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

 DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES GARDEN ROAD, 5th-8th FLOORS, MURRAY BUILDING, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Tuesday, October 1,1996

Governor to present 1996 Policy Address................................... 1

Glorious days with good sense and sensibilities: FS....................... 2

Governor's TV and radio broadcast on Policy Address....................... 4

Road traffic noise measures study commissioned............................ 5

Statement by Broadcasting Authority....................................... 6

Chairman to Consumer Council re-appointed................................. 6

Seminar to promote disabled employment.................................... 7

Two language projects awarded funding..................................... 8

Roving exhibition to promote development strategies review................ 9

By-election for education conduct council............................. 11

Application for Mortgage Interest Subsidy Scheme invited................. 12

Transfer of VMs from High Island Detention Centre........................ 12

VMs transferred to Victoria Prison pending repatriation.................. 13

Monitors' report submitted to CS......................................... 13

BN(O) application for 1992 and 1995 bom close in December................ 13

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results.............................. 15

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations..................... 16

1

Governor to present 1996 Policy Address ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, will present his 1996 Policy Address tomorrow (Wednesday) when he opens the 1996-97 session of the Legislative Council.

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

Immediately after the delivery' the speech, Mr Patten will give a press conference. The radio and TV stations will carry' a five-minute message given by the Governor on his last Policy Address the same evening prior to his taking part in a live panel discussion on TVB-Jade between 10.45 pm and 11.45 pm.

Copies of the Governor's speech in English and Chinese will be available to members of the public from 4 pm that day at all district offices and the Government Publications Centre at ground floor, Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway.

They can also be obtained from the Marketing Office of Government Information Services on the 17th Floor, Siu On Centre, 188 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai. The full text will be available on the Internet's World Wide Web at http://www.info.gov.hk.

A Policy Address leaflet will also be available between 4 pm and 7 pm at eight Mass Transit Railway stations: Central, Causeway Bay, Tai Koo, Tsim Sha Tsui, Prince Edward, Tsucn Wan, Wong Tai Sin and Kwun Tong; and Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation's Kowloon Terminus and Kowloon Tong and Sha Tin stations.

On Thursday (October 3), the Governor will take questions from callers phoning in Radio 1 and 5's "Talkabout" and Radio 3's "Hong Kong Today" programmes from 7.45 am to 9 am. Phone-in numbers are 1872 31 1 for the Chinese language and 2338 8266 for the English.

In the afternoon, he will attend a special Governor's question time at the Legislative Council.

On Friday (October 4), Mr Patten will hold an open meeting with the public at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Members of the public can put questions to him on his programme initiatives.

2

On Sunday (October 6) evening, he will appear on a special edition of "Newsline" on ATV-World.

On October 8 (Tuesday), Mr Patten will face question from 150 secondary students in a special forum at RTHK. The recorded session will be aired on radio in the same evening and screened on RTHK's television programme "Media Watch" at 7 pm on October 10 (Thursday) on ATV-World.

Mr Patten will attend a luncheon hosted by the Hong Kong General Chambers of Commerce on October 10 to answer questions from members of the business community.

End

Glorious days with good sense and sensibilities: FS

*****

The Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, said today (Monday, Washington time) that with good sense and sensibilities, Hong Kong’s glorious days were yet to unfold.

Mr Tsang was hosting a luncheon in Washington for senior staff of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB) and leading figures in the international financial community as part of the programme to promote the WB/IMF Annual Meetings to be held in I long Kong next September.

He said Hong Kong's destination was a high value-added, technology-based manufacturing sector and a world class services sector, as he had put it in his first Budget speech.

He said the challenge of being the Financial Secretary at this point in time was not only to see through the transition, but to build the foundations of a stronger and more prosperous Hong Kong beyond 1997. He refused to believe that this was a "mission impossible".

Mr Tsang cited evidence in support of Hong Kong's success story.

Of the 25 high income economies classified by the World Bank, between 1985 and 1994, Hong Kong had the second fastest growth in per capita real income.

3

Mr Tsang also said Hong Kong had experienced uninterrupted economic growth in real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over the past 35 years, and had stabilised onto a trend growth rate of about five per cent in real terms.

"Our inflation has slowed down to 6.1 per cent for the first eight months of this year. Our property market has fully recovered, with a healthy demand at the primary market, and our stock market has been one of the leading performers in 1996," he said.

"Our banking sector has had a bumper year and the Hong Kong dollar stands rock solid against a strong foreign exchange reserve and no public debt."

Turning to the political side, Mr Tsang was equally bullish.

"In the last few months, we have witnessed several major milestones in cooperation that would lead to a smoother transition through 1997," Mr Tsang said.

He quoted the agreement on the Court of Final Appeal and the smooth and constructive discussions on the 1997-98 budget as examples.

He added that protracted discussions over infrastructure development, such as the airport and the container ports had been resolved, so that the much needed expansion in communications infrastructure were continuing without delay.

"China has now clarified her monetary relations with Hong Kong post 1997, thus strengthening the interpretation and operation of the Basic Law and underlining the financial and fiscal autonomy of Hong Kong under the "one country, two systems" principle," he said.

"In my view, good sense and sensibilities from all sides have prevailed over rhetoric, and this is as it should be, in the continued development of the Hong Kong's economy, and in augmenting its position as a premier international financial centre.

"To sum up, Hong Kong's great strength is the entrepreneurship, innovation, resilience and flexibility of her people operating in an enlightened, stable and legal environment and on an unrivalled level playing field.

"There are great opportunities, as well as challenges in the years ahead through 1997."

The Governor of the People's Bank of China, Mr Dai Xianglong, also delivered a speech at the luncheon hosted by Mr Tsang.

4

Mr Tsang was in Washington to attend an international banking seminar organised by the Board of Governor of Federal Reserve System.

Earlier, he attended the opening ceremony of the 1996 IMF/WB Annual Meetings. He will attend a dinner hosted by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Washington with local think-tankers.

Mr Tsang will travel to Boston tomorrow (Wednesday) to attend a dinner hosted by the Dean of the Harvard University John F Kennedy School of Government and will deliver a keynote speech there.

He will be addressing the senior staff of the university and leaders from the financial and business community. Mr Tsang will depart for New York on Thursday (October 3).

End

Governor's TV and radio broadcast on Policy Address *****

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, will give a five-minute broadcast on the main areas of his 1996 Policy Address tomorrow (Wednesday).

The broadcast schedule is as follows:

Television station Time

TVB (Jade) 5.46 pm

ATV (Home) 5.55 pm

TVB (Pearl) 6.55 pm

ATV (World) 6.55 pm

Wharf Cable (News-1) 6.30 pm

Radio station Time

RTHK 1 5.30 pm

RTHK 2 6.00 pm

RTHK 3 6.00 pm

End

5

Road traffic noise measures study commissioned

*****

The Environmental Protection Department today (Tuesday) commissioned a consultancy study to determine the feasibility of retrofitting barriers and covers to abate traffic noise from existing roads.

The Assistant Director of Environmental Protection, Mr Raymond Chan said: "We have had good successes in pre-empting traffic noise through the administration of the EI A process at the planning stage and we are now tackling the problems which were created prior to the EIA practice.”

Government has already, through insulating schools, provided 384,000 school children with a quieter environment; 13,000 dwellings have also benefited from the Quiet Road Surface Programme.

"It is now time to look at further actual measures on the roads themselves," he said.

"This feasibility study would look into the practicability of erecting noise barriers and covers on existing road sections from an engineering, safety, public disturbance, side effects, maintenance and cost points of view.

"The results would provide information to form the basis for tackling road traffic noise problem from existing roads."

The $3.5 million consultancy study, scheduled for completion by the end of 1998, has been awarded to Maunsell Consultants Asia Ltd.

End

6

Statement by Broadcasting Authority

♦ * ♦ * *

A spokesmen for the Broadcasting Authority said today (Tuesday) that there was no need to set up an ad hoc independent committee to monitor the news broadcasts by Cable TV, following the announcement by its founding chairman to contest the SAR Chief Executive post.

"Broadcasters are well aware of their obligations under the relevant codes of practice to report the news fairly, accurately and impartially," the spokesman said.

"The Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority, which monitors television programmes on behalf of the Broadcasting Authority, will continue to carry out this task as usual."

End

Chairman to Consumer Council re-appointed

*****

A government spokesman announced today (Tuesday) that the Governor has reappointed Professor Edward Chen Kwan-yiu as Chairman of the Consumer Council for a period of one year. The appointment will come into effect on October 7.

"I am very pleased that Professor Chen has agreed to continue his service on the Council," the Governor said.

"I am particularly grateful to Professor Chen for giving so generously of his time despite his heavy commitments.

"His re-appointment will provide the continuity required for the Council to complete the remaining studies on competition, including a main study report on the overall competition environment in Hong Kong, which will play an important part in furthering the interests of consumers."

The appointment will be published in the Government Gazette on Friday (October 4).

End

7

Seminar to promote disabled employment ♦ * * * *

The disabled were given a good chance today (Tuesday) to show their working abilities at a seminar organised by the Labour Department.

The Seminar on Open Employment for People with a Disability was organised for the third year to enable employers to understand better the working abilities of the disabled and provide them with more employment opportunities.

More than 400 representatives from various organisations attended the seminar at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre during which talks were given, work demonstrations by the disabled performed, video shows and exhibitions provided.

Speaking at the opening of the seminar, the Commissioner for Labour, Miss Jacqueline Willis, said the Selective Placement Division (SPD) of the Labour Department had launched an array of promotional activities to promote open employment for people with a disability.

"These include staging exhibitions and seminars, issuing quarterly newsletters to 20,000 employers and presenting awards to commendable employers and outstanding disabled employees.

"We also work with the Radio and Television Hong Kong to produce a popular TV series 'Under the Same Sky' and a radio programme to enhance public understanding of people with a disability," Miss Willis said.

She said a set of video and handbook had been produced to introduce to employers the support services available to them in the employment of people with a disability. The support services include the Employaid Fund, Rehabus and sign language interpretation service.

In order to further promote open employment of people with a disability, SPD conducted 312 visits to employers in the private sector last year. With assistance from the Civil Service Branch, the division also made another 25 visits to major government departments.

"We have seen encouraging results and the division has achieved a record placement of 1,422 job seekers in one single year," Miss Willis said.

8

Another officiating guest was the Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Employment of the Rehabilitation Advisory Committee, Mr Vincent Cheng.

The Chairperson of the Equal Opportunities Commission. Dr Fanny Cheung, gave a briefing on the Disability Discrimination Ordinance at the seminar.

A Principal Assistant Secretary (Civil Service), Ms Grace Lui, and the Senior Manager of Human Resources of the Hongkong Bank, Mrs Jennifer Lun, also shared with other participants their experience in working with the disabled.

Today's seminar was co-organised by the American Chamber of Commerce, the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, the Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong, Employers' Federation of Hong Kong, the Sub-Committee on Employment of Rehabilitation Advisory Committee, Federation of Hong Kong Industries, Joint Council for the Physically and Mentally Disabled (Rehabilitation Division, Hong Kong Council of Social Service), the Hong Kong Association of Banks, the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong Hotels Association, Hong Kong Industrial Relations Association and Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management.

End

Two language projects awarded funding *****

The acting Director of Education and Trustee of the Language Fund, Mr T F Kwan, has approved funds totalling $2.64 million for two projects to improve language abilities in schools and in Hong Kong’s workforce.

Both successful projects are English language projects.

One of them is a research project by the Hong Kong Society of Accountants to identify the written language needs of professionals in the workplace. The project also aims at developing training material for language programmes which are tailored for the needs of the business community.

The project will cost $1.26 million over 15 months from 1996-97.

9

The other project is one by the Hong Kong Council of Early Childhood Education and Services for developing a curriculum package for teaching English in local kindergartens. It will cost $1.38 million over 15 months from 1996-97.

The two projects were recommended by the former Language Fund Advisory Committee last month.

End

Roving exhibition to promote development strategies review

* * * * *

Members of the public will have a chance to know more about the proposed development strategies for Hong Kong up to 2011 in a roving exhibition starting tomorrow (Wednesday).

The Territorial Development Strategy (TDS) Review 1996 exhibition will take place at 10 popular locations including eight shopping centres and two MTR stations throughout October.

It is part of a publicity programme to encourage members of the public to express their views on how the future development needs of Hong Kong can be met.

The first of the roving exhibition will be held at the Park Court, Level 1, Pacific Place, Queensway.

It will be open to the public between noon and 8 pm tomorrow and then between 10 am and 8 pm daily until Saturday (October 5). Admission is free.

The exhibition features 32 panels containing photographs, maps and charts with short descriptions to explain the recommended long-term and medium-term development strategies of the review.

Also on display will be models of major future developments comprising the Airport Railway Kowloon Station, Central and Wan Chai Reclamation, Tin Shui Wai and Tseung Kwan O new towns and Green Island Reclamation.

Visitors will be able to see a 12-minute, bilingual video introducing the various aspects of the TDS Review. They can also take home a bilingual leaflet highlighting the major development options recommended by the review.

10

Another smaller scale exhibition on the TDS Review 1996 will be staged concurrently at Wo Che Estate Shopping Centre in Sha Tin tomorrow until October 8. It will be open to the public from 10 am to 8 pm daily.

Eight more exhibitions will be mounted at the following dates and venues:

Venue Date

Lok Fu Shopping Centre II Wong Tai Sin Oct 6 - 10

Butterfly Estate Shopping Centre Tuen Mun Oct 9- 15

Times Square Causeway Bay Oct 11 -17

Tai Wo Shopping Complex Tai Po Oct 16-22

Metroplaza Kwai Fong Oct 18-24

MTR Central Station Central Oct 23 - 26

* MTR Admiralty Station Queensway Oct 27-31

Ocean Terminal Tsim Sha Tsui Oct 28-31

The public can send their comments on the Review before the end of December to General Registry (TDS Review), Planning Department, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong, Tel 2848 6247, Fax 2877 0389.

End

11

By-election for education conduct council *****

The Education Department today (Tuesday) encouraged Primary school teachers and school heads to vote in a by-election on Thursday (October 3) to fill two seats on the Council for Professional Conduct in Education.

Education Officer, Mr M L Lau, noted that the council is to promote the interests of the teaching profession by enhancing professional conduct and status. He urged teachers to show support for the council by exercising their voting right.

Voting will be conducted in local primary schools.

There is one nominee for each of the contested seats.

Mr Ho Kwok-suen of North Point Government Primary AM School is contesting the seat for the Government Primary Schools Category while Ms Ho Yun-ling of Hong Kong Shu Yan School is running for the Private Primary Schools Category seat.

Mr Lau said Mr Ho and Ms Ho will each need at least 500 votes on Thursday in order to be elected to the Council.

Teachers and school heads can vote for candidates of both Government Primary Schools Category and the Private Primary Schools Category.

Mr Lau said the Education Department's District Education Officers will visit more than 130 schools on Thursday to monitor voting.

Meanwhile, Mr Au Yeung Chi of Hong Kong Teachers' Association has been returned uncontested in the by-election because, unlike Mr Ho and Ms Ho, the seat he sought is in the Organisation-nominated Category and no voting is required.

End

12

Application for Mortgage Interest Subsidy Scheme invited

*****

Full time employees holding subvented posts in aided and per caput grant schools are invited to apply for assistance under the 1996-97 Mortgage Interest Subsidy Scheme (MISS).

Chief Executive Officer of the Education Department, Mr Kan Tat-sing, said today (Tuesday) that eligible staff are:

* those receiving a monthly basic salary equivalent to Master Pay Scale Point 22 ($24,850) or above and having a minimum of 10 years’ continuous recognised service as at October 31; or

* those receiving a monthly basic salary below Master Pay Scale Point 22 who have a minimum of 20 years' continuous recognised service as at October 31.

"Under MISS, successful applicants will receive a monthly subsidy for payment of interest on their home mortgage loan," Mr Kan said.

Circulars, application forms and relevant information leaflets have been sent to heads of schools. The closing date for submitting application forms is November 13.

Enquiries should be directly to MISS Section on 2961 7406 or 2961 7409.

End

Transfer of VMs from High Island Detention Centre

* * * * *

A group of about 250 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) will be transferred from High Island Detention Centre (HIDC) to Victoria Prison (VP) today (Tuesday) in preparation for their return to Vietnam under the Orderly Repatriation Programme.

They will join another group of about 340 VMs in VP, majority of whom have voluntarily presented themselves for transfer from HIDC yesterday (September 30), for pre-flight documentation and medical checks prior to their repatriation on October 8, 15 and 23.

The transfer will be observed by independent monitors.

End

13

VMs transferred to Victoria Prison pending repatriation

*****

About 250 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) at High Island Detention Centre were transferred this (Tuesday) morning to Victoria Prison (VP) in preparation for their return to Vietnam under the Orderly Repatriation Programme.

An operation to transfer the VMs went smoothly and without incident. Most of them began packing their belongings early this morning in preparation for the transfer and by about 9.30 am all VMs were accounted for and processed.

They will join about 340 others in VP, the majority of whom had voluntarily presented themselves for transfer yesterday (Monday), for pre-flight documentation and medical checks prior to their repatriation on October 8, 15 and 23.

End

Monitors' report submitted to CS *****

The monitors appointed to observe the transfer of Vietnamese migrants from High Island Detention Centre to Victoria Prison this (Tuesday) morning have submitted their report to the Chief Secretary.

The four monitors comprised two non-official Justices of the Peace, Dr Cecilia Chan Lai-wan and Mr Chao King-lin; and representatives from two non-government organisations, Mr Thierry Taveaux from Medecins Sans Frontieres and Ms Yiu Shau-hing from Caritas, Hong Kong.

End

BN(O) application for 1992 and 1995 bom close in December

*****

The final date for Hong Kong British Dependent Territories citizens (BDTCs) bom between 1992 and 1995 to apply for British National (Overseas) BN(O) passports will be December 31, a government spokesperson reminded the public today (Tuesday).

Hong Kong BDTCs (such as persons bom, naturalised or registered in Hong Kong) must obtain a BN(O) passport if they wish to continue to travel on British passports beyond 1997.

14

As specified in the second schedule to the Hong Kong (British Nationality) Order 1986, applications for BN(O) passports must be submitted on or before the final dates relevant to their age groups.

Parents or legal guardians of eligible children born between 1992 and 1995 must submit their applications on or before December 31. They should apply for a Hong Kong permanent identity card on behalf of the children at the same time. To avoid a last minute rush, they are advised to apply early.

Hong Kong BDTCs living, working or studying abroad, are also required to observe the cut-off dates if they want to apply for a BN(O) passport. However, they are not required to return to Hong Kong for their applications.

They should submit their applications to the nearest British passport issuing office either by post or in person. The required overseas application forms can be obtained at those offices or the Hong Kong Immigration Department.

Persons who do not comply with the relevant cut-off dates will not be able to travel on British passports beyond 1997. An application made after the final date will only be accepted if the applicant can show that there are special circumstances which justify his late application.

A BN(O) Late Registration Appeals Advisory Committee has been established to advise the Governor on those late applications which have been rejected by the Immigration Department.

The spokesperson emphasised that those who already had a BN(O) passport, either the conventional hard-cover type or the burgundy red machine readable type, need not apply again.

To save time in queuing up at Immigration Offices, eligible applicants should send in their applications by post or make use of the drop-in boxes installed at the Immigration Headquarters and branch offices throughout the territory. Only persons who have lost their previous passports, or who need the passport for urgent travel should apply in person.

For more information, members of the public may telephone 2824 1177 (English) or 2824 1717 (Chinese).

End

15

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results

*****

Tender date 1 Oct 1996 1 Oct 1996

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q640 Y694

Issue date 2 Oct 1996 2 Oct 1996

Maturity date 2 Jan 1997 3 Oct 1997

Coupon - -

Amount applied HK$7,710MN HK$2,610MN

Amount allotted HK$l,500MN HKS500 MN

Average yield accepted 5.19 PCT 5.62 PCT

Highest yield accepted 5.20 PCT 5.63 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 24 PCT About 60 PCT

Average tender yield 5.21 PCT 5.65 PCT

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

Tenders to be held in the week beginning 7 Oct 1996

Tender date 8 Oct 1996 8 Oct 1996

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q641 H675

Issue date 9 Oct 1996 9 Oct 1996

Maturity date 8 Jan 1997 9 Apr 1997

Tenor 91 days 182 days

Amount on offer HK$1,5OO+3OOMN HKS800+160MN

End

16

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

lime Cumulative change (SmUliaiU «

Lmillion (hours)

Opening balance in the account 2,852 0930 -691

Closing balance in the account 2,257 1000 -691

Change attributable to: 1100 -691

Money market activity -695 1200 -695

LAF today + 100 1500 -695

1600 -695

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.6 *-0.1* 1.10.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/MTRC

Terms Yield Term Issue E. v. • ■ Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.06 2 years 2808 6.00 99.84 6.18

1 month 5.09 3 years 3907 6.80 100.82 6.58

3 months 5.20 5 years 5109 7.32 100.94 7.21

6 months 5.32 7 years 7308 7.24 99.08 7.55

12 months 5.61 5 years M503 7.35 99.95 7.49

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - S9,531 million

Closed October 1, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES GARDEN ROAD, 5th-8th FLOORS, MURRAY BUILDING, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Wednesday, October 2,1996

Contents Page Nq£

Implementation of UN convention requires concerted efforts............. 1

Secretaries to explain policy commitments.............................. 2

Governor’s vision for HK’s future positive: FS......................... 4

Planning for Hong Kong's future growth................................. 5

Policy Address on line................................................. 7

Study on TES Review commissioned....................................... 7

Parcel service to Bosnia suspended..................................... 8

Royal military policeman to be award for bravery....................... 8

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations................... 9

1

Implementation of UN convention requires concerted efforts ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Successful implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child requires the concerted efforts of the community and the Government has been positively promoting compliance by the community at large, the Crown Solicitor, Mr Ian Wingfield, said in Geneva today (Wednesday).

Mr Wingfield is leading a Hong Kong Government team, forming part of the British delegation, to attend a two-day meeting of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child which examines the initial report of the implementation of the Convention in Hong Kong.

The Convention, adopted by UN in 1989 and extended to Hong Kong in 1994, reaffirms that children, because of their vulnerability, need special care and attention, and protection of their rights over a broad range of areas including education and health.

In an opening statement to the first-day hearing, he highlighted the measures adopted by the Government to implement the Convention.

Mr Wingfield said health and education perhaps served as the best indicators of the general well-being of children in Hong Kong.

He said the expenditure on health programmes in the current year represented 10.8 per cent of total public expenditure, while 17.5 per cent of the total public spending was budgeted for education.

He also pointed out that Hong Kong's infant mortality rate which, at 4.7 per 1,000 births in 1995, was among the lowest in the world.

He said this was attributable to many factors, including antenatal and postnatal care services. Furthermore, a comprehensive immunisation programme offered free to all children helped protect them against childhood infectious diseases.

Turning to education, Mr Wingfield noted that compulsory full-time education for children aged six to 15, funded by the biggest budget among the government's policy areas, had ensured that over 90 per cent of Hong Kong children completed upper secondary schooling, or equivalent vocational training.

For tertiary education, first year first degree places are taken up by 18 per cent of the population of the relevant age group.

2

He also noted that government grants and loans were given to university students so that no one would be deprived of education for lack of means.

"As well as setting out our achievements, we have also indicated in the Report a number of areas where new initiatives are in the course of implementation or under active consideration.

"It is our aim to improve the physical and mental well-being of our children and to promote the measures which serve those aims," Mr Wingfield said.

End

Secretaries to explain policy commitments *****

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

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

Date/Time Policy Secretary

October 5 pm Mr Dominic Wong. Secretary for Housing LegCo briefing, visit to a Housing Society estate and media session

October 7 am Mr Rafael Hui. Secretary for Financial Services Stand-up session after LegCo briefing

October 7 am Mr Kwong Ki-chi, Secretary for the Treasury Stand-up session after LegCo briefing

October 7 noon Mr Lam Woon-kwong, Secretary for the Civil Service Stand-up session after LegCo briefing

October 7 pm Mr Peter Lai, Secretary for Security Stand-up session after LegCo briefing

3

October 7 pm Mr Michael Leung, Commissioner, ICAC Press conference after LegCo briefing

October 7 pm Mr Jeremy Mathews, Attorney General Stand-up session after LegCo briefing

October 7 pm Mrs Katherine Fok, Secretary for Health and Welfare Press conference after LegCo Briefing

October 8 am Mr Joseph W P Wong, Secretary for Education and Manpower Stand-up session after LegCo briefings

October 8 pm Mr Lee Shing-see, Acting Secretary for Works LegCo briefing

October 8 pm Mr Bowen Leung, Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands Stand-up session after LegCo briefings

October 9 am Mr Gordon Siu, Secretary for Transport Stand-up session after LegCo briefing

October 9 noon Mr Stephen Ip, Secretary for Economic Services Stand-up session after LegCo briefing

October 10 am Mr Chau Tak-hay, Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport Stand-up session after LegCo briefing

October 10 pm Mr Michael Suen, Secretary for Home Affairs Media session after LegCo briefings

October 10 pm Mr Nicholas Ng, Secretary for Constitutional Affairs LegCo briefing

October 11 am’ Miss Denise Yue, Secretary for Trade and Industry Stand-up session after LegCo briefing

October 15 am Mr Kwong Hon-sang, Secretary for Works Visit to Tai Lam Tunnel and Ting Kau Bridge and media session

End

4

Governor’s vision for HK's future positive: FS ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

In response to media enquiries on the 1996 Policy Address, the Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, said today (Wednesday): "I share the Governor's positive vision for the future of Hong Kong based on the full implementation of all the promises and provisions set out in the Joint Declaration."

Mr Tsang is currently in Washington on a duty visit.

"I am very happy that the Governor has announced a series of measures to improve services to meet the ever-growing and changing needs of the community.

"I am particularly pleased to note the Governor's commitment to economic growth and to a more efficient and business-friendly administration.

"It is important for the Government to provide continued infrastructural support for our industries to move into high value-added production. We also need to encourage greater competitiveness in our service industries.

"We must above all uphold our policy of maximum support and minimum intervention," he said.

Commenting on the initiatives pertaining to the financial sector, Mr Tsang said banking and monetary stability remained the Government's highest priority.

"Of course we are also pursuing our new initiative of establishing a Mortgage Corporation by 1997," he said.

"We shall carry out to the full the policies outlined in the Governor's Policy Address, in accordance with our firm commitment to improving our service to the community."

Earlier today, Mr Tsang began the day by appearing on CNN's "Business Asia" programme and later attended the opening ceremony of the 1996 International Monetary Fund/World Bank annual meetings.

Afterwards, he had meetings with Mr Lawrence Lindsey of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve and Dr Stanley Fischer, First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund.

5

Mr Tsang also gave a briefing to members of the Hong Kong media and attended a dinner hosted by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Washington to meet people from academia and US think tanks.

He will meet with a group of US media representatives tomorrow morning to conclude his visit to Washington before travelling to Boston and New York to complete the US leg of his visits.

End

Planning for Hong Kong's future growth ♦ * ♦ * *

Hong Kong must extend its strategic vision well into the 21st century taking into account both its own needs and the open door policy in China, the Chairman of the Hong Kong Housing Authority, Ms Rosanna Wong, said today (Wednesday).

Ms Wong was speaking at the opening ceremony of a roving exhibition on the Territorial Development Strategy (TDS) Review 1996 held today at the Pacific Place in Queensway.

Also officiating at today's opening ceremony were the Deputy Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Canice Mak and the Director of Planning, Dr Peter Pun.

"We must now find ways to address the overall land supply problems, not only in quantitative terms, but also in ensuring that there is adequate land supply at the right time and in the right location," said Ms Wong.

She pointed out that the Government had, for many years provided a framework for development, through the formulation of strategic development plans.

"In so doing, the public sector has assumed a facilitative role for the provision of necessary infrastructure and to ensure an adequate supply of serviced land in a timely and logical manner to keep up with development pressures," she said.

Ms Wong urged members of the public to express their views on the various development options recommended by the TDS Review.

6

"Given that many aspects of strategic development will have an impact on the community in general, it will be important to take account of the views of both individual citizens and a wide range of business, professional, academic and community groups," she noted.

Results of the TDS Review was announced in July, followed by a six-month public consultation.

Views on the review should be sent in writing to the General Registry (TDS) Review, Planning Department, Murray Building, Garden Road, Tel 2848 6247, Fax 2877 0389 by the end of December.

The exhibition at the Pacific Place is the first of 10 exhibitions to be held this month throughout the territory to let people have a better understanding of the medium and long term development strategies recommended by the TDS Review.

The exhibition will be open to public between 10 am and 8 pm daily until Saturday (October 5).

It features 32 display panels containing photographs, maps and charts with short descriptions on the recommended development strategies.

Visitors will be able to see impressive models featuring major future developments including the Airport Railway Kowloon Station, Central and Wan Chai Reclamation, Tin Shui Wai and Tsueng Kwan O new towns and Green Island Reclamation.

A bilingual documentary video and a leaflet on the TDS Review will also be shown and available.

Members of the public can also visit another TDS Review exhibition which is held concurrently at the Wo Che Estate Shopping Centre in Sha Tin until October 8 (Tuesday). It will be open to the public daily between 10 am and 8 pm.

End

7

Policy Address on line *****

The 1996 Policy address and a comprehensive set of associated documents are available today (Wednesday), on line, on the Government’s Internet homepage.

a

The government homepage - the Government Information Centre (GIC) - on the World Wide Web http://www.info.gov.hk offers visitors:

* Policy Address

* Policy Commitments

* Legislative Programme

Progress Report

* Hong Kong Transition: Main Point

Policy Address and Policy Commitments - Highlights

The material is available in both English and Chinese.

Since the launch of GIC in December last year, more than 256,000 users have visited the index page.

End

Study on TES Review commissioned * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Environmental Protection Department today (Wednesday) commissioned a study to review the Trade Effluent Surcharge (TES) which is payable by 30 trades and industries discharging waste water into the public sewerage system.

’’Since April 1, 1995, a sewage charging scheme which

comprises a sewage charge and a TES has been introduced so that everyone in the community contributes directly to the operating cost of sewage services they use,” acting Assistant Director of Environmental Protection, Dr Malcolm Broom, said.

The sewage charge is a general charge payable by all water consumers discharging waste water into the public sewer. It is charged at a flat rate of $1.2 per cubic metre of water consumed.

8

TES is payable by 30 trades and industries which are discharging effluent at a strength higher than that of domestic sewage.

"Since the TES scheme has been introduced for more than a year, the Government undertook to conduct a thorough review of all aspects of the current scheme.

"Views and comments from various trade and industrial sectors on the cunent scheme collected during the past year have been included in the study brief and will be studied carefully by the consultant, who will also actively solicit views from trade associations and other interested parties," Mr Broom said.

The $3.46 million consultancy study, scheduled for completion in five months, has been awarded to ERM-Hong Kong Ltd.

End

Parcel service to Bosnia suspended ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Parcel service to the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina is temporarily suspended as that country is unable to accept any parcels at this time, the Postmaster General, Mr Robert Footman, announced today (Monday).

A further announcement will be made as soon as the service is resumed.

End

Royal military policeman to be award for bravery

*****

An unarmed military policeman who single-handedly captured three armed criminals is to receive one of Britain’s highest awards for valour tomorrow (Thursday).

Corporal Martin Andrews spotted a man behaving suspiciously in Harbour Road, Admiralty. Having sent his colleague to report the incident at Wan Chai Police Station, Cpl Andrews gave chase.

The man, however, turned and pointed a pistol at him. When two other armed men approached, Cpl Andrews used the distraction to disarm the first man, then ordered the others to surrender. The men were handed over to the civil police.

9

The 25-year-old Royal military policeman from Shavington, Cheshire, who has served with the Garrison in Hong Kong since April last year, will receive the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery from Commander British Forces Major General Bryan Dutton.

The citation in the commendation says Corporal Andrews: ’’demonstrated exceptional calmness, courage and bravery in arresting three dangerous criminals. His exemplary conduct and dedication to duty in an extremely dangerous and apparently life-threatening situation are most worthy of official recognition."

End

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

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,257 0930 -97

Closing balance in the account 2,164 1000 -94

Change attributable to: 1100 -97

Money market activity -93 1200 -97

LAF today NIL 1500 -97

1600 -93

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.8 *+0.2* 2.10.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/MTRC

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.98 2 years 2808 6.00 99.96 6.11

1 month 5.05 3 years 3907 6.80 101.01 6.50

3 months 5.18 5 years 5109 7.32 101.24 7.14

6 months 5.30 7 years 7308 7.24 99.43 7.48

12 months 5.60 5 years M503 7.35 100.15 7.44

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $16,698 million

Closed October 2, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES GARDEN ROAD, 5th-8th FLOORS, MURRAY BUILDING, HONG KONG. TEL.: 2842 8777

SUPPLEMENT

The Governor’s 1996 Policy Address

Wednesday, October 2,1996

Contents Page No,

Transcript of the Governor’s press conference........................... 1

Promises kept, it’s business as usual: Governor......................... 9

Governor highlights policy commitments............................. 11

Skills and stewardship keys to success................................. 13

Government to ensure a smooth transition........................... 15

’’Provisional” legislature a bad idea.................................. 17

Greatest possible assistance to Chief Executive (Designate)........ 18

Governor's vision for the future................................... 19

Striking the right balance on welfare.................................. 21

Maintaining Hong Kong’s good name...................................... 24

Successor can count on me: Governor.................................... 26

The world will judge HK with clear benchmarks.......................... 28

HK will take tomorrow by storm......................................... 30

The Governor’s broadcast on Policy Address............................. 32

1

Transcript of the Governor’s press conference ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

Following is the transcript of the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten’s press conference held after his 1996 Policy Address to the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Governor: Almost Happy Birthday! OK, I’ve said enough for the last hour and a half. You’ve got about half an hour. If you'd like to follow the normal rules and let us have your name and organisation, even if you know that I know who you are, and I’ll try to call a balance between the local correspondents and the international. Any hands, it's not obligatory.

Question (Express News): You just have one anxiety, is that all for Hong Kong?

Governor: Sorry?

Question: You just have one anxiety for Hong Kong, is that all? After 1997.

Governor: I'm not ... I think the question was 'do I just have one anxiety for Hong Kong after 1997?' I think that may be focusing on a slightly over-literary interpretation of something that I said in my speech, but I'm not quite sure which part of my speech you're referring to.

My principle concern is obviously, as is that of other people, that the governance of Hong Kong after 1997 should be entirely in line with the Joint Declaration, and that Hong Kong should continue to be a free plural society, a liberal market economy operating under the rule of law. I set out at the end of my speech some benchmarks which I was sure the world would be looking at in the years ahead and those pretty well describe the free society which Hong Kong is today and which I trust Hong Kong will remain.

Question (Martin Bell, BBC): I have a question about the effect of your speech. What difference do you think it might make, especially in Beijing, the words of the soon to be Ex-Governor?

Governor: Ex in nine months and then there will be nothing more ex.

I very much hope that Chinese officials will recognise that the way Hong Kong has been governed and the values which have underpinned the policies pursued by the Government and the reasons for Hong Kong's success, that all those things should be allowed to continue and flourish after 1997.

2

I hope that Chinese officials will be encouraged to develop a dialogue with prodemocracy parties and legislators. I would like them to think again, both about the establishment of a provisional legislature at all, and certainly about the establishment of any such unconstitutional body before July 1, 1997.

I would hope that they would warmly endorse what I said about the importance of standing up for Hong Kong's autonomy and I hope that they would recognise in what I said that, like the rest of the world, I have great confidence in Hong Kong, that Hong Kong can make a spectacular contribution to the continuing success of China's economic revolution but that requires leaders in Peking, above all, to trust Hong Kong which, in my judgement, is the basis for one country, two systems.

Question (Bruce Gilley, The Review): You say you won't do anything to assist the provisional legco to withstand legal challenge, yet if there was a legal challenge wouldn't that just create the destabilising atmosphere that you say you're trying to avoid?

Governor: I think it's reasonable of me to point out that the responsibility for anything which destabilises Hong Kong doesn't lie with those of us who point out just how damaging the establishment of a provisional legislature would be but lies with those who insist on going ahead and establishing a provisional legislature. You know, you can't blame the Hong Kong Government or the British Government if some Chinese officials want to throw stones through the window. We're not responsible for the breaking of the glass. If a questionable institution is established on questionable foundations, doing questionable things, then it stands to reason that it's activities are going to be questioned and that is a point which British Ministers have put very clearly to their Chinese counterparts. It's a point which the Chief Secretary put in Peking, you'll recall, when she went up there and had an important meeting with Director Lu a few months ago. You will recall, I'm sure, the speaking note which she left with the Director, which set out in terms, for example, why a provisional legislature, before July 1, leaving aside the fact that we don't think there should be one at all, why a provisional legislature before the July 1, was wholly unnecessary, as well as reprehensible and unjustifiable, to quote Malcolm Rifkind.

Question (Calvin Lee, Commercial Radio): You said that Hong Kong Government will give assistance to the Chief Executive Designate, does that include to help the provisional legislature if the CE Designate requires it, if not will it break your promise?

3

Governor: Well, I think I made pretty clear in my speech that unequivocal determination to assist the Chief Executive stops short of direct assistance to the provisional legislature. 1 said that fairly clearly in my speech. I didn't spell out in terms exactly what sort of assistance we would give the Chief Executive, since I don't think it's reasonable for us to specify in advance of their being such a person, what exactly we'll do to help. We've made all the obvious preparations. We've been preparing accommodation, we've got a pretty good idea of the sort of people who could be made available immediately to a Chief Executive from the civil service but it would be totally unreasonable of me to face a Chief Executive designate when he or she took up, as it were, that shadow role with a list of all the precise ways in which we proposed assisting. What we can do is offer a Chief Executive an a la carte menu rather than a table d'hote and some people who I'm sure were elected to that job would want more assistance in some areas than others. Some might want more extensive back-up in terms of staff than others. I don't think I can pre-ordain those matters.

Question (Eric Hill, Asian Wall Street Journal): Mr Governor, sir, you've made the point very forcefully that you had the anxiety that some persons in Hong Kong had surreptitiously sought to lobby Beijing to block, to overturn decisions by your Government. In the interests of openness and accountability, could you tell us, have people been able to do so, to block the Government's decisions and could you tell us who these individuals are who have attempted to do so and perhaps have been successful?

Governor: Well, 1 can think of one or two decisions and you can think of one extremely well known one in which we refused to take any decision until we were able to take the decision that we first wanted to take which was in the interests of Hong Kong. Now, you know what I'm talking about. Everybody here knows what I'm talking about. I doubt whether there was any paragraph in my speech which would have gained more nods, even if some of them, to use a word 1 used in my speech, were surreptitious. People know that this has happened, they know that it's extremely damaging. They also know that it would be injudicious of an always judicious Governor to say exactly who he had in mind, but everybody I'm sure has their own list of names.

Question (Daily Telegraph): Governor, you said it was your frustration that you hadn't been able to put your ideas about Hong Kong, including the future (inaudible), why did you choose not to do that but particularly during the period of disagreement between Britain and China over electoral reform?

Governor: Well, I suppose it's fair to say that eventually they were determined those views democratically because the decisions on the pace of democratic development were made in the Legislative Council, but I think what you're meaning is why we didn't call a referendum. I don't think you're suggesting that I should have run for office, attractive as that proposition would have been.

4

Question: Your ideas about Hong Kong?

Governor: Well I think it is reasonable to say that if you look at the opinion polls that were produced through ’92/93/94, when this argument was at its most vigorous, we regularly were able to point to substantial majorities of public support. We have, I think we can point today to the recent survey produced by the academically extremely respectable transition project at Baptist University which has two findings which I felt particularly interesting. The first is that the Government has an approval rating of 67 per cent which on balance I'm happy to settle for and secondly, that while I think only about 7 per cent of the sample were worried that 1997 might affect their economic well-being, 57/58 per cent of the sample were worried about their civil liberties, about corruption, about their way of life. I think that is a reflection as well of the fact that we've been talking about the most important and crucial issues. I also think that it would be hard to deny that whenever there had been a reasonably fair electoral test in Hong Kong there'd been majority support for arguments in favour of a little more democracy rather than a little less. Though I think the community had always recognised that that has to be a cautious process and I think the community has always hoped for that process to be within the framework of as good as possible a relationship with China. It's sometimes been difficult to stand up for Hong Kong while retaining as good a relationship with China as one would like.

Question: (inaudible)... the polls say one thing - we know what they say - but you said it was your frustration that you couldn’t put it to the ballot. Why didn't you put it to the ballot, because constitutionally you were not restricted from doing so?

Governor: I was restricted from doing so by a very large number of considerations, some of them political, some of them constitutional. What I was actually thinking about as an elected politician - elected sometimes, defeated sometimes as well - was that it is a frustration if one is a democrat in the marrow of one's bones, that when challenged intellectually and politically you are not in a position to go out on the hustings and put your arguments to the test. I am sure anyone with my background from Europe or North America would have found the same sort of frustration: endlessly being interviewed by people who would ask whether what one was saying was really supported by people in Hong Kong and only being able to talk about opinion polls rather than real votes and real bodies.

Question: Governor, you have always said the pointers of democracy and human rights - but you have ten key elements that you have stated in your policy speech about the CE's programme; you mentioned nothing about democracy and human rights and those ten key elements, can I know the reason why?


5

Governor: I think I spoke generally in mentioning those key elements, about Hong Kong remaining a free society, and I think I spoke about the rule of law. But I thought that by the time I got to those ten points people would have actually given me the credit of knowing that I am in favour of accountability and representative government and democracy and adequate protection of civil liberties. Nobody is worse placed to conduct exegesis on a speech than the person who wrote it but I think that I can reasonably claim that overall, including in my advice to a chief executive, my views on what constitutes an open society are pretty clear.

Question (Apple Daily): There are only nine months before we are going to handover to China and it seems to us that you yourself do not have confidence that Hong Kong can succeed because you are leaving us with one anxiety and one frustration. So can you tell us how much chance that Hong Kong can be one country, two systems, highly autonomous can be achieved - and compare especially when you first arrived here in 1992?

Governor: You leave out what I then went on to say which is paragraph 95 and following, namely the reasons why I am confident about Hong Kong’s future. I spelt out in some detail why I am confident that Hong Kong represents the wave of the future in Asia rather than as it were a throw back to the past. And overall, I was able to sketch out a record of a community which since I became Governor in 1992, since I first spoke to the Legislative Council, can point to inflation at a ten-year low, can point to crime figures which are lower than they were ten years ago, can point to substantial increases in welfare programmes - for example, a 55 per cent increase in the amount of money that we have spent in real terms on the elderly, can point to cuts in taxation, can point to continuing economic growth, can point to an exchange rate which is still at the strong end of the link with the dollar, can point to spectacular increases in its reserves, can point to all sorts of other social and educational improvements. I don’t think it is a bad record and if it weren't for the constraints which Mr Hutchins drew out of me, it is not a record that I would mind going on the hustings about.

. .i -

Question (HK Standard): In the benchmark - you listed out like 15 benchmarks by which Hong Kong will be judged by the world - are they your own benchmarks; are they negotiable as well? And are there any priorities by which you would?

Governor: No, they are not a subject for negotiation. They are, I hope, a reasonably intelligent indication of the sort of things which the rest of the world, and people in Hong Kong, are going to be looking at in the years ahead. They are not an exclusive list, they were merely a departing governor’s view of the sort of things which the rest of the world would be looking for and looking to in Hong Kong. Some of them, of course, speak for themselves and if one goes and talks to trade negotiators in other parts of the world they want to be confident that Hong Kong is going to have retained its autonomy in commercial matters. If you go and talk to Finance Ministry officials elsewhere in the world, or bankers, they want to be sure that Hong Kong will continue to be responsible for its own exchange fund and its own reserves. Those are fairly straightforward questions.

6

I think it is reasonable to say that the benchmarks I set out are a reflection of the sort of questions that I get and other Hong Kong Government officials get when we are going around the world expressing our overall confidence and optimism in Hong Kong, albeit, I hope, in a rational and credible way.

Question (The Times): Governor, you laid great stress on the importance of the present LegCo and you made some unequivocal remarks about the provisional legco. Can you finally give us your view of whether the provisional legco as planned is a violation of any kind of law? But more important, in terms of your benchmarks and your hopes for Hong Kong, if the present LegCo does not ride over into 1997, do you think of that as a deadly if not a fatal handicap to the success of Hong Kong after 1997? Is it so important that it really makes you feel some despair?

Governor: I think - though I will answer the first question as sensibly as I can -1 think the second question is the more interesting and difficult one. I don't think that a decision to dismantle the existing Legislative Council would represent anything other than a handicap. I very much hope that it's a bad decision and a bad policy which could be put right in a reasonable amount of time. I spelt out today some of the things that, if this does happen, the world will be looking at in terms of electoral arrangements, to judge whether they are fair and open or not. The trouble about the decision to dismantle the legislature is, as I think I expressed it pretty clearly in my speech, it does raise questions in people's minds about commitments to other aspects of Hong Kong's way of life. And I think that it also inevitably makes people worry about the rule of law, about freedom of speech and so on because of the extent to which a fairly elected legislature is at the heart of that fabric of civil society.

So my simple answer to your question is that it is certainly a handicap; I very much hope that it would not be a fatal handicap. Because all of us, repeat all of us, want to see Hong Kong succeeding, whatever the challenges, and succeeding spectacularly well in the future.

On the first question that you raised - there are two particular areas of legality or illegality which are raised by people and I will explain to you why I want to be cautious. The first is the question of the establishment of a provisional legislature at all and the extent to which many people will argue that a legislature appointed by a selection committee is difficult to see as being in compliance with Joint Declaration 49.

The second is the establishment of such a body in a quasi-constitutional way before July 1, 1997, which raises questions about JD30. Now British Ministers have made it perfectly clear that they think that the establishment of a provisional legislature before July 1 would call into question China's compliance with the Joint Declaration. I don't think there is any doubt whatsoever about that.

7

We also, however, hope that on that issue Chinese officials will think again. We recall that at the meeting which Mr Rifkind had with Mr Qian Qichen in the Hague in April, as we have made clear before, Mr Qian Qichen said that a provisional legislature wouldn’t assume its functions before July 1, 1997, that there could only be one Legislative Council, one Governor, one Privy Council before July 1, 1997. So we still very much hope that the Chinese officials and others will abide by what Mr Qian said in the Hague. And I wouldn't want to say anything at this point which suggested that Chinese officials weren't going to do so.

I add this point which I made, I think to Mr Gilley, earlier. We have made it abundantly, prosaically, legally clear to Chinese officials why no provisional legislature is required before 30 June next year. We couldn't be clearer. We have also pointed out that if this body starts behaving like a legislature, if it starts considering appointments, if it starts considering laws, those appointments and those laws are, under the Basic Law, going to be vulnerable to legal challenge after July 1, 1997.

It is not a sort of make-up piece of rhetoric. You only have to ask some of the Legislators, particularly the Legislators who are lawyers - you only have to ask some of the lawyers who aren't Legislators in Hong Kong - about that and they will tell you. Now that is not me being destabilising, it is not me being provocative, it is my description of a situation which will exist if Chinese officials behave in a way which is not sensible.

The second question is what is the status of a provisional legislature appointed after July 1, 1997 in relation to Joint Declaration 49. And on that, before the event I will only repeat that if we were having a legal argument it would be on the grounds that Chinese officials would presumably be arguing that by election they meant election by 400 people. Now I don't think anybody believes that - except, perhaps, a distinguished former diplomat. But I don't think anybody else believes that to be the case.

I don't want, attractive as it is to headline writers, to disappear too far down illegal cul-de-sacs on all this, because I would like Chinese officials, both in the short and long term, to think again about these matters. And I repeat, this is not the British Government or the Governor being provocative, this is responding to a situation which some people have casually and recklessly put on the road as though there weren't very difficult and damaging consequences.

Question: Governor, what's the difference between the smooth transition and the successful transition and might you recognise that a successful transition is more important and necessary?

8

Governor: Well, I can, let me take other areas of life. One could conceive of smooth transitions which led to extremely undesirable or unsuccessful outcomes. You could have a very smooth ride to hospital and never come back. What you actually want is a ride to hospital and a ride back again.

To come directly to what I mean in the context of Hong Kong, what is a successful transition? A successful transition, which we would all like to be as smooth as possible, is one which sees Hong Kong in two, five, 10 years time, doing even better than it’s doing today with a free society living under the rule of law. That’s a successful transition and let me make it perfectly clear that if we don’t get a successful transition, if we don’t have Hong Kong in that state in five years, 10 years time, people aren’t just going to criticise Chinese officials, they’re going to criticise departed British officials for not having done enough to guarantee Hong Kong's well-being. That’s what people should have in mind when they think about the judgement of history.

One more. We've had 40 minutes, I think. I think the person who asked me my very first question after I'd become Governor of Hong Kong. Oriental Daily.

Question (Oriental Daily): Thank you Governor. Governor if history turns back and the clock turns back to your arrival, will you still go forward with your reform, political reform, or you would like to leave your way and depart Hong Kong with your frustration and anxiety as you stated in your policy address?

Governor: I'll say two things. First of all, when we had those fairly noisy arguments in '92,'93; when we had the Hang Seng Index plummeting four or five hundred points in a morning; when we had threats made to Hong Kong's economic prospects; the development of our infrastructure; when we had dire predictions of disaster from distinguished former diplomats; when all that happened, I'm bound to say, I felt very strongly that Hong Kong would manage to weather those occasional bouts of turbulence and the truth of the matter is, we did go through those arguments because I believe that it's important to do everything possible to stand up for Hong Kong and to try to implement the Joint Declaration. We did have those arguments and look at Hong Kong today. Is Hong Kong wrecked? Is our economy in tatters? Is our social fabric tom asunder? You know what the answers to those questions are. The statistics tell what we all know about Hong Kong's quality of life. Not that there aren't problems, not that there aren't other things we have to do. But that Hong Kong has done extremely well in the last four or five years.

9

Secondly, people sometimes talk as though the alternative to having an occasional argument with Chinese officials was a quiet life. If I'd agreed, for example, to put in place electoral arrangements which this community believed to be unfair, who would my arguments have been with for four or five years? With the people of Hong Kong. I could have produced, I think if we'd taken the wrong decisions, political turbulence in Hong Kong, we could have produced arguments and rows and people fighting their seats in by-elections and winning by bigger majorities and chaining themselves to railings and burning tyres. 1 don't think that would have been good for the investment climate in Hong Kong. I don't think it would have been good for confidence in Hong Kong. I don't think it would have been good for building Hong Kong's foundations for a better and brighter future. And there's just one other, rather old fashioned thing that I feel very strongly. I think it would have been downright plain wrong, and I'm sorry if that makes me sound a shade undiplomatic. I've never been a diplomat. Nobody could confuse me with a diplomat but I do know the difference between right and wrong.

Thank you all very much indeed.

End

Promises kept, it's business as usual: Governor *****

’’Business as usual” was the promise when the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, delivered his fifth and final Policy Address to the Legislative Council today (Wednesday).

He also reviewed his promises and accomplishments over the past five years.

Noting that he had told the Council last year that his 1995 address was the last he would give in the conventional form and manner, Mr Patten said his departure on July 1 next year dictated a different and "more personal" approach.

The Governor said this "rather different speech" did not mean that government was closing down or going into hibernation for nine months.

"You cannot turn government on and off like a combustion engine," he said.

"It will be business as usual, punctuated admittedly by some unique events. We still have plenty to do. And we intend to do plenty."

10

Mr Patten hoped that the media would give the government's Progress Report and Policy Commitments - "annual exercises in candour" - the careful study they deserved.

These documents were part of a revolution in the way Hong Kong's Government and public service did their jobs, he said: "They spell out in detail what we have been doing to modernise the way our government governs. We have tried to open up the way we do business. We have tried to blow away the cobwebs, to equip Hong Kong's Government not just for the transition, but for the new millennium."

Performance Pledges, Customer Liaison Groups, Progress Reports, Policy Commitments, the expansion of the role of the Commissioner for Administrative Complaints, the Code on Access to Information, reforms to legal aid. and his question-and-answer sessions were part of that process.

Few, if any, governments anywhere tried to be as frank, about their failures as well as their successes, he said.

Mr Patten told the Legislative Council most of the aims set four years ago had been achieved or were on schedule for completion within the five-year timetable.

The quality of life for most people had improved across the board in the past five years.

Students, parents and teachers had benefited from improvements in educational standards, including 2,400 more teachers by September 1996.

The disadvantaged had benefited from steps such as the new Comprehensive Social Security Assistance scheme, introduced in 1993 and enactment of the Disability Discrimination Ordinance.

Sick people had been provided with almost 3.000 new hospital beds out of 4.200 promised. The rest would follow next year.

Housing had experienced considerable change with more flats available, far fewer temporary housing areas, and the introduction of the Sandwich Class Housing Scheme which aimed to provide new homes for 30,000 families between 1995 and 2003.

Since 1992, pollution in rivers and streams in the New Territories had been cut by 70 per cent; 80 per cent of petrol now sold was unleaded, and 50 per cent of vehicles now used catalytic converters.

11

The crime rate in the first eight months of 1996 was down by nine per cent compared with 1992. It was about the same as Singapore's - and much lower than the rates in London, New York, Tokyo and Toronto.

The business sector had seen the economy continue its 35 years of uninterrupted economic growth.

Measures taken to help business since 1992 included tax cuts and the building of a modem new airport to ensure air services continued to meet business demands.

The $4.8 billion extension to the Convention and Exhibition Centre would keep Hong Kong the best conference venue of Southeast Asia.

Concluding his review of the five-year programme, Mr Patten said arrangements were made for holding three sets of elections in 1994 and 1995: "What was our aim? A simple and clear one: to put in place electoral arrangements which were open, fair and which would command the confidence and the support of the people of Hong Kong. Well, we did exactly that."

End

Governor highlights policy commitments * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, highlighted his government’s policy commitments when he delivered his fifth and final Policy Address to the Legislative Council today (Wednesday).

Mr Patten hoped the media would give the Policy Commitments the careful study they deserved.

These commitments include, first, preparations for the transition.

Work would continue on air services agreements, the continued application of international agreements, the localisation of laws and so on, Mr Patten said.

”We will continue to train our civil servants to upgrade their Chinese language skills, to learn more about China and China’s system of government, and to see that China understands more about ours," he said.

12

Work will continue on building a more open and fair society.

This include improvements in the operation of the District Court and the Labour and Small Claims tribunals.

Establishment of the Legal Aid Services Council has already enhanced the independence of the legal aid services.

Other efforts will be put in to fight corruption, improve work ethics and assist victims of crime.

”We will proceed with a study on racial discrimination and provide better access to Government records and information,” Mr Patten said.

Hong Kong's business infrastructure will be improved, plans supported for a fourth industrial estate and the financial and institutional arrangements for a science park would be tackled.

Further trade liberalisation will be sought at the first World Trade Organisation Ministerial Meeting and through the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation Action Plan.

Major transport improvement works will be undertaken, increasing capacity and expanding the existing railways.

Industrial and software technology would get a boost, he said.

Services to the community will be improved with a Housing Authority charter for those in public housing. The public bus companies will draw up their own service charters.

The police complaints system will be improved and reviews instituted of the immigration clearance procedures and health care system.

Efforts to combat child abuse will be strengthened and a new support network established for the elderly.

All government secondary schools will get access to the Internet and a new Putonghua radio channel will be launched on RTHK in March next year.

13

Programmes to make Hong Kong a better place in which to live and work include:

* A safety charter and new safety legislation to come.

* Improved mediation procedures in industrial disputes and promotion of

employees’ rights.

Positive changes to the Home Ownership Scheme and Private Sector Participation Scheme flats, and an increase in the Sandwich Class Housing Scheme income limit, plus a further phase of low-interest loans under this scheme.

Transport improvements would include a Smart Card System for public transport, more spaces for goods vehicle parking, a trial park-and-ride scheme, possible new measures for reducing rail and road noise, and the phasing out of noisy diesel and steam hammers in built-up areas.

Stronger action would be taken on smoky vehicles.

Support for athletes would be increased through the Sports Development Board and the Hong Kong Athletes Fund.

End

Skills and stewardship keys to success ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Chinese skills and British stewardship were key components in Hong Kong’s success, the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, told the Legislative Council when he delivered his fifth and final Policy Address today (Wednesday).

He listed a combination of factors involved in the territory’s success, starting with the hard work and skills of its Chinese inhabitants, and a British stewardship which had tried to adhere to political values institutionalised in the rule of law and a meritocratic, politically neutral Civil Service.

’’The localisation of the public service has necessarily been speeded up since 1992, but not, I hope, at the expense of acknowledging the role that has been played and will continue to be played by expatriates,” Mr Patten said.

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"Hong Kong has always been an open city; open to ideas, open to people. That openness lies at the heart of Hong Kong's success."

Reflecting on the territory's history, Mr Patten said: "It is natural that the handover next June should be seen by China as a final wiping clean of the slate on which the record of the 19th century European imperial powers in China is written. That will be a moment of proper pride for Chinese men and women everywhere.

"Yet the history that fashioned Hong Kong did not end in the 19th century. For most people in Hong Kong, the history that created this city is of more recent vintage."

A devastated Hong Kong held fewer than 600.000 people at the end of the Second World War and had grown exponentially.

People came seeking better economic prospects and because they could enjoy here the peace and safety guaranteed by the rule of law, Mr Patten said: "Not rules. Not laws. But the rule of law, that vital protection against arbitrary government.

"Of the foolish remarks that one occasionally hears about Hong Kong, none is more misguided than the notion that this community does not really care about human rights.

"Many people, maybe the majority of people, in Hong Kong are here precisely because of their concern for human rights - their own human rights, and those of their family and friends.

"These are not alien concepts irrelevant for Asia and Asians. They are universal, valued as much by men and women in Asia as by their counterparts elsewhere on the planet."

On this Chinese shore, the people of Hong Kong - natives of this territory, or refugees from Guangdong. Fujian. Shanghai and elsewhere in China - had created one of the greatest cities the world has ever seen, he said.

One measure was the fact that Hong Kong's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was calculated at HK$7 billion in 1961. It was now HK$l,105 billion, he said, equivalent to about 20 per cent of China's GDP.

GDP per head in 1961 stood at US$410, Mr Patten said: "Today it is I ISS23.2OO. even higher than Australia. Canada and - I whisper it quietly - the United Kingdom."

15

Hong Kong's GDP had almost doubled in real terms since the Joint Declaration was signed; fiscal reserves had increased almost six-fold; exports by almost 330 per cent in real terms; and investment by over 120 per cent.

"Since I arrived, but not because I arrived, GDP has grown by almost a quarter and the reserves by a similar proportion." Mr Patten said.

He noted that this was part of a region-wide story and that Hong Kong had been specially fortunate to share in the fruits of China's economic revolution of the 1980s.

"That has been one of the most important developments, not simply for China and Asia but for mankind," the Governor said.

Hong Kong had invested in and built factories right across southern China, then helped to manage them.

It had provided much of the people, services, and ideas - as well as much of the money - for China’s peaceful revolution.

"The benefits have flowed in both directions," Mr Patten said.

"China's success is Hong Kong's opportunity. That is the case today. It will be so even more as Hong Kong takes its place as the richest, most outward-looking and most modem city in China."

End

Government to ensure a smooth transition * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government aims to ensure that a smooth transition is achieved through the full and faithful implementation of the Joint Declaration, the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said today (Wednesday).

However, a "smooth transition" was not an end in itself, said the Governor in delivering his 1996 Policy Address.

"What we want is a successful transition, which we would also like to be as smooth as possible," he said.

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Hong Kong's economic and social accomplishments would give the new Government of the Special Administrative Region the best possible start in life, he said, estimating that at the time of the handover, Hong Kong should have about $320 billion in its reserves.

Four plenary sessions and many expert group meetings have been held by Joint Liaison Group this year during which agreement or consensus was reached on a number of important issues.

Despite various problems the Group had to face, he said, substantial if sometimes slow progress had been made. These include:

* agreement to ensure the continued application of international rights and obligations;

* bilateral arrangements with other countries covering matters like air services and investment promotion and protection;

* localisation of many of the laws and the validity of a number of major contracts straddling 1997;

establishment of a Court of Final Appeal in Hong Kong and on the continuity of the Judiciary; and

the funding of the airport and on the issue of travel and identity documents.

Mr Patten said there was still a significant amount of work to complete and the time was short.

This includes the transfer of government; legal matters, for instance the conclusion of the localisation of laws programme; immigration issues; and economic issues, for example Air Services Agreements.

However, he said: "With determination and energy on both sides, 1 am sure we can finish most of this work."

While he would leave Hong Kong after June 30, 1997, Britain would not, said Mr Patten.

"Britain's moral and political commitment to Hong Kong will remain, inscribed in a binding international treaty spanning the next 50 years," he said.

End

17

’’Provisional” legislature a bad idea

*****

It would be wrong and damaging to scrap the Legislative Council and replace it with a non-elected body, the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said in delivering his 1996 Policy Address today (Wednesday).

"That remains our unshakeable position,” he said, stressing that a 'provisional' legislature allowed to operate before July 1, 1997, would be destabilising.

"We believe that there is no reason why this Council should not be allowed to serve the full four-year term for which it was elected.”

Mr Patten said British ministers had made the Hong Kong Government's view crystal clear on the establishment of a "provisional” legislature.

"If the electoral arrangements that the previous Legislative Council endorsed are to be replaced (a bad policy, but one that we are told will not - sadly - be reversed) then will what is to be put in their place accommodate democratic views and pro-democracy legislators?" he asked.

He said the bulk of any preparatory groundwork for the establishment of the Special Administrative Region (SAR) Government would fall on the Chief Executive (Designate) and his or her team, in line with Hong Kong's well-established executive-led system.

A number of articles of the Basic Law set out clearly the procedure that needs to be adopted for the development of policy and the introduction, consideration and approval of legislation in SAR.

"Any laws that emerged from a 'provisional' legislature without being subject to . this procedure would inevitably be vulnerable to subsequent legal challenge in the courts," said Mr Patten.

"A 'provisional' legislature is bad enough. The suggestion that it could operate in parallel with this Council makes a bad idea even worse. I sincerely hope that, even at this late stage, this bad idea can be thought about again.

"It is unnecessary as well as provocative and we will have nothing to do with it. We will not assist a 'provisional' legislature's establishment, its operation or its ability to withstand legal challenge,” said the Governor.

18

Mr Patten said the argument on the electoral arrangements was rather crudely and inaccurately portrayed as an attempt to make a great democratic leap forward here in Hong Kong.

In fact, it was actually about the British Government’s attempt to honour the undertakings given to the people of Hong Kong in 1984 within the terms of the Basic Law, he said, adding that the dispute was never about breaches of the Joint Declaration or the Basic Law.

"Everything we have done has been in line with the undertakings solemnly accepted by Britain and China.

"Nor can the election of this Council be seen as a midnight conversion to democracy after decades in which there was none," said the Governor.

End

Greatest possible assistance to Chief Executive (Designate)

*****

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said today (Wednesday) that it was his obligation and his desire to give the greatest possible assistance to his successor.

"I say that without qualification, save what I have just said about a ’provisional’ legislature," Mr Patten said in his 1996 Policy Address to the Legislative Council.

The Governor said he could not now specify in what precise ways the Government would help.

"My successor will have an agenda and I do not want to pre-empt that. The Civil Service will be preparing for the obvious eventualities - allocation of office space, staff and so on - and we will be in a position to help, not overwhelm but help, the Chief Executive (Designate) however that assistance is required," he said.

"The Chief Executive (Designate) will ask, and we will seek to deliver. That is as it should be and that is what the community would want and expect. Naturally, we have conveyed this assurance to the Chinese side."

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Mr Patten said he wished to stress that the Government would be as unequivocal in a positive direction in the help that was given to the Chief Executive (Designate).

"It is sometimes suggested that we would give more help to a successful candidate whom we had favoured over other rivals for this onerous post.

"That is nonsense. We have no candidate. The selection is not for us. We have not, will not, and would not seek to interfere in the selection process. Whoever is the winner, our open-handed support will be the same,” said the Governor.

End

Governor’s vision for the future

*****

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said today (Wednesday) that he suspected that his successor, the Chief Executive (Designate), would be increasingly preoccupied over the coming years with what he called the second of Hong Kong's transitions.

"We have been going through two transitions in recent years," Mr Patten said in describing "a vision for the future" in his 1996 Policy Address to the Legislative Council.

"The first is the transition from British to Chinese sovereignty. The second is the transition from a struggling developing economy to a great international business and financial centre - and then to what?

"What is next? Some argue, not without good cause, that Hong Kong can become the principal financial centre and commercial dynamo on this continent, the New York of Asia. It is not a fanciful notion, but we still have some way to go."

In some ways Hong Kong was playing a similar role already to that which New York played at the turn of the century when it helped to open up the rest of the North American continent and to funnel know-how and investment to it.

- 20

"Hong Kong can aim for the stars. After all, Hong Kong people have already proved so much: how it is possible with resourceful business leaders to create one of the world’s most prosperous economies in a tiny territory devoid of natural resources; how to create a soundly-based, adaptable, socially-responsible market economy that still outpaces the competition; how to remain open to the world while retaining a distinct identity; how to entrench the rule of law, root out corruption, and beat crime while upholding personal rights and freedoms; how to grow from a post-war ruin to the great international city of today," he said.

He said it was no wonder so much of Asia looked to Hong Kong as a model. It was not going to stop doing so on July 1, 1997. The development of Asia would surge on and so would that of Hong Kong.

The increase in the disposable incomes of Asian workers and their families promised to be the most powerful engine of economic growth for the next generation.

Across Asia, market economics, and the hard graft of millions of people, were helping to consign shanty towns and squatter huts to history. Countries and governments were wrestling with the consequences of rapid economic change, of growing income differentials, of inadequate legal structures, of corruption, of environmental degradation.

At home, they tried to accommodate political and social aspirations to economic advance. Abroad, they saw, more and more, the perils of protectionism and the benefits of free trade.

"Against that background, we should ask, is the sort of place Hong Kong has become, the values which have shaped our community, a throwback to an outdated past in Asia, or a forerunner of what the future could be like in more and more Asian countries?" he asked.

"Step outside Hong Kong for a moment. Consider what those countries see when they look at this city. Our outstanding Civil Service, whose efficiency and professionalism have a world-class reputation.

"Our Police Force, which US law enforcers have described as the finest in Asia, and which plays a vital role, as do Hong Kong’s other law enforcement agencies, in international co-operation against drugs, money-laundering and terrorism. Our independent Judiciary, enforcing the law fairly and impartially.

21

"Our free and energetic press, with its 58 daily newspapers and numerous other publications. Our freely and fairly elected Legislative Council. Our influential, independent role in international bodies like the WTO. Our unwavering advocacy - as a matter of convinced and unshakeable principle and practice - ofTree trade.

"You don't have to be as savvy as a Hong Kong entrepreneur to see the opportunities that lie ahead. Hong Kong is a bridge, a vital link between East and West and, specifically, between the West and China.

"Hong Kong represents the kind of Asia with which both West and East are comfortable. An Asia committed to open markets and open minds. An Asia committed to the rule of law and respect for human freedom. An Asia in which East and West mix so well - commercially, culturally, socially, intellectually. It offers, in that sense, a vision of the future for Asia.

"Will Hong Kong live up to these hopes? I believe passionately that it can do so and should do so, if it sticks to the formula that has served it so well until now.

"All our efforts in recent years have been designed to make sure that it can."

End

Striking the right balance on welfare * * * * ♦

Hong Kong can take considerable pride in the progress made in developing its programmes to assist the deprived, the disabled and the disadvantaged, the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday).

Explaining the purpose of the welfare system in his 1996 Policy Address, Mr Patten said the benefits of Hong Kong's continuing economic growth did not flow evenly to everyone in the community.

"Nor should we expect them to do so in an enterprise culture such as ours," he

said.

"Quite deliberately, our welfare system does not exist to iron out inequalities. It does not exist to redistribute income.

22

"Our welfare programmes have a different purpose. They exist because this community believes that we have a duty to provide a safety net to protect the vulnerable and the disadvantaged members of society, the unfortunate minority who, through no fault of their own, are left behind by the growing prosperity enjoyed by the rest of Hong Kong.

"In recent years, the community's recognition of the need to help those disadvantaged by age, disability or ill-health has been reinforced by the contrast between their plight and the rising standards of living taken for granted by Hong Kong as a whole."

Mr Patten commented that a few critics said Hong Kong was hobbling itself on the journey to an even brighter future. They argued that increased democratisation had gone hand-in-hand with galloping and unaffordable welfarism, that Hong Kong was becoming a welfare state.

He said: "It seems to me to be preposterous to claim, as some do, that to respond to the community's desire for a little more compassion is to strike at the heart of the Hong Kong success story. That to channel a little of our new wealth to help the elderly, the sick, the disabled and the disadvantaged, is to undermine our public finances and our system of government.

"This is propaganda dressed up as prudence, cant disguised as conviction. Let me, for a moment, subject the "Hong Kong is going broke through the welfare burden" thesis to a shower of cold fact:

* Hong Kong currently spends on welfare about the same as it spends on perfume and cosmetics each year.

♦ Public spending is still only about 18 per cent of GDP and will represent a lower proportion of our forecast GDP for 1997 than in the early 1980s."

Mr Patten said Hong Kong had to keep a firm grip on public spending, and it had done so over the last five years.

"And 1 am well aware of the need for Hong Kong to avoid the massive problems caused by spiralling welfare costs in Europe. But we are not in that position in Hong Kong, and we are not going to be.

"So let's keep our position in cool perspective. Our provision is hardly lavish; you would be hard-pressed to live it up on Hong Kong social security.

"When people attack our alleged welfarism, I suggest that you ask them which group of the elderly, the disabled, the infirm should have their welfare programmes axed.

"Ask them to be specific about which welfare services they regard as luxuries that Hong Kong's economy can ill-afford.

"And ask them, too, whether they do not recognise that one reason for Hong Kong's stability and for the moderation of our public life is that we do respond to the social needs of the community," he said.

Mr Patten said it was also argued that Hong Kong should not distract itself from its economic goals by an excessive preoccupation with the protection of its civil liberties.

He said: "But those liberties are part of the reason for our economic success. Infringe those liberties and you make Hong Kong less attractive to international business and investment, and less attractive as an open market economy.

"That’s why we will complete our programme of bringing all our laws into line with the Bill of Rights and the two International Covenants on human rights. We have done about 80 per cent of the work and we will invite this Council to help us finish the job.

"We will also press the Chinese Government to recognise that its reporting obligations under the International Covenants are an integral part of its duty to apply those Covenants to Hong Kong.

"Naturally, the best way to clear up any confusion - few things would give Hong Kong a better sense of confidence in its future - would be for China itself to sign up to the two Covenants."

End

24

Maintaining Hong Kong’s good name ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Criticism that Hong Kong's entrepreneurial spirit is being regulated to extinction, with both financial and environmental codes, is preposterous, the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday).

"The most successful cities of the future will be clean - in both senses of the word," Mr Patten said in his 1996 Policy Address when referring to the importance of maintaining Hong Kong's good name and its competitiveness.

"I want to stress in particular our determination to see that our financial markets earn and retain an international reputation for fair dealing.

"Exposing occasional examples of shoddy behaviour, and taking firm action against them, is not a cause of embarrassment for the Government and the regulators, it is a sign of our maturity and our resolve," said Mr Patten.

The Governor said money still flowed in to Hong Kong keeping its currency at the strong end of the link with the US dollar.

People and firms continued to come here, and over the last year 582 new companies from abroad had set up shop in the territory.

"There are, it is true, worries about our costs, especially of domestic and office accommodation. We must continue to bear down on costs everywhere.

"Overall, it is worth remembering that inflation has fallen from about 12 per cent the year before I arrived to 4.9 per cent today - the lowest inflation rate recorded since 1987. That has happened with our trend growth rate remaining at five per cent," he said.

Mr Patten said it was also argued that through some inexorable process Hong Kong was losing its competitive edge.

He said: "In a way 1 welcome the criticism while rejecting its premise. Welcome - because it should help to keep us on our toes. Reject - because there is scant evidence that it is true.

25

’’The international verdict on Hong Kong remains pretty good. According to the latest report from the World Economic Forum, we are the second most competitive economy in the world.

"Both the Heritage Foundation and the Canadian Fraser Institute have named Hong Kong as the freest economy in the world. Nor is it only the think-tanks which are complimentary.

’’Let me quote a few statements from the International Monetary Fund's recent report on Hong Kong:

no adjustments to the basic policy framework are required at this stage. Indeed, the main challenge will be to resist pressures to adopt a more interventionist approach to policy making.

In the event, policy actions over the past year have given little reason to doubt the authorities' commitment to their underlying approach.

'... [Our] staff agrees with the basic non-interventionist thrust of fiscal policy.

'... On the unemployment front, the authorities have resisted calls for activist macroeconomic measures, focusing instead on the microeconomic aspects of the problem. The staff views this approach as appropriate.

'... the staff has been encouraged by the widely-held confidence and optimism concerning Hong Kong's prospects - both of which are well justified given the authorities' ongoing commitment to sound policies.'"

Mr Patten said most of the world's finance ministers would give their limousines for an endorsement like that.

End

26

Successor can count on me: Governor *****

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said the first Chief Executive could certainly count on his support and good wishes, both before and after July 1 next year.

Delivering his policy address at the opening of the 1996-97 Legislative Council session today (Wednesday), Mr Patten said everyone would want the Chief Executive to succeed in one of the toughest and most exhilarating jobs in the world.

"I am sure that my successor will be able to count on the support of the whole community as he or she sets about the job. The first Chief Executive can certainly count on my support and good wishes, both before and after July 1 next year.

"We in Hong Kong will want the Chief Executive to succeed because we want the transition to succeed. To succeed triumphantly.

"How could we want anything else? I want, we all want. Hong Kong to do better in the future, after 1997, than it has done in the past," he said.

The Governor said next year, when his successor took the oath of office, it would be a solemn moment, freighted with hopes and anxieties.

It would be an exciting moment, too - an especially challenging one for China.

"There is hardly a problem that China faces that will not be easier to tackle if things go well in Hong Kong. And the reverse is true.

"What is more, the future relationship between the Government in China and Hong Kong goes to the very heart of so many of the issues which are going to determine what sort of country China is in the next century, and how it plays its role in the region and the world." said the Governor.

Mr Patten said for his successor to chart the way ahead to completion of the transition, the main ingredients of any programme would include the following 10 key elements:

to retain the free market and attachment to liberal economics.

* to increase competition in areas like transport and telecommunications.

27

to retain the level playing field for business and the reputation for probity in government.

to fight corruption in the public sector and in private business.

to give the Police the resources and support they need to fight crime and

to retain Hong Kong’s reputation as one of the safest cities in the world. And the Government must not relax for a moment the campaign launched against drugs, continuing efforts to help those whose lives have been blighted by drug abuse.

to retain Hong Kong’s social harmony and cohesion, adjusting social policies to take account of changing needs and priorities. In particular, it will require courage and vision to shift the direction of the housing policies so as to provide decent accommodation more rapidly for those in real need while encouraging greater home ownership for those who can afford it. Housing policies that were right for the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s look less appropriate today.

to carry on with efforts to make sure the same opportunities are open to people with a disability, be it in employment, or in public services such as transport.

* to continue the heavy investment in education, training and retraining, recognising that the future prosperity will depend above all on the quality of the workforce. The Government must make sure that the skills taught and trained are those required in tomorrow's world.

* to develop arrangements to provide more effective help to the unemployed, in particular to enable them to find the vacant jobs that require their abilities.

to retain the autonomy in economic and trade matters, an independence which gives Hong Kong a seat at the table in so many important international forums.

End

28

The world will judge HK with clear benchmarks ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Governor, The Rt Hon Christopher Patten, hopes that the world will judge Hong Kong not by preconceptions but by the evidence of what actually happens here.

Mr Patten, in his Policy Address, said the world would want to be reassured that two systems were surviving and cohabiting in one country.

"The sensible will undoubtedly apply a number of clear benchmarks as events unfold," he said.

These benchmarks include:

* Is Hong Kong's Civil Service still professional and meritocratic? Are its key positions filled by individuals who command the confidence of their colleagues and the community and owe their appointments only to their own abilities?

* Is the Special Administrative Region (SAR) Government writing its own Budget on the basis of its own policies, or is it under pressure to respond to objectives dictated by Peking?

* Is the Hong Kong Monetary Authority managing Hong Kong's Exchange Fund without outside interference?

* Is Hong Kong behaving in a truly autonomous way in international economic organisations?

* Is the Hong Kong legislature passing laws in response to the aspirations of the Hong Kong community and the policies of the SAR Government, or is it legislating under pressure from Peking?

Are Hong Kong's courts continuing to operate without interference?

Is the Independent Commission Against Corruption continuing to act vigorously against all forms of corruption including cases in which China's interests may be involved?

* Is Hong Kong continuing to maintain its own network of international law enforcement liaison relationships?

f

29

Is the integrity of the Hong Kong/Guangdong border being maintained, including the separate border controls operated by the Hong Kong Immigration Department?

Is the Hong Kong press still free, with uninhibited coverage of China and of issues on which China has strong views?

Are new constraints being imposed on freedom of assembly? Are the annual commemorations and vigils of recent years still being allowed?

Are foreign journalists and media organisations in Hong Kong still free to operate without controls?

Is anybody being prosecuted or harassed for the peaceful expression of political, social, or religious views?

Are Hong Kong’s legislators, at successive stages of the transition, fairly and openly elected, and truly representative of the community?

Are democratic politicians continuing to play an active role in Hong Kong politics, or are they being excluded or marginalised by external pressure?

* Is the Chief Executive exercising genuine autonomy in the areas provided for in the Joint Declaration and Basic Law?

The Governor said these were the questions the world would ask. "We all hope that the world will get reassuring answers," he said.

End

30

HK will take tomorrow by storm *****

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, hopes that Hong Kong would take tomorrow by storm.

"And when it does, History will stand and cheer," Mr Patten said, when winding up his fifth and final Policy Address at the Legislative Council today (Wednesday).

Hong Kong, it seems to him, has always lived by the author, Jack London's credo:

"I would rather be ashes than dust,

"I would rather my spark should bum out in a brilliant blaze,

"Than it should be stifled in dry rot.

"I would rather be a superb meteor,

"With every atom of me in magnificent glow,

"Than a sleepy and permanent planet."

"Whatever the challenges ahead, nothing should bring this meteor crashing to earth, nothing should snuff out its glow," Mr Patten said.

Next year, when his successor takes the oath of office, it will also be a grave moment for the Governor as he leaves Hong Kong.

"Governors have lived for Hong Kong. One or two have literally died for Hong Kong. But all have found Hong Kong, in and out of office, an all-consuming interest," he said.

"Retired to our grey and green island, past Governors have watched from afar with keen-eyed interest and. doubtless, occasional frustration as Hong Kong's history has unfolded.

"I shall do the same, carrying with me one frustration, gnawed by one anxiety, comforted by one certainty."

For him the frustration, the greatest in his job, is that he has not been able to put his personal view of Hong Kong's best interests to the test which legitimises leadership in most free societies, the test of the ballot box.

31

"But Hong Kong has been promised that its government will develop so that that can happen one day, a day I hope I shall see and a day that I shall be delighted to put down to China's credit and to the credit of those in this territory who have stood up bravely for the people of Hong Kong," said Mr Patten.

His anxiety is: not that the community's autonomy would be usurped by Peking, but that it could be given away bit by bit by some people in Hong Kong.

"We all know that over the last couple of years we have seen decisions, taken in good faith by the Government of Hong Kong, appealed surreptitiously to Peking -decisions taken in the interests of the whole community lobbied against behind closed doors by those whose personal interests may have been adversely affected," he said.

Mr Patten said that was damaging to Hong Kong because it drew Chinese officials into matters which should fall squarely within the autonomy of the territory.

"If we in Hong Kong want our autonomy, then it needs to be defended and asserted by everyone here - by businessmen, politicians, journalists, academics and other community leaders, as well as by public servants," he said.

