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

 DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Monday, July 1, 1996

Contents Page No,

Meeting between Governor and Mr Cheng An-kuo denied................ 1

1997 opens opportunities to British business sector: CS............ 1

Journal to promote understanding of China law launched............. 3

"Stay Safe" leaflet published...................................... 4

Employees’ compensation improved................................... 6

Residential Mortgage Survey results for May released............... 7

HKMA launches Internet Homepage................................... 13

Special education report now ready in Chinese..................... 14

BN(O) applications for citizens born between 1987 and 1991........ 15

Colloquium on conserving Chinese white dolphins................ 16

Witnesses to hoverferry and tanker collision sought............ 18

Industrial awards donation sponsors praised.................... 18

Revised trade licences fees and charges effective on July 5....... 20

Requisition forms to obtain rental information issued............. 23

Water storage figure.............................................. 23

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations.............. 24

Meeting between Governor and Mr Cheng An-kuo denied ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

In response to a report about a "secret meeting" having been held between the Governor and Mr Cheng An-kuo, the Governor's spokesman said the report was complete rubbish.

"The Governor has never had a meeting or a conversation with Mr Cheng," the spokesman said.

End

1997 opens opportunities to British business sector: CS ♦ ♦ * ♦ *

The Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, called on the British business community to help maintain the unique formula for Hong Kong's economic success and to respond positively to new opportunities that Hong Kong can provide after 1997.

Speaking to the Hong Kong Association in London today (Monday), Mrs Chan said Britain had a special relationship with Hong Kong that no other enjoyed.

"It has both a legal and moral responsibility towards Hong Kong that will last beyond 1997," she said.

"But it also has massive economic interests in Hong Kong's continuing prosperity."

Mrs Chan noted that British investments in I long Kong were estimated at over 70 billion pounds sterling with more than 1,000 British companies operating in the territory.

"It leads the field among foreign investors in Hong Kong with 28 per cent of overall total investment," she said.

Mrs Chan believed that British businessmen looked at Hong Kong in the next century and find a great deal that was positive.

"1997 opens the door to a longer relationship, one which certainly continues to embrace Hong Kong but which also addresses the much wider opportunities in China and in the rest of East Asia region," she said.

2

She said as the interest in Hong Kong mounted, so did scepticism in some quarters.

"The heightened interest in Hong Kong is both a reflection of what is happening in Hong Kong and a growing realisation that Hong Kong matters a great deal to the world.

"I am neither starry-eyed about Hong Kong’s future nor do I believe in total despair. We have to recognise the problems and face up to them.

"My message to you is that one can do that and still be positive about the future," said Mrs Chan.

To back up her faith in Hong Kong, she highlighted the guarantees given in the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law and the issues that had been resolved through the shared commitment by Britain and China.

In addition, she also noted the well-established institutions of Hong Kong, including the rule of law, the open economy of the territory, its legal and judicial system and the highly professional, loyal and corruption-free civil service, which are fundamental to maintaining Hong Kong’s way of life.

She said the most difficult issue facing Hong Kong in the remaining days of the transition was the legislature because of the fundamental difference in the position of the British and Chinese sides.

"All eyes will be on China in the coming months - on how it will go about ensuring that Hong Kong has a credible truly representative legislature after 1997, consistent with the Basic Law and which will command the support of the Hong Kong community and of the international investing public," she said.

The Chief Secretary expressed her wish that Hong Kong could rely on the British business sector’s support to maintain its unique formula for economic success far into the next century and to make a success of the remaining period of transition to 1997.

Above all, she added, it was the support needed for Hong Kong to respond positively to the new opportunities which China's modernisation was creating, not just for the Chinese people but for the entire world economy.

End

3

Journal to promote understanding of China law launched ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The first issue of a quarterly publication aimed at promoting better and wider understanding of the legal system in China is published today (Monday).

The China Law Quarterly, compiled by the China Law Unit of the Legal Policy Division, Legal Department, focuses on legal issues in China, including administrative, civil and criminal law. It also discusses developments in Hong Kong, to advance understanding of the territory's legal system in China.

Better mutual understanding and appreciation of the two disparate legal systems and maintenance of channels of communication will be most important especially after 1997 under "One Country Two Systems".

The first issue of the Quarterly examines the legislative headway made in China in 1994 and the People's Procuratorate.

It also has an article on the views of Professor Chen Guangzhong, Head of the Chinese Legal System Research Institute, ex-President of China University of Political Science and Laws, on the present position and developmental trends of the criminal justice system of China.

In his inaugural editorial of the Quarterly, the Solicitor General, Mr Daniel Fung QC, wrote that China’s recent proposal in its new Five Year Plan to entrench the rule of law so as to found a socialist legal nation released a juridical seismic disturbance of the highest order.

"Conceptually, it marks a radical departure from a 4,000 year-old tradition of government by a combination of moral suasion and coercion exemplified by resort to a body of ethics, convention, custom and penal law," he said.

Coupled with the quantity of legislation passed over the past five year, he noted, the quality of the output warranted attention.

This was reflected in the passage in March of the new Criminal Procedure Law which introduced for the first time into Chinese jurisprudence the concepts of presumption of innocence, placing the burden of proof on the state, restricting the right of the state to impose administrative detention, and incorporated into Chinese law certain notions of common law criminal adversarial jurisprudence.

4

Other examples were privatisation of the Chinese Bar and weaning of lawyers off the Ministry of Justice and the state, passage of the Lawyers’ Law, to take effect in January next year, and publication of the China Law Reports, recording decisions of the Supreme People’s Court, he said.

Officers of the Legal Department has participated as members of the Advisory Board for publication of the China Law Reports in English since 1995.

The China Law Unit also takes part in the comparative study and reception of common law principles in other ways such as the incorporation of Hong Kong jurisprudence and criminal procedure into the training curriculum of Chinese Government legal and law enforcement agencies.

Mr Fung said the China Law Unit was proud to have played a small but pivotal role in these ventures, which would incrementally though radically alter values, attitude and mindset leading, hopefully, to eventual indigenisation of the rule of law in China in anticipation of the coming of the Pacific Century.

A total of 2,500 copies of the journal have been printed and will be distributed within the Government, and to tertiary education institutions and law schools locally and overseas, as well as to government bodies and agencies in China.

End

’’Stay Safe” leaflet published ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government has published a leaflet to advise members of the public on what they should or should not do in order to stay safe during natural disasters and emergencies.

A Government spokesman said today (Monday) that the leaflet also contained a list of useful telephone numbers of Government departments from which assistance could be sought during typhoon, rainstorm, thunderstorm, flooding, landslip, earthquake and nuclear incident.

Chinese version of the leaflet is now available for public collection at district offices. The English version is under preparation and will be available soon.

5

He said that the leaflet formed part of a longer term public education programme to enhance residents’ awareness of how to deal with emergencies and natural disasters.

Other activities to promote this objective will be worked out by a newly created Emergency Support Unit (ESU) under the Security Branch.

Formed by internal deployment, the unit is also responsible for co-ordinating contingency plans within Government departments, providing support to the Government's emergency response system and organising training for staff required to take up duties in emergency management.

In the meantime, the former Government Secretariat Emergency Co-ordination Centre is renamed the Emergency Monitoring and Support Centre (EMSC) from today in order to reflect more accurately its role and functions in the overall Government Emergency Response System.

"EMSC's main role is to act as the monitoring and support centre for the Government Secretariat during a widespread or major emergency.

"We hope this will help correct the commonly held misperception that it is an operational command centre, over and above the operational command centres in the Emergency Services," said the Government spokesman.

EMSC staff will monitor the development of incidents and Government's response. They will also render civilian support to the operations of the emergency services and supporting agencies when required.

The spokesman pointed out that the EMSC is part of the Government's emergency response system.

Most of Government's emergency responses are handled by the emergency departments at the operational level. The EMSC would be called into action only when a major incident causing widespread threats to security, property and life is evolving and where extensive Government emergency response operations were required.

"In discharging its monitoring role, EMSC will liaise closely with other command and communications centres such as the Police Headquarters Command and Control Centre and the Fire Services Communications Centre," he added.

End

6

Employees’ compensation improved ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A number of improvements to the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance will take effect today (Monday).

These improvements made under the Employees’ Compensation (Amendment) Bill 1996 have been passed by the Legislative Council on May 29 and the ordinance was gazetted on June 7.

A spokesman for the Labour Department explained that the amending ordinance would improve the mechanism for settlement of compensation claims and increase the levels of maximum fines.

He said under the existing provisions, there were two parallel systems for determining the amounts of compensation for permanent incapacity.

’’For cases where the loss of earning capacity is not more than five per cent, the amount of compensation is assessed and certified by the Commissioner for Labour under the Certificate System,” said the spokesman.

"Under the Agreement System, if the loss of earning incapacity is over five per cent, the amount is agreed between the employer and the employee subject to the minimum level provided by the law.

"For cases settled by certificate, the Labour Department has pledged to issue a certificate within three weeks of the assessment of the loss of earning capacity by an assessment board.

"The Agreement System involves a more time-consuming procedure as it requires both the employer and the injured employee to agree on the amount of compensation. The average time taken is 55 days.

"In order to reduce the time for determining the amount of compensation and avoid the confusion caused by the two systems, the Agreement System has been repealed whereas the Certificate System will be extended to all cases irrespective of the degree of loss of earning capacity."

Under the Employees’ Compensation (Amendment) Ordinance 1996, the definition of "dependants" has been expanded under which the word "woman" has been replaced by "person" so that both sexes are entitled to equal protection.

7

The definition of ’’member of the family’’ would also be extended to cover parents-in-law, brothers-in-law and sons-in-law.

As regards the levels of maximum fines for certain offences under the Ordinance, the maximum fine has been revised ranging from $10,000 to $100,000.

’’This is to ensure sufficient deterrent effect and to maintain relativity with those offences of a similar nature under the Employment Ordinance,” the spokesman said.

End

Residential Mortgage Survey results for May released ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Residential mortgage loans for the purchase of properties in Hong Kong continued to show significant growth in May, albeit below the 1.6% increase in each of the preceding three months, according to the results of the latest monthly survey conducted by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA).

The latest figures show that the total amount of outstanding mortgage lending by the 33 institutions in the survey increased by 1.3% to $293.5 billion. The growth rate is slightly below the monthly average of 1.4% over the last twelve months.

New loans approved and gross loans advanced during the month both grew sharply. However, the effect of this was offset by a substantially higher amount of repayments which rose by 42% to $9.3 billion during May. Nonetheless, such repayments remained quite modest in relation to the outstanding amount of loans (about 3%).

"The property market remained active in May," said the Deputy Chief Executive of HKMA, Mr David Carse.

"However, the volume of new lending also seems to have been boosted by customers refinancing existing loans to take advantage of lower mortgage rates during the period."

8

The annualised rate of growth in lending over the last three months decreased to 19% from 19.8% in the three-month period to April. The 12-month average of outstanding loans showed an annualised growth rate of 16.4%, compared with 17.7% in April.

The amount of new loans approved but not yet drawn increased by a substantial $6.1 billion (77.9%) to $13.9 billion in May.

"While these figures have no doubt been inflated by refinancing demand, they suggest that the outstanding loans will grow at a rapid rate in June,” said Mr Carse.

The amount of residential mortgage loans associated with co-fmancing schemes accounted for 2.5% of total outstanding mortgage loan of the 33 surveyed institutions at end-May. Of the $19.9 billion new loans approved during May, about 85% were accounted for by properties aged 15 years or below.

Lending for the purchase of properties in China increased by 1% to $5.5 billion in May.

Gross loans made in May decreased in number (to 266 from 300) but increased in amount (to $162 million from $143 million). New loans approved in May increased both in number (to 425 from 286) and amount (to $256 million from $198 million).

- 9 -

Residential Mortgage Loans in Hong Kong Results of Survey for May 1996

May Apr

1996 1996

HK$ Mn HK$ Mn

33 authorised institutions

1. Outstanding lending

a. Amount 293,505 289,600

b. Monthly change 1.3% 1.6%

c. Twelve-month change 16.3% 17.7%

d. Average change (annualized)

Latest three months 19.0% 19.8%

Latest twelve months 16.4% 17.7%

Associated with co-financing schemes

- amount 7,213 6,661

- number 3952 3704

2. Gross loans made during month

a. Amount 13,247 11,181

b. Number 9288 7347

3. New loans approved during month

a. Amount 19,930 12,594

b. Number 12461 8317

By property age

Property age - 15 years or below - amount 16,981 10,800

- number 10186 6789

Property age - above 15 years - amount 2,949 1,794

- number 2275 1528

Associated with co-financing schemes

- amount 855 821

- number 341 339

4. New loans approved during month

but not yet drawn

a. Amount 13,906 7,816

b. Number 8352 5241

- 10 -

Chart A

RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE LOANS IN HONG KONG (33 institutions)

Outstanding balance at end of month

Remarks : The significant fall of outstanding balance in December 1994 was due to the effect of reclassification, securitization and sale of loans by some Institutions.

Monthly growth rate

3-month and 12-month moving average growth rate on annualised basis

□ 3-month + 12-month

- 11 -

Chart B

RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE LOANS IN HONG KONG (33 institutions)

GROSS LOANS MADE DURING THE MONTH

Thousand Billion

Amount

Number of accounts

B2

- 12 -

Chart C

RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE LOANS IN HONG KONG (33 institutions)

NEW LOANS APPROVED BUT NOT YET DRAWN

c o 8

Amount

C1

End

C2

13

HKMA launches Internet Homepage *****

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) launches its homepage today (Monday), providing a wealth of timely monetary and banking information of Hong Kong around the clock and around the globe.

Internet surfers can reach the HKMA Homepage at http://www.info.gov.hk/hkma.

The HKMA Homepage includes descriptions of what the HKMA is and what it does, together with an introduction of its organisation and operations.

It also features information on the linked exchange rate system, Hong Kong's monetary system after 1997, development of the debt market, banking in Hong Kong, notes and coins of Hong Kong, the Exchange Fund and Foreign Reserves in Hong Kong as well as the 1997 World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings to be held in Hong Kong in September next year.

Monthly updated monetary and banking statistics, together with latest speeches, press releases and even HKMA's recruitment adverts are available at finger tips. Application forms for HKMA vacancies and subscription forms for HKMA publications are also available at the Homepage.

"The HKMA Homepage truly expands our ability to keep the general public abreast with the development of our local monetary system, allowing the world to keep track on what is happening in the financial system of Hong Kong," said Chief Executive of HKMA, Mr Joseph Yam.

"The launch of the HKMA Internet Homepage further represents our commitment to promote public understanding and transparency of our objectives and policies."

Anyone who would like more information on the HKMA Homepage is welcome to send electronic mail enquiries to the Press and Publications Section of HKMA at gov_hkma@hk.super.net or call at 2878 8261 or fax to 2878 1892.

End

14

Special education report now ready in Chinese ♦ * * ♦ ♦

School sponsors, serving school principals and teachers, practitioners in special education sector and related fields and members of the public are invited to give views and suggestions on a report on the review of local special education.

The Report, prepared by the Board of Education Sub-committee on Special Education, recommends a package of comprehensive measures to improve special education in the territory.

It offers 70 improvement recommendations, covering 10 areas in special education:

administration and co-ordination of special education;

educational concerns in special education;

* provisions in the Code of Aid for special schools;

* the curriculum and related matters;

* teacher education;

education for children with learning difficulties;

* education fro the gifted;

* education for the maladjusted;

* practical schools and skills opportunity schools; and

* other measures for further improvement.

Copies of the report in Chinese will be available for collection tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon at the Education Department’s reception counter on 10th floor, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, and Perth Street Special Education Services Centre, 6 Perth Street, Ho Man Tin, Kowloon.

The English version of the report and the executive summary (in English and Chinese) have already been distributed to the public in early June.

Views and suggestions on the report should reach the Board Secretary, Mrs Fanny Lam, at Room 1123, Education Department Headquarters, Wu Chung House, on or before next Monday (July 8).

Enquiries about the report may be directed to Mrs Lam on 2892 6630.

End

15

BN(O) applications for citizens bom between 1987 and 1991 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The final date for Hong Kong British Dependent Territories citizens (BDTCs) born between 1987 and 1991 to apply for British National (Overseas) (BN(O) passports will be on September 30, a government spokesperson reminded the public today (Monday).

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

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

Parents or legal guardians of eligible children bom between 1987 and 1991 must submit their applications on or before September 30.

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 arc advised to apply early.

BDTCs living, working or studying abroad, are also required to observe the cutoff dates if they want to apply for a BN(O) passport. However, they are not required to return to the territory to do it.

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 there are special circumstances which justify the 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.

16

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 box service. Drop-in boxes are 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

Colloquium on conserving Chinese white dolphins

*****

Starting today (Monday), a three-day colloquium will be held in Hong Kong with the objective of developing a comprehensive management study for conserving and protecting the territory's Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins (commonly known as Chinese white dolphins).

Eight overseas dolphin and cetacean experts, together with speakers with local expertise, from companies, tertiary institutions and various government departments, will be making presentations at the colloquium over the next two days. It will be followed by workshop discussion sessions on Wednesday.

In his welcoming address, Director of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr Lawrence Lee, said the colloquium was expected to help focus on the important issues that threatened the continued survival of the Chinese white dolphins.

Dr Lee said: "The talks and workshop discussion sessions will be of considerable assistance in developing a comprehensive management strategy for the conservation and protection of the Chinese white dolphins in Hong Kong.

17

"To give the dolphins a fighting chance of surviving in the 21st century all major threats must be identified. Having formulated a management strategy we will proceed to implement a management plan."

On the issue of Chinese white dolphins in Hong Kong territorial waters, Dr Lee said it came up following the decision to build the new airport at Chek Lap Kok. Large scale reclamation and associated development works had potential impact on these dolphins, whose population was so far little known.

A number of research studies and conservation work have been or being carried out by the Government to help protect these endangered mammals, he said.

In 1993, a three-year study on the local dolphin population was jointly conducted by the Agriculture and Fisheries Department and the Swire Institute of Marine Science, University of Hong Kong.

In March last year, a one-year study, including a controversial estimate of the Chinese white dolphin population, was completed by Dr Thomas Jefferson, a consultant to the Airport Authority (AA).

Dr Jefferson is working closely with the Ocean Park Conservation Foundation and is continuing his studies under an agreement with AFD which commenced in April this year, he said.

Another AA’s consultant, Dr B Wursig had recommended the Government set up a dolphin sanctuary in the waters north of Lantau. Indeed, the designation of a marine park around Lung Kwu Chau and East Sha Chau was gazetted last April. In early 1995, a Marine Mammal Conservation Working Group with members drawn from green groups, academics and other government departments was formed to advise the establishment of the marine park.

Turning to the colloquium, Dr Lee said the first two days’ talk sessions were mainly on status of cetacean knowledge, Hong Kong marine environment, human influences and management aspects.

The group discussions on Wednesday will centre on topics including fishery interactions with human dimensions, water quality and pollution issues, dolphin watching, marine traffic and noise as well as habitat loss and fragmentation.

End

18

Witnesses to hoverferry and tanker collision sought ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The investigator in charge of a local marine inquiry into the collision between a hoverferry and a tanker off Tsing Yi Island on June 27 is anxious to meet the passengers on board the ferry and other witnesses.

The collision occurred at about 9.50 am when the locally licensed hoverferry, HYF 120, and the locally licensed tanker, Feoso 8, collided about 0.6 nautical mile southeast of Tsing Yi Island.

Ten passengers of the hoverferry were injured in the collision. Both vessels sustained damage.

The investigator, Mr S 11 Tse, a surveyor of ships with the Marine Department, is anxious to contact any passengers on board the ferry and any witnesses to the incident.

They are advised to contact Mr Tse on 2852 4898 or fax their contacts on 2545

0556.

End

Industrial awards donation sponsors praised *****

The Director-General of Industry, Mrs Regina Ip, today (Monday) paid tribute to 23 sponsors who had donated $4 million this year for the Hong Kong Awards for Industry.

Speaking at a cheque presentation ceremony, Mrs Ip said: "The award scheme would not have been so successful without the generous donations of our sponsors.”

The Awards, organised for the eighth consecutive year in 1996, was initiated by the Government in 1989 to give recognition to outstanding achievements in industrial performance.

Since then, the awards have become widely accepted as the highest and most prestigious accolades for industry, and a stimulus to sustained qualitative improvement in industrial performance.

19

"Winning a Hong Kong Award identifies a manufacturing company as an organisation committed to the pursuit of excellence in the production of goods and services which meet the expectations of its customers," Mrs Ip said.

Commenting on the 150 entries for this year's contest, Mrs Ip said: "The fact that more and more companies have come forward to participate in the Hong Kong Awards is clear indication that our manufacturers are increasingly confident of their industrial performance.

"In their determination to remain competitive in world market, our manufacturers are attaching increasing importance to increasing productivity, improving design, quality, environmental performance and export marketing."

The assessment of the entries for the six categories of this year's Hong Kong Awards is now under way. Final judging under the chairmanship of Executive Council member, Mr Andrew Li, will take place at the end of the month and the awards will be presented by the Governor at the presentation ceremony on September 23.

A total of six awards will be presented, one each for the six categories of consumer product design, machinery and equipment design, quality, productivity, environmental performance, and export marketing.

Seventeen out of the 23 sponsors each presented cheques for $200,000 at the presentation ceremony. They are: Chekiang First Bank Ltd; Chen Hsong Holdings Ltd; Chiaphua-Shinko Copper Alloy Co Ltd; Fang Brothers Knitting Ltd; Gold Peak Industries (Holdings) Ltd; Hang Seng Bank Ltd; The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd; The Hong Kong Industrial Estates Corporation; The Kowloon Motor Bus Co (1933) Ltd; Lippo Group; Motorola Semiconductors Hong Kong Ltd; New World Telephone Ltd; Shanghai Commercial Bank Ltd; Standard Chartered Bank; VTech Group of Companies; Mr Vincent W F Woo; and YKK Hong Kong Ltd.

The remaining six each presenting cheques for $100,000 are: ACL Group; the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce; the Hong Kong Industrial Technology Centre Corporation; Hong Kong Petrochemical Co Ltd; Regatex Manufacturers Ltd; and Sino Land Co Ltd.

The cheques were received by representatives of the six organising bodies of the Awards, namely, the Industry Department, the Federation of Hong Kong Industries, the Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Productivity Council, the Private Sector Committee on the Environment, and the Trade Development Council.

End

20

Revised trade licences fees and charges effective on July 5 *****

The Trade Department reminded today (Monday) that revised fees and charges in respect of applications for textile licences, certificates of origin and other trade documents and related services would come into effect on July 5.

Effective on the same day will be a new scale of subscription fees for Trade Notices and Circulars, which have been revised as a result of a recent review.

The revised annual fee for factory registration will, however, come into force on August 1 while those for Generalised Preference Certificates and Certificates of Origin will be effective as from January 2 next year.

A spokesman for the Trade Department explained that the revision of fees and charges under the Import and Export (Fees) (Amendment) Regulation 1996 was necessary to recover the cost.

He said: "It is Government policy that the fees and charges should recover the full cost of providing a service and that a comprehensive costing exercise should be conducted once every four years.

"In the interim years, fee reviews are conducted annually to reflect inflation as measured by the movement of the Government Consumption Expenditure Deflator. The revised fees and charges are determined in line with this policy."

The spokesman said the measure of inflation for Government expenditure had worked out to be nine per cent this year and the revised fees were arrived at by applying the nine per cent factor with some of the figures rounded up or down for the convenience of collection or affixing stamps with appropriate denominations.

The revised fees and charges to be implemented with effect from July 5, 1996

(unless otherwise specified) are as follows:-

Fees

Type of Application Current Revised

Application for issue of textiles export licence - non-restrained items (Form 4) $48 $52

$185

$202

Application for issue of textiles export licence - restrained items (Form 5)

21

Annual fee for registration of companies for textiles control purposes $1,470 $1,600

Application for transfer of quota $240 $262

Application for swing of quota $215 $235

Application for free quota export authorisation $435 $475

Application for textiles import $34 $37

Iicence(Form 7)

Application for licence issued under the (Textiles)Scheme for piece-knitted garments:

Special Export and Import Licensing

a) Export Licence -restrained items (Form 8) $185 $202

b) Special export licence -non-restrained items (Forms 8a and 8d) $50 $54

c) Special import licence -non-restrained items (Forms 8b, 8c and 8e) $36 $40

Official signature fees charged for the issue of certified true copies (CTC)of licence and certificates $258 $280

Annual fee for Textiles Trader Registration $2,420 $2,640

Delivery vertification certificate $174 $190

International import certificate $56 $61

Landing certificate $330 $360

Signature fees for certifying copy of trade declarations and cargo manifests $210 $229

22

Provision of official records of $ 13 $ 14

statistical data derived or (per page) (per page)

extracted from import and export manifests /

Annual fee for factory registration $2,575 $2,807

(effective from August 1, 1996)

Certificate of Origin (CO) other than $ 137 $ 149

Generalised Preference Certificate

(effective from January 2, 1997)

Generalised Preference Certificate $278 $303

(Form A) (effective from January 2, 1997)

The new scale of subscription fees per annum for Trade Notices and Circulars with effect from July 5, 1996 are as follows:

Circulars Current Revised

Notice to Exporters

”O” Series

Series 1: USA $192 $209

Series 2: EU $192 $209

Series 3: Countries other than USA and EU $192 $209

"A" Series

Series 1: USA $122 $133

Series 2: EU $122 $133

Series 3: Countries other than USA and EU $122 $133

Certification Branch Circulars $117 $128

Commercial Information Circulars $192 $209

End

23

Requisition forms to obtain rental information issued ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Rating and Valuation Department is now preparing for a regular three yearly general revaluation where rateable values of all properties in Hong Kong will be reviewed.

The revised rateable values will take effect from April 1 next year.

Some 450,000 requisition forms are issued to ratepayers today (Monday), seeking details of rents and other terms of tenancies for different categories of property including residential, commercial and industrial premises.

These forms are issued on a selective basis to ratepayers of properties where there are likely to be recently negotiated rents.

A spokesman for the department stressed that ratepayers who received the forms must complete and return them within the 21 days allowed.

If they have difficulties in returning the form within the specified period, they may apply, with reasons, for an extension. Failure to return the form may result in penalties being imposed.

Anyone who is in doubt as to how to complete the form may telephone the number printed on the form, or may visit the department at 17th Floor, Hennessy Centre, 500 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, where assistance will be given.

Assistance may also be obtained from any public enquiry service centres at district offices.

End

Water storage figure ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Storage in Hong Kong’s reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 92.5 per cent of capacity or 542.066 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 393.986 million cubic metres of water, representing 67.2 per cent of capacity.

End

24

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

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 3,925 0930 -1,967

Closing balance in the account 2,785 1000 -1,967

Change attributable to : 1100 -1,967

Money market activity -1,970 1200 -1,970

LAF today +830 1500 -1,970

1600 -1,970

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.4 *-0.1* 1.7.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.14 2 years 2805 6.30 100.21 6.27

1 month 5.09 3 years 3904 6.30 99.33 6.67

3 months 5.20 5 years 5106 7.23 100.23 7.30

6 months 5.42 7 years 7305 7.60 100.67 7.61

12 months 5.75 5 years M502 7.30 99.87 7.47

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $17,080 million

Closed July 1, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Tuesday, July 2,1996

Contents Page No.

Govt responds to Consumer Council’s recommendations on broadcasting .. 1

Proposal to issue two VOD licences approved............................... 3

Bill to enhance COMAC’s operation......................................... 5

LRC issues report on hearsay rules in civil proceedings................... 6

Exhibition to promote employment of the disabled.......................... 7

Deadline for software design competition.................................. 8

Clubhouse operator fined for illegal alterations.......................... 9

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results.............................. 10

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

1

Govt responds to Consumer Council’s recommendations on broadcasting ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government today (Tuesday) issued its response to the Consumer Council’s report on competition in the broadcasting environment which was published in January this year.

Describing the report a valuable and timely contribution to the debate on broadcasting policy, the Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport, Mr Chau Tak-hay, said the Government had accepted many of the ideas put forward. In particular, it has accepted the Council’s recommendation to review the royalties charged to ATV and TVB.

"The Government will be putting proposals to the Legislative Council to cut the top rate from 10 per cent to nine per cent, and to restructure the marginal bands," he said.

"On this basis, TVB’s 1995/96 royalty payments would have been reduced by almost $20 million, while those of ATV would have fallen by about $45 million," Mr Chau said.

"As part of the same package, the Government will be re-introducing full-cost recovery licence fees, to be implemented in full as soon as the reduced royalty rates come into force," he added.

Responding to the Council’s recommendation for a new branch encompassing responsibility for both broadcasting and telecommunications, Mr Chau said the Government fully recognised the significance of converging technologies and the importance of keeping policy abreast of technological and market developments.

However, he pointed out that both the Broadcasting, Culture and Sport Branch and the Broadcasting Authority (BA) worked closely with the Economic Services Branch and the Telecommunications Authority, which was represented on the Authority.

"There may be advantage in future in combining policy responsibility for broadcasting and telecommunications," he said. "But broadcasters are only one group of telecommunications users, and the needs of other groups should also be borne in mind.

2

"For the time being, therefore, we think that there is some merit in keeping these policy responsibilities separate. Nonetheless, given the rapid changes in broadcasting markets and technologies, we shall keep the matter under review".

The Government has also endorsed the Council's view that newspaper owners, their associates and controllers should be disqualified from holding television licences. It plans to bring forward legislation to this effect in the next Legislative Council session.

Mr Chau further disclosed that the Government had proposed to lift the specific ban on Hong Kong Telecom (HKT) participating in the pay TV market and to allow it to bid for any licence under the Television Ordinance. However, to avoid the risk the HKT might dominate the market for the supply of television services through a fixed wire network, the Government intends to maintain the existing ban on HKT exercising control over the first pay television licensee.

On public participation in the work of the Broadcasting Authority (BA), Mr Chau noted that some 600 members of the public were already serving on various television advisory committees and panels. "We believe that the BA already has access to a wide range of relevant experience and expertise, while facilitating the efficient despatch of business," he said.

The Authority has held a number of public hearings on licence renewals in recent years and is currently looking at the scope for opening meetings of its Working Group on Codes of Practice to the public.

As regards the Council's call for the free competition clauses contained in broadcasting licences to be strengthened and given statutory backing, the Secretary said no problems had yet been encountered with the existing provisions, which were very wide-ranging. He pointed out that the Broadcasting Authority already had a variety of sanctions to enforce the provisions and he did not consider that there was a need for legislation unless a practical need could be demonstrated.

On public broadcasting issues, Mr Chau maintained that the Government did not see any justification for changing its decision last year not to take up channels on Wharf Cable for public broadcasting and community access services.

He said it would be difficult to justify the cost, adding that there were already many avenues for community groups and individuals to air their views.

"Moreover, public access channels elsewhere have come to be dominated by a few groups, and raise difficult regulatory issues," he added.

End

3

Proposal to issue two VOD licences approved * * * * *

The Govemor-in-Council has endorsed proposals to issue two video on demand (VOD) programme service licences, but not to issue any additional pay television licences pending a review of the TV environment in 1998.

The proposals were made by the Broadcasting, Culture and Sport Branch following public consultation earlier in the year on the regulation of VOD and the deregulation of the pay TV market.

Announcing the endorsement today (Tuesday), the Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport, Mr Chau Tak-hay, said the Government’s preference would have been to deregulate the television market as soon and as thoroughly as possible.

’’But we felt constrained to take account of the present circumstances of the television market,” he said.

"Allowing additional pay TV operations could render the present licensee financially unviable, and that would not be in the best interests of Hong Kong in general, or subscribers in particular."

The two VOD programme service licences will be offered once the Television Ordinance has been amended to provide a framework for television services using VOD technology. The Government aims to introduce an amendment bill to the Legislative Council in the next session.

Mr Chau believed that it was fair to regulate this new means of delivering television service in the same way as other television services, that was, they would be subject to the same restrictions on ownership and control, and they would also pay royalties in respect of subscription and advertising revenues.

The Broadcasting Authority will devise new codes of practice for VOD programme services which can be more flexible than other codes, where this is warranted.

The Telecommunications Authority will be empowered to determine the terms and conditions of interconnection between VOD programme service licensees and the networks of fixed telecommunication network licensees.

4

Those on-line information and multi-media services which do not constitute television programmes will not be regulated under the Television Ordinance.

Mr Chau also disclosed that following careful consideration of the points made by ATV and TVB, the Government was prepared to reduce the rate of royalties charged on advertising revenue to the two companies from 10 per cent to nine per cent, with adjustments to the marginal bands that will be particularly beneficial to ATV.

"On this basis, TVB's 1995-96 royalty payments would have been reduced by almost $20 million, while those of ATV would have fallen by about $45 million," Mr Chau said.

"The proposals will be put to the Legislative Council as part of a package, including the re-introduction of full-cost fees, immediately after the reduced royalties come into force."

As regards the restrictions on the ownership and control of licensees under the Television Ordinance, including VOD programme service licensees, the Secretary said these would remain basically unchanged.

The present categories of "disqualified persons" under the Television Ordinance will be retained, although companies transmitting sound or television material will be allowed to apply for any licence under the ordinance, provided they are not otherwise disqualified.

This will allow telecommunications companies and regional satellite broadcasters to bid for licences; by the same token, domestic licensees will no longer be excluded from exercising control of regional satellite broadcasters.

Mr Chau also said the specific restriction on Hong Kong Telecom holding a pay TV licence would be lifted, but it would not be allowed to gain control of the existing pay TV licensee.

Newspaper owners will be added to the list of disqualified persons, although those who would become disqualified in respect of shareholdings as at March 26 (when the Government's proposals were published) will be exempted from this restriction, provided that they have not increased their holdings after that date.

Both the initial pay TV licensee and any future pay TV licensees would be permitted to carry advertising, and would pay royalty on advertising revenue, Mr Chau added.

End

5

Bill to enhance COMAC's operation ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Govemor-in-Council today (Tuesday) endorsed the introduction of the Commissioner for Administrative Complaints (Amendment) Bill 1996 into the Legislative Council on July 10.

The Bill aims to enhance the operation of the Commissioner for Administrative Complaints (COMAC) and to provide him with greater flexibility in procedural matters.

"Giving COMAC greater flexibility in procedural matters will enable him to deal with simple complaints in a more efficient manner," a government spokesman said.

The Bill also seeks to bring the Police, the Independent Commission Against Corruption, and the Secretariats of the Independent Police Complaints Council and the Public Service Commission within COMAC's purview in the exercise of their administrative functions in relation to the Code on Access to Information so that COMAC can investigate complaints of non-compliance with the Code against these bodies.

"A common independent review body for all government departments will enable complaints under the Code on Access to Information to be handled more efficiently and consistently," the spokesman added.

The Code on Access to Information is to be extended throughout the Administration by the end of the year.

The Bill also proposes that COMAC’s English title be changed to "The Ombudsman".

The spokesman said COMAC considered that this would facilitate his contacts with his overseas counterparts. No change is proposed to his Chinese title.

End

6

LRC issues report on hearsay rules in civil proceedings ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Law Reform Commission today (Tuesday) issued a report which recommends the abolition of the hearsay rules in civil proceedings.

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

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

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

The report issued today contains the Commission’s final recommendations on the subject and reflects the comments made in response to a consultation paper issued in August 1992. Mr Stoker said there had been widespread support for the abolition of the hearsay rule.

The main recommendations in the report are:-

(1) Subject to safeguards, all hearsay evidence, whether first-hand or multiple hearsay, should be admitted in all civil proceedings.

(2) There should be no special provision for parties to a civil action to give notice of their intention to call hearsay evidence at the trial, and the issue as to whether such a notice should be given should be left to the informal arrangement between the parties.

(3) There should be power to call and cross-examine a witness whose evidence has been tendered as hearsay by another party.

(4) Statutory guidelines should be laid down to assist the courts in assessing the weight to be attached to hearsay evidence.

7

(5) Documents, including those stored by computer, which form part of the records of a business or public authority, should be admissible subject to safeguards.

(6) The absence of an entry can be proved by the oral evidence or affidavit of an officer of the business or public authority to which the records belong.

Mr Stoker said the reform proposals will apply to all civil proceedings to which the strict rules of evidence apply. He said the Commission’s recommendations will soon be passed to the Administration for consideration.

End

Exhibition to promote employment of the disabled *****

The Labour Department's Selective Placement Division (SPD) will hold a three-day exhibition from Friday (July 5) in Tsim Sha Tsui to promote employment opportunities for people with a disability.

There will be video shows and exhibition panels introducing the various disabilities, the work of the disabled and the services provided by SPD.

Moreover, an enquiry counter will be set up to answer public enquiries and distribute booklets and leaflets.

Employers who wish to recruit disabled workers can give details of their vacancies to the counter staff and disabled job-seekers can also leave behind their contacts for registration arrangement.

A quiz game with souvenirs will be held during the exhibition to enhance public understanding of the working abilities of people with a disability.

The exhibition will be held from 10 am to 6 pm each day at the Western Gallery B, New World Centre, 20 Salisbury Road. Admission is free.

End

8

Deadline for software design competition ♦ * * ♦ *

The Department of Health today (Tuesday) reminded students and members of the public that the computer game software design competition organised by the Department to promote the cultivation of healthy lifestyles would close on July 8 (Monday).

Attractive prizes will be given to winners of the two divisions, namely the student division and the open division.

The champion of each division will receive a laptop computer, while the first and second runners-up will be presented prizes worth about $10,000 and $5,000 respectively.

Two special prizes will also be given for the most educational and the most creative entries. Each winner will get a cash coupon of $5,000.

Furthermore, all participating units, whether individual or group, will receive a souvenir.

"Entries for the competition should be able to bring out messages on the importance of healthy life practices and the methods of diseases prevention in general.

"They will be judged on their effectiveness in bringing out the messages, their attractiveness, creativity and visual effects, and whether they are easy to use and be understood by the general public.

"Some of them may be selected for public display at the Department's Student Health Service Centres and Health Education Centres," a spokesman for the Department said.

Participants are free to make use of animation cartoon stories, still or motion image games, or questions and answers format in designing their entries.

Application forms for the competition can be obtained from secondary schools and government general out-patient clinics.

9

The completed form, together with the entry, must be submitted to the Student Health Service Division of the Department of Health, fourth floor, Lam Tin Polyclinic, 99 Kai Tin Road, Kwun Tong, by hand or by mail on or before next Monday. Enquiries can be made on 2349 2772.

The competition is organised jointly with the Hong Kong Computer Society and the Hong Kong Association for Computer Education, and is sponsored by the LECCO Consultants Limited.

End

Clubhouse operator fined for illegal alterations *****

A clubhouse operator was fined $30,000 by Eastern Magistracy today (Tuesday) after pleading guilty to changing the layout of a Wan Chai premises without prior permission from the Home Affairs Department's Licensing Authority (LA).

The court heard that when LA officers inspected the clubhouse at Flat 3, Block B, first floor, Johnston Building, 86-90 Johnston Road, in November last year, they found it had been expanded to the two adjoining flats without the Authority's prior approval.

As the renovation works had contravened the conditions of the certificate of exemption for the premises, the operator was subsequently charged under Sections 5 and 21 of the Clubs (Safety of Premises) Ordinance.

A spokesman for the department reminded clubhouse operators that they should observe the conditions stipulated in their licences or certificates of exemption and that the Government takes a serious view of cases in which the safety of guests is compromised.

Enforcement action will continue to be taken to ensure all clubhouses meet the fire and building safety standards, he said.

End

10

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

Tender date Paper on offer 2 Jul 96 EF bills 2 Jul 96 EF bills

Issue number Q627 H668

Issue date 3 Jul 96 3 Jul 96

Maturity date 2 Oct 96 2 Jan 97

Coupon - -

Amount applied HK$5,640 MN HK$3,707 MN

Amount allotted HK$ 1,500 MN HKS800 MN

Average yield accepted 5.21 PCT 5.42 PCT

Highest yield accepted 5.22 PCT 5.42 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 77 PCT About 91 PCT

Average tender yield 5.23 PCT 5.43 PCT

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

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

Tender date 9 Jul 96 9 Jul 96

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q628 Y691

Issue date 10 Jul 96 10 Jul 96

Maturity date 9 Oct 96 9 Jul 97

Tenor 91 days 364 days

Amount on offer HK$ 1,500+300 MN HKS5OO+15O MN

End

11

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

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,785 0930 -825

Closing balance in the account 2,004 1000 -825

Change attributable to : 1100 -825

Money market activity -834 1200 -826

LAF today +53 1500 -826

1600 -834

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.5 *+0.1* 2.7.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.17 2 years 2805 6.30 100.22 6.28

1 month 5.12 3 years 3904 6.30 99.33 6.67

3 months 5.21 5 years 5106 7.23 100.28 7.29

6 months 5.41 7 years 7305 7.60 100.71 7.60

12 months 5.74 5 years M502 7.30 99.87 7.47

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $12,374 million

Closed July 2, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Wednesday, July 3, 1996

Setting up of mortgage corporation approved................................ 1

IPCC Bill.................................................................. 3

Proposed changes to Mental Health Regulations approved..................... 5

Public cargo areas revised tender arrangement rejected..................... 6

Drug abuse statistics for first quarter released........................... 7

Amendments to prison rules proposed........................................ 9

Government draws up action plan to enhance industrial safety.............. 10

Land Registry statistics released......................................... 12

VMs from Whitehead Detention Centre to be transferred..................... 14

VMs transferred in dual operation at Whitehead............................ 14

Monitors' Report submitted to CS.......................................... 15

Launching of Summer Youth Programme on Saturday........................... 15

Public consultation on special education report........................... 16

Respect Our Teachers English Essay Contest................................ 17

Three lots to let..................................................... 18

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

Setting up of mortgage corporation approved ♦ * * * ♦

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced today (Wednesday) that the Exchange Fund Advisory Committee has given approval in principle to the setting up of a mortgage corporation along the following lines:

* the mortgage corporation would be owned by the Government initially through the Exchange Fund with a capital base of $1 billion;

* the corporation would be a limited company established under the Companies Ordinance; and

• • • * •

* the corporation would develop its business in two phases, starting with the purchase of mortgage loans for its own portfolio, followed by the issue of mortgage-backed securities.

The decision to establish a mortgage corporation was made following a consultation exercise that ended in mid-June.

During the consultation period, HKMA convened a number of briefings and discussions with the various institutions and industry associations to explain the proposal and to get comments.

In addition, written comments on the proposal were received from 23 organisations/individuals from a wide spectrum of the community including the banking sector, capital market participants, real estate developers, political groups and academics.

Commenting on the feedback obtained during the consultation, Chief Executive of HKMA, Mr Joseph Yam, said: ’’The overall reaction was very favourable, indicating broad agreement that the establishment of a mortgage corporation will contribute to banking and monetary stability, debt market development and home financing.

"There is also strong support for initial government ownership of the corporation in securing the acceptance and recognition of the corporation by the market."

2

Some comments and concerns have been expressed on specific aspects of the mortgage corporation proposal, including notably the projection of the shortfall in mortgage funds, effects of the corporation on banks' mortgage lending business, impact on the property sector, risk management issues, corporate structure and involvement of HKMA, as well as the features of the debt securities to be issued by the mortgage corporation.

"We have thoroughly considered all the comments and concerns on the proposal.

"Our assessment is that the setting up of the corporation would not have adverse implications for the banking sector and the property market.

"In fact, most of the comments and concerns can be addressed through a careful definition of the business scope of the mortgage corporation, a high degree of transparency in its operation, a broad representation on its Board of Directors and the putting in place of prudent risk management measures and mechanism," Mr Yam said.

HKMA will now proceed with the preparatory work for the setting up of the mortgage corporation.

As a first step, HKMA will prepare the draft memorandum and articles of association of the corporation, and finalise the organisational structure and human resource arrangements.

There is also a need to develop the purchasing and servicing standards, the information technology system and the asset and liability management mechanism of the corporation.

It is tentatively estimated by HKMA that the mortgage corporation would be able to commence operation in 12 months' time.

"We will fully consult the banking industry, capital market participants and other interested parties in the preparatory work to ensure that the concerns and requirements of the loan originators, capital markets, institutional investors, mortgage loan borrowers and other participants are taken into account," Mr Yam added.

End

3

IPCC Bill ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The government today (Wednesday) announced the introduction of a Bill to provide the statutory power for the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) to monitor and review investigations of complaints against the police. The Bill will be introduced into the Legislative Council on July 10.

A government spokesman said the Independent Police Complaints Council Bill would empower the Council to require CAPO to reinvestigate any complaint. The Bill provides that the IPCC may interview witnesses, complainants and complainees. Council members can also conduct scheduled or surprise visit to observe investigations by the Complaint Against Police Office (CAPO) directly.

’’According to the Bill, the Council shall in each year make a report to the Governor concerning the exercise of its functions and the Governor shall lay the report before the Legislative Council," he added.

The Bill also extends the same protection and privileges to members of the Council as are given to magistrates.

The spokesman pointed out that a number of measures had been introduced in recent years to improve the police complaints system, such as the installation of closed circuit television, video or tape-recording facilities in CAPO.

In addition, the government will implement the recommendations arising from an independent review of CAPO procedures conducted under the IPCC's aegis, and a tripartite comparative study of police complaints systems elsewhere.

The independent review was conducted by Mr Allan Chow, a directorate Administrative Officer seconded to IPCC in January this year, while the tripartite study was carried out by a group comprising representatives of the IPCC, Security Branch and the Police who had visited ten police jurisdictions in North America, Australia, Japan and Singapore since October last year.

Improvement measures to be taken are summarised as follows :

* To address the concern that some complaints may have taken considerable time to complete, CAPO will set time limits on handling complaints. These include contacting a complainant within two working days, providing progress report to the complainant every two months, aiming to complete investigation of complaint cases within four months - it will be shorter in practice if the case is less complicated.

F

4

* To enhance transparency of the system, IPCC will open part of its meetings to the public; complainants will be given more details of the investigation results; and leaflets on police complaints investigation procedures and the monitoring procedures of IPCC will be made available at all police stations and District Offices for distribution. Three million dollars will be allocated to launch publicity programmes over a three-year period.

* To ensure serious cases will receive adequate attention in the complaints system, the IPCC will set up a special panel to monitor serious cases, after which it will submit its findings in a special report to the Governor.

* To enhance the capability of the IPCC, one additional Vice-chairman and three additional members will be appointed to the Council. Besides, one more vetting team will be provided.

* CAPO procedures will be tightened up by making "tipping-off' officers being complained a disciplinary offence.

* Regular surveys and researches will be conducted to gauge public opinion towards the overall performance of the Force including the police complaints system.

Commenting on the findings of the reports, the spokesman said: "The Hong Kong system is not out of step with other overseas Police jurisdictions."

"Hong Kong is one of the few Asian territories where complaints against police are subject to the oversight of a civilian body."

"This body comprises Executive and Legislative Councillors and members from other walks of life."

"The implementation of the recommendations of the two reports will ensure that complaints are handled thoroughly, impartially and with due expedition."

End

5

Proposed changes to Mental Health Regulations approved ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Executive Council has endorsed proposals to amend the Mental Health Regulations to bring them in line with the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance, a Government spokesman said today (Wednesday).

The Mental Health (Amendment) Regulation 1996 spells out the precise conditions under which the medical superintendent of a mental hospital may exercise his powers to interfere with or to impose restrictions on the activities of patients and their communications with outsiders.

The existing regulations provide for such powers without specifying the conditions. They may therefore be said to permit arbitrary interference with a patients' privacy and freedom.

"The amendments will remove the arbitrariness and uncertainty implicit in the existing provisions," the spokesman said.

"It will enable a patient or any person intending to communicate with a patient to judge whether his proposed action is likely to be subject to intervention," he added.

The existing Mental Health Regulations empower the medical superintendent to, amongst others, censor letters, postal packets, parcels or other matters addressed to or sent by patients, and to restrict patients' possession or receipt of articles or certain things.

"It is necessary to retain the current statutory powers of a medical superintendent so that they can be invoked if circumstances so warrant," the spokesman explained.

"It may be necessary to interfere with the activities of patients or their communications for the prevention of unnecessary distress to themselves, or for prevention of fictitious or defamatory allegations made by patients who may not fully understand the consequences of their acts," he added.

The Mental Health (Amendment) Regulation will be gazetted this Friday (July 5) and be tabled before the Legislative Council on July 10.

End

6

Public cargo areas revised tender arrangement rejected *****

The Marine Department has expressed its disappointment over cargo operators’ objection to a revised arrangement for tendering berths of the Public Cargo Working Areas (PCWAs).

After careful studies of the views expressed by some cargo operators, the Marine Department revised the tender arrangement to incorporate a regionalised element.

The nine PCWAs in the territory are either grouped in Region 1 or Region 2 according to their geographical locations. Those locate in the eastern part of the territory are grouped in Region 1 and the rest, in the western part, in Region 2.

Operators whose operations are normally based in PCWAs in the eastern part of the territory are allowed to bid for berths of PCWAs grouped in Region 1 while those in the eastern part in Region 2.

The PCWAs in Cha Kwo Ling, Kwun Tong, Chai Wan and Wan Chai are grouped into Region 1 and those in the Rambler Channel, Tsuen Wan, Western, Sheung Wan and Yau Ma Tei in Region 2.

"The regional restriction is intended to remove the unwarranted worries of some operators that they may be forced to work their cargo in another district if they are allowed to bid for a berth in any one of the nine PCWAs as in the previous proposal,” the Assistant Director of Marine (Planning and Local Services), Mr Raymond Tang, said today (Wednesday).

’’The cargo handling/transportation business is a mobile business. Relocation to another district within the small confine of Hong Kong should not cause them any operational problem."

Representatives from the cargo operators associations were informed of the new proposed arrangement at a meeting chaired by Mr Tang this afternoon.

Mr Tang assured them that no operator would be forced out of business be it under the previous arrangement or the latest proposed system.

"We have built-in measures to safeguard the interests of the existing operators. Fine-tuning the arrangement is only for the purpose of putting the operators' mind at ease," Mr Tang said.

7

The operators rejected the new regionalised arrangement and demanded a district-based arrangement.

They insisted that only existing operators at a particular PCWA are allowed to bid for the berths in that PCWA.

Mr Tang said: "The objective for introducing a tender system is to ensure a fair and open berth allocation system in the PCWAs and to enhance productivity.

"The demand of a district-based tender system from some operators is entirely for their own interests.

"Their proposal would only lead to rigging the whole tender exercise. It is not fair and.does not offer a level playing field to those operators who would like to increase their cargo throughput by bidding a better location."

The Marine Department will report the outcome of today’s meeting to a government working group which oversees the management reform in PCWAs.

End

Drug abuse statistics for first quarter released

*****

The figure of young drug abusers for the first quarter in 1996 continues to decrease for the fifth consecutive quarter, according to the statistics released by the Government’s Central Registry of Drug Abuse today (Wednesday).

The number of reported drug abusers under the age of 21 decreased by 15.5 per cent to 1,185 in the first quarter this year, when compared with 1,403 in the same period of 1995.

Among them, 467 were reported for the first time, representing a drop of 20.3 per cent against 586 last year. The other 718 were previously reported, showing a decrease of 12.1 per cent from 817.

For drug abusers of all ages, the figure showed a slight decrease of 0.3 per cent to 6,844 from 6,866 in the corresponding quarter last year.

8

Of them, 1,006 were newly reported, a drop of 9.2 per cent from 1,108. The number of previously reported persons however noted an increase by 1.4 per cent to 5,838 from 5,758.

Also noteworthy in the statistics is the percentage of female drug abusers which has increased from 10.3 per cent (705) to 10.9 per cent (745) for all ages and from 19.4 per cent (272) to 23.2 per cent (275) for those under 21.

Compared the drug abuse pattern among all reported persons; a slight increase was noted in the percentage of psychotropic substances abusers from 11.1 per cent to 12.1 per cent, but the proportion of multiple drug abusers decreased slightly from 4.6 per cent to 4.4 per cent.

For those aged under 21, the percentage of psychotropic substance abusers increased from 29.9 per cent (378) to 34.6 per cent (383).

More than half (52.3 per cent) of the young drug abusers attributed the reason of drug taking to peer pressure. Other common reasons were curiosity (33.8 per cent), avoidance of the discomfort of withdrawal (31.5 per cent), relief of boredom, depression or anxiety (18.6 per cent) and seeking euphoria or sensory satisfactory (14.7 per cent).

On the treatment front, a total of 3,732 persons were admitted to the three government-funded treatment programmes in the first quarter of 1996, including the voluntary in-patient treatment programme, the methadone programme and the compulsory placement programme. Of them, 962 were first-time admissions. These represented an increase in total admissions by 4.7 per cent and an increase in new admissions by 6.8 per cent.

Among the total admissions, 520 were aged under 21, of which 343 were new admissions. The figures showed increases of 7.4 per cent and 5.2 per cent respectively.

The methadone programme recorded the highest increase in newly admitted young drug abusers, by 13.5 per cent to 322.

End

9

Amendments to prison rules proposed ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

The Government has proposed amendments to the prison rules, which, among other things, seek to relax the restrictions on prisoners’ correspondence and to empower the Commissioner to withhold from inmates publications which may pose a threat to good order or discipline within penal institutions.

A government spokesman said the authorities had completed a comprehensive review of the prison rules, including an assessment of their acceptability in relation to the Bill of Rights Ordinance (BORO).

A number of amendments under the Prison (Amendment) Rules 1996 are now proposed to ensure consistency with BORO and to allow for more effective and efficient administration of the rules.

"One of the proposed amendments is to ease the restrictions under Prison Rule 47 to allow prisoners to write an unlimited number of letters each week," the spokesman said.

"We also propose to remove the restriction that prisoners can correspond with their friends and relatives only, and to relax the examination requirement so that while Correctional Services staff may continue to check for contrabands in all institutions, routine reading of letters will be done in maximum security prisons only.

"Under the new rule, Correctional Services staff would not read the correspondence of prisoners in medium security and minimum security prisons unless the staff have good reasons to believe that the contents threaten the security, good order or discipline in the institution.

"Routine security checks for contraband or restricted materials will continue to be conducted on incoming and outgoing correspondence."

He stressed that these amendments were consistent with the BORO.

Referring to a recent High Court ruling against the withholding of horse-racing supplements, the spokesman said the ruling had weakened the Commissioner of Correctional Services' ability to control gambling activities in penal institutions.

The High Court has held that such withholding as not lawful because Prison Rule 56 does not provide the Commissioner with such authority.

10

"The proposed amendments to Prison Rule 56 would provide a proper legal basis for restrictions on the withholding of all publications, including horse-racing supplements, which may pose a threat to the good order and discipline within penal institutions.

"It is important that our prison authorities have the necessary statutory powers to maintain good order and discipline in penal institutions.

"The sooner the amendment to Prison Rule 56 is enacted, the sooner this loophole will be plugged," he added.

The spokesman said the Government had received legal advice that the proposed amendment was consistent with the BORO and could proceed independently of the appeal.

The other amendments are mainly to streamline procedure to enhance the administration of the rules.

The Prison (Amendment) Rules 1996 will be gazetted on July 5 and are expected to be tabled at the Legislative Council on July 10.

End

Government draws up action plan to enhance industrial safety * * * * *

The Government is very concerned about the recent spate of industrial accidents and is strengthening and implementing measures to promote industrial safety, said the Secretary for Works, Mr H S Kwong, this (Wednesday) morning at the launching ceremony of the 1996 ACP Construction Safety Award Scheme.

"We have, following a high-level inter-departmental meeting on June 18, drawn up an action plan to enhance safety at three main high-risk areas : construction sites, work at height and confined spaces," he noted.

The main points of the strategy include :

* Labour Department will step up inspections and prosecutions, and will seek Attorney General’s review of any inadequate penalty for breach of industrial safety requirements. The department will also set up a hotline to handle complaints of industrial and occupational hazards;

11

* the Government will consider the need to strengthen existing industrial safety legislation and urge the Legislative Council to expedite its scrutiny of two important pieces of draft legislation which will greatly enhance industrial safety;

* the Education and Manpower Branch will publish a charter for safety to promote safety culture in work places;

the Occupational Safety and Health Council will mount an intensive educational and publicity campaign and organise a series of seminars on industrial safety; and

the Government will tighten the rules on suspending contractors with unsatisfactory industrial safety records from tendering government works contracts.

"While the Government has attached the greatest importance to industrial safety, real improvement can be achieved only with joint effort from the employers and employees," Mr Kwong stressed.

"Workers, contractors, consultants and Government staff alike, all must increase safety endeavours in every way possible," he noted.

Mr Kwong said that the annual ACP Construction Safety Award Scheme, organised by the New Airport Projects Co-ordination Office (NAPCO), had over the past few years helped to promote an increasing awareness of safety among ACP contractors, their supervisors and workers.

"It has also been an important part of NAPCO’s initiatives to encourage more improvement in construction safety," he added.

Mr Kwong pointed out that in 1992 with the construction activities for the ACP beginning to intensify, the Government introduced a series of measures designed to ensure that the highest possible standards of construction safety were achieved in ACP contracts.

"The joint efforts of all parties concerned have produced positive results. In the first five months this year, we have achieved a non-fatal accident rate of 56 per thousand workers per year, which is within ACP's target of 60.

12

"Despite generally improving trends, we are still far away from our prime target of zero fatality for the ACP works. We are very sad to have witnessed that serious accident at Kwai Chung on June 6, resulting in the death of six workers," he said.

This year the award scheme will comprise three categories of awards. The safety Management Award will be presented to sites with a high quality of safety management, the Safety Record Award to those sites with distinguished safety record and the Safety Promotion Award will recognise contractors who make the best efforts in promoting construction safety to their staff, workers and sub-contractors.

Also officiating at today's launching ceremony were Legislative Councillors Mr Lau Chin-shek, Mr James Tien and Dr Samuel Wong; Chairman of the Airport Consultative Committee on the New Airport and Related Projects (ACC), Mr Hu Fa-kuang; as well as the Acting Director of NAPCO, Mr John Burrett.

End

Land Registry statistics released *****

The Land Registry (LR) today (Wednesday) announced statistics for June as well as those for the first six months of this year.

A total of 67,445 sale and purchase agreements of building units, mainly flats, were lodged with LR during the first half year.

The figure represents an increase of 43.5 per cent and 33.2 per cent compared with the second half of 1995 and the first half of 1995 respectively.

<

The total amount of the considerations involved in these agreements was $197.12 billion which was up by 63 per cent and 36 per cent compared with the two preceding half-yearly periods.

During the first six months of 1996, 78,255 assignments of building units, the majority being residential, were lodged for registration, compared with 63,284 and 48,928 respectively recorded during the second half of 1995 and first half of 1995. showing an increase of 23.7 per cent and 59.9 per cent respectively.

The total amount of the considerations involved, amounting to $185.42 billion, indicates increases when compared with the two preceding half years.

13

The total amount secured under mortgages (other than building mortgages) was $41.23 billion, showing a decrease of 0.1 per cent but an increase of 16.1 per cent compared with the second half of 1995 and first half of 1995 respectively.

A table summarising the above figures and other related statistics for the first half of 1996, together with the corresponding statistics recorded in the second half of

1995 and first half of 1995 was released today by the Registry.

Searches of land records made by members of the public during the first half of 1996 totalled 1,988,018, up by 33.3 per cent and 37.4 per cent compared with the second half of 1995 and first half of 1995 respectively.

Meanwhile, for the month of June, LR received for registration 11,056 sale and purchase agreements for building units, which include both residential and non-residential properties.

The figure represents a decrease of 33.1 per cent from May 1996 but an increase of 42.8 per cent when compared with June 1995.

The total considerations of these agreements in June is $34.8 billion, down 25.3 per cent but up 62.4 per cent when compared with the amounts for May 1996 and June 1995 respectively.

The figures are contained in the monthly statistics released today by LR on deeds relating to property transactions received for registration in the urban and New Territories land registries in June 1996.

Relevant statistics for May 1996 and June 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

14

VMs from Whitehead Detention Centre to be transferred

*****

About 550 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) will be transferred from Section 4 of the Whitehead Detention Centre (WHDC) to Victoria Prison (VP) today (Wednesday) in preparation for their return to Vietnam under the Orderly Repatriation Programme.

They will join another group of about 50 VMs who are already in VP for pre-flight documentation and medical checks. The total of about 600 VMs will be repatriated to Vietnam in five flights in July.

Meanwhile, some 450 VMs had been transferred from Section 4 to Sections 5 and 6 of WHDC yesterday, and another some 650 will be transferred to High Island Detention Centre (HIDC) today. After these transfers, Section 4 of WHDC will be vacated.

The transfer to VP and HIDC will be observed by independent monitors.

End

VMs transferred in dual operation at Whitehead *****

An operation was carried out smoothly today (Wednesday) to transfer 547 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) from the Whitehead Detention Centre (WHDC) to Victoria Prison, pending their return to Vietnam under the Orderly Repatriation Programme, and to relocate nearly 500 VMs to the High Island Detention Centre (HIDC).

They arc all residents of Section 4 of WHDC. Some 450 VMs were transferred from this section to other sections in the centre yesterday.

The VMs began packing their belongings early this morning after the names of those to be repatriated were announced at 7 am. Simultaneously, it was announced that about 490 VMs would be transferred to HIDC and about 150 would be relocated in two other sections at WHDC.

15

The 547 VMs being transferred to Victoria Prison were taken in two convoys and will join about 50 other there for pre-flight formalities. They will all be repatriated to Vietnam in five flights this month.

After the operation this morning, Section 4 of WHDC is temporarily closed.

End

Monitors' Report submitted to CS

*****

The monitors appointed to observe the transfer of Vietnamese migrants from Section 4 of the Whitehead Detention Centre to Victoria Prison and High Island Detention Centre today (Wednesday) have submitted their report to the Chief Secretary.

The four monitors comprised two non-official justices of the peace, Mr Ng Tat-lun and Mr Winston Chu Ka-sun; and representatives from two non-govemment organisations, Mr Christopher Stokes from Medecins Sans Frontieres and Mr Tik Chi-yuen from Oxfam.

End

Launching of Summer Youth Programme on Saturday

*****

The Director of Home Affairs, Mrs Shelley Lau, will officiate at an opening ceremony to officially launch this year's Summer Youth Programme on Saturday (July

6).

The opening ceremony, to be held at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium, will be followed by a variety show jointly organised by the Summer Youth Programme Committee and Radio Television Hong Kong. Entitled "Swinging Summer”, the variety show will adopt the Olympic Games as the theme.

16

At the opening ceremony, Mrs Lau will present souvenirs to the Chairman of the Summer Youth Programme, Mr Norman Lo; Steward of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Chairman of 18 Summer Youth Programme District Coordinating Committees, Mr C K Hui, and representatives from other sponsors.

This year's Summer Youth Programme, now enters its 28th anniversary, will provide over 14,000 social and recreational activities under the theme "Share the Fun, Serve the Community" for the participation territory-wide by youngsters aged from 6 to 25.

The activities will be organised at a budget of $39.2 million, including a donation of 17.6 million dollars from the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

End

Public consultation on special education report *****

The Board of Education reminded school sponsors, serving school principals and teachers, practitioners in the special education sector and members of the public that the public consultation on a report on the review of local special education will end next Monday (July 8).

The Report, which recommends a package of comprehensive measures to improve special education in the territory, was prepared by the Board of Education's Sub-committee on Special Education.

Copies of the report and its executive summary, in both Chinese and English, are being distributed to the public at the Education Department's reception counter on 10th floor, Wu Chung House. 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, and Perth Street Special Education Services Centre, 6 Perth Street, Ho Man Tin, Kowloon.

Views and suggestions on the report should reach the Secretary of the Board of Education at Room 1123, Education Department Headquarters. Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, on or before July 8, 1996.

Enquiries should be directed to the Secretary on 2892 6630.

End

17

Respect Our Teachers English Essay Contest ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Senior forms students of all secondary schools including special schools, schools of the English- Schools Foundation and international schools are invited to participate in an English essay contest.

’’The contest, jointly organised by the Committee on Respect our Teachers Campaign and the Education Department, aims at arousing the awareness of respecting teachers and promoting their positive image,” the chairman of the committee, Mr Fan Kam-ping, said.

The contest is classified into two categories:

Group A: students of Secondary Four to Five, or equivalent

Group B: students of Secondary Six to Seven, or equivalent

In not exceeding 2,000 words, students are invited to express themselves in forms of prose or fiction either on "A memorable encounter with my teacher" or "A tribute to my teacher".

"The panel chairpersons of English may incorporate these topics into the list of composition topics proposed for senior forms in the 1996/97 school year," Mr Fan said.

Prominent academics of English, lecturers of the Hong Kong Institute of Education and inspectors of the Education Department will form the judging panel of the contest.

Each winner of the contest will be presented with a trophy. In addition, the champion of each group will be awarded with cash prize of $2,000 while the first runner-up and the second runner-up will be presented with $1,500 and $1,000 respectively. Five merit prizes of each group will be awarded $400.

’’Every school can only send in two entries for each group," Mr Fan said.

The entries, attached with entry forms, should be type-written, of double-line spacing on an A4-size paper.

i

18

They should be mailed or delivered to "Respect Our Teachers English Essay Contest" c/o Hong Kong Teachers’ Association, seventh floor, National Court, 242 Nathan Road, Kowloon on or before November 15, 1996.

Results will be published in mid December and winners will be notified through their respective schools.

End

Three lots to let

*****

The Lands Department is inviting tenders for the short-term tenancy of three pieces of government land on Hong Kong Island and in the New Territories.

The first lot located in Lei King Road, Sai Wan Ho, has an area of about 885 square metres. It is intended for use as a fee-paying public car park for motor vehicles, excluding containers, tractors, trailers and container vehicles.

The tenancy is for one year, renewable quarterly.

The second lot is located in Area 15, Tseung Kwan O, Sai Kung. With an area of about 2,570 square metres, the lot is also designated for use as a fee-paying public car park for the parking of motor vehicles, school buses and lorries, excluding containers, container trailers and articulated vehicles.

The tenancy is for six months, renewable monthly.

Covering an area of about 25,400 square metres, the third lot is located at Container Port Road South, Kwai Chung. The lot is intended for consolidation and handling of container goods or storage of containers and other non-offensive goods.

The tenancy is for one year, renewable monthly.

The closing date for submission of tenders is noon on July 19.

Tender forms, tender notices and conditions may be obtained from the Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Kowloon District Lands Office and the respective district lands offices of Hong Kong East, Sai Kung and Kwai Tsing.

Tender plans can also be inspected at these offices.

End

19

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

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,004 0930 -50

Closing balance in the account 1,630 1000 -50

Change attributable to : 1100 -50

Money market activity -49 1200 -50

LAF today -325 1500 -40

1600 -49

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.5 *+0.0* 3.7.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.25 2 years 2805 6.30 100.08 6.35

1 month 5.17 3 years 3904 6.30 99.16 6.74

3 months 5.27 5 years 5106 7.23 100.05 7.35

6 months 5.47 7 years 7305 7.60 100.46 7.65

12 months 5.80 5 years M5O2 7.30 99.55 7.56

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $22,796 million

Closed July 3, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

SUPPLEMENT

Wednesday, July 3,1996

Contents Page No,

Legislative Council meeting:

Motion debate on Western Corridor Railway.......................... 1

Government committed to building Western Corridor Railway.......... 5

Increase of fines in Companies Ordinance........................... 5

Factories & Industrial Undertakings (Amendment) Regulation......... 7

Construction Sites (Safety) (Amendment) Regulation................. 8

Sex Discrimination Ordinance....................................... 9

Witness Protection Bill......................................... 11

Waste Disposal (Amendment) Bill................................... 12

Health care policy................................................ 14

Employees Compensation Assistance Fund.................... 15

/Gradual liberalisation.

Cxmieuis

Page No

Gradual liberalisation of rice trade..................................... 17

Measures to improve industrial safety.................................... 18

Independent body to investigate complaint against police................. 21

Waste reduction initiatives.............................................. 22

Profit forecasts of listed companies..................................... 24

Pre-payment of tertiary tuition fees..................................... 26

Overstaying of one-way permit holders.................................... 30

Public housing tenants' applications for transfer........................ 32

Cross harbour tunnels toll charges....................................... 33

Appointment to senior civil service posts................................ 35

Complaints against Labour Tribunal....................................... 36

Overseas training for administrative officers............................ 38

Franchised public transport companies concessionary schemes.......... 39

Environmental Impact Assessments on 146 government projects.......... 40

Air quality in underground car parks monitored........................... 42

1

Motion debate on Western Corridor Railway ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a speech by the Secretary For Transport, Mr Gordon Siu, on the motion debate on the Western Corridor Railway moved by the Hon Ngan Kam-chuen in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I am grateful to the Hon Ngan Kam-chuen for initiating this motion debate on the Western Corridor Railway (WCR) and to the Members who have spoken on the subject. Members' comments reflect a clear wish to see the WCR built in a speedy and cost effective manner. This sentiment is fully shared by Government. Let me bring Members up to date on where we stand with this project.

Government's Commitment to the WCR

The WCR is a priority project for Government. This railway, which accommodates a passenger service between northwest New Territories and the urban area; a cross border passenger service; and a freight service will provide much needed transport capacity to the NWNT, ease road congestion and enhance our transportation links with China.

We are committed to embarking on all necessary planning and preparatory work with a view to the speedy implementation of the project.

On the make-up of the railway, I would like to re-assure Hon Selina Chow that we have always envisaged the WCR to be a freight/passenger line.

Background

There have been comments that Government is not serious about proceeding with the project, or that we are delaying it. Neither is true. If one looks at what has happened, it will become clear that we are going through a process, not delaying it.

In 1991 Government commissioned a Railway Development Study to establish a framework for planning the future expansion of the territory’s rail network. In 1993 we conducted an extensive public consultation exercise based on the study. In 1994 Government announced the Railway Development Strategy (RDS). The WCR is one of the three priority projects in the RDS.

2

In January 1995, Government invited KCRC to submit a proposal for the construction and operation of the WCR, targeted for completion by 2001. In response to this invitation, KCRC performed a Feasibility Study and submitted a Proposal to Government in November 1995.

The scheme proposed by KCRC is in general accordance with that laid down in the Railway Development Strategy, but in accordance with comments put to us during the consultation exercise, KCRC recommended that the rail line would be extended from Tuen Mun North to Tuen Mun Town Centre.

Time-table

To meet the target completion date of 2001, Government had envisaged the assessment of KCRC's submission and further studies, as well as negotiations with the Corporation to take place during 1996. We had aimed to arrive at a view on KCRC's proposal by the end of the year, to be followed by preparing and finalising the terms of a project agreement in 1997 and completing all necessary consultations leading to approval of the project and construction by 1998.

Examination of KCRC's Proposal

What has Government been doing since receipt of KCRC's proposals?

A Project Steering Committee, a Project Working Group as well as a number of task groups within Government were established in 1996 to undertake the carefill consideration of KCRC's proposal. The Hon Zachary Wong has asked for a team to be set up to work on land resumption matters. This has been done. Lands Department has set up a planning team to look into the implications of all land aspects of the project, including land acquisition. Furthermore, with the assistance of engineering consultants, the employment of which was approved by Finance Committee, we are examining the technical aspects of KCRC's submission and the numerous engineering interface problems that need to be resolved. Financial consultants are assisting with evaluating the financial viability of the Corporation's proposal and recommending a preferred funding arrangement.

Why does the Government employ a separate team of consultants?

3

The proposals put forward by the KCRC involved details which are technical and complex. The Government has a duty, before allowing the project to proceed, to vet these details. There are also implementation and interface issues, affecting other Government and private sector projects, which the KCRC might not be aware of when it drew up the proposals. These issues have to be identified, examined and resolved. This work can be undertaken by civil servants, or consultants. Since railway projects are one-off projects, it is not cost-effective for Government to separately recruit additional civil servants to form the study team; hence the employment of consultants as approved by the Finance Committee in 1995.

Cost of the project

KCRC have estimated that the project cost of the WCR, which is partly in tunnel, partly on embankment and partly on elevated viaducts, would be about $75 billion in Money of the Day terms.

There has been concern that KCRC's cost estimates are substantially higher than the estimates given in Government's Railway Development Strategy (RDS) document published in December 1994. I would like to put the different figures in proper perspective.

The cost estimate in the RDS for the WCR running from West Kowloon to Tuen Mun north is $32 billion at 1994 prices. That estimate, in Money of the Day terms, is $54 billion.

KCRC's cost estimate at $75 billion has allowed for changing the scope of the project, such as extending the railway to Tuen Mun Town Centre, as well as project reserves and financing costs, which are not included in the 1994 RDS estimates.

I should nevertheless stress again that $75 billion is still only an estimate by the KCRC. It will need to be refined in the light of more detailed studies, a more accurate assessment of land resumption requirements and further in-depth discussions with Government.

Cost-cffectivcness

Why is the Government so cautious in handling this project?

4

This is for no other reason than the desire to ensure that the project is cost-effective; that undertaking it will not create a problem for the Government before or after 1997; and that the railway will bring real benefits to the region it serves, at fares that are affordable to those who use it daily.

Consultations with the Chinese side

On the question of consultation with the Chinese side we have, since 1993, kept the Chinese side of the JLG informed about the development of our railway planning work. We last briefed the Chinese side on the subject of the Western Corridor Railway in February 1996. On 13 June we provided the Chinese side with two sets of the KCRC's proposal on the WCR (with the exception of the most commercially sensitive materials). On 14 July I shall brief the Economic Sub-Group of the Preparatory Committee with a team comprising the Chairman of the KCRC and his colleagues.

The WCR is a huge and important project. It will be implemented, almost in its entirety, by the SARG. We have undertaken to consult the Chinese side before any decision that would commit the future SARG is taken.

To conclude, I would re-assure this Council that it is Government's firm intention to press ahead with the planning of the Western Corridor Railway and strive for its early implementation. In so doing we shall ensure that project progress and expenditure are stringently monitored and controlled and that the project is implemented in the most cost-effective manner.

I am therefore able to support the resolution moved by the Hon Ngan Kam Chuen; although I would question his choice of description for the construction and resumption cost as estimated by KCRC.

As regards the amendment to the motions proposed by the Hon Zachary Wong, I dispute his contention that Government has been delaying the construction of the WCR and disregarding the traffic congestion problem faced by residents in the northwest NT.

As I have stated earlier, the WCR remains a priority project for Government. It is because we want to deal with the problems faced by residents in NWNT that we are pressing ahead with the necessary planning and preparatory work with a view to the project's implementation.

End

5

Government committed to building Western Corridor Railway ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

It is Government’s firm intention to press ahead with the planning of the Western Corridor Railway (WCR) and strive for its early implementation.

The assurance was given by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Gordon Siu, in his reply on the motion debate moved by the Hon Ngan Kam-chuen in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday).

Mr Siu also disputed Council members that the Government had been delaying the construction of WCR and disregarding the traffic congestion problem faced by residents in the Northwest New Territories.

"In so doing we shall ensure that project progress and expenditure are stringently monitored and controlled and that the project is implemented in the most cost-effective manner," he said.

Mr Siu emphasised that WCR remained a priority project for Government.

"It is because we want to deal with the problems faced by residents in NW NT that we are pressing ahead with the necessary planning and preparatory work with a view to the project's implementation," he said.

End

Increase of fines in Companies Ordinance ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a speech by the acting Secretary for Financial Services, Mrs Lessie Wei Chui Kit-yee, in moving the resolution on the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance to amend the Companies Ordinance relating to increase of fines in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the resolution standing in my name in the Order Paper.

6

The motion before Members seeks to increase the statutory maximum fines stipulated in the Companies Ordinance (Cap 32) and its subsidiary legislation and to convert them as appropriate into a standard scale.

Section 100A(l) of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance (Cap 1) provides that the Legislative Council may, by resolution, amend any Ordinance so as to increase the amount of any fine specified in that Ordinance.

The Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (No 2) Ordinance 1994 enacted in July 1994 introduced a scale of fines for statutory penalties not exceeding $100,000. This enables the maximum fine level to be increased from time to time by a single order of the Governor in Council to take account of inflation and hence preserve the deterrent effect of the penalties. The standard scale of fines consists of six levels, ranging from $2,000 at Level 1 to $100,000 at Level 6.

The standard scale, however, does not take account of inflation in respect of fines specified in money terms before their conversion to the scale. A review of the existing fines has therefore been necessary. I have reviewed those under the Companies Ordinance and now propose to revise 259 statutory maximum fines under the Companies Ordinance (Cap 32) and two statutory maximum fines under the Companies (Winding-up) Rules (Cap 32 sub leg).

All maximum fines at or below $100,000 after adjustment will be converted to the appropriate level of fines on the standard scale. However, a daily fine or a daily penalty below $100,000 after adjustment and fines greater than $100,000 will continue to be expressed in money terms.

Mr President, I beg to move.

End

7

Factories & Industrial Undertakings (Amendment) Regulation ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, in moving a motion on the Factories and Industrial Undertakings (Amendment) Regulation 1996 in Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the motion standing in my name on the Order Paper.

The Sex Discrimination Ordinance, which renders certain kinds of sex discrimination unlawful, was enacted on July 14, 1995. Exceptions are however laid down in sections 12 and 57 of the Ordinance for cases in which sex is a genuine occupational qualification, and for acts done for the purposes of protecting women. Such exceptions will expire in one year's time after the enactment of the Ordinance, unless they are extended by another year by resolution of this Council.

Regulation 25 of the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Regulations provides that no woman should be permitted to clean any dangerous part of any machinery or mill-gearing while the machinery or mill-gearing is in motion. The regulation is listed under Schedule 3 of the Sex Discrimination Ordinance as one of the provisions to which exceptions under sections 12 and 57 apply.

