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

 DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Wednesday, March 1,1995

Contents Page No,

Hong Kong success story continues beyond 1997 ........................ 1

HMD AC welcomes the setting up of Health Care and Promotion Fund 2

Quality Week to promote awareness of quality.......................... 2

Tsuen Wan wooden shack demolished..................................... 4

What the Budget means for you.......................................   4

Closure of Mong Kok illegal structures sought......................... 6

Sai Kung lot to let................................................... 6

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

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

1

Hong Kong success story continues beyond 1997

*****

The recipe for success of Hong Kong's economy, which is enshrined in the Sino-British arrangements for the future, will continue beyond 1997, the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Michael Cartland, said in London yesterday (Wednesday).

Speaking to about 90 representatives from financial and investment communities all over the world during a presentation at the Asian Companies Expo 95 in Earls Court, Mr Cartland said there were many reasons for confidence about the territory's future.

"For example, Hong Kong is very well placed economically and the market is booming. There is no exchange controls nor barriers to inward foreign investment. We have a stable and fully convertible currency.

"The market players themselves are already looking beyond 1997, taking longer term view and China also participate fully in Hong Kong's economy, indicating their recognition of our importance," he said.

Mr Cartland also believed that a commitment to the rule of law with a Common Law background, an independent judiciary and a determination to fight corruption were some of the important factors that contributed to the strengths of Hong Kong's economy.

Also taking part with the Hong Kong Government Office at the Expo's Hong Kong stand are the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and Hong Kong Futures Exchange.

More than 1,600 fund managers, representatives from investment companies and financial institutions all over the world are expected to attend the three- day Expo which provides opportunities for business leaders to have face-to-face contact with the senior management of Asian companies.

About 110 organisations from Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand are featured.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

2

HMD AC welcomes the setting up of Health Care and Promotion Fund

* * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Health and Medical Development Advisory Committee (HMDAC) is pleased to learn that the Government has decided to establish an $80 million Health Care and Promotion Fund, the Chairman of HMDAC, Dr David Fang, said today (Wednesday).

The Chairman noted that the fond would be used to finance health promotion, prevention of disease and research. It would also be used to help patients with rare diseases.

Dr Fang said: "Prevention is always better than cure.

"I am pleased that Government recognises the importance of giving more attention to the avoidance of injury, disease and disability through adequate public education and publicity. The establishment of the Fund is a positive step in this direction," he added.

Dr Fang said the HMDAC was looking forward to being briefed in detail about the workings of the Fund at its next meeting and hoped that the Fund would be able to begin operating soon.

Dr Fang also commented on the Government's proposals to increase the number of first-degree nursing places, to improve the quality of teaching and to employ more health care assistants to take over nurses' non-professional duties.

He said: "Government's nursing initiatives are a welcome measure. They will benefit the profession by improving the training of nurses and their career development, and benefit patients by raising their quality of care."

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

Quality Week to promote awareness of quality

♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Industry Department is organising a Quality Week in March to promote the awareness of quality and the application of quality management systems in Hong Kong.

"This is the second time that Quality Week is held following the success of the first Quality Week programme in 1994. We intend to make this an annual event," the Assistant Director-General of Industry, Mr Brian Tyler, said today (Wednesday).

3

"The theme for this year's Quality Week programme is 'Global Demand for Quality and How Hong Kong is Responding'," he added.

The event will be kicked off with an opening ceremony to be held tomorrow (Thursday) which will include a Q-mark Licence Presentation Ceremony, to be followed by a seminar organised by the Industry Department.

The Secretary for Trade and Industry, Mr T H Chau, will officiate at the opening ceremony and the Q-mark Licence Presentation Ceremony.

The Director-General of Industry, Miss Denise Yue. will also be attending the ceremony.

The Quality Week 1995 programme will feature a series of seminars and training courses on quality and quality management, an exhibition on quality management and the launching of a new series of quality posters and quality management Total Quality Management (TQM) booklets.

The Quality Week programme activities are organised by the Industry Department in conjunction with 11 participating organisations.

They are City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Productivity Council, Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency, Hong Kong Quality Management Association, Hong Kong Society for Quality Control, Hong Kong branch of the UKbased Institute of Quality Assurance, Paper Communication Exhibition Services, Hong Kong Q-Mark Council of Federation of Hong Kong Industries, Quality and Reliability Centre of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong Trade Development Council and University of Hong Kong.

Attention News Editors:

You arc invited to cover the opening ceremony of the Quality Week which will begin at 9.15 am tomorrow (Thursday) at Theatre Two, first floor. Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Wan Chai.

End/Wednesday. March 1, 1995

4

Tsuen Wan wooden shack demolished *****

The wooden shack erected for the second time on the pavement of Market Street, Tsuen Wan, by former residents of the illegal structures on the roofs of Cheuk Ming Building and Tak Yan House was demolished by government staff this (Wednesday) afternoon.

A Government spokesman said: "Unauthorised occupation of Government land by any person is in breach of the Crown Land Ordinance and will not be tolerated. Those responsible are liable to prosecution."

Of the 24 families affected by the clearance exercise which was carried out on December 19 last year, 16 have requested for Government housing assistance.

So far three families have been rehoused in public rental flats and seven in temporary housing units while two families will shortly be offered rehousing in public rental flats.

Meanwhile, one application is being processed and two others have been rejected as the applicants do not fillfill the established criteria for public housing.

The remaining singleton's application for compassionate rehousing is being considered by the Social Welfare Department.

The spokesman stressed that the rehousing offers had been and would be made strictly on the basis of residents' eligibility under the established policy.

"Rehousing arrangements are not results of radical protest actions by some of these residents." he added.

End/Wcdnesday, March 1. 1995

What the Budget means for you *****

Members of the public will have the opportunity to speak to the Financial Secretary, Sir Hamish Macleod, about the Budget for the new financial year tomorrow (Thursday), the day immediately after the publication of this important document.

The Financial Secretary will take questions from callers phoning in RTHK Radio 1 and 5's "Taikabout" and Radio 3's "Hongkong Today" programmes from 7.45 to 8.45 am.

5

The live broadcast, "Financial Secretary's Hotline", with simultaneous translation, will take place in Broadcasting House, 30 Broadcast Drive, Kowloon.

The phone-in numbers are 187 231 1 for the Chinese language and 2338 8266 for the English.

Later in the morning, the Financial Secretary will meet Chairmen of the 18 District Boards and Chairmen of the two Municipal Councils at 10 am in the Home Affairs Department Headquarters to brief them about the implications of the Budget proposals for the community, and the districts in particular.

In the afternoon, Sir Hamish will be hosting a post-budget press conference at 3 pm in the Information Services Department.

Attention News Editors:

Phone-in Programme

Press members who are interested to cover the programme are requested to arrive at RTHK's Broadcasting House at 7.30 am for a photo- call. Audio and closed circuit facilities will be set up for press members to monitor activities inside the live studio.

DB Chairmen Meeting

A photographic facility has been arranged for the media to take pictures prior to the start of the meeting. Press members are requested to assemble at 9.45 am at the News and Publicity Division of Home Affairs Department. Southorn Centre, 30th Floor, 130 Hennessy Road. Wan Chai.

Press Conference

The press conference will be held at 3 pm at the GIS Press Conference Room, fifth floor. Beaconsfield House.

End/Wednesday, March 1. 1995

6

Closure of Mong Kok illegal structures sought

*****

The Building Authority is seeking to close five unauthorised rooftop structures in Mong Kok so that they can be demolished without endangering occupants and the public.

The unauthorised rooftop structures which are used for dwelling are found at buildings at 21, 25 and 27 Mong Kok Road and at the junction of 27A Mong Kok Road and 475-477 Reclamation Street.

Notices applying for Closure Orders from the District Court under the Buildings Ordinance on June 28 this year have been posted on the premises.

Demolition works are expected to start as soon as the Closure Orders are issued.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

Sai Kung lot to let

* * * * *

The Lands Department is inviting tenders for short-term tenancy of a piece of Government land in Tseung Kwan O. Sai Kung.

Located in Tseung Kwan O. the lot has an area of 17,900 square metres for use as a fee-paying public car park.

The tenancy is for six months, renewable quarterly.

Closing date for submission of tender is at noon on March 17.

Tender form, tender notice and conditions may be obtained from the District Lands Office, Sai Kung, third floor. Sai Kung Government Offices. 34 Chan Man Street, Sai Kung and the District Lands Offices Kowloon. 1 Oth floor. Yau Ma Tei Car Park Building, 250 Shanghai Street, Kowloon, and the Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building. Garden Road.

Tender plan can also be inspected at these offices.

End/Wednesday. March I. 1995.

7

Flushing water cut in Sha Tin

*****

Flushing water supply to some premises in Sha Tin will be temporarily suspended from 8 am to 11 pm on Friday (March 3) to facilitate checking of the supply system.

The affected areas will include Lek Yuen Estate, Lek Yuen Clinic, Wo Che Estate, the section of Yuen Wo Road to the east of Sha Tin Rural Committee Road, Sha Tin Technical Institute, Ti-I College, Jubilee Garden and Hong Kong Sports Institute.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

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

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,917 0930 -46

Closing balance in the account 1,820 1000 -196

Change attributable to : 1100 -194

Money market activity -197 1200 -193

LAF today -900 1500 -193

1600 -197

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TW1 120.2 *-0.1* 1.3.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.01 15 months 2605 6.35 99.63 6.77

1 month 5.25 24 months 2702 7.50 100.75 7.21

3 months 5.97 29 months 3707 6.95 99.42 7.34

6 months 6.30 35 months 3801 8.00 101.58 7.52

12 months 6.70 58 months 5912 8.15 100.96 8.06

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $28,949 MN

Closed March 1, 1995

End/Wednesday, March 1. 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

SUPPLEMENT

Wednesday, March 1,1995

Contents Page No?

1994 economic success benefits whole community......................... 1

Economy will continue to do well in 1995 .............................. 2

China links key to HK's economic prospects............................. 3

Support to free trade pledged.......................................... 4

Three factors to fight inflation....................................... 5

Keep Hong Kong competitive............................................. 7

Encouraging development of service sector.......................... 11

Budget strategy "clear and consistent”................................ 12

Comprehensive social security assistance being examined............... 13

The 1994-95 outturn................................................... 15

Draft expenditure estimates 1995-96 .................................. 16

Budget process explained.............................................. 18

New initiatives for 1995 spelt out.................................... 18

HK makes substantial improvement in social services................... 21

/Revenue proposals....

Contents

Page No,

Revenue proposals to reward enterprise and promote equity............... 22

Tax concessions for those with special needs............................ 23

No changes in corporate tax............................................. 24

Estate duty exemption level rises to $6 million......................... 25

Tobacco and fuel duties up eight per cent............................... 26

No changes in alcohol duty.............................................. 27

Stepping up tax enforcement............................................. 28

Small deficit fbr 1995-96 .............................................. 29

Reserves in 1997 ....................................................... 30

Consultations with China on 1997-98 Budget.......................... 31

Prudent in public spending.............................................. 32

TV broadcast by the FS.................................................. 33

Putonghua as school subject............................................  36

Robberies in elevators.................................................. 38

Building of primary schools............................................. 40

Two-way permit holders working in HK.................................... 41

Measures to reduce congestion at airport arrivals hall.................. 42

Staffing of Agriculture and Fisheries Department........................ 44

Cases handled by Minor Employment Claims Adjudication Board......... 45

/Odour from..

Contents

EageNo.

Odour from nullah at Tsui Ping Road.................................... 46

Non-local Higher and Professional Education (Regulation) Bill.......... 47

Safety of dangerous goods.............................................. 49

Tolo Harbour water quality......................................... 51

Hong Kong/Taiwan air services.......................................... 52

Comprehensive Development Area zoning.................................. 54

Plans to tackle juvenile crime......................................... 56

Licensing of travel agents............................................. 58

Sponsorship by tobacco industry........................................ 60

Applications to defer payment of tuition fees.......................... 62

Newly qualified drivers more prone to accidents........................ 64

No plan to demolish Jordan Valley Flatted Factory...................... 66

1994 economic success benefits whole community *****

Economic success last year has benefited the whole community, but rising prices remained a cause for concern, the Financial Secretary, the Hon Sir Hamish Macleod, said.

Reviewing the economic performance last year in his 1995/96 Budget Speech, he said the workforce continued to enjoy virtually full employment, higher real incomes and a rising standard of living.

GDP grew by 5.5 per cent, marginally lower than the most recent forecast of 5.7 per cent but still a considerable achievement.

Investment spending grew by 13 per cent, almost double the average annual rate over the past decade.

Total exports grew by 10 per cent and re-exports by 14 per cent. Hong Kong is the world's eighth largest trading community, and likely soon to move even further up that particular league table.

Exports of services grew by 7.5 per cent. Hong Kong is probably the world's 11th largest exporter of services.

Reflecting the expansion of the financial services, the value of Hong Kong dollar private sector debt issues more than tripled, to $60 billion.

In last year's Budget, inflation was forecast to be 8.5 per cent for the year.

"We did rather better than expected, with an inflation rate of 8.1 per cent. But the pressure on prices remains too high for us to be complacent," Sir Hamish said.

Explaining the foundations on which all four of his budgets have been built, he said they were entirely consistent with the principles that had guided Hong Kong's economic success for almost half a century.

They are entirely consistent with the principles set out in the Basic Law, he added.

- 2 -

This means that not only are they the economic compass which has steered Hong Kong safely through times of turbulence as well as its boom years, but there is also every reason to be confident that they will continue to do so, he said.

Sir Hamish said consensus capitalism, the search for a balance between the market economy and an adequate welfare safety net, had been at the heart of his approach to the preparation of the four budgets.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

Economy will continue to do well in 1995 ♦ ♦ * * ♦

The Financial Secretary, the Hon Sir Hamish Macleod, believed that overall, the economy would continue to perform well this year.

Presenting his fourth and last Budget to the Legislative Council today (Wednesday), Sir Hamish said Hong Kong appeared to have established a pattern for the 1990s of steady, sustainable growth, one which is high by the standards of other advanced economies.

"Although overall growth in 1995 looks like being similar to that in 1994, it is of course true that, as always, we must be prepared to respond at short notice to sudden shocks and reverses in world trading conditions," he said.

Sir Hamish forecast the following real increases for 1995:

* GDP will rise by 5.5 per cent.

* GDP per head will rise to over US$24,000.

* Total exports will rise by 13 per cent. Domestic exports will increase by 2 per cent and re-exports by 16 per cent.

Exports of services will grow by 9 per cent.

In addition, Hong Kong’s trade in goods and services will continue to show a positive balance.

- 3 -

Though this year began on a more pessimistic note, Sir Hamish said: "Our policies must be based on the underlying, long term realities, not the short term vagaries of the market.

"Thus, we must keep firmly in mind the fact that our economic fundamentals are sound, and that we have good reason to expect that we will be able to overcome any difficulties which 1995 and beyond may bring," he added.

Sir Hamish said taken overall, business opportunities for this year appeared to be promising.

Most of Hong Kong's major trading partners are expecting faster rates of growth than for some time. And all this is against a background of increasing support for the removal of barriers to world trade.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

China links key to HK's economic prospects *****

Economic links with China remain the single most important factor in Hong Kong’s economic prospects, the Financial Secretary, the Hon Sir Hamish Macleod, said today (Wednesday) in his Budget Speech.

These links are still expanding into new areas of China, and into different sectors of China's economy, he said.

Last year, Hong Kong's trade with China grew by 15 per cent to $885 billion.

Hong Kong remains the largest external investor in China, with a cumulative realised investment of around US$60 billion.

China is probably the largest external investor in Hong Kong. The positive impact of China's economic growth on Hong Kong has been particularly important for its service sector.

Sir Hamish said the Chinese economy had been set the goal for 1995 of high but sustainable growth, with moderating inflation.

•i

- 4 -

It is very much in Hong Kong's interests that these objectives be achieved, because China's booming markets remain the main engine of Hong Kong's economic success, he said.

Referring to negotiations for China to become a founding member of the World Trade Organisation, the Financial Secretary said: "We must hope that the remaining difficulties can be overcome quickly, and the necessary reforms which must accompany accession be agreed."

In that case, China can take its full and rightful place in the international trading community, and its trading partners can in turn benefit from improved market access and greater transparency and certainty in trading rules and procedures.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

Support to free trade pledged ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Hong Kong will offer vigorous and enthusiastic support to developing a blueprint to implement the vision set out in the Bogor Declaration, working towards free trade in the Asia-Pacific region by 2020.

The commitment was reiterated by the Financial Secretary, the Hon Sir Hamish Macleod, as he delivered the 1995/96 Budget Speech today (Wednesday).

”We have to do all we can to make this particular vision become reality.

"This will not be an easy task, and the commitment is all the more remarkable when viewed against the historical attachment of many members to protectionist policies.

"But in the case of Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC), I am an optimist. 1 believe APEC members have the capacity to set a good example to other trade groupings around the world.

Trade with APEC members accounts for almost 80 per cent of Hong Kong's total trade and has been growing at an average annual rate of 19 per cent over the last decade.

5

Looking at world trade in the coming year, Sir Hamish said: "We can look forward to significant reductions in both tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade.

"As a major international business centre, we will also gain because key areas, such as services and trade-related intellectual property rights and investment measures, will become subject to a multilateral framework of rules and discipline.

"Improvements to dispute settlement procedures are particularly important to Hong Kong and other small economies which often lack the muscle to resolve differences with larger trading partners on a bilateral basis," he said.

The Financial Secretary said although the year did not start on a very optimistic note, the prospects for the world economy were better than they had been for many years.

Sir Hamish made it clear that the linked exchange rate was here to stay. He again stressed the importance to Hong Kong's stability and prosperity of the linked exchange rate, firmly supported by substantial reserves.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

Three factors to fight inflation *****

The Financial Secretary, the Hon Sir Hamish Macleod, identified three factors to fight inflation which he forecast to be 8.5 per cent for 1995.

The factors are: fall in property prices, expansion of the workforce and rise in interest rates.

In his Budget Speech, Sir Hamish said: "Despite the welcome contributions from easier conditions in the property market and from higher interest rates, these will take time to have effect, and relatively high inflation will persist through 1995."

He assured the Legislative Council that the Government would continue to counter inflation as vigorously as possible and sensible in an open economy.

But further expansion of the economy does inevitably mean that the demand for land and labour will remain high in 1995.

- 6 -

"We cannot escape the unfortunate fact that, under Hong Kong's circumstances, pressure on prices is one of the less acceptable but continuing costs of our commitment to sustained growth," he pointed out.

On the property market, he said by the middle of January this year, the prices of existing residential properties had fallen by an average of 14 per cent from their peak in April 1994.

Whilst prices have moderated, they remain at levels which are historically high.

He said the package of measures introduced by the Government in June last year helped to make the market work more fairly and efficiently.

In the short term, the intention was to squeeze out the speculator, and it had largely succeeded.

In the long term, the Government will tackle the problem at its root by increasing the supply of flats, he said.

"Beyond this, however, we must leave the housing market to find its own equilibrium."

In terms of office accommodation, the prospects for the medium term are that a new equilibrium will emerge as additional supply becomes available from the redevelopment of existing sites in Central, from developments on the Central and Wanchai Reclamation and from sites along the Airport Railway.

Referring to criticisms about massive reclamation around the harbour, he said: "We have no intention whatsoever of reducing our magnificent harbour to a mere trickle.

"Nor do we have any intention of flooding the market with huge amounts of new land.

"As always, the timing of actual land sales will depend on market conditions. But we must put ourselves in a position where we can meet future demand," he said.

Sir Hamish added that the additional land would enable people living in congested areas to enjoy a better quality of life without having to uproot themselves from the urban area.

7

Turning to the second factor of a modest expansion of the workforce, he said without these increases over the last two years, inflationary pressures would have been even more intense as the economy continued to expand.

"The larger workforce should stand us in good stead in our efforts to contain inflation as the economy looks forward to another year of significant growth in 1995."

The workforce increased by 2.9 per cent in 1993 and by 3.5 per cent in 1994.

This is a helpful change compared with the marginal decline in 1992, he said.

Last year's increase of about 100,000 included a number of returning immigrants.

As to the rise on interest rates, the cost of borrowing has gone up, whilst savings have become more attractive.

He said both trends should help to contain inflation by reducing demand.

Inflation for 1995 is forecast to be 8.5 per cent, which Sir Hamish described as an uncomfortably high rate.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

Keep Hong Kong competitive

* * * ♦ *

Hong Kong has to be kept competitive in order to ensure that its economic fundamentals continue to be good, the Financial Secretary, the Hon Sir Hamish Macleod, said in his Budget Speech today (Wednesday) in the Legislative Council.

Additionally, this can be achieved by relying on Hong Kong's traditional strengths and intervening only when necessary.

The Government put its faith in markets. "We believe in small government, and that it is the private sector which generates our wealth," Sir Hamish said.

"Nevertheless, small government does not mean no government.

*4

- 8 -

"A free market economy does not mean an economy completely free from regulation. It means an economy in which the Government knows its place.

"Small government should not be made an excuse for passive government," Sir Hamish added.

There are tasks and responsibilities which only a government can perform, he said.

"It is the Government which must provide the bulk of our social and economic infrastructure, the essential framework within which the private sector can work its wealth-creating magic.

"The Government must provide the leadership necessary to create this framework, and we have an obligation to do so as efficiently as possible, but in partnership with the private sector where that makes sense."

Sir Hamish said people were Hong Kong's greatest resource.

Education remains the largest single component of the Government's recurrent budget, he added.

"We are reducing class sizes, improving student/teacher ratios and upgrading the training and qualifications of teachers.

"Institutions funded by the University Grants Committee now offer 57,000 degree places and over 16,000 sub-degree places," he said.

Next year, the Vocational Training Council will spend $1.4 billion on training over 43,000 full-time and over 66,000 part-time students.

The Employee Retraining Board will have provided retraining for over 50,000 by the end of 1995-96.

Noting that wealth was created best in a safe city with social stability, Sir Hamish said that the Government was investing heavily in improving access to the courts and speeding up legal proceedings.

Investment in the physical infrastructure is also vital, he added.

9

Sir Hamish gave a few examples of how the Government was discharging its responsibility to create the modem facilities which Hong Kong needed, ’’wherever possible in close collaboration with the private sector”.

These are the new airport at Chek Lap Kok; a new transport network including the Western Harbour Crossing, West Kowloon Expressway, Route Three, Lantau Fixed Crossing and North Lantau Expressway; the container terminals and railway development.

The Financial Secretary said the Government also had a role to play in supporting technological development.

These are being done in the following areas:

A new Hong Kong Industrial Technology Centre where 70 per cent of its space has been let.

Increase in funds for technology development to $210 million.

The Government had a special obligation to provide a modem infrastructure to support its ’’burgeoning financial services sector”, Sir Hamish said.

"Hong Kong is probably unique in having its role as an international financial centre enshrined in its constitutional document.

"Article 109 of the Basic Law requires the future Special Administrative Region (SAR) Government to maintain Hong Kong's status as an international financial centre by providing an appropriate economic and legal environment."

The Government is already at work to maintain and improve that environment, he said.

"We are co-operating closely with the banking community to develop by 1996 one of the most modem real-time gross settlement systems in the world.

"We hope to have this linked up with similar systems in other major financial centres, as well as to the Chinese National Automated Payment System to allow payments arising from cross-border activities to be effected safely."

The debt market clearing and settlement systems are being upgraded, he added.

10

"The Central Moneymarkets Unit of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority now handles over 150 issues with an outstanding value of $90 billion.

"The Unit has established links with major international clearing systems to provide overseas investors with easy access to the Hong Kong debt market."

Bank supervision has been strengthened by introducing a new loan classification system and a more comprehensive regime for regulating liquidity, Sir Hamish said.

"A major priority for the year ahead will be to draw up further guidelines for financial derivatives to ensure better management of the risks associated with these products.

"We will also amend the Banking Ordinance to improve further the legal framework for banking supervision."

The banking sector has been brought into closer line with international practice by requiring the disclosure of more information, Sir Hamish said.

The Government will soon be consulting relevant bodies on detailed legislative proposals to streamline and rationalise the "fragmented legal framework" for the securities and futures markets, he said.

Other areas where work is also being done include improvement to the protection of insurance policy holders, undertaking of a comprehensive review of the insolvency legislation and reforms of the legal and administrative systems to protect intellectual property.

Sir Hamish said these examples illustrated "a very important point about the role of the Government".

"It does not generate the community’s wealth, but it does a great deal to ensure that we maintain an environment in which prosperity can be created and competition can flourish.

"Having provided the framework, it is then the Government’s duty to leave entrepreneurs and investors free to get on with the business of generating wealth.

"That this approach works is evident from our record of economic growth and from the praise which we have received from foreign observers."

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

11

Encouraging development of service sector

*****

The Government is considering a number of measures to ensure that Hong Kong will have enough hotel rooms to accommodate the rising number of tourists and business travellers.

Disclosing this today (Wednesday) in his Budget Speech, the Financial Secretary, the Hon Sir Hamish Macleod, said measures recommended by consultants included the relaxation of plot ratios and the release of new sites.

He said: "We shall be consulting closely with all those concerned before deciding on the way forward, but our aim will be the positive one of ensuring that this industry can go on growing without any unnecessary constraints or handicaps.

The Government has long been involved in the promotion of tourism - one of Hong Kong's most important service industries - through its financial support for the Hong Kong Tourist Association, the Financial Secretary said.

The Government had also provided a framework to encourage the development of the service sector, while its role in promoting trade in services has been relatively modest.

Sir Hamish added: "This is hardly surprising.

"When the Trade Development Council was established, our exports were dominated by trade in goods.

"However, given the growing potential for trade in services, I believe that there is now a case for a more balanced approach to overseas promotion."

Sir Hamish said the preliminary results of a consultancy study suggested there were several areas where carefully targeted promotion could help to reinforce Hong Kong's position as a world-class service centre for the Asia-Pacific region.

Over the next few months, the Government will be working with bodies such as the Coalition of Service Industries and the Trade Development Council to determine how best this should be done.

"I believe a new initiative in this area would be very worthwhile. We have very considerable expertise to sell," Sir Hamish said.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

12

Budget strategy "clear and consistent" ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

The Financial Secretary, the Hon Sir Hamish Macleod, said the strategy for this year's Budget was "clear and consistent".

Delivering this year's Budget to the Legislative Council today (Wednesday), he said four principal components to this strategy had been adopted.

Sir Hamish said: "First, inevitably, is the need to control government expenditure so that, over time, it grows no faster than the economy as a whole.

"This means in practice that we cannot do everything we would like to do immediately. We have to set priorities annually, in an orderly and well thought through process.

"Secondly, to provide the funds for the programmes announced in the Governor's annual Policy Address and in the Policy Commitments.

"This means living up to past promises and refusing to undertake new commitments where these would be beyond our means.

"Thirdly, to maintain reserves adequate to provide a cushion against future contingencies.

"Especially during this transitional period, this means taking a highly prudent view of the volatility to which an economy as open as ours may be subject.

"Fourthly, to decide whether it is possible to reduce the burden on the taxpayer in the light of our overall economic and financial position."

Sir Hamish said a philosophy based on such an approach to the management of the public finances commanded wide support in the community.

He added that, however, striking the right balance between the individual elements of this strategy was not easy. "This is not a mechanical process," Sir Hamish said.

"Inevitably, then, there may be differences of opinion over how cautious a view we should take of our growth prospects and of future contingencies.

13

"There are equally likely to be differences over how far and how fast we can afford to respond to the community's demands for improved services and for improvement in infrastructure.

"Although the Government's overall budget strategy has been remarkably consistent over the years, the balance to be struck between its various elements inevitably alters from one year to the next, as our circumstances change," he said.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

Comprehensive social security assistance being examined ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

The Financial Secretary, the Hon Sir Hamish Macleod, explained his decision in not dealing with the issue of the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) scheme in the Budget.

He said: "I am well aware of the view that we should, as soon as possible, make very significant increases in CSSA payments for the elderly."

Delivering the 1995/96 Budget in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday), he said a detailed examination of the CSSA scheme was being undertaken in a separate exercise.

"Figures like $2,300 or $2,500 have been mentioned.

"I would urge that we do not rush headlong into such a major decision. It is not just that it would involve a large and continuing recurrent expenditure commitment, though clearly that weighs on my mind too.

"The fact is that this Budget is not the place to deal with what is a large and complex issue."

Explaining further, Sir Hamish said the Government needed to know where the question of retirement schemes was headed.

He said: "Clearly, the implications of introducing a scheme providing pensions for all, as in our Old Age Pension Scheme proposal, are quite different from a more limited scheme providing protection only for the employed, as in the Mandatory Provident Fund proposal, which now seems to be emerging as the preferred choice.

14

’’Secondly, and more importantly perhaps, it is surely an unhelpful oversimplification to talk as if the only question to be resolved is the level of CSSA payments to the elderly.

"It is surely unhelpful, and indeed misleading, to assume that we only need to consider payments for the elderly, and that $2,300 or whatever, is the right level.

"We must recognise that it is the needs of all recipients, not just the elderly, that should be considered.

"After all, at other times, we have been told that we must give priority to the needs of the single parent, or of children.

"Surely other groups, not only the elderly, have a right to be considered too?

"Hence there is a genuine need to see the results of the household expenditure survey towards the end of the year, and in the light of those results to assess calmly and rationally the appropriate level of payments for all recipients, including the elderly.

"Thirdly, the timing is also impossible for this year's Budget.

"Members are well aware that expenditure decisions are taken well in advance of the Budget Speech, and that we cannot at the last minute find large recurrent sums."

Sir Hamish said the Government shared the underlying wish of the community and of many LegCo members to provide greater protection and support for the elderly.

"We wish to relieve the financial anxieties of old age. But we must do so in a manner which ensures that we consider other valid claims on our sympathy and on our inevitably limited resources," he said.

Sir Hamish said the Government must maintain the discipline of not letting expenditure grow faster than the economy.

"We therefore have to set priorities," he added, "and setting priorities means that if you give a high priority to one area you must give a lower priority to another area."

Sir Hamish added that since 1971, the standard rate for a single elderly person had increased by 23 times whereas inflation had increased by a mere six times over the same period.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

15

The 1994-95 outturn ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Expenditure this year will be $165.8 billion, some $3.1 billion less than the original forecast - a difference of less than two percent, the Financial Secretary, the Hon Sir Hamish Macleod, said today (Wednesday) ii^the Legislative Council.

Sir Hamish noted in his Budget Speech that underestimating surpluses had a long history in Hong Kong but this year’s was on target as the surplus for 1994-95 was in line with the original estimate of $7.7 billion.

"In overall terms, this outcome has arisen because modest underspending has been offset by equally modestly reduced revenue," he said.

Sir Hamish pointed out that some $2.0 billion of the underspending was due to reduced equity injections into the Provisional Airport Authority and MTRC as a result of the protracted negotiations on the airport financing package.

There had also been underspending of $3.5 billion from the Capital Works Reserve Fund because of delays in land resumption and slippage in capital works.

However, this was partly offset by the fact that expenditure from the Loan Fund would be $3.1 billion more than forecast, mainly because of loans granted to the Housing Society to meet the land premia due for sites under the Sandwich Class Housing Scheme (for which no provision was made in the original estimate).

The underspending of $3.5 billion from the Capital Works Reserve Fund was less than 11 per cent of the original estimate (excluding debt interest and repayment of $2.4 billion). In percentage terms, this level of underspending was a further continuation of the much improved performance achieved in 1993-94.

He said: "Members will recall the severe underspending which we experienced in 1991-92 and 1992-93 and the steps which we have taken to overcome this problem.

"Given the lead time required for major capital projects, it will be some time before we see the full impact of our remedial measures reflected in actual spending performance.

"Nevertheless, considerable progress has already been achieved."

Sir Hamish said expenditure in 1994-95 represented a growth of around 40 per cent in real terms over the level in 1991-92.

16

"Our forecasts assume that this progressive improvement will continue," he added.

Sir Hamish pointed out that revenue for this financial year was expected to be some $3.1 billion less than the original forecast, owing to main reasons set out as follows:

First, it was estimated that the share of revenue from land premia would be $3.4 billion less than originally forecast. While land prices generally had been in line with expectations, the disposal of a number of sites was deferred until the final quarter of the financial year. Because of the sharing arrangements with the future Special Administrative Region Government, the proceeds from land sold in the final quarter of 1994-95 would not be received until 1995-96.

Secondly, in the original estimate, the Government had anticipated recovering $2.7 billion from the Mass Transit Railway Corporation for works undertaken by the Government in connection with the airport railway. However, this had now been deferred to 1995-96 as a result of the delay in reaching agreement with China on the financing details.

* Thirdly, these shortfalls in revenue had been partially offset by higher than expected interest earnings of $1.6 billion on the fiscal reserves as a result of the rise in interest rates.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

Draft expenditure estimates 1995-96 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Total government expenditure (excluding payments from the Capital Investment Fund) in 1995-96 will amount to $169.7 billion, an increase of $23.7 billion over the original estimate for 1994-95.

This was announced by the Financial Secretary, the Hon Sir Hamish Macleod, in his Budget Speech delivered today (Wednesday) to the Legislative Council.

17

”In drawing up the estimates of expenditure, as I explained earlier when outlining my budget strategy, our first expenditure priority has been to provide funds to meet the targets announced by the Governor in his Policy Addresses to this Council and to implement the initiatives published by Branch Secretaries in their Policy Commitments in October 1994,” he said.

Sir Hamish then outlined some of the highlights of these extensive improvements.

* For the elderly, the Government would implement the recommendations of the Working Group on Care for the Elderly, involving both welfare and medical services. It would provide an extra 1,489 places in care and attention homes, an additional 23 social centres, four day care centres, three multi-service centres and two elderly health centres.

For children, the Government would provide an extra 1,400 day nursery places and 250 day creche places.

* For people with a disability, the Government would provide an extra 1,287 residential places, 1,008 day places and 471 pre-school places.

* For children and single parents, the standard Comprehensive Social Security Assistance payments would be increased from April 1 by $205 a month for children and by $200 a month for single parents. In addition, full-time students aged 19-21 would receive the standard rate for children instead of the standard rate for adults, giving them between $420 and $555 more a month. On top of these improvements, there would be the normal increases to compensate for inflation.

* For the sick, the Government would provide an extra 807 hospital beds, hospice care for an extra 400 patients a year, expanded dialysis facilities and improved care for sufferers from diabetes and heart disease.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

18

Budget process explained * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

It is an essential feature of any administration which is both accountable and cost-conscious that its policies are carefully considered and that its programmes are meticulously planned, the Financial Secretary, the Hon Sir Hamish Macleod, said today (Wednesday).

Delivering his Budget Speech in the Legislative Council, he pointed out that the 1994 Policy Commitments set out 337 new, fully-costed initiatives and these were in addition to the 221 specific undertakings announced in the 1992 and 1993 Policy Addresses.

"It would be surprising if the Government could come forward today, only six months after the last Policy Address, with a further list of major policy proposals.

’’This means that most of the new proposals which the Government wants to bring forward will be announced in the annual Policy Address,” Sir Hamish said.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

New initiatives for 1995 spelt out ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Financial Secretary, the Hon Sir Hamish Macleod, today (Wednesday) outlined some of the new spending initiatives in his Budget Speech.

He said in the Legislative Council that it might be possible to make resources available in the Budget for new spending initiatives as explained in the budget strategy to tackle pressing problems.

One of the new spending initiatives is for improvements in kindergarten education.

Sir Hamish said the Governor announced in his last year's Policy Address that the Government would raise the quality of kindergarten education by upgrading the training and qualifications of teachers and by requiring kindergartens to employ a minimum percentage of trained teachers.

19

"Thes; initiatives have been well-received. However, Members of this Council have been unanimous in arguing that teachers must be adequately paid if they are to have sufficient incentive to improve their qualifications.

"Members have therefore proposed more direct help to enable kindergartens to employ trained teachers.

"We are sympathetic to this proposal, and accept that improvements are clearly needed. We are looking urgently at how best to achieve this, and resources have been earmarked for this purpose," he said.

Apart from kindergarten education, Sir Hamish said the Government also recognised the need to look at the child care centre sector.

"My colleagues, the Secretary for Education and Manpower and the Secretary for Health and Welfare, are working together enthusiastically to produce early proposals on the best way forward in these two vital areas for our young children," he said.

On support for nurses, Sir Hamish said the Government would be able to implement further improvements in the training and role of nurses in addition to the measures announced in last year's Policy Address.

"We will increase the number of first-year first-degree places in nursing from 40 to 180 over three years; upgrade the qualifications of nursing tutors; ana employ more health care assistants to relieve nurses of their non-professional duties.

"These measures will help us to raise still further the quality of care in our hospitals and clinics," he said.

On health promotion, Sir Hamish noted that tobacco was the single most preventable cause of death and the Government would introduce further anti-smoking legislation.

*

In parallel with this, the Government will intensify health education and publicity by setting up a Health Care and Promotion Fund with an injection of $80 million.

This fund will be used for two purposes, to increase educational research and other activities to promote awareness of health issues.

20

Sir Hamish also suggested to provide financial1 assistance to the small number of patients every year who suffered from rare diseases which required medical treatment which was so specialised that it was not available in Hong Kong.

As for the purchase of welfare premises, Sir Hamish acknowledged that the Government was falling behind in its efforts to meet some key targets for social welfare and rehabilitation, mainly because of difficulties in finding sufficient premises.

"We have taken a fresh look at this problem and concluded that a workable solution is to buy premises in private developments. We will be seeking the approval of Finance Committee to spend about S2.5 billion on the purchase of premises over the next two years," he said.

<•

These premises will be used to accommodate, amongst other things, 20 day nurseries, 10 day creches, six multi-service centres for the elderly, 28 social centres for the elderly and 13 home help centres.

"As a result, and subject, of course, to Members' approval, we can now be more confident that we will be able to meet the key targets in these areas by 1997," he said.

For improving safety, Sir Hamish pointed out that the Secretary’ for Works had initiated a comprehensive review of the programme for improving the safety’ of slopes and retaining walls after the Kwun Lung Lau tragedy last July.

To speed up this programme, which involves over 10,000 sites, the Government will provide 130 additional staff for the Geotechnical Engineering Office and 30 additional staff for the Buildings Department.

Sir Hamish said: "This should allow us to complete the programme over the next five years, a full 10 years earlier than originally planned.

"We will also be appointing 34 extra staff in the Buildings Department to set up a permanent team dedicated to monitoring safety on construction and demolition sites.

"This will help us to minimise the risk of a repetition of the appalling accident that occurred last September at a Nathan Road construction site.”

- 21 -

Turning to the duplicate Tsing Yi South Bridge to cope with the growth in container traffic, Sir Hamish said the Government had decided to make preparations for the bridge to be built separately rather than waiting for the development of Container Terminal 9.

The Government will soon ask the Finance Committee for the approval of funding estimated at just over $1 billion, he said.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

HK makes substantial improvement in social services ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Sustained economic growth and prudent management of public finances enable Hong Kong to make substantial real improvements in the social services, the Financial Secretary, the Hon Sir Hamish Macleod, said today (Wednesday) in the Legislative Council.

Sir Hamish said in his Budget Speech that these improved services would bring real benefits to a high proportion of the community.

He noted that total public spending, including some of the new initiatives, would grow in real terms: on education by 5.5 per cent; on health by 7.7 per cent and on social welfare by 24.1 per cent.

”1 am happy to be able to reassure Members that despite these improvements, and despite our peak spending on the Airport Core Programme, we remain within our spending guidelines.

"We have continued to contain the growth in government expenditure over time in line with the growth in the economy, the first priority in my budget strategy," he said.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

22

Revenue proposals to reward enterprise and promote equity ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

In framing the revenue proposals this year, the Financial Secretary, the Hon Sir Hamish Macleod, said he had had very much in mind the principles of rewarding enterprise and promoting equity as in his last three Budget Speeches.

Speaking in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday), he noted that the benefits to the taxpayers of the reductions and reforms of the past three years had been very considerable.

’’Obviously, the scope for reform of our already very simple tax system is limited, as is the scope for further reductions if the revenue base is not to be unduly eroded.

"In addition, during the transition it is particularly desirable to keep our reserves at a healthy level.

"This has to be a key element in our budget strategy.

"My consultations with Members of this Council suggest that the community shares this judgment.

"I therefore believe that a cautious approach is justified in considering tax measures which would draw on the reserves.

"Nevertheless, I am still in a position to be able to recommend to this Council a number of useful tax concessions, whilst at the same time forecasting higher reserves.

"To put it the other way round, I am sure it is right that, having secured the funding of the Government’s programmes, both capital and recurrent, and having added significantly to the already substantial reserves, we should take any remaining opportunity to reduce the tax burden, especially on those with special needs," Sir Hamish said.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

23

Tax concessions for those with special needs *****

The Financial Secretary, the Hon Sir Hamish Macleod, today (Wednesday) proposed in his Budget Speech to the Legislative Council salaries tax concessions for those with special needs and a 10 per cent tax cut for the majority of salaries taxpayers.

These improvements in tax concessions would reduce the tax burden of some 96 per cent of salaries taxpayers.

For those with special needs, Sir Hamish proposed:

to double the additional dependent parent and grandparent allowances, from $3,000 to $6,000, for those parents or grandparents living with the taxpayer.

* to increase the child allowance for the third to ninth child to $11,000. (The existing level of allowance ranges from $1,000 to $3,000.)

* to increase the single-parent allowance by 25 per cent, from $32,000 to $40,000.

* to introduce a new allowance of $11,000 for a disabled dependant, defined as someone who is eligible to claim an allowance under the Government's Disability Allowance Scheme. An estimated 30,000 taxpayers would benefit from this new concession. This allowance would be in addition to any allowance already being claimed by the taxpayer for the disabled family member in question.

And for the majority of salaries taxpayers, he proposed:

* to increase by 10 per cent the basic allowance, from $72,000 to $79,000.

* to increase by 10 per cent the married person's allowance, from

$144,000 to $158,000.

to increase the allowance for the first and second child by 10 per cent, from $20,000 to $22,000.

* to increase the basic dependent parent and grandparent allowances by 10 per cent, from $20,000 to $22,000.

24

Sir Hamish gave the following examples to illustrate the benefits of the proposed tax concessions to taxpayers.

A single-parent family with two children will have to eam more than $13,500 a month before paying any tax. At present, this family would be liable to pay tax when its earnings exceeded $12,000 a month.

* A single-income family of five, with two children and one disabled dependent parent or grandparent living with the family, will have to eam more than $20,000 a month before paying any tax. At present, this family would be liable to pay tax when its earnings exceeded $17,200 a month.

A single-income family of four with a monthly income of $ 18,000 will have its tax bill cut by some 81 per cent. It will pay less than $24 a month in tax.

* The typical sandwich-class family with monthly earnings of $22,000 will have its tax bill cut by 37 per cent. It will pay only $428 a month in tax.

The proposed concessions will take effect from the year of assessment starting on April 1, 1995.

Sir Hamish estimated that they would cost $1.2 billion in 1995-96 and $7.7 billion up to 1998-99.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

No changes in corporate tax *****

The Financial Secretary, the Hon Sir Hamish Macleod, proposed in his Budget Speech today (Wednesday) no changes in the level of corporate tax.

However, he informed the Legislative Council that he would ask the Board of Inland Revenue to review one important aspect of the capital allowances which could be claimed against profits tax.

25

Sir Hamish said: "In addition to the generous initial allowance of 60 per cent -which should itself probably be reviewed on some future occasion - qualifying expenditure attracts an annual allowance of 10 per cent, 20 per cent or 30 per cent, depending on the type of plant and machinery involved.

"The categorisation into one of these three levels has a significant effect on the tax bill in any particular year.

"I will be asking the Board of Inland Revenue to review the classification of the items which fall into the three categories of annual allowance, to ensure it is fair and objective," he said.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

Estate duty exemption level rises to $6 million * ♦ ♦ ♦ *

The Financial Secretary, the Hon Sir Hamish Macleod, proposed today (Wednesday) in his Budget Speech to raise the exemption level of estate duty from $5.5 million to $6 million to offset the effect of inflation.

Above that level, he proposed that estate duty be payable at 6 per cent on estates between $6 million and $7 million; 12 per cent for estates between $7 million and $8 million; and 18 per cent on estates over $8 million.

The cost of this proposal will be $20 million in 1995-96 and $100 million up to 1998-99.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

26

Tobacco and fuel duties up eight per cent

*****

The Financial Secretary, the Hon Sir Hamish Macleod, proposed today (Wednesday) in his Budget Speech in the Legislative Council to raise tobacco and fuel duties by eight per cent to keep pace with inflation.

Sir Hamish noted that revenue from tobacco duty decreased substantially in 1993-94 because of increased smuggling of cigarettes and decided last year to maintain duty rates at their existing levels so as not to aggravate the problem of smuggling.

"I also promised to step up our efforts to tackle the tobacco smugglers by setting up a 40-strong task force in the Customs and Excise Department," he said.

Since its establishment in April last year, the task force has proved extremely effective in tackling the problem.

Revenue from duty-paid cigarettes had increased by 28 per cent in the first nine months of this financial year.

Reports indicate that the black market price of cigarettes has also increased markedly.

"This is a very welcome improvement. We will continue to tackle the smugglers through targeted investigations and intelligence gathering.

"Nevertheless, given the substantially improved situation, I consider that an inflation-related adjustment in the duty rate is now needed to preserve the deterrent effect of this tax," he said.

On fuel tax, Sir Hamish proposed to increase the duty on petrol and hydrocarbon oils by 8 per cent to keep pace with inflation.

The proposed increases in fuel duty and tobacco duty come into effect under a Public Revenue Protection Order issued today.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

27

No changes in alcohol duty *****

The simple ad valorem duty system introduced last year to achieve greater equity between imported and locally manufactured alcohol products, and between high and low value products of the same category had been generally successful.

This was stated by the Financial Secretary, the Hon Sir Hamish Macleod, today (Wednesday) in the Legislative Council.

"The ordinary consumer has benefited considerably from the effects of greater competition at the lower end of the market, with greater choice and cheaper products now available.

"Such are the benefits of an ad valorem system. 1 do not propose therefore any change in the basic system," he said.

As for a proposal to apply a "cap" to the duty payable on the more expensive products, Sir Hamish said he was not entirely lacking in sympathy with this suggestion, given that at the higher end, the duty had undoubtedly increased.

"But whilst my heart, and my palate, urge sympathy, my intellect tells me to make no such change.

"These are early days to assess fully the impact of the system, but there is no evidence yet to suggest that the new system has resulted in reduced revenue yields at this upper end of the market, though there has been a drop in dutiable quantities.

"To apply a cap would also undermine the logic of the new system which is based on the simple principle of vertical equity.

"I have had to conclude that such a cap is not justified. But we will undertake to review the situation again in the light of revenue yields over a longer period," he said.

End/Wednesday. March 1. 1995

28

Stepping up tax enforcement ♦ * * * *

An additional field audit team would be established to step up the campaign on tax evasion, the Financial Secretary, the Hon Sir Hamish Macleod, said today (Wednesday) in the Legislative Council.

This would bring the total to eight teams. In addition, new legislation would be introduced to fight tax avoidance and evasion.

In his Budget Speech, Sir Hamish noted that the Inland Revenue Department's investigation and field audit staff have tackled over 3,500 cases and obtained more than $2.7 billion in back tax and penalties in the past three years.

Sir Hamish said he found the findings of a recent Inland Revenue Department Survey of the problem of substantial under-reporting of income by some professionals were alarming and the situation unacceptable.

Of the 4,500 businesses surveyed, it was found that 60 per cent did not issue receipts or only issued them on request; only 45 per cent kept a full set of books and accounts; and 40 per cent did not keep sufficient records to enable their taxable profits to be readily ascertained.

He said: "Clearly, we cannot rely on self-regulation alone.

"1 propose, therefore, to bring forward legislation to specify clearly the minimum records which a business must keep, and to increase the maximum fine for non-compliance.

"In simple terms, a business will be required to keep the records necessary to enable all business transactions to be traced, explained and verified through the accounting system.

"I hope that these new measures will reduce the temptation by some to underreport their business income.

"For those still unable to resist temptation, these measures will help the tax inspector to detect evasion more effectively.

"And. if even this still does not produce the desired results, we will need to go one step further and legislate also to make the issue of receipts mandatory."

29

Turning to tax avoidance, Sir Hamish announced the Government's intention to remedy by legislation the increasingly widespread use of service companies to avoid or to significantly reduce tax liability.

There are two types of case that are of special concern. The first amounts to an attempt to disguise what is, in substance, an employer-employee relationship.

The second involves the payment of inflated management fees by a firm to a service company that is controlled by the firm's proprietor or its partners.

Following consultations with LegCo members and professionals, the Government had now modified its proposals in a way which would achieve the basic objectives while meeting the concerns raised about the equity and effectiveness of the original approach.

"In brief. I now propose to deal with the first type of case by legislation but to deal with the second type by a Practice Note which will be issued by the Commissioner of Inland Revenue.

"We aim to introduce the legislation into this Council and to issue the Practice Note by the end of this month.

"I hope that this pragmatic compromise will meet with Members' approval," Sir Hamish said.

End/Wednesday. March 1. 1995

Small deficit for 1995-96

*****

The Financial Secretary, the Hon Sir Hamish Macleod. envisaged in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday) a "very small deficit" of $2.6 billion in 1995-96.

"This is equal to less than 2 per cent of government expenditure. Compared with a surplus of $7.7 billion in 1994-95, it is mildly expansionary," Sir Hamish said.

He said an overall surplus would be returned from 1996-97 onwards, a year earlier than previously forecast.

30

"Only in the coming financial year, when our investment in the Airport Core Programme peaks, will it be necessary to draw on our reserves, and even then to a much smaller extent than previously expected," he said.

"We shall continue to see a healthy surplus on our operating account throughout the forecast period."

Sir Hamish said there were two main reasons for this improvement in the financial prospects compared with the earlier forecast.

"First, rising interest rates add to the earnings which our fiscal reserves generate.

"Secondly, on the expenditure side, the forecast reflects a more realistic assessment of our capacity to increase spending on public works.

"Thus, we are now assuming a level of spending below that predicted in the previous Medium Range Forecast," he said.

Sir Hamish also explained that the forecast was based on two assumptions: GDP growth would maintain at 5 per cent and a conservative approach to the forecasts of revenue from land premia.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

Reserves in 1997

*****

The Government's fiscal reserves on March 31, 1997, shortly before the transfer of sovereignty, will stand at an impressive $151 billion, the financial Secretary, the Hon Sir Hamish Macleod, said in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday).

"This is a ver}' reassuring cushion, and some $31 billion more than I was forecasting a year ago."

Sir Hamish noted that the future Special Administrative Region (SAR) Government would receive the full proceeds from land sales, and would collect rents from the extension of New Territories leases from July 1. 1997.

31

The Medium Range Forecast shows a surplus of $33 billion in both 1997-98 and 1998-99, the Financial Secretary said.

After taking full account of the SAR Government Land Fund, the Medium Range Forecast predicts total reserves at March 31, 1999 of $361 billion.

This represents about 1.4 times total government expenditure forecast for 1998-99.

"I believe that this would be the highest ratio of reserves to spending achieved in the history of Hong Kong," Sir Hamish said.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

Consultations with China on 1997-98 Budget

*****

To prepare for the 1997-98 Budget, the Government has proposed a four-stage programme of briefings for a designated team of experts on how Hong Kong manages its public finances, the Financial Secretary, the Hon Sir Hamish Macleod, said in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday).

The four-stage programme is:

* First, a general background briefing on the Government's fiscal and budgetary systems has been offered.

* Secondly, a series of seminars would explain in more detail the key elements of the Government's budgetary system and procedures, such as the Medium Range Forecast, the annual Resource Allocation Exercise, the draft Estimates and revenue policy.

* Thirdly, this expert team will be invited to observe each stage of the planning and preparation process for the 1996-97 Budget. This will enable Finance Branch to explain every aspect of the budgetary process.

* Fourthly, starting from April 1996, the Hong Kong Government would consult the Chinese Government over the contents of the 1997-98

Budget.

32

"We hope that our Chinese colleagues will find this a constructive approach and that our subsequent exchanges will be a major contribution to a smooth and stable transition in 1997," Sir Hamish said.

Sir Hamish added that in order to fulfil the Governor's pledge to co-operate fully with the Chinese Government over the transfer of assets to the Special Administrative Region Government and over the preparation of the 1997-98 Budget, the Government had handed over to the Chinese Government a list of property assets owned by the Hong Kong Government.

He said it was a formidable document, covering everything from schools to police stations.

The inventory will be updated regularly.

End/Wednesday. March 1, 1995

Prudent in public spending

*****

In concluding his Budget Speech, the Financial Secretary, the Hon Sir Hamish Macleod, summed up the Government's fiscal policy in a Chinese saying: "The way to make a country prosperous is to be prudent in public spending, to improve the wellbeing of the people and to maintain good reserves".

Sir Hamish said: "As long as we continue to abide by the principles encapsulated in this quotation, I am confident that Hong Kong will enjoy many more years of growth and prosperity."

Sir Hamish recalled that when he was first appointed Financial Secretary in 1991. many believed that the elections that year which gave Hong Kong, for the first time in its history, a LegCo with an elected majority, would force the traditional consensus on economic policy and priorities go.

"In fact, we have clearly not paid an economic penalty for constitutional reform.

"On the contrary, our economic success has continued, as has the broad political consensus on how to manage our publie finances.

33

"We have good reason as a community to be proud of what we have achieved, and to be self-confident about our ability to deal with the challenges of the future."

Citing achievements in the area of public finance since 1991, the Financial Secretary noted that taxation had been reduced for almost every salaried employee; dramatic improvements had been made in public services, and yet public spending had been kept firmly under control, at less than 20 per cent of GDP; and $46 billion had been added to the Government's reserves.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

TV broadcast by the FS *****

Following is the speech by the Financial Secretary, Sir Hamish Macleod, at tonight’s (Wednesday) TV broadcast:

Good evening.

This afternoon I presented my fourth and last Budget to the Legislative Council. When I began working on this Budget, I asked myself the same question that I asked when 1 prepared my first Budget. What can 1 do to help keep Hong Kong successful, stable and prosperous?

The Government cannot create prosperity, but it can ensure that business has the freedom and the opportunity to generate the wealth that Hong Kong needs. Government also has an important role to play in providing the infrastructure that enables our economy to expand. The Airport Core Programme is the most spectacular example of the investment that we are making in Hong Kong’s infrastructure. But it is only one of many projects designed to ensure that I long Kong can continue to prosper in the years ahead.

We also have important social responsibilities to fulfil. For example, to provide education and training for our children. To maintain law and order. To provide subsidised housing for those who cannot afford private housing. And to look after the sick, the disadvantaged and the disabled.

In Hong Kong, 1 do not think there is any serious disagreement about these fundamental policies. That is why I have called my Budget "Prosperity through Consensus".

34

Some have expressed doubts about our future prosperity. They worry that the decline in retail spending and in stock and property prices is a signal that the economy is heading for trouble.

But I see no reason to be pessimistic. The economic prospects for our major trading partners are better than they have been for some years. The OECD has forecast that the economies of the United States and the European Union will grow by 3% this year. And then there is the continued growth of the Chinese economy. The growth rate in China this year may not be as dramatic as in previous years but it is still likely to be very high by international standards. All this will increase the demand for our goods and services, particularly our services which are now the backbone of our economy.

I have taken a realistic approach to our economic prospects. 1 have not ignored the uncertainties on the horizon or the problems that could affect us. But, at the same time, I have not exaggerated the difficulties. I expect our economy to grow by 5.5% in 1995. What that means in practice is that we can look forward to another year of low unemployment, rising real incomes and higher living standards.

We have seen some progress in the battle against inflation. The measures we introduced last year to deter property speculators helped to reduce residential prices. Higher interest rates have also helped to contain inflation. But, as I have said many times before, we must face the fact that, as long as our economy continues to grow, the pressure on prices will remain. This is why I expect to see little change in inflation in 1995.

Our continued economic growth means that we can afford to make further improvements in the quality of our public services. For example, in the coming financial year, we will increase total public spending on education by 5.5%, on health by 7.7% and on social welfare by 24.1%. These will be real increases, over and above inflation.

These additional funds will allow us to implement the 337 proposals announced in last year's Policy Address, including real increases in social security payments for single parents and children, over 800 new hospital beds and almost 1,500 new places for the elderly in care and attention homes. I have also been able to announce some new initiatives. We will start preparing for the construction of the Duplicate Tsing Yi South Bridge to relieve the traffic congestion on Tsing Yi. We will also be spending about S2.5 billion to buy premises for welfare services which will help us to meet the key targets set by the Governor in his 1992 Policy Address.

35

One problem I have not been able to resolve in this Budget is retirement protection for the elderly. Our proposal for an old age pension did not receive sufficient support, and so we have to think again. But let me assure you that, one way or another, we will do all we can to solve this problem.

Over the last three years, the healthy state of our finances has allowed me to introduce tax concessions that have eased the burden on practically every tax payer. The proportion of the workforce paying no salaries tax has gone up from 49% to 62%. The proportion of the workforce paying salaries tax at the standard rate has gone down from 5% to 2%. These are very substantial improvements.

Obviously we cannot be so generous every year. As always, we have to think of the future, and be mindful of the risks facing an economy as open as ours. We need an adequate cushion to protect us against future uncertainties. Nonetheless, the underlying strength of our finances means that we can afford to make some further tax concessions.

This afternoon, I have proposed to increase most personal allowances by 10%, slightly more than the rate of inflation. I have also proposed a number of concessions for those who have special needs. I have proposed a 25% increase in the single parent allowance; a doubling of the allowance for a dependent parent or grandparent living with the taxpayer; and the introduction of a new allowance for disabled dependants.

My proposals will mean that 96% of taxpayers will pay less tax in future. To give you just one example. A typical sandwich class family with a monthly income of $22,000 will have its tax bill cut by 37%.

For the coming financial year, I expect a small deficit of $2.6 billion, largely because our expenditure on the Airport Core Programme will peak during this period. Despite this deficit I expect our reserves in future years to be even stronger than previously forecast. I now estimate that the reserves at 31 March 1997 will stand at $151 billion. The new SAR government will have a very reassuring cushion with which to face the future.

I have not proposed any drastic or dramatic changes in this Budget. I make no apologies for that. The advice I received in my consultations with Members of LegCo suggested that what the community wanted at this time of transition was a steady and cautious Budget. And that is what I have delivered.

36

Hong Kong has succeeded precisely because its policies have been stable and consistent. These policies are summed up in the quotation that appears on the cover of my Budget Speech. It is a quotation taken from a work written by a Chinese scholar -Xunzi - over two thousand years ago. It reads -

"The way to make a country prosperous is to be prudent in public spending, to improve the well-being of the people and to maintain good reserves."

I am sure that my successor will maintain these policies, and that, like me, he will do his best for the people of Hong Kong.

Good night.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

Putonghua as school subject ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Eric Li Ka-cheung and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Michael Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

With regard to the development of education to meet the needs of the territory during the transitional period, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the respective numbers of primary and secondary schools with Putonghua designated as a compulsory or optional subject in the 1994-95 academic year, and their respective percentages out of the total numbers of primary and secondary schools in the territory;

(b) whether it will consider including Putonghua as a compulsory subject in the curricula of the territory’s primary and secondary schools; if not, what the reasons are;

(c) of the total number of qualified Putonghua teachers in the 1994-95 academic year, and whether this number can meet the present demand of teachers for this subject; and

37

(d) how many teachers the Hong Kong Institute of Education plans to train in the teaching of Putonghua in each of the next three academic years?

Reply :

Mr President,

(a) The numbers of primary and secondary schools offering Putonghua as a subject in their curriculum in the academic year 1994-95, and their respective percentages out of the total number of primary and secondary schools in the territory are as follows :

Number offering As a percentage Level Putonghua ofthe total

Secondary schools 173 38.3%

Primary schools 446 46.7%

(b) The Curriculum Development Council recommended that Putonghua should be offered as an optional subject in the school curriculum taking into consideration the time constraint in the existing curriculum and the availability of suitable Putonghua teachers. The Education Department considers such advice realistic as it allows schools greater flexibility to offer a curriculum more suited to their own circumstances.

(c) There is no formal qualification prescribed for teachers of Putonghua. The Education Department offers special training programmes for Putonghua teachers. Up to December 1994, 3377 serving teachers have been trained under these programmes. It is difficult to assess whether this number is sufficient to meet the demand as it is expected that more schools will want to offer Putonghua as a subject. Nevertheless, the Education Department is prepared to expand its on-going training programmes if there is any unmet demand.

(d) The Hong Kong Institute of Education plans to train the following number of pre-service and in-service teachers in 1995-98 :

38

Teachers expected to be trained

1995/96 1996/27. 1997/98

Putonghua as an elective 71 91 96

subject in Pre-Service

Certificate in

Education Course

In-service Courses 790 790 790

for Putonghua

Teachers

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

Robberies in elevators

*****

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 :

Following several incidents in which robbers appeared from elevator shafts in Tuen Mun in 1993, there were indications that this type of robberies had become active in Sha Tin last year. Will the Government inform this Council

(a) of the number of such cases which had occurred in the territory in the past two years;

(b) what measures the authorities concerned have adopted to prevent such cases from occurring; whether the recurrence of similar cases indicates that the measures taken have been ineffective; and

(c) how the recurrence of such cases can be prevented in the future, so as to safeguard the life and property of the public?

39

Reply :

Mr President,

(a) We have not kept specific statistics on lift shaft robberies on a territorywide basis. However, we believe that the number of such cases is very small in comparison with the number of robberies occuring in lifts, which was 1,219 in 1993 and 1,221 in 1994.

(b) The Police have adopted specific measures to tackle the occurrence of lift shaft robberies in consultation with the Housing Department and the Fire Services Department. In public housing estates, the lift compartments were sealed by way of a "spot-welding" method to prevent access from the trap door of the lift-car. The Police have also set up observation posts in the proximity of the plant areas in identified blackspots to closely monitor the situation. In so far as occurrence of such incidents in public housing estates in the new towns is concerned, we are aware that 8 cases were reported in Tuen Mun in 1993 but none in 1994; and none reported in Shatin in 1993 but 3 cases in 1994. There is no indication that this kind of robberies is on the rise or prevalent in the territory.

(c) The Police have taken steps to tackle such robberies at two levels. At the district level, the district intelligence units scrutinise crime reports to identify emerging crime techniques and specific culprits active in particular areas. This approach offers the greatest flexibility in dealing with a crime which is carried out by a relatively small number of individuals, operating in localised areas most familiar to them.

At the headquarters level, the Crime Prevention Bureau of the Police Headquarters maintains close liaison with the Housing Department to advise on the provision of safety features in lift designs. Since November 1994, the Housing Department has also launched a major programme to upgrade the provision of security measures for all public housing estates. This includes the installation of close circuit televisions (CCTV) in the lift cars of all rental blocks which are linked to a control room for central monitoring. The system also permits residents to monitor any of the lifts in his block through a television set. Apart from the installation of CCTV's inside lifts, the Housing Department has also installed entrance gates with security-coded access and 24-hour towerguard service in some of the estates. Patrol by estate officers is also provided as necessary. The proposed package to upgrade the security in public housing estates and other preventive measures adopted by the Police will help combat robbery cases occurring inside lifts.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

40

Building of primary schools ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Cheung Man-kwong and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Michael Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In 1993 and 1994, the Education Department surrendered 14 sites reserved for building primary schools mainly for the reason that those sites did not meet the proposed area requirement. In this regard, will the Government inform this Council whether it will consider utilising 25 existing sites reserved for primary schools, which also fail to meet the area requirement, with some flexibility so that a certain number of whole-day primary schools with a smaller capacity than the proposed ones (e.g. with accommodation for 12 classes only) can be built to provide different types of schools for students to choose from on the one hand, and to attain the target of providing whole-day primary schooling as soon as possible on the other?

Reply:

Mr President,

Our present policy is to build standard primary schools with 30 classrooms because they are generally more cost-effective and efficient in providing more school places to meet the demand. However, the Government is prepared to be flexible to build small size schools in special circumstances, for example, in areas where there is a persistent shortfall of school places and the extent of such a shortfall is not large enough to warrant the building of a standard school. The Education Department will continue to consider making the best use of the reserved sites.

As to the whole-day primary schools, all new primary schools are planned to operate on a whole day basis and existing primary schools will be converted to whole day operation insofar as this will not adversely affect the supply of school places. This is being implemented.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

41

Two-way permit holders working in HK ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Emily Lau Wai- hing and a written reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In view of the complaints about the serious situation of visitors on Two-way Permits from mainland China who are found working during their period of stay in the territory, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether Chinese visitors holding Two-way Permits are allowed to work in the territory; and

(b) if the answer to (a) is in the negative, whether any such visitors were caught by the Government for breaching the relevant provisions last year; if so, what the number was and what was the proportion of those caught to the total number of Two-way Permit holders visiting the territory; and whether these offenders will be prosecuted and prohibited from visiting the territory again within a certain period of time?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) Chinese visitors on Two-way Permits are not permitted to work in Hong

Kong.

(b) Last year, some 27,250 or 5% of the total number of Two-way Permit holders had overstayed, and 1,730 (or 0.3% of the total) were arrested for engaging in unauthorised work. A total of 6,720 Two- way Permit visitors were also prosecuted for overstaying. Of those arrested for taking up unauthorised employment, 1,684 were also prosecuted. Blatant offenders will be scrutinised on their future visits and may be refused entry.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

42

Measures to reduce congestion at airport arrivals hall

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Eric Li Ka-cheung and a written reply by the Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Gordon Siu, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

As private cars are not allowed to park temporarily on the road outside the arrival area of the Hong Kong International Airport for picking up or setting down passengers, arriving travellers requiring pick-up by private cars have to push their large luggage trolleys to the lift lobby in the arrival area and take the lift to get to the car park on the second floor or above, thus causing heavy congestion in the lift lobby area. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council whether :

(a) escalators or passenger conveyors will be installed for the exclusive use of arriving travellers not using luggage trolleys to enable them to get to the car park more quickly;

(b) ramps for passengers and luggage trolleys will be built to link up the car park with the arrival area;

(c) luggage couriers will be employed to handle the travellers' luggage centrally and to make deliveries to various floors of the car park as requested by the travellers; and

(d) there are any plans to implement other improvement measures; if so, what the details are and when they will be implemented?

Answer:

(a) In order to reduce the congestion in the Arrivals Hall caused by arriving passengers with baggage trolleys queuing for lifts to go the multi-storey car park, we encourage those passengers with light baggage to make use of the external escalators. There are directional signs installed to guide passengers to these escalators which operate between the arrivals level and the third floor of the Passenger Terminal Building, where they can cross over by bridge to the car park.

43

(b) A preliminary assessment by the Director of Architectural Services indicates that construction of a ramp connecting the Arrivals Hall to the car park area is technically possible. However, it is anticipated that the project would take six to eight months for completion and would require substantial demolition works at the western end of the Passenger Terminal Building and the possible relocation of certain existing facilities. Given the time frame for implementation and the significant disruption which would occur during the construction period, the proposal is not considered a viable option.

(c) The Civil Aviation Department has conducted trials involving luggage couriers to transfer passengers’ baggage from the arrivals level to the third floor of the carpark, using the external escalators. The trials indicated that the placement and transfer of baggage onto the escalator was very labour intensive. As an alternative, the Department is considering the possibility of providing suitable self-help baggage trolleys which could be wheeled directly onto the escalator by the passengers themselves. An officer from the Department will shortly be visiting a number of airports which have similar arrangements to explore this option in further detail and a selection of trolleys will be acquired for further testing and evaluation at Kai Tak.

(d) As regards other improvement measures, arrangements have been put in place to assign additional Securair staff to the Arrivals Hall during the evening peak period from 6-11 pm to regulate passenger flow. There are also plans to implement other improvement measures, on a phased basis, which will be completed by the end of this year. These include :

(i) the relocation of the existing lift doors and realignment of the passenger exit ramps within the Arrivals Hall so as to segregate the lift users and greeters, thus reducing congestion around the lifts; and

(ii) the creation of additional waiting areas for greeters by relocating the Neighbourhood Police Office and concessions.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

44

Staffing of Agriculture and Fisheries Department

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Mrs Peggy Lam and a written reply the the Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Gordon Siu, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

According to available information, the number of officers in the rank of Field Officer II currently employed by the Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) is below the approved staffing establishment. Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the approved staffing establishment and the existing number of vacancies in the rank;

(b) whether the AFD has deployed any staff to monitor the operation of pet shops and snake shops on a regular basis; if so, how staff are deployed to fulfil all inspection duties when the AFD is experiencing a shortage of staff; and

(c) how snake shops are monitored to ensure that appropriate measures are adopted by these shops to prevent snakes from sneaking out of shop premises and causing nuisance to the residents nearby?

Reply:

(a) There are 152 posts of Field Officer II on the establishment of the Agriculture & Fisheries Department, of which 24 are vacant at present.

(b) The Department has deployed nine Field Officer II posts on the monitoring of licensed animal trading establishments, including pet shops and snake shops. These establishments are visited twice a month to check that health and safety regulations are being complied with. Should there be a shortage of staff to perform this work, temporary redeployment of Field Officers II from other parts of the Department will be arranged as necessary.

45

(c) It is an offence to carry on a business as an animal trader without a licence. In the case of snake traders, it is a requirement of the licence that the premises are suitable for keeping snakes and that the enclosures to be used are escape-proof. A breach of this requirement is a criminal offence. Before a licence is granted, the premises are inspected by a Veterinary Officer of the Agricultural and Fisheries Department. Thereafter, they are subject to regular inspections which ensure that the enclosures are escape-proof and maintained to the required standard.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

Cases handled by Minor Employment Claims Adjudication Board ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Pang Chun-hoi and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Michael Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

It is learnt that the Minor Employment Claims Adjudication Board intends to clear 700 cases transferred by the Labour Tribunal in six months' time, which means that each of the five adjudication officers on average handles only one case per day. Will the Government inform this Council of the reasons for the slow progress of processing these cases?

Reply :

Mr President,

In addition to cases redirected by the Labour Tribunal, the Minor Employment Claims Adjudication Board is also taking on new cases referred to it by the Labour Relations Service. The Board has so far registered 313 cases involving a total amount of $1,041,081. Among these cases, 175 were redirected from the Labour Tribunal and 138 were new ones referred by the Labour Relations Service. It is expected that the Board will be able to hear 400 to 500 new cases and clear all the cases transferred from the Labour Tribunal by end of May this year.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

46

Odour from nullah at Tsui Ping Road * * ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Fred Li Wah-ming and a reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Tony Eason, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

Regarding the unpleasant smell emitted constantly from the surface nullah in Tsui Ping Road in Kwun Tong which has caused a serious nuisance to workers working in factories nearby as well as the residents of Laguna City, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether there is any plan to cover up the nullah; if so, what the details are; if not, why not; and

(b) what short-term measures are in place to improve the present condition of the smelly nullah?

Reply :

Mr President,

(a) There is currently no plan to deck the nullah which is designed to convey stormwater to the sea, and is not meant for polluted wastewater. Decking the nullah would not eradicate the odour problem. The only effective solutions are to control the pollution at source and to divert the wastewater discharges away from the nullah and into foul sewers. The odour from the nullah at Tsui Ping Road arises mainly from domestic and commercial wastewater discharges from Sau Mau Ping and Tsui Ping Estates, which are brought to the nullah through expedient connection of foul sewage. There are also discharges of industrial effluents from Kwun Tong industrial area into that part of the nullah which is adjacent to the Laguna City. The Tsui Ping Road nullah, like other open nullahs, is an essential hydraulic structure for discharging stormwater during rainstorms. Regular inspection and desilting can be conducted more effectively and economically in an open nullah than in a decked nullah. Decking an open nullah is a costly civil engineering exercise which makes it difficult to enter the nullahs and carry out desilting work with mobile plant. More importantly decking could make the situation worse because it will lead to the retention of hydrogen sulphide, the main cause of the bad odour and a gas which is potentially dangerous to the public and maintenance staff, and corrosive to the structure. Also, in busy urban areas, decking nullahs involves much disturbance to the neighbourhood.

47

(b) Regular inspection and desilting are carried out by the Drainage Services Department to ensure that the Tsui Ping Road nullah is hydraulically effective and to maintain an acceptable hygienic standard. The last cleansing work was completed in November 1994. Since the Kwun Tong area is covered by the Victoria Harbour (Phase I) Water Control Zone, all discharges in the area will be controlled through the enforcement of the Water Pollution Control Ordinance from 1 July 1995. Sewerage improvement works are also being implemented by the Drainage Services Department under the East Kowloon Sewerage Master Plan programme. The domestic and commercial discharges into the Tsui Ping Road nullah are expected to be diverted away from the nullah by mid 1996 and the industrial discharges near Laguna City by mid 1997.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

Non-local Higher and Professional Education (Regulation) Bill ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

Following is a question by the Hon Henry Tang Ying-yen and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Michael Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In the annex to the Chief Secretary’s written reply of 14 December 1994 to a question concerning the items of legislation the Government plans to introduce into this Council in 1994/95, there is one item concerning the monitoring of the provision of courses provided in the territory by non- local institutions of higher education and professional bodies. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council :-

(a) of the progress of the drafting of the relevant bill; when it is expected to be introduced into this Council for scrutiny; and

(b) whether the bill will ensure that courses provided by such institutions and professional bodies are up to the standard required; and whether the bill will require the setting up of a mechanism to monitor the operation of local education institutions acting as agents of such courses, so as to ensure that information provided by these institutions on the courses offered, including those qualifications awarded, recognition enjoyed, course duration and fees, etc, is accurate?

48

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The Administration is working on the fourth draft of the English text of the Non-local Higher and Professional Education (Regulation) Bill. It is still our aim to introduce the Bill into the Legislative Council within the current legislative session.

(b) The objective of the new regulatory framework is to ensure that the standards of the courses conducted by the non-local institutions of higher education and professional bodies in Hong Kong are recognised by the non- local institutions themselves and the accrediting authorities in their countries of origin, and that the standard of overseas courses delivered in Hong Kong would be monitored effectively to maintain them at a level comparable to those achieved on-campus in their countries of origin. Subject to verification of the information provided by the executive head of a local tertiary institution, those overseas courses offered in collaboration with a local tertiary institution would be exempt from registration. Registration of courses within the scope of the Bill, however, would be subject to verification of the information by the Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation. Subject to further legal advice Government is also considering the inclusion of provisions to prohibit irresponsible operators or agents acting on their behalf from publishing or broadcasting false or misleading information about their courses.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

49

Safety of dangerous goods

* ♦ ♦ » ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Zachary Wong Wai-yin and a written reply by the Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Gordon Siu, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The explosion of a goods vehicle carrying LPG cylinders in Tsing Hang Path, Tuen Mun, in 1992 aroused public concern about the safety of dangerous goods vehicles, and immediate action was taken by the authorities concerned to prevent similar incidents from occurring. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) what actions and measures have been adopted during the past two years to prevent the occurrence of similar incidents; and whether such actions and measures have been effective;

(b) of the number of prosecutions against the illegal parking of dangerous goods vehicles since the explosion, together with the highest and lowest penalties imposed in the convicted cases; and

(c) which sites can be used to provide parking spaces for dangerous goods vehicles; and whether the provision of such sites is adequate to meet the demand, and if not, whether additional sites have been planned and when they will be made available for use?

Reply:

The incident at Tuen Mun on 30 September 1992 involved two parked goods vehicles permitted to carry both LPG cylinders and kerosene. The kerosene on the vehicles was ignited in suspicious circumstances, engulfing the LPG cylinders and causing them to explode.

In the past two years, the Gas Authority has taken a number of measures to reduce the risk of similar incidents occurring, including prohibiting the joint conveyance of LPG and kerosene, stepping up enforcement against illegal parking of LPG cylinder wagons and looking for sites away from built-up areas where LPG cylinder wagons could be parked safely overnight. Specifically:

50

The Gas Authority has prohibited the joint conveyance of LPG and kerosene through amendments to the permit conditions for LPG cylinder wagons. These amendments have been phased in so as to allow the industry a reasonable time to comply with the new arrangements, with full implementation achieved in November 1993. The new arrangements, now strictly enforced, have reduced the possibility of a similar incident involving both commodities.

The Gas Authority has stepped up enforcement against contraventions of the permit conditions for LPG cylinder wagons, which stipulate that any vehicle laden with LPG cylinders may only be parked unattended outdoors in a non-congested area and at least 15 metres away from any building of multiple occupancy. Since the incident at Tuen Mun, the Gas Authority has taken out 78 prosecutions against the owners of illegally parked LPG cylinder wagons. Fines imposed ranged from $500 to $5,000.

For the longer term, the Gas Authority is identifying suitable sites for the overnight parking of LPG cylinder wagons. Potentially suitable sites are being assessed in consultation with the LPG suppliers and the relevant District Boards. The first such parking area will be brought into operation in Tuen Mun this month. Once the facility is in operation, the Gas Authority will amend the LPG cylinder wagon permit conditions so as to prohibit overnight parking of the vehicles elsewhere in the district.

The Gas Authority estimates that seven more such sites will commence operation in other districts over the next 18 months. The long term objective is to prohibit overnight parking of vehicles loaded with LPG cylinders in urban areas.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

51

Tolo Harbour water quality * ♦ ♦ * *

Following is a question by Rev the Hon Fung Chi-wood and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Tony Eason, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In his report of October 1994, the Director of Audit pointed out that after the commissioning of the process modification works of the Tai Po Sewage Treatment Works Stage IVA, the actual nitrogen removal rate for 1993 was only 66%, which fell far short of the target rate of 90%. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether the above removal rate is an indication that no improvement can be made to the water quality in Tolo Harbour;

(b) what further steps will be taken by the Government to improve the water quality in Tolo Harbour; and

(c) what is the present state of water quality in Tolo Harbour?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) In fact, the average nitrogen removal rate of the Tai Po Sewage Treatment Works increased to 75% in 1994. The Tai Po Sewage Treatment Works process modification to enhance nitrogen removal is only one of several actions taken under the Tolo Harbour Action Plan to reduce the discharge of nutrients into Tolo Harbour. The key action is to remove the nutrient inputs from the Sha Tin and Tai Po Sewage Treatment Works permanently by exporting the discharges from the two treatment works to Victoria Harbour via the Kai Tak nullah by implementing the Effluent Export Scheme. Construction work for the Scheme is largely complete and the Scheme should be commissioned later this year. Once the Scheme is in operation, nutrient loadings in Tolo Harbour will be greatly reduced and water quality improved. The process modification work was only intended to be an interim measure to reduce nitrogen loading pending completion of the Effluent Export Scheme and has no long-term implications for the water quality of Tolo Harbour.

52

(b) The measures taken by Government to improve the water quality of Tolo Harbour are co-ordinated under the Tolo Harbour Action Plan. This comprises, in addition to the process modification works and Effluent Export Scheme, provision of village sewerage, transfer of water treatment works sludge to Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works for marine disposal, and implementation of the Water Pollution Control Ordinance and the Livestock Waste Control Scheme including the banning of livestock keeping in new towns. Many of these measures have either been completed or are being implemented. With the planned completion of the two key measures, i.e. the Effluent Export Scheme later this year and the provision of village sewerage to unsewered areas in Sha Tin and Tai Po next year, water quality will gradually improve after 1996.

(c) While the Action Plan has prevented further decline in the water quality, major improvement will not be achieved until the remaining two key measures, i.e. the export of treated effluent to Victoria Harbour and the provision of village sewerage in unsewered areas, have been fully implemented. The waters of the Tolo Harbour continue to suffer from high nutrient levels and low dissolved oxygen in the lower layer of the water. While there has been a reduction in the number of algal blooms since 1988, there have been no other significant improvements in the last three years.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

Hong Kong/Taiwan air services

♦ * * * *

Following is a question by the Hon Henry Tang Ying-yen and a written reply by the Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Gordon Siu, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

With regard to air traffic between the territory and Taiwan, will the Government inform this Council of:

53

(a) the progress of negotiation for the renewal of the air services agreement between the territory and Taiwan which will expire at the end of April this year, and whether any discussion has been held regarding the extension of the agreement beyond 1997; and

(b) the implications on the local economy as well as the benefits to consumers resulting from Taiwan's proposed plan to designate air transportation services as "authorised enterprise", which will enable such enterprises, irrespective of whether Chinese-held shares of these enterprises exceed 20%, to invest in Taiwan as long as they are registered in the territory, thus providing airlines registered locally not yet operating Taiwan flights with the opportunity to join the competition?

Answer:

(a) Air services between Hong Kong and Taiwan are conducted under the terms of an inter- airline agreement between CPA & CAL. The current agreement expires on 29 April 1995 and discussions on this renewal are underway between the two airlines. The Hong Kong Government has no involvement in these discussions.

(b) The Hong Kong/Taiwan route is already well- served, with Cathay Pacific Airways and China Airlines operating close to 200 frequencies per week and five other airlines providing about 25 services per week. We have no indication that other Hong Kong airlines are interested in serving this route. An assessment of the impact on the market of such an operation would in any case depend on a number of variables, e.g. the operator concerned, frequency of services, quality of services, destinations, etc.

End/Wednesday. March I. 1995

54

Comprehensive Development Area zoning *****

Following is a question by the Hon Albert Chan Wai-yip and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Tony Eason, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Since the adoption of the "Comprehensive Development Area (CDA)" zoning as a guiding concept to promote co-ordinated urban renewal, the Town Planning Board has endorsed a number of CDA layout plans despite objections from the local residents, thus allowing the Land Development Corporation, the Hong Kong Housing Society and private developers to submit applications for development. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the effects of CDA zoning on the promotion of urban renewal;

(b) of the time required from the designation of a CDA to the implementation of the redevelopment scheme;

(c) whether the developers granted permission to undertake redevelopment in a CDA are required to start or complete their projects within a specified period; if so, what is the number of cases in which work has failed to commence in accordance with the schedule of the scheme, and what the reasons for the delays are;

(d) whether, in view of the adverse affects which a delay in redevelopment may have on the residents and the district concerned, consideration will be given to imposing punishment on those developers who are granted the right of development but have delayed the commencement of redevelopment projects, so as to speed up the urban renewal process; and

(e) whether CDA zoning will continue to be adopted as a guiding concept for urban renewal; if so, whether any plans have been drawn up for improving its effectiveness?

55

Answer:

Mr President,

Answers to this five-part question are as follows -

(a) The "CDA" zone is designated on statutory town plans under the Town Planning Ordinance, Cap. 131 to ensure that an area is developed/redeveloped in a comprehensive manner. It helps promote urban renewal by maximising the opportunity to provide community and open space facilities and upgrading the obsolete road network in the old urban area.