The truth which more than anything else gave him confidence in Hong Kong is: the qualities, the beliefs, the ideals that have made Hong Kong's present will still be here to shape Hong Kong's future, said the Governor.

End

32

The Governor's broadcast on Policy Address *****

Following is the full script of the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten's radio and television broadcast on the 1996 Policy Address today (Wednesday):

This is the last time I'll give a policy address in Hong Kong. It's the last time any Governor will give a policy address. Next year it'll be a job for the Chief Executive. So today I had a slightly different task from the last four years. Mind you, it's very important to show that Government is keeping going, keeping working in your interests and we intend to do that right up to the wire on the 30th of June next year and then the Chief Executive will want to see that it happens after that as well. But today I had a slightly different job. Of course I wanted to review where we've got to over the last four years in implementing the comprehensive programme of change and renewal that I set in hand in 1992. That programme: on education, on training, on health, on welfare, and so on, has been doing extremely well. We'll pretty well implement everything we promised by 1997, and we've been very honest today about how much progress we are making.

Some people denounce part of that programme, what we've done to help the needy and the disadvantaged, as welfarism. Frankly I don't think that's a charge that will stick. This is a well-off society. It’s a civilized society and I think we want to see those who are in need prudently helped to get back on their feet again. That's what any decent city should do and this is a decent city. It's worth remembering incidentally that Hong Kong spends on welfare rather less than it spends every year on cosmetics and perfume. Success in Hong Kong has enabled us to keep that programme going, and it has enabled us to set some new sights for the future. We've set out 400 new policy commitments which develop our programmes in environment, in transport, in law and order and so on so that this can be an even better governed city.

How do we manage to do all this? Why is Hong Kong successful? Hong Kong is successful, though it's got no natural resources, because of your hard work, because of your skill, because of your energy and all those things have combined with the rule of law, with a decent clean meritocratic politically neutral civil service, with all the freedoms that you'd associate with a civilized city, which have made Hong Kong perhaps the freest city in the whole of Asia. That's why Hong Kong has been so successful and I want to see those ingredients of success continue well into the future.

33

Relevant to that of course is the argument that we've had about the future of the Legislative Council. How much confidence can you place in the laws if the body which makes the laws isn't fairly elected. That's what our argument has been all about. It’s been about living up to the promises that have been made to people in Hong Kong. We think the Legislative Council should continue to the end of its natural four year term. We won't have anything to do with a rubber stamp that is put in its place. I very much hope that China will think again about that. We will however cooperate and cooperate right across the board with the Chief Executive (Designate), with my successor. We will do that in as open-handed a way as possible. That's what you would have expected of us, and that's what we will certainly do.

Will Hong Kong, people ask me very often, continue to be a success story in the future? I'm sure it will. I'm sure it will provided we stand up for our values, provided we stand up for our autonomy. All around the world, people will be looking to see what happens. They’ll be looking to see whether our legislature still passes laws which are in Hong Kong’s interests or has laws imposed on it from elsewhere. They'll be asking whether we're still responsible for our own money, for running our own economy. They'll be asking about freedom of speech and all those other liberties in Hong Kong. They'll be watching. They'll be setting their own benchmarks. They'll be seeing what's really happening here.

We've got to stand up for those things. We've got to stand up for our own autonomy. If we do, then I'm sure that Hong Kong will have a glittering future. And as I watch it from the other side of the world, from whatever I'm doing then, I'll be the first to stand and cheer - to stand and cheer another spectacularly successful chapter in the history of a great city.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES GARDEN ROAD, 5th-8th FLOORS, MURRAY BUILDING, HONG KONG. TEL.: 2842 8777

Thursday, October 3,1996

Contents Page No,

Governor's question-and-answer session in LegCo.......................... 1

Governor in RTHK's phone-in programme................................... 16

Policy commitment on welfare programmes on target....................... 39

Government puts every dollar of its spending to best use................ 40

Hong Kong/Philippines ASA negotiation concluded......................... 41

No easy way out to maintain HK's economic bedrock: FS................... 42

Joint sea exercise enhances search and rescue co-operation.............. 43

Open Learning Institute granted self-accrediting status................. 45

Land Registry statistics for September released......................... 45

Yamen and remnants at former Walled City declared monuments.......... 46

Medical Council examination results released............................ 47

Further control on halon imports........................................ 48

Duo jailed for exporting endangered species............................. 49

Equal opportunities promotion leaflet published......................... 50

Soldiers host last Gurkha Fair....................................... 51

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations.................... 52

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Governor’s question-and-answer session in LegCo *****

Following is the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten’s question-and-answer session in the Legislative Council today (Thursday):

Mr Cheung Hon-chung (in Chinese): Mr Governor, in the past policy addresses, you made quite a number of promises and they have to do with many social policies which are important. One of them has to do with the solution to the temporary housing area. You have promised that by 1996, the end of it, you will clear all the temporary housing areas and also about the Western Corridor Railway and other railway extensions and also other housing promises, but none of these promises have been fulfilled. I would like to know when you made these promises, have you studied in depth into the feasibility of fulfilling those or is it that you have not done your utmost in order to fulfil those promises? Or is it that they are simply ways for you to collect political gains so that you are only making blank promises to members of the public?

Governor: Let me tell the Honourable Member what I actually promised rather than what he says I promised. What I actually promised in 1993 is that we'd make at least one re-housing offer to all those who were then living in temporary housing areas by 1997. So far we've offered re-housing to 53,000 of those who are living in temporary housing areas. That’s 85 per cent and I very much hope and expect that we will be able to make offers to all by the date that I mentioned.

In 1993, we also pledged to clear all the pre-1984 temporary housing areas by the end of 1996. Let me say a word more about that. When I visited some of the temporary housing areas, one of the points that was put to me fairly regularly and it would have been put to Honourable Members as well, was that we weren't clearing the older temporary housing areas we were clearing housing areas according to our development needs rather than according to the social needs and according to the real problems faced by tenants in some of those temporary housing areas. So that’s why I made that pledge and now 1 think I'm right in saying that 10 out of the 14 temporary housing areas created before 1984, have already been cleared and the remaining four will be cleared by the year end. So we will have kept our pledge.

There will, unfortunately, be some requirement for temporary housing provision and the Honourable gentleman knows as well as I do that a principle reason for that is that we have about 55,000 immigrants coming in legally from China each year, many of them requiring housing. The last two temporary housing areas that I've been to, I’ve been struck by the number of tenants that I’ve spoken to who were recent immigrants from China.

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There is one point I want to make in addition. We will be aiming to provide older rental blocks as mainstream interim housing and we want to improve the quality of the remaining temporary housing areas. We've got a pilot project on new design which will be ready by 1997. I totally accept the priority which the Honourable gentleman attaches to clearing the temporary housing areas. I would have wished to have cleared them all by 1997 or as soon thereafter as possible. We've kept the pledges we did make. In some respects I think we will be able to say that we more than kept those pledges, but the number of people still coming into Hong Kong makes it difficult to go farther than I've described.

Mr Cheung Hon-chung (in Chinese): Mr Governor, according to opinion polls the public support that you get is dropping and many members of the public are complaining that you have spent too much time on political controversy and you haven't done enough in order to improve their lot and their livelihood. In your remaining days in Hong Kong will you change your style, spend more time on peoples' livelihood and spend less time on political controversy?

Governor: Well, that's an interesting make-up question, but the premise on which it's based is rather far from the truth. I don’t know whether the Honourable gentleman goes to bed early, but if he'd stayed up last night to see a programme in which the Honourable Member Mr Szeto Wah starred on TVB, he would have seen an opinion poll which showed that the Governor's approval rating had gone up by 5 per cent since last year. I'm sure that would have given the Honourable Member as much unrestrained pleasure as it gave the Governor.

I'd also like to point out to the Honourable Member that when the transition project's survey of public opinion was produced the other day it showed a 67 per cent approval rating for the Government. Now that's obviously because of the talents and qualities of my senior colleagues in the Administration rather than because of the Governor. But it's the sort of record, on the whole, which Governments elsewhere in the world would be rather pleased with and it, of course, reflects the fact that we have done a great deal over the last four and a half years on livelihood issues. So much in fact that some of the Honourable Member's friends accuse us of welfarism and socialism and other terrible sins.

Miss Margaret Ng: A question of justice. One of the policy commitments is the use of Chinese at all levels of courts up to the High Court in criminal and civil proceedings by March 1997. However, little is said about preparation of the transition, such as training of lawyers to use Chinese or the translation of the Law Reports and the learned texts and authorities. Does the Governor agree that the emphasis on the use of Chinese rather than bilingualism, resulting in non-Chinese speaking lawyers and judges being rapidly excluded among other matters, will damage the international confidence in Hong Kong's legal system and indeed the quality of justice in our courts when we are so ill-prepared for the transition to Chinese?

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Governor: I think the honourable lady has asked an extremely important question which I think though it raises a large number of difficulties, in a way misses what I have always thought is one of the most difficult problems of all, which is the translation of some of the concepts of the English Common Law into Chinese in a way which will be easily justiciable. Now 1 want to stress to the honourable lady that I believe that the point she has raised about the use of language in not just the proceedings of our courts but in the translation of the most important documents for the English Common Law, into the translation of learned journals, I think that is a subject which should receive priority.

And I also believe that she is right to put as much stress as she does on the training of lawyers in Cantonese where they don't already have that language. I think that if she wasn’t such a fair-minded person she might criticise me and previous administrations for not having moved more rapidly in these areas, and particularly, perhaps, in the localisation programme in the past, though we have been trying to catch up on that as rapidly as possible.

All I would like to say at this stage is that I think she has raised issues of real priority and I will respond to her as soon as possible, as thoroughly as possible, having consulted the Acting Chief Justice, the Judiciary Administrator and the Attorney's Chambers.

Mr Choy Kan-pui (in Chinese): Mr Governor, in your policy address you use the words of many democracy fighters and revolutionaries and they include Tocqueville and Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma, and Mandela of South Africa. Is it that you are trying to encourage Hong Kong people too, after 1997, to adopt a confrontational attitude and to go on the streets to campaign?

Governor: The honourable member has mentioned three individuals who I think are among the most admirable representatives of decency and liberal values in the history of the globe. So if I was encouraging people to take their example to heart, I am sure that there are few examples which would be better. I mean he could have mentioned, as well, great religious figures, but as far as political figures are concerned he seems to me to mention three who everybody decent should admire.

I have never regarded myself as a revolutionary. The honourable member should hear what my political opponents in the United Kingdom used to say about me. I am a dyed-in-the-wool Tory - no revolutionary here. But I do very much admire the Burmese Nobel Laureate who seems to me to have worked with extraordinary restraint and decency for the values which I believe in and I hope the honourable member believes in. I regard De Tocqueville, as I said yesterday, as one of the greatest political philosophers and I don't think many people could regard him as a revolutionary - rather less revolutionary than Karl Marx for example. And as for Nelson Mandela, I think that he has given the whole world one of the most important lessons in magnanimity over the last few years and indeed much of the prospect for rebuilding society in South Africa rests with his quite astonishing generosity of spirit.

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So if we could have the generosity of spirit of Mandela, the political wisdom and liberal insights of Alexis De Tocqueville, and the courage and restraint of Aung San Suu Kyi as our by-words, as our guides for the next few years, we would do jolly well and we would be an extremely civilised place in which to live.

Mr Choy Kan-pui (in Chinese): I would like to ask the Governor this: would you worry that in saying so you would be destabilising the community and upsetting Hong Kong people?

Governor: I don't think many people in Hong Kong would find the prospect of taking Nelson Mandela or Aung San Suu Kyi as a mentor a worrying or destabilising prospect. I think they would regard them as being inspiring people. So I think perhaps the honourable member and I have a different view of recent world history but I really would be surprised, particularly if he had read either of the biographies of Nelson Mandela or Aung San Suu Kyi, if he still regarded them as dangerous radical revolutionaries.

Mr Martin Lee: I'm looking at paragraph 96 of your speech, where you've quoted Jack London. I don't know whether you have the present LegCo in mind, which may expire sooner than you think, but if 1 change the wording a little, does it apply to your view of the provisional legislature?

"I would rather that it be stifled in dry rot,

but if it isn’t then I would rather let its glow be

not longer than that of a meteor.

But as every atom of me feels sleepy, I'll just watch

and do nothing".

Governor: I'd like to congratulate the Honourable gentleman on his literary output. We will look forward to his versions of The Call of the Wild and indeed White Fang and I know that his colleague, the Honourable Szeto Wah, will be able to help him in reading Jack London.

I spent a good deal of yesterday setting out my views on the provisional legislature and reminding people of the views of the British Government. I still find it curious that we have to deal with these united front efforts to pretend that there is some difference of view between myself and the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary and the British Government about the provisional legislature. Anybody who actually thought that I could pronounce on an issue as important as that without being wholly in tune, wholly in line with the British Government would know precious little about British politics or relationships in British politics.

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But putting that on one side, I say simply to the Honourable Member once again that the British Government believes that a provisional legislature cannot be found in the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. We think that the proposal to dismantle this Legislature and to establish a provisional legislature is, to quote the Foreign Secretary, using words far stronger than any that I’ve used, "reprehensible and unjustifiable", and we think that the establishment of a provisional legislature before June 30, 1997, makes a bad idea even worse and British Ministers' view is that if that was to happen it would call into question China’s compliance with the Joint Declaration.

Now I may have met only a limited sort of lawyer in my time and I confess that I did once have a solicitor who was called Mr Maybe, but in my recollection lawyers are reluctant to comment on the legality of this or that action before it actually happens. I think that a lot of lawyers as well take the view that it's a good idea to encourage people not to do things which you think may be foolish or unwise rather than to assume that they've done them. I still recall that Mr Qian Qichen assured the British Foreign Secretary in The Hague in the Spring that there would only be one Legislative Council, just as there would only be one Governor, and just as there would only be one Privy Council dealing with appeals before June 30, 1997. I remember the assurance that a provisional legislature, which we think is undesirable, would not assume its functions before June 30, 1997. So I'm bound to say to the Honourable gentleman that one of my first priorities, one of the British Government's first priorities is to try to ensure that Chinese officials do as Mr Qian Qichen said they would do. Beyond that it remains our unshakeable position that the dismantling of this Legislature would be a profoundly unwise thing to do and we would continue to oppose it.

Mr Martin Lee: But if that day should ever come, would you do nothing or would you do something which you are not prepared to tell us yet?

Governor: Well, the Honourable gentleman, with or without literary flourishes always encourages me to answer hypothetical questions. What I would refer him to is what the Prime Minister said when he was in Hong Kong in March, which I think most people regarded as an extremely robust defence of the British Government's and the Hong Kong Government's and the Hong Kong community's position. Everybody would prefer, I say everybody, most people would prefer to see this Legislative Council allowed to serve out its full four year term and it's very difficult, I have to say, to imagine that when those who drafted the Joint Declaration talked about a Legislature constituted by elections they could have had in mind one chosen by 400 people who themselves had been chosen, for a variety of reasons. I don't even think that former British Ambassadors in Peking would think that was what an election meant.

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Mr Eric Li (in Chinese): Thank you Mr President. Mr Governor, in your Policy Address I think you have covered a lot of ground and you have detailed the achievements that you have made during your term in Hong Kong and you have also provided a number of pointers and even benchmarks for your successor.

Mr Governor, this is my question for you; is it your hope that Hong Kong people or even international media would compare the performance of you and your Administration to that of the future Chief Executive of the SAR Government?

Governor: To be honest with the Honourable gentleman, no that isn't my particular wish, though I would hope and expect that the position in five years' time would be even more successful than the position today. That is my hope though I think it's reasonable of me to point out from time to time the conditions which would make that hope likelier to be attained rather than less likely to be attained.

I think I made clear yesterday my optimism and I was therefore surprised by what one or two Legislative Council Members said, including I think some who are colleagues of the Honourable gentleman, and one or two of the newspapers were rather surprising as well. In one of our major newspapers this morning there was a column on the front page saying that I'd expressed more anxiety than certainty for the future and an article on the front page of a supplement saying that academics interviewed all thought I painted too rosy a picture of Hong Kong. Most of the international press, for example the Financial Times took the view that I'd struck a largely optimistic tone about Hong Kong's prospects. The Asian Wall Street Journal said that I'd eulogised Hong Kong's economic success during the uncertain years leading up to Chinese rule. It's certainly my view that provided Hong Kong sticks to a winning formula, Hong Kong will be even more successful in the future than it is today and those academics who think that that's too rosy a picture are not people that I’d agree with. But as I said there is a condition precedent and that is that we should continue to enjoy the rule of law and all the freedoms which are set out in some detail in the Joint Declaration.

Mr Eric Li (in Chinese): Thank you Mr Governor for your clarification. When you first came to Hong Kong Mr Governor, now you know that to give up the colonial convention you have done a lot and you have been praised for this and you did give people the impression that you acted in a very different way than past Governors. So with regard to the future Chief Executive, it seems in your Policy Address you have spent so much time letting people know expectations for him, so with regard to the Chief Executive, do you think he should try to find his own way, his own route or do you think he should follow your suit? Because you have really spent a lot of time in your Policy Address talking about the Chief Executive.

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Governor: I didn’t think I had. Indeed some people say I didn't spend enough time talking about the Chief Executive. What I did was underline in two or three pellucid paragraphs, ways in which in general we would wish to assist the Chief Executive and to sketch out some of the issues which as it were will still be in the in-tray when the Chief Executive arrives in Government House or wherever he or she chooses to live and to take as a base. I think it's difficult for people to have it both ways, though I know they are keen to try. Some people have criticised us for not setting out a detailed programme for the future. If I'd done that people would have rightly accused me of being presumptuous and rightly accused me of trying to seize the ground which was rightly the ground of the Chief Executive. So 1 didn't do that. On the other hand I thought it was reasonable to sketch out some of the problem areas that did remain for the future and some of them people would be bound to say I should have tackled more energetically myself. I don't seek however to hobble the Chief Executive. I don't seek to constrain intellectually any of the choices that he will face or she will face. The Chief Executive Designate will be his own man or her own woman and I'm sure that they will do the job according to their own likes and their own instincts and their own principles as I’ve tried to do. I think that it always shows when people in public life behave in a way which is unnatural or isn't in line with what they're really like. If people don't like the way I do the job there not liking me, not just on the surface, but right the way down.

Mr James Tien: Governor, this does not mention a word about the huge workload this Council must shoulder in its final nine months of existence, yet the Chief Secretary says that the Government intends to submit about 80 to 90 bills to this Council along with more than 30 left over from last year. That's incredible. During all of the last Council session we only dealt with 65 such items. We are now likely to tackle double that number of laws between now and June 30, 1997. Some of these laws are vital to the transition and must be thoroughly scrutinised and should not be casually passed without forming a Bills Committee. In such a rushed schedule, how are we to ensure that those laws related to the transfer of sovereignty are properly dealt with before July 1, 1997?

I also find it ironic that in order to get the legislative business done in haste, that this Council may become a rubber-stamp, which is what you are against in principle.

Governor: Oh, 1 don't think there is any danger of this Council becoming a rubberstamp. 1 mean if the honourable gentleman is making any offers, I’m quite prepared to do a deal but I would anticipate that we might have a bit of argument from time to time about some of the programme that we were putting forward. It is our job to put forward the legislation which we think is in Hong Kong's best interest and I hope that we can get a high proportion of it through the Legislative Council. It would be a very poor business if we told the honourable gentleman that we were going on a sort of permanent vacation for the next few months. We will put legislation forward and we will hope that it will be properly processed by the Legislative Council.

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The honourable gentleman would be amazed if 1 didn't add that of course there would be more time for the Government's legislation if there were slightly fewer private members' bills, but that's an old argument and the honourable gentleman has heard me say it before.

There is an issue which is relevant to all this and I am sure that in view of the honourable gentleman's position it is something he will have been interested in himself. I always find one of the most interesting things to read each week is the Asian Executives Poll which appears in the Far Eastern Economic Review, probably the foremost economic journal in this part of the world, and they have done a review, a series of questions this week with their sample right across the region, asking executives about the relationship between good government and a strong opposition. And here are Asian executives asked, for example, would a country's economic progress be hindered by a strong opposition to its government? Across the region 64.5 per cent say no it would not be hindered, 35.5 per cent think it would be. In Hong Kong, apparently, 79.3 per cent said that they didn't think a strong opposition to government would hinder economic progress, and I imagine, given the comprehensive ubiquity of the honourable gentleman's organisation, at least some of that 79.3 per cent must be members of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce.

I also think it is worth noting in that Asian Executives Poll that in Hong Kong 72.4 per cent thought that the opposition to government was too weak. Now I want you to know that Secretaries and the Governor are not going to be quoting that figure as we try to get our legislation through in the coming weeks. But it does actually suggest that the view of most executives, of most businessmen, to some of the arguments that we have had, to the discussion we are having now, is far more sophisticated than is customarily suggested by some of the newspaper headlines.

Mr James Tien: Governor, thank you very much for your answer. Now to my real question. In the very likely event that a substantial part of these bills or ordinances might not be passed before July 1, 1997, would your Administration be willing to have your civil servants co-operate, persuade, the provisional legislature after July 1, so that some of the work that is left over, that is not passed before next year, could be passed as soon as possible? Or is your feeling that this should actually wait until the first SAR legislature is elected all the way in 1998 before all this good work that you have started be finalised?

Governor: I think the answer I give is one that the honourable gentleman might anticipate and my view is that the best way of completing any legislation which is not completed during the second annual session of this Legislative Council would be to complete it in the third annual session of this Legislative Council after July 1, 1997. It is a very good argument for continuity, provided of course that legislators go through some objective test such as taking an oath to the Basic Law and the Special Administrative Region. But that would be the best way through that particular conundrum and if we can have the honourable gentleman's support for that solution, I think we will all be jolly grateful, and surprised.

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President: But by that time the Governor will no longer be the boss of the civil service.

Governor: It is true, by the time that happens the Governor will have taken up gardening as his career.

Mr Mok Ying-fan (in Chinese): Thank you Mr President. In your yesterday's policy address, Mr Governor, you mentioned that the Hong Kong Government is now sitting on a huge surplus and the reserves are getting larger and larger, and GDP is getting higher and higher. And have you noticed that all this time the unemployment rate is also climbing and the disparity between low-income and high-income groups is getting wider and wider and the real wages enjoyed by our people are also dropping. And what is even more serious is that last year some elderly people actually died of cold in a cold-spell. And so. Mr Governor. I would like to know how do you look at our people's livelihood; how can you ensure that our huge surplus and reserves would improve the livelihood of our people?

Governor: It will be for the Chief Executive and his team, in discussion I am sure with this Legislative Council, to decide how best to use the spectacular reserves which will belong to Hong Kong in the interests of the further development of the Hong Kong economy. I would only add that I think that the iron rule that we have followed in the last few years of not allowing public spending to grow more rapidly than the trend growth rate in the economy, whatever the scale of the reserves, is a very sensible principle to follow, though I totally accept that there is a serious argument and a serious debate to be had within the community about that proposition and the right place to have that debate is in this Legislative Council chamber, where 1 think that quite a few honourable members who would disagree about other subjects would find themselves on the same side on that basic issue of political economy.

Let me touch on the other two points that the honourable member made. First of all employment - the unemployed rate has come down since it peaked last November, it has come down from 3.6 per cent to 2.8 per cent. It is at its lowest level for 15 months. We have seen a fall in the absolute numbers of unemployed from 110,000 to 90.000. That is no room for complacency, it reflects the fact that once again the number of people joining our workforce has been more or less in line with the extra number of jobs that we are creating rather than the number of jobs we are creating lagging slightly behind the increase in the workforce.

1 think that it is fair to say that the concerns about unemployment last year sharpened up our determination in government to improve our own local employment services and our labour market mechanisms. In the first half of this year more than 12,000 people were helped into work by our local employment services, 80 per cent of the 4,000 registered applicants under the job-matching programme were offered jobs in the first half of 1996, so I think that the Labour Department's machinery is working better and more effectively. But we must do even better than that and obviously, the present reviews that we are undertaking of the work of vocational training and the work being done in retraining, those reviews are very important to the future employment pattern in Hong Kong.

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On the elderly - the honourable member will I am sure recall what the Director of Health said about the cold-snap and the elderly last year. I would add that since 1992 we have increased spending on the elderly - housing, health, welfare - by 55 per cent in real terms. We have increased CSSA payments to single elderly people by 32 per cent in real terms. Those are the sort of figures which have led some to accuse me of welfarism. I don’t think that is a fair charge. I do think we owe a particular responsibility to the elderly, just as we owe a particular responsibility to try to help anyone who wants to work to do so.

Mr Ngan Kam-chuen (in Chinese): Mr Governor, the Government has pledged that by 2001 the Western Railway will be completed but it seems that there may be problems with completion now. Yesterday the policy address did not mention the reasons or the situation about the completion of the Western Rail and there are no proposals for the relevant future development, so the residents in the north-west NT are very disappointed. Mr Governor, we want to ease the traffic congestion in the north-west NT and you encourage people in Tuen Mun to take ferries in order to take the pressure off traffic. It seems that you are avoiding the crux of the matter; you want to shirk off your responsibility and pass it on to the citizens. Is it a responsible government? Isn’t that another of your frustrations apart from the one you mentioned yesterday?

Governor: Speaking for myself I am delighted that the pressure on the Administration now is to get on with the Western Corridor Railway and related infrastructure developments rather than not to get on with it until we have talked endlessly about it with other people. It does seem to me that the argument seems to have shifted somewhat in recent months. What we are doing is conducting as expeditiously as we possibly can the surveys which need to be carried out in order to allow us to reach a conclusion about the Western Corridor Railway - about alignment, about engineering problems, about financing and so on. 1 hope that we will be in a position by the end of the year, or soon after, to arrive at some decisions and when we do we will obviously have to share our views with the Chief Executive Designate and with the Chinese members of the Joint Liaison Group and others.

This is going to be one of the biggest capital programmes undertaken by the SAR Government after 1997. I want to do everything we can as rapidly as possible to get on with that project but obviously it is going to be one - and I am not shuffling off responsibility, I am stating what is an obvious fact - it is going to be one which is largely built during the early years of the SAR Government rather than started or built before.

I want to underline my agreement with the honourable member about the importance of this project to the communities who live in the north-west New Territories. It was for precisely that reason that I pressed, myself, very energetically, for the extension of the Western Corridor Railway from Tuen Mun North to Tuen Mun Central and I do recognise that those honourable members who represent the northwest New Territories, who live in the north-west New Territories, will continue properly to press the government to get on with this project as soon as possible.

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Mr Szeto Wah (in Chinese): Mr Governor, during your term whether it be public housing or private housing, the volume of construction lagged far behind indicators or targets and at the same time the prices of private flats have risen three times. In your opinion, concerning the increase of wealth of property developers, do you think you have made a contribution?

Governor: A contribution to the wealth of property developers, is the honourable gentleman saying?

President: Correct.

Governor: I'm not sure that's their view. We undertook to complete over 100 flats a day and we've been doing that but as I said yesterday, I think housing is an area which the community is going to have address imaginatively and perhaps radically in the next few years and I'm sure that the long term housing strategy review which should be completed very shortly and published will provide a very good basis for that debate and that discussion.

I don't want to go into the figures, though I can mention those if the honourable gentleman would like, but I think all of us know that there are two real problems. The first is that while we commit a very substantial amount of resources to our Housing Authority, which is superbly led and does an excellent job, while we commit all those resources we still have too many people living in bad housing conditions for too long and paying a higher proportion of their household income for bad accommodation in the private sector than is paid by sometimes better-off tenants living in the public sector. So the first problem we have is that we commit a lot of resources to public housing but we still haven't got the waiting list down much below six, six and a half years on the way to our aim of five years and five years we should all think is anyway too long.

Secondly, while we're committing all those resources to public housing and some resources to encouraging people to become home owners, we've also got a community which is better and better off but where it's still all too difficult for many people to become home owners.

So there does seem to me to be something of a mismatch which we've got to address. It's not going to be an easy problem to address and I'm sure that some property developers will have views on some of the argument and debate that comes out of the long term housing strategy review.

I would only add this, when we were faced two, three years back, by the explosion in property prices, and took measures to deal with it, we were strongly criticised for those measures but they did prove in the event to be pretty successful. We damped down the housing market, the inflation in the housing market without knocking the pins from under it. It was a difficult exercise to carry through but one which I think we managed pretty successfully.

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But the honourable gentleman has posed very eloquently the dilemma which I think we’re going to face, or my successor is going to face in the housing field over the next few years.

Mr Szeto Wah (in Chinese): Mr Governor, in order to solve the problem of housing, a very important means is to increase the volume of construction of public housing. Three days ago the Housing Authority which you praise so very eloquently tried to complain to me saying that the Government has not allocated sufficient land to them and they actually asked me to apply pressure on your Administration. In the coming nine months will you be increasing the allocation of land for the construction of public housing?

Governor: Well, I’m delighted that the honourable gentleman has responded to the suggestion from the Housing Authority so rapidly. I'm sure that the community will want to look at future decisions about land allocation very seriously in the light of the housing strategy review. I don't think it would be sensible to make decisions before that is published. From all that I hear it's going to be the focus of a great deal of lively debate.

I'd only add that we do at present have in the pipeline plans for building 141,000 new rental flats between now and 2001, and again between now and 2001, we're helping over 175,000 families to buy subsidised flats. That's a pretty substantial building programme but the honourable gentleman is entirely right to say that it still isn't meeting demand.

Ms Emily Lau: Governor, as you yourself admitted just then, you spent some time yesterday sketching out problems facing Hong Kong and one of them, of course, is the question of civil liberties and you place a lot of importance on press freedom. Do you not recall that when you first came to Hong Kong in 1992, you promised us that you would launch a programme to reform laws, especially those that relate to the Bill of Rights, those that are in breach of the Bill of Rights you would amend them.

You've done quite a bit, but you know there is one big piece that's left and that's relating to offences involving Article 23 of the Basic Law, cessation, subversion, sedition, treason and the theft of state secrets. But in the legislative programme that you published yesterday, that is not anywhere to be found. There is only a passing reference in the introduction that you may introduce further changes to this programme.

But Governor, you know your time is running out. That programme lists your intentions. The fact that Article 23 offences are not in the programme sends a very strong signal to me and to many people in the Hong Kong community that you have no desire to tackle that problem, which is right now with the JLG. So will you please use this occasion to clarify for all of us in this Council, who are very concerned and for the journalists who are watching you, what the hell are you going to do about it?

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Governor: I'm grateful for the direct and demotic way in which the honourable lady has asked the question.

Can I just first of all clarify one thing. The way in which we have dealt with this issue in the legislative programme document, the highlights document, is exactly in line with the way we have in the past dealt with laws that were being discussed by the Joint Liaison Group but hadn't yet been agreed through the Joint Liaison Group. So there is absolutely no difference, there is no attempt at artifice in the way that we've covered the question of Section 23 of matters in this legislative programme.

It's not just, of course, a question of Basic Law 23, there's also the question of the Official Secrets Act which the honourable lady could've mentioned as well. We have passed both those pieces of legislation, difficult pieces of legislation to Chinese officials. They've had them for some time. I hope that they will give us their views speedily so we can proceed to legislate and add those Bills to those which the honourable gentleman to my right thinks will be burdening the Council in the coming months.

I know how important the Council think those matters are. I know that the Council is aware of the fact that I've committed myself again and again to bring Hong Kong's Statutes into line with the Bill of Rights. The honourable lady is right to say that we've dealt with the bulk of those issues, about 80 per cent of the provisions have been dealt with but there are some that still need to be done and 1 haven't changed my intentions.

Ms Emily Lau: Mr President, the Governor knows time is running out. I don't know how much longer you are going to leave these issues with the JLG. Can you not give us a more categoric answer this afternoon? Because the Secretary for Security told us a few months ago that if they cannot reach an agreement with the Chinese, they will Unilaterally review the proposals to the whole world, but I don't think that is enough. We need to legislate. Are you going to legislate unilaterally or are you saying that if there is no agreement with China, you will leave all these things to the post-1997 Administration?

Governor: Well, I'm going to say what I've said about every previous piece of legislation which has fallen into this category. I'm going to say that I very much hope that we can proceed on the basis of an agreement through the JLG with the Chinese side. The honourable lady will know what my record and the Administration's record is on these matters and she'll have to decide for herself whether to believe in our good faith or not.

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I would only add one point by way of clarification and that is that the proposals that we have put on Basic Law 23 offences and on the Official Secrets Act are in our judgement completely in line with the Bill of Rights and that's an argument for getting them on the Statute Book as soon as we reasonably can though they will obviously be the occasion for some debate. They're not, I'd just like to add, the only things that we have to do in order to complete the job of aligning our Statute Book with the Bill of Rights, there are one or two other pieces of legislation as well which are also4 contentious.

Mr Howard Young: Mr Governor, I don't want to go through worn out arguments on the legality or otherwise of the Provisional Legislature, or whether it is a good idea or a bad idea or necessary, but I notice you used the term "dismantle" the current LegCo a while ago. I was wondering whether you were using it in the constitutional and legal sense or in a more general sense because I believe that this Council's platform ends anyway with the end of British rule.

Can you confirm whether there are any moves in Parliament to change or amend the Royal Instructions or Letters Patent to allow the current Legislature to straddle beyond 1997? If there are not then do you not think that the argument really should focus on allowing members to continue to serve the Legislature up to the day, which, by the way, is a different nomenclature in Chinese. It's really the argument should be focused on allowing all, or if not all then as many as possible who are willing to serve the Legislature of the day after 1997?

Governor: I appreciate the point the honourable gentleman is making and even though, as he knows, I don't entirely agree with him I recognise that he tries to approach these issues in a constructive way. He is of course right to say that there is a change of sovereignty on June 30, 1997, and there was never any way in which this Council could proceed to the end of its term without something happening which took account of that fact, of that changeover.

In the discussions that we had in 1992-93 we were proposing to Chinese officials that the trigger which could be pulled on June 30, or rather, perhaps I can make it sound less dangerous, the gear-change which should take place on June 30, could be in the form of some sort of oath which honourable members would take, recognising the change that had taken place in sovereignty. I think it is an open secret that Chinese officials wanted to apply a subjective test as well as an objective test and that was not something which we could accept.

But the honourable gentleman is right constitutionally in what he says, no British Act of Parliament could deal with matters post June 30, 1997. On the other hand, good sense and the interests of Hong Kong should, in my judgment, have made it possible for this Legislative Council - should still make it possible for this Legislative Council - to complete its four-year term.

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Mr Howard Young: Governor, will your difference in view regarding the Provisional Legislature prevent you from fully co-operating with the Chief Executive Designate which you have pledged to do, or will it water-down that co-operation?

Governor: I hope the Chief Executive Designate will be operating in the sort of way which implicitly was described by Vice Premier Qian Qichen when he saw Mr Rifkind in the Hague in April. That is, a Chief Executive Designate will not have any quasilegislative body working alongside him because such an organisation, such an institution, would be unconstitutional and would have no basis, would be built on very questionable foundations. So I very much hope that a Chief Executive Designate, though he or she will need to do a great deal of preparation for June 30, 1997, will be able to do so without Chinese officials seeking to oblige him or her to work alongside a body which would inevitably post-1997 raise question-marks about appointments and laws.

Miss Christine Loh: Thank you Mr President. Mr Governor, I would like to ask you a question about what you said in relation to the Joint Liaison Group. You mention in paragraph 50 that a significant amount of work still needs to be done in the short time, then you go through some of these issues which includes transfer of government legal matters, localisation of laws etc., etc., and then you say that with determination and energy on both sides, 1 am sure we can finish most of this work and that it would be inconvenient and worse if that were not done.

Does it seem to indicate that you are not confident that all the work can be finished and which are the sort of categories of work that you think may not have a chance of being finished and what consequences would that cause for Hong Kong?

Governor: Let me clarify. I hope that all the things that are really important for Hong Kong can be sorted out by June 30. The Joint Liaison Group of course continues after June 30, but most of the issues I talk about here, I talked about yesterday, need to be sorted out in advance. It's possible to cope if, for example, not all the air service agreements are sorted out. It's possible to work out interim arrangements but it's far from ideal. I think that we have made, and 1 pay a tribute to the not often thanked members of both teams, we have made a lot more progress in the last year or so on the JLG subjects. Some mundane and prosaic, some extremely important. If they can keep up that striking rate I'm sure they'll be able to get through all the important jobs by 1997.

I think the community is becoming a little anxious, understandably about one or two issues. For example, the whole nexus of right of abode and immigration issues and I'd very much hoped that recent helpful discussions we'd had on those subjects could conclude with an acceptable solution as soon as possible.

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Miss Christine Loh: I think precisely on this issue of rights of residency, are you able to give us any indication at all as to when we might have further news and when we do have some further news, is it likely to be fairly substantial in terms of explaining the various positions and expanding upon Article 24 of the Basic Law?

Governor: I hope that recent discussions between experts will enable us reasonably soon to make the sort of comprehensive announcement that the honourable lady quite rightly says is required. All of us know, I know from my visit earlier this year to Canada, the Chief Secretary knows from her recent visit to Australia, that these are questions which greatly concern people from Hong Kong who are now living elsewhere but they’re also questions which concern people who are living in Hong Kong and people are jumping to conclusions about what is going to be required of them, which aren’t always I think justified. So the sooner we can have a comprehensive announcement the better and I'm sure that’s a point which is put to Chinese officials by members of the preparatory committee.

End

Governor in RTHK's phone-in programme *****

The following is the transcript of the RTHK’s phone-in programme in which the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, took part this (Thursday) morning:

Presenter: Before we take our first question, Mr Patten, the NCNA has been predictably critical of your speech so could I ask you that if you still have some hope that China will abandon its plans for a provisional legislature, why you would take such an aggressive approach? Surely, by annoying China you just make it even less likely that they will change their minds.

Governor: What I did was to repeat clearly and firmly but I don’t think provocatively, exactly what British Ministers have said to Chinese officials and exactly what Malcolm Rifkind was saying recently, both when he met his opposite number in the spring in the Hague and what he said more recently at the UN General Assembly. There are two particular issues, one is that we think that it is a bad idea to dismantle this Legislative Council; secondly we think it would be an extremely bad idea and divisive and confusing to set up an alternative Legislative Council as it were, before June 30 next year. Now we are not going to shift from those positions. It’s not the British Government or the Hong Kong Government which is being provocative, it is those who are proposing a provisional legislature before next June which is totally unnecessary, a point that the Chief Secretary made to Director Lu when she was in Peking a few months ago.

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Question: Good morning Governor Patten. Clearly, all Hong Kong people will thank you for coming and reporting to us, particularly listening to our comments and complaints, if any. I hope we have a Governor after 1997 who will be caring like you, sharing like you and also listening to people’s views and he should not be a puppet and afraid in the hands of the Chinese Government.

Governor: Can I first of all say that I think it is very important that, as it were, the Governor or head of the administration should make him or herself open to questioning from the men and women of Hong Kong. This is the fifth question and answer session like this I have done after one of my policy addresses. I also did a mid-year one, as it were, so I have done six. Whether I will be wanted back again is another matter but I just think it is an important part of developing the accountability of Hong Kong.

I am sure that my successor - and we will all wish my successor the very best of luck - will want to make him or herself accountable as well. 1 am sure that he or she will recognise the importance of being seen as Hong Kong's representative in Peking rather than the other way round. And 1 am also absolutely sure that the fact that my successor will be local, will be a member of this community, will be rooted in this community, will be a great asset and one on which my successor will be able to draw the whole time, both for political sustenance and in a sense moral sustenance as well. Everybody knows that at the end of my term I go back to the United Kingdom and that puts me in a different position to that which my successor will be in.

Question: Yes, but will you be able to help if there is any violation of basic rights; like you have been supporting us, will Britain support us after something happens? Where do we look first?

Governor: Yes, you can count on Britain. It was a point that the Prime Minister made very clearly when he was here in March when he said that Hong Kong wouldn't walk alone. We very much hope that there won't be any of the problems that you mention. That is my devout and strong wish. But of course Britain has a continuing moral commitment to Hong Kong because we are one of the signatories to the Joint Declaration, and it is equally the case that the whole international community will be watching what happens here with great interest we'd hope. But I am sure that people will be concerned if anything goes wrong.

Question (in Chinese): I have been in the Harmony Home and I was an abused wife and I was rather disappointed with the Policy Address because recently we have experienced a very important social problem which is the battering of wives and I don't feel that the Governor is concerned enough about this. Mr Governor, you are leaving Hong Kong very soon and this is in fact a very serious problem, so shouldn't you actually have done more?

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Governor: I very much agree with you that we need to develop our social services, we need to develop our caring network in order to give more assistance to not only battered wives but abused children, and you will find in the very, very long Progress Report that we produced yesterday, and in our statement on policy commitments, both of which are miles longer than my speech, how we are hoping that we can help in those areas.

I think we should recognise that in Hong Kong we do have some of the social problems that other communities suffer from. We do suffer from some of the problems of marital breakdown. I guess that it is one of the prices we have paid for development. We need to help people both through assisting the non-governmental organisations which work with battered wives and by providing the necessary network of social care, of welfare, not just for battered wives but for children who are being abused, and we say a good deal about that quite specifically in our policy commitments which I am just looking at as 1 talk to you.

Question (in Chinese): Yes. What I wish to say is this: it is not just non-govemment agencies, I feel that within government, now people like me, I think it is the government’s responsibility to do some publicity. Recently we have people who have been left in dire circumstances for a long time and yet they do fail to get relevant information, so shouldn’t the Government take on some responsibility. At 10 o’clock there will be a press conference on this in Kwan Fuk in Lai King.

Governor: Can I first of all say that you’re not the only person who presses me on this issue. My wife, w'hen she was working professionally in the UK was a lawyer and she worked in particular on marital issues. She worked on issues like battered wives and child abuse and child custody, so she goes on at me a good deal on the subject and I am sure that she will be as interested as I am in what happens at your press conference. You mentioned it wasn’t just a question of wives but of children as well and we are. of course, making additional social workers available for the Child Protective Services Unit, which is a sort of indication of how concerned we are about the issue.

Question: Mr Patten, it will ease our anxiety about 1997 a great deal if the present legislature is allowed to serve. Can you do anything at this late stage?

Governor: I very much hope that Chinese officials will take account of w hat people like you say. I very much agree with you. There are very few things which could give people more confidence about the future than a commitment to allow the present freely elected legislature to go through to the end of its four year term. I think the trouble about the threats or the undertaking to dismantle it is that it does raise anxieties about what might happen in other sectors. I don’t want to go over old arguments but there is no question at all that people who are worried about the rule of law are understandably worried if they think that the body w hich makes the law's is going to be unsound or questionable. So I hope that at least to begin with it will be made clear that there will be no provisional legislature before June 30 1997 - none is required. And I hope that on the bigger issue of a provisional legislature after 1997, Chinese officials will think again. It would be greatly in their interest to do so.

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Question: Moving on to autonomy post-1997, if there is a breach as the outcome of some people maybe not aware selling our birthright or extending intervention, how can you walk us down the road as you have already pledged in June this year, and also the Foreign Minister and also the Prime Minister?

Governor: What they both made clear and I am only repeating what they have said -there is sometimes an attempt by the Xinhua News Agency to suggest that there is somehow a difference of position between the British Governor and the British Government; there isn’t of course and nor could there be - what the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary have said is if there are the problems that you mentioned, they would want to mobilise as much international support as possible to persuade China to keep its word under the Joint Declaration.

Now nobody wants. I think, to go into detail about exactly what would happen if there was a breach. We all very much hope - and I want to underline this - that there won’t be, we all ver)' much hope that things will go smoothly after July 1. Maybe Chinese officials will be more relaxed about Hong Kong after July 1. I would certainly hope that they would learn to trust Hong Kong a little more.

Question (in Chinese): Good morning Mr Governor. I’ve read your Policy Address. Mr Governor, it’s actually more political than on the peoples’ livelihood, particularly with pre-primary education. Exclusively it has been neglected for years. I hope that there will be some improvement here. Previously there has not been any significant improvement in that area. When we talk about nine year compulsory education, well that's primary and secondary. I hope that you can pay some attention to pre-primary education and extend the compulsory education to pre-primary level.

Governor: Can I first of all just say that my Policy Address was a little different from usual, but that doesn't mean that we don't have an extensive range of policy commitments right across the board, including education and I've got in my hand a 269 page policy commitments address which is full of the sort of things that Government will be doing over the coming year but it would have taken rather a long time to read it out to the Legislative Council.

Secondly, you are entirely right to stress the importance of education. We’re spending about 19 billion at the moment on schools, on primary and secondary schools and so on. We've improved teacher/pupil ratios, we've increased the number of teachers and the number of graduate teachers and we've spent more on things like computers and improving classrooms. Now you quite rightly point to the importance of pre-primary education, of kindergarten education and of child care centres. About 80 per cent of children from three to five are now attending kindergartens. There's a lot more alternative child care centres available as well. We've reviewed and improved the subsidy scheme. We're giving more money to the Hong Kong Institute of Education to train kindergarten teachers and we're requiring 40 per cent of teachers in each kindergarten to complete a qualified teacher course by September next year. So I think we are doing a good deal but I know that people would like us to do more because the foundations of education are so terribly important.

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Question (in Chinese): On subsidy, in fact there are a lot of families that cannot really afford the fees, particularly when we talk of kindergartens. They’re rather expensive in fact. When we talk about an average or lower middle household, it is about 20 per cent of their income. So in other words I hope the Mr Governor, as the last Governor in Hong Kong, will try and effect some improvements here so that the burden on the parents can be eased.

Governor: I think, as you know, Mr Lau that we have improved the fee remission scheme so as to give more assistance to those families who need it. You’re entirely right to say that in a community like Hong Kong with so many mothers for instance going out to work, it’s very important to have a good kindergarten and child care provision and we must make sure that people aren't deterred from using it by shortage of cash in their pockets.

Question: Good morning Mr Patten. I'm fortunate to have been able to speak with you on the plight of Hong Kong ethnic minorities over the last few years. The community of affected people are indeed grateful to you for your personal support of our calls for British Citizenship. However, in spite of Mr Major's pledge to our community recently, one was simply seen as stating the obvious. We're concerned about the lack of success we have achieved in furthering our cause.

My questions to you today are twofold. In spite of your support, we seem to face local hurdles in Hong Kong when dealing with the issue. The LegCo House Committee recently experienced this with the Security Branch the other day. They said that it was costly and time consuming to fine tune the number of affected people who were established in the Government's recent survey. There might be difficulties and we need to know what these are. We also need to know that the Government will tell us how to overcome the difficulties, yet this is not so forthcoming. I wonder why?

My second question is in regard to what plan of action the Government has in terms of dealing with the issue? If you support our cause, this support cannot be substantiated without a plan. Shouldn't your speech have included at some part a plan of action as to what the Government plans to do over the next nine months?

Governor: Can I answer you with three points, and I totally accept the importance of the issue. It's one of the most important on my agenda.

First of all, I think you slightly underestimate what you and other extremely effective campaigners have managed to achieve by way of changing opinion in Britain on this issue. You’ve certainly shifted the Government's position, albeit not as far as you would've liked. You've shifted the position of the alternative Government, of the shadow Government, of the Labour Party, very significantly indeed and in a sense the Labour Party's position I guess comes reasonably close to what you’ve been pressing for.

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Secondly, you talk about the LegCo Panel and what our Security Branch were saying the other day. I think the argument wasn't about whether we need a clearer view about the numbers involved. I don't think there's any more very much dispute about those and I think there's a recognition that only just over half the numbers are South Asian. There are a lot of others from Portugal and other places. I think the argument was whether a complicated registration of everybody involved would actually take us forward very far and 1 think there's a real doubt about that and I think there's also a feeling that it would take a very long time and not achieve very much.

Thirdly, 1 didn't mention everything in my speech yesterday, as I said earlier. Had I done so I'd still have been speaking. But we do intend to go on pressing the British Government to change its position on this issue. I'm sure that it will be an issue which will be prominent in many of the speeches, in the debate which the House of Commons will be holding in the autumn. I'll bet that you'll make sure it is and I certainly will too, but 1'11 be pressing Ministers about it again when 1 return later in the autumn.

Question (in Chinese): Good morning Mr Governor. In your Policy Address, you talk about welfare spending and it is only 18 per cent of GDP. But I can't agree because if you talk about medical services and education, in fact it far exceeds that percentage. So under such circumstances we have a lot of families and when they talk about taking care of the elderly, taking care of the young, they are shirking their responsibility and putting the responsibility on the Administration. Now our economy is suffering a downturn; if we talk about a four member household and if we are talking about CSSA, from CSSA, from medical care, from housing, from education, they get more than $10,000 and the $10,000 in fact far exceeds what an average worker is earning. So under such circumstances Mr Governor, how can you prevent Hong Kong from following the steps of the UK and say when people do not want to work?

Governor: Well, can 1 first of all put the figures in context. It is the case that our total public spending, total public spending on everything, education, transport, welfare and so on. in Hong Kong, represents about 18 per cent of our GDP, what we're worth as a community. And it's also true that that figure is lower at the moment than the figure was in the early 1980's. So even though we've been improving our welfare programmes and our education spending and our care for the elderly, because our economy has been growing as well, we haven't got into the sort of problem which many European countries have got to, where they have an excessively burdensome cost for welfare expenditure.

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Secondly, I think this community recognises that we do have responsibilities to those who are in real need, who need a helping hand. That's why we've increased spending for example on the elderly in the last four and a bit years by, I think, over 55 per cent in real terms after inflation. You mentioned CSSA and what a four-member family would get. Actually we were looking at the figures and some international comparisons the other day and on CSSA a four-member family would get rather less than medium income in Hong Kong. At the same time it's worth recalling that a four member family on medium income wouldn't be paying any salaries tax either. I think that’s not a bad balance, but I repeat I think we can afford a decent level of welfare, though all of us recognise that we mustn't get into the same difficulties that many European and North American countries have got into.

Question: Good morning. Thank you for your annual address which is so good an achievement. I would like to ask the question, who are the businessmen who go to China to report on our bad things because we now ourselves as you mentioned in your address yesterday. Please tell, relate to us, so we can take down those names, make known and give an account of those names and we can treat them as offenders. They breach our civil rights and spread rumours you see.

Governor: I think that 1 have probably said -

Question: You must mention.

Governor: 1 think I have probably said all that I need to say on that particular subject. When, yesterday at my press conference 1 said, "I don't think I need to refer to the cases which have concerned me and concerned the country do I?", there were a lot of people around the room who clearly by their body language were agreeing with me. I have registered the point. I would not back off from it one iota but having registered it, 1 think I will let people talk about it and I hope I'll let people recognise that the most important way of protecting our autonomy in Hong Kong is if all of us stand up for it.

I can give an example of what happens when we do all find ourselves singing the same song on the same side. I think that last year one of the reasons for getting a satisfactory settlement on the Court of Final Appeal was that everybody was saying the same thing to Chinese officials. So I very much hope that we will continue to stand up and speak up for Hong Kong and, just because a particular franchise or some other economic issue doesn't suit us, I hope that we won't find people questioning the Hong Kong Government. This is the Hong Kong Government. It's not the British Government. It's a Hong Kong Government overwhelmingly now staffed and run by local Chinese.

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Question (in Chinese): Good morning Mr Governor, I have three questions, two questions on the Vietnamese refugees or Vietnamese boat people rather. And then you keep moving them around and you are not moving them back to Vietnam; because it is a lot of money spent when you want to move them to a different centre - and there might be riots - and then we have spent a lot of money on the Vietnamese boat people issue. When are we going to get the 1.1 billion for our taxpayers back from the UN.

And then coming back to the education issue. In the tertiary institutes their library is not well stocked when we compare them with overseas universities. Now apart from the universities, the tertiary institutions do not have a well stocked library. And then they go overseas and they may achieve very good results. And there are also tertiary institutions that have degree courses and yet they are not universities yet. Shouldn't you actually give them the status? Because in Lingnan for instance they do have degree courses and therefore they should be treated as universities and recognised as these.

Governor: Let me deal with those two separate important questions. First of all on the Vietnamese - I think I am right in remembering the figures that when I was first addressing the Legislative Council and answering questions like this in 1992 there were 50,000 Vietnamese migrants in the camps. Now there arc 12,000 and the figure would be a great deal lower if we hadn't run into difficulties, not least because of things done and said by the American Congress in 1994-95. We are at present repatriating, sending people home at the rate of about 1,400 a month. I very much hope we can keep that up and deal with the problem as rapidly as possible because people in Hong Kong have been very long-suffering and are well aware of the amount of money it has cost us. We are going to go on pressing the UNHCR to pay back the 1:1 billion that we are owed and 1 can assure you we don't lose any opportunity for making that point to them.

Secondly. I absolutely agree with you about the need to make sure that all our tertiary institutions which now have university status with the exception of the OLI. the Open Learning Institute - though that is. I am sure, well on the way to university status - all the others should be treated properly and should be funded properly. Lingnan is a marvellous university and 1 think the campus there is absolutely terrific. It has got an extremely distinguished vice-chancellor, very good staff, and I am sure that they would agree with you about the importance of library facilities. Now 1 have seen their library and I don't know about the quantity of books and IT material but it looked pretty good to me.

The library I have seen rather more of is the one at the University of Science and Technology which is, 1 would guess, as modern a library facility as you could find anywhere in the world, run by one of the world's most distinguished academic librarians. 1 was immensely impressed by the amount of information which students could bring up on the screen there and 1 would doubt whether there were many better equipped libraries anywhere.

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Question (in Chinese): We have remote courses. If I want to go to the public libraries and try and get some books for post-graduate courses it is extremely difficult; we have to go back to the Hong Kong U or to the Chinese U. However, I may not have access to these libraries and I have difficulties trying to get reference materials because I am on the distance learning.

Presenter: Governor, Miss Liu talked about libraries in Hong Kong. We can talk to the Governor ourselves. Governor may I put a question to you. In your policy address, in the last section you talked about how people are going surreptitiously to Beijing lobbying about Hong Kong Government’s decisions. Now there were people who went to London lobbying, is it a really normal activity?

Governor: I don’t think - and you would surprise me if you put the other point of view - I don’t think that anybody who had gone to London while 1 have been Governor and had tried to get ministers in London to change or to block a decision taken by the Hong Kong Government would have got other than a very large flea in their ear. They would have been sent packing and they would have been asked to go and deal with the issue with the Hong Kong Government. It is very, very important to Hong Kong’s autonomy that that should be the case today and that that should be the case in the future. And I am absolutely sure that whatever the present rather whipped-up controversy about this by the Xinhua News Agency, I am absolutely sure that my successor will feel as strongly about this issue as I do. And my successor may be in a rather stronger and better position to verbally wrap over the knuckles those who try to undermine his authority or her authority and that of the Hong Kong Government.

Question: Good morning Governor. I feel proud to talk with you. It is no doubt that you are the (inaudible) can get high degree governor on the present years.

Governor: You’re too kind. Not everybody shares that view, as you know.

Question: On behalf of our special case and disease, because my parents have so many diseases in recent years as they are old. And another. I feel such as the mental illness patients, how could you guarantee they can get the treatment as well as now they are today? After 1997 can we get the same treatment as the illness treatment as the present time? Can you answer me please?

Governor: Yes. Can I first of all say that an earlier caller suggested that one reason for the increase in the costs of welfare was that some families weren’t discharging their responsibilities to their relatives. You are one of the extremely brave and committed majority who do continue to look after relatives, elderly relatives, and I think all of us should commend you on that.

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Secondly, I am absolutely convinced that a government after 1997 will want to continue the development of the Health Service which we have seen starting in the last few years. The Hospital Authority has been a tremendous success, it is providing more care, it is providing more care more rapidly. We have got more clinics. We promised in 1992 that we would open 13. I think we have opened 10 of those and there are three more to go which will open before the end of 1997. We are of course trying to develop our services for the elderly - geriatric outreach services, psycho-geriatric services and so on. We must make sure that we have the services which the elderly need because as people live longer so the care of the elderly becomes a larger part of the Health Service’s responsibility.

I am sure all that will continue after 1997 and that people like you who are concerned about their parents and their parent’s welfare will be listened to. We are spending, I think, at the moment about 23 billion on health care, that is 14/15 per cent of our current public spending, and the bill for health care has been increasing on average by about 20% a year over the last decade. I don't see that finishing.

Question (in Chinese): Good morning Mr Governor. Respected Governor, you’re the last Governor in Hong Kong, you have stood up for us, given us rule of law, human rights and civil liberties. Unfortunately, this is sunset. In Chinese we have a saying that, well the sunset is beautiful but unfortunately it's the worst night. Well in fact you are quite helpless. You are trying to help Hong Kong but your people like Sir Percy, you've got the business sector in Hong Kong, they want to protect themselves and they've got the seven chambers of commerce and they criticise you and in the southern parts of China there might be floods and they also fight for Diaoyu. But why are they so quick in criticising you? I'm not afraid, I don't have too much money but I can survive and I feel that we need to be on moral high ground. After you have left Hong Kong, I think Hong Kong, you will still have friends. Now there are people who can't understand you. You are protecting us. You are speaking up for us. You are also protecting the civil liberties and also our business community and our cohesion. Well you don't want to name names, but I can just speak out for you. It's the seven chambers of commerce and they're interests are —

Presenter: Your point is well put. Governor, please.

Governor: Well, I am the last British Governor and I think that Hong Kong will welcome the arrival of a Chief Executive who is, as it were, home grown and everybody in Hong Kong will wish him or her the very best of luck. And as the last, as you say in that extremely colourful expression which I'll remember, as the last I come with the sunset I suppose. We've got an expression in English, 'red sky at night shepherds delight'. I very much hope that I fall into that category. But even if, as the last Governor. I represent the end of the day, I think the ideas which you're talking about represent the dawn and represent the dawn, not just in Hong Kong but in Asia as well. I think the sort of values which you've touched on, the rule of law, human rights, protection of civil liberties, 1 think all those freedoms that we take for granted in an open society, represent the sort of Asia which we're going to see in the next few years. I think Hong Kong to that extent is a beacon to the rest of Asia. Not a sign of how people don't want things to be.

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And just let me add this point, which I think reflects the extent to which your views represent majority concerns. There’s a very distinguished academic who's quite often on the radio called, Mr DeGaullier, who runs a project called the Transition Project at Baptist University. Now one of the surveys they did recently showed that when people were asked whether they were concerned about their livelihood after 1997, on balance they weren't. Only about 7 per cent thought that their livelihood would suffer after 1997, but 57 or 58 per cent were concerned about the sort of things you've mentioned. They were concerned about their freedoms, they were concerned about their civil liberties, they were concerned about the increase in corruption. Now what we all want to do is to have the self-confidence to stand up for our institutions so that we can go on living in a fair and free and decent society and I think that when people like you speak out on the subject, it's helpful in ensuring that Hong Kong remains a decent, open, Chinese city.

Question: Good morning. Well, first of all I’d just like to say to the Governor, as a few of the others have said, 1 do hope that his successor takes the time to go through the same exercise as he has today. I think that's very healthy and good for the transparency of Government.

Having said that, I would just like to say that listening to the other callers, it's clear that what's important to Hong Kong people are the grassroot issues, are the bread and butter issues. Education, health etc., etc. We all know what they are. But this to me makes it even more incomprehensible that the Governor, by his own admission, should decide to completely change this year's Policy Address, and instead of going through these kind of issues, basically turn it into an hour and a quarter or whatever it was, of his political philosophy and polemic. I mean I'd just like him to give his reasons for changing the whole set up of the policy speech at this very, very late stage.

Governor: Well, he didn't actually and I'll make sure that we send you a copy, not only of my Policy Address but of the policy commitments and the progress report which —

Question: I have a copy.

Governor: Well, you'll sec I think if you look that the policy commitments are about 270 pages, that the progress report is over 200 and if you go through my speech, what will you see that I talked about? You'll see that I mentioned the crime in Hong Kong has fallen over the last, now just over the last four years, but is actually lower today than it was ten years ago. You will see that we've cut taxes. You will see that we've managed at the same time to increase the amount of money in our reserves. You will see that we've increased spending on the elderly and the disabled. You will see that we’ve managed our economy in a way which earns the plaudits of the IMF. Now I could go on, but all those issues seem to me to be very germane to people's livelihood. The lowest level of inflation for ten years, at the same time as we've got continuing growth at five per cent a year, strikes me as being a pretty good sort of record and in other societies is the sort of record on which Government’s get re-elected.

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Question: Yes, but I would put it to you that that's not policy making. That's back slapping.

Governor: Well, steady on. I mean if inflation was going up rather than going down, if unemployment was going up rather than going down, if crime figures were going up rather than going down, if taxes had gone up rather than gone down, you wouldn't say that the Government had nothing to do with that. You'd say, what a rotten Government. Well the fact of the matter is that all the indicators I've suggested, which are profoundly important for peoples' livelihood have been heading in the right direction and that wasn't what was predicted. Everybody said two, three, four, five, 10 years ago that the closer we got to 1997, the more Hong Kong would find itself riven by social disorder and facing economic calamity and it is to Hong Kong's credit and I might say a little to credit of the Government, that that hasn't happened and that we’re actually extremely well placed to make the best of the millennium.

Question (in Chinese): I have two questions for the Governor. First question; I think the Governor doesn't know what the community wants and he knows that the majority is against the provisional legislature. However, as the representative of Government, why doesn't he challenge the provisional legislature legally? There are certain groups of people who are doing it in the community, is this the reason why the Administration is not doing it or is it because they want a better relationship with China? Because we want a democratic transition, that is according to the JD. But when you refuse to take that step, are you actually merely paying lip service to saying that you protect Hong Kong's democracy, rule of law etc?

And then secondly, I know that in the Western communities they have a human rights commission and yet in Hong Kong it seems as if this has been vetoed by the Hong Kong Administration. But you are stressing human rights and civil liberties and civil rights. Why won't you set up this commission? If you are worried that this particular commission will be marginalised or infiltrated by China. Now if you think in that way are you actually binding yourself hand and foot and what if you don't do these things, can you explain why you were so daring in your constitutional reforms? Now you stress that you will protect Hong Kong's rule of law and human rights and what exactly, what specifically have you got and do you have new thinking on this?

Governor: Well, can I first of all say that we, the British Government, the Hong Kong Government, the Governor, me, we do want a good relationship with China but we also want a good relationship with Hong Kong. I don't want to appear to be sacrificing the interests of Hong Kong in order to secure occasional bouquets or plaudits from Chinese officials. I don't think I'd be thanked for that.

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Secondly, we do believe, as you know, that a provisional legislature before 1997, we think it would be bad at any time, we think that a provisional legislature set up before 1997, would be a questionable institution with questionable foundations doing questionable things and therefore it would be bound to, I suspect, to lead to questioning in the Courts in due course, but what we are intent on doing at the moment is trying to persuade Chinese officials not to do something which we think would be profoundly against Hong Kong’s interest and I think that that makes much more sense than for me get involved in what some would regard as legal grandstanding. 1 do not wish the SAR Government to start off with people asking difficult legal questions about what it’s doing and that’s why I hope we can still persuade Chinese officials to behave sensibly.

Thirdly, you mentioned the human rights commission. I’d just say that there isn’t an established, a regular practice in other open societies of establishing a human rights commission. Sometimes people follow the course that we followed, which is to introduce legislation like a Bill of Rights to guarantee peoples’ civil liberties. In other cases people set up a human rights commission and try to do it institutionally. There’s hardly any care, anywhere in the world of somebody doing both. I think there are perhaps a couple of countries where that happens. I think it made more sense for us to legislate on the issues like equal opportunities and discrimination against the disabled, to strengthen our legal aid departments, to work in other ways to bring our laws into line with the international covenants, rather than to set up an institution.

Presenter: Mr Chan, are you happy with the reply?

Question (in Chinese): On the first point I would like to have a supplementary question. Mr Governor, you stressed that to challenge this point legally might be rather complex. So does the Governor think that in fact the provisional legislature might not in fact be in breach of the BL and the JD? But whether it is legally unsound is actually something that is very obvious. But as Governor of Hong Kong, probably Mr Patten doesn't really want to take this issue to the court because that might destabilise Hong Kong and it might be detrimental to Sino-British relations. Could the Governor further elaborate?

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Governor: Well, I think you’ve got to look at two different issues. First of all you’ve got to look at the question of a provisional legislature at all. Secondly, you’ve got to look at the question of a provisional legislature working before June 30, 1997. 1 totally agree with British Ministers who think that to establish a provisional legislature, acting as though it were the legislature, before June 30, 1997, would call into question China's compliance with the Joint Declaration. I mean Article 30 of which is extremely clear. I think I mentioned earlier in the programme that senior Chinese officials have said there can only be one legislature before June 30, and that if there were a provisional legislature it wouldn’t assume any of its functions before July 1. I still very much hope that since that view has been expressed to British Ministers at the most senior level in the Chinese Government, that that will prove to be the case rather than some of the things we’ve heard recently and it seems to be more sensible for us to press on that front than to throw legal challenges around. I don't, I repeat, want to see this turned into a bitter argument so I hope we can persuade Chinese officials to behave a bit more sensibly.

Question: Good morning. I'd like to go back to two very vital issues Mr Governor. The first is, where you may not be able to point to as much improvement as the last list. The first is pollution and air quality and can you guarantee whether anything will actually be done to improve air quality, as a previous Minister of Environment you may be interested before you leave?

And the second one is immigration. In your tenure there's been a vast increase in the number of the population. Many of these are family reunions and the quality of the people coming in is not of the highest calibre. They often end up going straight on to the welfare system which is quite a burden to society. There may not be much you can do about that, but I would appreciate your point of view.

Governor: OK. On the environment I think it’s one of the manifestations of Hong Kong becoming a more successful, prosperous community, that people place, understandably a higher priority on environmental issues. I’m sure they’ll continue to do so. We have managed to cut, I think I've got the figures right, our dust emissions from new vehicles down by about 50 per cent since '92, sulphur dioxide down by about 42 per cent, about half our vehicles are now using catalytic converters. It was only about, I think hardly any were doing so in 1992, and 80 per cent of the petrol we now sell is unleaded. So all those are steps forward, but I know that people want us to do more. That's why we're doing things like investigating very urgently replacement for diesel and I think this will be inevitably a pretty high priority for my successor as it's been for me.

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Secondly, the other issue you mentioned is also an extremely important one. We’ve got about 150 new immigrants coming in legally from China every day. That's about 55,000 or so every year and of course that creates some social difficulties, some problems in the housing and educational area. We have been doing a couple of things which I hope are important and useful. First of all, we've been trying to bring together the departments whose various responsibilities touch on this issue, to have them working closer together and one of the things that they've done is to produce quite a useful booklet for new immigrants telling them about Hong Kong and telling them how they can get particular services, how they can get in touch with the local employment services and so on.

Secondly, we've been also helping in the classroom by providing help with remedial teaching for the children of immigrant families who may have bad or inadequate Cantonese as well as English and I think that's a hurdle that we need to help people over. It's a very substantial social question this and it's not going to finish in 1997. So we've got to give it a lot of priority and I don't think any of us can kid ourselves that it’s going to be an inexpensive problem to deal with but at the end of the day I hope that we’ll ensure that the new immigrants who come to Hong Kong are able to play as creative a role in the next development of Hong Kong as previous waves of immigrants have played in the 60’s, 70's and 80’s.

Question (in Chinese): I was employed with the CLP previously and in order to cut expenses I was made redundant and I am now unemployed. Now you are the Governor of Hong Kong and the unemployment situation has been with us for quite some time and the problem has not been resolved. The Administration has not given any assistance to those who are unemployed and we are actually suffering great hardship. What can you do for them, Mr Governor?

Governor: If you, Mr Lee, leave your number with the switchboard, I will get somebody from the local employment service of the Labour Department to get in touch with you. They do provide free assistance and counselling to job-seekers. They have placed, I think, more than 12,000 people in jobs in the first half of this year, so they do a pretty good job. We will see if we can help through either the local employment service as a whole, through our job-matching programme which seeks to put together those looking for jobs with registered vacancies. I do want to see our Labour Department continuing to help nudge the unemployment rate down. It has fallen from 3.6 per cent last November to about 2.8 per cent today but I do recognise that for anybody who is actually unemployed the figure is 100 per cent, so we want to help you as much as we can.

Question: Mr Patten, I listened to part of your report yesterday and what the Hong Kong Government, the Hong Kong people, have accomplished in recent years is truly phenomenal and must be the envy of many a leader throughout the world. The question which I am asked and which I am now asking you is, how has it been accomplished? Because we’ve got reserves we don't run on a deficit, 65 per cent of the population don't pay taxes but we seem to have accomplished an awful lot.

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Governor: The main reason why I think it has been accomplished is that we have pursued free-market liberal economic policies faithfully for 30 or 40 years. One of the things I quoted from yesterday was the Report of the International Monetary Fund. Now they are pretty beady-eyed observers of the world economy and they don’t hand out prizes for economic management easily. They have once again given the management of the Hong Kong economy two thumbs-up. I think one of the things we have managed to do is to avoid doing too much. We don’t try to second-guess business, we don’t intervene in the marketplace, and I think a result of that is that Hong Kong's natural entrepreneurialism and natural vigour and natural hard work have achieved the sort of results which you read about in Adam Smith or Milton Freidman or in other classical textbooks.

There is just one other thing I would say. I think crucial to the operation of a successful market economy is the rule of law and is a clean civil service and we have had both of them as well, and I very much hope that we will continue to have them after 1997.

Presenter: Thank you. Does that provide some ammunition for when people ask you that question, sir?

Question: No, I think people say, "Well, it can’t actually be that simple, it can't be that straightforward, there must be more to it."

Governor: Well there are other factors which have helped as well. We are in the part of the world which is growing most rapidly. We have been at the gateway of China while China has been opening up to the world in an astonishingly successful way. Those have also been factors in Hong Kong's economic success. But I do think it is fair to say that Hong Kong is as good a working model as you could find anywhere of liberal economics, it reads like a textbook of how to do these things.

It is not to say we don't have some problems but when I tell people from Europe or North America that we spend less than 20 per cent of our overall income, of our GDP, in public spending, when I tell them that 60 per cent of the workforce don’t pay any salaries tax and that the top rate of tax is 15 per cent which is only paid by two per cent, when I tell them about our health statistics and the amount of extra money we have been able to put into welfare programmes at the same time as we have increased our fiscal reserves, they look at me as if I am making it up.

Question (in Chinese): You are my most respected Governor and we are most grateful to you, and we are also grateful to all the governors that came before you who have helped us through difficult times, and this is the last time I am going to talk to you. Yesterday you delivered your policy address. It was a very good policy address and we don't like those people who are whistle-blowers, who are informants who make trouble, and in fact we can ignore these people, we have had them with us for a long time. Now you will be leaving us; now the longer you stay, the more reassured we

are.

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Governor: I will be off - and I will be sad but it is a consequence of history -1 will be off at the stroke of midnight on June 30 next year. And I will leave with, in some senses, a heavy heart because while this has been a difficult job it has been an immensely satisfying one and I have met many marvellous, kind, helpful, intelligent people while I have been doing the job.

I think I will also leave with a great deal of confidence in the future. One of the things that interested me today was one of our newspapers which has two headlines on different pages, one of which accuses me of being too anxious about the future, the other of which accuses me of being too rosy about the future. I think that my position, which is one of wary but cheerful optimism, is the right one for Hong Kong because 1 know that people like you have created this great city, one of the greatest cities in the world, and I don't think there is anything which can really end the momentum behind Hong Kong's success. I am sure that even though there may be some changes and there may be one or two problems along the road, that Hong Kong will continue to be a great place for people to live under, I am sure, a very talented and successful Chief Executive.

Question: 1 think I would just like to ask if the Governor would like to reflect on what has happened in Macau over the last month or so, where they have a situation where there is a franchise which is accepted by China, a level of franchise, and there will be a continuation of their political figures, and I just wondered if he would want to comment on that in the light of the more complicated situation we have in Hong Kong?

Governor: I don't think 1 really want to draw comparisons with Macau. Macau is in a very different situation from Hong Kong and you could go back to the late 1960s, to indeed 1967, and draw differences between the way things have been handled in Hong Kong and Macau. And I don't think, when you compare Hong Kong and Macau you would necessarily think that Hong Kong had suffered from things being handled slightly differently from time to time. But the Governor in Macau, who is an extremely fine man and a great friend of mine, has different but similar problems to those that I have and I wish him luck as he wishes me luck. I think that people in Macau recognise that at least part of their well-being in the future will depend on how well things go in Hong Kong, so we want to do well not only for ourselves but for them and the rest of the region as well. But I don't think that I could really draw a comparison, except to say that I don't think that the electoral arrangements which have satisfied people in Macau would have satisfied people in Hong Kong.

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Question: Well if I can just come back on that, I mean 1 appreciate that the two places are different and have different histories but restricting our comments to the electoral arrangements and the electoral reforms which took place in Hong Kong, do you not think that the introduction of those reforms has led to us being in a less advantageous position than in Macau where people will continue because the electoral arrangements were not altered? And if I can also just say that in terms of any responsibility that you or the British Government felt that it had to Hong Kong, is the responsibility not best discharged by knowing how far one can go with our friends in China?

Governor: I think there is one quite important flaw in your argument, though I totally accept that it is a criticism which I have to answer today, have had to answer in the past and will have to answer in the future. The flaw is this: there is a sort of assumption that the alternative to disagreeing with China in 1992-93 about electoral arrangements, the alternative was a quiet life in Hong Kong. I don't think that is true for one moment. I think if we had been seen to put in place arrangements for our elections which are unfair -1 don't want to go over old ground - that would have led to real political and social difficulties here in Hong Kong and 1 don't think that I would have liked to spend my four or five years as Governor fighting Hong Kong and fighting majority opinion in Hong Kong. But we will obviously have to disagree about that. In the meantime I wish Macau well just as I wish Hong Kong well.

Question (in Chinese): Is there still discrimination against the new immigrants regarding Hong Kong departments?

Presenter: The government departments definitely have no discrimination against new immigrants but are you talking about society as a whole?

Question: Yes. I am a new immigrant and 1 feel the discrimination. My son - we work in the civil service and we are in the lower ranks and then we want to apply for education and yet they say that we have not been here for seven years and they don't give us subsidy for transport, etc.

Governor: There are some time limits for some assistance but I can assure you that there isn't discrimination against new immigrants. We want to make new immigrants welcome, we want to help you with the initial problems that you may confront and we want you to be able to play a full part in our economic and social life. I think you will recognise that when it comes, for example to getting public housing, it would not be fair if we simply allowed people to come into Hong Kong, having not been here for years, and jump up the waiting-list when some people have been waiting for four, five, even six years or more. So we do have to have some rules but 1 don't think they are unreasonable ones.

Question (in Chinese): Not true!

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Governor: I don't know whether you have seen the booklet that we have produced which tells new immigrants what their rights are and what their entitlements are. If you haven't seen it, if you can leave your name with the telephonist I will certainly make sure that you are sent it and if you have got any particular problems and think you are being unfairly treated, if you mention that as well I will have it looked into. I repeat, we want - while being fair to people who have been in Hong Kong for longer -we want to give people who come here to live the opportunity of a full and free life.

Question: Good morning Mr Patten. I would like to refer to Mr Goodemall's (phonetic) remarks about the uncertainty regarding the status of the minorities in the future, and your comments. For. instance he was talking, obviously, about the Indian sub-continent and you mentioned there are other minorities here and you specifically mentioned the Portuguese. But one group you did not mention were the Eurasian community who have done so much for Hong Kong in the past. For instance I was in Canada and the States very recently and I found it very sad to meet so many of these Eurasians who have had to leave Hong Kong because of the uncertainties in the future. For instance many of them had been educated at the Diocesan Girls School and the Diocesan Boys School; the only reason they left their home in Hong Kong was the uncertainty regarding their status in the future.

Now I do hope that when the minority issue comes up in the future with the British Government, whether it be the Conservatives or the Socialists, you will press for consideration for their right of abode in the United Kingdom because for instance in the past, that's about the 1970s, they had the right of abode in the United Kingdom but successive British governments who are meant to go for fair play and all the rest of it, have just eroded their rights. And so someone who had the right of abode in England it has been taken away from over the years. It is ver)' sad and a very sad reflection in many ways on let's say the British code of honour. Perhaps you would like to comment on this, or maybe not now but at least bear it in mind in the future.

Governor: Let me comment straightaway and first of all recognise, which everybody knows to be the case, the remarkable contribution which many Eurasian families have made to the development of Hong Kong. There are of course many distinguished Eurasian families still in Hong Kong making a tremendous contribution but everybody knows that that is the case that they have made a tremendous contribution to our economic life, to our public service and to our cultural life as well. I think there are two particular aspects to the issue you raised.

The first is the question of a British Passport and right of abode in Britain, and you will know' very well that I have taken up that issue and not always made myself very popular in the United Kingdom by doing so. But it has been the right thing to do, as it was the right thing for my predecessor, Lord Wilson, to do.

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But secondly, there is also the question of right of abode in Hong Kong and 1 think that some of them who are in Canada and Australia for example, have been concerned about that issue rather more than they have been concerned about right of abode in the United Kingdom. I very much hope that the discussions we are having on that at present with Chinese officials will clarify some of the doubts about how people can secure right of abode in Hong Kong while perhaps having a Canadian or Australian passport, and I hope that will encourage some of those Eurasian families who have made a contribution to Hong Kong but, alas, left in the last few years, to return and continue to make a great contribution.

Question (in Chinese): Good morning. I would like to go on to the issue of housing. Why is it that - now I am talking about HOS - why is it so expensive? We are eligible and it is beyond our affordability. Is this policy therefore appropriate?

Governor: 1 think that there are two problems in the housing field. The first is that despite the efforts, the sterling efforts of the Housing Authority, despite the fact that we are still building so many new flats, there are still a lot of people in need who have been waiting for years for Housing Authority accommodation. Secondly, at the other end as it were, there are people who would like to become home-owners but find it too expensive. Now we are trying to help them. We will help about 175,000 families buy subsidised flats over the next four or five years and there are various ways in which we do that, for example through the Home Ownership Scheme, but I think that, as I said yesterday in my policy address, the housing problem is one of the most difficult, perhaps the most difficult.

Question (in Chinese): It is beyond our affordability. We can't afford HOS fiats.

Governor: Well, that is something that obviously we will need to look at if there are people like you with a decent income who can't afford to purchase your own fiat. Obviously, there are always going to be some people.

Question (in Chinese): I make about more than $10,000 a month. We cannot get into public rental housing and yet we cannot afford 1 IOS fiats, so what are we going to do?

Governor: We have actually tried to increase the assistance that we provide through the Sandwich-class Housing Scheme. If you would like to drop me a note I will see whether your case would be one that was helped through the extension that we have made to the Sandwich-class Housing Scheme because we are concerned to help people who are. as it were, pressed between —

Question (in Chinese): Well 1 can't get into sandwich-class housing, we only make $10,000 a month.

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Presenter: This is an individual case. If you have any details just leave them with our colleagues and we'll see whether you can be helped.

Question: Yesterday in your speech you condemned self-censorship, I thought very rightly; it has been insidiously creeping into our society for some time and I heartily agree, in principle. But what about practice? The example of leading personalities who have expressed their minds, saying things about leading Chinese people - much less than other people have said about you for example - have suffered for what they have said or what they have done, even in this free society, and this is very worrying. It is all right for people, well like yourself who can speak out, and some others whose position is safe, but people at the middle level, for instance a legislator who speaks out. might find himself out of office, someone not with right of abode here might find himself in danger of having to leave. What is your advice to people wanting to speak their minds other than on a potentially anonymous programme such as this?

Governor: Can I say straightaway that the ability to speak your mind, to speak out, though I hope in a courteous and not aggressive way, the ability to speak your mind is one of the fundamentals of living in a free society and what we are promised in Hong Kong under the Joint Declaration, under the Basic Law, is that we will continue to live in such a society and it therefore puzzles us when, for example, senior Chinese officials, as one did the other day, seek to make a distinction between the right to report things and the right to advocate things. It is not a distinction that we make or could make in our law, that we could make in a free society.

