailing, in the restaurant business and so on, jobs which customarily people who are displaced in low technology manufacturing moved into. Now, what do we need to do in the medium and long term to ensure that if the labour market is continuing to increase we go on growing new jobs to meet that increase. First of all obviously we've got to look at our job matching because there are 50,000 vacancies that still aren't being met in Hong Kong. Secondly we've got to look at our retraining. Thirdly we've got to look at our training. We've got to look at the existing steps that we are taking to stamp out illegal employment. There is a whole host of things that we need to do and I really do think it's important for us to try to tackle that agenda, working together rather than arguing with one another.

Question: (inaudible)

Governor: I don't think there is any doubt at all that with unemployment at 3.5 per cent. But above all, having seen 100,000 added to the work force in Hong Kong last year, not through importation of labour schemes but just because of other natural forces. I think in those circumstances its very sensible to look at the importation of labour both the numbers and the way in which the scheme is organised. If you look at the way the scheme has grown up, it's grown up from about 3,000 when it first started to today's figures, and I think that the employees and the employers recognise that one has to take a look at the way the scheme operates from time to time. But the point we should remember is that this is a part of the overall approach. It's not the key to dealing with unemployment and job creation in Hong Kong. If one was to put all the emphasis on labour importation, we will be missing out on the other things we need to do, on the retraining, on the training, on the job-matching which are probably a great deal more important.

Question: (inaudible)

4

Governor: Let me tell you what happened last year. The work force increased by 100,000, 5,000 of that 100,000 were people coming to Hong Kong through either the General Importation of Labour scheme or through the labour importation scheme for the airport core projects. 5,000 out of 100,000. The problem is much bigger than the importation of labour. I don't deny that the unions have a understandable anxiety about that. We can't manage in Hong Kong without importing some labour with particular skills but we must look at the overall number and there is no case at all for bringing people into Hong Kong when skills are already available and when jobs can be done by Hong Kong people.

Question: (inaudible)

Governor: Well, you should look at my post bag and you'll see. At the last summit that we had, one of the employers in the textile industry gave these specific example of a skilled worker that he wasn't able to find in Hong Kong. I think that everybody recognises that in those circumstances it's reasonable to allow the importation of labour for jobs' specific purposes. I don't think anybody really think these day that there is a case in those industries where there is large unemployment, for example, the restaurant business. I think in industries like that where you are not always talking about skills, you have to look yery carefully at industry-wide quotas which I think are more difficult to justify. 1

’:•> ■ A... !).”I r

J •• ‘ 1 - •> ' . .

Question: So according to your answer, you don't think that the total scrapping of quota of the importation of labour scheme is impossible?

Governor: These are issues that we are going to discuss tomorrow. But I don't actually hear anybody in Hong Kong saying there should be no importation of labour whatsoever. Have you heard anybody saying that?

Question: The General Chamber of Commerce. The cap. To remove the cap of importation of labour.

Governor: They will be able to discuss these issues with us tomorrow. What I am saying to you once again is if the whole argument in Hong Kong is about the importation of labour scheme we'll be doing ourselves a serious disservice. That is a scheme that's of course matters, of course is relevant. But if we are serious about job creation in Hong Kong, about giving people the employment opportunities they need and deserve, then there are other matters which are a great deal more important like training, like retraining, and like job matching.

’/ '' ?. • ■ ,,;oi 1 ’ 4 . -vr

5

Question: Mr Patten, 1 believe the Apple Daily said today that China asked that the PLA be stationed here before the transition of sovereignty. Do you have any comment on that?

Governor: No, except that sovereignty is transferred on the June 30, 1997. And I think that has implication for all of us.

Question: So, has the British side turned down the request?

Governor: That's why I've given you the answer that 1 have given you.

Question: On the BOR, do you think that the condemn by the Chinese official on the debate by the Legislative Council will worsen the situation, I mean the Hong Kong Government lobbying the Chinese side and also the Sino-British relations will be worsen?

Governor: 1 don't think it was a very helpful observation. I think a number of the things that have been said by the PWC and Chinese officials recently have been exceptionally unhelpful and rather surprising. They come within days of a successful visit by Vice Premier Qian Qichen to London for which we all hoped will usher in an era of greater understanding and greater co-operation. And then we had these extraordinary remarks made and recommendations which have set off alarm bells in Hong Kong which have echoed all round the world. There's been a tremendous consensus in Hong Kong on this issue, right across the community. In those circumstances, it's perfectly natural that the Legislative Council should want to discuss and debate these matters. Aller all what we are talking about is proposals for legislation. If the Legislative Council doesn't talk about that, what is it supposed by the PWC to talk about? And people are bound to say to themselves that who is most representing the interest of Hong Kong? Is it the Legislative Council that once debated these things or is it the PWC? 1 think people will also be interested in those members of the PWC who when the Bill of Rights was discussed in the Legislative Council a few years ago were all voted for it and spoke out in favour for it. I hope that we'll hear their voices again. So none of us want this controversy. None of us want to see these matters become a subject of real concern in Hong Kong and beyond. The controversy has not been stirred up by the Hong Kong Government and hasn't been stirred by the 1 long Kong legislature.

Question: Did the thing worsen Sino-British relations?

Governor: It's a very curious way of trying to improve them.

End/Wednesday, November 8, 1995

6

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

The following is the transcript of the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan’s media session alter officiating at the ground breaking ceremony of the Hong Kong Institute of Education today (Wednesday):

Question: What is the progress of arrangements for informal get-togethers between senior officials and their Chinese counterparts?

Chief Secretary: We continue to have useful discussions with the Chinese side. Both sides are anxious to start off these get-togethers as soon as possible and we are aiming for the first get-together to be held before the end of this month.

Question: Yesterday, NCNA accused Albert Ho, the legislator of introducing the motion. They said that it was a threat.... the PWC proposal....

Chief Secretary: I think the community's views about the PWC legal sub-group's proposals about the amended legislation and whether it is consistent with the Basic Law or not, whether it is consistent with the international covenant, those views are sufficiently well-known. In sum, the community is very concerned about the PWC legal sub-committee's proposals. I very much hope that the Chinese leaders will take these concern into account. I stress again that all the amendments that we have made to existing legislation is to ensure that we are fully consistent with the Bill of Kight Ordinance, that we are consistent with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It is of course fully consistent with the Basic Law and in our view, there is no need and indeed it is very undesirable because it undermines confidence in Hong Kong's legal system and Hong Kong's commitment to upholding human rights for any of the old legislation to be brought back. I do say again, I hope very much that the Chinese will take into account the concern expressed by the Hong Kong community.

Question: What sort of pay increase civil servants should get next year?

Chief Secretary: As you know, our usual practice is to conduct a pay trend survey. Of course this survey is not yet done and it will take a while for it to be completed. When it is completed, in accordance with our usual practice, we will consider the pay trend results against the economic situation prevailing at the time. We will also take into account for example, inflation rate. We will take into account civil service morale. Our principle governing civil service pay is that as the largest single employer, the Government has a duty to ensure that civil servants are remunerated on a fair basis and regarded as fair both by the civil servants and by the public at large.

End/Wednesday, November 8, 1995

7

Second quarterly progress report on anti-drug actions ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government is making steady progress on the two action plans which arose from the Drugs Summit chaired by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, in March this year, according to the second quarterly progress report released today . (Wednesday).

The Governor, at the 27th Annual Dinner of the Hong Kong Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry this evening, said the latest figure of newly-reported young drug abusers had shown an encouraging sign since the summit meeting. In the first six months of this year, the number was 1,100, significantly down from 1,600 in the same period last year.

The Governor however stressed the importance of further efforts in tackling the problem of drug abuse among the youth.

"A new sense of purpose, of commitment and co-ordination is required if we are to treat the bacillus of abuse to which young people are exposed and against which their immune systems are poorly prepared," Mr Patten said.

’’Together we can beat drugs, but we still have much to do together," he added.

The Governor gave some examples of the progress of the two action plans:

* increased the maximum penalties for offences of illegal or improper sale of drugs;

* recruited extra pharmacists;

* reconvened a working group by the Hong Kong Medical Council to examine new measures to regulate the prescription and dispensing of dangerous drugs by doctors;

launched a pilot scheme to develop and implement drug education courses in schools;

expanding education and life skills training for teachers;

* set up a pilot project to give guidance and help to parents; and

8

* preparing a video, aimed at helping parents to deal with their children's drug problems.

The Forward Action Plan, a package of 26 measures, was announced by the Governor at the summit meeting to give new impetus to the fight against drugs. The Government pledged itself to another 42-point action plan to follow up the report of the Action Committee Against Narcotics special action group.

End/Wednesday, November 8, 1995

SHW welcomes timely recommendations from Director of Audit ***** ♦ ■ . .

The Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, today (Wednesday) welcomed the Director of Audit’s Report on the Hospital Authority's (HA) remuneration package as timely because it would help locus the Administration's current review on the subject. *

"An inter-departmental Working Group, which I chair and comprises representatives from the Civil Service Branch and the Finance Branch, was set up in May this year to look at the remuneration package," Mrs Fok said.

"We set up this Working Group to review the remuneration package upon the expiry of the option period for civil servants to transfer to the HA employment terms.

"Now that the Director of Audit has reported on a number of the issues involved, the Working Group will consider the recommendations carefully as a matter of priority, taking into account the potential impact on quality of patient care, contractual obligations with existing staff and the overall cost to the community."

Mrs Fok said the establishment of HA was a conscious decision aimed to improve the quality of patient care.

She paid tribute to the 42,000 dedicated HA staff who worked hard to bring about the many improvements to hospital services.

The significantly better hospital environment, shortening of waiting times and

the introduction of a Patient's Charter are all testimony to the efforts made by the staff.

9

On the Director's comments on the principle of cost comparability, Mrs Fok said when funding for the HA remuneration package was approved by the Finance Committee in 1991, the package was comparable to that of the civil service in terms of total cost to the Government.

’’The Working Group will study the issues raised by the Director of Audit carefully, taking into account the subsequent changes in the civil service fringe benefits and the overall cost to the Government," she said.

"The Government will actively pursue the Director of Audit’s recommendation that the prevention of double benefits rule should be applied and consider what new arrangements can be put in place for new recruits," she added.

The decision to provide a simple non-accountable allowance for HA employees and not to treat the allowance as a housing benefit was taken in the interest of an early establishment of HA, Mrs Fok noted.

It should be seen against the background that there had been difficulties in identifying accurately the individual elements of the cash allowance in each pay band.

: . . JP'"’

"We aim to complete the deliberations on the issues raised in the Report in six months’ time. We will discuss with HA on how best to take forward the issues," Mrs Fok said.

End/Wednesday, November 8, 1995

No reason to doubt UNHCR's commitment

*****

In response to media enquiries concerning the Director of Audit's Report on the UNHCR's debt, a Government spokesman said today (Wednesday):

"The Government does not doubt the UNHCR's commitment to repaying the amount outstanding.

"The UNHCR has reiterated time and again in various forms and on various

occasions its commitment to repay the Hong Kong Government.

10

’’The UNHCR has re-affirmed its commitment to repay the debt through various exchanges, such as in its annual Letters of Intent and in a letter issued in September this year to the UK Mission in Geneva.

’’The UNHCR has repeatedly appealed to the international community for funds for its programmes in Hong Kong, for example, at the fifth and sixth Steering Committees of the International Conference on Indo-Chinese Refugees held respectively in February last year and March this year.

”In its 1993 accounts, the UNHCR had, at the request of the Hong Kong Government, included a footnote on the debt. This signifies the UNHCR's acceptance of the existence of the debt.

’’Since 1992-93, the UNHCR has made reference to the debt in its annual reports to its governing body, the UNHCR Executive Committee. Such reports, after endorsement by the Executive Committee, are presented to the UN General Assembly. The whole international community is therefore aware of the debt.

’’Despite a declining VM population, the amount of repayment by the UNHCR as a proportion to the care and maintenance costs has registered a steady increase every year.

”We believe that the advances remain recoverable and there is therefore no reason why the advance account arrangement should not continue.

’’The Government will continue to remind the UNHCR, whenever the opportunity arose, to repay the outstanding amount as soon as possible.”

11

The following table shows that despite a declining Vietnamese migrant population in Hong Kong, the amount of repayment by the UNHCR as a proportion to the care and maintenance costs has registered a steady

increase every year: "■ ' ,x ■■ •’ . ..-1

Care and Maintenance Year Cost Incurred No. of VMs Reimbursement Percentage byUNHgg. Reimbursed

1990 $182.5 m 1991 $238.2 m 1992 $250.1 m 1993 $188.6 m 1994 $131.8 m 1995 $115.0m(est.) .43,700 $15.5 m 8.5% 43,900 ‘ $15.5 m 6.5% 55,600 $16.2 m 6.5% 42,700 $21.6 m 11.5% 29,300 $21.6 m 16.4% 22,600 $19.5 m(est.) 17.0%

• • • 1 r, „ Issued by SPO (S&CA) l :

Wednesday, November 8,1995

' * • • ? > 'f.

End/Wednesday, November 8, 1995

12

Bill to benefit minor offenders to be gazetted ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government is to introduce legislative amendments to expand the scope of the rehabilitation scheme under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Ordinance so that more people who have committed minor offences can benefit, a government spokesman said today (Wednesday).

The current rehabilitation scheme, introduced in 1986, provides that where a person, on a first conviction, was not sentenced to imprisonment or a fine exceeding $5,000, the conviction can be disregarded for most purposes after three years so long as he has no further conviction.

The spokesman said the amendments, proposed under the Rehabilitation of Offenders (Amendment) Bill 1995, sought to expand the scheme following the recommendations made by the Fight Crime Committee in 1990.

"A public consultation exercise held in 1989 found that the majority of the public supported the expansion of the scheme,” he said.

The spokesman said with the proposed amendments, the scheme would be expanded to cover persons who, on a first conviction, were sentenced to imprisonment for not more than three months or a fine not exceeding $10,000.

"It will also be expanded to cover those who have been convicted of triad related offences, but have subsequently renounced their membership under the Triad Renunciation Scheme provided that they meet the other criteria of the rehabilitation scheme," he said.

"Moreover, payments under the fixed penalty scheme and other minor road traffic convictions are proposed to be spent immediately without the waiting period of three years.

"Nevertheless, we propose that for safety reasons, such payments by and convictions of vocational drivers should only be spent after a period of three years.

"This will enable transport operators to take into account the traffic conviction records of applicants in determining the employment of vocational drivers.”

However, the spokesman pointed out that the arrangements for payments under the fixed penalty scheme and other minor traffic convictions to be spent immediately would have no impact on repeated offenders under the Road Traffic Ordinance, nor on the driving-offence points scheme.

13

He said another change proposed was that convictions should be "once spent, always spent".

"This means that where a convicted person is not reconvicted in the three-year rehabilitation period, then his first conviction would become spent and would not revive, even if he were convicted of another offence at a later date.

"Despite this, the second offence should not be allowed to be spent," the spokesman said.

Moreover, he pointed out that arrangements would be made to enable the spent conviction of a reconvicted person to be brought to the attention of the court for sentencing purposes to avoid a repeated offender being treated as a first time offender.

The spokesman said some people and proceedings were proposed to be excluded from the scheme. These include:

* proceedings under the Banking Ordinance relating to an individual's suitability to become a controller, chief executive or director of an authorised institution;

* proceedings under the Insurance Companies Ordinance relating to an individual's suitability to become a director or controller of an authorised insurer;

* proceedings relating to the determination of an application as a foster parent; and

* staff of the Independent Commission Against Corruption, the Securities and Futures Commission, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance.

"These exceptions are proposed because they involve positions where the public expect a high standard of probity and the interests of children who will be placed under foster care service," the spokesman explained.

The bill will be gazetted on Friday (November 10) and is expected to be introduced into the Legislative Council on November 22.

End/Wednesday, November 8, 1995

14

Arts Development Council representative organisations

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Governor has specified a list of organisations or groups of organisations to be representatives of their respective arts interests for the purpose of each nominating a person for membership of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC).

The specified group for each arts interest may each nominate one person experienced in that arts interest to be considered by the Governor for appointment as a Member of the HKADC with effect from January 1, 1996.

Under the Hong Kong Arts Development Council Ordinance, the 16 non-official Council members may include up to nine persons nominated by the specified organisations or groups of organisations as mentioned above.

A spokesman for the Recreation and Culture Branch said today (Wednesday) the memberships of these specified organisations and groups of organisations were open to all individuals and organisations who were active in their respective arts interest in Hong Kong.

Any suitable persons or organisations wishing to join in should contact directly the respective specified organisations or groups of organisations.

As regards the literary arts category, the spokesman said as currently there was no applicant which could on its own be considered as representative of the entire literary arts category, it was not possible to specify any group in this category at this time.

"Instead, the Governor will appoint directly a person experienced in the literary arts to be a member for the coming term of office.

"And if in due course a suitable literary arts organisation or group emerges, then it could be specified for the purposes of nominating persons to represent the literary arts in future terms of office of the HKADC," he added.

The spokesman also noted that the original intention had been that traditional performances should be covered within the drama category.

"While the specified group of the Drama category - the Joint Conference of Electoral Committee for the Drama Sector of I long Kong - can represent drama, it cannot, as currently constituted, represent traditional performances," he said.

15

"Given this situation and the importance and contribution of traditional performances to the local arts scene, the Governor has decided to appoint directly a person experienced in the traditional performances to the UK ADC in addition to represent the drama category."

The specified organisations are required to submit their nominations an all supporting documentation to the Recreation and Culture Branch on or before December 11, 1995 for consideration by the Governor for appointment as HKADC Members.

To ensure that the selection and nomination process is well understood and that it is conducted in a fair and credible manner, the Recreation and Culture Branch will hold a meeting with the specified organisations at 5 pm on Monday (November 13) to explain in detail the nomination process.

The notice of the list of specification of representative organisations and groups will be published in the Government Gazette on Friday (November 10).

The following is the list of the specified organisations and groups:

Arts Interest

Name of the Group

Current Member Organisations of the Group

1. Music

Nomination Committee for the Hong Kong Arts Development Council Music Category

2. Dance

Hong Kong Dance Sector Joint Conference

a. Hong Kong Composer’s Guild

b. Hong Kong Piano and Music Association

c. Hong Kong Association of Choral Society Limited

d. The Allegro Singers

e. Zuni Icosahedron *

f. fhe Hong Kong Federation of Writers and Artists *

g. Hong Kong Philharmonic Society Limited

a. Association of Hong Kong Dance Organisations

b. Hong Kong Ballet Group

c. Hong Kong Dance Alliance

d. Hong Kong Dance Federation

16

3. Drama

4. Visual Arts

Joint Conference of Electoral Committee for the Drama Sector of Hong Kong

Hong Kong Visual Arts Joint Conference

a. Electoral Committee for the Drama Sector of Hong Kong

b. Inter College Drama Alliance c. Zuni Icosahedron *

d. Hong Kong Peking Opera Club

a. Hong Kong Artists House Limited b. The Hong Kong Federation of

Writers and Artists * c. Friends of the Pottery Workshop d. Hong Kong Lan Ting Society e. Gengzy Calligraphy &

Painting Society f. Hong Kong Association of

Amateur Calligraphers g. Bull Jun Arts Association of

Hong Kong

h. Hong Kong Chinese Figure Painting Association

i. Lok Tian Chinese

Calligraphy Society j. Chung Fung Art Club k. One Art Group

1. The Spirit of Lotus Art Association m. Xiao Feng Society of Arts Limited n. I long Kong Monday Visual

Arts Association

o. New Dimension Artists Association

p. Young Artists Association

q. Hue Art Association

r. Hong Kong Illustrators Association s. Life Sensation

t. Modern Impressionists Association u. Action Art Federation v. New Media Arts Association w. Hong Kong Visual Arts Artists

Election Joint Conference x. Hong Kong Oil Painters

Association

17

5. Film Arts Joint Conference a. I long Kong Kowloon and

of Film and Video Arts New Territories Motion Picture Industry Association Limited b. Society of Cinematographers (Hong Kong) Limited c. Hong Kong Film Directors' । Guild Limited d. Hong Kong Stuntman Association Limited e. Hong Kong Performing Artistes Guild Limited f. Society of Film Editors (Hong Kong) Limited g. Videotage h. Hong Kong Screen Writers' Guild Limited i. Zuni Icosahedron *

6. Arts Administration The Hong Kong Arts Administration Joint Representation Association a. Hong Kong Arts Administrators Association Limited b. Association of Curators c. Association of Managers, Cultural Services

7. Arts Education Hong Kong Society for Education in Art a. Hong Kong Society for Education in Art

8.Arts Criticism Arts Criticism Election Committee a. International Association of Theatre Critics (Hong Kong) Limited b. Hong Kong Film Critics Association Limited c. 1 long Kong Film Critics Society d. The 1 long Kong Federation of Writers and Artists * e. Zuni Icosahedron *

(*Note : These organisations have applied for specification in more than one arts category. The membership of these organisations will be divided into the various relevant categories in accordance with the one man one vote principle such that each individual in the arts community may only vote in one category.)

End/Wednesday, November 8, 1995

18

Governor visits two factories in Tai Po *****

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, today (Wednesday) visited two factories, Thomas De La Rue (Hong Kong) Ltd and Motorola Semiconductors Hong Kong Ltd in Tai Po Industrial Estate.

Accompanied by the Director-General of Industry, Mrs Regina Ip, Mr Patten first visited Thomas De La Rue (Hong Kong) Ltd. He was briefed by the Director and General Manager, Mr David Chapplow, on the factory’s production and toured its high-security production area.

Thomas De La Rue (Hong Kong) Ltd prints banknotes for all the note-issuing banks of Hong Kong. Its factory at Tai Po embodies state-of-the-art designs in both print technology and security systems, the two unique features for security printing.

Headquartered in the United Kingdom, the Thomas De La Rue Group is the world's largest independent security printer of banknotes and security documents, printing banknotes for over 80 countries.

The Governor next visited Motorola Semiconductors Hong Kong Ltd, one of the most technologically advanced integrated circuit (IC) packaging factories in Asia. Motorola is engaged in the design, assembly and testing of a full range of advanced semiconductor products.

The manufacturing processes conducted by Motorola are highly automated, making the best use of CIM (computer-integrated manufacturing), CAD (computer-aided design) and CAM (computer-aided manufacturing). Motorola is very quality conscious. It won the 1994 Governor's Award for Industry in Quality.

Mr Patten was briefed by Motorola's Senior Vice-President and General Manager (Asia Pacific Semiconductor Products Group), Mr C D Tam, on the development of Motorola in Hong Kong.

Mr Patten toured the factory's design centre, and IC automated assembly area where he saw a design process demonstration and the front-end and back-end operations.

End/Wednesday, November 8, 1995

19

US’ unilateral changes to origin rules ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The unilateral changes to origin rules by the United States are not in full support of the spirit of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement on Rules of Origin which have come into force since January this year, a Trade Department official said today (Wednesday).

The US has recently announced the final rules implementing the country of origin provisions for imported textiles and apparel under its Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA).

"The final rules affirmed major changes to US origin rules for finished fabrics, certain textiles made-up articles and apparel other than knit-to-shape garments. The URAA rules would take effect from July I, 1996," said the Assistant Director General of Trade, Miss Emma Lau, in her speech entitled "Changing Scenes in the International Arena of Rules of Origin" in a seminar organised by Hong Kong Society of Accountants.

"The WTO Agreement On Rules of Origin is the first ever agreement to bring rules of origin under multilateral discipline. The agreement stipulates a set of code of 1 conduct regarding the formulation and administration of rules of origin.

"In addition, the agreement provides a three-year Harmonisation Work Programme to develop a set of harmonised rules of origin for all non-preferenlial trade purposes. The Harmonisation Work Programme was formally initiated in July 1995 and is scheduled for completion in 1998.

"Any unilateral changes to rules of origin in the middle of the Harmonisation Work Programme would clearly pre-empt the outcome of the Programme," she said.

On the circumstances leading to the conclusion of the WTO Agreement on Rules of Origin, Miss Lau pointed out that contrary to tariffs which had a long history of negotiation at the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), rules of origin affected international trade in a less conspicuous but equally significant way.

"A small economy like Hong Kong which relies heavily on exports had always been an easy target and victim to unilateral changes to rules of origin by major importing countries," she said.

20

She recalled that Hong Kong manufacturers had to change their mode of production to comply with the change in origin requirements on piece-knitted garments by the US in 1986.

Another vivid example was the sudden imposition of Mexican country of origin requirement on imports by Mexico in 1994, she added.

’’Apart from change within a single set of rules, some countries have many sets of preferential and non-preferential origin rules to cater for different trade purposes. For example, there may be one set of rules for most-favoured-nation tariffs, another set for origin marking, and yet a third set for anti-dumping and safeguard actions.

"The proliferation of rules which can be altered at the total discretion of national administrations has become a threat to trade liberalisation and facilitation world-wide. Not only are these rules difficult to comprehend and comply, but they also cost a lot to maintain and enforce."

"Recognising the impeding effects of proliferation of rules to trade, Hong Kong was amongst the first to advocate multilateral action during the Uruguay Round Midterm Review in 1988," she said.

"Hong Kong is a staunch supporter of the WTO Agreement on Rules of Origin and is committed to bringing the Harmonisation Work Programme on non-preferential rules to a successful completion.

"In this connection, the Trade Department had embarked on extensive consultation with local industrial and commercial associations. Over 120 associations were invited to participate in providing Hong Kong’s input to the Harmonisation Work Programme.

"Moreover, a working group comprising representatives of Trade, Industry, Customs and Census & Statistics Department had also been set up to coordinate action on the home front." she added.

As regards how Hong Kong could meet the challenge ahead, such as coping with new rules like the URAA final rules, Miss Lau said Hong Kong would follow closely the principles laid down in the WTO Agreement on Rules of Origin.

End/Wednesday, November 8, 1995

21

Dedicated service in Labour Department recognised

* * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Commissioner for Labour, Mr Stephen Ip, yesterday (Tuesday) presented a retirement souvenir to the Deputy Commissioner for Labour, Mr Yiu Yan-nang, in recognition of his 30 years’ service in the Labour Department.

• Mr Yiu joined the department in 1965. Since then, he has devoted his time and talent to various areas of work including labour relations, industrial safely and health, trade union affairs, employment services as well as employees’ compensation.

”Mr Yiu has made valuable contribution to the department especially in promoting efficiency and work simplification,’’ Mr Ip said at the presentation ceremony held at the conference room of the Central Government Offices.

"His enthusiasm for work and readiness to offer constructive ideas are worth learning by staff of the department," he added.

Mr Yiu first joined the Government in 1957 as a Health Inspector. He will be on pre-retirement leave early next month.

Mr Ip also presented retirement souvenirs to eight other veteran members of the department, 30-year meritorious service certificates and gold pins to three staff and 20-year meritorious service certificates to 22 others.

"Your perseverance in work and hard working attitude have contributed to the high efficiency of government operation and its good service to the public," Mr Ip told the recipients.

End/Wednesday, November 8, 1995

22

Action taken to curb illegal land encroachment *****

Crown Land notices were posted today (Wednesday) on the unauthorised structures and fruit trees at Tai l ong as part of the Government’s action to stop illegal land encroachment in Tai Tong Valley, Yuen Long.

The notices were issued under the Crown Land Ordinance, demanding the cessation of unlawful occupation of unleased government land. The owners/operators-of the unauthorised development have one month to comply with the notices. A government spokesman said some unleased government land in Tai l ong Valley have been unlawfully occupied by some villagers for operating a commercial recreational resort.

Unauthorised structures including shelters and poultry houses were erected and fruit trees were illegally planted within country park area for commercial purposes.

As the problem is a complex land control issue, the Government has set up an inter-departmental team to deal with it.

If the occupier failed to rectify the situation after the one-month grace period, the Government would take enforcement action to clear the land and carry out necessary restoration works.

Illegal structures erected on unleased government land in the area will have to be demolished and fruit trees illegally planted forfeited.

End/Wednesday, November 8, 1995

Gurkhas build block for Drug Rehabilitation Charity

♦ * * * *

Members of 67 Gurkha Independent Field Squadron (Queen’s Gurkha Engineers), assisted by helicopters of 28(AC) Squadron of the Royal Air Force, arc assisting the Drug Rehabilitation Charity on Town Island again. For the second year running the Gurkhas are building an accommodation block for the Charity, which will house an additional 20 people. They are also upgrading a waler catchment dam.

The work started on October 27, and is due for completion by December 1. All building materials have to be air-lifted by 28(AC) Squadron’s Wessex helicopters using underslung loads.

End/Wednesday, November 8, 1995

23

A New Territories lot to let ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Lands Department is inviting tender for the short-term tenancy of a piece of government land in the New Territories.

The lot, located at Tam Lam Kok in Tuen Mun, has an area of 3,970 square metres. It is intended for concrete production including storage of sand and aggregates or open storage of goods, vehicles, chattels, equipment and materials but excluding storage of containers, container tractors or trailers.

The tenancy is for three years, renewable quarterly.

Closing date for submission of tender is noon on November 24.

Tender form, tender notice and conditions can be obtained from the District Lands Office, Tuen Mun, sixth and seventh floors, Tuen Mun Government Offices, 1 Tuen Hi Road, Tuen Mun; the District Lands Offices/Kowloon, 10th floor, Yau Ma Tei Car Park Building, 250 Shanghai Street, Kowloon and the Lands Department’s office at 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Central.

Tender plan can also be inspected at these offices.

End/Wednesday, November 8, 1995

Car examination fees to be revised *****

Fees for the examination of private cars and light goods vehicles not exceeding 1.9 tonnes charged by the designated car testing centres (CTCs) will be revised tomorrow, a Transport Department spokesman said today (Wednesday). The revision allows the operators to cover the increase in their operational costs and make the charges levelled with that of Government Vehicle Examination Centres.

Examination fees will be revised as follows:

24

Existing New fees

Initial Examination:

a. private car $485 $530

b. light goods vehicle $580 $630

Re-examination where made within 14 days of initial examination:

a. private car $150 $165

b. light goods vehicle $190 $210

Meanwhile, the cost of issuing a duplicate copy of a certificate of roadworthiness for private car and light goods vehicle by a CTC will also be increased from $150 to $165 and from $190 to $210 respectively.

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

End/Wednesday, November 8, 1995

Illegal rooftop structures to be cleared *****

The Building Authority today (Wednesday) declared that two illegal structures on the rooftop of a building at No. 532 Fuk Wing Street, Cheung Sha Wan, should be demolished for public safety reasons.

The Buildings Department posted a Notice of Intention at the two structures this morning informing the residents that their unauthorised building works (UBW) would be demolished after a Closure Order was applied from the Hong Kong District Court at 9.30 am on March 20, 1996.

25

The Chief Building Surveyor (Control and Enforcement) of the Buildings Department, Mr Jeffrey Dobbing, said the department, acting on complaint, served a Removal Order on the owners in August last year.

"The Removal Order, served in accordance with the Building Ordinance, asked the owners to remove the structures.

"The Order, however, was ignored by the owners. We therefore decided to apply for the Closure Order so that we can demolish the structures on the owners' behalf. All the demolition cost will be recovered in full from the owners," he said.

Mr Dobbing also explained that under the current clearance policy, all newly constructed UBW would be accorded a high priority in demolition.

"However, the Government would ensure that nobody will be rendered homeless as a result of the action. All residents affected will be assessed by the 1 lousing Department of their eligibility for rehousing.

"The Social Welfare Department and the District Office will also render assistance to the residents if necessary," he added.

End/Wednesday, November 8, 1995

Salt water cut in East Kowloon *****

Flushing water supply to some premises in the eastern part of Kowloon will be temporarily suspended from 10 pm on Friday (November 10) to 6 am the (billowing day to facilitate water mains work.

The suspension will affect Broadcast Drive, Lung Cheung Road, Fung Mo Street, Buddhist Hospital, Wang Tau Hom, Lok Fu, all roads in Kowloon City, Prince Edward Road West, Argyle Street, Ma Tau Wai Estate, Chun Seen Mei Estate, Farm Road, Tin Kwong Road, Boundary Street, Kowloon-Canton Railway, Waterloo Road, Baptist University, Evangel Hospital and Hong Kong International Airport.

End/Wednesday, November 8, 1995

26

HKMA MTRC note programme tender results

*****

Tender Date 8 Nov 1995

Paper on offer MTRC notes

Issue number M502

Amount Applied 11KD2,O45 MN

Amount allotted HKD500 MN

Average price (yield) accepted 100.51 (7.31 PCT)

Lowest price (yield) accepted 100.45 (7.32 PCT)

Pro rata ratio About 44 PCT

Average Tender price (yield) 100.33 (7.35 PCT)

End/Wednesday, November 8, 1995

I long Kong Monetary Authority money market operations *****

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

Opening balance in the account 1,588 0930 +986

Closing balance in the account 1,945 1000 +986

Change attributable to : 1100 +986

Money market activity +990 1200 +990

LAF today -633 1500 +990

1600 +990

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.4 *+0.0* 8.11.95

27

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.25 2 years 2708 6.06 100.67 5.73

1 month 5.36 3 years 3810 6.15 100.32 6.12

3 months 5.51 5 years 5009 6.95 101.33 6.73

6 months 5.56 5 years M501 7.90 103.07 7.22

12 months 5.58

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $20,942 million

Closed November 8, 1995

End/Wednesday, November 8, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

SUPPLEMENT

Legislative Council Meeting

Wednesday, November 8,1995

Contents Page No.

Hong Kong's economy.............................................. 1

Medical Registration (Amendment) Bill................................ 9

Measures to curb drug abuse...................................... 11

Parking spaces for hearses.......................................... 18

Restriction on sales of psychotropic drugs.......................... 19

Police deployment on public gatherings.............................. 20

Clearance of squatter areas......................................... 22

Supplementary Labour Scheme......................................... 28

Assistance for NT residents affected by flooding.................... 30

Human rights and freedom of Hong Kong people........................ 31

Electricity demand and generating capacity.......................... 33

Use and removal of asbestos......................................... 58

Arrested illegal

Contents Page No,

Arrested illegal immigrants statistics................................ 59

Proposed diesel-to-petrol scheme...................................... 60

Student Health Service................................................ 62

Non-smoking areas in restaurants...................................... 63

Annual Gross Domestic Product growth.................................. 64

Medical/dental services for civil servants............................ 66

Establishment of trading funds........................................ 68

Applications for naturalisation as BDTCs.............................. 70

Tenancies in industrial estates....................................... 72

Elimination of discrimination against women........................... 73

1

Hong Kong’s economy

*****

Following is the speech by the Financial Secretary, the Hon Donald Tsang, in the motion debate on Hong Kong's economy in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President, Honourable Members,

■?

Introduction

I welcome today's debate on the economy because it gives us an opportunity to examine together the essential ingredients of our economic policy. Indeed I agree to many points made by Honourable members this evening. I shall certainly consider them very carefully. I look forward to continuing these discussions with Members as I prepare the ground for my Budget next March.

I want to make it clear at the outset today that I hope we can proceed on the basis of consensus. I want to identify the real concerns of the community and I want to address them. But I am also determined to preserve the market-based economic philosophy and policies which have served us so well during more than three decades of economic expansion. I believe that there is a solid consensus on economic policy in this Council, and in the community as a whole. This should be our starting point for today's debate.

I have noted that Mr Allen Lee has worded his motion very carefully. He does not talk about a recession. He does not talk about a crisis. He talks, instead, about a slow-down in economic growth and an increase in unemployment. He also talks about identifying the root causes of these problems and addressing them. This is exactly how we should approach the issues and that is why I have no serious difficulty with his motion. I welcome it as a valuable opportunity to develop an important dialogue between this Council and the Government.

To identify the root causes of our economic problems and to develop an appropriate response, we need to clear the ground a little. Let us start with the facts, facts which I think provide common ground for the debate.

2

State of Hong Kong's economy

Hong Kong is not experiencing a recession. As we announced in August, we have trimmed our original forecast for this year's GDP growth in real terms from 5.5 to 5 per cent. First quarter growth performance was remarkable at 5.9 per cent. But the pace of growth in the second quarter slowed somewhat, to 4.8 per cent, as we announced on Monday. Nevertheless we still expect to achieve a growth of 5 per cent this year. Domestic exports have recovered well from the 2 per cent decline last year and grew by about 5 per cent in real terms in the first nine months of this year. Reexports are continuing to advance strongly with a 16 per cent expansion in the first nine months of this year. The investment picture is also very encouraging. Retained imports of capital goods increased by 28 per cent in real terms in the first nine months in 1995. This reflects a strong investment trend, as businesses build up the capital equipment they need to expand their productive capacity.

Given these facts, I do not think anyone can seriously doubt that our economy is soundly based or that it is continuing to grow steadily. But there are real concerns about our economic prospects, as this motion demonstrates that. These concerns seem to be focused on some key issues: the slower pace of growth, the higher rate of unemployment and the persistent pressure on inflation. These are the problems which we must face and overcome together.

Prospects for economic growth

Let me start with economic growth. If I have interpreted the mood of this Council correctly, the real concern is that our revised growth forecast for the year could be a warning sign of worse to come. That is, a concern about a deterioration in our competitiveness, in market conditions and in our ability to adjust to changed circumstances. There also appears to be a worry that we cannot simply leave it to market mechanisms to take the strain or find the answers. I recognise the force of these concerns. I can assure Members that we will continue to be vigilant in monitoring the economic data for the first sign of serious difficulties ahead. Nevertheless, I do not see how a modest paring of the 1995 growth forecast produced early in the year would justify a loss of faith in the free market policies which have served us so well for so long. In any case, our commitment to markets and competition must apply not only in good times but also when times are not so good, or even bad. Hong Kong cannot be a "fair weather" free market.

3

Cause of the slowdown

So how should we respond to the slowing down in the pace of our growth rate? What is the root cause of the problems and what can and what should we do about them? The root cause is not some failure in our economic policies. The root cause of our slower growth is quite simply the fact that we are a part of the global and regional economy. When some of our major trading partners experience slower growth, our exports to those markets also decelerate, and trading profits are generally harder to make.

Also, our investment income from such economies tends to shrink. The less buoyant profits and earnings from outside then act to dampen consumption. Dampening consumption further is the now infamous "feel bad" factor, which stems from the earlier consolidation of our stock and property markets and the rise in the unemployment rate.

Of particular influence on our trade and income growth is the economic situation in China. The Chinese government has succeeded in trimming back the phenomenal economic expansion in the country over the past two years. A slower pace of growth has been fully justified to avoid aggravating the inflationary pressures and bottlenecks which the rapid development process inevitably brings.

We in Hong Kong must welcome the way in which the Chinese economy is now growing at a realistic but still impressive pace. This will ensure steadier and more sustainable growth over the longer term. In the meantime, we have to accept the implications for our own economic performance of the lowering of China's growth rates.

Hong Kong has not been helped by the way in which China's austerity measures coincided with measured growth elsewhere in the world economy. In North America and Western Europe, governments have identified lower inflation and sustainable growth as their priorities. Growth rates for these important trading partners are likely to be some way below our own 5 per cent in the coming year. The fact is that the world's leading economies do not seek growth at any price. They do not believe in achieving the maximum possible rate of economic expansion. The shared goal among our principal trading partners is stability, stable prices in particular. And growth trends which can be maintained over a reasonable period of time.

4

Nor have we been helped by the difficulties which Japan has experienced during the 1990s. The Japanese economy remains under pressure, and there has been little growth for the past four years. Japan is an important trading partner for Hong Kong.

We must face the fact that if the Japanese economy is experiencing difficulties, we are certain to feel the impact.

Measures to strengthen the supply side

As I have said, Hong Kong is an open economy. We live by trade. We should not be surprised that our own growth is strongly influenced by the economic situation of our major trading partners. But the fact that this external factor falls outside our control does not mean that we should not look for ways to improve our performance. I agree with the many Members who have argued today that we need a strategy to facilitate investment, enhance efficiency and to reduce unemployment. The issue before us today, and in the months leading up to my Budget, is what should such a strategy involve?

Clearly, such a strategy should be based on markets, enterprise and free trade. I hope no one is proposing that the Government attempt to manage the economy. The Government's role must be to support business by helping to enhance our productive capacity, improve efficiency and sharpen our competitiveness. That is why we invest billions of dollars each year in improving Hong Kong's physical infrastructure. We also invest billions of dollars each year in education and skills training.

I could list a formidable catalogue of recent new initiatives to improve the support we provide for industry, to enhance the business environment and to expand our infrastructure of skills. The Industrial Technology Centre and the Applied Research Council are two recent examples. But Members know all of this very well. I want to reassure this Council today that the Government does not seek to rest on its past record or its current programmes. You have my personal assurance that I am prepared to consider any specific proposals, any practical measures, which would enhance our productivity and our competitiveness. And in this regard, I’m most grateful for views expressed today. This open-minded commitment to respond to the needs of business is, in my opinion, exactly what the Government should be doing to support the economy.

5

Central economic planning?

But could we do more? For example, do we need a new, high-level body, bringing together business representatives, representatives of the work-force and the Government? If the purpose is dialogue, then perhaps this proposal is a good idea. But as I said to this Council last week, I tend to think that we have already in place all the forums for discussion that we need. If the purpose is to attempt to manage the economy, to second-guess markets or to embark on government planning through the back door, then my answer is an emphatic no. That is not what Hong Kong needs.

Tax cuts?

Should we be cutting taxes to stimulate the economy? We just had a full debate on this question. The obvious questions are: Does anyone really believe Hong Kong businesses and individuals are overtaxed? Can anyone claim that our tax regime deters investment? How could reducing tax rates in Hong Kong stimulate demand for our goods and services abroad? How large an impact would lower taxes have on our domestic demand? It is worth noting that the substantial tax reductions introduced in each of the last three Budgets did not seem to provide the sort of economic stimulus that advocates of lower taxes to boost growth rates are hoping for.

Freezing fees and charges?

Should we freeze government fees and charges? I understand the temptation to do so. But would such a freeze really help? It would do nothing useful to stimulate the economy. However, it would do serious and lasting damage to the principle that the users should pay for services provided by the public sector, especially when the users are commercial.

Increasing public expenditure?

Should we attempt to stimulate the economy by increasing public expenditure? The danger here is that higher recunent and capital expenditure would worsen inflation rather than improve employment and real incomes. We have a relatively small public sector. In very rough terms, we would need to double the growth in public expenditure to produce a one per cent increase in our growth rate.

6

In practice, of course, this Council would not approve proposals to increase government spending designed simply to boost economic growth. Quite rightly, week after week, Finance Committee demands a detailed justification of the Government’s case for spending money, whether on new projects or additional posts. And if this Council stepped back from this critical monitoring role, I believe that the community would object very strongly. Hong Kong cannot relax its commitment to total accountability for public spending, to the principle of maximum value for money in public expenditure.

Modem practitioners in public finance generally agree that monetary or fiscal measures designed to increase output and employment by artificially boosting aggregate demand invariably fail. Renowned economists including Professors Friedman and Lucas have warned us that arbitrary measures by the government to counter short-term fluctuations in the economy would be ineffective or counterproductive, even for those economies with a public sector relatively much larger than Hong Kong. I feel strongly that we should heed their sound warnings. Attempting to boost economic performance through increased public expenditure is not part of Hong Kong system of public finance.

So we should not try to follow the example of economies elsewhere and push up our growth rates:

* by cutting taxes, because experience shows that their success in stimulating the economy is doubtful; or

* by increasing public expenditure, because we already spend as much as is reasonable, consistent with our commitment to small government and to financial accountability.

But that does not mean there is nothing that the Government can do to improve the business climate and to enhance the investment environment. Both the Governor and I have announced important initiatives to do so.

I have established a task force to review what the Government can do to support the services industries. These are now the dynamo of Hong Kong's growth, the main source of our prosperity.

* The Governor has directed that the Administration should give special priority to removing the bureaucratic bottlenecks to business, the redundant regulations. We want our legal and supervisory systems to encourage enterprise, instead of stifling initiative.

7

As concrete proposals emerge from these exercises, we shall brief this Council and seek Member's advice, as well as the business community's input. And we should not lose sight of the fact that inward and domestic investment are already growing strongly.

Unemployment

I spoke earlier of the three economic problems we face: slower growth, unemployment and inflation. I now want to address specifically concerns about unemployment. I realise that there is nothing to be gained from pointing out that Hong Kong's unemployment rate is very low by the standards of most other mature economies. The point is that our unemployment rate is now high by our own Hong Kong standards. For the unemployed workers, international comparisons offer no comfort at all.

Nevertheless, we have to start our discussions with the facts about our own labour market. In recent months, we have experienced a more than 4 per cent increase in labour supply. At the same time, the number of jobs has been growing at about half this rate. Of course, we must welcome the return of larger numbers of former emigrants from Hong Kong. And we also welcome the increased family reunions because of the higher number of new arrivals from China. But the economy has not been able to accommodate, immediately and in full, the demand for jobs from the increased labour force. And behind the cold statistics of labour market are the real stories, the distress and the disappointment of those unable to find suitable employment. The Government accepts a duty to help these people and we are doing so.