The Administration agrees that there is no evidence to suggest that women are more accident prone than their male counterparts in performing certain dangerous jobs. I therefore propose that the Factories and Industrial Undertakings (Amendment) Regulation 1996, which repeals the references to woman in regulation 25(1) and (2), should be approved by Members.

The proposal has been endorsed by the Labour Advisory Board.

Mr President, 1 beg to move.

End

8

Construction Sites (Safety) (Amendment) Regulation *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, in moving a motion on the Construction Sites (Safety) (Amendment) Regulation 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the motion standing in my name on the Order Paper.

The Sex Discrimination Ordinance, which renders certain kinds of sex discrimination unlawful, was enacted on 14 July 1995. Exceptions are however laid down in sections 12 and 57 of the Ordinance for cases in which sex is a genuine occupational qualification, and for acts done for the purposes of protecting women. Such exceptions will expire in one year's time after the enactment of the Ordinance, unless they are extended by another year by resolution of this Council.

Regulation 46 of the Construction Sites (Safety) Regulations provides that no woman should be permitted to clean any dangerous part of any machinery or plant in the construction site while the machinery or plant is in motion. The regulation is listed under Schedule 3 of the Sex Discrimination Ordinance as one of the provisions to which exceptions under sections 12 and 57 apply.

The Administration agrees that there is no evidence to suggest that women are more accident prone than their male counterparts in performing certain dangerous jobs. I therefore propose that the Construction Sites (Safety) (Amendment) Regulation 1996, which repeals the reference to woman in regulation 46(1), should be approved by Members.

The proposal has been endorsed by the Labour Advisory Board.

Mr President, I beg to move.

End

9

Sex Discrimination Ordinance *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, in moving a motion to amend the Sex Discrimination Ordinance in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

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

The Sex Discrimination Ordinance, enacted on 14 July 1995, renders sex discrimination unlawful in the employment field. The women-specific protective employment restrictions laid down under the Women and Young Persons (Industry) Regulations are exempted from the application of the Sex Discrimination Ordinance for a period of one year from the date of enactment of the Ordinance. The purpose of this resolution is to extend this grace period for another year.

The objective of the Women and Young Persons (Industry) Regulations, made under the Employment Ordinance, is to safeguard the health and welfare of female (and young) workers in industry. The Regulations prohibit women from working in dangerous trades [e.g. boiler chipping, manufacturing process using arsenic, lead, mercury, etc.], restrict their working hours and prohibit them from working on rest days. Section 57(3) of the Ordinance provides for a one-year grace period to exempt these provisions from the application of the Ordinance. To allow time for the Administration to review and to take appropriate adaptive measures. Section 57(4) further provides that this grace period may be extended for another year by resolution of this Council.

During the current one-year grace period the Labour Department has conducted a thorough review of the Women and Young Persons (Industry) Regulations and assessed the implications of removing those women-specific provisions which arc incompatible with the Sex Discrimination Ordinance. As the exercise required extensive and time-consuming research and analysis of similar employment legislation in other countries, and Hong Kong's obligations under various International Labour Conventions, the review was only completed in April this year. The report on the review by the Labour Department was put to the subcommittee set up by this Council for the purpose of examining my present motion at its meeting on 19 June 1996.

10

The review has identified three options to deal with the issue. The first is to remove the employment restrictions in the Regulations. The second is to extend these restrictions to male workers. The third is to preserve the women-specific employment restrictions.

The issues involved are very complex and the implication of each of the options on the labour market needs to be carefully considered before taking a decision. Furthermore, amending regulation 4 of the Women and Young Persons (Industry) Regulations which prohibits the employment of women in underground and tunnelling works would mean that Hong Kong has to denounce the application of the International Labour Convention No. 45 on Underground Work (Women) Convention. The Chinese side will need to be consulted through the Joint Liaison Group if the International Labour Convention No. 45 is to be denounced, as it involves Hong Kong’s international rights and obligations after June 1997.

Statutory restrictions over certain aspects such as working hours, overtime employment and compulsory rest days are likely to be controversial. Legislative control in these areas for both men and women in all economic sectors would mean improved benefits for employees but, at the same time, higher labour cost and less flexibility for employers.

I wish to point out that the review report prepared by the Labour Department represents no more than the initial assessment by an internal working group. It merely sets out the possible approaches to resolving the incompatibility between the Women and Young Persons (Industry) Regulations and the Sex Discrimination Ordinance. The Administration has not taken a final view on these important issues. We will have to consult the Labour Advisory Board, and other parties concerned extensively before deciding on the way forward.

Given the complexity and far-reaching implications of the subject, plus the need to consult widely and extensively, it is necessary to seek an extension of the grace period for another year. I am grateful that the subcommittee set up to examine my present motion has indicated its support to extending the grace period under section 57(3) of the Sex Discrimination Ordinance for another year. I confirm that the Administration will undertake to draw up a timetable on the consultation and legislative procedures involved and, to make regular progress reports on the matter to the Manpower Panel of this Council.

Mr President, 1 beg to move.

End

11

Witness Protection Bill

*****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in moving the second reading of the Witness Protection Bill in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the second reading of the Witness Protection Bill. The Bill seeks to provide a legislative framework for the existing Witness Protection Programmes, and to establish a system for the change of identity of high-risk witnesses.

The existing Witness Protection Programmes are operated by the Police and the ICAC to provide protection for high-risk witnesses. The key features of these Programmes include a professional threat assessment, a high level approving authority, agreements on the offer and termination of protection, relocation arrangements, and an appeal mechanism. Changing the identity of witnesses is not a feature in the existing Programmes. However, taking account of the recommendations of Justice Kempster's Commission of Inquiry into Witness Protection, we consider that changing identity, coupled with other protection measures such as relocation, is effective both in terms of physical protection, and especially in providing reassurance to high-risk witnesses. We have therefore undertaken to introduce legislation to facilitate the change of identity of witnesses and, at the same time, enhance the effectiveness of the existing Witness Protection Programmes by giving them legal backing.

The Witness Protection Bill gives legislative effect to the features of the existing Witness Protection Programmes, in particular, the requirement of witnesses to provide certain information to the approving authority, the assessment criteria for inclusion in the Programmes, the signing of a memorandum of understanding for admission into the Programmes, and the procedures for the termination of protection.

As regards the change of identity of witnesses, we propose that, on the personal recommendation of either the Commissioner of Police or the Commissioner, ICAC and with the Governor's approval, official documents pertaining to a protected witness will be issued under a new fictitious persona. Apart from providing clear statutory powers for officials to change the identity of witnesses, our proposed scheme is comprehensive in that it will not indicate any change of identity has taken place, and the identification documents of the witness's spouse and children can also be covered. This will provide greater reassurance to the protected witnesses. However, the protected witnesses will not be provided with any academic or professional qualifications, since it cannot be done on a fictitious basis when a person does not possess the requisite skills.

12

We propose to impose penalties for the improper disclosure of certain types of information concerning the Witness Protection Programmes. The Bill provides that disclosure of details of the Witness Protection Programmes by the witnesses involved, without legal authority or reasonable excuse, should constitute an offence punishable by imprisonment for a maximum term of five years. Moreover, we propose that any disclosure of information, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, as to the identity or location of a protected witness, or any improper disclosure of any information which may compromise the security of a witness, should be punishable by imprisonment for a maximum period of ten years.

The high level approving authority of the scheme will ensure that it is not open to abuse, and address any possible concern about the integrity of official documents issued. The Bill contains provisions to ensure that officials and authorised persons are protected from civil or criminal liability, while acting in good faith and in due execution of their duties in relation to the Programmes.

Mr President, success in criminal investigations and subsequent prosecutions very often depends on the willingness and the co-operation of witnesses to testily in criminal proceedings. It is therefore vital to have effective measures to protect and reassure witnesses, to encourage them to come forward to assist in investigation and to testify in court. We believe that our proposals will achieve this. We have consulted the Security Panel of this Council, and are grateful for the general support given to our proposals.

Thank you, Mr President.

End

Waste Disposal (Amendment) Bill *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in moving the second reading of the Waste Disposal (Amendment) Bill 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the Second Reading of the Waste Disposal (Amendment) Bill. The Bill seeks to amend the Waste Disposal Ordinance (WDO) to facilitate the implementation of charging schemes in accordance with the polluter pays principle.

13

At present there are two charging schemes under the WDO - one is for the disposal of chemical waste, introduced in March 1995, and the other is for waste disposal at landfills.

Members will recall that the regulation on landfill charging was passed by this Council in June last year and our original proposal was that landfill charges should be paid by a simple mechanism of pre-paid tickets by those who deliver waste to landfills. However, during our further consultation with waste collectors, we were given to understand that a pre-paid ticket system would create serious cashflow problems for waste collectors as they would be required to pay upfront.

To address concerns of the waste collectors, we intend to set up an account billing system to collect landfill charges in arrears. Under this system the account holder could be either the waste producer or the waste collector, and it would also be possible for the landfill operator to run the system, thus simplifying the charging arrangements further, and reducing costs. Such arrangements would require amendments to the WDO, which at present does not allow deferred payment or for charges to be collected other than by public officers. The Bill, therefore, seeks to provide for different methods of charge collection, such as account billing; and to authorise the Director of Environmental Protection to delegate the charge collection work to contractors, such as the waste disposal facility operators.

In order to enable landfill operators to properly collect charges on Government’s behalf, we propose that they should be allowed to maintain operational order and security at landfills, and to suspend the provision of landfill services for non-payment of charges and bad debts. As these powers are not provided for in the WDO, we propose to amend it to confer such powers on the Director of Environmental Protection and to allow the delegation of these powers to the contractors as appropriate.

Lastly, we would also like to take this opportunity to repeal section 28 of the WDO in order to meet the requirements of Article 10 of the Bill of Rights. Section 28 of the WDO empowers the Governor in Council to review a decision of the appeal board set up under the Ordinance, where that decision has reversed a decision of the Director of Environmental Protection and the latter considers that exceptional circumstances require the review of the appeal board's decision in the public interest. However, Article 10 of the Bill of Rights provides that, in the determination of his rights and obligations in a suit of law, every one shall be entitled to, I quote, "a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law." Permitting the Governor in Council to overturn the appeal board's decision appears to contravene this Article. In order to remove this inconsistency, we propose to repeal section 28 of the WDO.

14

Mr President, the Waste Disposal (Amendment) Bill seeks to provide for regulation-making powers to deal with the payment and collection of charges, as well as measures to ensure the maintenance of orderly conduct at waste disposal facilities and to take action against any evasion of charges. Charging schemes are necessary instruments to create an economic incentive for waste producers to practise waste minimisation, reuse and recycling. The amendments proposed in the Bill will facilitate the implementation of charging schemes under the WDO by addressing the concerns of the affected parties. I therefore commend the Bill to Members for their favourable consideration.

Thank you, Mr President.

End

Ilealth care policy *****

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Yeung Sum and a reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council whether, in reviewing the existing policy on fees and charges for medical services in the public sector, consideration will be given to modifying the existing policy by introducing a ’’means test” system?

Reply:

Mr President,

Our healthcare policy is to ensure that no one is denied adequate medical treatment through lack of means. This implies that everyone should be allowed to enjoy equal access to medical services provided in the public sector, irrespective of their financial status.

15

I have no intention to depart from this established principle by subjecting well-off patients to means testing with a view to restricting their access to public medical services.

The review conducted by Government seeks to explore different strategies for the future development of our healthcare system against rising public expectations, escalating costs and ageing population. The scope of this exercise covers a wide range of complex and inter-related issues such as cost containment, interface between primary health care and hospital services, role of the private sector, fee structure and financing options. I assure Members that Government will consult public opinion as well as the views of this Council in the process.

End

Employees Compensation Assistance Fund

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Chan Wing-chan and a reply by the Secretary for the Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The compensation paid from the Employees Compensation Assistance Fund (the Fund) in the two recent cases was in excess of $10 million per case, resulting in the current balance of the Fund standing al around $50 million only. This is causing concern that the Fund may go bankrupt should there be a few more claims involving huge amounts of compensation. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council :

(a) of the number of cases being handled by the Employees Compensation Assistance Fund Board (the Board); how many of these cases involve claims arising out of the failure of employers to take out workmen's compensation insurance policy for their employees; and whether the Government has estimated if the current balance of the Fund is sufficient to pay the compensation in respect of the cases being handled by the Board;

(b) whether consideration will be given to reviewing the Fund's operation; and whether the Government will increase its capital injection in the event that the balance of the Fund is insufficient to meet the claims; and

16

(c) whether consideration will be given to increasing the number of inspection staff in the Labour Department in order to step up the prosecution of employers who fail to take out workmen's compensation insurance policy for their employees, so as to reduce the number of cases handled by the Board, thus avoiding the danger of the Fund going bankrupt?

Reply:

Mr President,

Since its establishment in 1991, the Employees Compensation Assistance Fund Board (ECAFB) has handled a total of 93 claims. Apart from the two recent cases, each of which involved payments in excess of $13 million, all other claims involved payments of less than $2.5 million each. The vast majority of the claims i.e.79 claims or 85% involved payments of less than $1 million.

As regards part (a) of the question, ECAFB is currently processing 9 cases. Like all previous cases, they involve employees without cover of employees compensation insurance. We estimate that the current balance of the Fund is more than sufficient to meet the payments arising from these 9 cases. This is based on our assessment that none of the 9 cases would involve huge payments. Furthermore, as at 28 June 1996, the Fund has a balance of $59.2 million which would be increased by the projected income from the employees’ compensation insurance levy of $21 million for the rest of 1996/1997. This far exceeds the average payments in the past five years of around $13 million per year.

As regards part (b) of the question, we are constantly monitoring the operation of the Fund. At present, the Fund is financed by a steady source of income from a 1% levy on employees’ compensation insurance premium payable by employers. The amount is collected from the insurers by the Employees' Compensation Insurance Levies Management Board. The Government has not provided any capital injection into the Fund and we do not see the need to do so.

As regards part (c) of the question, a total of 123 Labour Inspectors are deployed, among other duties, to inspect industrial and non-industrial establishments to ensure that employers have taken out policies against their liabilities under the Employees Compensation Ordinance. In 1995, Labour Inspectors conducted 58,000 inspections and took prosecution action against 530 employers. We consider that the existing staffing establishment adequate for the purpose. The Department will of course continue its vigilant enforcement of the compulsory insurance provisions under the Ordinance.

End

17

Gradual liberalisation of rice trade ♦ ♦ * * ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Fred Li Wah-ming and a reply by the acting Secretary for Trade and Industry, Mr Francis Ho, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

As the Government is reviewing the Rice Control Scheme which has been in existence for forty-one years, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether it has assessed the impact of the liberalisation of the rice import trade on the price of rice; if so, what the outcome is; if not, why not;

(b) why it has suggested in a paper submitted to this Council in May that a reserve stock should be maintained to cater for 45 days’ consumption, whereas in the consultation paper issued by the Government in February this year, it was stated that one month's reserve stock of rice should be adequate; and

(c) as about 80 per cent of rice in the territory is currently imported from Thailand, what measures the Government will adopt to identify more suppliers so as to reduce the risk of over-reliance on a single market?

Answer:

Mr President.

The Rice Control Scheme was introduced in 1955 with the objective of ensuring a regular and adequate supply of rice to consumers at reasonably stable prices, and to provide a reserve stock to cater for emergency situations or any short term shortage of supply. The Scheme has achieved this objective and served the community well during the past forty one years.

The Administration has recently reviewed the Scheme. Theoretically, if full liberalisation of the rice trade leads to a highly competitive market, consumers will benefit. However, such a situation cannot be taken for granted. Full liberalisation in haste may result in market confusion, price instability and even a highly anticompetitive situation in which the market is dominated by a few stockholders. We will therefore adopt a gradual approach in liberalising the rice trade so as to allow the market to adjust to an increasingly competitive environment. Initially, this will be achieved by a gradual increase in the number of stockholders this year and introduction of an optional quota system next year.

18

At present, Hong Kong maintains a reserve stock of rice at about 43,200 tonnes, which is adequate for about 45 days’ consumption. The proposal to reduce this stock to 30 days’ consumption was made in view of the shorter lead time to source alternative supply as a result of improved transportation. After consulting the Rice Advisory Committee and the Consumer Council, we consider that a reduced level of reserve will undermine public confidence in the ability of the system to respond to crisis situations. We therefore conclude that a reserve stock of 45 days’ consumption should be maintained.

As regards the source of supply, the Administration does not impose any restriction or requirement on the stockholders. Thailand accounts for about 77% of our total rice import. This pattern, we believe, is largely a reflection of Thailand’s ability to supply Hong Kong, the price competitiveness of Thai rice and consumer preference. The Administration does not consider it appropriate or desirable to interfere with the market forces. Given that we have a reserve stock adequate for 45 days' consumption, there is sufficient time for the stockholders to find alternative suppliers in case there is a need to do so.

End

Measures to improve industrial safety

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Cheng Yiu-tong 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 Government inform this Council:

(a) whether it will consider amending the existing legislation and codes of practice on industrial safety with a view to formulating stricter industrial safety standards and stipulating heavier penalties;

(b) of the establishment and strength of staff in the Labour Department responsible for carrying out industrial safety inspections on factories and construction sites; and whether the Department has specified the number of inspections to be carried out on each factory and construction site per year in order to ensure that employers and employees comply with the relevant industrial safety legislation and code of practice; if so, what the details are; and

19

(c) apart from carrying out inspections, what other measures are in place to ensure that employers provide a safe working environment to employees and to enhance the awareness of industrial safety among workers?

Reply:

(a) It is the Government’s policy to improve Hong Kong's industrial safety standards through legislative changes as well as through enhanced publicity, education and promotion. We constantly review the adequacy of existing safety laws and codes of practice to ensure that the sanctions and standards reflect community expectations, the gravity of the offence and the level of compliance.

(b) As at 21 June 1996, the establishment of factory inspectors stood at 303 against the strength of 258, including 31 under apprenticeship training. The 303 posts include 49 new posts created in May this year. Eight of these new posts have been filled and the remaining vacancies will be filled when the recruitment formalities are completed. At present, 136 officers are engaged in construction site safety, including 10 temporarily redeployed from the factory inspection teams. The remaining 91 are engaged in monitoring safety in manufacturing, shipbuilding, catering, and other industrial establishments.

As regards inspection frequency, different types of construction sites are inspected according to their nature of activity and level of risk, as follows-

Typc of sites

(1)1 land-dug caisson

(2) Public Works Programme

Inspection frequency

sites once every two weeks

once a month sites and Airport Core Programme sites

(3) Sites with unsatisfactory once a month safety records

(4) Other building or civil once every one to three months engineering sites

The inspection frequency of manufacturing and other industrial undertakings varies. For more hazardous factory operations, the frequency of inspections ranges from once every three months to twelve months.

20

For both construction sites and factories, special inspections are conducted in response to complaints or arising from major accidents. Special campaigns are also launched each year, in addition to the scheduled inspections, to tackle seasonal hazards such as fire prevention during the dry months, and scaffolds and temporary works during the wet summer months.

(c) An integral part of the current safety control system is to encourage employers, professionals, safety practitioners and workers to be made more aware of what constitutes a safe working environment and safe practices through training, education and promotion. The Labour Department conducts various types of legislation-related briefing sessions and train-the-trainer courses for the industrial sector, whereas the Occupational Safety and Health Council runs safety awareness, occupational health and management training courses for various sectors. Both organisations publish safety booklets, guides, posters etc. and publicise safety messages and best practices through the media.

After consulting the Panel on Manpower of the Legislative Council, we will publish around August 1996 a Charter for Safety in the Workplace. The Charter will set out the rights of workers to enjoy a safety working environment and the employers’ obligations to reduce the risks of accidents. It will also highlight the workers’ obligations to follow safety instructions and to co-operate with the relevant authorities in reporting breaches of statutory requirements.

As part of an overall effort to improve safety at the workplace, the Administration will introduce several Bills into the Legislative Council in the 1996-97 legislative session. These will cover, among other things, work safety in confined spaces and construction sties, as well as the provision of a safety management system at the workplace.

A detailed description of the Government's existing and proposed measures to improve work safety is set out in the speech given by the Secretary for Education and Manpower in the Legislative Council during the motion debate on industrial safety on 26 June 1996.

End

21

Independent body to investigate complaint against police ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

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

Question:

A motion was carried by this Council on 21 April 1993 urging the Government to set up an independent body to receive and investigate complaints in relation to police officers. The Government has also put the proposed Independent Police Complaints Council Bill as a priority item in the Legislative Programmes for 1994-95 and 1995-96, but up to now the Government has still not introduced the Bill into this Council. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) why it has not yet introduced the Bill into this Council; whether it has to wait until the completion of the Comparative Study of overseas Police Complaints Systems and the review of the Complaints Against Police Office’s procedures before introducing the Bill; if so, when it will complete these two studies and inform this Council of the outcome;

(b) of the progress of the drafting of the Bill; whether it will introduce the Bill into this Council before the end of the current session; if not, when the Government will introduce the Bill; and

(c) whether, in drafting the Bill, the Government will consider expanding the scope of the investigation which can be undertaken by the Independent Police Complaints Council?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) On 2 July, the Governor in Council approved the introduction into the Legislative Council of the Independent Police Complaints Council (1PCC) Bill, which aims to give statutory status and to enhance the monitoring role of the IPCC. We have in drafting the Bill taken into account the findings of the comparative study of overseas police complaints systems and the outcome of the independent review of Complaints Against Police Office (CAPO) procedures.

22

(b) We will introduce the IPCC Bill into the Legislative Council on 10 July

1996.

(c) The main function of IPCC is to monitor and review investigations by CAPO, which deals with all complaints against Police officers. The IPCC does not investigate complaints directly. However, where it identifies any inadequacies or discrepancies in Police investigations, they are taken up with CAPO. For example, the IPCC may ask CAPO to reinvestigate any complaint; it may also interview witnesses, complainants and complainees. In addition, members of the IPCC are able to observe CAPO investigations directly. The Bill will provide the legal basis for the IPCC to discharge all these duties. At the same time, we will also introduce a new package of improvement measures aimed at enhancing the independence of the IPCC, and the credibility and transparency of the Police complaints system.

End

Waste reduction initiatives *****

Following is a question by the Hon Howard Young and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In many developed countries, domestic refuse is separated into different categories of waste such as paper, glass, aluminium, and plastic materials prior to collection in order to facilitate recycling. In view of the increasing awareness of the importance of recycling among the public, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether the Government has any long-term plans for recycling waste

materials;

(b) whether it has any knowledge of the results of the trial on separation of domestic refuse in some public housing estates in Tseung Kwan O organised by Friends of the Earth; and

(c) whether it will assess the feasibility of carrying out similar activities in all public housing estates and the community as a whole?

23

Reply:

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 cost-effective manner. To this end, the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) provides technical support and information to organisers of waste reduction and recovery programmes, as well as to waste collectors and recyclers. EPD has also introduced a hotline service (Tel No. 2755 2750) to advise the public on the setting up of waste collection schemes to recover recyclable materials such as waste paper and aluminium cans. A pamphlet containing details on how to organise a waste paper separation and collection scheme in residential buildings and office premises has also been printed for distribution to the public.

To further promote waste reduction, a consultancy study commissioned by EPD has recently recommended a number of waste reduction initiatives, including measures to facilitate more waste recovery and recycling. We are consulting interested parties on these recommendations to enable us to formulate a waste reduction plan for Hong Kong for further consultation with the public later in the year.

(b) The Housing Department has set up waste recycling programmes in all four housing estates in Tseung Kwan O with the assistance of the Friends of the Earth and EPD. In 1995, about 168 tonnes of paper, 60 tonnes of ferrous metals, 4.4 tonnes of aluminium cans and 1.5 tonnes of PET bottles were recovered from the four estates.

(c) Waste recycling programmes similar to those in Tseung Kwan O 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. Moreover, the Housing Department has included in all new cleansing contracts a requirement that a "salvaging operative" be appointed to deal with waste recovery activities in the estate in question. So far about one-third of public housing estates in Hong Kong have been provided with a "salvaging operative". The further extension of waste recycling programmes to the community as a whole will be addressed in the Waste Reduction Plan mentioned in (a) above.

End

24

Profit forecasts of listed companies *****

Following is a question by the Hon Sin Chung-kai and a written reply by the acting Secretary for Financial Services, Mrs Lessie Wei, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

As the performance results recently announced by two newly listed companies have failed to meet the profit forecasts as stated in the respective prospectuses, will the Government inform this Council if it is aware of:

(a) how many of the newly listed companies providing profit forecasts in their prospectuses in the past three years have announced performance results in the first year after listing which are below the profit forecasts as stated in their prospectuses, please provide a list of these companies together with a breakdown of the difference between the actual and the forecast profits of each of the companies concerned;

(b) in regard to the companies mentioned in the answer to the second part of (a) above, whether such companies and their guarantors have been penalised; if so, what the details are; if not, why not;

(c) the average time taken by the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong to investigate into cases of inaccurate profit forecasts by newly listed companies; whether the investigation results of each of these cases will be made known to the public by the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong; if so, how the results will be publicised; if not, why not; and

(d) whether, given that newly listed companies are not required to state their profit forecasts in their prospectuses under the existing rules governing the listing of securities, the authorities concerned will consider prohibiting newly listed companies to state their profit forecasts; if not, why not?

25

Reply:

(a) Between 1 January 1993 and 31 May 1996, 156 companies were newly listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (SEHK) and 144 had included profits forecasts in their prospectuses. All were able to achieve the profits forecasts. However, one company could only achieve its profits forecasts by the inclusion of an exceptional item, i.e. activities not specifically mentioned in its prospectus. The company involved was Rich City Packaging Holdings Ltd., and its actual profits deviated from its forecast by 5.9%. In addition, a second case is still under investigation by SEHK. It is therefore inappropriate to divulge details at this stage.

(b) Failure to meet a profits forecast does not in itself constitute a breach of the Listing Rules. However, failure to notify the market earlier of circumstances which the directors believe would render the forecast inappropriate contravenes the Listing Rules. The Rich City case had been considered by the Listing Committee of SEHK. Having considered the circumstances of the case, and in view of the fact that the company had made a statement clarifying its profit and loss account, the Listing Committee decided to take no disciplinary action against the company.

(c) The time required by SEHK to investigate individual cases of inaccurate profits forecasts will depend on the circumstances of the case. In the Rich City case, the SEHK took about 2 months to complete its investigation. SEHK announces the result of its investigation and the sanction involved, unless the sanction involved is a private reprimand.

(d) Under the Listing Rules, a company seeking listing must include in its prospectus a statement on the financial and trading prospects of the company for at least the current financial year. Companies and their . sponsors may however include profits forecasts in the prospectuses as an additional reference for potential investors. We see no good reason to discourage such a practice.

End

26

Pre-payment of tertiary tuition fees

*****

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

Question:

Regarding the policy adopted by the tertiary institutions funded by the University Grants Committee concerning the collection of pre-payment of tuition fees from new students upon registration, will the Government inform this Council if it is aware of:

(a) the policy concerning the collection of pre-payment of tuition fees (including the amount of pre-payment) adopted by the tertiary institutions in the past three years;

(b) how the amount of pre-payment of tuition fees is determined by the tertiary institutions; and whether all or part of the amount of prepayment will be refunded to the students who drop out before the commencement of an academic year;

(c) the amount of non-refundable pre-payment of tuition fees collected, together with the number of students involved and the purposes for which such amounts have been used, in respect of each of the tertiary institutions in the past three years; and

(d) whether the tertiary institutions have received any complaints in the past three years about the amount of pre-payment being set at too high a level; if so, what the total number of such complaints is and whether the institutions will be urged to review the existing policy on the collection of pre-payment of tuition fees as well as the amount of pre-payment?

Reply:

(a) The Administration understands from the University Grants Committee (UGC) that over the past three academic years, the institutions collected tuition fees in advance from full-time undergraduate students in two equal instalments, each being 50% of the total annual tuition fee. New students were required to pay the first instalment upon registration, which normally took place in August and September each year. Most institutions collected the second instalment around February each year, though the exact dates varied amongst institutions.

27

(b) The present practice on refund of tuition fees for students who drop out before the commencement of the academic year varies amongst the institutions. The City University of Hong Kong (CityU) refunds the full amount of tuition fees paid by new students provided that they notify the University of their withdrawal within one month after registration or two weeks after the beginning of the first semester, whichever is the earlier. The Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) allows students who withdraw from their studies to apply for refund of the tuition fees paid for the first semester. The amount of refund would be 75% if the student applies for the refund during the week of tuition fee payment, 50% during the first week following the week of tuition fee payment, and 25% during the second week following the week of tuition fee payment. No refund is permitted thereafter. The Lingnan College (LC) only refunds 20% of the tuition fee paid by new students if notice of withdrawal is received before registration or within the first week after the commencement of the first term.

As for The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and the University of Hong Kong (HKU), tuition fees pre-paid are normally non-refundable. Nevertheless, all the seven institutions are prepared to consider refund of tuition fees on a case by case basis, having regard to the circumstances of individual students.

(c) The table at Annex A compiled by the UGC shows the total number of new students who discontinued or did not commence their studies after the payment of tuition fees in the past three years, the total amount of fees refunded and the total amount of forfeited tuition fees retained by the institutions. The UGC-funded institutions used the tuition fees collected from students enrolled on UGC-funded courses, including the forfeited tuition fees retained by institutions, to support activities approved by the UGC and the Government.

(d) None of the UGC-funded institutions received any complaints about the levels of tuition fee instalments in the last three years. Policies and practices regarding the collection of tuition fees arc matters for the institutions. They are kept under regular review on the institutions’ own initiative as well as in response to appeals from the Joint Committee on Student Finance.

28

All seven UGC-funded institutions will be introducing modifications to their fee collection arrangements in the 1996-97 academic year for first year undergraduate students, details of which have been collated by the UGC and are shown in Annex B. In addition, the institutions will consider individual requests for deferring the payment of the first instalment of tuition fee from new students who demonstrate genuine financial difficulties while they await financial assistance from the Government under the Local Student Finance Scheme (LSFS).

Annex A

Refund to tuition fees to new students who discontinued or did not commence their studies after payment of tuition fees in 1993/94 to 1995/96

Institution Total no. of students who drop out1 2 Total amount of tuition fees refunded Total amount of tuition fees forfeited by student and retained by institution

CityU 213x $2,195,9933 4 $0

HKBU 33 $283,625 $163,625

LC 100 $173,175 $692,700

CUHK 44 $24,000 $519,625

PolyU 38 $217,345 $206,630

HKUST 16 $44,500 $157,500

HKU 29’ $0 $622,000

1 Not all of these students qualified for refund.

2 Data available for 1994-95 and 1995-96 only and covers both sub-degree and undergraduate students; 113 of the students were full-time and 100 part-time.

3 HK$ 1,519,731 were refunded to full-time students and HK$676,262 were refunded to part-time students.

4 Data available for 1995-96 only, no data available in respect of 1993-94 and

1994-95.

29

Annex B

Institution New arrangement for payment of tuition fees by first year undergraduate students in the.1996-97 academic_yeai

CityU The University will only require new students to pay 10% of tuition fees upon registration; the remaining 90% will be collected in two instalments.

HKBU The University will allow new students to pay their tuition fees by three instalments. An initial payment of $5,000 on registration, a second instalment (half of the remaining balance) in November, and a third instalment (the other half of the remaining balance) in late December for tuition fees in respect of the second semester.

LC The College will allow new students to apply for deferment of payment of 50% of the tuition fees for one month after the due date.

CUHK The University will introduce an interest-free bridging loan scheme to help new students pay their tuition fees before they receive their grants and loans under the Local Student Finance Scheme.

PolyU The University will allow new students who meet certain criteria to pay only 1/4 of the first instalment of the tuition fee upon acceptance of offer with the remaining 3/4 to be paid together with the second instalment when they have received grants and/or loans under the Local Student Finance Scheme.

HKUST The University will allow new students to pay $5,000 in August and the balance of the first instalment of their tuition fees by 1 October 1996.

HKU The University will allow new students to pay $5,000 in September and the balance of the first instalment of their tuition fees by 15 October 1996.

End

30

Overstaying of one-way permit holders

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Choy Kan-pui 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 people coming to Hong Kong from China on two-way exit permits, as well as number of such people who have overstayed, in each of the past three years;

(b) of the respective ratios of minors, adult males and females among those who have overstayed;

(c) whether it has detected any two-way exit permit holders taking up employment while staying in the territory during the past three years; if so, of the types of work they are mainly engaged in; and

(d) whether, in view of the reports that many two-way exit permit holders have overstayed and gone into hiding to wait for amnesty in 1997, the Government will discuss the problem with the Chinese side; and whether the Government will take other measures to prevent holders of two-way exit permits from overstaying in the territory?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The number of people coming to Hong Kong from China on Two-way Permits (TWP) and the number of overstayers are:

No of overstayers who

Year No of TWP Holders No of TWP Overstayers returned to China voluntarily

1993 209,400 17,102 10,282

1994 245,927 26,614 11,450

1995 260,313 38,250 13,246

1996 108,022 11,760 5,178

(Jan - May)

31

(b) We do not have a breakdown on the number of minors, and adult males and females among the TWP overstayers.

(c) In our enforcement action against illegal employment, we have found TWP holders working in Hong Kong, but not all of those found working were overstayers. The number of TWP illegal workers arrested are:

No of arrested

Year TWP Illegal Workers

1994 1,855

1995 2,883

1996 944

(Jan - May)

As we only started to keep separate statistics for TWP illegal workers in 1994, the arrest figure for 1993 is not available. We have not kept separate records specifically on the types of work TWP illegal workers engaged in. Our observation is that most of them take up jobs which require little or no skills, and the common places of work are restaurants, factories, and construction sites.

(d) It is clear from the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law that entry of Chinese residents in the mainland to Hong Kong after 30 June 1997 will continue to be regulated by the existing arrangements. There is no question whatsoever of an amnesty in 1997. We have not so far seen any evidence of large scale overstaying or illegal immigration into Hong Kong for the purpose of waiting for an "amnesty” in 1997. In fact, the number of TWP overstayers in the first five months of this year has decreased when compared to that in the same period last year (14,801 TWP overstayers during the period Jan - May 1995, as compared to 11,760 TWP overstayers during Jan - May 1996).

Enforcement action against overstayers, particularly those who seek to work illegally in Hong Kong, have been stepped up. The size of the Immigration Task Force has been doubled in October 1995. The number of raids and prosecution actions have also been increased, as evidenced by the following statistics:

32

Year No of Raids

1994 1,074

1995 2,160

1996 595

(Jan - May)

No of prosecutions

Year of TWP overstayers

1993 4,106

1994 6,720

1995 10,576

1996 5,390

(Jan - May)

(Note: persons prosecuted in a particular year are not necessarily arrivals and overstayers of that year)

The maximum fines for illegal workers and their employers have been raised in January 1996. Publicity has been increased to warn prospective employers not to employ illegal workers. We also have regular liaison with the relevant Chinese authorities to tackle the problem.

End

Public housing tenants' applications for transfer ♦ * * ♦ *

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

Question:

I have received a number of cases concerning public housing tenants seeking assistance in their applications for transfer to other flats or splitting of households. The tenants concerned claim that they have been interviewed and assessed by professional social workers of the Social Welfare Department (SWD) and that their applications have been recommended by the SWD, but the Housing Department (HD) has still rejected their applications. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council:

33

(a) of the basis of the HD's rejection of the SWD's recommendations; and

(b) why the HD does not directly investigate the family background of the applicants concerned and instead asks them to seek assistance from the SWD in the first instance, bearing in mind that the HD can determine whether or not to accept the SWD's recommendations?

Answer:

Mr President,

The Housing Department receives about 200 requests each month from households living in public rental housing for transfer to other flats or for additional flats as a result of splitting of households. Each application is considered on its merits. The majority of requests can be resolved by the Housing Department. If it appears that there may be social or medical grounds which support a request, or that professional counselling may help to resolve the problem faced by an applicant, the Department will refer the case to the Social Welfare Department for advice.

The Housing Department normally accepts the Social Welfare Department's advice. Where the Housing Department does not concur, the two departments will jointly reassess the situation and reach an agreed conclusion on how to handle the case. There is no question of the Housing Department rejecting the Social Welfare Department's advice.

End

Cross harbour tunnels toll charges ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by Dr 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:

It has been reported that the Western Harbour Crossing will be completed ahead of schedule and open to traffic at the beginning of next year. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:

34

(a) when the Western Harbour Crossing becomes operational, the toll will still be set at $30 per trip as previously determined; and

(b) the Government will consider adjusting the tolls for the Eastern Harbour Crossing and the Cross Harbour Tunnel before the Western Harbour Crossing comes into operation, so as to narrow the difference in the tolls charged by the three tunnels?"

Reply:

Mr President,

The toll levels for the Western Harbour Crossing are provided for in Schedule 1 to the Western Harbour Crossing Ordinance. Section 36 of the Ordinance states that the Western Harbour Tunnel Company shall not charge tolls greater than those specified in Schedule 1, which are based on 1997 prices. The level for private cars specified therein is $30. The specified toll levels will enable the franchisee to service its debts and earn a reasonable return over his investment, taking into account the project cost, market risks and the anticipated traffic volume, for which a detailed study has been conducted.

In line with existing policy, an application for toll increase from the franchisees of the Eastern Harbour Crossing and the Cross Harbour Tunnel will be considered on the basis of its own merits under the terms of their respective franchises.

We appreciate that the toll differential between the Western Harbour Crossing and the two other cross-harbour tunnels might affect usage. We will monitor the traffic volume and pattern of utilisation of the three tunnels after the commencement of operation of the Western Harbour Crossing.

End

35

Appointment to senior civil service posts

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Eric Li Ka-cheung and a written reply by the Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr W K Lam, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The training and accreditation of ’professional accountants’ in the territory are undergoing major reforms which aim to raise the standards and international standing of locally qualified professional accountants and expand the field of competency requirements. In the light of this, will the Government inform this Council whether it will review the ranking criteria of civil service posts especially at the Head of Department and Policy Secretary levels so that holders of accredited professional accounting qualifications can be considered for filling such posts?

Reply:

Mr President,

We set the entry requirements for individual civil service grades having regard to the job requirements of the grade concerned. A professional qualification is stipulated for appointment to a particular grade which calls for expertise in that profession.

In respect of professional accountants, the qualifications of the Hong Kong Society of Accountants (HKSA) are accepted for appointment to the following entry ranks -

Entry Rank

Treasury Accountant

Accounting Officer II

Insolvency Officer 11

Auditor

Examiner

Assistant Assessor

Insurance Officer

I lead of Grade

) Director of Accounting Services

)

Official Receiver

) Director of Audit

)

Commissioner of Inland Revenue

Commissioner of Insurance

36

We last reviewed the entry qualification requirements of the above ranks in 1993/94 when the HKSA introduced a new examination structure for the joint HKSA/Chartered Association of Certified Accountants (ACCA) professional examinations. As a result of the review, we revised the entry requirements for the ranks of Accounting Officer II, Insolvency Officer II, Examiner and Assistant Assessor which do not require full HKSA membership, to reflect changes to the HKSA examination levels. Although HKSA modified the examination structure leading to the full membership of the HKSA, we continue to accept this full membership for entry to the ranks of Treasury Accountant, Auditor and Insurance Officer.

Senior positions in the civil service are normally filled by internal promotion of officers from the lower rank. For appointment or promotion to senior positions at Head of Department and Branch Secretary levels, apart from considering any qualifications relevant to the job, we have to consider the other essential abilities of the officers, such as administrative and management skills, experience, leadership and any special attribute required of the post.

End

Complaints against Labour Tribunal *****

Following is a question by the Hon Leung Yiu-chung and a written reply by the acting Chief Secretary, the Hon Donald Tsang, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Some employers and employees have complained that the presiding officers of the Labour Tribunal often scold the claimants and the defendants while adjudicating claims. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council whether:

(a) there is any channel for the claimant or the defendant to lodge a complaint during a hearing if they are dissatisfied with the presiding officer’s manner; if not, why not; and

(b) any complaints against presiding officers of the Labour Tribunal have been received over the past five years; if so, what the types of complaints arc and how the complaints have been handled, and whether the Government will consider adopting measures to improve the situation?

37

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) Parties wishing to complain about the conduct of a Presiding Officer of the Labour Tribunal may do so to the Chief Magistrate. The Chief Magistrate will investigate the complaint and take such action as may be appropriate, but will not interfere with any on-going judicial proceedings or decisions. Parties are informed of these complaint procedures through information pamphlets available in the Labour Tribunal.

(b) In the past five years, the Judiciary has received some 50 complaints about the Labour Tribunal. These were mainly about Presiding Officers not accepting the complainants’ evidence, the long waiting times for cases to be heard or concluded and, occasionally, about a Presiding Officer’s conduct of the case. Each of these complaints was investigated. Where appropriate, the complainant is advised to pursue the matter through appeal. Waiting times are no longer a problem at the Labour Tribunal as cases are now normally heard and concluded in one to two months. Where the complaint concerns a Presiding Officer’s conduct, it is brought to that officer's attention and he is requested to provide an explanation to the Chief Magistrate. Where the Chief Magistrate considers the complaint justified, he submits the case to the Chief Justice.

1 have the Judiciary’s reassurance that they will continue to ensure that parties to proceedings in the Labour Tribunal receive, and are seen to receive, a fair hearing.

End

38

Overseas training for administrative officers *****

Following is a question by the Hon David Li and a reply by the Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr W K Lam, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It has been reported that about 15 administrative officers will be sent to attend a pilot development programme at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, which replaces the course previously undertaken at Oxford University. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the criteria used in selecting the appropriate university for the development programme;

(b) of the total cost of sending an administrative officer to the University of Michigan's programme as compared to the cost of sending an administrative officer to the programme at Oxford University; and

(c) whether it will consider sending administrative officers to similar programmes at a selected university in mainland China?

Reply:

Mr President,

In November 1994, Civil Service Branch invited a number of prestigious universities from different countries to submit proposals for a training programme for Administrative Officers. Selection of the institution to run the course was based on the resource of the teaching faculty, the structure, content, administration and cost of the proposed programme, as well as the specialisation of the institution. The proposal from the University of Michigan was eventually chosen as it was best able to meet our requirements in these regards. The teaching faculty assigned to the programme include renowned experts in different fields, and the University of Michigan itself is also highly reputable. Its Political Science Department, Business School and Law School, which are involved in organising the training programme, are consistently being ranked among the top in the United States.

39

The average cost of sending an officer to the 3-month course at Michigan University is around $150,000 as compared to $220,000 for the 9-month Oxford Course. It should be noted that the University of Michigan’s programme is shorter but more compact in that it includes a speaker series in addition to the three core and one elective subjects.

The objective of the new programme in the University of Michigan is to expose young Administrative Officers to the latest concepts in management, public administration and international economics. The first course will begin in September this year. We have no plan to replicate this training programme in other universities at this stage. However, since July 1993, the Administration has been sending Administrative and departmental officers to the Tsinghua University in Beijing to attend a five-week course. The aims of the course are to enhance the abilities of participants in the use of Putonghua and written Chinese, and to increase their understanding of the political, social, economic and legal systems in China. So far 13 courses have been organised.

End

Franchised public transport companies concessionary schemes ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

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:

At present, the Government offers many concessionary schemes to franchised public transport companies to assist them in reducing their operating costs and developing their services. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the specific concessionary scheme which the Government offers to each franchised bus company;

(b) the specific concessionary scheme which the Government offers to each franchised ferry company; and

(c) the criteria adopted by the Government for determining that concessionary schemes should be offered to the above franchised companies?

40

Reply:

Mr President,

The Administration offers different concessions to franchised bus and ferry companies.

Franchised bus companies are granted exemptions from fuel tax, first registration tax, annual licence fees for buses and rentals for depots.

Franchised ferry companies are permitted to let space at ferry piers for commercial use and at vehicular ferry pier concourses for public parking, on condition that the revenue so generated is used to cross-subsidise ferry operations. Franchised ferry companies are also exempted from annual licence fees for vessels and rentals for short term tenancy sites.

The criteria for the provision of concessions to franchised transport operators include the question of whether the concessions would help reduce operating costs, improve services and achieve specific Government policy objectives, e.g. to encourage public transport operators to introduce or improve concessionary fares for the elderly.

End

Environmental Impact Assessments on 146 government projects

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Law Cheung-kwok and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of infrastructural and construction projects undertaken by the Government over the past three years in which Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) have been undertaken, and the main classifications of these projects;

(b) of the major recommendations concerning environmental protection made in the EIA reports and which of these recommendations have been adopted by the Government; and

41

(c) how many of the above ElAs were conducted by private consultancy firms, and what was the total amount of consultancy fees paid by the Government in this regard?

Answer:

Mr President,

(a) Since 1993, a total of 146 EI As on Government projects have been undertaken. They are broadly classified as follows:

Port and airport-related projects

Feasibility studies

Site formation, drainage and water supply

Sewerage and waste disposal

Roads, bridges and railways

Residential developments

Miscellaneous

Total:

9

5

27

24

47

31

3

146

(b) The recommendations arising from EIAs arc aimed at preventing and mitigating any adverse environmental impacts attributable to the development projects. They vary according to the nature, scale and location of a project and the environmental impacts it generates. The recommendations include, for example, noise barriers or enclosures for a road project; amendments to the design, shape, timing, sequence and method of reclamation works; conservation measures for projects located in ecologically sensitive areas; and monitoring and auditing arrangements to minimise noise, air and water quality impacts, etc. These are implemented either by appropriate design of the projects or through contractual or lease conditions. There have been occasional difficulties in the past in enforcing proper and full implementation of EIA recommendations. The EIA Bill, which is now being examined by a Bills Committee of the Legislative Council, seeks to introduce a statutory mechanism for enforcing the EIA requirements.

(c) All the EIAs were carried out by private consultants. The total amount of consultancy fees paid by the Government for the 60 EIAs which have been completed over the past three years are still being collated and the information will be provided to Hon Members as soon as it is available. However, it may be useful to note that for most projects, the cost of the EIA study is less than one percent of the project cost.

End

42

Air quality in underground car parks monitored *****

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

Question:

As the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) intends to issue a practice note regarding the control of air quality in underground car parks, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether the EPD regularly monitors the air quality in underground car parks; if so, of the results of the inspections conducted by the EPD in the past three years;

(b) whether, in assessing the air quality in such car parks, the effects of such pollutants as benzene, suspended particulates and ozone emitted by petrol-engined vehicles and diesel-engined vehicles have been assessed; if not, why not; and

(c) in regard to those car parks with air quality below the required standards, whether the Government has put in place any measures requiring the management companies to improve the air quality in such car parks; and whether the Government will consider introducing legislation to regulate the air quality in underground car parks?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) conducted surveys on the levels of carbon monoxide in 38 underground car parks in the territory in late 1992 and early 1993. The surveys showed that half of these car parks have relatively high concentrations of carbon monoxide, which could be reduced if ventilation was improved.

(b) Pollutants such as benzene, suspended particulates and ozone have not been assessed because carbon monoxide levels are generally indicative of the air quality inside a car park. Other air pollutants are unlikely to be excessive if carbon monoxide is maintained at an acceptable level.

43

(c) At present, there are no air quality standards for car parks. However, in consultation with air pollution experts and various professional bodies, the Environmental Protection Department is compiling Practice Notes on the Control of Air Pollution in Car Parks, for issue to developers, professionals and car park management companies. The Practice Notes, which will be issued later this year, will set out the air quality guidelines for carbon monoxide and, as an additional precaution, nitrogen dioxide, and will advise on measures - such as the installation of monitors, car park layout and ventilation requirements - to improve air quality inside car parks. The EPD will monitor compliance with the Practice Notes before considering whether legislation is necessary to regulate the air quality in car parks.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, July 4,1996

Contents Page No,

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

Governor to visit London and Brussels.................................... 17

Hong Kong attracts high-tech manufacturing........................... 18

Further textiles talks with US fail to reach agreement................... 20

Trade Marks (Amendment) Rules 1996....................................... 21

Results of 1994 survey of industrial production.......................... 22

Fees for aircraft noise certificates revised............................. 25

Grading of beach water quality.........................................   26

Public briefing session on quality school education...................... 30

Schools reminded of teacher recruitment service...................... 31

Video tape on teaching General Studies................................... 32

Promotion of factory inspectorate........................................ 32

Port users advised to proceed with extra care............................ 33

Chance to see water quality improvement in action........................ 34

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations..................... 35

1

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

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

Mr Albert Ho (in Chinese): I have a question that is very current, it’s not within the four topics, and that is the freedom of entry into China. I’m sure the Governor would be willing to answer the question.

The President: It is in order.

Mr Albert Ho (in Chinese): Thank you. Mr governor, I'm sure you are aware of the fact that a number of legislative councillors, together with representatives of local organisations, attempted to go back to China to express their views in a peaceful manner. But, unfortunately they were denied entry at the airport and their home return permits were confiscated.

Now with the coming of 1997, there is increasing contact between China and Hong Kong. There arc a lot of people who work in China and they also invest in China. They get married and raise a family in China. And so there are people who arc going back to China and coming back to Hong Kong every day. So if the Chinese Government can arbitrarily make use of the regulations and deny entry to Hong Kong people and even confiscate their home return permits, a lot of worry will be with us.

So my question for the governor is this; what can the Hong Kong Government do on our behalf? For instance, clarifying with the Chinese authorities their policies in relation to entering China. Now China in fact is our country and how can we have freedom of entry to China and protect our rights?

Governor: First of all I can assure the honourable member that the question does come under those subjects which are suggested for today. I think it comes under safety at work!

The President: For people with a disability though!

Governor: 1 think that would get me into trouble with the Equal Opportunities Commission if I was to say anything like that.

2

I think the whole community has been shocked by what happened this week. Some may not have been surprised but I think most have been shocked. A group of legislators, carrying a petition and more important, carrying what I understand to be perfectly valid travel documents were stopped from entering China, their country after 1997, and had their travel documents removed. I’m not quite sure under what law or under what regulation. I’m sure that there would be a local and international outcry if the Government in Hong Kong was simply to take away peoples’ travel documents in a similar way. It would be intolerable because we have the rule of law in Hong Kong. It’s the spine of our system.

So we, I think understandably, expressed our concern to the New China News Agency and asked what the reason for this course of action was and I think the New China News Agency declined to add to the comments made by officials in Peking that this was because the Legislators in question or may be the petition in question represented some sort of threat to state security. Now sometimes I disagree with honourable members, but I’ve never thought of them as being terribly threatening and we know perfectly well that other people have carried petitions to Peking before and have been very courteously received, even when officials haven't agreed with the terms of the petition. We know that Greenpeace protesters, none of them 1 think about to become Chinese citizens, recently had their petition accepted perfectly courteously by Chinese officials. So I do think this was most unfortunate and I think that inevitably it had a rather bad taste on a day when people were thinking about what lies ahead in a year’s time. It’s another example of confidence being disturbed, not by the present Government, not by the British Government, but by Chinese officials.

Now I always think that it’s better to talk to people rather than to anathematise them. I. came back from a visit to the United States recently and was greeted by a crowd of friends of the New China News Agency, gathered in from the highways and byways of Mong Kok, to salute my re-emergence in Hong Kong society. I didn’t regard that as being threatening, I regarded it as being, even though I disagreed with what they were saying, one of the aspects of living in a free and open society. And I do think it would be better for China’s reputation internationally and better for China’s image as we approach the transition in Hong Kong for Chinese officials to talk to people, even when they disagree with them rather than try to reject their views out of hand.

Nothing is going to change the fact that the majority of public pinion in Hong Kong supports the continuance of a free, open, democratic society and that isn’t going to be changed by the calendar and it’s not going to be changed by taking away people's valid travel documents.

3

There’s a limit to what the present Hong Kong Government can do about it except to make its views clear, as I’ve made my views clear today and as other officials have made their views clear in the last few days.

It’s inconceivable, I assume, that the same thing could happen after I July, 1997, when those concerned would all, of course, be in a real sense citizens of one country, of China, and in those circumstances if anything like that was even contemplated, I'm sure that the SAR Government would want to make sure that a decision like that was reversed. I assume that it’s only because they’ve been waiting for a meeting in order to express their point of view, that members of the preparatory committee will want to say some of these things, though they may wish to say them in private rather than in public because I don’t think this has been a very happy episode in the transition. People may disagree with those who went to Peking, they may disagree with what they were saying in their petition, but I don’t honestly think that anybody regards them as a horrendous threat.

Mr Albert Ho (in Chinese): Yes I fully agree with what the Governor has said but what concerns us most actually is what can we do at this point? Whether it be this side of ’97 or after ’97, the Hong Kong Government has the responsibility to, on behalf of us, protect our rights. We have people in Hong Kong, including Legislators, their travel documents have been arbitrarily taken away from them and their entry has been arbitrarily denied. And then of course there are also cases when people who are denied exit and they have to remain in China.

So would the Government consider taking it up at the JLG level and as to understanding, could there be a sort of memorandum of understanding, some sort of arrangement, things made clear. Because when we have people investing in China, people go to work in China, they should be prepared, they should be fully aware of what is going to happen. So could the Governor be more specific as to what can be done?

Governor: To be honest with the honourable member. I’m not quite sure what the subject would be on the JLG agenda. Would the subject be that those with Chinese travel documents should be able to travel around the world on them? I mean, of course that must be what Chinese travel documents mean and I presume there is some law in China which should govern these matters and there may be legal remedies available to honourable members at some time in China. I’m not sure but we know that there are slightly odd things that sometimes happen to people with travel documents with a Chinese chop on them. We have living in our midst a Chinese trade unionist who even though he had a valid Chinese passport is refused re-entry to China on it. Presumably because he too is regarded as some sort of threat.

4

All I can say to the honourable gentleman is that I very much hope that there won't be similar incidents like this because they not only raise concerns in this community but they raise concerns outside this community about issues like freedom of travel for people in Hong Kong in the future. And those are concerns which it's in nobody's interest to raise.

Mr Edward Ho (in Chinese): Thank you Mr President. Mr Governor I would like to ask you a question about the Western Corridor Railway.

Now recently we had quite some meetings on the Western Corridor Railway and yesterday we had a motion debate on this. So I don't want to dwell on the details, but of course we all find it very regrettable that to this day it seems like the completion date of the Western Corridor Railway is about to be delayed and we don't know when and we don't even know the commencement date of the construction.

So 1 would like to know, now originally the Chinese Government seemed to be in favour of this project but all along the Chinese Government has expressed its dissatisfaction about the information provided by the Hong Kong Government. It's lacking and you seem to be unwilling to provide information to the Chinese side, including the study report. And actually now recently there was a report about 2,000 pages and you furnished a report to LegCo and I think that report can be published to the public. Now if you are to co-operate with the Chinese Government, if you want to strike a dialogue with the Chinese Government so that these major infrastructural projects could be constructed, or could be studied further, but if at the same time you do not provide such details to the Government, of course I must add that such information needs to be further looked into because you haven't made a final decision on this project, but anyhow such information has already been published. So strategically speaking, or tactically speaking, if you do not provide such information to the Chinese side what benefits can we get? Of course, 1 understand that next week the Secretary for Transport is going to visit Beijing but I'd like to know, strategically speaking, why was it that in the past you did not provide such information to the Chinese side?

Governor: But we did. We briefed the Chinese side in the Joint Liaison Group consistently and I think the honourable gentleman is raising a very large red herring. On the one hand he says that he wants us to get on with the Western Corridor Railway. On the other hand he stirs up again an argument about whether somehow we're failing to inform the preparatory committee or Chinese officials and must do so and get their chop before we take any further steps.

I think things have been said in the context of the preparatory committee discussions in the last few weeks which have been extremely unfortunate and unhelpful and perhaps have more to do with the dynamics of the preparatory committee than they do with the dynamics of public transport in Hong Kong.

5

Let’s be clear what I think the community is agreed about. I think the community has made up its mind that it wants the Western Corridor Railway and the other associated elements in the railway development strategy. I don’t think, there is, as it were, a whether question. The issues arc how we best build the railway, how much its going to cost, how we can do it in the most expeditious and financially sensible way and that’s what we're trying to examine at the moment. We’re undertaking a number of studies. Now some Honourable Members say that the studies are too expensive, that there are too many of them. I have to say that in proportion to the total likely cost of the project, the cost of the studies isn't out of line. We've just come to this Legislative Council and got approval for $90 million in order to undertake studies for electronic road pricing, which we reckon will cost in all about a billion. So almost 10% is going in consultancy fees, in studies to make sure that the project is as efficient as possible and by and large that sort of percentage figure, of a total project, isn't out of order. We need those studies and we will keep honourable members wholly informed as we have in the past about the studies we're going to do and about the results of those studies. Now the sooner those studies, particularly on the alignment of the Western Corridor Railway, give us the opportunity to reach decisions, we'll reach those decisions. But it must be perfectly obvious to honourable members that the Western Corridor Railway is going to be built by the SAR Government and it will be a matter within the SAR Government's autonomy. The Government of Hong Kong will reach decisions as soon as it can. If those decisions have to be arrived at before July 1, 1997, we would of course need to have the enthusiastic agreement of my successor. Otherwise it would make no sort of sense whatsoever. If the main decisions are taken on the other side of July 1, 1997,1 want to make sure that my successor has the best possible and most informed basis on which to take those decisions. But I really don't think that we should allow this important discussion to get distorted by arguments about whether or not we've given China enough information. Particularly, as I repeat, since when it comes to building this project, it should be a matter wholly within the autonomy of the SAR.

The President: Mr Ho, do you have a follow-up?

Mr Edward Ho: Yes, thank you Mr President. May be the translation was not very good, so I will just have to follow-up in English, because I mean I think the Governor probably has a prepared answer but that was not the question I asked. First of all I didn't raise any question about the costs of studies and so on and so forth, because I'm not in a position to comment on the cost you know until all the figures are known and all that.

And I'm certainly not trying to stir up something. I'm merely asking a simple question as far as how to co-operate with the Chinese. I mean during this period, I fully agree after 1997, this is the kind of project that Hong Kong SAR Government should do on its own, should decide on its own. But unfortunately at this time we do have to co-operate with the Chinese and I'm merely asking the question whether, you know, he agrees that the flow of information would be beneficial?

6

Governor: Totally, totally and we have provided a great deal of information to Chinese officials, both inside the JLG and outside and will continue to do so.

The only point that I was seeking to make is that the decisions taken about the Western Corridor Railway, in many cases, will be taken either on the brink of the transition or after the transition and they'll be about a project which lies wholly within the autonomy of the SAR. Now that doesn't mean that Chinese officials shouldn't be kept fully informed. Of course they should be kept fully informed but I don't think we should think that we have to negotiate each element as we try to put together the information, out of which a decision will be shaped, with Chinese officials. I don't think that would be in the interests of Hong Kong and I don't think it would be in the interests of getting on with the project as quickly as possible.

So I'm all for giving maximum information. I'm also all for ensuring that we have all the information that we need in order to make a decision as soon as we can.

The honourable member actually mentioned two issues which I didn't touch on. One issue, namely the commencement date. We'll obviously want to start the project if it's agreed to go ahead with it, as soon we can. The problems, not unique, but the problems that we particularly face with the Western Corridor Railway are those of land resumption in the New Territories which will both take time and be fairly costly. We'll be coming to this Council later in the year with legislative proposals which would enable us to resume land, not just for the Western Corridor Railway, but for other rail projects as well and I hope that members will deal with that legislation expeditiously. I can assure the honourable member and others tie their hands as far as the Western Corridor Railway is concerned but it will make it possible to go ahead with the Western Corridor Railway rapidly, if honourable members here and others decide that that should happen.

Dr Yeung Sum (in Chinese): Thank you Mr President. I'm more concerned about the disabled and job opportunities for them. I low could the Government take the lead and provide job opportunities for them? And how would the Government go about encouraging employers to employ these disabled people?

Governor: We had what I thought, and I believe those present thought, was a third interesting and useful summit on the issue of disability and employment last week. Certainly one member of the Council who's here at the moment was there and played a distinguished part in the proceedings.

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I think that those meetings, like the ones we've held on disability and transport, have helped to push things forward and though in the area of disability and employment there's, I still think, much further to go. It's been perhaps particularly difficult over the last year because of the tightening in the labour market generally, but we've still managed to place about 1400, just over 1400 people with disabilities through our own Labour Department services. We've still managed to increase the number of people with a disability employed in Government to about 4,200 and we managed to do better than our target of 500 in creating new job opportunities elsewhere for people with disabilities. We actually got to about 550.

Now we've increased those targets for the coming year, for example the last target from 550 to 700 and I hope that we will make it.

My impression is that that most important thing that we have to do is to encourage employers to understand that they're doing themselves a favour by employing somebody with a disability rather than doing the person with a disability a favour. I think we have a real problem of education and it's interesting how, in some sectors, one or two firms employ a lot of people with disabilities and others hardly any. Let me give one example which may not be well taken by those that I don't mention. In the area of the media and broadcasting, ATV have an outstandingly good record. We appealed to a number of organisations during the course of this year to take on more people with a disability ATV, I think I'm right in recalling, took on an extra 14. Hong Kong Commercial Broadcasting took on an extra couple. None of the other people that we contacted replied.

So it's an indication of how employers, individual firms, if they focus on the issue, if they make a real effort, can actually help and help themselves by getting loyal, hard working and dedicated members of staff, even if those members of staff have a disability.

Mr Zachary Wong (in Chinese): Thank you Mr President. Mr Governor, last year in your policy address you stressed one point, that is one of the top priority items is external transport means for NT North-West. And you, and your Government have time and again stressed that you would try your level best to complete WCR before 2001 and yet recently you've said that that's to be decided on by the SAR Government. So that would mean that the project will not be completed by 2001 and we don't know when that will be completed and so in NT North-West the residents in Yuen Long and Tuen Mun are extremely disappointed, they don't know how many more years they will have to suffer traffic congestion.

So do you actually feel guilty about it? And what other commitments are you prepared to put in in relation to their problem?

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The President: May I suggest that as this is the last sitting for Governor's Question Time for this session, at this rate 1 think we can only take five, six questions. May 1 suggest that Members keep their questions succinct and the Governor keeps his answers succinct too.

Governor: The Governor will try to be only a little longer than the questions in his answers.

Let me make it clear again what I've said. I don't think the Honourable Member disputes the fact that the Western Corridor Railway, if it's decided to build it, will be built by the SAR Government. Now, the initial decision may be taken, if we get all the studies we have to do completed in time, may be taken before July 1, 1997. But we would obviously need, in those circumstances, to take those decisions with the agreement of my successor. Otherwise we'd be in a ridiculous position and we'd be in a position which was extremely unfair to the SAR Government.

That's not an attempt to cop out of the importance of getting ahead with this project as rapidly as possible. 1 share the Honourable gentleman's commitment to this project, and the other elements in it. I know from my visit to Tuen Mun the other day how much concern there is in that community about getting on with the project. We have, as the Honourable gentleman knows, agreed to extend the Western Corridor Railway from the outskirts of Tuen Mun to the centre and the sooner the project can be completed the better.

I hope the Honourable Member and other Honourable Members are out there supporting the Government when we start having arguments about land resumption when we find ourselves dealing with the problem of 1,000 graves in the New Territories and all those other issues. We'll need support from Honourable Members then and I hope we get it.

Mr Zachary Wong (in Chinese): Very briefly, actually my question is, now you won't be able to complete by 2001, so will there be fresh commitments on the Government side in order to ease the traffic congestion problem?

Governor: I can't tell the Honourable gentleman exactly when we'll be able to complete it. It may be that the decision will be taken to do the project in phases and, for example, to complete the passenger railway system to the North-West New Territories which will generate financial Hows, before other parts of the project. It's very difficult to know whether, how to take those decisions and when to take them, but I can assure the Honourable gentleman that we understand as well as he does the transport problems in the North-West New Territories. The main answer to them is the Western Corridor Railway in my judgement, though I'm not pre-empting later debate, but we also have to continue to do things like improve the road system and the ferry system to the North-West New Territories and particularly Tuen Mun.

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Mrs Selina Chow: Governor, if we can now make the decision on the second runway for it to be completed by the end of 1998. Why can’t the decision on the west rail be made in the same way and would the Governor do anything or everything he can to expedite this very important and urgent decision in the same way that he has resolved the question on the second runway?

Governor: Well, can I just say once again that I am delighted now that the questions are all about pressing us to complete the Western Corridor as rapidly as possible rather than questions focusing on some of the intestines of consultants' reports. I think that's a very helpful development in the debate. In the case of the second runway, we were dealing with a proposal that came to us from the Airport Authority, a proposal which clearly added to the economic and transport viability of the project which is nearing completion. It's a project which doesn't need any resumption of land and in relation to the rest of the project, it is, well, not cheap, but it's not as expansive as something like the Western Corridor Railway. In the case of the Western Corridor Railway, we are talking about the need to deal about 400 hectares of land. We are dealing with a project which at present prices is likely to cost 75 billion and we are dealing with a lot of queries not least reasonable ones from some honourable members about whether this or that alignment is right, about whether this or that particular proposal for the railway is the right one. So it is a rather more complicated business but I assure the honourable lady that we will try to complete the whole business of coming to a decision as rapidly as we can and then get on with the project as rapidly as we can and I hope we can complete it in I long Kong time.

Selina Chow: I entirely take the Governor's point. But the gist of my question lies with the point as to why we should be taking into consideration the appointment of the Chief Executive Designate. Why can't we just press ahead and do whatever is necessary to expedite that decision whenever that Chief Executive Designate is appointed...

Governor: I can assure the honourable lady that if we can come to the decision next week or the week after that or within a couple of months we in Government would want to make that decision. We would of course in those circumstances want to go to the Chinese officials in the Preparatory Committee and say that we intended that, we wanted to go ahead in that way. I was merely seeking to be realistic and I am sure the honourable lady would be very shocked if we arc in a position after the appointment of a Chief Executive Designate has been announced if we are in a position to make the decision and we didn't consult the Chief Executive Designate about it. We are now trying to shovel off our responsibilities. We arc merely trying to ensure that the Government of Hong Kong and the development of some of the biggest infrastructure projects in Hong Kong represents a seamless transition as far as possible.

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Mr Law Chi-kwong (in Chinese): Mr Governor, just now you said there are 4,200 civil servants in the government who are disabled but actually about 950 of them are colour-blind and usually we would not include colour-blind people under the category of disabled. So. actually, if we take that out only about 2% or less than 2% of the civil servants are disabled persons. I would like to know whether you have any plans to set an employment target, for example 4% or 5% of the civil service to be filled up by people with a disability? And I would also like to know whether you are going to request or direct statutory bodies or subvented organisations to set a similar employment target?

Governor: Let me be helpful straight away to the honourable gentleman. We have been asked this question so many times before that the Secretary for the Civil Service has decided we will put ourselves in the position in which we no longer have to answer it next year. So, we are going to redefine the figures and we are going to take out those who arc colour-blind and set a new and appropriate target.

But let me tell the honourable gentleman what the consequence of that is. At present there arc 70 grades in the civil Service where you need to have the ability to distinguish between colours. Some of those grades are obvious, for example the Fire Service - and not just to see the red fire-engines. If you take out the number of people employed in those grades from the total number of civil servants, and if you then take away from the figure of those civil servants with a disability those whose disability is colour-blindness, the proportion of disabled civil servants in the figure that is left goes up not down. So in a sense the government's position in percentage terms looks better if we remove the figure for those with the impairment that the honourable gentleman mentioned, an impairment which - and I won't embarrass him - is shared by one of the honourable gentleman's honourable friends.

So we will, from next year, present the figures differently. We will give an aggregate figure which includes those with a colour-blindness but we will give a separate figure removing both the grades which need full colour on the one hand and those among the disabled with colour-blindness too. And then we will have to set ourselves on the basis of that new baseline, we will have to set ourselves a new and higher target year on year. This year we did rather better than bur target and I hope we can do so in the future.

I am loathe to direct bodies outside government but we have encouraged bodies outside government to pursue the same sort of employment policy that we have been following, and some - the Housing Authority is a case in point - have done pretty well in providing opportunities for people with a disability and we are very grateful to them. But I do think that if you set up organisations to run a sector of public administration you should be a little bit careful about how many things you direct them to do.

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Mr Law Chi-kwong (in Chinese): A simple suggestion. Could you consider that for certain fire-engines and ambulances they could be green in colour, because 1 have seen them before?

Governor: I would consider anything. It may disappoint quite a lot of children.

The president: The industrial safety-cross is certainly green in colour.

Governor: Perhaps it will be more environmentally-friendly if we change the colour.

Mr Sin Chung-kai (in Chinese): Mr President, recently we've got a group of people going to Beijing and they've been denied entry and they were checked against a name list. So we are concerned. Now where people use a Hong Kong ID and also the BN(O) to enter or go out of Hong Kong, now we've got this list, whether it be white or black, and then when they go through the immigration control point, would that scenario occur? That is, either our BN(O) or our identify cards be taken away. So there wouldn't be anywhere else in the world that would take us and then people in this Chamber and at least 20 people arc on that list, if not 30. So what would the Government do?

Governor: Well. I attempted to answer this question at some length earlier, or a related question. I think the point the honourable gentleman is making is what would happen if, presumably after 1997, people with valid documents to go in and out of Hong Kong had them taken away. Is that the point the honourable gentleman is making?

Mr Sin Chung-kai (in Chinese): It's ver}' simple. Now a lot of us want to go out of Hong Kong and travel as much as possible before 1997, because we fear that we might not be re-admitted to Hong Kong after 1997. Now that list might very well apply to people in Hong Kong later on.

Governor: I see why the events on Monday raise that anxiety in people’s minds but it is, of course, I think I can say this with confidence, far fetched. Immigration is one of the issues that comes within the responsibilities of the Hong Kong SAR Government and it will be for the Immigration Department of the Hong Kong Government to apply the law and operate under the rule of law and under the rule of law it is simply inconceivable that the events that the honourable gentleman described could happen in Hong Kong, either before or after 1997. If that were to happen, it would mean that the rule of law had simply been trampled underfoot.

The President: But the list, if the list exists, it's not the responsibility of the Hong Kong Government is it?

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Governor: Well, I think it was the question of a list was a sort of sub-text to the honourable gentleman’s main anxiety, but certainly we have no list which contains the name of Legislators who we think represent a threat to the security of this astonishingly stable community.

Mr Henry Tang: Mr President, Governor. I'd like to ask a question regarding employment of the disabled. I was very encouraged to hear that the Governor is prepared to commit the Hong Kong Government to taking a leading role in employing disabled persons.

After the last summit I must say that I was overwhelmed by the response I received, especially from disabled groups that they do not sec themselves as a burden on the society, they do not like to receive welfare and they like to be able to contribute to the community as much as anybody else.

So as far as what I proposed in the last summit, if the Government were to be able to co-operate together with the disabled people then I'm prepared to co-ordinate, to open convenience stores in Government institutions such as schools, hospitals and other Government institutions. Now judging from the overwhelming response. I think it is something that they'd very much like to pursue.

I'd like the Governor to clarify for me today whether you are prepared to commit the Education and Manpower Branch or the Health and Welfare Branch, that those facilities would become available if I can come up with the capital and the disabled groups who are prepared to do that and employ predominantly disabled people?

Governor: The honourable gentleman's response last week to that point when it was put. I think by Sir Harry Fang, was extremely encouraging and of course we would want to give that initiative a fair wind. I suggest that perhaps the Secretary for Education and Manpower should get in touch with the honourable member with perhaps the Secretary for Health and Welfare. There may be a number of ways in which we can help, not just by the provision of facilities but also by trying to target supported employment places on a scheme like that. But I'm very grateful for the positive response which the honourable gentleman has made.

I know that there are other employers, like the MTR who have been extremely positive in the view they've taken of the employment of people with a disability and the MTR like the honourable gentleman, and like other employers, I mention ATV again, find the truth of what disability groups have said to the honourable member. That is, that people with a disability are tremendous contributors to the work-force and to the rest of society whenever they're given the opportunity.

13

The President: Mr Tang, short follow-up please.

Mr Henry Tang: Yes it will be a very short follow-up. If I may make a suggestion Governor that actually the Civil Service Branch does not strip out the colour blindness away from the statistics because I don't want to go into these micro arguments about which job really requires full colour awareness or which job you can get away with some degree of colour blindness. So that this way the figures will be even more esoteric and difficult to decipher in the future.

Governor: I think what we should do is to give an aggregate figure as we do today, but then give the doubting Thomas’ the other figure as well so that people don’t simply think that we’re, as it were, employing people with colour blindness as though they had greater disabilities than they do.

Mr Cheng Ka-fu (in Chinese): Mr Governor, I would like to ask you a question about the ICCPR. We all understand that the British Government firmly opposes the establishment of a Provisional Legislature, even to this day. For the United Front Against the Provisional Legislature, we encountered some difficulties and problems and you are aware of it. For some journalists, they have to sign some letters of repentance and in the letters of repentance they have to acknowledge that the United Front was an illegal organisation before they were released.

If the United Front is going to be considered an illegal organisation after 1997, for the ICCPR 1 understand that you are going to present a report before 1997 but the Chinese Government has refused to do so after 1997, so I would like to know, in your last report would you include the experience that we had on Monday, in the concluding report and reflect it fully to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights so that for the Democrats, after July 1, 1997, we will still enjoy our civil liberties?

Governor: First of all can I say that I can’t conceive of how the organisation to which the honourable gentleman belongs could be regarded as an illegal organisation either before or after 1997. 1 can’t conceive of how that could be the case if the Bill of Rights and the International Covenants were still being applied to Hong Kong. Hong Kong, if that were to happen, would not only be a much less agreeable place in which to live, it would be a much less successful place and a much less prosperous place in which to live, because that sort of Hong Kong would not attract international investment like today’s Hong Kong does. So 1 don’t believe that could conceivably be on anybody’s agenda and I am sorry that the events of Monday give the impression that it might be on the agenda.

14

I think the UN Commission on Human Rights is fully aware of our position on democratic development in Hong Kong. I am not sure whether a reference in our report to the treatment of honourable members in China would be relevant. It might be more relevant if China itself was a signatory to the International Covenants and that, of course, is the most important way in which China could underline its commitment to the application of those covenants in Hong Kong. At present there are undertakings in the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law that the International Covenants should be applied to Hong Kong and within the International Covenants themselves there are specific references to the reporting obligation. So there is no question in my mind, in the mind of the UN Human Rights Commission, in the mind of the European Union or in the mind of the International Commission of Jurists, that China has an obligation to report under the International Covenants after 1997.

Mr Cheng Ka-fu (in Chinese): A simple follow-up. So far I have not heard that there will be any appropriate avenues from the British Government that can help us. At least five of the members of this Council had Home Visit Permits confiscated. We are the United Front Against the Provisional Legislature, I think the Hong Kong Government and the British Government share our views. We used this status to visit Beijing and our Home Visit Permits are confiscated, I would like to know what avenues you can use to help us recover our Home Visit Permits?

Governor: I have said to the honourable member earlier that if the Chinese Government confiscate a valid Chinese document from a post-97 citizen who is travelling, there is a limit to what either the Hong Kong Government or the British Government can do to make them change their mind and disgorge the document. We, as the honourable gentleman knows, raised the issue with the New China News Agency vigorously. It has been referred to by the Chief Secretary during her visit to London. I have referred to it this afternoon. And unfortunately, the authorities in Peking persist in believing that the honourable gentleman represents some sort of threat to state security. I am not quite sure that I have ever regarded him in that alarming light and I am not sure that many other people around the world would be quite so worried about the honourable gentleman. He seems like a perfectly amiable fellow to me.

Mr Lawrence Yum Sin-ling (in Chinese): Mr Governor, I would like to know whether you are going to go through the JLG to reflect our treatment in Beijing, because our Home Visit Permits have been confiscated? This may undermine the acknowledgement of the future SAR passport by other countries in future.

Governor: 1 answered the question on the JLG earlier, saying that I was not sure under what heading we would deal with the confiscation of Chinese travel documents by the Chinese authorities. But we can certainly consider the matter before the next JLG in September. I hope that what happened on Monday won’t raise doubts about the SAR travel document and the returnability of people with the SAR travel document because if that was to happen it would send an extremely bad signal around the world. Let me emphasise again why it should have no bearing, reprehensible as it was, on the question of greater ease of travel for people with the SAR travel document.

15

Immigration is a matter which falls to the SAR Government within the terms of the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, so it will be for the Immigration Department of the SAR Government to determine policy and frontier controls and I cannot conceive of circumstances, 1 repeat, in which the Immigration Department of an SAR which was operating within the Basic Law and applying the rule of law, denied retumability to people with valid travel documents.

Dr John Tse Wing-ling (in Chinese): Mr President, a question in relation to the disabled and employment. I've always been very concerned about this issue. I've said here before that the number employed by this Government is not really that many. We have over 200,000 and now the total employed is only 34 and mentally, mentally handicapped that it, only employ 34.

Now when you talk about employment for the disabled, you want to educate the employers and in the UK and in Japan they use a percentage and they talk about positive discrimination. That is, well certain sizes of a company will have to employ a certain percentage of the disabled. And so will that sort of legislation be put in place in Hong Kong?

Governor: I think the honourable member isn't strictly correct about the position in the UK, though it is sometime since I've been there, but I don't think that's a completely accurate reflection of the position in the UK but I think that he has described the position in Japan.

I'm not, I have to say, very much in favour of statutory quotas which I think give employers or some employers the impression that somehow their doing something which isn't in their interest. I think we have to get employers to understand that employing people with a disability is in their interest and we have to make sure that there are other services available in society like better transport for the disabled which make it possible for people with a disability, having got a job, to get to it.