Of course we understand the importance of showing restraint on some issues but actually doctoring your views or your values for what you think is politically correct is. I think, a long step down a very slippery slope. Hong Kong has been as free a society as there is anywhere in Asia. Why have we got 58 daily newspapers in Hong Kong? Because this is an argumentative, open society in which just as there is an open market in goods, so there is an open market in ideas. And if that were to change, Hong Kong would be much the poorer, literally as well as figuratively.

Question (in Chinese): Mr Governor, in Beijing it was said that Mr Lu Ping said that when he meets you on June 30, 1997, he will say goodbye to you. Mr Governor, can you tell us how you would respond to Mr Lu Ping, please?

Governor: I will tell you exactly what I would do. I would say how sad it is that we hadn't met rather more frequently before. While of course in any civilised exchange between public servants, shaking hands and saying hello or goodbye in a courteous way should be taken for granted and shouldn't be the sort of thing that people write about in headlines, while that is true it would have been. I think, more helpful if Director Lu and I had met more frequently. But I mustn't make too much of a fuss about that. It would have been sensible, it would have been good for Hong Kong. 1 think that is what people in Hong Kong would have liked. But as it is I will have to wait until June 30 to see Director Lu and then wish him the best for the future, and I hope he will do the same with me.

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Question (in Chinese): Good morning Mr Governor. A question, I think the legislature should straddle 1997. That was the situation before the arrival of Mr Governor. But now, after you've come here the situation has changed and they will have to get off the train, there will be a provisional legislature and you're saying that there shouldn't be such a legislature. But they are taking over. So why is it that they can't set up the provisional legislature? Is it that they will have to wait until June 30, 1997? That's what I wish to say.

Governor: Well, I would have liked the legislature to travel through 1997, but alas the arrangements that we tried to negotiate with Chinese officials in 1992/93 to accomplish that objective were in vain, despite the fact that we worked at it for well over 150 hours. I've never doubted at all that on June 30. 1997. even if we'd had an agreement for a through train for the legislature, legislators would of had to have past some sort of objective test in order to continue in their job. They'd have had to do something like take an oath to the Basic Law and the Special Administrative Region. There would have had to have been some mark of the change of sovereignty. I've never doubted that for one instant.

As for the question of the provisional legislature. There's no mention of a provisional legislature in the Basic Law or in the Joint Declaration. Quite how a provisional legislature is in line with those documents, it's for Chinese leaders I think themselves to explain. What is absolutely clear is there is no basis for a provisional legislature whatsoever before June 30. 1997, and 1 wish there wasn't going to be one afterwards as well.

Question: Good morning Mr Patten, my name is James. 1 just want to ask two issues. One is how can you make sure and what you will do in the coming nine months to ensure a clean and efficient government going through 1997? And the other thing is, I reckon from the report that some of the objectives about the social welfare cannot be achieved and do you think it is because of your inefficiency, the problem, or because of some other problem?

Governor: First of all we do at the moment have a clean and pretty efficient government, I think, in Hong Kong. We have tried to keep ourselves clean which is why we have been such enthusiastic supporters for the work of the Independent Commission Against Corruption. We have also tried to make ourselves more efficient by becoming more accountable and I want to pay a tribute to the extent to which our civil service, unlike perhaps some elsewhere in the world, has been prepared to own up to the things we have got wrong as well as try to take credit for the things we have got right.

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Now that brings me to the second part of your question. We do, which is pretty unusual, every year produce our progress report in which we say very frankly and candidly where we have fallen behind with targets as well as where we have met them. Overwhelmingly we have met our targets but there are some that we haven't quite met and 1 think the main reason in the social welfare field is that we have had more difficulty than we would have liked in getting premises for some of the capital projects that we want to build.

We have managed to haul back some of the lost time in one or two areas and I think we will get pretty close to our targets in most areas or match our targets or even exceed our targets next year. But where we don't do so 1 want us to go on having the maturity to own up to it and to explain to the community why rather than to draw a veil over things. I think that is part of the development and growing-up of government and of an open community like Hong Kong.

Question (in Chinese): Good morning. I don't really have a question for the Governor, but I don't want to see him go. He has done a lot for Hong Kong. I would like to get a photograph of Mr Governor, a signed photograph as a souvenir. Could that be done?

Governor: Certainly. If you leave your name, we'll send you a signed photograph but alas for reasons which go back almost a century I won't be able to stay beyond 30 June, 1997. I'm sure you will have a Chief Executive who will be equally profligate with his photographs and I'm sure that you'll want his or her photograph as well and you'll have a very good Chief Executive, I'm certain.

Question (in Chinese): 1 think you have worked extremely hard in the past few years.

Governor: Thank you very much indeed. Thank you very much.

Presenter: And may we, Mr Patten, say thank you very much indeed, not for your just coming in today but for all the five years of your Governorship. It's been a very good exercise in transparency and Radio Television Hong Kong channels 1, 3 and 5 have been very pleased to take part in it and we hope that we do have the opportunity before you leave finally our shores to have another chance to talk to you.

End

39

Policy commitment on welfare programmes on target ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, said today (Thursday) that she was disappointed to hear some misleading remarks made publicly by the Director of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, Mr Y F Hui, about the Government's progress in meeting policy commitments on social welfare programmes.

These include Mr Hui saying that no new nursing home would be completed on target.

"This was simply factually wrong," Mrs Fok said.

"Four new nursing homes would be completed on target in 1997 while completion of two had slipped to 1998. The one at Kowloon Bay has been delayed as a result of disruption caused by the opposition of local residents."

She pointed out that the Government's Progress Report had made clear that only four of the 58 welfare commitments were behind schedule.

And the Director of Social Welfare has also explained clearly that those programmes behind schedule are only a matter of delay in completion rather than cancellation of the facilities concerned.

"Indeed, we are on target for some of our most challenging targets.

"For example, we expect by the end of 1997 to have produced another 1,800 residential places for people with a disability including the completion of the huge Aberdeen Rehabilitation Centre providing 1,400 places in one facility. We provided over 1,100 additional places last year.

"We value our partnership with the non-governmental organisation (NGO) sector in working together to meet these targets.

"It is unfortunate that the Council has apparently chosen to belittle those efforts and exaggerate the delays that have occurred. Those who have worked so hard in both the NGO and Government sectors to meet these targets must feel let down by such misleading remarks," Mrs Fok said.

End

40

Government puts every dollar of its spending to best use

*****

The Government must put every dollar of its spending to the best use if it was to hold true to its ’small government' philosophy and to strictly control the growth in its expenditure, Secretary for the Treasury, Mr K C Kwong, said today (Thursday).

Speaking at the opening of the Ninth International Federation of Purchasing and Materials Management Asia-Pacific Conference in Hong Kong, Mr Kwong said the Government did this through a two-pronged approach.

"On the one hand, we consult widely to ensure that we have a good grasp of the community's spending preferences and priorities," he said.

"We ensure that Government decisions are open and accountable to the community. Through our efforts, we aim to build a broadly-based consensus on where Government spending should be focused."

On the other hand, said Mr Kwong, the Government did everything possible to keep the cost of public services down.

"We must constantly strive for better value for money. We must continuously look for opportunities to do things, new and old, in a more cost-effective way," he said.

Mr Kwong said the Government now purchased goods with a total value of over $6 billion a year.

"Our procurement policy is that we should aim to obtain the goods and services which represent the best value for money, having regard to their suitability for users' requirements, competitiveness in price, maintenance and other operational cost, reliability of performance and where applicable, after-sale support," he said.

To achieve these policy goals, the Government was constantly on the look-out for opportunities to improve the efficiency of its procurement process, he added.

He cited the building of a new Government Logistics Centre in Chai Wan as an example.

41

Mr Kwong said the Centre was to centralise storage and to tie in with its commissioning, a new computer-based system for warehouse operations, stock management and stores acquisition was being developed.

The completion of these projects will produce total savings of $40 million per annum and significantly improve services to customers, he said.

End

Hong Kong/Philippines ASA negotiation concluded ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

After six years of discussion, Hong Kong and the Philippines finally concluded negotiation of a HK/Philippines Air Services Agreement and initialled the text of the agreement yesterday (Wednesday).

The initialled agreement will be submitted to the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group for endorsement before it can be formally signed by Hong Kong.

The two sides further agreed on an expansionary traffic rights arrangement providing for increased services between Hong Kong and the Philippines. The Hong Kong/Philippines route is one of the busiest and fast growing in Asia.

"This agreement provides a proper legal footing for the smooth continuation of air services between Hong Kong and Philippines through and beyond 1997.

"It will assist both the development of our air services and further enhance the opportunities for trade and tourism between Hong Kong and the Philippines," said the chief negotiator representing Hong Kong on the negotiation, Mr Michael Arnold

With the successful conclusion of the talks on the HK/Philippines ASA, Hong Kong has now completed negotiations on separating HK air services from those of the UK in preparation for the change of sovereignty in 1997.

So far, Hong Kong has already signed 13 Air Services Agreements and arrangements are now in hand to sign four more agreements which have received clearance by the Joint Liaison Group.

A number of other agreements including those with the US and Japan are currently being considered by the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group.

"We are confident that all the remaining agreements will be approved by the JLG and signed well before the change of sovereignty in 1997," said Mr Arnold.

42

Mr Arnold indicated that his next immediate task would be the negotiation of overflight agreements following JLG clearance in September.

Overflight agreements are needed with a number of countries which Hong Kong airlines overfly on their key intercontinental routes and with which Hong Kong has not previously negotiated an Air Services Agreement.

End

No easy way out to maintain HK’s economic bedrock: FS ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Hong Kong had to see to it that the four pillars embodying the territory’s capitalistic system were not eroded by negligence or design, the Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, said in Boston, Massachutte.

"We have to stand firm. It is all too easy to take the easy way out; turn a blind eye; to agree to a little departure from the rules here, a little there," he said.

Mr Tsang was addressing the senior staff of John F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and a group of business and finance leaders in Boston at a dinner hosted by the Dean of the School, his Alma Mater, this evening (Wednesday Boston time).

Mr Tsang told his audience that one of the four pillars of Hong Kong's economic system was the free enterprise spirit and level playing field.

"We in the Hong Kong Government take this very, very seriously and we are determined to keep this level playing field.

"We do not do industry targeting or impose investment priorities. It is our firm belief that such initiatives are self defeating in the long run," Mr Tsang said.

The other three pillars are the rule of law, corruption-free civil service and free flow of information.

Noting that some had expressed concern about Hong Kong's economy and society surviving the transition, Mr Tsang said the community's sentiment was one of anticipation. The community was waiting for the opportunity to meet and deal with the challenges of transition.

43

"In this period certain important events will occur. Not the least of these will be the appointment of the Chief Executive, the formation of the Special Administrative Region (SAR) government and the compilation of a 1997-98 Budget that will take us through from British to Chinese sovereignty," he said.

"As Financial Secretary of Hong Kong, I see my role as re-affirming the economic system that we have developed and refined over the past decades.

"I shall make sure that this system will carry through the transition, forming a solid foundation and inspiring more enviable economic advancement for the Hong Kong SAR."

Mr Tsang firmly believed that Hong Kong society would not only survive the transition but thrive on the challenge and prosper.

"It will continue to sustain a vibrant economic growth in Hong Kong into the next millennium. In turn it will bring benefits to the international community with whom Hong Kong vigorously trades," he said.

Mr Tsang will travel to New York on October 3 to officiate at the opening of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority's newly established representative office there.

He will make use of the opportunity to meet leading bankers in New York before concluding his visit in the United States.

Mr Tsang will then continue his journey to Europe where he will sign investment promotion and protection agreements with Belgium. Luxembourg and Austria and an Air Services Agreement with Italy.

End

Joint sea exercise enhances search and rescue co-operation *****

A high-speed ferry sailing from Hong Kong to Macau this (Thursday) morning collided with another vessel along the Hong Kong-Macau ferry route.

The collision near the Qing Zhou Fairway between Hong Kong and Macau caused a fire in the engine room of the high-speed ferry, disabling the craft.

Some 50 passengers on board the ferry sustained various degrees of bums and injuries. The high-speed ferry master sent.out a ’mayday’ message.

44

Rescue craft, helicopter and launches from Zhuhai, Macau and Hong Kong rushed to the scene to offer assistance.

The "emergency" was only the scenario of a maritime search and rescue exercise held in the Pearl River estuary today to test the search and rescue strength of Guangdong, Macau and Hong Kong for dealing with an accident at sea.

This year's exercise, codenamed "Maritime SAREX96", was jointly organised by the Guangdong Provincial Marine Emergency Search and Rescue Centre (GDRCC), Macau Marine Department and Hong Kong Marine Department.

In today's scenario, 50 staff members of the Civil Aid Services simulated the injured passengers of the high-speed ferry provided by Chu Kong Shipping.

Since the position of the "emergency" was nearer to Macau, the Macau Marine Department assumed the role of the search director in the exercise.

The Macau Marine Department tasked three rescue craft for the rescue operation while GDRCC provided the rescue craft "Nan Hai Xun 33" from Zhuhai.

Hong Kong tasked two Marine Police launches to the scene to help the passengers. A Government Flying Service helicopter was also sent to carry out simulated casualty evacuation and delivery of the casualty ashore.

Under the co-ordination of the Macau Marine Department, some 50 qualified staff rescued all the "injured" passengers and sent them to Macau for medical treatment.

"With more people travelling between Hong Kong and the Pearl River by sea, it is necessary to conduct regular exercises in this busy waters to check the alerting, communications and responses of the search and rescue resources in Zhuhai, Macau and Hong Kong," said a spokesman for the Hong Kong Marine Department.

He said search and research exercises at a regional level could enhance cooperation among neighbouring authorities and Maritime SAREX96 met this aim.

A subsequent critique held in Macau in the afternoon identified that on-scene communication could be further improved, the spokesman said.

End

45

Open Learning Institute granted self-accrediting status * * * * ♦

The Government has decided to grant self-accrediting status to the Open Learning Institute of Hong Kong (OLI), subject to periodic external institutional reviews by the Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation (HKCAA).

Announced that today (Thursday), a spokesman for the Education and Manpower Branch said the decision followed the recommendation of HKCAA after it had conducted an institutional review of the OLI last year.

"The HKCAA reported favourable assessments of the Institute's overall performance, culture for quality assurance, internal academic quality assurance systems, and internal and external communications." the spokesman said.

He pointed out that in the 12-month transition period from June 1995 to May 1996, the Institute had further strengthened its quality assurance mechanisms and had jointly conducted programme accreditation with HKCAA.

"The Government will ask the HKCAA to undertake an external institutional review of the OLI every five years. The objective is to monitor the academic development of the Institute and the continued effectiveness of its quality assurance and improvement processes.

"The reports of the reviews would be made available to the public," the spokesman said.

End

Land Registry statistics for September released

*****

A total of 10,549 sale and purchase agreements for building units, which include both residential and non-residential properties, were lodged with the Land Registry last month.

The figure represents an increase of 5.8 per cent from that of August this year and an increase of 62.1 per cent compared with September last year.

The total considerations of these agreements in the month is $29.2 billion which was down by 1.1 per cent but up 68.1 per cent compared with the amounts for August 1996 and September last year respectively.

46

The figures are contained in the monthly statistics released today (Thursday) by the Land Registry on deeds relating to property transactions received for registration in the Urban and New Territories Land Registries in September 1996.

Relevant statistics for August 1996 and September 1995 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.

These 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

Yamen and remnants at former Walled City declared monuments *****

The Yamen building and the remnants of the South Gate at Kowloon Walled City have been declared historical building and archaeological site respectively under the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance.

A notice to this effect will be published in the Gazette tomorrow (Friday). These bring the total number of declared monuments in Hong Kong to 63.

The Yamen building

The Yamen building was originally the administrative office and residence of the Commodore of Dapeng. The building is a three-hall structure measuring 14 metres wide and 48 metres long.

The central part of the building was the office while the rear block served as the officer’s residence. As a venue for both administration and residence, the Yamen building was built in a simple but functional design.

After the departure of the Qing officials in 1899. the Anglican Holy Trinity leased the Yamen and converted it into the Anglican Almshouse and the ’Kuangyin Yuan’, Home for the Aged.

In 1918, the two establishments were handed over to the Chinese Christian Churches Union which ran the Yamen as a home for widows and orphans. From 1971, the Christian Nationals Evangelism Commission operated it as school and clinic until 1978. Since then, the building was used as an elderly centre until the clearance of the walled city.

47

The Yamen was fully restored in 1994-95 to its original splendour and has become an important historic feature of the Kowloon Walled City Park.

The remnants of the South Gate

During the demolition of the walled city, archaeological investigations of the site were carried out by the Antiquities and Monuments Office from November 1993 to June 1994 to trace the remains of the former city wall which was dismantled during the Japanese Occupation Period (1941-1945).

The investigations proved to be most fruitful and succeeded in locating the remains of the footings of the city wall. The most important discovery is the remnants of the South Gate of the former Walled City, which include its foundation, the walkway, and a drainage ditch.

The two original stone plaques of the South Gate, bearing the Chinese characters signifying the ’’Kowloon Walled City” and the "South Gate” were also uncovered.

In view of the importance of the remnants, the Antiquities Advisory Board recommended the preservation of the site in-situ as an archaeological site.

Its recommendation was subsequently adopted and the remnants are now open to the public as an archaeological feature of the Kowloon Walled City Park.

End

Medical Council examination results released ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Licentiate Committee of the Medical Council of Hong Kong today (Thursday) announced that 88 and 11 candidates have passed the Proficiency Test in Medical English and the Examination in Professional Knowledge of the first Licensing Examination respectively.

On September 5, a total of 135 candidates sat on the Proficiency Test which is designed to test their use of English for professional purposes.

48

The Examination in Professional Knowledge was held on September 17 and 154 candidates turned up. This examination consists of two 3 1/2-hour papers and is designed to test candidates' professional knowledge in the disciplines of basic sciences, medical ethics, community medicine, medicine, psychiatry, paediatrics, surgery, orthopaedic surgery and obstetrics and gynaecology.

Candidates who have passed both parts of the Licensing Examination will be invited to sit the Clinical Examination to be held in early December.

End

Further control on halon imports *****

The Government is to ban the import of portable fire extinguishers from all countries or places with effect from December 2 as a further measure to protect the Earth's ozone layer from depletion.

Arrangements for the ban are spelt out in the Ozone Layer Protection (Products Containing Scheduled Substances) (Import Banning) (Amendment) Regulation.

A government spokesman said today (Thursday) the ban would not affect the availability of portable fire extinguishers because non-halon type extinguishers were widely available at comparable prices as a substitute.

He said since 1993, the Fire Services Department had ceased to impose fire safety requirements based on halon portable fire extinguishers in building plans or licensing/registration conditions.

"Action is also in hand to phase out the existing halon fire extinguishers in all government buildings and public housing estates.

"We envisage the ban will encourage an early switch to more environmentally friendly fire extinguishers," the spokesman said.

Nevertheless, the amendment regulation provides that the Director of Environmental Protection may, in consultation with the Director of Fire Services, exempt halon portable fire extinguishers required for essential applications in emergencies.

49

Under the amendment regulation, a person who imports a halon portable fire extinguisher without any authorisation will be liable to a fine of $200,000 and imprisonment for six months.

Major trade associations, registered fires services installation contractors, electrical and mechanical consultants, major halon product users and importers/exporters of halons have been consulted on the proposed ban and no objections were raised.

The amendment regulation will be submitted to the Legislative Council for approval on October 23.

Import of halons in bulk has been banned since January 1994 under provisions made in the Ozone Layer Protection Ordinance.

End

Duo jailed for exporting endangered species ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The public is today (Thursday) reminded that illegal trading in endangered species could end up in jail.

The reminder was issued by the Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) after two men were convicted and sentenced to jail terms ranging from four to five months by a Tsuen Wan magistrate for attempting to export ivory without licence.

An AFD spokesman said under the Animals and Plants (Protection of Endangered Species) Ordinance, any person found guilty of importing, exporting or in possession of a highly endangered species for commercial purpose without a licence is liable to a maximum fine of $5 million and two years' imprisonment.

The control covers a wide variety of endangered species, including ivory and ivory products.

The case came to light last month when Customs and Excise officers intercepted four men and seized 113 kilograms of raw ivory tusks and nine kilograms of worked ivory chops at the Kwai Chung Container Terminal.

A subsequent operation jointly conducted by Customs and AFD officers at a Pei Ho Street premises led to a seizure of another 170 kilograms of raw ivory tusks.

50

The case was heard in the Tsuen Wan Magistracy last Wednesday (September 25) when the two defendants, aged 40 and 44, pleaded guilty to charges of attempting to export ivory without licence. Each was sentenced to four months' imprisonment.

The 40-year-old offender was given an additional jail term of four weeks for possessing ivory without licence.

The spokesman believed the penalty would serve an effective deterrent to potential offenders.

He called on members of the public to comply with the restrictions on import, export and possession of ivory and ivory products, and other endangered species in general.

End

Equal opportunities promotion leaflet published *****

The Home Affairs Branch (HAB) has published a bilingual leaflet to promote better public understanding and acceptance of people of different sexual orientation.

A spokesman for HAB said the leaflet provides basic information about sexual orientation with a view to addressing misconception and misinformation.

It highlights the ideal of equal opportunities for persons of different sexual orientation, stating that: ’’All human beings are born equal with inherent rights that all should be free to enjoy.

"Every one shall have equal opportunities in every aspect of life irrespective of race, colour, sex, religion, sexual orientation, or any other status."

"It also reiterates the Government’s commitment to the principle of equal opportunities for all and its determination to eliminate all forms of discrimination," the spokesman said.

The main forms of sexual orientation - homosexuality, heterosexuality and bisexuality - are briefly outlined in the leaflet. So are common problems faced by sexual minorities, such as self-rejection and concealment of sexual orientation.

51

One part of the leaflet addresses common myths about homosexuals and bisexuals, distinguishing the facts from the fiction. These include misunderstandings about homosexuality/bisexuality and AIDS and the stereotyping of gays and lesbians

Free copies of the leaflet will be distributed to homosexual groups, secondary and tertiary education institutions, public libraries, employers' organisations and chambers of commerce.

They are also available at the Marketing Office of the Information Services Department, 17th floor, Siu On Centre, 176-192 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, and all district offices.

End

Soldiers host last Gurkha Fair

*****

Soldiers from 1st Battalion the Royal Gurkha Rifles (1 RGR) will host the last Gurkha Fair this weekend and hope to attract hundreds of visitors to their Headquarters at Malaya Lines, near Kam Tin, to help raise money for local and overseas charities.

The Fair, to be opened by the second runner-up in the 1996 Miss Hong Kong Beauty Pageant, Miss Chillie Poon, will take place on Saturday and Sunday (October 5 and 6) and open from 11 am to 9 pm.

Other units from the Garrison taking part include 29 Transport Squadron Logistic Support Regiment's lion dance and motorcycle display teams, which performed in front of the Royal Family at the Royal Tournament earlier this year, and the Defence Animal Support Unit's Army Dog Display Team.

Musical highlights will be provided by the Pipes and Drums of 1 RGR, the Salvation Army Band and the Royal Hong Kong Police Band. Children from the Gurkha Primary School will also perform traditional Nepali dancing.

The Fair will take place on the Polo Field at Malaya Lines, near Kam Tin, and money raised during the two-day event will be divided between the Gurkha Welfare Trust, the Army Benevolent Fund and the Disabled People's Home in Tuen Mun. Last year's Fair had raised over $156,000.

End

52

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

LmiUion Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,164 0930 - 4

Closing balance in the account 2,128 1000 - 4

Change attributable to: 1100 - 4

Money market activity -36 1200 - 4

LAF today NIL 1500 - 6

1600 -36

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.9 *+0.1* 3.10.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/MTRC

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.90 2 years 2808 6.00 100.05 6.06

1 month 4.99 3 years 3907 6.80 101.14 6.45

3 months 5.16 5 years 5109 7.32 101.54 7.06

6 months 5.27 7 years 7308 7.24 99.78 7.41

12 months 5.56 5 years M5O3 7.35 100.62 7.32

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $13,642 million

Closed October 3, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES GARDEN ROAD, 5th-8th FLOORS, MURRAY BUILDING, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Friday, October 4,1996

Content Page No,

Governor’s public meeting.................................................... 1

Hong Kong's future is our future: CS................................... 18

Confidence in resolving transitional immigration issues..................... 19

Need to monitor child-related legislation acknowledged...................... 23

Arbitration (Amendment) Bill gazetted....................................... 25

First HKMA overseas office open today in New York........................... 28

. f' . . . i ..

Language education and research committee appointed......................... 29

Trailers inspection period to be further shortened.......................... 32

Draft North-east Lantau Port Outline Zoning Plan approved................... 33

Wan Chai development scheme plan approved................................... 35

Construction works in Tuen Mun tenders invited.............................. 36

/Green light.....

Content

Page No.

Green light for Shun Tat Street improvement works......................... 37

Five companies selected as new rice stockholders.......................... 38

Medical Council examination results....................................... 39

Nominations to be invited for LAB Election................................ 39

CMB workers urged to exercise restraint................................... 40

. .j-L'

Courtesy campaign launched at immigration control points.................. 41

Two elected to education conduct council.................................. 41

British servicemen will not be used for football security................. 42

Chief Justice to attend CSD Beating Retreat............................... 43

New firing practice timetable for October................................. 43

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations...................... 44

1

Governor’s public meeting ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The following is a transcript of the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten's public meeting held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre today (Friday):

Governor: Good evening ladies and gentlemen. I think I am a bit of an anti-climax after that music - if you’re expecting Rocky to arrive. As long as it wasn't the theme tune for Mission Impossible.

As you know, after my policy address each year I have held public meetings and done phone-in programmes and so on, as well as answering questions in the Legislative Council, so that people in Hong Kong from every walk of life can have the opportunity of asking me questions about the government's programme, telling me where we are going wrong, telling me what more you'd like to do.

We have produced, this week, about as much information as you would find in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. We have produced not only my policy speech in the Legislative Council but also the progress report in which we try to set out how much we have done to achieve the agenda which I spelt out four years ago, and we set out some of our commitments for developing policy in the coming year.

Now we think in the government that it is not a bad record. We've cut crime, cut taxes, managed to keep our economy strong, expanded many of our welfare programmes, cut inflation, cut unemployment from the peak of last year. But we recognise and recognise very clearly, that you should never be complacent in government, that the only motto you should have is to try to do better, and that there are a lot of things which you think we should be doing more efficiently or we should be doing in greater numbers.

It is of course the case this year that I can't spell out the sort of agenda which the Chief Executive of the Special Administrative Region will set for himself or herself. It would be entirely wrong of me to try to do that but I do obviously have some views about what I hope will keep Hong Kong strong and successful in the coming years, and we might explore some of those during this evening's question and answer.

Now perhaps I can just mention one or two ground rules. Things go a bit faster these days with this simultaneous interpretation but nevertheless, we've got a limited time - we've got about an hour, an hour and a bit - and we want to try to get in as many questions as possible during that period. So the first thing I would like everybody to agree with me about is that questions should be short and people should ask questions rather than to make long statements about their views on the world. Now does everybody agree we have short questions? Yes? All right, I take that as enthusiastic endorsement.

2

So we have short questions and all you need to do when I’ve called you -1 will try to call two or three people at a time and if you come up to whichever is the nearest microphone - and you may have to wait while a couple of other people get in their questions - but if you come up, I will call you sort of one at a time, and I will try to take each question as it arises.

The one other thing I should say in advance is that we have got just about the best interpreters in Hong Kong trying to make sense of what I say, and I have to admit that apparently I am very difficult to translate, so they are doing an extremely good job and I think before they even do it we should give them a round of applause.

All right, now just over an hour and it is for you to ask the questions and for me to try to answer them. Now can I have a show of hands. Can we have one in the front row, can we have then the gentleman in the green striped shirt there.

Question (in Cantonese): Mr Governor, as a disabled person, I must express gratitude to you in particular, because in the past four years you have done a lot for the disabled in terms of transport facilities and employment. But also in this year’s policy address you have made special mention and you have urged the Chief Executive Designate in future to give equal opportunities to the disabled, so I would like to thank you in particular for that.

Now I have a simple suggestion to make. I hope in the coming year when we have the bauhinia or the peony flowers, I hope you will make special arrangements for the disabled to visit the Government House. I am not asking for a privilege, just that we do need special arrangements otherwise we won’t be able to enjoy those flowers at Government House. And I hope this arrangement would not be extended only to the disabled just like that, I just want people in Hong Kong to realise that when there are special arrangements for the disabled, other people would be convenienced as well.

So I hope next time when you open up Government House it won’t be just on Sundays; what about opening up on Fridays and Saturdays as well so that more people will be able to enjoy the flowers in Government House. Of course for the disabled, perhaps you could make arrangements for them to visit on Friday, and then on Saturday and Sunday more other people could visit Government House and this way we will be able to achieve equal opportunities for all.

3

Governor: First of all can I say something about your initial remarks about programmes for people with disabilities. We have started, but there is still a long way to go, as anybody with a disability knows. I think that it should be one of our aims in this community to give a lead in Asia for providing people with a disability with the best possible opportunities to live a full life and make a full contribution to the rest of the community. We have made legislative changes: the discrimination legislation. We have made practical proposals for improving the facilities for people with disabilities. We have - and I think it has been particularly important - we have, I think, managed to encourage the transport operators to improve facilities for the disabled. I think that in some respects we have had least success, though we have made some progress, in providing more employment opportunities for those people with a disability.

You find, interestingly, that one employer in a sector has a very good record and other employers have terrible records. The government has to do more as well, so there is plenty more for us to do and I very much hope that you will all go on lobbying as effectively and courteously and vigorously as you have over the last few years.

Now your specific proposal. We have tried to open up Government House for more people so that more people can come in and see it. It is used pretty well once a week now for outside charities. And we have - which have been very successful -regular performances by our outstanding Conservatoire in Hong Kong, the Academy of Performing Arts, who give public concerts which anybody can come to.

In addition, for many years, when the azaleas are at their best, when the garden is looking at its most beautiful, the garden has been opened for a day to members of the public. What we were proposing to do in 1997, as it is not quite like other years, is to open for a whole week-end so we can have two days for people to come in. But in view of your interesting proposal, I will see whether we can open for an extra afternoon or day so that people with a disability can have a chance of looking around without maybe the jostle and the queuing which would be involved otherwise.

There is just one difficulty with it: while we can provide ramps for stairs in the house, the main view, the best view of the azaleas, is on that long range of steps going all the way down, and I think we would find it difficult to provide wheelchair access all the way down, but we could certainly provide it at the bottom and at the top. So we will look at that and let you know and let the newspapers know when we are going to do it, and get in touch with all the voluntary organisations who would be interested.

4

Question (in Chinese): Mr Governor, now I very much hoped that on employees retraining programme you would add in new elements. That is progressive interest loan fund to replace some of the CSSA payments so that for the unemployed they would get actual support and relief?

Governor: I think that’s an extremely interesting proposal. A very interesting suggestion and of course one can think of welfare services systems, training systems elsewhere in the world which do precisely that. It’s sometimes a subject of controversy, but I think it’s a useful bridge to get people back into work.

Can I say this in addition. We have carried out a review of our overall training programmes and the VTC, as you may know, is responsible for training about 100,000 people every year, either part-time or full-time, and we’re looking as well at the work of the retraining board. We haven’t completed that review yet, but as soon as we have completed it we'll go out to consultation as we are doing with the review on the training council. And in the course of that review I’ll give you this undertaking that we'll look specifically at the proposal which you've put forward. Indeed if you'd like to leave your name with one of my colleagues in the Administration on the way out, we'll make sure that somebody talks to you in greater detail about your proposal so that in the review we can give it the attention which it deserves.

One other point. Training and retraining are a vital part of Hong Kong's future economic prospects. I think that increasingly a community's prosperity is going to be determined by the skill level and knowledge level in the country and we've got to move fast to make sure that we always improve and modernise our own training and retraining.

Question: Mr Patten, sir, I know that your mind must be focused on the next nine months in Hong Kong, but I would be very interested to ask you how your service in Hong Kong may have affected or influenced your own political outlook or your own philosophical outlook and what new ideas will you be taking back to UK with you in nine months' time?

Governor: Read my book! There was a crazy thing in a newspaper the other day which said that I was going to take six months leave from January 1997, in order to write a book. Well I might write a book one day, but it'll be after June 1997, rather than before.

To be serious and brief. There are three or four things which I will take away from Hong Kong with me which I think are extremely relevant to British and European politics.

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The first is that part of Hong Kong's vitality is that people in Hong Kong still believe in progress. They still believe that you can make things better by your own efforts, week by week, month by month, year by year. People in Hong Kong don't, to borrow a rather crude English word, don't whinge. Over the years people have had plenty that they could whinge about but they've actually got on with life and created this astonishing success story and I think the first lesson I take back is that in Europe and perhaps the same is true in parts of North America, we should whinge less and get on with things rather more.

Secondly, while I think that there is still plenty of scope in Hong Kong for us to develop our welfare programmes and there will be people in this audience who will have 101 ideas of what we could do in addition to what we're doing already. I think I will go back from Hong Kong with a very strong view that public spending should form a smaller proportion of a community's income and the taxes should be lower if you want to encourage greater economic growth and greater economic dynamism.

When I started to say things like that in speeches outside Hong Kong some people thought it was rather controversial. I notice that it seems to be becoming a rather conventional piece of wisdom these days.

Thirdly, I take from Hong Kong the very clear view that it’s possible to be an open community, it's possible to be an international-minded community while retaining a sense of identity and that's a point which perhaps has particular relevance to the debate in the United Kingdom about Britain's role in the European community.

So those will be three lessons, among others, that I'll take back with me. Oh, and there's one other and that is that there is a very close relationship in politics between principle and public administration.

Question (in Chinese): Mr Governor, now we are against changing public housing to HOS. We have a concerned group. We don't think public housing is a burden to tax payers, we have paid tax. Now you say 60 per cent of the people should own their own homes, so how do you arrive at the 60 per cent proportion? Do you want to make money by providing HOS? And also, for redeveloped public housing, now you make us move to older public housing because you want to redevelop public housing, so how are you looking after the interests of the lower sector?

Governor: In Hong Kong, at the moment, we put large numbers of resources into our public housing programmes, into housing as a whole and we have done for some years. But we still have housing problems. We have a situation in which, very often, you can find better-off people paying a lower proportion of their household income living in Housing Authority accommodation, while others are waiting five, six, seven years in less good, private rented accommodation, sometimes poorer, sometimes paying a higher proportion of their household income. And I think for everybody that raises substantial questions about whether we're running our housing programmes in the most effective and socially equitable way.

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We also have in Hong Kong, I think, a real problem because despite the fact that people have been getting better-off, despite the fact that people have been earning more, it’s still very difficult for some people who want to become home owners to afford the cost of home ownership.

Now those, I think, are the two biggest problems facing our housing administrators in the next few years. I am absolutely convinced that we need a good, substantial public rental housing programme in Hong Kong. I’m also convinced that that should provide as much as possible for those in need, for those who are elderly and need special accommodation, for other special groups and that we also need to give more help for people who want to own their own home.

Now at the moment we've got a housing programme which will provide about 140,000 public rental flats between now and the year 2001, over the next five years and a housing programme which will provide about 175,000 subsidised flats for ownership over the same period. That is, for a community this size, a pretty big programme, but it’s still clearly not enough to meet the demands which I've already mentioned.

If I can say a word about the specific problem you mentioned, that is some housing blocks being redeveloped and moving from public rental to HOS. In those cases we are trying to ensure that those whose flats are being redeveloped are given new accommodation in, broadly speaking, the same district. We do have a huge programme of redevelopment of older property. I think I’m right in saying there are over 200 older blocks which are being redeveloped at the moment at considerable expense. I think we want to keep that programme going forward and we have to take account in that programme, not only of the needs of people who want to rent but of the needs of people who want to buy.

Finally, we’re about to complete our long-term housing strategy review, which will be published in the next few weeks and what that will provide is the focus for a real debate in the community about where this community wants the housing priorities to be in the next few years. Every housing group will have a chance of contributing to that debate, every non-governmental organisation, as well as everyone else who's involved in housing in any way. So I hope you'll contribute, your group will contribute the sort of arguments that you've been putting this evening. Nothing's more important for a family's well-being, nothing's more important for a community's stability than good housing, so it's vitally important that we get the results of the housing strategy review right and I'm sure that my successor will be dealing with the consequences of that review over the next five or ten years.

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Question: Mr Patten, let me first of all express my gratitude and appreciation to you, Mrs Patten and other members of the Patten family for representing Hong Kong with civility, dignity and good humour, Now after the compliments, criticism.

Okay, the question I am about to put to you concerns consumer protection which I think is woefully inadequate in Hong Kong. In your recent visits to Hong Kong areas have you noticed something very strange, very curious, going on? Do you notice these box-like protruding window-frames on the new housing developments? Do you know why they are there? They are there because the protruding area, the window-sills, now count as so-called living-areas, so that often when you buy into a flat you get less than 70 per cent of living-space, of useable space. Hong Kong consumers are asked to pay for this kind of what I consider rapacious commercial greed. I think Prince Charles would have something to say about the architecture too. It is stylistically uniform and uniformly ugly.

So in the next nine months of your governance please do something about it. You know the ridiculous situation is some of the old buildings have been recalculated to now become larger areas, principally because we do not have a net area in Hong Kong, we all use gross areas and this has made home-ownership so much more difficulty that you were talking about. It is now beyond the reach of most consumers in Hong Kong and I wish you would do something about it and please do not go gently into the good night.

Governor: Thank you. There is a group of elderly citizens just leaving. If they would like to leave behind - I might have accepted a petition already - but if they have got a petition or letter that they would like to leave behind for me, perhaps one of the stewards could collect it.

Well, it shows what a contentious issue housing is. I have certainly noticed the phenomenon you described. I have certainly noticed when I visited housing blocks myself the tendency nowadays to bring what used to be the terrace, the balcony, into the flat area. And I will ensure that your views on design are conveyed both to those who are undertaking the housing strategy review and to the Housing Authority as well. It is obviously a feature which affects both home ownership schemes and the Housing Authority public rental flats as well.

You are right about the importance of good housing design to quality of life. And you are right too about the importance of design in our housing strategy. I hope we can get things better. And Prince Charles does have views on the subject.

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Question: Mr Governor, 1 have two questions for you. First of all about the general waiting-list. Now in your policy address a few years ago you said you would reduce the waiting time so that before 1997 those who are on the waiting-list could be offered public housing but in this year's policy address you have lengthened the waiting time again. So for HOS and for those on the general waiting-list could you work in tandem on both projects and speed them both up, because we are from the lower strata of the community, we do have difficulties with housing. So is it possible that we apply for both PRH and HOS at the same time; could that policy be made?

And also, for new immigrants - my second question - many of them are here and they bring their children with them. Now if they go to school, like kindergarten or primary, they have no difficulties but for those aged 13, 14 or 16, now they are unable to come to Hong Kong to be reunited with their parents because of schooling problems. So can I suggest that perhaps you work with the Chinese side. Now the parents are in Hong Kong now and then they have children aged 13 or 14 in China without anybody to look after them. So, Mr Governor, could you do something for the new immigrants because this is the major concern of the new immigrants, they are concerned that their children are left in China with no one to look after them? So, Mr Governor, could you pay attention to that problem please?

Governor: On the first question, our objective in the housing strategy so far has been to reduce the waiting-list from seven years to five years. It is still, in all conscience -1 was just saying that we have been trying to reduce the waiting-list from seven to five years. I think we have got to about six-and-a-half. The objective is to get down to five by the end of the present planning period in 2001 but it is still a considerable time and it is why 1 said that we needed to look at some of our housing priorities because we are plainly not doing as well as we would like.

In some individual sectors we have managed to do better than that I think. We have been developing our programmes for rehousing the single-elderly. We made a commitment in 1993 that every single-elderly person on the housing waiting-list would be rehoused by 1997. There were 4,000 of them on the waiting-list when we made that commitment and we have so far rehoused about 3,500 so we have moved individual groups rather more rapidly than perhaps for the community as a whole. But we must obviously give the issue the priority which you say it deserves.

Secondly, new immigrants from China. Under the Basic Law there are of course many people at present living in China who will have the right of abode here in Hong Kong and rather than land the SAR Government with a substantial immigration problem in 1997 with a large number of people suddenly coming into Hong Kong, what we have tried to do is to increase the numbers over the last couple of years so there won't be a sudden influx in 1997. We have increased the number allowed in each day to 150 which means that about 55,000 are coming in every year. It does produce additional problems for the Housing Department, for the Education Department and so on, but nevertheless I think that the problems would be much more severe if we would just have let them pile up in 1997.

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What we have been doing with all new immigrants from China is first of all giving them a booklet which explains to them how to try to get things done in Hong Kong: how you get your children educated, how you set about applying for the waiting-list for housing and how you go to the doctor if you are feeling ill. It gives them all that sort of practical information and that we try to give to people as soon as they arrive.

We have also been providing remedial help in schools for those for example with language difficulties who don't have good Cantonese or English, so that we can make it easier for them to integrate into our schooling system. And we are providing extra resources elsewhere for education because it is obviously one of the bigger problems.

I very much hope that by developing our programmes in that way we can give new immigrants from China the opportunity of contributing as fully and constructively to our community as previous immigrants from China have done. We must learn from some of the mistakes that perhaps we learnt in the past but we will certainly be developing our programmes as I have described and hope that we can deal with all those who have got the right to come and live in Hong Kong as rapidly as possible, without of course allowing people to jump queues in a way which would be regarded as unfair by people who have been waiting for a social service in Hong Kong for some time.

Question (in Chinese): (on estate management and election)

Governor: Well, as you've had all those previous opportunities, perhaps we could stop there, all right. Because you've asked quite a long question.

Question (in Chinese): I still have a few more things to say. Because about the Diaoyu Islands dispute.

Governor: One more, but we have an agreement that we we'd all have short questions.

Question (in Chinese): Yes, it would be the final question. Now Diaoyu Tai is actually the state guest house for China, I think this is a shame. For those who stay at the Diaoyu Tai guest house I think that they should feel that they are in occupied territory, they should feel that they have been living in occupied territory, that they have been raped by Japan. Now finally I would like to pay tribute to Mr David Chan, I would also wish you good health and thank you God.

Governor: Well, you seem to get quite a lot in that question and I hope that none of it was libellous.

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First of all, the point you made about estate management, I'd like to look into that in some detail. There are, of course, owners rights in relation to estate management companies and you talked in particular about the problem of caretakers and security. I must say that we legislated a couple of years ago on caretakers, on age for example, because there were so many concerns being expressed to us about some inadequate caretakers. I'm sure most caretakers do an absolutely splendid job but there were some complaints about inadequacies in the system and there was quite a lot of pressure, not least in the Legislative Council, for us to legislate on the subject. But I'll look at your overall question about the relationship between the owners and an estate and the estate management company.

Incidentally, in the Housing Authority they're taking some quite radical measures to try to improve estate management and they will shortly be issuing a charter which will set out for tenants both what their rights are and in addition, what their obligations are, because I think a good and well managed estate needs people to recognise their obligations as well as their rights.

Secondly, you asked me whether there would be meetings like this in the future. I don't know whether there will be meetings exactly like this. Perhaps it's a question which members of the selection committee will, in due course, put to those who are candidates for the job of Chief Executive designate. I don't know, but what I do know is this sort of public interest in the way Hong Kong is governed, the way your money is spent, the way priorities are set in public programmes for you, this sort of interest isn't going to go away. It's part of the maturing of Hong Kong, as a caring, compassionate, responsible society and so I'm sure that at some stage in the future they'll be meetings like this.

Thirdly, you mentioned the Diaoyu Islands and the dispute. I'm sure everybody in this meeting this evening would want to offer our condolences to Mr Chan's family on his tragic death. I think his funeral is taking place this weekend.

I would just like to add one point. I know how ver}' strongly many people feel about this particular issue and I know that there are some who feel very strongly about it who are intending to set off by boat this weekend for the islands. I do hope that they will take the very greatest care. I do hope that they will do everything possible not to put themselves or others in any physical danger, however strongly they feel about the issue in question.

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And can I add one point, which I think is an indication of the responsibility and decency of this community. I know people feel strongly about the issue but with the exception of two incidents, which I think have been widely deplored by the media in Hong Kong and by the community as a whole, I think people have distinguished between their views on this dispute and their views on the contribution which the Japanese community makes to Hong Kong and which individual Japanese tourists and business people and so on make in Hong Kong. I don’t think anybody in Hong Kong has an argument with individual Japanese members of our community or individual Japanese visitors. And I was pleased that there were some people handing out leaflets to Japanese tourists at the airport and making that point very explicitly. This is a decent and open society and we want it to stay that way.

Question (in Chinese): Mr Governor, thank you. I came from a THA. In the 1993 Policy Address you announced that by the end of 1996, there would be the completion of clearance of pre-1984 THA. 1 would like to thank you for that. So far there are four left to be dealt with.

So I have two questions. Firstly, Mr Governor, are you aware that there are still four THA’s pending clearance? Do you know how many eligible tenants are living there?

And secondly, Mr Governor, I'd like to know whether you have directed your staff that in order to live up to your pledge something be done? Now the Housing Department has not yet made property settlement for these people and before they did that they actually terminated the tenancy unilaterally. They instructed the residents and tenants to live on their own or they would mobilise the police to evict them. I'm talking about residents from these four THA’s, so that they could like up to the pledge you've made. I've got with me letter issued to THA tenants, issued by your subordinates of the Housing Department. Now this is the termination of tenancy notice and threatening letters that I've received. So Mr Governor, 1 hope you would be made aware of this problem.

Governor: Right. Can I answer the question about THA's. I made two commitments in 1992 and 1993, on temporary housing areas and 1 would like to have gone further. The two commitments I made was that first of all we would give everyone in 1993, who was living in a temporary housing area an offer of accommodation elsewhere in permanent housing before 1997, and secondly we said that we would get rid of. demolish, all the older temporary housing areas, the ones built before 1984, by 1996/97. On the first point, making people at least one offer of re-housing, we've offered 1 think about 85 per cent of the 61/62,000 people who were in temporary housing areas at that time, we've made about 85 per cent an offer of re-housing and we will hope to complete the job by the end of 1997. We can’t, of course, force people to take the offers that are made, but equally we can’t make an indefinite number of offers. I've been to one or two THA's where sometimes people have turned down five, six, seven, eight offers of re-housing and that does make it more difficult to clear the THA as rapidly as we would like.

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Secondly, I am aware of the fact that there are four THA’s left. Four of the older ones. It’s still our intention to clear them all by the end of 1996/97. It’s an important issue this. Previously the clearance programme of THA’s didn’t take any account of the age of the temporary housing area. What happened was that we cleared according to the Housing Authority’s development needs. I thought that was wrong because obviously the older THA’s provided much less reasonable accommodation. So we have been clearing all the older ones and the whole 14 will have gone by 1996/97. By the end of 1997, whereas there were 55 temporary housing areas in 1992, there will be just 12 left. I wish, and this is the point I started with, I wish that we could get rid of all of the temporary housing areas. Unfortunately, because we’ve got, as I mentioned earlier, still a large number of immigrants coming into Hong Kong, that hasn’t been possible but I very much hope that the SAR Government will be able to complete the job by about the year 2000.

Question (in Chinese): I would like to thank you for allowing me to express my views for all these years. Now of course my views are in the interests of Hong Kong people. Mr Patten, I hope in the coming 200 odd days you will pay attention to the problem of unemployment in Hong Kong because of imported workers, a lot of people are now unemployed. Now the present Government’s policy is that when anything happens you should always look after the local people first before you look after others. It’s like if you win the Mark Six ticket, of course you will first of all take care of your own children before you look after your relatives. Now we have a high unemployment rate in Hong Kong. People are unemployed here but they can't turn to crime, they can’t have unemployment relief, assistance. So I think the Government should not just look after the interests of employers. Employers have all the money they wish, they could pay more to get local workers. They shouldn’t mind paying that much. Now just because they want to save money, so they are using cheap labour, that’s why they’re importing labour and at the end of the day Hong Kong people suffer because they are unemployed. Even if they do not turn to crime they will still add to the burden of tax payers. Hong Kong people do like to work. They attach much importance to their work. So in the next 200 odd days before you leave Mr Governor, I hope you’ll pay attention to the workers in Hong Kong. You must work for the welfare of workers here. So that’s why I'm speaking in the interests of Hong Kong people. What I said, I hope is in the interest of Hong Kong people. I wonder if you think I'm right or not?

Governor: I think they do! In the last nine or ten months we’ve fortunately seen unemployment, which had peaked, I think, at 3.6 per cent last November, come down to about 2.8 per cent. So unemployment has been coming down and by international standards is pretty low. Indeed by European or North American standards is very low. But that's not very much comfort if you're actually unemployed. For anyone who's unemployed the figure is 100 per cent and we need to help everybody who’s unemployed back into a job as rapidly as possible.

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We have, you OK? OK, I've just been saying that unemployment has been coming down from last year but if you're unemployed it’s still not much comfort

We’ve been trying to help in a number of ways. First of all, we’ve been trying to develop the programmes and the services provided by our employment department. The local employment services provided by the department have found about 12,000 jobs for people in the first six months of this year, matching people to vacancies and we’ve got a particular programme run by the local employment services called the Job Matching Programme which people apply to join and about 80 per cent of those who are registered with the Job Matching Programme, that’s 80 per cent of the 4,000, found jobs in the first six months of the year. So we are, I think, developing more sensitive • and more effective ways of getting people back to work because while there are 90,000 people unemployed in Hong Kong, there are probably 50 or 60,000 registered vacancies. So one wants to try to get the people into the vacancies as rapidly as possible.

We’re also, as I mentioned earlier, reviewing our whole training and retraining effort, so that we can try to give people who may’ve lost one job because of industrial or technological change, for example in the textile industry or in printing, to develop a skill which they can use elsewhere.

And finally, we've tried to find a consensus between employers and labour as far as job importation is concerned. We've introduced a new supplementary labour scheme which is administered in effect by both employers and unions and I think whilst there have been some teething problems with it, and while there are some employers who think that we shouldn't have any restrictions, I think it's a scheme which by and large commands a broad measure of consent among employers representatives and union representatives.

So I hope in those sort of ways we've helped deal with the problem but overall the best way in which Hong Kong can produce more jobs, and we produce on average about 2.5 per cent more jobs every year, the best way we can do that is making sure that our economy remains as competitive as possible.

Question: Mr Governor, I represent a group of squatter residents. Now before March '96 - or rather you pledged in '92 that by March '96 all squatter-huts on Crown Land would be cleared. But now we are at the end of '96 - now we live in Diamond Hill, there are some 6,000 of us - still we have heard nothing, no news at all. In this policy address you said that by the end of March there were already arrangements but we have not heard any news about the clearance at all. Now we have been living in those huts for some three decades; they are dilapidated but none of us dare to refurbish them because of the pending clearance. So I hope you will live up to your pledge, I hope that you will be able to complete this task before you leave Hong Kong.

Governor: Well, as I think you know, I have visited Diamond Hill —

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Question: Diamond Hill and Tai Ham Village.

Governor: Yes, I have visited there so I know the area that you are describing. I am just reminding myself that I think that we pledged, in 1992, to offer rehousing to all urban squatters who were on government land by March 1996. We have offered, I think, about 33,000 squatters rehousing but I will look at the particular issue that you raised as far as Diamond Hill is concerned. If you would like, I will come and have a look and meet you there. But I will certainly have a look at it myself with my Housing Department and see what the problem is.

Question: I would like to thank you for giving me this chance to speak. I have three simple questions for you. Now very often people make an analogy to say that the . Motherland is our biological mother and then Britain is our adopted mother. And many of us in fact are very afraid that when our biological mother abuses us, then we turn to the adopted mother to stay a while, of course you won’t welcome us, you won't welcome us to stay for a long time in any case. But when the biological mother beats the son, we just want to go over to your place for a visit just to let things calm down. Would you then accept us? Because if they just want to stay away a few days, let things calm down and then it will be all right. But if you don't even live up to the obligation, then in 50 years time you say you will have obligations for Hong Kong but if you can't even do that then you are not actually living up to that obligation.

The second question: Hong Kong is a clean community now, we have integrity, and I am worried that in future there could be corruption. So for the 1CAC, is it possible that you give them more powers? Or what about for the independence of the judiciary, could that be enhanced as well? That will protect those in the lower strata as well as the businessmen. Because we don't want to see corruption; that is a major trauma for society. A place could become corrupt and it wouldn't be desirable.

So. Mr Governor, finally I would like to thank you for being so democratic in Hong Kong, for showing us what democracy is. I wouldn't know in the past that I could actually speak to someone so high up face to face like this. We never had anything like a question-time before. I hope after 1997 we will still have that. And also, Mr Governor, you went on to a radio phone-in programme and it shows that you are very approachable and you care about us, and we really thank you for that. Now in the past I could only look up to see the nostril of senior officials but now when you come here we could actually talk to you, we could shake hands with you, so we really appreciate that.

So, Mr Governor, in things like performance pledges you also make us feel very good because I think now civil servants are much more courteous and more efficient as well, especially for the Transport Department in Queensway, their efficiency has been much enhanced. I really like to thank you and them.

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And finally, last question. Mr Governor, now you have started a democratic trend in Hong Kong. Of course you would like to know whether we could eventually have universal suffrage in Hong Kong and if that is the case, would you come to Hong Kong and help in the election and help canvassing for instance? Or if you go back to Britain and join the election for the Prime Ministership I promise, as I said, I would help you in that campaign.

Governor: Thank you very much indeed. First of all your analogy. I am sure that senior Chinese leaders wish to win the hearts and minds of people in Hong Kong as well as just accomplish the handover of sovereignty in 1997. They could not, in my judgment, have any other objective. 1997 is an immensely important and patriotic moment in Chinese history. I understand that for many people they see it inevitably as a wiping clean of the slate on which some of the things done by the European imperial powers in China in the 19th century is written. So it is an important time for Chinese leaders and I am sure that they will want to manage Hong Kong so successfully, or rather to allow Hong Kong to manage itself so successfully, that people will regard the handover in 1997 as the beginning of an even more successful and happy chapter in Hong Kong's story. That is my sincere hope.

I know that many people believe that Britain should have provided everyone in Hong Kong with a full British passport which would have enabled them to have the right of abode in the UK if things didn't go as well as they would have liked. I have myself argued that case in Britain and in Hong Kong, and Lord Wilson before me argued that case. We have been criticised in Britain and we have been criticised by Chinese officials for doing so. We have, I think, managed - and it was particularly to the credit of Lord Wilson that he managed this - to provide more passports for people from Hong Kong and we have got the British Government, recently, to behave, I think, sensibly and honourably over questions like visa-free access for people from Hong Kong. I am sorry that we haven't accomplished more but I very much hope that the fact that we haven't accomplished more won't ever be a cause for greater condemnation because I hope that things will go well here in Hong Kong.

Secondly, of course we have to continue to give the fight against corruption a very high priority. I think the whole community supports the ICAC who do an excellent job. I guess it is the only anti-corruption body in the world which is the subject of a popular television programme. They do an outstanding job. They have shown great integrity over the years. And all of us know - all of us know - that the moment we lower our guard, the moment we start on that slippery slope to cronyism and corruption again, Hong Kong's success story will start to have big question-marks raised against it.

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Thirdly I would like to pay a tribute to the changes which the civil service has carried through in the last few years. I think we have become a more open and accountable government. I think that we have now, as a result, got an even better civil service. We’ve got the performance pledges, the customer liaison groups, we’ve got a strengthened Commissioner of Administration and so on. I think all those changes have meant that Hong Kong has an excellent public service which is serving the community as well as the community deserves.

It is important to remember that you pay for government, you pay for the civil service, so we have got the responsibility of making sure that we deliver a decent quality of service for your money.

It is a great privilege for anybody to be able to work in the civil service for their community. We have got marvellous people working in public service which is now, as you know - while it has quite a few expatriates in it - it is now, as you know, at the top levels almost entirely local. I only have one colleague who is not a local Hong Konger, so it is a Chinese administration running a Chinese city and doing it, I think, extremely well.

And lastly, it is of course possible under the Basic Law to move to a position where there is, for example, election of all 60 seats directly in the Legislative Council. That is a matter which is going to be determined by the people of Hong Kong in 2007 and the years after that. I very much hope that I see the day when that happens and I will count it greatly to the credit of China and to the credit of people in Hong Kong who have fought bravely for Hong Kong and argued bravely for Hong Kong when it does happen.

I was thinking when I came into the hall tonight that this was probably the last public meeting that I would hold in Hong Kong and conceivably the last public meeting that I would have anywhere. But in view of your comments, I will have to think about the subject again because if I ever hold any public meetings in the UK I’d of course very much like you on the team.

Question (in Chinese): You said in you policy address that all the THAs would be cleared by 1997, but you have gone back on your pledge. So are you deceiving the public of Hong Kong? You say you have to retain the THAs so that there would be housing for new immigrants but I would say new immigrants actually are not eligible for THAs. They actually live in squatter-huts but then squatter-huts would be cleared as well. So you said you want to keep the THAs for new immigrants. I think you are just trying to use that as an excuse because there is delay in the clearance programme of THAs. So, I would like to take this opportunity to ask you, Mr Governor, about this problem.

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And also, now on Employees Retraining Programme. I have joined that for over a year and during that time 1 have also approached the Labour Department for assistance but then I have not been successful. I hope there could be assistance.

Governor: If you leave one of my officials your name and address, we will get in touch with the Employment Department and see whether we can provide more service to you, see if we can help you in any way get into employment. We are pretty successful at getting people who have been through the Employees Retraining Board into jobs but we will in your case - Perhaps somebody sitting next to you could just tell you afterwards what 1 have said.

Secondly on THAs -1 don’t want to go all through the answer that I gave earlier - we didn’t actually promise in 1992-93 to get rid of all THAs, though I would have like to have done so. The two promises that we made then, we have kept: on offers of rehousing and on getting rid of the older THAs. And we will, by the end of 1997, have got rid of 43 out of 55. I very much hope that we can get rid of the others as quickly as possible. And I can promise you there is a problem with recent immigrants. The last THA 1 went to I met three families who were recent immigrant families and I think you will find, if you go round a lot of THAs yourself, that there are quite a lot of people there who are recent immigrants.

We do of course have plans to improve the quality of the remaining THAs and we are trying to provide temporary accommodation in some of our older rental blocks, giving them a bit of refurbishment and using them for those who are in interim housing. I hope that will mean that there is a bit of an improvement in the quality of interim housing which I wholly accept does not provide a long term decent solution for the families who live in those areas.

Now last, and you will have to be very brief, otherwise I will have to go - my supper is getting cold.

Question (in Chinese): Thank you, Mr Governor, for allowing me to speak for just five minutes.

Governor: No, no, no, not five minutes. It is one brief question, not five minutes. One brief question, otherwise I will just have to go.

Question (in Chinese): (personal comments on the Governor)

Governor: Okay.

End

18

Hong Kong's future is our future: CS *****

The civil service has both the commitment and the resolve to make a success of Hong Kong’s future, the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, said at a business luncheon today (Friday).

"I think it is clear to all of us in the civil service that the preservation of our way of life, the maintenance of Hong Kong’s promised autonomy and securing our future success is very much a matter for us, the people of Hong Kong,” she said.

"For us, Hong Kong is our home, and Hong Kong’s future is our future."

She said the civil service had demonstrated its professionalism and commitment in four important ways:

First, referring to the Progress Report published on September 30, Mrs Chan said she was proud to lead a civil service whose very high standards of professionalism and dedication had achieved a 93 per cent success rate in implementing the outstanding policy commitments.

Second, Mrs Chan said the announcement last Wednesday (October 2) of 410 new policy commitments, the highest ever, would help to improve the quality of life for the whole community.

Third, Mrs Chan said Britain, Hong Kong and China had concluded 660 agreements since 1984 and that these agreements, many of them detailed and technical, were a solid foundation for a successful transition.

Fourth, Mrs Chan described the preparations underway in the civil service to assist the Chief Executive (Designate). She said the Government was intended to provide effective and comprehensive assistance to the Chief Executive (Designate) from day one.

Mrs Chan emphasised that the civil service was still raising its standards and improving its services.

"I believe this is why the community continues to appreciate the professionalism and commitment of the Civil Service," said Mrs Chan.

End

19

Confidence in resolving transitional immigration issues *****

The following press release is embargoed until 2000 hours today (Friday). The full text of the Secretary for Security's speech, which will be faxed later, is also embargoed until that time.

The Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, today (Friday) expressed confidence in resolving the transitional immigration issues now under discussion with the Chinese side.

p

Discussions are continuing to clarify details concerning right of abode in the HKSAR (Hong Kong Special Administrative Region), on the production and issue of the SAR passport and on how to take forward negotiations with third countries on visa-free access for SAR passport holders.

"I hope we will be able to reach agreement rapidly, so that we can then embark on the exercise to set out all the detailed arrangements in clear and legal terms, to give confidence to those whose position are affected," he said.

Addressing a meeting jointly hosted by five Lions Clubs in Zone VI of District 303 Lions Club International Hong Kong and Macau, Mr Lai spoke on the policy areas of the Security Branch which are of particular concern to the community.

Noting that there are a lot of misunderstandings and concerns about the very complicated issue of right of abode, Mr Lai said that discussions were continuing with the Chinese side to clarify various details.

While the general principles on right of abode in the HKSAR are set out in Article 24 of the Basic Law, he said that in addition, the Chinese side had set out their official thinking in more detail in published documents, namely the Resolution passed by the NPC Standing Committee on the application of the Chinese Nationality Law in the HKSAR (May 15, 1996) and the "Views on the applications of Article 24 of the Basic Law in the HKSAR" adopted by the Preparatory Committee (August 10, 1996).

Mr Lai said that for the bulk of Hong Kong's population (including BN(O) passport holders), who did not have a second nationality, their position was secure since, by agreement with China, they had been accorded a right of abode in Hong Kong by an amendment to the Immigration Ordinance in 1986/87, and they could continue to enjoy this right thereafter.

20

For the small number, mainly the "ethnic minorities", who have no right of abode anywhere else in the world, Mr Lai said that their position was again secured by virtue of Article 24(2)(6) of the Basic Law.

The area where uncertainty still lies is in respect of the about half a million "non-Chinese nationals" who have a right of abode somewhere else. They include the so-called "returning emigrants", as well as the "genuine expatriates" who are long-established residents of Hong Kong.

Mr Lai said that the reason why the position of this category of people was uncertain was because their qualification for right of abode, as defined in the Basic Law, involved a combination of nationality and residence criteria.

"The residential criterion is governed, under Article 24(2)(4) of the Basic Law, by two factors: whether you have ordinarily resided in Hong Kong continuously for seven years; and whether, in the words of the Basic Law, you have taken Hong Kong as your place of permanent residence," he said.

While how to fulfil the first qualification is now reasonably clear, Mr Lai noted that the second qualification had attracted a great deal of confusion and concern and that even now there was some uncertainty as to how in practice this qualification would be applied.

"How these criteria will be applied is under discussion with the Chinese side. Our aim is to ensure that those who qualify for a right of abode can get it in as simple and easily understandable a manner as possible. I hope we will be able to clarify this soon," he said.

'fuming to the SAR passport, Mr Lai said that discussions were continuing with the Chinese side over the detailed implementation of the agreement reached earlier this year on the production and issue of the SAR passport.

Under the agreement, the SAR passport will be issued only to permanent Hong Kong residents who are Chinese nationals and the Immigration Department of Hong Kong will have sole responsibility to approve the issue of the passport.

"The SAR passport is of a highly secure design and will be produced under strict control conditions in Hong Kong. After the new SAR passport specimen was introduced to third countries earlier this year, and the strict control procedures explained to them, no country is known to reject the SAR passport as an internationally accepted travel document.

21

"We are confident that we will be able to issue the new SAR passport in July 1997,” he said.

In the meantime, Britain, Singapore and Western Samoa have announced publicly that SAR passport holders would enjoy the same visa-free access arrangements as BN(O) passport holders while Canada has agreed to give visa-free access to SAR passport holders in principle.

USA, Australia and New Zealand are inclined to treat the SAR passport no less favourably than the BN(O) passport. Japan has also said that it would treat the SAR passport differently from Chinese passports. No country has so far said that they would give less favourable treatment for the SAR passport than the BN(O) passport.

On the law and order situation, the Secretary pointed out that Hong Kong remained one of the safest metropolitan areas of the world, with a crime rate broadly comparable over the years to that of Singapore, and considerably lower than that in London, New York, or Tokyo.

The crime rate is also declining. During the first eight months of this year, as compared to the same period last year, Hong Kong's overall crime rate dropped by 13.7 per cent, the total number of reported crimes decreased by 11.5 per cent, and the total number of violent crimes dropped by 11.6 per cent.

On crimes committed by illegal immigrants (Ils), the situation was not as serious as some sensational reports resulting from a number of high profile cases would have it, he added.

"Indeed, in the first six months of this year, when compared to the same period last year, the number of Ils involved in robbery decreased by 8.4 per cent, those involved in burglary decreased by 13.5 per cent, and those involved in possession of offensive weapons decreased by 11.5 per cent.

"Also, the number of Ils involved in all crimes decreased from 2,519 in 1993 to 2,213 in 1995. In the first six months of 1996, the number of Ils arrested for crimes was 748, a decrease of 37 per cent when compared to the same period in 1995."

To deal with II criminals, Mr Lai said that Police had stepped up patrols in likely hiding places, and had set up a Mapping Team to comb the hillsides for II hideouts in country parks and remote areas.

The Secretary outlined a series of pro-active actions taken by the Government over the last few years in combating crime. These include :

22

An increase in Police front-line operational strength. For example, 1,550 additional policemen were put into front-line duties since 1994/95 and this trend is expected to continue ;

* The strengthening of Police crime-fighting units, by (a) reorganising the then Organised Crime and Triad Group into an Organised Crime and Triad Bureau, and a separate Criminal Intelligence Bureau ; (b) strengthening the Narcotics Bureau for better intelligence ; and (c) strengthening Regional and District Anti-Triad Units to carry out more anti-triads operations ;

The modernisation of Police equipment to make them more efficient, including improvements to computer systems and communications equipment, better fire-arms and bullet-proof vests, and a new generation of Marine Police fleet;

Legislative and administrative improvements, including the enactment of the Organised and Serious Crimes Ordinance, establishment of a witness protection programme, introduction of new legislations on change of identity of high-risk witnesses and tighter control of arms and ammunitions ; and

Improved co-operation and liaison with Chinese public security organs to deal with cross-border criminal activities.

Mr Lai added that in parallel with continuing efforts to improve the capability of the Police Force, the authorities were also embarking on a strategy to maintain the confidence and trust of the community in the Force.

"We aim to do so by strengthening the role of the Independent Police Complaints Council in monitoring and reviewing investigations into complaints against the Police, and improving the transparency and capability of Police investigations into such complaints.

"We are also fostering a service culture in the Police Force and developing a Force Anti-corruption Strategy aimed at ensuring a clean and corruption-free Police Force," he said.

On the VM issue, Mr Lai pointed out that over 9,000 VMs had been repatriated to Vietnam so far this year, as compared to 2.600 in the whole of last year. As of today, there are about 12,000 VMs in Hong Kong while the authorities are returning them to Vietnam at the rate of between 1,300 to 1,400 a month.

23

'’From October onwards, we will progressively step up the pace of the Orderly Repatriation Programme, from the current rate of 600 to 700 per month to about 1,000 per month.

"We hope that there would be a corresponding increase in the rate of voluntary repatriation. If we are able to maintain this momentum, we should be able to clear the camps by July 1, 1997," he said.

However, difficulties still lie ahead, Mr Lai said. "We will continue to need the co-operation of the Vietnamese Government in clearing the 4,000 VMs not yet cleared for return to Vietnam, and to crack down on illegal new arrivals.

"The United Kingdom Government are, once again, assisting us to negotiate with the Vietnamese Government for ways to speed up clearances.

"We still need the UNHCR to continue their assistance programmes for Vietnamese in Hong Kong, including playing a full part in the Voluntary Repatriation Programme.

"We still need the understanding of the local community, to enable us to complete this humanitarian undertaking. We will need the assistance of the international community, in resettling the 1,300 screened-in refugees who are still in Hong Kong," he said.

"These represent our immediate challenge, and one which the Government are determined to face up to with vigour," he added.

End

Need to monitor child-related legislation acknowledged *****

The Government has acknowledged the need to continue to monitor and improve child-related legislation and services but is of the view that the current framework serves Hong Kong well. Crown Solicitor, Mr Ian Wingfield, told the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva.

Mr Wingfield, leader of the Hong Kong Government team forming part of the British delegation, was responding a suggestion by a member of the Committee that an independent monitoring body should be set up to oversee the implementation of child policies.

24

The Committee, in a two-day hearing ended on Thursday (October 3, Geneva time) has examined Hong Kong's initial report submitted under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

In reply to a question on human rights education, Mr Wingfield said topics on this issue had been incorporated into the school curriculum for students at both the secondary and primary level in Hong Kong.

He said topics relating to human rights were carried in such humanities subjects as social studies and economics and public affairs.

Also on education, a Committee member has expressed interest in how teachers could prepare themselves and the students for the changeover of sovereignty in 1997.

Mr Wingfield said to prepare teachers for the changes, the Education Department had been working with teacher education institutions and educational bodies in promoting the Basic Law in schools and the study of contemporary China in subjects like history, Chinese history and geography.

"At the same time, the department also organises education programmes for serving teachers to promote their knowledge of China through the teaching of relevant themes and topics in the primary and secondary curriculum," he said.

As to a question on education for disabled children and their access to school facilities, Mr Wingfield said the policy was for children with a disability to study in ordinary schools as far as possible and that with the enactment of the Disability Discrimination Ordinance, the right of people with a disability to have proper access to building was protected.

Some members have expressed concern over the problem of child abuse in I long Kong.

Responding, Mr Wingfield said the Public Education Sub-committee on Child Abuse, comprising social work and education professionals, had launched a major publicity campaign to encourage early reporting of child abuse cases in 1995 and another one focusing on prevention of child sexual abuse in 1996.

As to a suggestion about a comprehensive review of legislation concerning the rights of the child, he said Legislation had been reviewed before the Convention was extended to Hong Kong, which resulted in the enactment of the Parent and Child Ordinance but that the process of review was a continuous one.

The issue of adolescent suicide was also raised by members.

25

In response, Mr Wingfield said both the Government and subvented nongovernmental organisations were providing counselling for adolescents in the form of a hot line service, school social work, out-reaching social work, and children and youth centres.

Committee members have asked a variety of questions relating to all sections of the initial report. The topics included breast-feeding, schooling and other services for Vietnamese children and illegal immigrant children.

At the end of the session, the Committee’s chairperson, Mrs Akila Belembaogo, and other members praised Hong Kong for submitting an informative report detailing the situation of the rights of the child in the territory.

The delegation was also complimented for giving very useful information in replies to members’ questions.

In members' individual conclusions, there was a suggestion that a monitoring body be set up to oversee the implementation of the Convention with particular regard to the best interest of the child.

Two members also suggested that the United Kingdom Government should be invited to make an immediate written response to the Committee's concluding observations after they were issued.

The concluding observations of the hearing are expected to be published in a month's time.

End

Arbitration (Amendment) Bill gazetted ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Arbitration (Amendment) Bill 1996. which intends to extend the powers of arbitral tribunals in respect for the conduct of arbitration proceedings, was gazetted today (Friday).

The Bill also proposes to bring certain provisions of the existing ordinance relating to domestic arbitrations in line with those relating to international arbitrations, and vice versa.

A spokesman for the Legal Department said today that the Bill would help enhance the status of Hong Kong as a leading centre for arbitration in the region.

26

"To meet with growing competition from other arbitration centres such as Singapore and Sydney, the Administration considers that it is necessary to keep our law up-to-date and efficient and the existing Arbitration Ordinance should be amended to remove the anomalies and problems identified," he said.

The new key proposals featured in the Bill are as follows:

(a) the circumstances in which arbitration agreements are to be regarded as being in writing (and thus within the Ordinance) are extended, and include cases where an agreement to arbitrate is not signed by the parties, as is often the case in a Bill of Lading:

(b) in conducting arbitration proceedings, an arbitral tribunal must act fairly and impartially between the parties:

(c) an arbitral tribunal will have certain powers in the conduct of arbitration proceedings, such as to order that security for costs be provided by the parties, or to grant an interim injunction restraining a party from disposing of certain property;

(d) where parties to an arbitration agreement commence proceeding in the High Court, the court may exercise certain powers in respect of the proceedings. These powers include the power to make an order directing an amount in dispute to be secured. The court may decline to exercise its power if the matter is being dealt with by an arbitral tribunal or if it finds that it would be more appropriate for the matter to be dealt with by an arbitral tribunal;

(e) an arbitral tribunal may, after hearing from the parties, make an order to extend the time limit for a party to commence arbitration proceedings if it is just to do so. It may also dismiss a claim if a claimant has unreasonably delayed in bringing the claim;

(f) an arbitral tribunal may order compound interest to be paid by a party so as to properly compensate the party who has been wrongly kept out of the payment;

(g) for the avoidance of doubt or eventual disputes, it is provided that parties to the proceedings shall be jointly and severally liable to pay the reasonable fees and expenses of arbitral tribunal;

27

(h) an arbitral tribunal may limit the amount of costs recoverable in arbitration proceedings provided that sufficient advance notice has been given to the parties;

(i) an arbitral tribunal will not be liable in law for an act or omission of its own or that of its employees or agents except in the case of dishonesty. A person who appointed an arbitral tribunal or carried out administrative functions in connection with arbitration proceedings should enjoy similar immunity;

(j) the functions of the High Court relating to the appointment of an arbitrator (e.g. where the parties fail to agree on an appointment), whether under a domestic or an international arbitration agreement, will be transferred to HKIAC;

(k) HKIAC is empowered to make rules relating to the performance of its functions, but the rules must be approved by the Chief Justice;

(i) for proceedings under international arbitration agreements, HKIAC will have the power to determine he number of arbitrators to be appointed in the absence of agreement;

(m) in most circumstances, if a party to a domestic arbitration agreement (as well as a party to an international arbitration agreement) commences any legal proceeding in the High Court, the court will be required, on Jie application of the other party to the proceedings, to re er the matte to arbitration if the court is satisfied that the matter is t ie subject o; an arbitration agreement; and

(n) an arbitral tribunal dealing with a dispute arising under a domestic arbitration agreement shall rule on its own jurisdiction (as in the case of an international arbitration), including ruling on ary objec ions with respect to the existence or validity of the arbitration a^ xeemen*.

The Bill will be introduced into the Legislative Council on ( ’ctober 9.

End

28

First HKMA overseas office open today in New York *****

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) opens its first overseas office today (Thursday, New York time). The opening ceremony was officiated by the Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang.

The representative office in New York will enable HKMA to develop relationship with the international financial community on a global scale round the clock.

The New York office will carry out three main functions:

* monitor the foreign exchange and US fixed income markets in the New York time zone;

liaise with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, other US regulatory authorities and the Exchange Fund’s external managers; and

* monitor US economic trends and to represent HKMA at official functions and events in the US, including briefings on Hong Kong’s monetary and banking systems.

At the opening ceremony, the Chief Executive of HKMA, Mr Joseph Yam said: ’’This office will enable us to ensure that our fingers are kept on the pulse of the market to facilitate the professional performance of our function as a full-fledged monetary authority.

"It will also enable us to manage our substantial reserves prudently and profitably and enable those with an interest in the monetary and financial scene of Hong Kong to keep closely in touch with us.”

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Tsang said HKMA had already established close ties with other central banking institutions over the years.

"We are taking active steps to strengthen our linkages with other financial centres," he said.

"The bilateral repo agreements signed by five central banks in Hong Kong in November 1995, followed by similar agreements signed between other central banks in the region, were a historic landmark in Asian monetary co-operation.

29

"The establishment of the representative office is a clear indication of our commitment to further strengthen these ties in the years to come."

The office is headed by Chief Representative, Mr T Y Chan, formerly Head of Direct Investment Division of HKMA. It is located at Suite 2704, 27th floor, 450 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022, Tel (212) 486 8738, fax (212) 486 7280.

End

Language education and research committee appointed *****

The Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, today (Friday) announced that the Governor has appointed the Chairman and 19 members to the Standing Committee on Language Education and Research (SCOLAR).

The appointments are for two years from October 1.

The Chairman of the Committee is Dr Daniel Tse Chi-wai and the 19 members are:

Mrs Amy Chan Cheng Yi-yim

Dr Chan Wing-ming

Mr Chong Yun-cheung

Dr Gregory James

Mr Michael Kwee Chong-kok

Mrs Lau Pong Elim

Mr Philip Edward Leetch

Miss Margaret Ng

Professor Andrew Terence Leonard Parkin

Mr Brian Hamilton Renwick

Dr Daniel So Wing-cheung

Mr Michael Sze Cho-cheung

Mrs Tai Lam Sau-mui

Mr Michael Tien Puk-sun

Mr Tsang Yok-sing

Dr Amy Tsui Bik-may

Mr Tung Chiao

Mr Kwan Ting-fai

Mr Joshua C K Law

30

SCOLAR is set up following the recommendation of the Education Commission Report No 6.

It is tasked with the responsibility to conduct researches into the language education needs of Hong Kong, to develop policies designed to meet those needs, and to monitor and evaluate the language in education policies.

Following are the biographical notes of the Chairman and Members of the Committee:

Dr Daniel Tse is the President and Vice-chancellor of the Hong Kong Baptist University. He is a former member of the Executive and Legislative councils and is currently the Chairmen of the Bilingual Laws Advisory Committee and the Preparatory Committee on Chinese Medicine.

Mrs Amy Chan Cheng Yi-yim is the Executive Director of the Hong Kong Tourist Association. She is a member of the Advisory Committee on Travel Agents.

Dr Chan Wing-ming is the Head of Department of Chinese Language and Literature in the Hong Kong Baptist University.

Mr Chong Yun-cheung is the Vice Principal of the Hong Kong and Kowloon Chiu Chow Public Association Ma Chung Sum Secondary School. He is a member of the Sixth Form Chinese Subject Committee of the Hong Kong Examinations Authority.

Dr Gregory James is the Director of the Language Centre of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He is a member of the Research Grant Council's Humanities, Social Sciences and Business Studies Panel.

Mr Michael Kwee Chong-kok is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Prudential Asset Management Asia Ltd. He is a member of the Economic Advisory Committee.

Mrs Lau Pong Elim, JP, is the Headmistress of Diocesan Girls' School. She was a member of the former Language Fund Advisory Committee, and is currently a member of the Hong Kong Examinations Authority and the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.

Mr Philip Edward Leetch is the Assistant Principal of Sheng Kung Hui Tang Shiu Kin Secondary School. He is a member of the English Literature Subject Committee of the Curriculum Development Council. He is also a member of the Sixth Form Use of English Subject Committee, and the Chairman of the HKCE English Literature Subject Committee of the Hong Kong Examinations Authority.

31

Miss Margaret Ng is a barrister. She is the Legislative Council member of the Legal Constituency and a member of the Bilingual Laws Advisory Committee.

Professor Andrew Terence Leonard Parkin is the Graduate Division Head in the Department of English and Fellow and Trustee of Shaw College at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Mr Brian Hamilton Renwick is a consultant in human resource management. He is also a consultant to the Employers’ Federation of Hong Kong.

Dr Daniel So Wing-cheung is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studies of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He was a member of the former Language Fund Advisory Committee.

Mr Michael Sze Cho-cheung, CBE, ISO, JP, is the Executive Director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. He was formerly the Secretary for the Civil Service with the Hong Kong Government.

Mrs Tai Lam Sau-mui is the Headmistress of Creative Primary School and Kindergarten. She was a member of the former Language Fund Advisory Committee.

Mr Michael Tien Puk-sun is the Chairman of the G2000 Group. He is a member of the Education Commission, Advisory Committee on Teacher Education and Qualifications, and the Hong Kong Productivity Council. He was also a member of the former Language Fund Advisory Committee.