* The Labour Department's Job Matching Programme has been upgraded to help people identify the jobs which best suit their skills and experience There are over 50,000 job vacancies in the private sector at present, which means we should be able to make a success of this Programme.

* The Employees Retraining Board has overhauled its efforts to help unemployed workers acquire new skills to equip themselves for the changed labour market. So far this year, it has helped over 5,000 workers to find jobs.

Retraining and job matching are the keys to helping the labour market work more efficiently and more humanely. They are among the highest priorities of the Government today.

The other issue we need to address in the context of unemployment is the importation of labour. I know there are strongly held views on this issue, and I understand Members' concerns. I believe that on this issue the Government, this Council and the community share much the same goals. We all want to make sure that we have an adequate supply of the right types of labour to maximise our potential for economic growth. This will benefit the whole community. At the same time, all of us want to give priority to local workers. The Government's proposals for the Supplementary Labour Importation Scheme were designed to get the proper balance between these two important goals. The Secretary for Education and Manpower has been engaged in a dialogue with Members of this Council to build on this common ground. The Governor's Employment Summit will tackle this issue tomorrow. I am sure that with patience and goodwill, we shall get the approach right.

Inflation

Our third economic challenge is inflation. To put it bluntly, our inflation rate is too high. Yes, it has moderated from the peak of 13.9 per cent in the spring of 1991. But at 8.9 per cent it is higher than the rate experienced by many other economies in our own region, as well as in Europe and North America. We must take the greatest possible care to ensure that we do nothing to squander the gains we have made in reducing price pressures in the past few years. I hope Honourable Members will understand me when I say that I am simply not prepared to take any risks with inflation.

* We will hold down government spending to reduce competition from the public sector for scarce resources.

* We will chase every source of improved efficiency in the public sector, whether through higher productivity or more modem management systems.

* We will continue to tackle the bottlenecks which push up private sector costs, whether through an improved supply of skilled labour, land, a streamlined regulatory environment or a better transport and communications infrastructure.


Conclusions

So, where do we go from here? We must first recognise that the problems we face - slower growth, higher unemployment in particular - are linked. They are not isolated phenomena. We have to be clear about the root causes of our problems, and I think we have gone a long way towards doing so in our debate today. We must then develop effective responses. As I have said already, the solutions to our difficulties lie in greater productivity, enhanced competitiveness and greater flexibility. They do not lie in more bureaucracy, more government intervention, higher public expenditure or short-term measures to inflate earnings or consumption.

This evening, we have started a dialogue on economic policy. This will continue in the weeks ahead as I frame my Budget proposals. Within the Government, we shall be looking at ways to improve our support for business, to encourage more investment and to help the unemployed acquired new skills and find new jobs. What a we cannot do is to break with the sound principles which have helped us to achieve 35 years of unbroken GDP growth. We must reject calls to adopt dangerous experiments o-jo in an economy which is growing at a creditable rate by the standards of any advanced ■> economy. We certainly cannot adopt bureaucratic solutions for the problems for our open economy and it free markets. I am sure that I speak for a majority in this Council, in the business community and in Hong Kong as a whole when I say we have one best guide in our present difficulties. We must retain our faith in markets and free enterprise, and not clutch at Keynesian straws at the first sign of economic difficulties. Subject to these remarks, I shall consider very carefully the proposals which emerge during the debate today.

End/Wednesday, November 8, 1995

Medical Registration (Amendment) Bill

*****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in moving the second reading of the Medical Registration (Amendment) Bill (No. 2) 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

10

Mr President,

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

On 7 June earlier this year, I introduced the Medical Registration (Amendment) Bill into this Council. However, in view of the large amount of legislative business to be conducted at the end of the 1994-95 legislative session, the Bills Committee decided that it would restrict its scrutiny of the Bill to those provisions relating to the introduction of a universal licensing examination and to practitioners-in-charge of exempted clinics. The remaining provisions have now been included in this Bill. This Bill proposes four major areas of changes necessary because of changes in circumstances over time.

The first proposed change concerns the composition of the Medical Council, which at present comprises 14 members appointed by the Governor. Since 1978 the number of registered medical practitioners has grown from some 3,000 to over 8,000, the number of complaints has increased from 27 to 170 and the number of formal disciplinary hearings has increased from 4 to 29. The Council needs to be expanded to broaden its representation and to meet this increasing workload. The Bill proposes a new Council of 24 members, with expanded representation from, inter alias, the University of Hong Kong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Medical Association and the lay sectors. These 24 members shall include 12 elected members - six to be elected from all registered medical practitioners on the General Register and the rest to be elected by all members of the Hong Kong Medical Association. The introduction of directly elected members in the Medical Council is in line with Government's policy of encouraging greater involvement of the profession in its own affairs.

The introduction of a Specialist Register is our second proposed change. We have at present a register of medical practitioners. However, the community has no means of knowing which of those practitioners may be qualified to practise in a certain medical specialty. A Specialist Register is proposed to be established to allow for the formal registration and control of medical specialists. A General Register will take the place of the existing register.

The existing Ordinance provides for the establishment of a Licentiate Committee and a Preliminary Investigation Committee. We propose to enshrine in law various other important aspects of the Council’s work through the establishment of three other statutory committees. They are the Health Committee, the Education and Accreditation Committee and the Ethics Committee.

11

Our last proposed change concerns disciplinary proceedings. We propose that the Medical Council and its Health Committee should be empowered to prohibit the disclosure of information relating to an inquiry by the Council or a hearing by the Health Committee, if it is in the interests of the complainant, defendant or witness. In addition we propose that for the protection of the public, the Medical Council should also be empowered to order its disciplinary' order to take effect on publication in the gazette.

End/Wednesday, November 8, 1995

Measures to curb drug abuse

*****

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

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of drug addicts, together with a breakdown of the number of those who are female and those who are under the age of 21 (to be further broken down by male and female), in each of the districts in the territory over the past three years:

(b) whether there is an upward trend in the number of female and young drug addicts; if so, what the reasons are:

(c) of the services available to help drug addicts to kick the habit; and

(d) what measures are put in place to curb the increase in the number of people taking drugs, particularly among women and young people?

12

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The statistics required in part (a) of the question are presented in tables I to 3, which are tabled before this Council.

(b) There is an upward trend in the total number of young drug abusers reported during 1992 to 1994. However, the number of young drug abusers reported in the first six months of 1995 dropped by over 8 per cent from 2651 in the corresponding period in 1994 to 2436. Members may also wish to note that there is a more significant drop, by 44 per cent, in the number of newly reported young drug abusers, from 1600 in the first six months of 1994 to 1108 in the corresponding period in 1995. It is too early to regard this as a reversing trend since this has to be sustained over a longer period of time. We will continue to combat the drug problem vigorously and I hope our re-doubled efforts will bear fruit and reduce the problem.

A Survey of Young Drug Abusers conducted by the Narcotics Division last year revealed that curiosity and to identify with peers were the main reasons for initial drug use among youths. In terms of the satisfaction they derived from drug taking, "to forget about trouble" was ranked the highest, followed by "to get high" and "to relax".

An upward trend is also noted in the total number of female drug abusers reported since 1992. However, the number of newly reported female abusers in the first six months of 1995 dropped by 13 per cent from 521 in the corresponding period in 1994 to 453. The Action Committee Against Narcotics has commissioned the Chinese University of Hong Kong to undertake a research study on female drug abusers, with a view to delineating the unique characteristics of female drug abusers and the factors leading to their drug abuse. This study will also throw some light on specific prevention and treatment strategies for dealing with female drug abusers. 'Hie findings of the study will be available towards the end of next year.

(c) We have developed a range of treatment programmes, using a number of treatment methods, to cater for the varying needs of different drug abusers. In the treatment of dependence on opiate drugs such as heroin, there are three main types of government-funded treatment programmes : a compulsory placement programme in Drug Addiction Treatment Centres run by the Correctional Services Department, a voluntary out-patient methadone programme provided by the Department of Health, and a voluntary in-patient programme run by the Society for the Aid and Rehabilitation of Drug Abusers (SARDA). On top of these, there are nine voluntary agencies providing religious therapeutic services for opiate abusers.

13

Counselling services for psychotropic substance abusers are provided by PS33 of the Hong Kong Christian Service and the Direction of SARDA. The Hospital Authority has established six Substance Abuse Clinics to provide medical services to psychotropic substance abusers.

(d) Our overall strategy to combat the problems of drug addiction takes a multi-disciplinary approach, covering legislation and enforcement, treatment and rehabilitation, preventive education and publicity, and research.

Our law enforcement agencies, including the Police, Customs and Excise Department and the Department of Health, are taking vigorous actions to detect and prosecute offenders, and to clamp down on the illegal supply of drugs. We have strengthened the Police Narcotics Bureau, and updated the legislation against the laundering of drug proceeds to enable better enforcement action against drug traffickers. The Medical Council and the Pharmacy and Poisons Board are discussing possible new measures to further tighten control on malpractice and the illegal sale of drugs. The Department of Health has increased the number of pharmacy inspections per month from 560 to 700, and set up a special task force to help the prosecution of offending drug retailers. Maximum penalties for the illegal or improper sale of drugs by pharmacies have been raised recently. We are also examining ways of achieving enhanced sentencing against adult drug offenders who involve young persons in the illegal drug trade.

One possible way is to seek to have the exploitation of minors included as an aggravating factor in the guidelines set by the Court of Appeal for reference by lower courts when sentencing convicted drug traffickers.

Specifically on measures to curb the increase in the number of drug abusers, particularly among females and the young, additional treatment facilities are in the . pipeline. SARDA's Women's Treatment Centre is being reprovisioned to accommodate more female clients, and the new centre in North District is expected to open early next year. The Chimawan Detention Centre (Lower) is to be converted into an additional Drug Addiction Treatment Centre for both adult and young female abusers.

For male young abusers, SARDA is undertaking a pilot project to set up a treatment centre for young opiate abusers. A suitable site has been identified in Yuen Long. We will be consulting the District Board and relevant local bodies soon. I hope that they will understand the urgent need for the facility. As the centre will provide inpatient treatment in a closed setting, it should not cause any law and order problem or nuisance to the neighbourhood.

14

We are also committed to set up two additional residential treatment centres for young opiate abusers and a new counselling centre in the New Territories for psychotropic substance abusers. An amount of $17 million has been reserved for the centres, and the operators for these centres have already started the necessary planning work.

Preventive education has also been stepped up. 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. The Education Department has taken a series of steps to beef up preventive education, targeting not only the young students but also parents; it is also carrying out a programme of assistance and training to schools and teachers to enable them to perform their essential task of educating their students to stay away from drugs more effectively. The Social Welfare Department has also set up a team of specially trained social workers to help young drug abusers.

We recognise the seriousness of the drug problem. In order to highlight the need for a concerted effort from the community as a whole to fight the war against drugs, and to tap the ideas of all concerned, the Governor chaired a Summit Meeting on Drugs in March. We are pursuing vigorously the action plans arising from the ideas and proposals from the Drugs Summit. The second quarterly progress report on these initiatives will be released later today. To add further impetus to the Beat Drugs campaign, we will set up a $350 million Beat Drugs Fund to finance worthwhile projects to counter the drug problem.

The drug abuse problem is a complex challenge which should be tackled by the community as a whole. Together we can beat drugs.

15

Table i Analysis of drug abusers (reported to the Central Registry of Drug .Abuse) by district of residence

• District of residence 1992 1993 1994 For comparison

1995 (Jan-Jun) 1994 (Jan-Jun)

Hong Kong Island 2 278 2 650 3 140 1859 1905

Central & Western 378 381 510 257 280

Wanchai 381 436 513 293 310

Eastern 902 1 069 1 129 698 700

Southern 617 764 988 611 615

Kowloon & New Kowloon 6 633 7 421 8 144 i 5 107 5 024

Yau Tsim Mong 1295 1 341 1 398 817 827

Sham Shui Po 1478 1 539 1 703 1 139 1018

Kowloon City 672 775 867 547 559

Wons Tai Sin 1405 1 640 1 829 1 047 1 180

Kwun Tong 1783 2 126 2 347 1 557 1 440

New Territories & Islands S070 6 402 7 762 4 621 4 663

Kwai Tsing 1047 1214 1 397 553 848

Tsuen Wan 538 669 754 637 469

Tuen Mun 1 110 1 400 1 678 993 1 049

Yuen Long 640 866 1 141 717 639

North 448 548 704 442 427

Tai Po 378 461 621 445 324

Sha Tin 629 817 998 613 615

Sai Kung 171 247 292 118 172

Islands 109 180 177 103 120

District unknown 1 235 1 219 1 280 392 762

Total 15 216 17 692 20 326 11979 12 354

16

Table 2 Analysis of female drug abusers (reported to the Centra Registry of Drug Abuse) by district of residence

District of residence 1992 1993 1994 For comparison

1995 (Jan-Jun) 1994 (Jan-Jun)

Hong Kong Island 177 247 339 183 182

Central & Western 31 37 59 24 27

Wanchai 44 45 67 34 31

Eastern 59 98 103 60 57

Southern 43 67 110 70 67

Kowloon & New Kowloon 591 703 793 536 434

Yau Tsim Mong 138 164 162 109 74

Sham Shui Po 125 130 159 114 88

Kowloon City 54 85 89 65 52

Wong Tai Sin 116 122 138 78 83

Kwun Todg 158 202 245 1“C 137

New Territories & Islands 436 643 936 543 515 _

Kwai Tsing 68 113 127 53 65

Tsuen Wan 55 60 91 61 51

Tuen Mun 120 167 258 131 146

Yuen Long 55 78 127 97 64

North 32 49 90 49 50

Tai Po 22 37 50 45 25

Sha Tin 57 86 135 83 79

Sai Kung 20 36 ■ 35 15 21

Islands 7 17 23 9 14

District unknown 61 63 111 42 60

Total 1 265 1656 2 179 1309 1 191

17

Table 3: Analysis of young drug abusers (reported to the Central Registry of Drug Abuse) aged under 21 by sex and district of residence

District of residence M 1992 F T M 1993 F T M 1994 F T .M For Comparison 1995 1994 (Jan-Jun) (Jan-Jun) F T M F T

Hong Kong Island 32$ 65 393 472 100 572 653 163 816 355 90 445 434 91 525

Central & Western 74 19 93 59 16 75 103 24 127 34 11 45 64 9 73

Wanchai 19 9 28 26 7 33 29 15 44 15 9 24 21 9 30

Eastern 88 18 106 176 43 219 185 43 228 109 28 137 123 21 144

Southern 147 19 166 211 34 245 336 81 417 197 42 239 226 52 278

Kowloon & New Kowloon 453 142 595 764 210 974 910 241 1151 513 163 676 592 141 733

Yau Tsim Mong 38 15 53 66 29 95 95 31 126 43 28 71 51 9 60

Sham Shui Po 79 28 107 96 28 124 125 26 151 73 21 94 72 14 86

Kowloon City 42 11 53 86 21 107 87 20 107 64 20 84 58 12 70

Wong Tai Sin 98 32 130 178 40 218 231 61 292 94 20 114 164 43 207

Kwun Tong 196 56 252 338 92 430 372 103 475 239 74 313 247 63 310

New Territories & Islands 760 168 923 1227 284 1511 1719 481 2200 1006 242 1248 1057 268 1325

Kwai Tsing 133 11 144 193 37 230 231 53 284 77 16 93 145 25 170

Tsucn Wan 81 19 100 136 18 154 134 44 178 70 22 92 90 28 113

Tuen Mun 204 70 274 336 97 433 492 165 657 305 68 373 326 98 424

Yuen Long 88 20 108 173 34 207 255 64 319 165 47 212 145 30 175

North 63 8 71 93 21 114 147 55 202 101 24 125 84 32 116

Tai Po 51 6 57 68 1? 85 149 20 169 102 21 123 82 11 93

Sha Tin 89 23 112 142 34 176 209 58 267 149 38 187 118 32 150

Sai Kung 26 8 34 39 16 55 64 13 77 23 3 26 37 6 43

Islands 25 3 28 47 10 57 38 9 47 t4 3 17 30 6 36

District unknown 29 12 41 65 8 73 83 38 121 57 10 67 50 18 68

Total 1570 387 1957 2528 602 3130 3365 923 4288 1931 505 2436 2133 518 2651

Note : M - Male F - Female T - • Total

End/Wednesday, November 8, 1995

18

Parking spaces for hearses *****

Following is a question by the Hon Elizabeth Wong and a reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Banna, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council of the following:

(a) what is the policy on the provision of parking spaces for the hearses fleets of funeral parlours;

(b) does the Government intend to designate parking spaces outside funeral parlours specifically for the parking of hearses; if not, why not; and

(c) what is the position regarding the designation of car parking spaces for funeral parlours; and with specific reference to the Funeral Parlour at 1 lung Hom, what measures has the Government adopted to resolve the parking problem there and when were such measures taken?

Reply:

Mr President,

Hearses arc registered as light goods vehicles under the Road Traffic Ordinance. There are about 100 such vehicles owned by the operators of funeral parlours, other business concerns connected with this trade or individuals.

Funeral parlours either have on-site parking spaces for their fleet of hearses or have made other alternative arrangements for parking them at night, for example, in nearby carparks. As for the other hearses they can be parked on street in parking spaces designated P' under Schedule One of the Road I raffle (Parking) Regulations, that is, spaces earmarked for private cars and light goods vehicles.

It is not practical to designate specific parking spaces for hearses even outside funeral parlours. To do so would result in an uneconomical use of road space. However, where space is available, lay-bys are provided immediately outside or in the vicinity of funeral parlours and these can be used by hearses.

19

My understanding is that the present problem has resulted from the carpark above Kowloon Station no longer being available for the parking of hearses. This is because the access ramps are not designed for vehicles weighing more than 2.5 tonnes. Some 30 owners or drivers of hearses have been affected but half of them have already made their own arrangements for parking in a SIT site in Tai Kok Tsui. To try to alleviate the overnight parking problem, the Transport Department has designated a few additional parking spaces along On Ching Road which is very close to the funeral parlours in Hung Hom and. in addition, arc pursuing the provision of more parking spaces in Tokwawan. Separately, the operators of carparks on new short term tenancy sites will be required to provide access to all types of vehicles.

End/Wednesday. Novembers. 1995

Restriction on sales of psychotropic drugs

*****

Following is a question by the lion Eric Ei Ka-chcung and a reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Some medical practitioners abuse their authority by storing large quantities of psychotropic drugs and selling them to young persons illegally to make profits. The penalty imposed on such offenders is often merely a brief suspension of their registration, after which they can continue with their practice and sell psychotropic drugs illegally as before. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council whether:

(a) restriction will be imposed on the quantities of various types of psychotropic drugs which medical practitioners are allowed to store;

(b) it will require suppliers of these drugs to provide, on a periodic basis, information on the quantities of psychotropic drugs purchased by medical practitioners, so as to facilitate investigation in doubtful cases; and

(c) consideration will be given to raising the level of penalty as a deterrent ?

20

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) Restricting the quantities of various types of psychotropic drugs which medical practitioners are allowed to store is one of the proposals being considered by a Working Group under the Hong Kong Medical Council. The Working Group was convened to consider amendments to the Professional Code and Conduct to tighten the control on the use of psychotropic drugs by medical practitioners. It is expected to put forward its recommendations to the Medical Council by early 1996.

(b) At present, suppliers of psychotropic drugs are required to provide information to the Department of Health about the quantities of these drugs purchased by medical practitioners. Those medical practitioners with high utilisation are asked to submit statistics and information on their use. Based on such information, the Department of Health can initiate investigation into cases suspected of inappropriate use.

(c) We have increased, with effect from 1 September 1995, the maximum penalty levels stipulated in the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance for offences including the illegal sale of drugs, from a fine of $30,000 and imprisonment of one year to a fine of $100,000 and imprisonment of two years. We are now considering proposing an increase, possibly of a larger magnitude, in the level of penalty for contravention of the requirements to keep proper records on the acquisition and supply of dangerous drugs, as stipulated in the Dangerous Drugs Regulations. This will increase the deterrent effect and combat possible abuses in the supply and prescription of psychotropic drugs by medical practitioners.

End/Wednesday. November 8, 1995

Police deployment on public gatherings *****

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

21

Question:

On the 28 September this year, a small group of demonstrators held a demonstration at Kai Lok Temporary Housing Area to protest against the Government's delay in clearing some Temporary Housing Areas. Another group staged a peaceful demonstration at the Convention and Exhibition Centre on 29 September protesting against the attendance of guests at the People’s Republic of China National Day reception. During both demonstrations, the demonstrators were held back unreasonably by the police, resulting in conflicts between the demonstrators and the police. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council :

(a) how many members of the police force were mobilised to maintain order on these two occasions; and what were the criteria adopted by the police to deploy its manpower;

(b) what legal basis the police have in stopping demonstrators from staging peaceful demonstrations, and whether the police have taken into account the right granted to the public under the Bill of Rights Ordinance when taking such action ;

(c) whether appropriate internal disciplinary actions will be taken by the authority concerned against the police for using force on the scene against demonstrators staging peaceful demonstrations; and

(d) whether the police force and the Security Branch will conduct internal reviews on how to avoid using force against demonstrators in the light of the experience gained from these two incidents?

Reply:

Mr President,

There are four parts in this question and I shall answer them in turn.

(a) 59 police officers were deployed on traffic and crowd control duties at Kai Lok Temporary Housing Area on 28 September, with 41 officers stood by in the vicinity on reserve. 63 police officers were deployed to maintain order outside the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on 29 September, and 164 officers stood by in the vicinity on reserve. The number of police officers deployed in crowd control and the maintenance of public order vary according to the nature and location of the event, the size and the mood of the crowds, and the circumstances of each case. The objective is to prevent any possible breach of the peace, to protect property, to ensure the safety of demonstrators, police officers, and other members of the public, while at the same time allow the public to express their view's peacefully and freely.

22

(b) The Police have a general power under section 6(b) of the Public Order Ordinance to control and direct the conduct of all public gatherings and specify the route by which any public procession may pass. Under section 45 of the Ordinance, any police officer may use such force as may be reasonably necessary to overcome any resistance to the exercise of this and other powers conferred by the Ordinance. The Police also have a duty under section 10 of the Police Force Ordinance to take lawful measures for preserving public peace and safety, for regulating processions and assemblies in public places, and for controlling traffic on and removing obstructions from public thoroughfares. These provisions are consistent with Article 17 of the Bill of Rights which recognises the right of peaceful assembly, while permitting restrictions on the exercise of that right which are in conformity with the law and which are necessary in the interests of, among other things, public safety or public order.

(c) The Police have so far received tw o complaints of assault by police officers during the two incidents on 28 September and 29 September respectively. Since these two complaints arc under investigation, it would be inappropriate for me to comment on them, as to do so could prejudice investigation of the complaint. I should add, in this context, that 10 police officers sustained injuries during these two incidents.

(d) It is the normal practice for the Police to conduct an internal review after each major operation. The experience of these two incidents will be taken into account in planning future operations.

End/Wednesday. November 8, 1995

Clearance of squatter areas *****

■ <

Following is a question by the Hon Chan Kam-lam and a reply by the Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic Wong, in the l egislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council :

(a) the number of squatters in the territory which have yet to be cleared and their location;

23

(b) of the breakdown by number and location of public and temporary' housing units which the Government has set aside for rehousing squatters who are affected by clearance; and

(c) whether, in the event of the number of public and temporary housing units set aside being insufficient to rehouse all affected squatters, the Government will consider deferring the clearance of some squatter areas which do not pose immediate danger, and postponing the target date of clearing all squatter areas before March 1996 as pledged by the Governor in his recent Policy Address?

Reply:

Mr President,

In 1992, there were about 33,500 urban squatters living on Government land covered by the Government's undertaking to oiler rehousing by March 1996. Of these, 28,000 have already been rehoused. The majority of the remaining 5,500 occupy about 2,000 structures in 13 squatter areas: 11 located on Hong Kong Island and two in Kowloon. Please refer to the information I have just tabled (Annex A). These squatter areas arc being cleared, and residents are being offered or will be offered rehousing shortly.

In 1995-96, the Housing Department has set aside a quota of 1,200 public rental housing units and 2,400 temporary housing accommodation places for all urban squatter clearees. For a breakdown of this provision, please refer to the information tabled (Annex B). The accommodation set aside will be sufficient to meet the rehousing needs of the remaining 5,500 urban squatters on Government land.

24

Annex A

Urban squatters on government land

Location District Squatter population

Telegraph Bay (#) Southern District 633

Tai Tam Tuk Village Southern District 156

Tai Tam Southern District 82

Tung .Ah Pui Village Southern District 111

Lan Lai Wan Southern District 46'

To Tei Wan Southern District 84

Ngan Hang Wan Southern District 116

Tai Wan Sun Chuen Southern District 649

Upper Kai Lung Wan Southern District 283

Wong Chuk Hang Old Village Southern District 97

St Stephen's Beach Village Southern District 39

Ma Pui Village Kwun Tong 620

Che Tang Village (#) Kwun Tong 834

Total

3,750 (*)

(#) Date of clearance will be announced shortly

(♦) The balance of 1,750 people out of the 5.500 referred to in the mam answer are living in squatter areas on urban Government land throughout the territory

25

Annex B

Urban public rental housing and temporary housing accommodation available for residents affected by urban squatter clearances for the period 1.4.1995 to 31.3.1996

(a) Public rental housing

District New flats Refurbished flats Estates

Hong Kong Island

Eastern 480 also available Yiu Tung, Chai Wan, Fung Wah, Hing Man, Hing Wah, North Point, Siu Sai Wan, Tsui Wan, Wan Tsui, Yue Wan

Central & Western 0 ditto Sai Wan

Southern 40 ditto Ap Lei Chau, Lei Tung, Ma Hang, Shek Pei Wan, Wah Fu 1, Wah Fu 2, Wong Chuk Hang, Wah Kwai

Kowloon

Kowloon City 0 ditto Hung Hom. Homantin, Ma Tau Wai, Oi Man, Valley Road

Kwun Tong 20 ditto Ko Yee, Choi Ha, Hing Tin, Kwong Tin, Kai Yip, Lam Tin, Lok Wah North, Lok Wah South, Ngau Tau Kok 1, Ngau Tau Kok 2, Ping Shek,

26

Shun Lee. Sau Mau

Ping 1. Sau Mau Ping 2, Sau Mau Ping 3, Shun On. Shun Tin. Tsui Ping North. Tsui Ping South. Tak Tin.

Upper Ngau Tau Kok. Wo Lok

Sham Shui Po 0 ditto Chak On, Cheung Sha Wan, Lai On, Lei Cheng Uk, Lai Kok. Nam Cheong, Nam Shan. Pak Tin. Shek Kip Mei, So Uk, Tai Hang Tung, Un Chau Street

Wong Tai Sin 260 ditto Choi Fai. Lok Fu. Tung Tau I. Choi Hung, Choi Wan 1. Choi Wan 2, Chuk Yuen South. Chuk Yuen North, Fu Shan. Fung Tak. Mei Tung, Shatin Pass, Tsz Ching, Tsz Lok, Tsz Man, Tung Tau 2. Upper Wong Tai Sin, Wang Tau Hom, Wong Tai Sin 1. Wong Tai Sin 2

Total 800 400 (*)

These flats are in various estates and are reserved for residents affected by urban squatter clearances

27

Annex B

(b) Temporary housing accommodation

District Number of spaces Temporary Housing (persons) Area

Sham Shui Po 1,850 Fat Tseung Street Lung Ping Road Yen Chow Street

Kwun Tong 500 Kai Lok Kai Wo Kai Yiu

Wong Tai Sin 50 Yuen Tung

Total 2,400 (#)

(#) The actual location of THA places for urban squatter clearees will be adjusted regularly in the light of operational requirements.

End/Wednesday, November 8, 1995

28

Supplementary Labour Scheme ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon James Tien Pei-chun and a reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Under the Supplementary Labour Scheme, employers must advertise their vacancies in newspapers for a specific period of time and participate in a job-matching scheme to prove that local workers are not available before they can apply for a quota to import workers. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether the application procedures will be simplified and the processing time shortened, so that factory operators may be granted quotas for importing foreign workers have expired and recruitment of replacement staff has been unsuccessful; and

(b) whether the Government, in deciding to terminate the General Importation of Labour Scheme and formulating the Supplementary Labour Scheme, has considered or assessed what adverse effects such a change will have on the industrial and commercial developments in the territory?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The objective of the proposed Supplementary Labour Scheme is to allow for the entry of a limited number of imported workers to fill vacancies that cannot be filled locally. The proposed procedures under the Scheme are designed to safeguard the employment opportunities of local workers and to ensure that employers who have a genuine need to import workers are able to do so.

In the proposals set out in the report on the Review of the General Labour Importation Scheme, employers wishing to import workers are required first to advertise their vacancies in local newspapers for two weeks and undergo a four-week recruitment exercise. After that, they will be required to participate in the Job Matching Programme (JMP) of the Labour Department for two months before their applications are processed further. The Employees Retraining Board will be involved, where appropriate, to organise tailor-made courses or to arrange on-the-job training for local workers.

29

Since the issue of the report on the Review of the General Scheme, we have consulted the Labour Advisory Board (LAB) and arc continuing our discussions with Members of this Council. We are also listening to public views. At its meeting on 2 November 1995, the LAB agreed in principle to monitor the Supplementary Labour Scheme. It also recommended some changes to streamline the application procedures and shorten the duration of the recruitment period from 3 months to 2 months. This is achieved by allowing the employer to conduct the recruitment exercise concurrently with the Labour Department's JMP. The LAB also recommended that special cases which have already gone through the advertisement and JMP process may be given special consideration for early approval if so recommended by LAB. These are reasonable recommendations which Government will consider positively.

(b) Our proposal to terminate the General Labour Importation Scheme and to introduce the Supplementary Labour Scheme followed a comprehensive review of the General Scheme. The review took into account the results of the enhanced surveys which had been undertaken to provide more information on the profile of those who were unemployed and on the job vacancies. It also took into account the community's concern on the matter and the views expressed by Members of this Council, the trade unions and the employers' associations.

We do not believe that the termination of the General Scheme coupled with the introduction of the proposed SLS would have any adverse effect on industrial and commercial developments. The General Scheme was introduced in 1989 against the background of a very tight labour market and acute labour shortage. However, the labour market has undergone substantial changes in recent months. We now have a surplus of local workers in those broad occupations which cover jobs of a similar nature to many of the posts now occupied by the imported workers under the General Scheme. But we recognise that there may be areas of labour shortage or surplus of vacancies at the individual job level which cannot be ascertained through any statistical surveys.

Also, there may be vacancies that our more sophisticated workforce no longer want to fill. The proposed Supplementary Labour Scheme seeks to retain the policy option of employing a limited number of foreign workers to take up jobs which cannot be filled by local workers, so as to maintain the competitiveness of Hong Kong as an open and flexible economy. As such, it should have a positive impact on the business development of Hong Kong, while ensuring that local workers will not be deprived of any job opportunities.

End/Wednesday. November 8, 1995

30

Assistance for NT residents affected by flooding

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Cheung 1 lon-chung and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Residents of northern and north-western New Territories are constantly plagued by the problem of flooding, which always occurs at times of torrential downpour. Such flooding causes destruction to residential homes and crops, resulting in financial losses to residents and farmers. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether the Government provides any financial assistance to affected farmer households after each flooding; if so, through what channels can they obtain assistance and what is the amount of financial assistance given to each household; and

(b) whether there are any special arrangements and measures to assist residents affected by flooding in resolving their housing problem?

Reply:

(a) For full-time subsistence farmers adversely affected by natural disasters such as floods, grants are made available from the Emergency Relief Fund to alleviate any consequential financial hardship. These grants are given to assist farmers to repair the damage and resume production. They are made in accordance with a payment schedule which is revised from time to time to reflect increases in prices and wages. Currently, an eligible farmer can be provided with a grant of up to $4,680 for the rehabilitation of a farm and a grant of up to $9.110 for rebuilding a stock house or farm building destroyed or severely damaged by flooding. In addition, a farmer may apply for a low-interest agricultural loan of up to $50,000 as working or development capital for resuming farm production.

31

. ■ .Uh.. ... •

In the event of a natural disaster, the District Offices of the Home Affairs Department co-ordinate the emergency relief work of various Government departments at district level and publicise emergency relief arrangements including the availability of grants from the Emergency Relief Fund. Victims are fully briefed by District Office staff on site and at temporary shelters on the various forms of emergency assistance available and advised on where and how to apply. Applications received by the District Offices are promptly referred to the relevant Government departments for processing.

(b) The Government also provides temporary shelter for residents affected by flooding. For immediate relief, registered victims of flooding in need of assistance will be provided with accommodation in temporary shelters or transit centres. People normally return to their own accommodation after flooding subsides. Where squatter structures have been rendered permanently uninhabitable, the Housing Department will arrange for the occupants to be rehoused in permanent rental housing or in temporary housing accommodation according to their eligibility.

End/Wednesday, November 8, 1995

Human rights and freedom of Hong Kong people ♦ * * * *

Following is a question by the Hon Tsang Kin-shing and a written reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday): ... ,

Question:

The Preliminary Working Committee's Legal Sub-group recently proposed that the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress should repeal six amendment ordinances which have been enacted so as to bring the principal ordinances in line with the Bill of Rights or the Basic Law. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether the Government, in formulating the relevant amending legislation, has taken into account section 8 of the Basic Law and the principle of the Sino-British Joint Declaration which states that the existing laws will remain basically unchanged;

('d

(b) how it will ensure that the laws safeguarding human rights and the freedom of the Hong Kong people can straddle 1997; and

(c) what measures will be put in place to safeguard human rights and the freedom of the people of Hong Kong in the light of the Chinese and British Governments having different interpretation of the status of the Bill of Rights?

Reply:

(a) The amendments in question were made to ensure that the laws were consistent with the Bill of Rights Ordinance (BORO) and hence were consistent with the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) as applied to Hong Kong. Both the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law stipulate that the provisions of the ICCPR as applied to Hong Kong shall remain in force and Article 39 of the Basic Law provides that restrictions on the rights and freedoms enjoyed by Hong Kong residents shall not contravene the ICCPR as applied to Hong Kong. Amendments to laws to ensure consistency with the ICCPR are therefore consistent with both the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law.

Another equally important purpose was to modernise the relevant laws by updating obsolete provisions and removing anomalies. As in the case of other societies, we update our laws to take into account changing circumstances and developing jurisprudence. This is not in conflict with the Joint Declaration which provides that the laws currently in force in Hong Kong will remain basically unchanged.

(b) The Joint Declaration specifically provides that the provisions of the ICCPR as applied to Hong Kong shall remain in force. Article 39 of the Basic Law also provides that provisions of the ICCPR as applied to Hong Kong shall be implemented through the laws of Hong Kong. Accordingly, those laws safeguarding the human rights and freedom of Hong Kong people, which are compatible with the provisions of the ICCPR, shall remain in force.

(c) The continued application of the ICCPR and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights are provided for in the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. Our position on the BORO is clear. The matter was taken up at the meeting of the Joint Liaison Group last week and we will continue to pursue this with the Chinese side through formal channels.

End/Wednesday, November 8, 1995

33

Electricity demand and generating capacity ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Christine Loh and a written reply by the Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Gordon Siu, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Under the scheme of control agreements, the profit levels of the territory's electric utilities are directly linked to building more power stations and electricity generating hardware. The utilities have pointed out that building new power stations and generating hardware is justified as the trends in present demand levels point to future shortfalls in generating capacity. In this connection, will the Administration provide this Council with a graphic breakdown of the 1994 electricity consumption patterns, both in total and by economic sector (industrial, commercial and domestic) in one-hour intervals, so that the public can see how electricity demand correlates with generating capacity?

Reply:

The Hongkong Electric Company Limited and the China Light and Power Company Limited have provided the attached graphical breakdowns of the electricity consumption patterns in their respective supply areas in 1994. The information is presented by each company in the form of 12 graphs indicating the pattern of electricity consumption on one day in each month of the year.

The companies are unable to provide electricity consumption patterns by economic sector in one-hour intervals as they have not recorded data in that manner. I have asked the companies to consider how hourly power consumption patterns can be classified by economic sectors, to collect the data and to provide me with the results of their studies for presentation to Members in due course.

34

HEC System Demand 25/01/94, Tuesday

35

HEC System Demand 22/02/94, Tuesday

Load (MW)

36

HEC System Demand 29/03/94, Tuesday

37

HEC System Demand 26/04/94, Tuesday

Load (MW)

0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24

Hour

38

HEC System Demand 31/05/94, Tuesday

39

■ *? ’>r - '/<

HEC System Demand 28/06/94, Tuesday

Hour

40

HEC System Demand 26/07/94, Tuesday

Load (MW)

0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24

Hour

HEC System Demand 30/08/94, Tuesday

Load (MW)


42

HEC System Demand 27/09/94, Tuesday

43

HEC System Demand 25/10/94, Tuesday

Load (MW)

44

HEC System Demand 29/11/94, Tuesday

o

o 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24

Hour

45

HEC System Demand 20/12/94, Tuesday

46

CLP Operational Demand Curve for 25/0V94

Time

47

CLP Operational Demand Curve for 22/02/94

Time

48

CLP Operational Demand Curve for 29/03/94

Time

49

CLP Operational Demand Curve for 26/04/94

50


. «•>,•>*< <kh .r’. '< -A.:.., : -

CLP Operational Demand Curve for 31/05/94

Time

51

CLP Operational Demand Curve for 28/06/94

52

CLP Operational Demand Curve for 26/07/94

Time

53

CLP Operational Demand Curve for 30/08/94

MW

54

CLP Operational Demand Curve for 27/09/94

Time

55

CLP Operational Demand Curve for 25/10/94

56

CLP Operational Demand Curve for 29/11/94

57

End/Wednesday, November 8, 1995

58

Use and removal of asbestos ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by Dr the Hon John Tse Wing-ling and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the use and removal of asbestos, will the Government inform this Council whether:

(a) the Government will conduct a comprehensive inspection of the asbestos used in all existing buildings in the territory to ensure that the health of the public will not be threatened by structures containing asbestos materials; if so, whether the findings of the inspection will be made known to the public; and

(b) the Government will introduce asbestos substitution technique to the industrial sector, so as to restrict the use of asbestos gradually or ban its use completely?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) As asbestos materials only become an environmental concern when they are improperly handled by people without the requisite knowledge and experience, it is not necessary to conduct a comprehensive inspection on asbestos used in existing buildings. The Administration’s plan is to introduce a comprehensive scheme in 1996 to control environmental asbestos and require by law personnel involved in handling asbestos to be properly trained and registered. The scheme will also require certain classes of buildings such as hospitals and schools to inspect their buildings, to label any asbestos materials identified and to submit proper plans for the handling of such materials to the Environmental Protection Department.

(b) With regard to the use of asbestos in the industrial sector, under the Factory and Industrial Undertakings (Asbestos) Special Regulations, the use of blue and brown asbestos and the spraying of white asbestos by all industrial undertakings have been banned since 1986. Amendments to these regulations to ban the use of any asbestos as an insulation material are under preparation. In early 1996 we propose to ban the import and sale of blue and brown asbestos, which are now rarely used, and to impose further controls on the use of less harmful white asbestos through regulations and a code of practice. Asbestos substitutes are readily available and are already being used widely to replace asbestos materials.

End/Wednesday, November 8, 1995

59

Arrested illegal immigrants statistics

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Zachary Wong Wai-yin 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:

(a) of the breakdown by sex of the number of illegal immigrants arrested over the past three years; among the arrested female illegals, how many were pregnant women;

(b) whether there are signs that the number of pregnant women arrested is on the rise; if so, what the reasons are; and

(c) what measures can be taken to stop illegal immigrants, particularly pregnant women, from sneaking into the territory?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The number of illegal immigrants arrested over the past three years was:

Total Male Female

1993 37517 28138 9379

1994 31521 22065 9456

1995 (Jan-Sept) 19804 12873 6931

We do not have separate statistics on pregnant illegal immigrants who were arrested and repatriated immediately, but the number of pregnant illegal immigrants who surrendered to the Immigration Department or resurfaced at hospitals for confinement was:

60

1993 2014

1994 2019

1995 (Jan to Sept) 1939

(b) The above statistics show that the number of pregnant illegal immigrants in the past two years has remained steady at around 2000 yearly. In the first nine months of 1995, there was an increase of 45%, compared with the corresponding period in 1994. The possibility of acquiring residence earlier in Hong Kong for their babies, or the availability of better medical facilities in Hong Kong could be some of the considerations which prompt II mothers to give birth in Hong Kong. The stricter control now exercised by the Chinese authorities in granting Two-Way Permits to pregnant women may also have contributed to the increase in pregnant women who seek to enter Hong Kong illegally.

(c) To prevent illegal immigrants, particularly pregnant women, from sneaking into Hong Kong, we have stepped up checks and patrols at the border areas. But the most effective solution is to tackle the problem at source. We have conveyed our concern about this problem to the Chinese authorities through various channels. We have also requested the Chinese side to tighten the issue of permits to the border area to pregnant women, and urged them to step up enforcement along the coastal areas near Hong Kong. We understand that the Chinese authorities have indeed stepped up their enforcement efforts, and have successfully intercepted 400 pregnant women from coming to Hong Kong illegally in the first eight months of this year. They have also stopped issuing border permits to pregnant women.

End/Wednesday, November 8, 1995

Proposed diesel-to-petrol scheme

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Christine Loh and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

61

Question:

Recently the Government has proposed a diesel-to-petrol scheme to encourage taxi and public light bus operators to switch from diesel to petrol as soon as possible. The cost figures used for designing the conversion scheme for the taxis and public light buses, which were derived from data collected by the Government and information provided by operators, were not based on real-life figures as there are no petrol public light buses and probably only a few, if any. petrol taxis operating in the territory. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council whether it has any contingency plan in the event that the Government’s estimated cost figures turn out to be inaccurate, resulting in the livelihood of taxi and public light bus operators being adversely affected during the 5-ycar conversion period of the scheme?

Reply:

Mr President.

fhe cost figures used for designing the conversion scheme for taxis and public light buses are based largely on figures for existing vehicles and these costs are well-known to Transport Department and the trade, i.e. costs for purchase, registration and licensing, and for fuel, maintenance and drivers’ wages. Only a small proportion of the costs (maintenance costs for petrol taxis and public light buses) are currently unknown, but we have estimated these using overseas information and local data for the hundreds of thousands of petrol private cars already used in Hong Kong. We therefore believe that we have arrived at realistic estimates of these costs. However, if experience shows that our estimates are materially inaccurate, we will be prepared to reconsider our estimates and. if necessary, consider whether any additional changes to the scheme may be necessary to meet the object that the operators are not worse off economically as a result of the switch.

End/Wednesday, Novembers, 1995

62

Student Health Service ♦ * * * ♦

Following is a question by the Hon David Chu Yu-lin and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In regard to the Student Health Service, will the Administration inform this Council of:

(a) the measures taken to ensure that the 200 newly recruited physicians can provide thorough medical check-up for the entire student population:

(b) the measure taken to enable outpatient clinics in the territory to cope with the increase in caseload as a result of the cancellation of the old student health scheme: and

(c) the assistance provided to those families who arc unable to meet the increase in medical fees under the new Service?

Reply:

(a) A total of 138 staff, comprising 13 doctors, 55 nurses and 70 other supporting staff has been assigned to the Student Health Service, which commenced in September this year for 451,000 primary school students. Another 104 staff will be assigned to the second phase of the Student Health Service for secondary school students in September 1996. Each participating student will be given an annual appointment for a comprehensive health programme designed according to the health needs of the student at various stages of his development. This includes health assessment, individual counselling and health education. Those found to have problems will be referred to the Special Assessment Centre for further assessment and follow-up or to the appropriate specialities for further management. The appointments can also be changed if necessary. The service will be closely monitored. After three months’ operation, the Department of Health will carry out an interim review to see what improvements, if any, are needed

63

(b) Based on the General Household Survey conducted by the Census and Statistics Department, we estimated that the General Out-patient (GOP) Clinics caseload would be increased by about 3% only. As such, it should not pose any problem for the GOP Clinics. In any event, administrative arrangements arc already in place to ensure smooth operation, such as additional discs might be distributed to the students and so on. The Department of Health will closely monitor the utilisation of general out-patient service and make appropriate adjustment whenever necessary in the light of actual experience.

(c) The General Out-patient Service provided by the Department of Health is heavily subsidised. The consultation fee, which includes medication, is $34. In addition, families on the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme will have the consultation fee waived.

End/Wednesday, Novembers, 1995

Non-smoking areas in restaurants *****

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

Question:

In view of the harmful effect on health caused by passive smoking, will the Government inform this Council whether:

(a) it knows of the number of restaurants which have not set aside nonsmoking areas; and

(b) it will introduce legislation requiring restaurants to set aside non-smoking areas in order to safeguard the health of non-smokers ?

64

Reply:

(a) According to a survey in January-February 1995, 384 (6%) of the 6,558 licensed restaurants in the territory had set aside a no-smoking area and 6,174 (94%) had not.

