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

 DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, February 1,1996

Contents Page No-.

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

Government committed to defending press freedom.......................... 18

CS on request from PAC for access to ExCo papers......................... 19

HK to continue to prosper and grow beyond 1997 .......................... 19

Reply to critic of scale fees abolition proposal......................... 21

Concern over PE tragedy victim expressed................................. 26

Draft Patents Bill to protect inventions................................. 27

School placement help for Chinese immigrant children..................... 28

Seminar to tackle child abuse............................................ 30

Four nominations received for DB by-election......................... 31

109 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flight........................ 31

Monitors' Report submitted to CS......................................... 32

Kwun Tong District Festival to begin..................................... 32

Airport Post Office extends business hours............................... 34

Lowering of LAF rates.................................................... 35

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):

Governor: I thought that I would allow more time for questions by not making a statement today.

Mr Szeto Wah (in Chinese): Mr Governor, the Executive Council has to observe collective responsibility and so does the Preparatory Committee. If we have a person who is both an Executive Councillor and also a member of the Preparatory Committee, when there are different decisions between the Executive Council and the Preparatory Committee, where should his responsibility lie? And should it be the first one that should take precedence or should it be the last one that should take precedence over the previous one? Thank you.

Governor: I congratulate the honourable gentleman on such a clever, thoughtful, intellectually provoking, constitutional question.

It’s not for me to comment on the working practices of the Preparatory Committee. Save to say that perhaps it's easier to have collective responsibility and confidentiality in a body as small as an Executive Council or a cabinet and perhaps a little more difficult, and that's not meant as a criticism, it's a statement of my views on human nature, a little more difficult when you've got 150 people. But I wish those who are organising the work of the Preparatory Committee the best of luck in that respect.

As for the dilemma which the honourable member mentioned, I would very much hope that were there such a dilemma in practice, the member of the Executive Council and Preparatory Committee would use his own judgement and apply his own integrity to decide what the honourable course of action was. I think it's difficult to answer the question in the abstract. I would only add that knowing who the honourable member has in mind, I have no doubt at all that the honourable gentleman concerned would, in that case, as in others, behave with complete integrity.

Mr Szeto Wah (in Chinese): The ExCo and also the Preparatory Committee have rules of confidentiality, so this person who has membership in both, how should we advise him? Should he try and keep things from both parties or should he try and please both? How can he really play the role of a bridge effectively?

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Governor: I think he should apply his integrity and common sense in this particular instance as he has in others. Speaking for myself I think it's wholly welcome that we have a distinguished businessman playing this bridging role, if it's possible. It may be that in due course the tensions become very difficult, in which case I'm sure that the honourable member concerned would know how to resolve them, but for the time being I think the arrangements work perfectly satisfactorily. I don't hide from the Legislative Council that the member concerned raised these questions with me, raised his own concern about them and I urged him to remain a member of my Executive Council because I'm sure he'll be able to play a valuable role. But if it proves too difficult, both for him and for the two institutions of which he is a member then I'm sure he'll know what to do.

Mr Chan Wing-chan (In Chinese): Mr Governor, the SARPC has been set up recently in Beijing. In Hong Kong we have over 90 members and the Government has said that it will work with the SARPC. My question for the Governor is this: will you show your sincerity and will you therefore ask to see Hong Kong members of SARPC, and if you will do so, how will you go about it? And if you won't, what are the reasons?

Governor: I’m sorry, the honourable member asked me to do what with the Hong Kong members of the Preparatory Committee?

The President: To meet.

Governor: To meet?

Mr Chan Wing-chan (In Chinese): To communicate with them, to listen to their views. They may have views for you, so will you actually take the initiative and ask to see them and meet with them so that you can listen to their views?

Governor: I would be delighted to meet them and listen to their views. And any time that they would like to come and see me, to see the Chief Secretary, to see other members of the Administration in Government House, we would be delighted to meet them. It has been my experience in the past that sometimes when I've asked people to come and meet me they have had very full diaries. I would hope that since we are talking about 94 people that there might be the odd space in one or two of those diaries over the next 17 months.

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Let me go further. When the Vice Premier talked about the importance of the Preparatory Committee listening to people in Hong Kong and taking the views of people in Hong Kong; when, in the rules, I think, governing the conduct of the Committee it notes the importance of listening to all shades of opinion; I hope that that doesn’t just include the Governor and members of the Administration but members of Hong Kong’s representative institutions as well.

Mr Chan Wing-chan (In Chinese): Mr Governor, what I actually meant was, in order to show your sincerity in co-operating with the SAR.PC will you be inviting, taking the initiative to invite these people either together or in batches, to meet with you? Will you take the initiative in other words?

Governor: I think the honourable member has made a very sensible suggestion and I will be delighted to follow it up.

Miss Christine Loh: Governor, I'd like to ask you how you will put together your policy address, the final policy address later on this year, because you said in your last policy address that obviously you will have to perhaps do your next policy address in a completely different way? 1 believe the team designate, led by the future Chief Executive of course, may actually not be in place during the time when you are drafting your policy address. So I wonder whether you intend to work with the Preparatory Committee on the drafting of your policy address or how you are going to put it together?

Governor: I'll put it together with my customary application and verve, with the help of the excellent team of staff in the Hong Kong Administration. But self-evidently the Governor's policy address in the autumn of 1996, is going to be a very different creature to the policy addresses of the last decades. I daresay it will be unique because I guess that no Chief Executive Designate will be facing the same challenging caesura in Hong Kong's history that we face in 1997. I think it would be extremely foolish if I were to try to map out the next five years in the same sort of way that I did when 1 made my first policy address in 1992. What I'll want to do and I don't want to give away all my trade secrets at this stage, what I will want to do is to review progress in working through the five year agenda that I set out in 1992, I'll want to talk about the Joint Declaration and the progress we’ve made in trying to ensure that the Joint Declaration is a reality after 1997. 1'11 want to talk about Hong Kong’s role in the world and I'll want to talk, without in any way being prescriptive about the future, about some of the challenges which I believe Hong Kong will face and perhaps suggest ways in which they could be addressed. But I certainly won't attempt to steal the thunder of my successor who will want to set out for him or herself the agenda for the SAR Government.

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I promise the honourable lady that I will be shorter than 1 was last year, but I hope that there’ll still be enough of interest to keep the honourable lady’s attention.

Miss Christine Loh: Yes, thank you Governor. As you know, I've always, in the last two years at least, taken a particular interest in your policy address. I’m obviously interested in what you might do in future. But, from what you are saying, when you're putting together your final address, as you said, since you can’t map out in the same way as you have in the past, what role will this Council have? Because of course in the past your Officers have also taken the trouble to sound out the feelings of this Council and the follow-up question is also, do you expect the future Chief Executive Designate to be putting forward his or her policy address before the transfer of sovereignty in 1997?

Governor: First of all, can I say that I’m sure that there will be enough in my own policy address to warrant the preparation, it's become one of the more pleasant rituals of Hong Kong politics, the preparation of a shadow address by the Honourable Lady. I'm sure that the community will look forward to that as much as it always does.

It is the case that my officials and indeed I've done it myself have discussed before my policy address with honourable members what they want to see in it and what they think our priorities will be. I'll still want to consult honourable members as much as possible but as I said, we're moving into a situation where I imagine the Chief Executive designate will be wanting to consult the community about what he is going to say and he is going to do for the future, or she.

I don't think that anybody can reasonably expect the policy address this year to be exactly the same sort of animal that it's been in the past, but I hope that there will still be plenty to discuss and I hope that it will at least in a general way point ahead to a number of the important challenges which I long Kong still has to face.

Mr James Tien: Thank you Mr President. Governor, the business community has always been very supportive of an executive-led Government, especially in areas dealing with labour policy. As we all well know that on labour policy, businesses always will voice their concern, it's tough to make a living, rents are high and so forth, difficult to get people and on the employees side it's always complaining about unscrupulous employers not paying their wages, skipping town and everything. So all along, all this is under the Labour Advisory Board advising Government and under the good management of SEM. Government have been able to strike a right balance between the interests of the employer and the employee for long-term benefit of Hong Kong.

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However, under the new legislature formed by, Governor, you, the balance seems to have tilted a little bit in favour of the labour side, together with the Democrats in this Council. Will the Governor shed some light, how should the business community tackle this problem? Shall we just decide to give our hands up, let the union leaders do whatever they want or (does) the Governor have some bright ideas for us? Thank you.

Governor: The I lonourable gentleman raises an important question and perhaps I can respond at reasonable length.

First of all, it seems to me that when one look at Hong Kong's success in the area of labour relations, it's due less to the lead given by Government than by the cooperation that there's been, institutionalised through the LAB, between employers and employees. The Government has been there to hold the ring but by and large we've had exceptionally successful labour relations in Hong Kong because we've had a consensual approach to labour matters and because, as in so many other areas of Hong Kong's life, people have looked for co-operation rather than confrontation.

I happen to believe myself that there is no reason at all why the development of democracy in Hong Kong should threaten that and after all, we're only part of the way along the road. The Basic Law promises us, if that's what Hong Kong wants, a completely directly elected Legislative Council. It also suggests, in due course, the election by universal suffrage of the Chief Executive. So the process of democratisation which has begun in Hong Kong isn't suddenly going to end, it's going to continue and we have to learn to live with it and make it work in the best possible ways to underpin I long Kong's strengths rather than to corrode them.

1 think that the whole community would be very surprised indeed if any actions taken by this Legislative Council put at risk the consensual approach to labour matters and in particular, put at risk the LAB and its work. What are those who give their time and energy and commitment to the LAB to make of it. if after having reached a deal they find that deal chucked out by others. 1 quite understand the arguments about trying to ensure that the LAB has a better and closer working relationship with this Council. That's not in dispute. Our excellent Secretary for Education and Manpower is talking, I think to the honourable member among others, about how we can best achieve that. But I don't myself see how it's in anybody's interest to overturn a svstem of trying to deal with labour market problems which has worked extremely well and I don't think people in the community would understand that.

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Let me just add one other point. We have heard a lot about the importance of consensus and co-operation and I welcome what we’ve heard. Perhaps the best example we’ve seen of consensus and co-operation was the work led by the Secretary for Education and Manpower to find a way of dealing with the problems associated with labour importation which could have the support, however reluctant, of employers and employees. We had summit’s, we had meeting after meeting. We worked and talked and eventually we came up with proposals which got the endorsement of unions, which got the endorsement, whatever their reservations, of employers, which got the support I think of the majority of the community for dealing with labour importation. What is to be said for simply ignoring that, for driving a coach and horses through that as though all that work, all that consensus building was for nothing. I don’t think that's an approach which the community would welcome and I very much hope that people will think again, just as 1 hope they'll think again about issues like fees and charges.

This is, I repeat, what I've said a thousand times before, an incredibly moderate community. It wants a more responsive Government, it wants a more accountable Government, but it doesn't want Government turned on its head and it doesn't want, with great respect, confrontation day after day. So I hope that we'll actually respond to the sort of community which Mong Kong has been and wishes to be in the way we develop all of our institutions.

Mr James Tien: Governor, for once I fully agree with what you have said on your views on labour relations, but unfortunately the union leaders in this Legislature plus the Democrats do not seem to agree with you. I fully agree with you that the hard work of the Labour Advisory' Board members on both the employer and employee side should be well respected but based on what happened yesterday, you can see that this is not happening.

So would the Governor agree that on labour issues, since the Government cannot be executive-led, is it time to dissolve the LAB and let the manpower panel of this Legislature decide everything?

Governor: I certainly don't think that there's a case for dissolving the LAB. but 1 do very much agree with what the Secretary has been arguing for, that is, ways in which we can associate the work of the LAB more with the work of this Legislative Council. I think that yesterday's vote was most unfortunate. I think that it will have made a lot of employers, actually quite a lot of employee representatives as well, think 'what on earth is the point?'. What's the point of us making these commitments at meetings, if we're going to see people simply walk away from them. 1 think it's a way in which Hong Kong would start to import some of the worrying labour practices which have

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done so much damage elsewhere. Which is not to say that everything which has been done for the last 45 years has been perfect. Which is not to say there aren't abuses, some of them abuses brought to our attention recently by the unions, in the importation of labour schemes. Let's be honest about it. There are problems on both sides but the people of Hong Kong don't want those problems addressed in a confrontational way.

It goes wider than labour relations. It touches on some of the issues that members introduce private legislation on. We've got a Housing Authority which probably manages the biggest public housing agency in the world. Which has probably the biggest public housing building programme. There are problems which need to be addressed in the way it works, nobody disputes that, but I don't think anyone seriously supposes that it makes sense, without any public discussion, without the sort of involvement of the community in the outcome, I don't think anybody seriously supposes the sensible thing to do is simply overturn it overnight without adequate public discussion and debate.

So it's an issue which touches on other matters as well, but I'm sure that good sense will prevail and I'm sure that people in Hong Kong will continue to expect our affairs to be conducted in as co-operative a way as possible with as much public and shared trust as possible and as I say, it covers the issues I have mentioned. It also covers. I think, the very strong feeling of people in Hong Kong that there isn't such a thing as a free lunch whatever may be done from time to time about fees and charges.

Mr Chan Kam-lam (in Chinese): Thank you Mr President. Mr Governor, I am sure you are well aware of what happened last evening; we had a very vigorous debate. A motion moved by Miss Emily Lau fearing that there might be a shadow government and a second power centre, and the motion urged us that there be one man one vote for the selection of the Chief Executive and also the Legislature. And the voting result was 26/26 and the President invoked a 19th century practice and put his casting vote. Mr Governor, if you had been in the Chamber then, how would you have cast your vote?

Governor; If I had been in the Chamber it would have been. I imagine, as President which is what the Governor of Hong Kong always used to be, and it is one of the real pleasures which other governors enjoyed which I have denied myself: the ability to sit for hour after hour in this Chamber and listen to the speeches made by honourable members. Had I been here, 1 would therefore have cast my vote in exactly the same way as the President did because he was following the constitutional proprieties in what he did.

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Can I just add one other point. The Basic Law points the way, eventually, to the election by universal suffrage of the Chief Executive of the SAR of Hong Kong. And I'm sure that like most if not all members of this Legislative Council, I hope that that day comes sooner rather than later. I am democratic to the core of my being and feel very strongly that in any society the greatest legitimacy in credibility is provided through the process of election, and that goes for me as well as it goes for everyone else. Plainly, the business of election, the process of election, provides credibility and legitimacy in the way that appointment doesn't and can't.

In the shorter term there won't be election by universal suffrage but the process of election which is now being discussed by the Preparatory Committee will, we all hope, be as open and transparent and fair as possible. And I'm sure that the 14 members of this Council who arrived here by a process themselves which was transparent, open and fair, will ensure that those criteria are met in the selection of my fortunate successor.

The President: I should have ruled your question out of order for being hypothetical.

Mr Chan Kam-lam (In Chinese): Thank you Mr President. Mr Governor, a question: there were 17 rounds of talks between China and Britain and they failed, and the Chinese Government said that they would set up another stove. So, Mr Governor, at this point do you still attack this approach of a second stove?

Governor: First of all can I just make the point that if hypothetical questions were always ruled out of order in this Chamber, I'd have a much easier time. Which is no criticism, Mr President, of your own rulings but hypothetical questions are not unknown in this Chamber.

rhe President: There'd be less showtime then.

Governor: We might indeed have shorter question periods. We did have 17 rounds of discussions with Chinese officials in order to try to agree on arrangements for elections to this Council and, alas, wc didn't succeed. I think that it is generally agreed, whatever people may think about the Chinese criticisms of our proposals, that the proposals themselves, in the event, were fair and open, commanded confidence here in I long Kong, and produced a balanced and representative Legislative Council.

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Now I ask myself why in those circumstances - particularly given all the checks and balances which exist in the Basic Law which perhaps don't exist today - I ask myself why would anybody want to change those arrangements. Would people like to change those arrangements in order to make the arrangements for a Legislative Council election more fair, more free, more open? Is that what the argument is all about? Are we going to have an even more democratically elected Legislative Council if this one is, as a matter of ill-judgment, dismantled in 1997?

There is no need, there is no reason for dismantling this Legislative Council. I remind honourable members of something that I said earlier: Hong Kong is promised a steady and increasing pace of democratisation. We have only just started along the road. Either that process is genuine or it's not, and that I think is what the argument in 1992 and 1993 was largely about.

The President: You had .... already. Are you .... that the question has not been answered?

Mr Chan Kam-lam (in Chinese): Yes, my question is not answered. Thank you Mr President. With regard to my question, it is not a hypothetical question it’s a reality. In fact the Governor has once said that he didn’t want to see a second stove. And in fact the Preparatory Committee is doing what the Chinese side have planned, they are going to build the second stove and the Governor said he will co-operate fully with the Preparatory Committee. I find it strange that if he is thinking about another thing and he is doing something else, then how can he co-operate sincerely with the Preparatory Committee? I hope the Governor and the present team of senior officials will sincerely and truly co-operate with the Preparatory Committee.

We see that another debate on a resolution before coming to any agreement somebody brings something before the Council in order to achieve something. I don't want to see that again.

Governor: Well, I think we're perhaps suffering from the stove metaphor. As 1 understand it, a second stove was a phrase coined for the Preliminary Working Committee and meant - whether this was the intention or not - meant the attempt to have a rival centre of power in Hong Kong, another place where you could cook the dinner.. I don't think that that is what the argument about the Legislative Council is about because we are talking, as I understand it, about a future stove rather than a second stove.

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Answering in that context, let me remind the honourable member of what I have always said. I've always said that we would want the maximum co-operation with the Preparatory Committee provided - and these were the reasonable parameters I spelled out I think first of all in 1984 - provided that is in line with the Joint Declaration, provided it's in interests of Hong Kong and the people of Hong Kong and so on. We gave some perfectly reasonable conditions.

I don't think that it would be in the interests of the people of Hong Kong to chuck this Legislative Council out or to try to turn the clock back on the process of democratisation in Hong Kong. I don't think it would be in the interests of the people of Hong Kong to try to go back on the promises that were made about elections in the Joint Declaration and subsequently. So I see no reason at all why the Government should collaborate in the destruction of this Legislative Council to which it is accountable.

Mr Tsang Kin-shing (in Chinese): Thank you Mr President. Mr Governor, whether it's lucky or not, last Wednesday, no last Friday you didn't pass Hau Tak Estate. Actually you like to visit many places in Hong Kong. Last week if you passed Hau Tak Estate, you would be crushed under the footbridge. I don't know whether you arc lucky or not but somebody was unlucky.

On the whole, in terms of industrial safety, I think the Government has not done its part in terms of licensing of construction workers, there is no such licensing apart from plumbers.

I'm talking about labour issues. I'm not talking about the Preparatory Committee. Well my question on the Preparatory Committee cannot be answered by the Governor.

Concerning the Chek Lap Kok airport, the Chek Lap Kok airport is having a size similar to that of the Kowloon peninsula but there is no emergency hospital service, it's a labour issue.

In recent months there are problems with the imported labour, you had summit meetings. The foreign workers were dismissed. The Government has done nothing about it. Docs the Government admit that there is not enough manpower in monitoring the importation of foreign workers and you have not done your part? .

Governor: First of all can I offer my sympathy to those who suffered as a result of the bridge collapse.

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Can I also say that 1 agree with the concern which the honourable member has about Hong Kong's record of industrial safety and in particular, of safety in- the construction industry. We have, partly at the prompting of the honourable member and some of his colleagues, taken over the last couple of years a number of steps in the area of industrial safety which I hope will lead to a considerable improvement in our record, not just in the construction industry but in manufacturing industry as a whole. There have been some improvements in the figures, but we've still got a long way to go to meet the sort of goals which a society as prosperous and successful as this should set for itself.

On the question of abuses of the labour importation scheme, particularly in relation to the ACP, I think the honourable member is aware of the considerable efforts the Government has made over the last few months. First of all, to tighten regulations and secondly to route out abuses and thirdly to provide more information to those who come into Hong Kong to work about their rights in general and their entitlements under their contracts in particular. Many of the proposals that we've put forward have been at the prompting of representatives of employees and I'm grateful for that. There are further proposals that we're acting on, which 1 hope will mean that we see no abuse in the future. We do need the importation of some labour in order to complete the ACP but, of course, priority has got to be given to local employees, not least local employees in the construction industry and the honourable member will know we've set up an office to try to ensure that we get more local employment to match local vacancies in airport core programme projects.

