Daily Information Bulletin - 1990s - 1996 - JAN - ENG

 DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Monday, January 1,1996

Qmisnts

Page Nox

ACP projects forge ahead................................................ 1

Public invited to join Fire Services monitoring body.................... 6

Employers reminded to pay wages on time................................. 7

1

ACP projects forge ahead * * * * * •

The Airport Core Programme (ACP) has moved ahead rapidly on all fronts in the past 12 months as progress reaches almost the halfway mark.

At the beginning of last month (December), the 10 projects in the ACP were 46 per cent complete.

Progress on the seven government-funded ACP Projects, including the massive Tsing Ma Bridge, was even more impressive with work passing the 75 per cent mark.

Said the Director of the New Airport Projects Co-ordination Office, Mr Billy Lam: "The ACP encompasses many superlatives - largest this, longest that - but for Hong Kong the most important thing is that this massive effort is both on schedule and within budget.

"There is little doubt in our mind that the seven government projects and the Western Harbour Crossing will be open for use by mid-1997.

"Our target remains that the first planes will be flying out of Hong Kong's new international airport at Chek Lap Kok in April 1998 and 1 am confident that the total cost will be within our budget of $158.2 billion."

Mr Lam added: "Last year has been a year of major milestones in the development of the Airport Core Programme and we are pleased that such remarkable progress has been made."

He said one of the important milestones reached was the Sino-British agreement on June 30, 1995 on the Financial Support Agreements for the airport and airport railway and the franchises for airport cargo services. The other was the establishment on December 1 of the Airport Authority (AA) chaired by Mr Wong Po-yan.

The AA succeeded the Provisional Airport Authority (PAA) set up five years ago.

On the same day the Government also signed a Financial Support Agreement (FSA) with the newly established authority.

All major franchisees are now able to finalise their own financial arrangements on the basis of the FSA.

2

Mr Lam pointed out that the ACP had already entered its peak construction period, with works under way at various sites on both sides of the harbour.

He predicted that 1996 would be an even more busy year as franchisees started their construction programmes on their facilities at the airport site.

Details of the ACP works progress arc as follows:

New Airport at Chek Lap Kok

At Chek Lap Kok the new airport is rapidly taking shape and already the terminal building, first runway, transport links and other facilities are visible as work moves into high gear. The airport platform was completed in June and now the airport project is moving into its busiest period of construction. Over $31 billion worth of contracts are under way at Chek Lap Kok. All over the island activities can be seen on construction of taxiways, maintenance and air cargo aprons, civil works, tunnels, roads and bridges.

At the same time, development of commercial activities has proceeded at a fast pace and agreements have been signed for such major facilities as air cargo handling, fuel supply, catering, a hotel and a headquarters complex for Cathay Pacific Airways. Government facilities have also progressed, with the Civil Aviation Department's Air Traffic Control Tower and its adjacent complex taking shape. The Royal Observatory's Automatic Weather Station is already in operation to collect data in preparation for the op ung of the new airport.

Airport Railway.

Works for the Airport Railway are progressing steadily with about 25 per cent completed.

Work on all sections of the railway is well under way.

So far. five tunnel tube units for the Airport Railway's harbour crossing have been sunk onto the seabed, while construction of the third batch of tube units is under way at the casting basin at Shek O.

On Hong Kong Island, piling works and construction of the basement of the Hong Kong Station have been progressing since last June.

Meanwhile, deck erection of the Airport Railway Rambler Channel Bridge is under way with already 82 deck segments having been lifted into position.

3

The bridge is an 1,100-metrc viaduct which will carry four rail tracks from the Airport Railway Tsing Yi Station, over the Rambler Channel, into the Kwai Chung Park.

The first tunnel breakthroughs for the Airport Railway were achieved in December with one at the Tsing Yi Tunnel and another at the East Lantau Tunnel. Both were achieved well ahead of schedule.

Western Harbour Crossing

The progress of works for the Western Harbour Crossing is very good, with about 71 per cent complete. Works arc continuing on foundations, ventilation buildings and approach tunnels on both sides of the harbour.

The immersed tube tunnel consists of 12 units and eight units have been placed into final position. The remaining four units are being constructed at Shek O Quarry.

North Lantau Expressway

North Lantau and the new airport island at Chek Lap Kok are now linked by the two bridges of the North Lantau Expressway project and the bridge for the Airport Railway.

The bridges span the sea channel between Chek Lap Kok and newly reclaimed land on which phase I of the l ung Chung New Town is being built.

The 12.5-kilometre North Lantau Expressway is the first road being built along Lantau's northern coastline, involving cutting through hillsides and reclaiming land at the shore.

The expressway is being built in three sections - one each at Tai (). Yam O and Tung Chung. The seawall construction, reclamation and earthworks in all three sections have been substantially completed, and road works are in progress.

Overall, the expressway project is over 80 per cent complete.

Meanwhile, good progress has also been made with two other road projects -Route 3 and West Kowloon Expressway.

- 4 -

Route 3

The Kwai Chung and Tsing Yi sections of Route 3 are part of the ACP. They comprise the Cheung Ching Tunnel, the Rambler Channel Bridge and the Kwai Chung Viaduct, and are about 75 per cent complete.

On Tsing Yi Island, tunnelling and carriageway works inside the 1,6-kilomctre tunnel have been completed.

The 500-kilometrc bridge structure across the Rambler Channel between Tsing Yi Island and Kwai Chung has been completed and linked to the Cheung Ching Tunnel.

Construction of the superstructure for the Kwai Chung Viaduct is continuing with good progress along the busy Kwai Chung Road.

West Kowloon Expressway

The 4.2-kilometre West Kowloon Expressway is about 67 per cent complete.

Work on the expressway's elevated northern section on the West Kowloon Reclamation is substantially complete. l or the southern section, works continue to progress on piling for bridges and footbridges, culverts and retaining walls.

Lantau Fixed Crossing

Linking Lantau Island to Tsing Yi and Route 3 will be the Lantau Fixed Crossing, which comprises the 820-metrc Kap Shui Mun cable-stayed bridge, the Ma Wan Viaduct and the 2.2-kilometre Tsing Ma suspension bridge. Overall, this project is about 77 per cent complete.

Work on the main decks of the Kap Shui Mun Bridge and the Tsing Ma Bridge is nearing completion.

So far. 29 of 39 deck units have been lilted into place on the Kap Shui Mun Bridge and 42 of 51 on the Tsing Ma Bridge.

Completion of the lilting work early this year w ill be followed by construction of the railway trackform, electrical and mechanical works, and work on public lighting and road surfacing.

5

Tung Chung New Town Development

About 49 per cent of the infrastructure works for phase I of Tung Chung New Town have been completed with a bridge linking l ung Chung and Chek Lap Kok taking shape.

Construction of a sewage discharge culvert has been substantially completed, while work on a sewage treatment plant and a pumping station is under way.

Construction work is progressing on rental and home ownership housing blocks, while work has just started on construction of the superstructures of community facilities, including a commercial centre, a neighbourhood community centre, a clinic and schools.

This project is about 57 per cent complete.

West Kowloon Reclamation

Reclamation of 343 hectares of land in west Kowloon is largely complete.

The distributor road lying to the west of Hing Wah Street on the northern reclamation area has been completed and opened to traffic, providing an alternative access to the Kwai Chung Container Port.

The Cherry Street extension together with the access road serving the Public Cargo Working Area on the southern reclamation area have been opened to traffic.

Construction of the temporary' Jordan Road Ferry Pier which is scheduled to open in February 1996 is entering its final phase.

Central Reclamation

Works for phase 1 of the Central Reclamation are progressing well with about 84 per cent complete.

Demolition of existing ferry piers, marine dredging and filling works, drainage culvert construction and utilities works are in progress.

So far, four new permanent piers have been built at the reclamation, and have been opened for ferry services. Construction of two more permanent piers is under way.

6

In conclusion, Mr Lam pledged to continue working closely with the Airport Authority, the Mass Transit Railway Corporation and the Western 1 larbour Tunnel Company, as well as the government works agents and all concerned parlies to bring the ACP to completion within budget and on time.

"To this end, a lot remains to be done in the years to come. For our part, we in the New Airport Projects Co-ordination Oi l ice will continue to work to the best of our ability in close co-operation with all the parlies concerned. We will also continue to provide progress reports to members of Legco and the Airport Consultative Committee and lake into account the valuable advice they give us from lime to time," he noted.

End

Public invited to join I ire Services monitoring body

*****

The Fire Services Department is inviting applications from members of the public to join its Public Liaison Group (PLG) to monitor and improve the delivery of fire and ambulance emergency services.

A spokesman for the department said the PLG was formed to foster better understanding between the public and the department with a view to improving the quality of emergency services.

Members of the public aged 18 and above arc invited to apply.

Application forms and information sheets will be available at all fire stations, ambulance depots and District Offices from tomorrow (Tuesday).

The deadline for application is 5 pm on February 29, 1996.

The spokesman said the PLG would have 30 members, comprising 10 residents from each of the territory's three regions - Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories.

"If the number of applications for each region exceeds 10, a random draw will be held," he said.

Applicants will be informed of the results before the end of March," he added.

7

Selected members will serve for one year and the group will hold at least two meetings annually.

Further enquiries can be made on 2733 7772.

End

Employers reminded to pay wages on time

*****

Wages should be paid at the end of a wage period and in any case not later- than seven days thereafter.

A Labour Department spokesman today (Monday) reminded employers that late payment of wages was an offence under the Employment Ordinance (EO) and the offender was liable to a maximum fine of $200,000 and imprisonment for one year.

He urged employees whose wages were not paid within the statutory grace period to approach the Labour Relations Service for advice and assistance as soon as possible.

"Employees of a sub-contractor in the building and construction industry should note that if their employer owes them wages, the principal contractor is vicariously liable for their first two months' unpaid wages.

"It is therefore for their own benefit to approach the Labour Relations Sendee if their wages are not paid in good time. To claim wages under vicarious liability, employees must serve a written notice on the principal contractor within 60 days after the wages become due," the spokesman said.

Under the EO, no employer may enter into, renew or continue a contract of employment without reasonable belief that he can pay wages as they become due.

As soon as an employer realises that he is unable to pay wages due, he has to terminate the contract of employment in accordance with its terms. Failure to do so is an offence liable to a maximum fine of $100,000.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Tuesday, January 2,1996

Contents Page Mo-

All caisson sites inspected by factory inspectors.............................. 1

Efforts to protect intellectual property rights continue..................

LRC proposes abolition of hearsay rule in civil proceedings.................... 4

Statement on allegations concerning Black Watch soldiers....................... 5

r- 6

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

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

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

All caisson sites inspected by factory inspectors ♦ * * * *

The Deputy Commissioner for Labour (Special Duties), Mr Lee Kai-fat, confirmed today (Tuesday) that factory inspectors had just completed a territory-wide inspection on 73 construction sites where caisson works were in progress.

During the special operation, eight suspected offences relating to inadequate protection of workers engaged in caisson works were detected.

Prosecution action will be taken against those contractors found in breach of the law.

Factory inspectors during this operation also advised site contractors, safety officers and supervisors to pay more attention to workers’ safety and the need to observe proper safety precautions where caisson works, especially hand-dug caissons, were in operation.

Mr Lee also urged all contractors responsible for hand-dug caissons to pay particular attention to the safety of workers working inside caissons.

Referring to the fatal caisson site accident at Smithfield. Western on December 23. 1995, Mr Lee said the special investigation team was still launching in-depth enquiries into the accident.

"We hope to complete our investigations within the next six to eight weeks. We expect that the investigation report will be submitted to the Coroner's Court for consideration.

"At this stage, it will not be appropriate to speculate on the precise causes of the accident." he added.

The Deputy Commissioner for Labour said that as a standing arrangement, all caisson sites are being kept under close surveillance by factory inspectors who make a surprise visit at least once every month.

"The Labour Department is also working closely with relevant government departments including the Drainage Services Department and Highways Department to improve safety in manholes which arc inspected at the shortest possible time once the Labour Department is notified of the works concerned.

2

"Stringent legal action will be taken if there are blatant breaches of the safety regulations," Mr Lee stressed.

Apart from the launching of publicity activities to promote industrial safety on caisson works and manholes, the Labour Department has organised, and will continue to organise jointly with the Occupational Safety and Health Council, special training courses and seminars on confined spaces safety and caisson safety in addition to the department's normal legislation-related safety training courses for those engaged in the related industries.

Mr Lee added that a proposal was being made to amend the existing Factories and Industrial Undertakings (Confined Spaces) Regulations with a view to providing better protection to workers engaged to work in a confined space including caissons and manholes.

"The proposed amendments will give a clearer meaning on what constitutes a confined space and will require contractors and proprietors to adopt additional stringent safety measures," he said.

Of the proposed measures, contractors of manhole or caisson works will be required to conduct a risk assessment by a competent person; to certify that all necessary precautions have been taken; to provide and ensure that workers entering or working in a confined space wear protective equipment; to formulate emergency procedures and to provide necessary information, instructions and training to all workers involved.

"We are putting the final touches to these proposals, and we are planning to consult the Labour Advisory Board at the end of this month before consulting representatives in the related industries on technical details.

"The intention is to introduce these new regulations within this legislative session." Mr Lee said.

End

3

Efforts to protect intellectual property rights continue * * * * *

The Director of Intellectual Property, Mr Stephen Selby, today (Tuesday) stressed Hong Kong's continuing commitment to the protection of intellectual property rights.

Speaking at a meet-the-media session. Mr Selby said: "Around the world, it is recognised that Hong Kong is making enormous efforts to develop a strong, local intellectual property protection system in time for the transfer of sovereignty in 1997, when British intellectual property laws will no longer apply here.

"Although enforcement of intellectual property rights remains a challenge - as it does throughout the world - we remain a place which is highly regarded for its professionalism in protection of intellectual property rights, preparation of our laws, and intellectual property law enforcement by the Customs and Excise Department."

On developments over the past year in Hong Kong's intellectual property protection system, Mr Selby said agreement was reached in the Joint Liaison Group (JLG) on localisation of intellectual property laws.

"As a result of the successful conclusion of discussions in the JLG. we have the green light for the continued application of the Patent Co-operation Treaty to Hong Kong alter 1997. and completion of drafting of Hong Kong's localised Registration ot Patents Bill and localised Registered Designs Bill." he said.

Other significant developments during the year included the setting up of an INTERNET information centre on Intellectual Property in Hong Kong and the Intellectual Property Department's (1PD) visit to Beijing and Shanghai in March and April.

During the year, the IPD's Trademark Registry had achieved its performance pledge in full for the first time. The department's Mission Statement was developed and promulgated in 1995. Mr Selby added.

Looking into 1996. he said a package of legislation was being prepared for introduction into the Legislative Council.

In the coming year, IPD would be jointly organising a seminar on intellectual property in Shanghai with Chinese intellectual property organisations.

4

"Plans are also in hand for further publie education efforts to counter abuse of intellectual property rights," Mr Selby said.

"IPD's computerised patent information centre is being developed and is expected to come on line in 1997-98," he added.

End

IRC proposes abolition of hearsay rule in civil proceedings

*****

The Law Reform Commission (I.RC) has decided to recommend changes in the rules governing the use of hearsay evidence in civil proceedings.

At present, hearsay evidence is generally excluded from Hong Kong courts, subject to certain exceptions.

The secretary of the commission, Mr Stuart Stoker, said today (Tuesday) that "hearsay evidence essentially means second-hand evidence. It is hearsay when a witness testifies to a particular fact on the basis of what he was told by another. Because this type of evidence was generally thought to be less reliable than first-hand evidence, the law generally excluded it."

Mr Stoker said that over time the exceptions to the hearsay rule had become more complex and unclear and there had been considerable criticism of the rule. 1 le said the current trend in most common law jurisdictions was to move towards a system which admitted hearsay evidence but allowed the court to make up its own mind as to the weight to be attached to it.

At its December meeting last year. I.RC decided to recommend the abolition of the rule excluding hearsay in civil proceedings. There should be no requirement for parties to a civil action to give prior notice of their intention to call hearsay evidence at the trial (as is the case under the existing law). Both first-hand hearsay and multiple hearsay (as when a witness testifies as to what A told him B said) should be admissible. The weight to be attached to hearsay evidence would be a matter for the court, and the commission have agreed that there should be statutory guidelines to assist the court in making this assessment.

5

The commission's conclusions follow consideration of comments made to the commission on a consultation paper on the subject issued in August 1992. Mr Stoker said there had been widespread support for the abolition of the hearsay rule and the commission's proposals should be widely welcomed.

The commission expects to publish its detailed proposals on hearsay evidence in a final report within the next two or three months.

End

Statement on allegations concerning Black Watch soldiers

*****

The following statement is issued by the Joint Services Public Relations Staff, on behalf of Headquarters, British Forces Hong Kong Garrison:

"Both the Royal Hong Kong Police and the ICAC have this (Tuesday) morning confirmed to us that, contrary to a report in yesterday's (Monday) Eastern Express newspaper, there arc no investigations into links between soldiers serving in the Black Watch Regiment and organised crime syndicates. No soldiers from that regiment have been brought back to Hong Kong for interview in connection with (hat or any other investigation. No certificate of immunity from prosecution has been issued to any member of the Black Watch by the police, who have no right to do so. We have today (Tuesday) confirmed that the Director of Public Prosecutions, who does have this power, has also not issued any such certificate of immunity.

The Hong Kong Garrison deplores in the strongest possible terms this disgraceful example of unprofessional journalism. Contrary to all normally-accepted journalistic practice, this article was at best allegedly based on uncorroborated information from an anonymous 'source'. The newspaper concerned chose to persist in publishing the story despite a categorical, on-the-record statement from this Headquarters, made on the evening of Sunday, December 31 and prior to publication. This stated that wc had no knowledge of such an investigation: no record of any requests for assistance from either the RHKP or the ICAC: and no evidence of any servicemen being returned to Hong Kong for investigation. Taken together, the newspaper was informed these facts at the very' least cast serious doubts on the accuracy of their information. It is noted, with considerable regret, that the newspaper chose not to print this statement which would, at least, have added to balance to this sensationalist and unbalanced report."

End

6

Water storage figure

*****

Storage in Hong Kong’s reservoirs at 9 am today (Tuesday) stood at 84.3 per cent of capacity or 494.275 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 422.899 million cubic metres ol water, representing 72.2 per cent ol capacity.

End

I long Kong Monetary Authority tender results *****

Tender date 2 Jan 96 2 .Ian 96

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q601 11655

Issue date 3 Jan 96 3 Jan 96

Maturity date 3 Apr 96 3 Jul 96

Coupon - -

Amount applied 11KS8.140 MN 1IKS4.380 MN

Amount allotted 1 IKS 1.500 MN IIKS800 MN

Average yield accepted 5.51 PCI' 5.50 PC I'

Highest yield accepted 5.52 PC I 5.52 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 22 PCT About 2 PCT

Average tender yield 5.53 PCT 5.52 PC I

7

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

Tenders to be held in the week beginning January 8, 1996 -

Tender date 9 Jan 96

Paper on offer EF bills

Issue number Q602

Issue date 10 Jan 96

Maturity date 10 Apr 96

Tenor 91 days

Amount on offer HK$ 1,500+300 MN

End

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

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,762 0930 +541

Closing balance in the account 1,720 1000 +541

Change attributable to : Money market activity +518 1100 1200 +541 +527

LAF today -560 1500 1600 +527 +518

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.7 *+0.0* 2.1.96

8

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.70 2 years 2711 5.60 100.23 5.54

1 month 5.59 3 years 3810 6.15 101.32 5.71

3 months 5.53 5 years 5012 6.38 100.99 6.24

6 months 5.52 7 years 7211 6.82 101.90 6.58

12 months 5.50 5 years M502 7.30 103.32 6.59

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $11,672 million

Closed January 2, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Wednesday, January 3, 1996

Another year of sustained growth in HK’s economy........................... I

1996 heritage programme gets off to good start............................. 3

High APIs recorded for the territory....................................... 5

Application deadline for running 17 GMB routes due on Monday........... 6

TV series to promote teacher image.....................................

Causeway Bay Carnival to be held on Sunday................................. 7

Multi-cycle riding to be banned on Cheung Chau............................. 8

Mailing tubes available at 21 post offices from Monday..................... 8

Fees of certificates for clubs to be revised........................... 10

Ma On Shan lot to let by tender........................................... 10

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

1

Another year of sustained growth in H K’s economy *****

Robust growth in East Asian economies and promising external environment bode well for Hong Kong to enjoy another year of sustained growth in 1996, the Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, said today (Wednesday).

Speaking at a luncheon of the British Chamber of Commerce, Mr Tsang pointed out that the major industrialised economies were expected to show steady improvement in economic performance in 1996 and 1997.

He said China was expected to settle at a more stable growth of eight to nine per cent with moderate inflation and even the Japanese economy was climbing out from the doldrums.

’’Interest rates generally show signs of stabilising. I expect the Presidential election in the United States in November to boost demand,” he said.

"The external environment thus looks promising for a further sustained growth in our exports of goods and services, except that the recent rebound of the US dollar could impact on our export competitiveness in the early part of this year."

Investment would remain intensive, although the incremental growth would unlikely be as marked as in 1995, and there would likely be a mild revival in consumer spending in the latter part of 1996, Mr Tsang said.

"Overall, I remain optimistic that we will enjoy another year of sustained growth, with probably somewhat better performance in the latter half." he added.

Turning to the longer-term development. Mr Tsang said he was encouraged to see the consensus among our analysts that Hong Kong would remain the centre of trade, with excellent potential for further growth.

"The trend to global trade liberalisation as endorsed by the World Trade Organisation and Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) will unleash enormous opportunities for trade and investment." he said.

A task force has been established to review what the Government can do to support the further expansion of the service sectors, and to enhance Hong Kong's position as a major financial centre in the region.

Mr Tsang said Hong Kong's economic prospects seemed to revolve round three key issues: growth, employment and inflation.

2

On economic growth, Mr Tsang said Hong Kong's five per cent growth in real terms in 1995, although slower than in the preceding years( at 6.3 per cent in 1992, 6.4 per cent in 1993 and 5.4 per cent in 1994), was no recession by any standards.

He said external trade continued to grow strongly with total exports increased by about 13 per cent in real terms in the first 10 months last year.

"With a bit of patience, robust growth in our economy will return," he said.

On employment. Mr Tsang said during the rapid structural transformation in our economy, there were bound to be sectors expanding more rapidly than others.

The Government accepted a duty to help the workers who had been displaced and facing difficulties in finding alternative suitable employment, he said.

"We are doing so through the Labour Department's Job Matching Programme and the Employees Retraining Board.

"Retraining and job matching are the keys to helping the labour .market work more efficiently and more humanely. They arc among the highest priorities of the Government today," he said.

As for inflation, Mr Tsang said although inflation had moderated from the peak of 13.9 per cent in 1991 to the present 8.2 per cent, the Government would remain vigilant.

He said the recent easing in labour market conditions had dampened wage increases.

"Initially, workers would feel generally worse off. However, the moderating wage pressures are helpful in containing inflation and the cost of doing business," he said.

"So are the lower rentals in line with the consolidation of the property market. The rebound of the US dollar has also alleviated somewhat imported inflation.

"All these should be beneficial to our external competitiveness, and should help enhance our trade and development potential in the longer term," he said.

Mr Tsang said despite this positive note, the Government would hold down spending to reduce competition from the public sector for scarce resources in Hong Kong, and would continue to tackle the bottlenecks through an improved supply of skilled labour, land and a better transport and communications infrastructure.

End

3

1996 heritage programme gets off to good start *****

St John's Cathedral, the oldest surviving Western ecclesiastical building in Hong Kong, will be declared a historical building under the protection of the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance. A notice to this effect will be published in the Government Gazette on Friday (January 5).

The declaration of the cathedral brings the total number of gazetted monuments in Hong Kong to 60. These comprise eight rock carvings, one inscription, four Chinese fortifications, four archaeological sites, 14 traditional Chinese buildings, two villages, 26 western buildings, and one flight of steps.

St John's Cathedral is in the shape of a cruciform with a central nave and galleries. The style of the building was mainly adapted from the 13th Century Early English and Decorated Gothic style. There are a number of other historically interesting items within the compound, such as a memorial tablet on the north transept, a tombstone and a memorial cross in the precinct and so on.

The Dean of the cathedral, the Very Reverend C J Phillips, said he was pleased that the cathedral would be protected and recognised for its historical value and contribution to Hong Kong. He also appreciated being able to draw on the expertise of the Antiquities and Monuments Office (AMO) and the Architectural Services Department in maintaining the building's historical features in good order.

The Chairman of the Antiquities Advisory Board (AAB). Mr David Lung, today (Wednesday) thanked the cathedral authorities for their co-operation and interest in heritage preservation, adding that he was pleased to see the building could be declared a monument.

"This is a major historical building and landmark and its declaration also brings the total number of gazetted monuments to 60, a very auspicious figure for the Chinese," he said.

"The board and the AMO of the Recreation and Culture Branch have been working hard over the last year for the cause of preserving significant elements of our heritage.

"We were rewarded with success in declaring eight historical buildings in 1995, more than in any previous year, and we will continue our efforts in the year to come. The declaration of St John's Cathedral so early on has got us off to a very good start,"

he added.

4

Plans are in hand to declare five more Chinese temples, one Chinese monastery, one walled village and the relics inside the Kowloon Walled City Park, including the yamen building, as monuments. Other buildings and monuments may also be added during the year.

Mr Lung explained that it was important to declare and preserve these many items of our fast disappearing heritage for the benefit of current and future generations, adding that he was hopefill that approval would be given to all these items in due course.

He also paid tribute to the AMO staff, describing them as "a group of hardworking, knowledgeable and devoted professionals". "They serve the board extremely well and implement the decisions and programmes of the Antiquities Authority who is the Secretary for Recreation and Culture and whom our board advises. They deserve our, and indeed the community's, wholehearted thanks," Mr Lung said.

The Deputy Secretary for Recreation and Culture. Mr Benjamin Tang, said the AMO had been working over the past year on a wide range of projects, drawing on the expertise and advice of both the AAB and the Lord Wilson Heritage Trust. These projects included the grading of 14 historical buildings, the production of a 13-episode TV series on heritage, the organisation of an archaeological cultural exchange field programme with three Chinese archaeological institutions, the joint staging with the University Museum & Art Gallery of the Hong Kong University of an international conference on South East Asian archaeology, the opening of the Kowloon Walled City Park, and various other projects.

He pledged that 1996 would see the office continuing to work in full swing. "With additional resources granted to it. it will conduct two territory-wide surveys on archaeological sites and historical buildings respectively, computerise the office and its archives, produce publications on various heritage subjects, stage a School Heritage Festival in March and plan the establishment of another heritage trail in Kam Tin.

"A 10-part English language TV series on heritage will also be produced and screened," Mr Tang added.

Note to Editors:

The following is the historical background of the cathedral:

The foundation stone of St John’s Cathedral was laid by Sir John Davis, the then Governor of Hong Kong (1844-48) on March 11. 1847. The stone was inscribed with the initials "VR" commemorating the year of foundation during Queen Victoria’s reign.

5

Local labour was employed to build the church which was finally completed and opened in March 1849 for services. The church was formally accorded the status of cathedral in the same year. However, due to the shortage of funds, the tower was only completed in 1850. The management of the cathedral was transferred from the Colonial Chaplain to Bishop George Smith, who became the first Bishop of Victoria of the Anglican Church in March 1850.

The cathedral at this time had no chancel and the east end terminated in a small apse. It had 640 seats, of which 250 were allocated for the use of naval and military personnel. The size of the cathedral was soon found to be inadequate and an extension at the east was proposed and finally completed in 1873. The foundation stone for the extension was laid by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh in 1869.

During the Japanese Occupation (1941-45), the cathedral suffered heavy damage though services still continued until 1944 when it became a public hall and social club for the Japanese community. After the War, the Cathedral Committee drew up plans for its restoration which was carried out by Leigh and Orange. Most of the present interior design and furnishings are post-war.

End

High APIs recorded for the territory *****

Air pollution indices (API) for the territory have for the first time exceeded 100 since the system was launched by the Environmental Protection Department on June 6 last year.

Today’s (Wednesday) API is 117 for the urban area. 120 for the industrial area and 104 for the new development area.

"When the index exceeds 100, it means air quality is unhealthy. People suffering from asthma, lung or heart illnesses may be adversely affected and are advised to reduce physical exertion and laborious outdoor activities until the air quality situation improves," Principal Environmental Protection Officer, Mr Tse Chin-wan, said.

"Today’s poor air quality is due to an elevated level of nitrogen dioxide and respirable particulates. Nitrogen dioxide is caused by the oxidation of nitrogen oxides under sunlight. Both nitrogen oxides and respirable particulates arc mainly emitted by diesel vehicles in the atmosphere. The low wind speed and persistently stable atmosphere provide a condition for the formation and accumulation of air pollutants," he said.

6

"Due to changes in weather, air pollution for a few days in a year can be so bad that some people may feel an immediate effect on their health."

"The API system is put in place to alert the community when these days occur or are about to occur," Mr Tse said.

The API forecast for the territory tomorrow (Thursday) is 80 for the urban area, 80 for the industrial area and 70 for the new development area.

Members of the public can check the API readings on Tel 2827 8541.

End

Application deadline for running 17 GMB routes due on Monday *****

Operators who are interested in running the 17 new green minibus (GMB) routes in the territory are reminded to submit their applications on or before next Monday (January 8).

A spokesman for the Transport Department said today (Wednesday) that details of the new routes were gazetted on December 8. 1995.

Applications must be made on the application form entitled "Application for Passenger Service Licence in Respect of the Packages of Public Light Bus (Scheduled) Routes Gazetted in 1995" obtainable free of charge on request from the Transport Department Headquarters, its Kowloon and New Territories Regional Offices as well as its Hong Kong Licensing Office. Kwun Tong Licensing Office and Sha Tin Licensing Office.

Details of the new routes and guidance notes will be provided to assist applicants in completing the application form. Applicants are advised to read carefully the guidance notes in completing the application form.

"Completed application forms must be returned by registered post to the Transport Department Headquarters at 41st floor. Immigration lower. 7 Gloucester Road. Wan Chai. I long Kong on or before January 8. 1996. Applications by any other means or late applications will not be considered," the spokesman added.

End

7

TV series to promote teacher image *****

The acting Director of Education, Mr Kwan Ting-fai; and the acting Director of Broadcasting, Mr Chu Pui-hing; will tomorrow (Thursday) jointly officiate at the launching ceremony of a TV series "Brave New Teacher".

Other guests attending the ceremony include teachers, headmasters, principals and representatives from educational bodies and the teaching profession.

The "Brave New Teacher" TV documentary-drama series - jointly produced by the Education Department and the Radio Television Hong Kong - aims to pay tribute to teachers for their contribution to the community and to promote the image of the teaching profession.

End

Causeway Bay Carnival to be held on Sunday

*****

The Sixth Causeway Bay Carnival to be held on Sunday (January 7) is expected to attract some 20,000 visitors with its rich entertainment programme.

The carnival will feature singing, juggling, magic, dragon and lion dances, Chinese and Western art and craft demonstrations, palm reading and game stalls.

Popular singers including Mr Edmund Leung; Miss Chau hok-yee; Miss Joyce Lee; Miss Kelly Chan and the Wind, Fire and Sea Band are scheduled to perform.

Stalls demonstrating grasshopper weaving, caricature, dry flower making, dragon beard candy making, cotton candy making and other traditional art forms will brighten up the section of Paterson Street between Kingston Street and Great George Street which will be closed to traffic for the event.

The carnival is organised by the Causeway Bay Area Committee (CBAC) with the assistance of the Wan Chai District Office. Admission to the carnival is free.

Officiating guests at the carnival's opening will include the Chairman of the Organising Committee for the Carnival, Dr Charles Koo: the Chairman of CBAC, Mr Raymond Chow; the Chairlady of Wan Chai District Board, Mrs Peggy Lam; Wan Chai District Officer, Mrs Karen Pong and Wan Chai District Commander, Mr H M Blud.

End

8

Multi-cycle riding to be banned on Cheung Chau * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Transport Department announced today (Wednesday) that riding of multicycles on Cheung Chau will be banned from February 16 for the safety of residents and visitors.

Notice of such prohibition under the Road Traffic (Multi-Cycles)(Specification of Roads, Places, Traffic Signs and Road Markings)(Amendment) Notice 1996 will be published in the Government Gazette on Friday (January 5).

Cycle stall operators on Cheung Chau are advised to note the change and not to provide multi-cycles for hire there.

Following the concerns about the safety of multi-cycles on the island expressed by Cheung Chau residents, the change was made with the support of the Islands District Board and Cheung Chau Area Committee.

End

Mailing tubes available at 21 post offices from Monday

*****

The Postmaster General, Mr Robert Footman, announced today (Wednesday) that mailing tubes will be placed on sale at 21 post offices from Monday (January 8).

"Mailing tubes provide convenience for our customers to send materials such as posters, drawings and maps, and complement the existing line of Postpak envelope and carton box." Mr Footman said.

The mailing tubes will be available in two sizes to suit different needs - large tubes measuring 740 millimetres in length and 50 millimetres in diameter and small tubes of 445 millimetres in length and 50 millimetres in diameter. They are made of strong cardboard paper with water-proof inner lining and plastic cap at each end.

The selling prices are $12 for a large tube and $6.3 for a small tube. Each tube is sold with a self-adhesive address label.

Initially, mailing tubes are put on sale at the following post offices -

9

Hong Kong

Aberdeen Post Office Causeway Bay Post Office General Post Office

Hennessy Road Post Office

Kowloon

Airport Post Office Canton Road Post Office Cheung Sha Wan Post Office Gillies Avenue Post Office

New Territories

Shaukeiwan Post Office Siu Sai Wan Post Office Tai Koo Shing Post Office. Tsat Tsz Mui Post Office

Kowloon Central Post Office Kwun Tong Post Office Tsim Sha Tsui Post Office

Sha Kok Post Office

Sha Tin Central Post Office

Texaco Road Post Office

Tsuen Wan Post Office

Tuen Mun Central Post Office

Yuen Long Post Office

If there is popular demand, consideration will be given to making the product available at all post offices.

Key rings and paper weights embedded with Hong Kong stamps will also be available at all post offices as from Monday.

"These products have hitherto been available only at seven philatelic post offices," Mr Footman said.

"The items are of philatelic interest as they bear various issues of Hong Kong stamps. They are very much sought after as gifts as well as collectibles."

Key rings are available at $12 each and paper weights at $35 each.

"The Post Office is continuously expanding and adapting its range of products and services in response to customer needs. The introduction of mailing tubes and the extension of the sale of key rings and paper weights to all post offices are steps taken in this direction," Mr Footman said.

End

10

Fees of certificates for clubs to be revised

*****

The fees for the issuing and renewal of certificates of compliance and certificates of exemption for clubs will be adjusted from March 1.

A spokesman for the Home Affairs Branch said today (Wednesday) that it was the Government's policy that fees should in general be set at levels sufficient to recover the full cost of providing the services.

He said the fees would go up by about nine per cent in order to cover the cost increase resulting from inflation since the last revision in January 1995.

The spokesman said the increase was modest, noting that there would be no impact on inflation and little effect on the operation of the clubs.

Under the new fee scale, the fee for issuing and renewing a certificate of compliance will range from $3,500 to $53,560, depending on the gross floor area of the club. .•</?*.

As to the certificate of exemption, the fee will be increased from $660 to $720 for clubs of all sizes.

Details of the new fees are set out in the Clubs (Safety of Premises) (Fees) (Amendment) Regulation 1996, which will be gazetted on Friday (January 5).

ph

Club operators will be notified of the new scale of fees when they apply for or renew their certificates, the spokesman added.

End

I । ’?• . ‘U: J

Ma On Shan lot to let by tender

*****

The Lands Department is inviting tenders for the short-term tenancy of a piece of Government land in Ma On Shan, Sha Tin.

Located in Ma On Shan Road, Area 73, Ma On Shan, the lot has an area of 9,240 square metres for use as a fee-paying public car park. The tenancy is for three years, renewable quarterly.

The closing date for submission of tenders is noon on Friday, January 19, 1996.

11

Tender form, tender notice and conditions may be obtained from the District Lands Office, Sha Tin, 2 Tung Lo Wan Hill Road, Sha Tin; 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, Central.

Tender plan can also be inspected at these offices.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time QioueO Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,720 0930 +586

Closing balance in the account 2,281 1000 +586

Change attributable to : 1100 +586

Money market activity +561 1200 +561

LAF today Nil 1500 +561

1600 +561

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.8 *+0.1* 3.1.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.49 2 years 2711 5.60 100.29 5.50

1 month 5.47 3 years 3810 6.15 101.32 5.71

3 months 5.43 5 years 5012 6.38 101.11 6.21

6 months 5.42 7 years 7211 6.82 102.06 6.55

12 months 5.42 5 years M502 7.30 103.40 6.57

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $24,633 million

Closed January 3, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, January 4,1996

Contents Pa&e-No-.

JLG expert talks on air service agreements............................ 1

Govt committed to protecting intellectual property rights............. 1

Vitasoy products monitored............................................

Alteration of sewage charges is unfair................................

Passenger service at Jordan Road Ferry Pier to be relocated........... 4

14,000 years' dedicated service to education recognised............... 5

Open burning to be put under control.................................. 6

Contract signed for works in Tseung Kwan O............................

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations.................. 8

1

JLG expert talks on air service agreements *****

Talks between experts of the British and Chinese sides of the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group on Air Service Agreements will take place in Hong Kong on January 5. The British side will be led by British Representative, Mr Alan Paul. The Chinese side will be led by Chinese Representative, Mr Wang Weiyang. They will be assisted by experts from the two sides.

End

Govt committed to protecting intellectual property rights

*****

The Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang said the Government is committed to developing a modem, independent and internationally accepted framework to protect intellectual property rights in Hong Kong.

Mr Tsang said this when he was visiting the Intellectual Property Department and the Intellectual Property Investigation Bureau of the Customs and Excise Department this (Thursday) afternoon.

He was satisfied that the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in Hong Kong generally complied with international standards.

Mr Tsang said work in this respect would help Hong Kong promote trade, investment and technological innovation and exchanges.

The Intellectual Property Department is working on new localised legislation for the protection of intellectual property rights.

■ ■

The department is preparing new comprehensive legislation and administrative systems to localise laws in respect of patents, copyright and registered designs. Agreement has already been reached with Chinese side of the Joint Liaison Group,,

The trade marks law will also be modernised to reflect the prevailing international standards.

- 2 -

In addition to the Intellectual Property (World Trade Organisation Amendment) Bill which was already before the Legislative Council, four major bills on intellectual property would also be introduced into the council this year.

On enforcement, Mr Tsang said the Customs and Excise Department was determined to combat property piracy and therefore emphasis would be placed on tackling the problem at the importation and distribution levels.

The Financial Secretary said adequate resources would be allocated to Customs in the next financial year to further strengthen its capability in enforcement and prosecution, intelligence gatherings, border surveillance and interceptions, and liaison with the Chinese Customs.

In particular, intelligence gathering and investigation work relating to organised syndicates in piracy activities in Hong Kong would be stepped up, Mr Tsang said.

End •t- »

Vitasoy products monitored r • *****

In response to an announcement by the Vitasoy International Holdings Limited today (Thursday) of the temporary suspension of production of its paper-packed products by its Shenzhen plant, a spokesman for the Department of Health said:

"The department considers that it is an appropriate step for the company to take; to facilitate thorough investigation of any problem it may have with its Shenzhen plant. ji.. .

"Retailers are asked to stop selling the recalled batch of paper-packed Vitasoy/Vita products bearing a bar code beginning with the digit ’6' and the address of the group's Shenzhen plant. These products should be returned to the manufacturer.

"Members of the public who may have purchased the products in question are advised to exchange for fresh stocks according to arrangements made by the company.

"Those who may have already opened the product and found a sour taste in it should hand it over to the Urban Services Department and Regional Services Department for further investigation (Tel hotlines - 2868 0000 and 2414 5555).

3

"Meanwhile, the Department of Health and the two municipal services departments will closely monitor the recall and investigation processes conducted by the Vitasoy International Holdings Limited.

"The Department of Health has also intensified its sampling of the products and is conducting separate laboratory tests."

End

Alteration of sewage charges is unfair *****

Commenting on proposals to reduce or cancel sewage charges, a government spokesman said today (Thursday): "It would not be right or fair to alter the present charging scheme which was introduced in April last year after extensive consultation and passage of the enabling legislation by the Legislative Council."

The spokesman said: "The charging scheme was worked out on an equitable principle that polluters should pay for the services of cleaning up the sewage they produce without cross-subsidisation."

To reduce or exempt domestic households from paying sewage charges is unfair because domestic sewage makes up 60 per cent of the waste water being treated at present. Domestic sewage is a cause of water pollution and it needs to be treated before discharge.

A change in the charging scheme in favour of a particular group of users will result in one of the two following consequences:

(1) If the cost is passed onto other users not benefiting from the change, it is against the Polluter Pays Principle and result in cross subsidisation, which is unfair.

(2) If the cost of the change is bome by the Government, it is again unfair and contravenes the Polluter Pays Principle. It will defeat an important objective of the present scheme to encourage people to conserve water, which will lead to reduction in sewage charge and improvement to our serious water pollution problem.

4

The spokesman said: "The scheme was worked out having regard to views expressed in the community and by LegCo. For domestic users, 15.5 per cent will pay nothing, 55.5 per cent will pay less than $9.3 a month and 77 per cent less than $15 a month.”

For most industrial and commercial users, the sewage charge only represents a increase in the range of 0.1 - 0.7 per cent of their total operating cost. For the intensive water users, the increase is between 1-2 per cent.

End

Passenger service at Jordan Road Ferry Pier to be relocated *****

The passenger service being provided at the existing Jordan Road Ferry Pier in Yau Ma Tei will be relocated to a temporary passenger ferry pier at the old Canton Road Government Dockyard shortly.

After the relocation, the existing ferry pier will be demolished to make way for Jordan Road Reclamation Phase II which forms part of the West Kowloon Reclamation project of the Airport Core Programme.

Work on the project has been under way since January last year, involving reclamation of the seabed between Jordan Road in the north and Canton Road Government Offices Building in the south to provide 4.1 hectares of land to build distributor roads to link the new Kowloon Station of the Airport Railway with the Kowloon hinterland.

The temporary pier will have a covered waiting area and purpose-built ramps and platforms.

To better serve ferry passengers, covered walkways will be provided within the old Canton Road Government Dockyard to link the covered area in the temporary ferry pier with Canton Road near the Jordan Road Bus Terminus in the north and Austin Road in the south.

The 4.5-metre wide walkways, which will be illuminated at night, will be constructed to Highways Department standards to provide easy access for passengers.

5

After the transfer of ferry services, all the existing transport interchange facilities at Jordan Road Ferry Point will remain. These include the bus terminus for KMB bus routes 2E, 3, 4A, 8, 11, 14X, 36B, 42A, 46, 60X, 68X, 70, 81, 95 and 203E, and setting down and picking up facilities for taxis, private and goods vehicles.

The existing bus stops and setting down and picking up facilities in front of the Canton Road Government Offices Building will also remain after the transfer. These include bus stops for KMB bus routes 3C, 12, 14, 215X and 238X, and bus stops for residential bus routes 30R, 41R, 79R, 85R, 86R, 700R, 702R, 704R, 707R, 714R, 715R, 720R and 904R.

Motorist and pedestrian directional signs will be erected to guide passengers to the new pier. Notices will be posted at the existing ferry pier and leaflets will be distributed to ferry passengers to keep them informed of the ferry service relocation arrangements.

The Yau Tsim Mong District Board was consulted on the reprovisioning arrangements today (Thursday). The temporary ferry pier will remain in operation until a final decision on a permanent pier has been made.

End

14,000 years’ dedicated service to education recognised *****

Dedicated services and contribution of 561 members of the Education Department will pay off at the department’s long and meritorious service award presentation ceremony on Saturday (January 6).

The recipients, having contributed more than 14,000 years of service, are in the ranks ranging from Workman II to assistant director.

Some of them began their career in the Government as early as in 1950.

Among the recipients are one assistant director and three principal education officers.

At the ceremony, 186 staff will be awarded Long and Meritorious Service Certificates while 375 retirement souvenirs.

6

Of those receiving long service certificates, 93 have been in government service for 30 years and another 93 for 20 years.

The Director of Education, Mr W K Lam, will officiate at the presentation ceremony which will be held at Queen's College, 120 Causeway Bay Road, at 11 am on Saturday (January 6).

End

Open burning to be put under control *****

. . J /v :

The Air Pollution Control (Open Burning) Regulation to be gazetted tomorrow (Friday) will put opening burning activities under control with effect from February 26 this year.

Under the new regulation, open burning of construction wastes, rubber tyres and metal salvage will be prohibited.

"Regulatory controls are necessary as open burning emits smoke, dust and in some cases, toxic gases. It adds to the already high particulates levels in the atmosphere and often causes a nuisance to people living nearby," Principal Environmental Protection Officer of the Environmental Protection Department, Mr Tse Chin-wan, said.

"Instead of burning in open air, the wastes should be recycled or disposed of at proper landfills," he said.

. I ■ ... ».

Apart from a few exceptions listed in the regulation, all other forms of open burning will be put under control.

Open burning activities that will be exempted include the burning of incense and barbecues, which form part of the custom of the community or have significant amenity value. Essential open burning activities such as burning required for firefighting training will also be allowed under the regulation.

"All other open burnings will be an offence unless a permit is obtained from the Environmental Protection Department," Mr Tse said.

7

"However, permits will normally not be granted unless open burning is the only means to achieve the effect,” he stressed.

Any person who conducts illegal open burning activities is liable to a maximum fine of $50,000 and a further fine of $500 for every 15 minutes during which the offence has continued.

End

Contract signed for works in Tseung Kwan () *****

Works will soon start in Tseung Kwan () for the construction of seawalls and reclamation as part of the Tseung Kwan O Port Development at Area 137 Stage I.

A $700 million contract for the works was signed today (Thursday) by the Civil Engineering Department's Principal Government Civil Engineer. Dr Choi Yu-leuk and representatives of the contractor. Gammon Construction and Ballast Nedam Baggeren BV Joint Venture.

Speaking after the contract signing. Dr Choi said the project was designed to provide capacity for disposing of at least 1.7 million cubic metres of public dump materials.

"Works will involve the reclamation of 57 hectares of land at Tseung Kwan () Area 137, and the construction of 3,500 metre long of seawalls and drainage outfalls," he said.

Dr Choi pointed out that Tseung Kwan () Area 137 had been identified as suitable for the operation of a public dump because it was remote and would not cause significant environmental impacts to the neighbouring areas. "furthermore. it will serve as an important outlet for the construction waste generated on Hong Kong Island.

"With the opening of the public dump at Tseung Kwan O Area 137. now scheduled in April this year, public dump materials on Hong Kong Island can be delivered to the barging point at Aldrich Bay for loading onto barges for transportation to Tseung Kwan O." Dr Choi said.

8

Works will commence tomorrow (Friday) and are scheduled for completion in about 27 months.

On completion, the project will provide land for the construction of roads, drains and other infrastructure to cater for future developments in the area.

End

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

$ million lime (hours) Cumulative change (.$m.i Ui.on)

Opening balance in the account 2,281 0930 -272

Closing balance in the account 1,274 1000 -272

Change attributable to : 1100 -272

Money market activity -272 1200 -270

LAF today -735 1500 -272

1600 -272

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 123.2*4-0.4* 4.1.96

I long Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.35 2 years 2711 5.60 100.49 5.39

1 month 5.35 3 years 3810 6.15 101.65 5.58

3 months 5.35 5 years 5012 6.38 101.79 6.05

6 months 5.35 7 years 7211 6.82 102.99 6.38

12 months 5.34 5 years M502 7.30 103.98 6.43

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $25,773 million

Closed January 4. 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Friday, January 5, 1996

Contents PageJSo.

AG adopts recommendations to bolster briefing out system.............. 1

Steering Group on Long Term Housing Strategy review................... 3

Hu Fa-kuang appointed ACC Chairman................................

Arts Development Council members appointed for new term............... 8

Surveillance on obscene and indecent articles be stepped up.......... 10

Mai Po Restricted Area extended................................... 11

Regulations on seafarers' welfare gazetted........................... 13

Amendments to Strategic Commodities Control List gazetted............ 16

Fee revision for some Companies Registry services.................... 17

Temporary closure of Queen's Pier.................................... 19

Spectacular action as Stonecutters opens to public................... 20

Amendment to Draft Ting Kok Outline Zoning Plan................... 21

/Government land....

Contents

Government land for sale by tender....................................... 22

Tenders invited for skills opportunity school in Fanling................. 22

Tenders invited for new Auxiliary Police Headquarters.................... 23

Social welfare facilities building in Aberdeen........................... 23

Pier extension at north-east Lantau...................................... 24

Dredging for outfall channel in Tung Chung............................... 25

Road works being planned for Ma On Shan.................................. 26

Works to implement comprehensive development on Ma Wan................... 26

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations..................... 27

AG adopts recommendations to bolster briefing out system ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Legal Department will set up Selection Boards, with participation by a representative of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), to decide on the briefing out of cases to outside counsel.

There will be improved record-keeping of recommendations and decisions, and there will be finer distinction between the different categories of counsel on the briefing-out lists, as well as a more structured procedure for removing any names from the lists.

These and other recommendations are made in a report by a Working Party appointed by the Attorney General, Mr Jeremy Mathews, to review the department's briefing out system.

The Attorney General has accepted the recommendations which are being implemented. Some are already in place and others will be so within the coming month.

Commenting on the work of the Working Party today (Friday), Mr Mathews said it represented the first comprehensive and detailed review of the briefing out system

He reiterated the department's continuing commitment to briefing out. "Our commitment has been amply demonstrated by the setting up of this high level and widely representative Working Party under the chairmanship of the Director of Public Prosecutions," he said.

Members of the Working Party were drawn from the Finance Branch, Treasury, the Efficiency Unit, the Corruption Prevention Department of ICAC, and the Civil. Prosecution and Administration Divisions of the Legal Department.

Members also included two representatives each from the Bar Association and the Law Society representing the criminal and civil law side of the two branches of the profession.

"The Working Party adopted accountability as an important measure against which they have set their recommendations," Mr Mathews said.

It has made a number of recommendations to improve the accountability and transparency of the briefing out system. This will ensure that the system meets the expectations of the Hong Kong public and is in line with the Government's striving for more accountable and transparent government, he added.

2

Mr Mathews explained that the creation of Selection Boards in both the Prosecutions Division and Civil Division of the department that is now implemented would help ensure greater accountability and transparency. "Everyone will know who is involved in the decision-making process," he said.

The Selection Boards will be responsible for advising the Division Head on the selection of counsel for briefing out. It will also advise him on the terms and conditions of appointment.

All decisions will be recorded in the minutes of the Boards to ensure that there will always be a record of what was agreed. This will ensure that checks can be made, either by the staff in the Legal Department or by the Director of Audit.

Furthermore, the Prosecutions Division Selection Board, with an ICAC representative in attendance, will decide upon the removal of a person from the standard briefing out lists.

Anyone who receives a notice of intended removal will be advised why it is so intended and will be given 14 days to make representations.

There will be lists for the three levels of court, the Magistrates' Court, the District Court and the High Court. For each court there will be two lists, depending on the nature or complexity of the case concerned.

Once included in one of the standard briefing out lists of the Prosecutions Division, selection for briefs is by rotation through the list.

In the Civil Division, where briefing out a case is likely to cost less than $1 million, a shorter, but no less rigorous selection process will be used. It will still be the Crown Solicitor deciding on cases on advice from his senior staff but without the need in every case to convene a formal meeting.

The Attorney General emphasised that financial control was a major concern for the Working Party.

"The report shows that there have been in place for some time mechanisms to ensure that the question of cost is properly considered in the administration and operation of the briefing out system.

"However, and 1 think this shows the value of the review, the Working Party has recommended a number of improvements to the system which I intend to have implemented in full," he said.

3

One of these recommendations is for the role of the department's Chambers Manager to be enhanced.

"The Chambers Manager is an administrator, not a lawyer. His role will be to check that the system recommended by the Working Party is being implemented. He will also ensure that all financial implications arc taken account of when decisions on briefing out are being made." Mr Mathews said.

The Attorney General noted that he was very satisfied with the recommendations of the Working Party, and expressed his thanks to all the members who worked so hard to produce the report.

End

Steering Group on Long Term I lousing Strategy review

*****

The Secretary for Housing. Mr Dominic S W Wong, announced today (Friday) that he has set up a Steering Group to assist him in carrying out a comprehensive review of the Long Term Housing Strategy, as previously indicated in the 1995 Policy Address and in Mr Wong's speech in the Legislative Council on November 2, 1995.

"This exercise involves a review of all major aspects of housing policy," Mr Wong explained.

"Our aim is to consider what changes in current policies are required to meet our basic housing objectives, in the light of the changing needs of the community.

"We will examine the current public housing policies and practices. We will also consider what further measures, if any, should be taken to facilitate and stimulate the production of private housing, and to assist genuine first-time home buyers.

"The conclusions will enable us to set housing production targets for both public and private housing for the period up to April 2006.

"We aim to complete the review by the middle of* this year, and then issue a public consultation document setting out our main conclusions and recommendations."

Mr Wong said he had set up a Steering Group, chaired by himself, to "give focus and direction to this important review".

4

The members include people with relevant expertise from the public and private sectors. They include two government officials, the Chairman of the Housing Authority, the Executive Director of the Housing Society, three businessmen, a banker, an economist and an academic -

Ms Rosanna Wong, Chairman of Housing Authority

Mr Victor So, Executive Director of Housing Society

Mr Fung Tung, Director of Housing

Mr K Y Tang. Government Economist

Mr K Y Yeung (businessman)

Mr Wan Man-yee (businessman)

Mr Barry Cheung (businessman)

Mr Anthony Wong Kin-kwan (banker)

Mr Kwok Kwok-chuen (economist)

Mr Lau Kwok-yu, Associate Professor (academic)

"All members of the Steering Group have been appointed in their personal capacities," Mr Wong said, "They do not represent, any particular organisations or interests."

Mr Wong added that the public would have an opportunity to comment once the review has been completed. "We will issue a public consultation document setting out our main conclusions and recommendations."

Mr Wong said that in the meantime anyone might forward views to the Housing Branch. "We would be happy to receive submissions at this stage. The views will be carefully considered in our review."

In November and December 1995, the Secretary for Housing already held a series of meetings with LegCo members to listen to their views on areas for attention in the review.

End

5

Hu Fa-kuang appointed ACC Chairman *****

The Government announced today (Friday) the appointment of Mr Hu Fa-kuang as the Chairman of the Consultative Committee on the New Airport and Related Projects (ACC) on January 3, 1996.

Fifty-four other members have also been re-appointed to the Committee for the new term expiring on October 31, 1997.

The ACC was set up in 1991 pursuant to the Memorandum of Understanding Concerning the Construction of the New Airport in Hong Kong and Related Questions signed by the British and Chinese Governments.

Its purpose is to provide a forum in which community views on the development of the new airport and related projects can be discussed and brought to the attention of the Government.

Mr Hu has been an active member of the ACC since 1991 and during the last term was the convenor of the ACC Traffic and Transport Sub-committee as well as the Ad Hoc Study Group on the Airport Corporation/Authority Bill. Having served on the Legislative Council, Urban Council, Land Development Corporation, and the Housing Authority since the 1970s, Mr Hu has a long and impressive record of public service. He is currently a member of the Aviation Advisory Board.

The Director of the New Airport Projects Co-ordination Office, Mr Billy Lam, said: "Since its establishment in 1991, the committee, with membership drawn from a wide cross section of the community, has given much valuable advice to the Government on matters related to the Airport Core Programme. The Government will continue to provide the ACC with information on project progress, financing and cost in a timely manner, and listen to the reasonable views and proposals of the members of the ACC."

The ACC members are:

1. Mr Hu Fa-kuang (Chairman)

2. Mr Payson Cha Mou-sing

3. Mr Steven Chan Hung-kwan

4. Dr Thomas Chan Man-hung

5. Mrs Ena Chan Yuen Yin-hung

6. Mr Chau How-chen

7. Mr Cheng Hon-Kwan

8. Mr Christopher Cheng Wai-chee

9. Mr Cheng Yiu-tong

6

10. Mr Anthony Cheung Bing-leung

II. Mr Carlos Cheung Hon-kau

12. Mr Francis Cheung King-fung

13. Mr Linus Cheung Wing-lam

14. Prof Cheung Yau-kai

15. Mr Chow Chun-fai

16. Mr Raymond Choy Wai-shek

17. Mr David Chu Yu-lin !

18. MrFanSai-yee

19. Mr Ian Fok Chun-wan

20. Mr William Fung Kwok-lun

21. Mr Fung Shiu-wing

22. Mr Simon Hau Suk-kei

23. Dr Raymond Ho Chung-tai

24. Mr Ho King-on

25. Mr Kan Fook-yee

26. Mr Stanley Ko Kam-chuen

27. Mr Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong

28. Mr Daniel Lam Wai-keung

29. Mr Ambrose Lau Hon-chuen

30. Mr Lau Kong-wah

31. Mr Edmond Lau Ting-chung

32. Mr Dennis Lau Wing-kwong

33. Mrs Angelina Lee Pui-ling

34. Mr Leung Kwong-cheong

35. Mr Victor Li Tzar-kuoi

36. Mr David Austin Morris

37. Mr Robert Ng Chee-siong

38. Prof Poon Chung-kwong

39. Mr Pun Kwok-wa

40. Mr Heinz A Rust

41. Dr Shao You-bao

42. Mr Shiu Sin-por

43. Dr Victor Sit Fung-shuen

44. Mr M K Tan

45. Dr Tsang Shu-ki

46. Dr Laurie Wan Sek-luen

47. Dr Wang Liang-huew

48. Dr Owen Wong Hong-hin

49. Mr David Wong Shou-yeh

50. Mr Harold Wu

51. Dr Philip Wu Po-him

52. Mr Gordon Wu Ying-sheng

53. Dr Geoffrey Yeh Meou-tsen

54. Prof Yeung Yue-man

55. Mr Yip Wah

7

The brief bio-data on Mr Hu is

Organisation Office Appointment Expire

Urban Council Member 1.4.197 31.3.1984

Transport Advisory Committee Member 1.7.1980 31.3.1986

Transport Tribunal Chairman 1.6.1981 31.3.1987

Law Reform Commission ofHK Member 15.4.1980 14.6.1987

Legislative Council Member 1.9.1979 31.8.1988

Council for Recreation and Sports Chairman 29.11.1985 31.10.1989

Statistics Advisory Board Member 1.2.1980 31.5.1990

Managing Board, Land Development Corporation Chairman 15.1.1988 14.1.1992

Hong Kong Housing Authority Member 1.4.1978 31.3.1994

HKHA, Special Committee on Clearance of Kowloon Walled City Chairman 15.1.1987 31.3.1994

Consultative Committee on New Airport and Related Projects Member 1.11.1991 31.10.1995

Aviation Advisory Board Member 1.3.1994 28.2.1996

End

8

Arts Development Council members appointed for new term

*****

The Government announced today (Friday) the re-appointment of Sir Joseph Hotung as the Chairman of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council for another year from January 1, 1996.

Sir Joseph has been the chairman of the council since its establishment as a non-statutory Working Group in 1993. However, due to his other commitments, he will not be able to serve as the chairman of the council for more than one year.

The Deputy to the Governor, Mrs Anson Chan, was delighted that despite his heavy commitments, Sir Joseph had agreed to serve a further year, thus providing continuity of leadership to the council as it entered into its next phase of development.

She thanked him and other council members for their dedication, time and significant contribution to furthering the cause of the arts for the benefit of the community in Hong Kong over the past two-and-a-half years.

During this period, the council has made a successful transition from a Working Group to a non-statutory advisory body and, since June 1, 1995, into an independent statutory body with executive powers and its own directly recruited secretariat.

It has also drafted its first five-year strategic plan, which was submitted to the Government for consideration in December 1995.

A serving member, Mr Vincent Chow Wing-shing, has been appointed as vice-chairman. Mr Chow, who was made an MBE in the 1996 New Year's Honours List, has a distinguished record of public service, both as a former member of the Urban Council and on various arts bodies.

Mr Chow, together with the following 15 non-official members, have been appointed for a period of two years from January 1, 1996 to December 31, 1997. There are also four ex-officio members.

The non-official members are - .. ,,

Mr Gordon Chan Ka-seung Dr Chan Wing-wah Mr Chang Cheuk-cheung Mr Darwin Chen Mr Cheung Ping-kuen

Mr Benny Chia Mr David Eldon Ms Barbara Fei

9

Mr Lam Hon-kin

Mr Lee Kin-chun

Mr Lo King-man

Dr Vicki Ooi Cheng-har

Mr Willy Tsao Sing-yuen

Ms Liza Wang

Mrs Cissy Pao Watari

The ex-officio members are -

The Chairman of the Regional Council or his representative

The Chairman of the Urban Council or his representative

The Secretary for Recreation and Culture or his representative

The Director of Education or his representative

The non-official members are all interested in the arts and between them have a wide range of experience of value to the work of the Council. They include persons experienced in literary arts, music, dance, drama, traditional performances, film arts, arts administration, arts education and arts criticism as well as persons with management and other skills.

A spokesman for the Recreation and Culture Branch said many of the persons appointed were nominated by those organisations which had sought specification as the representatives of their respective arts categories for consideration by the Governor.

However problems arose in the case of the visual arts because the body specified to represent it was unable to retain the support of a wide cross section of the persons and organisations active in that field.

"Therefore, the Governor has revoked the specification of the Hong Kong Visual Arts Joint Conference as a nominating organisation.

"Nevertheless, he has decided to give another opportunity to the visual arts sector to nominate a representative by February 12, 1996 for his consideration for appointment as a member of the council.

"Organisations in the visual arts sector will be contacted by the Recreation and Culture Branch and invited to a briefing on the details of the new arrangements next week," the spokesman added.

End

10

Surveillance on obscene and indecent articles be stepped up *****

1995 was an eventful year for the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority (TELA), the Commissioner for Television and Entertainment Licensing, Mr P T Cheung, said today (Friday).

He said that during the year, TELA in its capacity as the executive arm of the Broadcasting Authority, organised a mid-term review of Commercial Radio Hong Kong, completed the licence renewal exercise for ATV and TVB, and introduced new codes of practice aimed at improving the services of the licensees.

Through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, Radio Television Hong Kong also voluntarily committed itself to meeting programme standards set by the Broadcasting Authority in the same manner as other broadcasting licensees.

Mr Cheung was speaking at a press conference reviewing TELA’s work in the year 1995.

On film censorship, in November 1995, the film classification system was further refined by introducing two sub-divisions, Category IIA (not suitable for children) and Category IIB (not suitable for young persons and children). By the same exercise, advertising materials for Category III films such as posters and newspaper advertisements are now subject to prior approval by TELA, which is to address a prevalent public concern.

In October 1995, legislative amendments to the Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance came into effect which require indecent publications to be identified as such and be displayed in wrappers with a warning notice. Such articles must not be sold to persons under the age of 18. The penalties for contravention of these requirements have been substantially increased.

Mr Cheung stressed that TELA was no regulator of public morals. "It merely blows the whistle when something appears to be going wrong," he said.

"For example, complaints against broadcasting stations are processed by TELA for consideration of the Broadcasting Authority. In respect of film censorship, the commissioner's decisions are subject to review by an independent board.

"For the control of obscene and indecent articles, the powers to classify articles are with the Obscene Articles Tribunal which is a court of law," he added.

11

Asked how TELA could keep pace with the sentiments of the public. Mr Cheung made mention of TELA's extensive network of public advisers (300 for film censorship, 600 for television monitoring) and periodic public opinion surveys.

Looking into 1996, Mr Cheung envisaged heavy involvement by TELA in the mid-term review of the satellite TV licence held by Hutchvision as well as the midterm review of Metro Broadcast.

Regarding the control of obscene and indecent articles, he expressed concern over the recent trend of some Chinese newspapers carrying in their inside pages stories with a pornographic overtone.

He said TELA would step up surveillance and bring cases to the Obscene Articles Tribunal, while keeping close watch over whether such actions are achieving sufficient deterrent effect.

"However, TELA will never win the battle without the active help of our citizens. I urge members of the public to be more forthcoming in making their views known.

"My staff will also be ready to go to organisations, institutions and schools to explain the work of TELA and obtain feedback from the community." Mr Cheung concluded.

End

Mai Po Restricted Area extended

*****

The boundary of the restricted area of Mai Po Marshes will be extended to cover the inter-tidal mud flats and shallow waters of Inner Deep Bay to provide additional protection to Mai Po.

The extension was made under the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance (Amendment of Sixth Schedule) Order 1996 gazetted today (Friday).

A spokesman for the Agriculture and Fisheries Department said the Mai Po Marshes and the adjacent Inner Deep Bay. mainly an area of inter-tidal mud Hats, were the most important wetland in Hong Kong because of the extensive mangroves and a rich diversity of wildlife it supported.

It is also a "refuelling" station for thousands of migratory birds.

12

"In view of this importance, the Mai Po Marshes was listed in 1975 as a Restricted Area under the Wild Birds and Wild Mammals Protection Ordinance, which restricted access to such areas to public officers and people with a permit granted by the Director of Agriculture and Fisheries," he said.

The Wild Birds and Wild Mammals Protection Ordinance was subsequently replaced by the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance in 1976 with Mai Po listed in it.

The spokesman said Hong Kong was obligated under the Ramsar Convention to protect Mai Po and the wildlife there. The inclusion of the mud flats into the Mai Po Restricted Area would give the necessary protection to the area's wild life, especially the waterfowl which depended on the Mai Po Marshes and the mud fiats for feeding and resting.

He added that the extension of the restricted area to cover the mud flats would not result in any change to the present land use situation.

The Director of Agriculture and Fisheries will continue to issue permits to oyster farmers, fish farmers and villagers who require access to the extended area.

Public consultation was carried out between the end of 1993 and early 1994. The proposal received strong support from environmental groups and in-principle support from the New Territories Heung Yee Kuk. Site visit was also arranged for the Yuen Long District Board and other local representatives to further understand the extension.

The plan showing the amended boundary has been deposited in the Land Registry for public inspection and copies are also available at all District Offices in the New Territories.

The amended boundary will come into effect on February 15. 1996.

End

13

Regulations on seafarers’ welfare gazetted *****

The Government continues an exercise to localise certain United Kingdom legislation relating to the health, safety and welfare of seafarers, a spokesman for the Marine Department said today (Friday).

For administrative convenience, a total of 28 sets of regulations or rules have been divided into three batches for tabling at the Legislative Council. The first and second batches of a total of 19 sets of regulations were gazetted on December 22, 1995 and December 29, 1995 respectively. The remaining nine sets of regulations or rules made under the Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) Ordinance and the Fee (Amendment) Regulation made under the Merchant Shipping Ordinance are published in the Government Gazette today.

The Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Certification and Watchkeeping) Regulation requires the master and the chief engineer of all seagoing Hong Kong ships and other seagoing ships when in the waters of Hong Kong to ensure that the watchkeeping arrangements for navigational and engine room watches arc adequate.

The standards to be observed are set out in the two schedules to the regulation and may be amended by the Director of Marine from time to time.

The regulation stipulates that the master shall ensure that an effective watch is kept while the ship is in port, especially when the ship carries a hazardous cargo, and the employer to ensure that the ship carries sufficient qualified officers to maintain a safe watch.

It provides that an authorised person may inspect any ship for the purpose of verifying that officers on board are properly certificated and are able to maintain a safe watch.

There is no significant change from the existing regulations except that the exemption of application for pleasure craft has been removed.

The Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Employment Registration Books) Regulation specifies the particulars which arc to appear in the employment registration books, and requires holders of employment registration books to produce the registration books to authorised persons to enable entries or alterations to be made.

The regulation requires the master of a ship or other person in possession of an employment registration book of a seafarer who is not present when he is discharged or who has died or is left behind in any country to deliver it to the Superintendent of the Mercantile Marine Office.

- 14 -

It requires any seafarer who is the holder of an employment registration book but who was not entitled to the issue of it, or whose name has been removed from the register of seafarers, or whose registration has been suspended, or any other person having possession of an employment registration book without lawful authority, to surrender it to the Superintendent.

The Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Engine Room Watch Ratings) Regulation provides that it is an offence for an employer to fail to ensure that sufficient qualified ratings are carried to enable the master and the chief engineer to perform their duties, and it is also an offence for the master or the chief engineer to permit an unqualified rating to form part of an engine room watch.

The Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Navigational Watch Ratings) Regulation applies to all seagoing Hong Kong ships over 200 gross registered tons other than fishing vessels. It provides that only ratings who are qualified or are trained under qualified supervision may form part of a navigational watch. The qualifications for a navigational watch rating are set out in Schedule 1 to the Regulation.

Under the regulation it is an offence for an employer to fail to ensure that sufficient qualified ratings are carried to enable the master to perform his duties, and it is an offence for the master to permit an unqualified rating to form part of a navigational watch.

The Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Medical Stores) Regulation requires every Hong Kong registered ship to carry medicines and other medical stores appropriate to the type and length of voyage, and the geographical area into which it is proposed to trade in accordance with the standards, package, labelling and storage of the medical stores prescribed therein.

The Medicines and medical stores are required to bear a label indicating the date after which the contents should not be used, and shall be replaced as soon as possible after the expiry date and in any event within three months.

A ship may be inspected and detained if the requirements of the regulation are not met.

The Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Certificates of Competency as A.B.) Rules specify the qualifications for the issue of a certificate of competency as A.B. (Able seaman/rating), the requirements to be complied with by an applicant for the examination, the qualifying sea service for the granting of a certificate of competency as A.B., and the extent to which the period of qualifying sea service may be reduced in the case of the persons who have undergone a course of pre-sea training at a nautical training school.

15

The rules also contain the provisions for the verification of qualifications, by the examiners, appeal from the decisions of the examiners, re-issue of the certificate in case of lost.

The Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Certificates of Proficiency in Survival Craft) Rules prescribe the requirements for the issue of the certificates, the qualifications for examination and the granting of the certificates.

The Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Conduct of Inquiries) Rules prescribe the procedures to be followed at any inquiry into the fitness or conduct of an officer, and at any re-hearing of such an inquiry. Notice of the inquiry must be served by the Seafarers' Authority on the officer concerned and the inquiry is to be held in public.

The person appointed to hear the inquiry should be assisted by one or more assessors. He is required to announce his decision in public at the end of the inquiry or as soon as possible thereafter and to make a report to the Seafarers' Authority. An assessor may sign the report with or without reservations.

The Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Fees) Regulation incorporates 132 fee items which are now stipulated under other pieces of Merchant Shipping legislation.

It also introduces 10 new fee items. Section 133 of the Seafarers Ordinance provides that the fee level of a service shall not be limited by reference to the costs incurred in providing that service. In setting the fee level, the Government adopted a global costing approach.

The proposed fee revisions will only affect about 40 shipping companies and around 2.000 Hong Kong foreign-going seafarers. t

The extent that they will be affected should be minimal as most of the fee items in this regulation are to be revised by 10 per cent only to bring them in line with the 1995-96 price level.

The proposed fees are only adequate to recover about 22 per cent of the total cost incutTcd in providing the service.

The Merchant Shipping (Fees) (Amendment) Regulation 1996 provides that the fee level of a service shall not be limited to the cost incurred in providing that service.

There are altogether 21 fee items and the last revision took place on August 23, 1994 based on the global costing approach.

To revise these fee items to 1995-96 price level, an increase of 10 per cent is proposed.

16

The proposed fee revisions will affect only those seafarers who are required to serve on local craft. The impact will not be significant as all the fee items in this Amendment Regulation are to be revised by only 10 per cent to bring them in line with the 1995-96 price level.

The proposed fees are only adequate to recover about 41 per cent of the total cost incurred in providing the services.

The spokesman said measures had been taken to improve the efficiency of both the Examination Section and the Mercantile Marine Office & Seamen Recruitment Office of the Marine Department by re-deployment of staff and streamlining of working procedures: rescheduling of duties, computerisation of various seamen's records and examination data, simplification of application and reporting procedures.

"New operational guidelines and procedures are in hand for the further reduction of time in the processing of examination applications and issuing of certificates," he added.

End

Amendments to Strategic Commodities Control List gazetted *****

Legislative amendments to reflect the updated international controls on strategic commodities were gazetted today (Friday).

The amendments were contained in the Import and Export (Strategic Commodities)Regulations (Amendment of Schedule 1) Order 1996.

A spokesman for the Trade Department said the amendments to Schedule 1 of the Regulations aimed to reflect the updated international controls on the Munitions List and Industrial List, as well as controls on goods of non-proliferation concern goods specified by the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NNPT).

No change has been made to Schedules 2, 3 and 4 of the regulations which cover respectively articles-in-transit, end-use control and specified activities in relation to the articles specified in Schedule 3, he said.

17

The amendment order will be table at the Legislative Council next Wednesday (January 10). It will come into force at a date to be appointed by the Director-General of Trade by notice in the Government Gazette if the Legislative Council raises no objection to the amendments after 28 days.

The import and export of strategic commodities are subject tq licensing control by the Director-General of Trade.

"The purpose of licensing control is to monitor and control the flow of strategic commodities to prevent Hong Kong from being used as a conduit for the proliferation of weapons," said the spokesman.

He added that any person who imported or exported an article specified in the Schedules without a valid licence was liable to an unlimited fine and imprisonment for seven years if convicted.

Copies of the amendment order arc available for sale at the Government Publications Centre. Queensway Government Offices. Low Block, ground floor. 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.

Enquiries on the amendments can be made to the Strategic Commodities Section, Trade Department, 5th floor, Trade Department Tower, 700 Nathan Road. Mong Kok. Kowloon or by telephoning 2398 5581 or 2398 5572.

The department will also inform traders of details of the amended schedules by circular and seminar.

End

Fee revision for some Companies Registry services *****

The fees payable to the Registrar of Companies for a number of services will be revised with effect from March 1, 1996.

The revision, published in the Government Gazette today (Friday), includes fees covering a wide range of services provided by the Companies Registry in relation to the registration and incorporation of companies, limited partnerships and trust companies.

It also includes services relating to the filing of returns and documents, and searches for information about companies and directors.

18

Explaining the fee revision, a government spokesman said the average 9.2 per cent increase was in line with the increase in costs for the year. These fees were last revised in August 1994.

Fees to be revised are those payable to the Registrar of Companies under the Companies Ordinance (Amendment of Eighth Schedule) Order 1996; Companies Ordinance (Fee for Taking Affidavit, Affirmation or Declaration) (Amendment) Notice 1996; Limited Partnerships Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule) Order 1996; and Trustee Ordinance (Amendment of First Schedule) Notice 1996.

The spokesman added that three new fee items would also be introduced to streamline and rationalise procedures.

"One of these is a further tier of late payment charges applicable when annual returns are delivered to the Registrar of Companies more than nine months after their due date,” he said.

"At the same time, in order to improve efficiency, certain minor filing fees will no longer be charged separately but will be subsumed under the general fee for annual returns."

The second item, the spokesman said, was for the existing fee for the incorporation of a new company to be split into an element payable for lodging an application and an element payable upon completion of the procedures.

"The second part of the new fee will be refunded if the application is not successful," he said.

The third item was a similar division of the fee for applying to change a company’s name, into a lodgement fee and a fee upon successful completion of the procedures, the spokesman said.

"The non-rcfundable element for lodging an application was proposed following a review of procedures by the Efficiency Unit," he said.

"The Efficiency Unit pointed out that the registry is required to carry out a considerable amount of processing whether or not an application is ultimately successful. The non-refundable element is to cover this processing work," he added.

fhe spokesman said the Companies Registry was continually seeking to upgrade and develop its services and facilities.

"Over the year, the registry has instituted a number of new and improved services," he said.

19

"These inelude the introduction of a computerised index of documents held by the registry, an index of all the directorships held by directors of listed companies, customer service counters and touch-screen information systems, refurbished premises, on-line receipting of documents and 50 computer terminals for searching of information."

As a trading fund, the Companies Registry is required to provide an efficient and effective service while meeting the cost of the services that it provides from the income it receives.

The registry has budgeted for this relatively modest increase in fees to enable it to continue with its programme of developments and improvements in technology and services.

End

Temporary closure of Queen's Pier

*****

The Marine Department announced today (Friday) that all the landing steps of Queen's Pier in Central will be temporarily closed for maritime traffic from 4.30 pm to 5.30 pm on Monday (January 8) to facilitate the Ceremonial Opening of the 1996 Legal Year at Edinburgh Place.

No vessel will be allowed to berth at any of the landing steps of Queen's Pier during the closure period.

Small craft owners and operators arc advised to use other public landing facilities within the period.

There are public landing steps along the waterfronts at Sheung Wan and Wan Chai. Across the harbour, there are public landing steps at Kowloon Public Pier, and along the Tsim Sha Tsui East promenade.

End

20

Spectacular action as Stonecutters opens to public ♦ * * ♦ ♦

Ships, helicopters and assault craft will feature in spectacular action displays when the Royal Navy and Hong Kong's own soldiers, the Hong Kong Military Service Corps, open the gates of Stonecutters Island at the end of this month.

For the second time since the Navy moved from Central and the "island” itself was joined to the mainland, the two branches of the Armed Services will be mounting a weekend-long programme of public events on January 27 (Saturday) and January 28 (Sunday).

Highlights of the two-day programme will be action displays in the basin of HMS Tamar. In addition, a full shore programme will include arena demonstrations by motor-cycle and dog display teams together with traditional dragon and lion dances as well as music staged by the Pipes and Drums of 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles.

The last Open Days weekend was staged two years ago.

The Open Days weekend is being staged firstly to raise money for the Locally Enlisted Personnel Trust, the charity set up by the British Forces to provide funds for Hong Kong Chinese ex-members of the British Garrison who may find themselves in need or distress after 1997. and secondly to allow the public access to the military and to show them some of its work.

Also open to the public during the Open Days will be a large number of souvenir shops, games stalls and military displays, some of which will provide opportunities to examine and handle selected items of military equipment.

Admission to Stonecutters Island during the Open Days will be by tickets, which will be on sale as follows:

Date Star Ferry Concourse

January 6-14 Central & Tsim Sha Tsui

Date MTR Station

January 6, 7, 13, 14, 20 & 21 Tsim Sha Tsui, Tsuen Wan, Kowloon Tong,

Kwun l ong. Central and Tai Koo

January 7, 14 & 21 Mong Kok

End

21

Amendment to Draft Ting Kok Outline Zoning Plan ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Town Planning Board today (Friday) announced an amendment to the draft Ting Kok Outline Zoning Plan.