(b) There is concern among restaurant operators that a requirement to set aside no-smoking areas would result in a loss of business. Given that enforcement would rest with restaurant operators and would be ineffective without their support, we consider that the decision on whether to set aside no-smoking areas should best be left to them to determine. We therefore have no immediate plans to introduce legislation to require restaurants to set aside no-smoking areas, although we will continue to monitor the situation to determine whether it might be appropriate to do so in future.

End/Wednesday, Novembers, 1995

Annual Gross Domestic Product growth *****

Following is a question by the Hon Andrew Cheng Kar-foo and a written reply by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui. in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In the Medium Range Forecast (MRF) of the 1995-1996 Budget, the assumption on the annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth for 1994-95 to 1998-99 has been set at 5% in real terms. However, the Governor stated recently in his Policy Address that Hong Kong's economic mood was less buoyant than the fundamentals justified. In this regard, will the Government inform this Council whether it will revised downwards the estimated GDP figures in the MRF of the Budget; if so, why revisions are needed and what the extent of such revisions will be: if not, what the Government will do to ensure that our GDP can continue to grow annually by 5% in 1995-96 and 1996-97?

65

Reply:

The Government's current Medium Range Forecast regarding the trend growth rate in real terms of the GDP over the four financial years up to the year 1998-99 remains at 5% per annum.

Although the recent performance of the Hong Kong economy was not as good as in the past few years, in overall terms the economy still recorded a growth rate in excess of 5% in the first half of this year. The slack consumer spending has retarded overall economic performance. On the other hand, it is noteworthy that exports of both goods and services have continued to show robust growth. The current investment sentiment is also firm. We forecast the GDP to grow by 5% this year.

Looking ahead into the medium term, the external environment supporting Hong Kong's export performance can be expected to be sustained, along with continuing trade liberalisation globally, dynamic growth in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as strong economic development in China. As exports have all along been providing the key impetus to Hong Kong's overall economic growth and income increase, this favourable external setting should be able to underpin a trend GDP growth rate of 5%, which is also within the productive capacity of the economy to cope.

In the short term, it is not unusual for the economy to be faced with certain fluctuations. The medium-term GDP forecast abstracts from these fluctuations and focuses on the trend, in view of its usage primarily for budgetary planning purposes. However, being in itself a forecast rather than an economic growth target, and bearing in mind that the Hong Kong economy is driven predominantly by the private sector rather than by government directives or actions, it is beyond the Government's powers to guarantee or ensure that this particular growth rate will be achieved in all circumstances. Nor is it appropriate to expect that the Government should even attempt to do so. An assessment of the medium-term economic outlook nevertheless suggests that this forecast is a reasonable and prudent one.

End/Wednesday, November 8. 1995

66

Medical/dental services for civil servants ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Leong Che-hung and a written reply by the Secretary for Civil Service, Mr Michael Sze, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In regard to the provision of medical and dental services for civil servants and their dependants, will the Administration provide this Council with the annual breakdown in respect of the following areas in the past five years:

(a) the overall expenditure on medical services, and the average cost per case;

(b) the overall expenditure on dental services, and the average cost per case;

and

(c) the percentage of civil servants, and the actual number, using publicly funded medical and dental services respectively?

Answer:

Mr President,

Like most good employers in Hong Kong, the Government has contracted to provide medical and dental benefits to its employees. This is also available for pensioners and dependants. The Government has chosen to do so through the Department of Health, in respect of general out patient and dental facilities, and through the Hospital Authority in respect of hospitalisation and specialist out patient facilities. The Government dental facilities deal primarily with civil servants, as do the families clinics : there is a limited priority system for Department of Health general out patient clinics. In respect of hospitalisation and specialist clinics, civil servants receive no different medical treatment from any other members of the public -who are all entitled to the same medical assistance - but civil servants get this service at a reduced or nil fee.

67

We do not have expenditure statistics in respect of civil servants and their dependants alone because pensioners are also covered. The following reply to parts (a) and (b) of the question is thus in respect of civil servants, pensioners, and their eligible dependants. Further, apart from the dental service, it is not possible to give statistics on the actual number of civil servants using medical services, since one individual may seek treatment several times in one year. So the reply to part (c) is necessarily limited.

Expenditure under Head 37 on out-patient medical sen ices for civil servants, pensioners, and their eligible dependants in the past five years is:

91/92 92/93 93/94 94/95 95/96

total expenditure($M) 80.4 87.9 99.8 119.7 136.2

average expenditurc($) 79 85 95 112 126

Expenditure under Head 37 on dental services for civil servants, pensioners, and their eligible dependants in the past five years is:

91/92 92/93 93/94 94/95 95/96

total expenditure($M) 146.1 167.3 192.6 221.7 236.1

average expenditure(S) 309 355 408 450 469

The figures in respect of the financial year 95/96 are those approved in the Annual Estimates. Salary revision effective from 1.4.95 has not been taken into account.

The cost of in-patient service and specialist service provided by the Hospital Authority for civil servants, pensioners, and their eligible dependants is the same as that for members of the public. This amounts to an average of $4,808 per private ward bed-day, $2,770 per public ward bed-day, and $372 per attendance at specialist outpatient department in the financial year 94/95. According to figures provided by the Hospital Authority, the overall expenditure on civil servants, pensioners and eligible dependants in 94/95 was some $1 billion. We do not have readily available information on the amount expended in the years preceding 94/95.

68

In 1993 and 1994 some 150,060 and 150,052 civil servants and pensioners respectively used publicly funded dental services. This represented respectively 67% and 66% of the total number who were eligible. A breakdown of numbers using the service before 1993 is not available.

End/Wednesday, November 8, 1995

Establishment of trading funds

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Lee Kai-ming and a written reply by the Secretary for the Treasury, Mr Kwong Ki-chi, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the establishment of trading funds to finance the operation of some government departments, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) which departments have already been operating on a trading fund basis;

(b) whether there are any changes in the staffing structure and number of posts in such departments; if so, what are the changes; and

(c) which departments will be likely to change to a trading fund mode of

operation?

Reply:

(a) At present, there are five trading fund departments, namely:

Companies Registry

Land Registry

Sewage Services

Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OF LA)

Post Office

69

(b) There have been no major changes in the management structure of the Trading Funds. A small number of directorate posts have been created to strengthen the business and financial management capability of these departments.

The total number of posts in each trading fund on the date of its establishment, and on 30 September 1995, are as follows:

Trading Fund Date of Establishment No of Posts on Establishment* No of Posts as at 30.9.95* % increase

Companies Registry 1.8.93 335(3) 384(2) 14.6

Land Registry 1.8.93 614(2) 780(5) 27.0

Sewage Services 1.4.95 783 819 4.6

OFTA 1.6.95 243 256 5.3

Post Office 1.8.95 5,584 5,602 0.3

* Figures in brackets refer to supernumerary posts.

The relatively large increase in establishment for the Land Registry Trading Fund is mainly to provide staff to cope with the introduction of a new service, namely computerisation of New Territories Land Registers.

(c) We are currently considering whether to convert part of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department into a trading fund operation.

End/Wednesday, November 8, 1995

70

Applications for naturalisation as BDTCs

* * ♦ ♦ ♦

•; • v >,• ... .. .;. ,

Following is a question by the I Ion Emily Lau and a written reply by the Secretary for Security. Mr Peter Lai, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

As recent reports about the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport have aroused public concern over the future freedom to enter or leave the territory, will the Government inform this Council: ‘ ••

(a) of the number of people who have submitted applications for naturalisation as British Dependent Territories citizens in the past three years;

(b) whether there has been a noticeable increase in the number of such applications recently; if so, what the reasons are; and;

■ • • f .

(c) whether any channel for appeal will be provided for applicants who miss the deadline for application in March next year?

Reply:

Mr President.

(a) The number of applications for naturalisation/ registration Sts British Dependent Territories citizens in the past 3 years are as follows -

Year No. of applications

1992 . 1993 1994 1995 (Jan - Sept) 5.207 17.391 17.803 19.834

(b) The number of applications for naturalisation/-registration as BDTCs in the first 3 quarters of 1995 are as follows:

71

Month in 1995 No. of Applications Increase/ decrease over same period in 1994

1st Quarter 4,150 -52%

2nd Quarter 6,050 +77%

3rd Quarter 9,634 +31%

19,834

The figure of 19,834 represents a 29% increase over the corresponding period (January - September) in 1994.

We do not maintain statistics on the reasons for application, as applications for naturalisation and registration as Hong Kong BDTCs are entirely voluntary. It is possible that the increase might be related to the deadline of 31 March 1996 for naturalisation/registration.

(c) Section 42 of the British Nationality Act 1981 as amended by the Hong Kong (British Nationality) (Amendment) Order 1993 stipulates -

"A person who applies for registration or naturalisation as a British Dependent Territories citizen under any provision of this Act by virtue (wholly or partly) of his having a connection with Hong Kong, may not be naturalised or registered, as the case may be, unless he makes his application on or before 31 March 1996."

There is no provision under the Act to accept applications after 31 March 1996. Nor is there any provision under the Act for appeals by late applicants.

End/Wednesday, November 8, 1995

72

Tenancies in industrial estates * * ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Huang Chen-ya and a written reply by the Secretary for Trade and Industry, Mr Chau Tak-hay, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

■ r ■ ■ V'i.

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the nature of business of the companies which have moved out of the industrial estates in the past three years, together with their reasons for moving out; and

(b) how many companies have made enquiries about moving into the industrial estates in the past three years; what are the differences in the nature of business between those which eventually moved in and those which did not, and what are the reasons for the latter group not moving in?

Answer:

The five companies which have vacated their premises in the industrial estates in the past three years were involved in the production of metal products, chemicals and gases, electronics parts and video tapes. They ceased operation because their business was no longer profitable due to changing market conditions.

During the same period, 32 companies seriously inquired or applied for tenancies in the industrial estates. Of these, 24 companies succeeded in their applications and were granted land in the industrial estates. They were involved in a wide variety of products, including building materials, printing and publishing, plastics, pharmaceutical products, food and beverages, and paper products. On the other hand, of the remaining eight companies, two decided not to proceed with application for undisclosed reasons; two applications were rejected for failing selection criteria; and four were approved but did not subsequently materialise for failing to secure financing for their projects. They were involved in building materials, chemicals, paper products, clothing, electroplating, and office consumer products.

End/Wednesday, November 8, 1995

■i

1,

- 73 -

Elimination of discrimination against women

♦ * * * ♦

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

Question:

At the hearing of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Committee held in Geneva this October, members of the Committee queried why the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women had not been extended to Hong Kong. In response, the leader of the British delegation indicated that the British Government was contemplating the withdrawal of certain reservations in the Convention, but that the Hong Kong Government preferred the inclusion of those reservations in the Convention upon its extension to the territory. In this regard, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) how long has it started discussions with the British Government on the matter;

(b) whether any problems have occurred in the course of the dissuasions, if so, what those problems are;

(c) when the two sides will reach a conclusion on the matter; and

(d) whether it will accept the UN Human Rights Committee's recommendation that the Convention should be extended to the territory without any reservations?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) In June 1994, the Hong Kong Government announced its decision to seek extension of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) to Hong Kong, subject to consultation with the Chinese side. In January 1995, a list of draft reservations that should be extended to Hong Kong were drawn up and passed on to the UK Government for discussion.

74 -

(b) Discussions with the UK Government had to be held in abeyance since the UK Government had started a review on their own list of reservations under CEDAW.

(c) In September this year, the UK Government informed us of its intention to withdraw some, but not all, of its current reservations in respect of CEDAW. We are considering the impact of the withdrawal of such reservations on Hong Kong to see if it is necessary to revise the list of reservations that should be extended to Hong Kong. Thereafter, we will seek to agree with the UK Government on the list of reservations. Our target is to complete the discussions with the UK Government as soon as possible, preferably before the end of this year. Once an agreement has been reached, we shall consult the Chinese Government through the Joint Liaison Group.

(d) The UN Human Rights Committee published a report on 3 November 1995 following its examination in October of the UK Government's report on Hong Kong under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. No recommendation was made by the Committee on CEDAW.

End/Wednesday, November 8,1995



DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, November 9,1995

Contents EageJNAL

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

Governor’s opening address at Summit Meeting................. 3

Governor's closing remarks at Summit Meeting................. 6

Government’s role to continue................................ 9

Measures taken to tackle unemployment problems............... 10

Incident at San Po Kong demolition site...................... 12

Government committed to tackle prison over-crowding.......... 12

High level of Air Pollution Index recorded................... 14

FS visits Marine Department.................................. 15

HK team to attend UN Committee Against Torture hearing....... 16

Volume and price movements of external trade in August....... 17

Carnival to promote oral health.............................. 23

Regional workshop on traditional medicine.................... 24

Applicants invited to take part in qualification scheme...... 25

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

1

Transcript of the Governor’s media session

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The following is a transcript of the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten’s media session after the Governor's Summit Meeting on Employment today (Thursday):

Governor: Good afternoon. We've had a good and instructive meeting. I think for me the two most important things were first of all that there's a genuine wish to see a cooperative approach to the problems that we face of job creation over the coming years and secondly, I think that there was today very much of a focus on the measures that we need to take in order to sort things out in the medium and long-term and make sure that Hong Kong has the best possible strategy for job creation and further economic growth.

We reported back on the measures that we've taken since the last meeting on employment, five or six months ago, and in subsequent discussion I think there was agreement on the following points:

First of all that we need to continue to take more vigorous measures to get rid of illegal employment and to deal with abuse in the existing schemes for labour importation. There was quite a lot of strong feeling that sentences should be a genuine deterrent.

Secondly, we believe that there should be more effort and resources going into job matching efforts. With 50,000 vacancies it's obviously important to match those to those who are seeking work as rapidly as we can.

Thirdly, it was agreed that we needed, with the Employees Retraining Board and the Vocational Training Council to map out over the coming months what their role should be so that we can come back in six months' time and discuss a longer term job creation, job enhancing programme for Hong Kong. We need to look at what's required to give Hong Kong the jobs that we need in five to ten years' time, and there were a number of very helpful suggestions made about retraining and about the Vocational Training Council's role, for example by the new Chairman of the ERB, Mr Tam Yui-chung. So we will be looking forward to working with the ERB and the Vocational Training Council to work to map out their strategy.

2

We told the meeting that we'd be hoping to come forward with final proposals on labour importation over the coming weeks, which we hope will ensure that we have as fair and effective a system as possible. I don't think that we can ignore the genuine concerns which have been put forward by employees representatives and unions about labour importation. I don't think that we can ignore the genuine worries in the community, but I think there's also a recognition that you can't run a sophisticated, modem economy like Hong Kong with absolutely no capacity to bring in people to meet skill shortages where that's required and what the Government has to do is to get the balance right.

Over and over again there was reference to the importance of us working together, of us having a tripartite approach to these problems and we'll be looking at whether we need to make any institutional changes to take account of that, by the time we come back for our next meeting.

■ r

Question: (inaudible)

Governor: There were no other specific proposals put forward this afternoon but we’re carrying on the discussions with LegCo, with the LAB, with employees representatives, with employers, and we hope that we will get as broad a base of support for whatever proposals we finally come to, as possible.

Question: (inaudible)

Governor: Well, there were quite a lot of people who said that we needed to enhance the work of those bodies which already bring together employees, employers and Government, to look at the job market and there’s one very valuable body that works with the Labour Department and of course, the LAB itself plays a part in that role. But we’ll obviously be looking at whether we need to do more and to give any of those bodies a rather higher profile.

Question: (inaudible)

Governor: I'm absolutely convinced that the Government can and should do more to make the labour market more effective and flexible and that the Government can and should do more to improve our education and school base in Hong Kong which is going to be the source of our future growth and employment opportunities. There was a very, very substantial focus today on retraining, on skills, on education and I think that’s absolutely right.

Question: (inaudible)

3

Governor: I've always been convinced that the Government has an important role to play. Not only ensuring that we pursue sensible macro-economic policies in Hong Kong but that we also give Hong Kong the skills and educated work-force that it needs. It's worth remembering that the size of our labour force in Hong Kong, since 1979, has increased by a third, but at no time during that period has unemployment gone above five per cent. And so with a large increase in the number of people looking for jobs, we've on the whole managed to keep unemployment pretty low. In the last couple of years the number of people in the labour force has gone up by 180,000, after, in the previous five years, only going up by about 60,000. Now that's a huge increase and our problem in the last few months has been that though we've increased the number of jobs, the number of jobs hasn't increased by as much as the increase in the number of emigrants returning to Hong Kong or Chinese immigrants coming legally into Hong Kong and so on and we've got to do more to create jobs. OK? Thank you.

Question: (inaudible)

Governor: Sorry?

Question: (inaudible)

Governor: I would be crazy if I offered you predictions about either the employment rate or the inflation rate or any other economic statistics six months ago and you can go and ask stockbrokers the answer to that question and you may or may not believe them, but not everybody who believes them makes money. Thank you very much.

End/Thursday, November 9, 1995

Governor's opening address at Summit Meeting ♦ * * * ♦

Following is the opening address of the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, at the Governor's Summit Meeting on Employment today (Thursday):

Good afternoon, can I welcome you to the second meeting like this that we have had on employment. I know that I have got to take one or two lessons from the last meeting. First of all, there must be no discrimination on grounds of whether or not people are wearing ties. I notice that there are one or two people wearing ties today who were not wearing ties last time, but that wasn't really necessary. Secondly, I hope that we have not been cruel to the tortoise.

4

I would like to start by welcoming you all this afternoon and by addressing what, I suppose, are the basic questions: why are we holding this meeting at all, and why are you all here? I think the answers are simple. Most of us would agree that unemployment is the number one issue on Hong Kong's economic agenda. It causes problems and hardship for those who have lost their jobs, and it causes worry to those who fear that they may lose their jobs.

It is true, of course, that unemployment is far higher in most other places; so is crime; so is drug abuse. But just as with those social issues we have acted, so we want to take steps on employment which will avoid the problems that other people face elsewhere in the world. And why are you all here? Well, I presume it is because you share my view that we will tackle these problems best if we try to tackle them together.

I must say, I personally hate the expression "the two sides of industry". I think antagonism and conflict are both unnecessary and undesirable in industry and in industrial relations. We are all in this together in Hong Kong; our interests, I think, are the same, and we should all work together.

I hope we can look beyond our own propaganda at what has happened in Hong Kong in the last few years, and what is actually happening today. In the last 15 years, the size of the local labour force has grown by more than one-third but unemployment has stayed at below five per cent throughout that period. Over the same span of years, manufacturing industries have shed 450,000 jobs but the number of people employed in private services has gone up by 1.1 million. What does that tell us? Well, among other things, that we must have got some of the fundamentals right in Hong Kong in order to have made those transitions so well. For example, the productivity improvements by our own workforce have been excellent.

Why has unemployment grown recently? I think the figures are compelling because there has been an unusually fast increase in the size of the labour force which has outstripped the increase in the number of jobs available. From 1987-1992 the size of the labour force in Hong Kong increased by 60,000. In three of those five years, the number of people in the labour force actually fell. In 1993 and 1994 the labour force grew by 180,000, mainly because of returning former emigrants and legal Chinese immigrants. The most recent figures show a 4.3 per cent increase in the labour force year on year. But job creation has lagged behind that very substantial increase in the size of our labour force, partly because of flat consumer spending with the impact that that has had on jobs in catering and retail industries in particular.

5

At the same time as we consider those statistics, we need to look at some of the longer trends as well. They are trends which will require us to take long term measures directed towards our competitiveness and the flexibility of our own labour market.’

mW

Today, my colleagues at this table will report on the action that we have taken on the package of measures that I announced at our last meeting in June, the measures that we have taken on illegal employment, on the abuse of existing labour importation schemes - and there has been some abuse; on job matching, on training and retraining, and the proposals that we have put forward on labour importation itself.

I hope that we can focus, today, on positive proposals that will make our labour market fairer - I repeat, fairer - and more efficient, for local employees and for local employers in both the medium and the long term. 1 hope that we won't focus, to the exclusion of all else, on the importation of labour. There are a couple of things that I would like to say about that.

Last year our labour force grew by nearly 100,000. Less than five per cent of that figure was made up of workers who came in under both the General Labour Importation Scheme and the Scheme for the Airport Core Projects. The number of workers who have entered Hong Kong since 1992 under the General Importation of Labour Scheme - and that figure is about 6,000 - is less than half the figure that came in under the scheme before 1992. So even though I think we should all concede that this issue is important, it isn't the whole answer, it isn't the key to all our problems. And if we were to go outside and say, well, we have done something about labour importation so everything is going to be alright, we would be kidding people.

Nevertheless, we must address the question of labour importation. It does worry the community, which wants to see a fair deal for local workers without making management's job impossible. I believe our new proposals strike a reasonable ■balance. I don't think you can simply ignore unemployment figures in discussing labour importation, nor do I think anyone seriously suggests that there should be no importation of any labour at all. We will go on talking after today to try to get as much consensus as possible on the way forward on this issue. We genuinely want to meet employees' and unions' worries, and match employers' reasonable expectations. So I hope we won't get too bogged down on this question, I hope we can look for agreement and think positively.

6

I would now like to ask, in the first place, my officials to report on the progress that we have made since June, and then I will ask the Chairman of the ERB, whom I would like to congratulate on his recent appointment, to address us. Then I would like to ask the panellists representing employers and employees respectively and then we will have a general discussion, inviting you to comment from the floor. First of all, the Financial Secretary.

End/Thursday, November 9, 1995

Governor's closing remarks at Summit Meeting

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the closing remarks of the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, at the Governor's Summit Meeting on Employment today (Thursday):

Thank you all very much indeed. I wonder if I can briefly try to summarise and suggest one or two ways forward. First of all I would like to thank everybody for contributing both from the panel and from the body of the meeting. I think it has been a very useful discussion, several good ideas have come forward, and 1 think that there is a general agreement on at least the basics that what we all want is the highest possible employment in Hong Kong. We want good well-paid jobs that will last, we want our businesses to thrive, and we want Hong Kong to stay competitive and sustain our remarkable decades of economic growth well into the next century.

What are we committed to doing and what do we need to look at rather more thoroughly as a result of this discussion? Well, first of all, we are committed to clamping down firmly on illegal employment and to dealing with abuse of imported workers. And we were given some evidence of that sort of abuse during the discussion. Mr Lau Chin-shek said that we needed to make sure that heftier fines did represent a real deterrent and that our fines were not just taking account of inflation year on year. I won't go into a discussion about fees and charges at this point but we will stick to penalties.

7

I think that we do need to make sure, as you said, that fines do deter, that sentences do deter, because illegal employment abuse is not only unfair to the broader community but is unfair to the individual workers concerned who are often working in appalling and sometimes dangerous conditions as well. So I would like to follow up that point that you made. We need tougher enforcement, and as Joseph said earlier, we do need to have a regular review of those who come into Hong Kong for training, and the Director of Immigration made that point too.

Secondly, 1 think there is general agreement that with 50,000 vacancies for example, and the mismatch between vacancies and people looking for jobs, we need to put more effort, and as Selina Chow said, more resources, into our Job Matching Programme. Martin Barrow made a number of proposals during his remarks. For example, an index of vacant jobs, a register for those seeking work. We need to follow up the point that was made about vacancies in the public sector and see if we can reduce the percentage vacancies, which would help those seeking work. And I also think the idea of job fairs is one that should be followed up.

Next, there was obviously a good deal of emphasis on the importance of working with the Employees Retraining Board and the Vocational Training Council to review their work and priorities, and I think there is a general view that we should try to plan ahead for the job market over the next five to ten years as a result of the studies that we are doing with the Employees Retraining Board and the VTC.

I do want to assure the new Chairman of the Employees Retraining Board that we are not going to allow financial constraints to grip or confine his activities in any way. And I say that with the Financial Secretary sitting beside me. It is an important point and I am sure that all of us recognise that training and education, developing our skill and education base, our knowledge base, have to be two of our principal priorities for public resources, given their impact on our economy.

We had a number of practical examples from employers of their genuine difficulties, even in the present state of the job market, in getting the employees that they want. And I do think that we need to allow our basic philosophical positions from time to time to be fertilised by the facts, and there were one or two interesting facts that we heard this afternoon. 1 am sure that everyone in this room wants local jobs for local people, in Ian Christie's phrase; and as Martin Barrow said. 1 am sure that all of us want to put Hong Kong workers first. But we do have to find a system which not only meets those requirements but also meets the genuine requirements of some employers who have difficulties finding individuals for jobs.

8

We want to implement proposals, therefore, on labour shortage and importation where it exists, which have the broadest possible community endorsement. We want to put in place proposals which suit the needs of the economy and the needs of the labour market, and we will continue our discussions with LegCo Members, with LAB, with labour groups and with employers, so as to try to come up with some proposals which plug the gap - or plug the holes in the boat - if and when they exist.

I do hope that we won't allow that particular issue, in some genuine differences of opinion, to become the focus of too much acrimonious argument when there are so many other things that we need to be working on and trying to get right together. But 1 am sure myself that those who talked about the importance of tripartite monitoring have a very good point because whatever we do has to carry the confidence of the community, and that means employees as well as employers.

Martin Barrow - and it was a point that Henry Tang referred to and that others referred to - Martin mentioned the information gap. And it is not a way of avoiding making decisions to say that very often we have felt that we don't have as much information on some of these areas as we should have. So we do want to try to get a more thorough grasp of what is actually happening in the labour market with enhanced surveys, and we will be trying to put those in place over the coming weeks and months.

I hope that we have made it clear once again today that we do want to work with you employers and employees to tackle these problems. We don't believe that the Hong Kong Government can do everything itself or should try to do everything itself. I think Mr S.K. Chan underlined the great importance of us working together and trying to ensure that there is co-operation right across the community, and it will certainly be our intention to operate in that spirit. Mr Chan and others referred to the possibility of establishing a tripartite committee on employment generation or to enhancing that degree of tripartitism - if there is such a word - which already exists, and we will certainly look at that proposal and those ideas because they have come forward from a number of people.

As has been mentioned, we are looking at the work of the Employees Retraining Board and the Vocational Training Council. I hope that the surveys which are being put in hand will be completed within the next five or six months and we would want, I think, to come back to you at that stage with the findings of those surveys and discuss with you the way forward in developing a long term strategy for job creation for enhancing employment opportunities in Hong Kong. So I fear that we will be asking you to come back and talk to us again in five or six months when we have got all that basic information available.

9

Thank you very much again for coming this afternoon. We have found it very helpful. A number of useful ideas have come up and we will now try to take those forward in as effective a way as possible. We have got to remember that at the end of the day, the people we are talking about need us to come up with practical solutions because it is their jobs that are on the line. Thank you very much.

End/Thursday, November 9. 1995

Government's role to continue *****

The Government must continue to encourage business and investment in order to create job opportunities, the Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, said today (Thursday).

Speaking at the Governor's Summit on Employment, Mr Tsang said this meant minimum Government interference and maximum support.

"We are already heavily involved in providing the physical, human, legal and regulatory infrastructures," he said.

Referring to recent calls to "kick-start the economy" or "create jobs", Mr Tsang said the Government could not stimulate the economy through tax cuts or higher public spending. "Taxes are already low and the public sector is too small an element in the total economy," he said.

"In practical terms, it is difficult to identify what sectors or occupations the Government might choose for artificial job-creation," he added.

Mr Tsang said the Governor's Summit on Employment was an important and constructive dialogue between employers, employees and the Government on tackling the problem of unemployment.

"We can show our investors - local and overseas - that all three parties stand ready to work together to overcome our problems," he said.

End/Thursday, November 9, 1995

10

Measures taken to tackle unemployment problems ♦ * * * ♦

The Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, today (Thursday) appealed to employers and employees to work closely with the Government to tackle the immediate unemployment problems and to develop a longer term manpower strategy.

Speaking at the Governor's Summit Meeting on Employment, Mr Wong stressed that differences over the issue of labour importation should not be allowed to affect the harmonious labour relations which had hitherto been the hallmark of Hong Kong's success story.

Noting that the Job Matching Programme (JMP) operated by the Labour Department (LD) had been well received and effective in helping employers to find staff and the unemployed to find jobs, Mr Wong urged the trade union representatives to ask the workers in need to come forward and register with JMP as there were still plenty of jobs waiting to be filled.

From April to October this year, JMP, which is specifically designed to help unemployed workers aged 30 and above to find employment, has secured 2,594 job offers for 4,041 job-seekers, the success rate is 64 per cent.

Also, since June and up to last month, LD's Local Employment Service has placed about 11,000 workers, as against 7,600 for the same period in 1994, an increase of 44 per cent.

Other initiatives undertaken by the Government since the last Summit in June included the setting up of an outreaching placement service to provide on-the-spot assistance to workers affected by major retrenchments and taking a more proactive approach to contact employers for information on job vacancies.

LD also organises and takes part in job bazaars, seminars and briefings to facilitate placement.

To further enhance the employment service, Mr Wong said the Government was taking steps to computerise JMP and to provide more staff to LD. as the programme would be an integral part of the proposed Supplementary Labour Scheme (SLS).

12

Incident at San Po Kong demolition site *****

The Director of Buildings, Mrs Helen Yu, expressed concern over the incident occurred at the demolition site in San Po Kong this (Thursday) evening.

The Buildings Department will investigate into the cause of the incident.

Meanwhile, Buildings Department staff are on site to work with the site constructor to take all necessary measures to restore safety.

Mrs Helen Yu also extended condolence to the family of the deceased.

End/Thursday, November 9, 1995

Government committed to tackle prison over-crowding

*****

The Government is committed to do its best to tackle the problem of overcrowding of penal accommodation and will continue to search for solutions, the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, said today (Thursday).

Speaking at the Correctional Services Department's passing-out parade. Mr Lai said in the next three years the Government would provide an additional 1,250 places of penal accommodation, at a capital cost of over $800 million and recurrent expenditure of more than $60 million.

"This should bring some relief to the pressure on Correctional Services staff while the Government continues to search for longer term solutions," he said.

Mr Lai said the Government was deeply concerned with the problems arising from over-crowding, which was still present despite efforts to expand penal accommodation in the past years.

13

"It is not just a question of numbers; over-crowding also gives rise to management and discipline difficulties, imposes pressure on staff, as well as undermine the quality of the care and rehabilitation programmes for the inmates. "1 would like to take this opportunity to thank the department and all its staff for maintaining high standards of professional conduct and efficient performance in the face of a difficult situation," he said.

Mr Lai also expressed his appreciation to the Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Raymond Lai, and his staff for their active participation in managing Vietnamese Migrants (VM) camps, and in carrying out operations under the Orderly Repatriation Programme.

"Managing VM detention centres requires a set of skills totally different from those needed to manage penal institutions," he noted.

"Carrying out Orderly Repatriation Programme operations is a sensitive exercise which needs to be undertaken with tact, patience and courage.

"It is a credit to you that these tasks have been carried out with a high degree of professionalism and dedication, often in the face of enormous pressure and outside scrutiny, and sometimes against harsh and unfounded criticisms," he said. On the reform and rehabilitation of offenders, Mr Lai said over the years, a variety of rehabilitation programmes had been developed to cater for different types of offenders.

"This is in line with our belief that the ultimate purpose of any correctional programme is to enable inmates to turn over a new leaf and reintegrate themselves into civilised society," he said.

Noting that the Correctional Services Department had established an impressive record of success in its rehabilitation efforts, Mr Lai said the enactment of legislation earlier this year to introduce post-release supervision for adult prisoners was another initiative aimed at providing care and assistance to prisoners, thus enabling them to reintegrate into society better.

"Next year, we will be introducing legislation to provide a statutory framework to deal more effectively with prisoners serving long or indeterminate prison sentences," said Mr Lai.

End/Thursday, November4), 1995

14

High level of Air Pollution Index recorded * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Environmental Protection Department today (Thursday) recorded the air pollution index values for industrial, urban and new development areas as 90, 84 and 93 respectively.

Slightly worse air quality with forecast index values of 95, 90 and 100 is expected for tomorrow.

Principal Environmental Protection Officer, Mr Tse Chin-wan, said air quality with an index value exceeding 100 was considered to be unhealthy.

"In case the index exceeds 100, some people who are already suffering from asthma, lung or heart illnesses may be adversely affected. They are advised to avoid physical exercise and laborious outdoor activities as far as possible," Mr Tse said. "This air pollution incident was associated with the northeast monsoon which brought in cool and dry air. The windy and dry conditions cause high dust levels.

"According to the monitoring results, this effect appeared to be more serious in areas with more construction activities like Yuen Long and in industrial areas.

"Due to changes in weather, the level of air pollution fluctuates everyday. For a few days a year, the air pollution can be so bad that some people may feel an immediate effect on their health. The air pollution index system is put in place to alert the community when these days occur or about to occur."

Members of the public can check the API readings on 2827 8541.

End/Thursday, November 9, 1995

15

FS visits Marine Department *****

The Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, continued his current round of visits to government departments and called on the Marine Department this (Thursday) morning to get a first hand briefing on the latest developments at the maritime front.

Met on arrival by the Director of Marine, Mr Ian Dale, and Deputy Director of Marine, Mr S Y Tsui, Mr Tsang held a meeting with the senior directorate officers of the department and toured the Vessel Traffic Centre located at the Shun Tak Centre in Sheung Wan.

He noted that port activities contributed 16 per cent to the territory’s gross domestic product and directly or indirectly provided more than 350,000 jobs for the working force in Hong Kong.

He was impressed by the department's initiatives in marine traffic management which have contributed much to provide a safe port environment for both international and local shipping.

In 1994, the port had 74,000 ocean going ship movements, 200 per cent increase over the 23,800 movements recorded in 1984. The current forecast indicated that by 2001 this figure will have reached 105,400, a 42 per cent increase on last year's levels.

Mr Tsang noted that the Marine Department had recently re-aligned fairways and anchorages to allow for the growth in marine traffic and had just signed an $11 million contract for consultancy that will when completed in December 1996, provide the department with a water area planning management tool for use well into the next century.

He was informed that all available water space in the western harbour and beyond has been designated for specific uses associated with services to commercial shipping such as anchorages, fairways, mooring areas and typhoon shelters.

These areas are subject to a high degree of management control to ensure the high level of safety standards are maintained, while maximising utilisation of facilities and efficient movement of vessels.

16

He also noted that the central and eastern harbour had long ago ceased to play a major role in cargo movement. The eastern waters of Hong Kong, with its many islands remain a popular and safe marine playground, where commercial activities do not conflict with pleasure boating.

On reclamation, Mr Tsang was told when all reclamation was completed, a wide, well defined and easily managed channel would be created, where the main fairway would be the same width as before and crossing vessels would have a clear and unobtrusive view of those using the fairway, thus enhancing safety.

After all reclamation was completed, the narrowest part of the central harbour would be 860 metres, doubled the width of the water space in Lei Yu Mun which has always been only 400 metres wide.

Mr Tsang was glad that the Marine Department has an ongoing programme of upgrading its equipment and implementing new initiatives to improve traffic management and control to ensure port operation is safe and efficient.

End/Thursday. November 9, 1995

HK team to attend UN Committee Against Torture hearing *****

A four-member Hong Kong Government team led by Principal Crown Counsel. Mr Stephen Wong, will attend a United Nations (UN) hearing in Geneva on November 17, as part of the British delegation, on the territory's initial report under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel. Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

During the hearing, the UN Committee Against Torture will examine the report submitted by the United Kingdom Government to the United Nations in March this year.

The report, which was tabled at the Legislative Council and made public in April, covers the legislative, administrative, judicial and other measures that have been taken by the Hong Kong Government to prevent any acts of torture, as defined in Article 1 of the Convention.

17

The Convention was ratified by the United Kingdom Government in 1988 and was extended to Hong Kong in December 1992.

The Hong Kong team will assist the British delegation in answering questions on the implementation of the Convention in the territory.

The other three members of the Hong Kong team are Senior Crown Counsel, Mr Peter Wong; Principal Assistant Secretary for Security, Mr Jack Chan; and Assistant Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr John Dean.

End/Thursday, November 9, 1995

Volume and price movements of external trade in August ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

In the first eight months of 1995, the volume of re-exports increased by 16% over the same period last year, while the volume of domestic exports increased by 4.8%, according to the statistics released today (Thursday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

Taking re-exports and domestic exports together, the volume of total exports increased by 14%. Meanwhile, imports increased by 17% in volume.

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

As regards price changes over the same period of comparison, the prices of reexports and domestic exports increased by 3.9% and 2.5% respectively. Import prices increased by 5.9%. Price changes are reflected by changes in unit value indices, which are compiled based on average unit values or, for certain commodities, based on specific price data.

The terms of trade index, defined as the ratio of total export price index to import price index, decreased by 2.3% in the first eight months of 1995 over the same period last year.

Comparing August 1995 with August 1994, the volume of re-exports increased by 12%, while that of domestic exports decreased by 5.1%. Taken together, the volume of total exports increased by 8.7%. Meanwhile, the volume of imports grew by 14%.

18

Over the same period of comparison, the prices of re-exports and domestic exports increased by 4.2% and 2.9% respectively. Import prices increased by 5.6%.

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

Comparing August 1995 with August 1994, the volume of re-exports of all enduse categories recorded increases of various magnitudes: fuels (+70%), capital goods (+33%), foodstuffs (+17%), raw materials and semi-manufactures (+14%), and consumer goods (+4.5%).

Over the same period of comparison, increases in the prices of re-exports were noted of most of the end-use categories: raw materials and semi-manufactures (+9.7%), consumer goods (+2.7%), foodstuffs (+1.9%), and capital goods (+0.6%). On the other hand, the re-export price of fuels decreased by 6.4%.

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

Comparing August 1995 with August 1994, commodity groups which recorded increases in volume of domestic exports included radios of all kinds (+115%) and travel goods, handbags and similar articles (+22%).

On the other hand, the volume of domestic exports of footwear and textile fabrics decreased by 69% and 22% respectively.

Commodity groups which recorded increases in domestic export prices included textile yarn and thread (+8.7%) and electronic components (+6.5%).

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

The import volume of foodstuffs increased by 5.4% in August 1995 compared with August 1994.

Significant increases in the import volume were noted of wheat and flour; and meat and meat preparations. However, decreases in the import volume were noted of tea and coffee; and animals of the bovine species, live.

Over the same period of comparison, the import volume of consumer goods increased by 2.7%.

19

Significant increases in import volume were recorded in household-type electrical appliances and watches. However, decreases in the import volume were noted of tobacco manufactures and miscellaneous made-up articles of textile materials.

The import volume of raw materials and semi-manufactures increased by 14% in August 1995 compared with August 1994.

Significant increases in import volume were noted of thermionic, cold cathode or photo-cathode valves and tubes, diodes, transistors etc and parts thereof; and base metal other than iron and steel. However, the import volume of silk fabrics; and yam of wool and mixtures declined.

Imports of fuels increased significantly, by 164% in volume in August 1995 compared with August 1994.

As regards capital goods, the import volume increased by 29% in August 1995 over August 1994.

Increases were recorded in the import volume of all capital goods. Those with notable increases included electrical machinery and office machines.

Comparing August 1995 with August 1994, the import prices of most of the end-use categories increased: raw materials and semi-manufactures (+9.8%), foodstuffs (+4.5%), consumer goods (+3.7%), and capital goods (+3.4%). On the other hand, the import price of fuels decreased by 3.8%.

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

The report will be on sale around November 11 at $14 per copy at either the Government Publications Centre on the ground floor, Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway; or the Publications Section of the Census and Statistics Department on the 19th Floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.

Enquiries regarding regular subscription to this report may be directed to the Publications (Sales) Office of the Information Services Department at 28th floor, Siu On Centre, 188 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, Tel: 2598 8194, and enquiries on trade indices to the Census and Statistics Department, Tel: 2582 4918.

20

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

Comparing AUG 1995 Comparing JAN-AUG 1995 with AUG 1994 with JAN-AUG 1994

% changes % changes

End-use category Value Unit Value Volume Value Unit Value Volume

Foodstuffs 18.8 1.9 17.1 21.0 2.2 • 20.2

Consumer goods 7.0 2.7 4.5 10.5 2.3 8.5

Raw materials and semi-manufactures 24.6 9.7 13.7 31.8 9.3 20.6

Fuels 60.9 -6.4 69.6 42.2 2.4 38.8

Capital goods 26.8 0.6 32.7 25.6 0.4 29.4

ALL COMMODITIES 15.2 4.2 12.0 19.4 3.9 16..0

21

Table 2 : Changes in domestic exports by principal commodity group

Comparing AUG 1995 Comparing JAN-AUG 1995 with AUG 1994 with JAN-AUG 1994

Commodity group % changes % changes

Value Unit Value V olume Value Unit Value Volume

Clothing -10.0 2.0 -11.1 4.3 1.5 3.1

Textile fabrics -17.7 3.6 -22.1 -4.3 4.5 -8.9

Textile yarn and thread -11.2 8.7 -18.7 -6.1 3.4 -9.8

Textile made-ups and.related articles 2.9 4.5 -3.8 16.9 11.2 3.8

Radios of all kinds 135.6 4.3 115.2 15.3 1.4 19.1

Electronic components 12.8 6.5 7.6 23.4 4.4 20.5

Footwear * -65.4 2.3 -69.0 -57.3 3.7 -60.2

Metal manufactures 0.6 4.8 -5.8 6.7 2.7 3.9

Metal ores and scrap 25.5 5.8 21.0 41.3 6.3 33.6

Watches and clocks 5.4 1.2 3.6 10.8 2.2 7.2

Travel goods, handbags and similar articles 25.0 2.5 21.6 -0.1 -1.7 2.7

Domestic electrical appliances 5.4 3.3 4.4 -6.4 1.2 -6.9

ALL COMMODITIES -2.7 2.9 -5.1 7.4 2.5 4.8

22

Comparing AUG 1995 with AUG 1994

% changes

Unit

End-use category Value Value Volume

Table 3 : Changes in imports by end-use category

Comparing JAN-AUG 1995 with JAN-AUG 1994

% changes

Unit Value Value Volume

Foodstuffs Consumer goods 9.8 6.5 4.5 3.7 5.4 2.7 18.7 12.2 4.8 4.1 13.3 8.3

Raw materials and semi-manufactures 24.4 9.8 13.8 31.0 9.2 • 19.9

Fuels 154.1 -3.8 163.6 16.6 0.3 18.4

Capital goods 33.6 3.4 29.4 35.0 4.6 29.8

ALL COMMODITIES 19.6 5.6 14.4 23.2 5.9 16.5

- • L

End/Thursday, November 9, 1995

23

Carnival to promote oral health ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Families and teachers will be able to learn more about oral health in a fun way by joining the "Brighter Smiles for the New Generation" Healthy Teeth Carnival 1995 to be held at the Special Exhibition Hall of Hong Kong Science Museum from November 11 to 16 (Saturday to Thursday).

Organised by the Oral Health Education Unit of the Department of Health, the six-day carnival is part of the promotional activities of the Pre-school Oral Health Education Programme.

A spokesman for the department said today (Thursday) the carnival was aimed at promoting oral health awareness in the community and, in particular, encouraging the children of tender age to establish good oral care habits. Admission to the carnival is free. There will be a variety of specially-designed stall games and computer games which offer participants both fun and knowledge on oral health.

The carnival will also feature a variety show, singing contest, and quizzes in which souvenirs will be given away.

On display at the venue will be winning entries of the Oral Health Teaching Kit Design Competition and exhibition boards on oral health.

Apart from pre-arranged student group visits, the carnival will be open to the public during the following hours:

November 11 (Saturday) 12 noon - 7.30 pm

November 12 (Sunday) 10.30 am - 7.30 pm

November 13-16 (Monday - Thursday) 4.30 pm- 7.30 pm

End/Thursday, November 9, 1995


- 24 -

Regional workshop on traditional medicine ***** ? *

A regional workshop on traditional medicine organised by the Department of Health with the co-sponsorship of the World Health Organisation (WHO) will be held next week at the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel.

The first of its kind to be held in Hong Kong and the Western Pacific region, the three-day workshop will run from November 13 to November 15.

Taking part in the workshop will be representatives of WHO's Western Pacific Region, experts on traditional medicine from China, Japan, Korea, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam and local academics, government medical officers and traditional medicine practitioners.

The workshop will examine the use of traditional medicine in the Western Pacific region and discuss matters relating to the practice of traditional medicine, policy and administrative issues as well as scientific research and development.

A spokesman for the Department of Health said the workshop would offer an opportunity for the participants to exchange experience and information on the field of traditional medicine.

The Regional Director of Regional Office for the Western Pacific, WHO. Dr S T Han, will officiate at the opening ceremony.

Other officiating guests include the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok; Chairman of Preparatory Committee on Chinese Medicine. Dr Daniel Tse. and the Director of Health. Dr Margaret Chan.

End/Thursday, November 9, 1995

25

Applicants invited to take part in qualification scheme *****

The Education Department is inviting applicants to participate in the fourth Non-graduate Teacher Qualifications Assessment (NGTQA) to determine whether they possess the academic and professional knowledge and skills to teach in local primary schools. .

Application forms for the 1996 cycle will be distributed from next Wednesday (November 15) to December 14.