We will continue to pursue any instances where our labour law or our immigration law is abused by contractors or sub-contractors. It's absolutely essential that any importation of labour is pursued with the maximum integrity and that those who come and help in the building of Hong Kong enjoy the protection of our labour laws.

*

Mr Tsang Kin-shing (in Chinese): Mr President, I don’t believe the Governor has answered one of my questions. That is, whether there will be an A & E Department in the airport in order to treat people suffering from accidents, because the airport is in a very remote place?

And then secondly, there’s been dodging of wages and it is only because we've got pressure from the labour sector and we have got all these cases exposed and there’s been reprisal. So would the Governor agree that from 1991 - 1996 there's been dereliction of duty with the Administration?

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Governor: First of all the question of Accidents and Emergencies and the provision of proper facilities, perhaps 1 can look into that question which hasn't been raised with me before and get in touch with the honourable member when I've had an opportunity of talking to the Health Department and the Hospital Authority and the Airport Authority as well, and I'll let the honourable member know our views on that.

Secondly, 1 hope that the honourable member will accept that the new measures that we've brought in will ensure, or will come as close to ensuring as we can, that people don't have their wages docked, their wages cut for phoney purposes, large amounts taken away for allegedly the cost of meals or whatever. We know some of the things that have been done in the past and we want to stop them happening in the future. I don't think that it's fair to say that the Government has been guilty of dereliction of duty. 1 do think that any sensible Government, when it finds abuse in the system, works as rapidly as possible and as openly as possible to deal with it and that's what 1 hope we've been doing.

Dr Law Cheung-kwok (in Chinese): Thank you. When we talk about the setting up of SAR Government a lot of people in our community arc very concerned and very worried that the SARPC will not take on board our views. So under such circumstances what can the Governor do for us?

Governor: Well, the Governor can continue to hope that the Preparatory Committee will do what it's Director, the Vice Premier suggested, which is to listen to the views of Hong Kong and listen to as wide a cross-section of the views of I long Kong as possible. As I was saying a few moments ago, fourteen members of this Legislative Council have the honour and the responsibility of also being members of the Preparatory Committee and I'm sure that they will know how important it is for the credibility of themselves and of the Preparatory Committee that it is seen to take the greatest possible account of local opinions and that it's seen to respond as openly and comprehensively as possible to local concerns. It's not provocative to say that, it's a statement of the blindingly obvious.

Dr Law Cheung-kwok (in Chinese): I'm afraid I'm not satisfied with your reply Mr Governor, it seems as if you are saying that there's very little you can do. May I give you a concrete suggestion, that is, will the Administration consider this? When we talk about a promise in relation to the SARPC. then the Administration will have a large-scale survey done?

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Governor: Well, the honourable member will know that I'm not myself a member of the Preparatory Committee and that I’m not responsible for it’s operations and I think were 1 to take the sort of action which the Honourable member has suggested, it would be regarded by PRC officials and by Members of the Preparatory Committee as a shade beyond my real responsibilities. I’m looking at one or two members of the Preparatory Committee to see if that observation is rejected consumedly, but I get the impression from the body language around the Legislative Council, that were I to propose taking surveys, public opinion surveys on the Preparatory Committee's work, it might be thought to be a fourth violation to add to the three non-violations of which I'm sometimes unfairly, ill advisedly accused.

But I assume that the Preparatory Committee will take account of public opinion, that it will be aware of the fact that there were opinion polls taken on, surveys undertaken on the work and credibility of it's predecessor body which told a certain message and the message which I'm sure members of the Preparatory Committee would wish to be different when we're thinking about its own work.

Mr Lau Chin-shek (in Chinese): Thank you. In answering the question on labour relations asked by Mr James Tien, it seems as if the Government’s position is rather equivocal and vague. Actually, there is tripartite responsibility here: the Government, the employers, the employees. Now when we talk about labour issues - employment, unemployment, safety - we seem to be faced with an increasing number of problems and it has been said that there is no long term labour policy.

Now, when we deal with labour policy we don’t really have a separate policy branch and we have the EMB and the Policy Secretary is responsible for education and manpower. These actually-are quite different issues in fact, so can consideration be given in separating them and to have a separate Policy Secretary for Labour? Will you consider that? If you don't, what are the reasons?

Governor: First of all, I am not sure that what I said on labour issues was vague. I think a lot of people will be saying, tomorrow, that it was all too clear. I do wholly endorse, wholly endorse, what the honourable member said about the importance of tripartite policy in this field. And I know that on a number of occasions the Honourable Member has himself stressed the importance of trying to deal with some of these very difficult problems, some of which have been on Hong Kong's agenda for years, by as co-operative an approach as possible. So I totally endorse tripartitism and hope that we can retain it.

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I dori’t believe that criticisms of the Labour Department are fair. I think we have seen, not least in recent disputes, the Labour Department providing conciliation services in an exceptionally effective way and I would like to commend those who have done this difficult work for what they have achieved. I don’t think one can entirely overlook, when one considers the work of the Labour Department, the astonishing record in the labour field of Hong Kong over recent years, the extraordinary low number of days lost through disputes, which is above all a tribute to the common-sense and decency of Hong Kong's work force but also a tribute as well to employee representatives and to employer representatives as well. I suppose one should also say that you are more likely to have decent labour relations when you are having the sort of economic growth that Hong Kong has enjoyed than if your economy is stagnating.

The question of institutional arrangements should therefore, I think, be seen against that backdrop and I don't - though it is not a question for me of principle and it is not a question on which I have got an entirely closed mind - but I don't see the advantage in separating education from manpower. Indeed, in some other countries we've seen in recent years them moving in the direction of Hong Kong and previously separated Departments of Labour and Education have been brought together. That has happened recently in the United Kingdom but I think it has happened in a number of other OECD countries as well. Why? Well, one reason is because of the growing recognition that education and skill-training are the most important elements in any labour market policy. Another reason is because of the overlap between academic learning and vocational training.

I think it is deplorable that for many years developed countries - and I hope this won't ever happen in Hong Kong - took the view that these different forms of education and training should be put into completely separate boxes, when in fact there are a number of overlaps between them. So I don't actually agree with the honourable gentleman on that institutional matter but as I say, it is not a matter on which I have got a closed mind and if he ever wants to talk to me further about it, my door is open.

Mr Lau Chin-shek (in Chinese) : I was waiting for the interpretation. Mr President, with regard to my question, I have not criticised the Labour Department; the Labour Department is only an executive arm. With regard to its efforts I would like to express my commendation towards the Labour Department. Actually, a lot of their staff are worked to ill-health; they have devoted much of their effort to their job.

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I am talking about the Education & Manpower Branch. You said that there is a relation between education and manpower. Now let me talk about labour instead of manpower; labour is a clearer sector. If there is a branch to look at employment and the future development of manpower it should be something to be separated from education because there is a heavier workload for the labour sector. 1 hope you will consider my suggestion.

Governor: As I said, I don’t rule out thinking about that as a matter of principle but I do think that there are practical advantages in relating education and labour market policies, and skill-training is only one aspect of that.

I acknowledge what the honourable member said in the first part of his second question when he paid, with his typical courtesy, a deserved tribute to the officials who work in the Labour Department and related areas.

Mrs Elizabeth Wong: Thank you Mr President. Governor, I shall not ask a hypothetical question, I would like to return to the question on working relations with the Preparatory Committee. I read in the papers - and I always believe what I read in the papers - that several thousand crack members of the Chinese Garrison will be posted to Hong Kong. And also, according to the papers, each soldier will be paid a miserable wage of between $800 - $1,100 per month - Hong Kong dollars - which is in fact less than Hong Kong’s CSSA. Now some Hong Kong people feel very concerned about this as it is not fair to these soldiers; the cost of living in Hong Kong is very high compared with that in China.

My question is, if you ever get to exchange views with members of the Preparatory Committee, would you consider suggesting that the Chinese Garrison posted to Hong Kong should get a Hong Kong cost of living allowance additional to the salary, payable by the Chinese Central Government since defence and foreign affairs are strictly matters for the Chinese Government?

Governor: I think the Honourable lady's question will have made her even more popular in the People's Liberation Army than she doubtless is already. I think the fact that the honourable lady has raised the question will ensure that it gets public attention. I don't think it would be proper for me to comment on the pay and conditions of service of members of the PLA but obviously the Honourable lady raises a realistic issue.

I have to say in passing that though they are paid rather more, 1 think some members of the British Garrison in recent years have found the cost of living, not least the cost of beer, in Hong Kong rather more than they think their wages allow for.

16

But I hope that the PLA Garrison will behave with the same discipline and courtesy and restraint which has been shown by and large over the years by the British Garrison. And I very much hope that my successor, the Chief Executive, will find as I’ve found, that there is no need for anybody ever to question me or question him or her about the role of the Garrison. I am in a rather different position to the Chief Executive because I am Commander in Chief as well as Governor but I hope that the relationship between the Chief Executive and the distinguished General who is commanding the Chinese Garrison will be so close that the constitutional difference won’t matter.

Mr Leung Yiu-chung (in Chinese): Mr President, recently, many people said that in the new term of the Council there are many labour representatives in this Council and the Democrats are fighting for the benefits of the workers and some investors will no longer invest in Hong Kong. Yesterday, the same argument was put forward before this Council and today, some Members also reiterated this point. And these views were also reflected to the Chinese Government.

In the Preparatory Committee we discover that the majority of the Preparatory Committee members come from the business sector. The people from the grassroots and also the workers are very concerned. Will the rights and benefits of the workers in future be reinstated so that what people are now enjoying will be taken away? They are very worried. How is the Governor going to solve this problem for the grassroots people?

Governor: I don’t want to sound ideologically hostile to Marxist or Leninist ideology but one of the reasons for Hong Kong’s success over the years is that it has never been subjected to a class war; it has never had to endure class war politics. As I said earlier, politics have been incredibly moderate and people have proceeded on the basis of cooperation and consensus wherever possible.

I don’t think that it is only union members or representatives who care about the well-being of workers. There would be no centre-right government in the world if that was the case. And we all know of employers who have played leading roles in improving not only the conditions of work but the social conditions beyond of their work force.

Above all, of course, what employees want is a job. And in order to have a job they need an employer who can run a business in a competitive way and make enough profit to invest in the future. And that is a factor that we need to bear in mind when considering developments of labour policy and labour market policy here in Hong Kong.

17

We are - coming to the honourable member’s specific question - we are, as members of the LAB know, reviewing a broad range of labour market issues, some of which have been on the agenda in Hong Kong for very many years, some of which have probably been on the agenda for too long, for too many years. But we are trying to find ways of dealing with them in that tripartite way commended earlier by Mr Lau Chin-shek and certainly commended by the Governor and the Administration of Hong Kong. I don’t think that it helps to see these issues in them versus us terms. I hope we can see them in a more co-operative spirit.

Mr Leung Yiu-chung (in Chinese): Mr Governor, well, I think it’s just wishful thinking; people doubt about it. Yesterday in the debate, workers are only asking for their lawful entitlements but they are criticised by the business sector. I want to ask you the question: before 1997, in order to protect the well-being of workers and in order to avoid retrogression, will you pass laws to protect the status of unions so that unions can protect the well-being of workers? Say, can there be legislation for collective bargaining and also unfair dismissal so that the rights of the workers can be protected, so that workers can have equal footing with employers?

Governor: A moment or two ago the honourable member may have inadvertently missed my reply. We arc reviewing a range of labour market issues at the moment, including some of those touched on by the honourable member, and I hope that we can find ways of addressing them which enjoy the support of employees and employers in the LAB however its relationship with this Legislative Council develops.

I say this to the honourable member. Unless we do find ways of tackling these issues co-operatively, those ways won’t survive. If we want serious improvements in people’s working conditions, if we want serious improvements in their terms of employment and so on, then those changes have to be made with support across the community, otherwise they are not going to survive into the indefinite future. That would make any efforts in the next year or so entirely nugatory, entirely abortive. So, I hope that we can proceed in a way which maximises co-operation rather than maximises confrontation.

End

18

Government committed to defending press freedom *****

The Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, said today (Thursday) that the Government remains fully committed to promoting and defending the principle of freedom of the press.

Speaking at the launching ceremony of Nihon Keizai Shimbun in Hong Kong, Mrs Chan said the large number of newspapers which were available in Hong Kong today clearly added vitality to the community and demonstrated the success of this policy.

"Whilst our sovereign power will change on July 1 next year, the faithful application of the 'one country two systems' formula would ensure that freedom of press will continue in Hong Kong," she said.

"The Government, media proprietors and practitioners all need to work together to secure the faithful implementation of the guarantees laid down in the Joint Declaration and in the Basic Law.

"We must ensure that Hong Kong remains as free and open a society as it is today."

Mrs Chan said civil servants had become accustomed to critical .comment, which was an almost inevitable consequence of embracing freedom of press.

"Constructive criticism is always useful in helping us look at situations from different perspectives.

"This is a healthy development and one which indicates to me a high degree of maturity in our society," she said.

End

19

CS on request from PAC for access to ExCo papers *****

The Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, has today (Thursday) replied to the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Legislative Councillor Mr Eric Li, on PAC's latest request for the disclosure of Executive Council (ExCo) papers related to the review of the housing benefits provided by the Hospital Authority to its staff by the Director of Audit in his Report No 25.

In her reply, the Chief Secretary said the Administration had, after careful consideration and consultation with ExCo, reaffirmed its previous conclusion that it was in the public interest for ExCo papers to remain confidential and that they should therefore not be released to PAC.

She stressed that it was essential to maintain this long-standing and important principle in order to ensure the proper functioning of ExCo, which was clearly in the public interest.

The Chief Secretary also expressed full appreciation of the hard work of the members of PAC and reassured the chairman that the Administration was committed to assist PAC in its inquiry as far as it possibly could.

She reiterated that full details of the relevant parts of the ExCo memoranda and discussions relating to the decisions taken on the remuneration package for Hospital Authority staff had already been provided to PAC, and that she did not therefore believe that the disclosure of the ExCo papers requested would give PAC any additional assistance in its inquiry.

End

HK to continue to prosper and grow beyond 1997 *****

The formula for Hong Kong to succeed will not be changed by 1997 and Hong Kong will continue to prosper and grow as the partnership between Hong Kong and China intensifies.

20

This was stated today (Thursday) by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, when he addressed the Investors’ Forum of the Money World Asia, Hong Kong 1996 Exhibition at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Mr Hui said this would be possible as long as businessmen continued to play their part and held fast to those values, beliefs and rules of the game that had made Hong Kong so successful and had enabled their businesses to flourish.

"It has been said that Hong Kong is about business, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be," Mr Hui said.

The Hong Kong Government was only too aware of this and had tailor-made its fiscal policies all along to encourage businessmen to come here and set up their business, he said.

"Our taxes are low, simple and clear. We believe in, and we practise small government: we religiously ensure that the growth rate of public spending does not outstrip the growth rate of the economy, and that there will still be sufficient resources to operate a high standard of public services," he said.

"The rule of law is staunchly upheld; there is freedom of movement of people, money, goods and services, and the playing-field is fair and level.

"The people in Hong Kong are only too aware of what make Hong Kong tick and have taken full advantage of the environment to do business."

The result was a highly prosperous Hong Kong with an economy which had out-performed so many others, Mr Hui added.

"In short, there is a strong consensus between the public and private sectors that the economy has to come first," he said.

"This ethos is very much entrenched. It is a way of life and philosophy to most individuals, not just businessmen.

"It would take much more than a change of sovereignty to change that attitude, and it won't just vanish into thin air. It is not just a flair for doing business; not just a desire to make money; it is also a deep appreciation of the essential ingredients, the essential values that are necessary to create the Hong Kong environment for doing business, and a readiness to embrace those values."

21

It was obvious that China understood and had always understood the Hong Kong way of doing business, he pointed out.

Citing examples, Mr Hui said both the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law included extensive references to the maintenance of the current social and economic systems in Hong Kong, and the references to economic and financial matters were particularly extensive and detailed.

Another example was the heavy representation from the business and professional sectors, which, together constituted over 70 per cent of the Hong Kong contingent on the Preparatory Committee.

’’This in fact, has been a cause for criticism from some quarters, but I dare say that businessmen are not complaining," Mr Hui said.

"Criticisms apart, this is yet another clear articulation of the importance China attaches to the business sector for the maintenance of prosperity and stability in Hong Kong.

"The fact is that business, commerce and trade have been integral parts of Hong Kong’s success, and China would like to see Hong Kong continue to be successful," Mr Hui said.

End

Reply to critic of scale fees abolition proposal *****

The Attorney General, Mr Jeremy Mathews has replied to the President of the Law Society, Mr Roderick Woo regarding the views of the Vice President of the English Law Society, Mr Robert Sayer against abolition of scale fees in conveyancing work. The views of Mr Sayer were enclosed in a letter to Mr Mathews by Mr Woo, and enclosed in Mr Woo’s newsletter to Law Society members.

In his response Mr Mathews pointed out that in recent years, England had suffered its worst recession this century and this had inevitably affected solicitors in many areas of their work. The volume of domestic conveyancing halved between 1988 and 1992 and prices fell in real terms between 1986 and 1993 by 45 per cent.

22

Mr Mathews suggested that it was these events, not the abolition of scales fees, that was "the biggest disaster to hit the legal profession in the last two decades”, to quote Mr Sayer.

He noted that the English Law Society’s special working party on conveyancing services had made a number of findings, including the conclusion that compulsory and recommended fees scales would be unworkable and ineffective.

These were not the conclusions of those who ”do not understand the conveyancing procedure or are blind to reality", but of members of the English Law Society’s own special working party on conveyancing, he said.

Mr Mathews also pointed out that the English Law Society was anxious to overcome the problems that had arisen in respect of conveyancing, but was not proposing to reintroduce mandatory scale fees.

This was understandable, he said, given that the society’s special working party on conveyancing stated that: "We have been advised that any scale of fees (whether compulsory or recommended) would be impossible to justify in the public interest in any (Monopolies and Mergers Commission) investigation."

It was misleading, Mr Mathews added, to refer to the abolition of scale fees as "the English experiment". Scale fees have been abolished not only in England, but also in New Zealand, Canada and most parts of Australia. That abolition was not "an experiment" but was a recognition of the fact that scale fees were anti-competitive and irrational, and could not guarantee the quality of conveyancing services, he said.

The following is the contents of the response by Mr Mathews:

Legal Fees for Conveyancing

Mr Robert Sayer's assumption that the problems referred to in his letter were caused by the abolition of scale fees is not supported by any empirical evidence.

Problems in England

Scale fees were abolished in England in 1973. Six years later the Royal Commission undertook a comprehensive study of conveyancing throughout the country. There is no reference in the report to any of the problems referred to by Mr Sayer.

23

In recent years, England has suffered its worst recession this century and this has inevitably affected solicitors in many areas of their work. The volume of domestic conveyancing halved between 1988 and 1992. Prices fell in real terms between 1986 and 1993 by 45 per cent. 1 suggest that it was these events, not the abolition of scale fees, that was "the biggest disaster to hit the legal profession in the last two decades", to quote Mr Sayer.

An equally profound change occurred in the financial services industry, where keen competition developed for the sale of a wide range of complex financial products. This development gave financial institutions a considerably enhanced influence over all aspects of the housing market.

It is clear that solicitors in England have been faced with serious difficulties in recent years, and many have become bankrupt. But there is no basis for assuming that things would have been different had scale fees still been in place. On the contrary, in March 1994, a report of the English Law Society's special working party on conveyancing services included the following findings -

"because of the state of the market, a compulsory or recommended scale of fees will be undercut while competitive advantage can be gained by doing so."

"We have concluded that compulsory and recommended fee scales would be unworkable and ineffective."

"Research has yet to establish a link between unrealistically low prices and higher-than-average levels of complaints or indemnity claims."

These are not the conclusions of those who "do not understand the conveyancing procedure or are blind to reality," but of members of the English Law Society's own special working party on conveyancing.