In Government I realise that we must go further. We have made substantial progress in the last couple of years, since we began these summit meetings. We intend to continue to make progress. We recognise that we have to give a lead but we hope, as well, that some of those who lecture us on doing better, like the media, will themselves do better and employ more people with a disability.

Dr John Tse Wing-ling (in Chinese): Mr President, well I don't believe the Governor would like to talk about the UK and the Governor doesn't want to talk about that. I do know about UK legislation and they want the companies to have 2% of their people disabled, but usually it's about one point something per cent, in other words the legislation is not really adhered to.

16

Now coming back to the point about transport and we don’t really have good enough means to resolve the problems here because if you’re in a wheelchair you can’t get on to a bus. Now I don’t want to talk about the transport issue.

My question is, would the Administration consider setting up a fund to help the disabled to become self-employed?

Governor: I'm certainly prepared to look at that. I think it's an issue which has been examined in the past when sometimes it's been suggested that it's not only people with a disability who should be helped with Government support to become self-employed. There are, of course, some existing financial mechanisms which could be used, including 1 assume supported employment which could assist to some extent. But I'll look at the honourable gentleman's question and come back to him on it.

Ms Chan Yuen-han (in Chinese): I'm happy that I'm able to get my question in. And my question is on industrial safety.

Let me give you my story Mr Governor. Last year in San Po Kong there was a boulder falling onto a bus and somebody was killed and we went around the construction site in San Po Kong and I found something that was really surprising. Now when we talk about private development, I was told that it's under the Labour Department and then I saw some scaffolding and there were some problems and I was told that that particular site was actually under the Housing Department. And somebody unfortunately fell into the water because he was on a gateway trying to get on shore and therefore it was between two departments. It was sort of a grey area.

So is this one of the reasons why we are not good enough in industrial safety? So can you do something to deal with cases like that?

Now of course you talk about Labour Department inspectors. What I wish to tell the Governor is, you are doing something that is very much window-dressing and you haven't really psked the OSHC to play a co-ordinating role. Now, I'm not saying the OSHC is totally powerless but they haven’t performed their full role. Now we have a lot of such incidents.

Now I have got a very long pre-amble. Now here comes my question: why isn't there a central co-ordinating body?

Governor: I honestly think that if the problem in Hong Kong on industrial safety was just a question of central co-ordination we'd have no difficulties. I think the problem is much more difficult than that and much more tragic than that and I would, without reservation, like to say to the honourable lady and other representatives of trade unions in this Legislative Council, that they've done as much as anybody to focus the community's attention on this, one of the worst blots on Hong Kong's record.

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Our figures on industrial safety, though they have been coming down slightly, are still appallingly high for a civilised community like this and we do have to work to bring them down much more. There are a lot of things we could do and are trying to do, following the report that we produced in 1995. One of them is to co-ordinate things within Government better and the group of colleagues under the Chairmanship of the Secretary for Education and Manpower, which met about three weeks ago, is meeting again next week to continue to try to ensure that we get a grip in Government on the various aspects of our responsibility for dealing with the problem.

I think we have to continue to increase the amount of inspection and regulation that we do. I have to say that we've actually increased the number of factory inspectors on the ground six and a half fold since 1992. Six and a half times as many factory inspectors now in place as there were in 1992. We're increased penalties, we've increased regulation. I hope that the two bills which are at present in the Legislative Council which have a bearing on these matters will be passed as quickly as possible. We will be bringing at least four or five further measures to the Legislative Council later in the year.

But after doing all this, at the end of the day, the real issue is whether we can get employers and employees to recognise that they have to work within a wholly different concept of safety than that which tends to have prevailed in the last few years. I hope we can make that breakthrough. So long as we fail to do so, there will alas be too many widows, too many fatherless children, as a result of accidents which are preventable and should be prevented in a civilised society like Hong Kong.

The President: In accordance with Standing Orders I now adjourn the Council until 2.30 pm, Wednesday, July 10, 1996.

End

Governor to visit London and Brussels ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, will leave Hong Kong tomorrow (Friday) on a regular duty visit to London to brief ministers of the latest developments in the territory and to visit Brussels to meet senior officials of the European Union.

Mr Patten will be in Brussels on July 8 and 9. He will have separate meetings with the President of the European Commission, Mr Jacques Santer, and the Commission's vice-presidents, Sir Leon Brittan and Mr Manuel Maim, as well as the President of the European Parliament, Mr Klaus Hansch, and the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Belgium, Mr Philippe Maystadt.

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The Governor will deliver a speech at a lunch hosted by the Royal Institute of International Relations and the Belgium Hong Kong Society.

In London, Mr Patten will discuss the Hong Kong situation with Prime Minister, Mr John Major, Foreign Secretary, Mr Malcolm Rifkind, and Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials. He will also attend a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons.

He will give a speech to the Centre of Policy Studies and will take the salute at the Royal Tournament.

The Governor will arrive back in Hong Kong on July 15.

End

Hong Kong attracts high-tech manufacturing ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Hong Kong is an attractive location for high-technology manufacturing in the Asia Pacific region, offering a competitive package of support services to industry as well as excellent infrastructure for technology-based production.

Speaking at the Motorola-Mosel Vitelic TMOS Foundry Co-operation Agreement Signing Ceremony today (Thursday), the Director-General of Industry, Mrs Regina Ip, also said: ’’The agreement marks a perfect match between two key players in the semiconductor industry in Hong Kong, and a significant breakthrough to local wafer fabrication."

Under the agreement, Motorola will bring 'front-end' wafer processing technology to Hong Kong and will for the first time fabricate silicon wafers in the territory.

"This agreement should generate considerable technological spin-offs to our semiconductor industry, and should contribute enormously towards propelling the semiconductor industry forward," Mrs Ip said.

"Today’s agreement is therefore a significant development for our semiconductor industry, and provides ample evidence that Hong Kong remains as attractive a location for high-tech manufacturing as any others in the region.

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’’Apart from boasting a thriving, domestic population of over six million consumers with ever growing demand for quality electronic products, Hong Kong is the gateway to the biggest emerging market of the world, the People’s Republic of China; and located at the hub of the most dynamically growing region in the world, the Asia Pacific region.

’’Hong Kong offers excellent infrastructure for all those engaged in high-tech production; a level playing field for all investors; a simple, predictable, low taxation system; and a stable environment for external investors characterised by the rule of law.”

Mrs Ip said notwithstanding the relocation of many assembly-type industrial operations across the border, the electronics industry had been one of the fastest growing and best-performing sectors of Hong Kong's manufacturing industry in terms of output, exports, and value added per person.

"Within the electronics industry itself, the electronic parts and components sector has performed particularly well: in terms of gross output the electronic parts and components sector grew at a much higher rate than the electronic finished product sector between 1983 and 1993 (7.7% per annum in the case of the former and 4.9% in the case of the latter), with the result that the gross output of the electronic parts and components sector rose to 28% of the electronics industry in 1993," she said.

Mrs Ip said, short of directly providing cash to businessmen to start businesses in Hong Kong, the Government was actively promoting the further development of the manufacturing industries.

The support measures the Government provides for the industries include the readily available serviced land at development cost in the Industrial Estates, and abundant skilled workforce, from among the 4000-plus graduates in engineering, science and technology from the seven degree-conferring institutions.

The Government also offers financial assistance for supporting applied R and D, under the Applied R and D Scheme and Co-operative Applied R and D Scheme and financial assistance towards training of staff in new technologies, under the New Technology Training Scheme.

End

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Further textiles talks with US fail to reach agreement ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The second round of bilateral consultations between Hong Kong and the United held in Washington D C in the last two days over the additional import measures imposed unilaterally by the US has failed to reach an agreement despite Hong Kong's offer to enhance the effectiveness of the cooperation between the two sides against illegal transhipment.

"We are disappointed that after two days' consultations, the two sides have not been able to come to an agreement," a government spokesman said today (Thursday).

"It is particularly regrettable since we have put forward a package of proposals that would enhance the two sides' effectiveness in combating illegal transhipment, in place of the unilateral measures that the US has imposed on us."

The Hong Kong delegation to the second round was led by the Commissioner of Customs and Excise, Mr Lawrence Li, and members comprised the Deputy Director-General of Trade, Mrs Rebecca Lai, and other officials from the Customs and Excise Department and the Trade Department.

The US side was led by the Deputy Commissioner for US Customs, Mr Michael Lane.

The spokesman said during the consultations, the two sides also discussed I long Kong's views on the US measures.

"We maintained our fundamental objections to these discriminatory measures which have been introduced unilaterally without any prior consultations and discussions with us to seek to establish the facts about the perceived problem of transshipment in Hong Kong," he said.

"The two sides have a better understanding of each other's position after the consultations but it is regrettable that the two sides have not been able to reach a resolution.

"We have therefore made clear to the US side that we would seriously consider taking the matter to the World Trade Organisation."

Hong Kong will now review its position, taking into account the discussion, before deciding on the way forward, the spokesman said.

End

21

Trade Marks (Amendment) Rules 1996 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Trade Marks (Amendment) Rules 1996, which seek to add a new rule on the notice of conversion of a trade mark application and prescribe the form and fee for filing such notice, will be gazetted tomorrow (Friday).

A spokesman for the Trade and Industry Branch said: ’’The Trade Marks Rules need to be amended as a consequence of the amendments made to the Trade Mark Ordinance by the Intellectual Property (World Trade Organisation Amendments) Ordinance 1996 (TRIPS Ordinance), which was enacted on May 3, 1996.

"The TRIPS Ordinance amends the Trade Marks Ordinance, among others, to bring it in line with the TRIPS standards. The relevant provisions are expected to come into operation before the end of 1996.

"As required by the TRIPS Agreement, transitional provisions were included in the TRIPS Ordinance to allow trade mark applicants whose applications are pending on the day the amendments come into operation to elect or opt to have their applications determined in accordance with the Trade Marks Ordinance, as amended by the TRIPS Ordinance."

The spokesman said: "The option would, in effect, allow an applicant to claim the enhanced protection afforded by the TRIPS Agreement.

"The option is exercised by filing a conversion notice in a prescribed form and paying an appropriate fee to the Registrar of the Trade Marks.

"The option must be exercised within six months after the amendments to the Trade Marks Ordinance come into operation," he said.

"The Rules will come into effect on a day, before the end of this year, to be appointed by the Secretary for Trade and Industry by notice in the Gazette," he added.

End

22

Results of 1994 survey of industrial production *****

The gross output of the manufacturing sector in 1994 amounted to $296 billion, representing a decrease of 5% when compared with 1993.

Net of total operating expenditure, the gross surplus amounted to 11.3% of the gross output in 1994. This was 0.2 of a percentage point lower than in 1993.

The value added of the manufacturing sector, which is a measure of its contribution to Hong Kong’s gross domestic product, amounted to $87 billion in 1994. This represented a decrease of 5.1% when compared with 1993.

These are some of the major findings of the 1994 Survey of Industrial Production conducted from April 1995 to early 1996 and released today (Thursday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

All dollar figures are in terms of current prices. The percentage changes derived from these figures have not been adjusted for price changes. Caution should therefore be taken in interpreting the survey results.

In terms of percentage share of gross output, the operating expenditure incurred by manufacturing establishments amounted to 88.7% in 1994. This comprised 16.8% for compensation of employees; 60.2% for consumption of materials, supplies, and industrial work/services; and 11.7% for other expenses.

Compared with 1993, the percentage share of consumption of materials, supplies and industrial work/services decreased by one percentage point while that of compensation of employees and other expenses increased by 0.2 of a percentage point and one percentage point respectively.

The value added content of the gross output of the manufacturing sector amounted to 29.2%, comprising 16.8% for compensation of employees and 11.3% for gross surplus. Compared with 1993, the proportion for compensation of employees was up by 0.2 of a percentage point while that for gross surplus was down by 0.2 of a percentage point.

The survey results also showed that there were some 32,000 manufacturing establishments operating in 1994.

23

In terms of value added, the five largest broad industry groups in 1994 were (1) basic metals, fabricated metal products, machinery and equipment, accounting for 22.2% of the total value added of the manufacturing sector; (2) wearing apparel, 15.6%; (3) electrical and electronic products, 14.6%; (4) paper products, printing and publishing, 13.8%; and (5) textiles, 13.4%.

Moderate increases in value added in 1994 were recorded in the chemical, rubber and non-metallic mineral products industry (+15.2%) and the electrical and electronic products industry (+7.7%).

On the other hand, decreases were recorded in the plastic products industry (-34.4%), the wearing apparel industry (-15.6%) and the textile industry (-12%).

The principal statistics for the manufacturing sector, with breakdowns by broad industry group, are shown in the annexed table.

Apart from manufacturing establishments, the survey also enumerated establishments engaged in (1) mining and quarrying; and (2) supply of electricity, gas and water.

Details of the survey results will be published in a full report available around August/September.

Enquiries regarding these survey results may be directed to the Industrial Production Statistics Section of the Census and Statistics Department, Tel 2882 4208.

- 24 -

Summary results of the 1994 Survey of Industrial Production classified by broad manufacturing industry group

Broad industry group Number of establishments Number of persons engaged Compensation of employees ($ Mn) Consumption of materials, supplies & industrial work/ services ($ Mn) Gross surplus (net of "textile Value added (S Mn)

Other expenses ($ Mn) export quota transfer receipts") ($ Mn) Gross output ($ Mn)

Food, beverages 714 24 461 3,319 9,752 3,377 3,797 20,245 7,191

and tobacco (-5) (-5) (3) (6) (22) (2) (7) (3)

wearing apparel. 3 74S 104 620 9,609 30,021 5,885 2,512 48,027 13,515

except knitwear (-20) (-20) (-10) (-17) (-9) (-34) (-16) (-16)

and footwear

Leather, wood and 1 210 5 843 501 1,832 391 292 3,017 808

cork products (-6) (-20) (-11) (-2) (•) (3) (-3) (-6)

Textiles (including 3 466 63 149 7,642 29,826 5,320 3,066 45,854 11,595

knitting) (-4) (-17) (-10) (-5) (-1) (-20) (-7) (-12)

Paper products. 5 768 52 060 6,935 15,470 4,258 4,752 31,414 11,921

printing and (-3) (-3) (13) (•) (18) (-11) (3) (1)

publishing

Chemicals, rubber & 908 11 727 1,784 9,745 2,028 1,864 15,421 3,725

non-metallic (-10) (1) (14) (31) (12) (20) (25) (15)

mineral products

Plastic products 2 041 15 503 1,502 4,896 1,082 980 8,460 2,495

(-14) (-31) (-29) (-18) (-19) (-38) (-23) (-34)

Basic metals. 10 709 91 887 11,126 42,671 6,778 7,894 68,463 19,249

fabricated metal (-5) (-12) (-4) (♦) (8) (-3) (•) (-4)

products, machinery

& equipment

Electrical & 593 39 974 5,357 26,063 4,458 6,898 42,775 12,621

electronic products (-13) (-13) (-1) (-14) (8) (15) (-7) (8)

Other manufacturing 2 835 19 447 2,023 8,045 1,063 1,378 12,510 3,417

industries (5) (-13) (-5) (-20) (-10) (-3) (-16) (-5)

All manufacturing 31 988 433 672 49,797 178,323 34,638 33,432 296,190 86,536

industries (-7) (-14) (-4) (-7) (4) (-6) (-5) (-5)

Notes

(1)

There may be a slight discrepancy between the sum of

individual items and the total

as shown in the table

due to rounding.

(2) Figures in brackets represent percentage changes in 1994 over 1993.

(3) Value added is a measure of the contribution of an industry to Hong Kong's Gross Domestic Product.

(4) The "Number of person engaged- are 'full-year equivalent' figures, i.e. for an establishment which operated for only.part of 1994, the number of persons engaged as at the end of the quarters during which the establishment operated are summed up and divided by 4.

• Changes within ♦/- 0.5t

End

25

Fees for aircraft noise certificates revised *****

A Government spokesman announced today (Thursday) that the fees payable in respect of application for the grant of aircraft noise certificates and the issue of duplicate aircraft noise certificates under the Civil Aviation (Aircraft Noise) Ordinance would be increased from November 1.

The spokesman said: ”An aircraft noise certificate is required under the Convention on International Civil Aviation to be carried on board the aircraft on international flights as evidence of compliance with international standards of noise emission.

"Under the Civil Aviation (Aircraft Noise) (Certification) Regulation, the owner or operator of an aircraft registered in Hong Kong may apply to the Director of Civil Aviation for the grant of an aircraft noise certificate in relation to that aircraft."

He said: "The existing fees for the air noise certificates were introduced in 1987 based on a very rough estimate of the time required in vetting technical documentation. A recent costing exercise shows that they are substantially below cost.

"As it is Government's policy that fees should in general be set at levels sufficient to recover the full cost of providing the services, we therefore propose to revise the fees based on the costing results.

"The new fees will have minimal impact on the operating cost of airlines as an aircraft noise certificate is issued only to owner or operator of an aircraft registered in Hong Kong and only once in the lifetime of an aircraft. The general public will not be affected," the spokesman added.

Details of the revised fees, to be published in the Gazette tomorrow (Friday) under the Civil Aviation (Aircraft Noise) (Certification) (Amendment) Regulation 1996, are as follows:

Items Existing Fee Level Revised Fee Level

1. Grant of a noise certificate limited $150 $1,105

to a combination or combinations of aircraft and engine types, where a noise certificate has previously been granted in respect of the identical combination or combinations

26

2. Grant of a noise certificate other than in the circumstances referred to in item 1 $770 $1,105

3. Issue of duplicate noise certificate $ 65 $ 580

End

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, will be 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.

27

"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", acting Principal Environmental Protection Officer, Dr Lawrence Wong, 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.

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. They are identified by an "X" in the following list.

The grades of the bacteriological water quality of various beaches in Hong Kong today are listed below:

28

Previous Present

Beach Grading Grading

(as at 20.6.96) (as at 4.7.96)

Hong Kong South

Big Wave Bay (S) 3 3

Chung Hom Kok (S) 1 1

Deep Water Bay (S) 1 1

Hairpin (S) 2 2

Middle Bay (S) 2 2

Repulse Bay (S) 1 1

Shek 0(S) 2 2

South Bay (S) 1 1

St Stephen’s (S) 3 2

Turtle Cove (S) 1 2

Stanley Main (S) 2 2

Rocky Bay X X

Tucn Mun District

Golden Beach 2 2

Old Cafeteria 3 3

New Cafeteria 2 2

Castle Peak X X

Kadoorie (S) 3 3

Butterfly (S) 3 3

Sai Kung District

Clear Water Bay 1st Beach (S) 2 2

Clear Water Bay 2nd Beach (S) 2 2

Hap Mun Bay (S) 1 1

Kiu Tsui (S) 1 1

Silverstrand (S) 2 2

Trio (Hebe I I aven) (S) 2 2

29

Islands Distrki

Cheung Sha Upper 1 1

Cheung Sha Lower 3 3

Discovery Bay* 2 2

Hung Shing Yeh 1 1

Kwun Yam Wan 2 2

Tong Fuk 1 1

Lo So Shing 1 1

Pui 0 1 1

Silvermine Bay 2 2

Tung Wan, Cheung Chau (S) 1 2

Tsuen Wan District

Anglers’ X X

Approach X X

Casam (S) 3 3

Gemini 4 3

Hoi Mei Wan 3 3

Lido (S) 3 3

Ting Kau X X

Tung Wan, Ma Wan 2 2

Note: "X” The beach has been closed for swimming purposes.

* Non-gazetted beaches.

(S) The beach has a shark-prevention net installed.

The following beaches have changed grading on this occasion:

St Stephen’s from ”3" to ”2”, Gemini from "4” to ”3”; Tung Wan on Cheung Chau and Turtle Cove from "1” to ”2”.

The changes are within the normal range of fluctuation of the bacteriological water quality of these beaches.

End

30

Public briefing session on quality school education

*****

Members of the public are invited to take part in a briefing session on July 13 (Saturday) to give their views on how to develop a quality culture in school education.

The briefing, to be held at Queen's College in Causeway Bay at 10 am, is one of the many sessions organised by the Education Commission during its six-week consultation to solicit public views on quality school education. The views expressed will form the basis of the Commission’s Report No 7.

Similar briefing sessions have been organised for Legislative Councillors, principals, teachers, school councils and sponsors, advisory boards and committees and district board members in the last few weeks.

A spokesman for the Commission today (Thursday) reminded the public to forward their views before the consultation period ends on July 31.

’’Their views will help ensure that the No 7 report contains concrete proposals which would address the genuine needs of the school community and the concerns of the public at large,” the spokesman said.

To facilitate the public to consider the issue, the Commission's Task Group on School Quality and School f unding published a consultation pamphlet on the issue last month.

The pamphlet describes briefly the present school system, the roles of the key players in the system and the present funding arrangements.

It also identifies the main constraints of the system including the lack of flexibility and accountability in the funding and school management systems, the lack of appropriate indicators to assess the performance of schools, school sponsoring bodies, school management committees, principals and teachers, and the absence of incentives for schools to take initiatives and accept responsibility for the achievement of quality education.

The pamphlet proposes a new quality culture with clear goals and incentives for improvement, and invites views on:

goals and targets of quality school education;

* ways to relate school funding to performance; and

* the roles of key players in the school system and the relationship

between them.

31

Copies of the pamphlet are available at all district offices and the sub-offices of the Education Department. It is also available at the following E-mail address: embinfo@emb.gcn.gov.hk.

Interested parties are welcome to forward their views to the Education Commission Secretariat, ninth floor, Central Government Offices (West Wing), 11 Ice House Street, Central (Fax: 2537 4591).

End

Schools reminded of teacher recruitment service

*****

Govcrnment-subvented and private primary and secondary schools are encouraged to make use of the Education Department’s computer databank of 2,500 current applicants to help fill teaching vacancies in the 1996-97 school year.

Principal Education Officer. Mr C K Tam, said there were more than 2,500 applicants in the databank of the department’s Teacher Recruitment Information Office (TRIO), who had so far this year registered their intention to join the teaching profession in the school year starting in September.

Among them, some 1.550 arc degree holders from local and overseas universities. About 580 are graduates from the Hong Kong Institute of Education and another 150 have diplomas from approved post-secondary colleges.

To enlist the assistance of the TRIO databank, all that schools have to do is complete and return to the Education Department a request form specifying their teacher requirements.

Their request will be matched against the qualifications of individual applicants in the TRIO’s databank. A list of matching applicants will then be provided to the school.

’’Schools will have discretion in arranging interviews with matching applicants and in offering them teaching posts," said Mr fam.

The relevant forms have been sent to schools via the department’s Administration Circular. They are also available upon request from all district education offices and TRIO on 2892 6305 and 2892 5784 or by fax 2892 6304.

End

32

Video tape on teaching General Studies ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

To provide training to teachers on teaching General Studies, a video tape and a teacher’s manual had been delivered to all primary schools.

A principal inspector of the Education Department, Miss Bau Wai-ngun, said: ’’The self-learning video on the Teaching of General Studies is produced by the Chinese University of Hong Kong, commissioned by the Curriculum Development Institute.

"It covers the rationale, aims and objectives, organisation of the syllabus, teaching strategies, teaching resources and assessment of students’ performance.”

Teachers arc encouraged to view the video and discuss its contents at occasions like General Studies panel meetings, orientation day for new teachers and staff development day.

General Studies will be fully implemented this September as a core subject in the primary curriculum integrating the subjects of Social Studies, Primary Science and Health Education as recommended in the Education Commission Report No 4.

The syllabus of this new subject had been issued to all primary schools in August 1994.

Further enquiries should be directed to the Humanities Unit of the Curriculum Development Institute on 2892 5858.

End

Promotion of factory inspectorate

*****

The Commissioner for Labour. Miss Jacqueline Willis, today (Thursday) presented promotion letters to Deputy Chief Factory Inspectors Mr Mak Hung-kae and Mr Tse Ming-sing who were both elevated to Chief Factory Inspector with effect from May 29 and June 17, respectively.

Mr Mak is the head of the Support Services Division which is responsible for providing technical support to policy formation and law enforcement, and organising safety promotion activities.

33

Mr Tse is currently in charge of the Operations Division which is responsible for providing field services to workplaces. It operates on a regional basis so that services to the users can be delivered efficiently.

Another six Divisional Factory Inspectors were recently promoted to Superintendent of Factory Inspectors with effect from June. They are Mr Ng Yuk-loi, Mr Chung Ping-wor, Mr Chung Yiu-cho, Mr Tso Sing-hin, Mr Kwan Ping-kwun and Mr Li Pak-keung.

A group of 32 Factory Inspectors II were also promoted to f actory Inspectors I with effect from June.

End

Port users advised to proceed with extra care ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A Marine Department spokesman appealed to masters of all vessels to proceed with extra care in Victoria Harbour tomorrow (Friday) morning when the Public Cargo Working Areas Joint Committee (PCWAJC) stages a procession.

He also advised ferry commuters including those going to Macau and China to plan their journeys well in advance as ferry services may be disrupted because of the procession.

The PCWAJC informed the Marine Department they intend to stage a two-hour procession in Victoria Harbour starting at 8 am tomorrow to protest Marine Department’s management reform at the Public Cargo Working Areas.

"To minimise disruption to port users and ferry commuters, the Marine Department has proposed to the committee to start the procession at 10 am," the spokesman said.

"The Marine Department has reminded the tug masters taking part in the procession to observe Marine Department Notice No. 33 of 1996 which advises masters, owners and operators of all vessels engaged in towing within Hong Kong waters the safety regulations," the spokesman said.

34

They are also reminded of their obligations under the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea to keep a proper lookout at all time.

"The department has asked the protesters to keep the tugs and barges in a single file and maintain to the starboard limit of the fairways to minimise disruption to other port users," he said.

The Marine Department and the Marine Police will deploy extra patrol boats to direct the marine traffic.

The Marine Department has informed the Hong Kong Pilots Association, Star Ferry, Hong Kong Ferry, Discovery Bay Transportation Services Limited, and via the management of the Macau Ferry Terminal and China Ferry Terminal, the shipping companies using the terminals of the procession.

The Vessel Traffic Centre will broadcast a message of the procession on the very high frequency radio tomorrow.

End

Chance to see water quality improvement in action

*****

Members of the public will have a chance to see how sewage is treated to improve water quality in the harbour by visiting the three sewage treatment plants of the Drainage Services Department (DSD) this Saturday (July 6).

They can also take the opportunity to understand more about the department's drainage services for the community, its organisation and functions of various branches.

The three sewage treatment plants, which will be opened to public for free admission from 10 am to 5 pm, are:

Cheung Sha Wan Sewage Pumping Station, located at the junction of Fat Tseung Street and Tung Chau Street (near Cheung Sha Wan MTR Station);

North Point Sewage Screening Plant, located at the junction of Java Road and Man Hong Street (near North Point MTR Station);

Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works at Shui Chong Street. Sha Tin (free shuttle bus service from Sha Tin Centre Street fronting Sha Tin Plaza).

- 35 -

Visitors can the actual operation of the sewage treatment process by joining the tours organised on site.

There will be video shows, demonstrations, panel and model displays with explanations by DSD staff to enable the public to have a better understanding of how DSD is charged with the task of engineering the flow of wastewater and stormwater in the territory.

The public may also have a chance to win souvenirs by taking part in the educational games at the stalls during the visit.

End

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

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,630 0930 +324

Closing balance in the account 1,953 1000 +324

Change attributable to: 1100 +328

Money market activity +323 1200 +328

LAF today NIL 1500 +328

1600 +323

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.4 *-0.0* 4.7.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.24 2 years 2805 6.30 100.13 6.32

1 month 5.20 3 years 3904 6.30 99.22 6.71

3 months 5.26 5 years 5106 7.23 100.13 7.33

6 months 5.47 7 years 7305 7.60 100.57 7.63

12 months 5.79 5 years M502 7.30 99.75 7.50

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $6,524 million

Closed July 4, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Friday, July 5, 1996

Contents Page No,

Transcript of Governor's media session..................................... 1

Phone-in with the Governor................................................. 2

Final accounts for 1995-96 published...................................... 24

Government response to Manpower Panel Enquiry Report...................... 24

Draft code of practice under discrimination laws discussed................ 25

New vehicle emission and motor fuel standards introduced.................. 26

HK's role outweighs its size in international trade....................... 28

Fees charged under two health laws to be revised.......................... 31

More sites checked by factory inspectors.................................. 34

Three bays designated as marine parks and reserve......................... 35

Green light for Castle Peak Road improvement works........................ 36

/Electric company’s....

Contents

Page-No,

Electric company’s proposal still being studied.......................... 37

Findings on calling number display service published..................... 37

Prison industry to adapt more business-like approach..................... 38

Laying of submarine cable systems at Lantau Island....................... 41

PTA study parent education in China...................................... 42

Consultation forums on language benchmarks to be held.................... 42

Exhibition and seminars on Target Oriented Curriculum.................... 43

Avid readers awarded prizes.............................................. 44

Water cut in Sheung Shui................................................. 45

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations..................... 46

1

Transcript of Governor's media session ♦ * ♦ * *

Following is the transcript of the media session given by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, after attending an RTHK phone-in programme this (Friday) morning:

Governor: Good morning. I'm going back to Europe this evening for a week, and perhaps it will be a help to you if I say a word or two about that now rather than dragging you out to the airport tonight. I'm going to Brussels on Monday and Tuesday for meetings with the President of the European Commission, Mr Santer; Sir Leon Brittan, the Vice-president; and a number of other commissioners, both to talk about trade issues and to talk about visa-free access. So that's quite a heavy agenda but I was very pleased with Sir Leon's visit to Hong Kong a few weeks ago and we do want to ensure that there is as good and understanding a relationship between the European Union and Hong Kong as possible. I'm then going to London for a few days where I will be seeing the Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary and other senior officials and where I'll be making a speech on Wednesday night. And then on Saturday night before flying home, I'm taking the salute of the Royal Tournament at which the Royal Hong Kong Police Band will be one of the star turns, so it will be a great pleasure and I'm delighted to hear them playing in Earls Court rather than in my back garden. So I'll be back a week on Monday.

Question: Mr Patten, what do you think about one of your advisors Mr Jimmy McGregor and his Democratic Foundation yesterday claimed that if C Y Tung ...

Governor: C H Tung.

Question: ... C H Tung, sorry, and Mrs Anson Chan remain as the head of the civil service ...?

Governor: I can't comment on what individual political organisations say about the Chief Executive (Designate). This is a free society and everybody can express their views about who the Chief Executive should be just as they can express their views about who's going to win the next race at Happy Valley.

Question: But Mr McGregor is an ExCo member. Does it imply that...?

Governor: No, it just implies that my executive councillors are independent minded and speak out when the occasion should demand, but there's no question of us having in the Executive Council taken a view of the issue. We couldn't and we wouldn't.

2

Question: Mr Patten ... Prime Minister, will you talk to him about your political future?

Governor: No. I'll talk to him about Hong Kong's future, but not mine.

Question: Mr Patten, there are six directorate officers of GIS who will leave later this year and next year. So do you think that it shows that civil servants lack the confidence in the future Government?

Governor: I hope not. As I said on the phone-in programme, we've had very few dropouts in the civil service proportionately over the last couple of years, though the figures are slightly higher at the more senior levels. We've managed when people have left to replace them with very good usually younger civil servants and I hope that would be the case in the GIS as it has been elsewhere. Any more. Thank you very much indeed.

End

Phone-in with the Governor *****

Following is a transcript of the RTHK Phone-in Programme with the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, this (Friday) morning:

Presenter: Perhaps let us have a chat with the Governor. Let me put a question to the Governor myself about the Provisional Legislature, this is the most controversial issue at the moment.

Question: The Chinese Government said that the Provisional Legislature is going to be set up. In the coming 300 hundred or so days what can Hong Kong do and what can Britain do?

Governor: What we will do is to go on giving our support and endorsement to the existing Legislature which is freely and fairly elected in line with the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, which was elected by a record number of people and which reflects, very faithfully I think, the opinions of people in Hong Kong. We worry that Chinese officials do not like the fact that it reflects the opinions of Hong Kong.

3

But, you know, the reason why we have these elections, the reason why we have had a steady step by step process of democratisation is because back in 1984 when we negotiated the Joint Declaration, everybody thought that the best way of giving real muscle to the concept of Hong Kong people running Hong Kong and the best way of affording substantial protection to people’s civil liberties in Hong Kong, was by having local Hong Kong people elected to the body to which government is accountable. I think that principle was right in 1984 and I do not think it becomes any less right in 1996.

Question: Governor, can I just ask you one other question. I think it is quite important to the Civil Service and how the Civil Service sees through the hand over. I think certainly it is fair to say that perhaps a great deal of experience and expertise has been lost with people voting with their feet - to take a line from a recent speech by David Chu - leaving the Civil Service, seeking homes elsewhere, so have we got a Civil Service now, able really to tackle these problematic issues 1997 and beyond will certainly raise?

Governor: I think we have got strength and depth both in the Civil Service and in the Police and elsewhere in public service. I think two or three things have happened. First of all we have had to speed up the process of localisation. When I arrived in 1992 a large number of my senior colleagues were expatriates, very good expatriates but 1 think they recognised that it was time to hand over to locals, and that has meant that we have had younger local civil servants coming through, I think people of really outstanding quality. And you see them doing very good jobs today, including, I am pleased to say, a large number of women.

Secondly, some senior civil servants and police officers had to make a calculation about what they could get in terms of gratuities and pension now, and what the situation might be like in four or five years time and they concluded, with a good deal of economic rationality, to take the cheque now rather than to wait.

And thirdly, there are probably some who are a little bit cautious about the future.

But I think we have not, anywhere, been in a position where we have not been able to promote good people to take the job that has been left by somebody else. I think it is a tribute to the development of our public service over the years that so many very good local officers are there. It is interesting, if you look at a service which was localised very early, like the Fire Service, that has never had any difficulty in running a very competent service indeed, and I think the same should be true right across the board.

4

Question: I would like to express my concern today over the lack of progress being made in the pursuit of British citizenship for Hong Kong’s ethnic minorities. Following my question to you after your Policy Speech last year you confirmed to me that we have the unqualified support of all government departments in pursuing our cause. However, it has been over six months since we made an initial request to the Government to give us information on the exact number of affected people and we have not heard anything in regard to this. I don't think it is unreasonable to say six months is a very long time, especially given our tight time frame.

Our supporters in the UK and Hong Kong continue to press us on this all important number. The lack of this information is preventing further constructive lobbying being made in the UK. This is a very serious problem for us at a very desperate time and I wanted to know what you have to say about that?

Governor: First of all let me say something about the number, and secondly let me say something about the progress that may or may not have been made. First of all we have been working out as accurate a number as possible. We now think we have got that. It is not terribly straightforward but we think we have got the figures about right and we are very happy to discuss those over the coming weeks with the Legislative Council. In fact, in overall terms we think we are talking about 8,000 people or thereabouts of whom probably a half or just under are from the South Asian subcontinent.

Secondly, on the progress - and I am not sure that the progress, frankly, is closely attached to the precise number - on the progress, while things have not moved as far as you would understandably have wished we have seen over the last year significant movements on two fronts. First of all we have seen the Prime Minister here earlier this year taking the pledge which British Government have made about the position of ethnic minorities several steps further down the road. Not nearly as far as you would like to go, not as far as the Hong Kong Government has pressed, but nevertheless progress.

Secondly, when Mr Robin Cook, the Shadow Foreign Secretary was here, he made really rather a significant commitment, I thought. He said that any ethnic minority who wished to go to the United Kingdom after 1997 would be able to do so, would be able to have right of abode. And if you have right of abode you earn a passport by the length of time you stay in a country.

Now, both those fall short of your desire for a straightforward pledge to a passport here in Hong Kong, but they are nevertheless considerable movements from the main political parties in the UK, and I think that reflects the pressure that you have brought to bear on MPs at Westminster, the pressure that you have brought to bear on visiting ministers, and the moral strength of your argument.

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Question: I appreciate that. Thank you very much for giving me this information on the number because it is something we have pursued for a long time. I did meet with Robin Cook in Hong Kong and one of the most important issues that he raised was the number and I certainly am looking forward to hearing from your office in the very near future about that exact number and the people.

Governor: Can I just add one thing about the number because it is relevant. What a lot of people worry about is that the number will become self-inflating, because they are concerned that some people who do actually have another passport, maybe an Indian passport or a Pakistani passport, will, if they get a hint of being able to get a British passport through another scheme, forget about their Indian and Pakistani passport or their passport from some other part of the world and claim that they are stateless and claim that they should qualify for a British passport as well. So there are problems about how exactly you ring-fence the number. The 8,000 that we have given is our best estimate of the figure today.

Question: I fully agree with you, thank you very much.

Question (Mr Chan): On TV, in newspapers, I have been reading about you a lot. I really admire you because now you are called a criminal down the ages by the Chinese side but yet you are still working for the welfare of Hong Kong people, you are still touring the districts and you are still getting around. But then my thinking is, well, you will be Governor still for 360 days.

When you first came to Hong Kong you said this - well, at that time I was already over 50 and I am around with the elderly people and we have been working all our lives and we arc the poor sector - you said that you would be enhancing the old age allowance for elderly people. At that time many elderly people really backed you up because in Hong Kong there are many elderly people who have been working very hard for all their lives. They have children, however the children also have to work from hand to mouth; they have to work for their own families and will not be able to support the elderly. And then from the newspapers 1 have read this - well maybe because the Chinese Government said something - and so it seems you have not done much in this respect.

There are so many elderly people in Hong Kong and over the decades they have contributed a lot to Hong Kong and the prosperity of Hong Kong really can be attributable to the contributions of the elderly. So I am saying this: I hope that you will do more for us in the remaining 360 days. Please do something good for the elderly people.

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Governor: I very much agree with what you said, Mr Chan, about the debt which the whole community owes to older people who built our success and prosperity today but very often were not in a position to save themselves for their own future. We have in fact increased benefit rates for elderly people I think pretty sharply over the years. We have introduced new measures like the Chinese New Year special grant of $200 for elderly recipients. We are spending, 1 think I am right in saying, this year, over 50% more, after allowing for rises in prices, on things like the Health and Welfare Services for the elderly as well as financial assistance, special Hats for the elderly, reduction of elderly waiting time for public housing and so on.

It is absolutely imperative that we do provide better for the elderly. Some people call that welfarism. I can't really understand that since we can well afford it. I think it is a recognition of our responsibilities to the senior citizens in our community who have made such sacrifices for Hong Kong's prosperity today and I totally take your point that whatever we have done in the last four years, we should set our sights higher and try to do even more. I hope that the introduction of the Mandatory Provident Fund and the, as it were, private schemes for people's retirement will mean that in the future government does not have to do as much because everybody will have been encouraged to do more for themselves.

Question (Mr Ho): I would like Mr Governor to respond to what I want to say. Of course please wait until I finish. Mr Governor, you said that appointments do not have credibility. But then you are also appointed by the Queen herself and then the Letters Patent and the Royal Instructions are not documents of credibility. You said that the Provisional Legislature should be reprimanded but then I believe you yourself, and the Queen, should be reprimanded because you did not admit to the seven letters that have been exchanged.

And also, the British Government also stopped the talks between the British side and the Chinese side unilaterally, and also, because of the political reforms, and that is why we need the Provisional Legislature.

And also, in the present Legislative Council there are 16 people who have dual nationality and who have a passport of a foreign nationality. You said that this would abide by the Basic Law but this is wrong because it is in contravention to Article 17 of the Basic Law.

The fourth point and the last point, Mr Governor, you went to America to criticise the Provisional Legislature but you did not mention the seven letters and also you did not mention the political reforms. You actually misled the Hong Kong international community. The Chinese side have already explained what they mean by three contraventions and why they need the Provisional Legislature. But then. Mr Governor, you turned away from it, you bucked the issue.

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Presenter: Your point is very clear. Let's hear from the Governor. I think there are four points there.

Governor: I think you must be living in Happy Valley, Mr Chu. First of all, the seven letters are completely irrelevant to what you are saying, there was no agreement in the seven letters. But there is a simple point at heart here. I believe in democracy, 1 believe that the people of Hong Kong - leave the Queen out of it, leave an appointed Governor out of it - I think the people of Hong Kong should choose who represents them. I don't think that choice should be made by the NCNA or the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office because I am not sure that they will want a balanced representation in our Legislature. I want everybody to be represented in our Legislature, including most decisively, Mr Chu, you.

Question: Mr Governor, since March 1 this year there has been a crackdown on the house churches in China. House churches are independent churches, other than the three-self church, as you are aware. People who preach the resurrection, which is a basic tenet of Christianity, and say heaven, hell, angels, all these metaphysical matters, are subject to persecution. And it raises anxiety in my mind and also in the minds of other people in Hong Kong that come 1997, Hong Kong churches may have to be subjected to the three-self church which is already established here, and then whatever they preach will also be subject to the limits that the Chinese authority may choose to perpetuate here through the government here in Hong Kong, through the SAR. But I have not heard of anything of this sort in Hong Kong and I wonder why.

Governor: Can I begin by declaring an interest. I. like you, believe in the resurrection. And I, like you, am therefore concerned when I hear about the churches, whatever denomination, being persecuted or restricted in their activities anywhere in the world. The position in Hong Kong is absolutely plain. Hong Kong has been promised in the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. freedom of worship, among other freedoms. We enjoy that today. The churches not only act as the channel for people's spirituality but they also play an extremely important part in our social life, health care, welfare, education, and they have a complete assurance in the Basic Law and the Joint Declaration that they will be able to continue in their present lively condition after 1997.

It would be an intolerable infringement of the Joint Declaration and it would be a breach of the Basic Law were things to be otherwise and I do not believe, even though I find myself from time to time making critical remarks about things that Chinese officials have said, 1 do not believe that Chinese officials could conceivably want, under any circumstances, to lend their names and their reputation to any harassment of the churches in Hong Kong.

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Question: But then how come we do not hear anything of this sort in the mass media in Hong Kong?

Governor: I think we do hear a bit about the point you made about the state of the church in China. I mean I have certainly read that in some of the newspapers and of course in the international press as well, so 1 think we get reports of that. But I very much hope that the press will be robust and will exercise its freedom robustly in reporting the continuing activity of the churches in Hong Kong and in supporting the continuing activities of the churches in Hong Kong. Freedom of worship is one of the fundamentals of a free society and Hong Kong today is, I suppose, one of the freest societies anywhere in the world.

Question: No, I have not finished —

Presenter: We have to move on because we have many more calls to get through and the Governor has been very clear on that. And perhaps we should see more from the church leadership itself coming out and expressing its views about freedom of worship after 1997.

Question (Mr Wan): Over the past hundred years or so Britain has done something which it can be proud of in front of the whole world because it turned Hong Kong, a city of nothing, into a well renowned city, and also it has saved a lot of people running away from communism in China. But then Britain has also done something which is immoral and cruel and that is, for people who have had British passports now you are returning these people to a government without any civil liberties and human rights and when you do this you have not consulted the people of Hong Kong. These very basic rights are now taken away by Britain. Now, how can we be confident that Britain will still be protecting our rights in the future?

Governor: First of all on the first point, 1 think what Britain has done in Hong Kong is to provide, as it were, an infrastructure of laws and freedoms within which Chinese people themselves have created this success. As you say, people overwhelmingly refugees from some of the sad and tragic events to the north over the last 40 or 50 years.

Secondly, on the British passport, I think you probably know that I have spoken out on this issue, 1 have tried to stand up for Hong Kong both here and back in the United Kingdom, and it has not always made me very popular there. I agree with you that the British passport that people have in their pocket, over three million of them, should not only entitle them to travel more freely around the world but should also entitle them to the right of abode in the United Kingdom. I have said that again and again. What we have managed to do is to introduce under the British Nationality Scheme a scheme under which getting on for I suppose 150,000 people or thereabouts will be able to settle and live in Britain if they wish.

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On the overall question of a British passport giving right of abode to everybody else, I have to say that while I have argued about this, just as David Wilson before me argued about it, both the main British political parties are adamant in turning the idea down, so I don’t want to give any people false hopes on this issue, it would be unfair of me to do so. But I will continue to speak up on this issue which for me, as for you, is a moral issue and not just a question of practical politics.

Question (Mr Leung): When you first came to Hong Kong, if I remember correctly, you seem to have promised Hong Kong people that in a very short while we would turn primary education into a unisessional kind of education but it has not been realised. I place a lot of emphasis on the uni-sessional education for primary students and I have tried to get in contact with Mr Cheung Man-kwong. But I have not been able to phone-in to RTHK. And then at the Metro Station I had a chance to talk to Mr Cheung last night. He said that, well I have been working on this and he said that just before the day before 1 talked to you I was fighting for this at the Legislative Council; it is just that the Hong Kong Government is putting in hurdles not asking the people to do this. So is it the Governor or Mr Cheung who is not doing this? Before you go, Mr Governor, I would like to hear an answer from you and I hope that this would really be materialised.

Governor: First of all, Mr Cheung Man-kwong is a very committed member of the Legislative Council and I know that he has been working very' hard for additional resources for education and he certainly can't be held to blame for the fact that we have not been moving ahead as fast on uni-sessional primary education as you would like and many others would like. We have actually been investing more in education. I think it has gone up by about 25% after allowing for the rise in prices in the last four years. We have been ensuring that most of our new schools built for primary education are unisessional, and we have been concentrating on what I think are the biggest priorities in most people's minds and that is increasing the number of teachers and trying to reduce the ratios so that there are more teachers per pupil than was the case in the past. But you are quite right to lay so much emphasis on primary education. We do have to do more as resources allow and as we are able to produce the actual school buildings to meet your objective. It is an important one. I know how important primary education is, both my grandparents were head teachers of primary schools and it is where the foundation for everybody's schooling is laid.

Question: Recently, it seems like there is a lot of noise talking about the freedom of expression. But on the other hand we have heard a lot on the slogan of 'rule of law with common sense'. But then in 1919a social justice of the United States Supreme Court, Oliver Wendel Holmes Junior (phonetic) once gave his opinion in a case saying that the most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting "Fire!" in a theatre and causing a panic.

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Now my question to you is: in this age of image glut are we able to say that for somebody that is shouting, "give me liberty or give me CNN", is that the right time to do so?

Governor: I agree with you that no freedom is absolute, that we exercise in a plural society freedom within a rule of law. And if you think about freedom of speech, that is not absolute because you can’t libel the next door neighbour without running the risk of being taken to court and you can’t show or write obscene or pornographic material for children because that would be wrong, so there are limits within which freedom of speech is exercised. But on the other hand you have to be very careful that those limits do not erode the basic principle of freedom of speech because freedom of speech is one of the most important things in any open society.

I think freedom of speech is one of the reasons why Hong Kong is so successful. When people say to me all that people are interested in Hong Kong is money, I say to them well, why does Hong Kong have the most newspapers per head in the world? It has newspapers because people are interested in public affairs, because they want to participate in public affairs, because they want to hear about public affairs. So 1 think freedom of speech is important.

I agree with you that sometimes freedom of speech these days, because of the globalisation of communications, because of television, because of competition in the media, that freedom of speech can become intrusive; that we have images built up one day, smashed to bits the next. But these are things which require a sensible dialogue between public officials and the media, not the attempt by public officials to stop the media from exercising their own freedoms in as responsible a way as possible.

Question: Mr Governor, indeed you are a man of the four seasons, so therefore all I can say is that beware of the Ides of the Augustine.

Governor: Right. I will certainly be aware of that.

Governor: We have got past March anyway, so that ides can be forgotten about for the time being.

Question (in Chinese): Mr Governor, you talked about the media. Recently, some people passed out on the credibility of the media saying that they are not representing the truth. As far as you are concerned what areas are the ones that you think need improvement on?

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Governor: I think there are two areas which are of real concern. First of all, I think that everybody talks about in the media, everybody talks about a growth in selfcensorship and I think that is a worry and should be resisted. It does not come naturally, frankly, in Hong Kong, and I think that most people still put their dollars on the news-stand to purchase newspapers that tell things as they really are. I think that has been pretty clear with the Chinese language press, particularly over the last year. So I think self-censorship is something to watch out for. It is a pretty feeble response and a pretty unprincipled response to events.

Secondly, I think there have been one or two very disturbing cases where the media have, or parts of the media - not all the media, not all the media - but parts of the media have overstepped the line, making stories up, being intrusive in the way they poke their notebooks and cameras into the corners of people’s lives, and 1 think the media must recognise - and it has got to come from proprietors down - must recognise their responsibilities to be fair as well as fearless.

Question: My question relates to the industrial safety issue and all the hype in the newspapers at the present time. I am a safety professional and I think you have heard from me anyway so I shan't mention my name over the air. My concern is that the immediate reaction by government at the present spate of accidents in no way relates to the actual problem and I would urge you to ask the government to set up a consultative body with the industry. At the present time I do assist in many of the initiatives that go forward but there is no proper link to the industry itself on matters of industrial health and safety. Perhaps if something could be set up similar to CONIAC in the UK - the Construction Industry Advisory Council -

Governor: You had better explain to people that is not brandy.

Question: ... CONIAC is the Construction Industry Advisory Council and it contains a number of safety professionals of the construction industry who sit together with government and industry leaders and discuss the safety issues properly and thoroughly and come up with measures which actually do work, as opposed to what we see in Hong Kong repeatedly is a knee-jerk reaction to the problem whereby a bunch of experts are wheeled out from somewhere - I don't know where - where the experts did not exist before, and then they put in place measures which relate largely to trafficwarden duties where they go out and stick a lot of tickets on and then create a myth that they have tackled the problem. It is a very great concern to those safely professionals in the industry and I have written to the Secretary for Education and Manpower on this point and whilst 1 got a very polite letter back, it was just repeating the rhetoric we hear daily.

Rather than lake up any more of your time, perhaps you would make a brief comment and then I can gel off.

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Governor: You have actually raised an extremely important problem because I actually think that while most of the statistics about Hong Kong make terrific reading, frankly the figures for industrial safety make awful reading. We are a first world economy and we have pretty well third world statistics on industrial safety. They have got a bit better in the last year or two but they are still awful. We have been trying to deal with that, working with employers and employees. I am not sure whether you know about the work of our Health and Safety Council of the Labour Advisory Board but I think they try to do what you were describing earlier. We have increased the number of factory inspectors, we have increased the number of laws and regulations and penalties for people who behave badly.

But at the end of the day - and I would welcome your thoughts and advice on this - at the end of the day what we have to do is to change the culture on the factory floor and above all on the construction site. We have problems working at height, we have problems in the construction industry as a whole, we have problems where people have to work in a confined space. We have problems elsewhere but those are the main ones and we really do have to tackle them more energetically and with more commitment, otherwise there are going to be many more widows and many more children without a father. So I would welcome any thoughts and ideas you had and totally agree with you that it has got to be a combined effort.

Question: You seem to have a good grasp on it. I actually heard you say ...

Presenter: Thank you very much.

Question: ... LegCo last night. The problem ...

Presenter: Mr Law on the line.

Question (Mr Law) (in Chinese): You are a lighter for democracy in the international arena. In the United Nations Commission on Human Rights they are saying that you should reform the Hong Kong system of receiving complaints but then it seems the proposals are not materialised. The Complaints Against Police system is now being handled by the police themselves. For the average citizen, even if they are assaulted and if they are treated badly, it seems they are not redressed properly because even if they take the complaint to somebody it is to no avail and they say that there is no evidence, something like that.

We know that some parts of the disciplined services, for example policemen were assaulted by the policemen themselves because they were having covert operations and they were treated as criminals; and also there are six customs officers who have been assaulted by the police and so they got a ruling from the courts. We think that the present system is not sufficient to protect the citizens’ right.

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Now you have a proposal saying that the IPCC will be made independent, that it will become a statutory body, and also you are going to revamp the approaches and procedures. But then it seems you are not touching upon the crux of the matter and that is the system of complaints against the police, that it is not independent. I think the crux is that you have to make it independent in order to tackle the problem. In the past, before the setting up of the ICAC, the police also resisted the inception of the 1CAC because the police said they are not well versed with our work and so they have to investigate the complaints themselves and also it would deal a blow to police moral, etc. I lowever, in the end when we have the ICAC we have proved that the police are a much cleaner force. So I am not only worried about corruption inside the police but other points also.

Presenter (in Chinese): The point is very clear, you want an independent complaints mechanism.

Question (in Chinese): 1 would like to ask the Governor why up to now he has not done anything in this regard? At least the CAPO or the head of the CAPO should at least be a person not from the police force. This is a recommendation of the United Nations. What does the Governor think about this?

Governor: First of all can I say that I think one should look at this problem in context. We have almost certainly the finest police force in Asia and I do not want to do or say anything which damages the morale of that police force at a sensitive time. But you are entirely right to say that where there are rotten apples, and there are in any organisation, there must be a credible organisation for dealing with them. 1 think we have increased the credibility of the Independent Police Complaints Council by making it statutory, by introducing new practices like taping and videoing of interviews and so on. I think that that should help to strengthen the credibility of the organisation which has to deal with complaints against the police and I am sure that the Commissioner would totally agree that that system has to have credibility.

I think there are arguments against having an independent head of CAPO. I do not think it would be very easy to find somebody really good who wanted to be head of an organisation of disciplined services who was put there precisely because many people outside thought the disciplined services could not be trusted to organise their own activities. 1 am not sure that would be a very good basis on which somebody could do the job. But I repeat that I accept that it is vitally important for us to ensure that the investigation of any complaints that there might be against the police has the greatest legitimacy and credibility possible, and I am sure the Commissioner and his senior officers would agree with that too.

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Question: Good morning, Governor. My name is Jovel, I am a Filipino migrant worker. I would like to raise a concern about the Filipino workers here in Hong Kong as far as 1997 is concerned since I have been here for the past one-and-a-half year already and I really have not heard news about us here in Hong Kong as far as the JLG is concerned. And since 1997 is fast approaching I would like to know something about what will happen to us here and also ask, we Filipinos here are the single mass largest foreign community here and according to what I heard in the newspaper you would like Hong Kong people to be the best employers of Filipinos abroad. Would you like to comment about this.

Presenter: Just looking, really, for assurances Mr Patten, for domestic workers after 1997.

Governor: 1 think 1 identified the music as the theme music for Cinema Paradiso. Tell me if I am wrong. The Filipino community makes an enormous contribution to Hong Kong - 130,000 or so men and mostly women who make a terrific contribution to the family life of Hong Kong and to our overall economy. One of the things that they help in many cases is to ensure that both parents can go out to work and develop professional skills and earn a bit more money, so I think the Filipino community does a tremendous job here and I am sure that the reasons for the Filipino community doing that job before 1997 will continue to apply after 1997. The important thing to be clear about is that this will be a decision entirely for the SAR Government. It falls within the responsibilities of the SAR Government. It is a matter of immigration policy which is a matter for us exercising our local autonomy. And I do not imagine that a Chief Executive in my position, answering questions from you in 1998, is going to be saying anything different from what I have said this morning. But if there is any difference it is for him and his colleagues to decide, not for anybody outside to decide.

Now, we have had assurances on that from senior Chinese leaders. And people like President Ramos, and the Foreign Minister of the Philippines who I saw the other day. have both themselves raised it with Chinese leaders and had exactly the same assurance. So 1 can promise you that it will be a matter for the SAR Government after 1997 and I see no reason at all why the situation should change in the short or medium term. And as far as the long term is concerned, none of us know what will happen in the long term but I am sure that as the Philippine economy develops in the next few years, many more Filipinos will be employed at home.

Question (in Chinese): I have three questions regarding the civil service for the Governor. First of all would the Government do this for the middle-ranking and lower-ranking officers, that is whether you would give a questionnaire to ask them about whether they would stay beyond 1997?

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Secondly, for retired civil servants, after 1997 what kind of pension would they receive? If the pension is going to be affected in any way, what can the British Government do for them?

Thirdly, what is the British attitude regarding retired civil servants before 1997 and people who retire after 1997? For these two different types of retired civil servants would you have different moral attitudes towards them? So those are the three questions for the Governor please.

Governor: Let me deal with them quite swiftly. First of all 1 am certainly prepared to consider the sort of questionnaire you mentioned, although 1 think it is fair to say that our Civil Service Branch will have ensured that line managers keep very closely in touch with opinion in the middle and lower ranks of the civil service to try to ensure that they know about people’s commitment in the medium and long term. The fact of the matter is that there is a very low turnover in the civil service at the moment. The drop-out rate, for example, is at a historic low and I think that must be largely because people in the middle and lower ranks are staying, recognising that the civil service is a good and important career.

On the second question, there should be no difference at all. Let me repeat that, no difference at all to your pension or to any retired civil servant's pension after 1997. That commitment has been made clear in all the sacred texts, the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law and so on, and it has been underlined by people like Director Lu in Peking.

Thirdly, because of that I don't think it should make any difference at all whether you retire before '97 or after '97, 1 think you should be treated exactly the same. One of the important aspects of Hong Kong being promised that its way of life will continue is that the treatment of its public servants should be exactly the same and 1 think that is a commitment which any government will want to keep. Just in order to try to reassure people about that, we did put a large amount of money, several billion dollars, into a fund which we put on one side which can be used just in case there arc any problems with civil servants pensions in the future but 1 don't expect there to be at all. This is a very rich community and it will be able to afford to pay its civil service pensions forever.

Question: This is, I suppose, a kind of personal question, if you don't mind, but not very personal. I wondered how you cope with the overwhelming sense of failure and frustration you must have in Hong Kong?

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Governor: I don't find that at all. And as I go around the streets and as I go around on my district visits I am very encouraged by the buoyancy and the warmth and the encouragement that I get from everybody. 1 am also delighted that the last opinion poll I saw suggested I had a 62% approval rating. I remember what approval ratings used to be like in the United Kingdom, so I was pretty pleased about that. So I think this is a very difficult job and it is one that will remain difficult right down to the wire, but 1 think I will be judged by the extent to which I stood up for Hong Kong and stood up for the promises made to Hong Kong in the Joint Declaration.

Question: You are being judged now, you know, on Hong Kong, and I don't have much confidence in you. Don't you feel powerless and redundant increasingly?

Governor: No. Do you?

Question: No. I mean your record on the environment, you break promises about that, it hasn't come off. You said that everybody would be owning their own home by the time 1997 comes round, it hasn't happened.

Governor: No, no. When did I say that? When did I say that?

Question: You said that when you arrived.

Governor: No, I didn't. You don't have to tell fibs, come on.

Question: Anyway, okay. What about employment? We didn't have unemployment in Hong Kong before you arrived, now it's a serious problem.

Governor: Just tell me what it is?

Question: Let me finish. Most importantly, you've really let Beijing off the hook. As a professional politician you have let Beijing off the hook, you have let them walk away from the negotiating table and you have given them carte blanche to do anything they want after 1997. It's disgraceful.

Governor: 1 have not given them carte blanche. That is what a lot of people wanted me to do but I declined to do that and one of the results is that 1 think Hong Kong has a lot more sense of the importance of its own autonomy and a lot more self-confidence than it would otherwise have. 1 thought that your litany of capital charges, though delivered with a cheerfully gloomy voice, was ..

Question: Well it is not as cheerfully gloomy as yours.

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Governor: ... was a trifle unfair. We have actually made significant progress in cleaning up air quality, though there is further to go. We have invested about nine billion in our sewage strategy which by 1997 will have reduced the pollution load in the harbour by about 70%. And as for employment - and I wonder if you know what the figures actually are; they went up to about 3.5%, they have been edging down to just over 3%, and one of the main reasons for that is that while we have been - and the last quarter's figures show this - while we have been increasing the creation of jobs by over 4%, the number of people coming into Hong Kong, both returning immigrants and legal immigrants from China, has gone up by slightly more than that, so we have been in the position where we have been creating more jobs but more people have been coming into Hong Kong.

When 1 look at the overall economy I see an economy which has increased by 25% pretty well, after allowing for the increase in prices since 1 arrived as Governor, and I am pretty pleased about that. But anyway, I am sorry we have not satisfied you on everything.

Question: You have not satisfied me and 1 hope you satisfy the future voters of Britain but I won't be there to enjoy your government.

Governor: Oh. I am sorry about that. I will greatly miss you.

Question: You should resign. Bye, bye.

Presenter: Thank you very much. I am sure the Governor is not going to resign on this special bilingual phone-in and 1 don't think you are even looking for votes in the UK, are you Mr Patten?

Governor: I am not but 1 think he had decided his view of history before he came on the line.

Question (in Chinese): My respected Governor. I like to give you this name but you will be a famous person down the ages. I thank you for standing up for human rights and the rule of law in Hong Kong, we really respect you. I can tell you this, well the sunset is beautiful but it is nearly night. Next year I hope you will invite me to the handover ceremony, 1 hope 1 will be a good friend of yours forever. When you return to Britain I hope that you will still speak up for Hong Kong. I really hope that 1 can shake your hand in 1997,1 hope 1 will be invited. Can you hear me please?

18

Governor: I can and that is one of the nicest requests for a ticket 1 have ever heard. I must introduce you to the last caller, you would have a lot to talk about. Can I say straightaway that if you send us your name and address we will try to ensure that you are invited to one of the celebrations around the time of the hand over, because I would like to meet you. Oh, and that goes for your predecessor on the line as well if he is still listening rather than shaving, if he is still listening and sends us his name and address we would like to bury the hatchet and invite him too. But it would be very nice to meet you and thank you for what you said about human rights and the rule of law. They are the spine chord of our society in Hong Kong and we do have to go on speaking up for them and defending them.

Question: My name is Edward Stokes (phonetic). I would like to ask two specific questions - widely different areas - but I think they are linked and they are linked through the danger, perhaps, of Hong Kong placing economic growth above quality of life.

The first issue relates to the harbour and in fact ferry safety, which as a ferry traveller I notice, whatever the Marine Department may say, is in fact totally chaotic due to both reclamation and the vast growth of harbour traffic. What corrective steps is the government taking about the state of harbour safety? That is question one.

Governor: On question one, we are just, as you probably know, facing a bit of industrial action in the harbour precisely because of efforts that the Marine Department are taking to improve safety and improve the circumstances in which so much traffic every day passes through what is sometimes a turbulent channel. But I totally agree with you that we do have to ensure that we retain as good a safety record in the harbour as possible. If you have got any ideas or proposals about how me might do that I would be very happy to discuss them with the Marine Department. We do want to avoid any accident in the harbour because it would be calamitous for us, not least for our tourism.

Question: Right, well that is very welcome and I will send something on which relates to a very near massive disaster a week ago which is in correspondence at the moment with the ferry company.

The second question relates to the country parks. Hong Kong is a very, very beautiful place - just having come back from other parts of south-east Asia where one can see so many places where countryside has been lost, very, very beautiful places that can never be regained. How can it be, in a place as wealthy as Hong Kong - and you were rightly mentioning the $9 billion being spent on a sewage scheme which is obviously very welcome - how can it be, in a place as wealthy as Hong Kong that the long promised extension to the North Lantau Country Park - a quick ... and a buffer for the airport and mentioned in the Chek Lap Kok EIA - how can it be that that is regularly refused on the grounds of lack of money when it would cost $25 million? And this extends back for some five years, a plan proposed by the government’s own Country Parks Board.

19

Governor: Two points there. First of all I totally accept what you said about the importance of the country parks in Hong Kong, the lungs of Hong Kong in a way. I find that when you take visitors to see any of our country parks they are absolutely astounded that Hong Kong is not only a busy, bustling urban community but it has also got places of the greatest beauty as well within a few miles of the city centre. I walk in the country parks quite a bit. I spent a weekend about two months ago walking across Lantau and had as great a walk as you could have had anywhere in the world.

Secondly, you are also right to say that because of the impact on the local environment, of the airport, we do have to try to make sure that the area around has an appropriate buffer. That goes for the water and the proposals for a marine park, and it goes for the land as well. I am sorry that I cannot give you a clear and specific answer on what has happened to the development of the park on the north of Lantau but having heard your impassioned plea, I will go back and find out and let you know. If you can leave your name and address with the telephonist I will ensure that you get a clear answer because I do accept what you said that it is important to conserve the beauty as much as possible of Lantau as well as develop the airport off its north coast.

Question (in Chinese): 1 hope that the Governor, before 1997, can really do more for us. First of all, I hope that the Governor, for the sake of maintaining the editorial autonomy of RTHK, I hope that it can be corporatised, that it can be made independent.

Secondly, I always go back to China and I can always see that the Public Security officials beat-up citizens. Well, this is not too much better in Hong Kong because the CAPO right now is such that the police would investigate into complaints against themselves. The Governor said that he has every intention to make the 1PCC statutory. However, he is still unwilling to make it independent, that is to give it independent investigatory powers, so the situation may not been too much better.

Right now the police are investigating into complaints against themselves and it seems a lot of complaints just go down the drain and so people have no confidence in CAPO. It seems many people do not want to lodge their complaints because they think that it will be to no avail. So why don't you have something like the ICAC that you make the CAPO independent?

Presenter: There was a caller raising a similar question, Mr Law, who wanted an independent mechanism similar to the ICAC. Mr Governor, would you like to take the question on please, on RTHK first?

20

Governor: I will just say really what I said again on CAPO very briefly. The Complaints Commission is independent. We want to give it its statutory independence. The question is whether the head of CAPO, the organisation which investigates complaints, should be a civilian or not. I don't think there is a very strong - well, there is a strongly felt case for that - I don't think there is an overwhelmingly good argument for that. 1 think it would be very difficult to parachute a civilian in to lead a disciplined services organisation like that. I don't think it would put him in a very good position. What we want is an organisation which itself has maximum credibility and that is what we are determined to ensure is the case.

On RTHK, I don't myself think that whether or not you corporatise RTHK would have all that much impact on its independence, even though theoretically it would be more independent than it is in its present legal state. I think we have at the moment in RTHK an independent-minded, fair-minded organisation. Like the BBC in the UK it provides fair coverage of everybody's point of view and I hope that will continue after 1997. I am not sure how much difference it would make really whether it was corporatised. You can, I suppose, without being too provocative, think of media organisations in Hong Kong which are independent, which are private, but which do not perhaps provide as balanced a news presentation as RTHK.

Question: I do appreciate very much your fight for the democracy of Hong Kong and I also believe that you will be the last Governor of Hong Kong and will be the one to hand over Hong Kong to China. But 1 want to give you a very brief analogy. Please do not take offence. You have two daughters ...

Governor: Three.

Question: ... and without their wishes, will you be forcing them to get married to a criminal who has been killing a thousand-odd people a year? I don't think you would do that. But remember, you are going to hand over the people of Hong Kong to Communist China on June 30 next year against their will. Will you consider giving them a choice?

And another question is, I wish and 1 hope you become the Prime Minister of the UK in the future, and will you consider letting these people get the ... boat and ... in UK when you become the Prime Minister?

21

Governor: Let me deal very directly with that question and perhaps excessively honestly because I think you have expressed in a very clear way the moral dilemma which many people feel. Usually, when Britain has left a colony that colony has become an independent country. That option, because of the history of Hong Kong and China, was never available in Hong Kong, so we are in a situation in which a free society, as free as any society in Asia, is returning in 1997 to China - from which many citizens of Hong Kong have in the past fled - to China which has, despite the spectacular successes of the last few years, a different notion of freedom. That is why it is really important for us to make sure that the guarantees that were given in the Joint Declaration about one country, two systems are kept, there is a moral imperative on us to try to ensure that they were kept.

Some people say occasionally, "Oh, we must be pragmatic about it, we must be realistic about it; in 1997 whether or not the Joint Declaration is applied, is going to happen, we just have to get through without worrying too much about all these freedoms that are promised". I can't understand that argument. I think it is morally imperative that we stand up for all the things that you and others were promised when the Joint Declaration was presented to you in 1984. I am sure that 1997 will turn into a success. I think people in Hong Kong want it to be a success but they also want more reassurance that those freedoms which they value, which you value, will continue into the future.

Now as for my future, I am not, honestly, thinking beyond 30 June 1997. When I arrived here four years ago people said, "Oh, he won't stay, he will just do a year or two", and some of my critics said, "He will just put on a show and then he will be off to do something else". 1 said when I arrived that I would stay, God willing, until 30 June 1997. I will be here until 30 June 1997 and until 30 June 1997 I will continue to be answering questions, as I have your question this morning.

As for later, heaven knows what will happen to me but I think I will deserve a rest and there are lots of other very good people in Britain who would make much better prime ministers than me.

Question (Mr Cheung) (in Chinese): Mr Governor, recently, at the Summit for the Employment for the Disabled you have done a lot for people. But I am blind, I do not have vision, I have great difficulties in finding a job; even if I have the academic qualifications I can't get a job. I would like to propose to the Governor -1 really hope that you can do this - that the telephone-operators in the government should be people like me who are without vision. We do not want to be a burden to society, we want to contribute to society.

22

Governor: Can I answer that question as positively as possible, but it is not quite as easy as in a sense you made it sound. My first point is that disabled people deserve to be helped to get a job. But it is not a question of doing them a favour. Any employer who takes on somebody who has got a disability but is committed and hardworking is doing themselves a favour. They are helping themselves by employing somebody who is going to be committed to their organisation and going to do an outstanding job. So I think we want to stop thinking about employment for the disabled as though we are handing out charity. We are not. We are ensuring that people with real abilities can contribute those abilities to the rest of society.

We have had three summits to try to push employers and government into doing more and we have had some success. Last year, despite the difficulties on the employment front, we I think placed through government services about 1,400 more people with a disability, we have gradually increased the number who are employed in government. It is now up to about 4,200, and we have had a voluntary target for the community which we exceeded last year, we got up to 550, and we have set a new target for 700. The private sector varies enormously, some people are very good, some people, frankly, do not put enough into it, working in exactly the same sector. So I think everybody has got to make an effort.

Now you mention - which is why I said it is not quite as easy as it might have sounded - you mention the position of the blind working as telephonists. We know a bit about this, we have somebody very close to us in Government House who is in that position. But what has been happening is that modern technology has very often put out of jobs blind people who have taken jobs as telephonists and what we then have to do is to try to ensure that they are retrained to do some other job which they are capable of. So while there is still room for quite a lot of people with sight disability in working as telephonists, we should not think that in the long term, with changes in technology, that is going to be, as it were, a secure area. It is imperative that we give people more retraining - the blind, the mentally-handicapped, the mentally-ill - so that they can contribute as much as they have got to the rest of society.

Question: My name is Tony James (phonetic). I just find it disturbing, listening to this morning's activities, that there are certainly some people in HK. who tend to criticise the existing freedom of the press that we certainly enjoy, and the government initiatives, certainly that have been done since '84, and 1 guess in particular yourself -the criticism of yourself. But yet I wonder what their comments will be like in four-and-a-half years time when the new CE of the SAR has completed four years, and I just wonder if the new CE. when he or she has finished his four year term, whether they will certainly be sitting in RTHK fielding questions. And I guess - and it is not a question - it is quite advantageous to have the ability to have hindsight and look back at some of the things that have or have not been achieved. But certainly I do find it disturbing that people can criticise without necessarily knowing what our future holds.

23

Governor: I very much hope that my successor, whoever she or he may be, will also agree with me that accountability to the public is important which is why I do phone-ins like this. And it makes me think that perhaps I should do more because there is a huge backlog of callers I think this morning.

But there has only been one caller that - well two I think; one early on who phoned us up from Happy Valley and one a bit later - there have only been two people who have been critical. They have got every right to be critical, I just hope that they won’t feel inhibited in four-and-a-half years time in expressing their views in an identically similar way. I find that comparing British politics with Hong Kong politics, people in Hong Kong are far more civil, far more moderate. Political debate tends to lack the extremes which you find in Europe or North America. And that is one reason why I think that if Chinese officials could just relax a bit, they would recognise that people in Hong Kong, politicians in Hong Kong, are not a threat, not even those who travel up to Peking with valid travel documents.

Question (Miss Lai) (in Chinese): You are our colonial official and it seems, being Chinese, I should not praise you in the open but I can tell you my dilemma. The performance of Chinese officials is very disappointing, they are calling you names. Now at this time, well I think Hong Kong people are to be pitied at this critical juncture. Now, they said that in the handover ceremony, well, you may not be there. I think this is not to make you unhappy but rather we are made unhappy as Hong Kong people, I think they are being too parsimonious.

Governor: I can assure you that I will be there at the handover ceremony - God willing - and I am sure that everybody will behave with exquisite courtesy. It is extraordinary that one should even think that leading officials should consider behaving other than courteously. But there it is. I have never really been worried about the names I have been called. I'll tell you why. Because in my experience in public life, if people call you names it means they have not got a very good argument. If they have got a good argument they can be sure that just deploying it will completely demolish you. They only actually call you names if they haven't got a decent argument. So I really regard that as a sign of success for Hong Kong because what I have been putting is Hong Kong's point of view, not my own. I have been putting the promises that were made to the people of Hong Kong and which reflect, 1 still believe, the aspirations of people in Hong Kong.

End

24

Final accounts for 1995-96 published

*****

The Government’s final accounts for the financial year 1995-96, which ended on March 31 were published today (Friday) in the Gazette.

Total expenditure for the year was $183.1 billion, almost exactly in line with the revised estimate of $183.2 billion given in the 1996 Budget Speech. Total revenue was $180 billion against a revised estimate of $180.7 billion. As a result, the overall deficit for 1995-96 was $3.1 billion.

A government spokesman said: "The shortfall in revenue of $0.7 billion, or 0.4%, was made up of a number of pluses and minuses.

"Receipts from earnings and profits tax and from fees and charges were lower than anticipated in the first quarter of 1996.

"This was offset, in part, by higher than anticipated receipts from stamp duty following the increased activity in both the stock and property markets in the same period."

The spokesman pointed out that the Government had drawn on the reserves in 1995-96 when investment in the Airport Core Programme was at a peak and as a result the total fiscal reserves amounted to $147.9 billion as at March 31.

End

Government response to Manpower Panel Enquiry Report

*****

The Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, issued the following statement in response to the report published by the Panel on Manpower of the Legislative Council this (Friday) morning on ’Enquiry into the circumstances surrounding the labour disputes involving imported workers under the Special Labour Importation Scheme for the Airport Core Programme Projects (ACP) and related issues’:

"I received a copy of the Report this morning and would need time to study it carefully before giving a considered response on its findings and recommendations.

25

I am pleased to note that the report has made full reference to the comprehensive package of measures initiated by the Government since the outbreak of labour disputes late last year to improve the operation, and to strengthen the monitoring, of the Special Labour Importation Scheme for the New Airport Projects.

"As a result of these measures, the overall situation has improved significantly. Labour disputes involving imported workers under the ACP scheme are no longer a problem.

"However, we will continue to step up our efforts in monitoring the scheme closely to ensure its smooth operation. Meanwhile, all the previous labour disputes have been resolved.

"Over the past few months, the Government has also established close working links with those countries which export workers to Hong Kong for the ACP projects. In particular, we have forged a rapport with the relevant authorities in China.

"Arrangements have now been put in place to ensure that the interests of Chinese workers in the territory are well protected under the laws of Hong Kong".

End

Draft code of practice under discrimination laws discussed *****

The Equal Opportunities Commission considered it unfortunate that the public was led to believe that an undiscussed internal preliminary working draft of a code of practice under the Sex Discrimination Ordinance presented to a working group meeting, which needs much re-writing, represented the position of the Commission.

The Commission assured the public that any draft codes of practice would be thoroughly examined and debated within the Commission before it was released for public consultation.

During the process, it was the primary objective of the Commission to lay down guidelines which promote fair and lawful employment practices under the Sex Discrimination Ordinance (SDO) and Disability Discrimination Ordinance.

26

The Commission's working group preparing the Code of Practice on Employment under SDO has discussed today (Friday) an internal preliminary working draft of the Code.

The Working Group had thoroughly considered the preliminary draft and felt that many parts of it needs rewriting, including the part on personal appearance.

Specifically, the Working Group considered that the following guidelines should be laid down in respect of personal appearance:

* the policies should be reasonable having regard to the occupational requirement and the changing social norms; and

♦ the policies should be applied in a fair and evenhanded manner on all employees in that no detrimental effects will be imposed on a particular group of employees in complying with the polices.

The Commission plans to start consulting with the employment sector and concern groups on the codes in August.

With the input from these relevant organisations and bodies, the revised code will be published for general consultation with the public in October.

Thereafter, the Commission aims to introduce the codes to the Legislative Council for approval in November so as to enable the employment-related provisions of the two ordinances to take effect before the end of the year.

End

New vehicle emission and motor fuel standards introduced ♦ * * * ♦

The Government is to introduce two new regulations to effect the upgrading of vehicle emission standards and the quality of motor fuel in line with latest international trends so as to improve emissions from motor vehicles for the abatement of air pollution.

They are the Air Pollution Control (Vehicle Design Standards) (Emission) (Amendment) Regulation 1996 and the Air Pollution Control (Motor Vehicle Fuel) (Amendment) Regulation 1996 made by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, which are published in the Gazette today (Friday).

27

A spokesman for the Planning, Environment and Lands Branch said in the "Second Review of the White Paper: Pollution in Hong Kong - A Time to Act" published in 1993, the Government proposed, inter alia, a series of measures to tackle air pollution from motor vehicles.

The new regulations fully implement the measures to exercise more stringent emission standards for large diesel vehicles and the requirement to use higher quality automotive diesel.

"In October 1996, the European Union will implement more stringent emission standards for motor vehicles. Hong Kong will take the opportunity to require newly registered vehicles to adopt, with effect from April 1, 1997, these upgraded emission standards and other appropriate requirements of USA and Japan," the spokesman said.

From the effective date, a complimentary clean fuel will be available for use by advanced motor vehicle engines.

"For unleaded petrol, the major improvements to be specified will reduce the maximum lead content from 0.013 grams per litre to 0.005 per litre and limit the maximum benzene content to 5% by volume.

"For motor vehicle diesel, the maximum sulphur content will be reduced as specified to 0.20% by weight to 0.05%," he added.