Under the NGTQA Scheme, suitable applicants who have obtained their qualifications and training outside Hong Kong would be assessed if their academic standard and professional knowledge and skills are equivalent to those of the nongraduate teachers trained locally.

The third cycle of the Scheme was completed in August and the pass rate was 58 per cent.

To be eligible for admission to the assessment, a candidate must:

* produce valid graduation certificate as documentary evidence of having satisfactorily completed a post-secondary full-time course of not less than three years, or equivalent, in an educational institution outside Hong Kong;

* be of good character as testified by two referees; and

* be eligible to stay in Hong Kong and not be subject to any restriction on employment imposed by the Immigration Department. Hong Kong.

The assessment comprises three parts:

Part 1 (General Education)

Candidates are assessed on their standard of knowledge in the subjects they will teach. Eight subjects are offered - Chinese, English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies (including Health Education), Music, Physical Education and Art and Craft. Each candidate will have to select two subjects in Part I;

26

Part II (Medium of Instruction)

This part assesses candidates' ability to communicate effectively as primary school teachers. Two media of instruction are offered - Chinese and English. All candidates are required to take Chinese as a Medium of Instruction, and those who do not take English as a Medium of Instruction in this part must also take a test on English language Proficiency; and

Part III (Professional Training)

This part will be open only to those candidates who can produce evidence of having successfully completed a formal teacher education course in the relevant subjects outside Hong Kong.

Candidates who failed in only one subject in the previous assessment(s) may apply to resit the examination on that subject in accordance with the regulations stipulated in the Handbook for Applicants.

Candidates who failed in more than one subject (except for the English Language Proficiency Test) will be required to take all again, if they apply this year.

The fee for taking Part I and II of the assessment in $2,200. Candidates taking Part III as well would be required to pay an additional $615. The fee for resitting one subject is $605.

Applications must be made in the prescribed forms. Copies of the application form. Handbook for Applications and Examination Syllabus will be available for collection starting from next Wednesday at the following offices:

* Non-graduate Teacher Qualifications Assessment Section, Room 1138A, 11th floor, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai:

* Yau Tsim District Education Office, seventh floor. Kowloon Government Offices. 405 Nathan road. Yau Ma Tei. Kowloon; and

* Sha Tin District Education Office, third floor. Citylink Plaza, 1 Shatin Station Circuit, Sha Tin.

Applicants should return the completed application forms in person to the above offices between November 22 to December 14 inclusive.

V

- 27 -

Further information may be obtained by calling the NGTQA office on 2892 6216-7 or the Education Department Automatic Telephone Enquiry Service on 2891 0088.

End/Thursday, November 9, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,945 0930 +330

Closing balance in the account 1,794 1000 +330

Change attributable to : 1100 +330

Money market activity +329 1200 +330

LAF today -480 1500 +330

1600 +329

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.4 *+0.0* 9.11.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills

EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.21 2 years 2708 6.06 100.76 5.67

1 month 5.35 3 years 3810 6.15 100.55 6.03

3 months 5.51 5 years 5009 6.95 101.68 6.65

6 months 5.54 5 years M501 7.30 100.74 7.25

12 months 5.56

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $9,381 million

Closed November 9, 1995

End/Thursday, November 9, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Friday, November 10, 1995

Contents Eag£_Nflx

New chapter in US-HK aviation relationship...................................... 1

Kindergarten subsidy payment next week.......................................... 2

Four more language projects receive funding.............................. 3

Books Registration Office moved to new premises.......................... 6

Suggestions for improvements to country parks invited.................... 6

Nomination of arts community representatives required.................... 7

Tenders invited for works in schools..................................... 8

Second Draft Drainage Authority Area plan gazetted....................... 9

Tenders invited for district open space in Tsuen Wan..................... 10

Village expansion area for San Tsuen in Tsuen Wan........................ 11

Heavy penalties for trading in tiger/rhino medicines..................... 12

Stanley Prison inmates received certificates............................. 13

Surface mail services to Rwanda resumed.................................. 13

Water cut in Eastern District............................................ 14

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

1

New chapter in US-HK aviation relationship

*****

The aviation relationship between Hong Kong and the United States entered an important and exciting new phase today (Friday) with the confirmation of the initialled draft Air Services Agreement text between the Government of Hong Kong and the Government of the United States of America.

Officiating at a ceremony to mark the occasion were the Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Gordon Siu, and the US Secretary of Transportation, Mr Federico Pena.

Mr Siu noted that there had been significant developments in air traffic between Hong Kong and the United States since 1937.

"And the US has become Hong Kong's largest overseas trading partner. It is also the second largest source of foreign investment in Hong Kong.

"The security of air links after 1997 is vital to the maintenance of this position, and in that respect to the maintenance of our own prosperity.

"The draft agreement therefore carries implications which reach far beyond the air services sector," he said.

Mr Siu added that within the next few months Hong Kong intended to initial agreements with Japan and the Philippines.

"By 1997, we shall have in place a network of at least 20 agreements covering all our significant aviation partners and providing a stable legal and regulatory platform for the development of our airlines, as Asia's finest, into the next century," he said.

He noted that the draft US-HK Air Services Agreement text, when cleared by the Joint Liaison Group, would ensure the continuation of air links between the US and Hong Kong through and beyond the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong in 1997.

"It represents an important vote of confidence in Hong Kong's future, and in particular in the civil aviation autonomy granted to us under the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration.

2

"The broadening and deepening of our air services relationship over the coming years will, I am sure, demonstrate eloquently that that confidence is well-founded," Mr Siu said.

The new understanding on US-HK traffic arrangements, which takes immediate effect, allows US airlines for the first time to carry freight from Hong Kong to Asian destinations. *

Meanwhile, it permits Hong Kong airlines to fly to 14 cities in the US, with no geographical restrictions. '■ o j

It also opens the way for operation of a "round-the-world" route, linking Hong Kong with India and Europe and the US.

So far, Hong Kong has signed air services agreements with the Netherlands, Switzerland, Canada, Brunei, France, New Zealand, Malaysia, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Australia and the Federal Republic of Germany.

End/Friday, November 10, 1995

Kindergarten subsidy payment next week ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

More than $18.7 million will be paid next week to 232 kindergartens under the Education Department's Kindergarten Subsidy Scheme (KSS) in the first payment of the 1995-96 school year, about half a month ahead of the original payment schedule.

A spokesman for the department said today (Friday) the early payment had been enabled by speedy processing of the applications and through kindergarten operators' co-operation. The subsidy will cover a total of over 52,500 pupils.

The $18.7 million to be paid on November 17 represents half of the year's subsidy and payment for the balance amount will be made in May 1996.

"The KSS is aimed at improving the quality of kindergarten education," the spokesman said. >

3

"In order to minimise the impact of fee increases on parents as a result of the Government’s new regulatory requirements on kindergarten from September 1995, all kindergartens are eligible to apply for a subsidy based on a rate of $695 per pupil per year, provided that the annual school fee per pupil in the 1994-95 school year does not exceed $8,300 and the fulfilment of other conditions for joining KSS.

"The regulatory requirements on all kindergartens include the revised academic qualification for kindergarten teachers and at least 40 per cent trained teachers in each session of a kindergarten," the spokesman added.

End/Friday, November 10, 1995

Four more language projects receive funding *****

Funds totalling $3.81 million have been approved for four language improvement projects in the second round of the second allocation exercise of the Language Fund.

The Fund was set up in May last year. It was a trust fund held under the Director of Education Incorporation Ordinance with an initial allocation of $300 million.

The main objective of the Fund is to support proposals and initiatives which will raise the standards in Chinese (including Putonghua) and English, enhance existing efforts and meet temporary shortfalls in language teaching resources. In addition, it also designs to encourage research into problem areas and initiation of new approaches.

Of the four successful applications which aim at improving language proficiency of teachers, students and members of the public, two are English language projects and two Chinese language/Putonghua projects.

A spokesman of the Language Fund Secretariat said: "There is a good combination of research, teaching and learning resource materials as well as reading award project."

4

"They all meet the stringent criteria set by the Language Fund Advisory Committee and should be a great help in raising language standards in Hong Kong."

The spokesman noted that among the successful bidders were two projects producing learning materials to enhance the learning of English in late 1995.

There is also a research study on the development of early language production in Hong Kong Chinese pre-school children.

Another Chinese project is a popular reading award scheme for secondary school students in 1995-96 school year.

5

Chinese Language (Including Putonghua) Projects

Project Organisation/ Co-ordinator Amount of Grant and Duration of Project

Conducting a research study on the development of early language production in Hong Kong Chinese preschool children starting in early 1996 Dr. Sylvia Opper and Dr. Tse Shek Kam S0.56 million over 1 year

Organisation of Popular Reading Award Scheme by Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union for secondary school students in 1995-96 Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union $0.26 million over 1 year

English Projects

Project Organisation/ Co-ordinator Amount of Grant and Duration of Project

Production of video packages for use in Business Communication classes at tertiary/vocational training institutions in Hong Kong in late 1995 Mr. Clifford Hall $0.39 million over 14 months

Production of a self-access learning package of English language materials for Secondary 6 students of English medium schools in late 1995 The British Council $2.6 million over 2 years

Language Fund Secretariat Education Department

End/Friday, November 10, 1995

6

Books Registration Office moved to new premises ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Books Registration Office, which was formerly under the administration of the Recreation and Culture Branch, has been transferred to the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority this week. The Office is now located in room 916, ninth floor, Revenue Tower, 5 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Under the Books Registration Ordinance, publishers and printers are required to deliver five copies of their new books to the Books Registration Office for registration within one month of publication. Any person who contravenes the ordinance shall be guilty of an offence and is liable, upon conviction, to a fine of $2,000.

The Books Registration Office also serves as the local agent for the International Standard Book Numbering system. Publishers are welcome to make use of this free service to promote their business. Further enquiries can be made on 2594 5636.

End/Friday, November 10, 1995

Suggestions for improvements to country parks invited ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Countryside visitors with good suggestions in mind to improve services at the territory's country parks are invited to enrol as participants in next month's Country Park Visitor Liaison Group meeting.

U. • • i-

Members of the public with first-hand experience of country parks are also welcome to take part in the discussions on December 16 (Saturday) with Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) staff on matters relating to these public scenic parks.

Commenting on next month's meeting, an AFD spokesman said it would be the fifth round discussions of the Liaison Group since its establishment in late 1993.

The spokesman said: "The previous meetings had proved useful as there were direct and frank exchanges of views between participants and AFD on services provided at country parks and on suggestions concerning the provision of these services."

7

"We hope that more suggestions would be forthcoming in the December 16 meeting scheduled to be held between 2.30 pm and 4.30 pm at the Ranger Head Office, Shing Mun Country Park," he added.

Those interested in taking part in the meeting can collect enrolment forms at AFD’s Country Parks Management Office at Room 1462, Canton Road Government Offices, 393 Canton Road, Kowloon. Forms are also available from visitor centres at the six country parks in Aberdeen, Shing Mun, Clear Water Bay, Tai Mo Shan, Plover Cove and Sai Kung as well as the Lions Nature Education Centre.

Completed forms should be returned by post to the Country Parks Management Office or in person to any of the above seven country park visitor centres and nature education centre on or before December 2.

As the number of public members for the Liaison Group is limited to 30, selection by drawing lots may be required if there are too many applicants. Successful applicants will be notified by post before December 11.

End/Friday, November 10, 1995

Nomination of arts community representatives required ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The notice of the Hong Kong Arts development Council (HKADC) Specification of Representative Organisations was published in the Government Gazette today (Friday).

Under the Hong Kong Arts Development Council Ordinance, the 18 nonofficial Council members, including a chairman and a vice-chairman, may consist up to nine persons representing each of the nine arts interests nominated by the organisations or groups of organisations specified by the Governor.

The specified group for each arts interest may each nominate one person experienced in that arts interest to be considered by the Governor for appointment as a member of HKADC with effect from January 1, 1996.

A spokesman for the Recreation and Culture Branch called on members of the arts community to actively participate in the nomination process.

"The memberships of these specified organisations or groups of organisations are open to all individuals and organisations who are active in their respective arts interests in Hong Kong.

8

"Any suitable persons or organisations wishing to join in should contact directly the respective specified organisations or groups of organisations.

"Parties wishing to participate in the nomination process for the coming term of office of the HKADC, either as candidates or voters, must register with the relevant specified bodies by November 21," the spokesman said.

The specified organisations are required to submit their nominations and all supporting documentation to the Recreation and Culture Branch on or before December 11 for consideration by the Governor for appointment as HKADC members.

End/Friday, November 10, 1995

Tenders invited for works in schools *****

The Architectural Services Department is inviting tenders to carry out alteration works for five aided schools.

As part of the School Improvement Programme, the works comprise new extension work and conversion work including associated building services and drainage systems.

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

Tenders must be clearly marked and addressed to the Chairman of the Central Tender Board and placed in the Government Secretariat tender box in the lift lobby, lower ground floor, Central Government Offices (East Wing), Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong before noon on December 8.

Late tenders will not be accepted.

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

End/Friday, November 10, 1995

9

Second Draft Drainage Authority Area plan gazetted *****

The Drainage Authority (who is the Director of Drainage Services) has prepared a draft Drainage Authority Area plan for the second largest drainage basin in Hong Kong.

This represented another step forward in the flood prevention works in the New Territories, a spokesman for the Drainage Services Department (DSD) said today (Friday).

The draft plan, gazetted today, shows the boundary of the "Drainage Authority Area" in the Indus Drainage Basin which is bound in the east by Pat Sin Leng Country Park, in the south by Tai Po, in the west by Yuen Long and in the north by Ping Che and Man Kam To.

"Upon gazetting of the draft plan, the Drainage Authority is given various powers under the Land Drainage Ordinance to enter upon private land for executing drainage works, and to exercise control on erection of structures within the main watercourses.

"These measures are aimed at reducing the threat of flooding in areas covered by the draft Drainage Authority Area plan," the spokesman said.

The plan has an area of about 70 square kilometres and mainly covers Kwu Tung, Lo Wu, Lung Yuek Tau, Kwan Tei, Wo Hop Shek, Hong Lok Yuen, Sheung Shui and Fanling New Town. About 35 kilometres of watercourses within these areas are also designated by the Drainage Authority as "main watercourses" on the draft plan.

The draft Drainage Authority Area plan showing the boundary of the "Drainage Authority Area" and the extent of main watercourses, can be seen at the following offices:

* Drainage Services Department headquarters, 43rd floor. Revenue Tower, 5 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai;

* Land Drainage Division, Drainage Services Department, 11th floor, Kowloon Government Offices, 405 Nathan Road, Yau Ma Tei;

10

* North District Office, third floor. North District Government Offices, 3 Pik Fung Road, Fanling;

* Tai Po District Office, Tai Po Government Offices Building, Ting Kok Road, Tai Po;

* Land Registry, 28th floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway;

* North New Territories Land Registry, second floor. North District Government Offices, 3 Pik Fung Road, Fanling; and

* Tai Po New Territories Land Registry, second floor, Mei Hing Building, 1-17 Yan Hing Street, Tai Po.

Any person affected by the draft Drainage Authority Area plan may lodge objections in writing to the Drainage Authority not later than 60 days after the gazette notice.

He should clearly set out the nature of and reasons for the objection, and any proposed alteration that would remove the objection.

End/Friday, November 10, 1995

Tenders invited for district open space in I suen Wan *****

The Architectural Services Department is inviting tenders for the construction of a district open space in Area 7 in Tsuen Wan.

The district open area, with an area of 29,500 square metres, will comprise tennis courts, a service building, a store room, covered walkways, play areas and landscaping works.

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

11

Tenders must be clearly marked and addressed to the Chairman of the Central Tender Board and placed in the Government Secretariat Tender Box in the lift lobby, lower ground floor. Central Government Offices (East Wing), Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong before noon on Friday, December 1.

Late tenders will not be accepted.

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

End/Friday, November 10. 1995

Village expansion area for San Tsuen in Tsuen Wan *****

The Government intends to construct an expansion area for San Tsuen in Tsuen Wan to facilitate the expansion and improvement of the village.

"On completion of the site formation and roads and drainage works, about 9,260 square metres of land will be made available for local open spaces, an electricity sub-station and 46 small house sites," a government spokesman said today (Friday).

"The small house sites will help relieve the congested housing situation for San Tsuen villagers;" he added.

To enable the works to be carried out, a notice was published in the Government Gazette today announcing government's plan to resume 57 private agricultural lots with a total area of about 6,360.5 square metres.

Details of the lots affected are contained in the Gazette notice.

Plans can also be seen at the Tsuen Wan District Lands Office, 10th floor, Tsuen Wan Station Multi-Storey Carpark Building, 174-208 Castle Peak Road, Tsuen Wan.

The spokesman explained that to ensure compatibility with the development of the Tsuen Wan new town, a comprehensive village expansion area was designed with a layout plan subsequently approved for San Tsuen.

Works will commence in March next year for completion in about 18 months.

End/Friday. November 10. 1995

12

Heavy penalties for trading in tiger/rhino medicines

*****

Trading in medicines containing or claiming to contain ingredients of highly endangered species, including tiger and rhino, without a licence could face very heavy penalties if convicted by the court.

The reminder was issued by an Agriculture and Fisheries Department's (AFD) conservation officer, Mr Cheung Chi-sun, after a trader was fined $500,000 at the Western Magistracy this (Friday) morning for possessing medicines claiming to contain tiger ingredients.

Mr Cheung pointed out that under the Animals and Plants (Protection of Endangered Species) Ordinance, any person found guilty of importing, exporting or in possession of a highly endangered species without a licence is liable to a maximum penalty of $5 million fine and two years' imprisonment.

The control covers a wide variety of endangered species, including their parts, derivatives and medicines containing or claiming to contain tiger and rhino ingredients.

This morning's fine is the heaviest a I long Kong court has ever handed down to a defendant convicted under the ordinance.

"It shows that the court is also taking a serious view of such offences. We hope that the heavy fine could serve an effective deterrent with a view to contributing to the conservation of wildlife." he said.

Mr Cheung took the opportunity to call on members of the public to refrain from buying medicines containing or claiming to contain tiger or rhino ingredients as it would stimulate the demand.

He also urged the public to report any illegal activities on endangered species to AFD by calling 2733 2144.

Turning back to the case, he said following a tip-off, AFD field officers raided a medicinal shop in Wing Lok Street, Central, in May.

A total of 160 small packets of traditional medicines, all claiming to contain tiger ingredients, were seized.

The case was first heard a month ago at the Western Magistracy where the 46-year-old shop owner pleaded not guilty. The defendant, however, changed his plea to guilty this morning and was convicted by the court.

13

Stanley Prison inmates received certificates ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Seventy-six inmates of Stanley Prison received their certificates at a presentation ceremony held today (Friday) at the prison after having recently passed various public examinations.

✓ • • i • • * * , ' • - r -

One of the recipients has scored the best result in accounting, beating over 2,000 entrants world-wide in the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry Examination and coming first in cost accounting. Three inmates received Full Technological Certificate of the City and Guilds of London Institute which is equivalent to a diploma in electronic engineering.

The Head of Secretariat and Corporate Affairs of the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club (RHKJC), Mr David Yau, officiated at the presentation ceremony.

The RHKJC donated $1.01 million to the Prisoners’ Education Trust Fund in April this year.

The Fund was set up to encourage prisoners to obtain better educational qualifications while in prison and to better prepare them for reintegration into community upon their release.

End/Friday, November 10, 1995

Surface mail services to Rwanda resumed

*****

The acting Postmaster General, Miss Nancy Law, announced today (Friday) that all surface mail services to Rwanda, which have been suspended since May 13, 1994, are now resumed.

End/Friday, November 10, 1995

- 14

i?

Water cut in Eastern District

.3


•; V !

‘C

•u

Fresh and flushing water supply to some premises in Eastern District will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm on Monday (November 13) to 6 am the following day to facilitate testing of water mains. --

The affected area will include Price Road, Mount Butler Road, Mount Butler Drive, Wilson Road, Purves Road, Henderson Road, Goldsmith Road, Cooper Road, Creasy Road, Perkins Road, Boyce Road, Moorsom Drive, Moorsom Road , 10 Chun Fai Road and Clementi Road.

End/Friday, November 10, 1995


Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations ♦ ♦. ♦

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,794 0930 +480

Closing balance in the account 2,047 1000 +478

Change attributable to: 1100 +478

Money market activity +473 1200 +481

LAF today -220 1500 +481

1600 +473

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.0 *-0.4* 10.11.95

15

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.16 2 years 2708 6.06 100.73 5.69

1 month 5.31 3 years 3810 6.15 100.43 6.08

3 months 5.50 5 years 5009 6.95 101.53 6.68

6 months 5.54 5 years M502 7.30 100.58 7.29

12 months 5.58

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $13,509 million

Closed November 10, 1995

End/Friday, November 10, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Saturday, November 11,1995

Contents 5

Director-General of Trade departs for Osaka APEC.................. 1

Healthy teeth essential to children's development....................... 2

The Weather of October.................................................. 3

Special stamp issuing programme for 1996.......................... 8

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations.............. 9

Sunday, November 12,1995

Contents Page No,

UN consultative meeting on drug control........................... 10

New Insider Dealing Tribunal Chairman appointed................... 10

Teachers required in government secondary schools................. 11

Rat prevention campaign launched.................................. 12

Design for special school wins architectural award................ 13

First Southern District Sports Festival........................... 13

Education staff awarded for good service.......................... 14

Flag days in 1996................................................. 15

Salt water cut in Tsz Wan Shan and Wong Tai Sin................... 19

1

Director-General of Trade departs for Osaka APEC

*****

The Director-General of Trade, Mr Tony Miller, said today (Saturday) that the draft Action Agenda will be finalised and submitted to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministers and economic leaders at the Osaka meeting next week.

Speaking before his departure for the series of meetings to be held between November 13 and 19, Mr Miller said: "The road map now known as 'Action Agenda' has been 95 per cent completed, though not without thorny issues yet to be resolved.

"There are however indications that APEC members have the will to resolve these problems in order to make the Osaka Leaders Meeting a success.

"I am pretty confident that we can finish it off by the time our leaders meet in Osaka. So be prepared to be pleasantly surprised by the scope and openness of the package of the Action Agenda which will be unveiled in Osaka.

"Apart from a comprehensive Action Agenda, APEC leaders will also announce at their meeting their initial actions (once known as 'downpayment') recently taken or to be implemented very soon on liberalisation and facilitation of trade and investment, to demonstrate its will to lead the process of global liberalisation by example, rather than to establish another trade bloc or free trade area."

Mr Miller will attend the senior officials get-together on November 13 and 14, then accompany the Secretary for Trade and Industry, Mr Chau Tak-hay, to the seventh APEC Ministerial Meeting on November 16 and 17.

He will be special assistant to the Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, to the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting to be held in Osaka on November 19.

The second Economic Leaders Meeting at Bogor last November set an unqualified goal of free trade and investment in the Asia Pacific region by 2010 and 2020.

Leaders also instructed ministers and senior officials to devise a road map for achieving the free trade goal for their consideration this year at the third Economic Leaders Meeting in Osaka.

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/Saturday, November 11, 1995

2

Healthy teeth essential to children's development ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Healthy teeth are not only essential in keeping up children's learning spirit, but also an important element in building up children's confidence as they grow up.

This was said by the Director of Hong Kong Institute of Education, Professor C K Leung, at the opening ceremony of 'Brighter Smiles for the New Generation' Healthy Teeth Carnival 1995 held at the Hong Kong Science Museum today (Saturday).

Professor Leung said the focus of the "Brighter Smiles for the New Generation" pre-school oral health education programme was very much in line with the development of pre-school children.

"At the age of three, children will start to explore and try to accomplish things by themselves, so it is a good opportunity to teach them good oral health habits," he said.

"The programme is well-designed and very innovative in the sense that it arouses pre-school children's awareness on oral health by first educating the preschool teachers who are adults that influence them most.

"The teachers can also benefit from the process by learning more about the needs of children in maintaining oral health," he added.

Also speaking at the ceremony, the Director of Health, Dr Margaret Chan, said the "Brighter Smiles for the New Generation" pre-school oral health programme, sponsored by the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club, had received very good response from the public since it was launched by the Department of Health in 1993.

She said a two-pronged approach was adopted in the programme. In maternal and child health centres, parents were given information and counselling on oral hygiene. At the same time, a series of teaching kits were distributed to kindergartens for use by pre-school teachers.

In addition, the Department of Health has prepared a series of three story books on oral hygiene for distribution to children of different ages while its Oral Health Education Unit has set up a "Brighter Smiles Playland" offering children a colourful place to learn more about oral health through interesting games.

3

Dr Chan noted that every year more than 80 per cent of kindergartens obtained teaching kits from the Department of Health and more than 200,000 story books had been given away. Response to the oral health playland had also been very encouraging, with more than 50,000 visitors annually.

She urged the public to continue to support and participate in the programme so that the oral health condition of our younger generation can continue to improve.

During today's ceremony, eight winners of the Oral Health Teaching Kit Design Competition were presented with prizes.

The "Brighter Smiles for the New Generation" Healthy Teeth Carnival 1995 will be held until Thursday (November 16). It offets free stall games, computer games, variety shows and quizzes for the participants to know more about oral health while having fun.

End/Saturday, November 11, 1995

The Weather of October ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

October was the fifth wettest October since records began in 1884. On three days during the first week, daily rainfall exceeded 100 millimetres.

The total monthly rainfall of 476.9 millimetres was more than three times the normal figure of 144.8 millimetres. The accumulated rainfall so far this year amounted to 2,744.7 millimetres, 28 per cent above the average of 2,151.9 millimetres for the same period.

Typhoon Sibyl came close to Hong Kong in the beginning of the month, necessitating the hoisting of Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No 8.

The month started fine and sunny with the maximum temperature reaching 30.1 degrees on October 1, the highest for the month. However, on the following day, rainbands associated with Sibyl began to affect the territory.

4

Winds also strengthened from the east and on October 3, reached gale force strength with torrential rain amounting to 106.4 millimetres at the Royal Observatory.

With the dissipation of Sibyl on October 4, the weather turned sunny during the day and temperatures climbed to over 30 degrees again.

Convergence of airstreams Qver the coastal waters of Guangdong led to intense rain development near Hong Kong on October 5. The heaviest downpour occurred that night as rain clouds and thunderstorms moved across the territory.

The total rainfall recorded at the Royal Observatory on October.5 and 6 amounted to 261.2 millimetres.

Nearly 100 cases of flooding were reported. The most severe ones occurred in the northern part of the New Territories where the flood water was three metres deep.

About 200 people had to be evacuated. More than 400 hectares of agricultural land and 180 hectares of fish-ponds were flooded, causing damage amounting to $11 million. There were also 17 cases of landslips reported and two persons were injured.

Rain eased off on the afternoon of October 6 as a drier airstream arrived from the north.

The weather turned fine the next couple of days. Winds strengthened from the east on the evening of October 9, bringing some rain patches to the territory. The weather remained cloudy with some light rain the next few days.

Meanwhile, a ridge of high pressure persisted over China maintaining fresh northeast monsoon along the coast of southeast China.

Winds became strong offshore in Hong Kong during the night of October 10 and the Strong Monsoon Signal was hoisted for the following two and a half days.

A scaffolding in Central collapsed, damaging some tramway cables on the morning of October 12. Monsoon winds moderated during the day on October 13.

The remnant of Ted over western Guangdong brought periods of rain to Hong Kong the next two days. However, a dry continental airstream cleared the clouds and there were long periods of sunshine on October 16.

5

The weather remained sunny during the next seven days. Temperatures rose to above 30 degrees in the New Territories on October 20.

A rather dry airstream came over the territory on October 23 and winds turned northerly during the next day and freshened in the evening.

Clouds moved in and gave rise to light rain patches on the evening of October 25 and the next two days. Temperatures fell to 21.4 degrees, the lowest for the month, on the morning of October 26.

Under the influence of a dry continental airstream, clouds dispersed on October 28 and the weather became fine and sunny the rest of the month.

There were seven tropical cyclones over the western North Pacific and the South China Sea in the month.

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

6

Table 1.1 Warnings and signals in October 1995

Warnings / Signals

Effective date and time

Tropical Cyclone Warning Signals

Name of T C Signal No.

Sibyl 1 1 Oct 1745 - 2 Oct 1230

3 2 Oct 1230 - 3 Oct 0510

8SE 3 Oct 0510- 3 Oct 1130

3 3 Oct 1130- 3 Oct 2045

Strong Monsoon Signals 10 Oct 2300- 13 Oct 1240 14 Oct 0730- 14 Oct 1900 17 Oct 0710- 17 Oct 0930

Rainstorm Warning

Red 5 Oct 2215- 6 Oct 0300

Landslip Warnings 3 Oct 0400 - 4 Oct 0830 5 Oct 2200- 6 Oct 1015

Flood Warnings 3 Oct 0330 - 3 Oct 1500 5 Oct 1815 - 6 Oct 0905

Thunderstorm Warnings 5 Oct 1745 - 6 Oct 0900 14 Oct 1345 - 14 Oct 1700

Fire Danger Warnings

Yellow

22 Oct 0000-22 Oct 2315

29 Oct 0000-29 Oct 2315

31 Oct 0905 - 31 Oct 2400

7

Table 1.2 Figures and Departures from Normal - October 1995

Total Bright Sunshine

Mean Daily Global Solar Radiation

Total Rainfall

Mean Cloud Amount

Mean Relative Humidity

Mean Daily Maximum Temperature

Mean Air Temperature

Mean Daily Minimum Temperature

Mean Dew Point

Total Evaporation

155.1 hours; 39.9 hours below normal

12.11 MJ/SQM; 3.35 MJ/SQM below normal

476.9 mm; 332.1 mm above normal

66%; 10% above normal

78%; 5% above normal

27.2 Degrees Celsius;

0.7 Degree Celsius below normal

25.3 Degrees Celsius;

0.1 Degree Celsius above normal

23.7 Degrees Celsius;

0.6 Degree Celsius above normal

21.0 Degrees Celsius;

1.2 Degrees Celsius above normal

102.2 mm; 50.0 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, November 11, 1995

8

Special stamp issuing programme for 1996 *****

The acting Postmaster General, Miss Nancy Law, announced today (Saturday) the following special stamp issuing programme for 1996:

January 31 - Year of the Rat

This set of stamps, the 10th in the current series of Lunar New Year special stamps, will comprise four denominations. A souvenir sheet and a stamp booklet will also be released.

The Year of the Rat Electronic Postage Labels (Frama Labels) will be released on February 28.

March 20 - 1996 Olympic Games

This set will comprise four stamps featuring various sports, namely, gymnastics, diving, athletics and basketball. A souvenir sheet will also be released.

June 26 - Archaeological Finds of Hong Kong

The set will comprise four denominations featuring four artefacts found in Hong Kong. They are: painted pottery basin from Chung Hom Wan; stone "yue" from Yung Long, Tuen Mun; stone "ge" from Tai Wan, Lamma Island; and pottery tripod from Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb.

September 11 - Hong Kong Mountains

This set will comprise four stamps depicting four well-known mountains in Hong Kong - Pat Sin Leng, Ma On Shan, Lion Rock and Lantau Peak.

November 20 - Hong Kong Urban Heritage

This set of stamps will depict several historical buildings in the urban area of the territory.

Further details of each stamp issue will be announced closer to the date of issue.

End/Saturday, November 11,1995

9

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

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

Opening balance in the account 2,047 09:30 +170

Closing balance in the account 1,468 10:00 +170

Change attributable to: 11:00 +170

Money market activity -170 11:30 + 170

LAF today -749 15:00

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.2 *+0.2* 11.11.95

End/Saturday, November 11, 1995

10

UN consultative meeting on drug control ♦ * * * *

The Government Laboratory is co-orgainising an expert group meeting with the Vienna-based United Nations Drug Control Programme starting tomorrow (Monday).

The five-day round table meeting will bring together fourteen eminent forensic toxicologists from around the world.

The meeting will discuss developments in the control and analysis of two important classes of abused hypontic drugs, the barbiturates and Benzodiazepines, in biological specimens.

A spokesman for the Government Laboratory said: "The meeting is particularly relevant for Hong Kong as there has been a rapidly rising trend in benzodiazepine abuse over recent years.

"Seizures of two class drugs, midazolam and flunitrazepam, have increased by 400 per cent over the past four years."

Control in this aspect was stepped up substantially in 1992 by placing 35 benzodiazepine class substances under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance.

This has demonstrated the Government's firm resolution to react swiftly to the changing patterns of drugs abuse.

A handbook summarising the deliberations of the group will be published for distribution through UN member agencies.

End/Sunday, November 12, 1995

New Insider Dealing Tribunal Chairman appointed

*****

The Government announced today (Sunday) that the Governor has appointed Mr Justice Yam to be the Chairman of the Insider Dealing Tribunal.

The appointment is for a period of two years starting from tomorrow (Monday).

11

Mr Justice Yam’s immediate task is to conduct an inquiry into certain dealings involving shares of CNPC (Hong Kong) Ltd (formerly known as Paragon Holdings Ltd).

Mr Justice Yam, aged 47, first joined the Judiciary as a District Judge in 1987. He was appointed High Court Judge in April last year.

He succeeds Mr Justice Stock as Chairman of the Tribunal.

End/Sunday, November 12, 1995

Teachers required in government secondary schools

*****

The Education Department is inviting applications for teaching posts of Assistant Education Officer (AEO) in government secondary schools.

A spokesman for the department said today (Sunday) applicants for the AEO post should be holders of a Hong Kong university degree or equivalent; or a postgraduate Certificate in Education from a Hong Kong university and a degree. They should also have a grade E or above in Chinese Language and English Language (Syllabus B) in the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination or equivalent.

Final year students taking their degree examination in summer 1996 may also apply, the spokesman said.

The pay scale for the post is between $18,145 and $38,210 per month. Entry point depends on experience.

Applicants should mark clearly in the application form the major and minor subjects in their degree courses and the specific post apply for. Application forms are available at District Offices of the Home Affairs Department and the Labour Department’s Local Employment Service offices.

Completed application forms should reach the Education Department's Appointment Registry, Appointments and Personnel Sub-division, Room 1631, 16th floor, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai on or before November 24.

End/Sunday, November 12, 1995

12

Rat prevention campaign launched

*****

The Department of Health is now launching a territory- wide education campaign to remind the public of the importance of rat prevention and to provide them with some basic knowledge on the subject.

The campaign, bearing the theme "Clean environment keeps rat away", was organised with the sponsorship of the Urban Council and the Regional Council.

"Rats are carriers of infectious diseases such as plague and murine typhus. They can also indirectly transmit gastro-intestinal diseases such as food poisoning," a spokesman for the department said today (Sunday).

"Besides, rats can gnaw on home fittings and furniture causing financial loss and may occasionally bite people of lower mobility," he added.

The spokesman said the fundamental method in rodent control was to improve the sanitation of the environment.

During the campaign period, printed educational handouts such as posters, advisory letters and leaflets will be distributed to building management offices, incorporated owners, mutual aid committees, food premises, housing estates and schools to appeal for their adoption of rat prevention measures.

A 24-hour hotline 2723 0013 will also be in operation to provide the public a pre-recorded message in Cantonese on rat prevention.

Members of the public can contact the Pest Control Units of respective district offices of the Urban Services Department or the Regional Services Department.

Meanwhile, the spokesman advised the public to take the following precautionary measures to prevent rat infestations:

Keep the premises clean. Store all food properly and put all refuse and food remains into a proper dustbin so as to leave no food for rats.

* Seal off any holes on ceilings, walls and floors. Inspect regularly the bottom and back of bulky furniture and concealed places so as to eliminate breeding places for rats promptly.

* Keep drain gratings in good repair. Render all ventilation openings rat-proof by installing strong wire nettings with narrow gauges to keep rats away from the premises. Affix metal plates to the lower part of wooden doors to keep away rats.

End/Sunday, November 12, 1995

13

Design for special school wins architectural award ♦ * * * ♦

The architectural design for the Special School for Moderately Mentally Handicapped Children in Kwai Chung has been selected as the best to win 1994 Architectural Services Department Annual Award.

Three other projects were also chosen to receive the certificates of merits. These were the Correctional Services Department Staff Club in Lai Chi Kok, the renovation of the Environmental Resource Centre in Wan Chai and Wai Tsuen Indoor Recreation Centre in Tsuen Wan.

The winners were selected from 11 entries by a panel of judges comprising the Director of Architectural Services, Mr Kenneth Chan; the Chairman of the Regional Council, Mr Daniel Lam; and the President of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects, Mr Chung Wah-nan.

The architectural team should be congratulated on their efforts and thoughtfulness in producing an excellent design for the special school for moderately mentally handicapped children, said Mr Kenneth Chan.

"The panel of judges paid a high regard to the courtyard approach of the design which creates an inward looking environment which is both friendly and protective.

"The domestic and family scale of the building is successfully and carefully carried down to all architectural elements devoid of any institutional touches.

"The overall environment is helped by the use of warm colours that are cheerful and hopeful," he said.

End/Sunday, November 12, 1995

First Southern District Sports Festival ♦ ♦ * * ♦

The Home Affairs Department will continue to promote community participation projects to give the public opportunities to get to know more about local administration and strengthen their sense of belonging by taking part in district activities, the Director of Home Affairs, Mrs Shelley Lau, said today (Sunday).

Mrs Lau made the remarks at the eye-dotting ceremony for the first ever Southern District Sports Festival at Repulse Bay before a huge crowd of participants and spectators.

14

The festival was jointly organised by the Southern District Recreation and Sports Council and the Urban Council with the Southern District Office's assistance. It was sponsored by the Southern District Board.

Scheduled festival sports events, which will run until December 3, include ping pong, basketball, soccer and sand carving.

End/Sunday, November 12, 1995

Education staff awarded for good service

*****

The Director of Education, Mr W K Lam, recently presented the Fourth Quarterly Award and Annual Award for the 1994-95 school year to Mr Du Hey-choy and four other staff members for their excellent and quality service.

Miss Wong Siu-hing, Clerical Office I at Mong Kok District Education Office, was another Annual Award winner under the Staff Incentive Award Scheme.

Presenting the awards to the winners, which comprised a certificate of merit and a watch embossed with the department's logo, Mr Lam praised them for their outstanding performance.

The Annual Award winners were also presented a 999.9 golden card whereas all Quarterly Award winners were given a photo-stand as souvenir.

Other winners for the Fourth Quarterly Award including an education assistant at the Secondary School Places Allocation Section, Mr Leung Wan-kuen; a clerical officer I at Jockey Club Government Secondary Technical School, Mr Tong King-keung; and an office assistance at Tuen Mun Government Secondary School, Miss Lai Pui-lin.

Mr Du, a senior assistant master at New Territories Heung Yee Kuk Southern District Secondary School, was awarded because of his sincere and conscientious contribution to the school and the society.

He was an enthusiastic teacher. Apart from imparting musical knowledge to students during lessons, he also spent a lot of time after school to conduct classes in musical instruments for students.

His colleagues were also impressed by his volunteer service to the residents of the nearby villages and the neighbouring islands.

15

Miss Wong was nominated because of her high quality customer service. She assisted new immigrants and local students who enquired school placement service.

She also contributed to the data conversion/preparation exercise for the School Information Management System of the Integrated Students and Schools Applications.

Mr Leung possessed a thorough knowledge of the Secondary School Places Allocation system. Being an experienced officer, he was always able to give assistance to members of the public on education matters.

Mr Tong was highly praised by his school principal for his contributions to the pilot scheme on Performance Pledges in government schools which had made it a great success.

Miss Lai was commended for her patience, friendliness and positive working attitude. She could always finish her tasks efficiently and ahead of schedule.

End/Sunday, November 12, 1995

Flag days in 1996 ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

A total of 50 organisations will hold flag days to raise funds on Saturdays next year, starting from January 6, a spokesman for the Social Welfare Department said today (Sunday).

The last flag day this year will be held on December 28. Members of the public can call the department's hotline 2343 2255 or SWD headquarters on 2892 5315 for enquiries.

The spokesman appealed to organisers to take precautions against any possible fraud.

"Sellers should display the permit in permanent counters or carry copies of the permit for inspection upon request," he said.

The spokesman also advised them to prepare guidelines for sellers, setting out

the places and time for selling and the collection points for bags.

16

Organisers should inform the Police in case of loss of property, and seek their help when fraudulent acts, such as tampering of collection bags or making unauthorised selling, are found.

The flag days for 1996 are as follows:

Date

Organisation

January 6 Oxfam Hong Kong

January 13 Hong Kong Playground Association

January 20 The Mong Kok Kai-fong Association Ltd

January 27 Chai Wan Baptist Church

February 3 Yan Oi Tong

February 10 KELY Support Group

February 17 Pok Oi Hospital

February 24 Project Orbis

March 2 Fung Kai Public School

March 9 The Lok Sin Tong Benevolent Society, Kowloon

March 16 Hong Kong Association of the Blind

March 23 The Salvation Army

March 30 Hong Kong PHAB Association

April 6 Hong Kong Down Syndrome Association

April 13 Hong Kong Red Cross

April 20 The Society for the Relief of Disabled Children (The Duchess of Kent Children’s Hospital)

17

April 27 Hong Kong Society for the Protection of Children

May 4 Breakthrough Ltd

May 11 Christian Family Service Centre

May 18 United Christian Medical Service

May 25 Wu Oi Christian Centre Ltd

June 1 The Society of Homes for the Handicapped

June 8 The Methodist Church, Hong Kong (Methodist Epworth Village Community Centre)

June 22 Maryknoll Medical and Welfare Association (Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital)

June 29 The Hong Kong Cheshire Home Foundation

July 6 The Hong Kong Adventure Corps

July 13 Pentecostal Church of Hong Kong

July 20 Arts with the Disabled Association Hong Kong

July 27 Sheng Kung Hui Lady MacLehose Centre

August 3 Yan Chai Hospital

August 10 The Lutheran Church - Hong Kong Synod

August 17 The Road Safety Association Ltd

August 31 World Wide Fund for Nature Hong Kong

September 7 The Hong Kong Society for Child Health and Development

September 14

Hong Kong Federation of Handicapped Youth

18

September 21 Tung Wah Group of Hospitals

September 28 Hong Kong Sports Association for the Mentally Handicapped

October 5 The Boys’ and Girls' Association of Hong Kong

October 12 New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association

October 19 Po Leung Kuk

October 26 The Chinese Rhenish Church Hong Kong Synod

November 2 The Hong Kong Tuberculosis, Chest and Heart Diseases Association

November 9 The Royal British Legion (Hong Kong and China Branch)

November 16 Haven of Hope Hospital

November 23 The Community Chest of Hong Kong

November 30 Hong Kong AIDS Foundation Ltd

December 7 The Hong Kong Association for the Mentally Handicapped

December 14 Hong Kong Kidney Foundation Ltd

December 21 Tsuen Wan Ecumenical Social Service Centre

December 28 Hong Kong Childhealth Foundation

End/Sunday, November 12, 1995

19

Salt water cut in Tsz Wan Shan and Wong Tai Sin ♦ * * * *

Flushing water supply to some premises in Tsz Wan Shan and Wong Tai Sin will be temporarily suspended from 9 pm on Wednesday (November 15) to 6 am the following day to facilitate watermains work.

The suspension will affect Tsz Wan Shan Estate, Fung Wong San Tsuen, Chuk Yuen South Estate,Chuk Yuen North Estate, Tin Ma Court, Tsui Chuk Garden, Pan Ching Court, Tin Wang Court, Harbour Garden, King Ngai Court, Fung Tak Estate, Lung Poon Court, Shatin Pass Road, Diamond Hill MTR Station, Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital, Wong Tai Sin Hospital, Wong Tai Sin Infirmary and Chi Lin Temple.

End/Sunday, November 12, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Monday, November 13,1995

Contents Page No.

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

Transcript of the Chief Justice's media session............................. 1

Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance.......................................... 2

Estimates of HK's Gross National Product for 1993 .......................... 3

External trade statistics for September.................................... 10

Control on traditional Chinese Medicine gains public support............... 20

Rural improvement works need community co-operation........................ 22

STI to attend Seventh APEC Ministerial Meeting............................. 23

Air Quality Report for October............................................. 24

Water storage figure....................................................... 26

Fresh water cut in Fanling................................................. 26

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results................................ 27

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

1

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

The following is a transcript of the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan's media session at the Central Government Offices tonight (Monday):

CS: Let me say first of all. I have this meeting arranged with the Chief Justice ready to talk about other issues. But we of course we took the opportunity about meeting this afternoon to discuss the concerns of the Bill of Rights Ordinance. The Chief Justice told me that he has certain views purely of jurisprudential and technical nature and at my request, he's agreed to convey these views in writing to us and of course when we have received his views, we shall consider them very carefully.

End/Monday, November 13, 1995

Transcript of the Chief Justice's media session

*****

The following is a transcript of the Chief Justice, Sir Ti Liang Yang's media session after meeting the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, today (Monday):

CJ: (In Chinese) The Chief Secretary wanted to discuss with me the possibility of assigning a judge to sit on the Town Planning Board, and this is the main objective of today's meeting. Last night's incident inevitably came up at the meeting.