The statements in Mr Sayer's letter about comers being cut, claims against the Indemnity Fund increasing, and the activities of one firm in South London, are not demonstrated by the writer to be related in any way to the abolition of scale fees. Moreover the former chairman of the special working party on conveyancing, Mr Paul Marsh, wrote only last month that -

24

"Unhappily, claims about the level of negligence from conveyancing are exaggerated. Between 1987 and 1994 the profession conducted over 23 million conveyancing transactions, yet the Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF) had only 17,125 claims. In other words, seven claims for every 10,000 transactions. Despite extensive research no conclusive connection has been found between low cost conveyancing and negligence. There is no evidence available at the present time to begin to suggest that scale fees are necessary to protect the public from negligence."

The cure for English problems?

The English Law Society is anxious to overcome the problems that have arisen in respect of conveyancing, but is not proposing to reintroduce mandatory scale fees. This is understandable, given that its special working party on conveyancing stated that -

"We have been advised that any scale of fees (whether compulsory or recommended) would be impossible to justify in the public interest in any [Monopolies and Mergers Commission] investigation."

One of the main proposals (see note below) is that there should be guideline minimum fees, and that any solicitor charging lower fees should not be covered by the collective indemnity fund. However, any such change would need to be approved by the Master of the Rolls, Sir Thomas Bingham, who has already warned that the proposals may be unlawful or contrary to public policy.

In addition to the proposals in the Council's resolution, other proposals have made for improving the quality of conveyancing services in England. The special working party on conveyancing recommended the adoption of quality assurance standards and a Conveyancing Quality Mark. Its former chairman has recently proposed a Conveyancing Charter. These proposals recognise that quality cannot be assured merely by increasing fees.

25

The "English experiment"

Reference to the abolition of scale fees as 'the English experiment' is misleading. Scale fees have been abolished not only in England, but also in New Zealand, Canada and most parts of Australia. That abolition is not 'an experiment' but is a recognition of the fact that scale fees are anti-competitive and irrational, and cannot guarantee the quality of conveyancing services. Moreover, I am not aware of any jurisdiction that has abolished scale fees and has subsequent re-introduced them.

The public interest

The Law Societies of Hong Kong and England are entitled to their views of what is in the public interest. However, consumer groups in England and Hong Kong, and a clear majority of those who responded to the Consultation Paper on Legal Services, support the abolition of scale fees.

Note - Resolution passed by the Council of the English Law Society on December 14, 1995 -

The Council resolves:

(a) As a matter of urgency to obtain the advice of leading Counsel on the constitutional competition and vires issues of the matters which are the subject of consultation under paragraph (b).

(b) To undertake consultation as soon as possible thereafter as to whether the Law Society should:

(i) Publish guideline fees for such conveyancing transactions as shall be defined by the Council after consultation.

(ii) Seek amendments to the Solicitors Indemnity Rules with the intent that SIF indemnity cover should not generally be available in cases where fees are charged at rates lower than provided by the guidelines, but that in such cases solicitors should be required to arrange their own insurance cover through an authorised insurer.

(iii) Introduce mandatory conveyancing quality standards in return for the establishment of a reasonable level of mandatory minimum fees.

26

(iv) Take other action to procure reasonable fees and quality standards and procedures in conveyancing transactions.

(c) To authorise the Property and Commercial Services Committee and the Indemnity Working Party to settle the final text of a consultation paper setting out all relevant information and considerations in the light of the Council debate.

(d) That the consultation paper should be circulated to every solicitors' firm, local law societies and other interested parties.

(e) To authorise the President to approach the Master of the Rolls as part of the consultation exercise.

(f) To ask the Property and Commercial Services Committee and the Indemnity Working Party to set dates by which the consultation paper should be circulated and responses to the consultation should be made so as to allow changes of Rules to be considered by the Council no later than April 1996.

Agreed unanimously.

End

Concern over PE tragedy victim expressed *****

The Director of Education, Mrs Helen C P Lai Yu, today (Thursday) expressed concern over the Primary 5 pupil who died after a Physical Education (PE) lesson yesterday and sent condolences to members of her family.

Speaking in response to media enquiries on the tragedy, Mrs Yu said the existing PE Guidelines issued by the Education Department .should be adequate and she was confident that school authorities had observe the guidelines closely.

Mrs Yu had been in consultation today with the Director of Health, Dr Margaret Chan, who agreed that parents with reason to suspect their child to be suffering from certain illnesses in need of specialist medical advice may approach the Department of Health for referral. I heir child will then be referred to appropriate medical practitioners for examination if necessary.

27

Mrs Yu also appealed to parents that they should take early precaution for their children. They should participate in the new Student Health Service for timely health screening.

End

Draft Patents Bill to protect inventions *****

A draft Patents Bill, which provides for a new patent system in Hong Kong for the protection of inventions, has been issued for consultation today (Thursday).

A government spokesman said: "The draft Patents Bill sets out the procedures for obtaining and maintaining patents in Hong Kong, the rights given to the owners and provisions for enforcement.

"It also includes provisions for short-term patents, also known as petty patents, which will protect inventions with a short-term commercial life.

"This will provide a new alternative form of protection for inventions for the many local businesses which make products with a short-term commercial life."

The spokesman noted that the existing patent law in Hong Kong relied on the United Kingdom patent law.

He said: "The existing patent system in Hong Kong is basically a system of protection in Hong Kong of a patent granted by the United Kingdom Patent Office or the European Patent Office designating the UK. To be protected, the overseas patents must be registered in Hong Kong.

"The proposed new patent system will provide for the grant of an independent patent in Hong Kong.

"The owner of a UK patent, a European patent designating the UK or a Chinese patent will be able to obtain a patent in Hong Kong based on the patents granted by authorities in these countries," he added.

28

The spokesman said: ’’The draft Patents Bill largely follows the recommendations made by the Patents Steering Committee in its Report issued in May 1993.

"It also reflects the agreement reached in the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group in November 1995.”

The draft Patents Bill has been issued to concerned parties in the industrial, professional and academic fields for their comments before its introduction into the Legislative Council.

The consultation period will last until early March and the Bill is expected to be introduced into the Legislative Council during the current Legislative Session.

End

School placement help for Chinese immigrant children *****

The Education Department has set up a team at its headquarters to help newly arrived immigrant children from China find a place in Hong Kong's primary and secondary schools.

The central placement team, comprising three principal education officers and a secretary, will serve Chinese immigrant children who have difficulties in finding a school place in their district of residence.

The three principal education officers from the department's Schools Division are in charge of Hong Kong, Kowloon and the New Territories regions respectively.

The Assistant Director of Education (Schools), Mr Kwan Shu-tsun, noted that in the past, immigrant children who could not find a school place from a particular District Education Office had to be referred to another District Education Office, which would take some time.

The problem usually happened with those looking for secondary school places, of which there were comparatively fewer, he said.

29

’’The setting up of a central placement team at headquarters is to improve the previous arrangement,” Mr Kwan said.

"Under the new arrangement, District Education Officers who cannot find a place for immigrant children in their respective district or encounter problems with unco-operative school heads will bring the case to the attention of the central placement team. The team has vacancy information about schools in every district in the territory and is able to make a quick decision on where the child should go to attend school."

"The department will then contact the school to which the child is supposed to go. If the school head agrees, admission arrangements will proceed immediately," Mr Kwan continued.

"Should the school head disagree, Education Department staff will explain the decision, stating why there is no better alternative.

"If the school head still refuses without a good reason, the Director of Education will have to exercise his powers under the Code of Aid to place the immigrant child in the school."

Schools may appeal to the Advisory Committee on Pupil Placement against the decision. The committee, membership of which is mainly non-official, will consider the justifications submitted by the school and then advise the Director of Education.

Mr Kwan said factors such as the pupil's language abilities and the convergence of curriculum would be taken into account in arranging school placement.

"There are bound to be differences in curriculum between China and Hong Kong. Perfect matches are sometimes out of the question," he said.

"I hope that schools will understand this and co-operate with the Education Department. We should first solve the problem of the child not attending school. Schools can then provide counselling and other forms of assistance to help the child integrate into the local education system."

Meanwhile, the Education Department will, from February or March, distribute a newly published pamphlet to Chinese immigrant arrivals at Lo Wu. The pamphlet, complete with a postage-paid reply envelope, will help collect information about immigrant children.

30

Departmental staff will then contact the parents of the immigrant children to find out the position of their schooling and to offer assistance as necessary.

Mr Kwan said the department was not expecting a large number of cases to be referred to the central placement team.

"This is because the vast majority of cases, particularly those looking for primary school places, can be resolved at district level," he said.

End

Seminar to tackle child abuse

*****

About 200 child welfare professionals will attend a seminar tomorrow (Friday) to exchange views and ideas on how to tackle child abuse.

The professionals comprise social workers, doctors, clinical psychologists, police officers and child care workers.

The seminar, organised by the Tai Po/North District Committee on Child Abuse, will be held at the Riverside Ballroom of the Regal Riverside Hotel, Tai Chung Kiu Road, Sha Tin, at 9.30 am.

Regional Officer (New Territories East) of the Social Welfare Department, Mrs Katherine Shin, will officiate at the seminar.

The Tai Po/North District Committee is one of the five district committees set up in 1995-96 to better co-ordinate multi-disciplinary resources against child abuse on a district level. Other district committees have been set up in Eastcrn/Wan Chai, Tuen Mun, Sham Shui Po and Kwun Tong districts.

End

31

Four nominations received for DB by-election *****

A total of four nominations were received for the Tuen Mun District Board byelection in respect of Tin King constituency to be held on March 3, after the two-week nomination period closed today (Thursday).

Ms Li York-Ian, a 41-year-old teacher, withdrew her candidature today.

Details of the nominations are as follows:

Occupation

Tel No

Mr Lee Hung-sham, Lothar (46)

Senior technical officer

2465 5140 (day) 71139998-1002(pager)

9463 5353 (night)

Ms Ho Hang-mui (38)

Teacher

2457 3706 (day)

7888 2697 (night)

Mr Tse Yee-fong (39)

Technician

2453 2077 (day)

2455 1233 (night)

Mr Lee Yiu-hung (32)

Master degree student

2467 6321 (day)

71109138-907(pager)


End

109 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flight *****

A group of 109 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) returned by air to 1 lanoi, Vietnam, today (Thursday) on the 29th flight under the Orderly Repatriation Programme (ORP).

All but six of the returnees, comprising 62 men. 25 women. 14 boys and eight girls, are from South and Central Vietnam.

The majority of them arrived in Hong Kong in 1991, with the remaining in 1988. 1989, 1990 and 1995.

32

The group brought to 1,958 the total number repatriated on ORP flights since November 1991.

The Refugee Co-ordinator, Mr Brian Bresnihan, said most of the returnees on today's flight were transferred from High Island Detention Centre to Victoria Prison on January 25 and 26.

"After counselling by Correctional Services Department staff, they came forward voluntarily for the transfer.

"This is encouraging and I certainly hope that all the VMs in our camps who have been determined as non-refugccs will accept that they have no future in Hong Kong and must return to Vietnam," he said.

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 monitors were Mr Chiu Chun-bong, a Justice of the Peace, and Mr Christopher Stokes from Mcdecins Sans Frontieres.

End

Kwun Tong District Festival to begin *****

The Kwun Tong District Festival '96. featuring a wide variety of artistic activities to encourage community participation, will be launched on Sunday (February 4) and last until February 11.

33

Speaking at a press conference today (Thursday) to announce details of the annual festival, Kwun Tong District Officer, Mr Tsang Hing-kay, expressed hope that it would help to create a harmonious atmosphere and that residents from all walks of life would join the fun.

An opening ceremony cum "arts extravaganza" will be held at 1.30 pm at Hong Ning Road Playground on Sunday in which popular singers, Chinese musical groups, dancers, magicians and acrobats will give performances. There will also be puppet shows and a display of traditional handicraft.

In the same afternoon, a dancing carnival will take place in another densely populated area - Lok Wah North Estate. Local groups will give a demonstration of various styles of dancing and all residents arc welcome to join in.

Another highlight of the festival will be a drama workshop to be held at 2 pm on February 10 in the podium of Tak Tin Estate Shopping Arcade.

Telford Gardens and Shun Lee Estate will be filled with a sense of nostalgia during the "Night for Songs of the Oldies" to be staged on February 9 and 10 while Cantonese opera devotees will be entertained by professional groups in the district's community centres.

Children with an artistic bent will be given a chance to exercise their talents at a children's drawing carnival scheduled for February 1 I in the Laguna City. They will be encouraged to submit works to express the theme of "I love Kwun Tong".

In addition, there will be film shows, a Hower arranging competition as well as a variety show to mark the finale.

A pamphlet with details of the festival programme is now available at the Kwun Tong District Office and its sub-offices.

fhe festival, involving a total of $1 million, is jointly organised by the Kwun Tong District Board, Kwun Tong District Office and Urban Council.

End

34

Airport Post Office extends business hours *****

The Postmaster General, Mr Robert Footman, announced today (Thursday) that the business hours of the Airport Post Office will be extended to 9.30 am to 8.30 pm, Monday to Saturday, with effect from Monday (February 5).

"The extension will bring about a better service to our customers which include tourists, airport staff and other users in the vicinity of the airport. The extension to the evening, which is a popular time slot for passenger departure, will be particularly welcomed,” said Mr Footman.

As part of the policy to further expand the philatelic office network, the Airport Post Office will also become a philatelic office upon extension of its business hours. A full range of local philatelic products and selected foreign philatelic products will be available for sale.

Philatelic covers posted at the special posting box provided at this office will be cancelled by a pictorial datestamp depicting an aircraft.

"With the addition of the Airport Post Office, philatelists in the Kowloon East area will be better served,” added Mr Footman.

Other existing philatelic offices are the General Post Office, Beaconsfield House Post Office, Peak Post Office, Tsim Sha Tsui Post Office, Granville Road Post Office, Sha Tin Central Post Office and Tsuen Wan Post Office.

On Monday, a hand-back service giving the Airport Post Office philatelic pictorial postmark will be provided at the Airport Post Office for any locally addressed covers bearing the "First Day" indication.

End

35

Lowering of LAF rates ♦ * * * *

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced this (Thursday) morning a lowering of the key interest rates, the Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) rates, by 25 basis points.

In line with the 25 basis points decrease in the US discount rate announced by the Federal Open Market Committee last night, the HKMA lowered the LAF bid and offer rates to 4% and 6% from 4.25% and 6.25% respectively, with immediate effect.

The determination of the best lending rate and interest rates on deposits with maturities of seven days or more is a matter for individual banks. The interest rates on retail deposits with maturities of less than seven days will be determined by the Hong Kong Association of Banks, having regard to the action taken this morning by the HKMA.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

Time Cumulative change

$ million (hours) (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,412 0930 +90

Closing balance in the account 2,253 1000 +87

Change attributable to : 1100 +87

Money market activity +41 1200 +87

LAF today -200 1500 +87

1600 +41

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.0 *-0.1 * 1.2.96

36

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.39 2 years 2711 5.60 100.78 5.20

1 month 5.34 3 years 3901 5.57 100.68 5.39

3 months 5.23 5 years 5012 6.38 102.68 5.82

6 months 5.19 7 years 7211 6.82 104.38 6.12

12 months 5.15 5 years M502 7.30 105.21 6.11

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $16,293 million

Closed February 1, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Friday, February 2,1996

Contents Page No,

Transcript of the Governor's media session............................... 1

80 hectares of land acquired in 1995 for public works.................... 4

New fares for urban and New Territories taxis from Sunday................ 5

Views on Dangerous Dogs Regulation sought................................ 6

New human rights teaching kit aimed at children.......................... 8

Anti-pollution education pack to be enhanced............................. 9

Marine Department to compile directory on Internet................... 10

Government land in Tuen Mun for sale by tender.......................... 12

Works to improve water supply to Tuen Mun............................... 12

Public urged to prepare vegetables with care............................ 13

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations.................... 14

1

Transcript of the Governor's media session ♦ ♦ * * *

Following is the transcript of the media session by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, after officiating at the foundation-stone laying ceremony of the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Jockey Club Aberdeen Rehabilitation Complex this (Friday) afternoon:

Governor: I'm very pleased to have been here at the foundation-stone laying of this splendid project. It's an important landmark in the development of better services for people with disabilities here in Hong Kong and I look forward to coming back for the opening in May next year.

Question: (on expert talks on budgets)

Governor: Well, there is no confusion at all. There is certainly no confusion on the part of K C Kwong and the Hong Kong Government. The position is simply this, that the Chinese side have put some proposals to us which we are considering. For the moment, we are getting on with the job of preparing this year's budget and making sure that it meets the needs of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong economy. But there's been no agreement at all, just to underline that point, as K C Kwong has made clear, on the modalities for taking forward consultations over the next year. What we're absolutely clear about is that we'd like to see a sensible and prudent budget for a whole year in 1997-98. Of course that straddles the transitions so, again as I've made absolutely clear, we'll want to have the fullest possible discussion with the Chief Executive (Designate) and his or her team because they'll represent three quarters of that financial year. What we have to do is, I think, achieve two objectives. First of all, to have the smoothest possible financial and economic transition and we are committed to that, which is why we suggested these budget discussions in the first place. Secondly, we do of course want to make absolutely certain that Hong Kong's autonomy in financial and economic matters is pursued. So those will be our objectives and I'm sure we'll be able to achieve them. We've got a very good team in those talks.

Question: (on Bill on protecting wages on insolvency)

2

Governor: I said yesterday in the Legislative Council that we've had a very successful system for dealing with labour issues over the years. It's brought together employers and employees with the Government in the Labour Advisory Board. I think it would be very dangerous if anything happened which undermined the credibility of the board or which affected the confidence which employers have in the board. So the Secretary for Education and Manpower is discussing with both sides with the employers and the employees now ways in which we can strengthen the board's position, perhaps develop its relationship with the Legislative Council. But I very much hope that we won't lose sight of the importance in Hong Kong of proceeding by consensus and co-operation. Hong Kong is a very moderate community. I think people don't want to see confrontation. They want to see us proceeding hand-in-hand and working together in the interests of strengthening Hong Kong's economy. And that will certainly be the approach which the Government takes in the coming weeks and months.

Question: So do you regard the present circumstances dangerous?

Governor: I don't regard them as dangerous. But I hope that we won't do anything further in the coming weeks and months which would undermine the credibility of the LAB and of a whole approach to dealing with economic and social issues. People, I don't think, want to see the importation into Hong Kong of the sort of industrial confrontations that we've seen elsewhere.

Question: What concrete assistance will be provided to the Preparatory Committee ...?

Governor: We've made it clear on a number of occasions that we stand ready through the Liaison Office which we're establishing to help the Preparatory Committee in any way which they like. We haven't had any concrete proposals back from the Preparatory Committee, but to borrow a sporting metaphor, the ball is their court.

Question: So far there has been no request...

Governor: No.

Question: (on candidates for the Chief Executive)

Governor: I don’t know who’s going to be the candidate for Chief Executive (Designate). I am told that it might be a black horse ... a dark horse. So who knows. Perhaps, are you on in the running are you? I read about a lot of candidates with some members of the Preparatory Committee supporting one and some another. That's what happens in a society like Hong Kong. But I've made it clear, to come to this specific question you raised, I made it clear in the Legislative Council yesterday that I welcomed the fact that one of the members of the Executive Council is also a member of the Preparatory Committee. There's no conflict of interests, as far as I am concerned.

3

Question: If the dark horse is going to be a civil servant or...

Governor: I can't, you know perfectly well, that I can't comment on the speculation about the Chief Executive (Designate). 1 just wish whoever is chosen the best of luck. It will be difficult job that one which I'm sure will be done with great integrity and commitment. .

Question: Is Government delaying the appointment of the new AG in order to leave the matter for the Chief Executive (Designate) to decide?

Governor: No.

Question: Will you suspect his or her loyalty?

Governor: No. That is a good straight answer for you, isn't it? No.

Question: (on expert talks on the budget)

Governor: That's the sort of issue that we'll want to be talking to Mr Chen and the team that we've been briefing about our budgetary processes. And it is the sort of point which we'll of course want to discuss with the Chief Executive (Designate). But I'm sure that everyone in Hong Kong wil.l support the two objectives which I mentioned this afternoon. First of all, to ensure as smooth a transition as possible in our financial and economic affairs, and secondly, to safeguard the financial and economic autonomy of Hong Kong, because that is a crucial feature in, for example, the way that the rest of the world treats us, the way that the rest of the world, Americans and others, accepts our position in the World Trade Organisation and other international economic bodies.