The amendment is to rezone an area to the west of Ting Kok village in Tai Po, with an area of 0.33 hectares, from ’’Agriculture” to "Residential (Group C)” in response to a rezoning request previously approved by the board.

The amendment plan (No. S/NE-TK2) is now available for public inspection until January 26, 1996 at:

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

* Sha Tin and North East District Planning Office, ground floor, Sha Tin Government Offices, 6 Tung Lo Wan Hill Road, Sha Tin, New Territories; and

* Tai Po District Office, Tai Po Government Offices Building, Ting Kok Road, Tai Po, New Territories.

Any person affected by the amendment plan may submit written objections to the Secretary of the Town Planning Board, c/o Planning Department, 13th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road. Hong Kong on or before January 26, 1996.

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

End

22

Government land for sale by tender * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Lands Department is inviting tenders for the sale of a piece of Government land in Kwai Chung, New Territories.

The site, located in Kwai Fuk Road, Kwai Chung, has an area of about 16,960 square metres. It is intended for use as industrial or godown and public vehicle park including spaces for container vehicles.

The closing date for submission of tender is noon on Friday, February 2, 1996.

Tender form, Tender Notice and Conditions 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. Tender documents will also be available at the DistrictLands Offices of Sha Tin, Tai Po, North, Yuen Long, Tsuen Wan. Kwai Tsing, Tuen Mun, Sai Kung and Islands.

End

Tenders invited for skills opportunity school in Fanling

*****

The Architectural Services Department is inviting tenders for the construction of a skills opportunity school in Area 18 in Fanling.

The works will involve the construction of a six-storey 15-classroom skills opportunity school with a total floor area of about 6,300 square metres together with associated drainage and external works.

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

Tenders must be clearly marked and addressed to the Chairman of the Central Tender Board. They must be placed in the Government Secretariat Tender box in the lift lobby, lower ground floor. Central Government Offices (East Wing), Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong before noon on Friday, February 2, 1996.

Late tenders will not be accepted.

End

23

Tenders invited for new Auxiliary Police Headquarters * ♦ * * *

The Architectural Services Department is inviting tenders for the construction of a new Auxiliary Police Headquarters at Wang Chiu Road in Kowloon Bay.

The works will involve the construction of a five-storey complex for the headquarters, a single-storey services building, as well as drainage and external works.

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

Tenders must be clearly marked and addressed to the Chairman of the Central Tender Board. They must be placed in the Government Secretariat Tender Box in the lift lobby, lower ground floor, Central Government Offices (East Wing), Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong before noon on Friday, January 26, 1996.

Late tenders will not be accepted.

End

Social welfare facilities building in Aberdeen *****

The Architectural Services Department is inviting tenders for the construction of a social welfare facilities building at Yue Kwong Road in Aberdeen.

The works will involve the construction of a seven-storey social welfare facilities building with a total floor area of about 11,000 square metres together with drainage and ancillary external works.

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

Tenders must be clearly marked and addressed to the Chairman of the Central Tender Board. They must be placed in the Government Secretariat Tender Box in the lift lobby, lower ground floor, Central Government Offices (East Wing), Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong before noon on Friday, February 2, 1996.

Late tenders will not be accepted.

End

24

Pier extension at north-east Lantau

*****

The Government intends to reconstruct and extend a pier within an area of about 3,300 square metres of foreshore and sea-bed at Tso Wan in north-east Lantau.

The pier, to be extended southwards, will measure 18 metres long and four metres wide.

Construction work will commence in March 1996 and be completed in mid-1996.

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

Any person who considers that he has an interest, right or easement in or over the foreshore and seabed involved may submit a written objection to the Director of Lands, second floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong on or before Tuesday, March 5, 1996.

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

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

The plan can also be seen at the Lands Department Survey and Mapping Office, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong (where copies can be purchased on order) and the Tsuen Wan District Office, first floor, Tsuen Wan Station Multi-storey Carpark Building, 174-208 Castle Peak Road, Tsuen Wan, New Territories.

End

25

Dredging for outfall channel in Tung Chung *****

The Government intends to construct a drainage channel discharging into Tung Chung Wan at Lantau.

The works will involve dredging within an area of about 41,300 square metres of foreshore and sea-bed in Tung Chung Wan for the channel outfall. Construction work will commence next month for completion in August 1998.

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

Any person who considers that his interest, right or easement in or over the foreshore and seabed involved may submit a written claim to the Director of Lands, second floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong on or before January 5, 1997.

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

The notice (in both English and Chinese) together with its related plans can be seen on notice boards at the Tung Chung Rural Committee Office, Ma Wan Chung in Tung Chung; the Tai O Rural Committee Office; Lung Tseng Tau Village; Wong Ka Wai Village; Sheung Ling Pei Village; Ha Ling Pei Village; Fui Yiu Ha Village; Wong Nai Uk Village; and Sha Tsui Tau in Tung Chung.

It can also be seen at the Lands Department Survey and Mapping Office, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong (where copies can be purchased on order); the Islands District Office, 20th floor, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central Hong Kong; the Mui Wo Sub-office of the Islands District Office, ground floor, Mui Wo Government Offices, 2 Ngan Kwong Wan Road, Mui Wo, Lantau Island; and the New Airport Section (New Territories Office), Lands Department, 22nd floor, Tsuen Wan Government Offices, 388 Sai Lau Kok Road, Tsuen Wan, New Territories.

End

26

Road works being planned for Ma On Shan *****

The Territory Development Department is planning a series of road works in Ma On Shan to provide access to development sites in Areas 77 and 86B there.

The proposed road works, which are part of the continuing development programme for Ma On Shan, will involve the construction of about 3.5 kilometres of carriageways, a bridge, footpaths, cycle tracks, a subway, a lorry park and a bicycle park, as well as construction of slopes and drainage network.

A notice of the proposed works was gazetted today (Friday).

The plan and scheme showing the proposed works can be seen at the Public Enquiry Service Centre of the Central and Western District Office, the Sha Tin District Lands Office and the Sha Tin District Office.

Any person wishing to object to the proposal may write to the Secretary for Transport, Central Government Offices, East Wing, second floor, Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong no later than March 3, 1996, describing his interest and the manner in which he will be affected.

End

Ul • • : , ■

Works to implement comprehensive development on Ma Wan

*****

The Government intends to carry out works on Ma Wan Island as part of a plan to implement comprehensive development there.

The works will involve sea-bed dredging, the construction of a drainage outfall and a pier to provide two berths for passenger ferries, construction of a seawall and small-scale reclamation for a ferry terminal building.

The proposed plan and the area of the foreshore and seabed affected are contained in a notice published in the Government Gazette today (Friday).

Any person who considers that he has an interest, right or easement in or over the foreshore and sea-bed involved may submit a written objection to the Director of Lands on or before March 5, 1996.

Such notice of objection should describe the interest, right or casement of the objector and the manner in which he alleges he will be affected.

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

The plan can also be seen at the Lands Department Survey and Mapping Office, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong (where copies can be purchased on order) and the Tsuen Wan District Office, first floor, Tsuen Wan station Multi-storey Carpark Building, 174-208 Castle Peak Road, Tsuen Wan, New Territories.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,2^4 0930 +736

Closing balance in the account 2,221 1000 +736

Change attributable to : 1100 +736

Money market activity +681 1200 +736

LAF today +266 1500 +686

1600 +681

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 123.2 *+0.0* 5.1.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.38 2 years 2711 5.60 100.40 5.44

1 month 5.40 3 years 3810 6.15 101.47 . 5.65

3 months 5.39 5 years 5012 6.38 101.65 6.08

6 months 5.39 7 years 7211 6.82 102.88 6.40

12 months 5.38 5 years M502 7.30 103.99 6.43

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $15,599 million

Closed January 5, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Saturday, January 6,1996

Contents Page No,

HK-Guangdong Environmental Protection Liaison Group meets.............. 1

New Southern District Officer.......................................... 1

Exhibition on slope maintenance opens in Sham Shui Po.................. 2

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

Sunday, January 7,1996

Contents Page No,

Transcript of Secretary of State’s media session......................... 4

32 shopowners fined for selling substandard plugs........................ 7

Visitor centre closed for renovation

7

1

HK-Guangdong Environmental Protection Liaison Group meets ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The sixth meeting of the Hong Kong-Guangdong Environmental Protection Liaison Group will be held in Guangzhou on Monday and Tuesday (January 8 and 9).

The Hong Kong delegation will be led by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, and the Guangdong delegation by the Director of Environmental Protection Bureau of Guangdong Province, Mr Wang Yinkun.

The meeting will discuss the work of the HK-Guangdong Environmental Protection Liaison Group in 1996 and the final report submitted by the Technical Subgroup on joint monitoring of Deep Bay.

Members will also be briefed on matters of mutual interest including water quality management in Deep Bay, environmental planning in the Pearl River Delta economic zone, Shenzhen’s economic development and planning, the Air Pollution Index system in Hong Kong, the establishment of marine parks and designation of Mai Po and Inner Deep Bay as a RAMSAR site.

End

New Southern District Officer ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Mrs Erika Hui will assume the post of Southern District Officer on January 8 (Monday), replacing Ms Chang King-yiu.

Mrs Hui, aged 32, joined the Government as an administrative officer in 1985 and was promoted to senior administrative officer in April 1992.

She has worked in the Education and Manpower Branch, Health and Welfare Branch, OMELCO, Monetary Affairs Branch and Financial Services Branch. Her last posting was Principal Assistant Secretary with the Home Affairs Branch.

End

2

Exhibition on slope maintenance opens in Sham Shui Po

*****

The second of a scries of exhibitions on slope maintenance will begin next Monday (January 8) at the atrium of the Dragon Centre in Sham Shui Po.

The exhibition will last for a week until January 14 and will be open daily between 10 am and 10 pm.

Organised by the Geotechnical Engineering Office (GEO) of the Civil Engineering Department, the exhibition is part of the department's continuing efforts in promoting public awareness of the importance of slope maintenance.

The exhibition will feature various aspects of proper slope maintenance- by means of colourful illustrations, photographs, charts and graphs.

Also being displayed at the exhibition are two guide books on slope maintenance, namely the "Geoguide 5 - Guide to Slope Maintenance" and the "Layman's Guide to Slope Maintenance".

. ... r

Visitors will also be able to take home leaflets on slope maintenance and the "Layman's Guide to Slope Maintenance".

"The first exhibition, held last month at Hung Hom, had drawn a substantial interest from members of the public," a spokesman for the Geotechnical Engineering Office said today (Saturday).

"After Sham Shui Po, we will then move on to the Peninsula Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui East, where the same exhibition will be mounted from February 5 to 12," he said.

Information on slope maintenance can also be obtained by calling the GEO's 24-hour automatic hotline 2762 5165.

End

3

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

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

Opening Balance in the account 2,221 09:30 -200

Closing Balance in the account 1,107 10:00 -200

Change Attributable to: 11:00 -200

Money Market Activity -200 11:30 -200

LafToday -914

Laf Rate 4.25% Bid/6.25% Offer TWI 123.3 *+0.1* 6.1.96

End

4

Transcript of Secretary of State's media session *****

Following is the transcript of the media session by the British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the Rt Hon Malcolm Rifkind, on his arrival in Hong Kong last (Saturday) evening:

Foreign Secretary: Good evening. I'm very very pleased to be back in Hong Kong on my first visit to Hong Kong as Foreign Secretary, but not my first visit to Hong Kong itself. Serving the interest of the people of Hong Kong is one of the most important priorities for the British Government over the next 18 months. And therefore 1 see this visit to Hong Kong as being of particular significance in order to have discussions with the Governor, to hear his views on some of the outstanding issues, to hear from the members of Legco who I'll be meeting in the near future, to hear from other people in Hong Kong their views on the particular problems, on the challenges we are going to be facing together, ensuring that the changes that will take place in 1997 will be as successful as we all believe and hope. 1 then go on to China, to Peking. And I see myself going to China as an advocate for Hong Kong, ensuring that together with the Governor and together with all those who are working for the best interest of the people of Hong Kong we can ensure that Hong Kong continues to have the bright future that it can feel itself entitled to look forward to. Now I'm happy to answer one or two questions.

Question (from 1 TN): Can you tell us, did your Government...?

Foreign Secretary': If you don't mind, this evening 1 would like to just concentrate on Hong Kong...

Question: You arc still Foreign Secretary. 1 beg your pardon.

Foreign Secretary: Absolutely. This evening. I'll answer questions on Hong Kong. There will be other opportunities on other subjects. Otherwise it is unfair to those who wish to ask about Hong Kong.

Question: Were there any further discussions in London on the right of abode for Hong Kong Chinese?

Foreign Secretary: Not in the last couple of weeks or so. I have no doubt the questions with regard to visas and visa free access and matters of that kind will be addressed in the not-too-distant future. My visit to Hong Kong, my visit to China will be an opportunity to hear some thoughts and ideas on this subject.

5

Question: Will you ask Director Lu Ping to meet Governor Chris Patten?

Foreign Secretary: Well. We believe that all contacts are very very valuable indeed. The Governor represents the views of the British Government. It's very important that dialogue should take place with all who can contribute to the well- being of the people of Hong Kong. And therefore contacts with the Governor, with others who have interest and importance on matters to contribute are highly desirable and highly worth pursuing.

Question: But they haven't met for quite a long time.

Foreign Secretary: Well, it would be very good if they could recommence.

Question: Do you have any plans to try and persuade the Chinese not to dismantle Legco in its current form?

Foreign Secretary: We see no good reason at all why Legco should be dismantled. Legco has been properly elected and we believe it would be ven' desirable for Legco to be able to continue to operate throughout its full term of office. We believe that would be in the interest of every one including the aspirations of the Chinese Government themselves quite properly have.

Question: Will ... to Beijing?

Foreign Secretary: I've no doubt that the subject of Legco will be one of the items that we will be discussing and indeed I will be meeting Legco here in Hong Kong and hearing their views on just those matters.

Question: Will you be raising human rights? Will you be mentioning human rights?

Foreign Secretary: We traditionally do raise these sort of subjects when we meet the Chinese leaders. When I met the Chinese Foreign Minister in London, that subject was raised and I've no doubt it would be raised in future occasions as well.

Question: Will you be raising the question of... the proposals ... the Bill of Rights?

Foreign Secretary: We already have made our views known on that. We have received quite strong representations from Hong Kong. We understand these representations. We believe they have very considerable force and we have made our views known to the Chinese Government and I have no doubt that will also be one of the subjects that will be discussed in Peking.

6

Question: What sort of thorny issues you will raise to the Chinese leaders about Mong Kong. You say that the coming 18 months, the Hong Kong time will be very tough.

Foreign Secretary: There's been a lot of good progress over the last period and when the Chinese Foreign Minister was in London we made good progress in a number of outstanding issues. Inevitably as we approach June 1997 there are a number of matters still to be finally dealt with, a range of issues. 1 will be happy to cover all of them with my Chinese colleagues when 1 see them in Peking. But first I want to hear the views of the Governor, the views of Legco, the views of the people of Hong Kong so that I can be fully informed, very sensitive to how these matters are seen in Hong Kong because it's Hong Kong's interest that we are very determined to ensure are made known and are taken account of.

Question: What sort of proposals you would talk about on assistance to the Preparatory Committee?

Foreign Secretary: So far as that particular matter is concerned, the membership has now been announced. We were disappointed that they weren't more of those who represent the democratic point of view who were appointed to that particular organisation. But it did have a broader representation than at one stage seemed possible. So we welcome the fact that there was a broader representation than at one time impossible. Wish have gone further. We will be of course co-operating with them. That has been made clear by the Governor. It's a sensible thing to do and 1 look forward to that happening.

Question: How about the 400 people selection committee selecting the future Chief Executive?

Foreign Secretary: Well, we have to see what happens. The question of the appointment of the Chief Executive Designate is a very, very crucial matter. I am sure it will be handled in a very sensitive way because I think every one recognises that will a matter of very great importance to the confidence that the people of Hong Kong will rightly wish to have in their future government. Thank you very much. There will be other opportunities for a press conference.

Question: What is the role of Governor Chris Patten in the handover ceremony?

Foreign Secretary: Well, I have no doubt the Governor will have a very full role in the final ceremony. The detail is still to be worked out. But I have no doubt that it will be a very important.... should be.

Governor: I will see you on the night.

End

7

32 shopowners fined for selling substandard plugs ♦ * * ♦ ♦

The Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) has in the past three months (October to December) successfully prosecuted 32 shopowners and companies who violated the Plugs and Adaptors (Safety) Regulation (PASR).

An EMSD spokesman today (Sunday) urged shopowners to refrain from selling substandard plugs, adaptors and electrical products, or they would face prosecutions.

’’The PASR, which came into effect on March 23, 1995, bans the sale of plugs, adaptors and electrical products not meeting the safety standards prescribed in the regulation.

’’Any person who contravenes the PASR is liable to a maximum fine of $50,000 and six months' imprisonment on first conviction and a maximum fine of $100,000 and six months' imprisonment on the second and subsequent conviction,” he said.

Meanwhile, the spokesman said that since the implementation of the PASR, EMSD had carried out 1,700 inspections at various locations throughout the territory.

"A commonly found offence during the inspections is that some suppliers are still selling electrical products fitted with 2-pin plugs or substandard 3-pin plugs.

"We will continue our territory-wide inspections and follow-up legal actions, if necessary," the spokesman stressed.

End

Visitor centre closed for renovation *****

The popular Sai Kung Country Park Visitor Centre will be closed from Tuesday (January 9) for maintenance and renovation of displays.

The renovation programme, to be sponsored by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, will take about six months to complete.

8

The Agriculture and Fisheries Department’s (AFD) Senior Country Parks Officer, Mr Lai Ching-wai, said the department was extremely grateful to the charities trust for the $1 million grant, adding that country park visitors would stand to benefit.

Mr Lai said the donation would be used to upgrade facilities and exhibits in the centre with a view to giving it new impetus and innovative themes.

"The existing displays at the centre, which were installed more than 10 years ago and have since not been replaced, are now showing signs of deterioration. Some of the information in the displays is out-dated and needs updating," he said.

The trust's generous donation could not have come at a time more appropriate than this, he added.

Mr Lai noted that the Sai Kung Country Park Visitor Centre was one of the most popular centres in Hong Kong with more than 200,000 visitors recorded last year.

During the closure of the centre, people could still make use of the six other visitor centres in the territory, he said.

These visitor centres are located in country parks in Aberdeen, Tai Mo Shan, Clear Water Bay, Shing Mun and Plover Cove as well as in the Lions Nature Education Centre in Tsiu Hang, Sai Kung.

Country park visitor centres are open to the public daily between 9.30 am and 4.30 pm, except Tuesdays.

No advance booking is required for visiting these centres. Organised groups which need information for planning visits to these centres can contact AFD's Conservation Education Unit on 2733 2121.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Monday, January 8, 1996

Contents Page No.

Transcript of Secretary of State's media session.................... 1

Transcript of Secretary of State's LegCo Q&A session................ 4

Transcript of Secretary of State's Q&A session at luncheon.......... 31

Effective and efficient judicial system to be maintained: CJ............ 35

Legal Department working on continuity of legal system: AG.............. 38

CPA meeting in Bangkok.................................................. 42

Appointments to civil service salaries commission....................... 42

Report of Working Party on Kindergarten Education released.............. 43

Pro-active traffic management to keep safety in HK waters............... 44

Water storage figure.................................................... 46

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations.................... 47

1

Transcript of Secretary of State’s media session ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the transcript of the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the Rt Hon Malcolm Rifkind’s media session after visiting Eastern District today (Monday):

Question: (inaudible)

Mr Rifkind: Linda Chaulker (phonetic) raised that subject last September when the issue first came up. Naturally, people are concerned about the latest reports and it is likely the subject will indeed be mentioned.

Question: (inaudible)

Mr Rifkind: Well, it's important to hear the Chinese Government’s point of view. They have expressed their opinion and I understand journalists are going to be visiting the orphanage today. It will be very important to see what the assessment is as a result of that.

Question: (inaudible)

Mr Rifkind: No, I don't think it is relevant to the central purpose of my own visit to Peking. The Chinese Government and the British Government believe that there are very important issues to be addressed with regard to Hong Kong, with regard to our bilateral relations. There are other matters, such as the ones you've mentioned, which people are interested in, but I don't believe it is directly relevant to the visit itself in that sense.

Question: Mr Rifkind, what impact will the airing of the Channel Four documentary have on your visit?

Mr Rifkind: Well, I've just been responding to that particular point. I don't think it is relevant to the central purpose of my visit but it is a subject which we have raised in the past and I'm sure it will be mentioned when I am in Peking.

Question: Do you see any reason why it shouldn’t be aired?

2

Mr Rifkind: I don't see any reason at all, no. 1 think there is a natural interest. The Chinese Government, I understand, have themselves invited journalists to visit the orphanage. It will be very important to know what the assessment of those who visit the orphanage may be as a result of that visit.

Question: China is saying that it might affect bilateral relations. Do you think that that is necessarily the case?

Mr Rifkind: I think that is a reference to a remark made by a gentleman in the embassy in London. I don't believe it is likely to have any material impact on the wider issues. We are not responsible for a television programme. Naturally, there is concern in many parts of the world when there are reports of that kind, but 1 don't believe it is going to have a material impact with regard to British-Chinese relations.

Question: Mr Rifkind, will you mention the helpless journalist Xi Yang, who have been imprisoned in Beijing for over a year?

Mr Rifkind: When I last met the Chinese Foreign Minister 1 gave him a list of persons whom we were concerned about and 1 have no doubt that that kind of issue will also come up in the discussions.

Question: ....concern about Wei Jingsheng, prominent dissident of China....

Mr Rifkind: Representations have already been made with regard to him, both by the United Kingdom and at the European Union level. That happened some time ago when the sentence was originally announced.

Question: (inaudible)

Mr Rifkind: I think one of the main benefits of my presence in I long Kong at the present time and my meeting with LegCo later on this afternoon, is hearing at firsthand the concerns that are being expressed at this moment in time, both the good developments over the last couple of years, but also some of the worries that still exist and which are very understandable. I see it as part of my obligation to ensure that the Chinese Government arc aware of the feelings of the people of Hong Kong, both their hopes for the future and their concerns for the future. It is right and proper that both of these should be taken into account. I believe that the Chinese Government themselves will benefit if they fully understand the views, concerns, wishes of the people of Hong Kong, because only in that way can we ensure the success of the transition which is something we wish to do all within our power to bring about.

3

Question: What would you say are the priorities for the people of Hong Kong?

Mr Rifkind: I think the priorities for the people of Hong Kong are twofold and they are both connected, is to build on this extraordinary economic prosperity and vitality that has been achieved, but also to protect the way of life, the rule of law and the values that go up to making a good quality of life. These two are connected because unless people feel comfortable and confident with regard to the quality of life and the nature of their lifestyle and the rule of law, then that will have its implications to the wider economic issues as well. So it is right and proper that that should be understood by China, and I believe it is part of my task, as well as the task of many others to help bring that about.

Question: (inaudible)

Mr Rifkind: This is a gradual process. We have had a very good meeting in London a few months ago with the Chinese Foreign Minister. I believe there will be an opportunity for me to meet the Foreign Minister and other Chinese leaders and compare these views and I will certainly not hesitate to do so. There are very many areas on which there is agreement. There arc some areas where there are differences of view. It is important that both should be dealt with, both should be listened to and considered at this particular time.

Question: Mr Rifkind, you have expressed your concern about the membership list of the .... the SAR Government, saying it is non-representative....

Mr Rifkind: Of course. Of course. It is in everyone’s interest, including China’s interest, that the Preparatory Committee should be as representative as possible of the views of the people of Hong Kong because that is part of the process of working for a successful transition which is what we are all trying to achieve.

Question: What message do you expect........

Mr Rifkind: Well, I think there is a range of issues that we can discuss and do so in a courteous way and in a very constructive way, and I believe being an advocate for the views of the people of Hong Kong, which I have discussed with the Governor, which I shall be discussing with LegCo this afternoon, I think we are all working as a team, all with the same objective in mind. The Governor, the British Government, LegCo, and the people of Hong Kong, are all desiring the same objective and I believe that is an objective which is also in the interests of China. And therefore there should be the basis for the kind of progress that we wish to see.

4

Question: Would Governor Patten....passports for Hong Kong people.... Do you have any good reason....

Mr Rifkind: I believe that on the question of passports this is an issue which has been very fully considered by the United Kingdom Parliament. That is something which is well understood and we are very conscious of the sensitivity of the issue. Thank you very much indeed. . . . j

i > •■ .

' ‘ ’ ’I ’

’ .»

End

Transcript of Secretary of State's LegCo Q&A session * * * :* *

Following is the transcript of the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the Rt Hon Malcolm Rifkind's question-and-answer session in the Legislative Council today (Monday):

Dr Leong Che-hung: Welcome you and your team to Hong Kong and in particular thank you for spending time with members of the Legislative Council. We understand that you are on your way to Beijing arid as you probably know we only have about 18 months to go before the transfer of sovereignty and yet there arc many areas between Hong Kong, Britain and China, which are not quite dealt with yet and we thought this would be a good opportunity to be able to share our thoughts and clarify things with you and therefore we bear a lot of importance to your visit this time. On the basis of the fact that you have a very busy schedule, we thought that because we have such a long list of topics we would like to discuss with you. I would like you to extend, if possible, a little bit longer time for us and I'm very glad to say and inform members that the Foreign Secretary has agreed to play it by ear. and extend a little bit of his time with us.

Now as we have already forwarded a list of topics for you to discuss with us. and yet we know that you have a sort of statement you would like to make to us —

Mr Rifkind: Very brief.

Dr Leong Che-hung:-------and to the people of I long Kong, perhaps without wasting

time could I just pass over to you to make your statement before members start asking questions on their topics.

5

Mr Rifkind: Thank you very much indeed. May I say that I only intend to speak briefly so we can allow maximum time for the questions that you would like to put to me. It is very privileged to have this opportunity to meet the members of LegCo and I understand that this is the first time such a meeting has been held in quite this open format and I hope we can have a very good and very viable exchange of views.

Can I just say briefly, two or three points, if I may. The first point is that I see my responsibility and the responsibility of Her Majesty’s Government working for the successful transition that will take place next year as amongst our most important priorities as the British Government. The future of Hong Kong is something of crucial importance and it’s something which will quite properly, not only take up your time in a very obvious way, but also be a very important obligation for the British Government in future, as it has been in the past.

May I secondly say that when I talk about a successful transition, I do not mean a transition whose success will be able to be measured on the 30th of June of next year. The real test of course is what happens thereafter and it is part of our common objective to ensure that anything we say, we do, we seek to achieve at this time and over the next 18 months will contribute towards the continuation of Hong Kong’s prosperity and its way of life and the rule of law, for many generations to come. The United Kingdom’s commitment to the well-being of Hong Kong stems primarily from our obligation on ethical grounds, on moral grounds, to do what we can to assist Hong Kong at the present time, but there is also a strong economic interest as well, because the suggestion that one sometimes hears that the United Kingdom has no likely interests in Hong Kong after next year could not be further from the truth. Only this morning I presided at a ceremony concerned with the new Consulate General. It is going to be the largest Consulate General that we have anywhere in the world, larger than many embassies that we have in many countries and its size has not been determined on symbolic grounds, but because of the breadth of common interest that we will be sharing with the people of Hong Kong in the years to come. I shall be going to China tomorrow. People occasionally comment on our economic interests with China and it is true we have economic interests with China, but they are and they are likely to remain far less than our economic interests in Hong Kong. Let me explain what I mean by that. Our exports to China last year were some 800 million pounds. Our exports to Hong Kong were over 2.7 billion pounds. We have a lot of investment in China. We are Europe’s largest investor in China with investments of some 4 billion pounds, but our investments in Hong Kong are some 70 billion pounds. So in terms of the relative importance, Hong Kong remains a major economic interest of the United Kingdom and its stability and its progress and the maintenance of its way of life is therefore not just a moral obligation, an ethical obligation that we recognise to do what we can to assist, but it also is an economic interest as well.

‘ 6 -

And may I make just one final point, before we come to questions. When I go to Peking tomorrow I do not see my role as purely being to listen to what I hear from our Chinese colleagues, important though that will be. It will also be to communicate and to represent the views, the aspirations, the concerns, the worries, the problems, of the people of Hong Kong that have been communicated to me and to the Governor and to my Government in recent times. We recognise that much has been achieved over the last few years but I am also aware that there is still significant concerns, genuine problems of confidence, unquestionable uncertainties, some of which could be clarified in the short-term and we hope they will be, others which may require a little longer and I see our role as being doing what we can to ensure that we can influence those events in a way that is consistent with the well-being of the people of Hong Kong for very many years to come.

Thank you very much.

May we now turn to questions.

Dr Leong Che-hung: Thank you Foreign Secretary, your words are very' encouraging indeed, 1 must say. Now we have a list of topics which I have sent to you. I would like to start off with a topic concerning British nationality and British citizenship. What I will do is to ask one of our members to lead a question and after that I will open it to the floor and as there will be a time limit, or in the interests of time, 1 will ask members to bear with me that I will put a stop at a certain number of questions so, as I mentioned, in the interests of time.

Now to kick the ball off, as I say, with the British nationality and the British citizenship, can I call upon Ms Emily Lau to start off with some questions please.

Ms Emily Lau: Chairman. I want to welcome the Foreign Secretary to this Council and to congratulate him for having the courage to have this open meeting with us which none of your predecessors have ever dared to do, although of course the Governor does it regularly. And as the Chairman said, Foreign Secretary, my question is on citizenship. During your very brief stay here, I am sure you have talked to a lot of people and 1 think there is one issue on which this community is united. If you talk about democracy and others you may hear different views. And even on the representation on the Preparatory Committee of which the pro-democracy lobby has been completely excluded, you will hear different views. But on the question of British citizenship this whole council, the Hong Kong Government and the Governor, we are completely, solidly united. We want your Government to reconsider offering full British citizenship to the three-and-a-half million Hong Kong British subjects. Not all of them will take it. Some of them will want to be Chinese citizens. Good luck to them. But there are those who don't want to.

7

And, Foreign Secretary, earlier this afternoon when you spoke to the two chambers of commerce, you said that during your six months as Foreign Secretary it only increased your admiration for the courage and the clarity of vision with which Governor Patten has led this community. Well, Governor Patten is solidly behind us! Is nationality a blind-spot of the Governor? Or you think the Governor has been very seriously misguided? And also, Foreign Secretary, finally, you said in your speech you will discharge Britain’s responsibilities towards Hong Kong fully and honourably. How can you do that if you abandon Britain’s citizens to Chinese communist rule? No independence. No self-rule. No autonomy. No guarantee for participation in the political affairs, for the rule of law, for human rights. How can you do it Foreign Secretary?

Mr Rifkind: First of all, may I say that just as you yourself indicated that there are issues on which everyone agrees in Hong Kong and issues on which you disagree, so too there can be such differences of view that can also exist in the United Kingdom. This is not a phenomenon peculiar to Hong Kong. Can I also say that I thank you for your initial comments. I read your article this morning in the newspaper, in the South China Morning Post, a very interesting, a very provocative article and I’m sure it represents very real, genuine feeling on the range of issues that you commented on.

Can I come to the particular point that you have raised. It is a sensitive issue. As you and other colleagues will be aware, it was an issue fully debated in the British Parliament some years ago. The policy that was adopted, referring to the 50,000 heads of household, was not just the policy of the government party. As you're aware, the main opposition party shared that view. There is an overwhelming majority, I have to say, in the House of Commons, combining both Conservative and Labour members, that have supported the policy that your question refers to and I do not see that opinion having changed. I do not see any movement of opinion on either side of the House of Commons that would be likely to lead to a different conclusion. And this was an issue, I know, which was looked at very, very carefully. I want to be frank with you. I do not see the basis on which that policy is going to be reopened. There is no pressure in the House of Commons from either government or opposition parties to do so, and therefore I do not believe it is going to happen.

Ms Emily Lau: Chairman, my question is not on the British Nationality Selection Scheme. I’m sorry, Foreign Secretary, you are wrong. I am talking about full British citizenship for the three-and-a-half million Hong Kong citizens.

Mr Rifkind: Yes, that is what I am talking about.

8

Ms Emily Lau: The scheme, the BNSS, is woefully inadequate. And of course if you would want to broaden that, I mean that is a step in the right direction. But I am talking about your government, your country's responsibility for the citizens that you are going to hand over to Chinese communist rule. Do you not have a conscience? Do you not think it's disgraceful to hand these frightened people over to a regime from which they fled? - and to which the British have given them shelter for so many decades?

Mr Rifkind: Well, we all have consciences and we are all seeking to do the best we can in what are very difficult circumstances. And it is very easy to make accusations across the Chamber - it happens in the House of Commons and I'm sure it happens here even when I am not present - and therefore that is not a new phenomenon. What I do recognise is that yes, we have many obligations. What your question refers to, and I very much understood your question when it was first asked, was whether a right of citizenship which has not existed in the past should now be provided. And that' is an issue that I explained to you, as you well knew, was subject to very full debate and there is an overwhelming majority, a vast majority in the House of Commons, that will not contemplate, on either side, a change of the kind that you have suggested. And I would be misleading you and your colleagues if I tried to use words which implied otherwise. That is the simple unvarnished truth. 7'

Mrs Selina Chow (in Chinese): Mr Foreign Secretary, actually Mr Foreign Secretary, actually I intended to ask a question in relation to the British Nationality Selection Scheme, but since you have already covered that point and you have been very definite in your reply, I would like to go on to another point and probably you will be able to give us an answer that is more palatable.

Last week we had three tour groups going to Bali and three fatalities and eight casualties because of an accident and the British Embassy in Bali, or in Indonesia rather, did not give any assistance. So it goes to show that your people overseas have failed to take up its responsibility in assisting BDTC and BNO passport holders and today we have learn that the British Government and Hong Kong Government have failed to promote the consulate services that are available to BNO and BDTC passport holders and the safeguards. So the question is, will the UK Government rectify the position immediately and also inform Hong Kong officials overseas to take up their responsibilities in the same way they provide services for UK citizens? And then before and after 1997, what is the attitude of the UK Government towards the BNO passport holders? Will there be any differences? If there are hbt to be any differences, how are you going to ensure that this is so?


9

Mr Rifkind: I am very concerned to hear of the particular incidents in Indonesia that the questioner refers to. I am not familiar with the details of these incidents. So far as British passport holders are concerned, who live in Hong Kong, in so far as we have a consular obligation to any person with a British passport who may be in another country in the world, then if that person has a problem and a difficulty that justifies consular protection, then it is the responsibility of our embassies to give that consular protection as they would to a British citizen from the United Kingdom and so I would certainly want to investigate the problem that you have referred to me and if there has been a mistake on this occasion, then we would wish to ensure that that does not happen again. Many people in Hong Kong are and will be entitled in future to consular protection in countries around the world. If they are entitled to that protection then we must ensure that they receive it and we will take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that that is what happens.

Mrs Selina Chow (in Chinese): Mr Foreign Secretary, can you tell us categorically that the UK Government and the Hong Kong Government will provide guidelines for procedures so as to implement what you have undertaken?

Mr Rifkind: I shall be very happy to examine in a very positive way whether it would be helpful to have guidelines issued to our embassies and consulates in various countries around the world to ensure that whenever there is a problem being experienced by someone from Hong Kong who is entitled to British Consular protection, to ensure that they receive that protection. Yes, if there is a problem at the moment we need to resolve that problem and I will initiate steps to ensure that these problems do not occur in future.

Mrs Selina Chow (in Chinese): Does that apply to those before and after 1997?

Mr Rifkind: Applied either before or after to anyone who by virtue of their passport is entitled to consular protection in countries around the world, both before and after 1997.

Ms Christine Loh: Foreign Secretary, there is a particular problem with the ethnic minorities, as you well know. We are told by that community that there are perhaps no more than three to four thousand Eurasians and people mainly from the Indian subcontinent who will be stateless. It will be difficult, and indeed they do not want to apply for Chinese citizenship as such. In view of the fact that this number is really now a very small number, is there really nothing that the British Government is going to do? You did say just now, Sir, that there are ethical and moral grounds for Britain to continue to take an interest in Hong Kong. I mean surely, like with the question from Ms Emily Lau, the honourable way is to ensure that these people do not have to in any way doubt that they have a nationality after 1997?

10

Mr Rifkind: The advice that I have received on this subject is very clear that the people to whom you refer will have a right of abode in Hong Kong after 1997. That is what the advice says and I at the moment have no reason to doubt that. But can I add to that and say that if, after 1997, there developed evidence which suggested that that advice was inaccurate or wrong, then clearly we would want to consider sympathetically and constructively any approach from such a person. We recognise that the concept of statelessness, if that indeed was the case, without a right of abode in Hong Kong, would be a very serious problem. My advice at the moment is that that should not be a problem. If that advice turned out to be inaccurate, then I repeat, we would want to look very sympathetically at anyone in such a situation to ensure that the problem was resolved in a humane and acceptable way.

Ms Christine Loh: Foreign Secretary, you are a distinguished lawyer. Pm sure you know that there is a vast world of difference between having the right of abode somewhere and full citizenship. So do you acknowledge that the ethnic minorities will not have full citizenship and if not, why do you want to make them wait until after 1997 to see if there is a problem in order to solve really what is now a very minor problem in human terms?

Mr Rifkind: Their position with regard to British citizenship is the same as many other people in Hong Kong. You have drawn to my attention, indeed I was already aware, that there are concerns that despite their presence and residence in Hong Kong, it is suggested by some people that they may not have a right of abode. I can only respond to that on the basis of the best legal advice, the best professional advice that we have received and that suggests that these fears are ill conceived, that they are not correct. And if that is the case, then their position is no different in substance to that of very many other people. But I wanted to acknowledge that sometimes even the best of advice turns out not to be as soundly based as one would like and therefore I don’t want to rest purely on the advice and that is why I am saying, if the advice turned out to be incorrect, then I am saying right now that such persons need not'fear that their position would be hopeless. We have said we would sympathetically consider approaches by such persons if these circumstances arose. Now that seems to me an entirely humane and reasonable position that should reassure people that whatever happens their position is not one which will be without serious hope as regards their security.

Dr Leong Che-hung: Foreign Secretary, what is Britain’s position on the War Widows? As you probably realised when you came in, you received a letter from Mr Edwards who has been fighting for this for quite some time.

11

Mr Rifkind: The War Widows have already been informed that they have an absolute right of abode in the United Kingdom. 1 understand that each of them received a personal letter from the Home Secretary indicating this situation. I know that there is interest again in the question of citizenship, that would not be possible under Britain's existing nationality law, it would require primary legislation. If they choose to exercise that right of abode and settle in the United Kingdom, then in due course, like any other person who resides in the United Kingdom, they would be able to apply for citizenship in the normal way. So they have total security with regard to their own personal circumstances and that has been very fully explained.

Dr Leong Che-hung: 1 think that we have to move on and the next topic that we have to discuss with the Foreign Secretary is on United Kingdom and Sino and Hong Kong relationship. I think Ms Christine Loh will start the questions off please.

Ms Christine Loh: Foreign Secretary, I'm glad to have so many times that I can address you today.

You did say today, at I believe a luncheon, to the British Chamber of Commerce that a successful transition means much more than a smooth transition and that you said the objective of a successful transition is served by Britain's unwavering determination to do whatever we believe to be in the best interests of Hong Kong. And then, rightly, I think you go on to mention that you felt that there's no reason for this particular legislature to be liquidated after 1997. I think this council was quite disappointed with you when Qian Qichen was in London, where he made some comments about the possibility of again liquidating this council, that you seemed to have just stood by and not respond. But in any case, you do have a chance now to go to China. How are you going to demonstrate this unwavering determination? What we don't want is for you to go to China and then, if it is inconvenient to bring the subject up. then you don't bring it up. How do you think you can represent, as you said, you said you would go to China and you would communicate and to represent the views of Hong Kong and I think the views of Hong Kong is that we do not want to see this legislature replaced by an appointed provisional body?

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Mr Rifkind: Well, I unreservedly agree with you. I very much regret that during the meeting in London there was some ambiguity as a result of both what was said and what was not said. The remarks of Qian Qichen were actually made at the very end of a press conference and there wasn’t an opportunity to comment on them at that time and I much regret that. But that point has already been clarified. I have since in two or three speeches both in the United Kingdom and here in Hong Kong and in contacts with the Chinese Ambassador in London, made clear our view, which has always been our view, that we believe and it would be astonishing if it wasn't our view given the very strong measures that we have taken which have led to the establishment of a properly elected LegCo. I will not wait for the matter to be raised in Peking. I shall certainly indicate our view, which is the view I assume of those in this council, that we believe that LegCo having been properly elected, it is entirely appropriate that it should continue for its full term of office, that is not only in the interests of the people of Hong Kong, but I believe it would be in the interests of China as well because it would symbolise and demonstrate in a clear and unequivocal way the continuity that is sought by all who have Hong Kong's best interests at heart.

Ms Christine Loh: Yes, Foreign Secretary, the point was clarified in London but the opportunity I think was missed. But this unwavering determination, I mean what can the British Government do? Is there anything that the British Government can do or are you just going to standby in 1997, and see us liquidated?

Mr Rifkind: Well, I'm not quite clear what your suggestion is, as to the kind of action that you think would be most likely to produce the desired result. We have made our views very clear, we will continue to make our views very clear. If you have a specific proposal that you think would enhance the prospects of that policy indeed being accepted, then I am very willing to hear it.

Mr David Li: Sir, will you advise us regarding the progress of the agreement reached between you and the Chinese Foreign Minister in October, in London - what progress you have made?

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Mr Rifkind: There were a number of areas that wc discussed in London. And part of the meeting that 1 will have with Qian Qichcn tomorrow afternoon in Peking, will be to review these areas, so it is difficult at this stage to give you a full answer on matters of that kind. We have had, for example, meetings between some of the Hong Kong officials and their Chinese colleagues, some contacts of a kind that had not taken place in the past and which were desired by the civil service here. That has begun to happen and we have had some discussions on the outstanding problems regarding the container terminal CT9. That may be slowly moving towards a resolution. There have been discussions on a number of other items of that kind. But 1 will need to hear clearly from my Chinese colleague tomorrow the precise degree of progress. It was relatively recently that we had the meeting in London, it's only, literally, a few weeks ago, about two months ago. but the movement has been of a helpful kind and this is something I welcome.

Mr David Li: Sir. did you discuss about the co-operation the British Government and the Hong Kong Government is going to give to the Preparatory Committee?

Mr Rifkind: Yes, we have always made it clear that even if we have considerable sense of disappointment about the membership of the Preparatory Committee, that it is highly desirable for there to be co-operation. That is in Hong Kong's interest. I believe that is what the people of Hong Kong would expect and we indeed stand ready to give maximum co-operation of that kind.

Mr Martin Lee: Mr Foreign Secretary. I had to leave early from the opening of the legal year this afternoon in order to ask a question of you. So lawyer to lawyer, or QC to QC. can I ask you what you would actually do to - using your own words at lunch -'ensure that Hong Kong people's fundamental rights and freedoms arc properly safeguarded', if your counterparts in China were not to listen to your eloquent entreaties in relation to the scrapping of this LegCo and then to replace it with an appointed provisional one. and the emasculation of the Bill of Rights Ordinance? Now just confining to these two important matters, what will your government actually do. not say - no matter how eloquently you may say it - il they were to retuse to listen?

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Mr Rifkind: We know and we are, I don’t think, in disagreement that the transition will take place June 30th of next year. That is a legal obligation. That is something which is unavoidable, not simply in political terms but in legal terms as well. We have to ensure that the Chinese Government are in no doubt that the success of Hong Kong, to which they also attach great importance, will best be safeguarded by the clearest demonstration by the Chinese Government that they wish to respect the autonomy of Hong Kong and to allow the continuation of its way of life. It will always be a matter of judgment whether certain changes that they may wish or not wish to implement, what impact that would have on confidence, what impact that would have on Hong Kong's unique identity.

With a relatively short period to go between now and the transition, the British Government can make both its own views and the views of the people of I long Kong known very clearly, very frankly, albeit very courteously to the Chinese Government. We cannot impose solutions upon them. I cannot suggest to you, nor would 1 wish to, that we have a physical power which is not available to us given the constitutional situation. And therefore our duty is to represent these matters, to warn of the implications of unwise action, and together with you and your colleagues and the people of Hong Kong, to try to persuade the Chinese authorities as to which steps by them would help confidence in Hong Kong and which would damage confidence in Hong Kong.

Mr Martin Lee: Now. if they were really to go ahead and scrap this LegCo and replace it with an appointed one. that is a clear breach of the Joint Declaration which is an international agreement. Surely there is something your government can do - by taking the other party to the World Court for example. Ilas that ever occurred to you? And you don't have to sit back and lament over us or even pray for us.

Mr Rifkind: I am very willing to look at any legal or other avenues that would be available if there was any proposal to breach the Joint Declaration or the Basic Law. Of course if there are opportunities available to us, if such an eventuality was to arise, then it would be a duty upon us not to exclude these possibilities and if they seemed likely to be fruitful, to pursue them. And if you wish to draw to our attention avenues of that kind, please do so. Of course we hope that these arc hypothetical questions, that they will not be required to be considered. But certainly those matters that are within our power to ensure respect for the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, of course you are correct to say it would be proper for us to respond positively if there were means available to us to achieve what is the desired result, and indeed the result already agreed between the two sovereign states.

15

Mr Howard Young: Secretary, 1 am interested to know to what extent the United Kingdom Government will advise the Hong Kong Government, encouraged the Hong Kong Government, in respect to co-operation with the Preparatory Committee which is about to be set up. Now looking back about two years ago when the Preparatory Working Committee was set up, it appears to us in Hong Kong that it started off firstly with a stand of non-recognition, non-co-operation and non-meeting, and then at the behest of many in the community it developed into actual contact and briefings but short of full co-operation. Of course the Governor has made quite clear that the Preparatory Committee is within the terms of the Basic Law and the Joint Declaration and therefore there will be co-operation and there will be a Liaison Committee set up. But Liaison Committee could mean a very simple thing of just passing messages back and forth or it could mean something more than that pointing to a full-fledged cooperation and I would like to know to what extent this co-operation is to be fulfilled and implemented?

Mr Rifkind: My instinct would be to say - and indeed more than my instinct - my assumption would be that we would wish to have the maximum possible co-operation with the Preparatory Committee. It's a very important organisation, its views are bound to carry considerable weight with the Chinese Government. It is intended that we should be working to the maximum extent possible to achieve successful transition. 1 would certainly look to the Governor and to his colleagues for advice on the modalities of that co-operation, how that can best be achieved, but I do not sec the co-operation as symbolic or simply formal, we wish it to be as substantive as can be achieved because that is the best way we can jointly have of influencing the Preparatory Committee and trying to ensure that the recommendations that it makes are the most sensible ones and the ones most likely to be beneficial to 1 long Kong.

Mr Howard Young: 1 would like to add that 1 speak also as a member about to receive appointment on the Preparatory Committee. Does the Secretary recognise that because of the fears of Hong Kong people that there might be created a second power centre which could theoretically undermine the effect of the Hong Kong Government, and despite that the Chinese Government in Director Lu Ping's statement that it would not be a second power centre, that if the Preparatory Committee feels that it is not getting sufficient co-operation, say, and then tries to go on its own to set up a huge secretariat, then that is probably what will transpire.

So therefore does the Secretary agree that in fact the more resources and manpower that the Hong Kong Government is able to put in to help the Preparatory Committee in its work will in fact achieve the result of having less need for the Preparatory Committee to go out and do its own show, which I think nobody, including people who are on the Preparatory Committee, want to do?

16

Mr Rifkind: I think all the arguments in a sense point in the same direction, that it is highly beneficial for the Preparatory Committee's links with Hong Kong, at this stage and from now on, to be as substantive as we can achieve. There can be no question of the authority of the Hong Kong Government being diluted in any way before 30th June of next year, and we do not see any acceptability in, as it were two systems of government or administration for any period of time. For that reason and for the other reasons, including those that you have referred to, that does point towards the kind of co-operation with the Preparatory Committee that we would indeed seek to encourage.

Mrs Elizabeth Wong: Mr Foreign Secretary, I seek to ask a question which is neither interesting nor provocative nor hypothetical but actually factual and relevant to the fundamental well-being of Hong Kong and smooth transition of sovereign powers. Now just to remind us of two testaments: this is the Sino-British Declaration, this is the Basic Law. Under section 3(2) of the Sino-British Joint Declaration and section 2 of the Basic Law both the British Government and the Chinese Government have promised us, Hong Kong people, a high degree of autonomy. Yet, nowhere, even in your beautiful introductory remark, has the phrase "high degree of autonomy" crept in. Indeed, up to now, there is very little evidence - which is conspicuous - regarding the attention we are paying to this attainment of high degree of autonomy.

So my question is a very factual one. It is whether you regard this - as it is your duty and your business to ensure - that there is this high degree of autonomy, and if so what exactly are you doing about it?

Mr Rifkind: The high degree of autonomy is not an option, it's not incidental, it is crucial, it is fundamental to the Joint Declaration and to the Basic Law. It is what two systems and one country is all about. And therefore, it is not as if it were an optional extra. Unless Hong Kong receives the high degree of autonomy to which you refer, then we have not seen the implementation of the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. So your question goes to the very heart of the relationship between Britain and China and the commitments that have been given with regard to Hong Kong. And everything that we have done and will continue to do in the future are centred on the objective of high degree of autonomy. Because that, translated into the real world, means the way of life, the rule of law, the separate economic structure, all the things that make Hong Kong unique' and make it different from China. And that is essentially what this whole arrangement is about and therefore it is, as I say, fundamental.

17

Mrs Elizabeth Wong: Sir, I don't think you have quite answered my question. My question is, what are the factual evidences of the pursuit of high degree of autonomy? Everything we see does not point to the high degree of autonomy. I mean, you know, there are sort of gives and takes and compromises here and there and everywhere, including the point just raised before regarding the Provisional Legislature. People are threatening to dismantle this legislature. I know you have said that you disapprove of that, and yet there is no evidence that something is done about it. And what, indeed, can be done about it? And it's a whole series of things. I see no evidence. And not only I, many people agree with me that there is no evidence that we will be in fact guaranteed the high degree of autonomy. It looks pretty on paper. It is too beautiful to be trusted in fact. So what I am saying is that, what are the factual bits of evidence that we can get that we will be in fact getting it?

Mr Rifkind: Autonomy is expressed both in form and in substance. In form it is expressed in terms of a separate executive, a separate legislature, a separate legal framework; the whole administrative structure, the whole SAR is the form of autonomy. But of course it is not sufficient just to have the form, the substance is what goes to the very heart of what we are all concerned about and for that substance to be genuine, then the decisions relevant to the future workings of government within 1 long Kong need to be taken by Hong Kong, and need to be taken by Hong Kong with reference to the interests of Hong Kong. And it will be the greatest test to identity the substance as well as the form of autonomy, and the best protection for that is that - in my judgment and I suspect in yours -unless there is both form and substance then 1 long Kong's unique ability to provide wealth, to provide trade, to provide economic activity as well as the quality of life of its people, will not be able to be sustained. And if China wishes, which 1 believe it does, to see Hong Kong continue to have that identity, then China must accept as must everybody else, that that cannot be done without a recognition that both the form and substance of autonomy need to be respected as both the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law envisage.

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Mr Paul Cheng: Mr Foreign Minister, I apologise first of all for the duplication of some of these questions, but let me try it from a different angle in terms of the overall relationship between the three parties so to speak, Britain, China and Hong Kong. On the one hand it's very good to have so many different channels of communication. It gives us flexibility. On the other hand it does create some confusion and that's why I’m asking for your understanding of the respective roles of all these different sort of foreign office, the Chinese Government, the Hong Kong Government, the Preparatory Committee, the JLG and so forth, because first of all we are delighted to hear that you had a successful meeting with the Chinese Foreign Minister. The Hong Kong relationship with Beijing is not very good because top management, so to speak on both sides, has not met. JLG's performance is mixed at best. The Preparatory Committee is something in the future, we don’t know too much about it. So I would like to see if you can give us some specific examples of what you talked to the Chinese Prime Minister about and what your agreements were during his visit to UK and then also specifically what you intend to follow-up in this area when you go to Beijing, in more specific terms, if possible?

Mr Rifkind: The meetings I will have, the programme that has been arranged for my visit to China, will be a very substantive programme and I will be able to speak directly to very senior Chinese leaders and that will be a very important opportunity to share with them our thoughts about the situation as it currently exists with regard to Hong Kong and what can best ensure the successful transition that we are all working for.

The issues that we will be discussing will be the whole range that you would expect, fhe issues on which there either is as yet an unresolved policy or in which there is disagreement. In both areas we will cover these matters because otherwise these talks would be of little benefit to either side and so we will be concentrating on those issues where there have not yet been decisions, where there is discussion continuing, and also I will wish to raise those issues where there is a difference of view. Where we believe that current policy or what may be current policy may be unwise and unhelpful. So it will be across the whole spectrum and I shall be in Peking for over two days and there will be very good opportunity, with several people whom 1 will be meeting at a very senior level, to ensure that these views are heard and hopefully we can discuss them in a very constructive way.

Mr David Chu: Mr Foreign Secretary, in your speech this afternoon you still seem to treat Hong Kong as a cause for confrontation rather than co-operation with China. With just over 17 months left, isn’t it time for Britain to help Hong Kong reconcile with China?

19

Mr Rifkind: Absolutely agree. I very much endorse the view that it is through a constructive dialogue and a joint set of objectives that we can best ensure the success for Hong Kong that we seek. Over a vast range of issues there is agreement. Over a number of issues, which are important, there are either not yet decisions which have been reached or there are slight differences of view. Inevitably in a discussion of this kind the exchanges focus on those areas where there are differences of view. Otherwise there would be little benefit in such exchanges. And that also goes for my meetings with my Chinese colleagues. We don't spend our time discussing the whole range of issues where we have reached agreement, the huge progress that has been achieved in many areas. In order to make the best use of these exchanges, as today, we concentrate on unresolved matters or on difficulties and that is not a policy of confrontation with the Chinese Government any more than I would wish to have a policy of confrontation with LegCo or with those who have asked me some difficult questions. It is the stuff of dialogue that hopefully will gradually lead to a common position that you and we and they can all endorse as being in the best interests of Hong Kong. None of us can be certain that that will be able to be achieved in every area. I don't want to go in for mindless optimism, but there is a huge amount that has been achieved. Nobody will benefit, neither the Chinese nor the British, nor of course the people of Hong Kong, if issues arc unresolved or are resolved unsatisfactorily and therefore we will use every means available to minimise areas of disagreement and hopefully resolve them completely. That is the objective.

Mr Albert Ho (in Chinese): After 1997, we talk about protection of human rights after that and LegCo has two points. First, according to the Joint Declaration the Chinese Government has reporting obligations in relation to the two international covenants on human rights and they will also have to attend hearings. And then secondly, in Hong Kong we should continue to have the BORO, the Bill of Rights Ordinance and existing legislation should be amended to comply with the Bill of Rights Ordinance. And yet the Chinese Government is strongly against these two points and it is pointed out by them that the Chinese Government will not report on Hong Kong's behalf and after 1997, the BORO will be diluted and amended legislation will be reverted to its original version and it will target Hong Kong's press freedom, freedom of assembly etc.

And so. our question is, first, what is the UK Government's stance? In other words, in relation to the attitude of the Chinese Government, is this against the Joint Declaration?

And secondly, if it is not in line with the Joint Declaration, what can you do?

20

Now today you seem to be putting the ball in our court all the time asking us for views but today we are asking you whether you will take the following specific steps. First, in March this year in Geneva there will be a meeting of the Human Rights Commission and our request is that the UK Government should move a resolution asking the Human Rights Commission to pay attention to the human rights situation in Hong Kong and also to ask that the Chinese Government take up it's reporting obligation and report our human rights.

Dr Leong Che-hung: To urge the United Kingdom Government to move a resolution in the forthcoming sessions to the Commission of I Inman Rights and the framework of the resolution. 1 think we have sent it to Britain and also a copy to your office. I wonder whether you can have a quick response to that at this point in lime.

Mr Rifkind: Right. The starting point of course is that the Joint Declaration itself commits China to accepting that the international convention on political rights and the other convention will apply, will continue to apply to Hong Kong after 1997, that is accepted in the Joint Declaration and it is because the Bill of Rights Ordinance simply seeks to implement in Hong Kong Law the international convention, that we believe that the recommendation of the sub-committee of the PWC was unnecessary and inappropriate. We already have made this point clear to our Chinese colleagues but I will certainly be returning to this point in Peking, that we hope that this recommendation of the PWC, and at this stage it is only a recommendation, it is not a policy of the Chinese Government to interfere with the Bill of Rights Ordinance. We very much hope that the Chinese Government will decide not to implement this recommendation from the sub-committee and will recognise that the BORO is simply implementing the covenants which they themselves have agreed should continue to apply to Hong Kong after 1997.

On the two specific points that you raised in your question. First of all. with regard to the reporting obligation. Yes I agree with you. it is indeed desirable and we will indicate our view that the reporting, in terms of the international convention, should be agreed to. It is our judgement and I believe it's the judgement of others that this follows from the endorsement of the international convention and I shall be very happy to endorse that.

With regard to the question of a resolution. That is something which is an interesting proposal. I have not yet come to a conclusion on that. I would like to consider that to see whether that is appropriate, whether it is desirable. I certainly do not rule it out but at this moment in time 1 cannot say specifically whether we will wish to do that but I can promise you we will wish to consider it given that LegCo have themselves raised this proposal.

21

Mr Albert Ho (in Chinese): I hope that the Foreign Secretary can be more specific. First, in relation to the first point. That is the stance, whether the stance, the existing stance of the Chinese Government is against the Joint Declaration?

Second point. I hope that you will be able to achieve something in China this time and you don't have to bring the whole matter up at the Human Rights Commission. But if we fail to get a satisfactory reply we will become very worried. Are there any reasons why you would refrain from taking this to the Human Rights Commission? In other words, what are the reasons if you were to reject our suggestion?

Mr Rifkind: I indicated, and I thought I'd indicated clearly, but I'm happy to try and improve, that we believe that any proposal to dilute the Bill of Rights Ordinance is not only undesirable but unreasonable. The Bill of Rights Ordinance merely implements the international convention, the international convention is accepted under the Joint Declaration and therefore we believe that that should be the end of the discussion. I note that all we have at the moment is a recommendation from a sub-committee which the Chinese Government have not yet endorsed and I welcome the fact that they have not yet endorsed that. It doesn't mean that they won't, but they have not done so and I hope that that means that they are giving very careful consideration to the various representations that have been received, both from Hong Kong and from the United Kingdom Government, and I will certainly be using my visit to Peking to explore further with them their thinking on this issue. I hope very much that they will accept the views that have been expressed, both by yourselves and by others in Hong Kong and by the British Government. If that proved not to be the case then we would obviously want to consider what could be done. I can assure you that our decision will be based on what will best help Hong Kong, that will be the criteria we will apply and I will be willing to consider either the question of a resolution or other possibilities and will consider them against the criteria of will they help the human rights situation in Hong Kong, will they help us to advance the objective which we all agree is the one we are trying to achieve and that is the basis on which I would consider the suggestion that LegCo has made.

22

Ms Emily I .an: Chairman, I want to ask the Foreign Secretary a question on violations of human rights after 1997. I hope he appreciates that is one of the biggest fears of Hong Kong people, that the Chinese Government should want to come and settle accounts with its enemies. Maybe there are quite a number in this council and that's why we are all going to be thrown out. So 1 think there is real concern. And even amongst journalists they are worried, and that's why they practise self-censorship. So after '97. if people should be persecuted by (he SAR Government or by the Chinese Government directly, and some may want to seek refuge abroad - some may want to stay here and go to prison and be martyrs - but some may want shelter, what do you think is your government's obligation regarding helping these people? Do you have a special obligation or will you be just another member of the international community who may pay lip service to it and do nothing?

Mr Rifkind: We have a special obligation, is the answer to your question. We have ourselves raised human rights violations when they have happened in China itself and therefore we would hardly be likely to ignore any human rights violations that might at some future date take place in Hong Kong. But of course the historical connection, our own current relationship with Hong Kong, inevitably would give us a very special obligation, much more than any other country in the world, to lake up any abuses of human rights that might appear in Hong Kong and do what would be within our power to try to end them, mitigate them or take account of the consequences of them. So the answer is, a special obligation for the reasons that I've mentioned.

Ms Emily Lau: Chairman, I did ask the Foreign Secretary about offering refuge. I mean that is if they can gel out! If they've been locked-up already then 1 hope you will do what you can to seek their early release - like the release of Wei Jingsheng. But for those who may have a chance of fleeing, do you think Britain - or can you say right now in 1996 and say: Yes, Britain is prepared to take all these political or whatever other refugees who may be fleeing the 1 long Kong SAR?

Mr Rifkind: A person who was genuinely requiring asylum in the United Kingdom and who had these links with the United Kingdom because of the Hong Kong connection, it is a matter for the I tome Secretary but 1 would imagine such a case would be a very, very powerful case for the Home Secretary to consider. That has to be the situation, given the very close links between Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.

Ms Emilv Lau: So. Chairman, the Foreign Secretary is saying he can't give us a categoric assurance.

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Mr Rifkind: Ms Lan, you know perfectly well - you've been in politics long enough -you know perfectly well —

Ms Emily Lau: Not as long as you.

Mr Rifkind: You know perfectly well that Foreign Secretaries cannot give categoric assurances about hypothetical individual cases of political asylum. And you would be astonished if I was able to give any different answer to that question, so please don't misrepresent what you know is the only answer that can be given in the kind of circumstances we are discussing.

Dr Leong Che-hung: We hope you are going to be a slightly different type of Foreign Secretary.

Mr Lee Wing-tat (in Chinese): Chairman. I would like to follow up on what Mr Albert Ho has said. About the PWC's recommendations, the Foreign Secretary said that they may not be the Chinese policies. But the Vice-Directors of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office actually said that this represents the Chinese stand. Now, Mr Foreign Secretary, when you meet the Chinese leaders will you make this point to Mr Qian Qichen?

Mr Rifkind: Is your question with regard to the BORO?

Mr Lee Wing-tat (in Chinese): It's about after 1997 and whether the Chinese Government has the obligation to submit reports to the UN: and about the PWC recommendations and whether they are representing the Chinese policies. Now for these two points, will you put these across to Mr Qian Qichen? And after your visit to China will you announce the results of the discussion to the Hong Kong people?

Mr Rifkind: The question of reporting. I have already indicated to your colleague I believe is appropriate and that's the view that we shall express. With regard to the BORO and the Chinese Government's position, we have been in communication with the Chinese Government on this question and I am quite clear in my own mind from the communications that we have received that the Chinese Government have not reached any conclusion on the recommendation of the sub- committee of the PWC. If they have reached a conclusion, it is not one that they have informed us about or that they have made any public statement in that connection. So I believe it is important to recognise that fact. 1 very much hope that they will reach the right conclusion. And we will do what is within our power to encourage them to do that.

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Mr Lee Wing-tat (in Chinese): Mr Foreign Secretary, you have repeated that you'll consider that when the Chinese formally express their stance. It seems that you are just mentioning opinions today. What can the British Government do? Now, Mr Albert Ho has mentioned the views of our council. Apart from making a resolution at the Commission of Human Rights, now what alternatives do we have to tackle this problem? Not simply voicing opinions but to tackle this problem.

Mr Rifkind: 1 think the important point that we would all recognise is that decisions of the Chinese Government on matters such as the Bill of Rights Ordinance are not just important in themselves - though they arc important in themselves - but they are also important as evidence of the wider altitude of the Chinese Government to the obligations of the Joint Declaration and of the Basic Law. And therefore it will be important to emphasise that if the Chinese Government feel able to recognise the BORO follows directly from the International Covenant on Political Rights which has been accepted by the Joint Declaration, that will be a matter of very considerable reassurance to Hong Kong as well as to the British Government that we are all working towards the same objective. So that is an important point to get across in the kind of exchanges that we will be having and which I hope will be both constructive and fruitfill.

Mr Chan Kam-lam (in Chinese): Mr Foreign Secretary. 1 am sure you will understand one thing, say for a passport holder if he can get visa-free entries in other countries it will facilitate his travel, his studies overseas or his businesses overseas. For the Hong Kong citizens, starting from July 1st. 1997. they will hold SAR passports. Now you are visiting China, will you mention this to the Chinese leaders so that they can understand that when they say our passport holders go to the UK after 1997. they can get visa- free entry? So can you say here something about the actual situation?

Mr Ri (kind: I understand the importance attached to this subject. We in the British Cabinet have not yet addressed this issue, for a very good reason, that we have been waiting for proper and full information from the Chinese Government with regard to the SAR passport, how it will operate, the way in which it will apply, what privileges it will convey. Some of that information has now been provided, but not all of it. but I would hope that it will be provided very soon and I would expect that the Cabinet in the United Kingdom will address the question of visa-free access in the relatively near future. 1 don't want to see this delayed very long because I understand that people would like to have a very clear position on this, so I would hope that it can be addressed in the early part of this year and that we can get a clear and definite policy. I don't want to anticipate what that will be. I have to discuss it with my colleagues, but I do recognise that it's desirable to get a position that is clear and straightforward on this matter in the near future and I would hope to be able to do that.

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Mr Chan Kam-lam (in Chinese): Now the Hong Kong citizens have a wish. If the UK Government wants to show its moral obligation towards Hong Kong, then this kind of issue should be declared expeditiously. Now for this kind of visa-free entry issue, the Hong Kong people do not want this to become a bargaining chip in negotiations with China.

Mr Rifkind: I don't see any reason why it should be a bargaining chip. Clearly until the, the SAR passport hardly exists at the moment except in general form, so we haven't been able to address this question because it is quite an important one, until the information from China was forthcoming. That is now beginning to happen and that's why I say I would anticipate that we will be able to address this in the pretty near future. It will not be a bargaining matter. It will be addressed on its merits and hopefully we can reach a clear and straightforward conclusion.

Mr Sin Chung-kai (in Chinese): Even though it has not been taken up by the Cabinet, 1 can't really see any reason why the UK Government should refuse to give us visa-free entry. Can you now specifically say that you will recommend to the Cabinet that Hong Kong SAR passport holders should be able to get visa-free entry?

Mr Rifkind: Any recommendations 1 make to iny Cabinet colleagues are made privately, they are not made by public statements. We have collective responsibility as you would expect in Government and therefore we will have our discussion which will certainly include my own proposals on the matter and then we will reach a collective judgement and then that judgement will be announced. That is the proper way for all matters that arc the responsibilities of Government to be determined.

Mr Martin Lee: Yes. Foreign Secretary, you talk about the Cabinet soon addressing this point. I can make a wager with you. five hundred pounds to your fifty pounds, that the Cabinet will say no and, you see what worries me is this is another proposal coming from our Governor. When he last visited the United Kingdom he took up another matter, that is the three and a half million passports for the people born in Hong Kong. Apart from admiring him for his courage and clarity of vision, are you going to actually back him up or are you going to ignore him just as he is being ignored up in Beijing?

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Mr Rifkind: Well, can I say this to you Mr Lee, I noticed the odds that you were offering. Maybe we will want to come back to this discussion at some future stage. Far be it for me to anticipate what the financial implications might be, but please do not jump to conclusions. I think it would be very unwise and inaccurate to jump to conclusions. Of course on the other matter to which you referred, there was a difference of view and we expressed that difference of view. We didn't equivocate about it. We didn't imply that there was other matters of that kind. So far as the particular question 1 am being asked about at the moment, there needs to be a discussion and that discussion has not yet taken place for the reasons I mentioned earlier —

Mr Martin Lee: Why don't you back-up the Governor by accepting my wager?

Mr Rifkind: Time will tell. Time will tell and then we might have a further conversation.

Mr Allen Lee: Foreign Secretary, before 1 ask you a question on boat people, I just hope - and I'm sure members of this council will join me - when you say "time will tell", 1 would like to invite you back to this council in Hong Kong in January next year and perhaps you will answer not so hypothetical questions about provisional LegCo. And certainly, I hope your Party stays in power and you continue to be the Foreign Secretary so you can answer those questions directly. By then I'm sure they will be not so hypothetical questions.

My question is with regard to the Vietnamese boat people. This is a longstanding problem that Hong Kong has shouldered and there is a British undertaking about resolving this boat people problem by 1997; perhaps repatriation. But so far, still there are 20,000 boat people left in I long Kong and no visible solutions. Only this morning we saw the newspaper reporting there will be a meeting in Bangkok in the middle of this month. Now, what is the British responsibility towards these boat people if - if - even though you say it may be hypothetical it might become visible - if they are left over in Hong Kong by 1997? Can you say that there will be no boat people left over in Hong Kong, as a statement to the people of Hong Kong? I’m sure we would welcome that.

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Mr Rifkind: So far as the Vietnamese boat people are concerned, that obviously requires the co-operation of the Vietnamese Government. What we have seen is, I think originally there were about some 60,000 of such persons, that's now down to about 21,000 - 22,000. The Vietnamese Government have undertaken to allow the repatriation of a certain number each month and if they comply with that undertaking then that will resolve the problem within the time scale to which you have referred, and that is what we are working to. that is what we very much hope will happen. It is not easy. It is not straightforward. There are sometimes assurances given which are not fully complied with or are complied with over a longer time scale. But if the assurances that have been given by the Vietnamese authorities are accepted, then we can be confident that the problem will have been fully resolved by June of next year, indeed before June of next year. But that docs depend on their co-operation and that is what we will be using all the power at our disposal to ensure is delivered, but it has to take into account that fact.

Mr Allen Lee: But will they do it? My question is. if they don't do it....

Mr Rifkind: It has come down from 60.000 to 22,000, so there has been a huge amount of progress, a lot has been achieved. There is no fundamental problem of principle to overcome. The Vietnamese Government do not refuse to contemplate the completion of this task, it has already been largely completed. They have given certain assurances to allow further numbers to be returned, repatriated to Vietnam, so that ought to be encouraging. But we will have to keep the pressure up and will indeed do so. to seek to get them to implement, as has happened in the past, the remaining problem that still requires to be addressed.

Mr James To (in Chinese): Chairman, a question for the f oreign Secretary. As you have just said, you need the co-operation of the Vietnamese authorities. Now 1 believe that the UK and the EU, both politically and economically can make Vietnam cooperate. Now I am sure you understand what I am saying, that you have different ways to make them co- operate. Now for instance, previously there was financial support and the EU, also through trade agreements, also managed to get co-operation. So can you and the European Union do anything there? I am now talking about 2.000 not 20,000; 2,000 who have been given Vietnamese refugee status and yet they have not been taken up by any third country. So I wotdd like to ask a question in relation to humanitarian treatment and moral obligation: would you be willing to take the 2.000?

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Mr Rifkind: We'd need to establish whether there was a consensus within the European Union for a linkage of that kind and whether such a linkage was acceptable in terms of international treaty obligations and the way in which one deals with persons in the position of the Vietnamese to whom we are referring. Of course if there are ways in which we can improve the prospects for their early repatriation and do so in a lawful way and in a way which is consistent with our obligations, we will be very happy to do so. We share with you the objective of seeing this policy fully implemented within the appropriate time. That is our objective and you can assume that any lawfill and proper way which would help achieve that objective we will be happy to support.

Mr James To (in Chinese): In relation to the 2,000 awarded refugee status, the latter part of my question?

Mr Rifkind: On that specific problem, if they have already been granted refugee status then obviously their circumstances are different to the remainder and that ought to be easier to resolve.

Dr Leong Che-hung: Perhaps you could come back to us in writing on that?

Mr Rifkind: Sure.

Mrs Selina Chow: Foreign Secretary, I'd just like to state that as far as this council is concerned, and there has been two motion debates on this subject, and the support is overwhelming for Britain to take on the responsibility should the repatriation programme fail by 1997. In other words we are not just talking about the 2.000 refugees, we are talking about the entire Vietnamese boat people problem, in terms of both financial as well as the burden of these boat people. Now I know that the Governor is shaking his head. 1 know that he has repeatedly said that we should not in fact be asking for it. I'm sure that this is the view of the British Government, but as far as Hong Kong is concerned this is certainly not the sentiment of Hong Kong. Hong Kong feels very strongly that it is a responsibility that should be taken on by the British Government and I'd very much like to hear your views Foreign Secretary on this.

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Mr Rifkind: Well, I note in your remarks you didn’t actually provide any explanation as to why it should be seen as the direct responsibility of the British Government. The policy on Vietnamese boat people has been a policy pursued with considerable success but not total achievement yet by the Hong Kong Government. It is a Hong Kong problem, if I may say so it comes within the concept of autonomy and this is a problem of Hong Kong. We are very willing to play our part in assisting the Hong Kong Government, as we have done and as we continue to do, but to suggest that this is primarily the responsibility of the British Government, I'm afraid is to be reconciled neither with constitutional principle nor practice over the last few years.

Mrs Selina Chow: I'm afraid I have to remind you, Foreign Secretary, that the dealings with Vietnam is undertaken by the British Government, not the Hong Kong Government direct because this is on an international level.

Mr Rifkind: Of course, if there are representations that need to be made, we make representations on behalf of the Hong Kong Government. That does not mean that Britain has the responsibility to solve the problem. It does mean that if there are international representations that need to be made up to the 30th of June of next year, of course, we have the obligation and will fulfil that obligation, as we have done in the past. But, please I'm sure you know perfectly well that it is incorrect to interpret that obligation as an obligation to solve the problem. It is an issue which comes under the responsibility of the Hong Kong Government, that has been true since the beginning of this problem and no one has seriously suggested that the constitutional arrangements imply otherwise.

Mr Allen Lee: Chairman, I'm sorry I disagree with you Foreign Secretary because at the time, in 1979,1 was a member of LegCo. The decision of taking those people, the three thousand who came on "Huey Fong" was under the direction of the British Government and the British Government, go back to your Foreign Office files, the British Government had ordered the Hong Kong Government to take those boat people and to declare that this is the first port of asylum and I was there.

Mr Rifkind: Well, no doubt that is the view which you hold. It's not what I understand to be the historical situation but I shall happily go back to the files.

Mr Martin Lee: Constitutionally, foreign relations is never within the autonomy of a colony.

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Mr Rifkind: I’m not questioning that. That’s exactly the point that I made to your colleague. That if representations are required, and this doesn’t just apply to Hong Kong, it applies to a number of other dependant territories that we have, that if representations are being made to a foreign government, then as long as we have that constitutional responsibility, we will make the representations. That does not mean that the obligation to solve a problem within Hong Kong that does involve another country is the responsibility of the British Government. The Hong Kong Government has that responsibility, it has had that responsibility since the problem arose. We all are working together to resolve that problem. I think there is good prospect that it will be resolved but please do not expect us to introduce some new constitutional principle with regard to certain problems if, hypothetically, they were not resolved by 30th of June of next year.

Dr Leong Che-hung: Well, I think the Foreign Secretary has been kind enough to have given more time than expected. There are still two other problems that we would like him to solve for us. Perhaps you would like to answer us in writing on these concerns. ~ t

Mr Rifkind: Certainly.

Dr Leong Che-hung: These concern two Hong Kong citizens detained in the Philippines and one detained in China. We do hope that we can look forward to you replying to us in writing.

Mr Rifkind: Well, can I perhaps on both of these matters at this time. With regard to the Philippines my understanding is that we have indeed made representations at both ambassadorial level and at ministerial level and will continue to do so until this matter is I hope satisfactorily resolved.

With regard to Hong Kong citizens in China, when the Chinese Foreign Minister was in London we raised that matter with him at that time and I would certainly expect to continue seeking to influence these matters when I am in Peking.

Dr Leong Che-hung: So with that, could I on behalf of all of you thank the Foreign Secretary and his team for spending his time with us. We wish him a successful trip to Beijing and hope that he will reflect our views to his counterparts in China. Thank you very much.

End

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Transcript of Secretary of State's Q&A session at luncheon ♦ ♦ * * ♦

Following is the transcript of the question-and-answer session after the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the Rt Hon Malcolm Rifkind's speech to a joint luncheon of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce and the British Chambers of Commerce today (Monday):

Question: Foreign Secretary, I wonder if you are aware of the widespread concern amongst British business interests in Hong Kong regarding the question of visa-free access to the United Kingdom by SAR passport holders after 1997; and if you are aware of this, will you be relaying this to your cabinet colleagues upon your return and convincing them that it is in British self-interest that these people should be able to visit the United Kingdom without a visa?

Mr Rifkind: Yes, I do recognise the importance of this subject. Of course at the moment there are many in Hong Kong who have visa-free access, there are many who do not, and one of the issues that needs to be addressed, both in relation to the United Kingdom but also, of course, in relation to many other countries that people might wish to visit, will be this question of visa-free access. At the moment we are waiting for some further information from the Chinese authorities with regard to the SAR passport, a number of matters that are relevant to this question, but I would expect discussions to take place within the British Government in the very near future over this matter. I appreciate it is an issue on which it would be helpful to clarify the conclusions we will want to reach at an early date, and I recognise that from the point of view in particular of the Hong Kong business community who have to do so much travelling around the world, that this is a matter of considerable priority.

So I will be reporting to my cabinet colleagues when I return to London some of the views that have been expressed. Do forgive me if I do not seek to anticipate, today, what the outcome will be. I have, of course, to discuss the views that I've heard, the representations that I've received, the issues at stake, with my cabinet colleagues, but I would hope that we would then be able to move towards a conclusion of this so that any uncertainty can be resolved at an early date.

Question: Mr Foreign Secretary, people older than you, like I myself, have seen many British colonies getting independence in a very smooth way. For instance in the case of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew even encouraged British people to stay. I don't know why the relationship between the British Government, Hong Kong and China is far from being satisfactory. We would like your comments in this respect. Thank you.

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Mr Rifkind: I think the factors that make Hong Kong unique are very clear. Clearly we are not in this case talking about independence which has been the consequence of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom in most of the former Empire, and that poses particular problems. But in relation to China there is also the different political system, the different cultural values, and all the factors that you are very familiar with. So it was always going to be by far one of the most complicated and difficult challenges. We have now been working on this challenge over a good number of years and I think the fact that today, only 18 months before the transition, the fact that the Hong Kong economy and that the atmosphere of Hong Kong remains in such a healthy form is, I believe, a tribute to all who have been involved in this. ,

I am very conscious of the fact that one should not make assumptions that because today matters may seem reasonably healthy that that could not change. Of course it could change in either direction. That is always a possibility and we all have to work with every sinew at our disposal to ensure that the confidence and the health of the economy which we see today continues up to and beyond June of next year. But I think that the fact that we have reached this stage in the form that we now see is no mean achievement and something which therefore enables us to look to the future with both resolution but also significant confidence.