CJ: The conversation that has caused me all this trouble took place at a dinner party with two tables. There were some 24 people there. Zhang Junsheng sat on my left. To his left was another gentleman who asked me about the Bill of Rights as I was asked about the Bill of Rights practically every time I went out and we talked about the Bill of Rights.

Question: Did you say Sir the Bill of Rights has undermined the legal system?

CJ: I cannot remember what actually was said because throughout the weeks I've been talking about the Bill of Rights on so many occasions. What I said actually were very technical legal points on the jurisprudence of the Bill of Rights. My line has always been that Hong Kong people are very sensitive on this issue and I realise that they need the protection of Bill of Rights and I understand that. I have never deviated from that.

2

Question: What did the Chief Secretary say to you today?

CJ: I just told her what happened and I am going to tell her in writing what my view on the legal problem is, the jurisprudential problems.

Question: You envisage that there is a legal problem?

CJ: Well perhaps ’problem' is the wrong word. The legal arguments on that point.

Question: (Inaudible)

CJ: (In Chinese) I will make one point. Almost always, a link is made to the question of the Chief Executive after 1997 and the Court of Final Appeal. I can tell you that these subjects are not on my mind.

End/Monday, November 13, 1995

Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance

*****

In response to media enquiries on the Bill of Rights Ordinance, a government spokesman today (Monday) said as follows:

"The Legislative Council will hold a motion debate on the proposals of the Legal Sub-Committee of the Preliminary Working Committee in relation to the Bill of Rights Ordinance (BORO) on Wednesday, November 15, 1995.

"The Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, will speak for the Government in the debate and in his speech will explain in detail why there is no doubt that the BORO is consistent with both the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law and that it has a status no different from that of any other ordinance.

"He will describe the effect that the BORO has had on law enforcement in Hong Kong and the review of legislation to ensure consistency with both the BORO and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1CCPR) which under article 39 of the Basic Law will continue to apply to Hong Kong after 30 June 1997.

3

"Mr Suen will also set out the Government’s position on the continuation of the reporting obligations under the ICCPR after the change in sovereignty."

In the meantime, the acting Attorney General, Mr Ian Wingfield, said today:

"The BORO is not supreme. It has the same status as that of other Ordinances. It puts into domestic law the provisions of the ICCPR: and it is the ICCPR. not the BORO, that is entrenched by the Letters Patent now and by the Basic Law after June 30, 1997.

"The Joint Declaration and the Basic Law both provide that the ICCPR as applied to Hong Kong shall remain in force and be implemented through the laws of the HKSAR.

"The BORO is entirely consistent with the ICCPR as applied to Hong Kong. It does not in any way contradict the Basic Law. There is no reason to tamper with it.

"The amendments to various ordinances following the enactment of the BORO are also consistent with the ICCPR as applied to Hong Kong. The continued application of the ICCPR after 1997 is provided for in the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. There is therefore no reason to repeal any of these amendments as they are consistent with the Basic Law."

End/Monday, November 13, 1995

Estimates of HK's Gross National Product for 1993 ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

The preliminary estimate of Hong Kong's Gross National Product (GNP) for 1993 is $909.8 billion, which compares with $899.9 billion for the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to the figures released by the Government today (Monday).

The ratio of GNP to GDP for Hong Kong for 1993 is 1.011. This is close to Japan (1.009) among industrialised economies, and to Singapore (1.014) and Taiwan (1.016) among newly developed economies.

4

Some industrialised economies have their ratios of GNP to GDP less than 1. These include Australia (0.967), Canada (0.966), France (0.992) and Germany (0.996).

The Commissioner for Census and Statistics, Mr Frederick Ho, explained: "GNP is compiled by adjusting GDP by: (a) adding total income earned by Hong Kong residents from outside Hong Kong, and (b) subtracting total income earned by non-Hong Kong residents from within Hong Kong.

"Total factor income flow to Hong Kong in 1993 amounted to $318.4 billion or 35.4% of GDP, while total factor income outflow in 1993 was $308.5 billion or 34.3% of GDP. Putting these together, there was a net inflow of $9.9 billion."

The vast amounts of inflow and outflow reinforce the belief that Hong Kong, being an international centre for finance, business and trade, has strong economic linkages with the rest of the world.

Of total income earned by Hong Kong residents from outside Hong Kong, direct investment income (DII) accounts for 25.4% (or $81 billion), portfolio investment income (PH) for 21.6% (or $68.8 billion), other investment income (Oli) for 52.9% (or $168.5 billion) and compensation of employees (CE) for 0.03%.

Of total factor income outflow to non-residents of Hong Kong, DII accounts for 49.9% (or $154 billion), PI1 for 3.6% (or $11.2 billion), Oil for 46.4% (or $143.2 billion) and CE for 0.03%.

The total amount of DII outflow of Hong Kong ($154 billion) ranks very high in the world. This is partly attributed to the fact that external investors have accumulated a huge amount of investment in Hong Kong through their operation for a long time in the past.

On the other hand, the total amount of DII inflow ($81 billion) is also huge, indicating that Hong Kong investors have made substantial investments in other economies in recent years.

The total value of PII inflow ($68.8 billion) is about six times that of PI I outflow, reflecting that Hong Kong investors invest in overseas securities much more than non-resident investors in resident securities. The banking sector is the dominant contributor to Oil, with substantial interest flows generated from banks’ external assets and liabilities which mainly consist of interbank placement of funds.

5

They account for 97.8% of total Oil inflow, or $164.8 billion and 96.7% of total Oil outflow, or $138.4 billion.

The banking sector is also the largest contributor to total external factor income flows. It contributed $204.2 billion or 64.1% to total external factor income inflow, and $201.4 billion or 65.3% to total external factor income outflow.

"As seen from the above statistics, both investments by external investors within Hong Kong and investments by Hong Kong investors outside Hong Kong are very substantial.

"The GNP, which includes these external income flows, is particularly useful for analysing economic phenomena related to aggregate income of residents, such as domestic demand, investment intentions and inflation.

"It provides a very useful measure of Hong Kong's overall economic activity complementary to the GDP," said Mr Ho.

"The purpose of compiling GNP is not to replace GDP, which measures the total value of production of an economy. Both GDP and GNP are important economic indicators and are each useful in their own right.

"Most countries/territories compile both GDP and GNP statistics to support different economic analyses."

Explaining concepts of the GNP, Mr Ho said GNP is a measure of the total income of residents of an economy, irrespective of whether the income was earned from investment and employment within the territory of the economy, or outside. Residents of an economy include individuals and organisations.

For individuals, residents refer to those who normally stay in the territory of the economy, irrespective of their nationalities. For organisations, residents refer to those which ordinarily operate in the territory of the economy. Conceptually, the residence status of individuals and organisations depends on their centre of economic interest. Definitions adopted are economic, and not legal, in nature.

Total income earned by Hong Kong residents from outside Hong Kong includes two types of factor income: investment income and compensation ol employees (CE).

6

Investment income includes direct investment income (DII), portfolio investment income (PH) and other investment income (Oil). CE are essentially wages, salaries and other remuneration whether paid in cash or in kind.

Data for compiling external factor income flows are collected through the annual Survey of External Factor Income Flows.

The first round of the survey, which was launched in October last year, covered some 21,000 companies in various kinds of businesses in Hong Kong, including financial institutions, commercial companies and manufacturing firms.

Internationally accepted statistical standards are adopted in the survey with regard to definitions of income flows and delineation of residents and non-residents.

The above estimates are only preliminary figures based on survey results obtained so far. Minor revision is expected in due course and revised GNP figures will be available by March next year.

7

Preliminary Estimates of Gross National Product (GNP) for 1993 (at Current Market Prices)

8

Table 1 Preliminary Estimates of Gross National Product (GNP) and External Factor Income Flows (EFIF) by Income Component and Business Sector for 1993 (At Current Market Prices)

Inflow Outflow Net Flow HKS million

HKS million % Eto* HKS million %

Income Component

Direct Investment Income 81,011 25.4 153,984 49.9 -72,973

Portfolio Investment Income 68,796 21.6 11,209 3.6 57,587

Other Investment Income MflMftWIfcA 168,490 52.9 143,165 46.4 25,325

Compensation of Employees 100 100 0

Business Sector ItmELBO

Financial

Banking 204,190 64.1 201,420 65.3 2,770

Other than banking 55,208 17.3 36,539 11.8 18,669

Non-financial

Investment Holding (non-financial) 38,391 12.1 28,716 9.3 9,675

Other than investment holding 20,608 6.5 41,783 13.5 -21,175

Total EFIF 318397 100.0 308,458 100.0 9,939

GDP(E) # 899,869

GNP 909,808

Notes : * Revised(Nov 1995) estimates. * Less than 0.05%. Individual figures may not add up to total due to rounding. Efl 1 • • ^$$0.05%.

<> A> z • a'•"

9

Table 2 Preliminary Estimates of EFIF by Income Component by Business Sector for 1993 (At Current Market Prices)

Financial Sector

Banking Other than Banking Total

mt

HKS million % HKS million % HKS million %

Direct Investment Income »»W»A

Inflow MA 6,552 8.1 17,917 22.1 24,458 30.2

Outflow MiH 60,157 39.1 26,335 17.1 86,492 56.2

Net Flow MtM •53,606 -8,418 -62,023

Portfolio Investment Income

Inflow MA 32,795 47.7 34,801 50.6 67,596 98.3

Outflow M& 2,840 25.3 8,226 73.4 11,066 98.7

Net Flow M®jW 29,955 26,576 56,530

Other Investment Income

Inflow MA 164,844 97.8 2,490 1.5 167,334 99.3

Outflow MtB 138,414 96.7 1,979 1.4 140,392 98.1

Net Flow 26,430 511 26.941

Compensation of Employees

Inflow MA 0 0 0 0 0 0

Outflow MtB 9 9.2 0 0 9 9.2.

Net Flow MKj?W -9 0 -9

Total EFIF

Inflow MA 204,190 64.1 55,208 ‘ 17.3 259,398 81.5

Outflow Mdi 201,420 65.3 36,539 11.8 237,959 77.1

Net Flow 2,770 18,669 21,439

Non-financial Sector All Sectors

Investment Holding Other than

(Non-flnancial) Investment Holding Total tunams mt

HKS million % HKS million % HKS million % HKS million %

Direct Investment Income KS&SttA

Inflow MA 37,603 46.4 18,939 23.4 56,542 69.8 81,011 100.0

Outflow MlB 28,503 18.5 38,989 25.3 67,492 43.8 153,984 100.0

Net Flow 9,100 -20,050 -10,950 -72,973

Portfolio Investment Income

Inflow MA 134 0.2 1,066 1.5 1,200 1.7 68,796 100.0

Outflow M& 102 0.9 42 0.4 144 1.3 11,209 100.0

Net Flow MWjffHfi 32 .1,025 1,057 57,587

Other Investment Income

Inflow MA 654 0.4 502 0.3 1,156 0.7 168,490 100.0

Outflow MtB 111 0.1 2,661 1.9 2,772 1.9 143,165 100.0

Net Flow MKWI 543 -2,159 -1,616 25,325

Compensation of Employees

Inflow MA 0 0 100 100.0 100 100.0 100 100.0

Outflow 0 0 91 90.8 91 90.8 100 100.0

Net Flow MlfrWI 0 9 9 0

Total EFIF

Inflow MA 38,391 1X1 20,608 6.5 58,999 18.5 318,397 100.0

Outflow M& 28,716 9.3 41,783 13.5 70,499 22.9 308,458 100.0

Net Flow MftW 9,675 -21,175 -11,500 9,939

Note : Individual figures may not add up to total due to rounding.

Erfd/Monday, November 13, 1995


10

External trade statistics for September ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Census and Statistics Department today (Monday) released detailed statistics on external trade with breakdown by country/territory and commodity for September 1995.

The value of re-exports continued to increase notably, by 20% over a year earlier to $105.5 billion in September 1995.

Comparing September 1995 with September 1994, the value of re-exports to all of the main destinations showed increases of various magnitudes: France (+48%), Japan (+37%), South Korea (+31%), Singapore (+30%), Taiwan (+29%), the United Kingdom (+27%), Germany (+19%), Canada (+16%), China (+14%) and the United States (+14%).

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

The value of re-exports in the first nine months of 1995 was $821.4 billion, 19% higher than that in the same period in 1994.

Comparing the first nine months of 1995 with the same period in 1994, the value of re-exports to all main destinations showed increases of various magnitudes: Singapore (+34%), Japan (+30%), France (+28%), Taiwan (+27%), China (+20%), Canada (+19%), South Korea (+17%), the United Kingdom (+17%), the United States (+14%) and Germany (+9.5%).

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

Comparing the first nine months of 1995 with the same period in 1994, increases of various magnitudes were recorded in the value of re-exports of most principal commodity divisions. More notable increases were registered for electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $25.8 billion or 44%); telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $18.6 billion or 27%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of baby carriages, toys, games and sporting goods (by $15.7 billion or 18%); office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $15.6 billion or 61%); textiles (by $10.1 billion or 17%); and plastics in primary forms (by $7.4 billion or 50%).


6;! • 5”

urn > '

....

11

Over the same period, re-exports of clothing fell by $1.2 billion, representing a decrease of 1.7% over a year earlier.

The value of domestic exports in September 1995, at $21.1 billion, increased by 6.2% over a year earlier.

Comparing September 1995 with September 1994, increases were recorded in the value of domestic exports to Taiwan (+36%), the United ^Kingdom (+23%), Canada (+16%), France (+16%), the Netherlands (+11%), China (+7.2%) and the United States (+4.5%). However, the value of domestic exports to Singapore, Germany and Japan decreased by 14%, 9.2% and 0.7% respectively.

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

Comparing the first nine months of 1995 with the same period in 1994, the value of domestic exports to most'main destinations showed increases of various magnitudes: Taiwan (+35%), France (+22%), Japan (+20%), the Netherlands (+13%), the United Kingdom (+8.2%), Canada (+7.1%), China (+6.2%), the United States (+3%) and Singapore (+2.5%).

However, the value of domestic exports to Germany decreased by 3.5%.

Taking all destinations together, the value of domestic exports in the first nine months of 1995, at $171.9 billion, increased by 7.3% over the same period in 1994.

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

Comparing the first nine months of 1995 with the same period in 1994, increases in the value of domestic exports were registered for electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $5 billion or 27%); clothing (by $2.3 billion or 4.5%); photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies, optical goods, watches and clocks (by $1.4 billion or 12%); office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $1.3 billion or 11%); and miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of jewellery, goldsmiths’ and silversmiths’ wares (by $628 million or 4.4%).

12

Over the same period, decreases in the value of domestic exports were recorded for textiles (by $576 million or 5.2%); and telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $532 million or 6.2%).

The value of imports continued to increase substantially, by 15% over a year earlier to $131 billion in September 1995.

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

Comparing September 1995 with September 1994, the value of imports from all main suppliers showed increases of various magnitudes: Malaysia (+48%), the United Kingdom (+33%), the United States (+28%), South Korea (+24%), France (+24%), China (+16%), Taiwan (+13%), Singapore (+12%), Japan (+4.8%) and Germany (+0.5%).

Comparing the first nine months of 1995 with the same period in 1994, the value of imports from all main suppliers showed increases of various magnitudes: France (+85%), Malaysia (+46%), South Korea .(+31%), the United States (+31%), Singapore (+30%), the United Kingdom (+25%), Taiwan (+23%), Germany (+19%), China (+17%) and Japan (+17%).

The value of imports in the first nine months of 1995, at $1,107.3 billion, increased markedly by 22% over the same period in 1994.

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

Comparing the first nine months of 1995 with the same period in 1994, increases were recorded in the value of imports of most principal commodity divisions.

More notable increases were registered for electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $40 billion or 41%); telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $22.2 billion or 26%); office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $16.4 billion or 49%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of baby carriages, toys, games and sporting goods (by $11.6 billion or 18%); textiles (by $11.1 billion or 13%); and photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies, optical goods, watches and clocks (by $8.1 billion or 21%).

13

Over the same period, a decrease in the value of imports was recorded for road vehicles (by $3.3 billion or 8.7%).

All the trade statistics described here are measured at current prices and no account has been taken of changes in prices between the periods of comparison. A separate analysis of the volume and price movements of external trade for September 1995 will be released in early December 1995.

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

The September 1995 issue of the "Hong Kong External Trade” with detailed analyses on the performance of Hong Kong’s external trade in September 1995 will be available for sale at $122 per copy around November 22.

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

Enquiries regarding regular subscription to this report may be directed to the Publications (Sales) Office, 28th Floor, Siu On Centre, 188 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, Tel 2598 8194, and enquiries on trade statistics to the Census and Statistics Department on 2582 4915.

14

TABLE 1 : RE-EXPORTS TO TEN MAIN DESTINATIONS

DESTINATION SEP 1995 (HKD Mn.) SEP 95 OVER SEP 94 (% CHANGE) JAN-SEP 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN-SEP 95 OVER JAN-SEP 94 (% CHANGE)

CHINA 33,148 + 14.2 282,821 + 19.8

UNITED STATES 23,946 + 13.9 174,627 + 13.5

JAPAN 7,647 + 36.6 49,954 + 29.8

GERMANY 4,165 + 18.7 33,133 + 9.5

UNITED KINGDOM 3,336 + 26.6 23,118 + 16.7

TAIWAN 2,436 + 29.0 20,464 + 26.8

SINGAPORE 2,330 + 29.9 19,127 + 34.2

SOUTH KOREA 1,715 + 30.5 14,325 + 17.2

FRANCE 1,698 + 48.2 12,732 + 27.7

CANADA 1,721 + 15.9 12,301 + 18.7

15

TABLE 2 : RE-EXPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION SEP 1995 (HKD Mn.) SEP 95 OVER SEP 94 (% CHANGE) JAN-SEP 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN-SEP 95 OVER JAN-SEP 94 (% CHANGE)

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY BABY CARRIAGES, TOYS, GAMES AND SPORTING GOODS) 15,840 + 13.1 105,058 + 17.5

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 11,771 + 24.5 87,749 + 26.8

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 11,353 + 50.8 83,848 + 44.3

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 7,938 + 12.4 69,946 + 17.0

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 9,928 + 8.8 67,854 - 1.7

FOOTWEAR 5,166 + 22.4 45,334 + 12.8

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 5,130 + 63.0 40,880 + 61.4

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 4,718 + 32.6 36,493 + 25.1

TRAVEL GOODS, HANDBAGS AND SIMILAR CONTAINERS 3,159 + 14.9 26,612 + 16.0

PLASTICS IN PRIMARY FORMS .2,442 + 22.5 22,282 + 49.9

16

TABLE 3 : DOMESTIC EXPORTS TO TEN MAIN DESTLNATIONS

DESTINATION SEP 1995 (HKD Mn.) SEP 95 OVER SEP 94 (9o CHANGE) JAN-SEP 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN-SEP 95 OVER JAN-SEP 94 (% CHANGE)

CHINA 5,708 + 7.2 47,630 + 6.2

UNITED STATES 6,409 + 4.5 44,821 + 3.0

SINGAPORE 964 - 14.5 9,186 + 2.5

GERMANY 893 - 9.2 8,938 - 3.5

JAPAN 936 - 0.7 8,882 + 19.8

UNITED KINGDOM 1,048 + 23.4 7,991 + 8.2

TAIWAN 786 + 35.7 5,838 + 35.2

NETHERLANDS 377 + 11.1 3,882 + 12.6

CANADA 386 + 16.1 3,252 + 7.1

FRANCE 244 + 15.6 2,352 + 21.8

17

TABLE 4 : DOMESTIC EXPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION SEP 1995 (HKD Mn.) SEP 95 OVER SEP 94 (% CHANGE) JAN-SEP 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN-SEP 95 OVER JAN-SEP 94 (% CHANGE)

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 7,359 + 5.3 54,124 + 4.5

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY/ APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 2,934 + 36.6 23,117 + 27.5

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY JEWELLERY, GOLDSMITHS' AND SILVERSMITHS' WARES) 1,756 - 1.9 14,789 + 4.4

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 1,609 + 3.1 13,*771 + 10.6

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 1,548 + 14.1 12,463 + 12.4

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 1,116 - 15.6 10,515 - 5.2

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 968 + 3.5 8/052 - 6.2

MANUFACTURES OF METALS 358 - 13.9 3,475 + 0.9

PLASTICS IN PRIMARY FORMS 398 + 6.2 3,352 + 16.2

PAPER, PAPERBOARD, AND ARTICLES OF PAPER PULP, OF PAPER OR OF PAPERBOARD 266 - 1.0 2,251 + 4.7

- 18 -

TABLE 5 : IMPORTS FROM TEN MAIN SUPPLIERS

SUPPLIER SEP 1995 (HKD Mn.) SEP 95 OVER SEP 94 (% CHANGE) JAN-SEP 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN-SEP 95 OVER JAN-SEP 94 (% Change)

CHINA 52,119 + 16.2 400,241 + 17.4

JAPAN 18,873 + 4.8 166,583 + 16.9

TAIWAN 10,420 + 13.1 95,050 ♦ 23.2

UNITED STATES 9,686 + 27.6 84,857 + 30.7

SINGAPORE 6,516 + 11.6 57,950 + 30.0

SOUTH KOREA 5,908 + 24.5 55,083 + 31.4

GERMANY 2,431 + 0.5 24,383 + 18.9

UNITED KINGDOM 2,972 + 32.7 22,603 + 25.4

MALAYSIA 2,558 + 47.6 21,094 + 45.6

FRANCE 1,437 + 24.4 20,988 + 84.5

19

TABLE 6 : IMPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION SEP 1995 (HKD Mn.) SEP 95 OVER SEP 94 (% CHANGE) JAN-SEP 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN-SEP 95 OVER JAN-SEP 94 (% CHANGE)

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 18,075 + 46.0 137,481 + 41.1

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 13,961 + 23.3 107,319 + 26.0

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 10,325 + 5.1 98,383 + 12.7

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY BABY CARRIAGES, TOYS, GAMES AND SPORTING GOODS) 10,646 + 11.4 77,673 + 17.6

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 10,164 + 7.0 72,273 + 2.0

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 6,371 + 41.0 49,994 + 48.9

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 5,589 + 20.4 46,789 + 20.9

FOOTWEAR 4,547 + 19.6 39,537 + 12.4

ROAD VEHICLES 3,045 - 43.7 34,860 - 8.7

NON-METALLIC MINERAL MANUFACTURES 4,227 + 14.8 33,335 + 14.9

End/Monday, November 13, 1995

20

Control on traditional Chinese Medicine gains public support ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government’s approach in recognising and regulating traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has received wide and enthusiastic support from the profession and from the public at large, the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, said today (Monday).

Speaking at the opening of Regional Workshop on Traditional Medicine, Mrs Fok said in Hong Kong, though the mainstay of health care remained to be western medicine, TCM served as an important and common means of health maintenance for the public.

"TCM is an integral part of Chinese culture. Through many centuries of clinical experience, TCM has become an established set of therapeutic modalities, with its own distinct theoretical basis," she said.

"A survey in 1991 indicated that some 60 per cent of the population have consulted TCM practitioners at one time or another.

"An even higher proportion of the population use Chinese medicinal materials in their diets or as health tonics from time to time.

"There is no doubt that TCM is extremely popular in our locality." she added.

Mrs Fok pointed out that the development of traditional medicine had long been supported by the World Health Organisation.

"We, in Hong Kong, are also eager to develop TCM with the objectives of not only to safeguard public health but also to promote a more systematic and focused development," she said.

"With enthusiastic participation from academics and traditional Chinese medicine profession, good progress is being made."

She noted the Government had set up a Working Party on Chinese Medicine to review and make recommendation on the safe use and practice of TCM in Hong Kong.

Based on the Working Party’s recommendation, a Preparatory Committee on Chinese Medicine (PCCM) was appointed in April to advise on a statutory framework for TCM in Hong Kong.

21

The Chinese medicine practitioners sub-committee of PCCM is carrying out an enrolment exercise to obtain further information on the training background and the practice situation of the practitioners in Hong Kong.

"Based on the information obtained the Preparatory Committee will formulate the criteria for future registration," Mrs Fok said.

Mrs Fok also commended the Department of Health for its effort in launching different health education programmes and health promotion activities on TCM, such as the production of pamphlets, a hotline on potent herbs, as well as a seminar on TCM earlier this year.

"We know that TCM also enjoys considerable popularity world-wide. Its value in health care was gaining recognition in various countries as suggested by the establishment of training institutes for TCM," she said.

"Hong Kong is always keen to learn from our neighbouring countries and welcomes every opportunity for the sharing of experience and knowledge on this important subject." she added.

The Regional Workshop on Traditional Medicine is organised by the Department of Health with the co-sponsorship of the World Health Organisation. It is the first of its kind to be held in Hong Kong and the Western Pacific region.

The three-day seminar, to be held between November 13 and November 15, will examine the use of traditional medicine in the Western Pacific Region.

It will also discuss matters relating to the practice of traditional medicine, policy and administrative issues as well as scientific research and development.

Also officiating at today's ceremony were the Regional Director of Regional Office for the Western Pacific, World Health Organisation, Dr S T Han; Chairman of Preparatory Committee on Chinese Medicine, Dr Daniel Tse; and the Director of Health, Dr Margaret Chan.

End/Monday, November 13, 1995

22

Rural improvement works need community co-operation *****

•' *

To ensure the smooth completion of Rural Planning and Improvement Strategy (RPIS) Minor Works projects, there should be a close co-operation among Rural Committees, District Boards, community leaders and government departments, the Sai Kung District Officer, Mr Parrish Ng, said today (Monday).

Speaking at a ceremony marking the completion of the Tung Lung Island Water Supply Project, Mr Ng said in order to improve local residents’ living environment, the Sai Kung District Working Group for RPIS has monitored the progress of various minor works projects in the district and consulted the Sai Kung Rural Committee, the Sai Kung District Board and community leaders on local needs.

The RPIS Minor Works programme covered a total of 71 projects in Sai Kung at an estimated cost of $254 million. Seven of them, including the Tung Lung Island water supply project and Kau Sai Chau public pier, have already been completed. It is expected that another nine minor environmental works projects will be finished this 1 financial year and another 19 in 1996-97.

Mr Ng said the majority of these projects involved environmental improvement works, construction of public piers, widening of access roads and improvements to drainage systems.

On the Tung Lung Island water supply project, Mr Ng said his office had built a dam and laid a 570-metre long water pipe to improve the water supply system on the island. The project cost about $870,000. Works commenced in February this year and were completed in October.

End/Monday, November 13, 1995

23

STI to attend Seventh APEC Ministerial Meeting ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Secretary for Trade and Industry, Mr T H Chau, will represent Hong Kong at the Seventh Ministerial Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to be held in Osaka, Japan on Thursday and Friday (November 16 and 17).

The meeting will consider a draft Action Agenda for implementing the free trade goal set by APEC Economic Leaders last year. It will also review the work of APEC in 1995 and chart the direction and programme for APEC’s activities in the coming year.

’’Ministers will consider the draft Action Agenda drawn up by Senior Officials for achieving the goal of free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region by the year 2020,” said Mr Chau.

"The Action Agenda will cover the full range of trade and investment issues and provide a detailed framework for liberalisation, facilitation, and economic and technical co-operation to take place in APEC in the lead up to 2020," he added.

The draft Action Agenda is now being finalised by APEC Senior Officials in Osaka. The Director-General of Trade, Mr Tony Miller, is Hong Kong’s Senior Official to APEC.

Apart from attending the Ministerial Meeting, Mr Chau will take the opportunity to hold informal bilateral meetings with Ministers from other APEC economies to exchange views on trade and economic issues of mutual concern.

Such meetings have been arranged with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Trade and Industry of Japan, Mr Ryutaro Hashimoto; the Minister for Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation of China, Madam Wu Yi; the Minister for International Trade, Mr Roy Maclaren; the Secretary of Trade and Industry of the Philippines, Mr Rizalino Navarro; the Korean Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, Mr Park Jae-Yoon; and the Minister of Economic Affairs of Chinese Taipei, Dr Chiang Pin-kung.

APEC is an informal forum for high level govemment-to-govemment dialogue on trade and economic issues, and at present comprises 18 members. Besides Hong Kong, the other members are: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand and the USA.

24

At their meeting in Bogor, Indonesia in November 1994, APEC Economic Leaders declared a goal of free and open trade and investment in the region, with industrialised economies achieving this goal by the year 2010 and developing economies by 2020.

Economic Leaders also directed their Ministers and Senior Officials to devise a blueprint of measures to achieve the goal.

This blueprint, which is now called the Action Agenda for the implementation of the Bogor Declaration, will be submitted by Ministers to APEC Economic Leaders for consideration at their meeting on November 19 in Osaka.

End/Monday, November 13, 1995

Air Quality Report for October ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Environmental Protection Department today (Monday) released air quality information for October.

The purpose of the announcement is to keep the public informed of the air quality levels in the territory and to explain the measurements.

The announcement contains monitoring results from Mong Kok, Central/Westem and Kwai Chung, which represent three important land use types in the territory:

locations close to road traffic in built-up urban areas,

combined commercial and residential districts, and

* districts close to industrial areas.

25

The reported air pollutants include sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), total suspended particulates (TSP) which comprise all sizes of dust particles, and the respirable fraction of the dust (RSP). All these pollutants can affect respiratory health in sufficient concentration.

In October, there were no exceedances of the 24-hour Air Quality Objective (AQO) values at any of the three sites while sulphur dioxide levels were also very low.

a1.-6 . ’• .d-

Dust levels were lower than for the same month last year because of above average rainfall. The heavier rainfall in October washed out airborne dust and wetted surfaces.

The gases and particles described originated from various sources. SO2 is mostly produced when fuels that contain sulphur are burned. NO2 is formed during combustion by the combination of nitrogen and oxygen, and by the atmospheric oxidation of nitric oxide (NO), also a product of combustion.

Vehicle exhaust is an important source of NO and NO2 in terms of impact on local air quality. It is also a major source of airborne particulate matter, especially the smaller respirable particles.

Diesel-engined vehicles such as taxis, public light buses, passenger coaches, franchised buses and light and heavy goods vehicles are the greatest contributor of particulate matter. Other sources include industry, furnaces and boilers, construction activities, the sea and the soil.

It is worth noting that while the weather and climate always affect the concentrations of pollutants in the air, the only sure way of reducing the levels is to reduce emissions from the man-made sources.

End/Monday, November 13, 1995

26

Water storage figure

***** . • < • •

Storage in Hong Kong's reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 98.7 per cent of capacity or 578.315 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 535.883 million cubic metres of water, representing 91.4 per cent of capacity.

A spokesman for the Water Supplies Department advised the public to avoid wasting water.

•* •.. 2'1

End/Monday, November 13, 1995

Fresh water cut in Fanling

*****

Fresh water supply to some premises in Fanling will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm on Thursday (November 16) to 6 am the following day to facilitate water works.

The suspension will affect Sha Tau Kok Road (section at Lung Yeuk Tau), Dao Yang Road and Hai Wing Road, including Ma Liu Shui San Tsuen, Kwan Tei and Fu Tei Pai.

End/Monday, November 13, 1995

*

- 27 -

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Tender date 13 Nov 1995

Paper on offer EF Notes

Issue number 2711

Amount applied HK$2,320 MN

Amount allotted HK.S500 MN

Average price (yield) accepted 99.76 (5.81 PCT)

Lowest price (yield) accepted 99.75 (5.81 PCT)

Pro rata ratio About 79 PCT

Average tender price (yield) 99.71 (5.83 PCT)

End/Monday, November 13, 1995

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

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,468 0930 +810

Closing balance in the account 2,149 1000 +810

Change attributable to: 1100 +703

Money market activity +661 1200 +674

LAF today +20 1500 +674

1600 +661

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.0 *-0.2* 13.11.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.10 2 years 2708 6.06 100.65 5.74

1 month 5.32 3 years 3810 6.15 100.32 6.12

3 months 5.50 5 years 5009 6.95 101.33 6.73

6 months 5.55 5 years M502 7.30 100.45 7.32

12 months 5.60

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $7,803 million

Closed November 13, 1995

End/Monday, November 13, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Tuesday, November 14,1995

Contents

Bill of Rights Ordinance not supreme to other laws................ 1

Task of Buildings Department's Site Monitoring Team............... 1

Amendments to Betting Duty Ordinance.............................. 2

Efforts to further protect intellectual property rights........... 4

Environmental infrastructure and legislation put in place......... 6

Land committee briefed on environment impact assessment........... 7

Committee committed to human rights education..................... 9

Social welfare in Hong Kong expands fast...................... 11

Law Officer (International Law) appointed........................ 13

Over 6,200 agreements lodged with Land Registry in October....... 13

Buildings Department will look into Fairview Park case........... 14

All postal services to Kuwait back to normal..................... 15

Considerate contractors commended................................ 15

Salt water cut in Mong Kok and Sham Shui Po...................... 16

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results...................... 16

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

1

Bill of Rights Ordinance not supreme to other laws

*****

In response to press enquiries, a government spokesman said today (Tuesday):

"At present, the only law which is supreme to the laws of Hong Kong is the Letters Patent. After 1997, the Basic Law will be supreme.

"As we have stated previously, the substantive rights protected by the ICCPR (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights) are entrenched by the Letters Patent now and the Basic Law after 1997 and are incorporated into the laws of Hong Kong through the provisions of the Bill of Rights Ordinance (BORO).

"The statement in the report to the Human Rights Committee that the BOR Ordinance 'overrides' any existing law that cannot be construed consistently with it, is simply a reference to the repealing effect of the Ordinance on pre-existing legislation, that is, laws which were in force prior to the enactment of the BORO in 1991.

"That reflects the common law principle that where two pieces of legislation are inconsistent, the later one repeals the inconsistencies in the earlier one.

"When the Government says that the BORO is 'not supreme' it means that it does not have a status superior to that of other Ordinances. It can be amended or repealed in the same way as any other Ordinance."

End/Tuesday, November 14, 1995

Task of Buildings Department's Site Monitoring Team

*****

In response to some press comments about the Buildings Department Site Monitoring Team, the Director of Buildings, Mrs Helen Yu, emphasised today (Tuesday) that the task of the team was to monitor, not take over, the performance of building professionals and contractors on active sites.

”It is not for our Site Monitoring Team to take over the duties of professionals and contractors responsible for a project. Our aim is to deter dangerous operations and to make for better safety assurance, both on site and in interface with the public,” she said.

- 2 -

Under the Buildings Ordinance, authorised persons, registered structural engineers and registered contractors have a duty to supervise and ensure that all building works are carried out in a safe manner and in accordance with approved plans.

As for the procedures for approving demolition works, consent is given in two stages:

(a) Stage 1 - Consent for carrying out all precautionary/temporary works (including hoardings, covered walkways, scaffoldings, catch fans, dust screens and shoring); and

(b) Stage 2 - Consent for actual demolition.

Before consent is given for commencement of works, Buildings Department staff (Development Division) would inspect the sites to ensure that all safety measures are in place.

For the guidance of authorised persons, registered structural engineers and registered contractors, the Building Authority has issued practice notes to provide them with advice on precautionary measures for safety on site and to the public.

End/Tuesday, November 14, 1995

Amendments to Betting Duty Ordinance *****

The Govemor-in-Council has accepted the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club's (RHKJC) application to introduce a Quinella Place bet, an extension of the existing Quinella bet, at a betting duty rate of 11.5 per cent.

The Quinella Place bet requires the punter to select two horses to finish in any order in the first three places to be eligible for a dividend.

3

RHKJC’s proposal to introduce co-mingled bets to Hong Kong so that overseas punters can bet directly into the Hong Kong pools on local races was also endorsed. Betting duty for these bets will be half of the prevailing rates.

Announcing this today (Tuesday), a government spokesman said the Govemor-in-Council has agreed in principle to amend Section 6 of the Betting Duty Ordinance to include these proposals.

Explaining the decision on the Quinella Place bet, the spokesman reiterated government's policy on gambling which was to restrict opportunities for gambling but to allow controlled gambling outlets to exist.

"The introduction of Quinella Place bet would not have any major gambling impact on the local community as it is only an extension of an existing bet. Moreover, it serves primarily to sustain punters' interest in local horse racing and is unlikely to induce non-punters to start betting," he said.

At present, there are two categories of betting duty under Section 6(1) of the Ordinance. The first one is charged on Win, Place, Double, Quinella and Forecast bets, at the rate of 11.5 per cent of the amount of every bet while the second is charged on any other bets at 17.5 per cent.

Since the pool of this new bet has to be split into three sub-pools, that is, for three groups of punters who have chosen the two horses in three different combinations of order, RHKJC believed that it would only be financially viable if betting duty was charged at the lower rate of 11.5 per cent.

The estimated increase in betting turnover by introducing the Quinella Place bet is about $6,660 million per season, resulting in an estimated increase in government revenue from betting duty of $760 million per season.

Regarding the overseas bets on local races, the spokesman explained that this proposal would not encourage gambling in Hong Kong as it explores overseas markets rather than expands the local gambling market. In addition, Hong Kong will benefit from this proposal as the allocation to local charities would be increased.

Hong Kong’s races are, at present, simultaneously broadcast on a regular basis to Canada and the west coast of the United States where their own betting pools are run.

4

RHKJC's proposal will allow overseas punters to bet directly into the Hong Kong pools and enable the Hong Kong Government to share the betting duty with respective host governments, subject to RHKJC's negotiations with them.

The Government will levy duty in respect of overseas bets at half of the local rates, that is 5.75 per cent for Win, Place, Double, Quinella, Forecast and Quinella Place bets and 8.75 per cent for any other bets.

Government revenue from betting duty on overseas bets from North America is estimated at over $100 million per season.

Meanwhile, opportunity is taken to transfer the regulation making power conferred under Section 7 of the Betting Duty Ordinance from the Govemor-in-Council to the Secretary for the Treasury.

This power relates to minor decisions concerning mainly the making of regulations to govern the manner for collection of betting duty which is rarely exercised.

The amendments to the Ordinance as set out in the Betting Duty (Amendment) Bill 1995 will be gazetted on Friday (November 17).

End/Tuesday, November 14, 1995

Efforts to further protect intellectual property rights *****

The Government is considering ways and means of stepping up public awareness in Hong Kong of the importance of intellectual property rights and their protection.

Addressing the Asian Patent Attorneys Association’s 38th Council Meeting this (Tuesday) morning, the Secretary for Trade and Industry, Mr T H Chau, said: ’’Although we consider that our standards and level of protection are high, we are looking at ways of improving these in line with international trends and to meet the specific needs of Hong Kong.

5

"Thus in the past year we have enacted amendments to our Copyright Ordinance to increase sharply the level of criminal penalties and we have increased the strength of the Intellectual Property Bureau of the Customs and Excise Department to help combat copyright piracy.

"We have also introduced into our Legislative Council a Bill to amend our intellectual property laws to fulfil our international obligations as a member of the World Trade Organisation," he added.

Mr Chau noted that the Government was currently engaged in an extensive exercise to update the laws on trade marks, patents, copyright and registered designs and to provide specifically for local laws and local administration systems for their protection.

He said: "To achieve this, a number of reviews have been conducted of our intellectual property laws and we are currently drafting new laws taking account of these reviews.

"In accordance with the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law of the future Hong Kong Special Administration Region, China has agreed that these laws, when enacted, will continue to be valid after 1997.

"Our aim is to have in place, by 1997, modernised and localised laws for the protection of intellectual property rights which will be in line with international norms and standards."

"A good legislative framework for the protection of intellectual property which is properly enforce will, we believe, encourage creativity and innovation and the transfer of technology into Hong Kong and is therefore essential for Hong Kong's economic development and prosperity," he added.

End/Tuesday, November 14, 1995

6

Environmental infrastructure and legislation put in place

*****

The Government has put in place, over the past 15 years, a comprehensive programme of environmental infrastructure and legislation to control air and water pollution, noise and hazardous wastes, the Director of Environmental Protection, Dr Stuart Reed, said today (Tuesday).

Addressing the Rotary Club of Peninsula on ’’Pollution Prevention and Control in Hong Kong’’, Dr Reed said, ’’all these programmes are now very definitely beginning to show results.”

Cited as examples are the waste disposal strategy, which comprises three very large landfills and a network of refuse transfer stations, to meet Hong Kong’s disposal need for solid wastes for the next 15 to 20 years, and the sewage programme to reduce pollution discharged to our streams and to the sea.

"The organic pollution load on Tolo Harbour has already been cut by nearly 60 per cent and looking only 18 months or so ahead, there is the firm prospect of a massive decrease in the pollution load on Victoria Harbour, as a result of the completion of new sewerage work in the area around the harbour and the commissioning of the Stonecutters Island treatment works in 1997," Dr Reed said.

Another programme that has helped protect the harbour is the chemical waste control scheme, which has reduced toxic metal flows to the harbour by almost three tonnes each day.

Much had also been done on the air and noise pollution front, but Dr Reed stressed that there were still some very important gaps to be filled in the overall strategy for pollution control in Hong Kong, in particular, on the control of air polluting emissions from road vehicles.

One of the ways the Government had proposed to tackle vehicle emissions, he said, was that all new road vehicles weighing less than four tonnes should be powered by petrol engines and fitted with three-way catalytic converters.

"If we are able to move forward on the proposals for diesel to petrol and one or two other new programmes we have in the pipeline, then these together with existing pollution control legislation, and the many environmental infrastructure projects that are being implemented, should mean that we have a reasonable grip on pollution that is generated within Hong Kong, and this should provide a degree of comfort," Dr Reed said.

7

While Hong Kong must continue its efforts to deal with pollution problems, Dr Reed said the focus of concern would now need to shift to addressing the increasing threat posed by rapid industrialisation and economic growth in neighbouring areas. For example, the Mai Po nature reserve was threatened not only by pollution generated in Hong Kong but also by emissions from all around Deep Bay, he said.

"Similarly, increasing pressure for transportation links through the territory brings with it the need to address thoroughly the environmental implications," he added.

In these circumstances, he said, it was reassuring to see the increasing attention and resources being devoted by China to environmental issues.

"But if we in Hong Kong are to get ourselves into a position to provide a rational and effective response to the inevitable environmental pressures stemming from rapid economic development in our hinterland, it will be essential that we establish a clear vision of the sort of place we want to live in and the quality of life that we expect to enjoy in Hong Kong 20 or 30 years from now," Dr Reed said.

End/Tuesday, November 14, 1995

Land committee briefed on environment impact assessment

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Land and Building Advisory Committee (LBAC) has been updated on the progress of the Environmental Impact Assessment Bill which is in the final stage of drafting for publication by the end of the year or early next year.

Under the bill, a list of designated projects which are considered to be of significant environmental impacts will require an environmental permit to be issued by the Director of Environmental Protection (DEP).

The project proponent should prepare an initial environmental report based on which DEP will determine the environmental acceptability of the project and whether a detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study is required.

A statutory time limit will be prescribed under the legislation for processing the applications for the environmental permits.

8

Residential development which will not have adverse ecological implications will be exempted from the EIA requirements.

At a meeting held yesterday (Monday), the Committee was briefed on the reclamation projects under construction in the harbour and the proposed medium and longer term harbour reclamation projects.

Members were also informed that the new reclamation projects within the harbour were required to accommodate the population growth, to meet the needs of new land use, to restructure the metro area, to clear up environmental black spots and to improve the city design.

A committee member, Mr Winston Chu, expressed concern about the impacts of reclamations on the harbour.

He suggested to develop and to provide better infrastructure facilities in the New Territories.

At the meeting, members also noted the limits in developing the New Territories as a substitute for land supply from reclamation in the harbour. Land resumption, which was a lengthy and expensive process, would be required for implementing public projects in the New Territories.

Moreover, there were relatively few areas left in the New Territories that were under consolidated land ownership and were free from existing land use constraints and other encumbrances.

In addition, certain flood-plain areas were of scenic and ecological value, the character and functions of which could be severely compromised by their development for urban-type use.

End/Tuesday, November 14, 1995

- 9 -

Committee committed to human rights education *****

The launching of the Human Rights Education Publicity Campaign marks an important milestone in the long-term commitment of the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education (the Committee) in promoting human rights education.

Speaking at a press conference to launch the 1995-96 Human Rights Education Publicity Campaign today (Tuesday), the Committee Chairman, Mr Moses Cheng, said this was the first time that such a large-scale publicity programme was held to promote human rights education.

He said promoting human rights education, like encouraging people to participate in community affairs and promoting the rule of law, had always been an important item in the work agenda of the Committee.

Though much had been done, it was time that a more focused and well coordinated approach should be taken to plan and set our objectives in the years ahead, he said.

"We are glad that the Government has allocated an additional $20 million to the Committee over the next three years to promote equal opportunities and human rights education.

"A Working Group on Human Rights Education Publicity Campaign was thus set up this year to organise a three-year publicity campaign aiming to promote public awareness, understanding and respect for human rights," Mr Cheng said.

"Moreover, a Human Rights Education Unit was established with full-time staff to produce new human rights teaching kits for distribution to schools and community bodies," he added.