Question: (on the appointment of the new AG)

Governor: I don't think that there is any particular reason why on this Friday afternoon in the beginning of February I should be contemplating announcements about the Attorney General later in the year. When it is appropriate to make an announcement, we'll make one. But the Chief Secretary has already, 1 think, made it clear what the general timing we've got in mind.

Question: ... is it going to be towards the end of the year?

Governor: That means that it will be within 1996. Thank you very much.

End

4

80 hectares of land acquired in 1995 for public works ♦ * * * *

The Lands Department had acquired 80 hectares of land in the New Territories last year for various public works projects including Route 3, improvement works to the Shenzhen River and Drainage Works in Yuen Long, the Director of Lands, Mr Robert Pope, said today (Friday).

Speaking at the annual meet-the-media session, Mr Pope said: "We would continue to acquire as much land as possible to implement the Public Works Programme and urban renewal projects undertaken by the Land Development Corporation.”

Reviewing the work achieved by the department during the past year, Mr Pope said land grants related to the development of the new airport had been proceeding smoothly.

"On December 1, 1995, the Private Tenancy Grant for the new airport at Chek Lap Kok was executed, as well as the grant for the Sha Chau Aviation Fuel Facility.

"For the Airport Railway, Private Treaty Grants for Mass Transit Railway Corporation development at Tung Chung were executed, and work is continuing on schedule for other sites at Tung Chung," he said.

Resumption of some 2,000 agricultural and buildings lots in the Tung Chung valley for implementing the Tung Chung New Town plan was proceeding on schedule, said Mr Pope.

"In addition, 582 special purpose leases had been extended as at the end of 1995. The remaining 261 cases which are currently being processed will be dealt with before June 1997," he said.

Turning to land disposal, Mr Pope said the Land Sales Programme for 1995-96 proceeded well with no site unsold by auction or tender.

"The revenue from land transactions last year amounted to $35.8 billion with $17 billion of that coming from auctions and tenders, $11.75 billion from private treaty grants, such as land for the airport railway and $7 billion from lease modification/exchanges," he said.

Turning to the work accomplished by the Task Force Black Spot, Mr Pope said by the end of last year a total of 58,028 square metres of government land had been cleared in the Pat Heung Pilot Action Area, with landscaping works completed for 32,995 square metres of land.

5

"Eight applications for major improvement works under the Town Planning Ordinance have been submitted to the Town Planning Board. So far, seven have been approved.

"The Task Force has also embarked on rectification work in 257 sites identified by the preliminary survey of industrial/open storage undertakings in the North District (East) Action Area," he said.

On survey and mapping, Mr Pope said with the implementation of the Land Survey Ordinance in mid-January this year, a better control of land boundary surveys and records would be achieved.

"Computerisation of the basic mapping at scale 1/1000 has been completed, and these digital maps are now available for sale, whereas computerisation of the land boundary records will be completed by August this year.

"Advanced technology will continue to be explored to enhance and speed up production and updating of map products," he said.

Mr Pope said the Lands Department had also agreed to manage a consultancy study on systematic identification of maintenance responsibility of some 50,000 manmade slopes for the Civil Engineering Department.

"This consultancy study which aims at producing a complete register of slopes with particulars of the responsible parties for proper maintenance will commence in April this year and is expected to take three years to complete," he said.

End

New fares for urban and New Territories taxis from Sunday *****

Fares for urban and New Territories taxis will be revised from Sunday (February 4).

The flagfall for the first two kilometres will be $14 and $11.8 for urban and New Territories taxis respectively. Subsequent charges will be revised correspondingly to $1.2 and $1.1 for every 0.2 kilometre travelled.

6

The surcharges for baggage, animal or bird carried and for every hiring arranged through telephone booking will remain unchanged.

A spokesman for the Transport Department said today (Friday) that taxi drivers might charge the revised fares by displaying a conversion table showing the revised fare scales before the taxi meters were recalibrated.

Taxi owners are reminded that the taxi fare tables displayed inside a taxi should show the new fare scale starting from the effective date of the fare increase.

End

Views on Dangerous Dogs Regulation sought *****

Public views are being sought on a new regulation which is proposed to impose greater controls on dangerous and potentially dangerous dogs.

Announcing the consultation today (Friday), an Agriculture and Fisheries Department senior veterinary officer. Dr Dick Rubira, said the objective of introducing the Dangerous Dogs Regulation was to safeguard the general community from being attacked by dogs.

Dr Rubira pointed out that there had been a public appeal for strengthening control over dangerous or bigger breeds of dogs following a number of serious dog bites in recent years.

He said existing legislation, including the Dogs and Cats Ordinance, Rabies Ordinance and the Summary Offences Ordinance, only applied to the control of dogs in general.

"These existing provisions are considered to be inadequate to regulate the breeding, sale, keeping and control of fighting and other dangerous dogs.

"The public not only expects the Government to do more than punish the keepers of dogs that bite, but also expects that where possible the bites should be prevented," he added.

7

It is in the interest of public safety that the Government has proposed to introduce a Dangerous Dogs Regulation under the existing Dogs and Cats Ordinance, Dr Rubira said.

The proposed major provisions in the Regulation include:

* classify dangerous dogs into three categories: ’’Fighting Breeds". "Known Dangerous Dogs" and "Potentially Dangerous Dogs";

* prohibit the importation and breeding of dogs belonging to the "Fighting Breeds";

make it an offence to possess or keep entire "Fighting Breeds" after a grace period of 90 days;

require the keepers of "Fighting Breeds" and "Known Dangerous Dogs" to have those animals neutered, to be covered by indemnity insurance and to ensure that the animals are identified by a distinctive collar and on a leash and muzzled whenever they are taken into a public place;

* enable a Magistrate to classify a dog as a "Known Dangerous Dog" on application; and

* require "Potentially Dangerous Dogs" to be kept on a leash and muzzled whenever they are taken into a public place;

* provide power for the Director of Agriculture and Fisheries to detain any dog that is dangerous until completion of procedures and to issue written instructions.

* set up an expert panel to arbitrate on possible dispute over the definition of the breed of any dog.

Another proposal is to update the level of fines where appropriate and to make provision for certain new offences relating to the obstruction of an authorised officer and the provision of false information.

Dr Rubira said that copies of the consultative document were sent to relevant organisations and other interested groups who have been asked to give their views in writing.

8

Members of the public wishing to obtain copies of the consultation paper are urged to write to the Senior Veterinary Officer (Health), Agriculture and Fisheries Department, 12th floor, Canton Road Government Offices, 393 Canton Road, Kowloon.

Written comments or submissions on the paper should reach the above address on or before February 29.

Further enquiries can be directed to Dr Rubira on 2733 2174 or Ms Man Koon-Ian on 2733 2278.

End

New human rights teaching kit aimed at children *****

A new teaching kit has been developed by the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education to help promote a better understanding of fundamental human rights concepts among children aged between seven and 14.

Copies of the new kit arc being distributed to all community organisations, primary and secondary schools, tertiary education institutions and public libraries.

A spokesman for the committee said today (Friday): "The new teaching kit has translated abstract notions in human rights such as the value of life, freedom, equality and respect for other people into everyday life scenarios so that they can be easily understood by children.”

This approach was well received by education workers when the draft activity plans, which included games, group discussions, role-playing and stories, were tried out in nine schools and three community organisations in mid-1995.

The teaching kit includes a handbook for teachers on human rights concepts and a handbook on 15 activity plans.

Distribution of the teaching kit will be followed by the production of a compact disc, a cassette tape and a book of the songs sung by the 1 long Kong Children's Choir later this year.

9

Eight story books written by famous authors of children's stories will also be published soon, as well as the cassette tape of the stories, a handbook for parents, games and a video.

A workshop to promote the use of this teaching kit will be held on March 9, 1996 for primary school teachers and education workers of community organisations.

The teaching kit is also available at the Civic Education Resource Centre, second floor, Tung Sun Commercial Centre, 194-200 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong for reference of the public. Those interested can also call the centre on 2802 0131 for more information.

End

Anti-pollution education pack to be enhanced ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) has received a donation of $1.65 million from The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust (HKJCCT) for the enhancement of an anti-pollution pack for secondary schools and for a survey on the use of various environmental education teaching kits by schools.

"The anti-pollution pack, consisting of a video, a set of slides, and written information on various pollution problems and controls, is the first comprehensive teaching kit on environmental protection for secondary schools in Hong Kong," said EPD's Commumty Relations Officer, Mr Edward Lam.

Developed in 1990 with a $5 million grant from HKJCCT, the pack has been well received by schools, community groups, voluntary agencies and the public, through school libraries and EPD's Environmental Resource Centre.

Mr Lam said the enhancement would provide up-to-date information to students and the public on the progress made in pollution control over the last five years.

"All secondary schools will be given a copy of the updated pack," he said.

10

In addition, a survey will be conducted to gauge the usage of school environmental education teaching kits produced by the Government and the Environmental Campaign Committee as well as by green groups.

"Comments from teachers would serve as useful reference for the enhancement of the anti-pollution pack and for the production of new teaching kits in future," Mr Lam said.

End

Marine Department to compile directory on Internet ♦ * * * *

As part of its services to the shipping community and the public at large, the Marine Department is compiling a Hong Kong Shipping Directory on its departmental homepage on the Internet, the Deputy Director of Marine, Mr Tsui Shung-yiu said today (Friday).

The department launched its homepage on the Internet on January 15 to facilitate the flow of information to its clients both in Hong Kong and overseas.

Apart from information on the port of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Shipping Register, services and facilities provided by the Marine Department, port statistics and Marine Department notices can also be obtained through the Marine Department homepage, the address of which is http://www.info.gov.hk/mardep.

It also contains a pictorial guide on the port of Hong Kong.

"The MD homepage is recognised by the major shipping servers on the Internet as the official homepage for the Port of Hong Kong," Mr Tsui said.

"We are also the first in the world to put up a Shipping Register web site on the Internet," he added.

"In less than three weeks' time since its inception, we have recorded more than 900 visits to our site," Mr Tsui said.

"The success in the development of the port of Hong Kong depends on the joint effort of the Government and the maritime communities," Mr Tsui said, adding that the port's prosperity owed so much to th* contribution from the private sector.

11

The Hong Kong Shipping Directory will serve as a guide to both local and overseas maritime communities to the wide host of port and shipping in Hong Kong.

’’Any Hong Kong-based company involved in maritime services is invited to submit an entry to the directory,” Mr Tsui said.

The entry contains the name and logo of the company, its address, telephone, faxline and telex number, E-mail address and name of URL if it has its own homepage.

Companies are also invited to provide a brief description, in less than 20 words, the nature of its services and classify itself in accordance with the categories listed in the entry form.

"The listing on the Internet is free of charge and the department will maintain it as updated as possible," he said.

Submission forms can be obtained from the department's homepage, the address is http://www.info.gov.hk/mardep or in a conventional way by sending the request to the Director of Marine (Attn Mr K L Wong), 21st floor. Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central, Hong Kong or on faxline (852)-2544-9241.

The department reserves the rights to decide on what should be displayed in the directory.

"We also take this opportunity to conduct a customer survey to gauge our clients' response to our standard of services," Mr Tsui said.

"Companies are invited to include in the form their suggestions on how our services can be improved," Mr Tsui said.

End

12

Government land in Tuen Mun for sale by tender

*****

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

The site, located in Area 16. Tuen Mun, has an area of about 4,201 square metres for use as a.godown or an office ancillary related to an industrial operation.

The closing date for submission of tenders is noon on March 1, 1996 (Friday).

Tender form. Tender Notice and Conditions may be obtained from the Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road and the District Lands Office/Kowloon, Yau Ma Fei Car Park Building, 10th floor, 250 Shanghai Street, Kowloon.

Tender documents will also be available at the District Lands Offices of Sha Tin, Tai Po, North. Yuen Long, Tsuen Wan, Kwai Tsing, Tuen Mun. Sai Kung and islands.

End

Works to improve water supply to Turn Mun

The Water Supplies Department is inviting tenders for the laying of 7,300 metres of fresh water mains and 3,000 metres of salt water mains in Tuen Mun.

This is part of a project undertaken by the department to improve and extend the fresh and salt water supply to meet the water demand of port and industrial developments in Tuen Mun West.

These developments include a special industrial area and a river trade terminal in Tuen Mun Areas 38 and 47, and a large thermal power station in Black Point.

Linder the contract, fresh water mains with diameters ranging from 800 millimetres to 1200 millimetres and salt water mains with diameters of 450 millimetres will be laid from Tuen Mun Fresh and Salt Water Pumping Stations to Siu Lang Shui.

13

Works will commence in May this year, scheduled for completion in 21 months.

Forms of tender and further particulars may be obtained from the Water Supplies Department, 44th floor, Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Tenders must be clearly marked and addressed to the Chairman of the Central Tender Board. They must be placed in the Government secretariat Tender Box at the lift lobby, lower ground floor, Central Government Offices (East Wing), Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong before noon on Friday, March 1, 1996.

Late tenders will not be accepted.

End

Public urged to prepare vegetables with care *****

Members of the public are today (Friday) reminded to take precaution when preparing vegetable dishes.

Assistant Director of Health, Dr Leung Pak-yin, said with the seasonal increase in the demand for vegetables, the Department of Health had stepped up checking and sampling at the Man Kam To checkpoint and retail outlets since last November.

"More vehicles from China are spot-checked daily during this season. Compared with 50 vehicles checked daily in summer time, more than 75 vehicles are now being checked daily," he added.

There has been one reported case of pesticide-contaminated vegetables poisoning involving three persons so far this year. All the affected persons have been discharged after receiving treatment.

To reduce food poisoning caused by pesticide contaminated vegetables, members of the public are advised to take the following precautionary measures:

* do not patronise unlicensed hawkers;

* do not buy vegetables with an obviously strange smell;

* wash well before cooking;

14

* dip vegetables into clean water for one hour to allow pesticide to leach out;

* blanch in boiling water and pour away the water used for blanching as it may contain dissolved pesticide; and

* cook thoroughly before consumption.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillkrnj

Opening balance in the account 2,253 0930 +249

Closing balance in the account 3,115 1000 +249

Change attributable to : 1100 +242

Money market activity +246 1200 +245

LAF today +616 1500 +245

1600 +246

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.0 *+0.0* 2.2.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.10 2 years 2711 5.60 100.77 5.20

1 month 5.16 3 years 3901 5.57 100.65 5.40

3 months 5.17 5 years .5012 6.38 102.52 5.86

6 months 5.17 7 years 7211 6.82 104.12 6.16

12 months 5.13 5 years M502 7.30 105.06 6.15

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $32,216 million

Closed February 2, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES

BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Saturday, February 3,1996

Contents Page No.

New SWD unit to promote sheltered workshop productivity.............. 1

Trade Department's Performance Pledge for 1996............................ 2

Anti-rabies inoculation drive in fishing ports............................ 6

Firing practice scheduled for two days in February................... 7

Fight-crime campaigns in the New Territories......................... 8

Spring scrolls to spread child care message.............................. 10

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

Sunday, February 4, 1996

Contents Page No,

The Governor's "Letter to Hong Kong"................................. 11

DGT to attend APEC Senior Officials Meeting in Manila.................... 14

Residents assured of adequate primary school places.................. 15

Tuen Mun Road to re-open fully........................................... 16

6th Education and Careers Expo........................................... 17

DB plays important role in reflecting residents' view................ 18

Exhibition on slope maintenance moves to Tsim Sha Tsui................... 19

59 new building plans approved in November 1995 ......................... 20

1

New SWD unit to promote sheltered workshop productivity *****

The Social Welfare Department is actively involved with the setting up of a marketing and resource unit under the guidance of an advisory committee to coordinate marketing issues for sheltered workshops.

This was stated today (Saturday) by the Director of Social Welfare, Mr Ian Strachan, when he officiated at the Bazaar Opening Ceremony of the Parents' Association of the Mentally Handicapped Ltd in Sun Chui Estate, Sha Tin.

The committee, he said, consisted of civic minded and experience business professionals.

"We hope the unit will raise the productivity of sheltered workshops and also the earnings of individual workers.

"Coupled with that is the expansion of supported employment places totalling 360 at present,” Mr Strachan said, adding that by March the number would go up to 590 and with a further 360 places next year.

He said the ultimate aim of rehabilitation was to assist people with disabilities to integrate into society as much as possible so that they could live aS ordinary citizens.

"To achieve this, we must provide equal opportunities to them and at the same time enhance their independence through training and employment.

"In order to improve the overall training and employment prospects of people with a disability, a working party chaired by me was set up in 1994 to review the existing services and a report had been produced in July last year," he said.

Mr Strachan said one of the many recommendations of the report was to operate the sheltered workshop in a more business-oriented manner.

"The success of implementation of any rehabilitation service relies heavily on the support of the community,” he stressed.

End

i

2

Trade Department’s Performance Pledge for 1996 *****

The Trade Department today (Saturday) announced new pledges in its performance pledge programme for 1996 in a determined effort to providing a high-quality service to the public.

• i

These new pledges are in respect of services rendered in connection with textiles control registration and the Textiles Trader Registration Scheme. Processing time for textiles control registration is further reduced from 30 minutes to 25 minutes while the turn around time for an amendment of textiles notification under the Textile Trader Registration Scheme is pledged to take no more than two clear working days.

Previously, no specific timing had been set for the latter and it sometimes took three to four days.

Announcing the new pledges, a spokesman for the department said these were the result of a review of the performance standards which the department conducted at the end of last year.

’’Although the department has met all its performance pledges in 1995, we have included these two new initiatives in the 1996 pledge, having regard to staffs views, our record of compliance with the pledges, the operational procedures and the resources available," he said.

"In 1995, about 150 surveys were conducted at intervals randomly selected by computer to check whether the services provided by the department complied with the pledges. The compliance rate was found to be 100 per cent.

"During the same period, five substantiated or partly substantiated complaints were received as compared to 11 and three in 1993 and 1994. All complaints were properly followed up," he added.

The spokesman said the good result of the department in meeting its 1995 Performance Pledge could not have been achieved without the full co-operation and untiring effort made by its dedicated staff as well as the hard work of members of the department’s Service Standards Committee, chaired by a directorate officer, in monitoring the performance of the standards set, reviewing the standards as necessary and supervising the handling of complaints.

3

With the assistance of a consultant and a research agency, the department has reviewed its customer service and conducted a survey on the textile traders, which account for approximately 70 per cent of the department's activities, with a view to identifying and meeting the customer needs.

The survey was completed at the end of 1995 and the department is examining the recommendations for appropriate follow-up action.

The spokesman said in order to meet the needs of the customers, it was important to listen to their views and enhance the understanding of each other. In this regard, the Customer Liaison Group (CLG) under a non-official chairman serves as a valuable bridge between the department and its customers.

Last year, CLG met four times and published four CLG newsletters through which more than 10,000 traders registered with the department were informed of CLG activities and the department's response to CLG's suggestions.

In addition to these, the department has organised staff training and staff motivation activities for front-line staff during the year to sustain their enthusiasm in providing better customer service. These included training courses in enquiry answering skills, experience sharing sessions, staff orientation programmes, quiz competition, "Booklet on 1996 Performance Pledge" cover design competition, election of staff for the "Best Staff Award" by traders.

"The department is also gearing up its facilities to meet the high service standards," the spokesman said.

"Following the installation of a multi-media touch screen enquiry system in 1994, the department's telephone system was upgraded in May last year to enable customers to get through the lines more easily. In addition, a voice interactive telephone enquiry system will be introduced later this month to further improve the department's telephone enquiry service.

’’The department strives to achieve professional excellence and quality service. We welcome feedback and suggestions to help us serve our customers better and make our better best," the spokesman added.

The department's other performance standards and targets in 1996 are as follows -

4

"Instant" Service

Textiles export licences for )

samples to restrained markets )

Target-queuing &processing time

Textiles export licences for )

personal effect to all markets )

Special import/export licences )

(Textiles) Form 8b, 8c, 8d and )

8e under the Special Export & )

Import Licensing (Textiles) )

Scheme )

30 minutes, with 90% in 25 minutes (but a single application comprising more than5 licences may take longer)

The queuing time is normally longer during peak hours (11.00 am - 12.30 pm & 3.30 pm - 4.30 pm) and on days immediately before and after a long holiday.