Question (follow up): The previous governors maintained a much better relationship.

Mr Rifkind: Well, I'm not sure why you say that. I've certainly been with the present Governor over the last 48 hours and I have seen a degree of warmth, affection and enthusiasm which I wish I received in my constituency.

Question: Minister, having lived in Hong Kong for 20 years and running a business which represents several British companies, I am very confident that I can continue to do business here and that my principals will have visa-free entry into Hong Kong to visit me as they normally do for their suits and for their business. However, I'm less sanguine about my own position. Will I continue to have a right of residence and to come and go as I please, or just the right to land?

Mr Rifkind: In Hong Kong, you mean?

Question: In Hong Kong. There are many British people for whom this is unclear and I would like to know what your views are on that.

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Mr Rifkind: Right. Well, I wouldn’t like to try and give some sort of legal statement at this moment in time. In so far as there is any continuing uncertainty, then; that clearly has to be a priority to resolve in the very near future. Any uncertainty, including the area you’ve referred to, is bad for confidence. And therefore any of these unresolved issues must be high on the agenda of the work of the Joint Liaison Group if it comes within their area of competence, or the responsibility of the British Government if it’s our own direct area of decision making. So I think on each of these matters I take your point. I can’t say I can give you a detailed answer because I’m not familiar with your personal circumstances. But what I would say is that so far as the right of residence, the right of entry, insofar as that requires to be clarified, that must be an important priority over the next few months.

Question: David Bottomley, Asian Commercial Research. Mr Chairman, the evidence for my question I handed in at the desk on the way in. I trust it reached our speaker. It’s based on nine years of surveys, over 10,000 people questioned. My question is, how does our distinguished speaker's conscience sit - easily or with difficulty - and that of the British Cabinet, with the fact that two-thirds of people in Hong Kong would prefer any other solution than becoming part of China next year?

Mr Rifkind: Well, I can understand the anxiety that people have. Of course if the political system, the political framework within which you live is going to be changed in a fundamental way it would be unnatural for people not to be concerned and not to prefer the status quo to continue. The status quo has been incredibly successful and it's a great tribute both to the British authorities and to the people of Hong Kong what the history of Hong Kong has achieved over those years. So it does not surprise me that the majority - in a sense I'm surprised it's only 74% and not 100% because the status quo has been so successful.

But we all know that under the original treaty 92% of Hong Kong legally had to revert to China in 1997, and that is a legal, inescapable fact. And therefore what we have all been working on is how to, within that framework, ensure the best possible future for Hong Kong, for its economy and for its people. And I think when history comes to be written, I hope it will be seen as a period of enormous difficulty and challenge but one in which the people of Britain and the people of Hong Kong, and the people of China, saw that there was an interest that to a large extent coincided, in terms of the quality of life and in terms of the economic prosperity, and have sought valiantly to find a framework and a solution through the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law - two systems in one country - that will help us preserve what makes Hong Kong so successful. That is the common endeavour.

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Question: Foreign Secretary, Ian Christie, Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce. On the assumption that Her Majesty's Government subscribes fully to endorsing the principle of executive-led government in accordance with the Letters Patent and the Basic Law, I wonder if I could ask you how you view recent attempts in the Legislative Council by some members, to usurp that executive authority and to limit the freedom of action of the Hong Kong Government? I refer in particular, by the publication in the legal supplement to the LegCo Gazette, of an Immigration Amendment Bill attempting to give LegCo a veto over the importation of labour.

Mr Rifkind: I think it is an inevitable feature of legislatures that they coexist with a degree of tension with the executive. Anyone who disputes that only has to consult President Clinton to know that even in the United States such tensions have been known to exist. And therefore, of course the individual legislators, sometimes the legislature as a whole, will try to extend its activity and its power, and that can often only be at the expense of the executive. In each territory, in each country, you have a Constitution which defines that relationship. There will always be a certain tension, as I have said, to try and alter that. That is the stuff of the world in which we live.

Question: Mr Foreign Secretary, since we are still living in a democracy here I hope that you'll allow me to express my feelings that I am not entirely satisfied with your reply to my British friend about the right of abode or permanent residency in Hong Kong. I hope you'll allow me to expand a little bit more. I'm not British, I'm Dutch. I've been here for more than 30 years. I think I have contributed to the well-being not only of myself, my family, but also of Hong Kong. And I was given the assurance by Lord Wilson when he was Governor of Hong Kong - I think about five years ago already - that the matter of permanent residency for people like me who had never done anything wrong - from a lawful point of view - I was given the assurance by Lord Wilson -1 think about five years ago - that it had the highest priority. That's five years ago. We only have less than one-and-a-half years to go and lots of people like me are leaving Hong Kong because they don't have that - I'm not leaving, I will stay, thank you - because they don't have that guarantee that after the 1st July 1997 they can stay here, be here and go about their normal way of business. The promise was made five years ago. You tell us today, again, that it has the highest priority. I think, sir, in all fairness, it's quite time that you come back from Beijing, stop over in Hong Kong next week, and tell us that we do have the right of abode. Thank you.

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Mr Rifkind: Of course I hear what you say and you are referring to your desire to continue living in Hong Kong. You will know that is not in the gift of the United Kingdom Government to make some unilateral statement and therefore these are matters which can be discussed and have to be resolved with those who will have the power after '97 to determine the situation. We can seek to carry out all the obligations, all the commitments that we have ourselves undertaken and which we have the power to implement. On other matters we can make representations on behalf of people like yourself to ensure that we get the clarity and the consistency and the outcome that you wish to see. But we can only give guarantees for matters for which we ourselves have the ultimate decision making power. It would be unreasonable for you to expect us to do more than that. It would be impossible for us to deliver more than that.

End

Effective and efficient judicial system to be maintained: CJ *****

The Judiciary is committed to maintaining an effective and efficient judicial system capable of upholding the rule of law and safeguarding the freedom of the individual, the Chief Justice, Sir Ti Liang Yang, said today (Monday) at the Ceremonial Opening of the 1996 Legal Year.

"In order to ensure the judicial process and procedures are as effective and efficient as possible, the Judiciary has been conscious of the need for court reform," he said.

Sir Ti Liang highlighted the major court reform initiatives.

"A bill is being prepared which seeks first to raise the District Court’s civil jurisdiction from $120,000 to $300,000; second, to raise its jurisdiction of recovery of land from a rateable value of $100,000 to $500,000; third, to introduce a definition of actions of personal injury and set the jurisdiction at $600,000; and fourth, to streamline its procedures," he said.

On the Family Court, Sir Ti Liang said the review conducted by a working group on the court’s practices and procedures was completed last November and a report would be published in early 1996.

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"Recommendations made by the working group, including changes to the procedure in respect of uncontested divorce cases, will soon be implemented. Such changes should increase the efficiency of the Family Court and benefit court users," he said.

Furthermore, a review on the operations of the Labour Tribunal was completed in early 1995. "Various measures, including the setting up of an additional court last September, have been introduced since to streamline the tribunal’s procedure and improve its efficiency," the Chief Justice said.

On the Small Claims Tribunal, Sir Ti Liang said, "We now propose to raise its jurisdiction from the present level of $15,000 set in 1988 to $30,000. To overcome the accommodation problem and better utilise the court, we have introduced a ’staggered hour system'. As a result, productivity in terms of the number of cases processed has increased by one-third and waiting time has shortened from 60 days to about 35 days."

Legislative amendments to the District Court Ordinance, the Labour Tribunal Ordinance, the Small Claims Tribunal Ordinance and the Coroners Ordinance will be introduced into the Legislative Council this year.

On human rights protection, Sir Ti Liang said special listing arrangements would be made later this year at the High Court, the District Court and the Labour Tribunal so that these cases could be expeditiously and efficiently dealt with.

"Similar arrangements will be made in respect of sex and disability discrimination cases," he said. "To ensure that there is an efficient and accessible avenue for those who feel aggrieved, there will be special listing arrangements made at the District Court and the High Court this year to deal with the listing of sex and disability discrimination cases."

On the Court of Final Appeal (CFA), rules and the operational framework of the CFA are being drawn up. "We shall shortly be seeking the profession’s views on the draft rules and hope to finalise the rules later this year," said Sir Ti Liang.

On court waiting time, the Chief Justice was pleased to announce that the Judiciary had succeeded in tackling the problem mainly through more flexible listing and tighter case management and the overall situation had improved considerably last year.

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He noted that the most remarkable improvement was found in the Labour Tribunal where the waiting time had come down from the record high of 335 days to about 180 days by end- 1995 with straightforward cases being heard and concluded within 100 days.

"With a view to improving court waiting time and case management, particularly the assessment of the length of hearing, we have been examining the need for a new approach to expedite the hearing of criminal appeals in the Court of Appeal," Sir Ti Liang said. "In late 1995, a requirement that written arguments be filed 10 days prior to the hearing date and that there be fixed times for oral argument was introduced on a trial basis. We shall fully assess these new procedures at the end of the six-month trial period."

The Chief Justice added that the Civil Court Users Committee had also been actively examining how cases should be managed and would soon submit its recommendations. "I hope to issue in a few months' time a Practice Direction in respect of long cases which should help give guidance to both judges and the legal profession," he said.

Sir Ti Liang stressed that "while continuous efforts will be made to ensure that court waiting times are kept within reasonable limits, these efforts will not compromise, or be made at the expense of, the fairness of a trial."

"The administration of justice is a co-operative venture between the Judiciary and members of the legal profession. Exploring what further improvements could be made to expedite the wheels of justice is not the preserve of the Judiciary. We look forward to suggestions from the two branches of the legal profession, and the Government's legal services group of departments," added Sir Ti Liang.

On the use of Chinese in courts, Sir Ti Liang said, "The Judiciary is committed to furthering the use of Chinese in higher courts and putting in place a truly bilingual system before July 1, 1997. Restriction on the use of Chinese at different levels of courts will gradually be removed over the next 18 months."

A mock scheme was conducted two months ago to assess the feasibility of using simultaneous interpretation in the courts. However, the Chief Justice cautioned that simultaneous interpretation should not be regarded as a quick solution to the bilingual court system.

38

"We need to steer the course very carefully, taking into account the costeffectiveness and the practicability of using simultaneous interpretation in courts. Under no circumstances should the fairness of a trial be compromised," he explained.

Noting that a civil case tried by a High Court Judge in Chinese had made history last December, the Chief Justice said. "We are encouraged by the positive feedback and reactions. We will be actively identifying suitable cases to be heard in Chinese where we believe that this will facilitate the just and expeditious disposal of those cases."

On the localisation of the Bench, Sir Ti Liang is confident that by July 1997, the Judiciary will be able to achieve a 50 per cent localisation across the board. Nevertheless, he stressed that in pursuing localisation, "we are very conscious of the need to maintain the high standards of the Judiciary, and appointments to the Bench will continue to be based on merits."

"The Judiciary will continue to make every effort to ensure that the courts are well maintained and are operated in an efficient manner. The Judiciary will preserve its fine tradition and seek further improvements within its existing framework to ensure that justice is always administered in a fair and speedy manner," the Chief Justice concluded.

End

Legal Department working on continuity of legal system: AG *****

The Attorney General, Mr Jeremy Mathews, speaking at the Opening of the Legal Year this (Monday) evening, gave an account of the work done by the Legal Department to ensure continuity of the legal system with the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong.

He pointed out that this work fell under four categories: production of bilingual laws, international rights and obligations, localisation of laws, and adaptation of laws.

On bilingual laws, he noted that by the end of 1995, a total of 132 bilingual principal ordinances as well as 50 bilingual amending ordinances had been enacted, and hundreds of pieces of bilingual subsidiary legislation had been made.

39

As for the law translation programme, by the end of last year. Chinese texts of 190 ordinances had been declared authentic, drafts of 85 other items had been examined by the Bilingual Laws Advisory Committee, and drafts had been prepared of all other ordinances and subsidiary legislation that were to remain in force.

"I am confident that, on the transfer of sovereignty, we will have a fully bilingual statute book," Mr Mathews said. He added that the next issue of the English-Chinese Glossary of Legal Terms, a bi-product of the bilingual laws programme, would appear this summer.

In the area of international rights and obligations, Mr Mathews pointed out that over the years, the United Kingdom had extended more than 200 multilateral international agreements to Hong Kong. These agreements would cease to apply in 1997 unless agreement was reached with the Chinese side on their continued application.

He noted that so far. the two sides of the Joint Liaison Group (JLG) Sub-group on International Rights and Obligations had reached agreement, in principle, on the continued application of some 170 treaties, including 23 agreements establishing international organisations in which Hong Kong participates. There are about 20 treaties left for discussion, he added.

At the same time. Mr Mathews said, the large network of bilateral agreements extended to 1 long Kong by the United Kingdom over the years in a variety of practical areas would have to be re-negotiated to continue beyond 1997.

Agreement had been reached in the JLG for Hong Kong to negotiate and conclude bilateral agreements in areas such as Investment Promotion and Protection, Surrender of Fugitive Offenders, Mutual Legal Assistance, and Transfer of Sentenced Persons, he explained.

A number of bilateral agreements had already been signed, further agreements had been initialled and were awaiting clearance in the JLG before signature, and negotiations are continuing as quickly as possible with additional partners in order that a reasonably comprehensive framework of bilateral agreements could be in place by July 1. 1997. the Attorney General said.

Turning to localisation of laws. Mr Mathews noted that there were about 300 British enactments that had been applied to Hong Kong which would have to be replaced where necessary by local enactments before 1997.

40

It was considered that about half of these should continue to apply to Hong Kong after June 30, 1997 and the plan was to achieve this through about 32 localisation ordinances, he said.

He was glad that significant progress had been made. So fan 15 localisation ordinances have been enacted, and six other Bills are scheduled for introduction into the Legislative Council soon. Currently about 10 localisation items are yet to be agreed with the Chinese side.

"We hope we can obtain JLG agreement soon, in time for us to introduce the localising bills before the end of this year.

"Enactment of the bills will depend thereafter on the normal legislative process. I am therefor reasonably confident that the localisation of laws programme will be completed before July 1, 1997," he said.

On the subject of adaptation of laws, for compatibility with the Basic Law, Mr Mathews noted that most adaptation amendments only involved straightforward changes to nomenclature.

There were other aspects which involved more complicated policy considerations, such as the implementation of the provisions in Article 24 of the Basic Law relating to the right of abode but this type of more complicated adaptation was the exception rather than the rule, he said.

Proposals for the adaptation of nearly 300 ordinances have been handed over to he Chinese side in more than 60 papers. The aim is to hand over proposals for the remaining ordinances this year.

"As most of these arc uncontroversial. it should not be difficult for agreement to be reached on the substance of these proposals," Mr Mathews said.

He also said the use of "midnight legislation" for the adaptation ? that is to say the adapted legislation should enter into force at the last moment of June 30, 1997 ? had been proposed to the Chinese side. "We believe that this is the best solution, as it will remove any doubt as to what the laws will be on July 1, 1997, leaving no gaps or any shred of legal uncertainty," he said.

41

Ue said the Chinese side had not accepted this approach and it was understood that the Preliminary Working Committee (PWC) Legal Sub-group had suggested that the Preparatory Committee for the Special Administrative Region should recommend to the National People’s Congress that it should make a decision before July I. 1997 in accordance with Article 160 of the Basic Law.

This decision would declare that ordinances and subsidiary legislation which contravene the Basic Law shall not be adopted as laws of Hong Kong, and would set out the principles for applying and interpreting the other laws which are to be adopted as the laws of the Special Administrative Region.

Mr Mathews further noted that the PWC had not published the details of its proposals that certain legislation should not be adopted as laws of the Hong Kong SAR.

"However. I can readily confirm that most of our laws should continue to apply beyond the transfer of sovereignty. This is because in drafting our laws, we have taken fully into account the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law.

"There should therefore be no ground for suggesting that any of our laws should be repealed on the basis of incompatibility with the Basic Law, except for those which carry colonial connotations and the purpose of which will be spent following the transfer of sovereignly," he said.

He added that it was essential that the modalities for the adaptation of laws were made known at an early dale, so that the local and international communities could be satisfied that they were acceptable, and that the necessary amendments to individual ordinances would be achieved in a proper and timely manner.

"We are therefore seeking clarification from the Chinese side through the Joint Liaison Group as regards their latest thinking on the modalities for the adaptation of laws and on how the continued application of Hong Kong laws is to be achieved." he said.

End

42

CPA meeting in Bangkok

*****

A government spokesman confirmed today (Monday) that a meeting of members of the Steering Committee of the International Conference on Indo-Chinese Refugees would be held in Bangkok on January 14 and 15.

The principal purpose of the meeting is to assess the current situation and to consider the way forward with the Comprehensive Plan of Action (CPA).

The Hong Kong Government will be represented at the meeting by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, and the Refugee Co-ordinator, Mr Brian Bresnihan.

End

Appointments to civil service salaries commission

*****

The Government announced today (Monday) that the Governor has appointed Mr Simon Ip and Mr Tam Yiu-chung as members of the Standing Commission on Civil Service Salaries and Conditions of Service. The appointments are for a term of two years with effect from February 1, 1996.

The Governor has also re-appointed Dr Wilfred Chan and Professor Robert Ian Trickcr as members of the Commission with effect from January 1. 1996.

The Government further announced that Mr Tang Kwai-nang, Mr Alexander Au Siu-kee and Mr I o King-man are retiring as members of the standing commission on the expiry of their current appointments.

Chaired by Sir Sidney Gordon, the standing commission advises the Government on principles and practices governing the pay and conditions of service of the non-directorate civil service other than the disciplined services.

Other members on the commission include Mr Nicholas Chiu Sai-chucn, Mr David A Morris, Mr David W Gairns and Mrs Janie Kaung Lai-chun.

End

43

Report of Working Party on Kindergarten Education released *****

The Working Party on Kindergarten Education has released its report setting out 25 recommendations aimed at harmonising pre-primary services.

The report has been submitted to the Secretary for Education and Manpower and the Secretary for Health and Welfare and released to relevant advisory boards and bodies for comments. It stated that the unification of pre-primary services in Hong Kong should be pursued within a practicable administrative and resource availability context and on the understanding that not all aspects of kindergarten and child care centre operations should be identical.

Some of the key recommendations of the working party such as a harmonised pay scale and an unified minimum entry qualification for kindergarten teachers and child care workers have already been implemented.

Among the recommendations in the report, the working party proposed that all kindergarten teachers and child-care workers should complete a common basic training programme before they are qualified for registration, and the acquired qualification should be recognised by both the Education Department and Social Welfare Department so that graduates may work in either kindergartens or child care centres. The working party also recommended a common curriculum guide for kindergartens and child care centres.

The working parly re-affirmed that measures to enhance the standards of kindergarten education should not be delayed by attempts to unity pre-primary services. It noted that priority for improvement in kindergartens should be to raise the percentage of qualified kindergarten teachers to 40 per cent by September 1997.

With a view to bringing the service standards of kindergartens and child care centres closer, the working party recommended that a set of improved floor space requirements should apply to new kindergartens from the 1999-2000 school year. However, the permitted accommodation of existing kindergartens will not be affected.

End

44

Pro-active traffic management to keep safety in I IK waters

*****

The Marine Department has moved from a reactive stance of passive monitoring to that of pro-active intervention in vessel traffic management in order to maintain safety in Hong Kong waters.

At a meeting of the Legislative Council Panel on Economic Services this (Monday) afternoon, the acting General Manager (Vessel Traffic Services) of the Marine Department. Mr Francis Liu. said that from 1984 to 1994 there were marked challenges to the harbour.

Mr Liu said there had been a major growth in vessel movements through the port of Hong Kong together with the economic growth in the Pearl River Delta.

Ocean-going vessel movements grew at a compound rate of 12 per cent per annum, river-trade cargo vessels and river-trade ferries at 20 per cent and 13 per cent respectively. Vessel design has changed towards larger capacity and deeper draft cargo ships and high speed, high capacity ferries.

Mr Liu said: "To cope with this grow th in vessel number and size, the port has had to shift its hub to the deeper, more open waters in the west.

"This is illustrated by the Kwai Chung container port, west Tsing Yi tanker terminals and ship repair activities now centred at north Lantau."

In response to these changes, six proactive initiatives in marine traffic management have been focused upon. 1 hey are -

* The Marine Department regularly surveys vessel activities to assess overall traffic pattern trends. In addition, all proposals to build new port facilities or undertake marine works are subject to a detailed Marine Impact Assessment to determine the effect on marine safety at that locality during the construction period and after completion;

* New provisions, such as new fairways and traffic separation schemes, have been introduced to enable improved control of vessel traffic flows. Similarly, anchorages have been re-organised to reduce vessel movements through busy traffic lanes and for better management of the mid-strcam cargo operations areas;

45

* A sophisticated Vessel Traffic Service established in 1989 provides real-time information on ocean going vessel movements necessary to advise marine pilots and masters of potential dangers.

* Compulsory pilotage introduced in 1985 to ensure ocean-going vessels are provided, on the navigation bridges, with adequate local advice, has been progressively extended to cover all vessel over 3,000 gross registered tons and all tankers over 1,000 gross registered tons.

* Additional launches have been deployed by the Marine Department in the busy fairways to assist in the control of river-trade and local traffic and to marshal traffic. Their operating hours have been extended. In addition, dedicated launches have been stationed in areas where marine works temporarily affect fairway alignments and widths; and

Local Marine Traffic Control Centres have been established in recognised conflict vicinities such as the Ma Wan Channel to provide greater control over small ship movements. The centres ensure the risk of small vessel conflicts with ocean-going vessels is minimised.

Mr Liu predicted that growth in the marine traffic would continue with total movements in 2001 estimated to be 578,000 from 384,000 in 1994. Of these movements, higher percentage will be in larger cargo vessels and faster ferries.

He also expected the port hub would expand further to the west with the construction of the Lantau Port and the river-trade terminal at Tuen Mun and plans for further marine works within the inner harbour.

He said pro-action was a continuing requirement and the proposed programmes to meet the future challenges included -

Planning to identify future traffic patterns, transport modes and linkages and conflict vicinities under a related consultancy, the Marine Activities, Associated Risk Assessment and Development of a Future Strategy for the Optimum Usage of Hong Kong Waters Study, scheduled to be completed by the end of 1996. This will provide options for a strategic blueprint for optimum waterway alignments and will ensure that vessel traffic management resources are located and employed in the most efficient and cost-effective manner;

46 -

Upgrading the capacity of the Vessel Traffic System coverage. The programme aims to introduce an additional manned workstation at the Vessel Traffic Centre by mid-1997 to cater for the increase in traffic from the Pearl River Delta; radio direction-finding capacities for western approaches by the end of 1997; and a dedicated radar for the Mirs Bay area for commissioning in late 1998.

* Extending pilotage coverage to the southern limits of the East Lamma Channel by establishing a pilot station at Round Island in late 1996; and

* Augmenting patrol functions to monitor small vessel movements by a phased extension of operating hours from 1996 to 1998 and through the establishment of additional local marine traffic control centres at conflict areas such as the entrance to the Kwai Chung container port in 1998 and Green Island in 1999. Older patrol craft will be replaced.

Mr Liu estimated the overall cost of the programme at some $200 million over five years.

I ' r» 1*

End

Water storage figure *****

Storage in Hong Kong's reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 81.7 per cent of capacity or 478.546 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 420.642 million cubic metres of water, representing 71.8 per cent of capacity.

End

47

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

S million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,107 0930 +893

Closing balance in the account 2,190 1000 +893

Change attributable to : 1100 +893

Money market activity +883 1200 +893

LAF today +200 1500 +893

1600 +883

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 123.2 *+0.0* 8.1.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.36 2 years 2711 5.60 100.46 5.40

1 month 5.36 3 years 3810 6.15 101.60 5.60

3 months 5.36 5 years 5012 6.38 101.90 6.02

6 months 5.36 7 years 7211 6.82 103.33 6.31

12 months 5.36 5 years M502 7.30 104.24 6.37

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $11,982 million

Closed January 8, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Tuesday, January 9,1996

Contents Page No.

Transcript of Secretary of State’s press conference.................... 1

Announcement welcomed.................................................. 9

Way forward for labour importation schemes announced.................. 10

Informal Get Together Between Senior Hong Kong Civil Servants and Officials of the Chinese Side........................................ 12

Government announces senior level appointments........................ 13

Environmental Protection Liaison Group concludes meeting.............. 16

Suspension of all paper-packed Vitasoy and Vita products.............. 17

Bedspace apartment operators warned of prosecution risk............ 18

Volume and price movements of external trade in October............... 19

New measures to improve ambulance services............................ 25

Report on aircraft accident published................................. 26

Over 10,000 agreements lodged with Land Registry in December....... 27

Selling endangered wild animals as food against law................... 27

Beat drugs....

Contents Page No,

Beat drugs courses for teachers............................................ 28

54 new building plans approved in October 95............................... 29

Offices urged to reduce waste.............................................. 30

Year of the Rat special stamps......................................... 31

Fresh water cut in Tai Po.................................................. 32

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results................................ 33

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations....................... 34


1

Transcript of Secretary of State's press conference ♦ * * ♦ ♦

Following is the transcript of a press conference given by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the Rt Hon Malcolm Rifkind, today (Tuesday):

Question: ....British Government has no responsibility on solving the Vietnamese boat people problem. Is it .... change of the British Government .... discuss it with your Chinese counterpart?

Mr Rifkind: I never said that the British Government has no responsibility. That may be what you read in the press; that doesn't necessarily mean it's what I said. I indicated that we have a very considerable responsibility right up to the 30th June next year because we are responsible for the foreign relations relevant to Hong Kong. We have been carrying out these responsibilities in, I believe, an effective manner. We have seen a very substantial reduction in the number of Vietnamese people in Hong Kong, from over 60,000 to around 21,000-22,000 at the present time. The Vietnamese Government have given certain assurances that repatriation will continue. Of course we wish to use every means to realise that objective and we will continue to act in accordance with our obligations and responsibilities as long as we are the sovereign power. That is our position and that will continue to be our position.

Question: Joan Ngai from TVB News. Yesterday you have mentioned that you are waiting for more information from China concerning about the SAR passport. What more information and assurance you would like to have from China in consideration for granting the visa-free to the SAR passport holders? And secondly, recently there's one Hong Kong man, Mr Lo Tak-shing gained a Chinese passport by his own way. Do you think that it will smash the British Government's confidence and that has had any effect on this in consideration for granting the visa-free?

Mr Rifkind: I indicated yesterday that the British Government had been waiting for some more information and details on the SAR passport so that we can then address the question of visa-free access. I also indicated that a lot of that information is now available and therefore I would expect that my ministerial colleagues and I will wish to address the question of SAR visa-free access for Hong Kong residents in the near future. I realise this is a matter which people are wishing to hear our position on. I think it’s now going to be possible for us to address that issue and I would expect over the next two or three month period we will be able to deal with that matter - come to a conclusion.

2

Question: Foreign Minister, good morning, I am from HK Cable TV. On the Vietnamese boat people issue the Chinese side have just said that the responsibility cannot leave to the SAR Government; and so, this government after 1997. But this problem, assuming that it will last up till 1997 because the UN Commission on Refugees in Hong Kong also is not so optimistic on that, so will leave past 1997; and up to that what the British side will do? This is the first question.

Another question is: the Security Secretary in Hong Kong, Peter Lai, will attend a UN Conference on Refugees by the 14th of this month. I wonder if he will still be the member of the British team or will be changed to the member of the Hong Kong team?

Mr Rifkind: I'm sorry, can you say that second question again? I didn't catch your point.

Question: Mr Peter Lai will attend a conference in this month; will he still be a member of the British team or a member of the Hong Kong team? Change to be a member. . ..

Mr Rifkind: I am not familiar with the detail on the second point but I understand that that is indeed likely to be the case. On your earlier point, the whole objective of course is to have the repatriation of the Vietnamese completed before June of next year. That is our objective. A lot of progress has already been achieved. I believe that what we should all be concentrating on is getting that process complete within the time scale that I have referred to. If the Vietnamese Government carry out their responsibilities and adhere to their commitments, that will be achieved. And therefore the other questions that you're asking are essentially hypothetical. I believe that there is a good prospect of getting this matter resolved within the time scale. I have had to emphasise that our responsibility as the sovereign power ends on the 30th June next year. That doesn't mean we will lose interest in the subject. Of course any help that we can give thereafter we would wish to do so, but we will not have the sovereign responsibility, and that is a simple point of fact. But the objective and the oyerridjng effort is to complete this particular policy in the time scale that we have indicated and that is what we will be addressing ourselves to.

Question: This seems to be a common theme throughout the two days that you have been here but with time running out and so many outstanding issues what impact or what can your government still do to pressure the Chinese to the bargaining table on some of these things? What bargaining chips do you still have left and what influence can you still have on talks?

3

Mr Rifkind: There is one massive bargaining chip and that is that the Chinese Government, like Hong Kong and like the British Government, want to see a prosperous and successful Hong Kong continuing after 30th June next year. And therefore the fundamental questions are: what is required to ensure that; what is the best way of ensuring the maintenance of confidence, the retention of Hong Kong’s reputation as a successful territory? And that is a matter on which we can indicate to the Chinese Government in a very clear and unequivocal way our judgment as to what is required. And our judgment is very much influenced by what we hear in Hong Kong. One of my reasons for being here is to listen and to learn. And there have been quite a number of views expressed over the last couple of days which I believe are very pertinent and very appropriate. And if the Chinese Government wish, as I believe they do, to see Hong Kong a success, then they have to be sensitive to the views, the aspirations and the concerns of the people of Hong Kong. If they are insensitive then they would be shooting themselves in the foot and I can’t believe that they will wish to do that.

Question: But you are limited. There is no chance of sending gun-boats, for example.

Mr Rifkind: That is not part of our strategy. You're correct.

Question: What influence can you have? What can you do? As Mr Lee asked yesterday.

Mr Rifkind: I think what we have to do is be absolutely frank and honest, not only with the people of Hong Kong but also with our Chinese colleagues. We have to give them the benefit of our honest judgment as to what is required from their side to ensure confidence in Hong Kong. There are certain matters for which we are responsible, where we will take decisions, and there we have to do our best to reach the right decisions. There are other matters which will be decided by China. That is a fact. What we can do is seek to influence those decisions that they themselves will take.

Over the next couple of days I shall be seeing senior Chinese leaders. I will have an opportunity in private conversations as well as any public remarks to indicate my impressions from what I have been told, from what I have learnt, from what I understand to be the situation here in Hong Kong. Given that the Chinese want Hong Kong to be a success - it is overwhelmingly in their own interests that Hong Kong should be a success - then I believe that they will be listening very carefully to what I and others will have to say. And it is right and proper that that should be so.

4

Question: ....in what way does the British Government want to influence the work of the Preparatory Committee in order to avoid the British authority diluting in Hong Kong? * , * . . rf

Mr Rifkind: I think what is important is first of all that we do have good co-operation between Hong Kong and the Preparatory Committee. The Preparatory Committee is going to make very important recommendations to the Chinese Government and therefore the closest co-operation will maximise the prospect of influencing those recommendations so that they are sensible. I think it is crucial also that the whole concept of autonomy for Hong Kong requires the Preparatory Committee itself to be sensitive to what that concept of autonomy requires. It is not just the form of autonomy, it is also the substance of autonomy. The decisions that are relevant to the internal affairs of Hong Kong will in future still be taken in Hong Kong. That’s what autonomy is about. And therefore the Preparatory Committee, I hope, will wish to. reflect that fact in the judgments they themselves come to on the matters for which they are responsible.

Question: The likely parameter of the Preparatory Committee should be on the 400-member Selection Committee, and also.... of the provisional legislature. In what way the British Government can influence on these two issues?

Mr Rifkind: I think it is going to be very important for us to emphasise what Hong Kong itself is emphasising, that for any organisations or institutions it is important that they are representative of Hong Kong opinion; that if the people of Hong Kong are to be confident in institutions or in organisations then they must know that the people who are going to be serving on them are representative of what people in Hong Kong actually feel and wish. There has I think been, quite rightly, a great deal of attention addressed to that fact. It is a point which I entirely endorse and it will certainly be part of the representations that I would myself wish to make.

Question: Queenie Wan from Apple Daily. Foreign Secretary, can you tell us whether the British Government has any role in selecting the Chief Executive Designate? And will you take this opportunity when you are in Beijing to give some advice or basic criteria to the mainland leaders in selecting the Chief Executive Designate?


5

Mr Rifkind: Well, I would certainly not presume to recommend particular individuals for that post but I would certainly want to emphasise to our Chinese colleagues that the position of Chief Executive will not only be crucial given the important tasks that the Chief Executive will have to carry out, but that the choice of person will be seen as very indicative of China's wider approach to the future of the territory. And therefore it is crucially important that whoever is asked to take on this responsibility should be a person who will inspire confidence in Hong Kong; that the very high standards of government that the Civil Service here represent, the absence of corruption, the high quality of the civil service, the continuity that is a desirable objective between now and what happens after 30th June next year, that these should all be maintained. And it is going to be very important also that these very large numbers of people who make up the civil service should themselves have confidence in the person who will be the Chief Executive in future so that they will have a strong motivation to carry on their responsibilities with all the enthusiasm and dedication that we have seen in the past.

Question: Mr Secretary, Francis Moriarti of Radio Television UK. A two part question if 1 may. First, I have the transcript of what you said yesterday in LegCo regarding the Vietnamese boat people and you make it absolutely clear that this policy is a Hong Kong problem, comes within the concept of autonomy, it is a problem of Hong Kong. So, where do you see Hong Kong's responsibility ending and beginning, and where does Britain’s responsibility pick up? Point number one.

Secondly, in going to China, beyond the power of candour and moral suasion, do you go armed with anything - offers of soft loans, trade, anything - that you can use to try to bring the Chinese around to your point of view on any of these issues?

Mr Rifkind: Well, on your first point, the position I think is very, very clear: the policy with regard to Vietnam is the policy of the Hong Kong Executive Council. We have the responsibility, being responsible for 1 long Kong's external relations, of acting on behalf of the Hong Kong Government in any representations that are required w ith regard to Vietnam. We have done that. We will continue to do that as long as we are the sovereign power, as long as we have that sovereign responsibility. That is the proper constitutional relationship and it is one that 1 think is right and proper. We are not trying to shirk responsibilities. We have worked very, very hard and with considerable success, in co-operation with Hong Kong, on the Vietnamese issue. A lot has been achieved. 1 believe that the whole effort should be to ensure that we actually complete that process within the time scale that we have indicated and which the Vietnamese Government themselves are committed to, and that is what I am going to concentrate my efforts on.

6

With regard to your second question, I really do not believe that a government as substantial as the Chinese Government are going to be influenced by questions of soft loans on their policy towards Hong Kong. Hong Kong for China, as for Britain, as for Hong Kong, is a fundamental issue in its own right and I am sure that the proper approach is not to try to link Hong Kong with other matters. There are lots of other matters which we will no doubt be discussing but I do not believe in linkage of that kind, nor do I think it would impress my Chinese colleagues in the way that your question implied. I think we have to concentrate on the fundamental question: that China shares with Hong Kong and with Britain a desire to see Hong Kong’s success continue; what are the necessary ingredients that will maintain confidence and that will maintain Hong Kong's prosperity and identity. That is the mature argument, that is the mature discussion that needs to take place, and that is the one most likely to influence Chinese opinion.

Question: Foreign Secretary, you said yesterday in LegCo that it was a matter of judgment as to the consequences for Hong Kong of any plans China might or might not have for changing institutions which have been set up under British rule. I'm wondering what in your judgment would be the consequences should those changes take place?

Mr Rifkind: I believe it will be deeply disappointing and a considerable cause of serious concern if institutions which have been established and which are based on democratic legitimacy were dismantled. I cannot see any advantage to the objectives that China herself has set of a successful, confident Hong Kong continuing in the years to come, 1 cannot see any advantage from the dismantling of institutions that have been established and I very much hope that point will be taken into account before any irreversible actions are taken.

Question: It would be a cause of serious concern. I mean not a major earthquake though?

Mr Rifkind: Well. I'm not wanting to try to limit the damage that would be caused. These again, as I say. arc judgmental matters; we cannot be certain. And it would very much, I suppose, be influenced by what China's alternative proposals added up to; how representative they were seen to be; to the extent to which any proposals that China might have were to take into account the views of the people of Hong Kong. These are important questions which at the moment must be speculative. What is quite clear is that the dismantling of the institutions that have been established would be damaging and could be extremely damaging. The extent of that damage would depend upon what alternatives China was proposing and how representative and democratic these were seen to be by the people of I long Kong and by the world as a whole.

7

Question: Paul Harrington of AFP. Foreign Secretary, but if you note that damage, do you then do something about it or do you just gauge it and leave it be?

Mr Rifkind: When you say do something about it, what are you envisaging?

Question: Well, it is not for me to have a plan.

Mr Rifkind: Well actually, no, I'm sorry, I mean people find it very easy to say what are you going to do about it, implying there is some magic formula that will absolve these problems if only the political will existed. Questions, if they are to be mature questions and justify mature answers, have to take into account these sort of points.

Question: Let me just say if I was Foreign Secretary I would like to think that I had a plan for this contingency.

Mr Rifkind: We cease to be the sovereign power next year. It is no use me suggesting to you or to the people of Hong Kong that the United Kingdom can suddenly produce some formula which will deal with the determined Chinese desire to dismantle institutions. What we can do is first of all make it unequivocally clear that we share the views of the Hong Kong people as to the damage that will be done by the dismantling of the institutions. And we can also emphasise that the fundamental question is whether Hong Kong's autonomy is to be respected and whether the people of Hong Kong will feel that their institutions are representative of the people of Hong Kong.

Question: Yesterday, in your preparatory remarks to the question session with legislators you emphasised the tremendous economic importance that Britain places on its economic ties with Hong Kong over those with China. At this late date in the negotiations for the transition after 1997, which would you say presents the weightier argument in Britain's mind, the economic or the political?

Mr Rifkind: Economic or political in relation to what?

Question: In relation to negotiations for the 1997 transition.

8

Mr Rifkind: So far as the United Kingdom is concerned our interest in Hong Kong is both an ethical obligation, a moral obligation, it is an economic interest, and it is the combination of these factors that influence our policy. I've heard it sometimes suggested at various times that the United Kingdom is simply looking to the future in terms of its relationship with China and may not give sufficient importance to the obligations it has towards Hong Kong. 1 want to emphasise that important though our economic links with China are, they are modest in comparison with our economic interests in Hong Kong. Whether measured by the level of trade or the level of investment, our economic involvement in Hong Kong, which will continue long after 1997, is infinitely greater even than our interest in terms of our economic relationship with China. And therefore Hong Kong's success is not just a matter of theoretical interest or political interest, there is also a fundamental economic interest that we share with the people of Hong Kong and therefore which influences our actions.

Question: I suppose the question still remains: is that economic interest, to one extent or another, greater than or of primary importance over the political?

Mr Rifkind: I can't make a valid comparison of that kind. They are both fundamental aspects of our thinking and it so happens they compliment each other. It is not necessary to make that choice.

Question: Mr Foreign Secretary, you said the Chief Executive should inspire confidence, especially in the civil servants. Do you think that the post should then go to a civil servant?

Mr Rifkind: I'm not going to try and speculate publicly what the precise criteria should be. I don't think that would be helpful, frankly. I think we can properly indicate both privately and publicly that the person chosen must be someone who is acceptable to the civil service in Hong Kong and inspires confidence amongst the wider public. People will have a fairly clear idea of what that points towards but I'm not going to speculate, myself, on the precise detail.

Question: If I could follow up on Paul's question earlier. You seem to leave open the possibility that if China goes ahead and dismantles LegCo, Britain would pursue a symbolic gesture such as an appeal to the World Court for instance, if that's indeed the case. Is that the case?

9

Mr Rifkind: That particular suggestion was one raised by Martin Lee in LegCo yesterday. 1 said that in the hypothetical circumstances that he was referring to, obviously if there was any specific action which was available which might influence events in a positive way, of course we would wish to look at that to see whether it would indeed help. But this is all very speculative and hypothetical and what we are anxious to do at this moment is to work towards persuading our Chinese colleagues to take actions only that would inspire confidence and not that would damage confidence in Hong Kong.

End

Announcement welcomed *****

In response to press enquiries, a government spokesman today (Tuesday) welcomes the announcement in Peking by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the Rt Hon Malcolm Rifkind, on an agreement with the Chinese Government on the issue of the passports of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).

"The agreement demonstrates that both sides are committed to making the HKSAR passport a success," he said.

"It gives assurances to the integrity of the production and distribution systems of the passports and should help to promote acceptability of the passports and continuation of travel convenience for Hong Kong residents.

"This will also enable the Hong Kong Immigration Department to make preparations for the issue of the passports from July 1. 1997."

End

10

Way forward for labour importation schemes announced

*****

Following the endorsement of the Governor-in-Council. the Government today (Tuesday) announced that the Supplementary Labour Scheme (SLS) will be implemented on February 1, 1996 and a review will be conducted when 2,000 visas have been issued under the scheme.

At a press conference to give details of the SLS, the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, pointed out that employers would only be allowed to bring in imported workers if they were genuinely unable to find local staff to fill their job vacancies.

"All applications will be considered individually and only genuine cases meeting all the criteria of the scheme will be approved." he said.

Mr Wong explained that to ascertain whether the SLS was achieving its policy objective, a review would be conducted when 2,000 visas had been approved.

"I am pleased that the Labour Advisory Board (LAB) has agreed to take on the monitoring role. Regular reports on the operation of the scheme will be submitted to the LegCo Manpower Panel," he said.

To implement the SLS, the Labour Department will need to step up its Job Matching Programme (JMP) and to expand the service to all job seekers. A job matching centre will be set up in the city to serve as a centralised one-stop unit.

To this end. the Commissioner for Labour will require an additional annually recurrent funding of $6 million for 23 new posts in 1995-96. The department will also need $10.5 million in 1995-96 and $17 million on a full year basis to operate the job matching centre.

To safeguard the interest of local workers. Mr Wong pointed out that employers applying for imported workers must first make genuine efforts to recruit locally followed by a mandatory participation in the Labour Department's JMP.

"Where appropriate, the Employees Retraining Board will be asked to organise special courses to train up local workers to meet the requirements of the employers," he said.

11

Mr Wong said the Government had drawn up a tentative list of jobs which will not normally be approved in the SLS. However employers who can demonstrate a genuine need for imported workers in these job categories may submit applications to the Labour Department for consideration.

"We believe that this arrangement is necessary to facilitate the screening out of undeserving applications by the Labour Department," Mr Wong said.

On the labour importation scheme for the new airport core (ACP) projects, Mr Wong said the scheme would continue in its present form with improved arrangements to facilitate and promote the recruitment of local workers.

In order to encourage local workers to apply for ACP job vacancies, the Airport Authority and the MTRC will set up an ACP Job Centre in town in mid-January 1996.

Job vacancies will be displayed at the job centre and it will be used for receiving job applications, conducting recruitment interviews and making arrangements for signing of employment contracts.

In addition to the existing free ferry services provided for the ACP workers, new ferry services from the Hong Kong side and Kowloon to Chek Lap Kok will be introduced on a trial basis in mid-January 1996. Also, accommodation is now available for local workers at Chek Lap Kok where about 30 local workers are living there at the moment.

Mr Wong announced that in view of the easing in labour market conditions and the introduction of the Supplementary Labour Scheme, the Government had decided to terminate the General Labour Importation Scheme and allowed it to run down naturally.

The Education and Manpower Branch has produced a pamphlet to explain the policy objective, the application, processing and monitoring procedures of the SLS.

The tentative list of job categories which would normally be excluded from the scheme is also published in the pamphlet which is being sent to employers' and employees' representatives, trade unions, major trade and industrial organisations, and members of the Labour Advisory Board.

End

12

Informal Get Together Between Senior Hong Kong Civil Servants and Officials of the Chinese Side *****

Following consultation with the Xinhua News Agency (Hong Kong Branch), we are pleased to announce that the fourth informal get together between senior Hong Kong civil servants and officials of the Chinese side will take place on January 11, 1996 at the Voting Members’ Box, Happy Valley Racecourse starting at 10.30 am. It will end after lunch.

Participating officers will be:

Mr Michael Sze

Secretary for the Civil Service

Mr Kwong Ki-chi Secretary for the Treasury

Mr Anthony Au Yeung

Commissioner of Inland Revenue

Mr Harry Myers

Government Printer

Mr Barry Woodroffe

Commissioner of Rating and Valuation

Mr Alan Richardson

Director of Accounting Services

Mr Lau Kam-hung

Director of Information Technology

Services

Mr Nigel Shipman

Director of Government Supplies

They will be accompanied by Mr Christopher Jackson, Deputy Secretary for the Civil Service and Mrs Marion Lai, Principal Assistant Secretary for the Civil Service.

End

13

Government announces senior level appointments * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government announced today (Tuesday) the appointment of Mr Haider Barma, currently Secretary for Transport, to succeed Mr Augustine Chui as Chairman of the Public Service Commission (PSC) with effect from August 1, 1996. Mr Chui has been PSC chairman since June 1991.

The Government also announced the following consequential senior level appointments which will be made in the coming months:

Mr Gordon Siu, currently Secretary for Economic Services, will take over from Mr Haider Barma as Secretary for Transport.

Mr Stephen Ip, currently Commissioner for Labour, will take over as Secretary for Economic Services.

Miss Jacqueline Willis, currently Deputy Secretary for Education and Manpower, will succeed Mr Ip as Commissioner for Labour.

Mr Barma will leave the civil service in summer 1996 and take up his new appointment as PSC chairman on agreement terms on August 1, 1996.

The PSC is a statutory body which advises the Governor on appointments and promotions to posts of middle and senior ranks in the civil service and on disciplinary matters. It comprises a full-time chairman and eight non-official members appointed by the Governor.

The Government also announced today that Mr Lawrence Li, will succeed Mr D M Watson as Commissioner of Customs and Excise on June 21, 1996. Mr Watson will proceed on pre-retirement leave on that date having served the Government for 35 years.

Following are biographical notes of the officers:

14

Mr Haider Hatim Tyebjee Barma, ISO, JP

Aged 51. Mr Barma joined the Government in March 1966 as an Executive Officer and became an Administrative Officer in August 1966. During the early years of his career with the Administrative Service, he served in a number of branches and departments including the former Economics Branch and Environment Branch, Home Affairs Department (later the City and New Territories Administration) and Housing Department. Senior positions held over the last 10 years included Deputy Secretary for the Civil Service (Appointment) (1986-1988), Director of Regional Services (1988-1991) and Director of Urban Services (1991-1993). Mr Barma took up his present appointment as Secretary for Transport in October 1993, and was promoted to his present rank of Secretary, Government Secretariat in January 1995.

Mr Gordon Siu Kwing-chue, JP

Aged 50. Mr Siu joined the Government in February 1966 as an Executive Officer and became an Administrative Officer in August 1968. During the early years of his career in the Administrative Service, he served in a variety of branches and departments including the Finance Branch, the former Social Services Branch and Education Department. Over the years, Mr Siu has held a number of senior positions including Deputy Secretary for the Civil Service (1981-1985), Secretary-General of the former UMELCO (1985-1987), Postmaster General (1988-1989), Commissioner for Transport (1989-1992) and Director, NAPCO (1992-1993). He took up his present appointment as Secretary for Economic Services in April 1993 and was promoted to the rank of Secretary, Government Secretariat in January 1995.

Mr Stephen Ip Shu-kwan, JP

Aged 44. Mr Ip joined the Government in 1973 as an Administrative Officer. He has served in a number of branches and departments including Home Affairs Department (later City and New Territories Administration) and the former Lands and Works Branch. He spent six years in the former Monetary Affairs Branch from 1987 to 1992, first as Principal Assistant Secretary and later as Deputy Secretary. After a brief tour in the Chief Secretary's Office and then as Chairman, AO Recruitment Board, Mr Ip became Commissioner of Insurance in mid-1993. He took up his present post of Commissioner for Labour in December 1994. Mr Ip was promoted to his present rank of Administrative Officer Staff Grade A (AOSGA) on January 1, 1996.

15

Miss Jacqueline Ann Willis, JP

Aged 48. Miss Willis joined the Government as an Administrative Officer in 1969. Over the years, she has served in various branches and departments, including the Social Welfare Department, the former Social Services Branch. Home Affairs Branch and the former Administrative Services and Information Branch. Senior positions held by Miss Willis in recent years included Deputy Director of Regional Services (1988-1990). Deputy Secretary for Home Affairs (1990-1992) and Deputy Secretary for Health and Welfare (1992-1994). Since December 1994. she has been Deputy Secretary for Education and Manpower with responsibility over manpower issues. Miss Willis was promoted to her present rank of AOSGA on January 1. 1996.

Mr Augustine Chui Kam, CBE, JP

Aged 62. Mr Chui was appointed as Chairman of the Public Service Commission in June 1991 upon his retirement from the civil service. His two-year appointment has been extended three times since 1993, the latest extension to run till July 31. 1996.

Including his chairmanship on the PSC. Mr Chui has been in public service for 43 years. He joined the Government in 1952 and was appointed as an Administrative Officer eight years later. Whilst in the Administrative Service, he held a number of senior positions including Director of Urban Services, the then Secretary for Municipal Services and Secretary for Recreation and Culture, lie retired at the rank ot Secretary, Government Secretariat in 1991.

Mr Li Shu-fai, Lawrence. JP

Aged 52. Mr Li joined the Hong Kong civil service in 1963 as a Revenue SubInspector in the Customs and Excise Department. He was promoted to his present post of Deputy Commissioner of Customs and Excise in 1994. lie has acted as the Commissioner of Customs & Excise on several occasions.

16

Mr D M Watson, QPM, CPM

Aged 55. Mr Watson joined the Hong Kong civil service in 1960 as a Probationary Sub-Inspector of Police in the Royal Hong Kong Police Force. He was promoted to the rank of Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police in 1988 and was appointed to his present rank of Commissioner of Customs & Excise in 1993. He will proceed on pre-retirement leave on June 21. 1996 after over 35 years of service with the Hong Kong Government.

End

Environmental Protection Liaison Group concludes meeting

*****

The Hong Kong-Guangdong Environmental Protection Liaison Group (EPLG) held its sixth meeting yesterday (Monday) at Guangzhou.

Both sides reviewed the work in 1995 and discussed future plan for 1996.

At the meeting, the Technical Sub-group reported progress of the past year, and submitted the Final Report on Air. Water and Sediment Quality of the Deep Bay Joint Monitoring Programme.

The EPLG endorsed the report unanimously and expressed satisfaction at the successful completion of the joint monitoring work.

Both sides expressed concern about the serious water pollution problem of water catchment areas around Deep Bay and the water quality of Deep Bay as reflected in the study. The two sides agreed they should continue to jointly monitor water and air quality and conduct modelling work on Deep Bay water quality.

Following the success in joint study and monitoring work, both sides agreed to undertake a similar study at Mirs Bay. The scope of the study was agreed at the meeting.

17

The Guangdong side introduced at the meeting the planning features of Pearl River Delta economic zone and economic development and planning in Shenzhen. The Hong Kong side briefed the meeting on the sub-regional planning strategies of North East and North West New Territories. Both sides exchanged views on environmental matters of mutual concern.

The meeting was co-chaired by Mr Wang Yinkun, Director of the Environmental Protection Bureau of Guangdong Province and Mr Bowen Leung, the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands.

End

Suspension of all paper-packed Vitasoy and Vita products

*****

The following statement was issued by the Department of Health in connection with the suspension of all paper-packed Vitasoy and Vita products:

A spokesman for the Department said: "In our close contact with the Vitasoy International Holdings Limited today (Tuesday), we understood that there were further complaints of sour taste with another batch of Vitasoy products.

"Discussion was held immediately with its top management at which we were informed of the company's decision to conduct a full recall of all paper-packed Vitasoy and Vita products from the market and to temporarily suspend all production at its Tuen Mun plant to facilitate a thorough investigation.

"The Department of Health welcomes the company's decision and considers that it is a responsible and appropriate step to take in the light of latest developments.

"Retailers are asked to stop selling all paper-packed Vitasoy and Vita products at once.

"The public are advised to return all paper-packed Vitasoy and Vita products to the company and contact its hotline for enquiries.

18

"The Department of Health and the Municipal Services Departments will continue to monitor closely the recall and investigation processes and inform the public of any further development."

The department also announced the preliminary results of some of the laboratory tests on samples of Vitasoy products collected in the past few days. Of the 240 test results received so far, four were found to give abnormal acidity.

"While bacteria were found in these four samples, they were not of pathogenic nature. Further tests will be conducted to confirm the exact identity of the bacteria," the spokesman added. i

End

Bedspace apartment operators warned of prosecution risk

*****

The Home Affairs Department (HAD) is pressing ahead with the licensing scheme to improve the safety of bedspace apartments (BSAs) and warns operators that they risk prosecution if they evict their tenants under the pretext of complying with safety requirements.

In response to reports that a number of operators of apartments in Tai Kok Tsui and Mong Kok were forcing tenants out against their will, an HAD spokesman said today (Tuesday) that this might constitute an offence under the Landlord and Tenant (Consolidation) Ordinance which protected the rights of tenants.

"These operators are claiming that they are closing down because of the need to carry out improvements to their premises under the licensing scheme for BSAs. However, this is clearly not the case because these BSAs are given until July 1, 1998 to comply with the licensing requirements," the spokesman said.

"The operators are simply using the licensing scheme as an excuse and should realise that they may face prosecution."

I

HAD staff have visited the premises concerned in Mong Kok and will be assisting lodgers in finding alternative accommodation.

19

The department has undertaken that no BSA lodger will be made homeless as a result of the licensing scheme and is in the process of constructing a multi-storey hostel in Sham Shui Po for around 600 lodgers. The hostel is expected to open in mid-1998 to coincide with the licensing scheme.

End

Volume and price movements of external trade in October ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

In the first 10 months of 1995, the volume of re-exports increased by 15% over the same period last year, while the volume of domestic exports increased by 3.6%, according to the statistics released today (Tuesday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

Taking re-exports and domestic exports together, the volume of total exports increased by 13%. Meanwhile, imports increased by 15% in volume.

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

As regards price changes over the same period of comparison, the prices of reexports and domestic exports increased by 3.8% and 2.6% respectively. Import prices increased by 5.5%.

Price changes are reflected by changes in unit value indices, which are compiled based on average unit values or, for certain commodities, based on specific price data.

The terms of trade index, defined as the ratio of total export price index to import price index, decreased by 1.9% in the first 10 months of 1995 over the same period last year.

Comparing October 1995 with October 1994, the volume of re-exports increased by 9.2%, while that of domestic exports decreased by 4.3%. Taken together, the volume of total exports increased by 6.7%. Meanwhile, the volume of imports grew by 9.3%.

Over the same period of comparison, the prices of re-exports and domestic exports increased by 3% and 2.3% respectively. Import prices increased by 3.3%.

20

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

Comparing October 1995 with October 1994, the volume of re-exports of most of the end-use categories recorded increases of various magnitudes: fuels (+116%), capital goods (+21%), raw materials and semi-manufactures (+12%), and consumer goods (+3.2%).

On the other hand, the volume of re-exports of foodstuffs decreased marginally, by 0.4%.

Over the same period of comparison, increases in the prices of re-exports were noted of most of the end-use categories: raw materials and semi-manufactures (+6.4%), consumer goods (+2.1%), foodstuffs (+2%), and capital goods (+0.5%). On the other hand, the re-export price of fuels decreased by 2.7%.

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

Comparing October 1995 with October 1994, commodity groups which recorded increases in volume of domestic exports included radios of all kinds (+87%); and travel goods, handbags and similar articles (+18%).

I •<. .

On the other hand, the volume of domestic exports of footwear and textile made-ups and related articles decreased by 50% and 30% respectively.

Commodity groups which recorded increases in domestic export prices included textile yam and thread (+13%); and metal ores and scrap (+8.7%).

On the other hand, the domestic export price of domestic electrical appliances decreased by 1.9%.

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 10% in October 1995 compared with October 1994.

Significant increases in the import volume were noted of wheat and flour; and meat and meat preparations. However, decreases in the import volume were noted of animals of the bovine species, live; and fruit.

21

Over the same period of comparison, the import volume of consumer goods decreased by 0.8%.

Significant decreases in the import volume were noted of passenger motor cars; and tobacco manufactures. However, increases in import volume were recorded in alcoholic beverages; and miscellaneous made-up articles of textile materials.

The import volume of raw materials and semi-manufactures increased by 15% in October 1995 compared with October 1994.

Significant increases in import volume were noted of raw cotton; and iron and steel. However, the import volume of silk fabrics; and yam of wool and mixtures declined.

Imports of fuels increased by 40% in volume in October 1995 compared with October 1994.

As regards capital goods, the import volume increased by 18% in October 1995 over October 1994.

Notable increases were recorded in the import volume of transport equipment; and electrical machinery. The import volume of industrial machincry(other than electrical machinery and textile machinery): and textile machinery however declined.

Comparing October 1995 with October 1994, the import prices of most of the end-use categories increased: raw materials and semi-manufactures (+6.3%), foodstuffs (+2.8%), consumer goods (+2.2%), and capital goods (+1.4%).

On the other hand, the import price of fuels decreased by 7%.

Details of the above statistics are published in the October 1995 issue of the ’’Hong Kong Trade Index Numbers”.

The report will be available on sale around January 11, 1996 at $14 per copy at either the Government Publications Centre, ground floor, Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway or the Publications Unit of the Census and Statistics Department, 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.

Enquiries regarding regular subscription to this report may be directed to the Publications Sales Office of the Information Services Department, 28th floor, Siu On Centre, 188 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong (Tel 2598 8194) and enquiries on trade indices to the Census and Statistics Department on 2582 4918.

22

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

Comparing OCT 1995 with OCT 1994 Comparing JAN-OCT 1995

with JAN-OCT % changes 1994

% changes

End-use category Value Unit Value Volume Value Unit Value Volume

Foodstuffs 1.2 2.0 -0.4 18.1 2.1 17.0

Consumer goods 5.7 2.1 3.2 10.4 2.3 8.2

Raw materials and semi-manufactures 19.1 6.4 11.7 30.0 8.7 19.3

Fuels 110.4 -2.7 116.0 52.0 0.9 50.5

Capital goods 17.9 0.5 21.0 24.0 0.4 28.1

ALL COMMODITIES 11.8 3.0 9.2 18.6 3.8 15.3

23

Table 2 : Changes in domestic exports by principal commodity group

Comparing OCT 1995 Comparing JAN-OCT 1995 with OCT 1994 with JAN-OCT 1994

Commodity group % changes % changes

Value Unit Value Volume Value Unit Value Volume

Clothing -7.0" 1.8 -7.2 3.0 1.7 2.0

Textile fabrics -5.9 2.7 -11.3 -5.6 4.3 -10.3

Textile yarn and thread -9.9 13.0 -20.3 -7.1 4.9 -12.0

Textile made-ups and related articles -31.0 0.3 -30.2 5.7 3.6 -3.2

Radios of all kinds 113.9 7.9 87.1 30.1 2.6 31.2

Electronic components 7.5 5.1 4.0 21.9 4.7 18.7

Footwear -50.3 0.8 -50.0 -59.2 3.1 -61.9

Metal manufactures -7.2 6.1 -13.5 3.3 3.4 -0.2

Metal ores and scrap -3.6 8.7 -10.7 31.1 6.1 24.3

Watches and clocks -9.8 0.8 -10.5 8.6 1.8 5.9

Travel goods, handbags and similar articles 19.0 1.1 18.2 4.9 -1.1 7.3

Domestic electrical appliances 6.6 -1.9 6.8 -4.7 0.7 -5.0

ALL COMMODITIES -2.6 2.3 -4.3 6.2 2.6 3.6

24

Table 3 : Changes in imports by end-use category

Comparing OCT 1995 Comparing JAN-OCT 1995 with OCT 1994 with JAN-OCT 1994

% changes % changes

End-uae category Value Unit Value Volume Value Unit Value Volume

Foodstuffs 12.8 2.8 10.2 17.1 4.5 12.1

Consumer goods 2.0 2.2 -0.8 10.7 3.8 7.0

Raw materials and semi-manufactures 21.9 6.3 15.1 28.8 8.8 18.5

Fuels 38.8 -7.0 40.3 18.3 -1.0 20.1

Capital goods 20.2 1.4 18.2 31.9 3.9 27.4

ALL COMMODITIES 12.9 3.3 9.3 21.2 5.5 15.1

End

25

New measures to improve ambulance services ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Fire Services Department (FSD) is actively pursuing the implementation of the recommendations made by a consultant to improve the emergency ambulance services, the Chief Ambulance Officer, Mr Mak Kwai-pui, said today (Tuesday).

Mr Mak said: ’’The consultant has recommended a number of immediate measures which involve no additional resources but will collectively improve the performance of emergency ambulance services by two per cent over the coming two years. *

"We have already adopted some of the measures and the transfer of the remaining non-emergency removals to another agency may be completed within the next financial year."

The immediate measures include optimising the deployment of ambulances and crews to areas of high local demand, improving the geographical coverage by stationing ambulances at some key fire stations and streamlining operational procedures to achieve a more efficient mobilisation of ambulances.

On recommendations with new resources implications, Mr Mak said they would be actively pursued in the context of the Government’s 1996 Resources Allocation Exercise (RAE).

Mr Mak said FSD had already submitted a proposal, in advance of the 1996 RAE, to retain 15 manned ambulances which had become surplus upon the completion of transfer of the non-emergency removals to the Hospital Authority.

"This particular proposal will in effect advance and immediately make available half of the additional 31 ambulances the consultant identified to be required." he said.

On the proposed six-minute response time standard. Mr Mak said the consultant had recommended that a response time target should only be considered when the emergency service could consistently achieve a standard that 95 per cent of all emergency calls fall within the 1 O-minute travel time target.

"Adoption of a six-minute response time standard at this juncture is not only unrealistic but will require disproportionately more resources which would not be cost-effective." Mr Mak stressed.

End

26

Report on aircraft accident published

*****

The Government today (Tuesday) published the report of an investigation into an aircraft accident involving a China Airline's Boeing 747 which veered off the runway into the sea while landing at Kai Tak about two years ago.

The investigation was conducted by the Civil Aviation Department with assistance from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch of the United Kingdom's Department of Transport. The objective of the report is to identify the cause of the accident and prevent a recurrence.

The report contains an analysis of circumstances surrounding the accident, which occurred on November 4, 1993, together with conclusions and recommendations. All 296 people on board Flight CAL-605 were rescued but 10 of them sustained injuries.

In the conclusion of the report, the following causal factors were identified:

* The commander of the aircraft deviated from the normal landing roll procedure in that he inadvertently advanced the thrust levers when he should have selected reverse thrust.

* The commander diminished the co-pilot's ability to monitor rollout progress and proper autobrake operation by instructing him to perform a non-standard duty and by keeping him ill-informed about his own intentions.

* The co-pilot lacked the necessary skill and experience to control the aircraft during the landing rollout in strong, gusty crosswind conditions.

* fhe absence of a clearly defined crosswind landing technique in China Airline's Operations Manual deprived the pilots of adequate guidance on operations in difficult weather conditions.

A total of 18 recommendations are made in the report concerning China Airlines. Boeing and the Kai Tak Airport. The recommendations are addressed to the regulatory authority of the State having responsibility for the matters concerned. It is for that authority to decide whether and what action is taken.

Copies of the report are for sale at the Government Publication Sales Centre, ground floor. Low Block. Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.

End

27

Over 10,000 agreements lodged with Land Registry in December *****

A total of 10,613 sale and purchase agreements for building units, which include both residential and non-residential properties, were lodged with the Land Registry last month (December 1995).

The figure represents an increase of 32.5 per cent from that of November 1995 and a 46.2 per cent increase when compared with the same month in 1994.

The total consideration of these agreements in the month is $26.71 billion, up 29.6 per cent and 10.3 per cent when compared with the amounts for November 1995 and December 1994 respectively.

The figures are contained in the monthly statistics released today ( Tuesday) by the Land Registry on deeds relating to property transactions received for registration in the Urban and New Territories Land Registries last month. Relevant statistics for November 1995 and December 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

Selling endangered wild animals as food against law

*****

Restaurants offering endangered wild animals to customers could face enforcement action and subsequent prosecution under the Animals and Plants (Protection of Endangered Species) Ordinance.

This advice came from an Agriculture and Fisheries Department's (AFD) conservation officer, Mr Cheung Chi-sun, following the seizure of protected animals during a raid on a Yau Ma Tei restaurant last Friday.

He said AFD field officers, assisted by Police, searched a restaurant in Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon after a report was made saying that the restaurant offered giant salamander for food.

28

Two dead specimens of giant salamander, a pangolin carcass and half a kilogram of pangolin scales were seized from the premises.

Investigations into the case are still continuing and prosecution against the restaurant operator is anticipated.

In another development, a 39-year-old woman was fined $10,000 in the Western Magistracy last week for possessing a live eagle owl without a licence issued by AFD. The woman was found carrying a nylon bag containing the owl while being stopped by police officers in Western last month.

Mr Cheung pointed out that under the ordinance, any person found guilty of possessing, importing or exporting a highly endangered species for commercial purpose was liable to a maximum fine of $5 million and two years' imprisonment.

Citing a previous court case as an example, he said a trader was fined a record $500,000 in November for possessing medicines claiming to contain tiger ingredients.

Mr Cheung also took the opportunity to thank both the Police and Customs and Excise Department who have all along been offering assistance to AFD in curbing illegal trade in endangered species.

End

Beat drugs courses for teachers *****

School principals are invited to nominate teachers to attend courses on drug education which arc part of the Government's effort to step up the "Beat Drug Campaign".

The campaign aims to speed up.and strengthening in-service teacher training on drug education.

The courses are aimed at enhancing teachers' knowledge on the problem of substance abuse and its effects on health as well as equipping teachers with skills for helping students with such a habit.

29

A spokesman for the Education Department reminded school heads that the closing dates for nomination of secondary school teachers and primary school teachers are January 15 and January 20 respectively. Completed nomination form should reach the department on or before the closing dates.

The two three-day courses on drug education for secondary school teachers, jointly organised by the department's Biological Sciences Section and the Community Drug Advisory Council, will be held between January 27 and March 21.

The courses offer experiential learning to participants so as to enable them to build up confidence and ability of conducting preventive drug education in school.

The two one-day courses for primary school teachers to be held on February 8 and 9 consist of three talks given by experts in the field and a workshop on teaching drug education in primary schools.

End

54 new building plans approved in October 95 *****

The Buildings Department approved 54 building plans in October 1995.

Of the plans, 16 are for Hong Kong Island, 13 for Kowloon and 25 for the New Territories.

The approved plans include 14 for apartment and apartment/commercial developments, 14 for commercial developments, 13 for factory and industrial developments, and 13 for community services developments.

In the same month, consent was given for work to start on 43 building projects, which involve 122,130 square metres of usable domestic floor area and 158,473 square metres of usable non-domestic floor area.

During the same period, the department also issued 23 Occupation Permits -nine for Hong Kong Island, three for Kowloon and 11 for the New Territories.

30

Of the buildings certified for occupation in the month, the usable floor areas for domestic and non-domcstic uses are 103,479 square metres and 40,122 square metres respectively.

The declared cost of new buildings completed in the month totalled about $1,528 million.

In addition, 25 demolition consents involving 48 buildings and structures were

issued.

In October, the Buildings Department's Control and Enforcement Division received 581 complaints of unauthorised building works, and issued 251 Removal Orders on unauthorised works.

End

Offices urged to reduce waste *****

Wall charts on waste reduction initiatives in an office setting have been produced by the Environmental Protection Department to encourage office managers and workers to cut down waste paper and paper consumption.

"The initiatives arc easy to follow. They can be achieved through better working practices by office workers in the use of printing machines, facsimiles and photocopiers," acting Principal Environmental Protection Officer, Mr Edmond Ho. said.

While resources can be saved by printing or photocopying on both sides of paper, Mr Ho said another way of saving paper would be by disseminating messages through electronic files.

"Reduction results will even be better if offices can start their own waste paper recovery programmes through segregation of waste paper, including computer printouts, business forms and scratch paper. These waste papers can then be recovered for reuse or recycling." Mr Ho said.

31

At present, a total of 8,500 tonnes of municipal solid waste, which includes domestic, commercial and industrial wastes, are generated every day.

’’Municipal waste is expected to increase from the current daily level to some 13,000 tonnes by the year 2006. It is therefore important that every individual should play a part in waste minimisation,’’ he said.

Initially, wall charts will be sent to 800 companies, including banks, legal and financial firms, which are more involved in paper work. A pledge card will also be attached to the wall charts for offices to set realistic waste reduction targets according to their own plans and resources.

Similar wall charts and pledge cards will also be produced for households and retail shops to further disseminate waste reduction messages.

Radio programmes to inform the public about Hong Kong's waste problems and ways to minimise waste are also being broadcast on RTHK until March.

Enquiries on waste minimisation can be made on 2755 2750.

End

Year of the Rat special stamps

* * * * *

The Postmaster General, Mr Robert Footman, announced today (Tuesday) that a set of special stamps will be issued on January 31 (Wednesday) on the theme of the Year of the Rat.

This is the 10th in the current series of Lunar New Year special stamp issues released by the Post Office commencing with the Year of the Rabbit in 1987.

There will be four denominations - $1.2, $2.1, $2.6 and $5. A souvenir sheet incorporating the four stamps will also be issued. A stamp booklet containing six each of the $1.2 and $2.6 stamps will be available at $22.8 each. The stamps were designed by Mr Kan Tai-keung and printed by Joh Enschede of the Netherlands.

32

As from January 17, the stamps will be on display for advance information of the public at the General Post Office, Tsim Sha Tsui Post Office, Tsuen Wan Post Office and Sha Tin Central Post Office. Official first day^overs will also be available for sale at all post offices at $1 each as from the same day. Advance orders for serviced first day covers will be accepted from January 17 to 24. The minimum number of serviced first day covers per order is five.

A restriction of two stamp booklets, 20 souvenir sheets and five sheets of stamps of each denomination (namely 250 sets of stamps) per customer queuing will be imposed on the first day of issue.

A beautifully designed presentation pack containing the four stamps will be available for sale at $ 19 each at all post offices as from January 31.

On the first day of issue, hand-back service will be provided at all post offices to official and privately-made covers bearing indication of the first day of issue on January 31, 1996.

End

Fresh water cut in Tai Po *****

Fresh water supply to some premises in Tai Po will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm on Friday (January 12) to 6 am the following day to facilitate water mains testing.

All premises along Kwong Fuk Road. Pak Shing Street. Kam Shan Road and Shek Lin Road, including Shek Kwu Lung, Kam Shan and Kam Shek New Village will be affected.

End

33

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results *****

Tender date 9 Jan 96

Paper on offer EF bills

Issue number Q602

Issue date 10 Jan 96

Maturity date 10 Apr 96 ■ ’’M 1

Coupon . 1

Amount applied HK$9,430 MN 1

Amount allotted HK$ 1,500 MN

Average yield accepted 5.36 PCT

Highest yield accepted 5.36 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 87 PCT

Average tender yield 5.38 PCT x

Hong Kong Monetary Authority I

Tenders to be held in the week beginning 15 January 1996

Tender date 15 Jan 96 15 Jan 96 • •• ;!.) !

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q603 H656

Issue date 17 Jan 96 17 Jan 96

Maturity date 17 Apr 96 17 Jul 96

Tenor 91 days 182 days

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

End

34

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

Time Cumulative change

$ million (hours) (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,190 0930 -190

Closing balance in the account 1,950 1000 -190

Change attributable to : 1100 -190

Money market activity -190 1200 -190

LAF today -50 1500 -190

1600 -190

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 123.3 *+0.0* 9.1.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.38 2 years 2711 5.60 100.40 5.44

1 month 5.38 3 years 3810 6.15 101.60 5.60

3 months 5.38 5 years 5012 6.38 101.93 6.01

6 months 5.38 7 years 7211 6.82 103.46 6.29

12 months 5.37 5 years M502 7.30 104.29 6.35

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $12,615 million

Closed January 9, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Wednesday, January 10, 1996

Csulents

Transcript of Financial Secretary's remarks on CT9..................... 1

Statement on Container Terminal 9...................................... 1

Revision of fines for immigration offences............................. 2

Tighter control on construction noise.................................. 3

SEM's statement on Immigration Bill.................................... 4

Yearly figures on court insolvency cases released...................... 4

Reward scheme to combat illicit cigarette activities renewed........... 6

Language Fund invites applications..................................... 8

Three pieces of land to let............................................ 9

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

1

Transcript of Financial Secretary’s remarks on CT9

*****

Following is a transcript of the remarks by the Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, at the media session on Container Terminal 9 this (Wednesday) afternoon:

Question: ...Inaudible...?

Financial Secretary: There has been no lack of clarity. I think in the statement issued it is quite clear that two Ministers had reached a common view on the way which we should go ahead. It is also clear that provided..provided that the various corporations interested in the development of Terminal Nine would come up with a proposal acceptable to them and establish on the basis which I've just described, in that it would promote the efficiency and the competitiveness of our container terminal development and the two governments would be able to accept that. And then from the I long Kong Government's point of view, it is a very very important development and I would like to urge the terminal operators to concentrate their minds on this way forward.

Question: What role will Jardine be playing in the ...(Inaudible)..?

Financial Secretary: Well, in a way it is one of the players involved and they should participate in the talks.

End

Statement on Container Terminal 9 *****

The Hong Kong Government issues the following statement today (Wednesday):

"Since the agreement between the Foreign Ministers in October last year to intensify efforts to find a solution to the question of Container Terminal 9, discussions have taken place with all the commercial parties involved.

"These discussions have proceeded on the basis that the best way forward to secure arrangements for the effective, rapid and competitive development of Hong Kong's container port should be through the rationalisation of berth ownership in container terminals one through nine.

"In their meeting on January 9 the Foreign Ministers reviewed the progress of these discussions and confirmed that, once the consortia had reached agreement on this basis, such an arrangement would be acceptable to the two governments.

"Hong Kong Government spokesman welcomed this outcome of the Foreign Ministers' meeting and urged the consortia to bring their discussions to an early and successful conclusion."

End

2

Revision of fines for immigration offences ♦ ♦ * * *

Fines for immigration offences, including illegal employment, will be revised from Friday (January 12), a government spokesman announced today (Wednesday).

Fines for offences arising from registration of births, deaths and marriages, and registration of persons will also be revised from that date.

For crimes against illegal employment, the spokesman said the maximum fine for employing a person not lawfully employable would be increased from the current $250,000 to $350,000 and for remaining unlawfully, from $10,000 to $25,000. "These fines were last reviewed in 1990," he said.

The maximum fine for an employer who fails to inspect proof of identity will be raised from $50,000 to $150,000, and for breach of condition of stay, from $5,000 to $50,000.

"The fines for the above two offences were last reviewed in 1980 and 1972 respectively," the spokesman said.

He said all fines not exceeding $100,000 would be converted into a standard scale of six levels in accordance with the Criminal Procedure (Amendment)(No 2) Ordinance 1994 enacted in July 1994.

"In addition, the maximum fines have been adjusted to take account of the inflation rate since the fines were last reviewed," he said.

"By revising the fines to catch up with the rate of inflation, the deterrent effect can be maintained," the spokesman explained.

End

- 3 -

Tighter control on construction noise ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A new regulation aiming to put further control on noise from construction work will be gazetted on Friday (January 12).

"Certain manual construction activities, such as hammering, rubble disposal through metal chutes and the handling of steel bars, as listed under the Noise Control (Construction Work) Regulation, which have been a long standing source of disturbance for many people, will no longer be permitted in designated areas during noise sensitive hours.

"The new regulation should bring welcome relief to them," acting Principal Environmental Protection Officer of the Environmental Protection Department (EPD), Mr Sam Wong Wai-hong, said today (Wednesday).

"Permits for the carrying out of these activities would not normally be granted except for very special circumstances, such as urgent road maintenance and repairs to water, gas and electric utilities in busy roads, or for those employing particularly quiet construction methods," he said.

"Through a new Technical Memorandum, we have also tightened up control on the use of five items of powered mechanical equipment including vibratory pokers, jackhammers, bulldozers, concrete mixer lorries and dump trucks in designated areas. The control will be the same as the other powered mechanical equipment covered by the existing permit system, but with a much more stringent noise limit."

For the purpose of this regulation, the noise sensitive hours are defined as those between 7 pm and 7 am on weekdays, and at any time during general holidays, including Sundays.

Designated areas as referred to under the regulation cover generally the residential districts of Hong Kong, Kowloon and new towns in the New Territories. Maps showing the designated areas are now available for inspection at EPD's Local Control Offices.

To allow time for the construction industry to prepare for these new controls, the regulation will not come into effect until November 1, 1996.

"Anyone who breaches the regulation is liable to a maximum fine of $100,000 on first conviction and $200,000 on second or subsequent convictions," Mr Wong said.

End

SEM's statement on Immigration Bill * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a statement by the acting Secretary for Education and Manpower, Miss Jackie Willis, on Legislative Councillor, Mr Michael Ho’s Private Member’s Bill on Immigration (Amendment) Bill 1995 which will be tabled in the Legislative Council for first and second reading today (Wednesday):

"The Supplementary Labour Scheme (SLS) announced by the Government yesterday (Tuesday) has been well received by the employers, employees and the community at large as reflected in the press reports today. The scheme is devised to strike a balance between all interests and it is a result of intensive discussions with all concerned parties.

"We are absolutely opposed to Mr Ho’s Private Member's Bill because this Bill if passed, would immediately stop all importation of labour schemes and it is clearly not in the interest of the community. We have now the SLS which meets our community’s needs. It is a fair and reasonable scheme well grounded in community support.

"The importation of labour schemes have been and should remain administrative measures so as to retain the flexibility to react swiftly to economic changes. We believe this is in Hong Kong's best interest.

"We strongly urge members of the Legislative Council to oppose this Bill."

End

Yearly figures on court insolvency cases released

*****

There were 481 new compulsory company liquidations last year, representing less than 1.5 per cent of the total number of new companies incorporated during the year (33,000).

Reviewing the work of the Official Receiver's Office in 1995, the Official Receiver, Mr Robin Hearder, said the number of new compulsory company liquidations was only around 0.1 per cent of the total number of companies (472,000).

The corresponding figure in 1994 was 426.

5

Mr Hearder said the number of new bankruptcies increased from 306 in 1994 to 455 last year.

"The majority of the increase was attributable to non-business individuals, only the minority concerned sole traders and partnerships," he said.

He added that although the total number of new court insolvencies had increased in 1995, it was still low in comparison with other overseas jurisdictions.

"Some of the economic reasons included the moderation which occurred in some parts of the economy such as the consumption sector, cash flow and credit problems, the consolidation in the stocks and property markets, and the ’spill-over' effect on China's micro-economic adjustment and control measures."