"We hope that this multi-faceted publicity drive can build on the foundation of our past achievements and build a momentum in the community's desire to learn more about human rights issues.

"However, we have also to make people understand that their enjoyment of rights is not unconditional and that respect and acceptance of the rights of others is equally as important," Mr Cheng said.

10

Echoing Mr Cheng's views, the Convenor of the Working Group on Human Rights Education Publicity Campaign, Dr Lo Chi-kin, said apart from making people understand that human rights were their basic rights, this year's campaign message also focused on telling people that they should respect the rights of others while protecting rights of their own.

"That is why our campaign logo is in the form of a smiling face made up of a harmonious fusion of two human figures of different colours, designed to represent people of different nationality, colour, age, sex and so on," he said.

Dr Lo noted that issues relating to the fundamental principle of equality and equal opportunities would also be addressed in this year's Campaign.

"In fact, the Campaign in its following two years will dedicate itself to a more thorough exemplification of these two concepts while also addressing the issue of nondiscrimination," he added.

On this year's publicity campaign, Dr Lo said a lively and warm approach with examples from real life situations would be adopted to make it easier for the general public to understand how human rights were related to their everyday living.

"We have made use of interesting animation in our four TV publicity films, designed to introduce the basic concepts of human rights and expound on the ideas of equality.

"A theme song sung by famous pop-singer, Mr Lee Hak-ken, was also produced to bring out the message of equal entitlement of human rights," Dr Lo said.

He pointed out that a whole range of publicity items including posters, leaflets, MTR and bus advertisements, light electronic display, press advertisements and radio publicity were in place with a view to promoting the campaign messages to the widest audience possible.

Dr Lo added that a full-time education unit had been set up to produce a series of teaching kits catered for different age groups in the next three years.

The present plan also includes organising seminars for human resources staff in the private sector on equal opportunity and promoting the rights of children with the Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF.

11

"We hope that the publicity campaign, complemented by efforts of the education unit, can create an awareness of human rights issues in our society and to encourage a more extensive and active community participation in promotional and educational programmes," Dr Lo said.

"As our TV publicity film says, 'when we know all of our rights, if we protect our rights and respect the rights of others, Hong Kong will be a better place for us all'," he added.

End/Tuesday, November 14, 1995

Social welfare In Hong Kong expands fast *****

Social welfare in Hong Kong is probably expanding faster than anywhere else in the world at the present time, the Director of Social Welfare, Mr lan Strachan, said today (Tuesday).

Addressing the Lions Club of Kowloon Central, Mr Strachan said the government's social welfare philosophy was to help, where possible, those who were in need with the ultimate aim of enabling them to help themselves.

He pointed out that five years ago the expenditure of the Social Welfare Department (SWD) was $5 billion and this year it had increased to $13 billion - that was compound growth of 27 per cent per year, or 260 per cent overall during this period.

"This is truly phenomenal growth," he said, adding that it would enable Hong Kong, by the year 2000 on our current planning, to have social welfare services worthy of a first world city.

Mr Strachan listed out some of the detailed planning which would enable SWD to achieve this most ambitious objective.

He noted that in 1995-96 the government would spend $9 billion both on financial assistance and on its increasingly comprehensive health and welfare services for the elderly.

12

"This is an increase of 50 per cent in real terms over 1992. We are well on our way to creating a first world environment where we can meet the health, welfare and housing needs of old age," he said.

Expenditure on Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA), which had 122,000 beneficiaries, had also increased from $1.4 billion in 1992-93 to $4.3 billion this year, up 208 per cent, he said.

He said a major review chaired by him was examining how to improve the arrangements for social security and that a report would be made to the Secretary for Health and Welfare in early 1996.

On services for people with a disability, Mr Strachan said the government was committed to implementing the Rehabilitation Green Paper key targets (relating to 7,690 additional residential and day services places) in full by 1997.

"We recognise that amidst the many improvements we have made and are making to our services for disabled people, we must improve employment and training opportunities for them," he said.

"We are looking at, for example, the possibility of redeploying resources from the more traditional manufacturing related sheltered workshops to supported employment in the service industries, such as desk-top publishing, laundry and office cleaning services, where there is much greater potential for growth."

Pointing out that the government had made marked progress in tackling and preventing the problem of child abuse in the past year, Mr Strachan said SWD followed closely the principles laid down in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in the planning and provision of family and child welfare services.

"However, although we have increased substantially the number of trained social workers in family services centres in recent years, the caseloads carried by each professional are still far too high.

"We must provide the resources to reduce these caseloads from the present 1:73 to about 1:50, which is the standard in other developed countries," he said.

Since further improvements would cost money and require additional resources, he encouraged everyone in the social welfare sector to examine critically the need to redeploy resources and ensure that they managed their services efficiently and effectively and so obtained the best value for money for the community.

13

Though Hong Kong would truly have achieved first world status in the provision of social welfare, Mr Strachan stressed: "we must not then stop and be complacent."

End/Tuesday, November 14, 1995

Law Officer (International Law) appointed *****

The Attorney General, Mr Jeremy Mathews, today (Tuesday) announced the appointment of Mr David John Little as Law Officer to fill the vacancy left by the departure of Mr David Edwards in the International Law Division of the Legal Department. Mr Little is currently Chief Counsel in the Securities and Futures Commission. He is expected to take up his new appointment in mid-February 1996.

Mr Little worked in Legal Department from 1975 to 1990. He held various posts in the department, reaching the rank of Principal Crown Counsel. I Ie worked as Deputy Law Officer (International Law) from 1987 to 1990.

Mr Little is married with three sons.

End/Tuesday, November 14, 1995

Over 6,200 agreements lodged with Land Registry in October

*****

A total of 6,265 sale and purchase agreements for building units, which include both residential and non-residential properties, were lodged with the Land Registry last month (October 1995).

The figure represents a decrease of 3.7 per cent from that ol September 1995 and a 18.1 per cent decrease compared with October last year.

14

The total consideration of these agreements is $16.51 billion, down 4.9 per cent and 29.3 per cent as compared with the amounts for September 1995 and October 1994 respectively.

The figures are contained in the monthly statistics released today (Tuesday) by the Land Registry on deeds relating to property transactions received for registration in the Urban and New Territories Land Registries last month.

Relevant statistics for September 1995 and October 1994 were provided for comparison.

Figures on sale and purchase agreements received for the past 12 months and the year-on-year rate of change were also released.

The statistics generally relate to land transactions executed up to four weeks prior to their submission for registration, as there is usually a time lag between the execution of deeds and their lodgement for registration.

End/Tuesday, November 14, 1995

Buildings Department will look into Fairview Park case

*****

Commenting on press reports on Fairview Park, the Director of Buildings, Mrs Helen Yu. said today (Tuesday) that the Buildings Ordinance (Application to the New Territories) Ordinance provides for the exemption of certain categories of buildings in the New Territories from some provisions of the Buildings Ordinance.

As regards to the case of Fairview Park, the Buildings Department is looking into the matter in consultation with other government departments concerned.

End/Tuesday, November 14, 1995

15

All postal services to Kuwait back to normal ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The acting Postmaster General, Miss Nancy Law, announced today (Tuesday) that, with immediate effect, all surface mail services to Kuwait, which have been suspended since August 11, 1990, are resumed.

Following this, all postal services to Kuwait are now back to normal.

End/Tuesday, November 14, 1995

Considerate contractors commended

*****

The Secretary for Works, Mr H S Kwong, today (Tuesday) presented awards to nine public works contractors who had been considerate in providing a safe and healthy working environment on site to the benefit of the public.

The winners were chosen from among 28 Government contractors who participated in the Considerate Contractors Site Award Scheme organised by the Works Branch.

In recognition of their good efforts, the winners were presented with award placards for display outside their construction sites.

The participants are judged on whether the sites are safe, under good management and are being considerate to neighbours and passers-by.

End/Tuesday, November 14, 1995

16

Salt water cut in Mong Kok and Sham Shui Po

*****

Flushing water supply to some premises in Mong Kok and Sham Shui Po will be temporarily suspended from 9 am on Friday (November 17) to 9 am the following day to facilitate watermain works.

The suspension will affect Sham Shui Po, Beacon Hill and Broadcast Drive Hill.

Meanwhile, water pressure of all premises in Mong Kok will be weak because of the works.

End/Tuesday, November 14, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Tender date 14 Nov 95 ■ ' " .. .. -• ■ •

Paper on offer EF bills

Issue number Q546

Amount applied HK$7,590 MN

Amount allotted HK$ 1,500 MN

Average yield accepted 5.49 PCT

Highest yield accepted 5.50 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 2 PCT

Average tender yield

5.50 PCT

17

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

Tenders to be held in the week beginning 20 Nov 1995

Tender date 21 Nov 95 21 Nov 95

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q547 H578

Issue date 22 Nov 95 22 Nov 95

Maturity date 22 Feb 96 22 May 96

Tenor 92 days 182 days

Amount on offer HK$ 1,500+300 MN HK$800+I60MN

End/Tuesday, November 14, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,149 0930 +28

Closing balance in the account 1,626 1000 +25

Change attributable to : 1100 +25

Money market activity +4 1200 +25

LAF today -527 1500 +25

1600 +4

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.2 *+0.2* 14.11.95

18

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.20 2 years 2711 5.60 99.80 5.79

1 month 5.35 3 years 3810 6.15 100.45 6.07

3 months 5.50 5 years 5009 6.95 101.60 6.66

6 months 12 months 5.54 5.57 5 years M502 7.30 100.72 7.25

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $10,808 million

Closed November 14, 1995

End/Tuesday, November 14, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Wednesday, November 15,1995

Contents Page No.

No interference injudicial independence by the executive................... 1

Residents reminded to check visa requirements.............................. 2

Drink driving law will come into effect before Christmas................... 2

$ 14m grants from Disaster Relief Fund approved............................ 3

Cause of canopy collapse will be investigated.............................. 4

Bill to amend to Inland Revenue Ordinance.................................. 5

Appointment to Securities and Futures Commission........................... 6

OFTA Internet home page ready to serve..................................... 6

Civic education exhibition on equal opportunities.......................... 7

HKMA publishes Guide to Applicants......................................... 8

Disciplined Services Medals awarded to 36 customs officers................. 9

Salt water cut on Tsing Yi Island..................................... 10

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

1

No interference injudicial independence by the executive ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A government spokesman issued the following statement:

"Some misunderstandings have arisen leading to misinformed comment that the Administration has interfered with the independence of the Judiciary in the current Bill of Rights Ordinance (BORO) issue. Such suggestions are totally groundless.

"As has been widely reported, at a meeting with the Chief Secretary on Monday to discuss other matters, the Chief Justice outlined to the Chief Secretary some of his views on the BORO following the remarks which had been ascribed to him by a senior Chinese Government official.

"The Chief Justice himself described his views as being of a jurisprudential and technical nature, and said he would convey them in writing so that they could be considered by the Administration.

"There is no question that the Chief Secretary demanded, insisted or instructed the Chief Justice to submit a report. She is not in a position to do so; nor would she consider doing so.

"In view of the importance of this issue and the public interest in it, it seems only natural that the Chief Justice would want to state these views to the Hong Kong Administration. He himself has said that he considers it is in order for him to do so. We look forward to receiving those views.

"The principle of the separation of the executive and the judiciary is perfectly well understood by and adhered to by the Hong Kong Government. But this separation does not mean that there can be no communication between the Judiciary and the Administration.

"If the Judiciary has concerns over how a piece of legislation is operating in practice it does not in any way compromise judicial independence for the Chief Justice to communicate those concerns to the Administration.

"We have communication in other areas relating to the administration of justice in Hong Kong. From time to time, we seek the views of the Judiciary on draft legislation which affect the administration of justice.

"On other occasions, we also seek the views of the Judiciary on proposals for law reform; and senior members of the Judiciary often chair sub-committees of the Law Reform Commission."

End/Wednesday, November 15,1995

2

Residents reminded to check visa requirements ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

In response to media enquiries concerning some British passport holders being refused permission to enter China yesterday, a spokesman for the Immigration Department today (Wednesday) reminded Hong Kong residents to check the visa requirements of their destination countries before making overseas trips.

"We are notified by the People's Republic of China that with immediate effect, British passport holders travelling to China, including those in transit for the purpose of connecting flights, must first apply for a visa at Chinese Consulates or visa-issue offices," the spokesman said.

"Entry visa regulations for different countries may change from time to time, failure to comply with the regulations may result in being refused permission to enter by overseas immigration authorities.

"Hong Kong residents are, therefore, advised to check with the local consulates or authorities of their destination countries about the visa requirements before making the trip," the spokesman added.

End/Wednesday, November 15, 1995

Drink driving law will come into effect before Christmas

*****

The new legislation on drink driving will come into operation on December 15, a government spokesman said today (Wednesday).

The Road Traffic (Amendment) Ordinance 1995 enacted in June introduced changes to the offence of driving under the influence of drink.

It introduces a prescribed limit for alcohol concentration in a driver’s blood, urine and breath, and imposes a legal obligation on drivers to provide samples of blood, urine or breath for testing in certain specified circumstances.

"We would like to bring the legislation into effect before Christmas because that is the time when people tend to drink more, thus causing traffic accidents,” the spokesman said.

3

"The prescribed alcohol limit has been set at 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. This follows the standard adopted in most European Union countries and is also the practice in many states in the US and elsewhere."

"We are not introducing random breath testing, but drivers may be required to take a breath test if they are involved in traffic accidents, commit a moving traffic offence or if the Police have reasonable grounds to suspect that they have been drinking," he added.

The maximum penalty for driving under the influence of drink is a fine of $25,000 and imprisonment of 3 years; and disqualification from driving for a period of not less than two years.

"Overseas experience shows that education is equally important to change public attitudes on Drink Driving and a spate of publicity will be launched," said the spokesman.

End/Wednesday, November 15, 1995

$14m grants from Disaster Relief Fund approved

*****

The Disaster Relief Fund Advisory Committee has pledged a contribution of $5 million for relief programmes in aid of people in the Philippines affected by typhoon Angela.

A government spokesman said today (Wednesday) it was the first time that the Advisory Committee made a pledge of its kind because it was concerned over the plight of the Filipinos following the extensive damage done by the typhoon.

"Agreement in principle has been given to a pledge of $5 million for relief aid to people affected by typhoon Angela in the Philippines," the spokesman said.

"The Committee hopes that this pledge will encourage organisation(s) experienced in relief work to apply for a grant from the Fund for this purpose."

The Committee has also approved three grants to relief programmes in aid of flood victims in China and North Korea.

4

The Hong Kong Red Cross will receive $4 million for a programme in Jilin and Liaoning, China; the Salvation Army will receive $3.3 million for programmes in the Xiangxi Tujia Zu and Miao Zu Minority Autonomous Prefecture, China; and the Medecins Sans Frontieres $1.7 million for programmes in Huichon County in North Korea.

To ensure that the grants will be used for the designated purposes, the Hong Kong Government will require relief organisations in receipt of grants to provide an evaluation report and an audited account on the use of the grant. Public donations and appropriations from general revenue are the main sources of the Fund.

"Members of the public are therefore welcome to donate to the Fund for general relief purposes," the spokesman said.

Enquiries can be made to the Secretary to the Disaster Relief Fund Advisory Committee in Room 553, East Wing, Central Government Offices or on telephone 2810 3503.

The Advisory Committee is chaired by the Chief Secretary. Other members are Dr Raymond Ch’ien, Mr J D McGregor, Mr Cheung Hon-chung, Mr Lau Chin-shek, the Secretary for Health and Welfare, and the Secretary for the Treasury.

End/Wednesday, November 15, 1995

Cause of canopy collapse will be investigated ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Director of Buildings, Mrs Helen Yu, extended condolence to the family of the man who was killed as a result of a canopy collapsed in Kwun Tong this (Wednesday) evening.

A thorough investigation into the cause of the accident will be conducted by the Buildings Department.

The scene in Yan Oi Court will remain closed for public safety until further notice and staff of the department will remove any structure posing immediate dangers.

The department regrets any inconvenience to the residents and members of the public in the area.

End/Wednesday, November 15, 1995

5

Bill to amend to Inland Revenue Ordinance *****

The Inland Revenue (Amendment)(No 3) Bill will be gazetted on Friday (November 17).

At present, the Inland Revenue Ordinance only allows the Government to tax income that is sourced in Hong Kong.

The Bill seeks to amend the Ordinance to permit the Government to tax the income from international traffic of Hong Kong airlines sourced in an agreement country which will be granted tax relief in the agreement country. In return, the Government will forgo the right to tax the income of airlines of the agreement country sourced in Hong Kong if this is subject to tax in the agreement country.

"The airlines therefore will not suffer from double taxation," a government spokesman said today (Wednesday).

"It is our policy to seek to include provisions on double taxation relief for airline income into Air Services Agreements which we have negotiated with our bilateral aviation partners on a case by case basis, subject to the endorsement of the Chinese side," the spokesman explained.

The Secretary for the Treasury will introduce the Amendment Bill into the Legislative Council on November 29.

In parallel, the Government is preparing a draft model text of a comprehensive Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) based on the model adopted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and drawing reference from DTAs concluded by China and other countries, with appropriate modifications to suit Hong Kong's own circumstances.

However, there are no immediate plans to negotiate free-standing DTAs with other territories.

"This is a complex issue and we will have to consider carefully the wider implications for the Hong Kong economy," the spokesman said.

End/Wednesday, November 15, 1995

- 6

Appointment to Securities and Futures Commission ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, announced today (Wednesday) that the Financial Secretary, under delegated authority from the Governor, had appointed Mr Henry Fan Hung-ling to be a non-executive director of the Securities and Futures Commission.

Mr Fan replaces Professor Edward Chen, who is retiring after serving four years as a non-executive director of the Commission.

”1 would like to thank Professor Chen most sincerely for his valuable contribution to the work of the Securities and Futures Commission over the past four years,” Mr Hui said.

Mr Fan's appointment is for a period of two years starting from November 15, 1995. .*

A

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

-L

i" 1 .

End/Wednesday, November 15, 1995

OFTA Internet home page ready to serve ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) announced today (Wednesday) that its Internet home page is now officially on-line and members of the public with access to Internet World Wide Web service can set the Uniform Resource Locators (URL) address to "http://www.ofta.gov.hk” for connection. *

The services provided include retrieval of information contained in a large number of OFTA documents put on the home page.

7

Application forms for various licences can also be obtained and downloaded to users' computers. Users can also provide feedback to OFTA through E-mail. Information on the Internet home page will be regularly updated and new documents will be posted on the home page as soon as they are issued.

Documents placed on the home page cover a wide range of information, including press releases, reports, consultative papers the Telecommunications Authority's Statements, determinations, codes of practice, telecommunications licences, statistics, telecommunications numbering plan and spectrum allocation table, list of licensees, the agenda, papers and minutes of OFTA's advisory committees.

It has been OFTA's policy to be as open and transparent as possible in its operation. The existing Bulletin Board Service (BBS), with access telephone number: (852) 2834 0119, was set up last year for that purpose.

The provision of Internet home page is another milestone in this respect and supplements the BBS service for those who would prefer access to OFTA material through the Internet.

OFTA trusts that the telecommunications sector and interested members of the public, both locally and overseas, will find this new means of access useful and convenient.

End/Wednesday, November 15, 1995

Civic education exhibition on equal opportunities ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Members of the public are invited to visit the Civic Education Exhibition 1995 which will be held from tomorrow (Thursday) to Saturday (November 18) at Metroplaza in Kwai Fong to promote equal opportunities and the elimination of discrimination.

Organised by the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education, the roving exhibition has taken place in Tsim Sha Tsui and Lok Fu in August and September this year respectively.

Exhibits illustrating the basic concepts of anti-discrimination, together with two electronic quiz games on the subject, will be featured in the venue.

8

Videos on world children borrowed from the Hong Kong Committee for United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) will be screened to enable visitors to learn more about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was extended to Hong Kong in October last year.

Another interesting demonstration will focus on the Basic Law to allow members of the public to learn about their rights and obligations in the future 1 long Kong Special Administrative Region.

Other highlights are the winning entries of the Cartoon/Illustration Competition on Equal Opportunities and Elimination of Discrimination, and the top three Outstanding Civic Education Projects for 1994-95.

Starting from tomorrow, the exhibition will open from 10 am to 6.30 pm until Saturday. Admission is free and souvenirs will be distributed to participants.

End/Wednesday, November 15, 1995

HKMA publishes Guide to Applicants ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦♦

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced that the Banking (Amendment) Ordinance 1995, which was gazetted on June 30, 1995, commences operation today (Wednesday).

The Banking (Amendment) Ordinance establishes the Monetary Authority as the authority responsible for the authorisation, suspension and revocation of all three types of authorised institution.

It also clarifies the scope, objectives, duties and powers of a manager appointed under the Ordinance to take control of a problem authorised institution, and introduces a number of other changes designed to improve the workings of the Ordinance.

Concurrent with the commencement of the Banking (Amendment) Ordinance, HKMA publishes today a Guide to Applicants which sets out the Monetary Authority's interpretation of the authorisation criteria and the grounds for revocation contained in the Ordinance and the procedures for processing applications for authorisation.

- 9 -

"The Guide provides guidance to institutions seeking authorisation under the Banking Ordinance about the scheme of supervision contained in the Ordinance and the policies and approach of the HKMA in implementing it. It is also relevant to existing authorised institutions as the authorisation criteria continue to apply to them after authorisation," said a spokesman for HKMA.

The spokesman added that the publication of the Guide would further increase the transparency of HKMA's approach in regulating authorised institutions. It is thus an important step in the development of the banking supervisory system in Hong Kong.

The Guide also explains HKMA's powers in dealing with a problem authorised institution; the restriction on the use of the word "bank" in business names or descriptions; and the procedures for applying for authorisation. The Guide will be available at $300 each at the Government Publications Centre at ground floor, Low Block, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong, from Friday (November 17).

End/Wednesday, November 15, 1995

Disciplined Services Medals awarded to 36 customs officers *****

The Commissioner of Customs and Excise, Mr Don Watson, today (Wednesday) presented the Hong Kong Disciplined Services Medals to 36 officers of the Customs and Excise Department at a ceremony at the department’s Senior Officers’ Mess.

Nine of the recipients received the First Clasp to their long service medals while two were awarded the Second Clasp.

At the ceremony, Mr Watson also presented Long and Meritorious Service Certificates and Gold Pins to five officers in recognition of their 30-year services in the department.

End/Wednesday, November 15, 1995

Salt water cut on Tsing Yi Island

*****

Salt water supply to all premises on Tsing Yi Island will be temporarily suspended from 10 pm on Friday (November 17) to 6 am the following day to facilitate the laying of water mains.

End/Wednesday, November 15, 1995

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

Time Cumulative change

$ million (hours) (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,626 0930 +550

Closing balance in the account 1,575 1000 +548

Change attributable to: 1100 +548

Money market activity +248 1200 +248

LAF today -299 1500 +248

1600 +248

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.0 *-0.2* 15.11.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.17 2 years 2711 5.60 99.85 5.76

1 month 5.32 3 years 3810 6.15 100.46 6.06

3 months 5.49 5 years 5009 6.95 101.63 6.66

6 months 12 months 5.53 5.56 5 years M502 7.30 100.70 7.26

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $18,281 million

Closed November 15, 1995

End/Wednesday, November 15, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

SUPPLEMENT

Wednesday, November 15,1995

Contents EagfcKa

Proposals of the Legal Sub-group of PWC.................................. 1

Land Registration (Amendment) Bill....................................... 7

Town Planning (Amendment) Bill........................................... 9

Reports to UN Human Rights Committee.................................... 12

Resources deploy to combat cigarette smuggling.......................... 13

Waiting time for public rental flats.................................... 17

Railway Development Strategy............................................ 18

Land planned for open storage use in NT................................. 21

Old age allowance....................................................... 22

Review of law to ensure consistency with BOR............................ 24

Public dump projects.................................................... 25

VMs repatriation programmes............................................. 27

Circulation of Hong Kong currency in China.............................. 28

Student intake of local tertiary institutions........................... 29

Number of......

Contents

Page No,

Number of horse races................................................. 35

Measures to solve student suicide problem............................. 36

Compassionate rehousing for divorced women............................ 38

International telecommunications charges.............................. 40

Clearance of temporary housing areas.................................. 46

Charter for safety in the workplace................................... 47

Ma On Shan housing project...........................................  48

Petrol filling stations safety........................................ 50

Flood protection schemes........................................... 51

1

Proposals of the Legal Sub-group of PWC

*****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, at the motion debate on the proposals of the Legal Sub-group of the Preliminary Working Committee in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

It is clear from today's debate and the response across the community that the proposals of the legal sub-group of the Preliminary Working Committee (PWC) have given cause for deep concern among many people in Hong Kong. Many Members speaking today, the Hong Kong Bar Association, the Hong Kong Law Society, the Hong Kong Journalists Association and many other groups and individuals have offered a chorus of support for the Bill of Rights Ordinance (BORO).

The British and Hong Kong Governments share these sentiments and have taken every opportunity to reflect to China the depth of the community's concern and our views on the mistaken nature of the PWC's proposals. The matter has been raised not only in the Joint Liaison Group (JLG) but also with the Chinese authorities through other diplomatic channels and during the visit of the Attorney General to China. It will continue to be pursued through both formal and informal channels.

Consistency with the Basic Law and the Joint Declaration

The Government is in no doubt that the BORO and the laws which have been amended are fully consistent with the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law.

The BORO was drawn up in full knowledge of the provisions of the Basic Law. Both the Joint Declaration and Basic Law stipulate that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) as applied to Hong Kong shall remain in force after 1997. Moreover, Article 39 of the Basic Law states that the provisions of the ICCPR as applied to Hong Kong shall be implemented through the laws of the Hong Kong Special Administration Region. This is precisely what the BORO does - it provides for the incorporation into the law of Hong Kong of the provisions of the ICCPR as applied to Hong Kong. It follows that the BORO is fully consistent with Article 39 of the Basic Law.

2

Status of the BORO

The BORO has a status no different from that of any other ordinance. Like other Ordinances it will be subject to the Basic Law. What is entrenched by the Letters Patent now and by the Basic Law after 30 June 1997 is the ICCPR not the BORO.

We do not accept the argument expressed by the Legal Sub Group of the PWC that S.3 of the BORO makes it supreme over other laws. This is not correct. Section 3 does no more than state expressly the common law principle that, where two pieces of legislation are inconsistent, the later one impliedly repeals the earlier one to the extent of the inconsistency.

Some Members have cited as support for their view that the BORO has an overriding status, the description of the BORO included in the UKG's report to the United Nations on Hong Kong. The statement in question, is simply a reference to the repealing effect of the BORO on pre-existing legislation that is, laws which were in force prior to the enactment of the BORO in 1991. Asi have said, this reflects the common law principle that where two pieces of legislation are inconsistent, the later one repeals the inconsistencies in the earlier one.

We also do not consider S.2(3) and S.4 of the BORO to be contrary to the Basic Law. S.2(3) deals with the interpretation of the BORO, and states a principle that applies to all ordinances which implement treaties. S.4 reflects an existing rule of interpretation that legislation should, if possible, be construed in accordance with relevant international obligations. Both these sections are no more than a restatement of common law principles that apply to all ordinances.

It is our firm conclusion, therefore, that the PWC's proposals are based on a misunderstanding of the legal effect of the BORO and we see no need to amend it in the manner that has been suggested. Such a move would give rise to serious concern in Hong Kong and overseas about the continued protection of human rights as well as the rule of law in Hong Kong.

The BORO enjoys widespread support within Hong Kong and the international community. Most recently, the United Nations Human Rights Committee has welcomed the enactment of the Ordinance and expressed its appreciation for the progress that has been made in reviewing laws for consistency with the BORO and therefore with the ICCPR.

3

Members will be aware that the UN Human Rights Committee is deeply interested in the circumstances of Hong Kong. The Committee has recognised the sound legal basis offered by the Joint Declaration for the continued protection of the rights provided for in the ICCPR. The Committee has issued a clear statement on the importance of the continued application of the ICCPR in Hong Kong and the submission of reports after 1997. It has taken the view that human rights treaties devolve with territory, and that states continue to be bound by the obligations under the Covenant entered by the predecessor state. The Committee points out that Britain and China have agreed in the Joint Declaration that all the provisions of the Covenant as applied to Hong Kong shall remain in force after 1 July 1997. These provisions include reporting obligations under article 40. As the reporting requirements will continue to apply, the Committee considers that it is competent to receive and review reports that must be submitted in relation to Hong Kong.

The' United Kingdom Government has explained to the Chinese Government how it fulfils these obligations and made its views known to China through the JLG and other diplomatic channels on how the reporting obligation could be fulfilled after 1997. It will continue to work for a satisfactory resolution of this question with the Chinese Government. On our part we will continue to take the necessary steps to implement the Covenant as applied to Hong Kong.

Review of legislation

Every society must update its laws to take into account changing circumstances and developing jurisprudence. New policies or international obligations lead to new legislation, existing laws need to be updated by the removal of anomalies and obsolete provisions. This does not conflict with the Joint Declaration where it provides that the laws currently in force in Hong Kong will remain basically unchanged.

The review of legislation for consistency with the BORO ensures that our laws are consistent with the provisions of the ICCPR as applied to Hong Kong. It is worth restating that both the Joint Declaration and the Basic law stipulate that the provisions of the ICCPR as applied to Hong Kong shall remain in force and that Article 39 of the Basic Law provides that restrictions on the rights and freedoms enjoyed by Hong Kong residents shall not contravene the ICCPR as applied to Hong Kong. Amendments to laws which ensure consistency with the ICCPR are therefore consistent with both the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. To leave these laws untouched would bring them into conflict with Article 39 of the Basic Law after 1997.

4

Since 1991, this Council has enacted 36 amending Ordinances or orders to bring existing legislation into line with the BORO. The issues involved have been approached with realism and good sense and with a firm understanding of the need to assess the impact of changes and to strike a balance between the protection of human rights and other needs of society including law enforcement.

A few Members have asserted that these amendments are detrimental to the effective governance of Hong Kong. Let me put it on the record that the amendments that have been made have not undermined the Government's authority or ability to govern. Our Police force and other law enforcement agencies continue to exercise their powers effectively. The crime rate in Hong Kong is still one of the lowest among international cities. The removal of restrictions on press freedom and freedom of expression, many of which have never been used or not been used for years, has not prompted our media to forego its high standards of journalism. Rights of assembly and association are not abused. People in Hong Kong have shown that they are well capable of exercising the rights and freedoms provided for in the BORO and the ICCPR in a responsible and civilised manner. It signifies a lack of trust to think otherwise.

Impact of BORO on Legal System

All new legislation needs to be interpreted by the courts in order that its application to particular situations can be precisely determined. As time goes by, and areas of difficulty are resolved, the effect of new legislation becomes settled. The BORO is no different from other legislation in this respect.

BOR challenges have been primarily concerned with provisions of the criminal law which deviate from the principle that it is for the prosecution to prove the accused's guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Through decisions of the Court of Appeal and the Privy Council, the principles applicable to such provisions are now well established. In reaching these decisions, the Judiciary have followed the principle of proportionality which is well established in international human rights jurisprudence. In essence, this principle allows for the protection of human rights to be balanced against the public interest.

To cite an example, the Court of Appeal, in April 1995, confirmed the legality of section 10 of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance which makes it an offence for civil servants to maintain a standard of living not commensurate with their income in the absence of a satisfactory explanation. The Court said that the provision was dictated by the inherent difficulties in proving corruption and goes no further than necessary. The balance is right.

5

Similarly, the Court of Appeal decided, in February 1993, to uphold the special investigatory powers of the Securities and Futures Commission under Section 33 of the SFC Ordinance.

Finally, there is, of course, the well-known case of the AG v Lee Kwong Kut (1993), concerning the Drug Trafficking (Recovery of Proceeds) Ordinance, where the Privy Council said that in order to maintain the balance between the individual and the society as a whole, rigid and inflexible standards should not be imposed on the legislature's attempts to resolve the problems of dealing with serious crime.

These are only examples. But they do demonstrate that the protection of human rights in Hong Kong has contributed to a healthy development of jurisprudence rather than led to any uncertainty.

The Six Ordinances

The PWC's proposals to restore six Ordinances to an earlier form would mean the revival of legislation which we have found to be inconsistent with the BORO and therefore with the ICCPR. This would be a retrograde step and would bring the Ordinances into conflict with Article 39 of the Basic Law. In particular, the PWC proposals would mean:

* the readoption of obsolete emergency powers from the nineteen fifties and sixties which are unsuited to any situation which could arise in today's society;

* reinstating executive powers to pre-censor television and radio broadcasts;

* replacing the system of advance notification of public processions with the old requirement to obtain a licence;

* removing the right to appeal over the prohibition or imposition of conditions on public meetings or processions;

* prohibiting once more, the use of loudhailers in processions;

* restoring the old system of registering societies.

6

I will not list all the issues but I will state that we see no need to readopt any of these powers, nor have we heard any convincing argument why this should be done in respect of these six Ordinances.

The New Territories Land (Exemption) Ordinance and the Legislative Council Commission Ordinance

I share certain Members' concern about the PWC Legal Sub-group’s proposal to repeal the New Territories Land (Exemption) Ordinance and the Legislative Council Commission Ordinance.

The New Territories Land (Exemption) Ordinance doeS not remove the indigenous villagers' right to dispose of their property in the traditional way if they wish. It only removes the inhibition for women to inherit land in the New Territories in the case of intestacy. We do not consider that it contravenes Article 40 of the Basic Law.

As regards the Legislative Council Commission Ordinance. Members all know that the purpose of the Ordinance is to set up a LegCo Commission to provide administrative support and services to LegCo Members through the LegCo Secretariat, to provide office accommodation to LegCo Members and staff of the LegCo Secretariat and to supervise the operation of the Secretariat. This Council needs to have a Secretariat to provide administrative support. And so will the SAR legislature. Staff of the LegCo Secretariat are not civil servants. They are employed by the LegCo Commission. The PWC Legal Sub-group's proposal to repeal this Ordinance has created uncertainty over the future of the Secretariat. If it is endorsed, it will seriously affect the morale of the LegCo Secretariat staff and undermine the smooth operation of the Secretariat. This will not benefit anyone.

7

Continuing with the review of legislation

Many Members have spoken on the need to push ahead with the amendment of those remaining laws which are considered to be inconsistent with the BORO. In my Policy Commitments, I have undertaken to monitor the introduction of draft amendments to a further four Ordinances - the Marriage Ordinance, the Telecommunication Ordinance and subsidiary legislation to the Prison Ordinance and the Mental Health Ordinance - in this session. Members will also be aware that we have put proposals to the Chinese in respect of treason and sedition and the Official Secrets Act. Our proposals are fully consistent with the BORO, the ICCPR and the need to ensure the safety and security of the community here in Hong Kong. Separately, we are awaiting the report of the Law Reform Commission relating to the interception of telecommunications and mail. The way forward will be considered in the light of the Commission's recommendations and with due regard to the BORO and the ICCPR.

We will continue to review laws for consistency with the BORO and to take into account developing jurisprudence in this area of law. We will take every opportunity to reflect the concern of this Council and the community and to explain to the Chinese Government the misconceived nature of the legal sub-group's proposals. We will also urge the Chinese side to take full account of Hong Kong views including those expressed in this Chamber.

End/Wednesday, November 15, 1995

Land Registration (Amendment) Bill *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung , in moving the second reading of the Land Registration (Amendment) Bill 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the second reading of the Land Registration (Amendment) Bill 1995.

Land registration in both the urban area and the New Territories is governed by the Land Registration Ordinance (Cap 128) and the Land Registration Regulations.

8

To improve its services to the public, the Land Registry will introduce a Document Imaging System in mid 1996. This is basically a new method of storage and retrieval of land records, whereby the memorials or registered instruments are scanned and the information recorded in them is converted into electronic images which are stored on electronic storage media such as optical disks. The information can then be speedily retrieved for viewing on screen and printing onto paper.

In order that the image record of memorials retained on the disk can be treated for all purposes as an original copy of the memorial as with the microfilm records, a new provision similar to section 29 of the Land Registration Ordinance is necessary. Amendment to section 26A(1) of the Ordinance is also required to make clear that a document purporting to be a copy, print or extract of or from an image record after certification by the Land Registrar will be admissible in evidence in court proceedings. The imaging method should also be added to the Land Registration Regulations as an additional method of recording memorials and registered instruments.

Separately, the Land Registry is launching a project to record the register cards in the urban area on microfilm. Register cards in the New Territories are also being converted into computerised records. The Register cards will serve no practical use afterwards. We therefore propose that the Land Registrar should be able to destroy or otherwise dispose of them so as to achieve savings in having to store them. Regulation 19 of the Land Registration Regulations needs to be amended to reflect this.

Under section 22 of the Land Registration Ordinance, a person can deposit at the Land Registry any deed, conveyance, power of attorney or other instrument in writing for safe custody until he requires them back again. It is uneconomical for the Land Registry to continue providing this service in view of the cost involved and the fact that safe deposit services are widely available from banks. We therefore propose that this section should be deleted but the Land Registry will keep safe custody of the deeds already deposited with it.

The main proposals of the Land Registration (Amendment) Bill 1995 are:

(a) clause 2 defines the terms "image", "image record", "imaging", "imaging method" and "register card";

(b) clause 3 repeals section 22 of the Ordinance such that the Land Registry will not further accept deposit of any deeds or conveyances for safe custody. Notwithstanding this, the Land Registrar will continue to keep safe custody of the deeds and conveyances deposited with him until such deeds and conveyances are delivered back to the person depositing them;

9

(c) clause 5 makes it clear that a document purporting to be a copy, print or extract of or from an image record after certification by the Land Registrar will be admissible in evidence in court proceedings. The use of printed signature of the Land Registrar or of any person authorised by him for certification purposes is allowed;

(d) clause 6 enables regulations to be made in respect of the use of the imaging method;

(e) clause 7 provides that the microfilm record of register cards, the image record of memorials, and the image record of the microfilm record of the memorials be treated for all purposes as the original register cards or memorials.

Mr President, the Land Registration (Amendment) Bill 1995 will enhance the compatibility of the recording system of memorials and registered instruments with new information technology and improve the economic efficiency of the registration process. I recommend it to Members for favourable consideration. Subject to the enactment of the Bill, the (Amendment) Regulation will be made by the Land Registrar.

Thank you, Mr President.

End/Wednesday, November 15, 1995

Town Planning (Amendment) Bill ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in moving the second reading of the Town Planning (Amendment) Bill 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

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

There is a considerable backlog in the hearing of objections to draft plans by the Town Planning Board and planning appeals by the Town Planning Appeal Board. The appointment of judges to the Appeal Board panel and the interpretation of continuing offence under the Town Planning Ordinance also need clarification.

10

The Town Planning Ordinance currently provides that the Town Planning Board will give preliminary consideration to an objection to a draft plan in the absence of the objector. If the objector refuses to withdraw the objection after being notified of the Board's view, he has the right to attend a hearing before Town Planning Board.

At present, the Town Planning Board may delegate some of its powers and functions to a committee appointed by the Governor, but review of the Board's decisions on planning applications and consideration of objections are two of the matters that cannot be delegated to a committee and must be dealt with by the Board itself.

Up till mid September 1995, the Town Planning Board has yet to give preliminary consideration to some 3,089 objections and to hear 1,150 outstanding objections. We estimate that if the objections are to be heard by the Board according to the present hearing procedure, it would take several years to clear the backlog.

The Bill will enable the Town Planning Board to appoint committees among its members to hear objections to the draft plans. Such committees will each consists of not less than five members drawn from the Board. The majority of each committee shall be members who are not public officers. It is expected that the hearing of objections can be expedited when these committees are in operation.

The Town Planning Ordinance provides that an applicant for planning permission who is aggrieved by a decision of the Town Planning Board on review may lodge an appeal to the Town Planning Appeal Board. Upon receipt of a notice of appeal, the Chairman or the Deputy Chairman of the Appeal Board panel shall nominate an Appeal Board to hear the appeal. The Appeal Board shall consist of the Chairman or the Deputy Chairman of the panel and four other members.

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of appeals. Up till mid September 1995, there are 29 outstanding appeals yet to be heard by the Appeal Board. The present constitution of the Appeal Board only allows two hearings to be held concurrently, as only the Chairman or the Deputy Chairman of the Appeal Board panel can act as Chairman of the Appeal Board.

The Bill will enable the Governor to appoint more than one Deputy Chairman to the Appeal Board panel, so that additional Appeal Boards may sit simultaneously.

11

The Appeal Board panel was created in 1991 by way of an amendment to the Town Planning Ordinance. When the amendment was debated in this Council in July 1991, the ad hoc group studying the bill expressed the view that the Chairman of the Appeal Board panel should be drawn from the judiciary. However, due to the shortage of judges, a senior lawyer was appointed by the Governor to be its Chairman when the Appeal Board panel was first constituted. He was however subsequently appointed as a judge in the Court of Appeal and has continued to serve as Chairman of the Appeal Board panel. The validity of his appointment and the validity of the decisions made by the Appeal Boards under his chairmanship is currently subject to legal challenge on the ground that a judge is a public officer. Legal advice obtained by the Administration is that 'public officer', viewed in the context of the Ordinance, does not include a judge. However, if the court challenge is successful, any decisions of the Appeal Boards made under his chairmanship subsequent to the validity of his appointment first being raised would be affected. The validity of his appointment was first raised in May 1995, so there are a number of such decisions. As it is the intention of the Administration that the Chairman of the Appeal Board panel would continue to be able to be drawn from the judiciary, the problem will continue.

To put it beyond doubt that a judge may be appointed to the Appeal Board panel, it is proposed that a new subsection should be added to the Ordinance to define that "public officer" does not include a judge. In addition, a new section is proposed to validate decisions made by an Appeal Board of which a judge was a member unless the validity of the judge's appointment was challenged in court on or before 31 October 1995. The latter exception ensures that proceedings currently before the court will not be interfered with.

To clarify the nature of a continuing offence under section 23 of the Ordinance, the Bill provides for a daily fine to be charged for continuing offence on each day after the date in a notice served under section 23, during which the convicted offender continues to fail to comply with the requirements of such notice.

The Bill will improve the efficiency and operation of the Town Planning Board and Town Planning Appeal Board. I recommend it to Members.

Thank you, Mr President.

End/Wednesday, November 15, 1995

12

Reports to UN Human Rights Committee

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Emily Lau and a reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In regard to the British Government’s Fourth Periodic Report in respect of Hong Kong submitted under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Committee and its attendance at the UN hearing on the report, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) how the Government will follow up on the UN Human Rights Committee’s recommendations regarding the report; and

(b) whether the Government will consider requesting the British Government to submit further reports under the ICCPR to the UN Human Rights Committee before July 1997?

Reply:

The United Nations Human Rights Committee examined the United Kingdom Government’s fourth periodic report on Hong Kong under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) on 19-20 October 1995. The Committee’s Concluding Observations were published on 3 November 1995.

(a) The Human Rights Committee's observations covered a wide range of positive aspects and areas of concern. The single most important area raised by the Committee was its clear statement on the importance of the continued application of the ICCPR in Hong Kong and the submission of reports after 1997.

The United Kingdom Government has explained to the Chinese Government how it presently fulfils the reporting obligation and made its views known as to how China could fulfil this obligation after 1997. The United Kingdom Government will continue to work for a satisfactory resolution of this question with China.

13

The Human Rights Committee's views on domestic issues cover a wide area and will be carefully considered by the responsible Policy Branches. The Committee's recommendations are not binding but they will be taken very seriously. All the issues raised will be addressed.

(b) The Human Rights Committee has requested that the United Kingdom Government submit a brief report on Hong Kong by 31 May 1996 on new developments in respect of the Committee's Concluding Observations. This request will be met. The Hong Kong Government will of course be involved in the preparation of the report. The Committee has stated that it will consider the report at its 58th session to be held in Geneva from 21 October to 8 November 1996.

End/Wednesday, November 15, 1995

Resources deploy to combat cigarette smuggling ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Selina Chow and a reply by the Secretary for the Treasury, Mr K C Kwong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the manpower and resources which the Government has deployed in the past five years (1990-91 - 1994-95) to combat cigarette smuggling since the drastic increase in tobacco tax;

(b) of the respective numbers of cigarette smuggling cases and persons prosecuted, as well as the quantity of cigarettes seized, in each of the past five years; of the cases which resulted in prosecution, what is the conviction rate and what are the penalties (by suitable intervals) imposed on those convicted; and

(c) whether the Government has made an estimate of the average daily quantity of dutiable cigarettes smuggled into the territory in the past five years; if so, what is the percentage of such quantity when compared with the average daily total quantity of cigarettes imported to the territory; and what is the estimated loss to the Government in duty revenue and to cigarette dealers respectively, in the same period?