Service which takes longer to deliver

Textiles related services:

Target turnaround time(clear working days excluding day of receipt and, day of issue)

Textiles import licences 2

Textiles export licences ) 2

(Except for samples to )

restrained markets and personal ) effects to all markets) )

Special export licences ) 2

(Textiles)Form 8a under the )

Special Export and Import )

Licensing (Textiles)Scheme )

Textiles re-export licences 2

Amendment and cancellation ) 2

of textiles licences )

5

Expeditious issue of textiles ) 24 hrs

licences )

Transfer of quota 7

Registration for Local ) 3

Appointed Agent )

Certificate of registration for ) 3

Textiles Trader Registration )

Replacement licences for import ) 2

custom clearance )

Enquiries on quota balances 6

Other Matters:

Certified true copies 2

GSP Forms A 3

Outward processing arrangement 1

Local sub-contracting arrangement 2

Certificate of Origin 2

Certificate of Origin - processing 2

Expeditious issue of ) 24 hrs

Certificate of Origin/Form A )

Import and export licences for ) 1

reserved commodities )

Import and export licences for ) 2

ozone depleting substances )

6

Import and export licences for )

strategic commodities )

) ) )

3 days; longer for imports of certain sensitive products or exports to certain destinations

Import licences for radioactive )

substances and irradiating )

apparatus )

Factory registration

Registration for Transhipment )

Cargo Exemption Scheme )

1

14

1 month

These targets are posted at each point of service and will be met provided there are no complications surrounding the application or the service requested.

End

Anti-rabies inoculation drive in fishing ports

*****

The Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) will launch a half-yearly dog inoculation drive in fishing ports next week to enable fishermen to have their dogs immunised against rabies.

Starting from Monday (February 5), AFD’s mobile dog inoculation teams will go to the territory’s fishing ports one after the other and make boat-to-boat visits between 10 am and 4 pm daily. The inoculation programme is as follows:

Port

Sha Tau Kok Aberdeen Sam Mun Chai Shau Kei Wan Castle Peak Bay

Date

February 5

February 5-6

February 6-7

February 7-8

February 8-9

7

Cheung Chau Sai Kung

February 9 & 12

February 12-13

The drive, a regular exercise since 1980, is intended to help fishermen who find little time to take their dogs to an inoculation centre or a government kennel for inoculation.

An AFD acting senior veterinary officer, Dr Dick Rubira, said today (Saturday) that the drive was part of Government's continuing efforts to prevent the outbreak of rabies in Hong Kong.

"Hong Kong regained the rabies-free area status on July 10, 1989 by having successfully prevented the outbreak of any indigenous rabies case since July 10, 1987," Dr Rubira said.

Nevertheless, he stressed that rabies was a deadly disease transmissible from animals to human beings. Dogs on fishing vessels are particularly vulnerable because of their possible contacts with other animals outside Hong Kong.

"It is therefore important that fishermen’s dogs are inoculated against rabies especially when there are reports of recent rabies outbreaks in neighbouring areas," he added.

Under the Rabies Ordinance, all dogs over five months old are required to be licensed and inoculated against rabies. Failure to do so will render the owner liable to a maximum fine of $10,000.

End

Firing practice scheduled for two days in February

*****

Firing practice will take place at the Ha Tsuen/Castle Peak Range on two days this month (February). The public is advised not to enter the area when red flags are hoisted.

Following are the dates and times for the firing practice:

8

Date lime

< • f . •• ■ • *' •• I '

February 23 (Friday) From 8.30 am to 5 pm

February 29 (Thursday) From 8.30 am to 5 pm

• J > -J f'

y A.‘ End

'• ''*• ' * . ... .... : *i' SiiU-’f. .. . .

f '•’ • • • ■ *!

Fight-crime campaigns in the New Territories * * * * *

A series of publicity activities to disseminate fight-crime and anti-drug messages will be held in Sai Kung, Sha Tin, Tsuen Wan and Tuen Mun districts tomorrow (Sunday).

The events are organised by the respective districts' respective fight-crime committees. -• j

A newly produced CD comprising fight-crime theme songs and a specially-designed chess package to convey fight-crime messages will be launched at a carnival to be held at 2.30 pm at Po Tsui Park, Tseung Kwan O, Sai Kung.

Copies of the two publicity materials will be distributed free later to schools and community centres in the district as well as public libraries, tertiary education institutions and fight crime committees in the territory.

The carnival will also feature various song and dance performances, a dragon dance, game stalls and other entertainment activities.

Sai Kung District Officer, Mr Parrish Ng; Tsang Kwan O Division Commander, Mrs Kong Cheung Chi-lan; and Fight Crime Committee member, Mr Edward Pong; will attend the carnival's opening ceremony.

9

Meanwhile, Sha Tin District Officer, Ms Wong Mei-lin; Sha Tin District Commander, Mr Lee Chi-yuen; and Sha Tin District Board Chairman, Mr Choy Kan-pui; will start distributing fight-crime leaflets to the public at 11 am at the New I own Plaza in Sha Tin before officiating a ceremony at Wo Che Shopping Arcade to conclude a series of fight crime publicity activities held in the past few weeks at housing estates.

In addition to presentation of prizes to winners of various publicity events, a rich entertainment programme including dancing, singing and taekwondo performances as well as magic will be staged.

In Tsuen Wan, Tsuen Wan District Officer, Mr Thomas Chow; Tsuen Wan District Commander, Mr Norman Alexander Rae; and Tsuen Wan District Board Chairman, Mr Chan Lau-fong; will attend a ceremony to kick off the Lunar Year End Fight Crime Campaign.

The campaign programme includes the distribution of information leaflets and lion dance by members of the Junior Police Call.

The ceremony will begin at 11 am at the open area next to Tsuen Wan Town Square, Tsuen Wan Market Street.

A similar carnival to disseminate fight crime messages will also be held in Tuen Mun between 9 am and 5 pm.

Tuen Mun District Officer, Mr Patrick Chan: Chairman of the Tuen Mun District Fight Crime Committee, Mr Poon Chiang-hung; and Tuen Mun District Commander, Mr Ng Hong-kun will jointly officiate the opening of the carnival.

Apart from a variety show and game stalls, there will also be distribution of information leaflets and a seminar to educate residents with on crime prevention.

End

10

Spring scrolls to spread child care message *****

The Social Welfare Department (SWD) has produced five spring scrolls appealing to members of the public to make full use of occasional child care service.

Free copies of the spring scrolls, totalling 250,000, are now available for collection from all SWD district offices on a first-come, first-served basis.

"Children should under no circumstances be left alone, even for a short while," a spokesman for the department reminded the public today (Saturday).

"At present, there are 157 child care centres offering a total of 480 occasional child care places to assist families who might otherwise leave their children unattended," he said.

Child care centres offer temporary care for children aged under six at two-hour, half-day or whole day basis. The fee for a two-hour session is $14.

Members of the public who want to know more about the service may call the SWD hotline on 2343 2255 or the Child Care Centre Advisory Inspectorate on 2835 2725.

"Parents having any child care problems can seek help from the department's 42 family services centres throughout the territory," spokesman added.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

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

Opening balance in the account 3,115 09:30 -506

Closing balance in the account 2,244 10:00 -506

Change attributable to: 11:00 -506

Money market activity -506 11:30 -506

LAF today -365

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 123.8 *-0.2* 3.2.96

End

11

The Governor's "Letter to Hong Kong" * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the full text of the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten's broadcast on RTHK's "Letter to Hong Kong" this (Sunday) morning:

Co-operation is one of the most frequently spoken words in the unfolding history of Hong Kong's transition to Chinese sovereignty in 1997. Of course, it's used in different ways. Sometimes, it's a slogan bereft of any real meaning. Sometimes, it's given a particular spin which robs it of its original sense: co-operation - on these occasions - suggests that one side abandons everything it believes in and does whatever the other side wants.

But what is the real co-operation that we should seek?

Co-operation means working together in a constructive way in a common endeavour within faithfully observed and shared boundaries. What's the common endeavour? The interests of Hong Kong as a successful economy and a free society. What are the shared boundaries? The terms of the Joint Declaration which prescribes how Hong Kong's economy can remain open and capitalist, and how the rule of law and the measured introduction of democracy and representative government can guarantee our well-being and our decent way of life.

We might secure more co-operation along these lines if everyone would remember that from Peking to Pok Fu Lam we have a shared interest. We all want Hong Kong to make it - to make it through to 1998 and beyond in the best possible shape despite the pessimists and the critics. That is what, I repeat, we all want. Chris Patten. Lu Ping. Martin Lee. And that's what those of us with direct responsibility will be judged on. The British Government. The last British Governor. The Chinese Government. The Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office. The Preparatory Committee. The Chief Executive of the SAR.

Now who should be involved in this process of co-operation? Let me talk about a three-way partnership, which - if it works with a healthy dose of civility and understanding - will make the world of difference.

First, there is the Hong Kong Government, charged with the task of running this community for just over another 500 days. Second, there is the first fully-elected Legislative Council, representing - more clearly than any other institution - the people of Hong Kong, whom we should never for one moment forget.

12

Third, there is the Preparatory Committee, some of whose members are elected to our Legislature, but all of whose members were appointed by Peking - as I was appointed by London. Their job, and I want to start with them, is to put what should be the final touches to the arrangements for installing a government of the SAR on 1st July 1997.

Whatever one thinks about the composition of the Preparatory Committee, we must hope that it sets about its important work with wisdom and courage. In the Hong Kong Government, we wish the Committee the best of luck and, as you know, we offer them the hand of co-operation. There will be a more extensive agenda for practical, co-operative action when there is a Chief Executive Designate and team. But we also stand ready before then to give what help we decently can and naturally to keep the community informed about what we are doing. We all know that there are some decisions which the Preparatory Committee could make which would increase its support in the community, and make its job much easier, and give the SAR the best chance of a flying start, to the approbation of this community and of the international community as well. I won't list all the well-known confidence building measures again. Sufficient to say that we all want to see the Hong Kong members of the Committee speaking up for Hong Kong as the best way of asserting our present and future high degree of autonomy.

Let me make one suggestion. In most other places, it would be regarded as a very natural proposal. So we should never slip into the trap of thinking that this sort of idea is somehow out of bounds. The idea is this. Why don't the Hong Kong members of the Preparatory Committee talk to the Legislative Council? Consider the following.

First, the Preparatory Committee has been urged by its Chairman to talk to and listen to the people of Hong Kong. And who represents them most self-evidently? There are Legislators on the PC. They do not deny the legitimacy and representativeness of our own Legislative Council. They certainly didn't during the election campaign. They didn't in the aftermath of their victories. They haven't to date. Talk to Hong Kong and you must talk to LegCo.

Secondly, discussion between LegCo and the Preparatory Committee should be straightforward, since about a quarter of LegCo members have overlapping membership with the Preparatory Committee. And many PC members have in the past embraced very similar views to those of the rest of the Legislative Council.

13

Thirdly, what happens if there's no dialogue? Do the things which the majority in LegCo represent simply melt away? Do they just disappear - all those beliefs and values and hopes? All that energy. All that commitment. The alternative to talking is exclusion, and exclusion spells trouble.

And what of LegCo themselves? They are today in a difficult position. Strong but difficult. The powers of the government and of the legislature are spelled out clearly in Hong Kong’s constitutional arrangements after 1997. The checks and balances are clear. More democracy is promised after 1997, much more than there is today, but within clearly defined boundaries.

Today - in the run-up to 1997 - the position is much less clear. We have the old colonial constitution but with the addition of a wholly elected and independent legislature. The main checks and balances are the good sense of all of us who've got to try to make the system work as well as possible for Hong Kong. The only way we could have changed all this, tried to make it easier for the government, was by trying to juggle with the election arrangements so that they produced a different and preordained result. But we arc all familiar with that argument and know where it leads.

I’ve believed all along that whatever the difficulties we could make things work. But the difficulties are substantial and there for all to see. Because some legislators fear understandably that they'll be frozen out of the political process in the future, they think that they should do everything they can in the short term to achieve their own goals or those of their supporters. They want to make their mark.

And there are difficulties for the government. Civil servants find themselves pressed harder than before to account for what they arc doing: they find policies that have worked for years, and which command the broad support and respect of the community, bitterly challenged; they find themselves dealing with proposals for sweeping institutional change at a particularly sensitive moment in Hong Kong's history without serious public debate or discussion.

As I've said before, co-operation between LegCo and the Government involves some give and take on both sides - with both sides recognising, 1 hope, that we shouldn't do anything which discredits either strong, accountable government on the one hand, or the development of responsible democratic institutions on the other.

14

Let me give an example. I certainly don't want to see co-operative arrangements between employers and employees that have worked pretty well in the work-place for many years wrecked for the sake of a few short-term headlines. But I do recognise - all of us should do so after the exposure, often by the unions, of labour abuses in the last few months - that the dialogue between employers and work-force has to be on the basis of partnership.

I'm obliged by the undertakings enshrined in the Joint Declaration to protect Hong Kong's freedoms and to continue the process of a steady democratisation of our government, a process which it is agreed should continue beyond 1997. And I'm also obliged to stand up for Hong Kong's civil servants, our system of government, and the measures that have made our economy strong and our society stable.

I’m going to strike a balance and 1 hope others will too.

Hong Kong's political life is incredibly moderate; think of what happens elsewhere; think of the challenges and doubts that we have to overcome.

It is in everyone's interest that our politics stay moderate. The Preparatory Committee. LegCo. The Government. All of us can play a part in securing that objective.

Realism. Pnidcnce. Generosity of spirit. And the interests of Hong Kong. They all point in this same direction.

End

DGT to attend APEC Senior Officials Meeting in Manila * * * * *

The Director-General of Trade, Mr Tony Miller, will depart for Manila, the Philippines, tomorrow (Monday) to attend this year's first Senior Officials Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) to be held between February 7 and 9 to prepare for the APEC Ministerial Meeting later this year.

Mr Miller will lead a Hong Kong delegation comprising officials from the Trade and Industry Branch, the Financial Services Branch, the Industry Department, the Government Supplies Department, the Customs and Excise Department, the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Singapore and the Trade Department.

15

This year’s first Senior Officials Meeting hosted by the Philippines, the 1996 APEC Chair, will start the discussion on the production of individual action plans by APEC member economies for implementing the goal of liberalisation and facilitation of free trade and investment by the year 2010/2020 as set out in the Osaka Action Agenda.

The Senior Officials Meeting will be followed by a series of meetings including those of the Tariff Database Task Force, the Economic Committee, the Committee on Trade and Investment, the Experts Group on Regulated Sectors in Mutual Recognition Arrangements (Food Products), the Experts Group on Government Procurement, the Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance and Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures.

The APEC Ministerial Meeting will be held in October this year, also in Manila, and will be followed by the fourth Meeting of the APEC Economic Leaders in Subic in November.

Member economies of APEC are Australia. Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, the People's Republic of China. Hong Kong. Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea. Malaysia. Mexico. New Zealand. Papua New Guinea, the Philippines. Singapore. Chinese Taipei. Thailand and the United States.

End

Residents assured of adequate primary school places ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Residents of Saddle Ridge Garden in Ma On Shan were today (Sunday) assured that there is at present a plentiful supply of primary school places in Ma On Shan and that there is no need to build a new primary school there.

Ihe Assistant Director of Education (Allocation and Support), Mr Anthony Tong, said there were already 10 primary schools in Ma On Shan, adding that another one would be completed in the district by September 1996.

"Therefore, the Education Department has no plans for a new primary school for the time being." he told residents of Saddle Ridge Garden who petitioned the department today asking for a new primary school at the school site near their estate.

4

16

Residents of Saddle Ridge Garden had, in the past, raised strong objections to the building of a new practical school at the school site in question.

The Education Department consulted the Sha Tin District Board and, having secured their support, further arranged a visit on January 9 for residents to two existing practical schools and distributed pamphlets to residents to enhance their understanding of this type of school.

The department will reply to residents to explain its position regarding residents' request.

End

Tuen Mun Road to re-open fully *****

A section of the New Territories-bound carriageway of Tuen Mun Road at Sam Shing Hui will resume three-lane traffic from 6 am on Tuesday (February 6), a spokesman for the Transport Department announced today (Sunday).

With the re-opening of this section. Tuen Mun Road will be re-opened fully to three-lane traffic in both directions.

The spokesman said: "The existing speed limit of 50 kilometres per hour and temporarily-reduced lane width for this section will remain unchanged until February 16 to allow time for re-painting of road markings and other re-instatement works.

"Therefore, motorists should drive with care and patience on this section of Tuen Mun Road."

Kowloon Motor Bus Route 60P serving Tuen Mun Town Centre and Sheung Shui KCR Station, which was specially introduced to help commuters during the lane closure period, will also be cancelled from Tuesday.

End

17

6th Education and Careers Expo ♦ * * * ♦

Young people and members of the public will have access to the most comprehensive and up-to-date information on careers, education and training opportunities at the 6th Education and Careers Expo.

The Expo, to be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from February 8 to 11, will be the largest of its kind Hong Kong has ever seen.

It consists of an education section organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and a careers section staged by the Labour Department.

About 180 exhibitors from various trades, government departments, professional bodies as well as local and overseas educational institutes will be taking part.

Senior Labour Officer (Careers Advisory and External Employment Services), Mrs Bernadette Lai, said today (Sunday) that the Expo would provide a golden opportunity for visitors to obtain an overview of the various education and careers options open to them.

"We hope to help young people map out their future career and members of the public to enhance their career planning," she said.

The Expo will provide a forum where young people can gain a better understanding of the labour market by having face-to-face contacts with experienced professionals from various fields and by attending seminars and video shows on different industries.

Mrs Lai said response from schools was overwhelming as over 12,000 students from about 100 schools had enrolled for group visit, representing an increase of 20 per cent over last year.

This year, the Labour Department will occupy six booths and adopt an integrated approach in the presentation of its various kinds of employment services including Job Matching Programme, employment service for the disabled and careers education for the youth.

The Expo will open from 10.30 am to 7.30 pm on February 8, 10 am to 7.30 pm on February 9 and 10, and 10 am to 6 pm on February 11. Admission is free.

End

18

DB plays important role in reflecting residents' view *****

The Kwun Tong District Board has assumed an important role for the past 10 years in reflecting the views and needs of the residents, the Director of Home Affairs, Mrs Shelley Lau, said today (Sunday).

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Kwun Tong District Festival '96, Mrs Lau said although problems in Kwun Tong were particularly complicated and great in number due to its size and population, the active involvement of local people and the advice they gave to the Government had been a great help.

3

"Besides, area committees as well as mutual aid committees and owners' corporations also made an invaluable contribution in promoting community participation and improving building management respectively," she said.

Mrs Lau pointed out that Kwun Tong had undergone many changes in recent years following the redevelopment of public housing estates and the completion of new facilities and housing blocks in the area.

All these, she said, not only brought a new appearance, but also an improvement to the living environment.

"The success of these projects was largely the result of a good and co-operative relationship among District Board members, government departments, voluntary organisations and the residents," she said.

This year's Kwun Tong District Festival, featuring a series of artistic activities, aimed to bring joy to people from all walks of life and promote community participation.

Major items include dance carnival, drama workshop, "Night for Songs of the Oldies", film show, Cantonese opera, children's drawing carnival, Hower arranging competition and variety show.

The festival, jointly organised by the Kwun Tong District Board, the Kwun Tong District Office and the Urban Council, will last until February 11.

End

19

Exhibition on slope maintenance moves to Tsim Sha Tsui

*****

The third of a series of exhibitions on slope maintenance will begin tomorrow (Monday) at the Peninsula Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui East. •

The exhibition will last for a week until February 12, and will be open daily between 10 am and 10 pm.

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

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

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

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

"The first two exhibitions, held at Hung Hom and Sham Shui Po between December 1995 and January 1996. were well received by members of the public," a GEO spokesman said today (Sunday).

"Over 1,500 copies of the leaflet on slope maintenance and 1,000 copies of the GEO publication 'Layman's Guide to Slope Maintenance' were distributed," he said.

The same exhibition will be staged later in other districts including Tuen Mun and Ap Lei Chau.

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

End

20 .-

59 new building plans approved in November 1995 *****

The Buildings Department had approved a total of 59 building plans in November last year.

Of the plans, 16 were for Hong Kong Island, 21 for Kowloon and 22 for the New Territories.

The approved plans include 21 for apartment and apartment/commercial developments, 13 for commercial developments, 12 for factory and industrial developments, and 13 for community services developments.