(b) Once a site is designated as "CDA" on a statutory town plan, a developer can submit a planning application to the Town Planning Board in the form of a master layout plan. There is, however, no provision under the plan or the Ordinance on when an application should be submitted.

(c) The Board normally specifies a time limit in granting planning permission including proposals in a "CDA" zone. The planning permission will cease to have effect, unless prior to the specified date either the development permitted has commenced or the planning permission is renewed.

There are 48 "CDA" zones with approved master layout plans. As at the last quarter of 1994, 14 "CDA" schemes were completed and 7 were under construction. Works on the remaining 27 "CDA" schemes have not commenced. Some are at various stages of implementation such as negotiation regarding land exchange, land assembly, resumption/clearance and assessment and payment of compensation. The pace of implementation of "CDA" zones is affected by complex factors including ownership patterns, physical site constraints, business decisions by individual developers/land owners, and the general economic climate.

(d) There is no provision under the Town Planning Ordinance to "punish" developers who are granted planning permission but fail to proceed with the redevelopment projects. The planning permission will expire if a developer does not commence work or have the permission renewed. Upon expiry of a planning permission, a fresh application to the Board is required should the developer wish to undertake the redevelopment project again.

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(e) The "CDA" zoning will continue to be used to promote urban renewal. To facilitate prospective developers' preparation of master layout plans for "CDA" sites, planning briefs are prepared to set out planning and engineering requirements. The Board reviews the implementation progress of the various "CDA" zones every five years once they have been designated on the statutory town plans.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

Plans to tackle juvenile crime * * * * *

Following is a question by the Hon Timothy Ha Wing-ho and a reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Juvenile crime has been on an upward trend, with recent statistics showing that the rate of crime committed by young people under the age of 21 in the first half of last year was 35%, and that the situation in was even more serious in new towns such as Tuen Mun where the rate reached 60%. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council whether:

(a) it has formulated any long-term policy to tackle the worsening problem of juvenile crime, if so, what the details are; if not, why not;

(b) there is any specific plan on the educational front to instil correct values in young people to prevent them from going astray; and

(c) it has formulated any new plans to improve the quality and quantity of youth activities organised by the relevant Government departments and voluntary agencies?

57

Reply:

Mr President,

The problem of young offenders remains a matter of concern to the Government. While the proportion of young persons (under 21 years of age) arrested dropped last year, the actual number of such persons arrested has increased.

Specifically, in answer to the Hon Timothy Ha's three questions:

(a) Our policy on tackling the problem of youth crime is threefold: first, to prevent its occurrence through education, family and social services, and publicity; secondly, to arrest and punish the offenders through law enforcement and the criminal justice system; and thirdly, to rehabilitate the offenders, through family, social and correctional services. Many government departments, including the Police, Correctional Services, Education and Social Welfare join forces to tackle this problem.

The Fight Crime Committee, which is chaired by the Chief Secretary and advises the Administration on measures to fight crime, gives particular attention to the problem of juvenile crime. Its Standing Committee on Young Offenders has commissioned the University of Hong Kong to conduct a research into the social causes of juvenile crime. The results of this research should help the Administration to understand the problem better so as to formulate appropriate countermeasures.

(b) The Administration recognises the importance of cultivating social and moral values in our young people to prevent them from going astray. Since 1981, the Education Department has issued the "General Guidelines on Moral Education in Schools", which recommends a crosscurricular approach to integrate moral education into the formal and informal school curricula, and extra-curricular activities. Schools have responded positively. In addition, the Department also provides training programmes for teachers and produces resource materials to help schools and teachers implement moral education activities.

(c) The Administration is always keen to improve both the quality and quantity of youth services. The Social Welfare Department is implementing the recommendations of the Working Group on Review of Children and Youth Centre Services, which include:

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(i) offering programmes to young persons which are more 'social work' oriented;

(ii) setting up integrated social work teams to provide comprehensive youth services to meet young people's needs; and

(iii) providing programmes with intensive social work input to school dropouts, students with low academic achievement, youth with unsteady employment pattern and unemployed youth.

The Social Welfare Department has provided funding support in 1994/95 for two additional outreaching social work teams and 47 additional school social workers to tackle youth problems. Funding has also been ear-marked for another 22 additional school social workers in 1995/96. The Department will also set up a team of specially trained social workers in October 1995 to provide intensive counselling and structured group programmes for young drug abusers. These all aim to provide more and better services to our young people.

Many Government departments and voluntary agencies also organise community activities, involving young people's participation. The Commission on Youth, chaired by the Hon Eric Li, has carried out a number of relevant studies (e.g. on Youth Participation in Community Activities) which should facilitate all concerned to understand the aspirations and needs of young people better, and in turn help to improve the quality of activities organised for them.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

Licensing of travel agents *****

Following is a question by the Hon Fred Li and a written reply by the Secretary for Trade and Industry, Mr T H Chau, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

At present the Government does not take into account the performance of travel agents, such as whether there have been frequent complaints against them of providing services that do not accord with what is advertised, when considering their applications for licence renewal. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:

I

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(a) the Government will include the standard of their performance as a prerequisite in considering travel agents' applications for licence renewal; if not, what the reasons are; and

(b) the Government will consider setting up a "traveller complaints and information hotline" as well as stepping up its publicity efforts, so that the public can have a better understanding of their rights and the channels for lodging complaints, thus providing the consumers with greater safeguard; if not, what the reasons are?

Reply:

Mr President,

Regarding part (a) of the Honourable Member's question, the Registrar of Travel Agents at present examines the financial position of a licensed travel agent and checks whether the licensee remains a member of the Travel Industry Council (TIC) and has been convicted of any criminal offence in applying the "fit and proper" test, for licence renewal under the Travel Agents Ordinance. In order to further improve the service of licensed travel agents, we are consulting the Advisory Committee on Travel Agents on whether, and if so how, substantiated complaints from the Consumer Council and TIC about the service provided by licensed travel agents should be taken into account in applying the "fit and proper" test.

As regards part (b), past complaint statistics collated by the Consumer Council and TIC indicate that outbound travellers are well aware of their rights and the complaint channels. If they are not satisfied with the quality of their travel agent's service, they may lodge their complaints direct with the agent concerned in the first instance. If they are not content with the agent's explanation and, in some cases, the compensation offered by the travel agent, they may pursue their complaint with the Consumer Council, TIC or Small Claims Tribunal, or resort to civil action. There are sufficient channels for travellers to lodge their complaints. To establish another complaint channel will duplicate the existing efforts of the Consumer Council and TIC.

In fact, outbound travellers are from time to time reminded by the Consumer Council's publicity efforts of their rights and the complaint channels available. To enhance the protection of outbound travellers, we have invited the Consumer Council and TIC to step up their publicity efforts in this regard.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

I

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Sponsorship by tobacco industry ♦ ♦ ♦ * *

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

Question:

Regarding the issue of dissuading young people from smoking, will the Government inform this Council whether :-

(a) it is aware of the number of young people smokers and the amount of expenditure incurred by them on smoking in each of the past three years;

(b) it is aware of the number of sports and cultural activities sponsored by the tobacco industry and the total amount of such sponsorship for the past three year; if so, what the respective figures are; and

(c) it will set up a health promotion fund to take the place of the tobacco industry in sponsoring the above activities so as to cultivate a positive influence on young people who may then cut down on smoking?

Reply :

Mr President,

Since 1982, cigarette smoking pattern surveys have been conducted regularly by the Census and Statistics Department as part of the General Household Survey. This shows that the smoking population in Hong Kong has declined over the years. According to the latest survey which covered the period August-September 1993, about 16,600 people aged 15-19 were daily smokers. This represented 4.2% of the relevant population group. In July 1990, the figures were 20,600 and 4.6% respectively. It should be noted, however, that since smoking is not a socially-accepted behaviour, these statistics may be subject to under-reporting.

The survey did not seek information on individual smoking expenditure. Nevertheless, the total can be estimated from survey data about the average number of cigarettes smoked. In 1993, we estimate that young people spent about $70 million on cigarettes (at an average price of $23 per packet), compared with about $47 million in 1990 (at an average price of $12.50 per packet.

- 61 -

The major public arts/sports bodies such as the Sports Development Board, the Urban Council, the Hong Kong Arts Development Council and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts do not seek or accept sponsorship of their activities from tobacco companies. The policy of the Regional Council is that "sponsorship may be accepted from companies whose line of business may include tobacco, provided that no tobacco advertising is made in any related publicity".

We do not monitor the sponsorship of non-govemment arts and sports activities by the tobacco industry and are therefore not in a position to provide figures regarding the total amount of such sponsorship. However, we are aware that the tobacco industry provided sponsorships amounting to some $28 million for nine major arts/sports events in 1994-95, some $20 million for nine major arts/sports events in 1993-94 and some $11.3 million for ten major arts/sports events in 1992-93.

Government has put much effort into dissuading young people from smoking. Our overall anti-smoking strategy comprises legislation, public education as well as publicity. This strategy advises young people not to smoke and informs them of the hazards of smoking. At the same time, it aims to minimise the community's exposure to tobacco advertising so that young people will not be encouraged to associate themselves with smoking.

Although tobacco sponsorship cannot be identified as the single cause of smoking among children, overseas and local circumstantial evidence suggests that it plays an important role. Some overseas countries e.g. Australia and New Zealand have banned tobacco sponsorship for sports and cultural events and set up a health promotion fund to provide alternative funding to sustain them. We are studying the experience of overseas countries and the applicability of this concept to Hong Kong.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

I

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Applications to defer payment of tuition fees ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Cheung Man-kwong and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Michael Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

With regard to the issue concerning students of Government funded tertiary institutions applying to defer payment of their tuition, will the Government inform this Council :-

(a) of the number of students who have applied to defer payment of their tuition, as well as the proportion of such students to the total number of students, in each of the past three years;

(b) whether the deadline for payment of tuition was set at a date before the completion of the vetting of the students’ applications for grants and loans, resulting in some students having to apply to the institutions for deferment of payment of their tuition, particularly those relying on the grants and loans to pay their tuition; and

(c) if the answer to (b) is in the affirmative, whether the Government regards the situation of students applying for deferment of payment of their tuition as an indicator reflecting their affordability to pay the tuition; if so, whether it will review the rate of increase of tertiary tuition; if not, whether it can provide any explanation in regard to the problem of students applying for deferment of their tuition mentioned above?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) Tuition fees are paid direct to the institutions and the institutions themselves have the authority to grant approval for applications to defer payment. Information on the situation for the three previous years supplied by the institutions is as follows -

63

(a) Student Population (b) No. of Applications for Deferment (C) Application Rate for Deferment (b)/(a)

1992/93 42,562 890 2.1%

1993/94 46,613 1,390 3.0%

1994/95 55,020 2,838 5.2%

(b) The deadlines set by the institutions covered by the Local Student Finance Scheme (LSFS) for the 1994/95 academic year were -

Name of the Institution Deadline for the First Semester Deadline for the Second Semester

City University of HK 31 Aug 94 25 Mar 95

HK Baptist University 24 Aug 94 7 Jan 95

Lingnan College 10 Sept 94 28 Jan 95

The Chinese University of HK 11 Nov 94 21 Feb 95

The HK Polytechnic University 10 Sept 94 27 Jan 95

The HK University of Science and Technology 17 Aug 94 20 Jan 95

The University of HK 31 Aug 94 4 Jan 95

HK Technical College (Chai Wan) 25 Aug 94 22 Feb 95

HK Technical College (Tsing Yi) 25 Aug 94 22 Feb 95

Applications for grants and loans under the LSFS are submitted by students through their respective institutions to the Student Financial Assistance Agency (SFAA). The application period commences in May and closes at the end of October each year. Under the SFAA’s current performance pledge, the normal processing time for an application supported by complete information is three months from the date of receipt. It can be seen that there is no strict correlation between the deadline dates set by the individual institutions for payment of fees and the date of completing the processing of an application for financial assistance. The latter depends more on the date of submission of the application by an applicant.


64

For students who experience or anticipate difficulties in paying their tuition fees on the deadlines, there are standing arrangements advising them to seek the approval of their respective institutions for a deferral of payment in advance. Such requests are invariably granted on proven financial difficulties. These students can also approach the SFAA for immediate processing of their applications. Such requests will be considered sympathetically if supported by grounds of genuine financial hardship.

(c) In view of the fact that deferral statistics are influenced by the application dates set for both grants and loans and deferral, Government does not regard the statistics as a useful indicator reflecting the students’ ability to pay the tuition fees.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

Newly qualified drivers more prone to accidents *****

Following is a question by the Hon James To Kun-sun and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the involvement in traffic accidents of drivers who have obtained their full driving licences for less than one year, will the Government inform this Council :

(a) of the number of traffic accidents involving such drivers in each of the past three years;

(b) whether, given that such drivers are prone to traffic accidents, the Government will consider adopting the practice of other countries such as Australia, and making it a statutory requirement for first-time driving licence holders to display "New Driving Licence" signs prominently in the front and the rear of their vehicles within one year after the issue of their licences, so as to warn other drivers; and

65

(c) whether the Government will consider introducing legislation requiring such drivers to drive at lower speed on highways, in order to reduce the chances of traffic accidents?

Reply:

Mr President,

The traffic accident statistics for the last three years, in respect of drivers who have held a full licence for less than a year, are as follows:

Private car Motorcycle

1992 1222 1224 1222 1222 1224

744 745 710 588 511 567

Available statistics suggest that newly qualified drivers are more prone to traffic accidents. For example, in 1994 private car drivers with less than one year’s experience had an accident rate of 10.5 per 1,000 drivers, compared with 7.5 per 1,000 drivers for those with more than one year’s experience.

In answering a question in the Legislative Council on January 11 this year, I said that it would be appropriate to review the situation and to consider whether any special arrangements needed to be introduced in respect of young or inexperienced drivers. I also said that we would be seeking information on practices in other countries, and whether these had been successful in reducing the incidence of accidents involving newly qualified drivers. We are now in the process of gathering such information.

Speeding is not the only cause of traffic accidents. Other factors include the sudden changing of lanes without due care, and driving too close to the vehicle in front. Different speed limits for different categories of qualified drivers may well create more problems than they solve. For example, if newly qualified drivers were required to drive at slower speeds this could hold up the traffic ad cause frustration amongst other motorists, perhaps resulting in accidents. Nevertheless, this suggestion will be considered further.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

66

No plan to demolish Jordan Valley Flatted Factory

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Mrs Elsie Tu and a written reply by the Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council whether it will reveal its plans for the demolition or redevelopment of the old dilapidated resettlement factory buildings which pose an eyesore to the residents of Jordan Valley in Ngau Tau Kok, near Chun Wah Road?

Answer:

Mr President,

The Jordan Valley Flatted Factory occupies a small site of 0.31 hectare and contains 188 units which are fully occupied. There is no plan at present to demolish or redevelop the resettlement factory building.

End/Wednesday, March 1, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, March 2,1995

Contents Rage No,

Governor appeals for more jobs for the disabled........................ 1

Transcript of remarks by FS............................................ 4

AG to appeal against Magistrate's decision on Ming Pao case............ 5

Actions to improve employment prospects of disabled.................... 6

Answers to critics of TOC.............................................. 7

Another Airport Core Programme contract awarded........................ 9

HM ships Plover and Peacock visit Macau................................ 9

Closure of Aberdeen illegal structure sought.......................... 10

New Labour Relations Service office to open in Sha Tin............. 11

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

1

Governor appeals for more jobs for the disabled ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ V

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, today (Thursday) urged the community to do more to improve job opportunities for the disabled.

Speaking at the second Summit Meeting on Open Employment for People with a Disability, the Governor said that while good progress had been made since the first summit a year ago, more should be done to tackle the question of enhancing the employment prospects of the disabled.

"The work is not done; it is just beginning," he declared.

The meeting, at which three Policy Secretaries pledged support for the worthy cause, was attended by some 100 representatives of employers associations and disabled groups.

Referring to a recent survey by the University of Hong Kong on the employment of the disabled, the Governor said while he would not go along with all the methodology in that report and did not accept that the unemployment figures for the disabled were as high as suggested, he agreed that the report made a very valid point: there were many disabled persons who could work, who wished to work but who did not work.

"We must do more for these people,” he asserted.

He noted that 37 employers had responded to the proposal at last year’s summit to set voluntary targets for employing disabled persons and, as a result, 302 additional employment opportunities would be made available for disabled persons by next year.

"We hope to increase the new job opportunities to 500 by March 1997," the Governor said.

Also speaking at the meeting, the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Michael Leung, said a record 1,414 disabled people were placed in open employment last year by the Labour Department’s Selective Placement Division (SPD) while the Employees Retraining Board had spent $8 million to provide training for 819 disabled workers in 31 courses.

2

The SPD had also undertaken an impressive array of educational and promotional activities to improve employers' understanding of the working abilities of the disabled, including launching the popular TV series "Under the Same Sky" and radio programme "Newsrama" which had a viewership of 1.27 million and an audienceship of 170,000 respectively.

In addition, two sets of guide books were published, one on "Job Interviewing Techniques" for people with a disability and the other on "Peer Group Acceptance" for seven types of disabilities.

Staff of the SPD also reach out to employers through direct contacts to promote the working abilities of the disabled.

"We are making fully-fledged publicity efforts to dispel public misconceptions about employing people with a disability," Mr Leung said.

The Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, said a working party chaired by the Director of Social Welfare to review training and employment for the disabled had made excellent progress and would produce its final report in a few months.

Meanwhile, the Vocational Training Council had adopted a flexible approach to entrance requirements for applicants to their skill centres for the disabled and had successfully organised six short courses for disabled people on various basic occupational skills in the servicing and commercial sector.

"With good training and the experience and confidence gained from working in sheltered workshops, we encourage those people with a disability who have the potential for advancement to integrate themselves further into society by moving on into supported employment," Mrs Fok said.

The Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr Michael Sze, said there were 3,842 persons with a disability in the civil service and the number would rise to 4,000 by March next year, the target set at the last summit.

A deputy secretary for the Civil Service has been charged with the important task of co-ordinating a more imaginative, proactive and facilitating approach in the employment of the disabled in the civil service.

3

This includes co-operating with the SPD and non-governmental organisations in the identification of target departments, conduct of sensitive job matching, more focused training for certain types of civil service jobs, better preparation of disabled applicants and selection boards for recruitment procedures, and planning of practical and helpful assistance at the workplace to the employment departments.

This approach was applied on a pilot basis to two recruitment exercises for office assistants and clerical assistants last year and, as a result, about one-third of all the disabled applicants turning up for interviews were found suitable for appointment.

Summing up the discussions at today's meeting, the Governor reiterated the Government's firm commitment to promoting and expanding the employment opportunities for people with a disability, in both the public and private sector. The Government will take a series of actions in the coming year:

* introduce the Disability Discrimination Bill into the Legislative Council next month

* publish a White Paper on Rehabilitation by the end of May

* continue to expand its educational and promotional programmes to improve public understanding of people with a disability

* produce two sets of videos with guide books to strengthen publicity efforts

* increase staff resources at the SPD

* look for more ways of matching the skills of disabled people to the specific jobs on offer

provide 330 additional supported employment places

* give urgent consideration to the final report to be received in May from the working party on training and employment for people with disabilities

4

* ensure that a promotional visit is paid to all major Government departments by the Civil Service Branch and Labour Department

"So we in the Government have a full programme ahead. I would like to ask employers to join us in these efforts," the Governor said.

End/Thursday, March 2, 1995

Transcript of remarks by FS

*****

Following is the remarks by the Financial Secretary, Sir Hamish Macleod, after his briefing at Home Affairs Department this morning (Thursday):

Good morning,

Well, we had a very full discussion. We ran a bit over time and I wasn't able to stay any longer but I must say the general reaction was very encouraging. I'm grateful to District Board Chairmen for their general support. Of course they have some particular points also to make but the general reaction was very good. There are a few points which I've said we can look into further.

1 think still, inevitably, some concern, for example, over traffic congestion in some areas. Clearly, we accept there is a problem, that is why we are consulting on what measures we should take on traffic congestion. But in general I am encouraged and I will go on today explaining what we have done and also listening to reaction. This is an on going process, we have to listen to reaction and reflect it in future measures. So, any questions? Quick ones.

Question: Sir Hamish, can you react to Mr Chen Zuo'er's comment last night?

FS: I'm not going to react.

Question: No, but do you think that he is commenting on the 1996-97, just participate in the study to know the budgetary process or direct participation in the following Budget?

FS: As I said yesterday at the press conference, my aim is not to have public arguments through the press.

5

Question: No, what is your interpretation of his words?

FS: I'm not going to interpret his words because then he'll feel compelled to comment on my words. We've made proposals to them in December and we hope that soon we can have a discussion, not in the newspapers but in the JLG forum, that's the way to make progress. And if I fall for the temptation of commenting on reactions from various people, then I am just contributing to megaphone diplomacy. So let's have a sensible discussion in the JLG and reach an agreement. Thank you very much.

End/Thursday. March 2, 1995

AG to appeal against Magistrate's decision on Ming Pao case ♦ * * * *

The Attorney General, Mr Jeremy Mathews, has decided to lodge an appeal against a magistrate's decision made on February 16 on summonses issued to Ming Pao Newspaper Limited and three of the paper's editorial staff for offences contrary to section 30 of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance.

Mr Mathews has applied today (Thursday) to the magistrate to state and sign a case in order that he may conduct his appeal.

In the event that the magistrate signs the case as requested, it will be placed before a judge of the High Court. It is the intention of the Attorney General to ask that judge to refer the matter for the consideration of the Court of Appeal.

The magistrate, Mr Hugh Sinclair, had ruled that the defendants had no case to answer because section 30( 1) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance was inconsistent with Article 16 of the Bill of Rights and consequently had been repealed by the Bill of Rights Ordinance.

A spokesman for the Legal Department said today that in view of the appeal, ICAC had been advised that they should continue to respond to any alleged or suspected breach of section 30(1) in the same manner as they have hitherto.

End/Thursday, March 2. 1995

6

Actions to improve employment prospects of disabled * * * * *

The following is a list of actions to be taken by the Government in the coming year to improve employment prospects of disabled people:

* The Government will introduce the Disability Discrimination Bill into the Legislative Council in April. The bill will cover a wide range of activities including prohibiting discrimination against disabled people in employment. It will give people with a disability powerful legal weapons to fight for equal opportunities and to fight against discrimination and harassment.

* The Government will publish a White Paper on Rehabilitation by the end of May. This will set out a comprehensive statement of Government policy for the development of all its plans for rehabilitation services for the next decade and beyond. An executive summary will be provided to make the paper accessible to a wider audience.

* The Government will allocate about $8 million in 1995/96 to expand its educational and promotional programme to improve public understanding of people with a disability. Of this, $1.9 million will be allocated specifically to promote job opportunities for people with a disability. Programmes will be launched in collaboration with employers associations to achieve the maximum impact.

* Two sets of videos with guide books will be produced to strengthen the Government's publicity efforts: one on support services available to employers and the other on work ethics in open employment for employees who have a disability.

* Two Assistant Labour Officer I posts will be created to strengthen the staff resources of the Labour Department's Selective Placement Division, which achieved a record 1,414 placements in 1994. The division will aim for no fewer than these in 1995.

* The Government will be looking increasingly for ways of matching the skills of disabled people to the specific jobs on offer. The Civil Service Branch, under a pilot scheme, has recruited a number of Office Assistants and Clerical Assistants with a disability. The branch will review the success of the scheme shortly to see whether it can be expanded. Staff of the Selective Placement Division will step up visits to individual employers to gauge more accurately the kind of jobs they need to fill so that training course for the disabled can be adjusted to meet these needs.

7

* The Government has earmarked funds to provide 330 additional supported employment places and will continue to re-target resources to provide additional supported places as needs arise.

* The Government will give urgent consideration to the final report to be received by May from the Director of Social Welfare's working party on training and employment for people with disabilities. Recommendations which are endorsed by the Government will be implemented as rapidly as possible.

* A promotional visit will be paid to all major Government departments by the Civil Service Branch and Labour Department. The branch will aim to sit in on at least 50 per cent of recruitment interviews of people with a disability held by Government departments this year. Every effort will be made to meet the voluntary target of 4,000 disabled persons employed in the civil service by March 1996. A further target will be set for March 1997 in a year's time.

End/Thursday, March 2, 1995

Answers to critics of TOC ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Target Oriented Curriculum (TOC) is designed to address some of the needs of the education system in Hong Kong, downplaying the role of rote learning and encouraging teachers to bring life, interest and active participation into the classroom. Senior Assistant Director of Education Mr T F Kwan said today (Thursday).

Speaking at a press conference. Mr Kwan said rather than "teaching across-the-board", which resulted in brighter students feeling bored and less bright students frustrated and failing to catch up, TOC advocated adoption of various teaching approaches that would meet the evolving demands of a larger and more diversified group of learners.

"Through careful observations and monitoring of the progress of individual children, teachers are able to discover their strengths and weaknesses and devise appropriate remedial measures at an earlier stage, thus preventing aggravation of the problem," Mr Kwan said.

8

Replying to critics of the curriculum, Mr Kwan said as far as management approach in the implementation of TOC was concerned, the Education Department specified the aims and objectives and allowed schools to choose their own procedures to meet the aims and objectives.

"We have full confidence in the professionalism of Hong Kong teachers and believe that for well qualified professionals, the best approach to motivate them is to give them as much freehand as possible," he said.

"Front-line teachers know their students best. Therefore, we leave the organisation and pace of teaching to teachers so they can choose approaches and strategies that best fit the needs of their students to achieve the highest efficiency.

"The department will continue to provide examples and backup materials for reference by schools and teachers."

Mr Kwan added that active participation and collaboration from schools was essential for TOC to succeed.

On the call for more piloting before full implementation of TOC, Mr Kwan said in fact TOC had been tried out in the last three years and according to suggestions, it would take a long time to implement TOC in all schools and there would be confusion in the transition when, for example, Primary Six leavers were selected for secondary school admission.

Mr Kwan said TOC would initially be adopted in the three core subjects of Chinese, English and Mathematics. It will be implemented in Primary 1 classes of 76 schools in 1995, extending to all Primary 1 classes in 1996.

TOC will be implemented in Primary 1 and 2 of all schools in 1997. Thereafter, TOC will gradually be extended to all primary classes.

Mr Kwan thanked staff of schools who helped develop I OC over the past three years.

Ue also invited members of the public to visit the roving exhibition on TOC, the opening of which will be officiated by the Director of Education, Mr W K Lam, and other educationists, including representatives of major sponsors of schools.

The opening ceremony will take place on Saturday (March 4) at second floor of Cityplaza II, Taikoo Shing, and the exhibition thereafter will be staged in four other popular arcades throughout the territory over a total period of 10 days.

End/Thursday, March 2, 1995

9

Another Airport Core Programme contract awarded ♦ * * * *

The Secretary for the Treasury, on the advice of the Central Tender Board, has approved the award of an Airport Core Programme (ACP) contract for the construction of an administration building for the Lantau Fixed Crossing.

The $87 million contract has been awarded by the Architectural Services Department to Yau Lee Construction Company Limited of Hong Kong.

The company will be responsible for building a three-storey administration block and a single-storey workshop block at the Lantau Fixed Crossing's toll plaza on the Lantau Island.

Works will start later this month for completion in early 1997.

The Lantau Fixed Crossing, one of the 10 ACP projects, comprises the Tsing Ma Bridge, the Kap Shui Mun Bridge and Ma Wan Viaduct. The Crossing forms part of the 34-kilometre long expressway linking Tung Chung New Town and the new airport at Chek Lap Kok to the urban areas in Kowloon and Hong Kong.

The award of this contract brings the total number of ACP major contracts awarded so far to 110, with a total value of $79.1 billion.

End/Thursday, March 2, 1995

HM ships Plover and Peacock visit Macau

*****

In what is thought to be the first visit by the Royal Navy in living memory, two patrol craft of the Hong Kong Squadron, HMS Plover and HMS Peacock, will make an informal visit to the Portuguese colony of Macau between tomorrow (Friday) and March 6.

A busy programme of events has been arranged while both ships are alongside at Macau International Ferry Terminal. Lieutenant Commander Simon Brown, Senior Officer Hong Kong Squadron and commanding officer of HMS Plover, and Lieutenant Commander Sean Steeds, commanding officer of HMS Peacock, are to host a lunch and cocktail party for local dignitaries tomorrow.

10

Lt Cdr Brown will hold a press briefing in HMS Plover at 10 am on Saturday (March 4), while later in the day local children will attend a party on board the patrol craft.

A combined team from HM ships Plover and Peacock has also been invited to take part in a football match against a Macau team.

Attention news editors:

You are invited to photograph the arrival of HM ships at Macau International Ferry Terminal at 12.30 pm tomorrow (Friday) and attend the press briefing at 10 am on Saturday.

End/Thursday, March 2, 1995

Closure of Aberdeen illegal structure sought

*****

The Building Authority is seeking to close an unauthorised structure in Aberdeen so that it can be demolished without endangering the occupants and the public. The single-storey structure used for dwelling is located on the roof of a building in 162 Aberdeen Main Road.

A notice applying for a Closure Order from the District Court under the Buildings Ordinance on May 3 was posted on the premises today (Thursday).

Demolition work is expected to start as soon as the Closure Order is issued.

End/Thursday, March 2, 1995

11

New Labour Relations Service office to open in Sha Tin ♦ * * * *

The two Labour Relations Service Offices at Hilton Plaza in Sha Tin and Tai Po Government Offices will be moved to a new office at New Town Plaza on March 4 and 18 respectively.

The new office, located at Unit 746-750, Level 7, New Town Plaza I, Sha Tin, will provide services to Sha Tin, Tai Po, Fanling, Sheung Shui, Lo Wu, Sha Tau Kok, Lin Tong Nei and Lok Ma Chau.

End/Thursday, March 2, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

Cumulative

$ million Time (hours) change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,820 0930 +889

Closing balance in the account 1,588 1000 +889

Change attributable to : 1100 +987

Money market activity +988 1200 +987

LAF today -1,220 1500 +987

1600 +988

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 120.3 *+0.1* 2.3.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.03 15 months 2605 6.35 99.67 6.74

1 month 5.22 24 months 2702 7.50 100.80 7.18

3 months 5.94 29 months 3707 6.95 99.44 7.33

6 months 6.27 35 months 3801 8.00 101.56 7.53

12 months 6.64 58 months 5912 8.15 101.02 8.04

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $13,277 million

Closed March 2, 1995

End/Thursday, March 2, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Friday, March 3,1995

Contents PageJ^L

Govt to spend $30 billion on roads........................................... 1

Slope safety review report released.......................................... 2

HK delegation to visit China................................................. 4

Chinese delegation to visit HK......................................... 5

Transcript of Financial Secretary's remarks............................

Ten more lots of land up for auction...................................

Tai Lam Tunnel and Yuen Long Approach Road Bill........................ 9

Approval of a video-on-demand trial by HK Telephone Company Ltd........ 11

Pre-qualification for operation of Cross Border Coach Terminus......... 12

ACP Exhibition.........................................................

/Article on...

Contents PagfeJVa

Article on salary of middle-level managers and professionals.......... 14

Ecology study in Deep Bay.............................................

Yau Tsim fight crime carnival......................................... 16

New pedestrian subway across Kwun Tong Road to be constructed ........ 17

C losure of North Point il legal structure sought..................... 18

Study on redevelopment potential in metro areas....................... 18

Improvement to King George V Memorial Park............................ 19

Construction of dolphin and sea-bed pipeline proposed................. 20

Government approves redevelopment in Tuen Mun......................... 20

Tenders invited for Yuen Long footbridge.............................. 21

Tenders invited for sewers works...................................... 22

Drainage channel construction at Kam Tin.............................. 22

TOC exhibition opens tomorrow......................................... 23

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations.................. 25

1

Govt to spend $30 billion on roads ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government will be spending $30 billion on new roads over the next five years, the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, said this (Friday) afternoon.

Speaking at a media session to elaborate on the 1995-96 Budget with respect to transport, Mr Barma said this was on top of the $14 billion which the private sector would be investing in the Western Harbour Crossing for completion in 1997, and the Country Park Section of Route Three for completion in 1998.

He said the Government would soon be asking the Finance Committee to approve the funding, estimated at just over $1 billion, for building a duplicate Tsing Yi south bridge to relieve the serious traffic congestion experienced by Tsing Yi residents.

He added that in 1995-96, the Government would also employ consultants to conduct feasibility studies on electronic road pricing and the provision of traffic control and surveillance facilities for the strategic road network; and to conduct the Third Comprehensive Transport Study.

Mr Barma said there would be a five per cent increase in real terms in the recurrent public expenditure on transport in 1995-96.

He said the 1995-96 Draft Estimates included expenditure on the following non-ACP projects:

* Lung Cheung Road and Ching Cheung Road Improvements ($245 million);

Tuen Mun Road Improvements ($250 million);

Ting Kau Bridge and Viaduct ($250 million);

and the following major new projects which are planned to start in 1995-96:

Hung Hom Bypass and Princess Margaret Road Link ($881 million);

Reconstruction of major roads in the territory, 1995-96 programme

($346 million);

2

Improvements to Castle Peak Road from Siu Lam to So Kwun Wat ($282 million);

* Improvements to Victoria Road ($122 million), and

* consultancy for the design of Central and Wan Chai Bypass and Island East Corridor Link ($194 million).

Mr Barma said the Government's ability to control growth in recurrent expenditure on transport to some extent derived from its tremendous success in privatising the management of road tunnels, public car parks, parking meters, and vehicle examination centres.

"This record is second to none and has resulted in lower costs, increased efficiency and better service to the public," he said.

End/Friday, March 3, 1995

Slope safety review report released *****

The Govemor-in-Council has accepted the recommendations in the Report on the Review of Slope Safety Measures, which will further reduce the risk of landslides to the public and enhance Government's capability to respond speedily to such emergencies.

The Secretary for Works, Mr James Blake, today (Friday) released the report which contains the following main recommendations for immediate action:

(a) The current Landslip Preventive Measures (LPM) programme, which involves the inspection and, where necessary, upgrading of 10,000 manmade slopes listed in the 1977-78 catalogue of the Geotechnical Engineering Office, should be accelerated by 10 years for substantial completion by 2000.

(b) The LPM programme should be extended to cover certain slopes which have previously been classified as "low consequence", such as those close to busy roads and footpaths.

3

(c) The system for classifying slopes according to the consequences of their failure should be reviewed.

(d) Public education on slope maintenance should be stepped up. A layman's guide on slope maintenance and a geoguide for the professionals should be produced as soon as possible. Owners of private slopes and building managers should be made clearly aware of their obligations for slope maintenance.

(e) Response time of Works Departments to landslip emergencies should be

reduced through better deployment of stand-by staff, better coordination, extra transport facilities and upgrading of telecommunication equipment.

The Review also puts forward the following recommendations for further detailed consideration:

(f) Legislative amendments should be considered to improve statutory geotechnical control of private slopes and developments. This may include the statutory requirement to appoint qualified Geotechnical Engineers to undertake the investigation, design, supervision and administration of geotechnical works, and

(g) A register should be developed to clearly define the responsibilities for slope maintenance.

The comprehensive review of the policy, legislation and resources in respect of slope safety was carried out by the Secretary for Works following the Kwun Lung Lau landslide in July 1994.

Announcing the results of the review, Mr Blake said: "The review has produced far-reaching recommendations to complement those made by Professor Morgenstern in his inquiry into the cause of the Kwun Lung Lau landslide.

"In formulating our recommendations, we have taken into account views of the general public, Legco members and experts."

"Government is committed to implementing the recommendations in the Review Report with additional resources to speed up the LPM programme and to beef up the Geotechnical Engineering Office and the Buildings Department to do the work."

4

Mr Blake explained that since 1977, Government had spent more than $1 billion in the LPM programme. The acceleration and extension of the programme would cost an additional $1.3 billion in capital expenditure and $400 million in recunent expenditure over the next five years.

"Because of our steep terrain and dense urban development on hillsides, I share the views of many geotechnical experts that Hong Kong would never be entirely free from the threat of landslides. However, the measures we are putting into place will help reduce the risk of landslide to the lowest practical level," Mr Blake said.

End/Friday, March 3, 1995

HK delegation to visit China

*****

The Secretary for the Treasury, Mr Donald Tsang, will be visiting Beijing and Tianjin from March 12 to 19 this year, a Government spokesman announced today (Friday).

He will be accompanied by seven other Hong Kong Government officials.

This is one in a series of sponsored visits between Hong Kong and the mainland of China. The objective of the sponsored visit programme is to increase mutual understanding of Chinese and Hong Kong Government officials on each other's systems and ways of life.

The last similar visit, which took place in November last year, was led by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Michael Leung.

End/Friday, March 3, 1995

5

Chinese delegation to visit HK

*****

A Chinese delegation to be led by Mr Shao Guanfu, Deputy Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will visit Hong Kong from March 9 to 18 this year, a Government spokesman announced today (Friday).

There will be seven other members in the delegation. They also work in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

This is one in a series of sponsored visits between Hong Kong and the mainland of China. The objective of the sponsored visit programme is to increase mutual understanding of Chinese and Hong Kong Government officials on each other's systems and ways of life.

The delegation will be briefed by senior Hong Kong Government officials on policies relating to the economy, trade matters, financial affairs and the civil service.

End/Friday, March 3, 1995

Transcript of Financial Secretary's remarks

*****

Following is the transcript of the remarks made by the Financial Secretary, Sir Hamish Macleod, to reporters after attending a LegCo panel meeting this (Friday) morning:

Good morning. As you know, I have just finished a meeting with LegCo Members. I must say I am again encouraged by the meeting, I think in general the reaction to the Budget continues to be positive. There was interest to know more about a number of issues: there was some discussion, for instance, on the property market and my statement on that in the Budget; there was interest on the medium range forecast and the increased reserves. But I think I can say that no one issue sort of emerged as seriously problematic, it was more an asking for information and seeking views on the philosophy which lay behind some of the proposals. So I am generally encouraged by the meeting and I shall go on over the next few days explaining the Budget in more detail and my colleagues will join me in that.

6

As you know, we have had a number of Secretaries already speaking on their own areas and that will continue next week. And as we detect the need for more discussion on a particular item, we are very happy to arrange extra briefings by experts in the field. So we will go on explaining ourselves and hope to go on getting the good response which we’ve got so far.

Any questions?

Question and answer session

Question: Has China been informed of your successor and have they given their approval?

FS: I don’t know the answer to that. I did read something in the newspaper about it but I’m not actually the person who deals with (the question of) my successor, although of course I know who it is, so I don’t know the mechanics of it.

Question: Director Lu Ping has just said that the SAR Chief Executive - the British Government should let the SAR Chief Executive participate in making the 1997-98 Budget. How do you feel about that?

FS: I have no problems with that. In fact I was asked the same question by LegCo Members. If there is a wish for the Chief Executive Designate to take part in the talks about the 1997-98 Budget, I don’t have any problems with that.

Question: So the two countries should make the 1997-98 Budget together for Hong Kong?

FS: Well again, I am not going to be pinned down to particular words. As I’ve said before, having answered your specific question, we really need to talk to China on this. We are trying to be practical and helpful and I’m sure we can have a sensible discussion.

Question: So you have no doubts to let the Chinese participate in the 1997-98 Budget?

FS: I’m not adding to what I’ve said already but I've said very clearly that we are ready to consult and consult is much more than briefing.

7

Question: Does it mean that all the members support the Budget unconditionally?

FS: No, I'm certainly not going to put those words in their mouths, I think they must speak for themselves. But as I say, the general atmosphere was very good and was very positive. Thank you very much.

End/Friday, March 3, 1995

Ten more lots of land up for auction *****

The Lands Department will sell 10 more lots of land at three public auctions later this month.

Two more lots for private residential use will be offered for sale at the land auction scheduled to be held at Hong Kong Cultural Centre on March 14.

The first lot has an area of 13,999 square metres at Fung Shing Street, Ngau Chi Wan.

The developer has to complete a gross floor area of not less than 39,240 square metres on or before March 31, 1999.

The second lot is situated at Area 90B, Ma On Shan, Sha Tin, having an area of 10,900 square metres.

The developer has to complete a gross floor area of not less than 32,700 square metres on or before September 30, 1999.

The second land auction of this month will be held at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui, on 27th while the third - also the last of the 1994-95 financial year - on 30th at the same venue.

Of the eight lots to be offered for sale at these two auctions, five are designated for private residential developments, two for non-industrial purposes and one for industrial or offices ancillary and directly related to an industrial operation.

At the auction on March 27, two lots for private residential developments and two lots for non-industrial uses will be offered for sale.

8

The first lot, located in Chung Hau Street, Ho Man Tin, has an area of 3,380 square metres for private residential use.

The developer has to complete a gross floor area of not less than 15,210 square metres on or before March 31, 1998.

With an area of 2,155 square metres for private residential use, the second lot is located in Town Park Road, Yuen Long.

The developer has to complete a gross floor area of not less than 3,879 square metres on or before March 31, 1998.

The third lot, located in Area 100, Ma On Shan, Sha Tin, has an area of 10,306 square metres for non-industrial use, excluding godown, service apartments and petrol filling station, but including hotel purposes.

The developer has io complete a gross floor area of not less than 30,920 square metres on or before September 30, 1999. If the lot or part of it is to be developed for hotel purposes, the building convenant date will be extended to March 31, 2000.

Covering an area of 5,970 square metres, the fourth lot is situated in Area 37C, Tseung Kwan O, Sai Kung, and designated for non-industrial purpose, excluding office and godown, with the two floors immediately above the foundations to be used for non-industrial purpose, excluding residential, godown and office uses, while the remaining floors to be used for private residential purposes.

At the auction on March 30, three lots for private residential developments and one lot for industrial/godown or offices ancillary and directly related to an industrial operation will be offered for sale.

The first lot for private residential use is located in King's Park Rise, and has an area of 15,644 square metres.

The developer has to complete a gross floor area of not less than 13.440 square metres on or before September 30, 1998.

The second residential lot is located in Sha Ha, Sai Kung, having an area of 900 square metres.

The developer has to complete a gross floor area of not less than 324 square metres on or before March 31, 1998.

9

Covering an area of 16,301 square metres for residential use, the third lot is at Town Park Road North, Yuen Long.

The developer has to complete a gross floor area of not less than 29,342 square metres on or before September 30, 1999.

The fourth lot situated in Area 11, at the junction of On Lai Street and On Yiu Street, Sha Tin, has an area of 9,600 square metres for (i) industrial or godown or both; or (ii) offices ancillary and directly related to an industrial operation; or any combination of (i) and (ii).

The developer has to complete a gross floor area of not less than 28,800 square metres on or before March 31, 1999.

Full particulars and conditions of sale may be obtained from the Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road; and the District Lands Offices Kowloon, Yau Ma Tei Car Park Building, 10th floor, 250 Shanghai Street, Kowloon.

Sales plans are available for inspection at these offices.

Conditions of sale will also be available at the District Lands Offices of Sha Tin, Tuen Mun, Yuen Long, Tsuen Wan, Kwai Tsing, Tai Po, North, Sai Kung and Islands.

End/Friday, March 3, 1995

Tai Lam Tunnel and Yuen Long Approach Road Bill *****

The Tai Lam Tunnel and Yuen Long Approach Road Bill was published in the Gazette today (Friday).

The purpose of the Bill is to award a franchise to Route 3 (CPS) Company to construct and operate the Tai Lam Tunnel and Yuen long Approach Road sections of Route 3 - Country Park Section.

A Government spokesman said the package offered by the Route 3 (CPS) Co Ltd was the best bid received.

10

With an estimated target Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of 15.18 per cent, it compared very favourably with other similar "Build, Operate and Transfer" projects in the region, which produced IRRs of between 15 per cent and 25 per cent.

It was lower than the IRR for the Western Harbour Crossing.

The spokesman said this was a good deal. The toll levels were highly competitive. The Government would not be required to give any guarantee or financial support to the project.

The Company would complete the much needed road facility at no expense to the tax payer. Government resources that would otherwise have had to be allowed to this vital project can be used for other public projects which cannot privatised.

The Bill is modelled upon the Western Harbour Crossing Ordinance. The following improvements have also been achieved during the negotiations with the company:

* Government will have the right to impose financial penalties on the franchisee for any default or breach of the enabling Ordinance and the Project Agreement during the operating period;

* Government will have the right to direct the franchisee to make by-laws in relation to safety matters;

* The franchisee will make public financial and operational information as reasonably requested by the Government; and

* The Company will have to treat all applications for installation of utilities within the toll area in a fair and similar manner.

The Bill will be introduced to the Legislative Council on March 8.

End/Friday, March 3, 1995

11

Approval of a video-on-demand trial by HK Telephone Company Ltd *****

The Telecommunications Authority (TA) has given his approval to Hong Kong Telephone Company Limited (HKTC) to conduct a commercial trial on Video-on-Demand (VOD), subject to a number of conditions:

* Programme Material - HKTC undertakes that no Category III films or "indecent" material as classified under the Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance will be used in the trial. HKTC further undertakes not to transmit any advertising materials in the trial.

Open Network Requirement - HKTC will need to open up its network to allow any other potential VOD operator to conduct similar trials on fair and non- discriminatory terms and conditions.

* Separation of Accounts - HKTC will need to operate the VOD trial service totally separate from all the existing services that it is operating to ensure that there is no cross subsidisation between the VOD trial and any other services.

* The approval is for a trial period of six months and HKTC is permitted to charge tariffs for the trial service as approved by the TA.

The trial is approved without prejudice to the TA's consideration on future proposals on further trials or the actual introduction of a commercial VOD service.

The Telecommunications Authority, Mr Alexander Arena,said: "The approval is given after consideration of the following:

* a likely public concern over decency of programme materials to be used in the trial;

* the desirability for HKTC as the existing monopoly operator to open up its transmission network for other service providers to be able to perform similar trials under Hong Kong's pro-competition regulatory framework;

* the necessary regulatory safeguards to prevent cross-subsidisation between the VOD trial and other services currently operated by HKTC;

and

12

* the desirability of Hong Kong to maintain its pre-eminent position in telecommunications in this Region."

VOD is a new technology being developed to allow point-to-point transmission of video pictures and sound through the public telephone network upon the request of a customer.

A detailed Statement by the Telecommunications Authority is available on application to OFTA and is accessible on OFTA's electronic bulletin board on tel 2834 0119.

End/Friday, March 3, 1995

Pre-qualification for operation of Cross Border Coach Terminus

* * * * ♦

The Transport Department is inviting interested parties to apply for prequalification to tender for a contract to manage and operate a Cross Border Coach Terminus in Austin Road.

A spokesman for the department said the terminus was located at the ground floor of the Hong Kong Scout Association Headquarters in Austin Road. Successful applicant will be invited to tender for the contract in early 1995.

A notice on the pre-qualification invitation was published in the gazette today (Friday).

The successful tenderer will be required, at its own cost and expense, to fit out the terminus by providing additional facilities and associated equipment, manage and operate the terminus for the operation of cross border coach services, and maintain the interior, all equipment and facilities in the terminus.

Revenue will be generated from charges levied on the cross border coach operators for the use of the terminus as well as other approved income sources such as advertising.

The contractor's remuneration will be in the form of a sharing of such revenue with the Government. Payment to the Government shall be subject to a minimum guaranteed payment.

13

The spokesman said the contract would be for three years with provisions for extension at the option of the Government.

The successful tenderer will be required to design and fit out the terminus by providing, at his own cost, additional facilities and other associated terminus equipment on top of the existing ones within 120 days from the date of the contract.

Applicants for this pre-qualification are required to provide evidence of experience and competence in the fitting-out, management, operation and maintenance of a transport terminus or termini, or alternatively evidence of ability to engage expertise and resources in these respects from acceptable sources.

Applicants should submit sufficient and relevant information for assessment of their suitability to be qualified for participation in tendering for the contract. They are also required to submit proposals to demonstrate their understanding of the tasks involved.

To avoid conflict of interests and monopoly of using the Austin Road Cross Border Coach Terminus, all existing cross border coach operators and their associated/related companies are prohibited from applying for the pre-qualification.

Pre-qualification documents are obtainable from the reception counter of Transport Department Headquarters, 41st floor, Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, by production of a company letter indicating the interest in the prequalification.

The documents should be addressed to the Commissioner for Transport, and placed in the Transport Department Tender Box situated at the Transport Department Headquarters at the above-mentioned address before noon on April 7.

Late submissions will not be accepted.

End/Friday, March 3, 1995

14

ACP Exhibition

♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

The Director of Environmental Protection, Dr Stuart Reed, will officiate at the opening of an exhibition on the Airport Core Programme (ACP) at 11.45 am on Monday (March 6).

The exhibition will be held at the Main Concourse of the Ocean Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui. You are invited to cover the opening ceremony.

Also officiating at the ceremony will be the Chairman of Yau Tsim Mong District Board, Mr Chow Chun-fai, and the Chairman of the Sham Shui Po District Board, Mr Wong Chung-ki.

The exhibition will last for five days until March 10 (Friday).

It is the 10th exhibition organised by NAPCO since August last year to keep members of the public abreast of works progress of the 10 ACP projects.

More than 150,000 people have attended the previous nine exhibitions.

End/Friday, March 3, 1995

Article on salary of middle-level managers and professionals

*****

The average salary rate for middle-level managers and professionals in the past 11 years showed the highest percentage increase in the financial institutions and insurance sector as compared with that in other economic sectors. Analysed by occupational group, employees engaged in banking and insurance management enjoyed the highest rate of increase in salary rate.

This information is given in a feature article of the February 1995 issue of the Hong Kong Monthly Digest of Statistics.

The article analyses the findings of the Annual Survey of Salaries and Employee Benefits - Managerial and Professional Employees (Excluding Top Management).

15

The survey has been conducted every year by the Census and Statistics Department since 1984 to collect information about salary rates and fringe benefits of managerial and professional employees from about 200 large companies in selected major economic sectors.

The article also contains the average monthly salary rates in June 1994 for selected common occupations across different economic sectors, and also statistics on the entitlement of middle-level managerial and professional employees to various kinds of fringe benefits.

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

Copies can also be purchased from the Publications Section of the Census and Statistics Department on 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Regular subscription can also be arranged with the Publications Sales Section of the Information Services Department (Tel: 2842 8804).

End/Friday, March 3, 1995

Ecology study in Deep Bay ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Planning Department today (Friday) signed a consultancy agreement commissioning a firm to conduct a study on the ecological value of fish ponds in the Deep Bay area.

"The primary objective of the study is to establish the level of ecological value, both in qualitative and quantitative terms, of the fish ponds in the Deep Bay area to wildlife, especially waterbirds, and to the Deep Bay wetland ecosystem," a spokesman for the department said.

"The study will review the past ecological and land use changes in the area, including field investigations to collect scientific data on the ecology of the area so as to establish the baseline ecological profile including the components of the ecosystem and the interaction among these components.

16

’’The study will also assess the carrying capacity of the Mai Po Nature Reserve and the fish ponds in the ecosystem as well as the cumulative impact of changes of land uses in the area.

"Further, it will review the current Buffer Zone (BZ) concept which is the basis of development control in the area and identify alternative beneficial uses in the wetland area apart from fish farming. "The findings of the study will serve as a basis for reviewing the relevant provision and planning intentions of the land use zonings on the outline zoning plans in the area."

The study is initiated as a response to the challenge to ecological value of the existing fish ponds within the BZ areas by some developers who have proposed residential developments in the area.

The study team will comprise experts on wetland ecology, wetland conservation and management, ornithology and environmental planning.

The study will commence this month for completion in 17 months.

End/Friday, March 3, 1995

Yau Tsim fight crime carnival ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The 94-95 Yau Tsim District Fight Crime cum Anti-Narcotics Carnival will be held at the Kowloon Park Piazza tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon.

Organised by the Yau Tsim District Fight Crime Committee, the function will feature performances by pop song singers and the Royal Hong Kong Police Force Band.

Other activities include an exhibition on anti-burglary devices and antinarcotics information, stall games and a quiz.

Members of the public are welcome to join the carnival which will start at 3 pm.

An opening ceremony will be held at 2.30 pm.

17

Officiating guests of the ceremony will be the Commissioner for Narcotics, Mr Alasdair Sinclair; the Yau Tsim Mong District Officer, Mr Bart Ireland, and the Yau Tsim Police District Commander, Mr Chris Glover.

Attention News Editors:

Media representatives are invited to cover the opening of the 94-95 Yau Tsim District Fight Crime cum Anti-Narcotics Carnival which will be held at 2.30 pm at the Kowloon Park Piazza.

End/Friday, March 3, 1995

New pedestrian subway across Kwun Tong Road to be constructed * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government is proposing to construct a new pedestrian subway across Kwun Tong Road near Ting Fu Street.

The opening of the subway will enable closure of the signalised pedestrian crossing in its proximity, thereby improving the traffic flow along Kwun Tong Road and enhancing the safety of pedestrians crossing Kwun Tong Road near Ting Fu Street.

The proposal includes the construction of a new reinforced concrete pedestrian subway with covered ramps and stairs at both ends.

A notice concerning the proposed work was gazetted today (Friday).

The project is scheduled to commence in July this year and will take about 20 months to complete.

The plan and scheme of the works can be seen at the following government offices:

* The Central and Western District Office, Public Enquiry Services Centre, Ground Floor, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central, Hong Kong;

• t

- 18 -

the District Lands Office, Kowloon East, 10th floor, Yau Ma Tei Car Park Building, 250 Shanghai Street, Kowloon and;

the Kwun Tong District Office, Kwun Tong District Branch Office Building, Tung Yan Street, first, third and fourth Floor, Kowloon.

Any person who wishes to object to the works or the use, or both, is required to address his objection in writing to the Secretary for Transport on or before the May 2, 1995.

End/Friday, March 3, 1995

Closure of North Point illegal structure sought * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Building Authority is seeking to close an unauthorised structure in North Point so that it can be demolished without endangering the occupants and the public. The single-storey structure used for dwelling is located on the flat roof of a building in 9IC Chun Yeung Street.

A notice applying for a Closure Order from the District Court under the Buildings Ordinance on July 7 was posted on the premises today (Friday).

Demolition work is expected to start as soon as the Closure Order is issued.

End/Friday, March 3, 1995

Study on redevelopment potential in metro areas ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Planning Department has signed an agreement to commission a consultancy firm to undertake a study on the comprehensive assessment of redevelopment potential in the metro areas of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, New Kowloon and Tsuen Wan - Kwai Tsing.

A spokesman for the department said today (Friday) that the main objective of the study was to assess the redevelopment potential in the metropolitan area for residential purpose and to estimate possible flat production from redevelopment.

19

"The study will establish a comprehensively designed, computer-based system that can facilitate rapid assessment of redevelopment potential under various circumstances.

"The existing policies, statutory and institutional frameworks and procedures which facilitate or impede private sector redevelopment will be reviewed.

"Moreover, key areas of high redevelopment potential will be identified and possible means for redressing the constraints for redevelopment in these areas will be broadly examined," the spokesman added.

The study began yesterday and will be completed by mid-1996.

End/Friday, March 3, 1995

Improvement to King George V Memorial Park

*****

The Architectural Services Department is inviting tenders for the improvement works for King George V Memorial Park in the Western district.

Works include the construction of an office block, a chess comer, a children’s play area, a seven-a-side soccer pitch, a basketball court and sitting-out areas, renovation of the existing garden, and geotechnical improvement works to the slopes. The project is expected to start in May for completion in a year.

Tender forms and further particulars can be obtained from the Architectural Services Department, 34th floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway.

Tender offers will close at noon on March 24.

End/Friday, March 3, 1995

20

Construction of dolphin and sea-bed pipeline proposed

*****

The Government plans to permit an oil company to construct a dolphin and to lay an associated sea-bed pipeline at Kowloon Bay to provide additional mooring facilities for vessels to discharge and convey aviation fuels and lubricants through the pipeline to the fuel farm within the Hong Kong International Airport.

The work will be carried out within an area of about 3.35 hectares of foreshore and sea-bed at Kowloon Bay.

The work will begin after authorisation has been given under the Foreshore and Sea-bed (Reclamation) Ordinance and will be completed in about 10 months.

The extent of the area affected was gazetted today (Friday).

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

The plan can also be seen at the lands Department's Survey and Mapping Office, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, and at the Kowloon City District Office, first floor, Morning Joy Building, 141-143 Kau Pui Lung Road, To Kwa Wan, Kowloon.

The plan can also be purchased at the Survey and Mapping Office.

Any person who considers that he has an interest, right or easement in or over the foreshore and sea-bed involved may submit a written objection to the Director of Lands on or before May 3, 1995.

End/Friday, March 3, 1995

Government approves redevelopment in Tuen Mun

*****

The Government has approved in principle a comprehensive redevelopment in Area 5B, Tuen Mun.

The redevelopment programme will comprise residential/ commercial developments, a secondary school and Govemment/Institution/Community developments.

[Missing 2 pages in the original document]

23

The notice and its related plans can be seen on notice boards posted near the site. The plan can also be seen at the Lands Department's Survey and Mapping Office, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road; and at the Yuen Long District Office, ground floor, Yuen Long District Branch Offices Building, 269 Castle Peak Road, Yuen Long.

Any person who considers that his interest, right or easement in or over the foreshore and seabed involved will be affected, may submit a written objection to the Director of Lands before May 3, 1995.

End/Friday, March 3, 1995

TOC exhibition opens tomorrow ♦ * * ♦ ♦

Teachers, parents and members of the public will be able to get a more comprehensive picture of exactly how Target Oriented Curriculum (TOC) will be taught and students assessed in Hong Kong's Primary 1 classes at the Education Department's roving exhibition which opens tomorrow (Saturday) at Cityplaza II in Taikoo Shing.

Sample pages of TOC learning packages, assessment forms and report forms will for the first time be displayed and a video will explain the concept and benefits of the curriculum.

Also for the first time, a list of the 76 schools that will adapt TOC in Primary 1 in Phase I of the scheme in September 1995 will be displayed at the exhibition.

The opening ceremony, which will take place at 1 pm at Centre Bridge, second floor, Cityplaza II, Taikoo Shing, will be officiated by the Director of Education, Mr WK Lam.

He will be joined by a large officiating party comprising educators and key personnel from major school sponsoring bodies.

They include: Mr Kenneth Ting, Chairman of the Curriculum Development Council; Mr Kenneth Mak of Po Leung Kuk; Mrs Angela Cheung of Tung Wah Group of Hospitals; Mr Lawrence Lo from the Catholic Education Office; Mr Timothy Ha, Secretary of the Anglican Diocesan Education; Mr S Y Chiu of the Buddhist Association; Rev C C Ng of the Hong Kong Council of the Church of Christ in China; Mr W K Lo of Sik Sik Yuen; and Major Laurence Hay of the Salvation Army.

24

The roving exhibition will be staged over a 10-day period at five popular shopping arcades throughout the territory: second floor, Cityplaza II on 4 and 5 March; pedestrian deck outside the cinema at Lok Fu Shopping Centre Phase II on March 6 and 7; Entrance Arena at Sha Tin New Town Plaza I on March 8 and 9; Level 2 shopping arcade at Metroplaza in Kwai Fong on March 10 and 11; and entrance exhibition hall at Yuen Long Plaza on March 12 and 13.

Education Department officers will be available to answer questions on TOC from visitors daily between noon and 7 pm.

The roving exhibition represents part of the Education Department's effort to inform the teachers and members of the public about the concept and benefits of TOC which will be fully implemented in Primary 1 classes in Hong Kong in September next year.

Also starting tomorrow will be a total of 83 district seminars on TOC for parents in 14 locations throughout the territory.

A spokesman for the Education Department said the roving exhibition would be like a mobile showroom on TOC.

"Teachers and other members of the public are strongly encouraged to visit the exhibition to get a picture of the new initiative that will affect the learning of young school children in Hong Kong," the spokesman said.

"In particular, parents of Kindergarten 3 pupils who have to select schools for their children by March 13, 1995 for central allocation of Primary 1 places are advised to visit the exhibition."

Attention News Editors:

Media representatives are invited to cover the opening ceremony of the TOC roving exhibition at 1 pm tomorrow (Saturday) at Centre Bridge, second floor, Cityplaza II, Taikoo Shing.

The Director of Education, Mr W K Lam, will officiate at the ceremony.

End/Friday, March 3, 1995

- .

[Typographical errors in the original document]

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Saturday, March 4,1995

Contents PageJNo.

Anti-drug summit meeting to call for community joint effort.......... 1

ICC members exchange visits..........................................

Lion Rock Tunnel Road to be fully re-opened.......................... 2

Pleasure vessels advised to stay out of busy waters.................. 3

More villages get metered water supply............................... 5

Electors reminded to vote tomorrow................................... 5

Failure to pay wages on time cost fine...............................

Entries for Outstanding Volunteer Awards invited..................... 7

Fresh water cut in Causeway Bay...................................... 8

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations................. 9

1

Anti-drug summit meeting to call for community joint effort ♦ * * ♦ ♦

The Governor's Summit Meeting on Drugs is to plan a community-wide education and support effort to try to halt the growing trend in drug abuse by young people, the Commissioner for Narcotics, Mr Alasdair Sinclair, said today (Saturday).

Speaking at the opening of the Yau Tsim District 94-95 Fight Crime cum AntiNarcotics Carnival at Kowloon Park, the Commissioner said the summit, to be held next Monday (March 6), would provide a stimulus to the work already being undertaken in the area.

"It will raise awareness of the seriousness of the issue. It will improve understanding of the nature of the problem, the ways it is being tackled, and the contribution individuals can make to reducing it," Mr Sinclair said. "It will initiate new thinking on what can be done to prevent young people abusing drugs," he added.

The summit will probe four different aspects, namely law enforcement, preventive education, treatment and rehabilitation, and research.

"Nineteen speakers of authority will contribute their experience. There will be time for open discussion of each topic to collect a wider range of views and advice," the Commissioner said.

About 250 people will take part in the summit. They include members of the Legislative Council, District Boards, District Fight Crime Committees, senior Government officials, members of the Action Committee Against Narcotics, and representatives of voluntary agencies, the education sector, social welfare and youth organisations.

Mr Sinclair noted that on-going efforts in preventive education and publicity were made by the Narcotics Division throughout the year.

"Take March for example. There will be 47 talks to school children at all levels from Primary Six upwards, three drug education workshops for trainee teachers, and a seminar on drug abuse among adolescents for social workers and student social workers," he said.

There will also be a television show on March 10, two exhibitions in public housing estates, and a huge drawing at Victoria Park on March 19, he added.

End/Saturday, March 4, 1995

2

ICC members exchange visits

♦ * ♦ * *

The Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Tony Eason, and other members of the Infrastructure Co-ordination Committee will leave tomorrow (Sunday) for a visit to Zhuhai and Shenzhen from March 5-7.

Chinese members of the ICC will join them on the visit which will include briefings on major infrastructure projects in Zhuhai and Shenzhen and site visits.

The two teams will continue their visit programme in Hong Kong which will include briefings and visits to the Lok Ma Chau Border Crossing, Mai Po Nature Reserve and Blackpoint in Tuen Mun on March 8 and a seminar on March 9.

Attention News Editors:

Mr Eason will see the press before his departure tomorrow (Sunday).

Media representatives covering the event should assemble at 1.30 pm tomorrow at the arrival hall of the China Ferry Terminal on the second floor of the terminal building in Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui.

Staff of the Secretariat Press Office will be on hand to assist.

There will also be press facilities to cover the Hong Kong visit and seminar on March 8-9. Details of the arrangements will be announced next Tuesday.

End/Saturday, March 4, 1995

Lion Rock Tunnel Road to be fully re-opened

*****

The Lion Rock Tunnel Road section between the toll plaza and Sha Tin Road is scheduled to be fully re-open to traffic starting at 6 am on Monday (March 6) upon completion of reconstruction works.

The Transport Department announces that in conjunction with the full reopening of the road, the speed limit along this section of the road will be raised from the existing 50 kilometres per hour to 70 kilometres per hour.

3

A spokesman for the department said the bus only lane which was temporarily suspended in April last year when reconstruction work started would be reprovisioned and improved.

The existing bus only lane along Hung Mui Kuk Road will link up the Lion Rock Tunnel road bus only lane to provide a continuous bus priority route from Che Kung Miu Road to the Lion Rock Tunnel approach road.

The bus lane is, however, slightly modified near the toll plaza to allow for auto toll lane weaving movements.

All vehicles, except franchised and non-franchised buses, are prohibited to enter the bus only lane between 7 am to 10 am and 4 pm to 7 pm daily except Sundays and public holidays.

Appropriate traffic signs and road markings will be installed to advise motorists.

The spokesman said whilst the Lion Rock Tunnel Road was to be fully reopened, commuters were still advised to make the best use of public transport and to plan their journeys in good time to avoid overloading the Lion Rock Tunnel Road, especially in the morning peak period.

"The Transport Department would like to thank motorists and commuters for their patience and co-operation throughout the reconstruction period which helped to keep the traffic disruption to a minimum.

"With the upgrading and improvement of facilities, they should now enjoy a safer and smoother journey along this road," the spokesman said.

End/Saturday, March 4, 1995

Pleasure vessels advised to stay out of busy waters

*****

The Director of Marine, Mr Ian Dale, urged pleasure boating to keep out of the central and western harbour area as it is very dangerous for small pleasure boats.

Speaking at the opening of the Hong Kong International Boat Show 1995 in Sai Kung this (Saturday) morning, Mr Dale said that ocean-going commercial shipping and pleasure boats did not easily mix.

4

•'It is safer to enjoy your pleasure boating in the calm scenic waters of our eastern shores," he advised.

He stressed that the Marine Department had a clear role to play in facilitating the safe and orderly development of recreational boating.

"My department's overriding concern is to ensure that pleasure boating can be enjoyed by all in safety," he added.

Noting that the sea is not man's natural environment, Mr Dale said that safety must be accepted as the most important aspect of boating.

"When we venture out on it either for pleasure or work, we must put safety at the head of our lists of things to check. Safety for ourselves and others must be our first and last concern," he said.

Mr Dale pointed out that while the Marine Department provided the regulatory framework to lay down basic safety standards for vessels and crews and the Marine Police provided an overseeing role to check that standards were maintained, the real and practical responsibility must rest with the vessel's owner and coxswain.

His advice to the owners and coxswains of pleasure vessles is:

* learn, and follow the rules;

* make sure everyone on board understands what to do in an emergency;

apply common sense and an understanding of the needs of other users of

water.

Mr Dale further advised them to make sure the "SURE" (Sense, Upkeep, Rules and Equipment) guideline was observed.

* Sense - use common sense, check the weather, number of people on board, plan the route.

. . * Upkeep - check the boat in good condition.

* Rules - learn the rules of the road and apply it at all times.

Equipment - check you have all the right safety equipment on board, and that everyone knows how to use it.

The International Boat Show 1995 is the largest event of its kind in Hong Kong since 1982. More than 40 manufacturers from all over the world take part in this year’s show.

End/Saturday, March 4, 1995

5

More villages get metered water supply *****

Over 240,000 villagers in 632 remote villages are provided with metered water supply by the Water Supplies Department since it began its first village supply project in 1980.

Speaking today (Saturday) at a tap-turning ceremony marking the provision of metered fresh water to four villages in the Ha Tsuen district, the Director of Water Supplies, Mr Hu Man-shiu, said the number of remote villages to be connected to the department’s water supply system would be increased to 708 by mid-1998.

"At present, construction work for water supply to 22 villages, design work for 34 villages and planning work for 20 villages are being carried out," he said.

Mr Hu added that the Government had spent about $14 million to construct the water network for four villages in the Ha Tsuen district.

"Sheung Pak Nai and Ha Pak Nai, Ngau Hom Shek and Ngau Hom Sha, being located farthest from the water supply system, are the last four villages in the Ha Tsuen district to be provided with metered water supply.

"Adequate water supply can only be made available to the area after the substantial completion of new water mains network in Tin Shui Wai New Town late last year," Mr Hu explained.

End/Saturday, March 4, 1995

Electors reminded to vote tomorrow

*****

The Registration and Electoral Office (REO) today (Saturday) reminded all registered electors that the polling hours of the Municipal Council elections tomorrow (Sunday) will be from 7.30 am to 10.30 pm.

An REO spokesman said an elector was only required to bring along his Identity Card to the Polling Station. But it would facilitate the polling proceeding if he could also bring along the poll card sent to him earlier.

A total of 377 polling stations will be opened on the polling day.

6

"The ballot is secret. No one can force a person to vote or not to vote for any particular candidate; and no one is required to tell which candidate he has voted for or is going to vote for," he said.

The spokesman also reminded electors that they should mark a "tick" sign in the circle space opposite the name of the candidate for whom he wished to vote.

He should then fold the ballot paper to conceal the mark and come out of the polling booth.

The folded ballot paper should then be put into a sealed ballot box in the presence of a polling staff, after which the elector should leave the polling station without undue delay.

To maintain free and safe passage for electors, a restricted canvassing area may be set up outside a polling station to regulate canvassing activities.

"Such an area would ensure that electors would not be unduly harassed on their way to the polling station, while allowing each candidate a fair chance of promoting himself," he said.

Of the 377 polling stations opened, 144 are accessible to the physically handicapped. Fifty-three physically handicapped electors have been reassigned to eight specified polling stations to vote.

Of the 59 constituencies, seven are uncontested. There are a total of 135 candidates.

The three members of the Boundary and Election Commission will visit polling stations throughout the territory to observe the conduct of the elections.

"It is the responsibility of the Commission to ensure that elections are conducted openly, honestly and fairly," the spokesman said.

End/Saturday, March 4, 1995

7

Failure to pay wages on time cost fine ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

The Labour Department today (Saturday) urged employers to pay wages to their employees within the time limit allowed by law.

The owner of Anderson & Ashe Limited in Mong Kok was recently fined $45,000 by the Kwun Tong Magistracy for failing to pay wages to three employees within seven days after the termination of their service.

Labour Officer (Prosecutions) Mrs Tonia Leung said Section 25 of the Employment Ordinance stipulated that on termination of a contract of employment, wages and any other sums due to the employee had to be paid as soon as practicable but in any case not later than seven days after the day of termination.

"Moreover, under Section 23 of the Ordinance, wages are due at the end of the wage period and must be paid as soon as practicable but in any case not later than seven days," she added.

Any employer who fails to comply with these statutory obligations will commit an offence and be liable to a maximum fine of $200,000 and imprisonment for 12 months.

End/Saturday, March 4, 1995

Entries for Outstanding Volunteer Awards invited

*****

Young volunteers will have an opportunity to visit Singapore and Malaysia during the summer vacation under the 1995/96 Overseas Exchange Award for Outstanding Youth Volunteers Scheme.

The scheme, jointly organised by the Social Welfare Department and the Hong Kong Council of Social Services, is aimed at commending outstanding youth volunteers for their contribution and commitment to the society.

"We welcome young volunteers aged between 16 and 24 to participate in this programme. Candidates must have experience in volunteer work and should be nominated by their schools or serving agencies," a spokesman for the Social Welfare Department said today (Saturday).

8

"A total of 14 awardees will be offered a free trip to Singapore and Malaysia to widen their international perspective as well as to meet their counterparts and share experience on voluntary work," he added.

The panel of adjudicators consists the Chairman of the Commission on Youth, Mr Eric Li; the Assistant Director of the Hong Kong Council of Social Services (Agency Service), Miss Virginia Chan; the Assistant Director of Social Welfare (Youth and Rehabilitation), Mr Anthony Chan; and the Chairman of the Organising Committee of Overseas Exchange Award for Outstanding Youth Volunteers 1995/96, Mr Chan Ping-wah.

Interested participants may contact their agencies or call the Organising Committee at 2892 5119 for further details. Nominations will be closed on April 7 (Friday).

The scheme is sponsored by the Sir Robert Black Trust Fund.

End/Saturday, March 4, 1995

Fresh water cut in Causeway Bay *****

Fresh water supply to some premises in Causeway Bay will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm on Monday (March 6) to 6 am the following day to facilitate water mains leakage detection.

The suspension will affect all the premises at 256-281 Gloucester Road, 470-532 and 477-539 Jaffe Road, 485-545 and 486-556 Lockhart Road, 483-555 Hennessy Road, 1-5 Great George Street, 2-46 Percival Street, Cannon Street and East Point Road.

End/Saturday, March 4, 1995

9

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

Imillion Time (hours) Cumulative change ($ million)

Opening balance in the account 1,866 09:30 +824

Closing balance in the account 1,235 10:00 +824

Change attributable to: 11:00 +824

Money market activity +824 11:30 +824

LAF today -1,455 15:00

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 119.4 *-0.4* 4.3.95

End/Saturday, March 4, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Sunday, March 5,1995

Contents Page No,

Transcript of the Governor’s media session in a counting station.......... 1

Transcript of the Governor’s media session outside press centre.............. 4

HK manages elections with considerable success............................... 7

Transcript of the Governor’s media session after visiting polling station. 9

Transcript of Chief Secretary’s media session............................. 11

Voter turnout rate this morning encouraging................................. 12

Baroness Dunn urges electors to exercise their right........................ 12

BEC satisfied with overall voter turnout number............................. 13

Secretaries pleased with voter turnout...................................... 14

BEC Chairman urges physically handicapped electors to vote.................. 15

Record number of candidates contest Municipal Council elections........... 16

/Constitutional Affairs.....

Contents

Pagefr.o,

Constitutional Affairs Secretary calls on residents to vote...................... 17

Voter turnout exceeds last MC elections..................................... 18

Go to the polls: Urban Services Director.................................... 18

BEC closely monitors election activities......................................... 19

Schools reminded to return questionnaires on DSS................................. 19

Stamps feature international sport events........................................ 20

"Peace In My World" poster contest............................................... 22

Leaflets to promote family services............................••................ 23

1

Transcript of the Governor’s media session in a counting station *****

Transcript of the Governor the Rt Hon Christopher Patten's media session after visiting a counting station in Wan Chai:

Governor: First of all, I'd like to congratulate Justice Woo and the Boundary and Election Commission for organising once again a successful day for Hong Kong. I'd like also to thank all those returning officers and every one else who has helped with the arrangements for today’s polling of the Municipal Council Elections. As you know, the overall result, I'm not talking about who wins which contest, but the overall result for Hong Kong is a good one. We've seen a higher turnout than the last Municipal Council Elections. Perhaps, more significant since we now have a record voter registration, a higher turnout has meant a very much larger number of people who have voted. Altogether about 168,000 more people have voted in these Municipal Council Elections than in the last one in 1991. That's an increase of over 40 per cent. It's also interesting that in the two District Board By-elections today, the turnout was actually higher than it was in the District Board Elections last autumn. So, I think that's an indication of the continuing interest of the people of Hong Kong in civic issues, in helping to put their stamp on the way Hong Kong is run and helping to affect the way day to day issues are dealt with. There were a couple of unfortunate incidents, I understand, involving scuffles around polling stations. Obviously those are matters for the Police and all of us regret that they have happened. But I think it's important to keep this sort of things in context and if you compare what had happened in some other communities where they held elections in the very peaceful way, an orderly way in which by and large we conducted our elections in Hong Kong. I think that does give you a further piece of evidence that these elections are part of Hong Kong' stability and demonstrates how mature and moderate people of Hong Kong are.

Question: There are two cases of scuffles, could you see it as rivalry between proBeijing faction and pro-democracy?

Governor: I don't want to comment on individual parties or disagreement that individual parties have. But by and large, however strong the feelings of individual parties and individual candidates, the argument has been kept within the bounds of civilised debate. That is something which has been a hallmark of political development here in Hong Kong. I repeat that one should perhaps compare what happens here with what happens in some other communities. I think you then realise that we don't have too much to worry about.

Question: Do you think the scuffles will., to China and suggest that more direct elections can create chaos?

2

Governor: No.

Question: Could you elaborate?

Governor: I’ve pointed out that two scuffles should be kept in context while they’re regrettable. I think you should compare the way we’ve held elections with the way little sort of things that happened in other communities. As I said earlier in the day, there are some communities where they’ve only able to have elections with the help of UN police and forces. So I think people should keep these things in context.

Question: Why there is lower voter turnout in rural areas?

Governor: I’m not sure. You have to ask the individual candidates I think. There may well be particular local reasons why the turnout is lower in some areas than others, why there are differences between urban areas and rural areas. But I don’t think that you can generalise if you are answering a question on individual turnout of a constituency.

Question: While we know Hong Kong is not like Cambodia where UN officials....we didn’t see any scuffles in the last District Board Elections.?

Governor: I do think, though I haven't had full reports on these two incidents, I do think that you should keep them in context. We had today a record number of people voting in Municipal Council Elections. It’d been a lovely day. The people of Hong Kong have taken this further development in the political life of the territory completely in their strides. In a couple of cases, people extremely ill-advisedly seemed to have lost their tempers. But I don’t think that the behaviour of a handful of people should be held against the over half a million who voted and who went about their business for the great degree of consciousness. We’ve had, I think, probably a livelier campaign with the Municipal Council Elections than we’ve ever had in Hong Kong before, certainly a record number of candidates competing for votes from a record number who have registered to vote. While a couple of incidents are regrettable, I really don’t think you should turn them into the equivalent of Pearl Harbour.

Question: Two elections have already passed. One more to go. What messages have you got to....

3

Governor: I don’t think it’s a question of me sending messages. I think the messages are for the people of Hong Kong. What we've seen in the District Board Elections, in the Municipal Council Elections is many more people, hundreds of thousands more people in Hong Kong, taking the opportunity of behaving with civic consciousness and putting their own stamp on the sort of community that they want to live in. We’ll see that further in the Legislative Council Elections in the autumn. I’m sure we'll have a vigorous campaign in the run up to those elections with everybody representing every point of view, including some points of view which Peking officials would find themselves in sympathy with, representing every point of view and putting those points of view before the electors, for the judgement of the electors. Now that is just an aspect of Hong Kong's maturity. The fact that it'd done on the whole in such a moderate and sensible way shouldn't surprise anybody, because this is one of the most sophisticated, well educated, prosperous, successful communities in the world. I've said earlier that that development doesn’t represent a threat to anything or anybody. It doesn't represent a threat to Hong Kong's stability. Look at how stable we are and how prosperous we are today, nor does it represent a threat to anybody else's community or anybody else's stability. It’s part of the maturing of this great territory. I hope that what has happened will help some people who appear not to have done so in the past to trust Hong Kong.

Question: Mr Li Peng said in his speech to the NPC that he was looking forward to Britain honouring the Joint Declaration and co-operating with China. What's your reaction to that?

Governor: We've seen the Government honouring the Joint Declaration today. This is part of what the Joint Declaration promised the people of Hong Kong. I very much hope that all of us can look forward to greater co-operation between Britain and China in the interest of Hong Kong. That's what all of us want to see. Of course, cooperation involves people grasping your hand when you put it out to them. So I trust that the Prime Minister's words will be reflected in actions and in the interest of the people of Hong Kong during the next two and a half years and beyond. I think that we've achieved a very great deal in Hong Kong. We've laid the foundations for an immensely successful future for the SAR. It's what all of us want to see. We’ve more likely to see it if we have positive and constructive co-operation from China in the JLG and elsewhere and I trust that we can look forward to that. I hope today will be the beginning of spring. Thank you very much.

End/Sunday, March 5, 1995

4

Transcript of the Governor's media session outside press centre *****

The following is the transcript of the media session by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, after visiting the Press Centre for the Municipal Councils elections at the City Hall this (Sunday) afternoon:

Governor: I went to Yuen Long this morning to see the polling there and the figures that we heard this morning have been continued pretty well through the day. The turnout is fairly consistently higher than it was in the last Municipal Council elections. Perhaps even more significantly with a record voter registration this year, the actual number of people voting is very substantially higher, about 95,000 more people have voted by 4:30 pm than last time. And we're well on our way to passing the number who voted in 1991. There's still over five hours to go of what's been a beautiful sunny day. So I hope that everyone will take the chance of getting out and voting in these elections for their Municipal Councils which do an important job in Hong Kong, and I am sure that many people will want to put their imprint on the work of the councils over the next few years. The arrangements seem by and large to have gone even more smoothly in the Municipal Council Elections than in the District Board elections. There's still some time to go. But we're obviously learning some lessons very rapidly. And as I say by and large the elections have been as well conducted as they would be, I think, anywhere in the world. And that's a great credit to all the officials, all the civil servants and all the parties and candidates who've been involved. So, so far, so good. But five hours to go. And I hope that those who haven't yet voted will leave the television or whatever else they are doing for a few minutes and go down to the polling stations and cast a vote.

Question: What, do you think, would you hope Beijing will learn from this?

Governor: I think it's for people to take their own lessons, but clearly, candidates who would customarily associate themselves with some of the views expressed by Peking officials have taken an active part in this campaign. I think everybody welcomes that. It's important that all points of view are reflected in the campaign. And I think that what everybody knows is that conducting elections like this isn't a threat to anybody. Hong Kong manages these things by and large with considerable moderation and considerable success. What we're talking about is people having some influence over the day-to-day decisions that affect their lives. And I think that's something that should be welcomed here and everywhere else. So I hope that this will be one of the paving stones back to a more co-operative relationship in the last and important months and years of transition. I hope that we'll be able to say when we look back on today's elections that they've been as good a day for Hong Kong as the District Board elections polling day was.

5

Question: What is the factor for this high rate?

Governor: I think the main reason for the increasing number of people voting, if you look at the DB elections, if you look at the MC elections, is that people are not in any dangerous way; people are steadily more interested in having a say about the way their own lives are shaped. Obviously, people have been interested in the issues raised in the campaign. There have been some interesting, important debates. But, by and large, candidates have been talking about street comer, neighbourhood issues. And they involve people in that and that's why I think more people come out to vote. Clearly, the weather is a help as well. It's easier to go out to vote when the sun's shining than when it's pouring with rain. But nevertheless, I think overall this is part of the steady, unthreatening, maturing of this community and this society. And I think that should be welcomed. What I always think is surprising is when you go along to a polling station on a day like this, when you see Hong Kong conducting an election as maturely as this, you think to yourself what's all the fuss been about ? What's the big deal ? Hong Kong is capable of taking these sorts of things in its stride. One of the most sophisticated, one of the most successful, one of the most stable, one of the most prosperous communities in the world, of course, we can conduct things like the Municipal Council elections or DB elections or in the autumn Legislative Council elections without them being any threat to anybody, with them being part of the fabric of our society and of our Government.

Question: Do you think the high rate reflects a kind of degree of maturity in this civil mind of the people and so that becomes one of the threats that Beijing has to consider when .... constitutional affairs?