The businesses mainly affected by compulsory company liquidations and bankruptcies included garment and knitting manufacturing, company directors giving personal guarantees, restaurants and canteens, importers and exporters, electrical and electronic manufacturing, construction and engineering, and transportation and godowns.

Petitions were filed by trade creditors (35 per cent), the Director of Legal Aid (33 per cent), banks and financial institutions (20 per cent), landlords (5 per cent), shareholders (3 per cent), personal (1 per cent) and others (3 per cent).

On insolvency prosecutions, there were 120 summonses as against 77 in 1994 issued against bankrupts and directors of compulsory wound-up companies for failure to submit statement of affairs to the Official Receiver, failure to keep proper books and records and misconduct.

A total of 86 bankrupts or directors as against 72 in 1994 were convicted. The total amount of fines imposed by the court was $524,980 as against $548,380 in 1994.

Fifty warrants of arrest were issued against uncooperative bankrupts or directors in 1995 and 19 warrants were implemented.

Forty orders for disqualification of company directors were made by the Court in 1995. The directors concerned were prohibited from acting as directors for periods varying from one to three years. Total dividends declared by the Official Receiver during 1995 (excluding BCCHK) amounted to $71.7 million in 242 insolvencies, as against $62.58 million in 232 insolvencies in 1994.

6

One hundred per cent preferential payments or ordinary dividends were declared in 100 insolvencies. Substantial dividends were also declared to the creditors of Armour Insurance Company Limited ($21.07 million) and Nugan Hand Bank ($3.2 million).

Funds administered by the Official Receiver at the end of December 1995 (excluding funds pertaining to the BCCHK liquidations) totalled $1,052 million compared with $1,093 million at December 31, 1994, representing a reduction of $41 million.

The Official Receiver also administered US$1.8 million (US$2.9 million at December 31, 1994) and Japanese Yen 271 million (Yen 270 million at December 31, 1994).

The BCC funds under the Official Receiver's administration amounted to approximately $901 million ($1,949 million at December 31, 1994).

The total number of active insolvency cases being handled by the Official Receiver’s Office at the end of the year was 2,509, representing 1,476 compulsory liquidations and 1,033 personal bankruptcies, as against a total of 2,208 at the end of 1994.

End

Reward scheme to combat illicit cigarette activities renewed * * * * *

The Customs and Excise Department and the Tobacco Institute of Hong Kong have agreed to renew the reward scheme concerning information on illicit cigarettes which commenced in 1994 and ended on December 31, 1995.

The scale of reward in the scheme has been revised with effect from January 1, 1996 as follows:

Quantity of cigarettes seized on any one occasion Between 500,000 and 1,000,000 Between 1,000,001 and 1,500,000 Between 1,500,001 and 2,000,000 Over 2,000,000 Rate of Rate of reward reward (1995) (1996) $10,000 $10,000 $20,000 $20,000 $20,000 $30,000 $50,000 $50,000

7

The revision aims to make the scheme more attractive to informers and to encourage them to provide more information on illicit cigarettes. In effect, information leading to a seizure between 1.500.001 and 2.000.000 cigarettes will be awarded 50 per cent more than what was payable in the past.

In 1995, a total of $140,000 of reward was paid out in seven cases. This represents an increase of 55 per cent over 1994 in terms of cash rewards paid to informers under the scheme.

The Customs and Excise Department is determined to repress all kinds of illicit cigarette activities, including smuggling, distribution, storage, selling and buying. In 1995, customs officers seized 317.5 million cigarettes as compared with 179 million in 1994, representing an increase of77 percent.

The Anti-Cigarette Smuggling Task Force set up since August 1993 aims at the detection and investigation of syndicated smuggling and has achieved significant results. In 1995. the task force seized 284 million cigarettes which represented 89 per cent of the total seizures made by the whole department.

Reflecting the success of enforcement actions is the black market price of contraband cigarettes which has risen by 40 per cent since the end of 1994. However, the problem of cigarette smuggling has remained serious and the department is determined to continue its efforts to tackle it.

Recognising that useful information will enhance the department's achievements in this respect, the Tobacco Institute of I long Kong considers that the reward scheme should continue and has pledged to co-operate fully with the department in the battle against illicit cigarette activities.

The Chairman of the Tobacco Institute, Mr R J Fletcher, said: "By supporting the efforts of the Customs and Excise Department in combating the crime of smuggling we recognise the impressive results of their efforts to date and hope that our continued assistance with the informant reward scheme will further contribute to its success, which is of considerable benefit to the maintenance of law and order in the community."

Information on illicit cigarettes may be provided to the department in any of the following ways:

8

(a) by telephoning 2545 6182 (24 hours);

(b) by fax on 2543 4942 (24 hours);

(c) by making a "Customs Crime Report" which is available at any Customs Office or District Office;

(d) by letter to the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department (GPO Box 1166); and

(e) by reporting in person at any Customs and Excise Office.

End

Language Fund invites applications *****

The Language Fund invites applications from organisations, schools including kindergartens, and individuals to undertake projects or activities to improve the proficiency in the use of Chinese (including Putonghua) and English languages in Hong Kong.

This is the only application being called for this year. The closing date is March 31.

The fund was set up in May 1994. It is a trust fund held under the Director of Education Incorporation Ordinance with an initial allocation of $300 million.

The main objective of the fund is to support proposals and initiatives which will raise the standards in Chinese (including Putonghua) and English, enhance existing efforts and meet temporary shortfalls in language leaching resources.

In addition, the Language Fund will encourage research into problem areas and initiations of new approaches.

Projects or activities to be funded should be able to fulfil any one or more of the following objectives:

* improving the motivation for language learning;

* enhancing the quality of teacher education for language in education;

* increasing the supply and quality of textbooks, reference materials and appropriate teaching aids; and

* launching innovative projects which maximise proficiency.

1

- 9 -

. •'' I

■ * 1

Application forms are now available for collection from the General Enquiry Office of the Education Department, 15th floor, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai or by writing to the Language Fund Secretariat, Room 1141, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai.

Further enquiries can be directed to the Language Fund Secretariat on 2892 5772 and 2892 6642 or by fax on 2574 0340.

End

Three pieces of land to let

*****

The Lands Department is inviting tenders for the short-term tenancies of three pieces of Government land, one on Hong Kong Island and two in the New Territories.

The first lot, located in Mount Butler Road, has an area of 5,300 square metres for storage of tenant's goods, vehicles, construction equipment and material or for use as a commercial garden or a plant nursery or for film shooting, excluding the storage of container vehicles and trailers.

The tenancy is for one year, renewable quarterly.

With an area of 2,120 square metres, the second lot is located in Area 10C, Kwai Chung. It is designated for use as a fee-paying public car park for the parking of private cars and goods vehicles excluding container tractors and trailers.

The tenancy is for three years, renewable quarterly.

The third lot is located in Area 21, Luen Wo Hui, Fanling’ It has an area of 3,840 square metres and is intended for parking small vehicles.

The tenancy is for 18 months, renewable quarterly.

Closing dates for submission of tenders for all three lots is noon on Friday, January 26, 1996.

- 10 -

Tender forms, tender notices and conditions may be obtained from the Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road or its district offices in Kowloon, Hong Kong West, Kwai Tsing and North District.

Tender plans can also be inspected at these offices.

End

I; •*

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

Cumulative

Time change

$ million (hours) ($million)

Opening balance in the account 1,950 0930 +51

Closing balance in the account 1,875 1000 +51

Change attributable to : 1100 +51

Money market activity +40 1200 • +40

LAF today -115 1500 +40

1600 +40

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 123.2 *-0.1* 10.1.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes ■*>.

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.43 2 years 2711 5.60 100.41 5.43

1 month 5.41 3 years 3810 6.15 101.60 5.60

3 months 5.39 5 years 5012 6.38 101.93 6.01

6 months 5.37 7 years 7211 6.82 103.63 6.26

12 months 5.37 5 years M502 7.30 104.32 6.34

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $21,350 million

Closed January 10, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

SUPPLEMENT

Wednesday, January 10,1996

Contents Page_N(L

Legislative Council meeting:

Motion debate on HYF fare increase............................... 1

Review of industrial safety in Hong Kong......................... 6

Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation Annual Report....... 11

Preparations for vulnerable witness protection legislation....... 13

Resolution on vulnerable witness protection...................... 14

Motion to increase fines in immigration related legislation...... 15

Law Amendment and Reform Bill.................................... 17

Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill.................................... 18

Eastern Harbour Crossing Passenger Tax Bill...................... 20

Inland Revenue (Amendment) Bill 1995 ............444...................... 21

Legal aid for divorced women..................................... 22

Duration of unemployment and how to alleviate unemployment....... 24

/Government owned .....

Contents

Page No,

Government owned property assets....................................... 27

One-way permit quota................................................... 28

Government and TDC overseas offices................................ 31

Privately purchased medical items...................................... 33

NT buildings under Government Land Licence............................. 34

Water-meter checking and water bills................................... 37

Directorate posts in public hospitals.................................. 38

Creation of consultant posts by Hospital Authority..................... 41

Entry requirements for civil service posts............................  43

Converted one-person flats in public housing estates................... 45

Measures to enhance language training in schools....................... 46

CLP's forecast on future increase on local demand...................... 48

Daily working hours of industrial and service employees................ 49

Objects falling from vehicles.......................................... 53

Suicide attemps by suspects under arrest............................... 55

Definition of gifted education......................................... 56

Senior civil servants personal data files.............................. 58

Construction of bus stop shelters...................................... 60

1

Motion debate on HYF fare increase ♦ ♦ ♦ * *

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, in the motion debate on the Ferry Services (Hongkong and Yaumati Ferry Company Limited)(Determination of Fares)(Amendment) Order 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

The Hongkong and Yaumati Ferry Company Limited is losing money. Their reasons for seeking a fare increase are more than justified. What are the Democrats up to? Do they understand the facts? Mr President, these statements and questions have been made and put to me by some Members of this Council, by the media and by many others.

I must say I am equally puzzled by the stark stance taken by the Democrats on this occasion. Their intentions may well be good and they may believe that they are protecting the public interest by seeking to reject HYF's application for a fare increase. But this does not detract from the fact that this time they have got it totally wrong. A freeze on the existing fare levels may be a populist move and may appear to be defensible as an anti-inflationary measure but in reality such a move is short-sighted because the consequences would be quite disastrous: I say this because it must be recognised that transport operators cannot sustain a loss-making business. Providing public transport is not a charity if LegCo vetoes a fare increase application for a franchised transport operator who is losing money, this would send out a very damaging signal. Which company would then be prepared to invest and come out to run transport services?

Let me briefly outline the facts. HYF has been losing money for the past two years, despite an increase in fares in July 1994. Why? Because operating costs have increased substantially and patronage has continued to decline from 75 million passengers in 1985 to 50 million in 1990 and less than 35 million in 1995. As a result HYF is in a serious predicament: its ferry services are heavily loss-making. In 1995, the Company had an estimated deficit of HK$72 million. The forecast operating losses for 1996 and 1997 are even more astronomical. We have explained the facts very clearly to the LegCo Sub-Committee set up to consider this fare increase application. What is more, with HYF’s agreement but in confidence, because of the need to comply with stock exchange rules, we have provided full cashflow projections to Members. These figures have been lodged with the LegCo Secretariat.

2

Indeed, the Hon Li Wing-tat has acknowledged that the sub-committee decision to recommend a rejection of the fare increase proposal was far from unanimous.

- ,.L .,u.

The fare increase now proposed will not, I repeat not, give the Company a profit. They will still be very much in the red. But the fare increase will provide HYF with immediate relief and improve its current cashflow. Some Hon Members have said that HYF have threatened to reduce or curtail its services if the fare increase application is rejected. Obviously if this happens they will then find it more difficult to maintain the present operations. I can only clarify that to reduce frequencies HYF must first obtain the Commissioner for Transport's agreement whilst curtailment of routes requires the Govemor-in-Council's approval.

If HYF's future is so bleak, what can then be done to redress the situation? The answer lies in a "pier development package" through which the Company will be given development rights with a special fund set up for improving ferry services and stabilising fares in future years. I shall elaborate on this package in a moment.

I am very grateful to the Hon Miriam Lau and the Hon Ngai Shiu-kit for expressing so clearly their views of the Liberal Party and for their unequivocal support of HYF's application for a 13.96% fare increase. Their arguments and views are sound and deserve full support. I must also thank the Hon Chan Kam Lam, the Hon Ip Kwok-him, and the Hon Cheng Yiu-tong for explicitly stating the DAB's views on the fare increase proposal. It is re-assuring that they too are pragmatic and have accepted the fundamental justification to award HYF a fare adjustment although they advocate a slightly lower percentage.

Mr President, any reduction in the level of fare increase would have an impact on HYF's financial position while the adjustment by a 1.6% may seen insignificant in monify term, however, we estimate the total fare received forgone will be in excess of HKS6 million in 1996 for HYF. This is a very significant sum of money for a ferry company bearing in mind its current financial difficulties. A lower rate will only serve to aggravate HYF's position. The Administration can not therefore cannot support a lower level.

May I also, Mr President, take this opportunity to thank the Hon Margaret Ng and the Hon Choy Kan-pui so eloquently summarising the scenario which HYF faces. I also acknowledge with gratitude the support and understanding from other Members.

Mr President, it would appear that the Democrats simply refuse to listen to reason or face the facts. Their counter-proposals are totally unrealistic because they fail to recognise the gravity of HYF's plight and the urgency of granting this fare increase. Let me try to rebut their points.

3

First, the Democrats have argued that no fare increase should be given because of the "development package". This argument is flawed. But here, may I first correct the Hon Li Wing-tat's assertion that the Administration had entered into a secret deal with HKF. The basic terms had been made public. During the negotiations confidential discussion are necessary. Let me again outline again the general terms of the pier development package. Permission to allow HYF to develop their 4 new piers in Central District is subject to their acceptance of certain basic terms: These include (1) a private treaty grant with the payment of premium assessed at full market value. And here, the suggestion made by the Hon Albert Ho that a private treaty grant does not in fact result in full market premium I think with respect was a fairly wide and sweeping statement; (2) HKF must provide an undertaking that they will set aside for the benefit of ferry passengers at least HKS640 million or 60% of their development profits plus 50% of rental income whichever is more. The money will be used to implement a clearly defined service improvement programme and to cover part of HYF's operating loss.

What must be clearly understood is that with the development package, funds do not become available for at least 3 to 4 years. A fare increase is therefore absolutely essential now.

When I briefed the LegCo Transport Panel on the terms of the development package on 13 July 1995,1 made it very clear that even with the development package HYF would still need to seek increase its fares in line with inflation to enable it to earn a very modest return. Even then, HYF is not expected to break even until 1999.

The Democrats have also suggested that because Hongkong Ferry (Holdings) Company (HKF), HYF's parent company, is making a profit, it should fund the operating losses of HYF and hence obviate the need for a fare increase. It must be emphasised that HKF is already relying on its other operations to keep the ferry services going. However, faced with mounting operating deficits, there would come a time when the total revenue HKF can generate from its other operations will be insufficient to cover HYF's losses. When this happens, as a listed company, HKF will be obliged to review its ability to maintain its existing ferry services, much less to implement any more service improvements.

4

Second, the Democrats and other critics have argued that HYF does not deserve any fare increase because the standard of services they have provided is poor. No doubt there is plenty of room for improvement. But in all fairness, HYF has a good safety record. The number of public complaints about their services has dropped from 234 in 1994 to 195 last year. HYF has introduced a number of service improvements despite its unsatisfactory financial position. Major improvements include the purchase of three catamarans for the Tuen Mun to Central services; introduction of hoverferry service between Tuen Mun and Wan Chai, Tsuen Wan and Central (via Tsing Yi). But since one catamaran costs $35 million plus (in perspective this is 17 times the cost of a new bus), the company's ability to continue to incur such expenditure, is limited. It is also noteworthy that HYF has been responsive to requests for temporary relief ferry services, for example, in helping to deal with'traffic congestion on Tuen Mun Road particularly during the road closure period.

I have listen very carefully to the Hon Libby Wong's comments and other Members' comments on the present shortcomings of the part of both management and staff. I have been the Hon Members the commitments that had been sought and that is the Administration will take all practical steps to require HYF to improve its performance and level of services. HYF has started to move in the right direction. Nut as the Hon Miriam Lau has quite correctly pointed out it is a chicken and egg issue: they need the resources to implement major improvements. The development package as I've said includes a clearly define service improvement programme. Details have also been lodged with the LegCo Secretariat.

Third, the Democrats ask why Government does not provide a direct subsidy or purchase new ferries? As I have said before in this Council, one of the fundamental reasons why, in overall terms, we have a good and efficient transport system in Hong Kong is because the private sector is involved in providing such services. Let me make it crystal clear that the Government has no intention whatsoever of running public transport on its own nor will the Government provide any direct public subsidy. It would therefore be wishful thinking on the part of the Democratic Party if one of their reasons for attempting to block the fare increase under consideration is to force the Government into such a situation. It must be realised the implications are far-reaching: a direct Government involvement in public transport will result in a substantial diversion of public funds and in turn this could mean that money then available, for example, for education, housing, social services etc, could be reduced.

5

Fourth, the Democrats seek more competition. This ignores the real constraints facing ferry operations. HYF's ferry services as I've said are heavily loss-making because patronage has declined drastically as a result of increased competition from MTR and cross harbour buses. This is a hard fact which any new operator will, if any, will have to face. If we are to throw open the market and tender out the whole HYF ferry network, who would be interested in operating such a business? Without good prospects and an assurance of its ability to increase fares to cover increase in operation costs, how could a newcomer, bearing in mind the huge capital outlay that is necessary, secure the necessary finances to start off the ferry operations? We cannot simply extract the profitable routes, give them to a new operator, and leave the lossmaking ones to HYF. This would be a recipe for disaster.

For these reasons, and in answer to several comments that the Administration does not consider other parties have any interest in bidding for the development package I should say that this had been considered.

Mr President, fare increases are never popular. But costs do increase and it is only reasonable to give franchised operators a reasonable return for their investment. It must be clearly understood that in HYF's case, even with the fare increase now sought, the Company will suffer a substantial loss.

HYF's application for a 13.96% increase in fares is totally justified. We have carefully analysed their operating costs and projected income and expenditure. The submission in turn has been scrutinised by the Transport Advisory Committee and endorsed by the Executive Council. Moreover there has been a great deal of support by the media as evidenced by editorials in both the Chinese and English press. Even the Islands District Board has accepted the need for a fare increase although they have sought a slightly lower level.

To support the Honourable Lee Wing-tat's motion would be to totally ignore the realities of HYF's dilemma and the need to safeguard the current level of ferry services. Given the many occasions in this Chamber when the Democrats have demanded improved ferry services, for example, to Northwest New Territories, is it not now contradictory for them to do an about face by seeking to torpedo HYF when it comes to providing what is no more than a helping hand to tie the Company over their present predicament?

Mr President, we need to consider HYF's fare increase application rationally and pragmatically. If we do this, the solution then becomes obvious. A fare increase of 13.96% must be approved if we are to maintain essential ferry services and safeguard the public interest. There is in fact no choice but to vote down the Hon Lee Wing-tat's motion. I urge Members to do this.

Thank you, Mr President.

End

6

Review of industrial safety in Hong Kong

*****

Following is the speech by the acting Secretary for Education and Manpower, Miss Jacqueline Willis, in a motion debate on the review of industrial safety in Hong Kong in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President, '<<

■ • ■ .4 • • • 1

I welcome the motion put forward by Dr Samuel Wong and amendments to the motion that it had stimulated as it offers me an opportunity to explain Government policy and future plans on improving safety and health in the workplace.

Industrial Safety

Government has always taken industrial safety, and for that matter, occupational safety and health of our workforce very seriously. During the last decade we have made considerable efforts to improve the standards of industrial safety in Hong Kong. The principal legislation governing safety and health at work is the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance (FIUO). In 1989 the FIUO was amended to impose general duties on the employers and employees. Under the provision, employers are responsible for taking all reasonably practicable steps to ensure the health and safety of all persons employed at the workplaces. Workers also have the duty to exercise reasonable care at work and co-operate with their employers on safety measures.

In 1990 the FIUO was extended to cover the catering industry. New regulations under the FIUO were introduced to require the employment of safety officers and safety supervisors at construction sites, the training and certification of operators of cranes and suspended working platforms in 1986, 1993 and 1994 respectively. A Safety Programme Promotion Unit was also set up within the Labour Inspectorate Division of the Labour Department in 1987 to assist the industry to promote voluntary safety programme such as safety committees, safety policy and publicity activities. j .c,

With the onset of the Airport Core Programme (ACP) in 1991, Government, as an employer, introduced special contract conditions to enhance the safety standard at ACP works sites. Our contractors are required, for example, to employ extra safety personnel, implement safety plans, set up site safety committees, conduct safety audits and carry out tool box meetings with workers. The use of special contract conditions to improve industrial safety has been extended to the Public Works Programme and the Housing Authority’s works projects.

h::-

7

The initiatives taken by Government have achieved a reasonable degree of success in improving industrial safety in Hong Kong. Since 1988 the total annual number of industrial accidents have been on a downward trend. For 1995, the provisional statistics show that there has been an encouraging 7.1 per cent reduction in the total number of industrial accidents compared with 1994. Nevertheless, the overall accident rates per thousand workers and the number of fatalities arising from industrial accidents, particularly in the construction industry, has remained unacceptably high. For instance, despite a reduction in the overall number of industrial accidents, a total of 77 workers were killed in industrial accidents in 1995. This represents a sharp rise from the 1994 figure of 67 deaths.

It is clear that Hong Kong must do much more to reduce the number of industrial accidents and the number of deaths arising from them. As a policy commitment in the 1994 Policy Address, Government started a comprehensive review of industrial safety in Hong Kong in late 1994 and published in July 1995 the ’Consultation Paper on the Review of Industrial Safety in Hong Kong' for public comments.

We put forward a total of 45 recommendations in the consultation paper to improve Hong Kong’s industrial safety record. We believe that the primary responsibility for safety and health at work rests with the proprietors, who create the risks, and the workers, who work with such risks. Our ultimate goal is self-regulation by the proprietor and his workforce. Government’s role should be to provide a framework with legislative and administrative components within which selfregulation is to be achieved through a company system of safety management. This should be backed by enhanced enforcement focused on establishments where the selfregulation is not working. I am glad to report that our recommendations have received general public support during the consultation period. I shall elaborate on the implementation of the recommendations later.

Occupational Health and the Non-IndustriaLSectors

Turning now to the question of occupational health and protection of the nonindustrial workers, this is certainly an important area and we have not been idle. In 1988 we set up the Occupational Safety and Health Council (OSHC) with the following statutory functions:

(a) to foster greater awareness among the community;

(b) to promote the application of modem technology;

(c) to promote education and training;

(d) to disseminate technical knowledge;

(e) to develop strategies and formulate programmes;

8

(f) to provide consultancy services; and

(g) to encourage and facilitate co-operation and communication between the Government, employers, employees and relevant professional and academic bodies, in furtherance of the encouragement and promotion of higher standards of safety and health for people at work.

Since its establishment the OSHC has been effective and active in enhancing the occupational safety and health of all workers in Hong Kong. There is of course much more to be done. As an example of its work in promoting occupational health, in 1994 and 1995 the Council organised 120 occupational health seminars and symposia for 30,000 participants, 40 workers activities for 21,000 participants, 120 training courses for over 3,700 participants and 80 occupational hygiene surveys or site assessments. The OSHC also published over 160 guidance books, magazines, leaflets and posters on occupational health.

J ; •

In addition, the Occupational Health Division of the Labour Department also provides advice and information on the prevention of work-related injuries and occupational diseases and organises health talks, exhibitions and publications on occupational health. The Factory Inspectorate Division of the Labour Department offers close support to the services provided by the OSHC and the Occupational Health Division. The Factory Inspectors also work closely together with occupational hygienists of the department to investigate complaints concerning use of hazardous substances and health aspects of work environments.

Legislative Programme

(A) Factories and Industrial (Amendment) Bill

Dr C H Leung has asked for a concrete time table for implementing the recommendations in the consultation paper. We have a busy legislative programme ahead. First, we plan to submit to this Council in May the Factories and Industrial Undertakings (Amendment) Bill to introduce a safety management system with the following components:

(a) a company safety policy;

(b) safety plans to implement the safety policy;

(c) safety committees consisting of representatives from the management and workers;

(d) regular safety audits or safety reviews;

(e) general safety training for all workers; and

(f) specific training for workers engaged in hazardous trades or processes.

9

These components should, in varying degrees, be applied by law to different industries covered by the FIUO, subject to certain qualifications such as the nature of the work, the size of employment and the value of contract for construction projects.

In this connection, I note that Mr Tsang Kin-shing called for legislative provision for the setting up of safety committees. We are certainly going to do this. A safety committee is but just one of the components of a safety management system which we are promoting in Hong Kong. To be more effective, a safety committee should be operating together with company safety policy and plans, safety audits or safety reviews, as well as enhanced safety training for the workers. However, we do not think it is appropriate to require the setting up of safety committees in all occupations and trades in one go. We believe that a step by step approach is more suitable. Accordingly, as a start, we are requiring the setting up of safety committees in all establishments covered by the FIUO and employing 100 or more workers. The requirement for safety committees will be extended to establishments with 50 or more workers in future in the light of operational experience.

At the same time, particular aspects of the enforcement efforts will need to be strengthened to target those establishments where self-regulation is not working. We will therefore propose in the Factories and Industrial Undertakings (Amendment) Bill that the Commissioner for Labour should be given a broader range of powers. This will include the power to issue suspension notices and improvement notices to give the Commissioner more flexible and more effective measures to bring about the necessary improvements.

(B) Safety and Health At Work Bill

In June we will introduce a Safety and Health At Work Bill into this Council to extend protection on occupational safety and health to workers in the non-industrial sectors. The bill will be accompanied by two sets of subsidiary regulations covering the safety, health and welfare of the workplace and manual handling operations. Other subsidiary regulations covering personal protective equipment at work, dangerous substances, health and safety of using visual display screens and use of work machines and equipment will be introduced in stages.

(C) Other Regulations

We also plan to introduce amendments to the Confined Spaces Regulations and the Construction (Safety) Regulations in this Council in July to improve the safety of workers working in confined spaces and at height. New regulations to extend the certification scheme to operators of earth-moving machines on construction sites and fork-lift trucks in industrial premises will be introduced in the 1996/97 legislative session..

10

Other Measures

Apart from new legislation, the Labour Department is implementing administratively improvements to its enforcement actions and adjusting its role in safety training. The Factory Inspectorate Division of the Department is undergoing reorganisation to enhance its effectiveness and functioning under the new safety management approach. The manpower of the Labour Department will be increased with the creation of 66 additional posts in 1996-97 and 29 more in subsequent years to implement the proposals in the consultation paper. The total annual recurrent cost will be $36.7 million

The safety management system is a relatively new concept in Hong Kong. An ongoing and enhanced programme of education and training is therefore needed to inculcate a safety culture. Employers and workers must be convinced to support and embrace the safety management system and also trained for their new roles under it. In this respect, the Occupational Safety and Health Council will play a greatly enhanced role in the co-ordination and provision of training, education, promotion and publicity on industrial safety in future.

Codes of Practices

As regards the suggestion that the recommendations of the consultation paper should be implemented primarily by codes of practices. I must point out that a code of practice, approved or otherwise, is no more than an administrative tool for the reference by both the enforcement agents and the proprietors. It is therefore in itself not an extension of the law. Any person who has failed to observe the requirements set out in a code of practice is not held criminally liable. In other words, non-compliance can only have evidential value in certain criminal proceedings.

It is very important to distinguish the force of law and the reference value of a code of practice. There are severe drawbacks in relying simply on codes of practices to implement the recommendations in the consultation paper. Our enforcement agents will have practically no power to bring the offenders to court, irrespective of the gravity of the offence. I hope Members will appreciate that without adequate legislative sanction, the Government will not be able to impress upon the contractors and proprietors that we mean business in ensuring safety and health in the workplace.

11

I agree with Mr Ronald Arculli that many parties share responsibility for ensuring safety and health at the workplace. We firmly believe that both the employers and the workers should have an equally important part to play. It is indeed the key element for the success of a safety management system. As regards the need for consultation on a practical and realistic timetable, I can assure this Council that it has been Government's long standing practice to consult all those likely to be affected. It has also been our practice to allow a grace period so that the trades concerned can have adequate time to train their staff and the workforce, and prepare themselves for the introduction of the new law. We will certainly consult all relevant professional, employers and employees bodies on implementing the recommendations in the consultation paper. The time table for implementing the recommendations will be tight, but it will be practicable and realistic.

1 look forward to Members support when our legislative proposals are submitted to this Council later this year.

Thank you, Mr President.

End

Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation Annual Report

*****

Following is the speech by the acting Secretary for Education and Manpower, Miss Jacqueline Willis, in presenting the Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation Annual Report 1994-95 at the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President.

1 have pleasure in presenting a report of the highlights and main features of the Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation's fifth Annual Report.

The HKCAA's role and responsibilities were to validate degree programmes and review the general academic standards of Hong Kong's four non-university degree awarding tertiary institutions during 1994-95. Also, it provided authoritative advice on the standards of qualifications; monitored and disseminated information on higher education, quality assurance and academic standards al home and abroad and continued to develop links with quality assurance bodies throughout the world.

1

- 12 -

During the year the HKCAA carried out accreditation exercises and related work with the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, the Open Learning Institute, the Lingnan College and the Hong Kong Institute of Education. Seven exercises were conducted, including two institutional reviews, two validations, two revalidations and the monitoring of requirements placed on one degree programme which had been previously validated. As a result of its institutional review of the Open Learning Institute of Hong Kong, the Council was pleased to be able to recommend the institute be awarded self-accreditation, subject to the completion of a transition period of one year during which final arrangements for the transfer of full responsibility for academic accreditation could be made.

As the initiator of the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education, the HKCAA had administered the Network since its inception in 1991. The Network had developed considerably with 80 member organisations from 38 countries, and it was considered time for others to play a leading role. Thus, in July 1995 the HKCAA passed on that responsibility to the New Zealand Universities Academic Audit Unit.

The Council values its strong links in the region and in October 1994 received a delegation from the State Education Commission of the People's Republic of China. Five more key liaison events with China occurred during the year in particular a Council delegation in June 1995 to Beijing to meet the State Education Commission and to visit institutions and discuss higher education and its evaluation. Furthermore, the HKCAA continued its work with the Chinese Society of Higher Education Evaluation to organise an international conference, to be held in Beijing on Quality Assurance and Evaluation in Higher Education.

The Council's role in the provision of advice and information on academic accreditation and the comparability of standards increased significantly during the year particularly in response to requests from various Government Branches and departments. For instance, during the year the HKCAA considered over 200 cases from the Civil Service Branch of which around 90% related to qualifications of prospective Government employees which were obtained in the PRC and Taiwan.

13

I should like to report briefly on the HKCAA's financial position for the year ending March 1995. The HKCAA is non-profit-making and is tax exempted. It is funded through fees approved by Government for its activities. Its actual income of $8.839m closely followed the budget of $8.85m. On the expenditure side, there was a saving of just over $2m owing to general cost containment and a lower than planned level of accreditation activities resulting in the post of the Deputy Executive Director being unfilled for part of the year. Total expenditure, however, fell short of the budgeted provision by $ 1.56m which was financed by the Council’s accumulated reserve.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Chairman and members of the HKCAA for their services to the Council and their continued contribution to the development of tertiary education in Hong Kong.

End

Preparations for vulnerable w itness protection legislation *****

The necessary preparations for the legislative reforms to enable vulnerable witnesses in criminal cases to give evidence without fear and without suffering unnecessary emotional distress were completed today (Wednesday).

These preparations were completed with the approval by the Legislative Council today of the Application for Dismissal of Charges Contained in a Notice of Transfer Rules made by the Chief Justice last month.

Moving a resolution in the council today, the Attorney General, the Hon Jeremy Mathews, said the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Ordinance 1995' introduced a number of new procedures. One of them was to prevent child or mentally handicapped witnesses from being required to give evidence in court twice in relation to serious abuses - once at the committal proceedings and again at the trial.

In future, committal proceedings will not be needed when the Director of Public Prosecution issues a "notice of transfer" certifying that the evidence was sufficient for the accused to be committed for trial, he said, and a defendant to w hom a "notice of transfer" relates may make an application to the High Court for dismissal of charges contained in the notice.

14

The Chief Justice has now made rules setting out the procedure in applying for dismissal of charges contained in a notice of transfer, the procedure on the notification of the application, the manner in which the application is to be determined and the procedure on the notification of the determination.

The rules also provided for the right of a defendant to make an application through his or her legal representative, he added.

t

Mr Mathews explained that the approval of the rules by the Legislative Council would complete the necessary preparations for the reforms contained in the ordinance and he intended to bring the ordinance into operation next month.

End

Resolution on vulnerable witness protection *****

Following is the speech by the Attorney General, the Hon Jeremy Mathews, in moving a resolution in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday) on the Application for Dismissal of Charges Contained in a Notice of Transfer Rules made by the Chief Justice on December 4, 1995:

Mr President,

I move the resolution standing in my name in the Order Paper. The resolution is to the effect that the Application For Dismissal of Charges Contained in a Notice of Transfer Rules, made by the Chief Justice on 4 December 1995, be approved.

The Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Ordinance 1995 introduced a number of new procedures to enable vulnerable witnesses in criminal cases to give their evidence without fear and without suffering unnecessary emotional distress. One of these procedures is to prevent child or mentally handicapped witnesses from being required to give evidence in court twice in relation to serious abuses - once at the committal proceedings and again at the trial. Committal proceedings will not be needed when the Director of Public Prosecution issues a ’’notice of transfer” certifying that the evidence is sufficient for the accused to be committed for trial. While the "notice of transfer" procedure aims to save child and mentally handicapped witnesses from having to give evidence twice, a defendant to whom a "notice of transfer" relates may make an application to the High Court for dismissal of charges contained in the notice. Section 79G provides that the Chief Justice may make rules or directions in respect of an application for dismissal of charges contained in a notice of transfer. Any such rules or directions require the approval of this Council before taking effect

15

The Chief Justice has now made rules setting out the procedure in applying for dismissal of charges contained in a notice of transfer, the procedure on the notification of the application, the manner in which the application is to be determined and the procedure on the notification of the determination. The rules also provide for the right of a defendant to make an application through his or her legal representative.

The approval of the rules to-day will complete the necessary preparations for the reforms contained in the Ordinance. 1 intend to bring the Ordinance into operation next month.

Mr President, I beg to move.

End

Motion to increase fines in immigration related legislation ♦ ♦ * * *

Following is the speech made by the acting Secretary for Security. Mrs Carrie Yau, in moving a resolution to amend Section 100A(l) of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance so as to increase the amount of fines in immigration related legislation in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the resolution standing in my name in the Order paper.

The motion before Members seeks to increase the statutory fines in immigration related legislation to restore their real value.

Section 100A(l) of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance (Cap. 1) provides that the Legislative Council may, by resolution, amend any Ordinance so as to increase the amount of any fine specified in that Ordinance.

The Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (No. 2) Ordinance 1994 enacted in July 1994 introduced a scale of fines for statutory penalties not exceeding $100,000. This enables the maximum fine level to be increased from time to time by a single order by the Governor in Council to take account of inflation and hence preserve the deterrent effect of the penalties. The standard scale of fines consists of six levels, ranging from $2,000 at Level 1 to $100,000 at Level 6.

16

The standard scale, however, does not take account of inflation in respect of fines specified in money term before their conversion on to the scale. A review of existing fines is therefore necessary. 1 have reviewed the relevant Ordinances under my purview. Following discussions with the LegCo Sub-committee formed to study the then Resolution which was subsequently withdrawn, 1 now propose to revise the following thirty-eight items of statutory fines, with which the Subcommittee has agreed.

* 22 items under the Immigration Ordinance, Cap 115 relating to

requirement to carry proof of identity, unauthorised entrants, and other offences under the Ordinance.

* 1 item under the Immigration Service Ordinance, Cap 331 relating to

making false reports to service personnel.

* 12 items under the Registration of Persons Ordinance, Cap 177 and

Regulations relating to failing to register, using and possessing forged identity cards, altering an identity card.

* 3 items under the British Nationality (Mise. Provisions) Ordinance, Cap

186 relating to making false statement and disclosing information.

For fines at or below $100,000 after adjustment, they will be converted to the appropriate level of fines on the standard scale. There are 25 such items out of the 38.

For fines exceeding $100,000 after adjustment, they will be expressed in money terms. There are 13 such items and they all involve more serious offences such as employing a person not lawfully employable, failure to inspect proof of identity before employment, carrying illegal entrants on a ship, assisting illegal entrants to remain. The fine for employing a person not lawfully employable will be increased from $250,000 to $350,000.

In addition, there arc 18 items in these ordinances for which we do not seek to adjust for inflation. However for consistency, these fines will be converted to the appropriate level on the standard scale. In other words, all tines at or below $100,000 will no longer be expressed in money terms. These eighteen items include :-

* 1 item under the Immigration Ordinance, Cap 115 relating to penalty on

disposing of property to be forfeited.

17

* 4 items under the Births and Deaths Registration, Cap 174 and Special

Registers Ordinance, Cap 175 and Cap 176 relating to tampering with the register and other miscellaneous offences.

2 items under the Registration of Persons Ordinance and Regulation Cap

177 relating to failure to re-apply for identity cards issued before 1.7.1987 and failure to carry identity card in designated areas.

* 7 items under the Marriage Ordinance, Cap 181 and Marriage Reform

Ordinance, Cap 178 relating to failure to transmit marriage certificates, removing marriage records and other miscellaneous offences.

4 items under the Immigration Service Ordinance, Cap 331 relating to

offences against members of the service and unauthorised wearing of uniform, etc.

Mr President, I beg to move.

End

Law Amendment and Reform Bill

*****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, in moving the second reading of the Law Amendment and Reform (Consolidation) (Amendment) Bill 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that the Law Amendment and Reform (Consolidation) (Amendment) Bill 1995 be read a second time.

This Bill is the last remaining substantive change to Hong Kong's law of inheritance in the package of reforms proposed by the Law Reform Commission. These recommendations were made by the Commission following consultation with a wide range of interested parties.

18

The Bill relates to the "forfeiture rule". This prohibits a person who has unlawfully killed another from benefiting financially as a result, such as by inheritance from the deceased. Currently, even if such a person is not morally blame-worthy, the rule applies rigidly. In line with reforms that have been implemented elsewhere, the Bill empowers the court to relax, or even waive, the forfeiture rule where justice demands this. The Bill provides that such discretion may only be exercised in cases of unlawful killing other than murder.

Section 25A of the Bill provides for definitions.

Section 25B empowers the court to modify the effect of the forfeiture rule where the justice of a particular case requires it, having taken the conduct of the offender, the deceased and other circumstances into account.

Section 25C stipulates that the forfeiture rule does not preclude a person from applying for financial provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Ordinance (Cap. 481) or the Matrimonial Proceedings and Property Ordinance (Cap. 192).

Section 25D provides for the forfeiture rule to apply to murderers without modification.

End

Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, in moving the second reading of the Road Traffic (Amcndment)(No 3) Bill 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the second reading of the Road Traffic (Amendment) (No. 3) Bill 1995. This is the first of 3 bills I am introducing this afternoon to seek powers for the Administration to adopt fiscal measures to deal with traffic congestion.

19

During the consultation exercise on the Report of the Working Party on Measures to Address Traffic Congestion early, there was general support, in this Council, from DBs and from the public, for the user-pays approach and for the introduction of Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) as an important measure to combat traffic congestion. We are now finalising the consultancy brief and 1 expect to seek funds from Council in March to allow the consultancy to begin later this year. Trials will be conducted before the implementation of a full ERP scheme.

Meanwhile, more traffic management schemes, such as giving greater priority to buses and establishing tighter control over goods vehicles loading and unloading in busy areas, will be implemented. Such measures also received wide support during the consultation exercise.

This said we still need effective and quick measures to limit the growth in private car numbers. Fiscal measures may well be unpopular but the Administration firmly believes that increases in the First Registration Tax and Annual Licence Fees would have a direct impact in containing the size of the private car fleet. This has been proven in the past.

In recent months, the sale of and increase in the number of private cars has fallen substantially and is, indeed, now below our target of containing growth to between 2 to 3%. Although no increases in Annual Licence Fees or First Registration Tax are necessary immediately, the Administration needs to have the ability to act swiftly should this become necessary.

The First Registration Tax can be increased by means of a Legislative Council resolution under section 8 of the Motor Vehicle (First Registration Tax) Ordinance. The Passage Tax at the Cross-Harbour Tunnel can also be increased by a Legislative Council resolution under the Cross-Harbour Tunnel (Passage Tax) Ordinance. It is however necessary to amend existing, and provide for new legislation to implement the other fiscal measures.

The Road Traffic (Amendment) (No 3) Bill 1995 seeks to provide powers for the Administration to raise motor vehicle Annual Licence Fees. While the Road Traffic Ordinance currently empowers the Governor in Council to make regulations to provide for fees that may be charged for vehicle licensing, this is limited to cost-related adjustments. Increasing Annual Licence Fees above costs as a measure to deter car ownership requires an amendment to the primary legislation.

20

Clause 2 of the Bill empowers the Governor in Council to set Annual Licence Fees at levels which need not be limited by reference to costs. The subsidiary legislation so made will be subject to the approval of the Legislative Council by resolution.

Mr President, 1 reiterate that the Administration has no immediate plans to increase Annual Licence Fees. Should it become necessary to do so in the future. Honourable Members will have the opportunity to vet the actual proposals. Indeed, as I have said the Council’s specific approval will have to be obtained.

Thank you. Mr President.

End

Eastern Harbour Crossing Passenger Tax Bill *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Banna, in moving the second reading of the Eastern Harbour Crossing Road Tunnel (Passenger Tax) Bill in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the Second Reading of the Eastern Harbour Crossing Road Tunnel (Passage Tax) Bill. The main purpose of this Bill is to enable the Administration to impose a Passage Tax at the Eastern Harbour Crossing as a measure to tackle traffic congestion.

This Bill is modelled on the Cross-Harbour Tunnel (Passage lax) Ordinance which already provides for the imposition of a passage tax.

Again, the Administration is not at present proposing to impose any passage tax at the Eastern Harbour Crossing or increase the passage tax at the Cross Harbour Tunnel. If and when specific increases are sought. I lonourable Members will have the opportunity to debate the Administration's proposals. Indeed, before any new passage tax can be implemented, the Council's specific approval has to be obtained.

Thank you, Mr President.

End

21

Inland Revenue (Amendment) Bill 1995 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Banna, in moving the second reading of the Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No 4) Bill 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the Second Reading of the Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No 4) Bill 1995. This Bill seeks to remove lax concessions for company-owned cars.

The Administration’s assessment remains that at least 25 per cent of private cars are now company owned and that such cars account for about 40 per cent of the cars on the roads during peak commuting hours. At present, cars in company ownership benefit from generous initial and annual depreciation allowances. An initial allowance of 60% and an annual allowance of 30% of the residual value of motor vehicles can be claimed under the Inland Revenue Ordinance. This in effect means that companies can claim tax allowances of up to 72% of the capital cost of their cars in the first year. Such concessions provide a positive incentive for companies to own private cars.

During the public consultation exercise on traffic congestion there was strong support for the removal of tax benefits for the purchase and operation of company cars. The Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No. 4) Bill 1995 seeks to remove these concessions.

Clause 3 of the Bill provides that in calculating a person’s assessable income, no outgoings or expenses incurred in connection with the acquisition, financing, leasing, maintenance, operation or use of a private car shall be deducted.

Clause 4 provides that in the calculation of taxable profits, no outgoings or expenses incurred in connection with the acquisition, financing, leasing, maintenance, operation or use of a private car shall be deducted. However, the clause provides for an exception for car dealers, who will continue to be entitled to such deductions in respect of their trading stock.

Thank you, Mr President.

End

22

Legal aid for divorced women

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Law Chi-kwong and a reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In recent years, many women’s groups have indicated to Members of this Council that divorced women often encounter difficulties in recovering alimony and that quite a number of them apply for Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) because of financial hardship or loss of financial support. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of applications for legal aid for the purpose of recovering alimony in the past three years; how many of such applications have been dealt with and how many are still being processed;

(b) of the number of applications for CSSA submitted by divorced women because of the failure to recover alimony in the same period; and

(c) whether any effective measures have been put in place to assist divorced women who are in financial difficulty in recovering alimony?

Reply:

Mr President,

The Hong Kong Government shares the concern in the community about exspouses who fail to comply with maintenance orders. Home Affairs Branch is currently assisting the Social Welfare Department to produce an Information Kit on services and legal remedies available to persons with marital problems or difficulties arising from divorce. In response to the concerns about non-payment of maintenance orders, the Information Kit will include information to help ensure that parties affected by this are made aware of the remedies and services that are already available. We are ; also reviewing the existing legislative provisions for enforcing such orders with a view to improving their effectiveness as appropriate. Turning to the Honourable LAW Chi-kwong’s specific questions.

23

(a) According to the Legal Aid Department, there were around 9,000 applications in each of the last three years for legal aid for matrimonial cases. However, the Department does not keep separate statistics on the different types of matrimonial cases. Hence, it is unable to say how many of these cases related to applications for recovery of alimony.

(b) The Social Welfare Department estimates that about 200 single parent families are currently supported by Comprehensive Social Security Assistance due to financial difficulties caused by the failure of exspouses to pay alimony. This represents less than 3% of the total number of single parent families now on Comprehensive Social Security Assistance. There are no definitive statistics available on how many divorced women have applied for such assistance in the last three years for this reason.

(c) The enforcement of maintenance orders is normally done by way of Judgement Summons. This obliges the defaulting party to appear before the Court to be examined as to his or her means. If the Court is satisfied that the defaulting party has wilfully evaded maintenance payment, the Court has the power to commit him or her to prison. Other court actions available for enforcing a maintenance order include an order prohibiting the defaulting party from leaving Hong Kong or an order to secure the payment of maintenance against the defaulting party's property. In the event of continued non-payment, the court can order disposal of the property concerned, the proceeds of which will be used to meet maintenance payments due.

To speed up the processing of Judgement Summonses to enforce maintenance orders, the Judiciary has recently started to reserve slots in the Family Courts' diaries to deal specifically with such summonses. I he Judiciary Administrator has indicated that as a result of this, the waiting time for hearing judgement summonses has been reduced from three to two months.

As 1 have already mentioned, Home Affairs Branch is also considering whether there should be legislative changes to improve the enforcement of maintenance orders. One proposal we are considering is to empower the Court to make an order to deduct maintenance payments from the earnings or pension of the defaulting party. The sum would then be paid directly to the judgement creditor. This is likely to be one of the recommendations of a Working Group appointed by the Chief Justice to review practices and procedures of matrimonial proceedings, which is due to report shortly. Once we have received the Working Group's report, we will consider the appropriate measures to ensure that the system of enforcing maintenance orders is effective.

End

24

Duration of unemployment and how to alleviate unemployment

♦ * * * ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Lee Cheuk-yan and a reply by acting Secretary for Education and Manpower, Miss Jacqueline Willis, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

» 4

Question: '

I

In the past year, the unemployment rate has been at a consistently high level, and the average duration of unemployment has also shown a tendency to become more prolonged. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of the following :

(a) with reference to the last two years' quarterly unemployment figures, what is the connection between the duration of unemployment and such factors as industry, occupation, academic qualification, sex, and age distribution for each quarter;

(b) what are the achievements and effects of each of the initiatives mentioned at the two Summit Meetings on Employment convened by the Governor last year; and

(c) What other new initiatives the Government will take to alleviate the unemployment problem?

Reply :

Mr President,

(a) On the duration of unemployment, the median duration of unemployment (MDU) is the most commonly used statistical measure. The statistics gathered by the Census & Statistics Department through the General Household Survey indicate that the MDU during the period from the 4th quarter of 1993 to the 3rd quarter of 1995 ranged from 61 to 80 days (around 2 to 2.5 months). The detailed breakdown of the quarterly MDU statistics during this period has been tabled for Members' reference.

25

From the statistics available, it is apparent that people with lower educational attainment; of more advanced age; previously working in the manufacturing sector; and with lower skill levels spend more time in between jobs. This pattern was broadly stable during the past two years including the past few months when the unemployment rate increased.

The statistics reflect that our labour market's requirements have become more sophisticated. People with higher level of skills and educational attainment are more competitive in filling job vacancies. It also indicate that displaced workers previously working in the manufacturing sector are facing more difficulty in finding jobs in other sectors. As for age, while younger people have a shorter MDU, their unemployment rate is considerably than those aged 30 and above. This suggests that younger people are more mobile in the labour market.

(b) The Governor convened two Summit Meetings on Employment last year. At both meetings, there had been positive and useful exchanges of views between both employers' and employees' representatives on how to tackle the unemployment problem and in particular on how to redress the 'mismatch' between demand and supply in the labour market. Employers and employees were united in their resolve to deal with this problem in a spirit of co-operation.

In tackling unemployment, the Government's objective is to assist the unemployed to re-enter the workforce. To this end, we have made good progress on the package of measures promulgated at the two Summit Meetings.

We have stepped up our employment service. The Job Matching Programme which started as a Pilot Programme in April last year and operated at full force from last August onwards has proved to be a very effective means of matching the unemployed with job vacancies. As of 3.1.96, the Programme has found jobs for over 2,800 job-seekers, representing a success rate of 70%.

Through our promotion efforts, some employers have now adopted a more flexible and pragmatic attitude in their recruitment of local workers.

Our Employees Retraining Scheme (ERS) has been providing more unemployed persons with suitable retraining courses and as a result, a greater number of retrainees have successfully re-entered the workforce. We are also commissioning a consultancy study on how to make the ERS more effective.

26

We have strengthened our efforts in clamping down firmly on illegal employment and have stepped up enforcement actions against abuses of labour importation schemes.

We have completed a comprehensive review of the General Labour Importation Scheme and yesterday announced the termination of the Scheme and its replacement by a Supplementary Labour Scheme as from 1.2.96. Our policy objective is to ensure that local workers have priority in employment and that their salaries and benefits are safeguarded, employers must accord priority to fill available job vacancies with local workers. If employers have genuine difficulties in finding suitable staff locally, they can import workers to fill such vacancies.

We have enhanced the scope of our statistical surveys so as to obtain more detailed information about the profile of the unemployed and the job vacancies.

We are finalising the arrangements for the appointment of a consultant to conduct a fact finding study on the alleged problem of age discrimination in employment. We will also visit Australia and New Zealand later this month to find out how their legislation work in practice. The public Will be consulted on the way ahead.

We will continue to work closely with employers and employees representatives and members of this Council to work out solutions on the unemployment problem in the days to come.

(c) Since the last summit, we have also introduced several new initiatives to strengthen the effectiveness of the various measures taken to help the unemployed to rejoin the labour market and to enhance their employment opportunities.

First, computerisation of the operation of the Job Matching Programme(JMP) of the Labour Department. As the JMP has proved to be very effective in helping the unemployed to enter the job market, we have computerised the operation of the JMP to further enhance the efficiency of job-matching. Steps are also being taken to computerise the operation of the Local Employment Service of the Labour Department.

27

Second, to expand the JMP and to set up a job matching centre. The existing JMP is intended for job-seekers aged 30 or over. From 1 February 1996 onwards, the JMP will be expanded to all job-seekers irrespective of age. With this expansion, we will set up a Job Matching Centre in the Hennessy Centre in Causeway Bay as a centralised one-stop unit so that the JMP now available at all the nine LES offices can be better co-ordinated. This Job Matching Centre will also serve as an application office of the Supplementary' Labour Scheme when it starts operation in February, next month.

Third, to set up an Airport Core Programme(ACP) Job Centre. The Government has recently reached an agreement with the Airport Authority (AA) and the MTRC that they will jointly set up this Job Centre. This centre will be used for displaying ACP vacancies, receiving applications for ACP jobs, conducting recruitment interviews and making arrangements for signing of employment contracts. The Labour Department and concerned labour unions will each have an office in the centre to deal with enquiries and complaints from workers and contractors. Our objective is to open the centre within this month. This is a new initiative whereby we can further ensure that priority of employment will be given to local workers.

End

Government owned property assets * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Christine Loh and a reply by the Secretary for the Treasury, Mr K C Kwong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

With reference to the list of property assets owned by the Hong Kong Government which was handed over to the Chinese Government in November 1994, will the Administration inform this Council when it will make the list available to this Council?

Reply:

We have recently updated the list of property assets owned by the Hong Kong Government to show the position as at 1 November 1995. A copy of this list has been deposited with the library of this Council for Honourable Members' information.

End

28

One-way permit quota

***** <

Following is a question by the Hon Frederick Fung and a reply by the acting Secretary for Security, Mrs Carrie Yau, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday): f

• • t

Question:

With the increase of one-way permit quota since 1 July 1995, the number of new Chinese immigrants arriving in the territory will amount to 55000 each year. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of one-way permit holders arriving in the territory in the past three years, as well as a breakdown of such immigrants by age, sex and the location of their residence in the territory;

(b) whether it is aware of the criteria used by Chinese authorities for approving applications for one-way permit made by residents in mainland China for permanent settlement in the territory;

(c) whether any discussion has been held with the Chinese authorities on the possibility of using family as the unit for approving such applications (for example, approving applications by mother and child together), so that children coming from China on one-way permits will not be left unattended in the territory; and

(d) whether it has formulated any policy (in areas such as housing, education, medical care, social welfare, etc) to assist new immigrants in adapting to the territory’s life style?

Reply: ...... i:

Mr President,

I shall answer the four parts of this question in turn.

(a) The number of one way permit holders arriving in Hong Kong in the last three years, by age and sex, are tabled for Members' information (attached). We do not have a breakdown of the locations of their residence in the territory, but the Home Affairs Department will be conducting a survey later this month to identify the districts in which newly arrived one way permit holders reside.

29

(b)

(c)

(d)

One-way permits are issued by the Chinese Government to Chinese citizens for settlement in Hong Kong, majority of whom arrive for family re-unification. In reaching the understanding with China to increase the daily quota to 150 with effect from 1 July 1995, both sides have agreed specific sub-quotas for children and spouses.

We have raised with the Chinese side that allocation of one-way permits should as far as possible be made on the basis of using whole families as basic units so as to avoid split families. In regular meetings between the Director of Immigration and Director of the Bureau of Exit/Entry Administration, Ministry of Public Security, we have reiterated our concern over the splitting of families by the issue of one way permit to either the spouse or the child.

It is our aim to integrate new immigrants from China into the local community as quickly as possible. Since they will become members of our community upon arrival in Hong Kong, their general needs will be taken into account by the respective policy branches in overall planning and provision of services. The majority of new immigrants are able to integrate without difficulty. However, we are aware that some new arrivals may need special assistance. The Home Affairs Department is tasked to co-ordinate and assess services which the Government departments and voluntary agencies are providing for new arrivals. The findings and assessment will be fed to policy branches to assist them in planning and providing respective services for new immigrants.

End

Legal Immigrants from China by Age Group by Sex, 1993-1995

1993 <p 1995 *P |!« til M ifc & ft9 ft ft $ W (& <p ft R ft SO jg #)

1993 1994 1995 (Jan-NovKl/IMl ill)

Akc Group Male Female Total Male Female Total Male Female Total

<F ft. 31 S'J w if w if !fj if

0-4 1,137 938 2,075 1,550 1,339 2,889 2,298 2,098 4,396

5-9 1,895 1,423 3,318 2,629 1,980 4,609 3,654 3,309 6,963

10-14 1,748 1,255 3,003 2,059 1,599 3,658 2,299 2,140 4,439

15-19 1,439 837 2,276 1,484 956 2,440 1,231 832 2,063

20-24 1,510 1,661 3,171 1,452 1,850 3,302 1,030 2,011 3,041

25-29 1,412 3,319 4,731 1,249 4,494 5,743 1,012 4,636 5,648

30-34 1,139 2,903 4,042 1,113 3,933 5,046 796 3,693 4,489

35-39 1,035 2,635 3,670 855 2,724 3,579 655 2,512 3,167

40-44 720 1,836 2,556 650 2,277 2,927 530 2,345 2,875

45-49 391 1,018 h,4O9 359 1,217 1,576 286 1.278 1,564

50-54 202 605 807 183 612 795 141 556 697

55-59 198 509 707 146 444 590 147 416 563

60-64 164 346 510 189 317 • 506 176 326 502

65+ 186 448 634 201 357 558 142 387 529

Total 13,176 19,733 32,909 14,119 24,099 38,218 14,397 26,539 40,936

31

Government and TDC overseas offices

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Chim Pui-chung and a reply by the Secretary for Trade and Industry, Miss Denise Yue, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

The Hong Kong Government and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) have both set up offices in overseas countries and territories to promote Hong Kong's economic and trade interests. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:-

(a) of the number of overseas offices set up by the Government and the total

annual expenditure incurred in each of the past 3 years;

(b) of the number of overseas offices set up by the TDC and the total annual

expenditure incurred in each of the past 3 years; and

(c) whether the Government has considered merging its overseas offices with those of the TDC so as to achieve better utilisation of resources; if not, why not?

Reply:

(a) The Government has 10 Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices in foreign countries. Excluding the two offices established in Singapore and Sydney in July and October 1995 respectively, the total annual expenditure incurred by these offices in each of the past three years was -

1992-93

1993-94

1994-95

S160M

S174M

S183M

(b) The Trade Development Council has 51 overseas offices comprising 25 overseas branch offices staffed by its own employees and 26 overseas trade consultant offices. The total annual expenditure incurred by these offices in each of the past 3 years was -

32

1992-93

1993-94

1994-95

$543.IM S595.6M $698.IM

(c) The Government does not consider it appropriate to merge the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices (ETOs) with the Trade Development Council offices because their main roles and functions are different.

The ETOs are the official economic and trade missions of the Hong Kong Government in the foreign countries where they are located. Their main functions are to represent and promote Hong Kong's economic and trade interests with host governments and international organisations; undertake inward investment promotion; and organise Government's publicity efforts to promote Hong Kong as a premier location to do business in the Asian Pacific Region. They also lobby and negotiate with the host governments on specific trade issues and assist Hong Kong based staff in negotiating trade agreements. The government-to-government aspects of the ETO work cannot be undertaken by a non-govemment organisation.

The main responsibilities of the Trade Development Council's overseas offices are to develop and promote a receptive market for Hong Kong goods by helping merchandise traders in the host countries to do business with Hong Kong traders on the one hand, and help Hong Kong companies to penetrate markets in the host countries on the other. Such functions are more appropriately carried out by a nongovernment body.

Although the roles and main functions of the Government's ETOs and TDC's overseas offices are different, the two sets of overseas offices liaise regularly and closely with each other because both share the same objective of working for the interests of Hong Kong. The promotional aspect of their work is also complementary. Therefore, staff in the two sets of overseas offices co-operate and work together on major promotional campaigns overseas, such as the Hong Kong Promotion in Japan in September 1995 and the Promotion in the United States in June this year, which aim to raise Hong Kong's profile as a dynamic centre of business and tourism.

Where possible, the Government's ETOs and TDC's overseas offices are colocated in order to achieve a more optimal utilisation of resources, to project a stronger Hong Kong identity, and to provide a more convenient, efficient, one-stop service to our respective clients.

End

33

Privately purchased medical items *****

Following is a question by the Hon Mok Ying-fan and a reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok. in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The Hospital Authority (HA) has recently issued a memorandum to the 41 public hospitals under its management, asking them to limit the categories of "privately purchased medical items" to 10 items. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of hospitals which have already been recovering the cost of medical equipment, drugs and medical services provided to certain groups of patients;

(b) what criteria have been adopted by the hospitals mentioned in (a) above for determining which medical services should be charged in accordance with the ’recovery of cost' principle, and what is the proportion of the charges paid by patients to the cost of providing such services; and

(c) why the HA has introduced a standardised list of "privately purchased

medical items" in public hospitals without consulting the public?

Reply:

Mr President.

The term "privately purchased medical items" is commonly used to describe surgical implants, consumable and other disposable equipment which patients are required to purchase for their treatment in public hospitals, where the treatment is provided mainly in major acute hospitals. This practice of requiring the patients to meet the cost of certain medical items is not new but has been so even before the establishment of the Hospital Authority in 1991.

34

The system has evolved as a response to rapid technological advancement so that patients are not deprived of certain medical items which are outside the normal hospital inventory. In general, the privately purchased items are expensive products of new medical technology at the time of their introduction. They are either implanted into an individual patient or used only once on a patient. The high costs of these items have rendered public hospitals not to stock them as part of the normal inventory. In recent years, we have progressively reduced the list of "privately purchased items" taking into account the target group of patients, financial implications involved and the impact in the treatment process. However, it is difficult to quantify the proportion of treatment cost borne by patients in purchasing their medical items since it will vary according to the nature of each individual case.

In response to concern expressed by the community and Honourable Members of this Council, I undertook in May last year to abolish certain privately purchased medical items required by chronically ill patients, to relax assessment criteria of the Samaritan Fund, and to freeze the introduction of new items pending outcome of our overall review of health care financing. The circular issued by the Hospital Authority on 25 November 1995 is only a formal announcement of this arrangement and does not impose new charges, so consulting the public was not appropriate.

End

NT buildings under Government Land Licence *****

Following is a question by the Hon Lau Wong-fat and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning. Environment and Lands. Mr Bowen Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

At present, there are still some buildings constructed under a Government Land Licence (GLL) in the New Territories, and some of these buildings have been in existence for a long time. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the present number of such buildings in the New Territories, the areas in which they are located, the total number of residents and the year in which they were first built;

35

(b) whether there is any restriction on the use of building materials in the reconstruction of such buildings, and whether the reconstruction of such buildings is subject to other restrictions;

(c) whether the occupiers of such buildings are eligible to apply for public housing units or Home Ownership Scheme flats; and

(d) why the Government has discontinued the policy of allowing people who have held GLL for a period of over 10 years to apply for conversion of such buildings to permanent ones so as to improve the living conditions and enhance domestic safety, and whether the Government will consider re-instating this policy?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) Information compiled by the Lands Department in 1993 indicated that 18,000 Crown Land Licences (CLLs) had been issued. Over half of the structures were located in Yuen Long, North District and Islands District. We have not kept information on the total number of residents living in these structures. Most of these structures were first built in the early 1960s:

(b) these temporary domestic structures may be re-built, subject to the usual planning and environmental considerations. We allow rebuilding in permanent materials in areas other than layout areas (areas covered by outline zoning plans, outline development plans and other layout plans) and potential developmcnt/intensive squatter areas. Within layout areas and potential development/intensivc squatter areas, we allow rebuilding in temporary materials (i.e. those other than brick, stone, concrete and reinforced concrete). When approving rebuilding in permanent materials. Short Term Tenancies (STfs) are issued to replace the CLLs. These STfs will, subject to a rental, be lor a term of 5 years certain and thereafter yearly subject to 3 months’ notice at any time. The maximum permitted area and the height of all rebuilt structures in permanent materials are 37.16 square metres and 5.18 metres respectively and no balcony and/or stairhood are allowed upon rebuilding.

36

For a temporary domestic structure covered by a 10-year or longer CLL, a different rebuilding policy is applicable. Subject to the usual planning and environmental considerations, the structure can be rebuilt to a maximum dimension of 37.16 square metres in area and 2 storeys/5.18 metres in height with permanent materials, provided that it has been covered by a CLL and continuously held by the licensee or his immediate family for at least 10 years and there are no valid local objections to the proposed rebuilding. If rebuilding does not fall within the ’’Village” zone in a Development Permission Arca/Outline Zoning Plan, a Section 16 application under the Town Planning Ordinance may be required in respect of the rebuilding. As a general guideline, the areas of rebuilding should exclude all catchment areas, country parks and military ranges.

Under this rebuilding policy, only one balcony, one canopy and one stairhood with a roof are permitted, subject to restrictions in their form and dimensions. Standard health requirements are also imposed. The rebuilt structure will remain temporary in nature and will still be covered by a CLL;

(c) people living in the structures can apply for public rental housing through the General Waiting List or home ownership flats by using "white” forms; and

(d) the policy of allowing the structures to be "converted” into permanent houses was discontinued in 1979 mainly because it led to an unsatisfactory effect of scattered distribution of village houses. This said, structures can still be rebuilt under the policy mentioned in (b) above. We have no intention to re-instate the former policy.

End

37

Water-meter checking and water bills

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Howard Young and a written reply by the Secretary for Works, Mr Kwong Hon-sang, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It has recently been reported that a public housing estate tenant has been billed for water consumption at a level which is hundreds of times higher than the previous consumption level. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of requests for water-meter checks made by consumers, as

well as the respective numbers of cases resulting in adjustment of the charges after checking, in the past two years; and

(b) what are the most common causes for adjusting charges after checking, and what avenues of appeal or review are available to consumers who consider that the consumption level shown on the water bills is out of line with their past pattern of actual consumption?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) (i) the number of requests for water-meter checks made by

consumers in recent years are listed below:

1993-94 1994-95 1995-96 up to 30.11.95

3,809 4,021 2,202

(ii) the number of cases where charges were adjusted after checking are as follows :

1993-94 1994-95 1995-96 up to 30.11.95

1,070

897

498

38

End

(b) (i)

The most common cause for adjusting charges after checking is due to a defective water-meter.

(ii) Customers who receive water bills substantially out of line with past consumption are advised to check the condition of their inside services first. Ifthereisno leakage, they may appeal by submitting a dispute of water charges claim to the Water Supplies Department (WSD) by post or in person at their consumer service countersA or more conveniently, over their telephone hotline number 2824 5000. WSD will look into the matter and take appropriate follow up actions. If considered necessary, or requested by the consumer, the Water Authority shall test the water-meter. The result of the test shall be binding on the Water Authority and the consumer under Waterworks Regulations 30(1).

Directorate posts in public hospitals *****

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 :

At the sitting of this Council on 17th May. 1995.1 requested the Government to provide a breakdown of the number of directorate posts at different levels in various public hospitals. However, the Secretary for Health and Welfare in her reply only mentioned the total number of consultant posts, without providing the information required. In view of this, will the Government provide this Council with the number of posts at the Senior Medical and Health Officer level and posts at Di to D4 of the Directorate Pay Scale, as well as the number of hospital beds in each of the major public hospitals (including Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Queen Mary Hospital, Princess Margaret Hospital. Prince of Wales Hospital, Kwai Chung Hospital, Castle Peak Hospital, Kwong Wah Hospital and Caritas Medical Centre) in each of the following years in accordance with the format shown below:

39

91/92 92/23. 23/94 94/25

(as at 31 March each year)

Name of hospital:

No. of Senior Medical and Health Officers

No. of posts at DI level No. of posts at D2 level No. of posts at D3 level No. of posts at D4 level No. of hospital beds :

Reply :

The information requested is provided below -

1991/92 1992/93 1993/94 1994/95

(as at 31 March each year)

Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Number of staff at Senior 85 93 95 108

Medical Officer level Number of staff at DI level 1 0 0 0

Number of staff at D2 level 36 36 40 48

Number of staff at D3 level 15 12 13 12

Number of staff at D4 level 7 8 9 10

Number of hospital beds : 1,849 1.989 1.989 1.989

Queen Mary Hospital

Number of staff at Senior 52 55 57 62

Medical Officer level Number of staff at DI level 1 0 0 0

Number of staff at D2 level 10 12 14 22

Number of staff at D3 level 4 7 3 6

Number of staff at D4 level 5 7 7 8

Number of hospital beds 1,368 1.364 1,368 1,368

40

Princess Margaret Hospital

Number of staff at Senior 54 65 67 63

Medical Officer level Number of staff at DI level 1 0 0 0

Number of staff at D2 level 26 28 27 28

Number of staff at D3 level 8 9 5 6

Number of staff at D4 level 5 5 9 11

Number of hospital beds : 1,327 1,327 1,137 1,137

Prince of Wales Hospital

Number of staff at Senior 48 52 44 40

Medical Officer level Number of staff at DI level 1 0 0 0

Number of staff at D2 level 3 7 14 22

Number of staff at D3 level 0 0 0 0

Number of staff at D4 level 0 0 0 1

Number of hospital beds 1,388 1,388 1,335 1,335

Kwong Wah Hospital

Number of staff at Senior (Note) 34 37 40

Medical Officer level Number of staff at D1 level (Note) 0 0 0

Number of staff at D2 level (Note) 18 19 18

Number of staff at D3 level (Note) 3 5 9

Number of stall' at D4 level (Note) 0 0 0

Number of hospital beds : 1,471 1,427 1,427 1,427

Caritas Medical Centre

Number of staff at Senior 24 30 30 29

Medical Officer level Number of staff at DI level 1 0 0 0

Number of staff at D2 level 13 12 10 17

Number of staff at D3 level 3 4 5 4

Number of staff at D4 level 0 0 1 1

Number of hospital beds : 1,489 1,439 1,439 1.439

41

Kwai Chung Hospital

Number of staff at Senior 6 5 6 7

Medical Officer level

Number of staff at DI level 0 0 0 0

Number of staff at D2 level 2 2 4 5

Number of staff at D3 level 2 2 1 1

Number of staff at D4 level 1 1 2 2

Number of hospital beds : 1,551 1,581 1,581 1,581

Castle Peak Hospital

Number of staff at Senior 6 6 6 7

Medical Officer level

Number of staff at DI level 0 0 0 0

Number of staff at D2 level 1 1 4 3

Number of staff at D3 level 2 2 3 3

Number of staff at D4 level 1 1 1 1

Number of hospital beds 1,933 1,933 1,741 1,741

Note: In the specific case of Kwong Wah Hospital, the number of staff numbers for 1991/92 are not available since manpower statistics were kept for all medcial institutions managed by the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals as a whole before establishment of the Hospital Authority.

End

Creation of consultant posts by Hospital Authority ♦ ♦ * * *

Following is a question by the Hon Albert Ho Chun-yan and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

As the staff cost and the establishment of the Hospital Authority have aroused considerable public concern, will the Government inform this Council:

42 -

(a) of the mechanism and criteria adopted by the Hospital Authority for determining the creation of Consultant posts; and

(b) through what mechanism are Consultants promoted from D2 of the Directorate Pay Scale to D3 or above; who take part in the decisionmaking process in the promotion of Consultants; and whether there are independent persons such as Members of the Hospital Authority playing a monitoring role in the promotion process?

Reply:

Creation of new consultant posts is required to meet operational needs arising from the commissioning of hospital development projects and introduction of service improvement programmes. All these proposals and the associated staff mix will first be examined by the Hospital Governing Committees concerned. The cost and benefit of these proposals are also submitted to the Hospital Authority Board for endorsement. The Head Office will further scrutinise the justifications for the actual creations of posts.

The annual promotion exercise for consultant doctors is conducted by a special selection board chaired by the Chief Executive and attended by two members of the Hospital Authority Board. Vacancies are open to applicants from all public hospitals who will be shortlisted for interview by the selection board. Suitability for promotion will be assessed drawing reference from the track record of performance as well as achievements in clinical practice, staff development, quality improvement and management reforms.

End

h- 1

1

43

Entry requirements for civil service posts *****

Following is a question by the Hon Ip Kwok-him and a written reply by the Secretary for the Civil Service. Mr Michael Sze. in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

At present, the entry requirements for certain civil service posts specify that a candidate's proficiency in Chinese should be a pass in Chinese Language in the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it has considered raising the entry requirements in respect of Chinese Language for such posts; if not. why not?

Answer:

Mr President.

Let me begin by emphasising that for many years both Chinese and English language requirements have been set for entry to many grades in the civil service based on operational need.

However, in view of the growing need for Chinese language in the efficient operation of an increasingly open civil service a review of language requirements was conducted in the early months of last year. I he outcome of that review was to articulate more clearly the Government's long-term goal of a biliterate (Chinese and English) and trilingual (Cantonese. English and for directorate officers at least. Putonghua) civil sen ice.

To this end it w as recognised that civil sen ants entering the permanent and pensionable establishment should have basic proficiency in the Chinese language. Various benchmarks were considered. A pass in Chinese language in the I long Kong Certificate of Education Examination provided the best solution for three main reasons :

(i) first, there was no convenient higher benchmark because Chinese language is not commonly taken in the Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination or the Hong Kong Advanced Supplementary Level Examination:

44

(ii) secondly, a pass in Chinese language in the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination establishes a sufficient working knowledge that can be improved upon through practice and, where necessary, training of a higher level if required as an officer becomes more senior or his job comes to require a higher standard of Chinese than before; and

(iii) thirdly, a higher entry standard would narrow the field of suitable candidates and debar from public service otherwise very suitable applicants with a workable basic knowledge of Chinese but who lacked the higher proficiency required.

Civil Service Branch accordingly issued a circular last May requiring Heads of Department to introduce this Chinese language proficiency requirement for appointment to the permanent establishment in respect of all grades requiring a pass at HKCEE or above. The circular made it quite clear that where a higher standard of Chinese language proficiency was justified having regard to the job nature of the grade in question, then another standard could be agreed with Civil Service Branch.

In this context it should be noted that, in addition to setting a general entrance qualifications, individual grades may also set written examinations to test applicants' proficiency. For example, six grades requiring at least a university degree for entry, also require applicants to sit the Common Recruitment Examination, namely the Administrative Service, the Executive Officer Grade, the Labour Officer Grade, the Trade Officer Grade, the Management Services Officer Grade and the Information Services Officer Grade. The Common Recruitment Examination tests a range of aptitudes, including proficiency in both the Chinese and English languages.

Given the recent introduction of an across-thc-board Chinese language requirement and the flexibility Heads of Department have to set higher standards where necessary it is not intended at this stage to raise the basic entry requirement above a pass in Chinese language in the HKCEE. However, we will keep the situation under close review as our plans for a biliterate and trilingual civil service develop.

End

45

Converted one-person flats in public housing estates

*****

Following is a question by the Hon David Chu Yu-lin and a written reply by the Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In view of the frequent occurrence of clashes between tenants living together in "converted one-person flats" (commonly known as "split flats"), some of which may even develop into violent incidents, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the total number of "converted one-person flats" at present;

(b) of the number of complaint cases concerning disputes between tenants of

"converted one-person flats" received by the Housing Department, as well as the number of violent incidents occurring in such flats, in the past year;

(c) whether the Housing Department has put in place any special measures to resolve the disputes of these singleton tenants; and

(d) whether the Government will consider replacing these "split flats" with self-contained single-person flats when formulating its long-term housing strategy?

Answer:

Mr President,

There are 5,900 converted one-person flats in public rental housing estates.

In the past year, 247 complaints concerning disputes among tenants of such flats were received by the Housing Department: 21 cases involved serious disputes and were reported to the Police.

The role played by Housing Department staff in these disputes is primarily one of mediator. They attempt to help tenants to resolve disputes peacefully. Where necessary, cases are referred to professional social workers for counselling or assistance. In more serious cases, the Housing Department will arrange for the relevant parties to be transferred to other suitable accommodation.

46

The Housing Authority intends to phase out converted one-person flats when the supply of standard one-person flats becomes sufficient to meet demand. The present stock of converted one-person flats will gradually be converted back to their original function for allocation in accordance with prevailing space standards.

The Long Term Housing Strategy Review will examine the demand for all types of housing and will assess the needs of special groups, such as single persons and the elderly.

End

Measures to enhance language training in schools

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Eric Li and a written reply by the acting Secretary for Education and Manpower, Miss Jacqueline Willis, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

A bilingual working population competent in both Chinese and English has given Hong Kong a competitive edge. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council what measures, apart from enhancing language training in the classroom and promotion extensive reading both in Chinese and English among school children, the Government will take to encourage people with outstanding linguistic abilities to compile and translate quality books, so as to maintain or even strengthen the bilingual competence of the working population?

Reply:

Mr President,

The Administration is taking active steps in encouraging the translation of quality books or publications at three levels, namely the school education, tertiary education and the community level.

47

At the school education level, we have in place the Chinese Textbooks Incentive Award Scheme. The aim of the Scheme is to encourage publishers to produce good quality Chinese textbooks and reference books in a variety of subjects to support the use of Chinese as the medium of instruction in secondary schools. In the first three phases of the scheme implemented between 1987 and 1992, a total of 92 sets of books covering 32 subjects at Secondary 1 to 7 level were produced, of which 25% were translated through the equivalent textbooks in English. Phase 4 of the scheme, which is currently in progress, aims to produce by both writing and/or translating an additional 43 sets of books for use in the 1998-99 school year. The financial assistance awarded to publishers under the first three phases amounted to $15.3 million and that for phase 4 is estimated at $54.5 million.

At the tertiary education sector, with the exception of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, all the institutions offer courses in translation either at sub-degree, undergraduate and/or postgraduate level. These courses help to equip the graduates with the necessary language skills and knowledge for writing and translating books and other written materials. It is understood that most of the graduates have found employment in translation. In addition, some of the institutions including the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and the Hong Kong Baptist University have established translation centres to promote bilingualism.

At the community level, the Language Fund was established in 1994 with an initial injection from Government of $300 million to fund projects to raise standards in Chinese and English. One of the important areas for which projects are invited from the community is in the field of translation. Although so far few projects in this area have been submitted and only one such project has been approved for funding, it is hoped that more will be received in future. Also, the Language Fund Advisory Committee is in the process of mapping out further pro-active measures to encourage projects on strengthening bi-lingual proficiency in general and for the work force in particular.

End

48

CLP's forecast on future increase on local demand

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Lau Chin-shek and a written reply by the Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Gordon Siu, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The latest forecast made by the China Light and Power Company (CLP) in 1994 predicted a 5.1% annual increase in the maximum demand of the local system over the next few years, but the demand for 1995 has shown a negative growth. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether it is aware of the reasons for the negative growth last year;

(b) whether the Government will ask CLP to revise its forecast on the future

increase of the maximum demand of the local system in order to provide a more realistic prediction; and

(c) whether, in the light of the increase in the actual demand of the local system being much lower than what was predicted, the Government will revise CLP's future development programme in order to prevent CLP from expanding its fixed assets without valid reasons to the detriment of the interest of the consumers?

Reply:

(a) The China Light and Power Company forecast in October 1994 that the local maximum demand on its system would grow at an average annual rate of 5.1% from 1995 to 1999, with maximum demand in 1995 expected to be 4,920 megawatts. The actual local maximum demand for electricity on the Company's system in 1995 was 4,720 megawatts, some 4% less than forecast. The decline was due to the relatively cooler summer in 1995, slower economic activity and the continuing decline of electricity consumption in the manufacturing sector of Hong Kong.

49

(b) On the basis of the turn-out in 1995, the Company now expects annual sales to grow at between 3.5% and 5% in the next few years. Consequently, maximum demand for electricity is now forecast to grow at about 4.4% a year, as compared to the previous forecast of 5.4%, over the next few years.