In the same month, consent was given for work to start on 37 building projects, which involved 187,946 square metres of usable domestic floor area and 165,267 square metres of usable non-domestic floor area.

The department also issued 27 occupation permits - 11 for Hong Kong Island, eight for Kowloon and eight for the New Territories.

Of the buildings certified for occupation in the month, the usable floor areas for domestic and non-domestic uses were 102,238 square metres and 72,289 square metres respectively.

The declared cost of new buildings completed in the month totalled about SI,623 million.

In addition, 18 demolition consents involving 34 buildings and structures were issued.

The Buildings Department's Control and Enforcement Division had received 581 complaints of unauthorised building works, and issued 251 removal orders.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Monday, February 5,1996

$8 million-pledge to aid earthquake victims in China....................... 1

Gross domestic product for third quarter of 1995 .......................... 1

Consultations on anti-circumvention investigation.......................... 6

Good response to report on language proficiency............................ 7

Over 9,000 agreements lodged with Land Registry in January................. 8

Marine Department renews agreement with seven societies.................... 8

Tender for 12th issue of Two-year Exchange Fund Notes...................... 9

First local marine traffic control station opens....................... 11

HMS Plover to fire 21 -gun salute......................................... 12

Water storage figure...................................................... 13

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations...................... 13

1

$8 million-pledge to aid earthquake victims in China

♦ » ♦ ♦ ♦ ... -.nr, f.

The Government has today (Monday) proposed to the Disaster Relief Fund Advisory Committee that the fund should in principle pledge $8 million as a contribution to the earthquake victims in Lijiang and Zhongdian counties in Yunnan, China.

Funds will be allocated to relief organisations with sound track records whose proposed relief programme meets the approval of the advisory committee.

So far, three relief agents - Hong Kong Red Cross, Oxfam Hong Kong and Medecins Sans Frontieres - have indicated their interest in applying for funds for relief programmes in the affected areas. They are in the process of gathering information and formulating their action plans.

A government spokesman expressed hopes that the pledge would stimulate further responses from the public towards the plight of the people affected by the earthquake.

Enquiries can be made to the Secretary to the Disaster Relief Fund Advisory Committee in Room 553, Central Government Offices, East Wing or on 2810 3503.

The advisory committee is chaired by the Chief Secretary. Other members are Dr Raymond Ch’ien, Mr J D McGregor, Mr Cheung Hon-chung, Mr Lau Chin-shek, the Secretary for Health and Welfare and the Secretary for the Treasury.

: / ' .1

End

9

Gross domestic product for third quarter of 1995 ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

In the third quarter of 1995, Hong Kong’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 4.2% in real terms over the same quarter in 1994, according to the preliminary estimates released today (Monday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

Taking the first three quarters of 1995 together, real GDP grew by an average of 5.1% over the same period in 1994. However, on a year-on-year comparison, the GDP growth rate showed some moderation over these three quarters.

2

Re-exports continued to show a strong growth in the third quarter, rising by 14.8% in real terms over a year earlier. On the other hand, the growth rate of domestic exports moderated to only 1.3% in real terms over the same period.

Exports of services continued to record a rapid increase, by 11.4% in real terms over a year earlier. This was supported by strong growth in both tourism and trade-related services.

Imports of goods and services increased by 13.5% and 5.3% respectively in real terms in the third quarter over a year earlier.

On investment spending, gross domestic fixed capital formation picked up further to a 11.2% increase in real terms in the third quarter. Within this component, construction output in the public sector recorded an increase of 12.3% following a sharp rise of 58.8% in the second quarter. However, private sector building output, as the largest component of overall construction output, remained weak.

As a result, overall expenditure on construction registered a decrease of 2.2% in real terms in the third quarter over a year earlier. On the other hand, expenditure on machinery and equipment surged further in the third quarter, rising by 35.4% in real terms over a year earlier.

The accumulation in stocks moderated during the third quarter of 1995, following a sharp rise in the second quarter.

Consumer spending remained slack. Private consumption expenditure grew by only 1.1% in real terms in the third quarter over a year earlier. The slow-down was mainly concentrated in the spending on motor vehicles and other durable goods, while spending on consumer non-durables and on services recorded increases of 2.7% and 3.7% respectively in real terms.

Government consumption expenditure increased by 5.9% in real terms in the third quarter over a year earlier, as compared to an increase of only 2.6% in the second quarter.

The implicit price deflator of the GDP rose by 4.1% in the third quarter of 1995 over a year earlier. Excluding the effect due to terms of trade, the domestic demand deflator increased by 6.1% over the same period. This rate of change was relatively small when compared with those recorded for the earlier quarters, mainly due to the moderation in consumer prices, property prices, and prices for imports of machinery and equipment.

3

Revised estimates of GDP and its components for earlier periods are also released today. The real growth rate of GDP for 1993 was revised from 6.4% to 6.1% while that for 1994 remained unchanged at 5.4%. The growth rates for the first two quarters of 1995 were revised upwards from 5.9% to 6.1%, and from 4.8% to 5.2%.

This revision was mainly attributable to revised data on the price deflator for some construction output components and the inclusion of more up-to-date data on government consumption expenditure for these two quarters.

Summaries of the latest GDP figures are presented in Tables 1 and 2.

More detailed quarterly estimates of GDP from the first quarter of 1993 to the third quarter of 1995 are published in a report entitled "Quarterly Estimates of Gross Domestic Product 3rd Quarter 1995".

This bilingual report is now on sale at $8 per copy at the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong and the Publications Unit of the Census and Statistics Department, 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Telephone enquiries may be directed to the National Income Branch (1) of the Census and Statistics Department on 2582 5077.

4

Table 1 Expenditure-based GDP Estimates first quarter of 1993 to third quarter of 1995

GPP at Current Market Prices GDP at Constant (1990) Market Prices

Year/quarter 1993 1994 HK$ Mn 897,463 1,016,567 % change over same period of the preceding year 15.2 13.3 HK$ Mn 690,223 727,505 % change over same period of the preceding year 6.1 5.4

1993 QI 202,104 16.1 159,239 6.2

Q2 214,970 15.4 164,982 6.1

Q3 237,646 14.8 182,784 6.3

Q4 242,743 14.5 183,218 5.8

1994 QI 232,076 14.8 168,491 5.8

Q2 244,653 13.8 173,794 5.3

Q3 267,304 12.5 192,442 5.3

Q4 272,536 12.3 192,778 5.2

1995 QI 259,712 11.9 178,781 6.1

Q2 266,851 9.1 182,817 5.2

Q3 289,813 8.4 200,438 4.2

End

Table 2 Expenditure-based GDP Estimates

Year-on-year growth rates, first quarter of 1994 to third quarter of 1995

% change over same period of the preceding year

Expenditure Components of GDP At current market prices 1994 1995 At constant (1990) market prices 1994 1995_

QI Q2 03 Q4 Annual QI Q2 Q3 QI Q2 Q3 Q4 Annual QI Q2 Q3

Private consumption expenditure 18.1 15.0 13.8 13.3 14.9 10.8 11.9 10.5 11.3 5.9 4.6 3.9 6.3 1.2 1.8 1.1

Government consumption expenditure 16.2 14.7 14.4 13.7 14.7 14.1 12.7 15.3 4.9 3.4 2.9 2.8 3.5 3.7 2.6 5.9

Gross domestic fixed capital formation 26.0 17.0 12.7 29.9 21.2 6.1 13.6 11.4 15.8 9.2 6.9 24.6 14.0 4.5 8.2 11.2

of which : Construction 23.5 17.0 20.0 21.6 20.7 3.4 19.0 6.7 17.3 11.5 18.4 17.4 16.3 -2.1 10.5

Machinery and equipment 15.4 9.2 4.8 46.9 18.8 31.0 32.3 44.2 11.9 8.4 3.1 41.2 15.9 21.8 15.8 35 4

Total exports of goods 8.6 11.3 12.6 14.1 11.8 20.1 16.7 15.3 7.7 11.3 10.8 11.3 10.4 17.6 12.7 12.2

Imports of goods 9.8 15.8 17.4 22.3 16.6 27.5 21.5 18.9 8.3 15.1 14.7 17.1 14.0 21.7 13.6 13.5

Exports of service^ 14.4 9.9 11.5 16.7 13.1 16.9 19.6 19.5 7.9 3.4 4.7 9.0 6.3 8.4 11.2 11.4

Imports of services 15.7 13.4 15.7 18.6 15.8 17.7 17.0 14.8 9.6 6.0 6.8 8.1 7.6 6.4 6.0 5.3

Gross Domestic Product 14.8 13.8 12.5 12.3 13.3 11.9 9.1 8.4 5.8 5.3 5.3 5.2 5.4 6.1 5.2 4.2

6

Consultations on anti-circumvention investigation *****

Hong Kong will be holding informal bilateral consultations with the European Commission (EC) of the European Union (EU) on February 6 and 7 in Brussels concerning the initiation of anti-circumvention investigation by the EC on imports of 3.5-inch microdisks originating in Hong Kong and eight other suppliers, the Trade Department announced today (Monday).

"Hong Kong Government considers the EU’s anti-circumvention action inconsistent with the principles of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO)," the department’s Assistant Director-General, Miss Emma Lau, said.

"We hope to take the opportunity of the informal bilateral consultations to express our principled objections to the EU's anti-circumvention action and to seek clarification on the commission's legal and factual bases for initiating the anticircumvention proceedings against Hong Kong."

She said in exchanges with the EC, Hong Kong noted that there were divergent views between Hong Kong and the EC on the question of whether the Commission's anti-circumvention investigation pursuant to Article 13 of the EU's Anti-Dumping Regulation on imports of 3.5-inch microdisks originating, inter alia, in Hong Kong was consistent with the EU's international obligation.

"The Hong Kong therefore sees the need to hold informal bilateral consultations with the EC with a view to reaching a mutually satisfactory solution to the matter," Miss Lau added.

The Hong Kong delegation attending the informal bilateral consultations will be led by Miss Lau and members will comprise officials from the Trade Department and the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Brussels.

Acting upon a complaint lodged by the Committee of European Diskette Manufacturers (DISKMA), the EC formally announced on October 20,* last year the initiation of an anti-circumvention investigation on the alleged circumvention of the EC's anti-dumping duties imposed on 3.5-inch microdisks originating in Taiwan and the People's Republic of China (PRC) by imports of 3.5-inch microdisks originating in Hong Kong and eight other countries.

7

Twenty-four Hong Kong companies have been alleged as practising circumvention. Should circumvention be established, the higher anti-dumping duties of either Taiwan or the PRC will be extended to those companies found guilty of circumvention.

The Hong Kong Government lodged its strong principled objection to the EU’s anti-circumvention action and requested immediate termination of the case through a Note Verbale to the EC on November 22 last year.

End

Good response to report on language proficiency

*****

The Education Commission is pleased with the clear public support to its draft Report No 6 on language proficiency which was released last December for public consultation until the end of January 1996.

Speaking to the media after a meeting of the commission today (Monday), the chairman of the commission, Prof Rosie Young, said more than 130 written submissions had been received and over 20 briefings had been held for school councils, teachers, school heads, parents. District Board members, employers, professional organisations and media executives.

”There was wide support for the main thrust of the report, many repondents gave useful suggestions on individual recommendations. The commission plans to submit the final report to the Administration by early March taking into account views of the community collected during the consultation exercise." she said.

fhe commission also agreed to combine the studies on educational standards and school funding to form the basis of its next consultation document. "As quality improvement in school education and school funding reform complement each other, and the issues arc inter-related, the commission considered it appropriate to look at the two issues together to develop a comprehensive framework for quality improvements in schools," she said.

"It is intended that a draft document on Education Commission Report No 7 (ECR7) will be prepared for an extensive public consultation to be conducted before the end of this year, fhe consultation document and the public response will shape the final ECR7," she said.

End

8

Over 9,000 agreements lodged with Land Registry in January *****

A total of 9,153 sale and purchase agreements for building units, which include both residential and non-residential properties, were lodged with the Land Registry in January 1996.

The figure represented a decrease of 13.8 per cent from that of December 1995, but a 36 per cent increase when compared with the same month in 1995.

The total consideration of these agreements is $22.75 billion, down 14.8 per cent and up 33.2 per cent as compared with the amounts for December 1995 and January 1995 respectively.

The figures are contained in the monthly statistics released today (Monday) by the Land Registry on deeds relating to property transactions received for registration in the Urban and New Territories Land Registries last month. Relevant statistics for January and December 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.

The statistics generally relate to land transactions executed up to four weeks prior to their submission for registration, as there is usually a lime lag between the execution of deeds and their lodgement for registration.

End

Marine Department renews agreement with seven societies

*****

The Marine Department today (Monday) renewed its agreement with seven classification societies to delegate them with the powers of statutory surveys and certifications for the Hong Kong Shipping Register.

Speaking at the agreement-signing ceremony, the Director of Marine. Mr Ian Dale, said the new agreement was based on the current International Maritime Organisation model agreement with modifications to suit I long Kong’s circumstances.

9

’’The new agreement provides a clear foundation for a contractual relationship between the Marine Department and the classification societies in ensuring the safety standards of Hong Kong registered ships,” he said.

Under the agreement, the seven classification societies are delegated by the Marine Department to carry out surveys and certifications of ships on the Hong Kong register. The agreements are valid for five years.

The Hong Kong Shipping Register, administered by the Marine Department, was established in December 1990.

The seven classification societies entered an agreement with the Marine Department are American Bureau of Shipping, Bureau Veritas, China Classification Society, Det Norske Veritas, Germanischer Lloyd, Lloyd's Register of Shipping and Nippon Kaiji Kyokai.

At today's ceremony, each society was presented with a CD-ROM which contains all relevant Hong Kong Shipping Ordinances and Regulations.

The CD-ROM, produced by the Marine Department in-house, is one of the department's initiatives to make use of new innovations in technology to enhance its efficiency. The department will update the CD-ROM from time to time.

End

Tender for 12th issue of Two-year Exchange fund Notes *****

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority announced today (Monday) that the tender for the 12th issue of Two-year Exchange Fund Notes will be held on Monday, February 12, 1996 for settlement on Tuesday, February 13, 1996.

Similar to the previous issue, an amount of HKS500 million Two-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 February 13, 1998 and will carry interest at the rate of 5.16% per annum payable semi-annually in arrears.

10

Members of the public who wish to tender for the Notes may do so through any of the Market Makers or Recognised Dealers on the published list which can be obtained from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, 30th floor, 3 Garden Road, Hong Kong (or telephone 2878 8150). Each tender must be for an amount of HK$50,000 or integral multiples thereof.

Tender information for the 12th issue of Two-year Exchange Fund Notes is as follows -

Issue Number : 2802

Tender Date and Time : Monday, February 12, 1996, 9.30 am to 10.30 am

Issue and Settlement Date : Tuesday, February 13, 1996

Amount on Offer : HK$500 million plus an additional HKS100 million as reserve stock for the Monetary Authority

Maturity : Two years

Maturity Date : February 13, 1998

Interest Rate : 5.16% per annum payable semi-annually in arrears

Interest Payment Dates : 13 Aug 1996, 13 Feb 1997, 13 Aug 1997, 13 Feb 1998

Tender Amount : Each tender must be for an amount of HK$50,000 or integral multiples thereof. Members of the public who wish to tender for the Notes may approach Market Makers or Recognised Dealers on the published list

Other details : Please see Information Memorandum published or approach Market Makers or Recognised Dealers

End

11

First local marine traffic control station opens *****

The opening of the Ma Wan Marine Traffic Control Station at Gemini Point underlines the Marine Department's commitment to safe and efficient marine transport in Hong Kong, the Director of Marine, Mr Ian Dale, said today (Monday).

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the station, the first of a series marine traffic control stations, Mr Dale said the new facility at Gemini Point was just one in a large programme of marine traffic management initiatives to enhance the territory's vessel traffic services into the next century.

The control station, operated round the clock, is equipped with radar, a full communication capability to the main Vessel Traffic Control Centre in Sheung Wan and a control launch under station's direct command.

"With this facility we are able to provide to the masters and coxswains of vessels transiting the busy and hazardous tidal conditions at Ma Wan with a greatly improved level of safety," Mr Dale said.

The Marine Department established in 1989 the Vessel Traffic System (VTS) which enables comprehensive radar coverage of the movements of larger vessels over most of Hong Kong waters.

In localised traffic conflict areas where river trade vessels and ferries converge with ocean-going ships, there is a need to supplement the VTS radar coverage with the ability to segregate smaller vessels from ocean ships.

This is achieved through local control stations backed up with a dedicated control boat. The first example of which is the Ma Wan Marine Traffic Control Station.

The department has plans for similar facilities to be established at Kwai Chung, Green Island and Mirs Bay over the next few years.

"Along with other initiatives at Ma Wan such as improved real time access to tidal information and the installation of a system of traffic lights, this control station is aimed at providing, with adequate margins of safety, more scope for movements of larger vessels around Ma Wan than was previously possible," Mr Dale said.

12

Mr Dale said his department had increasingly looked to advances in technology to improve the monitoring of ship movements and enable rapid responses to potential problem situations.

He pointed out that a number of factors had forged the Marine Department's strategy for maintaining the safety and efficiency of the port.

These included the demands of ever increasing cargo and passenger loads, developments around the harbour, increasing construction traffic and the growth of ports in China which must use Hong Kong waterways as access to their facilities, he said.

The station was jointly opened by a Legislative Councillor, Mr Albert Chan Wai-yip, and Mr Dale.

End • * • ‘ . • . » ;•!,/!. . *•; \ ■ .

HMS Plover to fire 21 -gun salute * ♦ * ♦ ♦

To mark the anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth IPs accession to the throne, the Royal Navy will fire a 21-gun salute from HMS Plover at precisely 12 noon tomorrow (Tuesday) as she sails through Victoria Harbour.

When HMS Tamar moved from Prince of Wales Barracks to Stonecutters Island in 1993, gun salutes were fired from a site on the south shore of the island. However, the site was considered unsatisfactory because it was invisible to the public and it has since been developed because of preparatory work for the new naval base . for the PLA Navy.

New saluting cannons have, therefore, been brought from the UK so that gun salutes can be fired from a seagoing warship in full view of much of the city.

End

13

Water storage figure *****

Storage in Hong Kong’s reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 79.8 per cent of capacity or 467.467 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 409.551 million cubic metres of water, representing 69.9 per cent of capacity.

End

Hong Kong Monetary' Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,244 0930 +255

Closing balance in the account 2,775 1000 +259

Change attributable to : 1100 +259

Money market activity +251 1200 +259

LAF today +280 1500 +259

1600 +251

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 123.7 *-0.1* 5.2.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.08 2 years 2711 5.60 100.80 5.18

1 month 5.11 3 years 3901 5.57 100.64 5.40

3 months 5.14 5 years 5012 6.38 102.30 5.91

6 months 5.11 7 years 7211 6.82 103.70 6.24

12 months 5.10 5 years M502 7.30 104.80 6.21

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $18,174 million

Closed February 5. 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Tuesday, February 6, 1996

Contents

Transcript of the Governor's media session........................ 1

Governor pays tribute to Michael Sze.............................. 2

Improvements to legal services to be implemented.................. 3

Promotion of equal opportunities in action........................ 8

Proposal to pledge $8M to aid earthquake victims approved...... 11

Realignment of Black Point power line not justified.............. 12

Tuition fees set for UGC-funded institutions course.............. 13

Harbour safety and traffic arrangement for fireworks display..... 16

Bedspace apartment operator convicted of harassment.............. 21

Forum for visual arts candidates to voice platform............. 21

Contract awarded for new airport mail centre..................... 22

US and Australian stamps to celebrate Year of the Rat............ 23

Poster to promote technical school open days..................... 24

Exhibition to promote food safety................................ 25

Mrs Patten visits women’s prison................................. 26

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results...................... 27

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations............. 28

1

Transcript of the Governor’s media session *****

Following is the transcript of the media session by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, after attending a youth forum organised by RTHK this (Tuesday) afternoon:

Question: (on the Yunnan earthquake)

Governor: I know that everyone in Hong Kong has been deeply disturbed by the reports about the earthquake and its aftermath. In a typically generous way, people in Hong Kong are responding with charity helping the Red Cross, Oxfam and other organisations which are involved in dealing with the earthquake. We've already, as you know, announced that we'll be contributing from the Government's disaster fund. I think that's what the community would want us to do. It's important to get one's help in quickly, but obviously if more is required later on, we'll want to be as generous as possible. So I just want to repeat that Hong Kong will on this occasion, I know, show itself to be as generous as it has been on previous ones. All our thoughts and prayers go to those who have suffered bereavement or suffered other sorts of loss on this terrible natural disaster.