Governor: I don't think that any of us can make final judgments about the rate until 10.30 pm. There is still some time to go. And there are a lot of people who still haven't voted. But I think that it is important to look not just at the percentage turnout, but to remember that we're holding these elections against the backdrop of record registration of voters. So what's interesting is to see the absolute number of people who are going out and voting. And it's a very considerable increase and I have said in reply to two previous questions some of the reasons why I think that's happened. I think it is a totally natural development in a community like Hong Kong.

Question: About the incident this morning, what sort of appeal....

6

Governor: I think everybody regrets any scuffles or punch-ups in the margins of polling day. I am sure the parties will want to ensure that its supporters, however enthusiastic they become, keep their enthusiasm within the bounds of vigorous politeness. You and I, I am sure, know that other communities, when they conduct elections, do it with rather more than the odd punch-ups. There are other communities not far from here where they have to have elections with UN policemen and others to make sure that it goes all right. In Hong Kong, I would guess that the amount of violence associated with politics and political campaigning is miles below the level that you find virtually everywhere else in the world, and that, again, is an aspect of the fact that this is a very stable, very mature, very sophisticated, very well-educated, very grown-up community. Any others?

Question: In what way do you think the Government should review about this kind of violence happen in election?

Governor: If this is a punch-up or two, that’s a matter for the police and the courts. On the whole, as you know, the Government through the funding of the police, through the encouragement of the fight crime committees, and in other ways, helps to ensure that the level of crime in this community is well below that almost everywhere else in the world.

Question: Can we say in London the violence associated with politics is more serious than in Hong Kong?

Governor: I have seen in the UK from time to time political activities that are rougher than anything I have seen in Hong Kong in the last three years. But equally I have seen on my television screen much worse pictures from elsewhere in Europe, from North America and from other parts of the world. What I am saying is that a scuffle or two, though extremely regrettable and a cause of concern, shouldn't be got out of perspective. This is a community which carries out, which conducts political debate often on issues which people feel passionately about, conducts political debate in a very mature and calm and responsible way. Last question.

Question: Why did you repeatedly using the word "threats" or "threaten" ? Who do you have in mind you may feel threatened, in what ways do you think he's threatened?

7

Governor: Sometimes, when we've talked about these issues in the past, some pro-Peking newspapers and some Chinese officials have given the impression that they think that honouring the Joint Declaration in the development of Hong Kong's governing institutions is in some way a threat either to Hong Kong's stability and prosperity, or perhaps to other things. And I was just pointing out that what has happened today is about as threatening as a pussy cat. I mean this is an example of a mature society, deciding sensibly in a civilised way how its local affairs should be run.

Question: How would you explain about Sir Hamish's budget proposal not including the 1996-97 budget to consult with the Chinese side?

Governor: Well, that was last week's question, which was asked on a number of occasions, and like Sir Hamish Macleod, I think that this is an issue which is best discussed in the Joint Liaison Group. Everybody knows that I set out in my speech to the Legislative Council last autumn proposals for consultation and co-operation with the preparatory committee and with Chinese officials over the budget and over the financial arrangements for Hong Kong in the future. That was set out with the very best intentions of Hong Kong in mind. We put those proposals in considerable detail to the Chinese side in November. We discussed them in the December JLG. And 1 think it would be sensible to go on discussing them in the JLG rather than to turn them into an unnecessary argument over the airwaves. I just hope that every future Financial Secretary, both before 1997 and after 1997, will produce as successful budgets as Sir Hamish Macleod has done. Thank you very much.

End/Sunday, March 5, 1995

HK manages elections with considerable success * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Hong Kong manages its elections by and large with considerable moderation and considerable success, the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said this (Sunday)afternoon.

The elections have been as well conducted as they would be anywhere in the world, Mr Patten added.

The Governor was speaking after visiting the Press Centre set up in the City Hall for the Municipal Council elections.

8

Mr Patten said the actual number of people voting was very substantially higher, and "we are well on our way to passing the number who voted in 1991," he added.

In reply to a question, Mr Patten said: "I think it's for people to take their own lessons, but clearly, candidates who would customarily associate themselves with some of the views expressed by Peking officials have taken an active part in this campaign.

"And I think that what everybody knows is that conducting elections like this isn't threat to anybody. Hong Kong manages these things by and large with considerable moderation and considerable success."

People were steadily more interested in "having a say about the way their lives are shaped", the Governor said.

Commenting on the report of scuffle, Mr Patten said: "I think everybody regrets any scuffles or punch-ups in the margins of polling day.

"I am sure the parties will want to ensure that its supporters, however enthusiastic they become, keep their enthusiasm within the bounds of vigorous politeness.

"I would guess that the amount of violence associated with politics and political campaigning (in Hong Kong) is miles below the level that you find virtually everywhere else in the world, and that, again, is an aspect of the fact that this is a very stable, very mature, very sophisticated, very well-educated, very grown-up community."

The Governor appealed to prospective voters to come out to cast their vote.

He said: "And I hope that those who haven't yet voted will leave the television or whatever else they are doing for a few minutes and go down to the polling stations and cast a vote."

End/Sunday, March 5, 1995

9

Transcript of the Governor's media session after visiting polling station *****

The following is the transcript of the media session by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, after visiting the polling station at Lutheran Primary School, Yuen Long, this (Sunday) morning;

Governor: Morning. I am pleased to see the election arrangements, proceeding as smoothly and efficiently as ever. It's good to see people turning out on a fine day to vote for the Municipal Councils. The last turnout figures, I saw for the whole of Hong Kong at 11.30, suggested that almost 40,000 more people had voted than at the similar time in the Municipal Councils elections in 1991. So I hope that stays up and that we have a good turnout today. The Municipal Councils do an important job and I hope that as many people as possible vote to put their stamp on the policies of the Municipal Councils in the years ahead.

Question: Do you think it is a smooth election as some supporters in Kwun Tong District fight each other?

Governor: I think there was a bit of trouble in one district, but overall, the arrangements have gone as smoothly as they always do in Hong Kong. This is an extremely responsible and moderate community, and as ever people are going about their duty as citizens in a very competent and moderate way. But where there is trouble, it obviously has to be dealt with.

Question: How to avoid this kind of fighting or... affecting the clean election?

Governor: I think that in elections anywhere in the world, there is from time to time a bit of trouble when people get very excitable at the polling booths. Perhaps the remarkable thing about Hong Kong is that there's as little trouble as there is.

Question: Governor, about the village representatives in Yuen Long, you are now in a place that native villagers and in a lot of villages, they still not agree to have one person one vote...village. How do you feel about that is it fair to the both sex?

Governor: I want to have a look at the details of the particular case before commenting on it.

Question: Are you optimistic of today's voting rate?

10

Governor: I hope that we'll have more people voting in Hong Kong today than in the last Municipal Councils elections. Traditionally what's happened is that the turn-out rate in the Municipal Councils elections has been lower than for the District Board elections, and the situation is likely complicated this time as well by two factors. First of all by the fact that we got a record number of candidates for the Municipal Councils elections. Secondly that the voter registration is at a record level. So in order to have the same percentage turnout, you need to have a lot more people voting. In the District Board elections, we did have a lot more people voted, a record number of voters in District Board elections. It will be interesting to see how today's turnout for the Municipal Councils election compares with the 393,000 people who voted in 1991. But as I said, I hope that as many people as possible will exercise their right to vote.

Question: There is a criticism that about the Municipal Election has become politicised. What is your comment on that?

Governor: I think that the elections for Municipal Councils inevitably everywhere in the world have some politics about them. After all, the councils are talking about very important sendees and the expenditure of large amounts of money. And whether that's political with small "p" or a large "P", there is an element of politics about it. But I think that the electorate are sensible enough to choose the right men and women for the important job that needs to be done, and I am sure that they will weigh in the balance both the overall approach of the parties to which candidates belong if they do belong to parties rather than are independent, and will also weigh the individual qualities and the record of service to the community of the individual candidates.

Question: Up to now are you satisfied with the voting rate?

Governor: Up to now, the voting rate is higher than it was in the Municipal Councils elections in 1991. So I am reasonably pleased about that. But we obviously won't be able to get a better picture until much later in the day. I think historically it's been the case that the period of most rapid voting is in the early evening. All I would say is that I hope people will remember that this is an important day for the Government of Hong Kong and an important day for the provision of a lot of the services that people take most for granted. So I hope that they will turn out and express their views on the way Municipal Councils should be run. Okay?

End/Sunday, March 5, 1995

11

Transcript of Chief Secretary’s media session ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the transcript of Chief Secretary Mrs Anson Chan’s media session after visiting the Press Centre for the Municipal Council elections and District Board by-elections today (Sunday):

CS: I’ve just cast my vote. Today is Sunday. It's a splendid sunny day. So, just the right day to cast one's vote. I've been looking at the figures, if you compare the figures with the elections in 1991, I think the voter turn-out so far is quite encouraging. Of course, I would urge all voters to turn out to vote and there's still so many hours to go. The Urban Council and the Regional Council provide very essential services in terms of health facilities and a whole range of cultural and sporting facilities. So I very much hope that all those registered voters will turn out to vote today.

Question: There's a fight this morning in Sau Mau Ping. You're probably aware of that. What sort of appeal you have?

CS: I would urge the voters to maintain law and order. I think that on this occasion, it was the supporters who got into a sort of a tussle. It's important to maintain law and order. Also, I think, not to affect other people who might want to vote and who might be put off by this disturbance, so I'd just urge everybody to maintain calm and maintain law and order.

Question: Do you know what sparked off the fight?

CS: I don't know. I haven’t seen the details but I assume it was two groups of supporters, maybe just losing their temper. I think it’s just essential to maintain law and order and not to get too carried away.

End/Sunday, March 5, 1995

12

Voter turnout rate this morning encouraging ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

The Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson- Chan, said the voter turnout at the Urban and Regional Councils elections so far this (Sunday) morning was quite encouraging as compared with the case in 1991. She was commenting on the elections after visiting the Elections Press Centre at the City Hall.

"I've just cast my vote. Today is Sunday. It's a splendid sunny day. So, just the right day to cast one's vote," she said.

"Of course, I would urge all voters to turn out to vote and there's still so many hours to go.

"The Urban Council and the Regional Council provide very essential services in terms of health facilities and a whole range of cultural and sporting facilities. So I very much hope that all those registered voters will turn out to vote today."

Replying to a question about an incident this morning in the Shun Sau constituency in Kwun Tong, she stressed the importance of maintaining order during the elections.

End/Sunday, March 5, 1995

Baroness Dunn urges electors to exercise their right

*****

Hong Kong citizens have come to understand the importance of selecting their own elected representatives, particularly for the Municipal Councils whose work touched the daily lives of Hong Kong people, the Senior Member of the Executive Council, Baroness Dunn, said.

"So I hope that all those who have registered will come out and exercise their right and their duty actively today," she said.

Speaking to reporters after casting her vote at the Raimondi College polling station today (Sunday), she said it was a milestone in the history of Hong Kong's political development.

13

"For the first time there has been a record number of registered candidates and there has been a record number of registered voters. Over two million voters have registered," she said.

When asked about the Kwun Tong incident this morning, she said: "If we want our elected system to be a success, all those who participate in the system, whether as candidates, voters, or those who support different candidates, must respect the rules and the regulations of an elected system," she said.

Up to 2.30 pm this afternoon, 225,862 registered electors have gone to the polls, as compared with 158,918 in the 1991 elections.

End/Sunday, March 5, 1995

BEC satisfied with overall voter turnout number *****

The Chairman of the Boundary and Election Commission, Mr Justice Woo Kwok-hing, said the Commission was very satisfied with the overall voter turnout at yesterday's Municipal Councils elections.

He was briefing reporters early this (Monday) morning at the press centre after the close of poll.

"A total of 561,943 voters have cast their votes in the MC elections. This represents 25.8 per cent of the total number of voters. There has been an increase both in terms of absolute number and the turnout rate when compared to the corresponding figures in the 1991 MC elections," Mr Justice Woo said.

"The number of voters has increased by 168,011 and the turnout rate has also increased by 2.7 per cent."

As far as the District Board by-elections are concerned, the figures were as encouraging, Mr Justice Woo said.

"Some 2,064 votes (28.1 per cent) were cast in the Yau Ma Tei Constituency and 3,147 votes (41.3 per cent) in the Lower Ngau Tau Kok Constituency," the Chairman said.

14

Mr Justice Woo noted that these figures were again higher than those in the last District Board elections in the respective constituencies.

On the operation of the elections today, Mr Justice Woo said things went smoothly and "we are quite happy with the arrangements at the various polling stations".

He attributed the success of today's elections to the effective publicity at the central and district levels, active campaigning by the candidates, a better understanding of the elections by voters and the good weather.

The Commission would learn from the experience and plan for the Legislative Council elections in September, Justice Woo added.

End/Monday, March 6, 1995

Secretaries pleased with voter turnout *****

The overall voter turnout rate of 25.8 per cent at yesterday’s election was the highest record in all Municipal Council Elections, the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Nicholas Ng, said in comment on the elections this (Monday) morning during his visit to the Counting Centre at the Henry G Leong Yau Ma Tei Community Centre.

Mr Ng noted that the increase in the actual number of people who had cast their votes this time showed that registered voters had participated more actively in the elections than in 1991.

The fact that the elections were conducted in a peaceful, legal and orderly manner meant that public’s knowledge of elections had increased. There was also keener involvement in public affairs, Mr Ng said.

He wished more people, either as candidates or voters, would take part actively in the Legislative Council Elections in September.

Mr Ng was satisfied with the electoral arrangements. He said that the Boundary' and Election Commission would review the arrangements and make improvements.

15

Meanwhile, the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, also found the voter turnout encouraging.

Speaking at his visit to the Counting Centre at Tai Po Community Hall, Mr Suen said that the over 500,000 voters turnout indicated that the public showed a better understanding of and had marked improvements in the participation of election activities.

Mr Suen noted that of the over 400 complaints received, there were only two serious ones and they were only individual incidents.

He added that most people had been carrying out electioneering activities calmly.

End/Sunday, March 5, 1995

BEC Chairman urges physically handicapped electors to vote *****

The Chairman of the Boundary and Election Commission, Mr Justice Woo Kwok-hing, this (Sunday) morning urges physically handicapped electors to come out in force to the polls.

This, he believes, would arouse more candidates to concern about the welfare and interest of these electors.

“This would be mutually beneficial to both parties,” the Chairman said.

Mr Justice Woo was speaking to the press after visiting a Sha Tin polling station where a number of physically handicapped electors cast their votes.

He said the Commission was in close contact with groups representing the interest of the physically handicapped for advice to improve polling arrangements and design of the polling station.

Of the 377 polling stations opened today for Municipal Council elections, 144 are accessible to physically handicapped electors.

A number of templates are also made available in each polling station for blind electors to mark their vote on the ballot paper.

16

The Chairman said the Commission would review the polling arrangements after the elections to see what further improvement could be made.

End/Sunday, March 5, 1995

Record number of candidates contest Municipal Council elections

*****

The Attorney General, Mr Jeremy Mathews, said today's Municipal Council elections were important as there was a record number of candidates contesting 59 seats. A total of 135 nominations were received for the elections.

He was speaking to the media after casting his vote at the German Swiss International School this morning.

"So it's very important that everybody who is a registered elector gets out to vote."

Mr Mathews said it was a good day for the elections as the weather was good.

"So I hope that as many who can get out will get out and vote, for this is very important elections," he said.

In the first four hours of polling which started at 7.30 am, 114,459 registered electors have cast their votes. In the previous elections in 1991, 78,801 people voted in the corresponding period.

A total of 377 polling stations across the territory are open until 10.30 pm tonight.

Of the stations, 163 are accessible to physically handicapped electors.

End/Sunday. March 5, 1995

17

Constitutional Affairs Secretary calls on residents to vote ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Nicholas Ng, urged the people of Hong Kong to actively take part in the Municipal Councils elections today (Sunday).

Speaking to media members after casting his vote at Kung Lee College this morning, he said it was a civic responsibility to participate in elections.

The two councils provide important recreational and cultural facilities as well as environmental hygiene services to more than six million people of Hong Kong, he said.

The elections today will select 59 councillors to serve on the councils.

A total of 377 polling stations throughout the territory are open from 7.30 am to 10.30 pm.

When asked to forecast the turn-out rate, Mr Ng said: "I think it’s rather speculative to say what is the turn-out rate, but we certainly look forward to high turnout for today’s voting.

"The weather is fine. People are used to the elections, and people're realising the importance of the Urban Council’s and the Regional Council’s activities, so we look forward to active participation by the people of Hong Kong," he said.

In the first hour of polling which began at 7.30 am, 9,344 registered electors have gone to the polls, as compared with 7,304 in the 1991 elections.

End/Sunday, March 5. 1995

18

Voter turnout exceeds last MC Elections * * * * ♦

The Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, this (Sunday) evening called on those who had not voted in the municipal council elections to do so in the remaining hours.

Commenting on the voter turnout during his visit to the press centre, Mr Suen said there had been an improvement as so far (7.30 pm) the number of people who had come out to vote had exceeded that of the last time.

"More than 410,000 people had cast their vote by now and I hope more will do so in the few hours to come," he said.

"Of course this time we have got more competitions, we have got more campaigning and we have got good weather.

"I would take this opportunity to call on all those voters who have not come out to vote to take this opportunity to elect their own representatives.

"It is important that everyone should come out and exercise their choice to ensure that people who they think can represent them are elected." he added.

End/Sunday. March 5, 1995

Go to the polls: Urban Services Director

* * * * *

The Director of Urban Services, Mr Albert Lam Chi-chiu, called on residents to spare a few minutes today (Sunday) to exercise their civic duty to vote in the Urban and Regional Councils elections.

After casting his vote at the King's College Old Boys' Association Primary School, he told reporters that he was satisfied with the atmosphere at the polling stations.

"Since polling began at 7.30 am, more and more people have been turning up at the polling stations to cast their ballots," he said.

19

In response to a question about the turnout rate this morning, Mr Lam said according to experience in the previous elections, residents usually went to the polls later in the day.

He said residents now had a better understanding of the activities and services of the two Municipal Councils and he urged everyone to support today's elections.

End/Sunday, March 5, 1995

BEC closely monitors election activities

* ♦ ♦ * *

The three-member Boundary and Election Commission (BEC) today (Sunday) toured a number of polling stations throughout the territory to ensure that the Municipal Council elections were conducted openly, fairly and honestly.

On three different routes, the BEC Chairman, Mr Justice Woo Kwok-hing, and members Mr Norman Leung and Mr Chan Wing-tai, saw how different election activities were conducted in various districts.

The Chairman also talked to representatives of the Rehabilitation Alliance Hong Kong at a Sha Tin polling station and listened to their views on how to further improve polling arrangements to facilitate voting for physically handicapped electors.

End/Sunday. March 5, 1995

Schools reminded to return questionnaires on DSS

*****

The Education Department reminds schools to complete and return the questionnaire on the Direct Subsidy Scheme (DSS) on or before Saturday (March 11).

A spokesman for the Education Department said the survey by the Private Schools Review Committee was aimed to find out any problems or worries on the part of prospective schools, and reasons why they are not interested in joining the scheme.

20

The spokesman said the implementation of the DSS was to encourage the growth of a strong private school sector to provide parents with more alternatives. Participating schools would enjoy a high degree of freedom with regard to curricula, fees and entrance requirements for students.

He assured that the DSS would not affect the Government's commitment to the provision of free and compulsory education, and that children would not be compelled to attend a DSS school.

All completed questionnaires should be returned to the Private Schools Review Committee at Room 1153, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai on or before Saturday (March 11).

The DSS was recommended by the Education Commission in its report No. 3 published in 1988 and endorsed by the Govemor-in-Council in 1989.

At present, a total of 12 secondary schools, including five international schools and seven other schools, are participating in the scheme which has been implemented since 1991.

End/Sunday. March 5. 1995

Stamps feature international sport events *****

A set of special stamps will be issued on March 22 on the theme of "Hong Kong International Sporting Events", the Postmaster General, Mr Mike Pagliari, announced today (Sunday). There will be four denominations: $1, $1.9, $2.4 and $5. The stamps were designed by Mr Kan Tai-keung and printed by Leigh-Mardon Pty-Ltd of Australia.

This set of stamps features four major international sporting events that have become synonymous with Hong Kong:

* the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens ($1) organised by the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union;

* the China Sea Race ($1.9) organised by the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club;

21

* the International Dragon Boat Races ($2.4) organised by the Hong Kong Tourist Association, and

* the Hong Kong International Races ($5) organised by the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club.

The stamps will be displayed for advance information of the public at the General Post Office, Sha Tin Central Post Office, Tsim Sha Tsui Post Office and Tsuen Wan Post Office from March 8. Official first day covers will be placed on sale at all post offices from March 8 at $1 each.

Advance orders for serviced first day covers at $13.8 each will be accepted from March 8 to 15. The minimum number of serviced first day covers per order is five.

Each customer queuing on the first day of issue can buy up to two sheets of stamps of each denomination (viz 100 sets of stamps).

A beautifully designed presentation pack containing the four stamps will also be available for sale at $18 each at all post offices from March 22.

Serviced first day covers affixed with the set of stamps and cancelled with the first day of issue postmark will be placed on sale at $13.8 each on March 22 at the following seven philatelic offices: Beaconsfield House Post Office

General Post Office

Granville Road Post Office

Peak Post Office

Sha Tin Central Post Office

Tsim Sha Tsui Post Office

Tsuen Wan Post Office

On the first day of issue on March 22, hand-back service will be provided at all post offices for official and privately-made covers bearing the first day of issue indication.

End/Sunday, March 5, 1995

22

’’Peace In My World’’ poster contest ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A Hong Kong student winning in the ’’Peace In My World” poster contest may have a chance to win a grand prize to visit the United Nations in New York City in March this year.

The ’’Peace in My World” poster contest — organised by the Education Department's Community Youth Club (CYC) and sponsored by the Lions Club International 303 - attracted 949 entries from 104 primary and secondary students aged between 11 and 13 to take part.

The champion's poster will be forwarded to compete in the 7th Annual International Peace Poster Contest in USA.

The grand prize winner in the International Contest will receive a trip to New York City with two family members for a behind-the-scene visit to the United Nations and a cash price of US$1,500.

The Deputy Director of Education, Miss Elaine Chung, will tomorrow (Monday) present prizes to the winning students at a prize-presentation ceremony.

The first three winners will receive book/stationery tokens of $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000 respective and merit prizes of $500 book/stationery tokens will be awarded to 40 outstanding students.

Attention News Editors:

The Deputy Director of Education, Miss Elaine Chung, will present prizes to the winners of the "Peace In My World” poster contest at a prize- presentation ceremony which will be held at 5.30 pm tomorrow (Monday) at the Landmark Room, The Hong Kong Overseas Bankers Club, 43rd floor, Gloucester Tower, The Landmark, Central.

Your representatives are invited to cover the event.

End/Sunday, March 5, 1995

- 23 -

Leaflets to promote family services

* ♦ ♦ * ♦

The Social Welfare Department has produced a leaflet advising members of the public to make better use of existing services to handle their family problems.

The leaflet, printed in Chinese, is now available for collection at all district offices of the department and the Hong Kong Council of Social Service.

"Members of the public who have any family problem are advised to approach various family services centres throughout the territory as early as possible to avoid their problems from further deteriorating," a spokesman for the department said today (Sunday).

*

"We believe that the earlier a family problem is addressed, the better chance for a solution to be worked out," he said.

At present, there are a total of 62 family services centres throughout the territory. Thirty-nine of them are directly managed by the department while the others are run by subvented non-governmental organisations.

"Family services, through counselling and assistance of professional social workers, are aimed at helping individuals and families cope with family or social adjustment problems, with a view to preserving and strengthening the family as a unit and improving the quality of family life.

"Individuals and families having difficulties in family or interpersonal relationships, behavioural or adjustment problems, hardship arising from financial difficulties or poor health may approach family services centres for assistance," the spokesman said.

"Couples who encounter any marriage crisis or are considering divorce can also seek help.

"If the problems cannot be dealt with within the scope of family services, the department will refer the case to appropriate departments or organisations for assistance in housing, employment, medical care, schooling or vocational training," he added.

The leaflet also contains a comprehensive list showing the addresses and telephone numbers of all 62 family services centres throughout the territory.

End/Sunday, March 5, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Monday, March 6,1995

Contents Page No,

Governor announces new drive to beat drugs.......................... 1

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

Governor's opening statement at drugs summit meeting................ 6

Governor's closing statement at drugs summit meeting............... 10

No appeal against court's decision on election petition............ 15

Plans to achieve housing production targets..................... 16

Royal Observatory issues daily radioactivity readings........... 18

Listing of Mai Po as Ramsar Site................................ 19

Government endeavours to minimise ACP's impact on environment 20

Special Topics Report No. 11 on Social Statistics published..... 22

Central allocation of Primary One places........................... 22

New phone number for Wage Security Unit............................ 24

Revised planning.....

Contents

Page No.

Revised planning guidelines on conservation on sale................... 24

Water storage figure.................................................. 25

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations............... 26

March 5 elections

SCA satisfied with Municipal Councils elections....................... 27

BEC: Counting of votes completed smoothly and efficiently.......... 28

1995 Urban/Regional Council elections results......................... 29

1995 District Board by-election results............................... 41

1995 District Board by-election results............................... 41

Governor announces new drive to beat drugs *****

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, has announced a $30 million package of measures to combat the growing problem of drug abuse by young people.

Mr Patten revealed 26 initiatives covering law enforcement, preventive education, treatment and rehabilitation, and research at the end of Hong Kong's first-ever summit on drugs held at the Loke Yew Hall of Hong Kong University.

The summit drew together about 250 representatives of the community, including members of Legco, District Boards, the Action Committee Against Narcotics (ACAN), voluntary agencies, District Fight Crime Committees, teachers, social workers and parents.

The Governor also announced at the summit the latest statistics which showed a continuing rise in the pattern of drug abuse among young people which has alarmed the community.

The statistics for 1994 showed a 22 per cent increase in the number of young drug abusers reported for the first time in 1994 over 1993. Last year's figure was 2,748. The 1993 figure itself was 57 per cent more than in 1992.

"So the growth rate is still distressingly high," Mr Patten warned.

"A complex challenge confronts us. It cannot be tackled by one section of the community along. It has to be tackled together."

Mr Patten also asked the Chairman of ACAN, Professor Chen Char-nie, and the Commissioner for Narcotics, Mr Alasdair Sinclair, to set up a special action group to follow up all new suggestions made at the summit.

"We have heard some very imaginative and positive ideas put forward by members of the community familiar with this problem and we want to look at them closely," Mr Patten said.

The special action group will submit its recommendations to the Governor in three months.

2

Today's summit was divided into four sessions: addressing the areas of law enforcement, preventive education, treatment and rehabilitation, and research.

The Governor said: "When I suggested the idea of a drugs summit a few months ago, I was determined that this should not be a one-off public relations flourish, achieving a bit of publicity for a day or so, then falling off everyone's agenda.

"So in anticipation of our summit meeting today I asked my officials from all parts of the Government machine involved in the fight against drugs to work together to draw up a Forward Action Plan."

The measures included in the Forward Action Plan include:

* Amending the Drug Trafficking (Recovery of Proceeds) Ordinance to make it even more difficult for drug traffickers to launder and retain their illicit profits from drug trafficking;

* Amending the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance to increase the maximum penalties for offences of illegal or improper sale of drugs;

* Extending the Superintendent's Discretion Scheme to allow young people arrested for the first time for minor drug offences to be cautioned instead of prosecuted;

* Stepping up inspections of pharmacies by the Department of Health;

* Increasing the Police Narcotics Bureau's surveillance activities with 38 additional police officers;

* Extending controls of chemicals that are used in the illicit manufacture of drugs;

* The Attorney General applying to the Court of Appeal for a review of the sentencing guidelines for possession of cannabis for unlawful trafficking;

* Setting up a Drug Education Resource Centre next year to support the implementation of drug education programmes in schools;

* Developing a new General Studies syllabus for primary schools to enhance students' self-esteem;

3

* Forming a special team of social workers in the Social Welfare Department this October to help about 500 drug abusers a year;

* Setting up two additional residential centres for young opiate abusers and a new counselling centre for young abusers;

* Expanding the Hospital Authority's treatment services for psychotropic substance abusers.

In addition, the Government will allocate an additional $1 million in 1995/96 for drug-related research.

It is estimated that the measures will cost about $30 million over this year.

End/Monday, March 6, 1995

Transcript of Governor's media session * * * * *

The following is the transcript of the media session by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, after today's (Monday) Summit Meeting on Drugs:

Governor: Drug abuse is a growing problem world-wide and it's a growing problem here in Hong Kong. Our difficulties aren't yet as bad as they are in some other communities and we certainly don't want them to be. But the figures don't look good and the figures have been getting worse, and if we're to prevent the sort of disaster that has hit so many other communities we've got to take action quickly and we've got to work together as a community, all of us, to beat drugs. That was the purpose of this afternoon's Summit, to get together people from right across the community who have a role in the fight against drugs and to tap their experience and their wisdom and their advice, to see what more we can do as Government.

We're going to consider the ideas put forward this afternoon. I'm setting up a Review Team under AC AN to consider all the ideas that have been put forward and to report to me personally within three months. We've also announced as a sort of payment on account our own Forward Action Plan today containing almost 30 points of action that we are going to take as Government, covering penalties, covering enforcement, covering facilities for education and research, and of course for prevention and rehabilitation.

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We all as a community have to work together to beat this scourge. I think that's the view of this community, I think it's the view of parents in this community. We owe it to our young people and I'm sure that just as we've led, the way and blazed trails in other areas of economic and social life, so we can do so in this one as well.

Question: Governor Patten, do you see this as a long -- I mean don't you feel like you should be extending these remedies for the long term? For example, some people think the problem is not directly that children are out on the streets taking drugs, it's more of a social problem with the homes they live in and they live practically on top of one another, many students only go to school half-day and they have a lot of extra time on their hands. So shouldn't it be attacked more from the angle where, you know, you're going to address these social problems that can lead up to drugs?

Governor: I don't doubt at all that we need long term solutions, and sensible and comprehensive long term solutions require a lot more research. One of the surprising things is how little research has been done on the causes, as well as the cures, here in Hong Kong. Interestingly, if you compare Hong Kong with other communities where drug abuse is on the increase, we don't have a lot of the social problems which they have. For example, in some other communities high levels of youth unemployment are associated with drug abuse and that isn't a problem here in Hong Kong but there may be other social difficulties that we've got which are causing an increase in drug abuse and one of our contributors this afternoon made a very, 1 thought, eloquent plea for more research. But more research can't be a justification for not taking action now, so we have to act in the short term as well as the long term and that's why we're proposing to do more in our schools, that's why we're proposing to give more resources to our Police and that's why we're proposing to give more resources to our Social Welfare Department.

Question: Yes, bearing in mind your decision ... centres being set up, does the Government have any practical solutions for speeding up that process?

Governor: It's a very real process and it's not, as you know, one that just exists in this particular field. But it is a reminder of the importance of working with communities, working through District Boards with communities, to explain to people exactly why the facilities are necessary for Hong Kong and exactly why how things would be worse if we didn't establish these facilities. That point, 1 think, was particularly well pul by I)r Margaret ('han. our I )irector of I leallh. in her answer to questions.

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Question:deadline ... centres as to when they'll be set up? ; ? >•

, . Governor: We vyill set them up as soon as we can but obviously we have to go through the normal planning procedures. Any more on drugs ?

Question: How will you co-ordinate all the plans?

Governor: How will we co-ordinate our plans? Well, first of all ACAN will be undertaking the, review of all the ideas that were put forward this afternoon. They will be reporting to me within three months. The Commissioner of Narcotics will be the main focus in Government for pulling together this programme but obviously I will be taking a particularly close personal interest in it myself.

Question: Governor Patten, some schools have quite severe programmes for students of theirs in testing drugs including ... (inaudible) So how ...do you think it is for schools, independent of Government, to foster programmes ... on their own for their own students?

Governor: Well, a good school, among other things, is a community and as a community it helps prepare children, young people, for the wider community. I think that where good schools are taking initiatives of their own that work, they're to be encouraged and commended. What's more we should try to leam from the example of some schools what works and what may not work. I feel very strongly that not only in this field but in others, it is not sufficient to assume that whatever we have been doing must be the right approach. I think that we need to ensure that we target our efforts and our resources on the things that have the best chance of success and that's true in health education and lifestyle education at schools. It's also true when you come to rehabilitation and treatment of abusers. So I think in a lot of areas we've got to have the humility as Government and as non- governmental organisations and the schools, to look, as somebody said this-afternoon, radically, at what we are doing, try to learn from one another and try to put into place what best works.

Question: Are you saying that you would like to see more of... Hong Kong in some ... (inaudible)

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'Governor: I'd like to see more treatment facilities in Hong Kong and that's one of-the things we've proposed in the Forward Action Plan. But I also want to try to ensure that the sorts of treatment and rehabilitation that we apply are the ones that are mdst likely to work, are the ones that are most likely to be effective. And I think that several of the speakers when they were talking about the importance of looking search'ingly at what we do, were focusing particularly on that issue.

Question: The Democratic Party got riiost of the seats and Elsie Tu an experienced politician lost her seat and Szeto Wah who was named by the Chinese side as counter-revolutionary got the seat. So what's your comment?

Governor: I don't think it's appropriate for me to comment on the outcome of the elections but as for the process of the elections, I think they went extremely successfully. We had a record voter registration, we had a record number of candidates and we had the largest number of people ever voting in the Municipal Council Elections. It was just another example of Hong Kong's maturing as a community and I'm sure that the two Municipal Councils will work very effectively in the interests of the whole community. I'm sure that people will have noticed that those who were going out to vote yesterday were keeping a very close eye on local affairs and I'm sure will keep a very close eye on those that they have elected and that is one of the important reasons for accountability in representative government.

Okay. Thank you very much.

End/Monday, March 6, 1995

Governor's opening statement at drugs summit meeting *****

Following is the opening statement by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, at the Governor's Summit Meeting 6n Drugs today (Monday):

Good Afternoon,

I'd like to welcome all of you very warmly to this Summit Meeting on Drugs this afternoon.

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It is very good to see so many faces. I am grateful to all of you for coming today and for giving your support to this important campaign.

We are here in my judgment on crucial work. We are brought together by a concern, which is shared throughout the community, at the worrying and the persistent increase in drug abuse, particularly amongst the young.

It is perhaps salutary to remind ourselves of the figures. Between 1989 and 1993, the number of reported drug abuses overall rose by 15 per cent. That figure itself is bad enough. But the number under the age of 21 increased by 147 per cent. Over 50 per cent of newly reported cases are now young people. The statistics for 1994 have just become available and I am able to announce them today. The number of young drug abusers reported for the first time in 1994 was 2,748. This is a 22 per cent increase over the number first reported in 1993, which itself was 57 per cent more than in 1992.

So the growth rate is still distressingly high. We have here today at this meeting representatives of many parts of our community: members of the Legislative Council, District Boards, voluntary agencies, District Fight Crime Committees, teachers, social workers, parents, Government officials, people whose work in one way or another brings them into contact with young people and the problem of illicit drugs.

I have invited such a large and diverse group because I wanted to tap the experience and the energies of as wide a cross-section of expertise as possible. A complex challenge confronts us all. It can't be tackled by one section of the community alone. It has to be tackled together. And together I believe that we can beat drugs.

Seated with me at these tables are officials and distinguished members of the community, many pre-eminent in their own field of knowledge or experience on the issue of drug abuse. I will be asking a number of them to make brief statements this afternoon, to share their expertise and their ideas with us.

Our programme will be divided into four separate items: first law enforcement, then preventive education, then treatment and rehabilitation, and finally research.

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For each item, we'll begin with a number of short prepared presentations. Then I throw the topic open to contributions from the floor. I want your ideas and I want your advice, both about what the Government can do, but also about what the community as a whole, or sectors of the community, or groups at the district level, can do to half the growing trend in drug abuse by young people.

When I call for comments from the floor please do feel free to put up your hands. I'll ask you to go to one of the three microphones in the central aisle and speak from there. I hope that when people do speak they will do their best to keep their comments short and to the point, simply so that as many people as possible will have a chance to speak. If we do run out of time and we don't have time to hear everybody, which is I guess inevitable, there are two boxes at the back of the hall into which you can place any written views that you would like taken into account.

Equally of course, if you want to get in touch with me, or ACAN, or the Commissioner for Narcotics after this meeting, with views that you would like to express today but didn't have the time to express, we'll want to hear from you.

At the end of the meeting, I will try to pull the strands together and suggest how we might move forward.

Just let me repeat one thing I have said. This afternoon, we haven't got very long. I know that many of you spend your lives dealing with this issue. So the prospect of getting so much informed experience, so much knowledge expressing itself during a short afternoon, the possibility of that is remote. But first, this is not the one and only time we'll have to discuss this. I shall want to do this again and I shall want between now and our next Summit to see as many of you as possible, those of you who are working with agencies on the ground, I'll hope to be able to see quite a few of you over the next year or so.

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And I say that because when I look at the statistics right across the board, everything in Hong Kong, every sort of social need or social deprivation, the good statistics and the bad statistics, the one thing which stands out like the sorest of thumbs is that things starting to go wrong in this particular area. So I do think we have to spend a lot of time on it. Secondly, I hope that when you set out your ideas about what needs to be done, you'll be as crisp as positive about it as possible. And I am sure while you'll be able to produce an agenda of things for us to spend more money on, and I do want to say that I don't think this is an area which should be too constrained by resources. While I am sure you'll do that, I hope you will also let us know if there are areas where we are at present doing things or spending money where frankly we'll be better off saving our money and putting it elsewhere because there is a tendency in Government to assume that whatever is being done at any given moment is pluperfect and anything additional should be added to it. And I don't think that makes for good government; I don't think it makes for good policy, and I don't think it makes for a very effective use of resources.

I repeat I know that not all of you will be able to get in this afternoon, we'll include as many of you as possible and I hope that those of you who don't manage to speak today will be able to talk to me at some future time or put in your views to us directly or to ACAN over the next few months. But I want to say more about that at the end.

We will now begin with the topic of drugs and law enforcement. And to start us off, and I say this after having being recently to the Narcotics Bureau and been impressed by what I saw there, but to start things off, I'd like to ask the Commissioner, Eddie Hui, to say a few words. Eddie.

End/Monday, March 6, 1995

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Governor's closing statement at drugs summit meeting * * * * *

The following is a transcript of the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten's closing statement at the Drugs Summit today (Monday):

We've had a long and wide-ranging debate during the last almost three hours and I don't want to keep you any longer. I have found it very useful indeed and I hope others have found it useful as well. I am extremely grateful to all those of you who participated, very grateful to all those of you who shared your knowledge and experiences with us, both from the table of panelists and from the floor as well. You've been extremely patient and very well behaved.

Let me try to sum up and suggest where we might go from here. And I say very deliberately where we might go from here because this is not the end of the road.

When I suggested the idea of a Drugs Summit, a few months ago, I was determined that this shouldn't be a one-off public relations flourish, achieving a bit of publicity for a day or so, and then falling off everyone's agenda. I've been around for long enough to know that success lies not in the main event but in keeping up momentum and in keeping up progress long after it's over.

It will of course be for all parts of the community - for voluntary agencies, for District Boards, for Fight Crime Committees, for schools, for parents and so on - to play their part. We need to mobilise the whole community if we are going to win the war against drugs. But it is right that the Government should lead the way in this and that the Government should set an example. So in anticipation of our Summit Meeting today I asked my officials from all parts of the Government machine involved in the fight against drugs to work together to draw up a Forward Action Plan.

It is not a wishy-wash statement of interest. But it's a detailed list of concrete actions which the Hong Kong Government will be taking and setting out who in Government will be responsible for these actions. So that you can actually pinpoint the responsibility.

Some of these are actions which are in the pipeline; others are completely new initiatives. Together they add up to a total package of measures costing some $30 million in the 1995/96 financial year.

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I just want to make clear that we are not and never should be in a position where it's merely good enough to offer up a good idea in an important course and you can get the financing for it. I don't think that's good government. But I do think we recognise in Government that work in this area has to have priority if we have to stop slithering down the slope which other communities have found themselves descending to their huge damage. So good ideas we will look at positively and we will be as generously as our budget allows.

I just want to go over some of those measures in a moment and we will make available a full list, a full list of our Forward Action Plan to everyone at the end of the meeting.

But this isn't the end of the story. This is the Government's contribution, its payment on account if you like, to kick-start our "Beat Drugs" campaign. Some of these measures in fact address, in full or in part, concerns that we have heard during the discussion here today, many of which the Government shares.

But there have been other concerns, other ideas, other initiatives set out today, which aren't covered in our Forward Action Plan.

A number of their contributions have particularly struck me and it's perhaps invidious to name names. But I've been very struck by what's been said about research, the inadequacy of research, the importance of basing the development of policy on a rational approach. I was struck by one or two contributions which remain saying that there wasn't much point in having this sort of discussion unless we were prepared to have a radical look at what we were doing and what we should do. I was very struck by what was said earlier about the importance of involving the people at whom the publicity is targeted, in drawing up publicity in the first place. And I was struck by what people said about sentencing and about the views of the community on the facilities which are available for drug abusers.

Well, one of the main purposes of this Summit was to share ideas and to seek to build join solutions from them. I am therefore going to ask the Chairman of ACAN and the Commissioner for Narcotics to set up a special action group from within ACAN to review as a matter of urgency all the constructive proposals that have been put forward at this discussion today and to report to me personally within three months, with recommendations as to what future action should be taken.

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We will ensure that participants at this Summit are kept informed of progress, both on the recommendations of this special action group, and on the Government's Forward Action Plan. I propose that we have another Summit in a year's time to report progress and to give further impetus to the campaign.

Let me now turn to the main items of the Government's Forward Action Plan. We have grouped these into the same four categories as the discussion here this afternoon. They are the main points in our Forward Action Plan, not the only points in our Forward Action Plan.

First, Law Enforcement

We will be introducing amendments to the Drug Trafficking (Recovery of Proceeds) Ordinance in this legislative session to make it even more difficult for drug traffickers to launder and retain their illicit profits from drug trafficking.

We will be seeking this legislative session to increase the maximum penalties for the illegal or improper sale of drugs.

We will be adding 38 Police Officers to the Police Narcotics Bureau, a bureau which I have seen for myself does a superb job, to help the bureau to increase its surveillance activities.

We will increase inspections of pharmacies, a point that was made in the outset, from 560 to 700 per month by September this year and set up a special task force to help the prosecution of offending drug retailers.

We will extend statutory licensing controls to 21 precursor chemicals used in the illicit manufacture of drugs.

District Offices throughout the territory will be taking action within the next three months to convene meetings at the district level to co- ordinate local efforts against drugs. We hope to get District Boards, District Fight Crime Committees, education authorities, law enforcement agencies, social work teams, housing authorities and all other agencies involved together in this process.

The Attorney-General will make a case to the courts for a review of the sentencing guidelines for possession of cannabis for unlawful trafficking.

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On Preventive Education

We will be setting up a new Drug Education Resource Centre in 1996 to support the implementation of drug education programmes in schools.

We will hold two drug education courses this year to train 120 secondary school teachers; and similar courses for 120 primary teachers.

We will be producing a special video targeted at parents, on the handling of drug problems among their children. This will be distributed to schools and youth organisations and PTA and so on.

We will be developing a new General Studies Syllabus for primary schools to enhance pupils' self-esteem and to help them decide to lead a drug-free life.

We will be carrying out a major anti-drug publicity campaign throughout the year, including an anti-drug event in every district, a special TV programme, radio shows in public housing estates, and an International AntiDrug Day exhibition in June.

On Treatment and Rehabilitation

But in announcing this I do want to make clear that we do understand a need to tackle the problem in getting some of these facilities going because of community concerns. We will be aiming to set up two additional residential treatment centres for young opiate abusers and a new counselling centre for young abusers.

The Hospital Authority will establish six drug abuse clinics which will treat about 300 patients a year.

Social Welfare Department will set up in October 1995 a team of specially trained social workers to help about 500 drug abusers a year.

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Finally on Research

The Government, and this is initial, I don't doubt that we will need to do more, the Government will make available an additional $1 million for drug-related research to help us gain a better understanding of the drug situation. But we'll need to look sympathetically at further sensible proposals for more research because I was very very struck by what Professor Hedley said in his comments.

A lot of points this afternoon, good points, sensible points, points on which we will have to respond and points which will be considered by the review team that I have mentioned earlier. So I hope that we'll be able to convince all of you, even if we don't do everything you want that we have looked at it seriously and sensibly in a rational way and try to use your experience, you expertise, you ideas to put together a coherent strategy.

We've obviously got a busy year ahead. One reason for having another Summit this time next year is to make sure that you know that we haven't just sat back after this meeting and thought that we've done everything that was required.

We hope that these actions and measures, coupled with follow-up on a number of the other proposals coming from you during the last three hours, will give a really big boost to our campaign because this really is one battle which the whole community wants to win. I don't think that we should let people down. We mustn't let our young people down. As our slogan says: "Together, we can beat drugs". Together, I really believe that we can do it.

Hong Kong has pointed the way in very many areas of economic and social life in the last 40, 45 years. Hong Kong has done some things which the rest of the world might have thought impossible. I think it would be nice if in five or ten years' time we could add our ability to deal with, cope with, constrain drug abuse. I think it would be nice if we can add that to our list of achievements. I think we owe it to our young people at least to have a go and I am grateful to all of you for being part of that campaign. Thank you very much.

End/Monday, March 6, 1995

15

No appeal against court's decision on election petition *****

In response to media enquiries, a Government spokesman said today (Monday) that the Administration would not appeal against the court's decision regarding the eligibility of Mr Lau San- ching to stand for the September 1994 District Board election.

The spokesman explained that the court, as it emphasised, was only applying the established legal principle on the concept of "ordinary residence" to the particular facts and circumstances of Mr Lau's case. No new legal principle was involved.

"The ruling should not therefore have any significant impact for legislation, including electoral legislation, which employ the 'ordinary residence' concept," he said.

In future, each nomination for candidature will, as now, be considered on its own merits, having regard to the relevant facts and circumstances, including the reasons for any prolonged absence during the 10-year qualifying period, and the individual's mode of life before the qualifying period, the spokesman said.

On the length of the qualifying period, the spokesman said the Administration was actively reviewing the requirement in the light of the court's comments.

It hopes to be able to come to a view quickly for consultation with the Legislative Council and the community.

End/Monday, March 6, 1995

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Plans to achieve housing production targets *****

The Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic Wong, today (Monday) outlined plans to achieve the housing production targets of 504,000 flats at affordable prices or rents in the next six years, or an average of 84,000 flats a year.

Mr Wong said: "Our targets are to ensure that there will be 141,000 public rental units, 148,000 subsidised home ownership scheme flats and 20,000 Sandwich Class sale flats provided by the Housing Authority and the Housing Society, and 195,000 private sector flats coming on stream between 1995- 96 and 2000-2001 to meet housing demand in the public and private sectors.

"As one of the first steps to accomplish these goals, public expenditure on housing, including that for the Housing Authority, will increase by 10.7 per cent to $24.99 billion in 1995-96. This accounts for 12.25 per cent of the total public expenditure.

"We have also set up the Housing Project Action Team under my chairmanship to monitor, facilitate and expedite housing development in both the public and private sectors.

"We are now fast-tracking 19 projects which will eventually produce 32,300 flats. We are also monitoring closely another 19 sites for the production of another 61,300 units in both the public and private sectors," Mr Wong said.

The Secretary for Housing also revealed that the Government had set aside $8 billion at the disposal of his branch in the next few years to speed up infrastructure projects essential to housing development. The sum will be used mainly to fast-track land formation, water supply, road improvement and building projects.

"We have just commissioned a consultancy study on the redevelopment potential of the entire territory. Five other studies will also be undertaken to assess the housing development potential of about 170 hectares of land.

"The latter will include, for example, several sites in the urban area, Sham Tseng Reclamation, Tin Shui Wai Reserve Zone, former military sites and the land reserve at Ma On Shan.

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"To assist us in evaluating housing needs in Hong Kong, an interdepartmental working group is conducting a systematic and comprehensive assessment of the scale and composition of housing demand.

"The results, to be ready by mid-1995, will provide the basis for a review of our Long Term Housing Strategy for the period after 2001. The review will commence at the end of this year."

In order to strengthen monitoring of housing supply, "we are in the process of establishing an interdepartmental information system, based in the Rating and Valuation Department, which can give early warning of any slippage or change in housing development plans and better monitoring of the activities and movements in the local property market.

"We are also examining ways to computerise the Land Disposal Inventory System which will facilitate the preparation of the five-year land sale programme," Mr Wong said.

"To cope with the additional work, we hope to create 98 posts in the relevant departments in 1995-96.

"We have also set up a Flat Supply Sub-committee to monitor and advise on matters concerning the housing supply and demand, and the residential property market in general.

"The sub-committee, under my chairmanship, provides a useful forum for exchange of views with non-govemment members from housing-related organisations."

The Secretary for Housing confirmed that "the anti-speculation measures introduced in June last year are achieving the desired result and should continue to remain in force.

"Any relaxation will likely encourage speculative activities again and push up property prices.

"We will continue to provide more land for housing and increase the supply of flats. We have no intention of introducing further intervention measures, and will let the market adjust itself. We will monitor developments in the property market closely.

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"On the clearance of urban squatters and old Temporary Housing Areas (THA)," Mr Wong said, "our target is to rehouse all urban squatters on Government land by March 1996 and to clear by the end of 1996 all THAs built before 1984."

Mr Wong also repeated his public appeal to all occupants of illegal rooftop structures, who are eligible for public housing, to come forward to register with the Housing Authority and place themselves on the general waiting list first.

"This is the proper way to ensure that they will obtain public housing," the Secretary for Housing said.

End/Monday, March 6, 1995

Royal Observatory issues daily radioactivity readings

*****

With effect from tomorrow (Tuesday), the Royal Observatory will issue once a day information about the ambient gamma radiation dose rates recorded by its radiation monitoring network in the territory.

The radioactivity readings will be included in its weather bulletin issued shortly after midnight to meet the printing deadlines for morning newspapers.

Every month, the Royal Observatory publishes in a bulletin daily readings of the ambient gamma radiation levels recorded by its radiation monitoring network. These monthly bulletins are available to interested members of the public free of charge.

From readings taken during the period 1987 - 1993, the background ambient gamma radiation dose rates in Hong Kong may vary between 0.06 and 0.3 microsievert per hour.

Since the Guangdong Nuclear Power Station at Daya Bay began operation in early 1994, the ambient gamma radiation dose rate in Hong Kong has shown no noticeable increase above these values.

End/Monday, March 6, 1995

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Listing of Mai Po as Ramsar Site * * * * He

Approval has been given by the Govemor-in-Council to list Mai Po and Inner Deep Bay as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention as Hong Kong's contribution to a worldwide effort to conserve wetlands of significant ecological, scientific and recreational value.

The decision to list the 1,500-hectare wetland as a Ramsar site is another major step forward in conserving the Mai Po Marshes as a nature reserve for public enjoyment and in protecting it against development incompatible with the environment.

The Mai Po Marshes is the last of remaining wetland of its size in Hong Kong. It is a "refuelling station" for migratory birds including many rare and endangered species which rely on it for feeding and resting in their long flight.

The area is also significant for its conservation value for the number of local animal species it supports. Also, over a dozen invertebrate species new to science have been discovered in the area.

Its significance is also borne out by the fact that alternative sites with large mangrove stands in the region are fast diminishing in number and extent due to development.

The intention to list Mai Po as a Ramsar site was announced in June 1993 and was reaffirmed by the Governor in his Policy Address last year.

The listing will entail active conservation management which may include creation and restoration of habitats for the waterfowl. ’ogical survey and monitoring, vegetation and wildlife management and estaolishment and maintenance of visitor centres and education facilities.

A comprehensive management plan for the area will be developed upon the completion of a consultancy study by wetland ecologists.

A publicity programme will be carried out to explain the listing. Relevant bodies will be consulted on the conservation measures.

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After that, the Government will notify the Ramsar Bureau to put Mai Po and Inner Deep Bay onto the List of Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention.

The Director of Agriculture and Fisheries will be the co-ordinator and future management authority of the Mai Po Ramsar Site.

Members of the public who wish to obtain more details of the proposed listing or express their views on the matter are welcome to write to the Agriculture and Fisheries Department, 12th Floor, Canton Road Government Offices, 393 Canton Road or call 2733 2356 on or before April 3, 1995.

End/Monday, March 6, 1995

Government endeavours to minimise ACP's impact on environment *****

The Government is committed to making the Airport Core Programme (ACP) projects as environmental friendly as possible, the Director of Environmental Protection, Dr Stuart Reed, said today (Monday).

Officiating at the opening ceremony of a five-day exhibition on the ACP organised by the New Airport Projects Co-ordination Office (NAPCO), Dr Reed said in the course of implementing the ACP projects, NAPCO and the various ACP project managers had to closely monitor the costs and progress of these mega projects, as well as shouldering the responsibility for ensuring that any adverse effects on local residents from pollution caused by the ACP construction activities were kept to a practicable minimum.

"The role of my department in all this has been to set the ground rules for minimising the pollution from construction activities and to ensure that the right measures are incorporated at the planning and design stage to make the airport and supporting infrastructure as environmentally friendly as possible, when it becomes operational.

"To help us to do this, we have required an Environmental Impact Assessment for each of the ACP projects, and special arrangements have been introduced to ensure that agreed anti-pollution measures are implemented," he said.

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Dr Reed said an Environmental Project Office (ENPO) was set up in West Kowloon as a means of bringing an extra focus on compliance with agreed limits on air and water pollution and noise.

"Staff from the ENPO visit the construction sites in the West Kowloon Project Area very frequently with a view to identifying problems and taking action as early as possible.

"They also liaise with the local community and discuss their concerns about environmental problems associated with the construction works and present regular progress reports to the relevant district boards.

"This all helps us to keep a good grip on the situation and to avoid there being a gap between the promises and commitments made at the planning and design stage and the actual performance in practice," Dr Reed said.

The ACP exhibition is being held at the Ocean Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui and is opened daily from 10 am to 8 pm until Friday (March 10).

It is the 1 Oth exhibition organised by NAPCO since August last year to keep members of the public abreast of work progress of the 10 ACP projects.

More than 150,000 people have attended the previous nine exhibitions which were held throughout the territory.

Also officiating at today's opening ceremony were the Chairman of Yau Tsim Mong District Board, Mr Chow Chun-fai; the Chairman of Sham Shui Po District Board, Mr Wong Chung-ki; and the Director of NAPCO, Mr Billy Lam.

End/Monday, March 6, 1995

22

Special Topics Report No. 11 on Social Statistics published

* * * * *

Special Topics Report No. 11 on social statistics is published today (Monday).

It contains the findings of six special enquiries conducted by the Census and Statistics Department via the General Household Survey during October 1992 to December 1993.

The six topics covered in the report are labour mobility; domestic helpers; sick leave and maternity leave patterns of employees; cigarette smoking pattern; public awareness of the concept of energy efficiency; and taxi waiting time.

The report is now on sale at $81 a copy at the Government Publications Centre. Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, Ground Floor, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong, and at the Publications Section of the Census and Statistics Department, 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

End/Monday, March 6, 1995

Central allocation of Primary One places

* * * * *

The Education Department announced today (Monday) that all children who had applied for a public-sector Primary One place but had not secured a discretionary place would be centrally allocated to a Government or aided primary school for the 1995 school year.

They will receive a letter in the next few days from the Primary One Admission Unit of the Education Department requesting them to go to a specified distribution/collection centre to collect a "Choice of Schools" Form and a list of all Government and aided primary schools in their home district from March 11 (Saturday) to March 13 (Monday) from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm and from 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm.

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Completed forms should be returned to the same centre within the same period.

All distribution/collection centres will remain open during the specified time on Sunday (March 12).

Parents are reminded that if they have not received the letter from the department by March 10, they should contact the Primary One Admission Unit on 2572 4383 immediately.

Parents who have moved house recently or are planning to move house in the near future must inform the Primary One Admission Unit so that arrangements can be made to allocate a place to their children in their new home district.

The central allocation of Primary One places is solely based on parents' choices with no reference to the "Points System". However, when a school is oversubscribed, a randomisation method will be used to ensure fairness to all.

Results of the central allocation will be released in early June this year.

Meanwhile, parents are welcome to make use of the Education Department's Automatic Telephone Enquiry Service (telephone 2891 0088) for information on the Primary One Central Allocation System.

A department spokesman added that the school list to be distributed to parents at the respective centres between March 11 and 13 will show which of the schools adopt the Target Oriented Curriculum (TOC) in Primary 1. Parents who are not familiar with TOC are advised to visit a roving exhibition which is now being staged throughout the territory.

Visitors to the exhibition will be able to get a more comprehensive picture of exactly how TOC will be taught and students assessed.

Sample pages of TOC learning packages, assessment forms and report forms will be displayed and a video will explain the concept and benefits of the curriculum. A full list of the 76 schools that will adopt TOC in Primary 1 in Phase I of the scheme in September this year will be displayed at the exhibition.

24

Parents may visit the roving exhibition at the pedestrian deck outside a cinema at Lok Fu Shopping Centre Phase II on March 7; entrance arena at Sha Tin New Town Plaza I on March 8 and 9; Level 2 shopping arcade at Metroplaza in Kwai Fong on March 10 and 11; and entrance exhibition hall at Yuen Long Plaza on March 12 and 13.

Education Department officers will be available to answer questions on TOC from visitors daily between noon and 7 pm.

End/Monday, March 6, 1995

New phone number for Wage Security Unit *****

The telephone number for enquiries of the Labour Department's Wage Security Unit (WSU) will be changed to 2923 5299 tomorrow (Tuesday).

The Unit verifies applications to the Protection of Wages on Insolvency Fund which provides ex gratia payments to employees who are owed wages and other employment termination benefits by their insolvent employers.

Since there is a four-month time limit for applications to be made to the Fund, employees who fall into the above category are urged to approach the Labour Relations Service (LRS) of the Department for assistance as soon as possible. Applications for ex gratia payments will be referred by the LRS to the WSU for processing.

End/Monday, March 6, 1995

Revised planning guidelines on conservation on sale

*****

Chapter 10 of the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines on Conservation has recently been revised by the Government and is now available for sale.

A spokesman for the Planning Department said the revised chapter provided planning guidelines to achieve effective conservation of important natural and man-made features.

25

Hong Kong has extensive undeveloped tracts of natural landscape which contain a diverse habitat supporting numerous native plant species and wildlife and has a long history of human settlement from which a variety of cultural relics remain.

"The revised chapter gives a detailed account of current practices of conservation in the existing land use planning framework in Hong Kong.

"It provides guidelines for conserving and enhancing the environment by protecting the existing conservation areas and heritage features, by identifying new areas for conservation and by compensating for areas of conservation value which are lost to essential development projects.

Topics covered in the revised chapter include the general principles of conservation, measures to protect natural landscapes and habitats, historic buildings, archaeological sites and other antiquities.

The existing legislative provisions and administrative means for conservation, the enforcement mechanism, and the roles of government departments and decision-making bodies related to conservation are also covered in the chapter.

The revised chapter is now available for sale at the Government Publications Centre, ground floor, Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway. Hong Kong at $22 a copy.

Published in a series of 11 chapters each devoted to a particular aspect of land uses or facilities, the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines are being sold on an individual chapter basis.

End/Monday, March 6. 1995

Water storage figure *****

Storage in Hong Kong’s reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 68.5 per cent of capacity or 401.698 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 399.761 million cubic metres of water, representing 68.2 per cent of capacity.

End/Monday. March 6. 1995

26

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

Cumulative Time change $ million (hours) (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,235 0930 + 1,477

Closing balance in the account 2,498 1000 + 1,477

Change attributable to : 1100 + 1,497

Money market activity + 1,497 1200 + 1,497

LAF today -234 1500 + 1,497

1600 + 1,497

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 119.0 *-0.4* 6.3.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

gp bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.20 15 months 2605 6.35 99.56 6.84

1 month 5.39 24 months 2702 7.50 100.67 7.25

3 months 5.98 29 months 3707 6.95 99.26 7.42

6 months 6.31 35 months 3801 8.00 101.27 7.64

12 months 6.67 58 months 5912 8.15 100.62 8.15

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $10,895 million

Closed March 6, 1995

End/Monday, March 6, 1995

27

SCA satisfied with Municipal Councils elections *****

The Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Nicholas Ng, said today (Monday) that yesterday's Municipal Councils (MC) elections had been satisfactory both in terms of voters' participation and electoral arrangements.

He told a media session this morning that there was clear evidence that the people of Hong Kong were civic-minded and were mature enough to choose their representatives in an orderly manner.

On voter turnout, Mr Ng said over 560,000 people came out to vote yesterday, which was 168,000 (43 per cent) more people as compared with the 1991 MC elections. The number also surpassed the voter turnout in all previous rounds of MC elections.

"The overall turnout rate of 25.8 per cent is also higher than the rate in 1991 (23.2 per cent), although we now have a much greater number of registered electors," he said.

As for electoral arrangements, Mr Ng said the elections were generally very smooth except for a few isolated incidents. He noted that there were fewer complaints this time than in last year's District Boards elections and that most of these were minor ones concerning publicity or electioneering activities.

On whether there should be a cooling-off period on polling day for the coming Legislative Council elections in view of the few isolated scuffles, he said no doubt the Boundary and Election Commission would take into account the experience gained in this election as well as public opinions before firming up the electoral procedures for the September elections.

Mr Ng added that the Commission would now concentrate its work on voter registration and on planning the electoral arrangements for the Legislative Council elections.

End/Monday, March 6, 1995

28

BEC: Counting of votes completed smoothly and efficiently *****

The following is issued on behalf of the Boundary and Election Commission:

The Chairman of the Boundary and Election Commission, Mr Justice Woo Kwok-hing, said the counting of votes for the Municipal Council (MC) elections was completed in a smooth and efficient manner.

He was briefing reporters this (Monday) morning at the press centre after all the results of the MC elections and the two District Board by- elections were known.

"Starting at about 1 I pm last night, it takes about nine hours to finish the process of vote counting," Mr Justice Woo said.

"I am pleased to see that the counting process was conducted orderly and efficiently.

Among all the constituencies, the Chai Wan East constituency is the last to finish its counting process, with the results being announced at about 8.15 am.

Yuen Long Town Centre is the first constituency to finish its counting at about 1.30 am while Sai Kung, the district with only one constituency, completed the counting at 2.15 am.

End/Monday, March 6. 1995

29

1995 Urban/Regional Council elections results *****

CENTRAL AND WESTERN DISTRICT

Constituency Name of Candidate No. of Votes

Western IP Kwok-him 7,371

CHAN Kwok-leung 8,084 (elected)

Central CHAN Yuk-cheung 4,186

KAM Nai-wai 6,164 (elected)

WAN CHAI DISTRICT

Constituency Name of Candidate No. of Votes

Wan Chai West WONG Hon-ching, San Stephen 3,953 (elected)

LI Kin-yin 2,406

Wan Chai East WONG Ying-kay, Ada 3,182 (elected)

WONG Cheung-chi, Thomas 143

YEUNG Wan-king, Susanna 1,009

TSE Wing-ling, John 2,934

30

EASTERN DISTRICT

Constituency Name of Candidate No. of Votes

North Point West WOO Yan-wai, Mathias 2,719

CHAN Tak-wai 1,163

CHOW Kit-bing, Jennifer 3,370 (elected)

YUEN King-yuk 749

North Point East WONG Kwok-hing 6,718 (elected)

SHING Wai-pong 1,453

Quarry Bay LAI Chi-keong, Joseph 5,937 (elected)

KONG Tze-wing 3,125

YUEN Ki-kong 1,861

Shau Kei Wan FU Yuen-cheung, Alexander 1,716

HUI Ka-hoo 1,352

TO Boon-man, Daniel 2,860 (elected)

CHUM Ting-pong 367

31

Chai Wan West CHAO Shing-kie 4,417

CHAN Tim-shing, Manuel 5,047 (elected)

Chai Wan East CHUNG Shu-kun, Christopher 7,477 (elected)

TSANG Kin-shing 4,994

SOUTHERN DISTRICT

Constituency Name of Candidate No. of Votes

Aberdeen and Bays Area CHAN Yuek-sut, Joseph Uncontested

Ap Lei Chau WONG Man-chiu, Ronnie 4,901 (elected)

CHENG Kar-foo, Andrew 4,520

Pokfulam and Wah Fu TSE Wong Siu-yin, Elizabeth 2,229

LAI Hok-lim 5,696 (elected)

YAU TSIM MONG DISTRICT

Constituency Name of Candidate No. of Votes

Yau Tsim WONG Kwok-tung 5,775

(elected)

32

AHUJA, Gopaldas Holaram 1,721

LI King-wah 1,140

CHUNG Yee-fong, Helen 785

FOO Pui-man 189

Mong Kok LAW Wing-cheung 3,536

CHAN Kwok-ming 2,399

CHAN Man-yu, Henry 530

NG Wing-fai, 4,656

Stanley (elected)

SHAM SHUI PO DISTRICT

Constituency Name of Candidate No. of Votes

Sham Shui Po HA Ving-vung 6,734

West CHEUNG Wing-sum, 6,791

Ambrose (elected)

Sham Shui Po WONG Chung-ki, Uncontested

Central Eric

Sham Shui Po East

TAM Kwok-kiu

Uncontested

33

KOWLOON CITY DISTRICT

Constituency

Name of Candidate

No. of Votes

Kowloon City LEE Cheuk-fan 1,863

North LEUNG Ding-bong, 4,815

Ronald (elected)

Kowloon City East WEN Choy-bon LAM Ming 3,607 (elected) 3,114

Kowloon City PAO Ping-wing 4,224

South (elected)

FUNG King-man, Virginia 3,447

Kowloon City WONG Siu-yee 5,533

West CHIANG Sai-cheong 6,275 (elected)

WONG TAI SIN DISTRICT

Constituency

Wang Tung and

Lok Tin

Wong Tai Sin and Chuk Yuen

Name of Candidate

MOK Ying-fan

LAM Man-fai

No. of Votes

Uncontested

9,088 (elected)

34

TO Kwan-hang, Andrew 7,120

Tsz Wan Shan and KAN Chi-ho 4,402

San Po Kong CHOI Luk-sing 3,332

LEE Kwok-keung 5,171 (elected)

Choi Hung Wan and Ngau Chi Wan CHAN Chun-fat 1,770

YEUNG Lai-yin, Cecilia 2,671

WU Chi-wai 6,595 (elected)

KWUN TONG DISTRICT

Constituency Name of Candidate No. of Votes

Kwun Tong West AU Yuk-har, 8,047

Grace (elected)

CHAN Kam-lam 7,204

Kwun Tong North TU Elsie 6,778

SZETO Wah 9,175 (elected)

Shun Sau KWOK Bit-chun 8,725 (elected)

LAW Chun-ngai 6,030

35

Kwun Tong Central KAN Wing-kay 3,462

r* • • - z . • HUNG Chung-fun, Steven 5,884 (elected)

Kwun Tong South NG Siu-wah 4,161

LI Wah-ming 6,798 (elected)

Lam Tin YIU Cheuk-hung 4,058

LI Ting-kit 1,556

* I. '.J-1- .. TANG Chi-ho, Francis 4,237 (elected)

TSUEN WAN DISTRICT * 1 i >' J

Constituency Name of Candidate No. of Votes

Tsuen Wan West LIU Cheung-hin 1,496

CHENG Wing-kee, Wellington 5,183 (elected)

IP YEUNG Fuk-lan ' • 1 3,270

Tsuen Wan Central WONG Yin-ping 192

AU-YEUNG Po-chun 3,031

KWONG Kwok-chuen, Cosmas 4,811 (elected)

YOUNG Fuk-ki, Sarena 1,012

36

Tsuen Wan East CHAN Yuen-sum, Sumly 5,772 (elected) )

YEUNG Fuk-kwong 4,095

TUEN MUN DISTRICT

Constituency Name of Candidate No. of Votes

Tuen Mun East CHAN Wan-sang 5,063

CHEUNG Yuet-lan 5,475 (elected) ’ ■ I

Tuen Mun West SHUNG King-fai 1,481

YIM Tin-sang 8,278 (elected)

Tuen Mun Central CHAN Yau-hoi 5,062

HO Chun-yan 9,599 (elected)

Tuen Mun North FUNG Yau-wai 4,431

CHAN Shu-ying, Josephine 5,877 (elected)

37

YUEN LONG DISTRICT

Constituency Name of Candidate No. of Votes

Tin Shui Wai LEUNG Che-cheung 4,256 (elected)

CHEUNG Yin-tung 4,186

Yuen Long Town NGAN Kam-chuen 6,345

Centre (elected)

MAK Ip-sing 4,879

Yuen Long Town CHING Chan-ming 3,868

Rural

TANG Wai-ming 4,831

LEE Keng-yip 5,378

NORTH DISTRICT (elected)

Constituency Name of Candidate No. of Votes

Sheung Shui WONG Sing-chi 4,940

(elected)

AU Wai-kwan 3,471

CHEUNG Kan-kwai 2,931

38

Fanling and TIK Chi-yuen 5,980

Sha Ta CHEUNG Hon-chung 7,217 (elected)

TAI PO DISTRICT

Constituency Name of Candidate No. of Votes

Tai Po West WONG Chi-keung, 6,096

Johnny (elected)

FUNG Chi-wood 4,527

Tai Po Central CHENG Chun-ping , .7. uncontested

Tai Po East CHAN Ping 5,114 (elected)

CHEUNG Wing-fai 3,994

SAI KUNG DISTRICT

Constituency

Sai Kung Rural and Tak Fu

Tseung Kwan O

Name of Candidate

WAN Yuet-cheung

LAM Wing-yin

LING Man-hoi

No. of Votes

Uncontested

7,165 (elected)

3,508

39

SHA TIN DISTRICT

Constituency Name of Candidate No. of Votes

Ma On Shan Chan To-yeung 3,965 (elected)

Wong Mo-tai 3,722

Li Po-ming 1,826

Sha Tin East CHOW Wai-tung 6,862 (elected)

HO Sau-mo 2,813

FU Sze-wai, Raymond 1,604

Sha Tin North PANG Cheung-wai, Thomas 5,420 (elected)

KONG Wood-chiu 2,214

LEE York-fai 3,774

Sha Tin South CHAN Yuet-hung, Monnie 4,501

LAM Hong-wah 6,016 (elected)

Sha Tin West TONG Po-chun 2,791

HO Hau-cheung 4,530

CHING Cheung-ying 5,381 (elected)

- 40 -

KWAI TSING DISTRICT

Constituertcy Name of Candidate No. of Votes

Upper Kwai Chung TAM King-wah, Alan 5,365 (elected)

TSUI Wing-cheung 2,168

Kwai Chung Central LEUNG Kwong-cheong 7,202 (elected)

CHUNG Man-fai 6,362

Tsing Yi South & Lower Kwai Chung WONG Yiu-chung 6,342

TING Yin-wah 7,058 (elected)

Tsing Yi North LEE Wing-tat 6,810 (elected)

ISLANDS DISTRICT KWOK Wai-ling 2,558

Constituency Name of Candidate No. of Votes

Islands LEE Kwai-chun Uncontested

End/ Monday,March 6, 1995

41

1995 District Board by-election results *****

Lower Ngau Tau Kok constituency of Kwun Tong district

Name of candidate No. of votes

Mr Wong Kin-man 1,576 (elected)

Mr Chan Kok-wah, Ben 1,481

End/Monday, March 6, 1995

1995 District Board by-election results

*****

Yau Ma Tei constituency of Yau Tsim Mong district

Name of candidate No. of votes

Ms Ng Po-shan, Austen 887 (elected)

Mr Wong Sui-man 484

Ms Lai Yuen-ching 454

Mr Liu Kwong-sang 182

End/Monday, March 6, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Tuesday, March 7,1995

Contents Page No,

Donald Tsang appointed Financial Secretary................................ 1

Appointments of senior Government officials............................... 3

Transcript of Governor’s media session.................................... 7

Postage rates, fees and charges to rise in June........................... 9

Governor to attend Fortune Global Forum.................................. 11

LegCo panels briefed on community response to airport consultation... 12

Views on the implementation of Covenant invited.......................... 14

ICC visits in Hong Kong.............................................. 15

Secretary for Security to visit Vietnam.................................. 16

Cheung Ching Tunnel excavation completed................................. 16

Delinking of Infoline from IDD service............................... 18

Pharmacy registration examination results announced...................... 19

Immigration officers on attachment to UK Immigration Service............. 20

Views on compulsory education sought..................................... 21

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results.............................. 22

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations..................... 23

1

Donald Tsang appointed Financial Secretary ♦ * * * *

The Government announced today (Tuesday) that Mr Donald Tsang- will succeed Sir Hamish Macleod as Financial Secretary in September 1995.

Mr Tsang has very wide experience in the Government, having served in a variety of posts in the Civil Service for more than 27 years. He has had a particularly close association with finance and trade related fields in his career.

He was on secondment to the Asian Development Bank from 1977 to 1978. In 1981, he was sent to Harvard University, where he completed a Master in Public Administration specialising in economic affairs.

In recent years he has been Director of Administration, Director-General of Trade and has served as Secretary for the Treasury since May 1993.

Sir Hamish has been directed to retire in the interests of localisation. He was appointed to his present post of Financial Secretary in August 1991.

Commenting on the announcement, the Governor, the Right Honourable Christopher Patten, said: "Hong Kong owes a great debt of gratitude to Sir Hamish for his outstanding success over the past four years as Financial Secretary.

"He has managed the economy in a way which has earned the admiration and respect of both the local community and international investors; cutting taxes three times in a row while increasing investment in our social and physical infrastructure and boosting our reserves to a formidable level.

"Sir Hamish also left a distinctive mark on the two APEC meetings of Economic Leaders at which he represented Hong Kong. His tremendous knowledge of international trade issues helped to shape the historic agenda these meetings set for the economic opening up of our region into the next century.

"These achievements have crowned a brilliant career in the public service spanning almost 30 years and virtually every aspect of life in Hong Kong. He has been a wonderful colleague whose integrity and loyalty to Hong Kong have been an example to us all. I shall greatly miss him and his wise counsel."

Mr Patten said it was a reflection of the depth of talent and diversity in the civil service that the Government was able to find such an extraordinarily able replacement for Sir Hamish.

2

"I am sure Donald Tsang's appointment will be widely welcomed in the Civil Service and the community as a whole," he said. "Donald Tsang has a tremendous record of achievement and commitment to Hong Kong. I have absolutely no doubt that he will build on the strong foundations laid down by Sir Hamish.

"This and other appointments we have announced today mark another major step towards our goal of filling all Policy Secretary posts by suitable local officers by the end of 1995," he added.

Brief biographical notes on Sir Hamish Macleod and Mr Donald Tsang are:

The Honourable Sir Hamish Macleod. KBE. JP

Aged 55. Sir Hamish joined the Administrative Service in 1966. During the early part of his career, he held a variety of posts in branches and departments including the former Resettlement Department, Finance Branch, Civil Service Branch, the former Social Services Branch and the former New Territories Administration. He was Director of Trade from 1983 to 1987, Secretary for Trade and Industry from 1987 to 1989 and Secretary for the Treasury from 1989 to 1991. He was appointed Financial Secretary in August 1991.

Mr Donald Tsang Yam-kuen. OBE. JP

Aged 50. Mr Tsang first joined the Civil Service in 1967 and was subsequently appointed an Administrative Officer in 1971. He rose to his present rank of Secretary, Government Secretariat in 1995. During the early years of his career, he held appointments in Finance Branch, Civil Service Branch and the former City and New Territories Administration. He was on secondment to the Asian Development Bank from 1977 to 1978. In 1981, he was sent to the Harvard University, where he completed a Master in Public Administration specialising in economic affairs. He was Deputy Director of Trade from 1984 to 1985, Deputy Secretary in the former General Duties Branch from 1985 to 1989, Director of Administration from 1989 to 1991 and Director-General of Trade from 1991 to 1993. He took up the present post of Secretary for the Treasury in May 1993.

End/Tuesday, March 7, 1995

3

Appointments of senior Government officials ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government announced today (Tuesday) a series of appointments at senior levels of the Administration.

Mr Kwong Ki-chi will be appointed Secretary for the Treasury in April 1995. He will succeed Mr Donald Tsang who will proceed on leave and then undertake a series of visits and familiarisation briefings related to his future post of Financial Secretary.

Mr Rafael Hui will be appointed Secretary for Financial Services in September 1995. He will succeed Mr Michael Cartland who has been directed to retire in the interest of localisation. Mrs Lily Yam will take over from Mr Hui as Commissioner for Transport in July 1995.

Mr Dominic Chan will be appointed Director of Audit in May 1995. He will succeed Mr Brian Jenney who is due to retire.

Mr Alan Lai will take over from Mr Kwong Ki-chi as Deputy Secretary for the Treasury in May 1995.

Brief biographical notes on these officers are:

Mr Kwong Ki-chi. JP

Aged 43. Mr Kwong first joined the Civil Service in 1972 and was subsequently appointed an Administrative Officer in 1978. He rose to his present rank of Administrative Officer Staff Grade Bl in 1993 and will be promoted to Administrative Officer Staff Grade A in May 1995. He served in a number of branches and departments including the former Trade, Industry and Customs Department, Environment Branch, City and New Territories Administration, Finance Branch and Monetary Affairs Branch. He was Deputy Commissioner of the Hong Kong Government Office in London from 1989 to 1992. He took up the present post of Deputy Secretary for the Treasury in April 1992.

4

Mr Michael D Cartland, JP

Aged 49. Mr Cartland joined the Administrative Service in 1972 and rose to his present rank of Administrative Officer Staff Grade A in 1991. During the early years of his career, he held appointments in the former Social Services Branch, Government House, the former New Territories Administration, Security Branch and the former Trade, Industry and Customs Department. He was Deputy Director of Trade from 1982 to 1984, Counsellor(Geneva) from 1984 to 1986, Permanent Representative of Hong Kong to the GATT from 1986 to 1988, Deputy Secretary for Trade and Industry from 1988 to 1990 and Director of Social Welfare from 1990 to 1992. He took up the present post of Secretary for Financial Services in 1993.

Mr Rafael Hui Si-yan, JP

Aged 47. Mr Hui first joined the Civil Service in 1970 and was subsequently appointed an Administrative Officer in 1971. He rose to his present rank of Administrative Officer Staff Grade A in 1994. During the early years of his career, he held appointments in a number of branches and departments including Home Affairs Department, Security Branch, Economic Services Branch and Transport Branch. He was seconded to ICAC from 1977 to 1979 and attended an overseas training programme in Harvard from 1982 to 1983. He was Deputy Secretary-General in the former UMELCO from 1985 to 1986, Deputy Secretary for Economic Services from 1986 to 1990, Deputy Secretary for Works from 1990 to 1991, when he was appointed Director, New Airport Projects Co-ordination Office. He took up the present post of Commissioner for Transport in November 1992.

Mrs Lily Yam Kwan Pui-ying. JP

Aged 48. Mrs Yam joined the Administrative Service in 1969 and rose to her present rank of Administrative Officer Staff Grade Bl in 1994. She served in a number of branches and departments including Urban Services Department, Home Affairs Department, Education and Manpower Branch and Civil Service Branch. She was an Assistant Director and later a Senior Assistant Director in ICAC from 1978 to 1984. On return from an overseas training programme in Harvard, she joined Civil Service Branch in 1985 and was appointed Commissioner for Television and Entertainment Licensing from 1989 to 1991. She became Deputy Head, Central Policy Unit in 1991 and Secretary-General of the Standing Commission on Civil Service Salaries and Conditions of Service the following year. In 1994, she was appointed Secretary to the ICAC Review Committee. She is now serving as Chairman of the 1995 Administrative Officer Recruitment Board.

5

Mr Brian G Jenney. OBE

Aged 59. Mr Jenney joined the Hong Kong Government as an Administrative Officer in 1969 and was promoted to Administrative Officer Staff Grade C in 1974. He was appointed Principal Assistant Financial Secretary in Finance Branch in 1981 and subsequently Senior Principal Assistant Financial Secretary in 1987. He was appointed Director of Audit in April 1992.

Mr Dominic Chan Yin-tat. JP

Aged 51. Mr Chan joined the Hong Kong Government as an Auditor in 1969 and was promoted to Senior Auditor in 1976, Principal Auditor in 1980 and Assistant Director of Audit in 1982. He was promoted to Deputy Director of Audit in May 1993.

Mr Alan Lai Nin> JP

Aged 43. Mr Lai joined the Administrative Service in 1976 and rose to his present rank of Administrative Officer Staff Grade B in 1993. He served in a number of branches and departments including Civil Service Branch, the former New Territories Administration, Home Affairs Department and the former UMELCO. He was on secondment to the ICAC from 1984 to 1987. He was Assistant Director-General of Trade from 1987 to 1991 and later became Deputy Director-General of Trade from 1991 to 1993. He was appointed Deputy Director of Administration from 1993 to 1995. He is now serving as Vice-Chairman, 1995 Administrative Officer Recruitment Board.

Attention News Editors :

Following arrangements have been made for the press to meet the officers today (Tuesday):

1 pm Mr Rafael Hui, Secretary for Financial Services (Des), at Transport Department Headquarters, 41/F, Immigration Tower, 7, Gloucester Road, Wan Chai

2 pm Mr K C Kwong, Secretary for the Treasury (Des), at Press Room, Ground Floor, Central Government Offices

6

3 .15 pm Mr Donald Tsang, Financial Secretary (Des), at Room 442, Main Wing, Central Government Offices

4 pm Commissioner for Transport (Des), Mrs Lily Yam, at Room 933, West Wing, Central Government Offiices

5 pm Director of Audit (Des), Mr Dominic Chan, at GIS Press Conference Room, 5/F, Beaconsfield House, Queen's Road Central

The Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, together with Mr Donald Tsang, Secretary for Housing Mr Dominic Wong, Secretary for Security Mr Peter Lai, Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands (Des) Mr Bowen Leung, Mr Rafael Hui and Mr K C Kwong, will be available for a photo call tomorrow (Wednesday) at 8.45 am in Room 501, Main Wing, Central Government Offices.

Reporters and photographers are requested to assemble at the Press Room, Ground Floor, Central Government Offices, before 8.30 am.

Officers from Secretariat Press Office will be on hand to assist.