The new emission standards will reduce particulate emissions from individual large diesel vehicles by about 60%. Nitrogen oxides emissions will also be reduced by about 10%.

"These reductions will help arrest further deterioration of the air quality in Hong Kong, particularly the serious problem of particulate pollution caused by diesel vehicles," the spokesman noted.

"However, it will do no more than maintain respirable suspended particulate and nitrogen oxides concentrations at their present unacceptable levels.

"Only with the additional breakthrough of requiring half the diesel fleet to use unleaded petrol or a similar clean fuel can there be any prospect of meeting the Air Quality Objectives for these two criteria air pollutants."

The oil suppliers. Motor Traders' Association and the transport trades have all been consulted on these measures who are generally supportive and in particular, transport trades will not object to the regulations provided that motor fuel and vehicles meeting the upgraded requirements are available without drastic increases in costs.

28

Environmental Protection Department estimates that the new measures will only have a negligible effect on the retail price of unleaded petrol whereas the retail price of motor diesel will increase by 3% or $0.2 per litre.

The amendments will affect newly registered vehicles only. EPD estimates that some vehicle models are already able to meet the new emission requirements and no cost increase will thus be incurred.

For models which require modifications, there may be an increase in retail price by up to 10%.

The spokesman said the Government was still working on proposals for higher penalties and strengthened inspection programmes as further measures to tackle air pollution from motor vehicles.

In the light of the public's comments and views, the Government is also reviewing the proposed scheme to replace diesel vehicles of four tonnes or less with unleaded petrol ones. For the time being, the existing emission standards will continue to apply to them.

End

UK's role outweighs its size in international trade

*****

Hong Kong punches well above its weight in the various international trade and economic fora because of some particular strengths and a clear sense of purpose, the Director-General of Trade, Mr Tony Miller, said today (Friday).

"Our first great strength lies in our unshakeable faith in a relatively simple economic philosophy. We preach a simple gospel: free trade and the rule of law," Mr Miller said.

"The first is easy enough to explain: our version is no tariffs, no quotas, no exceptions. The second, the rule of law, is shorthand for the essentially democratic rule-based post-war trading system, originally under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and now the World Trade Organisation (WTO)."

29

Mr Miller was addressing the Lions Club of Hong Kong (Host) on "Hong Kong's Role in International Trade Negotiations". It was his last public speech as Director-General of Trade before he takes up his new post as Director of Housing later this month.

The Director-General said Hong Kong's second great strength lies in the degree to which its faith for free trade and the rule of law was shared throughout the community.

"Government's belief in giving market forces free rein goes straight to Hong Kong's origins. Business stands firmly behind us in this belief.

"The wider community's spirit of self-reliance and direct experience of the prosperity which has flowed from practising what we preach provides a constant reaffirmation of our faith," Mr Miller said, adding that few governments could boast such united support for basic economic policies.

Mr Miller said its third great strength was the quality of staff posted to Hong Kong's overseas offices and to the Trade Department, their professionalism and enthusiasm in defending its trading interests overseas and their efficiency in administering its trade controls at home.

"Our fourth great strength is that other trading partners recognise the first three in our negotiating style. They know that we speak our minds. They know that we know our trade theology," Mr Miller continued.

"They know that we fight fiercely in defence of principle. They know that we are pragmatic problem solvers. They know also from experience not to confuse this latter constructive approach to compromise with any weakness on matters of fundamental importance.

"They know that, on technical matters, we are more than merely proficient. Finally, they know that we are creative drafters and that our pens are always at the service of those in search of imaginative solutions."

According to Mr Miller, the fifth strength of Hong Kong is the way that it is poised between the developed and the developing world.

"This may puzzle some people. Take one look at our sky-line, our streets, our shopping malls and concert halls and you know that Hong Kong is a developed not a developing economy. And yet in the twisted logic of trade relations, we are de facto developing," he said.

30

’’This is not exactly of our own choosing, rather this is the way the developed world treats us. Developed countries do not impose restraints on exports of textiles and clothing from fellow developed countries. They do on Hong Kong.

”1 say this with no rancour. I say it simply to underline that the scars we bear give us an instinctive sympathy for the underdogs in the developing world and their needs and aspirations.

"As a developed economy with recent memories of what it is like to be developing, we have a natural role as middle-man and honest broker. From this flows a certain standing and an ability to influence the outcome of negotiations which we would not otherwise enjoy."

Mr Miller said what made Hong Kong different was that as determined free traders, Hong Kong had a very clear view of what it wanted to achieve.

"As beneficiaries of the liberal post-war trading system, we have a very clear view of how we want world trade to operate," he said.

"We see ourselves very much as the conscience of the GATT/WTO, vigilant in guarding against and exposing breaches of the rules, fierce in defence of our rights and of wider points of principle, determined to repair the damage done by abusive use of trade remedies, ready always to work with others in extending and perfecting the grand design.

"Above all, we see ourselves as a beacon, a beacon of free trade, shining out a promise of safe passage through the reefs and shoals of unfair trade, and a counter to the siren voices of protectionism.

"What gives us our edge is our sense of purpose."

End

31

Fees charged under two health laws to be revised ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government is to increase a number of fees under the Supplementary Medical Professions Ordinance and the Quarantine and Prevention of Disease (Scale of Charges) Regulations from November 1.

Announcing this today (Friday), a government spokesman said the fees were last revised in November 1994 and the revision this time aimed to recover the full cost of the services at 1995-96 prices.

"It is government policy that fees should in general be set at levels sufficient to cover the full cost of providing the services," he added.

The proposed increase are nine per cent for the fees in respect of the supplementary medical professions and four per cent to 23 per cent for the fees payable under the Quarantine and Prevention of Disease (Scale of Charges) Regulations.

The new fees are published in the Gazette today.

32

Revision of fees under the Supplementary Medical Profession

txgqngtee Proposed fee

Schedule 3 to the Medical Laboratory Technologists (Registration and Disciplinary Procedure) Regulations $ $

Any alteration to the register under Section 10(2) 335 365

Restoration to the register under Section 10(5) 425 465

Registration under Section 13 1020 1115

Duplicate certificate of registration under Section 14(7) 260 285

Certificate of standing under Section 14A 520 570

Certificate verifying registration under Section 14A 395 432

Provisional registration under Section 15 985 1075

Practising certificate issue under Section 16 355 390

Schedule 3 to the Occupational Therapists (Registration and

Disciplinary Procedure) Regulations $ $

Any alteration to the register under Section 10(2) 335 365

Restoration to the register under Section 10(5) 425 465

Registration under Section 13 1020 1115

Duplicate certificate of registration under Section 14(7) 260 285

Certificate of standing under Section 14A 520 570

Certificate verifying registration under Section 14A 395 432

Provisional registration under Section 15 985 1075

Practising certificate issue under Section 16 355 390

Schedule 3 to the Radiographers (Registration and Disciplinary Procedure) Regulation $ $

Registration under Section 13 1020 1115

Provisional registration under Section 15 985 1075

Practising certificate issue under Section 16 355 390

Duplicate certificate of registration under Section 14(7) 260 285

Restoration to the register under Section 10(5) 425 465

Certificate of standing under Section 14A 520 570

Certificate verifying registration under Section 14A 395 432

33

Revision of fees under the Supplementary Medical.Professions Ordinance

Existing fee Proposed fee

Schedule 3 to the Optometrists (Registration and Disciplinary $ $

Procedure) Regulation

Registration under Section 13 1020 1115

Provisional registration under Section 15 985 1075

Practising certificate issue under Section 16 355 390

Duplicate certificate of registration under Section 14(7) 260 285

Restoration to the register under Section 10(5) 425 465

Certificate of standing under Section 14 A 520 570

Certificate verifying registration under Sec 14A 395 432

Schedule 3 to the Quarantine and Prevention of Disease (Sole of Charges) Regulations

(Cap 141 sub. leg) • • Exsmg fee Proposed

For the issue of a deratting certificate $ 11140 fee . $ 11620

For the issue of a deratting exemption certificate 1790 1940

For supervision during disinsecting an aircraft and certification 595 735

For the issue of a bill of health 80 96

End

34

More sites checked by factory inspectors *****

More than 110 factory inspectors of the Labour Department engaged in the territory-wide special industrial safety operation checked 384 more construction sites in the past week, bringing the total number of sites visited to 868 since June 21.

The latest round of intensive inspections resulted in the issue of 99 summonses against building contractors for breaching industrial safety laws.

The total number of summonses to be issued under the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance has increased from 168 in the first week to 267 up to yesterday (Thursday).

The special task force comprising 10 factory inspectors inspected 45 sites in the second week and recommended the issue of 31 summonses.

Another 100 factory inspectors involved in the special inspection exercise on working at height and in confined spaces checked 339 more sites and recommended the issue of 68 summonses.

Commenting on the inspection statistics, Chief Factory Inspector (Operations), Mr Tse Ming-sing, said today (Friday) that the overall safety situation in construction sites inspected so far was acceptable, though some 163 sites or one fifth of the 868 sites inspected would be prosecuted.

He said in the second week of operation, the sites selected were more scattered and the proprietors and contractors were a lot more responsive to government’s call for better site safety conditions.

The breaches detected over the second week related mainly to failing to provide suitable working platforms or scaffolds, failing to provide proper fencing of dangerous places, failing to ensure the use of personal protective equipment by workers and failing to provide adequate safety measures in the use of lifting appliances. These were similar to the first week’s findings.

The Chief Factory Inspector said the special inspection exercise would be extended for one more week.

“Extending our special operation will give us more time to check whether sites found to be in unsatisfactory safety conditions in the first two weeks have managed to make improvements.

35

"Our factory inspectors will also re-inspect some of the other sites to see if their safety conditions remain satisfactory," he said.

"Factory inspectors have been told not to tolerate contractors and workers who have failed to take safety measures in building sites."

During these blitz operations, the inspectors will hand out pamphlets on working at height and confined spaces to workers and site staff to alert them of the necessary precautions and the 24-hour industrial safety hotline 2815 0678.

"We will take follow-up action on each and every call. Prosecutions will also be initiated if contravention of industrial safety legislation is detected during our investigations," Mr Tse added.

End

Three bays designated as marine parks and reserve *****

The marine parks at Hoi Ha Wan, Yan Chau Tong and the Cape D'Aguilar Marine Reserve have been designated following the approval of the draft maps by the Govemor-in-Council last month.

A spokesman for the Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) said the designation of these parks and reserve would enable ecologically important marine areas to be protected under the Marine Parks Ordinance.

The Director of Agriculture and Fisheries, as the Country and Marine Parks Authority (Authority), will manage these areas for the purposes of nature conservation, education, research and environmental enhancement, the spokesman said.

The Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park is a sheltered bay on the northern coastline of Sai Kung which covers a sea area of about 260 hectares. Thirty-nine of the 49 local coral species recorded can be found within the area while marine invertebrates new to science have also been discovered there.

The Yan Chau Tong Marine Park consists of Yan Chau Tong and an indented bay outside Lai Chi Wo, with a sea area of about 680 hectares. A wide variety of beach types and a diverse assemblage of marine habitats and communities can be found. There are also fringing coral reefs, star fish and beds of sea grass in the area.

36

Located at the southern tip of Hong Kong Island, the Cape D'Aguilar Marine Reserve covers a sea area of about 20 hectares. It is an area of high biological, geomorphological and geological interests.

The spokesman said public consultation on the proposal to designate marine parks and marine reserves had been conducted since 1991. Meetings were held with relevant advisory boards or committees, working groups and associations.

An order designating the area shown on the approved maps on Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park, Yan Chau Tong Marine Park and Cape D'Aguilar Marine Reserve was published in the Gazette today (Friday).

The new maps are now available for public inspection at the AFD headquarters, the Land Registry, Sai Kung New Territories Land Registry, Tai Po New Territories Land Registry, North New Territories Land Registry and the Marine Department headquarters.

End

Green light for Castle Peak Road improvement works

*****

The Governor-in-Council has authorised the improvement works to Castle Peak Road from Siu Lam to So Kwun Tan without modification.

The authorisation is published in the Government Gazette today (Friday).

The project is mainly to widen the section of Castle Peak Road between Siu Lam and So Kwun Tan from the existing one-lane each-way to a dual two-lane carriageway.

It also includes the construction of a road bridge over So Kwun Wat River, a footbridge near Fiona Garden, and associated pavement, slopework, retaining walls, drainage and landscaping works, as well as noise mitigation works.

The works are expected to commence in November for completion in 27 months.

End

37

Electric company's proposal still being studied * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

In response to enquiries on a newspaper report today (Friday), a spokesman for the Economic Services Branch said that the Government had not taken any decision on the proposal by the Hongkong Electric Company Limited to build additional generating capacity.

"The Company's proposal is still being studied by the Government," he said.

End

Findings on calling number display service published

*****

The Telecommunications Authority today (Friday) published a statement on the public consultation on calling number display (CND) and has made proposals on the implementation of the service in Hong Kong.

The service, which enables the receiver of a call to know the number of line from which the call is being made before he or she actually answers it, is now available in a number of overseas countries.

"We believe that it should also be available to Hong Kong telephone users, such that receivers of calls may be in a better position to decide whether to accept an incoming telephone call or not," the spokesman said.

CND is known to have a deterrent effect on nuisance calls and can be a key to emergency rescue if the caller is unable to identify his exact location. The previous public consultation has indicated wide public support for the service to be introduced in Hong Kong.

"We have, nonetheless, not overlooked legitimate concerns of callers about their telephone number being displayed automatically to receivers of the calls," said the spokesman.

An inherent part of the proposal will be a requirement for the network operators to provide free CND blocking services to all telephone users such that a caller may choose to transmit his number or not.

38

The operators will also have to comply with a Code of Practice in the provision of the service to ensure that information relating to telephone numbers are being handled properly.

The Telecommunications Authority intends to formally approve the service later this year.

Copies of the statement may be obtained from the Office of the Telecommunication Authority’s public enquiry centre at 29th floor, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, the office's Internet homepage (http://www.ofta.gov.hk) or its Bulletin Board Service on 2834 1109.

End

Prison industry to adapt more business-like approach * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Correctional Services Department (CSD) has streamlined the operation and management of its Correctional Services Industries (CSI) to adapt to a more businesslike approach in view of increasing pressures to compete in the changing environment of market demands, the Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Raymond Lai Ming-kee, said today (Friday).

Speaking at a lunch meeting of the Rotary Club of Causeway Bay, Mr Lai said CSD ran the largest government-owned industrial operation in the territory and CSI had a commercial value of around $400 million per annum.

CSI employs over 7,600 people, about 7,300 are inmates of the 21 penal institutions sprawled throughout the territory. In fact, its products are familiar to everyone - such as uniforms for nurses, shoes for the police, letter boxes for postmen.

"Every time you walk on the pavement, drop a piece of paper in a litter bin, look at a road sign to find where you are going, or smash your car into a railing, you are encountering CSI made products," Mr Lai said.

The Commissioner pointed out that CSI was not in the business to make money.

7

- 39 -

"Rather than make money, we save money for Government by producing goods which would otherwise have to be bought commercially, at a much greater cost,” he said.

"CSVs primary purpose is to assist the management of institutions by eliminating the biggest threat - boredom. In the process, we hope we can inculcate useful working habits which will help the inmate on release, and encourage him or her to lead a law abiding life," he said.

In clarifying a misconception that CSI might be taking jobs away from the local jobmarket, Mr Lai said over 99 per cent of what CSI made went to the Government or quasi-govemment bodies.

"In addition, almost all the industrial operations carried out by CSI involve products which are not otherwise made in Hong Kong. Who else makes concrete slabs and kerbstones? Who else makes fibreglass litter bins?" he asked.

Mr Lai noted that another misconception, one which had become increasingly of concern in the last few years, was one of human rights.

"Is using prison labour in this way tantamount to forced labour, and therefore a violation of human rights? Again, 1 have to answer no," he said.

"The use of prisoners for labour is permitted under the 1957 Convention on the Abolition of Forced Labour, provided that the jobs and conditions are no degrading or cruel. I would rate the working conditions in CSI superior to some prisons of our critics overseas.

Another subject which often came up when discussing prison industries was the charge that exports were, in some cases, subsidised by prison made products, the Commissioner said.

"A typical example of this is a line of denim clothing very popular in Japan. Marketed as being made by murderers, rapists and the like, it goes under the brand name ’Prison Blues’.

"Made in Hong Kong? No, CSI does not export. Made in China? Actually, no. 'Prison Blues' are made in Oregon, USA," Mr Lai said.

The Commissioner said the circumstances under which CSI operated had been described as a businessman's dream - captive markets, cheap and plentiful labour, low costs, no need to make a profit and no shareholders to answer to.

40

“Unfortunately, it is not all a bed of roses. Take our labour supply for example - yes, we have plentiful supply of cheap labour, especially in these days of prison overcrowding, but we have no control over our supply.

“We cannot hire and fire, retain key staff or even lay off excess workers. Furthermore, most of our workforce really does not want to be our workforce for obvious reasons.

"Motivation is very difficult and as a result quality has tended to suffer. CSI products had a reputation for poor workmanship, late delivery and unreliability. But like many a monopoly, we had no incentive to improve our service - we had a captive market.

"In the last couple of years, this apparently cosy situation has been shaken up. As more and more government departments became public authorities, such as the Hospital Authority, or became trading funds, such as the Post Office, our captive market began to break free.

"Once these organisations no longer had to buy from CSI, our market began to contract," Mr Lai said.

The Commissioner said serious steps were taken to listen to customers and to take notice of what they were saying.

"We established quality inspections and improved training and machinery. We have also recently began to hold stocks of finished goods to help us smooth out fluctuations in demand and reduce complaints of slow or late delivery.

"We have installed a computerised manufacturing and materials control system to provide essential information about current situations in our workshops and material stores," he said.

Mr Lai said although these were initial steps, there had already been tangible results with complaints from customers down.

"We even have satisfied customers and we can now enter competitive tenders and win them." he said.

The Commissioner noted with some irony that despite CSI not being a business in the sense that people understand the term, it had had to become more businesslike to survive.

41

"Though employment of prisoners, not profits and dividends, are our ’bottom line’ we have recognised that if we do not give the customer wants he wants, when he wants it at a price he finds reasonable, we will lose customers.

"And if we lose customers, we do not get sufficient job orders to employ prisoners. In other words, we face the same pressures to compete, and the same reasons for doing it, as every other commercial and industrial organisation in Hong Kong," Mr Lai said.

End

Laying of submarine cable systems at Lantau Island *****

Authorisation has been given for the Hong Kong Telecommunication Limited to lay four submarine cables at Tong Fuk, Lantau Island.

The project aims at providing more international channel capacity to meet the rapid growth in international traffic demand.

Works will start this month for completion by the end of October. They will be carried out within an area of about 360 hectares of foreshore and sea-bed starting from Tong Fuk Beach southwards to Hong Kong border.

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

Any person who considers that his interest, right or easement in or over the foreshore and sea-bed involved will be injuriously affected may deliver a written claim for compensation to the Director of Lands before July 5, 1997.

He should state in his submission the sum of money which he is willing to accept in full and final settlement of his claim and should submit such particulars which he possesses to substantiate his claim.

The notice (in both English and Chinese) together with the related plan can be seen at the Lands Department's Survey and Mapping Office, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong (where copies can be purchased on order), the Islands District Office, 20th floor. Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central, and Mui Wo Sub-office of the Islands District Office, ground floor, Mui Wo Government Offices, 2 Ngan Kwong Wan Road, Mui Wo, Lantau Island.

End

42

PTA study parent education in China ♦ ♦ * * ♦

More than 300 representatives from Parent-Teacher Associations (PTA) will have a chance to learn about parent education in China at a symposium tomorrow (Saturday).

The second PTA symposium - Parent education in China - is an annual event organised by the Committee on Home-School Co-operation to provide PTA representatives with opportunities to share experiences on various home-school subjects.

The Deputy Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joshua Law, and the Chairman of the Committee on Home-School Co-operation. Mr Tik Chi-yuen, will officiate at the symposium.

Two keynote speakers from China are the Deputy Division Chief of the National Education Commission of China, Ms Liu Jiangping, and a member of the Committee on Family Education in Guangdong province, Ms Liang Xuezheng.

Professor Wong Chung-kwong from the Department of Psychiatry, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, will share experience of parent education in Hong Kong.

End

Consultation forums on language benchmarks to be held

*****

The Task Force on Benchmarking established under the Advisory Committee on Teacher Education and Qualifications (ACTEQ) will hold two public forums next week to solicit views from the teaching profession, school sponsors and the public on language benchmarks for teachers.

The sessions will be presided by the Chairman of the Task Force, Professor Felice Lich Mak.

The consultants commissioned by the Task Force to study benchmarks for English language teachers in lower secondary forms; teachers of Putonghua and teachers using Chinese as the medium of instruction in primary schools, will also brief the audience and answer questions.

43

Professor Lieh Mak said the Task Force and the consultants would like to hear the views and comments of teachers, educationalists and the public before the consultants finalising the recommendations.

The first session will be held on Monday (July 8) from 6 pm to 8 pm at Lok Sin Tong Wong Chung Ming Secondary School, 161 Lok Sin Road, San Po Kong, Kowloon. It will be followed by a second session from 2.30 pm to 4.30 pm on Tuesday (July 10) at Morrison Hill Technical Institute, 6 Oi Kwan Road, Wan Chai.

Professor Lieh Mak also called on headmasters, teachers and educational organisations to send in their written comments if they could not find time to attend the forum.

Written submission should be addressed to the Secretary, Task Force on Benchmarking, at Room 920, West Wing, Central Government Offices, Lower Albert Road.

The Task Force was set up in January in response to a recommendation of the Education Commission Report No 6 to language benchmarks for teachers as one of the measures to improve the language standard of students.

End

Exhibition and seminars on Target Oriented Curriculum *****

A three-day exhibition and a series of seminars on Target Oriented Curriculum (TOC) will be held at the Hong Kong Teachers' Centre from next Tuesday (July 9) to July 11.

Entitled "Collaboration: Key to Implementing Target Oriented Curriculum", the function is organised by the Education Department's Curriculum Development Institute to encourage collaboration between parents, teachers, schools. Education Department and academics in implementing TOC.

The Vice Principal of the TOC Assessment Unit. Mr Sou Hon-poo. noted that so far. more than 900 teachers from 180 schools had applied for some 2,600 seats of the 12 seminars.

Academics and experts will deliver speeches on TOC assessment and professional development of teachers while school heads and teachers will share their experiences in implementing IOC in those seminars.

44

Speakers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Institute of Education will give keynote speeches on ’Designing assessment tasks for English Language within the TOC framework’, 'Teachers’ competence in enabling the Implementation of TOC’ and 'Communicating Students' Learning'.

Experience sharing session on various aspects on TOC including school-based tailoring, teachers' perspective, team building and impact on teachers will be held.

"Teaching and learning materials from the TOC Phase I schools, TOC packages from publishers and resource materials from other countries practising similar curricula will be displayed at the exhibition," Mr Sou added.

Interested parties are welcome to visit the exhibition which will be open to the public at the Hong Kong Teachers' Centre, 4 Pak Fuk Road, North Point, between July 9 and 11 from 9 am to 4.45 pm. A pre-exhibition will be held on July 8.

Further enquiries should be directed to the TOC Resource Centre on 2762 0420.

End

Avid readers awarded prizes *****

More than 80 students from Hong Kong's primary and secondary schools today (Friday) received prizes at an Education Department presentation ceremony in recognition of their achievements in extensive English reading.

Among the participants, 14 "best readers" have each read more than 100 books in the 1995-96 school year.

The Hong Kong Extensive Reading Scheme in English (HKERS) is an Education Department initiative aimed at promoting reading habits among students and improving their English proficiency through reading.

Some 75,000 students from 139 secondary and 41 primary schools in Hong Kong took part in the scheme in the 1995-96 school year. Seventy-seven other schools are joining in September.

HKERS was introduced in secondary schools in September 1991 and extended to primary schools in the 1995-96 school year.

45

"It is our plan to extend the Scheme to about 40 primary schools every year," the Deputy Director of Education, Mr T F Kwan, said.

"A significant feature of the primary reading programme is the inclusion of information books to cater for different learner styles.

"Some students can read about facts and information on topics they are interested in, while others may enjoy reading story books of adventures, animals, fairy tales, and so on."

Unlike the class library, the Scheme features books graded by level, with guidance provided by teachers to students on their reading.

Mr Kwan said HKERS was supplemented by an award scheme. This award scheme has now been renamed after its sponsor as the EPSON Foundation Reading Awards.

Also speaking at the ceremony, the Chairman of the Education Commission, Professor Rosie T T Young, welcomed extension of the Scheme to the primary sector.

She said the Scheme not only allowed children to learn the language in an enjoyable manner without too much conscious effort, but also enabled them to give expression to their imagination and creativity in creative writing and artwork.

When parents read with their children, it would bring their hearts even more closely together, she added.

End

Water cut in Sheung Shui

*****

Fresh and flushing water supply to some premises in Sheung Shui will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm on Monday (July 8) to 6 am the following day for waste detection work on watermains to be carried out.

The suspension affects all premises in the area bounded by San Fung Avenue, Lung Sum Avenue, Jockey Club Road and Tsun Fu Street in Shek Wu Hui.

End

46

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

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

Opening balance in the account 1,953 0930 +4

Closing balance in the account 1,955 1000 +4

Change attributable to : 1100 +4

Money market activity +2 1200 +4

LAF today NIL 1500 +4

1600 +2

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.5 *+0.1* 5.7.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.21 2 years 2805 6.30 100.09 6.34

1 month 5.19 3 years 3904 6.30 99.20 6.72

3 months 5.26 5 years 5106 7.23 100.03 7.35

6 months 5.47 7 years 7305 7.60 100.45 7.65

12 months 5.78 5 years M502 7.30 99.68 7.52

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $11,756 million

Closed July 5. 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Saturday, July 6,1996

Contents Page No.

Retirement of Director of Immigration confirmed.......................... 1

Sewage charges are fair for the benefits of Hong Kong.................... 1

Change of 1997 meetings venue not being considered: IMF.................. 4

New taxi service guide now available..................................... 4

Serious study on industrial safety and health booklet urged.............. 6

Summer Youth Programme starts today...................................... 7

Basic Law booklets available to public................................... 8

Small & Medium Enterprises Committee appointments announced.......... 9

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

Sunday, July 7,1996

Contents Page No.

Guidance service information obtainable on Internet.................. 11

Slope maintenance exhibition to begin in Tai Po...................... 11

EMSD services meet pledged standards................................. 12

1

Retirement of Director of Immigration confirmed

*****

A Civil Service Branch spokesman confirmed today (Saturday) that approval has been given to the Director of Immigration, Mr Laurence Leung Ming-yin, to retire from the civil service for personal reason. Mr Leung will begin his pre-retirement leave today.

Mr Leung joined the Government in 1965 and was appointed Director of Immigration in 1989. He was bom on March 2, 1941, and is now 55 years old.

The spokesman said a successor had been identified to fill the post.

Pending the completion of appointment procedures, an announcement will be made. Meanwhile, the Deputy Director of Immigration, Mr Christopher Lee Ka-keung, will act as Director.

End

Sewage charges are fair for the benefits of Hong Kong ♦ * * * *

The higher the quantity and the heavier the pollution level of the wastewater discharged, the higher will be the sewage charges, the Director of Drainage Services, Mr Ng Yee-yum, said today (Saturday).

"This is the universally accepted 'polluter pays principle'," said Mr Ng when addressing the Drainage Services Department's (DSD) open-day reception at Cheung Sha Wan Sewage Pumping Station.

Mr Ng said every day individual households, trades and industries discharged tens of millions of litres of wastewater into territorial waters, causing pollution to the natural environment.

"Since the introduction of the Sewage Charging Scheme on April 1, 1995, all those who pollute the water in Hong Kong have to pay for the collection, treatment and disposal of wastewater.

"The sewage charges are fair. The revenue from these charges is used directly for the operation and maintenance of the sewerage systems while the capital cost of constructing capital infrastructures continues to be funded by the Government from the Capital Works Reserve Fund,” he said.

2

Mr Ng pointed out that in the past financial year, $420 million of sewage charges and $265 million of trade effluent surcharges had been collected from the public whereas $2 billion had been paid by the Government in that financial year for new sewerage capital projects.

’’According to the department's statistics, it appears that no domestic customers is unable to pay the sewage charges,” he stressed.

Mr Ng reiterated that DSD had made significant achievements in the provision of drainage services last year funded by the sewage charges.

"The DSD is maintaining over 1,180 kilometres of public sewers together with some 38,000 connections to them and is handling and resolving about 45,000 complaints on blocked drains each year," said Mr Ng.

He said in Sha Tin, Tai Po, Shek Wui Hui and Yuen Long new towns, major secondary sewage treatment plants were now in operation and there were over 60 smaller plants and preliminary treatment facilities around the shores and on the islands.

DSD also operates and maintains over 90 sewage pumping stations throughout the territory. The volume of sewage treated has increased to 715 million cubic metres in 1995, of which 144 million cubic metres receive full biological treatment.

Twenty-six submarine outfalls are operated and maintained to safely dispose of this sewage into the sea.

Furthermore, said Mr Ng, new capital infrastructure projects estimated at about $20 billion were being implemented by the department in various stages of planning, design and construction.

’These projects include the High Priority Programme (HPP) which is being carried out with $6.8 billion funds injected in 1994 by the Government," he said.

HPP comprises the Strategic Sewage Disposal Scheme, Stage I and six related Sewerage Master Plans for Tsuen Wan, Kwai Chung and Tsing Yi, Northwest Kowloon, North and South Kowloon, East Kowloon, Chai Wan and Shau Kei Wan, and Tseung Kwan O.

On completion of the HPP Projects, sewage from these catchment areas around Victoria Harbour at a volume of about 1.1 million cubic metres per day will be collected and screened at screening plants and then conveyed through a network of deep sewage tunnels to the Stonecutters Island Sewage Treatment Works.

3

The sewage collected will undergo chemically enhanced primary treatment before being discharged through a long submarine outfall into the Western Harbour.

"Over 1,000 tonnes of sludge currently discharged into Victoria harbour will be removed every day. This will improve the water quality of the Victoria Harbour significantly," he added.

Mr Ng said the Hong Kong Island South Sewerage Master Plan, the Tolo Harbour Sewerage Master Plan and the Port Shelter Sewerage Master Plan were nearing full implementation.

"Although the capital costs of these and other sewerage infrastructure projects are not financed by the sewage charges, their completion over the next few years will inevitably increase operating costs because much larger volumes of sewage and other wastewater will be diverted and treated to a higher standard.

"To make an allowance for inflation and to meet the rising operating costs as additional sewage treatment facilities come on stream to clean up and protect our environment, it is necessary to increase the general sewage charge and the trade effluent surcharge," Mr Ng said.

He maintained that the proposed increases in June was very modest.

"Even after the increases, about 16 per cent of domestic household will continue to pay nothing while 61 per cent will pay less than $2.50 more per month,” he said.

Noting that the Legislative Council did not support the proposed increases, Mr Ng said DSD still considered that cleaning up and protecting the environment was essential to the health and quality of everyone in Hong Kong.

"It is a major task in everyone's best interest and it has a cost which must be met in accordance with the Polluter Pays Principle," he stressed.

Three of DSD's sewage treatment facilities were open to the public today.

The open-day is the first of its kind organised by DSD to promote the community's awareness of environmental protection and to enable the community to have a more thorough understanding of wastewater collection and treatment process.

4

The function also serves to enable the community to have a better understanding of the services provided by DSD as well as the operation and the purposes of the charges for sewage services.

The three sewage treatment plants which opened today are: Cheung Sha Wan Sewage Pumping Station, North Point Sewage Screening Plant and Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works.

End

Change of 1997 meetings venue not being considered: IMF ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Commenting on the press reports speculating on a possible change of venue for the 1997 World Bank/IMF annual meetings, a Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) spokesman today (Saturday) said HKMA had received confirmation from the IMF management that such a change was not being considered.

The spokesman said the suggestion of a change of venue came from certain IMF staff in protest at the imprisonment of an IMF staff member by the Chinese authorities.

The proposal did not come from the IMF management, the spokesman said, adding that the Government is confident that the 1997 meetings will go ahead in Hong Kong as planned.

End

New taxi service guide now available ♦ * * ♦ ♦

Clear guidelines for charging luggage carried in a taxi are now included in the newly updated ’’Guide to Taxi Services in Hong Kong”.

Announcing the publication of the updated guide, a Transport Department spokesman today (Saturday) said the guide set out the rights and obligations of taxi drivers and passengers with a hope to promote better mutual understanding between them.

5

"This guide may help taxi drivers to improve the quality of their services,” said the spokesman.

The spokesman noted that one of the major disputes between drivers and passengers is when a baggage charge should be levied. In the guide, it suggests the charge can be levied on:

* every piece of baggage to be carried inside the luggage compartment; or

every piece of baggage with a total dimension (length + width + height)

exceeding 140 centimetres to be carried inside the passenger compartment.

The rule was agreed by various taxi operators’ and drivers’ associations during an earlier consultation.

"It can help remove disputes between taxi drivers and passengers on the definition of a baggage on which a surcharge can be levied according to the Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicles) Regulation," the spokesman said.

Other topics in the guide include: permitted operating areas of taxis, taxi fares, obligations and conduct of taxi drivers and passengers, what to do when an "Out of Service" sign is displayed, cross-harbour taxi stands, offences and complaint hotlines.

First published in 1989, the guide which is in its third edition will be available for collection by the public from Tuesday (July 9) at the outlets below:

Public service enquiries centres of all district offices;

Licensing offices of the Transport Department;

* Information and gift centres of the Hong Kong Tourist Association;

Customer services centres at Kowloon-Canton Railway Stations;

* Travel services centres at Mass Transit Railway Stations;

Transport Complaints Unit

Taxi associations who wish to collect the guide in large quantities for their members may contact Mr M F Tsoi of the Transport Department on 2804 2578.

End

6

Serious study on industrial safety and health booklet urged ♦ * * ♦ ♦

The Chief Factory Inspector (Operations), Mr Tse Ming-sing, today (Saturday) called on employers and employees in various industrial sectors to study seriously a booklet introducing the General Duties Provisions produced by the Labour Department.

"Risks at work can be eliminated at source and accidents be prevented if cooperation between employers and employees, and if proper safety measures recommended in the provisions are implemented," Mr Tse said.

He said the main theme of the provisions was to encourage employers in various industrial sectors to devise, implement and supervise a complete safety and health management system which would ensure the safety of workers under their employment.

"It is equally important for workers to co-operate with their employers by taking proper safety measures.

"This publication contains sound advice on general industrial safety practices as well as checklists on general duties of proprietors and workers," said Mr Tse.

The booklet also illustrates 17 cases on how employers and workers employed at industrial undertakings should have carried out their general duties so as to ensure workplaces are safe and without risks to health.

There are altogether 58 questions relating to the general duties of industrial undertaking proprietors which cover many important safety aspects in different type of workplaces.

Mr Tse urged all industrial proprietors to study the questions carefully and to implement the checklists thoroughly in their workplaces.

The safety booklet also contains 23 questions on general safety for workers.

"Although it is impossible to specify in great details in the booklet on all necessary steps to comply with the legislation, the General Duties Provisions are comprehensive and have wide application which will assist employers and employees to improve work safety," Mr Tse said.

7

Under the provisions provided in sections 6A and 6B of the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance (FIUO), an employer will be liable to a fine of $200,000 and to imprisonment for six months if he or she fails to ensure workplace safety. The maximum fine for an offending worker is $50,000 and six months in jail.

A total of 94 summonses have successfully secured a conviction under the General Duties Provisions of FIUO since its enactment at the end of 1990.

’’Human lives are precious. Employers and employees should adopt fully all necessary safety practices as required by law to prevent accidents. Implementing a safety practice is not costly, but failing to do so may cause serious consequences,” Mr Tse said.

Copies of the booklet are available at all offices of the Occupational Safety and Health Branch’s Operations Division throughout the territory. Enquiries on provisions can be made through the Labour Department’s industrial safety hotline 2815 0678.

End

Summer Youth Programme starts today *****

A wide range of summer programmes specially catered for youth has kicked off today (Saturday).

Speaking at the Souvenir Presentation Ceremony at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Wan Chai, the Director of Home Affairs, Mrs Shelley Lau, said the territory-wide programme will benefit thousands of youngsters.

She said this year’s budget - $39.2 million - was the largest amount ever allocated with the Hong Kong Jockey Club being the largest sponsor.

The Summer Youth Programme (SYP), the 28th anniversary this year, has been extremely popular among youngsters aged between six and 25.

’’The idea of the programme is to enable them to share the fun, develop their civic awareness and social service spirit through participating in different social and recreational activities," said Mrs Lau.

8

Under the theme "Share the Fun, Serve the Community", SYP has designed over 14,000 social and recreational activities, anticipating to attract the attendance of 1.15 million youngsters.

Apart from sports and recreational events organised for this summer, participants will also provide community service to those in need including the elderly and the disabled, the new China immigrants and the youth at risk.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club has donated $17.6 million to this year's programme.

End

Basic Law booklets available to public *****

Copies of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region are now available to the public free of charge, a spokesman for the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education (CPCE) said today (Saturday).

"These are provided to members of the public to facilitate better understanding of this important document in the community," the spokesman said.

"We have printed 50,000 booklets of the full text of the Basic Law in Chinese and 20,000 in English for this print-run to allow for its widest possible circulation."

The Basic Law booklets are now available at the Civic Education Resource Centre, second floor, Tung Sun Commercial Centre, 194-200 Lockhart Road. Wan Chai, Hong Kong, and the public enquiry service centres of all district offices.

Members of the public can also obtain the booklets at the Government Publications Centre, ground floor, Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, or at the Information Services Department's Marketing Office, 17th floor, Siu On Centre, 176-192 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai.

"To promote broader understanding of the Basic Law, the CPCE will also release two publications on the Basic Law targeted at youngsters and children at a later stage," the spokesman said.

End

9

Small & Medium Enterprises Committee appointments announced

*****

The Government today (Saturday) announced that the Secretary for Trade and Industry had appointed a Small and Medium Enterprises Committee to identify issues and trends affecting the development of small and medium enterprises in Hong Kong and suggest measures to support and facilitate their development.

The setting up of the committee is one of a package of measures proposed by the Financial Secretary in his 1996-97 Budget to promote the services sector.

Members of the Committee have been appointed for a period of two years with effect from July 1, 1996. They are:

Chairman

Mr Denis Lee

(Representing the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce)

Vice-chairman (Ex-Officio)

Mrs Regina Ip

Director-General of Industry

Members

Representatives of organisations

Mrs Anna Pao Sohmen

(Representing the Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong)

One member to be nominated by the Federation of Hong Kong Industries)

Mr Lo Foo-cheung

(Representing the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce)

Mr Anthony Au

(Representing the Hong Kong Coalition of Service Industries)

Mr Henry Chiu (Representing the Hong Kong Productivity Council)

Mrs Anna Lai

(Representing the Hong Kong Trade Development Council)

Mr Mak Ping-Fun

(Representing the Vocational Training Council)

10

Ad Personam Members

Mrs Selina Chow

Mrs Agnes Mak

Mrs Rosa Hung

Mr Daniel Wan Yim-keung

Mr Kai Yau-ming

Mr Daniel Poon

Mr Lo Man-tuen

Ex-Officio Member

A representative of the Secretary for Trade and Industry

The first meeting of the Committee will be held on Tuesday (July 9).

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ milliop Time ttiQurs) Cumulative change ($ million)

Opening balance in the account 1,955 09:30 NIL

Closing balance in the account 1,765 10:00 NIL

Change attributable to: 11:00 NIL

Money market activity NIL 11:30 NIL

LAF today -190

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.6 *+0.1* 6.7.96

End

11

\\

A

Guidance service information obtainable on Internet ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Teachers, students and members of the public can get access to information on the services provided by the Careers and Guidance Service Section of the Education Department through its newly set up homepage on the Internet.

Information obtainable included introduction on services rendered, latest news, overseas studies and catalogues of reference books, audio-visual resources and video tapes, said acting Senior Education Officer of the department, Miss Man Wai-ling.

The address of the homepage on the Internet is http://www.enmpc.org.hk/cgs_ed/. Members of Hong Kong School Net may also access to the information on the local net.

The Section operates the Guidance Teachers Resource Centre, which is frequently visited by teachers to make reference to the useful materials, and also the Careers Education Centre, which is visited by as many as 20,000 persons each year to seek advice on further studies and make use of the information.

Relevant posters had been sent to schools to inform them of the new service. Further enquiries should be directed to the Section on 2399 2184.

End

Slope maintenance exhibition to begin in Tai Po ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

An exhibition on slope maintenance will begin tomorrow (Monday) at Phase II of Tai Wo Estate Shopping Arcade in Tai Po.

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

A new educational video on slope maintenance, which aims at promulgating the message that property owners should maintain slopes within their lots to prevent the occurrence of landslide, will be shown at the exhibition.

12

There will be a new display board illustrating the nine typical steps of routine slope maintenance works by means of computer graphic actions used in the video.

It will also feature various aspects of proper slope maintenance by means of colourful illustrations, photographs, charts and graphs.

Visitors can take home leaflets on slope maintenance and GEO’s hotline service, and the Layman’s Guide to Slope Maintenance.

The exhibition will last for a week until July 14 and will be open daily between 10 am and 8 pm.

It will later move to other venues, including Hang Fa Chuen in Chai Wan, Luk Yeung Sun Chuen in Tsuen Wan and Cheung Fat Estate on Tsing Yi.

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

End

EMSD services meet pledged standards ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

The Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) has achieved 99 per cent of its performance targets last year for most of its services.

"This is very encouraging and we will continue to strive to maintain the high standard of services where we have been performing well and will improve those which we have not been doing sufficiently well,’’ a spokesman for the department said today (Sunday).

l'he department launched its performance pledge on 24 types of service to the public in 1994.

The services include processing of applications for registration of electrical workers, gas installers and contractors; handling of reports of illegal equipment or installations; providing advice on safety matters and attending to general enquiries-on gas, electricity, lifts and escalators.

13

The spokesman said through the department's interactive voice response system, members of the public can quickly obtain information and services from EMSD.

"Over 41,000 calls were received through this system last year, and the majority of the enquiries were related to issues on registration of electrical workers and electricity legislation," he said.

Copies of EMSD's leaflet on its performance in 1995 are now available free of charge from EMSD headquarters at 98 Caroline Hill Road, Hong Kong, and all district offices.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Monday, July 8,1996

Contents Page No,

$6M ex-gratia payment granted to Yeung Hoi-keung........................... 1

JLG expert group to talk on transitional budget............................ 2

Advice to home buyers on slope maintenance duty............................ 2

Cause of oil spill being investigated...................................... 4

Tug masters to give statements on sea procession........................... 4

Dangerous roof-top structures in Kwun Tong to be closed.................... 5

Employer fined for violating employees' compensation law................... 6

Third quarter rates due on July 31......................................... 6

Water storage figure....................................................... 8

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

1

$6M ex-gratia payment granted to Yeung Hoi-keung ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government today (Monday) grant an ex-gratia payment of $6,079,000 to Mr Yeung Hoi-keung in recognition of his bravery as a good citizen in fighting crime.

Mr Yeung, married with one son and one daughter, sustained severe injuries in 1989 as he tried to apprehend a jewellery shop robber. He is still hospitalised in Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

A government spokesman said the ex-gratia payment was meant to provide assistance to ensure a stable living for Mr Yeung and his family in the years to come.

An inter-departmental working group set up to study the case has taken into account the needs of Mr Yeung’s family including expenditure on clothing, food, utilities, rental, travelling, medical fees, domestic help and children's education.

The Government also agreed to pay an additional $149,580 to enable him to repay the Criminal and Law Enforcement Injuries Compensation Board.

Assistance has also been given to Mr Yeung to acquire appropriate rehabilitative appliances through Samaritan Fund and to undertake home modification to meet his special needs.

The award of the ex-gratia payment will not affect his eligibility of disability allowance which is paid on a non-means tested-basis.

Mr Yeung was awarded the Governor's Commendation for Community Service on May 14.

End

*

- 2 -

• J • .

JLG expert group to talk on transitional budget ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

The Sino-British Joint Liaison Group will hold their 10th round of expert talks on July 9 and 10 in Hong Kong to discuss the preparation of Hong Kong's transitional budget and related matters.

The British team will be led by the Secretary for the Treasury of the Hong Kong Government, Mr K C Kwong. The Chinese team will be led by Mr Chen Zuo'er, Chinese Representative on the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group. They will be assisted by experts.

End

Advice to home buyers on slope maintenance duty *****

Potential home buyers should not commit themselves before first ascertaining whether they are responsible for maintaining the slopes near the property they intend to purchase.

This was stated today (Monday) by the Government Geotechnical Engineer of the Civil Engineering Department, Mr Raymond Chan, in his address to a luncheon meeting of the Society of Hong Kong Real Estate Agents Limited.

"Property owners are responsible for maintaining slopes within their private lots.

"Under the Building Management Ordinance enacted in May 1993, slopes and retaining walls within private lots are part of the 'common area', similar to lift, car park and swimming pool.

"The responsibility of maintenance of land, including slopes and retaining walls, rests with the owners," he said.

Property buyers could ascertain the extent of the land they were required to maintain by examining the lease documents, said Mr Chan.

"They can refer to registered land documents such as government leases, conditions of grant, conditions of sale at the Land Registry.

3

"Professional advice from lawyers or estate surveyors may also be required on the interpretation of the lease documents in respect of maintenance responsibility," he added.

To provide property buyers with information on the responsibility on slope maintenance, the government and the Law Society had issued guidelines to lawyers requesting them to include a provision on slope maintenance in the deed of mutual covenant.

"Location plans of existing slopes or slopes under construction should be shown on sales brochures of new buildings under the consent scheme, with the responsibility of slope maintenance also clearly spelt out," he said.

Mr Chan said the current condition of the slopes and their maintenance management were other key elements which need to be looked into before buying a flat.

"For private slopes that have been identified to be dangerous or liable to become dangerous, the Buildings Department, on the advice of the Geotechnical Engineering Office (GEO), has been issuing dangerous hillside orders (DHO) to safeguard the public and to bring private slopes and retaining walls up to the required standard.

"A list of undischarged DHOs is available for public inspection from the Buildings Department.

"Apart from the updated information of the 'Slope Catalogue', GEO also makes available for public inspection a list of public slopes that have been found by its studies to be substandard and have been included in a current works contract under the Landslip Preventive Measure Programme," he said.

Mr Chan also reminded the public of the importance of slope maintenance.

"Lack of maintenance on slopes is one of main causes of landslips and that regular maintenance is essential to slope safety.

"If a slope or retaining wall is not properly maintained, it will deteriorate and a landslip may occur. This would result in injury to persons or damage to property.

"If this happens, suffering and hardship may result and great expenses may be incurred in reinstating the ground or making it safe," said Mr Chan.

End

4

Cause of oil spill being investigated ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Marine Department is investigating the circumstances leading to the oil spill from a vessel under repairs at the United Dockyard, Yam O, Lantau Island.

’’The department will initiate legal action should there be evidence to show any negligence was involved to cause the spill,” a department spokesman said today (Monday).

The leakage from the fuel tank of a 13,228 gross registered tonne container vessel under repairs at the United Dockyard was discovered at about 7 am on Saturday (July 6).

Over the weekend, vessels from the Pollution Control Unit of the department and salvage tugs hired by the dockyard mounted a joint clean up operation in Yam O, Ma Wan, Kap Shui Mun, Sham Tseng and Tuen Mun.

Staff from the Regional Services Department also took part in the operation yesterday when some of the oil patches landed at the gazetted beaches in Tsuen Wan.

The Marine Department will take steps to recover the costs for the clean up operations from the dockyard and/or the ship.

End

Tug masters to give statements on sea procession ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Marine Department will interview some masters involved in the procession in Victoria Harbour last Friday (July 5) as part of its investigation to determine whether there is any violation of the safety regulations. Assistant Director of Marine, Mr Raymond Tang, said today (Monday).

"Some masters of the tugs have been informed to give statement to the investigating officers," he said.

The department is concerned with the acts of some protesters who have disregarded public safety during the procession.

5

"Some of the tug masters had acted in an irresponsible manner, intentionally blocking ferries and ignored directions from the Marine Department offices to keep clear of other traffic," Mr Tang said.

The investigating officers are also anxious to contact anyone who might have witnessed these incidents. They are requested to contact Senior Marine Officer, Mr Butt Lee-yuen, on 2852 4452.

End

Dangerous roof-top structures in Kwun Tong to be closed * ♦ * * ♦

The Buildings Department announced today (Monday) that the illegal roof-top structures at Chung Hing House, Yan Oi Court, Kwun Tong will be closed for demolition.

A notice of intention was posted at the structures this morning informing the occupants that a Closure Order would be applied from the Hong Kong District Court on December 18.

The department's Chief Building Surveyor (Control and Enforcement), Mr Au Choi-kai, said the unauthorised structures, with the absence of a proper means of escape, were posing an imminent danger to the residents in case of fire.

"The structural safety of the whole building is also adversely affected as the structures have greatly increased the loading of the building," he said.

Noting that about 75 persons from 20 families would be affected by the operation, Mr Au said the Buildings Department had already liaised with the Housing Department to offer re-housing assistance.

All the occupants' request for re-settlement would be considered by the Housing Department according to their eligibility.

The Social Welfare Department and Kwun Tong District Office will also offer assistance to the residents if necessary.

End

6

Employer fined for violating employees’ compensation law ♦ * * * *

The Labour Department today (Monday) reminded employers to observe the provisions of the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance (ECO) or they will face prosecution.

The reminder was made following a recent court case in Tsuen Wan Magistracy in which the owner of Jet Light Engineering Limited was fined $12,500 for dismissing an employee injured at work before the certificate of compensation assessment (Form 5) had been issued by the Commissioner for Labour.

Labour Officer (Prosecutions), Mr Raymond Ho, said: "Under Section 48 of the ECO, no employer should dismiss, or give notice to dismiss, an injured employee who is entitled to compensation under the ECO until the Commissioner for Labour has issued the certificate of compensation assessment (Form 5); or until the employer has entered into an agreement under the Ordinance to settle the claim directly; or until an ordinary assessment board or special assessment board has issued the certificate of assessment (Form 7 or Form 8), or the certificate of review of assessment (Form 9 or Form 10), whichever occurs first."

The maximum fine under this provision has been revised to $100,000 on July 1 after the Employees’ Compensation (Amendment) Bill 1996 was approved by the Legislative Council on May 29.

End

Third quarter rates due on July 31 *****

Rates for the third quarter of this year are payable on or before July 31, a spokesman for the Rating and Valuation Department said today (Monday).

Payment can be made using autopay under ratepayers' bank accounts, or the 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;

* fhe Central Sub-Treasury, Central Government Offices (West Wing), 11 Ice House Street, Hong Kong;

7

* 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.

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.

Replacement rates 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 July 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 5 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 July 31.

They should then ensure that their bank accounts contain the necessary funds on that date.

8

To save queuing time, the spokesman urged ratepayers to settle payment by autopay, under which their bank accounts will only be debited on rates due dates, or using the Payment by Phone Service.

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

Water storage figure *****

Storage in Hong Kong's reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 92.8 per cent of capacity or 544.135 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 405.260 million cubic metres of water, representing 69.2 per cent of capacity.

End

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

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,765 0930 + 198

Closing balance in the account 1,963 1000 +198

Change attributable to : 1100 + 198

Money market activity + 198 1200 + 198

LAF today Nil 1500 + 198

1600 + 198

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TW1 124.7 *+0.1* 8.7.96

9

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.25 2 years 2805 6.30 99.66 6.60

1 month 5.27 3 years 3904 6.30 98.56 6.99

3 months 5.35 5 years 5106 7.23 98.89 7.64

6 months 5.61 7 years 7305 7.60 98.99 7.94

12 months 6.00 5 years M502 7.30 98.43 7.88

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $15,457 million

Closed July 8, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Tuesday, July 9, 1996

Contents Ea^eJ^

Transcript of Deputy to the Governor's media session................. 1

Ship captain summonsed for oil spill................................. 1

AFD to help oil spill affected mariculturists........................

Lorry damaged footbridge to re-open..................................

Volume and price movements of external trade in April................ 4

Plotting the growth of Hong Kong's river trade....................... 10

45 new building plans approved in May................................ 11

Souvenir stamp sheets to mark Olympic Games opening.................. 12

14 Fresh water cut in Sha Tin...........................................

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results.......................... 14

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations................. 15

1

Transcript of Deputy to the Governor's media session

*****

Following is the transcript of the media session by the Deputy to the Governor, Mr Donald Tsang, at Central Government Offices this (Tuesday) afternoon:

Question: Was he asked to resign, to initiate the letter?

Deputy to Governor: I have said it many times already. Mr Leung himself wrote to the Secretary for the Civil Service last week and asking permission to retire for personal reasons, and the Secretary for Civil Service, having considered all the circumstances involved and exceptionally, approved the application.

Question: So would you admit that the Ming Pao report this morning was inaccurate?

Deputy to Governor: I am not going to comment on that. There are so many reports on this subject, I think, many of them are speculative in nature.

End

Ship captain summonsed for oil spill *****

The Marine Department has issued summonses and a notice of intended prosecution to the captain of M V National Pride and the owner of the Hong Kong United Dockyards respectively in connection with the oil spill incident which was reported last Saturday (July 6), a department spokesman said today (Tuesday).

Charges on the summonses are:

(a) provide arrival information in respect of the vessel condition which he knew to be false and misleading (Section 75 of the Shipping and Port Control Ordinance);

(b) failure to report oil spill incident (Section 48(a) of the Shipping and Port Control Ordinance); and

(c) discharge of oil into the waters of Hong Kong (Section 46(b)(i) of the Shipping and Port Control Ordinance)

2

The notice of intended prosecution to the owner of the Hong Kong United Dockyards is in relation to the following offences:

(a) failure to report oil spill incident (Section 48(a) of the Shipping and Port Control Ordinance); and

(b) discharge of oil into the waters of Hong Kong (Section 46(b) (i) of the Shipping and Port Control Ordinance).

Meanwhile the acting Director of Marine, Mr S Y Tsui, has ordered a local marine inquiry into the incident and has appointed the Surveyor of Ships (Nautical), Mr Chau Siu-wah, to head the investigation.

End

AFD to help oil spill affected mariculturists *****

The Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) is taking active steps to assist Ma Wan mariculturists affected by the oil spill.

An AFD spokesman said following the preliminary investigation yesterday, the department had deployed four teams of field staff this (Tuesday) morning to assess the existing fish stock at the Ma Wan fish culture zone and record fish losses as well as damage to cages, rafts and vessels.

This exercise is assisted by the Tsuen Wan District Office.

"The exercise is necessary because it would help us to assess the damage being done to cultured fish at the zone with a view to assisting the mariculturists to seek appropriate compensation," he said.

He said AFD was also represented at a meeting involving relevant departments, fishermen and the Hong Kong United Dockyards Ltd held at the Tsuen Wan District Office this morning.

The meeting decided that prompt and quick actions should be taken to clean up the residual oil at and near the fish culture zone, he said.

3

In the meantime, the department will continue to monitor the situation and offer whatever assistance to affected fishermen until the issue is satisfactorily resolved.

In a related development, fish and water samples collected from the culture zone by AFD yesterday had been sent to the Government Laboratory for oil pollution examination.

End

Lorry damaged footbridge to re-open ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Highways Department today (Tuesday) announces that the footbridge across Lai Chi Kok Road near Cheung Shun Street will be re-open for public use tomorrow.

The footbridge’s eastern half above the Kowloon-bound carriageway was damaged by a lorry loaded with a crane on May 1.

A department spokesman said: "Re-construction work commenced immediately after the incident and it took 10 weeks to complete.

"The pre-cast main deck of the bridge was successfully put in place in the early morning on June 30."

The re-constructed section is 24 metres long and 4.1 metres wide including a staircase at the end near Cheung Shun Street.

The new section has a headroom of 5.05 metres, marginally higher than the original's 5 metres.

Pending settlement of the final bills, the cost for the repair and re-construction of the footbridge is estimated at $2 million.

End

4

Volume and price movements of external trade in April ♦ ♦ ♦ * *

In the first four months of 1996, the volume of re-exports increased by 10% over the same period last year, while the volume of domestic exports decreased by 5.4%, according to the statistics released today by the Census and Statistics Department.

Taking re-exports and domestic exports together, the volume of total exports increased by 7.4%. Meanwhile, imports increased by 6.7% in volume.

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

As regards price changes over the same period of comparison, the prices of reexports and domestic exports increased by 0.9% and 1.7% respectively. Import prices increased by 0.7%.

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 a marginal increase of 0.3% in the first four months of 1996 over the same period last year.

Comparing April 1996 with April 1995. the volume of re-exports increased by 17%, while that of domestic exports increased by 0.6%. Taken together, the volume of total exports increased by 15%. Meanwhile, the volume of imports increased by 11%.

Over the same period of comparison, the prices of re-exports recorded no significant change, while those of domestic exports increased by 1.4%. Import prices, on the other hand, decreased by 1.2%.

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

Comparing April 1996 with April 1995, the volume of re-exports of all end-use categories recorded increases of various magnitudes: fuels (+33%); capital goods (+26%); raw materials and semi-manufactures (+20%); foodstuffs (+15%); and consumer goods (+12%).

5

Over the same period of comparison, increases in the prices of re-exports were noted of fuels (+11%) and consumer goods (+0.6%).

On the other hand, the re-export prices of capital goods, raw materials and semi-manufactures, and foodstuffs decreased by 1%, 0.8% and 0.6% respectively.

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

Comparing April 1996 with April 1995, commodity groups which recorded significant increases in volume of domestic exports included radios of all kinds (+104%), and domestic electrical appliances (+89%).

On the other hand, the volume of domestic exports of footwear and textile made-ups and related articles decreased by 80% and 23% respectively.

Commodity groups which recorded increases in domestic export prices included radios of all kinds (+9.5%); and metal manufactures (+8.2%).

On the other hand, the domestic export price of footwear and domestic electrical appliances decreased by 4.9% and 2% 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 8.1% in April 1996 compared with April 1995.

Significant increases in the import volume were noted of milk, butter, cheese and eggs; and cereals and cereal preparations(other than rice, wheat and flour). However decreases were recorded in the import volume of soya bean oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil and lard; and animals of the bovine species, live.

Over the same period of comparison, the import volume of consumer goods increased by 5.3%.

Increases in import volume were recorded in household-type electrical appliances; and watches. However, decreases in the import volume were noted of passenger motor cars; and alcoholic beverages.

The import volume of raw materials and semi-manufactures increased by 13% in April 1996 compared with April 1995.

6

Increases in import volume were recorded in most of the raw materials and semi-manufactures. Significant increases were noted of iron and steel; and woven fabrics of wool and mixtures. However, decreases in the import volume were noted of raw cotton and silk fabrics.

Imports of fuels increased by 46% in volume in April 1996 compared with April 1995.

As regards capital goods, the import volume increased by 13% in April 1996 over April 1995.

Notable increases were recorded in the import volume of scientific, medical, optical, measuring and controlling instruments & apparatus; and industrial machinery(other than textile machinery and electrical machinery). The import volume of transport equipment and textile machinery however decreased.

Comparing April 1996 with April 1995, the import prices of fuels and consumer goods increased by 10% and 1.4% respectively.

On the other hand, the import prices of capital goods, raw materials and semimanufactures, and foodstuffs decreased by 4.5%, 2.9% and 0.4% respectively.

Details of the above statistics are published in the April 1996 issue of the ’’Hong Kong Trade Index Numbers".

The report will be on sale around July 11 at $14 per copy at either (i) the Government Publications Centre on the ground floor. Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway; or (ii) the Publications Section of the Census and Statistics Department on the 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.

Enquiries regarding regular subscription to this report may be directed to the Publications (Sales) Office of the Information Services Department on 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.

7

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

Comparing APR 1996 with APR 1995 Comparing JAN-APR 1996 with JAN-APR 1995 % changes

End-use category % changes

Value Unit Value Volume Value Unit Value Volume

Foodstuffs 16.4 -0.6 14.9 7.3 0.1 7.2

Consumer goods 13.3 0.6 11.8 6.4 1.7 4.3

Raw materials and semi-manufactures 18.8 -0.8 19.8 11.9 0.5 11.3

Fuels 52.1 10.9 33.3 34.8 13.7 20.2

Capital goods 21.7 -1.0 26.0 18.2 -0.7 22.2

ALL COMMODITIES 17.0 * 17.3 10.5 0.9 10.0

less than 0.05%

- 8 -

Table 2 : Changes In domestic exports by principal commodity group

Comparing APR 1996 Comparing JAN-APR 1996 with APR 1995 with JAN-APR 1995

Commodity group % changes % changes

Value Unit Value Volume Value Unit Value Volume

Clothing -2.7 1.4 -3.2 -4.5 2.1 -6.3

Textile fabrics 1.4 0.7 -0.1 -2.0 1.0 -4.3

Textile yarn and thread 49.3 6.8 40.7 18.8 7.5 11.3

Textile made-ups and related articles -20.4 1.4 -23.1 -21.6 0.2 -21.6

Radios of all kinds 125.3 9.5 104.4 58.8 7.0 35.2

Electronic components -0.6 1.5 -3.5 -1.6 0.1 -3.0

Footwear -81.2 -4.9 -80.2 -64.0 -3.6 -64.5

Metal manufactures 14.6 8.2 5.9 -2.3 7.4 -9.4

Metal ores and scrap 45.9 7.8 39.9 -3.1 6.2 -4.1

Watches and clocks -5.7 0.1 -6.3 -7.7 -0.2 -7.4

Travel goods, handbags and similar articles 0.3 1.8 -0.5 . -1.6 3.0 -4.8

Domestic electrical appliances 81.8 -2.0 88.7 48.1 -2.9 54.1

ALL COMMODITIES 1.9 1.4 0.6 -4.0 1.7 -5.4

9

Table 3 : Changes in imports by end-use category

Comparing APR 1996 Comparing JAN-APR 1996

with APR 1995 with JAN-APR 1995

End-use category % changes % changes

Value Unit Value Volume Value Unit Value ' Volume

Foodstuffs 7.5 -0.4 8.1 5.3 0.7 4.5

Consumer goods 6.4 1.4 5.3 3.5 2.2 1.4

Raw materials and semi-manufactures 9.3 -2.9 13.1 7.0 7.7

Fuels 58.7 10.3 45.5 32.0 8.7 21.7

Capital goods 7.2 -4.5 13.4 11.6 -1.6 14.2

ALL COMMODITIES 8.4 -1.2 10.7 7.0 0.7 6.7

less than 0.05%

End

10

Plotting the growth of Hong Kong’s river trade ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

A $1.88 million consultancy was today (Tuesday) awarded by the Port Development Board for the compilation of detailed statistics on Hong Kong's river trade cargo handling activities for 1996.

"River trade cargo traffic is the fastest growing component of Hong Kong's port throughput.

"Figures produced by the consultancy will be useful in the planning and timing of future river trade facilities," the Deputy Secretary of the Port Development Board, Mr Ng Kwing-kee, said after signing the consultancy contract with the Research Director of the Survey Research Hongkong Ltd, Mr Johnny Tsin.

Last year, river trade vessels from the Pearl River Delta in China had handled more than 28.7 million tonnes of cargo in Hong Kong. It accounted for 18 per cent of the total cargo tonnage passing through the port.

"In 1995 containerised cargo moving between Hong Kong and the Pearl River ports showed a massive jump of 44 per cent to total over 1.3 million TEUs," said Mr Ng.

"Figures for the first four months of 1996 show a further 35 per cent increase in containers moving by river. This compares with only five per cent increase in container throughput for the port as a whole during the same period."

To cope with this rapid growth, new port facilities must be planned. The detailed statistics provided by the consultancy will form the basis for future planning of such facilities and ensure that they can cater for the demand.

One of the new port facilities under the planning programme is the dedicated river trade terminal at Tuen Mun, which is the first of its kind in Hong Kong. The government had awarded a tender for the right to build and operate it in March.

Like the container terminals, it will be built and operated by the private sector. Phase I is expected to be completed in early 1999.

There are plans envisage Hong Kong's second river trade terminal to be built just to the north of the new Lantau Port in due course.

End

11

45 new building plans approved in May * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Buildings Department had approved 45 building plans in May - 11 for Hong Kong Island, 15 for Kowloon and 19 for the New Territories.

The approved plans include 15 for apartment and apartment/commercial developments, eight for commercial developments, 12 for factory and industrial developments, and 10 for community services developments.

In the same month, consent was given for work to start on 41 building projects, which involve 119,275 square metres of usable domestic floor area and 206,021 square metres of usable non-domestic floor area.

During the same period, the department also issued 34 occupation permits -nine for Hong Kong Island, 10 for Kowloon and 15 for the New Territories.

Of the buildings certified for occupation in the month, the usable floor areas for domestic and non-domestic uses are 100,014 square metres and 90,880 square metres respectively.

The declared cost of new buildings completed in the month totalled about $2,618 million.

In addition, 18 demolition consents involving 27 buildings and structures were issued.

In May, the Buildings Department’s Control and Enforcement Division received 1,063 complaints of unauthorised building works, and issued 395 Removal Orders on unauthorised works.

End

12

Souvenir stamp sheets to mark Olympic Games opening *****

A souvenir stamp sheet will be issued on July 19 to commemorate the official opening of the Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta, USA, the Postmaster General, Mr Robert Footman, said today (Tuesday).

The sheet complements the first souvenir sheet issued on March 20 and when the two are placed together, a complete set of Olympic rings and a complete Olympic medal will be formed. Each sheet includes the four Olympic Games special stamps issued on March 20.

In response to philatelic demand, the four Olympic Games special stamps will be re-issued on July 19. However, the colour used for the denomination indication, the Royal Cypher, the Olympic rings and the inscription "Hong Kong" will be different.

In addition, images of the athletes in action as depicted on the stamps are reproduced in grey on the selvedges of the stamp sheets and an indication that the Hong Kong Post Office is the sponsor of the Hong Kong Olympic Team is printed on the gutter of each stamp sheet.

The souvenir sheets and stamps will be displayed for advance information of the public at the General Post Office, Tsim Sha Tsui Post Office, Tsuen Wan Post Office and Sha Tin Central Post Office from Friday (July 12).

Official souvenir covers will be on sale at $1 each at all post offices from the same day. Advance order for serviced souvenir covers will be accepted from then July 17 at all post offices. The minimum number of serviced souvenir covers per order is five.

A restriction of 20 souvenir sheets and two sheets of each stamp denomination (that is 100 sets of stamps) per customer queuing will be imposed on the first day of sale on July 19.

In view of the favourable customer response to the early opening of 20 district post offices in the territory on the occasion of the first day of issue of the Archaeological Finds of Hong Kong special stamps on June 26, a total of 23 post offices as follows will again open at 8 am on July 19, including three which already open at 8 am on normal weekdays:

13

Hong Kong

General Post Office, Aberdeen, Shau Kei Wan,

Sai Ying Pun, Tsat Tse Mui, Wan Chai, Wah Fu

Outlying Islands

Cheung Chau

Kowloon

Tsim Sha Tsui, Cheung Sha Wan, Kowloon Central,

Kowloon City, Kwun Tong, Rennie's Mill Village,

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

A full range of counter services will be provided at these offices at the opening time.

A special postmark will be introduced for the hand-back service at all post offices on July 19 to official and privately made covers bearing indication for the event.

A set of five postcards showing athletes in action, issued by the Amateur Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong will also be put on sale at all post offices at $18 per set as form Friday (July 12).

End

14

Fresh water cut in Sha Tin *****

The fresh water supply to some premises in Sha Tin will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm on Friday (July 12) to 6 am the following day for waste detection work on watermains to be carried out.

The suspension will affect all premises along the Tai Wai Section of Tai Po Road between Chik Wan Street and Shing Ho Road, Chung Ling Road, Tung Lo Wan Tsuen, To Fung Shan Village and To Fung Shan Road in Sha Tin.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results *****

Tender date 9 Jul 1996 9 Jul 1996

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q628 Y691

Issue date 10 Jul 1996 10 Jul 1996

Maturity date 9 Oct 1996 9 Jul 1997

Coupon - -

Amount applied HK$6,790 MN HKS3.900 MN

Amount allotted HK$ 1,500 MN HK.S500 MN

Average yield accepted 5.35 PCT 5.98 PCT

Highest yield accepted 5.35 PCT 5.99 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 54 PCT About 43 PCT

Average tender yield 5.37 PCT 6.02 PCT

15

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

Tenders to be held in the week beginning 15 Jul 1996

Tender date 16 Jul 1996 16 Jul 1996

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q629 H669

Issue date 17 Jul 1996 17 Jul 1996

Maturity date 16 Oct 1996 15 Jan 1997

Tenor 91 days 182 days

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

End

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

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1.963 0930 -1

Closing balance in the account 1.963 1000 -1

Change attributable to : 1100 -1

Money market activity NIL 1200 -1

LAF today NIL 1500 NIL

1600 NIL

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.6 *-0.1* 9.7.96

16

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.24 2 years 2805 6.30 99.74 6.55

1 month 5.25 3 years 3904 6.30 98.68 6.94

3 months 5.35 5 years 5106 7.23 99.08 7.59

6 months 5.59 7 years 7305 7.60 99.15 7.91

12 months 5.98 5 years M502 7.30 98.65 7.81

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $12,160 million

Closed July 9, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Wednesday, July 10,1996

Contents ZagSL&L

Importance of HK's democratic development stressed.............. 1

Proposals to regulate Internet obscene materials published...... 3

Water Supplies laboratory awarded accreditation................. 5

Emergency alarm system eligibility criteria extended............ 6

Slope improvement works on Lamma completed...................... 7

School's out for ever as St George's closes..................... 8

78,000 pupils allocated secondary one places.................... 9

Report on aircraft accident published........................... 11

COMAC's eighth annual report presented.......................... 12

New mail processing machine installed.......................... 12

Issuance of 1997 commemorative coins approved.................. 13

Hong Kong to participate in APEC ministerial meeting........... 14

Teachers' salaries to be assessed.............................. 15

123 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flight.................. 16

Monitors' report submitted to CS............................... 17

Dangerous pre-war building to be demolished.................... 17

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

1

Importance of HK's democratic development stressed

*****

Britain will have every right - and every self-interest - in keeping a close watch on the implementation of the Joint Declaration after 1997, the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said in his lecture to the Centre for Policy Studies at the Royal Institution in London today (Wednesday).

In his speech entitled "Hong Kong - 12 months to the handover", Mr Patten noted that most international attention had focused on one argument that Britain had with China over the important matter of Hong Kong's democratic development.

In defence of Britain's actions, the Governor refuted suggestions that Britain had been engaged in last minute attempt to fast-forward democratic development in Hong Kong.

"We have attempted to ensure that the agreed process of democratisation is carried through fairly. We have kept our side of the bargain. Hong Kong and the world will see whether China keeps her side of it," he said.

"Everything we have done has been wholly in line with the letter and the spirit of the Joint Declaration, the Basic law and other understandings between Britain and China."

The Governor also noted that a wholly elected and mostly democratic legislature had not destroyed Hong Kong's business friendly environment, nor had it saddled Hong Kong with the burdens of welfarism.

"History suggests that it is open and accountable government which is most likely to protect the hallmarks of capitalism," he said.

He said political development in Hong Kong had speeded up as it changed from being a rather closed colonial society to an open, international city.

"People ask more questions. They want more answers. They expect information not brush-offs. They insist on being involved in the debate about their present and their future," said Mr Patten.

To ensure the Joint Declaration really meant really what it said, the best way of putting flesh on the bones of the promises about Hong Kong people running Hong Kong was to let them do so through the most obvious channel - the ballot box, he said.

2

"Before 1997, we still have the responsibility of sovereignty. We shall continue to defend, and defend actively and constructively, the values and institutions which are incorporated and described in the legal prose of the Joint Declaration."

The Governor said while Britain's sovereign responsibilities end beyond then, her moral responsibilities would continue - a responsibility to assess what happens in Hong Kong scrupulously against the provisions of the treaty.

"Had we not recognised that responsibility, had China not recognised that we have that responsibility, there would frankly have been no point at all in the Joint Declaration. We would simply have packed our bags, made our excuses and left," he added.

The Governor said moral responsibility apart, Britain had a huge economic and political interest in Hong Kong's continued success as well, citing the vast investment by Hong Kong people in the United Kingdom and Britain's massive stake in the territory.

"Whether Hong Kong succeeds or fails matters to Britain's and indeed Europe's future in Asia, and will have a vital impact on our economic and political prospects there," he said.

Mr Patten said he was "warily optimistic" about the future of Hong Kong because "it is so massively in China's interest that things should go well".

"Chinese officials must recognise that continued success in Hong Kong, China's richest city, its bridge to the world, the source of most outward reinvestment, is crucial to the future well-being of China.

"Most of the major issues that China will face in the next few years - from sustaining a high growth rate to entering the WTO - will be easier to tackle if the transition goes well in Hong Kong and more difficult if it does not," said the Governor.

End

Proposals to regulate Internet obscene materials published ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

An inter-departmental working group proposes to introduce a series of measures to control obscene and indecent materials transmitted on the Internet.

The proposals which are contained in a paper published today (Wednesday) for consultation with the Internet Services Providers (ISPs), include:

the introduction of a self-regulatory scheme, which encompasses the promulgation of a code of practice and the institution of a complaints handling mechanism by a self-regulatory body with members drawn from the industry;

the amendment to the law to establish beyond doubt that obscene and indecent materials transmitted on the Internet should be brought within the ambit of the Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance (COIAO); and

the setting up of an industry body to represent the interests of ISPs and to liaise with the Government on industry-wide issues; such a body can also help to develop, maintain and enforce any code of practice adopted by industry members.

Commenting on the proposed regulatory approach, a spokesman for the Broadcasting, Culture and Sport Branch said there was increasing community concern over the availability of obscene and indecent materials which could be harmful if accessed by young people.

"However, since information and messages can originate from a large number of electronic addresses and sites in a global link of computer networks, it is very difficult to identify the content provider of a piece of obscene or indecent material," the spokesman said.

"Moreover, regulatory actions may prove to be very difficult if the materials originate from outside Hong Kong. The colossal amount of materials transmitted and the huge traffic through the Internet everyday makes any active monitoring scheme impracticable and perhaps even impossible.

"The working group therefore proposes to draw up a code of practice to set out the behavioural standards which the public can expect from the ISPs. Such a code can also provide a basis for discipline and compliance by the industry."

4

As the Government was committed to upholding the freedom to information and expression, the spokesman said the working group had proposed only materials transmitted on the World Wide Web sites and newsgroups should be regulated. Personal communications such as electronic mails would be excluded.

To tie in with the spirit in COIAO which bans obscene materials but not indecent ones that require special publication arrangements, it is proposed that access to sites of obscene materials should be blocked altogether. Access to sites of indecent materials however should only be made available with a personal identification number.

As regards complaints of any objectionable or offensive materials transmitted on the Internet, the spokesman said they could be directed to the industry body to be set up for investigation and action.

"If it is established that the complaint is justified, the industry body would instruct all ISPs to block their users from accessing the sites. Sites should be blocked as long as the obscene materials remain available," he said.

On the question of who should determine whether a piece of material is obscene, indecent, or neither, the working group has suggested two options:

* the industry body could submit the material in question to the Obscene Articles Tribunal (OAT) for classification; this is in line with the existing policy and practice and would ensure that a consistent standard is applied; or

the industry body will decide, with the help of some guidelines drawn from the standards adopted by OAT, whether the material in question is acceptable.

The Government will be meeting ISPs representatives on July 18 to explain the proposals to them. Views from the industry and interested parties will be taken into account before the proposals are finalised.

The Legislative Council Panel on Recreation and Culture will also be informed of the content of the consultation paper at its next meeting to be held towards the end of July.

The consultation paper can be obtained from the Broadcasting, Culture and Sport Branch, 41st floor, Revenue Tower, 5 Gloucester Road, Hong Kong, or from the Government Homepage on the Internet (http://www.info.gov.hk/).

Comments and views may also be sent to the Branch by fax 2511 1458 or by E-mail, rcbase2@hkstar.com, before August 10.

End

5

Water Supplies laboratory awarded accreditation *****

In recognition of its competence to carry out a number of environmental tests, the Mainland East Laboratory of the Water Supplies Department was today (Wednesday) presented with an accreditation certificate issued by the Hong Kong Laboratory Accreditation Scheme (HOKLAS).

Speaking at the presentation ceremony held in the Sha Tin Water Treatment Works where the laboratory was located, the Director of Water Supplies, Mr Hu Man-shiu, said the accreditation was a significant milestone for the department.

"It provides a driving force for us to conduct and maintain an ever improving quality assurance system in our laboratories.

"It also reinforces the department's total commitment in delivering a quality service to the consumers." he said after receiving the certificate from the Director-General of Industry, Mrs Regina Ip.

Mr Hu was very pleased that the Mainland East Laboratory had been formally accepted as an accredited laboratory by HOKLAS.

"The accreditation covers the testing of a number of pesticides, herbicides and other trace organics under the environment testing category.

"These test parameters in drinking water are of health significance and continuous monitoring of their levels in the drinking water supply is essential in the provision of a safe and wholesome water supply to the public of Hong Kong," he stressed.

The laboratory of the Water Science Division monitors water quality throughout the entire water supply system to ensure continuous compliance with the guideline values recommended by the World Health Organisation for drinking water quality.

Accreditation was awarded after the laboratory had been thoroughly assessed and satisfactorily proved to be technically competent in performing the above analyses.