(c) The Company has revised its future development programme to take account of the lower forecast of maximum demand. The total capacity expansion plan for 1992 to 1999 has been revised from one which cost $60 billion in the Company's 1992 Financing Plan to $52 billion in the latest forecast. This reduction has been achieved by rescheduling transmission and distribution projects, deferring completion of the last two units of Black Point Power Station and introducing other costcutting measures. These actions have reduced capital expenditure by $1.2 billion and operating expenses by $281 million between 1992 and 1995 and are expected to save a further $6 billion in capital expenditure and $1.17 billion in operating expenses from 1996 to 1999.

End

Daily working hours of industrial and service employees ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Cheng Kar-foo and a written reply by the acting Secretary for Education and Manpower, Miss Jacqueline Willis, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

According to a salary survey report released in March 1995, employees of some trades in the territory - such as the finance, business service, insurance and guarding services sectors - have to work more than eight hours a day, and some even have to work as many as 11 hours daily. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the average daily working hours of workers in the industrial and service sectors in the western countries as well as in the territory in each of the past three years;

50

(b) whether the Government will review the existing Women and Young Persons (Industry) Regulations or introduce new legislation in order to regulate both the maximum working hours of all employees and the basis for calculating overtime payment;

(c) if the answer to (b) is in the affirmative, what the legislative timetable is and when the public will be consulted; and

(d) if the answer to (b) is in the negative, how the Government will ensure that employees who are constantly required to work overtime will receive fair treatment?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) According to statistics provided by the International Labour Office, Geneva and the Census & Statistics Department, the hours of work per week for workers in the industrial and service sectors in Hong Kong and some developed western countries, are set out in the following tables.

Manufacturing

Type Country 1992 1993 1994

Hours actually worked per week Hong Kong 43.0 44.9 44.6

France 38.7 38.6 Not available

UK* 43.2 43.1 43.4

Hours paid for per week Canada 38.3 38.6 Not available

USA 41.0 41.4 42.0

Germany 40.7 40.9 38.0

Including quarrying.

Construction

Type Country 1992 1993 1994

Hours actually worked per week Hong Kong 42.0 43.0 43.3

France Not available Not available Not available

UK 45.0 44.7 Not available

Hours paid for per week Canada 36.7 36.6 Not available

USA 38.0 38.4 Not available

Germany* 42.3 41.8 Not available

Male workers only.

51

Wholesale and retail trade, restaurants and hotels

Type Country 1992 1993 1994

Hours actually worked per week Hong Kong 48.0 48.2 48.1

France* 39.0 (40.5) 39.02 (40.55) Not available

UK 39.4 39.6 Not available

Hours paid for per week Canada 26.0 26.2 Not available

USA Not available Not available Not available

Germany Not available Not available Not available

* Figures without brackets arc the hours of work per week in wholesale and retail trade. Figures with brackets are the hours of work per week in restaurants and hotels.

Transport, storage and communication

Type Country 1992 1993 1994

1 lours actually worked per week Hong Kong 45.9 46.7 46.6

France Not available Not available Not available

UK 46.9 46.5 Not available

Hours paid for per week Canada 36.5 36.2 Not available

USA Not available Not available Not available

Germany Not available Not available Not available

Financing, insurance, real estate and business services

Type Country 1992 1993 1994

I lours actually worked per week Hong Kong 41.4 43.3 43.2

France* 38.79(38.05) 38.80(38.02) Not available

UK 36.8 36.9 Not available

1 lours paid for per week Canada 27.7 27.7 Not available

USA Not available Not available Not available

Germany Not available Not available Not available

♦ Figures without brackets are the hours of work per week in financial institutions. Figures with brackets are the hours of work per week in insurance.

52

Community, social and personal services

Type Country 1992 1993 1994

Hours actually worked per week Hong Kong 44.6 45.0 45.5

France Not available Not available Not available

UK 36.5 36.6 Not available

Hours paid for per week Canada 27.7 27.7 Not available

USA Not available Not available Not available

Germany Not available Not available Not available

Notes:

Hours actually worked:

Hours actually worked should include all hours actually worked during normal periods of work, overtime, time spent at the place of work waiting or standing by, short rest periods including tea and coffee breaks.

Hours paid for:

Hours paid for generally comprise, in addition to hours actually worked, hours paid for but not worked such as paid annual vacation, paid public holidays, paid sick leave and other paid leave.

Sources: Year Book of Labour Statistics 1994 published by the International Labour

Office, Geneva.

Supplement of the Bulletin of Labour Statistics (1995-1, 1995-2 & 1995-3) published by the International Labour Office, Geneva.

Bureau of Statistics, International Labour Office, Geneva.

General Household Survey Section, Census and Statistics Department, I IK.

(b) The Labour Department is currently reviewing the Women and Young Persons (Industry) Regulations. Although there is no plan at this stage to introduce legislation to regulate the maximum working hours of all employees and the basis for calculating over-time payment, the subjects will be kept under review.

(c) We intend to consult the Labour Advisory Board on the results of the review on the Women and Young Persons (Industry) Regulations in mid-1996. If legislative amendments are required, it is our intention to submit the proposed (Amendment) (Regulations) into the Executive Council in late 1996. The actual legislative timetable, however, will depend on the outcome of the consultation process.

(d) Not applicable.

End

53

Objects falling from vehicles ♦ * ♦ ♦ *

Following is a question by the Hon Choy Kan-pui and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of traffic accidents caused by objects falling from vehicles since 1992 and the number of casualties arising from such accidents, as well as the major types of the vehicles involved;

(b) of the number of accidents caused by overloading vehicles or vehicles which do not conform to loading regulations, and the number of prosecutions instituted against such vehicles, during the same period; and

(c) whether the Government has reviewed the existing legislation and penalties to see if they have any deterrent effect on such vehicles, and whether the Government has put in place other measures to prevent the occurrence of the kind of accidents mentioned in (a) above?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) During the 4-year period between 1992 and November 1995, 32 traffic accidents were caused by objects that fell from vehicles. There were 43 injuries. The types of vehicles most frequently involved were light and medium goods vehicles.

(b) During the same period. 145 accidents involved overloaded vehicles. 93 prosecutions were instituted.

107 accidents involved vehicles with insecure loads and 58 prosecutions were instituted.

54

(c) The Administration last reviewed the penalties for overloading and other vehicle loading offences in 1994. This resulted in increases in the fixed penalties from $280 to $450 for insecure loading and from $450 to $1000 for overloading. In addition an amendment was made to the Road Traffic (Traffic Control) Regulations to impose strict liability on owners of goods vehicles for overloading offences.

Other measures which the Administration has put in place to prevent overloading and insecure loading of vehicles include :

the installation of additional weighting facilities - a new weighstation was opened in

Tai Lam Chung in early 1995;

the publication of a Code of Practice on the loading of vehicles and pamphlets to educate and inform the trade about the best way to load a vehicle;

regular meetings between Transport Department and goods vehicle operators at which the message of safe loading is emphasised;

continuous publicity about the danger of such offences; and

the provision of a telephone hotline at Transport Department to encourage the public to report instances of overloading and insecure loading.

The Police have deployed more manpower to tackle the problem of overloading and have stepped up enforcement action since the increase in the fixed penalty for overloading offences. For the eleven-month period from January to November 1995, 24,077 fixed penalty tickets were issued for such offences.

The Administration is continuously monitoring the situation. Other measures, such as the introduction of demerit points for convictions of vehicle overloading and other loading offences, will be considered.

End

55

Suicide attempts by suspects under arrest

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Selina Chow and a written reply by the acting Secretary for Security, Mrs Carrie Yau, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of suspects who have committed, or have attempted to commit, suicide whilst under arrest by the police or in police detention in each of the past three years; and

(b) subsequent to each such incident, what follow-up actions the police takes and what measures the police adopts to prevent the recurrence of such incidents?

Reply:

Mr President,

The answers to the two parts of the question are set out below:

(a) The number of suspects who have committed suicide during police custody or detention in the past three years is as follows:

1993 1994 1925 Ivlal

1 2 3 6

There were 19 cases of attempted suicide in 1995. The figures for 1993 and 1994 are not available.

56

(b) The Police have conducted thorough investigations immediately following each incident and the investigation reports need to be submitted to the coroner’s court. Under section 7 of the Coroners Ordinance (Cap. 14), whenever any person dies whilst in official custody, a coroner shall inquire into the cause of death with a jury of three persons. The Police are fully aware of their responsibility to ensure the safety of persons under their custody. Apart from deploying cell guard constables to maintain regular checks on all detainees, and putting detainees with known suicidal tendencies under constant observation, the Police are carrying out a number of new measures to prevent detainees from committing suicide. These include:

* identifying suitable tear-proof blankets to prevent detainees from using torn up blankets to hang themselves in the detention cells: and

♦ conducting a pilot project with a view to covering all cell bars with XPM wire mesh, a material which can stop detainees from fastening anything to cell bars to hang themselves. If the pilot project is successful, XPM wire mesh will be installed in all Police cells.

End

Definition of gifted education *****

Following is a question by Dr the Hon David Li and a written reply by the acting Secretary for Education and Manpower, Miss Jacqueline Willis, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The Fung Hon Chu Gifted Education Centre, which is the territory's first centre for gifted pupils, was opened in December last year. Will the Government inform this Council of the following:

(a) what is the total number of pupils in the territory who arc identified as "gifted";

57

(b) what is the definition of "gifted" in the context of this Centre;

(c) what criteria are adopted in placing pupils in this Centre; and

(d) how will "gifted" pupils benefit from the facilities of this Centre?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) "Gifted" children generally refers to those who show exceptional achievement or potential in academic performance, creativity, leadership, psychomotor ability, visual or performing arts. To ascertain the number and distribution of academically gifted students in Hong Kong, the Education Department has commissioned a research study by a team of researchers from the University of Hong Kong, Chinese University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Polytechnic University between 1992 and 1995. Using a sample of 81 primary schools, the initial finding of the study reveals that around 1240 students or about 2% of the students in these schools could be classified as academically gifted. This finding is in line with the percentage of academically gifted students identified in other developed countries. On this basis, we estimate that there are around 20.000 academically gifted students aged between 6-18 in Hong Kong.

(b) In the context of Fung Hon Chu Gifted Education Centre, "gifted" refers to academically gifted students, i.c. those who show exceptional achievement or potential in one or more of the following areas:

(i) high level of intelligence, as measured on standardised intelligence tests;

(ii) specific academic aptitude in one or more subject areas; or

(iii) high ability in creative thinking.

(c) The purpose of the centre is to provide students who arc identified as academically gifted with enrichment programmes or extended learning programmes at the centre to supplement their normal curriculum in their own schools. Selection of students for a particular programme is based on the following criteria:

58

(i) the nature and objectives of the programme;

(ii) ability of students in meeting the selection criteria for the particular programme;

(iii) the wish of the parents and the recommendations of teachers;

(iv) the cognitive and affective needs of the students; and

(v) the interest, talent and commitment of the students.

(d) As mentioned in (c) above, children identified as academically gifted can attend additional courses or programmes conducted at the centre. They can also use the various facilities provided therein such as library, computer room, language laboratory etc to pursue their independent learning goals. The centre is also a venue for gifted students and their teachers from various schools to take part in joint projects to share experience as well as to receive mutual support. Teachers and parents concerned can also get resource support in this centre, which in turn further fosters the potential of gifted students. The centre will form the basis for the long-term development in gifted education.

End

Senior civil servants personal data files *****

Following is a question by the Hon Allen Lee and a written reply by the Secretary for Civil Service, Mr Michael Sze, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

As the Chinese and British sides have failed to reach a consensus on the issue of the handing over of files containing personal data of senior civil servants at a recent Joint Liaison Group meeting, will the Government inform this Council :

(a) of the stand taken by the Government on this issue;

59

(b) of the aspects of the issue on which the Chinese and British sides cannot come to an agreement; and

(c) how the Government will classify the personal data of senior civil servants in order to determine which categories of documents can be handed over to the Chinese side and which categories are to be sent back to Britain?

Answer:

Mr President,

There is a significant measure of agreement between the Chinese and British sides over civil service issues. Both sides attach considerable importance of a stable civil service with good morale to a smooth transition for Hong Kong. Both sides have agreed that informal get togethers should be held in Hong Kong to enable Chinese Officials and senior Hong Kong civil servants to get to know each other better. Three such gatherings have been held to date - to the satisfaction of both sides.

As to the question of files containing personal data on senior civil servants, our position is very clear. Such files are no different from any other files in the Hong Kong archives. In accordance with the agreement reached between the Chinese and British sides in 1990. the British side will transfer to the Chinese side all archives necessary for the proper administration of the future SAR. There will be no physical movement of the files. Files containing personal data of civil servants will be dealt with no differently from other files. No categories of material in these personnel files will be sent to Britain.

As we have stated previously, in order to enable the Chief Executive (Designate) to nominate Principal Officials for appointment, we will provide him with access to the necessary personal files and information well before 1997. As for providing the Chinese side with information on senior civil servants, we are already handing over detailed biographical notes on all those officers who arc and will be attending the informal get togethers. We believe these to be comprehensive and useful.

End

60

Construction of bus stop shelters

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Fred Li Wah-ming and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Banna, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

With regard to the construction of bus stop shelters by the Kowloon Motor Bus Company Ltd. (KMB), will the Government inform this Council :

(a) of the normal time-frame from the planning of a bus stop shelter project to its completion;

(b) what is the number of bus stop shelters constructed by KMB in 1995; whether this number has met the target planned; if not, why not:

(c) why the Government has given approval for KMB to construct a bus stop shelter at Pik Wan Road in Kwun Tong without proper planning beforehand, which has resulted in the contractor having to suspend the construction work following the discovery of underground power cables upon digging up the road surface; and

(d) whether the Government will conduct a comprehensive review of the planning of bus stop shelter projects in order to improve the coordination between various parties?

Reply:

Mr President.

(a) The time taken from the planning of a bus stop shelter project to its completion is about one year. I his process includes the examination ol proposals, consultation with District Boards and all the relevant Government departments (including Geotechnical Engineering Office, Highways Department. Lands Department and Police), site investigation and construction.

61

(b) KMB’s tentative programme was to construct about 400 shelters between mid 1995 to mid 1996. After circulation of the proposals and consultation, the number has had to be reduced to 206 because of local objections and site constraints such as the presence of underground utilities which cannot be shifted. Work on these shelters is in progress and they should be completed by mid 1996.

(c) The provision of bus shelters takes into account passenger need and local conditions. Before actual construction, trial pits are dug on site to establish the best position for the foundation of the bus shelter and to identify possible site problems, e.g. the presence of underground utilities, which may need to be resolved before construction.

The particular problem regarding the site for the bus shelter at Pik Wan Road could not have been anticipated before trial pits were dug. The underground cables were found to be too close to the proposed foundation of the bus shelter. KMB is now looking into various ways of overcoming this particular problem.

(d) Government regularly reviews the guidelines and procedures for the planning and construction of bus shelters. The last review was conducted in September 1994. Transport Department will continue to work closely with the franchised bus companies to monitor progress and to identify new sites for bus shelters.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, January 11,1996

Contents Page No.

Transcript of the Governor's interview..................................... 1

Transcript of FS's media session.......................................... 17

Early rationalisation of CT ownership important: FS................... 18

Conciliation services for retrenched workers.............................. 20

Retrenched worker conciliation meeting.................................... 21

September employment and vacancy statistics released...................... 21

Business Receipts Indices for Service Industries released................. 26

Information handbook on Basic Law published............................... 30

Weather of December 1995 ................................................. 31

Dongjiang water supply resumed............................................ 33

Court order sought to close tourist guesthouse............................ 34

Visit permits for ex-China residents in Macau relaxed..................... 34

Philatelic collection set for the Year of the Rat......................... 35

Fresh water cut in Yuen Long and Chai Wan................................. 36

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations...................... 37

1

Transcript of the Governor's interview ♦ * * * ♦

Following is a transcript of an interview with the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, today (Thursday) on RTHK's (Chinese) programme simultaneously translated:

Speaker: Rifkind has said Chris Patten upholds the interests of Hong Kong. What does Patten want to do before 1997, and what can he do? Everybody says that he works according to his conscience. But whenever you are in the quiet of night, would you ask yourself whether you can really face up to everything?

The programme today is 'Across the Heart'. This afternoon at 3 o'clock, Leung Ka-wing and Cheng Shu-yan have invited the Governor, Chris Patten, to review the work for '96. It is now nine-minutes-past-three and this afternoon we've got Leung Ka-wing, Cheng Shu-yan and Leung Ying-yee. Hello colleagues. Well, the arrangement is rather special today because Ho Yin-yee is in Broadcast Drive, and I, Leung Ka-wing and Cheng Shu-yan are in the Queensway Government Offices in readiness to interview the Governor.

Yes, I can see that the two of you are very serious and cautious and very nicely dressed to meet Mr Patten.

Yes, of course, whenever we do anything we are always very serious and today we are interviewing a very important person, the Governor of Hong Kong - although we are separated by distance - but our programme .still starts from 3.00 and goes on until 6.00. Every Thursday we have 'Across the Heart' and today our honoured guest is Mr Patten.

Perhaps I should tell you what other programmes we have in store for you later. On Thursday we have 'Across the Heart', and after 'Across the Heart' we will have a satirical talk-show 'Ka Sai Tong'. After that we will also have the Financial News and we will have an analyst, Mr Tso Chin, analysing situations for us. And from Holland, we've got a Dutch analyst to analyse the international situation. We also have a segment where the audience are welcome to call-in and have a talk-show about matters pertinent to Hong Kong. As I have mentioned, the specialist for this afternoon is Mr Tso, on political issues and analysis.

For our newscast we have, oh, good news about cheap bargains. Where? Where? Taxis of course. That's strange. Yes, and taxi drivers will also give you discount cards so that they can keep their regulars. Is that a course against the law and is everybody in favour of it?

2

I think I don’t understand the question.

Well, it doesn’t matter. Tune-in at 5 o'clock and you will know all the details.

Yes, that is Newsfile. And after 5.30 we will also have a legal talk-show on international affairs.

Well, I have been listening to our interpreters and they are interpreting everything that we have said. I admire them and I thank them because they have also done the interpretation for the Newsfile. We hope they also interpreted whether Mr Patten will be greeting our colleagues in Cantonese, and our audience. Well, I'll try my best to ask Mr Patten to greet us in Chinese. But I'd also like to know about Mr Patten's dress and how he looks.

Well, Mr Patten is dressed as usual, dark-grey jacket with a blue tie with squares. It seems very sharp. Before the programme started, I had a chat with Mr Patten to ask him whether he knows of our programme and he said yes. I was quite shocked because there is no reason why he would have heard it because it is all in Cantonese. Maybe we have interpreters for him. Of course a lot of people w ork for him. But he told us that he heard some excerpts and this is the first time that he will be using an interpreter to listen to the programme.

In that case, let's go ahead with our interview.

Alright, Mr Patten please.

Governor: Good afternoon. Nice to see you. I'm glad you think I'm dressed sharply. I'm dressed entirely Hong Kong; everything I'm wearing is made in Hong Kong, so I'll be alright in Hong Kong Fashion Week next week.

Speaker: Governor, good afternoon.

Governor: Good afternoon.

Speaker: Our colleague, Miss Ho, has suggested that maybe you should greet our audience in Cantonese. Would you like that?

Governor (In Chinese): Audience of News Salon, how are you?

Speaker: Yes, how are you Sir?

Governor: I'm very well and I'm pleased to be on this programme.

3

Speaker: Mr Patten, 1996 is a key year for Hong Kong. As the Governor of Hong Kong, you personally, how would you rate as the highest item of priority to be dealt with?

Governor: I think the highest item is to give people as much reassurance as possible that 1997 isn't going to disrupt Hong Kong's way of life or Hong Kong's prosperity. A lot of people have said that 1996 is a year of decision. Well, in a sense, every year is a year of decision. But what do they really mean about 1996 being a year of decision? 1 think what they mean is that there are a lot of people here who have foreign passports -it's reckoned that there may be as many as half-a-million and that a lot of those people will be wondering whether 1997 and the transition to Chinese sovereignty is going to be good for them or not.

I think it's just as important that there are five-and-a-half million or more people who don't have a foreign passport who may be a bit concerned from time to time about what the future holds.

Now, 1 think that all of us have, during this year, to give the maximum reassurance first of all to ensure that those with foreign passports don't use them, that they choose to stay in Hong Kong. I'd like, also, many of those who have already left Hong Kong to come back and spend their lives here. That's what 1 always say to Hong Kong students when I meet them overseas. And I hope that we - and it's increasingly going to be a job for Chinese officials and those who advise Chinese officials - can give those who don't have a foreign passport, who will live in Hong Kong and want to make a success of 1997,1 hope we can give them the reassurance as well.

Speaker: Well, it would appear that getting the confidence of the people of Hong Kong on the passport issue would be your top priority. However, in the past few days another matter of great concern to the people of Hong Kong is the question of Boat People. In 1996, what do you think will be the progress in resolving this problem?

Governor: I think we've got to remember that the progress over the years has been astonishing. Hong Kong has a marvellous record of dealing competently, firmly and humanely with a problem which has bedeviled the region for 15-16 years, ever since late 1970. Since then, I suppose it's true to say that about 200,000 or so Vietnamese Boat People have passed through Hong Kong. Many of those have been reckoned to be refugees and have been found homes elsewhere, in America, in the United Kingdom, in Canada and so on. Others have been screened-out as refugees, they're not refugees they're economic migrants, and we've been settling them, steadily, back in Vietnam.

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Now, it hasn’t been an easy process. It’s involved tough work for officials and it’s been a very difficult job for our Correctional Services Department and our Police who I think handle it extremely well. We shouldn't lose sight of the fact that we were making particularly good progress in 1992-1993, even in the first months of 1994, we were transferring back to Vietnam about 12,000 a year and we’d got the figure down from about forty-odd thousand just before I arrived as Governor, to just over 20,000 by 1994. We then started to get more problems, particularly recently, because a lot of people in the camps have got the impression, entirely erroneously, that if they stay in Hong Kong they'll at some stage in the future be resettled in the United States, and that’s an impression which they've got because of the legislation which some American Congressmen have put through Congress.

Now that's giving people a very wrong impression. I don't want anybody to get the wrong end of the stick. I want all of them to recognise that the only option for them is to return to Vietnam. If they stay, they’re not going to find themselves with homes in America or homes in Europe or homes in Britain or homes in Australia. The only option they have is to return to Vietnam and we will be pursuing that policy as vigorously and effective, and of course humanely as we can. People in Hong Kong have shown —

Speaker: Governor, while you are reviewing the achievements we have made in this respect over the years, I think what we are most concerned about is that the problem will not be resolved before 1997. In the last few years - Mr Rifkind has said — in the last few days we’re told that we are actually the victims. I mean do you think that the interests of Britain and the interests of Hong Kong are unanimous on this issue?

Governor: Yes, I do actually. And what Mr Rifkind was doing, and what I’m always keen to focus on, is the extremely ill-advised nature of those arguments which suggest that if the Vietnamese migrants simply hang around in the. camps they're going to be able to go somewhere else other than Vietnam in 1997. They're not. It gives them entirely the wrong impression to say now or to suggest now that if only they stay till the middle of 1997 then they can go to Europe or then they can go to the United States. Those options don't exist, so they should go home.

Speaker: But the question is that, are the interests of Britain and those of Hong Kong unanimous on the question of the Boat People? You said yes just now.

Governor: I think our interests are the same. What we are all keen on doing is dealing for once and for all with this problem, which we've been very successful in dealing with in the past. What we want to see is all the Vietnamese migrants returned as soon as possible. That’s what the UNHCR is working for, that's what Hong Kong is working for, that’s what Britain and the international community is working for. We’ll soon, I think, be having another international meeting to review progress and I hope that that will give some more impetus to the return of migrants. As I said earlier, we were making very good progress in 1992 and 1993 and we want to see that progress resumed.

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Speaker: Yes, I understand that both the UK and Hong Kong would like to get the problem resolved as soon as possible. But what about the question of responsibility, is Britain and you, Hong Kong, on the same side?

Governor: I think we're on exactly the same side but everybody recognises that the decisions that we've been making since, for example, the late 1980s, have been decisions made here in Hong Kong. There is nobody in the camps who was here before the Executive Council took its decisions on policy on Vietnamese migrants in 1988. I want to see the problem resolved as rapidly as possible. And I don't think, as I've said to the Legislative Council in the past, I don't think it's helpful to give the impression to the Vietnamese migrants that if only they hang about they'll be able to go somewhere other than Vietnam. That's not the situation.

1 tell you one thing which I think people in Hong Kong really wonder about. Hong Kong is the biggest investor in Vietnam. It's investing in Vietnam's economic success. So why don't the people who are at present in our camps and costing money, why don't they go back and take part in that economic success story in Vietnam which we're helping to finance?

Speaker: But you say that the responsibilities and the duties of the British and Hong Kong are the same. But a lot of people think that the British people are being generous with Hong Kong people's money. And you're talking about humanity, but in taking care of the Vietnamese it is the Hong Kong people who are shouldering it. Do you agree?

Governor: I totally agree that the people of Hong Kong have shown very considerable humanity and very considerable patience in the way that they have handled the problem over the years. Let me give a more practical example - and I hope Legislators sometimes think about this. You consider the problem which the people in the Correctional Services Department, which our Police, have to face every time that they are trying to deal with those in the camps who are having to be moved from one camp to another, who are having to be mandatorily repatriated. Every time they do that it's a very difficult tough exercise for them and my heart goes out to them, my sympathy goes out to them, and they have my unequivocal support, and I don't want to do or say anything which makes their job more difficult.

Speaker: Recently, Foreign Secretary Rifkind has said something in Hong Kong about the Vietnamese people and that has caused a lot of havoc and anger. Some of the angrier citizens have suggested that if the Vietnamese migrants cannot be sent back before 1997, then they should charter some vessels to take them to the English Channel for the British Government to resolve the matter. How would you respond to that?

Governor: Well, I think that's the sort of thing that people say who don't actually have any regard for the consequences of their remarks. As I said earlier, if you want the Vietnamese Boat People to return to Vietnam, and if you want them to do that sooner rather than later, you don't give them the impression that if they don't return to Vietnam then they’re going to be able to find a home somewhere else. They're not.

Speaker: But the question is, if the problem cannot be resolved before the exchange of sovereignty and the possibility does exist, then as a Governor, what would you ask the British Government to do to resolve the matter?

Governor: What I am going to do as Governor is to do everything within my power to resolve the problem before 1997. As I've said very often, in Hong Kong we have enough problems to deal with without endlessly imagining hypothetical problems and concentrating our argument on them. If we spend the whole time discussing what will happen to Vietnamese Boat People who haven't returned before the middle of 1997, and if we give the Vietnamese Boat People, if we give those economic migrants the impression that they can go somewhere else but Vietnam if only they hand around in Hong Kong, then we're not doing them a service and we're not doing ourselves a service because we're actually suggesting that there is an Eldorado for them which simply doesn't exist.

Speaker: Of course there is no reason why we should only worry about the future and not care about the present but as the Governor you should have a vision. If the matter cannot be resolved by '97, what would you do? You said that the responsibility of Britain and Hong Kong are the same here. If we should assume that there are migrants here, would you be willing to say here that Hong Kong and Britain will take half of them if their duties are the same?

Governor: My job is to do everything I can to resolve the problem before the middle of 1997. I would be certifiably barmy if I was to spend my time suggesting to the Vietnamese Boat People that if only they hang around until the middle of 1997 they can go to the United Kingdom or the United States. They can’t and they won’t. That isn't an option. t

Speaker: Well, let’s look at the Sino-British relationship, Governor. Both the Chinese and the English Foreign Ministers have reached a consensus in the past two days. What do you think about that and what will happen in 1996 in the light of that consensus?

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Governor: I think that Malcolm Rifkind’s visit to Hong Kong and his subsequent visit to Peking - which hasn't quite finished yet, he's seeing the President, Mr Jiang Zhemin this afternoon, and also seeing Director Lu Ping this afternoon - I think his visit to Hong Kong and his visit to Peking have been extremely successful. Of course it is true to say that not all the outstanding problems that we want resolved have been resolved. Of course there are still disagreements and arguments about issues like human rights and the future of the Legislative Council and those are very important points. But I don't think we should always focus on what hasn't been achieved, I think it's important to focus on what has been achieved as well.

And I think, without exaggerating, you can reasonably say that at the beginning of this, as I said earlier, decisive year for Hong Kong, at the beginning of this year we've seen more progress in reaching hard, practical concrete agreements between Hong Kong, Britain and China than we've seen for very many years - on passports, on right of abode, on the container terminal, on the arrangements for co-operation between the Preparatory Committee and the Hong Kong Government, on Air Service Agreements. I think that all those agreements, all those moves forward are to be very welcome and I very much hope that they will give people a little more reassurance.

Speaker: (inaudible) suggested that it's a case of "you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours". How do you say to that?

Governor: I missed the beginning part of your question but I don’t actually think that back-scratching comes into it. What Malcolm Rifkind has done, both in Hong Kong and in Peking, is to make absolutely clear how committed we are, how committed the Hong Kong Government is to the defence of people’s human rights and civil liberties and to the defence of all the values which are enshrined in the Joint Declaration. At the same time we’ve managed to move the agenda forward, principally on economic issues, but also on issues which touch profoundly on people’s day to day lives, affecting, for instance, the passport and permanent residence in Hong Kong. So I think it’s been a very, very valuable visit.

I don’t deny that we could have ideally, in an ideal world, perhaps achieved more. But I don’t think anybody should belittle what has been achieved and has been agreed. I think the extent of agreement has surprised — Can I just finish? -I think the extent of the agreement has surprised people.

Speaker: You find the visit very successful and that it has surprised many people. Have both sides made any concession, at least in the case of the CT-9?

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Governor: Well, I don’t think that it’s necessarily helpful to discuss or analyse visits like this in terms of whether or not people have made concessions or U-turns. But on the CT-9 we've always wanted, as you know, to ensure that we developed the port as effectively as possible and at the same time that we were able to increase competition in the port, because we think that's in the interests of those who use the port.

At their meeting last autumn, Mr Qian Qichen and Malcolm Rifkind agreed that we should all redouble our efforts to find an agreement on the CT-9 issue. What they've now accepted is the way forward for doing that, which involves, I hope, the operators, the consortia, reallocating the ownership of the berths between them - berths in terminals 1-9 - in order to achieve the objectives that we've set of greater competition and effective development of the port. I don't think that that's at all a bad way forward and if the consortia can reach an agreement soon, that will be in the interests of Hong Kong.

Speaker: Mr Rifkind had met with the Chinese Foreign Secretary and had resolved the long-standing issue, namely Container Terminal 9. There were no signs before the visit and therefore some comments made in Hong Kong is that back-room diplomacy is a lot better than diplomacy in the form of a lot of noisy fanfare. Do you agree to that?

Governor: Well, I think that those who were taken by surprise by the agreement perhaps hadn't been looking sufficiently closely at what has been done and what has been discussed between Britain and China and Hong Kong over recent weeks or months, because what was agreed in Peking was a development of the discussion that took place in London. But it is true to say that there have been talks going on, quietly, on this commercial issue over the last weeks and months and obviously whenever you have an agreement - the same is true of the Agreed Minute on the SAR passport -whenever you have an agreement like that, it's the result of a lot of painstaking work done by experts and officials - including the Governor of Hong Kong - before the meetings take place.

Speaker: For those,who hold this view, I think they are implying that noisy fanfare with lots of smoke and no fire is the type of diplomacy that you have employed in the past. Would you agree that you have been excessively high-key in the past?

Governor: No, I certainly wouldn't. And most of the noise and smoke has not come from me but has come from those who attack me. I have been my usual serene, quiet, calm self and will continue to be. But you know, people have a tendency to apply a sort of moral equivalence or a political equivalence when one is attacked, even if you've been conducting an argument in a reasonable, quiet, calm, rational way.

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1 will continue to speak up courteously but firmly for all those things which 1 think have made Hong Kong special - like the rule of law, like the development of representative government which Hong Kong has been promised, like the defence of freedom of speech, like the defence of all those other freedoms which have made Hong Kong successful. I'll continue to argue for those things.

What 1 find fascinating is that some of my critics, some of my most vigorous critics want those things for themselves - that's why they've got foreign passports - but presumably don't think that Hong Kong deserves the same. I don't accept that that is a reasonable position for them to take.

Speaker: On the question of passports. Governor, in 1996, one of the issues that the British and the Chinese Governments have to deal with will be the question of passports. Some people feel that the visa-free arrangement for the SAR passport has not been granted by Britain for a long time because this is one of the chips that they want to use for discussions with China. What do you say to that?

Governor: 1 don't think it's a chip and I think it's too important to discuss in that context. As you will know, I've been arguing for a long time that once we had an agreement on the SAR passport which we could sell not only to Britain but to the rest of the world, as guaranteeing the integrity of the SAR passport, then Britain and other countries should agree to visa-free access for that passport. Now when I was back in London last autumn, you'll remember I was arguing among other things the case for visa-free access after an agreement for SAR passport holders. I did that in public on the television, just as I did it in private. And now that we've got that Agreed Minute, I hope that Mr Rifkind will go back and ensure that his colleagues in the British Cabinet consider the matter as soon as is reasonably possible. I think that it's important that we have visa-free access for SAR passport holders, not only in Britain but elsewhere too.

Speaker: Well, every Hong Kong person will agree with that: visa-free arrangements are ver}' important for SAR passports. Right now, in Singapore and Australia they have already indicated that they will be making certain arrangements for SAR passport holders. Britain, however, is the sovereign country for Hong Kong now. and right now people feel that you are still hithering and thithering and you say you have to consider whether there are problems. Wouldn’t it be acting inconsiderately?

Governor: First of all I'm interested in what you say about Australia. I'd seen about Singapore and I'd noticed that Australia welcomed the Agreed Minute but I didn't know that the Australians had gone as far as to say that they would give visa-free access to SAR passport holders. I think we both better check on that. I think that there have been discussions -

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Speaker: What I mean is Australia has already issued an announcement saying that they will be working towards visa-free arrangements for SAR passports.

Governor: That’s a slightly different matter. I don’t think that what you said originally is what the case is. But I repeat what I said earlier, I will be arguing and arguing vigorously that the British Government should give visa-free access to SAR passport holders. And one reason why I will be doing that is because in my view if Britain gives visa-free access then it will be easier to try to persuade other countries to give visa-free access as well.

Speaker: There is one point that I’m very close to you Mr Patten, that is I am more interested in political reforms rather than passports.

Governor: No, I think they both matter a very great deal. And for a lot of people in Hong Kong, the question of permanent residency in Hong Kong and the question of passports are absolutely crucial and they matter a great deal to Hong Kong's commercial life.

Speaker: Well, my personal interest is on the political reform package. You have promoted a political reform package but in reality we all know that the three-tier government system will not be able to transcend into 1997. So even if you have the best ideal and it cannot be put into practice that would be empty words. If you are allowed to start again from scratch would you change your tactics for promoting political reform?

Governor: No, because the question wasn't one of tactics, the question was whether or not you had free and fair elections or not. People talk, which is rather flattering, about my quote "political reform package". What it actually consisted of and I'm sorry in many respects that it hadn't been agreed before - was the attempt to implement what the Joint Declaration promises, the steady process of democratisation here in Hong Kong. We tried for the best part of a year to agree a way forward with China. Why weren't we able to agree a way forward? Was it because Chinese officials wanted more democratic elections, or was it because they wanted less democratic and fair ... why for the district boards or the municipal councils, or for the Legislative Council itself, anybody should tamper or dismantle those arrangements. 1 think if those arrangements are dismantled it will be very bad for confidence in Hong Kong.

Speaker: Well, a real problem is after the package came out the Chinese refused to communicate with you. But before the package was promoted, had you ever realised that there would be such angry responses from China?

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Governor: Well, I think all of us know that if you stick to your principles in dealing with China, in talking to China, there is sometimes a fuss. But I don’t think that is an argument for abandoning your principles. Consider what the consequences would have been.

What would have been the consequences if we had agreed to electoral arrangements which were unfair or if we'd agreed to arrangements under which some legislators, some democratic legislators were turfed out of the Legislative Council in 1997 with the connivance of the Government of Hong Kong. Would that have produced stability? Would that have produced a quiet and peaceful atmosphere in Hong Kong? It would have produced substantial social and political turbulence. And I think people should remember that the alternative to having an argument from time to time over a matter of principle with Chinese officials isn't a quiet life; the alternative is anything but a quiet life in Hong Kong because it would let down people in Hong Kong, it would break promises made to people in Hong Kong and it would lead to political instability.

Speaker: It is now 3.40 so whether we are Chinese or English it is time for tea. While we have produced some refreshments for Mr Patten, he doesn't have the opportunity yet to taste them, so let's take a short break.

Speaker: We're back on to the News Salon Programme and in the studio we have, other than myself, Leung Ka-wing and Cheng Shu-yan interviewing Mr Patten. We're now in the Government Offices at Admiralty and today we have a live interview with Mr Patten. We've spent about half-an-hour discussing the political system of Hong Kong, the issue of Boat People, and also the meetings between the two Foreign Ministers. Let's come back to some domestic affairs now.

Coming back to the domestic issues of Hong Kong. Even those who criticise the Governor severely would agree that you, the Governor, has brought some new styles to Hong Kong. Your arc accessible, you have built a system of accountability and you have your performance pledges. Do you have confidence that these will survive beyond '97?

Governor: I very’ much hope so because I think they represent what our civil servants and what our public service enjoy doing, which is making certain that they provide a better service to the public. I've worked with civil servants elsewhere, in the European Community and in Britain, and I don't think that in Europe the civil service is as responsive to change and responsive to public concerns as it is here in Hong Kong. Of course not everything is perfect but I think that what has happened in Hong Kong, both in terms of accountability to the Legislative Council and the wider community, and in terms of trying to sharpen up the quality of our services, I think that is absolutely in tune with what the best of our civil servants want. And I think it's going to continue and I think it's here to stay.

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Speaker: Well, the question just now was about accessibility, accountability and new performance pledges and whether these can survive after ‘97, and you said that you hope very much that this would be the case. But that is different from it will actually happen. Do you think that such styles if they cannot survive '97, I mean what would be the causes of that?

Governor: The cause, if they don't survive '97, is that somebody will be breaking the promise that Hong Kong people can go on running Hong Kong. I think that one of the crucial factors in the next 18 months - and it's a matter, 1 suppose, which the Preparatory Committee is going to have to address - one of the crucial matters is whether the high degree of autonomy which Hong Kong has practised for years and which Hong Kong has promised for the future will actually be guaranteed and will actually survive. Why do I say that? For this simple reason: Hong Kong runs its affairs extremely well. 1 don't run a British Government in Hong Kong. I've only got one senior official who's an expatriate. This is a largely local Hong Kong Chinese Government pursuing policies that we make here and pursuing policies which by and large are very successful. Of course there arc things we could do better and things we would like to do better. But 1 think that to interfere with that autonomy - which I hope won't happen - to interfere with that autonomy would mean that we would do things less well.

And that's why I think people were disturbed by what a Chinese official said - I think it was a mistake -about our welfare spending, before Christmas. Yesterday I took particular heart from what Premier Li Peng said about the importance of I long Kong's autonomy in managing its own affairs and I hope that we won't see anything in the coming months which erodes that.

Speaker: You have made certain promises in terms of the performance pledges. In your latest policy address you mentioned that the UK had already given preliminary consideration to provide assistance to the SAR Chief Executive Designate. What exactly is the methods you have considered in terms of offering assistance to the Chief Executive Designate of the SAR Government?

Governor: Well, as one would say in English slang: "Hang on a bit" we've first of all got to devise ways of co-operating effectively with the Preparatory Committee which we want to do. And Malcolm Rifkind was discussing that with Qian Qichen earlier in the week in Peking. Once the Preparatory Committee has chosen the Selection Committee and once the Selection Committee has in due course chosen the Chief Executive Designate, then we'll have to find ways in which we can co-operate successfully with the Chief Executive Designate. But I think you will find that both the Chief Executive Designate and the Governor and my senior officials will want very much to co-operate and to work closely together because it will be in our mutual interests to do so. So I want to see the best possible co-operation between the Administration and the Preparatory Committee, and the Chief Executive Designate in due course, and I also want to see of course during that period, the best possible cooperation between the Administration and the I .egislative Council.

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Speaker: Of course the Preparatory Committee has just been appointed and the Election Committee has not yet been formed. Of course sooner or later we will have the Chief Executive Designate but we don’t know who that person is yet. However, an interesting point arises: in your latest Policy Address at page 137 you have already said that we, meaning the British Government, have initially considered the methods or formats by which we can provide assistance to the designate. In other words, you have already considered the initial format of assistance. What formats are you talking about?

Governor: First of all just on one correction, the we in that case doesn't refer to the British Government it refers to the Hong Kong Government which I lead. The sort of practical things that one is talking about: our administrative and staff support, our logistical support. Those are things which I know that everybody in Hong Kong will expect us to provide for the Chief Executive Designate. The Chief Executive of Hong Kong will have just as difficult a job to do as the last British Governor of Hong Kong and I think that just as I do appreciate all the help I get, so the Chief Executive will appreciate all the help that she or he can receive.

Governing Hong Kong is, by common consent, one of the most difficult jobs in the world. Not because people in Hong Kong are difficult, not because this isn't a successful community, but for I suppose political and strategic and historical reasons, and it's particularly difficult at this point in our history when we’re on a sort of high-wire between two historical points. So I think everybody would expect the Governor and the Chief Executive to lean over backwards to be co-operative and to help one another and that is what I intend to do.

Speaker: Facing '97 we have a lot of issues to deal with. A lot of people say a glorious retreat is one of the most important considerations for Britain in handing over sovereignty. As the representative of Britain in Hong Kong, how do you see this problem?

Governor: Well, I don't think that glorious retreat is the way that a British politician or public servant would see it. I'm not sure that the concept of face is tremendously important to somebody like me. What does matter isn't glorious retreat —

Speaker: You could lose face?

Governor: Sorry?

Speaker: You mean you can lose face?

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Governor: I think if you've been a democratic politician you know quite a lot about losing face. If you lose an election, that's quite a lot of face to lose. And it's very good for you, let me tell you.

I think that what matters much more to me is what happens in the long term. Whether we manage to do what we're supposed to do in Hong Kong, honourably. Nothing to do with glory. What will matter is what Hong Kong is like in 1998 or 1999 or 2000. Does it still have a free press? Are you still able to ask the Chief Executive any question you want? Do our institutions of government still work? Do we still have a clean civil service? Are we suffering from problems of corruption? Does the rule of law still operate? Do we still have a vigorous and effective Legislative Council? Do people still regard Hong Kong as a free and open society? Because if they don't, it won't be as successful economically..

Those are the sort of things that are going to me my judgments and the judgments of Britain's inheritance. And whether or not you describe it as a glorious retreat, it's certainly that long term historical judgment which matters to us, matters today and will continue to matter. And that was a point that Malcolm Rifkind made very clear when he was answering questions from the Legislative Council the other afternoon.

Speaker: You said just now that whether or not there is a glorious retreat is not what you are most concerned about. But if 1 were to ask you this: if Britain wants to retreat with honour, 1 mean what are the necessary prerequisites?

Governor: Oh, the necessary prerequisites are to have every assurance that the sort of Hong Kong described in the Joint Declaration, in the Treaty between Britain and China, is what Hong Kong is like after 1997. Hong Kong has been an astonishing success story. It's a decent, successful open society. If it's less successful and less open after 1997, and if people can pin some of the blame for that on what Britain has done before 1997, then we wouldn't regard our job as being done as well as we would have liked. But if you look back over the last five decades, if you look back at what Hong Kong has achieved in that period, I think that even the harshest critics would be bound to say that that had been an astonishing success story and I hope that the next 50 years are even more successful.

Speaker: When you launched your political reform package many people in the proChina camp had suggested that for the past one-and-a-half centuries Hong Kong never had any form of democracy. Why is it that in the final days the British Government is so keen to promote a democratic political system in Hong Kong? Some people therefore concluded that this is actually one of the strategies or part of the package of the so-called glorious retreat. How do you respond to that?

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Governor: Well, it's a pretty odd criticism for those United Front activists to make because after all, they were party - China was party to an agreement - in which the steady development of democracy in Hong Kong was agreed. Why was it agreed? In order to underpin, in order to secure all the promises that were made to people in Hong Kong. China entered into those agreements freely. And if you look at what has been agreed, the process of democratisation doesn't finish in 1997, it's supposed to speed up after 1997. So the question is not whether the process of democratisation is a last minute British effort, because it's actually an agreement between China and Britain. The question is this: is China committed to real democratisation or is it committed to a sort of cardboard cut-out version? Is it committed to a counterfeit version? The question is are we to have elections which are genuinely fair? Or are we to have elections, the main purpose of which is to secure a given objective?

Let me ask you this question. People sometimes say the Chinese are going to dismantle the Legislative Council, they want to put other arrangements in its place. Do you suppose they want, if that is true, to put arrangements in its place which are more fair, which are more free, which give us an even more democratic Legislature? If that's what they want, then it would be very nice to hear that. But what we all know is they're committed to one step after another towards democratisation. leading eventually to a wholly directly elected Legislative Council, either eight years after 1997 or shortly thereafter if the Legislative Council wants. That's what they are committed to.

Speaker: Governor, you are very concerned about the future of the people of Hong Kong and the people of Hong Kong are very concerned about your future.

Governor: Ha, ha, that's why you gave me the biscuit.

Speaker: You have said that whoever would ask whether you would stay until 30 June 1997, you would punish him for $500 donation for the Hong Kong Journalist's Association. We don't want to be punished and we do not want an answer which is worth only $500. I would like to ask you, however, on the hand-over ceremony itself, which position will you be taking?

Governor: I don't know. And I don't know which position Chinese officials will be taking. What I do know is that the question of which Chinese officials take part in particular aspects of the hand-over ceremony is a matter for China, and the question of which British officials take part in the hand-over ceremony, in particular parts of the hand-over ceremony, is a matter for Britain. I wouldn't be so impertinent as to suggest who was going to represent China and I'm sure the reverse is true as well. But what I promise you is that I will be part of the British team and party and that I will be leaving Hong Kong just before midnight on 30 June 1997, sad at having to leave but 1 trust optimistic about the future which Hong Kong can look forward to after that.

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Speaker: Are you sure that you will be taking part in the ceremony?

Governor: Well, you have to say, when you’re answering a question like that, "God willing", because otherwise there may be somebody polishing thunderbolts up above to cast them down. But bearing that in mind, yes I am absolutely sure, absolutely confident that I will be part of the British team taking part in the hand-over ceremony. And frankly, I think it is undignified as well as rude for people to start making propaganda points about that sort of thing. It’s not worth even discussing because it’s just impertinent.

Speaker: The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Chen Jian, has said that on the question of the hand-over of sovereignty the Government has no special role to play. But according to what you have said. Mr Chen is rather rude isn’t he?

Governor: Well, I leave it for others to say that. China is a great nation and I think those who are spokesman for a great nation should bear that in mind, and bear in mind the importance of speaking and acting with courtesy, with dignity and with restraint.

Speaker: We are moving towards the end of the interview, let’s do some summing-up. Oh no, let me ask another question first. We all know that the Governor is a very important person in the British political scene but if the British political scene is such that your presence is required, would you be happy to go back and accept the invitation?

Governor: No.

Speaker: Not?

Governor: No. I’ve said ever since I arrived in Hong Kong, and I dare say I'll be being asked this question at five-minutes-to-midnight on 30 June 1997, that I intend to stay and complete my tour of duty and public service in Hong Kong. That is the position. The Prime Minister and other officials know that that's the position. The Opposition Leader knows that's the position. The Opposition in Britain have made it clear that if they were to win the next election before 1997 they would keep me as Governor. So the position is absolutely plain and isn't going to change.

Speaker: At the start of our interview, the Governor has already told us about a lot of his achievements whilst in office. But can you tell us, Sir, which is your area of greatest regret or greatest failure for the past three years.

17

Governor: Oh, I will regret it if by 1997 Chinese officials still haven't learnt to trust the people of Hong Kong and to recognise that political development in Hong Kong is an inevitable consequence of economic development, that it isn't threatening to anybody and that the people in Hong Kong should be trusted. 1 think if, by the middle of 1997, some Chinese officials haven't learnt to trust Hong Kong, to be relaxed about what Hong Kong can contribute and offer to the further development of the economic revolution in China, if that hasn't happened then it will be extremely sad and very disappointing.

Speaker: In the past three-and-a-half years, what sort of experience have you learnt which could help you in the next one-and-a-half years?

Governor: I think that I've learnt, above all. the importance of believing in yourself - I don't mean that about me, I mean that about people in Hong Kong - of believing in progress -

Speaker: But 1 believe everybody must have confidence in himself. I thank you very much Mr Patten for spending the past hour with us, accepting our interview.

It is now almost 4 o'clock, so please prepare for the time-tone. Thank you Mr Patten.

Governor: Thank you very much indeed.

End

Transcript of FS's media session *****

Following is a transcript of the remarks by the Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, at the media session after attending the luncheon meeting of the Hong Kong Shipowners Association this (Thursday) afternoon:

Question: ...inaudible...?

Financial Secretary: So we have been talking to the various interests involved in separate sessions. They have tossing of a few ideas around. But I think the time for them now to concentrate their mind, quite clearly the two Ministers and two governments are quite anxious they come to a successful conclusion. I would have thought that this is a feasible scheme that could bring greater throughput to our ports that would open up CT9 and then open up the subsequent development in CT 10 and 11.1 hope they would conclude their discussions very quickly.

End

18

Early rationalisation of CT ownership important: FS *****

The Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, today (Thursday) reiterated the importance of an early and successful conclusion of the discussions between the consortia regarding the rationalisation of the ownership of container terminals I to 9.

Speaking at a luncheon of the Hong Kong Ship Owners Association, Mr Tsang said this would not only be in the consortia's own longer term commercial interests but also in the interests of the strength of Hong Kong’s port and the greater prosperity of Hong Kong.

He said significant progress had been achieved in that the British and Chinese Foreign Ministers had supported openly the discussions taking place between the parties concerned with the object of achieving more effective, rapid and competitive development of Hong Kong's container port.

He urged the consortia to work harder now.

On the part of the Government, Mr Tsang said it was committed to providing infrastructure and road communications to the port.

"For it is only by continuing the very successful partnership between the Government and the private sector that Hong Kong can sail confidently into the future as one of the leading maritime centres, not only in the region, but in the world," he emphasised.

Last year, Hong Kong's port had handled some 12.6 million twenty-foot-equivalent units or TEUs, retaining its position as the world's busiest container port. The Port Development Board forecasts that by the year 2011 there will be a demand on the port to handle 32 million TEUs a year.

"To meet this demand we must build a new port on Lantau with twice the capacity of the present container port at Kwai Chung," Mr Tsang said.

"Just to meet the demand in the next four years we will need to complete Container Terminals 9, 10 and much of Terminal 11 by the end of the year 2000."

Meanwhile, existing operators have, by investing heavily in new equipment and improved- working methods, increased their productivity by as much as two million TEUs a year. They are confident in further increasing their output.

19

Mr Tsang pointed out that although all of Hong Kong's container facilities were built and operated by the private sector, there was considerable government input in these facilities.

"The planning of Lantau Port has been underway since 1989 and has involved many government departments as well as port and shipping industry representatives," he said.

"The Government is also committing billions of dollars in financial resources to providing infrastructure and road communications to the port."

Outlining some of the measures that the Government had taken to ensure Hong Kong remained one of the world's leading and safest maritime centres, Mr Tsang said one was the setting up of the Hong Kong Shipping Register, now in its sixth year.

"Since December 1990, Hong Kong has its own autonomous register separated from that of the United Kingdom. This register will continue to operate beyond 1997," he said.

"It now includes 600 vessels totalling nearly nine million gross tons. This is an increase of about 40 per cent since December 1990 and puts Hong Kong in fourteenth place in the world in terms of gross tonnage.

"Hong Kong has also entered into a double taxation relief agreement with the United States. Under this agreement Hong Kong residents or Hong Kong incorporated companies are not subject to United States tax on income derived from the international operation of ships."

He said another major attraction of Hong Kong as a maritime centre was its free and fair market, sound legal and financial framework, fully convertible and secure currency, well-educated and industrious workforce and excellent network of international communications.

"It is a combination of all these positive features that has enabled the Hong Kong register to operate so successfully," Mr Tsang noted.

End

20

Conciliation services for retrenched workers

* ♦ * * *

-I *'■ ' ' . A

The Labour Department is providing conciliation services following the retrenchment of 239 workers imported from China under the Special Labour Importation Scheme for the Airport Core Programme projects.

The Chief Labour Officer (Labour Relations) is now holding a tripartite meeting with representatives of the workers, the principal contractor and the subcontractor at the Labour Department Headquarters.

A government spokesman said he understood that in this case, the workers were made redundant because the works contract of the subcontractor, Success, had been terminated by BCJ Joint Venture, the principal contractor.

"Under the Employment Ordinance, employers may terminate the employment contract of their employees by giving the required notice or payment in lieu of notice, and all sums due to an employee such as wages for work done, overtime pay, statutory holiday pay, pro-rata annual leave pay and where appropriate, travel costs etc."

The spokesman said the Labour Department's role in such cases was to ensure that the employer had acted in accordance with the law and that employees were given the benefits due to them under the law and under their employment contracts.

"If any of these workers have reasons to believe that they have not been given all the entitled benefits, they may lodge a claim with the Labour Department," he said.

He pointed out that under the normal rules of the Labour Importation Scheme, imported workers made redundant or dismissed would not be allowed to take up further employment in Hong Kong because they were approved to take up work for specific jobs.

"This is to protect the local workforce," the spokesman said.

End

21

Retrenched worker conciliation meeting

*****

The conciliation meeting between representatives of the affected imported workers, the principal contractor and the sub-contractor at the Labour Department Headquarters concluded shortly before 9.30 pm this (Thursday) evening. Views on the retrenchment were exchanged during the meeting.

Both sides agreed to adjourn the meeting to 10 am tomorrow (Friday), at the Labour Department Headquarters.

End

September employment and vacancy statistics released

*****

According to the figures released today (Thursday) by the Census and Statistics Department, there was continued growth in employment in most of the major service sectors between September 1994 and September 1995. Meanwhile, employment in the manufacturing sector declined further. But employment at construction sites registered a further significant increase.

Vacancies in the manufacturing sector remained on a downtrend in September 1995 over a year earlier, while those at construction sites registered a substantial increase.

Over the same period, vacancies in the various service sectors recorded decreases of different magnitudes. Nevertheless, there were still around 51,000 vacancies for all major sectors taken together.

In terms of the number of persons engaged, the wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels sector was the largest, employing 1,030,900 persons in September 1995.

This was followed by the manufacturing sector, with an employment of 386,100; the financing, insurance, real estate and business services sector, 375,400; the community, social and personal services sector, 298,300; the transport, storage and communications sector, 170,000; and the construction sites (for manual workers only), 65,800.

22

In terms of growth rate, employment at construction sites (for manual workers only) recorded the fastest increase, by 9% in September 1995 over September 1994; followed by the financing, insurance, real estate and business services sector, by 4%; the transport, storage and communications sector, by 2.4%; and the community, social and personal services sector, by 2.3%.

J i • • / ’ ‘ •

On the other hand, employment in the wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels sector showed a slight decrease of 1.9%, while that in the manufacturing sector fell by 11.9%. The respective employment figures are shown in greater detail in Table 1.

Vacancies at construction sites continued to record a very substantial increase in September 1995 over a year earlier.

The marked increases in both employment and vacancies at construction sites reflected the heavy demand for construction workers by the new airport and related projects.

However, vacancies in manufacturing sector and in all major service sectors decreased. Job vacancy figures are shown in greater detail in Table 2.

Of some 51,000 vacancies (other than those in the Civil Service) in September 1995, the majority fell into four major occupation groups, viz associate professionals, clerks, service workers and shop sales workers, and elementary occupations. They together accounted for 75% of the total number of vacancies in all the major sectors surveyed.

Vacancy figures broken down by major occupation group are shown in Table 3. As these figures are compiled starting from June 1995, year-on-year comparisons are not yet available.

The above statistics for September 1995 were derived from the Quarterly Survey of Employment and Vacancies, the Supplementary Survey of Job Vacancies and the Quarterly Employment Survey of Construction Sites conducted by the department.

In the former two surveys, some economic activities (for example, those where self-employment are predominant, such as taxi operators, hawkers and freelance authors) are not covered and hence the respective employment and vacancy figures relate only to those selected industries included in the surveys.

23

In the latter survey on the construction sites, employment and vacancy figures relate to manual workers only.

Detailed breakdowns of the above statistics are available from the Quarterly Report of Employment, Vacancies and Payroll Statistics, September 1995, and the Quarterly Report of Employment and Vacancies at Construction Sites, September 1995.

They are available at $44 per copy and $20 per copy (both exclusive of postage) respectively at the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong, and at the Publications Unit of the Census and Statistics Department on the 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

24

Table l : Employment figure qnj percentage changes bv selected major sector

Persons engaged (employment) Percentage Change

Selected major sector Sep. 94 lup. 95 Sep, 95 • Sep. 95 over Sep, 94 Sep. 95 over Jun. 95

. 1 - • .: • r ■ *< ‘y

. J Manufacturing 438 400 397 800 386 100 -11.9 -2.9

Construction sites (manual workers only) 60 400 64 000 65 800 + 9.0 +2.8

Wholesale, retail and 1 051 200 1 024 600 1 030 900 -1.9 +0.6

import/export trades,

restaurants and hotels (/• .• j ' •

Transport, storage and communications 166 000 166 300 170 000 +2.4 +2.2

Financing, insurance, real estate and business services 361 100 373 900 375 400 + 4.0 +0.4

Community, social and personal services 291 700 295 600 298 300 +2.3 +0.9

25

Table 2 : Vacancy figures and percentage changes bv selected major sector

Selected major sector Number of vacancies Eargentagg chang?

Sep. t. 24 Jun. 95 Sep. 95 Sep. 95. over Sep. 94 Sep. 95 Qvgr.Jyn. 95

Manufacturing 12 090 7 640 6 860 -43.3 -10.2

Construction sites (manual workers only) 980 3 460 2 550 + 161.3 -26.3

Wholesale,retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels 34 650 20 060 21 950 -36.7 +9.4

Transport, storage and communications 4 540 3 220 • 3 120 -31.4 । >i -3.2 t

Financing, insurance, real estate and business services 12 270 9 160 8 570 -30.2 -6.4

Community, social and personal services 10 570 8 030 7 810 -26.1 -2.7

Table 3 ; Vacancy figures and percentage distribution bv major occupation group

Major occupation group Number of vacancies in September 1995 Percentage distribution (%)

Managers and administrators 1 030 2.0

Professionals 2 810 5.5

Associate professionals 7 280 ': 14.3

Clerks 11 510 22.6

Service workers and shop sales workers 11 800 23.2 u *

Craft and related workers 4 560 9.0

Plant and machine operators and assemblers 4 340 8.5

Elementary occupations 7 640 15.0

End

26

Business Receipts Indices for Service Industries released *****

According to statistics released today (Thursday) by the Census and Statistics Department, business receipts in many service industries showed notable increases in value terms in the third quarter of 1995 over a year earlier. The hotels and banking industries registered the fastest growth, both by 20% in value terms. The storage industry also grew by 19%.

The strong growth in the hotels industry was brought about by an accelerated growth in tourist. arrivals, while the surge in the banking industry was mainly attributable to an increase in net interest income.

The growth in the storage industry was related to a continued rapid increase in imports and re-exports.

Meanwhile, considerable increases in business receipts were also registered in the following service industries: transport (+16%); insurance (+16%); communications (+15%) and import/export (+10%).

On the other hand, business receipts in the financing (except banking) and wholesale industries recorded decreases, by 23% and 5% respectively in value terms. The sharp decrease in the former was in line with the decline in stock exchange turnover in the quarter compared with a year earlier.

Compared with the second quarter of 1995, business receipts in most industries recorded increases of various magnitudes.

Among them, business receipts in the business services and transport industries registered the most rapid increases in value terms, by 11% and 10% respectively.

The storage, retail, import/export, insurance and restaurants industries registered moderate growth, by 8%, 8%, 6%, 6% and 5% respectively in value terms.

Table 1 presents the provisional business receipts indices for service industries for the third quarter of 1995. Revised indices for the second quarter of 1995 are also included. The quarterly average of business receipts in 1992 was taken as 100.

Table 2 shows the time series of quarterly business receipts indices. Annual indices are also included.

27

Statistics on banking are obtained from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority; and those on retail and restaurants businesses are obtained from two existing surveys regularly conducted by the Census and Statistics Department.

The Quarterly Business Receipts Indices for Service Industries, Third Quarter 1995 report is now on sale at S7 per copy at the Government Publications Centre of the Information Services Department, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.

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

Enquiries about the survey results may be directed to the Business Services Statistics Section of the Census and Statistics Department on 2802 1244.

28

Table I ; Business Receipts Indices for Service Industries for 2nd Quarter and 3rd Quarter 1995

(Quarterly average of 1992 » 100) (-AAZ^S^¥^tS» - 100)

Type of Service Industry SBSfT* 2nd Quarter 1995 -AA5^ 3rd Quarter 1995 -AAA^ 3rd Quarter 1995 compared with 2nd Quarter 1995 -AAE^H^W -AA5^-?tt« 3rd Quarter 1995 compared with 3rd Quarter 1994 -AAS^MS^W

(Revised figures) (Provisional figures) Points (Si) % (S#$) Points (&) % (5*30

Wholesale 117.5 122.2 + 4.7 + 4.0 - 7.0 - 5.4

Import / Export 138.8 143.1 + 43 + 3.1 + 12.8 + 9.8

Retail^# 124.0 133.4 # + 9.4 + 7.6 + 4.7 + 3.6

Hotels jg/g 145.3 144.8 - 0.5 - 0.3 + 24.6 + 20.5

Restaurants jX£/2i(2) 110.8 116.6 + 5.8 + 5.2 + 7.0 + 6.4

Transport jj® 141.5 156.1 + 14.7 + 10.4 ♦ 21.9 + 16.3

Storage 127.0 137.1 + 10.1 + 7.9 • + 22.3 + 19.5

Communications 149.6 156.1 + 6.5 + 4.3 + 20.4 + 15.0

Banking $Si=f 0) 138.8 144.1 + 5.3 + 3.8 + 23.6 ♦ 19.5

Financing (except banking) 139.2 122.0 - 17.2 - 12.4 - 35.9 - 22.7

Insurance 160.3 169.2 + 8.9 + 5.5 + 22.8 + 15.6

Business services 123.8 137.3 ♦ 13.5 + 10.9 + 6.5 + 5.0

Notes g ft:

(I) Based on the survey results of the Monthly Survey of Retail Sales

(2) Based on the survey results of the Quarterly Survey of Restaurant Receipts and Purchases

(3) Business receipts data are obtained from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority

(4) Excluding investment and holding companies

# Revised figure


TahteZj.Time Series of Quarterly Busmess.Regdpte Inclines for Service Industries

(Quarterly Average of 1992 * 100)

= 100)

1 Wholesale Import/Export Retail Hotels Restaurants Transport

nt® SIS

Compared wjijj Compared with Compared with Compared with Compared with Compared with

Dcr;eding year/same preceding year/samc preceding year/samc preceding year/samc preceding yea^umc preceding ycar/same

Year Quarter Indices quarter a year ago Indices quarter a year ago Indices quarter a year ago Indices quarter a year ago Indices quarter 4 yC4r ago Indices quarter a year ago

if. Ifitt Ifitt ihtk IHtt W±¥/±$M^tt« Ibtt W Hitt

% y. % y. y. X

1993 106.3 ' ♦ 63 108.8 ♦ 8.8 112.7 ♦ 12.7 112.5 ♦ 12.5 106.1 ♦ 6.1 1118 ♦ 118

1994 121.0 ♦ 13.8 123.7 ♦ 13.6 126.1 ♦ 11.9 • 131.1 ♦ 16.5 110.1 ♦ 3.7 123.1 ♦ 10.1

1993 3 109.5 N.A 118.3 NA. 118.1 N.A 1068 N.A II 1.5 NA. 121.2 N.A.

4 114.5 NA. 115.1 N.A. 120.5 N.A 137.0 N.A. 115.5 N.A 114.7 N.A.

1994 1 108.4 ♦ 10.2 108.0 ♦ 12.0 123 4 ♦ 17.9 121.3 > 199 114 3 ♦ 152 112 2 ♦ 10 4

2 111.6 ♦ 8.5 113.5 ♦ 7.8 119.1 ♦ 10.7 124.1 ♦ |8.0 105.1 ♦ 7.0 Il 1.0 ♦ 1.3

3 129.2 ♦ 17.9 130.4 ♦ 10.2 128 8 ♦ 9.0 120.2 ♦ 12.5 109.6 - J.7 134.2 ♦ 10.7

4 134.8 ♦ 17.7 142.7 ♦ 24.0 1332 ♦ 10.6 1518 ♦ 15.9 111.2 - 3.7 134.9 ♦ 17.6

1995 1 123.9 ♦ 142 „ 128.7 ♦ 19.1 131.8 ♦ 6.8 142.8 ♦ 17.7 116.1 ♦ 1.6 1286 ♦ 14.6

2 117.5 ♦ 53 138.8 ♦ 22.2 124.0 ♦ 4.2 145.3 ♦ 17.1 110.8 ♦ 5.4 141.5 ♦ 27.4

3 • 122.2 - 5.4 143.1 ♦ 9.8 133.4 tf ♦ 16 144.8 ♦ 20.5 116.6 ♦ 6.4 156.1 ♦ 16.3

Year Quarter Storage am Communications Banking Financing (except banking) Insurance Business services

Indices Ifitt Compared with preceding year/samc quarter a year ago Indices Ifitt Compared with preceding year/samc quarter a year ago Wh<F/±.^|«mU2 Indices Hitt Compared with preceding year/samc quarter a year ago Indices Hitt Compared with preceding year/samc quarter a year ago W±<K/±¥PI*tt« Indices Hitt Compared with preceding ycar/same quarter a year ago indices Ihtt Compared with preceding ycar/same quarter a year ago

*

% y. % y. X y.

1993 98.5 - 1.5 118.8 ♦ 18.8 116.6 ♦ 16.6 148.7 ♦ 48.7 119.3 ♦ 19.3 117.3 ♦ 17.3

1994 106.6 ♦ 8.2 136.1 ♦ 14.5 122.5 ♦ 5.1 169.4 ♦ 13.9 146.9 ♦ 23.1 127.4 ♦ 8.7

1993 3 101.0 N.A 121.4 N.A. 121.9 N.A 146.8 N.A 121.7 N.A. 121.2 N.A

4 95.6 NA. 130.9 N.A. 123.5 N.A 221.5 N.A 122.5 N.A. 142.1 N.A

1994 1 95.1 - 9.5 129.5 ♦ 20.6 116.9 ♦ 69 219.6 ♦ 101.0 150.2 ♦ 30.7 125.6 > 33.8

2 106.1 ♦ 14.8 129.4 ♦ 11.9 115.4 ♦ 3.5 145.7 ♦ 24.5 141.9 ♦ 20.3 123.0 ♦ 9.9

3 114.8 ♦ 13.6 135.7 ♦ U.S 120 6 - 1.1 157.9 ♦ 7.6 146.4 ♦ 20.3 130.8 ♦ 7.9

4 110.3 ♦ 153 149.7 ♦ 14.4 137.0 ♦ 10.9 154.3 - 30.3 149.1 ♦ 21.7 130.3 - 8.3

| 1995 1 105.8 ♦ 112 141.9 ♦ 9.6 129 3 ♦ 10.6 J 54.7 - 29.6 169.4 ♦ 128 146.5 ♦ 16.6

2 127.0 ♦ 19.7 149.6 ♦ 15.7 138.8 ♦ 20.4 139.2 - 4.5 160.3 ♦ 12.9 1238 ♦ 0.7

1 3 • 137.1 ♦ 19.5 156.1 ♦ 15.0 144.1 ♦ 19.5 122.0 - 22.7 169.2 ♦ 15.6 137.3 ♦ 5.0

N.A. : Not available •: Provisional figure 8: Revised figure

I

<D

I

30

Information handbook on Basic Law published

*****

To promote public understanding of the Basic Law, the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education (CPCE) has sponsored the publication of an information handbook entitled "Introduction to the Basic Law".

A spokesman for CPCE said today (Thursday) that the handbook, written in Chinese, provided a clear and comprehensive picture of the Basic Law .

Originally compiled and produced by the 1 long Kong Federation of Education Workers in 1990, the handbook, which also contains the full text of the Basic Law, had won the Outstanding Civic Education Projects Award under the Community Participation Scheme organised by CPCE.

"The fourth edition of the handbook has been revised and enlarged to cover more topical issues in its 50 pages.

"It addresses subjects such as the promulgation of the Basie Law; the design of the Special Administration Region's Hag and emblem; the relationship between China and Hong Kong; the basic rights and obligations of local residents; and the political system, economy, social life, external affairs, passports and Immigration controls of the Region," the spokesman said.

Attached to the handbook are 50 relevant questions set to test the readers' knowledge on the Basic Law. The answers arc also provided.

Free copies have been distributed to primary and secondary schools and tertiary education institutions, voluntary agencies and educational bodies in Hong Kong.

They are also available for members of the public at the Civic Education Resource Centre on the second floor, Tung Sun Commercial Centre, 194-200 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong. Enquiries can be made on 2802 0131."

End

31

Weather of December 1995

*****

With generally persistent winter monsoon. December 1995 was generally fine and dry. The monthly mean pressure of 1.022.1 hectopascals was the sixth highest on record for December. The monthly total rainfall amounted to only 7.9 millimetres, 71 per cent below the normal of 27.3 millimetres. The monthly mean relative humidity was only 63 per cent, five per cent below normal and Fire Danger Warnings were issued for 18 days in the month.

It was generally fine and dry for the first three days in December. Temperatures rose to 22.8 degrees on December 3. the highest for the month. Northerly winds prevailed from December 4 to 8 resulting in rather dry and cool weather conditions. An extensive hill fire broke out on Kowloon Peak around noon on December 7. scorching an area of about 6,600 square metres and requiring Government Flying Service helicopters to help put out the fire. Winds turned more easterly on December 9 and it remained fine until December 12.

Easterly winds increased on December 13 and the weather became cloudier. On December 15, an extensive cloud band developed over the south China coast and brought rain to the territory for the first time in the month. Light rain patches continued for the next three days.

A cold front crossed the south China coast late on December 17 and the winter monsoon brought cool, dry and sunny weather. Another surge of the winter monsoon arrived on December 24 and strong northerly winds brought cold and dry air to the territory. Fine and clear weather prevailed for the rest of the month with the persistent winter monsoon. Temperatures at the Royal Observatory dropped to 11.6 degrees, the lowest for the month, on the morning of December 30. Temperatures at Ta Kwu Ling in the next morning were even lower with a minimum of only 1.3 degrees and frost was reported at the Sha Tin Race Course.

There were two tropical cyclones over the western North Pacific and the South China Sea in the month of December. Details of the issuance/hoisting and cancellation/lowering of various warnings/signals in the month are summarised in Table Li. Monthly meteorological figures and departures from normal of December are tabulated in fable 1.2.

32

Table 1.1 Warnings and signals in December 1995 Warnings / Signals Effective date and time

Strong Monsoon Signal 24 Dec 2305 - 25 Dec 0730

Fire Danger Warnings

Yellow

Red

Yellow

Yellow Red

Gas Heater Alerts

2 Dec 0600 - 4 Dec 0600 4 Dec 0600- 10 Dec 0600

10 Dec 0600- 10 Dec 2400

23 Dec 0600 - 24 Dec 0605

24 Dec 0605 - 2 Jan 0600

26 Dec 0630 - 28 Dec 0800

29 Dec 1630- 1 Jan 0830

Table 1.2 Figures and Departures from Normal - December 1995

Total bright sunshine

Mean daily Global Solar Radiation

Total rainfall

Mean cloud amount

Mean relative humidity

Mean daily maximum temperature

Mean air temperature

Mean daily minimum temperature

220.6 hours; 39.1 hours above normal

12.18 MJ/SQM;

0.15 MJ/SQM above normal

7.9 mm: 19.4 mm below normal

34%; 15% below normal

63%; 5% below normal

19.7 degrees Celsius;

0.8 degree Celsius below normal

17.4 degrees Celsius;

0.2 degree Celsius below normal

15.1 degrees Celsius;

0.3 degree Celsius below normal

33

Mean dew point 9.9 degrees Celsius;

1.3 degree Celsius below normal

Total evaporation 86.2 mm; 25.3 mm below normal

Remarks: All measurements were made at the Royal Observatory except sunshine,

solar radiation and evaporation which were recorded at King’s Park.

End

Dongjiang water supply resumed *****

The supply of Dongjiang water to Hong Kong has resumed at 7 am this (Thursday) morning as scheduled, a spokesman for the Water Supplies Department announced.

The system for the supply was shut down in December for annual regular maintenance and the period was extended for 10 days to January 10 to facilitate rectification works by the Guangdong Authority as the intake water level in Dongjiang was lower than normal.

"The Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Water Conservancy has informed us that, in view of the delay in resumption of supply to Hong Kong, they have set up a team of specialists to review the situation and would implement further improvement works in the near future to ensure the smooth operation of the Dongjiang-Shenzhen Water Supply System during the dry season when the water level in Dongjiang is low.

"There is sufficient storage in the very large reservoirs upstream of Dongjiang to provide a back-up source of river flow. There is full confidence that the supply of Dongjiang water to I long Kong will be adequate.

"The agreed quality of Dongjiang water to be supplied to Hong Kong in 1996 is 720 million cubic metres and this will not be affected by the slight postponement of the resumption of supply this month." the spokesman said.

End

34

Court order sought to close tourist guesthouse

*****

The operator of a Tsim Sha Tsui tourist guesthouse was today (Thursday) issued a Notice of Intention to apply for a closure order on the premises for violating conditions of his licence.

A spokesman for Home Affairs Department said the Licensing Authority had ascertained that the premises at Block F, 16th floor. Mirador Mansion, 54 Nathan Road, should be closed so that unauthorised building works erected there could be demolished without endangering the occupiers and the public.

A Notice of Intention notifying the operator of the application for a court closure order was posted on a conspicuous part of the premises.

The spokesman said it was the first time the department gave such a notice to a tourist guesthouse to make the premises meet the building and fire safety standards.

He also stressed that action would continue to be stepped up to ensure all guesthouses meet licensing requirements under the Hotel and Guesthouse Accommodation Ordinance and the building safety standards outlined in the Buildings Ordinance.

It is anticipated that demolition works will commence when the closure order is granted on February 12.

End

Visit permits for ex-China residents in Macau relaxed

*****

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

’’With effect from January' 15, 1996. ex-China residents of Macau who are holders of Macau identity card for two years or longer will be eligible to apply for the two year multiple permits.

35

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

"The arrangement is the final phase of our plan to lower the residential requirement for ex-China residents of Macau for the issue of such permits to two years."

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

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

End

Philatelic collection set for the Year of the Rat *****

The Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) and the World Wide Fund For Nature Hong Kong (WWFHK) today (Thursday) announced the launching of a philatelic collection set to celebrate the Year of the Rat.

The set comprises two editions of first day covers, four postcards and a souvenir pack depicting the Year of the Rat. Distribution will be limited.

The production of the collection set is timed to tie in with the new special stamps of rats to be issued by the Post Office on January 31.

The normal covers and postcards will be on sale from Saturday (January 13) and the special covers and souvenir packs will be available from February 3 at the WWFHK Office, No 1, Tramway Path, Central.

Assistant Director of Agriculture and Fisheries, Mr Frank Lau, praised WWFHK for producing these items. The special first day covers and postcards feature four different rats with information about them.

"They are educational as well as a collector's item," he said.

36

"Rats are traditionally a symbol of industry and prosperity," said WWFHK Executive Director, Mr David Melville.

"Among those featured in the first day covers and postcards are the familiar pet Golden Hamster and the Key Largo Woodrat, which is endangered, as its habitat is being destroyed," he said.

Enquiries on the collection set can be directed to Mr Jansen Lu of WWFHK on 2526 1011 or by fax 2845 2734.

End

Fresh water cut in Yuen Long and Chai Wan * * * ♦ ♦

Fresh water supply to some premises in Yuen Long and Chai Wan will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm on Monday (January 15) to 6 am the following day to facilitate watermains work.

In Yuen Long, all premises along Yuen long On Ning Road, Shan Pui River, Castle Peak Road, Tung Lok Street including Yuen Long Estate, Tai Kiu, Sau Fu Street and Fook Tak Street will be affected.

In Chai Wan, the suspension will affect all premises along Tai Man Street, Hong Man Street, Kut Shing Street,Cheung Lee Street, Lee Chung Street, Ning Foo Street, No 220 and all odd number premises at 1 1 1-333 Chai Wan Road.

End

37

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

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

Opening balance in the account 1,875 0930 + 130

Closing balance in the account 1,965 1000 + 130

Change attributable to : 1100 + 130

Money market activity +90 1200 + 125

LAF today NIL 1500 + 125

1600 +90

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 123.2 *+0.0* 11.1.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.52 2 years 2711 5.60 100.31 5.49

1 month 5.49 3 years 3810 6.15 101.39 5.68

3 months 5.45 5 years 5012 6.38 101.46 6.12

6 months 5.43 7 years 7211 6.82 102.98 6.38

12 months 5.40 5 years M502 7.30 103.98 6.43

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $15,881 million

Closed January 11, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Friday, January 12,1996

Contents Page No.

Residential status issue still being discussed............................ 1

Need for legal reforms is being considered................................ 1

Labour dispute involving imported workers settled......................... 4

Retrenchment of imported Chinese workers.................................. 5

November external trade statistics by country and commodity............... 6

Port Development Strategy Second Review executive summary................ 16

Tuen Mun DB by-election to be held on March 3............................ 17

New WSD regional office in Diamond Hill.................................. 18

Application for HCFCs free quota invited................................. 19

Air Quality Report for December.......................................... 19

Firing practice in January............................................... 23

Temporary fairway diversion in Victoria Harbour.......................... 23

CAS first aid competition 1996 .......................................... 24

Land search.....

Contents

Eage No.