Mr Tsang Yok-sing is the Principal of Pui Kiu Middle School. He is the Chairman of the Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong and a member of the Preparatory Committee for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. He is the Vice President of Hong Kong Private Schools Association.

Dr Amy Tsui Bik-may is the Professor of the Department of Curriculum Studies in the University of Hong Kong. She is also the Director of the Teachers of English Language Education Centre.

Mr Tung Chiao is the Chinese Language Advisor of the Open Learning Institute of Hong Kong and a writer.

Mr Kwan Ting-fai, JP, is Deputy Director of Education; and Mr Joshua C K Law, JP, Deputy Secretary for Education and Manpower are ex-officio members.

32

Mr Wong pointed out that membership of the Committee comprises language experts, academics, front-line educators, representatives from the business community, in particular the service industry, professionals including those with a media background and government officials.

"The balanced mix of professions and expertise of members will enable the Committee to have access to views and advice of those who fully understand the language problems and requirements of Hong Kong," he said.

"The setting up of SCOLAR will provide an institutional framework for formulating and implementing language in education policy in a coherent and systematic manner.

"It will help address an important concern to the community, especially the business and the education sectors over the declining language proficiency."

End

Trailers inspection period to be further shortened ♦ * * * *

The mandatory safety inspection of trailers will be further advanced by three more years as from December this year, Transport Department's Senior Engineer/Motor Vehicle, Mr John Blay, said today (Friday).

"To improve the safety of trailers in use on the road, all trailers manufactured in 1989 or earlier will need to pass a roadworthiness examination before relicensing on or after December 1, 1996," he said.

This is the second time since last April to require the trailer inspection period to be shortened and hence makes the accumulated inspection time shortened by six years during 1996.

The arrangement is made possible by putting more resources to the vehicle examination team and extending the inspection time to 9 pm on weekdays, and 4 pm on Saturdays.

"This means trailers which have been used on the road for seven years would have to go through the safety inspection instead of 10 years after April's change or of 13 years before April," Mr Blay said.

33

The present law requires trailers manufactured in or before 1986 for examination before relicensing.

Notice of the new requirement was published in today’s Government Gazette.

"All mechanical parts of a trailer including its braking system, tyres, lights etc. will be inspected thoroughly during the examination.

"The advancement of inspection period will enhance the safety and maintenance conditions of trailers in Hong Kong," Mr Blay added.

The certificate of roadworthiness obtained shall only be valid for relicensing within four months immediately from the date of issue.

The examination will be carried out at the department’s Kowloon Bay Vehicle Examination Centre, 2 Cheung Yip Street, Kowloon Bay, Kowloon. The examination fee is $530.

Enquiries should be made to the Kowloon Bay Vehicle Examination Centre on 2759 7573.

End

Draft North-east Lantau Port Outline Zoning Plan approved ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Govemor-in-Council has approved the North-east Lantau Port Outline Zoning Plan.

The North-east Lantau Port area has been identified as a primary area for the expansion of Hong Kong’s port facilities, a spokesman for the Town Planning Board said today (Friday).

"The approved plan will provide a statutory land use framework to control development and redevelopment within the North-east Lantau Port area so as to facilitate the port development including Container Terminals 10 to 13 and other port-related uses," the spokesman said.

The approved plan (No. S/I-NELP/3) is available for public inspection during normal office hours at:

34

* Planning Department

16th floor, Murray Building

Garden Road

Central Hong Kong;

* Sai Kung and Islands District Planning Office

10th floor, Leighton Centre

77 Leighton Road Causeway Bay Hong Kong;

* Islands District Office

20th floor, Harbour Building

38 Pier Road

Central

Hong Kong;

* Islands District Office, Mui Wo Sub-office ground floor, Mui Wo Government Offices

2 Ngan Kwong Wan Road

Mui Wo

Lantau Island; and

♦ Tsuen Wan District Office

first floor, Tsuen Wan Station Multi-storey

Car Park Building

174-208 Castle Peak Road

Tsuen Wan

New Territories.

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

End

35

Wan Chai development scheme plan approved ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Govemor-in-Council has approved the Land Development Corporation (LDC) Wan Chai Road/Tai Yuen Street Development Scheme Plan, a spokesman for the Town Planning Board said today (Friday).

"The approved Wan Chai Road/Tai Yuen Street Development Scheme Plan provides a statutory planning framework to guide the LDC in redeveloping an area of about 0.85 hectares in Wan Chai which is bounded by Tai Yuen Street, Queen’s Road East, the Ruttonjee Hospital and Cross Street, including portions of Stone Nullah Lane and Wan Chai Road."

At present, the area mainly features four to eight-storey residential buildings with retail uses and metal shops on the ground floor. Over half of the existing buildings were constructed before 1966. A number of on-street hawkers are currently trading along Cross Street and Tai Yuen Street.

The LDC’s development scheme will comprise residential and commercial developments within which govemment/institution/community facilities including an Urban Council Market, a public toilet and a day nursery will be provided. A podium open space will also be provided to serve the future residents within the development.

To enable a comprehensive layout for the area, a portion of Stone Nullah Lane will be closed.

Existing Tai Yuen Street, Wan Chai Road and the junction of Queen’s Road East and Wan Chai Road will be widened to improve traffic flow in the area.

Off-street car parking spaces and loading/unloading bays will also be provided within the development.

With the approval of the plan, LDC will commence implementation of the scheme which is expected to complete by 2002.

The approved plan (No. S/H5/LDC1/2) is now available for public inspection during normal office hours at:

* Planning Department

16th floor, Murray Building

Garden Road

Hong Kong;

36

* Hong Kong District Planning Office

11th floor Leighton Centre

77 Leighton Road Causeway Bay Hong Kong; and

* Wan Chai District Office ground floor

2 O’Brien Road Wan Chai Hong Kong.

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

End

Construction works in Tuen Mun tenders invited ♦ * * * *

The Territory Development Department is inviting tenders for the construction of a footbridge, roads and drains in Area 52 in Tuen Mun near the Lingnan College.

A spokesman for the department said today (Friday) that this was part of a continuing programme for the development of Tuen Mun new town.

Works involve the construction of a 55-metre long footbridge, two stormwater box culverts of about 600 metres in length, access roads and associated drainage and utility works.

Construction will commence in December for completion in 25 months.

Details of the tender invitation are contained in a notice published in the Government Gazette today.

Tender forms and further particulars can be obtained from the office of the Consulting Engineers, Messrs Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick (Hong Kong) Limited, 38th floor, Metroplaza Tower 1, 223 Hing Fong Road, Kwai Fong, New Territories.

37

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 at the lift lobby, lower ground floor, Central Government Office (East Wing), Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong before noon November 1.

Late tenders will not be accepted.

End

Green light for Shun Tat Street improvement works ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Govemor-in-Council has authorised improvement works to be carried out at Shun Tat Street in Tuen Mun as described in the Government Gazette published on July 21 and 28 last year, with minor modification.

The modification involves the provision of a left turning lane on Shun Tat Street onto Castle Peak Road; whereas both right and left turning lanes would be provided in the original proposed works.

An authorisation notice was published in the Government Gazette today (Friday).

The proposed works include:

* widening of Shun Tat Street to about 10.3 metres with 2-metre wide footpaths on both sides of the road;

* provision of a turning area for vehicles at the end of Shun Tat Street next

to the existing underpass; and

* ancillary works.

The road works will improve traffic condition and ensure unimpeded access to the proposed North West New Territories Refuse Transfer Station at a site of about 15,000 square metres at the end of Shun Tat Street.

Works are scheduled to commence in late 1997 for completion by early 1999.

End

38

Five companies selected as new rice stockholders *****

The Trade Department today (Friday) selected five companies for registration as new rice stockholders under the Government’s Rice Control Scheme.

These five companies are Tinson Trading Company Limited, Tai Loong Hong Marine Products Limited, Hong Kong Manufacturing Company Limited, Tai Lam Provincial Food Products Limited, and Liu Chong Hing Investment Limited.

The selection by ballot was conducted by the acting Director-General of Trade, Mrs Rebecca Lai, who drew lots to pick the five from among 64 eligible applicants.

A total of 80 applications were received during the application period between August 2 and September 20. Among them, 64 applicants meet all the registration criteria and are eligible for registration.

Mrs Lai said since the number of eligible applicants exceeded the minimum number of rice stockholders which the Trade Department intended to register, the Department therefore decided to select five for registration as new stockholders and to allocate each with eight units.

Import of rice in Hong Kong is subject to control. Under the Rice Control Scheme, the quantity of rice imported into Hong Kong per quarter for local consumption is subject to a quota which is divided into 1,000 units, each representing 90 tonnes of rice.

With the five new rice stockholders, there will be 50 registered rice stockholders operating in Hong Kong.

"The Government is glad to see that there are more rice stockholders joining the trade. This will enhance competition in the rice trade, and we believe that this would be beneficial to consumers in the long run," Mrs Lai said.

The five newly registered rice stockholders will begin importing rice in the first quarter of next year.

End

I

- 39 -

Medical Council examination results

*****

In response to press enquiry on the result of the first Universal Licensing Examination announced by HKMC yesterday (Thursday), a spokesman for HKMC said today (Friday) that: "Out of the 154 candidates attending the Part I examination, 122 are from China.

"Others (32) are from countries such as Canada, the Philippines and the United States.

"None of them are holding the former recognised Commonwealth diploma which would entitle them to be registered directly with the Medical Council before September 1, 1996."

End

Nominations to be invited for LAB Election

*****

The Labour Department will next week invite nominations from registered employee unions for representatives to stand for an election to the Labour Advisory Board (LAB) for a new term of office.

"The current term of the LAB will expire on December 31 this year. The department will send letters to all registered employee unions on October 8 (Tuesday) inviting them to nominate candidates for the election of five employee representatives to the Board in its next tenure," a spokesman for the department said today (Friday).

"The election will be held at 3 pm on November 30 (Saturday) in the Hall of Haking Wong Technical Institute at 702 Lai Chi Kok Road, Cheung Sha Wan, Kowloon," he said.

The spokesman pointed out that all employee unions registered under the Trade Unions Ordinance on or before October 8 are eligible to make nominations. Each union may nominate up to five candidates.

Registered employee unions are also eligible to register as electors and appoint authorised representatives to attend the election, he added.

Nominations of employee representatives, registration of employee unions as electors and appointment of authorised representatives should be made in specified forms which should reach the Labour Department by 5.30 pm on November 4.

40

The LAB is a tripartite consultative body which advises the Commissioner for Labour on labour matters including legislation and the application of International Labour Convention and Recommendations.

It comprises 12 members, six each on employees' and employers’ sides, with the Commissioner for Labour or her deputy as the ex-officio chairman.

On the employers’ side, five seats will be filled by a nominated representative each from the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, the Employers’ Federation of Hong Kong, the Federation of Hong Kong Industries, the Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong and the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce.

’’Letters will also be sent on October 8 to these five major employer associations to call for nominations of employer representatives for the coming term of office,” the spokesman said.

The remaining employer and employee representatives will be appointed directly by the Government.

End

CMB workers urged to exercise restraint ♦ ♦ * * ♦

Workers of China Motor Bus (CMB) are urged to exercise restraint on their demand for an improved wage package.

The call was made by a spokesman for the Transport Department after a meeting tonight (Friday) between CMB management and its workers.

The spokesman said: ’’Although this is a labour issue, Transport Department is closely monitoring its development. The Labour Department has also offered to mediate.

"We support any reasonable demand from workers. At the same time, we must also consider the public interest as any substantial increase in operating costs would have a bearing on fares.

"CMB workers have always behaved rationally and responsibly in their negotiations with the management over the pay issue. We hope the staff and management sides would resolve their differences over the negotiation table this time."

End

41

Courtesy campaign launched at immigration control points ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A spokesperson of the Immigration Department announced today (Friday) the launching of a courtesy campaign to be conducted between October 7 and 13 at all immigration control points.

"It is aimed at promoting staff awareness to deliver a courteous and efficient service to the community at large. It is also intended to help promote the Hong Kong tourism,” the spokesperson said.

The campaign will be conducted by voting. Travellers can cast their votes on officers of commendable performance simply by filling in their own names and travel document/Hong Kong identity card numbers on the ballot boxes placed behind the immigration counters at all control points.

Appropriate publicity will be made at all immigration control points during the period seeking votes from travellers.

For enquiries, members of the public may call 2824 6111 or fax 2877 7711.

End

Two elected to education conduct council ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Education Department today (Friday) announced that Mr Ho Kwok-suen of North Point Government Primary AM School and Ms Ho Yun-ling of Hong Kong Shu Yan School have been elected to the Council on Professional Conduct in Education.

They will fill the seats for the Government Primary Schools Category and the Private Primary Schools Category respectively.

Mr Ho received 10,807 votes in the by-election yesterday while Ms Ho received 7,380 votes.

A total of 16,117 teachers and school heads in 694 primary schools cast their votes. The voter turnout was 95 per cent.

42

The Assistant Director of Education (Services), Mr David Pun, was most satisfied with the voter turnout.

Mr Pun said that during the by-election, the Education Department's district staff visited 142 primary schools to monitor voting. Three cases of irregularities were spotted and the cases immediately brought to the attention of the school heads concerned for rectification.

Earlier, Mr Au Yeung Chi of Hong Kong Teachers' Association, was returned uncontested to fill the Teachers' Unions seat.

Mr Pun said that the two seats for the Kindergartens and the Government Secondary Schools categories respectively, for which no nominations were accepted for the by-election, will be left vacant through the end of the present term on April 30, 1998.

End

British servicemen will not be used for football security - Garrison statement * * ♦ ♦ ♦

The British Hong Kong Garrison states categorically that, contrary to the Reuters (Hong Kong) report issued earlier today, British soldiers will not be deployed for security duties at a football match due to be played between Japanese and Hong Kong clubs in the Hong Kong Stadium later this month.

The comments of a Wembley International (Hong Kong) spokeswoman quoted in the report are without foundation. Wembley has invited 20 off-duty servicemen, acting in a private capacity, to act as stewards to check tickets and show people to their seats. There is no question of them being employed on security duties.

This company has in the past employed off-duty British servicemen at the Hong Kong Stadium as stewards, but always on the strict understanding that they will not be used for security duties. There has been no change to this policy. It is understood that security duties of the type described in the Reuters report are performed by other personnel and organisations employed by Wembley International and by the Royal Hong Kong Police.

British servicemen are not available for use by private commercial organisations such as Wembley International for security purposes.

End

43

Chief Justice to attend CSD Beating Retreat ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Chief Justice, Sir Ti Liang Yang, will be the Guest of Honour at the Correctional Services Department’s Beating Retreat 1996 to be held at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium tomorrow (Saturday) evening.

The highlight of the event will be a one-and-a-half hour musical programme featuring a lion dance and marching bands performed by boy scouts and girl guides who are inmates of various CSD institutions for young offenders.

In collaboration with the Scout Association of Hong Kong, the CSD introduced scouting into the training centres in 1986 and it is through scout training and activities that young offenders learn to acquire self-reliance, self-discipline, self-confidence and sense of responsibility - qualities they need to turn over a new leaf.

The 221st Hong Kong Group was established in July 1986 for the inmates of Lai King Training Centre and Cape Collision Correctional Institution with 78 inmates from the two training centres joining the Group voluntarily. Nineteen CSD staff were appointed Scout Leaders.

Today, some 250 scout members from the two training centres receive scout training under the leadership of 35 CSD staff In the past 10 years, a total of 1,485 inmates had joined the Group.

End

New firing practice timetable for October ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Firing practice will take place at the Ha Tsuen/Castle Peak Range on nine days this month. 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

October 7 (Monday)

October 8 (Tuesday)

October 10 (Thursday)

October 15 (Tuesday) October 16 (Wednesday) October 17 (Thursday) October 18 (Friday) October 23 (Wednesday) October 24 (Thursday)

Time

8.30 am - 5 pm

8.30 am - 5 pm

8.30 am - 5 pm

8.30 am - 5 pm

8.30 am - 4.30 pm

8.30 am - 11.59 pm

8.30 am - 4.30 pm

8.30 am - 5 pm

8.30 am - 5 pm

End

44

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,128 0930 +28

Closing balance in the account 2,199 1000 +28

Change attributable to: 1100 +28

Money market activity +31 1200 +31

LAF today +40 1500 +31

1600 +31

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.8 *-0.1*4.10.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/MTRC

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.87 2 years 2808 6.00 100.02 6.07

1 month 4.99 3 years 3907 6.80 101.11 6.46

3 months 5.16 5 years 5109 7.32 101.49 7.08

6 months 5.27 7 years 7308 7.24 99.72 7.42

12 months 5.57 5 years M503 7.35 100.49 7.36

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $8,065 million

Closed October 4, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES GARDEN ROAD, 5th-8th FLOORS, MURRAY BUILDING, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Saturday, October 5,1996

Contents Page NQx

FS to continue visit in Europe........................... 1

Support services for employing disabled..................... 2

Exhibition on TDS Review in Wong Tai Sin................. 3

Family services centre to move house..................... 4

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

Sunday, October 6,1996

Contents I’nge.Mo,

Education campaign on good personal habits

5

FS to continue visit in Europe ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, will fly to Europe later today (Saturday) to embark on the second leg of his whirling overseas tour after concluding his visit in the United States over the past week.

Mr Tsang will sign two Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements and one Air Services Agreement with four countries before returning to Hong Kong. During his stay, he will also take this opportunity to call on senior government officials and meet bankers to strengthen partnership.

In Brussels, he will sign an Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement with Belgium and Luxembourg at Palais d'Egmont on Monday (October 7). A separate ceremony will also take place in the evening in Luxembourg to mark the event.

Before the signing, Mr Tsang will address a luncheon meeting hosted by the Belgium Hong Kong Society and will call on the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Belgium, Mr Philippe Maystadt, and incoming Secretary of the National Bank of Belgium. Dr Marcia de Wachter. He will attend a dinner hosted by Minister of Budget of Luxembourg, Mr Marc Fischbach in the evening.

Mr Tsang will call on the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Mr Jean-Claude Juncker and have lunch with Board of Luxembourg Bankers' Association before his departure for Rome on October 8.

In Rome Mr Tsang will call on Foreign Minister of Italy, Mr Lamberto Dini and host a lunch for Italian Bankers.

Later on that day, he will sign the Hong Kong/Italy Air Services Agreement at a ceremony to be held at the Italian Ministry of Transport.

During his stay, he will also call on the Minister of Treasury, Mr Carlo Azeglio Ciampi and the Deputy Director General of Bank of Italy, Dr Pierluigi Ciocca.

Then he will travel to Vienna where he will sign an Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement with the State Secretary of Austria, Mrs Benita Ferrero-Waldner. He will also meet with the President of Austrian National Bank, Dr Klaus Liebscher, and attend a dinner hosted by Austrian Hong Kong Association and Bank of Austria.

2

Mr Tsang will also make courtesy calls to the President of the National Assembly, Dr Heinz Fischer, and Minister of Finance, Mr Viktor Klima.

Mr Tsang will return to Hong Kong on October 15.

End

Support services for employing disabled ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Employers wishing to hire disabled workers can now obtain comprehensive information from the Labour Department on the support services available to them employment of people with a disability.

The department's Selective Placement Division (SPD), which is tasked to help the disabled to find jobs, has recently produced a booklet entitled "Handbook on Employment of People with a Disability - Support Services" and a video on the same topic to introduce such services.

"These services include the Rehabus, Employ aid Fund, sign language interpretation service and the services offered by the SPD," Labour Officer (Selective Placement), Miss Wedncs Li, said today (Saturday).

"Tips on how to cultivate peer acceptance of disabled employees as well as training courses available to people with a disability are also included in the handbook and video," she said.

The 20-page full colour handbook which is published in both Chinese and English, also contains a job vacancy registration form to facilitate employers to give their vacancies' information to SPD for recruitment.

The 23-minute video has been produced in Cantonese, English and Putonghua.

Interested parties can obtain the handbook at the SPD offices in Harbour Building in Central, Ngau Tau Kok Government Offices and Tsuen Wan Government Offices.

3

The video can be available for loan from SPD's Publicity and Promotion Unit on the ground floor, West Wing, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central.

Enquiries can be made to the Unit on 2852 4876.

End

Exhibition on TDS Review in Wong Tai Sin ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

A five-day exhibition on the Territorial Development Strategy (TDS) Review will be launched at the Lok Fu Shopping Centre II in Wong Tai Sin from tomorrow (Sunday).

It is part of a series of 10 exhibitions to be held this month throughout the territory to introduce to members of the public the proposed development strategies for Hong Kong up to 2011.

It will be open daily from 10 am and 8 pm until October 10 (Thursday). Admission is free.

By browsing among the 32 panels displayed with photographs, maps and charts, visitors will have a better understanding of the various development options recommended by the TDS Review.

They can also see impressive models featuring major future developments in Hong Kong as well as a bilingual documentary video. Copies of a leaflet on the review will be distributed free of charge.

Members of the public can also visit another I DS Review exhibition which is being held at Wo Che Commercial Centre in Sha Tin until October 8 (Tuesday).

From October 9 (Wednesday) to 15 (Tuesday), the exhibition will be moved to Butterfly Estate Commercial Centre in Tuen Mun.

End

4

Family services centre to move house

*****

The Social Welfare Department's Tai Po (North) Family Services Centre, now housed at Ting Kok Road Tai Po Government Offices Building, will move to a new office next Monday (October 7).

The new office is located at Shop B, ground floor, Mei Sun Building, 4-20 Kau Hui Chik Street, Tai Po.

Local residents in need of various kinds of family services can call on the new office or telephone 2665 0205 for assistance.

End

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

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

Opening Balance in the account 2,199 09:30 -80

Closing Balance in the account 1,949 10:00 -80

Change Attributable to: 11:00 -80

Money Market Activity -80 11:30 -80

Laf Today -170

Laf Rate 4% Bid/6% Offer TWI 124.7 *-0.1* 5.10.96

End

5

Education campaign on good personal habits ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Department of Health is launching a territory-wide education campaign to remind the public of the importance of good personal hygiene so as to enhance public health.

The campaign, bearing the theme "Practise good personal habits for better public health", was organised with the sponsorship of the Urban Council and the Regional Council.

"For the sake of public health, observation of good personal hygiene is very important," a spokesman for the department said today (Sunday).

He urged members of the public to observe the following practices:

Do not litter - Put rubbish into a properly covered dustbin and dispose of it at least once a day. Refuse attracts rodents and harmful pests, which are main carriers of gastro-intestinal diseases such as cholera.

Do not spit - Spit into a handkerchief or a piece of tissue paper. Spitting is unsightly and spreads diseases such as tuberculosis.

Always keep toilet clean - Flush toilet after each use and keep toilet dry and clean. Do not allow children to urinate in street or gully. Stop dogs from fouling public areas. Make use of dog latrines. Infectious diseases such as typhoid as well as food poisoning are related to food contaminated by insect vectors carrying germs from dirty toilets or excreta! matter.

Always keep hands clean - Wash hands with soap before handling food, after handling refuse and visiting toilet. Dirty hands can carry germs to the mouth.

The spokesman said the maximum penalty for breaching the Public Cleansing and Prevention of Nuisances (Urban Council) By-laws or the Public Cleansing and Prevention of Nuisances (Regional Council) By-laws is a fine of $25,000 and imprisonment for six months.

6

During the campaign period, publicity materials such as posters, leaflets and stickers are widely distributed to owners incorporations, mutual aid committees, management offices of large housing estates. Housing Department and schools for display.

They are also available for collection at district environmental health offices of the two municipal services departments, district offices of Home Affairs Department and the Health Education Resource Centre of Department of Health.

Members of the public can also make use of the new 24-hour telephone hotline 2380 2580 to listen to pre-recorded message about this campaign in Cantonese. They can also choose to listen to other health educational topics such as environmental hygiene, food hygiene and food safety.

Meanwhile, exhibition boards on personal hygiene are on display at the Health Education Resource Centre of Department of Health on the eighth floor, UC Fa Yuen Street Complex, 123A Fa Yuen Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon.

The Centre also provides preview and loan services of educational video tapes and audio tapes to the public. A variety of printed materials such as posters, leaflets and stickers are also available free of charge.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES GARDEN ROAD, 5th-8th FLOORS, MURRAY BUILDING, HONG KONG. TEL.: 2842 8777

Monday, October 7,1996

Content

Efforts to promote healthy lifestyle stepped up....................... 1

Objective of reviewing old age allowance clarified.................... 2

Finance Branch statement on disabled drivers' tax concession.......... 4

Special conciliation officer appointed for CMB dispute................ 5

TD responds to criticism of COMAC..................................... 6

Bedspace flats operators urged to complete fire safety works.......... 6

Electronics Committee to visit Korea.................................. 8

Immigration data now available on Internet............................ 8

CSD Beating Retreat a resounding success.............................. 10

Water storage figure.................................................. '1

Fourth quarter rates due on October 31................................ 11

Tender for the 13th issue of 3-year exchange fond notes............... 13

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations.................. 14

Efforts to promote healthy lifestyle stepped up *****

The Government aims to complete by 1998 a comprehensive review of the health care system to address the problem of escalating medical costs and to improve overall efficiency and effectiveness of the system, the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, informed the Health Services Panel of the Legislative Council this (Monday) afternoon.

Elaborating on the health policy initiatives for the year ahead, the Secretary spelt out the three objectives of the review :

examine the relationship between primary, secondary and tertiary health care to strike an appropriate balance;

* review the respective roles of the public and private sectors in the provision of health care services, and the interface between them; and

* study options for financing Hong Kong’s health care services, including the introduction of medical insurance and savings schemes.

She assured members of the Panel that regular reports would be made to keep them informed of progress on this matter.

On the preventive front, Mrs Fok noted that the Government had embarked on an ambitious programme for school children to prevent disease and promote a healthy lifestyle.

The Student Health Service has been extended to cover some 450,000 primary school students since September last year, and the School Dental Care Service to provide over 380,000 primary school children with annual dental check-ups.

On AIDS, an Education and Resource Centre will be open towards the end of 1996 and the Government will organise the territory’s first AIDS Conference with the Advisory Council on AIDS in November.

Mrs Fok also noted that the Government was on target to complete the construction of North District Hospital and Tseung Kwan O Hospital by mid-1997 and mid-1999 respectively. Planning and design for the final phase of the Castle Peak Hospital redevelopment project is progressing well, she added.

2

On clinics, the Secretary said ten of the 13 new clinics pledged in 1992 were already in operation. Of the remaining three, one has just been opened at Ma On Shan, the one at Ha Kwai Chung will be ready for commissioned shortly while the one at Tseung Kwan O is due for completion by 1997.

To cater for patients with special needs, Mrs Fok said that starting from the coming year, the Government would provide designated specialist consultation for 2,000 children with psychiatric disorders each year.

Efforts to improve the quality of life for chronically ill patients, asthma patients, patients with chronic spinal conditions, patients with sleep disorders, mentally ill and elderly patients will also be stepped up.

End

Objective of reviewing old age allowance clarified *****

The Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, today (Monday) dismissed some wild rumours circulating about what the Government was planning to do on social security, in particular with regard to the old age allowance (OAA).

Reviewing her welfare policy commitments at the Legislative Council Welfare Services Panel, Mrs Fok said: ’’Let me start by emphasising that our objective in examining the OAA is not, and I repeat not, to cut expenditure.

"Rather, as is the case with any scheme which has been established for some time, the basic objective is to check that the scheme is still operating effectively.

"The review is still in hand and no conclusions have yet been reached. We shall, of course, consult you and other interested parties before any decisions or changes are made."

As regards improvements announced in the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) Review which was completed in March, Mrs Fok hoped that by April next year she would be in a position to invite applications from elderly CSSA recipients who wished to continue to receive their CSSA payments while living in Guangdong.

3

Care for the elderly with spending of over $10 billion this year remains to be Mrs Fok's top priority. Highlights of some ongoing programmes in this area include:

* upgrading the quality of private residential homes by implementing the Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons) Ordinance;

* developing a computerised integrated waiting list for all residential services for the elderly;

completing four nursing homes next year and the remaining two in the following year providing a total of 1,400 places; and

* providing 5,768 more places in care and attention homes by the end of 1997.

While admitting there were slippages in some of these programmes, Mrs Fok stressed that the Government was doing all it could to minimise the delays concerned.

"But I hope you will all give due recognition to the fact that some of these targets are very ambitious even by Hong Kong's standards and the great bulk of them have been met by an enormous joint effort by Government and the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) concerned," she said.

In terms of new initiatives, she looked forward to seeing the new support network pilot scheme being implemented and to the results next year of the study of elderly needs which should set a framework for the future development of services for the elderly.

Turning to rehabilitation programmes, Mrs Fok said the Government aimed to provide an additional 1,800 residential places, 650 sheltered workshop places and 528 day activity centre places by the end of next year.

New amendments to the Mental Health Ordinance dealing with people unfit to plead in criminal proceedings by reason of a mental disability will be effective from November; and more wide ranging amendments, including greatly improved guardianship procedures and separate provisions for people with a mental handicap and a mental disorder, will also be introduced in January.

On child welfare, Mrs Fok pledged to continue to expand day nursery places despite difficulties in finding suitable private premises to purchase for them.

4

She also spoke on the review of the subvention system for the nongovernmental organisations (NGOs).

Following consultation with the welfare sector on the "unit grant" approach proposed by the consultants, the Government now proposes to introduce service quality standards in 21 service units in both NGOs and the Social Welfare Department.

"We shall provide training for both NGOs and the department to support the introduction of these standards and the Funding and Service Agreements (or FSAs) which will set them out. We also intend to develop FSAs for the remaining 50 services.

"Since no consensus yet exists on the most appropriate funding arrangement, we shall set up a forum to discuss ideas with the NGO sector with a view to finding an acceptable approach which will meet the objectives of simplicity and flexibility which we all want," Mrs Fok said.

End

Finance Branch statement on disabled drivers' tax concession ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

In response to the conclusion drawn by the Office of the Commissioner for Administrative Complaints (COMAC) in respect of a complaint that the current first registration tax concession to disabled drivers should be extended to all disabled persons, irrespective of whether they are fit to drive, a Finance Branch spokesman said:

"The policy intention of the concession is to enhance the mobility of disabled persons who are fit to drive. This was made very clear when the concession was first introduced in 1983, and when we amended the law recently in May to re-affirm the policy intention and clarify the legal position.

"However, this does not mean that disabled persons not fit to drive are neglected or discriminated against."

5

He pointed out that the Government had provided support to them through:

* subvention in full or in part for special child care centres, sheltered workshops, day activity centres, skill centres and residential centres to provide special transport services to the disabled;

* development of the territory-wide Rehabus service; and

* introduction of the dial-a-ride service, a non- scheduled special personalised transport service taking passengers with a disability to clinics, shops, sport and leisure activities.

"All these measures serve to enhance the mobility of disabled persons.

"We therefore have not proposed to extend the concession to cover disabled persons who are not fit to drive, which may be subject to abuse," said the spokesman, adding that COMAC found no maladministration in the complaint.

End

Special conciliation officer appointed for CMB dispute

*****

The Commissioner for Labour, Miss Jacqueline Willis, today (Monday) appointed Chief Labour Officer Mrs Chan Mak Kit-ling as a Special Conciliation Officer in an effort to help settle the trade dispute between the management and staff of the China Motor Bus (CMB) Company.

The appointment was made under Section 5(2) of the Labour Relations Ordinance (LRO) and after Miss Willis met CMB staff representatives this afternoon.

The Commissioner for Labour appealed to both the management and staff of the company to give full co-operation to Mrs Chan.

"The Special Conciliation Officer will get in touch with both sides immediately with a view to bringing them back to the negotiating table as soon as possible," Miss Willis said.

The previous appointment of a Special Conciliation Officer under the LRO was made in November 1989 to mediate in a trade dispute between the management and staff of the same bus company. The dispute was eventually settled.

End

6

TD responds to criticism of COMAC *****

In response to the criticism of the Office of the Commissioner for Administrative Complaints (COMAC) on Transport Department's failure to grant first registration tax (FRT) exemption to a disabled private vehicle owner, a spokesman for the department said:

"We noted that COMAC’s comment reflects no maladministration on the part of Transport Department in the case.

"We would like to clarify that as an agent for collection of FRT, Transport Department's role in connection with the case is to carry out the policy set by the Government. This is similar to the collection of contribution to Traffic Accident Victims Assistance Scheme (TAVA) for the Health and Welfare Branch.

"In this particular case, the policy rests with the Finance Branch."

End

Bedspace flats operators urged to complete fire safety works

*****

Operators of bedspace apartments (BSA) are urged to ensure that their premises comply with the basic fire safety requirements before December 1.

A spokesman for the Home Affairs Department (HAD) said today (Monday) that a letter reminding BSA operators to complete the priority works involving fire safety improvement is being sent to the 120 BSAs throughout the territory.

"These improvement works include the installation of fire extinguishers, provision of fire blankets, no human occupancy on the third tier bunk, unobstructed escape routes, and provision of clear 'exit' signs.

"The letter is issued as a reminder to BSA operators since the staff of HAD’s Office of Licensing Authority (OLA) in their recent inspections have found that some of the priority works required to be completed by December 1 are still outstanding," the spokesman said.

7

BSA operators who have any queries are welcome to contact OLA on 2881 7746 on building safety requirements and 2881 7275 on fire safety requirements.

The Bedspace Apartments Ordinance, enacted in 1994 to provide for a licensing scheme to regulate the fire and building safety and sanitation of BSAs, will be fully implemented on July 1, 1998.

Meanwhile, an information leaflet listing the telephone numbers of HAD, Social Welfare Department, Housing Department, Rating and Valuation Department and the Agency for Volunteer Service - all tasked with assisting BSA tenants, will be distributed to them.

"BSA tenants are strongly advised to seek advice and assistance from the authorities when they encounter problems concerning their BSAs and accommodation arrangements," the spokesman said.

The leaflet, produced by HAD, also explains the rehousing arrangements for BSA tenants who might be affected as a result of the implementation of the ordinance.

The spokesman said tenants aged below 60 can apply for a place in HAD's singleton hostels located in Yau Ma Tei, Mong Kok, Tai Kok Tsui, Sham Shui Po, Ngau Tau Kok, Western, Shau Kei Wan and Wan Chai.

"Tenants aged 60 and above with social and medical difficulties, if found eligible, will be offered compassionate rehousing or admission to welfare institutions or homes for the elderly," he said.

"Other than these, the tenants can also apply for single person public flats as the Government has established a waiting list for single persons over the age of 18 to apply for public flats since 1985."

Furthermore, the leaflet reminds BSA tenants of their rights of security of tenure under the Landlord and Tenant (Consolidation) Ordinance.

Under the ordinance, any person who unlawfully deprives a tenant or subtenant of occupation of any premises commits an offence and is liable to a maximum fine of $500,000 and 12 months’ imprisonment.

BSA tenants are advised to contact the Police immediately in case of unlawful eviction or harassment.

End

8

Electronics Committee to visit Korea *****

A delegation of the Electronics Committee of the Industry and Technology Development Council sets out today (Monday) on a four-day visit to the Republic of Korea.

The 15-member delegation is led by the Director-General of Industry and Deputy Chairman of the Electronics Committee, Mr Francis Ho.

"The purpose of the visit is to study how Korea has developed its high-tech industries, what are the areas of technological excellence they have achieved, what roles have been played by the Korean Government and public-funded institutions in promoting and supporting industrial development, and how multi-national companies and small and medium establishments have benefited from the support," Mr Ho said.

The delegation will visit the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute, the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, the Korea Electronics Technology Institute, the Research Centre of LG Electronics Inc, and the Small and Medium Industry Promotion Corporation.

The Electronics Committee is an advisor to the Hong Kong government on issues relating to the electronics industry.

The Committee is planning to visit other neighbouring economies to study their development of high-tech industries in a bid to formulate industrial support recommendations for the Government's consideration.

End

Immigration data now available on Internet

*****

Following completion of the uploading of information onto the Immigration Homepage at the end of September, members of the public may now obtain various immigration-related topical data via Internet, a spokesperson of the Immigration Department announced today (Monday).

"As part of the department’s plans to improve customer services, around 80 chapters of text with information on various services provided by our department have been uploaded.

9

"The design is user-friendly and hyper-links have also been built between chapters so that enquirers can quickly access to the information they required," said the spokesperson.

Members of the public may now access the following information through Internet on http://www.info.gov.hk/immd/

* Welcome message

* Organisational structure;

Facts and statistics

* Performance pledges

* Notice board

Topical information which includes:

Hong Kong travel documents

Hong Kong identity cards

Hong Kong visas

Births, deaths and marriage registration

Address and opening hours of immigration offices

List of forms related to various applications

Fee tables

The Internet also offers an additional venue for public enquiries by providing the electronic-mail enquiry service, on top of the existing media of telephone, letter and fax.

Enquiries may be send via the Immigration Department's e-mail account: enquiry@immd.gcn.gov.hk, while the responsible officer will reply via e-mail accordingly.

For more information, members of the public may telephone 2824 6111 or fax 2877 7711.

End

10

CSD Beating Retreat a resounding success *****

The Correctional Services Department's (CSD) Beating Retreat 1996 - held at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium on October 4 and 5, was a resounding success with tickets sold out, raising $86,700 for charity.

At the musical event, lion dance, marching band and silent drill were performed by the 221st Hong Kong Scout Group which is made up of inmates of Cape Collinson Correctional Institution and Lai King Training Centre.

Other performances, including ribbon dance and marching band, were staged by the 141st Island Rangers Guide Service Unit made up of inmates from the Tai Tam Gap Correctional Institution for Girls.

The event was well received by the audience comprising the elderly, disabled people, and many youth organisations members who were sponsored by donations from various sources including CSD staff messes.

The President of the Scout Group, Mr Steve Lau Hong-wah, was the guest of honour on October 4, and the Chief Justice, Sir Ti Liang Yang, was the guest of honour on October 5.

Scouting was introduced into the training centres in 1986 and it is through scout training and activities that young offenders learn to acquire self-reliance, selfdiscipline, self-confidence and sense of responsibility - qualities they need to turn over a new leaf.

The 221st Hong Kong Group was established in July 1986 for the inmates of Lai King Training Centre and Cape Collinson Correctional Institution with 78 inmates from the two training centres joining the Group voluntarily. Nineteen CSD staff were appointed scout leaders.

At present, some 250 scout members from the two training centres receive training under the leadership of 35 CSD staff. In the past 10 years, a total of 1,485 inmates had joined the Group at different times.

End

11

Water storage figure

*****

Storage in Hong Kong's reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 97.1 per cent of capacity or 569.002 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 576.471 million cubic metres of water, representing 96.4 per cent of capacity.

End

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

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

Payment can be made using autopay under ratepayers' bank accounts, payment by phone service or by post addressed to the Director of Accounting Services, P O Box 8000, GPO, Hong Kong, or in person at any of the following offices:

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

* The Central Sub-Treasury, Central Government Offices (West Wing), 11

Ice House Street, Hong Kong;

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

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

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

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

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

12

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For additional information regarding the payment by phone service, please call 9000 0222 329.

End

13

Tender for the 13th issue of 3-year exchange fund notes ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Tender for the thirteenth issue of 3-year exchange fund notes will be held on October 14 for settlement on October 15, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announces today (Monday).

Similar to the previous issue, an amount of $500 million 3-year notes will be on offer.

In addition to that, another $100 million will be held as reserve by HKMA for supply to market makers in the secondary market. The notes will mature on October 15, 1999, and will carry interest at the rate of 6.28% 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 HKMA at 30th floor, 3 Garden Road, Hong Kong, Tel 2878 8150. Each tender must be for an amount of $50,000 or integral multiples thereof.

Tender information for the thirteenth issue of 3-year exchange fund notes is as follows:

Issue number : 3910

Tender date and time Monday October 14, 1996, 9.30 am to 10.30 am

Issue and settlement date Tuesday October 15, 1996

Amount on offer : $500 million plus an additional $100 million as reserve stock for the Monetary Authority

Maturity : Three years

Maturity date : October 15, 1999

Interest rate : 6.28% per annum payable semi-annually in arrears

Interest payment dates : Apr 15, 1997, Oct 15, 1997, Apr 15, 1998, Oct 15, 1998, Apr 15, 1999, Oct 15, 1999

14

Tender amount

Other details

Each tender must be for an amount of $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

Please see information memorandum published or approach market makers or recognised dealers

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

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

Opening balance in the account 1,949 0930 +211

Closing balance in the account 2,303 1000 +211

Change attributable to: 1100 +211

Money market activity +211 1200 +211

LAF today + 143 1500 +211

1600 +211

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.7 *+0.0* 7.10.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/MTRC

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yicu

1 week 4.81 2 years 2808 6.00 100.25 5.94

1 month 4.92 3 years 3907 6.80 101.43 6.33

3 months 5.11 5 years 5109 7.32 102.00 6.95

6 months 5.21 7 years 7308 7.24 100.41 7.29

12 months 5.45 5 years M503 7.35 100.98 7.23

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $13,599 million

Closed October 7, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES GARDEN ROAD, 5th-8th FLOORS, MURRAY BUILDING, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Tuesday, October 8,1996

Contents

FS signs investment agreement with Belgium and Luxembourg......... 1

Government supports effort to expand stock market................. 2

203 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flights.................... 3

Monitors’ report submitted to CS.................................. 4

Youth Exchange Programme delegates report on visits............... 4

Volume and price movements of external trade in July.............. 5

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results....................... 12

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

1

FS signs investment agreement with Belgium and Luxembourg * ♦ ♦ * *

The Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, today (Monday, Brussels time) signed on behalf of Hong Kong an internationally-binding agreement for the promotion and protection of investments with Belgium and Luxembourg in two separate ceremonies.

The first ceremony was held in Brussels where the agreement between Hong Kong and Belgium was signed. The Belgian government was represented by Mr Philippe Maystadt, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance; Mr Luc Van den Brande, Minister-President and Minister for Foreign Policy, European Affairs, Science and Technology of the Government of Flanders, and Mr Jos Chabert, Minister of Finance, the Budget, Civil Services and Foreign Relations in the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Tsang said the agreement "represents a major step for Hong Kong in strengthening economic ties with Belgium and Luxembourg".

He also took the opportunity to assure investors from Belgium that the elements that led to Hong Kong's success would remain unchanged after 1997.

In a separate occasion, Mr Mare Fischback, Minister of Budget, signed the agreement on behalf of Luxembourg during a dinner meeting with Mr Tsang in Luxembourg.

Under the terms of the agreement, the three governments will provide for equal treatment of investors, compensation if investments are expropriated, and free transfer of investments and returns.

The agreement also provides for the settlement of investment disputes in accordance with internationally accepted rules.

The agreement, upon ratification by the respective Belgian and Luxembourg legislatures, is effective for 15 years in the first instance, and renewable every 10 years.

At present, Belgium and Luxembourg together is Hong Kong's 20th largest trading partner, with bilateral trade approaching $20 billion in 1995.

2

This is the tenth agreement Hong Kong has signed in the area of investment promotion and protection. Other countries with which Hong Kong has signed a similar agreement are the Netherlands, Australia, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, New Zealand, Italy, France and Germany.

Mr Tsang arrived in continental Europe on Sunday (October 6) and will visit Italy and Austria later this week.

He will sign an air services agreement with Italy and another investment promotion and protection agreement with Austria on behalf of Hong Kong on October 9 and 11 respectively.

End

Government supports effort to expand stock market * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government supported any effort to involve all concerned to work together to expand the stock market and maintain Hong Kong's competitiveness as an international financial centre, the acting Financial Secretary, Mr Rafael Hui, said today (Tuesday).

Speaking at the 10th anniversary reception of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited, Mr Hui said the Exchange had made substantial and remarkable progress since it was reconstituted 10 years ago.

"Growing competition world-wide will compel us to exert continuing efforts to keep our leading position as an international financial centre," Mr Hui said.

"The maintenance and development of Hong Kong as an international financial centre can never be over-emphasised. It is stipulated under Article 109 of the Basic Law that we must do so."

Turning to the future, Mr Hui said he welcomed the Exchange’s proposal to set up a working group to study the stock market brokerage industry.

"This is certainly in keeping with the vision of the Financial Secretary to consolidate and further develop Hong Kong as a first-class international financial centre, and to strengthen its position as a provider of high-quality services to the rest of the region and to the world.

3

"On my part, 1 stand ready, as ever, to consider proposals emanating from the working group, including the one for reducing the total transaction costs of securities," he said.

Mr Hui believed that this working group would complement the one on new market development which the Exchange had already set up.

"The terms of reference of the working group on new market development clearly reflect the forward-looking attitude of the Exchange and its determination to maintain Hong Kong's leading position in the region.

"I understand that this group is now consulting the Securities and Futures Commission on a number of new products.

"I hope that firm recommendations will be forthcoming in time for the first anniversary of the Financial Secretary's initiatives related to promotion of services," said Mr Hui.

End

203 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flights ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Two groups totalling 203 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) returned by air to Hanoi, Vietnam, today (Tuesday) on the 61st and 62nd flights under the Orderly Repatriation Programme (ORP).

All of the returnees, comprising 92 men, 53 women, 25 boys and 33 girls, are from North Vietnam.

The majority of them arrived in Hong Kong in 1989, with the remaining in 1988, 1990, 1991, 1995 and 1996.

The two groups brought to 5,926 the total number repatriated on ORP flights since November 1991.

End

T

- 4 -

Monitors' report submitted to CS ♦ * * ♦ ♦

The monitors appointed to observe the Orderly Repatriation Programme operation this (Tuesday) morning have submitted their report to the Chief Secretary.

The two monitors comprised a non-official Justice of the Peace, Mr Charles Chan Sing-chuk; and representative from a non-govemment organisation, Ms Helene Curran from Christian Action.

End

Youth Exchange Programme delegates report on visits

*****

The observations of two groups of young people made during their three-week visits to Britain and Germany were reported to the Commission on youth at a meeting today (Tuesday).

The youths, aged between 18 and 24, were selected from more than 100 candidates for the trips in the summer under the International Youth Exchange Programme.

The two groups, comprising six and 10 youths respectively, paid separate visits to Britain from June 29 to July 20 and to Germany from July 13 to 31.

A spokesman for the Commission said the objectives of the Exchange Programme, organised jointly by the Commission and the Home Affairs Branch, were to broaden the outlook and international vision of young people, and to enable them to exchange ideas and experience with their overseas counterparts.

"The visits serve also to enrich their experience and enhance their critical faculties," the spokesman said.

The itinerary in Britain included visiting local youth organisations, schools and universities, and participation in recreational activities. In Germany, individual homestays were arranged to give young people a better insight into German culture and way of life.

5

Apart from reporting details of their visits, the young delegates shared with Commission members their views and observations on a number of social issues, such as the political system, education and youth work of the countries they visited.

Full reports on the visits have been prepared by the delegates and presented to the Commission.

"The Commission notes that as the International Youth Exchange Programme is organised on a bilateral and reciprocal basis, young people from Britain and Germany will also visit Hong Kong next year.

"To provide more opportunities for local youngsters to broaden their outlook and to enrich their experience, the Commission has agreed that more reciprocal visits of this nature should be organised with other countries in the future," the spokesman said.

An informal reception was held today for the delegates and members of the Commission to exchange views on the visits.

End

Volume and price movements of external trade in July

*****

In the first seven months of 1996, the volume of re-exports increased by 7.9% over the same period last year, while the volume of domestic exports decreased by 7.9%, 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 5.1%. Meanwhile, imports increased by 4.2% in volume.

Comparing July 1996 with July 1995. the volume of re-exports increased by 13%, while that of domestic exports decreased by 6%. Taken together, the volume of total exports increased by 9.4%. The volume of imports increased by 6.7%.

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

6

As regards price changes in the first seven months of 1996 over the same period last year, the prices of re-exports and domestic exports increased by 0.1% and 0.9% respectively. Import prices decreased by 0.6%.

Comparing July 1996 with July 1995, the prices of re-exports decreased by 1.4%, while that of domestic exports decreased by 0.1%. Import prices also decreased, by 3.2%.

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, recorded an increase of 0.9% in the first seven months of 1996 over the same period last year.

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

Comparing July 1996 with July 1995, increases in volume were recorded for most of the end-use categories of re-exports: capital goods (+27%); foodstuffs (+26%); consumer goods (+10%); and raw materials and semi-manufactures (+9%).

On the other hand, the volume of re-exports of fuels decreased by 22%.

Over the same period of comparison, increases in the prices of re-exports were noted of fuels (+12%); consumer goods (+0.2%); and foodstuffs (+0.1%).

On the other hand, the re-export prices of raw materials and semi-manufactures; and capital goods decreased by 3.9% and 2.2% respectively.

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

Comparing July 1996 with July 1995. commodity groups which recorded significant increases in volume of domestic exports included domestic electrical appliances (+40%); and textile yarn and thread (+32%).

On the other hand, the volume of domestic exports of metal ores and scrap; and footwear decreased by 52% and 43% respectively.

7

Commodity groups which recorded increases in domestic export prices included metal ores and scrap (+12%); and radios of all kinds (+9.2%).

On the other hand, the domestic export prices of electronic components; and domestic electrical appliances decreased by 4% and 3.1% respectively.

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 2.6% in July 1996 compared with July 1995.

Significant increases in the import volume were noted of wheat and flour; and milk, butter, cheese and eggs. However, decreases were recorded in the import volume of animals of the bovine species, live; and live poultry.

Over the same period of comparison, the import volume of consumer goods increased by 4.1%.

Increases in import volume were recorded in household-type electrical appliances; and tobacco manufactures. However, decreases in the import volume were noted of radios, television sets, gramophones, records, tape recorders and amplifiers; and alcoholic beverages.

The import volume of raw materials and semi-manufactures increased by 7.1% in July 1996 compared with July 1995.

Increases in import volume were recorded in most of the raw materials and semi-manufactures.

Significant increases in the import volume were noted of lime, cement, and fabricated building materials except glass, clay construction materials and refractory construction materials; and inedible animal and vegetable materials. However, decreases were noted of silk fabrics; and man-made fibres.

Imports of fuels increased by 18% in volume in July 1996 compared with July 1995.

As regards capital goods, the import volume increased by 10% in July 1996 over July 1995.

8

Notable increases were recorded in the import volume of office machinery; and industrial machinery, other than textile machinery and electrical machinery. The import volume of transport equipment; and construction machinery however decreased.

Comparing July 1996 with July 1995, the import prices of fuels and consumer goods increased by 7.4% and 0.3% respectively.

On the other hand, the import prices of raw materials and semi-manufactures; capital goods; and foodstuffs decreased by 6.2%, 5.4% and 0.7% respectively.

Details of the above statistics are published in the July 1996 issue of the Hong Kong Trade Index Numbers.

The report will be on sale around October 10 at $14 per copy at either the Government Publications Centre on the ground floor. Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway; or the Publications Unit of the Census and Statistics Department on the 19th Floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.

Enquiries regarding regular subscription to this report may be directed to the Publications (Sales) Office of the Information Services Department at 28th floor, Siu On Centre, 188 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai. Hong Kong, Tel 2598 8194; and enquiries on trade indices to the Census and Statistics Department, Tel 2582 4918.

9

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

Comparing JUL 1996 Comparing JAN-JUL 1996 with JUL 1995 with JAN-JUL 1995

End-use category % changes % changes

Value Unit Value Volume Value Unit Value Volume

Foodstuffs 27.9 0.1 26.4 11.8 -0.1 11.5

Consumer goods 11.1 0.2 10.3 5.8 1.1 4.1

Raw materials and semi-manufactures 4.7 -3.9 9.0 5.2 -1.4 6.7

Fuels -15.1 12.1 - -21.9 23.7 12.9 11.9

Capital goods 22.4 -2.2 27.0 15.2 -1.0 19.1

ALL COMMODITIES 11.0 -1.4 12.6 7.6 0.1 7.9

10

Table *2 : Changes in domestic exports by principal commodity group

Comparing JUL 1996 Comparing JAN-JUL 1996 with JUL 1995 with JAN-JUL 1995

Commodity group % changes % changes

Value Unit Value Volume Value Unit Value Volume

Clothing -4.7 0.2 -4.2 -7.1 1.3 -7.7

Textile fabrics 2.7 -0.6 5.1 -5.6 * -6.6

Textile yarn and thread 30.2 0.3 32.4 22.2 5.1 17.3

Textile made-ups and related articles -29.1 3.0 -29.7 -23.9 0.7 -24.6

Radios of all kinds 25.1 9.2 12.9 11.0 7.0 -2.2

Electronic components -15.8 -4.0 -13.9 -8.3 -0.7 -9.0

Footwear -44.6 -0.9 -43.4 -57.3 -3.6 -57.0

Metal manufactures -4.8 4.3 -9.2 -9.8 6.1 -15.3

Metal ores and scrap -45.6 12.3 -52.4 -11.8 8.9 -17.3

Watches and clocks -6.3 -0.3 -6.6 -9.3 -0.3 -9.2

Travel goods, handbags and similar articles -21.9 0.2 -22.4 -10.6 1.2 -12.2

Domestic electrical appliances 35.4 -3.1 39.9 43.2 -3.1 48.7

ALL COMMODITIES -6.1 -0.1 -6.0 -7.8 0.9 -7.9

less than 0.05%

11

Table 3 : Changes in imports by end-use category

Comparing JUL 1996 Comparing JAN-JUL 1996 with JUL 1995 with JAN-JUL 1995

End-use category % changes % changes

Value Unit Value Volume Value Unit Value Volume

Foodstuffs 2.0 -0.7 2.6 4.3 0.1 4.2

Consumer goods ■! i / . 5.1 0.3 4.1 1.9 1.7 0.1

Raw materials and semi-manufactures 0.8 -6.2 7.1 -2.3 2.7

Fuels 27.1 7.4 17.6 36.0 7.4 26.9

Capital goods 3.6 -5.4 10.1 8.8 -3.2 12.3

ALL COMMODITIES 3.5 -3.2 6.7 3.2 -0.6 4.2

less than 0.05%

End

12

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results

*****

Tender date 8 Oct 96 8 Oct 96

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q641 H675

Issue date 9 Oct 96 9 Oct 96

Maturity date 8 Jan 97 9 Apr 97

Coupon A -

Amount applied HK$8,150MN HK$5,610MN

Amount allotted HK$ 1,500 MN HK$800 MN

Average yield accepted 5.12 PCT 5.22 PCT

Highest yield accepted 5.13 PCT 5.23 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 5 PCT About 20 PCT

Average tender yield 5.14 PCT Hong Kong Monetary Authority 5.25 PCT

Tenders to be held in the week beginning October 14, 1996 -

Tender date 14 Oct 96 15 Oct 96

Paper on offer EF Notes EF Bills

Issue number 3910 Q642

Issue date 15 Oct 96 16 Oct 96

Maturity date 15 Oct 99 15 Jan 97

Tenor 3 years 91 days

Amount on offer HK$500+100 MN HK$ 1,500+300 MN

Coupon 6.28 PCT

End

13

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,303 0930 -143

Closing balance in the account 1,980 1000 -143

Change attributable to: 1100 -143

Money market activity - 143 1200 -143

LAF today - 180 1500 -143

1600 -143

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.6 *-0.1* 8.10.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/MTRC

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.85 2 years 2808 6.00 100.17 5.98

1 month 4.93 3 years 3907 6.80 101.31 6.37

3 months 5.14 5 years 5109 7.32 101.87 6.98

6 months 5.22 7 years 7308 7.24 100.19 7.33

12 months 5.48 5 years M503 7.35 100.90 7.25

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $8,573 million

Closed October 8, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES GARDEN ROAD, 5th-8th FLOORS, MURRAY BUILDING, HONG KONG. TEL.: 2842 8777

Wednesday, October 9,1996

Contents Page No.

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

Press report on leave of civil servants clarified.......................... 4

Governor visits Eastern District........................................... 5

Discovery Bay Tunnel Link Bill to be gazetted.............................. 5

Home Affairs officials to visit Beijing.................................... 6

Report on metering and billing approval scheme released.................... 7

Hill fire prevention publicity programmes to be organised.................. 8

Helicopter accident report published...................................... 10

Beat Drugs Fund invites applications................................... 11

Broadcasting, Culture and Sport Branch homepage launched.................. 12

Three lots to let......................................................... 13

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations...................... 14

1

Transcript of the Governor’s media session ♦ ♦ * * ♦

Following is the transcript of the media session given by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, after visiting the Eastern District this (Wednesday) afternoon:

Governor: I am delighted to have made another visit to Eastern District which is the largest in Hong Kong, as you know, and to have seen some of the developments in the district and to have a chance of talking to the chairman and district board members about some of the challenges which they face.

I shall be hoping to return sometime during the District Board’s Festival which I know has a very high reputation in Hong Kong.

Question: Governor, I am going to ask that earlier today there was a demonstration at the Japanese Consulate in which demonstrators actually broke into the Consulate and sort of disrupted the activities in there. Now is the Government going to take a harder line with this and what are you going to do to protect the Consulate?

Governor: I will be asking for a full report about what happened. What I have heard so far is serious. Let me make one point abundantly plain. I recognise how strongly feelings run on the particular issue which has been the focus of demonstrations and I will always defend absolutely people’s right to express their views, to demonstrate their views, with this qualification: they must always act within the law. If people today have not acted within the law then that lets down them and lets down the cause which they believe in. And if there has been a break-in to diplomatic premises there is absolutely no justification for it whatsoever.

Hong Kong is one of the greatest international cities in the world. What sort of message do we send to others, what sort of message do we send to the international community, if the sort of lawlessness which has been reported today is reported around the world and if it happens again? So I very much hope that there will be nothing like this again, and I repeat, I will be asking for a full report.

Question (follow-up): Are things out of hand, do you think, now?

Governor: No, I don't think they are. But I repeat, however strong people's views are -and we recognise that there are very strong views - they should be always, always, acting within the law and not breaking the law. It's the law and the rule of law which are the backbone of a free society like Hong Kong.

2

Question: Mr Governor, some Japanese officials have already expressed regret about the Hong Kong protesters going to Diaoyu Tai Islands and also they have already asked the Hong Kong Government to do something on this. So, what is your comment on this?

Governor: My comment is very much what I have just said. We have been in regular contact with the Japanese authorities; they have expressed their concerns to us but we have pointed out that in a free society we can't stop people expressing their views -and would not seek to do so. However, we do feel very strongly that it is important that people express their views within the law, that there aren't any breaches of the law however strongly people feel. Once you break the law you are on a very slippery slope.

Question: Governor, how do you react to the right-wing group of Japanese? They claim to kill Chinese and Hong Kong people. How do you deal with this threat to Hong Kong?

Governor: I was interested in the reports yesterday, and obviously concerned. I was slightly surprised that there had been no report earlier to the police from the New China News Agency. I very much hope that they will give the police a copy of this Japanese letter, which I think was written in Chinese, and give the police the chance of following it up and seeing whether there is a real threat. I was surprised that even though the letter had apparently been sent a week earlier, it was only yesterday that we heard about it. But obviously it is a matter of concern. We have a very professional police, we are one of the safest cities in the world, and the police will want, of course, to make sure that if people are writing letters like this and making threats like this, that they are dealt with. But unless we have a copy of the letter and unless the matter is reported to the police, there is not very much that can be done about it.

Question: Governor, it is reported that some people are dissatisfied with your policy address, so what do you think about this?

Governor: I notice that the approval rating for me in the poll that was carried out and published on Monday showed that the approval rating had gone up to 67% from 62% and showed that we got higher marks for the policy address this year than the policy address last year. That seems to me to be a pretty satisfactory outcome. I am perfectly happy - if there are some people who are critical about the policy proposals we have put forward in the last week or so, or the progress report that we have given - I am perfectly happy to have a dialogue with them but I have to point out that the overall level of satisfaction in the community seems to be pretty high.

3

Question: Governor, will extra protection now be given to the Japanese Consulate following today's ...?

Governor: I will want to have a full report from the police about what happened and 1 think that every diplomatic office, all diplomatic premises in Hong Kong, should get any security that they need and require. I don't think that in a free society, in a safe city like Hong Kong, we should be having to worry about these matters. But if we have to, for a few days or weeks, then I want to make sure that the police give this consulate the protection that it deserves.

Question: Arc you suggesting by your comments regarding the Xinhua letter that it could be something that they had cooked up themselves to try to incite more sentiment against Japan?

Governor: No. But I am naturally concerned about the contents of the letter and I am naturally concerned that it was not reported straightaway to the police.

Question: Governor, Mrs Anson Chan said that the police will adopt some necessary measures against the threat letters. So can you explain which measures, necessary measures, against the threat letters ...?

Governor: I don't think 1 can add to what I have said, which is that if the NCNA will now make available to the police this threatening letter, it will make it easier for the police to deal with it and to follow it up. If anybody is making these threats then they should be dealt with. But unless we have a copy of the letter and know exactly what happened, it is difficult for the police to take as active a role as they would like.

Question: Governor, why not act immediately and put a police presence in front of the Japanese Consulate right away? Wouldn't that be a sign that Government is going to offer protection? Right now it seems that they are concerned about safety and they don't know what they can do about it?

Governor: Well, I want to find out exactly what security has been offered to the Japanese Consulate General and what exactly happened this afternoon. But I want to underline the point: first of all a diplomatic office in Hong Kong shouldn't require special protection because in a society as sophisticated and free as Hong Kong we should all now know how to behave responsibly. But if some people are going to behave irresponsibly, then regardless of the strength of people's feelings on the issue of the Diaoyu Islands, regardless of that, we have to make sure that the Japanese Consulate General is properly protected and that people are not able to break into it and to break the law.

4

Let me add one other thing. I was very struck a week or so back by the maturity of those who were at Kai Tak airport handing out leaflets to incoming Japanese tourists and Japanese businessmen pointing out that while Hong Kong people felt very strongly about this issue and while they disagreed with the position of the Japanese Government on it, they had no personal axe to grind with individual Japanese people, that they welcomed the contribution which Japanese tourists made to our tourist industry and obviously as a community we welcome Japanese investment in Hong Kong. Now that is a civilised way of behaving, that is a civilised way of conducting one's arguments however strongly one feels about those arguments. There can be no question that breaking the law lets down those who pursue these arguments in a civilised though eloquent and vigorous way. Okay? Thank you very much.

End

Press report on leave of civil servants clarified * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Commenting on a Chinese newspaper article today (Wednesday) on a new leave package for civil servants, a Civil Service Branch spokesman said the package referred to is part of the proposed set of new terms of appointment and conditions of service (the common terms proposals) released in October 1993.

He stressed that the proposed set of common terms, when implemented in future, would not affect serving officers on permanent and pensionable terms unless they opted to change to the new common terms.

’’Officers on agreement terms will renew their agreements on the new terms only after the set of common terms have been implemented," he said.

He said it was the Government's intention to appoint new recruits on the new terms after the implementation of the proposals on a future date.

Staff and relevant advisory bodies had been extensively consulted after the consultation document on civil service terms of appointment and conditions of service was released in late 1993.

"They were generally supportive to the proposals which had been passed to the Chinese side in late 1994. There is yet no firm date to implement the common terms package," the spokesman said.

End

5

Governor visits Eastern District ♦ * * * *

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, was updated on the general situation in the Eastern district during his visit today (Thursday).

' • < J f

Mr Patten first went to the Korean International School in Sai Wan Ho. Later from a vantage point on the rooftop of Felicity Garden, he got a bird’s eye view of the district and was briefed on the latest developments in Aldrich Bay Reclamation.

•' t

After having tea with some new arrivals from China at a restaurant in North Point Road, the Governor went on a walkabout along Chun Yeung Street. The visit was concluded with a reception where Mr Patten met with the Eastern District Board members and local community leaders.

Accompanying Mr Patten during the visit were the acting Director of Home Affairs, Mr Dominic Law, the Eastern District Officer, Mr H T Lui, and the Eastern District Board Chairman, Mr Chan Bing-woon.

If

End

Discovery Bay Tunnel Link Bill to be gazetted ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Discovery Bay Tunnel Link Bill will be published in the Gazette on Friday (October 11).

The Bill proposes to allow the Discovery Bay Road Tunnel Company Limited (the Company), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Hong Kong Resort Company Limited (HKR), to build at its expenses a private tunnel linking Discovery Bay to Siu Ho Wan in North Lantau.

A government spokesman explained that the tunnel was to improve the accessibility of Discovery Bay to the new airport and developments in North Lantau.

"To recover the operating and maintenance costs of the tunnel, it is proposed that the Company may, subject to the approval of the Secretary for Transport, charge tolls for the passage of vehicles through the tunnel," he said.

6

He added that to prevent any excessive traffic impact on the North Lantau Expressway, HKR had agreed with the Government that use of the tunnel would be restricted to residential coach service and other services vehicles.

The Government would have the right to impose financial penalties on the Company for any default or breach of the enabling Ordinance during the operating period.

In line with the Outlying Islands Sewerage Masterplan to improve the quality of the adjacent waters, it was also intended that the tunnel would carry a public sewer for the purpose of transferring sewage from Peng Chau and Discovery Bay to the Siu Ho Wan Sewage Treatment Works, the spokesman said.

For this private project, the Company would need to pay to the Government the usual premium for the wayleave and a royalty for the construction and operation of the private tunnel, he added.

HKR has completed an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in March 1996 on the road and tunnel link. The study concluded that the chosen alignment was environmentally acceptable. The EIA, together with mitigation measures, were endorsed by the EIA Sub-committee of the Advisory Council on the Environment on April 1 this year.

It is estimated that the construction of the tunnel and associated road link will take about two-and-a-half years to complete.

End

Home Affairs officials to visit Beijing *****

The Director of Home Affairs, Mrs Shelley Lau, is leading a Home Affairs Department delegation on a four-day visit to Beijing today (Wednesday).

They will meet officials of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Ministry of Civil Affairs, Beijing Civil Affairs Bureau and Ministry of Public Security.

District administration, hotel licensing, environmental improvement and emergency co-ordination would be among the topics to be discussed.

7

"This is part of our normal contact with officials of the Chinese government,” Mrs Lau said.

’’Since the re-organisation in 1995, the Home Affairs Department has taken on additional executive responsibilities, including the formulation of the Rural Planning and Improvement Strategy and the licensing of hotels, guesthouses, clubs and bedspace apartments.

”It would be useful to know more about the work of our counterparts in the Chinese Government and to exchange views with them, particularly on these aspects."

The delegation also comprises the Deputy Director of Home Affairs, Mr Lee Lap-sun; the Wan Chai District Officer, Mrs Elaine Tang; Senior Engineer of the Rural Planning and Improvement Strategy Section; a Senior Building Surveyor of the Office of Licensing Authority; and a Senior Liaison Officer.

The visit will end on October 12.

End

Report on metering and billing approval scheme released ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A report concerning the implementation of a metering and billing approval scheme which could be applied to the telecommunications carriers in Hong Kong for the next 15 years and beyond was released by the Telecommunications Authority (TA) today (Wednesday).

The report was prepared by the British Approval Board for Telecommunications (BABT) as part of a consultancy study for the implementation of a telecommunications meter approval scheme for the fixed, the mobile and the international service operators.

The objective of the study is to address the concerns of customers regarding the accuracy of the bills issued by these telecommunications operators.

TA expected that the establishment of such a scheme would satisfactorily address these concerns and help to instil customer confidence in the metering and billing operations of these telecommunications operators.

8

In the report, BABT suggested that a meter approval scheme modelled on the UK experience could be applied in Hong Kong and recommended the application of the proposed meter approval scheme to one fixed operator and one mobile operator in the first instance.

The full report can be obtained by accessing the Office of the Telecommunications Authority’s (OFTA) Internet homepage. on http://www.ofta.gov.hk and its bulletin board service at (852) 2834 0119.

Hard copies of the report are also available at a unit price of $80 at the Government Publications Centre, Low Block, ground floot, Queensway Government Office, 66, Queensway, Hong Kong.

Comments from the industry and other interested parties on the recommendations made in the report are welcome and should be submitted by the end of October to the Senior Telecommunications Engineer (Technical Support 1), OFTA, 29th floor, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, Fax 2803 5112, e-mail: babt@ofta.gov.hk.

End

Hill fire prevention publicity programmes to be organised ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

I'he Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) will organise a number of educational and publicity programmes in the coming months to enhance public awareness on the danger of countryside fire and its prevention.

The programmes, mainly to publicise the hill fire prevention message, include broadcast of television and radio announcements of public interest, distribution of printed materials in the forms of posters, year planners and bookmarks, as well as the setting up of display panels at country parks.

Park wardens will visit local villagers to enlist their support.

fhe announcement of the forthcoming programmes was made by AI D’S Assistant Director (Parks), Mr Wong Fook-yee, when addressing the opening of this year's Countryside Fire Prevention Campaign at Kei Ling Ha, Ma On Shan Country Park, this (Wednesday) morning.

9

Mr Wong reiterated that government efforts in hill fire prevention alone were not enough.

"The best solution must depend on the co-operation and good sense of the members of the community," he said.

"If everyone is concerned about the damages caused by hill fires and is willing to take proper care when handling fire in countryside, the vegetation and wildlife will have a better chance to survive."

He said in the last dry season, there was a total of 181 hill fires inside or threatening country parks, damaging some 74,400 trees on over 2,880 hectares of park land.

Generally speaking, the occurrence of hill fires is mainly caused by the prevailing weather conditions. A particularly dry and windy day, coupled with the carelessness of country park visitors, may result in a disastrous fire.

"The destruction caused by hill fires does not restrict to countryside vegetation. The landscape quality, wildlife habitats and soil stability are also affected," Mr Wong said.

"Hill fires could even endanger human life and property."

He reiterated that most of the hill fires could be avoided if the public were able to take some simple precautionary measures.

These include lighting fires only in designated barbecue sites, no discarding of cigarette ends, not burning weeds and hay on dry and windy days as well as never leaving burning joss sticks and paper unattended.

During the dry season, AFD's 22 fire fighting teams would be mobilised to fight hill fires.

In addition to fire lookouts, AFD also has a fire control centre at Kowloon hills co-ordinate all fire fighting arrangements. A 24-hour hotline 2720 0777 is maintained to collect hill fire reports from the public.

Mr Wong said AFD and Fire Services Department (FSD) had developed an effective system in preventing, detecting and fighting hill fires.

10

"The volunteers of the Civil Aid Services (CAS) assist to patrol and fight hill fires on Sundays and public holidays while the Government Flying Service (GFS) provides perfect techniques of water bombing and trooping fire-fighters to fire scenes, particularly in remote areas. ’-•/ •

"We have managed to reduce the loss and damages caused by hill fires considerably,” he added. '-Hu

* * f • • ’ * ’ | ' H

As the Chung Yeung Festival was just days away, Mr Wong reminded grave sweepers to take special precaution when burning joss sticks and paper.

«

Lighting fires inside country parks indiscriminately would be prosecuted.

At today’s ceremony, GFS had deployed one of its helicopters to give a water bombing demonstration.

Also officiating at the launching ceremony were FSD’s Chief Fire Officer, Mr Kwok Jing-keung; Chief Staff Officer of CAS, Mr Fung Kwok-him; and the Deputy Manager of GFS, Mr Choi Chiu-ming.

End

Helicopter accident report published ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The government today (Wednesday) published the investigation report of a helicopter accident that happened near Yuen Long on June 9, 1995.

The aircraft involved is an Aerospatiale SA315B Lama helicopter and was substantially damaged after hitting the side of a container shortly after landing.

The investigation was conducted by the Civil Aviation Department. The objective of the report is to identify the cause of the accident and prevent future recurrence.

The report contains an analysis of the circumstances surrounding the accident, together with conclusions and recommendations. The pilot sustained minor injury and there was no injury to the passenger and the persons working on the ground.

11

A total of four recommendations was made in the report and these recommendations were addressed to the operator of the crashed helicopter. Heliservices (Hong Kong) Limited, who bears the responsibilities for the matters concerned. It is for the operator to decide as to whether and what actions are to be taken.

Copies of the report are for sale at the Government Publication Sales Centre on the ground floor of Queensway Government Offices, Hong Kong.

End

Beat Drugs Fund invites applications *****

The $350 million Beat Drugs Fund is now open to application for the second batch of grants in 1996. Interested organisations and individuals are invited to submit their applications on or before November 8.

The ambit of* the fund includes the furtherance of drug abuse preventive education and publicity, research, training, law enforcement and treatment and rehabilitation.

Projects to be funded should be non profit-making. They may be of a capital or short-term recurrent nature.

In examining the applications, due consideration will be given to:

* the benefit that it will bring to combat the drug problem;

* whether there is a demonstrated need for the proposed project;

* the technical and project management capability of the applicant;

whether the proposed project's schedule of implementation is well-planned and the duration practical and reasonable;

whether the proposed budget is reasonable and realistic;

* whether there is or likely to involve unnecessary duplication of the work currently carried out by other institutions/organisations.

12

Application forms are available from the Beat Drugs Fund Association care of Narcotics Division, 23rd floor, High Block. Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway; district offices, and the Hong Kong Council of Social Service.

A total of 24 projects were selected for funding support involving around $8.7 million in the first round of bids for the fund.

This includes allocating about $5.3 million for 14 drug treatment and rehabilitation projects and $3.2 million for eight projects on preventive education and publicity. The remaining funds go to two international conferences to promote understanding on drug abuse.

End

Broadcasting, Culture and Sport Branch homepage launched

*****

The Broadcasting, Culture and Sport Branch (BCSB) has set up a homepage on the Internet to facilitate the public to access and retrieve information on the work of the Branch.

The homepage is designed for Netscape 2.0 and Internet Explorer 2.0. Users may access to the page either from the Hong Kong Government Information Centre network on http://www.info.gov.hk/ or through the Uniform Resource Location on http://www.info.gov.hk/bcsb/.

BCSB is the fifth policy branch to have launched its homepage on the Internet.

The homepage consists of 229 pages, in both English and Chinese. It contains detailed information on the Branch's policy responsibilities, organisation, policy commitments, public consultation papers, its executive departments and related organisations. There is also a suggestion box.

"The page is particularly interesting in that it is also well-stocked with graphics and pictures, including voluntary camps, declared monuments, and some historical buildings and archaeological finds of Hong Kong," a spokesman for the Branch said today (Wednesday).

13

"We will regularly review the page to ensure that up-to-date and accurate information is provided."

Comments and suggestions are welcome. They can be sent to the Branch through the built-in suggestion box.

End

Three lots to let ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Lands Department is inviting tenders for the short-term tenancy of three pieces of government land in Kowloon Bay and Sha Tin.

The first lot, located at Kai Cheung Road, Kowloon Bay, has an area of about 6,560 square metres. It is earmarked for use as a public car park.

The tenancy is for three years, renewable quarterly.

The other two lots are in Area 14B, Sha Tin. Both are designated for use as feepaying public car parks, exhibition sites for the sale and lease of second-hand cars possessed by the tenants or storage of goods possessed by the tenants.

One lot is located at the junction of Sha Tin Wai Road and Ngau Pei Sha Street, with an area of about 5,850 square metres. The other at Ngau Pei Sha Street is about 7,310 square metres in area.

The tenancies are for nine months, renewable monthly.

The closing date for submission of tenders is noon on October 25, 1996 (Friday).

Tender forms, tender notices and conditions can be obtained from the Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road and the District Lands Offices of Kowloon and Sha Tin.

Tender plans can also be inspected at these offices.

End

14

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

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,980 0930 +180

Closing balance in the account 2,130 1000 + 180

Change attributable to: 1100 +180

Money market activity + 180 1200 + 180

LAF today -30 1500 +180

1600 +180

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.7 *+0.1*9.10.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EFbills EFnotes/MTRC

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.82 2 years 2808 6.00 100.11 6.02

1 month 4.94 3 years 3907 6.80 101.23 6.41

3 months 5.13 5 years 5109 7.32 101.70 7.02

6 months 5.23 7 years 7308 7.24 99.99 7.37

12 months 5.50 5 years M5O3 7.35 100.63 7.32

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $14,063 million

Closed October 9, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES GARDEN ROAD, 5th-8th FLOORS, MURRAY BUILDING, HONG KONG. TEL.: 2842 8777

SUPPLEMENT

Wednesday, October 9,1996

Contents Page No.

Legislative Council meeting: Motion debate on "disparity of wealth"..........................  1

Government has not turned a blind eye to the vulnerable : SHW... 3

Criminal Appeal (Amendment) Rules............................... 4

Hong Kong Academy of Medicine (Amendment) Regulation............ 5

Arbitration (Amendment) Bill.................................... 6

Hong Kong Institute of Education (Amendment) Bill............... 8

Public Accounts Committee report tabled..................... 10

COMAC annual report tabled..................................... 12

Efficient immigration clearance service for travellers......... 13

Deployment of ward attendants in public hospitals........... 15

/Tuen Mun....

Contents

Page No.

Tuen Mun Hospital out-patient service...................................... 17

Rape case involving mentally handicapped victim........................ 18

Short term tenancy sites to ease public car park shortage.................. 20

Owners' Corporation in private buildings................................... 22

Registration of electrical workers......................................... 23

Implications of proposed MTR extension being examined...................... 25

Change of rental flats to home ownership flats justified................... 26

Computerised system for the issue of HKSAR passport........................ 27

. v, / it ,

Old age and disability allowance review.................................... 28

Advisory boards for economic and monetary affairs.......................... 29

Measures to improve industrial safety.................................. 31

US restrictive measures’ impact on local garment industries................ 33

Figures on CSS A applications.............................................. 35

1

Motion debate on "disparity of wealth" *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the motion debate on "Disparity of Wealth in Hong Kong" moved by the Hon Fung Kin-kee in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I have taken part in many motion debates on disparity of wealth or poverty in this Council in the last two years, but this is the first time I have ever heard members accusing the Government of turning a blind eye to the plight of those in need. I think this is extremely unfair to the Government. In supporting this Motion, Members would, in effect, be concluding that most of what we do to relieve the plight of the vulnerable in our society through the Social Welfare Department and through the 174 non-governmental organisations we subvent is regarded as worthless by this Council. I suggest this conclusion would be viewed with considerable dismay by the thousands of social workers and other professionals funded by Government who work with great dedication to help those in need.

Of course, we do not turn a blind eye to the plight of those in need. I would not dare to claim that we are doing enough or that we could not do more. But our eyes are firmly on the vulnerable and the weak. We are not blind nor are our eyes turned away.

The policy commitments we have just issued contain many services which are provided to ensure the vulnerable elderly and those on public assistance get more help. Indeed, as pointed out by the Governor in last week's address, there are even those who are beginning to express concern that we may be on the slippery road to welfarism as a result of the new higher CSSA payments introduced this year.

We are currently providing CSSA support to about 200 000 financially vulnerable people at a cost of $6.3 billion a year. This means CSSA expenditure has more than quadrupled in four years. 560 000 people over 65 years of age or 92% of the population of Hong Kong in this age group are now receiving some form of financial public assistance.

Mr President, a Government that spends over $10 billion a year from its General Revenue to provide direct financial assistance to over 690 000 persons, or more than one in every ten members of its society; a Government that has increased its recurrent spending on social welfare for those most in need by 65% over and above inflation in the last four years alone cannot be said to have turned a blind eye to the plight of those in need.

2

But cash assistance is not the only or the most important help a Government can give. Nobody wants to live off charity. What is more important to everyone, as is also reflected in the amendment proposed by tire Hon Lee Cheuk-yan, is a home, a job, education for their children and care when they fall sick. Our progress in addressing these needs is a matter of public record. Social Security and welfare services provide the back-up when these front-line needs fail to be met. Social security is not a tool for ironing out inequalities; it is a safety net. And we try to give that net enough spring to encourage those who are able to bounce back into the mainstream and support themselves once more.

There are well documented risks associated with trying to hijack social security systems to achieve goals they are not designed to tackle. Such systems are not suitable as a substitute retirement protection scheme. Financial security in old age should be provided through contributory retirement schemes. Social security payments to those able to work should be adequate to support their needs if work is unavailable - and this year we increased CSSA levels for this category of adult recipients by nearly 30%. In short, we cannot use cash payments to eliminate poverty as part of the Hon Lee Cheuk-yan's amendment seems to suggest.