Question: (on MPF)

Governor: I think the Secretary for Financial Sendees has made the position absolutely clear on the MPF. If the Legislative Council gives it the thumbs down, then there's nothing more the Government can do for the time being. We'll have to wait until wiser thoughts prevail. But nobody should be under any illusion about where the responsibility for that lies. In the last year - or the last years - we've seen legislators g^ve their thumbs down to a pension scheme. So we introduced in good faith an MPF. I very much hope that scheme will be launched properly. It's in the interests of Hong Kong. It's in the interests of the elderly today and the elderly tomorrow in Hong Kong. I didn't say any of that in a provocative or bitter way. It's just a statement of fact.

2

Question: (on the third quarter economic growth)

Governor: The last unemployment figures, I think, you'll recall, were slightly lower than the previous ones. We've been predicting, as you know, five per cent growth for the last year. Since the figures for the beginning of the year were well above five per cent, it's not surprising that the figures later in the year are below. We still think the figures will be round about five per cent and we don't have any reason for changing our forecasts for this year or beyond. They are not figures which are as high as they've been in Hong Kong for the last three or four years, but by OECD standards they are still pretty good. In Europe at present they're talking about two, two and a half per cent economic growth. I'm not sure what the figures are in Canada, but I'd be amazed if they were as high as four or five per cent. And of course they're not that high in the United States either. So what we've got to do is to keep trying to make the right and prudent and responsible economic decisions. And I think we've got to recognise the importance of confidence especially at this particular time in Hong Kong's economic management. We are imprisoning all those young people, aren't we? I mustn't answer any more. Thank you very much.

End

Governor pays tribute to Michael Sze *****

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, today (Tuesday) paid tribute to the outgoing Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr Michael Sze following his last meeting as an official member of the Executive Council.

Mr Patten said: "Michael Sze has been an outstanding civil servant who can look back on 26 years of public service with great satisfaction. The community ha« recognised his contributions in many areas of public service during his distinguished career.

"I am particularly grateful to him for the consistently sound and insightful advice he has given me as an official member of the Executive Council over the last three years.

"I shall miss his wise counsel both as a civil servant and as a member of the Executive Council, but I am comforted by the fact that he will continue to contribute his considerable talents and experience to the community in his new role as Executive Director of the Trade Development Council."

End

3

Improvements to legal services to be implemented ♦ * * * *

The Government has obtained clear public support for most of its provisional recommendations to improve the delivery of legal services in Hong Kong, including a proposal to abolish scale fees in conveyancing work. These improvements have either been implemented or are set to be implemented.

Announcing government plans for implementation of the proposals today (Tuesday), the Attorney General, Mr Jeremy Mathews, said 34 of the 40 recommendations that were discussed in the consultation paper issued in March last year had had clear public support.

There was clear public opposition to only one recommendation and public views were evenly divided in respect of five recommendations.

This feedback from the public was obtained from direct submissions to the Attorney General's Chambers (AGC) and from a public opinion survey of 1,000 households conducted by the Department of Applied Statistics and Operational Research of the City University of Hong Kong, supplemented by a survey of views expressed in the press.

The views submitted directly to AGC, at the conclusion of the four-month consultation exercise, showed a keen response - 37 submissions were made by institutions including the Law Society and Bar Association, 29 were made by lawyers and 21 were from individual members of the public, making a total of 87.

AGC has published a Report on Legal Services, which summarises the feedback received and makes proposals for the way forward. Copies of the report will be made available to members of the legal profession as well as the general public.

Focal issues

Two of the proposals that had clear public support - permitting solicitors to acquire extended rights of audience in the higher courts and abolishing scale fees in conveyancing work - were strongly opposed by the Bar Association and the Law Society respectively.

These two proposals were also the only issues raised at a meeting of the Legislative Council Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services on January 9, 1996, at which the Attorney General announced the results of the consultation exercise.

4

In response to the proposal for extended rights of audience, 32 written submissions were made to AGC, of which only two, one from the Bar Association and another from a barrister, expressed opposition. It was not included in the public opinion survey on the advice of the survey organiser in order not to overload the questionnaire.

Although there are strong arguments in favour of the proposal, there are substantial arguments the other way, and the proposal would undoubtedly have some impact on the Bar.

"The Administration agrees that the strength and independence of the Bar are of great importance and does not wish to undermine them," Mr Mathews said.

"It will therefore conduct a further study of the state of the Bar in other common law jurisdictions where solicitors can acquire full rights of audience and further gauge the level of public support for this change before it makes a definite proposal."

As regards abolition of scale fees, Mr Mathews pointed out that the Law Society had been given ample time to submit its views on the proposals and there had been little basis or support for the arguments it put forward.

The Law Society itself recognises that there is a need to amend the scales and has commissioned a survey by an accounting firm into the effects on solicitors of rising property prices and rising overheads.

"The Administration will therefore prepare legislation to abolish scale fees for introduction to the Legislative Council this session.

"If the Law Society makes alternative proposals in respect of conveyancing fees that are fair to consumers and are not anti-competitive, before the legislation is introduced into the council, the Administration will give them careful consideration," Mr Mathews said.

He added that he was sure that in framing any proposals, the Law Society would want to recognise the clear public support for the abolition of scale fees.

Implementation by professional bodies

While public and media attention have been focused on only two issues, other proposals that will help to improve legal services also had public support. Some of these proposals had already been implemented by the Law Society and the Bar Association, Mr Mathews continued.

5

The Law Society has published a Guide to Professional Conduct which sets out standards of client care, including the provision of information costs.

The Bar Association has abolished the two-counsel rule; it has required all practising barristers to take out professional indemnity insurance; and it proposes to amend its Code of Conduct so that employed banisters may instruct practising barristers directly.

The Administration welcomed these initiative and would monitor the continuing implementation of these recommendations, Mr Mathews noted.

Furthermore, he said, since a number of other proposals that were supported by the public relate to matters of professional practice, the Administration would encourage the two professional bodies to implement them themselves.

These recommendations are:

* advertising restrictions should be relaxed;

* the Bar Association should actively encourage the dissemination of information about the services offered and fees charged by barristers;

* there is a need to improve the standard of client care;

solicitors’ firms should have a complaints-handling procedure; and

the Law Society and Bar Association should be able to investigate

allegations of shoddy work and to require a legal practitioner to take specified remedial action.

Further study by Administration

AGC, on its part, will conduct further study into:

* Retention of the status of Queen’s Counsel (under a different name) The Administration continues to give support for this recommendation and for solicitors who acquire full rights of audience to be eligible to acquire the status. It will discuss with the Chief Justice, the Bar Association and the Law Society the best method of implementing it.

6

* Abolition of the rule preventing a barrister from entering into a contract for the provision of his or her services as a barrister. The Administration continues to think there is merit in this proposal, although the Bar Association opposed it. It will continue to have discussions with the Association.

* Legally invalidating contractual provisions, in respect of mortgages, requiring a borrower to pay the lender’s legal costs. Although there is public support for the proposal, some of the objections to it need serious consideration.

* Requiring interest on the account of a solicitors' clients that is not payable to the clients to be used to fund a Law Foundation. The establishment of such a foundation is a complex matter and the Administration will make further study of overseas models and to discuss the mechanics of such a scheme with local banks.

* The problems of touting and commission-paying in respect of criminal defence work and conveyancing. The Administration will conduct a review in the first half of this year, having given the profession sufficient time to deal with the problems itself, to decide whether touting and commission-paying should be criminalised.

Implementation by legislation

Seven of the publicly supported recommendations will be implemented through legislation. They are:

* to abolish scale fees in respect of conveyancing and probate work, and to prohibit the Law Society from creating non-statutory mandatory fee scale;

* invalidating contractual provisions under the Consent and Non-consent Schemes requiring a buyer to pay a seller's legal costs;

requiring solicitors to pay interest to clients in certain situations;

* giving the Law Society the power to make rules in respect of multi-

disciplinary practices;

* subject to rules, permitting solicitors to incorporate their practices with either limited or unlimited liability;

7

* setting out non-discriminatory and standards-based criteria for admission as a barrister; and

* to create a statutory fidelity fund to protect consumers from the dishonesty of solicitors or their employees.

A bill to create the statutory fidelity fund is expected to be introduced into the Legislative Council in the next session, in view of the longer time required for preparation of a legislative scheme.

Another bill to implement the other recommendations requiring legislation would be introduced into the council later in the current session, Mr Mathews said.

Recommendations not pursued forthwiih

Mr Mathews noted that evenly divided views were held on the following recommendations:

* conditional fees should be available in certain types of proceedings;

* joint legal representation should be prohibited in respect of purchases under the Consent and Non-consent Schemes; mortgages; and leases; and

partnerships of local and foreign lawyers might now be permitted.

In view of the mixed feedback, the Administration will:

review the question of conditional fees in the future, after the new English scheme can be properly assessed;

* reconsider the question of joint legal representation in respect of purchases one year after other developments related to conveyancing take place;

* continue to examine the question of joint legal representation in respect of mortgages and leases and make a firm decision within this year; and

* continue to monitor the progress of recent reforms in respect of foreign lawyers.

8

Mr Mathews added that the Administration would drop the one recommendation that was clearly opposed by the public: that limitations based on years of experience might be imposed on barristers' rights of audience in open court proceedings. .

A number of recommendations did not involve any changes to the existing legal system and for this reason there would be no further action on them, he said.

End

Promotion of equal opportunities in action *****

The Government's commitment to the promotion of equal opportunities is demonstrated by a track record of concrete action, the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, said today (Tuesday).

Speaking at a luncheon of the British Chamber of Commerce, Mr Suen cited as examples the enactment of the Sex Discrimination Ordinance and the Disability Discrimination Ordinance last year and the two recently released consultation papers on discrimination on the grounds of family status and sexual orientation.

"Equality of opportunity means giving all individuals an equal chance to exercise their rights and participate in society. Equal opportunities for all is a social ideal that all societies should strive to achieve.

"The Hong Kong Government is folly and unequivocally committed to the pursuit of this ideal. And I have no doubt that our commitment commands the foil support of the people of Hong Kong," he said.

He called on the public to speak their mind in response to the consultation exercise on discrimination on the grounds of family status and sexual orientation, which will last until the end of March.

Public debate on discrimination in these areas was not confined to making written submissions in response to our consultation documents but also extended to speaking up in public for a point of view as forcefully as one could, Mr Suen said.

9

He recalled that the "Green Paper on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men" in 1993 generated a lively public debate on gender issues and measures to further promote gender equality.

"The debates demonstrated that even with strong community support for the legislative approach to tackle a particular ground of discrimination, individual antidiscrimination provisions can be very contentious and need thorough consideration.

"Without such consideration, the end result may not command the consensus support in the community that legislation of this sort needs in order to work," he said.

Turning to the contents of the two consultation papers released last month, Mr Suen highlighted the areas of concern with respect to employment, as mentioned by groups representing single parents and homosexuals.

The relevant groups proposed a number of measures to address their concerns. They argued strongly for legislative protection against discrimination. On the other hand, representatives of employers' organisations and financial institutions expressed concerns about the legislative approach.

He emphasised that the Government did not have preconceived views on the possible measures outlined in the documents.

"There are no foregone conclusions to be drawn from reading between the lines. The conclusions, including whether or not to adopt a legislative approach, will only be arrived at when the consultation process ends," Mr Suen said.

As for the Private Members' Bills which some Legislative Council members have indicated that they will introduce to outlaw discrimination on a Wide range of grounds, including those the Government has already undertaken to study, Mr Suen said the Administration shared the purpose of these Legislative Councillors in seeking to promote equal opportunities.

"Discrimination is something which we should all work to eliminate. However, by its very nature, discrimination is closely associated with a person's values and beliefs," he said.

"Understandably, the debate on measures to tackle discrimination can become emotive at times. Nevertheless, as a responsible Government, it is essential that we should tackle this subject in a calm, considered and responsible manner."

10

Mr Suen said the Government's position in respect of addressing discrimination had been made clear to members of the Legislative Council on numerous occasions.

"It is very clear: anti-discrimination legislation is a new area of law in Hong Kong. The social, economic and legal implications of such legislation are not yet fully appreciated by the community at large," he said.

"It would not be prudent to legislate hastily without first giving the public a chance to examine the problems, analyse the policy options and assess their implications.

"We must also ensure the right social climate before seeking to impose new values and standards of behaviour on other members of our community."

Mr Suen said the Government was not rejecting the legislative approach in advance.

"However, we do have reservations about enacting comprehensive antidiscrimination legislation without careful consideration and full public debate.

"We firmly believe that a measured and prudent approach is required for Hong Kong's circumstances," he said.

Mr Suen noted that the Administration had made substantial progress in recent years in the cause of equal opportunities for all, and not just on the legislative front.

The Government has devoted a great deal of effort to public education to foster changes in attitude with respect to equality of opportunity and a culture of genuine respect for other people's rights.

"I am confident that the future work in this area will be just as successful.

"But we need the assistance and participation of all the parties, including the business community, that have an interest in the issues involved," he added.

Earlier, Mr Suen pointed out that the consultation document on age discrimination, which is being drawn up by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, would follow in a month or so.

He added that the Government would turn to the subject of racial discrimination following work on these areas.

End

11

Proposal to pledge $8M to aid earthquake victims approved ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Disaster Relief Fund Advisory Committee today (Tuesday) approved in principle a pledge of $8 million to fund relief projects to assist earthquake victims in Lijiang and Zhongdian areas in Yunnan, China.

In making the decision, the Committee has been greatly concerned about the severity of the earthquake, the devastation that resulted and the harsh conditions which the victims have to face.

A government spokesman explained that the pledge was an indication of the willingness of the Committee to approve grants for this purpose.

"The actual hinds to be allocated will depend on the applications the Committee receives from relief organisations with sound track records and on their proposed plans for relief work in the affected area," the spokesman said.

"To ensure that the grants will be used for the purpose designated, the Hong Kong Government will as usual require relief organisations in receipt of a grant to submit an evaluation report and an audited account on the use of the fund.”

So far, the Advisory Committee Secretariat has received an application from the Hong Kong Red Cross for a grant of $4.1 million for immediate emergency relief by the Red Cross Society of China.

This application is now being processed. Four other relief agencies have expressed an interest in making applications.

The spokesman pointed out that public donations and appropriations from general revenue were the main sources of the hind.

"Members of the public are welcome to donate to the fund for general relief purposes," he said.

Further enquiries can be made to the Secretary to the Disaster Relief Fund Advisory Committee in Room 553, East Wing, Central Government Offices or on 2810 3503.

End

I

- 12 -

Realignment of Black Point power line not justified ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Governor-in-Council has decided that there is no justification to continue the discussions with China Light and Power Company Limited (CLP) about the possibility of re-routing the approved alignment of the Black Point 400kV Transmission System at the Fei Ngo Shan and Yick Yuen sections.

The decision was taken after the Executive Council had considered carefully die advice of the Working Group on Electric and Magnetic Fields (EMF) comprising experts from the Government, the two power companies and three local universities, and the assessment by the Administration and CLP on the possibility of realignment at Fei Ngo Shan and Yick Yuen.

In formulating the advice, the Working Group reviewed the most up-to-date EMF studies and reviews conducted by authoritative international organisations and independent scientific panels and found no conclusive evidence of adverse EMF effects on health. This is also the international mainstream scientific view and has been confirmed by the Director of Health.

The Executive Council also took into account the fact that the Government and CLP had acted prudently in the design of the Black Point Transmission System.

A government spokesman said: "Acting prudently means the taking of steps to managing and minimising exposure to EMF when such steps can be taken without substantial costs or other technical or societal consequences.

"We have routed the transmission system away from densely populated areas as far as practicable and CLP has adopted a low EMF power line design and constructed power line pylons taller than required to bring the cable farther away from residences.

"As a result, the calculated magnetic field level below the power line at Yick Yuen Tsuen in Tuen Mun. and at Clearwater Bay Apartments and Flamingo Gardens in Fei Ngo Shan will be around 20 to 200 times lower than the level recommended in the guidelines published by the authoritative International Radiation Protection Association in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 1990."

The spokesman said that in Fei Ngo Shan area, no building structure is oversailed by the power line. The closest structure will be about 40 metres away from the overhead power line.

The validity of the EMF guidelines was re-confirmed by the WHO and the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) in April 1995.

4

13

The spokesman said: "In view of the prudence adopted in the design of the transmission system, the absence of conclusive scientific evidence about the health effect of EMI', and the problems associated with realignment, there is no justification to re-route the power line at high costs to be borne by electricity consumers or tax payers."

The realignment proposed by the residents at the Fei Ngo Shan section could cost up to $1 billion while that for the Yick Yuen section could cost $106 million. Moreover, a realignment without valid justification will create fresh objections from those living near the new route.

The spokesman said that the Govemor-in-Council authorised the transmission system in early 1994 after an extensive consultation on the proposed alignment with relevant bodies including district boards, rural committees, area committees, Country' Parks Board and village representatives, and publication in the press. This was in line w ith Government practice.

The spokesman added that the Working Group on EMF will keep in close touch with authoritative national institutions and scientific panels such as the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement of the USA, the National Radiological Protection Board of the UK, WHO and ICN1RP with a view to continuing monitoring the latest development on EMI' studies.

End

Tuition fees set for UGC-funded institutions course *****

The Government today (Tuesday) announced that the tuition fees for degree and sub-degree courses at tertiary institutions funded by the University Grants Committee (UGC) will be set al $37,350 and $28,000 in the 1996-97 academic year.

At these fee levels, which arc slightly lower than those indicated last year, the Government will recover 16.5 per cent of the recurrent costs of providing degree level education to local students through UGC-fundcd institutions.

A government spokesman explained that the lower than anticipated fee levels had been achieved as a result of the Administration's efforts to contain the costs ol tertiary education by deciding not to spend $277 million on®cxtcnding new Civil Service housing benefits to the staff of the tertiary institutions.

14

In deciding the actual and indicative tuition fee levels, the Government has considered the results of a review on the existing tertiary tuition fee policy and the progress made by UGC and its funded tertiary institutions in containing the costs of tertiary education.

The spokesman said while tertiary education represented an investment of the community in its future generations, it was also an investment by the present students in their personal development and career prospects.

"The Government needs to ensure a reasonable balance between the community and the students in sharing the costs of tertiary education.

"We consider it a modest target to recover from the students 16.5 per cent of the recurrent costs, especially when the non-cash-limited Local Student Finance Scheme (LSFS) is available to ensure that no qualified student is barred from tertiary education because of a lack of means," he said.

In the 1990-91 academic year, the Government was spending $45.5 million on grants and $85.4 million on loans under LSFS. By the 1995-9(5 academic year, the respective figures have risen to $782 million and $878.2 million.

Over the past five years, the Government has increased first-year-first-degree places at UGC-funded institutions by 69 per cent from 8,575 in 1990-91 to 14,500 in 1995-96.

The expenditure on tertiary education stands at $9.6 billion in the current financial year, which amounts to 33 per cent of the recurrent education budget.

The rapid expansion and upgrading of tertiary education from 1990-91 to 1995-96 has resulted in a real increase of 23.9 per cent (that is an average real increase of 4.4 per cent per annum) in student unit cost, which is determined by dividing the total recurrent expenditure of the UGC-funded institutions by their total number of full time equivalent students.

This rise in unit cost reflects an increased investment in research and teaching activities, highly qualified staff, and modern facilities.

"It is the Government’s intention to achieve the 18 per cent target recurrent cost recovery rate by 1997-98 according to the phased plan laid down in 1991," said the spokesman.

15

"We intend to maintain tuition fees for degree courses at 18 per cent of the recurrent costs of tertiary education thereafter, which we consider to be a reasonable balance in sharing the costs between the students and the community."

The actual fee levels for 1996-97 and the indicative fee levels for the three subsequent academic years from 1997-98 to 1999-2000 are given as follows:

Academic Year Degree course Sub-degree course % increase in fee over preceding year * Recurrent cost recovery rate on degree courses

Actual fee

1996-97 $37,3S0 $28,000 21.5% 16.5%

Indicative fees

1997-98 $43,100 $32,325 15.4% 18.0%

1998-99 $47,150 $35,365 9.5% 18.0%

1999-2000 $51,650 $38,740 9.5% 18.0%

♦ Fees for Sub-degree courses are set at 75% of those for degree courses.