Land search services improved with computerisation..................... 25

Realignment road works for Kwun Tong................................... 26

Tenders invited for electronics turnstile system....................... 26

Tenders invited for sewerage works..................................... 27

Amendments to Tuen Mun roadworks proposed.............................. 28

Extension to Sai Kung Pier proposed.................................... 28

New jetty on Tai Lei Island............................................ 29

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations................... 30

1

Residential status issue still being discussed

*****

In response to press enquiries on a Chinese-language newspaper report about "cut-off date for returning emigrants", a government spokesman today (Friday) stressed that "how Hong Kong people who have emigrated overseas can keep their permanent residence is one of the technical aspects which the Joint Liaison Group (JLG) experts will need to address".

Welcoming the assurance by the Chinese Vice-Premier, Mr Qian Qichen to the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the Rt Hon Malcolm Rifkind that all those who have permanent residence in Hong Kong will be able to retain it after 1997, the spokesman said: "Following the Vice-Premier's unqualified statement, we have been assured that JLG expert talks on this subject will take place soon and hope that rapid conclusions can be reached."

End

Need for legal reforms is being considered

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

Please note that the following press release is embargoed until 9 pm today •

(Friday).

The Solicitor General, Mr Daniel Fung, QC, told an inaugural meeting of the Victoria Junior Chamber this (Friday) evening that no legal system could afford merely to stand still - other common law jurisdictions had carried out reforms and the Hong Kong Government was considering the same need.

"Nowhere does this truism apply more aptly than to Hong Kong at this time of profound constitutional change, the more so especially if we wish to maintain, as we face the onset of the new century, our present position as the leading centre for dispute resolution as well as legal and other services in East Asia and the Western Pacific Basin," he said.

2

"There are many aspects of professional practice that are obsolete or obsolescent and have been abandoned elsewhere; many restrictions on the ways in which legal services may be offered; and many practices that are non-competitive and may not be in the public interest," he explained.

"We need a strong and independent legal profession. But the legal profession exists to serve the community," Mr Fung continued.

"If legal services do not meet the needs of the consumer, or if they are too expensive, or inefficient, the community may lose faith not only in the legal profession but in our legal system itself. That is not a development that any of us would wish to see."

He was pleased that the Consultation Paper on Legal Services issued by the Legal Department in March last year had elicited a lively response from the public.

Feedback from the consultation exercise demonstrated a wide margin of public support for 34 out of the 40 provisional recommendations, and clear public opposition to only one recommendation. Five recommendations resulted in evenly divided views.

Of the 34 recommendations that received clear public support, eight were for no change, five have been implemented by the Bar Association and Law Society, and a further seven could be so implemented in the near future.

This leaves 14 provisional recommendations which have clear public support and which, if they were to be implemented, would require legislation.

Two of these 14 recommendations, on extending the rights of audience of solicitors to the High Court, and on abolition of scale fees for conveyancing work, are strongly opposed by the Bar Association and the Law Society respectively.

i ■ . ■/ J d • r. • ’ • . • . . • ,

Addressing the arguments raised by the Bar Association that giving extended rights of audience to solicitors would undermine the strength and independence of the Bar, Mr Fung emphasised the Administration's full support for a strong and independent Bar. .........> i.

-

"We must, however, bear in the mind that strong and independent Bars exist in other common law jurisdictions where solicitors have full rights of audience.

"The Bar exists because there is a market need for the services of consultants who specialise in courtroom advocacy. Its existence is not - and cannot be made -dependent on any restrictive practice precluding competition," he said.

3

He did not believe entrants to the legal profession would be dissuaded from joining the Bar if they could acquire extended rights of audience as solicitors.

"The Bar offers the opportunity to undertake consultancy work on a referral basis and the freedom to run your own practice as you wish, whereas a person who joins a solicitor's firm would only be able to do the work assigned to him by the firm's partners.

"A barrister acquires unlimited rights of audience after completing a year's training known as pupillage, whereas a solicitor would need to have at least five years' experience, including traineeship, before he or she becomes eligible even to apply for such rights,” he said.

As to the doubts cast by the Bar Association on the cost-effectiveness of solicitors' advocacy services, Mr Fung said the answer had to be that in certain cases, they would be; in other cases, no.

"This is what competition and a free market is all about,” he said.

On abolition of the system of scale fees for conveyancing work, Mr Fung pointed out that there were a number of advantages but also significant disadvantages in the system.

"In particular, the absence of price competition means that solicitors have no incentive to be cost-efficient. Moreover, the fees charged in particular cases may not properly reflect the work done or the time taken to do it," he said.

The Law Society had argued that abolition of scale fees would lead to an unseemly and debilitating price-war, resulting in a reduction in the quality of conveyancing work, and pointed to the experience in England where claims of negligent conveyancing work have increased in recent years.

Mr Fung responded: "The quality of conveyancing work is a matter of professional standards.

"Lawyers in Hong Kong are given a monopoly over conveyancing work on the basis that they have the necessary professional competence and standards, and a professional body to discipline those who fail to meet those standards.

"How can those lawyers than say that consumers must pay artificially fixed fees in order to be assured of quality work?"

4

With regard to the experience in England, Mr Fung noted that no link had been established between the abolition of scale fees in 1973 and the recent increase in negligence claims, nor was there any move to restore scale fees there.

"The English Law Society is now consulting its members on a suggestion that there should be non-mandatory guidelines as to minimum fees, and that any solicitor charging less than these should cease to be covered by the collective indemnity scheme.

’’Not only is this not a proposal to restore scale fees, but a senior English judge, who is required to approve any such scheme, has warned that it may be unlawful or contrary to public policy,” he said.

"One thing is crystal clear: no new arguments have emerged whether from the legal profession or, indeed, from any quarter.

"The debate on these issues has been simmering, in some cases, for several years. Everyone has had more than ample opportunity to make his or her views known.

। • •, t. •• ■ • ■ • ■ ■

"There is clear public support for most of the recommendations we have made and the Government would rightly stand accused of shirking its moral responsibility owed to the community if it should fail to take them forward," said Mr Fung.

End

l'■ ' .. xjVCr., .? • •

Labour dispute involving imported workers settled ♦ * * * *

- - ' . .j

The labour dispute involving 239 imported workers from China, their employer, the Success Civil and Foundation Company Limited and the principal contractor, the BCJ Joint Venture, was satisfactorily settled after a seven-hour conciliation meeting chaired by the Chief Labour Officer (Labour Relations), Mr Tsang Kin-woo, at the Labour Department Headquarters today (Friday).

, . • . I . . • •

During the meeting which concluded at about 5.30 pm, a settlement agreement was reached under which each imported worker affected by the retrenchment would be provided with an ex-gratia payment of $5,000.

5

The imported workers affected by the retrenchment will collect the ex-gratia payment together with all other statutory benefits under the Employment Ordinance at the Airport Authority office at Lok On Pai, Tuen Mun, at 9.30 am tomorrow (Saturday).

The workers were made redundant because the works contract of Success Civil and Foundation Company Limited had been terminated by BCJ Joint Venture in November 1995.

End

Retrenchment of imported Chinese workers ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government today (Friday) confirmed that four sub-contractors for the West Kowloon Expressway's southern section have this afternoon terminated the employment of 72 imported Chinese workers.

The Labour Department is providing conciliation services and is holding a meeting with workers' representatives and the four sub-contractors at the site.

A government spokesman said the principal contractor, Aoki Corporation, had indicated that the workers were being retrenched because the works carried out by these four sub-contractors had been substantially completed.

The four sub-contractors are Hop Shing Transport and Construction Co, Wing Kee Construction Engineering Co, Fender Construction Co and Albert Tse Engineering Survey Ltd.

Under the Employment Ordinance, employers may terminate the employment contract of their employees by giving the required notice or payment in lieu of notice, and all sums due to an employee such as wages for work done, overtime pay, statutory holiday pay, pro-rata annual leave pay and where appropriate, travel costs and so on.

Under the normal rules of the labour importation scheme, the imported workers will have to return to China, their country of origin. In doing so, the contractor and the Labour Department are taking steps to ensure that the workers are paid in full compliance with the laws of Hong Kong and the terms of their employment contracts.

t

End

6

November external trade statistics by country and commodity *****

The Census and Statistics Department today (Friday) released detailed statistics on external trade with breakdown by country/territory and commodity for November 1995.

The value of re-exports continued to increase, by 8.1% over a year earlier to $93.8 billion in November 1995.

Comparing November 1995 with November 1994, the value of re-exports to most of the main destinations showed increases of various magnitudes: the Netherlands (+34%), the United Kingdom (+25%), France (+24%), Japan (+22%), South Korea (+14%), Singapore (+11%), China (+9.3%), Taiwan (+8.5%) and Germany (+8.3%).

However, the value of re-exports to the United States decreased slightly, by 2.4%.

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

The value of re-exports in the first eleven months of 1995 was $1,017.3 billion, 17% higher than that in the same period in 1994.

Comparing the first 11 months of 1995 with the same period in 1994, the value of re-exports to all main destinations showed increases of various magnitudes: Singapore (+29%), France (+28%), Japan (+27%), Taiwan (+25%), the Netherlands (+24%), China (+18%), the United Kingdom (+18%), South Korea (+16%), the United States (+11%) and Germany (+9.7%).

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

Comparing the first 11 months of 1995 with the same period in 1994, increases of various magnitudes were recorded in the value of re-exports of most principal commodity divisions.

7

More notable increases were registered for electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $28.5 billion or 38%); telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $19.7 billion or 22%); office machines and automatic data processing machines, (by $18.6 billion or 57%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of baby carriages, toys, games and sporting goods (by $18.1 billion or 16%); textiles (by $10.4 billion or 14%); and plastics in primary forms (by $8.8 billion or 47%).

Over the same period, re-exports of clothing fell by $1.5 billion, representing a decrease of 1.7% over a year earlier.

The value of domestic exports in November 1995. at $18.8 billion, decreased by 7.9% over a year earlier. This was partly due to a relatively high base of comparison in November last year, when domestic exports showed an increase of 6.8%.

Comparing November 1995 with November 1994. the value of domestic exports to most main destinations showed decreases of various magnitudes: the Netherlands (-16%), Germany (-14%), France (-13%), the United States (-12%), Singapore (-10%). China (-7.8%). Canada (-4.9%). Japan (-3.3%) and the United Kingdom (-2.9%).

However, the value of domestic exports to Taiwan increased substantially, by 22%.

Changes in the value of domestic exports to 10 main destinations arc shown in Table 3.

Comparing the first 11 months of 1995 with the same period in 1994. the value of domestic exports to most main destinations showed increases of various magnitudes: Taiwan (+31%). France (+16%). Japan (+15%), the Netherlands (+9%), the United Kingdom (+7.3%), Canada (+6%), China (+3.8%), Singapore (+0.6%) and the United States (+0.2%).

I lowevcr, the value of domestic exports to Germany decreased by 5%.

Taking all destinations together, the value of domestic exports in the first 11 months of 1995, at $211.5 billion, increased by 4.7% over the same period in 1994.

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

8

Comparing the first 11 months of 1995 with the same period in 1994, increases in the value of domestic exports were registered for electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $6.1 billion or 27%); clothing (by $1.2 billion or 1.9%); photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies, optical goods, watches and clocks (by $1 billion or 6.8%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of jewellery, goldsmiths' and silversmiths' wares (by $558 million or 3.1%); and plastics in primary form (by $527 million or 15%).

Over the same period, decreases in the value of domestic exports were recorded for telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $941 million or 8.8%); and textiles (by $865 million or 6.3%). The value of imports continued to increase, by 6.7% over a year earlier to $124.9 billion in November 1995.

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

Comparing November 1995 with November 1994, increases were recorded in the value of imports from France (+76%), Malaysia (+41%), Singapore (+21%), the United States (+20%), South Korea (+6.8%), China (+5.7%) and Taiwan (+4.8%). However, the value of imports from Germany, the United Kingdom and Japan decreased by 16%, 12% and 2.7% respectively.

Comparing the first 1 I months of 1995 with the same period in 1994, the value of imports from all main suppliers showed increases of various magnitudes: France (+84%). Malaysia (+44%). the United States (+29%), South Korea (+28%), Singapore (+27%), Taiwan (+21%), the United Kingdom (+20%), China (+15%), Japan (+14%) and Germany (+12%).

I he value of imports in the first eleven months ol 1995, al $1,363.5 billion, increased by 20% over the same period in 1994.

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

Comparing the first 1 1 months of 1995 with the same period in 1994, increases were recorded in the value of imports of most principal commodity divisions.

9

More notable increases were registered for electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $44.9 billion or 36%); telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $23.6 billion or 21%); office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $18.6 billion or 43%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of baby carriages, toys, games and sporting goods (by $13.1 billion or 16%); textiles (by $12.2 billion or 11%); and photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies, optical goods, watches and clocks (by $8.4 billion or 17%).

Over the same period, a decrease in the value of imports was recorded for road vehicles (by $5.1 billion or 11%).

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 November 1995 will be released in early February.

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

The November 1995 issue of the Hong Kong External Trade with detailed analyses on the performance of Hong Kong's external trade in November 1995 will be on sale at $122 per copy around January 23.

The report can be purchased at either the Government Publications Centre, ground floor. Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong, or the Publications Unit of the Census and Statistics Department. 19th Floor. Wanchai Tower, 12 1 larbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Enquiries regarding regular subscription to this report may be directed to the Publications (Sales) Office, 28th Floor, Siu On Centre, 188 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, Tel 2598 8194. and enquiries on trade statistics to the Census and Statistics Department, Tel 2582 4915.

10

TABLE 1 : RE-EXPORTS TO TEN MAIN DESTINATIONS

DESTINATION NOV 1995 (HKD Mn.) NOV 95 OVER NOV 94 (% CHANGE) JAN-NOV 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN-NOV 95 OVER JAN-NOV 94 (% CHANGE)

CHINA 32,375 * 9.3 348,463 + 18.4

UNITED STATES 17,348 - 2.4 214,368 ♦ 10.5

JAPAN 6,864 + 22.4 63,815. + 27.5

GERMANY 4,103 + 8.3 41,404 + 9.7

UNITED KINGDOM 3,099 + 24.9 29,528 ♦ 18.3

TAIWAN 2,455 + 8.5 25,408 ♦ 24.6

SINGAPORE 2,348 + 11.2 23,779 + 28.8

SOUTH KOREA 1,637 + 13.7 17,587- + 16.3

FRANCE 1,440 + 24.4 15,836 + 28.4

NETHERLANDS 1,526 + 33.5 15,156 + 24.4

11

TABLE 2 : RE-EXPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION NOV 1995 (HKD Mn.) NOV 95 OVER NOV 94 . (% CHANGE) JAN-NOV 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN-NOV 95 OVER JAN-NOV 94 (% CHANGE)

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY BABY CARRIAGES, TOYS, GAMES AND SPORTING GOODS) 11,777 + 8.8 131,878 + 16.0

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 10,096 + 5.4 109,569 + 21.9

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 9,831 + 10.8 104,484 + 37.6

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 7,348 - 4.7 85,373 + 13.9

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 7,269 + 0.3 83,418 1.7

FOOTWEAR 4,628 + 10.4 54,954 + 12.7

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 5,359 + 38.7 51,555 + 56.6

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 4,882 + 4.7 46,007 + 21.1

TRAVEL GOODS, HANDBAGS AND SIMILAR CONTAINERS 2,584 + 2.4 32,198 + 14.1

PLASTICS IN PRIMARY FORMS 2,557 + 26.4 27,735 + 46.7

12

TABLE 3 : DOMESTIC EXPORTS TO TEN MAIN DESTINATIONS

DESTINATION NOV 1995 (HKD Mn.) NOV 95 OVER NOV 94 (% CHANGE) JAN-NOV 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN-NOV 95 OVER JAN-NOV 94 (% CHANGE)

CHINA 5,142 - 7.8 58,281 + 3.8

UNITED STATES 4,846 - 12.1 55,943 + 0.2

SINGAPORE 1,007 - 10.0 11,255 + 0.6

JAPAN 1,013 - 3.3 10,899 + 15.3

GERMANY 1,030 - 14.2 10,859 - 5.0

UNITED KINGDOM 932 - 2.9 9,862 + 7.3

TAIWAN 718 + 21.8 7,345 + 31.5

NETHERLANDS 349 - 16.3 4,557. + 9.0

CANADA 302 - 4.9 3,937 + 6.0

FRANCE 263 - 12.7 2,871 + 15.6

13

TABLE 4 : DOMESTIC EXPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION NOV 1995 (HKD Mn.) NOV 95 OVER . NOV 94 (% CHANGE) JAN-NOV 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN-NOV 95 OVER JAN-NOV 94 (% CHANGE)

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 5,687 - 8.9 66,690 ♦ 1.9

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 2,794 ♦ 20.9 28,835 + 27.1

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY JEWELLERY, GOLDSMITHS' AND SILVERSMITHS' WARES) 1,741 - 2.0 18,391 + 3.1

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 1,352 - 29.4 16,507 + 3.0

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 1,626 - 14.5 15,664 + 6.8

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 1,175 - 14.2 12,958 - 6.3

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 748 - 26.0 9,800 - 8.8

MANUFACTURES OF METALS 374 - 1.1 ’ 4,235 - -0.4

PLASTICS IN PRIMARY FORMS 357 - 5.2 4,150 + 14.6

PAPER, PAPERBOARD, AND ARTICLES OF PAPER PULP, OF PAPER OR OF PAPERBOARD 229 - 13.4 2,717 + 1.1

14

TABLE 5 : IMPORTS FROM TEN MAIN SUPPLIERS

SUPPLIER NOV 1995 (HKD Mn.) NOV 95 OVER NOV 94 (% CHANGE) JAN-NOV 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN-NOV 95 OVER JAN-NOV 94 (% CHANGE)

CHINA 45,296 + 5.7 494,316 + 15.3

JAPAN 17,116 - 2.7 202,664 + 13.9

TAIWAN 10,959 + 4.8 118,287 + 21.4

UNITED STATES 10,012 + 20.2 105,028 + 28.7

SINGAPORE 7,139 + 21.3 71,680 + 27.5

SOUTH KOREA 5,907 + 6.8 67,352 + 28.1

GERMANY 2,422 - 15.6 29,229 + 12.1

UNITED KINGDOM 2,622 - 11.6 27,768. + 20.3

MALAYSIA 2,575 + 40.7 26,149 + 44.1

FRANCE 2,445 + 76.4 25,548 + 84.0

15

TABLE 6 : IMPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION NOV 1995 (HKD Mn.) NOV 95 OVER NOV 94 (% CHANGE) JAN-NOV 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN-NOV 95 OVER JAN-NOV 94 (% CHANGE)

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 15,622 + 10.9 170,240 + 35.8

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 11,757 + 5.7 133,366 + 21.5

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 10,508 - 1.1 120,037 + 11.3

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY BABY CARRIAGES, TOYS, GAMES AND SPORTING GOODS) 9,001 + 12.2 96,386 + 15.7

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 7,989 - 0.8 89,408 + 1.6

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 6,083 + 23.7 61,972 + 42.9

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 5,487 - 8.5 57,640 + 17.0

FOOTWEAR 4,159 + 8.6 48,025 + 11.9

ROAD VEHICLES 3,727 - 19.9 42,437 - 10.8

NON-METALLIC MINERAL MANUFACTURES 3,704 - 0.9 40,569 + 10.8

End

16

Port Development Strategy Second Review executive summary

*****

The Executive Summary of the Port Development Strategy Second Review has been published.

The bilingual document contains a summary of the findings of the review and a revised strategy for port development.

A spokesman for the Planning Department said today (Friday) that the Second Review was undertaken by the Planning Department in collaboration with the Port Development Board since April 1993.

"The review, completed in June last year, provides an update of the First Review completed in March 1992 and identifies the revised elements of the Port Development Strategy for incorporation into the Port Development Plan and Programme," he said.

In the Second Review, the demand for different types of port facilities and ancillary facilities such as typhoon shelters and ship repair facilities have been assessed based on the Port Cargo Forecasts. The result is then used as an input to the review of the Port Development Strategy.

The Second Review also includes an assessment of possible solution spaces against a set of evaluation criteria including site location, cost and programme.

"The end result of the review is a recommended 'Plan of Action’ for port development up to the year 2011, covering aspects including container terminals, buoys and anchorage areas, cargo working areas, river trade terminals, typhoon shelters, ship repair facilities and essential port services," the spokesman added.

Copies of the executive summary are available for sale at $24 per copy at the Government Publications Centre, ground floor. Low Block. Queensway Government Offices. 66 Queensway. 1 long Kong.

It is also available for public inspection at the Planning Department's Planning Information and Technical Administration Unit, 16th floor. Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong.

End

17

Tuen Mun DB by-election to be held on March 3 *****

A by-election to fill a seat of the Tin King constituency of the Tuen Mun District Board will be held on Sunday, March 3, a spokesman for the Registration and Electoral Office (REO) said today (Friday).

The office of the board member of the Tin King constituency was declared vacant in a gazette notice published today following the resignation of Mr Li Man-kwong with effect from January 1, 1996.

Nomination period for the by-election will be from January 19 to February 1. Nomination forms are available at the Tuen Mun District Office, second floor, Tuen Mun Government Offices, 1 Tuen Hi Road, Tuen Mun and REO, 10th floor, Harbour Centre, 25 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.

To qualify for nomination, a candidate must satisfy the relevant provisions laid down under the law. He must be aged 21 or over, be a registered elector and has ordinarily resided in Hong Kong for the three years immediately preceding nomination. Each nomination must be subscribed by at least 10 registered electors of the constituency.

The Tin King constituency, comprising mainly Tin King Estate, Siu Pong Court and Siu Kwai Court, has an electorate of 8,387.

Poll will be held unless the seat is uncontestcd.

Meanwhile, a by-election to fill a seat in Siu Hei constituency of Tuen Mun District Board is scheduled for March 24, with the nomination period scheduled between February 9 and 23.

The seat will fall vacant when the resignation of Mr Ng Wai-cho, member of the office, becomes effective on February 1.

A notice of vacation of office will be published in the Government Gazette in due course.

Enquiries may be made to REO on 2827 1122.

End

18

New WSD regional office in Diamond Hill ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Water Supplies Department (WSD) has opened its first regional office for Kowloon and the New Territories to provide better services to its customers.

The new Mainland South East Regional Office, located at 180 Po Kong Village Road, Diamond Hill, is easily accessible from either the Wong Tai Sin or Choi Hung Mass Transit Railway stations.

Speaking at today's (Friday) opening ceremony, the Director of Water Supplies, Mr Hu Man-shiu, said the new office marked a significant milestone achieved by WSD in physically regionalising its offices in order to provide a more efficient service to its customers.

"The new office, which already started operating since December 15, will also help relieve the overcrowding condition of our Mong Kok office," he said.

With a total area of 8,200 square metres, the new Mainland South East Regional Office is responsible for the daily operation and maintenance of the water supply systems and to provide technical services to customers in Wong Tai Sin, Kwun Tong, Tseung Kwan O and Sai Kung.

However, all technical faults complaints such as watermain burst, leaks or weak water supply pressure should continue to be directed to the Technical Complaint Centre at 128, Sai Yee Street. Mong Kok, using the 24-hour hotline 2396 0210 and the faxline 2396 5731.

End

19

Application for HCFCs free quota invited *****

The Gazette today (Friday) published a notice inviting applications for free quotas for the retained imports of 34 types of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) for this year.

"To protect the ozone layer, the Environmental Protection Department is implementing a quota system to control local consumption of 1 -ICFCs in accordance with the latest requirements of the Montreal Protocol," Senior Environmental Protection Officer, Mr Lai Ping-nam said.

"According to the Protocol, Hong Kong's consumption of HCFCs in 1996 should be no more than 2,706 tonnes of HCFC-22 or equivalent.

"This quantity should be sufficient for Hong Kong's market for the moment and the target is to phase out the import for local consumption of HCFCs by the year 2030," said Mr Lai.

Current importers with proven records of retained imports of HCFCs have been allocated with normal quotas earlier. Any new traders or people who want to import HCFCs directly from overseas can apply for the quota.

Applications should be submitted in person by 5 pm on February 9 to EPD's Air Management Group, 33rd Floor, Revenue l ower, 5 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai. Late applications will not be accepted.

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

End

Air Quality Report for December

♦ * * * ♦

The Environmental Protection Department today (Friday) released air quality information for December 1995.

The purpose of the announcement is to keep the public informed of the air quality levels in the territory and to explain the measurements.

20

The announcement contains monitoring results from Mong Kok. Central/Western and Kwai Chung, which represent three important land use types in the territory:

* locations close to road traffic in built-up urban areas,

* combined commercial and residential districts, and

* districts close to industrial areas.

The reported air pollutants include sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), total suspended particulates (TSP) which comprise all sizes of dust particles, and the respirable fraction of the dust (RSP). All these pollutants can affect respiratory health in sufficient concentration.

In December, there were no exceedances of the 24-hour Air Quality Objective (AQO) values at any of the three sites and, as usual, Mong Kok station recorded the highest concentrations.

The gases and particles described originated from various sources. SO2 is mostly produced when fuels that contain sulphur are burned. NO2 is formed during combustion by the combination of nitrogen and oxygen, and by the atmospheric oxidation of nitric oxide (NO), also a product of combustion.

Vehicle exhaust is an important source of NO and NO2 in terms of impact on local air quality. It is also a major source of airborne particulate matter, especially the smaller respirable particles.

Diesel-engined vehicles such as taxis, public light buses, passenger coaches, franchised buses and light and heavy goods vehicles arc 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 lowering the levels is to reduce emissions from the man-made sources.


HONG KONG AIR QUALITY REPORT FOR DEC. 1995

Daily Concentrations (fig/m 3)


DEC.1985 1 2 3 4 6 6 7 8 8 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

CW SO, 18 21 24 30 31 27 25 26 26 12 27 34 18 21 9 13 13 16 23 21 25 29 21 26 24 23 21 22 25 37

NO, 7A 84 76 84 82 71 80 90 90 54 105 104 82 58 67 50 59 73 79 74 80 93 73 70 71 84 76 76 84 112

TSP 145 116 134 165

RSP 95 86 84 105

Monthly Averages


DEC.1995 DEC.1934

23 17

79 49

140 78

93 50

MAX MIN

37 9

112 50

165 116

105 84

KC SO, NO, TSP RSP 7 12 13 18 21 21 19 23 18 6 30 30 22 19 5 7 7 9 24 12 9 29 24 15 22 16 15 18 19 23 25 38 51 46 50 50 49 46 59 60 32 85 72 67 67 30 40 37 38 63 54 41 76 73 37 45 40 54 50 52 70 80 121 126 100 97 120 68 75 77 62 88 17 53 113 78 15 44 63 39 5 30 97 62

MK SO, NO, TSP RSP 19 22 22 29 36 35 28 16 28 42 24 25 13 16 14 22 36 24 26 27 35 23 31 32 33 33 36 40 53 102 117 95 99 100 104 110 90 105 122 104 92 68 83 64 61 95 72 91 95 113 104 99 110 109 123 113 189 171 150 182 181 106 87 101 81 100 S S § 2 48 84 141 58 53 123 181 106 13 61 150 81

Percentage of Air Quality Objective (AQO)


DEC. 1995 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 IS 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 23 26 27 28 29 30 31

CW SO, 5 6 7 9 9 8 7 7 7 3 8 10 5 6 3 4 4 5 7 6 7 8 6 7 7 7 6 6 7 11

NOj 49 56 51 56 55 47 53 60 60 36 70 69 55 39 45 33 39 49 53 49 53 62 49 47 47 56 51 51 56 75

TSP 56 45 52 63

RSP 53 48 47 58

KC SO, 2 3 4 5 6 6 5 7 5 2 9 9 6 5 1 2 2 3 7 3 3 8 7 4 6 5 4 5 5 7 7

NO: 24 34 31 33 33 33 31 39 40 21 57 48 45 45 20 27 25 25 42 36 27 51 49 25 30 27 36 33 35 47 53

TSP 47 48 38 37 46

RSP 49 42 43 34 49

MK SO, 5 6 6 8 10 10 8 5 8 12 7 7 4 5 4 6 10 7 7 8 10 7 9 9 9 9 10 11 15

NO, 68 78 63 66 67 69 73 60 70 81 69 61 44 55 43 41 63 48 61 63 75 69 66 73 73 82 75

TSP 65 66 58 62 70

RSP 59 48 56 45 56

Notes: Air Quality Objectives (24-Houn) for SO,: 350 jg/tn1

NO,: 150 /ig/m*

TSP: 260 Ag/n?

RSP: 180,a/mJ

Legend: CW: CentralAVestem SO,: Sulphur Dioxide

KC: Kwai Chung NO,: Nitrogen Dioxide

MK: Mong Kok TSP: Total Suspended Particulates

RSP: Respirable Suspended Particulates

MAX MIN

11 3

75 33

63 45

58 47

9 1

57 20

48 37

49 34

15 4

82 41

70 58

59 45

22

-"'k/hj'&fy "t ~ & T IS a ® vt

Cjn GRAPHICAL PRESENTATION OF rl< 24-HOURS AIR QUALITY DATA FOR DEC.1995

End

> 80

MONG KOK

120 ।--------------------—

i !«tsp|

V 100 r jaRSPl

3 I------'

2 8 14 20 26

23

Firing practice in January

*****

Firing practice will take place at the Ha Tsuen/Castle Peak Range on some days this month (January). The public is advised not to enter the area when red flags are hoisted.

Following are the dates and times for the firing practice:

Date

Time

End

January 18 (Thursday) January 22 (Monday) January 24 (Wednesday) January 25 (Thursday) January 26 (Friday)

8.30 am - 5 pm

8.30 am - 5 pm

8.30 am - 5 pm

8.30 am - 11 pm

8.30 am - 5 pm

Temporary fairway diversion in Victoria Harbour

*****

The Marine Department announced today (Friday) the Central. Southern and Yau Ma Tei Fairways in Victoria Harbour will be re-aligned on Tuesday (January 16) to facilitate the marine works of the Western Harbour Crossing and Airport Railway Tunnel.

Four related buoys will also be relocated.

The department expected that the temporary arrangements would last about 12 months.

Notices to Mariners No 4 (T) of 1996 and No 5 (T) of 1996 contain full details of the special marine traffic arrangements. Free copies of the notices can be obtained from the Victoria Marine Office, third floor, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Hong Kong.

24

The department reminded all vessels navigating in the vicinity should proceed with extreme caution and should not enter the works areas.

A spokesman for the department said: “Masters, coxswains and persons-in-charge of vessels navigating in the waters should bear in mind that the width of the narrowest portion of the Central Fairway, after the re-alignment, will be reduced from 380 metres to 300 metres and that dense traffic prevails in the area."

End

CAS first aid competition 1996

* ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Civil Aid Services (CAS) will hold an Inter-Unit First Aid and Casualty Handling Competition on Sunday (January 14) with an aim to improve and promote the first aid and casualty handling standards of CAS personnel.

Nearly 120 members of CAS from the Adult Units and Cadet Corps will participate in the contest in 17 teams, each comprising one officer and six members.

The competition consists of three parts including a written test, a practical test and a team practical performance.

The performance of the participants will be judged by a board of nine adjudicators from the Auxiliary Medical Services and CAS.

Results will be announced at around 1 pm. CAS Deputy Commissioner (Administration), Mr Mok Yiu-kwong, will present prizes and souvenirs to the winners, judges and competing teams.

The competition will be held from 9.15 am to 1.30 pm at CAS Kowloon Training Centre, 204 Argyle Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon.

End

25

Land search services improved with computerisation *****

The Land Registry has passed the half-way mark of its programme to computerise all land registers in the New Territories Land Registries.

Announcing this today (Friday), the Land Registrar, Mr Kenneth Pang, said over 50 per cent of the New Territories land registers had been computerised and the rest would be completed in about 15 months' time.

The Islands New Territories Land Registry now offers a fully computerised land register search service as all registers for the outlying islands have been fully computerised.

In other regional New Territories Land Registries, computer search services are also available in computerised land registers within the region.

"Customers will no longer have to make land search through the old and bulky register books, but will be able to obtain their required information on a neat and tidy computer print-out very quickly," said Mr Pang.

Mr Pang also announced that from Monday (January 15), the Land Registry's automated on-line search facility - the Direct Access Services (DAS) - would be expanded to cover all the eight New Territories Land Registries as well as the Urban Land Registry. •

"The facility enables customers to conduct land searches from computer terminals at their own offices without having to call personally at the Land Registry.

"Subscribers can make on-line search of any computerised land registers and place remote orders for copies of the required land records without calling at the Registry's offices in person," he added.

Mr Pang said the Land Registry would continue to press on with its efficiency improvement projects and to further upgrade its services.

"With the completion of the computerisation project next year, DAS users will have all land registers and land records at their fingertips.

"Customers calling at the Land Registry counters will also be able to search any land registers in the territory without having to go to the district concerned," he said.

End

26

Realignment road works for Kwun Tong *****

A section of Lei Yue Mun Road and Ko Chiu Road will be realigned to improve the future traffic movement in the area.

The proposed realigned section of Lei Yue Mun Road is about 300-metre long and consists of a 16.5-metre wide four-lanes two-way carriageway with 3.5-metre wide footpaths on both sides.

The realigned Ko Chiu Road is a two-lane two-way carriageway about 250-metre in length, 10-metre in width with 2.8-metre wide footpath on both sides.

The above changes will provide a better road alignment and junction layout arrangement.

A notice for the proposed realignment works has been published in the latest Government Gazette.

The proposed road works are scheduled to commence in late 1996.

End

Tenders invited for electronics turnstile system

*****

The Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) is inviting tenders for the supply and installation of an electronic turnstile system for the Urban Council's Siu Sai Wan Sports Ground.

The system consists of 16 electronically controlled turnstiles, a control computer with printer, an uninterruptible power supply system and other auxiliary accessories.

The number of patrons passing through each turnstile will be counted by the control computer and the result displayed on the monitor of the control computer in the control office of the sports ground. A notice of the tender invitation was gazetted today (Friday).

27

Tender forms and further particulars may be obtained from the Contract Section of EMSD, Room 811, eighth floor, 98 Caroline Hill Road, Causeway Bay.

Tenders should be placed in the Public Works Tender Box at the lift lobby on 34th floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, before noon on February 9.

End

Tenders invited for sewerage works *****

The Drainage Services Department is inviting tenders for drainage maintenance and construction works on Hong Kong Island and the Islands district.

The works include the maintenance and improvement of the existing public sewerage and stormwater drainage systems as well as construction of minor sewers and drains. •

The contract is scheduled to start in March for completion in two years' time.

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

Tender forms and further particulars may be obtained from the office of the Chief Engineer, Hong Kong and Islands Division, Drainage Services Department, 42nd floor. Revenue Tower, 5 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai.

The tender closing date is noon on February 2.

End

28

Amendments to Tuen Mun roadworks proposed *****

The Territory Development Department has proposed amendments to the original roadworks plan for Area 52, Tuen Mun.

The original plan, which involves the construction of a footbridge and two roads to serve the proposed development in the area, was gazetted on March 24 last year under the Roads (Works, Use and Compensation) Ordinance.

The proposed amendments include changing the alignment of a section of the two roads and the layout of footway and cycleway. Details of which can be seen from a notice published in today's (Friday) Government Gazette.

The plan and the amendment scheme can be viewed at the Public Enquiry Service Centre of the Central and Western District Office; Tuen Mun District Lands Office, and Tuen Mun District Office.

Anyone wishing to object to the proposed amendments should write to the Secretary for Transport, Central Government Offices, East Wing, second floor. Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong, no later than March 12, 1996.

End

Extension to Sai Kung Pier proposed *****

The Government intends to construct an extension to the existing Sai Kung Public Pier within an area of about 27,220 square metres of foreshore and sea-bed to provide berthing facilities for public use.

At the same time, a landing platform will be built 50 metres to the north of the existing Sai Kung public pier for ferry service to the Kau Sai Chau Public Golf Centre in Sai Kung. Additional landing steps will be provided on both sides of the public pier for public use.

Works for both projects will commence this month for completion in April 1996.

The extent of the areas affected is contained in two notices in the Government Gazette published today (Friday).

Any person who considers that his interest, right or easement in or over the foreshore and seabed involved will be injuriously affected may submit to the Director of Lands a written claim for compensation on or before January 12, 1997. The submission should state the sum of money he is willing to accept in full and final settlement of his claim together with particulars to substantiate the claim.

Notices for both projects (in both English and Chinese) together with related plans can be seen at the Lands Department Survey and Mapping Office, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong (where copies can be purchased on order) and at the Sai Kung District Office, second floor, Sai Kung Government Offices, 34 Chan Man Street, Sai Kung, New Territories.

End

New jetty on Tai Lei Island *****

The Government intends to carry out works at Tai Lei Island to provide berthing facilities and marine access for the Peng Chau Refuse Transfer Station of the Outlying Islands Refuse Transfer Facilities.

Works will involve the construction of a new jetty and a mooring dolphin, protective works for submarine cables and dredging the foreshore and sea-bed within an area of about 7,990 square metres to the north of Tai Lei Island.

The works will commence in mid-1996 for completion in mid-1997.

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

Any person who considers that his interest, right or easement in or over the foreshore and seabed involved will be injuriously affected should submit a written claim for compensation to the Director of Lands on or before January 12, 1997.

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

30

The notice (in both English and Chinese) together with a related plan can be seen at the Lands Department, Survey and Mapping Office, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong (where copies can be purchased on order) and at the Islands District Office, 20th floor, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central, Hong Kong.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,965 0930 +40

Closing balance in the account 2,047 1000 +40

Change attributable to : 1100 +40

Money market activity +52 1200 +53

LAF today +30 1500 +3

1600 +52

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 123.3 *+0.1* 12.1.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.48 2 years 2711 5.60 100.38 5.45

1 month 5.45 3 years 3810, 6.15 101.52 5.63

3 months 5.42 5 years 5012' 6.38 101.80 6.04

6 months 5.40 7 years 7211 6.82 103.42 6.30

12 months 5.37 5 years M502 7.30 104.34 6.34

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $15,258 million

Closed January 12, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Saturday, January 13,1996

Contents Page No.

Informal Get Together between Senior Hong Kong Civil Servants and Officials of the Chinese Side............................................. 1

Visual arts representative selection details worked out................... 1

Salt water cut in Tai Po.................................................. 2

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

Sunday, January 14,1996

Contents Page No,

The Governor's "Letter to Hong Kong"...................................... 4

Entries to awards for industry competition invited...................

Carnival enhances teenagers' awareness of drug pitfalls................... 9

Students show winning potted vegetables.................................. 10

Deadline for nomination for drugs education courses...................... 10

Fresh water cut in Mong Kok.......................................... 11

Informal Get Together between Senior Hong Kong Civil Servants and Officials of the Chinese Side ♦ * ♦ * *

Following consultation with the Xinhua News Agency (Hong Kong Branch), we are pleased to announce that the fifth informal get together between senior Hong Kong civil servants and officials of the Chinese side will take place on January 18, 1996 at the Voting Members’ Box, Happy Valley Racecourse starting at 10.30 am. It will end after lunch.

Participating officers will be:

Mr Haider Barma Secretary for Transport

Mrs Lily Yam Commissioner for Transport

Mr Leung Kwok-sun Director of Highways

Mr Nicholas Ng

Secretary for Constitutional Affairs

Mr Richard Hoare

Director of Administration

They will be accompanied by Mr Cletus Lau. Director of General Grades (Civil Service Branch) and Mr Warner Cheuk, Principal Assistant Secretary for the Civil Service.

End

Visual arts representative selection details worked out *****

I he Recreation and Culture Branch held a meeting yesterday (Friday) with some 20 visual arts organisations to discuss how to select a representative for the visual arts sector for nomination for consideration by the Governor, at his discretion, for appointment as a member of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.

It was decided at the meeting to form a new, neutral, umbrella organisation named the "Hong Kong Visual Arts Nomination Conference", to appoint PA Professional Consultants Ltd as the organiser and election agent and to hold the election on February 11, 1996.

2

Details of election procedures such as the registration of voters and the nomination of candidates were also discussed al the meeting.

Membership/voters registration forms, candidate nomination registration forms and the election timetable were distributed to the participants. I he branch will shortly send the same materials to those visual arts organisations who have previously expressed interest in the Hong Kong Arts Development Council nomination process but who did not attend the meeting.

All organisations wishing to register as voters and/or candidates should approach Miss Kathy Chan or Miss Anne Moy of PA Professional Consultants Ltd on 2527 7800.

Any organisations wishing to obtain copies of the briefing materials distributed at the meeting are requested to call Mr Ben Wong of the Recreation and Culture Branch on 2594 5622.

End

Salt waler cut in Tai Po *****

Flushing water supply to some premises in Tai Po Industrial Eslate will be temporarily suspended from 10 pm on Tuesday (January 16) to 10 am on Thursday (January 18) for the checking of the Hushing waler supply system.

The suspension will affect all premises in Dai Fat Street. Dai I n Street. Dai Shui Street. Dai Kwai Street. Dai King Street. Dai Wang street. Dai Cheong Street. Dai Shing Street. Dai Li Street and Dai Hei Street.

End

3

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

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

Opening Balance in the account 2.047 09:30 Nil

Closing Balance in the account 1.787 10:00 Nil

Change Attributable to: 11:00 Nil

Money Market Activity Nil 11:30 Nil

Laf Today -260

Laf Rate 4.25% Bid/6.25% Offer TWI 123.3 *+0.0*

13.1.96

End

4

The Governor’s "Letter to Hong Kong" ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

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

People keep on saying that 1996 is a year of decision for Hong Kong. Well, in some ways that's not a particularly illuminating description. After all, most years are ones full of decision for a community which, like Hong Kong, lives on one of the high-wires of history. Name almost any year - 1984, 1989, 1994, to list three at random - and they seem pretty important ones for Hong Kong. And Hong Kongers -as we think of ourselves - make the tough decisions and get on with life, subject always to the microscopic scrutiny of the media, home and away.

If there is something special about the decisions in 1996, it is quite simply that they are going to be about 1997 - whether you think that's going to be good for you or bad - and they're more urgent for the obvious reason that, as that clock in Tiananmen Square reminds us, 1996 happens to be rather close to 1997.

Let me say one or two other things about these decisions. The most important is whether to stay in Hong Kong or to go. But that is not a decision available to everyone. There are about half-a-million people here - it's what’s called a "guesstimate" but it seems pretty near the mark - who have a foreign passport and can choose to leave at the drop of a clanger by a clumsy official. Yet for most people that option simply doesn't exist. For them, there's no choice. So it's not surprising that they have a particular passion for wanting the transition to Chinese sovereignty in 1997 to be successful. Hong Kong is home for them today. And it will be home in the future.

It's not unfair to point out that quite a lot of those who are most critical of the government's efforts to safeguard the way of life of Hong Kong by speaking up for it, even at the risk of annoying Chinese officials, have themselves the option of departing with another passport to a company or to assets domiciled abroad if things don’t work out here. 1 find it hard to understand their argument that it's fine to want the option of living in a free society for oneself, but somehow wrong to stand up for everyone's right to go on living in a free society in Hong Kong.

My aim has been, is and will remain absolutely clear. It seems difficult to get some people to understand that this is the Hong Kong Government's and the British Government's consistent - repeat, consistent - position. We will continue arguing, working, standing up for the promises that were made to the people of I long Kong in 1984 when the Joint Declaration was signed. The assurance that people can go on running their own domestic affairs in a free and open society is the best way of keeping at home those with a passport option to depart - and they would be an awful and desperately sad loss - as well as the best way of giving peace of mind and confidence to all those who are going to stay here come what may.

5

How can we best meet those aims? First of all, not by keeping quiet. There was an extraordinary suggestion the other day that the leadership role in Hong Kong for the next 500 plus days should consist of taking a Trappist vow of silence. No one, no one, should keep silent. This is a time, if ever there was one, for speaking up and saying what one wants to happen, and what one expects to happen, to preserve Hong Kong. There has been and continues to be an overwhelming case for all of us to make our voices heard, courteously but firmly. We don't need to respond to propaganda barbs or bluster. But if we don't speak up for what we believe in, no one else will do it for us. That goes for LegCo members, for leaders of business and the professions, for Preparatory Committee members, for - frankly - all of us.

One of the things which occasionally encourages a sense of drift or personal helplessness is the tendency to talk about Hong Kong, to comment on it, in the form of interchangeable and thuddingly dim-witted cliches. For example, for at least 10 years, critics have oscillated between claiming on the one hand that the government is washed up, side-lined, lame in one webbed foot, irrelevant. On the other hand -sometimes indeed at the same time - the identical critics ask - what are you going to do to solve this particular problem? What promises can you make that you'll deal with that hypothetical horror? What guarantee can you give that some nameless disaster won't be visited upon the territory at some indefinite moment down the road?

So what is the government's position? It’s neither retired hurt, nor capable of miracles and of rewriting history. This government will go on governing effectively and decisively until the time comes to hand over to its successor. That is the best way it can help its successor. Any attempt to make that task of good administration more difficult will hurt Hong Kong, and will hurt the SAR Government to come, far more than it would hurt me and my colleagues.

We can't change what is pre-ordained for the future, but we can and will do everything we can to ensure that Hong Kong's future arrives as advertised. No one is worried about whether to use their foreign passport, no one is worried about life without a foreign passport, because of any decision likely to be taken by this government. The worries are about the future, and that is what we need to focus attention on in a constructive and helpful way, encouraging Chinese officials and China's rather narrow circle of advisers in Hong Kong not to drop rocks on all our toes, and to build with us a better and more prosperous future.

That's what the British Foreign Secretary, Malcolm Rifkind, was working for in Hong Kong and Peking over the last week.

6

I very much welcome, as I'm sure you do, the important progress made during Mr Rifkind's visit. Britain and China have now reached a written understanding on the arrangements for issuing SAR passports. This was immediately welcomed by a number of other countries and paves the way for foreign immigration authorities to consider their attitude towards the new passport. We hope that the associated question of right of abode can now be quickly settled, and in this connection the experts have had an excellent boost to their work from Vice Premier Qian Qichen's clear assurance to Mr Rifkind that all those who are now permanent residents in Hong Kong would remain so after 1997. The two Foreign Ministers also confirmed agreement to two more Air Service Agreements, bringing the total to 14. And they cleared the political air for a resolution to the problem of Container Terminal Nine, on which we hope that the companies involved can now quickly reach agreement. All of this is good news for Hong Kong.

That makes two successful meetings now between Mr Rifkind and senior Chinese leaders. But there's still a lot of work to do, still much reassurance required, and not much time left. Just over 500 days for Britain, but the same is true for China. And for Hong Kong? Well, we don't count the days, we just think of our future.

I'm sure it would be a great help to him, to us and to China, if Mr Qian Qichen as Chairman of the Preparatory Committee were able to come here and see things for himself. He would get a warm and civilised welcome. A visit from him would, I am sure, be a big boost to confidence.

1995 was a mixed year. Like the curate's egg, good in parts. We had some agreements - for example on the airport and its financing and the Court of Final Appeal - which boosted confidence. But we had some shocks which undermined it, too - on human rights, and on whether Hong Kong should be left alone to run its own affairs and its own welfare services, for instance.

I hope we can put all that behind us. and enjoy a shock-free year, in which our colleagues in China show that they understand Hong Kong, trust Hong Kong, and recognise that there should be a place for everyone in Hong Kong to play a part in its continuing success story, this year, next year, for ever. Recognising that simple fact would probably be the best confidence boost of all.

End

7

Entries to awards for industry competition invited *****

The Director-General of Industry, Mrs Regina Ip, today (Sunday) urged manufacturers to enter into the 1996 competition of the Hong Kong Awards for Industry - Hong Kong's highest and most prestigious award to industry.

Established in 1989 and expanded over the years, the awards scheme aims al encouraging and recognising excellence in different aspects of industrial performance.

"A flourishing industrial sector is crucial to the continued success of Hong Kong. The fact that companies are more willing to come forward and participate in the competition indicates increasing confidence of our manufacturers in their own performance.

"It also indicates that our manufacturers are becoming more quality and productivity oriented. Such developments are helping Hong Kong move into higher value-added and more technology-intensive production," Mrs Ip said.

"In line with the established practice, the Governor will present the awards at the presentation ceremony scheduled for September," she added.

The awards scheme covers six categories, each runs by a different organisation.

The Consumer Product Design Award category, organised by the Federation of Hong Kong Industries, encourages innovative design in consumer products.

The Machinery and Equipment Design Award category, administered by the Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong, encourages upgrading in the design and production of machinery and equipment.

The Productivity Award category, run by the I long Kong Productivity Council, promotes endeavours to achieve improved productivity.

The Quality Award category, organised by the Industry Department, recognises quality achievements in manufacturing operations.

The Environmental Performance Award category, run by the Private Sector Committee on the Environment, promotes a wider appreciation of the importance of environmental protection among Hong Kong companies.

8

The Export Marketing Award category, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, recognises the importance of export marketing strategies, methods and techniques in expanding and opening markets abroad.

Entries are invited every year and the best entry in each award category will be presented with the Hong Kong Award for Industry.

Organisers of the various categories may also give their own awards in each award category or confer certificates of merit on deserving entries.

The closing date for entries this year is April 15. The presentation ceremony will be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on September 23.

"In recognition of the on-going restructuring of Hong Kong's manufacturing sector, we have slightly modified the criteria in the entry requirements this year in the Quality and Machinery and Equipment Design categories to better reflect the current industrial environment.

"The modification caters for entries from manufacturers based and operating in Hong Kong but with part of their production operation relocated offshore." Mrs Ip said.

Entries for the Quality Award will be evaluated on two main criteria.

The first is the quality of the company's products, in terms of fitness for purpose, consistency in performance, packaging/appearance, environmental protection aspects, value for money and safety.

The second is the company's quality culture and the extent to which a company's quality management system is applied to design, materials sourcing, production and testing; and how far it eliminates delays and rejections during the manufacturing process and consumer complaints afterwards.

Entry forms and brochures on the Quality Award are obtainable trom the Quality Services Division of the Industry Department or by calling 2829 4875.

End

9

Carnival enhances teenagers' awareness of drug pitfalls ♦ ♦ * * *

Although the problem of teenage drug abuse in Wong Tai Sin District was not very serious when compared with other areas, the issue should not be taken lightly due to its long-term effect on the younger generation.

The Wong Tai Sin District Officer, Mr Richard Luk, said today (Sunday).

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Wong Tai Sin District Anti-Narcotics Carnival, Mr Luk noted that the problem was worsening in recent years while drug abusers started taking drugs at a younger age.

The range of drugs being abused also expanded from hard drugs such as heroin to cough medicine, tranquillisers, and even chemicals like gaseous fuels and thinners, he added.

"The problem of drug abuse among young people is one of the Government's main concerns.

"The first Drug Summit was held last year to set out a comprehensive work plan and to co-ordinate departmental and local efforts to combat the drug problem. Beat drugs activities are launched at community levels all over the territory while periodic reports are published," he said.

According to some research reports, Mr Luk added, youngsters made an attempt to take psychotropic and other drugs out of curiosity, peer group pressure and ignorance of the effect of drugs as well as a lack of parental guidance.

"Today's carnival, organised by the Wong Tai Sin District Fight Crime Committee, is aimed at heightening the public's awareness of the lethal effects of drugs, signs of children taking drugs and ways to tackle the problem correctly," he said.

Mr Luk also called on everyone to cherish one's life and say "no" to drugs.

The carnival was jointly organised by the Action Committee Against Narcotics, the Urban Council and the Metro Broadcast Corporation Limited with assistance from the Wong Tai Sin District Office and sponsorship from the Wong Tai Sin District Board. The programme included exhibitions, quizzes, games and various performances.

End

10

Students show winning potted vegetables ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

More than 200 pots of vegetables - comprising Chinese radish, Chinese white cabbage, broccoli, snap pea and squash - carefully planted by primary school students since last September will be on display at the Hong Kong Teachers’ Centre for three days from Tuesday (January 16).

The pots have been selected from the entries of 84 primary schools which took part in the 1995-96 Primary School Children Vegetables Growing (in pots) Competition.

A prize-giving and exhibition opening ceremony for the competition will be held at the Hong Kong Teachers’ Centre, 4 Pak Fuk Road, North Point at 2.30 pm on Tuesday.

The growing of vegetables is an educational activity, not only providing opportunities for children to study the growing of plants through observation and practice, but also promoting awareness in school children of the need to care for plants to ameliorate the environment.

The competition is organised by the Education Department in co-operation with the Agriculture and Fisheries Department and sponsored by Choi Hing Lee Seed Company.

End

Deadline for nomination for drugs education courses

*****

Primary school heads are reminded that nomination for teachers to attend courses on drug education will close on Saturday (January 20).

Completed nomination forms should reach the Education Department on or before the closing date.

11

The courses, run by the Biological Sciences Section of the Education Department, aim at enhancing teachers' knowledge on the problem of substance abuse and its effects on health as well as equipping teachers with skills for helping students with such a habit.

The two one-day courses for primary school teachers to be held on February 8 and 9, consist of three talks given by experts in the field and a workshop on teaching drug education in primary schools.

End

Fresh water cut in Mong Kok

* ♦ * * ♦

Fresh water supply to some premises in Mong Kok will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm on Wednesday (January 17) to 6 am the following day to facilitate the testing of watermains.

All premises along Argyle Street, Yim Po Fong Street, Waterloo Road and Soares Avenue including Victory Avenue, Peace Avenue and Liberty Avenue will be affected.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Monday, January 15,1996

Recall of Vitasoy and Vita products........................................ 1

Iron and manganese content of Dongjiang water.............................. 2

Expert talks on defence and public order................................... 4

TCM practitioners urged to join enrolment exercise......................... 4

Index of industrial production for third quarter of 1995................... 5

Postmaster General leads delegation to China............................... 8

Youth resource centre opens................................................ 8

Tender for the 10th issue of Three-Year Exchange Fund Notes................ 9

ACP contract for airmail centre approved.............................• 11

Land auction scheduled for February cancelled............................. 11

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

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

1

Recall of Vitasoy and Vita products ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The recall of paper-packed Vitasoy and Vita products has been smooth and public awareness of the process is high, a spokesman for the Department of Health said today (Monday).

The spokesman said the department and the two municipal services departments had mobilised more than 300 health inspectors since the recall was launched to monitor the recall process and to conduct special inspections at retail outlets.

"So far, 4,500 retail outlets had been visited and a total of 2,700 advisory letters had been issued. The latest inspections found that almost all retailers were aware of the recall and co-operated by not selling the products in question.

"As at 5 pm today, the Vitasoy International Holdings Ltd reported that a total of 12.1 million packs of Vitasoy and Vita products had been recalled.

"The Government is satisfied with the progress of the recall so far and will continue to monitor the process through its routine inspections," the spokesman added.

The Department of Health also announced the findings of the 296 tests conducted on 260 samples collected since the incident occurred.

Two types of bacteria which are non-pathogenic were found in five packets of Vitasoy products. There were Bacillus species (including Bacillus polymyxa add Bacillus amyloliquefaciens) in four packets of Vitasoy produced in Hong Kong and Corynebactcrium species (including CDC group 4) in one packet of Malt Vitasoy produced in Shenzhen.

"Both types of bacteria found belong to non-pathogenic strains and are commonly present in the environment," the spokesman stressed.

"Other samples taken were all found to be normal according to laboratory analysis," he added.

Meanwhile, an Ad Hoc Working Group, comprising Urban and Regional Councillors and representatives of the two municipal services departments, will be set up under the Department of Health’s Hygiene Services Committee to study the investigation reports to be submitted by the company.

End

2

Iron and manganese content of Dongjiang water *****

In response to today's (Monday) newspaper reports claiming that the iron and manganese content of Dongjiang water had exceeded international standards and might affect public health, a spokesman for the Water Supplies Department said the reports have failed to confirm whether the samples of Dongjiang water were collected through proper procedures.

At the same time, these samples were collected at individual tributaries and did not represent the overall water quality at the vast source of Dongjiang water supplied to Hong Kong, the spokesman added.

He said: "In fact, testings of samples collected by our department through proper procedures at the Muk Wu Pumping Station at the border have indicated that the iron, lead and manganese content of the Dongjiang water supplied to Hong Kong are far lower than the level as reported. The water is also in line with the standards laid down for raw water."

A table listing the average value and related standards for Dongjiang water and treated water for the year 1994-95 is attached for reference.

The spokesman added that the Water Supplies Department was well equipped with sufficient manpower to monitor the quality of raw and treated water as well as quality control.

"Our Water Science Division is staffed by more than 100 professionals including chief chemist, senior chemists and technicians," he said.

"At the same time, the laboratories of the Water Supplies Department are equipped with the state-of-the-art instrument to carry out various tests regularly on samples collected from Dongjiang water as well as treated water including tests on heavy metals and carcinogenic substances.

"Up till the present, results of these tests have indicated that these two categories of substances arc far lower than the standards laid down by the World Health Organisation on water quality," he said.

The spokesman also pointed out that iron and manganese are the two most commonly found metals in the nature. They were not the kind of heavy metals usually associated by the general public as harmful to human beings.

3

"At the same time, iron and manganese arc elements which human beings need to absorb daily. The slight amount of iron and manganese contained in water is therefore absolutely unharmful to health.

"All raw water transmitted to the water treatment plants under the Water Supplies Department is fully treated and disinfected. The water supplied to consumers after treatment fully complies with the chemical and bacterial standards laid down by the World Health Organisation," he stressed.

Content of lead, iron and manganese in Dongjiang water and in treated water (1.4.94 - 31.3.95) - Average values

Dongjiang water* Environmental Quality Standard for Surface Water GB-3838-83 * Class II, People’s Republic of China Treated water in Hong Kong World Health Organization Guideline Standard

Lead less than 0.004 0.05 less than 0.004 0.01

Iron 0.12 not applicable 0.02 0.3#

Manganese 0.18 not applicable 0.01 0.1#

Note: 1. The unit for the above values is mg/litre

2. * - Based on water samples taken at Muk Wu Pumping Station

3. # - These standard values are established for aesthetic and not for health reasons.

End

4

Expert talks on defence and public order ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

The 19th 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 on January 16. The British team will be led by British Representative Mr Alan Paul. The Chinese team will be led by Chinese Representative Mr Chen Zou’er. They will be assisted by experts from the two sides.

End

TCM practitioners urged to join enrolment exercise ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The enrolment exercise for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners launched by the Preparatory Committee on Chinese Medicine (PCCM) would close on Sunday (January 21), a spokesman for the committee said today (Monday).

’’With an aim of collecting information on local TCM practitioners, the exercise is essentially a general statistical survey targeted at both full-time and part-time TCM practitioners in Hong Kong, including herbalists, bone-setters and acupuncturists.

"It should not, however, be confused with statutory registration,” he said.

To be eligible for enrolment, one must be a Hong Kong resident and be either a full/part-time local TCM practitioner practising the profession or engaging in TCM education prior to January 1, 1995 or a holder of a full graduation diploma issued by a TCM training college or institute. Documentary support for such claims is required.

Up till now, about 5,800 applications for enrolment have already been received by the committee's secretariat.

.J )

"We wish to remind all TCM practitioners who have not yet handed in the application to do so immediately,” the spokesman added.

Enrolment forms are available at all District Offices and the PCCM secretariat, first floor, Shun Feng International Centre, 182 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai.

The completed form, together with copies of the relevant documents and the applicant's identity card must be submitted in person or by mail to the PCCM secretariat on or before January 21, 1996. Enquiries can be made on 2527 8391.

5

"To facilitate the deliver}' of completed enrolment forms to the Secretariat, the office will remain open from 9 am to 5 pm on Sunday (January 21) which is the deadline for submission of enrolment forms," the spokesman added.

The TCM Practitioner Sub-Committec of PCCM will notify each applicant in writing as to whether his/her application is accepted.

End

Index of industrial production for third quarter of 1995 *****

The index of industrial production for the third quarter of 1995 increased slightly by 0.7% over the same quarter of 1994, according to the results of a survey released today (Monday) by the Census and Statistics Department. This represented continued increases for five consecutive quarters.

The production in the industry group of electrical and electronic products, machinery, professional equipment and optical goods continued to surge by 12%. Within this group, the production of machinery, equipment, apparatus, parts and components increased significantly by 21.3%, but the production of consumer electrical and electronic products decreased slightly by 1.2%.

A slight increase of 0.9% was also recorded in the wearing apparel (except footwear) industry.

On the other hand, a decrease of 8.8% was registered in the industry group of chemical, rubber, plastic and non-metallic mineral products. Within this group, the production of plastic products decreased markedly by 18.6%.

Decreases were also recorded in the industry groups of basic metals and fabricated metal products (-6.7%); paper products and printing (-3.1%); textiles (including knitting) (-1.7%); and food, beverages and tobacco (-0.6%).

Compared with the second quarter of 1995, the index of industrial production showed a notable increase of 11.7%. This increase was, however, partly seasonal as manufacturing activities usually entered into peak season in the third quarter.

The index of industrial production reflects changes of local manufacturing output in real terms. In other words, it measures the volume of local production after discounting the effect of price changes.

6

More detailed information can be obtained from the "Quarterly Index of Industrial Production, 3rd Quarter 1995" report, which is on sale at $11 a copy at the Government Publications Sales Centre, Low Block, ground floor. Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong or at the Census and Statistics Department Publications Unit, 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai. Regular subscription may also be arranged.

Enquiries about the survey result may be directed to the General Economic Surveys Section of the Census and Statistics Department on 2805 6643.

7

Indices of industrial production by industry group and selected component industry (1986= 100)

Industry group 1 Selected component industry Index for 3rd Qtr. 1995 % change over

3rd Qtr. 1994 2nd Qtr. 1995

1. Food, beverages and tobacco 163 -0.6 +3.0

2. Wearing apparel (except footwear) 126 +0.9 +18.3

3. Textiles (including knitting) 133 -1.7 +22.3

4. Paper products and printing 306 -3.1 +6.6

5. Chemical, rubber, plastic and non-metallic mineral products 65 -8.8 +0.9

within which : Plastic products (40) (-18.6) (+5.0)

6. Basic metals and fabricated metal products 97 -6.7 +5.9

within which : Fabricated metal products (except machinery and equipment) (96) (-7.7) (+6.7)

7. Electrical and electronic products, machinery, professional equipment and optical goods 191 +12.0 +13.7

within which : Consumer electrical and electronic products (125) (-1.2) (+7.2)

: Machinery, equipment, apparatus, parts and components (293) (+21.3) (+19.6)

8. Miscellaneous manufacturing industries 84 -4.1 +6.2

ALL MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES 137 +O.7 +11.7

Notes : 1. Four selected component industries, which carry relatively large weights and are major components of their relevant industry groups, are also included in the above table. For easy reading, the figures of these selected component industries are shown in brackets.

2. As from the first quarter of 1992, the Hong Kong Standard Industrial Classification (HSIC) is used to form the industry groups and selected component industries presented in the above table. For the • exact coverage of the industry’ groups and component industries in terms of HSIC codes, please refer to the publication 'Quarterly Index of Industrial Production, 3rd Quarter 1995'.

End

8

Postmaster General leads delegation to China

*****

The Postmaster General, Mr Robert Footman, leads a delegation of senior officers of the Hong Kong Post Office to pay a courtesy visit to the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of China in Beijing today (Monday).

The delegation will also visit the Post Office in Shanghai.

’’The Hong Kong Post Office works closely with the postal authorities in China on postal business,” a spokesman for the Hong Kong Post Office said.

"Mr Footman's visit, the first after his appointment as Postmaster General, will further enhance co-operation and communication between the two sides."

End

Youth resource centre opens *****

A Youth Resource Centre under the Commission on Youth is now available for public use.

A spokesman for the commission said today (Monday) that the Youth Resource Centre was set up as a repository for information on youth matters.

The centre, which occupies an area of about 100 square metres, is located on second floor, Tung Sun Commercial Centre, 194-200 Lockhail Road, Wan Chai, adjacent to the Civic Education Centre.

Facilities of the centre include a library; a reading room; and an audio-visual room equipped with a TV set, a video-tape recorder, a cassette-tape recorder, a slide projector and a photocopier. A micro-computer has also been installed recently.

About 1,000 reference books, reports and publications on a variety of youth related subjects such as education, youth services and welfare are kept at the centre.

Additionally, video tapes on moral education and a variety of youth related journals and magazines are also available at the centre.

9

The centre also keeps a catalogue of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service’s reference library to help users locate reference materials that may not be available in the centre. A reciprocal arrangement has also been made with the council.

The spokesman urged members of the public to make full use of the centre, which is open Monday through Friday, 9 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to '5 pm; and from 9 am to 12 pm on Saturdays.

End

Tender for the 10th issue of Three-Year Exchange Fund Notes *****

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority announced today (Monday) that the tender for the 10th issue of Three-year Exchange Fund Notes will be held on Monday, January 22, 1996 for settlement on Tuesday. January 23, 1996.

Similar to the previous issue, an amount of HK$500 million Three-year Notes will be on offer. In addition to that, another HK$100 million will be held as reserve by the Hong Kong Monetary' Authority for supply to Market Makers in the secondary market. The Notes will mature on January 25. 1999 and will carry interest at the rate of 5.57% 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 I long Kong Monetary Authority, 30th floor, 3 Garden Road, Hong Kong (or Tel 2878 8150). Each tender must be for an amount of 1IKS50.000 or integral multiples thereof.

10

Hong Kong Monetary Authority Exchange Fund Note Programme Tender Information

Tender information for the 10th issue of Three-year Exchange Fund Notes -

Issue Number : 3901

Tender Date and Time : Monday, 22 January 1996, 9.30 am to 10.30 am

Issue and Settlement Date : Tuesday, 23 January 1996

Amount on Offer : HKS500 million plus an additional I IKS 100 million as reserve stock for the Monetary Authority

Maturity : Three years

Maturity Date : 25 January 1999

Interest Rate : 5.57% per annum payable semi-annually in arrears

Interest Payment Dates : 23 Jul 1996,23 Jan 1997, 23 Jul 1997, 23 Jan 1998, 23 Jul 1998, 25 Jan 1999

Tender Amount : Each tender must be for an amount of HK$50,000 or integral multiples thereof. Members of the public who wish to tender for the Notes may approach Market Makers or Recognised Dealers on the published list

Other details : Please see Information Memorandum published or approach Market Makers or Recognised Dealers

End

11

ACP contract for airmail centre approved

♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Secretary for the Treasury, on the advice of the Central Tender Board, has approved the award of an Airport Core Programme (ACP) contract for the construction of an airmail centre at the new airport at Chek Lap Kok.

The contract, valued at $327 million, will be awarded to Yau Lee Construction Co Ltd by the Architectural Services Department.

It includes the construction of a two-storey office building structure, a large hall which houses all the airmail functions, a parking yard and ancillary facilities for the Post Office.

End

Land auction scheduled for February cancelled *****

The Lands Department announced today (Monday) that the land auction scheduled for February 14 will be cancelled.

The cancellation is due to the objection procedures in respect of the zoning of two sites originally scheduled for auction in the current financial year have not been completed.

The two sites are a 6.438-square metre residential site in Wan Hoi Street in Hung Hom originally scheduled for auction on February 14 and a 6,700-square metre residential site in Town Park Road in Yuen Long originally scheduled for auction on March 18.

The last land auction for this financial year will be held at 2.30 pm on March 18 (Monday) at the Concert Hall of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Four sites will be put up for auction. The sites arc a 16,000-square metre site at the Hung Hom Bay Reclamation for commercial/rcsidcntial purpose; a 1,591-square metre site in Hong Man Street in Chai Wan for commercial/residential purpose; a 1,585-square metre site in Arbuthnot Road, Central for commercial purpose and a 466-square metre site in Area 2, Tai Po for residential purpose.

End

12

Water storage figure ♦ * * * ♦

Storage in Hong Kong's reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 80.3 per cent of capacity or 470.854 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 417.951 million cubic metres of water, representing 71.3 per cent of capacity.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

% $ million Time (hours) Cumulative change CSmillion)

Opening balance in the account 1.787 0930 +219

Closing balance in the account 1,897 1000 +219

Change attributable to : 1100 +219

Money market activity + 180 1200 +222

LAF today -70 1500 +222

1600 + 180

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 123.4 *+0.1* 15.1.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.48 2 years 2711 5.60 100.46 5.40

1 month 5.45 3 years 3810 6.15 101.63 5.58

3 months 5.41 5 years 5012 6.38 102.01 5.99

6 months 5.39 7 years 7211 6.82 103.66 6.25

12 months 5.35 5 years M502 7.30 104.51 6.30

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $22,097 million

Closed January 15, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Tuesday, January 16,1996

Contents

Page No,

Star Ferry fare rise approved by ExCo................................... 1

Unemployment and underemployment statistics............................. 2

New measures to promote worksite safety................................. 3

Statement on MTR incident............................................... 4

Gurkhas fly to Nepal on road-building project........................... 5

Royal Marines raise funds for children.................................. 5

65 pollution cases in December.......................................... 6

Weather of 1995 ........................................................ 7

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results............................. 9

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

1

Star Ferry fare rise approved by ExCo *****

The Govemor-in-Council today (Tuesday) approved a fare increase by a weighted average of 18.9 per cent for the ’’Star" Ferry Company Limited to take effect in early March this year.

A government spokesman pointed out that the company last revised its fare in December 1994 and with falling patronage and increasing operating costs, it was expected to incur losses in 1996 and 1997.

In approving the rise, the spokesman said, the Govemor-in-Council took a number of factors into account, including the financial position of the company, its satisfactory standard of service and the acceptability of the fare increase to the public.

"The impact the fare increase would have on inflation would be minimal," he said.

Details of the fare increase are as follows:

Services Range of % increase Increase in money terms

Edinburgh Place - Kowloon Point 19% 20 to 30 cents

Edinburgh Place - Hung Hom 20.7% 20 to 50 cents

Wan Chai - Kowloon Point 17.7% 20 to 30 cents

The spokesman said the approved rate of increase was considered necessary to offset rising operating costs, particularly on pier maintenance and replacement of engine parts in older vessels.

In overall terms, about 90 per cent of the passengers would have to pay only 20 to 30 cents more per trip, he added.

End

2

Unemployment and underemployment statistics *****

The provisional seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the period October to December 1995 was slightly lower, at 3.5%, while the provisional underemployment rate was slightly higher, at 2.3%.

These latest labour force statistics are released today (Tuesday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the period September to November 1995 was 3.6%, and the underemployment rate was 2.2%.

Commenting on the latest figures, a government spokesman said with the unemployment and underemployment rates in the three months ending December showing little change from the corresponding figures in the three months ending November, the labour market remained generally stable in overall terms.

Underlying the 3.5% unemployment rate was a continued more rapid increase in total labour supply than in total employment.

In the three months ending November 1995, total labour supply rose by 3.4% over a year earlier, while total employment was 1.7% higher.

During the period September to November 1995, the number of unemployed persons with previous jobs was estimated at 99,000. Another 16,100 unemployed persons were first-time job-seekers. The number of underemployed persons was estimated at 68,000.

, r * •*

The unemployment and underemployment statistics were obtained from a continuous General Household Survey.

The survey for September to November 1995 covered a quarterly sample of some 18,100 households or 61,700 persons, selected scientifically to represent the land-based civilian non-institutional population in Hong Kong. Data were obtained from the survey by interviewing each member aged 15 or over in the households sampled.

In the survey, the definitions used in measuring unemployment and underemployment follow closely those recommended by the International Labour Organisation.

3

’Seasonally adjusted’ refers to adjustment for seasonal variations in the proportion of first-time job-seekers in the labour force.

Detailed analysis of labour force characteristics is given in the report on the General Household Survey which is published four times a year.

The next report covering the quarter ending December 1995 will be on sale at the Government Publications Centre at ground floor, Low Block, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong, by the end of March.

End

New measures to promote worksite safety *****

The Government will introduce a "Pay for Safety" scheme and an independent safety audit scheme on public works projects as further measures to promote worksite safety.

The Pay for Safety scheme will adopt a reward and penalty procedure to focus contractors more on the requirement for effective planning and implementation of safety measures at worksites.

The scheme will be introduced initially on larger public works contracts in the Bills of Quantities category to be called after March 1. This followed a careful evaluation of a pilot scheme introduced in 1994.

Under the scheme, payment up to 2 per cent of the contract price will be made to a contractor who has fully implemented specific safety items built into a contract.

These will include establishment of a site safety committee, production and review of a safety plan, appointment of safety officer and provision of safety training for workers.

Principal Assistant Secretary for Works. Mr Peter Berry, said: "The two schemes will enable the Government with the assistance of independent safety auditors to monitor more effectively whether a contractor has performed the safety measures as required in the contract terms.

4

"The Pay for Safety scheme will identify sums payable for carrying safety measures and penalise contractors for their non-performance in accordance with the contractual requirements."

Mr Berry continued: "By linking performance of safety items with payment, it will take away pressure on contractors to compromise safety for the sake of returning a more price-competitive bid in a tendering exercise or in the subsequent implementation of safety plans proposed in their bid.

"In addition, independent auditors will visit worksites to evaluate a contractor's performance. They will check whether the safety management procedures and other measures listed in the safety audit arc being implemented."

The audit scheme will be managed by the Occupational Safety and Health Council and will be introduced gradually on the advice of the Council.

fhe "Pay for Safety" scheme and independent auditing procedure have the support of the Hong Kong Construction Association and the Construction Advisory Board.

"The Government aims to extend the two schemes gradually to all public works contracts. We hope the private sector will adopt similar procedures in their management of worksite safety," said Mr Berry.

End

Statement on M I R incident

*****

In response to media enquiries, a Transport Branch spokesman said the Government would study the MTRC report on the incident of December 29, 1995, carefully. He said the Government Chief Inspecting Officer of Railway had been asked to follow up the matter with MTRC and to make recommendations.

End

5

Gurkhas fly to Nepal on road-building project

*****

Seventy soldiers, the main body of men from 67 Gurkha Independent Field Squadron, Queen's Gurkha Engineers (QGE), fly out to Nepal this week to begin work on a major road building project.

As part of Exercise Holdfast, and under the command of Major Alistair Sheppard, they will join an advance party of 50 soldiers to assist the Royal Nepalese Army (RNA) build the first proper road to the capital of the Everest region. Remaining there until March, they will carry out work on the Katari to Okhaldhunga Road, in Sagarmatha, east Napal.

This is the second year that Gurkhas from 67 Independent Field Squadron, QGE, have returned to their homeland to assist the RNA in what is destined to be a 10-year project.

During their stay they will live in a self-built base camp in the Himalayas, south of Mount Everest.

Exercise Holdfast, which aims to practice and develop the Squadron's engineering and construction skills, will also provide significant benefits for the Nepali people.

End

Royal Marines raise funds for children *****

A 10-man detachment of Royal Marines, which will return to the United Kingdom in early February, are giving up their spare time to raise money for two charities - the Hong Kong Society for the Protection of Children, and the Hong Kong branch of Save the Children.

The event, to be called "Rent-a-Royal", is to take place from January 19 to 23.

It will run along the lines of the traditional boy scouts "Bob-a-Job" where the Royal Marines will be available to do various jobs around the house such as washing up, walking the dog, or helping with the shopping.

6

The charge for their service will be at a rate of $100 per hour.

In support of the event, the Bull and Bear Pub (Central) will hold a party on Saturday (January 20). It includes a raffle and numerous prizes have been donated by local businesses.

All monies raised during the week and at the raffle will be evenly divided between the two charities.

End

65 pollution cases in December *****

A total of 65 convictions were recorded in the courts last month (December) for breaching anti-pollution legislation enforced by the Environmental Protection Department.

Among them. 18 were convictions made under (he W ater Pollution Control Ordinance. 23 under the Noise Control Ordinance. 10 under the Air Pollution Control Ordinance, another 10 under the Waste Disposal Ordinance and four under the Dumping at Sea Ordinance.

The fines imposed on the offenders ranged from $1,000 to $70,000. Evergreen P C B Factory Ltd was fined $70,000 for discharging polluting matter in the North Western Water Control Zone.

End

7

Weather of 1995 *****

In 1995, eight tropical cyclones necessitated the hoisting of local Tropical Cyclone Warning Signals as compared to the annual average figure of about six and the No 8 Gale or Storm Signal was hoisted three times.

The first half of the year was particularly dry with rainfall amounting to only 427.6 millimetres, 57 per cent below the normal of 992.5 millimetres for the same period and the fourth lowest on record.

However, the heavy rainfall in July and August associated with active southwest monsoon and tropical cyclones contributed to an overall annual total of 2,754.4 millimetres, 24 per cent above the annual mean of 2,214.3 millimetres. Furthermore, the annual mean pressure of 1,013.7 hectopascals was the second highest on record.

January was cloudier than normal. The total duration of bright sunshine in the month amounted to 117.9 hours, 34.5 hours below normal. The first thunderstorm of the year was reported on January 3.

It was on the whole slightly cooler and drier than normal in February. Generally fine and dry weather occurred during the first 12 days of the month but cloudy and rainy conditions prevailed thereafter.

March was dry in terms of rainfall. The monthly rainfall of 32.4 millimetres was 52 per cent below the March average. It was also marginally cooler than normal with a mean air temperature of 17.9 degrees.

April also had less than normal rainfall. The monthly rainfall of 76.3 millimetres was 53 per cent below the average for April. It was a little warmer than normal with a mean air temperature of 22.5 degrees. Heavy rain on April 19 brought the first flood warning of the year and hail was reported in Tai Po.

The 20.8 millimetres of rain recorded in May was only seven per cent of the May norm, making it the second driest May on record. Under the influence of a hot maritime airflow, a maximum temperature of 34.2 degrees was reached on 30 May, the fourth highest for the month of May.

June was unusually warm and dry. The mean daily minimum temperature of 27.1 degrees and the mean air temperature of 28.7 degrees were the highest and the third highest values respectively for June since records began in 1884.

8

The month was also the sixth consecutive month this year with below-normai rainfall with only 243.9 millimetres, 65 per cent of the June norm. However, heavy downpours on June 14 and 18 necessitated the issuance of the Rainstorm Red Warning.

July was very wet with above average monthly rainfall registered for the first time this year. The total rainfall in the month, 668.7 millimetres, was more than twice the average, making it the seventh wettest July on record.

With unsettled conditions associated with low pressure troughs and active southwest monsoon characterised the weather, there were seven days with rainfall of over 50 millimetres. The Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal was hoisted for the first time in the year with the approach of Severe Tropical Storm Gary.

August was extremely wet. The total rainfall of 1,090.1 millimetres, about two point eight times the normal of 391.4 millimetres, was the highest for the month of August and the third highest for any month since records began in 1884. The rain was mostly brought about by active southwesterlies in the wake of Severe Tropical Storm Gary and by the passage of Severe Tropical Storm Helen, Severe Tropical Storm Lois and Typhoon Kent.

This month was also the first August since 1946 when the No 8 Gale or Storm Signal had to be hoisted twice within the month. Torrential rain fell from August 12 to 14 amounted to 448.3 millimetres causing around 60 landslides.