End/Tuesday, March 7, 1995

7

Transcript of Governor’s media session ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The following is the transcript of the media session by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, the Financial Secretary, Sir Hamish Macleod and the Financial Secretary (Designate), Mr Donald Tsang, at the Central Government Offices after the Executive Council meeting today (Tuesday):

Governor: As I think you know, we're making today a number of announcements about important appointments in the Civil Service, these are further steps along the road to the localisation of the senior positions here in Hong Kong and is a process that we almost completed. The most significant of the appointments is, of course, the appointment of a new Financial Secretary. There will be many future occasions for paying tribute to the work of Sir Hamish Macleod who'll be leaving his post in September. But I would like at this moment to pay tribute to his 30 years of service to Hong Kong, most recently, his work as Financial Secretary. He's been, I think, one of the most outstanding Financial Secretaries in Hong Kong's history, making a significant contribution not only to the prosperity and well-being of this community, but playing as well a regional role as one of the most creative forces behind the development of APEC and one of the main proponents of APEC's transformation into one of the foremost organisations committed to global free trade. So Sir Hamish has done a great deal of which he should be proud and for which Hong Kong should be grateful. I am sure that the appointment of Donald Tsang as the next Financial Secretary in September will be warmly and widely welcomed in the Civil Service and in the broader community. Donald has been a member of the Civil Service for 27 years. This appointment crowns a brilliant career in a number of different branches of government. He's extremely well-known in Hong Kong and 1 think respected for his intellect, for his energy, for his professionalism, for his dedication, for his commitment to the well-being of Hong Kong. So 1 am delighted to be able to make this announcement, and others are being made with photo calls and so on later today and tomorrow. Hamish, would you like to say a word?

FS: First, Governor, thank you very much for those very kind remarks. 1 made a pretty clear hint in my budget speech by referring to a close colleague and good friend and of course I am very happy now to see Donald as Financial Secretary (Designate). He's worked with me over the years not just at present as Secretary for Treasury, but in previous incarnations, for instance, in trade. Our path crossed and over the years they have crossed many times. I guess this must be one of the easiest hand-overs in the Government since he's already of course intimately involved in the budgetary process. So, I think, Donald will be an outstanding Financial Secretary. 1 am delighted to see him coming forward now as my replacement. Thank you.

8

FS (Designate): Governor, thank you very much for your kind word. I am very deeply honoured by the appointment. I know that honour comes with considerable and formidable responsibility and challenge. The challenge is ability to contribute to a smooth transition to Chinese sovereignty and to be able to serve the people of Hong Kong after that. It is indeed my great honour to serve this community of mine. Sir Hamish, as you know, is my good friend. For the past two decades, he has been my best tutor in the service. He's, in my eye, a civil servant of the highest ability and integrity. He's indeed an almost impossible act to follow. But I shall do my best. Thank you very much.

Governor: I think I am right in saying that you're giving a press conference this afternoon, Donald. There will be conceivably some speculation about what this means. What I want to assure you it doesn't mean is that from now on I will be wearing a bow tie. That is not going to happen. Just for the record, I wrote to Director Lu Ping about these appointments yesterday. Thank you very much.

Question: The appointment of a new Chinese, the first Chinese Financial Secretary can help to discuss with the Chinese over the budgetary concession list...

Governor: I am sure that the arrangements we've suggested to Chinese officials would lead to constructive negotiations and discussions whoever was carrying them out. But 1 am also sure that Chinese officials will have as much respect for Donald Tsang as I am sure they have for Sir Hamish Macleod. If ever there was a justification for the remark that the proof of the pudding is in the eating, it's the state of the Hong Kong economy which is a tribute not only to the exceptionally hard work of the people of Hong Kong, not only to the gifted entrepreneurism of the people of Hong Kong, but also a tribute to the successful, skilful and prudent management of Hong Kong's finances by a succession of Financial Secretaries, most recently and brilliantly Sir Hamish Macleod. And that is a tradition which would be carried on by Donald Tsang who I know will do the job exceptionally well. Thank you very much indeed.

Question: Governor, do you think that Mr Donald Tsang's visit to Beijing can help to solve the problem about the making of the budget of 96/97 to 98?

Governor: I don't think there should be a problem about that at all. We've demonstrated our determination to secure the economic prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and I hope that Chinese officials will join us in that enterprise. The proposals I put forward in my Legco speech, proposals we discussed with Chinese officials last November or put to Chinese officials last November and discussed with them in December, those proposals are eminently sensible. I think that they're widely regarded as sensible by the community, and 1 am sure they'll lead to good discussions and dialogue. Everybody will know that in Donald Tsang, we have a man with an extremely good mind, a tough, honest and honourable negotiator, who always do his best for the people of Hong Kong.

End/Tuesday. March 7, 1995

9

Postage rates, fees and charges to rise in June ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Postmaster General, Mr Mike Pagliari, announced today (Tuesday) that principal postage rates and miscellaneous postal fees and charges would be increased from June 1 this year.

These rates and charges were last revised on November 1, 1993.

Commenting on the revised rates at a press conference, Mr Pagliari said: "As a result of the increase in operating costs over the past one-and-a-half years due to inflation, increased staff costs and higher payment to overseas postal administrations, it is necessary to revise postage rates and charges in order to restore their real value.

"The overall weighted average increase for postage rates will be 14.7 per cent, which is in line with inflation of about 14 per cent for the period from the last increase in November 1993 to June 1995," he said.

The marginal difference is due to rounding off of certain postage rates to fit the coinage.

The basic rates for local letters and printed papers will be increased by 20 cents, from $1 to $1.20 for letters, and from 90 cents to $1.10 for printed papers.

For surface letters and printed papers to China, Macau and Taiwan, the basic rates will be increased from $1.20 to $1.50 and from $1 to $1.30 respectively.

For surface mail to other countries, the basic rates will be increased from $2 to $2.30 for letters and from $1.80 to $2.10 for printed papers.

The basic rates for air mail letters will be increased by 20 cents and for printed papers by 30 cents.

For Zone 1 (mainly Asian countries), basic rates at the first weight step will be increased from $1.90 to $2.10 for letters and from $1.30 to $1.60 for printed papers.

For Zone 2 (rest of the world), basic rates will be increased from $2.40 to $2.60 for letters and from $1.80 to $2.10 for printed papers.

Elaborating on the postage rate increases, Mr Pagliari said: "Local and surface mail services have traditionally been operating at a deficit. These services are currently being cross-subsidised by other services.

10

"To reduce cross-subsidisation, the increases for local mail and surface mail to China, Macau and Taiwan will be slightly higher than inflation while the increases for surface mail to other destinations and for all air mail are below inflation.

"We have had a growing problem with large corporations and commercial mailers sending their printed papers in a manner that cannot be processed by the Mechanised Letter Sorting System (MLSS)," he said.

The major problems are plastic covers, over-sized printed papers or unenveloped printed papers.

"This results in the Post Office having to incur substantially higher operating costs.

"In addition there has been public concern over the rapidly increasing use of plastic envelopes.

"In order to discourage such practice, printed papers that cannot be processed by the MLSS will no longer be entitled to the printed paper discount," Mr Pagliari said.

In line with the new charging system introduced by Universal Postal Union Congress which was held last year, the pricing structure for Bulk Air Mail, which is commonly used by commercial organisations in sending airmail items overseas in bulk, will be changed to recover the additional cost.

Unlike the current system of charging postage according only to the weight of the shipment, postage for this type of mail will be charged on both the weight and the quantity of the items posted. This will result in average increases of 4.3 per cent.

"Even after these increases, Hong Kong postal charges remain among the lowest in the industrialised world.

"Given that postage constitutes only a small proportion of overall consumer expenditure and business costs, the increases are unlikely to have any significant impact on general inflation," he said.

Mr Pagliari pointed out that because increase in costs incurred was higher than inflation, the Post Office was absorbing part of the increase through productivity improvement.

"Were postage rates and postal charges maintained at existing levels, the Post Office would incur a loss of $125 million in 1995-96, which would have to be subsidised from General Revenue.

- n -

"Also, even with the increases, local and surface mail services will continue to operate at a deficit," he added.

There are also increases in some of the miscellaneous fees and charges that at present are operating at a deficit. The notable example is registration fee which will be increased from $11 to $13.

Also, annual rental for post office boxes will be increased, for example, from $570 to $650 for large boxes and from $450 to $500 for small boxes at the General Post Office and the Tsim Sha Tsui Post Office.

Rentals at other post offices attract smaller increases.

Owing to the tremendous increase in requests for redirection of mail, the Post Office is incurring a substantial loss for this service.

To recover costs, the redirection service which is currently provided free for the first three months will be charged at $100 for private users and $300 for business users.

End/Tuesday, March 7, 1995

Governor to attend Fortune Global Forum

*****

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, will leave for Singapore tomorrow (Wednesday) to attend a world business forum organised by the Fortune magazine group.

Mr Patten will give a keynote address at a breakfast session of the "Fortune Global Forum" on Thursday (March 9).

Top policy makers and prominent business leaders from different countries have been invited to take part in the forum, which will last from March 8 to 10. They include the Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr Goh Chok Tong, the Senior Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Ms Benazir Bhutto, and former UK Prime Minister, Lady Thatcher.

Mr Patten will deliver a speech entitled "Freedom Under The Law - The Right Road To Prosperity".

12

During his two-day stay in Singapore on March 8-9, the Governor will have separate meetings with Prime Minister Goh, Senior Minister Lee, the Deputy Prime Minister, Brigadier-General Lee Hsien Loong and Lady Thatcher.

Mr Patten will depart for Singapore at 9 am on CX 717 tomorrow (Wednesday) and will return to Hong Kong at 9.45 pm on CX716 on Thursday.

Attention News Editors:

There will be no press facilities at the airport for the Governor's departure. A speaking position will be set up on his return.

End/Tuesday, March 7, 1995

LegCo panels briefed on community response to airport consultation *****

Acting Secretary for Economic Services, Mrs Elizabeth Bosher, and Director of Civil Aviation, Mr Peter Lok Kung-nam, this (Tuesday) morning briefed members of the Legislative Council's Economic Services and Environmental Affairs Panels on the Administration's proposals to enhance the operating capacity of Kai Tak Airport.

The Administration, over the past few months, has invited views of the community on the proposals. A report on the submissions was presented to members today.

Up to the end of February, a total of 94 written submissions had been received from District Boards, organisations and individuals since the consultation exercise was launched on December 19 last year.

The proposals suggest providing a total of 26 additional slots within the airport's existing operating hours in the periods between 6.30 am and 7 am and between 9 pm and 11.30 pm; and extending the airport's operating hours by one hour to provide six additional departure slots.

The consultation paper was issued to all 18 District Boards and particular emphasis was placed on consulting the five District Boards representing residents who would be most directly affected by the proposals, that is Kowloon City, Eastern, Sham Shui Po, Kwun Tong and Wong Tai Sin.

13

Other interested organisations were also given copies of the paper and briefing sessions were arranged for organisations in the aviation and tourism sectors.

Among the 94 submissions, 45 are in support of the proposal; 13 do not support the extension of the airport's operating hours and 34 are opposed to the entire proposal; two have mixed opinions.

As far as District Boards are concerned, six raised objection to the extension of the airport's operating hours but held different views on whether additional aircraft movements within the existing operating hours are acceptable.

The principal concern of many District Board members is the large number of people who would be affected by the additional noise nuisance, if the proposals were implemented.

Some District Board members recognise the potential economic benefits to be brought by the extra flights.

Representations received from the business sector, totalling 40, are unanimous in their view that the proposals should be supported. The submissions covered responses from 14 hotels, four travel agencies, five airlines, three travel related companies and 14 various trade and business organisations/chambers of commerce.

The tourism and aviation industries also consider it important to build up a stronger traffic base to benefit the new airport. They worry that if the current demand for air services is accommodated elsewhere through diversion of traffic, the economy of Hong Kong will be adversely affected in the long run.

Three political parties have petitioned the Government with signatures and opinions collected from the affected residents, expressing opposition to the proposals.

Representations from individual District Board members, environmentalists and residents groups argue, among other things, that the proposals would adversely affect the environmental quality and well- being of local residents.

Individual respondents who wrote in support of the proposals believe that additional Hights would generate more business and employment opportunities for Hong Kong people.

The briefing to members of the panels today is part of the Administration's consultation exercise to invite views on the proposals. Ail comments received will be carefully considered, before the Administration decides on how best to proceed.

End/Tuesday, March 7, 1995

14

Views on the implementation of Covenant invited *****

Views are invited from the Legislative Council, non-govemment organisations and other interested parties on the state of implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in Hong Kong (ICCPR).

Following the Government's undertaking to give the Legislative Council, non-govemment organisations and other interested parties a formal opportunity to express their views on the state of implementation of the Covenant in Hong Kong before making a submission to the United Kingdom (UK), a letter was issued to the LegCo Panel on Home Affairs today (Tuesday).

A Government spokesman said the UK Government ratified the Covenant in 1976 in respect of the UK and its dependent territories, including Hong Kong.

"As a State Party to the Covenant, the UK Government is required under Article 40 of the Covenant to submit periodic reports to the Secretary General of the United Nations, for transmission to the Human Rights Committee for consideration," the spokesman said.

The UK Government has recently notified the Administration that it intends to submit its Fourth Periodic Report under the ICCPR in respect of the Dependent Territories to the United Nations in summer this year. The report will cover developments up to December 31, 1994.

The Hong Kong Government will contribute to the report by preparing a draft submission to the UK on the implementation of the Covenant in Hong Kong.

"To enable the Administration to take into account views during the drafting of the report, and also to meet the deadline of submission set for this summer, any comments will need to reach the Administration before April 20. 1995."

To facilitate comments, the Administration has prepared an outline of topics which it intends to include in the draft report.

Non-govemment organisations or individuals who would like to express their views can write to the Secretary for Home Affairs before April 20. 1995.

Copies of the outline of the draft report can be obtained from the Home Affairs Branch. 31st floor. Southorn Centre. Wan Chai, on request.

End/Tuesday. March 7. 1995

15

ICC visits in Hong Kong

* ♦ * * ♦

Members of the Infrastructure Co-ordinating Committee (ICC) now in Shenzhen will continue their programme in Hong Kong tomorrow (Wednesday).

They will visit the Lok Ma Chau border crossing and the northwestern New Territories tomorrow and attend a seminar on cross-border infrastructure co-ordination on Thursday.

Attention News Editors:

The following press facilities will be provided for covering the Hong Kong programme:

Helicopter tour

The Director of Planning, Dr Peter Pun, will accompany some of the Chinese members on a helicopter tour tomorrow (Wednesday) of Hong Kong.

There will be a photo opportunity to cover their departure from the helipad in Fenwick Street, Wan Chai. Media representatives should assemble outside the helipad at 8.30 am.

Visit to Northwest New Territories

The flying party will join other ICC members in Lok Ma Chau before proceeding on a tour of the northwestern New Territories which will include a visit to Blackpoint in Tuen Mun.

A press coach will leave for Blackpoint from the Peak Tram Station, Tramway Path, Garden Road at 12.45 pm tomorrow (Wednesday).

Those who wish to make their own way to Blackpoint should arrive at the viewing platform on the high ground above the power station in Blackpoint (further down from Tap Shek Kok Power Station) before 2.15 pm.

16

Seminar on Crossborder Infrastructure Co-ordination

A photo opportunity will be arranged for the media prior to the start of the seminar at the Conference Hall of the Central Government Offices on Thursday (March 9). Members of the media wishing to attend should assemble at the CGO press room at 9.15 am.

Representatives of the two sides will speak to the media after the seminar. Members of the media wishing to cover this event should assemble at the CGO press room at 12.15 pm.

Staff of the Secretariat Press Office will be on hand to assist in all these press facilities.

End/Tuesday, March 7, 1995

Secretary for Security to visit Vietnam * * * * *

The Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, will pay a short visit to Vietnam between March 8 and 10, a Government spokesman announced today (Tuesday).

"Vietnamese migrant issues are high on the agenda of the Secretary for Security and he is anxious to make personal contact with his Vietnamese counterparts as soon as possible." the spokesman said.

During his brief stay in Hanoi, Mr Lai will call on ministers and officials of the Vietnamese Government who have responsibilities for migrant issues.

End/Tuesday, March 7, 1995

Cheung Ching funnel excavation completed *****

Excavation of the Route 3 Cheung Ching funnel - Hong Kong's widest road tunnel — has been completed this week, two months ahead of schedule.

This milestone in the Airport Core Programme (ACP) comes only 10 months after the tunnel breakthrough last May, which was marked by a ceremony at which the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, officiated.

17

Blasting works in connection with the excavation have also ended. More than 440,000 cubic metres of spoil has been removed from the tunnel drilled through the centre of Tsing Yi Island.

"We are glad to report that the tunnel excavation has been completed, and well ahead of schedule," said Mr Duncan Siu, the Chief Engineer of the Route 3 Division of the Highways Department.

Mr Siu said a number of safety and monitoring measures had been implemented during excavation work to minimise its impact on the residential areas nearby.

"These include advance warning to residents before each blasting operation and stringent safety and noise controls.

"The measures covered the use of noise reduction equipment, controls on the amount of explosives used in each blast, and a ban on night-time work in places close to the residential areas.

"In addition, 24 stations have been set up to monitor the vibration levels caused by blastings," Mr Siu said.

The Cheung Ching Tunnel, 1.6 kilometres long, will have three lanes in each direction. It will form part of the Route 3 which is a major element in the ACP's highways network connecting the new airport at Chek Lap Kok and Tung Chung new town to the urban areas in Kowloon and Central Hong Kong.

Work on the tunnel began in March 1993 following the award of an $856 million contract to Dragages et Travaux Publics with the first blast taking place two months later.

The tunnel was excavated by blasting through solid volcanic rock and granite working inwards from cither ends.

"For the first time in Hong Kong, two drilling machines of a type known as an 'Automatic Jumbo', equipped with computers and operated with the aid of laser beams, were used to drill the holes for explosives, further improving accuracy in blasting and in the amount of explosives needed." Mr Siu said.

"The spoil was transported by barge to Chek Lap Kok and other Government works sites for use as fill for reclamation works there." he said.

Mr Siu said construction of the Cheung Ching funnel was on schedule for completion in early 1997.

18

"Over 57 per cent of the works have been completed so far," he said.

"The remaining works include the laying of tunnel concrete lining, the tunnel's drainage and road pavement works, the installation of supporting facilities including the traffic control and surveillance systems, the ventilation systems, and the lighting and power supply systems, as well as the construction of 900 metres long associated roads," he said.

End/Tuesday, March 7, 1995

Delinking of Infoline from IDD service *****

The Telecommunications Authority, Mr Alexander Arena, announced today (Tuesday) that he had given his approval to Hong Kong Telephone Company Limited (HKTC) to implement a new Infoline access arrangement which would effectively delink the Infoline service from the IDD service.

The new arrangement is aimed at striking a balance between a variety of community concerns about the existing Infoline access arrangements and the continued provision of the Infoline sendee to those that consciously decide to acquire the Infoline service.

"The new arrangement will affect not only the new IDD customers but also all existing IDD customers," Mr Arena said.

Starting from tomorrow (Wednesday), all new IDD customers will not be provided with automatic access to the Infoline service unless they specifically request for such a provision.

In addition, during the period from March to June this year, all existing IDD customers will be requested to indicate whether they would like to be continuously provided with access to Infoline sendee after July 1. 1995.

HKTC will provide Infoline access according to customers' instructions.

In case no instruction is received from a customer, HKTC will stop providing the customers with access to the Infoline level "9" programmes (including adult programmes, dating programmes and children programmes) starting from July 1, 1995, but access to the non-level "9" Infoline programmes will continue unless the customer subsequently requests a change.

19

Mr Arena said: ’’The arrangement for only barring the level '9' programmes for those customers who do not respond is made with a view to meeting the dual requirements of preventing children from easy access to the Infoline level ’9' programmes and, in the mean time, to minimising the inconvenience that may cause to an Infoline user who has omitted to give his instruction to HKTC.

"In any case, customers may request a change of their Infoline access arrangement by contacting HKTC, even after they have indicated their choices in this opt-in exercise," he explained.

"I have also noted that there are requests from the public for the separation of children programmes from adult programmes and dating programmes.

"I agree that there is a need for such a separation. HKTC has committed that it would perform such a separation by end 1995 when the prefix of Infoline service will change from '173' to '900'," Mr Arena added.

The new access arrangement for Infoline service has been discussed between the Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) and HKTC for a number of months.

Before arriving at the final decision, the Telecommunications Authority considered experiences in overseas countries and consulted the information providers, the Commissioner for Television and Entertaining Licensing (CTEL) and the Telecommunications Users and Consumers Advisory Committee (UCAC).

"I would like to thank all who have contributed to the development of this new access arrangement for Infoline service, particularly the UCAC Members who have given a lot of valuable advice to OFTA on this subject," Mr Arena said.

End/Tuesday, March 7, 1995

Pharmacy registration examination results announced ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Hong Kong announced today (Tuesday) results of the registration examinations for pharmacists held in December last year.

A total of 61, 56 and 52 candidates sat for the examinations in "Pharmacy Legislation in Hong Kong", "Pharmacy Practice" and "Pharmacology" respectively with corresponding passing rates of 34.4 per cent, 42.9 per cent and 69.2 per cent.

20

Apart from meeting other conditions set by the Board, a pharmacy graduate returning from overseas who intends to be registered as a pharmacist is required to pass all the three subjects.

The Board conducts its examinations twice a year, normally in June and December.

End/Tuesday, March 7, 1995

Immigration officers on attachment to UK Immigration Service ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Four immigration officers will leave for the United Kingdom later this month for a six-week attachment programme with the United Kingdom Immigration Service.

They will visit branches of the Home Office handling immigration and nationality matters as well as immigration offices and ports.

At a briefing before their departure, the Director of Immigration, Mr Laurence Leung Ming- yin, pointed out that the Immigration Department placed great importance on giving its staff professional training.

He said owing to the growing complexity of immigration work, members of the service were required to be vigilant and alert towards changes that had taken place.

Mr Leung said he hoped that the attachment would provide a good opportunity for the officers to widen their horizon and to have a better understanding of the work of their counterparts in the United Kingdom.

The four officers are acting Senior Immigration Officers, Mrs Chow Pang Siu-fong, Mr Sham Kin-fai and Mr Chan Kwok-ki, and acting Immigration Officer Mr Li Kin-sing.

End/Tuesday, March 7, 1995

21

Views on compulsory education sought ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Board of Education is inviting school councils, associations, sponsoring bodies and supervisors and principals of all primary and secondary schools to express their views and suggestions on the implementation of the nine-year free and compulsory education.

Letters and circulars have been sent to these organisations inviting them to send their submissions on or before March 25, 1995.

Views and suggestions in writing should be sent to the Secretary for the Subcommittee on Review of School Education, Board of Education, at Room 1161, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai.

• The Sub-committee of the Board of Education on Review of School Education was formed to study the educational system with a view to identify areas of concern and to make recommendations to the Board of Education on measures to further enhance the system.

Meanwhile, chairmen of school councils, associations, sponsoring bodies and supervisors and principals if all primary and secondary schools are also invited to attend two public forums to be held on March 25, 1995.

Participating return slips should be sent to the Secretary of the Sub-committee on before March 17.

Details of the forums are as follows:

1st Forum:

Date Time Venue

Saturday, March 25, 1995 9 am - noon

School Hall

Tang Shiu Kin Victoria Technical School 5 Oi Kwan Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

2nd Forum:

Date Time Venue

Saturday, March 25, 1995

2 pm - 5 pm

School Hall

Methodist College

50 Gascoigne Road, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon

End/Tuesday, March 7, 1995

22

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Tender date 7 Mar 95

Paper on offer EF bills

Issue number Q510

Amount applied HK$7,880 MN

Amount allotted HK$ 1,500 MN

Average yield accepted 5.96 PCT

Highest yield accepted 5.97 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 100 PCT

Average tender yield 6.03 PCT Hong Kong Monetary Authority

Tenders to be held in the week beginning March 13, 1995

Tender date 14 Mar 95 14 Mar 95

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q511 H560

Issue date 15 Mar 95 15 Mar 95

Maturity date 14 Jun 95 13 Sept 95

Tenor 91 days 182 days

Amount on offer HKS1,500+300 MN HKS800+160 MN

End/Tuesday, March 7, 1995

23

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

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

Opening balance in the account 2,498 0930 +225

Closing balance in the account 1,524 1000 +225

Change attributable to : 1100 +235

Money market activity +256 1200 +256

LAF today -1,230 1500 +256

1600 +256

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 118.8 *-0.2* 7.3.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.14 15 months 2605 6.35 99.62 6.79

1 month 5.35 24 months 2702 7.50 100.63 7.28

3 months 5.96 29 months 3707 6.95 99.30 7.40

6 months 6.28 35 months 3801 8.00 101.26 7.64

12 months 6.67 58 months 5912 8.15 100.60 8.15

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $15,213 million

Closed March 7, 1995

End/Tuesday, March 7, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Wednesday, March 8,1995

Contents Page No,

Task Force to be set up following LegCo nod on MPF.................... 1

Transcript of media session by Deputy to the Governor................. 1

Land sales likely to bring $13.8 billion.............................. 3

98 Vietnamese migrants depart on orderly repatriation flight..... 4

Monitors' report on Vietnamese repatriation submitted to CS...... 5

Lockers provided for primary students................................. 6

HK needs broad education system....................................... 7

Ancient artefacts put on display...................................... 7

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations............. 9

1

Task Force to be set up following LegCo nod on MPF

* * * * *

The Deputy to the Governor, Mrs Anson Chan, welcomed the decisive vote in the Legislative Council this (Wednesday) evening urging the Government to introduce as expeditiously as possible a mandatory, privately managed occupational retirement protection system (MPF) with provision for the preservation and portability of benefits.

"With this clear support, the Government will now set up a dedicated task force to work on the details of such a scheme," Mrs Chan said.

A consultant will also be engaged to advise on the technical aspects and will be required to submit an initial report before the end of April.

Speaking to media representatives after the Legislative Council had passed by a majority the Government's motion for the establishment of the MPF, Mrs Chan said that the Government would now inform the Chinese side of the result of today's motion debate and hoped to be able to discuss the proposed scheme with them as soon as possible.

"The Government will do its very best to put the primary legislation to LegCo before the end of the current session," she said.

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995

Transcript of media session by Deputy to the Governor

* * * * *

Following is the transcript of the media session by the Deputy to the Governor, Mrs Anson Chan, after a motion debate on retirement protection in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

2

Mrs Chan: This has been a long but important debate on a very complex subject, that is, how to provide for retirement protection for the elderly in our community. We very much welcome the decisive votes in favour of a mandatory privately operated retirement protection system. With the clear support from Legislative Councillors this afternoon, the Government will now proceed speedily to set up a task force in order to examine further the details of a proposed mandatory privately operated retirement system. We will be engaging consultants and will require the consultants to submit preliminary report by the end of April. It would be our aim to try and set up this scheme as soon as possible and with this objective in mind, we would also hope to be in a position to put primary legislation before the Legislative Council before the end of the current legislative session. As to the details, I think that the main features of such a scheme have already been outlined by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, so I won't elaborate on those further. There will clearly be further details and in particular we'll need to address the concerns that have been expressed by individual members during the debate this afternoon. All these concerns will be taken on board and we will be consulting with the consultants and also with the insurance industry.

Question: Can you tell us when do you plan to consult China ?

Mrs Chan: We will be notifying the Chinese side after this afternoon's motion debate. We hope to be able to discuss the proposed scheme with the main features as outlined in this afternoon's debate with the Chinese side as soon as possible, because clearly we will need Chinese support if the scheme is to get off the ground as soon as possible.

Question: Will submitting the legislation to LegCo be subject to Chinese approval?

Mrs Chan: I would very much hope that as a basis of our discussion with the Chinese that there will be sufficient support from the Chinese for draft legislation to be put before the Legislative Council. I think the Chinese side much be equally concerned as the Hong Kong Administration about the growing number of elderly people in our community and would wish to see a sensible, practical and pragmatic scheme set up as soon as possible to address the financial security needs of growing number of elderly people in our community.

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995

3

Land sales likely to bring $13.8 billion *****

Land sales by auction and tender this financial year (1994/95) is likely to generate a revenue of about $13.8 billion, compared to last year's $18.3 billion.

Speaking before the Rotary Club of Kowloon Golden Mile today (Wednesday), the Director of Lands, Mr Bob Pope, said this shortfall in revenue was mainly due to the large number of sales (13) being conducted in March.

"However, this will result in a very large carry forward of revenue in the early part of 1995/96 as the balance of the premium paid at the auctions will be payable in April," Mr Pope said.

Mr Pope also said the revenue from lease modifications and exchanges for 1994/95 was likely to be around $12 billion, which was close to the previous year's estimate.

"Revenue from all sources, including private treaty grants in 1994/95, will be around $29 billion, and for 1995/96 is estimated to be $37 billion, which is 11 per cent of Government's revenue and this will be shared equally, after deducting the cost of land production, with the future SAR Government land fund," Mr Pope added.

Mr Pope also spoke on the work of the Task Force on Land Supply and Property Prices to help control skyrocketing prices.

"The Task Force imposed certain measures through the Consent Scheme administered by my department to dampen speculation.

"It also identified sites to increase the supply of new land in order to provide additional 45,000 - 60,000 flats over the next six years.

"These measures have brought order into the chaos that previously existed and have brought property prices down by about 20 per cent," Mr Pope added.

4

Mr Pope also noted that land disposal in Hong Kong was limited under Annex III of the Joint Declaration to 50 hectares (ha) per year, unless otherwise agreed by the Sino-British Land Commission.

"Each year, the circumstances are reviewed and the Land Commission has consistently agreed to dispose of more than 50 ha per year.

"The land disposal programme agreed by the Land Commission this year (1994/95) was originally 117 ha and as you know, they recently agreed to adjust the 1994/95 Land Disposal Programme to provide a further 1,293.46 ha.

"This is made up of 1,248 ha for the new airport, 30 ha for the Airport Railway Depot, 7.52 ha for development above Tai Kok Tsui and Tung Chung Railway Station and 7.94 ha for land for Home Ownership and Sandwich Class Housing Schemes.

"These developments will produce about 8,000 additional flats which on top of the 2,000 flats from additional sites earmarked for public housing, will produce the additional 10,000 flats identified by the Task Force on Land Supply and Property Prices," Mr Pope said.

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995

98 Vietnamese migrants depart on orderly repatriation flight *****

A group of 98 Vietnamese migrants returned to Vietnam today (Wednesday) on the 21st flight under the Orderly Repatriation Programme.

All the returnees, comprising 36 men, 26 women, 17 boys and 19 girls, were from High Island Detention Centre. The oldest was 56 years old and the youngest six months old.

Most of them arrived in Hong Kong in 1989 with a small number coming to the territory in 1988, 1990 and 1991.

■ r

'/

- 5 -

The group brought to 1,187 the total number repatriated under the programme since it started in November 1991.

The returnees were transported to the airport early this morning for predeparture security checks before boarding their flight for Hanoi.

The Refugee Co-ordinator, Mr Brian Bresnihan, stressed that the Government was determined to repatriate all screened-out Vietnamese migrants to Vietnam.

"There is no future for them in Hong Kong and the best option for them is to volunteer to go back to Vietnam," he said.

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995

Monitors' report on Vietnamese repatriation submitted to CS * * * * *

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

The two monitors, Mr Charles Cheung Wai-bun, a Justice of the Peace, and Dr Jaime Bendeck from Medecins Sans Frontieres, observed the transfer of 97 Vietnamese migrants from Victoria Prison to the airport this morning.

They also observed this group of Vietnamese migrants, and a woman who was transferred from a hospital to the airport direct, boarding the plane.

The monitors commented that the operation was efficient and orderly and that no violence was observed.

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995

6

Lockers provided for primary students *****

The Deputy Director of Education, Miss Elaine Chung, today (Wednesday) visited an aided primary school in Mong Kok to see for herself how the provision of lockers can help alleviate the problem caused by overweight school bags.

The school is one of the first batch of Government and aided primary schools provided with a total of 50,022 lockers in January and February this year.

It is expected that the second batch of another 180,000 lockers will be installed later this year and in 1996.

While touring the school, Miss Chung exchanged views with the school headmaster and teachers on school bag problem and management of lockers.

Miss Chung was impressed by the innovative ideas of the school administration in the installation of lockers. They were installed in classrooms instead of in the corridors. And each locker was shared by a pair of students.

"Such arrangement has the effect of space saving," she said.

She also praised the school administration for adding new device to the lockers to resolve the problem of losing locker keys.

The Education Department has issued guidelines listing the measures and safety precautions to be observed by schools to ensure the proper use of lockers.

Besides installing lockers, the department has also held discussions with publishers on measures to reduce the weight of textbooks.

Miss Chung was happy to see that the provision of lockers for students could be materialised in such a short time.

She appealed to parents and students to pack their school bags every day according to the timetable and to use light and secure satchels.

End/Wednesday. March 8, 1995

- 7, -

HK needs broad education system ♦ * * * *

- - * rP •: i.. 1- ■ • i

Mrs Patten congratulated the English Schools Foundation on their commitment and professionalism in providing all-round education for students.

The international schools offered to students a relaxed and stimulating atmosphere, with a broad curriculum and equal emphasis on a wide range of extra-curricular activities.

At the opening ceremony of its sixth art exhibition today (Wednesday), she said: "This helps not only their intellectual and social development but brings out the creativity all children are bom with."

Hong Kong needs a broad education system where each student is helped to achieve not just their personal best in academic subjects but also in other areas such as arts, music and literature.

"This art exhibition is a good example of their philosophy put into practice," she said.

Mrs Patten encouraged the young artists to continue to develop their potential, and expressed her gratitude to the teachers for their hard work.

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995 .. , ,

. U <s . - 'jit.'

Ancient artefacts put on display

*****

Members of the public interested in archaeology will have a chance to see for themselves a wide range of heritage items discovered in Hong Kong in the past five years at an exhibition, starting from Friday (March 10).

The exhibition will be held at the Antiquities and Monuments Office (AMO) in Tsim Sha Tsui.

8

An amazing mass of archaeological data which will enable the public to reinterpret the everyday life and achievements of the early inhabitants of Hong Kong will also be put on display.

Entitled "Rescuing Our Archaeological Past - Major Discoveries Since 1989", the event coincides with the launching of the five-day Conference on Archaeology in Southeast Asia, organised by the University of Hong Kong's Museum and Art Gallery with the assistance of AMO.

.. .j.Oi

The Chairman of the Antiquities Advisory Board, Mr David Lung, will open the exhibition. The Secretary for Recreation and Culture, Mr James So, will present certificates of merit to six local organisations in recognition of their help in the preservation of antiquities and monuments.

:• 1 . f.C

They are the Provisional Airport Authority, Sun Hung Kai Real Estate Agency Ltd, the Land Development Corporation, China Light and Power Co Ltd, Proper Trip Development Ltd and Cheuk Fan Enterprise Ltd.

The exhibition will be open to the public during office hours until the end of July.

Attention News Editors:

You are invited to cover the opening ceremony and attend a preview of the exhibition which will take place at the Antiquities and Monuments Office, 136 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, at 5.15 pm tomorrow (Thursday).

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

Time Cumulative change

$ million (hours) ($million)

Opening balance in the account 1,524 0930 +1,166

Closing balance in the account 2,131 1000 +1,166

Change attributable to : 1100 +1,224

Money market activity +1,153 1200 +1,225

LAF today -546 1500 +1,175

1600 +1,153

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 117.7 *-1.1* 8.3.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.20 15 months 2605 6.35 99.67 6.74

1 month 5.32 24 months 2702 7.50 100.79 7.18

3 months 5.90 29 months 3707 6.95 99.48 7.31

6 months 6.26 35 months 3801 8.00 101.47 7.56

12 months 6.64 58 months 5912 8.15 100.85 8.09

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $24,004 million

Closed March 8, 1995

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

SUPPLEMENT

Wednesday, March 8,1995

Contents Page No,

Legislative Council meeting:

SEM on shelving of Old Age Pension Scheme.................... 1

LegCo adopts Govt motion on MPF.............................. 5

Shelving of Old Age Pension Scheme - SHW..................... 9

SEM's closing speech on retirement protection..................... 12

SHW speaks on retirement protection............................... 18

SEM on retirement protection...................................... 21

Proposed increase in Old Age Allowances poses intolerable burden on taxpayers................................................... 28

Rehousing policy for occupants of unauthorised rooftop structures. 30

Motion debate on rehousing of rooftop structure occupants... 32

Gas Safety’ (Amendment) Bill 1995........................... 34

Credit Unions (Amendment) Bill 1995.......................   35

Tai Lam Tunnel and Yuen Long Approach Road Bill............. 36

Funds sought for Government services........................ 40

Council for Academic Accreditation’s report tabled.......... 42

Provision of CAT scanners................................... 44

Review of urban renewal policy...........................................   45

Promotion of franchised business operations................................ 46

Border crossing points...................................................   47

Drug abuse in Pillar Point Vietnamese Refugee Centre....................... 49

Use of ICE not a trend..................................................... 50

Emission of exhaust gas from private cars.................................. 52

Falling of masonry and tiles............................................... 53

Squatter structures in Shek O.............................................. 56

Driving Offence Points System.............................................. 57

Recycling of waste materials............................................... 58

Designation of polling stations............................................ 59

Efforts continuing to improve recruitment and retention of nurses...... 64

Proposals on public broadcasting service being considered.................. 65

Squatter areas in HK....................................................... 67

Assessment of academic qualifications of civil service recruits............ 73

Occupancy rate of HK Industrial Technology Centre.......................... 74

Site for new China ferry terminal being identified......................... 76

Finances of Institute of Education and Academy for Performing Arts..... 77

LegCo passes motion on retirement protection system........................ 81

1

SEM on shelving of Old Age Pension Scheme *****

Following is a speech by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Michael Leung, on the motion debate on shelving of the Old Age Pension Scheme in the Legislative Council:

Mr President,

I will focus my response on Mr Yeung Sum's first part motion, my colleague, Secretary for Health and Welfare, will speak on the CSSA payments.

I should start by stating the basic policy on retirement protection, that is, we are talking about only one form of retirement protection. It is either on RPS or an OPS or as we have just agreed an MPF. It must be a system which is practicable, affordable, and sustainable. Acceptable to the people of Hong Kong to this Council and to the future sovereign power. Without these conditions, any scheme would be totally not acceptable, and certainly not possible to be implemented. Now that we have agreed to the MPF in an earlier motion, it is not our intention to reopen the question of the OPS. My response is simply to reply to some of the allegations made by some Members on our handling of the OPS. And I shall do so in as neutral a language as possible without causing some ill feelings. I know that some Members' feelings were hurt because they have perhaps been regretting what they have done before but I am, as I said, I could not assist them in this respect. It is a matter of the past. We cannot turn the clock back. ,l5

What I spoke in this Council on 9 November 1994,1 assured Members that we would consider the more than six thousand submissions on the OPS with great care and with an open mind. At the same time, I said that Government would implement the OPS subject to, among other things, endorsement by the community of our proposals as we put them. This we had made clear as far back as December 1993 when the proposal for OPS was announced for the first time in this Council.

As Members will recall, the consultation period on the OPS ended on 31 October 1994. We established a task force, specially, to analyse the submissions received, and to propose alternative recommendations where these were appropriate and acceptable.

3

2

On 27 January 1995 we released a full summary assessment of public opinion on the OPS consultation paper. In addition, full details of the original submissions, subject of course to the consent of those offers, of those submissions, have been made available to all Members of this Council and to the public. We have been handling this with great care and with great transparency. There is nothing to hide from the public and from this Council on all these documents. These are fully accessible to anyone who wishes to look at them seriously.

Let me now go over some of the main points in that assessment which have led us to the clear conclusion that there is no mandate from the community both from this Council to implement the OPS as outlined in that paper.

Our assessment was that views were, at best, divided. While many submissions supported the scheme in principle, in most cases they qualified their support, either by calling for the parallel implementation of a mandatory provident fund system to go with the OPS, for immediate improvements to CSSA payments to the elderly, to a CPF in addition, and for a wide range of amendments to some of the basic principles of the scheme. To follow that these qualifications and amendments in changes as some Members have alleged to be perhaps only a very minor, would have changed the OPS as original designed beyond recognition. This was not the kind of support we are looking for and certainly not in Hong Kong's best interest!

There were also many submissions which opposed the OPS in principle. They put forward a variety of arguments as to why the scheme was unsuitable and should not proceed. Some claimed that the OPS mixed up the concept of social welfare and retirement protection. Others believed that it shifted the burden of old age protection from the individual to the family to society, and that in the long run it would have an adverse effect on attitudes towards work and savings, and would lead to a breakdown of traditional Chinese values.

Many submissions claim that the OPS was not fair, as the amount of pension that would be received did not relate directly to the level of contribution that had been made. They did not believe in a scheme which proposed a flat rate of benefit, as they thought it would be inadequate for those really in need, and be superfluous for the better off.

Many submissions expressed concern about the assumptions of growth in population and productivity on which the OPS was based. They thought that these assumptions lacked credibility and feared that if more realistic ones were used, then the OPS would risk insolvency or a much higher contribution rate would be required.

- 3 -

Another area of concern was that the OPS would end up facing problems similar to those experienced by old age pension schemes in many western welfare states.

Let me now turn to some of the comments made on the key recommendations in the OPS paper. Nearly 18% of submissions proposed lowering the qualifying age for receipt of the pension from 65 to 60, arguing that 60 was common age for retirement. To do so, of course, would have meant a major increase in the contribution level for the OPS.

Many submissions called for future pension increases to be linked to increases in wages rather than the Composite Consumer Price Index as we had recommended. We accept such a change would also have meant an unacceptable rise in the necessary level of contribution.

Another major area of disagreement was the proposed means of funding the OPS. About 10% of submissions called for tripartite funding, that is to say equal contributions from Government, employers and employees. Again this would have been totally unacceptable.

Let me now turn to some of the specific points raised by Members in the debate this evenings.

Some Members have claimed that Government manipulated the number of submissions of the OPS, that we placed undue reliance on the views expressed by a particular group or groups, or ignored such views altogether. The simple fact is, there was no real support for the scheme in this Council. There was little enthusiasm for the OPS in the news media, indeed there was some hostility among many other news media, and public views were, at best, divided. All these were views which the Government must take fully into account.

Let me stress, yet again, that the evaluation of the submissions was completely fair, and was carried out carefully and conscientiously. Apart from considering the views expressed in each submission, and whether in principle at least the author was for or against the OPS, or did not indicate either way, we took careful note of such points as - ..

4

(a) whether the submission was from an individual or a group;

(b) whether it was an ordinary letter or a pre-printed form;

(c) if in support of the OPS, whether such support was qualified or unqualified, and if the former to what extent; and

(d) if the submissions opposed the OPS, whether it did so in principle or in respect of individual recommendations in the paper.

If a submission came from a group, then we also took into consideration the number of persons or organisations which that group might represent. Clearly it would not have been meaningful to indicate in the summary assessment of the submissions the number of persons we estimated to be represented by each group submission. The fact that we did indicate the number of signatures in respect of signature campaigns, though, does not mean, as some have claimed, that we simply regarded all other group submissions as representing one view each. That is just not true.

I am disappointed, Mr President, that some Members have expressed dissatisfaction with the way we carried out the OPS consultation exercise. They claim that by relying on submissions in response to a consultation paper, we deprived many potential supporters of the OPS of a chance to express their views. I do not agree. Copies of the consultation paper, and a simple question and answer leaflet about the OPS, were distributed widely to many many locations throughout Hong Kong. Details of the OPS were discussed and explained at great length in the print and electronic media, as well as at public meetings, seminars and talk-shows, both formal and informal. My colleagues in Education and Manpower Branch attended some 200 meetings and functions to talk about the scheme! Those who did not want to read the consultation document would have had little difficulty in learning about the scheme through some other means. Similarly, those who did not want to send in a written submission could have expressed their views - as many did - through such means as attending District Board meetings or other public meetings, writing to newspapers, or calling up phone-in programmes. While we have focused on the number of written submissions we received, let me make it clear that we considered all views that came in, from whatever source.

Finally, I am surprised that some Members have at this stage yet even suggested that we should have put the OPS to this Council in any case, regardless of any support. This would have made no sense if the OPS requires legislation and we do not have the support of this Council even in principle. Then what is the purpose of preparing all the work necessary? Without other's support of this Council, or a mandate from the community, it would have been neither logical nor sensible for us to proceed in this manner.

5

Mr President, let me return to what I began. I said in this Council that an OPS would be implemented subject to the endorsement of our proposals by the community. Such endorsement has not been forthcoming. I refute entirely any suggestions that we have manipulated or ignored public opinions on the OPS. It is abundantly clear that there is no mandate to proceed with the OPS as proposed in the paper. It took us s^ven njonths to design the OPS, a further three and a half months for the consultation period, ^nd another three months to assess the results of such consultation. The door to the OPS will not be reopened. We must move on towards an alternative means of providing financial security for our elderly people. Early this evening Members have already passed the motion urging the Government to introduce as expeditiously as possible a mandatory publicly managed occupational retirement system. We will proceed with the consultancy on the MPF immediately. Implementation of the OPS in addition to the MPF would be totally unacceptable and will place intolerable burden on contributors, employers and employees, and must be rejected in the public interest. For, the reasons given above and later on by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, the ex-officio Members will vote against both the Motion and the Amendment. I urge Members to do so.

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995

LegCo adopts Govt motion on MPF ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Legislative Council today (Wednesday) passed a Government motion for the establishment of a mandatory, privately managed occupational retirement protection system (MPF) with provision for the preservation and portability of benefits.

The proposed MPF will include the following main features:

it would be mandatory for every employer to establish a retirement scheme for his employees under the age of 65

it would be a joint contribution scheme by employees and employers

* there would be a statutory minimum contribution, of which the employer should pay half

there would be a minimum salary level, below which an employee might elect not to participate in a scheme

there would be a maximum salary level above which statutory contributions would not be required

- 6 -

* there will be a requirement for preservation and portability of benefits until an employee reaches retirement age, except in specified circumstances such as death, total disability or permanent departure from Hong Kong

* there will be enhancement of regulatory controls over the operation of registered occupational retirement schemes, and the prudential supervision of scheme administrators and pooled retirement schemes

a system would be developed to deal with benefit losses due to fraud or misfeasance of scheme administrators

a residual pool scheme would be developed to provide coverage for employers unable to find a scheme provider in the open market

Moving the motion, the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Michael Leung, said a system to compensate for losses brought about by unlawful activity would be developed in collaboration with the insurance and fund management industries.

... • - - ... (

’’Such a system could be in the form of a retrospective levy, of a compensation fund, or some other means,” he added.

He stressed the Government would in no circumstances consider providing what would in effect be a taxpayers' guarantee against investment losses as to do so would serve only to encourage aggressive or unscrupulous fund management.

But the Government will examine how to minimise the risk of investment loss, for instance by prohibiting over concentration of risks, introducing stricter control of trustees, improving supervision of life insurance companies and requiring adequate capital ratios, ring-fenced assets and transparency of operation.

These will be in addition to existing safeguards already provided under the Occupational Retirement Schemes Ordinance which requires all such schemes to be funded properly and their assets to be maintained separately from those of the employer.

The ordinance also requires the assets of a retirement scheme to be used only for the purposes of the scheme while its financial position must be subject to the annual scrutiny of an independent auditor.

Under the ordinance, assets of retirement funds held under trust belong to the trustee and not to the fund manager and, therefore, will be recovered in the event a fund manager goes bankrupt.

- 7 -

On the provision for the low-income group to opt out of the scheme, Mr Leung said it recognised the fact that the contribution might cause them financial hardship.

Refuting criticism that the MPF would not take care of those at the lower end of the economic ladder, he said it would provide a degree of income security upon retirement even to those employees who might not expect to participate in a voluntary occupation retirement scheme in the near future.

"It will also allow them to participate in an investment scheme where their contributions would be pooled together to yield a better return," he added.

Turning to the issue of preservation and portability of benefits, Mr Leung said that when an employee changed jobs, the accrued balance would be transferred from the scheme of the former employer to that of the new employer and the process would be repeated upon every change of job.

The retirement benefit payment would be made by the scheme of the last employer prior to retirement.

Mr Leung said the question of portability would be examined very carefully by a consultant.

On the question of how the MPF will relate to Long Service Payments (LSP) and Severance Payments (SP), he noted that off-setting provision already existed under the present voluntary system of occupational retirement schemes.

This is because SP and LSP are not designed as supplementary retirement schemes but are intended Io be alternatives to these retirement schemes.

"We do not intend to change it under the MPF. although we will need to consider very carefully the effect of the MPF on both schemes." Mr Leung said.

The Secretary also categorically ruled out the possibility of a Central Provident Fund, saying it was not an option for I long Kong.

"A CPF cannot work without Government funding, and this most definitely will not be forthcoming." he stressed.

Mr I eung also recalled the Government's attempts in the past three years to provide income security for the elderly.

8

In October 1992, the Government released the consultation paper "A Community-wide Retirement Protection System" which proposed a mandatory, contributory retirement protection system for all full-time employees under the age of 65.

The proposed system found little public support in the absence of a guarantee mechanism to deal with benefit losses and because it would not help those outside the workforce.

Taking heed of these points, the Government in July last year published a second consultation paper entitled "An Old Age Pension Scheme for Hong Kong."

The scheme would have given all eligible elderly persons a monthly pension of $2,300, and would have been funded by a modest contribution from employers and employees and an affordable level of financial input from the Government.

At the end of a three-month consultation period, there was no clear public consensus for the scheme to proceed.

"We had to decide where to go next," Mr Leung said, noting that there were suggestions for the Government to maintain the status quo and to continue to encourage the establishment of occupational retirement schemes on a voluntary basis.

But he said the Government did not think it should follow this road as there would still be many employees, particularly in smaller businesses, who would be without retirement protection for the foreseeable future.

"Having analysed the submissions on the Old Age Pension Scheme and following nearly 30 meetings with Legislative Councillors, trade union leaders and representatives of the business community, the Government proposed the MPF which has won majority support from the Legislative Council today," Mr Leung said.

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995

- 9 -

Shelving of Old Age Pension Scheme - SHW * * * ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by Secretary for Health and Welfare. Mrs Katherine Fok, ip the motion debate on shelving of the Old Age Pension Scheme in the Legislative Council:

Mr President,

Both the Motion moved by Dr Yeung Sum and the amendment put by Dr K C Lam urge the Administration to increase Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) payments for the elderly to $2,500 per month with immediate effect.

As I said in the debate on the Government's Motion earlier this afternoon, the Administration shares fully with Members the view that we should do all we can to ensure that elderly persons in need are given every assistance to live in dignity and comfort. But we also have a responsibility, shared by Members of this Council, to provide that assistance in a way which is sustainable and within our means. We cannot allow the growth in our spending to outstrip the growth in our economy as a whole.

The challenge we face is to address the consensus on increasing support for elderly people in need, while at the same time remaining consistent with our sensible budgetary guidelines.

This Council knows how the budgetary process works. For this reason, I am surprised to hear a call for substantial increases in recurrent spending to be implemented with immediate effect. Those who understand the budgetary process and support our budgetary guidelines will know that such a proposal cannot be accepted. It is not realistic to assume that we can immediately find the additional annual recurrent expenditure of approximately $780 million needed to fund the proposed increase in CSSA standard rates for the elderly. 1 hope those of you inclined to support this Motion, or indeed the amendment proposed to it. will bear in mind that your responsibilities to the public extend also to ensuring that Government spending is handled in a way conducive to the sound management of our public finances and the economy.

10

That is not to say we are doing nothing for the CSSA - to the contrary, we are doing and have done a great deal. What we have done is to increase CSSA payments to the single elderly by 26% over and above inflation in the 3 years prior to April this year. What we are doing and will continue to do is to conduct a major review of the entire CSSA system. Dr Lam will wish to note that this will include a review of the means test criteria which is an issue specifically raised in his amendment,to the Motion. We are working on the Review as fast as we can, but important data from the Household Expenditure Survey will start to become available only from September this year and it would not be realistic to expect firm proposals to start to emerge much before the end of this year. This cannot be a piecemeal exercise; and figures must not be snatched out of the air.

A comprehensive Review is the only sensible way to proceed. And as I said earlier this afternoon - this is not a delaying tactic; far from it. We are sincere in wanting to implement the Review's recommendations as swiftly as possible. This creates some difficulties since the Review will reach its conclusions very late in the preparations for the 1996/97 budget. Nevertheless, the Financial Secretary has agreed that some funds will be reserved in advance of the Review outcome so that we can start to implement its recommendations in 1996/97.

It is not clear to me from the way that CSSA figures are currently confidently espoused by their proponents that there is any deep understanding of how the CSSA system and our other support for elderly persons actually work. Let me explain.

With effect from next month, when all CSSA standard rates will be increased by 8.5%, we expect the average monthly payment to a single elderly person to be about $2,700. That is $200 higher than the $2,500 proposed in the Motion and in the amendment to it. How can this be? This is because 97% of elderly CSSA clients receive not only the "standard rate" but are also eligible for a wide range of special grants and an annual supplement if they have been on CSSA for 12 months or more. For the elderly, the most relevant special grants relate to rent, telephone charges, travelling expenses, medical appliances and special diet. With effect from April, a single elderly might typically receive an annual supplement of $1,340 and, monthly, a standard rate grant of $1,810, special grants for rent (of up to $1,118), telephone charges, travelling expenses etc, say another $100. All these add up to an average monthly payment of $2,700.

When calculating the full level of financial support given to an elderly person in need, we must add to this the cost to the taxpayer of providing all medical services to CSSA recipients free of charge and for the provision of various welfare services, at a cost of over $1 billion next year, ranging from counselling to day care and social activities - all at no charge or at the lowest of nominal charges only. Depending on need, they can also benefit from special compassionate housing in public housing estates.

11

Of course, taken in isolation, the CSSA standard rate payment to a single elderly person which will be $1,810 per month may not look very much. But only 3% of elderly CSSA recipients receive this standard rate. And even if this were all they received, it is supplemented by a range of other hidden subsidies which make up the full safety net of welfare and other support.

We must remember too, that if the standard rate payment is all they receive, it means that they probably, for some reason, do not need e.g. rent or travelling expense support. Perhaps their children and family are providing some additional support which makes it unnecessary for other benefits to be claimed.

We must not forget that many in Hong Kong have sensibly saved to look after themselves. Our spectacular economic growth has enabled many of them and their children to acquire the resources to make their lives comfortable in old age. Yes, there are those in need but let us remember that many are managing well on their own savings and with the support of their families.

Mr President, we are reviewing CSSA rates, and whereas we do not yet have a new figure to propose for the elderly rates. Members may well be right that an increase is justified. Indeed, the Review may indicate that rates for other categories of recipients - the young, the disabled or single parents for example - should also be increased. As I said before, the Review is not a delaying tactic. It will provide us with the necessary information upon which sensible decisions on the adequacy of existing CSSA rates, including those for the elderly, can be made. If an increase in the rates for the elderly can be justified, we will do our best to secure the necessary funds to start to implement the changes recommended in 1996/97. even though any decision to raise such rates could only be made late in the preparation for that year's Budget.

Since we cannot pre-empt the outcome of the review, ex-officio Members would be inclined to abstain in a vote relating to a recommended $2,500 rate for the elderly. But they cannot abstain in a Motion which advocates the implementation of any increase with immediate effect. For the reasons I have already outlined, we cannot agree with such a recommendation. Accordingly, the ex-officio Members of this Council will oppose both the Motion and the amendment to it.

End/Wednesday. March 8. 1995

12

SEM’s closing speech on retirement protection ♦ * * * ♦

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

Mr President,

With your indulgence, I would like really to respond in full to the proposed amendment and the speeches made by Members this afternoon and to put my response at this point in time with your indulgence because it is important that the motion I propose must proceed unamended if the intention is to set up the MPF within the time frame which I describe in my speech. With the amendments as proposed will be unacceptable to Government and the reasons mentioned by myself and the Secretary for Health and Welfare, so I would try to answer all the points raised this afternoon by Members on why in fact it is important that the Government motion should proceed unamended and to answer the points raised by various Members arising from this debate.

First of all. I would like to correct some misconceptions raised by some Members in distorting facts and trying to misquote a numbers of points on previous occasions. First of all, on the debate in November last year, I think as a matter of record in the hansards as Members admit for themselves that of the Members who spoke on the motion, only one Member, Mr McGregor, spoke in unqualified support to the OPS as presented by the Government. I stress these words as presented by the Government. All those who spoke, somehow, for the OPS in some way have all qualifications, qualifications as so fundamental as to affect the concept, the basic concept of the OPS as presented by Government. For examples, many Members raised the question of Government contribution, tripartite funding, this changes fundamentally the nature of the OPS as we proposed, therefore it is not a support of the OPS as we sought.

Secondly, those Members who supported the OPS, as they said, also wanted the CPF. in addition to the OPS, again how can this be a support of the OPS as we presented this to this Council?

And thirdly, many who spoke, so call in support of the OPS also wanted to have the old age allowance increase as well, so Mr President, how can we say those that who spoke allegedly in support of the OPS are really in support? None of them, none of them except Mr McGregor, gave us the wholehearted support on the OPS without qualifications. This is a matter of record and Members can read the hansard for themselves on 9th November 1994.

13

Secondly, Mr President, on the point raised by one Member allegedly referring to my "previous colleagues" in this Council last year on the demerits, so called demerits, of the RPS. Can I remind that Member that the RPS was based on the '92 paper. All he said against those points in the RPS were the '92 paper on the particular system. It was not, it was not as stressed, relevant to the MPF which I now outline this afternoon, they are different things. Let me explain why they are different. Members, of course, mentioned also the need to get the wire report in 1993 on the RPS system. Again they are different systems and I would explain why they are different.

I am very surprised in fact that Mr Michael Ho is trying to distort things and trying to pull wool over our eyes to say that we are now trying to hide the RPS reports from Members because it is relevant to this debate. And my answer it is not relevant. Let me explain why. The RPS in 1992 called for all employees in full time employment under the age of 65 to participate in retirement protection schemes unless specifically exempted. There will be no minimum wage level for making contributions, even those on very low salaries still needed to contribute. That was the 1992 system. It allowed the concept of preservation of benefits without portability. In that when an employee change job, it would have been able to leave his accrued retirement benefits frozen in the previous employer's retirement scheme. There was no provision to deal with those employers who might not be able to find a retirement scheme in the open market for that employee. There was no provision for any scheme to deal with benefit losses caused by fraud or theft. Let me ask you, is it the same as the MPF which 1 have just outlined? All these features are different from this present scheme which I outlined. How can they be relevant to present scheme? We are not asking Members to endorse an RPS or even amended version of it, we have since moved on. As Members would be aware from information which we gave them earlier on before this debate. And today this afternoon the MPF would differ from the RPS in many respects.

First of all, it would be a residual pool scheme to deal with those employers who are not able to find coverage elsewhere in the open market. Secondly, there will be a minimum salary level for contributing purposes to recognise that those on low incomes may find it difficult to make a contribution. Thirdly, there would be a scheme provision for a scheme to deal with benefit losses due to fraud or theft. And fourthly, we would not be allowing preservation without portability. We want both, preservation and portability in the MPS system, is not the same as the RPS.

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As we recognise the concern expressed over this issue, in consumption with the previous consultation on the RPS in 1992. In short, the two systems are totally different, it is totally irrelevant to quote with that one as the arguments against the MPS. Let me go on one more point. The report on the RPS used financial calculations based on the interest rates and market conditions at that time, that is at least two years ago. It also talked about complying an exempt scheme. These concepts are not relevant, not applicable to our discussions on the MPF or the principle of the MPF this afternoon. It would therefore be totally inappropriate and totally misleading for some Members of this Council to deliberately distort the pictures, to mislead the public and this Council into believing that we are trying to have the two schemes mixed up together, they are not, they are different schemes. The MPF as presented is a new scheme with new features, improvements of the old features and can adjust the need of the people at this point in time. I am sure Members would understand this, these are very different. Therefore the quotation of my colleague, Mr Lam, was totally out of context, and totally misleading.

Going back to the main points in the arguments, I am sure that those Members who have said in support of the OPS with qualifications must now be regretting they have done the wrong thing. I am very sorry for them. They cannot retract because it is on record. They said in support with qualifications plus CPF plus old age allowances plus everything. I am sorry it's too late to change their minds now. It's on record and the public know that they have not supported that the OPS as presented. They can't change their minds now or correct the record. I am so sorry for them. But that is the fact, Mr President, it's on record and hansards. You can't change it now, you can't deceive the public.

Coming back to the MPF as we presented this afternoon, I like to respond a number of points on those Members who spoke in support which I am fully appreciative. On the number of points of details, first, the question of security for retirement benefits. Let me stress once again that we have already got in place a system of legislative controls, regulations and prudential supervision. The Occupational Retirement Schemes Ordinance (ORSO) requires scheme assets to be maintained separately from those of the employer, and to be held by independent trustees or authorised insurers. It also imposes restrictions on the investment of scheme assets. Loans to the employer and investment in certain company shares are not allowed. No more than 10% of the scheme assets may be invested in securities issued by the employer.

15

Scheme administrators, i.e. trustees and authorised insurers, are required to keep proper accounting records of the scheme assets, and to submit audited annual accounts and returns in respect of the scheme to the Registrar of the Occupational Retirement Schemes. Under the present Ordinance, the Registrar is obliged to report on non-compliance with contributions and investment restrictions and may take interventionary action under the present system now. It can do so. Furthermore, Members of a scheme are entitled to have access to information about the assets of their scheme.

Authorised insurers and registered trust companies which manage retirement schemes are subject to supervision by the authorities. Insurers are required to observe the investment rules and regulations promulgated by the Insurance Authority. The trust companies must be registered with the Registrar of Companies under the Trustees Ordinance and meet.the registration requirements of that Ordinance. Proposals are in place to strengthen regulations of investments of trust assets.

These measures are part of the Government's role in ensuring prudential supervision and regulation of existing voluntary schemes. As I have said, we recognise fully that in a situation where contributions are mandatory, we must strengthen the regulation of fund managers and our system of prudential supervision. And this we shall do. It will be an important part of our consultant's brief. Furthermore, within the MPF, and with the collaboration of the insurance and fund management industries, we will develop a system to compensate for losses brought about by unlawful activity. But I want to stress, once again, what we will not do is to provide a guarantee against investment risk. To do so would be counter-productive, as it would encourage the sort of aggressive and unscrupulous fund management we must avoid.

I would like to. perhaps, address some Members’ concern about Government's role in this, and Government's contributions. I am very pleased Members did remind us of our responsibility in this respect, and 1 am pleased to say that Government is prepared to consider the provision of a one-off capital contribution towards any fund or scheme that is set up to deal with benefit losses due to fraud or theft.

Secondly, on the question of preservation and portability. The purpose of any retirement protection system must be to ensure that an employee has accrued enough benefits by the time he leaves the workforce to allow him to enjoy a financially secure old age. For this to happen, we cannot let the employee simply take the benefits away with him each time he changes a job. Certainly we will need to ensure that preserved accrued benefits are transferred from one employer's scheme to the next upon change of job. The best way of doing this is one area where we will have need further advice from the consultants. However, this must not detract us from the need to include these necessary concepts as an integral part of the MPF.

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I should stress that preservation by itself is not the answer. This was pointed out to us very clearly in submissions on the October 1992 RPS, which warned of "loss" benefits, and a multiplicity of small accounts leading to unnecessary administrative work for employers. Preservation and portability must therefore go together.

I welcome Members' general support lor the residual pool scheme which wc have proposed in this MPF system. As I said in my main speech, we expect the majority of employers to be able to find a scheme administrator in the private sector by themselves. Those who for one reason or another cannot do so. will be able to participate in the residual pool scheme. Again, this is an area where we need to work very closely with the insurance and the fund management industries.

I should like also to respond to a point made by some Members on the relationship between the Long Service Payment (LSP), Severance Payment (SP) and the MPF. Members will be aware that these were designed at a time when there was very little retirement protection. We were concerned about the difficulties that workers, especially elderly ones, might face in finding another job. These measures were introduced to help them over such difficulties. At the same time, we tried to encourage the provision of voluntary occupational retirement schemes. There is already provision in the Employment Ordinance to allow for the setting off of an employer's benefit payments under a retirement scheme by the amount payable for Severance Payment or Long Service Payment. Mr President, it is not our intention to change this arrangement, but we will seek our consultants' advice to examine this relationship between the two systems and the proposed MPF.

1 think Members are aware that the MPF will have an impact on existing schemes both within the civil service and other statutory schemes. Again this is an area we will have to need to find our consultants to look at the technical points in more detail and come back quickly with answers to these impact on these problems.

I take Members' points that the MPF will be, as they said, meaningless without for those on a low income. But I do not agree with them. We are providing those employees on a low salary with an opportunity to participate in an investment where their contributions will be pooled together to provide a meaningful return. We must not look at investments over the short term, but over a longer time-frame, and we may expect contributors to benefit accordingly.

17

It is also possible that the very significant funds that will be accumulated under the MPF schemes will be accumulated and if these were to move on in a concerted manner across the exchanges, this would have in fact implications for the monetary management system. Again we will be looking at these measures with great care and to ensure that the advice system to look after this impact.

I note that some Members have expressed concern on the rate of return. This, of course, is a key consideration. The rate of return on privately managed retirement funds has been high in Hong Kong over the long term, with even those funds regarded as average performers having a return of 7 to 8% after inflation. This is considerably higher, better than the likely rate for the CPF. I should stress that a high rate of return will provide contributors, even those on a low income, with more retirement protection in the long term.

Let me also point out that investment returns on retirement funds, like other long term investments, fluctuate from year to year. The majority of retirement schemes in Hong Kong are long term investors. The success of a scheme must be measured by its average investment performance over a longer time horizon. It is misleading to quote one year's result as a measurement of investments in the long term. I note from a recently issued survey of Hong Kong Retirement Schemes in 1994, that while 1994 was a disappointing year, as significant falls in the Asian stock markets affected returns of those schemes with a heavy concentration of assets in those markets, over the longer term returns remain ahead of salary inflation.

Mr Vincent Cheng mentioned a point expressed concent over the effect of retrospective preservation. Scheme participants are, of course, free to terminate an existing scheme anytime they want to, in accordance to the bad terms of the scheme. But most, I'm sure, will realise that it is usually through long-term investments that any pension fund scheme will bring the maximum benefits and they will not easily trade world-run scheme for the immediate freedom from the requirement under the MPF to preserve their accrued benefits. It is simply not in their interest to do so. In any event, a sufficiently long grace period would be provided for employers and employees to comply with the MPF requirements all to wind up their schemes. There is no reason therefore to assume that it will take collective action to wind up all at the same time.

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Mr President, today we have reached a mile-stone in our long road towards establishing a retirement system for Hong Kong. The result of the vote on the motion as I put before this Council will determine whether we move down the road towards the goal of a mandatory privately managed retirement system, or to stop the journey right here. If we get clear support from this Council on our proposal, as embodied in my original motion as not amended, we will proceed with appointing a consultant to look at the details and come back to this Council as soon as possible on details. We will also start drafting legislation and come back to this Council with a primary legislation. The time-frame we try to get an initial report from the consultants by the end of April and to come to this Council with a primary law before the end of this session if Council endorses my motion this afternoon. This is our timetable, we cannot lose any more time. Every day counts, every week counts in these preparations, is a tall order for the Government is prepared to take up this challenge and respond to Members' concern and the community's concern on this matter. And we hope Members can approve the motion unamended and make sure we have these mandate from Council to proceed as I recommended.

Thank you.

End/Wcdnesday. March 8. 1995

SHW speaks on retirement protection *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary' for Health and Welfare. Mrs Katherine Fok, on the amendment moved by the Hon Jimmy McGregor, to the motion moved by the Secretary for Education and Manpower. Mr Michael Leung, on "Retirement Protection" in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President.

The decision of my colleague, the Secretary for Education and Manpower to confine the scope of his motion to retirement protection alone was a carefully considered one. The Administration wishes this Council to have the opportunity to express its view on this important issue without being distracted into a debate about the appropriate level of social security payments and allowances for the elderly. Indeed, the Council will have the opportunity to express its views on the latter subject when it discusses the motion to be moved by Dr Yeung Sum later today.

V

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Apart from this, we also find the substance of the amendment unacceptable, mainly because of the significant financial implications mv< ed. especially in the case of payments under the Old Age Allowance Scheme \s at December 1994, approximately 420,000 persons were receiving this allowance The 133,000 between the ages of 65 and 69 receiving the normal allowance in 1994 95 were paid $485 per month subject only to a declaration that their income and assets were below a certain level. Approximately 287.000 aged 70 years and over were paid the higher allowance of $550 per month and were not even subject to an income declaration. We estimate that 73% of eligible persons in Hong Kong at 6^ vears of ag< or above claimed the allowance in 1994/95

The allowance is not granted in recognition of any assessed financial need; that is why it has remained relative! • modest. But because of the large numbers receiving it, it is costly to fund. The full year cost for 1994/95. even at these levels, will be nearly $2.5 billion. This is more than the $2.2 billion which we shall have spent in that year on CSSA payments for those over 60 vears of age who are in need and thus receiving CSSA.

We must be careful not to confuse welfare payments and retirement protection. 1 believe there is a widely held view that welfare support for elderly persons in need should be increased. But I do not believe that there is wide support for the taxpayer to contribute more to the elderly regardless of the financial or other needs of the elderly persons concerned.

To provide retirement protection for all over the age »t 65 by raising Old Age Allowances e.g. to the $2,300 per month level would place u intolerable burden on the taxpayer. Assuming that the take-up rate of the allowance, if significantly increased as proposed, would rise to 85%. it would require nearly $10 billion of additional recurrent expenditure in 995/96 alone I ct me just repeat, over $10 billion of recurrent expenditure \nd we estimate that this would use to $15 6 billion of recurrent expenditure in <999/2000. The additional expenditure involved over this five year period would be as much as $5^ billion This enormous burden would not result in funds being channelled to the needy but rather, indiscriminately, to all at or above 65 years of age whether rich or poor We do not believe that the community would support such a move Those who will benefit from retirement protection should, together with (heir employers oe obliged to contribute if they can afford to do so. This reduces or eliminates the burden on the general taxpayer. This is a vitally important consideration when we have an ageing population in which the number of elderly beneficiaries per salaries taxpayer is expected to continue to grow

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As for any increase in the CSSA payments themselves, Members know already that we are conducting a Review of the CSSA system and payment rates at the moment. This is too important an exercise to allow figures simply to be snatched out of the air. The new rates for the single elderly to come into effect in April will mark a 26% increase in real terms, over and above inflation, compared with the level being paid only 3 years previously. From next month, the average monthly payment to a single elderly person would be about $2,700. It cannot be said that we have been neglecting these payments.

Before we consider increasing them any further, we must take stock of the whole system and ensure needs are being met appropriately and the relative needs of all categories including, for example, young children, the disabled, the single parent and the elderly are all being properly addressed. We must await the outcome of this Review in early 1996 before proposing any changes. I can assure Members that this is not simply a delaying tactic on our part. Although the results of the Review will become available late in the preparations for the 1996/97 budget, we shall do all we can to ensure funding is made available to start to implement the changes recommended in that financial year. The Financial Secretary has agreed that some funds should be reserved for this purpose in advance of the conclusion of the Review.

Mr President, the Administration recognises the spirit behind Mr McGregor's Amendment. We too sincerely wish to do all we can to help the elderly. But the Administration must have regard to what the taxpayer can afford and the implications of any proposal on the financial and economic well being of Hong Kong. We believe that retirement protection and welfare support for the needy are essentially different issues which are better dealt with separately. We therefore oppose this amendment. In doing so. we are also conscious of the important objective of giving Members an opportunity to vote on a clear motion on the mandatory privately managed provident fund system which we consider merits Members' support as a means of providing retirement protection for our elderly citizens.

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995

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SEM on retirement protection ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

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

Mr President,

1 move the motion standing in my name in the order paper.

Over the past 30 years, much has been said, both inside and outside this Council, about the best way to provide financial security for our elderly people. I do not think that there is anyone who would deny that the elderly in our community, who have contributed, and continue to contribute, so much to our economic well-being and prosperity, deserve to be able to live in dignity and financial security during their retirement years. Yet the best way of reaching that goal always appears to have eluded us.

There are currently some 560,000 people over the age of 65. This number will rise to about 1.000,000 by the year 2016. Although Hong Kong has a high average savings rate and most of our citizens have been able to support themselves in retirement until now. we cannot assume that this will always be so. Nor should we simply continue to rely upon traditional patterns of family support. Prudence dictates that we take precautionary measures. We cannot afford further delay. The time for action is now.

It is an inescapable fact, though, that Government alone cannot solve the financial needs of our elderly population unless we are to put an intolerable burden on our taxpayers. We need to involve the working population and employers as well. Let me go back in time to examine what we have tried to achieve in the area of providing income security for the elderly over the last three years.

I he RPS

Most Members will recall that in October 1992 we released a consultation paper entitled "A Community-wide Retirement Protection System". This proposed the introduction of a mandatory, contributory retirement protection system for all employees under the age of 65 in full time employment, rhe proposed system found little support within the community. The main areas of concern included the absence of a guarantee mechanism within the system to deal with benefit losses arising from fraud, theft or poor investment management, and the fact that the system did not help those outside the workforce.

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The OPS

We took heed of these points, in particular the apparent concern about the absence ofcoverage for those elderly people outside the workforce or who had already retired. In December 1993, as Members will recall, I announced in this Council that we would implement an Old Age Pension Scheme (OPS) subject, among other things, to endorsement by the community of our proposals. In July last year we released our second consultation document, entitled "An Old Age Pension Scheme for Hong Kong". The OPS would have given all eligible elderly persons a monthly pension of $2,300, and would have been funded by a modest contribution from employers and employees, and an affordable level of financial input from Government.

When the OPS consultation period ended on 31 October last year, we had received a total of 6,665 written submissions. Although this was an encouraging response in numerical terms, as we assessed the views expressed in those submissions, it became clear to us that public opinion on the OPS was, at best, divided. Nor was there any support for the OPS in this Council. Members recall that the Motion Debate on the OPS on 9 November 1994, to debate the motion "That this Council is of the opinion that the Government has to assume greater financial responsibility for the Old Age Pension Scheme and, at the same time, should attach due importance to the views expressed by the public during the consultation period in order to refine the Scheme and take positive steps to improve the existing welfare system for the elderly", only one Member of this Council spoke firmly in support of the OPS. Let me remind Members that the vote in favour of an amended motion which called upon Government to seriously consider the views expressed by the public on various retirement schemes, including the OPS, was passed by a majority of 28 votes to 3.

We have to face reality. We had sought public endorsement of the OPS, but public views were divided. There was little support from the OPS in the news media, nor indeed in this Council. There was clearly no consensus for the scheme in Hong Kong, and we shall not return to it. We have to decide where to go next.

It would have been quite inappropriate to try, as some have suggested, and put the OPS to this Council in any case. To proceed along the OPS road meant that we needed the clear support of the community, this Council and the Chinese side. We cannot ignore the fact that we need both legislation and the agreement of the Chinese Government for any retirement scheme that goes beyond 1997.

23

There have been suggestions that in the light of the rejection of the October 1992 consultation paper on retirement protection, and the divided views on the OPS, then Government should maintain the status quo, and continue to encourage the establishment of occupational retirement schemes on a voluntary basis. At present, about one-third of our workforce of 2.8 million is covered by some form of retirement scheme. If we simply maintain the present system, it has to be realised that while the number of employees covered by such voluntary schemes will continue to grow gradually, there will still be many employees, particularly in smaller businesses, who will be without retirement protection for the foreseeable future. Indeed it would be unrealistic ever to expect the entire workforce to be covered under a voluntary system.

The MPE

Submissions on the OPS indicated that there was now likely to be more public acceptance of a mandatory, privately managed provident fund system, particularly if it could be set up by 1997. Over the last few weeks, my colleagues have been seeking the views of community leaders on what is now the only remaining alternative for retirement protection. After nearly 30 meetings with Members of this Council, both individually and in groups, with trade union leaders and with representatives of the business community, we have gained the impression that the introduction of what we call a mandatory, privately-managed provident fund system (MPF) would be regarded as a practicable way forward to help our hard working labour force to look after themselves better in their retirement years.

Let me now describe the key features of the MPF as we see it at this point in time. The proposed MPF should include the following main features -

1) it would be mandatory for every employer to establish a retirement scheme for his employees under the age of 65;

2) it would be a joint contribution scheme by both employees and employers;

3) there would be a statutory minimum contribution, of which the employer should pay half;

4) there would be a minimum salary’ level, below which an employee might elect not to participate in a scheme;

5) there would be a maximum salary' level above which statutory contributions would not be required;

6) there will be a requirement for preservation and portability of benefits until an employee reaches retirement age. except in specified circumstances such as death, total disability or permanent departure from Hong Kong;

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7) there will be enhancement of regulatory controls over the operation of registered occupational retirement schemes, and the prudential supervision of scheme administrators and pooled retirement schemes;

8) a system would be developed to deal with benefit losses due to fraud or misfeasance of scheme administrators; and

9) a residual pool scheme would be developed to provide coverage for those employers unable to find a scheme provider in the open market.

Scheme to deal with benefit losses

Let me now elaborate on some of the features I have just mentioned. First of all, the system that would be developed within the MPF to deal with benefit losses. Some groups and individuals have expressed concern about what may happen if one of the constituent schemes of the MPF goes bankrupt. I should emphasise first of all that the Occupational Retirement Schemes Ordinance (ORSO) which governs the operation of voluntary retirement schemes already requires all such schemes to be funded properly; for the assets of a retirement scheme to be maintained separately from those of the employer, and to be used only for the purposes of the scheme; for the financial position of a retirement scheme to be subject to the annual scrutiny of an independent auditor; and for employees to have the right to seek information about their schemes. Moreover, retirement funds held under trust are afforded protection in that all assets belong to the trustee and not to the fund manager and therefore would be recovered in the event of a fund manager going bankrupt.

Nevertheless, we do recognise the fact that in a situation where contributions are mandator} , then we should strengthen the regulation of fund managers and our system of prudential supervision. This we will do. Our role is to minimise risk due to fraud and theft, and ensure prudential supervision and regulation. Within the MPF. a system will be developed, in collaboration with the insurance and fund management industries, to compensate for losses brought about by unlawful activity. Such a system could take the form of a retrospective levy, of a compensation fund, or some other means. I look forward to the support and close co-operation of the industries in this respect.

While on the subject of’ losses and guarantees, 1 must stress at this point that Government will not consider under any circumstances providing what would be in effect a taxpayers’ guarantee against investment losses. To ask taxpayers to be liable for bad investments decisions made either by contributors in their selection of schemes or by fund managers or investment consultants in the private sector would be fool-hardy. It would serve only to encourage aggressive or unscrupulous fund management, which is what we are seeking to avoid. However, we will be examining how best to minimise the risk of investment loss, for instance by prohibiting over concentration of risks, introducing stricter control of trustees, improving supervision of life insurance companies and requiring adequate capital ratios, ring-fenced assets and transparency of operation.

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Minimum salary level

Secondly, the minimum salary level. This recognises that for some of those earning below a minimum level, which could be set at say about $4000 a month, the contribution might cause financial hardship. We shall allow such employees to elect whether or not they wish to contribute to their employer's scheme. If they elect to contribute, though, then the employer must also pay his share of the contribution. This is an important point. Lowly paid employees will have a choice in the way they handle their own financial affairs.

The MPF will be open to all employees, so it is not correct to say, as some critics have said, that it will not take care of those at the lower end of the economic ladder. The MPF will provide a degree of income security upon retirement even to those employees who might not expect to participate in a voluntary occupational retirement scheme in the near future. For every dollar an employee puts into the MPF, there will be a corresponding dollar from his employer. It will also allow them to participate in an investment scheme where their contributions would be pooled together to yield a better return - an opportunity which otherwise might not have been open to them. When we move on to the consultancy, we shall also consider the needs of the self-employed, and whether they should take part in the MPF.

Residual pool scheing

We expect the majority of employers to be able to find a retirement scheme provider in the private sector, but we realise there are going to be some who for one reason or another are unable to do so. This may be particularly relevant to smaller businesses, or those with employees on low incomes. We arc also conscious in this respect of the points made by the insurance and fund management industries that the administrative cost of managing small contributions would be disproportionately large and might eat into the capital. To ensure that all employers are able to comply with the law, there will be a residual pool scheme which will provide coverage for their employees. Such a scheme would still be run on commercial principles. Let me remind Members that the residual pool scheme is not the same as a central provident fund, about which I shall be speaking later on. It is simply an alternative means of providing retirement protection essentially for those who are unable to find it in the open market. It is one of a number of points which we shall discuss in greater detail with our consultants. In addition, as Members will know, many employers offer a choice of retirement schemes to provide for the varying needs of their employees. We would want this option of choice to remain continued.

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Benefit level

Let me deal now with some particular points which appear to he giving rise to concern and confusion. Some have called for a minimum benefit level to be provided under the MPF, or for a pension to be provided for those who have not saved enough under the system. While we appreciate that there will be those who may not have been able to accrue what they perceive to be an adequate amount on which to retire, the MPF, like other similar systems, would operate on the strict principle of beneficiaries receiving what the retirement protection scheme has produced in the way of investment return. Those in genuine financial need would still be able to apply for existing welfare benefits for the elderly, subject to eligibility.

Relationship with LSP and SP

I shall now turn to the question of how the MPF will relate to the provision for Long Service Payments (LSP) and Severance Payments (SP) under the Employment Ordinance. At present, the employer's contributions to a retirement scheme may be set-off against any amount he has paid out for SP or LSP. Employers do not pay twice. SP and LSP are not designed as supplementary retirement schemes - they are intended to be alternatives to these retirement schemes. That is why the off-setting provision exists under the present voluntary system of occupational retirement schemes. We do not intend to change it under the MPF, although we will need to consider very carefully the effect of the MPF on both schemes.

Preservation and portability

The basic aim of a retirement protection system must be to ensure that an employee accrues enough benefits by the end of his working life to allow him to enjoy an element of financial security in his retirement years. For this to happen, the benefits must be kept intact until the end of his working life, not paid out upon change of job. This is the principle of benefit preservation. Upon change of job, the accumulated balance would be transferred from the scheme of the former employer to that of the new employer. This process would be repeated each time the employee changed job. The retirement benefit payment would be made by the scheme of the last employer prior to retirement. The question of portability, and how to make it work as smoothly as possible, to the benefit of scheme contributors, is one that will be examined very carefully by our consultants.

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CPF

Finally, let me turn to the perennial call for us to establish a Central Provident Fund (CPF). Our view on this remains unchanged. It is not an option for Hong Kong. It offers no freedom of choice, tends to produce low returns on investment, and would result in an over-concentration of funds under one authority. We hold the same view in respect of a CPF on its own, and a CPF put together in an uneasy partnership with any other form of retirement protection.