My colleague, the Secretary for Financial Services has addressed the wider issues raised in this Motion and the amendment proposed to it. I have focussed on the issues relating to welfare and social security. This is a narrow focus concentrating on how we can alleviate the effects of low incomes and a lack of financial resources rather than how we can address the cause. The causes of a disparity of wealth in any society are deep-seated and complex. But no modem society is without a degree of disparity and those at the bottom end of the economic ladder will always be regarded by others as the poor. Even the wealthiest nations in the world still have some who will be characterised as 'poor'. I am sure our 'poor' would not necessarily be regarded as 'poor' in some other Asian settings.

In short, it is unrealistic to call for the elimination of poverty when poverty is clearly a relative concept. But there are few greater responsibilities for a Government than to alleviate the plight of those who are the least fortunate. And I believe that we and the non-governmental welfare sector are addressing our responsibilities very seriously in this regard. A message from this Council that it believes we are turning a blind eye to the plight of those in need is simply not helpful.

End

3

Government has not turned a blind eye to the vulnerable : SHW *****

The Government has not turned a blind eye to the plight of those in need, the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, said during the motion debate on "Disparity of Wealth in Hong Kong" in the Legislative Council this (Wednesday) evening.

She maintained that a Government that spent over $10 billion a year to provide direct financial assistance to over 690,000 persons and that a Government that had increased its recurrent spending on social welfare for those in need by 65 per cent over and above inflation in the last four years alone could not be said to have turned a blind eye to the plight of those in need.

"I would not dare to claim that we are doing enough or that we could not do more. But our eyes are firmly on the vulnerable and the weak. We are not blind nor are our eyes turned away," she stated.

Mrs Fok pointed out that the policy commitments this year contained many services which were provided to ensure the vulnerable elderly and those on public assistance get more help.

In addition, the Government is currently providing CSSA support to about 200,000 financially vulnerable people at a cost of $6.3 billion a year.

Some 560,000 people over 65 years of age, or 92 per cent of the population of Hong Kong in this age group, are also receiving some form of financial public assistance.

But Mrs Fok was quick to point out that cash assistance was not the only or the most important help a Government could give. What was more important to everyone is a home, a job, education for their children and care when they fall sick, she added.

The Secretary also told the Council that social security was not a tool for ironing out inequalities.

"It is a safety net; and we try to give that net enough spring to encourage those who are able to bounce back into the mainstream and support themselves once more.

"In short, we cannot use cash payments to eliminate poverty as part of the Hon Lee Cheuk-yan's amendment seems to suggest," she added.

4

Concluding, Mrs Fok said there were few greater responsibilities for a Government than to alleviate the plight of those who were the least fortunate.

In this regard, she believed that the Government and the non-governmental welfare sector were addressing their responsibilities very seriously.

End

Criminal Appeal (Amendment) Rules *****

Following is the speech by the Attorney General, the Hon Jeremy Mathews, in moving a resolution on the Criminal Appeal (Amendment) Rules 1996 today (Wednesday) in the Legislative Council:

Mr President,

I move the resolution standing in my name in the Order Paper. The resolution is to the effect that the Criminal Appeal (Amendment) Rules 1996 made by the Criminal Procedure Rules Committee under section 9 of the Criminal Procedure Ordinance on 10 July 1996 be approved.

The Criminal Appeal (Amendment) Rules 1996 amend Forms VIII and XI in the Schedule to the Criminal Appeal Rules. Form VIII is the form for giving notice of appeal against conviction on a question of law. Form XI relates to applications for leave to appeal against conviction or sentence, and applications for extension of time in which to appeal. These two Forms have been amended by adding a note that the Court of Appeal has power, under section 83 W of the Criminal Procedure Ordinance, to direct that the time during which the appellant is in custody pending the determination of his appeal shall not be reckoned as part of the term of any sentence to which he is for the time being subject.

Section 83 W of the Criminal Procedure Ordinance provides that the Court of Appeal has the power to direct that the time during which an appellant is in custody pending the determination of his appeal shall not be reckoned as part of the term of any sentence to which he is for the time being subject. However, the effect of this provision may not always be appreciated by a potential appellant, who may be ordered to serve, in effect, an additional sentence upon dismissal of his or her appeal by the Court of Appeal.

5

The amendments to the Forms make clear to a potential appellant the possible consequences of an appeal. These amendments are clearly desirable.

Mr President, I beg to move.

End

Hong Kong Academy of Medicine (Amendment) Regulation ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

Following is the Speech by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in moving the resolution on the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine (Amendment) Regulation today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the resolution standing in my name on the Order Paper.

The Hong Kong Academy of Medicine Ordinance was enacted on 1 August 1992 to establish the Academy as a statutory body. The Education Committee was set up by virtue of section 11. The Academy is empowered under the Ordinance to provide for the constitution, the period of office of members, resignation of members, filling of casual vacancies and the function of the Education Committee by Regulation.

The membership of the Education Committee is provided for in regulation 11(2). The Education Committee consists of the Vice-President (Education and Examinations) of the Academy who chairs the Committee, the chairman of the education committee of each and every College, and additional persons the Committee from time to time co-opt.

As the Education Committee is responsible for all educationally related matters including postgraduate education and training and continuing medical education, the Academy felt that the involvement of representatives from relevant educational institutes like the Faculty of Medicine of the two universities will help the Committee in its work. On the other hand, as postgraduate training will usually be undertaken in hospitals and medical institutions, to have representatives from the Hospital Authority and the Department of Health will facilitate the planning and assessment of the necessary training.

6

In fact representatives from the above institutions have already been co-opted into the Education Committee since 1994 for reasons outlined above, but as co-opted members in the Committee, they do not have voting rights. The Academy is of the view that it would be more appropriate to turn these co-opted members into permanent members so that they can have the right to vote.

The Amendment Regulation was proposed and determined by a postal ballot. The resolution seeks this Council's approval of the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine (Amendment) Regulation. This will enable the representatives of the relevant institutions to become permanent members of the Education Committee.

Mr President, I beg to move.

End

Arbitration (Amendment) Bill *****

Following is the speech by the Attorney General, the Hon Jeremy Mathews, in moving the second reading of the Arbitration (Amendment) Bill 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that the Arbitration (Amendment) Bill 1996 be read the second time.

As members of this Council know, arbitration is a form of dispute resolution that is becoming increasingly popular, especially in the commercial field. Under the current law, two systems of arbitration exist in parallel in Hong Kong: one for domestic arbitrations and the other for international arbitrations. The purposes of this Bill are to extend the powers of arbitral tribunals in respect of the conduct of arbitration proceedings and to bring certain provisions of the Arbitration Ordinance relating to domestic arbitrations in line with those relating to international arbitrations, and vice versa.

In 1991, there was a proposal in England to reform the English law of arbitration. In the light of that development, in January 1992, I invited Mr Justice Kaplan (as he then was) to set up and chair a committee of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre to consider whether amendments to the Arbitration Ordinance were required. The committee consulted the arbitration community on the matter. There was strong support for a simple arbitration law and also a unitary arbitral system.

7

The committee nevertheless considered that unification of the two arbitration systems would be a complex issue and would require careful consideration. It recommended that, as an interim measure, limited improvements be made to the Ordinance to minimise the differences between the two systems, remove anomalies, and enhance the efficiency of arbitral tribunals. The Administration accepts the need for those improvements. Hong Kong has established itself as a leading centre for arbitration in the region and it is essential that we maintain that position against growing competition from other regional arbitration centres by keeping our law up-to-date and efficient. •.*

Let me give a few examples of the proposed improvements contained in the Bill.

At present, where the parties to an arbitration agreement cannot agree on an arbitrator, they may have to apply to a High Court judge to appoint an arbitrator. However, an application to the High Court may be expensive and time consuming. The Bill therefore proposes that the power to appoint arbitrators should be conferred on the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre. This would make arbitration in Hong Kong more cost effective.

Under the existing law, the power of the court or arbitral tribunal to order interim measures, such as an injunction, is unclear. The Bill proposes to clarify this power.

Current provisions which empower the High Court to extend the time limits for a party to commence domestic arbitration proceedings or to dismiss a claim for unreasonable delay arc not applicable to international arbitrations. There is no logical reason for the divergence as between the two systems and amendments are proposed to extend those provisions to international arbitrations.

The definition of "arbitration agreement" in the Ordinance, and hence the scope of the Ordinance, need to reflect the practices of a fast-changing commercial world. The Bill provides that an arbitration agreement is to include an agreement to arbitrate that is in writing but is not signed by the parties. This will ensure, for example, that an arbitration agreement in a Bill of Lading can be subject to the Ordinance.

The Bill also empowers the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre to decide certain issues that previously had to be referred to the courts. These issues include costs, fees, expenses and interest on awards.

In order to ensure fairness and scrutiny by an independent third party, the Bill ' provides that rules to be promulgated by the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre require the approval of the Chief Justice.

8

Mr President, Hong Kong has established itself as a leading centre for arbitration in the region and it is essential that it maintains that position against growing competition from other arbitration centres. It is therefore necessary that the Ordinance be amended to remove anomalies and deficiencies, the more important of which have just been explained. The proposed enhancement of the powers of the court and the arbitral tribunal is consistent with international practice, and recognises arbitration as a consensual process, which has its foundation in the agreement of the parties. The proposed amendments are also in line with developments in other common law jurisdictions and will reinforce Hong Kong's position as the leading centre for arbitration in the region.

Mr President, these amendments were recommended by a committee that was broadly representative of interested groups, and included experts from the legal, engineering and accounting professions. The Bill is supported by the Bar Association, the Law Society, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and various Chambers of Commerce and professional bodies. I therefore commend the Bill to this Council. In view of the broad support that the Bill commands, I hope that this Council will approve its early enactment.

End

Hong Kong Institute of Education (Amendment) Bill *****

Following is a speech by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, in moving the second reading of the Hong Kong Institute of Education (Amendment) Bill 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the second reading of the Hong Kong Institute of Education (Amendment) Bill 1996.

With the objective of upgrading the quality of teacher education and continuous professional development of teachers in Hong Kong, the Administration merged the four Colleges of Education and the Institute of Language in Education into a unified Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd) in 1993. Following the enactment of the Hong Kong Institute of Education Ordinance in 1994, the Institute was formally established in September that year.

9

It has been the Administration’s intention to put the HKIEd under the terms of reference of the University Grants Committee (UGC) at a later stage of its development so that the UGC could monitor and fund the activities of the Institute. The UGC has well established monitoring and financial assessment mechanism for tertiary institutions. It channels government funds to the seven tertiary institutions, and monitors their performance. In joining the UGC family, the HKIEd could therefore benefit from the Committee's expertise and advice. It would also further enhance the Institution's image and status.

The Governor already gave his approval on 1 July 1996 to designate the HKIEd as an institution under the terms of reference of the UGC. As a follow-up action, we now propose to amend the HKIEd Ordinance so as to bring it into line with the ordinances governing the seven tertiary institutions.

The main provisions of the HKIEd (Amendment) Bill 1996 include:

* amending the definition of’’financial year";

* deleting the requirement for the HKIEd to obtain the approval of the Financial Secretary for borrowing or fund raising activities;

* empowering the HKIEd to invest its funds;

* enabling the Governor in Council to delegate certain powers to a public officer;

* specifying the term of appointment for a member of the Council of the HKIEd;

* removing the requirement for the Governor to table the HKIEd’s statements and reports in this Council;

* removing the requirement for the HKIEd to submit to the Governor for his approval a programme of the HKIEd’s proposed activities and estimates of its income and expenditure for the next financial year; and

* removing the requirement for the gazettal of rules made by the Council of the HKIEd, etc.

Both the UGC and the HKIEd have been consulted and agreed to the changes proposed in the HKIEd (Amendment) Bill 1996.

Mr President, I beg to move.

End

10

Public Accounts Committee report tabled *****

Following is the speech by the Chief Secretary, the Hon Anson Chan, in tabling the Government Minute in response to the Report of the Public Accounts Committee in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

Laid on the table today is the Government Minute responding to Report No. 26 of the Public Accounts Committee. The Minute sets out the measures the Government has taken, or is planning to take, on the conclusions and recommendations contained in the Report.

Mr Eric Li, the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, spoke in this Council on 10 July 1996 when tabling the Report. I would like to respond to the points he made.

Mr Li highlighted the Administration’s duty and accountability in relation to this Council’s role in authorising public expenditure. Referring to cases covered in the PAC Report, he urged the Administration to adhere closely to established Finance Committee procedures, and to provide all relevant information to Finance Committee to facilitate its decision-making.

Let me reassure Members that we attach the utmost importance to the principles of legislative control of public finance and public accountability. However, on occasions, with the best of intentions, technical errors do occur. This is what has happened in one of the three capital works projects at the Kai Tai Airport to which Mr. Li made reference. We will do all we possibly can to remind officers of the statutory requirements governing the management of public finances to ensure that similar incidents will not recur.

The Administration fully agrees that we should include all relevant information in Finance Committee funding proposals to allow the Committee to make informed decisions. Indeed, the Secretary for the Treasury has, over the years, issued guidelines to require departments to provide clear, accurate and comprehensive information in their submissions. The Finance Branch will continue to do all it can to ensure compliance with those guidelines.

11

In respect of the Northcote College of Education improvement project, 1 accept that the case could have been better co-ordinated. 1 also accept that when it transpired that the Hong Kong Institute of Education campus project might impact on the former project, the fact should have been brought to the attention of the Finance Committee or the Education Panel of this Council. On the way forward, we will as recommended by the PAC, carefully evaluate the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of retaining the Northcote College of Education library block in the overall development of the Hong Kong University Faculty of Medicine project. We will advise the PAC of the final decision once this is available.

Mr Li also commented on the staffing situation for certain government services, and urged that we should be more vigilant in rationalising the deployment of resources to meet the needs of the community. I do not intend to labour on what we have done in recent years to bring about a more proactive approach on resource management. I trust Members are familiar with our initiatives under the Public Sector Reform programme. Government is a very big organisation and we must constantly review and re-organise our resources in different areas to meet changing needs. In the Government Minute, we have explained the measures we are putting in place to address the cases of over/under staffing brought to our notice.

Finally, on our system of awarding public works contracts. I acknowledge that there is room for further improvement in the system. This is under review by the Secretary for the Treasury. Specifically, we are working to develop a mechanism to enable us to take into account the past performance record of a contractor in an objective manner in the evaluation of tenders. We will keep the PAC informed of the progress in this.

Mr President, the Government appreciates fully the importance of the PAC's findings and recommendations. 1 am confident that the measures we have taken, or are planning to take, will go a long way towards implementing the Committee's recommendations.

End

12

COMAC annual report tabled *****

Following is the speech by the Chief Secretary, the Hon Anson Chan, in tabling the Government Minute in response to COMAC’s Eighth Annual Report in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

When COMAC’s Eighth Annual Report was presented to the Council on 10 July, the Administration indicated that a Government Minute would be prepared in three months' time to outline the action that the Government has taken or proposes to take in response to the recommendations made by COMAC in relation to the cases listed in his annual report. This Government Minute is tabled today.

The Government Minute covers all the complaint cases which COMAC has investigated, as well as the three investigation cases which he initiated himself in 1995-96. In the majority of the cases, the branches and departments concerned have accepted and followed up all of COMAC’s recommendations. There are, however, a few cases in which COMAC’s recommended measures have not been implemented or have had to be modified because of operational constraints or other practical considerations. The reasons for these are set out in the Minute.

Members will note that the Government Minute also contains the follow-up action taken on COMAC’s recommendations by two public bodies, the Hospital Authority and the MTRC. These arc the only two public bodies in respect of which COMAC investigated complaints during the year. Although they are not part of the Administration, they recognise their accountability to the public and have provided us with the information relating to their follow up action on COMAC’s recommendations.

1 am happy to read in the latest issue of the COMAC News that, I quote, ” this [COMAC’s] Office has been much impressed by the positive and supportive attitude and the receptive stance of the management of the organisations concerned towards the work and services of this Office." It is clearly in the public interest that there should be a harmonious working relationship between the COMAC’s Office and the organisations under his jurisdiction. We in the Administration will do our best to ensure that this continues to be the case.

If any Member wishes to have further clarification on any point in the Minute, the Administration would be happy to provide it.

End

13

Efficient immigration clearance service for travellers ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Howard Young and a reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council of the measures it has taken to rationalise the passenger processing facilities at immigration counters at Kai Tak Airport and to ensure that such facilities at the new airport at Chek Lap Kok are adequate for coping with the anticipated increase in passenger flow?

Reply:

Mr President,

The Government is committed to providing an efficient immigration clearance service to facilitate travellers.

Measures introduced

To handle the fast growing passenger traffic, we have introduced a number of measures:

(i) On the recommendation of the Airport Consultancy Study, the Immigration Department has critically reviewed the staffing requirements for the Airport Division. As a result of this, a total of 28 posts were redeployed to reinforce counter clearance through the restructuring of the Apron Control Unit and the scaling down of the overnight staffing level.

(ii) Secondly, the roster and meal breaks of counter staff have been adjusted to spread over a longer period to maximise the number of counters manned at any one time.

(iii) Thirdly, the Immigration Department have been revising the shift pattern and streamlining procedures for the purpose of maximising counter manning and enhancing productivity. Moreover, staff are required to work overtime whenever necessary.

14

The introduction of the Immigration Control Automation System (ICAS) on 28 September 1995 has helped to absorb some of the additional workload by shortening the passenger clearance time. The time savings in immigration clearance are:

(i) for each HK identity card holder - 4 seconds;

(ii) for each arriving passenger holding a machine readable travel document - 20 seconds; and

(iii) for each departing visitor - 10 seconds.

While the Immigration Department pledges to clear 92% of the travellers within 30 minutes, 100% of the departing passengers and 100% of the arriving Hong Kong residents are cleared within this target time. With the measures mentioned above and the implementation of the ICAS, 97% of the arriving visitors have been cleared within 30 minutes from March 96 onwards.

Measures under consideration

Over the longer term, we are developing two new initiatives to reduce the clearance time of travellers. For non-permanent residents, the Immigration Department is considering the possibility of doing away with the practice of stamping on their travel documents on return from a trip outside Hong Kong within their current limit of stay. For visitors, we are exploring the feasibility of issuing a travel pass for bona fide frequent travellers.

Chek Lap Kok Airport

We have plans to provide sufficient staff to handle the anticipated passenger growth after the Airport’s opening. We are studying ways to maximise the capacity of immigration clearance at the Chek Lap Kok Airport. New measures under consideration include:

(a) serpentine queuing of passengers;

(b) even distribution of passengers between the two halls at the same level;

(c) software systems to facilitate a better match of staff deployment and the

fluctuation of passenger arrivals;

15

(d) optimising the use of resources by operating only one hall in each level in the early morning and late evening hours, when the passenger volume is smaller; and

(e) avoiding congregation of passengers through

(i) clear and concise directional signage, installation of Light Emitting Diode displays for specific information or directives for the travelling public,

(ii) co-operation from airlines to present their passengers for clearance, and, where appropriate

(iii) use of the Public Address System.

End

Deployment of ward attendants in public hospitals

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Chan Yuen-han and a reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Since taking over the management of public hospitals, the Hospital Authority has implemented a series of hospital domestic services reforms, which have given rise to discontent among its domestic services supporting staff. In view of this, is the Government apprised of:

(a) the total number of Workman I, Workman II and temporary workmen employed in public hospitals; and whether temporary workmen are employed because of the high wastage rate in the Workman I and Workman II ranks;

(b) the total number of ward attendants in public hospitals and how many of them are actually working in the wards;

16

(c) the number of public hospital wards not serviced by ward attendants and the grade of staff responsible for the cleaning and sundry services in these wards; and whether the reason for these wards not being serviced by ward attendants is due to the high wastage rate of the Ward Attendant grade;

(d) the number of public hospital wards serviced by both ward attendants and health care assistants, as well as the details of the scope of duties of these two grades; and

(e) the number of qualified ward attendants who have not been promoted to the health care assistant grade and the reasons thereof; and the number of ward attendants who are due for retirement in the next six months?

Reply:

The number of Workman I and II employed by public hospitals as at September this year were 341 and 5,340 respectively. It is an established practice to engage temporary staff, where necessary, to provide coverage for training leave, ad hoc special projects, fluctuation of service demand and lead time for recruitment exercise. A total of 481 Workman II were employed for this purpose as at September this year.

The number of Ward Attendants employed by public hospitals as at September this year was 2,896, of whom 2,794 were working in wards. A total of 185 wards were not served by Ward Attendants, the cleansing and other domestic duties for which are being carried out by Workman I and II. This is mainly attributable to the phased implementation of supporting service reforms rather than staff wastage.

As at September this year, 256 hospital wards were staffed by a mix of both Ward Attendants and Health Care Assistants. Although the latter group is intended to relieve the workload of front-line nurses by taking up tasks of low complexity under supervision, the job description provide clearly for these two grades to carry out cleansing work, other domestic duties and personal care activities when required.

As at September this year, there were 924 qualified Ward Attendants who have not yet been appointed as Health Care Assistants. While those on the waiting list will be offered appointment as and when vacancies arise from the phased implementation of supporting service reforms, some may retain their current employment status due to personal circumstances. A total of 122 Ward Attendants are due for retirement in the next six months.

End

17

Tuen Mun Hospital out-patient service ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Ho Chun-yan and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Is the Government aware:

di I ii.

(a) of the average number of patients seeking treatment per day and the daily quota of medical consultations in the specialist out-patient services provided by Tuen Mun Hospital in each of the past three years;

(b) of the average waiting time for getting specialist out-patient services appointments in Tuen Mun Hospital in the past three years, and how it differs from that laid down in the performance pledge of the Hospital; and

(c) what short-term and long-term measures the Hospital Authority has to improve the specialist out-patient services provided by Tuen Mun Hospital in view of the increasing demand for specialist out-patient services in Tuen Mun?

7“ Reply:

i

The average number of patients seeking specialist out-patient consultation per day at Tuen Mun Polyclinic and Tuen Mun Hospital were 890, 950 and 1,100 in 1993/94, 1994/95 and 1995/96 respectively. All patient consultations are arranged by appointment in advance and not subject to any daily quota.

The average waiting time for specialist out-patient consultation at Tuen Mun Polyclinic and Tuen Mun Hospital were 15.2, 9.7 and 15.6 weeks in 1993/94, 1994/95 and 1995/96 respectively. The Hospital Authority has pledged in its 1995/96 Annual Plan to achieve an average waiting time of less than three months for first consultation in 90% of its specialist out-patient clinics. This has been achieved.

18

To cope with the growing demand, patients in Tuen Mun seeking consultation in the specialities of Medicine and Geriatrics are given the choice of referral to South Kwai Chung Specialist Out-patient Clinic where the waiting time is shorter. As always, patients with suspected urgent conditions will be provided with immediate treatment.

In the longer term, Government is working closely together with the Hospital Authority on a project to reprovision Tuen Mun Polyclinic in Tuen Mun Hospital with expanded consultation facilities.

End

Rape case involving mentally handicapped victim

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Fred Li and a written reply by the Attorney General, the Hon Jeremy Mathews, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In a recent rape case involving a victim who is a mentally handicapped person, it was reported that the Legal Department considered that the victim was incapable of giving testimony in court and dropped charges against the defendant to safeguard the victim's best interests. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether the prosecution had considered using the video-link system to conduct the hearing;

(b) whether it had assessed the victim's mental and psychological conditions before the trial; if not, why not; and how it has determined that the victim was incapable of giving testimony in court;

(c) of the criteria adopted for determining what the victim's best interests

were;

(d) whether, in deciding to drop charges against the defendant, consideration had been given to the chances of a successful prosecution; and

19

(e) whether, in the light of the problems which have been brought to light in this case, the authority concerned will review the existing legislation with a view to determining whether there is a need to introduce remedial measures; if so, what the specific details of the review are and when the review will be completed; if not, why not?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) Yes. The prosecution did consider the possibility of applying to the court for the use of live television link facilities for the giving of evidence, but for the reasons given below, the trial did not proceed.

(b) Yes. The prosecution had obtained a psychologist's report in respect of the victim, which contained the following observations and comments:

* The victim had great difficulty in making any organised and full narration of the incident.

* The would be very unlikely to be able to follow court procedures.

* She had limited understanding of the meaning of taking an oath.

* She was easily confused by repeated questioning and this might have resulted in inconsistent or incorrect information from her.

* She had minimal resources to cope with the strain of cross-examination.

* There were many limitations on the victim's ability to be a competent witness in court.

(c) In determining what the victim's best interests were in this case, the following matters were taken into account:

* the contents of the psychologist's report;

* the possible availability of a live television link at trial;

* the victim's recovery from the incident and the possibility that a trial would cause her emotional instability; and

20

* the chances of securing a conviction the views of the victim's mother.

(d) Yes. In deciding not to proceed with the charges, the prosecution carefully considered the chances of securing a conviction.

(e) The Administration has examined the facts and circumstances of the case. We understand the feelings of the parents of other mentally handicapped persons over the outcome of this case. However, we do not consider that a review of the existing legislation would be necessary.

End

Short term tenancy sites to ease public car park shortage

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Sin Chung-kai and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The Lands Department has recently granted a piece of vacant land for use as a public car park on short term tenancy (STT), despite opposition from the Kwai Tsing District Board. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of sites that were granted for use as public car parks on STT, together with the total number of parking spaces provided, in the various districts in the past five years; and the number of sites that are expected to be granted for use as public car parks on such basis, as well as the number of parking spaces provided, in the coming two years;

(b) whether environmental impact assessments had been conducted before the granting of the sites in (a) above for use as public car parks on STT basis;

(c) whether the Lands Department is required to consult the district boards before granting such STTs; and

21

(d) of the number of such STTs granted by the Lands Department despite opposition from the district boards since April 1, 1995, and the reasons for their opposition; and the justification for the Lands Department granting the STTs in the face of such opposition?

Answer:

Mr President,

(a) From the period April 1, 1992 to September 30, 1996, 203 STT sites were let by tender for public car park uses. The cumulative estimated number of parking spaces provided by all these sites for various types of vehicles are about 30,000. The Lands Department will process such cases as and when sites become available, in the light of demand and competing needs for short term tenancy uses. Currently, 20 STT applications for car parking are being processed. They will provide some 3,000 parking spaces if approved.

(b) An environmental impact assessment is not required for short term lettings.

(c) Before a site is let by short term tenancy, the District Lands Office of the Lands Department will consult the relevant Government departments including the District Office. The District Officer will seek advice of the District Board if considered necessary.

(d) Normally, District Boards welcome proposals to grant STTs for public car parks in view of the shortage of parking facilities which is a general problem in many districts, and have indeed been pressing the Administration to do more. Since April 1995, we are aware of two cases where STTs were granted despite the disagreement of the District Board. The reasons for their objection include traffic impact and possible nuisance generated. However on both occasions the professional assessment of the departments concerned was that there was no justification that adverse traffic impact would arise. The Lands Department had also restricted the operating hours of the car parks in order to limit any possible nuisance that might be generated. The decision to let the sites was made in view of the acute demand for vehicle parking in these areas.

End

22

Owners’ Corporation in private buildings

* * * * *

Following is a question by the Hon Bruce Liu Sing-lee and a written reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the total number of cases in which two or more Owners' Corporations

exist in the same private building concurrently;

(b) whether the situation mentioned above contravenes any provisions of the law; if so, why such a situation has occurred; and whether the Government will consider amending the existing legislation so as to prevent such a situation occurring; if not, what measures does the Government have to resolve disputes arising from such a situation; and

(c) which Government departments are involved in the process of forming Owners’ Corporations in private buildings, and what their respective roles are?

Reply:

Mr President,

My reply is as follows:

(a) according to the records of both the Home Affairs Department (HAD) and of the Land Registry, there is no private building in which two or more owners’ corporations exist concurrently;

(b) the Building Management Ordinance provides, inter alia, for the incorporation of owners in buildings. There is no provision in the Ordinance to allow two or more owners’ corporations in the same building to exist concurrently. As there is no building in which two or more owners’ corporations exist concurrently ((a) above), we consider that there is no need to amend the Ordinance in this respect; and

23

(c) HAD and the Land Registry are involved in the process of forming owners' corporations in private buildings. HAD promotes effective building management in private buildings and advises owners on procedural and technical matters relating to the formation of owners' corporations. HAD's staff are present at the owners' meetings to render assistance in the formation of owners' corporations. After formation, liaison is maintained through routine visits and participation in owners' meetings. When owners encounter building management problems, HAD's staff offer advice and mediate in disputes. The Land Registry deals with the registration of an owners’ corporation upon application by a management committee appointed under the Building Management Ordinance. The Land Registry also maintains a register of owners' corporations and enters particulars of winding-up petitions or winding-up orders in the register.

End

Registration of electrical workers

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Leung Yiu-chung and a written reply by the Secretary for Economic Services. Mr Stephen Ip. in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Under the Electricity (Registration) Regulations, applicants for registration as electrical workers of various grades of electrical work must have relevant working experience. At present, applicants have to rely on their employers to certify in writing that they have the relevant working experience. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the total number of persons registered for Grade A electrical work under regulation 4(2) in Part III of the Electricity (Registration) Regulations in the past five years;

(b) of the ways by which employees can prove their relevant working experience, apart from requesting their employers to issue certifying documents;

24

(c) whether employers can refuse to issue certifying documents to employees regarding their working experience; and

(d) how the authorities verify the accuracy of the certifying documents regarding working experience?

Answer:

(a) During the five years ending on 31 August 1996, 44,266 persons whose qualifications satisfied the requirements of regulation 4(2) of the Electricity (Registration) Regulations were registered for Grade A electrical work.

(b) An applicant for registration as an electrical worker is required under regulation 9(b) of the Electricity (Registration) Regulations to submit to the Director of Electrical & Mechanical Services documents that the Director considers are relevant to the applicant’s registration or qualifications for registration. An applicant may satisfy the Director as to his relevant working experience by submitting certificates or letters issued by his current or previous employers describing his practical experience in electrical work while in their employ. The applicant may also submit for the Director’s consideration other relevant documents which can help to verify his working experience in electrical work. Such documents may include, for example, tender documents for electrical installations that he has undertaken, or certification from owners of the electrical installations concerned or from his supervisors.

(c) There is no provision under the Electricity Ordinance or its subsidiary legislation to require an employer to issue documents certifying an employee’s working experience for the purpose of registration as an electrical worker.

(d) In the event of doubt over the accuracy of documents submitted in support of an application, the Director may verify the applicant’s working experience by approaching his employer or supervisor, installation owners or other parties concerned, or visiting his workplace.

End

25

Implications of proposed MTR extension being examined

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Samuel Wong Ping-wai and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Gordon Siu, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In view of the rapid and large increase in population in Tseung Kwan O, there is an urgent need to extend the Mass Transit Railway line to that area. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether -

(a) the Mass Transit Railway Corporation has made any plan to start constructing the Tseung Kwan O Extehsion soon; and

(b) the above project will be discussed by the Sino-British Joint Liaison

Group?

Reply:

Mr President,

We have received a submission from the Mass Transit Railway Corporation (MTRC) proposing to complete the construction of the Tseung Kwan O Extension (TKE) by December 2001, subject to the availability of land. We are examining the financial, legal, engineering and land implications of the proposal and aim to arrive at a view on the Corporation's proposals by early 1997. The MTRC is at present examining with government departments concerned possible interface problems with other infrastructural facilities along the proposed alignment so as to further refine their proposed scheme.

When we have completed our assessment of the MTRC's proposal, we will consult the Chinese side of the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group (JLG) before any decision is made that would commit the Special Administrative Region Government. In the meantime we have offered to brief the Chinese side of the JLG about this project.

End

26

Change of rental flats to home ownership flats justified ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Mok Ying-fan and a written reply by the Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of public rental flats since the implementation of the Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) as well as the number of flats which were originally designed for rental purposes but later converted into HOS flats;

(b) whether the decision of the Housing Department (HD) to convert certain public rental flats into HOS flats is subject to the endorsement by the Housing Authority (HA) or the relevant committee of the HA; if not, why not; and

(c) given the pledge made in Policy Commitment of last year’s Policy Address to reduce the average waiting time for allocation of public rental housing to under five years by 2001, what measures are in place to ensure that the waiting time will not be extended as a result of the conversion of public rental flats into HOS flats?

Answer:

Mr President,

Since the implementation of the Home Ownership Scheme in 1978, over 460,000 public rental flats have been built, of which 32,000 have been transferred to home ownership flats.

The Home Ownership Committee of the Housing Authority is responsible for examining proposals relating to the transfer of public rental flats to subsidised home ownership flats. The projects and the number of flats involved are reported to the Housing Authority on a quarterly basis.

27

Before a decision is made on a proposal to change the originally planned use of a housing block from rental flats to subsidised home ownership flats, the Home Ownership Committee of the Housing Authority takes into account the demand for rental flats from various categories including waiting list applicants, the demand for subsidised home ownership flats, the public housing construction programme, the housing production targets for both types of flats, and the number of vacated rental flats available for reallocation. The Committee will need to be satisfied that a change of flat use will not significantly affect the housing opportunities of those in need, including eligible applicants on the public housing Waiting List, and will not affect our target of reducing the waiting time for public rental housing. We are progressing towards meeting these targets. In the past 12 months, rental flats were provided to over 12,000 applicants on the public housing waiting list, and their average waiting time was reduced from seven to six and a half years.

End

Computerised system for the issue of HKSAR passport ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

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

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council of the progress in developing the computerised system for issuing the future Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passports; and whether a decision will be made for the system to start receiving data input, so that applications can be processed before 1 July 1997?

Reply:

Mr President,

The computerised system for the issue of HKSAR passport has two component systems, namely the passport personalisation system and the processing and. record system. The former is for printing personal data and lamination of the passport. The latter which includes an imaging system is for processing passport applications, record maintenance and data authentication.

28

For both systems, we have been making good progress in accordance with the implementation plan set out in the paper we submitted to the Finance Committee in January this year. Tenders have been awarded, and the design and development of systems is proceeding full steam ahead. The computer systems will commence operation on 1 July 1997.

The development of the HKSAR passport computer system is subject to a very tight timetable. Hence, there is practically no scope of advancing the implementation date.

End

Old age and disability allowance review ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Fred Li and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

A Government inter-departmental steering group is reviewing the old age and disability allowances under the Social Security Allowance Scheme. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) why the review is conducted by a Government internal steering group

alone;

(b) of the purposes of the review, and whether they include reducing the expenditure on the Social Security Allowance Scheme; and

(c) whether the Government will consult the public on the findings of the review; if so, how the consultation will be conducted; if not, why not?

Reply:

(a) The inter-departmental Steering Group chaired by the Director of Social Welfare which conducted the CSSA Review is completing its study of social security arrangements by reviewing Social Security Allowances. Given that Social Security is exclusively a Government function, it is considered that a Steering Group comprising Government officials drawing on direct experience gained from running such systems is best placed to carry out such a review.

29

(b) The purpose of the review is not to reduce expenditure on the Social Security Allowance Scheme. It is simply that, like all Schemes established some time ago, it is timely to conduct a review to check that the Scheme remains effective.

(c) The Review is still in hand and no conclusions have yet been reached. We will consult Members of the Legislative Council and other interested parties on the review's recommendations before any decisions or changes are made.

End

Advisory boards for economic and monetary affairs

*****

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Law Cheung-kwok and a written question by the acting Secretary for Financial Services, Mrs Lessie Wei, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the names of the advisory boards and committees which are concerned with economic and monetary affairs;

(b) the respective percentages of expatriates and academics of local universities with Hong Kong permanent resident status, out of the total membership of these advisory boards and committees; and

(c) the criteria adopted for appointing university academics to serve on such

bodies?

30

Reply:

(a)

(b)

(c)

The names of the advisory boards and committees which are concerned with economic and monetary affairs are as follows:

Advisory Committee on Agriculture and Fisheries (ACAF)

Aviation Advisory Board (AAB)

Banking Advisory Committee (BAC)

Deposit-Taking Companies Advisory Committee (DTCAC)

Economic Advisory Committee (EAC)

Endangered Species Advisory Committee (ESAC)

Energy Advisory Committee (EnAC)

Exchange Fund Advisory Committee (EFAC)

Fish Marketing Advisory Board (FMAB)

Insurance Advisory Committee (IAC)

Mandatory Provident Fund Advisory Board (MPFAB)

Marketing Advisory Board (MAB)

Pilotage Advisory Committee (PAC)

Port Development Board (PDB)

Port Operations Committee (POC)

Provisional Local Vessel Advisory Committee (PLVAC)

Radio Spectrum Advisory Committee (RSAC)

Securities and Futures Commission (SFC)

Securities and Futures Commission Advisor)' Committee (SFCAC) Standing Committee on Company Law Reform (SCCLR) Telecommunications Numbering Advisory Committee (NAC) Telecommunications Standards Advisor)' Committee (TSAC) Telecommunications Users & Consumers Advisory Committee (UCAC)

There are 314 appointments to the 23 advisory boards and committees, and individuals may be appointed to more than one board or committee. Of the 314 appointments, 87 or 28% are filled by expatriates and 21 or 7%, academics of local universities. We do not seek to ascertain the resident status of an individual being considered for appointment to any advisory board or committee. We therefore do not have information on the resident status of the 21 academics of local universities.

The criteria adopted for appointing university academics to serve on advisory boards and committees include the depth and span of academic and professional knowledge on the relevant subjects, expertise, experience, skills and past record of community services, including services on other government advisor)' committees.

End

31

Measures to improve industrial safety ♦ ♦ ♦ » ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Emily Lau Wai-hing and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In view of the recent spate of industrial accidents, will the Administration inform this Council:

(a) of the number of persons killed or injured in industrial accidents in the past 24 months, with a breakdown by the categories of such accidents;

(b) whether there is a policy to debar contractors on the Lists of Approved Contractors for Public Works which have poor industrial safety records from tendering for Government projects; if so, how the policy is implemented and the number of contractors which have been so debarred in the past 24 months; if not, whether the Government will actively consider formulating such a policy; and

(c) of the names of contractors currently engaged in the Airport Core Programme (ACP) and non-ACP projects which have a record of violating industrial safety laws?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) According to the latest available statistics, a total of 142 persons were killed and 89,651 persons injured in industrial accidents during the 24-month period between 1 July 1994 and 30 June 1996.

A breakdown of fatal and non-fatal industrial accidents by major industries for the same period is at Annexes 1 and 2 respectively* It can be seen that the total number of industrial accidents for the first half of 1996 has declined by 10.6% as compared with that for the same period in 1995.

A similar breakdown of fatal and non-fatal industrial accidents by cause is at Annexes 3 and 4 respectively.

32

(b) For Government construction contracts, there are provisions under existing Works Branch Technical Circulars to take regulatory actions, including suspension from tendering, against contractors which have had poor safety performance or very serious accidents on any of their sites. The Works Branch is monitoring very closely the site safety performance of all government contractors. Accident statistics of all government sites are being compiled on a monthly basis. Conviction records of all contractors are also kept on a monthly basis.

In the past 24 months, there were two contractors suspended from tendering in all categories of government works; one due to a very serious accident and the other due to persistently poor safety performance. Contractors suspended from tendering are excluded from bidding for government construction contracts either for a period of not less than 3 months or indefinitely until the Administration is satisfied that all necessary safety related requirements, usually following a stringent safety audit, have been met.

The Administration believes that imposing sanctions is just one way of dealing with the problem of safety for Government construction contracts. The Administration has also introduced other positive safety initiatives for Government contracts such as the Independent Safety Audit Scheme and Pay for Safety Scheme, and is monitoring and evaluating their effectiveness in improving safety.

(c) A list of current ACP and non-ACP contractors having site safety convictions under the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance within the 24-month period up to 30 June 1996 is at Annex 5. Many of the convictions were minor offences, such as failure to keep records or registers, absence of statutory warning notices or signs, and lack of first aid equipment, etc. which carry a maximum penalty of $10,000 under the Ordinance.

Whenever serious irregularities in implementing the specified safety measures are identified, the works department concerned will interview the contractors, give advice as to how to improve their safety procedures and check that the improvements are made. Inspectors from the Labour Department carry out inspections concerning the statutory requirements and give assistance wherever necessary. The convicted contractors will have to prove within a specified period of time that they have complied with all the necessary rules and procedures. Those who fail to do so would be given a formal suspension from tendering for Government projects.

End

33

US restrictive measures' impact on local garment industries ♦ * * ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Leung Yiu-chung and a written reply by the Secretary for Trade and Industry, Miss Denise Yue, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The United States Government has recently imposed new measures on imported textiles products, including the unilateral imposition of additional import document requirements on five types (totalling ten categories) of clothing products manufactured in Hong Kong and the payment of higher entry bonds by US importers of these products. In this connection, will the Administration inform this Council:

(a) in comparison with the corresponding figures in the same period last year, what impact the above measures have had on the local garment industry (particularly on the total value of exports, number of workers employed, average working hours and average wages of workers in respect of the ten categories of clothing products) in the period from June to September this year;

(b) the latest progress of the consultations between the Administration and the United States Government, and the counter-measures which have been taken and will be taken by the Administration in this regard; and

(c) the measures adopted by the relevant departments in enforcing the regulations concerning the country of origin of goods?

Reply:

Without any prior notification, on 17 June the US unilaterally imposed additional customs measures on the import of ten categories of Hong Kong garments. These measures include additional documentation requirements on the authenticity of production and the origin of shipment, the imposition of single entry bond, and requests relating to US Customs "production verification" teams conducting factory visits in Hong Kong.

34

The Hong Kong Government immediately conveyed our serious concern about these measures to the US Administration, warned of their likely trade diversion impact on our textiles and clothing industry, and requested the immediate lifting of the measures. We also made clear our commitment to combat illegal transhipment activities. In the meantime, we have worked closely with the US authorities in an attempt to find a mutually satisfactory solution to the problem. We hope that, in the spirit of positive co-operation and partnership, the two sides will work out a mutually acceptable solution soon.

With regard to the trade performance of the ten categories subject to the additional measures, it is noted that the value of Hong Kong's exports in these categories to the US in the first seven months of 1996 (which are our latest available statistics) amounted to HK$ 1,763 million, or 5.4% less than the figure for the same period in 1995. The volume of concerned Hong Kong exports is tabulated in Annex A, which compares the 1996 position with that for 1995, for the periods January to June (before the imposition of the additional measures), July to September (after the imposition of the additional measures), and January to September. Nine of the ten affected categories registered a decrease in export volume, ranging between 7% to 59% in July-September 1996 as compared with the same period in 1995.

The Hong Kong Government does not keep statistics on the employment and wage situation of workers in the clothing industry at a category to category level. There is therefore no statistical information on the impact of the additional measures on workers involved in the production of the ten categories of products. It may be surmised that a decrease in orders and trade is likely to affect the level of employment and wage but it is not possible to draw any specific conclusions.

Since the imposition of the additional measures on Hong Kong, we have held two rounds of formal consultations and a series of informal exchanges with the US side. Following these consultations, the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department invited their US counterpart to Hong Kong to conduct a joint visit programme in September. The purpose was to allow the US Customs officers to observe the operation of our control and enforcement systems at work. During the programme, joint teams of Hong Kong and US Customs officers visited over 130 factories that were involved in the production of the ten categories of products and had given consent to be visited. In line with Hong Kong's separate customs territory status and integrity of our customs jurisdiction, the joint visits did not involve any enforcement action by US Customs officers. For example, inspection of books and records and investigation of suspicious cases were conducted only by Hong Kong Customs officers. The US Customs officers observed the factory premises and production in process, and talked to management personnel and workers. The programme ended on 30 September and both sides are now reviewing the results.

35

In parallel with the joint efforts at the operational level, senior Hong Kong officials have, on many occasions, conveyed to various senior officials in the US Administration Hong Kong's concern about the additional measures and their adverse impact on our trade, and requested their immediate removal. We believe that the joint visit programme and the associated dialogue have increased the understanding on both sides. We hope this would be conducive to bringing about a bilateral solution. If this proves unattainable, we will seek an escalation of the matter to the World Trade Organisation for dispute settlement.

Hong Kong takes its obligations under the multilateral Agreement on Textiles and Clothing to prevent illegal transhipment of textile products seriously. We have put in place sophisticated licensing and enforcement systems to fulfil such obligations. An outline is given at Annex B. Our systems are kept under constant review and improvements are introduced whenever necessary.

End

Figures on CSSA applications

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Law Cheung-kwok and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of successful new applications for Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) each month since January 1995 in which the main reason for applying was unemployment of family members;

(b) of the number of families in the above cases which subsequently ceased to receive CSSA payment upon the unemployed family members finding employment; and

(c) of the number of applications for CSSA made on the grounds of unemployment of family members which were rejected during the same period, and the reasons for rejection?

36

Reply:

(a) According to the records of the Social Welfare Department, between January 1995 and August 1996, 12 900 (a monthly average of 640) new applications for CSSA were filed by applicants who claimed 'unemployment' to be the principal reason for their application.

(b) The Social Welfare Department does not have statistics which would indicate the number of CSSA recipients who ceased to receive CSSA payments on account of unemployed family members finding employment.

(c) Between January 1995 and August 1996, 3 400 (a monthly average of 170) applications filed by people who claimed to be "unemployed" were rejected for various reasons, but primarily because they had resources or assets exceeding the prescribed limit.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES GARDEN ROAD, 5th-8th FLOORS, MURRAY BUILDING, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Thursday, October 10,1996

Contents Page No,

Transcript of Governor's question-and-answer session................... 1

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

HAB commitments highlighted............................................ 6

CS sees environmental protection works................................. 8

New franchises for public bus services on North Lantau................. 9

Hong Kong signs new air services agreement with Italy................. 10

CMB conciliation meeting.............................................. 10

Technical talks in Hanoi on Vietnamese migrants.................... 11

Government committed to promoting sports excellence................... 12

Suspected plague case on Green Island................................. 13

Exhibition on TDS Review in Causeway Bay.............................. 13

Employment and vacancy statistics for June released................... 14

Grading of beach water quality........................................ 20

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations.................. 23

1

Transcript of Governor's question-and-answer session *****

Following is the transcript of the question-and-answer session given by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, after the luncheon held by the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce this (Thursday) afternoon:

Question: (inaudible) ... could you possibly give some indication that the government would review this scheme sometime before the labour market becomes far too tight?

Governor: Yes, we will review the scheme with you and the unions and the LAB when we get to the 2,000 figure as we have said before. Can I just say a couple of words about unemployment and a word or two about importation of labour - and risk the consequences of candour in what I say.

Hong Kong goes on year after year increasing the number of jobs on offer by about 2.5 per cent to three per cent every year. The problems we have had on the unemployment front in the last year or two have not been a consequence of macro-economic policy, have not been a consequence of a failure to go on increasing the number of jobs available, the problem has been that the number of people looking for jobs has increased. And last year it increased very substantially, largely because of the number of legal immigrants from China arriving of working age, and because of the number of emigrants from Hong Kong returning from Canada, Australia and elsewhere to resume a career and business in Hong Kong after establishing right of abode elsewhere.

This year the fall in unemployment from last year's peak of 3.6 per cent to 2.8 per cent isn't, though I'd like to pretend otherwise, the result of some brilliant stroke of macro-economic policy. The reason for the fall is that once again the number of jobs we are creating and the number of people looking for work have fallen back more or less into line, so the unemployment figure itself has fallen.

The second thing that I'd like to say is that against that background we do have to try to make our labour market work more efficiently, which is why we have been trying to develop our local employment services - with some success, they have placed about 12,000 people in jobs this year - our job-matching programme, and it is why at the moment we are reviewing our training and retraining programmes so that they serve you and business far more successfully than they perhaps have in the past, despite the efforts of all those involved in the training and retraining sectors.

2

The other point that I want to make is this. For a community which believes in free trade in everything else and a free market in everything else, I do think it is curious that the importation of labour and skills creates so much controversy. But it does, and that has a number of reasons. One of the reasons is that unions think that existing schemes are abused by employers. Now I know that that doesn't happen most of the time but I'm afraid we did see on the airport, earlier this year, the allegations made by the unions turned out to be largely true.

The other thing which unions worry about is the use of imported labour to undercut wage bargaining. So I think it is important in trying to introduce more calm and rationality into the discussion, to address those particular issues that are raised by the unions. And one we can tackle by getting rid of abuses, the other I hope we can start to tackle by raising the skill level in our workforce and by investing more in more relevant training and retraining.

Having said all of which, if you look around the region, if you look at some other OECD countries and compare their immigration and work permit regimes with ours, we would come very near the liberal end of the spectrum in practice. But nevertheless, there are anxieties expressed this year by employers, just as there were anxieties expressed last year by employees, and I very much hope that we can proceed as far as possible on a basis of consensus in dealing with this issue because it is one which could otherwise cause the risks of social disharmony.

Question: Are there any conditions under which you would work with the Provisional Legislature?

Governor: No. That's the short answer. Might I just add one point. I don't need to express my views, the British Foreign Secretary's views, about the establishment of a provisional legislature in July 1997. You know what our views are on that and they are not going to change. What none of us can understand is why anybody should think that a provisional legislature is required before July 1, 1997.

Anson, when she went up to see Director Lu in the Spring, took a very full paper which was subsequently circulated to the members of the Preparatory Committee, in which we set out in detail why a provisional legislature before June 30 wasn't required. And I think we thought we were having some effect with that argument because in The Hague in April, Vice Premier Qian Qichen said there could only be one Legislative Council between now and June 30 and that any provisional legislature would only assume its functions after June 30. Nevertheless, one or two things have been said recently which have suggested that the situation might be other than that.

3

I'll tell you one very important reason why it is not sensible to go ahead with that idea - not anything to do with the risk of confusion and the source of discontent before June 30. I'm thinking of the problems that it will cause for the SAR Government because it will mean that the SAR Government will begin with large legal questions being asked about all sorts of aspects of its management and administration.

If you talk about appointments in a provisional legislature before June 30, 1997, you will find that they are vulnerable to legal challenge, under the Basic Law, after June 30, 1997. If you try to pass legislation or discuss legislation before June 30, 1997, you will find that that is vulnerable to legal challenge after June 30.

So I hope that some people - to borrow a phrase - will think again about that. I don't think it would be helpful or in Hong Kong's interests and the only arguments, I guess, that are put forward for it are political rather than legal. But the simple answer to your question was the first one I gave.

Question: Mr Governor, 1 have been asked by the Chamber to ask you another very difficult political question but fortunately they have given me the option to ask you a personal question which I prefer today. 1 hope you allow me to continue our annual dialogue about the right of abode for expatriates in Hong Kong.

I talked about it with Lord Wilson five years ago, I've talked to you about it several times, I have talked to the Foreign Secretary about this, I have talked, the same as Anson, with Lu Ping about this, and I talked this morning before I came here with one of the directors of the Immigration Department who again confirmed to me, after five years - and I read for you, if I may: [Reads]

"According to the existing Immigration Regulations foreigners cannot obtain permanent resident status unless they naturalise themselves into a British National Overseas."

If the British Hong Kong Government is not going to change this Ordinance, foreigners in Hong Kong are not able to obtain a Hong Kong permanent ID Card before July 1, 1997.

Governor: Could you tell me what you are quoting from?

Question: I quote from a question that 1 put forward to Mr Lu Ping in May of this year. I am not the spokesman for Mr Lu Ping but I have quoted this, this morning, to the Immigration Department who say that they are still discussing these points - for almost five years now - and still have not been able to come up with an answer. Could you give us, please, an answer?

4

Governor: I will tell you two answers, one of which you may find more helpful than the other. The question of holding a BDTC or in future a BNO passport and right of abode are different questions, and many people will have right of abode in Hong Kong who don't hold a British passport. So I don't quite understand the overlap between those two concepts but maybe I am misunderstanding something very basic and I will certainly have a look at the words you were reading out.

The second and more sweeping point is how soon can we get an agreed and definitive statement on right of abode which can satisfy all those who are concerned about the subject, both in Hong Kong and outside Hong Kong. We know what the concerns are. When I am in Canada, when Anson was in Australia the other week, people were expressing concerns and they were expressing the concern that they would have to come back to Hong Kong before June 30 - before that cut-off point - in order to establish their right of abode.

We have had letters from English public schools, from headmasters, saying all the Hong Kong parents have told them this is going to be essential so could their children leave early next summer term.

Well, in our understanding, in our negotiations with Chinese officials, that is not the case. The situation is more sophisticated than that.

We have been trying to conclude these discussions satisfactorily for some time. We are, I hope, getting close to an agreement on at least the main points but there will still be some issues which I fear we won't be able to reach agreement on. We are pressing for another meeting of experts in the next ten days or so. It matters to you and it matters to us as well. There are questions of adjustments in the law and so on which have to be looked at. So I can assure you that we will continue to press for an agreement and for further meetings with Chinese officials, and I hope we can hammer something out very quickly. And I'm sorry that it's taken so long. But I don't think that anybody can point a finger at Hong Kong civil servants and say they haven't been working hard enough on the issue. We have been trying very hard on the issue but alas, I think it probably, for Chinese officials, raises genuine difficulties about Chinese Nationality Law.

End

5

Transcript of CS’s media session *****

Following is the transcript of the remarks (English) made to the media by the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, after visiting the Environmental Protection Department this (Thursday) afternoon:

CS: I wanted to say that what happened at the Japanese Consulate General’s office yesterday is a very unfortunate incident. I’m sure that the whole community and certainly the media feel that this sort of incident should not happen. Of course very citizen in Hong Kong has freedom of expression, freedom of action. But this action and any expression must comply with local law. We will not tolerate any future breaches of the law.

The police will conduct a thorough investigation of what happened yesterday and we must wait for the police report to be completed before deciding whether further action is required.

I do urge all citizens to ... I understand the depth of feeling about the Diaoyu Tai incident, but I hope everyone will express their views or will take action that fully complies with the law, that they will maintain calm and express their views in a peaceful manner.

From this point of view, I notice that those who were involved in yesterday's incident have apologised for their behaviour and have furthermore said that in future any activities in respect of the Diaoyu Tai dispute will be conducted in a peaceful, calm and non-confrontational manner. And I very much welcome that.

Question: Even if they have apologised, if the police found out they have broken the law ...?

CS: I don’t want to pre-empt the findings of the investigation. The police will clearly conduct their investigation and complete it as soon as possible and we would have to wait and study that investigation report.

Question: ... the security has been stepped up, can you explain what...?

CS: The Police have stepped up the posting of personnel at the Japanese Consulate General's office to prevent a recurrence of this incident. But I do stress again, we will not tolerate any breaches of the law. And I hope that everybody will comply with the law.

End

6

HAB commitments highlighted *****

The Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, asserted today (Thursday) that the Government is committed to ensuring that appropriate and timely preparations are made to facilitate the staging of the Handover Ceremony next year.

In a presentation to the Legislative Council's Home Affairs Panel on the policy commitments for the coming year, Mr Suen said the Co-ordination Office for the Handover Ceremony has been laying the ground work for the ceremony and related events.

"The Joint Liaison Group has just reached agreement on the Handover Ceremony. Detailed arrangements will continue to be discussed by both sides.

"However, on the basis of preliminary planning we have undertaken in the past months, the major expenditure items will consist of the establishment of a Press and Broadcasting Centre to facilitate media coverage of the Handover Ceremony; preparing the Handover Ceremony venue for the occasion; receiving and accommodating "foreign dignitaries"; and provision for a programme of community events to complement the Handover Ceremony and to facilitate wider community involvement," Mr Suen said.

"We will be submitting detailed estimates to the Finance Committee for approval," he said, adding that the total cost will be fairly moderate.

Turning to the issue of new arrivals from China, Mr Suen reiterated that the Government's ultimate objective was to ensure that they can integrate smoothly and quickly into the community and contribute to Hong Kong's long-term success.

"To this end, we have established a Steering Committee, chaired by the Director of Home Affairs, as a forum for liaison and exchange of information among the relevant policy branches and departments. The Steering Committee's work is complemented by a similar inter-departmental committee in each of the 18 District Offices."

An information handbook in simplified Chinese characters listing the services relevant to new arrivals and the means to access them has also been produced while surveys are being conducted regularly to establish their profile to better understand their needs and difficulties.

"In the months ahead, we will focus our action on giving greater publicity to the services available to new arrivals such as preparing a second edition of the Service Handbook with enriched information, re-targeting services to districts where more new arrivals live, enhancing co-ordination among all parties providing services to new arrivals and encouraging community participation among new arrivals," Mr Suen added.

7

On building management, Mr Suen stressed that the Government was committed to encouraging the formation of Owners' Corporations (OCs) and Mutual Aid Committees as part of an ongoing effort to promote public participation in community affairs.

"The Government attaches great importance to the promotion of effective building management for private multi-storey buildings. In this regard, the Building Management Ordinance provides a legal framework for owners to manage their buildings and to facilitate the formation of OCs. About 4,600 have been formed to date, a majority of which with assistance from our District Offices," Mr Suen noted.

He also highlighted some new initiatives of the Home Affairs Department (HAD) in assisting owners and residents to manage their buildings effectively.

The HAD has recently stepped up training for its front-line staff who handle building management matters. Experience-sharing sessions and formal workshops are held regularly, and legal courses are offered to staff in collaboration with the University of Hong Kong.

Furthermore, a subject officer with considerable experience in building management has been designated at each District Office to handle building management cases, to maintain frequent contact with the Headquarters and to assist with training and experience sharing.

A Central Information Unit was also set up at the HAD Headquarters to collect information on past cases with building management problems. The information is analysed, collated and relayed to staff for their reference in dealing with any new problem cases.

Appearing before the LegCo Information Policy Panel, Mr Suen reiterated the administration’s determination to provide better access to Government information and that one of the means is to use the Internet to help disseminate government information and communicate with the public. This would further enhance the development of an open and accountable government in Hong Kong.

He said that at the end of September this year, four branches and 28 departments and 12 government-related organisations have set up their own home pages under the Government Information Centre which receives some 40,000 visitors a month.

"The goal is for the whole of the Government to come on the Internet in 1997. To achieve this, an Internet Resources Centre (IRC) will be established in the Information Services Department to provide assistance to branches and departments who wish to set up their home pages but are constrained by resources, time or lack of expertise.

8

"The IRC will also assist branches and departments to make qualitative improvements to existing home pages and to fully utilise the potential of this important new medium of communication."

Prior to this, Mr Suen said a Code on Access to Information has been extended progressively throughout the Government. To date, 82 out of 90 branches and departments had subscribed to the Code. Its extension to the rest of the government machinery would be completed in 1996.

He also pointed out that the Code was underpinned by a complaints channel through the independent Commissioner for Administrative Complaints (COMAC), who would be empowered to investigate Code-related complaints against the Police and ICAC under an amendment Bill to the COMAC Ordinance.

Describing freedom of expression as one of the most important rights protected and guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, Mr Suen affirmed the Government's commitment to maintaining an "environment in Hong Kong in which a free and active press can operate under the minimum of regulation which does not fetter freedom of expression or editorial independence."

He declared that it was vitally important that the media continued to exercise this freedom without self-censorship.

"We have reviewed the Laws of Hong Kong to remove provisions which impose an unjustified restriction on press freedom and freedom of expression. As a result of the review, 32 provisions in 15 ordinances have been amended or repealed. A further four provisions in two ordinances are being considered by the Legislative Council," Mr Suen said.

End

CS sees environmental protection works *****

The Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, today (Thursday) visited the Environmental Protection Department to meet its staff and see different operations of their works.

Accompanied by the Director of Environmental Protection, Mr Robert Law, Mrs Chan was briefed on various environmental programmes and facilities covering air, water, waste and environmental planning and assessment.

9

She toured the Visitors Centre to see different displays, including environmental education activities, waste disposal facilities and a touch-screen environmental information system. The Centre has been open to group visits since June 1994.

Mrs Chan also visited the air services laboratories. She was told how air quality data were gathered and transmitted through a network and how the daily air pollution index was compiled.

She was briefed on a quality assurance and accreditation programme for the department’s air monitoring network.

Mrs Chan called on a water science laboratory where she was given an overview of the department's water quality monitoring programme for beaches, marine and river waters. The monitoring data provides basis for pollution control work.

During her tour, she saw a demonstration of a remote-controlled submersible, which takes video pictures of the sea-bed as a means of providing first-hand information about the impacts of dredging and dumping.

Before concluding her visit, Mrs Chan met staff representatives of the Departmental Consultative Committee.

End

New franchises for public bus services on North Lantau ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Secretary for Transport, Mr Gordon Siu, today (Thursday) said he welcomed the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group agreement on the grant of franchises for public bus services on North Lantau and the new airport.

"The Governor-in-Council had approved in principle the terms of franchises for the operation of 25 bus routes to serve the new developments in Tung Chung and the new airport.

"The Sino-British Joint Liaison Group reached a common view on the grant of the new franchises this morning," he said.

"Approval by the Executive Council of a formal grant of the franchises will be sought in the near future and details will then be announced," he added.

End

10

Hong Kong signs new air services agreement with Italy

*****

An Air Services Agreement (ASA) was signed in Rome today (Wednesday, Rome time) between the Government of Hong Kong and the Government of the Italian Republic.

The Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, signed the agreement on behalf of the Government of Hong Kong while Mr Claudio Burlando, Minister of Transport and Navigation, signed on behalf of the Government of the Italian Republic.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mr Tsang said that the new agreement would provide a firm legal and regulatory framework for the continued development of air services between Hong Kong and Italy up to and beyond 1997.

Mr Tsang also noted that the Hong Kong/Italy ASA was the fourteenth air services agreement signed by Hong Kong. He further reiterated Hong Kong Government’s commitment to maintaining Hong Kong’s status as a centre of international and regional aviation.

Cathay Pacific and Alitalia together operate nine return services per week between Hong Kong and Italy, offering a total capacity of about 2,300 seats and 220 tonnes of cargo in each direction.

Hong Kong has also signed air services agreements with the Netherlands, Switzerland, Canada, Brunei, France, New Zealand, Malaysia, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Australia, Germany, Korea and Singapore.

End

CMB conciliation meeting ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A Chief Labour Officer of the Labour Department, Mrs Chan Mak Kit-ling, conducted a conciliation meeting between the management and staff representatives of the China Motor Bus (CMB) Company at the company’s Chai Wan office this (Thursday) afternoon to discuss the question of retirement benefits.

The conciliation meeting was arranged by Mrs Chan who was appointed as the Special Conciliation Officer by the Commissioner for Labour, Miss Jacqueline Willis, on October 7 under the Labour Relations Ordinance to mediate the trade dispute between the bus company and its employees.

11

Mrs Chan said after the two-hour meeting ended at about 7.25 pm that good progress had been made during the meeting.

"Both parties agreed to continue their discussions on improving employees’ retirement benefits,” she said.

"The staff side indicated that they would actively consider suspending their planned industrial action," she added.

The Special Conciliation Officer commented that today's meeting was conducted in a harmonious and sincere atmosphere and both parties were co-operative.

She said the management and staff representatives agreed to attend a conciliation meeting again on or before October 18 (Friday) as they needed more time to study the retirement benefit issue.

End

Technical talks in Hanoi on Vietnamese migrants ♦ * * * ♦

Technical talks were held today (Thursday) between officials of the Hong Kong and Vietnamese Governments to discuss ways of accelerating the repatriation of the remaining Vietnamese migrant (VM) population in the territory, a Government spokesman said.

The British Embassy in Hanoi and UNHCR were also represented at the meeting.

The spokesman said that officials noted the increased pace of repatriation this year. Over 9,000 VMs had returned home so far in 1996 as compared to about 2,600 in the whole of 1995.

"The meeting explored various options for expediting the clearance of the 4,000 VMs who had not yet been accepted back by Hanoi.

"It was agreed that further exchanges should take place on this issue," he said.

The Vietnamese authorities gave unequivocal assurances of co-operation in stemming the flow of illegal emigration to Hong Kong and in accelerating the clearance for return of those who had recently arrived in the territory. They also agreed to a streamlining of procedures relating to the deportation of VMs who commit crimes in Hong Kong.

12

This was the fourth technical meeting of this kind. Commenting on the talks, the Refugee Coordinator, Mr Brian Bresnihan, said that he was pleased with the outcome.

"The repatriation of VMs from Hong Kong is difficult for both sides. We have received enormous co-operation from the Vietnamese authorities over the years in resolving this problem.

"The talks today brought us one step nearer the end of this long drawn out saga," he said.

End

Government committed to promoting sports excellence ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Hong Kong’s notable successes in international sporting events have inspired the Government to work even harder to promote sports excellence in the territory, the Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport, Mr Chau Tak-hay, said today (Thursday).

The outstanding achievements had reflected the often unnoticed efforts of bodies such as the Amateur Sports Federation and Olympic Committee, the Sports Development Board, the Sports Institute and individual sports associations, he said.

Presenting the policy commitments of the Branch at the Recreation and Culture Panel of the Legislative Council, Mr Chau said the immediate task was to prepare young sportsmen and sportswomen for the East Asian Games in May 1997 and to continue to develop rising athletes to compete at the highest international standards.

"To this end, we shall be assisting the Sports Development Board to implement its five-year plan, as well as continuing to promote the Hong Kong Athletes Fund," he said.

Mr Chau told the Panel that the Government had increased subvention to the Outward Bound School to enable under-privileged youngsters to participate in courses it organised.

Turning to heritage. Mr Chau pledged to continue to work closely with the Antiquities Advisory Board on establishing new heritage trails in Central and Western and Kam Tin districts, and in protecting buildings and sites of historic importance by declaring them as historical monuments.

13

On the arts side, the Arts Development Council is organising a major international conference on the role of arts in education in March next year.

The Government has also provided the Academy for Performing Arts with $162 million this year to increase the number of full-time places to 700.

As regards broadcasting, Mr Chau said during the next few months, the Branch would work with the Broadcasting Authority to devise codes of practice for advertising on pay TV, and for programming and advertising on Video-on-demand (VOD) programme service.

"We intend to introduce legislation on the regulatory framework for VOD programme services next month, with the aim of offering two licences initially, and more in due course," he said.

End

Suspected plague case on Green Island

*****

In response to media enquiry on a suspected plague case in Green Island today (Thursday), a spokesman for the Department of Health said the man was sent to the Queen Mary Hospital as a precautionary measure to confirm initial diagnosis that it is not plague.

Further examination at the hospital had supported this initial diagnosis that it is unlikely to be plague.

End

Exhibition on TDS Review in Causeway Bay

*****

Members of the public will have a chance to know more about the proposed development strategies for Hong Kong up to 2011 by visiting an exhibition which will start tomorrow (Friday) at the Times Square in Causeway Bay.

The exhibition, focusing on the Territorial Development Strategy (TDS) Review, is part of a publicity programme to encourage members of the public to express their views on how the future development needs of Hong Kong can be met.

14

A total of 10 exhibitions will be held this month at eight shopping centres and two Mass Transit Railway stations.

The exhibition at the Times Square will last for seven days until October 17 (Thursday). It will be open daily between 10 am and 8 pm.

By browsing among the 32 panels displayed with photographs, maps and charts, visitors will have a better understanding of the various development options recommended by the TDS Review.

They can also see impressive models featuring major future developments in Hong Kong as well as a bilingual documentary video. Copies of a leaflet on the review will be distributed free of charge.

Members of the public can also visit another TDS Review exhibition which is being held at Butterfly Estate Commercial Centre in Tuen Mun until October 15 (Tuesday).

From October 16 (Wednesday) to 22 (Tuesday), the exhibition will be moved to Tai Wo Shopping Mall in Tai Po.

End

Employment and vacancy statistics for June released *****

According to the figures released today (Thursday) by the Census and Statistics Department, employment in all major service sectors increased in June 1996 compared with June 1995. Meanwhile, employment in the manufacturing sector remained on a downtrend, whereas employment at construction sites registered a significant year-on-year increase over the same period.

As labour supply became relatively more abundant, vacancies in the manufacturing sector and in most of the major service sectors surveyed continued to record year-on-year decreases of different magnitudes in June 1996. Vacancies at construction sites also fell. Nevertheless, there were still around 47,500 vacancies in June 1996 for all major sectors surveyed taken together, as compared to 48 900 vacancies recorded in March 1996.

15

In terms of the number of persons engaged, the wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels sector was the largest, employing 1,031,600 persons in June 1996. This was followed by the financing, insurance, real estate and business services sector, with an employment of 386,900; the manufacturing sector, 336,700; the community, social and personal services sector, 310,100; and the transport, storage and communications sector, 176,300. Also, there were 72,600 manual workers at construction sites.

In terms of percentage changes, employment at construction sites (for manual workers only) continued to show a notable year-on-year increase, by 13.4% in June 1996. This was followed by employment in the transport, storage and communications sector, rising by 6%; the community, social and personal services sector, by 4.9%; the financing, insurance, real estate and business services sector, by 3.5%; and the wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels sector, by 0.7%. On the other hand, employment in the manufacturing sector fell further, by 15.4%. The respective employment figures are shown in greater detail in Table 1.

As regards the vacancy situation in individual sectors, the wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels sector had the largest number of vacancies, at a level of 19,980 in June 1996. This was followed by the financing, insurance, real estate and business services sector, with 8,970 vacancies; the community, social and personal services sector, 8,320 vacancies; the manufacturing sector, 5,860 vacancies; and the transport, storage and communications sector, 2,870 vacancies. Also, there were 1,520 vacancies for manual workers at construction sites. Except for the community, social and personal services sector which registered a year-on-year increase of 3.6% in the number of vacancies in June 1996, vacancies in other sectors surveyed and at construction sites all dropped by varying extent in June 1996 when compared with a year earlier. Job vacancy figures are shown in greater detail in Table 2.

Of the total of some 47,500 vacancies (other than those in the Civil Service) recorded in June 1996, 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 about three-quarters of the total number of vacancies in all the major sectors surveyed.

Beginning from the reference month of June 1996, year-on-year comparison of vacancies by major occupation group is available. In terms of percentage changes, vacancies in the major occupation group managers and administrators increased by 38.1% in June 1996 over June 1995; professionals, by 16.5%; and service workers and shop sales workers, by 9.1%. On the other hand, vacancies in the major occupation group craft and related workers decreased by 27.6%. This was followed by plant and machine operators and assemblers, by 21.2%; clerks, by 15.3%; associate professionals, by 12.1%; and elementary occupations, by 7.7%. Vacancy figures broken down by major occupation group are shown in Table 3.

16

The above statistics for June 1996 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 (e.g. 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. In the latter survey on the construction sites, employment and vacancy figures relate to manual workers only.

Detailed breakdowns of the statistics are available from the Quarterly Report of Employment, Vacancies and Payroll Statistics, June 1996 and the Quarterly Report of Employment and Vacancies at Construction Sites, June 1996.

They will be available at HK$48 per copy and HK.S19 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.

- 17 -

Table I : Employment figures and percentage changes bv selected maior sector

Persons engaged (employment)

Percentage change

Selected major sector Jun. 95 Mar. 96 Jun. 96 Jun. 96 over Jun. 95 Jun. 96 over Mar. 96

Manufacturing 397 800 351 500 336 700 -15.4 -4.2

Construction sites (manual workers only) 64 000 68 800 72 600 4-13.4 4-5.6

Wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels 1 024 600 1 027 000 1 031 600 +0.7 4-0.4

Transport, storage and communications 166 300 175 200 176 300 4-6.0 4-0.6

Financing, insurance, real estate and business services 373 900 378 800 386 900 4-3.5 4-2.2

Community, social and personal services 295 600 302 800 310 100 4-4.9 4-2.4

- 18 -

Table 2 : Vacancy figures and percentage changes bv selected maior sector

Number of vacancies

Percentage change

Selected major sector Jun. 95 Mar. 96 - Jun. 96 Jun. 96 over Jun. 95 Jun. 96 over Mar. 96

Manufacturing 7 640 5 930 5 860 -23.2 -1.1

Construction sites (vacancies for manual workers only) 3 460 940 1 520 -56.2 +61.5

Wholesale,retail and impon/export trades, restaurants and hotels 20 060 21 790 19 980 -0.4 -8.3

Transport, storage and communications 3 220 3 450 2 870 -10.9 -16.8

Financing, insurance, real estate and business services 9 160 9 060 8 970 -2.1 -1.0

Community, social and personal services 8 030 7 720 8 320 +3.6 +7.8

- 19 -

Table 3 : Vacancy figures and percentage changes bv maior occupation group

Major occupation group Number of vacancies Percentage change

Jun. 96 over Jun. 95 Jun. 96 over Mar. 96

Jun. 95 Mar. 96 - Jun. 96

Managers and administrators 880 1 160 1 220 4-38.1 4-5.2

Professionals 2 790 3 480 3 250 4-16.5 -6.4

Associate professionals 8 480 8 510 7 450 -12.1 -12.5

Clerks 11 950 11 630 10 120 -15.3 -13.0

Service workers and shop sales workers 10 120 11 210 11 040 4-9.1 -1.5

Cran and related workers 5 190 2 590 3 760 -27.6 4-45.0

Plant and machine operators and assemblers 4 690 3 630 3 700 -21.2 4-1.9

Elementary occupations 7 590 6 690 7 000 -7.7 4-4.6

End

20

Grading of beach water quality * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) today (Thursday) announced the latest gradings of Hong Kong's beaches, based on the bacteriological water quality, for the 1996 swimming season.

The purpose of the grading system is to inform swimmers and the general public about the state of bacteriological pollution at various beaches.

The grading, based on the most recent E coli data obtained by EPD in its routine monitoring programme, is announced biweekly during the bathing season to coincide with the frequency at which beach waters are usually sampled.

As with last year, the grading also includes an estimate of the risk of suffering some minor skin or gastrointestinal complaints as a result of swimming at a beach which has some degree of pollution.

The estimate is based on a large body of statistical information gathered in Hong Kong in recent bathing seasons.

The grading of some beaches may vary during the summer. This represents a natural fluctuation in the bacteriological quality of bathing waters in most cases, as rain and tides bring more or less pollution to the beaches.

However, the grades give a good general picture of the water quality at bathing beaches at the time of reporting and form the best available forecast for the immediate future.

Beaches with highly developed hinterlands are likely to be more polluted than the grades suggested during and after heavy rain.

"Bathers should avoid such beaches for two or three days after a storm, longer if the weather remains overcast or less if there is strong sunshine," Principal • Environmental Protection Officer, Mr Patrick Lei, said.

The system for grading beach water quality is as follows:

Grade "1" indicates that the water quality is good. The E coli count is no more than 24 per 100 millilitres at each beach so graded, and the expected risk of minor illness to swimmers is undetectable.

Grade "2" indicates that the water quality is fair. The E coli count is no more than 180 per 100 millilitres at each beach so graded, and the expected health risk is no more than 10 cases of minor illness per 1,000 swimmers.

21

Grade ”3” indicates that the water quality is poor. The E coli count is no more than 610 per 100 millilitres at each beach so graded, and the expected health risk is no more than 15 cases of minor illness per 1,000 swimmers.

Grade ”4” indicates that the water quality is very poor. The E coli count is more than 610 per 100 millilitres at each beach so graded, and the expected health risk is more than 15 cases of minor illness per 1,000 swimmers.

The decision whether or not to close a beach to swimmers is based on a judgement of what degree of pollution is acceptable.

Normally, the closure of a beach would only be considered by the Urban or Regional Council if a grade "4” occurred repeatedly, so that the average health risk over the bathing season exceeded 15 cases per 1,000 swimmers.

At present five gazetted beaches, namely Anglers’, Approach, Castle Peak, Rocky Bay and Ting Kau, are closed to swimmers, while Old Cafeteria is re-opened.

The decision to open or close the beaches has been made by the Regional and Urban Councils on the basis of beach water quality monitoring data for 1995. The public are advised not to swim at the closed beaches.

The grades of the bacteriological water quality of various beaches in Hong Kong today are listed below:

Beach

Previous Grading (as at 26.9.96)

Present Grading (as at 10.10.96)

Hong Kong South

Big Wave Bay (S) 2

Chung Hom Kok (S) 1

Deep Water Bay (S) 2

Hairpin (S) 2

Middle Bay (S) 2

Repulse Bay (S) 2

Shek O (S) 3

South Bay (S) 1

St Stephen’s (S) 1

Turtle Cove (S) 2

Stanley Main (S) 2

2 2 ■>

I I 2 2 1 1 2 2

22

Tuen Mun District

Golden Beach 3

Old Cafeteria 3

New Cafeteria 4

Kadoorie (S) 3

Butterfly (S) 3

Sai Kung District

Clear Water Bay 1st Beach (S) 2

Clear Water Bay 2nd Beach (S) 2

Hap Mun Bay (S) 1

Kiu Tsui (S) 1

Silverstrand (S) 2

Trio (Hebe Haven) (S) 2

Islands District

Cheung Sha Upper 1

Cheung Sha Lower 2

Discovery Bay* 1

Hung Shing Yeh 1

Kwun Yam Wan 2

Tong Fuk 2

Lo So Shing 1

PuiO 1

Silvermine Bay 4

Tung Wan, Cheung Chau (S) 2

Tsuen Wan District

Casam (S) 4

Gemini 3

Hoi Mei Wan 3

Lido (S) 4

Tung Wan, Ma Wan 2

4

4

4

3

3

2

2

1 1

3 2

1

2

1

1 2

2

1

2 3

1

3

3

3

3

2

Note: * Non-gazetted beaches.

(S) The beach has a shark-prevention net installed.

t

- 23 -

The following beaches have changed grading on this occasion:

Hairpin, Middle Bay and Tung Wan, Cheung Chau from "2" to "1"; Shek O from "3" to "2"; Silvermine Bay, Casam and Lido from "4" to "3"; Chung Hom Kok and Pui O from "1" to "2"; Silverstrand from "2" to "3"; Old Cafeteria and Golden Beach from "3" to "4".

The changes are within the normal range of fluctuation of the bacteriological water quality of these beaches.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

Opening balance in the account Closing balance in the account Change attributable to:

Money market activity LAF today

Cumulative

$ million Time (hours} change (Smillion)

2,130 0930 +30

2,212 1000 +30

1100 +30

+12 1200 +27

+70 1500 +12

1600 + 12

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.8 *+0.1* 10.10.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/MTRC

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.84 2 years 2808 6.00 100.11 6.02

1 month 4.95 3 years 3907 6.80 101.23 6.41

3 months 5.14 5 years 5109 7.32 101.67 7.03

6 months 5.22 7 years 7308 7.24 99.91 7.39

12 months 5.49 5 years M503 7.35 100.67 7.31

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $9,391 million

Closed October 10, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES GARDEN ROAD, 5th-8th FLOORS, MURRAY BUILDING, HONG KONG. TEL.: 2842 8777

Friday, October 11,1996

Contents Page No,

Government welcomes UN observations on children's rights................... 1

Judge Caird seeking early retirement confirmed............................. 4

Vast opportunities ahead, it's business as usual: acting FS................ 4

Suspected plague case proved negative...................................... 5

Hong Kong signs new air services agreement with India...................... 6

External trade statistics by country and commodity......................... 7

Occupational Deafness Compensation Scheme................................. 17

Govt Laboratory awarded for quality management services............... 18

Arch SD staff to walk up 47 floors for charity............................ 19

The weather of September.................................................. 20

Widening of Kennedy Town Praya proposed................................... 24

New roads planned for Tseung Kwan O Area 137.............................. 24

Radar and marine traffic control station at Mirs Bay...................... 25

Alert CSD staff help capture Vietnamese illegal immigrants................ 26

Fire services personnel praised........................................... 26

Fresh water cut in Chai Wan............................................... 27

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

1

Government welcomes UN observations on children's rights ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government today (Friday) welcomes the advice and suggestions in the Concluding observations released by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child after an examination on October 2 and 3 of the initial report in respect of Hong Kong under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

"The observations will be carefully considered by the concerned policy branches," a government spokesman said.

The Committee highlighted a number of positive aspects in Hong Kong's implementation of the Convention. These included the enactment of the Disability Discrimination Ordinance, the improvements to the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme, the five research projects on children's welfare and child abuse being undertaken by universities and funded by the Government, and the enactment of the Parent and Child Ordinance in 1993, which removed the legal disadvantages previously suffered by illegitimate children.

The spokesman said the Government was glad that its efforts were recognised by the Committee.