The two most disastrous occurred at Chai Wan where a teenager was crashed to death by a wall of rocks and mud, and at Nam Long Shan where boat yards were buried under thousand tonnes of mud killing two persons and injuring four. An international flight encountered turbulence on the approach to. the Hong Kong International Airport on August 14. Forty-seven passengers and crew were hospitalised.

September 1995 was the 10th driest September on record. 'Hie total rainfall of 81.4 millimetres was 73 per cent below the normal value.

October 1995 was the fifth wettest October on record. On three days during the first week, daily rainfall exceeded 100 millimetres. The total monthly rainfall of 476.9 millimetres was more than three times the normal figure. Typhoon Sibyl came close to Hong Kong in the beginning of the month, necessitating the hoisting of Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No 8.

9

November was dry with only 1.8 millimetres of rainfall recorded against a normal of 35.1 millimetres. The relative humidity dropped to only 17 per cent on November 24, the lowest on record for November. Fire Danger Warnings had to be issued for 19 days in the month. About 160 cases of hill fire were reported on November 1.

With the prevalence of the winter monsoon, December was generally fine and dry. Fire Danger Warnings had to be issued for 18 days in the month. Frost was reported at the Sha Tin Race Course on the morning of December 31.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results *****

Tender date 16 Jan 1996 16 Jan 1996

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q603 II656

Issue date 17 Jan 1996 17 Jan 1996

Maturity date 17 Apr 1996 17 Jul 1996

Amount applied HK57.920 MN IIK$8,380 MN

Amount allotted HK$ 1,500 MN HK$800 MN

Average yield accepted 5.36 PCT 5.33 PC I

Highest yield accepted 5.36 PCT 5.33 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 69 PCT 100 PCT

Average tender yield 5.37 PCT 5.35 PCT

10

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

l enders to be held in the week beginning 22 Jan 1996

Tender date 22 Jan 1996 23 Jan 1996 23 Jan 1996

Paper on offer EF notes EF bills EF bills

Issue number 3901 Q604 Y685

Issue date 23 Jan 1996 24 Jan 1996 24 Jan 1996

Maturity date 25 Jan 1999 24 Apr 1996 22 Jan 1997

Tenor 3 years 91 days 364 days

Amount on offer HKS5001100MN HKSI.500+300MN HKS5OO+15OMN

Coupon 5.57 PC I'

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$. million lime (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,897 0930 + 109

Closing balance in the account 2,166 1000 + 109

Change attributable to : 1100 + 109

Money market activity +69 1200 + 109

LAP today +200 1500 +69

1600 +69

I. AF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 123.5 *+(). 1 * 16.1.96

11

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.48 2 years 2711 5.60 100.51 5.37

1 month 5.42 3 years 3810 6.15 101.78 5.52

3 months 5.38 5 years 5012 6.38 102.13 5.96

6 months 5.36 7 years 7211 6.82 103.71 6.24

12 months 5.31 5 years M502 7.30 104.62 6.27

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $16,525 million

Closed January 16, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Wednesday, January 17,1996

Contents Page No,

More prohibitions on tobacco advertising proposed.......................... 1

More options for courts to deal with the mentally illed.................... 2

Practice code on demolition works to be prepared........................... 4

Biological Weapons Bill to be gazetted on Friday........................... 5

Imported workers attempting to depart HK for China......................... 5

Fees on certificates for boilers and steam receivers revised............... 6

Fee revision proposed...................................................... 7

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

4

- 1 -

More prohibitions on tobacco advertising proposed * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government intends to introduce further legislative proposals to prohibit within a period of two years all direct advertising in the printed media, display advertisements and indirect advertising through the use of non-tobacco products and services, the Principal Assistant Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mr Clement Cheung, said today (Wednesday).

Noting that recent local research had indicated a strong correlation between smoking and the perceived attractiveness of tobacco advertisements, particularly among young people, he said it was the Government's obligation to guard against this in the interests of public health

Addressing the American Chamber of Commerce, Mr Cheung said: "Although the tobacco industry contends that the purpose of individual advertising is only to compete for market share, there is no doubt that the cumulative effect of such advertising is to present a favourable image of smoking which contributes to smoking among young people."

The proposals strike a balance between the need to safeguard public health and freedom of commercial activities.

One of the five exceptions in Article 16 of the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance (BORO) which deals with "Freedom of opinion and expression" is where there are considerations of "public health". This is reinforced by legal advice that the proposals are not in breach of the BORO.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, on which the BORO is based, also makes a clear distinction between freedom of speech and commercial expression.

"As far as I am aware, about 30 countries have already put into place very restrictive controls, if not a total ban, on tobacco adverting," Mr Cheung said, "These countries includes many democratic societies in the West such as Norway, Finland, New Zealand, Australia and France. Some Asian countries like Singapore and Thailand - or even Mongolia - are far ahead in tobacco control legislation. China, our closest neighbour, already bans tobacco advertising in the printed media."

2

Mr Cheung noted that the World Health Organisation (WHO) Western Pacific Region had called for a tobacco- advertising free region by the year 2000; and WHO World Health Assembly had also recommended actions to eliminate eventually all direct and indirect advertising and sponsorship concerning tobacco.

"It remains our firm belief that a combined approach of public education and legislative controls will enable us to achieve these important policy objectives," he added.

End

More options for courts to deal with the mentally illed

*****

- ■ ■' r, • ..

The Govemor-in-Council has endorsed two Bills which seek to give High Court and District Court judges as well as magistrates a wider range of disposal options in dealing with accused persons who are mentally disordered, a government spokesman said today (Wednesday).

The Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill 1996 and the Mental Health (Amendment) Bill 1996 will be gazetted on Friday (January 19).

The spokesman said the existing provisions, based largely on the United Kingdom Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964, did not allow flexibility for the court and the magistracy to dispose of mentally disordered defendants.

"The United Kingdom Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964 was widely criticised in the United Kingdom for this problem and was amended in 1992 to provide additional disposal options on top of detention in a mental hospital," he said. The spokesman said the two Bills being proposed had two main objectives.

"Firstly, for every case of an accused person found unfit to plead, it is proposed that a jury shall determine whether they were satisfied that the accused person did the act or made the omission charged.

- 3 -

"Secondly, the courts in Hong Kong shall be able to exercise the same additional disposal options available in the United Kingdom, namely, guardianship orders, supervision and treatment orders, and orders for absolute discharge, and these disposal options shall be extended to the magistracy," he said.

At present, under the Criminal Procedure Ordinance, a defendant found unfit to plead in court or not guilty by reason of insanity is sent fo the Siu Lam Psychiatric Centre or a mental hospital for indefinite detention.

The spokesman said there was currently no requirement for the court to test the case against an accused person found unfit to plead, and therefore, it would be possible that an innocent person could be detained in a mental hospital indefinitely because the person suffered from mental disability and was unfit to plead.

"Indefinite detention in the Siu Lam Psychiatric Centre or a mental hospital may happen no matter how minor the alleged offence is or how harmless the accused person may be," the spokesman said.

"The period of detention may greatly exceed the maximum sentence for the offence in question. This situation may also arise in cases handled by the magistracy," he said.

The spokesman explained that although a magistrate had no jurisdiction to make a finding of unfitness to plead or of not guilty by reason of insanity, he had discretion under the Mental Health Ordinance to make an order to detain an accused person in the Siu Lam Psychiatric Centre or a mental hospital.

"At the moment, a magistrate's options are limited. He can make such an order if he is satisfied that the accused person did the act or made the omission charged, and is suffering from mental disorder which warrants the detention, in respect of an offence punishable on summary conviction by imprisonment," he said.

These two Bills will significantly improve the range of options available, to provide a sensible variety of ways to deal with defendants who are mentally disordered.

The Bills are expected to be introduced into the Legislative Council on January 31.

End

- 4 -

Practice code on demolition works to be prepared *****

The Buildings Department has signed a consultancy agreement today (Wednesday) commissioning a consultant firm to undertake a study on demolition of buildings in Hong Kong and to produce a code of practice on demolition works.

The project has been awarded to Maurice Lee and Associates Limited at a total cost of $5.5 million. It wil] commence on February 1 for completion in 18 months.

9

The Assistant Director (Structural Engineering) of the department. Mr Ng Hon-keung, said the project was aimed at enhancing safety of demolition works through the provision of a set of detailed technical guidelines to building professionals and contractors.

Mr Ng said the Government had been very concerned about safety of demolition works - a very dangerous and high-risk operation in a densely populated city like Hong Kong.

"To further protect members of the public, the consultant has been tasked to review and analyse the current practices at demolition sites in the territory, as well as the execution and control mechanism.

"Based on the results of these studies and after consultations with relevant professional bodies, the consultant will produce a bilingual Code of Practice, establishing standards for the demolition of buildings for application in Hong Kong," Mr Ng said.

Apart from providing these technical supports, the Government is also seeking amendments to the Buildings Ordinance to ensure safety operation.

"The Buildings (Amendments) (No 3) Bill proposes to tighten the supervision of building and demolition works by the building professionals through the introduction of a supervision plan.

"A registry of specialist demolition contractors is also recommended to guarantee the professionalism of demolition works.

"All these measures will help contribute to a safer demolition work environment in the interest of the community," Mr Ng said.

End

5

Biological Weapons Bill to be gazetted on Friday ♦ ♦ * * *

The Governor-in-Council has approved proposed legislation to localise UK laws extended to Hong Kong which implement the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction (the Convention).

"The Biological Weapons Bill will enable Hong Kong to continue to implement the Convention after July 1, 1997," a government spokesman said today (Wednesday).

The Bill prohibits the development, production, acquisition or retention of biological agent or toxin that has no justification for peaceful purpose, or weapons designed to use biological agents or toxins.

"As a centre for international trade in goods and services, Hong Kong is committed to the prevention of the proliferation of dangerous weapons of mass destruction like those using biological agents," the spokesman said.

He said the Chinese side of the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group had agreed that the Convention should continue to apply to Hong Kong after July 1, 1997 and that the localisation of the relevant UK legislation should proceed.

fhe Bill will be gazetted on Friday (January 19) and is expected to be introduced into the Legislative Council on January 31.

End

Imported workers attempting to depart 1 IK for China ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

In response to press enquiries about a group of imported workers attempting to depart Hong Kortg for China without travel documents, a spokesman for the Immigration Department said today (Wednesday) that 13 workers were encountered in the departure hall of Lo Wu Control Point at 11.10 am today.

They claimed that their travel documents were being held by the local agent and asked for the department's assistance to depart for China, he said.

J

- 6 -

’’After making some enquiries, we were told that the local agent is willing to return the travel documents to the 13 workers. At about 3 pm, the 13 workers left Lo Wu Control Point,” the spokesman added.

"During their stay at Lo Wu, they were offered food and drinks. At no time had they been detained by the Immigration Department. The department had offered them immediate assistance. Any allegation of their hztving been detained at Lo Wu is untrue," the spokesman emphasised.

End

Fees on certificates for boilers and steam receivers revised * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The fees for the issue of a certificate of competency and the examination fee for the issue of certificate of competency under the Boilers and Pressure Vessels Ordinance will be revised from March 8, 1996.

The former will be revised from $275 to $300 and the latter, from $510 to $557.

A Labour Department spokesman said the fees were revised in accordance with the inflation rate. The fee revision was gazetted on January' 12, 1996.

Enquiries can be directed to the Labour Department's Pressure Equipment Division on 2852 4179.

End

7

Fee revision proposed * * * * ♦

The Government announced today (Wednesday) that specific fees charged under the Aerial Ropeways (Safety) Ordinance and the Lifts and Escalators (Safety) Ordinance will be increased on March 8, 1996, subject to Legislative Council's approval.

The revision aims to recover the full costs of providing the services paid, for. Increases for fees for registering as aerial ropeway operators and for amending their limited certificates will be phased in over two years.

The proposed increases in some items are higher than the prevailing inflation rate because the existing fee levels have not taken into account the enhanced services provided by the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD).

For example, in processing an application to be a lift contractor or escalator contractor under the Lifts and Escalators (Safety) Ordinance. I-.MSD will now conduct site inspection to better assess the competence of the applicants.

"Although the proposed increases appear to be high in percentage term, they are indeed modest in money term and will have a minimal impact on the operating costs of those engaged in the trade. The biggest increase is about $1,600 only," a government spokesman said.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

Time Cumulative change

$ million (hours) ({million)

Opening balance in the account 2,166 0930 -162

Closing balance in the account 1,906 1000 -162

Change attributable to : 1100 -162

Money market activity -170 1200 -157

LAF today -90 1500 -157

1600 -170

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 123.7 *+0.2* 17.1.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.40 2 years 2711 5.60 100.73 5.24

1 month 5.38 3 years 3810 6.15 102.06 5.41

3 months 5.34 5 years 5012 6.38 102.56 5.86

6 months 5.26 7 years 7211 6.82 104.18 6.16

12 months 5.18 5 years M502 7.30 104.87 6.21

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $24,384 million

Closed January 17, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

SUPPLEMENT

Wednesday, January 17,1996

Contents Page No.

Legislative Council meeting: Early agreement with Chinese side will be sought..................... 1

Protection of civil rights........................................... 3

V

Co-operation with the Preparatory Committee.......................... 6

Processions and assemblies in public places.......................... 8

HK continues to support renewal of China’s MFN status............... 10

Disciplinary committees of professional bodies................... 11

Taxi drivers tampering with meters.................................. 13

Elderly services on outlying islands................................ 14

Shortage of parking spaces.......................................... 18

Measures to monitor and trace prank 999 calls....................... 19

/Studies on...

Contents

Page No,

Studies on changes in labour productivity............................... 21

Cement factory on Tsing Yi Island....................................... 22

Territorial Development Strategy Review................................. 23

Rehousing of squatters on Government land............................... 24

Collection of royalties from copyright music users...................... 25

Revision of mathematics textbooks for sixth form........................ 27

Policy on monitoring public utilities................................... 29

Western Corridor Railway project........................................ 30

Disposal of used engine oil............................................. 33

Remuneration of university heads review................................. 35

1

Early agreement with Chinese side will be sought *****

The authorities will vigorously seek an early agreement with the Chinese side on the basis of the proposals that have been put to them in the Joint Liaison Group (JLG) in connection with the concepts in Basic Law Article 23, the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, said today (Wednesday).

Speaking in the motion debate on ’’protection of civil rights” in the Legislative Council, Mr Lai said the authorities fully appreciated the community's concern that these discussions should not be allowed to go on indefinitely, and that the community would wish to see early action.

"The proposals have been with the JLG now for six months. Given the importance and complexity of the issues addressed, it is not unreasonable to give the Chinese side sufficient time to consider them fully," he said.

Nevertheless, Mr Lai noted that the continued lack of progress through discussions in the established channels could have damaging effects on confidence in Hong Kong.

"We will not wish to see this happen," he said.

On some LegCo members' suggestion that the Government should take action to put the relevant legislative proposals forward to the council, without waiting for the outcome of the JLG discussions, he said: "We believe that our objectives will be better served if we continue to discuss with the Chinese side, through the established channels, for the localisation and adaptation of the relevant laws.

It would be counterproductive if LegCo members were to introduce Private Members' Bills while these issues were under discussion in the JLG, he said.

"Nor is it helpful, in this context, for us to be talking about specific deadlines," he said.

Mr Lai stressed that the concerns expressed today by many LegCo members on the subject were shared by the Administration.

"We are taking steps to address these concerns, but the suggestion of immediate legislative action is simply not conducive to the success of our efforts," he said.

"We do not therefore agree with such a suggestion for precipitate action.

2

"Clearly, it would be the best outcome if we can go forward on these important issues with the co-operation and agreement of the Chinese side. That is a goal worth striving for, and a little more patience is a price worth paying," he said.

Mr Lai said the views expressed by LegCo members in the debate had clearly reflected the strong feelings in the community about the situation of Mr Wei Jingsheng.

"The British Foreign Secretary, Mr Rifkind, has made representations to the Chinese Government several times with senior Chinese officials during his recent visit to Beijing," he said.

On LegCo members' concern about the possible implications arising from Mr Wei's case, and the inferences that might be drawn on the future application and interpretation of Basic Law Article 23 concepts after 1997, Mr Lai stressed that under the "One Country, Two Systems" arrangements provided for in the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, the Hong Kong SAR would have laws and a legal system based on the common law that would be different from the rest of China.

"This is the most important point, which should not be forgotten when we talk about the concepts in Basic Law Article 23.

"It is, of course, obviously in Hong Kong's interest to be able to have certainty and clarity on how these various concepts will be defined and interpreted as soon as possible. I believe this objective is shared both by many Honourable Members and by the Administration," he said.

Mr Lai pointed out that the legislation relating to these various concepts should, first, balance the need to protect freedom of expression by the individual with the need to protect public order and security; secondly that it should be consistent with the Joint Declaration, the Basic Law, the Bill of Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as applied to Hong Kong; and finally, that it should be capable of continuing in force after 1997.

"We have informed the LegCo Information Panel last July that we had submitted proposals to the Chinese side, through the JLG, on how to localise the Official Secrets Acts and to adapt the Crimes Ordinance in a manner consistent with these requirements.

"The proposals we have made are entirely consistent with the Joint Declaration, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Bill of Rights and the Basic Law,” he said.

3

Explaining the background to the proposals, Mr Lai said that Hong Kong now had legislation, both in the form of UK Acts of Parliament extended to Hong Kong and in local laws, that expressly covered the offences of treason and sedition, and which in effect covered the theft of official secrets.

These provisions in their present form were obviously not going to be applicable to acts of treason or sedition against the Central People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China, and would thus need to be localised or adapted as appropriate, he said.

Regarding the concepts of secession and subversion, also mentioned in Article 23 of the Basic Law, Mr Lai said that they were not expressly referred to in existing legislation.

"There is clearly a good deal of public interest both as reflected in the media and in the speeches of LegCo members today, in precisely what they mean.

"The relationship between these concepts and the offences covered in existing legislation is therefore one of the important subjects to be covered in consultations with the Chinese side," he said.

End

Protection of civil rights

*****

Following is the speech by the Secretary' for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in the motion debate on protection of civil rights in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

C

Mr President,

The views expressed by many Honourable Members in this debate have clearly reflected the strong feelings in the community about the situation of Mr. WEI Jingsheng. The British Foreign Secretary Mr. Rifkind has made representations to the Chinese Government several times with senior Chinese Officials during his recent visit to Beijing.

4

Honourable Members have also expressed concern about the possible implications arising from Mr WEI Jingsheng’s case, and the inferences that might be drawn on the application and interpretation of Basic Law Article 23 concepts after 1997. I should like to stress at the outset that under the "One Country, Two Systems" arrangements provided for in the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, the Hong Kong SAR will have laws and a legal system based on the common law that will be different from the rest of China. This is the most important point, which should not be forgotten when we talk about the concepts in Basic Law Article 23. It is, of course, obviously in Hong Kong’s interest to be able to have certainty and clarity on how these various concepts will be defined and interpreted as soon as possible. I believe this objective is shared both by many Honourable Members and by the Administration.

We believe that the legislation relating to these various concepts should, first, balance the need to protect freedom of expression by the individual with the need to protect public order and security; secondly that it should be consistent with the Joint Declaration, the Basic Law, the Bill of Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as applied to Hong Kong; and finally, that it should be capable of continuing in force after 1997. We have informed the LegCo Information Panel last July that we had submitted proposals to the Chinese side, through the Joint Liaison Group, on how to localise the Official Secrets Acts and to adapt the Crimes Ordinance in a manner consistent with these requirements. The proposals we have made are entirely consistent with the Joint Declaration, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Bill of Rights and the Basic Law. Some Honourable Members have criticised us for not revealing the content of our proposals, and for the lack of visible progress in the JLG discussion. I wish to remind Honourable Members that it is a fact that our ability to reveal the details of our proposals is constrained by the JLG confidentiality rule. But I shall explain the background to our proposals, and how we intend to take matters forward.

We now have legislation, both in the form of United Kingdom Acts of Parliament extended to Hong Kong and in local laws, that expressly cover the offences of treason and sedition, and which in effect cover the theft of official secrets. These provisions in their present form are obviously not going to be applicable to acts of treason or sedition against the Central People’s Government of the People's Republic of China. United Kingdom Acts of Parliament will of course lapse in relation to Hong Kong on July 1, 1997 if nothing is done about them. So these laws need to be localised or adapted as appropriate. The concepts of secession and subversion, mentioned in Article 23 of the Basic Law, are not expressly referred to in existing legislation and there is clearly a good deal of public interest both as reflected in the media and in the speeches of our Honourable Members today, in precisely what they mean. The relationship between these concepts and the offences covered in existing legislation is therefore one of the important subjects to be covered in consultations with the Chinese side.

5

We share Honourable Members’ concerns that we should make progress on these issues. The proposals have been with the JLG now for six months. Given the importance and complexity of the issues addressed, it is not unreasonable to give the Chinese side sufficient time to consider them fully. Nevertheless, we believe the time has come for us to press for an early response, and we hope to reach a satisfactory agreement with the Chinese side as soon as possible.

Some Honourable Members have suggested that the Government should take action to put the relevant legislative proposals forward to this Council, without waiting for the outcome of the JLG discussions. We believe that our objectives will be better served if we continue to discuss with the Chinese side, through the established channels, for the localisation and adaptation of the relevant laws. We strongly believe that it would be counterproductive, as some have even suggested, if Honourable Members were to introduce Private Members' Bills while these issues are under discussion in the JLG. Nor is it helpful, in this context, for us to be talking about specific deadlines. At the same time, we fully appreciate the community's concern that these discussions should not be allowed to go on indefinitely, and that the community would wish to see early action. The continued lack of progress through discussions in the established channels could have damaging effects on confidence in Hong Kong, and we will not wish to see this happen. We will therefore vigorously seek an early agreement with the Chinese side on the basis of the proposals we have put to them.

Mr President, as I said at the beginning of my speech, the concerns expressed today by many Honourable Members are shared by the Administration. We are taking steps to address these concerns, but the suggestion of immediate legislative action (as proposed in the Motion) is simply not conducive to the success of our efforts. We do not therefore agree with such a suggestion for precipitate action. Clearly, it would be the best outcome if we can go forward on these important issues with the co-operation and agreement of the Chinese side. That is a goal worth striving for, and a little more patience is a price worth paying.

Thank you, Mr President.

End

6

Co-operation with the Preparatory Committee ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Albert Ho Chun-yan and a reply by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Nicholas Ng, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The Preparatory Committee (PC) will set up its secretariat/liaison office in the territory early this year and the Hong Kong Government has openly pledged to cooperate with the PC in accordance with the principle of openness and transparency. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) how the Government will implement the principle mentioned above in practice;

(b) whether the Government will undertake to provide this Council with information on each and every meeting held between officials of the Hong Kong Government and the PC members including at the minimum the following:

(i) the date and place of the meeting;

(ii) the agenda for the meeting;

(iii) all information provided to the Hong Kong Government by the PC;

(iv) all information provided to the PC by the Hong Kong’ Government;

(v) decisions or agreements reached at the meeting and matters to be followed up; and

(c) whether the Hong Kong Government will request the British Government to clarify if there is any change in the role of the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group and if the work of the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group will overlap with that of the PC?

7

Reply:

I would assure this Council that the Government will follow the principle of openness and transparency in its dealings with the Preparatory Committee, and will account for its actions to this Council and the community. To this end, we will regularly brief this Council on how we are co-operating with the Preparatory Committee. We envisage that the Constitutional Affairs Panel will be the main forum for such briefings.

As to precisely what the briefings will cover, this question hinges largely on the details and forms of assistance which is to be provided by the Government to the Preparatory Committee. At their recent meeting in Peking, the British and the Chinese Foreign Ministers have agreed that the detailed arrangements for co-operation should be sorted out through the JLG channels. Once the modalities for co-operation with the Preparatory Committee have been finalised, and the appropriate arrangements for accounting to the public on our dealings with the Committee can then be determined, and in this connection we will certainly give very careful consideration to the views of this Council and the public.

For now, I would like to emphasise two points. First, our assistance to the Preparatory Committee will be within the three parameters stated by the Governor in last year's Policy Address, that is:

(a) that it must be fully consistent with the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, and be in Hong Kong’s interests;

(b) that the authority and credibility of the Hong Kong Government must not be undermined; and

(c) that the morale and confidence of the civil service must not be affected; civil servants must not be subjected to conflicting loyalties.

The secondly point which I would like to make is that, whilst the Hong Kong Government will be fully accountable for its own actions, it cannot be held accountable for the Preparatory Committee’s actions. We cannot speak on behalf of the Committee, or explain the Committee’s decisions. These must be matters for the Preparatory Committee itself.

As regards the final part of Mr Ho’s question, the role of the Joint Liaison Group is prescribed in Annex II to the Joint Declaration. It is a diplomatic body set up by the British and the Chinese governments to conduct consultations on the implementation of the Joint Declaration, to discuss matters relating to the smooth transfer of government in 1997, and to exchange information and conduct consultations on such subjects as may be agreed by two sides.

8

The Preparatory Committee, on the other hand, is a body set up by the Chinese National People’s Congress. According to the NPC’s Decision adopted on 4 April 1990, the Committee’s responsibilities are to prepare for the establishment of the HKSAR and to prescribe the specific method for forming the first SAR government and the first SAR legislature.

There are therefore clear distinctions between the functions of these two bodies. The establishment of the Preparatory Committee does not in any way alter the role of the JLG I have just described.

End

Processions and assemblies in public places

*****

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

Question:

On the night of 14 December 1995, a group of people and university students were proceeding to the Xinhua News Agency (Hong Kong Branch) to stage a protest rally, and when they reached the entrance to the pedestrian subway at the junction of Morrison Hill Road and Queen’s Road East (opposite to Queen Elizabeth Stadium), they were stopped by a party of five to six police officers who did not permit the group to use the subway to go to the other side of the road. Members of the group queried the police officers at the scene and asked them to explain the legal justifications and reasons for the closure of the subway, but the police officers refused to reply. The group eventually had to cross the road to proceed to the Xinhua News Agency. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council :

(a) what are the legal justifications and reasons for preventing a group of only a dozen people from using the pedestrian subway to proceed to the Xinhua News Agency;

9

(b) whether, following their decision to close the subway to prevent the group from moving on, the police officers are required under any regulations to openly explain to the group and the people at the scene the legal justifications and reasons for the closure of the subway so as to avoid unnecessary clashes; and

(c) which ordinance empowers the police to cordon off the area outside the Xinhua News Agency, and what are the criteria adopted by the police for determining the boundaries of the area?

Reply :

Mr President,

The answers to the three parts of the question by the Hon Leung Yiu-chung are as follows:

(a) The Police have a duty under section 10 of the Police Force Ordinance to take lawful measures for preserving order and public peace, and for regulating processions and assemblies in public places. Under section 17 of the Public Order Ordinance, the Police may prevent the holding of, stop, disperse or vary the place or route of any public gathering if he reasonably believes that it is likely to cause or lead to a breach of the peace. In the incident referred to in the question, the small group of students wanted to proceed to the Xinhua News Agency a few minutes before the arrival of a notified procession involving about 200 people. The action taken by the Police was to avoid possible conflict between the two groups to ensure the orderly and peaceful conduct of the two processions. Such action is considered to be necessary and appropriate in the interests of public order and safety.

(b) Contrary to the allegation that the Police refused to reply to all the questions of the students, I must point out that police officers at the scene did advise the students that a larger group of demonstrators would arrive shortly and asked them to allow that group to proceed first so that the demonstrations could be conducted in an orderly way. However, the advice was ignored. Although the legal provisions mentioned in (a) above do not require police officers to openly explain to the people at the scene the legal justifications and reasons, police officers do endeavour to explain to those affected the reasons for exercising these powers when it is practicable to do so to avoid misunderstandings.

10

(c) The power of the Police to use barriers to cordon off the area outside the Xinhua News Agency is incidental to the exercise of the legal powers set out in (a) above. The boundaries for such area will depend on the size and mood of the crowds, the geographical characteristics of the site, the traffic and pedestrian flow, and the special circumstances of each event. In carrying out their duties, the Police always seek to strike a balance between the rights of the demonstrators, and on this occasion those of the two different groups which were conducting processions almost at the same time, to express their views, and the need to ensure that no danger or inconvenience is caused to others.

End

HK continues to support renewal of China's MFN status

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Paul Cheng Ming-fun and a reply by the Secretary for Trade and Industry, Miss Denise Yue, in the Legsilative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Bearing in mind the potential for serious damage to Hong Kong that may arise from any economic or other dispute between the territory's two largest trading partners, any instability in the Sino-US relations will be of grave concern to the business community in the territory. With the question of China's most-favourednation (MFN) trade status in the US still subject to annual review, and with the US Administration under renewed pressure at home to link economic issues to human rights and other non-trade issues through MFN or other platforms, will the Government inform this Council what specific measures are being planned by the Government this year to minimize the territory’s exposure to this risk?

Reply:

The Hong Kong Government continues to support the unconditional renewal of China’s MFN status. We believe that MFN is the normal basis for international trade and that trade should be separated from non-trade issues. Unconditional MFN is important to Hong Kong, China and the United States.

11

Lobbying for the unconditional renewal of China's MFN status has by now become a regular part of the work of our Economic and Trade Office in Washington. In this connection, the main task of my colleagues in Washington is to ensure that the damaging impact of conditional renewal or non renewal of China's MFN status on Hong Kong's economy is conveyed to senior members of the US Administration and as many legislators in the US Congress as possible, particularly the more influential ones. In carrying out this task, my colleagues in Washington also work closely with US businesses which have an interest in trading with or investing in China. Such efforts are supplemented each year by visits to Washington by Hong Kong Government officials. Where appropriate, the Government also coordinates the visits to Washington of prominent Hong Kong personalities as well as lobbying missions comprising representatives of Hong Kong's trade and industrial organisations; and assistance is provided to them on the spot by my colleagues in Washington.

The MFN status of China was renewed unconditionally in the past two years and this in no small measures has reflected the value of the efforts which have been put in by all. The main thrust and modality of the lobbying programme in connection with MFN renewal in 1996 shall follow those of previous years.

End

Disciplinary committees of professional bodies

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Leong Che-hung and a reply by the Secretary for Works, Mr Kwong Hon-sang. in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In regard to the disciplinary committees of statutory professional bodies in the territory, will the Administration inform this Council:

(a) which committees include laymen members;

(b) which committees' disciplinary proceedings are open to the public; and

(c) whether the administration will urge those statutory professional bodies which conduct disciplinary proceedings in camera to make such proceedings open to the public so as to enhance transparency and public accountability?

12

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) There are at present 14 statutory, professional bodies. Of these, the disciplinary committees of the following statutory professional bodies include laymen members:

(1) The Law Society of Hong Kong

(2) The Hong Kong Bar Association

(3) Medical Council of Hong Kong

(4) Midwives Board of Hong Kong

(5) Nursing Board of Hong Kong

(6) Dental Council of Hong Kong

(7) Chiropractors Council

In addition to the above seven statutory professional bodies, the Hong Kong Society of Accountants may direct that one of the members of a disciplinary committee shall be a person who is not a professional accountant.

(b) The disciplinary proceedings of the disciplinary committees of the following statutory professional bodies are usually open to the public:

(1) Medical Council of Hong Kong

(2) Midwives Board of Hong Kong

(3) Nursing Board of Hong Kong

(4) Dental Council of Hong Kong

(5) Supplementary Medical Professions Council

(6) Pharmacy and Poisons Board

(c) Most of the statutory professional bodies are statutorily empowered to admit or exclude the public or any member of the public from their disciplinary proceedings. As they mainly aim to* regulate their professions, the Administration considers it not appropriate to intervene in their internal affairs and therefore does not have plan to urge those statutory professional bodies which conduct disciplinary proceedings in camera to make their proceedings open to the public. It is understood that sometimes the person whose conduct is being inquired into may not wish to have the proceedings open to the public.

End

13

Taxi drivers tampering with meters

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Ip Kwok-him and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In view of the fact that the police has recently discovered two cases of taxi drivers tampering with taximeters by various means in order to cheat passengers into paying excessive fares, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the total number of complaints involving taximeters received by the police in the past year;

(b) whether the Government will adopt any measures to speed up the installation of anti-tampering device in taximeters of the 12 000 taxis in the territory which have not yet been installed with such a device; if not, why not; and

(c) whether the Government will increase the frequency of inspection of taximeters, which at present is conducted once every six months; and whether consideration will be given to imposing heavier penalties on taxi drivers tampering with taximeters as a deterrent, so as to protect the interests of consumers?

Reply:

Mr President,

In 1995, the Police received a total of 2 956 complaints against taxi malpractices. Of this number, 739 complaints related to taximeter offences.

The law requires the owner of a taxi to submit his taxi to the Transport Department every six months so that the taximeter can be tested, stamped and sealed. This is to ensure that the meter is set properly and will make an accurate recording of the fare. More frequent inspections would not eradicate meter tampering where it does not involve breaking the seal, because the evidence of tempering can be removed before the taximeter is presented for inspection.

14

The latest type of taximeters have in-built devices that make tampering much more difficult. Transport Department has advised and encouraged taxi operators to install such meters as and when they replace their vehicles. So far about 6 000 taxi owners have complied. We will continue to hold discussions with the taxi trade and urge taxi operators to speed up the pace of conversion.

Meanwhile, to combat meter tempering, the Police have mounted special operations and undertaken spot checks. During the period from January to November 1995, the total number of prosecutions brought by the Police against taximeter offences was 915.

The law provides for maximum penalties of a fine of $10 000 and imprisonment for six months for offences relating to the improper use of taximeters. The actual imposition of penalties is a matter for the courts. We will continue to monitor the situation to see if there is a need to raise the maximum penalties for this type of offence.

End

Elderly services on outlying islands *****

Following is a question by the Hon Eric Li Ka-cheung and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Administration inform this Council of the following:

(a) the number of people aged 65 or above living on Lantau Island. Cheung Chau, Ping Chau and Lamina Island respectively, as well as the proportion of these elderly people to the overall population on each of the islands concerned and the number of elderly singletons among the elderly people;

(b) the respective numbers of institutions providing social and medical services for the elderly, such as homes for the elderly, day-time elderly care centres, social centres for the elderly, infirmaries,.convalescent homes, care and attention homes and health centres for the elderly, as well as the number of home helpers stationed on each of the islands concerned to provide such services; and

15

(c)

Reply:

(a)

whether, according to the demographic structure of the population on the islands concerned, the number of elderly people aged 65 or above will increase in the next five years and ten years; if so, whether the services mentioned in (b) above can meet the present and future demands for such services on those islands?

Based on the latest statistics obtained from the General Household Survey, the number of elderly persons aged 65 and above living in the Islands District Board District in 1994 was estimated to be 5,700, representing some 13% of the 44,800 persons of all ages in the District. Due to the relatively small sample size of the survey, a further breakdown by island and to show whether the elderly persons were living alone would be subject to a high margin of error due to small sample size. Reliable estimates cannot, therefore, be provided in this regard.

It may be useful to note that, according to the 1991 Population Census, the distribution of the elderly population by individual island is as follows :

No. of elderly persons aged 65 and abovg Total no. of persons Elderly as a percentage of the total

Lantau and associated islands 1,957 18.864 10.4%

Cheung Chau 2,374 21.517 11.0%

Peng Chau 446 3,280 13.6%

Lamma and Po Toi 393 2,971 13.2%

Total 5,170 46,632 11.1%

16

Statistics on elderly persons living alone by district are not available from the Census information. These population figures will be updated in the By-Census to be conducted in March this year.

(b) Welfare services for the elderly may be broadly categorised into community support services and residential care services.

As a form of community support service for the elderly, one social centre and one club for the elderly are run on Lantau Island to serve elderly people in the same neighbourhood. There is also one social centre for the elderly on Cheung Chau. Voluntary groups organise social and recreational activities for elderly people on Peng Chau and Lamma Island where there are currently no social centre services. A home help service is provided by 15 home helpers based on Lantau Island who serve the whole of the Islands District. The number serving each island varies according to demand.

Residential care services for the elderly are not provided on a district basis. As far as the Islands District is concerned, there are at present two subvented homes for the elderly in the district. One home on Cheung Chau provides 55 care-and-attention places and 75 home for the aged places. The other, on Lantau Island, provides 40 home for the aged places. Four private homes for the elderly on Cheung Chau provide 114 care-and-attention places and 29 aged home places.

Other social service units serving the whole of Islands District include : one social security field unit, three family services centres and one medical social services unit.

Primary health care services for the elderly are provided by the Department of Health through General Out-patient Clinics — Mui Wo Clinic and Tai O Jockey Club Clinic on Lantau Island: Peng Chau Clinic on Peng Chau Island; North Lamma Clinic and Sok Kwu Wan Clinic on Lamma Island; and a clinic in St. John's Hospital on Cheung Chau. Remote parts of Lantau Island are served by Travelling Dispensaries and a Floating Clinic.

Seven Elderly Health Centres will be set up by 1997. This new pilot service is being reviewed and, subject to the demand for it, it is anticipated that future disease prevention and health promotion programmes for the elderly will be integrated into the General Outpatient Service which is already available in Islands District.

- 17 -

There is one hospital in Islands District, St. John's Hospital, on Cheung Chau. It provides a wide range of in-patient, out-patient and community services to elderly people c.g. accident and emergency, general and geriatrics out-patient, rehabilitation, infirmary, community nursing and community geriatric assessment services.

(c) Based on the latest set of population projections prepared by the Working Group on Population Distribution in 1992, the number of elderly persons aged 65 and above in the Islands District is expected to be about 10,000 by 2001. Projections for the years beyond 2001 and for individual islands are not available.

Except for a shortfall in subvented care-and-attcntion places, health and welfare services for the elderly can generally meet the existing demand. In anticipation of an increase in the elderly population, there are plans to provide:-

an additional three social centres for the elderly, two on Lantau Island in 1997/98 and 1998/99 and one on Peng Chau in 1996/97;

one day care centre for the elderly on Cheung Chau in 1998/99:

care-and-attention places and 85 home for the aged places by 1997/98 which will fully meet the demand for residential services then;

an additional 10 home helpers in 1995/96; and

one general out-patient clinic in 1998.

Utilisation of services will be kept under constant review and further expansion of services in the Islands District will be considered as and when appropriate.

End

18

Shortage of parking spaces

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Chan Kam-lam and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In view of the serious shortage of parking spaces in most parts of the territory and the high parking fees charged by car parks, will the Government inform this Council whether:

(a) it will consider providing spaces for overnight parking (say from 10 pm to 7 am) on relatively less busy side streets in various districts and installing special parking meters along the pavements of those, streets so as to facilitate drivers, in particular professional drivers, to park their cars; and

(b) it will consider building more car parks along both the Kowloon-Canton Railway and Mass Transit Railway stations to provide park-and-ride facilities with a view to encouraging people living in remote areas to use the mass transit systems, so as to alleviate traffic congestion?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) There arc about 26,000 on-street parking spaces in the Territory, which can be used for overnight parking by motorists, including taxi and minibus drivers. In addition, there are about 600 on-street spaces which have been designated specifically for overnight parking of goods vehicles. They are located in Kwai Chung, Tsuen Wan, Tsing Yi. Tuen Mun and Yuen Long districts. In consultation with District Boards and other government departments, we will continue to extend the scheme for overnight parking to other areas where traffic conditions permit and where it is environmentally acceptable.

On-street parking meters are installed to regulate short-term parking demand during the day and in the evening. There are no special parking meters for overnight parking as they may cause confusion to motorists in the daytime when parking is not permitted.

19

Wc recognise the general shortage of parking spaces. A study objective of the Parking Demand Study, which will be published very soon and on which the LegCo Transport Panel will be consulted, is to identify practical remedial measures to alleviate the problem. Indeed, one of the recommendations is to designate spaces for on-street overnight parking along roads suitable for this purpose .

(b) Government will continue to consider building more car parks near railway stations to provide park-and-ride facilities. For example, we will contribute $60 million to the MTRC project to develop a transport interchange at the Choi Hung MTR Station which will incorporate park-and-ride facilities for around 450 cars. Another possibility being considered is the use of the open site at the University KCR Station in Ma Liu Shui for temporary parking.

It must be recognised that along or near existing railway lines there are constraints in obtaining suitable sites. However, with the new KCR and MTR projects proposed in the Railway Development Strategy, we will explore all opportunities for the provision of park-and-ride facilities.

End

Measures to monitor and trace prank 999 calls *****

Following is a question by Dr the Hon David Li Kwok-po and a written reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai. in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It was reported recently that an eight-year old boy was arrested by the police for dialling ’999’ to report a bogus robbery. As prank callers could stand in the way of people getting through the '999' line to report real life-or-death emergencies, will the Government inform this Council :

20

(a) how the police will step up measures to monitor and trace the source of prank calls; and

(b) what penalties, if any, apply to callers dialling ‘999’ to make prank or nuisance calls?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) Operators at the 999 Consoles in the Police Regional Command and Control Centres (RCCCs) can hold any incoming telephone call so that the caller can be traced through the exchange line. The Government is discussing with the telephone company with a view to introducing a new facility in the RCCCs that displays the telephone number from which an incoming call is made. If introduced, the facility will greatly speed up the process of locating the sources of emergency calls irrespective of prank or genuine ones.

(b) A person who dial ’999’ to make prank or nuisance calls may commit the following offences:

* the offence of making a false report to a police officer or misleading a police officer by giving false information, contrary to section 64 of the Police Force Ordinance, for which the offender may be liable to a fine of $1,000 and to imprisonment for six months;

* the offence of causing wasteful employment of police by making a false report, contrary to section 91(2) of the Criminal Procedure Ordinance, for which- the offender may be liable to a fine of $2,000 and to imprisonment for six months: and/or

* the offence of persistently making telephone calls without reasonable cause for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to any other person, contrary to section 20(c) of the Summary Offences Ordinance, for which the offender may be liable to a fine of $1,000 and to imprisonment for two months.

End

21

Studies on changes in labour productivity *****

Following is a question by the Hon Law Cheung-kwok and a written reply by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

As the structure of the economy of the territory has been undergoing the process of transformation, will the Government inform this Council whether it has conducted detailed studies to assess the changes in labour productivity in various industries, as well as the reasons for such changes, in the past ten year: if so, what the findings are?

Reply:

The Census and Statistics Department has conducted detailed studies on changes in labour productivity in the manufacturing industries. Growth in labour productivity in the manufacturing sector averaged around 10% per annum in recent years. Analysed by individual industries, labour productivity in the electrical and electronic products industry recorded very impressive improvement, at an average annual rate of around 15% in real terms during the period from 1982 to 1992. Productivity in the plastic products, fabricated metal products, textile and wearing apparel industries recorded relatively less rapid increases of 9-11% per annum.

These improvements are closely tied to the relocation of labour-intensive production processes across the border. On the other hand, manufacturing activities remaining in Hong Kong have been upgraded, through investment in machinery, equipment and new technology, to become more sophisticated and skill-intensive. Those outputs have higher value-added content.

22

For service industries, measurement of labour productivity is much more complex and difficult. First, with the rapid structural transformation of our economy over the past decade, our service industries have become increasingly more sophisticated. There is a very large variety of services, and the nature of their output varies considerably. Second, whilst goods are tangible and can be more easily measured, service outputs are much less so, and are therefore more difficult to define and quantify. Third, producer price indices are required for measuring changes in output in real terms by removing the effect of price changes over time. In compiling such indices, particularly when going into more detailed breakdowns by sub-sector, price data is needed. This will require considerable support from respondents. The resources involved also will be very substantial. The Census and Statistics Department is nevertheless prepared to pursue productivity studies for the various service industries. Among other things, this will necessitate the seeking of additional resources or examining ways to redeploy existing resources which arc already very tight.

End

Cement factory on Tsing Yi Island *****

Following is a question by the Hon Lee Wing-tat and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

With regard to the cement factory adjacent to Greenfield Garden on Tsing Yi Island, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether the cement factory will be decommissioned by the end of June this year in accordance with the terms of the Conditions of Exchange executed in November 1993: if not. why not;

(b) what stage the relocation exercise has reached now and whether difficulties have been encountered: if so, what the difficulties are; and

(c) whether the Environment Protection Department’s plan to issue a two-year operating licence to the operator of the cement factory is in contravention of the terms of the Conditions of Exchange mentioned above?

23

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) It remains our aim to have the cement plant adjacent to Greenfield Garden relocated and decommissioned in June 1996.

(b) Construction of the new cement plant at the relocation site is progressing on schedule. No difficulty has been encountered so far which would delay the scheduled relocation.

(c) Section 15(4) of the Air Pollution Control Ordinance provides that a licence for operating a cement plant should not be for less than two years. The Environmental Protection Department is currently reviewing the plant's application for a licence. The issue of such a licence would not prejudice Government's authority to enforce the Conditions of Exchange in requiring the cement plant to cease operation in June 1996.

End

Territorial Development Strategy Review *****

Following is a question by the Hon Ambrose Lau Hon-chuen and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council whether it will, in its review of the Territorial Development Strategy, consider recommending that priority be accorded to developing the New Territories, especially Northwest New Territories, so as to reduce the need for reclamation in Victoria Harbour?

24

Answer:

Mr President,

The long term development needs of Hong Kong, including how and where such needs should be accommodated, are being comprehensively studied in the current Territorial Development Strategy Review. The Review has been evaluating, among other things, the development potential of various areas throughout the territory.

It is too early to say which specific part of the territory should be developed as a priority. We will consult the public when the Review is completed.

End

Rehousing of squatters on Government land

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Christine Loh 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 this year. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the status of Ching Man Village at So Ko Po in Tai Hang; and

(b) whether Ching Man Village is among the villages to be cleared under the policy mentioned above; if so, what terms will be offered to the residents in this village?

25

Answer:

Mr President,

Ching Man Village is a Cottage Area under the supervision of the Housing Department and is situated on government land. Residents have no land title, but hold occupation permits which may be terminated by either party giving three months’ notice.

Ching Man Village, not being a squatter area, docs not fall within the Governor's pledge. Part of the village is now being cleared because of slope safety reasons. Affected residents who are eligible will be given public rental housing units or priority to buy Home Ownership Scheme flats, and will also receive domestic removal allowances. Unauthorised residents in need of accommodation will be rehoused in Temporary Housing Areas in the urban area. No one will be rendered homeless as a result of this partial clearance.

End

Collection of royalties from copyright music users

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Selina Chow and a written reply by the Secretary for Trade and Industry, Miss Denise Yue, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

At present, a number of independent bodies representing different sectors of the music industry, such as the Composers and Authors Society of Hong Kong (CASH) and the International Federation of Phonographic Industry (IFPI), may collect royalties from users of copyright music. This has given rise to confusion to music users, such as karaoke bars and other entertainment establishments, who have to pay royalties either at the same time or at different times to different bodies. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether it knows of the present number of bodies in the territory which may collect royalties from users of copyright music and the basis adopted by such bodies for determining this type of music royalties;

26

(b) through what channels can the public find out which bodies may legally collect music royalties; and

(c) whether consideration will be given to establishing a mechanism which will incorporate all royalties charged by the relevant bodies and which will collect such royalties from users of copyright music on a unified basis, thereby avoiding unnecessary confusion and disputes arising from the payment of royalties to different bodies?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) At present, there are two bodies in Hong Kong which may collect royalties for public performance of music. One is the Phonographic Performance (South East Asia) Ltd. (PPSEAL), a subsidiary of the International Federation of Phonographic Industry (IFPI), which collects royalties in respect of sound recordings. The other is the Composers and Authors Society of Hong Kong Limited (CASH) which collects copyright royalties in respect of the lyrics and music underlying the sound recordings. The separate collection of royalties for sound recordings and for music and lyrics is a common practice internationally.

Copyright is a private economic right that can be exercised by the copyright owners. The charging of royalties is a means to exercise such a right. The determination of copyright royalties is a commercial matter between the copyright holders and the copyright users, having regard to the supply and demand for the copyright works, the form and scale of usage, the established royalties charged by major foreign societies for similar rights, and other factors as considered appropriate. The Government should not intervene.

However, to guard against possible abuse, under existing legislation disputes over copyright royalties between copyright owners or collecting societies on the one hand and the copyright users for the public performance of music on the other may be referred to the Performing Right Tribunal (PRT) for arbitration. The PRT was established under the provisions of the UK 1956 Copyright Act as amended and extended to Hong Kong.

27

(b) The public can find out which bodies may legally collect music royalties from copyright lawyers or from the Intellectual Property Department.

(c) It would be impractical, costly and cumbersome for the Government to establish a mechanism incorporating all royalties charged by the relevant bodies and collecting such royalties from users of copyright music on a unified basis. There is no international precedent in this regard. Furthermore, even if such a mechanism was set up, the Government could not debar individuals from pursuing their rights separately, or in groups, as this would put Hong Kong in breach of the international copyright standard.

End

Revision of mathematics textbooks for sixth form

*****

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

Question:

On 27 October 1995, an amount of $54.4 million was approved by the Finance Committee of this Council for implementing Phase IV of the Incentive Award Scheme (the Scheme) for Chinese textbooks. Of this amount, some $13 million has been earmarked for publishers to produce Chinese Mathematics textbooks for the sixthform for use by students in the 1998/99 academic year. However, it is learned that the Curriculum Development Council (CDC) is planning to revise the Mathematics syllabus of the sixth-form, and the revision is expected to be completed by 1998. Hence, the Mathematics syllabus may have already been revised by the time the new Chinese Mathematics textbooks for the sixth-form are available in September 1998, which will render the new textbooks useless and result in the incentive award of $13 million being wasted. In this regard, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) why the Education Department has recommended the inclusion of Mathematics for the sixth-form in Phase IV of the Scheme when it has already known that the Mathematics syllabus will be revised shortly; and

28

(b) whether it will consider withholding the amount earmarked for Chinese Mathematics textbooks for the sixth-form under the Scheme until the CDC has completed the revision of the Mathematics syllabus; if not, why not?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) Phase IV of the Chinese Textbooks Incentive Award Scheme is recommended by the Chinese Textbooks Committee. One of the criteria adopted by the Committee in selecting subjects for inclusion in the Scheme is that subjects which would undergo syllabus revision in the next two or three years will not be included.

In its deliberations, the Chinese Textbooks Committee noted that the Curriculum Development Council would not make substantial changes in the immediate future to the syllabuses of the four Sixth Form Mathematics Subjects, namely:

Advanced Level (AL)

Pure Mathematics

Applied Mathematics

Advanced Supplementary Level (ASL) Applied Mathematics Mathematics & Statistics

The Committee also noted that there were plans to elaborate on the teaching notes of ASL Mathematics & Statistics Syllabus, for use by teachers by 1998. This would not, however, affect the content of the textbooks concerned.

After consultation with the Curriculum Development Institute of the Education Department and the Hong Kong Examinations Authority, the Committee recommended that three Sixth Form Mathematics Subjects, together with 13 other subjects, for inclusion in the Scheme. This involves awards up to $4.1 million for AL Pure Mathematics, $5.6 million for AL Applied Mathematics (which also covers the content of ASL Applied Mathematics), and $3.3 million for ASL Mathematics and Statistics.

29

(b) It remains the position that the Curriculum Development Council has no plan in the immediate future to make substantial changes to the syllabuses of the four Sixth Form Mathematics Subjects. The Council might propose minor changes in its regular reviews but these will not affect the suitability of the textbooks concerned for use by students. Thus, the question of withholding the amount earmarked does not arise.

End

Policy on monitoring public utilities *****

Following is a question by the Hon Fred Li Wah-ming and a written reply by the acting Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Leo Kwan, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

With regard to the Government's policy on the monitoring of public utilities, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the criteria adopted by the Government for determining whether a public utility company has monopolised the market;

(b) what measures the Government will take to safeguard the consumers' rights in the event of a public utility company monopolising the market; and

(c) whether the Government will only monitor those public utility companies operating on a franchise basis?

Reply:

(a) In general, the following characteristics of the market structure will be considered in deciding whether a public utility company has attained a monopolistic position in a certain market - the degree of market concentration, economies of scale, barrier to entry, pricing behaviour, and availability of close substitutes for the product;

30

(b) The Government believes that, in the delivery of public utilities services, market forces are the best to determine the scale and quality of services and the price at which enhanced efficiency and minimum costs can be achieved. However, the Government is prepared to intervene when a monopolistic situation exists or when intervention becomes necessary to protect the public interests. There are no standard ways of intervention; all are tailored to specific industries and circumstances. The intervention may be by way of legislation, franchise and/or a scheme of control agreement. In all such cases, the level of intervention is kept to the minimum compatible with the public interests. For instance,

* franchises are introduced for franchised transport companies;

a price control scheme, i.e. price-cap, is introduced for the Hong Kong Telephone Company; and

* Scheme of Control Agreements are entered into between the Government and the two power companies.

(c) Government monitoring depends on the need to intervene and is not limited to franchised business. For instance, the Government has entered into Scheme of Control Agreements with the two power companies which do not hold any franchise.

End

Western Corridor Railway project

*****

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Samuel Wong Ping-wai and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) has recently announced that the estimated cost for the proposed Western Corridor Railway project has increased from $35 billion to more than $70 billion and that consultants will be invited to submit tenders for the next stage ol the investigation and design work. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

31

(a) how much has been earmarked for land resumption and what is the breakdown of the estimate on the construction cost;

(b) whether consultants will be invited locally to submit tenders for the investigation and design work in accordance with the tendering procedures adopted by the Government's Works Departments; if not, why not;

(c) what criteria will be adopted by the KCRC for selecting professional consultants for the Western Corridor Railway project; and whether the consultants' local design experience in the environmental, building regulations and fire safety aspects will be taken into consideration in the selection process; if not, why not; and

(d) whether non-salaried directors of the KCRC will be involved in the selection of consultants for the project?

Reply:

Mr President,

In January 1995, following the announcement of the Railway Development Strategy (RDS), Government invited the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) to submit a proposal for building a new railway running from the border to West Kowloon, through the western part of the territory i.e. the Western Corridor Railway (WCR). KCRC submitted its formal proposal to Government in November 1995. This outlines the Corporation's scheme for the WCR project and serves as the basis for detailed discussions between Government and the Corporations and on which the Corporation intends to carry out further in-depth planning and design work.

The cost estimate of $75 billion given by KCRC in its project proposal is in Money of the Day (MOD) terms. The relevant corresponding figure in the RDS is about $53 billion. It has been clearly explained that the estimates given in the RDS were only rough indications of cost. They were based on a preliminary assessment without the benefit of a more detailed study like the one that the KCRC has since undertaken. Furthermore, the KCRC's cost estimate has allowed for changes in the scope in the project, such as the extension to Tuen Mun Town Centre, as well as project reserves and financing costs, which were not included in the RDS estimates.

32

As regards the specific points raised:

(a) The land resumption and clearance costs involved are estimated to be in the order of $5.4 billion (Money of the Day). This has not been included in the estimated capital cost of $75 billion, as the intention is that Government will meet the costs of making the land available for the railway right-of-way.

A breakdown of the capital cost, as given by KCRC, is set out below:

Rough Indication of Cost

(SB) (Money of the Day)

Facilities (stations, depots etc) 25.3

Railway (line segments, 27.0

viaducts, tunnels etc)

Systems (signalling, power, 4.4

communications and fare collection)

Rolling Stock (train cars) 4.3

Financing

Project Reserve 6.1

74.6 say 75.0

It should be stressed that $75 billion is KCRC's estimate and a preliminary one at that. The figure will need to be refined in the light of detailed planning, engineering and financial studies and in-depth discussions with Government.

• • • % •

Consistent with KCRC's and Hong Kong Government's procurement policies for major projects, consultants will be selected through a competitive, open tender process. Both local and international firms have been invited to prequalify to tender for the preliminary engineering design of the WCR project. Of the more than 200 firms which have expressed interest in the KCRC's invitation, some 40% are Hong Kong based companies.

33

(c) The criteria that will be adopted in selecting consultants include their track record and work experience in Hong Kong and in undertaking similar work, staff resources, management systems and plans for implementing the project.

(d) Consistent with current procurement practices, the award of all major contracts will have to be approved by the full board of the KCRC.

End

Disposal of used engine oil ♦ ♦ * * ♦

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

Question:

In view of the fact that used engine oil was previously collected by private companies for recycling purpose and that there is no such practice now, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether it has adopted any monitoring measures to prohibit the disposal of used engine oil in drains or open areas;

(b) whether it has considered the introduction of a recycling plan for used engine oil which will involve the collection of such oil by private companies for recycling purposes: and

(c) what measures it will adopt to solve the pollution problem caused by used engine oil in the long term?

34

Reply:

Mr President,

There arc still thirteen licensed collectors of waste lubricating oil and a privately-run plant in Yuen Long which specialises in the recycling of such oil.

(a) Used engine oil or waste lubricating oil, except those generated from domestic use, is classified as chemical waste which is subject to control under the Waste Disposal (Chemical Waste) (General) Regulation. The Local Control Offices of the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) are responsible for monitoring and controlling the storage and disposal of chemical waste in the territory. Anyone prosecuted and convicted under the Regulation for improper disposal of chemical waste is liable to a maximum fine of $200,000 and imprisonment for 6 months.

(b) As stated in the 1989 White Paper "Pollution in Hong Kong - A Time to Act", it is government policy to ensure the provision, by cither the private or the public sectors, of facilities for the cost effective and environmentally satisfactory disposal of all wastes. It is also government policy to encourage local waste recovery and recycling activities. There are, as noted above, already a number of local collectors and a plant in Yuen Long which collect and recycle waste lubricating oil. Waste lubricating oil that is suitable for recycling and collected by the Tsing Yi Chemical Waste Treatment Centre (CWTC) will also be sent to the Yuen Long plant for recycling. We also liaise with vehicle and drivers’ associations to increase public awareness of the importance of proper disposal of waste lubricating oil. Drivers and vehicle owners arc encouraged to have their oil changed at garages where the waste oil will be properly disposed of.

(c) The above measures, and increased public awareness of the importance of proper disposal of waste lubricating oil through education and publicity, would help achieve environmentally acceptable disposal of engine oil. Any improper disposal is liable to prosecution.

End

35

Remuneration of university heads review *****

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

Question:

In regard to a recent report concerning the appointment of a consultancy firm by the University Grants Committee to review the remuneration of heads of universities in the territory, will the Government inform this Council :

(a) of the reasons for and the objectives of commissioning the review;

(b) whether the remuneration received by heads of universities is set at 98% of that received by the Chief Secretary, if so, what the rationale is;

(c) whether the existing system of linking the remuneration and fringe benefits of heads and senior teaching staff of universities to those of comparable ranks in the Civil Service will be examined in the review; and

(d) when the review will be completed and whether the findings of the review will be released for public consultation ?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) In the context of the University Grants Committee (UGC)'s review of the salaries of the Heads of City University of Hong Kong (CityU), Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU), Lingnan College (LC) and Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), the Administration requested the UGC to undertake a review of the salary scales of all the Heads of the UGC-funded institutions as the Government is concerned about whether the existing salaries of the Heads are at an appropriate level. At present, the salaries of the vice-chancellors of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and University of Hong Kong (HKU) are pegged at 98% of the Chief Secretary (CS)'s salary whereas that of the Heads of other four UGC-funded institutions are set at lower levels equivalent to various points on the Directorate Pay Scale of the civil service. In the light of the changes in the nature and scale of responsibilities of the CS and other senior civil servants in recent years, there is a need to review the current relativity of the salaries of the Heads to the CS. The objectives of the consultancy are, therefore, to:

i

- 36 -

(i) assess the appropriateness of the current salary levels of the Heads of the seven UGC-funded institutions having regard to the need to maintain broad comparability of their total remuneration packages with those of grades with a similar level of responsibilities in the civil service; and

(ii) advise the UGC on the appropriate remuneration packages for the Heads of the UGC-funded institutions.

(b) Members of the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council advised in September 1970 that the vice-chancellors' emoluments should not exceed those of the Chief Secretary (CS), and approved in October 1974 the pegging of the salaries at one and two-thirds times the average of the professorial salary range. Hence, the vice-chancellors' salaries became indirectly linked to the top point of the Master Pay Scale (MPS) as the non-clinical professorial average was 143.8% of the maximum of the Senior Administrative Officer. However, as a result of the upward extension of the Master Pay Scale (MPS) the vice-chancellors' emoluments had exceeded that of the CS by 1979. Hence, on 28 July 1982 the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council approved the pegging of the vice-chancellors' salaries to that of 98% of the CS's salary. In June 1988, the Finance Committee approved that the salary scale of the vice-chancellor of HKUST, whose level of responsibilities was considered to be the same as that of the vice-chancellors of CUHK and HKU, should also be pegged at the same level.

(c) The review examines the linking of the salaries of the Heads to that of the CS. The linking of the remuneration packages of the senior teaching staff of the UGC-funded institutions, namely those at the professorial rank to those of civil service grades of comparable responsibilities is not considered in the review.

(d) The consultants are expected to complete their study in February 1996. With the benefit of the findings of the consultancy report, the UGC aims to complete the review in April 1996 and tender its advice to government. The determination of salary levels is a technical matter. The Administration does not consider it appropriate to mount a public consultation exercise on the findings of the consultancy or the UGC's recommendations. Should changes to the salary levels of the Heads of UGC-funded institutions be proposed, the Administration will put its recommendations to the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council for consideration.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, January 18, 1996

Contents Page No.

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

Report on 1995 LegCo general election published............................... 3

Tuen Mun Road closed lane partially re-open................................... 4

Work to deepen Rambler Channel due to start................................... 5

Payroll and wage statistics................................................... 6

Soldiers in training for charity trek......................................... 9

Modem imaging technology makes land search an easier task..................... 9

Fresh water cut in Yuen Long and Western District........................ 11

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

Transcript of the Governor's media session ♦ * ♦ ♦ *

Following is the transcript of the media session by the Governor, the Rt I Ion Christopher Patten, after attending the 50th Congregation of the Chinese University of Hong Kong this (Thursday) afternoon:

Governor: I'm delighted to have been taking part in this ceremony, honouring for very distinguished men, and of course in particular meeting and honouring my predecessor and house guest Lord Wilson who made such a significant contribution to the wellbeing and the stability of Hong Kong. So it's a very enjoyable occasion for me and 1 know for the honorary graduands too. Any questions?

Question: The Chinese officials criticised the cost of (he Western Corridor, saying that the cost of infrastructure in Hong Kong should not be fluctuated. How do you react to this?

Governor: I haven't seen that report. I'd like to study it before I comment. But as you know, the infrastructure within Hong Kong is a matter within the autonomy of Hong Kong. Of course where there are questions involving the infrastructure in the region, connections with the infrastructure in the mainland in China, they need to be tackled for example through the Infrastructure Co-ordination Committee. But what happens in Hong Kong is before 1997 a matter of the Hong Kong Government and will be after 1997 a matter for the Hong Kong Government. But that is a general observation and I would not want to comment on the specific point you made until I am able to study the comments by the official.

Question: The Director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office Lu Ping this morning criticised Mr Rifkind's speech to Qian Qichcn in Beijing, saying that...

Governor: I am rather surprised at that comment by Director Lu. It doesn't seem to accqrd with the rest of Mr Rifkind's visit to Peking which went very satisfactorily. But if Director Lu thinks there are no concerns about the future, he should perhaps come to Hong Kong and see things for himself. If he would like to come to Hong Kong we would make him welcome again. And 1 hope that when he comes, he will speak to as wide a selection of the population as possible, including members of the Legislative Council and including the Governor of Hong Kong who is the head of the Hong Kong Government until 1997 and the Queen's representative.

Question: Do you think Lord Wilson's advice that the success of Hong Kong's future., this sort of advice ... too late?

Governor: No. I think it is advice which I wholly agree with, just as I wholly agree with Lord Wilson's remarks that Hong Kong's autonomy should be respected.

2

Question: The Legco yesterday passed with a clear majority to urge the British Government to reflect Mong Kong people's wish for Wei Jingsheng's release. So what action would you take to the Chinese side on this matter?

Governor: A number of human rights cases including the one you mentioned were raised when Mr Rifkind was in Peking before the Legislative Council debate and I'm sure that if necessary British ministers particularly the Foreign Minister when it's appropriate will continue to raise human rights issues. The Legislative Council expressed its views yesterday as it is wholly entitled to do, and the views as expressed have of course been expressed by people elsewhere in the world.

Question: Lord Wilson mentioned that both sides, both Hong Kong and Chinese Governments, have to erase their stereotypes ...

Governor: I think it is a very sensible piece of advice.

Question: But do you think this stereotype will still exist even before the hand-over of the sovereignty?

Governor: I hope not. He called for dialogue which I wholly agree with, and that's why it would be sensible for Chinese officials to come to Hong Kong and to talk to members of the Administration including the Governor who runs the Administration. Question: On Rifkind's comments on the Bill of Rights... Has the fact that the international community's pressure on China and the Foreign Secretary ... worsened the situation?

Governor: No. I don't believe so. It is not of course a matter for me. But I'm sure that the international community will continue to express its views on the human rights situation in China. And because of 1997, it's a question which causes a particular interest here in Hong Kong.

Question: The Chinese side has criticised that the achievement of Rifkind's visit has been exaggerated...

Governor: 1 don't think that the progress was exaggerated. But what we all hope is that the commitments made by Chinese officials will be followed through in the negotiations which arc now necessary on detailed and technical issues on those major matters.

Question: Do you think you are still the obstacle of the Qian Qichen's visit to Hong Kong?

Governor: It would be astonishing were it so, not least because I shall be here until the 30th of June 1997. Where else in the world, dealing with what great problems elsewhere in the world, do some people refuse to talk to others. Frankly it is not a very sensible way of behaving. And I don't think it is in Hong Kong's best interests. I don't think it is in China's best interests either. I think that great nations and the governments of great nations have dialogue with people over the years.

Question: Do you think there will still be absence of dialogue until the day you have left Hong Kong?

Governor: That would be to China's and Hong Kong's considerable disadvantage. And those who were responsible for that lack of dialogue would have to explain themselves. Thank you very much.

End

Report on 1995 LegCo general election published *****

The Government has made public the report submitted by the Boundary and Election Commission (BEC) on the 1995 Legislative Council general election held on September 17 last year, a government spokesman said today (Thursday).

In accordance with the BEC Ordinance, the commission submitted its report on the LegCo general election to the Governor on December 15 last year.

"The report reviews the LegCo elections and makes a number of proposals for improving the electoral arrangements," the spokesman said.

"In line with past practice, the Government has decided to make the report public."

The spokesman added that upon the advice of BEC, sections of the report which are the subject of election petitions currently under the consideration by the court are not published until after the petitions have been determined.

"This is to avoid prejudicing the relevant judicial proceedings," he said.

Among its recommendations, BEC has proposed to make use of the census and by-census to assist in the verification and updating of the voter register.

4

The spokesman said the Government would need to consider this proposal carefully.

"The initial assessment is that there would be difficulties with this recommendation, given that the primary objective of the census is to obtain up-to-date information on the population for planning and policy formulation purposes," he said.

"In any case, as preparation for the forthcoming by-census in March is already in the final stage, it would not be practicable to adopt BEC's recommendation in the coming by-census," he said.

Copies of the BEC report will be distributed to members of the Legislative Council, Municipal Councils and District Boards. Members of the public can obtain copies from District Offices; the Government Publications Centre, ground floor, 66 Queensway; and the Registration and Electoral Office at Harbour Centre, Wan Chai.

End

Tuen Mun Road closed lane partially re-open * * * * *

A section of the New Territories-bound Tuen Mun Road between Sam Shing Hui and So Kwun Wat will resume three-lane traffic from 6 am tomorrow (Friday), the Highways Department announces today (Thursday).

"The length of the road section to be re-opened to dual three-lane traffic tomorrow is about two kilometres.

"A section of the road about 600 metres in length at Sam Shing Hui will continue to operate for two-lane traffic to Tuen Mun until the necessary works completed," a spokesman for the department said.

"The existing temporary reduction of lane width for a section of about 300 metres on the Tuen Mun bound carriageway at So Kwun Wat will also remain unchanged until the end of this month. Therefore, motorists are advised to drive with care and patience," he added.

To facilitate the re-painting of road markings for the re-opening of the section, one-lane traffic will maintain at the Tuen Mun bound carriageway at So Kwun Wat between 12.01 am and 6 am tomorrow.

End

5

Work to deepen Rambler Channel due to start *****

The chairman of the Port Development Board’s Container Handling Committee, Mr Gerry Forsgate, today (Thursday) hit out at critics who claim large container ships can not use Hong Kong’s port because approach channels are not deep enough.

He pointed out that at 15 metres, the approach to Container Terminal Seven and Eight could take even the biggest container vessels when fully loaded.

He said: ’’Work is expected to start later this year on a $120 million project to dredge the Rambler Channel. This will allow the bigger vessels to use Terminal One to Six, fully loaded if necessary.

"But the present channel, with a depth of 12.25 metres is adequate for any vessel wishing to use the older terminals.

"The fact that OOCL’s 4950 TEU vessel the OOCL Hong Kong was recently named in the port, and will call here regularly, proves that Hong Kong is approachable by the latest generation ships." His remarks follow suggestions that delays in dredging the Rambler Channel will mean ships being diverted from Hong Kong to other ports.

"There have been no cases of vessels being unable to use the port because of lack of depth in the Rambler Channel," Mr Forsgate emphasised.

"The port and shipping industry has been aware for some time that the introduction of bigger container vessels will necessitate the dredging of the channel from its current depth of just over 12 metres to 15 metres.

"This was recommended in the South-east Tsing Yi Development Study in 1991. Dredging work was included in the Container Terminal Nine project and was scheduled to have been completed last year.

"As you know." he continued, "the CT9 project was delayed for political reasons.

"Because of this, the Government has decided to carry out some of the infrastructure work associated with CT9 as separate projects as soon as possible. These include dredging the Rambler Channel and building the Duplicate Tsing Yi South Bridge.

"The Port Development Board, at its meeting last December, said that the dredging should be completed by mid-1997. Every effort is being made to meet that target. It is hoped that work can start in September this year and be completed by June 1997."

6

Mr Forsgate pointed out that though some of the latest generation container ships had a maximum draught of 14 metres when fully laden, it was very rare that any vessel arrived at, or left Hong Kong, with a full load.

"However," he added, "once the dredging is completed by the middle of next year, the Rambler Channel will be able to accommodate even the biggest ship loaded down to its maximum marks, if necessary."

End

Payroll and wage statistics *****

According to statistics released today (Thursday) by the Census and Statistics Department, average labour earnings in all major sectors of the economy, as measured by payroll per person engaged, recorded an increase of 11.7% in nominal terms in the third quarter of 1995 over a year earlier.

After discounting changes in consumer prices, there was an increase of 2.9% in real terms.

Analysed by major sector, average payroll per person engaged in the manufacturing sector recorded the largest increase, by 12.9% in nominal terms or 4% in real terms in the third quarter of 1995 over a year earlier; followed by financing, insurance, real estate and business services, by 12.7% in nominal terms or 3.9% in real terms; wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels, by 11.5% in nominal terms or 2.7% in real terms; transport, storage and communications, by 11.4% in nominal terms or 2.7% in real terms; and community, social and personal services, by 10.9% in nominal terms or 2.1% in real terms.

Thus all major sectors surveyed recorded increases in average labour earnings both in nominal terms and in real terms.

The overall wage index covering selected major sectors however showed a less rapid increase than average labour earnings. This index rose by 7% in nominal terms in September 1995 over a year earlier.

After discounting changes in consumer prices, the index showed a decrease of 1.8% in real terms.

7

The relatively faster increase in labour earnings as compared to wages was due to more overtime payment and the issue of non-regular payments in some sectors, which were covered in labour earnings but not in wages. On the other hand, the more moderate wage increase as compared to the earlier periods was in line with the easing in overall labour market conditions during the course of 1995.

The wage indices for selected major sectors all declined in real terms between September 1994 and September 1995. The decrease ranged from 0.7% in the financing, insurance, real estate and business services sector to 3.1% in the manufacturing sector.

Year-on-year changes in the indices of payroll per person engaged and wage indices for selected major sectors, in both nominal and real terms, are shown in Table 1 and Table 2 respectively.

Statistics on average payroll per person engaged are compiled at quarterly intervals based on the results of the Labour Earnings Survey conducted by the Census and Statistics Department.

The wage indices are compiled from the same survey at half-yearly intervals for March and September of the year. The wage indices cover both manual and non-manual workers up to the supervisory level.

Average payroll includes wages as well as all other irregular receipts such as bonuses and overtime payments. Statistics on average payroll tend to show larger quarter-to-quarter changes, affected by the number of hours actually worked and the timing of payment of bonuses and back-pay.

Detailed breakdowns of the above statistics are published in the Quarterly Report of Employment, Vacancies and Payroll Statistics, September 1995 and the Half-yearly Report of Wage Statistics, September 1995.

They will be on sale shortly, at $44 and $35 per copy (exclusive of postage) respectively, at the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong, and at the Publications Section of Census and Statistics Department, 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

For enquiries about statistics on average payroll per person engaged, please contact the Census and Statistics Department on 2582 5076. As for enquiries on wage statistics, please call the department on 2582 4744.

8

in real terms

in nominal terms

Selected Major Sector

Manufacturing

All Sectors

in real terms

in nominal terms

Selected Major Sector

Manufacturing

Transport Services

Personal Services tt

All Sectors Above

End

* Excluding industries related to storage and communications

0 Excluding industries related to community and social services

Wholesale, Retail and Import/Export Trades, Restaurants and Hotels

Wholesale, Retail and Import/Export Trades, Restaurants and Hotels

Financing, Insurance, Real Estate and Business Services

Financing, Insurance, Real Estate and Business Services

Transport, Storage and Communications

% change for September 199: over September 1994

% change for 3rd Quarter 1995 over 3rd Quarter 1994

Community, Social and Personal Services

Tabic 1 : Year-on-Year ChameJn Iodines of Payroll Per Person Engaged

9

Soldiers in training for charity trek ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Endurance, grit and determination - will be the three elements soldiers of 50 Hong Kong Workshop, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) will be demonstrating when they take part in Exercise Kiwi Dragon, in New Zealand in March.

In what will be their final expedition before the Sek Kong-based workshop disbands in July this year, the 10-man team will face arduous conditions as they trek more than 200 kilometres over some of the wildest terrain on both North and South Islands, and attempt white water rafting for three days down the Mohaka River.

However, although the expedition provides an excellent opportunity for the men to take part in adventurous training, the main aim of Exercise Kiwi Dragon is to raise thousands of dollars for charity, the 50 Hong Kong Workshop’s way of repaying the local community for their support over the years.

The three charities to benefit are Bradbury Hospice in Sha Tin, Caritas Medical Centre in Sham Shui Po and Evergreen International (HK) Association (Home for the Aged) in Kam Tin.

The team have already raised $15,000 in sponsorship but are looking for much more before they head for New Zealand in March.

End

Modem imaging technology makes land search an easier task ♦ * * ♦ ♦

Search of registered land records at the Land Registry will become a much easier task with the introduction of a massive optical disk-based Document Imaging System (DIS).

DIS, which will commence operation in July, will offer Land Registry users the benefits of a fast and convenient document retrieval and delivery service.

Speaking at the project commencement ceremony for the system today (Thursday), the Land Registrar, Mr Kenneth Pang, said the project marked the beginning of a new era for the Registry’s document storage and retrieval system.

10

"The present manual processes of storage, searching and photocopying land documents will soon be automated by a new system which can store, retrieve and reproduce the required land records much more efficiently and effectively.

"Our primary objective is to make registered land documents more readily accessible and available.

"The DIS project is part of our on-going commitment to delivering more efficient land record search services to our customers through the use of modern technology," he said.

At present, land documents in the New Territories Land Registries are stored in paper form and those in the Urban Land Registry in microfilms. Their storage and retrieval require an increasing amount of office accommodation and manpower resources.

Contractor of the project, Hewlett-Packard Hong Kong Limited, will soon start scanning the paper documents and converting them into computer readable images by means of high-speed scanners. These will be stored, for search and retrieval, on optical disks.

"All land documents received for registration by the Land Registry will be imaged at a Central Imaging Centre. Some 100 million pages of existing land documents in the New Territories Land Registries will be converted into electronic images.

"As for the land documents of the urban area which are already kept in microfilm, we will consider later whether they should also be converted into imaged record," said Mr Pang.

The project will be completed in about six months' time and DIS is expected to start operation in July.

Mr Pang said another advantage of DIS was that the imaged land documents would make cross-district searching possible.

"Customers will not have to travel to different regional offices of the Land Registry to obtain the required information. Moreover, a document can be accessed by several users simultaneously at different locations.

11

"Delivery of the imaged documents by means of facsimile will also be available.

"This means that subscribers to the Land Registry's on-line search facility, the Direct Access Services, will be able to place remote order and obtain facsimile copies of imaged documents at their own offices without calling at the Land Registry," he said.

• • I

I

End

Fresh water cut in Yuen Long and Western District * ♦ * * ♦

Fresh water supply to some premises in Yuen Long and Western District will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm on Monday (January 22) to 6 am the following day to facilitate testing of watermains.

In Yuen Long, the affected premises include those along' Tai Tong Road, Kau Yuk Road, Shan Pui River, Castle Peak Road, Yuen Long Hong Lok Road, Hong King Street and Yu King Square.

In Western District on Hong Kong Island, the suspension will affect all even number premises at 426-470 Des Voeux Road West, all even number premises at 506-606 and odd number premises at 443-543 Queen's Road West, all even number premises at 2A-6 Belcher's Street, Yat Fu Lane, Woo Hop Street, South Lane, all even number premises at 4-72 Hill Road and Cheung Kan Lane.

End

12

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time (h^uis) Cumulative change (^million)

Opening balance in the account 1,906 0930 +93

Closing balance in the account 2,551 1000 +93

Change attributable to : 1100 +93

Money market activity +95 1200 +98

LAF today +550 1500 +98

1600 +95

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 123.6 *-0.1* 18.1.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.43 2 years 2711 5.60 100.68 . 5.27

1 month 5.40 3 years 3810 6.15 102.01 5.43

3 months 5.35 5 years 5012 6.38 102.53 5.86

6 months 5.30 7 years 7211 6.82 104.28 6.14

12 months 5.18 5 years M502 7.30 105.10 6.15

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $20,146 million

Closed January 18, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Friday, January 19,1996

Contents Page No,.

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

Govt committed to supporting manufacturing industries: FS................. 5

Complementarity of systems key to continued prosperity.................... 6

Proposals on training and employment for the disabled................

Hong Kong dollar debt market survey....................................... 8

Environmental bill gazetted................................................ 1 3

One nomination received for DB by-election............................... 14

16th Annual Border Liaison Review next week.............................. 15

I

Land Registry to rationalise fees.................................... 15

Construction output statistics for 1995 third quarter.................... 16

Value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand in November 1995 ................. 18

/Board amends.....