Those Members who arc proposing a Hong Kong Central Provident Fund Bill must know that we will not support it. A CPF cannot work without Government funding, and this most definitely will not be forthcoming.

Conclusion

Mr President, I believe that the mandatory, privately managed provident fund system is not only the most acceptable way of providing retirement protection for our elderly people - it is also the only way left. It is abundantly clear that there is no mandate to proceed with the OPS. It took us seven months to design the OPS, a further three and a half months for the consultation period, yet a further three months to assess the results of the exercise. The door to the OPS will not be reopened. We cannot go on devising new schemes. Without clear support for the MPF, we will not proceed. I call upon Members of this Council today to give us the clear support we need to move on to the next stage of the MPF consultation process, which is to appoint a consultant to advise us on the details of the system. Thereafter we will discuss the MPF in the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group. We hope to put together primary legislation on the MPF to this Council before the end of this current session, and our eventual aim is to have the MPF in place as quickly as possible.

Mr President, I beg to move.

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995

28

Proposed increase in Old Age Allowances poses intolerable burden on taxpayers ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

To provide retirement protection for all over the age of 65 by raising Old Age Allowances to the $2,300 per month level would place an intolerable burden on taxpayers, the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, said.

Speaking on the amendment moved by the Hon Jimmy McGregor to the Government's motion on retirement protection at the Legislative Council today (Wednesday), Mrs Fok said 133,000 persons aged between the ages of 65 and 69 receiving the normal allowance in 1994/95 were paid $485 per month and 287,000 aged 70 years and over were paid the higher allowance of $550 per month.

Even at these levels, she said, the full year cost for 1994/95 was nearly $2.5 billion which is more than the $2.2 billion spent on Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) payments in the same period for those over 60 years of age.

Mrs Fok said: "Assuming that the take-up rate of the allowance, if significantly increased as proposed, would rise to 85 per cent, it would require nearly $10 billion of additional recurrent expenditure in 1995/96 alone.

"Let me just repeat, over $10 billion of recurrent expenditure. And we estimate that this would rise to $15.6 billion of recurrent expenditure in 1999/2000.

’’The additional expenditure involved over this five-year period would be as much as $55 billion."

This enormous burden would not result in funds being channelled to the needy but rather to all at or above 65 years of age. whether rich or poor.

Mrs Fok did not believe that the community would support such a move.

In her opinion, those who would benefit from retirement protection should, together with their employers, be obliged to contribute if they could afford to do so.

"This reduces or eliminates the burden on the general taxpayer," she said.

"This is vitally important consideration when we have an ageing population in which the number of elderly beneficiaries per salaries taxpayer is expected to continue to grow."

29

As regards CSSA, the Secretary pointed out that as from next month, the average monthly payment to a single elderly person would be about $2,700.

The new rates for the single elderly which will come into effect in April will mark a 26 per cent increase in real terms, over and above inflation, compared with the level being paid three years ago.

"It cannot be said that we have been neglecting these payments,” she stressed.

Mrs Fok said the Government was conducting a Review of the CSSA system and payment rates, the outcome of which would be available in early 1996.

"Although the results of the Review will become available late in the preparations for the 1996/97 budget, we shall do all we can to ensure funding is made available to start to implement the changes recommended in that financial year.

"The Financial Secretary has agreed that some funds should be reserved for this purpose in advance of the conclusion of the Review," said Mrs Fok.

While appreciating the spirit behind Mr McGregor’s amendment, Mrs Fok stressed that the Administration must have regard to what the taxpayer could afford and the implications of any proposal on the financial and economic well being of Hong Kong.

"We believe that retirement protection and welfare support for the needy are essentially different issues which are better dealt with separately.

"We therefore oppose this amendment," Mrs Fok stated.

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995

30

Rehousing policy for occupants of unauthorised rooftop structures

*****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic Wong, in the Legislative Council motion debate on clearance and rehousing of rooftop structure occupants today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I shall speak on the rehousing policy for occupants of unauthorised rooftop structures affected by the Buildings Department's demolition action. When notified that a Notice of Intention has been issued under the Buildings Ordinance, the Housing Department will immediately conduct a survey of affected occupants and establish their eligibility for rehousing. Offers are made, and sufficient time is allowed before the Buildings Department enforces the Closure Order. Thus our policy is to offer and provide rehousing to those in need prior to demolition.

The fundamental principle in our rehousing policy is that no one will be rendered homeless. Rooftop occupants affected by demolition action are eligible for rehousing in a public rental flat or given priority to purchase a Home Ownership Scheme flat, if they meet the following three criteria :

(a) they can prove that they were living in the rooftop structures on or before 1 June 1982;

(b) the majority of their family members have been living in Hong Kong for

seven years or more; and

(c) they have not owned or entered into any sales and purchase agreement in respect of domestic property in Hong Kong in the past 24 months. I must point out here that ownership of an unauthorised rooftop structure will not affect the eligibility for public rental housing, but the owner must undertake to demolish the illegal structure upon allocation of public housing.

If there is any misunderstanding on this point, those aggrieved are advised to approach the Housing Department again. Those rooftop occupants who do not satisfy criterion (b) on the period of residence in Hong Kong but are otherwise eligible will be rehoused in refurbished flats in older housing estates. Others who do not meet the three criteria are rehoused in Temporary Housing Areas in the New Territories. Subject to the recommendation of the Social Welfare Department, compassionate rehousing in either public rental housing or temporary housing in the urban area will be offered to affected occupants in special circumstances.

31

In rehousing eligible rooftop occupants affected by demolition action, the Housing Department will offer public rental flats in the same district as far as possible. However, I must point out that local rehousing is not always possible if there are inadequate housing resources in that district.

Rooftop occupants who have already registered on the General Waiting List of the Housing Department will be rehoused in public rental housing if they meet the normal household income limit criterion and if their turn for public housing allocation is due within six months : in this case they will be rehoused immediately in the district in which their application is due.

The rehousing policy and arrangements which I have just outlined apply to both rooftop occupants and squatters on government land, despite the conduct of an occupancy survey of squatters in 1985. In every demolition exercise, the Housing Department works closely with the Buildings Department to ensure that ample notice is given and rehousing offers are made prior to demolition. I wish to stress again that no one will be rendered homeless. Problems arise only when occupants refuse to accept the type of rehousing for which they are eligible. Clearly, it is in their own interest to co-operate with the Housing Department. To do otherwise will only , delay the rehousing process, and in any case will not change their eligibility status.

• • •'. S' ■ j 1 ■

Some Members of this Council seem to have implied that we should relax the rehousing policy for rooftop occupants. This is not advisable. We do not consider it reasonable to provide immediate rehousing in public rental flats for rooftop occupants who do not satisfy the eligibility criteria. We have been told that to do so will lead to accusations of "queue jumping", which is unfair to those eligible households already on the General Waiting List of the Housing Department. Indeed, any such preferential treatment may also encourage more illegal structures to be built.

I appeal again to all eligible rooftop occupants who wish to obtain public housing to come forward now to register with the Housing Department and place themselves on the General Waiting List. This is the proper way to ensure that they will obtain public housing.

Mr President, the rehousing policy for rooftop occupants is reasonable and fair. It is consistent with that for squatters on government land. We do not see the need for change. For these reasons, we do not support the motion.

Thank you.

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995

32

Motion debate on rehousing of rooftop structure occupants ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Deputy Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Canice Mak, in the motion debate on rehousing of rooftop structure occupants in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

The Secretary for Housing has spoken about the rehousing of the clearees. I will concentrate on the clearance of unauthorised rooftop structures and the proposal to conduct a territory-wide occupation survey of these structures.

Before speaking on the main points contained in the Motion, I would first like to assure Members that our problem of illegal rooftop structures is not getting bigger. That is to say, the problem is being contained. My colleagues in the Buildings Department carry out regular patrols of Hong Kong’s buildings. In carrying out these patrols, they pay special attention to building works being constructed or newly completed. Once discovered, priority action will be taken to take down these structures. The department also takes priority action on complaints or reports of new unauthorised building works. It was a common sight some years ago that as soon as an occupation permit had been issued, all kinds of illegal building activities sprang up. We do not see such activities so often now in new buildings. We have successfully put our message across by our action and by our publicity efforts.

Government’s prime concern is safety, not just the safety of members of the public, but also the safety of the rooftop occupants themselves. Given the inevitably limited resources available and the large number of rooftop structures, priority enforcement action is taken against unauthorised rooftop structures which:

(a) cover the whole roof of a building with only one staircase, thereby obstructing the escape of flat occupiers in the event of a fire;

(b) adversely affect the structural stability of the building, endangering life or property;

(c) are in unstable and dangerous or dilapidated condition; and

(d) are being erected or newly completed at time of discovery.

33

Honourable Members will therefore appreciate that, as far as existing rooftop structures are concerned, enforcement action is targeted at those which may pose a threat to life or property. It will be irresponsible on the part of Government if action is not taken against these structures. I think this point is shared by Honourable Members.

Before speaking on the suggestion of a territory-wide occupation survey of rooftop structures, I will deal with one point. This is the concern that many transactions of rooftop structures are undertaken by solicitors and estate agents. This tends to give the impression that the structures are legal structures. We have discussed this with the Law Society. The Society, I understand, has reminded its members that in handling transactions involving or likely involving unauthorised structures, the illegality and the liability to demolition of such structures should be fully disclosed to the prospective seller and purchaser. Members of the Society have also been reminded to ask purchasers to employ professional surveyors to check the property against approved building plans where there is reason to suspect unauthorised structures exist. We will consider whether anything further need to be done, in conjunction with the Attorney General's Chambers and the legal profession.

The Motion requests that the Government conduct a territory-wide occupation survey of rooftop structures. Before we undertake such a survey, we need to establish clearly from the outset what the objectives of the survey are. Is the objective of the survey to assess the scale of the problem with a view to finding out ways and means to minimise it? Is the objective also to work out a programme to identify and clear those structures which pose the most danger to life and property? Or is the objective to demolish all the illegal rooftop structures and rehouse their occupants? If the objective is the last one, it will not serve a useful purpose. As the Secretary for Housing has clearly stated, the existing criteria for rehousing are already well-established and well-known. The policy is reasonable and fair. We do not want such a survey to be used as a basis to change the existing rehousing policy. Neither do we want such a survey to arouse false expectations on the part of the occupants.

It is estimated that about 40,000 private buildings in the territory have rooftop structures. Not all these structures are for domestic use and some are built by the owners of flats in the same building. To conduct a worthwhile and comprehensive survey, it would be necessary to visit all such structures to establish their status and to register the personal details of the occupants. Further checks would be needed to determine ownership of structures and those occupants who genuinely live there. This may not always be possible. Our very preliminary estimate is that such an enormous task would require some 80 full-time staff over one year and its cost would be in the order of $20 million. Also, the results of such a survey would be of limited usefulness unless additional resources were regularly devoted to update the particulars.

34

The reality is that resources are limited. Even assuming that resources for the survey are forthcoming, it may be more worthwhile to use such valuable resources on other important tasks, like more enforcement action against other types of unauthorised building works or enhancing our capability in monitoring and supervising building and demolition sites. Remember that our fundamental objective is to ensure public safety and it would be in the public interest to devote resources to enhance this objective. Apart from the resource implications, an occupation survey of rooftop structures would be likely to lead to abuses, such as more illegal occupation in anticipation that persons covered by the survey would eventually be rehoused.

To conclude, a territory-wide occupation survey of rooftop structures may give rise to many operational and resource implications. Nevertheless, the Administration will give further consideration to the idea.

Thank you, Mr President.

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995

4

Gas Safety (Amendment) Bill 1995 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Acting Secretary for Economic Services, Mrs Elizabeth Bosher, when moving the second reading of the Gas Safety (Amendment) Bill 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

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

The purpose of the Bill is to provide for control, in the interests of safety, over the carrying out of construction works in the vicinity of gas pipes.

The Bill has three main provisions. First, it enables the Governor in Council to make regulations to control the carrying out of works in the vicinity of gas pipes and increases the maximum penalty that may be provided for in regulations made under the Gas Safety Ordinance to a fine of $200,000 and imprisonment for 12 months and, in the case of a continuing offence, a daily penalty of $10,000.

35

Secondly, it enables the Gas Authority to inspect works in the vicinity of a gas pipe and to require such improvement measures as he considers necessary in the interests of gas safety.

Thirdly, it enables the Gas Authority to intervene in the interests of safety when there is a failure to comply with an improvement notice and provides for recovery of the cost of any improvement measures which it is necessary for the Authority to take from the person who has failed to comply with the improvement notice.

If enacted by this Council, the Bill will be followed by a new regulation requiring that construction works should not be carried out near a gas pipe unless its position has been checked and steps taken to ensure that it will not be damaged by the works. The regulation will provide that a person not taking all reasonable measures to protect a gas pipe from damage arising out of his construction works will commit an offence and be liable on conviction to the new maximum penalty proposed in the Bill.

The Bill will be brought into effect 6 months after enactment to allow time for the new regulation to be made, for a code of practice to be issued by the Gas Authority and for the gas supply companies and the construction industry to adjust to the new requirements.

Mr President, these proposals reflect the Government’s concern at the frequent damage to gas pipes through careless construction and excavation works. There were 120 such incidents in 1994. Though the consequences of most of these incidents were - thankfully - relatively minor, damage to a gas pipe may cause fire or explosion, posing a risk to workers, the general public and property in the vicinity. The proposals that I have outlined aim to minimise the potential for such hazards. I therefore commend the Bill to members.

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995

Credit Unions (Amendment) Bill 1995 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Acting Secretary for Economic Services, Mrs Elizabeth Bosher, when moving the second reading of the Credit Unions (Amendment) Bill 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

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

36

The purpose of the Bill is to simplify the procedures for winding up a credit union. Winding up of a credit union normally becomes necessary when the original common bond of association between the members has dissipated and the union is consequently no longer carrying on business. Under the Credit Unions Ordinance, the procedure for winding up a credit union follows the complex provisions for winding up a company under the Companies Ordinance. In the interests of efficiency, the Registrar of Credit Unions has proposed that the procedure for winding up a credit union should be brought broadly into line with the simpler procedures for winding up a co-operative society under the Co-operative Societies Ordinance.

The Bill proposes that the Registrar of Credit Unions, rather than the Court as at present, be empowered to cancel the registration of a credit union on specified grounds and to appoint a liquidator, whom the Registrar intends should be one of his staff.

The Bill also sets down the powers of the liquidator and the powers of the Registrar to control the liquidation. It provides that any person aggrieved by an order of the Registrar to cancel the registration of a credit union may appeal to the District Court.

Mr President, I commend the Bill to this Council.

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995

Tai Lam Tunnel and Yuen Long Approach Road Bill *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, in moving the second reading of the Tai Lam Tunnel and Yuen Long Approach Road Bill in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that the Tai Lam Tunnel and Yuen Long Approach Road Bill be read the second time.

37

Purpose of the Bill

The Bill now before Honourable Members provides for the award of a 30 year franchise to the Route 3 (CPS) Company Limited to build and operate the Tai Lam Tunnel and Yuen Long Approach Road. The tunnel and the approach road will form an integral part of Route 3, providing a vital strategic corridor serving the Northwestern part of the New Territories. This will be a dual-3 lane facility about 10 km in length, linking Ting Kau Bridge in the south and the New Territories Circular Road at Au Tau in the north, together with an interchange to connect with the Yuen Long Southern Bypass.

Importance of the Project

Members of this Council and the Administration have long shared a common objective: to secure the early construction of the Tai Lam Tunnel and Yuen Long Approach Road Sections of the Route 3 Country Park Section. The project is urgently needed to provide relief for traffic congestion in the Northwest NT, particularly along Tuen Mun Road. Upon its completion, the journey time between Ting Kau and Au Tau will take about 10 minutes. This compares very favourably with travel via Tuen Mun Road, which at present can take up to 50 minutes or even longer, depending on traffic conditions. What is equally significant is that upon the opening of the new facility, we expect traffic congestion in Tuen Mun Road to be reduced by about 25%.

The new road will also facilitate cross-border traffic, which is vital to our economy, and it will allow further development in the North West NT.

The Proposed Franchise

Our proposal is to implement this project under the terms of a "Build, Operate and Transfer" franchise. This is in line with the Government's policy of optimising private sector participation in the construction and operation of our road infrastructure. Otherwise, Government resources in the region of over $7 billion would have had to be allocated to this project, at the expense of other vital community projects.

The proposed franchise is modelled on that awarded in respect of the Western Harbour Crossing. The project documentation consists of the Bill before Members today, which seeks to award the franchise, and the Project Agreement which defines in detail the financing, design, construction, operation and maintenance requirements. We propose in Clause 4 of the Bill that the BOT franchise should be awarded to the Route 3 (CPS) Company Limited. The package offered by that Company is the best bid received following a very competitive tendering exercise and intensive negotiations. Mr President, let me now highlight some of its key features.

38

Project Costs

The Company's budgeted project cost of $7,254 million, in money of the day, is the lowest received from the three tenderers. Any cost overrun will be borne entirely by the shareholders of that Company.

Construction Period

The Company has offered a very aggressive construction schedule of 38 months. This is the shortest construction period proposed by any of the three bidders. Road users will therefore be able to benefit from this much needed facility at the earliest possible time. And again, if the franchisee delays completion of the facility, then the Company must bear the loss of revenue that will result.

Opening Tolls Levels

The opening toll levels are set out in Schedule 1 of the Bill. Members will note that the initial tolls, which are in 1998 prices, are highly competitive. The tolls for private cars and double- decked buses, for example, are at $15 and $45 respectively. Furthermore, under Schedule 3 of the Bill, there will be only three anticipated toll increases over the entire 30-year life of the franchise. We must also remember that there will be no compulsion to use the tolled road. Motorists will still be able to use the Tuen Mun Road or Tolo Highway free of charge in their journeys to the urban area, and this factor will also act as a brake on future toll levels.

Toll adjustment Mechanism

The proposed toll adjustment mechanism for the franchise, explained in Part X of the Bill, is almost identical to that introduced for the Western Harbour Crossing, but with some simplification and refinement. The object of the mechanism is to provide the Company with a reasonable but not excessive return whilst maintaining a low and stable toll regime for road-users. I must stress that the toll adjustment mechanism is an inseparable part of the BOT package, because without a degree of certainty on the part of the Company to earn sufficient revenue to service its debts, bankers simply would not lend the Company this money to finance such a costly project.

39

For the avoidance of any doubt, let me spell out that the mechanism will not guarantee the Company any level of revenue or rate of return. All it does is to provide the Company the opportunity to earn revenues over the 30 year life of the franchise which could give them an average return of 15.18% on their investment. Nor does the mechanism automatically allow the Company to have future toll increases. This is a common misconception. The franchisee must provide annual audited accounts. The Government will carefully examine these to see whether the conditions for allowing a toll increase under the mechanism have been met. The Government will have the power to dispute the amounts, and in the event of failure to reach an agreement with the Company, the matter will be put to an independent expert for arbitration.

Moreover, under Clause 38, any revenue over and above a set limit will be placed in a Toll Stability Fund which may be used by the Government to defer any future toll increases. At the expiry of the franchise, any amount remaining in the Toll Stability Fund will be retained by the Government.

Supervisory Powers of the Government

The Government will have supervisory powers under the franchise to ensure that the Company operates the facility safely and efficiently, and that it meets its obligations under the franchise. These supervisory powers are similar to those adopted in the case of the Western Harbour Crossing, but with a number of improvements including:

(a) providing the Government with the power to impose financial penalties on the Company for default or breach of the Ordinance or the Project Agreement;

(b) requiring the Company to make public the financial and operational information which is reasonably requested by the Government; and

(c) providing that the Government can direct the Company to make by-laws relating to safety matters.

40

Conclusion

Mr President, the Administration is convinced that as a result of a highly competitive tendering exercise, the Bill before members provides a very attractive package allowing the construction of this facility in the shortest possible time and at the lowest cost to users over the whole franchise period. It should be noted that the Company will have to bear considerable market risks, for example with regard to traffic volumes, interest rates during the construction period, possible cost overruns, and unforeseen delay in the construction schedule. The Government is not required to provide any financial support or guarantees to the Company, whether in respect of traffic volume, the completion dates of connecting infrastructure or any commitment not to build competing infrastructure in future.

The target Base Case IRR of 15.18% for the project compares very favourably with other similar BOT projects in the region, which require IRRs in the range of 15 to 25%, and which in most cases include Government support or guarantees.

Within the limits imposed on us by the need to maintain strict confidentiality during the tendering and negotiation process, I have endeavoured to keep members of this Council informed of progress in drawing up the franchise and of its key terms and conditions. Now that the Bill has been published, I look forward to working with the Bills Committee in seeking Members support for the early enactment of this legislation to grant the franchise.

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

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995

Funds sought for government services

*****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for the Treasury, Mr Donald Tsang, in moving the Vote on Account Resolution in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the motion standing in my name in the Order Paper.

41

The purpose ot this motion is to seek funds on account to enable the Government to carry on existing services between the start of the financial year on April 1, 1995 and the enactment of the Appropriation Bill. This follows the procedure long established in this Council.

We have determined the funds on account sought under each subhead in accordance with paragraph four of the resolution, by reference to percentages of the provision shown in the draft Estimates As the draft Estimates are changed from time to time, by the Finance Committee or under delegated powers, the provision to which the percentages are applied will also change. Thus the provision on account under each head is not constant but may vary, with every increase being matched by an equal decrease. The initial provision on account under each head is shown in the footnote to this speech. The aggregate total under all heads is fixed at $63,614,082,000 and cannot be exceeded without the approval of this Council

The resolution also enables the Financial Secretary to varv the funds on account in respect of any subhead, provided that these variations do not cause an excess over the amount of provision entered for that subhead in the draft Estimates or an excess over the amount of funds on account for the head

The Financial Secretary will issue a vote on account warrant to the Director of Accounting Services authorising him to make payments up to the amount specified in this motion and in accordance with its conditions. The vote on account will be subsumed upon the enactment of the Appropriation Bill, and the general warrant issued after the enactment of the Appropriation Bill will replace the vote on account warrant and will be effective from April 1. 1995

Mr President. I beg to move

End/Wednesday, March 8. 1'95

42

Council for Academic Accreditation's report tabled ♦ * * * ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Michael Leung, in presenting the Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation's Annual Report 1993-94 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I have pleasure in presenting the Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation's Fourth Annual Report 1993-94 and highlighting some of the main features during the year under review.

The HKCAA's role and responsibilities are to validate degree programmes and review the general academic standards of Hong Kong's four non- university tertiary institutions. It disseminates information on the development of higher education, quality assurance and academic standards; develops links with accreditation bodies throughout the world, and advises Government, other organisations and individuals on the comparability of academic standards and the accredited status of academic qualifications.

During 1993-94, the HKCAA completed 19 review exercises comprising validations, revalidations, consultancy studies and the monitoring of conditions and requirements placed on degree programmes.

The Council continued to work closely with the Academy for Performing Arts, the Open Learning Institute of Hong Kong. Lingnan College and the latest Hong Kong tertiary institution, the Hong Kong Institute of Education, for which it conducted institutional and programme reviews and provided guidance on quality assurance.

In response to increased concerns over academic accreditation and recognition, the Council has expanded its advisory role and during the year provided information and advice on higher education, quality assurance and standards to Government, other organisations and members of the public. Notably, its role in providing information and guidance with regard to overseas education initiatives in Hong Kong expanded significantly.

43

In order to establish the comparability of qualifications and to share experience of quality assurance methods gained worldwide, the Council continued its overseas liaison activities. During the year the Council continued to strengthen its links with higher education organisations and individuals outside Hong Kong, including the PRC and Taiwan. The HKCAA continued to administer the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education whose membership numbered 70 organisations from 36 different countries.

Following the recommendations of the Education Commission's Report No. 5 regarding the development of an Institute of Education and the upgrading of teachers' qualifications, the HKCAA provided advice to Government on qualifications and training for the teaching profession. In particular, it carried out consultancy studies covering the four teacher education colleges and the Institute of Language in Education and participated in the work of the Advisory Committee on Teacher Education and Qualifications and its subcommittees.

Developments in some of Hong Kong's professional bodies resulted in the HKCAA being asked to advise on accreditation methods. It worked with the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers and the Hong Kong Society of Accountants to provide information and advice about qualifications and the way in which they could be evaluated.

Finally, 1 would like to take this opportunity to thank the Chairman and members of the Council for their outstanding services made during the year and their continued contributions to the development of higher education in Hong Kong during the year.

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995

i

44

Provision of CAT scanners

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Frederick Fung Kin-kee and a reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

With regard to the provision of CAT scanning service, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the total number of CAT scanners in the hospitals managed by the Hospital Authority;

(b) of the respective figures for 1993/94 and 1994/95 regarding the average daily operating hours of the CAT scanners, the average daily number of patients receiving CAT scanning examination, and the average period of waiting for an appointment to use such service; and

(c) whether the Hospital Authority has referred its patients to private hospitals to receive CAT scanning examination; if so, what are the numbers of such cases in 1993/94 and 1994/95 respectively?

Mr President,

There are 10 CAT scanners currently installed in public hospitals managed by the Hospital Authority, capable of handling about 230 patients on a daily basis. Six of these scanners have been operating on a 24-hour basis since 1993, except for one each in Queen Mary Hospital, Caritas Medical Centre, Kwong Wah Hospital and Ruttonjee Hospital where radiologist and other supporting staff are put on call outside normal operating hours to provide service for patients.

Under the established clinical practice, all urgent patients will be examined by CAT scanners on the same day. Non-urgent patients are prioritised according to their need and the waiting time for treatment for eighty per cent of such cases is within four weeks. This will be reduced further with a planned addition of two new scanners within the next financial year.

With the implementation of hospital clustering and service networking, there is no operational need to refer patients for CAT scanning outside the public hospital system. Some patients with non-urgent conditions may prefer to obtain earlier examination in the private sector but no statistics are kept on the number of such cases.

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995

45

Review of urban renewal policy *****

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

Question:

Two motions were passed by this Council in the 1991-92 and 1993-94 sessions, urging the Government to review its urban renewal policy with a view to improving the compensation and rehousing arrangements for the affected property owners and tenants of redevelopment projects as well as improving the social effectiveness of such schemes. Despite its undertaking to carry out a review of the policy, the Government has so far not reported the outcome of such review to this Council. In this regard, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) what progress has been made so far in its review of the urban renewal policy; whether the Government has drawn up any concrete proposals for deliberation by this Council; and

(b) whether it will consider injecting more funds to help rehouse residents affected by redevelopment or adopting other measures so as to enhance the Land Development Corporation’s capability of undertaking urban redevelopment projects, in order to speed up the urban renewal process?

Answer:

Mr President,

We will shortly be consulting Members of this Council, through the Planning, Lands and Works Panel, on a package of measures aimed at facilitating urban renewal and redevelopment.

I do not want to pre-empt the final decision on the actual package and the consultation by giving details today but I can say that the package will be a comprehensive one. The main features are an expanded role for the Land Development Corporation as a primary agent of urban renewal and facilitator of private sector projects, more emphasis on the relocation of both residents and businesses affected by redevelopment projects and some changes to the system of ex-gratia allowances for such persons. There are also some new initiatives in the areas of owner participation and in making projects viable, which in normal circumstances would not be so.

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995

46

Promotion of franchised business operations

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Huang Chen-ya and a reply by the Secretary for Trade and Industry, Mr T H Chau, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In 1992, a team of staff in the Business Management Service Unit of the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) were assigned special responsibilities for promoting franchised business operations. A laundry operated under such mode of operation, which was one of the companies widely promoted by the HKPC, had been involved in commercial disputes. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether

(a) the HKPC has conducted a review of the promotion of the laundry concerned; and

(b) the termination of the consultancy service by the HKPC to promote franchised business operations was a result of the involvement of the above-mentioned laundry in commercial disputes; if not, what were the reasons for the termination of the service?

Answer:

In 1992 and 1993, the Hong Kong Productivity Council organised a programme of events to familiarise the business community with the general concept of franchising, including two study missions to the International Franchise Expo in the United States, and two exhibitions. The Council did not specifically promote any particular company or operation, although examples were used to illustrate the concept. It follows, therefore, that the Council has not conducted the sort of review referred to in part (a) of the Honourable Member's question.

The Hong Kong Franchising Association, which was formed by the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce in 1992, played an increasingly active role in promoting the franchising concept, and organised a third exhibition in 1993. The Productivity Council concluded that the Association was better placed to continue promotional work in connection with the franchising concept, and the Council therefore decided to cease its active involvement in 1993. This decision was not taken for the reason set out in part (b) of the Honourable Member's question.

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995

47

Border crossing points *****

Following is a question by the Hon James Tien Pei-chun and a reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

According to a research report produced by the Transport Branch, it is estimated that the number of vehicle trips made every day via the border crossing points between Hong Kong and China will exceed 50,000 by 2000. Even if the three crossing points at Lok Ma Chau, Man Kam To and Sha Tau Kok are open 24 hours daily, they will still be unable to cope with the soaring traffic volume arising from the ever-increasing demand for cross-border transport facilities as a result of the developments in the industrial and commercial sectors in the territory. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether :

(a) it will consider opening new border crossing points; if so, what progress has been made in the study on opening new border crossing points and the construction of associated road networks; and

(b) it has considered introducing joint checks by various concerned departments and other measures which will further streamline the border-crossing procedures?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) May I first clarify that the Administration has not produced or published any research report on cross border traffic. However we do keep statistics and have estimated the growth trend. Our records show that in 1994 an average of 22,304 vehicles crossed the border each day using the three crossing points at Lok Ma Chau, Man Kam To and Sha Tau Kok. According to our projections, the combined throughput could rise to about 34,000 vehicle trips a day by the end of 1997 and to 46,000 by the year 2000. The existing crossing points should be able to cope with this demand up to 1997.

48

Lok Ma Chau is now the busiest crossing point and we have the capacity there to increase the number of kiosks. At present, only 9 of the 14 processing kiosks are in use and we have the space there for further expansion and providing up to 24 kiosks. In addition, more kiosks can be opened round the clock at this check point if traffic volumes justify this. It is also important to note that road access to the border will be greatly improved with the completion of the dual lane Route 3 (Country Park Section) in 1998.

The need to provide additional border crossing points as well as new access roads are being studied in the context of the Territorial Development Strategy review. In this respect, the recently established Infrastructure Coordinating Committee will provide an excellent forum for the discussion of strategic plans with Chinese representatives, so as to ensure that future processing capacity on both sides of the border can match rising demand.

Apart from road access, Honourable Members are aware that, as announced in the Railway Development Strategy, we are also planning the construction of a new railway line in the North West New Territories from the border to the urban area for completion by the year 2001. This will enhance the carriage of freight containers by rail directly into the Kwai Chung container port and will thus relieve the road system and pressure at the border crossing points. The KCRC has already been invited to submit proposals for building and operating this railway.

(b) The present operating procedures and the physical layout of the border crossing points does not permit parallel checking by the Immigration and Customs Officers, and redesign of the crossing points would be difficult and disruptive given the physical constraints of the sites. We do however keep under constant review measures to streamline border crossing procedures. For example, the Immigration Department will install optical character readers in September this year at the three crossing points to speed up the checking of drivers' identity papers.

End/Wednesday. March 8. 1995

49

Drug abuse in Pillar Point Vietnamese Refugee Centre ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Zachary Wong Wai- yin and a reply by the Acting Secretary for Security, Mr Ken Woodhouse, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

It is reported that there is a serious problem of drug abuse in the Pillar Point Open Detention Camp. Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the total number of detainees addicted to drugs in the Camp;

(b) what measures the police are taking to combat the drug trafficking and drug abuse problems in the Camp; and

(c) whether the chance of those detainees who are addicted to drugs resettling overseas will be affected; if so, what measures the Government will adopt to solve this problem?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) It is estimated that about 450, out of the 1,500 registered population of refugees living in Pillar Point Vietnamese Refugee Centre, are addicted to drugs.

(b) The Police Force take vigorous enforcement action to combat drug trafficking and drug abuse in Pillar Point, in the same way that they take vigorous enforcement action against drug offenders throughout the territory. This action involves, essentially, the collection of criminal intelligence, raids, arrests and the prosecutions. During the last year the Police carried out 44 raids in Pillar Point, and took out 92 prosecutions for drug offences.

50

(c) Under the Comprehensive Plan of Action, all refugees will be resettled overseas. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees assists refugees secure overseas resettlement. Drug addiction does, of course, affect the acceptability of refugees by third countries for overseas resettlement, but it does not make them unresettleable; simply harder to place. In the case of addicted refugees, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees arranges for their detoxification before departure. At a Technical Meeting convened by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Bangkok in June 1994, the Hong Kong Government appealed to resettlement countries to relax their criteria for accepting these hard-to-place refugees from Hong Kong. Since 1 April 1994, about 300 of these refugees, including their family members, have been resettled overseas from Pillar Point.

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995

Use of ICE not a trend *****

Following is a question by the Hon Timothy Ha Wing-ho and a written reply by the acting Secretary for Security, Mr Ken Woodhouse, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

According to figures released by the Narcotics Bureau of the Police, a total of 123 kilogrammes of 'ice' was seized by the Police and the Customs and Excise Department last year, which was the highest on record. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council :

(a) whether there are any signs indicating that the abuse of "ICE" has become a new trend among drug addicts;

(b) of the quantity of 'ICE' seized by the Police and the Customs and Excise Department in each of the past three years; and

(c) of the estimated numbers of adults and youngsters abusing 'ICE' habitually in each of the past three years; and what measures are being taken by the Government to tackle the problem?

51

Reply :

Mr President:

(a) There is no evidence to suggest that 'ICE' (Methylamphetamine) has become a new trend among drug abusers. The majority of the 'ICE' seized in 1994 were destined for neighbouring countries in South East Asia.

(b) Seizures of 'ICE' by the Police and the Customs and Excise Department for the past three years are -

1922 1221 1224

Police 18.6 kg 1.8 kg 123 kg

Customs 0.18 kg 0.01 kg 0.001 kg

(c) Separate figures on the number of persons reported to be abusing 'ICE' are not available as 'ICE' is grouped together with other amphetamines for statistical purposes. The numbers of persons reported to be abusing amphetamines over the past three years are -

1222 1221 1224

Reported persons aged under 21 abusing amphetamines 18 33 28

(% of reported persons under 21) (1.2%) (1.3%) (0.8%)

Reported persons aged 21 and abusing amphetamines 26 44 50 above

(% of reported persons aged 21 and above) . * (0.2%) (0.3%) (0.4%)

The number of abusers of amphetamines (with which 'ICE' is classified) has remained small.

52

The Government tackles the problem of drug abuse by a multi-faceted approach:

through vigorous law enforcement we interdict the smuggling of drugs into Hong Kong, and detect and prosecute offenders so as to clamp down on the illegal supply of drugs into Hong Kong;

* we provide a wide range of both mandatory and voluntary programmes for the treatment and rehabilitation of drug abusers; and

* through preventive education and publicity we aim to promote a healthy lifestyle, especially among young people, and encourage them to resist the temptation to take drugs.

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995

Emission of exhaust gas from private cars *****

Following is a question by the Hon Lau Wong-fat and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Tony Eason, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

Regarding the problem of emission of exhaust gas from private cars, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the emission standard currently in force for private cars; and

(b) whether the relevant department requires that private cars over six years old must meet the emission standard in the annual inspection of such vehicles before approving the renewal of licences; if not, whether the Government will consider introducing such an requirement?

53

Reply :

Mr President,

(a) All vehicles running on the road, including private cars, are required under the Road Traffic (Construction and Maintenance of Vehicles) Regulations to meet a smoke emission standard of 60 Hartridge Smoke Unit (HSU).

For new cars, emission standards are set out in the Air Pollution Control (Vehicle Design Standards)(Emission) Regulations. These standards are as stringent as those adopted in Europe, USA and Japan and all private cars have been required to meet these standards before acceptance for first registration in Hong Kong since 1992. More stringent emission standards for new vehicles are proposed from April 1995.

(b) Private cars over six years old are required to meet a smoke emission standard of 60 HSU at their annual inspection before they can have their licences renewed by the Transport Department.

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995

Falling of masonry and tiles . * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Emily Lau and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Tony Eason, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

As the falling of masonry and tiles off the external walls of some private and government buildings threatens the safety of pedestrians, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) how many pedestrians were killed or injured in the past three years as a result of masonry and tiles falling off the external walls of buildings;

54

(b) how it is to be assessed who is responsible in the event of falling masonry and tiles causing casualties or damages to property and whether any criminal charge can be preferred in such accidents;

(c) whether there is any mechanism to monitor and check the safety of buildings whose external walls are covered with tiles; and whether there are any measures to prevent the occurrence of such accidents; and

(d) whether it will consider prohibiting the laying of tiles on the external walls of buildings?

Answer

The answers to the four parts of this question are as follows:

(a) No statistics regarding private buildings are kept. As regards Government buildings, no pedestrians were killed or injured as a result of masonry and tiles falling off the external walls in the past three years.

(b) Generally, the Police and/or the Buildings Department are responsible for investigating cases of falling masonry or tiles which result in death or injury.

Maintenance of buildings is ordinarily the responsibility of the owner. Where an owners' corporation exists, it has a statutory duty to "maintain the common parts ... in good and serviceable repair and clean condition" under the Building Management Ordinance.

As regards criminal liability, if any, for allowing masonry or tiles to fall off the external walls of buildings, Section 4B(1) and 4B(2) of the Summary Offences Ordinance provide:

i. If anything is dropped or allowed to fall from any building to the danger or injury of any person in or near a public place, the person who drops that thing or allows it to fall commits an offence and is liable to a fine of $10,000 and imprisonment for 6 months.

55

ii. If anything is dropped or allowed to fall from any building in the course of construction, repair or decoration of the building or part thereof, to the danger or injury of any person in or near a public place, the principal contractor on the site and the contractor carrying out the construction, repair or decoration commits an offence and is liable to a fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for one year.

If the tiles or masonry fall off by accident, there is no criminal offence.

(c) Under Section 26 of the Buildings Ordinance, an owner of a dangerous or potentially dangerous building will be ordered to carry out remedial works. If he fails to do so, the Buildings Department will carry out the works at his expense. Also, under Section 26A of the said ordinance where on inspection the Building Authority identifies any dilapidation or defect in a building, the owner will be ordered to investigate and repair. In case of any default of such order, the Buildings Department will carry out the repair at the owner's expense. Loose tiling or masonry falls within these provisions.

Starting from 1 March 1995, prosecution of offenders under the Buildings Ordinance has been stepped up. It is hoped that this will have a greater deterrent effect and hence, better protect the public from dangerous building works, including loose tiling or masonry.

Apart from taking enforcement action, the Buildings Department's publicity efforts constantly stress that building maintenance is the responsibility of the owners. It is now preparing a leaflet on "Detection of External Wall Defects" which will be available for distribution to the public in the later part of 1995.

(d) At this stage, the control of the laying of tiles on the external walls of buildings is adequate. The Administration has no plan to prohibit the use of such tiles.

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995

56

Squatter structures in Shek O *****

Following is a question by the Hon Jimmy McGregor and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Tony Eason, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Bearing in mind the need for all tenants on Government land paying rental to the Government to be treated fairly, will the Government inform this Council why some tenants in the Shek O Village area such as those on site No. 466 and site No. 400-420 are paying very substantial rentals to the Government with over 100% increases since 1994, while other tenants in the same Shek O Village area such as those on sites No. 410, 784, 787, 814, 817 and 856 on which restaurants and shops are located apparently are paying no Government rentals at all?

Answer:

Mr President,

Structures on Site Nos. 410, 784, 787, 816, 817 and 856 in Shek O are squatter structures built on government land. They are not covered by any government licence or tenancy agreement. Therefore, no rent is charged.

Site Nos. 466 and 400/402 were covered by Crown Land Licences issued in the early 1980s. In 1984, in accordance with government policy, these licences were converted to short term tenancies. Full market rental has been payable since then. The rentals are revised every three years and the last review for these tenancies was on 1 January 1995. Should the tenants disagree with the new rental, appeals may be made to the Director of Lands.

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995

57

Driving Offence Points System *****

Following is a question by the Hon Henry Tang Ying-yen and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

With regard to the Driving Offence Points System which was introduced in August 1984, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether the Scheme has achieved its objectives of improving road safety as well as deterring frequent offenders of traffic regulations so as to raise their driving standard and reduce accident-induced casualties;

(b) of the total number of drivers who were disqualified from holding a driving licence for three months after incurring 15 penalty points in the past two years; of this number, how many were disqualified for another six months for committing a further offence; and

(c) what other measures — apart from putting out posters and Announcements of Public Interest (APIs) when the system was first introduced — have been taken by the Government to arouse the awareness of drivers and to make them understand clearly the number of points incurred in respect of the 14 categories of offences which directly affect road safety?

Reply:

Mr President, •

(a) Since the Driving Offence Points system was introduced in 1984, there has been a marked decline in the number of traffic accidents, notwithstanding the significant increase in numbers of vehicles over the same period. For example, there were 4,968 serious and fatal accidents in 1984, compared with 3,558 in 1994. This declining trend is due to a number of factors, but we believe that the Driving Offence Points System has also played its part in improving road safety.

58

(b) In the past two years, 9,721 drivers were disqualified from holding a driving licence for three months, and 1,419 drivers were disqualified for six months under the Road Traffic (Driving-Offence Points) Ordinance.

(c) The Transport Department publishes a booklet on "How the Driving-Offence Points System Affects You". This is available free of charge from Government publications outlets as well as from the Transport Department licensing offices. The booklet describes the objectives of the scheme, the offences which incur penalty points, and the method of calculation. When a motorist has incurred eight penalty points, a warning letter is issued to him by the Transport Department.

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995

Recycling of waste materials * * * * *

Following is a question by the Hon Eric Li Ka-cheung and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Tony Eason, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

The waste paper recycling projects have been implemented by the Government for some time. According to experience gained in foreign countries in the recycling of waste materials, glass ware and plastic products are included in addition to waste paper. In this regard, will the Government inform this Council whether the recycling projects will be expanded to include glass and plastic products; if so, when these projects will be implemented, how the waste materials will be collected, and what the estimated administration cost will be, if not, why not?

Reply :

Mr President,

At present, we have no plans to extend the waste paper recycling projects in government departments to include glass and plastic products because waste paper is the major type of waste arising from government offices.

59

However, at present over 90% of locally filled glass beverage bottles are recovered for reuse through deposit refund schemes and about 40% of mainly preconsumption plastic wastes are recovered for recycling.

As regards recycling generally, the Administration has commissioned a Waste Reduction Study to examine the current levels of waste generation and collection patterns, and to identify measures to reduce waste production and increase reuse and recovery.

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995

Designation of polling stations ♦ * * ♦ *

Following is a question by the Hon Emily Lau Wai-hing and a written reply by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Nicholas Ng, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

According to recently published information on polling stations for the Municipal Council elections in March this year, some of the polling stations designated for certain districts in the 1994 district board elections have been cancelled. However, there are no replacement polling stations designated for the districts concerned. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council :

(a) of the total number of polling stations cancelled, their respective locations and the reasons for cancellation of the respective polling stations;

(b) of the reasons for not designating any replacement polling stations for the districts concerned;

(c) whether a similar situation will occur in the 1995 Legislative Council

election;

(d) whether it has any plans for opening more polling stations in future elections to facilitate voting, which will help to boost the turn-out rate of voters; and

(e) whether any consideration will be given to setting up mobile polling stations when the need arises?

60

Reply :

(a)

(b)

(c)

(d)

(e)

After the September 1994 District Board elections, the Registration and Electoral Office (REO) reviewed the designation of the polling stations used in the elections, taken into account the views and comments of candidates, returning officers and the public. It was found that the locations and facilities of some of these polling stations were unsatisfactory. As a result, 27 polling stations have been replaced, 5 added and 7 merged with other polling stations. There are now a total of 440 polling stations in the territory. The Annex sets out the details of the 7 polling stations merged with others and the reasons for the merger.

Before a polling station is cancelled, the REO will first consider the availability of a suitable replacement. Only where there is no suitable alternative would it consider merger with another neighbouring polling station. Various factors are taken into account in the designation of a polling station, including the geographical spread, physical feature, population distribution and transport facilities available in the area. An ideal polling station should be centrally located in the area, generally known to local residents and easily accessible. The polling station should be sufficiently spacious to cope with the size of the electorate. Furthermore, the station should not, as far as possible, be closely connected with any candidate.

To prepare for the September Legislative Council elections, the REO will similarly conduct a review of the polling stations after the Municipal Council elections. Any views and suggestions on the designation of polling stations will be welcomed.

The Boundary and Election Commission (BEC) has asked the REO to identify, where circumstances warrant and suitable sites are available, more polling stations for the September Legislative Council elections. The aim is to provide electors with more convenience where the expenditure of public funds is justified.

Where circumstances so require and permit, the REO will consider using temporary structures as polling stations, e.g. setting up container structures in an open space for polling. As regards mobile polling facilities, they are fraught with serious practical difficulties, not least of which are the security considerations involved. The BEC has no plan for mobile polling stations.

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Annex

District Original Polling Station Polling Station Designated after Merger Reasons for Merger

Kwun Tong 1. Kwun Tong Methodist Kindergarten, Garden Estate Kwun Tong Government Primary School, Ngau Tau Kok Road The original polling station is unsuitable as it is too small to cope with 9,000 electors, and access by the aged and the handicapped is inconvenient. The Kwun Tong Government Primary School, the polling station for another District Board Constituency (DBC), is in the proximity across Ngau Tau Kok Road. Its floor area is sufficiently large to cope with the size of the electorate after the merger.

Tsuen Wan 2. BTCFS Yeung Yat Lam Memorial School, Lei Muk Shue Estate Lei Muk Shue Community Hall, Lei Muk Shue Estate The School will be demolished in the redevelopment programme of Lei Muk Shue Estate. The polling station for the

neighbouring DBC at the Community Hall is situated nearby in the same housing estate. Its floor area is sufficiently large to cope with the size of the electorate after the merger.

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District

Original

Polling Station

Polling Station Designated after Merger

Reasons for Merger

Tuen Mun 3. Corridor of Oi Islamic Primary Experience in the

Yung House Shopping Arcade, Yau Oi Estate School, Yau Oi Estate September DB elections reveals that the polling station at the Corridor of the Shopping Arcade was unsatisfactory. The polling station for the neighbouring DBC at Islamic Primary School is situated nearby within the same housing estate. Its floor area is sufficiently large to cope with the size of the electorate after the merger.

Yuen Long 4. Pak U Middle School (old site), Hung Shui Kiu Yau Kung School, Ha Tsuen Pak U Middle School is to be redeveloped and cannot be used as polling station. No suitable alternative can be located in the vicinity. The 900 electors originally assigned to that polling station have thus been transferred to Yau Kung School, Ha Tsuen, another polling station in the same DBC.

Tai Po 5. Tai Po Public School, Kwong Fuk Estate Kwong Fuk Community Hall, Kwong Fuk Estate There was a complaint at the 1994 DB elections that the choice of the original polling station was unsatisfactory as it could be misconstrued to be associated with one interested party in the elections. The neighbouring polling station at the Community Hall is situated nearby in the same housing estate. Its floor area is

63

District

Original

Polling Station

Polling Station Designated after Merger

Sha Tin

6. Shatin Tsung Tsin Secondary School, Sun Chui Estate

YPICA Lee Ng Sui-Oi Memorial School, Sun Chui Estate

Sha Tin

7. Caritas Hiu Yau Kindergarten, Kwong Lam Court

Kwong Yuen Community Hall, Kwong Yuen Estate

Reasons for Merger

1 . •

sufficiently large to cope with the size of the electorate after the merger.

Access to Tsung Tsin Secondary School by the aged and the handicapped is inconvenient. The Lee Ng Sui-Oi Memorial School in the same housing estate which is the polling station for another DBC is more suitable. The floor area of the latter is sufficiently large to cope with the size of the electorate after the merger.

u

The Kindergarten is unsuitable as a polling station as it is too small. The polling station for the neighbouring DBC at the Kwong Yuen Community Hall is situated nearby. Its floor area is sufficiently large to cope with the size of the electorate after the merger.

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995

64

Efforts continuing to improve recruitment and retention of nurses ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Michael Ho Mun-ka and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Although nearly six months have elapsed since the Hospital Authority published the Manpower Indicators in respect of the nursing and allied health professionals, no measures have been put in place to achieve the targets set out in the Indicators. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the purposes and objectives of the Hospital Authority in formulating such Manpower Indicators;

(b) whether the staff in the grades concerned or the public have been consulted about the Manpower Indicators; if so, what was the duration of the consultation period;

(c) whether any concrete measures and the timing for achieving the targets in the Indicators have been drawn up; if so, when the details can be announced, and how such measures will be implemented by the Hospital Authority?

Reply:

The manpower indicators promulgated by the Hospital Authority are designed to serve as a planning tool to facilitate the work of hospital managers. These indicators provide a useful benchmark against which the staffing situation in different clinical specialties could be monitored. In areas where deficiencies are identified, appropriate action would be taken to redeploy existing manpower resources or to plan for the need of additional staff.

The manpower indicators have been discussed extensively by the Medical Services Development Committee of the Hospital Authority, and were circulated to individual hospitals as well as various staff groups for consultation. Furthermore, two seminars were conducted in October 1994 to familiarise 400 frontline nurse managers with the rationale and potential application of the new indicators.

65

The manpower indicators are not meant to be prescriptive staffing ratios. Individual hospitals are already making use of these indicators to adjust their respective manpower planning and deployment strategies. The Hospital Authority Head Office has also established an expert team to assist hospital managers in reviewing and addressing their staffing situation. This exercise is expected to complete by May 1995 so that new initiatives could be incorporated into the annual business planning process.

Apart from the development and implementation of manpower indicators, the Hospital Authority will continue with its intensified efforts to improve the recruitment and retention of nursing staff at all levels. Measures have been introduced to provide a better working environment for nurses, to enhance their training and education, to streamline work processes, to reduce the frequency of night shifts, and to employ additional supporting staff to undertake non-professional duties.

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995

Proposals on public broadcasting service being considered ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Eric Li Ka-cheung and a written reply by the Secretary for Recreation and Culture, Mr James So, in the Legislative Council A today (Wednesday):

Question:

It was originally scheduled that Cable Television would start providing, free of charge, three channels for the Government to broadcast programmes on January 1, 1995. However, the three government channels will not be available for use until 1996 because of technical problems. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) what measures are in place to ensure that the three government channels will be made available on time;

(b) of any specific plans to use these channels; and

(c) whether one or more of these channels will be open to the public as a public service channel, so as to encourage its use by educational bodies, community organisations, students and young people; if not, why not?

66

Reply:

Mr President,

I would like, first of all, to clarify a misconception. It was never the intention that the three channels reserved for Government use on Wharf Cable’s network should be handed over to the Government on January 1, 1995. Condition 10.3.1 of Wharf Cable Limited's Initial Subscription Television Broadcasting Licence clearly states that:

"Upon not less than six months notice in writing given by the Broadcasting Authority to the Licensee to expire at any time or times throughout the period of validity of this licence after January 1, 1995, the Licensee shall, in addition to the obligations referred to in Clause 10.1, make available to Government free of charge and expense such use of not more than three channels in the basic package of programmes as may be directed by the Broadcasting Authority, subject to the availability of radio frequency spectrum during the period that the Licensee is utilising that spectrum under this licence."

Thus provision is made for the channels to be handed over any time during the validity of Wharf Cable’s 12-year licence. It follows in regard to part (a) of the question therefore, that there is no specific time-table for the Government to institute any measures to make the channels available. However, Wharf Cable do not have spare spectrum capacity at present on its MMDS system and is unlikely to have a sufficient subscriber reach on its optic fibre network to make handover worthwhile until well into 1996.

As regards parts (b) and (c) of the question, Members were informed during the motion debate on July 6, 1994 that an inter-departmental Working Group had been set up in April 1994 to examine whether and if so, how the Government should make the best use of the Government channels on Wharf Cable’s network and should explore the ideas of providing a "public broadcasting service" and/or a "public access service". The Working Group has now completed its Report and its recommendations are currently being considered within the Administration. It is intended that the outcome will be reported to Members shortly, once the Administration has taken a decision.

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995

67

Squatter areas in HK ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

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

Question:

In his 1994 Policy Address, the Governor stated that all urban squatters on Government land would be rehoused by March 1996. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the names of all existing squatter areas in the territory together with the respective squatter population, their distribution on Government and private land, the estimated dates of clearance as well as the expected rehousing sites; and

(b) the squatter areas where the Housing Department has carried out improvement works under the Squatter Area Improvement (SAI) Scheme; whether any follow-up action on such improvement works has been taken; and which squatter areas have not undergone improvement works under the SAI Scheme?

./U.

Answer

Mr President,

There are about 31,200 urban squatters, of whom about 9,000 are living on Government land and the remainder on private lots. A list of urban squatter areas is at Annex 1. The Administration has pledged to clear all urban squatters on Government land before 31 March 1996. There is no plan to clear other squatters. To avoid possible abuse, it is the Housing Department's practice not to announce the location and specific Timing of squatter area clearances prior to the conduct of pre-clearance surveys. ,

I* .J

The Squatter Area Improvement Scheme covers a period of seven years between 1983 and 1990. A list of those squatter areas affected is at Annex 2. Since the completion of the programme, the Housing Department has continued to provide maintenance services for the public facilities in those areas.


68

Annex 1

List of Urban Squatter Areas

Honp Kong Island

Near Yellow Stork House, Tanner Hill Estate Nga Choi Hang

Tin Hau Temple Hill

Ma Shan, Causeway Bay

Sir Cecil's Ride

♦ Tai Hang Hill Wun Sha Street Rear of Confucious School Bowen Road Wan Chai Gap Road Kennedy Street/Road & Sik On Street Chatham Path & Tregunter Path Hatton Road

* Chu Mo Shan

Behind Tai Wah Factory Ho Jong

Tai Hau Wan Village

Sandy Bay

Tai Wan Sun Chuen Telegraph Bay Village

Near Baguio Village

* North Victoric Road Pokfulam Village Victoria Rd. Near Wah Fu Est. (Shui Choi Tin Vill. & Pok Po Wan)

Kai Lung Wan (Area opp, Hing Wai Ice Fty.) Chiu Chow Shan

* Shek Pai Wan Rd./Tin Wan Hill Hillslope behind Apleichau Main St. Pak Sha Wan, Apleichau

* Deep Ditch

Behind Aberdeen Police Station Wong Chuk Hang Path & Old Village Shouson Hill Road

Wong Chuk Hang Sun Wai Chuen Island Road side of Golf Course

J/O Repulse Bay Road & South Bay Road South Bay Road

* Headland Road

* Chung Hom Kok Rd.

Sai Wan Chai Stanley Market Nam Yeuk St. Stephen Beach, Stanley Tai Tam Village, Stanley ♦ Stanley Gap Road

Tai Tam

Tai Tam Road (West) Tai Tam Tuk Village Shek O Road Lan Nai Wan Tung Ah Pui Ngan Hang To Dai Wan (Diety Bay) Windy Gap Hok Tsui Village Nga Choi Hang (Hok Tsui) Shek O Village Big Wave Bay

Yuen Dao Ngam (Chai Wan Hill)

Sai Wan Chuen (behind Blk.19, Chai Wan E.) Sai Chuen (below Cape Collinson Road) Cape Collinson Road

Tai Hang Tung Chuen (Tai Hang Ngau & Moon Wah Lau) Tai Tam Road (East) Aldrich Village

* Hoi Shum Temple, Shaukeiwan Shan Bin Terrace Ah Kung Ngam Village

Tanner Hill Below Tin Hau Temple Road

♦ Squatter areas under clearance

- 69 -

Kowloon

Ma Pui Village

Ma Wan Village

Che Tang Village

Lei Yu Mun Village

Shung Shun Street Sea Front

* Ling Nam New Village (Lower)

Ling Nam New Village (Upper)

* Cha Kwo Ling Road (South)

Cha Kwo Ling Village

Fan Wah Street

* Kai Tin Village

Hillslope opposite Tsui Ying House, Tsui Ping E.

Kai Liu

Hillslope near Tsui Yeung Hse, Tsui Ping E.

Ma Yau Tong

Fuk Tak New Village

Fei Po Hang/Kwun Tong Industrial Area

* On Lok Village

* Sai Wo Yuen/Tai Shing Village

* Sau Ming Village

Wo Ping Village/Sau On Village

Jordan Path

Yuen Po Rd.

Fuk Wing St./Camp St.

Hillside near Block 36, Shek Kip Mei E.

Fuk Tak Temple

North Kowloon Magistracy Hillslope

* Pak Shan Village

Ho Kar Yuen

Chung Shan Village

Tsz Mei Village

New Kowloon No.8 Cemetary

Tak Mong Village

Ngau Chi Wan Village

Ha Yuen Ling (West)/

Tai Hom Village (South of Lung Cheung Road) Sheung Yuen Ling (North)

Diamond Hill New Village/

Sheung Yuen Ling (South)/

Sheung Yuen Ling (North)

* Diamond Hill New Village

* Tai Koon New Village

Chuk Yuen United Village (East)

Ngar Tsin Wai Village

Sa Po Road

Shansi Street

♦ Squatter areas under clearance.

70

Ann£X_2

Squatter Area Improvement Programme

SERIAL NO, SQUATTER AREA

5-vear programme

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 Tai Shing Cheung Lung Tin I Cheung Lung Tin II Cheung Lung Tin III Cheung Lung Tin IV Ngar Choi Hang Sai Wo Yuen On Lok I On Lok II On Lok III Sau Ming I Sau Ming II Tak Mong (Jat's Incline) Fa Yuen I Fa Yuen II Nam On Fong Sheung Yat Chuen Tai Shing Extension Man Kuki Man Kok II Ma Shan I Ma Shan II Holy Cross Path I Holy Cross Path II Tai Hang Hill Shek Lei Hill 0 Pui Lung Shing On Lei Yue Mun Village Ling Nam Lower Village Ling Nam Upper Village Ma Pui & Che Tang Village Ma Wan Village Heung Yeung Fu Yung Shan Hon Man Chuen Kwong Pan Tin Lower

71

SER1ALML

38

39 .

40

41

42

43

44

45

46

47

48

49

50

51

52

53

54

55

56

57

58

59

60

61

62

63

64

65

66

67

68

69

70

71

72

73

74

75

76

SWATTER AREA

Kwong Pan Tin Upper Pak Tin Pa Aldrich Village

Ma Shan (Causeway Bay) & Lin Fa Kung

Wang Hang

Ho Jong & Smithfield Road Wong Chuk Hang Sun Wai Stanley Valley

Lion Rock Hill Village Nam Shan Mei Upper Kwu Hang Cha Kwo Ling I Cha Kwo Ling II Grandview Road Telegraph Bay I Telegraph Bay II Chuk Lam Mui Kong TaiO Ma On Shan Shatin Tau Area 6 Hang Hau Chuen Ying Pun Kam Shan Village Tai I lang l ung Shan Bin Terrace Ching Man Village

2-year extended programme

Wong Chuk I lang Path & Old Village Yuen Dao Ngam

Wo Ping

Yau Tong Lower Ngau Chi Wan 6 M. Castle Peak Road Wo Yi Hop Tso Kung Tam Tai Wor Chuen Big Wave Bay Shek O I Shek O II

72

SERIAL ML

77

78

79

80

81

82

83

84

85

86

87

88

89

90

91

92

93

94

95

96

97

98

99

100

101

102

103

104

105

106

107

108

109

110

111

112

113

114

115

116

117

118

SQUATTER AREA

Pokfulam Vilalge Tung Yeung Tai Hom (South) Tse Mei/Tin Liu Tsz Mei Tin Liu Sham Tseng Cheung Hang Village A Kung Ngam Village I A Kung Ngam Village II Tai Wan Sun Chuen Tai Hau Wan Village Kwong Pan Tin 4 Tai Ping I Tai Ping II Diamond New Village Kau Wah Kong Upper I Kau Wah Keng Upper II Pump Fong Sheung Chuen I Pump Fong Sheung Chuen II Lower Hon Man Village Ka Wai Man Village

Above Mt. Davis Cottage Area Behind Tung Wah Eastern Hospital Mt. Davis Road

Pak Dai Nei (East & West) Village Kai Tsui Village

Chuk Yuen United Village Kam Kuk Village Pai Min Kok Upper Village Kin Yip Tsuen Hok Tsui

Windy Gap Tung Ah Pui Shui Choi Tin Sheung Yuen Leng Nam Shan Village Ho Kar Yuen Ha Kwai Chung Yue Shan Yuen Butterfly Valley Yau Kam Tau. Tsing Yi

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995

73

Assessment of academic qualifications of civil service recruits ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

Following is a question by the Hon James Tien Pei-chun and a written reply by the Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr Michael Sze, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

'['he Secretary for the Civil Service has pointed out that reference to British and Commonwealth qualifications will not be mentioned in civil service recruitments in the future, and that a committee will be established to discuss the assessment of academic qualifications. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the estimated number of persons holding non-British and Commonwealth university degrees who will benefit every year as a result of this change; and

(b) the criteria which the Government will adopt to assess the acceptability of degree programmes of non-British and Commonwealth universities for recruitment purposes; and how the applications of individual candidates will be appraised?

Reply :

Mr President.

My reply to the two questions are as follows :

(a) it is not possible to give any meaningful estimate of the number likely to benefit from our plans to widen recognition of degrees obtained from tertiary institutions in non-English speaking countries. I do not expect the number to be large, at least in the foreseeable future. We are after all talking about Hong Kong students. Given our substantial and steadily expanding tertiary sector most choose to study here. By comparison, the number who have .obtained qualifications or are currently studying abroad is small, and mostly relate to North America, Britain and other English-speaking countries. Very few have chosen to go to universities in non-English speaking countries. With the impending change in sovereignty and rising standards of tertiary education in the region we can expect the number to grow. It is for this reason that we plan to strengthen the vetting of non-Hong Kong qualifications.

74

(b) The second question relates closely to the first, because it asks about the criteria which will be used to assess non-Hong Kong qualifications for the purposes of civil service recruitment. These will to some extent govern the numbers likely to benefit from the revisions to our system. The tougher the criteria the fewer will benefit. And 1 have to say, that the criteria will be tough. They are simply stated; namely, that Civil Service Branch must be absolutely satisfied that the qualifications in question are at least as good as the comparable Hong Kong qualifications, for the purposes of recruitment to the civil service. If we arc in any doubt wc will err on the side of caution. To help us in our examination we will draw on the advice of the Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation who have information and sources of further information on courses run by non-Hong Kong institutions. Assessments will be made on a case-by-case basis, and will have regard for the standing of the institution in question and of the authority accrediting its degree programmes; the entry requirements to the course; and the content and duration of the course.

I should add, Mr President, that the entry qualification requirements are only the first step in the recruitment process. Eligible candidates must meet other requirements, including language requirements in many grades, and passing a selection interview.

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995

Occupancy rate of HK Industrial Technology Centre *****

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Huang Chen-ya and a written reply by the Secretary for Trade and Industry, Mr T I I Chau, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The Hong Kong Industrial Technology Centre was opened in August 1994, but the occupancy rate of the 80 offices available for leasing up to now is very low. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council :

(a) how the Centre is going to attract more tenants to lease its offices;

75

(b) of the current occupancy rate of offices of the Hong Kong Productivity

Council (HKPC) which similarly has offices for leasing; and

(c) whether there is a duplication in the provision of such leasing services by the Centre and the HKPC; if not, what is the difference between the services provided by these two organisations?

Answer

The Hong Kong Industrial Technology Centre Corporation does not anticipate any difficulty in attracting sufficient tenants to fill the Centre. Since fitting-out was completed in November 1994, 74% of the leasable area (18,916 m2) has been committed to tenants. A commercial letting agent is promoting the Centre to potential tenants' through direct mailing, features and advertisements in newspapers and journals. Space in the incubator units is being offered at a 70% rebate for the first year, and attractive discounts for the following two years. Other space is being offered at competitive market prices.

. a •%. . . ■ * .

As regards the Hong Kong Productivity Council, in February 1995, 83% of the leasable space (3,386 m2) in the Council's building was let to tenants.

' • ' 1 < 1 9 \ •

There is no duplication in the services provided by the Council and the Centre. Additional space was provided in the Council's building to provide room for future expansion of its services. Some of this space has already been taken up by the Council. The Council has let the space which is not required for the time being to a variety of companies in order to generate rental income. The Council does not provide special services to its tenants. In contrast, the Centre is intended specifically to nurture the growth of technology-based companies, which it does by providing a range of support services, including technology transfer and laboratory facilities.

■’ - ««»uT K. .. . . ..

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995


76

Site for new China ferry terminal being identified ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

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

Question:

At present the Hong Kong - China Ferry Terminal at China Hong Kong City is heavily used, and because of staff shortage, frequent disruptions to the scheduled passenger ferry services have arisen resulting in discontent among passengers. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of scheduled ferry services that have been delayed in the past year;

(b) whether there is any plan to increase the number of staff so as to improve the present situation; if so, when the increase will be effected and what the number of additional staff will be; if not, why not; and

(c) Whether consideration will be given to the construction of new Hong Kong - China ferry terminals in other locations as a long term measure to ease the pressure at the China Hong Kong City terminal; if so, what the specific plans are; if not, why not?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) In 1994, the berthing of about 27,000 vessels was delayed for more than five minutes at the Hong Kong - China Ferry Terminal, representing 36 per cent of the total trips in that year. The delays were due to ferries arriving either earlier or later than was scheduled, and therefore missing their allotted berthing slots. This happened mostly during the peak morning and evening hours when the berths were fully occupied.

The situation is expected to improve in October this year, when three new berths for high speed ferries will be completed.

77

(b) The Immigration Department will provide seven additional staff in 1995-96 to help speed up the processing of passengers at the ferry terminal. The Customs and Excise Department has adequate staff for the time being.

(c) The existing China Ferry Terminal is expected to reach capacity by 2001. An inter-departmental working group under the Planning Department is now identifying a suitable site for a new terminal, for completion before that date.

End/Wednesday. March 8, 1995

Finances of Institute of Education alid Academy for Performing Arts *****

Following is a question by the I Ion limoth) I la Wing-ho and a written reply b\ the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Michael Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

As the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and the Hong Kong Institute of Education now offer degree-level courses to local students, will the Government inform this Council whether :

(a) it is aware of the present source of finances, arrangements for allocation of funds and monitoring mechanism in the two institutions: how do the relevant authorities monitor their operations:

(b) there are any plans to put the two institutions under the aegis of the University Grants Committee: if so. what the details arc and what the progress has been made so far: if not, why not: and

(c) it is aware of the respective estimated and actual expenditures of the two institutions in each of the past three years, as well as their budgets for the next financial year ?

78

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts' (HKAPA) major source of funding is Government subvention, which amounts to about 85% of its recurrent income each year. This is supplemented by tuition fees and bank interest. The Academy also receives rental and box office commission from hirers of its venues for the management and maintenance of venues and private donations for scholarships. The Academy maintains a five-year forecast which is annually updated to take into account the actual amount of subvention approved by Government and the needs of the Academy. Each year, the Academy’s internal Resource Allocation Committee will consider the proposed budgets of individual Schobls/Departments and make recommendations to the Director on the priority of proposed developments. The estimates will then be submitted to the Council of the Academy, which is the governing and executive body for the Academy, for approval. The Government monitors the Academy’s operation through various means. Under the HKAPA Ordinance, the Academy is required to submit to Government a programme of proposed activities and estimates of income and expenditure, the latter of which will be closely scrutinised by relevant Government departments. Within six months after the end of each financial year, the Academy is required to submit to the Governor a report on the activities of the Academy and copies of financial statements and the auditors' report. The documents will then be tabled at the Legislative Council meeting. In addition to the above, the Secretary for Recreation and Culture, by virtue of being a member of the HKAPA Council, monitors the financial matters of the Academy.

79

The Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd) plans to launch its first degree course in 1997-98. Its major source of funding is Government subvention. Over 93% of the recurrent expenditure and all the capital expenditure of the Institute are funded by Government. Other sources of income include tuition fees and interest from bank deposits. The HKIEd is required each year to prepare a programme of proposed activities for the following three years and based on that, the estimates of income and expenditure for the coming year and the forecasts for the subsequent two years. These documents are then submitted to the Secretary for Education and Manpower (SEM) who is the Vote Controller of the Institute for scrutiny and approval. To monitor the operation of the HKIEd, the Institute is required to submit to SEM monthly financial statements. It is also required to carry out a mid-year review of its activities and financial situation and report to SEM the results. The HKIEd is required, under its ordinance, to submit to the Governor a report on its activities and copies of the financial statements and the auditors' report not later than six months after the end of each financial year and such reports and statements will be tabled at the Legislative Council thereafter. SEM is also represented at the Standing Committee under the Governing Council of the Institute and its sub-committees on staffing, estates and campus development in order to monitor the operation of the Institute.

(b) There are no plans to bring the HKAPA under the aegis of the University Grants Committee (UGC). This is because the nature of the Academy is not so much an academic tertiary institution but rather, a special vocational training institution to train students for careers in the performing arts fields. As regards the HKIEd, the Administration has initiated discussions with the UGC and the Institute with a view to bringing the HKIEd under the aegis of the UGC. The precise arrangements and timing have yet to be worked out. but all parties concerned have agreed in principle to bringing the HKIEd into the UGC system as soon as practicable.

(c) The estimated and actual recurrent and capital expenditure of the HKAPA in each of the past three years and the budget for the coming financial year are in the Annex. As for the HKIEd. it was established only in April 1994 and took over the operation of the Colleges of Education and the Institute of Language in Education on September 1, 1994. The estimated recurrent and capital expenditure for the Institute for 1994-95 and projected expenditure for 1995-96 are also in the Annex.

80

Annex

Estimated and Actual Recurrent and Capital Expenditure of HKAPA in 1992-95 and Projected Expenditure in 1995-96

Estimated Expenditure Sm Actual Expenditure $m

1992-93 99.4 103.1

1993-94 118.6 125.0

1994-95 138,8 146.4 (Revised

1995-96 155.3 Estimate)

Estimated Recurrent and Capital Expenditure for HKIEd in 1994-96

1994-95

1995-96

Sm

339.7* (Revised Estimate)

1,073.22

Note

This amount includes amongst other items, only seven months’ expenditure for the salaries and on-cost of the campus staff.

2 This amount includes $429.0 million for the campus development at Tai Po.

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995

81

LegCo passes motion on retirement protection system

*****

The Legislative Council today (Wednesday) passed by 28 votes to 21 a motion put forward by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Michael Leung, calling on the Government to introduce as expeditiously as possible a mandatory, privately managed occupational retirement protection system.

The Hon Jimmy McGregor's amendment to the above motion was defeated by 24 votes to six. The Hon Michael Ho moved a motion to adjourn the debate, but his motion was voted down by 31 to 18 votes.

The Council also debated and passed a motion moved by Dr the Hon Yeung Sum. The motion urged the Government to implement the Old Age Pension Scheme as soon as possible and expressed strong dissatisfaction at the Government for shelving the Scheme. The motion also called for the Government to put into immediate effect the increase of the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance payments for the elderly.

The amendment moved by Dr the Hon K C Lam to this motion was voted down.

Meanwhile, a private member's motion moved by the Hon Albert Chan regarding rehousing of rooftop structure occupants was carried.

A motion on the Public Finance Ordinance put forward by the Secretary for the Treasury, Mr Donald Tsang, was also passed.

In addition, three bills were introduced for first and second readings. Debates on them were adjourned. The bills were the Tai Lam Tunnel and Yuen Long Approach Road Bill, the Credit Unions (Amendment) Bill 1995 and the Gas Safety (Amendment) Bill 1995.

End/Wednesday, March 8, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, March 9,1995

Contents Page No,

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

Overwhelming support from parents to TOC initiative............. 5

Improvement measures adopted in schools......................... 7

Smoking is not allowed in classrooms............................ 9

Volume and price movements of external trade in Dec............. 9

HA reaches out to elderly through community medical teams... 16

HK shares experiences on CITES implementation.................. 18

Safety first on construction sites............................. 20

1000-Day Regiment takes the field.............................. 21

Social Welfare Department awards subvention review contract. 22

Applications invited for visual arts development projects...... 23

Public urged to support heritage preservation.................. 25

Immigration investigators catch 51 illegal workers............. 27

Weakened water supply to Tsuen Wan on Saturday................. 28

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

1

Transcript of Governor's media session *****

The following is the transcript of the media session by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, on his arrival at the airport from Singapore:

Governor: I've had a short but interesting visit to Singapore. I spoke at a conference organised on world economic issues by Fortune magazine. Other speakers were the Prime Ministers of Pakistan and Singapore, Dick Cheney, the former Secretary for Defence in the American Administration, Lady Thatcher, the Senior Minister of Singapore and a number of business leaders including business leaders from Hong Kong like Gordon Wu and Richard Li. It's a good conference and I think you would have seen copies of my speech. I've also had meetings with Singaporean governmental leaders and business leaders, most notably the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, the Finance Minister and the Senior Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, who I was pleased to have 55 minutes with this afternoon. So it's been a pretty full programme and I am pleased to be back.

Question: Did you take up the case of Daniel Chan who is ... making personal appeals ?

Governor: I referred in my conversations with the Prime Minister to a number of appeals for clemency with which we dissociated ourselves. In the case of Mr Chan, there was an appeal from the British Government with which I and the Hong Kong Government associated ourselves. And then there was a further demarche by the further appeal by the European Union with which we again associated ourselves and I referred to those matters in my conversation with the Prime Minister but obviously in the Singapore system, it's a matter for the President rather than for him.

Question: Governor, would you please correct me if I'm... what you said in the previous question time in the Legco, you mentioned that you don't cross out the possibility to implement the Old Age Pensions scheme so far as there are sufficient support in Legco. So what do you think about last night's debate ?

2

Governor: Well I think what I said this morning in Singapore and what the Chief Secretary said yesterday and what Jackie Willis said this afternoon, yesterday there were a number of debates in the Legislative Council, during the course of which, the Legislative Council voted by quite a substantial margin for an MPF, and then later on, voted by a small margin for an Old Age Pension Scheme, not I think entirely the one we had in mind, plus a substantial and immediate increase in CSSA rates. So the Government in those circumstances has to decide what is the best way forward and where the largest degree of support is. And I think you would agree that the whole community would think we are taking leave of our senses, if we try to follow both courses of action. We have to make a choice and I think it is reasonable to base that choice both on the size of the votes in the Legislative Council and on what we understand is the view of the business community and others. It's not an easy choice, but I think your newspaper and other newspapers are urging the Government to get on with the issue and not just to put it off. You could make out a case in these circumstances, for the Government thinking well. The community's been talking about this for 30 years, maybe we should talk about it for another 30 years. But I don't myself think that that would be responsible. I think the community expects us to act. In trying to implement an MPF, and you've heard what Jackie said this afternoon about the consultancy study and the timing of that, we have to recognise that there is an argument raised about problems faced by some elderly people in need today. In other words, the whole question of CSSA rates and benefit levels comes up. And we've made it clear that we think that should be considered as part of the overall review that we are doing of CSSAs, based, for instance, on the household expenditure survey which we are doing during the year. So I think that is a rational and responsible way forward. I think that most people would hope that we would be as decisive as possible on the basis of the scheme which appeared to have the broadest community support. So that is our position and it will be for others to explain how the Legislative Council was able to vote in so many different and not entirely mutually agreeing fashions.

Question: Looking at the MPF, the SAR Government would not bear responsibility for the MPF unless the Government .....with China ... the issue.

Governor: Well, we'll look forward to discussing it through the JLG. It's never been any doubt about that.

3

Governor: Did you hear the answer that I also gave at patient length to Carrie. I'm not sure what I can add to what I said to Carrie.

Question: (inaudible)

Governor: Are you seriously suggesting that we should do both, that we should introduce a mandatory provident fund and an old age pension ?

Question: Some of the opinions said you can..

Governor: Is that your paper's view ?

Question: No.

Governor: Heavens above. I wouldn't have thought so. I think if I suggested that, there would be quite a lot people in the community who would suggest that I should be swiftly attended by man in white ...

Question: I didn't hear the question quite clear. But your answer said, are you looking forward to discussing the pension scheme with China through the JLG ?

Governor: Yes. U, ....

Question: Has the government informed China of the latest proposal though?

Governor: No, but we will be. Now that we have had vote in the Legislative Council and we'll be telling them all about the work that we are going to do with the consultants.

Question: Would they be informed before the review was passed on to Legco ?

Governor: No, but I imagine that since they are so widely informed that they've been reading the newspapers just as we have.

Question: But NCNA today refused to comment on the latest...

4

Governor: That seems to me to be, to show characteristic wise restraint on their part.

Question: Do you think this lack of details about the proposal, so when do you think it...

Governor: The NCNA won't be negotiating with us in the JLG, unless they change their JLG team. But I'm sure that those who do discuss the issue in the JLG will welcome the amount of comprehensive detail we give them.

Question: What I am asking is, what do you think is the appropriate time to discuss with the Chinese ? Should that wait after the consultancy's report that is the end of April ?

Governor: No, we will want the next JLG meeting, whenever it takes place and I hope that it may take place though we haven't yet agreed dates before the date you've suggested, whenever the JLG takes place, we will want to make sure that the Chinese are well informed about what we believe is the sensible approach and the right way forward. You know as I do, and it's a point that I have made again and again, not least in relation to the old age pension scheme that since we're talking about the future by definition, since we're talking about pensions, or welfare benefits that we will pay after 1997, it is entirely proper to talk to Chinese officials about these matters since at present they seek to represent the future interest of the SAR. One last question.

Question: Going back to my question about Mr Chan who's behind in Singapore .... Do you take it that your request has been rejected by the government of Singapore ?

Governor: I think you can take it that I didn't receive any indication that the position of the President changed. What we have done in every case whether it's Singapore or Thailand or other cases is always behaved in exactly the same way, associating ourselves with appeals which are lodged through the United Kingdom government and most recently which are supported by a demarche from the European Union.

s

Question: In your speech delivered in Singapore without specific reference to this Singaporean government but you seem making a comment and criticism about it ?

Governor: No, I have made a speech, I thought it was quite an interesting speech about Hong Kong and about the importance of the rule of law in Hong Kong, There were actually references to Singapore I recall referring to the successful management of the Singapore economy and to the extent to which people in Hong Kong regarded Singapore as a yardstick against which to match our own achievements I think most people would regard those as complimentary references I made it clear when I was asked at my press conference that when people talked about alleged differences in values between Asia and Europe and North America, I don't usually agree but maybe there is one different value and if so, it's that I with my background don't think it's appropriate to go to other countries and criticise them Other Asian leaders may take a different view

End/Thursday, March 9, 1995

Overwhelming support from parents to TOC initiative

*****

Parents have come out in clear support of the Government's Target Oriented Curriculum (TOC) initiative, with more than 80 per cent of parents in a post-seminar evaluation saying that the curriculum should be implemented and that they will let their children study in TOC schools

The curriculum, which sets clear targets, brings in stimulating approaches for more lively and effective teaching and learning and comprehensive report to parents, is designed to improve the quality of education in Hong Kong and to address some identified problems in the system.

A total of 6,303 parents of Kindergarten 3 pupils attended 83 TOC seminars organised by the Education Department at 14 different locations throughout the territory on March 4 and ' A questionnaire survey collected 5.486 replies from the participants

6

Of the 5,486 respondents, 4,464 said they believed that TOC should be implemented in Hong Kong. These parents made up 81.4 per cent of the respondents. A total of 767 (14%) parents were neutral and 94 (1.7%) did not agree; 161 (2.9%) did not respond.

A total of 4,778 (87.1%) considered that the concepts of TOC are good and 500 (9.1%) were neutral, while only 81 (1.5%) did not agree. A total of 127 (2.3%) did not respond to this item.

In addition, 4,866 (88.7 per cent) said TOC would let parents better understand the progress of their children in learning and thus help them coach their children. A total of 389 (7.1%) were neutral and only 98 (1.8%) disagreed; 133 (2.4%) did not make any response.

A total of 4,589 (83.7%) said they would let their children study in a TOC school. A total of 620 (11.3%) were neutral and 133 (2.4%) disagreed; 144 (2.6%) did not respond to this item.

A breakdown of the figures show that the "yes" replies to this question are geographically rather evenly distributed when expressed in percentages against district totals.

Among the "yes" replies, 347 are in Central and Western (85.3%); 493 in Wan Chai (94.3%); 171 in Yau Ma Tei (82.6%); 344 in Kwun Tong (79.6%); 415 in Kwai Tsing (78.8%); 229 in Sha Tin (79.8%); 462 in Kowloon City (82.4%); 441 in Mong Kok (79.3%); 405 in Hong Kong East (88.4%); 343 in Tuen Mun (86.2%); 370 in Yuen Long (82.2%); 321 in Tai Po (84%); and 248 in Sai Kung (83.2%).

In all, 4,930 parents (89.9%) said the seminar had enhanced their understanding of the new curriculum. A total of 400 (7.29%) were neutral and 56 (1.02%) disagreed; 100 (1.8%) did not respond to this item.

Meanwhile, more than 20,000 leaflets and pamphlets have so far been distributed at the Education Department TOC roving exhibition at Cityplaza, Lok Fu Shopping Centre and Sha Tin New Town Plaza; a large percentage of the visitors were parents.

7

The roving exhibition will continue tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday at Level 2, Metroplaza opposite Kwai Fong MTR Station and, on Sunday and Monday (March 12 and 13), at Yuen Long Plaza.

End/Thursday, March 9, 1995

Improvement measures adopted in schools

*****

In response to press enquiries concerning findings of a survey released by the Professional Teachers' Union, a spokesman for the Education Department said today (Thursday) that improvement measures in schools had been introduced since the publication of Education Commission reports.

"On the issue of teacher/student ratio, additional teachers are provided. In primary schools, the teacher/class ratio is being improved from 1.2:1 to 1.3:1 for bi-sessional classes and to 1.4:1 for whole-day classes.

"In secondary schools, additional teachers are provided to strengthen remedial teaching, pupil counselling, extra-curricular activities, language teaching and split-class teaching," the spokesman said.

He added that starting from September 1993, class size was being reduced by five places. The reduction started with Primary 1 and was extending upwards by one level each year.

"Comprehensive programmes are in place to assist pupils of lower ability. This, in turn, helps to reduce the workload of, and the pressure on, teachers," he added.