14

Reply:

I • ••••• ’ • ' .. _ . 4

Mr President,

(a) The Customs & Excise Department (C&ED) is responsible for the detection and prevention of smuggling of contraband, including narcotics, cigarettes and other dutiable commodities. Prior to July 1993, there was no separate dedicated teams deployed on combating cigarette smuggling. Rather, action against cigarette smuggling is an integral part of the enforcement duties of C&E officers deployed at control points, on land and maritime patrol, investigation and other anti-smuggling activities. The number of C&E officers deployed for such purposes in the past five years were:

Financial year Staff number

1990-91 2,381

1991-92 2,381

1992-93 2,307

1993-94 2,323

1994-95 2,587

In July 1993, the Department set up a 12-man Cigarette Action Team to tackle specifically cigarette smuggling.

In May 1994, the Department expanded this to a 40-man strong Anti-Cigarette Smuggling Task Force.

Other C&E officers carrying out normal control and enforcement work, of course, continue to assist in anti-smuggling of cigarettes in the course of their normal duties.

(b) Before 1991-92, enforcement statistics were collected in respect of smuggling activities in general and there was no separate breakdown for cigarette smuggling cases, except for the amount of cigarettes seized. As for conviction statistics, a separate breakdown for cigarette smuggling cases was only available from 1993-94. The relevant statistics on enforcement and conviction are set out in my written reply to Members -

15

Year No. of cases of seizure(l> No. of persons prosecuted Cigarettes seized (pieces) No of counts successfully prosecuted(3) Conviction rate(4) Sentences 1 !'

. £/ JVA with arrest without arrest Fine Custodial sentence

1990-91 NA* NA NA 7.4 million NA NA NA

1991-92 1,344 763 1,438 24.4 million NA NA NA

1992-93 1,355 478 881 42.5 million NA NA NA •

1993-94 2,555 1,142 2,196 179.0 million 4^213 98.50% $50-$130,500 1 day to , 12 months

1994-95 1,816 1,132 1,890 82.2 million 3,033 95.32% $100-$100,000 1 day to 12 months

Note:

» ... jV- ..

(1) Cases detected in the specified period. . ~ .

» t l> ; .'.'I? -

(2) This included a large seizure in February 1994 of some 100 million pieces of cigarettes.

(3) Counts successfully prosecuted in the specified period.

a.- h ■ •' •’ ' '

No. of offences upon which defendants were convicted during the specified period

(4) Conviction rate = -------------------------------------------------------------

Total no. of offences prosecuted during the specified period

* ■ i , .

♦ NA = Not Available.

Breakdown of the sentences by suitable intervals are set out in my written reply to Members -

16

Quantity of cigarettes seized Fines Custodial sentence

Offender s fined Range of fine ($) Offender s sentenced Range of imprisonment

1993-94 <5000 1799 100 - 12000 31 1 day - 6 months

5001 - 50000 497 50 - 50000 37 6 days - 5 months

50001- 100000 42 500 - 80000 11 1 month - 12 months

100001- 500000 31 100 - 130500 14 6 days - 6 months

>500000 6 1000 - 50000 17 2 months- 9 months

Overall 2375 50 - 130500 110 1 day - 12 months

1994-95 <5000 1166 100 - 10000 123 1 day - 4 months

5001- 50000 291 100 - 40000 68 1 day - 6 months

50001- 100000 20 1000 - 40000 16 1 month - 6 months

100001- 500000 40 1000 - 100000 32 1 month - 10 months

>500000 19 5000 - 90000 34 1 month - 12 months

Overall 1536 100 - 100000 273 1 day - 12 months

(c) We do not have an estimate of the daily quantity of dutiable cigarettes smuggled into the territory. We can only assess the potential loss in duty revenue based on the quantity of cigarettes seized. The statistics are set out in my written reply to Members -

Year Average daily quantity of cigarettes seized (pieces) (A) Average daily quantity of cigarettes imported # (pieces) Average daily quantity of cigarettes imported and retained for domestic consumption (pieces)(B) Percentage of cigarettes seized over cigarettes imported (A/B %) Duty potential of cigarettes seized (per day) . .

1990-91 20,000 170.4 million 11.55 million 0.17% $4,858

1991-92 67,000 202.4 million 33.64 million 0.20% $32,053

1992-93 117,000 194.6 million 16.33 million 0.72% $61,749

1993-94 491,000 166.6 million 8.65 million 5.68% $284,538

1994-95 225,000 165.5 million 8.79 million 2.56&T9 $130,606

# : Cigarettes imported include all cigarettes imported for domestic consumption and for subsequent re-export.

We also do not have an estimate of the loss to cigarette dealers.

End/Wednesday, November 15, 1995

17

Waiting time for public rental flats

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Lee Wing-tat and a reply by the Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

As the Governor has pledged in his Policy Address this year that the Government will reduce the average waiting time for public rental flats to five years by 2001, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether, in working out the above-mentioned waiting time for public rental flats, it has taken into account such factors as the estimated number of public rental flats to be vacated by public housing tenants who are successful in their applications for Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) flats, the prices of HOS flats, and the opportunities of allocation of public rental flats; if so, how are such figures arrived at; and

(b) whether, in view of the fact that there are different categories of applicants on the waiting list, private housing tenants who apply for public rental flats will also be allocated public housing units within five years?

Answer:

Mr President,

We estimate that the supply of public rental housing in the six years between April 1995 and April 2001 will be in the region of 241,000 flats. This figure comprises the 141,000 new flats to which we are committed, and about 100,000 flats to be vacated by tenants of flats not subject to redevelopment, including those who purchase Home Ownership Scheme flats (about 88,000 flats), those who will benefit from the Home Purchase Loan Scheme (6,000 flats), and those who move into private sector accommodation, emigrate or otherwise move out voluntarily (about 6,000 flats).

After meeting estimated demand during these six years arising from public housing redevelopment (about 84,000 flats), squatter area and Temporary Housing Area clearances (about 35,500 flats), and other committed categories such as emergency rehousing, compassionate rehousing and housing for junior civil servants (about 27,500 flats), we estimate that 94,000 flats will be available for direct allocation to eligible applicants on the General Waiting List during this period, or an average of over 15,000 flats per year.

18

At the end of September 1995, the number of applicants on the Waiting List stood at about 149,000. Despite our initiatives to increase home ownership, we expect to continue to receive new applications to join the Waiting List at the rate of 1,900 households a month in the foreseeable future. This will add about 125,000 households to the Waiting List between now and April 2001, making in theory a grand total of 274,000 by that date. However, as I said in my speech in this Council on 2 November during the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the Governor, we shall be helped in dealing with this large number of applicants by the historical trend that many of those persons who join the Waiting List are eventually found not eligible, or are rehoused through other schemes or quotas. This accounts for nearly half of all applicants on the Waiting List.

On past trends, the percentage of eligible applicants who actually take up public rental flats is about 54% of the total. We can therefore reduce the figure of 274,000 by 46% to give a total of about 148,000 effective applicants. From this we can subtract the figure of 92,000 new and refurbished flats which we intend to make available to applicants during the period between October 1995 and April 2001. This will leave us with an effective Waiting List in April 2001 of about 56,000, compared with an effective Waiting List of about 80,400 at the end of September 1995. The waiting time after 2001 will be proportionately reduced by 30% from seven years at present to under five years. This implies, of course, that the Government and the Housing Authority will continue to make adequate provision for new housing production in the years after 2001.

The average waiting time for different categories of applicant on the Waiting List, including private housing tenants, is the same. The commitment to a waiting time of less than five years is an average in respect of all eligible applicants.

End/Wednesday, November 15, 1995

Railway Development Strategy ♦ » ♦ ♦ *

Following is a question by the Hon Lau Chin-shek and a reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In regard to the Railway Development Strategy, will the Government inform this Council of the following:

19

(a) what will be the actual benefits arising from the KCR extension from Hung Hom to Tsim Sha Tsui as recommended in the Strategy, and whether the proposed extension will result in an increase of passenger flow at the already overloaded Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station;

(b) whether the Government will consider the feasibility of extending the MTR to Kowloon City in view of the proposed extension from Hung Hom to Tsim Sha Tsui; and

(c) whether, apart from the high priority projects of the three railway networks recommended in the Strategy, the Government will study the construction of other new railway networks in the near future?

Reply:

Mr President,

The proposed KCR extension from Hung Hom to Tsim Sha Tsui will be of distinct benefit to tens of thousands of commuters. Residents from Sha Tin and the other townships in Northeast New Territories whose destination is Tsim Sha Tsui will have direct rail access, via the KCR. They will no longer have to change to the MTR at Kowloon Tong Station, and then switch trains by crossing the platform at Mong Kok Station to reach Tsim Sha Tsui. In turn, this will reduce existing journey time considerably. Since commuters can stay on the KCR, this will also greatly relieve congestion along on the Nathan Road Corridor.

The Hung Hom to Tsim Sha Tsui loop is also a fundamental component of the proposed intermediate capacity rail system between Ma On Shan and Tai Wai. Without this loop, all passengers bound for urban Kowloon and Hong Kong would have little choice but to change trains at Kowloon Tong. This would severely aggravate the congestion problem at this station.

Turning now to Tsim Sha Tsui station, it is, indeed, a very busy station during peak hours. The Hon LAU Chin-shek is quite right in pointing out that the proposed KCR loop will result in an increase in passenger flow since commuters would have to switch to the MTR at this station to cross the harbour to Hong Kong. This is obviously an area which requires attention and will be investigated in depth in the engineering feasibility study recently commissioned by Government. Both MTRC and KCRC will provide input for this study.

20

To summarise, the Hung Hom - Tsim Sha Tsui loop will support further development in the NENT and will help to relieve pressure on the Kowloon Tong interchange and the MTR Nathan Road Corridor. It will, thus, strengthen our railway network.

In addition to the proposed KCR extension to Hung Hom, the RDS also envisages that, dependent upon the scale and programme for land development in the Southeast Kowloon and the Kai Tak site when the airport has been relocated, an Intermediate Capacity System (ICS) from Diamond Hill to Hung Hom may be required to serve that area. This is currently under investigation under the Southeast Kowloon Reclamation Development Study. Any link to Kowloon City will have to be examined in that context.

Mr President, may I now briefly comment on the Administration's plans regarding the construction of new railway lines.

The three high priority railways identified in the RDS are all massive projects. Together with the two railway corporations and our own consultants, we are now conducting detailed feasibility studies to see how best they can be implemented by 2001. Taking into account the multi-billion dollar capital costs involved, land resumption requirements as well as staffing and other resource implications, it would be totally unrealistic to commit ourselves to, let alone embark on the construction of, yet more railway projects, all at the same time.

Notwithstanding this, the Administration will continue to look forward and plan ahead. Indeed the RDS has identified many longer term railway proposals to match development and population growth. These proposals, together with any others that may be put forward, will be carefully assessed and regularly reviewed so that timely decisions on their implementation can be taken.

End/Wednesday, November 15, 1995

21

Land planned for open storage use in NT ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Miriam Lau and a reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) how much land in the New Territories has been planned for open storage use, of this how much has actually been used as container yards and container truck parking lots;

(b) what measures the Government has put in place to resolve the problem of shortage of parking spaces for container trucks, bearing in mind that according to the sources from the trade, there is a shortage of parking spaces for at least 2,000 container trucks and their tractors; and

(c) what measures does the Government have to ensure that the land which has been planned for open storage use can actually be used as container truck parking lots and container yards, having regard to the fact that the majority of such land is privately-owned?

Answer:

Mr President,

(a) About 330 hectares of land have been zoned either 'Open Storage' or 'Other Specified Uses (Container Back-up Uses)’ on the statutory town plans. About 110 hectares are being used for various types of open storage and workshops, including 4 hectares for container yards and 7 hectares for container truck parking.

(b) There are about 11,000 parking spaces available for container vehicle parking. These include about 2,000 spaces on short term tenancy sites; about 7,000 spaces on open storage sites; and about 2,000 spaces in industrial and commercial private developments.

22

In the short term, efforts will continue be made to identify short term tenancy sites for container lorry parking and to seek the granting of planning permission for such uses by the Town Planning Board. In this connection, nine applications involving 10 hectares of temporary container trailer parking areas in San Tin with a total capacity of 900 parking spaces have been approved by the Town Planning Board.

To cater for the longer term demand for parking container trucks, the possibility of developing a multi-storey container lorry park at Kwai Chung for 1,400 container lorries is being examined. The study result is expected to be available in early 1996. Moreover, with a view to examining the overall vehicle parking problem, a Parking Demand Study was commissioned by the Transport Department and it will be completed in December this year. The results of the study will provide an indication of existing and future parking related problems for all vehicles and will recommend measures to meet the parking demand in Hong Kong.

(c) As the Hon Member has rightly pointed out, most of the land zoned as open storage is private land. It is therefore difficult for government to direct that such land should be used only as container parking lots and container parks. What the Administration aims to do is to step up enforcement actions on unauthorised development, as well as publicity, so as to induce operators to move from unauthorised sites to areas properly designated for open storage and container parking purposes. Another factor to consider is that open storage of containers and tractors and trailer park would be a relatively viable operation in terms of capital investment and in comparison to agricultural uses. Landowners would take the opportunity to use the land for such purposes if they could realise a better financial return.

End/Wednesday, November 15, 1995

Old age allowance

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Cheung Hon-chung and a reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok. in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

23

(a) of the number of cases in which senior citizens who were former recipients of the Old Age Allowance and who were.either disqualified from receiving the allowance or required to refund the allowance owing to their failure to comply with the rule on the period of absence from the territory, as well as the amount of expenses which the Government has saved as a result of such disqualification and refund, in each of the past three years;

(b) whether the Government has assessed the effects of such a rule on the livelihood of senior citizens; if so, what those effects are; and

(c) whether the Government has examined the feasibility of relaxing the rule: if so, what is the progress and when its recommendations are expected to be released?

Reply:

Mr President,

The Old Age Allowance (OAA) is a non-means-tested and non-contributory welfare payment for which all persons over 70 years of age are eligible and for which all persons between 65 and 70 years of age are eligible subject to a simple income declaration. An OAA recipient will continue to receive OAA payments for so long as he or she does not leave Hong Kong for more than 180 days - about 6 months - in any one year. The purpose of this rule is to allow recipients the freedom to travel overseas for pleasure and to spend time with relatives and friends outside Hong Kong. At the discretion of the Director of Social Welfare, a longer period of absence may be permitted if the recipient needs to receive medical treatment outside Hong Kong. Subject to documentary proof, any absence from Hong Kong necessitated by work can also be disregarded for the purposes of retaining eligibility for OAA.

Prior to April 1994, OAA records were kept manually and it would thus be difficult and very time-consuming to identify OAA recipients whose absence from Hong Kong for more than 180 days made them ineligible for the allowance. Since April 1994, OAA records have been computerised. According to these records, about 1.7% out of the total number of 420,000 OAA cases have exceeded the permitted absence limit in 1994-95.

When a recipient’s absence from Hong Kong exceeds the permitted limit, his or her OAA payment is temporarily suspended. Records of the amounts not paid as a result of the suspension of payments are not kept and it would be difficult and timeconsuming to calculate them. But according to records available, the total number of cases involving over-payment as a result of a breach of these absence rules was more than 3,200 in 1994-95.

24

OAA is not granted in recognition of any assessed financial need. The existing absence allowance of about 6 months in any one year is more than adequate to allow OAA recipients to exercise their freedom to travel overseas for whatever reason. I cannot see how the absence rules can be said to have any adverse effect on the livelihood of recipients. Since the Director of Social Welfare already has the power to permit a longer period of absence under certain circumstances, we can see no case for any further general relaxation of this rule.

End/Wednesday, November 15, 1995

Review of law to ensure consistency with BOR

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Lee Cheuk-yan and a written reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Sucn. in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In his recent briefing for Members of this Council on the Governor’s policy commitments, the Secretary for Home Affairs stated that he would continue to coordinate the review of legislation to ensure its compliance with the Bill of Rights, and that the Government would introduce draft amendments to four Ordinances in the current legislative session. On the other hand, the Chinese Government has indicated that the Hong Kong Government should not make any major changes to existing legislation before 1997. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the four Ordinances to which the Government intends to introduce amendment bills in the current legislative session; and

(b) whether the Government will give up its efforts in continuing to revise legislation which contravenes the Bill of Rights in view of the light of the Chinese Government’s stance mentioned above?

Reply:

(a) The four Ordinances involve:

25

(i) the relaxation of restrictions on prisoners' correspondence and the release of information by Correctional Services staff under the Prison Rules (subsidiary legislation to the Prison Ordinance);

(ii) specifying more clearly the conditions under which a medical superintendent may superintend activities of patients in mental hospitals or their communications with outsiders as provided for in the Mental Health Regulations (subsidiary legislation to the Mental Health ordinance);

(iii) ensuring that both parents have the same rights where consent to a child's marriage is required under the Marriage Ordinance; and

(iv) making it clear that the offence of transmitting a message known to be false, S.28 of the Telecommunications Ordinance, relates only to false distress signals. Also, in the same Ordinance, to amend SI3c which gives the Broadcasting Authority far-reaching powers which are no longer considered appropriate.

(b) As stated in the Policy Commitments, I will continue to co-ordinate the ongoing review of legislation to ensure consistency with the Bill of Rights Ordinance and to take into account developing jurisprudence in this area of law.

End/Wednesday, November 15, 1995

Public dump projects ♦ * * * ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Ip Kwok-him and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In the past, there were a number of cases in which a reclamation area was initially designated as a dumping site. According to the papers provided to the Central and Western District Board by the Government, the Green Island public dump covers 20% of the proposed Green Island Reclamation area, and this has aroused public concern as to whether the Government intends to start the reclamation project on the dumping site. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council:

26

a) whether any objections to the Green Island Dumping Project have been received; if so, whether consideration will be given to shelving the project;

•f;,

b) how many dumping sites will be designated in the next two years; and.

c) whether any of such sites will be situated within the areas of other reclamation projects?

Answer:

Mr President.

The proposed Green Island Public Dump project was gazetted under the Foreshore and Seabed (Reclamations) Ordinance on 13 October 1995 to invite public views for .a period of two months. Up to 14 November, four objections under the Ordinance have been received and the Government is also aware of the views made by other organisations and individuals through other forums. The Government will consider all objections before deciding whether or not to proceed with the project.

Four other proposed public dump projects have been found feasible following impact assessment and engineering feasibility studies. They are Tseung Kwan O Area 137, Tseung Kwan O Area 86, Tseung Kwan O Town Centre Phase III and Pak Shek Kok. Plans are to start their operation in the next two years. The gazetting procedure under the Foreshore and Seabed (Reclamations) Ordinance for the proposed Pak Shek Kok project is in progress.

Each of the three proposed public dump sites in Tseung Kwan O will eventually form part of the Tseung Kwan O New Town Development. The proposed Pak Shek Kok project is not part of any associated reclamation.

End/Wednesday, November 15, 1995

27

VMs repatriation programmes

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Lau Hon-chuen 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 of the details and progress of the various programmes for the repatriation of Vietnamese migrants (VMs), as well as the estimated time when all the VMs stranded in the territory will be repatriated?

Reply:

Mr President,

Under the Comprehensive Plan of Action, all Vietnamese migrants who have been determined to be non-refugees must return to Vietnam. They may return under the voluntary repatriation programme (Volrep) which is administered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. If they do not volunteer, they will be repatriated under the Orderly Repatriation Programme (ORP) which is operated by the Hong Kong Government. To date, over 47,000 Vietnamese migrants have returned to

Vietnam under these two programmes:

Year Volrep ORP Yearly total

1989 867 - 867

1990 5,429 - 5,429

1991 7,660 87 7,747

1992 12,332 249 12,581

1993 12,301 399 12,700

1994 5,581 250 5,831

1995* 1,389 639 2,028

Total 45,559 1,624 47,183

♦ as at November 8, 1995

The Administration is committed to the repatriation of all the Vietnamese migrants as soon as possible.

End/Wednesday, November 15, 1995

28

Circulation of Hong Kong currency in China ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Allen Lee and a written reply by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In view of growing economic activities between China and the territory, the total amount of Hong Kong currency circulating in China over the years has accumulated to a substantial level, which can impose a significant effect on the economy of the territory. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the total value of Hong Kong currency in circulation in China in each of the past three years, together with its percentage to the total currency circulation in the territory;

(b) the anticipated circulation of Hong Kong currency in China in the next three years; and

(c) the anticipated effect the circulation of Hong Kong currency in China on the inflation rate and the economic conditions in the territory?

Reply:

(a) There are no official statistics on the actual size of the amount of Hong Kong dollar banknotes circulating outside the territory. One estimate puts the figure in the range from about 30% to 35% of the total amount of currency in circulation, i.e. between HK$20 - 25 billion out of a total of HK$70 billion. The bulk of this is likely to be circulating in China.

(b) While we do not have any clear and official basis to estimate the future demand for the Hong Kong currency in China, we believe that this would depend on China’s policy towards allowing currencies other than the Renminbi to circulate in China and the enforcement of that policy.

29

(c) To the extent that part of the Hong Kong dollar banknotes circulating in China is likely to be associated with Hong Kong’s business dealings with China and if the circulation actually facilitates such business dealings, its effect on the Hong Kong economy should tend to be positive. Since Hong Kong dollar circulating in China would by definition be circulating outside Hong Kong, such circulation should not have any appreciable effect on the inflation rate in Hong Kong. In any case, the amount only represents well under 5% of the Hong Kong dollar broad money supply.

End/Wednesday, November 15, 1995

Student intake of local tertiary institutions ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

Following is a question by the Hon Cheung Bing-leung and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the student intake of local tertiary institutions in 1994/95, will the Government provide this Council with the following information :

(a) the breakdown of intake figures by number of students who have applied, number of students who have been admitted, and number of students who have enrolled, in each of the seven tertiary institutions funded by the University Grants Committee and the Hong Kong Institute of Education;

(b) of the students admitted to the Hong Kong Institute of Education, what is the percentage of those who have obtained a pass in both English Language and Chinese Language in the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE), and how many have satisfied the Institute's minimum entrance requirement with HKCEE results obtained from more than one attempt; and

(c) the number of students admitted to each of the above-mentioned tertiary institutions whose results in English Language and Chinese Language in the HKCEE or Use of Language in the Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination are below the minimum entrance requirement of the institution concerned ?

30

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) A total of 25 140 applicants applied for admission to programmes offered by the seven UGC-funded institutions in 1994-95 through the Joint University Programmes Admission Scheme. 11,867 offers were made of which 11,716 were accepted. A further 689 places were filled subsequently in clearing rounds. A breakdown of the number of JUPAS offers, acceptances and intakes of first year first degree (FYFD) courses by each of the seven UGC-funded institutions in 1994-95 are attached at Annexes A and B respectively. The intake figures in Annex B represent the total enrolments including places retained by the institutions to offer to non JUPAS applicants e.g. mature applicants and those applying for admission on the strength of qualifications other than results in HK Advanced Level Examinations.

As regards the Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd), the Institute received a total of 9,808 applications for its fiill-time Certificate in Education (CE) courses in 1994-95. 1,796 offers were subsequently made and the enrolment figure as at October 1995 was 1,170.

(b) All 1,170 students admitted to the HKIEd's CE courses have obtained a pass in Chinese Language in the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE). 1,129 (96.5%) of them have obtained Grade E or above in the HKCEE English Language (Syllabus B) and the remaining 41 (3.5%) have possessed Grade E or above in the HKCEE English Language (Syllabus A). Of the 1,170 students registered at the beginning of the 1994-95 academic year, 1,153 (98.5%) met the entry requirements on the basis of one examination sitting, 12 on the basis of two sittings, and 5 on the basis of other equivalent qualifications.

(c) The total number of first year first degree (FYFD) intakes in 1994-95 who did not meet the requisite requirements set by the relevant programmes/Departments in the UGC-funded institutions concerned regarding the Advanced Supplementary (AS) Use of English subject was 58. The corresponding figure for the AS Chinese Language and Culture subject was 25. A breakdown of the figures by institutions is attached at Annex C. As regards the HKIEd, none of the students admitted to the HKIEd courses have results in English Language and Chinese Language in the HKCEE that are below the minimum entry requirements of the Institute.

31

Annex A

Number of offers towed, ittcptd Md declined id the 1994 JUPAS Main Offer Rom>d

Institution Places Available throuah JURAS* Offen Issued Offers Accepted Offen Declined

CityU 1,910 1,643 1,616 27

HKBU 1,271 1,271 1,252 19

LC 7O<5 706 659 47

CUHK 2,674 2,528 2,513 15

PolyU 1,909 1,807 1,792 15

HKUST 1,804 1,610 ‘ 1,599 11

HKU 2,552 2,302 2385 17

TOTAL 12,826 11367 11,716 151

CityU - City University of Hong Kong

HKBU - Hong Kong Baptist University

LC - Lingnan College

CUHK - Chinese University of Hong Kong

PolyU - Hong Kong Polytechnic University

HKUST - Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

HKU - University of Hong Kong

* qualifications ?

which are considered equivalent.

32

Annex B

Number of intakes on first, year first degree courses

Institutioa Hueber of gtudeats

CityU 2.163

HKBU 1.293

LC 705

CUHK 2,796

PolyU 2,439

HKUST 1,896

HKU 2,822

TOTAL 14,114

33

Annex C

Institution FYFD Intakes (1994-95) from JUPAS Applications who did nt meet the minimum requirement of the soecific programmes/ Deoartments _ st £ Remarks

AS Use of Englhh (UE) AS Chinese Language and Culture (CLC)

CityU - 4 The 4 students were admitted to the Faculty of Science and Technology with . the Chinese language requirement waived as exceptional cases. (Minimum requirement is Grade E )

HKBU 10 The 10 students all had Grade D in AS UE. They were enrolled in the BA in Translation programme which required Grade C in AS-level UE. The general rule for entry is Grade E in two of the following 3 AS-lcvcl subjects : UE, CLC and Liberal Studies. For the Bachelor of Science in Combined Science (except Computing Science option) students arc allowed to substitute one of the three AS-level subject by another AS-level subject

PolyU 11 w Applicants who marginally failed AS UE may be exceptionally admitted provided that they have good results in other AL and AS subjects and will pursue an English Enhancement Programme in their first year of study at the end of which assessments were made to ensure their English competence. (The minimum requirement is GradeE)

LC 5 4 These students had obtained other qualifications deemed equivalent Dy the Department concerned. (The minimum requirement is Grade E)

- ' 34

CL'HK 13 9 The 13 were ’‘Chinese-medium” students who obtained only Grade F ia UE but had successfully completed the Intensive English programme and pasaednhe Supplementary English Examinations arranged by' ED. (TYie minimum requirement. is GradcE

HKUST 1 Special approval was granted on the basis of outstanding performance in all other subjects to admit the 1 student who did not ; meet the minimum entry requirement lor HKCEE Chinese Language which is Grade E.

HKU 19 1<5 The students were granted waiver of the requirements on the strength of their performance in other subjects or in view of their special circumstances. (The mininum requirement is Grade D for ASUE and Grade E for AS CLCJ

TOTAL 58 25

End/Wednesday, November 15, 1995

35

Number of horse races

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Albert Chan Wai-yip and a written reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In view of the upward trend in the number of horse races held annually in recent years, will the Government inform this Council of the criteria for approving the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club's application for increasing the number of races held in a year?

Reply

Mr President,

There is a maximum number of horse races that can be held by the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club (the Club) in every racing season (the period from 1 September to 15 June). In September this year, the maximum number was revised from 70 races per season, which had been in place since 1986, to 75. In setting the current maximum number, we took into account the following factors:

i) the additional races will benefit Hong Kong in terms of additional betting duty receivable and an increase in the allocation to local charities;

ii) the number of free Wednesdays within the racing season which can be used for holding additional races;

iii) whether an increase in race meetings would help combat opportunities for illegal gambling on horse races held outside Hong Kong on those days, and

iv) a genuine demand for more racing from the racing public.

The Club plans to hold only 72 race meetings in the 1995-96 season.

End/Wednesday, November 15, 1995

36

Measures to solve student suicide problem

*****

Following is a question by Dr the Hon John Tse and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower. Mr Joseph Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

As the problem of students committing suicide in the territory has become serious in the recent years, will the Government inform this Council :

(a) whether the Government has provided any counselling and related supporting service to prevent students form committing suicide; if so, how many counsellors and supporting staff are engaged in such service and what training is given to them;

(b) what types of moral education courses does the Government provide to schools to complement this type of counselling service; and

(c) what long-term strategy and measures does the Government have to solve this problem?

Reply:

Mr President,

It should be emphasised that the causes of suicides committed by youngsters who are also students are multifaceted and often prove difficult to pin-point. Broadly such suicides are the tragic outcome of failure on the part of our youngsters to adjust themselves to the pressures of growing up, and to their changing environment. Pressure of school work or examinations may or may not feature in the whole process. It is important, therefore, that the problem should be addressed not only from the school point of view but also from the total environment of the youngsters including in particular their home which they look to as the major source of support, understanding and assistance outside school.

37

In so far as the Education Department is concerned, we advocate a Whole School Approach to Guidance whereby all school staff, under the leadership of the principal, are involved to create a positive and caring school environment for the holistic development of students. A positive school environment can enhance students’ self esteem and enable students to cope with their problems. To date 260 (about 60%) secondary schools and 650 (about 79%) primary schools have adopted this approach.

(a) In addition to the whole school approach on guidance, the Department has taken a wide range of measures to prevent student suicide, including:

Conducting seminars and workshops for guidance teachers on crisis management; issuing a resource package on 'Understanding Student Suicide’ with emphasis on detection and prevention of suicide; setting up telephone hotlines for teachers on handling crisis; and providing professional support to back up teachers on the management of students at risk.

Strengthening students’ coping skills by arranging regular talks by doctors on mental health and stress management; encouraging schools to run student group programmes on family life education, peer support programmes etc with the help of education psychologists and education counsellors; producing video tapes and guidance materials for discussion with students; and producing a curriculum kit on parent-child relationship.

* Strengthening parental support by issuing a series of leaflets on parenting to enhance parents' awareness of proper method of communication with their children; funding the production of a special TV drama series to enhance parents' awareness and distributing such video tapes to all schools; and encouraging schools to set up parent teacher associations and promote parent education. At present, 320 schools have set up parent teacher associations. Another 47 are in the process of setting up similar associations.

* By providing, through its team of education psychologists (26) and education counsellors (10), specialist guidance and counselling service to schools including support to the schools' own counselling staff. These latter staff comprise 194 Student Guidance Teachers (SGTs)ZStudent Guidance Officers (SGOs) for the primary schools, and 250 school social worker (SSWs) and some 400 guidance teachers (GTs) for the secondary schools. Educational psychologists and counsellors hold professional qualifications in education psychology or social work. SGOs. SGTs and GTs undertake in-service training courses of varying duration from 4 months to one year, while SSWs hold degrees in social work. In addition, all attend professional development courses or training on a continuing basis.

i

- 38 -

(b) Moral education is promoted in schools through a cross-curricular approach to complement counselling services to prevent student suicide. Related themes such as positive attitudes toward life and understanding one self are conveyed through subjects like Social Studies, History, Chinese Language and Religious Education. Teaching kits and reference materials are provided to convey these themes through classroom teaching and extra-curricular activities.

(c) A Task Group has been formed by the Education Department since 1992 to look into the question of student suicide. The Task Group meets regularly to follow up on the recommendations made by the Coroner's Court and the Board of Education Advisory Committee on School Guidance and Support Services to streamline the coordination and the departmental procedures in dealing with student suicide. The Group also advises on how the specific measures mentioned in para (a) above should be re-inforced or strengthened.

End/Wednesday, November 15. 1995

Compassionate rehousing for divorced women

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Zachary Wong Wai-yin and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare. Mrs Katherine Fok. in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the application for compassionate rehousing by divorced women, will the Government inform this Council of the following:

(a) how many divorced women have applied for compassionate rehousing over the past three years; of this, how many have failed in their applications, and what the reasons are;

(b) how long it will normally take for an applicant to obtain rehousing; and

(c) whether the existing application criteria for compassionate rehousing will be reviewed and whether consideration will be given to increasing the number of units provided for this purpose?

39

Reply:

Mr President,

The aim of the compassionate rehousing scheme is to help individuals and families who have a genuine and immediate housing need. Applications for compassionate rehousing are first assessed by the Social Welfare Department (SWD) which then recommends eligible cases to the Housing Department (HD) for the allocation of units. In assessing eligibility, factors taken into account by SWD include the housing need, the financial and residential status of the family concerned and relevant social and medical grounds.

(a) The number of applications for compassionate rehousing by divorced women which were referred by SWD to HD in the past three years are 140 in 1992-93. 269 in 1993-94 and 212 in 1994-95.

We do not have readily available data on the number of applications from divorced women which were found to be ineligible on assessment by SWD. The most common reasons for turning down such applications were a lack of need for rehousing or applicants having incomes which were too high.

(b) Provided that all the relevant information is furnished at the time of application, a case can normally be processed by SWD in about six weeks. It will then take about four weeks for HD to identify and allocate a public housing unit to the applicant. This can take longer if the applicant is slow in producing the necessary documentation or is choosy regarding the acceptability of the units offered.

(c) The eligibility criteria of the compassionate rehousing scheme are kept under review to ensure that they meet the genuine and immediate housing needs of applicants. Each year, a number of public housing units are reserved to serve the scheme, by reference to the estimated demand. In 1995/96, a quota of 2,000 units has been set aside for this purpose. The quota set is for planning purposes only and does not create a cap on the number of units available. For example, in 1994/95, a total of 2,049 units were actually allocated for compassionate rehousing, a number which exceeded the quota of 2,000 units originally reserved for the scheme in that year.

End/Wednesday, November 15, 1995

40

International telecommunications charges

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Lau Chin-shek and a written reply by the Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Gordon Siu, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the charges for international telecommunications services, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the breakdown by region, of the percentage increase or decrease in the international telephone charges for calls from I long Kong to overseas countries and territories in each of the past three years;

(b) of the differences between the international telephone charges levied by Hongkong Telecom International Limited and those levied by other companies offering similar services in each of the past three years;

(c) whether the Government has any plan to negotiate with I longkong Telecom International Limited to secure a further reduction in international telephone charges levied by the company; and

(d) whether the Government and Hongkong Telecom International Limited have formulated any specific measures to reduce the international telephone charges for calls between Hong Kong and mainland China?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) A breakdown by region of the percentage changes to the international telephone charges for calls from Hong Kong to overseas countries and territories during the past three years is at Annex A.

(b) Within the Hong Kong Telecom Group, IDD charges arc collected by the Hong Kong Telephone Company (HKTC). Details of the differences between the international telephone charges levied by HKTC and those levied during the past three years by other companies offering similar services in respect of the more popular routes is at Annex B.

41

(c) The Government considers that reduction in international telephone charges through market competition is more effective than through regulatory action.

Under its licence condition, the Hong Kong Telecom International's (HKTI) exclusive right is restricted to the delivery of external telephone traffic from the Hong Kong international gateway to places outside Hong Kong, and places outside Hong Kong to the international gateway. The HKTI is not permitted to deliver telephone traffic directly to customers in Hong Kong and must rely on a local Fixed Telecommunication Network Service (FTNS) operator, such as its sister company, the HKTC, to deliver calls to the customers. The local FTNS operator charges the customer for the IDD call and retains a share of it (the delivery fee) for providing the connection between HKTI's gateway and the customer's home or office. From 1 August 1993, all the mobile telephone operators are also permitted to deliver telephone traffic directly from the HKTI international gateway to their own mobile phone customers. Following the introduction of FTNS competition on 1 July 1995, the three new FTNS operators are providing IDD service in competition with HKTC and are offering very competitive rates. Further, with effect from 1 October 1995, the Telecommunications Authority (TA) has revised the delivery fees. The new delivery fees are more favourable to the FTNS operators on outgoing calls and give them a higher margin which enables them to offer further IDD reductions to customers. Local mobile phone operators also receive the same delivery fee from HKTI on the delivery of international telephone calls and are also offering competitive IDD charges to their customers. In addition, in March 1995 the TA confirmed his ruling that call-back services are legal in Hong Kong. There are now a large number of companies providing IDD call-back services in competition with HKTC/HKTI and the three FTNS operators. The TA will continue to monitor the market situation and review the effects of competition.

(d) As explained in (c) above, the Government considers competition to be more effective than negotiations with HKTI to reduce international telephone charges. The revised delivery fees introduced in October 1995 will give local FTNS operators a significant margin over IDD rates to China and it is expected that they will pass some of this margin back to the consumers through competition. The effect of increased competition is expected to be seen in the next few months. For the time being, some call-back operators arc already providing competitive charges on calls to China, e.g. a charge of $8.50 compared with $9.50 from HKTC for calls to Beijing, Shanghai and other cities outside Guangdong. As competitive market pressures are taking effect, it is premature to consider intervening in HKTI's rates through regulatory action.

42

Annex A

Changes in EDD Standard Rates of Hong Kong Telephone Company From 1993 to 1995

Countries before 1/8/93 ($/min) after 1/8/93 ($/min) Change in % (Vs 92) after 1/8/94 ($/min) Change in % (Vs 93) after 1/8/95 ($/min) Change in % (Vs 94) Total Change in % (Vs 93)

Oceania Australia 12.3 8.1 -34% 7.2 -11% 7.2 0% -41%

N. Zealand 12.3 8.1 -34% 8.1 0% 8.1 0% -34%

America Canada 11.7 8.9 -24% 7.9 -11% 6.7 -15% -43%

U.S.A. 12.3 9.8 -21% 8.6 -12% 6.8 -21% -45%

Emops Germany 15.8 12.5 -21% 12.5 0% 12.5 0% -21%

France 15.8 12.5 -21% 12.5 0% 12.5 0% -21%

Netherlands 15.8 12.5 -21% 12.5 0% 12.5 0% -21%

U.K. 10.5 9.8 -7% 8.8 -10% 8.8 0% -16%

Africa S. Africa 15.8 14 -11% 14 0% 14 0% -11%

Egypt 24 21 -13% 21 0% 21 0% -13%

Asia Singapore 7 6.9 -7% 6.9 0% 6.9 0% -7%

Japan 7.9 7.9 0% 7.9 0% 7.9 0% 0%

Philippines 7.9 7.9 0% 7.9 0% 7.9 0% 0%

Taiwan 7.9 7.9 0% 7.9 0% 7.9 0% 0%

China Shenzhen 2.4 2.4 0% 2.4 0% 2.4 0% 0%

Guangdong 3.7 3.7 0% 3.7 0% 3.7 0% 0%

Rest of 9.5 9.5 0% 9.5 0% 9.5 0% 0%

China

AblmxJS

(Page 1)

International Telephone Rates 1993

Country Hong Kong Telephone Co. City Telecom (HK) Ltd

Peak. Non-Pcak Peak N on-Peak

U.S.A. $9.80 $8.00 $8.33 $7.04

Canada $8.90 $7.80 $7.57 $6.86

U.K. $9.80 $8.50 $14.22 $13.38

Australia $8.10 $6.60 $15.46 $14.55

China - Shenzhen Guangdong Rest $2.40 $3.70 $9.50 $27.03 $27.03 $27.03 $23.32 $23.32 $23.32

(Page 1)

Adira_B

(Page 2)

In.teritatitmaLTeteph.one Rates 1994

Country Hong Kong Telephone Co. City Telecom (HK) Ltd

Peak Non-Peak Peak Non-Peak

Stored Value Stored Value

U.S.A $8.60 $6.90 $7.31 $6.94 $6.07 $5.77

Canada $7.90 $6.90 $6.72 $6.38 $6.07 $5.77

U.K. $8.80 $8.20 $7.48 $7.11 $7.48 $7.11

Australia $7.20 $6.50 $6.48 $6.16 $6.48 $6.16

China - Shenzhen Guangdong Rest $2.40 $3.70 $9.50 $27.03 $27.03 $27.03 $23 $23 $23 .32 132 132

(Page 2)

End/Wednesday, November 15, 1995

IiilcmAliQimLTckDhone Rntes (Oct 1995)

Annex B (Page 3)

Country Hong Kot Telepbaac C*. NcwWerMTcrcpoie IGg CaN) NewT&T (Cee2On« Inta’I Card) Uufchboo Cram. FJrpkanl Talk City Tdtesm (UK) LH U«i (labe Tdee«Ki - 45 -

Prak Noa-Peik Pt»k Pwli NeaPeak N«»>?e«k Standard Iron'Tray B-win .SlradsH <SMXYm Volame >SXXVa Vial Rate Peak Puk NaoPcak Boaut

>$J<» >SK» >5100 Si.x^t Value

U.S.A. $€.80 $6.80 $6.50 $6.30 $6.10 $5.80 >$600 Flat Rate @ $5 8 applies $5.90 55.80 $5.70 $6.70 $5.50 $4.40 55.70 S5.42 $5 60 $5.32 $5.48 $5.28 $479

Canada $670 $6 70 S6.50 $6 30 $6.10 $5.80 >$600 Flat Rale @ $5.6 a ppi »s $5.90 55 80 $5.50 $6.50 $5.70 $4.40 $5.70 55.42 $5 60 $5.32 $548 $5.28 $479

U.K. 58.B0 $8.20 $3.60 $7.40 $7.60 $7.30 >$600 Flat Rate Q $7.3 applies $6.80 $6 70 $6.70 $8.50 $6.50 $8.50 $6.60 $627 $6.60 $6.27 $6.78 $6.48 $6.48

Australia 57.20 $6.50 $7.20 $8.40 $6.30 $6.20 >$600 Flat Rate @$6 2 applies $6.35 $6 20 56.15 $6.90 $8.10 $6.00 $6.10 $5 JO $6.10 $5.80 $5.98 $5.68 $5.19

China - Sbanzhan $240 $240 52.40 52.40 52.40 $2.40 $2.30* 52.3* 52 2' 52.40 $2.40 $8.50 $3.00 $3 00 $2.40 $240 $2 40

Guanqdang RMt S3.70 $3.70 53.70 $3.70 53.70 $3.70 $3.50* $3.5* $3.4* $3.70 $3.70 $850 $4 20 $420 $3 76 VI 7fi

$9 50 5S.5O 59.20 $9.20 59.20 $9.20 $9.00* $8.9* $8.7* $950 $920 $850 $10.50 $10.50 Jfi G4 A4 CARJ

♦IDDRate

J|

46

Clearance of temporary housing areas ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Lee Wing-tat and a written reply by the Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

With regard to the clearance of Temporary Housing Areas (THAs), will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether the decision to retain 13 THAs as announced by the Housing Authority is in contravention of its policy on THAs made previously;

(b) how the rehousing arrangements of those residents living in the above-mentioned THAs which are not yet scheduled for demolition compare with those who live in THAs with firm clearance dates; and

(c) what environmental improvement programmes will be implemented by the Government for the 13 THAs, and what the estimated cost is?

Answer:

Mr President,

The number and location of Temporary Housing Areas (THAs) required to meet changing demand is subject to periodic review. The purpose of retaining 13 existing THAs beyond 1997 is to meet future demand arising from clearance programmes and immigration from China.

The Government’s commitment to offer permanent rehousing in public rental estates, before the end of 1997, to all authorised persons living in THAs as at the end of 1993 remains unchanged. Indeed we will go one step further: by the end of 1997, all authorised persons living in THAs as at the end of September 1995 will be offered rehousing in public rental estates.

The rehousing arrangements for existing residents of the 13 THAs will be similar to those for residents of THAs which have firm clearance dates. Eligible households will be offered public rental housing by the end of 1997. They will also be entitled to apply, with priority Green Form status, for the purchase of Home Ownership Scheme flats or for assistance under the Home Purchase Loan Scheme.

47

The units in the 13 THAs will be refurbished by the Housing Authority before reallocation. Work has already started on vacated units. The cost in each case varies, depending on the size and condition of the unit and the renovation work required. The average cost for each unit is estimated at $8,000.

End/Wednesday, November 15, 1995

Charter for safety in the workplace ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

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

Question:

At present, many occupational diseases afflict employees in the retail industry as well as general office workers. There is however no legislation to protect them against health hazards arising from their employment. In this year’s Policy Address, the Governor make reference to a proposal to publish a ’’Charter for Safety in the Workplace” (the Charter). In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) what is the time frame planned for the full implementation of the Charter; and

(b) whether the Charter will provide safeguards for the occupational safety and health of employees in the retail industry and office workers; if so, how the Charter will be able to improve the occupational safety and health of these employees and office workers?

Reply:

It is Government’s intention to publish and implement the "Charter for Safety in the Workplace” in the middle of 1996. To this end, the Labour Department has set up a working group to draft the Charter. The Legislative Council Panel on Manpower, employers’ associations, employees’ unions and the professional bodies concerned will be consulted at a later stage.

48

The Charter will cover the whole range of occupational safety and health issues for employees in both industrial and non-industrial sectors, including employees in the retail trades as well as office workers. The Charter will make clear the rights of the worker to enjoy a safe working environment and the employer's obligations to prevent deaths and injuries. It will also emphasise the responsibility of the employee to cooperate with his employer in following safety working practices and reporting workplace hazards.

Implementation of the Charter will enhance the safety awareness of the employers and employees. We believe that if employers and employees abide by the Charter, use appropriate personal protective equipment and follow operational manuals and guidelines, the standard of occupational safety and health will be greatly enhanced.