Contents Page No.

Board amends draft Sha Tin Outline Zoning Plan.......................... 20

TELA's statement on screening of half naked girls on TV................. 21

Navy base opens to public..............................................  21

Beat drug forum and video premiere...................................... 22

Prequalification tenders invited for treatment works.................... 23

Proposed road works in Sha Tin and Tuen Mun............................. 23

Proposed road works in North Point...................................... 24

Roadworks for Tai Po proposed........................................... 25

Tenders for desilting works invited..................................... 26

New road for Yung Shue Wan approved..................................... 26

Tai O sewer and road works endorsed..................................... 27

Tenders invited for school improvement programme......................   27

Immigration staff commended for outstanding service..................... 28

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

1

Transcript of the Governor's media session

*****

Following is the transcript of the media session by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, after visiting the Lantau Fixed Crossing construction site this (Friday) afternoon:

Governor: Fantastic bridge. 1 first came here in 1992 and stood on the hillside over there. There was absolutely nothing here except tapes on the ground indicating where the bridge was going to go. And I was last actually here during the construction 16 months ago. I think it is a remarkable engineering achievement. They are ahead of time. They will be one of the great pieces of architectural engineering in the world and a great bridge for Hong Kong and a great symbol for Hong Kong. Any questions?

Question: (on the possibility of meeting Zhou Nan)

Governor: I don't think there is any plan for that.

Question: (on Jardines)

Governor: But they have never left Hong Kong.

Question: (follow-up on Jardines)

Governor: That is a commercial matter which I wouldn't comment on. But they are one of the biggest firms in our local economy. They employ a lot of Hong Kong people. And I'm sure they'll continue to do so.

Question: (follow-up on Jardines)

Governor: We have a fair economy, fair to everyone. Nobody has got any privileges.

Question: (inaudible)

Governor: We've talked once again about Hong Kong and some of the challenges that Hong Kong faces. She is, as you know, totally committed to seeing the Joint Declaration implemented faithfully before and after 1997. I know that she is looking forward to being here on the 30th of June 1997 and I know that she’ll look forward to returning after that as well. I always keep her extremely well briefed on what's happening in Hong Kong and I think she agrees completely with Foreign Secretary and me that it's in Hong Kong's interests and China's interests that there should be the maximum dialogue between officials and that there should also be a dialogue with all the political elements here in Hong Kong. That's the way one conducts affairs in a rational and civilised and constructive way.

2

Question: (inaudible) ,jf ,0

Governor: Absolutely. She'll be one of the first guests to receive an invitation and I'm sure that she'll want to be here along with all those others who have contributed to Hong Kong's success and contributed to the agreements made about Hong Kong's future. But the most important guests on the 30th of June 1997 will be the people of Hong Kong and I hope that all of the people of Hong Kong will be involved in the celebrations and that includes those who are elected by the people of Hong Kong to represent them in the Legislative Council.

Question: (inaudible)

Governor: She had a question at Tsing Yi Technical College about the Conservative Party and the challenges it faces in the United Kingdom. She pointed out what taxes were under the last Labour Government and how much she cut them, which I think gave some indication of her views on socialism. But that's not something in which I'm able to engage these days.

Question: (on Jardines)

Governor: 1 don't know. That's a question which he would have to answer. As I said, Jardines are here; they haven't gone away. They have listed in Singapore and that is a commercial decision which you have to leave to them. Of course, there are a lot of companies in Hong Kong, a lot of local companies which have chosen in the last few years to domicile legally elsewhere including some of them in other British dependent territories. I hope that all of them will continue to play a part in Hong Kong's economy because we are one of the most successful; open, free economies in the world and I want to see things stay that way and one way in which we can ensure that things stay that way is by giving people in Hong Kong and business in Hong Kong the reassurance that people want about the fairness of our economic arrangements and about the decency and integrity of the rule of law and the protection of human rights.

Question: (inaudible)

Governor: I don't think I can answer that question. It's sometimes challenging enough explaining what I mean. Explaining what Director Lu means is a thing for him to do, rather than for me.

Question: Does that mean that the British Government has not lobbied for Jardines ...?

Governor: No. I tell you who we have lobbied for. We have lobbied for everybody who contributes to Hong Kong's well-being and prosperity.

Question: (inaudible)

3

Governor: The former Prime Minister talked to the press very frequently, but today she was talking to students of Tsing Yi College, and answering their questions and looking at the bridge and I think concluded that you all have a lot of other things that you want to write about rather than about the former Prime Minister.

Question: Has she talked to her old friend Mr Zhou Nan during this visit?

Governor: I am not sure that Mr Zhou Nan has indicated that any willingness to, but sometimes when people asked to see Mr Zhou Nan or invited him to things, he has some other engagements. He appears to have an exceptionally busy diary.

Question: ... has Lady Thatcher indicated her wishes to meet him?

Governor: No.

Question: Is Lady Thatcher ... has something related to the Conservative Party? For example, like fund raising or getting support from the tycoons here for the coming elections?

Governor: No.

Question: How about she is looking for a new leader, new leadership for the Conservative Party?

Governor: No. She is visiting, staying with the 28th. the last British Governor of Hong Kong who worked for her first in 1975, who was appointed a minister by her in 19 - - my goodness I'm getting old - - 1983 and has worked with her very closely over the years, and has enjoyed an interesting and always friendly and intellectually stimulating relationship with her.

Question: Is this her private visit here?

Governor: Yes. but she is staying at Government I louse as you would expect. I've now put up. I think, at least three former prime ministers - - I ord Callaghan. Sir lidward Ileath and Lady Thatcher. And I hope one day that I'll be able to offer hospitality to a Chinese prime minister too.

Question: Who pays for it then? ... who pays for the government service ... like helicopter ?

Governor: Well, we offer her as we offer others hospitality and the opportunity of seeing what's happening in Hong Kong. And I think that the people of Hong Kong recognise that having friends like Lady Thatcher is worth a trip in a helicopter.

4

Question: Will she come in the near future well before the hand-over?

Governor: I am sure she’ll want to come back. She’s been coming about once a year.

Question: Do you discuss with her about the imported labour issue where she saw the imported labours outside Government House?

Governor: I am not sure that she did. She might have heard them before they moved onto Happy Valley. Perhaps I can just say a word about that. We are extremely concerned that imported workers should be treated according to Hong Kong's labour laws and that there should be no breach of their employment contracts. Where there is any breaking of our labour laws, we'll take a very stem view of it and deal with it extremely vigorously. And I don't think that there should be any doubt about that and where the trade unions have drawn abuses to our attention, I want to express without reservation my gratitude to them for doing so, because we have to work hand-in-hand with employers and the trade unions in ensuring the best possible working conditions for the people of Hong Kong, whether local people or people who've come in to help us with particular projects. I just add that, 1 think so far, the ACP projects have created about 17,000 jobs for local people. 1 hope that the office we've set up to help recruit local people for ACP projects will recruit even more, and that they will all be employed as safely as possible according to our labour laws and that any people from other communities who've come and worked here as imported labours will also enjoy the full protection of the law and will get the terms and conditions which they are promised when they are recruited.

Question: (inaudible)

Governor: No, but Joseph Wong and the employment and manpower department have been discussing the issue with the l egislative Council and the Legislative Council panel in the last few days. And I am sure that they arc well aware of the community's concerns and the issues which the community wants to see addressed. Above all, we've been taking more vigorous and vigorous measures to deal with the abuses. Thank you very much indeed.

End

5

Govt committed to supporting manufacturing industries: FS

* * * * *

The Government is committed to supporting further development of the manufacturing industries in Hong Kong, the Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, said today (Friday).

Mr Tsang made the remark during his visit to Swire Technologies Limited, a leading integrated circuits manufacturer in Hong Kong.

"To assist local industries in moving up the technology ladder, the Industry Department is introducing various measures including the Applied Research and Development Scheme, the Industrial Support Fund Scheme, and the provision of funding support for technological collaboration with China," Mr Tsang said.

"Apart from the software, we will also continue our efforts to provide the hardware infrastructure for manufacturers to upgrade their technological capabilities and to move up the market. Projects under consideration include the fourth industrial estate, the Science Park and the second industrial technology centre," he added.

The future of Hong Kong's manufacturing industries lay in high value-added and technology-based production, Mr Tsang said.

"Our manufacturing industries have in fact grown in economic significance and sophistication through product innovation, quality improvement and increased productivity," he said.

"Hong Kong's electronics industry, in particular, was well positioned for further dynamic growth.

"There is much demand for quality products especially in the consumer electronics and telecommunications equipment fields.

"And our manufacturers have built up a sound technological base in key areas, such as integrated circuits design and packaging."

Mr Tsang, accompanied by the Director-General of Industry, Mrs Regina Ip, viewed the state-of-the-art manufacturing facility run by the Swire Technologies Limited in a "clean room" environment.

End

6

Complementarity of systems key to continued prosperity *****

Maintaining the complementarity of the economic systems in China and Hong Kong is a key factor to ensure the continued prosperity of the two places, Secretary for Trade and Industry, Miss Denise Yue, said today (Friday).

Miss Yue was speaking in Shanghai at a conference on ”Shanghai-Hong Kong Economic Development and Co-operation" jointly organised by the Economic Research Centre of Shanghai Municipal Government and the Business and Professional Federation of Hong Kong.

"The capitalist free trade system of Hong Kong has enabled it to become a major source of investment and support services for the economic development of the socialist market economy of the mainland. The contribution of Hong Kong to the development of the mainland lies in its different institution and polices," Miss Yue said.

"The important task of policy-makers in the two places is to ensure the faithful implementation of the concept of ‘one country, two systems'; preserve Hong Kong's capitalist and free trade system; implement the relevant provisions of the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law which guarantee the autonomy of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) in trade and economic matters after 1997; understand clearly Hong Kong as a separate economic identity with separate membership in the World Trade Organisation, Asian Development Bank and the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation," Miss Yue explained.

As to the future economic and trade relationship between the HKSAR and the mainland, Miss Yue said this should be dealt with in accordance with international laws and practices as foreign trade and economic co-operation between the Chinese mainland as an entity and Hong Kong as a separate customs territory. The HKSAR Government should on its own establish and enforce the system of trade controls, including customs arrangements, administration of export quotas and issue of certificates of origin.

Miss Yue said she was optimistic about future growth in trade between Hong Kong and Shanghai. She also anticipated more investment flow between the two cities. At present Hong Kong is Shanghai’s largest source of foreign investment and second largest trading partner, after Japan.

She said: "Hong Kong's experience and success in areas such as finance, shipping, port development, telecommunications and professional services could provide useful contribution to the development of Shanghai.

7

"Also, Hong Kong and Shanghai could complement each other in industrial and technological development. Shanghai's achievements in applied research and development work could benefit Hong Kong; whereas Hong Kong's knowledge of the global market could assist Shanghai in product design and development."

Miss Yue did not believe that there was a problem of Shanghai overtaking Hong Kong in its importance to China's development. Hong Kong's development was not stagnant and Hong Kong and Shanghai would continue their development under their own systems. With its enormous development potential, China would need more than just Hong Kong and Shanghai.

"In the long term, as it is now, the future development of Hong Kong and Shanghai will be a win-win situation for both cities," said Miss Yue.

End

Proposals on training and employment for the disabled * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government, with the advice and support of the Rehabilitation Advisory Committee, will implement the proposals of the Report of the Working Party on Training and Employment for People with Disabilities.

This was stated by the Director of Social Welfare, Mr lan Strachan, when he officiated at the opening ceremony of the Lok Fu Compute-able Workshop today (Friday).

I

These proposals include the application of performance indicators for all sheltered workshops and implementation of case management.

"1 will identify suitable sheltered workshops to work on a pilot basis under the new mode of operation for sheltered workshops as proposed by the report," Mr Strachan said.

"Suitable day activity centres in Kwun Tong, Yuen Long, Wong Tai Sin, Sha Tin and Kwai Chung will be identified to try out the extended services hours, subject to resources being available.

"1 will soon implement the further expansion of supported employment services of an extra 710 places in 1996-97."

8

He said the working party recognised that the success of the above improvements would not depend solely on the resources available.

"Rather, we need to change our management culture in sheltered workshops, we need to monitor service performance continuously and above all, we need to demonstrate a commitment to improving the quality of life for people with disabilities," he added.

Mr Strachan said the Advisory Committee for the Marketing and Resources Unit, proposed by the report, had been set up to improve on the productivity and marketing aspects of sheltered workshops.

"With the back-up support from these experts. I am confident that the Marketing and Resources Unit will be established and will function effectively to promote the general productivity of sheltered workshops." he said.

The Lok Fu Compute-able Workshop, operated by the Hong Kong Federation of Handicapped Youth, is another excellent example of a workshop set up on a business basis to promote independence for persons with disability.

End

Hong Kong dollar debt market survey

*****

The size of the Hong Kong dollar debt market, as measured by the outstanding amount of Hong Kong dollar debt paper, stood at $197 billion as at end 1995, according to the first comprehensive survey on local debt market activities conducted by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA).

As at end-1995, the outstanding amount of exchange fund bills and notes stood at $58.7 billion while that of private sector paper stood at $138.2 billion (Annex A).

Putting the figures into perspective, the size of the I long Kong dollar debt market was roughly:

* 17% of Hong Kong's gross domestic product;

* 16% of Hong Kong dollar money supply;

* 10% of Hong Kong dollar-denominated assets of the banking system;

and

* 8% of stock market capitalisation.

9

While the Hong Kong dollar debt market is still small compared with the banking sector and the stock market, it has developed into an important avenue for raising funds in recent years.

In 1995, $59.9 billion was raised through private sector debt issues, and the outstanding amount of exchange fund bills and notes increased by $6.4 billion (Annex B).

By comparison, the increase in outstanding Hong Kong dollar loans by authorised institutions was $115 billion in the first 11 months of 1995. Funds raised in the local stock market through initial public offerings amounted to $7.6 billion last year.

On a regional comparison, the outstanding amount of private sector paper issued in Hong Kong has exceeded that of many debt markets in the region (Annex C).

Chief Executive of HKMA, Mr Joseph Yam, said: "The results show that the private sector Hong Kong dollar debt market is one of the most liquid in Asia.

’’With greater regional co-operation, the potential for the Asian bond markets is tremendous."

The Survey on the Hong Kong dollar debt market was conducted in the second half of 1995 by HKMA with the co-operation of the Hong Kong Capital Markets Association.

Together with information gathered from the Central Moneymarkets Unit Service of HKMA and commercial sources, a more comprehensive frame of outstanding Hong Kong dollar debt issues has been established.

As from August 1995, information on new issue activities is also reported to HKMA.

Starting with the December 1995 figures, statistics on the outstanding amount and issue activity of Hong Kong dollar debt instruments will be published at quarterly interval in the HKMA monthly statistical bulletin.

10

Annex A " . ,U1 •'i ' ..'le /A

Outstanding Amount of HKS Debt Issues __________as at 31 December 1995_____

(a) analyzed by product type :

Exchange Fund Bills and Notes 58.73

Private Sector Debt Issues 138.22

of which :

Floating Rate 89.68

FRCD 61.43

FRN 25.04

MBS 3.21

Fixed Rate 48.54

FXCD 22.56

Straight Bonds 25.98

Total 196.95

(b) analyzed by term of original maturity of private sector debt issues :

(HK$bn)

Fixed Rate Paper Floating Rate Paper Total (%)

< 3 years 6.55 5.19 11.74 (8.5)

3-5 years 25.92 73.08 99.00 (71.6)

> 5 years 16.07 11.41 27.48 (19.9)

Total 48.54 89.68 138.22 (100)

11

Annex B

Issue Activity of HKS Debt Securities in 1994 and 1995

(HK$bn)

1994 1995

Exchange Fund Bills and Notes 24.28 6.39

(Net Issue Size)

Private Sector Debt Issues 53.29 59.89

of which:

' NCDs 36.35 37.36

Other Bonds and Notes 16.94 22.53

12

Annex C

Outstanding Size of Asian Bond Market

(US$bn)

Hong Kong Hong Kong Singapore Malaysia Thailand Philippines Indonesia

(end 1995) (end 1994) (end 1994) (end 1994) (end 1994) (end 1994) (end 1994)

. ... ...... .

Government 7.59 6.84 42.3 41.61 10.23 25.1 8.37

National and 0 0.08 42.3 32.66 10.23 24.90 1.53

Local •>. .

Government - ■ I

Central Bank / 7.59 6.76 0 8.95 0 0.2 6.84

Monetary •*. :

Authority % >

. ■ ' ■ ■ 5 y/

Private Sector 17.87 12.94 2.53 9.33 3.82 0 0.70

Corporate • 7.01 4.65 2.53 4.88 3.51 0 0.70

NCDs 10.86 8.29 N/A 4.45 0.31 N/A N/A

■* —••» . — .

Total . :• J?:- 25.46 19.78 44.83 50.94 14.05 25.10 9.07

N/A: Not Available

Notes :

1 The 1995 figures on Hong Kong are results of the Survey on the Hong Kong Dollar Debt Market. The 1994 figures on Hong Kong are estimated from various sources.

2 . Sources of data on other Asian bond markets :

The Emerging Asian Bond Market, World Bank.

Asia's Bond Markets : The Real Story, HSBC Markets.

End

13

Environmental bill gazetted ♦ * * * *

The Government is to provide a statutory framework to formalise the existing administrative arrangements for undertaking environmental impact assessments (EIA) on development projects in both private and public sectors.

The statutory requirements are set out in the Environmental Impact Assessment Bill gazetted today (Friday). The Bill will provide a more satisfactory' and effective framework to apply with consistency the EIA requirements to major development projects and to implement prevention and mitigation measures recommended in the EIA studies.

A spokesman for the Planning, Environment and Lands Branch said: "The existing administrative arrangements are not entirely satisfactory because in the absence of legal backing, there is practical difficulty to require a project proponent to implement prevention and mitigation measures recommended in an EIA study. This may have dire consequences on our environment."

The spokesman noted that the EIA procedures set out in the Bill were modelled on the present arrangements and would not lead to a significant cost increase in the planning and implementation of a project.

"In working out these procedures, we took into account views expressed by various professional bodies and trade associations during a consultation exercise," the spokesman said.

The Bill empowers the Director of Environmental Protection (DEP) to designate development projects which require an EIA and to regulate and enforce the EIA process.

To provide greater certainty for developments, the Bill sets time limits to process each and every step in the entire EIA process, from processing of a study brief to processing of an application for an environmental permit.

Under the Bill, a proponent of a designated project is required to apply to DEP for an EIA study brief and produce an EIA report in accordance with the brief.

If the EIA report meets the requirements set out in the study brief, it will be displayed for public inspection for one month. The Advisory Council on the Environment will be notified and may select a particular report for detailed consideration.

14

Having taken into account relevant environmental concerns and comments received, DEP will decide whether the EIA report should be approved and whether an environmental permit should be issued.

Project proponents may appeal against DEP's decision. The appeal will be heard by an Appeal Board whose chairman and vice-chairman will be appointed by the Governor.

The Bill also gives DEP power to investigate possible offences and, with the consent of the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, to order stoppage of works and implementation of remedial actions.

Offences under the legislation will be liable to a maximum fine of $5 million and imprisonment up to two years.

End

One nomination received for DB by-election ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

One nomination was received today (Friday), the first day of the nomination period for the Tuen Mun District Board by-election in respect of Tin King constituency to be held on March 3.

The candidate is Mr Lee Hung-sham, Lothar, a senior technical officer, aged 46.

Mr Lee can be contacted on 2465 5140 (daytime) and pager 71139998-1002 or 9463 5353 (night-time.)

The nomination period will last until February 1.

End

15

16th Annual Border Liaison Review next week *****

At the invitation of the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Nicholas Ng, a Guangdong delegation led by the Director of the Guangdong Foreign Affairs Office, Mr Chao Zhenwei, will visit Hong Kong from January 22 to 24 for the 16th Annual Border Liaison Review, a government spokesman said today (Friday).

The Border Liaison System provides for exchanges of information and control at the border. The meeting will be held at 9 am on Monday (January 22) at 28 Kennedy Road. The two sides will review cross border co-operation and liaison arrangements over the past year and discuss ways of further strengthening these arrangements.

End

Land Registry to rationalise fees *****

Five amendment regulations, which seek to rationalise the existing fee structure and set out the fees payable for various services by the Land Registiy on a cost recovery basis, were gazetted today (Friday).

The five regulations arc the Land Registration Fees (Amendment) Regulation 1995, the Land Registration (New Territories) Fees (Repeal) Regulation 1995, the Land Registration Fees (Amendment) Regulation 1995 (Amendment) Regulation 1996, the Land Registration (New Territories) Fees (Repeal) Regulation 1995 (Amendment) Regulation 1996 and the Land Registration (Amendment) Regulation 1996.

A government spokesman said in line with the "user pays" principle, the overall increase would be about 10 per cent.

But not all the fees will be revised upward. The main registration fees will be reduced, the land search fees unchanged and the other fees revised to recover the higher operational costs.

It is intended that the new fees will take effect on April I, 1996.

The amended fees will be applicable to both the Urban and the New Territories Land Registries which provide similar services.

16

The spokesman said operating as a trading fund, the Land Registry was required to provide efficient and effective service and at the same time to recover the cost of its services.

"The Land Registry has been improving and developing its services and facilities and will continue to do so.

"It has recently computerised the New Territories land registers, provided online land search facilities, and introduced a modern Document Imaging System," the spokesman said.

End

Construction output statistics for 1995 third quarter *****

The gross value of construction work performed, in nominal terms by main contractors, including general and special trade contractors, amounted to $24.7 billion in the third quarter of 1995, and was 12.9% higher than a year earlier, according to the results of the Quarterly Survey of Construction Output released today (Friday) by the Census and Statistics Department. s

Compared with the second quarter of 1995, the gross value of construction work performed by main contractors in the third quarter of 1995 increased by 0.7%.

Provisional estimate of the gross value of construction work performed, measured at constant (1990) market prices in the third quarter of 1995 was 1% higher than in the third quarter of 1994.

The gross value of construction work performed at private sector sites in the third quarter of 1995 totalled $8.6 billion, and was 4.8% lower than in the third quarter of 1994. Over the same period, the gross value of construction work performed at constant (1990) market prices dropped by 13.1%. This was partly related to the completion of a number of major private sector projects.

On the other hand, the gross value of construction work performed at public sector sites was $9.3 billion. It showed a substantial increase of 42.9% over the third quarter of 1994, reflecting the intensification of work on the major infrastructural projects. The corresponding increase when measured at constant (1990) market prices was 33.1%.

17

The gross value of construction work performed by general contractors at locations other than construction sites was $4.5 billion, which was 7.8% higher than in the third quarter of 1994. However, when measured at constant (1990) market prices, the corresponding value was 10.3% lower than in the third quarter of 1994. The types of work covered included minor new construction and renovation work at erected buildings and structures.

The gross value of construction activities performed by special trade contractors at locations other than construction sites, comprising mainly electrical and mechanical fitting work, totalled $2.2 billion, and was 5.7% higher than in the third quarter of 1994. When measured at constant (1990) market prices, the gross value of construction work performed by these contractors was 7.2% lower than in the third quarter of 1994.

Analysed by end-use, transport projects, which covered airport construction projects, accounted for the greatest portion of the gross value of construction work performed at construction sites. The gross value of construction work performed for these projects was $6.2 billion, representing an increase of 64.3% over the third quarter of 1994.

Residential building projects (including commercial/ residential (composite) buildings) formed the second largest category of construction site work. The gross value of construction work performed for these projects was $4.8 billion. This was 8.8% lower than in the third quarter of 1994.

Commercial building projects constituted the third largest category of construction site work. The gross value of construction work performed for these projects totalled $1.6 billion, which was 21.1% lower than in the third quarter of 1994.

The gross values of construction work at constant (1990) market prices are derived by deflating the nominal values with appropriate price indices to the price level of 1990.

Owing to the widespread sub-contracting practices in the construction industry, a construction establishment can be a main contractor for one contract and a subcontractor for another contract at the same time. The gross value of construction work performed by main contractors, including both general and special trade contractors, covers only those projects in which the construction establishment takes the role of a main contractor, but not projects in which it takes only the role of a sub-contractor. However, sub-contractors' contribution to projects should have been included in the gross value of construction work performed by main contractors for whom they worked.

18

More detailed statistics on construction output are given in the "Report on the Quarterly Survey of Construction Output, 3rd Quarter 1995". The report is now on sale at $11 a copy at the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, 66 Queensway or the Census and Statistics Department Publications Unit, Wanchai Tower, 19th floor, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai. Regular subscription may also be arranged.

Enquiries about the survey may be directed to the Building, Construction and Real Estate Statistics Section of the Census and Statistics Department on 2805 6426.

End

Value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand in November 1995 *****

The value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand for local production in November 1995 increased by 4% over a year earlier, according to the provisional results of a monthly survey released today (Friday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

Comparing November 1995 with November 1994, a significant increase in the value of outstanding orders was recorded in the electronic products industry (+17%). Increases in the value of orders were also registered in the printing and publishing industry (+14%), the electrical products industry (+12%) and the fabricated metal products industry (+9%).

On the other hand, a significant decrease in the value of orders was recorded in the textiles industry (-20%). Slight decreases in the value of orders were also registered in the plastic products industry (-1%) and the wearing apparel industry (-1%).

Compared with October 1995, and bearing in mind that this comparison may be affected by seasonal factors, the value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand in November 1995 increased by 3%.

The Monthly Survey of Orders-on-hand covers a sample of some 300 manufacturing firms engaging 50 or more workers.

Manufacturers' orders-on-hand refer to orders and parts of orders received earlier by manufacturers for local production which remain unfilled as at the end of the reference month. Orders received by traders not engaged in production are included if such orders are further placed to manufacturers for production locally. However, orders placed to manufacturing firms for production in China and other places outside Hong Kong arc not included in this series of orders-on-hand statistics.

19

A spokesman of the department pointed out that caution should be exercised in interpreting the manufacturers' orders-on-hand figures in a single month. Instead, the trend movement of the series as displayed over a wider span of time points should be looked at.

The survey report for November 1995, at $6 a copy, is now available for sale at the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, 66 Queensway and the Census and Statistics Department Publications Unit, 19th Floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.

Enquiries about the survey results may be made to the Industrial Production Statistics Section of the Census and Statistics Department on 2805 6441.

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

October 1995 November 1995

over October 1994 over November 1994

(Revised) (Provisional)

All industries covered in the survey +5 +4

- Wearing apparel * -1

- Textiles -15 -20

- Electronic products + 14 +17

- Electrical products +21 +12

- Fabricated metal products + 14 +9

- Plastic products +1 -1

- Printing and publishing + 19 + 14

* Changes within +/-0.5%

End

20

Board amends draft Sha Tin Outline Zoning Plan *****

The Town Planning Board today (Friday) announced amendments to the draft Sha Tin Outline Zoning Plan.

The major amendment is to rezone a 0.65-hectare site at the junction of On Lai Street and On Ping Street in Shek Mun Industrial Area from "Industrial” to ’’Commercial” for the provision of supporting commercial/office services to industrial undertakings and manufacturing activities in the area.

Other amendments include the rezoning of two sites fronting Sha Tin Heights Section of Tai Po Road, with areas of about 0.17 hectare and 0.09 hectare respectively, from "Open Space" and "Green Belt" to "Residential (Group C)" to facilitate the redevelopment of the sites.

The amendment plan (No S/ST/7) is now available for public inspection until February 9, 1996 at:

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

* Sha Tin, Tai Po and North District Planning Office, ground floor, Sha Tin Government Offices, 6 l ung Lo Wan Hill Road, Sha Tin, New Territories;

* Sha Tin District Office, sixth floor. City Link Plaza, Sha Tin Station Circuit, Sha Tin, New Territories.

Any person affected by the amendment plan may submit written objections to the Secretary of the Town Planning Board, c/o Planning Department, 13th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong on or before February 9. 1996.

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

End

21

TELA’s statement on screening of half naked girls on TV

*****

In response to media enquiries about the screening of two half naked girls in ATV’s midday news on the Home Channel today (Friday), a spokesman for the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority (TELA) said' by 5 pm today, 33 complaints had been received.

ATV has apologised to the public and TELA for the mistake and promised to conduct a detailed investigation on how it came about.

TELA will decide in the next few days whether to refer the case to the Broadcasting Authority’s Complaints Committee for contravention of the programme standards for commercial television.

In case of such a referral, the Committee will invite and consider representations from the station before making any recommendation to the Broadcasting Authority on what actions to take.

The Broadcasting Authority will reach a decision in about six weeks from now, the spokesman added.

End

Navy base opens to public

*****

Spectacular action and exciting arena displays will be the highlights of events when Stonecutters Island opens its gate to the public during its Open Day on January 27 and 28 (Saturday and Sunday).

The two-day Open Day is jointly organised by the Royal Navy, at HMS Tamar, and the Hong Kong Military Service Corps. It is the second time the event has taken place since the Navy moved from its former base in Central to the present location on Stonecutters Island.

Also open to the public during the event will be a large number of souvenir shops, game stalls and military displays, some of which will provide opportunity to examine and handle selected items of military equipment.

22

The weekend is being staged, firstly, to raise money for the Locally Enlisted Personnel Trust, the charity set up by the British Forces to provide funds for Hong Kong Chinese ex-members of the British Garrison who may find themselves in need or distress after 1997, and, secondly, to allow the general public access to the military and to show them some of our work.

Admission to Stonecutters Island will be by tickets which are now on sale as follows:

Dale. Star ferry CpiKQUrsg MTR Station

Now until 26 Jan 96 Central & Tsim Sha Tsui

20&21 Jan 96

Tsim Sha Tsui Tsuen Wan Kowloon Tong Kwun Tong Central Tai Koo Mong Kok

End

Beat drug forum and video premiere *****

The Director of Social Welfare, Mr Ian Strachan, will officiate at a forum tomorrow (Saturday) on ’Helping young people be drug-free’ and the premiere of a video targeted at parents on the handling of drug problems among their children.

The forum cum video premiere will be held at 9.30 am at the gymnasium of Lady Trench Training Centre at 44 Oi Kwan Road, Wan Chai. About 170 social workers and teachers will be present.

The production of the video is one of the pledges as announced by the Governor in the Summit Meeting on Drugs in March last year.

The new video will be distributed to schools, drug rehabilitation centres, welfare agencies rendering services to young people and concerned government departments after the premiere.

End

23

Prequalification tenders invited for treatment works

*****

The Water Supplies Department is inviting prequalification tenders for Stage II of the Sham Tseng Treatment Works, a waterworks sludge dewatering plant and the Sham Tseng West Fresh Water Service Reservoir extension at Tsing Lung Tau in the New Territories.

Scope of works comprise the construction of all civil and building works for Stage II of the Sham Tseng Treatment Works to increase the water treatment capacity from 23,000 cubic metres per day to 36,500 cubic metres per day and to include a waterworks sludge dewatering plant.

Works will also involve extension of the Sham Tseng West Fresh Water Service Reservoir to increase the storage capacity from 20,000 cubic metres to 30,000 cubic metres; the design, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of all electrical and mechanical plant and equipment, instrumentation and controls, building services and fire services; and all associated works.

Written applications for prequalification documents should be directed to the Chief Engineer/Design, Water Supplies Department, 46th floor. Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Hong Kong.

Completed prequalification applications should be submitted as directed not later than noon on February 16.

End

Proposed road works in Sha Tin and Tuen Mun

*****

A new road linking Tung Lo Wan Hill Road and Mei I in Road in Sha I in has been proposed by a private developer to serve the Tung Lo Wan area and a proposed residential development.

Works will include the construction of a new road linking Tung Lo Wan Hill Road and Mei Tin Road including footpaths, a roundabout at the junction of the proposed road and Tung Lo Wan Hill Road, a public car park with about 52 spaces at the junction of the proposed road and Tung Lo Wan Hill Road and noise barrier.

Existing staircase, footpaths and cul-de-sac will be permanently closed.

24

Resumption of land will not be required and necessary access will be maintained during the construction.

Plans and scheme can be seen at the Central and Western District Office, Public Enquiry Service Centre, ground floor, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road. Central, Hong Kong; the Sha Tin District Lands Office, 2 Tung Lo Wan Hill Road, Sha Tin. New Territories; and at the Sha Tin District Office, sixth floor. Citylink Plaza, Sha Tin Railway Station, New Territories.

Written objections describing the interest and manner alleged to be affected must reach the Secretary for Transport, Central Government Offices, East Wing, second floor, Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong not later than March 19.

Meanwhile, a new road and a footpath linking Tsun Wen Road and Kin Shing Lane in Tuen Mun will be built by the developer of a land lot in Area 5B.

A section of Tsun Wen Road will also be widened to serve the proposed commercial and residential development, public car park, secondary school and local open space in the area.

Construction work will commence in mid-1996. On completion, the new roads and footpaths will be handed back to the Government for maintenance.

Notices containing the two proposed works arc contained in the Government Gazette published today (Friday).

End

Proposed road works in North Point

*****

The Government has proposed to carry out a series of road works in North Point to improve the turning radiuses at the road junction of Braemar Hill Road and Cloud View Road.

The works will include the amendment of the road alignment at the junction of Braemar Hill Road and Cloud View Road; setting back of sections of the existing fence walls at Kiangsu Chekiang College, Man Kiu College and Church of Christ in China Kwei Wah Shan College; reconstruction of sections of the existing footpaths; conversion of sections of the existing footpaths to carriageway; construction of footpaths and carriageway; and other ancillary works.

25

A notice of the proposed works was gazetted today (Friday).

The plan of the proposed road works can be seen at the Public Enquiry Services Centre of the Central and Western District Office, the Hong Kong East District Lands Office and the Eastern District Office.

Any person objecting to the works should send the objection in writing to the Secretary for Transport, Central Government Offices, East Wing, second floor, Lower Albert Road, Central not later than March 19, 1996, describing his interest and the manner in which he will be affected.

End

Roadworks for Tai Po proposed ♦ * * * *

The Government has proposed to carry out roadworks in Tai Po as part of the continuing development programme for the new town.

The works include modification of the road junction at Tai Po road (Tai Po Kau section) and Yau King Lane, widening and reconstruction of a section of road and footpath along the existing Yau King Lane and construction of an one-kilometre long road linking Yau King Lane and Area 39.

The works are scheduled to begin in the middle of this year for completion in two years.

A notice of the proposed roadworks was gazetted today (Friday).

The plan and scheme of the works can be seen at the Public Enquiry Service Centre of the Central and Western District Office, the Tai Po District Lands Office and the Tai Po District Office.

Any person wishing to object to the proposal should write to the Secretary for Transport, Central Government Offices, East Wing, second floor, Lower Albert Road, Central, no later than March 19, describing his interest and manner in which he will be affected.

End


- 26 -

Tenders for desilting works invited *****

The Drainage Services Department is inviting tenders for watercourse desilting works in the territory.

The works will include the desilting, maintenance, repair and improvement of watercourses and drainage channels in the territory.

The contract will last for 30 months, starting from April 1996.

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

Tender forms and further particulars may be obtained from the office of the Chief Engineer, Land Drainage Division, Drainage Services Department, 11th floor, Kowloon Government Offices, 405 Nathan Road, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon.

The tender closing date is noon on February 9, 1996.

End

New road for Yung Shue Wan approved *****

The Governor-in-Council has given approval for the Territory Development Department to construct a road on the reclamation area in Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island.

The 270-metre-long road will link up Yung Shue Wan Main Street and the reclamation area to provide pedestrian and vehicular access.

Associated drainage, a 140-metre-long retaining wall, a public loading and unloading area and a vehicle parking area will also be built on the reclaimed area along the southern coast of Yung Shue Wan. The works are scheduled to begin in September for completion in March 1998.

A notice of the authorisation of the works was gazetted today (Friday).

End

27

Tai O sewer and road works endorsed *****

The Govemor-in-Council has authorised the Territory Development Department to proceed with sewer and road works in Tai 0, Lantau, but with modifications to the works.

The works include the construction of new trunk sewers and reconstruction of the existing road pavement along Shek Tsai Po Street, Tai O Market Street, Kat Hing Street and Kat Hing Back Street.

The modifications involve shifting the alignment of Shek Tsai Po Street and revision of the resumption limit of a lot.

The works are scheduled to begin in September for completion in two years.

A notice of the authorisation of the works was gazetted today (Friday).

The plan of the modified works can be seen at the Public Enquiry Service Centre of the Central and Western District Office, the Islands District Lands Office, the Island District Office and its Mui Wo Sub-office.

End

Tenders invited for school improvement programme ♦ * ♦ * ♦

The Architectural Services Department is inviting tenders for alteration works to six aided schools.

Works will involve new extension work covering a total floor area of 6,018 square metres and conversion work with a total floor area of 2,123 square metres, including associated building services and drainage systems.

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

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

- 28

They must be placed in the Government Secretariat tender box in the lift lobby on the lower ground floor, Central Government Offices (East Wing), Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong, before noon on Friday, February 16.

Late tenders will not be accepted.

End

Immigration staff commended for outstanding service *****

The Deputy Director of Immigration, Mr Christopher Lee Ka-keung, presented commendation certificates to 26 staff at a ceremony held in the Immigration Department Headquarters this (Friday) afternoon.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Lee said the department had experienced another very busy year in 1995.

"With limited resources, we have experienced upsurge in passenger traffic at control points and ever-increasing workload at various offices.

"The preparation for the issue of Hong Kong Special Administration Region passports and the planning and implementation of a series of automation activities have also called for our staffs extra effort in meeting the new challenges."

Mr Lee congratulated the recipients of the commendation certificates stating that despite the exceeding tight manpower resources, they had demonstrated an extraordinary degree of professionalism and exemplary devotion to the service.

Their outstanding performance had brought them not only personal pride and achievement, it also helped project a good image of the department, he said.

Amongst the 26 staff receiving commendation, Senior Immigration Officer Leung Kam-kwong and 18 other officers of the Special Investigation Section, were commended for their outstanding efforts and high degree of professionalism in a joint operation with the United States Immigration and Naturalisation Service.

The operation resulted in the successful neutralisation of a sophisticated international criminal syndicate and the arrest of 18 people in Hong Kong, 14 in New York and seven in Frankfurt, who were involved in arranging PRC nationals to enter the USA illegally via Hong Kong and other countries by using forged or unlawfully obtained travel documents.

End

29

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

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

Opening balance in the account 2,551 0930 -550

Closing balance in the account 2,344 1000 -550

Change attributable to : 1100 -550

Money market activity -562 1200 -550

LAF today +355 1500 -550

1600 -562

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 123.8 *+0.2* 19.1.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.45 2 years 2711 5.60 100.66 5.28

1 month 5.42 3 years 3810 6.15 101.97 5.44

3 months 5.36 5 years 5012 6.38 102.43 5.89

6 months 5.31 7 years 7211 6.82 104.10 6.17

12 months 5.20 5 years M502 7.30 105.00 6.17

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $12,623 million

Closed January 19, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Saturday, January 20,1996

Contents Page No,

More data on nuclear power plant incidents sought........................... 1

Enforcement of intellectual property forum.................................. 1

Wan Chai sets example in giving HK a greener look........................... 2

Training courses for health care workers.................................... 4

Youngsters take anti-drug message to the streets............................ 5

Blankets distributed to street-sleepers..................................... 6

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations........................ 6

Sunday, January 21,1996

Contents Page No,

Youth scheme serves 186,000 needy.......................................... 7

Land Registry releases 1995 statistics..................................... g

Yuen Long District Arts Festival caters for all............................ 9

Carnival promotes effective private building management................... 10

1995 annual stamp pack on sale........................................ 11

1

More data on nuclear power plant incidents sought * * * * *

In reply to press enquiries on media reports about the operation procedures of the Daya Bay Nuclear Power Plant, a government spokesman said today (Saturday) that the authorities will try to obtain more information on the incidents from the Hong Kong Nuclear Investment Company Limited.

"We understand that the company is making inquiries into the incidents and we are awaiting a report from them,” he said.

The Guangdong authorities have made arrangements with the Hong Kong government to notify Hong Kong immediately of any incident at the plant which may have a radiological impact beyond the site boundary of the plant.

These arrangements cover the sharing of information necessary for both sides to plan and implement counter-measures quickly and effectively.

End

Enforcement of intellectual property forum

*****

The Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department will host a seminar on the enforcement of intellectual property rights to be participated by delegates from customs administrations of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) in the Asia Pacific Region.

The five-day seminar, from Monday to Friday (January 22 to 26), will be held in the Vocational Training Council Tower, Wan Chai. The Deputy Commissioner of Customs and Excise, Mr Lawrence Li, will officiate at the opening ceremony on Monday morning.

The seminar is organised by WCO with full financial support from the Customs Administration of Japan.

2

Hong Kong Customs is chosen as the host because of its long history of enforcement against infringement of intellectual property rights and remarkable successes in this area.

The seminar is designed to provide a forum for customs officials within the . Asia and Pacific Region who specialise in the subject field to discuss matters of . concern and exchange views with regard to customs enforcement work in the protection of intellectual property rights.

A total of 22 delegates from 18 countries or territories including Hong Kong will participate in the seminar which will also be joined by 17 representatives from the business community or intellectual property right associations. ■ , ,

These business representatives will voice in the seminar their concern on the protection of intellectual property rights and to present their views on the infringement situation on the market.

It is expected that through this seminar, customs administration in the region will have a better understanding of the respective enforcement roles among themselves and to establish a closer working relationship with the business community.

The successful launch of the seminar signifies the effort of WCO and the commitment of individual customs administrations in the region in fostering international co-operation. j...,

End , ,

Wan Chai sets example in giving HK a greener look * ♦ ♦ ♦ *

A. >: ■ . . 4

•<f?' ’• .1 •' • ' • \ . .... i

The Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, said today (Saturday) that the Government is committed to promoting public awareness in environmental protection and providing a better and greener environment for Hong Kong.

Speaking at a ceremony to mark the planting of the 700th tree in the, Green Wan Chai Project organised by the Wan Chai District Board, Mrs Chan said it was Government’s policy to encourage the creation of less waste and the recycling of resources.

3

"As at September 1995, the Environment and Conservation Fund has allocated $16 million to various district organisations to conduct 84 community educational and research programmes.

"The first environmental protection resources centre run by district organisations will be set up in Tsuen Wan by the end of this year," Mrs Chan said.

"Over the past 20 years, the Government has designated over 40,000 hectares of land as 21 country parks and 14 special areas, representing 40 per cent of the total land area in Hong Kong.

"We will continue with our efforts in that respect by expanding the country parks and special areas and by improving their management."

Mrs Chan said she was impressed by the achievements made by the Wan Chai District in promoting environmental protection and improvement.

Since the Green Wan Chai Project started in 1989, almost 700 trees have been planted on pavement, central road dividers and road sides in the district.

"I hope the efforts made by Wan Chai in this respect will set and example for other districts," she said.

Other guests attending the ceremony included the Director of Home Affairs, Mrs Shelley Lau; Chairlady of Wan Chai District Board, Mrs Peggy Lam; District Officer (Wan Chai), Mrs Karen Pong and Chairman of the Environmental Improvement Committee of the Wan Chai District Board, Mr Wong Hon-ching.

Mrs Chan planted a three-metre Khaya Mahogany on the pavement outside Lockhart Road Playground at today’s ceremony.

End

Training courses for health care workers ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Social Welfare Department (SWD), in conjunction with three professional health care training institutes, is organising a series of training courses to meet the demand for health care staff in residential care homes for the elderly.

-:v. k, , . .

• •«t / I

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

The three institutes are the College of Nursing, Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Red Cross and the Hong Kong St John Ambulance Association. The first course will commence on April 9. , ,

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

"The 11-week course, covering a total of 140 training hours, is designed to equip trainees with the necessary knowledge and skills for a comprehensive understanding of health care for elderly persons.

"The content of the course includes lectures on basic nursing skills for elderly persons, physiological and psychological development and common medical conditions of the elderly, basic skills in interpersonal relationship, communication and management of residential care homes for the elderly," the spokesman said.

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

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

Individuals who are interested in taking up a job in elderly homes may obtain an application form from any of the three institutes or SWD's Licensing Office of Residential Care Homes for the Elderly at Room 2354, 23rd floor, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai.

Enquiries can be directed to the licensing office on 2961 7220 or 2961 7221. The deadline for application is February 16 (Friday).

5

Youngsters take anti-drug message to the streets

*****

Over 400 representatives from 20 voluntary agencies, local groups, primary and secondary schools in Kowloon City as well as popular singers took to the streets in Kowloon City to spread the message of "together we can beat drugs" in a parade this (Saturday) afternoon.

The parade, starting at the Kowloon Tsai Park, was organised with a view to encourage the active involvement of local organisations and to arouse residents' awareness of the ill effects of taking drugs.

Targeted at youngsters, the event was also designed to help them cultivate their self-esteem and promote a better understanding and appreciation in leading a healthy drug-free life.

Displaying their anti-drug slogans to compete for the best parade team and best promotion team prizes, the parade participants walked along Inverness Road, Grampian Road, Junction Road and Carpenter Road until they reached the Carpenter Road Playground.

The parade was jointly organised by the Kowloon City District Fight Crime Committee (KCDFCC), the Kowloon City District Office, the Kowloon City District Board, the Kowloon City Police District, the Lions Club International - District 303 (Hong Kong and Macau), the Action Committee Against Narcotics and the Urban Council.

A variety show featuring lion dance, performance by Junior Police Call band, trick cycling skills, Tae Kwon Do and singing was staged after the parade.

As a follow-up to today's event, KCDFCC will stage a Kowloon City District drug awareness promotion night at 8.30 pm on TVB Jade next Saturday (January 27) and later a best anti-drug promotion project among students in the district.

In the past two years, the committee has organised a wide range of activities to address the problems of teenage drug abuse, such as beat drugs training programmes and seminars, and an inter-school Drug-wise Package quiz competition.

End

6

Blankets distributed to street-sleepers *****

A total of 63 blankets was distributed to 50 street-sleepers - 35 in New Territories East and 15 in New Territories West - by Social Welfare Department staff last (Friday) night.

"It is a normal practice for the department to distribute blankets to street sleepers when the temperature drops to or near 10 degrees Celsius," a department spokesman said.

It was the third such exercise since this winter.

End

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

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

Opening balance in the account 2,344 09:30 -355

Closing balance in the account 1,664 10:00 -355

Change attributable to: 11:00 -355

Money market activity -355 11:30 -355

LAF today -325

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 123.8 *+0.0* 20.1.96

End

7

Youth scheme serves 186,000 needy *****

Around 2,060 young people have participated in planning and organising various community service projects under the 1995-96 Opportunities for Youth Scheme (OYS) which have served some 186,000 needy people all,over the territory.

This was stated by the Director of Social Welfare, Mr Ian Strachan, when he officiated at the OYS Award Presentation Ceremony and Project Exhibition at the Piazza of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre today (Sunday).

Mr Strachan said in the past 21 years, OYS had provided plenty of opportunities for young people to realise their ideals of serving the community, and at the same time, realising their personal and social development.

"In 1995-96, my department has allocated $870,000 to support 131 service projects.

"Through their zealous and dedicated efforts, the participating youths have helped spread the message of a caring community here in Hong Kong," he said.

Noting that 1995 had been a year of special significance to young people because it was the 10th anniversary of the International Year of the Youth, Mr Strachan said over the past 10 years, many of the youth volunteers and members had grown up into mature and responsible young adults.

"However we do note the alarming trend of drug abuse among young people and other youth problems associated with the breakdown of marriage and families nowadays.

"Youth workers are well aware of the need to advise their youth groups to provide peer support services to the youth at risk.

"We need to reach out to all young people so that Hong Kong can be a better place in which to live and work," he added.

After the presentation ceremony, a youth involvement programme, comprising talent show, telematch and a quiz, was held to provide the participating youths an opportunity to share their experience in community service.

Also present today were Legislative Councillor Dr Law Chi-kwong and Assistant Director of Social Welfare (Youth and Rehabilitation), Mr Carlos Leung.

End

8

Land Registry releases 1995 statistics

*****

A total of 97,649 sale and purchase agreements of building units, including both residential and non-residential properties, have been received for registration in 1995, the Land Registry announced today (Sunday).

The figure represented a decrease of 15 per cent and 26.6 per cent as compared with 1994 and 1993 respectively.

The amount of considerations involved in these agreements was $265.81 billion, down by 37.3 per cent and 23.8 per cent compared with 1994 and 1993 respectively.

During 1995, 112,212 assignments of building units were lodged for registration, showing a decrease of 18.6 per cent and 25.9 per cent as compared with 137,876 and 151,501 recorded during 1994 and 1993.

However, the total amount of the considerations involved, amounting to $309.48 billion, indicates decreases of 22.2 per cent and 5.3 per cent respectively when compared with the two preceding years.

The total amount secured under mortgages (other than building mortgages) was $76.8 billion, showing a decrease of 24.8 per cent and 26.2 per cent compared with 1994 and 1993 respectively.

The Land Registry also announced that searches of land records made by members of the public last year totalled 2,938,379, down by 15.6 per cent and 11.7 per cent compared with 1994 and 1993 respectively.

End

9

Yuen Long District Arts Festival caters for all *****

The 13th Yuen Long District Arts Festival, featuring a week-long rich programme of cultural and recreational activities, has started today (Sunday).

Speaking at the festival’s opening ceremony this evening, the Chairman of the Co-ordinating Committee, Mr Tang Ki-tat, expressed hope that the festival will not only help bring joy to residents in the district, but also create a more harmonious atmosphere.

He said the wide variety of programme activities will satisfy the different taste of residents from all walks of life.

Highlights of the festival include a popular concert by Linda Wong, Vivien Lai and Eric Sun; minority group dancing performances by the famous Guangdong Dance Troupe, Shenzhen China Folk Culture Villages Folk Dance Troupe; and an exhibition of antiques, Chinese painting and calligraphy.

Admission tickets for the shows, except for the concert on January 28, will be given out free on a first-come-first-served basis at the Yuen Long District Board Office, Yuen Long Town Hall and Tin Yiu Community Centre.

The festival was jointly organised by the 13th Yuen Long Arts Festival Coordinating Committee, Yuen Long District Board. Yuen Long District Arts Committee and Yuen Long Town Hall.

The festival, to end on January 28, will cost an estimated $1.4 million. It is jointly sponsored by the Yuen Long District Board, the Regional Council and local organisations.

End

10

Carnival promotes effective private building management

*****

The Government attaches great importance to effective management of private buildings and is actively assisting owners and tenants in this respect. Sham Shui Po District Officer, Mr John Leung Chi-yan, said today (Sunday).

Officiating at the Private Building Management Carnival 96. Mr Leung said buildings with management problems had been identified by the Sham Shui Po Building Management Co-ordination Committee (SSPBMCC).

The committee was set up by the Sham Shui Po District Office and comprising representatives from various government departments.

He said: ’’Staff from the Sham Shui Po District Office’s Building Management Co-ordination team will soon visit these buildings and give advice to members of the mutual aid committees (MACs) or owners' corporations (OCs) on ways to tackle their respective problems.”

According to Mr Leung, officers from other government departments, including the Fire Services, Buildings, Urban Services and the Police, would also conduct site visits and urge the management personnel to do the necessary improvement works.

Over 80 buildings in Sham Shui Po had so far been targeted, he said, noting that improvements were needed in respect of their management, security, maintenance, cleansing work and illegal structures problems.

’’The SSPBMCC and the Sham Shui Po District Board's Housing Committee organises building management courses for MAC and OC members on a regular basis," he added.

"Professionals in the field are invited to speak on related issues at the building management seminar which is organised every year."

Concluding, Mr Leung called on owners and tenants to promote effective building management by co-operating closely on the daily management work.

The carnival was organised by the Sham Shui Po District Board's Private Premises Problems Working Group, with the assistance of SSPBMCC and sponsored by the Sham Shui Po District Board and the Urban Council.

11

The carnival, aimed at promoting the concept of modem building management among local residents and further their knowledge of related laws, featured singing performances, game stalls and an exhibition on building management.

End

1995 annual stamp pack on sale ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Postmaster General, Mr Robert Footman, announced today (Sunday) that the 1995 annual stamp pack will be placed on sale at all post offices from Wednesday (January 24).

The pack contains one set each of the following special stamps issued in 1995 -

Year of the Pig (souvenir sheet)

Hong Kong International Sporting Events

Hong Kong Rural Heritage

The Royal Hong Kong Regiment

Hong Kong Movie Stars

The pack, available at $98, is ideal both as a gift and for personal collection. A restriction of not more than two packs per customer queuing will be imposed on Wednesday.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Monday, January 22,1996

Contents Page No,

JLG expert talks on the Hong Kong Handover Ceremony..................... 1

Government to acquire De La Rue's banknote printing plant............... 1

No backdown over site safety assurance.................................. 2

16th Annual Border Liaison Review Meeting today......................... 3

Appointments to Land Development Corporation Board...................... 3

Co-operation essential in drug control.................................. 4

Lord Wilson visits proposed Kam Tin heritage trail...................... 5

Two more nominations received for DB by-election........................ 7

Stonecutters Island open day............................................ 7

1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles exercise in NT.................... 8

Updated information available in central register....................... 9

Water storage figure................................................... 10

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results............................ 10

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

1

JLG expert talks on the Hong Kong Handover Ceremony ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The second meeting between experts of the Joint Liaison Group on the Hong Kong Handover Ceremony will take place on January 23, 1996. The British side will be led by British Senior Representative. Mr Hugh Davies. The Chinese side will be led by Chinese Senior Representative. Mr Zhao Jihua. Thej will be assisted by experts from the two sides.

End

Government to acquire De La Rue’s banknote printing plant

*****

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority announced today (Monday) that agreement has been reached with De La Rue plc for the Government through the Exchange Fund to purchase De La Rue’s banknote printing plant in Hong Kong. The consideration for the sale is $255 million. It is expected that completion of the sale will occur in early April 1996.

The Hong Kong printing plant was established by De La Rue in 1984. Since that time the plant has printed Hong Kong dollar currency notes for the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, the Standard Chartered Bank and, more recently, the Bank of China. In addition, the plant has produced notes denominated in other currencies for export.

The sale offers the De La Rue Group the opportunity to rationalise its security printing activities in the South East Asian region. In signing the agreement the Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, said: ’’The acquisition of the printing plant in Hong Kong will enable the Hong Kong Government to have closer involvement in the production of Hong Kong dollar currency notes. The new operation will be known as 'Hong Kong Note Printing Limited'. This development is in line with the responsibilities conferred upon the Hong Kong Government under the Legal Tender Notes Issue Ordinance and the Basic Law."

De La Rue will enter into a Technical Agreement to provide technical advice and support on the production of currency notes by the Hong Kong plant. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority and De La Rue are dedicated to ensuring the continuity, quality and integrity of supply of Hong Kong dollar currency notes following the completion of the sale of the plant.

End

2

No backdown over site safety assurance *****

The Assistant Director of Buildings, Mr Cheng Wei-dart, today (Monday) refuted an allegation published in an English-language newspaper yesterday (Sunday) that in view of strong opposition, the Buildings Department might "backdown" over the Building (Amendment)(No 3) Bill, a

Mr Cheng stressed that the Government remained firm in the site safety assurances proposed in the Bill, which was being examined by a Bills Committee of the Legislative Council.

"The proposals will best serve the interest of the community. They are also in line with the trend of tightening control over building and demolition works in overseas countries.

"Singapore has a similar system. In the European Communities, contractors and developers are subject to a directive requiring them to ensure safety and health standards on construction sites.

"In Britain, the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations which came into effect on March 31, 1995 also requires building professionals to be responsible for the safety of construction projects.

"The Buildings Department is not watering down the proposals, which provide the safety assurance our community deserves and needs," Mr Cheng said.

End

3

16th Annual Border Liaison Review Meeting today *****

The 1995 Annual Border Liaison Review Meeting was held in Hong Kong today (Monday). The Hong Kong side was led by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Nicholas Ng, and the Guangdong side by the Deputy Secretary General and Director of Foreign Affairs Office of Guangdong Provincial Government, Mr Chao Zhenwei.

This is the 16th regular meeting between Hong Kong and Guangdong. Both sides reviewed the work in connection with co-operation in border liaison. Under their joint effort, both sides have properly dealt with the related problems in the border area, such as combating of crimes, relieving of vehicular and passenger traffic at check points and maintaining of smooth and orderly traffic flow at the border crossings.

At the meeting, both sides also discussed immigration issues concerning Hong Kong and Guangdong, speeding up of works for the regulation of Shenzhen River and other issues at the border area that would require co-operation with each other. Both sides are confident that further co-operation on the basis of existing established arrangements will have a positive effect in promoting stability and prosperity of the two places.

End

Appointments to Land Development Corporation Board

*****

The Governor has appointed Mr Lau Wah-sum as Chairman of the Land Development Corporation (LDC) for two years.

A government spokesman said today (Monday): "Mr Lau is a company president with an excellent record in public and community service. He has been a member of the LDC Board since 1992."

The out-going chairman, Mr Andrew Li, wished to step down from the post for personal reasons. The Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, has written to him, thanking him for his exemplary contributions to the corporation over the last two years.

4

The Governor has re-appointed Mr Michael Lai, Mr Ambrose Lau, Mr David Lee and Mr Pao Ping-wing to the LDC Board for a further two years. The Director of Home Affairs, Director of Lands and Director of Planning have also been re-appointed as Government’s representatives on the board.

Four new appointments have been made. They are Ms Ophelia Cheung Lookping, a management consultant and former Chief Executive of Consumer Council; Ms Angelina Lee, a solicitor; Mr David Peter Yip, a senior executive of a bank; and Mr James To, a Legislative Councillor.

The government spokesman said the four new members all had very good experience in their own profession and in public service and would make a valuable contribution to the work of the LDC Board.

End

Co-operation essential in drug control *****

Only by learning to co-operate effectively with other governments and with the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) can the proper working of the international drug control treaties be ensured.

The remark was made by the Commissioner for Narcotics, Mr Alasdair Sinclair, today (Monday) at the opening of an INCB training seminar for drug control administrators in Asia.

Mr Sinclair said: "The treaties provide the essential framework for controlling the supply of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances."

INCB, a body established under the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, is tasked with promoting compliance by governments with the international drug control conventions.

The five-day seminar is part of its programmes designed to assist officials to carry out treaty obligations at the national level.

Mr Sinclair said many drugs and substances had valuable medical uses in addition to a potential for misuse.

"Governments need to ensure they arc available for legitimate purposes while preventing their diversion to illicit channels," he said.

5

He noted that the Hong Kong Government had taken steps to comply with the requirements of the international conventions.

"We are among the top 10 traders in the world. About half of the 22 precursor chemicals controlled by the 1988 Vienna Convention arc traded regularly through Hong Kong," he said.

A new law on this subject, the Control of Chemicals Ordinance, came into operation at the beginning of this month.

"It gives us what 1 hope will prove to be a practical and effective way of monitoring trade in these chemicals, in line with the requirements of the 1988 Convention," he remarked.

The seminar, sponsored by the United Nations International Drug Control Programme and held in Hong Kong from January 22 to 26, is attended by 35 participants from 22 countries and territories in Southern and Eastern Asia.

Topics covered in the seminar include the operation of the international drug control system, the role of the international drug control bodies and the reporting obligations in relation to the estimates system for narcotic drugs requirements and the statistical returns systems for narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

End

Lord Wilson visits proposed Kam Tin heritage trail *****

Former Governor of Hong Kong, Lord Wilson, and Lady Wilson visited the proposed Kam Tin heritage trail in Yuen Long this (Monday) afternoon.

This followed a lunch and briefing about the work of the Lord Wilson Heritage Trust which was hosted by Mr Alexander Au, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Lord Wilson Heritage Trust, at the headquarters of Hang Seng Bank in Central, for the Wilsons, members of the trust's Board and its council and major donors to the trust.

During the lunchtime briefing, Lord Wilson heard about the activities of the trust in the field of heritage preservation and promotion since it was established in 1992.

6

These activities include the production of teaching kits and the organisation of exhibitions, visits, competitions and other educational programmes for schools. They also extend to commissioning TV programmes in Chinese and English, sponsoring an international conference on archaeology and commissioning historical research projects to document various aspects of Hong Kong's history. The trust relies on donations to fund its very worthwhile activities. Parties interested in finding out more about the trust's work or to donate funds to support it should contact the Antiquities and Monuments Office at 136 Nathan Road, Kowloon or telephone 2721 2326.

■ Lord Wilson and Lady Wilson were accompanied on their visit to Kam Tin by Mr Au; Mr Edward Ho, Chairman of the Council of the Lord Wilson Heritage Trust; Mr Benjamin Tang, Deputy Secretary for Recreation and Culture; and Mr lan Petersen, Secretary of the Lord Wilson Heritage Trust.

Staff of the Antiquities and Monuments Office and the Architectural Services Department explained to Lord Wilson that Kam Tin had been selected for the establishment of a heritage trail because of its rich historical background and the existence of a number of significant historical buildings and other interesting features within the same area.

The proposed trail, which will be about two kilometres long, links up 16 historical buildings and structures from Shui Tau Tsuen to Shui Mei Tsuen in Kam Tin. Lord Wilson and the party inspected eight of them, including Yi Tai Study Hall, So Lau Yuen (study hall), Loi Shing Tong (ancestral hall), Tree House, Tang Ching Lok Ancestral Hall, Cheung Chun Yuan (martial arts school), Tang Chan Yui Kuen Ancestral Hall and Chou Wong Yi Kung Study Hall. Along the way, the party met senior village representatives who came to greet the Wilsons and show them their historical buildings of which the Tang clan are justifiably proud.

Lord Wilson was very impressed by the buildings in Kam Tin and felt sure that people living in or visiting Hong Kong would be most interested in visiting and learning about them.

He noted that many of the buildings and structures would need to be restored. In addition, a number of improvements would have to be provided along the trail, including sitting-out areas, foot-paths, signage and information boards, car parks and toilets. It is estimated that it will cost about $27 million to establish the trail.

Funding has already been secured and detailed planning is under way. The Lord Wilson Heritage Tmst would be able to contribute by promoting Kam Tin's history by producing maps and educational materials.

7

Establishment of the trail will require close co-operation with the villagers in Kam Tin whose views will need to be taken fully into account. Lord Wilson was glad to learn that initial liaison with the villagers had started and that many were in support of the proposal.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, the Government hopes to open the trail to the public in 1998-1999.

End

Two more nominations received for DB by-election *****

Two more nominations were received today (Monday) for the Tuen Mun District Board by-election in respect of Tin King constituency to be held on March 3.

One of the candidates is Ms Ho Hang-mui, a 38-year-old teacher.

Ms Ho can be contacted on 2457 3706 (daytime) and 7888 2697 (night-time.)

The other candidate is Mr Tse Yee-fong, a technician, aged 39.

Mr Tse's contact telephone numbers are 2453 2077 (daytime) and 2455 1233 (night-time.)

So far, three nominations have been received since the nomination period started last Friday. Nomination will close on February 1.

End

Stonecutters Island open day

*****

Ships, helicopters and assault craft will feature in spectacular action displays when the Royal Navy and Hong Kong’s own soldiers, the Hong Kong Military Service Corps, open the gates of Stonecutters Island this weekend.

For the second time since the Navy moved from Central and the "island" itself was joined to the mainland, the two branches of the Armed Services will be mounting a weekend-long programme of public events on Saturday (January 27) and Sunday (January 28). The last open day was staged two years ago.

8

Highlights of the two-day programme will be action displays in the basin of HMS Tamar. In addition, a full shore programme will include arena demonstrations by motor-cycle and dog display teams together with traditional dragon and lion dances as well as music staged by the Pipes and Drums of 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles.

The open day is being staged firstly to raise money for the Locally Enlisted Personnel Trust, the charity set up by the British Forces to provide funds for Hong Kong Chinese ex-members of the British Garrison who may find themselves in need or distress after 1997, and secondly to allow members of the public access to the military and to show them some of its work.

Also open to the public during the open day will be a large number of souvenir shops, games stalls and military displays, some of which will provide opportunities to examine and handle selected items of military equipment.

Admission to Stonecutters Island will be by tickets, which are on sale at Star Ferry Concourses in Central and Tsim Sha Tsui, and Mass Transit Railway stations at Central, Tai Koo, Tsim Sha Tsui, Mongkok, Kowloon Tong, Kwun Tong and Tsuen Wan.

End

1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles exercise in NT *****

Members of the public are advised that the 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles (1 RGR) will be taking part in a field training exercise throughout the New Territories from 6 am on January 29 (Monday) to 6 pm on February 7 (Wednesday).

About 80 troops will be involved in the exercise and they will be using blank ammunition and pyrotechnics.

End

9

Updated information available in central register *****

The Census and Statistics Department maintains a comprehensive and up-to-date computerised Central Register of Establishments which contains around 400,000 active business establishments in Hong Kong.

The register serves mainly as the sampling frame for various economic surveys conducted by the department. Besides, many other government departments and private organisations also make use of the records kept in the register in their publicity, business promotion, survey and research work.

Information kept in the Central Register of Establishments is updated on a quarterly basis. Updated information in respect of the third quarter of 1995 is now available.

A sample listing containing 20 per cent of the records randomly selected from the register is accessible by prospective users. Application for the supply of non-confidential particulars such as the name, address, major type of business activity and employment size class of all or part of the listed records can be made to the Central Register of Establishments Section of the department.

The information can be supplied in the form of photocopies or specially-run magnetic tapes. A charge will be levied for this service, at the following rates: -

$5.6 per page of photocopy for the first 20 pages and $1.3 for each

additional page thereafter; or

* a charge of about $1,000 for a job requiring special computer run (exact amount depending on the complexity of the job concerned), if the information is required on magnetic tapes. The magnetic tape can be provided by the applicant, or by the department at a charge of $105 per tape.

Further details about the provision of this service can be obtained from the Central Register of Establishments Section of the department on 2582 4760.

End

10

Water storage figure *****

Storage in Hong Kong's reservoirs at 9 a.m. today (Monday) stood at 80.2 per cent of capacity or 470.290 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 414.413 million cubic metres of water, representing 70.7 per cent of capacity.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results

*****

Tender date 22 Jan 1996

Paper on offer EF notes

Issue number 3901

Issue date 23 Jan 1996

Maturity date 25 Jan 1999

Coupon 5.57 PCT

Amount applied HK$3,960 MN

Amount allotted HK$500 MN

Average price accepted (yield) 100.51 (5.45 PCT)

Lowest price accepted (yield) 100.49(5.46 PCT)

Pro rata ratio About 8 PCT

Average tender price (yield) 100.40(5.49 PCT)

End

- 11 -

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

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,664 0930 +339

Closing balance in the account 2,361 1000 +339

Change attributable to : 1100 +339

Money market activity +332 1200 +339

LAF today +365 1500 +332

1600 +332

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 123.9 *+0.1* 22.1.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.43 2 years 2711 5.60 100.72 5.24

1 month 5.40 3 years 3810 6.15 102.05 5.41

3 months 5.33 5 years 5012 6.38 102.60 5.85

6 months 5.29 7 years 7211 6.82 104.30 6.13

12 months 5.17 5 years M502 7.30 105.11 6.15

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $9,785 million

Closed January 22, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Tuesday, January 23, 1996

Contents EaggJ^o,

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

Video control and pay TV deregulation are top priorities............. 3

Criticism on Broadcasting Bill refuted..................................... 5

New Lantao Bus fare increase approved by ExCo........................ 6

Relieving prison overcrowding a top priority: Governor............... 6

Consumer price indices for December 1995 ............................ 7

Abolition of scale fees.............................................. 14

New Buildings Department heads appointed............................. 15

Appointment of Efficiency Unit Head.................................. 16

Residential mortgage survey results for December 1995 ............... 17

Speedpost service to France back to normal........................... 22

Illegal use of fire service water.................................... 22

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results.......................... 23

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

24

1

Transcript of the Governor’s media session

*****

Following is the transcript of the media session by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, after attending the Annual Inspection of the Correctional Services Department this (Tuesday) afternoon:

Governor: I am very pleased to have been able to attend another of the Correctional Services Department’s parades. They do an excellent job. They have an excellent record and I am very pleased to be able to pay tribute to them today.

Question: Governor, is it that the Government is going to shelve the Broadcasting Bill?

Governor: We are considering our priorities in legislation. There are something which are more urgent within the broadcasting area than others and obviously we want to make sure that we have the maximum discussions with the community and with the Legislative Council about matters which aren’t of urgent priority while getting on with the real priority areas, for example those aspects of broadcasting which need to be brought into line with the Bill of Rights and our obligations under the international covenants. Those things have obviously got to take priority at the moment.

Question: But the Consumer Council is taking initiative to suggest there should be changes like a one policy secretary to co-ordinate the whole broadcasting policy in the Government.

Governor: Well, it will be interesting to hear the discussion and debate about the Consumer Council’s report. They always make an important contribution to public discussion and I’m sure that the Legislative Council will want to consider their thoughts.

Question: How important is the China...?

Governor: You've had two. Let's have somebody else.

Question: How important is the China factor affecting the Broadcasting Bill?

Governor: It's not.

Question: How is the Government going to deal with the serious gambling situation in the prison?

2

Governor: I think that’s principally a matter for the Commissioner himself, but obviously there is a distinction between whether or not officers, members of the Correctional Services Department or Police officers are gambling in a way which runs up debts or whether on the other hand the inmates, those who are in prison, are running up debts and that's a matter for the day-to-day management of the Correctional Services Department. And I am sure the Commissioner will be very happy to answer that question later on.

Question: The question of ethnic minority was discussed today in ExCo. Are you any more optimistic that there might be a resolution ... ?

Governor: It wasn't actually discussed in the ExCo, but we received a petition from a group of Hong Kong citizens representing the ethnic minorities. As you know, it's a case and the course which I've pressed with ministers and other politicians in the United Kingdom and with the media, and we'll continue to do so and I hope that before July 1, 1997, we'll have seen some more progress on that.

Question: The LegCo is going to move a motion requesting Britain to grant visa-free to SAR passport holders. Do you have any news from your colleagues in the British cabinet on this issue?

Governor: The first thing that needed to happen was to get an agreement with Chinese officials about the SAR passport itself and I am delighted that we achieved that just before Mr Rifkind's visit to Peking. As Mr Rifkind said at the time, having got that agreement with Chinese officials we can now discuss with the British Government the question of visa-free access for SAR passport holders to the United Kingdom. 1 noticed the other day that Director Lu in some remarks he made seemed to be less optimistic about the number of countries which would offer visa-free access. I hope that's not correct. I think that we must obviously do all we can, working together -Britain, China and the Hong Kong Government - to get as much visa-free access as possible. Hong Kong is an international community. Travel into and out of Hong Kong is an exceptional important both for business reasons and in order to enhance people's well-being and maintain their confidence. So I very much hope that a number of countries, including of course, the United Kingdom, will offer visa-free access. I argued for it publicly when I was in the United Kingdom last Autumn including in television programmes. And I hope that will help to convince the British Government. Thank you very much.

End

3

Video control and pay TV deregulation are top priorities ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

The Recreation and Culture Branch is set to give top priority to drawing up regulatory proposals for Video-on-Demand (VOD) services and completing the review on the deregulation of pay television market before Wharf Cable’s exclusivity expires at the end of May.

This was stated by the Secretary for Recreation and Culture, Mr T H Chau, today (Tuesday) at a press conference reviewing various tasks on the broadcasting front in the year ahead.

Mr Chau said given the declared intention of Hong Kong Telecom to introduce VOD services in July, it was clearly necessary for the Government to put in place a regulatory framework as soon as possible.

VOD, he said, would enable subscribers to call up films and television programmes on to the screen as well as to use other services such as home banking and home shopping.

”It is important that we facilitate this development, while considering its impact on the market, and meeting the legitimate expectations of people that the content should be properly regulated," he said.

Mr Chau hoped to publish the regulatory proposals in late February or early March and to amend the Television Ordinance before the end of the current legislative session.

Completing the review of the deregulation of the pay television market is Mr Chau's second priority.

The Recreation and Culture Branch has already completed a comprehensive fact-finding exercise to which all broadcasters were given an opportunity to contribute, and is now studying the results of that process.

"We hope to consult the Executive Council on proposals which will be published in a consultative paper, either in March or April, and to announce the outcome of the review before the end of May 1996," said Mr Chau.

4

Subsequent tq the decision to proceed expeditiously with these two tasks, the Secretary said it would not be practicable to continue work on the Broadcasting Bill, pointing out that spending time on the Bill would make it more difficult to complete the higher priority tasks.

The Broadcasting Bill is primarily intended to be a consolidating bill, bringing the broadcasting provisions currently found in the Television Ordinance and Telecommunication Ordinance into one law, and creating a non-technological basis for licensing. j

"It is a highly complex piece of legislation, and it is more important that we get it right," he stressed.

"We had intended that the Bill would amend Section 13C of the Telecommunication Ordinance, to bring it into line with the Bill of Rights Ordinance. This remains a high priority."

To avoid unnecessary delay, this will now be tackled together with other proposed amendments to the Ordinance, to be introduced after the Law Reform Commission has completed its scrutiny of the legislation.

Commenting on the recently-completed Consumer Council's report on broadcasting which was undertaken at the request of the Government, Mr Chau said he would give careful consideration to the recommendations as well as comments made by other interested parties.

■ ■ Lf. <: .. • • ■ ' ' L- .

He undertook to release the Government's considered response within six months.

End

5

Criticism on Broadcasting Bill refuted ♦ * * * *

The Secretary for Recreation and Culture, Mr T H Chau, today (Tuesday) refuted Democratic Party criticisms that suspending work on the Broadcasting Bill would harm competitiveness and prevent Hong Kong from keeping pace with technology.

Mr Chau pointed out that, on the contrary, unless priority was given to pay television review and regulating video-on-demand, it would not be possible to bring the legislation up-to-date with new technologies, or to promote competition in the pay television market.

"It was absurd to suggest that, because priority was being given to more important tasks, we were appeasing China." he said.

On Democratic Party proposals to draft a private member's bill amending Section 13C of the Telecommunication Ordinance, Mr Chau pointed out that the Government was already committed to amending this provision.

"When 1 announced plans to suspend work on the Broadcasting Bill earlier today, 1 had said that, as amending Section 13C was a priority task, it would be done in advance of the Broadcasting Bill, by tackling it together with other amendments to the Telecommunication Ordinance.

"These amendments would be considered in the light of the Law Reform Commission's report due in March and public consultation thereafter." he added.

End

6

New Lantao Bus fare increase approved by ExCo *****

The Governor-in-Council. today (Tuesday) approved a 10.4 per cent fare increase for New Lantao Bus (NLB) to take effect from February 1.

NLB last revised its fares about two and a half years ago in September 1993. With increasing operating costs, it would incur a loss in 1996-97 if fares remain unchanged.

A government spokesman said: "NLB has been providing an efficient bus service on Lantau Island. It has also taken measures to reduce costs.

"The fare increase will enable the company to meet rising operating costs and encourage it to make further service improvements.

"An increase of 10.4 per cent in fares is well below the estimated inflation of 22 per cent between NLB's last fare increase and the coming increase in February 1996. The impact of the increase on general inflation is minimal."

End

Relieving prison overcrowding a top priority: Governor

*****

The Government attaches high priority to the problem of overcrowding in Correctional Services Department's (CSD) institutions, the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said this (Tuesday) afternoon.

Speaking at the department's annual inspection, Mr Patten said: "Overcrowding affects not just those in .custody: it affects the staff who manage the institutions, increasing workloads, straining resources and morale.

"We are giving these problems urgent attention too. seeking to improve the situation whenever suitable opportunities arise."

7

A redevelopment project at Stanley Prison will provide 700 places by 1998. There will be an additional 250 places when the Chi Ma Wan Lower Detention Centre is converted into a female drug addiction treatment centre later this year.

A site search for new accommodation is also under way to help solve the problem.

Turning to the management of Vietnamese migrant detention centres, Mr Patten said significant progress had been made since the Comprehensive Plan of Action was implemented in 1989.

Over 46,000 migrants have returned home voluntarily, and another 1,700 through the orderly return programme.

The success achieved, the Governor noted, owed much to the professional and effective restraint as well as the bravery and skill of the CSD staff.

The Governor also commended the department’s preventive and rehabilitative programmes, which help young people to turn away from crime, and expressed gratitude to the staff for their dedicated service to the community.

End

Consumer price indices for December 1995 *****

Consumer price inflation in terms of Consumer Price Index (A) eased further to 6.6% in December 1995, from 8.9% in September. 8.4% in October and 8.2% in November, according to the latest Consumer Price Indices (CPI) released by the Census and Statistics Department today (Tuesday).

Moderation was also recorded in the Consumer Price Index (B) and the Hang Seng CPI. In December 1995, CPI(B) and the Hang Seng CPI rose by 7.3% and 7.9% respectively, compared with 8.3% and 8.9% in November.

The Composite CPI, which is compiled based on the combined expenditure pattern of all households, thus had a less rapid year-on-year increase of 7.2% in December, against 8.4% in November.

8

A government spokesman said this was the third consecutive month when the rate of consumer price inflation in Hong Kong fell. The moderation was broadly based.

Apart from decreases in the prices of vegetables and of some Chinese newspapers, slower price increases were also recorded in most of the other components in CPI(A), including the prices of other foodstuffs, the prices of outerclothing and housing rentals.

Analysed by component, those components with faster price increases than the overall average for December 1995 over December 1994 were housing (10.7% in CP1(A), 11% in CP1(B) and 11.9% in the Composite CPI); and miscellaneous services (10.4%, 9.4% and 9.1%).

Meanwhile, those components with relatively slower price increases than the overall average for December 1995 over December 1994 were food (excluding meals bought away from home) (2.7% in CPI(A), 3.5% in CP1(B) and 3.2% in the Composite CPI); durable goods (4%, 3.7% and 3.9%); alcoholic drinks and tobacco (5.5%, 5.4% and 5.5%); and fuel and light (5.6%, 5.6% and 5.4%).

The miscellaneous goods category recorded a price decline for December 1995 over December 1994 (-3.6% in CPI(A), -0.7% in CPI(B) and -1.4% in the Composite CPI). This was mainly due to a large cut in the prices of some Chinese newspapers last month.

Comparing December 1995 with November 1995, CPI(A) and CP1(B) decreased by 0.4% and 0.2% respectively. The corresponding decrease for the Composite CPI was 0.3%.

For the three months ended December 1995, CPI(A) and CPI(B) were, on average, higher by 7.7% and 8.1% respectively over a year earlier. The corresponding increase for the Composite CPI was 8.2%.

For 1995 as a whole, CPI(A) and CPI(B) were, on average, higher by 8.7% and 9.2% respectively than in 1994. The corresponding in