The spokesman pointed out that additional resources such as improvement to clerical establishment and provision of modem office equipment (including adequate computer facilities) were also given to reduce the non-teaching duties of teachers.

8

He noted that the promotion prospects of teachers had also been improved. They included:

creation of two posts of Principal Graduate Master in a secondary school with 15 or more classes to be offset by an equivalent number of Senior Graduate Master posts with effect from September 1991;

* upgrading of one Senior Assistant Master post in a secondary school with 24 or more classes to Principal Assistant Master with effect from September 1991;

* upgrading of a maximum of two non-graduate posts in each secondary school to the graduate level and of a Graduate Master post to the Senior Graduate Master post in a school with 15 or more classes in September 1994; and

* for primary schools, an improved senior teacher ratio from one Assistant Master (AM) for every four whole-day classes to one AM for every three whole-day classes and the upgrading of primary school teaching posts to graduate level by phases.

Turning to the provision of support service, the spokesman said a series of services were made available to teachers to enhance their skills in managing stress and difficulties.

They included a helpline service for school teachers, support at the Guidance Teacher Resource Centre, regional teachers' development sessions and Saturday Clinic Sessions for teachers at district education offices.

"In addition, the Education Department will join hands with the Hong Kong Medical Association to organise a stress management seminar for teachers in early May," the spokesman concluded.

End/Thursday, March 9, 1995

9

Smoking is not allowed in classrooms *****

In response to press enquiries in connection with a survey on "Stop Smoking in Schools", a spokesman for the Education Department said today (Thursday):

"Section 51 of the Education Regulations stipulates that no smoking should be permitted in any classrooms during school hours.

"School authorities have been reminded about this regulation through an annual school circular. School heads are advised that their staff should avoid smoking during public appearances, and observe smoking bans and display of 'No Smoking' signs.

"In addition, their staff are requested to co- operate and refrain from smoking in schools, particularly to refrain from smoking in front of students.

"The Education Department will in the near future issue a reminder to draw the attention of school authorities to the importance of supporting the anti-smoking campaign."

End/Thursday, March 9, 1995

Volume and price movements of external trade in Dec

* * * * *

The volume of re-exports for the whole year of 1994 increased by 14%, while the volume of domestic exports decreased by 2.3%, according to statistics released today (Thursday) by the Census and Statistics Department. Taking re-exports and domestic exports together, the volume of total exports increased by 10%. Meanwhile, imports increased by 14% in volume.

10

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 re-exports and domestic exports increased by 1.5% and 1.6% respectively. Import prices increased by 2.8%.

Price changes are reflected by changes in unit value indices, which are compiled based on average unit values or, for certain commodities, based on specific price data.

The terms of trade index, defined as the ratio of total export price index to import price index, decreased by 1.3% in 1994.

Comparing December 1994 with December 1993, the volume of reexports increased by 8.1%, while that of domestic exports decreased by 4.6%. Taken together, the volume of total exports increased by 5.3%. Meanwhile, the volume of imports grew by 10%.

Over the same period of comparison, the prices of re-exports and domestic exports increased by 3.6% and 2.0% respectively. Import prices increased by 5.4%.

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

Comparing December 1994 with December 1993, the volume of reexports of all end-use categories recorded increases of various magnitudes: foodstuffs (+36%), fuels (+17%), raw materials and semi-manufactures (+14%), capital goods (+9.1%) and consumer goods (+3.3%).

Over the same period of comparison, increases in the prices of re-exports were noted of raw materials and semi-manufactures (+6.4%), foodstuffs (+3.3%), consumer goods (+2.8%) and capital goods (+2.7%). The prices of reexports of fuels however decreased by 2.6%.

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

- 11 -

Comparing December 1994 with December 1993, commodity groups that recorded increases in volume of domestic exports included textile made-ups and related articles (+55%), and watches and clocks (+19%).

On the other hand, the volume of domestic exports of radios of all kinds and footwear decreased by 58% and 41% respectively.

Commodity groups that recorded increases in domestic export prices included textile made-ups and related articles (+13%), and textile yam and thread (+10%).

On the other hand, the domestic export price of footwear decreased by 6.3%.

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

The import volume of foodstuffs increased by 14% in December 1994 compared with December 1993.

Significant increases were recorded in the import volume of soya bean oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil and lard; and meat and meat preparations. However, decreases in the import volume were noted of rice, live poultry and animals of the bovine species.

Over the same period of comparison, the import volume of consumer goods increased by 6.7%.

Commodity items with considerable increases in import volume included alcoholic beverages and passenger motor car. On the other hand, decreases in the import volume were noted of tobacco manufactures and clothing. The import volume of raw materials and semi-manufactures increased by 15% in December 1994 compared with December 1993.

Significant increases in import volume were noted of raw cotton and man-made fibres. However, the import volume of silk fabrics and woven cotton fabrics declined.

12

Imports of fuels increased by 6.1% in volume in December 1994 compared with December 1993.

As regards capital goods, the import volume increased by 9.0% in December 1994 over December 1993.

Notable increases were recorded in the import volume of electrical machinery and office machines. The import volume of transport equipment and textile machinery however declined.

Comparing December 1994 with December 1993, the import prices of most end-use categories increased: raw materials and semi-manufactures (+8.1%), foodstuffs (+5.8%), consumer goods (+4.8%) and capital goods (+3.0%). The import prices of fuels however decreased by 1.7%.

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

The report will be on sale around March 13 at $9 a copy at the Government Publications Centre on the ground floor, Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway; or at the Publications Section of the Census and Statistics Department on the 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.

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

End/Thursday, March 9, 1995

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

Comparing DEC 1994 Comparing JAN-DEC 1994 with DEC 1993 with JAN-DEC 1993

■ End-use category % changes % changes

Value Unit Value Volume Value Unit Value Volume

Foodstuffs 39.0 3.3 36.3 23.7 2.3 21.7

Consumer goods 5.6 2.8 3.3 11.4 1.5 9.7

Raw materials and semi-manufactures 21.4 6.4 13.7 23.0 1.3 21.3

Fuels 16.7 -2.6 17.4 6.1 -9.0 14.3

Capital goods 9.2 2.7 9.1 14.6 2.0 13.5

ALL COMMODITIES 11.2 3.6 8.1 15.2 1.5 13.8

i

14

Table 2 : Changes in domestic exports by principal commodity group

Comparing DEC 1994 Comparing JAN-DEC 1994 with DEC 1993 with JAN-DEC 1993

Commodity group % changes % changes

Value Unit Value Volume Value Unit Value Volume

Clothing * 2.8 -3.1 1.7 2.2 -0.2

Textile fabrics -8.5 3.0 -11.3 -8.3 -1.1 -7.4

Textile yarn and thread 6.9 10.0 -2.0 0.4 2.0 -0.8

Textile made-ups and related articles 78.1 12.7 54.7 22.8 6.7 12.7

Radios of all kinds -61.6 2.1 -58.5 -58.9 0.9 -57.5

Electronic components -1.2 4.0 -4.6 6.6 3.0 2.9

Footwear -41.3 -6.3 -40.6 -24.2 -4.3 -23.8

Metal manufactures -12.8 2.4 -14.6 -1.7 2.2 -1.8

Metal ores and scrap 23.1 7.2 9.4 2.9 1.2 -1.0

Watches and clocks 23.1 2.8 19.2 0.3 1.9 -1.3

Travel goods, handbags and similar articles 6.8 3.4 4.4 -3.0 3.2 -5.4

Domestic electrical appliances -24.7 -0.8 -24.5 -13.7 1.5 -17.1

ALL COMMODITIES -2.2 2.0 -4.6 -0.4 1.6 -2.3

less than 0.05%

Table 3 : Changes in imports by end-use category

Comparing DEC 1994 with DEC 1993 Comparing JAN-DEC 1994 with JAN-DEC 1993 % changes

End-use category % changes

Value Unit Value Volume Value Unit Value Volume

Foodstuffs 19.4 5.8 13.5 18.5 1.8 16.7

Consumer goods 11.7 4.8 6.7 13.0 3.1 10.9

Raw materials and semi-manufactures 24.8 8.1 15.2 21.6 3.7 16.8

Fuels 7.1 -1.7 6.1 23.4 -12.8 39.5

Capital goods 11.2 3.0 9.0 14.7 2.2 12.5

ALL COMMODITIES 16.2 5.4 10.4 16.7 2.8 14.0

End/Thursday, March 9, 1995

16

HA reaches out to elderly through community medical teams * * * * *

Two Deputy Secretaries for Health and Welfare, Mrs Shelley Lau and Mr Robert Wilson, today (Thursday) joined the Community Geriatric Assessment Team of Kwong Wah Hospital in their visit to Chi Lin Care and Attention Home in Diamond Hill to see for themselves how the Hospital Authority provides reaching-out services direct to elderly persons in residential institutions.

"Mr Wilson and I have started working closely together to monitor the implementation of the 71 recommendations of the Working Group on Care for the Elderly. This represents the new integrated approach Government has adopted in providing health care and welfare services for the elderly," Mrs Lau said.

The Kwong Wah Hospital's Community Geriatric Assessment Team, which is headed by a Consultant Geriatrician, Dr Chan Ming-hung, is one of the five teams now operating under the Hospital Authority to provide out-reach medical services to senior citizens requiring regular health care services but do not need hospitalisation.

Members of the team include doctors, nurses, social workers and allied health professionals.

During the visit, Mrs Lau and Mr Wilson learned that the service had been very successful and was welcomed by elderly persons. They also learned that the Hospital Authority had plans to establish three more teams in the coming year to provide more comprehensive coverage to elderly persons in the community.

Accompanied by the Deputy Director (Operations and Service Development) of the Hospital Authority, Dr Dickson Chang, Mrs Lau and Mr Wilson first observed how elderly persons were assessed by the Community Geriatric Assessment Team.

17

They later joined the elderly in the Physiotherapy Unit to see how they received the treatment that would help them restore or maintain physical ability.

Dr Chang explained to Mrs Lau and Mr Wilson that the community geriatric assessment service was first introduced by the Hospital Authority in 1993/94 to meet the growing demand for social and medical services of the increasing elderly population in the community.

"The teams pay regular visits to elderly homes to do medical assessment and follow-up. This will facilitate the continuity of care, provide timely diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of the health problems, and contribute to secondary and tertiary prevention to improve the functional status and quality of life for the elderly."

Dr Chang pointed out that the Hospital Authority was committed to developing these community-based assessment teams with the objectives to improve the health of elderly persons and to decrease the number of elderly persons requiring hospitalisation.

At present, more than 14,000 elderly persons reside in such institutions run by non-government organisations.

"Such teams are able to improve significantly the physical and cognitive functions of the elderly.

"Take the Chi Lin Care and Attention Home as an example. In quantitative terms, the monthly average out-patient attendance of residents of the home has dropped by 4.8 times, accident and emergency attendance by 100 per cent and hospital admissions by 37.6 per cent," Dr Chang said.

"The health care professionals of the teams provide expert and timely assessment of both the high-risk elderly and their home environment through domiciliary visits with a view to providing early treatment of medical conditions and reducing the incidence of falls and fractures.


- 18 -

"They also give specialist advice and education programmes to the general public and other health care providers on the knowledge and skills required in the care of the elderly."

These teams therefore can promote better interface between medical and welfare facilities by providing specialist support in the form of medical/nursing care and rehabilitation service for elderly persons in residential homes.

At present, the five Community Geriatric Assessment Teams under the Hospital Authority are able to serve more than 6,500 elderly persons a year. With the setting up of three more teams in 1995/96, care will be provided to an additional 4,900 persons each year.

As recommended by the working group, these teams will extend their services to non- residential setting and take referrals from home help teams, social centres, day care centres and other social service units.

End/Thursday, March 9, 1995

HK shares experiences on CITES implementation *****

A Conservation Officer of the Agriculture and Fisheries Department, Dr So Ping-man, today (Thursday) shared Hong Kong's experiences on implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) at a seminar in Seoul.

Jointly organised by the Ministry of Environment of Korea and the TRAFFIC East Asia, the seminar on international trade of wild fauna and flora was participated by about 120 experts, Korean medicinal specialist and representatives from Korean Management and Scientific Authorities.

The primary objective of the seminar was to strengthen awareness of controls over the trade of endangered species, especially among traders, medicinal specialists, traditional doctors and relevant government officials.

19

The seminar placed its focus on improving the effectiveness of CITES implementation; protection of endangered species among oriental medicinal specialists and controlling illegal trade and reinforcing customs inspections.

Speaking at the seminar, Dr So pointed out that Hong Kong had for many years been fully committed to the implementation of CITES. It had one of the strictest legislation in the region.

He said in support of international concern over the use of endangered species, especially rhino and tiger ingredients, in traditional Chinese medicines, the Hong Kong Government had stepped up controls last year.

Apart from prohibiting the import and export of rhino and tiger parts, Hong Kong's legislation also prohibited the possession and trading of medicine containing or claiming to contain rhino or tiger ingredients.

On the enforcement side, an Endangered Species Protection Liaison Group was set up in late 1993 to co-ordinate enforcement actions of the Customs, Police and the Agriculture and Fisheries Department.

Last year, there were a total of 557 successful prosecutions under the Animals and Plants (Protection of Endangered Species) Ordinance, resulting in a total fine of $ 1.4 million.

The levels of penalties for such offences had also been sharply increased early this year to reflect the seriousness Hong Kong attached to this kind of offences.

People who illegally trade in highly endangered species will now have to face a maximum penalty of a $5 million fine and imprisonment for two years.

Dr So was glad to share his experiences on Hong Kong's implementation of CITES with the participants at the seminar, stressing that co- operation in the region was vital in stamping out such illegal trade.

End/Thursday, March 9, 1995

20

Safety first on construction sites *****

The Chief Factory Inspector of the Labour Department, Mr Chan Talking, today (Thursday) reminded building contractors of the importance of taking proactive safety precautions before the commencement of any construction works, even though they were having a hectic construction schedule.

Mr Chan said proper design and plan for safety should be incorporated into construction processes, particularly those having an inherent hazardous nature.

He advised contractors of the following salient points in preparing safety plans for work processes:

* identify and assess the risks involved;

* devise a safe system of work;

* prepare a method statement for the work;

* properly brief all workers engaged in the work; and

* assign a competent person to supervise the work.

"For more complex work processes, such as the use of heavy machinery's or sophisticated methods of construction, a qualified engineer should be assigned to assume overall supervision instead of leaving it simply to a chargehand or just a hand- pick from among the team of workers," Mr Chan said.

"Whenever foreign workers are involved, they have to be trained, instructed and informed of the work procedures in their language to avoid any misunderstandings," he added.

The Chief Factory Inspector pointed out that it was equally important for contractors to ensure proper co-ordination and communication among supervisors and workers at all levels on a construction site to enhance safety.

21

"Failing to implement safety precautionary measures is definitely a breach of safety legislation which may end up in court," he said.

"If anything went wrong as a result of such failure or gross negligence, it could give rise to other legal actions outside the safety laws."

Meanwhile, a team of experienced Factory Inspectors, led by Superintendent of Factory Inspectors Wong Ching-kwok of the New Airport and Railway Office, are still investigating the fatal accident which occurred on the Route 3 site in Kwai Chung on February 24.

They are working together with the professionals in the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department and the Highways Department in carrying out in-depth investigations.

Mr Chan said: "The cause of the mishap will be useful in the prevention of similar accidents from occurring again."

End/Thursday, March 9, 1995

1000-Day Regiment takes the field *****

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

Hong Kong's newest and shortest-lived regiment, the Hong Kong Logistic Support Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps, is to conduct a field training exercise from tomorrow (Friday) to March 12.

On a day-to-day basis members of the Logistic Support Regiment are employed in a variety of special occupations, from cooks to drivers, storemen to mechanics. However, like all members of the British Army, they are required to be fighting soldiers first and foremost, and the exercise is designed to test their abilities under a series of difficult conditions.

22

The regiment, known as the 1000-Day Regiment because of its short life span, is unusual in that it is made up of personnel of three different nationalities. Two 20-man platoons, of British, Gurkha and Chinese soldiers, will begin their training on Stonecutters Island before taking part in an exercise at Sai Kung Country Park, Lo Wu Camp and Castle Peak Ranges.

The Logistic Support Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps, was formed in April 1994 as part of the drawdown of British Forces in the territory and the need to concentrate and manage the remaining logistic expertise. The regiment employs over 500 military and civilian personnel and has its headquarters at Osborn Barracks, Kowloon Tong.

Attention news editors:

You are invited to cover the exercise on Saturday (March 11). Photo opportunities will be provided to see members of the regiment abseiling at High Island Camp and attempting a water obstacle course at Wong Shek Pier.

A coach will be provided to carry the media from Prince of Wales Barracks in Central to High Island. The coach will depart at 8.15 am and those attending should arrive at the barrack no later than 8 am. The coach will leave High Island at 1.30 pm and return to the Prince of Wales Barracks.

End/Thursday, March 9, 1995

Social Welfare Department awards subvention review contract * * * * *

The Social Welfare Department today (Thursday) awarded a $6.4 million contract to Coopers & Lybrand Management Consultants Limited to review the existing social welfare subvention administration.

23

The review, expected to be completed in 18 months, is conducted with a view to achieving better value for money and to strengthening the department's partnership with non-governmental organisations as well as to simplify existing subvention allocation procedures.

The contract-signing ceremony took place at the press conference room of the Government Information Services.

End/Thursday, March 9, 1995

Applications invited for visual arts development projects

* * * * *

The following is issued on behalf of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council:

The Visual Arts Committee of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (ADC) is inviting applications from qualified individuals or groups to carry out seven visual arts development projects.

Altogether, $900,000 will be allocated for these projects which are aimed at nurturing and developing an environment conducive to the planning, promotion and production of visual arts activities.

The titles of the seven projects are:

* The Hong Kong Artists' Series Pilot Publication Scheme

* A Pilot Programme to Promote Exhibition Activities in Local Primary and Secondary Schools

* The Establishment of a Frame Bank - A Pilot Scheme

24

* A Pilot Study on Establishing an Archival System on Existing Resources, Information, Materials and Research Studies Related to Visual Arts Development in Hong Kong

* The Survival of Visual Artists Training Programme

* A Pilot Study on Establishing a Development Scheme for Visual Arts Organisations

* A Needs Assessment Study on Establishing a Dedicated Academy for Cultural Studies, Literary Arts and Visual Arts in Hong Kong

A sum of $200,000 will be allocated to each of the first two projects while the rest will each be given $100,000.

Any individuals or organisations wishing to apply for one or more of the seven projects are requested to submit a concrete and elaborate project proposal, along with a detailed account of the individual's qualifications or the past project records of the organisation.

"Interested parties should obtain from the Secretary of the Visual Arts Committee a specific information sheet outlining the specifications for developing the proposals for each individual project," a spokesman for the ADC said today (Thursday).

"The proposals will be considered by the committee at the end of March this year," he said, adding that all submitted documents would be held in strict confidence and returned to the applicants upon request if the proposals failed to be selected.

All applications and supporting documents should be submitted in written form to the Secretariat of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council in Room 4004, 40th floor, Revenue Tower, 5 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai , Hong Kong (fax no. 2519 9301) on or before March 25.

Enquiries regarding the seven projects can be made on 2594 5627.

End/Thursday, March 9, 1995

25

Public urged to support heritage preservation

*****

The mammoth port and airport development and other construction programmes in Hong Kong have necessitated major archaeological rescue excavations which have helped to increase significantly the public's knowledge of prehistoric activities in the territory, the Secretary for Recreation and Culture, Mr James So, said today (Thursday).

These excavations have been carried out by the Antiquities and Monuments Office (AMO) of the Recreation and Culture Branch as well as outside parties commissioned on a project by project basis.

. . . • .."i i... .

"It has been heartening that recently funds for many of these excavation projects have come from the developers of the sites in question, indicating that heritage preservation is gaining greater recognition and more support from the private sector," Mr So said.

"The Jockey Club has also been particularly supportive with grants for archaeological excavations."

However, he pointed out that these efforts would be largely in vain if heritage preservation was merely an academic pursuit of interest to a handful of scholars.

"The community must also be positively involved in order to show concern, to appreciate and to leam from the relics of our past," he added.

Mr So was speaking at the opening of the five-day Conference on Archaeology in Southeast Asia, organised by the University of Hong Kong's Museum and Art Gallery with the assistance of the AMO.

•>' -."I r- . (

He said up to the present, 51 items including ancient rock carvings, archaeological sites and historical structures had been declared as monuments in Hong Kong, with 10 other outstanding examples of historical architecture deemed as such.

• ■ • 4 *w a •

Furthermore, 340 buildings have been graded, which will serve as a pool for selection for further protection. .

26

The Government is also planning to set up another heritage trail in Kam Tin, Yuen Long, in addition to the existing one in Ping Shan, to cater for the increasing public wish to learn about Hong Kong's heritage.

Mr So told the gathering that to promote awareness of the local heritage amongst the public, and in particular among young people, seminars, workshops, field studies, lectures, exhibitions, and voluntary services such as maintenance of historic sites and processing of archaeological finds were frequently organised.

The Lord Wilson Heritage Trust has provided funding support to schools and youth groups for the organisation of heritage-related activities, and sponsored a number of large-scale promotional and educational programmes, including this international conference and a 13-episode weekly television programme on Hong Kong's heritage.

A learning package on local history for junior secondary students is being prepared by the Curriculum Studies Department of the University of Hong Kong, providing useful reference materials to assist younger generation in their venture into the 6,000 years of local history.

Mr So said Hong Kong was also maintaining cultural exchange programmes with neighbouring territories.

"An archaeological study at Sha Tsui Tau, Tung Chung, is being conducted jointly by the Antiquities and Monuments Office and the General Office of the Shenzhen Committee for Protection of Antiquities and Monuments, the Guangdong Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology and the Anthropology Department of the Zhong Shan University," he said.

He remarked that the task of heritage preservation, conservation and education was never-ending.

"A great deal of work has yet to be done and we need continued support from both organisations and individuals to further our work," he added.

End/Thursday, March 9, 1995

27

Immigration investigators catch 51 illegal workers

*****

Immigration investigators arrested 51 people suspected to have taken up unapproved employment as workers in restaurants or offices during a large-scale operation in Tsim Sha Tsui and Yau Ma Tei today (Thursday).

Six of them were also found to have overstayed in Hong Kong.

Of the 33 women and 18 men arrested, 29 were Filipinos, five Pakistanis, five Sri Lankans, eight Chinese, one Bangladeshi, one Indian, one Belgian and one Korean.

Among them, 28 were foreign domestic helpers and the rest were visitors.

A Chinese woman is helping with investigation.

Acting on information, 78 officers were mobilised to check a large number of business establishments and residential premises.

A spokesman for the Immigration Department said visitors were not allowed to take up any employment, whether paid or unpaid, without permission from the Director of Immigration.

"Foreign domestic helpers should only take up domestic duties for their contract employers and are not permitted to work part-time or engage in nondomestic duties.

ft . f. .

"Those who breach their conditions of stay will be prosecuted and on conviction, the maximum penalty is a fine of $5,000 and imprisonment for two years," he said.

People who aid and abet others to commit the offences are also liable to prosecution and penalty, he added.

End/Thursday, March 9, 1995

28

Weakened water supply to Tsuen Wan on Saturday

*****

Fresh water supply to some premises in Tsuen Wan will be weakened from 11 pm on Saturday (March 11) to 3 pm the following day to facilitate water mains connection.

The affected areas include Texaco Road, Yeung Uk Road, Hoi Hing Road, Tsuen Wan MTR station, Luk Yeung Sun Tsuen, Riveria Garden and those along the section of Castle Peak Road from Tsuen Wan to Ting Kau.

End/Thursday, March 9, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,131 0930 +523

Closing balance in the account 1,266 1000 +523

Change attributable to : 1100 +629

Money market activity +590 1200 +590

LAF today -1,455 1500 +590

1600 +590

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 118.8 *+1.1* 9.3.95

29

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills

EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.13 15 months 2605 6.35 99.78 6.64

1 month 5.30 24 months 2702 7.50 101.00 7.06

3 months 5.88 29 months 3707 6.95 99.74 7.19

6 months 6.24 35 months 3801 8.00 101.77 7.44

12 months 6.56 58 months 5912 8.15 101.27 7.97

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $22,928 million

Closed March 9, 1995

End/Thursday, March 9, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Friday, March 10,1995

Contents Eage No.

Govt to spend more on new non-Airport Core Programme projects .. 1

Banking licence of BCCHK revoked.................................. 3

Broadcasting Authority approves of Pearson's acquisition...... 4

Broadcasting Authority to delete provisions....................... 4

Trade Department to review need for additional rice stockholders at year end.......................................................... 6

Intellectual Property Department rolls out on the information super highway........................................................... 8

Board supports listing of Mai Po and Inner Deep Bay as a Ramsar site............................................................. 10

Waterloo Road development plan published...................... 11

Works for river trade terminal development approved.............. 13

Drainage channel....

Contents

Page No,

Drainage channel to alleviate flooding.................................. 14

Siu Mo To jetty to serve new airport.................................... 15

330 additional supported employment places.............................. 16

Careers information counts.......................................... 17

Sai Kung Police Station stops displaying weather signal............. 18

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

)

1

Govt to spend more on new non-Airport Core Programme projects *****

The Government intends to start work on 114 new non-Airport Core Programme projects at a total cost of $2.9 billion in 1995-96 to further uplift the Public Works Programme (PWP), the Secretary for Works, Mr James Blake, said today (Friday).

Mr Blake said: "Expenditure on these public works projects outside the Airport Core Programme (ACP) in 1995-96 will be 70 per cent more than that for 1994-95.

"The effort to uplift our performance for the betterment of Hong Kong people is reflected in an 8 per cent increase in the 1995-96 PWP expenditure in real terms, excluding land acquisition and purchase of properties."

In the longer term, Mr Blake said the Government planned to spend $105 billion between 1994 and 1999 on non-ACP capital works.

Major projects due to begin in 1995-96 or after include the Lantau Port Development Phase I, Tseung Kwan O Hospital, Tin Shui Wai reserve zone development and the South Tsing Yi Duplicate Bridge.

On the Lantau Port Development, Mr Blake said: "It is important that we should continue our forward planning and implementation of projects to maintain our competitiveness and to meet the growing demand for port facilities."

He noted that port activities in Hong Kong had been growing at an average annual rate of 20 per cent in the past five years. They account for 20 per cent of the GDP in Hong Kong.

"The Lantau Port scheme will be developed progressively in the next few years. It will expand the Western Harbour Anchorage significantly by way of building a 4,300-metre breakwater between Lamma Island and Cheung Chau, and reclamation to provide land for four new container terminals with 17 berths and port related industries, transport infrastructure and marine support services.

- 2 -

"The scheme will also considerably enhance our ability to handle the fast growing river trade with China.

"The Government has commissioned consultancy studies on the design of the reclamation and terminal quay structures. In parallel, detailed planning and design of ancillary works are being undertaken. We hope the first new berths will be ready for use by early 1998."

On other major projects, he noted that the Tin Shui Wai Reserve Zone Development would produce about 40,000 residential units in the private and public sectors.

The Tseung Kwan O Hospital will provide 450 beds upon completion in 1999. Work on the South Duplicate Tsing Yi Bridge is targeted to begin later this year for completion in early 1999.

Turning to PWP expenditure, Mr Blake said: "The actual spending for 1994.95 will be about 96 per cent of the Budget estimate.

"This will be the second consecutive year that we are able to keep the PWP spending so close to the estimate. It is a big improvement when you compare with the 39 per cent underspending in 1991-92 and 23.9 per cent in 1992-93 before a package of measures was put in place to strengthen our control and monitoring of PWP spending.

"Certainly, we are not complacent with this figure and would continue to improve our management and ability to deliver the PWP programme on time and within budget," Mr Blake said.

End/Friday, March 10, 1995

3

Banking licence of BCCHK revoked *****

The banking licence of the Bank of Credit and Commerce Hong Kong Limited (BCCHK) has now been revoked, a Government spokesman announced today (Friday).

He emphasised that the revocation of BCCHK's banking licence was merely a technical step and would not prejudice the interests of creditors with outstanding claims on the bank.

The BCCHK has ceased to carry on banking business and is being wound up in pursuant to an order by the High Court in March 1992.

The spokesman explained that Monetary Authority had not sought an earlier revocation of BCCHK's banking licence for the purpose of retaining its statutory powers in relation to the bank, including the power to gather information about the institution's affairs.

"The joint Special Managers also found it useful to retain the banking status in pursuing claims on behalf of the BCCHK," he added.

"With the liquidation at a very advanced stage, the Monetary Authority is now of the view that the need to retain the BCCHK's status as a licensed bank is no longer necessary and this is also agreed by the Official Receiver who is the liquidator," the spokesman said.

At present, there are 179 licensed banks in Hong Kong, of which 148 are incorporated outside the territory.

End/Friday, March 10, 1995

4

Broadcasting Authority approves of Pearson's acquisition $ * * * *

The Broadcasting Authority has approved an application by Pearson plc, a British company, for the acquisition of 10 per cent of the issued share capital ofTVB.

"In approving the application, the Broadcasting Authority has taken account of the fact that after the acquisition, Pearson, a company not ordinarily resident in Hong Kong, will have no significant influence or control over the affairs of TVB which will remain very substantially in the hands of persons who are ordinarily resident in Hong Kong," a spokesman for the Authority said.

Pearson is an international media group listed on the London Stock Exchange. According to information provided by Pearson to the Broadcasting Authority, its interests include the Financial Times, the Economist Group (50%), Thames Television, BSkyB (14.9%) and Yorkshire - Tyne Tees Television (14%).

End/Friday, March 10, 1995

Broadcasting Authority to delete provisions

* * * * *

The Broadcasting Authority decided at its meeting yesterday (Thursday) to delete, from the television codes of practice, certain provisions which were no longer appropriate.

5

First, the provision prohibiting programmes containing any matter which "is likely to be injurious to community well-being or morality, or otherwise undesirable in the public interest" is deleted because it is too vague and possibly inconsistent with the Bill of Rights.

Second, the restriction on the repeat of feature films is abolished.

A spokesman for the Broadcasting Authority said: "The Broadcasting Authority considered the restriction an unwarranted interference in the programming of the licensees.

"With the increase in the number of TV channels in Hong Kong, TV stations should be allowed to adjust their programme Scheduling in response to the market force at play."

Third, advertisements on female sanitary products may be broadcast at any hour of the day.

However, the present restriction of two such advertisements in any hour (except in women's programmes where no more than three may be broadcast in a half-hour programme or five in a one-hour programme) should remain unchanged.

The spokesman said these changes arose from the mid-term review of the licences of TVB and ATV.

They had been made after considering public opinions and the views of the TV stations concerned. "The changes will take effect from March 13, 1995, " the spokesman said.

The Broadcasting Authority also considered a number of complaints against TV and radio programmes.

It decided to advise TVB, in respect of a promo for "Focus on Focus" showing excerpts of a male strip show, that material unsuitable for children's viewing should not have been screened in close proximity to the family viewing hours.

6

Wharf Cable would be advised that a music video containing violence sequences should have been advertised as not suitable for children in both the programme guide and on screen prior to its broadcast.

The Broadcasting Authority also decided to advise ATV, in connection with a lucky draw contest for the programme "The Most Popular TV Commercial Awards Live", to observe more closely the provision in the Television Ordinance that the results of a television contest should be determined by the skill or knowledge of the participants and not by chance.

At yesterday's meeting, the Broadcasting Authority also gave approval for Wharf Cable Ltd. to establish a wholly-owned subsidiary, to be known as "New Television Ltd.", to produce and distribute programmes as well as to develop new channels for Wharf Cable.

End/Friday, March 10, 1995

Trade Department to review need for additional rice stockholders at year end ***** > : i

The Trade Department said today (Friday) there was no urgent need to register any new rice stockholders upon the de-registration of a stockholder in January this year but the department would review the position at the end of this year. u

During the annual renewal of registration of stockholders for the year ending December 31, 1995, the stockholder, Kian Gwan Co (China) Ltd, had informed the department that it did not wish to renew its registration.

•V . j

A spokesman for the department explained that imports of rice were subject to a control scheme, to ensure a regular and adequate supply and to maintain a reserve stock for emergency purposes.

7

"Under the scheme, imports of rice for local consumption are governed by quotas. The quotas are divided among a number of companies registered as stockholders who are obliged to hold at any time 45 tonnes of rice as reserve stock for each unit of quota," he said.

"At the end of 1994, 1,000 units of quota were distributed to 46 registered stockholders. Kian Gwan Co (China) Ltd, which held 40 units of import quota, had decided not to renew its registration as stockholder from January 1995. "Since then, we have received a few enquiries on how we are going to dispose the 40 units of import quota surrendered by Kian Gwan."

The spokesman said after careful deliberations, the Trade Department concluded that there was no urgent need to invite applicants to take up these quotas for the time being.

"There are three reasons for coming up with such a conclusion," he said.

"First, although the non-allocation of 40 units means that the amount of reserve stock has been reduced from 45,000 tonnes to 43,200 tonnes, the shortfall of 1,800 tonnes is only equivalent to two days' consumption. The remaining reserve stock is sufficient for 48 days' consumption and would still be adequate for Hong Kong's need.

"Second, the non-allocation does not mean that there has been any shortfall in rice import. In effect, the amount used to be imported by Kian Gwan is shared among the existing 45 stockholders.

"Third, the rice market in terms of the sharing among the stockholders is rather pluralistic. The addition or decrease in one or two stockholders would not have any significant impact on improving and reducing competition. "Nevertheless, the department will monitor the rice market and review the situation at the end of this year."

The spokesman said the question had been discussed at the Rice Advisory Committee meeting chaired by the Director-General of Trade earlier this week.

8

Members of the advisory committee, including rice importers, wholesalers, retailers and a few professionals, generally agreed to the department's views.

He pointed out that the annual total consumption of rice in Hong Kong had been on a gradual decrease in recent years despite a steady increase in population.

"In 1990, Hong Kong people consumed more than 350,000 tonnes of rice. Last year, the figure dropped to 328,240 tonnes. This is largely due to the increasing affluence of the population and the availability of diverse choice of other staple food like bread and noodles," he said.

"Nevertheless, rice is still the most important staple diet which has emotional connotations among Chinese people. The reserve stock has been psychologically reassuring to Hong Kong people at times of crises. It also serves as a cushion against overseas fluctuations in supply. Rice prices have been quite stable in recent years."

End/Friday, March 10, 1995

Intellectual Property Department rolls out on the information super highway *****

The Hong Kong Government's Intellectual Property Department (IPD) is one of the first Hong Kong Government departments to set up an information centre on the INTERNET World Wide Web.

Over 20 million people all over the world (over 10,000 of them in Hong Kong) with computers connected to the INTERNET can now read news about Hong Kong's efforts to promote intellectual property protection, and get simple information on copyright and how to apply to register trademarks and patents free of charge.

9

Apart from running Hong Kong's Patents and Trademarks Registries, the IPD has the task of promoting a respect for intellectual property rights in Hong Kong.

"The INTERNET World Wide Web is an obvious choice for putting across our message," an IPD spokesman said today (Friday).

"More and more schools, universities, professional people and commercial organisations are linking to the INTERNET, and computer-literate people are the targets for one of our most important messages - 'Always use licensed computer software'."

Apart from the sort of information brochures we provide at our enquiry counters (for example "how to apply ..." information and our Performance Pledge), we plan for the centre to operate like a news-sheet.

"We have also invited contributions from the collecting societies, which collect royalties for musical and video performances, as well as groups like the Business Software Alliance," the spokesman said.

"Although the INTERNET is a centre for computer enthusiasts, we have to remember that all types of intellectual property rights need to be protected.

"I hope that later, we will get offers of contributions from other organisations interested in IP protection outside the Government to add to our 'news- sheet'.

"Unfortunately, because of technical limitations, the World Wide Web cannot display information in Chinese at present."

To connect to IPD's information centre, one needs a computer linked to the INTERNET through a MODEM, which allows computers to pass data across telephone lines, like a fax machine.

Most people use special software available from INTERNET (which comes with a free licence for evaluation purposes or use by students or in nonprofit organisations) to search for information on the World Wide Web. Some common pieces of software are called "Mosaic" and "Netscape".

10

With such a programme installed on one's computer, one just types in the "address" of the IPD information centre, and the programme will take one straight to it.

For those already connected to the INTERNET World Wide Web, they can connect to the Intellectual Property Department Web Page at:

http://www.houston.com.hk/hkgipd/

End/Friday, March 10, 1995

Board supports listing of Mai Po and Inner Deep Bay as a Ramsar site *****

The Town Planning Board was today (Friday) briefed on the Govemor-in-Council's decision to approve the proposal to list Mai Po and Inner Deep Bay as a Ramsar site.

The Board was informed that consultation on the proposal was being carried out by the Agriculture and Fisheries Department with possible listing in May this year.

The listing would put an area of 1,500 hectares of wetland under protection.

In addition, financial allocation has been made for conducting a consultancy study soon to develop a comprehensive and active conservation management plan for the area.

Measures would include habitat creation and restoration, ecological survey and monitoring as well as vegetation and wildlife management.

11

The Board recognises the importance of Mai Po and Inner Deep Bay as a wetland habitat for water birds and migratory birds and has in the past asked the Government to designate it as a "Wetland of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat" under the Ramsar Convention as a matter of urgency and to take the necessary steps to have it preserved and managed.

Therefore, the Board strongly supports the proposal to list Mai Po and Inner Deep Bay as a Ramsar site and will give weight to it in considering applications for development in the area in future.

Members of the Board also called for better co-ordination of developments on both sides of the border in this sensitive region so as not to jeopardise its importance as a nature reserve of international significance.

They were informed that there are already established channels for such exchange of views between the authorities.

End/Friday, March 10, 1995

Waterloo Road development plan published

*****

The Town Planning Board today (Friday) published the draft Land Development Corporation (LDC) Waterloo Road/Yunnan Lane Development Scheme Plan and the associated Land Use Diagram for a proposed redevelopment scheme in Yau Ma Tei.

The 0.42-hectare scheme area is bounded by Waterloo Road, Portland Street, Man Ming Lane and Shanghai Street, including Yunnan Lane and a section of Shek Lung Street.

Most of the buildings in the area are six-storey completed before 1966. They are used mostly for residential purpose on upper floors with shops and metal/electrical workshops on ground floor.

12

The area is in severe shortage of public open space and up-to-standard community facilities.

"The scheme area is designated as 'Comprehensive Development Area' to facilitate the LDC to undertake comprehensive development for the area," a spokesman for the Town Planning Board said.

"The scheme plan provides a planning framework for the redevelopment of the scheme area by restructuring the existing land uses and street patterns," he said.

The proposed development, as shown on the Land Use Diagram, comprises a commercial/office complex, Govemment/Institution/Community (GIC) uses and a large public open space.

The proposed GIC facilities include a refuse collection point, a public latrine, a hostel for single persons, a day nursery and a public toilet for the disabled. »

Meanwhile, a public open space of 1,650 square metres will be provided at the comer of Portland Street and Man Ming Lane to serve the nearby residents, the spokesman added.

To achieve efficiency in land use, Yunnan Lane and a section of Shek Lung Street will be closed. Underground car parking and loading/unloading facilities will be provided on basement levels.

"LDC will be required to submit a master layout plan for the scheme area to the Town Planning Board for approval," the spokesman said.

The draft scheme plan No. S/K2/LDC1/1 is available for public inspection until May 10 at:

* Planning Department, 16th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong;

13

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

* Yau Tsim Mong District Office, sixth floor, Mong Kok Government Offices, 30 Luen Wan Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon.

Any person affected by the scheme plan may submit a written objection to the Secretary of the Town Planning Board, c/o Planning Department, 13th floor, Murray Building, before May 10.

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

End/Friday, March 10, 1995

Works for river trade terminal development approved *****

The Government has authorised a developer to carry out dredging, reclamation and submarine infrastructure works in Tuen Mun for the development and operation of a proposed river trade terminal.

The works are tentatively scheduled to begin by early 1996 in phases for completion by 1999 within an area of about 370 hectares of foreshore and seabed.

14

Upon completion, there will be 63.47 hectares of reclaimed land, associated seawalls, and a 10.75-hectare breakwater for the river trade terminal development and a sewage outfall reprovisioning and extension system for the adjoining Pillar Point Sewage Treatment Plant.

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

The plan can also be purchased at the Survey and Mapping Office.

The notice and its related plan can be seen at the Lands Department's Survey and Mapping Office, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road; and at the Tuen Mun District office, second floor, Tuen Mun Government Offices, 1 Tuen Hi Road, Tuen Mun.

Any person who considers that his interest, right or easement in or over the foreshore and seabed involved will be affected may submit a written claim for compensation to the Director of Lands on or before March 10 next year.

He should state in his submission the sum of money that he is willing to accept in full and final settlement of his claim and submit such particulars to substantiate the claim.

End/Friday, March 10, 1995

Drainage channel to alleviate flooding *****

The Government plans to construct a concrete drainage channel in Kam Tin, Yuen Long to alleviate flooding problems in the area.

The channel will be built within an area of about 0.31 hectare of foreshore and seabed at the upstream of Kam Tin River.

The works are scheduled to begin in mid-1996 for completion in late

1998.

15

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

The notice and its related plans can be seen on notice boards posted near the site. The plan can also be seen at the Lands Department's Survey and Mapping Office, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road; and at the Yuen Long District Office, ground floor, Yuen Long District Branch Offices Building, 269 Castle Peak Road, Yuen Long.

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

End/Friday, March 10, 1995

Siu Mo To jetty to serve new airport ♦ * * ♦ ♦

The Civil Engineering Department is inviting tenders for the construction of a jetty at Siu Mo To as part of the government facilities for the new airport at Chek Lap Kok.

A precast concrete block solid pier and a rubble pitched slope catwalk will be built. On completion, they will serve the Civil Aviation Department's equipment station at Siu Mo To.

Construction is expected to start in May and be completed in November this year.

The works have been designed and construction will be supervised by the Ports Works Division of the Civil Engineering Office of the department.

Tender forms and further particulars can be obtained from the Chief Engineer, Port Works Division, Civil Engineering Office, fifth floor, Civil Engineering Building, 101 Princess Margaret Road, Kowloon.

Tender offer will close at noon at the end of this month.

End/Friday, March 10, 1995

16

330 additional supported employment places ♦ * * ♦ *

The Social Welfare Department has secured funding to establish an additional 330 places in supported employment service this year, the Director of Social Welfare, Mr Ian Strachan, said today (Friday).

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Salvation Army Shaukeiwan Day Activity Centre, Mr Strachan said this was a form of employment for disabled persons, which allowed them to work in an integrated open setting with ongoing support service, and to have access to the usual benefits of having a job, such as income at market rates and satisfaction of real work achievement.

"Most important of all, disabled workers would have opportunities to work with ordinary workers, to relate to others in ordinary social situations and to enjoy a fuller social life.

"We are also reviewing the role of sheltered workshops as we wish to see more capable sheltered workers move on to a more independent work settings like supported employment programmes, or even open employment," he said.

Turning to the overall objective in rehabilitation, Mr Strachan said it was to help disabled persons to integrate into the community, to lead an independent life as far as their capability permitted and to enjoy equal opportunities as ordinary citizens.

"For mentally handicapped adults, the day activity centre is designed to provide them basic training in self-care, daily living and social skills, as well as occupational and simple work training.

"Given the chance to develop their potential to the fullest extent possible, some of these trainees can ultimately move on to other programmes such as sheltered workshop. Other may need to stay on for a longer term training and care," he said.

17

For this group of clients, Mr Strachan said the Government was exploring ways to enhance the day care programme so that the life-long burden of families in caring for their mentally handicapped members could be substantially relieved, without having to place their disabled members in institutions as an alternative.

"In this direction, we are considering day care with an extended evening session which provides meals and personal care.

"If realised, this will be a great relief to families who wish to accommodate their disabled members at home," Mr Strachan added.

End/Friday, March 10, 1995

Careers information counts *****

In an era of rapid changes, getting up-to-date information on careers would enable us to develop a successful career with confidence, Assistant Commissioner for Labour Mrs Angela Ho said today (Friday).

Speaking at the 13th Careers Quiz Prize Presentation, she said the aim of setting up the Careers Advisory Service (CAS) was to provide the public, especially young people, with adequate information on career planning.

"Apart from providing different kinds of careers information, the CAS also organises various activities such as the Careers Quiz to help students gain access to up-to-date careers information," Mrs Ho said.

Organised by the CAS, the Careers Quiz aimed at arousing students' awareness of the importance of choosing a suitable career and encouraging them to actively collect first-hand information on careers and training.

A record number of 140,000 students from more than 270 secondary schools in Hong Kong took part in the Quiz. Participants were required to answer 50 multiple choice questions on careers, vocational training as well as labour legislation.

18

"The CAS's careers information centres are the best places to go to for careers information. We hope that students will make good use of them," Mrs Ho added.

She expressed appreciation to the Pentax Camera of Jebson & Company Limited for sponsoring the event and the Information Technology Services Department for marking the quiz papers.

The Manager of Jebson & Company Limited, Mr Yeung Sai-kwong, also presented prizes at the ceremony.

End/Friday, March 10, 1995

Sai Kung Police Station stops displaying weather signal *****

With effect from April 1, day and night signals will no longer be displayed at the tropical cyclone and strong monsoon warning signal station at Sai Kung Police Station.

Visual signals will continue to be displayed at the eight signal stations at the following locations:

* Aberdeen Marine Office,

* Cheung Chau Meteorological Station,

* Lau Fau Shan Police Station,

* Sha Tau Kok Sewage Treatment Works,

* Shau Kei Wan Marine Office,

* Stanley Police Station,

* Tai Lam Small Boat Unit Headquarters, and

* Tai O Police Station.

Signal stations convey very little information. Also the signals may be obscured during adverse weather conditions and by high rise buildings.

19

When tropical cyclone or strong monsoon warning signals are hoisted, information on the signal status, the weather and precautions to take are broadcast frequently by radio and television.

Residents in Hong Kong are therefore advised to listen to the radio or watch the television for the latest information.

Additionally, the public can obtain these information by calling 2835 1473 of the Home Affairs Department's Public Enquiry Service Centre or the Royal Observatory's Dial-a-Weather Service at 1878066 for recorded English weather service and at 1878200 for recorded Cantonese weather service.

End/Friday, March 10, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,266 0930 +1414

Closing balance in the account 1,756 1000 +1414

Change attributable to: 1100 +1355

Money market activity +1,360 1200 +1360

LAF today -870 1500 +1360

1600 +1360

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 118.5 *-0.3* 10.3.95

20

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.88 14 months 2605 6.35 99.76 6.66

1 month 5.22 23 months 2702 7.50 101.02 7.05

3 months 5.79 28 months 3707 6.95 99.79 7.14

6 months 6.14 34 months 3801 8.00 101.84 7.41

12 months 6.53 57 months 5912 8.15 101.56 7.90

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $25,797 million

Closed March 10, 1995

End/Friday, March 10, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Saturday, March 11,1995

Contents Page No.

No loss to Exchange Fund through Barings episode........................ 1

Sir David Trench Fund Committee invites applications for grants..... 2

Special campaign to inspect construction sites.......................... 3

W eather of F ebruary................................................... 4

Fresh water cuts in Tai Po and Central.................................. 7

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

Sunday, March 12,1995

Contents Page Nq.

Commonwealth Day message 1995 from the Queen, Head of the Commonwealth............................................................ 8

Tsing Ma Bridge main cables to be completed next month.................. 9

Guidelines for nominations by arts organisations....................... 10

Teacher training stepped up for TOC implementation.................. 11

Part-time teachers required............................................ 12

Survey of operation of New Territories taxis........................... 13

Fire safety message for students....................................... 14

1

No loss to Exchange Fund through Barings episode

*****

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) said today (Saturday) that there had been no loss to the Exchange Fund through the Barings episode.

The majority of the reserves of the Exchange Fund are managed in-house. Only a minor portion is being invested through a number of external managers and Barings International Investment Management Ltd. (BIIML) is one of them, a HKMA spokesperson said.

Of the portfolio managed by BIIML, 99 per cent is invested in securities and other investments that are placed with approved custodians in the name of the Exchange Fund and are segregated from that of Barings. The Exchange Fund's securities with BIIML were not at risk throughout this episode.

Only a very small cash element - less than one per cent of the portfolio managed by BIIML - was held at Baring Brothers and Co. as working balances.

This amount, which was insignificant, was frozen during the administration.

The HKMA has now received assurances from Barings that this sum will be honoured, and interest will be paid on it for the past two weeks. ING Bank has also publicly stated that these assets will be honoured.

Note to Editors:

For further press enquiries, please contact Ms Julia Leung at 2878 8246 or pager 110040240.

End/Saturday, March 11, 1995

2

Sir David Trench Fund Committee invites applications for grants ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

The Sir David Trench Fund Committee is inviting applications for grants from the Sir David Trench Fund for Recreation and the Jockey Club Grant for Permanent Recreational Facilities for Youth.

The Sir David Trench Fund for Recreation is aimed at providing recreational, sporting, cultural and social activities facilities to promote personal development, purposeful use of leisure and community involvement, particularly of young people.

The Jockey Club grant is mainly for the construction of recreational facilities to meet the needs of young people.

A single application form is available for the two funds.

Application forms are obtainable at all District Offices of the Homes Affairs Department, and at the Education, Social Welfare, Health, Urban Services and Regional Services Departments as well as the Hong Kong Council of Social Service.

They are also available at the Recreation and Sports Division of the Recreation and Culture Branch, and the Secretariat of the Sir David Trench Fund Committee which is responsible for administering both the Sir David Trench Fund for Recreation for capital and non-capital projects and advising on the disbursement of the Jockey Club Grant.

Completed forms should be returned to the Secretariat of the Sir David Trench Fund Committee at Room 4015, 40th Floor, Revenue Tower, 5 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Applications for capital works projects will close on May 20 while that for noncapital works projects is open throughout the year.

Enquiries about the Sir David Trench Fund for Recreation capital works projects and the Jockey Club Grant for permanent facilities for youth can be made on tel 2594 5659 while those about non-capital works projects on tel 2594 5660.

End/Saturday, March 11, 1995

- 3 - v o

Special campaign to inspect construction sites »«■*** •

.• ? h ° 1 •• •r ?.

• 9 ■* ■- • • • • • *

The Labour Department will launch a special two-phase campaign to inspect construction sites in the territory especially those with poor safety records.

The first phase will start on March 13 (Monday) and the second phase, in August. Each phase will last about three months.

•• • *

Deputy Chief Factory Inspector Mr Kan Hon-sang said today (Saturday) that the campaign was aimed at Combating construction site accidents and reminding both the management and the workers of the importance of site safety.

’’From experience, launching a special campaign in addition to day-to-day routine inspections before the advent of the rainy season is effective in enhancing construction site safety,” he added.

* ' ■ • • c X

A special task force comprising experienced factory inspectors has been assigned for the campaign.

The team will be paying particular attention to high risk activities such as working at height, in confined space or with heavy machinery equipment on construction sites with poor accident or prosecution records.

The use of suspended working platforms, lifting appliances, lifting gears and personal protective equipment such as safety belts and safety helmets will also be checked.

"Unscrupulous contractors and workers who choose to ignore construction site safety will be prosecuted without wamiilg," Mr Kan warned.

End/Saturday, March 11, 1995

4

Weather of February

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

February this year was on the whole slightly cooler and drier than normal, a monthly weather report released today (Saturday) by the Royal Observatory said.

The mean air temperature of 15.1 degrees was 0.8 of a degree below normal.

Generally fine and dry weather occurred during the first 12 days of the month but cloudy and rainy conditions prevailed thereafter.

The monthly rainfall of 33.1 millimetres was 31 per cent below the February average. The rainfall for the first two months this year amounted to 54.2 millimetres, 24 per cent below the normal of 71.4 millimetres for the same period.

Under the influence of a northeasterly winter monsoon, the first day of the month was cold and cloudy. However, temperatures rose slightly during the next couple of days as winds turned to the east.

With the arrival of a northerly surge of the winter monsoon on February 4, the weather became sunny and very dry in the next two days during which a total of 120 hill fires were reported.

Daily minimum temperatures fell gradually and the month's lowest temperature of 10.4 degrees was recorded on the early morning of February 6.

It became progressively milder in the next three days. A fresh easterly airflow reached the coast of Guangdong early on February 10. Locally, a scaffolding was blown down in Happy Valley in high winds.

In the next couple of days, the easterlies moderated and the month's highest temperature of 22.3 degrees was reached on a sunny day on February 12.

A trough of low pressure over South China advanced southwards on February 13. As this trough traversed the coast that evening, local weather deteriorated with rain and thunderstorms.

Unsettled weather continued to affect the territory during the following morning but rain eased off in the afternoon. It stayed cloudy and cool with some rain from February 15 to 17.

5

A maritime airstream brought humid and misty weather to Hong Kong on February 18. Inside Victoria Harbour, visibility was reduced to 1,000 metres that morning.

A cool and rainy spell lasted from February 19 until the end of the month.

No tropical cyclone activity was observed over the western North Pacific and the South China Sea in February.

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

Table 1.1 Warnings and signals in February 1995

Wamings/Signals Effective date and time •

Strong Monsoon Signal 4 Feb 2000- 5 Feb 1100

Thunderstorm Warning 13 Feb 1640- 14 Feb 1130

Fire Danger Warnings

Yellow Red Yellow Yellow 1 Feb 0000 - 2 Feb 0605 2 Feb 0605 - 7 Feb 0600 11 Feb 0615- 12 Feb 2315 26 Feb 0610-26 Feb 1415

Gas Heater Alerts 27 Jan 1630- 7 Feb 1630 25 Feb 1630- 26 Feb 1630

6

Table 1.2 Figures and departures from

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

normal - February 1995

96.0 hours; 1.7 hours below normal

8.96 MJ/SQ M;

1.73 MJ/SQ M below normal

33.1 mm; 14.9 mm below normal

72%; 1% below normal

76%; 2% below normal

17.0 degrees Celsius;

1.6 degrees Celsius below normal

15.1 degrees Celsius;

0.8 degree Celsius below normal

13.5 degrees Celsius;

0.4 degree Celsius below normal

10.4 degrees Celsius;

1.4 degrees Celsius below normal

53.5 mm; 25.5 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, March 11, 1995

7

Fresh water cuts in Tai Po and Central * * * * ♦

Fresh water supply to all premises in Hong Lok Yuen, Tai Po and some premises in Central will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm on Monday (March 13) to 6 am the following day to facilitate water mains leakage detection.

The affected areas in Central will include 76-176F Queen's Road Central, 51-133 and 86-164 Wellington Street, 1-49 Gage Street, 2-10A Aberdeen Street, Kin Sau Lane, Staveley Street, 2-18 and 9-27 Peel Street, 1-3IB and 12-26C Graham Street, Gutzlaff Street, Cochrane Street, Tung Tak Lane, 1-2IB and 2-42 Lyndhurst Terrace, 33-47 Pottinger Street, Eira's Lane, Tun Wo Lane and Wa On Lane.

End/Saturday, March 11. 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

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

Opening Balance in the account 1,756 09:30 +485

Closing Balance in the account 1,151 10:00 +485

Change Attributable to: 11:00 +485

Money Market Activity +485 12:00 +485

Laf Today -1,090 15:00

LafRate 4.25% Bid/6.25% Offer TWI 118.7 *+0.2* 11.3.95

End/Saturday, March 11, 1995

8

Commonwealth Day message 1995 from the Queen, Head of the Commonwealth

♦ * * ♦ ♦

The General Assembly has proclaimed 1995 as the United Nations Year for Tolerance, a choice which is particularly appropriate for the Golden Jubilee of the United Nations Organisation itself. The same theme has been chosen for this year’s Commonwealth Day.

We in the Commonwealth can teach the rest of the world something about tolerance, because it is at the heart of the unique association to which we belong. Although our countries are spread all over the world and face many different problems, we know a great deal about each other and it is therefore easier for us to understand each other’s point of view even when we disagree.

That understanding is essential to a tolerant society, which is not simply one which gives to the individual scope and freedom from restraint. Rather it is a society which actively develops the people who belong to it, brings out their gifts and enriches their lives because it values their diversity. It does not condone persecution or the harming of some people by others, but it knows how to make allowances when things go wrong. It can forgive mistakes as well as giving encouragement and guidance on how to avoid them. It knows also that enhancing the quality of life of the individual brings benefit to the family, to the community, to the nation and to international relations.

That sort of tolerance is something which all of us must learn if we are to restore peace in the world, and here the young people of the Commonwealth have a special part to play. The young have the vision and ability to make the world a better place, and are not fettered by experience. They can see where the older generation have made their mistakes through intolerance, and they can do better.

Over the last year we have seen shining examples of this quality in action in the emergence of a new South Africa, which I shall be visiting next week, and in the recent signs of change in Northern Ireland. We pray that these examples will inspire everyone to try harder to make tolerance a universal rule of life. On this Commonwealth Day, as we make the traditional affirmations which are at the centre of the Commonwealth Day Observance. I send to all of you, with these examples in mind, a message of encouragement and hope for the future.

End/Sunday, March 12, 1995

9

Tsing Ma Bridge main cables to be completed next month ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Aerial spinning of the two main cables of the Tsing Ma Bridge is moving ahead rapidly with over 97 per cent of the work completed.

The Project Director of the Lantau Fixed Crossing Project Management Office of the Highways Department, Mr C K Lau, said today (Sunday): "It is a significant milestone that the 2.2 kilometres long main cables will be completed on target next month.

"This will then be followed by the lifting and placement of the bridge’s main deck units, which is scheduled to commence in July," he said.

Mr Lau said the two main cables would be among the largest anywhere in the world with a diameter of 1.1 metres, and will be made up of 28,000 tonnes of wires.

"From July last year, immediately after the successful building of two catwalks spanning the Ma Wan Channel, workers started to build up the two cables wire by wire by a spinning process. Now just nine months later, the work is close to completion," Mr Lau said.

Each main cable consists of 33,400 individual wires, each measuring 5.38 millimetres in diameter and with a total length of 160,000 kilometres, enough to circle the earth about four times.

With a central span of 1,377 metres, the Tsing Ma Bridge will be one of the longest suspension bridges in the world, and will be the longest carrying both road and rail traffic.

The Tsing Ma Bridge forms part of the Lantau Fixed Crossing, which is an essential element of the highway network of the Airport Core Programme linking the new airport at Chek Lap Kok and Tung Chung new town to the urban areas of Kowloon and Central Hong Kong.

It is being constructed by the Anglo Japanese Construction Joint Venture, under a $7.14 billion contract awarded by the Highways Department in May 1992.

"The Tsing Ma Bridge remains on schedule for completion by mid 1997," Mr Lau said.

End/Sunday, March 12, 1995

10

Guidelines for nominations by arts organisations

*****

The Recreation and Culture Branch has published a set of draft guidelines for representative arts organisations and for persons whom they nominate to the proposed statutory Hong Kong Arts Development Council.

Under the Hong Kong Arts Development Council Bill, the Council shall consist of a Chairman, a Vice-chairman, 16 members and four ex officio members.

Out of the 16 members, up to nine persons can be nominated by arts organisations representing the following interests:

* literary arts

* music

* dance

drama

visual arts

* film arts

arts administration

* arts education

* arts criticism

’’The draft guidelines lay down the various conditions to be fulfilled by the arts organisations and their nominees,” a spokesman for the Recreation and Culture Branch said today (Sunday).

’’However, they are illustrative rather than mandatory and should in no circumstances be interpreted as restricting the Governor from exercising his discretion or from taking into account other factors when deciding on the appointment of members of the Council,” he added.

Members of the public are welcomed to send their comments on the guidelines to the Recreation and Culture Branch before the end of this month.

Copies of the guidelines are available at the Culture Division, 40th floor, Revenue Tower. 5 Gloucester Road, Hong Kong. Enquiries can be directed to Ms Iris Tung on tel 2594 5625.

End/Sunday, March 12, 1995

11

Teacher training stepped up for TOC implementation

*****

The Education Department is stepping up teacher training in preparation for Phase I of implementation of Target Oriented Curriculum (TOC) in Primary 1 classes of 76 schools in this September.

A four-day School-based Preparatory Programme will be provided for all teachers in the 76 TOC schools from next month to July to further equip teachers for implementation of the curriculum.

The programme comprising talks, discussions, forums, workshops and reflection sessions will be held in individual schools with contributions from both lecturers of the Education Department's TOC Teacher Education Unit and panel chairmen of the respective school.

The TOC Teacher Education Unit will provide a proposed programme outline while teachers and lecturers will work together to tailor a programme according to the specific requirements of the school.

Participants will take an in-depth look at topics related to the implementation of TOC at school level such as Teaching and Learning, Catering for Individual Difference; Assessment and Reporting.

In addition, participants will work in groups on chosen areas of day-to-day operation such as the Scheme of Work. Assessment and Recording/Reporting Systems, Catering for Individual Differences, Time Tabling and Formation of Task Groups, Lesson Planning, etc. This will be followed by reflection and sharing sessions.

The School-based Preparatory Programme follows a series of two-day TOC seminars attended by 8,655 primary school teachers between January and June last year which introduced the concepts of TOC. and three-day TOC seminars for panel chairpersons which prepared them to become subject leaders in the TOC initiative.

The three-day seminars were held between November 1994 and March 1995 and attended by 2,292 panel chairmen from 1,080 government, aided and private primary schools, including special schools.

Meanwhile, the University of Hong Kong has been commissioned to conduct Workshops for School TOC Initiation between March 25 and late June 1995 in support of the implementation of TOC. These will be attended by principals and TOC Co-ordinators of the 76 Phase I schools.

12

Under the arrangements with the university, there will altogether be five identical programmes comprising talks, presentations, workshops and group discussions for a total of 152 participants.

After the commencement of Phase I implementation in September 1995, a School-based Development Programme will be provided from November 1995.

The Development Programme will aim at providing support for Phase I schools in tackling problems. The mode and approach will be similar to the School-based Preparatory Programme but more flexible in catering for different requirements of individual schools.

The spirit of teacher training for the implementation of TOC is to design different courses to meet the requirements of different personnel in schools.

Accordingly, the concepts of TOC are explained to teachers; panel chairpersons are equipped to become subject leaders; and school heads and TOC co-ordinators prepared to become curriculum leaders. Support in terms of school-based programmes is provided to schools at appropriate times both in the planning and implementation stages.

End/Sunday. March 12. 1995

Part-time teachers required *****

A spokesman for the Education Department reminds qualified persons wishing to fill the evening part-time teaching vacancies in various courses operated in the 1995/96 school year to submit their applications not later than March 25 (Saturday).

The Adult Education Section of the department runs a number of courses in centres throughout the territory. They include the English course, the Government Evening Secondary School Course and the Adult Education Course.

The spokesman said experience in teaching English Language at postsecondary or senior secondary levefs, Chinese language, science, social subjects or commercial subjects at senior secondary level and/or possession of a Diploma/Certificate in Education or Advanced Certificate in Teacher Training would be an advantage.

13

The pay scale for part-time teaching is:

* $330 per hour for post-secondary level subjects;

$275 per hour for senior secondary level subjects;

* $220 per hour for junior secondary level subjects; and

* $200 per hour for primary level subjects.

Completed application forms should reach the Adult Education Section of the Education Department at 11th floor, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai on or before March 25, 1995.

End/Sunday, March 12, 1995

Survey of operation of New Territories taxis ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Transport Department is conducting a survey of operation characteristics and finance of New Territories taxis.

A spokesman for the department said today (Sunday ) that the survey was an annual exercise and comprised a questionnaire and a meter-reading survey.

"Results of the survey will facilitate the formulation of future taxi policy and assessment of fare revision applications from the trade," he said.

About 2,800 New Territories taxi owners were invited to help in the survey.

They are requested to fill in and return a questionnaire and present their taxis for meter-reading at any of the six meter-reading centres in the New Territories.

Letters, questionnaires and sketches showing the locations of the centres have been sent to the selected taxi owners . Interviewees who have'not returned their questionnaires to the Transport Department are urged to do so no later than March 20.

For the meter-reading survey, the selected taxi owners should present their vehicles to the meter-reading centres on both occasions starting from tomorrow (Monday) to Friday (March 17), and from March 20 to 24, between 9.30 am and 12.30 pm or between 2 pm and 4.30 pm.

14

The spokesman urged the owners to participate in the survey to help the department assess the operating condition of the taxi trade.

"The information collected will be used for statistical analysis only,” he said.

End/Sunday, March 12, 1995

Fire safety message for students *****

Fire safety message has reached thousands of primary school students through a series of school talks organised by the Fire Services Department as part of this year's publicity programme on Fire Prevention Campaign.

Officers from the Fire Prevention Bureau have been visiting primary schools throughout the territory since last month to enhance students' awareness on fire prevention. By mid-July, they will have visited 330 schools.

Students were told the various ways to prevent fires which might lead to disastrous damage and what to do if there was an outbreak of fire. They were also asked to help convey the message to their families and neighbours.

The talks are well supported by schools and students.

The Fire Services Department always places great emphasis on public education on fire prevention. In addition to the school talks, it has produced 2,100 sets of a teaching kit for distribution to all primary schools in this year's campaign and organised fire station open days and exhibitions.

End/Sunday, March 12, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Monday, March 13,1995

Contents Page No.

HK supports China's membership in WTO............................. 1

Insurance Authority issues 1994 Annual Report today............... 3

S for S to attend Geneva Conference on Indochinese Refugees.. 5

Savings achieved in Government purchases.......................... 6

Prepare vegetables with care...................................... 7

HK's external trade statistics for January 1995 .................. 9

Air quality report for February.................................. 19

Tender for third issue of 5-year Exchange Fund Notes............  20

Five lots of land up for auction................................. 22

Archaeological study at Tung Chung............................... 23

Airmail services to Afghanistan resumed.......................... 24

Water storage figure............................................. 24

Fresh water cuts in Sham Shui Po and Yuen Long................... 25

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations......... 25

1

HK supports China's membership in WTO *****

Hong Kong sees it particularly important to have China to come back into the multilateral system through World Trade Organisation (WTO) membership, the Secretary for Trade and Industry, Mr T H Chau, said today (Monday).

Speaking at a luncheon meeting of the Hong Kong Exporters' Association, Mr Chau said bringing trade disputes involving China into the multilateral system would be a major step, and a major improvement from Hong Kong's point of view.

Mr Chau said Hong Kong was a staunch supporter of free trade and it was also firmly behind the multilateral system. It sees the WTO as the cornerstone of the new order in world trade and views trade disputes between other economies in the light of the rules of the WTO.

"China is such a large player in world trade that it is unimaginable that she should be kept out of the system for much longer. The WTO cannot properly fulfil its function when the trading relationships of such a big player are not covered by it.

"Once China rejoins, it will not only be possible for China to challenge any trade measures imposed on her by other members, but Hong Kong, as well as any other member, will also be able to question the conformance of such measures with the agreed rules.

"A strong and effective integrated dispute settlement system is a cornerstone of the multilateral trading system. The WTO provides for improved and strengthened rules leading to more prompt and effective resolution of disputes.

"Upon accession to the GATT/WTO, China will have access to this system. China will then be able to defend herself against any trade measures which are not consistent with the WTO rules. China will then not be as easily threatened by unilateral sanctions during bilateral trade disputes.

2

"Clearly, Hong Kong too stands to gain from China's membership. We have therefore actively supported China's membership in the WTO and I look forward very much to China taking its rightful place in the WTO."

On any bilateral dispute between other trading partners, Mr Chau said Hong Kong did not have a direct role to play.

However, this does not mean that the Government should sit idly by.

"As we have done regularly in the past, we strive to minimise the impact which such disputes might have on our traders," Mr Chau said.

i f If *

"We see our role in providing early warnings; in monitoring the development of the dispute; in assessing the impact the dispute may have on Hong Kong; in clarifying with the governments concerned any administrative arrangements which they have in place regarding any trade measures; in giving timely advice to our traders of the measures which might be introduced; in assisting our traders to present their case to the governments concerned, either directly or through trade associations.

"When possible, we would also, by modifying our own rules and procedures, assist our traders to adjust their operations or manufacturing processes in order to avoid, I stress the word 'avoid', not 'circumvent', the impact of any such measures.

"This has been our role in the past and this will continue to be our role in the future."

End/Monday, March 13, 1995

3

Insurance Authority issues 1994 Annual Report today *****

Continued growth of insurance business, coupled with enhanced protection of the interests of policy holders, upholds Hong Kong's status as a major international insurance market.

This was stated in the Annual Report 1994 of the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance and the Registrar of the Occupational Retirement Schemes which was published today (Monday).

Statistics showed that total insurance premiums, comprising general business premiums of $17.1 billion and long term business premiums of $15.5 biilion, increased by 20 per cent to $32.6 billion in 1993.

Underwriting performance for general business turned around from a loss of $13 million in 1992 to a profit of $648 million in 1993. This was largely due to the remarkable underwriting profit of $560 million for motor business compared with a loss of $87 million in 1992.

On the other hand, total number of individual life policies grew by 13 per cent to reach 2.2 million. Contributions for retirement schemes business administered by life insurers also increased by 12 per cent to $4.3 billion.

With 229 authorised insurers in operation, Hong Kong has the highest number of insurers per capita in the world. Of these 229 insurers, 169 write general business, 41 specialise in long term business and the remaining 19 are composite insurers. There are 103 insurers incorporated in Hong Kong while most of the overseas insurers come from the UK and the USA.

To better protect the interests of policy holders, three bills were introduced into the Legislative Council in 1993. These bills were all enacted during 1994 and are now in different stages of implementation.

Following the enactment of these amendment bills, life insurers will be required to maintain more realistic solvency margins which relate to the risk base of their life insurance business instead of keeping a fixed solvency margin. This helps conform to international practice in the supervision of long term insurance business.

4

From May this year, insurers carrying on direct general business are required to maintain sufficient assets in Hong Kong to match their Hong Kong insurance liabilities.

Apart from the above, a legal framework supporting the self-regulation of insurance intermediaries was introduced. It defines the roles and responsibilities of insurance agents and brokers; and also prohibits anyone from operating as an insurance intermediary unless registered or approved pursuant to the Insurance Companies Ordinance.

As a continuous process to improve the prudential supervision of the insurance industry, the Insurance Companies (Amendment) Bill 1995 was gazetted recently. Its main object is to enable beneficial exchange of information between the Insurance Authority and other financial regulators, as well as transfer of general business from one insurer to another.

To respond to reinsurers' withdrawal of unlimited reinsurance cover for motor third party liability and employees' compensation insurance, the Motor Vehicles Insurance (Third Party Risks)(Amendment) Bill 1995 and Employees' Compensation (Amendment) Bill 1995 were gazetted in January this year. These two Bills seek to specify a minimum insurance requirement to replace the unlimited insurance cover currently required.

On the regulation of retirement schemes under the Occupational Retirement Schemes Ordinance (ORSO), one of the first duties of the Registrar of Occupational Retirement Schemes is to register all existing schemes applying for registration within a transitional period of two years ending on October 15, 1995.

Statistics on these schemes covering the period from the commencement of the ORSO on October 15, 1993 to December 31, 1994 are shown in the Report.

!?.'• • -> ' ” . '

The Registrar's Office received 1,869 applications out of which 91 per cent were defined contribution schemes while 9 per cent were defined benefit schemes.

5

It is expected that there are about 20,000 schemes operating in the territory which are required to be registered under the ORSO. The registration deadline is on October 15 this year. Thereafter, it will be an offence for an employer to operate an occupational retirement scheme without the necessary registration. Therefore, employers should act now and apply to register their schemes as soon as possible.

To improve the legislative framework, the Occupational Retirement Schemes (Amendment) Bill 1995 was proposed and gazetted on January 6 this year. Its main provisions are to refine the restricted investment requirement of section 27 of the ORSO and to enable the assets of participating schemes of a pooling agreement governed by trust to be pooled for diversification of investment and greater administrative efficiency.

The report in English is now on sale at $36 each at the Government Publications Centre at Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong. The Chinese version of the Report will be available shortly.

End/Monday, March 13, 1995

S for S to attend Geneva Conference on Indochinese Refugees *****

A Government spokesman confirmed today (Monday) that a meeting of the Steering Committee of the International Conference on Indochinese Refugees would be held in Geneva on March 16.

The Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, and the Refugee Coordinator, Mr Brian Bresnihan, will attend the meeting as members of the United Kingdom delegation.

The spokesman added that prior to going to Geneva, Mr Lai would visit London where he will call on the Foreign Office and the Home Office.

End/Monday, March 13, 1995

6

Savings achieved in Government purchases

*****

The Government Supplies Department's negotiations with suppliers of goods and services have saved the public purse some $121 million last year.

A further $41 million has been earned through the sale of confiscated goods, surplus or unserviceable government stores and unclaimed parcels.

I '' •

The achievements were announced by the Director of Government Supplies, Mr Nigel Shipman, at a press conference today (Monday).

Total purchases last year amounted to $4,213 million, representing an increase of 61 per cent over the $2,621 million spent in the previous year.

"The purchases were at a record level in 1994," Mr Shipman said.

The substantial increase was attributable mainly to the equipment requirements for Government-owned facilities at the new airport at Chek Lap Kok, for which contracts worth $538 million were signed last year.

The five largest contracts were:

* Radar Data Processing and Display System, Flight Data Processing System and Simulator for the new airport at Chek Lap Kok, awarded to Raytheon for $204 million;

* Fuel oil for use on government vehicles, aircraft and vessels, awarded to China Resources Petroleum, Shell, Mobil and Caltex at a total cost of $177 million;

* Diets and food extras for Correctional Services Department and the Police, awarded to Asia Provisions Co for $146 million;

* Terminal Doppler Weather Radar System for Chek Lap Kok Airport, awarded to Raytheon for $100 million; and

* Traffic Radio System for the Traffic Police, awarded to Motorola for $70 million.

7

"We buy on a worldwide basis, mainly through open competitive tendering, to find the product that offers best value for money," Mr Shipman said.

"In certain circumstances negotiations were conducted with the recommended tenderer," he added.

Nearly 98 per cent of the products purchased were manufactured outside of Hong Kong.

The United States was the major source of supply. American goods worth $1,332 million were bought, accounting for 31.6 per cent of total purchases. The US has been the Hong Kong Government's leading supplier every year since 1986.

$982 million, or 23.3 per cent of total purchases, were bought from the European Union, with the United Kingdom and Germany being the two leading European suppliers.

Purchases from China have risen by 83 per cent to $341 million. China is the third largest single source of supply, accounting for 8.1 per cent of total purchases.

Purchases from China included fuel oils, steel pipes and fittings, textiles, paper products, water treatment chemicals and pharmaceuticals and other medical consumables.

End/Monday, March 13, 1995

Prepare vegetables with care * * * * *

Members of the public are today (Monday) urged to wash and blanch vegetables thoroughly before cooking, and to avoid making soup with vegetables.

The appeal was made by the Assistant Director of Health, Dr P Y Leung, following reports of six cases of food poisoning suspected to be related to pesticide contaminated vegetables.

8

Dr Leung said the Department of Health had stepped up checking and sampling at Man Kam To and retail outlets. The Shenzhen Commodity Inspection Bureau has been notified.

The six cases affected 14 persons in six families. Twelve persons were treated and discharged while two are still in hospital.

Dr Leung said five cases were related to matrimony vine and one case Chinese flowering cabbage. Of the five cases related to matrimony vine, all the patients consumed vegetable soup made from contaminated produce.

The food remnants in two cases, one involving matrimony vine and one Chinese flowering cabbage, were confirmed today to be contaminated with pesticide residue.

To reduce food poisoning by pesticide contaminated vegetables, members of the public are advised to take the following precautionary measures:

* do not patronise unlicensed hawkers;

* do not buy vegetables with an obvious strange smell;

* wash well before cooking;

* dip vegetables into clean water for one hour to allow pesticide to leach out;

* blanch in boiling water and pour away the water used for blanching as it may contain dissolved pesticides; and

* cook thoroughly before consumption.

End/Monday, March 13, 1995

9

HK's external trade statistics for January 1995 * * * * *

The Census and Statistics Department today (Monday) released detailed statistics on external trade with breakdown by country/territory and commodity for January 1995.

The value of re-exports continued to increase substantially, by 25% over a year earlier to $83.1 billion in January 1995.

Comparing January 1995 with January 1994, the value of re-exports to all main destinations showed increases of various magnitudes: Canada (+40%), Taiwan (+37%), the Netherlands (+35%), Japan (+34%), Singapore (+30%), South Korea (+29%), the United States (+28%), China (+17%), the United Kingdom (+15%) and Germany (+8.8%).

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

As the external trade figures for a single month at the beginning of each year tend to be fluctuating due to effects of the Lunar New Year holidays, it is more meaningful to make comparisons over a longer period.

Comparing the three months ending January 1995 with the three months ending January 1994, the value of re-exports to most main destinations showed increases of various magnitudes: Singapore (+29%), Japan (+28%), Canada (+28%), the Netherlands (+24%), Taiwan (+21%), the United States (+18%), China (+16%), the United Kingdom (+9.9%) and South Korea (+7.2%).

However, the value of re-exports to Germany decreased marginally by 0.6%.

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

Comparing the three months ending January 1995 with the three months ending January 1994, increases of various magnitudes were recorded in the value of re-exports of most principal commodity divisions.

10

More notable increases were registered for miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of baby carriages, toys, games and sporting goods (by $6.9 billion or 29%); telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $6.8 billion or 31%); electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $5.7 billion or 30%); textiles (by $3.6 billion or 20%); office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $3.1 billion or 36%); and photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies, optical goods, watches and clocks (by $2.9 billion or 31%).

Over the same period, a decrease in the value of re-exports was recorded for clothing (by $1.3 billion or 5.5%).

The value of domestic exports in January 1995, at $18.2 billion, increased markedly by 18% over a year earlier.

Comparing January 1995 with January 1994, the value of domestic exports to all main destinations showed increases of various magnitudes: France (+66%), Japan (+47%), the Netherlands (+37%), Singapore (+29%), Canada (+26%), Germany (+17%), the United States (+16%), the United Kingdom (+15%), China (+7.3%) and Taiwan (+6.5%).

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

Comparing the three months ending January 1995 with the three months ending January 1994, increases were recorded in the value of domestic exports to France (+42%), Japan (+36%), the Netherlands (+24%), Singapore (+11%), the United Kingdom (+7.1%), Canada (+7.0%), Germany (+4.7%) and the United States (+2.2%).

However, the value of domestic exports to Taiwan and China decreased by 4.4% and 1.4% respectively.

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

11

Comparing the three months ending January 1995 with the three months ending January 1994, increases in the value of domestic exports were registered for photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies, optical goods, watches and clocks (by $1.1 billion or 28%); clothing (by $1.0 billion or 5.5%); office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $854 million or 19%); and electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $796 million or 14%);

Over the same period, decreases in the value of domestic exports were recorded for miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of jewellery, goldsmiths' and silversmiths' wares (by $251 million or 5.0%); telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $157 million or 5.3%); and textiles (by $111 million or 2.9%).

The value of imports continued to increase substantially, by 31% over a year earlier to $104.9 billion in January 1995.

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

Comparing January 1995 with January 1994, the value of imports from all main suppliers showed increases of various magnitudes: France (+171%), Singapore (+75%), the United States (+36%), the United Kingdom (+33%), Germany (+30%), Malaysia (+30%), South Korea (+28%), China (+28%), Taiwan (+21%) and Japan (+20%).

Comparing the three months ending January 1995 with the three months ending January 1994, the value of imports from all main suppliers showed increases of various magnitudes: France (+67%), Singapore (+41%), Malaysia (+32%), South Korea (+30%), the United Kingdom (+28%), Germany (+27%), Taiwan (+22%), Japan (+21%), the United States (+21%) and China (+21%).

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

Comparing the three months ending January 1995 with the three months ending January 1994, increases were recorded in the value of imports of all principal commodity divisions.

12

More notable increases were registered for electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $9.5 billion or 31%); telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $6.1 billion or 23%); textiles (by $6.0 billion or 25%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of baby carriages, toys, games and sporting goods (by $4.4 billion or 24%); road vehicles (by $3.9 billion or 50%); photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies, optical goods, watches and clocks (by $3.7 billion or 30%); and office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $3.6 billion or 34%).

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 January 1995 will be released in early April 1995.

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

The January 1995 issue of the "Hong Kong External Trade" with detailed analyses on the performance of Hong Kong's external trade in January 1995 will be available for sale at $122 per copy around March 22.