End/Wednesday, November 15, 1995

Ma On Shan housing project *****

Following is a question by the Hon Emily Lau and a written reply by the Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It is reported that a Housing Department development project in Area 90 of Ma On Shan is several months behind schedule. According to the report, the piling contractor of the project blamed the delay on the discovery of underground marble caverns but this was denied by the Chairman of the Building Committee of the Housing Authority. The piling contractor further accused the Chairman of the Building Committee of having a "substantial conflict of interest" because he is also a senior partner of the architectural firm which designed the development project. In this connection, will the Administration inform this Council:

(a) whether the problem of underground marble caverns was anticipated and whether allowance for such problem was made in the design of the project;

49

(b) whether there are other reasons for the delay in the project; if so, what those reasons are;

(c) how much more money the project will cost;

(d) whether the accusation of conflict of interest has been investigated; and

(e) when the project is expected to be completed?

Answer:

Mr President,

The Government was aware of the marble caverns in Ma On Shan Area 90 before the commencement of the housing project. As Area 90 is a Scheduled Area under the Buildings Ordinance, detailed investigations, which covered all six phases of the project, were conducted by geological and engineering sub-consultants engaged by the Housing Department's consultants between 1989 and 1993 in consultation with the Housing Department. The dispute in question relates to the piling contract for Phase 5.

Owing to minor localised subsidence, the piling contractor for Phase 5 has made an allegation that it would be unsafe to carry on with the work. The Housing Department's consultants are firmly of the view that it is safe to continue according to the specialist design of the piling work and the detailed technical requirements specified in the contract. Foundation work was already about seven months behind schedule before the subsidence occurred. The Housing Department's consultants have ascribed the delay to the piling contractor's use of inadequate plant and machinery and insufficiently experienced workers.

It is not possible at this stage to provide an estimate of additional cost for the project since much will depend on how quickly and in what manner the piling work will resume. The contractor is liable for liquidated damages in respect of any delay.

Members of the Housing Authority are required to declare their interests at meetings, including those concerning the appointment of consultants and the award of contracts and consultancies, and to refrain from discussing such matters. This requirement has been complied with in respect of this project.

50

If the piling contractor continues to work at his present pace, piling will be completed in January 1998. The target completion date for Phase 5 of the project is June 2000.

End/Wednesday, November 15, 1995

Petrol filling stations safety ♦ * * ♦ ♦

Following is a question by Dr the Hon John Tse Wing-ling and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

Will the Government inform this Council what measures the Government has to:

(a) protect those workers at petrol filling stations and residents nearby against health risk and even chronic illness which may be cause by the inhaling of gases such as benzene over a long period of time; and

(b) safeguard the occupational safety of the workers and the health of the residents?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The adverse impacts of petrol filling stations are minimised through land use planning and statutory control over emissions. Under the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines, all new petrol filling stations have to be located on open ground with specified distance from neighbouring buildings. Oil companies are also required to keep the benzene level in petrol within the European Community standard of 5%. So far, the average benzene content in Hong Kong has been maintained at about 3.2% to 3.4%, and recent surveys have confirmed that workers in petrol filling stations are not exposed to air-borne concentrations of the chemicals in excess of the relevant occupational hygiene standards. Under the Air Pollution Control Ordinance, the Environmental Protection Department also ensures that petrol filling stations comply with specified emission levels for toxic chemicals.

51

(b) In addition to the planning controls referred to in (a), administrative and engineering controls such as proper work practice to avoid spillage and the provision of bottom loading system for road tankers are implemented to safeguard the health of workers in petrol filling stations. In addition, a study on toxic air pollution in Hong Kong is being conducted, which will also address the question of controls on benzene from petrol filling stations, and will be completed at the end of 1995. The Administration will consider the findings carefully to see whether further control measures will be necessary.

End/Wednesday, November 15, 1995

Flood protection schemes

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Zachary Wong Wai-yin and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In his 1994 Policy Address the Governor pledged that a sum of 190 million would be spent over the next three years on flood protection schemes for some 12 villages which were particularly vulnerable to flooding. However, it is learnt that the schemes are now running behind schedule because the time taken for land resumption has been longer than expected. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the villages where the flood protection schemes are running behind schedule, and how far have these schemes fallen behind the original schedule;

(b) what measures does the Government have to ensure that there will be no further delay in land resumption; and

(c) whether inadequate manpower in the Lands Department is a factor contributing to the delay in land resumption; if so, whether the Government will consider increasing the Lands Department's manpower?

52

Reply:

Mr President,

The answers to the 3-part question are as follows:

(a) The construction of three flood protection schemes covering nine villages, originally scheduled to start in 1995/96, will begin in 1996/97. The slippage is about ten months. The villages are Sha Po Tsuen, Chau Tau Tsuen, and seven villages at San Tin: Tsing Lung Tsuen, Wing Ping Tsuen, San Lung Tsuen, Fan Tin Tsuen, On Lung Tsuen, Tung Chan Wai and Yan Shau Wai. The schemes for Pok Wai Tsuen and Chuk Yuen will be delayed by about twelve months.

(b) Drainage Services Department is working closely with the District Lands Offices on land resumption and clearances required for the implementation of the village protection schemes. We have also set up a special committee comprising representatives from all relevant offices to review what can be done to overcome the problems encountered and to speed up the necessary procedures so that work can begin as quickly as possible. However, the Government has to proceed carefully with land resumption because it involves the property rights of land owners. This may sometimes mean taking longer than expected to complete the process.

(c) Manpower in the Lands Department is only one of the factors. Other factors such as statutory procedures and the time required to deal with objections are also relevant. We are looking at ways to streamline the procedures and improve efficiency. We are also reviewing the priorities of the various activities undertaken by the Lands Department.

End/Wednesday, November 15, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, November 16,1995

Contents Page No.

Governor's question-and-answer session in LegCo.......................... 1

Guidelines on bathhouse and massage establishments endorsed............. 16

Special team to investigate collapse canopy case........................ 17

Unemployment and underemployment statistics............................. 18

Domestic export statistics classified by industrial origin.............. 20

Sheltered employment plays important role............................... 23

Temporary closure of Queen's Pier....................................... 24

Royal Observatory Almanac 1996 published................................ 24

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations.................... 25

Governor's question-and-answer session in LegCo ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The following is the transcript of the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten's question-and-answer session at the Legislative Council today (Thursday):

Mr Lee Wing-tat (in Chinese): Mr Governor, a question in relation to the UN ICCPR and the report submitted to the UN Committee; we asked that previously. Now. the Chinese Government has repeatedly said that she is not a signatory to the covenant and therefore she has no obligation to submit a report on behalf of Hong Kong; and the UK Government seems to think that the Chinese Government does have that responsibility. And I believe the difference in opinion will continue, and so what can be done to really make sure that a report will be submitted to the UN after 1997? This is important for the protection of human rights.

Governor: It isn't just the British Government who believes that there is an obligation to continue to report on compliance with the Covenants, it is also the UN Human Rights Committee itself. 1 think it is worth recalling that during this sitting of the UN Human Rights Committee the Chairman made a clear statement about the obligations to report and he cited two particular reasons for that conclusion. The first was a jurisprudential reason, based on the examples of the CIS States and Yugoslavia. The second was a reason lodged at the heart of the Joint Declaration. So let us make this point absolutely plain: there is no doubt whatsoever about the reporting obligation. The only doubt is whether China will continue to decline to accept that obligation or whether Chinese officials will recognise it.

Now, it is our hope and 1 think the hope of the community, that the reporting obligation will be implemented. We have, through the JLG, for example, tried to be as helpful as possible to Chinese officials - and ministers have done the same - and we have pointed out how at present Britain discharges its reporting obligation, so that China can see how - and it is one way of proceeding - how it could proceed similarly after 1997. And the UN Human Rights Committee has made it clear that it would be happy to accept reports from China. We will continue to stress the importance of the reporting obligation at every level - ministerial, JLG, and through other contacts as well - and we will, of course, have to say, in the further report that we have undertaken to give to the UN Human Rights Committee next summer, we will of course say whether we have been able to make any progress with Chinese officials on this.

2

I just make one final point, and it is not meant solely rhetorically. What is the problem about reporting? If, as we all hope and believe, the international covenant is still to apply to Hong Kong after 1997, if there is no need for anybody to be concerned about the continuance of Hong Kong's way of life and the continuance of Hong Kong's civil liberties, then what is the problem about reporting? There's nothing to hide. So I hope that that point will be addressed more positively by Chinese officials and we will certainly continue to put the point very vigorously to them because I am sure that it is one of the reasons why there is concern -1 don't state the point controversially, it's a matter of fact - why there is concern about civil liberties and the future of our way of life after 1997.

Mr Lee Wing-tat (in Chinese): A follow up. The JD is an agreement signed by two sovereign states and both these two countries have the right to make sure that human rights are protected as entrenched in the JD. And yet, the Chinese Government has repeatedly said that it does not feel that it has the obligation to report because it is not a signatory state. Now, if in the coming days they still hold on to this point, then what can you do? Are there ways - that is, approved internationally - are there ways that you can resort to in order to resolve the issue?

Governor: Let me make an obvious point at the outset. The easiest way - it is not for me to recommend this way or others - but the easiest way for China to meet concerns and to meet its obligations would be to accede to the International Covenants. That, I am sure, would be welcome to everyone. But there are other ways in which China can continue to meet the obligations which, I repeat, were stated in terms, stated explicitly, by the Chairman of the UN Human Rights Committee itself; terms which exist jurisprudentially, obligations which exist because of the Joint Declaration. The UN Human Rights Committee now has a body of experience to draw on which underpins its view that human rights devolve to the people of the territory, and when the government of that territory or when sovereignty changes, it doesn't mean that the human rights that are guaranteed, change. One of the human rights that guarantees that people have been given in Hong Kong is contained in the covenants: the reporting obligation on individual states. And that'continues to exist.

What recourse would be open after 1997 were China not to report - or were China not, for example, which some people have said might be one way through, to agree to the SAR Government issuing reports - what recourse would be available then would clearly be to take the issue up at the United Nations more generally. But I very much hope, and I am sure that all honourable members share this hope, that that is totally unnecessary.

3

Mr Allen Lee (in Chinese): Mr President, a question for the Governor. According to the Director of Audit's Report for the UNHCR, it owes Hong Kong $1 billion and some reports say that it is hard for it to repay the money. Now according to past agreement with the UNHCR, is it true that for other countries like the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, which have boat people, is the arrangement similar? If not, why is it that Hong Kong will have this particular arrangement about repayment? The UNHCR's problem is such that our money perhaps can't be repaid in the foreseeable future. So how shall we deal with that? Is it true that there is a kind of dereliction of duty on the part of officials?

Governor: No, I don't believe there has been any dereliction of duty. The Council, some Members more clearly than others, will recall that the Hong Kong Government entered into a memorandum of understanding with the UNHCR in 1988 which governed the financial contributions and the financial arrangements between the two parties. That's the basis for the unfortunate debt which is owed at the moment. I can't speak for what precise arrangements were made with other countries in the region, but if they were different 1 would be as interested as the honourable gentleman but I wasn't, as he'll recall, here in 1988, whereas others were. It's important I think for us to recognise that the UNHCR undertakes to make good the money which it owes Hong Kong and that point was made clear, once again, as recently as September and we will continue to argue the point with the UNHCR because a billion dollars is a very large amount of money for us to be owed.

Mr Allen Lee (in Chinese): The problem is this. OK we signed an understanding with the UNHCR, a memorandum but the Hong Kong people didn't know that that understanding didn't have legal force. Now they know that it doesn't have legal force. That's why I say there might be dereliction of duty because the Administration didn't tell the Hong Kong people, didn't tell the Council, that that memorandum didn't have legal force so you can't prosecute the UNHCR. They don't have the money and it can't be helped, so this is the crux of the matter.

Governor: I don't think that the Statement of Understanding reached with the UNHCR in 1988, was precisely equivalent to a commercial contract, though I'm not sure precisely what the legal effect of an agreement with an international agency like the United Nations may be. I repeat that I wasn't party to the negotiations or the agreement on that Statement of Understanding but nevertheless, its terms are very clear and one of those terms is that the money owed should be repaid. We'll continue to remind the UNHCR of that fact. We'll continue to remind the international community of its obligations to Hong Kong. 1 was pleased, I repeat, that the UNHCR made clear that it understood what those obligations are and how much that debt is as recently as September and we'll continue to pursue the UNHCR on that point.

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Mr Martin Lee: Governor, how do you convince the doubting Thomas's, and there are plenty both here and in the UK, that you still have the full support of the British Government on all your policies?

Governor: Well, let's divide doubting Thomas's into two categories. In the one category are those, who when they see the wounds in the upper room are prepared to believe. In the second category are those who, whatever they see in the upper room, go on with the same arguments because what they're in the nature of doing is propagandising rather than seeking out the truth. The fact of the matter is that the policies pursued on behalf of the sovereign power here in Hong Kong, in the interests, I hope, of the people of Hong Kong, are policies on which the Governor of Hong Kong, the Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary, the Cabinet and I am pleased to say, the overwhelming majority of Members of Parliament at Westminster, are entirely agreed. If you look at British domestic politics you may have noticed that there are some issues on which there isn't that unanimity of view. But I am delighted that as far as policy on Hong Kong is concerned, we have been able since I became Governor in 1992, to have a broad measure of cross party support, as well as having the total support of Her Majesty's Government.

So, while I'm sure the question will continue to be raised until the 30th June, 1997, just as the question of my departure will continue to be raised, despite $500 fines, until the 30th June, 1997, they both fall into the realms of propaganda rather than the real concern about the truth.

As far as my own position, and I will stop teetering on the brink of blasphemy at this point. As far as my own position and relationship with the British Government is concerned, no act of faith is required.

Mr Martin Lee: But Governor, maybe I started this analogy, but wounds are not the sort of thing that the people of Hong Kong would love to see. But using this analogy, continuing with it, what are the sacred wounds that you can actually show us in the upper room?

Governor: I really do think that Cardinal Woo and others would wish to intervene at this point in the proceedings. On every aspect of the policy which we have pursued in Hong Kong; the difficult negotiations that we undertook on electoral arrangements; the decision that we took that this Council had to decide how far Hong Kong was to go in meeting the promises that had been made on fair elections; the negotiations on the airport; the negotiations on which the honourable member and I weren't entirely at one on the Court of Final Appeal; the position taken by Hong Kong Government and the British Government over the future of civil liberties in Hong Kong and the Bill of Rights; on every one of those issues the British Government and the Governor of Hong Kong are at one. Were it otherwise life would be far too complicated and far too difficult. Were it otherwise I'm not sure that I would be able to discharge my responsibilities as I wish to do and as the people of Hong Kong wish me to do.

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I suppose it’s fair to say that there is one issue on which the Governor of Hong Kong has fallen out with all the political parties, or two of the political parties in the United Kingdom, and that is the question of passports and right of abode, with also some differences of view on war widows and on the ethnic minorities. But on everything else we have been, to finish finally with a biblical metaphor, we have been a seamless garment.

Mr Paul Cheng: Governor, going back to reporting to the United Nations Human Rights Committee after 1997. In your comments, on the one hand you said they will be happy to receive reports on Hong Kong and then in another part of your comments you said, China has an obligation to report. In the corporate world I'm used to, sort of saying that when you need to report something you are accountable to the Head Office, so to speak. Can you clarify whether China does have an obligation or is it just a voluntary situation that you are talking about?

Governor: No, the terms of Article 40 of the International Covenant are entirely clear. Since China accepts that the international covenant should apply to Hong Kong it must accept that Article 40, which contains the reporting obligation, should apply to Hong Kong as well. But the Chairman of the UN Human Rights Committee raised a different issue, which is an important matter of international jurisprudence, which is what happens to human rights undertakings given in respect of individual countries when the Government of those countries changes or when those countries split up, as has happened with the CIS states and Yugoslavia, or by extension, when the Sovereignty of a country changes. And the Chairman, and 1 think others, have made perfectly clear that because the human rights, which are guaranteed, devolve to the individuals in the country, rather than just being something to be locked up in a bank by the Government of that country, even when the Government or the sovereignty changes, there's no difference as far as the human rights that have been guaranteed are concerned. So, on two grounds there is no doubt whatsoever about the reporting obligation. And I repeat, not in order to try to extend or arouse controversy, but very' much in the attempt to do the reverse, that there are very few things that would make more difference to people's confidence in the future of civil liberties, human rights, in Hong Kong, than a clear statement that China will find some way of reporting after 1997. Because until that statement is made, people wonder what the problem is.

I’m bound to say that I think there were very few people who understood there was any problem at all until recently.

Mr Paul Cheng: Isn't this more of a question on the fact from a sovereignty point of view, until China becomes a signatory, at which time then China would then have a formal obligation? But at this point in time, until they become a signatory it’s strictly on a voluntary basis?

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Governor: No and that is a point made by the United Nations quite clearly itself by the Chairman of the UN Human Rights Committee for the two reasons that I've expressed. First, because the human rights undertakings made about Hong Kong are not undertakings which are retained by the Government. They're undertakings which apply to the individuals, to the people of Hong Kong and those undertakings remain with the people of Hong Kong after 30th June, 1997.

Secondly, because it is accepted that the international covenants should apply to Hong Kong and because Article 40 of the international covenant that we're talking about makes the reporting obligation clear, then I think that every international lawyer concedes that the reporting obligation, in some way, and there are different ways in which you could do it, the reporting obligation continues after 1997. Now in some ways it would be presumptuous for me to argue that the best way of ensuring that the reporting obligation continued would be for China to exceed to the covenants, but plainly that would be a very satisfactory way and would give a great deal of reassurance, I think, beyond Hong Kong.

Ms Christine Loh: Governor, I also would like to ask about the international obligation. You have made Britain's interpretation of the reporting obligation as part of the Joint Declaration quite clear. China obviously has a different interpretation of that obligation. Now, do you consider that if on 1 July 1997 that reporting procedures are not put in place, have not been agreed with China, then would the Joint Declaration be effectively breached on that day on a very fundamental term? If your answer is yes, what will be the consequences?

Governor: First of all, let me make it clear once again that it isn't solely Britain's view that there is a reporting obligation. That view was put very clearly by the Chairman of the Committee to which we, as part of the British delegation, gave evidence only a few weeks ago, as the Honourable Member knows. Now, I have difficulty with "what if questions, and most of the hot water I've ever got into is as a result of having answered those hypothetical questions. All I will say is - no, it involves me saying "if. All I will say is that the Joint Declaration makes clear that the International Covenants should apply to Hong Kong. There are reporting obligations under those International Covenants and therefore not to report would, it seems to me, be difficult to reconcile with ones undertakings under the Joint Declaration. And I think that is a situation which all of us would want to avoid.

Ms Christine Loh: Governor, if I can then change the question to a not "if question. Is it possible for the Joint Declaration to be breached? And if it is, what can we do?

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Governor: Well, it is possible for the Joint Declaration to be breached. The New China News Agency relentlessly argues, with no justification whatsoever in fact, as one sees from squads of international lawyers who have appeared in front of the Select Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Commons, that having fair elections in Hong Kong is a breach of the Joint Declaration. Whereas having fair elections in Hong Kong is a clear implementation of the Joint Declaration. But it is possible for either party to be in breach of the Joint Declaration and of other international treaties. But nobody who signs an international treaty should wish to breach it. If you breach an international treaty with another sovereign power, then it stands to reason that that sovereign power would wish to take up the matter, not least in the United Nations where the international treaty is lodged.

Mr Bruce Liu (in Chinese): Governor, whether it be at formal or informal forums, we have a lot of high ranking officials meeting Chinese officials - Members of this Council or other members of the community - and they talk about transitional issues, Vietnamese migrant issues, and human rights. Now, do you have internal instructions and directives for your high officials so that when they quote certain things that have been said they can adhere to certain guidelines? Quote what the Chinese authorities have said that is - then they will have certain guidelines?

Governor: There is perhaps an inwardness in that question which I don't quite follow. But it is of course true that when discussing human rights or other matters bilaterally with Chinese officials, whether in the Joint Liaison Group or in other channels - and there are, as the honourable member makes clear, other channels - that Hong Kong Government officials or British Government officials would have speaking notes and briefings which reflected both the consistent positions of the Hong Kong and British Governments, and which, I am sure, took account of some of the arguments which they thought officials on the other side of the table would put to them. But perhaps I am being very dense and missing out on a point.

I don't think, if I can add the point, that diplomacy is entirely like political debate. Sometimes it is more restrained, sometimes 1 think it is less restrained. In political debate you very often note, for example, how people have spoken and how people have voted on an issue in the past. On the issue, for example, of the Bill of Rights, that might be an appropriate way of conducting the argument. But normally, a dialogue between diplomats doesn't necessarily pursue up and down the highways and byways what other people have said on previous occasions.

Mr Fred Li (in Chinese): Mr President, I have a question not related to human rights.

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Now it is a district matter. Last night in Kwun Tong, in Yan Oi Court, a concrete canopy collapsed and this morning I went to the spot. So there was one death and there were several injuries. I am sure the Governor will know about this incident in Kwun Tong.

Now for this sort of incident, they happen from time to time in old areas and they are about the illegal structures, the illegal canopies. Now it is said that a task force will be set up for investigating. It seems that every time it is post-mortem and then the structures in the vicinity will be cleared afterwards. Can the Government be forward looking? Can the Government do something pro-active and preventive so that these things will not happen again.

Governor: I'm very prepared to answer it because it's obviously a subject of considerable concern to the community and I'd like to offer my condolences to the family and friends of those who were injured and the fatality.

We have, as the honourable member said, appointed an investigation team to establish the causes of the collapse and we have also set up, the Director of Buildings, has set up a special task force to survey the buildings involved and to examine the scope for enforcement action against all unauthorised building works in the vicinity.

The honourable member is correct in saying that we should go beyond that. We do consistently urge the public to seek proper approval for building works in order to comply with safety standards. We don't have as much success as we would like, so what we are planning is to launch an intensive public education campaign in the early months of next year, to try to bring some of the problems to wider attention in the community and to try to avoid people putting up unauthorised buildings with the sort of calamitous consequences that we saw yesterday. I hope that will have some effect. As with industrial accidents and industrial safety, what is important is to combine rigorous enforcement with as much public education as possible and that will be our objective.

Mr Fred Li (in Chinese): Mr Governor, the problem is this. The Buildings Department acted on complaint. If there were no complaints, then perhaps hazardous structures will not be dealt with. Has the Administration considered sending inspecting officers to go to the old areas, not upon complaints but take the initiative to investigate the different floors, especially the illegal food establishments, because that particular incident last night was about food establishments? So you should not wait for complaints. Will you take the initiative? Will you change your tack? Can you do that?

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Governor: I've actually been with inspectors when they've been doing exactly what the honourable member recommends. It is an issue on which one needs to be proactive and not just reactive. If you travel around Hong Kong, as the honourable member will know better than me, you're I suppose impressed, among other things, by the large number of examples of illegal structures which our inspectors have to deal with, particularly in some of the most crowded and busy and elderly areas. And so, a combination of the proactive and the reactive. But I hope that people will recognise that what will sometimes seem to them merely the extension of a commercial opportunity, can be the end of somebody else's life.

Mr Lee Cheuk-yan (in Chinese): Thank you Mr President. Recently the PWC wants to reinstate the older versions of six ordinances and Hong Kong people are now very concerned about the protection of the human rights. But I can say there are many people, including Councillors, who are not well conversant with the Bill of Rights.

Yesterday I listened to the debate here. Some Councillors said that the Bill of Rights actually gives protection to the criminals and they say that human rights are too excessive. So. Hong Kong people have very little knowledge of human rights and sometimes they get confused because of this kind of statement, so they don't have much knowledge of the Bill of Rights and they can be even more confused.

So, Mr Governor, have you considered setting up a human rights education fund, so that the NGOs in Hong Kong can have the resources to promote human rights education? So that the Hong Kong people can be better conversant with human rights, with the Bill of Rights, with the protection of their rights, with the two international covenants.

Governor: There were a number of claims made yesterday about the impact of the Bill of Rights. There were a number made in one Councillor's speech - I'm not sure whether he's here this .afternoon, but I'm sure he won't mind me addressing his, he is here this afternoon. I'm sure he won't mind me addressing his. doubtless inadvertent errors, in the course of my remarks this afternoon. Errors which underlined the case which the honourable member has made for greater human rights education.

It was claimed yesterday that the Bill of Rights Ordinance has enabled tax defaulters to leave Hong Kong without paying their tax. The fact is that the Commissioner of Inland Revenue has ample power to prevent people who owe tax from leaving Hong Kong without paying it. Since July 1993, 119 Departure Prevention Orders have been made by the District Court on application by the Commissioner.

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It was claimed that the Bill of Rights Ordinance had been used by Vietnamese migrants denied refugee status to delay their return to Vietnam. In the very few judicial review cases which the Government has lost in this area, the Bill of Rights Ordinance wasn't the deciding issue at all. Indeed the Bill of Rights Ordinance specifically provides that it does not affect immigration legislation governing the entry into, stay in and departure from Hong Kong of persons who don't have the right of abode here.

Similar claims, and I could go on at this sort of length. Similar claims made about the recovery of drug proceeds, which were wrong and we'll write to the honourable member because I'm sure he'll want to know what the facts are.

Similar claims made about the enforcement of drug laws which were wrong.

Similar claims made about the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance that was wrong.

So strong case for more human rights education and I'm delighted to say that one of the issues on which the Human Rights Committee in Geneva congratulated the Hong Kong Government, was that they thought we were doing a good deal more to educate people about human rights and their civil liberties here in Hong Kong.

Perhaps I can add one other point. What has happened in the last years since the Bill of Rights Ordinance was introduced? What has happened is that our courts have shown a considerable sense of balance in weighing up, on the one hand the importance of protecting human rights, and on the other, broader interests such as the importance of fighting organised crime. They’ve struck that balance in a very sensible way and doubtless a consequence of that is that Hong Kong hasn't been ravaged by crime. The suggestion that the Bill of Rights has led to the breakdown of law and order in Hong Kong is probably, of all the crazy things I've heard since I've been Governor of Hong Kong, the maddest of all.

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I’ve got in my hand, as lawyers occasionally say, a copy of the Straits Times, Singapore. The Straits Times, the headline of which, for the 6th November, ’’Crime rate here”, that is in Singapore, "higher than in Hong Kong". That’s what the headline says. So are we really to believe, are we really to believe that the Bill of Rights has broken up Hong Kong society? Are we really to suppose that in one of the most law abiding communities anywhere in the world, that the Bill of Rights has done the sort of damage which people were suggesting preposterously yesterday? What the Bill of Rights is, is a sign of the sophistication of this community. Why people are concerned about it is because they are concerned about their future. They’re concerned about their way of life and they're concerned, not about what will happen to that way of life before 1997 - does anybody here really think that they’re concerned about that? No, so we’re unanimous on that point. What they're concerned about is their way of life after 1997. Now are there people here who deny that those concerns about the future exist? Well, we're unanimous about that as well. So 40 - 15 last night, 60 - love today.

The President: 59 - love!

Governor: 59 - love. These are the truths. We are not making it up. This argument wasn't started by my honourable friends in the Administration. It wasn't started by the Hong Kong Government. It wasn't started by the British Government. This controversy blew up because of things that were said by the PWC, despite the fact that many members of the PWC had voted for the Bill of Rights Ordinance, and things which subsequently have been said by Chinese officials. And don't let anybody think that an argument about human rights in Hong Kong doesn't have any effect on economic confidence. One of the reasons why we've got to stop these arguments, one of the reasons why we’ve got to give people the reassurance they want, is because we've got to show that we're concerned about confidence both here and internationally in Hong Kong's future. So if there is no problem about securing Hong Kong's freedoms in the future, let's have more Chinese officials and let's have more members of the PWC making that absolutely clear.

And if I can say one other thing in a long answer. What would, what would really be breaking the Basic Law? 1'11 tell you what would be breaking the Basic Law. Not trying to implement the Bill of Rights. What would be in breach of the Basic Law would be to put laws back on the statute book of Hong Kong which are clearly in contravention of the international covenants. That would be clearly in breach of Article 39 of the Basic Law. So in this whole sad and sorry business, we have the extraordinary spectacle of members of the PWC and Chinese officials themselves making proposals which would be in breach of the Basic Law.

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I hope that we can end this argument soon with a clear statement which people will believe in Hong Kong of the commitment of the PWC and of Chinese officials to the future of Hong Kong's way of life.

Mr Lee Cheuk-yan (in Chinese): I seldom agree with what you say but now I am in full agreement with you Mr Governor. But you failed to answer one of my questions; that is I hope that there will be a human rights education fund. Since I do agree with everything that you have said, I hope that you will agree with what 1 am saying, that there will be a human rights education fund so that there can be promotion and education in this area.

Governor: Well, I can prolong this joyous period of amity.

Mr Lee Cheuk-yan: ....the importation of labour scheme!

Governor: ....by telling the honourable member that there already is such a fund. It

may not be as large as the honourable member would like. Sometimes it's true that one of the things that we disagree about is that he wants to spend more money than I do, but it is a substantial fund. It was increased recently and I have to say that 1 think it is exceptionally well used. The quality of the material produced by those who are responsible for dispersing these funds is exceptionally high and I think they deserve a good deal of credit for that.

Mr Tsang Kin-shing (in Chinese): Thank you Mr President. Mr Governor, last Sunday there was the memorial service and I was looking at people in the legal service in full gear and we have very good judicial personnel. Now, this is my dream. But, I had a nightmare, immediately, the same evening, and we had people coming up with different views on the human rights. And if we have judicial personnel who openly criticise the Bill of Rights Ordinance, what is your view towards that?

And then, of our Government officials and also people in the Judiciary, how many of them hold different views and think that the BOR Ordinance is not something that they can support? And how can you make sure that the Ordinance is fully implemented in Hong Kong? 1 hope that, Mr Governor, you will restore my original beautiful dream.

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Governor: I much enjoyed seeing the honourable member at the moving Cenotaph ceremony last Sunday, and I noted that the honourable member was in full gear: and I was in what has been gubernatorial full gear - at least since 1992; and the judges were in full gear. And we all know that an independent judiciary is one of the most important bulwarks in protecting and preserving the rule of law and hence Hong Kong's freedom and pluralism, both today and in the future. 1 have confidence in our Judiciary and I also have respect for the separation of constitutional powers, which means that this Legislature makes laws, and means that the judiciary implement the laws which this Legislature makes. And that is the constitutional position today, and will continue to be the Constitutional position.

Now, there are slight differences between the Constitutions of different communities. In this community the Chief Justice used to be a Member of the Legislative Council, in the last century. In the United Kingdom the head of the judiciary is a member of the Government, a member of the Cabinet. In the United States there is an absolute and clear separation of powers and those things would be impossible. But whatever the nuances of constitutional difference, wherever there is the rule of law you have a clear recognition of the leading roles of the legislature in making laws, and the judiciary in implementing them. This Chamber recognises some of the consequences of that; you have in your Standing Orders specific rules which you follow about not criticising the judiciary. And that is as it should be in any honourable legislature like this one.

I am sure that just as this Legislature respects the role of the judiciary, so the judiciary today and in the future will continue to respect the role of the legislature. And we certainly do that in Government, and the Judiciary has my full confidence.

Mr Tsang Kin-shing (in Chinese): Mr Governor, I don't think I should further argue any point with you because we would be talking about interfering with the Judiciary, but I would like to go back to Mr Fred Li's point. Now, in the Construction Training Course, they do not really cover the demolition procedures.

The President: You cannot ask a question which is not related to your original question. I'm sorry.

Mr Yum Sin-ling: Mr Governor, I would like to follow up on the debt owed by the UNHCR. We, the Panel on Security, have had a meeting with the responsible person from the UNHCR and he told us that how soon he can repay the debt depends on the donations from other countries. So, we think we should have a binding contract -some sort of contract - with repayments scheduled, so that they can show it to other countries who are willing to donate, then that would help his job and also help the repayment to us.

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Governor: Sorry, is the honourable member suggesting that there should be a schedule of repayments agreed by the UNHCR?

Mr Yum Sin-ling: Yes, some sort of a contract with the repayments scheduled.

Governor: We would obviously like the repayment made as rapidly as possible, and we could then use that money on some other purpose. The commitment to the UNHCR was made in good faith and we expected to get the money back quickly. We still expect to get the money back and the UNHCR still says it is going to give us the money back. I'm sure we would be prepared to consider arrangements with the UNHCR which would enable the UNHCR, which is of course dependent on the contributions made by member states, to collect larger contributions from them. If there are particular proposals, then I am sure we would be prepared to look at them.

I would just add this. I, too, met the UNHCR representative when he was in Hong Kong. 1 think he is totally committed to helping us resolve the problem posed by the Vietnamese migrants, and 1 think that all of us should recognise the role that he and other members of the UNHCR have played in the last few years in dealing with this very difficult problem. Shortly before I arrived in Hong Kong the number of Vietnamese migrants in our camps had peaked at over 60,000. We had got that down to about 21,000 when we first ran into some difficulties last year; we were just starting to cope with those difficulties when, as the honourable member knows, the United States Congress intervened unhelpfully. But I hope we can get back to the earlier period in 1992 and 1993 when we were enjoying such a rapid rate of voluntary repatriation.

Mr Cheng Kar-foo (in Chinese): Thank you Mr President. Mr Tsang............. he was

talking about interference with the judiciary, but I think he should have said interfering with the independence of the judiciary. But I would like to follow up by asking another question that is more direct.

Mr Governor, you gave us quite a bit of officialese saying that there should be separation of power between the judiciary and the legislature. But recently, two members of the Judiciary made some comments on the BOR Ordinance. Now, Mr Governor, you lead the Government and you said - tapping on the table with a lot of vigour - saying that we should continue to protect human rights in Hong Kong. And yet, here we do have members of the Judiciary, at certain functions, criticising the Bill of Rights Ordinance. Now, if this is what actually happened, then people in Hong Kong would be quite disturbed, so, Mr Governor, what can you do to assure us that the Administration under your leadership, and the Judiciary under your leadership, will really have a consensus on this issue? And then you are really working to protect the human rights here in Hong Kong.

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Governor: I'm sure that all individuals in Hong Kong, including members of the Judiciary and including members of the Administration, will have reached certain conclusions as a result of events in the last weeks and months. 1 think that I don't wish to say anything else about the Judiciary, which has my full confidence. I don't wish to say anything, and nor have any of my honourable friends, which would cross the important boundary line between the executive and the judiciary. Though I have to say this: obviously, the events of last Sunday raised a lot of questions in people's minds and we therefore, in the Administration, welcomed the Chief Justice's offer to make the views which he was said to hold, by a functionary of the New China News Agency, clear to the Administration as well. And we will look forward in due course to hearing what those views may be, which I think the Chief Justice has said are of a technical and jurisprudential character. But nobody is doubting the role of the legislature in making laws, and I go further than that and point out the breadth and depth of the debate in 1991 when the Bill of Rights was being considered and drafted; all the consultations which took place with the Law Society, with which some honourable members are more familiar than others; the debate and discussion that took place with the Bar Council, with the community as a whole; the consideration that was given at the time to the so called New Zealand model. Though it has to be added that the President of the Appeal Court in New Zealand recently said that in practice there is not very much difference between the application of the law under the New Zealand model and under our model. All those matters were widely discussed and debated in Hong Kong at the time and this Legislative Council came to some sensible conclusions under which, I think I am right in saying, 36 Bills have been amended or changed or repealed since then, none of them - none of them - with any detrimental effect to Hong Kong's way of life, to the stability of our society. Look around Hong Kong - does this look an unstable society? Look at one or two other places in the region.

Mr Mok Ying-fan (in Chinese): Mr President, a hot topic again. Mr Governor didn't want to mention this but I would like him to describe it once again. Recently from the press we know that the Chief Justice, Sir Ti Liang Yang, said that he will put something down in writing to be submitted to the CS very soon.

Now Mr Governor, do you think this is a kind of interference by the executive concerning the judiciary?

Governor: I don't think that the Chief Justice saying that he would give the executive in writing his views on the Bill of Rights represents an interference by the executive in the judiciary. My honourable friend the Chief Secretary didn't tell or instruct the Chief Justice to do that. She wouldn't have dreamt of doing so. Had she done so, which she wouldn't have dreamt of doing, the Chief Justice wouldn't have dreamt of complying, because that would have been interference in the judiciary. So, I think there is one of those authentic Hong Kong, whale-sized, red herrings crossing the path of the shoal of fish.

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The fact of the matter is that certain remarks made in private by the Chief Justice, and I read a very interesting column in the Economic Journal yesterday about the dangers if everybody made clear things that had been said to them in private. Some who report remarks in private would find themselves in hottish water. The Chief Justice being reported as having said things in private, said that he would actually let us have those views so that we could see what they were and that seems to me to be a helpful contribution by the Chief Justice. It's not unusual for members of the Judiciary to give the Administration their views on aspects of public policy, or aspects of the administration of the law and I'm sure that they will continue to do so, though this Administration will not. at any time, seek to influence the views of the judiciary or to interfere in the affairs of the judiciary. Nor, I'm sure, will anyone in this Administration report as matters of public controversy things that are said to them at private dinner parties.

Mr Mok Ying-fan (in Chinese): I hope Mr Governor will not mind my follow-up question. About this particular submission by the Chief Justice, will this be tabled to LegCo for reference?

Governor: What the Chief Justice does with his written observations, if or when he produces them, is entirely, entirely a matter for the Chief Justice and I wouldn't seek to influence what he does or says on this point or on any other because I have too much of a respect for the rule of law and because of the importance of an independent, a robustly independent judiciary. One, as 1 said, of the bulwark's of Hong Kong's freedoms, openness and pluralism.

End/Thursday. November 16, 1995

Guidelines on bathhouse and massage establishments endorsed *****

The Town Planning Board has endorsed a set of guidelines for commercial bathhouses and massage establishments.

The purpose of the guidelines is to establish the main planning criteria adopted by the Board in considering planning applications for commercial bathhouses and massage establishments. The guidelines were intended to facilitate prospective applicants in preparing their applications, a spokesman for the Board said today (Thursday).

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"They are for general reference only and each application will be considered on its individual merits,” he stressed.

The spokesman said in considering planning applications for these uses, the main concern of the Board was that the uses should not be incompatible to adjoining uses and would not cause nuisance to their neighbourhood.

’’These uses should not be located within a predominantly residential neighbourhood and should be located in a commercial building or in the non-domestic part of a composite commercial/residential building.

"If the proposed uses are to be located within the non-domestic part of a composite commercial/residential building, it is preferable that the access to these establishments be separated from that to the domestic parts of the building by way of separate stairways and/or lifts/escalators,” he said.

’’The views of local residents on such application will also be taken into account.

"Further, the provision and maintenance of fire services installations within the application premises should satisfy the requirements of the Fire Services Department," the spokesman added.

Copies of the guidelines are available free of charge at the Planning Information and Technical Administration Unit, Planning Department, 16th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong.

End/Thursday, November 16, 1995

Special team to investigate collapse canopy case ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Director of Buildings, Mrs Helen Yu, has appointed a special investigation team to establish the cause of the canopy collapse which occurred in Kwun Tong yesterday evening.

The team, headed by an experienced Senior Structural Engineer, was on site in Yan Oi Court early this (Thursday) morning to gather evidence to verify the facts.

Preliminary check of the building plans has indicated that the collapsed structure was an illegal extension of an approved concrete canopy.

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In addition, the Buildings Department has also set up a special task force to carry out an urgent survey of the buildings involved for necessary action to ensure safety.

The team will also inspect constructions in the vicinity to examine scope for enforcement action against all unauthorised building works.

Mrs Yu urged property owners to seek professional advice and where necessary, approval for building works in order to comply with safety standards. As for canopies, they must also be properly maintained and if necessary, repaired, after construction.

"Unauthorised building works may pose danger. Property owners should therefore take heed - for their own life and property, their families and members of the public," Mrs Yu said.

• • • • •

End/Thursday, November 16, 1995

Unemployment and underemployment statistics

*****

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the period July to September 1995 was 3.5%, and the underemployment rate was 2.5%, according to the latest labour force statistics released today (Thursday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

The provisional seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the period August to October 1995 was 3.6%, while the provisional underemployment rate was 2.3%.

A government spokesman commented that, having regard to sampling fluctuations in the General Household Survey which could give rise to minor variations in the unemployment and underemployment rates in successive three-month periods, the overall labour market situation as reflected by these latest figures may be regarded as broadly stable.

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Commenting further on these figures, the spokesman said unemployment in the distributive trades, restaurants and hotels, and transport sectors showed some increases. Unemployment in the manufacturing sector and in community, social and personal services remained generally stable.

On the other hand, unemployment in the construction sector and in financing and insurance services decreased. As to underemployment, the situation in most of the major sectors remained generally stable, with improvement seen in the construction and transport sectors.

The spokesman also noted that, following the trend since the early part of this year, total employment continued to show a notable increase, by 2.5% in the three months ending September 1995 over a year earlier. But the total labour supply rose even faster, by 4% over the same period.

During the period July to September 1995, the number of unemployed persons with previous jobs was estimated at 94,900. Another 18,600 unemployed persons were first-time job-seekers. The number of underemployed persons was estimated at 77,000.

The unemployment and underemployment statistics were obtained from a continuous General Household Survey. The survey for July to September 1995 covered a quarterly sample of some 16,200 households or 55,600 persons, selected scientifically to represent the land-based civilian non-institutional population in Hong Kong. Data were obtained from the survey by interviewing each member aged 15 or over in the households sampled.

In the survey, the definitions used in measuring unemployment and underemployment follow closely those recommended by the International Labour Organisation.

"Seasonally adjusted" refers to adjustment for seasonal variations in the proportion of first-time job-seekers in the labour force.

Detailed analysis of labour force characteristics is given in the report on the General Household Survey which is published four times a year.

The next report covering the quarter ending September 1995 will be on sale at the Government Publications Centre at ground floor, Low Block, 66 Queensway. Hong Kong, by the end of December 1995.

End/Thursday. November 16. 1995

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Domestic export statistics classified by industrial origin ♦ ♦ * ♦ *

In the third quarter of 1995, the four major industries of textiles; wearing apparel; machinery, equipment, apparatus, parts and components; and consumer electrical and electronic products together accounted for 72% of Hong Kong’s total domestic exports of manufactured goods, according to statistics released today (Thursday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

In the third quarter of 1995, domestic exports of machinery, equipment, apparatus, parts and components continued to increase significantly by 28% over a year earlier to $10.7 billion.

Those of wearing apparel increased by 2% to $12.1 billion. On the other hand, domestic exports of textiles and consumer electrical and electronic products decreased by 5% and 2% to $14.2 billion and $8.2 billion respectively.

As for other industries, significant absolute increases in the value of domestic exports were also recorded for professional and optical equipment (+$430 million or + 11%); paper and paper products (+$193 million or +9%); basic metals and fabricated metal products (+$127 million or +5%).

For the transport equipment industry, although the change in absolute value was not as large, a marked percentage increase of 794% was recorded.

On the other hand, a more notable absolute decrease in the value of domestic exports was recorded for tobacco manufactures (-$139 million or -21%).

The above statistics of domestic exports classified 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.

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In comparison, the HSIC is more related to production processes whereas the SITC is more geared to end uses of products. ' -

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 above statistics, the total value of such an item has however been wholly related to the industry in which the item is finally produced.

The above domestic export statistics of a particular industry may include products which are secondary products by establishments of other industries.

1 iV.th 1

i .

Further details of merchandise domestic export statistics classified by industrial origin may be found in the attached table which is obtainable from the General Economic Surveys Section of the Census and Statistics Department, Tel 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, September 1995”.


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Domestic exports of manufactured goods classified by industrial origin for the third quarter of 1995

(Value in HK$ Million)

Industrial origin of the commodities exported Merchandise domestic exports

1995 3rd qtr. 1994 3rd qtr. Value change % change

Food 668.6 675.5 -6.8 -1.0

Beverages 167.5 167.5 -0.1 -0.0

Tobacco manufactures 518.2 657.3 -139.1 -21.2

Textiles (including knitting) 14,222.8 14,895.8 -673.0 -4.5

Wearing apparel, except footwear 12,138.5 11,848.5 +290.0 +2.4

Leather and leather products, except 414.9 370.9 +44.1 + 11.9

footwear and wearing apparel

Footwear, except rubber, plastic and 15.2 50.1 -34.9 -69.6

wooden footwear

Wood and cork products, furniture and 76.7 91.8 -15.2 -16.5

fixtures

Paper and paper products, printing and 2,400.0 2,206.6 + 193.4 +8.8

publishing

Chemicals and chemical products 2,071.0 1,985.6 + 85.4 +4.3

Products of petroleum and coal 7.3 5.9 + 1.4 +23.5

Rubber products 17.8 30.0 -12.2 -40.6

Plastic products 1,240.9 1,289.2 -48.3 -3.7

Non-metallic mineral products, except 123.5 164.0 -40.5 -24.7

products of petroleum and coal

Basic metals and fabricated metal 2,515.7