"Accuracy and reliability of measurements can be assured by operating a satisfactory laboratory quality assurance system and by using validated state-of-the-art test methods, properly calibrated equipment and competent personnel.

6

’’All in all, it is hoped that by active participation in HOKLAS, we can be better equipped to objectively realise the department’s Vision and Mission in the provision of quality water services to the satisfaction of the public of Hong Kong,” said Mr Hu.

HOKLAS was formally established by the Government in May 1985 to officially identify and recognise testing laboratories which are competent to carry out specific types of tests or measurements.

End

Emergency alarm system eligibility criteria extended

*****

The Social Welfare Department (SWD) announced today (Wednesday) that the eligibility criteria for receiving a special grant for the installation of an emergency alarm system (EAS) has been extended.

A spokesman for the department said under the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) Scheme, elderly recipients who had a special need for the service of an EAS could be assisted with a special grant on a reimbursement basis up to the prescribed maximum for that purpose.

"In consultation with the Hospital Authority and the Department of Health, the SWD has extended, with immediate effect, the criteria for the special grant for EAS to cover elderly CSSA recipients aged 60 to 69 on medical grounds," the spokesman said.

To be eligible for the special grant for EAS, a CSSA recipients must:

(a) be a single person, or living in a family with nobody able to take good care of him (for example, the other family member is infirm or disabled); and

(b) satisfy one of the following conditions:

(i)

aged 70 or above;

(ii) aged 60 to 69 in receipt of a standard rate for being 100 per cent disabled or in need of constant attendance;

7

(iii) aged 60 to 69 and certified to be more than 50 per cent disabled, or suffering from such medical conditions which, in a public medical officer's opinion, could develop life threatening conditions as to require immediate attention.

"Recipients eligible for the grant are free to choose any EAS which they consider can best suit their needs,” the spokesman said, adding that current systems on the market charge either a one-off installation fee or a recurrent service charge.

"The grant covers the one-off installation cost, up to a maximum of $2,500 or the recurrent service charges, up to a maximum of $100 a month.

"Where justified, higher amounts can also be approved," he said.

End

Slope improvement works on Lamma completed ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Four thousand residents on South Lamma would directly benefit from the latest rural planning and improvement strategy (RP1S) minor works project with the completion of the slope improvement works at Kan Cho Long, the Director of Home Affairs, Mrs Shelley Lau, said today (Wednesday).

Speaking at a ceremony to mark the $1.2 million job’s completion by the Home Affairs Department (HAD), Mrs Lau said the slope located at two kilometres south of the Sok Kwu Wan Jetty was substantially rebuilt as a result of a slippage caused by heavy rain in May 1992.

"The slip had endangered users of the two footpaths leading to Tung O and Lo So Shing. Clearly, this improved slope will serve very useful purposes. This is also a good example of how RPIS minor works projects could contribute to environmental improvement," Mrs Lau said.

She paid tribute to the Islands District working groups, the Islands District Office and the Geotechnical Engineering Office for their respective contributions.

Mrs Lau said HAD had been tasked with the implementation of RPIS minor works project since November 1994 and that the Administration had earmarked $1.6 billion to finance these projects over a period of 10 years starting in 1989 to improve rural areas.

8

The scheme is controlled by a two-tier administrative structure consisting of the central RPIS Minor Works Steering Committee and the RPIS Minor Works District working groups.

The Steering Committee, chaired by the Director of Home Affairs, comprises Chairmen of NT district boards, three representatives from Heung Yee Kuk and representatives of core works departments involved in minor works.

Its main task is to advise on policy issues related to RPIS implementation, endorse district programmes, monitor progress and arbitrate if priorities clash.

The district working groups in turn look after and monitor the planning and implementation of district RPIS projects.

There are altogether nine New Territories District working groups, each chaired by the District Officer, comprising representatives from district boards, rural committees and departmental representatives.

End

School's out for ever as St (Jeorge's closes ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

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

The British Services' school, St George's, at Kowloon Tong, will closed its classroom doors for the last time after pupils and teachers packed away their textbooks and dust off the blackboards on Friday (July 12), bringing an end to 40 years teaching to three generations of service children in Hong Kong.

With the return of most of the garrison's school children back to the UK this summer, St George's will finally close after providing education for over 17,000 pupils since it first opened its doors in 1955.

To mark the occasion, 57 children, aged between 11 and 15, will be ceremonially marched out of the school doors by the visiting Loretto Pipes and Drums from Musselburgh in Scotland, after which the headmaster, Mr Martin Cater, will lower the Union Flag.

He will be assisted in this task by pupils Leann Hughes, Hannah Ley, Thomas Sutherland. Yuki Shirahama and Thomas .lackman.

9

St George’s School has always been at the heart of the military community in Hong Kong and was originally sited in Minden Row, Tsim Sha Tsui, between the Whitfield Barracks, on Nathan Road (now the Kowloon Park) and the Chatham Road Barracks (now the Science Museum).

When the focus of military life shifted to Kowloon Tong, with the expansion of Osborn Barracks, the school moved to its present site on Norfolk Road.

The school reached its peak in the late 1970s when there were over 1,200 pupils and 54 teaching staff.

However, since the reduction of the garrison and the departure, last week, of the Sixth Form, there are now only 57 pupils and 23 staff, many of whom will take up new teaching posts with service schools in Germany and Cyprus.

Despite the drawdown, the school has maintained its very high standards and this year St George's General Certificate of Secondary Education results put them in the top 15 comprehensive schools in the United Kingdom.

End

78,000 pupils allocated secondary one places ♦ * * * ♦

More than 78,800 pupils have been allocated secondary one places in this year's secondary school places allocation (SSPA) exercise, results of which will be announced on Friday (July 12).

"All 78,869 pupils participating in the SSPA exercise, irrespective of their age, have been allocated a place in government, aided or private bought-place secondary schools," Senior Education Officer, Mrs Lily S K Lai, said.

It includes 4,288 pupils, or 5.44 per cent, who have successfully obtained discretionary places they applied for earlier this year.

A total of 38,699 pupils, or 49.07 per cent, have been allocated places according to their first choice and 56,032 pupils, 71.04 per cent, according to their first three choices.

10

In addition to the 78,869 pupils, a total of seven pupils participating in the exercise have been admitted to private secondary schools which joined the direct subsidy scheme.

Results will be available at the pupils' primary schools on Friday and they should collect the allocation slip/admission slip from their schools.

The registration period is July 15 and 16. All pupils must report to the secondary schools which they have been allocated during the registration period. Failure to do so will mean that they have chosen not to take up the places allocated.

In case both the pupil and the parent/guardian are away from Hong Kong, they should authorise representatives in writing to complete the registration procedure on their behalf. Copies of authorisation letter can be obtained from their primary school heads.

In case of genuine difficulties, parents or pupils concerned should inform the SSPA section of the Education Department before the end of the registration period so that alternative arrangement can be made.

Pupils are expected to wear school uniform when reporting for registration. They must bring the following documents:

* the allocation slip/admission slip;

* Birth certificates, Hong Kong juvenile identity cards or other documentary evidence of their date of birth and their status as permanent residents of Hong Kong; (Note: pupils should also bring along their travelling documents if the symbol "C" [for conditional stay] is found at line seven of the Hong Kong Identity Card);

latest school reports, if any; and

* two recent passport-sized photographs.

Parents seeking transfer for their children should apply directly to the schools they prefer. Acceptance is at the discretion of the schools concerned.

Successful applicants have to retrieve the admission slips from the secondary schools they have registered and submit them to the schools they wish to transfer to.

11

They are reminded that retrieval of their admission slips from the schools will be regarded as giving up the place allocated.

”In case of tropical cyclones, persistent heavy rain or thunderstorms during the registration period, heads of schools and parents should pay attention to announcements through the media for any necessary arrangements," Mrs Lai said.

Enquiries should be directed to SSPA section on 2832 7740 during office hours.

End

Report on aircraft accident published ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

A report of an investigation into an aircraft accident which happened in Tan Kwai Tsuen Quarry on June 29 last year was published by the Government today (Wednesday).

The aircraft involved is an Aerospatiale SA315B Lama helicopter. It hit the ground after the pilot became aware of the loss of tail rotor control and carried out an emergency landing. There were no injuries to the pilot or persons working on the ground.

The investigation was conducted by the Civil Aviation Department to identify the cause of the accident and also with an aim to prevent future recurrence.

The report contains an analysis of the circumstances surrounding the crash together with conclusions and four safety recommendations.

Three of the recommendations are addressed to the operator of the crashed helicopter, Heliservices (Hong Kong) Limited, and actions have already been taken. The last one is addressed to the aircraft manufacturer, Aerospatiale.

The report are now on sale at $58 per copy at the Government Publications Centre, ground floor, Queensway Government Offices, Queensway.

End

12

COMAC's eighth annual report presented * * * * ♦

The eighth annual report of the Commissioner for Administrative Complaints (COMAC) was presented by the acting Chief Secretary, the Hon Donald Tsang, to the Legislative Council today (Wednesday)

As in the previous years, the Administration would respond to the report with a government minute within three months, a government spokesman said.

The minute will cover the action that the Administration has taken or proposes to take in response to COMAC's recommendations in his reports on complaints investigated from July 1995 to June this year.

The Government Minute will be tabled in the Legislative Council in October.

End

New mail processing machine installed *****

The Post Office has installed two culler-facer-cancellers (CFCs) which will start to process mail on Friday (July 12), the Postmaster General, Mr Robert Footman, announced today (Wednesday).

The final commissioning of CFCs will be in September after a series of trials and acceptance tests.

Customers who wish to obtain datestamp impressions of CFCs on the first day of their trial operation may post their letters in the special posting boxes at the public counter hall of the following two post offices:

* General Post Office (GPO), 2 Connaught Place, Central, Hong Kong (first floor, business hours: 8 am to 6 pm); and

* International Mail Centre (IMC), 80 Salisbury Road, Hung Hom, Kowloon (ground floor, business hours: 9.30 am to 5 pm)

Customers who wish to obtain the CFC datestamp impression must ensure that the stamps affixed on their letters are phosphor-tagged. Such stamps are for sale on request at all post offices.

It should be noted that stamps from stamp vending machines are not tagged with phosphor. Enquiries may be made with the Post Office Enquiry Bureau on 2921 2222.

13

Unregistered letters which are fully pre-paid with phosphor-tagged stamps, bearing the full address of the addressee either in Hong Kong or overseas and posted in the special posting boxes on Friday will be processed and datestamped by CFC at the office of posting.

The postmarked letters will then be delivered to the addressees in normal course.

CFCs can only datestamp letters of the following characteristics and devoid of stiff materials, that is, metal clips as part of their contents:

Lsnglh Height Thickness Weight

Minimum 140 mm 90 mm Maximum 235 mm 160 mm 0.2 mm 2 gm 6.0 mm 50 gm

Oversized or letters not meeting the above conditions will be processed manually and will obtain a hand-stamp datestamp impression or an impression produced by other cancelling machines.

The two CFCs, one at GPO and the other at IMC, will automatically segregate mail items collected from posting boxes into packets and ordinary size letters.

For IMC, CFCs will date-stamp and further segregate them into local and overseas letters by detecting the phosphor-tagged stamps affixed on them.

Stamps tagged with two phosphor bars are predominantly used on local letters, and those with one bar on air or surface letters posted to overseas countries.

End

Issuance of 1997 commemorative coins approved ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Executive Council has given approval to the issuance of a set of coins to commemorate the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) in 1997.

The set of seven coins will be in the same denominations as the seven currently circulating coins - 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, $1, $2, $5, and $10. They will be identical to the current circulation coins apart from the special commemorative designs.

14

Each of the seven coins will bear the standard Bauhinia design on the obverse side. On the reverse side, each coin will have its own special commemorative design and denomination.

The set is intended for general circulation and will be available during the first half of 1997. Sets of the seven coins in mint condition with special package will also be available for public sale.

The Government is also planning to issue a limited quantity of $1,000 gold coins next year to commemorate the establishment of the Hong Kong SAR in 1997. Design of this gold coin is in progress.

Both the coin sets and the gold coins will be issued by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority on behalf of the Government.

After covering the cost of issue, profits generated from the sale of the limited coin sets and the gold coins will be held in a suspense account and will be used to fund selected projects for the benefit of the local community.

End

Hong Kong to participate in APEC ministerial meeting *****

The Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, will represent Hong Kong at the Asian Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting on Sustainable Development to be held in Manila tomorrow (Thursday) and Friday (July 12).

The Deputy Secretary/Environment in the Planning, Environment and Lands Branch, Mr Tony Cooper, is attending the pre-meeting on sustainable development in Manila of senior officials which took place yesterday and today, and will accompany Mr Leung at the ministerial meeting.

The meeting will provide a forum for ministers of the Asian-Pacific region to discuss sustainable city and urban management, clean technology, clean production and sustainability in marine environment.

Ministers are expected to provide their economy’s experience and priorities, with recommendation on opportunities for co-operation and views on how these themes may be incorporated into the Sustainable Development and Ministerial Declaration Action Programme.

Mr Leung said today (Wednesday) that there was increasing international awareness in sustainable development.

15

"Hong Kong’s participation in the APEC Ministerial Meeting on Sustainable Development shows that the Government is committed to further promoting sustainable development by sharing experience of other countries in the region,” Mr Leung said.

’’This is also in line with the Third Review of the 1989 White Paper on the Environment published in March 1996, setting out Government’s intention to incorporate sustainability into its policy and planning framework.”

Mr Leung noted that the Government’s proposal to embark on a 30-month study, to examine how the concept of Sustainable Development can be applied to Hong Kong, what principles and sustainability indicators are appropriate and what systems and mechanisms are required to implement the concept of sustainability is consistent with the overall theme of the APEC conference.

End

Teachers’ salaries to be assessed

*****

In response to press enquiries on the assessment of teacher salaries to be performed by schools, the Assistant Director of Education (Schools), Mr Kwan Shutsun, said: "The Education Department understands the concerns of schools and has taken various measures to address their concerns.

"A series of 48 workshops have been held for ordinary aided schools and special schools respectively since September last year to provide them with general knowledge of salary assessment and a grasp of the basic technical skills of the subject.”

Feedback of the participants was positive. Over 85 per cent rated the workshops as "good” or "very good", over 92 per cent considered both the briefing session and the case study session "useful" or "very useful".

"Many schools have since taken the initiative to assess salaries using the proforma provided in our Guide for schools reference," Mr Kwan said.

They have proved themselves competent in taking up salary assessment by achieving a high degree of accuracy, he added.

Mr Kwan stressed that the department considered it inappropriate in principle and unreasonable in practice for District Education officers/inspectors (Special Schools Administration) to carry out salary assessment on behalf of schools.

16

Schools, as employers, should be responsible for salary assessment for their staff members.

Mr Kwan said the workload taken up by schools would be minimal as on average each primary school handle six cases of new teachers and secondary school 12 cases a year.

Addressing the concern in the event of overpayment in assessing the salaries, Mr Kwan said the department would take a flexible approach in seeking refund.

To assist schools, he is seeking legal advice for a clause to be included in the schools employment contract and salary notification to teachers to indicate clearly that the teachers would have to repay any amounts overpaid and that the salaries would be subject to audit.

Moreover, District Education officers/inspectors (Special Schools Administration) would assist schools in vetting overseas qualifications and in assessing complicated cases.

Schools would also be provided with a sample standardised certificate of service for use by the employer- school to show the salary particulars of a teacher upon transfer/resignation.

’’Given the continued assistance and random checks by our District Education officers, we are confident that schools are well placed to carry out this task.

’’More workshops would continue to be conducted to provide guidance and support to schools,” Mr Kwan said, adding that principals, teachers and other schools staff were welcome to attend.

End

123 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flight *****

A group of 123 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) returned by air to Hanoi, Vietnam, today (Wednesday) on the 44th flight under the Orderly Repatriation Programme (ORP).

All of the returnees, comprising 47 men, 33 women, 25 boys and 18 girls, are from North Vietnam.

17

The majority of them arrived in Hong Kong in 1988, with the remaining in 1989, 1990 and 1991.

The group brought the total number repatriated on ORP flights to 3,883 since November 1991.

End

Monitors' report submitted to CS ♦ * * * *

The monitors appointed to observe the Orderly Repatriation Programme operation this (Wednesday) morning have submitted their report to the Chief Secretary.

The two monitors comprised a non-official Justice of the Peace, Mr Paul Young Tze-kong; and a representative from a non-govemment organisation, Mr Pele Yuen from Christian Action.

End

Dangerous pre-war building to be demolished

*****

A dangerous pre-war building at No 67 High Street, Western District, would be demolished for public safety, the Buildings Department announced today (Wednesday).

A notice of intention has been posted at the building this morning informing the occupants that a closure order would be applied from the Hong Kong District Court on October 10.

The department's Chief Building Surveyor (Dangerous Building), Mr Kwok Yui-chung, said the four-storey building, with timber floors and brick walls, was so dilapidated that it was beyond reasonable repair.

"Some of the timber structures are found to have badly rotten. The brick walls are in an unstable condition and a major crack also appears on the top floor.

18

"In view of the dangerous condition, it was necessary to close and demolish the building for public safety," Mr Kwok said.

The residents' request for re-housing would be referred to the Housing Department for consideration according to their eligibility, Mr Kwok said.

End

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

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1.963 0930 NIL

Closing balance in the account 1,769 1000 NIL

Change attributable to : 1100 -5

Money market activity -6 1200 -5

LAF today -188 1500 -7

1600 -6

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.5 *-0.1* 10.7.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.19 2 years 2805 6.30 99.78 6.53

1 month 5.21 3 years 3904 6.30 98.74 6.91

3 months 5.33 5 years 5106 7.23 99.19 7.57

6 months 5.54 7 years 7305 7.60 99.20 7.90

12 months 5.97 5 years M502 7.30 98.73 7.79

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $20,233 million

Closed July 10, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

SUPPLEMENT

Wednesday, July 10,1996

Contents Page No*

Legislative Council meeting: Motion debate on hotel and guesthouse regulation.................... 1

Commissioner for Administrative Complaints (Amendment) Bill........ 2

Prevention of Bribery (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill.............. 4

Prevention of Bribery Ordinance: clause 13 A.......................

Prevention of Bribery Ordinance: clause 13B........................ 11

Prevention of Bribery Ordinance.................................... 13

Prevention of Bribery Ordinance: committee stage................... 15

Independent Police Complaints Council Bill......................... 19

7 I

Patents Bill.......................................................

22

Aviation Security Bill.............................................

Aviation Security Bill: committee stage............................ 22 23

Immigration Service (Amendment) Bill.............................. 24

/Immigration Service

Contents

Rage-No,

Immigration Service (Amendment) Bill: committee stage............. 26

More stringent supervision of building works...................... 26

Buildings (Amendment) (No 3) Bill................................. 27

Buildings (Amendment) Bill.....,.................................. 29

Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No 3) Bill............................ 30

Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No 3) Bill: clauses 2 and 3........... 33

Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No 3) Bill: new clause................ 34

Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No 3) Bill: third reading............. 34

Airport Authority Annual Report................................    35

Transit facility for PRC nationals................................ 36

Implementation of 5-year plan for arts development................ 37

Medical treatment for overseas visitors........................... 38

Remuneration and benefits of policy secretaries................... 39

Obligations for compensation discharged........................... 41

NT Land (Exemption) Ordinance explained........................... 42

Standard number of hospital beds.................................. 43

Commercial premises in housing estate shopping centres............ 45

/AG’s exercise.

Contents

Page No,

AG's exercise of power under Coroners Ordinance........................... 47

Channels for identifying genuine copyright owners......................... 48

Government runs polyclinics............................................... 49

Employees retraining scheme........................................... 51

Measures to control air quality in tunnels................................ 54

Insurance policy for aided and caput schools.............................. 55

Rear seat passengers safety belt requirement exemption.................... 57

Out-patients services..................................................... 58

Range of services to divorcing couples.................................... 60

Employment visas issued to top five nationalities......................... 61

Importation of labour for new airport and related projects................ 63

Senior Citizen Card Scheme................................................ 65

1

Motion debate on hotel and guesthouse regulation *****

Following is the speech by the acting Secretary for Home Affairs, Mrs Stella Hung, in the motion debate on the Hotel and Guesthouse Accommodation (Fees) (Amendment) Regulation 1996 in the Legislative Council yesterday (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I urge Honourable Members not to repeal the Hotel and Guesthouse Accommodation (Fees) (Amendment) Regulation 1996 and not to support the proposed amendments to the Regulation as moved by the Hon Sin Chung-kai.

The Hotel and Guesthouse Accommodation Ordinance was enacted in May 1991 to provide for a licensing scheme to regulate fire and building safety, health and hygiene of hotel and guesthouse accommodation. Under the Ordinance, any person operating a hotel or guesthouse is required to obtain a certificate of exemption or a licence.

As the purpose of the Ordinance is to regulate the safety of temporary accommodation for tourists and local people, both hotels and guesthouses are subject to the licensing scheme. Annual inspections are essential before licence renewal to ensure that the premises continue to comply with the licence conditions. The vigorous enforcement of the Ordinance by the Licensing Authority has contributed to the reputation of our hotels and guesthouses in the context of safety. The Licensing Authority has taken, and will continue to take, robust enforcement actions against unlicensed establishments. I should stress that there is no duplication of work between the Licensing Authority and other Government Departments, as the Licensing Authority is the one and only agency in the Administration responsible for the licensing of hotels and guesthouses.

It is Government policy that fees should in general be set at levels sufficient to recover the full cost of providing the services from the users. This is an important principle which forms an integral part of our revenue structure and which underpins our low tax economy. The Public Accounts Committee in 1994 recommended that the Secretary for Home Affairs should devise an action plan as soon as possible to achieve full cost recovery for the licensing of hotels and guesthouses.

Our proposed fee scale for licensing hotels and guesthouses seeks to reflect the costs of licensing establishments of different sizes more accurately. The proposed scale is more equitable than the existing scale to operators of small guesthouses/holiday flats. Over 600 such establishments will enjoy a 31% reduction in licence fees under the proposed scale.

2

The cost of operating the licensing scheme is $20.6 million per annum. Under the existing fee scale, we only recover about $9 million or 43% of the cost if all establishments are licensed. Our proposal seeks to achieve full cost recovery over three years. In the first year, the cost recovery is only about 70%, which means tax payers are still subsidising the hotel/guesthouse business by about $6 million.

I wish to stress that the Regulation has little, if any, impact on livelihood and on inflation as local customers account for a very small share of the business turnover of hotels and guesthouses. The proposed fee increases would only have a very mild impact on the operating costs of the industry.

I urge Honourable Members not to repeal the Hotel and Guesthouse Accommodation (Fees) (Amendment) Regulation 1996. Otherwise, our tax payers will have to continue to subsidize hotels and guesthouses, which are private, profitmaking and non-welfare organizations. Clearly this is against the 'user pays' principle and is unreasonable and unfair. The repeal would run counter to the Public Accounts Committee's recommendation and prevent the Administration from rationalising the fee structure.

I further urge Honourable Members not to resolve to amend the Regulation as moved by the Hon Sin Chung-kai. The fee scale under the Resolution has little, if any, regard to full cost recovery. Neither could it implement the recommendation of the Public Accounts Committee. It would prevent the Administration from rationalising the fee structure and cause unacceptable delay in achieving full cost recovery. Under this Resolution, if passed, our tax payers would continue to subsidise hotels and guesthouses, which I reiterate is unreasonable and unfair.

Thank you, Mr President.

End

Commissioner for Administrative Complaints (Amendment) Bill ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the acting Chief Secretary, the Hon Donald Tsang, in moving the second reading of the Commissioner for Administrative Complaints (Amendment) Bill 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

1 move that the Commissioner for Administrative Complaints (Amendment) Bill 1996 be read a second time.

3

This Bill has three purposes. The first purpose is to empower the Commissioner for Administrative Complaints to investigate those administrative actions taken by or on behalf of the Police, the ICAC, and the Secretariats of the Independent Police Complaints Council and the Public Service Commission in relation to the Code on Access to Information. The second purpose is to enhance the operation of COMAC, and the third is to change COMAC's English title to "The Ombudsman".

Code on Access to Information

We have stated publicly that we will extend the Code on Access to Information throughout the Government by the end of this year. Under his existing statutory powers, COMAC may investigate whether a branch or department listed in Schedule 1 to the Ordinance has failed to apply the Code properly. However, Schedule 1 does not include the Police, the ICAC, or the two Secretariats of the Independent Police Complaints Council and the Public Service Commission, which are thus outside COMAC's jurisdiction.

While we do not propose that COMAC be given general jurisdiction to investigate complaints of maladministration on the part of these four departments, we consider that it would be more efficient for the operation of the Code, and less confusing to members of the public, to have a single independent review body under the Code. We therefore propose that the COMAC Ordinance be amended so that COMAC may investigate complaints of non-compliance with the Code against these four agencies, i.e. the Police, the ICAC, and the two Secretariats of the Independent Police Complaints Council and the Public Service Commission.

Amendment to Schedule 2

When the Police and the ICAC are brought within COMAC's jurisdiction for the purpose of the Code, we need to ensure the security of sensitive materials relating to the prevention, detection or investigation of crime. We therefore propose to amend Schedule 2 to the Ordinance to make it clear that COMAC is not to investigate any action taken in relation to the prevention, detection or investigation of any crime or offence.

Secrecy Provision

Section 15 of the COMAC Ordinance requires COMAC and his staff to maintain secrecy in respect of all matters that come to their knowledge in the exercise of their functions. This is unnecessarily wide. The Bill seeks to make it clear that the provision only covers matters arising from any investigation or complaint made to COMAC or his staff in the exercise of their complaint-handling functions, and that COMAC and his staff may disclose information that is necessary to be disclosed for the purpose of investigating a complaint, or deciding on whether an investigation should be undertaken, continued or discontinued.

4

Reporting Requirement

COMAC also finds that the present reporting requirement in the Ordinance poses problems for the efficient discharge of his functions in view of the large increase in the number of complaints made to his office. This is particularly so in respect of simple complaints where the organisation being complained against agrees with his findings and recommendations. COMAC wishes to have greater flexibility in handling simple and minor complaints. We therefore propose that the reporting requirements set out in section 16(1) of the Ordinance, i.e. when COMAC has formed a view that there is maladministration or inadequacy on the part of an organisation being investigated, should be made discretionary instead of mandatory. However, section 17(2) of the Ordinance would still require COMAC to inform the organisation affected of the outcome of his investigations.

Change in Title

COMAC considers that his powers and jurisdiction are now more akin to those of a traditional ombudsman following the legislative changes effected in June 1994. He has proposed that his English title be changed to "The Ombudsman" as this would facilitate his contacts with his overseas counterparts. This proposal is now implemented in the Bill.

I commend the Bill to Honourable Members.

End

Prevention of Bribery (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill * * * * *

Following is the speech by the Attorney General, the Hon Jeremy Mathews, at the resumption of second reading debate on the Prevention of Bribery (Miscellaneous Provisions) (No 2) Bill 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I wish to thank the Chairman of the Bills Committee, the Hon James To, and members of the Committee for their thorough scrutiny of this important Bill. The debate in the Chamber this afternoon, serious and high-minded, underscores the importance this Council and the community attach to the work of the ICAC, while reflecting proper concerns over checks and balances over the use of the ICAC's powers.

5

I am pleased that almost all issues of concern to the Bills Committee have been resolved to the satisfaction of members. The Administration has agreed to a number of Committee Stage amendments, which I will be moving later this afternoon.

The Committee Sta&e amendments

I will now describe the major amendments to the Bill. I will propose that clause 1 should be amended so that the Ordinance will come into operation on a date to be appointed by notice in the Gazette. By virtue of section 20 subsection (3) of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance, it will be possible for different dates to be fixed for different provisions. The ICAC will need some lead-time before some of the new provisions can be brought into operation. This is the case, for example, where the provisions require court applications to be made. Members of the Bills Committee have, however, asked me to undertake to bring all provisions into effect as soon as practicable, and I agree to do so.

Clause 4 is to be amended so that further restrictions are placed on the Commissioner’s powers of investigation under section 13 of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance. That section enables the Commissioner to require persons to produce certain documents. The Chairman of the Bills Committee had proposed that the powers under section 13 should be subject to court control. The Administration considers that a distinction should be made between requirements imposed under the section directed at suspects, and those directed at third parties (such as banks). Where a suspect is required to disclose a document, he may be required (in effect) to incriminate himself. This being so, we accept that there is a case for imposing court control over such requirements.

We do not believe there is any similar justification for requiring a court order before third parties can be required to produce documents relating to a suspect. Moreover, precedents exist in the Securities and Futures Commission Ordinance and the Companies Ordinance for a power to require the production of documents without any court control.

The Committee Stage amendment in respect of section 13 therefore imposes court control over requirements directed at a suspect. It also restricts the scope of section 13 -

by restoring to section 14 (and therefore imposing court control over) the power to require a person in charge of a public body to furnish documents to the ICAC;

by deleting references to safe-deposit boxes; and

6

by introducing a requirement that there must be reasonable cause to believe that the documents to be produced are "likely to be relevant" for the purposes of the investigation.

The Administration believes the amendments proposed will achieve the twin objects of -

introducing court control where it is appropriate; and

ensuring that ICAC investigations can continue to be undertaken effectively and in confidence.

The Committee Stage amendments to clause 5 of the Bill relate to new section 13A of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance. That section would have enabled any ICAC investigating officer to make an application to the High Court for an order requiring the Commissioner of Inland Revenue to produce to the ICAC material held by him. The proposed amendments limit the persons who may make such an application; provide that applications lie to the High Court in chambers; and set out further guidelines to the court in deciding whether it is in the public interest to make such an order.

Further amendments to clause 5 are proposed in the form of a new section 13C. This new section reflects the concern, expressed by the Hon Eric Li, that confidential information about a taxpayer that is held by the Commissioner of Inland Revenue may be obtained by the ICAC and publicly revealed in a subsequent prosecution. I wish to emphasise here that the Bill will permit the disclosure of Inland Revenue information obtained by the ICAC only for the purposes of proceedings relating to, or any prosecution of an offence, under the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance. I can assure Members that the information may not be otherwise disclosed.

The proposed new section 13C will apply where it is intended to use such information for those purposes. It will enable the taxpayer, and the person who may have supplied the information to the Commissioner of Inland Revenue, to apply to the court for an order preventing the identity of the taxpayer from being publicly revealed. The court, when deciding whether to make such an order, will be required to consider whether the public interest in the publication of such information is outweighed by the privacy and confidentiality of the information, the prejudice that might result from publication, and the public interest in preserving the secrecy of tax information. This approach is, I suggest, a good way of dealing with the competing interests at stake, and I am grateful to the Hon Eric Li for drawing attention to the problem and in assisting in finding a solution.

7

The proposed amendments to clause 6(a) of the Bill relate to the powers under section 14 of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance to obtain information. The Bill subjects those powers to court control. The Committee Stage amendments provide that an application to the court for authority to use the powers is to be made in chambers, and prohibit the court from authorising the use of certain of the powers unless the information sought is likely to be relevant to the corruption investigation or proceedings. It is essential that applications to the court under the section are handled in confidence, and I will raise with the Judiciary how this can be best achieved.

The proposed amendment to clause 6(b) of the Bill restores to section 14 the power to require a person in charge of a public body to furnish documents to the ICAC. The effect of this amendment is that the power will become subject to court control.

The proposed amendment to clause 10(a) provides that the powers of search under section 17 of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance can only be exercised if the court or the Commissioner is ’’satisfied” of relevant matters, rather than if it "appears to" them that this is the case.

A new clause 14A is to be added to the Bill. This is a savings provision to ensure that notices already served under section 14A or 14C of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance will continue in effect notwithstanding the repeal of the former section and the amendment of the latter section. It also has the effect that extensions of such notices are subject to court control.

Mr President, I now turn to section 30 of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance, on which so much has been said and written, and on which the Bills Committee spent much anxious time. Section 30 makes it an offence for a person, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, to disclose details of an investigation in respect of an offence alleged or suspected to have been committed under the Ordinance.

The Bill, as introduced, proposed no amendment to section 30. The Bill, as members will recall, was introduced to give effect to those recommendations of the ICAC Review Committee which required legislation. The Review Committee proposed no change to section 30, which had been amended by this Council in 1992 to ensure consistency with the Bill of Rights Ordinance. The Review Committee was satisfied that section 30 achieved the right balance. But that view was not shared by members of the Bills Committee. However, it is significant to note that, after exhaustive deliberations, no member of the Bills Committee has suggested that section 30 should be repealed. But the Bills Committee was not able to reach agreement with the Administration over the way in which the section should be amended. As a result, I will be moving two Committee Stage amendments in respect of the section and three members will move their own amendments. I will say more about all these proposed amendments when the Bill is in Committee Stage.

8

Mr President, I cannot leave section 30 without responding briefly to the suggestion made by a Member that the Ming Pao prosecution was an abuse of power. I would like to refute that suggestion as being completely unfounded. The prosecution was properly brought, based on the view of the evidence and the law as it was then thought to be. There was no abuse of power by the ICAC; there was no abuse of the prosecution process.

The Committee Stage amendments will also contain amendments to the Bill's provisions in respect of the Independent Commission Against Corruption Ordinance, to which I now turn.

Clause 15 of the Bill relates to the power to dismiss ICAC officers under section 8 of that Ordinance. The clause is to be amended so that, before terminating an appointment, the Commissioner must consult the Advisory Committee on Corruption. The Report of the ICAC Review Committee recommended that this should be the case, and the Administration has agreed that this recommendation should be reflected in the legislation.

Clause 16 of the Bill is to be amended to reflect the fact that, since the Bill was gazetted, an authentic Chinese version of the Independent Commission Against Corruption Ordinance has been produced.

A new clause 16B is to be added, amending section 10D of the ICAC Ordinance. That section enables the ICAC to take finger-prints, photographs and measurements of persons arrested under section 10. The Bill will enable the ICAC, if it wishes, to serve a summons on a person, instead of arresting him or her. This being so, it is considered appropriate that the ICAC should have the power to take fingerprints, photographs and measurements of a person on whom a summons is served. The Committee Stage amendment so provides.

Clause 17 of the Bill amends section 13(2) of the ICAC Ordinance so that, in order to perform his corruption-prevention duties, the Commissioner may gain access to documents held by public bodies. The Bills Committee was concerned that this power might be too broad and so the Administration has agreed to limit the power so that it applies only to documents that an authorised ICAC officer reasonably considers will reveal the practices and procedures of the public body.

The Committee Stage amendments also include drafting improvements to the Bill. The amendment to clause 7, and the proposed new clauses 12A and 16A, are cases in point.

9

Conclusion

Mr President, when I introduced this Bill into the Council I described it as an essential step in reaffirming the ICAC's mandate in the light of present day circumstances and the changing expectations of the people of Hong Kong. The Administration is pleased that, subject to the Committee Stage amendments that I have referred to, the Bill has received the support of the Bills Committee. The enactment of this Bill will therefore be a strong reaffirmation of the ICAC's mandate as it continues its vital work in the years ahead.

End

Prevention of Bribery Ordinance: clause 13A *****

Following is the speech by the Attorney General, the Hon Jeremy Mathews, in support of the proposed new clause 13 A, amending section 30(1) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr Chairman,

I move that new clause 13A as set out under my name in the paper circulated to Members be read the second time. The new clause repeals and replaces section 30 subsection (1) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance.

Section 30 makes it an offence for a person, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, to disclose details of an investigation in respect of an offence alleged or suspected to have been committed under the Ordinance. This section has been a key element in the overall scheme for tackling corruption in Hong Kong.

In the recent Ming Pao case, the Privy Council stated that the restrictions on freedom of expression created by section 30 are consistent with the Bill of Rights Ordinance. As the Privy Council said in that case

"It cannot be denied that there is a pressing social need to stamp out the evil of corruption in Hong Kong. Investigation by the ICAC is an important means of achieving that end and the protection of the integrity of such investigation is essential."

The Privy Council also accepted that the section affords protection to the reputation of suspects, although it considered that this protection is of secondary importance to the protection of the integrity of the investigation.

10

The fact that section 30 is consistent with the Bill of Rights Ordinance does not mean that this Council cannot decide, as a matter of policy, to amend the section. The question, therefore, is whether section 30 should be amended and, if so, in what way.

The Administration's proposals

The Report of the ICAC Review Committee concluded that "No changes should be made to section 30. which strikes the right balance between the need to protect the reputation of an individual under investigation and the secrecy of an investigation at the covert stage on the one hand, and the freedom of expression on the other." The Bill does not therefore include any provision to amend section 30.

Some members of the Bills Committee nevertheless considered that there should be some relaxation of the restrictions in the section. The Administration has listened carefully to those views and has agreed that subsection (1) of section 30 should be amended as follows:

* firstly, the offence will be expressly limited to disclosures made by a person who knows or suspects that an ICAC investigation is taking place; and

* secondly, it will only apply to disclosures relating to an investigation into an offence under Part II of the Ordinance;

The proposed new clause 13A will achieve this. I will shortly be moving the addition of a new clause 13B which will further limit the scope of section 30.

As well as proposing these relaxations to the section, the Administration strongly believes that a recently discovered loophole in section 30 must be plugged. The Privy Council decided in the Ming Pao case that section 30 applies only to an investigation in respect of a specified person. Disclosure of the details of a general investigation, as occurred in that case, is not an offence.

The Privy Council came to its decision as a matter of statutory interpretation. It did not express any view as to whether there is any justification for distinguishing between the two types of investigation. The Administration strongly believes that there is no justification for such a distinction. A general investigation needs to remain covert, and is equally vulnerable to being prejudiced by a disclosure as one in respect of an identified suspect.

It is undeniable that an investigation may be prejudiced by a disclosure even though no particular suspect has been identified. For example, an investigation may relate to a small group of people, one of whom is in fact a corrupt person. A disclosure of details of that investigation may be as damaging as one which relates to an investigation into that person. The corrupt person may destroy all evidence of his corruption or may disappear.

11

ICAC investigations need to be kept confidential, particularly at the early and particularly vulnerable stages of the investigation. If details of the early stages of an investigation can be freely disclosed, simply because there is no identified suspect, the investigation may never get to the stage where there is an identified suspect. All evidence of the crime may have been destroyed as a result of the disclosure.

I will shortly be proposing amendments that relax the restrictions on disclosure at the more mature stages of the investigation, when there is less need for secrecy. But I urge members to support the amendment I propose to section 30(1) which will ensure that the most vulnerable stage of an investigation is properly protected.

End

Prevention of Bribery Ordinance: clause 13B *****

Following is the speech by the Attorney General, the Hon Jeremy Mathews, in support of the proposed new clause 13B, amending section 30(1 A) and (2) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr Chairman,

I move that new clause 13B as set out under my name in the paper circularised to Members be read the second time.

The existing subsection (1A) of section 30 of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance provides that the restrictions on disclosure cease to apply after the person who is the subject of the investigation has been arrested. Under my proposed amendment, the restrictions would also cease to apply after a warrant has been issued for the arrest of the person who is the subject of the investigation, or after a restraining order has been served on any person under section 14C(3) of the Ordinance.

Where an arrest warrant is issued, the investigation will clearly have reached a mature stage and have a specific direction, similar to that where a person is actually arrested. A restraining order prohibits a particular person from disposing of, or otherwise dealing with specified property. Such an order will only be made after considerable investigations have taken place. In addition, such orders give rise to a degree of publicity in that, if they relate to immovable property, they are registered in the Land Registry. The Administration therefore considers that, if an arrest warrant is issued or a restraining order is made, it is difficult to justify continuing the restrictions of section 30.

12

The existing subsection (2) of section 30 provides that the Commissioner, ICAC, may disclose the identity of a suspect if any of five specified events occur. Two of those events are the issue of an arrest warrant and the making of a restraint order. As I have just explained, the occurrence of either of those two events will, under my proposed amendment, cause all restrictions on disclosure to be lifted.

That leaves three further events in the existing subsection (2), namely where the person subject to the investigation fails to comply with a notice under section 14( 1 )(a) or (b) requiring him to give details of his assets; where his residence has been searched under a warrant issued under section 17; and where he has been required to surrender a travel document under section 17A.

The amendment that I am moving will have the effect that, if any of those three events occur, any details of the investigation may be disclosed by the Commissioner, or by the subject person, or by any other person with the consent of the Commissioner or the subject person.

This is a considerable relaxation of the section, but it ensures that third parties will not be able to disclose details of an investigation after one of the specified events has occurred, unless the Commissioner or the suspect consents to this. The Administration considers that, even though one of those events has occurred, there are still good reasons for imposing such restrictions on disclosures. In particular, there is still a need to protect the reputation of the subject person.

As I have said, in the three situations described, third parties should not be permitted to make disclosures without the consent of the subject person or of the Commissioner. However, my amendment provides that, where the Commissioner or the subject person has consented to a disclosure being made by a particular person to the public or a section of the public, he is to be treated as having consented to such a disclosure by any other person. This provision will be of particular assistance to the media since, if the subject person is content for details of the investigation to be made public, it will not be necessary for each newspaper or broadcaster to obtain the consent of that person before it can run the story.

The amendment I am moving will also permit disclosures to be made by any person if, but only to the extent that, the disclosure reveals any unlawful activity, abuse of power, serious neglect of duty, or other serious misconduct by the ICAC; or a serious threat to public order or to the security of Hong Kong or to the health or safety of the public.

The combined effect of these amendments will relax the restrictions imposed by section 30 in significant respects.

End

13

Prevention of Bribery Ordinance ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Attorney General, the Hon Jeremy Mathews, in reply to the Hon Christine Loh's amendment to section 30(1 A) and (2) of the in the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr Chairman,

Under the amendment proposed by the Hon Christine Loh, section 30 would cease to apply where a notice is served on the subject person under section 14( 1 )(a) or (b); where his residence has been searched under a warrant issued under section 17; or where he has been required to surrender a travel document under section 17A. The Administration strongly opposes this amendment, because of its possible impact both on a suspect's reputation and on ICAC investigations.

* • Subject's reputation

In the three situations I have described there is still a need to protect the subject person's reputation. There is no reason why section 30 should cease to apply simply because a person has been required to give details of his assets. Needless to say, that person may be entirely innocent and may, by complying with the notice, establish this to the satisfaction of the ICAC. A search of the suspect's residence may reveal no evidence of criminality and, if the suspect is required to surrender his travel document, he may subsequently get it back. In none of these situations is there any compelling reason why details of the investigation should be freely disclosed, and the subject person's reputation ruined. However, if the subject person wishes to disclose details of the investigation; or there has been serious ICAC misconduct; or there is a serious threat to public order or to the security of Hong Kong or to the health or safety of the public, disclosure will be possible under the amendment I am moving.

Ms Loh has argued that section 30 should cease to apply if any of the three events I have mentioned has occurred, since the same degree of suspicion is required for those events as for the arrest of the subject person. With respect, this is not an adequate justification. A suspect's reputation should not be exposed to attack merely because there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that he has committed a corruption offence. As I have explained earlier this afternoon, there are valid reasons for protecting the reputation of those under ICAC investigation. That protection should only be removed if there is a compelling reason to do so.

14

The arrest of the suspect, or the issuing of a warrant of arrest, indicates that the investigation has reached a mature stage, and that the suspect has been deprived, or will be deprived, of his liberty. Members of the public have an overriding right to be informed of this. The making of a restraint order in respect of land already involves public registration, and so it is difficult to justify further restraints on disclosure. But Ms Loh is proposing that all restrictions on disclosure should be lifted after three events which merely form part of on-going investigations, and which are not of such significance that there is an overriding reason for the public to know about them. I do not believe that a suspect's reputation should be so exposed.

Protection of investigations

I turn now to the protection of the integrity of an investigation. Ms Loh has argued that there is no practical need for secrecy after any of the three events has made the suspect aware of the investigation.

There is a fallacy in her argument. It assumes that all suspects who know they are under investigation will tip-off any other guilty parties. This is not the case. Firstly, the suspect may be entirely innocent and may not know who the guilty parties are. He will not tip them off. Why should third parties be permitted to disclose details of the investigation and thereby alert the guilty parties? Secondly, the suspect may be guilty and may be assisting the ICAC by giving evidence against his co-conspirators. In that situation he will not want to tell the co-conspirators what he is doing. Third parties should not be permitted to do so.

In contrast to Ms Loh's proposed amendment, my amendment does afford protection to an investigation in situations where neither the Commissioner nor the suspect wants to disclose any details of it.

Conclusion

Mr Chairman, the Administration objects to Ms Loh's proposed amendment because it affords inadequate protection to the reputation of suspects and to the integrity of investigations. The amendment I have moved will relax the restrictions imposed by section 30 in several important respects, whilst still affording adequate protection to reputations and investigations. I urge members to support the Administration's amendment.

End

15

Prevention of Bribery Ordinance: committee stage * ♦ * ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Attorney General, the Hon Jeremy Mathews, in reply to members' committee stage amendments to section 30(1) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

The Hon Selina Chow's proposal

Mr Chairman, the only difference between Mrs Chow's amendment and my own is that her amendment does not plug the loophole that I have mentioned. It would allow disclosures of details of a general investigation, no matter how harmful the disclosure may be to the investigation.

I would ask members to consider the example in which a report is made to the ICAC of the most serious corruption by a member of a senior group of Government officials - corruption striking at the heart of good government. Suppose the report does not identify a particular person, but gives information that seems credible, concerning a unit within a certain Government department. The ICAC begin to investigate. They uncover clear evidence of corruption but have not yet identified any particular suspect. Then a newspaper publishes details of the investigation. The guilty party flees from Hong Kong taking his ill-gotten gains with him. Just consider what effect that would have on the confidence of the community and their faith in the ICAC.

If members support Mrs Chow's amendment they will be saying that they are content for such publications to take place, regardless of the consequences. I strongly urge members not to support Mrs Chow's amendment.

The Hon Albert Ho's proposal

The amendment proposed by the Hon Albert Ho would also allow disclosures in respect of general investigations. For the reasons I have just given, I would urge members to reject it.

There is, however, a further aspect to Mr Ho's amendment. The effect of that amendment would be to limit restrictions contained in section 30(1) to disclosures which are "likely to cause prejudice to the investigation." This is unacceptable for two reasons. Firstly, it would deprive the section of its role in protecting the reputation of suspects. Secondly, it would inadequately protect the integrity of investigations.

Let me quote from the judgment of the Hong Kong Court of Appeal in the Ming Pao case.

16

"....it cannot be assumed that every time an offence under the Ordinance has

been alleged or suspected to have been committed, and an investigation is underway, it necessarily leads to a person being charged. The allegations and suspicions may, ultimately, turn out to be groundless. The protection of the reputation of suspects, who may have to undergo the opprobrium of investigation over a long period, is a matter of considerable importance: particularly if the suspect is a Crown servant having to perform his duties vis-a-viz the public in the meanwhile. No time limit is imposed by statute for the process of investigation."

It is no answer to say that the law of defamation can protect the reputations of suspects. Truth is a defence to an action in defamation. A disclosure of the fact that a person is being investigated by the ICAC, if true, would not therefore give that person any remedy in defamation.

The effect of Mr Ho's amendment would be that a person could make a malicious report to the ICAC of corruption by a particular person and then disclose to the media the fact that the person was under investigation. The media could then publish the story, with the result that the person's reputation was seriously tarnished. Provided the disclosures were not likely to prejudice the investigation, no offence would have been committed.

It may be argued that persons who are under investigation for non-corruption offences do not have any protection for their reputations beyond that provided by the law of defamation. But corruption offences are in a category of their own, and call for special measures, both to further investigations and to protect those subject to investigation. There are several reasons why corruption suspects need special protection -

a large percentage of allegations received are, after investigation, not substantiated

the ICAC is under a duty to investigate all allegations and is given special powers to do so

a corruption investigation may continue for a long period of time

a serious stigma attaches to corruption, and those under investigation for corruption, however innocent, may be unfairly tainted.

The ICAC has quite properly been given special powers of investigation, but hand in hand with those powers must go special measures to protect suspects who may be entirely innocent. Mr Ho's proposed amendment offers no protection to the reputation of suspects.

- 17 -

Mr Ho's amendment also would inadequately protect the integrity of investigations. This is not simply the view of the Administration. The Privy Council, in the recent Ming Pao case, made the following comments on the second limb of section 30 subsection (1), which prohibits disclosures to persons other than the suspect.

“Lord Lester argued that the restrictions in the second limb were disproportionate in that they criminalised disclosures even when no prejudice was caused or likely to be caused to an ICAC investigation and even if the accused believed that there would be no prejudice. The difficulty about this argument is that in many cases it will be impossible to know whether disclosure has prejudiced an investigation or not, for example, a suspect might destroy incriminating documents of which the investigator was not and never would be aware but which he would have discovered had there been no prior disclosure. For the same reason the suggestion that the desired aim could have been achieved by qualifying the second limb subsection with some such words as ’likely to prejudice the investigation’ fails because of the difficulty of establishing when a disclosure satisfied the test. If the restriction is to be effective it cannot draw distinctions between prejudicing and non-prejudicing disclosures nor have regard to the state of mind of the discloser."

The "likely to prejudice" test would fail to achieve the desired aim of protecting the integrity of ICAC investigations because of the difficulty of establishing when a disclosure satisfied the test. Let me give an example. Let us assume that a government official is under investigation but does not know this. Someone in the same department as the suspect learns of the investigation and tells a colleague. The colleague tells someone else, and so on. Would any of these disclosures be likely to prejudice the investigation and, if so, which one? The fact that the suspect may or may not eventually learn of the investigation does not answer the question. The suspect may overhear a conversation that was not, of itself, likely to prejudice the investigation. If he then destroys all evidence of his corruption the disclosure would still not have been an offence. Even if the suspect is informed of the investigation by a colleague, that does not necessarily mean that the disclosure was likely to prejudice the investigation. Under the "likely to prejudice" test, it is not clear whether it would be an offence for a person to disclose to a suspect the fact that he was under investigation. It is unacceptable from a legal policy point of view that a criminal offence should be subject to such uncertainty.

These examples show that the "likely to prejudice" test does not adequately protect ICAC investigations. I am aware that a similar test appears in certain other pieces of legislation. But that proves nothing. Two of the precedents for the "likely to prejudice" test relate to investigations into drug trafficking and terrorism. Investigations into such offences are of a completely different nature to investigations into corruption. Again I quote from the Privy Council decision in the Ming Pao case [at p.9] -

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’’The fact that disclosure of investigations into other offences is not so severely restricted does not render the provisions of section 30(1) disproportionate or unnecessary. In many offences involving dishonesty there will be a party who suffers and who has an obvious interest to report the matter to the authorities with the result that the offender can expect that some investigation into the offence will take place. In cases of bribery, however, neither party to the transaction is likely to have any interest to report the matter rather the reverse, since both are likely to be satisfied with what has occurred. This means that bribery offences are particularly difficult to detect and the maintenance of secrecy as to an investigation is even more important in order not to put the suspect on his guard.”

I am aware that the anti-corruption legislation of New South Wales contains the "likely to prejudice test". However, in February of this year the Australian Royal Commission into the New South Wales Police Service published an interim report, dealing with police corruption. The report concluded that the internal anti-corruption work of the New South Wales police service, and the anti-corruption work of the elements of the New South Wales ICAC that targeted the police, have failed. The report recommended that a new agency be established and that the agency be given "an appropriate secrecy provision". I trust that I have said enough to indicate how dangerous it is to point to a precedent from another jurisdiction and assume both that the precedent is effective in that jurisdiction and that it would be effective in Hong Kong.

In contrast to the position in New South Wales, the success of the anticorruption work of the ICAC in Hong Kong is widely recognised. The Report of the ICAC Review Committee stated that -

"Almost all submissions acknowledged the success of the ICAC in combating corruption and bringing it under control. They perceived the danger of a significant increase in corruption during the run-up to 1997 and expressed a belief that the independence and effectiveness of the Commission remained crucial to the continued development and prosperity of the community."

One of the reasons for the ICAC's success, I believe, is the protection afforded to the integrity of investigations by section 30. At this crucial time in Hong Kong’s history, we should not be putting the effectiveness of the ICAC at risk by weakening the main elements of section 30. The "likely to prejudice test" would do just that.

For all these reasons, I strongly urge members of this Council to vote against Mr Ho's amendment.

End

19

Independent Police Complaints Council Bill

*****

Following is the speech by the acting Secretary for Security, Mrs Carrie Yau, in moving the second reading of the Independent Police Complaints Council Bill in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the second reading of the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) Bill. The Bill seeks to give statutory status to IPCC and enhance its monitoring role as a civilian oversight body on complaints against the Police.

The Bill will provide the legal basis for the IPCC to discharge its functions of monitoring and reviewing investigations by the Complaints Against Police Office (CAPO), which deals with all complaints against Police officers. Where the IPCC identifies any inadequacies or discrepancies in Police investigations, they will be taken up with CAPO. If not satisfied with CAPO's investigation, the IPCC can draw a case to the attention of the Governor.

Specifically, the Bill would empower the IPCC to require CAPO to investigate or reinvestigate any complaint. The Bill also provides that the IPCC may interview witnesses, complainants or complainees. This will enable the IPCC to clarify ambiguities and discrepancies and make a better assessment of the whole complaint case. Further, IPCC Members can also conduct scheduled or surprise visits to observe investigations by CAPO directly. In carrying out their duties, IPCC members enjoy the same protection and privileges as are given to magistrates.

Mr President, the Bill will firmly anchor the IPCC in our Police complaints system by defining clearly in the legislation the powers and functions of the IPCC. In turn, this will promote the accountability of the IPCC. According to the Bill, the IPCC shall in each year make a report to the Governor concerning the exercise of its functions and the Governor shall lay the report before this Council.

In recent years, we had already implemented a number of measures to improve our Police complaints system, such as installation of closed circuit television, video or tape-recording facilities in CAPO. We are , however, not complacent with improvements made so far. In parallel with the Bill, we will therefore introduce a new package of improvement measures aimed at further enhancing the independence of the IPCC, and the credibility and transparency of the Police complaints system.

These improvement measures are drawn up from the recommendations arising from an independent review of CAPO procedures conducted under the IPCC aegis, and a comparative study of overseas police complaints systems conducted by representatives from the IPCC, Security Branch and the Police. The full reports have been made available to Members of this Council.

20

The improvement measures are summarised as follows -

(i) to address the concern that some complaints may have taken considerable time to complete, CAPO will set time limits on handling complaints. These include contacting a complainant within two working days, providing progress report to the complainant every two months, aiming to complete investigation of complaint cases within four months - it will, of course, be shorter in practice if the case is less complicated;

(ii) to enhance transparency of the system, IPCC will open part of its meetings to the public; complainants will be given more details of the investigation results; and leaflets on Police complaints investigation procedures and the monitoring procedures of IPCC will be made available at all police stations and District Offices for distribution. On top of these, we intend to allocate three million dollars to IPCC Secretariat to launch publicity programmes over a three year period;

(iii) to ensure serious cases will receive adequate attention in the complaints system, the IPCC will set up a special panel to monitor serious cases, after which it will submit its findings in a special report to the Governor;

(iv) to enhance the capability of the IPCC, one additional Vice-chairman and three additional members will be appointed. Besides, one more vetting team will be provided;

(v) to prevent any ”tipping-off to officers being complained, CAPO procedures will be tightened up to make this a disciplinary offence; and

(vi) to gauge public opinion towards the overall performance of the Force including the Police complaints system, regular surveys and researches will be conducted.

Mr President. I believe that by enacting the Bill and implementing the above package Of improvement measures , we would make the system more transparent and credible. It will enhance the public awareness of and confidence in the existing Police complaints system.

Thank you, Mr President.

End

21

Patents Bill ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Trade and Industry, Miss Denise Yue, in moving the second reading of the Patents Bill in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that the Patents Bill be read the Second time.

The purpose of the Bill is to establish an independent patent registration system in Hong Kong, which is in line with international standards and will continue through 1997, for the protection of inventions.

A patent protects technical innovation. A patent system encourages new technology by granting the inventor a patent for his invention which gives him the right to exploit his invention for a set term. An inventor in exchange is required to make his invention public. The disclosure of this invention provides a major source of technical information to other inventors, businessmen and other users.

At present, there is no original grant of patents in Hong Kong. We register in Hong Kong United Kingdom patents and European patents designating the United Kingdom. A local patent law needs to be enacted before July 1, 1997 because the existing patent registration law is dependent on United Kingdom patent law. The Patents Bill aims to achieve this.

The Bill largely follows the recommendations made by the Patents Steering Committee in its Report issued for consultation in May 1993, and incorporates, where appropriate, comments received from the industrial, professional and academic fields during a consultation exercise conducted in February and March this year.

The Patents Bill provides for the grant of independent patents in Hong Kong based on the registration of a patent granted by designated patent offices. We propose the United Kingdom Patent Office, the European Patent Office designating the United Kingdom, and the Chinese Patent Office as designated patent offices. It also provides for the grant of short-term patents. This will give a new type of protection in Hong Kong for inventions with a short-term commercial life. The Bill sets out the procedures for obtaining and maintaining patents and short-term patents in Hong Kong, the rights given to the owners, and provisions for enforcement.

The basis for the Bill and the new independent patent system have been agreed in the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group.

22

Mr President, a new local patent law is an essential tool for protection of technical innovation. It is also an integral part of Hong Kong's intellectual property regime. To ensure continuity in the protection of inventions in Hong Kong, the new local patent law and the necessary administrative system must be put in operation before July 1, 1997. At the risk of stating the obvious, I would just like to note that any delay in the implementation of the new patent system would jeopardise the protection of patents in Hong Kong after 1997, with all its consequential negative implications for the further economic and technological development of Hong Kong.

By introducing the Patents Bill into this Council today, we hope that Honourable Members will give the earliest possible consideration to the Bill. We hope that the Bill can be enacted with enough time remaining for us to prepare the necessary Patents Rules and administrative procedures for the implementation of the new patent system before July 1, 1997.

By introducing the Patents Bill into this Council today and having regard to the 12-month lead time required for procuring and setting up the first phase of the computer system, we also hope that Honourable Members will vote the necessary funds sought for the patent computer system at a forthcoming meeting of the Finance Committee of this Council before it goes into summer recess.

The time-table we have set for ourselves is an extremely tight one. With support from Honourable Members, I am confident we can achieve our task.

Mr President, I commend this Bill to the Council.

End

Aviation Security Bill *****

Following is the speech by the acting Secretary for Security, Mrs Carrie Yau, at the resumption of the second reading debate of the Aviation Security Bill in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

The Aviation Security Bill was introduced into the Legislative Council for its first and second readings on 5 June 1996.

23

The Bill seeks to localise UK legislative provisions, concerning international conventions on aviation security, which are currently extended to Hong Kong by Orders-in-Council. It also includes provisions to apply other internationally recommended aviation security measures which are currently being implemented in Hong Kong through administrative means. The enactment of the Bill will enable us to establish a comprehensive statutory framework for implementing aviation security measures, now and beyond 1997.

Our aim is to implement our aviation security requirements in co-operation and consultation with the aviation industry. To this end, we have widely consulted within the aviation industry including with the airlines, airport tenants and the Airport Authority.

Although it is not directly related to the Bill, I wish to assure Mr Howard Young that we are happy to continue with our consultation on any matters which ensure that we have the highest standard of effectiveness in operation of our airport as well as highest standard in maintaining our security standards.

I just wish to record my thanks for Honourable Members’ immediate support for this Bill. With the passage of this Bill, we shall be sending a very strong message to the international community that Hong Kong is meeting, and will continue to meet internationally accepted aviation security standards and obligations. There are only a few technical amendments which I shall move later at the committee stage.

Mr President, 1 recommend the Aviation Security Bill to this Council.

End

Aviation Security Bill: committee stage *****

Following is the speech by the acting Secretary for Security, Mrs Carrie Yau, in moving the committee stage amendments of the Aviation Security Bill in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr Chairman,

I move that the clauses specified be amended as set out in the paper circularised to Members.

24

The amendments put forward are technical in nature. Amendments to Clauses 4, 5, 49 (2) and 58 will remove several minor inconsistencies between the English and Chinese texts of the Bill. Amendments to Clauses 15 and 49 (4) seek to rectify two clerical errors. Amendments to Clauses 2 and 12 will clarify the scope of several provisions relating to explosives.

Mr Chairman, I beg to move.

End

Immigration Service (Amendment) Bill ♦ * * ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the acting Secretary for Security, Mrs Carrie Yau, at the resumption of the second reading debate of the Immigration Service (Amendment) Bill 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

The Immigration Service (Amendment) Bill 1996 was introduced into this Council on February 7 this year. This Bill seeks to give members of the Immigration Service powers of investigation into offences relating to registration matters under the purview of the Immigration Service, and into certain forgery offences under the Crimes Ordinance, Cap. 200. It also seeks to regularise the procedures relating to the handling of persons arrested by members of the Immigration Service.

I am grateful to the Honourable Emily Lau and Members of the Bills Committee for the great care they have taken in scrutinising the Bill and the valuable suggestions that they have put forward during the Committee Stage.

This process has helped the Administration considerably to fine-tune the Bill to address possible concerns of the public with the additional powers to be conferred on the Immigration Service.

The major Committee Stage Amendments in respect of this Bill which we propose will help to safeguard the rights of individuals being investigated or arrested:-

(a) First, in any case of detention taking place before formal arrest, we propose to provide for a maximum length of 12 hours;

25

(b) secondly, we propose to confine the total detention period between initial detention for inquiry and bringing an arrested person before a magistrate or release of the person to 48 hours; and

(c) thirdly, we propose to amend section 13(1) and (2) by deleting the words ’’appearing to him to have control of the place or to be residing therein” and substituting "residing in or in charge of the place". This is modelled on section 50(3) of the Police Force Ordinance, Cap. 232, and provides a better safeguard to private premises against search by members of the Immigration Service. We also propose a number of minor amendments to the Bill to bring it more into line with other legislation governing the powers of other disciplined forces.

1 can assure the Honourable Members that whilst the Administration wishes to ensure that officers of the Immigration Service are given the necessary powers of investigation to discharge their statutory duties, it is equally concerned that there should be adequate checks and balances to prevent any abuse of powers. We are satisfied that the Bill, with the Committee Stage Amendments that we propose, will strike a right balance, and that the existing stringent safeguards against any abuse of power are effective and sufficient.

As regards the issue of training over which the Honourable Emily Lau and James To expressed concern, I would like to talk about this now. We are already providing extensive training on investigation work and powers to investigators of the Immigration Service. Once the Bill is enacted, new training courses and briefings will be put in place to ensure that staff of the Immigration Service who will be wielding the new powers are conversant with the law and capable of exercising the powers conferred on them. Appropriate Standing Orders will be issued to guide and regulate the exercise of these proposed powers. In fact, most of the powers conferred by the Bill are similar to existing powers exercised under the Immigration Ordinance. We are confident that officers of the Immigration Service will have no difficulties in assuming the new investigation responsibilities.

In response to the request of the Bills Committee, the Administration will submit a paper to the LegCo Security Panel detailing the complaints handling procedures and training provided to officers of the Immigration Service when the Bill comes into operation. Surely, we will follow up this commitment.

Mr President, I recommend the Immigration Service (Amendment) Bill 1996 to this Council.

End

26

Immigration Service (Amendment) Bill: committee stage ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the acting Secretary for Security, Mrs Carrie Yau, in moving the committee stage amendments of the Immigration Service (Amendment) Bill 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr Chairman,

I move that the clauses specified be amended as set out in the paper circularized to Members.

These amendments contain the proposed changes to the Immigration Service (Amendment) Bill 1996 which I have already referred to in the Second Reading debate and also some technical amendments. They have been discussed in detail by the Bills Committee and have received the Committee's endorsement.

Mr Chairman, I beg to move.

End

More stringent supervision of building works

*****

The Government today (Wednesday) welcomed the passage by the Legislative Council of all but the criminal sanctions provision of the Buildings (Amendment) (No 3) Bill which provide more stringent registration of building professionals and contractors and set out clearly the level of supervision and responsibilities of the persons supervising building works.

A government spokesman said: "The Administration will now proceed to implement the new legislative provisions which mark an important step towards improving safety at construction and demolition sites."

"We hope to submit to the Legislative Council within six months relevant amending regulations. In parallel, the Buildings Department will work on the Technical Memorandum and Code of Practice for issue to the construction industry as soon as possible."

However, the spokesman expressed regrets that the Legislative Council voted to remove the criminal sanctions provision for failing to comply with supervision plans in cases directly resulting in injury or damage to properties.

27

"The Administration has been, and still is of the firm view that the criminal sanctions proposed are necessary to enforce the safety requirements set out in the new legislation which contains supervision plans that will be able to identify the responsible parties for any wrong-doing.

"We note the concern of some LegCo members that the criminal sanctions only apply in private sector projects. The Administration is committed to completing a review of the application of the new legislation by the end of this year.

"Upon completion of the review, we will consider introducing a new bill into Legislative Council to impose criminal sanction for material deviations from supervision plans directly result in injury to person or damage to properties," the spokesman said.

End

Buildings (Amendment) (No 3) Bill ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

Following is a speech by the acting Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Canice Mak, in moving the second reading of the Buildings (Amendment) (No 3) Bill 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I would like to thank the Honourable Ronald Arculli, Chairman of the Bills Committee, and other Members for their very careful and detailed deliberation on this Bill in the past nine months.

This Bill serves two main purposes. The first aims to strengthen supervision and safety management at construction and demolition sites through the introduction of a supervision plan system. The second is to improve the registration system for authorised persons, registered structural engineers and building contractors. The Bills Committee and other concerned parties, such as the relevant professional bodies and the contractors associations and REDA (Real Estate Developers Association), have given many valuable comments on specific provisions of the Bill. The Administration agrees with most of these comments, and I shall move the necessary amendments to the Bill at the committee stage later on. However, it may be useful if I could explain in some detail the Administration’s response to a number of points raised by the Bills Committee and other organisations.

28

With regard to the registration of authorised persons and structural engineers, there will be panels of members from whom the Building Authority may appoint more than one Registration Committee. The Building Authority will be empowered to direct the Registration Committee to hold meetings in order to help ensure that the applications for registration as authorised persons and structural engineers will be processed expeditiously. The registration will continue to be in force while an application for renewal is still being processed, subject to any order of the disciplinary board. This is to obviate the administrative problem of processing a large number of applications within a fixed time limit.

I also wish to assure the Hon Edward Ho that his suggestion of a classification system for contractors be seriously considered. The Building Authority will be required to give reasons why an application for inclusion, retention or restoration of name in the relevant register is rejected. He will also be required to inform an authorised person or registered structural engineer before removing the latter's name from the relevant register.

Furthermore, a legal adviser will be appointed to assist in the proceeding of the disciplinary board for authorised persons and registered structural engineers. The power of a judge to dismiss an appeal against the decision of the board if he considered that there had been no substantial miscarriage of injustice, even if he was of the opinion that the point raised in the appeal might have been decided in favour of the appellant, will be removed. These measures would serve to further improve the fairness of the disciplinary proceedings.

Similar amendments will be moved by me to other provisions of the Bill relating to the registration of general building contractors and specialist contractors. Moreover, the factors which will be taken into account in considering whether an applicant qualifies to register as a contractor will be clearly set out. In the case of general building contractors, the Building Authority will be allowed to accept relevant local experience as a substitute for the required qualifications. As a transitional arrangement, the registration of existing contractors will continue to be in force for two years after the commencement of the relevant provisions of the Bill.

To implement the supervision plan system, the Building Authority may refuse to give his consent to the commencement of works where the authorised person has failed to lodge a supervision plan. The format and content of the plan have to comply with the requirements set out in the technical memorandum which will be formulated by the Building Authority in consultation with the professional institutes and the construction industry and approved by this Council under the negative vetting procedures.

29

To ensure that supervision plans are complied with, we recommend a three-tier sanction system. Minor deviations from the supervision plan may entail administrative warnings given by the Building Authority. Material deviations or repeated minor deviations will be made a disciplinary offence. Material deviations which directly result in injury to persons or damage to property, or a risk of injury or damage will be made a criminal offence. However, provisions will be made for exceptional circumstances when urgent action is required for safety reasons, to permit deviations from the supervision plan.

The Building Authority will be empowered to order works to cease when the condition of the approval or consent given by him has not been, or is not able to be, complied with, or when there is material deviation from the technical memorandum or the supervision plan which may lead to a dangerous or potentially dangerous situation.

I am, like the Hon Arculli, pleased to note that the Bills Committee has indicated support for all but one of the amendments to be moved by me, i.e. criminal sanction provisions when material deviations from the supervision plan directly result in injury to persons, or damage to property, or a risk of injury or damage. I will further explain the views of the Administration and clarify any misunderstanding like those expressed by the Hon Albert Chan and the Hon Mr Yip Kwok-him about government architects and engineers not subject to criminal sanction on the issue during the committee stage.

Thank you, Mr President.

End

Buildings (Amendment) Bill * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a speech by the acting Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Canice Mak, in moving the second reading of the Buildings (Amendment) Bill 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr Deputy President,

I would like to thank the Honourable Mr Albert Chan, Chairman of the Bills Committee, and other Members for supporting this Bill and the Committee Stage Amendments that I will propose.

30

This Bill has three purposes: empowering the Building Authority to order owners to carry out investigations into drains and sewers for slope safety reasons; facilitating the recovery of the cost of works carried out by the Building Authority on behalf of building owners; and making clear that a closure order will cease to have effect when the concerned structures are demolished or cease to exist.

In scrutinising the Bill, some Members proposed that water pipes should also be covered by the Bill. We agree and have prepared Committee Stage Amendments to this effect. Upon the enactment of the Bill, the Buildings Department will maintain close liaison with the Water Supplies Department in exercising the new power to require investigations into water pipes and remedial works regarding any leakage, defect or inadequacy identified.

Members have also expressed concern over the discretion of the Building Authority in serving orders requiring investigations into water pipes, drains and sewers. We have prepared Committee Stage Amendments to provide that where the Building Authority is of the opinion that no leakage, defect or inadequacy is likely, no order shall be served. In forming his opinion, the Building Authority should take into account all relevant matters and information, such as, the age of the water pipes, drains or sewers, and records of previous investigations and maintenance works. The Building Authority’s decision is also subject to appeal to the Appeal Tribunal under Part VI of the Buildings Ordinance, the members of which are mainly independent legal or building professionals. We believe this provides for the necessary safeguard against potential abuse of power.

We have also prepared a Committee Stage Amendment to ensure that an owner is responsible for the maintenance of and investigations into the water pipes, drains and sewers serving his building, irrespective of where such pipes, drains and sewers are laid.

Thank you, Mr Deputy President.

End

Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No 3) Bill * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for the Treasury, Mr K C Kwong, in resuming the second reading debate of the Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No 3) Bill 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I am grateful for Members’ support for the resumption of the second reading debate of the Bill. The Bill has two objectives. First, it seeks to reflect existing practices and provide greater certainty in law by -

31

(a) excluding stock brokers and investment advisers from potential profits tax liability in respect of share trading and fund investment profits derived by non-resident investors for whom they act as agents; and

(b) including a specific tax exemption for certain income derived from bona fide offshore funds managed in Hong Kong.

«

Secondly, the Bill seeks to extend the current tax exemption for stock borrowing and lending transactions to cover also stocks not listed in Hong Kong. This is in response to a request made by the financial services sector for promoting stock borrowing and lending transactions in Hong Kong.

After the publication of the Bill, we have received submissions from the Law Society of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Society of Accountants, the Joint Liaison Committee on Taxation, the Taxation Institute of Hong Kong and the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. We are grateful for their views on the Bill. I would also like to thank the Hon Eric Li for his valuable advice on the Bill. We have carefully examined these views and, as a result, I will move at Committee Stage a number of amendments. I shall explain at that stage the reasons for the amendments; but I would like to take this opportunity to address two points concerning the legislative intent of the Bill in respect of the first objective which I just described.

Section 20AA as proposed in the Bill seeks to exclude brokers and investment advisers from potential profits tax liability' for acting as agents for non-resident investors. We note the concern expressed by various parties in respect of the restriction imposed under the Bill that the provisions in section 20AA would not apply in cases where the investors and the agents have an "associate" relationship. We have thoroughly examined this issue and are remain of the view that the imposition of the restriction is justified and necessary. In such cases, the agent, being the associate of his client, should be able to ascertain whether there is any potential liability to profits tax and the question of uncertainty which we aim to address in the Bill by providing the tax exemption therefore should not arise. There is a limit to how far the tax exemption provided under the proposed legislation should go without creating opportunities for tax avoidance. We believe that we have struck the right balance in the Bill. Our proposal does not imply that the parties concerned under an "associate" relationship would automatically be chargeable to profits tax. This is by no means the case. Whether a tax liability arises will depend on the circumstances of each case and on the application of the existing provisions of the Inland Revenue Ordinance. The situation for these cases with "associate" relationship will not be inferior to what it is now, before the proposed legislation is enacted. There is also no question of the proposed legislation preventing a non-resident investor from, or placing any restriction on him in, making use of an associated agent in Hong Kong.

32

However, to reflect better our legislative intent, the Commissioner of Inland Revenue will issue a Practice Note to clarify issues relating to the application of the "associate" restriction and the interpretation of the term "non-resident" as requested by the various parties concerned.

We also note the concern of various parties that section 20AB as proposed in the Bill, which is modelled on legislation in the United Kingdom and sought to provide a specific tax exemption for certain income derived from bona fide offshore funds managed in Hong Kong, is not easy to follow and instead of achieving its objective, it may complicate the existing tax system in this area. We have reviewed the approach and concluded that a simpler way to achieve the policy objective and to reflect our legislative intent is to amend existing section 26A(1A) of the Inland Revenue Ordinance to extend the present tax exemption under the section to cover also mutual fund corporations and unit trusts established outside Hong Kong or similar collective investment schemes, provided that the Commissioner of Inland Revenue is satisfied that the mutual fund corporation, unit trust or collective investment scheme is a bona fide widely held investment vehicle which complies with the requirements of a supervisor}7 authority within an acceptable regulatory regime. We are pleased to note that this revised approach is welcomed by the various parties concerned. I will move amendments at Committee Stage to delete the proposed section 20AB and replace it with a new clause to this effect.

No prior approval from the Commissioner is necessary for an individual investment vehicle to qualify for the proposed tax exemption under section 26A(1A) provided that the requirements as stipulated in this Bill are satisfied. The Commissioner is prepared to give advance ruling if there is doubt in individual cases. The Commissioner will also issue a Practice Note to clarify the interpretation of such terms as "supervisory body" and "acceptable regulatory regime" under the Bill.

Thank you, Mr Deputy President.

End

33

Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No 3) Bill: clauses 2 and 3 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for the Treasury, Mr K C Kwong, at the committee stage to amend clauses 2 and 3 of the Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No 3) Bill 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr Chairman,

I move that Clauses 2 and 3 be amended as set out in the paper circulated to Members.

The amendment to Clause 2(1 )(a) of the Bill seeks to add the term "Unified Exchange" to the section and the term will have the same meaning as that in the Stamp Duty Ordinance for the sake of consistency.

The amendment to Clause 2(1 )(b) seeks to ensure that the term "specified securities" under the Bill will cover Hong Kong stocks the sale and purchase of which in Hong Kong are not subject to the rules and procedures of the Unified Exchange.

The amendment to Clause 2(2), by amending proposed section 15E(9) and adding a new subsection 10, seeks to ensure that "specified securities" under the Bill would be covered by provisions on stock borrowing and lending in the Inland Revenue Ordinance. For consistency purpose, the meaning of terms involved in the definition of "specified securities", i.e. "Hong Kong stock", "unit" and "unit trust scheme" will be the same in the relevant provisions of the Inland Revenue Ordinance and the Stamp Duty Ordinance.

The amendment to section 20AA(3) in Clause 3 seeks to ensure that under the Bill, transactions of a non-resident investor arising from the activities of an approved investment adviser will be taken as "carried out through" the adviser.

The amendment to section 20AA(6) in Clause 3 seeks to remove the reference to section 20AB in the proposed section 20AA and extends the meaning of broker and approved investment adviser under the Bill to include dealers and investment advisers exempt from registration under the Securities Ordinance.

The remaining amendment to Clause 3 seeks to delete section 20AB which is to be replaced by the new Clause 4. I will explain the operation of the new clause later on when I deal with the Committee Stage Amendment for adding a new clause to the Bill.

Mr Chairman, I beg to move.

End

34

Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No 3) Bill: new clause

*****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for the Treasury, Mr K C Kwong, in moving the second reading to add a new clause to the Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No 3) Bill 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr Chairman,

I move that new Clause 4 as set out in the paper circulated to Members be read the second time.

The new clause seeks to amend section 26A(1A) of the Inland Revenue Ordinance to provide that sums received by or accrued to a mutual fund corporation or trustees of a unit trust established outside Hong Kong or a similar collective investment scheme, where the Commissioner of Inland Revenue is satisfied that the mutual fund corporation, unit trust or collective investment scheme is a bona fide widely held investment vehicle which complies with the requirements of a supervisory authority within an acceptable regulatory regime, will not be included in the profits of the corporation or trustees or the person chargeable to tax for the profits of the collective investment scheme, as the case may be. As I undertook during the debate on the resumption of the second reading of the Bill, the Commissioner of Inland Revenue will issue a Practice Note to clarify the interpretation of such terms as "supervisory authority" and "acceptable regulatory regime" under the new clause.

Mr Chairman, I beg to move.

End

Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No 3) Bill: third reading ♦ ♦ * * ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for the Treasury, Mr K C Kwong, in moving the third reading of the Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No 3) Bill 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

The Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No 3) Bill 1996 has passed through Committee Stage with amendments. I move that this Bill be read the third time and do pass.