"We note that the Committee has also expressed appreciation for our measures to promote awareness of common adolescent health problems, the Student Health Ambassador scheme for secondary school students, the launching of the new Student Health Service, the establishment of a Health Care and Promotion Fund and measures to make hospitals more baby and child friendly," he said.

In response to the Committee's comment on the continued application of the Convention to Hong Kong, the spokesman said: "It has been agreed in the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group (JLG) that the Convention will continue to apply to Hong Kong after June 30, 1997.

"Matters relating to reservations and declarations as well as reporting arrangements are being discussed in the JLG. It should be noted, though, that these reservations and declarations entered in 1994 took into account certain circumstances in Hong Kong which still exist now.

"Other matters relating to the legislative and administrative measures to implement the Convention are for the Hong Kong Government - and after June 30, 1997, for the SAR Government - to act upon."

2

In response to the concern on the problem of child abuse, the spokesman said the Government took the matter seriously.

"An inter-departmental working group on child abuse was re-convened in June 1993 to tackle the problem. The Social Welfare Department (SWD) and the Police established a Child Protection Special Investigation Team in December 1995 to conduct joint investigation into suspected abuse cases and conduct video-recorded interviews of child witnesses.

"The Child Protective Services Unit and the Clinical Psychological Unit of SWD have been provided with additional social workers and clinical psychologists to strengthen protection and treatment for the abuse victims.

"We are providing specialised training for the concerned professionals in handling child abuse cases.

"Following the publicity campaign on early reporting of child abuse cases in 1995, a campaign on prevention of child sexual abuse targeting both children and parents was launched in April 1996.

"More multi-disciplinary district committees on child abuse will be set up so that every SWD district will have such a committee by late 1996," said the spokesman.

The spokesman also referred to a recommendation in the observations that an independent body be established to monitor the implementation of the Convention within Hong Kong.

He said: "The Convention covers a large number of policy areas and the Government believes the appropriate arrangement is for Policy Secretaries to be responsible for the implementation of the Convention in their respective areas. They are assisted in discharging this responsibility by advisory boards and committees with members including NGO representatives.

"This administrative structure suitably caters for our needs and has served Hong Kong well. The Government's performance is already closely monitored by the Legislative Council, the Commissioner for Administrative Complaints and the press.

"The Convention does not require the setting up of a monitoring body. It is for the government concerned to decide on the appropriate administrative structure to implement the Convention."

3

As regards human rights education, the spokesman highlighted a number of measures to promote human rights education and to increase awareness of children's rights.

"These include incorporating human rights topics into the school curriculum and into the Education Department’s Civic Education Guidelines," he said..

"Publicity efforts are made by the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education to heighten public awareness of human rights.

"To evaluate the effectiveness of these efforts, we shall consider including questions on human rights in the Opinion Survey on Civic Education, which is conducted every two years with the next one in early 1998."

On the Committee's comment that the Bill of Rights Ordinance (BORO) does not make specific reference to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the spokesman said: "The purpose of the BORO is to provide for the incorporation into the law of Hong Kong of the provision of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as applied to Hong Kong.

"Moreover, at the time of the enactment of the BORO, the Convention did not apply to Hong Kong."

The Committee recommends that measures be taken to protect Vietnamese children in detention. The spokesman said: "The situation of Vietnamese children in camps is under close monitoring of the Government and their interests are high on our agenda.

"We have no intention to detain the Vietnamese migrants (VMs) at all. In the interests of the VMs themselves as well as their children, they are repeatedly urged to join voluntary repatriation to return to Vietnam which is their home.

"Sadly, many VMs did not choose to do so. This important decision lies in the hands of the VM parents concerned."

The Committee also expressed concern over split families who await reunification. In response, the spokesman stated that the daily one-way permit quota was raised from 105 to 150 in 1995.

"Thirty of the 45 additional places are allocated to children who will have the right of abode in HK after 1997", he said.

4

Another issue raised by the UN Committee was the minimum age of criminal responsibility, which is currently set at seven. The spokesman stated that although the Government had carefully considered this issue in the past, it would reconsider it in the light of the Committee's observations.

The Committee recommends that the UK Government prepares a progress report on measures taken to give effect to the suggestions and recommendations contained in the Concluding Observations by the end of May 1997.

"Matters relating to reporting are for the UK Government to consider. We shall put our views to them," the spokesman said.

End

Judge Caird seeking early retirement confirmed

*****

A government spokesman today (Friday) confirmed that the Governor had received a letter from Judge Caird seeking leave to retire early on medical grounds.

The Governor is now considering this request.

End

Vast opportunities ahead, it's business as usual: acting FS

*****

Hong Kong would continue its work to ensure that it would stay ahead of the game and maximise the vast business opportunities that were on offer throughout the Asia-Pacific region, the acting Financial Secretary, Mr Rafael Hui, said today (Friday).

Addressing the opening of the Regional Conference of the Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants, Mr Hui said Hong Kong was at the centre of an increasingly dynamic and competitive region and there were countless examples to demonstrate that its people were all working for the future and not resting on their laurels.

5

Mr Hui said: ”1997 will have been, well gone, and we shall all find that what follows after 1997 is in fact 1998 and business as usual in Hong Kong.

"We shall continue to have our own fiscal and monetary policies and systems, maintain our own reserves, our own legal system, our independent and low taxation system, our free trade policy, the Hong Kong dollar will remain freely convertible.

"All these, and much more, are enshrined in the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, the international agreement and the constitution established to protect Hong Kong’s unique status and high degree of autonomy after 1997 under the "one country, two systems" concept."

He said the future Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, afterall, would have complete autonomy in economic matters.

"It is entirely in China’s national interest that Hong Kong continues to be successful as an international commercial and financial centre," he said.

Mr Hui pointed out that one area which Hong Kong attached great importance to was the building up of its international connections and continuing its involvement and participation, on its own and as a separate entity, in international bodies related to trade and finance.

He told the audience that Hong Kong had long enjoyed a close and stillstrengthening relationship with Australia and Australians.

"Both Hong Kong and Australia have a constructive role to play in building bridges between communities within the region and between this region and the world trading community," he said Mr Hui.

End

Suspected plague case proved negative *****

In response to media enquiries on the suspected plague case last (Thursday) night, a spokesman for the Department of Health said today (Eriday) that the hospital had confirmed that it is not a case of plague.

End

6

Hong Kong signs new air services agreement with India *****

The Government yesterday (Thursday) signed an air services agreement with the Government of the Republic of India.

fhe Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Stephen Ip, signed the Agreement on behalf of the Administration while acting Commissioner for India, Mr D K Mallik, signed on behalf of the Government of the Republic of India.

Mr Ip noted the long historical and growing link between Hong Kong and India and the demand for air transport generated.

He considered it important for both Governments and airlines of the two places to work together to ensure that air services between Hong Kong and India will meet the growing demand.

He said the Hong Kong/India Air Services Agreement would provide a firm legal and regulator}' framework for the development of air services between Hong Kong and India through to and beyond 1997.

He looked forward to closer ties and the continued expansion of aviation links between the two places in the years to come.

Mr Mallik said the Air Services Agreement would strengthen and develop the air bridge between India and Hong Kong beyond next June.

He expressed confidence that Hong Kong would remain an important business and financial centre of the world in the years to come. In particular, he referred to the efficient communication systems in the territory and Hong Kong's favourable location in one of the most rapidly growing economic regions of the world.

Mr Mallik said the Agreement would facilitate increased involvement of Hong Kong in India's modernisation and liberalisation programme which has begun to gather steam.

I he Hong Kong/India Agreement is the fifteenth air services agreement signed by Hong Kong. The others were signed with the Netherlands, Switzerland, Canada, Brunei, France, New Zealand, Malaysia, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Australia, Germany, Korea, Singapore and Italy.

Currently, Cathay Pacific and Air India together operate nine return services per week between Hong Kong and India.

End

7

External trade statistics by country and commodity *****

Detailed statistics on external trade with breakdown by country/territory and commodity for August 1996 was released by the Census and Statistics Department today (Friday).

In August 1996, the value of re-exports grew by 6% over a year earlier to $106.7 billion, while the value of domestic exports decreased by 11% to $18.2 billion. Meanwhile, imports increased marginally by 0.7% to $132.1 billion.

Changes in the value of Hong Kong’s re-exports to 10 main destinations are shown in fable 1.

Comparing August 1996 with August 1995, increases were recorded in the value of re-exports to Japan (+13%), the Netherlands (+10%), South Korea (+10%), the United States (+9.4%), China (+7.4%), France (+7.3%), the United Kingdom (+5.5%) and Germany (+4%).

However, the value of re-exports to Taiwan and Singapore decreased by 9.9% and 0.7% respectively.

Comparing the first eight months of 1996 with the same period in 1995, the value of re-exports to most main destinations showed increases of various magnitudes: Japan (+22%), the United Kingdom (+14%), France (+12%), the Netherlands (+8.7%), China (+8.7%), Germany (+8%), South Korea (+6.5%), Singapore (+5.7%) and the United States (+2.8%).

However, the value of re-exports to Taiwan decreased by 4.8%.

Taking all destinations together, the value of re-exports in the first eight months of 1996 was $768.6 billion. 7.4% higher than that in the same period in 1995.

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

Comparing the first eight months of 1996 with the same period in 1995, the value of re-exports of most principal commodity divisions rose.

8

More notable increases were registered for office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $8.2 billion or 23%); clothing (by $6.9 billion or 12%); electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $6.8 billion or 9.4%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of baby carriages, toys, games and sporting goods (by $5.7 billion or 6.4%); footwear (by $3.9 billion or 9.8%); and photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies, optical goods, watches and clocks (by $3.9 billion or 12%).

Over the same period, a decrease in the value of re-exports was registered for telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $ 1.6 billion or 2.1 %).

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

Comparing August 1996 with August 1995, the value of domestic exports to all main destinations showed decreases of various magnitudes: Taiwan (-37%), Singapore (-29%), the United States (-15%), the United Kingdom (-9.6%), Japan (-8.5%), Canada (-8.4%), the Netherlands (-6.9%), France (-6.3%), Germany (-5.8%) and China (-4.9%).

Comparing the first eight months of 1996 with the same period in 1995, the value of domestic exports to all main destinations showed decreases of various magnitudes: Singapore (-14%), Taiwan (-13%), the United States (-12%), Canada (-9.6%). the Netherlands (-9.1%), France (-8.3%). Germany (-7.3%), China (-5%). Japan (-2.8%) and the United Kingdom (-0.4%).

Taking all destinations together, the value of domestic exports in the first eight months of 1996, at $138.2 billion, decreased by 8.3% over the same period in 1995.

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

Comparing the first eight months of 1996 with the same period in 1995, more significant decreases in the value of domestic exports were recorded for office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $3.4 billion or 28%); clothing (by $3.2 billion or 6.9%); telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $1.5 billion or 21%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of jewellery, goldsmiths’ and silversmiths’ wares (by $1.3 billion or 10%); and photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies, optical goods, watches and clocks (by $927 million or 8.5%).

9

Over the same period, increases in the value of domestic exports were registered for professional, scientific and controlling instruments and apparatus (by $186 million or 9.8%); and electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $102 million or 0.5%)

Changes in the value of imports from 10 main suppliers are shown in fable 5.

Comparing August 1996 with August 1995, increases were recorded in the value of imports from Malaysia (+23%), Italy (+10%), the United States (+9.5%) and China (+9%).

However, the value of imports from Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Germany and the United Kingdom decreased by 22%, 13%, 9.2%, 7.9%, 5.3% and 2.8% respectively.

Comparing the first eight months of 1996 with the same period in 1995, increases were recorded in the value of imports from Malaysia (+18%), Italy (+18%), the United Kingdom (+9.7%). the United States (+6.9%), Singapore (+6%), China (+6%) and Germany (+1.2%).

However, the value of imports from Japan, Taiwan and South Korea decreased by 8%, 3.9% and 0.5% respectively.

Taking all sources together, the value of imports in the first eight months of 1996, at $1,004.5 billion, increased by 2.9% over the same period in 1995.

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

Comparing the first eight months of 1996 with the same period in 1995, more notable increases in the value of imports were registered for office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $7.9 billion or 18%); electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $7.6 billion or 6.3%); clothing (by $4.6 billion or 7.5%); footwear (by $3 billion or 8.6%); and miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of baby carriages, toys, games and sporting goods (by $3 billion or 4.5%).

Over the same period, decreases in the value of imports were recorded for textiles (by $2.1 billion or 2.4%); telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $1.7 billion or 1.8%); and non-metallic mineral manufactures (by $627 million or 2.2%).

10

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

A separate analysis of the volume and price movements of external trade for August 1996 will be released in early November 1996.

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

The August issue of the Hong Kong External Trade with detailed analyses on the performance of Hong Kong’s external trade in August 1996 will be on sale at $129 per copy around October 22.

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

Enquiries regarding regular subscription to this report may be directed to the Publications (Sales) Office, 28th Floor, Siu On Centre, 188 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, Tel 2598 8194: and enquiries on trade statistics to the Census and Statistics Department, Tel 2582 4915.

11

TABLE 1 : RE-EXPORTS TO TEN MAIN DESTINATIONS

DESTINATION % - j AUG 1996 (HKD Mn.) AUG 96 OVER AUG 95 (% CHANGE) JAN-AUG 1996 (HKD Mn.) JAN-AUG 96 OVER JAN-AUG 95 (% CHANGE)

CHINA 34,410 + 7.4 271,419 + 8.7

'•./J.:

UNITED STATES 25,217 + 9.4 154,829 + 2.8

JAPAN 7,324 + 12.7 51,767 + 22.4

GERMANY 4,376 + 4.0 31,273 + 8.0

UNITED KINGDOM 3,444 + 5.5 22,578 + 14.1

SINGAPORE 2,342 - 0.7 17,747 + 5.7

TAIWAN * 2,088 - 9.9 17,164 - 4.8

SOUTH KOREA 1,799 + 10.0 13,434 + 6.5

FRANCE 1,724 + 7.3 12,340 + 11.8

NETHERLANDS 1,649 + 10.4 11,725 + 8.7

12

TABLE 2 : RE-EXPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION AUG 1996 (HKD Mn.) AUG 96 OVER AUG 95 (% CHANGE) JAN-AUG 1996 (HKD Mn.) JAN-AUG 96 OVER JAN-AUG 95 (% CHANGE)

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY BABY CARRIAGES, TOYS, GAMES AND SPORTING GOODS) 16,212 + 5.0 94,914 + 6.4

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 10,241 - 3.6 79,336 + 9.4

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 10,240 - 7.9 74,404 - 2.1

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING

ACCESSORIES 10,897 + 18.5 64,837 + 11.9

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP

ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 8,397 + 10.6 63,662 + 2.7

FOOTWEAR 6,106 + 15.6 44,114 + 9.8

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 5,657 + 15.8 43,952 + 22.9

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 4,777 + 8.2 35,637 + 12.2

TRAVEL GOODS, HANDBAGS AND SIMILAR

CONTAINERS 3,433 + 9.7 24,269 + 3.5

GENERAL INDUSTRIAL MACHINERY AND

EQUIPMENT, AND MACHINE PARTS 2,066 + 5.2 20,973 + 9.0

13

TABLE 3 : DOMESTIC EXPORTS TO TEN MAIN DESTINATIONS

DESTINATION AUG 1996 (HKD Mn.) AUG 96 OVER AUG 95 (% CHANGE) JAN-AUG 1996 (HKD Mn.) JAN-AUG 96 OVER JAN-AUG 95 (% CHANGE)

CHINA 5,285 - 4.9 39,832 - 5.0

UNITED STATES 4,697 - 15.2 33,915 - 11.7

JAPAN 963 - 8.5 7,737 - 2.8

GERMANY 1,012 - 5.8 7,454 - 7.3

SINGAPORE 736 - 29.4 7,059 - 14.1

UNITED KINGDOM 984 - 9.6 6,917 - 0.4

TAIWAN 458 - 37.0 4,371 - 13.5

NETHERLANDS 435 - 6.9 3,187 - 9.1

CANADA 342 - 8.4 2,591 - 9.6

FRANCE 290 - 6.3 1,933 - 8.3 »

14

TABLE 4 : DOMESTIC EXPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION AUG 1996 (HKD Mn.) AUG 96 OVER AUG 95 (% CHANGE) JAN-AUG 1996 (HKD Mn.) JAN-AUG 96 OVER JAN-AUG 95 (% CHANGE)

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 6,557 - 6.6 43,519 - 6.9

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 2,323 - 22.8 20,285 + 0.5

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY JEWELLERY, GOLDSMITHS’ AND SILVERSMITHS' WARES) 1,533 - 12.5 11,727 - 10.1

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 1,248 - 10.8 9,988 - 8.5

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 1,199 + 3.0 9,095 - 3.2

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 1,030 - 23.9 8,776 - 27.8 i

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 737 - 22.5 5,625 - 20.6

MANUFACTURES OF METALS 343 - 16.6 2,811 - 9.8

PLASTICS IN PRIMARY FORMS 306 - 14.7 2,581 - 12.6

PROFESSIONAL, SCIENTIFIC AND CONTROLLING INSTRUMENTS AND APPARATUS 284 + 3.9 2,088 + 9.8

15

TABLE 5 : IMPORTS FROM TEN MAIN SUPPLIERS

SUPPLIER AUG 1996 (HKD Mn.) AUG 96 OVER AUG 95 (% CHANGE) JAN-AUG 1996 (HKD Mn.) JAN-AUG 96 OVER JAN-AUG 95 (% CHANGE)

CHINA 54,025 + 9.0 369,013 + 6.0

JAPAN 16,091 - 13.0 135,871 - 8.0

TAIWAN 10,076 - 7.9 81,319 - 3.9

UNITED STATES 10,813 + 9.5 80,387 + 6.9

SINGAPORE 6,304 - 21.8 54,542 + 6.0

SOUTH KOREA 5,547 - 9.2 48,945 - 0.5

GERMANY 2,874 - 5.3 22,223 + 1.2

MALAYSIA 2,839 + 23.2 21,950 + 18.4

UNITED KINGDOM 2,793 - 2.8 21,536 + 9.7

ITALY 2,858 + 10.1 20,681 + 17.8

16

TABLE 6 : IMPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION AUG 1996 (HKD Mn.) AUG 96 OVER AUG 95 (% CHANGE) JAN-AUG 1996 (HKD Mn.) JAN-AUG 96 OVER JAN-AUG 95 (% CHANGE)

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 16,145 - 7.5 126,957 + 6.3

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 12,114 - 8.0 91,635 - 1.8 • *r

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 10,517 + 9.8 85,908 - 2.4

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY BABY CARRIAGES, TOYS, GAMES AND SPORTING GOODS) 10,766 + 5.1 70,022 + 4.5

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 10,900 + 15.4 66,753 + 7.5

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 6,559 + 7.3 51,567 + 18.2

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 5,277 + 1.0 41,229 + 0.1

FOOTWEAR 5,315 + 16.4 38,001 + 8.6

GENERAL INDUSTRIAL MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT, AND MACHINE PARTS 2,740 - 12.6 31,624 + 6.5

NON-METALLIC MINERAL MANUFACTURES 3,402 + 6.4 28,481 2.2

End

17

Occupational Deafness Compensation Scheme ♦ ♦ ♦ * *

The Government proposes to extend by one year the application deadline for claimants under the Occupational Deafness Compensation Scheme (ODCS) who had left their noisy occupations within six years before the commencement of the Scheme in July last year.

The proposed amendment was presented in the Occupational Deafness (Compensation) (Amendment) Bill gazetted today (Friday).

Explaining the bill, a spokesman from the Education and Manpower Branch said the extension would enable those who had inadvertently missed the deadline to submit their applications for a period until June 30 next year.

Under the existing ordinance, a person who suffers noise-induced deafness by reason of their occupation is entitled to apply for compensation if he has had at least 10 years of employment in any of the 17 specified noisy occupations.

"However, he has to satisfy the requirement of having been employed under a continuous contract in a noisy occupation within six years before the commencement of ODCS in July 1995; or within one year preceding his application for compensation," the spokesman said.

"For those who have left their noisy occupations for up to six years before the scheme commenced, they were required to submit their applications before July 1 this year. This was a necessary means to avoid possible abuses of the provisions.

"The underlying concern is that a person's hearing loss may deteriorate with age and the longer he has left his noisy occupation, the more difficult it will be to establish medically the extent to which his hearing loss has been caused by his employment in a noisy occupation."

The spokesman said when the scheme was being drawn up in 1995, it was estimated that there would be 1,000 successful claimants eligible for compensation payment including those who had left their noisy occupations within 72 months before the Scheme commenced.

"However, at the close of the 12-month application period, only 652 applications were received.

18

"It is possible that some employees might have missed the application deadline," the spokesman said.

The proposed amendment was endorsed by the Labour Advisory Board on June 6 this year.

The bill will be introduced into the Legislative Council on October 23.

End

Govt Laboratory awarded for quality management services *****

The Government Laboratory was today (Friday) presented double awards for its quality management systems, including the accreditation by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD) for the full range of its forensic science services.

The Laboratory is one of the first few laboratories outside the US to have been so accredited thus far.

In addition, the Laboratory was also honoured with the certification by the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency (IIKQAA) for compliance with ISO 9001 registration requirements for its Analytical and Advisory Services Division.

At a ceremony attended this (Friday) afternoon by government officials and representatives of other institutions in the field, the two awards were presented to the Government Chemist, Mr Lee Nam-sang, respectively by the Chairman of HKQAA, Dr John Lo, and Mr Clifton Vander Ark of ASCLD

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Lee said over the years the Laboratory’s customer base had been continuously widened with its contribution to the protection of consumer interests, the environment and public health through the provision of scientific support and the regular testing of food, pharmaceuticals and other traded commodities as well as environmental samples.

Moreover, the Laboratory also plays an increasingly important role in the local criminal justice system by undertaking a wide range of forensic science investigations from drugs and toxicology to questioned documents, traffic accident reconstruction, DNA profiling and trace contact evidence.

19

Mr Lee said the successful and timely implementation of sound quality systems wa: an important factor contributing to the continuous and considerable efforts to enhance the quality of the Laboratory's discrete activities.

He said the two awards represented a timely recognition to the challenging tasks which demanded sustained input from staff of the Government Laboratory over a period of nearly two years.

In paying tribute to the contribution by his staff, Mr Lee said: "The Government Laboratory is now in the fortunate position of having third-party recognition for quality systems applicable to leading analytical laboratories which function like ours worldwide."

Immediately after the presentation ceremony, Mr Lee and two Assistant Government Chemists, Dr B N Dailly and Mr Chan Chi-kin, conducted a meet-the-media session to give an up-to-date account of the work of the Government Laboratory in the past years.

End

Arch SD staff to walk up 47 floors for charity

* * * * *

Over 200 staff of the Architectural Services Department (Arch SD) will walk up the 47-storey Queensway Government Offices tomorrow (Saturday) for charity.

Entitled 'Arch SD Charity Staircase Walk', the event, comprising two parts: an inter-branches relay race and a charity walk by individuals, aims at raising some $100,000 for the Hong Kong Community Chest.

After a start-off ceremony to be officiated by the acting Director of Arch SD, Mr Pau Shiu-hung. six teams formed by staff from different branches of the department will start the competition.

The first three winning teams will be presented with trophies and it will be followed by an individual walk to raise fund for the needy.

The event is part of a series of functions being organised to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Arch SD. Other activities so far included seminars, conferences and a roving exhibition.

End

20

The weather of September

*****

September 1996 was wetter than normal. The total monthly rainfall of 604 millimetres - the sixth highest for the month - was more than twice the normal figure of 299.7 millimetres, and the cumulative rainfall since January 1 of 2,200.8 millimetres was 10 per cent above the normal for the same period.

Two tropical cyclones, namely Sally and Willie, necessitated the hoisting of Tropical Cyclone Warning Signals.

The month started fine and winds were light on September 1. It was hazy in the morning the next day, but the weather became cloudy with isolated thunderstorms in the afternoon.

Winds turned easterly on September 3 and isolated thunderstorms continued to affect the territory until the early morning of September 5. The weather became fine and sunny later that morning.

Generally sunny weather prevailed for the next couple of days and the temperature went up to 33 degrees on September 8, the highest in the month.

A fast moving Typhoon Sally traversed the northern part of the South China Sea later that day, bringing thundery and frequent squally showers to the territory. Gale force winds affected the more exposed areas early on September 9.

During the passage of Sally, scaffoldings collapsed, trees toppled and two persons were killed. As Sally moved away, the weather improved rapidly and generally fine weather prevailed on Septebmer 10 and 11.

Easterly winds freshened later on September 11 as an area of low pressure developed over the northern part of the South China Sea. It turned cloudy with isolated showers on September 12 and showers became frequent, heavy and thundery the next day.

The daily total rainfall on September 14 amounted to 227 millimetres, the third highest for September. Temperatures dropped to 23.6 degrees, the lowest- in the month, during the heavy downpour.

A landslide occurred in Tai Hang Road where 43 residents had to be evacuated. Seven other landslides and 24 cases of flooding were reported across the territory. Winds subsided on September 16 and the weather became generally fine.

21

The weather turned cloudy on September 18 as Willie formed near Hainan. From September 19 until September 22, heavy and thundery showers associated with the outer rainbands of Willie affected the territory.

It remained generally cloudy with some showers on September 23. Strong easterly winds affected offshore areas on September 24. Some isolated heavy showers occurred over the Hong Kong Island early on September 27. The weather turned fine and sunny the next day as winds turned more northerly under the influence of a northeast monsoon.

Fine weather prevailed until the end of the month apart from some brief showers on the last day.

Eight tropical cyclones occurred in the western North Pacific and the South China Sea in the month.

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

Table 1,1 Warnings and Signals in Septen]ber..l99_6

Wamings/Signals Effective date and time

Tropical Cyclone Warning Signals

Name of T C Signal No

Sally 1 8 Sep 0500 - 8 Sep 1700

3 8 Sep 1700 - 9 Sep 0215

8 SE 9 Sep 0215- 9 Sep 0540

3 9 Sep 0540 - 9 Sep 1015

Willie 1 18 Sep 2315 - 20 Sep 0900

Strong Monsoon Signals 24 Sep 0700 - 24 Sep 1020

22

Landslip Warning 14 Sep 1700- 15 Sep 1725

Flood Warnings 9 Sep 0300- 9 Sep 0710 14 Sep 1330- 15 Sep 0950 21 Sep 1035 -21 Sep 1650 22 Sep 0215 -22 Sep 0435

Thunderstorm Warnings 2 Sep 1350- 2 Sep 1550 3 Sep 1040- 3 Sep 1540 4 Sep 0035 - 4 Sep 0635 4 Sep 1330- 4 Sep 1530 5 Sep 0200- 5 Sep 0700 7 Sep 1915- 7 Sep 2120 13 Sep 0005 - 13 Sep 0905 13 Sep 2045- 14 Sep 0700 14 Sep 1155-14 Sep 1955 19 Sep 1200- 19 Sep 1400 19 Sep 1445 - 19 Sep 1845 20 Sep 1030-20 Sep 1230 21 Sep 0625 - 21 Sep 0825 21 Sep 1020-21 Sep 1830 22 Sep 0250 - 22 Sep 0650

Fire Danger Warnings

Yellow Red 28 Sep 1130- 29 Sep 0600 29 Sep 0600-30 Sep 1630

23

Tabie 1.2 Figures and Departures from Normal-September 1996

Total Bright Sunshine 154.8 hours; 26.9 hours below normal

Mean Daily Global Solar Radiation 14.04 MJ/SQM; 2.45 MJ/SQM below normal

Total Rainfall 604.0 mm; 304.3 mm above normal

Mean Cloud Amount 68%; 5% above normal

Mean Relative Humidity 80%; 2% above normal

Mean Daily Maximum Temperature 29.9 Degrees Celsius; 0.4 Degree Celsius below normal

Mean Air Temperature 27.7 Degrees Celsius; 0.1 Degree Celsius above normal

Mean Daily Minimum Temperature 25.7 Degrees Celsius; 0.2 Degree Celsius above normal

Mean Dew Point 23.8 Degrees Celsius; 0.5 Degree Celsius above normal

Total Evaporation 116.3 mm; 34.0 mm below normal

Remarks: All measurements were made at the Royal Observatory except sunshine, solar radiation and evaporation which were recorded at King's Park.

End

J

24

Widening of Kennedy Town Praya proposed

*****

The Highways Department proposes to widen Kennedy Town Praya at Belcher Bay from Queen's Road West to Sands Street by adding one eastbound lane and to carry out associated footpath and drainage works.

Details of the proposal were published in the Government Gazette today (Friday).

A plan showing the proposed works can be inspected during normal office hours at:

* Public Enquiry Service Centre, Central and Western District Office, ground floor, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central, Hong Kong; and

* District Lands Office, Hong Kong West. 19th floor, Southom Centre, 130 Hennessy Road. Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Any person who wishes to object to the works or the use. or both, should write to the Secretary for Transport, second floor. East Wing. Central Government Offices, Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong, not later than December 10.

End

New roads planned for Tscung Kwan O Area 137 *****

The Civil Engineering Department has proposed to construct roads in Tseung Kwan O Area 137 which will be developed for deep waterfront industries and potentially hazardous material storage facilities.

The works comprise construction of roads, footpaths and amenity areas.

Works will commence in September next year for completion in December

2000.

Details of the proposed works were published in the Government Gazette today (Friday).

25

The plan and scheme of the proposed works are now available for public inspection at:

Central and Western District Office

Public Enquiry Service Centre ground floor, Harbour Building 38 Pier Road, Central, Hong Kong;

Sai Kung District Lands Office third and fourth floors, Sai Kung Government Offices 34 Chan Man Street Sai Kung

New Territories; and

* Sai Kung District Office second floor, Sai Kung Government Offices 34 Chan Man Street

Sai Kung

New Territories.

Any person who wishes to object to the proposed works should submit his objection in wTiting to the Secretary for Transport, Central Government Offices, East Wing, second floor, Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong not later than December 10.

End

Radar and marine traffic control station at Mirs Bay ♦ * * * ♦

The Architectural Services Department is inviting tenders for the construction of a radar and marine traffic control station at Mirs Bay, Ping Chau.

The works consists of the construction of a single storey station including associated drainage and external works comprising construction of retaining wall, aerial towers, helipad, underground fuel oil chamber, landscaping, paving and footpath.

Works will commence in January next year for completion in 12 months.

26

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

The tender offer will close at noon on November 8.

End

Alert CSD staff help capture Vietnamese illegal immigrants

MM*

Alert Correctional Services Department (CSD) staff have helped capture a number of suspected illegal immigrants from Vietnam in Stanley area over the past two months.

Between August 1 and October 10, CSD officers had apprehended a total of nine people and handed them over to the police for appropriate action.

A spokesman for CSD said officers on patrol exercise very high alert to any suspicious incidents within the Stanley Prison compound and its surrounding areas.

End

Fire services personnel praised ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Hong Kong Fire Services has earned its reputation not just in Hong Kong but around the world and people in distress could rely on the department to come to their rescue.

Speaking at a passing-out parade today (Thursday), Legislative Councillor, Mr Ronald Arculli, pointed out that fire fighting and rescue work involved far more than people could imagine.

"In the past, people thought the fire service do nothing more than putting out fires. They need little knowledge but a big heart." Mr Arculli said.

27

By now, he said, courage alone would not suffice but emphasis was placed on the academic attainment of individual officers, adding that universities around the world were now running degree course to train modem fire officers.

Noting that the tasks of saving lives and protecting properties facing the officers on parade would be daunting and formidable, Mr Arculli said he was confident that they would overcome whatever obstacles that might appear with the skills and knowledge they had learnt and their determination to apply them. ■

On parade today were eight Probation Station Officers and 39 Firemen who had completed their respective basic training courses and who would soon be posted out to various fire stations to gain more field experience.

End

Fresh water cut in Chai Wan

*****

The fresh water supply to some premises in Chai Wan will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm on October 14 (Monday) to 6 am the following day for waste detection work on watermains.

The suspension will affect:

* all even number premises between Nos 2-4 A Kung Ngam Road, all even number premises between Nos 34-60 and all odd number premises between Nos 27-69 Chai Wan Road,

* No 200 Tai Tam Road,

,iF

* Chai Wan laundry and

* Chai Wan North No 2 Fresh Water Pumping Station.

End

28

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

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

Opening balance in the account 2,212 0930 +46

Closing balance in the account 2,590 1000 +46

Change attributable to: 1100 +46

Money market activity +42 1200 +48

LAF today +336 1500 +48

1600 +42

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.8 ♦+0.0* 11.10.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/MTRC

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.84 2 years 2808 6.00 100.02 6.07

1 month 4.90 3 years 3907 6.80 101.12 6.45

3 months 5.13 5 years 5109 7.32 101.46 7.08

6 months 5.22 7 years 7308 7.24 99.69 7.43

12 months 5.50 5 years M5O3 7.35 100.45 7.37

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $10,025 million

Closed October 11, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES GARDEN ROAD, 5th-8th FLOORS, MURRAY BUILDING, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Saturday, October 12,1996

Contents Page No.

FS signed investment protection agreement with Austria.................. 1

Virtual private network licence application invited..................... 2

Flushing water cut in Southern District................................. 2

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

Sunday, October 13,1996

Contents Page No.

Governor's "Letter to Hong Kong"........................................ 4

Hiking safety campaign begins........................................... 6

Chung Yeung Festival a statutory holiday: employers reminded............ 8

Fresh water cut in Tai Kok Tsui.....................................

1

FS signed investment protection agreement with Austria *****

The Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, today (Friday, Vienna time) signed an internationally binding agreement on behalf of Hong Kong for the promotion and protection of investments with the Republic of Austria, the second of such agreement that Hong Kong has signed this week.

The ceremony took place in Vienna and the Austrian government was represented by the State Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Austria, Mrs Benita Ferrero-Waldner.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mr Tsang said the agreement would encourage the flow of investment in both directions and strengthen economic ties between Hong Kong and Austria.

"Trade relations between Hong Kong and Austria have been developing rapidly, with total trade growing at an average rate of 10.8 per cent over the five-year period from 1991 to 1995," he said.

IV. •' •'

"Bilateral trade between the two signing parties stood at $8.4 billion in 1995. Currently, Austria is our 29th largest trading partner."

Mr Tsang also assured Austrian investors that Hong Kong would enjoy a high degree of autonomy after the change of sovereignty on July 1, 1997, under the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

"All factors contributing to Hong Kong's past success have been guaranteed to remain in place," he said.

Under the terms of the agreement, the two governments will provide for equal treatment of investors, compensation if investments are expropriated, and free transfer of investments and returns.

The agreement also provides for the settlement of investment disputes in accordance with internationally accepted rules.

Upon ratification by the Austrian legislature, the agreement will be effective for 15 years in the first instance, and will remain in force indefinitely unless terminated by either party.

2

This is the eleventh agreement that Hong Kong has signed in the area of investment promotion and protection.

Other countries with which Hong Kong has signed a similar agreement are the Netherlands, Australia, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, New Zealand, Italy, France, Germany, and most recently, Belgium and Luxembourg.

End

Virtual private network licence application invited *****

Guidelines inviting applications for licences to operate virtual private network services were issued by the Telecommunications Authority (TA) today (Saturday).

The virtual private network services are intended to enable international communications within corporate groups and organisations. In a statement issued by TA on April 23, the operation was confirmed to be outside the exclusivity of Hongkong Telecom International Limited.

J ’j

Copies of the guidelines may be obtained at the Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) at 29th floor, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai; or using the electronic bulletin board service of OFTA on (852) 2834 0119; or retrieved from OFTA's Homepage at http://www.ofta.gov.hk

End

Flushing water cut in Southern District * * * * *

The flushing water supply to some premises in Southern district will be temporarily suspended from 9 am to 1 pm on October 15 (Tuesday) for repair work on watermains.

The suspension will affect all premises in Aberdeen, Tin Wan and Shek Pai Wan Estate area bounded by Tin Wan Hill Road, Yue Kwong Road and Aberdeen Praya Road, and all premises along Shum Wan Road, Welfare Road and Nam Long Shan Road.

End

3

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

S million Time (hours) Cumulative change (S million)

Opening balance in the account 2,590 09:30 -300

Closing balance in the account 2,220 10:00 -300

Change attributable to: 11:00 -300

Money market activity -300 11:30 -300

LAF today -70

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.8 ♦+0.0* 12.10.96

End

- 4 -

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):

After my Policy Address each year, I go through a now-familiar whirl of press conferences, public meetings, media phone-ins and television discussions. I've just run my last lap, and as ever it's been enjoyable and instructive. And it does, of course, serve a purpose - it's a very physical manifestation of the accountability of government. Anyone, for example, can come to a public meeting and ask a question about anything. Literally anything. They can berate the government for not doing enough about the problem that worries them, draw attention to a particular grievance which is gnawing away at them, focus interest on their own bug-bear from pornography on the Internet to the roadworks in Southern District. On top of everything else, this process gives the community the chance to let off steam in a civilised way. The only thing that is on the line is the Governor's reputation. And that is precisely as it should be.

I've been struck over the years by how this public give-and-take throws light on particular problems or areas of public concern that might otherwise be overlooked. At the very first public meeting I had in a packed hall, a questioner in a wheel-chair asked me a very civil but vigorously worded question about services for the disabled in Hong Kong. That woke me up to an area where frankly we were lagging behind in the sort of provision we made for people with a disability and in public attitudes to those who are disabled.

Since then we've moved a long way. In extending services for people with disabilities. In providing facilities. In changing the law. In making it a bit easier to travel and to get a job. But it's only a start. I still think of the mother I met in her small flat, bringing up a large family, looking after a severely handicapped and grow ing son, patiently, bravely trying to struggle through each day, exhausted by her loving care and feeling very lonely as she tried to survive each 24 hours. I hope that today she's getting a little more help. But there are still too many in her situation, some of the greatest heroes and heroines of our society.

So the problems of those with a disability zoomed up my priority list precisely as a result of meeting people w’ho cared and who could challenge me publicly about the issue.

Three other things strike me about the process of accountability. First, a subject. Second, an attitude. Third, an assumption.

5

The subject? Housing, of course. It’s no disrespect to all those who work so hard for the Housing Authority to say that housing is always the subject which conies up most frequently. Waiting lists. Interim housing. Rents. The cost of home ownership.

This may not be very surprising. For every family, decent accommodation is the Number 1 goal on the list.

But what is perhaps surprising is that we are plainly not satisfying the community’s needs even though we funnel so many resources into this area. Real subsidies. Hidden subsidies. Billions of dollars - but waiting lists are still too long; there are people with greater need paying higher rents from lower incomes in bad private flats, while their better-off neighbours are sometimes paying less for more in public housing; there are families who see their incomes rise as they work harder but who still find ownership out of reach despite all the schemes we’ve designed to help them.

I’m not pretending there are any easy answers. But I’m sure the whole community is going to want to debate very thoroughly the outcome of the Long Term Housing Strategy Review when it comes out in a few weeks’ time. In housing, it may well be time to strike out in new directions, to do a bit of lateral thinking. That’s not code for wanting to do less for those who need help. We need to do more that is effective for them. We've achieved much in this area of public policy. In Eastern District on Wednesday, I looked up at the hillsides which not long ago were covered in squatter settlements but which are now covered by new high-rise flats. We advance, sure enough, but it's time I suspect to ask ourselves exactly where we're going.

Second, the question of attitude. I'm, struck again and again by how courteous and moderate is most public debate in Hong Kong. We handle our disagreements, we put forward our opinions, pretty courteously on the whole. That's why I've always thought it is so misguided that some people are anxious about the pace of democratisation. Have elections to the Legislative Council and the Municipal Councils and District Boards made Hong Kong ungovernable? Well, look around you. See for yourself. What has caused us rather more problems has been the need in the last few years to check so much that straddles 1997 with mainland officials. Sometimes there's no problem, sometimes alas there is. We had for instance another clumsy intervention last week in the question of our port development - an intervention based on a complete lack of understanding of our planning procedures. But the good news is that issues like that will be entirely matters for Hong Kong after next June, entirely matters for the SAR Government. There was a worrying suggestion to the contrary, which is why I raise the issue at all. But it’s not true. Naturally, like a good neighbour the SAR Government will want to tell others what it's planning to do. But what it does in economic and social matters, how it builds our infrastructure, what its spending priorities are - those are entirely matters for Hong Kong.

- 6 -

The restraint and dignity of most public debate here makes last week's break-in to the Japanese Consulate-General all the more reprehensible. That's not how we behave in Hong Kong. I will always defend people's right to speak their mind, to demonstrate, to march. But those rights must always - not sometimes, but always - be exercised within the law. However strongly you feel, you must obey the law. Abuse that principle, and you’re on a very slippery slope. Next time it may be your privacy, your rights that are being usurped. So let's have no more behaviour like that. It's time, I think, to cool it.

My last point I described as an assumption. I was being grilled on Tuesday by bright secondary school pupils in forms 5 to 7. They always ask the most difficult questions, and when you answer them I think you're always concerned to avoid cynicism or the usual formula responses and try to connect directly and frankly with an intelligent and questing mind. How difficult it must be to be a teacher, but how rewarding too when a good teacher sees a young mind questing and discovering and taking off.

But that's not the point I've wanted to make. It seemed natural for me to be sitting there trying to answer those questions, and I think it seemed pretty normal for those young people who were putting the questions as well. That's the future of Hong Kong. Open and free and responsible. Look at those youngsters, listen to what they say, talk to your own children, and ask yourself how it could possibly be otherwise.

End

Hiking safety campaign begins *****

A four-month long campaign aimed at increasing public awareness on hiking safety was officially launched by the Director of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr Lawrence Lee, at Kam Shan Country Park this (Sunday) morning.

The campaign, which will last until the end of next February, is organised by the Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) with sponsorship from the Lions Clubs International District 303 Hong Kong and Macau (Lions Clubs).

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Dr Lee said the campaign would help the public to understand the importance of safety in hiking and learn related knowledge and techniques.

7

In the next few months, AFD will organise a series of activities including a warning sign design competition, a slogan design contest and exhibitions at public housing shopping malls.

To back up the campaign, Dr Lee said AFD, in conjunction with the Television Broadcasts Limited, would stage a function in November when winners of this year’s Miss Hong Kong Pageant would take part in hiking activities.

Earlier this year, the department, together with other relevant departments and voluntary organisations, had arranged a series of seminars and training courses on the same subject for hiking leaders and youth leaders.

A booklet on hiking safety was published by AFD in May, with the sponsorship of printing cost by Friends of the Country Parks and Countryside Heritage Society of Hong Kong.

Dr Lee noted that special training and techniques were not particularly required in hiking.

"But if hikers have appropriate preparations before trips, alertness for hazards and knowledge of handling emergency situations during hiking journeys, the chance of accidents being occurred will be greatly reduced," he said.

At the ceremony, appointment slashes were presented to seven hiking safety ambassadors including well-known hikers Mr Cham Yik-kai and Miss Lee Lok-see, as well as five television artistes.

Demonstrations on mountain rescue and hiking safety techniques were also given this morning by the Civil Aid Services and Government Flying Service.

Also present at today's ceremony were the Chairman of the Country and Marine Parks Board, Dr C Y Jim; the District Governor of the Lions Clubs, Mr So Chun-yu; and AFD's Assistant Director (Parks), Mr Wong Fook-yee.

End

8

Chung Yeung Festival a statutory holiday: employers reminded *****

The Labour Department today (Sunday) reminded employers that October 20, the Chung Yeung Festival Day, is one of the 11 statutory holidays for employees.

Under the Employment Ordinance, if a statutory holiday falls on a rest day, it should be taken on the following day. In this case, as October 20 is a Sunday, employees should be given a holiday on October 21.

Under the ordinance, all employees, irrespective of their wage levels, are entitled to statutory holidays and must be paid for the day off if they have worked continuously for the same employer for three months or longer before the statutory holiday.

Holiday pay should be equivalent to an employee’s earnings on a full working day and should include basic wages as well as allowances that can be expressed in money terms such as meals and cost of living allowances.

Where the earnings vary from day to day, holiday pay should be the average daily earnings during every complete wage period, which could be between 28 and 31 days, preceding the holiday.

If an employee is required to work on a statutory holiday, he must be given an alternative day off within 60 days before or after the holiday.

' ;• '• .'i,. i

Enquiries about statutory holidays can be made at the Labour Department’s General Enquiry Telephone Service on 2717 1771.

End

Fresh water cut in Tai Kok Tsui «•

*****

The fresh water supply to some premises in Tai Kok Tsui will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm on Wednesday (October 16) to 6 am the following day for waste detection works on watermains.

The suspension will affect all premises in the area bounded by Fuk Tsun Street, Tong Mi Road, Tung Chau Street and Lime Street.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES GARDEN ROAD, 5th-8th FLOORS, MURRAY BUILDING, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Monday, October 14,1996

Contents Page No,

Medical Board to consider Judge Caird's case............................ 1

Government team to attend UN hearing on human rights report............. 1

19,800 job seekers placed through employment service.................... 2

Short film on child sexual abuse problem to be screened................. 3

Business receipts indices for service industries released............... 4

Paper on education service centres tabled............................... 8

Water storage figure.................................................... 8

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results......................... 9

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

1

Medical Board to consider Judge Caird’s case ♦ * * * *

The Governor has asked the Judiciary Administrator to arrange for the establishment of a Medical Board to consider whether or not Judge Caird is medically able to discharge the functions of his office and, if he is considered unable, whether such inability is likely to be permanent, a government spokesman announced today (Monday).

The Board will also be asked to consider whether Judge Caird’s state of health was such that it would have affected his behaviour on August 17 and 18.

In the meantime, the Governor has decided not to take any further action to appoint a Judicial Tribunal until he has received the report of the Board.

End

Government team to attend UN hearing on human rights report *****

A five-member team headed by the Solicitor General, Mr Daniel Fung, QC, will attend before the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) in Geneva on October 23 to answer questions arising from the Supplementary Report on Hong Kong.

The Report, submitted under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), was requested by UNHRC when it examined the territory’s fourth periodic report under the Covenant last October.

A government spokesman said today (Monday) that the team, which constituted part of the British delegation, would update the Committee on recent developments concerning issues covered by the Supplementary Report.

’’The team will also assist the British delegation in answering questions raised by Committee members,” the spokesman said.

The report covered issues of concern to UNHRC including the investigation of complaints against the Police, the treatment of Vietnamese migrants, the electoral system, anti-discrimination legislation, the Bill of Rights Ordinance and the submission of reports to UN after 1997: and the steps taken by the Government to address each of these areas of concern.

2

"We hope the Committee will appreeiate the genuine efforts made and real results achieved by the Government in effectively implementing the provisions of the ICCPR in Hong Kong," the spokesman said.

During the drafting of the Supplementary Report, the Government has invited the Legislative Council, non-govemment organisations and other interested parties to express views on topics intended to be included in the report.

Apart from Mr Fung, other team members are Deputy Solicitor General, Mr Stephen Wong: Principal Assistant Secretary for Home Affairs. Mr Jeremy Croft; Principal Assistant Secretary for Security. Mr Jack Chan; and Senior Crown Counsel, Mr Peter Wong.

End

19.800 job seekers placed through employment service

*****

A total of 19.800 job seekers have been placed in the first nine months of this year through the nine local employment service offices located throughout Hong Kong. Assistant Commissioner for Labour (Employment Services), Mrs Jennie Chor, disclosed today (Monday).

"This has been an encouraging achievement as more members of the public have chosen to seek services from our placement officers apart from other job seeking channels," she said in response to press enquiries on statistics relating to job placements.

She said the placement figures also included some 4,210 registered job-seekers who have successfully obtained jobs through the Job Matching Programme (JMP) which was launched in April last year as an upgraded service for people without a job. The latest success rate of JMP is more than 70 per cent.

Mrs Chor appealed to the jobless people to make use of JMP which provides a personal service of in-depth interview, vocational counselling and job matching.

"If the registrant needs further training to enhance his employment prospect, our officers will recommend him to a retraining course available from the Employees Retraining Board (ERB)." she said.

- 3 -

"Upon completion of retraining, active placement assistance will also be given to him."

Meanwhile, the Labour Department will stage a large-scale one-day job fair with ERB and two major employers’ associations to help job seekers find jobs and employers to recruit suitable staff on October 30 at the Tsuen Wan Town Hall.

End

Short film on child sexual abuse problem to be screened * * ♦ ♦ ♦

Parents and child minders are urged to keep the lines of communication open with their charges as a positive step to prevent child sexual abuse and to help those suffering from it.

The appeal is made in a new Government short television publicity film which will be screened on major TV stations from tomorrow (Tuesday). A similar radio message will be broadcast from the same day.

The TV announcement of public interest - Doll and Girl - is produced in both Chinese and English by the Government Information Services (GIS) under the auspices of the Public Education Sub-Committee on Child Abuse.

" fhe film features a 10-year-old girl who looks disturbed and shows signs of having been sexually abused by acting it out on her doll," a GIS spokeswoman said.

"Her emotional states gradually settles after her mother became aware of her unusual behaviour and started to listen to her and comfort her."

The Sub-Committee hopes that through the film, the public would be encouraged to handle the issue properly and to help easing the emotional stress suffering by the child victims.

Helplines of Social Welfare Department on 2343 2255 and Against Child Abuse on 2755 1 122 are provided for those who need professional assistance.

Meanwhile, the Sub-Committee is working on a comprehensive booklet providing essential facts, suggestions on how to prevent and detect child sexual abuse and the procedures of relevant government departments in handling such cases.

4

The Sub-Committee, comprising members from the Education Department, Social Welfare Department, GIS and non-governmental welfare organisations, has produced a series of publicity materials in the past few years to enhance public awareness of the problem.

Recently, the Director of Social Welfare had led a 12-member delegation to Dublin, Ireland, to attend the International Congress on the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.

The trip was described as 'very successful' as participants from many countries were impressed by the efforts of Hong Kong in disseminating the messages on the prevention of Child Abuse.

End

Business receipts indices for service industries released

*****

Business receipts in all service industries showed year-on-year increases in value terms in the second quarter of 1996, according to statistics released today (Monday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

The communications industry registered the fastest growth, by 21%. The business services industry also grew by 17%.

The strong growth in business receipts in the communications industry was mainly attributable to a continued increase in mobile telephone services.

The significant increase in the business services industry was related to a marked growth of miscellaneous business services and legal services. The latter corresponded with the revival of the property market in the period.

Meanwhile, considerable increases in business receipts were also registered in the following service industries: hotels (+11%): banking (+11%): insurance (+9%) and financing (except banking) (+8%).

Business receipts in other service industries also went up, albeit at slower rates which ranged from +1% to +7%.

5

Compared with the first quarter of 1996, business receipts in many industries recorded increases of various magnitudes. Among them, business receipts in the storage and communications industries registered the most rapid growth, by 12% and 9% respectively.

The transport, import/export, banking, insurance and hotels industries also recorded growth, ranging from 1% to 5% in value terms. Such quarter-to-quarter comparisons are however subject to seasonal fluctuation.

On the other hand, business receipts in the financing (except banking) industry declined by 13%. This was mainly due to a decrease in stock market turnover in the second quarter of 1996.

Table 1 presents provisional business receipts indices for service industries for the second quarter of 1996 and revised indices for the first quarter of 1996, with the quarterly average of business receipts in 1992 taken as 100.

Also tabulated are comparisons of the results of the second quarter of 1996 with those of the first quarter of 1996 and the second quarter of 1995.

Table 2 shows the time series of quarterly business receipts indices. Annual indices are also included.

Statistics on banking are obtained from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority; and those on retail and restaurants businesses are obtained from two existing surveys regularly conducted by the Census and Statistics Department.

The report "Quarterly Business Receipts Indices for Service Industries, Second Quarter 1996" is now on sale at $8 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 2894 8120.

Table 1

6

Business Receipts Indices for Service Industries for 1st Quarter and 2nd Quarter 1996

(Quarterly average of 1992 » 100) (HiftzWFW • 100)

Service Industry flUtfrll 1 st Quarter 1996 (Revised figures) (&n»?) 2nd Quarter 1996 (Provisional figures) 2nd Quarter 1996 compared with 1st Quarter 1996 2nd Quarter 1996 compared with 2nd Quarter 1995 1 st to 2nd Quarters 1996 compared with 1 st to 2nd Quarters 1995

Points (*) Points («) Points («) % (3*3) Points («) % (S*3) Points («) % (S*3)

Wholesale Sts 122.7 118.6 - 4.0 - 3.3 + 1.2 + 1.0 - 0.0 - 0.0

Import / Export 138.9 142.5 + 3.6 + 2.6 + 3.8 + 2.7 + 6.9 + 5.2

Retail 138.9 130.8 # 8.1 - 5.9 + 6.8 + 5.4 + 6.9 + 5.4

Hotels 159.9 161.5 + 1.6 + 1.0 + 16.2 + 11.1 + 16.7 + 11.6

Restaurants (:) 119.9 114.0 - 5.9 - 4.9 + 3.2 + 2.9 + 3.5 + 3.1

Transport lift 143.5 150.9 + 7.4 + 5.1 + 9.5 + 6.7 + 12.2 + 9.0

Storage ** 122.1 136.2 + 14.1 + 11.5 + 9.2 + 7.2 + 12.8 + 11.0

Communications am 165.5 180.3 + 14.8 + 8.9 + 30.7 + 20.5 + 27.2 + 18.6

Banking 0) 151.4 153.9 + 2.5 + 1.7 + 15.1 + 10.9 + 18.6 > ’ri + 13.9

Financing (except banking) (4) 172.7 150.5 - 22.2 - 12.9 + 11.3 + 8.1 + 14.7 + 10.0

Insurance 172.6 175.5 + 2.8 + 1.6 + 15.2 + 9.5 + 9.2 + 5.6

Business services 151.4 145.5 - 5.9 3.9 + 21.6 + 17.5 + 13.3 • V • + 9.8

Notes:

(1) Based on the survey results of the Monthly Survey of Retail Sales

(2) Based on the survey results of.the Quarterly Survey of Restaurant Receipts and Purchases

(3) Business receipts data are obtained from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority

(•») Excluding investment and holding companies

# Revised figure

(i)

(2)

(3)

(4)

* ttfTR?

Table 2 : Time Series of Quarterly Business Receipts Indices for Service Industries

(Quarterly Average of 1992 =100) = 100)

Year Quarter Wholesale fit® Import/Export Retail Hotels Restaurants Transport

Indices IBM Compared with preceding ycar/same quarter a year ago Indices ibm Compared with preceding year/samc quarter a year ago Indices IBM Compared with preceding ycar/same quarter a year ago Indices IBM Compared with preceding ycar/same quarter a year ago Indices IBM Compared with preceding ycar/same quarter a year ago Indices IBM Compared with preceding ycar/same quarter a year ago

* 5

% % % % V. %

1993 106.3 ♦ 6.3 108.8 8.8 112.7 ♦ 12.7 112.5 ♦ 12.5 106.1 ♦ 6.1 111.8 ♦ 11.8

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

1995 125.0 3.3 142.5 ♦ 15.2 132.0 ♦ 4.7 154.2 ♦ 17.6 115.2 4.7 145.6 ♦ 18.3

1994 2 111.6 8.5 113.5 7.8 119.1 ♦ 10.7 124.1 ♦ 18.0 105.1 ♦ 7.0 111.0 ♦ 13

3 129.2 ♦ 17.9 130.4 ♦ 10.2 128.8 ♦ 9.0 120.2 ♦ 12.5 109.6 - 1.7 134.2 ♦ 10.7

4 134.8 ♦ 17.7 142.7 ♦ 24.0 133.2 ♦ 10.6 158.8 ♦ 15.9 111.2 - 3.7 134.9 ♦ 17.6

1995 1 123.9 ♦ 14.2 128.7 ♦ 19.1 131.8 ♦ 6.8 142.8 ♦ 17.7 116.1 1.6 128.6 ♦ 14.6

2 117.5 ♦ 5.3 138.8 ♦ 22.2 124.0 ♦ 4.2 145.3 ♦ 17.1 110.8 ♦ 5.4 141.5 ♦ 27.4

3 122.4 - 5.3 144.6 ♦ 11.0 133.4 ♦ 3.6 144.9 ♦ 20.6 116.4 ♦ 6.2 157.4 ♦ 17.3

4 136.2 1.0 157.7 ♦ 10.5 138 8 ♦ 4.1 183.9 ♦ 15.8 117.6 ♦ 5.8 154.7 ♦ 14.7

1996 1 122.7 - 1.0 138.9 8.0 138.9 5.4 159.9 ♦ 12.0 119.9 ♦ 3.2 143.5 ♦ 11.6

2* 118.6 1.0 142.5 2.7 130.8 I 5.4 161.5 ♦ 11.1 114.0 150.9 6.7

Year Quarter Storage mu Communications Banking ffifr Financing (except banking) Insurance Business services

Indices IBM Compared with preceding ycar/same quarter a year ago Indices IBM Compared with preceding ycar/same quarter a year ago Indices IBM Compared with preceding ycar/same quarter a year ago Indices IBM Compared with preceding ycar/same quarter a year ago Indices IBM Compared with preceding ycar/same quarter a year ago Indices IBM Compared with preceding year/samc quarter a year ago

* 5

% % % % X H

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

1995 125.1 ♦ 17.4 154.5 ♦ 13.5 143.4 ♦ 17.0 140.7 - 16.9 167.0 ♦ 13.6 137.6 ♦ 8.0

1994 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 ♦ 11.8 120.6 - 1.1 157.9 ♦ 7.6 146.4 ♦ 20.3 130.8 ♦ 7.9

4 110.3 ♦ 15.3 149.7 ♦ 14.4 137.0 ♦ 10.9 154.3 * - 30.3 149.1 ♦ 21.7 130.3 - 8.3

1995 1 105.8 ♦ 11.2 141.9 ♦ 9.6 129.3 ♦ 10.6 154.7 - 29.6 169.4 ♦ 12.8 146.5 ♦ 16.6

2 127.0 ♦ 19.7 149.6 ♦ 15.7 138.8 ♦ 20.4 139.2 - 4.5 160.3 ♦ 12.9 123.8 ♦ 0.7

3 137.4 ♦ 19.7 156.5 ♦ 15.3 144.1 ♦ 19.5 122.2 - 22.6 168.5 ♦ 15.1 137.9 ♦ 5.4

4 130.3 ♦ 18.1 170.0 ♦ 13.5 161.2 ♦ 17.7 146.8 - 4.9 169.6 ♦ 13.8 142.3 ♦ 9.2

1996 1 122.1 ♦ 15.4 165.5 ♦ 16.6 151.4 ♦ 17.1 172.7 ♦ 11.7 172.6 1.9 151.4 ♦ 3.3

2* 136.2 ♦ 7.2 180.3 ♦ 20.5 153.9 ♦ 10.9 150.5 ♦ 8.1 175.5 ♦ 9.5 145.5 ♦ 17.5

• : Provisional figure N : Revised figure

* ■

»■ mure

Notes :


8

Paper on education service centres tabled *****

Many of the Education Department’s education service centres enjoy a high utilisation rate, with the Advisory Inspectorate Teaching and Resource Centre (Hong Kong) cum Teachers’ Centre in North Point attracting the highest number of 88,370 visitors in the 1995-96 school year.

It is followed by the Perth Street Special Education Service Centre (85,000 visitors), the Career Education Centre and Guidance Teacher Resource Centre (18,829 visitors) and the Fung Hon Chu Gifted Education Centre (14,974 visitors).

The above statistics are contained in an information paper on the education service centres, which was noted by the Board of Education at today’s (Monday’s) meeting.

Board members also noted that four new education service centres has started to operate during 1995-96. They were the TOC Resource Centre (Hong Kong Region), Hong Kong Teachers' Centre (Cheung Sha Wan) and Drug Education Resource Centre, TOC Resource Centre (New Territories Region), and Fung Hon Chu Gifted Education Centre.

Members learned that the 28 education service centres operated by the Education Department provide a range of services to teachers and students with a wealth of teaching resources.

While recognising the advantage of centralising the existing centres, the information paper noted that it would be a more pragmatic approach to centralise only those centres where it is convenient to do so and preserve those with a regional set-up.

End

Water storage figure

*****

Storage in Hong Kong’s reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 96.6 per cent of capacity or 566.267 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 579.013 million cubic metres of water, representing 98.8 per cent of capacity.

End

9

{f!

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results

*****

Tender date 14 Oct 1996

' ■ J.. Paper on offer EF notes

Issue number 3910

Issue date 15 Oct 1996

Maturity date 15 Oct 1999

Coupon 6.28 PCT

Amount applied HK$7,240 MN

Amount allotted HKS500 MN

Average price accepted (yield) 99.83 (6.44 PCT)

Lowest price accepted (yield) 99.83 (6.44 PCT)

Pro rata ratio About 100 PCT

Average tender price (yield) 99.80 (6.46 PCT)

End

- 10 -

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

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (SmilliQU)

Opening balance in the account 2,220 0930 +38

Closing balance in the account 2,058 1000 +38

Change attributable to: 1100 +38

Money market activity +38 1200 +38

LAF today -200 1500 +38

1600 +38

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.8 *+0.0* 14.10.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/MTRC

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.83 2 years 2808 6.00 100.14 6.00

1 month 4.94 3 years 3907 6.80 101.30 6.38

3 months 5.12 5 years 5109 7.32 101.71 7.02

6 months 5.20 7 years 7308 7.24 99.99 7.37

12 months 5.45 5 years M503 7.35 100.68 7.31

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $9,349 million

Closed October 14, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES GARDEN ROAD, 5th-8th FLOORS, MURRAY BUILDING, HONG KONG. TEL.: 2842 8777

Tuesday, October 15,1996

Contents Page No.

FS's transcript..................................................... 1

Tate's Cairn Tunnel toll increase approved.......................... 1

Unemployment and underemployment statistics......................... 2

JLG expert group on transitional budget to meet tomorrow............ 4

Industrial production index for 2nd quarter of 1996 ................ 4

Airport bridge project renamed "Lantau Link"....................

DGT to attend APEC meeting in Manila................................ 8

89 convicted pollution cases recorded in September.................. 9

Air quality report for September released........................... 9

No mail delivery for coming public holiday...................... 11

Eight clinics open on Chung Yeung Festival...................... 11

Water Supplies customer centre re-opens after refurbishment........ 12

199 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flights..................... 12

Monitors' report submitted to CS................................... 13

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results........................ 13

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations............... 14

1

FS's transcript *****

The following is the transcript of a media session by the Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, on his return from an overseas duty visit this (Tuesday) evening:

Question: ... please repeat in English on employment figure and the funding for the provisional legislature.

FS: Quite different questions altogether. Well, I am very very happy about the decline in the unemployment figure. It reflects that the efforts we have made so far, particularly on retraining scheme and on the supply side have begun to bear fruit. This means that we have now reached our traditional high employment level in Hong Kong. I hope it will be sustained. As regards funding for the provisional arrangements or transitional arrangements, you know the Government has pledged full support for the Chief Executive (Designate) and his teams being their work in providing a smooth transition. We have not obtained any specific request for funding, and I am sure this request will be put forward at the expert group on Budget. Out position on the provisional legislature is very clear. I don’t want to repeat it here, you know that is a matter that we cannot give in.

End

Tate's Cairn Tunnel toll increase approved *****

The Governor-in-Council has approved an application for toll increase by the Tate's Cairn Tunnel Company.

The new toll structure, which will have an average increase of about 30 per cent, will take effect from November 1.

A government spokesman said today (Tuesday) that the toll revision was in line with the Company’s franchise proposal in 1988, both in terms of timing and level of increase.

"In approving the application, the Administration is guided by the need to ensure that the Company will be able to carry out its obligations and that it will be reasonably but not excessively remunerated.

2

"The Administration is satisfied that these guidelines have been met," the spokesman said.

The application was supported by the Transport Advisory Committee after two meetings in July and August.

However, the Committee has asked the Company to draw up strategic plans to improve its financial position, to explore avenues to generate more income, to reduce its expenditure and to enhance services, including air quality inside the tunnel.

In the meantime, the Company has appointed a consultant to conduct a study on air quality and to make recommendations.

The new toll compared with existing ones and that of the franchise proposal are as follows:

Vehicles Existing toll New toll Franchise Proposal

private cars, taxis & motorcycles $6 $8 $8

Light buses and light goods vehicles $10 $13 $14

Medium & heavy goods vehicle and buses $15 $20 $16

Extra axle $5 $7 $10

End

Unemployment and underemployment statistics *****

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the period June to August 1996 was 2.8%, and the underemployment rate was 1.4%, according to the latest labour force statistics released today (Tuesday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

For the period July to September 1996, the provisional seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell further to 2.6%, while the provisional underemployment rate remained unchanged, at 1.4%.

3

Commenting on the latest figures, a government spokesman said labour market conditions continued to improve in recent months. In particular, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has edged lower for five months in a row.

For the latest period July to September 1996, decreases in the unemployment rate were observed in most of the major sectors, including manufacturing, transport, restaurants and hotels, wholesale and retail trades, and community, social and personal services.

As to the underemployment rate, decline occurred in the construction sector. The underemployment rate in the other major sectors remained broadly stable.

In the three months ending August 1996, total labour supply grew by 0.7% over a year earlier, while total employment rose relatively faster, by 1.5%. As the growth in total employment continued to outpace that in total labour supply, the overall unemployment rate fell further in recent months.

During the period June to August 1996, the number of unemployed persons with previous jobs was estimated at 74,300. Another 12,100 unemployed persons were first time job seekers. The number of underemployed persons was estimated at 44,700.

The unemployment and underemployment statistics were obtained from a continuous general household survey.

The survey for June to August 1996 covered a quarterly sample of some 23,000 households or 78,300 persons, selected scientifically to represent the land-based civilian non-institutional population in Hong Kong. Data were obtained from the survey by interviewing each member aged 15 or over in the households sampled.

In the survey, the definitions used in measuring unemployment and underemployment follow closely those recommended by the International Labour Organisation.

"Seasonally adjusted" refers to adjustment for seasonal variations in the proportion of first time job seekers in the labour force.

Detailed analysis of labour force characteristics is given in the report on the general household survey which is published four times a year.

The next report covering the quarter ending September 1996 will be on sale at the Government Publications Centre at ground floor, Low Block, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong, by the end of December.

End

4

JLG expert group on transitional budget to meet tomorrow *****

The Sino-British Joint Liaison Group will hold their thirteenth round of expert talks on October 16 and 17 in Hong Kong to discuss the preparation of Hong Kong's transitional Budget and related matters.

The British team will be led by Secretary for the Treasury of the Hong Kong Government, Mr K C Kwong. The Chinese team will be led by the Chinese Representative on the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group, Mr Chen Zuo'er. They will be assisted by experts.

End

Industrial production index for 2nd quarter of 1996

*****

The index of industrial production for the second quarter of 1996 decreased by 3.6% over the same quarter in 1995, according to the results of a survey released today (Tuesday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

Analysed by industry group, the production of the basic metals and fabricated metal products industry recorded a decrease of 9.7%.

Output of the textiles (including knitting) industry and the paper products and printing industry decreased by 7.8% and 4.4% respectively.

A moderate decrease of 3.9% was registered in the industry group of electrical and electronic products, machinery, professional equipment and optical goods.

Within this group, the production of machinery, equipment, apparatus, parts and components increased by 4%, whereas the production of consumer electrical and electronic products decreased by 11.8%.

Moderate decreases were also recorded in the food, beverages and tobacco industry (-3.7%); and the wearing apparel (except footwear) industry (-2.8%).

Production of the chemical, rubber, plastic and non-metallic mineral products industry slightly decreased by 1.5%. Within this group, the production of plastic products decreased by 9.8%.

5

Compared with the first quarter of 1996, the index of industrial production showed a notable increase of 9.3%. This was consistent with the usual pick-up in manufacturing activities in the second quarter.

The index of industrial production reflects changes of local manufacturing output in real terms. In other words, it measures the volume of local production after discounting the effect of price changes.

More detailed information can be obtained from the Quarterly Index of Industrial Production, 2nd Quarter 1996 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.

It is also available 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.

- 6 -

Indices of industrial production by industry group and selected component industry (1986= 100)

Industry group / Selected component industry Index for 2nd Qtr. 1996 % change over

2nd Qtr. 1995 1st Qtr. 1996

1. Food, beverages and tobacco 152 -3.7 +5.7

2. Wearing apparel (except footwear) 104 -2.8 + 10.8

3. Textiles (including knitting) 100 -7.8 +22.0

4. Paper products and printing 275 -4.4 + 14.3

5. Chemical, rubber, plastic and non-metallic mineral products 63 -1.5 +9.7

within which : Plastic products (34) (-9.8) (+5.0)

6. Basic metals and fabricated metal products 83 -9.7 +5.4

within which : Fabricated metal products (except machinery and equipment) (78) (-13.3) (+40)

7. Electrical and electronic products, machinery, professional equipment and optical goods 162 -3.9 + 1.4

within which : Consumer electrical and electronic products (103) (-11.8) (-1.9)

: Machinery, equipment, apparatus, parts and components (255) (+4.0) (+13)

8. Miscellaneous manufacturing industries 83 +4.4 +12.7

ALL MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES 118 -3.6 +9.3

Notes : 1. Four selected component industries, which carry relatively large weights and are major components of their relevant industry groups, are also included in the above table. For easy reading, the figures of these selected component industries are shown in brackets.

2. As from the first quarter of 1992, the Hong Kong Standard Industrial Classification (HSIC) is used to form the industry groups and selected component industries presented in the above table. For the exact coverage of the industry groups and component industries in terms of HSIC codes, please refer to the publication 'Quarterly Index of Industrial Production, 2nd Quarter 1996'.

End

7

Airport bridge project renamed "Lantau Link” *****

The name of 'Lantau Fixed Crossing' has been shortened to 'Lantau Link', the Director of New Airport Projects Co-ordination Office, Mr Billy Lam, said today (Tuesday).

Speaking at the plenary meeting of the Airport Consultative Committee, Mr Lam said the shorter name was clear, simple and suitable for practical everyday use.

• ■ • •

"More importantly, the new name highlights the function of the fixed crossing -linking Lantau Island with the rest of Hong Kong. The shortened Chinese name also carries the same advantage,” said Mr Lam.

He explained that 'Lantau Fixed Crossing' was essentially an engineering term to describe the five-kilometre dual three-lane expressway and railway link connecting Tsing Yi with Lantau Island.

The original Chinese name was also too long for practical use, he said.

"We have been considering for some time a shorter and more practical name for the Crossing in preparation for its opening in May 1997.

"Having carefully considered various suggestions, the Government has now decided to adopt the name 'Lantau Link'," said Mr Lam.

He said the Lantau Link would be completed and opened for public use in May next year.

"It will become a major landmark for Hong Kong and will be the first land transport link connecting Lantau Island with the rest of Hong Kong," Mr Lam said.

The Lantau Link, comprising the Tsing Ma Bridge, the Kap Shui Mun Bridge and the Ma Wan Viaduct, is part of the 34 kilometres long highway network of the Airport Core Programme linking the new airport and Tung Chung new town to Kowloon and Hong Kong.

End

8

DGT to attend APEC meeting in Manila *****

The Director-General of Trade, Mr Alan Lai, will depart for Manila, the Philippines, tomorrow (Wednesday) to attend the fourth senior officials meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) scheduled to take place from October 18 to 20.

Mr Lai will lead a delegation comprising officials from the Trade and Industry Branch, the Finance Branch, the Financial Services Branch, the Industry, the Government Supplies, the Customs and Excise and the Trade departments as well as the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Singapore.

A major theme of the meeting is the continuation of the progress review of the implementation of the Osaka Action Agenda (OAA) which is the template for APEC work towards the goal of free and open trade and investment in the APEC region by 2010/2020 for industrialised and developing economies respectively.

OAA also strives to achieve sustainable growth and equitable development within APEC through intensified development co-operation.

At the last senior officials meeting in August, most of the APEC member economies presented their revised individual action plans (IAPs) for implementing part one of OAA. It is expected that further improved versions of IAPs will emerge at the present meeting.

The progress on the collective action plans (CAPs) prepared by lead economies in respect of the programme areas under part one of OAA, and the progress of joint activities on economic and technical co-operation which constitute part two of OAA will also be reviewed.

In addition, the meeting will discuss the preparations for the first World Trade Organisation Ministerial Conference to be held in Singapore in December.

There will be a briefing on the report prepared by the APEC Business Advisory Council which was established in June to provide business input to the APEC process.

The fourth senior officials meeting will be preceded by a series of meetings including those of the expert group on mutual recognition arrangements on food products, the Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures, the Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance, the Economic Committee, and the Committee on Trade and Investment as well as a government procurement seminar to be chaired by Hong Kong.

9

These various APEC forums will report to the senior officials meeting.

After the fourth senior officials meeting, the APEC ministerial meeting and economic leaders meeting will be held in November.

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

End

89 convicted pollution cases recorded in September ♦ * * ♦ ♦

A total of 89 convictions were recorded in the courts in September for breaching anti-pollution legislation enforced by the Environmental Protection Department.

Among them, 44 were convictions made under the Water Pollution Control Ordinance, 13 under the Noise Control Ordinance, 16 under the Air Pollution Control Ordinance, 13 under the Waste Disposal Ordinance and three under the Ozone Layer Protection Ordinance.

The fines ranged from $1,000 to $100,000. Shui On-China Harbour Joint Venture was fine $100,000 for discharging polluting matter into the North Western Water Control Zone.

End

Air quality report for September released ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

The air quality information for September was released today (Tuesday) by the Environmental Protection Department to keep the public informed of the air quality levels in the territory and to explain the measurements.

The announcement contains monitoring results from Mong Kok, Central/Westem and Kwai Chung, which represent three important land use types in the territory:

10

* locations close to road traffic in built-up urbanareas,

* combined commercial and residential districts, and

* districts close to industrial areas.

The reported air pollutants include sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), total suspended particulates (TSP) which comprise all sizes of dust particles, and the respirable fraction of the dust (RSP). All these pollutants can affect respiratory health in sufficient concentration.

In September, there was no exceedance of the 24-hour Air Quality Objective (AQO) values at any of the three air quality monitoring stations. 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 are the greatest contributor of particulate matter. Other sources include industry, furnaces and boilers, construction activities, the sea and the soil.

It is worth noting that while the weather and climate always affect the concentrations of pollutants in the air, the only sure way of reducing the levels is to reduce emissions from the man-made sources.

End

- 11 -

No mail delivery for coming public holiday ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

There would be no mail delivery during the forthcoming public holiday on Monday (October 21) - the day following Chung Yeung Festival, the Postmaster General, Mr Robert Footman, announced today (Tuesday).

All post offices would also be closed. However, one mail collection would be arranged for all street posting boxes except those located on outlying islands and in remote areas. The time of collection is shown on the time-plate of each posting box.

"This arrangement will serve to advance the processing of letters posted on that day and hence improve our quality of letter service to the public," said Mr Footman.

End

I • t

Eight clinics open on Chung Yeung Festival ♦ * * * *

Eight holiday clinics will be open from 9 am to 1 pm on Sunday (October 20), which is the Chung Yeung Festival, the Department of Health announced today (Tuesday).

However, all general out-patient clinics will be closed on the following day, a public holiday after the festival.

The clinics which will be open on Sunday are the Violet Peel Health Centre and Shau Kei Wan Jockey Club Clinic on Hong Kong Island; the Kwun Tong Jockey Club Health Centre, Robert Black Health Centre and Yau Ma Tei Jockey Club Clinic in Kowloon; the Lady Trench Polyclinic, Shek Wu Hui Jockey Club Clinic and Yuen Long Jockey Club Health Centre in the New Territories.

Information on which private clinics and out-patient departments of private hospitals are open on the holiday can be obtain by calling the Hong Kong Medical Association hotline 90000-22-2322.

End

O'i’j

•1

12

Water Supplies customer centre re-opens after refurbishment

*****

The Water Supplies Department (WSD) has expanded and refurbished its Customer Enquiry Centre in Mong Kok as part of its continuing effort to further improve services to consumers.

Officiating at today's (Tuesday) ceremony to mark the re-opening of the centre were the Director of Water Supplies, Mr Hu Man-shiu; the Chairman of the Yau Tsim Mong District Board, Mr Chow Chun-fai and the Yau Tsim Mong District Officer, Mr Barton Ireland.

Located on the ground floor of 128 Sai Yee Street, the newly re-decorated centre provides more waiting area and a more comfortable environment for customers.

It is the biggest and busiest among the eight customer enquiry centres operated by WSD and has been installed with an electronic display queuing system to serve customers in a fairer and more efficient manner.

Other centres are situated at convenient locations in Wan Chai, Shau Kei Wan, Kwun Tong, Tai Po, Sha Tin, Tsuen Wan and Tuen Mun.

All the centres are equipped with on-line computer terminals to facilitate on-the-spot answers to enquiries relating to individual water accounts, applications for water supply, change of consumership, termination of accounts and refund of water deposits.

Members of the public can also obtain application forms and information leaflets on water supplies at the centres.

End

199 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flights *****

Two groups totalling 199 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) returned by air to Hanoi, Vietnam, today (Tuesday) on the 63rd and 64th flights under the Orderly Repatriation Programme (ORP).

All except one of the returnees, comprising 102 men, 46 women, 30 boys and 21 girls, are from North Vietnam.

13

The majority of them arrived in Hong Kong in 1989, with the remaining in 1988,1990, 1991 and 1996.

The two groups brought the total number repatriated on ORP flights to 6,125 since November 1991.

End

Monitors' report submitted to CS

*****

The monitors appointed to observe the Orderly Repatriation Programme operation this (Tuesday) morning have submitted their report to the Chief Secretary.

The two monitors comprised a non-official Justice of the Peace, Professor Chen Char-nie; and representative from a non-govemment organisation, Ms Gilla Nemayechi of Medecins Sans Frontieres.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results *****

Tender date 15 Oct 1996

Paper on offer EF bills

Issue number Q642

Issue date 16 Oct 1996

Maturity date 15 Jan 1997

Coupon -

Amount applied HKS11,430 MN

Amount allotted HKS 1,500 MN

Average yield accepted 5.09 PCT

Highest yield accepted 5.10 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 3 PCT

Average tender yield 5.11 PCT

14

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

Tenders to be held in the week beginning 22 Oct 1996

Tender date 22 Oct 1996 22 Oct 1996

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q643 H676

Issue date 23 Oct 1996 23 Oct 1996

Maturity date 22 Jan 1997 * 23 Apr 1997

Tenor 91 days 182 days

Amount on offer HK$1,5OO+3OOMN HK$800+160MN

End

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

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change CS million)

Opening balance in the account 2,058 0930 +200

Closing balance in the account 2,055 1000 +200

Change attributable to: 1100 +200

Money market activity +197 1200 +200

LAF today -200 1500 +200

1600 +197

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.8 *+0.0* 15.10.96

15

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/MTRC

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.82 2 years 2808 6.00 100.15 6.00

1 month 4.92 3 years 3910 6.80 99.80 6.46

3 months 5.11 5 years 5109 7.32 101.75 7.01

6 months 5.19 7 years 7308 7.24 100.05 7.36

12 months 5.44 5 years M503 7.35 100.71 7.30

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $14,776 million

Closed October 15, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES GARDEN ROAD, 5th-8th FLOORS, MURRAY BUILDING, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Wednesday, October 16,1996

Qwisnts Page Nil

Companies Registry’s annual report tabled in LegCo........................ 1

Parents urged not to leave children alone at home......................... 2

31 new building plans approved in August.................................. 3

Three lots of land to let................................................. 3

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

1

Companies Registry's annual report tabled in LegCo ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Companies Registry has produced a surplus of $9.9 million for the financial year ended March 31, according to its annual report for 1995-96 tabled in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday) by the acting Secretary for Financial Services, Mrs Lessie Wei.

"The retained earnings of $6.9 million after a dividend payment of $3 million to the Government will be used to develop and improve the various services provided to customers," the Registrar of Companies, Mr Gordon Jones, said.

In terms of service delivery, the performance targets set for the year were in most cases exceeded. As a result, customers enjoyed a better standard of service.

The public areas of the Registry’s Queensway Government Offices premises have been extensively refurbished. With improvements to the facilities, customers doing business at the Registry now experience a more comfortable and welcoming atmosphere.