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

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

End/Monday, March 13, 1995

13

TABLE 1 : RE-EXPORTS TO TEN MAIN DESTINATION’S

DESTINATION JAN 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN 95 OVER JAN 94 (’s CHANGE) NOV 94 TO JAN 95 (HKD Mn.) NOV 94 TO JAN 95 OVER NOV 93 TO JAN 94 (9i CHANGE)

CHINA 25,997 * 16.6 84,046 + 16.0

UNITED STATES 18,140 * 28.0 52,079 + 18.0

JAPAN 5,125 + 33.9 15,410 + 28.4

GERMANY 3,890 + 8.8 11,562 - 0.6

UNITED KINGDOM 2,399 * 15.0 7,243 ' + 9.9

TAIWAN 2,108 ♦ 36.8 6,385 + 20.9

SINGAPORE 1,955 + 30.1 5,951 + 29.3

SOUTH KOREA 1,446 + 29.1 4,251 + 7.2

NETHERLANDS 1,437 + 34.9 . 3,937 + 23.6

CANADA 1,403 + 39.8 3,789 + 28.1

14

TABLE 2 : RE-EXPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION (1 JAN 1995 4KD Mn.) JAN 95 OVER JAN 94 (5j CHANGE) NOV 94 TO JAN 95 (HKD Mn.) NOV 94 TO JAN 95 OVER NOV 93 TO JAN 94 (* CHANGE) •

MISCELLA.NEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY BABY CARRIAGES, TOYS, GAMES AND SPORTING GOODS) 10,390 * 41.9 30,741 . * 28.7

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 9,818 * 41.4 29,040 * 30.6

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 7,932 + 43.7 24,613 ♦ 30.1

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 7,771 * 1.7 22,477 - 5.5

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 6,565 + 27.6 21,453 ♦ 19.9

FOOTWEAR 5,493 + 22.8 14,179 + 14.8

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 3,747 ♦ 35.9 12,294 ♦ 31.4

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 3,746 * 41.0 11,742 ♦ 36.2

TRAVEL GOODS, HANDBAGS AND SIMILAR CONTAINERS 3,153 ♦ 33.0 6,156 * 20.0

GENERAL INDUSTRIAL MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT, AND MACHINE PARTS 2,041 + 36.1 5,600 * 15.4

15

TABLE 3 : DOMESTIC EXPORTS TO TEN MAIN DESTINATIONS

DESTINATION JAN 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN 95 OVER JAN 94 (% CHANGE) NOV 94 TO JAN 95 (HKD Mn.) NOV 94 TO JAN 95 OVER NOV 93 TO JAN 94 (^ CHANGE)

UNITED STATES 4,560 ♦ 15.9 15,642 * 2.2

CHINA 4,440 ♦ 7.3 14,884 - 1.4

GERMANY 1,120 * 17.1 3,706 + 4.7

SINGAPORE 1,117 * 28.7 3,277 * 11.0

JAPAN 1,049 * 46.9 3,098 * 36.1

UNITED KINGDOM 853 ♦ 15.4 2,915 <■ 7.1

TAIWAN 532 + 6.5 1,612 - 4.4

NETHERLANDS 432 + 36.8 1,493 + 24.3

CANADA 378 * 25.7 1,153 + 7.0

FRANCE 285 + 66.4 916 + 41.6

16

TABLE 4 : DOMESTIC EXPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

JAN JAN 95 NOV 94 NOV 94 TO JAN 95

COMMODITY DIVISION 1995 OVER TO OVER

JAN 94 JAN 95 NOV 93 TO JAN 94

(HKD Mn.) (?6 CHANGE) (HKD Mn.) (% CHANGE)

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 5,691 + 16.8 19,572 5.5

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 2,148 + 38.0 6,579 + 13.8

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 1,729 + 40.3 5,240 + 19.5

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY JEWELLERY, GOLDSMITHS' AND SILVERSMITHS' WARES) 1,521 + 10.4 4,737 - 5.0

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 1,500 + 36.4 4,947 +_ 27.6

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 1,090 1.9 3,675 - 2.9

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 892 + 6.4 2,784 - 5.3

PLASTICS IN PRIMARY FORMS 337 + 62.1 1,038 +■ 36.2

MANUFACTURES OF METALS 329 + 1.2 1,049 - 6.3

PAPER, PAPERBOARD, AND ARTICLES OF PAPER P’LP, OF PAPER OR OF PAPERBOARD 232 + 20.3 720 + 11.9

17

TABLE 5 : IMPORTS FROM TEN MAIN SUPPLIERS

SUPPLIER JAN 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN 95 OVER JAN 94 CHANGE) NOV 94 TO JAN 95 (HKD Mn.) NOV 94 TO JAN 95 OVER NOV 93 TO JAN 94 (% CHANGE)

CHINA 41,769 * 27.5 126,674 + 20.8

JAPAN 13,908 + 20.0 48,615 + 21.1

TAIWAN 8,547 * 20.9 28,853 * 22.1

UNITED STATES 7,444 * 36.1 23,496 + 21.0

SINGAPORE 5,917 * 75.3 17,543 + 41.4

SOUTH KOREA 4,787 + 28.4 15,304 + 29.5

FRANCE 2,825 +171.1 5,635 + 67.2

GERMANY 2,184 + 29.8 7,633 + 26.7

UNITED KINGDOM 2,113 + 32.9 7,400 + 27.8

MALAYSIA 1,860 + 29.7 5,695 + 31.8 .

18

TABLE 6 : IMPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

JAN JAN 95 NOV 94 NOV 94 TO JAN 95

COMMODITY DIVISION 1995 OVER TO OVER

JAN 94 JAN 95 NOV 93 TO JAN 94

(HKD Mn.) (% CHANGE) (HKD Mn.) (°6 CHANGE)

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 12,201 * 43.2 39,799 * 31.4

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 11,121 * 30.5 33,065 + 22.6

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 9,043 ♦ 27.1 30,034 + 25.1

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 7,508 ♦ 8.2 23,814 + 1.1

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY BABY CARRIAGES, TOYS, GAMES AND SPORTING GOODS) 6,980 * 26.5 22,656 + 24.1

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 4,817 * 42.4 15,840 ♦ 30.1

FOOTWEAR 4,692 + 26.0 12,736 ♦ 17.9

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 4,158 * 35.3 14,171 + 33.9

ROAD VEHICLES 3,191 * 33.5 11,708 ♦ 50.5

NON-METALLIC MINERAL MANUFACTURES 3,004 * 12.2 9,935 + 13.6

End/Monday, March 13, 1995

19

Air quality report for February *****

The Environmental Protection Department today (Monday) released air quality information for last month.

The purpose of the announcement is to keep the public informed of the air quality levels in the territory and to explain the measurements.

The announcement contains monitoring results from Mong Kok, Central/Westem and Kwai Chung, which represent three important land use types in the territory:

* locations close to road traffic in built-up urban areas,

* combined commercial and residential districts, and

* districts close to industrial areas.

The department currently monitors air quality continuously at eight stations, including the three mentioned. Short-term measurement exercises are also undertaken as and where the need arises.

The reported air pollutants include sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), total suspended particulates (TSP) which comprise all sizes of dust particles, and the respirable fraction of the dust (RSP). All these pollutants can affect respiratory health in sufficient concentration.

In February, no exceedances of the 24-hour Air Quality Objectives were measured at any of the three stations. As usual, levels of pollutants were highest at the street-level site of Mong Kok.

The highest levels of the pollutants NO2 and SO2 were measured on February 9, 12 and 13. These peaks were caused by low wind speeds which prevented locally produced pollutants from being blown away. Dust levels also peaked on those three days.

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.

20

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.

Note to Editors:

For further information on this air quality report, please contact Mr Raymond Leung at 2594 6401.

End/Monday, March 13, 1995

Tender for third issue of 5-year Exchange Fund Notes *****

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA)announces that the tender for the third issue of five-year Exchange Fund Notes will be held next Monday (March 20) for settlement the following day (Tuesday, March 21).

Similar to the previous issue, an amount of $500 million five-year notes will be on offer.

In addition to that, another $100 million will be held as reserve by the HKMA for supply to Market Makers in the secondary market.

- 21 -

The notes will mature on March 21, 2000 and will carry interest at the rate of 7.75 per cent per annum payable semi-annually in arrears.

Members of the public who wish to tender for the notes may do so through any of the Market Makers or Recognised Dealers on the published list which can be obtained from the HKMA on 30th floor, 3 Garden Road, Hong Kong (or telephone 2878 8150).

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

HONG KONG MONETARY AUTHORITY

EXCHANGE FUND NOTE PROGRAMME TENDER INFORMATION

Tender information for the third issue of 5-Year Exchange Fund Notes:

Issue Number : 5003

Tender Date and Time : Monday, March 20, 1995, 9.30 am to 10.30 am

Issue and Settlement Date : Tuesday, March 21, 1995 . ' ■ !eV

Amount on Offer : HK$500 million plus an additional HK$100 million as reserve stock for the Monetary Authority

Maturity : Five years G ■

Maturity Date : March 21, 2000

Interest Rate : 7.75% per annum payable semi-annually in arrears

Interest Payment Dates : Sept 21, 1995, Mar 21, 1996

Sept 23, 1996, Mar 21, 1997 Sept 22, 1997, Mar 23, 1998 Sept 21, 1998, Mar 22, 1999 Sept 21, 1999, Mar 21, 2000

22

Tender Amount

Other details

: Each tender must be for an amount of HK$5 0,000 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.

: Please see Information Memorandum published or approach Market Makers or Recognised Dealers.

End/Monday, March 13, 1995

Five lots of land up for auction *****

The Lands Department will auction five lots of land in Kowloon and the New Territories tomorrow (March 14).

The public auction will begin at 2.30 pm in the Concert Hall of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui.

The first lot, located at the junction of Sheung Yee Road and Wang Chiu Road, Kowloon Bay, has an area of 12,590 square metres. It is intended for (i) industrial or godown or both, or (ii) offices ancillary and directly related to an industrial operation, or (iii) any combination of (i) and (ii). The above specified uses will exclude any offensive trades.

Located in Cha Kwo Ling Road, Kwun Tong, the second lot has an area of 4,104 square metres for non-industrial use, excluding godown, hotel and residential, but including a multi-storey car park.

Covering an area of 4,991 square metres in Tuen Mun, the third lot is designated for non-industrial use, excluding godown, residential, hotel, service apartment and petrol-filling station, but including a multi-storey car park.

The fourth lot for private residential use at Fung Shing Street, Ngau Chi Wan, has an area of 13,999 square metres.

- .23 -

The remaining lot is situated at Area 90B, Ma On Shan, Sha Tin, having an area of 10,900 square metres for private residential use.

Attention News Editors:

‘ • •- * • ■ . *:’a

Your representatives are invited to cover the auction.

A press area will be designated. Photographers are advised to bring along telephoto lenses.

End/Monday, March 13, 1995

Archaeological study at Tung Chung *****

To enhance cultural exchange with Hong Kong's neighbouring countries, the Antiquities and Monuments Office (AMO) is conducting an archaeological study at Sha Tsui Tau, Tung Chung, Lantau, jointly with the General Office of the Shenzhen Committee for Protection of Antiquities and Monuments.

Since the project started late last month, numerous artefacts of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) have been discovered over the past weeks.

The Shenzhen team will be succeeded by another two teams from the ‘ Guangdong Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology and the Anthropology Department of the Zhong Shan University. The entire programme is scheduled to end in the middle of next month.

■ » • t •

Note to Editors:

A site visit to the Sha Tsui Tau site has been organised for the media on Thursday (March 16) when staff members of AMO will conduct a guided tour of the excavated area.

24

Media representatives wishing to join the visit are requested to call the Secretariat Press Office (tel no.: 2810 3188 or 2810 3354) to reserve a seat. Seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

A launch taking the media to Tung Chung will leave Queen's Pier, Central, at 9.15 am sharp on Thursday. It will be back at Queen's Pier at about 2.30 pm.

End/Monday, March 13, 1995

Airmail services to Afghanistan resumed

*****

The Postmaster General, Mr Mike Pagliari, announces today (Monday) that all airmail services to Afghanistan, which have been suspended since January 21 last year, are now resumed.

End/Monday, March 13, 1995

Water storage figure

*****

Storage in Hong Kong's reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 68.1 per cent of capacity or 399.011 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 397.664 million cubic metres of water, representing 67.9 per cent of capacity.

End/Monday, March 13, 1995

25

Fresh water cuts in Sham Shui Po and Yuen Long ♦ * * * *

Fresh water supply to some premises in Sham Shui Po and Yuen Long will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm on Wednesday (March 15) to 6 am the following day to facilitate water mains leakage detection.

... . .V’t'

All the premises bounded by Kiu Kiang Street, Cheung Sha Wan Road, Kweilin Street and Castle Peak Road in Sham Shui Po will be affected.

In Yuen Long, the affected areas will include Ma Tin Tsuen and Tai Shu Ha Road East.

End/Monday, March 13, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

Time Cumulative change

$ million (hours) (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,151 0930 +1,532

Closing balance in the account 1,229 1000 +1,532

Change attributable to : 1100 + 1,472

Money market activity +1,474 1200 +1,474

LAF today -1,396 1500 +1,474

1600 +1,474

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 118.5 *-0.2* 13.3.95

26

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.96 14 months 2605 6.35 99.77 6.65

1 month 5.21 23 months 2702 7.50 101.09 7.01

3 months 5.77 28 months 3707 6.95 99.80 7.16

6 months 6.13 34 months 3801 8.00 101.92 7.37

12 months 6.54 57 months 5912 8.15 101.53 7.91

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $16,410 million

Closed March 13, 1995

End/Monday, March 13, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Tuesday, March 14,1995

Contents Page^o,

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

Govt provides infrastructure and support for business........... 2

Joint Liaison Group expert talks on air services................ 3

Appointments to the Hospital Authority Board.................... 4

Change to interest rate deregulation timetable.................. 6

New land will not flood market.................................. 8

TDD geared up to meet new challenges............................ 10

Three lots sold for $2,987 million.............................. 12

KMB fare rise................................................... 13

New Commission to consider views on remuneration package for Legislative Councillors............................................ 14

Direct Access Services extended to NT........................... 15

Safety officers play important role............................. 17

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results..................... 19

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations............ 20

1

Transcript of Governor's media session *****

The following is the transcript of the media session by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, after opening the Hong Kong Industrial Technology Centre this (Tuesday) afternoon:

Question: How about the interest rate? Exco decided to delay the relaxation of the interest rate agreement. Do you think it is at the expense of public?

Governor: No, I think the Monetary Authority is making a statement this afternoon, and what we always want to balance is the interests of competition and the public on the one hand, and the importance of moving prudently and cautiously on the other. The international environment at the moment, as you know, is a bit uncertain, and I think it's always right to be cautious in these things. But we've made good progress in deregulating the market already and I think we just want to move ahead on the basis of as much information as possible. One of the problems we've had is the statistics for January and February are pretty curious because of first of all, spending, happens in the runup to the Chinese New Year. And secondly, the defensive action that we're taking in relation to the Hong Kong dollar because of speculative activities earlier in the year. So there's no change in our fundamental approach to competition. But we do want to make sure that we proceed in a way which is sensible for the overall economy.

Question: So, is there any obstacles in your communication with the NCNA Hong Kong branch?

Governor: I don't feel there are any obstacles. But if the NCNA have any difficulties, I am sure they will let us know.

Question: Mr Patten, can I just refer back to your interest rate answer. Are you saying that the adjournment will help the balance to be achieved better at this stage?

Governor: Am I saying?

Question: Are you saying that the adjournment of that agreement to the interest rate will help the balance to be achieved at this stage?

2

Governor: What I was saying was what I was saying. What I was saying was that we've moved quite a distance already. I suppose in a sense covering about 99 per cent of the market. We want to move at every stage. Having taken proper account of the consequences of the changes that we've made, we do have to look very carefully at the international environment and everybody will know that in the last few months, with developments in Central America, with the instability of the US dollar and so on, it's important for us to be, I think, cautious but the Director of Banking and the Monetary Authority are making the position absolutely clear this afternoon.

Question: We just talked to Mr Zhou Nan about his complaint about your indirect notification about Mr Donald Tsang's appointment.

Governor: I really think there are very important issues that we have to deal with in Hong Kong but without manufacturing huge storms in tiny coffee cups. We proceeded, we behaved over Donald Tsang's appointment exactly as we behaved over every other announcement and every other appointment. And as you know perfectly well, whenever Mr Zhou Nan wishes to see me, shake my hand, talk to me, do anything, I am delighted to meet him. We've got lots we could say to him. And any time he likes to come and talk, we'll be very happy.

End/Tuesday, March 14, 1995

Govt provides infrastructure and support for business * * * * *

The Government is committed to providing the infrastructure and support services that allow good invention and good business to develop their full potential, the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said today (Tuesday).

Officiating at the opening ceremony of the Hong Kong Industrial Technology Centre, the Governor said innovation, the development and the application of new technologies, was a key to success in producing for local and international markets.

3

"Innovation has served us well. Our engineers, our designers and our entrepreneurs have manufactured products that compete confidently with the best in the world.

"But innovation constantly requires to be refreshed with inspiration and to be united with the business disciplines of planning, of financial monitoring and of marketing, if it is to maintain success and keep that competitive advantage which is so crucial," Mr Patten added.

The Government will, therefore, allocate $210 million from the Industrial Support Fund next month for projects that promote industrial and technological development.

Later this year, the Applied Research Council will be established to help promote technological research between Hong Kong and China.

End/Tuesday, March 14, 1995

Joint Liaison Group expert talks on air services

4c * * * *

The Sino-British Joint Liaison Group (JLG) will hold expert talks on air services in Hong Kong tomorrow (March 15).

The British team will be led by Mr Alan Paul, representative of the British side of the JLG, and the Chinese team by Mr Wang Weiyang, representative of the Chinese side of the JLG.

End/Tuesday, March 14, 1995

4

Appointments to the Hospital Authority Board *****

The Government announced today (Tuesday) the appointment of Mr Peter Woo as the new Chairman of the Hospital Authority Board with effect from April 1, 1995.

He will take over from Sir S Y Chung who has been Chairman of the Hospital Authority Board since December 1, 1990 and its precursor, the Provisional Hospital Authority Board since October 1, 1988.

Mr Woo, Chairman of Wheelock Wharf Group of Companies, has been a dedicated member for six years on the Provisional Hospital Authority Board and subsequently, the Hospital Authority Board. He has made substantial contribution to the work of the Authority and is actively involved in the work of its various committees.

He was Chairman of the Hospital Management Committee of the Provisional Hospital Authority. He is Chairman of the Organisation Development Committee which spearheaded the management reforms in all public hospitals and Chairman of the Hospital Governing Committee of the Prince of Wales Hospital.

The Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, today paid warm tribute to Sir S Y for his strong leadership and wisdom in steering the Hospital Authority Board through its initial years of operation.

She also recognised his significant achievements in laying a solid foundation for reforms in the public hospital system.

"Sir S Y's vision, wealth of experience and wise counsel have been instrumental in encouraging the staff working in the Hospital Authority to successfully introduce a patient- centred culture in all public hospitals and now all patients benefit from this new culture," she said.

Mrs Fok also welcomed the appointment of Mr Woo as the new Chairman. She said that his management expertise and commitment to the Hospital Authority made him eminently suitable for such an important position.

5

' Also appointed to the Board is Professor Chow Shew-ping, the new Dean of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong who succeeded Professor Ma Chung Ho-kei on March 1,1995.

Mrs Fok thanked Professor Ma for her invaluable advice in the work of the Hospital Authority, particularly in human resources management and the development of medical services.

Other new members appointed to the Board are Mrs Shelley Lau, the Deputy Secretary for Health and Welfare who will represent the Secretary for Health and Welfare; Miss Sally Aw Sian, the publisher of Sing Tao Newspapers Ltd.; and Mr John Chan Cho-chak, the Managing Director of Kowloon Motor Bus Company.

The appointment of Mr Woo and the three new members of the Hospital Authority will take effect from April 1, 1995 to March 31, 1997.

The following is a membership list of the Hospital Authority Board with effect from April 1, 1995 -

Mr WOO Kwong-ching Peter, JP (Chairman)

Dr CHIU Hin-kwong, OBE, JP

Dr LEUNG Nai-kong

Mrs LEUNG LAU Yau-fun Sophie, OBE, JP

Professor Felice LIEH MAK, OBE, JP

Professor LI Kwok-cheung Arthur

Mrs LING LI Ching-man Eleanor, OBE, JP

Professor CHOW Shew-ping

Mr Anthony F NEOH, QC, JP

Mr NG Shui-lai

Professor Kenneth J SELLICK

Professor David TODD, CBE, JP

Professor YOUNG Tse-tse Rosie, OBE, JP

Mr HO Mun-ka Michael

Mr WONG Hong-yuen Peter, OBE, JP

Dr LEONG Che-hung, OBE, JP

Mr S C PENNEY

Miss CHAN Ching-har Eliza

6

Mrs CHAN Wong-shui Pamela, JP

Miss Sally AW Sian, OBE, JP*

Mr John CHAN Cho-chak, CBE, LVO, JP* Chief Executive Officer, Hospital Authority Deputy Secretary for Health and Welfare* Director of Health

Administrator, Hospital Services Department

*New appointees

End/Tuesday, March 14, 1995

Change to interest rate deregulation timetable

>|c * * * $

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has decided that the third phase of the deregulation of time deposits governed by the Interest Rate Rules (IRR) should be postponed to allow the HKMA and the Hong Kong Association of Banks (HKAB) more time to assess the impact of the first two phases of deregulation.

The third phase was originally scheduled to take place on April 1 and would have covered HK dollar time deposits fixed for more than 24 hours and up to and including seven days.

"The effects of the deferral on consumers should be put in perspective. Ninety-nine per cent of former IRR time deposits have already been deregulated well ahead of the timetable proposed by the Consumer Council," Deputy Chief Executive (Banking), Mr David Carse, said.

Time deposits covered by the third phase only account for 0.03 per cent of former IRR time deposits.

"It is sensible to be cautious in view of the more difficult external environment faced by banks," Mr Carse explained.

7

"World financial markets have become more volatile. Banks in Hong Kong are also having to cope with higher interest rates, slower growth in residential mortgage lending, and strong competition for time deposits."

The January results of HKMA's survey of 40 licensed banks indicate significant migration of deposits from current and savings accounts to the newly deregulated time deposits.

"However, the January figures will have been distorted by the sharp rise in interest rates to defend the HK dollar and by the rise in the note circulation ahead of the Chinese New Year.

"This uncertainty provides an additional reason to take longer to assess the situation," Mr Carse said.

"Taking these factors into account, we consider that the third phase should be deferred to allow more time to assess the impact of the first two phases of deregulation.

"Our intention is to conduct a full assessment in August/September, taking into account the half-year results of banks.

"We remain committed to deregulating time deposits unless further steps would result in instability in the monetary and banking system," Mr Carse said.

End/Tuesday, March 14, 1995

New land will not flood market *****

There is no question of flooding the market with new land from reclamation because the land designated for residential or commercial purposes will be produced gradually over a period of years and form a "land bank" to ensure there is a steady and continuous supply to meet demand, the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Tony Eason, said today (Tuesday).

Speaking at a press conference to elaborate on issues within his schedule in the 1995/96 Budget, Mr Eason said reclamation had always been a major way of supplying much needed land for housing and other infrastructure developments both to improve the quality of life and to sustain economic growth.

"We approve reclamation projects only when we are fully satisfied with the results of very comprehensive studies to assess the feasibility, in particular the impact on the environment and marine traffic.

"Where necessary, we will make sure mitigation measures will be in place to minimise the impact," Mr Eason said.

He said the bulk of reclaimed land would be used to provide much-needed open space to improve the living environment, particularly in the old and congested areas.

"Of the 1,100 hectares which we plan to reclaim, about 790 hectares or 72 per cent will be used for open space, new roads and other community purposes.

"Only 27 per cent will be used for commercial or residential developments."

On schemes currently being implemented, he noted that almost 40 per cent of the new land at the West Kowloon Reclamation had been set aside for the Airport Railway, the West Kowloon Expressway and other new roads connecting the Western Harbour Crossing while the commercial or residential development would only take up 26 per cent.

9

The Central and Wan Chai Reclamation will produce land for the Hong Kong Terminal of the Airport Railway, the extension of the Convention and Exhibition Centre and a new road to relieve traffic congestion. Only 23 per cent of the new land would be used for commercial or residential purposes.

While disputing a suggestion that the harbour was shrinking, the Secretary noted that the harbour had already expanded westwards very considerably.

"Beyond the container port in Kwai Chung, we will be developing a new container port on Northeast Lantau which will eventually have four terminals and 17 berths and providing new cargo-handling facilities at Tuen Mun for the fast-growing river trade."

On the environment, Mr Eason said the Government would introduce further measures to combat air and noise pollution in the coming year.

These will include cleaner diesel with lower sulphur content, more stringent vehicle emission standards for new vehicles with effect from April 1, a proposed scheme to require all light duty diesel vehicles to be replaced by petrol vehicles using catalytic converters and unleaded petrol, programmes to control emission of in-use vehicles through higher penalties for smoky vehicles and a comprehensive vehicle inspection and maintenance programme, regulations to control air pollution by construction dust and open burning of wastes, possible legislation to impose noise emission standards on new vehicles and to control false activation of car burglar alarms and noisy construction works.

A consultancy study will soon be commissioned to develop a comprehensive management plan for Mai Po and Inner Deep Bay following the earlier announcement of the Government's intention to seek its listing as a Ramsar site and the Marine Parks Bill has been submitted to the Legislative Council for consideration, Mr Eason said.

"All this show that we are making good progress in making Hong Kong a cleaner and greener place to live in," he said.

End/Tuesday, March 14, 1995

10

TDD geared up to meet new challenges

* * * * *

The Territory Development Department (TDD) is well prepared to meet new challenges ahead with continuous quest for excellence in providing a better living environment for the people of Hong Kong, the department's director, Mr Lee Shing-see, said today (Tuesday).

Speaking at a meet-the-media session, he also said projects undertaken by his department achieved good progress last year.

Reviewing the work of the TDD in the past year, Mr Lee noted that his department's accomplishment in the new town programme could be seen from the success of the more mature new towns and the continuous expansion of the programme in a fast pace to cope with the increase in population.

At present, over 2.6 million people, representing over 40 per cent of the total population, are living in new towns.

"Our target is to accommodate about 3.6 million people upon full completion of the new town programme," Mr Lee noted.

Apart from developing new towns, Mr Lee said his department was also given the responsibility to undertake new major developments in the urban areas based on the department's new town experience.

He pointed out that the initial phases of the reclamation in West Kowloon, Central and Wan Chai were taking shape to various extent.

Mr Lee said the West Kowloon Reclamation Project was the largest reclamation in the urban area ever undertaken by the department, involving production of about 340 hectares of new land for various uses.

"By now, over 90 per cent of the reclamation area has been formed and the immediate follow-on works, such as the West Kowloon Expressway, the Airport Railway and the Western Harbour Crossing, are in good progress," he said.

11

On Hong Kong Island, Mr Lee noted that five engineering contracts had so far been let for the Central and Wan Chai Reclamation project.

"These include Central Reclamation Phase I where the Hong Kong Station of the Airport Railway will be located; the Central Reclamation Phase II (or reclamation of the Tamar Basin) to provide land for expansion of the commercial area; and Wan Chai Reclamation Phase I for the Convention and Exhibition Centre extension," he said.

In the New Territories, Mr Lee said major drainage improvement projects, such as construction of the Yuen Long-Kam Tin Main Drainage Channel, had commenced.

"In Tseung Kwan O, reclamation of the future town centre area is in good progress, and about 25 per cent of the four million cubic metres of the fill required have been placed," he said.

For Tung Chung new town development, Mr Lee continued, site formation works were progressing well and population intake for the first phase development was targeted to take place in 1997 to tie in with the opening of the new airport.

For major projects under planning and design, Mr Lee said land would be formed in the Tsuen Wan Bay Further Reclamation and the Tin Shui Wai Reserve Zone for residential and community facilities uses.

"The Tuen Mun Port Development will commence work soon which will include provisions for River Trade Terminals and special industries etc.

"The initial phase of the territory's third Industrial Estate in Tseung Kwan O is ready to receive developments, and infrastructure works for the remaining phase will also commence shortly on the land already formed.

"In the urban area, the Green Island feasibility study has been completed," Mr Lee added.

He further pointed out that approvals were being sought from the Finance Committee for two other major feasibility studies in Kowloon.

12

"The South East Kowloon Development will look into the development potential of the existing airport and the adjoining areas after the airport is relocated to Chek Lap Kok.

"The Kowloon Point Development which covers an area of about 60 hectares will look at solutions for provision of expansion areas to Tsim Sha Tsui taking into account planning, traffic and transport requirements," Mr Lee explained.

The overall works expenditure of the TDD last year, including new towns and urban developments, amounted to about $5.5 billion.

End/Tuesday, March 14, 1995

Three lots sold for $2,987 million *****

Three lots.of Government land were sold for a total of $2,987 million at a public land auction held by the Lands Department this (Tuesday) afternoon.

Two lots - one of 12,590 square metres at the junction of Sheung Yee Road and Wang Chiu Road, Kowloon Bay, for industrial or godown purposes, and the other of 4,104 square metres in Cha Kwo Ling Road, Kwun Tong, for non-industrial purpose - were withdrawn because no biddings were made for the opening prices of $1,500 million and $480 million respectively.

Of the lots sold, the first one, located in Fung Shing Street, Ngau Chi Wan, was sold to Goodterm Limited at $1,610 million, with bidding opening at $1,300 million. It has an area of 13,999 square metres for private residential use. The developer has to complete a gross floor area of not less than 39,240 square metres on or before March 31, 1999.

The second lot in Area 90B, Ma On Shan, was bought by Great Cheer Development Limited at $1,240 million, with bidding opening at $980 million.

With an area of 10,900 square metres, this lot is also for private residential use.

13

The developer has to complete a gross floor area of not less than 32,700 square metres on or before September 30, 1999.

The third lot situated in Tuen Mun was bought by Sum Lung Investment Company Limited at $137 million, with bidding opening at $75 million. It has an area of 4,991 square metres for non-industrial purposes.

The developer has to complete a gross floor area of not less than 28,450 square metres on or before March 31, 1999.

Held in the Concert Hall of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui, the auction was conducted by Government Land Agent, Mr Francis Hay.

End/Tuesday, March 14, 1995

KMB fare rise *****

The Governor-in-Council today (Tuesday) approved a weighted average of a seven per cent fare rise for Kowloon Motor Bus to take effect from April 2, 1995. Cross-harbour fares will remain unchanged and fares on local routes will go up by about eight per cent.

On average all local routes have roughly the same rate of increase although fares on some short distance routes will have a slightly higher rate of increase due to the need to round off to the nearest 10 cents.

A Government spokesman said as a result of the fare rise, eight per cent of the passengers would not be affected while 73 per cent of the passengers would pay only 10 cents to 30 cents more per trip and 17.5 per cent of the passengers would pay 40 cents and 50 cents more per trip.

"The impact of the increase on general inflation is minimal,” he said.

The spokesman said it was necessary that fares should be pitched at a level which was both affordable to the public and provided a reasonable return to the bus operator.

14

"An increase of seven per cent is reasonable bearing in mind that KMB's operating costs rose by 15.8 per cent in 1994 and are expected to increase by 12.3 per cent in 1995.

"It is important that the operator be provided with the necessary incentive to invest and improve services," he said.

The spokesman said K.MB was providing a high quality and satisfactory service to the public and was actively seeking ways to improve its services further to meet passengers' demand and expectations.

"The company has also made a significant effort to reduce costs by rationalising its services and streamlining its operations," he said.

He said KMB had proposed to introduce nine new routes and implement 108 service improvement proposals in the next two years.

End/Tuesday, March 14, 1995

New Commission to consider views on remuneration package for Legislative Councillors *****

Following the publication of the Report of the Commission on Remuneration for Members of the Legislative Council last September, the Administration has received views and comments from Legislative Councillors and various interested groups.

A Government spokesman today (Tuesday) said these comments would be referred to the new Commission on Remuneration for Members of the Legislative Council for consideration.

"We shall ask the Commission to consider all the comments received and to advise whether any changes should be made to the recommendations in the report produced by the former Commission last year," the spokesman added.

15

"The new Commission's recommendations will then be considered by the Executive Council."

The new Commission's chairman is Professor Wang Gungwu. Its members are Mr Cheng Hon-kwan, Mr Christopher Cheng Wai-chee, Dr Thomas Leung Kwok-fai, Miss Gladys Li Chi-hei and Mr Lawrence Lam Yin-ming.

The Commission will hold its first meeting later this month.

End/Tuesday, March 14, 1995

Direct Access Services extended to NT *****

The Land Registrar, Mr Kenneth Pang, today (Tuesday) announced the Land Registry's latest initiative of extending the computerised land search facility, known as the Direct Access Services (DAS), to cover the New Territories land registers.

"Starting from next week, DAS users can carry out on-line search of the land registers in Tsuen Wan, and later on in all other districts of the New Territories.

"The extension of DAS to the New Territories is made possible following the computerisation of the New Territories land registers on a district- bydistrict basis. We aim at having all the New Territories land registers fully computerised in two years' time," Mr Pang added.

At present, only the land registers in the Urban Land Registry are computerised and available for on-line search through DAS. The DAS is now being extended to the New Territories land registers in phases.

Initially, Town Lot land registers are to be computerised on a registry-by-registry basis, starting with Tsuen Wan and followed by Tuen Mun, Yuen Long, and other land registries.

16

By August this year, all the Town Lot land registers in the New Territories will be computerised and available for search through DAS.

All the New Territories land registers, including Demarcation District (DD) and Survey District (SD) Lots, will be fully computerised and accessible through the DAS by early 1997.

Mr Pang said: "Our DAS subscribers are very pleased with our existing DAS services for the Urban land registers and would certainly welcome the extension of this service to the New Territories.

"In two years' time, users can search land register information in respect of any properties in the territory by using their personal computers in their offices."

The DAS is a facility which enables customers to make on-line searches of the computerised land registers through their own computer without calling at the Land Registry.

The information on the property will appear on their screens and can be printed from their own printer upon keying in the address or lot number of the property they want to search.

Users can also request for copies of land records through the DAS network.

Details of the DAS facilities, charges, equipment requirement and application procedure, etc can be obtained from the Land Registry DAS Centre on tel 2524 1717. A brochure is also available on request.

The DAS is provided through the IBM Information Network. An introductory workshop will be organised by IBM on Friday (March 17).

Demonstration will be held and brochures will also be available at Telecom CSL Shops in Prince's Building, Central and at Middle Road, Tsim Sha Tsui from March 17 to 24.

End/Tuesday, March 14, 1995

17 -

Safety officers play important role ♦ * ♦ ♦ *

A steering group chaired by the Secretary for Education and Manpower is conducting a comprehensive review on industrial safety in Hong Kong as an indication of the Government's commitment to raise the standards of safety and health at work.

This was revealed today (Tuesday) by the Commissioner for Labour, Mr Stephen Ip, at the presentation ceremony of the 1995 Safety Officers of the Year Award Scheme.

The steering group will complete the review and publish a public consultation paper in July.

The Award Scheme aimed at commending outstanding safety officers for their good work in improving industrial safety and health. It also encouraged them to make continuous efforts to make Hong Kong a safer working place.

Mr Ip said safety officers played a very important role in formulating and implementing a positive safety policy in the organisations they served.

"They have to advise their employers on measures necessary to ensure that the workplace is safe and a safe system of work is in place.

"To this end, they have to perform safety inspections to identify areas for improvement and carry out safety audits to ensure that the required safety and health standards are met.

"However, to be successful, they have to help build up a safety culture at all levels, from the managerial staff down to the workers on the work sites. Surely, this is not an easy job, but it is challenging and rewarding," Mr Ip said.

Seventeen nominations were received for this year's Award Scheme and the five winners are :

18 -

* Mr Chung Wai-keung, Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation

* Mr Kwok Wai-yin, Airport Platform Contractors Joint Venture

* Mr Lee Chi-yung, The Shell Companies in Greater China

* Mr Tsang Kin-cheong, Nishimatsu Construction Co. Ltd.

* Mr Wong Ka-fung, Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation

Mr Ip congratulated the winners and urged all safety practitioners to update their knowledge from time to time.

He hoped they would attend refresher training courses and participate in workshops and seminars like the one held this morning in which informative and enlightening talks were given by Mr Harry K C Wong from Singapore and Mr Phil Percival from Australia.

Mr Ip thanked the two overseas guests and the panel of judges comprising the Secretary for Works, Mr James Blake, Mr Tam Yiu-chung, Mr K Y Tongson, Mr Chan Ka-kui and Mr Kwan Kon-wah.

He also thanked the organisers and co- organisers for their hard work in making the scheme a success.

The scheme is organised by the Labour Department, Occupational Safety and Health Council and Working Committee on Symposium on Safety and Health Management.

The co-organisers are Hong Kong Occupational Safety and Health Association, Hong Kong Industrial Safety Association, Society of Registered Safety Officers and Construction Industry Safety Management Association.

End/Tuesday, March 14, 1995

19 -

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results

*****


Tender date 14 Mar 95 14 Mar 95

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q511 H560

Amount applied HK$6,260 MN HK$3,250 MN

Amount allotted HK$ 1,500 MN HK$800 MN

Average yield accepted 5.72 PCT 6.07 PCT

Highest yield accepted 5.74 PCT 6.09 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 41 PCT About 35 PCT

Average tender yield 5.79 PCT 6.14 PCT

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

• • •-’ ■ . » • ■ .• * * .

Tenders to be held in the week beginning March 20, 1995

Tender date 20 Mar 95 21 Mar 95 •A • ■ 21 Mar 95

Paper on offer EF Notes EF bills EF bills

Issue number 5003 Q512 Y587

Issue date 21 Mar 95 22 Mar 95 22 Mar 95

Maturity 21 Mar 2000 21 Jun 95 20 Mar 96

date

20 -

Tenor 5 Years 91 days 364 days

Amount on HKS500+100MN HK$l,500MN+300MN HK$500+150MN offer

Coupon 7.75 PCT

End/Tuesday, March 14, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

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

Opening balance in the account 1,229 0930 +1,445

Closing balance in the account 2,569 1000 +1,445

Change attributable to : 1100 +1,456

Money market activity +1,465 1200 +1,456

LAF today -125 1500 +1,465

1600 +1,465

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 118.5 *+0.0* 14.3.95

V

- 21 -

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.06 14 months 2605 6.35 99.89 6.54

1 month 5.23 23 months 2702 7.50 101.28 6.90

3 months 5.73 28 months 3707 6.95 100.04 7.05

6 months 6.05 34 months 3801 8.00 102.17 7.27

12 months 6.42 57 months 5912 8.15 101.98 7.79

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $26,770 million

Closed March 14, 1995

End/Tuesday, March 14, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Wednesday, March 15,1995

Contents Page No*

CFA legislation implements Sino-British agreement........................ 1

Transcript of the Governor’s media session............................... 2

Governor tours Central and Western District.............................. 5

Increase in penalties against copyright piracy........................... 6

Stadium to be put to optimal use......................................... 8

More information on Hong Kong Stadium.................................... 9

4,035 agreements lodged with Land Registry in February.................. 10

Appeal to rooftop occupants to register with Housing Department..... 11

Early intervention helps disabled children in studies................... 12

Yuen Long lot to let.................................................... 13

Flushing water cut in Ma On Shan.................................... 13

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

1

CFA legislation implements Sino-British agreement ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Court of Final Appeal (CFA) is an element and part of the architecture of the rule of law which everybody wants to see in place, the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said today (Wednesday).

In reply to questions by reporters after visiting Central and Western Districts this afternoon, the Governor said that one of the things that people were most concerned about in Hong Kong was the rule of law and the continuance of the rule of law after 1997.

i

"It's the thing which perhaps more than anything else affects people's daily life," he added.

"It's about whether we can continue to be a decent, civilised, successful society, living in dignity and freedom and openness.

"So I hope that we can get on with it and I hope that it doesn't become an issue about which there are arguments and rows."

The Governor pointed out that there was an agreement between China and Britain to settop a Court of Final Appeal and that a drafted legislation, which faithfully implemented that agreement, was given to the Chinese side last May.

As a result of the consultations with the legal profession in Hong Kong, he said some technical adjustments were passed to the Chinese side in January.

’’Indeed I suspect that before too long, the community is going to start to press us to get on with things,” he said.

’’But we wish to go forward and I assume that we will go forward in cooperation because nobody has yet pointed out in any way how our legislation fails to implement the 1991 agreement.”

End/Wednesday, March 15,1995

2

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

The following is the transcript of the media session by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, after visiting Central and Western Districts today (Wednesday).

Governor: I've enjoyed another visit to Central and Western. Since I am a resident in Central and Western maybe over doing it to say one of my visits because I live here. Obviously the two issues which I think are most concerning the District Board are, first of all, the provision of services for the elderly. We're seeing a growing number of people retired in the community as a whole. But I think there’s a particularly large number of retired people in Central and Western, and there are strong arguments for improving the health facilities for the old in the district which we are going to look at. Secondly, obviously the impact of all the building that's going on, or the infrastructure development, the Central Reclamation, the Western Harbour Crossing and so on, creates problems for the community and we've got to work with the District Board in order to try to address those problems. So, it's a useful visit. I am very grateful to the District Board for their hospitality. And now you want to ask lots of questions about Central and Western.

Question: Governor Patten, I want to ask you with just a little bit more than two years until the hand-over to China, there has been some descriptions of you recently as something of a lame duck, and I want to know how you respond to that?

Governor: I think it's truly difficult to be described both as a lame duck and that somebody who's making too many waves, perhaps by flapping one's limbs too vigorously. I don't think you can be both at the same time. And the truth of the matter is that we are still setting the agenda here in Hong Kong. People have talked about the administration being a lame duck since the mid-1980s. It hasn't been a charge which anybody has seriously levelled for the last two or three years. And as far as we are concerned, we're going to go on taking decisions and go on governing in the interest of the people of Hong Kong until June 30, 1997. That's what I think people in the administration want us to do, and that's what I think the community expects us to do. And I don't think that anything that's happened, whether the outcome of the District Board elections or the outcome of the Municipal Council elections the other day, suggest that there's too much questioning of that approach. Clearly, the closer we get to 1997, the more people are going to look for reassurance about Hong Kong's future to the next sovereign. I can give reassurance about all that I am going to do between now until 1997 to strengthen the foundations of Hong Kong's free and open and successful society. But it's for others in deeds as well as words to give reassurance for the future. That's an inevitable consequence over the next couple of years. But it's not going to make this administration a lame duck or even a vaguely hobbling duck.

3

Question: Can you comment on whether you think that the penalties for child abuses are adequate in light of the comments made by a District Court Judge following the conviction of the baby-sitter yesterday?

Governor: It's a subject which I know there's increasing concern about, and the subject which we're looking at in the administration, both the penalties for child abuse and the pattern of child abuse across the community, and the ways in which in the courts we deal with those who are accused of child abuse, for example, looking at the possibilities for taking evidence from children on video tape and using it in the court. So they're not expected to be in the court with the parent who may be accused of abuse. Those are the sort of things we have to look at and we also have to consider the role of social work in providing a caring infrastructure for those who are abused. They are all extremely difficult issues. They are issues about which I know the community is extremely concerned because of one or two recent cases, and it's a subject which we are addressing as actively as possible.

Question: Should there be a review of the penalties?

Governor: We are looking at far wider than just the penalties. We are looking at the whole way in which the problem is tackled by the community.

Question: Mr Patten, Donald Tsang, the next Financial Secretary of Hong Kong was not so welcomed by the Chinese officials at his trip in Beijing in the past few days. Do you agree that a lot has to be done by the Government so as to foster understanding and communication with the Chinese Government?

Governor: I am not sure whether what you say is true. He's there as a guest of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office. It's one of a regular series of visits in both directions. I think there arc eight of those visits planned this year, four in each direction. One involving Chinese officials is taking place at this moment here in Hong Kong. And what I can promise you is any Chinese official who visits Hong Kong will be treated with the maximum courtesy and will be treated as one should treat a guest and someone with whom one wishes to work. I always said that we would like Director Lu Ping to come to Hong Kong more frequently, and we would always want to treat him as a welcomed guest and visitor. That is the way we do things in Hong Kong and 1 hope others will behave in an equally civilised way.

Question: Governor, about your excellence in dancing, would you keep your tangle with the Chinese side about CFA until the last minute before 97, or are you going to have some solo until the Easter to hand in the bill?

4

Governor: That gets the prize for the best question so far of 1995, though it runs the danger of abusing metaphor, to quote Lord Palmerstone. First of all, as far as dancing is concerned, I would clearly benefit from very many lessons from the excellent instructors at the St James Settlement Centre. Seriously, we’re talking about a dance which has already begun. In 1991, there was an agreement between China and Britain to set up a Court of Final Appeal. That’s agreed. We’ve drafted legislation which we gave to the Chinese side last May, last May, which faithfully implements that agreement. We've made some technical adjustments as a result of the consultations that we had with the legal profession in Hong Kong which were passed to the Chinese side in January. Now, with the best will in the world, nobody can accuse us, having passed over the bill last May, of trying to rush anybody. Indeed I suspect that before too long, the community is going to start to press us to get on with things. But we wish to go forward and I assume that we will go forward in co-operation, because nobody has yet pointed out in any way how our legislation fails to implement the 1991 agreement. Ask Chinese side in what way the bill that they’ve had since last May fails to implement an agreement which both parties entered into presumably sincerely. We had the word ’’sincere” used very often by one or two propaganda agencies. Here is a good opportunity for a show of sincerity and I hope it will be taken. Why? Because you know and 1 know that one of the things that people are most concerned about here in Hong Kong is the rule of law and the continuance of the rule of law after 1997. It’s the thing which perhaps more than anything else affects people's daily life, .. abstraction. It's about whether we can continue with the Chinese side?

What I will do in consultation with my senior officials and I hope, carrying the Legislative Council as far as possible with me, what I will do is try to set up a Court of Final Appeal and I hope that we have the active co-operation of Chinese officials in doing that. Frankly, the sort of questions that you ask me should be put to Chinese officials. Why should anyone, anyone want to delay the setting up of this Court? One more question.

Question: Is the time constraint factor, is coming to the new Legco elected in September will create uncertainty so better table the bill before the end of this legal session?

Governor: There are additional considerations. Usually, you can allow legislation which is tabled in one session but not completed to spill over into the following legislative session but when a legislature finishes, when it finishes its term, you can't do that. So you either have to legislate before the end of this Legislative Council session or you have to start in the autumn. Everybody knows the real constraints we have in terms of time in setting the Court up. There's no secret about that. We're not making it up. Getting the judges, getting the buildings established, getting the personnel, getting everything organised in order to get this Court set up in time, all that takes time. 1 wish it didn't.

5

Question: Will you be doing....so that you can obtain the mandate from the Chinese side so that you can set up the Court of Final Appeal before 1997?

Governor: With great respect, what do you think we've been doing since May?

Question: Something more Substantial-

Governor: We have been doing very substantial thing like giving them a copy of the bill.

Question: The Stadium noise report pointed out that the Secretary of Culture and Recreation Branch should be responsible for the Stadium noise. What do you think about that?

Governor: I'd like to read the report before I comment on it.

Question: Can you comment on yesterday's land auction because it seems that the policy on land auction should be reviewed as now the residential land is in great demand but the industrial land in reverse is not that....

Governor: I agree with what the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Land said. Thank you very much indeed.

End/Wednesday, March 15, 1995

Governor tours Central and Western District *****

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, toured Central and Western district this (Wednesday) afternoon to get a better understanding of the district.

Mr Patten first visited St Paul's College Primary School in Western where he was briefed by the principal on the activity approach the school adopted in teaching.

This was followed by a browse along Wing Kut Street during which the Governor showed great interest in the imitation jewellery shops there.

The Governor then went to the St James Settlement Multi-service Centre for the Elderly at Sheung Wan Urban Council Complex to see for himself the facilities provided to the elderly.

6

Before concluding his visit, the Governor met district board members and community leaders at a reception at the City Hall Restaurant.

The Governor was accompanied by Mrs Patten, the Director of Home Affairs, Mr Joseph Wong, the Central and Western District Officer, Mr Philip Yung, and the District Board Chairman, Mr Yuen Bun-keung.

End/Wednesday, March 15, 1995

Increase in penalties against copyright piracy ♦ * * * *

The Secretary for Trade and Industry, Mr T H Chau, will introduce the Copyright (Amendment) Bill 1995 into the Legislative Council at the sitting on March 29 to increase the penalties against copyright piracy.

The new maximum penalties for the possession of infringing copies of copyright works for trade and business purposes will be a fine of $25,000 per copy, and two-year imprisonment.

"They represent a substantial increase from the existing penalties of a fine of only $1,000 per copy and 12 months’ imprisonment,” Mr Chau said.

Mr Chau said the existing penalties have not been adjusted for a long time and are among the lowest in Asia.

"Clearly the existing penalties have failed to provide sufficient deterrent against copyright piracy. Wc need to increase the penalties substantially to demonstrate to both the local and international communities our determination to combat copyright piracy," Mr Chau said.

• "Copyright piracy is a serious offence. It is damaging Hong Kong's economic interests and international reputation," Mr Chau said.

"Wc must not let the copyright pirates prejudice unfairly the legitimate interests of the copyright owners, or damage Hong Kong's hard-won international reputation as one of the world's leading business centres."

7

Mr Chau added that apart from increasing the penalties for first conviction, the Amendment Bill would introduce a second tier of higher penalties for repeated offenders.

’’Copyright piracy is a serious crime and repeated offenders will have to be punished more severely,” he said.

’’The penalties for repeated offenders will be a fine of $50,000 per infringing copy and four-year imprisonment on indictment."

The penalties for possession of a plate for manufacturing infringing copyright works will also be increased substantially from a fine of $50,000 and imprisonment of two years to a fine of $250,000 and imprisonment of four years on first conviction.

"Penalties for repeated offenders will be doubled," Mr Chau said.

The Amendment Bill will also provide that persons of a body corporate or a partnership found culpable of the infringement offence will be liable to the same penalties.

This seeks to plug an existing loophole in the Copyright Ordinance which does not catch the management of a body corporate or a partnership engaged in copyright infringing activities.

"The Customs and Excise Department will continue with their vigorous enforcement efforts against copyright piracy. Additional resources will be allocated to the department to create some 20 new posts in its Intellectual Property Investigation Bureau," Mr Chau said.

"The department will continue to strengthen its intelligence network and to target enforcement action against syndicates at border control points as well as at the wholesale level."

End/Wednesday, March 15, 1995

8

Stadium to be put to optimal use

*****

The Secretary for Recreation and Culture. Mr James So, responded to the comments made by the Commissioner for Administrative Complaints in his investigation report which was published today (Wednesday), on noise nuisance caused by pop concerts held at the Hong Kong Stadium

He said the Government had taken note of the overall observations and recommendation in the report. However, he emphasised that it was important to look ahead and work towards a satisfactory solution to the noise problem to ensure that the stadium was put to optimal use.

Although the stadium is meant primarily as a sports venue, it is also intended for other suitable community and mass entertainment events

"We understand from the Urban Council that so far some 49 functions, including 29 sporting events, have been held at the stadium, attracting a total attendance of over 931,000." Mr So said.

"In addition, a major international rugby tournament, the world famous Sevens, will be held later this month and another 36 events have already been scheduled for the period between April and December this year

"This shows that the stadium has proven to be very popular. 1 am sure the Urban Council will be working to build on this to make the best possible use of the wonderful facilities it offers." he maintained.

Mr So also expressed confidence that a satisfactory solution would be found, and that the stadium would be restored to its originally intended purposes, that is for both sporting and mass entertainment events, for the benefit of the whole community.

End/Wednesday, March 15. 1995

9

More information on Hong Kong Stadium ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

In response to the three specific points raised by the Commissioner for Administrative Complaints in his investigation report on the noise nuisance at the Hong Kong Stadium this (Wednesday) morning, the Secretary for Recreation and Culture, Mr James So, gave the following-additional information:

HK Stadium as a Government project

Although the reconstruction of the Stadium was regarded as a Government project, it was quite different from other normal Government projects under the Public Works Programme. Quite apart from being financed by private funds, the design, construction and project management aspects were all handled by the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club (RHKJC). Comparison with other Government projects is therefore not entirely appropriate.

In this particular case, it would be excessive to view the Recreation and Culture Branch (RCB) as the client for the redevelopment of the stadium. It must be stressed that the primary function of the RCB, being the policy branch for sports, was to see that the project received the necessary Government support to ensure its timely completion. Thus, RCB was more a co-ordinator than a client.

Inadequate attcntionJo the noise issue

It would be unfair to suggest that the key players in the project gave inadequate attention to the noise issue and that the arrangements adopted to tackle the problem were vaguely defined. Both the Government and the RHKJC recognised the importance of environmental issues at the outset. An Environmental Noise Abatement report was produced in February 1992, eight months after the announcement of the project. Views were then given by the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) on the report. Subsequent discussions were held among the consultants, the Urban Services Department, the Architectural Services Department and the EPD to work out a solution to the concern expressed by the EPD.

The work continued with the appointment of Wembley as the Stadium Manager. A second Environmental Noise Abatement report was produced in December 1993. Various measures were proposed and the possibility of seeking a waiver from the provisions of the Noise Control Ordinance was also explored. A search for a satisfactory solution is continuing and the Government is confident that a resolution will be found.

10

Self-financing policy

This policy has been determined for two very sound purposes. First, for the sake of good management, this sizeable facility should be used adequately and should not have to be subsidised heavily as in the past. Secondly, the policy will ensure that surplus revenue generated from the facility is ploughed back to sport and not diverted elsewhere. However, it does not insist that a surplus must be produced. What it expects is for the facility to be managed on a self-financing basis.

Before formulation, the principles of this policy were discussed with the Secretary for the Treasury and the Urban Council. Its application is entirely in the hands of the Urban Council. There is no pressure from the Government on the Urban Council to make a profit by using the stadium for pop concerts.

End/Wednesday, March 15, 1995

4,035 agreements lodged with Land Registry in February *****

A total of 4,035 sale and purchase agreements for building units, which include both residential and non-residential properties, were lodged with the Land Registry last month.

The figure represents a decrease of 40 per cent from that of January 1995, and a 69 per cent drop compared with February 1994.

The total consideration of these agreements is $11.89 billion, down 30.4 per cent and 78.3 per cent as compared with the amounts for January 1995 and February 1994 respectively.

The figures are contained in the monthly statistics released today (Wednesday) 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 January 1995 and February 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/Wednesday, March 15, 1995

11

Appeal to rooftop occupants to register with Housing Department ♦ * ♦ * ♦

» A • ' A ‘

The Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic Wong, today (Wednesday) repeated his appeal to occupants of illegal rooftop structures, who wish to be rehoused in public rental estates, to come forward to register with the Housing Department and place themselves on the General Waiting List.

Mr Wong said: "This is the proper way to ensure that they will be considered for rehousing together with other applicants on the General Waiting List on a fair and equitable basis."

"The earlier they put in their applications, the earlier they will be rehoused if they can meet the normal household income limit criteria."

Mr Wong reiterated that it is the Government's policy to offer rehousing to those in need prior to any clearance or demolition. No one would be made homeless under this policy.

Problems arise only when occupants refuse to accept the type of rehousing for which they are eligible. Clearly, it is in their own interest to co-operate with the Housing Department. To do otherwise will only delay the rehousing process, and in any case will not change their eligibility status.

"The criteria for rehousing are reasonable and fair and should not be changed in favour of a particular group. We do not consider it reasonable to provide immediate rehousing in public rental flats for rooftop occupants who do not satisfy the eligibility criteria. To do so will lead to accusations of 'queue jumping', which is unfair to eligible households already on the Waiting List," he said.

Mr Wong noted that of the 16 families registered with the Housing Department in connection with the Tsuen Wan clearance earlier this year, four have been rehoused in public rental estates, seven in temporary housing, one is being processed for public rental rehousing, and one is under investigation. The remaining three families have either given up their application or been disqualified because they are owners of private property or not bona-fide occupants.

12

In the case of the rooftop occupants of the Good View Court in Kwun Tong, two families have been offered public rental housing; one is being processed through the waiting list, two are already temporary housing area (THA) occupants and the remaining four have been offered THAs in the New Territories.

With regard to the rooftop structures of Kingland Apartments in Mong Kok due for demolition next month, 37 families have registered with the Housing Department. All eligible families have been offered rehousing, either in public rental units or THAs.

End/Wednesday, March 15, 1995

Early intervention helps disabled children in studies * * * * ♦

Early intervention for disabled children is important to help them integrate into mainstream education, Mrs Patten said today (Wednesday).

She said she was pleased to hear that the Government would provide more than 700 additional places in pre-school centres for disabled children over the next four years to meet the increased demand.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Lai Chi Kok Bay Garden Centre of the Suen Mei Speech and Hearing Centre for the Deaf, Mrs Patten said the Government had also raised the special educational needs of hearing-impaired students with tertiary institutions that were funded by the University Grants Committee.

"It is encouraging to note their response. At the highest level, they are aware of the higher education needs and aspirations of students with a disability.

"They are prepared to consider, whenever appropriate, strategies for overcoming the difficulties experienced by such students who are academically qualified to study at the tertiary level,” she said.

' k I I*' ’ y ;

"Let us hope that these aims will result in more students with disabilities being able to take their studies to tertiary level," she added.

• ■ • ■

Mrs Patten commended the centre for contributing to early intervention programmes for hearing impaired children.

13

Formerly located in Mei Foo Sun Chuen, the centre has helped more than 70 such children integrate into mainstream education since its inception in 1981.

The success rate for integrating these children into ordinary kindergartens, and then into primary and secondary schools, was as high as 96 per cent.

End/Wednesday, March 15, 1995

• I I *

Yuen Long lot to let ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Lands Department is inviting tenders for short-term tenancy of a piece of Government land in Yuen Long.

Located at Yuen Long Town Park Road South, the lot has an area of 5,734 square metres for use as a plant nursery for gardening.

The tenancy is for 18 months, renewable quarterly.

Closing date for submission of tender is at noon on March 31.

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

Tender Plan can also be inspected at these offices.

End/Wednesday, March 15, 1995

Flushing water cut in Ma On Shan ♦ ♦ » ♦ ♦

Flushing water supply to some premises in Ma On Shan will be temporarily suspended from 8 am to 8 pm on Friday (March 17) to facilitate the checking of the water supply system.

The affected areas include Yiu On Estate, Hing On Temporary Housing Area, Kam Hay Court, Fok On Garden, Sunshine City, Fu Fai Garden, Bayshore Towers, Ma On Shan Centre, Kam Ying Court, Villa Athena, Saddle Ridge Garden, Kam Lung Court, Lee On Estate as well as all the premises at On Shan Lane and the section of Ma On Shan Road to the north of Hang Hong Street.

End/Wednesday, March 15, 1995

14

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

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,569 0930 +151

Closing balance in the account 1,354 1000 +151

Change attributable to : 1100 +62

Money market activity +65 1200 +65

LAF today -1,280 1500 +65

1600 +65

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 118.5 *+0.0* 15.3.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.88 14 months 2605 6.35 100.06 6.38

1 month 5.20 23 months 2702 7.50 101.54 6.75

3 months 5.65 28 months 3707 6.95 100.40 6.87

6 months 5.91 34 months 3801 8.00 102.56 7.12

12 months 6.26 57 months 5912 8.15 102.56 7.64

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $38,227 million

Closed March 15, 1995

End/Wednesday, March 15, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, March 16,1995

Contents Page No.t

HK needs Court of Final Appeal before 1997.................................. 1

Transcript of Chief Secretary's media session  ............................. 2

Greener and cleaner environment benefits Hong Kong.......................... 3

Appointment of Executive Director of the Securities and Futures Commission 5

Unemployment and underemployment statistics for Nov 1994 - Jan 1995 ........ 6

Bus-only lane on trial at Tuen Mun Road................................ 7

REO receives information on over 1 m employees for voter registration.. 10

More occasional child care places under planning....................... 11

Primary schools invited to join Extensive Reading Scheme............... 12

New requirement for PLB driving test....................................... 13

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

1

HK needs Court of Final Appeal before 1997 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

It would be in the best interests of Hong Kong to stand by the commitment to establish the Court of Final Appeal (CFA) before 1997 on the basis of the 1991 agreement, the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, said tonight (Thursday).

In order to ensure the smooth operation of the new CFA and to allow it to develop its own body of jurisprudence, it must be set up by mid-1996, she added.

That means the CFA Bill have to be enacted by the end of July when this Legco session ends.

Spelling out the reasons for the need to set up the CFA before 1997 at a dinner of the Federation of Hong Kong Industries, Mrs Chan said Hong Kong would have a judicial vacuum for the last few months before June 30, 1997 if the CFA was not set up before 1997.

In that case, new cases will not have time to be considered by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, and then for the year or two after that date that it will take the Special Administrative Region Government to enact a bill and then set up the court. Perhaps as long as two to three years in all.

"All this would mean a lack of continuity at the top of the judicial system, that would inevitably undermine confidence among both the Hong Kong public and international investors.

"We are already aware that some potential investors are now taking the unusual step of ensuring that their contracts are not subject to the jurisdiction of the Hong Kong courts.

"This is not a situation that we welcome," she said.

Another reason for setting up the CFA before 1997 is that the Government does not want to deprive litigants of their right to appeal against decisions of the Appeal Court, Mrs Chan explained. Privy Council decisions, almost by definition, produce important points of law that affect the whole of the legal and judicial system in Hong Kong.

She told the gathering of industrialists that a commercial dispute that was not settled could mean additional costs to them.

"No responsible Government should subject litigants to such a predicament," she said.

2

The CFA Bill was handed to the Chinese Government in May last year. Since then, they have asked 17 questions which have all been answered promptly by the Government.

The Government also sought the views of the legal profession on the draft bill last November, and in the light of their comments made a number of technical amendments, which were handed to the Chinese Government in late January this year.

”1 very much hope that the Chinese side will be able to give us a positive response very soon,” Mrs Chan said.

’’This will be the best demonstration of our resolve to co-operate in ensuring a smooth transition for Hong Kong and will send a reassuring signal to the community," she added.

End/Thursday, March 16, 1995

Transcript of Chief Secretary's media session ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The following is the transcript of the media session by the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, after the presentation ceremony of the Green Project Awards ’95 this (Thursday) afternoon:

Question: Given your recent comments about government officials admitting to their mistakes, how satisfied are you with Mr So’s reaction to the ombudsman's criticism with regard to the Hong Kong Stadium...

Chief Secretary: Ask me this slightly later because I have not yet seen the report myself. I know that we received a comprehensive report from the Commissioner and I shall of course study this report very carefully. We’ll see what lessons can be learned. There may well be a lack of co-ordination , if there is, then I’m sure this report will point to where there is room for improvement. And you can be sure that we will follow up. But in the meantime, of course, the community would very much like the Urban Council and the Government to make sure that we can make optimum use of this splendid sport facility. The Urban Council, I understand, is having a test concert in April. They've installed some new sound equipment which hopefully will meet both the audience’s expectation but also satisfy the residents living nearby as regards noise pollution. If this test concert goes as well as expected then I’m sure it will enable the sport facility to be much better used in the future. So we must wait to see how the test concert go. But let me assure you again I’ll look at the report personally and I’ll, as I said, see what lessons can be learned. I’m sure co-ordination can always be improved.

3

Question: How do you find yesterday's civil aviation expert group can expedite the plenary for the ...JLG?

Chief Secretary: I think they are still in the discussion stage. Of course, air services agreements, the whole network of the air services agreements is extremely important in terms of maintaining Hong Kong's position as the regional aviation centre. I think this view is fully shared by the Chinese and we very much hope that through expert group meetings and eventually at JLG discussions we can secure Chinese agreement to more ASAs being concluded with our aviation partners.

Question: Is there's no agreement on the Court of Final Appeal ....in the Joint Liaison Group meeting, will the Government.....introduce the bill?

Chief Secretary: Let me state our position. We have an agreement with the Chinese which was reached in 1991 about the establishment of the Court of Final Appeal. Both sides have stated on many occasions their commitment to see this Court of Final Appeal established before 1997. We have already said that in order to go through the necessary procedures in terms of setting up this court, and there are many procedures such as for example, securing a building, fitting out, getting the necessary rules and regulations drawn up including staff etc., etc. This will take about a year. So, the latest we need to set up the court would be mid-1996 at the latest. The first thing obviously is to get the necessary legislation enacted by the Legislative Council. We have a bill which is ready to go before the Legislative Council but we do want to secure Chinese agreement to this bill. The Chinese have had this bill since May last year, so about 10 months. They have raised a number of questions. We've answered all these questions. So we very much hope that the Chinese will feel able to give us a positive response to the draft bill which would then enable us to table the bill in the Legislative Council and hopefully to enact this bill before the end of this current session. But I'll be saying more about the Court of Final Appeal at the speech to the Federation of Hong Kong Industries this evening. Thank you.

* *4 *'• , . - •* * • •

End/Thursday, March 16, 1995

Greener and cleaner environment benefits Hong Kong ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ o- •

•j • -a t J.

The Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, today (Thursday) called on the public to change their environmentally unfriendly habits and practices so as to protect the environment.

"To engender the change of attitudes and habits, we must increase the community’s environmental awareness and sense of responsibility," she added.

4

Speaking at the Green Project Awards 1995 Prize-Presentation Ceremony, Mrs Chan said the Government had published information on environmental matters to help educate the public and to encourage them to take a wider, and more sympathetic interest in the environment.

She noted that Hong Kong, owing to rapid economic growth, faced substantial environmental problems.

To remedy the situation, comprehensive action plans have been taken to provide practical and cost effective long term solutions to the problems.

"We are making substantial investments in environmental infrastructure - a $21 billion sewage strategy, a $10 billion solid waste strategy, a $2 billion special wastes strategy," the Chief Secretary said.

"These plans, and the investments which secure them, are well underway."

Within the environmental programme area, studies are also undertaken to articulate a framework of sustainable development for Hong Kong.

The Waste Reduction Study reviews the existing waste generation and collection patterns, and will identify measures to reduce waste production and increase reuse and recycling.

"The study will help us cut down on wastes and make the best long term use of valuable waste disposal facilities."

Another pre-emptive measure, Mrs Chan pointed out, was the legal requirement for environmental impact assessments of major development projects.

"Such assessments will ensure that the potential environmental consequences of major projects are considered throughout the process of project planning, so that the negative impact caused by the projects on the environment can be minimised," she added.

Meanwhile, many government and non-govemment organisations are doing excellent work in raising public's environmental concern, for example, setting up green funds to support environmental activities.

Turning to the award scheme, the Chief Secretary said the number of quality green projects entries this year was encouraging, showing that public interest in the environment was growing.

5

"More green projects will mobilise more people to show concern for the environment and help with the important task of environmental education. In this way green concern will be translated into green practice.

"We will all benefit from a greener and cleaner Hong Kong," she added.

End/Thursday, March 16, 1995

Appointment of Executive Director of the Securities and Futures Commission * ♦ ♦ * ♦

The Financial Secretary has approved the appointment of Mr David White as an Executive Director in charge of the Supervision of Markets Division of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Michael Cartland, said today (Thursday).

Mr White, 48, is an accountant by profession and has had 18 years' of experience in the banking and securities industries.

Prior to his current appointment as Director, Derivatives and Market Development, with the Australian Stock Exchange, he was Director of County Natwest Investment Management in Sydney and London (1986-92), Director of Dominguez Barry Samuel Montagu (now SBC Australia Ltd) (1983-86), and General Manager of Citicorp Australia (1977-83).

Earlier, the Financial Secretary appointed a Selection Panel chaired by the SFC Chairman, Mr Anthony Neoh, to identify a suitable successor to Mr Robert Gilmore, whose contract expires on April 30, 1995.

Other members of the Panel included Mr Roderick Chalmers, a Non-Executive Director of the SFC, Mr Antony Leung of the Citibank group and the Deputy Secretary for Financial Services.

"To secure the best possible candidate for such an important appointment, the Panel appointed an executive recruitment consultant to conduct a global search of potential candidates. In addition, advertisements were placed locally," Mr Cartland said.

The panel unanimously decided that Mr White should be appointed to fill the vacancy. The recommendation was accepted and the appointment approved by the Financial Secretary.

6

Mr White will report to the SFC on April 18 and will formally assume the post on May 1. His contract will run until June 30, 1997, and may be extended by mutual agreement.

"The appointment, from among the Executive Directors, of a new Deputy Chairman of the SFC is still under consideration and an announcement will be made in the near future," Mr Cartland said.

"I would like to pay tribute to Mr Robert Gilmore, the outgoing Deputy Chairman and Executive Director, for his contributions to the SFC since its inception in 1989. Mr Gilmore's in-depth knowledge of the international securities industry has helped the SFC to develop into a world class regulatory organisation," Mr Cartland added.

End/Thursday, March 16, 1995

Unemployment and underemployment statistics for Nov 1994 - Jan 1995 *****

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for November 1994 - January 1995 was 2.2%, and the underemployment rate was 1.6%, 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 of December 1994 - February 1995 was 2.5%, while the provisional underemployment rate was 1.5%.

The latest figures indicate that the unemployment rate rose, while the underemployment rate remained generally stable.

The rise in the unemployment rate in the three months ending February is likely to be due to more workers changing jobs and looking for alternative employment after the Lunar New Year.

During the period of November 1994 - January 1995, the number of unemployed persons, adjusted for seasonal variations in the proportion of first-time job-seekers in the labour force, was estimated at 66,000, while the number of underemployed persons was estimated at 47,300.

The unemployment and underemployment statistics were obtained from a continuous General Household Survey conducted by the Census and Statistics Department.

7

The survey for November 1994 - January 1995 covered a quarterly sample of some 12,600 households or 42,800 persons, selected scientifically to represent the land-based civilian non-institutional population in Hong Kong.

Relevant data were obtained from the survey by interviewing each individual member aged 15 or over in the households sampled.

In the survey, the definitions used in measuring unemployment and underemployment follow closely those recommended by the International Labour Organisation.

Detailed analysis of labour force characteristics is given in the report on the General Household Survey which is published four times a year.

The next report covering the quarter ending December 1994 will be available at the Government Publications Centre by the end of the month at $24 a copy.

End/Thursday, March 16, 1995

Bus-only lane on trial at Tuen Mun Road *****

A bus-only lane is to be introduced at Tuen Mun Road starting on March 25 on a trial basis for three weeks.

Announcing details of the trial scheme today (Thursday), Assistant Commissioner for Transport. Mr Alan Lui. said the scheme was aimed at improving the efficiency and reliability of public transport services.

This will also encourage private car users to switch to public transport to help alleviate congestion on Tuen Mun Road.

Mr Lui said the bus-only lane would be designated in the nearside lane of the Kowloon-bound carriageway of Tuen Mun Road from So Kwun Wat to a point west of Tsuen Wan Road with a total length of 13 kilometres.

"It shall be operational between 6.30 am and 9 am daily except Sundays and public holidays. The bus-only lane will be used by franchised and non- franchised buses, including school buses and other coaches," he said.

He added that the remaining two lanes would be open to all traffic including medium and heavy goods vehicles with the offside lane for overtaking activities.

8

Outside the operation hours of the bus-only lane, the nearside bus-only lane will be a normal traffic lane along an expressway and all traffic should keep to the left unless overtaking. Medium and heavy goods vehicles and buses shall not drive on the offside lane.

During the operation of the bus-only lane, Kowloon-bound motorists on Tuen Mun Road are not allowed to exit Tuen Mun Road at Siu Lam and Sham Tseng Interchanges. To reach their destinations at Siu Lam and Sham Tseng from Tuen Mun, they should use Castle Peak Road instead.

At the same time, motorists on Castle Peak Road are not allowed to join Tuen Mun Road Kowloon-bound at Siu Lam Interchange and Tuen Mun Road both bounds at Sham Tseng Interchange. They should remain on Castle Peak Road for the rest of their journeys.

With the introduction of the bus-only lane, it is expected that a saving of bus journey time of about 15 minutes will be achieved, benefiting about 60,000 bus passengers in the peak hour. Besides, the reliability and efficiency of bus operation will be improved, resulting in fewer lost bus trips and more passenger capacities.

To tie in with the introduction of the bus-only lane. Kowloon Motor Bus will strengthen external bus services operating along Tuen Mun Road by deploying more buses on these routes. Additional trips, planned at some 50 extra bus departures between 6 am and 9 am, will be operated.

Two new bus routes will also be introduced near Sham Tseng and Sam Shing to operate to Tsuen Wan MTR Station, starting from Saturday (March 18).

Mr Lui urged commuters in Yuen Long. Tuen Mun and Tsuen Wan districts to make the best use of public transport which would be enhanced in capacity and efficiency.

It is expected that the queue of general traffic on Tuen Mun Road and Castle Peak Road will be longer after the introduction of the bus-onjy lane, and some delays in car travel is likely.

To make the best use of available road space, private motorists are advised to consider carrying their friends and relatives in their cars and giving them a lift. This will help reduce traffic volume. Besides, they should also plan their journeys well and travel early.

9

Mr Lui pointed out that traffic volume on Tuen Mun Road had been increasing and the road was saturated in the morning peak hours. Traffic queues were often observed in the uphill sections. Consequently, bus operation was seriously affected, resulting in substantial lost trips and delay to thousands of bus passengers.

A Govemment/District Board Working Group was convened in 1992/93 to examine short-term traffic management measures to relieve congestion on this corridor. Its recommendations have been actively pursued by the Government departments concerned. The major proposals implemented include:

enhancement of publicity and education on road discipline;

* increases in police patrols and monitoring;

construction of additional lay-bys for breakdown/accident management;

* positioning of stand-by breakdown-recovery vehicles on-site;

* commencement of the provision of a vehicle-weighing station at Tai Lam to deter overloading; and

* improvement of bus and ferry services.

However, despite the efforts made in the above areas, no lasting relief had been achieved and the situation might deteriorate prior to the completion of the Tuen Mun Road widening scheme in late 1996 and the Route 3 Country Park Section in 1998, Mr Lui said.

"In view of the prevailing traffic conditions, there have been repeated suggestions and representations made by resident organisations in the past year pressing for the early introduction of a bus-only lane on Tuen Mun Road to speed up bus journeys in the morning peak period," he said.

The feasibility of bus-only lane on Tuen Mun Road has been studied in depth with the support of consultants. The proposal is considered worth pursuing, under certain conditions, initially on an experimental basis.

The bus-only lane scheme will be closely monitored by the Transport Department and the Police. A joint Scheme Co-ordination Centre made up of concerned departments will be established at Siu l am to oversee the implementation of the scheme.

10

In addition, the Tuen Mun District Office has also set up a liaison group comprising Legislative Council Members, District Board Members and other concerned parties to observe the implementation of the trial scheme.

"Two telephone hotlines, Nos 2399 2437 and 2399 2424, will be in operation between March 17 and March 31 to answer public enquiries on the operational details of the bus-only lane,” Mr Lui said

The scheme, together with the associated traffic measures, will be reviewed in three weeks' time.

End/Thursday. March 16, 1995

REO receives information on over Im employees for voter registration *****

As at yesterday (March 15), returns from employers covering over 1.03 million employees (representing 35 per cent of the estimated 2.9 million working population) were received by the Registration and Electoral Office (REO).

These returns were made by some 115,000 employers in response to the request by the REO for information on their principal line of business, and the names and identity card numbers of their employees.

Such information is required for the registration of working persons for the nine new functional constituencies in the September Legislative Council elections.

The first phase of the voter registration exercise for the nine new functional constituencies, which started in mid-January, is focused on obtaining employees' information from employers.

In mid-January, the REO sent out requests for information to all employers on the business registration record.

Reminders were sent in late February to those employers who had not responded.

Staff of the Home Affairs Department are also making follow-up visits to business establishments to collect outstanding returns on behalf of the REO.

An REO spokesman said the next phase of the voter registration exercise would be targeted at the working persons themselves.

11

The REO staff would be matching information provided by the employers with records on the General Electoral Roll (GER).

Notifications would be sent to employees whose particulars have been supplied by the employers and who are registered electors on the GER to invite them to be registered under one of the nine new functional constituencies in accordance with the principal line of business of their employers.

y .

These employees should receive a notification before April 15 informing them of the particular functional constituency to which they belong.

To supplement these efforts, there will be intensive general publicity through the mass media and promotional activities to remind working persons to register as electors in the new functional constituencies.

Registration forms would be available from over 1,500 convenient outlets such as banks and post offices.

The spokesman said if employees did not receive a notification by April 15, they should complete a registration form and send it to the REO before June 1 to ensure that they would be registered in time for the September LegCo elections.

. ‘I y. J;

End/Thursday, March 16, 1995

More occasional child care places under planning ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Social Welfare Department (SWD) is planning to provide 225 additional occasional child care places in 1995/96 to cope with increasing demand for the service.

Members of the public who need to leave their children alone at home for whatever reason at any time of the day are advised to make full use of the occasional child care service, a spokesman for the department said today (Thursday).

’’Children should under no circumstances be left unattended at home, even for a short while,” the spokesman said.

At present, there are 135 child care centres providing a total of 405 occasional child care places to assist needy parents to temporarily look after their children.

12

Child care centres offer temporary care for children aged under six at two-hour, half-day (four hours) or whole-day basis. The fee for a two-hour session is $13.

Members of the public who are interested in the service may call the SWD's hotline 2343 2255 or the Child Care Centre Advisory Inspectorate at 2836 3114.

’’Parents having any child care problems can seek help from the department's various family services centres throughout the territory,” the spokesman added.

End/Thursday, March 16, 1995

Primary schools invited to join Extensive Reading Scheme ♦ ♦ * * ♦

Primary schools wishing to join the phase 1 of the Extensive Reading Scheme in English for Primary 5 and 6 pupils this September are reminded to submit their applications before next Wednesday (March 22).

An Education Department spokesman said today (Thursday): "The aims of the Scheme are to help upper primary pupils develop a good habit of reading in English and to improve their English proficiency through reading quality English books and incorporating extensive reading into the curriculum.

* » *

”In the first year of implementation in a school, only primary 5 students will take part in the scheme. They will start reading at a level appropriate to their reading ability and they are expected to work their way through the reading levels as they move up to primary 6.

”In the second year of implementation, the class will share the resource with a new primary 5 class," the spokesman said.

Schools participating in the Scheme will receive a complete resource package including one set of 300 books graded into six reading levels as well as reading and teaching aids.

Specialist support will be offered to schools to help teachers implement the Scheme. Seminars and induction courses will also be held before the implementation of the Scheme.

The spokesman said about 35 schools would be selected to join the Scheme.

- 13 -

Schools interested in participating in the scheme are requested to send the reply slip to the Extensive Reading Scheme Team, English Section, Advisory Inspectorate, c/o Bonham Campus, Hong Kong Institute of Education, 2 Hospital Road, Hong Kong before March 22.

For further enquiries, please contact the Extensive Reading Scheme Team, English Section, Advisory Inspectorate at 2803 2406.

End/Thursday, March 16, 1995

New requirement for PLB driving test ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A person applying for a Private/Public light bus (PLB)(Vehicle class 04/05) driving test needs to have a PLB learner driving licence as from April 1 this year.

The applicant must also take his driving training from a licensed PLB driving instructor.

A spokesman for the Transport Department said today (Thursday) that the new requirement was in fact the second step of regularising light bus driving instruction, following the issue of PLB driving instructors’ licences last year.

He said during the training session, a ”L" plate must be displayed at the front and rear of the training vehicle as stipulated in regulation 30(3b) of the Road Traffic (Driving Licence) Regulation, Cap. 374.

’’This new requirement is in line with the application for driving test for other types of vehicles,” he added.

■' .-.'i .

End/Thursday, March 16, 1995


- 14 -

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,354 0930 +1,268

Closing balance in the account 1,567 1000 +1,258

Change attributable to: 1100 +1,248

Money market activity +1,251 1200 +1,251

LAF today -1,038 1500 +1,251

t 1600 +1,251

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 118.2 ♦-0.3* 16.3.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Govemmei it bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.94 14 months 2605 6.35 100.07 6.38

1 month 5.17 23 months 2702 7.50 101.50 6.77

3 months 5.61 28 months 3707 6.95 100.29 6.93

6 months 5.92 34 months 3801 8.00 102.40 7.18

12 months 6.24 57 months 5912 8.15 102.52 7.65

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $15,959 million

Closed March 16, 1995

End/Thursday, March 16, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Friday, March 17,1995

Contents Page No.

Inland Revenue (Amendment) Bill 1995 gazetted............................ 1

Hong Kong Government delegation to visit China........................... 2

Statement by Secretary for Housing....................................... 3

FS thanks businessmen for support of 1995/96 Budget...................... 4

First tunnel unit successfully placed in position........................ 6

Contract awarded for new airport......................................... 8

Committee appointed to advise on candidates' qualification............... 8

Tenders invited for infrastructural works................................ 9

Australian MP briefed on shipping matters..............................  10

New computerised drug information hotline............................... 10

Student slogan designers awarded.................................... 12

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

1

Inland Revenue (Amendment) Bill 1995 gazetted ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government has proposed legislation to combat the use of an interposed "service company" to disguise what is in substance a contract of employment so as to avoid or significantly reduce tax liability.

Details of the proposal are contained in the Inland Revenue (Amendment) Bill 1995 which was gazetted today (Friday).

A Government spokesman said in the 1994 Budget Speech, the Financial Secretary highlighted two types of tax avoidance arrangements of particular concern to the Government.

The first amounts to an attempt to disguise what is, in substance, an employeremployee relationship. The second involves the payment of inflated management fees by a firm to a service company that is controlled by the firm's proprietor or its partners.

The spokesman said: "Following the announcement in the 1994 Budget Speech, we have conducted consultations on how best to address these areas of concern. We have listened carefully to views expressed by the LegCo Panel on Financial Affairs, leading professionals and tax experts on the proposal.

"As a result, we have decided to limit the bill to the first type of arrangements (disguised employment) and to deal with the second type (payment of inflated management fees to service companies controlled by connected persons) by a Practice Note to be issued by the Commissioner of Inland Revenue.

"This compromise aims to achieve our basic objective of protecting public revenue whilst meeting interested parties’ concerns about the equity and effectiveness of the original proposal."

In brief, the bill will tackle cases of disguised employment by treating remuneration paid to a company for services rendered by a person who controls that company as income derived by the person from employment and chargeable to salaries tax accordingly.

2

”We have, however, provided safeguards for genuine service companies, that is where employer-employee relationships are not in substance involved,” the spokesman said.

’’Given our low taxes, there is no excuse for not paying in full the modest tax obligations which we impose to finance our public services and facilities. There is widespread support for our efforts to tackle tax avoidance and evasion. The bill is another attempt to protect public revenue and thereby prevent those who seek to avoid tax from shifting the burden of financing public services unfairly onto the rest of the community,” he added.

- End/Friday, March 17, 1995

Hong Kong Government delegation to visit China

*****

The Secretary for Trade and Industry, Mr T H Chau, is heading a Hong Kong Government delegation to Dalian and Beijing.

The delegation will leave next Tuesday (March 21) and return on March 29 (Wednesday).

Mr Chau said the purpose of the trip was to understand the work of his counterpart departments in China, to exchange views on subjects of mutual interest and to increase and improve contacts with Chinese Government officials.

The delegation will first spend two days in Dalian where the mayor, Mr Bo Xilai, will host a dinner for the delegation. There will also be calls on the Municipal Commission of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade and the Municipal Economic Commission.

They will visit the Economic and Technology Development Zone, a Hong Kong company operating there and the port of Dalian.

L

3

In Beijing, the delegation will call on the counterpart departments of the Trade and Industry Branch and its group of departments.

Other members of the delegation are: the Principal Representative of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Tokyo, Mr David Lan; Deputy Commissioner of Customs and Excise, Mr Lawrence Li; Principal Assistant Secretaries for Trade and Industry, Ms Sally Wong and Ms Au King-chi; Assistant Director-General of Industry, Ms Windy Kwok; Assistant Director-General of Trade, Ms Jennifer Mak; Assistant Secretary for Trade and Industry, Mr Wallace Lau and a Chinese Language Officer, Mr Rueben Leung.

End/Friday, March 17, 1995

Statement by Secretary for Housing ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic Wong, today (Friday) urged rooftop occupants of Kingland Apartments in Mong Kok to remain calm in pursuing their case relating to the clearance of their illegal structures.

Mr Wong said: "Staff of the Housing Branch and the Housing Department have met them twice in the last two weeks, and are prepared to meet them again in small groups for further discussions on rehousing arrangements before demolition of their illegal structures by the Buildings Department."