End

35

Airport Authority Annual Report *****

Following is a speech by the acting Financial Secretary, Mr Rafael Hui, on the Airport Authority Annual Report, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

In accordance with section 32(5) of the Airport Authority Ordinance, I now table the Airport Authority's Annual Report with its statement of accounts and auditor's report for the year ending 31 March 1996. This is the first Annual Report of the Airport Authority. It also covers the activities of the Provisional Airport Authority before its reconstitution as the Airport Authority on 1 December 1995.

As Members will be able to see from the Annual Report, the Authority has made significant progress in its work in the year under review. Construction of the new airport is on course and within budget. Following the coming into force of the Airport Authority Ordinance on 1 December 1995, the Airport Authority signed the Financial Support Agreement and the Land Grant with the Government. It also successfully completed its first external financing arrangement for HKS8.2 billion. A number of major franchises on air cargo, aircraft catering and aviation fuel supply services have been awarded. Franchises on maintenance services and ramp handling services will be awarded very soon. These remarkable achievements would not have been possible without the hard work and devotion of all members of the Board, the management and all staff of the Authority. I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of them.

I would also like to thank Members of this Council for their continuing support for the new airport project. Recently, Members approved funds for the Government facilities required to support the operation of the second runway at the new airport.

In particular 1 am very grateful to Mr Wong Po Yan, who took over the chairmanship of the Authority when it dropped the word "Provisional" from its name on 1 December 1995. I know very well from my colleagues who are more familiar with the airport project that being Chairman of the Authority is a most challenging and demanding job. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Wong for his dedicated service, and in particular for the time and effort he has put in to promote in the interest of Hong Kong the early commissioning of the second runway at the new airport.

36

With the commissioning of the second runway, the new airport will further enhance Hong Kong's status as a leading aviation centre, a leading centre for trade and financial services and leading tourism destination.

I am confident that the Authority will carry on with the good work to be done in the years to come. The new airport at Chek Lap Kok will prove to be an excellent investment for Hong Kong and the pride of Hong Kong people.

End

Transit facility for PRC nationals ♦ ♦ ♦ * *

Following is a question by the Hon Howard Young and a reply by the acting Secretary for Security, Mrs Carrie Yau, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

There has been a rapid increase in the number of People's Republic of China (PRC) passport holders visiting the territory on transit which benefits Hong Kong's tourism industry. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether such holders are allowed to visit Macau and re-enter Hong Kong within the 7-day visa-free period and whether, on re-entering from Macau, they may be granted an additional visa-free period in excess of the original 7-day visa-free period; if so, whether there are any measures to encourage tourism on the one hand and avoid the system being used to prolong overstaying unnecessarily on the other?

Reply:

Mr President,

With effect from 1 August 1993, PRC nationals in China transiting through Hong Kong to or from overseas countries are allowed a visa-free stay of up to seven days as visitors provided that they have valid passports, confirmed booking and valid visas for their overseas destinations. The purpose of this arrangement is to facilitate their overseas travel by connecting flights in Hong Kong or stopping over here before returning to China. This transit facility is however not allowed for journeys from China to Macau since PRC nationals in China can go to Macau direct.

37

PRC nationals in China are expected to adhere to their travel plans and not to make side trips to other places, including Macau, when transiting through Hong Kong. However, immigration officers have no power to stop any visitor or transittee from departing to a place other than their intended final destination. But if they return to Hong Kong from a side trip, they will have to explain to the satisfaction of the immigration officers that they indeed have reasons to deviate from their original travel plans.

Depending on individual case merits, they may be landed for a few days to complete their previous 7 days’ stay. Further change of plans by using the same method (i.e., by leaving for Macau and return to Hong Kong again) will come under close scrutiny. On the other hand, if a transittee’s case does not justify, he/she may be refused permission to land in Hong Kong.

At present, we have no plan to relax the visa-free arrangement to allow PRC nationals of China to transit through Hong Kong to Macau. Such a relaxation will invite abuses to bypass the existing schemes controlling PRC nationals visiting Hong Kong.

End

Implementation of 5-year plan for arts development * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Elizabeth Wong and a reply by the acting Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport, Mrs Rita Lau, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council whether it has any knowledge of the timing for the implementation of the 5-Year Plan for arts development drawn up by the Arts Development Council?

Reply:

Mr President,

The Hong Kong Arts Development Council’s 5-Year Strategic Plan, which sets out the blueprint for the development of the arts in Hong Kong for the period from 1996/97 to 2000/01, was drawn up in December last year.

38

In the Strategic Plan, the Council has identified 74 key tasks under four broad goals - access, excellence, resources and advocacy. In order to carry out these tasks, the Council has proposed 292 action steps to be implemented during the five-year period ending 2001.

The Council began to implement the 5-Year Strategic Plan on 1 April 1996. To date, the Council has commenced implementing 59 of the 74 key tasks, and 157 of the 292 action steps.

End

Medical treatment for overseas visitors ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Cheung Hon-Chung and a reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether non-Hong Kong residents can receive treatment in the casualty departments of public hospitals in the territory; if so, how the relevant charges are collected from such persons; in case of default, what actions are taken to recover the arrears from such persons, and what the results of such actions are; and

(b) whether it has signed agreement with any countries and regions which will enable residents of these territories to receive free emergency medical treatment in each other's territory on a reciprocal basis; if so, what the details are; if not, why not?

Reply:

Mr President,

In keeping with our policy that no one should be prevented from obtaining adequate medical treatment due to lack of means, accident and emergency services are provided free of charge by the Hospital Authority and the Department of Health, except in the case of one ex-subvented hospital where a nominal fee of $34 for Hong Kong residents and $175 for overseas visitors is imposed for historical reasons. Action is being taken to standardise the practice across all public hospitals.

39

The only country with which Hong Kong has a reciprocal agreement on medical treatment is United Kingdom. The agreement has been in place since 1 April 1982 and took the form of a formal exchange of letters between the British and Hong Kong Governments. From what we know, this arrangement was initiated when the United Kingdom announced a new legislation in 1982 which imposed charges on overseas visitors for access to medical and dental treatment under National Health Service.

Under the existing agreement, Hong Kong residents are eligible for free access to the National Health Service, including accident and emergency treatment. Similarly, United Kingdom citizens may receive a full range of medical treatment in Hong Kong at the same subsidised rate as local residents.

The term "Hong Kong resident" is defined as any person who is ordinarily resident in Hong Kong and who holds a valid Identity Card, Passport or Certificate of Identity issued by the Hong Kong Immigration Department or who is the spouse or dependent child under 18 years of age of such a person, while "United Kingdom citizens" means any person who is ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom and who holds a National Health Service Medical Card.

End

Remuneration and benefits of policy secretaries

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Emily Lau and a reply by the Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr W K Lam, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It has been reported that a member of the Preparatory Committee has suggested that the salaries of principal officials of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government should be increased significantly. At present, the monthly salary of a policy secretary at D8 of the directorate pay scale is 157,250, and its total remuneration package inclusive of other benefits amounts to almost $300,000 a month. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council :

(a) of the criteria for determining the remuneration and benefits of policy secretaries;

(b) how the remuneration and benefits of policy secretaries compare to those of senior executives at comparable levels in the private sector;

40

(c) whether the Senior Non-Expatriate Officers Association has made a request for improving the remuneration and benefits of policy secretaries; and

(d) whether it has any plan to review the remuneration and conditions of service of policy secretaries?

Reply:

Mr President,

I shall answer the points seriatim.

(a) Our policy and objective on civil service remuneration is to offer sufficient remuneration to attract, retain and motivate staff of a suitable calibre to provide the public with an effective and efficient service. Such remuneration should be regarded as fair both by civil servants and by the public which they serve. Within these parameters, broad comparability with the private sector is an important factor in setting civil service pay.

With regard to Branch Secretaries, the administration accepts that while any reasonable assessment of fair remuneration for civil servants should make reference to corresponding commercial packages, top directorate packages may not match those of some top executives in the private sector, given the difference in the nature of the service.

Other than external relativities, we also need to take account of the responsibilities and hence remuneration of other officers on the Directorate pay scale i.e. internal relativities. We have a number of grading factors we use to determine the classification of Departments and their Heads. Taken from the Tenth Report of the Standing Committee on Directorate Salaries and Conditions of Service, these are attached to the printed version of my reply. A recommendation was made in the same report that Branch Secretaries should be remunerated at a higher pay point than the Heads of the large civilian departments because of their clearly wider and heavier responsibilities. Currently, Heads of large civilian departments are remunerated at D7 and the Branch Secretaries are remunerated at D8.

(b) We have not collected any up-to-date information to compare the remuneration and benefits of Branch Secretaries to those of senior executives in the private sector lately. Our practice has been for the annual directorate pay adjustments to follow those of the upper pay band and for there to be periodic reviews of whether directorate pay has fallen significantly out of step with changes in private sector pay. Our last such review was done in 1989.

41

(c) The Senior Non-Expatriate Officers Association has not made any such request.

(d) At this stage, we have no plan to review the remuneration package of policy secretaries.

End

Obligations for compensation discharged

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Tsang Kin-sing and a reply by the acting Secretary for Security, Mrs Carrie Yau, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

As the British rule over the territory will end on June 30, 1997, will the Government inform this Council whether, prior to that date, the British Government will demand that the Japanese Government formally apologise to the people of Hong Kong for the atrocities committed by the Japanese army in the territory during the Second World War, and make reparations in this regard?

Reply:

Mr President,

We fully understand the strength of feeling on this issue. We note that former Prime Minister Murayama made a statement of apology for Japan’s wartime past in a speech on the VJ (Victory in Japan) Day anniversary last year. On the question of compensation, we confirm that the matter was referred to the British Government for consideration when the matter was last raised in this Council in December 1990 and November 1992. The British Government advised that the Japanese Government had fully discharged their obligations for compensation under the Treaty of Peace with Japan signed by the United Kingdom and other Allied Powers in San Francisco in 1951. It is therefore not open to the British Government to raise the matter with the Japanese Government.

End

42

NT Land (Exemption) Ordinance explained *****

Following is a question by the Hon Zachary Wong Wai-yin and a reply by the acting Secretary for Home Affairs, Mrs Stella Hung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The New Territories Land (Exemption) Ordinance (Cap 452) has been implemented for two years. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the number of lawsuits filed under the Ordinance over the past two years;

(b) the number of women in the above lawsuits who were successful in securing the right of succession to land in the New Territories; and

(c) whether activities have been conducted to publicise the Ordinance so as to ensure that women in the New Territories have a clear understanding of their entitlements under the Ordinance; if so, the contents, timing and costs of such activities?

Reply:

The New Territories Land (Exemption) Ordinance provides for the application of the general laws of inheritance to land in the New Territories, thereby safeguarding the equal rights for women to inherit land in the New Territories. The Ordinance takes effect in this regard from 24 June 1994.

There is no provision for filing lawsuits under the New Territories Land (Exemption) Ordinance. Women who wish to inherit land in the New Territories after the enactment of the Ordinance have to apply for grants of probate or letters of administration under the general laws of inheritance These laws include the Probate and Administration Ordinance (Cap 10), the Intestates' Estates Ordinance (Cap 73) and the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Ordinance (Cap 481).

It is a matter entirely for the personal representatives of the deceased to apply for the appropriate grants of representation or to file lawsuits in case of disputes under the general laws of inheritance. The Probate Registry does not keep statistics of cases by Ordinance, and the court registries classify lawsuits according to their nature, such as personal injuries, bankruptcy, companies winding-up, probate, divorce, admiralty, etc. There is no distinction made of individual women who derive their rights of inheritance to land from the New Territories Land (Exemption) Ordinance. We therefore do not have statistics on the number of women who have successfully inherited land as a result of the enactment of the Ordinance.

Regarding publicity, the provisions of the New Territories Land (Exemption) Ordinance were extensively publicised after their enactment. Publicity leaflets explaining the purpose and key features of the Ordinance were distributed widely through District Offices, Rural Committees and the Housing Department. A special civic education programme which focused particularly on the rights of women under this Ordinance was produced and shown on television. Liaison Officers in the New Territories District Offices also explained the relevant provisions to villagers during their regular visits. The above activities were part of the on-going liaison and public education services provided by Home Affairs Branch and Home Affairs Department. No separate account is therefore kept of the costs or expenditures involved.

End

Standard number of hospital beds * * * * *

Following is a question by the Hon Szeto Wah and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

With regard to the setting up of public hospitals and their staff establishment, will the Government inform this Council whether it knows of:

(a) the standard number of hospital beds and the standard establishment of doctors and nurses, as well as the actual number of hospital beds and the strength of doctors and nurses, in each public hospital at present;

(b) the criteria for determining the network served by each district public hospital, as well as the criteria to be taken into account in deciding whether a public hospital should be set up in a district;

- 44 -

(c) whether there is a set of criteria for drawing up the respective proportions of population to hospital beds and population to resident doctors, if so, what the details are; and

(d) how 'hospital clusters' are distributed and what their mode of operation is, and what the composition of each cluster is?

Reply:

The actual number of public hospital beds and the total strength of medical and nursing staff working in the Hospital Authority as at end of March 1996 are set out in Annexes I & II respectively.

The concept of establishment does not apply strictly to the Hospital Authority which employs a staffing level mechanism based on approved posts as the basis for determining manpower requirements for individual ranks and grades. With the devolution of responsibilities, each hospital may vary their staff mix according to prevailing operational requirements. Emphasis has been placed on quality outcome as well as resource input. Apart from budgetary control, the Authority has also developed a set of manpower indicators at Annex III to assist hospital managers.

As part of the efforts to improve its annual planning process, the Hospital Authority Head Office is embarking on an exercise to work out an agreed staffing level with each hospital. This process is expected to complete in the next few months and will serve to provide an objective benchmark for future monitoring and control.

Hospital clusters are drawn up for administrative reasons to enhance the coordination. planning and management of clinical services between different medical institutions. The designation of these clusters takes into account the geographic location of individual hospitals, their traditional roles and functional relationships. Details about the eight existing clusters arc at Annex IV.

The hospitals in each cluster complement and support each other through crossreferral of patients, sharing of major medical equipment and other clinical support services. The objective is to maximise the use of available resources and avoid duplications or gaps in service provision. Each cluster is supervised by a dedicated team of staff in the Hospital Authority Head Office.

The need for new hospitals is identified through regular reviews of utilisation pattern, which is affected by factors including population size, demographic structure, medical technology advancement, ambulatory care, community support and private service providers. The total demand of hospital beds is estimated based on an established formula:

45

Projected x Estimated inpatient x Average length of population discharge rate stay per patient

No of beds required = ------------------------------------------------------------

365 days x optimum occupancy rate (85%)

The number of doctors required in each public hospital cannot be determined solely with reference to a fixed set of criteria, but will depend on a number of factors including the role and scope of services provided, mix of cases and complexity of medical conditions. The set of manpower indicators developed by the Hospital Authority is an effective planning tool to assist each hospital in the planning and deployment of resources.

End

Commercial premises in housing estate shopping centres

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Lo Suk-ching and a written reply by the acting Secretary for Housing, Mr Keith Kwok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

As the commercial units in housing estates under the management of the Housing Authority (HA) are mainly let by way of tenders and supplemented by negotiation, will the Government inform this Council if it is aware of:

(a) the proportion of the shops in public housing estate shopping centres let by negotiation in the total number of shops let; and how such a proportion is determined by the HA;

(b) the reasons for the HA not putting up all the shops for letting by open tender;

(c) the guidelines issued by the HA setting out clearly the criteria for letting shops by negotiation; if so, what the criteria are; and

(d) any mechanism put in place by the HA to monitor the decision-making process regarding the letting of shops by negotiation?

46

Answer:

Mr President,

A large majority of commercial premises in Housing Authority (HA) shopping centres are let through open tender. There is no fixed ratio for the number of premises which must be let in a particular way. In the last two years, about 20% of commercial premises were let through negotiation.

Use of open tender or negotiation depends on the nature and size of the business to be operated. For example, in order to attract major retail companies to open outlets in public housing estates, the HA may put up a small number of commercial premises for letting through negotiation. This will enable the HA to exercise flexibility in determining the terms of each tenancy, such as length and rent. Tenants selected in this way are generally popular chain-stores which are welcomed by local residents as well as other retailers in the same shopping centre because they enhance the attractiveness and increase the patronage of the centre. This method of letting commercial space is commonly adopted in the private sector.

The HA's criteria for letting commercial premises through negotiation are confined to cases where -

(a) the space to be leased exceeds 250 m2 and the type of trade can attract more customers to the shopping centre, or can provide a desirable facility for residents; or

(b) the premises to be let have failed to attract suitable bidders in more than two open tender exercises; or

(c) an attraction is offered by the brand name of the company under which the premises are to be operated, or by the tenant’s ability to develop business through substantial promotional activities, both of which will enhance the overall attractiveness of the shopping centre; or

(d) where a sitting tenant has demonstrated the capability for expansion.

A Letting Panel, chaired by the Chairman of the HA’s Commercial Properties Committee, oversees the arrangements for letting commercial properties by negotiation. The leasing procedures and guidelines are also subject to periodic review by the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

End

47

AG’s exercise of power under Coroners Ordinance ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon James To Kun-sun and a written reply by the Attorney General, the Hon Jeremy Mathews, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Under Section 8 of the Coroners Ordinance, a coroner shall hold an inquiry into the cause of the death of any person when required by the Attorney General. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the total number of cases in which the coroner was required by the Attorney General to hold such inquiries in the past five years; and

(b) the criteria on which such a request by the Attorney General is based?

Reply:

Mr President,

Section 8 of the Coroners Ordinance provides that a coroner shall when required by the Attorney General hold an inquiry into the cause of and the circumstances connected with the death of any person. The Attorney General has not exercised his power under section 8 during the past 5 years.

There are no statutory criteria relating to the exercise of the Attorney General's power under section 8 of the Coroners Ordinance. In deciding whether to require that an inquiry be held in respect of the death of a particular person, an Attorney General would consider whether

(a) a coroner had refused or neglected to hold an inquiry in circumstances where he was obliged to hold one; or

(b) there were other circumstances that indicated that it would be in the public interest to order an inquiry.

End

48

Channels for identifying genuine copyright owners * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon James Tien and a written reply by the Secretary for Trade and Industry, Miss Denise Yue, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) what measures the Government has put in place to assist industrial and commercial establishments in identifying the copyright owner of a commodity in respect of which more than one firm claim that they own the copyright of the commodity concerned, so as to prevent such establishments from purchasing commodities without copyrights; and

(b) of the department which is responsible for co-ordinating information about copyright owners of commodities such as songs, books, films and computer software; and what channel is available to the commercial sector for making enquiries about such information?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) Copyright is a private right. Copyright subsists without the need for registration under the existing copyright law in Hong Kong. In line with international practice, the Government has not established any Copyright Register for recording information on copyright works and the copyright owners of such works. Accordingly, the Government does not have information on copyright ownership or transfer.

If two or more persons claim that they own the copyright in a certain commodity, the potential purchasers, be they industrial or commercial establishments, would have to ascertain the legitimacy of the claims, which are matters of evidence. It is always advisable for them to seek legal advice before making industrial or commercial decisions.

(b) As explained, Government does not have information on copyright ownership or transfer and no government department is in a position to collate such information. Nevertheless, there are channels where potential purchasers of copyright works can make enquiries on the identity of the copyright owner. They are listed below:

49

In the music industry, the Composers and Authors Society of Hong Kong Ltd (CASH) issues licences for public performance, broadcasting and cable diffusion of music works. The Phonographic Performance (SE Asia) Ltd (PPSEAL) licenses sound recordings for members of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). IFPI contracts with broadcasters for broadcasting its members’ sound recordings and music videos.

* In the book publishing industry, some of the authors of literary dramatic or musical works and publishers for published editions of such works have joined the Hong Kong Reprographic Rights Licensing Society (HKRRLS). The Society is planning to issue reprographic licences on behalf of its members.

In the film and computer software industries, some film producers and computer programmers have joined their respective associations. Such associations may be able to provide some information on copyright ownership.

The Intellectual Property Department provides general information on intellectual property including copyright. It has a 24-hour Telephone Enquiry Hotline (Tel. : 2803 5860. It also has a home page on the Internet (http://www.houston.com.hk/hkgipd/).

End

Government runs polyclinics ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Michael Ho Mun-ka and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the current number of government-run polyclinics in the territory, and

the number of such clinics which provide both day-time and night-time consultation services;

50

(b) whether the setting up of a polyclinic in a district is determined according to it population size;

(c) of the criteria for determining the need for providing both day-time and night-time consultation services in polyclinics; and

(d) how public hospitals and district polyclinics complement each other in providing medical services for the public?

Reply:

The term ’’polyclinics” is used to describe clinics which provide more than two types of medical services. At present, there are six polyclinics offering a wide range of primary health care services such as general out-patient consultation, tuberculosis and chest service, social hygiene and special skin service. The Department of Health is providing both day and evening consultation service. Among 60 general out-patient clinics in the territory, six are located within polyclinics while 18 are providing both day and evening service.

According to the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines, one general out-patient clinic is normally provided for every 100,000 persons. In determining whether evening service should be provided at each clinic, due consideration will be given to relevant factors including utilisation pattern of existing facilities, location and accessibility of the clinic as well as other service providers in the vicinity.

A referral system is already in place so that patients requiring specialist care may be transferred from general out-patient clinics to medical institutions managed by the Hospital Authority for further treatment. A similar mechanism also exists whereby patients discharged from public hospitals with stable conditions can be followed up in the primary health setting. Information about the medical condition and treatment of patients will be exchanged in order to ensure continuity of care. Needless to say, this arrangement will be reviewed regularly in the light of changing circumstances.

End

51

Employees retraining scheme *****

Following is a question by the Hon Sin Chung-kai and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the retraining courses offered by the Employees Retraining Board, will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the number of workers who have joined the following programmes since the implementation of the Employees Retraining Scheme:

(i) General Retraining Programme

i. Courses on Job Search Skills

ii. Job-Specific Skill Courses

iii. General Skills Courses

iv. Skills Upgrading Courses

(ii) On-the-job Training Programmes, with a breakdown by industry

(iii) Programmes for the Elderly

(iv) Programmes for Disabled and Industrial Accident Victims

(v) Other programmes; and

(b) the contents of each of the above programmes?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) Since its establishment in 1992, the Employees Retraining Board has provided a total of 136,149 retraining places under the Retraining Programmes and the On-the-Job Training Programmes as at the end of June 1996. A breakdown of the number of retraining places by type of course is set out below:

52

Programme NfiUf retraining places

(>) General Retraining Programme

i. Job search skills courses 28,307

ii. Job-specific skills courses 19,902

iii. General skills courses 69,725

iv. Skills upgrading courses 1,927

Sub-total: 119,861

(ii) On-the-Job Training Programme (by industry)

i. Communication, Social & Personal Service 3,857

ii. Import & Export and Retail & Wholesale 2,723

iii. Manufacturing 1,929

iv. Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Business Service 1,021

v. Hotel & Catering 908

vi. Transport, Storage & Communication 680

vii. Others 227

Sub-total: 11,345

(iii) Programme for the Elderly 2,888

(iv) Programme for Disabled and Accident Victims 1,485

(v) Other Programmes 570

Grand total: 136,149

There is no breakdown of the actual number of workers who have joined each of the above programmes and some workers might have taken more than one course since the commencement of the Employees Retraining Scheme.

(b) The general contents of each of the programmes are as follows:

(i) General Retraining Programme

i. Job search skills courses - retrainees are taught job search skills, interview techniques, information on labour market, psychological coping skills, interpersonal and communication skills.

ii. Job-specific skills courses - retrainees are taught vocational skills for specific occupations. Examples of vocational skills relate to salespersons, hotel housekeepers, receptionists, office assistants, junior account clerks, building attendants, travel assistants and domestic helpers.

- 53 -

iii. General skills courses - retrainees are taught general vocational skills such as computer, typing and language (e.g. English, Putonghua and Japanese) training.

iv. Skills upgrading courses - these courses are designed to help workers of a specific occupation to upgrade their skills to meet market needs. Examples are skill upgrading courses for mechanical craftsmen and technicians, product design and development personnel and electroplating operatives.

(ii) On-the-Job Training Programme - under this programme, individual employers provide induction training which is specific to the jobs concerned after they have taken on the retrainees.

(iii) Programme for the Elderly - these are specially designed courses for persons aged 50 and above. They are trained for occupations such as junior clerks, couriers, carpark attendants and domestic helpers, and in areas such as office English and basic computer skills.

(iv) Programme for Disabled and Accident Victims - this programme includes training for office assistants, cleaning services, desktop publishing, paging services, mobile kiosk work and fast food services.

(v) Other programmes - these are tailor-made courses designed to train employees for a specific firm or groups of firms, such as training for paging operators, retail salespersons, market interviewers and building attendants.

End

54

Measures to control air quality in tunnels *****

Following is a question by the Hon Christine Loh and a written reply by the acting Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Canice Mak, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In 1993, the Environmental Protection Department issued the "Practice Notes on Control of Air Pollution in Vehicle Tunnels" to all tunnel operators. The Notes set down guidelines on the minimum requirements for three air pollutants: carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide. As tunnel operators are already required by legislation and the terms of management contracts to monitor the concentration of carbon monoxide to ensure that it does not exceed the prescribed limits, and in view of the Government’s recent statement that it will discuss with the tunnel operators the feasibility of installing nitrogen dioxide monitors inside the tunnels, will the Administration inform this Council whether:

(a) it will consider bringing in regulatory control on the level of sulphur dioxide as well as other pollutants (such as suspended particulates and various hydrocarbons) inside road tunnels; if so; what the details are; if not, why not; and

(b) it will adopt other measures to improve the air quality in all road tunnels to a standard conforming to the guidelines laid down in the Practice Notes?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) We will consider the need for legislation to ensure the consistent application of the air quality standards set out in the Practice Notes to all road tunnels. The development of new legislation will, however, require time. In the meantime, and as set out in my reply to a question from the Hon Choy Kan-pui on 26 June 1996, tunnels operators are already required, either by legislation or by contract terms, to monitor the level of carbon monoxide in the tunnels. They are also required to monitor visibility as well. The levels of carbon monoxide and visibility, together with nitrogen dioxide, are sufficiently indicative of the air quality inside the tunnels.

55

(b) A new ventilation system with nitrogen oxides monitors has recently been installed in the Lion Rock Tunnel and action is in hand to upgrade the air quality monitoring facilities in the Airport Tunnel. We are also assessing the air quality situation in the other Government tunnels and upgrading work will be implemented if necessary. For franchised tunnels, the Administration will continue to discuss with the tunnel operators compliance with the air quality requirements set out in the Practice Notes issued by the Environmental Protection Department. A trial scheme to improve the air quality in Tate's Cairn Tunnel is being conducted with the agreement and co-operation of the tunnel operator. Subject to the outcome of the trial, we will work together with the tunnel operator to implement the necessary air quality improvement measures as a matter of priority. In the longer term, as noted above, we will also consider the need for legislation to ensure consistent application of the air quality standards set out in the Practice Notes to all tunnels.

End

Insurance policy for aided and caput schools

*****

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

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the coverage and the premium of the comprehensive insurance policy on public liabilities taken out by the Government for all subsidised schools in the territory; and

(b) given the inadequate protection which students participating in extracurricular activities or studying at schools located in the vicinity of potentially dangerous slopes can get in case of accidents, whether the Government will consider increasing the insured amount and extending the coverage of the insurance policy taken out for these schools, so as to raise the amount of compensation payable to those who suffer injury or death in accidents?

56

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The Block Insurance Policy for all Aided and Caput schools covering the period from 1 September 1995 to 31 August 1997 was taken out by the Government at a premium of over $3.5 million.

The Block Insurance Policy includes three components: public liability insurance, employees’ compensation insurance and group personal accident insurance. The coverage of each component is set out below:

Public liability insurance: This covers the insured school's legal liability for damages in respect of bodily injury to students and other persons (other than employees of the insured school), and loss of or damage to property caused by an occurrence in school and/or educational activities organised by the Education Department or the insured school. The maximum insured sum is HK$7.5 million per occurrence and unlimited in aggregate during the period of insurance.

Employees’ compensation insurance: This covers bodily injury by accident or disease arising out of and in the course of employment by the insured school during the period of insurance. The maximum insured sum is HKS200 million per insured school for each and every event.

Group personal accident insurance: This covers accidental death and disablement benefit to each student provided that such accident occurs while the student is participating in a school activity. The maximum sum insured is HK$20,000 each student for each and every loss.

(b) Government is considering to increase the maximum sums insured in respect of the public liability insurance and group personal accident insurance. We hope to come to a decision soon. However, we do not see the need to review the employees’ compensation insurance in respect of which the maximum sum insured is in line with the statutory requirement under the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance (Cap 282).

End

57

Rear seat passengers safety belt requirement exemption

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Selina Chow and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Gordon Siu, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The Government has introduced legislation requiring passengers in rear seats of private cars to wear seat-belts. Exemption is only given to those who have been certified by competent persons and verified by the Transport Department (TD) as unfit for wearing seat belts. In connection with this, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the criteria adopted by the TD in verifying recommendations made by

competent persons for certain individuals to be exempted from wearing seat belts;

(b) how the TD will ensure that there is no disparity in treatment in exercising its discretionary powers;

(c) whether the Government will consider relaxing the requirement for wearing rear seat belts, such as streamlining or even abolishing the procedure of granting exemption through the TD so that certification for exemption made by competent persons can be accepted instead; and

(d) how the Government will educate the public, particularly parents and pregnant women, on the safety measures in wearing rear seat belts?

Reply:

Mr President,

Under Regulation 10 of the Road Traffic (Safety Equipment) Regulations, any person may apply to the Commissioner for Transport for an exemption from wearing seat belts.

(a) In dealing with such applications, the Transport Department would consider the reasons put forward by the applicant, including his/her physical condition and other relevant factors such as the advice of a registered medical practitioner. The written advice from a registered medical practitioner is not a mandatory requirement but it would help facilitate processing an application.

58

(b) To ensure that all cases are dealt with fairly, the Transport Department has drawn up guidelines for processing exemption applications. These guidelines cover the range of conditions and reasons which can be put forward by applicants for exemption, how the applications are to be substantiated, e.g. by a medical practitioner, and how the applications are processed within the Department.

(c) As to arrangements for seeking exemption from wearing seat belts, the Transport Department will review the matter after gathering more experience in processing exemption applications before deciding whether to introduce new procedure.

(d) Since the end of 1995, the Transport Department has been publicising and educating motorists and passengers on the rear seat belt requirement through information leaflets and the Road Safety Quarterly which are distributed through schools, District Offices, Transport Department Licensing Offices, petrol stations, etc. As from May 1996, announcements have also been made on television and radio to publicise the matter. In addition, the Road Users’ Code which is distributed free to all applicants of driving tests is being updated to include diagrams illustrating the proper wearing of seat belts and the use of seat belts for children and pregnant women.

End

Out-patient services

*****

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

Question:

With regard to the out-patient services provided by the Department of Health and the Hospital Authority respectively in the past three years, will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the respective numbers of patients seeking treatment and their attendance in each year: and

59

(b) the respective average cost per out-patient visit and its cost structure (including staff salaries, costs for drugs and laboratory tests etc.) in each year?

Reply:

The number of patient attendance in the past three years are:

Year Department of Health (General Out-patient) Hospital Authority (Specialist Out-patient)

1993/94 3,970,000 4,709.713

1994/95 4,010,000 5,273,162

1995/96 4,200,000 5,851,232

The average cost per patient attendance in the last three years are:

Year Department of Health Hospital Authority (General Out-patient) (Specialist Out-patient)

1993/94 1994/95 1995/96 $152 $340 $175 $386 $191 $422

The cost structure of out-patient services in the last three years are:

Department of Health (General Out-patient)

1993/94 $ 1994/95 $ 1995/96 $

Staff cost 104 121 134

Drug cost 14 15 16

Other charges (including 34 39 41

laboratory expenses and other supporting services)

152 175 191

- 60 -

Hospital Aut_h.Qiily

(Specialist Out-patient)

1993/94 1.9.94/25 1995/96

$ $ $

Staff cost 231 270 296

Drug cost 68 73 80

Other charges (including 41 43 46

laboratory expenses and other supporting services)

340 386 422

End

Range of services to divorcing couples *****

Following is a question by the Hon Choy Kan-pui 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 divorce cases in the territory in the past three years, and the breakdown by year of the number of cases involving women from mainland China and other overseas countries, together with the country of origin of those women from overseas;

(b) of the breakdown by year of the number of people under the age of 18 affected by parental separation in the divorce cases mentioned in (a) above; and

(c) whether the relevant departments provide counselling and assistance to the affected parties in divorce cases and their family members?

61

Reply:

The number of divorce cases filed in the past three years is 8,626, 9,272 and 10,292 for 1993, 1994 and 1995 respectively. Statistics giving the breakdown by the country of origin of the women involved and the number of people under the age of 18 affected by parental separation are not available.

The Social Welfare Department (SWD) provides a wide range of services and assistance to divorcing couples and their families. Marriage counselling is recommended with the objective of saving the marriage and to ease the family distress caused by crises in marital relationships. Family caseworkers will also help divorcing couples understand the impact of separation or divorce on their children, and emphasise to them the need to make the family relationship work. SWD’s Child Custody Services Unit also provides intensive casework service on child custody and guardianship matters arising from divorce cases. Other welfare services such as financial assistance, housing assistance, child care services, psychological counselling and other family support services will also be provided to couples and their children as appropriate. Referrals to the Legal Aid Department will also be made if divorcing couples are in need of legal assistance.

End

Employment visas issued to top five nationalities ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Law Cheung-kwok and a written reply by the acting Secretary for Security, Mrs Carrie Yau, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the number of work permits which have been issued to foreigners of different nationalities, and the number of applications for such permits which have been rejected, in each of the past three years; and

(b) the breakdown of the foreigners who have been granted work permits by trade, type of work, age and pay, in each of the past three years?

62

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) Under the general policy on entry for employment, the number of employment visas issued and applications refused in the past three years, with breakdowns on the top five nationalities, (not including those granted to contract workers and foreign domestic helpers) are as follows:

Year Nationality No Issued No Refused

1993 Japanese 2,456 101

USA 2,280 177

Australian 1,069 205

Taiwanese 1,056 261

Philippines 1,022 399

Others 6,988 1,225

Total 14,871 2,368

1994 USA 3,017 164

Japanese 2,931 71

Philippines 1,205 253

Taiwanese 1,068 237

Australian 1,058 77

Others 6,952 1,227

Total 16,231 2,029

1995 Japanese 3,141 66

USA 2,604 108

Philippines 976 276

Australian 878 136

Taiwanese 833 97

Others 7,606 2,549

Total 16,038 3,232

1996 Japanese 747 30

(Jan-Mar) USA 595 21

Philippines 265 89

Australian 270 14

Taiwanese 240 10

Others 1,641 276

Total 3,758 440

Note: Under the "Nationality" Column, some examples of "Others" are Thailand. South Korea, India, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

63

(b) For the employment visas issued, we do not have breakdown by trade, age, or pay. A breakdown by profession in each of the past three years is as follows:

1996

Profession 1993 1994 1995 (Jan-Mar)

Technical professionals 2,786 2,485 2,967 479

Administrators, managers and professional 6,863 7,017 6,550 1,843

Others 5,222 6,729 6,521 1,436

Total 14,871 16,231 16,038 3,758

Note: Under the "Profession” Column, some examples of "Others" are accountants, consultants, designers, journalists, lecturers, etc.

End

Importation of labour for new airport and related projects ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Leung Yiu-chung and a written 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 :

(a) it has estimated the job opportunities which the construction of the second runway of the new airport will create for the territory;

(b) the labour importation quotas set for the new airport and related projects will still apply to the second runway project; if not, whether it will increase the labour importation quotas for the latter project; and

64

(c) in deciding if the labour importation quotas should be increased, the Government will take into account both the present unemployment situation in the territory and the occurrence of incidents in which foreign workers imported under the Special Labour Importation Scheme for the new airport projects were subjected to wrongful deduction of wages?

Reply:

The objective of the Special Labour Importation Scheme for the New Airport and Related Projects (SLIS) is to facilitate the timely completion of the new airport and related projects by allowing contractors of such projects to import workers for job vacancies which they are genuinely unable to fill by local workers within a specified timeframe. To protect the employment opportunities of local workers, the SLIS is operating on the principle that local workers are given priority in filling job vacancies and that they should not be displaced by imported workers. The SLIS covers all projects related to the new airport. Contractors who have been awarded works contracts for such projects are eligible to apply for imported workers under the scheme.

My reply to the specific parts of the questions is as follows:

(a) According to the Airport Authority's assessment, the construction of the second runway and associated works on the northwest concourse of the terminal will require up to approximately 1,000 workers at the peak of the construction work.

(b) The second runway is a new airport-related project which falls within the ambit of the SLIS. Given the small total number of workers required for the construction of the second runway and associated works on the northwest concourse of the terminal relative to the existing quota ceiling of 17,000 under the Scheme, it would not be necessary to increase the quota ceiling for this purpose.

(c) We have no plans to increase the quota ceiling under the SLIS despite the possible need for imported workers arising from the second runway project. If the contractors of the second runway and associated works on the northwest concourse of the terminal wish to apply for imported workers under the SLIS, they have to comply fully with all the existing rules and procedures of the Scheme.

End

65

Senior Citizen Card Scheme ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Fred Li Wah-ming and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

With regard to the operation of the Senior Citizen Card Scheme (the Scheme), will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether it will conduct a comprehensive review of the Scheme since the Scheme has been implemented for two years;

(b) of the regular publicity campaigns by the Social Welfare Department to promote the Scheme;

(c) how business organisations are invited to participate in the Scheme;

(d) whether consideration will be given to the automatic issue of Senior Citizen Cards to the Elderly through the Immigration Department;

(e) whether there is any mechanism to monitor those business establishments which have pledged to offer concessionary services to the elderly in order to ascertain if such establishments have honoured their pledges; and whether there is any channel for the elderly to lodge complaints against those organisations which fail to provide concessionary services in accordance with their pledges; and

(f) whether the Home Affairs Department has made use of its regional network (such as the regional consultative organisations throughout the territory) to promote the Scheme; if so, what promotional activities have been organised; if not, why not ?

66

Reply:

(a)

(b)

(c)

(d)

By the end of June 1996, 427,699 applications from elderly people, representing about 70% of the elderly population, had been received by the Social Welfare Department Senior Citizen Card Office. 423,320 cards have been issued and the remaining applications are being processed. So far, 424 companies and organisations with a total of 2,133 outlets have joined the Scheme to offer concessions and/or priority services to senior citizens. Regular reviews and monitoring of the Scheme are carried out by Social Welfare Department. As the Scheme has operated smoothly so far, a comprehensive review is not considered to be necessary.

Application forms and promotional posters are available to the public at service counters of various Government Departments and nongovernmental organisations. Promotional programmes, exhibitions and publications are also provided at district level and the Senior Citizen Card Ambassador Programmes further assist in promoting the Scheme.

Business organisations are invited to participate in the Scheme by invitation letters, telephone contacts, etc. In addition, Senior Citizen Card Ambassador Programmes have recently been organised on a trial basis at district level. Through these programmes, elderly people as well as volunteers act as ambassadors and personally invite business organisations at district level to join the Scheme to offer concessions and priority services to the elderly. So far, more than 50 organisations have been recruited under these programmes. In view of its achievements, this promotional strategy will continue to be used.

The right to disclose the personal data of individuals is limited by the need to protect that person’s privacy. The Immigration Department holds information on individuals' age as a result of the registration of persons but this is done for purposes which do not include the issue of Senior Citizen Cards. The Registration of Persons Ordinance and its subsidiary regulations prohibit the disclosure of a registered person’s particulars. The release of personal data kept by the Immigration Department for the purpose of issuing Senior Citizen Cards could be regarded as an arbitrary interference with privacy and would thus breach Article 14 of the Bill of Rights. Moreover, such disclosure of information would also breach the provisions of legislation on data protection which is soon to come into effect. Given these considerations, it would not be appropriate to use such information without the consent of the individual concerned.

67

It is far preferable for elderly people to be given the free choice whether or not to apply for a Senior Citizen Card on the understanding that the personal data they supply when applying will be used solely for the issue of the Card.

(e) Participation of business organisations in the Senior Citizen Card Scheme is entirely voluntary as the objectives of the Scheme are to raise community respect and concern for elderly people. If elderly people find that certain companies do not honour their pledges, they can make direct complaints to the companies concerned. The Social Welfare Department is also prepared to relay such complaints to the companies concerned and to seek clarification as and when necessary.

(f) Since the introduction of the Scheme in 1994, the Home Affairs Department has been actively assisting the Social Welfare Department in the promotion of the Scheme through its close relationship with District Boards and extensive local liaison network. Publicity efforts have been and will continue to be made on the following fronts:

(i) application forms and publicity materials for the Scheme are distributed at the Public Enquiry Service Centres run by Home Affairs Department in all 18 of their districts;

(ii) to help make the Scheme more widely known at the district level, these forms and materials are also sent to Area Committees, Rural Committees, Mutual Aid Committees, Owners Corporations and other district organisations. District Office staff have also helped promote the Scheme during their day-to-day contacts with local residents; and

(iii) the Home Affairs Department has been assisting the Social Welfare Department in appealing to District Boards for support. The opportunity has been taken to promote awareness of the Scheme in many community building programmes organised by District Offices, District Boards or local organisations for the elderly.

The public in general and elderly people in particular are well aware of the Scheme. The Home Affairs Department will continue to help the Social Welfare Department in attracting even higher patronage and more sponsorship for the Scheme.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, July 11,1996

Contents Page No.

Public views invited on residential property market report................. 1

Dutiable Commodities (Liquor) Regulations to be amended.................... 1

Government committed to meeting new arrivals' needs........................ 2

Government action on US textiles measures supported........................ 4

Liberalised market for trade in services attainable........................ 5

External trade statistics by country and commodity for May............. 9

Senior Naval Officer to take salute at Sea School......................... 19

Inquiry into barge accident ordered....................................... 19

STI attend APEC trade ministers meeting................................... 20

Parents urged to keep in touch with school................................ 21

123 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flight............................. 22

Monitors' Report submitted to CS.......................................... 22

Plover Cove visitor centre re-open........................................ 23

Outstanding schools athletes won awards................................... 23

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

1

Public views invited on residential property market report ♦ ♦ ♦ * *

The Government today (Thursday) welcomes the publication of the Consumer Council's competition study report on the Hong Kong residential property market.

"We welcome the completion of the Consumer Council's study and will examine the recommendations in the report in detail with a view to publishing a government response by January 1997," a government spokesman said.

"In the meantime, we welcome comments on the report from the general public, as well as interested parties in the property sector."

Members of the public may send their views on the report in writing to the Housing Branch on ninth floor, Citibank Tower, 3 Garden Road, Central before the end of August.

End

Dutiable Commodities (Liquor) Regulations to be amended ♦ * * ♦ ♦

Amendments will be made to the Dutiable Commodities (Liquor) Regulations to remove its gender connotation, a government spokesman said today (Thursday).

"This will make the regulations compatible with the Sex Discrimination Ordinance which is expected to come into operation in September," the spokesman said.

The current regulations impose restrictions on the employment of female employees under the age of 18 years in liquor selling premises. Following the amendments, both male and female employees will be treated on the same basis.

Linder the amendment regulation, the employment of all persons under the age of 18 years will be prohibited in liquor selling premises between 8 pm and 6 am.

2

Furthermore, the employment of this age group of persons is prohibited in liquor selling premises between 6 am and 8 pm except with the written permission of the respective Municipal Council.

The amendment regulation will be published in the Gazette tomorrow and will become effective on the same day.

End

Government committed to meeting new arrivals' needs ♦ * * ♦ *

The Government is committed to continue identifying the needs of new arrivals and exploring new measures to meet these needs, the Director of Home Affairs, Mrs Shelley Lau, said today (Thursday).

Speaking at the luncheon meeting of Y's Men Club of Hong Kong, Mrs Lau said the Administration aimed to assist new arrivals to integrate into the community as quickly, smoothly, and seamlessly as possible through a host of dedicated and general services meant to aid them in their integration process, with the Home Affairs Department (HAD) playing a vital co-ordination role in easing their process of integration.

Noting that the Administration was wary of the adverse effect of "labelling" new arrivals as a distinct group who has a separate set of entitlement to services, Mrs Lau said new arrivals, like other Hong Kong residents, were entitled to a wide range of general services which include social welfare, education and health care.

She stressed that the Government was aware that for some of these newly arrived members, adjustment to Hong Kong could be a challenge and they needed assistance with settling in and with orienting themselves in a society which might be very different from that to which they were accustomed - different in terms of language, system, way of life and pace.

She said: "In this connection, dedicated services meant to assist new arrivals to quickly adapt to the local way of life and to meet their special needs are offered to them by various government departments in addition to the general services which are available to all Hong Kong residents.

3

"The Education Department, for example, has set up a Central Placement Unit to assist new arrival children to gain admission to a school in a location convenient to them and at a suitable educational level as soon as possible.

"It also subvents a number of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in providing special induction and extension programmes to help new arrival children to know more about the Hong Kong living environment.”

Noting that HAD had been tasked with the direct responsibility for monitoring and assessing the services provided for new arrivals from China in order to ease the process of integration, Mrs Lau said the department was making the best efforts to put in place mechanisms to assess the needs of these new members and to ensure that the service providers were meeting those needs in the best possible way and that services were targeted at areas where they were most needed.

To implement these work targets, she said, a steering committee under her chairmanship and comprising representatives of relevant policy branches and departments had been established to serve as a forum for liaison and exchange of information among branches and departments concerned.

It also identifies new areas of need and explores new measures to meet the special needs of new arrivals.

Mrs Lau said the steering committee also invited representatives of NGOs to attend meetings on a need basis.

"Although still in the early days of its work, the committee will be making recommendations to departments concerned for better deployment of resources to target their services and to the central government for additional resources where it identifies such a need," she said.

Pointing out that a similar inter-departmental committee had also been set up in each of the 18 District Offices, Mrs Lau said through the district liaison network and frequent contacts with local associations and residents, district officers were ideally placed to identify problem areas early and to reflect these difficulties to the steering committee in the form of comprehensive reports on the situation at the district level every two months.

And in order to establish profiles of new arrivals, HAD had been conducting a survey on them since February at the Registration of Persons’ Office in Tsim Sha Tsui when they apply for their identity cards.

4

"Information pertaining to their age, sex, dialects, and the districts in which they have settled is being compiled. These information will be useful in allowing the Home Affairs Department to determine their social, educational and welfare needs.

"The findings will also be fed to each of the 18 District Offices for further monitoring and assessing purposes and to enable the departments concerned to plan for their services at the district level," said Mrs Lau.

The director also paid regular visits to meet new arrivals attending orientation or education programmes and discuss with service providers the various problems which new arrivals face and the effectiveness of services rendered.

To enhance understanding of the problems facing new arrivals, she and colleagues of relevant departments have also taken every opportunity to participate at seminars or forums organised by NGOs.

Finally, Mrs Lau said HAD had produced a comprehensive service handbook to introduce to new arrivals the public services most relevant to them and the means to access them.

Written in simplified Chinese characters, the handbook is available at various contact points, including Lo Wu, Registration of Persons’ Office in Tsim Sha Tsui, district offices, and at the sub-offices of various government departments and NGOs.

End

Government action on US textiles measures supported *****

The Textiles Advisor}' Board (TEXTAB) today (Thursday) re-affirmed its full support for the Government’s effort in requesting additional import measures imposed unilaterally by the United States on a number of textiles and clothing products from Hong Kong should be rescinded.

Speaking after the TEXTAB meeting, the Secretary for Trade and Industry, Miss Denise Yue, who is also the Board Chairperson, said members of the Board also re-affirmed their advice that the US proposal for joint verification could affect the integrity of Hong Kong's custom jurisdiction, and was therefore unacceptable.

5

“However, we want to co-operate with the US to enhance our common efforts against illegal transhipment and remain willing to discuss other ways of co-operation in place of joint verification and the other unilateral measures that the US has imposed on us," Miss Yue said.

"We will therefore repeat these points to the US and hope that they can understand our position and agree to further consultations on the basis of such understanding, so that the two sides can come to a mutually acceptable solution.

"We will also tell the US that in view of the increasing adverse impact on our trade as a result of the US measures, we are anxious to take the next steps to protect our trading interests as soon as possible."

Miss Yue pointed out that Hong Kong would also make clear to the US that while a bilateral settlement was preferred, it could not wait forever.

"Therefore, unless we have a positive response from the US within a reasonable period of time, we will have no option but to start formal WTO action without any further delay," she added.

End

Liberalised market for trade in services attainable *****

While disappointed at how little has been achieved through the four extended tracks of service negotiations conducted under the auspices of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Hong Kong still believes that a fully liberalised international market for trade in services is attainable through a multilateral agreement, hopefully at the not too distant future.

The Deputy Director-General of Trade, Mr Tam Wing-pong, who represented Hong Kong at the WTO service negotiations, said this today (Thursday) when he addressed a luncheon meeting of the Rotary Club of Hong Kong Bayview.

Mr Tam said the lacklustre results of the four tracks of extended negotiations -on movement of natural persons, financial services, basic telecommunication services, and maritime transport services - had drawn much criticism from commentators world-wide.

6

"We must recognise that there is a vast gap in the varied stages of development of the service industries in the developed and the less developed economies which perhaps could not be easily bridged by a multilateral agreement," he said.

"I could understand why many developing economies are still reluctant to open their service market for fear of irresistible invasion by foreign and more advanced suppliers which would overwhelm their newly developed industries, and why developed economies are wary of committing to keep their markets open while the potentially lucrative markets in the developing camp remain closed to them.

"This is particularly relevant to financial services, basic telecommunication services and maritime transport services where huge markets are involved.

"And yet the main purpose of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) is just to overcome such problems to help forge a free service market," said Mr Tam.

Reviewing Hong Kong's participation in WTO negotiations, Mr Tam said one observation was that perhaps the time was not yet ripe for a full-fledged multilateral agreement on these sectors.

"Another observation is that the extended negotiations were carried out sector by sector, quite unlike the comprehensive negotiation practice adopted during the Uruguay Round," he said.

"While this sectoral approach could allow greater focus on the liberalisation of that particular sector, it also reduced the scope for compromise through give-and-take across different sectors.

"Besides, negotiations were more susceptible to the powerful lobbying by their domestic industries, obvious in the case of US for financial services and basic telecommunication services."

In his address, Mr Tam gave a brief account on the latest position of the four tracks of service negotiations required by the Uruguay Round.

He said the negotiation on movement of natural persons was completed with an agreement in July last year which allowed temporary entry of persons to provide services, subject to national immigration rules.

The negotiations on financial services which aimed at dismantling trade barriers in the financial sector, have ended in a temporary agreement.

7

Just before the negotiation deadline of June 30 last year, Mr Tam recalled, the United States who has all along advocated for an open market for financial services decided that she would not commit to opening the US market to new entrants because, in her view, the offers made by some WTO members were inadequate.

After sustained lobbying and intensive deliberations to salvage the negotiations, an interim agreement was reached on July 28, 1995, whereby participants, including Hong Kong, made binding offers to provide access to their markets on a MFN basis without the US.

’’The negotiations on basic telecommunication services are still in a limbo,” Mr Tam said.

Again towards the end of the negotiations, he continued, representatives of the US raised two issues which they claimed would prevent them from coming to a full agreement if they were not resolved satisfactorily.

The two issues involve accounting rate and satellite services and are highly complicated and technical in nature.

"Admittedly more time is needed to study them in depth before reaching any possible resolution.

"However, it is generally understood that the US was not happy with the offers other negotiating parties have put on the table and wanted more time to urge them to come up with improved offers," Mr Tam said.

"In the end, an agreement was reached on April 30 this year that negotiations will continue until February 15, 1997, so that sufficient time would be available to work out satisfactory solutions to the two outstanding issues and to allow more time for more improved offers to be made.

"Although there is not yet a formal agreement at the moment on this track of negotiation, the comfort is that offers to liberalise basic telecommunication markets will remain on the table during this interim period and will become effective on January 1, 1998."

On negotiations on maritime transport services, Mr Tam said this track of negotiation was doomed from the beginning with no offer from the US as the US was not convinced that the offers from other participants were meaningful for a full-fledged multilateral agreement.

8

’’However, due to the reluctance of participants to accept a total failure in the negotiations, it was agreement that the negotiation be suspended but resumed in 2000 together with the new round of services negotiations,” he said.

"In the meantime, participants were urged to maintain their offers on the table with the MFN obligation suspended until the conclusion of the resumed negotiations."

Together with other WTO members, Mr Tam said, Hong Kong is taking stock on the result reached at the four tracks of service negotiation.

"At the first ministerial conference of the WTO to be held in Singapore in December this year, ministers will have the opportunity to take a critical look at the whole question of trade in services negotiations and give the necessary impetus and political steer for further work on this very important area of world trade." he added.

Recapping Hong Kong’s gains from these negotiations, Mr Tam said on the general level, Hong Kong had now a much better understanding of the global operation of the three major services sectors which would help in making better preparation whenever the negotiations resume.

"More specifically, we have secured the commitment of a number of countries to open up their financial services market to Hong Kong," Mr Tam said.

"As for basic telecommunication services, the signals we have received so far from several major players have been positive about a fruitful outcome to be achieved on completion of the extended negotiation next February.

"We still have a long way to go to a fully liberalised international market for trade in services, but we shall no doubt get there, hopefully not too far in the future because the first step towards this direction has been taken which is irreversible."

End

9

External trade statistics by country and commodity for May ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Detailed statistics on external trade with breakdown by country/territory and commodity for May are released by the Census and Statistics Department today (Thursday).

In May 1996, the value of re-exports grew moderately, by 3.8% over a year earlier to $100.3 billion, while the value of domestic exports decreased by 12% to $17.6 billion. Taken together, the value of total exports showed a small positive growth of 1.1 % to $ 117.9 billion.

Nevertheless, the more modest export performance in May 1996 was affected to a considerable extent by the high base of comparison in May last year. Meanwhile, imports decreased by 2.6% to $129.9 billion.

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

Comparing May 1996 with May 1995, increases were recorded in the value of re-exports to Japan (+17%), the United Kingdom (+16%), South Korea (+11%), France (+8.5%), Germany (+7.8%), the Netherlands (+4.1%), China (+3.9%) and Singapore (+1.2%).

However, the value of re-exports to Taiwan and the United States decreased by 7.9% and 2% respectively.

Comparing the first five months of 1996 with the same period in 1995, increases were recorded in the value of re-exports to Japan (+28%), the United Kingdom (+15%), France (+14%), Germany (+11%), China (+11%), the Netherlands (+9.9%), Singapore (+9.2%) and South Korea (+6.7%).

However, the value of re-exports to Taiwan and the United States decreased marginally, by 0.6% and 0.4% respectively.

Taking all destinatibns together, the value of re-exports in the first five months of 1996 was $458.9 billion, 8.9% 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 five months of 1996 with the same period in 1995, the value of re-exports of most principal commodity divisions rose.

10

More notable increases were registered for electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $6.3 billion or 15%); office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $5.2 billion or 24%); clothing (by $3.4 billion or 11%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of baby carriages, toys, games and sporting goods (by $2.7 billion or 5.7%); photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies, optical goods, watches and clocks (by $2.4 billion or 12%); and footwear (by $2.2 billion or 9.3%).

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 $431 million or 1%).

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

Comparing May 1996 with May 1995, the value of domestic exports to most main destinations showed decreases of various magnitudes: France (-27%), Canada (-25%), Taiwan (-18%), the Netherlands (-18%), the United States (-16%), China (-11%), Singapore (-9.2%), Germany (-8.8%) and Japan (-0.7%).

The value of domestic exports to the United Kingdom nevertheless increased by 2.5%.

Comparing the first five months of 1996 with the same period in 1995, the value of domestic exports to the United Kingdom and Taiwan increased by 4.7% and 0.7% respectively.

Decreases were recorded in the value of domestic exports to the United States (-10%), Singapore (-9.7%), Canada (-8.6%), France (-7.8%), the Netherlands (-7%), Germany (-5.2%), China (-2.9%) and Japan (-2%).

Taking all destinations together, the value of domestic exports in the first five months of 1996. at $82.4 billion, decreased by 5.9% over the same period in 1995.

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

Comparing the first five months of 1996 with the same period in 1995, increases in the value of domestic exports were registered for electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $1.4 billion or 12%); and machinery specialised for particular industries (by $146 million or 12%).

11

Over the same period, decreases in the value of domestic exports were recorded for office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $2.2 billion or 28%); clothing (by $1.5 billion or 6%); telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $849 million or 20%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of jewellery, goldsmiths' and silversmiths' wares (by $543 million or 7%); and photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies, optical goods, watches and clocks (by $465 million or 6.9%).

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

Comparing May 1996 with May 1995, decreases were recorded in the value of imports from Germany (-19%), Japan (-15%), Taiwan (-14%), South Korea (-10%), the United States (-2.7%) and Singapore (-0.1%).

However, the value of imports from Italy, Malaysia, the United Kingdom and China increased by 16%, 5.9%, 5.8% and 5.6% respectively.

Comparing the first five months of 1996 with the same period in 1995, increases were recorded in the value of imports from Malaysia (+24%), Italy (+22%), the United Kingdom (+17%), Singapore (+11%), the United States (+10%), China (+6.3%), Germany (+3.6%) and South Korea (+2.2%).

However, the value of imports from Japan and Taiwan decreased by 5.9% and 1.9% respectively.

Taking all sources together, the value of imports in the first five months of 1996, at $610 billion, increased by 4.7% over the same period in 1995.

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

Comparing the first five months of 1996 with the same period in 1995, increases in the value of imports were registered for electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $8.4 billion or 12%); office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $5.9 billion or 23%); clothing (by $2.4 billion or 6.7%); general industrial machinery and equipment, and machine parts (by $1.8 billion or 9.5%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of baby carriages, toys, games and sporting goods (by $1.5 billion or 4%); and telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $1.4 billion or 2.6%);

12

Over the same period, a decrease in the value of imports was recorded for textiles (by $2.3 billion or 4.1%).

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 May 1996 will be released in early August.

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

The May issue of the Hong Kong External Trade, with detailed analyses on the performance of Hong Kong's external trade in May 1996, will be on sale at $129 per copy around July 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.

13

TABLE 1 : RE-EXPORTS TO TEN MAIN DESTINATIONS

DESTINATION MAY 1996 MAY 96 OVER JAN-MAY 1996 JAN-MAY 96 OVER

MAY 95 JAN-MAY 95

(HKD Mn.) (% CHANGE) (HKD Mn.) (% CHANGE)

CHINA 37,067 + 3.9 167,729 + 10.7

UNITED STATES 19,450 - 2.0 ♦ 83,952 - 0.4

JAPAN 6,115 + 16.7 32,043 + 28.0

GERMANY 3,990 - 13 -+ 7.8 18,750 + 11.2

UNITED KINGDOM 3,005 + 16.3 12,632 + 15.3

TAIWAN 2,364 - 7;9

10,874 - 0.6

SINGAPORE 2,403 + 1.2 10,738 + 9.2

SOUTH KOREA MAY 1,873 + 10.7 96 OVER

FRANCE (H&W) ■ (5 CHANGE) {M3.} + 13.6 •>. CHANGE)

NETHERLANDS 1,416 ~ 1 + 4.1 6,948 + 9.9 ♦ 10.7

U; i X '!'£ L' ST AT E S I 19,4r 4 • w

JAPAN > 6,115 + 16.7 32,043 * 28.0

GERMANY 3,990 + 7.8 18,750 + 11.2

UNITEf KINGDOM 3,005 * 16.3 12,632 ♦ 15.3

TAIWAN 2,354 - 77$ 10;874 - 0.6

SINGAPORE. 2,403 + 1.2 10,738 + 9.2

j SOUTH KOREA 1,873 +‘io,.,7 S,;=5 + er. 7

FRANCE , .1,645 + ,8.5 7/ 373 ♦13.6

NETHARIANZ I 1^415. 6,94 ♦ 9.9

14

TABLE 2 : RE-EXPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION MAY 1996 (HKD Mn.) MAY 96 OVER MAY 95 (% CHANGE) JAN-MAY 1996 (HKD Mn.) JAN-MAY 96 OVER JAN-MAY 95 (% CHANGE)

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY BABY CARRIAGES, TOYS, GAMES AND SPORTING GOODS) 11,769 + 2.9 50,497 + 5.7

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 10,632 + 5.0 48,844 + 14.8

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 9,699 + 9.9 44,517 - 1.0

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 9,134 + 1.7 39,012 + 2.4

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 7,357 + 8.1 35,884 + 10.6

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 5,724 + 16.0 27,037 + 23.9

FOOTWEAR 5,101 + 3.9 25,731 + 9.3

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 4,619 + 3.5 21,519 + 12.4

TRAVEL GOODS, HANDBAGS AND SIMILAR CONTAINERS 3,353 + 2.7 14,460 + 4.4

GENERAL INDUSTRIAL MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT, AND MACHINE PARTS 3,388 + 14.5 13,811 + 10.7

15

TABLE 3 : DOMESTIC EXPORTS TO TEN MAIN DESTINATIONS

DESTINATION MAY 1996 (HKD Mn.) MAY 96 OVER MAY 95 (% CHANGE) JAN-MAY 1996 (HKD Mn.) JAN-MAY 96 OVER JAN-MAY 95 (% CHANGE)

CHINA 5,422 - 11.3 24,229 - 2.9

UNITED STATES 4,175 - 15.7 19,197 - 10.1

JAPAN 1,027 - 0.7 4,839 - 2.0

SINGAPORE 912 - 9.2 4,535 - 9.7

GERMANY 933 - 8.8 4,115 - 5.2

UNITED KINGDOM 879 + 2.5 3,911 + 4.7

TAIWAN 544 - 18.3 2,977 + 0.7

NETHERLANDS 341 - 17.7 1,740 - 7.0

CANADA 260 - 24.5 1,427 - 8.6

FRANCE 195 - 26.5 1,087 - 7.8

16

TABLE 4 : DOMESTIC EXPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION MAY 1996 (HKD Mn.) MAY 96 OVER MAY 95 (% CHANGE) JAN-MAY 1996 (HKD Mn.) JAN-MAY 96 OVER JAN-MAY 95 (% CHANGE)

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 5,079 - 10.9 22,857 - 6.0

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 2,476 - 9.2 13,046 + 11.8

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY JEWELLERY, GOLDSMITHS' AND SILVERSMITHS' WARES) 1,662 - 4.4 7,165 - 7.0

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 1,326 - 12.9 6,266 - 6.9

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 1,092 - 25.7 5,695 - 28.0

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 1,311 - 4.3 5,640 - 1.8

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 653 - 25.8 3,391 • - 20.0

MANUFACTURES OF METALS 376 - 21.7 1,729 - 7.0

PLASTICS IN PRIMARY FORMS 296 - 29.1 1,626 - 15.0

MACHINERY SPECIALIZED FOR PARTICULAR INDUSTRIES 248 - 8.2 1,314 + 12.5

17

TABLE 5 : IMPORTS FROM TEN MAIN SUPPLIERS

SUPPLIER MAY 1996 (HKD Mn.) MAY 96 OVER MAY 95 (% CHANGE) JAN-MAY 1996 (HKD Mn.) JAN-MAY 96 OVER JAN-MAY 95 (% CHANGE)

CHINA 48,802 + 5.6 215,572 + 6.3

JAPAN 15,996 - 14.5 84,623 - 5.9

TAIWAN 10,835 - 13.6 50,661 - 1.9

UNITED STATES 11,358 - 2.7 49,302 + 10.3

SINGAPORE 6,653 - 0.1 34,074 + 10.8

SOUTH KOREA 6,861 - 10.1 31,152 + 2.2

MALAYSIA 2,689 + 5.9 13,804 + 24.2

GERMANY 2,605 - 18.6 13,731 + 3.6

UNITED KINGDOM 2,819 + 5.8 13,337 + 17.1

ITALY 2,524 + 15.9 12,480 + 22.3

18

TABLE 6 : IMPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION MAY 1996 (HKD Mn.) MAY 96 OVER MAY 95 (% CHANGE) JAN-MAY 1996 (HKD Mn.) JAN-MAY 96 OVER JAN-MAY 95 (% CHANGE)

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 15,908 I o • Io 78,028 + 12.1

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 10,939 - 3.6 56,756 + 2.6

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 12,590 - 5.3 53,368 - 4.1

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY BABY CARRIAGES, TOYS, GAMES AND SPORTING GOODS) 8,811 - 1.9 38,900 + 4.0

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 8,224 + 7.0 37,575 + 6.7

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 7,215 + 27.1 31,377 + 23.1

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 5,073 - 8.8 25,256 *

FOOTWEAR 4,669 + 6.2 22,417 + 6.5

GENERAL INDUSTRIAL MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT, AND MACHINE PARTS 4,464 + 3.3 21,056 + 9.5

NON-METALLIC MINERAL MANUFACTURES 3,663 - 7.8 17,757 - 1.5

* DENOTES LESS THAN 0.05%

End

19

Senior Naval Officer to take salute at Sea School ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Chief of Staff and Senior Royal Naval Officer at the British Garrison, Captain Peter Melson, will take the salute at a passing out parade at the Hong Kong Sea School, Stanley, tomorrow (Friday).

Due to the withdrawal of British Forces in June 1997, this will be the last time a Royal Naval Officer will take the salute and it is a particular honour for Captain Melson as 1996 sees the school celebrating its 50th anniversary.

After the parade inspection and march past, Captain Melson, who serves as an observer on the school's Board of Management, will then present some of the 72 boys, all age 16, with trophies and certificates marking their academic achievements and performances throughout the year.

The Hong Kong Sea School was established in 1946 to enable orphans and street children to obtain a basic education and learn seamanship and stewardship skills for employment at sea.

Today the students are boys who have all chosen to be educated in a variety of practical skills including, mechanical engineering, office practice and language training as well as the discipline of seamanship.

This year it was the only secondary school to participate in the International Dragon Boat Race at Sha Tin and took top honours, breaking the course record and beating all university and post secondary college teams.

End

Inquiry into barge accident ordered ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The acting Director of Marine, Mr S Y Tsui, has ordered a Local Marine Inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the collision of a barge with the South Tsing Yi Bridge early this (Thursday) morning, a Marine Department spokesman said.

Senior Surveyor of Ships, Mr Lee Kwok-ping and Marine Officer, Mr Lau Ka-kau, have been appointed to be the Inquiry Officers.

20

The 45-metre barge lost control after the tow wire linking her to a tug broke. She drifted and subsequently her mast rammed into the South Tsing Yi Bridge.

Part of the handrail on the bridge about 10 metres in length was damaged.

No oil spill was reported and no one was injured in the collision.

End

STI to attend APEC trade ministers meeting ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Secretary for Trade and Industry, Miss Denise Yue, will represent Hong Kong at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) Trade Ministers Meeting to be held in Christchurch, New Zealand, on July 15 and 16.

The main purpose of the meeting is to formulate initiatives on trade and investment liberalisation that APEC economies as a group will advocate at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference to be held in Singapore in December.

’’APEC has already set itself the ambitious goal of achieving free flow of goods, services and investment within the Asia-Pacific region by 2010/2020. APEC wishes the rest of the world to catch up by pursuing further multilateral liberalisation,” Miss Yue said.

’’The Singapore Conference will be a very important meeting for the WTO and for sustaining the momentum of trade liberalisation. The Conference is the first ministerial meeting of the WTO since its establishment in 1995, and will chart the future course for global trade liberalisation.

"We hope to produce at Christchurch an APEC position on the future direction and work programme of the WTO that will lift the levels of debates and decision at the Singapore Ministerial Conference."

The Christchurch meeting will also review progress made on the preparation of individual action plans by APEC member governments to liberalise their trade and investment regimes.

21

Last November in Osaka, economic leaders of APEC adopted an action agenda on the basis of which each APEC member must formulate within 1996 its own action plan to achieve the APEC free trade goal.

While in Christchurch, Miss Yue will also meet bilaterally with ministers from other APEC member economies to exchange views on trade and economic issues of mutual interest.

APEC is an informal forum for high level govemment-to-govemment dialogue on trade and economic issues, and at present comprises 18 members.

Besides Hong Kong, other members are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand and the USA.

End

Parents urged to keep in touch with school *****

Parents' role does not stop in the family. They also play a key role in helping the school to help their children.

Officiating at the 18th Annual Graduation Day of Holy Family Canossian College today (Thursday), the Director of Education, Mrs Helen C P Lai Yu, encouraged parents to take the initiative to keep in touch with the school and to have a clearer idea of the progress of their children.

Mrs Yu said the parents helped in moulding the character and shaping the behaviour of their children in the family and it was, therefore, crucial for them to acquire and to improve parenting skills.

She said what parents could and should afford was time and presence and believed that mutual trust would facilitate confidence and provide a firm foundation for parents to offer timely advice, guidance and encouragement to their children.

Mrs Yu, at the same time, stressed the important part played by parents in the

school.

22 i

"It is impossible for teachers, however keen and committed, to see to every aspect of the development of individual students. It is necessary for parents, it is incumbent upon parents, to recognise their responsibility and to shoulder it with the assistance of school," she said.

The Education Department recognises the importance of parents' contribution to school education and management and thus, has set up a Home-School Cooperation Committee and a home-school co-operation unit to assist schools and parents in founding and running parent-teacher associations.

End

123 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flight *****

A group of 123 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) returned by air to Hanoi, Vietnam today (Thursday) on the 45th flight under the Orderly Repatriation Programme (ORP).

All of the returnees, comprising 56 men, 28 women, 20 boys and 19 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 group brought to 4,006 the total number repatriated on ORP flights since November 1991.

End

Monitors' Report submitted to CS *****

The monitors appointed to observe the Orderly Repatriation Programme operation this (Thursday) morning have submitted their report to the Chief Secretary.

The two monitors comprised a non-official Justice of the Peace, Mr Chau How-chen; and a representative from a non-governmental organisation, Ms Nadine de Lamotte from Medecins Sans Frontieres.

End

23

Plover Cove visitor centre re-open ♦ * * ♦ ♦

The Plover Cover Country Park Visitor Centre will be re-open for public use after being shut down for renovation work.

An Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) spokesman said it had been closed for necessary maintenance and re-introduction of new exhibits.

The renovated centre is now ready to provide services for visitors together with four others centres in country parks in Aberdeen, Tai Mo Shan, Clear Water Bay and Shing Mun as well as the Lions Nature Education Centre, Sai Kung.

The spokesman said a number of facilities and exhibits were installed in visitor centres for educational purpose.

Among the standard facilities are an audio-visual room, a reception area, a nature comer and many colourful photographs concerning the respective country park and its unique features.

All visitor centres are open daily, except Tuesdays, between 9.30 am and 4.30 pm.

No advance booking is required for tours to these centres by individual visitors. But availability for group visits may be confirmed by telephoning AFD’s Conservation Education Unit on 2733 2121.

End

Outstanding schools athletes won awards ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

Twenty student athletes will be presented with the School Outstanding Athlete Awards tomorrow (Friday) for their remarkable performance and sportsmanship in the schools international and interport competitions in the 1995-96 school year.

The list of Schools outstanding athletes is as follows:

24

Swimming:

Secondary Boys Secondary Girls Primary Boys

- Tsui Lap-yin (St Joseph's College)

- Wong Hoi-tik, Heidi (Belilios Public School)

- Lam Cheuk-ho (Hennessy Road Government Primary

AM School)

Cross Country:

Secondary Boys - Ho Hoi-to (STFA Tam Pak Yu College)

Secondary Girls - Li Yin-yee, Ali (Good Hope School)

Table-tennis:

Secondary Boys - Tang Kwok-kei (Kiangsu-chekiang College)

Primary Girls - Li Yuen-ching (PLK Chong Kee Ting Primary AM)

Badminton:

Secondary Boys - Liu Kwok-wah (Kiangsu-chekiang College)

Secondary Girls - Chan Mei-mei(Buddhist Kok Kwong Secondary School)

Athletics:

Secondary Boys - Wan Tat-yung (Diocesan Boys' School) Leung Tat-wai (Jockey Club Ti-Yi College)

Secondary Girls - Hung Lai-hong, Wendy (Diocesan Girls' School)

Primary Boys - Wu Man-chiu (HK.SYC and IA Chan Lai So Chun Memorial School)

Basketball:

Secondary Boys - Leung Kwok-shing (YL Lutheran Secondary School)

Secondary Girls - Chan Yin-ling (Ying Wa College)

Primary Boys - Tse Kwok-fu (Kwong Ming School AM)

Football:

Secondary Boys - Fung Ka-ki (Jockey Club Ti-Yi College)

Primary Boys - Tse Chun-hei (PLK Chee Jing Yin Primary School)

25

Volleyball:

Secondary Boys - Ngai Chun-kuen (La Salle College) Secondary Girls - Ho Ka-yan (Belilios Public School)

At the same time, two student ambassadors have also been selected to represent Hong Kong in the Atlanta Olympic Youth Camp.

The award presentation and a farewell reception for the student ambassadors are organised by the Education Department and the Hong Kong Schools Sports Council.

The Director of Education, Mrs Helen C P Lai Yu,and the President of ASF and OC of Hong Kong, Mr A de O Sales will officiate at the ceremony.

End

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

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,769 0930 + 195

Closing balance in the account 1,833 1000 +195

Change attributable to : 1100 + 190

Money market activity +189 1200 + 190

LAF today - 125 1500 +190

1600 +189

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.5 *+0.0* 11.7.96

26

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.04 2 years 2805 6.30 99.89 6.46

1 month 5.14 3 years 3904 6.30 98.89 6.85

3 months 5.30 5 years 5106 7.23 99.42 7.51

6 months 5.48 7 years 7305 7.60 99.45 7.85

12 months 5.92 5 years M502 7.30 99.02 7.71

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $15,625 million

Closed July 11, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Friday, July 12, 1996

Contents Page No,

Charging royalty on advertising revenue appropriate....................... 1

Criticism of Architectural Services Department not justified.............. 1

Application for HCFCs free quota invited.................................. 3

1997 Lunar New Year fireworks display approved............................ 4

98 new adjudicators of Obscene Articles Tribunal appointed................ 5

Energy Advisory Committee chairman appointed.............................. 6

1,264 sites checked in special industrial safety drive.................... 7

Cross border shuttle bus services to be introduced........................ 8

Board amends Tsuen Wan West Outline Zoning Plan........................... 9

Employment and vacancy statistics for March........................... 10

Contents

Page No,

Weather of June.............................................................. 15

Tenders invited for three architectural projects......................... 18

Tenders invited for sewage treatment works................................... 19

Prequalification of sewage treatment and disposal facilities................. 20

Village flood protection works planned for Yuen Long......................... 21

Tenders for dredging works invited........................................... 21

Tenders invited for works at Tai O.................. ........................ 22

Quarterly business receipts indices for service industries................... 23

Deadline for returning survey questionnaires................................. 27

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations......................... 28

I

Charging royalty on advertising revenue appropriate ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

A spokesman for the Broadcasting, Culture and Sport Branch today (Friday) rejected TVB’s claim that there was no longer any basis for charging royalty on advertising revenue earned by the commercial television broadcasters.

He said the privilege enjoyed by TVB and ATV of broadcasting directly to viewers made their licence far more valuable than those for other television services.

’’Broadcast frequencies provide the most cost-effective way for television licensees to reach their viewers and generate advertising revenue.

’’Since TVB and ATV enjoy the exclusive right to make use of the limited broadcast frequencies available, it is entirely appropriate that they should pay higher royalties than licensees who are not permitted to use broadcast frequencies,” he added.

The spokesman further pointed out that the reduction in royalty rates proposed by the Government would result in a substantial reduction for both TVB and ATV, who had already benefited from a cut in 1993.

End

Criticism of Architectural Services Department not justified ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

In response to media enquiries concerning earlier criticism of the Architectural Services Department with regard to Urban Council capital projects, a department spokesman said today (Friday):

’’The Architectural Services Department does not accept that there exists a lack of supervision or monitoring of contractors and consultants, or in the supervision of the progress of works under construction. The specific case of the Jordan Valley Swimming Pool project which was mentioned by councillors has proceeded more slowly than anticipated partly due to the main contractor’s financial difficulties, and also because of inclement weather and variations to works after construction had started which were necessary and which are not abnormal during the course of construction of capital works.

2

’’Monthly site meetings attended by architects from this department were held throughout the construction period, and since November 1995 special efforts have been made to monitor the performance of the contractor with bi-weekly meetings and additional special meetings with the contractor to try and ensure that the pools are completed and ready for public use this summer.

"Ninety-eight per cent of the work has now been completed and a special arrangement will be made to ensure the opening of the pools in mid August 1996. The problems experienced by the contractor are not unusual in the construction industry.

"There are currently 43 Urban Council projects under construction of which only eight or 19 per cent are behind schedule. This is a reasonable figure which for the Urban Council mirrors the Department’s general programme for the rest of the Government.

"Whilst the delay in the Jordan Valley Swimming Pool project is unfortunate, supervision and monitoring of the contractor has always been strictly in accordance with the contract and there has been no dereliction of duty on the part of members of this department.

"Under the Memorandum of Administrative Arrangements between the Government and the Urban Council, a figure of 16 per cent is charged based on the construction cost of projects for the work of various government agencies. This covers not only the work of Architectural Services Department in designing, supervising and constructing projects, and arranging maintenance works, but also the work of other departments such as Buildings Department, Lands Department, and Legal Department.

"It also covers the processing of tenders through the Central and Public Works tender boards, and accounting procedures for monitoring and paying for the works. Architectural Services Department also provide technical advice on potential projects without charge.