Over the past year, the Registry has launched the sale of the company names and document indices in the form of a CD-ROM and a fax ordering service for supplying company records on microfiche.

"This is the first step to allow customers to have remote access to the Registry’s public records.

"The Registry is developing a full database of vital company information with a view to providing a full remote-access service to customers in near future," said Mr Jones.

Proposals have been made to de-regulate all the statutory forms under the Companies Ordinance and replace the most commonly used forms with new bilingual, more user-friendly forms.

It is hoped that the new forms can be introduced, along with proposals to permit the filing of documents in either Chinese or English by late 1996 or early 1997.

The report is the Registry's third since it became a trading fund in August 1993.

2

The Companies Registry's main functions are to incorporate and strike-off companies, receive and maintain information required to be submitted by companies and other organisations in Hong Kong, and to make that information available to the public.

It also plays an enforcement role to ensure compliance with the relevant parts of the various Ordinances that it administers.

End

Parents urged not to leave children alone at home ♦ * * * *

The Social Welfare Department today (Wednesday) repeatedly reminds parents not to leave their young children unattended at home to avoid any accidents or tragedies.

"The latest incident in which a five-year-old boy sustained serious bums in a fire in Lei Muk Shue Estate flat last night is really a sad story," a department spokesman said.

The boy is being treated in the Intensive Care Ward of Yan Chai Hospital and his condition is still critical.

"It is advisable for parents to seek help from their neighbours or relatives to look after their children temporarily if they have some urgent appointments at such time of the day," he said.

Members of the public who need help in taking care of their children for a short while during day a..;e can also make use of the occasional child care service. They may call the department's hotline 2343 2255 or the Child Care Centre Advisory Inspectorate at 2836 3114 for enquiries.

"At present, 186 child care centres are providing a total of 573 occasional child care places to assist needy parents," he said, adding that parents having any child care problems could also seek help from the 65 family services centres throughout the territory.

End

3

31 new building plans approved in August *****

The Buildings Department has approved 31 building plans in August - three for Hong Kong Island, eight for Kowloon and 20 for the New Territories.

The approved plans include nine for apartment and apartment/commercial developments, five for commercial developments, five for industrial developments, and 12 for community services developments.

Consent was given for work to start on 28 building projects, which involve 44,432 square metres of usable domestic floor area and 30,945 square metres of usable non-domestic floor area.

During the same period, the Department also issued 23 Occupation Permits -nine for Hong Kong Island, seven for Kowloon and seven for the New Territories.

Of the buildings certified for occupation, the usable floor areas for domestic and non-domestic uses are 10,860 square metres and 118,967 square metres respectively.

The declared cost of new buildings completed in the month totalled about $2,117 million.

In addition, 21 demolition consents involving 40 buildings and structures were issued.

The department’s Control and Enforcement Division received 748 complaints of unauthorised building works, and issued 166 removal orders on unauthorised works.

End

Three lots of land to let

*****

The Lands Department is inviting tenders for the short-term tenancies of three pieces of government land on Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and in the New Territories.

The first lot, located adjacent to 345 Tai Hang Road, has an area of about 180 square metres, and is for use as a commercial garden and plant nursery.

The tenancy is for three years, renewable quarterly.

4

Covering an area of 4,870 square metres, the second lot is located at Cha Kwo Ling Road, Kwun Tong. It is earmarked for use as a fee-paying public car park.

The tenancy is for 18 months, renewable quarterly.

The third lot is situated in Area 19, Luen Wo Hui, Fanling. With an area of about 11,700 square metres, the site is for use as a fee-paying public car park.

The tenancy is for nine months, renewable quarterly.

The closing date for submission of tenders is noon on November 1.

Tender forms, tender notices and conditions can be obtained from the Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, and the district lands offices of Kowloon and District Lands Office/North.

Tender plans can also be inspected at these offices.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,055 0930 +204

Closing balance in the account 2,229 1000 +204

Change attributable to: 1100 +204

Money market activity +204 1200 +206

LAF today -30 1500 +206

1600 +204

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 125.0 *+0.2* 16.10.96

5

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/MTRC

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.80 2 years 2808 6.00 100.23 5.95

1 month 4.90 3 years 3910 6.80 99.86 6.43

3 months 5.07 5 years 5109 7.32 101.86 6.98

6 months 5.17 7 years 7308 7.24 100.09 7.35

12 months 5.41 5 years M503 7.35 100.77 7.28

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $19,129 million

Closed October 16, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES GARDEN ROAD, 5th-8th FLOORS, MURRAY BUILDING, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

SUPPLEMENT

Wednesday, October 16,1996

Contents Page No,

Legislative Council meeting;

Implementation of improvements to prison rules delayed................. 1

Commercial development above piers at Central reclamation.............. 2

Sex education in schools............................................... 4

Redevelopment projects in Tsuen Wan and Kennedy Town................... 6

Waste recovery measures well on track.................................. 7

Provision of public transport services to new airport.................. 9

Utility Management System for road opening works...................... 13

Education for Chinese immigrant children.............................. 14

Measures adopted to protect Chinese white dolphins.................... 16

Security facilities in public housing improved........................ 18

Provision of Internet services in schools............................. 19

Improper road opening accounted for watermain bursts.................. 21

Contents Page No,

. ' * A •

Measures to reduce waiting time for 999 calls to get through.............. 23

Public transport smart card scheme........................................ 25

Conditions for using facilities at UGC-funded institutions................ 26

Public housing estates falling objects incidents.......................... 28

Employees on overseas assignments protection.............................. 30

Disciplined services Overtime work arrangements appropriate........... 31

Measures to relieve nuisances caused by Tsuen Wan Abattoir................ 37

Tampering of taximeters................................................... 39

Services to help new arrivals from China.................................. 40


1

Implementation of improvements to prison rules delayed * ♦ ♦ ♦ *

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, at a motion debate on the Prison (Amendment) Rules 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

The proposed amendments to the Prison Rules were conceived after a thorough examination of the Prison Rules and existing practices. The new rules represent a significant improvement to the existing arrangements. As we have emphasised in our discussions with the Subcommittee, we recommend these improvements to the Honourable Members, having regard to two principles. The first principle is that these amendments serve to ensure consistency of the Prison Rules with the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance.

The second principle is that these amendments are modelled on the prison legislation in countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States, which have proved to be feasible and acceptable. We are satisfied that these improvements would work well in the penal system in Hong Kong, as demonstrated by similar rules in penal systems in other developed countries.

From the outset, we have made genuine efforts to put forward a package of reasonable and workable amendments, and we have kept an open mind to suggestions from the Honourable Members. Before the amendments were submitted to the Executive Council for approval, we consulted Honourable Members on various occasions, including the Legislative Council Panel on Information Policy and the Legislative Council Panel on Security. These discussions have proved to be very useful in helping us to refine our proposals along the way. We are grateful for the Honourable Members' views and have, as far as possible, incorporated them into our proposals.

The amendments were laid on the table of this Council on July 10, 1996, in accordance with established legislative procedures. We were aware of this Council's workload and the intervening summer recess, so we set the commencement date of the amendments at November 1, 1996, four months after the amendments were tabled in this Council. In all good faith, we believed that this timetable should have given Honourable Members time to consider the amendments.

- 2 -

Looking back on the progress of discussion at the Subcommittee stage, I can appreciate Honourable Members' feelings about the time constraint in studying the tabled amendments before the deadline for moving their own amendments. Nevertheless, the Administration has done its best to address the Subcommittee's questions, has attended three meetings in less than one week's time, and has provided two detailed written replies with a number of proposals to deal with the Subcommittee's concerns.

We regret that notwithstanding our efforts to seek common ground, the Subcommittee nonetheless still seek a motion to repeal the amendments. The result of this motion would delay the implementation of the improvements to existing Prison Rules, at the expense of inmates in correctional institutions in Hong Kong. But we will nonetheless aim to reintroduce the Rules, amended as necessary in discussion with the Subcommittee, as soon as possible.

Thank you, Mr President.

End

Commercial development above piers at Central reclamation *****

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

Question:

It is learnt that the Hong Kong and Yaumati Ferry Company Ltd (HYF) and the Government are still unable to reach an agreement on the regrant premium payable for the development of superstructures on the Company's piers in Central, thus causing delay in finalising the development project. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the progress of its negotiations with HYF;

(b) whether the authorities have set a deadline for the negotiations; and

(c) of the contingency measures the Government has, if HYF decides to scrap the above development project in the absence of an agreement with the Government on the regrant premium, resulting in HYF not being able to realise its pledge of setting aside a sum in excess of $600m for improving ferry sendees?

- 3 -

Reply :

Mr President,

In December 1995, the Director of Lands proposed to Hongkong and Yaumati Ferry Company Ltd (HYF) the basic terms and conditions (including the land premium) for commercial development above Piers No. 4 to 7 at Central Reclamation. Upon receipt of HYF’s written response on some of the basic terms and conditions in March 1996, the Director of Lands initiated negotiations with HYF, which are continuing. As regards the issue of land premium, he received a written response from HYF in late September 1996. He is now considering the response and will further discuss the issue with HYF.

The Director of Lands has not set a deadline for the negotiations, but he hopes to conclude the negotiations successfully as soon as possible.

Although the basic terms and conditions have not been agreed, HYF has already honoured part of its pledge and implemented some of the ferry service improvement items required under the development package. These include-

(i) the purchase of one catamaran in 1994, enabling additional sailings between Tuen Mun and Central since February 1995;

(ii) the addition of a double-deck pontoon at Tsing Yi Pier since 1995, facilitating boarding and alighting;

(iii) the improvements of the ticket office and queuing facilities at Tsing Yi Pier; and

(iv) the installation of anti-pollution devices on vessels to reduce air pollution.

As negotiations are under way, it would not be helpful or appropriate to speculate on the outcome of the negotiations. However, it is the Government’s objective to ensure the provision of a proper and efficient ferry service for the travelling public.

End

4

Sex education in schools

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Ip Kwok-him and a reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Questions:

The findings of a survey reveal that 60% of the schools in the territory are not able to offer comprehensive sex education courses due to a shortage of teachers with training in sex education and a lack of the required resources. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the progress in providing training courses on sex education for teachers, and the number of teachers who have enrolled in such courses; and

(b) in view of young people's more open attitude towards sex in recent years, what measures the Education Department has put in place to encourage schools to make sex education more readily available in schools in order that students can have a proper understanding of sex?

Reply:

Mr President.

(a) To train more teachers on sex education, the Education Department has provided the following in-service teacher training courses on sex education in the last three school years from 1993 to 1996:

♦ five courses each of three days for 214 secondary school teachers; and

* two courses each of one day for 128 primary school teachers.

The Education Department plans to offer two 3-day courses for secondary school teachers and two 2-day courses for primary school teachers in 1996/97. The target enrolment for each course is 60. If there is an increase in demand, the enrolment will be increased to 75 per course and more courses will be offered.

5

The Education Department also sponsors sex education courses for teachers conducted by the Family Planning Association of Hong Kong. 342 secondary school teachers and 156 primary school teachers were trained through these courses in the last three school years.

The Education Department and the Family Planning Association of Hong Kong have scheduled 9 sex education courses this school year to train an additional 285 secondary and 200 primary school teachers respectively. More courses will be conducted as necessary.

In addition, a variety of seminars and workshops on specific sex education topics such as life skills training and AIDS are provided from time to time. In the past three school years, a total of 1,322 teachers attended these seminars and workshops.

(b) The Education Department has been actively promoting sex education in schools by:

integrating sex education elements in secondary school subject syllabuses such as Social Studies, Liberal Studies, Religious/Ethical Education, Biology, Human Biology, Integrated Science and Home Economics; and primary school subjects such as General Studies, Health Education and Social Studies;

* advising and promoting sex education during school visits by subject inspectors;

providing teaching packages on topics such as AIDS and Sex and Mass Media, and Education Television programmes on sex education to schools;

* providing advisory and supporting services to sex education teachers through the two Sex Education Resource Centres; and

* encouraging schools to avail themselves of leaflets, booklets and audio-visual materials on sex education produced by the Central Health Education Unit of the Department of Health.

In addition to the above measures, a working group has been set up under the Curriculum Development Institute in the Education Department comprising medical doctors, social workers, school heads and teachers, and a representative from the Home School Co-operation Committee. The working group will formulate a new set of sex education guidelines for schools and recommend measures to further promote sex education in schools. The new guidelines and other recommendations of the working group will be released for consultation in March 1997.

End

6

Redevelopment projects in Tsuen Wan and Kennedy Town *****

Following is a question by the Hon Albert Chan and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The redevelopment projects in the "seven streets" in Tsuen Wan and the "five streets" in Kennedy Town have been delayed for several times, and this has troubled the residents of these two areas for a number of years. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the reasons for the prolonged delay in implementing the two redevelopment projects;

(b) when it expects to be able to reach agreement with the Land Development Corporation on these two redevelopment projects; and

(c) when the redevelopment projects are expected to commence work and when they will be completed?

Answer:

Mr President,

(a) The Hong Kong Housing Society (HKHS) obtained planning permission from the Town Planning Board in 1992 and 1993 for implementing the master layout plans on the redevelopment of a Comprehensive Development Area in Kennedy Town and Tsuen Wan respectively. HKHS subsequently found that if’ the demands for compensation and rehousing by the owners and residents were to be fully met, the projects would not be financially viable. HKHS then put forward a number of proposals for discussion with the Government on how the projects could be taken forward. Earlier this year, the Government invited the Land Development Corporation (LDC) to study, on a "no commitment" basis, the feasibility of taking over the projects from HKHS. We are discussing with HKHS and LDC an initial proposal put forward by the latter.

7

(b) We are giving active consideration to the proposals prepared by LDC and HKHS and hope to work out a feasible way forward on their implementation before the end of this year.

(c) Subject to working out a feasible way forward on the implementation of the projects, LDC will prepare detailed proposals for approval before proceeding to acquire properties. The timing for the commencement and completion of redevelopment works will depend on the progress LDC is able to make on property acquisition.

End

Waste recovery measures well on track *****

Following is a question by the Hon Ambrose Lau and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It is learned that the Government has so far not implemented any measures to sort refuse at the time of collection, and this has resulted in refuse which may be recycled (such as paper) being mixed with other refuse. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council whether:

(a) it will formulate any policy on refuse collection to promote the awareness of environmental protection;

(b) it will consider taking measures to separate paper from other refuse at the time of refuse collection so as to facilitate the recycling of waster paper; if so, how soon such measures can be implemented; if not, why not; and

(c) it will consider providing waste paper collection boxes in a greater number of streets to facilitate disposal of waste paper by the public; if not, why not?

8

Answer:

Mr President,

(a) The Government’s overall objective of waste management is to reduce waste at source, to promote reuse and recycling and to ensure that what remains is disposed of in an environmentally appropriate and cost-effective manner. A consultancy study commissioned by the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) has recently recommended a number of waste reduction initiatives, including separation of recyclable materials at source. We have consulted interested parties on these initiatives to enable us to formulate a draft Waste Reduction Plan for further consultation with the public early next year.

(b) To facilitate the separation of paper from other refuse a series of measures have been taken; these include extensive publicity programmes and campaigns, Announcements of Public Interest on television, posters and pamphlets. The Environmental Campaign Committee has also published pamphlets on waste paper recycling. In addition, a number of particular measures have been taken to encourage separation of recyclable waste at source -

(i) EPD has introduced a hotline service (Tel No. 2755 2750) to advise the public on the setting up of waste collection schemes to recover recyclable materials, including paper.

(ii) EPD has prepared and distributed a pamphlet containing details on how to organise a waste paper separation and collection scheme in residential buildings and office premises.

(iii) Waste paper recovery programmes are being carried out in over 50 public housing estates and over a thousand private establishments, including schools, commercial offices, banks, hotels and utility companies.

(iv) Since December 1992, the Urban Council has launched a waste paper recycling scheme. A number of waste paper recycling bins are placed in convenient locations such as MTR exits in Central, Wan Chai and Yau Tsim Mong districts to collect waste paper from the public. The Regional Council has placed similar bins in Sai Kung.

9

(v) Green Managers in government departments and branches have facilitated collecting waste paper in Government offices. The quantity of waste paper collected increased by 11%, and paper consumption decreased by 22%, in 1995 over 1994.

(c) We will, in consultation with the Municipal Councils, consider providing waste paper collection boxes in a greater number of streets.

End

Provision of public transport services to new airport *****

Following is a question by the Hon Howard Young and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Gordon Siu, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council of its plan for the provision of public transport services to and from the Chek Lap Kok airport which cater especially for the staff of the airlines and related companies working at the airport; and the estimated number of these staff that have been taken into account in drawing up the plan?

Mr President,

In June 1995 the Transport Department commissioned a consultancy study to develop a strategy for the provision of public transport services to the new airport and Lantau. The consultants recommended the provision of a wide range of public transport services to serve the new airport at Chek Lap Kok (CLK), including the Airport Railway, airbus, conventional bus, high-speed ferry, taxi and green minibus. These recommendations were the subject of an extensive public consultation exercise which was completed in April 1996. Having considered the views from various bodies, additional bus routes have been included in the public transport network. The final network which embodies these changes is shown in the Annex.

In the planning of public transport services to serve the new airport, we have taken into account the need to provide public transport services in 1997 when workers and staff need to travel to the new airport at CLK for preparatory arrangements. We have assumed a gradual build-up of employment at CLK from about 4 000 jobs in October 1997 to around 46 000 jobs on opening of the new airport. Initially five bus routes comprising two external routes, two shuttle routes and one overnight route will be operated in mid 1997, increasing in phases to 25 bus services upon opening of the new airport in 1998. We will monitor closely the situation and introduce adjustments on the basis of the travel pattern and passenger requirements.

- 10 -

Annex

Public Transport Network for the

New Airport and Tung Chung New Town in 1997 and 1998

AIRPORT RAILWAY

The Airport Railway (AR) consists of the Airport Express Line (AEL) and the Lantau Line (LAL). The AEL will serve air passengers while the LAL will provide a conventional MTR service to Lantau. The AEL trains will be operated between Central and the new airport, and serve intermediate stations at Kowloon and Tsing Yi. The LAL trains will be operated between Central and Tung Chung, and serve intermediate stations at Kowloon, Tai Kok Tsui, Lai King and Tsing Yi.

BUSES (Service with * to commence in mid-1997)

Airbus Services

6 routes e Causeway Bay (Moreton Terrace) to Ground Transport Centre

Sai Wan Ho Ferry Pier to Ground Transportation Centre

Kowloon KCR Station to Ground Transportation Centre

Lam Tin MTR Station to Ground Transportation Centre

Tsuen Wan (Discovery Park) to Ground Transportation Centre

Sha Tin (Yuen Chau Kok) to Ground Transportation Centre

External Services

7 routes • Taj Kok Tsuj AR statjon to Tung Chung AR Station *

Kowloon City Ferry Pier to Chek Lap Kok Ferry Pier •

Tsuen Wan (Discovery Park) to Tung Chung AR Station

Kwai Fong MTR Station to Chek Lap Kok Ferry Pier

Tuen Mun Town Centre to Ground Transportation Centre

- 11 -

Tin Shui Wai Town Centre to Ground Transportation Centre

Tai Po Central to Ground Transportation Centre

Shuttle Services

8 routes • Tung Chung AR statjon t0 Ajr passenger Terminal (via Cargo Terminal) (Circular)’

Tung Chung AR station to Aircraft Maintenance Area *

Chek Lap Kok Ferry Pier to Air Passenger Terminal (Circular)

Chek Lap Kok Ferry Pier to Aircraft Maintenance Area

Tung Chung AR Station to Air Passenger Terminal (via Tung Chung Ferry Pier) (Circular)

Tung Chung AR Station to Cargo Terminal & Aircraft Catering Area (Circular)

Tung Chung AR Station to Aircraft Catering Area (via Cathay Headquarters) (Circular)

Tung Chung AR Station to Chek Lap Kok Ferry Pler/Ground Transportation Centre

Overnight Services

4 routes • causeway Bay (Moreton Terrace) to Ground Transportation Centre

Mong Kok KCR Station to Ground Transportation Centre

Star Ferry to Ground Transportation Centre

Tsuen Wan (Discovery Park) to Ground Transportation Centre

South Lantau Services

4 routes e Mui Wo to Tung Chung AR Station

Ngong Ping to Tung Chung AR Station

Tai Oto Tung Chung AR Station

Mui Wo to Ground Transportation Centre

- 12 -

Airport Railway Feeder Services

Feeder bus services would be operated to serve the AR stations in the urban area on commissioning of the AR.

TAXI SERVICES

All the existing types of taxis would have access to the Ground Transportation Centre adjoining the Air Passenger Terminal.

FERRY SERVICES

A licensed high-speed ferry service between Chek Lap Kok and Tuen Mun would be introduced subject to availability of pier facilities.

GREEN MINIBUS SERVICES

Green minibuses services would be operated to serve the AR stations in the urban area on commissioning of the AR.

End

13

Utility Management System for road opening works *****

Following is a question by the Hon Samuel Wong and a written reply by the Secretary for Works, Mr Kwong Hon-sang, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It is learnt that a sum of $30 million has been approved for the development of the Utility Management System (UMS) by the Highways Department. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:

(a) the UMS will conform to the best practices available today in terms of its overall suitability and effectiveness in minimising disruptions to the public caused by road openings;

(b) the UMS will accept geographical information in digital form (i.e. electronic maps) provided directly from the utilities;

(c) the UMS will provide direct access to the Geographical Information System (GIS) database used by the utilities so as to improve planning and co-ordination of road opening projects; and

(d) the UMS will facilitate electronic data interchange (EDI) among the Highways Department and the utilities, so that emergency road opening projects can be carried out with the benefit of having all the available data concerning the road opening sites in question?

Answer:

Mr President,

My answers to the respective parts of the question are as follows:

(a) The Utility Management System (UMS), being developed by Information Technology Services Department for Highways Department, aims to improve the planning, co-ordination and control of road opening works. It will incorporate advanced and proven information technology to provide an system which, when implemented, will enhance the effectiveness of co-ordinating and controlling road opening works and improve the efficiency of administering the Excavation Permit (EP) system. This will help both Government departments and utility undertakers and will further reduce the disruptions to the public caused by road openings.

14

(b) The utility undertakers will have to provide their road opening plans by fax to Highways Department where the plans will be digitised into the UMS. The fax is chosen because it can be used by both utility undertakers having digital mapping facilities and those who operate only on paper records. Government is also developing an interface system which can receive digital maps directly from the utility undertakers and intends to make the system available at the time the UMS becomes operational.

(c) Any utility undertaker can submit its own road opening information into the UMS and retrieve consolidated road opening information of other utility undertakers from the UMS through the interface system mentioned in (b) above. It can also retrieve other geographical information such as the various district boundaries and road openings restriction zones. Direct access to this information through the system will improve the planning and co-ordination of their road opening projects.

(d) The UMS will not provide the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) function since it is outside the scope of the present system development. The implementation of EDI for utility records involves complicated administrative, financial, legal and technical considerations which need to be agreed by all parties concerned. A lengthy lead time and more resources will be required to study its feasibility. In order not to delay the implementation of the UMS, the EDI function has to be implemented separately under the Computerised Utility Record System (CURS) for which funds are being sought by Highways Department to carry out an initial business study.

End

Education for Chinese immigrant children

*****

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

Questions:

Regarding the schooling of the children of new arrivals from China, will the Government inform this Council:

15

(a) since the Education Department started, from April this year, distributing forms to new arrivals from China at the Lo Wu control point to assist them in finding school places for their children, how many forms have been distributed so far, the percentage of the completed forms returned and the effectiveness of the measure in arranging for school places;

(b) whether the ED will consider publicising the names of those schools which have persistently refused to admit such children without justifiable reasons, or taking other actions to impose sanction against such schools; and

(c) whether consideration will be given to conducting a systematic study on the schooling needs of the children of new arrivals from China (which should include the number, age and educational standard of such children arriving in the next five years as well as the school places and related support services they need) so as to make better use of the available educational resources?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) Since April 1996, the Education Department has made available information leaflets on educational services in simplified Chinese characters with reply slips for collection at the Lo Wu checkpoint and district offices. These leaflets are designed specifically for use by parents of Chinese immigrant children requiring assistance from the Education Department in school placement and other support services.

So far, over 25,000 leaflets were distributed. However, the best indicator of the demand for assistance from parents is the actual number of reply slips received by the Education Department.

Up to the end of September 1996, the Education Department received 1,164 reply slips. Based on the information provided, the Education Department has approached these parents and provided school placement assistance for 3.000 children.

(b) The Director of Education has authority to place a pupil in a Government school to fill a vacant place. She can also exercise her authority under the Code of Aid to do so in respect of an aided school. So far, she has not found it necessary to invoke her authority for placement of immigrant children from China. This is because according to the record of the Education Department, these children are placed into schools by district education offices within 21 days on average.

16

The Education Department will continue to monitor the situation closely. If there is evidence that a school with vacant places has persistently refused to admit immigrant children from China, the Director of Education will not hesitate to direct admission of these children into the school, or to impose other sanctions.

(c) The Education Department has been monitoring the enrolment of children newly arrived from China since 1979. Demographic information such as age, sex, residence, distribution over districts, academic ability and level entered has formed the basis of reliable projections on where they usually live and what their general education needs are. On the basis, strategies on the best use of available resources to meet demand have been developed. Our assessment at this stage is that apart from the five primary schools we have committed to build by 1997-98, we need in addition 14 secondary and five primary schools respectively by 2001-02.

We will continue to keep the provision of school places and our educational services under regular review to ensure that sufficient places are provided to meet demand and that our support programmes meet the needs of these children.

End

Measures adopted to protect Chinese white dolphins ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Emily Lau and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the recent press reports about the deaths of Chinese white dolphins, will the Administration inform this Council:

(a) of the number of white dolphin carcasses found in the past six months and whether it knows of the causes of death of the white dolphins;

(b) whether any studies have been conducted to ascertain if the dolphins' deaths is related to the polluted waters and the infrastructural projects being carried out in the proximity of the dolphins' habitat; and

17

(c) what measures will be adopted by the relevant government departments to prevent more white dolphins from dying?

Answer:

Mr President,

(a) In the past six months, there have been 10 confirmed strandings of the Indo Pacific hump-back dolphin, commonly known as Chinese white dolphin, in Hong Kong. Of these, nine were examined by Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD). The cause of death could only be determined for one. This was a fresh male subadult, which showed signs of having been caught and drowned in a fishing net. The remaining eight corpses were badly decayed and their cause of death could not be determined.

Past data show that there is usually a slight increase in the number of dolphin strandings during summer months which coincides with the calving season. The cause of death may possibly be a natural phenomenon of a usually higher mortality among young animals. However, further studies are necessary to test this hypothesis.

(b) There is no evidence to associate dolphin mortality with infrastructural developments. Environmental contaminant studies aiming to establish any causal relationship between water quality and dolphin mortality are in progress. AFD has appointed a cetacean expert to undertake a two-year study on the dolphins. He is collecting blubber, liver and kidney samples from all strandings for various analyses, including organopollutants. When laboratory results from these samples become available in a few months’ time, more information relating to the cause of dolphin strandings may be available.

(c) We will establish a marine park around Sha Chau and Lung Kwu Chau where the Indo Pacific hump-back dolphins are mostly found. A Marine Mammal Conservation Working Group, comprising marine biologists, members of environmental groups and fishermen’s groups as well as government staff, has been set up to prepare for the establishment and management of the marine park. There will be a vessel speed limit of 10 knots within the marine park. Trawling will be prohibited whilst sustainable fishing activities will be closely monitored and controlled through a permit system. Furthermore, a 500 metre exclusion zone for vessels around the Chek Lap Kok airport platform will offer additional areas of protection for the dolphins.

18

As for water pollution, we have established a chemical waste treatment plant and are constructing a sewage collection and treatment network to reduce the pollution load generated from within the territory. Other sewerage improvements include new and upgrading of sewage treatment works along north Lantau waters.

A three-year study is being undertaken by the Swire Institute of Marine Science of the University of Hong Kong to collect baseline information about the Indo Pacific hump-back dolphin, AFD has also commissioned a study in mid-1996 on the biology, population and distribution of the dolphins, which will help develop a conservation strategy for the species.

End

Security facilities in public housing improved ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Sin Chung-kai and a written reply by the Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

Regarding the programme for the improvement of security facilities in public housing estates, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of tiiv respective numbers of public housing estates that have already been provided with security facilities and those which have not been provided with such facilities;

(b) of the number of crimes which have occurred in each of the public housing estates that have been provided with system A security facilities (which include security gates, close circuit television inside lifts as well as at the main entrance, doorphones and 24-hour security guards) and the number of crimes which have occurred in each of the public housing estates provided with system B security facilities (which include close circuit television inside lifts and night patrol guards from 8:00 pm to 8:00 am), since the installation of the security facilities; and

19

(c) whether the Housing Authority will consider upgrading system B security facilities in public housing estates to system A security facilities; if so, when it will be implemented; if not, why not?

Answer:

Mr President,

We plan to complete installation of security facilities in all public housing blocks by 1997, other than those to be redeveloped shortly or without lifts. To this end, we have identified a total of 940 rental blocks to be provided with security devices in phases. As at September 1996, we have improved 328 blocks in 38 estates: 89 with System A and 239 with System B. Works in the other targeted estates are in progress. To further enhance security in public housing estates, we are implementing a programme to improve lighting in these blocks, where necessary. We expect to complete the bulk of this programme in 1997.

Since so far, we have completed installation of security improvement facilities in one-third of the targeted estates and we have yet to fully assess the effectiveness of the two systems. The need to further upgrade System B to System A will be considered after the Housing Department has completed the security improvement programme and conducted an overall review of effectiveness.

We cannot correlate the number of crimes in different public housing estates with the effectiveness of individual security improvement systems as the crime rates available comprise crimes of all kinds and crimes which take place inside and outside rental blocks in housing estates.

End

Provision of Internet services in schools *****

Following is a question by the Hon Leung Yiu-chung and a reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Questions:

The Hongkong Telecom IMS has announced that it will enter into an agreement with the Education Department to provide free NETVIGATOR accounts to public sector secondary schools in the territory. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

20

(a) of the terms and implementation details of such an agreement; and

(b) whether the Education Department will enter into similar agreements with other providers of Internet services?

Reply:

Mr President,

In order to enhance the knowledge and skills of our secondary students in information technology, the Education Department will assist all secondary schools to access the Internet from the 1996-97 school year.

With regard to part (a) of the question, the Education Department has not entered into agreement with any of the Internet Service Providers. The Education Department only serves as a facilitator to co-ordinate and disseminate information on the offers available and provide teacher education programmes on how to use Internet for education purposes. Aided and private schools have full discretion to choose any offer from Internet Service Providers. Government schools will use the same provider as the one to be chosen by the Education Department.

So far, the Education Department has received offers from three Internet

Sendee Providers, namely Hongkong Telecom IMS, the Hong Kong Star Internet Limited and the chili.net Limited, to provide free Internet accounts to all secondary schools. The offers basically comprise provision of one to two free Internet accounts, free or limited hours of connection, necessary software, hardware, training sessions for teachers on how to use Internet, hot-line support services and subsequent maintenance. To assist the Education Department in its advisory and training services to teachers, the Internet Service Providers will also offer a free Internet account to the department.

The Education Department will be issuing a school circular at the end of October to announce these offers together with a set of guidelines on the proper use of Internet in schools. The Education Department will closely monitor progress of this project.

As regards part (b) of the question, other Internet Service Providers, if interested, are welcome to provide similar free Internet services to schools. The

Education Department will notify schools when such new offers are received.

End

21

Improper road opening accounted for watermain bursts ♦ * * ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Fred Li and a written reply by the Secretary for Works, Mr Kwong Hon-sang, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

According to the report on the survey of water-main bursts recently published by the Office of the Commissioner for Administrative Complaints, there were a total over 6800 such cases in the territory in the past six years, 28% of which involved water-mains which were directly damaged because of the negligence of road works contractors. In 1995/96 alone, the number of cases involving water-main bursts has gone up sharply by 19% as compared with the average number of such cases in the preceding five financial years. In this connection, will the Administration inform this Council:

(a) of the reasons for the significant increase in the number of water-main burst cases in 1995/96;

(b) of the current procedures for approving and issuing road-opening permits; and whether, before issuing such permits, adequate measures are taken to advise road works contractors of the exact locations of underground water-mains; if so, of the reasons why nearly 30% of water-main burst cases in the past six years were caused by road works;

(c) whether consideration will be given to amending the relevant legislation with a view to imposing heavier penalties for causing damage to watermains so as to increase the deterrent effect, as well as requiring road works contractors to pay a deposit in advance in order to facilitate the authorities concerned in recovering the costs for repairing the damaged water-mains; if not, why not?

Answer

Mr President,

My answers to the respective parts of the question are as follows:

(a) One of the main reasons for the increase in number of watermain burst cases in 1995/96 is attributed to the rapid increase in construction activities arising from a large number of major infrastructural and redevelopment projects. Related activities involving road openings for utility services installations and connections are greatly increased as a result of implementing these projects. These road opening activities induce various direct and indirect disturbances to watermains under the road causing some of them to burst.

22

(b) In accordance with the Crown Land Ordinance (Cap. 28), any party who needs to make an excavation into a public road is required to obtain an Excavation Permit (EP) from Highways Department. A road opening proposal is to be submitted to Highways Department in advance of the application for the EP, to ensure proper co-ordination among all relevant utility undertakers and Government departments.

The EP is issued with a set of conditions which require the Permittee, among other things, to circulate the road opening proposal to all parties concerned, including Water Supplies Department, to obtain relevant plans and information of existing services that may be affected. This circulation has to be done at least 7 days before commencing the road opening works.

Bearing in mind that the actual location of utility services may deviate from that indicated on the plans, the Permittee is also required to carry out suitable investigations, including, where possible, hand-dug trial pits, to ascertain the exact utility locations before commencing the road opening works. This is a standard requirement of the EP on all road opening works.

Despite these precautions, watermain bursts directly attributable to road opening activities still account for almost 30% of watermain burst cases in the past 6 years. The main reasons are:

(1) Lack of or inadequate hand-dug trial pit investigation by the Permittee to accurately locate the watermains.

(2) Lack of or inadequate protective measures provided in the course of excavation or utility installations, resulting in the overloading of the watermain or excessive settlement of the supporting ground. This can be aggravated by heavy rainfall when the trench is open.

(3) In general, inadequate supervision by contractors of their workers and excavation plant operators, despite having necessary information on the watermains and instructions on how to protect them from damage.

(c) In order to increase the deterrent effect, we are considering suitable amendments to the legislation and to imposing heavier penalties on those who cause damage to watermains, including an increase in the fines from $5,000 to $25,000.

23

The Administration, however, has reservations on the suggestion that road opening contractors pay a cash deposit in advance in order to facilitate the authority concerned in recovering the repair costs arising from watermain bursts. We will have to consider the views of the construction industry and, internally, of relevant departments to determine its viability and the staff resource implications. The deposits will have to be substantial if enough to cover the possible remedial work and the cost is likely to be passed to the consumers, as will the (relatively small) financing of such deposits.

End

Measures to reduce waiting time for 999 calls to get through ♦ » ♦ ♦ ♦

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

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of Police Communications Officers responsible for answering "999" emergency calls ("999" calls) at the Police Command and Control Centre, together with the number of "999" lines in each of the police regions;

(b) of the average time taken for a "999" call to get through in each police region at present;

(c) of the number of complaints received by the Police in each of the past three years regarding "999" calls not getting through;

(d) whether there are measures in place to reduce the waiting time for a "999" call to get through; and

(e) whether the existing "999" service is capable of handling calls made in Putonghua; if not, what measures will be taken by the Government to improve the situation?

24

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) In total, nine Senior Police Communications Officers (SPCO) and 63 Police Communications Officers (PCO) are deployed to answer "999" calls round the clock at three Regional Command and Control Centres (RCCCs), namely, Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories. There are currently 52 "999" lines over the territory distributed as follows:

Hong Kong Island RCCC 16

Kowloon RCCC 17

New Territories RCCC 19

(b) On average "999" calls are answered in 2.4 seconds in Hong Kong Island, 4.0 seconds in Kowloon and 3.7 seconds in New Territories.

(c) The figures of complaints for the last three years are:

1996 (to date) 2

1995 1

1994 3

It is understood that people seldom file formal complaints regarding waiting time for a "999" call to get through. They usually do it at District Fight Crime Committee meetings or through the media for which the Police do not keep statistics.

(d) The Police have taken the following measures to reduce the waiting time for 999 calls to get through -

(i) launching a public education campaign to promote the proper use of "999";

(ii) planning the introduction of a Calling Number Display System to help locate callers automatically and thus save time in taking their particulars. In addition, it will deter people from making nuisance calls;

25

(iii) 6 PCO posts have been created in August 1996 for ”999" manning;

(iv) reduction of the length of recorded message.

(e) 81% of SPCOs and 37% of PCOs have received training in Putonghua.

All will receive training in handling Putonghua calls eventually. In the meantime, at least one Putonghua speaking officer, either SPCO or PCO, will be present at each RCCC at any given time.

End

Public transport smart card scheme *****

Following is a question by the Hon Howard Young and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Gordon Siu, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council of the recent developments regarding the participation of public transport operators in the smart card scheme?

Reply:

Mr President,

in 1994, live public transport operators formed a company, Creative Star Limited, to develop a common contactless smart card system for use by the travelling public. Operators participating in the scheme are the Mass Transit Railway Corporation, the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation, Kowloon Motor Bus, Citybus and Hongkong & Yaumati Ferry.

The use of a common smart card for public transport necessitates the introduction of a new fare collection system for the transport operators. This includes the development and supply of a central computer system to process the daily transactions and act as a central clearing house, and the use of compatible computer systems by the individual operators.

26

Over 5,000 items of smart card processing equipment will be installed. They include machines for loading and re-loading value to the smart cards, adaptation of automatic fare collection gates at stations and ferry piers, processors at LRT platforms, and fare collection equipment on buseS. The development of the initial stock of smart cards is complete and delivery has commenced. The development of the hardware and software for data processing is in good progress. Subject to satisfactory performance testing, the system is expected to be open for public use by mid 1997.

Initially, the routes accepting smart cards will include all MTR lines, the KCR domestic line, the Light Rail Transit and its feeder buses, cross harbour routes provided by KMB and Citybus, and outlying islands and new town services provided by HYF. Creative Star Ltd is encouraging a number of other public transport operators to join the scheme.

End

Conditions for using facilities at UGC-funded institutions

*****

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

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council whether facilities such as libraries, research data banks and study rooms in government-funded tertiary institutions are currently made available for use by working people pursuing part-time studies, if so, what the opening br-trs of these facilities and their conditions of use are?

Reply:

Depending on the type of facilities and the demand for use, facilities in government-funded tertiary institutions are generally open to working people pursuing part-time studies in courses solely or jointly run by these institutions or their continuing and professional education or extra-mural departments with other local/overseas institutions. These government-funded tertiary institutions include the 7 University Grants Committee (UGC)-funded institutions, the Hong Kong Institute of Education, the 2 Technical Colleges of the Vocational Training Council and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. Facilities in the UGC-funded institutions are also open to working people who are enrolled on courses provided by other local/overseas educational establishments or professional organisations.

27

In considering whether to open certain types of facilities to working people pursuing part-time studies, or other members of the public in general, the tertiary institutions take into account the purpose of the use, the nature of the activity and the status of the person or organisation applying for use. Priority is given to academic and bona fide research activities. The intended use must also not have an adverse effect on the normal teaching, learning and research activities of the staff and students in the institutions.

Libraries and Research Databanks

For facilities such as libraries and research databanks, well-established arrangements already exist whereby certain members of the public, not only working people pursuing part-time studies, may be allowed to make use of such facilities of the tertiary institutions. These include, among others, members of Government and public bodies, quasi-govemment bodies and non-profit making organisations.

Students and staff of any UGC-funded institution, subject to certain rules, may make use of the library facilities of another UGC-funded institution. Graduates, alumni and in some cases, members of the public who satisfy certain requirements set by the tertiary institutions may apply for library cards, borrowers’ cards, readers’ tickets or other types of registration documents to make use of the facilities. Fees may be charged for such use. Registered users of public libraries run by the Government can have access to library materials in the UGC-funded institutions and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts through the existing inter-library loan service by channelling their requests through their own libraries.

The opening hours of the libraries in the tertiary institutions vary, but generally they are open between 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on weekdays, and between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Some libraries are also open on Sunday afternoons from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. For certain reference materials, it may be possible to access on-line through computer and telecommunications systems round the clock from remote locations.

Study Rooms

Given their limited capacity, study rooms in the tertiary institutions are generally not open to the public.

Other Facilities

U)_____Laboratories

Some tertiary institutions allow the use of laboratories by working people pursuing part-time studies, provided that they can prove they have a genuine need to use the laboratories for testing and other academic purposes. Priority of use will, of course, be given to students on full-time courses. Generally, only applications by organisations or groups of students would be entertained. Fees may be charged.

28

(b) Lecture Theatres and Seminar Rooms

Some tertiary institutions allow use of their lecture theatres and seminar rooms by working people who are pursuing part-time studies, or members of other external organisations for the purposes of conferences or seminars. ' Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis. Fees may be charged.

(c) Sports and Amenities Facilities

Sports facilities may be open on a case-by-case basis upon request or under special arrangements in order not to deprive full-time students of their normal use. Some institutions allow alumni, graduates, guests of students or those affiliated to the institution to make use of the facilities. Student hostels are generally closed to the public except during summer vacation when some institutions rent out hostel places for conferences or seminars run by the institutions themselves or by external organisations.

End

Public housing estates falling objects incidents *****

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

Question:

Recently, 2 series of incidents involving objects falling from a height have occurred in public housing estates, some of which have resulted in injuries to pedestrians. It is learnt that such injuries are partly attributable to a lack of covered pavements in public housing estates. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the total number of incidents involving falling objects which have occurred in public housing estates in the past three years, and the locations identified as black spots for such incidents;

(b) how the Housing Department handles such incidents which occur in public housing estates;

29

(c) whether the Housing Department will consider making the provision of covered pavements a basic facility in public housing estates; if not, why not; and what specific measures will be taken to protect pedestrians in public housing estates from being hit by falling objects; and

(d) whether the Housing Department will promote public education campaigns or adopt other measures in its efforts to prevent incidents involving falling objects; if so, what the specific plans are; if not, why not?

Answer:

Mr President,

In the past three years, there were 38 reported incidents of injuries caused by falling objects in public housing estates. The problem was more obvious in Tseung Kwan O and Tuen Mun.

The Housing Department endeavoured to identify the offenders and warned them in less serious cases. Serious cases were reported to the police for investigation and prosecution as appropriate.

Provision of covered walkways can help to protect pedestrians from falling objects. In new public housing estates, covered walkways link domestic blocks with all strategic points such as bus terminals, schools and commercial centres. In older estates, covered walkways are provided as an improvement item where feasible.

The fundamental solution to the problem requires a change in residents’ attitude. Residents are reminded of the importance of preventing objects from falling outside their flafs. "Falling objects from height" is one of the main themes in a territory-wide public education campaign launched by the Housing Department in public housing estates. Through posters, notices, estate newsletters, roving exhibitions and the media, residents are reminded of the danger to other people, and of their own liability arising from such irresponsible behaviour.

End

30

Employees on overseas assignments protection

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Leung Yiu-chung and a reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether it knows of the respective numbers of local employees on overseas assignments who have sustained injuries or died while at work and not at work over the past three years;

(b) whether local employees on overseas assignments who have sustained injury while not at work are protected by the relevant legislation of the territory; if not, through what channels such employees can obtain compensation; and;

(c) whether the Government will consider making it a statutory requirement for employers to take out additional insurance for their employees on overseas assignments who meet with accidents while not at work?

Reply:

(a) The number of work-related injury cases outside Hong Kong in the past three years which were reported to the Labour Department is as follows:

Yea; Injury Cases Fatal Cases Total

1993 (detailed breakdown not available) 734

1994 650 40 690

1995 648 34 682

We have no statistics on injury cases involving local employees while they were outside Hong Kong which are not related to work.

31

(b) The Employees’ Compensation Ordinance (Cap. 282) provides for the payment of compensation to an employee who is injured in an accident arising out of and in the course of his employment. But there are provisions under which certain accidents are deemed, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, to be arising out of and in the course of employment. They include accidents which happen when the employee is travelling from or to the place of work by means of transport provided by the employer, and accidents which happen when the employee is travelling for the purposes of, and in connection with, his employment between Hong Kong and any place outside Hong Kong or between any place outside Hong Kong and any other such place.

(c) The Government’s policy on employees' compensation is to ensure that an employer is liable to compensate his/her employees for injuries they have sustained as a direct consequence of their work, instead of other activities not related to work. Therefore, we do not consider it appropriate to make it a statutory requirement that employers should take out additional compulsory employees’ compensation insurance to cover non-work-related injuries sustained by employees who are on overseas assignments. Employers are, nevertheless, free to consider providing such insurance cover in their employment contracts with employees.

End

Disciplined services Overtime work arrangements appropriate ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

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

Question:

Will the Administration inform this Council:

(a) by a breakdown in tabulated form, of the conditioned hours of work as well as the arrangements for compensating overtime work undertaken by officers in various ranks in the disciplined services; and

(b) of the reasons for any differences in the conditioned hours of work and arrangements for compensating overtime work in the disciplined services, and whether a review will be undertaken with a view to removing such differences?

32

Reply:

(a)

(b)

Table showing the conditioned hours of work as well as the arrangements for compensating overtime work undertaken by officers in various ranks in the disciplined services is attached at Annex.

Overtime work may be undertaken only when it is unavoidable and should be kept to the absolute minimum compatible with operational requirements. Apart from exceptional circumstances arising from unforeseen events, overtime must be authorised in advance by a Head of Department or an officer nominated for this purpose by the Head of Department personally.

Compensation for overtime work in the disciplined services should normally take the form of time-off in lieu. If it is impracticable to grant time off within one month of the date on which the overtime is worked, a Disciplined Services Overtime Allowance (DSOA) may be paid to all rank and file staff, junior members of officer grades and exceptionally, some senior officers in specific case when the Standing Committee on Disciplined Services Salaries and Conditions of Service has given approval for them to receive such an allowance. An officer may, however, opt for time-off in lieu at a later date instead of DSOA, subject to the exigencies of the service.

The conditioned hours for members of the disciplined services are determined by the operational needs of the disciplined services departments, in relation to the responsibilities, complement and the actual manpower situation in a particular grade. Factors which are taken into account when conditioned hours are considered include shift pattern, the nature of the work, working conditions and the level of stress officers may experience on the job. As the operational requirements of the various disciplined sendees differ, it is clearly not feasible to set uniform conditioned hours for all the sendees. Any changes in the conditioned hours will have pay implications. *

The arrangement for compensating officers for their overtime worked as described in (a) above apply to all disciplined services. We consider the current conditioned hours and compensation for overtime work arrangements in the various disciplined sendees departments to be appropriate. They will be reviewed as and when circumstances dictate. We currently have no plan to amend conditioned hours in the disciplined sendees.

Department Rank : Conditioned hours nf wnrk Arrangements for compensating overtime work

Customs & Excise /Assistant Superintendent Senior inspector Inspector Chief Customs Officer Senior Customs Officer Customs Officer 51 hours per week As a first priority, C&E officers will be given time-off in lieu to compensate their overtime work. If this is not practicable due to manpower constraint or operational reasons, they will be allowed to claim the Disciplined Services Overtime Allowance (DSOA). At present, the following C&E officers are eligible for the allowance - (a) 6 Assistant Superintendents performing drug investigation and anti-smuggling duties (with exceptional approval given by SCS); and (b) officers in the rank of Senior Inspector and below.

Royal Hong Kong Police All ranks 51 hours per week Overtime work undertaken by the following ranks is compensated by time-off in lieu , or where this is not practicable, by DSOA - Chief Inspector of Police Senior Inspector of Police Inspector of Police Senior Station Sergeant Station Sergeant Senior Police Constable Police Constable

Department Baah.; Conditioned hours of work Arrangements for compensating overtime work

Immigration Department Director Deputy EH rector Assistant Director Senior Principal Immigration Officer Principal Immigration Officer Assistant Principal Immigration Officer Chief Immigration Officer Senior Immigration Officer Immigration Officer Assistant Immigration Officer Chief Immigration Assistant Senior Immigration Assistant Immigration Assistant ) } } I } 44 hours per week } } } } } ) ) 44 hours per week ) ) ) These officers are at senior supervisory or managerial levels. They are expected to work some overtime as part of their nonnul duties. Their salaries have been set at a level to reflect this factor. They are therefore not eligible for overtime compensation. Overtime work would normally be compensated by time-off in lieu. This category of officers are eligible for DSOA

Correctional Services Department Directorate Chief Superintendent Senior Superintendent Superintendent Chief Officer Principal Officer Officer Assistant Officer I Assistant Officer II Technical Instructor Instructor } 88 liours in 2-week cycle } 49 hours a week } 49 hours a week ) ) } } 49 hours a week } ) } } } nil } nil ) Time-off in lieu } ] ) Time-oITin lieu and/or DSOA ) } }

Department Hank : Conditioned hours of work Arrangenieiits.for compcnsatim* overtime work

Government Flying Service Controller Cliief Pilot Senior Pilot Pilot I Chief Aircraft Engineer Senior Aircraft Engineer Aircraft Engineer Senior Air Crewman Officer Air Crewman Onicer Pilot II Chief Aircraft Technician Senior Aircraft Technician Aircraft Technician Senior Air Crewman Air Crewman Cadet Pilot ) } } ) ) 44 hours per week ) } * / } } } 44 hours per week } } } } 44 hours per week i— No compensation. Senior officers are not eligible for overtime allowance nor the grant of timc-oifin lieu. Granting oftimc-offin lieu, or payment ofDSOA. Officers under training are not eligible for DSOA Cadet Pilots who are required to attend for duty beyond their conditioned liours of work in connection with their training are given timc-ofl in lieu.

I

CO

I

Department Rank: Conditioned hours of work Arrangements for compensating overtime work

Fire Services Department ' i> Director Deputy Director Chief Fire Officer Deputy Chief Fire Officer Senior Division Officer Division Officer Assistant Division Officer Senior Station Officer (Control) Station Officer (Control) Senior Station Officer (Operational) Station Officer (Operational) Senior Fireman (Control) Principal Fireman (Control) Principal Fireman (Operational) Senior Fireman (Operational) Fireman (Operational) Senior Ambulance Officer Ambulance Officer Principal Ambulanceman Senior Ambulan ceinan Ambulanceman ) } } } Continuous duty with off call } hour } } } 48 hours per week } } ) 54 hours per week } 48 hours per week ) } } 54 hours per week } } 44 hours per week } } } 48 hours per week } > f } } Nil } } ) DSOA will be made payable to members who have performed duties in excess of their conditioned hours. However, arrangements for time-off in lieu should, above all, be made wherever possible.

End


37

Measures to relieve nuisances caused by Tsuen Wan Abattoir ♦ * * ♦ *

Following is a question by the Hon Sin Chung-kai and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It was mentioned in a letter of 19 July 1996 from the Planning, Environment and Lands Branch that the Administration hoped to implement certain practical measures to ensure that the Tsuen Wan Abattoir would not generate environmental problems. As the residents living in the vicinity of the Tsuen Wan Abattoir, in particular residents of the Riviera Gardens, are still suffering from the nuisances caused by the bad smell and grunting of pigs emanating from the Abattoir and pigs-carrying vehicles, will the Government inform this Council whether:

(a) the facilities in the Tsuen Wan Abattoir have been improved to bring the sanitary standard of the abattoir to that set for the Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse which will be built soon;

(b) it will consider improving the traffic arrangements in the vicinity of the Tsuen Wan Abattoir so as to avoid pigs-carrying vehicles passing through the residential area?

Answer:

38

Mr President,

(a) Tsuen Wan Slaughterhouse is a private-sector project built in 1979. It is licensed under the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance, Cap. 132. Its facilities and operation comply with the licensing conditions and relevant public health requirements. Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse is a government project being built now. It is not practical nor economically viable to improve the Tsuen Wan facilities in line with the standard for the Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse, unless the premises were demolished, redesigned and rebuilt. It would be up to the operator of the Tsuen Wan Slaughterhouse to decide whether it would be feasible to do so. However, in order to address the residents' concern and upon the advice of government, the Tsuen Wan Slaughterhouse has implemented measures to further reduce the odour and noise generated from its operation. These include more frequent hosing down of the pig unloading area and the lairage area, repairing broken windows facing Riviera Gardens and closing windows during slaughtering hours. These measures have already brought about significant improvements to the area. Furthermore, a working group with representatives from Tsuen Wan District Office and relevant government departments, Tsuen Wan Slaughterhouse management, District Board members and representatives of Riviera Garden was formed in July 1996 to identify and monitor practical ways of reducing and containing noise and odour nuisances emanating from the Slaughterhouse. At the working group meeting on 23 August 1996, the Slaughterhouse management agreed to consider further increasing the frequency of manual hosing down and employ a consultant to explore the feasibility of using odour neutraliser. The Working Group will meet again later this month to review the effectiveness of the mitigation measures.

(b) The operator of Tsuen Wan Slaughterhouse has obtained the agreement of the pig delivering lorry drivers not to pass through Riviera Gardens via Wing Shun Street. To ensure this is done. Transport Department has prohibited the south-bound traffic at Wing Shun Street from turning right into the slaughterhouse.

End

39

Tampering of taximeters

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Choy Kan-pui and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Gordon Siu, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In regard to cases involving the tampering of taximeters, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether there is an upward trend in the number of such cases in the past three years;

(b) of the maximum and minimum penalties imposed by the court for such an offence in the same period; and

(c) what measures are in place to ensure that taxi passengers would not be

cheated?

Mr President,

The number of taxi drivers prosecuted by the Police for tampering with taximeters was 11 in 1994, four in 1995, and 15 in the first nine months of 1996.

In the four most serious cases, three have already been heard by the courts. One offender was prosecuted for false accounting, one for attempting to obtain property by deception, and one for going equipped for stealing. Each of these offenders was fined $10,000. The fourth case is still under investigation by the Police.

In the other cases, offenders were prosecuted for using a taximeter with a broken seal. Of the cases already heard by the courts, the fines imposed ranged from $500 to $2,000.

The Police have given high priority to combating offences involving tampering with the taximeter and other general taximeter offences. From January to September 1996, the Police have mounted 510 operations and made 1 273 arrests. This compares with 626 operations and 1 268 arrests for the whole of 1995.

Taximeters are required by law to be submitted to the Transport Department every six months to be tested, stamped and sealed. Since October 1992, all new taxis have been required by Transport Department to install a new type of taximeter which has anti-tampering devices to protect the electronic circuit. So far, half of the taxi fleet are already fitted with the new taximeter. We will continue to discuss with the taxi trade and encourage taxi operators to speed up the pace of conversion.

40

Also, regulations are being drawn up requiring taxi drivers to issue receipts to passengers on demand. We aim to introduce the new regulations in early 1997 and to have full implementation by 1998.

A number of measures have been introduced to promote honesty among taxi drivers. The mandatory display of driver identity plates encourages drivers to exercise self-discipline. The maximum penalty for overcharging has been increased to $10,000. Information booklets on taxi services have been published to set out the rights and obligations of both taxi drivers and passengers.

End

Services to help new arrivals from China

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Ip Kwok-him and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

New arrivals from China face a lot of problems after arriving in the territory. At present, many voluntary agencies (VAs) provide various services to help new arrivals integrate into the community. However, it is difficult for the VAs to further develop these services because of limited resources and such services cannot be provided to more new arrivals. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether there are any plans to allocate more resources to the VAs to further develop such services; if so, what the specific plans are; if not, * why not; and

(b) in view of the current situation in which many VAs are allocated funds by the Government to provide their services on an annual basis, which makes it difficult for them to make long-term plans for providing services for new arrivals from China, what measures does the Government have to rectify the situation?

41

Reply:

(a)

(b)

Many voluntary agencies or non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are used by Government to provide services designed to address problems faced by new arrivals. In addition, new arrivals are, of course, entitled to use the full range of social services for example, education, employment services, medical and health services and social welfare services, available to all other members of the public in Hong Kong. As regards specialised services, the Education Department subvents NGOs to provide special induction and extension programmes for the children of new arrivals. The Home Affairs Department has sought assistance from local organisations in organising orientation and language programmes at District level. The Social Welfare Department subvents the International Social Service (ISS) to provide a range of postmigration services. These include enquiry and information services, orientation programmes, social groups, short-term counselling and casework services, referral services for those in need of further assistance, and language courses.

In view of the increasing influx of new arrivals, it is clear that these specialised services will need to be expanded as necessary to cope with demand. For example, the subvention to the ISS has been doubled this year to provide for a major expansion of their services for new arrivals. Subject to the availability of resources, the Government departments concerned will enhance their efforts in assisting new arrivals next year. Their plans in this regard can be announced only once funding for them has been secured in the budget estimates for 1997-98.

NGOs should face no particular difficulties in the long term planning of their services simply because funding for them is allocated annually. Once Government has agreed to subvent an NGO service, it is highly unlikely to withdraw such support at short notice and thus long term planning for its development should be possible. It should be noted that the recurrent funding for Government services is also allocated annually but this does not prevent long term planning for such services.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES GARDEN ROAD, 5th-8th FLOORS, MURRAY BUILDING, HONG KONG. TEL.: 2842 8777

Thursday, October 17,1996

Contents Page No.

Governor on duty visit to UK............................................... 1

Rules on court documents translation to be gazetted........................ 1

"Toxic" Chinese herbal medicine recalled................................... 2

More people satisfied with Govt overall performance: poll.................. 3

Payroll statistics for 2nd quarter 1996.................................... 4

Special bus services to facilitate grave sweepers.......................... 7

Yau Ma Tei Sub-Treasury to be refurbished.................................. 8

Development strategy exhibition moves to Kwai Fong......................... 8

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations....................... 9

1

Governor on duty visit to UK

*****

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, will depart for London tomorrow (Friday) on a duty visit to brief British ministers on the latest developments in Hong Kong.

The Governor will have separate meetings with Prime Minister John Major, Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind and officials at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

He will be the keynote speaker at the annual Trade Development Council dinner on October 22.

Mr Patten will also travel to Scotland to take part in a Hong Kong promotion on October 24 and October 25. He will deliver a keynote speech at a business conference in Edinburgh and address the Scottish Financial Enterprise annual dinner in Glasgow on October 24.

Mr Patten will officiate at the opening of a "City of Tomorrow" Exhibition at the Edinburgh City Arts Centre on October 25.

He will be back in Hong Kong on October 27.

End

Rules on court documents translation to be gazetted

*****

The Official Languages (Translation) Rules which provide for the admissibility of translation of documents written in English or Chinese in judicial proceedings will be published in the Gazette tomorrow (Friday).

Under the Official Languages (Amendment) Ordinance 1995 which was passed by the Legislative Council in July 1995, a judge (or a judicial officer) presiding over a court, as well as the lawyers representing the parties, can use either or both of the official languages.

It also preserves the right of parties and witnesses to use other languages.

2

Consequential amendments have also been made to other ordinances, including the Evidence Ordinance, whereby only documents which are in a language other than English or Chinese require certified translations.

The result of the amendment is that documents in either of the two official languages can be admitted automatically as a right in evidence at a hearing without the need for translation.

However, this has created difficulties forjudges and parties to the hearing who can only read one of the official languages since certified translations of the documents in the other official language are not provided.

The new Rules, made by the acting Chief Justice, Mr Justice Power, under section 5(5) of the Official Languages Ordinance, therefore seek to rectify this situation by providing for the translation of documents into Chinese if they are in English and vice versa, if required by the court.

r, 1

The Rules apply to both civil and criminal proceedings at all levels.

End t

"Toxic" Chinese herbal medicine recalled

*****

Three brands of Chinese herbal medicine - Niu Huang Chieh Tu Pien - found to contain arsenic at levels known to cause toxic effects had to be recalled, a spokesman for the Department of Health said today (Thursday).

They are:

14 -

Extra - Niu Huang Chieh Tu Wan, manufactured by Ji Sheng Pharmacetical Fty, Sichuan;

* Great Wall Brand Niu Huang Chieh Tu Pien, manufactured by Tian Jin Drug Manufactory, Tian Jin; and

* Chuan Jiang Pai Refined Niu Huang Superantidote Tablet, manufactured by Sichuan Chengdu Chinese Pharmaceutical Lab, Sichuan.

3

Acting on reports of suspected intoxication in Macau, the Department of Health had collected seven brands of the product for testing.

Results available today showed that the levels of arsenic in three of the them had exceeded the level known to cause toxic effects.

Actions had been immediately taken to advise the importers to recall the products concerned.

Wholesalers and retailers of Chinese herbal medicine were urged to suspend selling the three brands of Niu Huang Chieh Tu Pien and to surrender them to the department for destruction.

Members of the public were asked not to purchase or use the brands mentioned above as they were considered not fit for consumption.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health would continue to collect samples of other brands of the product for testing and monitor the process of recall.

End

More people satisfied with Govt overall performance: poll * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Fifty-two per cent of the respondents were satisfied with the Government’s overall performance, according to a public opinion survey conducted by the Home Affairs Branch (HAB) in September.

This represented an increase of three percentage points from 49 per cent in July, an HAB spokesman said today (Thursday) when releasing the latest findings of the bimonthly survey.

Fifty-six per cent of the respondents opined that the Government was concerned about public opinions on public affairs, which is five percentage points up from 51 per cent.

On the territory’s future, 66 per cent of the respondents were confident that Hong Kong will continue to be prosperous and stable, up by five percentage points.

4

A slight improvement was observed on the general perception of the present situation, with 73 per cent of interviewees responding positively, compared with 72 per cent in the last survey.

Of the three most often mentioned problems facing Hong Kong, housing issues topped the list again at 41 per cent, up from 34 per cent. It was followed by labour-related problems and the future of Hong Kong, which were mentioned by 32 per cent and 25 per cent of the respondents respectively.

Among those who mentioned housing issue, 35 per cent said they were concerned about the high price of private housing, down from 42 per cent in the last survey.

Of those who mentioned labour-related problems, 80 per cent talked about "unemployment". This was nine percentage points lower than the comparable figure recorded in July.

The survey was the 66th in the series started in 1983 to monitor public opinion trends on perceived problems in the territory, the Government's overall performance and the community's views of the general situation.

Through a random sampling of residential telephone numbers, 1,519 persons aged between 15 and 64 were successfully interviewed over the telephone, representing a completion rate of 60 per cent.

End

Payroll statistics for 2nd quarter 1996 *****

Average labour earnings in all major sectors of the economy, as measured by payroll per person engaged, recorded an increase of 11.2% in nominal terms in the second quarter of 1996 over a year earlier, according to statistics released today (Thursday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

After discounting changes in consumer prices, the increase was 4.4% in real

terms.

Analysed by industry sector, average payroll per person engaged in the manufacturing sector increased by 10.5% in nominal terms, or 3.7% in real terms, in the second quarter of 1996 compared with a year ago. The large increase in earnings in this sector was due in part to a rise in working hours over a year earlier.

5

For the wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels sector, average payroll per person engaged increased by 9% in nominal terms or 2.3% in real terms.

Average payroll per person engaged in the transport, storage and communications sector showed an increase of 13.5% in nominal terms or 6.5% in real terms. The increase in labour earnings was particularly rapid in the communications business.

Average payroll per person engaged in the financing, insurance, real estate and business services sector recorded an increase of 9.7% in nominal terms or 2.9% in real terms.

As for the community, social and personal services sector, average payroll per person engaged recorded an increase of 11.4% in nominal terms or 4.6% in real terms.

Changes in the indices of payroll per person engaged between the second quarter of 1995 and the second quarter of 1996 for selected industry sectors, in both nominal and real terms, are shown in the attached table.

Statistics on average payroll per person engaged are compiled at quarterly intervals based on the results of the labour earnings survey conducted by the Census and Statistics Department.

Wage indices are also compiled from the same survey at half-yearly intervals for March and September of the year.

Average payroll includes wages as well as all other irregular receipts such as bonuses and overtime allowances. Statistics on average payroll tend to show relatively larger quarter-to-quarter changes, affected by the number of hours actually worked and the timing of payment of bonuses and back-pay.

Detailed breakdowns of the above statistics are published in the Quarterly Report of Employment, Vacancies and Payroll Statistics, June 1996.

It will be available shortly at $44 per copy (exclusive of postage) at the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, 66 Queensway, I long Kong; and at the Publications Unit of Census and Statistics Department, 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

- 6 -

For enquiries about the indices of payroll per person engaged, please contact the Census and Statistics Department on 2582 5076.

Year-on-Year Change in Indices of Payroll Per Person

Engaged by Selected Industry Sector

% Change for 2nd Quarter 1996

over 2nd Quarter 1995

Selected Industry Sector

(nominal terms)

(real terms)

Manufacturing + 10.5 +3.7

Wholesale, Retail and Import/Export Trades, Restaurants and Hotels +9 +2.3

Transport, Storage and Communications + 13.5 +6.5

Financing, Insurance, Real Estate and Business Services +9.7 +2.9

Community, Social and Personal + 11.4 +4.6

Services

All Industry Sectors Above

+ 11.2

+4.4

End

7

Special bus services to facilitate grave sweepers

* * * * ♦

The Transport Department announces today (Thursday) that the following special bus services will be provided by public bus operators to facilitate grave sweepers visiting various cemeteries during the Chung Yeung Festival:

Wo Hop Shek

KMB 70R to and from Fanling KCR Station on October 20 and 21

KMB 70S to and from Jordan Road Ferry Bus Terminus on October 20

KMB 74R to and from Lam Tim MTR Station on October 20

Tsuen Wan Cemetery

KMB 38S to and from Kwai Fong MTR Station on October 20 and 21

Chai Wan Cemetery

CMB 388 to and from Chai Wan MTR Station on October 20 and 21

* CMB 389 to and from Shau Kei Wan Bus Terminus on October 20

Pok Fu Lam Chinese Christian CemeteiY

CMB 357 to and from Exchange Square, Central, on October 20

Aberdeen Chinese Permanent Cemetery

* CMB 347 to and from Holland Street, West Point, on October 20

End

Yau Ma Tei Sub-Treasury to be refurbished * ♦ ♦ * ♦

To be in line with the spirit of serving the community, the Treasury plans to refurbish the Yau Ma Tei Sub-Treasury.

In order to continue collection services during the reprovisioning, the refurbishment works will be carried out in four phases with the first one starts in early November and the fourth to be completed by March next year.

While the reprovisioning will bring a modern look to the Yau Ma Tei SubTreasury. it is inevitable that there will be inconvenience caused to the public due to partial closure of the collection counters.

To save time, members of the public are encouraged to use autopay or payment by phone service to settle water bills, rates demands. Crown rent demands and student loan repayments or to settle other demand notes by cheque through post.

End

Development strategy exhibition moves to Kwai Fong

*****

A seven-day exhibition on the Territorial Development Strategy (TDS) Review will start tomorrow (Friday) at the Metroplaza in Kwai Fong.

It is part of a roving exhibition to be held this month at 10 popular locations throughout the territory to introduce to members of the public the proposed development strategies for Hong Kong up to 2011.

It will be open daily from 10 am and 8 pm until October 24. Admission is free.

By browsing among the 32 panels displayed with photographs, maps and charts, visitors will have a better understanding of the various development options recommended by the I DS Review.

They can also see impressive models featuring major future developments in Hong Kong as well as a bilingual documentary video. Copies of a leaflet on the Review will be distributed free of charge.

9

Members of the public can also visit another TDS Review exhibition which is being held at Tai Wo Shopping Complex in Tai Po until October 22 (Tuesday).

The exhibition will be staged at the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) Central Station from October 23 to 26 before moving to the MTR Admiralty Station for display from October 27 to 31.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,229 0930 +30

Closing balance in the account 2,056 1000 +30

Change attributable to: 1100 +30

Money market activity +27 1200 +27

LAF today -200 1500 +27

1600 +27

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.9 *-0.1* 17.10.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/MTRC

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.80 2 years 2808 6.00 100.25 5.93

1 month 4.86 3 years 3910 6.28 99.89 6.42

3 months 5.03 5 years 5109 7.32 101.86 6.98

6 months 5.13 7 years 7308 7.24 100.13 7.34

12 months 5.40 5 years M5O3 7.35 100.85 7.26

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $15,177 million

Closed October 17, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES GARDEN ROAD, 5th-8th FLOORS, MURRAY BUILDING, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Friday, October 18,1996

Contents Page No,

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

Govt's firm commitment to dealing with age discrimination................... 6

Hong Kong continues to invest heavily on road projects................. 8

Committee on services support fund holds first meeting..................... 10

Tsing Ma Control Area Bill gazetted........................................ 12

New air pollution control order gazetted.............................i;.. 12

Protection of whales to continue after 1997 .............................   13

Consultation guidelines closely followed in health project................  14

Wider coverage of Textiles Trader Registration Scheme................;... 15

Draft outline zoning plan approved......................................... 16

130 VMs released 7..................................................... 18

Insider Dealing Tribunal hearing to be held ............................... 19

New regulations for gas carrying vessels to take effect.................... 19

S98M work on reclamation for dumping....................................... 20

Contents

Page No.

Construction output for 2nd quarter of 1996 .............................. 21

Construction of medium security prison in Stanley......................... 23

Plan for Indus Drainage Basin approved.................................... 23

Tenders invited for two public works projects............................. 24

Prequalification exercise for Tai Po Treatment Works...................... 25

Four government flats up for auction...................................... 26

Two lots of land for auction.............................................. 26

Two lots of land to be sold by tender..................................... 27

Construction of flyover across Castie Peak Road proposed.................. 28

Advanced welfare payment.................................................. 29

Stamp sheetlet to mark athletics’ outstanding achievements................ 29

Facilities secured for World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings................. 31

Noon day gun to aid Hong Kong servicemen.............................. 31

HKMA to launch 10-year exchange fund notes................................ 32

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations...................... 35

1

Transcript of Governor’s media session *****

Following is the transcript of the media session given by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, at the Central Government Offices this (Friday) afternoon:

Governor: I'm going on one of my regular duty visits to London tonight. I'll have meetings in London with the Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary, the Home Secretary, the Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and senior officials. I'm speaking at the TDC Annual Dinner and to the British American Chamber of Commerce in London. I'm also meeting the Hong Kong Association and the Hong Kong Parliamentary Group.

And then I'm going to Scotland where we're holding the biggest business promotion that we have ever done in Scotland on Hong Kong, and I'll be speaking both in Edinburgh and in Glasgow about Hong Kong, and then coming back next weekend. So a pretty busy seven days and a lot to talk about.

Question: Mr Governor, the Chinese Foreign Minister said that the Chinese Government will ban the June 4th memorial activities after 1997. Do you think that is an alarm to the freedom of expression to Hong Kong, and what will you do in Britain to express our concern?

Governor: I think Mr Qian's remarks were deeply unsettling and one reason why they were worrying was because they appear to have been deliberate. They were, I think, issued as a translation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs itself, so I don't think there can be any suggestion that somehow the newspaper in question garbled the remarks in translation.

I found them worrying for two particular reasons. First of all because they appeared to suggest that whether or not things were covered by the law, certain ways of behaving would not be allowed after 1997. And that, of course, is a matter which is just about as fundamental as you could get. There is a difference between the rule of law and rule by men. There is a difference between the rule of law on the one hand and rules and laws on the other. So that was my first worry. The rule of law is the basis for our decency and our prosperity here in Hong Kong.

Secondly I was concerned because what Mr Qian appeared to be saying about freedom of speech, about freedom of the press, about freedom of assembly, seemed to be wholly at variance, wholly at odds, with the specific stipulations - to use one of his phrases - set out in Joint Declaration Article 3 sub-section (5) and the Basic Law Article 27.

2

The community has been extremely unsettled and concerned by those remarks. I’m unsettled and concerned and I will be talking about that statement to the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary next week.

Now, I want to add two things. First, we have taken up our concern, the British Government has taken up its concern, at a high level and we look forward to a response. A response which I hope will set people’s minds at rest.

Secondly, it is not the first time that a remark like this has been made in recent months and perhaps - if this is a reflection of the mind set, the attitude among senior Chinese officials - perhaps it is better that we find that out now, and, I hope, can do something about it, rather than discover it a little later.

One of the things which I find interesting is that I set out in my Policy Address a few weeks back, benchmarks about how we could all be sure that Hong Kong remained a decent plural successful society in the future. And some people, one or two members of the Preparatory Committee, have been saying in the Legislative Council in the last couple of days, "What’s the point of these benchmarks?" Well, you can see what the point of these benchmarks is when you see remarks like those ascribed to, I imagine delivered by, the Vice Premier in the columns of the Asian Wall Street Journal.

So I'm concerned and I hope that that concern which is held to a much greater extent, I think, by people in Hong Kong, I hope that concern can be met very rapidly by reassurance from Peking.

Question: Mr Governor, what do you think the British Government can do and would do to reassure the Hong Kong people of their freedom of assembly and freedom of the press?

Governor: I repeat what I said a moment or two ago. We’ve taken up our anxiety at a high level with the Government of the PRC. I don't want to add to that at the moment. But the reassurance - the reassurance has to come from Chinese officials. When a Chinese official says something that worries us and I draw attention to that, and then some people in the community say to me, "What are you doing mentioning these matters which disturb us?", it is reasonable for me to point out that the undermining of confidence is not coming from the Hong Kong Government, is not coming from the British Government, but is coming from very senior officials in Peking.

Question: Speaking of confidence, do you have full confidence in the integrity of Laurence Leung before his retirement; do you continue to have full confidence in his professional integrity; and was the Hong Kong Government in any way warned about him by any foreign government?

3

Governor: I don't want to say any more than the Secretary for the Civil Service has said in the Legislative Council and that he has said in response to questions elsewhere. The former Director of Immigration left public service for personal reasons. We have an excellent Director of Immigration in his place and I have full confidence in the integrity of our immigration system, our system of issuing visas and policing checks at our frontiers.

Question: Would you say that he was an excellent Director?

Governor: I would say that he worked for many years for the Hong Kong Government and I don't want to add to anything else that has been said about his departure from the public service.

Question: Mr Patten, will you allow your officials, government officials, to testify before the LegCo Select Committee once that is set up?

Governor: I think that we will, as ever, follow the customary procedures if there is any sort of investigation of any matter by the Legislative Council. But I just want to add that we have nothing to add to what has been said already.

I just want to underline once again one simple point. I am absolutely determined that there should be no reason to question the integrity of our Immigration Department or the integrity of any other part of our public service. When I talk to foreign governments about ease of travel for Hong Kong citizens after 1997, when I talk to them about issues like visa-free access, I want to be able to say with complete confidence that I believe that our system works, works well and works with the same integrity as the systems, doubtless, in their countries.

And when I spoke to the Italian Foreign Minister a couple of days ago about this issue I was able to speak to him with maximum confidence in the integrity of our system. In Hong Kong we will do everything and anything we ever have to do in order to maintain that integrity.

Question: Were you able to speak with the same confidence before Mr Leung left? Were you able to give the same confidence that the system was working well before the departure of Mr Leung?

Governor: At every meeting that I've had with representatives of other governments or the British Government to discuss these matters I have been able to talk about them with absolute confidence that our system in Hong Kong would be managed and run with the maximum integrity.

4

Question: Mr Governor, in regard to the Chinese dissident, Mr Wang Xizhe, the ViceDirector of the Xinhua News Agency said that the Hong Kong Government did interfere in his case and —

Governor: Sorry, can you say that again?

Question: Wang Xizhe. Yes, the Vice-Director of Xinhua.

Governor: Yes, what did he say?

Question: He said that the Hong Kong Government, the way the Hong Kong Government did, is equal to encourage the illegal immigrants to immigrate to other countries. And he said that the Hong Kong Government should be responsible for his escape to the United States. What's your reaction?

Governor: I don't want to comment. I haven't commented on issues like that for four and a half years and I don't intend to break the habit of a lifetime.

Question: Mr Governor, would you consider the June 4th commemorative assemblies politically inadvisable?

Governor: Well, you would have observed that while I have been Governor in a society which believes in freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, those vigils have taken place. They have taken place with great dignity. Many thousands of people have taken part in those vigils and they have demonstrated when they did so, that in Hong Kong people are able to express their views, however strongly they feel them, with dignity, responsibility and restraint.

Question: Governor, some days before, China condemned the United States and Hong Kong for helping the dissidents, the Chinese dissidents, run away from the Mainland to a third country. So what is your opinion? And Hong Kong still continues to help the dissidents run away from the Mainland.

Governor: I have just said a moment or two ago that I wasn't going to break the habit of a lifetime and I am not going to break the habit of a lifetime so soon after declining to break the habit of a lifetime.

Question: Mr Patten, do you need to elaborate on the high level contact you had - that Britain has had with the Chinese side on Mr Qian's comments?

Governor: It was high.

5

Question: Could you specify?

Governor: No. But I can tell you what high means if you like.

Question: Governor, do you think (inaudible)?

Governor: Do I think the release of -- No. As you know there were legal arguments for the release today. I think that I am right in saying that Brian Bresnihan has already given a press briefing on the situation. I would just like to underline our determination to see the Vietnamese migrants returned from the camps as rapidly as possible.

The Vietnamese Vice-Foreign Minister was in London earlier this week. He had a meeting with the Foreign Secretary, Mr Rifkind, who pressed him to ensure that the Vietnamese authorities gave the maximum assistance to us in speeding up the repatriation programme. We will continue to press Vietnamese officials at every level - high levels, at every level - so that we can discharge our obligations as soon as possible.

Question: What are the chances of a snap election in Britain?

Governor: A snap election in Britain?

Question: Yes.

Governor: I haven't thought about elections for years.

Question: Ooh! Are you in favour of it?

Governor: It hasn't been the habit of a lifetime not to talk about British general elections but it has certainly been the habit of the last four and a half years and I won't be talking about elections when I go back. All the speeches I am making are on Hong Kong. I’m doing a couple of interviews - one with Sir David Frost, and 'Desert Island Discs' which meets one of the ambitions of my life, and it is conceivable that political issues may be raised there but I'll respond to them with a boringly straight bat. But thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to bore you into the ground.

End

6

Govt's firm commitment to dealing with age discrimination *****

The Government believes that at this stage, the more prudent approach to tackling the issue of age discrimination in employment would be to focus on implementing a sustained programme of public education, publicity and selfregulation.

The Government will review the effectiveness of the programme after it has run for a reasonable period of time. Depending upon the outcome of the evaluation, the Government will re-examine the question of legislation at a later date.

This was announced today (Friday) by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, at a press conference to outline government's plan to take the issue forward after the consultation exercise which ended in early August this year.

Stressing the Government's firm commitment to dealing with the subject of age discrimination in employment, Mr Wong said the long term public education programme at an estimated cost of $2 million a year would be launched early next year.

Mr Wong said he would deploy resources from his Branch's global allocation for this financial year and additional resources had been secured to continue for the programme in subsequent years.

As part of the publicity drive, a set of non-statutory guidelines will be drawn up to help employers deal with recruitment and employment issues in a non-age-discriminatory manner.

"In addition, message will be disseminated to various sectors of the community through advertisements, information leaflets or publications; and announcements of public interest on television and radio.

He pointed out that during the consultation period, the Government had received 68 submissions, the majority from individuals. Of those submissions, 25 or 36 per cent supported the option of legislation, 11 or 16 per cent supported public education only, while 16 or 24 per cent supported a combination of public education and legislation. There were also 16 or 24 per cent that did not express a preference for any particular option.

7

Mr Wong said the relatively low response to the consultation exercise suggested that age discrimination in employment was not an issue of pressing concern to the community.

"We have taken into account the outcome of the consultation exercise. We recognise that there are arguments for legislation," Mr Wong said.

He noted that those who supported the legislative option said it might change attitudes towards employing older persons by providing legal sanctions against discrimination and that it might send a clear signal to the whole community that the Government was committed to dealing with this issue.