"It is unfortunate that they refused to meet us yesterday. However, we are willing to meet them again in Housing Department premises next week.

Mr Wong reiterated that it was the Government’s policy to offer rehousing to those in need prior to any clearance or demolition. No one would be made homeless under this policy.

"Problems arise only when occupants refuse to accept the type of rehousing to which they are eligible. Clearly, it is in their own interest to co-operate with the Housing Department. To do otherwise will only delay the rehousing process, and in any case will not change their eligibility status."

Commenting on this morning’s incident, Mr Wong said: "The Building Management requested the protesters to remain outside the building following receipt of complaints from tenants about the noise the protesters made yesterday morning and afternoon outside the Housing Branch office on the ninth floor of the building.

4

He regretted that some members of the group resorted to violence. This led to the arrest of three people (including a social worker) and subsequently the laying of charges of common assault or assaulting police officers.

"Violence will not serve any useful purpose. This is particularly so when we already have well-established procedures to take care of those to be cleared from their illegal structures," he said.

Mr Wong repeated his appeal to all rooftop occupants who wished to be rehoused in public rental flats to come forward to register with the Housing Department and place themselves on their General Waiting List.

"This is the proper way to ensure that they will be considered for rehousing together with other eligible applicants on the General Waiting List on a fair and equitable basis."

He emphasised that the existing rehousing criteria were reasonable and fair, and should not be changed in favour of a particular group.

"We do not consider it reasonable to provide immediate rehousing in public rental flats for rooftop occupants who do not satisfy the eligibility criteria. To do so would lead to accusations of 'queue jumping', which would be unfair to other eligible applicants already on the General Waiting List," he said.

End/Friday, March 17, 1995

FS thanks businessmen for support of 1995/96 Budget

*****

The Financial Secretary, Sir Hamish Macleod, today (Friday) thanked businessmen for their support of the 1995/96 Budget and urged them to adopt a realistic approach in assessing the economic prospects for Hong Kong.

Speaking to the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, Sir Hamish said the public reaction to the Budget had been balanced and positive, noting that the two most frequently used words to describe it were ’’conservative” and ’’cautious”.

He said the projected level of reserves at $151 billion by March 1997 was a comfortable and reassuring cushion - both to the local community and the international audience - during the transitional period.

5

"When we have crossed the transitional period, it will be up to the SAR Government to decide what good use it will make of the reserves.

"But the SAR Government will need to adhere to the prescriptions in the Basic Law and, in particular, to continue to 'live within our means'.

"I would say that most of us welcome the additional comfort the very healthy reserves offer," he said.

Sir Hamish said the Government's budgetary policy was to keep the growth of Government expenditure in line with the growth of the economy.

He added that this did not mean that for every single year, Government expenditure must rise by no more than GDP.

"We have, in the past, been accused of a 'stop-go' approach. Our present approach is designed precisely to avoid 'stop-go': to ensure that, over time, the increase in Government expenditure will be contained within the trend growth rate of GDP," he said.

He added that over the three year period from 1993-94 to 1995-96 (in other words, using 1992-93 as the base year), the Government estimated that recurrent expenditure would have grown in real terms by 16 per cent, compared to the cumulative real growth in GDP of 17.2 per cent.

"Over the same period, capital works expenditure (at 1994-95 prices) will reach $83.2 billion, against a permitted expenditure ceiling of $93 billion," he said.

"All this growth in expenditure, 1 must add, has been funded by the additional wealth generated by the economy, not higher taxes," he added.

On the Government forecast of 5.5 per cent GDP growth for 1995, Sir Hamish noted that the most recent Financial Survey of the Asian Wall Street Journal, which regularly looks at key economic forecasts by 20 well-known analysts, showed that the mean GDP forecast for 1995 was 5.6 per cent (the lowest being 4.8 per cent, highest 6.2 per cent).

"They may of course be wrong, but it is perverse to give this consensus less publicity than one firm that has come out with a much lower forecast," he said.

Sir Hamish said other projections were reassuring too.

6

He said the Chinese Government had forecast lower economic growth for this year. "But at 8 per cent to 9 per cent it will still be very high by international standards," he said. "And you can add to this the fact that OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) has forecast growth for the United States and the European Union.

"And then there is the significant progress that has been made towards freer international trade.

"It is always useful to remember that not so long ago, many people doubted whether the Uruguay Round would be ever concluded or that APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation) would be more than a talking shop.

"So, overall, there are good reasons to be cautiously optimistic about our prospects," he said.

End/Friday, March 17, 1995

First tunnel unit successfully placed in position *****

Work on the Western Harbour Crossing reached a major milestone this morning (Friday) when the first immersed tube tunnel unit was successfully lowered into position on the seabed off Sai Ying Pun.

Mr Eric Glenville, Chief Engineer for the Western Harbour Link Office of the Highways Department, said: "This is the first of the 12 tunnel units which will be lowered and joined to form the 1,363 metres long immersed tube tunnel."

The Western Harbour Crossing, which links Sai Ying Pun on Hong Kong Island and reclaimed land in West Kowloon, is one of the 10 projects in the Airport Core Programme. It is being developed under a 30-year build-operate-transfer franchise awarded by the Government to the Western Harbour Tunnel Company Limited in September 1993.

When completed in mid-1997, the crossing will provide three traffic lanes in each direction and be Hong Kong's third cross-harbour road tunnel.

7

The immersed tube tunnel will be formed by 12 pre-cast reinforced concrete units, each weighing 35,000 tonnes and each of the size of a football pitch, measuring 113.5 metres long, 33.4 metres wide and 8.5 metres high.

"This is a major milestone in the project, and comes two months after the first four tunnel units were completed and towed from the casting basin at Shek O to a temporary mooring area near Tseung Kwan O. There, additional works were carried out to prepare them for the lowering and joining operation," said Mr John Mundy, the Project Manager of Nishimatsu Kumagai Joint Venture, which is responsible for design and construction of the works.

The concrete unit was towed by four tug boats early Wednesday (March 15) morning from Tseung Kwan O through the harbour to Sai Ying Pun. On arrival, it was manoeuvred into position near the Sai Ying Pun ventilation building, and attached to anchors to hold it in position.

On completion of the preparatory work, the lowering process began at about 3 pm yesterday afternoon (Thursday) by pumping 800 tonnes of sea water into tanks inside the unit. The unit was supported from two steel pontoons by cables attached to winches. It was then lowered in stages into the pre-dredged trench and onto its foundation pads.

The precise depth and position of the unit was checked at each stage by a team of engineers inside the control tower and by surveyors on land with divers being coordinated to confirm the underwater positions.

By 7 am this morning (Friday), the massive 35,000-tonne unit was resting on foundation pads at the bottom of the harbour.

This first unit has now been successfully secured in position against the connection structure. This is a short section of tunnel which has already been built on the seaward side of the ventilation building at Sai Ying Pun.

Mr Mundy said the lowering of the other three concrete units, now berthed at Tseung Kwan O, will take place over the next two months.

8

"Meanwhile, at the Shek O casting basin, work has already started on the casting of the second batch of four concrete units, which is expected to be ready in September.

"About 35 per cent of the works on the Western Harbour Crossing have been completed and the tunnel is on programme to open for traffic by mid-1997," said Mr Mundy.

End/Friday, March 17, 1995

Contract awarded for new airport ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Secretary for the Treasury, on the advice of the Central Tender Board, has approved the award of an Airport Core Programme (ACP) contract for the provision of Very High Frequency and Ultra Frequency Radio Communications Equipment for the new airport at Chek Lap Kok.

The contract, valued at $30.6 million, has been awarded by the Civil Aviation Department to Motorola Military and Aerospace Electronics Incorporation of the United States.

The company will be responsible for the provision of the communication equipment to enable a reliable two-way voice communications between aircrafts, vehicles and various air traffic control units at the airport.

Work will start later this month for completion in August next year.

End/Friday, March 17, 1995

Committee appointed to advise on candidates' qualification *****

The Boundary and Election Commission (BEC) has appointed Mr Lawrence Lok Ying-kam, QC to be the Nominations Advisory Committee (NAC) from March 17 to August 21 in relation to the Legislative Council Elections in September.

The appointment was gazetted today (Friday).

9

The NAC is to provide advice to prospective candidates on their qualification for candidature before an election.

It will also provide Returning Officers with timely and impartial advice, thus ensuring consistency in their decisions on the validity of any nominations in which they have doubts. They can seek advice from the start of the nomination period until one day after its expiry.

To provide for the setting up of the NAC, the BEC has made the Boundary and Election Commission (Nominations Advisory Committee) Regulation which was gazetted on February 10.

A BEC spokesman said a prospective candidate for the LegCo elections might apply in writing for the advice of the NAC. Application should be sent to the Chief Electoral Officer on or before July 17.

End/Friday, March 17, 1995

Tenders invited for infrastructural works

*****

The Hong Kong Island and Islands Development Office of the Territory Development Department is inviting tenders for a works contract under the Phase IIB of the Tung Chung Development project.

The works of the contract include site formation for a village resite area north of Pa Mei Village, construction of access roads, car parks and associated storm water and foul drainage, and a sewage treatment plant.

The works are scheduled to begin in June for completion in 17 months.

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

Tender forms and further particulars may be obtained from Mott MacDonald Hong Kong Limited, 12th floor, Sun Kung Kai Centre, 30 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.

The tender closing date is noon on April 7.

End/Friday, March 17, 1995

10

Australian MP briefed on shipping matters ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

The Marine Department has set an annual target for 1995 for Port State Control inspections on ship at four per cent and it aims to gradually increase the level to 15 per cent by the year 2000, the Director of Marine, Mr Ian Dale, told an Australian Member of Parliament, Mr Peter Morris, this (Friday) morning.

Mr Morris, Chairman of the Australian House of Representatives Standing Committee on Transport, Communications and Infrastructure, is on a two-day visit in Hong Kong.

He met Mr Dale and senior officials of the Marine Department this morning and was briefed on the ship and crew safety issues including Hong Kong’s participation in the Tokyo Memorandum, living conditions and welfare of seafarers.

Mr Morris also called on the Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Gordon Siu, later in the morning.

He will visit the Seamen’s Training Centre in Tai Lam tomorrow.

End/Friday, March 17, 1995

New computerised drug information hotline ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Members of the public can now obtain information on commonly used drugs through a computerised hotline introduced by the Department of Health.

The hotline 2836 3880 provides recorded messages on drug information round the clock.

Speaking at a press conference to launch the hotline today (Friday), Assistant Director of Health, Dr Chan Wai-man, said: ’’Information on 11 types of commonly used drugs for the treatment of diseases and their side-effects will be provided in Cantonese.”

’’This hotline service is part of the department’s effort to promote primary health care and health education, and to remind the public of the importance of proper use of drugs, ’’ Dr Chan said.

11

The following subjects are covered:

* proper use of drugs

preparations for common cold and influenza

non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

antibiotics

peptic ulcer drugs

laxatives and anti-diarrhoeals

antihypertensives

drugs for angina

drugs for asthma

hypoglycaemic drugs

drugs for the treatment of gout

topical corticosteroids

These subjects will be varied from time to time to cover the more commonly used drugs.

"To coincide with the launching of the hotline, leaflets on the use of drugs will be distributed at all 59 General Out-patient clinics to improve patients' knowledge of. drugs to ensure effective treatment," Dr Chan said.

She added that health talks on the proper use of drugs would also be conducted at the General Out-patient clinics.

.. ■

Dr Chan said the hotline would also provide information covering 50 items on registration and licensing procedures in Cantonese, Putonghua and English.

"As the Pharmaceutical Service Division handles about 80,000 applications for registration and licensing every year, the hotline will offer greater convenience to the applicants and improve efficiency," she said.

Printed application forms and drug information sheets are available by fax upon request.

End/Friday, March 17, 1995

12

Student slogan designers awarded ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

More than 950 students from 33 schools put their thoughts into catchy slogans to bring home to the public the importance of safety at work.

The Slogan Design Competition on Safety at Work for Students '95, held earlier this year, attracted a total of 952 entries.

The general high standard of the entries made judgment a painstaking job for the judges, the Chief Factory Inspector of the Labour Department, Mr Chan Tat-king, said at the prize-presentation ceremony today (Friday).

"Since doing summer jobs is a common practice among students, I hope they can cultivate a sense of safety awareness at work, both for their own good and for the benefit of other people," he added.

The competition, aimed at promoting students' awareness of the importance of work safety, was divided into the junior, senior and English sections.

The winners are as follows :

Junior Section

First Prize : Lam Yee-shing, Buddhist Sin Tak College

Second Prize : Lam Ka-yan, Fung Kai No. 1 Secondary School

Third Prize : Kwok Chun-shing, TWGHs S.C. Gaw Memorial College

Senior Section

First Prize : Wong Ka-wai, Buddhist Sin Tak College

Second Prize : Tjong Lee-ping, Buddhist Sin Tak College

Third Prize : Lee Wai-kuen, St. Stephen's College

English Section

First Prize : Gunawan, Ferawati Vera, St. Stephen's College

Second Prize : Chan Sze-wing, Madam Lau Kam Lung Secondary School

Third Prize : Lam Yok-yiu, Agnes, Madam Lau Kam Lung Secondary School

13

Winners were awarded with cash prizes ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 and a certificate.

The competition was organised by the Labour Department, Education Department, Hong Kong Association of Careers Masters and Guidance Masters as well as the Occupational Safety and Health Council.

End/Friday, March 17, 1995

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

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

Opening balance in the account 1,567 0930 +1,049

Closing balance in the account 2,209 1000 +1,049

Change attributable to : 1100 +1,092

Money market activity +1,044 1200 +1,044

LAF today -402 1500 +1,044

1600 +1,044

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 118.2 *+0.0* 17.3.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills

EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.80 14 months 2605 6.35 100.06 6.38

1 month 5.13 23 months 2702 7.50 101.45 6.80

3 months 5.55 28 months 3707 6.95 100.27 6.94

6 months 5.87 34 months 3801 8.00 102.35 7.20

12 months 6.22 57 months 5912 8.15 102.40 7.68

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $14,211 million

Closed March 17, 1995

End/Friday, March 17, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Saturday, March 18,1995

Contents Page >0.

Co-operation needed for use of Chinese in courts......................... 1

Yau Tsim Mong traffic safety carnival.................................... 2

Sir David Trench Fund Committee invites applications for grants..... 3

Fresh and flushing water cut in Southern district........................ 4

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

/

Sunday, March 19,1995

Contents Page No.

Road safety a great concern to all....................................... 5

Elderly Homes Ordinance effective from April............................. 6

Albert House free of unauthorised structures............................. 7

New airport jobs for local construction workers.......................... 8

Teacher Recruitment Information Office reactivated....................... 9

Huge painting depicts anti-drug message................................. 10

1

Co-operation needed for use of Chinese in courts

♦ * * * ♦

The promotion of the use of Chinese in courts is a mammoth task which needs the close co-operation of the Judiciary, the Administration, the legal profession and academics, the Chief Justice, Sir Ti Liang Yang, said today (Saturday).

Speaking at the opening ceremony of an exhibition on "Law Awareness" organised by the Lions Club, .the Chief Justice noted that the Judiciary was pressing ahead with a plan for the implementation of the use of Chinese in the District Court and above.

Sir Ti Liang explained that under existing legislation, all proceedings in the higher courts had to be conducted in the English language.

The Chief Justice said: "The implementation of the use of Chinese in courts is a very important and mammoth task because ours is a common law jurisdiction and that the common law is founded on English. Even our local judges and lawyers are trained in English.

"Nevertheless, the Judiciary will tackle the problem with a sense of urgency, pragmatism, flexibility, realism and determination and will closely co-operate with relevant government departments, the legal profession and tertiary institutions to plan and promote the use of Chinese in courts."

In July last year, the Chief Justice appointed a Steering Committee on the Use of Chinese in Courts tasked with putting in place, as far as possible, a bilingual system in court proceedings in the higher courts by June 30, 1997 so as to give an option to those who feel that justice is best served by the use of Chinese in their cases.

"This option is simply not available at present, although 98 per cent of Hong Kong's population speak Chinese as their first language," he said.

Sir Ti Liang added that Article 9 of the Basic Law stipulated that Chinese must be available as an official language in the Judiciary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. However, to maintain Hong Kong's status as an international finance and trading centre, the Steering Committee had no intention of making the use of Chinese a mandatory requirement in court proceedings.

Noting that the Steering Committee had already drawn up a seven-phase pilot scheme to introduce the use of Chinese in all courts before July 1997, the Chief Justice said in drawing up this timetable, the Steering Committee had taken into consideration the different levels of courts and types of cases which could more practicably lend themselves to the use of Chinese.

2

Sir Ti Liang said: "The proposed strategy is ambitious and dependent on the necessary legislative amendments being approved and the availability of financial and staffing resources.

"Implementation is expected to be complex, involving, as it does, the coordination of the Judiciary, the Administration and the legal profession.

"Action is in hand to take the proposed strategy forward," he said, noting that "the Judiciary would launch a pilot scheme beginning in May this year on a computerised audio recording system and a transcript production service in both English and Chinese in all eight courts at the Eastern Magistracy."

"If this pilot is successful, similar facilities will be extended to all the other nine Magistrates Courts. The system should encourage lawyers to use Chinese more widely for trials at the Magistracy level in which the legal framework for the use of Chinese is well in place," he said.

The Chief Justice also pointed out that the Judiciary would also launch in October this year a limited pilot scheme on simultaneous interpretation for Magisterial and Tribunal appeal proceedings in the High Court.

Other measures that are in hand include the Glossary of Chinese/English and English/Chinese Legal Terms compiled by the Legal Department which should be ready this month.

Meanwhile, recruitment of court interpreters to implement the initial phases of the proposed strategy is in train, and a training programme is being drawn up.

End/Saturday, March 18, 1995

Yau Tsim Mong traffic safety carnival

*****

The Yau Tsim Mong traffic safety carnival will be held at the Piazza of the Kowloon Park tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon.

Members of the public are welcome to join in stall games and enjoy performances by pop singers.

Road safety messages will also be conveyed to children touring a bicycle safety

town.

3

The Commissioner for Transport, Mr Raphael Hui, will officiate at a ribboncutting ceremony.

The carnival was organised by the Yau Tsim Mong Traffic Safety Campaign Organising Committee with subsidy from the Yau Tsim Mong District Board.

Attention News Editors:

The Commissioner for Transport, Mr Raphael Hui, will officiate at a ribboncutting ceremony at 2.30 pm.

Your representatives are invited to cover the event.

End/Saturday, March 18, 1995

Sir David french Fund Committee invites applications for grants *****

The Sir David Trench Fund Committee is inviting applications for grants from the Sir David Trench Fund for Recreation and the Jockey Club Grant for Permanent Recreational Facilities for Youth.

The Sir David Trench Fund for Recreation is aimed at providing recreational, sporting, cultural and social activities facilities to promote personal development and community involvement, particularly of young people, and to encourage purposeful use of leisure.

The Jockey Club grant is mainly for the construction of recreational facilities to meet the needs of young people.

A single application form is available for the two funds.

Application forms are obtainable at all District Offices of the Home Affairs Department, and at the Education. Social Welfare, Health. Urban Services and Regional Services Departments as well as the Hong Kong Council of Social Service.

They arc also available at the Recreation and Sports Division of the Recreation and Culture Branch, and the Secretariat of the Sir David Trench Fund Committee which is responsible for administering both the Sir David Trench Fund for Recreation for capital and non-capital projects and advising on the disbursement of the Jockey Club Grant.

4

Completed forms should be returned to the Secretariat of the Sir David Trench Fund Committee in room 4015, 40th floor, Revenue Tower, 5 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Applications for capital works projects will close on May 20 while that for noncapital works projects are open throughout the year.

Enquiries about the Sir David Trench Fund for Recreation for capital works projects and the Jockey Club Grant for permanent facilities for youth can be made on 2594 5659 while those about non-capital works projects on 2594 5660.

End/Saturday, March 18, 1995

Fresh and flushing water cut in Southern district

*****

Fresh and flushing water supply to some premises in the Southern district will be suspended from 11 pm on Monday (March 20) to 6 am the following day to facilitate water mains leakage detection.

The suspension will affect all the premises at 135-141 Wong Nai Chung Gap Road. 1 Repulse Bay Road as well as 7 and 88 Tai Tam Reservoir Road.

End/Saturday, March 18, 1995

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

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

Opening balance in the account 2,209 09:30 +80

Closing balance in the account 1.579 10:00 +80

Change attributable to: 11:00 +80

Money market activity +80 11:30 +80

LAF today -710 15:00

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 118.1 *-0.1* 18.3.95

End/Saturday, March 18. 1995

5

Road safety a great concern to all

♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

A diverse range of counter-measures taken by the Government to tackle traffic accidents has produced some measure of success, the Commissioner for Transport, Mr Rafael Hui, said today (Sunday).

Speaking at the Yau Tsim Mong Traffic Safety Carnival held today, Mr Hui said traffic fatalities dropped by more than 15 per cent in 1994 compared with 1993. However, traffic accident casualties arc still unacceptably high.

He said the measures taken included stringent testing of vehicles and drivers, compulsory wearing of seat belts, education programmes, publicity, road safety patrols, traffic management measures and efficient enforcement by the Police. All these measures helped to reduce the accident toll.

"Road safety is a matter of great concern to us all. In 1994, there were almost 21,000 casualties in road accidents in Hong Kong. Almost 300 people were killed, nearly one death each day on our roads," Mr Hui said.

"The programme to reduce traffic accidents and injuries is on-going. Already in 1995 the Government has placed comprehensive proposals before the Legislative Council on drink driving. We also plan to extend compulsory seat belt wearing to rearscat passengers in private cars," he added.

Studies oI accident statistics have shown that inexperienced drivers, particularly motorcyclists, are more prone to accidents than other drivers.

In 1994, there were 2,908 accidents involving inexperienced drivers, of which 939 involved motorcyclists.

The Road Safety Research Committee of the Road Safety Council is now looking into the concept of a driver probationary scheme to see if it is appropriate for Hong Kong.

The Police have also introduced the Selective Traffic Enforcement Policy, under which they specifically target their enforcement activities at accident black spots, and at those traffic offences which are known to be major contributory causes of accidents.

"One of the greatest weapons in the fight for safer roads is undoubtedly to be found in increasing public awareness of the dangers which we face on the roads. All projects which help in enhancing road safety awareness are to be commended," Mr Hui said.

End/Sunday, March 19, 1995

6

Elderly Homes Ordinance effective from April

*****

Operators of private homes for the elderly are reminded that the Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons) Ordinance, with the exception of Section 6, will come into operation on April 1 this year.

A spokesman for the Social Welfare Department (SWD) said today (Sunday) that with the implementation of the ordinance, residential care homes for the elderly would have to comply with the licensing requirements on location, space, design, structure, safety, fire precautions, staffing and quality of care to the residents before they were allowed to operate.

"The Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons) Ordinance aims to regulate homes established for the residential care of elderly persons who have attained the age of 60 so as to ensure that these homes provide services of a reasonable standard and that the well-being of the elderly residents is safeguarded.

"The SWD will regulate residential care homes either by a licence or a certificate of exemption. Licences may be issued to residential care homes which are able to comply with the requirements in accordance with the ordinance," the spokesman said.

He explained it was the department's policy that all residential care homes which came into existence and which intended to start operation on or after April 1 this year should be subject to regulation by the issue of a licence rather than the issue of a certificate of exemption.

"Although the SWD will, of course, consider all applications for a certificate of exemption, it is unlikely that a certificate of exemption will be issued to any residential care home which commences operation on or after April 1 this year unless there is something exceptional in the circumstances which warrant a departure from this policy.

"The main reason for this approach is that regulation by the issue of a licence will better ensure high standards of residential care for elderly persons and better safeguard the interests of elderly residents than will regulation under a certificate of exemption," he said.

On the certificates of exemption, the spokesman said they were to be granted to residential care homes already in operation before April 1 this year but which were unable to comply fully with the legislative requirements.

7

"The policy of allowing these homes to continue in operation is to safeguard the interests of the residents on the one hand and the interests of the operators in business terms on the other.

"However, the certificate of exemption will be revoked if there is danger to the residents or the well-being of the residents may be adversely affected.

"Section 6 of the ordinance, which is intended to come into operation on April 1, 1996, stipulates that any person, who on any occasion operates, keeps, manages or otherwise has control of a residential care home in respect of which neither a licence nor a certificate of exemption has been issued, commits an offence and is liable to a fine of $100,000 and an imprisonment of two years," the spokesman added.

In view of the time required to process the applications, the spokesman urged operators of residential care homes to promptly apply for a licence or a certificate of exemption from the SWD's Licensing Office of Residential Care Homes for the Elderly located at Room 2354, 23rd floor, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai.

Enquiries can be made on tel 2834 7414 or 2961 7211.

End/Sunday, March 19, 1995

Albert House free of unauthorised structures ♦ + * * ♦

The Buildings Department has succeeded in having all protruding unauthorised structures removed from Albert House in Aberdeen.

Following the collapse of a canopy at Albert House last year, inspection by staff of the department revealed that the building had 146 unauthorised building works (UBWs) projecting from the external walls, including metal cages, canopies and flower racks, many of which were in a serious state of disrepair.

In order to eliminate the danger posed by them, advisory letters were sent to the owners and occupants on September 27, 1994 requesting their voluntary removal.

Ihe letters were later followed by 32 demolition orders on November 11, 1994 to those owners and occupants who failed to remove their UBWs voluntarily.

A recent inspection by staff of the department has found that all the 146 UBWs have been removed.

8

In addition, in view of the unsatisfactory conditions of the external and common areas of Albert House, including loose/defective concrete, rusty steel bars, dilapidated chimney and defective drains, the Buildings Department also issued advisory letters requiring the parties concerned to effect urgent repairs. Progress is still being made in this respect.

The Acting Director of Buildings, Mr Cheng Wei-dart, noted that the "rehabilitation of Albert House is a good example of what residents and owners can achieve in terms of improving their living environment and safety.”

He thanked the owners and occupants concerned for setting an excellent example in the public interest.

"Our goal has always been to promote and maintain building safety. To this end, private and government resources and time could both be saved if building management, owners and occupants can be more responsive to timely repairs and be conscious of the need to keep their building safe by avoid adding any unauthorised structures to it," Mr Cheng said.

End/Sunday, March 19, 1995

New airport jobs for local construction workers *****

The Labour Department today (Sunday) urged local construction workers to contact the Local Employment Service (LES) if they intended to find a job in the new airport and related projects.

Senior Labour Officer in charge of the Employment Services Division. Mr Raymond Chan, disclosed that his office had received many job vacancies arising from the new airport and related projects.

"A variety of jobs, with monthly wages ranging from $10,000 to over $20,000. are now available for local construction workers who have employment priority under the Government’s importation of labour policy," Mr Chan added.

In order to let local construction workers know more of the availability of these jobs and the placement service of LES, an advertisement will be published in four local Chinese newspapers tomorrow (Monday).

"Local workers may call the jobs hotline 2492 2001 during office hours if they wish to seek more information."

9

The LES has been actively helping local construction workers to find jobs in the new airport and related projects. As a standing practice, information on job vacancies provided by contractors applying for imported workers will be displayed in all nine LES offices throughout the territory.

The vacancy information will also be sent to more than 20 relevant trade unions for dissemination to their members.

"To make sure that local workers are given priority in filling the vacancies, our officers will advise contractors to relax employment requirements if they are found to be restrictive.

"Contractors may suffer if they refuse to relax restrictive requirements because they will not be able to recruit sufficient local workers on the one hand and their applications for imported workers may be rejected on the other. Applications from employers found to have no sincerity in employing local workers will also be rejected," Mr Chan said. .

■ j; • ■ /• •• • • • • • •• • •

End/Sunday, March 19, 1995

Teacher Recruitment Information Office reactivated ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

*! *•' : At . . • - ’ . » '-'A:.

The Education Department’s Teacher Recruitment Information Office (TRIO) will be reactivated tomorrow (March 20) to help local schools recruit quality people as teachers for the 1995-96 academic year.

Prospective teachers are welcome to register with the TRIO for assistance in finding a teaching appointment.

A department spokesman said the TRIO entered its third year of service this year.

"Last year, it attracted 4,634 applications. Among them, 2,881 were degree holders, 693 graduates from Colleges of Education, 379 diploma holders from approved post-secondary colleges and 681 held other qualifications."

The TRIO was approached by both primary and secondary schools for information on the applicants to fill a total of 1,170 teaching posts between May and August last year, the spokesman added.

10

"The TRIO sees as its mission the recruitment of not only a sufficient number of, but also quality people to groom our next generation. To this end, the TRIO will this year launch a series of publicity activities to attract both local and overseas candidates to join the teaching profession.

"Career talks will be arranged for fresh graduates of local tertiary institutes to enhance their understanding of the profession and encourage them to take up teaching as a career."

As part of the educational improvement package announced in the Governor's Policy Addresses in 1992 and 1993, 700 additional teaching posts will be needed in this September.

This, together with the number of vacancies arising from natural wastage, offers a lot of opportunities for potential teachers to join the profession.

Registration forms will be available from tomorrow (Monday) at the district offices of the Home Affairs Department and the Labour Department, and district education offices of the Education Department.

Applicants from tertiary institutes including the Hong Kong Institute of Education may obtain the forms at their own campus.

Enquiries may be directed to the Teacher Recruitment Information Office on tel 2782 7021, 2782 7526 or fax number 2781 0206 during office hours.

End/Sunday, March 19, 1995

Huge painting depicts anti-drug message ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The successful assembling of a 7,600 square metre-anti-drug painting demonstrates what can be done by a large number of people working together.

The Chairman of the Action Committee Against Narcotics, Professor Chen Char-nie, made this remark at the Anti-Drug Huge Painting cum Prize Presentation ceremony at Victoria Park today (Sunday).

The territory’s largest ever canvas painting is made up of 6,000 smaller paintings, each measuring about 1.5 square metres and carrying an anti-drug message. It is the work of about 10,000 young people from 21 schools and voluntary organisations.

. *

- 11 -

"Together they have contributed their time, talent and efforts depicting the harmfulness of drug abuse through their artistic creativeness and choice of colourful expressions," Professor Chen said. The Chairman stressed the importance of community joint effort in the fight against the drug problem in Hong Kong.

"A concerted effort involving government departments, voluntary agencies, commercial interests and individuals can really make an impact on the situation.

"We should therefore spare no efforts in recruiting our community members in the campaign against drugs," he said.

Aside from schools and voluntary organisations, the private sector has also joined in by turning an idea into reality, Professor Chen noted.

"One firm has generously contributed its transportation facilities in the delivery of canvas and latex paints to all participating schools and organisations, while another firm has been kind enough to undertake the strenuous work of cutting and sewing the 6,000 canvas pieces.

"Members of the Visual Arts Society have created a master work for superimposing onto this huge painting," he said.

"The joint efforts made in the past few months speak for themselves. They show that the community can gather together to beat drugs," he added.

End/Sunday, March 19, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Monday, March 20,1995

Contents Page No,

Expert talks on defence and public order.................................. 1

Agreement on repatriation of EC Vils welcomed............................. 1

Value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand in January 1995 ................... 2

Port expansion essential for economic growth.............................. 4

Recruitment of teachers for TOC teams..................................... 5

DBs' work fully recognised: DHA........................................... 7

Navy diver decorated...................................................... 8

Water storage figure...................................................... 9

Fresh water cut in Kowloon Tong........................................... 9

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results............................... 9

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

1

Expert talks on defence and public order ♦ * * * ♦

A 17th round of talks between experts on the British and Chinese sides of the Joint Liaison Group to discuss matters relating to Hong Kong's future defence and public order will be held in Hong Kong from March 21 to 23. The British team will be led by British Representative Mr Alan Paul. The Chinese team will be led by Chinese Representative Mr Chen Zuo'er. They will be assisted by experts from the two sides.

EndZMonday, March 20, 1995

Agreement on repatriation of EC Vils welcomed

*****

A Government spokesman welcomed today (Monday) the agreement reached between the Hong Kong and Chinese Governments on the repatriation of all the Ex-China Vietnamese Illegal Immigrants (ECVIIs) still stranded in Hong Kong.

"Officials of the Ministry of Civil Affairs, Guangxi and Guangdong and officials of the Hong Kong Immigration Department held an informal discussion on March 14 and 15 in Shenzhen to review the repatriation of ECVIIs since the last meeting in August 1993," the spokesman said.

. . . A I, . .

’’The meeting noted with satisfaction that over 2,100 ECVIIs have been returned to China smoothly through mutual understanding and co-operation.

"The meeting tackled the issue with great understanding, agreed that the repatriation process should be speeded up, and resolved a number of technical issues.”

It was agreed that all remaining ECVIIs in Hong Kong will be repatriated to China very soon.

End/Monday, March 20, 1995

2

Value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand in January 1995 ♦ * * * ♦

The value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand for local production in January this year increased by 6% over a year earlier, according to the provisional results of a monthly survey released today (Monday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

Comparing January 1995 with January 1994, a significant increase in the value of outstanding orders was recorded in the electronic products industry (+32%). Small increases in orders were also recorded in the wearing apparel industry (+3%) and the plastic products industry (+2%).

On the other hand, significant decreases in orders were registered in the fabricated metal products industry (-26%) and the textiles industry (-14%). Decreases in orders were also recorded in the electrical products industry (-8%) and the printing and publishing industry (-7%).

Compared with December 1994, and bearing in mind that this comparison may be affected by seasonal factors, the value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand in January 1995 increased by 9%.

The monthly survey of orders-on-hand covers a sample of some 300 manufacturing firms engaging 50 or more workers.

Manufacturers' orders-on-hand refer to orders and parts of orders received earlier by manufacturers for local production that remain unfilled as at the end of the reference month.

Orders received by traders not engaged in production are included if such orders are further placed to manufacturers for production locally.

However, orders placed to manufacturing firms for production in China and other places outside Hong Kong are not included in this series of orders-on-hand statistics.

A spokesman for the department pointed out that caution should be exercised in interpreting the manufacturers' orders-on-hand figures in a single month.

Instead, the trend movement of the series as displayed over a wider span of time points should be looked at, he said.

3

The survey report for January 1995, at $6 a copy, is now available for sale at the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, Queensway, and at the Census and Statistics Department Publications Section, 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.

Enquiries about the survey results may be made of the Industrial Production Statistics Section of the Census and Statistics Department on telephone 2805 6441.

The following table shows the year-on-year percentage changes in the value of orders-on-hand in different manufacturing industries:

Percentage changes in the value of orders-on-hand in

December 1994 over December 1993 (Revised) January 1995 over January 1994 (Provisional)

All industries covered in the survey +9 +6

Wearing apparel -7 +3

Textiles +4 -14

Electronic products +33 +32

Electrical products + 16 -8

Fabricated metal products -21 -26

Plastic products +26 +2

Printing and publishing -12 -7

End/Monday, March 20, 1995

4

Port expansion essential for economic growth ♦ * * ♦ ♦

The implementation of Hong Kong's port development plans will greatly benefit the economies of both Hong Kong and China, Legislative Council members were told today (Monday).

* Briefing Legco's Trade and Industry Panel, the Secretary of the Port Development Board, Mr Tony Clark, said by expanding Hong Kong's port according to the strategic development plan, Hong Kong and its community stood to make substantial economic gains. Despite the expansion of Chinese ports there was no viable alternative to expanding Hong Kong's as well.

Hong Kong is the world's busiest container port and last year handled more than 11 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs).

Mr Clark said: "Handling those containers alone added $215 billion to the economy in 1994. Handling that cargo is essential to our economy.

"The port and related businesses provide jobs for some 350,000 people, or one in eight of our workforce. The port generates about 20 per cent of our GDP and supports some 20 per cent of all business establishments in Hong Kong.

"In terms of container growth, forecast demand on the port is such that throughput can be expected to treble by the year 2011. The great majority of this growth will be sourced from or destined for southern China.

"This forecast takes into account port development in China."

Mr Clark told Legco members: "If the facilities are not in place to meet demand, not only will there be congestion in Hong Kong's port, and its road approaches, but also the knock-on effect will result in similar congestion in Chinese ports.

"That will seriously delay the development of both Hong Kong's and China's economies and will hurt those service industries whose growth we seek."

5

He stressed that great emphasis had been placed on environmental measures in planning the port and a number of major design modifications had been made to minimise environmental impact.

Mr Clark added: "An environmental impact assessment (EIA) on Terminals 10 and 11 was considered by the Advisory Council on the Environment (ACE) on February 20. having been preceded by very lengthy deliberations on the matter by the ACE Committee on Environmental Impact Assessment. The council endorsed the project."

End/Monday, March 20, 1995

Recruitment of teachers for TOC teams ♦ * ♦ * *

The Education Department is increasing the input of experienced teachers into the development and teacher training of the Target Oriented Curriculum (TOC) by adding more teachers to its teams on the school-based preparatory programmes and design of teaching materials.

A circular is being sent to government and aided primary schools inviting serving Certificated Masters/Mistresses and Assistant Masters/Mistresses in the subjects of Chinese, English and Mathematics to take up temporary posts as tutors at the department's TOC Teacher Education Unit and members of the TOC Resource Development Team in the 1995-96 school year. Induction training will be provided to these teachers.

The recruits will be seconded to the Education Department for a year after which they will return to their own schools. A supply teacher will be employed for one year to fill the post vacated by the teacher who is on secondment to the Education Department.

A spokesman for the Education Department pointed out that the Advisory Committee on Implementation of TOC had recommended the appointment of experienced teachers to be tutors to assist in running a School-based Preparatory Programme to help schools better prepare for the implementation of TOC in the 1996-97 school year.

6

"These teachers will return to their schools at the end of their secondment with an enhanced understanding of TOC and of in-school teacher development. They can then play a major role in school-based staff development for TOC in their own schools," the spokesman said.

Since 1992, a total of 47 teachers have been seconded from various government and aided schools to serve as members of the TOC Resource Development Team in the TOC Development Unit to help develop resource materials, such as exemplar learning and assessment tasks, for teachers' reference and use.

The spokesman noted that when these teachers returned to their schools, they brought with them valuable experience and insight in developing and producing resources for their pupils.

"The experience helps in the implementation of TOC back at my own school," said one teacher who had been seconded to the TOC Resource Development Team, Ms Lam.

"In particular, it helps me set specific teaching targets and objectives and in designing the scheme of work. I am also able to help colleagues in my school when they have problems and doubts about TOC."

Another teacher who has also worked on the TOC Resource Development Team. Ms Ng, said: "As a member of the resource development team, I have a lot of opportunities to share with other members their teaching experience and to discuss and design teaching activities for TOC together.

"Not only has this given me an in-depth understanding of the targets, objectives and principles of my subject, it also helps me to anticipate problems and assess effectiveness more systematically."

The Education Department spokesman urged school principals to circulate the invitation letter and its attachment to all teachers in their schools and to encourage them to apply for the secondment posts, adding that both the teachers and the respective schools would benefit from the arrangement.

Applications should be sent to the Target Oriented Curriculum Section of the Education Department at 24 Tin Kwong Road. Kowloon, on or before April 3 through school heads. Enquiries may be directed to the department on tel 2762 2210 or 2712 8404.

Successful applicants and their school heads will be informed by April 28.

End/Monday. March 20. 1995

7

DBs' work fully recognised: DHA * ♦ ♦ * ♦

The Government attaches great importance to the work of the district boards, the Director of Home Affairs, Mr Joseph Wong, said today (Monday).

Speaking at a reception for members of the 18 district boards, Mr Wong said the Chief Secretary had recently issued an internal document to various heads of government departments, encouraging them to co-operate with the boards and listen to the members' views.

The establishment of a new Home Affairs Department on December 1 last year, he pointed out, was to improve the co-operation as well as the communications between the administration, the district boards and local residents.

Mr Wong also hoped that the relationship between the Government and the district boards could be enhanced through mutual trust and a better liaison.

As to the work of the Home Affairs Department, Mr Wong said the department had recently published a handbook which provided useful information about its roles and services.

Meanwhile, Mr Wong said the district board elections last year was a milestone in the further development of district administration.

The introduction of the new nine functional constituencies in the September Legislative Council elections was an unprecedented move, he said, noting that this arrangement enabled each functional group in the territory to have a representative in the law-making body.

In this connection, Mr Wong urged the district board members to cast their ballots in the LegCo elections and to support the voter registration of the functional constituencies.

End/Monday. March 20, 1995

8

Navy diver decorated

*****

A formerly Hong Kong-based Royal Navy sailor will collect a Queen's Gallantry Medal from Buckingham Palace in London tomorrow (Tuesday) for his underwater search for a 15-year-old boy in an inverted and unstable hull of a junk in Victoria Harbour nearly two years ago.

The incident occurred on July 15, 1993 when Leading Radio Operator (LRO) Nigel Griffiths was undertaking continuation training as a part-time ship's diver with the naval Clearance Diving Unit at HMS Tamar on Stonecutters Island.

The Unit was alerted that the boy, Cheng Kin- shing, was trapped inside the hull of the upturned junk 'Ying Kee 3'.

Within 14 minutes of the call, the diving unit was on the scene and ready to dive.

Although only a ship's diver, and consequently not formally trained for this type of contingency, LRO Griffiths had no hesitation in volunteering to dive inside the junk.

In all he entered the unfamiliar wheelhouse and compartments of the stricken vessel a total of six times during the course of two half-hour dives.

Each entry became progressively more dangerous as the junk settled in the harbour's choppy waters and more debris was dislodged inside the hull, reducing the already limited visibility in the oily water to less than a foot.

This did not deter LRO Griffiths who persisted in his search having heard tapping from inside the hull. He eventually left the water, under orders, immediately prior to the boat sinking.

LRO Griffith's selfless bravery was recognised by the award of a Queen's Gallantry Medal in November last year.

LRO Griffiths, now 31, served in the British Forces headquarters from January 1992 to August 1994 during which time he was accepted as a potential officer candidate.

Since leaving Hong Kong he has successfully completed a communications yeomans course in Britain, and gained three academic examination passes towards those he needs for an officer's commission.

End/Monday. March 20. 1995

9

Water storage figure * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Storage in Hong Kong’s reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 67.7 per cent of capacity or 396.961 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 396.668 million cubic metres of water, representing 67.7 per cent of capacity.

End/Monday, March 20, 1995

Fresh water cut in Kowloon Tong ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

Fresh water supply to some premises in Kowloon Tong will be suspended from 11 pm on Wednesday (March 22) to 6 am the following day to facilitate water mains leakage detection.

The suspension will affect all the premises bounded by Waterloo Road, Prince Edward Road West, La Salle Road and Lancashire Road.

End/Monday, March 20, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results

*****

Tender date

Paper on offer

Issue number

Amount applied

Amount allotted

Average price (yield) accepted

Lowest price (yield) accepted

Pro rata ratio

Average tender price (yield)

End/Monday, March 20, 1995

20 Mar 95

EF notes

5003

HK$ 1,310 million

HKS500 million

100.61 (7.75 PCT)

100.55 (7.76 PCT)

About 41 PCT

100.42 (7.79 PCT)

10

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1.579 0930 + 1,073

Closing balance in the account 1,417 1000 +1,073

Change attributable to : 1100 + 1,026

Money market activity + 1,026 1200 + 1,026

LAF today -1,188 1500 + 1,026

1600 + 1,026

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 118.1 *+0.0* 20.3.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.90 14 months 2605 6.35 100.07 6.38

1 month 5.16 23 months 2702 7.50 101.39 6.83

3 months 5.57 28 months 3707 6.95 100.18 6.98

6 months 5.86 34 months 3801 8.00 102.30 7.22

12 months 6.22 57 months 5912 8.15 102.37 7.68

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $12,210 million

Closed March 20, 1995

End/Monday, March 20, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Tuesday, March 21,1995

Contents

STI welcomes new appointment of WTO.............................. 1

Lau appointed chief of Royal Observatory........................

Land fund of future SARG......................................... 2

All ECVIIs to return to China.................................... 4

Tate’s Cairn Tunnel tolls up..................................... 5

Consumer Price Indices for February 1995 ........................ 6

Employment service well received by local workers............... 12

Newly reported drug abusers drop by 20 per cent................. 13

36 pollution cases in February.................................. 14

S800 million for elderly services............................... 14

Royal Observatory’s public weather services popular............. 15

White Paper on Annual Report on HK 1994 to Parliament published. 17

Fire-fighters commended for saving lives........................ 18

163 VMs return home voluntarily................................. 19

Hong Kong's terminal throughput jumps 19 per cent............... 19

Government committed to providing quality education............. 20

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results..................... 21

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

1

STI welcomes new appointment of WTO

♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

The Acting Secretary for Trade and Industry, Mrs Regina Ip, said tonight (Tuesday) that she was pleased that the issue of who should replace Peter Sutherland as Director-General of the new World Trade Organisation appears finally to have been resolved.

She said: "Hong Kong is happy to join a consensus to appoint Mr Ruggiero, the former Italian Trade Minister. He is without doubt, an extremely capable individual and I am sure that he will lead the new Organisation with great skill and determination. Hong Kong looks forward to working with him over the next few years."

Hong Kong had earlier supported Korean Ambassador Kim's candidature but he withdrew from the race this morning.

But Mrs Ip said she was delighted to learn that Ambassador Kim is considering accepting a Deputy Director-General post as this would mean that his talents would not be lost to the Organisation.

It is understood that members of the Organisation will meet early tomorrow (Hong Kong time) to confirm the arrangements.

• :-n 7

Mrs Ip took the opportunity to express her appreciation of the tireless efforts of the outgoing Director-General, Peter Sutherland:

"Peter Sutherland has made an enormous contribution to ensuring the smooth functioning of the international trading system. His legacy is the World Trade Organisation and no one who was present in Geneva during the final days of the Uruguay Round can question the vital role which he played in ensuring its birth. We all owe him a great debt."

End/Tuesday, March 21, 1995

2

Lau appointed chief of Royal Observatory ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

The Government announced today (Tuesday) that Mr Lau Chi-kwan, Robert, had been appointed Director of the Royal Observatory with effect from May 26 this year.

Mr Lau will succeed Mr Patrick Sham who will be retiring from the Civil Service at the age of 60.

The following is the brief biography of Mr Lau and Mr Sham:

Mr Lau Chi-kwan, Robert, JP

Mr Lau is aged 53. He joined the Hong Kong Civil Service as a Scientific Officer in 1966 and was promoted to Senior Scientific Officer in 1978 and then to Assistant Director of the Royal Observatory in 1984. He has acted as Director of the Royal Observatory on a number of occasions.

Mr Sham Pak, Patrick. ISO. JP

Mr Sham joined the Civil Service as a Scientific Officer in 1958. He was promoted to Senior Scientific Officer in 1974, and to Assistant Director of the Royal Observatory in 1978. He has been Director of the Royal Observatory since 1984. He was awarded an ISO in 1988.

End/Tuesday, March 21, 1995

Land fund of future SARG

*****

In response to media enquiries on the Land Fund of the future Special Administrative Region Government (SARG), a Government spokesman said today (Tuesday):

"The Medium Range Forecast is a five-year forecast of government's revenue, expenditure and fiscal reserves. It is a planning tool to assist with the determination of budgetary policy.

3

’’The Medium Range Forecast published with the Financial Secretary’s Budget on March 1, 1995 covers a five-year period (1994-95 to 1998-99) in accordance with our normal planning practice.

"In his Budget Speech (para 95) the Financial Secretary has emphasised that this is a forecast only, presented to provide the appropriate context for planning purposes and that, in no way, does it impose any commitment on the future SARG.

’’The final year of the Medium Range Forecast (1998-99) is the first full financial year after the change of sovereignty and the establishment of the SARG. It is clearly a matter for the SARG to determine how best to manage and use the balance it will inherit from the Land Fund come July 1, 1997.

"However, to properly present an overall picture of the likely financial strength of the future SARG, account must be taken of the forecast balance of both the fiscal reserves to be passed on by the Hong Kong Government and the Land Fund. This is what we have done in the published Medium Range Forecast.

"The estimate of the balance of the Land Fund of $138.5 billion at July 1, 1997 is derived on the basis of :-

the published balance of the fund at March 31, 1994 ($65.5 billion);

* our published revised estimate of gross land revenue in 1994-95 and our

published estimate of gross land revenue in 1995-96;

the forecast gross land revenue from 1 April 1996 to June 30, 1997 based on a historical analysis of the relationship between land revenue and GDP. We have adopted a conservative approach in making this forecast;

the sharing arrangement for gross land revenue as provided for in the Joint Declaration; and

a modest level of interest earnings on the accumulated balance of the fund.

"We believe this assessment to be realistic based on a historical analysis of land revenue and after taking account of the attractive and valuable sites which may be released to the market over the forecast period.

"We recognise that the HKSARG Land Fund Trust was established by the Chinese side of the Land Commission and it is of course for the trustees to manage the Fund until the balance is transferred to the SARG."

End/Tuesday, March 21, 1994

4

All ECVIIs to return to China

*****

In response to press enquiries, a Government spokesman confirmed today (Tuesday) that all the ECVIIs in Hong Kong will be repatriated to China pursuant to the agreement reached between the Hong Kong and Chinese Governments on March 14 and 15. They number about 340 in total.

’’The ECVIIs came from a number of provinces, principally Guangxi, Guangdong, Yunnan, Hainan and Fujian. They will be returned to their provinces of origin.

”As a number of provinces are involved, some operational details still need to be sorted out,” the spokesman added. "We hope actual departures will commence in mid-April, and the repatriation process will take a few months to complete."

The spokesman also confirmed that in order to expedite the return of the residual caseload of ECVIIs, both sides agreed that certain formalities which otherwise would be dealt with in Hong Kong would now be completed after the ECVIIs had been returned to China.

He further confirmed that the Hong Kong Government had agreed to make a contribution of $500,000, which was equivalent to keeping the 340 ECVIIs in Hong Kong for about 12 days, to the additional costs which would arise from this arrangement.

The spokesman emphasised that it was agreed by both governments that the ECVII saga should be closed as soon as possible.

"The Chinese side will incur some additional costs in expediting the process under the new arrangement and the Hong Kong Government agrees to contribute to some of these costs.

"Both sides agreed that it sets no precedents for any future ECVIIs, to whom the previously agreed arrangements will continue to apply," he said.

End/Tuesday, March 21, 1995

5

Tate's Cairn Tunnel tolls up ♦ * * ♦ ♦

The Govemor-in-Council today (Tuesday) advised that tolls at the Tate's Cairn Tunnel should be increased with effect from May 1.

The new toll structure will be as follows:

Vehicles Existing Toll New Toll

Private cars, taxis & motorcycles $4 $6

Light buses & light goods vehicles $7 $10

Medium goods vehicles, heavy goods vehicles & buses $8 $15

Extra axle $5 $5(unchanged)

A Government spokesman said this was the first toll increase for the company since the tunnel was opened to traffic in June 1991.

"The toll revision is necessary to allow the company to repay bank loans and to keep them on target to secure a reasonable return on their investment over the 30-year life of the franchise," he said.

The spokesman added that from a transport management viewpoint, the toll increase would not result in a major traffic diversion from the Tate's Cairn Tunnel to other alternate routes such as the Lion Rock Tunnel.

"The new private car tolls would be the same as that charged at the Lion Rock Tunnel, that is, $6," he said.

• • -•’ •••'• .

The spokesman added that since tunnel tolls accounted for only a small proportion of total household expenditure, the inflationary impact would be insignificant.

End/Tuesday, March 21, 1995

6

Consumer Price Indices for February 1995 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Consumer Price Index (A) in February 1995 was 8.9% higher than in February 1994, according to figures released today (Tuesday) by the Census and Statistics Department. This was significantly lower than the corresponding increase of 10.1% in January this year.

Commenting on the moderation, a Government spokesman said the prices of vegetables and charges for hair-dressing and package tours had returned to a more normal level in the latter part of February after the seasonal upsurge around the Chinese New Year. Furthermore, the rates of increase in the prices of salt-water fish and pork also slowed down.

The rate of increase in the Consumer Price Index (B) and the Hang Seng CPI also moderated. Their respective rates of increase in February 1995 were 9.6% and 9.7%, compared with the corresponding increases of 10.4% and 10.3% in January.

The Composite CPI, which is compiled based on the combined expenditure pattern of households covered by the three CPIs, showed an increase of 9.4% in February 1995 over the same month in 1994. This was also significantly lower than the corresponding increase of 10.3% in January.

Comparing February 1995 with February 1994, relatively slower price increases than the overall average increase were recorded for durable goods (4.3% in the CPI(A) and 4.5% in the CPI(B)); alcoholic drinks and tobacco (4.4% and 4.9%); food (excluding meals bought away from home) (6.5% and 6.2%); meals bought away from home (7.1% and 6.8%); fuel and light (7.6% and 7.8%); transport (8.3% in both the CPI(A) and CPI(B)); and miscellaneous goods (8.3% in the CPI(A) and 7.2% in the CPI(B)).

On the other hand, relatively faster price increases than the overall average increase were recorded for housing (12.8% in the CPI(A) and 14.4% in the CPI(B)); clothing and footwear (11.7% and 12.8%); and miscellaneous services (11.4% and 10.6%). Comparing February 1995 with January 1995, the CPI(A) and CPI(B) both increased by 0.8%. The corresponding increase for the Composite CPI was 0.7%.

Taking the first two months together, the increases in the CPI(A) and CPI(B) averaged at 9.5% and 10.0% respectively. The corresponding increase for the Composite CPI was 9.8%.

- 7 -

For the 3 months ended February 1995, the CPI(A) and CPI(B) were, on average, higher by 9.3% and 9.8% respectively over a year earlier. The corresponding increase for the Composite CPI was 9.7%. •few* • **

For the 12 months ended February 1995, the CPI(A) and CPI(B) were, on average, higher by 8.5% and 9.0% respectively than in the preceding 12-month period. The corresponding increase for the Composite CPI was 9.1%.

Seasonally adjusted series are also available for the CPIs. The deseasonalised CPI(A), CPI(B) and Composite CPI all increased at an average rate of 0.7% per month during the three months ended February 1995.

The Consumer Price Index Report

More details are given in the ’’Consumer Price Index Report” for February 1995, which is available at $23.0 per copy from the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, Ground Floor, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong; or from the Publications Section of the Census and Statistics Department, 19/F., Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong. For local and overseas mailings, contact should be made with the Information Services Department, French Mission Building, 1 Battery Path, Hong Kong.

For enquiries about the indices, please telephone the Consumer Price Index Section of the Census and Statistics Department at 2805 6403. Details regarding the Hang Seng CPI are contained in the Hang Seng CPI Report issued by the Economic Research Department of Hang Seng Bank Ltd.

- 8 -

Table 1 • • • Ccnpcnent Consumer Price Indices and Rates of Increase for February 1995

(Oct. 89 - Sep. 90 = 100) Ccrroosite CPI

CPI (A) CPI(B) Hang Seng CPI

Index for Feb 95 % change over Feb 94 Index for Feb 95 % change over Feb 94 Index for Feb 95 % change over Feb 94 Index for Feb 95 % change over Feb 94

Food 149.4 +6.8 151.0 +6.6 152.9 +7.1 150.7 +6.8

Meals bought away from hone 159.7 +7.1 159.1 +6.8 159.8 +7.7 159.5 +7.1

Food, excluding meals bought away from home 139.2 +6.5 139.9 +6.2 141.2 +6.1 139.8 +6.3

Housing 177.5 +12.8 181.9 +14.4 185.1 +13.4 181.5 +13.6

Fuel and light 131.2 +7.6 130.8 +7.8 130.1 +6.7 130.9 +7.5

Alcoholic drinks and tobacco 189.8 +4.4 179.9 +4.9 174.9 +4.6 184.2 +4.6

Clothing and footwear 139.9 +11.7 141.3 +12.8 151.2 +12.2 144.3 +12.3

Curable goods 114.8 +4.3 114.2 +4.5 119.4 +4.8 115.9 +4.5

Miscellaneous goods 139.3 +8.3 134.6 +7.2 132.4 +7.0 135.8 +7.6

Transport 153.5 +8.3 153.3 +8.3 153.2 +8.4 153.3 +8.3

Miscellaneous services 171.5 +11.4 165.4 +10.6 153.1 +8.0 163.6 । +10.1

All items 155.4 +8.9 156.6 +9.6 159.0 +9.7 156.7 +9.4

Monthly consumer price indices are caipiled cn the basis of (a) expenditure patterns of relevant households and (b) prices collected currently in the month. The expenditure patterns underlying the 1989/90-based consumer price indices are based cn those patterns derived f rem the 1989/90 Household Expenditure Survey. The CPI (A) is based cn the expenditure pattern of about 50% of households in Hong Kong, which had an average monthly expenditure of $2,500-$9,999 in 1989/90(broadly equivalent to $3,600-$14,600 at 1994 prices). The CPI(B) is based cn the expenditure pattern of the next 30% of households, which had an average monthly expenditure of $10,000-$17,499 in 1989/90(broadly equivalent to $14,600-$26,000 at 1994 prices). The Hang Seng CPI is based on the expenditure pattern of the next 10% of households, which had an average monthly expenditure of $17,500-$37,499 in 1989/90(broadly equivalent to $26,000-$56,000 at 1994 prices).

Whereas the CPI (A), CPI(B) and Hang Seng CPI are based on the expenditure patterns of groups of households with different magnitudes of household expenditure, the Ccnposite CPI is compiled based cn the expenditure pattern of all these households taken together. Thus, while the CPI (A), CPI(B) and Hang Seng CPI show the impact of consumer price changes cn different groups of households, the Ccnposite CPI shows the impact of ccnstmer price changes on the household sector generally.

9

Table 2 Consumer Price Indices for January 1992 - February 1995 (Oct. 89 - Sep. 90 = 100)

Year/month CPI(A) CPI(B) Hang Seng CPI Conposite CPI

1992 January 119.7 119.3 .... j., 119.4 119.5

February 121.8 121.2 121.0 121.4

March 122.5 121.9 121.8 122.1

April 124.0 123.4 122.9 123.5

May 124.0 123.8 124.2 124.0

June 125.3 125.1 . 125.2 125.2

July 125.5 125.4 125.4 125.4

August 125.6 125.9 125.8 125.8

September 128.3 127.9 127.5 128.0

October 128.4 128.4 128.6 128.5

November 128.5 129.0 129.9 129.0

December 129.3 129.8 130.0 129.7

1993 January 131.8 131.6 131.5 131.7

February 132.4 132.2 132.0 132.2

March 132.0 132.2 133.1 132.4

April 133.5 133.9 134.5 133.9

May 134.5 134.8 136.3 135.1

June 136.0 135.9 137.1 136.3

July 135.8 136.1 136.9 136.2

August 136.3 136.6 137.4 136.7

September 138.4 138.3 139.2 138.6

October 140.0 139.6 140.7 140.0

November 139.4 139.9 142.2 140.3

December 140.4 140.9 143.3 141.3

1994 January 140.0 140.7 143.4 141.1

February 142.7 142.9 144.9 143.3

March 142.5 143.0 145.3 143.4

April 143.8 144.8 147.9 145.2

May 145.0 146.1 150.0 146.7

June 146.2 146.9 151.0 147.7

July 147.3 147.9 150.5 148.3

August 149.6 149.6 151.7 150.1

September 150.3 150.8 153.4 151.3

October 151.1 152.2 155.3 152.6

November 151.4 153.1 157.3 153.5

December 153.0 154.3 158.1 154.8

1995 January 154.1 155.3 158.2 155.6

February 155.4 156.6 159.0 156.7

10

Chart 1 Year-on-year Rates of Increase in CPI(A)

Chart 2 Year-on-year Rates of Increase in CPI(B)

Rate of increase (%)

11

Chart 3 Year-on-year Rates of Increase in Hang Seng CPI

Chart 4 Year-on-year Rates of Increase in Composite CPI

End/Tuesday, March 21, 1995

12

Employment service well received by local workers

♦ * * ♦ ♦

The Commissioner for Labour, Mr Stephen Ip, visited the Labour Department's Tsuen Wan Local Employment Service (LES) Office this (Tuesday) afternoon to see how staff members helped local construction workers find jobs connected with the new airport and related projects.

Mr Ip was told that the latest exercise in assisting local workers finding jobs in new airport projects received good response as hundreds of telephone calls for job information had been received through the jobs hotline 2492 2001.

In addition, many Workers had approached the nine LES offices looking for jobs and 129 referrals for job interview had been arranged between 9 am yesterday (Monday) and 5pm today.

Speaking to reporters after the visit, Mr Ip asked the news media to help publicise the employment service being offered to local construction workers.

The Commissioner reiterated that as a Government policy on importation of labour, local workers should be given priority in filling job vacancies available from the new airport projects.

Mr Ip stressed that to ensure the implementation of this policy, Labour Department officers would remind contractors applying for importation of foreign workers to make sure that their employment requirements are not restrictive or unreasonable.

"We will keep tack of contractors who ignore our advice and their applications may be rejected as a result," Mr Ip said.

He said his department would look into any complaints made by local workers concerning restrictive employment conditions and take appropriate measures if the complaints were substantiated.

End/Tuesday, March 21, 1995

13

Newly reported drug abusers drop by 20 per cent * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The number of drug abusers reported for the first time to the Government's Central Registry of Drug Abuse (CRDA) declined in the fourth quarter of 1994 after rising in the first three quarters of the year, according to quarterly figures released today (Tuesday).

The number of newly reported persons of all ages has dropped by 20.3 per cent to 988 in the fourth quarter of 1994 from 1,240 in the corresponding period in 1993, following increases of 15.2 per cent, 20.8 per cent and 9.3 per cent in the preceding three quarters.

Within the figure, the number of newly reported young drug abusers under 21 has decreased from 653 in the fourth quarter of 1993 to 513 in the same period of 1994, representing a decrease of 21.4 per cent. As for newly reported drug abusers aged 21 or above, the number has dropped by 19.1 per cent to 475 as compared with 587 in the same period in 1993.

The statistics, compiled by the CRDA, were given to members of the Action Committee Against Narcotics (ACAN) at its meeting held this afternoon.

Members were told that the whole year figure of all drug abusers reported to CRDA increased by 13.3 per cent to 20,046 and the new cases by 13.5 per cent to 4,863.

This showed a slacker growth when compared with the corresponding changes for 1993 over 1992, which were 16.3 per cent and 44.1 per cent respectively.

The number of drug abusers aged under 16 recorded a sharp rise of 47 per cent from 584 reported in the whole year of 1993 to 858 in 1994, leading to a slight decrease in the average age of all drug abusers reported, from 34.7 in 1993 to 34.4 in 1994.

Among drugs commonly abused in Hong Kong, heroin (93.5 per cent), cannabis (5.8 per cent) and cough medicine (2.9 per cent) remained the major types of drug abused by addicts of all ages.

In the fourth quarter of 1994, a total of 4,763 persons were admitted to the three major publicly-funded treatment programmes, run by the Society for the Aid and Rehabilitation of Drug Abusers (SARDA), the Department of Health and the Correctional Services Department.

14

Of the total figure, 1,229 or 25.8 per cent were first time admissions. These represented an increase in total admissions by 40.2 per cent and an increase in new admissions by 42.2 per cent.

The increase in new admissions was highest in the under-21 group in the Methadone Treatment Programme, by 85.5 per cent, followed by the SARDA programme, by 46.9 per cent.

End/Tuesday, March 21, 1995

36 pollution cases in February * ♦ ♦ ♦ *

A total of 36 convictions were made in the courts last month for breaching antipollution law enforced by the Environmental Protection Department (EPD).

Among them, 17 were convictions made under the Air Pollution Control Ordinance (APCO), 11 under the Water Pollution Control Ordinance (WPCO), four under the Noise Control Ordinance (NCO), three under the Ozone Layer Protection Ordinance (OLPO) and one under the Dumping At Sea Act 1974 (Overseas Territories) Order 1975 (DASO).

The fines ranged from $1,000 to $50,000. Man Luen Hong Motor Company Ltd was fined $50,000 upon its second conviction for discharging polluting matter in the Deep Bay Water Control Zone.

End/Tuesday, March 21, 1995

$800 million for elderly services *****

The Government will spend $800 million over the next few years to implement the 71 recommendations of the Working Group on Care for tire Elderly, the Director of Social Welfare, Mr Ian Strachan, said today (Tuesday).

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Po Leung Kuk Siu Ming Memorial Home cum Care and Attention Unit, Mr Strachan said there was a growing demand for services for the senior citizens in Hong Kong.

- 15 -

"In October 1994, the Executive Council endorsed the Report of the Working Group on Care for the Elderly.

"The Government's goal is to improve the quality of life of old people so that they can enjoy a comfortable and dignified old age.

"A comprehensive approach will be adopted in the development of services for elderly people," he said.

Mr Strachan said the memorial home opened today marked a further step in Po Leung Kuk's expansion of residential services for the elderly.

"This new Home, being located in Lam Tin Estate, has been in operation since October 1994, providing 102 meal places and 44 care-and-attention places," Mr Strachan added.

End/Tuesday, March 21, 1995

Royal Observatory's public weather services popular ♦ ♦ * * ♦

Members of the public can learn more about the work of the Royal Observatory at its "open day" from Thursday (March 23) amidst growing popularity of weather information.

In celebration of the annual World Meteorological Day, the "open day" will feature an exhibition on the theme "Public Weather Services", the Director of the Royal Observatory, Mr Patrick Sham, said today (Tuesday).

The Royal Observatory headquarters in Tsim Sha Tsui will be open to the public from 2 pm to 5 pm on Thursday after an opening ceremony in the morning and from 9.30 am to 5 pm on the next two days (Friday and Saturday).

Regarding the operations and services of the Royal Observatory, Mr Sham said at today’s media session that the dial-a-weather system had been extremely popular last year.

The number of calls to the system soared to 13 million last year, about 36,000 a day, and reaching 110,000 during a day of bad weather.

16

Up to now, the number of callers had increased markedly, by about 60 to 70 per cent over that for the same period last year.

On weather forecasts, he said according to an independent survey, last year the public considered that the forecast accuracy level reached 76 per cent.

’’This matched our performance target of 75 per cent in our pledge put out in the beginning of last year."

Airline operators assessed the Observatory’s forecasts for aviation to be 98 per cent accurate or very accurate last year and ship captains’ assessment of the marine weather forecast accuracy reached 95 per cent.

Organisers of public outdoor events such as the annual Lunar New Year Fireworks Display also found the special forecast services of the Observatory useful for planning purposes and in many cases, helped them to carry out the functions satisfactorily and cost-effectively.

Mr Sham said: "We are not complacent and we will strive to further improve on these services."

The Observatory, which monitors the environmental nuclear radiation in Hong Kong, has been providing daily information on the gamma radioactivity in Hong Kong to the media for the public starting two weeks ago.

"To enhance our capability of real-time monitoring of any atmospheric release from the nuclear power station, the Royal Observatory is in the process of acquiring an aerial monitoring system.

"This system will be fitted into a helicopter of the Hong Kong Government Flying Service which will be flown during a nuclear emergency to help us track any radioactive plume from the power station," he said.

On environmental and geophysical data and consultative services, the Royal Observatory plans to upgrade and expand some observational networks.

"These plans include the expansion of the seismological network within the territory, and the networking of automatic weather stations operated by Guangdong Weather Bureau, Macao Meteorological Observatory and Royal Observatory Hong Kong," he said.

17

The number of automatic weather stations for monitoring hazardous weather over the Pearl River Delta region will also be increased.

As the rainy season is approaching, Mr Sham called for precautions against flooding, landslip and typhoon damage.

End/Tuesday, March 21, 1995

White Paper on Annual Report on HK 1994 to Parliament published *****

The Annual Report on Hong Kong 1994 to Parliament (Annual Report) has been presented to Parliament by Her Majesty’s Government today (Tuesday).

As in past years, the Annual Report has been published in the form of a white paper both in London and Hong Kong. The white paper will be tabled at the Legislative Council tomorrow (Wednesday).

A Government spokesman said Her Majesty’s Government had agreed in 1985, during the Parliamentary debates on the Hong Kong Bill, to produce annual reports on Hong Kong and to lay them before Parliament.

The purpose of this series of reports is to keep Parliament informed of developments in Hong Kong regularly.

The Annual Report is the 10th such report. It contains a survey of major events in Hong Kong during 1994.

Topics covered include visits to Hong Kong by members of the Royal Family and Government ministers and visits by the Governor of Hong Kong.

They also include constitutional development, contacts between Hong Kong and China, human rights, Vietnamese migrants, migration and nationality, infrastructure, general economic and social conditions, law and order, legal and judicial systems and the civil service.

18

Copies of the White Paper on the Annual Report and the Chinese translation will be available, free of charge, to members of the public from tomorrow.

They can be obtained from all District Offices, the Government Publications Centre on ground floor, low block, Queensway Government Offices, and the Government Publications Sales Section of the Information Services Department at French Mission Building, 1 Battery Path, Central.

End/Tuesday, March 21, 1995

Fire-fighters commended for saving lives *****

Seven firemen were awarded the Chief Fire Officer's Commendation for rescuing four people in a fire at Sau Mau Ping Estate two weeks ago.

Speaking at a presentation ceremony today (Tuesday), Chief Fire Officer (Kowloon) Mr Henry Tang Siu praised the officers for their bravery and swift action in the fire-fighting and rescue operation.

"They demonstrated a very high standard of performance with professionalism," he said.

The fire broke out in the corridor outside two domestic units in Block 43 of Sau Mau Ping Estate at about 5 am on March 6. Minutes later, it burned fiercely and emitted thick smoke.

To avoid the heat and smoke, two men inside one of the affected units climbed out of the window and stayed on a small canopy waiting for help.

Firemen soon arrived at the scene and started putting out the fire. Some broke into the premises and rescued the pair within six minutes.

Another team of firemen also quickly dashed into the flame and smoke logged unit next door and rescued a couple.

The awardees were Senior Station Officer Chung Wing-kwong, Senior Firemen Ho Yau-sang and Leung Wai-tung, Firemen Chu Wai-kwok, Li Chi-hung, Chan Wai-kei and Chan Wai-hung.

End/Tuesday, March 21, 1995

19

163 VMs return home voluntarily ♦ * * ♦ ♦

A group of 163 Vietnamese Migrants today (Tuesday) returned to Vietnam under the Voluntary Repatriation Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. f 9

Comprising 78 men, 38 women, 27 boys and 20 girls, they were the 227th batch to go back under the programme.

The group brought to 673 the total number of Vietnamese Migrants who had returned voluntarily this year, and to 44,867 the total number of returnees since the programme started in March 1989.

End/Tuesday, March 21, 1995

Hong Kong’s terminal throughput jumps 19 per cent *****

In the first two months of the year the eight container terminals at Kwai Chung and Stonecutters Island handled 1.15 million TEUs. That is a 19 per cent increase over the first two months of 1994.

In January, the terminals handled 665,703 TEUs, a rise of 18.43 per cent over the 562,126 TEUs moved in January 1994. In February, the terminal throughput was 482,398 TEUs, up 20.1 per cent over the February 1994 figure of 401,657 TEUs.

The lower February figures are a result of the terminals closing during the Lunar New Year holidays.

The 19 per cent increase in terminal throughput follows a record year in 1994 when Hong Kong handled more than 11 million TEUs. Of this total, the terminals handled 7.27 million TEUs, while 2.8 million TEUs were handled midstream and the rest was river trade.

So far, official figures for midstream and river trade throughput for the first two months of this year are not available, but Hong Kong’s port seems headed for another record year.

End/Tuesday, March 21, 1995

20

Government committed to providing quality education *****

The Government is fully committed to providing quality education and training for the young people in keeping with the changing circumstances of Hong Kong, the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, said today ^Tuesday).

Speaking at the Topping-out Ceremony of the Tuen Mun New Campus of Lingnan College, Mrs Chan said since the announcement of the tertiary education expansion plan in 1989, the proportion of eligible students who had had access to first-year first-degree places had doubled.

She said: "In 1994, we reached our target of providing 18 per cent of our eligible students with first-year first-degree places which amounted to 14,500 places in the local tertiary institutions."

Turning to the College's new campus development project, Mrs Chan said it marked a milestone in the history of the College as it became the first residential liberal arts college in the territory.

"Construction cost of the main campus amounted to $435 million and that of the student hostels, another $107 million, all funded by the Government.

"1 am certain that all staff and students will benefit greatly from the new campus," she added.

The new campus will house some of the most advanced academic, administrative and amenities facilities, in addition to providing student hostels. President's Lodge, staff quarters and an auditorium.

End/Tuesday, March 21, 1994

21

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

Tender date 21 Mar 95 21 Mar 95

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q512 Y587

Amount applied HK$7,260 MN HKS2.830 MN

Amount allotted HK$ 1,500 MN HKS500 MN

Average yield accepted 5.54 PCT 6.22 PCT

Highest yield accepted 5.54 PCT 6.23 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 98 PCT About 96 PCT

Average tender yield 5.58 PCT 6.27 PCT

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

Tenders to be held in the week beginning March 27, 1995

Tender date 28 Mar 95 28 Mar 95

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q513 H561

Issue date 29 Mar 95 29 Mar 95

Maturity date 28 Jun 95 27 Sept 95

Tenor 91 days 182 days

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

End/Tuesday, March 21, 1995

- 22 -

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

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,417 0930 +1,172

Closing balance in the account 1,366 1000 +1,199

Change attributable to : 1100 + 1,200

Money market activity +1,200 1200 +1,200

LAF today -1,251 1500 + 1,200

1600 +1,200

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 118.2 *+0.1* 21.3.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.84 14 months 2605 6.35 100.15 6.30

1 month 5.11 23 months 2702 7.50 101.51 6.76

3 months 5.52 28 months 3707 6.95 100.34 6.90

6 months 5.79 34 months 3801 8.00 102.47 7.15

12 months 6.16 60 months 5003 7.75 100.86 7.68

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $20,547 million

Closed March 21, 1995

End/Tuesday, March 21, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Wednesday, March 22, 1995

Contents Page No-

Secretary for Recreation and Culture to retire.......................... 1

Statement by Governor on retirement of Secretary for Recreation and Culture 1

Govt takes further steps to improve airport site safety................. 2

Purchase of offices by Government Property Agency....................... 4

Residential mortgage survey results for February 1995 .................. 5

Plugs and adaptors regulation in force tomorrow......................... 10

Waste charging scheme to be modified.................................... 11

Licensing of telecommunication services in HK........................... 12

Two New Territories lots to let......................................... 13

Slogan Design Competition to promote teacher image...................... 14

HK's largest water pumping station begins operation..................... 15

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations.................... 16

1

Secretary for Recreation and Culture to retire

*****

The Government announced today (Wednesday) that the Secretary for Recreation and Culture Mr James So Yiu-cho's application for retirement has been accepted. Mr So is aged 55. He will retire from active service in late September this year.

An announcement on his successor will be made in due course.

The Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, paid tribute to Mr So for his long and loyal service.

"James has served the Government and the community with dedication for 33 years," Mrs Chan said. "He has reached 55 and has decided to exercise his option to retire. We must respect his decision. James has been a valued colleague and we will be very sorry to see him go."

Mr So has been Secretary for Recreation and Culture since June 8, 1991.

Attention News Editors:

Mr So will meet media representatives in his office on the 41st floor of Revenue Tower, 5 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai at 5 pm today. You are invited to attend.

End/Wednesday, March 22, 1995

Statement by Governor on retirement of Secretary for Recreation and Culture

*****

The following statement is issued by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten:

"Mr James So has given dedicated and valuable service to the community during his 33 years in the civil service. I have very much enjoyed working with him over the last two-and-a-half years, and like the Chief Secretary and his colleagues and friends in the civil service, I shall be very sorry to see him go."

End/Wednesday, March 22, 1995

2

Govt takes further steps to improve airport site safety - * «.?)» < j ■ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government is continuing to introduce new initiatives to further step up safety on the Airport Core Programme (ACP) sites, the Secretary for Works, Mr James Blake, said today (Wednesday).

<1. ’

He was speaking at the award-presentation ceremony of the 1994 AGP Construction Safety Award Scheme organised by the New Airport Projects Coordination Office (NAPCO).

Mr Blake said the new arrangements were designed to maintain the improving trend and to achieve the ACP safety targets. These new arrangements include: '

* project offices to appoint more site staff to manage safety on ACP sites;

' •. . ■' . -;V: .

* Labour Department to assign more factory inspectors to its ACP team;

« * ./M

Works Branch to introduce regulatory action against contractors who have high accident rates.

Mr Blake said considerable effort had been made last year to further enhance safety management and practices on ACP sites.

The safety efforts of all parties concerned had produced positive results and an improving trend was maintained, he said.

» • • • • • - > *15 . I

The fatal accident rate and non-fatal accident rate for ACP contracts in 1994 was 0.6 fatalities per thousand workers per year and 92 accidents per thousand workers per year, which was 38 per cent and 12 per cent respectively lower than the figures in 1993.

“These improvements were achieved despite an increase in the labour force of about 60 per cent. The corresponding fatal and non-fatal accident rates for the construction industry as a whole were 1.4 and 294 in 1993,” he said.

However, despite the improving trend, the ACP safety results were still not good enough, Mr Blake said.

“They are still slightly higher than our targets, and it is clear that these very stringent targets for ACP will only be achieved if everybody involved - contractors, workers, consultants and Government staff alike - increase their safety endeavours still further," he said.

3

The ACP Construction Safety Award Scheme was introduced in 1993 to promote construction safety on the ACP works sites and to reduce accidents.

The Safety Management Award was presented to six sites with a high quality of safety management and with good safety records. The second award, the Safety Record Award, went to nine sites with good safety records.

ACP contractors had made considerable effort last year to improve safety on ACP sites. For instance, many ACP contractors have introduced safety incentive and penalty schemes and regularly publish newsletters and conduct talks to promote construction safety among their sub-contractors and workers, Mr Blake said.

He said last year, the Government had also made further effort to enhance ACP site safety. These included:

appointing more site supervisory staff dedicated to safety matters to strengthen monitoring of ACP contractors' activities;

* appointing consultants to provide training to management and site supervisory staff to improve their safety awareness and upgrade their knowledge of construction safety;

setting up safety units in the works departments to provide safety advice and carry out audits of safety standards on government sites;

expanding the Labour Department's ACP team in enforcing safety legislation on ACP sites;

producing and distributing pocket-sized safety hint cards to workers and supervisory staff; and

* introducing regulatory action against contractors who repeatedly violate safety legislation.

Mr Blake said it was pleasing to note that last year, about 50 per cent of the ACP contracts achieved the safety targets of zero fatalities and fewer than 60 reportable accidents per thousand workers per year.

"These contractors prove to all of us that the ACP safety targets, although much more stringent than the norm in Hong Kong, can in fact be achieved if given adequate priority and efforts," he said.

4

Also officiating at the award-presentation ceremony, the Chairman of the Consultative Committee on the New Airport and Related Projects (ACC), Dr Wong Po-yan, said: "One of our key concerns is the industrial safety of the thousands of workers working on various ACP sites.

"We firmly believe that safety of workers must take priority over programme and cost considerations.

"My committee has stressed that the safety of the thousands of workers who are building for our future must be safeguarded at all times," he said.

Dr Wong said he was glad that stringent safety requirements had been incorporated into the ACP contracts and other complementary safety measures had been introduced with the aim of achieving a high safety standard for the ACP.

"So far, the ACP safety record is amongst the best when compared with other construction sectors in Hong Kong and an improving trend is maintained.

"However, this is no reason for complacency. The ACC will continue to keep a close watch on ACP construction safety as the projects progress," he said.

Also officiating at the ceremony were Legislative Councillor, Mr James Tien; the Chairman of the Hong Kong Construction Industry Employees General Union, Mr Poon To-chuen; the Secretary-General of the Hong Kong Construction Association, Mr Patrick Chan; the Chairman of the Occupational Safety and Health Council, Professor Leung Ping-chung; the Commissioner for Labour, Mr Stephen Ip; the Acting Director of Fire Services, Mr Peter Cheung and the Director of NAPCO, Mr Billy Lam.

End/Wednesday, March 22, 1995

Purchase of offices by Government Property Agency ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

In reply to media enquiries on press reports that Information Services Department would move out of Beaconsfield House, a spokesman for the Government Property Agency said:

"To protect the Government’s commercial position, the Government Property Agency is unable to comment on recent press reports about the purchase of office accommodation by the Government Property Agency.

5

"We are considering a number of purchasing and leasing options to meet identified accommodation shortfalls.

"Our present top priority is to provide accommodation for the Legal Department and Judiciary which currently have serious shortfalls of space."

End/Wednesday, March 22, 1995

Residential mortgage survey results for February 1995

*****

The growth in residential mortgage loans for the purchase of properties in Hong Kong remained modest in February, according to the latest monthly survey conducted by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA).

The latest figures show that the total amount of outstanding mortgage lending by the 33 institutions in the survey grew by 0.2% or $0.5 billion in February (0.4% in January) to $238.6 billion. The growth rate is below the monthly average of 0.88% over the last 12 months.

The annualised rate of growth in lending over the last three months was 5.0%, compared with 7.6% in the three-month period to January.

The 12-month average of outstanding loans dropped to an annualised growth rate of 10.6% from 11.5% in January.

"These figures reflect the sluggish market activity in the early part of the year," said Mr David Carse, the Deputy Chief Executive (Banking) of HKMA. "More recently however the market seems to have revived somewhat, which may show up in the figures for later months."

The amount of new loans approved but not yet drawn decreased by 5.0% or $0.1 billion to $2.56 billion in February.

Lending for the purchase of properties in China slightly fell by 0.3% to $4.60 billion in February, compared with the 2.6% growth in January.

Gross loans made in February decreased both in number (to 83 from 368) and in amount (to $50 million from $168 million).

New loans approved in February also dropped both in number (to 181 from 242) and in amount (to $112 million from $186 million).

6

Residential Mortgage Loans in Hong Kong

Results of Survey for February 1995 Feb Jan

1995 1995

HK$ Mn HK$ Mn 33 authorised institutions

1. Outstanding lending

a. Amount

b. Monthly change

c. Twelve-month change

d. Average change (annualized)

Latest three months

Latest twelve months

238,589 0.2%

10.7%

5.0%

10.6%

238,087 0.4%

11.6%

7.6%

11.5%

2. Gross loans made during month

a. Amount b. Number 3,843 2452 4,846 3337

3 New loans approved during month

a. Amount b. Number 3,793 2599 4,559 3010

4. New loans approved during month but not yet drawn

a. Amount b. Number 2,560 1832 2,694 1798

7

Chart A

RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE LOANSJN HONG KONG (33 institutions)

Outstanding balance at end of month

Remarks : The significant fall of outstanding balance in December 1994 was