"The 16 per cent is an agreed charge and is designed to recover the costs of work performed, not to make a profit. A recent calculation indicated that for small Urban Council projects, the actual cost to Architectural Services Department is as high as 23 per cent. However, there is no intention to change the basis of the charge as this is considered a reasonable average for the work performed.

"While Urban Councillors may feel that they can obtain cheaper services by employing consultants, they may not realise that a special section will have to be set up in Urban Services Department to monitor and supervise the consultants, and they will still need the additional services mentioned above, which will then have to be charged separately.

3

"Consultants will be needed not only for architectural services, but also for structural, building services, quantity surveying, site supervision and project management.

"In the long run, it is unlikely that any overall saving can be achieved by employing consultants, and Urban Council will lose the expertise of the government's building agency which constructs all other buildings for Government and thereby has a wealth of professional and specialist experience from other projects that can be brought to bear on Urban Council projects as well.

"The Department accepts that difficulties can occur during construction of projects. Most of these can be foreseen or overcome quickly but some are sometimes out of both its own and the contractor's control and it is then a question of finding the right solution and minimising delays.

"While the Architectural Services Department regrets any delays to projects, and is always constantly striving to improve its services to the public, it feels that it has made its best efforts to overcome difficulties and meet schedules in the Jordon Valley Swimming Pool project, and using one single project as a general criticism of all the department's services is unfair and unwarranted..

"The Department would welcome the opportunity to meet Urban Councillors to review the system and explain the position both in regard to the Jordan Valley Swimming Pool, and regarding the Capital Works Programme in general."

End

Application for HCFCs free quota invited ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

The Gazette today (Friday) published a notice inviting applications for phase II allocation of free quotas for the retained imports of 34 types of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) for the year.

"To protect the ozone layer and to meet the requirements of the Montreal Protocol, the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) is implementing a quota system to control the local consumption of HCFCs," Senior Environmental Protection Officer, Mr Chan Mai, said.

4

"According to the latest adjustment of the protocol, the ozone depleting HCFCs used in Hong Kong in 1996 should be no more than the equivalent of 2,526 tonnes of HCFC-22 (the most commonly used HCFC).

"The consumption level of HCFCs would be further reduced in phases to zero in the year 2030,” he said.

Importers with proven records of retained imports of HCFCs are allocated with normal quotas while new traders and end-users who wish to import HCFCs directly from abroad are allocated with 50 per cent of the free quota available in the phase I allocation.

To cater for the subsequent needs of all traders and end-users, the remaining 50 per cent of free quota will be allocated in the phase II allocation.

However, normal quota holder who has transferred out 10 per cent or more of his holding in 1996 shall not be eligible to apply.

Applications for phase II free quotas should be submitted in person by August 9 to EPD's Air Management Group on 33rd floor, Revenue Tower at 5 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai. Late applicationa will not be accepted.

Application forms and further details regarding the quota system can be obtained from the above address or by telephoning 2594 6242 or 2594 6243.

End

1997 Lunar New Year fireworks display approved *****

The Fireworks Vetting Committee has endorsed the application from Guangdong Enterprises (Holdings) Limited to stage a fireworks display of about 23 minutes during the Lunar New Year in 1997, a spokesman for the Broadcasting, Culture and Sport Branch announced today (Friday).

The display will be staged over Victoria Harbour from 8 pm on Saturday, February 8, 1997, the second day of the Lunar New Year.

In case of inclement weather, the display will be postponed to the following day - the third day of the Lunar New Year.

5

The coming display will be the 16th Lunar New Year fireworks display sponsored by the private sector since 1982. As on similar previous occasions, the Urban Council will co-organise the event.

"We are delighted that with this sponsorship, the community will once again be able to enjoy the spectacle of a fireworks display during the Lunar New Year festivities," the spokesman said.

End

98 new adjudicators of Obscene Articles Tribunal appointed ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

The Chief Justice has appointed a total of 98 members to the panel of adjudicators of the Obscene Articles Tribunal (OAT) and the appointments were gazetted today (Friday), a spokesman for the Judiciary said. Of the new appointees, 60 are female and 38 male. After the addition, the enlarged panel will have a total of 174 adjudicators comprising 98 male and 76 female members.

On their age profile, about half of them aged between 21 to 40 and the other half from 41 to 60.

Nominated by the Broadcasting, Culture and Sport Branch, the adjudicators come from a wide cross-section of the community and different professions.

They include administrators, managers, teachers, professionals, technicians, blue collar workers, social workers, arts-related and media workers to housewives and students.

The tenure of the new members will be for a period of three years which took effect today, the spokesman said.

End

6

Energy Advisory Committee chairman appointed ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Professor Charles Kao Kuen has been appointed as Chairman of the newly formed Energy Advisory Committee, which will advise the Government on energy policy matters.

Professor Kao, an electronics engineer by profession, has received numerous scientific and technical awards for his work in fibre optics from academic and other institutions around the world. He will retire shortly as Vice-chancellor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, a position he has held since October 1987.

Commenting on the appointment, the Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Stephen Ip, said he was very pleased that Professor Kao had agreed to chair the committee.

’’Professor Kao is a distinguished scientist, engineer and administrator with a wealth of knowledge and experience to call upon in leading a committee to advise the Government on energy policy,” he said. Joining Professor Kao as members will be 13 other non-official members, including experts in the energy field, representatives of the business sector and the Consumer Council and community personalities. The Secretary for Economic Services, the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands and the Director of Electrical and Mechanical Services will also be members of the new committee.

The Government’s intention to establish an Energy Advisory Committee was announced on February 12 in response to the report of the Consumer Council on competition in the domestic water heating and cooking fuel market.

The terms of reference of the Committee are to advise the Government on energy policy, including policy matters concerning energy supply and demand and energy conservation and efficiency, and other related matters referred to it by the Administration.

The full membership of the committee is as follows:

Chairman: Professor Charles Kao Kuen

Members: Mr Michael Corbyn

Mr Jim Dale

Professor Peter Hills Dr Joseph Choi Lam Mr Lam Wai-kwun Mr Dennis Lau Wing-kwong

7

Mr Edmund Leung Kwong-ho

Dr Ng Cho-nam

Mr Otto Poon Lok-to

Mr Clement Tao Kwok-lau

Dr Tsang Shu-ki

Mr Justein Wong Chun

Mr Wong Kai-man

Secretary for Economic Services or representative Secretary for

Planning, Environment and Lands or representative Director of Electrical and Mechanical Services or representative

The appointments, which are for a two-year term from July 15, are published in the Gazette today (Friday).

End

1,264 sites checked in special industrial safety drive *****

More than 110 factory inspectors of the Labour Department involved in the territory-wide special industrial safety operation checked 396 more construction sites in the past week. The total number of sites inspected so far reached 1,264.

A total of 117 summonses would be issued to building contractors for breaching industrial safety laws as a result of the operation. The total number of summonses to be issued under the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance has increased to 384 up to yesterday (Thursday).

The special task force comprising 10 factory inspectors inspected another 59 sites in the third week and recommended the issuing of 36 summonses.

Another 100 factory inspectors engaged in the special inspection exercises, which was completed yesterday, checked 337 more sites and recommended the issuing of 81 summonses.

The breaches detected over the third week related mainly to failing to provide suitable working platforms or scaffolds; failing to provide proper fencing of dangerous places; failing to ensure the use of personal protective equipment by workers and failing to provide adequate safety measures in the use of lifting appliances. These were similar to the previous two weeks' findings.

8

’’Although the special inspection exercise has concluded for the time being, our factory inspectors will maintain regular inspections on building sites and carry out surprise checks at any time,” a Labour Department spokesman said.

He urged the contractors and workers to observe the site safety laws and take all necessary safety measures.

End

Cross border shuttle bus services to be introduced * * * * ♦

In response to press enquiries about the Cross Border shuttle bus services, a spokesman for the Transport Department said today (Friday):

’’The Shenzhen and Hong Kong authorities have positively worked together to introduce the shuttle bus service between Lok Ma Chau and Huanggang.

"The shuttle service will be operated by a joint-venture bus company which has already been formed by one each of Hong Kong-based and Shenzhen-based operator.

"The shuttle service will commence once certain formalities, such as those in relation to travel documents to be issued to the Chinese drivers, have been completed.

"All concerned parties have been working hard on the matter with a view to introducing the cross-border shuttle bus service between Lok Ma Chau and Huanggang earliest possible. "The shuttle bus service will provide an additional choice for cross border passengers.

"At present, passengers mainly use rail service to cross the border at Lo Wu Station which will remain the major border crossing point.

"Passenger flow at Lo Wu border is not particularly heavy in normal days. Although the flow is heavy during peak seasons, concerned government departments will deploy additional staff to cope with the demand. So far the arrangement has been working satisfactorily."

End

9

Board amends Tsuen Wan West Outline Zoning Plan *****

The Town Planning Board today (Friday) announced an amendment to the draft Tsuen Wan West Outline Zoning Plan.

The amendment is to incorporate an area of about 0.7 hectare which is covered by two existing nullahs into the 'comprehensive development area' zone in Sham Tseng, Tsuen Wan. The inclusion will facilitate the decking of the nullahs and thus improve the general physical environment of the area.

The amendment plan (No S/TWW/6) is available for public inspection until September 12 during normal office hours at:

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

Tsuen Wan, Kwai Tsing and Sham Shui Po District Planning Office 27th floor, Tsuen Wan Government Offices 38 Sai Lau Kok Road, Tsuen Wan, New Territories; and

Tsuen Wan District Office first floor, Tsuen Wan Multi-Storey Carpark Building 174-208 Castle Peak Road, Tsuen Wan, New Territories.

Any person affected by the amendment plan may submit written objections to the Secretary of the Town Planning Board, c/o Planning Department, 13th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong, before September 12.

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

End

10

Employment and vacancy statistics for March *****

According to the figures released today (Friday) by the Census and Statistics Department, employment in all major service sectors increased in March 1996 compared with March 1995. Meanwhile, employment in the manufacturing sector remained on a downtrend, whereas employment at construction sites continued to register a notable year-on-year increase over the same period.

As labour supply became relatively more abundant, vacancies in the manufacturing sector and in the various service sectors surveyed recorded decreases of different magnitudes in March 1996 compared with March 1995. Vacancies at construction sites also dropped, after showing significant year-on-year increases for six consecutive quarters. Nevertheless, there were still around 48,900 vacancies in March 1996 for all major sectors surveyed taken together, somewhat higher than the 41,300 vacancies recorded in December 1995.

In terms of the number of persons engaged, the wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels sector was the largest, employing 1,027,000 persons in March 1996. This was followed by the financing, insurance, real estate and business services sector, with an employment of 378,800; the manufacturing sector, 351,500; the community, social and personal services sector, 302,800; and the transport, storage and communications sector, 175,200. Also, there were 68,800 manual workers at construction sites.

In terms of growth rate, employment at construction sites (for manual workers only) continued to show a notable increase, by 7.3% in March 1996 over March 1995. Employment also picked up in the transport, storage and communications sector, rising by 6.4%; the financing, insurance, real estate and business services sector, by 4.8%; and the community, social and personal services sector, by 1.9%. Employment in the wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels sector returned to a positive increase of 1.2%. On the other hand, employment in the manufacturing sector fell further, by 11.1%. 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 21,790 in March 1996. This was followed by the financing, insurance, real estate and business services sector, with 9.060 vacancies; the community, social and personal services sector, 7,720; the manufacturing sector, 5,930; and the transport, storage and communications sector, 3,450. Also, there were 940 vacancies for manual workers at construction sites. Job vacancy figures are shown in greater detail in Table 2.

11

Of the total of some 48,900 vacancies (other than those in the Civil Service) recorded in March 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 over three-quarters of the total number of vacancies in all the major sectors surveyed. Vacancy figures broken down by major occupation group are shown in Table 3. As these figures are compiled starting from June 1995, year-on-year comparisons are not yet available.

The above statistics for March 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 above statistics are available from the Quarterly Report of Employment, Vacancies and Payroll Statistics, March 1996 and the Quarterly Report of Employment and Vacancies at Construction Sites, March 1996. They will be available at HK$48 per copy and HKS19 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.

- 12 -

Table 1 : Employment figures and percentage changes bv selected major sector

Persons engaged (employment)

Percentage change

Selected major sector Mar. 95 Dec. 95 Mar. 96 Mar. 96 over Mar. 95 Mar. 96 over Dec, 95

Manufacturing 395 400 375 800 351 500 -11.1 -6.5

Construction sites (manual workers only) 64 100 68 500 68 800 + 7.3 +0.4

Wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels 1 015 100 1 018 200 1 027 000 + 1.2 + 0.9

Transport, storage and communications 164 600 172 200 175 200 + 6.4 + 1.8

Financing, insurance, real estate and business services 361 300 378 200 378 800 +4.8 +0.1

Community, social and personal services 297 200 302 000 302 800 + 1.9 +0.3

- 13 -

Table 2 : Vacancy figures and percentage changes bv selected major sector

Number of vacancies

Percentage change

Selected major sector Mar. 95 Dec. 95 Mar. 96 Mar. 96 over Mar. 95 Mar. 96 over Dec. 95

Manufacturing 9 100 5 520 5 930 -34.9 +7.3

Construction sites (vacancies for manual workers only) 1 860 1 040 940 -49.5 -9.6

Wholesale,retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels 27 810 17 710 21 790 -21.7 +23.0

Transport, storage and communications 3 780 2 310 3 450 -8.7 +49.6

Financing, insurance, real estate and business services 10 600 7 390 9 060 -14.6 +22.5

Community, social and personal services 9 120 7 300 7 720 -15.3 +5.7

- 14 -

Table 3 : Vacancy figures and percentage distribution by major occupation group

Major occupation group Number of vacancies in March 1996 Percentage distribution

(%)

Managers and administrators 1 160 2.4

Professionals 3 480 7.1

Associate professionals 8 510 17.4

Clerks 11 630 23.8

Service workers and shop sales 11 210 22.9

workers

Craft and related workers 2 590 5.3

Plant and machine operators 3 630 7.4

and assemblers

Elementary occupations 6 690 13.7

End

15

Weather of June

*****

Last month was the hottest June on record. The mean temperature of 28.8 degrees was the highest for the month of June and equalled the previous record set in 1977 and 1938.

The mean minimum temperature of 26.9 degrees and the mean maximum temperature of 31.2 degrees also ranked the third and seventh highest respectively for the month.

The monthly mean pressure of 1,008.8 hectopascals was the third highest for June with the dominance of the subtropical ridge over south China.

The total rainfall of 404 millimetres in the month was 28 millimetres above normal, making the accumulated rainfall since January 1 of 1,058.2 millimetres seven per cent above the normal for the same period.

The weather during the first week of the month was mainly fine with south to south-westerly winds.

On June 7. long sunny periods brought the temperature up to 33.2 degrees, the highest in the month. Winds turned easterly two days later and some brief but heavy showers occurred on the following morning.

However, sunny weather prevailed later during the day and temperatures rose to 33.2 degrees again on June 11.

Winds turned south-westerly that evening but backed to south-easterly on June 13 and it remained fine. The weather deteriorated the following day as showers and thunderstorms affected the territory in the afternoon. For the next two days, thundery weather continued with fresh gusty south-easterly winds.

The weather improved temporarily on June 17 with long sunny periods. It was cloudy again with some showers during the next three days. Winds turned more to the south and became fresh south-westerly on June 20.

A trough of low pressure formed across central China on June 19 and moved towards the south China coastal areas during the evening of June 21. It remained active and brought widespread heavy rain and thunderstorms to Hong Kong in the next few days.

- 16 -

Flash floods and minor landslides were reported on the early mornings of June 22 and 23. With overcast sky and almost continuous rain and showers during the day, temperatures dropped to 24.7 degrees on June 23, the lowest in the month.

Rain was heaviest on the early morning Of June 24 and flooding occurred in many places especially over the northern part of the New Territories.

Flood water was up to waist-deep in Sheung Shui and Fanling. About 90 hectares of farmland and many houses were inundated and agricultural loss was estimated at 3.5 million dollars.

Although rainfall generally decreased later that day, the northern part of the New Territories was again flooded in the early morning of June 25.

The weather, however, improved during the day as the trough of low pressure dissipated. Apart from some isolated thunderstorms early on June 28, the weather remained cloudy with isolated showers until the end of the month.

No tropical cyclones occurred in the western North Pacific and the South China Sea in the month. This is the first time since 1973 that the area was void of tropical cyclone activity in June.

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

17

Table 1.1 Warnings and signals in June

Wamings/Signals Effective date and time

Landslip warning Jun 22, 2315 -Jun 23, 1215

Flood warnings Jun 15, 1330-Jun 16, 1100 Jun 21, 2115-Jun 22,0145 Jun 22, 0600-Jun 22, 1115 Jun 22, 2220-Jun 23, 1000 Jun 24, 0415 -Jun 24, 1315 Jun 25,0100-Jun 25, 0445

Thunderstorm warnings Jun 9, 0930-Jun 9, 1330 Jun 14, 1130-Jun 14, 1330 Jun 14, 1500-Jun 14, 1815 Jun 14,2130-Jun 15,0730 Jun 15, 1300 -Jun 16, 1800 Jun 21, 2005 -Jun 22. 1900 Jun 22, 2145 -Jun 23, 0730 Jun 24. 0500-Jun 24, 1300 Jun 24, 2115-Jun 25, 0700 Jun 27, 2300 - Jun 28, 0700 Jun 29, 1030-Jun 29, 1230

18

Table 1.2 Figures and departures from normal - June

Total bright sunshine 192.1 hours; 31 hours above normal •

Mean daily global solar radiation 16.5 MJ/SQM; 0.05 MJ/SQM below normal

Total rainfall 404 mm; 28 mm above normal

Mean cloud amount 70%; 5% below normal

Mean relative humidity 79%; 3% below normal

Mean daily maximum temperature 31.2 Degrees Celsius; 0.9 Degrees Celsius above normal

Mean air temperature 28.8 Degrees Celsius; 1 Degrees Celsius above normal

Mean daily minimum temperature 26.9 Degrees Celsius; 1 Degrees Celsius

• Mean dew point above normal 24.7 Degrees Celsius; 0.3 Degrees Celsius above normal

Total evaporation 131.1 mm; 12.8 mm below normal

Remarks: All measurements were made at the Royal Observatory except sunshine, solar radiation evaporation which were recorded at King's Park.

End

Tenders invited for three architectural projects * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Architectural Services Department is inviting tenders for the construction of a new rehabilitation block at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kowloon.

The project will comprise the construction of a new four-storey extension block with a gross floor area of 3,350 square metres, and a link bridge connecting to the main hospital block, together with associated drainage and external works.

19

Works will commence in October for completion in September 1997.

Meanwhile, the department is also calling tenders for two separate projects which cover the conversion and extension works for a total of 12 existing aided schools.

Works for the schools will start in October 1996 for completion in August

1997.

Tender forms and further particulars of the three projects can be obtained from the Architectural Services Department, 34th floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.

Tender offers for all these projects will close at noon on August 2.

End

Tenders invited for sewage treatment works

*****

The Drainage Services Department is inviting tenders for extension and modification works for the Pillar Point Sewage Treatment Works.

The works include the construction of an outfall pumping station, gravity sewers and some ancillary and modification works to the existing sewage treatment works.

The works, when completed in September 1998, will enhance the operational efficiency of the treatment works and improve the water qualities off Urmston Road.

Tender forms and further particulars may be obtained from the Chief Engineer. Sewerage Projects Division, Drainage Services Department. 44th floor, Revenue Tower, 5 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai.

The tender closing date is noon on August 2.

End

20

Prequalification of sewage treatment and disposal facilities ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Drainage Services Department is inviting tenders to prequalify for the design and construction of the Sham Tseng Sewage Treatment Works and Submarine Outfall.

The project will involve the design, construction and commissioning of a sewage treatment works with a capacity of 14,000 cubic metres per day, together with associated sludge handling facilities, civil building works and a 350-metre submarine outfall.

The design and construction of the sewage treatment works is scheduled to begin in March 1997 for completion in about 32 months.

This contract forms part of the Ting Kau and Sham Tseng Sewerage, Sewage Treatment and Disposal Facilities Project.

When completed, all sewage in the coastal area from Ting Kau to Tsing Lung Tau will be collected and treated at the new sewage treatment plant before discharged into the sea. This will help improve the water quality along the western coastline of Tsuen Wan.

A notice inviting prequalification submissions was published in the Government Gazette today (Friday).

Pre-qualification documents can be obtained from Montgomery Watson Hong Kong Limited, 1911 Windsor House. 311 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay.

Completed prequalification submissions should be submitted before noon on August 23 this year.

End

21

Village flood protection works planned for Yuen Long

*****

The Government has proposed to carry out a series of flood protection works in San Tin, Yuen Long.

This is part of the Administration's continuous efforts to alleviate flooding problems in the New Territories, a government spokesman said today (Friday).

The flood protection works for San Tin villages will include the construction of a flood protection embankment with an ancillary maintenance road, a flood water storage pond, a pumping station and ancillary drainage facilities. To enable these works to be carried out, the government announced today plans to resume 28 private agricultural lots totalling at about 78,996 square metres in the vicinity.

Construction works will begin in October for completion in April 1999.

"Rehousing together with ex-gratia allowances will be available to eligible occupiers in accordance with current policy," said the spokesman.

Details of the lots affected are contained in a notice published in the Government Gazette today.

Plans can also be seen at the Yuen Long District Lands Office, ninth floor, Yuen Long Government Offices, and Tai Kiu Market, 2 Kiu Lok Square, Yuen Long.

End

Tenders for dredging works invited * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Civil Engineering Department (CED) is inviting tenders for the dredging of sea-bed to the south of Stonecutters Island.

The works will provide an anchorage area of about 695,000 square metres to accommodate four mooring buoys for the future naval base. The contract is expected to commence in October and will take about eight months to complete.

CED is also inviting tenders for the Pak Shek Kok reclamation for dumping, Stage 1.

22

The project includes the construction of about 1,000 metres long seawall, reclamation of about 14 hectares of seabed at Pak Shek Kok in Tolo Harbour by public dumping material and associated works. Works will commence in October for completion in February 1998.

Both projects have been designed and the construction will be supervised by the Port Works Division of the Civil Engineering Office of CED.

Tender forms and further particulars may be obtained from the Division's Chief Engineer, fifth floor, Civil Engineering Building, 101 Princess Margaret Road, Ho Man Tin, Kowloon.

Tender offers for both contracts will close at noon on August 2.

End

Tenders invited for works at Tai O *****

The Hong Kong Island and Islands Development Office of the Territory Development Office is inviting tenders for civil engineering works at Tai O, Lantau Island.

The contract will include the construction of 1.5-kilometre long intercepting sewers, pumping mains, two pumping stations and the reconstruction of road surface affected by the sewer laying works. Works will begin in October for completion in about two years.

A notice of the tender invitation was gazetted today (Friday).

Tender forms and further particulars can be obtained from the Consulting Engineers, Messrs Wilbur Smith Associates Limited, 18th floor, Kowloon Building, 555 Nathan Road, Kowloon.

The tender offer will close at noon on August 2.

End

23

Quarterly business receipts indices for service industries

*****

Business receipts in most of the service industries continued to show year-on-year increases in value terms in the first quarter of 1996, according to statistics released today (Friday) by the Census and Statistics Department. The banking industry registered the fastest growth, by 17%. The communications industry also grew by 15%.

The strong growth in business receipts in the banking industry was mainly attributable to an increase in net interest income while that in the communications industry was related to the rapid growth of mobile telephone services. Meanwhile, considerable increases in business receipts were also registered in the following services industries: storage (+13%); hotels (+12%); transport (+10%) and financing (except banking) (+10%).

Business receipts in import/export, retail, insurance and business services also increased, by 6%, 5%, 2% and 2% respectively.

On the other hand, business receipts in the wholesale industry dropped by 2% in value terms. This was due mainly to a decrease in business receipts in wholesale of raw materials and semi-manufactures as well as clothing, footwear and allied products.

Compared with the fourth quarter of 1995, business receipts in the financing (except banking) industry registered a strong growth of 16%. This was mainly due to an increase in the stock market turnover in the first quarter of 1996.

However, business receipts in many industries recorded decreases of varying magnitudes. This was probably affected to some extent by seasonal factors, as the first quarter of a year is usually the low season for trade-related activities such as wholesale, import/export, transport and storage.

Table 1 presents provisional business receipts indices for service industries for the first quarter of 1996 and revised indices for the fourth quarter of 1995, with the quarterly average of business receipts in 1992 taken as 100. Also tabulated are comparisons of the results of the first quarter of 1996 with those of the fourth quarter of 1995 and the first quarter of 1995.

Table 2 shows the time series of quarterly business receipts indices. Annual indices are also included.

24

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, First Quarter 1996. is now on sale at $8 per copy at the Government Publications Centre, 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.

- 25 -

Table 1 : Business Receipts Indices for Service Industries for 4th Quarter 1995 and 1st Quarter 1996

(Quarterly average of 1992 = 100) - 100)

Type of Service Industry 4th Quarter 1995 1st Quarter 1996 — 1st Quarter 1996 compared with 4th Quarter 1995 1st Quarter 1996 compared with 1st Quarter 1995

(Revised figures) (Provisional figures) (bwi») Points (fe) % Points (Si) %

Wholesale 136.2 121.0 - 15.2 - 11.2 - 2.9 - 2.3

Import / Export 157.7 137.0 - 20.7 - 13.1 + 8.4 + 6.5

Retail 138.8 138.9 # + 0.2 + 0.1 + 7.1 + 5.4

Hotels jgjj 183.9 159.9 - 24.1 - 13.1 + 17.1 + 12.0

Restaurants $£•££= <2) 117.6 119.8 + 2.1 + 1.8 + 3.7 + 3.2

Transport 154.7 141.9 - 12.8 - 8.2 + 13.4 + 10.4

Storage fig 130.3 119.3 - 11.0 - 8.5 + 13.5 + 12.7

Communications 170.0 162.8 - 7.2 - 4.2 + 20.9 + 14.8

Banking ftfj m 161.2 151.4 - 9.8 - 6.1 + 22.1 + 17.1

Financing (except banking) ^HKf^T^) W 146.8 170.6 + 23.9 + 16.3 + 15.9 + 10.3

Insurance 169.6 172.6 + 3.0 + 1.8 + 3.2 + 1.9

Business services 142.3 149.1 ♦ 6.8 + 4.8 + 2.6 + 1.8

Notes U &:

(1) Based on the survey results of the Monthly Survey of Retail Sales ttlf

(2) Based on the survey results of the Quarterly Survey of Restaurant Receipts and Purchases

(3) Business receipts data are obtained from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority

(4) Excluding investment and holding companies

# Revised figure

End

Table 2 ; Time Series of Quarterly Business Receipts Indices for Service Industries

(Quarterly Average of 1992 =100)

= 100)

Wholesale Import/Export Retail Hotels Restaurants Transport

fit® ft*®

Compared with Compared with Compared with Compared with Compared with Compared with

preceding year/aame preceding year/aame preceding year/aame preceding year/aame preceding year/aame preceding year/aame

Year Quarter Indices quarter a year ago Indices quarter a year ago Indices quarter a year ago Indices quarter a year ago Indices quarter a year ago Indices quarter a year ago

* * IBM IBM W.h^/.h^(S|?ttM IBM IBM IBM w±#/±*iwttM IBM

% % % % % %

1993 106.3 4 6.3 108.8 4 8.8 11X7 4 12.7 11X5 4 1X5 106.1 4 6.1 111.8 4 11.8

1994 121.0 ♦ 13.8 123.7 4 13.6 126.1 4 11.9 131.1 4 16.5 110.1 4 3.7 123.1 4 10.1

1995 125.0 4 3.3 142.5 ♦ 15.2 132.0 4 4.7 154.2 4 17.6 115.2 4 4.7 145.6 4 18.3

1994 1 108.4 ♦ 10.2 108.0 ♦ 12.0 123.4 4 17.9 121.3 4 19.9 114.3 4 15.2 112.2 4 10.4

2 111.6 ♦ 8.5 113.5 4 7.8 119.1 4 >0.7 124.1 4 18.0 105.1 4 7.0 111.0 4 13

3 129.2 ♦ 17.9 130.4 4 10.2 128.8 4 9.0 120.2 4 1X5 109.6 - 1.7 134.2 4 10.7

4 134.8 ♦ 17.7 142.7 ♦ 24.0 133.2 4 10.6 158.8 4 15.9 111.2 - 3.7 134.9 4 17.6

1995 1 123.9 ♦ 14.2 128.7 ♦ 19.1 131.8 4 6.8 142.8 4 17.7 116.1 4 1.6 128.6 4 14.6

2 117.5 ♦ 5.3 138.8 ♦ 22.2 124.0 4 4.2 145.3 4 17.1 110.8 4 5.4 141.5 4 27.4

3 122.4 - 5.3 144.6 4 11.0 133.4 4 3.6 144.9 4 20.6 116.4 4 6.2 157.4 4 17.3

4 136.2 4 1.0 157.7 4 10.5 138.8 4 4.1 183.9 4 15.8 117.6 4 5.8 154.7 4 14.7

1996 ' 1 • 121.0 - X3 137.0 4 6.5 138.9 H 4 5.4 159.9 4 1X0 119.8 4 3.2 141.9 4 10.4

Storage Communications Banking Financing (except banking) Insurance Business services

ft Kt

Compared with Compared with Compared with Compared with Compared with Compared with

preceding year/aame preceding year/aame preceding year/aame preceding year/aame preceding year/aame preceding year/aame

Year Quarter Indices quarter a year ago Indices quarter a year ago Indices quarter a year ago Indices quarter a year ago Indices quarter a year ago Indices quarter a year ago

* * IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM

% H % % % H

1993 98.5 - 1.5 118.8 4 18.8 116.6 4 16.6 148.7 4 48.7 119.3 4 193 1173 4 173

1994 106.6 4 8.2 136.1 4 14.5 122.5 4 5.1 1694 4 13.9 146.9 4 23.1 127.4 4 8.7

1995 125.1 ♦ 17.4 154.5 4 13.5 143.4 4 17.0 140.7 - 16.9 167.0 4 13.6 137.6 4 8.0

1994 1 95.1 - 9.5 129.5 4 20.6 116.9 4 6.9 219.6 4 101.0 150.2 4 30.7 125.6 4 33.8

2 106.1 ♦ 14.8 129.4 » ||.9 115.4 4 3.5 145.7 4 24.5 141.9 4 20.3 123.0 4 9.9

3 114.8 ♦ 13.6 135.7 4 11.8 120.6 - .1.1 157.9 4 7.6 146.4 4 203 130.8 4 7.9

4 110.3 ♦ 15.3 149.7 4 14.4 137.0 4 10.9 1543 - 30.3 149.1 4 21.7 130.3 - 8.3

1995 1 105.8 4 ||.2 141.9 4 9.6 129.3 4 10.6 154.7 - 29.6 169.4 4 12.8 1465 4 16.6

2 127.0 ♦ 19.7 149.6 4 15.7 138.8 4 20.4 139.2 - 4.5 160.3 4 12.9 123.8 4 0.7

3 137.4 ♦ 19.7 156.5 4 15.3 144.1 4 19.5 122.2 - 22.6 168.5 4 15.1 137.9 4 5.4

4 130.3 ♦ 18.1 170.0 4 13.5 161.2 4 17.7 146.8 - 4.9 169.6 4 13.8 14X3 4 9.2

19% 1 • 119.3 4 1X7 162.8 4 14.8 151.4 4 17.1 170.6 4 103 17X6 4 1.9 149.1 4 1.8

• : Provisional figure H : Rcvi aed figure fea TM#

I

N) CH

I

27

Deadline for returning survey questionnaires ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

The Census and Statistics Department today (Friday) reminded sampled establishments in the following surveys in respect of 1995 to return survey questionnaires to the department promptly:

* Annual Survey of Industrial Production;

* Annual Survey of Wholesale, Retail and Import and Export Trades, Restaurants and Hotels;

* Annual Survey of Building, Construction and Real Estate Sectors;

* Annual Survey of Transport and Related Services; and

* Annual Survey of Storage, Communication, Financing, Insurance and

Business Services.

These surveys are conducted annually by the department to collect up-to-date statistical data for evaluating the contribution of various economic activities to Hong Kong’s gross domestic product and for ascertaining their cost structure and operating characteristics.

The survey results are useful to both the government and the private sector in formulating policies and making decisions.

Questionnaires were mailed in April - May 1996 to about 25,000 establishments sampled for the 1995 surveys. The establishments concerned are required by law to return the completed questionnaires to the department by July 31.

The acting Commissioner for Census and Statistics, Mr. Joseph Lee, appealed to the managements of all sampled establishments to fulfil their legal and social responsibilities by returning promptly the completed questionnaires and co-operating with officers of the department in the course of the surveys.

Any person who is unable to return the completed questionnaire within the time specified is required to declare with reasons his inability in doing so. Those who fail to do so may be committing an offence.

28

Each questionnaire of these annual economic surveys has been so designed that respondents can complete it by themselves. If necessary, officers of the Census and Statistics Department, who carry a Government Identity Card and a certificate for conducting the respective surveys, will visit the establishments concerned to assist them in completing the questionnaires.

Mr. Lee pointed out that audited accounts are not essential for the supply of income and expenditure data required by the surveys. The Census and Statistics Department accepts figures based on preliminary accounts or estimates which are correct to the best of the respondents' knowledge at the time of submission of the questionnaire, if audited accounts are not yet available.

He also stressed that information relating to individual establishments would be treated in strict confidence under the Census and Statistics Ordinance. Only aggregated information that does not reveal details of individual establishments will be released.

End

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

Cumulative

$ million Time (hours) change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1.833 0930 + 122

Closing balance in the account 1,582 1000 +122

Change attributable to : 1100 + 122

Money market activity + 124 1200 + 124

LAF today -375 1500 +124

1600 +124

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.5 *+0.0* 12.7.96

29

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.05 2 years 2805 6.30 99.88 6.47

1 month 5.17 3 years 3904 6.30 98.91 6.84

3 months 5.32 5 years 5106 7.23 99.40 7.51

6 months 5.50 7 years 7305 7.60 99.50 7.84

12 months 5.94 5 years M502 7.30 99.18 7.66

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $7,081 million

Closed July 12, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Saturday, July 13,1996

Contents Page Nfe

Director-General of Industry to visit Toronto............................ 1

Grant from Disaster Relief Fund.......................................... 1

Contractors warned not to use fire-fighting water........................ 2

Pre-school services for handicapped children............................. 3

Radio shows to disseminate anti-drug message............................. 4

Flushing water cut in Tai Po............................................. 4

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations..................... 5

Sunday, July 14,1996

Contents Page No,

Lantau taxi fare increases............................................... 6

Tertiary students reminded to apply early for grants..................... 7

Fresh water cut in Yau Tong..........................................

I

- 1 -

Director-General of Industry to visit Toronto ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Director-General of Industry, Mrs Regina Ip, left Hong Kong today (Saturday) for a four-day visit to Toronto, Canada as part of the Industry Department’s effort to attract overseas industrialists to invest in Hong Kong.

On July 17, Mrs Ip will deliver a keynote speech on "Business Opportunities in Hong Kong beyond 1997" at a luncheon hosted by the Alliance of Manufacturers and Exporters Canada and the Hong Kong Canada Business Association.

The luncheon talk will be followed by a round table meeting during which Mrs Ip will discuss with members of the Alliance investment opportunities in Hong Kong's manufacturing industries.

Mrs Ip will call on senior officials of the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism of the Ontario Government to discuss investment issues.

Mrs Ip's itinerary also includes meetings with leading Canadian manufacturers and visits to a number of Canadian companies engaged in high technology production.

"Canada has a leading edge in several areas of manufacturing and is an important source of external investment in Hong Kong’s manufacturing industries. More contacts with the Canadian enterprises and officials will help promote external investment and technology transfer to Hong Kong," Mrs Ip said.

End

Grant from Disaster Relief Fund ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Disaster Relief Fund Advisory Committee (DRFAC) has today (Saturday) approved a grant of $3 million to Oxfam Hong Kong as a contribution to its relief programme for the flood victims in four counties in Guizhou, China.

The Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, who normally chairs the DRFAC but is currently on leave, has expressed concern over the extent of the damage caused by the recent floods in China. She was pleased to hear that the grant had been approved.

2

The Hong Kong Government will require Oxfam Hong Kong to submit an evaluation report and an audited account on the use of the grant to ensure that the money will be used for the designated purpose.

This is the first grant the Committee has approved for relief of the victims in the recent floods in China. "The Committee hopes that the grant will stimulate more responses from the public towards the cause," a Government spokesman said.

The Committee secretariat has received four other applications from the Salvation Army, Medecins Sans Frontieres, Hong Kong Red Cross and World Vision Hong Kong. These applications are being processed.

End

Contractors warned not to use fire-fighting water ♦ ♦ * * *

The Water Supplies Department today (Saturday) warned contractors that unlawful use of water from fire hydrants and any other fire fighting installations would be prosecuted.

"Once convicted, the maximum fine will amount to $5,000," said a spokesman for the department.

The warning was issued following eight recent court cases involving illegal connections to street fire hydrants by construction workers and illegal use of water from the hydrants for construction purposes. All offenders were convicted and fine totalling $51,800 was imposed.

In another case, a garage worker in Yuen Long was fined $1,800 for illegally altered the fire service installation in the garage and used the water for car-washing.

End

I

- 3 -

Pre-school services for handicapped children ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The objective of pre-school services for handicapped children is to facilitate their physical, mental and social development to the fullest extent their abilities permit.

This was stated by the Director of Social Welfare, Mr Ian Strachan, when he officiated at the opening ceremony of the Heep Hong Society Jockey Club Early Education and Training Centre in North District today (Saturday).

"The ultimate aim is to enable them to receive education in ordinary schools as far as possible and as early as possible.

"Early education and training centres (EETC) are designed particularly for children aged below two for this purpose," Mr Strachan said.

He said the government funded 17 EETCs with a total of 1,265 places operated by non-governmental organisations as at the end of May.

"We target at providing another 465 places by 1998-99," he said.

In addition to the various training programmes offered by a team of professional staff including social worker, physiotherapist and occupational therapist to the handicapped children, Mr Strachan said support programmes were also made available for parents at present.

"There are six parents resources centres and 19 centres providing occasional child care services to disabled children," he said, adding that these provisions were essential to parents with disabled children.

The new EETC opened today is the eighth of its kind operated by Heep Hong Society.

End

4

Radio shows to disseminate anti-drug message ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ »

Five radio shows will be staged at public housing estates in the coming summer holidays to disseminate the anti-drug message in an entertaining atmosphere.

Jointly organised by the Action Committee Against Narcotics, Housing Authority and Hit Radio of the Metro Broadcast, the first episode of the series will be kicked off at noon on Sunday (July 14) in Cheung Fat Shopping Centre, Tsing Yi.

The shows, open free to the public, will feature performances by Canto pop singers as well as quiz and games to encourage participation from the audience.

Through the anti-drug shows which target at youngsters and families, the audience will learn about the harmful effects of drug abuse, the misconception about drug abuse and how to lead a healthy lifestyle.

The other four radio shows will be held in Tai Wo Shopping Centre on July 21, Lok Wah (North) Estate on August 4, Siu Sai Wan Estate on August 25 and Long Ping Estate on September 8. The time is from 3 pm to 4.30 pm.

In order to reach more people, all five shows will be recorded and broadcast on Metro Hit Radio in the following Saturday from 11 am to noon.

End

Flushing water cut in Tai Po

*****

The flushing water supply to some premises in Tai Po Industrial Estate will be temporarily suspended from 6 pm on Tuesday (July 16) to 6 am the following day for conversion to salt water flushing to be carried out.

The suspension will affect all premises in Dai Fat Street, Dai Fu Street, Dai Shun Street, Dai Kwai Street, Dai King Street,Dai Wang Street, Dai Cheong Street, Dai Shing Street, Dai Li Street and Dai Hei Street.

End

- 5 -

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

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

Opening Balance in the account 1,582 09:30 +310

Closing Balance in the account 1,922 10:00 +310

Change Attributable to: 11:00 +310

Money Market Activity +310 11:30 +310

Laf Today +30

Laf Rate 4% Bid/6% Offer TWI 124.6 *+0.1* 13.7.96

End

- 6 -

Lantau taxi fare increases ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

The Transport Department announces today (Sunday) that the taxi fare on Lantau will be increased by 10 per cent from Friday (July 19).

The Lantau taxis’ flagfall charge for the first two kilometres (Km) and subsequent jumps for every 0.2 kilometre will be increased from $10 to $11 and from $1 to $1.1 respectively.

The waiting time charge for every one minute will also be increased from $1 to $1.1.

The surcharge for each large baggage, animal or bird carried will from the same time be increased from $4 to $5 while that for every hiring through telephone booking will remain unchanged at $5.

A Transport Department spokesman said that before the taxi meter was calibrated and sealed, a fare conversion table showing old and new fare scales would be displayed to avoid misunderstanding and confusion.

Lantau taxi owners can from tomorrow (Monday) collect the conversion tables by producing their taxi registration documents at:

the Islands District Office, Mui Wo Sub-office, ground floor, Mui Wo Government Offices, 2 Ngan Kwong Wan Road, Mui Wo, Lantau Island, and

the Public Vehicles Section, Transport Department, third floor. United Centre, 95 Queensway, Hong Kong.

End

7

Tertiary students reminded to apply early for grants ♦ ♦ ♦ * *

Children or dependants of fanning and fishing families in need of financial assistance for tertiary education are reminded to apply early for the Agricultural Products and Marine Fish Scholarship Funds.

A spokesman for the Agriculture and Fisheries Department said applications for the scholarship and grants will close on July 20 (Saturday).

Application forms are obtainable from the department’s headquarters on the 12th floor of Canton Road Government Offices, 393 Canton Road, Kowloon and from various district agricultural and fisheries liaison offices.

"Applicants should be Hong Kong residents under 30 years of age," the spokesman said.

"The awards will be tenable at any university in Hong Kong and any acceptable overseas institution."

Approved courses for tertiary education include those on agriculture, veterinary science, marine science and biology or any applied science directly relevant to the local agriculture or fisheries and related trades.

Enquiries about application procedures may be directed to the Secretary of the Agricultural Products and Marine Fish Scholarship Funds Advisory Committee on 2733 2244.

End

Fresh water cut in Yau Tong ♦ * * * ♦

The fresh water supply to some premises in Yau Tong will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm on Wednesday (July 17) to 6 am the following day to facilitate waste detection work on watermains.

The suspension will affect all premises in the areas of Ko Yee Estate, Ko Chun Court, Ko Chiu Road Home for the Aged and Yau Tong Centre.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Monday, July 15, 1996

Contents EageJiOx

Transcript of Governor’s media session............................. 1

Law Reform Commission publishes Report on Fraud.................... 3

Latest unemployment and underemployment statistics................. 4

Future PLA Garrison Commander to visit British Forces HK........... 6

Chevron marking trial scheme on Tolo Highway....................... 6

121 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flight...................... 7

Monitors’ Report submitted to CS................................... 8

Air Quality Report for June........................................ 8

Secondary Four places allocation should continue................... 9

Original thinking essential to education........................... 11

Water storage figure............................................... 11

Issue of 3-Year Exchange Fund Notes................................ 12

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

1

Transcript of Governor’s media session ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the transcript of the media session by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, on his return from London at the airport this (Monday) morning:

Governor: Good morning. I've had a very full and interesting visit to Brussels and London. While I was in Brussels, I had meetings with the President of the Commission, Mr Santer, the two Vice-Presidents and two of the Commissioners Senor Monti and Madam Gradin. The main purposes of my meetings in Brussels was first of all to discuss the extremely close economic and trading relationship between Europe and Hong Kong. And secondly, to take forward discussions on visa-free access for SAR passport holders. The situation is complicated in Europe. Both by the differences between the so-called Shenghen countries and the other members of the European Union, and by the fact that some European Union States give us present visa-free access to BDTC passport holders and presumably would do the same for BNO passport holders but have not given any indications about their positions on SAR passport holders. And other European Union countries don't give visa-free access to anyone from Hong Kong. What we are pressing for obviously in the first place is to secure as generous treatment of SAR passport holders as exists for BDTC passport holders and if we can accomplish that it would be an advance but we’ll obviously go for more than that in due course. It’s a question principally for individual member states, a point which the Chief Secretary and the Financial Secretary have made in the past and which I made again. So we’ve got quite a bit of lobbying in the capitals of the member states as well as in Brussels as such and we'll be doing as much as we can over the coming months in Europe as well as elsewhere in the world. It was gratifying a few months ago to secure agreement in principle at least from the Canadians to visa-free access for SAR passport holders. We’ve had good responses elsewhere for example in Singapore. But there is still a long way to go, and I have to say that there is quite a hill for us to climb in Europe.

In London I had a meetings with the Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary and officials. I made a speech, I also had a useful meeting with the Prince of Wales. And the subjects of our meetings were to consider the state of play on the JLG agenda between the last meeting and the next one and generally to review the situation here in Hong Kong , not least our continuing economic strength. But we are obviously looking to our agenda for the last year before the handover next summer so that we can achieve as much as possible as we move towards what we hope will be a successful transition. Okay.

Question: Governor, what is your comment on a report saying that the Prime Minister and you are already agreed that the Chief secretary and some other two or three Secretaries will quit their posts temporarily during next year to help the Chief Executive Designate to set up the SAR Government?

Governor: I don’t know of any basis for that report.

2

Question: Governor, have you decided who will take up the post of Director of Immigration? Is she the present Director of Trade (sic) Regina Ip?

Governor: We’ll be making an announcement shortly. There is a report in one of, I think two of, this morning's papers that I discussed that appointment when I was in London. Those reports are completely untrue.

Question: Do you think that the Government and Mr Leung should explain to the public that why he suddenly retired?

Governor: I think that the Government and Mr Leung have already made the position as clear as is necessary. The Secretary for the Civil Service answered questions in the Legislative Council at length last week, gave comprehensive replies. There is a difference between collective curiosity and the public interest.

Question: What question hadn't been answered, Governor, was Mr Leung asked to retire?

Governor: The position is that Mr Leung retired on personal grounds and Mr Lam, the Secretary for the Civil Service, answered that question at considerable and comprehensive length last week and I have nothing whatsoever to add to what he said.

Question: But how about the Legislative Council insist on having a public hearing on his case. How would the Government... would you yourself come to the public hearing and clarify...

Governor: We'd give replies as comprehensive as those that we've given so far. They would be no more and no less comprehensive.

Question: As far as the report on Anson Chan is concerned, do you think it is okay or is it all right for Anson Chan to quit all her official positions and just... to help out the future Chief Executive to ...?

Governor: I gave what I thought was a very unequivocal reply to that question so there is no point in me answering a question as though I've given the opposite reply.

Question: ... This transitional period, is it necessary for a team of top government officials quit their job in order to help or give assistance to the future...?

Governor: We haven't got even close to the Selection Committee yet. How can we start answering detail questions about in which particular ways we would help the Chief Executive Designate who emerges from that selection committee. All that I'll repeat, which I have said many times before, is that we wish to give the Chief Executive Designate as much help as he or she needs.

3

Question: You said the meeting with Prince Charles was useful, in what way useful Governor?

Governor: It’s always been useful for me to be able to brief senior members of the Royal Family on Hong Kong in whose fortunes they’ve taken active interest. On previous visits, I’ve met other members of the Royal Family. On one previous visit I had a long audience with Her Majesty the Queen. The Prince of Wales has visited Hong Kong on two occasions while I’ve been Governor. He is interested in what is happening in Hong Kong and I am sure that its important to meet that interest by briefing him on the position.

Question: will you empower Legco to hold the special meeting to investigate Laurence Leung’s early retirement?

Governor: I think it would be slightly surprising to recall Legco. Legco wasn't after all recalled when there was a huge public controversy in Daya Bay. I think when we are talking about the personal reasons for individual civil servant’s retirement from the civil service, it would be slightly surprising to take an even more substantial view of the situation then was taken in that situation. I don’t think one should get these things out of proportion and I’d be surprised if Legislative Councillors really thought we were going to do so. Thank you very much indeed.

End

Law Reform Commission publishes Report on Fraud ♦ ♦ ♦ * *

The Law Reform Commission today (Monday) published a report on the "Creation of a Substantive Offence of Fraud’’. The report follows the issue of a consultation paper in June last year on the Commission’s preliminary proposal that a new offence of fraud should be enacted in Hong Kong.

In announcing the release of the report, the Secretary to the Commission, Mr Stuart Stoker, explained that at present Hong Kong did not possess a general offence of fraud. He said that instead there are a number of specific offences (such as obtaining property by deception) provided in the Theft Ordinance. Where two or more persons are involved in fraudulent conduct, it is possible to charge them with conspiracy to defraud. In the absence of a specific offence of fraud, however, similar conduct committed by one person acting alone does not amount to an offence unless it falls within the confines of one of the Theft Ordinance offences, he said.

4

Mr Stoker said that there had been criticism of the law both here and in England. It had been pointed out that it was illogical that an act which was lawful if done by one person should become unlawful simply because more than one person has agreed to commit it. There had also been criticism of the breadth of the conspiracy to defraud charge, which potentially covered almost every type of dishonest conduct.

Mr Stoker said that while neither England nor Hong Kong have a general offence of fraud, a number of other jurisdictions have had such an offence for many years. ’’The experience of those jurisdictions which possess an offence of fraud is that it works well, and can readily be understood by laymen and lawyers alike," Mr Stoker said.

The Commission proposes the creation of a new offence of fraud. This would be committed by a person who by deceit with intent to defraud induces another to follow a course of action resulting in either (a) prejudice or a substantial risk of prejudice to another or (b) benefit to the person committing the fraud. The person committing the fraud must know or believe that his deceit is false and must intend his victim to act upon it.

Anyone who wishes a copy of the report should contact the Secretary to the Commission, 20th floor Harcourt House, 39 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong. The report can also be accessed on the Internet at http://www.info.gov.hk.

End

Latest unemployment and underemployment statistics ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the period March - May 1996 was 3.2%, and the underemployment rate was 1.9%, according to the latest labour force statistics released today (Monday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

For the period April - June 1996, the provisional seasonally adjusted unemployment rate edged further lower to 3.1%. The provisional underemployment rate also fell slightly, to 1.8%.

5

Commenting on the latest figures, a Government spokesman said that labour market conditions showed a gradual improvement in recent months. For the latest period April - June 1996, the decrease in the unemployment rate was concentrated mainly in the construction sector, while the unemployment situation in the other major sectors remained broadly stable. As to the underemployment rate, decreases were observed in the construction, transport, and restaurants and hotels sectors. The underemployment situation in the other major sectors was likewise stable.

The growth in total labour supply continued to outstrip that in total employment. In the three months ending May 1996, total employment grew by 2.9% over a year earlier, while total labour supply rose relatively faster, by 3.3%.

During the period March - May 1996, the number of unemployed persons with previous jobs was estimated at 89,800. Another 5,100 unemployed persons were first-time job-seekers. The number of underemployed persons was estimated at 59,000.

The unemployment and underemployment statistics were obtained from a continuous General Household Survey. The survey for March - May 1996 covered a quarterly sample of some 21,600 households or 72,700 persons, selected scientifically to represent the land-based civilian non-institutional population in Hong Kong. Data were obtained from the survey by interviewing each member aged 15 or over in the households sampled.

In the survey, the definitions used in measuring unemployment and underemployment follow closely those recommended by the International Labour Organisation.

’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 June 1996 will be on sale at the Government Publications Centre at ground floor, Low Block, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong, by the end of September.

End

6

Future PLA Garrison Commander to visit British Forces HK ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Major General Liu Zhenwu, Commander of the future PLA Garrison of Hong Kong, will arrive Hong Kong tomorrow (Tuesday) on a three-day visit at the invitation of Commander British Forces, Major General Bryan Dutton.

General Dutton invited General Liu to make a reciprocal visit to the British Garrison when he visited General Liu’s headquarters in Shenzhen in May. General Liu’s visit is intended to further increase familiarisation of the two Garrisons with each other, and to establish a professional relationship which will be beneficial as defence issues are discussed during the transitional process.

General Liu will call on General Dutton at the Prince of Wales Barracks and will later visit British Garrison units of the Royal Navy, the Army and the Royal Air Force.

End

Chevron marking trial scheme on Tolo Highway ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A chevron marking scheme is put on trial from today (Monday) for one year on Tolo Highway to increase drivers’ awareness towards safe driving distance.

Chevron markings have been painted on each traffic lane for a two-kilometre section of Tolo Highway south of Lam Kam Interchange at 40-metre intervals to help drivers gauge the safe driving distance between two vehicles.

Informatory signs were also erected on the road sides to advise drivers to keep two chevron markings apart from the vehicle in front.

Introducing the trial scheme. Senior Engineer (Analysis and Strategy) of the Department’s Road Safety and Standards Division, Miss Ying Fun-fong, said the markings would be a simple aid to drivers for keeping a safe distance from the vehicle ahead.

She said: ’’This is the commonly known ’two seconds rule’ as recommended in the Road Users Code.

’’The application of this rule is simple. Just choose a stationary object ahead, such as a lamp post or traffic sign, as your marker.

7

"When the vehicle ahead passes the marker, say the phrase 'a thousand and one, a thousand and two'. If you pass the marker before finished saying the phrase, then you are driving too close and cannot stop safely in case of a hazard."

Miss Ying expressed hope that this scheme could increase drivers' awareness towards safe driving distance and lead to a reduction of road traffic accidents.

She noted that similar experiments were conducted in the United Kingdom and France.

"In the UK ones, an achievement of 56 per cent in accident reduction and improved driving behaviour were realised. We surely hope similar results can be achieved in Hong Kong to cut down our accident rates and casualties", she said.

Miss Ying pointed out that driving too close to a vehicle in front had been a major contributory factor to traffic accidents in the territory, in particular on expressways.

Jointly presenting the trial scheme. Chief Inspector of Police of Accident Investigation Unit, Traffic New Territories North, Ngan Cheuk-leung, said that the head to tail (H/T) accidents on Tolo Highway in the past three years were 332, representing a 48 per cent of the total accidents of 695 occurred on the highway.

During the same period, a total of 640 casualties caused by H/T accidents was recorded on the highway with seven persons being killed.

End

121 VMs depart on orderly repatriation Hight * ♦ ♦ * ♦

A group of 121 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) returned by air to Hanoi, Vietnam today (Monday) on the 46th flight under the Orderly Repatriation Programme (ORP).

All but three of the returnees, comprising 60 men, 26 women, 16 boys and 19 girls, are from North Vietnam.

The majority of them arrived in Hong Kong in 1989, with the remaining in 1988, 1990 and 1991.

The group brought to 4,127 the total number repatriated on ORP flights since November 1991.

End

8

Monitors’ Report submitted to CS ♦ * ♦ * *

The monitors appointed to observe the Orderly Repatriation Programme operation this (Monday) morning have submitted their report to the Chief Secretary.

The two monitors comprised a non-official Justice of the Peace, Mr Yeung Yuk-chiu, and a representative from a non-governmental organisation, Mr Joseph C M Lee from Caritas - Hong Kong.

End

Air Quality Report for June ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Environmental Protection Department today (Monday) released air quality information for June 1996.

The purpose of the announcement is to keep the public informed of the air quality levels in the territory and to explain the measurements.

The announcement contains monitoring results from Mong Kok, Central/Westem and Kwai Chung, which represent three important land use types in the territory :

* locations close to road traffic in built-up urban areas,

* combined commercial and residential districts, and

* districts close to industrial areas.

The 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 June, there was no exceedance%f the 24-hour Air Quality Objective (AQO) values at any of three stations.

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.

9

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

Secondary Four places allocation should continue ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Members of the Board of Education (BOE) today (Monday) endorsed that the Secondary Four Places (SFP) Allocation Method for the Junior Secondary Education Assessment (JSEA) System should continue.

Assistant Director of Education Mr Anthony Tong Kai-hong told the meeting that since the 1993/94 school year, the SFP Allocation Method has been adopted for the JSEA System.

Mr Tong said ’’under this method, students’ academic performance and parental choices form the basis of selection and allocation of Secondary 3 leavers to subsidised Secondary 4 places.

"The SFP Allocation Method was introduced with the understanding that it would be reviewed after two years of implementation," Mr Tong noted.

He pointed out that a working group to review the SFP Allocation Method was set up last December to deliberate on the comments and feedback from schools, major schools councils/associations and public.

Mr Tong said that after reviewing the major features and statistics of the SFP Allocation Method, the working group recommended that the method should continue.

10

’’The working group considered that the existing method, while maintaining fairness in allocation, has been able to upkeep a comparatively steady allocation of places for schools.

”In the absence of a better alternative and without re-introducing public test, the SFP Allocation Method is considered by far the best allocation method for the JSEA System," Mr Tong said.

He added that the working group also advised that a review of the existing method should be carried out in conjunction with any new education policy in future having implications on the JSEA System.

On the issue of public consultation on the Report of Special Education, BOE member Dr Simon Leung Man-on reported that two public consultations were conducted last month. Over 500 people from concerned sectors participated.

The Sub-committee on Special Education also received 120 representations from individuals and educational bodies.

"The views expressed at the consultation sessions and written submissions generally support the recommendations of the Special Education Report with some specific recommendations and additional requests," Dr Leung said.

BOE members endorsed the report for presentation to the government.

At the meeting BOE members also agreed to phase out the Qualified Assistant Kindergarten Teacher (QAKT) course.

In explaining, BOE member Irving Koo Yee-yin said in view of the huge number (over 2300) of untrained kindergarten teachers in last October, many of whom did not possess the academic qualification for entry into the QKT course, the QAKT course should be organised for one more year after the 1996/97 school year.

"If the QAKT course had to be organised after the 1996/97 school year, and that the Hong Kong Institute of Education could not absorb the cost of operation in its allocated resources, additional funding would be necessary.

"Under such circumstance, the Hong Kong Institute of Education and other tertiary institutes could be approached for the provision of the additional QAKT courses," he continued.

End

11

Original thinking essential to education *****

In response to media enquiries on students reciting model essays in the Chinese Language and Culture subject of the Advanced-level examination, the Education Department today (Monday) expressed concern over the issue.

A spokesman for the department said members of the public and the media had confused the function of the Hong Kong Examinations Authority with that of the Education Department.

’’The Advanced-level examination is under the jurisdiction of the Authority and that any decision in relation to the matter is entirely in the hand of the Authority.

"The Education Department is fully aware of the need for creativity and critical thinking in our education system and strongly disapproves of plagiarisms, let alone in a subject like composition in which original thinking must be an essential element," the spokesman added.

Meanwhile, the department will study the operation of tutorial schools.

End

Water storage figure * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Storage in Hong Kong's reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 93.1 per cent of capacity or 545.686 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 426.929 million cubic metres of water, representing 72.8 per cent of capacity.

End

12

Issue of 3-Year Exchange Fund Notes ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority announced today (Monday) that the tender for the twelfth issue of3-year Exchange Fund Notes will be held on July 22 (Monday) for settlement on July 23 (Tuesday).

Similar to the previous issue, an amount of HK$500 million 3-year Notes will be on offer. In addition to that, another HKS100 million will be held as reserve by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority for supply to Market Makers in the secondary market. The Notes will mature on July 23, 1999 and will carry interest at the rate of 6.80% 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 Recognized Dealers on the published list which can be obtained from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority at 30th floor, 3 Garden Road, Hong Kong (or telephone 2878 8150). Each tender must be for an amount of HK$50,000 or integral multiples thereof.

Following are details of tender information for the twelfth issue of 3-Year Exchange Fund Notes:

Issue Number : 3907

Tender Date and Time Monday July 22, 1996, 9.30 a.m. to 10.30 a.m.

Issue and Settlement Date Tuesday July 23, 1996

Amount on Offer : HK$500 million plus an additional HK$100 million as reserve stock for the Monetary Authority

Maturity : Three years

Maturity Date : July 23, 1999

Interest Rate : 6.80% per annum payable semi-annually in arrears

Interest Payment Dates 23 Jan 1997, 23 Jul 1997, 23 Jan 1998, 23 Jul 1998, 25 Jan 1999, 23 Jul 1999.

13

Tender Amount

Other details

Each tender must be for an amount of HK$50,000 or integral multiples thereof. Members of the public who wish to tender for the Notes may approach Market Makers or Recognized Dealers on the published list

Please see Information Memorandum published or

approach Market Makers or Recognized Dealers

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

Cumulative

$ million Time (hours) change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,922 0930 +37

Closing balance in the account 1,939 1000 +37

Change attributable to : 1100 +37

Money market activity +37 1200 +37

LAF today -20 1500 +37

1600 +37

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.6 *+0.1* 15.7.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.10 2 years 2805 6.30 99.90 6.45

1 month 5.16 3 years 3904 6.30 98.91 6.85

3 months 5.32 5 years 5106 7.23 99.45 7.50

6 months 5.49 7 years 7305 7.60 99.65 7.81

12 months 5.94 5 years M502 7.30 99.18 7.66

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $7,102 million

Closed July 15, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Tuesday, July 16,1996

Contents Page No,

Appointment of new Director of Immigration announced....................... 1

Financial penalty imposed on CMB........................................... 3

Results of development strategy review announced........................... 4

Infrastructure committee to hold plenary meeting in China.................. 6

Hong Kong Energy Statistics Annual Report 1995 on sale..................... 6

83 convicted pollution cases in June....................................... 7

Exhibition of winning projects on civic education.......................... 8

Salt water cut in the New Territories...................................... 9

Flushing water cut in Kowloon East......................................... 9

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results............................... 10

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

1

Appointment of new Director of Immigration announced ♦ * * * ♦

The Government today (Tuesday) announced the appointment of Mrs Regina Ip, currently Director-General of Industry, as Director of Immigration upon the retirement of Mr Laurence Leung Ming-yin.

Mr Francis Ho, currently Deputy Secretary for Trade and Industry, will take over from Mrs Ip as the Director-General of Industry.

Mr Tam Wing-pong, currently Deputy Director-General of Trade, will take over from Mr Ho as the Deputy Secretary for Trade and Industry.

The acting Chief Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, expressed full confidence in the three officers.

“They are dynamic and competent officers who will bring their proven leadership skills to the new posts," he said.

"Mrs Ip has a wealth of experience for the Director of Immigration post, having been closely involved with a broad range of immigration-related matters in her previous capacities, like nationality, travel documents, right of abode and identity cards.

"Mr Ho is extremely well-versed in the trade and industry field, having been an Assistant Director-General of Industry for three years, and the senior Deputy Secretary for Trade and Industry since September last year.

"Mr Tam is experienced in the trade and finance fields."

Mr Tsang also thanked Mr Laurence Leung for his dedicated service in the Immigration Department in the past 31 years. Mr Leung has proceeded on preretirement leave earlier.

Following are the biographical notes of the four officers:

Mrs.Regina Ip Lau.Suk-ycc, JP

Aged 46. Mrs Ip joined the Government in September 1975 as an Administrative Officer and was promoted to her present rank of Administrative Officer Staff Grade A in January 1996.

2

Over the years, Mrs Ip served in a number of branches and departments including Civil Service Branch, Home Affairs Department, the former New Territories Administration and later the City and New Territories Administration, Security Branch, Trade Department, Chief Secretary's Office and Trade and Industry Branch.

She was Deputy Director of Administration from 1990 to 1993 and Deputy Secretary for Trade and Industry from 1993 to 1995. She took up her present appointment as Director-General of Industry in September 1995.

Mr Francis Ho Suen-wai. JP

Aged 44. Mr Ho joined the Government in 1976. For the first three years, he was an Executive Officer and an Assistant Trade Officer. He joined the Administrative Service in September 1979 and rose to his present rank of AOSGB in January 1994.

While in the Administrative Service, Mr Ho took up a variety of appointments which spanned across the former Social Services Branch, the former New Territories Administration and later the City and New Territories Administration, the former Medical and Health Department, Health and Welfare Branch, Education and Manpower Branch, Constitutional Affairs Branch, Industry Department and Civil Service Branch.

He was Director of General Grades in the Civil Service Branch from 1994 to 1995. He has been the senior Deputy Secretary for Trade and Industry since September 1995.

Mr Tam Wing-pong. JP

Aged 48. Mr Tam joined the Government as an Executive Officer in July 1971. He became an Administrative Officer in November 1973 and rose to his present rank of Administrative Officer Staff Grade B in 1994.

Since joining the Administrative Service, Mr Tam has served in a number of branches and departments including the former New Territories Administration and later the City and New Territories Administration, Urban Services Department, Economic Services Branch, London Office. Secretariat of the Standing Commission on Civil Service Salaries and Conditions of Service, Civil Service Branch, the former Monetary Affairs Branch and Financial Services Branch.

3

He was Deputy Secretary for Financial Services (formerly Deputy Secretary for Monetary Affairs) from 1990 to 1995. He took up his present position as Deputy Director-General of Trade in May 1995.

■v I

Mr Leung Mine-yin. Laurence. OBE. JP

Aged 55. Mr Leung joined the Government as an Immigration Sub-Inspector in 1965. Rising through the ranks, he became Deputy Director of Immigration in 1987 and was appointed Director of Immigration in 1989. Mr Leung has proceeded on preretirement leave earlier. He was awarded an OBE in 1992.

End

Financial penalty imposed on CMB

♦ * ♦ * *

The Govemor-in-Council today (Tuesday) decided to impose a financial penalty of $8,000 on China Motor Bus (CMB) for its failure to operate Route 15 between Central and the Peak on September 8 last year in accordance with the directions of the Commissioner for Transport.

On that evening - the eve of Mid Autumn Festival - CMB failed to operate 40 per cent of the scheduled trips after 8.15 pm, including the last two trips from the Peak, resulting in some 200 passengers being stranded on the Peak during the early hours of September 9.

The financial penalty was imposed in accordance with section 22 of the Public Bus Services Ordinance.

Before putting the case to the Executive Council, the Commissioner for Transport, Mrs Lily Yam, had carefully considered representations made by CMB and was satisfied that the Company had had a reasonable opportunity to comply with the schedule of service in respect of Route 15 but had failed to do so.

Having regard to the seriousness of the incident, the Commissioner recommended to the Govemor-in-Council that a financial penalty should be imposed.

4

To ensure that such penalties are not passed onto bus passengers, section 26A of the ordinance stipulates that they should be excluded from the calculation of operating expenses for the purpose of fare determination.

"This is the first time that a financial penalty has been imposed on a franchised bus company. The Transport Department will continue to monitor closely the operation of public transport services to ensure a satisfactory level of service to the public," said Mrs Yam.

End

Results of development strategy review announced *****

The Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, today (Tuesday) released for public consultation for about six months results of the Territorial Development Strategy (TDS) Review which provides a comprehensive planning framework for Hong Kong up to 2011.

A public consultation document on the ’’Territorial Development Strategy Review - A Response to Change and Challenges” was released by Mr Leung at a press conference which was also attended by the Director of Planning, Dr K S Pun, and the acting Director of Environmental Protection, Mr Mike Stokoe.

Mr Leung pointed out that in formulating strategic development options, two scenarios had been postulated to take account of the effect of development in China. Scenario A assumes the Pearl River Delta as Hong Kong’s primary economic catchment while Scenario B includes both the Pearl Delta and other inner provinces of China as Hong Kong’s economic catchment.

The TDS Review is built on a foundation of key assumptions. It is anticipated that, up to 2001, there should be sufficient capacity within current plans and programmes for a total population of about 6.5 million people.

For a medium-term time horizon up to 2006, additional strategic development areas could be required for planning assumption of about 7.3 million people.

Thereafter, up to 2011, it has been assumed for strategic planning purposes that the total population of Hong Kong could range between 7.5 million for Scenario A and 8.1 million for Scenario B.

5

Taking all growth needs into account, the TDS Review estimates that Hong Kong will need about 3,000 hectares of land - 50 per cent for urban uses and another 50 per cent for port activities - to meet the development needs by 2011.

Mr Leung said: “The 3,000 hectares of land over the long-term is equivalent to about 2.5 times the size of the new airport at Chek Lap Kok.”

The TDS Review also recommends a medium-term strategy to meet housing and other needs for about one million people by 2006.

"In the TDS Review, we have considered very carefully all possible options including those which give more emphasis either on NT development or harbour reclamation.

"Having considered all relevant factors including land use, transport and environment, we have come to the view that neither a "NT-biased’ nor ’harbour biased’ approach would satisfy Hong Kong’s development needs.

"This is because both the Metro Area and New Territories have their own particular social and economic problems that need to be addressed in a positive way.

"In order to meet our fast development needs, the Review recommends a balanced approach in forming new land from the Metro Area and New Territories," said Mr Leung.

To achieve the above, a number of possible growth or development areas have been identified. They include Kai Tak-Kowloon Bay, Green Island Reclamation, Central and Wanchai Reclamation, Hong Kong Island South, Tsuen Wan Bay Reclamation, Tung Chung, Tseung Kwan O, Yuen Long South, Au Tau-Kam Tin, Whitehead, Lok Ma Chau/San Tin, rural NWNT, Tuen Mun-Yuen Long Corridor, Fanling North and Border Area.

"It will take a long lead time to produce new land and infrastructure as recommended in the Review. We need to consider views expressed in the public consultation and to commission a series of studies to assess various aspects of the development proposals before we can decide on the way forward," said Mr Leung.

The TDS Review reaffirms the recommendation in the third review of the white paper on the environment that a study on sustainable development in the 21st century should be commissioned as soon as possible to assess the various impacts of continuing development on the environment.

6

The Study was presented to Finance Committee on July 12 but was withdrawn because of members’ reservations. The Government will respond and seek to resubmit it to Finance Committee as soon as possible.

Copies of the TDS Review Consultative Digest are available for collection from the Planning Department on 16th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, or any District Office.

Views on the Review should be sent in writing before the end of December to the Planning Department, Tel 2848 2402, and Fax 2877 0389.

End

Infrastructure committee to hold plenary meeting in China ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Infrastructure Co-ordinating Committee (ICC) will hold its fifth plenary meeting in Guangzhou on Thursday (July 18).

The British team will be led by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, and the Chinese team by the Director, Hong Kong Economic Department, the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the Chinese State Council, Mr Zhang Liangdong.

The meeting will receive reports from ICC panels and discuss the next stage of work of the main committee and its panels.

End

Hong Kong Energy Statistics Annual Report 1995 on sale * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Census and Statistics Department has published the Hong Kong Energy Statistics Annual Report 1995 which describes the situation of energy supply and demand in Hong Kong.

The report contains comprehensive statistical information relating to different forms of energy, including oil products, coal products, electricity and gas.

7

It also includes an overall energy balance which summarises the sources and uses of different forms of energy, and depicts their relationships in the energy transformation processes.

Regarding various oil products, statistics on list prices, storage capacity, tank stock, imports, re-exports, retained imports, average unit values of imports, and quantity of sales by type of user are presented in the report.

Figures on imports, re-exports, retained imports and average unit values of imports of selected coal products are given.

For electricity and gas, the report shows figures on tariff charges, generating capacity, production and consumption by type of user.

Annual figures for the years 1985 to 1995 are provided with respect to most of these statistics. In addition, quarterly figures for 1994 and 1995 are presented for selected items.

The report is already on sale at $16 per copy at the Government Publication Centre, ground floor, Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong, and the Publications Unit of the Census and Statistics Department, 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Enquiries about the energy statistics published in the report can be made to the Industrial Production Statistics Section of the Census and Statistics Department on 2882 4171.

End

83 convicted pollution cases in June ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

A total of 83 convictions were recorded in the courts in June for breaching antipollution legislation enforced by the Environmental Protection Department.

Among them, 25 were convictions made under the Water Pollution Control Ordinance, 33 under the Noise Control Ordinance, 14 under the Air Pollution Control Ordinance, two under the Ozone Layer Protection Ordinance and nine under the Waste Disposal Ordinance.

8

The fines ranged from $3,000 to $75,000. Two companies received a fine of $75,000 for their offences.

China State Construction Engineering Corporation was fined $75,000 for permitting the use of powered mechanical equipment without a construction noise permit while Hong Kong Paper Mills Limited was fined $75,000 for failing to comply with the requirement of a noise abatement notice.

End

Exhibition of winning projects on civic education

*****

Members of the public are invited to the exhibition on winning projects of the inter-school civic education programme design competition (primary) which is now being held at the Civic Education Resource Centre.

An inspector of the Education Department, Mrs Fung Man Siu-hung, said: "The seventeen winning projects on display at the exhibition show the efforts of participating schools in organising effective civic education programmes.

’’The exhibition also facilitates the sharing of experience among schools in the promotion of civic education."

Exhibits are now displayed at the Civic Education Resource Centre (Hong Kong), Room 307, 4 Pak Fuk Road, North Point, until August 10.

The opening hours are between 9 am and 12.30 pm on Mondays, 2 pm and 5 pm on Wednesdays and 9 am and noon on Saturdays.

The exhibition will also be held at the Civic Education Resource Centre (Kowloon), Room 502, 19 Hok Yuen Street, Hung Hom from August 19 to September 21. The opening hours are from 2 pm to 5 pm on Tuesdays, 9 am to 12.30 pm on Thursdays and 9 am to noon on Saturdays.

Interested parties are reminded that the exhibition will be closed in the event of school closure announcements by the Director of Education.

Further enquiries should be directed to the Civic Education/Religious Studies Section of the Education Department's Advisory Inspectorate on 2892 6517 or 2892 6516.

End

9

Salt water cut in the New Territories *****

The flushing water supply to all premises in Tsuen Wan and Kwai Chung districts will be temporarily suspended from 10 pm on Friday (July 19) to 9 am the following day for repair work on watermains to be carried out.

The suspension will affect Tsuen Wan and Kwai Chung districts including Upper Kwai Chung, Lower Kwai Chung and the Kwai Chung container terminus.

End

Flushing water cut in Kowloon East ♦ * * * *

The flushing water supply to all premises in Kowloon East will be suspended from 8 pm on Friday (July 19) to 7 am the following day to allow maintenance work on watermains to be carried out.

The suspension will affect Hung Hom, Ma Tau Wai, To Kwa Wan, Ma Tau Kok, Kowloon City, Tung Tau, Wang Tau Hom, Lok Fu, Wong Tai Sin, Chuk Yuen and Kowloon Tong, including the Hong Kong International Airport and Kowloon Hospital.

End

10

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results *****

Tender date 16 Jul 96 16 Jul 96

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q629 H669

Issue date 17 Jul 96 17 Jul 96

Maturity date 16 Oct 96 15 Jan 97

Coupon - -

Amount applied HK$6,702 MN HKS4.370 MN

Amount allotted HK$ 1,500 MN HKS800 MN

Average yield accepted 5.28 PCT 5.48 PCT

Highest yield accepted 5.29 PCT 5.49 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 77 PCT About 40 PCT

Average tender yield 5.32 PCT 5.51 PCT

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

Tenders to be held in the week beginning July 22, 1996 -

Tender date 22 Jul 96 23 Jul 96

Paper on offer EF notes EF bills

Issue number 3907 Q630

Issue date 23 Jul 96 24 Jul 96

Maturity date 23 Jul 99 23 Oct 96

Tenor 3 years 91 days

Amount on offer HK$500+100 MN HK$ 1,500+300 MN

Coupon 6.80 PCT

End

11

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

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,939 0930 +17

Closing balance in the account 1,936 1000 +17

Change attributable to: 1100 +17

Money market activity +17 1200 +17

LAF today -20 1500 +17

1600 +17

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.4 *-0.2* 16.7.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.07 2 years 2805 6.30 99.89 6.46

1 month 5.15 3 years 3904 6.30 98.91 6.85

3 months 5.30 5 years 5106 7.23 99.43 7.50

6 months 5.49 7 years 7305 7.60 99.51 7.84

12 months 5.94 5 years M502 7.30 99.10 7.69

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $8,918 million

Closed July 16, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Wednesday, July 17,1996

Contents Page No.

Transcript of Governor’s media session...................................... 1

Governor visits penal institutions on Lantau................................ 4

PLA chief ends visit to British Forces HK tomorrow.......................... 6

Reproductive Technology Bill consultation paper published................... 6

More grants to aid flood victims in China approved.......................... 7

Measures to improve workers' safety......................................... 8

Marine industrial accident investigation completed.......................... 9

UK/HK Scholarship Scheme to be phased out.................................. 10

New measure to deal with marine littering.............................. 11

Payroll and wage statistics for first quarter 1996 ........................ 12

Three lots of land to let.................................................. 16

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations....................... 17

1

Transcript of Governor’s media session *****

The following is the transcript of the media session by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, today (Wednesday) after visiting two penal institutions on Lantau Island:

Governor: I’m pleased that I've been able to spend the afternoon seeing the work of Correctional Services Department at our maximum security prison and at the detention centre. As 1 think you all know one of the problems that we have and haven't yet been able to tackle satisfactorily is over-crowding in our prisons. We are, I suppose, 30 per cent or may be even more over-crowded. That means that our Correctional Services Department who do such an excellent job, have to work in difficult conditions. It also means that the prisoners themselves live in over-crowded conditions and obviously that makes everybody's job more difficult. We have plans in the pipeline at the moment for providing about 1,300 more places in prisons and detention centre. That will obviously ease the problem in the short term by something like half. But that isn't enough. We do need to locate new sites for prisons and convince the community that this has to be given a sensible priority. It means convincing where appropriate district boards and neighbourhoods that new prison facilities are required. I think the problem we face isn't one of a shortage of capital resources. We certainly have the money in Hong Kong. But we've got to have the will as well. It's not fair to expect our Correctional Services Department to work in these over-crowded conditions or prisoners to live in these over-crowded conditions. So we've got to show that we've got the will in the next few years and build additional facilities so that our criminal justice system can work as effectively as possible.