"While the majority of the views expressed preferred the legislative approach, we also recognise that there was a substantial body of opinion in favour of the option of public education and self-regulation to tackle the problem."

He cited the following cogent reasons as to why it would be inappropriate to introduce such legislation, at least at this stage.

* Discrimination on the ground of age does not appear to be considered internationally as one of the most serious human rights issues. For example, it is not one of the common forbidden grounds in international instruments.

* A significant number of countries e.g. European Community countries, Japan, Republic of Korea, Singapore, do not have age discrimination legislation. Even in those countries which the government representatives visited, where such legislation exists, it is not regarded as a substitute for public education. While legislation may prevent or do away with the more blatant forms of age discrimination in employment, it will not create or guarantee jobs.

* There is a real risk that age discrimination legislation could lead to over-regulation and unnecessary litigation. It could also hinder the free play of market forces, impose artificial rigidity on employers’ operations, and add to the cost of doing business. Overseas experience suggests that these legal and economic factors would not act in the best interests of employees.

8

* The employment provisions of the Disability Discrimination Ordinance and the Sex Discrimination Ordinance have not yet been implemented pending the approval of the Employment Codes of Practice. The Codes of Practice are being finalised by the Equal Opportunities Commission. It would be prudent to await the implementation of the employment sections of the two Ordinances for a period of time so as to assess their impact on employers, employees and on the community at large, before considering any additional discrimination legislation.

Mr Wong re-affirmed government's commitment to dealing with this issue in a prudent and positive manner in the best interests of the entire community.

End

Hong Kong continues to invest heavily on road projects *****

Hong Kong will continue to invest heavily on road projects with the forecast spending on committed road projects for the next five years would amount to $26 billion, said the Director of Highways, Mr Leung Kwok-sun, today (Friday).

Speaking at the cocktail reception to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Highways Department, Mr Leung noted that road budget in Hong Kong had increased over ten-fold in the past 10 years. The expenditures of the Highways Department grew from $760 million in 1986 to $8,500 million this year.

Among the major projects under planning by the department, the committed ones included the Airport Core Programme (ACP) highway projects to meet the opening of the new airport at Chek Lap Kok on Lantau Island and many non-ACP projects to improve traffic circulation in the territory, he added.

The ACP highway projects comprise the North Lantau Expressway, the Lantau Link, Cheung Ching Tunnel, Kwai Chung Viaduct, West Kowloon Expressway and the Western Harbour Crossing.

The Tsing Ma bridge with 1,377 metres in span, which forms part of the Lantau Link, will be the world's longest suspension bridge carrying both vehicular and train traffic.

Upon completion of these projects by mid-1997, a new dual three-lane expressway, 34 kilometres in length, will provide a rapid connection between the new airport and the urban areas of Hong Kong.

9

It also opens up an era of three-lane tunnels and immersed tubes and long span bridges in the territory.

As far as non-ACP projects are concerned, the Highways Department is building many large-scale highway projects with a view to providing high standard roads and improving traffic circulation throughout the territory. Among them are the Smithfield Extension on Hong Kong Island, Hung Hom Bypass and Lung Cheung/Ching Cheung Road widening in Kowloon, and Route 3 Country Park Section and Ting Kau Bridge in the New Territories.

Mr Leung said the more long term projects being planned by the Highways Department included the Sham Tseng Link, widening of the Tolo Highway, improvement to Castle Peak Road, Route 9 from Tsing Yi to Lai Chi Kok, Route 16 from West Kowloon to Sha Tin, Central Kowloon Route, and the Central and Wan Chai Bypass. o

In addition to road projects, the Highways Department also takes care of the development of railways in Hong Kong such as the Airport Railway and those planned in the Railway Development Strategy (RDS).

’’The RDS has identified several railway projects for completion in the next century to improve railway services to rapid growing areas in Northwest New Territories, Tseung Kwan O and Ma On Shan. The Highways Department will continue to play an important role in the implementation of these projects," Mr Leung said.

Besides building new roads, flyovers and bridges, the Highways Department is also responsible for maintaining them in a safe and satisfactory condition for the user. About $600 million is spent every year to upkeep these roads.

Hong Kong's highways are among the most heavily used in the world. There are at present about 470,000 vehicles on about 1,700 kilometres of roads. The carrying out of maintenance work on these busy roads and at the same time maintaining traffic calls for very careful planning, good co-ordination and cooperation from all parties concerned.

To improve the efficiency of controlling and co-ordinating road openings by utility undertakers, the Highways Department is developing a computerised "Utility Management System" by which, application, co-ordination, processing and issuance of Excavation Permits can be done through computers. Utility companies can also obtain through the system information of road opening proposals by their counterparts, thereby enabling them better planning.

10

It is expected that there will be great improvement in the co-ordination of road openings when the system becomes operational in late 1997.

“The Highways Department is always looking for ways to improve efficiency and productivity without losing quality. We are also pursuing a pilot 'Quality Management System' with the aim of obtaining ISO 9001 for our Structures Division by the end of next year," Mr Leung said.

The Secretary for Works, Mr Kwong Hon-sang; the Secretary for Transport, Mr Gordon Siu Kwing-chue; and some other 300 distinguished guests also attended the reception.

End

Committee on services support fund holds first meeting

*****

The Services Support Fund Vetting Committee, the Government's advisory body on the $50 million Services Support Fund (SSF), held its first meeting today (Friday).

SSF, one of the initiatives proposed by the Financial Secretary in his 1996-97 Budget to promote the services sector, will provide financial support for projects which will benefit the further development and increase the competitiveness of Hong Kong's services industries.

After the meeting, the Director-General of Industry, Mr Francis Ho, who is also Chairman of the Committee, said members had a good discussion on the operational details of SSF and welcomed the initiative to promote the services sector.

"Invitation for funding applications will be sent to industry-support bodies, trade and industry associations, higher education institutions, and professional bodies early next month," he said.

Other Committee members appointed are:

Mr Anthony Au

Managing Director of ABC Data and Telecom Ltd

Ms Anita Bagaman

Executive Director of Retail Management Association Ltd

Mr Francis Bong

Managing Director of Maunsell Consultants Asia Ltd

11

Mr Nicholas Brooke

Senior Partner of Brooke Hillier Parker

Mrs Amy Chan

Executive Director of Hong Kong Tourist Association

Mr W K Chan

Secretary General of Hong Kong Coalition of Service

Industries

Mr Stanley Ko

Director of Jardine Pacific Ltd

Mr Peter Lam

Executive Director of Media Business Services Ltd

Mr Denis Lee

Managing Director of Kingscore Industrial Ltd

Mr Willy Lin

Managing Director of Milo’s Manufacturing Co Ltd

Professor Liu Pak-wai

Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Dr William Lo

Managing Director of Hong Kong Telecom IMS Limited

Professor David Lung

Department of Architecture, University of Hong Kong

Mr Raymond Or

Assistant General Manager

Head of Corporate and Institutional Banking

Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation

Ms Elizabeth Shing

Director General of Hong Kong Management Association

Mr K K Yeung

Deputy Managing Director of Hong Kong Air Cargo

Terminals Ltd

End

12

Tsing Ma Control Area Bill gazetted ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Tsing Ma Control Area (TMCA) Bill was published in the Government Gazette today (Friday).

The TMCA is an integrated expressway system connecting Kowloon with North Lantau. It consists of the Kwai Chung and Tsing Yi Section of Route 3, Ting Kau Bridge, Lantau Link and Yam 0 Section of North Lantau Expressway.

A Government spokesman explained that the TMCA Bill would provide for the management and operation of the Area, the traffic regulations within it and imposition and collection of tolls, fees and charges.

He added that the provisions in the Bill were similar to those in the Road Tunnels (Government) Ordinance (Chapter 368).

"Legislation is required to provide for powers to carry out such functions as regulating traffic, imposing and collecting tolls and maintaining the Area," he said.

"In line with the existing policy of involving the private sector in managing Government tunnels and car parks, the management, operation and maintenance of the TMCA will be contracted out. This arrangement will enhance efficiency and cost effectiveness."

The Bill will be introduced into the Legislative Council on October 30. 1996. Subsidiary legislation including regulations relating to tolls, fees and charges will be introduced in the first quarter of 1997.

The TMCA will commence operation in May 1997.

End

New air pollution control order gazetted

*****

The Air Pollution Control (Specified Processes)(Removal of Exemption) Order 1996 is gazetted today (Friday).

The order will remove exemptions granted to existing organic chemical works and rendering works, such as oil terminals, organic chemical plants and lard boiling factories.

13

Owners of these factories must apply to the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) and obtain a licence, if they wish to continue the existing operation after October 17, 1997.

Explaining details of the order, Senior Environmental Protection Officer of EPD, Mr Perry Lai, said that to get the licence the factories would have to adopt the best practicable means to control their air pollutant emissions.

’’This means the factories will need to use effective control equipment, and always ensure proper operation and maintenance of their industrial plants,” he added.

’’The air quality around these factories will improve significantly after adopting the new control measures," he said.

The gradual removal of exemptions to existing specified processes started in 1994. Up to now, 180 exemptions were removed. The order will lead to a further removal of 23 exemptions.

The Air Management Group of EPD has issued guidance notes on how to adopt the best practicable means, to help factory owners to apply for a licence.

End

Protection of whales to continue after 1997

*****

Whales are to continue to have protection from commercial whaling activities after 1997 under a Bill gazetted by the Government today (Friday).

The Whaling Industry (Regulation) Bill, which will be introduced into the Legislative Council on October 30, localises United Kingdom enactments on whaling that have been part of Hong Kong’s laws for over 50 years.

The United Kingdom’s Whaling Industry (Regulation) Act 1934 and Sea Fish Industry (Regulation) Act 1938 were applied to Hong Kong in 1936 and 1941 so as to implement international conventions regulating whaling.

The purpose of the Bill is to give Hong Kong its own version of these enactments, so that their provisions can remain in force after June 30, 1997.

14

The Bill, in localising these enactments, will:

prohibit whaling in the waters of Hong Kong;

prohibit unlicensed use of any ship or aircraft registered in Hong Kong for whaling outside the waters of Hong Kong;

protect certain types of whales from whaling activities and prohibit unlicensed taking of other types of whales; and

prohibit unlicensed use of any factory situated in Hong Kong for treating of whales.

A spokesman for the Economic Sendees Branch said there were no whaling activities in Hong Kong waters and there had been no applications under the existing legislation for licences to operate whaling ships or factories.

”It is good for Hong Kong’s environmental credentials that it should remain associated with long-standing international controls over whaling,” the spokesman said, adding that the localisation proposals had been agreed in the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group.

End

Consultation guidelines closely followed in health project

*****

All the departments involved in the construction of the Kowloon Bay Primary Health Care Centre and Nursing Home for the Elderly have followed closely the established government guidelines for public consultation.

This was stated by a spokesman for the Health and Welfare Branch in response to the findings of an investigation by the Office of the Commissioner for Administrative Complaints (COMAC) into a complaint regarding insufficient consultation on the project.

In its report published today (Friday), COMAC concluded that the complaint was substantiated.

15

It recommended that the Branch should consider taking into account the yardstick on fair and proper consultation as set out in its administrative fairness checklist and the guidelines on public consultation circulated by the Government Secretariat in future consultation exercises.

"As far as this project is concerned, all concerned departments have followed the government guidelines for public consultation which are in keeping with the spirit of COMAC's administrative fairness checklist.

"We will consider taking into account the yardstick on fair and proper consultation as set out in the checklist in future," the spokesman said.

The Kowloon Bay Primary Health Care Centre and Nursing Home for the Elderly will provide, upon completion, a wide range of urgently needed medical services for the local community.

These will cover general out-patient consultation, student health service, a day treatment centre for skin diseases and sexually transmitted disease including HIV infection, general radiography service, and a nursing home for 200 places.

End

Wider coverage of Textiles Trader Registration Scheme

* * ♦ ♦ ♦

Legislative amendments to extend the scope of the Textiles Trader Registration Scheme (TTRS) to cover domestic export of stamped or mutilated textile samples and samples valued at USS 250 or less to the United States were gazetted today (Friday).

The amendments were contained in the Import and Export (General) Regulations (Amendment of Fourth Schedule) Order 1996.

A spokesman for the Trade Department said that under the new arrangements, textiles traders registered under the TTRS would be exempted from the licensing requirements in respect of the exports of these domestic textiles samples. They would only need to submit notifications before exporting the samples.

"To implement the new arrangements, two new Export Notification forms will be introduced. The new forms will shortly be available for sale at the Trade Department," the spokesman said.

16

The amendment order will be tabled at the sitting of the Legislative Council next Wednesday (October 23). It will come into effect 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 TTRS was introduced by the Trade Department on July 1, 1993. Textiles traders registered under the scheme are exempted from licensing requirements in respect of textiles imports and re-exports, and domestic exports to non-restrained markets. At present, the scheme does not cover domestic textiles exports to the USA, which is a restrained market subject to quota control.

However, since quota is not required for domestic exports of textile samples to the USA and traders do not need a licence to clear customs at the importing end, the Trade Department has decided to extend the scope of the TTRS to cover exports of domestic textiles samples.

Enquiries about the amendment can be made to the Non-Restrained Textiles Branch, Trade Department, second floor, Trade Department Tower, 700 Nathan Road, Mong Kok, Kowloon or by telephoning 2398 5668.

The Trade Department will also inform traders of the implementation date and details of the new arrangements by circular.

End

Draft outline zoning plan approved *****

The Govemor-in-Council has approved the draft Sai Ying Pun and Sheung Wan Outline Zoning Plan (OZP).

The approved OZP will establish a statutory land use framework to guide development/redevelopment within the area, with a view to improving the environmental conditions as well as facilitating developments/redevelopments with adequate provision of open space and community facilities, a spokesman for the Town Planning Board said today (Friday).

The plan covers a total land area of about 146 hectares. The total population upon full development of the area is estimated to be about 123,330.

17

A total of about 34.61 hectares of land covered by the plan has been zoned Commercial/Residential for either commercial, residential or a combination of both uses.

About 22.19 hectares and 0.58 hectare of land have been respectively zoned Residential (Group A) and Residential (Group C). Plot ratio and height restrictions are imposed on the latter zoning due to inadequate vehicular access for servicing, fire fighting and other emergency purposes.

Another 0.41 hectare of land at Hollywood Road has been zoned Comprehensive Development Area for a comprehensive residential scheme to be developed by the Hong Kong Housing Society.

There are about 12.41 hectares of land zoned Govemment/Institution/Community (GIC) for a wide»range of existing and proposed GIC facilities. About 11.57 hectares of land has been zoned Open Space for a number of existing and proposed open space sites which include 6.52 hectares of waterfront land on the Western Reclamation for the Western Parkland development.

About 11.28 hectares of land has been zoned Other Specified Uses for uses such as public cargo working area, wholesale market and tram depot. Another 50.12 hectares of land has been reserved for road development.

A total of about 2.54 hectares of land has been designated as Land Development Corporation (LDC) Development Scheme Plan Areas (DSPAs) for comprehensive redevelopment. They are the LDC development schemes at Queen’s Road Central/Jubilee Street, Wing Lok Street/Queen's Road Central and Queen Street, Sheung Wan. Land use zonings of these DSPAs are depicted on approved LDC Development Scheme Plans.

The approved OZP (No. S/H3/10) is available for public inspection during normal office hours at

Planning Department 16th floor, Murray Building Garden Road

Central

Hong Kong;

Hong Kong District Planning Office 11th floorr Leighton Centre 77 Leighton Road

Causeway Bay

Hong Kong; and

18

♦ Central and Western District Office

11th floor, Harbour Building

38 Pier Road

Central

Hong Kong.

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

End

130 VMs released *****

The Government today (Friday) announced that 130 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) were released this morning.

“These 130 VMs fell into two groups, namely, those who had recently been rejected by the Vietnamese authorities for return, and those who had volunteered to go home but had been awaiting clearance for an unreasonable period of time," a government spokesman said.

"The continued detention of these VMs would be unlawful. We had accordingly no option but to release them," he said.

The VMs were released today on recognisance. They will be accommodated at New Horizons Vietnamese Refugee Departure Centre for the time being, with a view to their being transferred to the Pillar Point Vietnamese Refugee Centre in due course.

The spokesman said: "We shall continue our discussions with the Vietnamese authorities with a view to securing the return of all the VMs in Hong Kong."

End

19

Insider Dealing Tribunal hearing to be held * * * * *

The main hearing on the insider dealing case relating to Hong Kong Parkview Group Limited will start on Wednesday (October 23).

Mr Justice Burrell, Chairman of the Second Division of the Insider Dealing Tribunal will receive evidence and testimonies from parties concerned.

He will be assisted by two lay members, Messrs Kennedy Liu Tat-yin and Simon Lam Siu-lun.

The hearing scheduled for 9.15 am on Wednesday will take place at Court No. 16 of Supreme Court, 38 Queensway, Hong Kong.

End

New regulations for gas carry ing vessels to take effect

*****

The Government today (Friday) published the Merchant Shipping (Safety) (Gas Carriers) (Amendment) Regulation 1996 to give effect to the amendments in the international code for the construction and equipment of ships carrying liquefied gas in bulk (IGC Code) to apply in Hong Kong.

rhe IGC Code provides an international standard for the safe carriage of liquefied gases in bulk by sea.

It prescribes the design and construction standards of ships involved in such carriage and the equipment they should carry to minimise the risk to the ships, to the crew and to the environment, a Marine Department spokesman said.

The IGC Code has been amended to provide that gas carriers built on or after October 1, 1994, shall comply with the requirements of the 1993 edition of the IGC Code.

The new requirements include:

* Special requirements for the carriage of anhydrous ammonia;

* Additional requirements on the supply of water to the deck water spray

system;

20

* More specific requirements on the use of carbon dioxide system for the protection of cargo pump and compressor rooms;

Up to date requirements on heat treatment and stress relieving process on large cargo pressure vessels and the extend of radiographic inspection on the welds, and

* Specific safety requirements on the use of cargo as fuel for propulsion.

Gas carriers built before October 1,1994, but on or after July 1,1986, shall continue to comply with the IGC Code described in an earlier International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Resolution MSC 5(48), subject to editorial amendments as described in MSC 30(61), the spokesman said.

The Merchant Shipping (Safety) (Gas Carriers) Regulation 1996 provides the 1993 edition of the IGC Code to have legal effect in Hong Kong and shall apply to all gas carriers built on or after October 1, 1994.

It also states that all gas carriers built before October 1,1994, but on or after July 1, 1986, shall continue to comply with the existing IGC Code as adopted by the IMO under resolution MSC 5 (84) and incorporates all the editorial amendments to the existing IGC Code adopted by the IMO under MSC 30(61) in the form of a Schedule.

End

$98M work on reclamation for dumping *****

The Civil Engineering Department (CED) today (Friday) signed a $98 million contract with China International Water and Electric Corporation for the construction of Pak Shek Kok Reclamation for Dumping, Stage I.

he project, designed to provide a public dumping site in the Northeast New Territories, comprises the reclamation of 14 hectares of seabed at Pak Shek Kok, construction of 1,000 metres of seawalls, establishment of a barging point at Ma On Shan Area 77 for collecting public dumping materials, and implementation of an environmental monitoring programme and mitigation measures.

Works are expected to start next week and will take about 16 months to complete.

The Port Works Division of the Civil Engineering Office, CED will supervise the construction of the project.

End

21

Construction output for 2nd quarter of 1996 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The gross value of construction work, in nominal terms, performed by main contractors, including general and special trade contractors, amounted to $27.6 billion in the second quarter of 1996, according to the results of the Quarterly Survey of Construction Output released today (Friday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

This represented an increase of 12.6% over the same quarter last year.

Based on the provisional estimate, the gross value of construction work, measured at constant (1990) market prices, performed in the second quarter of 1996 increased by 5.7% over the same quarter last year.

The gross value of construction work, in nominal terms, performed at public sector sites amounted to $11.2 billion, representing an increase of 16.4% in nominal terms and 11.7% when measured at constant (1990) market prices over the same quarter last year.

The gross value of construction work, in nominal terms, performed at private sector sites totalled $9.9 billion, representing an increase of 12.8% over the same quarter last year. When measured at constant (1990) market prices, it was up by 3.3%.

The gross value of construction work, in nominal terms, performed by general contractors at locations other than construction sites amounted to $3.8 billion. 2.5% lower than in the second quarter of 1995.

When measured at constant (1990) market prices, the corresponding decrease was 8.1%. Work in this category included minor new construction activities and renovation work at erected buildings and structures.

The gross value of construction activities, in nominal terms, performed by special trade contractors at locations other than construction sites, comprising mainly electrical and mechanical fitting work, totalled $2.6 billion. 22% higher than in the second quarter of 1995. When measured at constant (1990) market prices, the corresponding increase was 12.2%.

Analysed by end-use. transport projects, which covered airport construction projects, still 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 $6.4 billion, representing an increase of 13.6% over the second quarter of 1995.

22

Residential building projects (including commercial and residential composite buildings) represented the second largest category of construction site work. The gross value of construction work performed for these projects was $6.3 billion, 26% higher than in the second quarter of 1995.

Commercial building projects constituted the third largest category of construction site work. The gross value of construction work performed for these projects totalled $2.9 billion, representing a remarkable increase of 47% over the second quarter of 1995.

Compared with the first quarter of 1996, the gross value of construction work, in nominal terms, performed by main contractors in the second quarter of 1996 increased slightly by 0.3%.

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.

More detailed statistics on construction output are given in the report on the Quarterly Survey of Construction Output, 2nd Quarter 1996, which is now on sale at $15 per copy at the Government Publications Centre. Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor.

It is also available at 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

23

Construction of medium security prison in Stanley

*****

The Architectural Services Department is inviting tenders for the construction of a medium security prison in Stanley.

The project includes the construction of a five-storey dormitory accommodation for inmates, a clinic, educational and segregation units, and a small chapel.

A second block of two storeys will also be built to house the industrial unit, catering facilities, administration and visitor units.

Work will start in December this year for completion in October 1998.

Tender forms and further particulars can be obtained from the Architectural Services Department. 34th floor. Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway , Hong Kong.

The close of tender is noon on November 15.

End

Plan for Indus Drainage Basin approved *****

The Govcmor-in-Council has approved the Drainage Authority Area plan for Indus Drainage Basin.

The 70 square kilometre Indus Drainage Basin covers Kwu Tung, Lo Wu, Lung Yuck Tau. Kwan Tei. Wo Hop Shek. Hong Lok Yuen. Sheung Shui and Fanling.

About 35 kilometres of watercourses within this drainage basin are designated as main watercourses in the approved plan.

The approved plan, published in the Government Gazette today (Friday), places the Drainage Authority Area and main watercourses designated therein under the provisions of the Land Drainage Ordinance.

24

The approved plan may be inspected at:

Drainage Services Department Headquarters, 43rd floor. Revenue Tower, 5 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong;

* Land Drainage Division, Drainage Services Department, 11th floor, Kowloon Government Offices, 405 Nathan Road, Kowloon;

* North District Office, third floor. North District Government Offices, 3 Pik Fung Road, Fanling, New Territories;

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

* Land Registry, 28th floor. Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway. Hong Kong;

North New Territories Land Registry, second floor, North District Government Offices, 3 Pik Fung Road, Fanling, New Territories; and

* Tai Po New Territories Land Registry, second floor, Mei Hing Building, 1-17 Yan Hing Street. Tai Po. New Territories.

End

Tenders invited for two public works projects *****

The Architectural Services Department is inviting tenders for the construction of a Regional Council complex at Tsing Yi t own Centre.

The four-storey complex, with a total gross floor area of about 13,000 square metres, will comprise a market, an indoor recreation centre, a library and a district sub-office.

Work will begin in February 1997 for completion in about 17 months.

25

The department is also inviting tenders for improvement works to six existing public toilets on Cheung Chau and various parts of the New Territories.

Work will commence in mid-January 1997 for completion in about nine months.

Tender forms and further particulars for both projects can be obtained from the Architectural Services Department,34th floor Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway. Hong Kong.

Tender offers for the Regional Council complex and the public toilets projects will both close at noon on November 8, 1996.

End

Prequalification exercise for Tai Po Treatment Works ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Water Supplies Department is inviting approved contractors to participate in a prequalification exercise for the construction of Stage I Tai Po Treatment Works and Pumping Station.

The work comprises the construction of the Stage I Tai Po Treatment Works, a treated water pumping station within the Tai Po Treatment Works compound and associated facilities.

It will also include all other associated civil, electrical and mechanical works including site formation, drainage, landscaping, permanent and temporary accesses.

Those on the Approved Contractors for Public Works List 1 in Group C for Waterworks or on the List II for Waterworks are invited to apply for prequalification documents from Binnie Consultants Limited. 11th floor. New Town Tower, Pak Hok Ting Street. Sha Tin. New Territories.

Completed applications should reach the Chief Engineer. North Lantau. Water Supplies Department. 46th floor. Immigration Tower. 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, not later than noon on November 29, 1996.

End

26

Four government flats up for auction *****

Four government residential flats in Kowloon will be auctioned at 2.30 pm on November 4 at the hall of Henry G Leong, Yau Ma Tei Community Centre, 60 Public Square Street, Kowloon.

As gazetted today (Friday), three are located on the 13th floor, eighth floor and sixth floor of King On House, 144-148 Lai Chi Kok Road, Kowloon.

The 13th floor flat, including the roof, has an area totalling 81.2 square metres, while the other two measure about 55.2 square metres each.

The fourth property, covering an area of about 52.6 square metres, is located on the sixth floor of 135 Tai Nan Street, Kowloon.

All the properties will be sold with vacant possession.

Full particulars and conditions of sale can be obtained from the Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong, and the District Lands Offices Kowloon, 10th floor, Yau Ma Tei Car Park Building, 250 Shanghai Street, Kowloon.

End

Two lots of land for auction *****

Two lots of government land in the New Territories will be put up for auction at 2.30 pm on November 13 at the Concert Hall, Hong Kong C ultural centre, Tsim Sha Tsui, it is gazetted today (Friday).

The first lot, located at the junction of Yuen Long Tai Yuk Road and Ma Tin Road, has an area of about 4,206 square metres. It is for non-industrial purposes, excluding petrol filling station, hotel and godown.

The basements may be used for residents’ car parking and other purposes ancillary to private residential purposes. However, approval in writing from the Director of Lands is required.

The ground floor can be used for retail purposes and loading or unloading of goods and service vehicles, the first and second floors for fee-paying car park and the remaining floors for residential use.

The developer has to complete a gross floor area of not less than 13,880 square metres on or before December 31, 2000.

Covering an area of about 720 square metres, the second lot is located in Mui Wo, Lantau Island. It is also for non-industrial purposes excluding residential, godown, hotel, guest house and service apartment.

The developer has to complete a gross floor area of not less than 860 square metres on or before December 31, 1999.

Full particulars and conditions of sale can be obtained from the Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road; and the District Lands Offices, Kowloon, Yau Ma Tei Car Park Building, 10th floor, 250 Shanghai Street, Kowloon.

Conditions of sale will also be available at the district lands offices of Sha Tin, Tuen Mun, Yuen Long, Tsuen Wan, Sai Kung, Kwai Tsing, Tai Po, North and Islands.

End

Two lots of land to be sold by tender *****

The Lands Department is inviting tenders for the sale of two pieces of government land in Shau kei Wan and Aberdeen.

The first lot at A Kung Ngam, Shau Kei Wan, has an area of about 2,311 square metres. It is intended for use as industrial or godown purposes except dangerous goods godown and offensive trades.

The second lot is located at Aberdeen Praya Road in Aberdeen. With an area of about 4,637 square metres, it is earmarked for non-industrial development under the Private Sector Participation Scheme, excluding hotel, service apartment, cinema and godown purposes.

28

Tender offer for the A Kung Ngam lot will close at noon on November 15 and the Aberdeen lot at noon on December 13.

Tender forms, tender notices and conditions can be obtained from the Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong, and the Kowloon District Lands Office, 10th floor, Yau Ma Tei Car park Building, 250 Shanghai Street, Kowloon.

Tender documents will also be available at the district lands offices of Sha Tin, Tai Po, North, Yuen Long, Tsuen Wan, Kwai Tsing, Tuen Mun, Sai Kung and Islands.

End

Construction of flyover across Castle Peak Road proposed *****

The Territory Development Department proposes to construct a flyover with an integral footbridge across Castle Peak Road near Sha Tsui Road.

The flyover will provide an additional access to northwest Tsuen Wan. At present, the only route is via Tsuen King Circuit from Castle Peak Road.

Works will involve providing a left-turn exit from Sha Tsui Road into Castle Peak Road and realignment of the footbridge ramp and staircase.

Construction will commence in April next year for completion in October 1999.

Details of the proposed works are contained in the Government Gazette published today (Friday).

Plans may be inspected at the Central and West District Office, Public Enquiry Service Centre, ground floor. Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central, Hong Kong; the Tsuen Wan District Lands Office and Tsuen Wan District Office at Tsuen Wan Multi-Storey Carpark Building, 174-208 Castle Peak Road, Tsuen Wan, New Territories.

End

29

Advanced welfare payment

*****

Recipients of Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) under the bank payment system will receive their payments tomorrow (October 19) if their payday fall on the coming public holiday (October 21).

’’Special payment arrangements will also be made for recipients of Social Security Allowance whose pay-day on that day”, a Social Welfare Department spokesman said today (Friday).

’’Those who have bank accounts in Hongkong Bank or Hang Seng Bank will receive their payments tomorrow (October 19) whereas those with accounts in other banks will get their payments next Tuesday (October 22)”, he added.

In case of doubt, recipients are advised to contact their respective social security field units.

End

Stamp sheetlet to mark athletics' outstanding achievements

*****

A $10 definitive stamp sheetlet to congratulate the outstanding achievements of the Amateur Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Olympic Team at the centennial Olympic Games will be issued on October 29, the Postmaster General, Mr Robert Footman, announced today (Friday).

Two souvenir covers will be put on sale at all post offices at $ 1 each as from Tuesday (October 22).

The first one featuring windsurfing and other sports entered by the Hong Kong Olympic Team in 1996 will be issued to congratulate the outstanding achievements of the Amateur Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Olympic Team at the centennial Olympic Games.

The second one on various sports taken part by the Paralympic Team of Hong Kong is to felicitate the outstanding achievements of the Hong Kong Team in the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games.

30

As from Tuesday, the sheetlet and covers will be on display for the 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.

A restriction of 10 sheetlets per customer queuing will be imposed on the first day of issue.

No special postmark will be introduced for this event. 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 souvenir cover.

As on previous occasions of first day issue of new stamps, the following 22 post offices will open at 8 am on October 29:

Hong Kong

General Post Office, Aberdeen, Shau Kei Wan, Sai Ying Pun, Tsat Tse Mui, Wan Chai, Wah Fu

Outlying Islands

Cheung Chau

Kowlooa

Tsim Sha Tsui, Cheung Sha Wan, Kowloon Central, Kowloon City, Kwun Tong, Tseung Kwan O, To Kwa Wan

New Territories • • • . . ■

Yuen Long, Sha Tin Central, Sai Kung, Shek Wu Hui,

Tuen Mun Central, Tai Po, Tsuen Wan

The definitive sheetlet was designed by Mr Bon Kwan and printed by Joh Enschede of the Netherlands.

V

End

31

Facilities secured for World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings

*****

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has reached agreement with two major companies for the supply of meeting facilities and local transportation for the 1997 World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings.

A contract was signed between the HKMA and the New World Group (NWG) this week for providing the necessary meeting facilities at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre and the Extension. The NWG will charge a concessionary fee for the provision of the facilities.

Separately, HKMA has also reached sponsorship agreement with the Zung Fu Co Ltd for the provision of 252 Mercedes-Benz saloon cars including the cost of providing drivers. These cars will be mainly used by senior delegates during the Annual Meetings.

The above meeting facilities and transport services are secured to meet the requirements stipulated by the World Bank/IMF.

In addition, cash sponsorships from Hutchison Whampoa Ltd and Wing Lung Bank were received this month by the HKMA. To date, the cash sponsorship for the Annual Meetings totalled about $43 million and sponsorship in kind has exceeded $40 million. These will result in more than $80 million savings to the expenses of organising the Annual Meetings.

End

Noon day gun to aid Hong Kong servicemen *****

With a fine twist to a historic tale, the famous Noon Day Gun comes to the aid of Hong Kong's ex-servicemen next week when it was fired by Senior Naval Officer, Commodore Peter Melson.

Commodore Melson will fire the gun on Tuesday (October 22) to mark the last Trafalgar Day celebrations to be held here.

Normally individuals firing the gun make a donation to the Community Chest but on this occasion, his action will be sponsored by Jardine Matheson Ltd to the sum of $30,000.

32

The money will go towards the production of a book on the history of the Royal Navy in Hong Kong which is being published to raise money for the Locally Enlisted Personnel Trust.

The Trust is the charitable foundation which has been set up by the British Garrison to provide funds for Hong Kong Chinese ex-British servicemen who find themselves in need of aid after 1997.

The firing of the Noon Day Gun is an abiding Hong Kong tradition which was initiated by one of Commodore Melson’s predecessors as Senior Naval Officer in Hong Kong.

As a punishment, he ordered Jardines to fire a daily gun as a time-check for the ships in port after they had upset him by firing a salute to their own Taipan, who was entering the harbour aboard his yacht.

The Battle of Trafalgar, Britain’s greatest naval victory, was fought on October 21, 1805, and ever since the Royal Navy has commemorated the event with an annual dinner, wherever in the world it may be serving.

The original Noon Day Gun was lost during the war and the one now used was a gift to Jardines from the Royal Navy.

It is a 3-pounder Hotchkiss manufactured before World War I, identical to the three saluting guns mounted for many years at the former Royal Navy base at HMS Tamar in Central (now the Prince of Wales Barracks).

The last known examples of their type, the three Royal Navy guns have been returned to Britain as museum pieces, leaving the Jardines gun as the only known operational weapon of its kind anywhere in the world.

End

■ . । • • • .... ...... . > .

. .'Z*.

4

11 KM A to launch 10-year exchange fund notes *****

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) today (Friday) announced the launch of 10-year exchange fund notes.

The inaugural issue of $500 million 10-year exchange fund notes will open for tender on October 28. Similar to the other notes issues, it will be tendered on a quarterly interval.

33

’’The launching of the 10-Year Notes is a major milestone in our effort to develop the Hong Kong dollar debt market,” said the Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang.

”We will soon have a smooth and reliable benchmark yield curve for Hong Kong dollar debt up to the 10-Year area.”

"We have been greatly encouraged by the very favourable reception by the market on the 7-year exchange fund notes since they were launched in November 1995. The issue of 10-year notes is a logical move to further develop the debt market," said the Chief Executive of HKMA, Mr Joseph Yam.

"The Chinese side is fully supportive of the issuance of 10-year exchange fund notes, given its importance to the development of the Hong Kong dollar debt market."

The exchange fund notes programme was introduced in May 1993, with the launch of 2-year notes to replace the 2-year government bonds.

This was followed by the issue of 3-year notes in October 1993. 5-year notes in September 1994 and 7-year notes in November 1995.

So far 40 issues of exchange fund notes have been issued. Thirty-four issues, with a face value of $20.4 billion, are outstanding.

The notes have been favourably received by the market and the average oversubscription rate at tenders is 4.88 times.

The first issue of 10-year exchange fund notes is to be held on October 28 for settlement on October 29.

An amount of $500 million 10-year notes will be offered. Another $100 million will be held as reserve by HKMA for supply to market makers in the secondary market.

The notes will mature on October 30. 2006. and will carry interest at the rate of 7.37% per annum payable semi-annually in arrears. Terms and conditions of the issue are described fully in the information memorandum.

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 HKMA at 30th floor. 3 Garden Road. Hong Kong, Tel 2878 8150.

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

34

Tender information for the first issue of 10-year exchange fund notes is as follows:

Issue number : 1610

Tender date and time : Monday October 28, 1996, 9.30 am to 10.30 am

Issue and settlement date : Tuesday October 29, 1996

Amount on offer : $500 million plus an additional $100 million as reserve stock for the Monetary Authority

Maturity : 10 years

Maturity date : October 30, 2006

Interest rate : 7.37% per annum payable semi annually in arrears

Interest payment dates Apr 29, 1997, Oct 29, 1997, Apr 29, 1998, Oct 29, 1998, Apr 29, 1999, Oct 29, 1999, Apr 28, 2000, Oct 30, 2000, Apr 30, 2001, Oct 29, 2001, Apr 29, 2002, Oct 29, 2002, Apr 29, 2003, Oct 29, 2003, Apr 29, 2004, Oct 29, 2004, Apr 29, 2005, Oct 31, 2005, Apr 28, 2006, Oct 30, 2006

Tender amount : Each tender must be for an amount of $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

35

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

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,056 0930 +201

Closing balance in the account 2,673 1000 +201

Change attributable to: 1100 +201

Money market activity +167 1200 +202

LAF today +450 1500 +203

1600 +167

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 125.0 *+0.1* 18.10.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/MTRC

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.82 2 years 2808 6.00 100.34 5.88

1 month 4.86 3 years 3910 6.28 100.03 6.37

3 months 4.99 5 years 5109 7.32 102.04 6.93

6 months 5.06 7 years 7308 7.24 100.42 7.29

12 months 5.31 5 years M503 7.35 100.94 7.24

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $15,084 million

Closed October 18, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES GARDEN ROAD, 5th-8th FLOORS, MURRAY BUILDING, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Saturday, October 19, 1996

Contents Page Nth

Bilateral repurchase agreement signed.................................. 1

Electrical workers reminded of registration deadline................... 1

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

Sunday, October 20,1996

Contents PageNo,

Education Department's commitments will be honoured.................... 4

Schools reminded on homework and test policy...................... 5

Environmental improvement campaign in Yau Tsim Mong.................... 6

Anti-drugs camp for students a success................................. 7

Fresh water cut in Tsim Sha Tsui and Ngau Tau Kok...................... 7

Monday, October 21,1996

Contents Page Nth

Survey on implementation of new sixth form curriculum.................. 8

CSD Autumn Fair........................................................ $

More philatelic offices to be established............................. 10

Fresh water cut in Tsuen Wan...................................... 11

Flushing water cut in Tai Po.......................................... 12

1

Bilateral repurchase agreement signed

*****

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) jointly announced that a bilateral repurchase (repo) agreement between the two institutions has been signed today (Saturday) in Hong Kong.

The bilateral repo agreement with the MAS is HKMA's seventh such agreement. The HKMA has earlier signed bilateral repo agreements with central banks from Australia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. The MAS has earlier entered into such agreements with central banks from the region.

A bilateral repo agreement is the simultaneous agreement to buy securities for an agreed amount of cash and to sell back the same securities at a specific later date for a specified amount. Highly liquid US dollar Government securities are the instruments used in all the repo agreements signed between the HKMA and regional central banks.

Entering into these well secured agreements with central banks, whose credit standing are generally higher than those of private sector banks, would improve liquidity of the central banks under minimal risk.

End

Electrical workers reminded of registration deadline ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) today (Saturday) urged electrical workers who intend to qualify to be registered as Grade A electrical workers by experience only to do so as soon as possible as the deadline for submitting applications is November 1.

At present, an applicant is qualified to register under this grade if he satisfies the Director of Electrical and Mechanical Services (DEMS) that he has been employed as an electrical worker for at least six years, of which at least one year includes practical experience in electrical work.

"From November 2 onwards, whoever wishes to apply for registration as a Grade A electrical worker will have to, apart from having sufficient working experience in electrical work, possess the required academic qualifications or pass the Grade A Trade Test approved by the DEMS," said a spokesman for the department.

2

Meanwhile, the spokesman said, under the registration scheme, there are also Grade B and Grade C electrical workers who could perform more complex low voltage electrical work.

Any worker without formal academic qualifications who wishes to be qualified for registration as a Grade B or C electrical worker is required to pass an examination approved or set by the DEMS.

The examination for registration as a Grade B worker is held regularly twice a year by the Hong Kong Examinations Authority while the examination for registration as a Grade C worker, jointly organised by the Hong Kong University and Hong Kong Polytechnic University, is held regularly once a year.

"A candidate who has passed the examination will still have to fulfil the electrical work experience requirement as laid down in the Electricity (Registration) Regulations if he wishes to apply for registration as a Grade B or C electrical worker,” he said.

The spokesman added that in accordance with the Electricity Ordinance, all electrical workers engaged in electrical work on fixed electrical installations after June 1, 1992 had to register with EMSD.

"This is to ensure that electrical work is done only by qualified electrical workers to improve electrical safety.

"So far, about 49,000 qualified electrical workers have been registered." he added.

End

3

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

Opening Balance in the account Closing Balance in the account Change Attributable to:

Money Market Activity

Laf Today

Laf Rate 4% Bid/6% Offer TWI 124.9

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

2,673 09:30 -450

2,098 10:00 -450

11:00 -450

-450 11:30 -450

- 125

*-0.1* 19.10.96

End

- 4 -

Education Department’s commitments will be honoured *****

Candidates in previous cycles of the Non-graduate Teacher Qualifications Assessment (NGTQA) Scheme have been assured that the Education Department will continue to honour its commitments after the discontinuation of the scheme on completion of the 1997 cycle.

The commitments include supervised teaching practice for candidates who have passed all three parts of the assessment, and resitting arrangements for eligible candidates who failed the English Language Proficiency Test, the English Oral Proficiency Test, and/or one subject examination.

Completion of these commitments is expected to take two to four years.

Meanwhile, the department shares the view of the Advisory Committee on Teacher Education and Qualifications that to improve the quality of education in schools, there should be in place an all-trained profession familiar with local curriculum development and with the needs of local students.

The department considers that holders of overseas qualifications intending to enter the teaching profession should receive local teacher training.

In this regard, there are various teacher education course or degree courses currently run by local tertiary institutes such as the Open Learning Institute and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, upon completion of which potential NGTQA candidates can join the teaching profession in the territory.

A working group set up to review the NGTQA Scheme has found it difficult to justify the continuation of the Scheme which is of interest to a small group of people only and which is set against a climate in which the demand for trained non-graduate primary school teachers is not acute and avenues for entry into the local teaching profession are not absent.

Applications for the last cycle of the NGTQA Scheme will be invited in midNovember. Details will be announced separately.

End

5

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

The Education Department considers it very important that learning in school should be a pleasant and rewarding experience and that no student should receive undue pressure from excessive homework and tests.

A principal curriculum planning officer, Mr Tang Chee-poon, said the department has been issuing a series of circulars on the teaching of school subjects and on homework and tests in school to obtain teachers’ support and co-operation.

Guidelines and a circular re-issued by the department reiterated that homework should be properly designed and regulated and that assignments should be reasonably balanced in terms of quantity.

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

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

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

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

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

During visits to schools, they will note the measures taken. The written homework and test policy should be made available to them upon request.

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

"Schools are advised that frequency of assignments will be best controlled by a homework time-table ensuring an even spread of homework over the week or teaching cycle and a balanced coverage of subjects," Mr Tang said.

The guidelines strongly recommend that, particularly at the primary and junior secondary levels, teachers should maintain proper co-ordination and should be given clear instructions on the frequency, amount to be set and the subjects to be covered, and that due recognition should be given at all times to the ages and abilities of pupils.

6

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

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

Mr Tang urged parents to step up communication with schools in respect to the appropriateness of the amount of homework through such channels as parent-teacher associations and School Management Initiatives.

End

Environmental improvement campaign in Yau Tsim Mong

*****

Residents in Yau Tsim Mong district have been urged to participate more in clean-up operations and environmental improvement activities to make the district a cleaner and healthier place to live.

Officiating at the Yau Tsim Mong Environmental Improvement Campaign 1996-97 opening ceremony today (Sunday), Yau Tsim Mong District Officer Bart Ireland said all residents deserved to live in a clean district but they must do their part to make it possible.

Mr Ireland said the Environmental Improvement Campaign was one of the most important events organised each year by the Board’s Environment Committee to encourage residents’ participation in environmental improvement activities.

The three-month campaign will include seminars on environmental protection and horticulture; visits to Sai Kung Lions Nature Trail and Lantau Island; a sort-and-recycle programme; demolition of abandoned signboards and year-end clean-up exercises.

He also paid tributes to Yau Tsim Mong District Board, the Urban Council, Friends of the Earth, Duty Free Shoppers HK Limited and relevant Government departments for their support in making the event a success.

Also attending the ceremony was Yau Tsim Mong DB Chairman Chow Chun-

fai.

End

7

Anti-drugs camp for students a success

*****

More than 100 secondary school students unanimously said "no" to drugs after they learned of its adverse effects at a two-day camp in Lei Yue Mun.

I

The event, jointly organised by the Wan Chai District Fight Crime Committee, the Society for the Aid and Rehabilitation of Drug Abusers and Wan Chai District Office, was held at Lei Yue Mun Park and Holiday Village.

The participants gained a better understanding of drugs and the adverse effects of drug abuse through video shows, role-play, games and group discussions. A former drug abuser spoke of his personal ordeal as a drug addict.

Speaking at a closing ceremony today (Sunday), the chairman of a working group under the Wan Chai District Fight Crime Committee, Mr Charles Koo, hoped the participants would help to spread the beat drugs message to their friends. He also urged them to take part in an anti-narcotics concert to be held by the working group and Metro Radio on January 18 next year.

End

Fresh water cut in Tsim Sha Tsui and Ngau Tau Kok

*****

The fresh water supply to some premises in Ngau Tau Kok and Tsim Sha Tsui will be temporal J- suspended from 11 pm on Wednesday (October 23) to 6 am the following day for waste detection work on watermains.

In Ngau Tau Kok, the suspension will affect all premises in the area bounded by Kwun Tong Road, Elegance Road, Ngau Tau Kok Road and Sheung Yee Road.

In Tsim Sha Tsui, the suspension will affect all premises in the area bounded by Peking Road, Kowloon Park Drive, Salisbury Road and the sea front of Salisbury Road.

End

8

Survey on implementation of new sixth form curriculum *****

A survey revealed that the new sixth form curriculum was most warmly received by the students and least by teachers.

On the other hand, the principals requested that more support should be given to schools.

The new sixth form curriculum with 22 revised Advanced Level (AL) and 18 newly-created Advanced Supplementary (AS) Level was introduced in 1992 as recommended by Education Commission Report No 2.

A working group was set up by the Education Department to carry' out a research project to find out to what extent schools would introduce the new AS subjects and what problems schools might have in adopting the new curriculum.

Two identical questionnaires were sent to principals, teachers and students in October 1992 and in October 1993 respectively in order to collect their views on the curriculum.

The findings showed that there was a tendency for schools to offer more AS level subjects in 1993/94 school year than in 1992/93.

The biggest difficulty expressed by principals was the deployment of suitable teachers among the existing teaching staff to teach the AL and AS subjects.

On the other hand, teachers were concerned about the readiness of tertiary institutions to accept some subjects as for fulfilment of admission requirements.

The depth of syllabuses to be taught, the availability of suitable textbooks and the way to match students' academic standard were perceived as the major difficulties by teachers.

The lack of understanding about the contents of the AS subjects chosen was a common difficulty faced by students taking the new curriculum.

Addressing these concerns, respondents proposed that there should be more teachers for split-class teaching and teacher training.

They pointed out that more resources should be provided to schools.

Clarification of admission requirements by tertiary institution was also regarded as an important matter.

9

Based on the findings of the survey, the working group recommended to offer more training courses for teachers, particularly on new subjects.

More support should be given to teachers in the form of model answers, sample examination papers, teaching kits to facilitate their sixth form teaching.

-. I. i '

The working group also recommended to publish more reference books written in Chinese, particularly on Mathematics and Statistics (AS), Biology (AL) and Engineering Science (AL).

Copies of the report on the survey had been sent to the tertiary institutions under the University Grant Committee to draw their attention to the public concern of the admission requirements.

End

CSD Autumn Fair

*****

The CSD Autumn Fair, an annual outdoor event known for its scale and atmosphere, will be held at the Stanley football field on November 2 (Saturday) and will mark its 44th anniversary.

This year was especially memorable because it will be the last time that the CSD Autumn Fair will be held in the football field, because the venue will soon be converted into a medium security prison.

The popularity of the quality goods made by prisoners has been one of the main attractions for thousands of people flocking to the fair annually and this year will be no exception.

There will be a variety of products including arts and handicraft items, stuffed toys, rattan and wooden furniture on sale at over 30 stalls.

There will also be entertainment, games stalls and food for sale at numerous other stalls throughout the afternoon.

The proceeds of the fair will be contributed to various charities.

End

10

More philatelic offices to be established

*****

To better serve stamp collectors, philatelic counters will be set up at 11 new philatelic offices as from November 1, the Postmaster General, Mr Robert Footman, announced today (Monday).

They are:

Aberdeen Post Office

ground floor, Kam Fung Building, J/O Aberdeen Main Road

Sai On Street, Hong Kong

Cheung Chau Post Office

ground floor, Regional Council Cheung Chau Complex,

2 Tai Hing Tai Road, Cheung Chau

Cheung Sha Wan Post Office

650 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Kowloon

Hennessy Road Post Office

1 Hennessy Road, Hong Kong

Kowloon Central Post Office

ground floor, 405 Nathan Road, Kowloon

Kowloon City Post Office

28 Lung Kong Road, Kowloon

Mong Kok Post Office

first floor, Mong Kok Exchange,

37 Bute Street, Kowloon

Shau Kei Wan Post Office

ground floor, Perfect Mount Gardens, 1 Po Man Street,

Shau Kei Wan, Hong Kong

Tai Po Post Office

Tai Po Government Office Building,

ground floor, Ting Kok Road, Tai Po, New Territories

Tuen Mun Central Post Office

Podium Level, Library and Post Office Building, ITuen Hi Road, Tuen Mun, New Territories

■ 11 -

Yuen Long Post Office

51-53 Sau Fu Street, Yuen Long, New Territories

"This will bring the total number of philatelic offices to 19," said Mr Footman.

"By extending the philatelic network, we aim to better serve the stamp collectors."

The existing eight philatelic offices are at the General Post Office, the Harcourt Road Post Office, the Peak Post Office, the Tsim Sha Tsui Post Office, the Granville Road Post Office, the Sha Tin Central Post Office, the Tsuen Wan Post Office and the Airport Post Office.

Stamps and philatelic products of Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia and Singapore as well as selected philatelic products of China, Australia and United States Postal Service will be available for sale at these new offices.

The philatelic pictorial datestamp for each new philatelic office incorporates the usual Philatelic Bureau 'Junk' design and individual office code. They will be used for cancellation of souvenir covers and mail items posted in the special posting boxes in these offices.

A hand-back service applying the pictorial datestamps will be provided on November 1 at these 11 philatelic offices for any locally addressed covers bearing the 'First Day' indication.

End

Fresh water cut in Tsuen Wan

*****

The fresh water supply to some premises in Tsuen Wan will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm on Thursday (October 24) to 6 am the following day for waste detection work on watermains.

The suspension will affect all premises in the area bounded by Route Twisk from Kwong Pan Tin San Tsuen to Fu Yung Shan Road and Fu Yung Shan Road including Kwong Pan Tin Tsuen, Pak Tin Pa San Tsuen, Fu Yung Shan and San Tsuen.

End

12

Flushing water cut in Tai Po

*****

The flushing water supply to some premises in Tai Po will be temporarily suspended from 9 pm on Thursday (October 24) to 6 am the following day for waste detection work on watermains.

The suspension will affect all premises in Hong Lok Yuen.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES GARDEN ROAD, 5th-8th FLOORS, MURRAY BUILDING, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Tuesday, October 22,1996

Contents Page No.

Bus franchises for new airport and Tung Chung awarded..................... 1

CEDAW extended to HK...................................................... 2

Second chance for ex-offenders urged...................................... 3

Appointments to Civil Service Standing Commission......................... 5

Government's response towards sewage tunnels report....................... 6

Draft guidelines on extra-curricula activities............................ 6

Demographic trends in Hong Kong......................................

Value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand in August.......................... 8

Data on business firms available for public retrieval.................... 10

Water storage figure................................................. 11

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

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

1

Bus franchises for new airport and Tung Chung awarded ♦ ♦ ♦ * *

Following consultation with the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group, the Govemor-in-Council has approved the grant of new bus franchises to Citybus Limited (Citybus) and Long Win Holdings Limited (Long Win) to operate 25 public bus routes to the new airport at Chek Lap Kok and Tung Chung New Town.

Of these routes, 12 will be operated by Long Win, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kowloon Motor Bus (KMB), and Citybus will run the other 13 routes.

The consultants for the Transport Study for the New Airport (TRANSNA) have recommended the provision of a network of bus services (composed of 25 routes) to serve the new airport at Chek Lap Kok and North Lantau.

To introduce more competition and to promote the development of high quality bus services to meet the rising expectations, the Government tendered out these 25 routes in two packages, which include airbuses, external services from North Lantau to urban areas, internal shuttle services and overnight services to serve the new airport and Tung Chung New Town.

The Government received a total of six tenders from three companies.

A Government spokesman said: "In evaluating the tenders, the Government have taken into account the quality of service and fare levels proposed by the tenderers, their management and financial capability, and experience in operating bus services.”

"Citybus and Long Win will deploy new air-conditioned, low-floor doubledeck buses with luggage compartments to run these services. Both operators will introduce special customer services such as luggage handling assistance and on-bus equipment to facilitate ease of access by passengers with luggage and people with a disability. Concessionary fares will be offered for passengers aged 65 or above. There will be no separate charges for luggage."

"The fare for each route will range from $17 to $45 for airbus services, from $10 to $18 for external services, from $3 to $7 for internal shuttle services and from $20 to $35 for overnight services. Concessionary fares will be offered for passengers aged 65 or above."

Seven routes, including an overnight external service, will start operation in mid-1997 to tie in with the first population intake in Tung Chung New Town and the build-up of airport employees. The entire bus network will be in full operation upon the opening of the new airport in 1998.

2

The spokesman said: "The two bus franchises are for six years from June 1, 1997. No profit control scheme will be applied.

"The franchise provisions are similar to those in the latest franchises awarded to other bus franchisees.

"To cater for the operating needs of the new airport, Long Win and Citybus are additionally required to provide a customer service centre to assist passengers at the airport and to provide a control centre to ensure direct communication links with the Airport Authority."

End

CEDAW extended to HK * * * * *

A Government spokesman announced today (Tuesday) that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has just been advised by the United Nations Treaty Section that the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women was extended to Hong Kong on October 14, 1996.

The news was welcomed as a further development in the protection of human rights in Hong Kong.

"The significance of the extension of the Convention is that it places Hong Kong under continuing international obligations to protect the rights of women, eradicate discrimination and provide for their interests," the spokesman said.

"The Chinese Government has been consulted and has agreed to the extension of this Convention and its continued application to Hong Kong after 1997.

"Under the Convention, states parties are obliged to respect and promote the rights of women as set out in the Convention, such as to ensure the full and equal participation of women in political, civil, economic, social and cultural life, at the national, regional and international levels, and to ensure the eradication of all forms of discrimination on ground of sex," he said.

"With the enactment of the Sex Discrimination Ordinance last year, which makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person on the ground of sex, marital status or pregnancy, or to sexually harass a person, Hong Kong is well positioned to meet the objectives of the Convention.

3

"The extension of the Convention does not necessitate any further legislative changes," the spokesman said.

"In extending the Convention the United Kingdom (UK) has entered a few reservations for Hong Kong. One of the general reservations seeks to preserve the position in respect of rent concession under Annex III to the Joint Declaration and the small house policy," the spokesman pointed out.

"Other reservations include those to ensure that Hong Kong is allowed to maintain its existing customs, policies and practices. For example, reservations are required to allow for the continuation of practices which provide for women to be treated more favourably than men as provided for under the Sex Discrimination Ordinance.

"Reservations are also entered to ensure that the affairs of religious denominations and orders in Hong Kong should not be affected and that the Hong Kong Government has the right to continue to apply immigration law."

With regard to follow-up action, the spokesman said copies of the Convention would be widely disseminated and its provisions fully published as part of the Government's enhanced human rights publicity strategy.

"We will also ensure that all parts of the Government are fully aware of the need to take due account of the Convention's provisions in implementing programmes and formulating policies," he added.

End

Second chance for ex-offenders urged ♦ ♦ ♦ * *

The community would benefit, both financially and socially, if a person who has committed a crime could be converted into a useful member of society, the Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Raymond Lai Ming-kce, said today (Tuesday).

Speaking at a meeting of the Rotary Club of Peninsula, Mr Lai said he disagreed with the sentiment that people who have committed crimes were likely to offend again and that it was a waste of time and money trying to reform them.

"Quite apart from the uncharitable nature Of condemning people just because they have offended, it is also not beneficial to society, either in terms ot cost or benefit," said Mr Lai.

4

”It is in society's interest that we have as much success (in aftercare) as possible, and society can do its part to help," he added.

The Commissioner said finding jobs for offenders about to be discharged is never easy: "I can understand why employers would hesitate to consider 'ex-cons', but I would ask people with job vacancies to keep an open mind."

Mr Lai said any programme was only as good as the result it achieved, and in today's concept of performance by objectives, the hard eye of value for money was often turned on aftercare.

"We find ourselves frequently having to justify expenditure on an area where performance measurement is difficult.

"We are proud of our success rates. Over 67 per cent of young inmates under 21, and 65 per cent of drug addicts complete the one-year supervision under the aftercare programme without relapse into drug-taking or crime; and over 90 per cent do so for detention centres," said the Commissioner.

However, fluctuations in those rates did not necessarily reflect oscillations in the programme performance, Mr Lai pointed out.

"We are only one element in a complex web of personal, social and societal factors, all of which act upon the individual and interact with each other.

"A decline in success rates could, therefore, be ascribed to any one of a number, or indeed, any several, different causes. There is no way of identifying the discrete elements and measuring their effect, because there are no discrete elements," he added.

"One thing which we can say with reasonable certainty is that the present difficulties facing the aftercare programme are not helping matters.

"In 1991, we had a caseload of 5,201, amounting to about 91 cases per team of two aftercare officers. Now we have 6,031 active cases, or almost 109 cases per team.

"Although the officers are putting in many extra hours, inevitably the strain shows. There are only 24 hours a day.

"Like almost all aspects of our work, overcrowding places a burden on the service we provide. In aftercare, which is both labour intensive and numbers intensive, this is even more so," said Mr Lai.

5

The Commissioner said the business of corrections was attempting to help a person see how his or her behaviour had led to crime, and to help the inmate correct this behaviour.

"The idea behind this is that everyone deserves a second chance and if that person can learn from mistakes, and thereby not repeat the mistakes, then that second chance is taken," he added.

"Those who measure performance solely by the dollar would argue that in providing aftercare to all, we are wasting money on certain individuals for whom it will not work.

"True, there will always be those who re-offend, just as there will be those who will never re-offend.

"But who among us will be prepared to sit inn judgement on candidates for aftercare, condemning those deemed 'a waste' to a life of crime because no-one is prepared even to consider giving them the opportunity to take a second chance," said Mr Lai.

End

Appointments to Civil Service Standing Commission

*****

The Governor has appointed Mr Pang Yuk-wing and Professor Chan Yuk-shee as members of the Standing Commission on Civil Service Salaries and Conditions of Service for a term of two years with effect from October 1, 1996.

Mr Pang Yuk-wing is the Executive Director and Deputy Chief Executive of the Bank of East Asia and Professor Chan Yuk-shee is .the Dean of Business and Management of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

The Standing Commission, chaired by Sir Sidney Gordon, 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 are Dr Wilfred Chan Siu-yuen, Mr Nicholas Chiu Sai-chuen, Mr David A Morris. Mr David W Gairns, Mrs Janie Kaung Lai-chun, Mr Simon Ip and Mr Tam Yiu-chung.

End

6

Government's response towards sewage tunnels report

*****

Commenting on a Chinese newspaper report today (Tuesday), a Government spokesman said: "Discussions are in progress with the contractors of the sewage tunnels of the Strategic Sewage Disposal Scheme's High Priority Programme with a view to solving the technical problems concerning the inflow of underground water.

"It is grossly untrue to suggest that the problems are related to inadequate feasibility studies. Nor is there any truth in the statement that the remedial work for the sewage tunnel project would cost $5 billion - $10 billion more."

The spokesman said the High Priority Programme of the Strategic Sewage Disposal Scheme is being built at a total cost of $9.4 billion. Of the 41 contracts under the programme, 12 have been completed, another 25 are on schedule for completion before July 1997. Work on the two remaining minor works contracts will commence in 1998.

End

Draft guidelines on extra-curricula activities

*****

The Education Department has issued draft Guidelines on Extra-curricula Activities in Schools for consultation with the education sector prior to the formal issue of the finalised Guidelines around January 1997.

The draft Guidelines, in English and Chinese versions, are being sent to schools for consultation until December 4, 1996.

The Guidelines are the work of a special task force, the Working Group on Guidelines on Extra-curricula Activities in Schools, which was set up in January 1996 under the chairmanship of a Principal Inspector of the Education Department.

The working group comprised representatives from the primary, secondary and tertiary education sectors, as well as the Hong Kong Extra-curricula Co-ordinators' Association.

The group set out to compile guidelines on the planning and implementation of extra-curricula activities in schools to enhance teachers' understanding of these activities from a broad perspective.

7

Comments and suggestions on the draft Guidelines are welcome and should be sent to the School Activities Section, Advisory Inspectorate Division, Education Department at Room 934, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai on or before December 4, 1996.

It is expected that the finalised Guidelines could be ready for issue to schools in January 1997.

While the draft Guidelines give a comprehensive account of the organisation of extra-curricula activities in schools, more information on safety aspects of outdoor activities can be found in the Guidelines on Outdoor Activities which were issued to schools on September 25, 1996.

Meanwhile, the Education Department will organise three seminars on November 5 and 8. 1996 on the two sets of Guidelines so school heads and teachers can exchange views and share experiences.

End

Demographic trends in Hong Kong ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A feature article entitled "Demographic trends in Hong Kong 1986-1995" was published in the October 1996 issue of the Hong Kong Monthly Digest of Statistics, which is now available on sale.

The feature highlighted the salient features of the population growth and structure as well as the trends in fertility, mortality and nuptiality in Hong Kong during the period 1986-1995.

The article noted the increase in population of Hong Kong from 5.53 million in 1986 by some 0.63 million to 6.16 million in 1995 and new developments in the demongraphic trends concomitant with this population growth, including:

Aging of the population continued with the fertility rate remained al a very low level in recent years;

Mortality situation continued to improve with the expectation of life al birth gradually edging up in Hong Kong, which, by international standards, is now one of the lowest mortality territories.

* Delay in marriage still prevailed - marriage rates of bachelors and spinsters had decreased but the re-marriage rates of divorced or widowed persons had increased.

8

The October 1996 issue of the Hong Kong Monthly Digest of Statistics is now on sale at $50 a copy.

Apart from the feature on demographic trends, the publication also carried two special articles giving in-depth analysis respectively on river trade cargo statistics and the various improvements in living environment for public rental housing residents.

Purchase of this publication can be made at the Government Publications Centre, ground floor, Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong. The publication is also available for sales at the Publications Unit of the Census and Statistics Department. 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Regular subscription can also be arranged with the Publications (Sales) Office of the Information Services Department on 2598 8196.

End

Value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand in August ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand for local production in August 1996 decreased by 9% over a year earlier, according to the provisional results of a monthly survey released today (Tuesday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

This was in line with the generally weak domestic export performance.

Comparing August 1996 with August 1995, the value of orders in the fabricated metal products industry increased by 6%.

On the other hand, decreases in the value of orders were recorded in the electronic products industry (-16%), the printing and publishing industry (-14%), the plastic products industry (-12%), the electrical products industry (-4%), the wearing apparel industry (-4%) and the textiles industry (-3%).

Compared with July 1996. and bearing in mind that this comparison may be affected by seasonal factors, the value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand in August 1996 decreased by 4%.

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.

9

Orders received by traders not engaged in production are included if such orders are further placed to manufacturers for production locally. However, orders placed to manufacturing firms for production in China and other places outside Hong Kong are not included in this series of orders-on-hand statistics.

A spokesman 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 August 1996, at $7 a copy, is now on sale at the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, Queensway; and at 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

July 1996 over July 1995 (Revised) August 1996 over August 1995 (Provisional) -9

All industries covered in the survey -7

* Wearing apparel -3 -4

* Textiles -8 -3

* Electronic products -14 -16

* Electrical products -5 -4

Fabricated metal products +23 +6

Plastic products -14 -12

Printing and publishing +7 -14

End

10

Data on business firms available for public retrieval *****

A comprehensive database containing up-to-date particulars of about 350,000 active business establishments in Hong Kong is available for retrieval by members of the public from the central register of establishments of the Census and Statistics Department.

The register serves mainly as the sampling frame for various economic surveys conducted by the department. A sample listing containing 20 per cent of non-confidential records randomly selected from the Register is accessible by prospective users.

The records of the Register is now widely used by many government departments and private organisations in their publicity, business promotion, survey and research work.

Application for the supply of information 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. Records kept in the Register is updated on a quarterly basis and information for the second quarter of 1996 is now available.

Information can be supplied in the form of photocopies or specially-run magnetic tapes with a service charge to be levied 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); and

* if the information is required on magnetic tapes, he magnetic tape can be provided by the applicant, r by the department at a charge of $143 per tape.

Further details can be obtained from the Central Register of Establishments Section on 2582 4760.

End

11

Water storage figure *****

Storage in Hong Kong's reservoirs at 9 am today (Tuesday) stood at 96.5 per cent of capacity or 565.716 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 580.630 million cubic metres of water, representing 99.1 per cent of capacity.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results

*****

Tender date 22 Oct 96 22 Oct 96

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q643 H676

Issue date 23 Oct 96 23 Oct 96

Maturity date 22 Jan 97 23 Apr 97

Coupon - -

Amount applied HK$5,720 MN HK$3,270 MN

Amount allotted HK$ 1,500 MN I IK.S800 MN

Average yield accepted 4.98 PCT 5.06 PCT

Highest yield accepted 4.98 PCT 5.07 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 52 PCT About 41 PCT

Average tender yield 4.99 PCT 5.08 PCT

- 12 -

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

Tenders to be held in the week beginning October 28, 1996

Tender date 28 Oct 96 29 Oct 96 29 Oct 96

Paper on offer EF Notes EF Bills EF Bills

Issue number 1610 Q644 Y695

Issue date 29 Oct 96 30 Oct 96 30 Oct 96

Maturity date 30 Oct 2006 29 Jan 1997 29 Oct 1997

Tenor 10 years 91 days 364 days

Amount on offer HKS500+100 MN HK$ 1,500+300 MN HKS500+150MN

Coupon 7.37 PCT

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

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

Opening balance in the account 2,098 0930 + 159

Closing balance in the account 2,246 1000 + 159

Change attributable to: 1100 + 159

Money market activity + 148 1200 + 162

LAF today Nil 1500 + 162

1600 + 148

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.9 *+0.0* 22.10.96

13

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/MTRC

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.82 2 years 2808 6.00 100.33 5.88

1 month 4.87 3 years 3910 6.28 100.03 6.37

3 months 5.00 5 years 5109 7.32 102.01 6.94

6 months 5.07 7 years 7308 7.24 100.40 7.29

12 months 5.32 5 years M503 7.35 100.91 7.25

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $7,025 million

Closed October 22, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES GARDEN ROAD, 5th-8th FLOORS, MURRAY BUILDING, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Wednesday, October 23,1996

Contents IEirilNo,

Expert talks on defence and public order............................. 1

Response to reports on draft garrison law............................ 1

Government pursues initiatives to secure human rights................ 2

Qualifications and rules for extended audience rights................ 4

Fugitive Offenders Bill to be introduced............................. 6

Post-Release Supervision Scheme to come into operation............... 7

Land Registry Trading Fund achieved S46.2M profit.................... 8

Nil levy for stock options and currency futures contracts............ 10

180 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flights....................... 11

Monitors' report submitted to CS..................................... 11

Respect Our Teachers English Essay Contest........................... 11

Company fined for tax offence........................................ 12

Pay-As-You-Eam scheme extended to civil service pensioners........... 13

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations................. 14

1

Expert talks on defence and public order ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The twentieth 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 October 24 and 25.

The British team will be led by British Representative, Mr Alan Paul. The Chinese team will be led by Chinese Representative, Mr Chen Zuo'er. They will be assisted by experts from the two sides.

• *r. End

Response to reports on draft garrison law ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

In response to press enquiries on news reports about a draft law for the future garrison in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, a government spokesman said today (Wednesday):

"The question of the legal framework in which the future Chinese garrison will operate is of considerable interest and concern to the people of Hong Kong.

"The Hong Kong community has long hoped and expected that the PLA garrison will be subject to Hong Kong laws and to the jurisdiction of Hong Kong courts in the same way as the Britisa garrison is today.

: u

"We are, however, not able to provide a detailed response to the garrison law-just relying on the reports.

"We hope that we and the people of Hong Kong can have an early opportunity to study the draft law itself."

End

2

Government pursues initiatives to secure human rights *****

The Government has continued to pursue a wide range of initiatives to secure and improve the enjoyment of human rights in Hong Kong, the Solicitor General, Mr Daniel Fung, QC, told the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) in Geneva today (Wednesday).

Mr Fung is leading a Hong Kong Government team, forming part of the British delegation, to attend a hearing on the supplementary report on Hong Kong specially requested by UNHRC when it examined the territory's fourth periodic report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) last October.

In his opening statement, Mr Fung highlighted a series of measures which was heralded in the fourth report and has now become a reality.

He said the Equal Opportunities Commission had started to operate last month while the new office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data had been established in August.

He also told the meeting the enactment of legislation for setting up an independent statutory Legal Aid Services Council, the introduction of legislation to make the Independent Police Complaints Council a statutory body with enhanced powers, the amendment of powers of the Independent Commission Against Corruption and the introduction of legislation which will extend the role of the Ombudsman.

Regarding court proceedings, Mr Fung said the Government continued to extend the use of Chinese, to reduce court waiting times and was taking steps to ensure that there would be no unreasonable delay in the hearing of cases brought under the Bill of Rights Ordinance (BORO) and the new Sex Discrimination Ordinance and Disability Discrimination Ordinance.

"The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) was extended to Hong Kong and effective on October 14 this year and agreement has been reached between Britain and China on the continued application of CEDAW to Hong Kong after June 30, 1997," he said.

On the changeover of sovereignty, Mr Fung said the Government was working hard to fulfil its part in a successful transition.

The Government was committed to co-operating with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) Preparatory Committee and the Chief Executive (designate) when he or she was selected later this year, Mr Fung said.

3

He also outlined the three parameters for co-operation:

» First, that the arrangements for co-operation are fully consistent with the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, and are in the interests of Hong Kong.

Second, that the authority and credibility of the Hong Kong Government are not undermined.

Third, that the morale and confidence of the civil service are not affected, and civil servants are not subjected to conflicting loyalties.

Mr Fung said the Government was determined to do all it could to ensure that the territory continued to prosper as a SAR under Chinese sovereignty after June 30, 1997 and to enjoy the high degree of autonomy promised in the Joint Declaration and enshrined in the Basic Law.

"To bring about a successful transfer of government, arrangements have been agreed for the continued employment of civil servants, the transfer of defence responsibilities and the transitional budget." he said.

Mr Fung, however, said some important work remained to be done. These include the programme for localisation of laws and the implementation of the Basic Law provisions on the right of abode in Hong Kong after June 30. 1997.

"Important questions over the future of the legislature, the continued appearance of Hong Kong before this Committee and the BORO also remain to be resolved." he said.

He stressed that the BORO incorporated into the domestic laws of Hong Kong the provisions of ICCPR as applied to Hong Kong and that it was fully consistent with the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law.

"There is no valid reason, upon the change of sovereignty, to alter the BORO or to restore to an earlier form laws which have been amended to ensure that they are in line with the Ordinance.

"In any event, decisions on these matters are for the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and not for any other committee or body to make." he said.

4

On provisional legislature, Mr Fung pointed out that the current Legislative Council was fairly and openly elected through arrangements that were consistent with the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law.

"We do not accept that there is any need for provisional legislature,” he said.

On the future reporting arrangements. Mr Fung said the issue continued to be a source of great anxiety for the people of Hong Kong who had come to regard these reports as benchmarks against which to measure progress in the implementation of human right safeguards in Hong Kong.

End

Qualifications and rules for extended audience rights ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Solicitors will have to be qualified under regulations to be made by the Chief Justice, after consultation with the Hong Kong Law Society. Bar Association and the Attorney General, if they wish to obtain extended rights of audience in the higher courts.

They will also have to observe rules of conduct to be made by the Law Society, subject to the prior approval of the Chief Justice, and after consultation with the Bar Association and the Attorney General

These requirements will be set down in draft legislation to be added to the Legal Services Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 1996 at its Committee Stage.

The Bill proposes to implement legal services reforms that arise out of the Consultation Paper on Legal Services published in March last year.

A government spokesman said today (Wednesday) that the Administration conducted extensive research into the state of the Bar in other Commonwealth jurisdictions where solicitors have full rights of audience, and commissioned a professional public opinion survey on the issue, before arriving at the decision to extend solicitor's rights of audience.

In each of the jurisdictions in Ireland. Scotland and England, the legal profession is divided into barristers and solicitors, but in recent years solicitors have been granted, or been permitted to acquire, extended rights of audience.

5

The comment of the Office of the Irish Attorney General on granting unlimited rights of audience to solicitors, since 1971, was that it did not undermine the independent advocate's profession.

The Clerk of the Faculty of Advocates (equivalent of the Bar Association) in Scotland commented that, in its view, the strength and independence of the Bar had not been undermined since experienced and qualified solicitors were allowed to acquire rights of audience in all courts in 1990.

The Chairman of the English Bar said he did not believe that the reforms in England, also made in 1990, had undermined the strength and independence of the English Bar, and that changes had not led to a reduction in the number of applicants joining the Bar.

The President of the Bar Association of Queensland in Australia commented: "I am aware that the Hong Kong Bar has a long and illustrious tradition; I have attended hearings in Hong Kong and watched members of your Bar in action. Given their general level of skill, competence and integrity, I think they have nothing to fear."

Referring to the public opinion survey on the issue, the government spokesman noted that its purpose was to obtain the views of a random cross-section of the public. As a result, only 7.9 per cent of those 1,000 households surveyed had experience of litigation and only 1 per cent had ever instructed £ barrister.

The principal findings were that 78 per cent of the respondents agreed that solicitors should be permitted to acquire extended rights of audience, and nearly 50 per cent considered that, before being permitted to acquire those rights, a solicitor should have practised for a number of years, have had advocacy experience in the lower courts, and have passed certain examinations.

In the earlier consultation exercise, the proposal for extending rights of audience was supported, with or without qualification, by all who submitted written views, except the Bar Association and one barrister.

Supporters included the Hong Kong Society of Accountants, the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, the Australian Chamber of Commerce, the Institute of Company Secretaries, the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, and the Consumer Council.

"The proposal will not weaken the Hong Kong Bar, as some have feared. Their view is not supported by the results of the research into the state of the Bar in other jurisdictions.

6

’’The draft legislation that is to be added to the Legal Services Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 1996, together with the qualification requirements and rules of conduct to be put in place, will help to modernise and rationalise the provision of legal services in Hong Kong.

’’Provided there are adequate safeguards, allowing for the practice of solicitoradvocates would bring about more efficient and effective legal services,” the spokesman said.

End

Fugitive Offenders Bill to be introduced *****

The Government will soon propose a bill to localise the relevant United Kingdom legislation on surrender of fugitive offenders (SFO) now applied to Hong Kong, a government spokesman said today (Wednesday).

Introducing the Fugitive Offenders Bill which will be gazetted on Friday (October 25), the spokesman said Hong Kong's capacity to request and grant SFO was based on agreements which the UK had extended to the territory, and on reciprocal arrangements with Commonwealth jurisdictions.

"These UK-based arrangements will lapse after June 30, 1997. Therefore, with the agreement of the Chinese side in the Joint Liaison Group (JLG), we are establishing a network of Hong Kong's own bilateral SFO agreements which will remain in force after 1997.

"Localised SFO legislation is necessary to provide legal backing for the new SFO agreements," the spokesman said.

Apart from providing a mechanism for implementing the new SFO agreements, the Bill sets out the conditions and procedures under which Hong Kong will surrender fugitives.

The Bill contains provisions to ensure that fugitive offenders are only surrendered for specified, serious offences.

The Bill will also provide for protection against resurrender to a third country, speciality protection (i.e. offenders will not be tried for offences other than those for which they were originally surrendered), a requirement that there be no surrender unless the conduct constituting the offence is contrary to the law of both jurisdictions (i.e. double criminality) and the normal exclusion in relation to political offences and political prejudice.

7

"These restrictions are found in the legislation and agreements of other countries and are designed to safeguard an individual’s rights," the spokesman explained.

The Bill follows existing procedures for handling requests for surrender. These arrangements involve decisions by the courts and by the Governor who has the final say as to whether a person should be surrendered.

The Bill provides for a channel of appeal for fugitive offenders.

"It is important that the Bill should be enacted as soon as possible so that Hong Kong can continue our excellent co-operation with other jurisdictions to ensure that criminals will not escape justice by fleeing to or from Hong Kong," the spokesman added.

At the JLGXXXVII held in September, the Chinese side confirmed their agreement to localisation of this laws item.

The Bill is expected to be introduced into the Legislative Council on November 6

End

Post-Release Supervision Scheme to come into operation ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A scheme aiming at reintegrating certain discharged prisoners into the society is expected to come into operation towards the end of next month.

Announcing the Post-Release Supervision Scheme today (Wednesday), a Government spokesman said that the Post-Release Supervision of Prisoners Ordinance was enacted last year to establish a scheme to place certain categories of prisoners under supervision after early release.

"The objective is to provide discharged prisoners with guidance and assistance to help them return to society and lead a normal, useful life, thus minimising recidivism," he said.

Expanding on the need for the scheme, the spokesman said that many prisoners, after serving long periods in prisons and with limited preparation for what to expect after their release, often did not know how best to reintegrate into the society in a law abiding manner.

8

An independent, statutory Board called the Post-Release Supervision Board will be appointed by the Governor to administer the scheme.

The Board will consider each eligible prisoner’s case to determine whether he should be granted early release subject to supervision, and if so, make a supervision order specifying the conditions and length of supervision.

The spokesman emphasised that the supervision period under this scheme would not be longer than the remitted part of the prisoner’s sentence granted under the current penal system.

’’Since the original sentence imposed by the court would not be increased, the period of supervision is not an extension of the prisoner's sentence,” he said.

"Rather, it maj be viewed as an alternative method, in the form of after-care supervision, of completing the punishment set by the court."

The new scheme will be applicable to prisoners serving sentences of six years or more and those prisoners sentenced to two years or more for specific types of offences, such as triad-related offences, sexual offences and crimes of violence.

End

Land Registry Trading Fund achieved $46.2M profit ♦ ♦ ♦ * *

The Land Registry' Trading Fund recorded a very' successful year of operation achieving a net profit of $46.2 million for the year ended March 31. 1996.

This represented an annual rate of return of 14.7 per cent on average net fixed assets, as compared with the target of 10 per cent.

The figures were released in the third Annua) Report of the Land Registry Trading Fund tabled by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday).

"This record performance enables the Land Registry to continue to invest in capital intensive information technology projects which will bring about improved services at reduced costs," the Land Registrar and General Manager of the Land Registry Trading Fund, Mr Kenneth Pang, said in the report.

9

"Apart from making significant achievements in meeting all the performance targets and financial objectives, the Land Registry has also made remarkable progress in automating its land registration and search facilities to provide the community with the most efficient and cost-effective services."

The Registry had achieved very satisfactory results in providing its main services Performance pledges for the main services were enhanced during the year with service delivery times shortened by nine per cent to 50 per cent.

Notwithstanding the very' high standards, all performance pledges were satisfactorily met through effective resource management and process re-engineering as well as staffs firm commitment to customer-based services.

"During the year, the Land Registry has continued improving its services to customers. The most significant efficiency improvement project is the optical based Document Imaging System. The System automates the manual processes of storage, retrieval, reproduction and distribution of land documents. It offers customers with fast and convenient la