Question: Governor, there has been a report .. Government officials will quit their present responsibilities and help out with the future Chief Executive to set up the SAR Government. You have responded that...

Governor: I'll tell you what. I'll save you all the trouble of asking questions about this in the future. I am giving you a reply which we can refer to from now on as reply A. There have been reports in the newspapers on an almost weekly basis about what particular arrangements will be put in place when there's a Chief Executive Designate. Now, these stories are extremely interesting because we don't yet have a Chief Executive Designate. I'll answer questions about the co-operation that we intend to offer to a Chief Executive Designate when we've actually got a Chief Executive Designate and until then there is no point at all in me answering these interesting hypothetical speculations. But, the important point which 1 want to put on the record once again now and which I'll mention again if you ever ask me the same question, is that we do want to give the maximum possible co-operation to the Chief Executive Designate while ensuring that the administration of Hong Kong in the short term is as effective as possible.

2

Question: What can you expect from Mrs Regina Ip as the first ever female head of the Immigration Department?

Governor: I expect her to be as outstanding and successful in her new job as she’s been in her previous job. As you all know, if you talk to people who've worked with the Industry Department, who’ve talked to industrialists in Hong Kong, they have nothing but praise for Regina, who’s been an extremely successful civil servant and she does of course have some experience of the sort of work she'll now be responsible for. She's been very good in promoting Hong Kong's economic and industrial needs and aspirations and I am sure she will be equally good in giving leadership to the Immigration Department.

Question: It's been reported that Regina Ip was approached more than two weeks ago ... before actually resigned. Do you have any comments?

Governor: I know it's the case that the previous director resigned for personal reasons about a fortnight ago and that Regina was approached to ask whether she take the job about a fortnight ago.

Question: After the resignation?

Governor: I don't have anything to add to that or to what the Secretary for the Civil Service has said on a number of occasions.

Question: How do you deal with ... co-operation with China to deal with ...?

Governor: Well, it won't be anything to do with China after 1997. It will be entirely a matter for the Hong Kong SAR. But I am sure that the SAR Government will have as co-operative a relationship with the authorities in China about the return of illegal immigrants as we've had.

Question: Mr Patten, the PLA chief is now visiting Hong Kong and will leave tomorrow. Do you know what can be achieved... this time and do you foresee any meetings with him in the future?

Governor: His trip is a return visit. The Commander British Forces, General Dutton, went to Shenzhen a few weeks ago and this is a reciprocal return visit and I think will be valuable in showing the future commander of the garrison in Hong Kong a little about life here, and giving him the opportunity for instance of seeing some of the defence sites which will be used by the PLA. So 1 think it's a getting-to-know-Hong Kong visit and I am sure that there will be future opportunities for him to get to know Hong Kong even better and for him to get to know in due course when it is appropriate the civil authorities.

Question: The relations between the two garrisons should be reciprocated in government level. In other word, may be Director Lu... and come to Hong Kong to see how things operate?

Governor: Mr Lu knows what people in Hong Kong thinks because he reads the Hong Kong newspapers and reads the Hong Kong opinion polls. Obviously, General Liu's visit is a helpful one. I’m sure he'll find it constructive and I am sure that he'll find that he’s talking to very professional soldiers and airmen and naval personnel on our side and that he’ll be impressed by the facilities that will be available here for his own garrison which I am sure he will want to see operating as successfully as the garrison has operated in the last few years.

Question: You've just said that Regina Ip received about her new post about a fortnight ago and also Mr Leung submitted his retirement application a fortnight ago. Do you mean that it could be that Regina Ip received her invitation before Mr Leung applied for retirement?

Governor: No, I don't mean that.

Question: Would you expect Mr Liu to discuss in details with officials from the Security Branch on how to draft the garrison law ...?

Governor: I would expect us to be told in the JLG in due course what proposals on the garrison law Chinese officials have because it will obviously be of concern to people in Hong Kong. Last question.

Question: (inaudible)

Governor: You've only got to look at every opinion poll that's done in Hong Kong. You've only got to talk to people in Hong Kong to know that there are some concerns about the future. I don't think there arc concerns about the future between now and the 30 June 1997. I think that I'm stating the obvious in saying that there are concerns about what may happen beyond then and it’s ridiculous and dishonest to pretend otherwise. What we want to try to do is to give as much reassurances we can before 1997. But obviously the principal reassurance has to come from Chinese officials and from those who advise China in Hong Kong. Some of the things that have happened recently in relation for example to freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, some of those things stand directly from what Chinese officials have said and haven’t frankly been tremendously helpful. But I hope we can put all that behind us and see reassurance in the future rather than statements which have the opposite effect.

4

Question: You said ... until the future Chief Executive appears before we look at the assistance to be given to him. But won’t you think that it will be too late when he actually appears?

Governor: No , what I said is I’ll be happy to answer questions about the assistance which the Chief Executive Designate is going to have when we've got a Chief Executive Designate and when for example I’ve been able to discuss the situation with him and my senior officials have been able to discuss the situation with him or her. It doesn’t made very much sense discussing the situation every other week or every week through the media before we’ve even got a Chief Executive Designate.

Question: Mr Patten, do you agree that the consensus reached by the Preparatory Committee on the definition of permanent residents in Hong Kong...?

Governor: Well. I’ve been a little confused about what is exactly that's been agreed. We've been pressing for expert talks with Chinese officials to clear up some of these questions on right of abode. They matter enormously to people in Hong Kong and of course practical questions are going to be asked of officials, Immigration Department officials at Kai Tak and elsewhere which at present they are not in a position to answer. So I think the best thing to happen so that we can clear up some of the doubts is to have early expert talks again and see if we can find out exactly what's intended because the situation I think is still rather confusing to people.

End

Governor visits penal institutions on Lantau *****

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, today (Wednesday) visited Shek Pik Prison and Sha Tsui Detention Centre to see the operation and management of facilities at a maximum security prison and the rigorous training programmes for young offenders.

Accompanied by the Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Raymond Lai Ming-kee, and the Senior Superintendent of Shek Pik Prison, Mr Wai Heung-wing, the Governor called on workshops, the kitchen, the chapel, the prison hospital and inmates' accommodation.

At the reception area of Shek Pik Prison, which came into operation in 1984, the Governor was required to proceed through the security archway, which all visitors must pass on entering the prison.

5

He was briefed on the management and operations of the 12-year-old prison which came into operation in 1984 and was the last major penal facility to be constructed. At present, it houses about 800 inmates - almost 80 per cent above its certified accommodation of 450.

He was told that with the current overcrowding situation in penal institutions, some inmates had to share single unit cells. However, conditions are not as crammed as in some other institutions because the cells are more spacious than the ’’older" ones.

During his tour of workshops, Mr Patten was briefed by Principal Industrial Officer, Mr Leung Kam-ning, who is in charge of the industrial set-up at Shek Pik Prison. All prisoners who are certified fit are required to work so as to alleviate boredom which could lead to unrest among inmates.

In the kitchen, the Governor saw inmates preparing meals for prisoners and was impressed by the high hygiene standards in food preparation.

At the prison hospital, he was met by the Senior Medical Officer, Dr Chan Kaw-hwee, who is the resident medical officer of Shek Pik Prison. He also met the Clinical Psychologist, Mr Francis Butt.

The Governor then stopped in at the institution's chapel where he was met by Rev Father Sean Burke who has been a visiting Chaplain to the Correctional Services Department (CSD) institutions since 1975. Mr Patten was informed that religious services and counselling are provided to inmates with different faiths.

At the Sha Tsui Detention Centre, the Governor was briefed by Superintendent Choy Tin-bo on the concept of the "short, sharp, shock" treatment for young offenders who undergo a rigorous regime of physical programming aimed at instilling discipline, courtesy and a sense of well-being.

He was told the young inmates are put through a series of rigid sessions of physical training, foot-drill and grass-cutting.

At the centre hospital, he was met by Medical Officer, Dr Thein Soe-tun. He was briefed on the various medical facilities and programmes for young offenders so as to ensure they are fit to carry out the rigid schedules.

At the end of the visit, Mr Patten dropped in on the visitors' waiting room where he was briefed on improvements made to the area so that callers are better informed of CSD's rehabilitation programme.

End

6

PLA chief ends visit to British Forces HK tomorrow * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Commander of the future PLA Garrison of Hong Kong, Major General Liu Zhenwu, ends his three-day visit to the British Forces tomorrow (Thursday).

During his stay in the territory, General Liu called on Commander British Forces, Major General Bryan Dutton, and visited units of the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force.

General Liu will leave Hong Kong tomorrow. He will depart from Fenwick Pier, Wan Chai, by a Royal Air Force Wessex helicopter.

End

Reproductive Technology Bill consultation paper published

*****

The Provisional Council on Reproductive Technology (PCRT), which was appointed by the Secretary for Health and Welfare last December, has published a consultation paper to seek public views on three major issues arising from the Reproductive Technology (RT) Bill now being drafted.

A PCRT spokesman said today (Wednesday) that since RT was a fastdeveloping area, new techniques had been developed subsequent to the last two public consultation exercises on recommendations made by the former Committee on Scientifically Assisted Human Reproduction.

"Both the PCRT and Government considered it necessary to gauge the views of the public in drawing up regulatory proposals on the new and sensitive areas of sex selection and the use of fetal ovarian or testicular tissue in infertility treatment and in research," he said.

"Moreover, the draft RT Bill contains detailed provisions on licensing requirements and procedures. As these would have significant implications on existing and potential service providers, we wish especially to solicit their views on the proposed licensing arrangements.”

7

The consultation paper sets out the arguments for and against sex selection achieved by means of RT procedures and the use of fetal ovarian or testicular tissue in infertility treatment or in research. It also provides an outline of the proposed licensing mechanism. Public views on these three major issues are invited.

Members of public could obtain copies of the paper from district offices and the Secretariat of PCRT at second floor, Shun Feng International Centre, 182 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai. Views should be sent to PCRT before September 15.

"I hope the consultation paper will form the basis for discussion within the community and look forward to receiving considered responses from all sectors before September 15," the spokesman said.

End

More grants to aid flood victims in China approved ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Disaster Relief Fund Advisory Committee approved at its meeting today (Wednesday) four grants totalling $12 million in aid of the recent floods in China.

Together with the $3 million granted to Oxfam Hong Kong last Saturday (July 13), the Committee has approved $15 million for the purpose.

A government spokesman said a grant of $3 million each was made in response to applications from the Hong Kong Red Cross, Medecins Sans Frontieres, the Salvation Army and World Vision Hong Kong.

"The Committee believes that these grants are an appropriate means to express the concerns of the community towards the flood victims. It also hopes that these grants would arouse more public support for flood relief efforts," he said.

This is the third time grants had been made for floods on a large scale in China. In July last year, the Committee granted $13.5 million for relief projects run by three organisations when floods hit southern and eastern China.

In June 1994. the Committee also granted $20 million to three organisations for relief projects in the south and east of China.

8

To ensure that the grants will be used for the designated purposes, the organisations will be required to submit to the Committee an evaluation report and an audited account on the use of the grant.

The Committee is chaired by the Chief Secretary. Other members are Dr Raymond Ch'ien, Mr Jimmy McGregor, Mr Cheung Hon-chung, Mr Lau Chin-shek, the Secretary for Health and Welfare, and the Secretary for the Treasury.

End

Measures to improve workers' safety ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Commissioner for Labour was empowered to issue suspension and improvement notices in a bid to further enhance workers' safety following the passage of the Factories and Industrial Undertakings (Amendment) Bill 1996 by the Legislative Council earlier this month.

Assistant Commissioner for Labour (Occupational Safety), Mr Mak Sai-yiu, this (Wednesday) afternoon said a suspension notice might be issued to suspend a hazardous work or process or the use of any dangerous equipment, machinery or substance which posed an imminent risk of serious bodily injury to workers concerned.

He said the notice would be served on the proprietor of an industrial undertaking as soon as practicable but in no case later than 24 hours from the discovery of the risk.

"This is to remove the risks swiftly and to deter hazardous and dangerous work situations.

"However, the proprietor may within 28 days from the date he receives the notice, apply in writing to the Commissioner for Labour for a review of the issue of the notice," he said.

To tackle less serious situations, the Commissioner for Labour was empowered to issue an improvement notice requiring the proprietor or contractor to remedy the contravention within a specified period of time or to refrain from continuing or repeating the contravention.

9

"The objective of an improvement notice is to encourage the proprietors or contractors to take measures promptly to improve safety at work, thus avoiding prosecutions," said Mr Mak.

"But if the proprietor fails to comply with the terms of an improvement notice, he may be prosecuted both for breaching the notice and for the original offence."

The maximum penalty for contravening a suspension notice is $500,000 and 12 months' imprisonment, with an additional fine of $50,000 for every day that the contravention continues.

For those who fail to comply with the terms of an improvement notice without reasonable excuse, they are liable to a maximum fine of $200,000 and imprisonment for 12 months.

End

Marine industrial accident investigation completed

*****

The Marine Department has completed its investigation into the industrial accident in which two workers died and a third one injured while working at a dumb steel flat top barge under repairs in Yau Tong Bay on June 13, a Marine Department spokesman today (Wednesday).

The report has been sent the Coroner and the Education and Manpower Branch.

"The Prosecution Section of the Marine Department is also studying the report," the spokesman said.

"The content of the report and the recommendations will be published after the death inquest."

End

10

UK/HK Scholarship Scheme to be phased out ♦ ♦ * * ♦

The UK/HK Scholarship Scheme will be phased out by the end of 1999-2000 academic year and no new scholarships will be awarded from 1996-97 onwards, a government spokesman said today (Wednesday).

However, the existing scholars benefited under the Scheme would continue to be supported until the end of the tenure of their awards.

The Scheme was established jointly by the Hong Kong and the British governments for outstanding Hong Kong students to pursue undergraduate or postgraduate studies in the United Kingdom.

Since it came into operation in 1988, over 60 awards had been made to Hong Kong students, on the basis of academic merit and personal qualities, to study in British universities.

"Hong Kong's contribution to the Scheme has been funded by the Hong Kong Jockey Club because it is not the government policy to finance scholarships from public funds.

"The contribution from the UK, on a 50:50 basis, is from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Scholarships and Awards Scheme and the Sir Shiu-kin Tang Bequest," the spokesman Said.

The spokesman said a decision had been taken to phase out the Scheme because the Jockey Club was only willing to continue its financial commitments on a matching basis until 1997-98.

"On the other hand, the British Government will channel its scholarships for Hong Kong students through the new Hong Kong Chevening Scholarship Scheme starting from 1996-97," said the spokesman.

The Chevening Scholarship Scheme was launched in January as part of a prestigious scheme funded by FCO to enable academic high achievers and future business leaders world-wide to become familiar with the UK and the English language.

11

Under this larger and more focused Scheme, some 30 scholarships have already been awarded to outstanding Hong Kong students for one-year taught masters degree courses in the UK, and another 10 have been awarded to young professionals for three-month intensive management courses at top UK institutions.

Students interested in obtaining more information about this Scheme may contact the British Council direct.

In addition to the Chevening Scholarships, there are at least nine other UK schemes which offer scholarships or fellowships for Hong Kong students to study or to undertake research in the UK.

In addition, schemes such as the Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fund Overseas Scholarship and Fellowship Scheme and the Croucher Foundation Scholarship Scheme are available to outstanding students who wish to study either in the UK or other parts of the world.

End

New measure to deal with marine littering *****

Fisheries-grade staff of the Agriculture and Fisheries Department will be empowered to take out prosecution against marine littering as a further measure to fight the floating refuse problem.

The decision was made by the Governor-in-Council which ordered an amendment to the fourth schedule of the Magistrates Ordinance to include fisheries officers. Senior Fisheries Supervisor, Fisheries Supervisor I, and Fisheries Supervisor II in the list of public officers empowered to issue summonses for marine littering offences.

At present, only certain ranks of officers of Marine Department, Urban Services and Regional Services departments have power to take action against marine littering.

A spokesman for the Planning, Environment and Lands Branch said today (Wednesday): "Fisheries staff are responsible for patrolling the 26 fish culture zones (FCZs) in Hong Kong.

12

"By empowering them to issue summonses for marine littering offences, they will be able to deal with the floating refuse problem in and around the FCZs more effectively.

"The containment of the floating refuse problem will help reduce its adverse effect on navigation and other marine activities such as water sports and mariculture.

"It will also reduce the marine littering problem in the harbour which is an eyesore not only to local residents, but also visitors from other countries."

End

Payroll and wage statistics for first quarter 1996 *****

Average labour earnings covering all major sectors surveyed, as measured by payroll per person engaged, recorded an increase of 11.1% in nominal terms in the first quarter of 1996 over a year earlier, according to statistics released today (Wednesday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

After discounting changes in consumer prices, the increase was 4.4% in real terms.

All major sectors surveyed recorded increases in average labour earnings, both in nominal terms and in real terms.

Analysed by sector, financing, insurance, real estate and business services recorded the fastest increase in average payroll per person engaged, by 13.3% in nominal terms or 6.4% in real terms in the first quarter of 1996 over a year earlier.

This was followed by the transport, storage and communications sector, by 12.2% in nominal terms or 5.5% in real terms; wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels, by 11.5% in nominal terms or 4.8% in real terms; community, social and personal services, by 8.9% in nominal terms or 2.3% in real terms.

Average labour earnings in the manufacturing sector, rose by 6.4% in nominal terms, but with only a marginal increase in real terms after discounting changes in consumer prices.

13

The overall wage index covering selected major sectors however showed a less rapid increase than average labour earnings. This index rose by 6.1% in nominal terms in March 1996 over a year earlier. After discounting changes in consumer prices, the index showed only a marginal decrease of 0.6% in real terms.

The relatively faster increase in earnings as compared to wages was due to more overtime pay and the issue of irregular payments in some sectors, which were covered in earnings but not in wages.

This probably signified a higher intensity of manpower utilisation for those in employment. Also, the more moderate wage increase reflected the adjustments to the easing in labour market conditions during the course of last year.

The wage indices for financing, insurance, real estate and business services and personal services showed increases in real terms between March 1995 and March 1996.

On the other hand, the wage indices for the manufacturing sector, wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels and transport services recorded decreases of different magnitudes in real terms.

Year-on-year changes in the indices of payroll per person engaged and wage indices for selected major sectors, in both nominal and real terms, are shown in Table 1 and Table 2 respectively.

Statistics on average payroll per person engaged are compiled at quarterly intervals based on the results of the Labour Earnings Survey conducted by the Census and Statistics Department.

The wage indices are compiled from the same survey at half-yearly intervals for March and September of the year. The wage indices cover both manual and non-manual workers up to the supervisory level.

Average payroll includes wages as well as all other irregular receipts such as bonuses and overtime payments. Statistics on average payroll tend to show larger quarter-to-quarter changes, affected by the number of hours actually worked and the timing of payment of bonuses and back-pay.

Information on employees’ entitlement to various types of fringe benefits other than basic wages was also collected in this round of the survey.

14

Among supervisory, technical, clerical and miscellaneous non-production workers, 87% of them were entitled to medical benefits of some kind, 45% to provident fund scheme and 8% to housing benefits of some kind.

As for craftsmen and operatives, 86% of them were entitled to medical benefits of some kind, 33% to provident fund scheme and 1% to housing benefits of some kind.

Detailed breakdowns of the above statistics are published in the Quarterly Report of Employment, Vacancies and Payroll Statistics, March 1996 and the Half-yearly Report of Wage Statistics, March 1996.

They will be available shortly at $44 and $57 per copy respectively at the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong, and at the Publications Section of Census and Statistics Department, 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

For enquiries about statistics on average payroll per person engaged, please contact the department on 2582 5076. As for enquiries on wage statistics, please call 2582 4744.

- 15 -

Table 1 : Year-pn-Year Change in Indices of Payroll Per Person Engaged by Selected Major Sector

% change for 1st Quarter 1996 over 1st Quarter 1995

Selected Major Sector in nominal terms in real terms

Manufacturing +6.4 *

Wholesale, Retail and Import/Export Trades, Restaurants and Hotels + 11.5 +4.8

Transport, Storage and Communications + 12.2 +5.5

Financing, Insurance, Real Estate and Business Services + 13.3 +6.4

Community, Social and Personal Services +8.9 +2.3

All Sectors @ + 11.1 +4.4

Table 2 : Year-on-Year Change in Wage Indices by Selected Major Sector

Selected Major Sector % change for March 1996 over March 1995

in nominal terms in real terms

Manufacturing +5.6 -1.0

Wholesale, Retail and Import/Export Trades, Restaurants and Hotels +5.5 -1.2

Transport Services # +6.7 -0.1

Financing, Insurance, Real Estate and Business Services +7.4 +0.6

Personal Services ## +8.0 + 1.2

All Sectors @ +6.1 -0.6

# Excluding industries related to storage and communications O Excluding industries related to community and social services @ Including the electricity and gas sector

* Less than 0.05

End

16

Three lots of land to let * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Lands Department is inviting tenders for the short-term tenancy of three pieces of government land on Hong Kong Island and in the New Territories.

The first lot located in Sai See Street, Kennedy Town, has an area of about 2,610 square metres. It is intended for use as a fee-paying public car park for the parking of goods vehicles excluding container vehicles, tractors and trailers.

The tenancy is for two years, renewable quarterly.

The second lot is located in Area 25, On Lok Tsuen, Fanling. With an area of about 2,204 square metres, the lot is earmarked for the open storage of goods including unregistered motor vehicles and for the parking, repairing, lubricating and maintenance of motor vehicles.

The tenancy is also for two years, renewable quarterly.

Covering an area of about 1,620 square metres, the third lot is located at Liu To Road, Area 10, Tsing Yi. The lot is intended for use as a fee-paying public car park for the parking of goods vehicles excluding container tractors and trailers.

The tenancy is for one year, renewable quarterly.

The closing date for submission of tenders is noon on August 2.

Tender forms, tender notices and conditions can be obtained from the Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Kowloon District Lands Office, and the respective district lands offices of Hong Kong West, North, and Kwai Tsing.

Tender plans can also be inspected at these offices.

End

17

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,936 0930 +21

Closing balance in the account 1,870 1000 +21

Change attributable to: 1100 +21

Money market activity +29 1200 +21

LAF today -95 1500 +29

1600 +29

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.2 *-0.2* 17.7.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.08 2 years 2805 6.30 100.03 6.37

1 month 5.10 3 years 3904 6.30 99.07 6.78

3 months 5.22 5 years 5106 7.23 99.64 7.45

6 months 5.45 7 years 7305 7.60 99.76 7.79

12 months 5.87 5 years M502 7.30 99.28 7.63

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $28,251 million

Closed July 17, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, July 18,1996

Contents Page No,

Infrastructure Coordinating Committee meets................................ 1

Japanese Justice Minister visits Stanley Prison............................ 2

124 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flight.............................. 3

Monitors’ Report submitted to CS........................................... 3

Lantau taxi fare to increase tomorrow...................................... 3

Industrial production index for first quarter of 1996 ..................... 4

Grading of beach water quality.........................................

Medical examination result announced...................................... 10

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

1

Infrastructure Coordinating Committee meets • ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The following is a press release issued after a meeting held by the Sino-British Coordinating Committee on Major Cross-border Infrastructure between Hong Kong and the Mainland today (Thursday):

The Sino-British Coordinating Committee on Major Cross-border Infrastructure between Hong Kong and the Mainland(ICC) held its 5th plenary meeting in Guangzhou today (Thursday). The British side’s leader Mr Bowen Leung, Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands and the Chinese side’s leader Mr Zhang Liangdong, Director of the Economic Department, Hong Kong & Macau Affairs Office, State Council attended and chaired today's meeting.

The meeting received and discussed reports from the various panels on their work since the 4th plenary meeting, endorsed the progress made and the consensus reached in these panels, and also discussed the work arrangements for the next stage.

On the proposed Lingdingyang Bridge and the Shenzhen Western Corridor, the meeting discussed the report of the study presented by the British side "A Review of Hong Kong’s capacity to cope with Additional Traffic Movement associated with Proposed New Cross-border Transport Links - Final Report".

The report affirmed that, from the perspective of long-term development, it is necessary to increase the transport link between Hong Kong and South China. The study also found that Lan Kwok Tsui in Tuen Mun was preferred as the landing point for the Lingdingyang Bridge in Hong Kong while Pak Nai was the preferred landing area for the Shenzhen Western Corridor.

This conclusion, which is in line with the Chinese side’s proposals, has laid down the foundation for further in-depth studies for the two projects. The Chinese side understand and support the British side’s need to undertake further investigations on the two proposals' impacts on Hong Kong and on issues related to convergence of the projects across the border.

The meeting agreed that a technical group should be set up under the Roads and Bridges Panel for technical discussions and exchange of information between experts from both sides to facilitate their respective further studies and investigations.

On the proposed Tonggu Channel, the Chinese side support the British side's study on the possible impacts of the Western alignment of the channel on Hong Kong. The two sides agreed to step up their exchange and sharing of information.

2

On the additional rail passenger crossing at Lok Ma Chau-Huanggang, the two sides reiterated support for its early planning and implementation. The meeting also agreed that, pending completion of the proposed project, the focus of consideration should be on the question of how to enable the handling capacity of the Huanggang border crossing to reach the planned capacity of 50,000 passengers/day. As a first step, the two sides would study the proposal of raising the handling capacity of the Lok Ma Chau-Huanggang crossing for non-rail passenger to 16,000 per day.

On air traffic control, in order to enable the normal operation of Hong Kong’s new airport upon commissioning, the two sides would on the basis of full exchanges of information, devote special efforts in preparing proposals on airspace management and co-ordination, with the view to beginning discussion of these proposals within the year.

The two sides hold the view that the continued enhancement of cooperation and coordination between the two sides on major cross-border infrastructure projects is conducive to the promotion of developments in both the Mainland and Hong Kong. The date of the next ICC plenary meeting will be decided in the light of the progress in its various tasks.

End

Japanese Justice Minister visits Stanley Prison ***** 9

The Minister of Justice of Japan, Mrs Ritsuko Nagao, this (Thursday) morning visited Stanley Prison to see the operation and management of the maximum security prison during her brief stopover in Hong Kong.

The Minister and her delegation were met by the Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Raymond Lai Ming-kee and the Chief Superintendent of Stanley Prison, Mr Chan Kong-sang. She was briefed by Mr Chan on the various functions and facilities of the institution which has a certified accommodation of 1,575 but holds a population of 2,012 prisoners.

Mrs Nagao toured the printing, envelope-making, shoe-making and silkscreening workshops. She also visited the kitchen and an accommodation hall.

End

3

124 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flight ♦ * * ♦ *

A group of 124 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) returned by air to Hanoi, Vietnam, today (Thursday) on the 47th flight under the Orderly Repatriation Programme (ORP).

All but one of the returnees, comprising 57 men, 28 women, 18 boys and 21 girls, are from North Vietnam.

The majority of them arrived in Hong Kong in 1989, with the remaining in 1988, 1991, 1995 and 1996.

The group brought the total number repatriated on ORP flights since November 1991 to 4,251.

End

Monitors' Report submitted to CS

*****

The monitors appointed to observe the Orderly Repatriation Programme operation this (Thursday) morning have submitted their report to the Chief Secretary.

The two monitors comprised a non-official Justice of the Peace, Mr Kenneth Ho King-man; and a representative from a non-governmental organisation, Mr So Pui-tong from Oxfam.

End

Lantau taxi fare to increase tomorrow *****

The Transport Department reminded today (Thursday) that the taxi fare on Lantau will be increased by 10 per cent from tomorrow (Friday).

The Lantau taxis' flagfall charge for the first two kilometres (Km) and subsequent jumps for every 0.2 Km will be increased from $10 to $11 and from $1 to $1.1 respectively.

4

The waiting time charge for every one minute will also be increased from $1 to

$1.1.

The surcharge for each large baggage, animal or bird carried will from the same time be increased from $4 to $5 while that for every hiring through telephone booking will remain unchanged at $5.

A Transport Department spokesman said that before the taxi meter was calibrated and sealed, a fare conversion table showing old and new fare scales would be displayed to avoid misunderstanding and confusion.

End

Industrial production index for first quarter of 1996

*****

The index of industrial production for the first quarter of 1996 decreased by 2.6% over the same quarter in 1995, according to the results of a survey released today (Thursday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

Nevertheless, this could have been affected by a relatively high base of comparison a year earlier when an appreciable increase of 3.7% was recorded.

Analysed by industry group, the production of the paper products and printing industry increased slightly by 1.6%.

On the other hand, decreases of 13.7% and 7.2% were registered in the basic metals and fabricated metal products industry and the textiles (including knitting) industry respectively.

Moderate decreases were recorded in the food, beverages and tobacco industry (-3.6%); and the wearing apparel (except footwear) industry (-2.8%).

Output of the chemical, rubber, plastic and non-metallic mineral products industry decreased by 2.1%. Within this group, the production of plastic products decreased by 8.1%.

5

A slight decrease of 0.3% was recorded 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 5.9%, but the production of consumer electrical and electronic products decreased by 8.2%.

Compared with the fourth quarter of 1995, the index of industrial production showed a marked decrease of 18.9%. This decrease was, however, largely seasonal as the first quarter is usually a low season for manufacturing production due to the lunar new year holidays.

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, First 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.

The report is also available at the Census and Statistics Department Publications Unit, 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai. Regular subscription may 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 1st Qtr 1996 % change over

1st Qtr. 1995 4th Qtr. 1995

1. Food, beverages and tobacco 144 -3.6 -16.6

2. Wearing apparel (except footwear) 94 -2.8 -27.3

3. Textiles (including knitting) 82 -7.2 -27.3

4. Paper products and printing 240 + 1.6 •-’7.8

5. Chemical, rubber, plastic and non-metallic mineral products 57 -2.1 -11.8

within which : Plastic products (33) (-8.1) (-13.3)

6. Basic metals and fabricated metal products 79 -13.7 -16.7

within which : Fabricated metal products (except machinery and equipment) (75) (-11.0) (-18.3)

7. Electrical and electronic products, machinery, professional equipment and optical goods 159 -0.3 -19.7

within which : Consumer electrical and electronic products (105) (-8.2) (-2.0)

: Machinery, equipment, apparatus, parts and components (252) (+5.9) (-21.8)

8 Miscellaneous manufacturing industries 74 -1.8 -12.7

ALL MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES 108 -2.6 -18.9

Noles . 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 (he exact coverage of the industry groups and component industries in terms of HSIC codes, please refer to the publication 'Quarterly Index of Industrial Production, 1st Quarter 1996'.

End

7

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 will be announced biweekly during the bathing season to coincide with the frequency at which beach waters are usually sampled.

The grading is based on the most recent E. coli data obtained by EPD in its routine monitoring programme.

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", Acting Principal Environmental Protection Officer, Dr Lawrence Wong 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.

8

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.

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. They arc identified by an "X" in the following list.

The grades of the bacteriological water quality of various beaches in Hong Kong today are listed below:

Beach Previous Grading (as at 4.7.96) Present Grading (as at 18.7.96)

Hong Kong South

Big Wave Bay (S) 3 3

Chung Hom Kok (S) 1 1

Deep Water Bay (S) 1 1

Hairpin (S) 2 2

Middle Bay (S) 2 3

Repulse Bay (S) 1 1

Shek O (S) 2 2

South Bay (S) 1 1

St Stephen’s (S) 2 2

Turtle Cove (S) 2 2

Stanley Main (S) 2 2

Rocky Bay X X

9

Tuen Mun District

Golden Beach Old Cafeteria New Cafeteria Castle Peak Kadoorie (S) Butterfly (S)

2

3

2 X

3

3

2 3

2 X

3

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

Sil verstrand (S) 2

Trio (Hebe Haven) (S) 2

2

2

1

1

3

2

Islands District

Cheung Sha Upper Cheung Sha Lower Discovery Bay* Hung Shing Yeh Kwun Yam Wan Tong Fuk Lo So Shing Pui O

Silvermine Bay

Tung Wan, Cheung Chau (S)

1

3

2

1

2

1

1

1

2

2

1

3

2

1

1

1

1

1

3

1

Tsuen Wan District

Anglers'

Approach

Casam (S) Gemini

Hoi Mei Wan

Lido (S)

Ting Kau

Tung Wan, Ma Wan

X X 3 3 3 3

X 2

X X 3 4 3

4 X 2

Note: "X" * (S)

The beach has been closed for swimming purposes.

Non-gazetted beaches.

The beach has a shark-prevention net installed.

10

The following beaches have changed grading on this occasion:

Kwun Yam Wan and Tung Wan on Cheung Chau from "2" to "1"; Middle Bay, Silvermine Bay and Silverstrand from "2" to "3"; Gemini and Lido from "3" to "4".

The changes are within the normal range of fluctuation of the bacteriological water quality of these beaches.

End

Medical examination result announced

*****

The Licentiate Committee of the Medical Council of Hong Kong today (Thursday) announced that 22 candidates have passed the final part of the Licentiate Examination for unregistrable doctors while 36 others have failed.

This part of the examination, held between July 3 and 9, was an oral examination to test the ability of candidates to apply professional knowledge to clinical problems. Candidates were examined by two panels of examiners in each of the three disciplines: medicine, surgery and obstetrics and gynaecology.

Successful candidates will be required to undergo an 18-month period of assessment and training in approved hospitals, starting from September.

This batch of 22 candidates will be the last one to go through the Medical Council's Licentiate Scheme for unregistrable doctors.

With the inception of the scheme since 1977, 7,339 candidates have sat the examination and among those, 1,038 have successfully passed the examination.

With effect from September 1, the Licentiate Examination will be replaced by a universal Licensing Examination.

Medical graduates, other than those from the two local universities, are required to pass the new licensing examination and complete a 12-month internship training before they may register with the Medical Council of Hong Kong.

End

11

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,870 0930 +88

Closing balance in the account 1,922 1000 +88

Change attributable to : 1100 +88

Money market activity +92 1200 +88

LAF today -40 1500 +92

1600 +92

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.0 *-0.2* 18.7.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.08 2 years 2805 6.30 100.06 6.36

1 month 5.10 3 years 3904 6.30 99.13 6.75

3 months 5.26 5 years 5106 7.23 99.77 7.42

6 months 5.46 7 years 7305 7.60 99.95 7.75

12 months 5.87 5 years M502 7.30 99.33 7.62

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $9,112 million

Closed July 18, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Friday, July 19, 1996

Contents Page No.

Enhanced training programme for construction workers............... 1

Government to commission study on sustainable development.......... 3

Useful exchange between regulators and market practitioners........ 3

Annual report on company law reform published...................... 5

Moderate increase in number of court insolvency cases.............. 6

1,354 sites checked for industrial safety.......................... 8

Tasting test for Ma Wan cultured fish.............................. 9

Activities to arouse awareness in local heritage.................. 10

Construction output for first quarter of 1996 .................... 10

Value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand in May..................... 13

British soliders help out in school renovation.................... 14

Funding for 23 language projects approved......................... 15

Works to improve water supply in Mai Po and San Tin............... 16

/Tenders invited.

Contents

Page No,

Tenders invited for slope upgrading works............................... 17

Tenders invited for Lung Mun Road improvement........................ 18

Tenders invited for works in hospitals and schools...................... 18

Tenders invited for final section of Sai Sha Road.................... 19

Footbridges for Tuen Mun New Town....................................... 20

Drainage plan for San Tin Basin gazetted................................ 20

First land auction this year..........................................   22

Fresh water cut in Quarry Bay........................................... 23

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations.................... 23

1

Enhanced training programme for construction workers ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

An enhanced training scheme to promote greater safety awareness among construction workers will be launched in the next two months, the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, announced today (Friday).

Addressing the opening ceremony of the Safety and Health Conference for Safety and Health Practitioners, Mr Wong said the up-graded training programme was a result of intensive discussions among Labour Department, Works Branch, Housing Authority, Hong Kong Construction Association (HKCA) and Construction Industry Training Authority (CITA) over the past months.

He said the one-day course to be run by CITA would cover training on safety drills, legislation on construction site safety, general concept on site safety, accident prevention and operation safety.

"Course participants will have to take a test and will be issued with a green card on passing the test," he said.

The green card is valid for three years. Workers will only have their cards renewed on expiry after attending a refresher course and pass the associated test.

Mr Wong noted that HKCA, which first pioneered a green card system last year, would also adopt the improved training programme to ensure that there would be a unified training scheme for workers and all of them take the same test.

He said the Housing Authority and the Works Branch had agreed in principle that all new contracts awarded for their projects should include the green card training requirement.

"In the next three years, the Housing Authority will allocate $1.35 million to sponsor 3,000 construction workers to take part in the basic training programme.

"An additional of $1.9 million will be earmarked for the training needs of some 1,500 specialised workers, such as those working in enclosed areas, at elevated places or outer part of buildings.

"These workers will be required to take a two-day tailor-made training course. On passing the test, workers will be issued with a silver green card.

"Since June this year, all government contracts for the public works projects stipulate that contractors must arrange their construction workers to attend the green card training course and the training cost will be funded directly from the project cost.

2

"The works Branch estimated that some 10,000 construction workers will receive safety training in the next two years through this Scheme. They account for about 75 per cent of the construction workers working on government projects," Mr Wong said.

He said the Works Branch also encouraged contractors who at present were not under any contractual obligations to send their workers to the training course, to take part in the Scheme voluntarily.

"The Education and Manpower Branch has in principle agreed to allocate $3 million in this financial year to support the Scheme. We hope to provide safety training for an additional of 5,000 construction workers in the next two years," Mr Wong said.

In view that workers attending the course may lose a day's pay, Mr Wong said the Housing Authority and Works Branch would provide a subsidy of $650 for skilled workers and $450 for non-skilled workers to compensate for their wages foregone.

Workers who failed in the test may take a make-up test in the evening after work, they need not to take another day-time training course.

"It is estimated that the Government and the Housing authority will provide safety training to some 24,000 construction workers in the next two years through the Scheme.

"It is our plan to apply for more fund in the next financial year to expand the training programme," Mr Wong said.

At present, there are some 29,000 workers employed by private construction projects. Mr Wong said the Government in consultation with HKCA and CITA, would examine how to further promote safety training to cover all construction workers of government and private sector projects.

"It is our plan to provide safety training to almost all construction workers in the next three years," Mr Wong said.

The Conference was organised by the Labour Department and the Occupational Safety and Health Council.

End

3

Government to commission study on sustainable development ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government is to commission a consultancy study on whether and how to introduce sustainable development to Hong Kong. Sustainable development refers to development which meets present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Funding for the Study on Sustainable Development for the 21st Century (SUSDEV21), estimated at $40 million, was approved by Finance Committee of the Legislative Council today (Friday).

A government spokesman said: “The study will help us develop a framework for applying the concept of sustainable development to Hong Kong. Public education and awareness strategies for promoting understanding of the concept would be important elements in the framework.

”We need to involve the community in working out a decision-making process which integrates policies, plans and programmes to achieve a balance in meeting the economic, social and environmental needs of society.

"We will consult the public during the course of the study to find out their expectations and their views on how to turn Hong Kong into a more sustainable city."

'Fhe spokesman noted that work to select the appropriate consultants will start immediately with a view to commissioning the study early next year.

Sustainable development is attracting growing awareness in the international community. SUSDEV21 was proposed in the third review of the 1989 white paper on the environment published in March. It has the support of the Environmental Affairs Panel of the Legislative Council and the Advisory Council on the Environment.

End

Useful exchange between regulators and market practitioners ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Representatives from 10 Asian central banks/regulatory bodies and market participants ended a one-day meeting held in Hong Kong today (Friday) on risk management of derivatives.

Participants agreed that regular exchange of information and views can play an important role in enhancing effective regulation of derivatives trading activities.

4

The Asia Derivatives Forum, the first of its kind in the region, was coorganised by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA).

In his opening address to the Forum, HKMA's Deputy Chief Executive, Mr David Carse, said: "With the increase in derivatives activities both domestically and globally, it is important for regulators to take active steps to keep themselves up to date with market and supervisory trends and to maintain a close dialogue."

According to the Co-chairman of ISDA (Hong Kong and South East Asia), Mr Quentin Hills, the use of derivatives will gain importance as financial markets in emerging countries in the region mature.

Of the seven largest derivatives markets in the world, three are in Asia - Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong.

A survey conducted by HKMA last year shows that the volume of outstanding foreign exchange and interest rate derivative contracts in Hong Kong as at the end of April 1995 amounted to over US$1,600 billion while the average daily turnover reached US$74 billion.

"The Asia Derivatives Forum underscores the importance of reconciling the proper role of market supervision with market participation and risk management," said Mr Hills.

"The significance of this forum is that regulators and market practitioners are sharing their knowledge and concerns to promote common goals."

Participants of the Forum include senior regulatory officials from Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand as well as 10 representatives from ISDA who come mainly from leading banking institutions active in derivatives trading in Asia.

Among the topics discussed were client suitability and appropriateness, disclosure of derivatives activities to regulators and the public, factors affecting the development of the derivatives market and issues concerning the implementation of Basle proposals on market risk.

End

5

Annual report on company law reform published *****

The Standing Committee on Company Law Reform (SCCLR) has submitted its 12th report, covering the year 1995, to the Govemor-in-Council, a government spokesman said today (Friday).

During the year the Committee considered a wide range of issues and six of them involved proposals for amendments to the relevant legislation.

“One of the key recommendations of the SCCLR was for the statutory companies forms contained in the Companies Ordinance and related regulations to be removed from the legislation, and the Registrar of Companies empowered, within parameters laid down in the ordinance, to revise and update the forms as and when necessary.

’’This will facilitate the present major exercise to produce forms that are more ’user-friendly’ and in a bilingual format. This proposal has been included in the Companies (Amendment) Bill 1996 which is being considered by the Legislative Council,” the spokesman said.

Another recommendation of SCCLR was to expand the application of the existing provisions on the disqualification of company directors to cover disqualification from directorships of overseas companies which carry on business in Hong Kong as well as from locally-incorporated companies.

’’This has also been included in the Companies (Amendment) Bill 1996," the spokesman said.

The Committee also proposed to provide that, firstly, where the auditor of a company has resigned, notice of the resignation should be filed with the Registrar of Companies and, secondly, that the legislation should be more closely modelled on similar provisions contained in the 1985 UK Companies Act, the spokesman said.

Other issues that have also been discussed by the Committee in the past year included the importance of corporate governance to Hong Kong’s standing in the business world, the proposed extension to overseas companies of the alternative remedy to winding up under section 168A of the Companies Ordinance and the definition of the term of "place of business" in respect of overseas companies.

"Some of these issues are being considered by the consultant commissioned to undertake an overall review of the Companies Ordinance. The Committee agreed to keep the overall review under close scrutiny," the spokesman said.

6

SCCLR is tasked to advise the Financial Secretary on necessary amendments to the Companies Ordinance, the Securities Ordinance and the Protection of Investors Ordinance.

Since its establishment in 1984, the Standing Committee has produced 12 annual reports. Of the total 63 recommendations which the Committee has made, 43 have so far been implemented and a further 11 are included in proposals for legislative amendments either being considered by the Legislative Council or being prepared for the next legislative session.

Copies of the SCCLR’s Report can be obtained from the Secretary of the Standing Committee on Company Law Reform (Tel 2867 2819, Fax 2869 6817 or 2596 0585), or in person to the Companies Registry, 12th floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.

End

Moderate increase in number of court insolvency cases *****

The Official Receiver, Mr Robin Hearder, said today (Friday) that the first half year of 1996 showed a moderate increase in the number of new court insolvencies in comparison with the same period last year.

There were 271 new compulsory company liquidation orders and 271 personal bankruptcy orders in January-June compared with the corresponding figures of 222 and 208 for the same period in 1995.

It could be seen, therefore, the total of 542 new insolvencies had increased by 26.05 per cent which was still less than 1.5 per cent of new companies incorporated and businesses registered during the same period.

The businesses mainly affected by compulsory company liquidations and bankruptcies included garment and knitting manufacturing, importers and exporters, restaurants and canteens, consumer credit, company directors giving personal guarantees, construction and engineering, electrical and electronic manufacturing as well as transportation and godown.

Petitions were filed by the Director of Legal Aid (37%), trade creditors (31%), banks and financial institutions (21%), landlords (4%), shareholders (2%), personal (1 %) and others (4%).

7

More complicated or significant insolvencies during the first six months of this year were American Furniture Limited, Kennington Development Limited, Empire Engineering Company Limited, ICS Computer Distribution Limited and Pentad Construction Company Limited.

During this first half year, 58 summonses were issued against directors of companies in compulsory liquidation for failure to submit Statements of Affairs to the Official Receiver and to keep books and accounts of wound-up companies and 33 directors were convicted. The total amount of fines imposed by the Court was $157,205.

Thirteen orders for disqualification of company directors were made by the Court in the first half year of 1996. The length of disqualification period ranged from one to one and a half to four years.

Twenty-five warrants of arrest were issued against uncooperative bankrupts or directors in January-June, and three warrants were implemented.

Total dividends declared by the Official Receiver during the first half year of 1996 (excluding BCCHK) amounted to $28.9 million in 112 insolvencies, as against $28.4 million in 126 insolvencies for the corresponding period of 1995.

There were seven schemes of arrangement/compositions approved by the courts during the first six months of 1996, as against five for the same period in the previous year.

The total number of active insolvency cases being handled by the Official Receiver’s Office at the end of June 1996 was 2,666, representing 1,542 compulsory company liquidations and 1,124 personal bankruptcies.

Funds administered by the Official Receiver at the end of June 1996 (excluding funds pertaining to the BCCHK liquidations) totalled $1,062 million compared with $1,064 million at June 30, 1995, representing a reduction of $2 million.

The Official Receiver also administered US$1.8 million (US$1.6 million at June 30, 1995) and Japanese Yen 10 million (Yen 271 million at June 30, 1995). The BCCHK funds under the Official Receiver’s administration amounted to approximately $824 million ($1,359 million at June 30, 1995).

End

8

1,354 sites checked for industrial safety * * * * ♦

The Labour Department's special task force comprising 10 factory inspectors checked another 90 sites in the fourth week of the territory-wide special industrial safety operation. The total number of sites inspected in the past four weeks reached 1,354.

A total of 35 summonses would be issued to building contractors for breaching industrial safety laws as a result of the latest operation bringing the number of summonses to be issued under the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance to 419 up to yesterday (Thursday).

The breaches detected over the fourth week related mainly to failing to provide suitable working platforms or scaffolds; failing to provide proper fencing of dangerous places; failing to ensure the use of personal protective equipment by workers and failing to provide adequate safety measures in the use of lifting appliances. These were similar to the last three weeks' findings.

A Labour Department spokesman said with effect from today (Friday), the Commissioner for Labour was empowered to issue suspension notice or improvement notice to stop immediately any operation or machinery at a construction site which might pose an imminent risk of serious injuries to workers.

"Prosecution will be initiated against the proprietor or contractor who fails to comply with the terms of the suspension notice or improvement notice," said the spokesman.

The maximum penalty for contravening a suspension notice is $500,000 and 12 months' imprisonment, with an additional fine of $50,000 for every day if the contravention continues.

For those who fail without reasonable excuse to observe the terms of an improvement notice, they are liable to a maximum fine of $200,000 and imprisonment for 12 months.

End

9

Tasting test for Ma Wan cultured fish ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A tasting test was conducted for fish samples from the Ma Wan Culture Zone by the Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) today (Friday).

The test was a follow-up action by AFD to further investigate the possible impact on the Ma Wan Fish Culture Zone by the oil spill occurred on July 6.

After tasting, the majority of the invited panellists found that there was no tainting on the fish meat samples.

An AFD spokesman said four most commonly cultured fish species in Ma Wan were selected for tasting. These fish species are Brown spotted grouper, green grouper, mangrove snapper and seabream.

Some live samples of the four species were collected between July 8 and 11, several days after the spill while other samples were taken on July 17, both from the Ma Wan Fish Culture Zone.

Control samples of the same four fish species had also been collected from another fish culture zone not affected by the oil spill, he said.

The spokesman thanked the tasting test panellists who have been drawn from Ma Wan mariculturists, Federation of Hong Kong Aquaculture Association, Association of Restaurant Managers, Hong Kong Hotel Association, a media organisation and AFD.

The British expert appointed by the Hong Kong United Dockyards for the oil spill investigation, Mr Alistair Goodlad, and Dr Chiu Sein-tuck of Hong Kong Baptist University also took part in the tasting exercise.

The test was organised by AFD as part of its continued efforts to assist the affected mariculturists in the oil spill incident.

End

10

Activities to arouse awareness in local heritage

*****

A series of summer activities are being organised by the Antiquities and Monuments Office (AMO) of the Broadcasting, Culture and Sport Branch to arouse public awareness in local heritage.

These include an exhibition of 39 drawings by students on local monuments at the AMO gallery, 136 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. They feature both Western and Chinese historical buildings which have been drawn in various materials including acrylic, water colour, Chinese ink, poster colour and crayon.

The drawings are the winning entries of a competition held earlier as part of the territory-wide School Heritage Festival.

The exhibition will end on August 19 and admission is free. Memorandum clips and magnetic puzzles featuring historical buildings are distributed as souvenirs to visitors.

To complement the exhibition, a free drawing tour to the Royal Observatory in Tsim Sha Tsui will be organised on July 27 from 9 am to 12.30 pm. Families who wish to take part in the event should apply to AMO in person on a first-come-first-served basis. Enquiries can be made on 2721 2326.

End

Construction output for first quarter of 1996

*****

The gross value of construction work, in nominal terms, performed by main contractors (including general and special trade contractors) amounted to $27.5 billion in the first 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 20.6% 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 first quarter of 1996 increased by 12.1% over the same quarter last year.

II

The gross value of construction work, in nominal terms, performed at public sector sites amounted to $11.1 billion. Construction activities remained robust in the first quarter of 1996, with an increase of 40.4% in nominal terms and 31.9% when measured at constant (1990) market prices. The remarkable increase largely reflected the intensification of work on the major infrastructural projects.

The gross value of construction work, in nominal terms, performed at private sector sites totalled $9.1 billion, an increase of 4.1% over the same quarter last year. When measured at constant (1990) market prices, it was down by 5.9%.

The gross value of construction work, in nominal terms, performed by general contractors at locations other than construction sites amounted to $4.7 billion, 17.1% higher than in the first quarter of 1995.

When measured at constant (1990) market prices, the corresponding increase was 11.0%. 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, 21.3% higher than in the first quarter of 1995.

When measured at constant (1990) market prices, the corresponding increase was 19.4%.

Analysed by end-use, transport projects, which covered airport construction projects, accounted for the greatest portion of the gross value of construction work performed at construction sites.

The gross value of construction work performed for these projects was $6.5 billion, representing an increase of 46.4% over the first quarter of 1995.

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 $5.9 billion. This was 23% higher than in the first 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 $2.6 billion, 9.1% higher than in the first quarter of 1995.

12

Compared with the fourth quarter of 1995, the gross value of construction work, in nominal terms, performed by main contractors in the first quarter of 1996 decreased slightly by 0.8%.

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, 1st Quarter 1996.

The report is now on sale at $15 per copy at the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, and 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

13

Value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand in May

*****

The value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand for local production in May 1996 decreased by 7% over a year earlier, according to the provisional results of a monthly survey released today (Friday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

Comparing May 1996 with May 1995, a significant increase in the value of orders was registered in the fabricated metal products industry (+25%).

On the other hand, decreases in the value of orders were recorded in the printing and publishing industry(-13%), the plastic products industry (-12%), the textiles industry (-11%), the electronic products industry (-9%), the wearing apparel industry (-5%) and the electrical products industry (-5%).

Compared with April 1996, and bearing in mind that this comparison may be affected by seasonal factors, the value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand in May 1996 increased by 1 %.

The monthly survey of orders-on-hand covers a sample of some 300 manufacturing firms engaging 50 or more workers.

Manufacturers' orders-on-hand refer to orders and parts of orders received earlier by manufacturers for local production which remain unfilled as at the end of the reference month.

Orders received by traders not engaged in production are included if such orders are further placed to manufacturers for production locally. However, orders placed to manufacturing firms for production in China and other places outside Hong Kong are not included in this series of orders-on-hand statistics.

A spokesman of the department said 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 May 1996 is now available at $7 a copy 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.

14

Che 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

April 1996 over April 1995 (Revised) May 1996 over May 1995. (Provisional)

All industries covered in the survey - 5 - 7

♦ Wearing apparel - 4 - 5

♦ Textiles -11 -11

♦ Electronic products - 5 - 9

* Electrical products - 1 - 5

* Fabricated metal products +30 +25

♦ Plastic products -12 -12

♦ Printing and publishing - 9 -13

End

British soldiers help out in school renovation

*****

Soldiers from the Postal Courier Troop and Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Workshops of the Hong Kong Logistic Support Regiment will provide many hands to make light work of redecorating the Christian Alliance P C Lau Memorial International School in Kowloon City this weekend.

As part of a four-year renovation project 23 soldiers and their families have volunteered to paint and decorate the school's library, science laboratory and home economics room on Saturday (July 20) and Sunday (July 21).

The idea was the brainchild of Warrant Officer Trevor Lawrence who is a member of the Christian Alliance Church, affiliated to the school.

15

’’The lads I work with have been keen for some time to get involved with a project which would let them do something for the Hong Kong community - a way of saying ’thank you’ for the time we’ve spent here,” said Trevor.

"When my church suggested we help out with the decorating we jumped at the chance. The school has provided all the materials, we've provided the willing hands and hopefully we can finish the decorating by Sunday."

The school opened its doors in 1992 and, over the past four years, has seen its population grow to 200. However, as it operates on a non-profit making basis the school relies on help from church members, Mobile Mission Maintenance and now the "1,000-Day Regiment".

The Hong Kong Logistic Support Regiment was formed on April 8, 1994 and is known as the "1,000-Day Regiment" because of its short lifespan.

It consists of a number of sub units, including a transport squadron, a food supply troop, a postal and courier troop, an accommodation services unit and a headquarters squadron based in Osborn Barracks, Kowloon Tong.

It is unusual in that it is made up of personnel of three different nationalities -British, Chinese and Gurkhas.

End

Funding for 23 language projects approved ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Director of Education and Trustee of the Language Fund, Mrs Helen C P Lai Yu, today (Friday) approved funds totalling $20.55 million to 23 language improvement projects recommended by the Language Fund Advisory Committee.

Of the successful applications which aim at improving language proficiency of students, teachers and members of the public, 11 projects are Chinese language (including Putonghua), 10 are English and two are cross language.

They include research projects, learning packages and computer software development.

Among the Chinese language projects, there are two research projects on curriculum reforms and the language development of pre-school children, four on enhancing Putonghua standard, and one on the production of a television series on the correct usage of Chinese.

16

The English ones include proposals on the production of multi-media CD-ROMs to enhance students’ language competence, a radio programme for senior secondary students and a self-study package for Chinese-medium Secondary 6 students.

There is also a proposal to develop and to converse databases on English language grammar and teaching ideas for open access on the Internet.

The two cross language projects are proposed by the Education Department. They are a feasibility study on extending extensive reading to all primary and secondary levels and a review on the workload of language teachers.

End

Works to improve water supply in Mai Po and San Tin *****

The Water Supplies Department is inviting tenders for the laying of about 3.3 kilometres long fresh water mains from Wang Lok Street in Yuen Long to Kam Tin River.

The contract is one of the two mainlaying contracts to be awarded under the department’s programme to lay a trunk water main along Castle Peak Road from Long Ha to Yuen Long.

With the completion of the contracts, now scheduled in early 1998, the water supply to Mai Po and San Tin areas in Yuen Long will be improved.

In the long term, the water mains built will form part of the distribution system of the proposed Ngau Tam Mei Treatment Works.

Tender forms and further particulars of the contract can be obtained from the Water Supplies Department, 44th floor, Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Tender offers will close at noon on August 16.

End

17

Tenders invited for slope upgrading works ♦ * * ♦ ♦

The Civil Engineering Department is inviting tenders for upgrading 21 slopes and retaining walls throughout the territory under its Accelerated Landslip Preventive Measures (LPM) Programme.

The works are expected to be completed in 24 months' time.

Of these 21 slopes, five are under the maintenance of Highways Department, three with Water Supplies Department, one each with Architectural Services Department, Housing Department and Agriculture and Fisheries Department, and 10 are on unallocated government land.

Chief Geotechnical Engineer of the department's Geotechnical Engineering Office, Mr Allan Watkins, said the contract would be the eighth to be offered under the 5-year Accelerated LPM Programme which commenced in April last year.

"A total of six contracts which involve the upgrading of about 140 slopes and retaining walls will be let this year," he said.

"Under the Accelerated LPM Programme, upgrading works to government-owned man-made slopes in the 1977 Slope Catalogue will be speeded up.

"Studies of private slopes and retaining walls have also been accelerated considerably and over 300 slopes will be studied in the current fiscal year.

"A statutory notice will be served by the Buildings Department requiring owners to carry out upgrading works if a private slope or retaining wall is identified by the studies as not meeting the required standards."

Tender forms for the slope upgrading works contract and further particulars can be obtained from the office of Chief Geotechnical Engineer/Works, Geotechnical Engineering Office, LG1 floor, Civil Engineering Building, 101, Princess Margaret Road, Kowloon.

Tender offers will close at noon on August 16.

End

18

Tenders invited for Lung Mun Road improvement ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Civil Engineering Department (CED) is inviting tenders for improvement works at Lung Mun Road in Tuen Mun .

The works comprise the realignment and widening of a section of Lung Mun Road fronting Tuen Mun Area 38 and the construction of associated sewage, drainage and water main laying works.

A sewage pumping station will also be designed and constructed.

Works will start in October this year for completion in 30 months.

The project has been designed and construction will be supervised by the Development and Airport Division of the Civil Engineering Office of the CED.

Forms of tender and further particulars can be obtained from the Division's Chief Engineer, second floor. Civil Engineering Building, 101 Princess Margaret Road, Ho Man Tin, Kowloon.

Tender offers will close at noon on August 16.

End

Tenders invited for works in hospitals and schools * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Architectural Services Department is inviting prequalification tenders for the construction of an operating theatre block at Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Works include the construction of an eight-storey operating theatre block as an extension to the existing main block of the hospital, a 60-metre long basement services tunnel and associated drainage and external works.

Prequalification documents can be obtained from Chief Architect 4, Architectural Services Department . 40th floor. Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.

The department is also inviting tenders for two separate contracts to carry out conversion and extension works for a total of 11 existing aided schools.

Works on both contracts will start in mid-October for completion in August

1997.

19

Tender forms and further particulars can be obtained from the Architectural Services Department, 34th floor, Queensway Government Offices.

Tender offers for all three contracts will close at noon on August 9.

End

Tenders invited for final section of Sai Sha Road ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Territory Development Department is inviting tenders for the construction of the final section of Sai Sha Road in Sha Tin.

The contract also covers construction of roads and drains in parts of planning Areas 86 and 90 near Shing On temporary housing area and Chung On housing estate.

A spokesman for the department said today (Friday) that the project would involve construction of about 0.24 kilometre long carriageway and two vehicular bridges forming the final section of Sai Sha Road.

"A footbridge will be built across On Chun Street linking Bayshore Towers and the future Ma On Shan Park.

"Local roads and associated footpaths, cycle tracks, drainage, waterworks and landscape works in planning areas 86 and 90 will also be constructed," the spokesman said.

Construction work will commence in September and scheduled for completion in 27 months.

Forms of tender and further particulars may be obtained from the office of the Consulting Engineers, Messrs Maunsell Consultants Asia Limited, 4 Fung Wo Lane, Wo Che, Sha Tin, New Territories.

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, lower ground floor, Central Government Offices (East Wing), 20 Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong, before noon on August 9.

Late tenders will not be accepted.

End

20

Footbridges for Tuen Mun New Town ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

The Territory Development Department is inviting tenders for the construction of a footbridge and a combined pedestrian and cycle bridge in Tuen Mun New Town.

A spokesman for the department said today (Friday) that the contract would involve the construction of two bridges and associated drainage and utility works.

A 80-metre long and 4.25-metre wide footbridge will be built across Lung Mun Road near San Shek Wan light rail transit stop.

Another 110-metre long and 8.6-metre wide combined pedestrian and cycle bridge will be built across the southern section of Tuen Mun nullah connecting zoning areas 16 and 18.

Construction work will start in September and scheduled for completion in 20 months.

Forms of tender and further particulars can be obtained from the office of the Consulting Engineers, Messrs Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick (HK) Ltd, 38th floor, Metroplaza Tower 1, 223 Hing Fong Road, Kwai Fong, New Territories.

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 on the lower ground floor of Central Government Offices (East Wing), Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong, before noon on August 9.

Late tenders will not be accepted.

End

Drainage plan for San Tin Basin gazetted * * * ♦ ♦

The Drainage Authority today (Friday) gazetted a draft Drainage Authority area plan for San Tin Drainage Basin, one of the most flood prone drainage basin in the territory.

A spokesman for the Drainage Services Department said the plan delineated the extent of the "Drainage Authority area" in San Tin Drainage Basin covering San Tin, Lok Ma Chau, Mai Po and Shek Wu Wai.

21

"The basin covers an area of about 15 square kilometres. About 12 kilometres of watercourses within the area are being designated as main watercourses," he said.

Upon publication of the plan in the Gazette, said the spokesman, the Authority was given various powers under the Land Drainage Ordinance to execute drainage works, to enter upon private land for executing drainage works, and to exercise control on erection of structures within the main watercourses.

"These measures are aimed at reducing the threat of flooding in areas covered by the plan," the spokesman added.

Any person aggrieved by the plan may deliver a written statement of objection to the Director of Drainage Services on or before September 17.

The objector should clearly set out in the written statement the nature of and reasons for the objection, and any proposed alteration that would remove the objection.

The notice together with related plans can be seen at the following offices:

Drainage Services Department Headquarters, 43rd floor, Revenue Tower, 5 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai;

* Land Drainage Division, Drainage Services Department, 11th floor, Kowloon Government Offices,

405 Nathan Road, Kowloon;

* Yuen Long District Office,

Yuen Long District Office Building,

269 Castle Peak Road, Yuen Long, New Territories;

* Land Registry,

28th floor, Queensway Government Offices,

66 Queensway, Hong Kong; and

♦ Yuen Long New Territories Land Registry, seventh floor, Yuen Long Government Offices, 2 Kiu Lok Square, Yuen Long, New Territories.

End

22

First land auction this year

*****

Two lots of government land on Hong Kong Island and in the New Territories will be offered for sale at a public auction on August 14, it was gazetted today (Friday).

The auction will start at 2.30 pm in the Concert Hall of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui. It will be the first land auction to be held in the 1996-97 fiscal year.

The first lot located in Area 30, Tai Po, has an area of 21,200 square metres for private residential use.

The developer has to complete a gross floor area of not less than 10,176 square metres on or before September 30, 2001.

Covering an area of about 276 square metres, the second lot is located in Shek O Headland, Shek O. It is also earmarked for private residential use.

The developer has to complete a gross floor area of not less than 124 square metres on or before September 30, 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

23

Fresh water cut in Quarry Bay * * * * ♦

The fresh water supply to some premises in Quarry Bay will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm on Monday (July 22) to 6 am the following day for waste detection work on watermains to be carried out.

The suspension will affect Hoi Chak Street, Finnie Street, Hoi Kwong street, Hoi Hong street, Hoi Tai Street, Hoi Wan Street, Tong Chong Street, No 898 King's Road and all odd Nos premises between 943 and 979, King's Road.

End

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

S million Time (hours.) Cumulative change (^million)

Opening balance in the account 1,922 0930 +35

Closing balance in the account 1,828 1000 +35

Change attributable to : 1100 +35

Money market activity +36 1200 +36

LAF today -130 1500 +36

1600 +36

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.1 *+0.0* 19.7.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.06 2 years 2805 6.30 100.15 6.30

1 month 5.09 3 years 3904 6.30 99.29 6.69

3 months 5.24 5 years 5106 7.23 100.06 7.34

6 months 5.44 7 years 7305 7.60 100.43 7.66

12 months 5.84 5 years M502 7.30 99.66 7.53

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $9,196 million

Closed July 19, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Saturday, July 20,1996

Contents Page No,

Energy Advisory Committee holds inaugural meeting.................... 1

Dr Sex Hotline launched.................................................. 1

Contribution of outstanding volunteers recognised........................ 3

$63 million Lotteries Fund approved...................................... 4

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations................. 4

Sunday, July 21,1996

Contents Pagein

Hong Kong Annual Report on Internet....................................... 5

Child care fee assistance invited......................................... 6

Fresh water cut in Yau Tong and Yuen Long................................. 7

1

Energy Advisory Committee holds inaugural meeting

*****

The newly appointed Energy Advisory Committee, chaired by Professor Charles Kao Kuen and to advise the Government on energy policy matters including energy efficiency and conservation, held its first meeting today (Saturday).

During the meeting, data on energy consumption were reviewed and progress made with energy efficiency and conservation programmes was discussed.

Members were briefed on the terms and objectives of the scheme of control agreements between the Government and the power companies and the companies' electricity generating capacity.

They were also informed of a forthcoming study of the feasibility of introducing a common carrier system for gas supply in Hong Kong. The system was recommended by the Consumer Council as a means of increasing competition in the gas supply market and the Government has agreed to study its feasibility.

The study is expected to be completed by March next year and the findings will be presented to the Committee for advice in due course.

The next meeting will be held in September.

End

Dr Sex Hotline launched *****

Members of the public, in particular young people, can now seek free expert advice on sex related issues through the Dr Sex Hotline on 2337 2121, a 24-hour prerecorded telephone and facsimile service which provides comprehensive information on sex.

Sponsored by AIDS Trust Fund and Health Care and Promotion Fund, Dr Sex Hotline is organised by the Hong Kong Sex Education Association and supported by the Department of Health.

Speaking at the launching ceremony of the Hotline today (Saturday), the President of Hong Kong Sex Education Association, Mr Li Man-chiu, said nowadays the need of sexual knowledge by adolescents was becoming vital but the society did not provide enough channels to meet their demands.

2

Mr Li said when young people came across any sexual doubts, they were too shy to talk about the problems with their parents, teachers or social workers and they tended to find out the answers through the media, or even pornography videos and magazines.

Through the implementation of the Dr Sex Hotline, it is hoped that the young generation could acquire positive understanding and develop proper concepts about sex related issues.

"Since the Hotline is not manned by counsellors, it would help ease the embarrassing feeling of the young people and encourage them to use the Hotline," Mr Li said.

Dr Sex Hotline provides information on the following six main areas to the public in Cantonese and English:

Sex: physiological, psychological and behavioural problems

Myths about sex

Sexually transmitted diseases

* Love and marriage

* Pregnancy and contraception

* Sex and law

The launching ceremony of the Hotline was held at the Hall of the Boys' and Girls' Clubs Association of Hong Kong.

Also officiating at the ceremony were Professor Ng Man Lun of the Department of Psychiatry, Hong Kong University Dr, Legislative Councillor, Mr Cheng Kar Foo, and five AIDS Awareness Ambassadors, Mr Hung Chiu-fung, Ms Li Pik-sum, Mr Gary Ngan, Mr Paul Tse and Ms Pamela Pak.

AIDS awareness ambassadors were appointed by the Committee on Education and Publicity on AIDS in its campaign for 1996.

End

3

Contribution of outstanding volunteers recognised

*****

In recognition of their contribution to the Summer Youth Programme, 30 outstanding volunteers have been awarded scholarship to conduct a 7-day study tour to Singapore.

Comprising mainly secondary school and tertiary students, the group of outstanding volunteers will start their trip on July 28, visiting places like social service and youth institutes, government departments and other social and community establishments.

At a ceremony to mark the onset of the study tour today (Saturday), Deputy Director of Home Affairs, Mr Lee Lap-sun, congratulated the awardees on their achievements and thanked them on behalf of the Summer Youth Programme Committee for their contribution to the programme.

He said the Summer Youth Programme Scholarship was set up in 1977 with the objective of fostering service spirits among today's youngsters.

The Committee was convinced that, through participating in volunteers service, youngsters are not only helping those in need, they are also equipping themselves for their own future.

Among the 44 awardees this year, 30 opted to join the 7-day Study Tour to Singapore while the rest preferred to enrol in other outward bound courses.

In the past 19 years more than 300 youth volunteers have benefited from the Summer Youth Programme Scholarship Award Scheme.

End

4

$63 million Lotteries Fund approved ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A total of $63,049,400 has been approved from the Lotteries Fund to finance various social welfare service programmes during the second quarter of 1996, a spokesman for the Social Welfare Department said today (Saturday).

"Of the amount, $9,223,700 are earmarked to family and child welfare services. $25,585,100 to elderly and medical social services, $24,434,000 to rehabilitation services, $2,913,100 to youth services. $287,000 to services for offenders, $21,000 to community development services and $585,500 to social welfare support programmes." the spokesman said.

The Lotteries Fund was established for the purpose of financing, by way of a grant, loan or an advance, the operation or development of social welfare services and medical or educational projects with a welfare content.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million lime (hours) Cumulative change ($ million)

Opening balance in the account 1.828 09:30 +130

Closing balance in the account 1.868 10:00 + 130

Change attributable to: 11:00 + 130

Money market activity +130 11:30 + 130

LAF today -90

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.0 *-0.1* 20.7.96

End

5

Hong Kong Annual Report on Internet ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The best selling Hong Kong Annual Report is now available in the government homepage on the Internet in both English and Chinese.

This marks the Government's commitment to disseminating information to Hong Kong people and users world-wide through the modem information superhighway.

The latest issue of the year book - Hong Kong 1996 - is the 50th edition in a series of annual reports prepared by the Government after World War II.

A spokesman for the Government Information Services said today (Sunday) that reading the report in the Hong Kong Government Information Centre (GIC) - the homepage of the government on the Internet - was an interesting and efficient way to browse through major events and activities of the Government taking place last year.

"The home page provides shortcuts for viewing prescribed contents of the report. The whole year book is systematically divided and sub-divided into various topics to help Internet users to go straight to the desired content," he said.

The 140 photographs of the year book can be found in the Photo Gallery. Neatly grouped under seven topics, Internet users may grasp the momentum of development of Hong Kong by browsing through the collection of photographs.

The year book in GIC can be accessed at http://www.info.gov.hk/isd/hk96.

The spokesman said the number of visitors to GIC had been increasing steadily since its launch in December 1995. The number of visits to the homepage has grown from 14,467 in December to 26,083 last month. So far, more than 1.2 million visits have been made to all the pages.

He said new homepages of various government departments, policy branches and related organisations were continually being added to the Hong Kong Government homepage.

At present, 37 policy branches, government departments and related organisations have set up their own homepages and can be accessed in GIC.

"We are making every effort to enrich the contents to meet the increasing demand and expectation from Internet users on the GIC which certainly will become one of the major communication channels between the Government and the general public in the near future," said the spokesman.

End

6

Child care fee assistance invited

*****

Members of the public whose children are enrolled in child care centres including day creches and day nurseries are invited to apply for financial assistance from the Social Welfare Department (SWD).

To be qualified for fee assistance, children in a child care centre should be under six years old, a department spokesman said today (Sunday).

’’Parents or guardians who wish to apply must demonstrate that they cannot afford the full cost of the fees charged.

’’They must also demonstrate that they are unable to provide adequate care for their children at home during the day, for reasons such as both parents having to work to earn a living, the child belonging to a single-parent family or family with presence of an aged or disabled member who needs special care,” he said.

The spokesman said the amount of assistance payable was calculated with regard to the family’s net income which was the difference between the family’s total income and the recognised rent.

"The maximum amount of assistance payable will be based on the fees charged in aided child care centres. For 1995-96. the general maximum fee assistance level is set at $3,445 per month for day creches and $1,965 per month for day nurseries.

"Applications for the fee assistance scheme may be made throughout the year, but should preferably be lodged three months before the date of the child’s admission to a child care centre," the spokesman said.

However, staff from SWD's social security field units will, from June to August, go to the child care centres to help needy parents process applications in batches.

To further publicise the scheme, SWD has recently re-printed a leaflet - Fee Assistance Scheme for Child Care Centres.

Copies of the leaflets can be obtained at child care centres, social security field units and district offices throughout the territory.

Interested persons who have enquiries about the fee assistance scheme can approach their respective social security field units or contact the Child Care Centre Advisory Inspectorate on 2835 2725.

End

7

Fresh water cut in Yau Tong and Yuen Long ♦ * * ♦ ♦

The fresh water supply to some premises in Yau Tong and Yuen Long Industrial Estate will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm on Wednesday (July 24) to 6 am the following day to facilitate waste detection work on watermains.

In Yau Tong, the suspension will affect Blocks 11 to 16, Yau Tong Estate and all building sites along both sides of Yan Wing Street.

In Yuen Long Industrial Estate, the suspension will affect:

* Nos 1-10 Fuk Wang Street;

* Nos 1-3, 2, 6 ,8 and 15-27 Wang Lok Street;

Nosl and 2-12 Wang Lee Street; and

* Nos 95-99 Fuk Hi Street.

End

7

Fresh water cut in Yau Tong and Yuen Long *****

The fresh water supply to some premises in Yau Tong and Yuen Long Industrial Estate will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm on Wednesday (July 24) to 6 am the following day to facilitate waste detection work on watermains.

In Yau Tong, the suspension will affect Blocks 11 to 16, Yau Tong Estate and all building sites along both sides of Yan Wing Street.

In Yuen Long Industrial Estate, the suspension will affect:

* Nos 1-10 Fuk Wang Street;

Nos 1-3, 2, 6 ,8 and 15-27 Wang Lok Street;

Nosl and 2-12 Wang Lee Street; and

Nos 95-99 Fuk Hi Street.

End

7

Fresh water cut in Yau Tong and Yuen Long *****

The fresh water supply to some premises in Yau Tong and Yuen Long Industrial Estate will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm on Wednesday (July 24) to 6 am the following day to facilitate waste detection work on watermains.

In Yau Tong, the suspension will affect Blocks 11 to 16, Yau Tong Estate and all building sites along both sides of Yan Wing Street.

In Yuen Long Industrial Estate, the suspension will affect:

* Nos 1-10 Fuk Wang Street;

Nos 1-3, 2, 6 ,8 and 15-27 Wang Lok Street;

* Nosl and 2-12 Wang Lee Street; and

* Nos 95-99 Fuk Hi Street.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Monday, July 22,1996

Contents Page No.

Public views on school quality sought................................... 1

Hydrogen peroxide not for internal use.................................. 2

Calls for special site precautions...................................... 2

Unlicensed clubhouse manager fined...................................... 3

Special postmark for social welfare conference.......................... 4

Maths education determines technological development.................... 4

Figures by Companies Registry show mixed results........................ 5

Data on business firms available for public retrieval................... 7

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results............................. 8

Water cut in Sheung Shui................................................ 8

Water storage figure.................................................... 9

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

9

- 1 -

Public views on school quality sought ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

The Chairman of the Education Commission, Professor Rosie Young, today (Monday) renewed her appeal to all sectors of the community to give their views on the consultation pamphlet entitled 'Quality School Education : ways to improve performance' which was released in mid-June for public consultation until July 31.

Speaking to the press after a meeting of the Commission, Professor Young said she was pleased with the initial response to the consultation pamphlet. The spirit and the direction of the study are generally supported by the community.

During the consultation exercise, more than 10 briefing sessions have been arranged for LegCo members, the teaching profession, educational bodies, parents, business communities and district boards to gauge their views. Some 35,000 copies of the bilingual pamphlet have been distributed.

At the meeting, members also noted the progress of the Task Group on School Quality and School Funding. It is intended that the second round of consultation on concrete proposals will commence in October.

The Director of Education, Mrs Helen C P Lai Yu, reported on the progress of various recommendations in previous Education Commission Reports No. 1-5. Most of the recommendations in the EC's earlier reports (ECR1-3) have been implemented, or are close to completion; while a few recommendations in ECR4 and 5 will need time and additional resources before they can be fully implemented.

These include the recommendations to convert primary schools to whole-day operation; to accelerate the provision of primary graduate teachers; and to improve: (i) the senior teacher ratio in bi-sessional schools, (ii) the ratio of student guidance teachers, and (iii) the teacher to class ratio in whole-day primary schools.

•1J ..

Members noted that the Administration will continue to seek additional resources to improve the quality of basic education, in particular at the primary level.

End

2

Hydrogen peroxide not for internal use

*****

Members of the public are today (Monday) advised not to take hydrogen peroxide for internal use.

A spokesman for the Department of Health said: "Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical for both industrial and medical uses.

"For medical use, it is applied as a disinfectant to clean wounds and ulcers and registered under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance for external use only.

"There is no evidence of any benefit from its internal use. In fact, such use has been reported to cause serious side effects."

He advised members of the public to seek advice from registered medical practitioners on the use of hydrogen peroxide when in doubt.

End

Calls for special site precautions *****

Contractors should keep an eye on the weather conditions and take special safety precautions on construction sites to cope with weather changes.

A Labour Department spokesman said today (Monday) that as a typhoon signal has been hoisted, strong wind and heavy rain would cause objects to fall, collapse of scaffolds, cave-in of excavations and electrocutions on sites.

"When the weather turns bad, cranes should stop operating as their stability could be affected.

"All lifting appliances and scaffolds should be further strengthened with wallties, ballasting, lashing or guy ropes," he said.

Good house-keeping, proper stacking of materials, protection of electrical installations and equipment are also necessary in bad weather.

3

The spokesman said that site conditions including plants on the site should be thoroughly checked after the typhoon had subsided.

"It is also the responsibility of the contractor to carry out remedial work where necessary and ensure the site is safe before resuming normal operation.

"If remedial work is required, the contractor should also adopt a safe system of work and instruct the workers on details of the system," h