The figures indicated that the rate of annual increase was expected to level off in the years leading up to the end of the century, the spokesman said.

To ensure that no qualified student would be denied a tertiary place due to a lack of means, a number of significant improvements have been made to the system of student financial assistance, the most recent of which was the introduction of the Extended Loan Scheme (ELS) in October 1995.

It is estimated that in 1995-96, some 64 per cent of the total student population will receive assistance. The students will receive an estimated average of $22,977 in grants and/or $23,603 in loans.

More than 6,000 students will also benefit from the ELS. Among them, about 1,000 students who will otherwise fail to qualify for any assistance will receive an estimated average loan of $13,550 under the scheme.

While tertiary tuition fees have risen, so has the level of average grants provided by the Government to help students meet their fee payment and academic expenses.

The increase in student grants and loans between 1990-91 and 1995-96 have generally kept up with the increases in tuition fees and the costs of living.

16

To assess whether the system of student financial assistance continues to meet the needs of the students, the Government has commissioned a consultancy study which is part of an ongoing review of LSFS.

The consultancy report is expected to be submitted to the Joint Committee on Student Finance by the end of March, and the Committee will then consider making recommendations to the Administration later this year.

The spokesman stressed that the Government was committed to ensuring the cost-effectiveness of the UGC-fimded institutions.

"We note that the UGC has already taken several initiatives to enhance the cost-effectiveness of the public tertiary sector.

"The Administration has asked the Committee to consider how costs may be further contained or reduced without affecting or impeding the improvement programme of higher education in Hong Kong," he said.

End

Harbour safety and traffic arrangement for fireworks display *****

The Marine Department together with the Marine Police and Fire Services Department will implement a series of marine safety measures in Victoria Harbour on Lunar New Year fireworks display on February 20 (Tuesday).

The fireworks will be discharged from four barges moored off the waterfront of Wan Chai at 8 pm and will last for about 23 minutes.

Announcing details of the safety measures at a press conference today (Tuesday), Senior Marine Officer (Central Region) of the Marine Department, Mr Tsang Cheuk-yin, said from previous experience, it was envisaged that a large number of vessels carrying people to watch the display would assemble in Victoria Harbour in that evening.

Last year, the department had recorded more than 300 small craft gathering in the central harbour for viewing the fireworks display.

17

Mr Tsang said: "In order to ensure safety of life at sea, to maintain orderly waterborne traffic and to be in a position to offer immediate assistance to vessels, the Marine Department had co-ordinated efforts with the Marine Police and Fires Services Department, and would be adopting various safety measures on the day of the display."

He said a restricted area would be established immediately before and after the display and there would be two sterile areas at Kowloon Public Pier and Queen’s Pier respectively from 8 pm to 9.30 pm.

The four barges for this year's event will be anchored in the Western Dangerous Goods Anchorage.

They will be towed under Marine Police escort from the anchorage to Wan Chai around noon on February 20 and then moored - two to harbour mooring buoy A50 and two to naval mooring buoy No 2.

"An area encompassing these barges will be established as a closed area from 2 pm to 9 pm. The boundary of this closed area is about 300 metres from the barges and in a single rectangle shaped area," said Mr Tsang.

During the closure period the area will be closed to all marine traffic except those directly involved in the fireworks display and government vessels.

"Masters of all vessels should bear in mind the temporary establishment of this closed area and navigate outside the boundary," said Mr Tsang.

Because of numerous marine works being carried out in central Victoria Harbour, this part will be designated as a restricted area from 7 pm to 9 am on February 20.

The restricted area is bounded on the east side by a straight line joining Hung Hom Railway Station Cargo Pier and the breakwater of Kellet Island near the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Causeway Bay.

The western boundary is a straight line joining the southeast extremely of Ocean Terminal, Tsim Sha Tsui, and a new government pier east of Macau Ferry Terminal in Sheung Wan.

"During the period of restriction, no vessels other than government launches, vessels directly involved in the fireworks display and vessels which have obtained special permission from the Director of Marine will be allowed to anchor or to be underway within the restricted area," said Mr Tsang.

18

"Special permission will only be given to public transport vessels and those for the essential operation of the port. Applications from vessels for viewing the display will not be entertained."

Should there be any postponement due to inclement weather conditions, the fireworks display will be held on February 21. In this case the closed area and restricted area will be effective during the same periods on February 21.

Mr Tsang reminded all vessel masters that there were a lot of marine works in progress within Victoria Harbour and the Central Fairway had been re-positioned southward temporarily as promulgated in Notice to Mariners and Marine Department Notices.

He warned that as there were hazards to surface navigation within the works areas, vessels should not enter into these areas marked by yellow colour buoys with yellow flashing lights.

Mr Tsang also said when navigating through the central harbour, vessels should, as far as safe and practicable, use the principal fairways and keep to the right sides of the fairways.

Furthermore, vessels should avoid crossing the Central Fairway as it is expected the through traffic will be heavy.

For assisting landward crowd control, landing steps at Queen's Pier, Lung King Street steps. Wan Chai steps, Kowloon Public Pier and Tsim Sha Tsui East promenade will be closed to marine traffic from 7 pm to 9 pm and Hung Hom East steps from 7 pm to 8.30 pm.

As it was expected that all public landings close to the central harbour would be heavily used and congestion might occur. Mr Tsang urged vessels, if possible, to use landings in areas away from the central harbour.

The establishment of sterile areas at Queen's Pier and Kowloon Public Pier receptively from 8 pm to 9.30 pm will ensure safe navigation and orderly disembarkation of passengers after the fireworks display.

Physically marked by the deployment of Marine Police launches to line up offshore, the two sterile areas will include water areas fronting the piers and to a distance of about 70 metres offshore.

19

Mr Tsang said a vessel intending to use either of the piers was required to wait at a designated gathering area prior to berthing.

It would only be permitted to enter under the direction of Marine Department and Marine Police launches the sterile area from the east and depart from the west, he added.

He said the two landing steps at the western end of Kowloon Public Pier would be closed to all vessels until 9.30 pm.

Arrangements have been made to suspend the scheduled ferry services in the central harbour between 7.30 pm and 9 pm while some will be rescheduled as early as 6 pm and some will not resume normal until 9 pm.

Some ferry companies will use their vessels for watching the fireworks display. These larger size vessels will be positioned well to the east outside the restricted area, in the sea area between Hung Hom and Causeway Bay.

The Marine Department has published a Marine Department Notice No 13 of 1996 to give full details of the special marine control measures. Free copies of the notice are available from the Victoria Marine Office on the third floor, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Hong Kong.

Mr Tsang strongly recommended those intending to sail their vessels into the central harbour on the fireworks display day to get copies of the notice and read it before commencing their voyages.

He also offered professional advice to masters, owners and operators of vessels.

Small vessels, particularly those with no decking, or small vessels of a length less than five metres should not proceed to or remain in the envisaged heavy traffic central harbour area in the evening of the fireworks display since such vessels are vulnerable to the wash from larger vessels.

Before proceeding on a voyage, a master should make sure that:

* All persons know where the life saving appliances are and know how to put on life jackets properly. A practical demonstration is recommended.

* All children should wear life jackets at all times.

20

* A list of the names of all passengers on board is available for immediate use in case of emergency.

* The vessel should not be overloaded its licensed passenger capacity.

Mr Tsang said when underway in Victoria Harbour, all vessels should observe the regulations for preventing collisions at sea.

"In the evening of the fireworks display, the safe speed to proceed should not exceed five knots while a proper look-out must be maintained at all times.

"During darkness, bright light interferes with keeping a proper look-out. Therefore, cabin lights should be switched off and searchlights should not be used," he said.

Mr Tsang pointed out that there would be a large number of Marine Department, Marine Police and Fire Services vessels identified by their flashing red or blue lights either stationed or patrolling in the central harbour area.

Masters should follow any instructions originated from these vessels.

In the event of a vessel is in danger and requires assistance, its master can:

* Call the Marine Department on very high frequency radio telephone channel 16 using the callsign "Hong Kong Rescue", or on 2545 0181.

* Call the Marine Police on 2366 5827 or 2368 8770.

* Call 999.

* Indicate the need of assistance using distress signals.

End

21

Bedspace apartment operator convicted of harassment

*****

Operators of bedspace apartments (BSAs) were warned today (Tuesday) that eviction of their tenants through intimidation was a criminal offence and would not be tolerated by the Home Affairs Department.

The department issued the warning after a BSA operator at Fuk Lo Tsun Road in Kowloon City was yesterday convicted of four charges of harassment of tenants under the Landlord and Tenant (Consolidation) Ordinance. He was fined a total of $12,000.

A spokesman for the department said the conviction sent a very clear signal to BSA operators that they could not force their tenants out by intimidation under the pretext of complying with the safety requirements of the Bedspace Apartments Ordinance.

"Other BSA lodgers should bear in mind that they have rights to security of tenure and should not give that up when faced with unlawful removal." he said.

"They are well-protected by the Landlords and Tenant (Consolidation) Ordinance which provides for a maximum penalty of $500,000.

"The department will continue to co-operate with the police against those operators who evict their tenants unlawfully," the spokesman stressed.

He added that the department would press ahead with the licensing of all BSAs and would adhere to its commitment that nobody would be rendered homeless because of the licensing scheme.

End

Forum for visual arts candidates to voice platform

*****

Candidates vying to be selected as representative of the visual arts field for the Governor's consideration for appointment as a member of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council will explain their platforms to the voters tomorrow (Wednesday).

A candidate forum will be held from 5.30 pm to 7 pm at the Fringe Club. 2 Lower Albert Road, Central.

22

The five candidates running for the seat are Mr Kan Tat-keung, Mr Lo Koon-chiu, Ms Kam-ping Hiller, Mr Eddie Lui Fung-ngar and Mr Chu Tat-shing.

The number of registered voters drawing from 38 visual arts organisations under the Hong Kong Visual Arts Nomination Conference stands at 1,340.

The election will be held from 10 am to 7 pm on Sunday (February 11) at the lobby of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

Voters who have been informed by letters ol the details of the election must cast their votes in person and should bring along their Identity cards for verification.

End

Contract awarded for new airport mail centre

*****

A $327 million Airport Core Programme (ACP) contract for the construction of the new air mail centre at Chek Lap Kok has been awarded lo Yau Lee Construction Company Ltd.

"The new air mail centre will replace the existing one at Kai Tak Airport upon the opening of the new airport at Chek Lap Kok," said the Postmaster General, Mr Robert Footman.

"The new air mail centre will be equipped with a comprehensive postal mechanisation system which will help maintain the high quality of the airmail service in the face of ever growing traffic and achieve greater operational efficiency.

"The Hong Kong Post Office is already one of the biggest postal administrations in the world in terms of international mail volume, and ranks third in the world in terms of the volume of Speedpost traffic handled."

The postal mechanisation system, which incorporates state-of-the-art technology in postal mechanisation, consists of the most modern sorting equipment for letters, packets, parcels and Speedpost items, a dedicated storage and retrieval system for mail bags, advanced equipment for handling airline containers as well as a comprehensive mail conveyance system to speed up the transportation and processing of various categories of mail.

23

1'he airmail operation at the new air mail centre will be fully mechanised.

Mr Footman, senior officials of the Hong Kong Post Office and the Architectural Services Department were present at the traditional-work-commencement ceremony held by the building contractor at the Chek Lap Kok site today (February 6).

End

US and Australian stamps to celebrate Year of the Rat *****

The Assistant Postmaster General, Mr Allan Chiang, today (Tuesday) announced that stamps products issued by the Australia Post and the United States Postal Service for celebrating the Year of the Rat will be on sale at the following philatelic offices as from February 9:

Airport Post Office

Beaconsfield 1 louse Post Office

General Post Office

Granville Road Post Office

Peak Post Office

Sha Tin Central Post Office

Tsim Sha Tsui Post Office

Tsuen Wan Post Office

Airport Post Office

These products include the Year of the Rat miniature sheet and serviced first day cover issued by the Australia Post for Christmas Island and the Year of the Rat stamps issued by the United States Postal Service.

The miniature sheet issued by the Australia Post comprises two stamps with the same face value of Aus 45 cents. The serviced first day cover has the miniature sheet affixed and bears the special postmark of January 9, the first day of issue.

rl

The United States Year of the Rat stamps, with a face value of US 32 cents, arc in sheets of 20 stamps.

24

On February 9, a sales restriction on the maximum quantity that a queuing customer can buy will be imposed as follows:

Product Restriction

Christmas Island miniature sheet 20 sheets serviced first day cover 20 covers

United States Year of the Rat sheet of 20 stamps 10 sheets

The selling prices are:

Christmas Island miniature sheet 11KS5.5 serviced first day cover HK$7

United States Year of the Rat sheet of 20 stamps 1IKS50

End

Poster to promote technical school open days

*****

A colourful poster designed by a secondary 4 student won the first prize in the Government Secondary Technical School (GSTS) Inter-School poster design completion.

The winner. Miss Lucn Lai-mei, is an art-stream student of the Jockey Club Government Secondary Technical School.

The poster - publicising open day at nine Government Technical Schools - have been put up in nine Government Secondary Technical Schools, government primary schools and District Education Offices.

I'he poster is aimed at inviting members of the public, particularly students and parents of primary 6 students to visit the open day that will enable them to have a better understanding of the curricula at Government Technical schools as well study and career prospects of graduating students.

25

The open days for the nine GSTS are as follows:

* Ho Tung Technical School for Girls February 7

* Kowloon Technical School February 8

Lung Cheung GSTS February 8

Shau Kei Wan GSTS February 8

* Ha Kwai Chung GSTS February 9

* Sheung Kwai Chung GSTS April 3

Jockey Club GSTS April 25-26

Tang Shiu Kin Victoria Technical School April 26-27

* Kwun Tong GSTS May 2

End

Exhibition to promote food safety

*****

Members of the public can obtain more information on food safety and nutrition by visiting the "1996 Food Safety Exhibition" to be held at the City Hall and Tsuen Wan Town Hall in the coming weeks.

Jointly organised by the Department of Health, Urban Council and Regional Council, the exhibition is aimed at promoting public awareness and knowledge on food safety and nutrition.

Bearing the theme "Be a wise consumer, know more about food safety", the exhibition will be held at the Exhibition Hall of the City Hall from February 8 to 12 and will move to the Exhibition Gallery of Tsuen Wan Town Hall from February 28 to March 3.

The exhibition will be open to the public from 10 am to 6 pm except February 8 (from 3 pm to 6 pm).

26

A spokesman for the Department of Health said: "By participating in this exhibition, members of the public can know more about food safety, food hygiene, food labelling, food additives and nutrition; and as a result, the consumers will be able to make a wise choice of food."

There will be displays of exhibition boards and models on a wide variety of topics including food contamination, legal control on food additives and labelling, how to avoid obesity, baby and child diet, food selection and handling.

In addition, there will be audio-visual shows, computer game stalls to make the event more entertaining.

Free education and information leaflets will be distributed.

End

Mrs Patten visits women’s prison *****

Mrs Lavender Patten today (Tuesday) paid a visit to the Tai Lam Centre for Women (TLCW), to see the management and operation of Hong Kong's only maximum security prison for adult female offenders.

Accompanied by the Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Raymond Lai Ming-kee, and the Senior Superintendent (Tai Lam), Mr John Kwok Wing-chiu, Mrs Patten visited the reception office, laundry, garment-making workshop, dining hall, kitchen, beauty saloon, centre hospital, Children Play Centre, cells and dormitories of the institution.

After speaking to some inmates, Mrs Patten has a better understanding on their daily life.

At present, TLCW housed about 580 female inmates where its certified accommodation is 263.

End

i

27

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results * ♦ * * *

Tender date 6 Feb 96

Paper on offer EF bills

Issue number Q606

Issue date 7 Feb 96

Maturity date 8 May 96

Amount applied HK$11,520 MN

Amount allotted HK$ 1,500 MN

Average yield accepted 5.10 PCT

Highest yield accepted 5.10 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 21 PCT

Average tender yield 5.11 PCT

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

Tenders to be held in the week beginning 12 Feb, 1996

Tender date 12 Feb 96 13 Feb 96 13 Feb 96

Paper on offer EF notes EF bills EF bills

Issue number 2802 Q607 H658

Issue date 13 Feb 96 14 Feb 96 14 Feb 96

Maturity date 13 Feb 98 15 May 96 14 Aug 96

Tenor 2 Years 91 days 182 days

Amount on offer HKS500+100MN HK$ 1,500+500 MN HKS800+160MN

Coupon 5.16 PCT

End


- 28 -

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

Imillion Time (hours) Cumulative change CSniillkmJ

Opening balance in the account 2,775 0930 -272

Closing balance in the account 2,953 1000 -272

Change attributable to : 1100 -272

Money market activity -272 1200 -272

LAF today +450 1500 -272

1600 -272

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 123.4 *-0.3* 6.2.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.07 2 years 2711 5.60 100.82 5.17

1 month 5.10 3 years 3901 5.57 100.70 5.38

3 months 5.12 5 years 5012 6.38 102.47 5.87

6 months 5.12 7 years 7211 6.82 104.00 6.18

12 months 5.10 5 years M502 7.30 105.00 6.16

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $14,149 million

Closed February 6, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Wednesday, February 7,1996

Contents Eage^'fi.

Transcript of the Governor's media session............................ 1

Contract for Post Office's track and trace system awarded............. 3

Human rights education important in HK: Solicitor General............. 5

Banking Ordinance Notice amendment to be gazetted..................... 6

Survey on civil servants' performance................................. 7

Governor visits Islands District...................................... 8

Insider Dealing Tribunal hearing...................................... 8

Harmless azocolours certification scheme announced.................... 9

Provision of urgent relief for P WIF's applicants..................... 11

113 VMs depart on Orderly Repatriation Flight......................... 12

Monitors' Report submitted to CS...................................... 12

Tuen Mun lot to let................................................... 13

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results........................... 13

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations.................. 15

1

Transcript of the Governor’s media session *****

Following is the transcript of the media session by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, after visiting the Islands District this (Wednesday) afternoon:

Governor: I’m pleased to have been able to pay my third visit to this district, though it's my first visit... to Peng Chau, but I'm looking forward to coming back again. It's such a beautiful island. I'm pleased to these excellent facilities for the people who live on the island.

Question: Mr Patten. In the second day discussion of the JLG, the Chinese side has said that it is the business of the Chinese side to resolve the right of abode problem. Do you think this is the right...?

Governor: Well. I wish it would be resolved quickly and to the satisfaction of people in Hong Kong. I think it is one of the issues which has caused the most anxiety and worry. People want certainty. You need some time to be able to plan for your future. There is only just over 500 days to go until the transition and people want to have the maximum time and the maximum confidence in the arrangements that will exist after 1997. Now, when the Foreign Secretary Mr Rifkind saw the Vice Premier Mr Qian Qichen in Peking a few weeks ago, Mr Qian made it perfectly clear without any qualification that those who were permanent residents before 1997 would be permanent residents after 1997. It was just a question, he said, of working out the way in which that should be done. So there appears to be no difference, or no difficulty about the principle. And I think the sooner Chinese officials make it clear what the arrangements will be the better.

Question: But the Chinese officials said that they would only listen to idea from the British side in an informal expert meeting. Do you think there is a much more proper way to have a formal meeting with the Chinese side to have discussion on this matter?

Governor: What actually matters is to have arrangements which are good for Hong Kong announced quickly. What is the problem? Mr Qian has said what the principle is and we were delighted to have that assurance. Now we want to see the way in which that principle is going to be applied. I do think that Chinese officials should be aware of what the effect of their words is sometimes. People are concerned about an issue like this. They do want to have confidence in the future and the sooner sensible proposals can come forward the better.

Question: Do you expect the JLG to reach an agreement...?

2

Governor: It appears that they won't reach any agreement on the right of abode during this round of talks, though I haven't had the opportunity yet of talking to the leader of our team, Mr Davies. He will be briefing me on the progress of the talks. And if we don't make the progress we would like on right of abode it will be a disappointment, not a disappointment for which we are responsible but, I repeat, I don't think we should be hanging around on issues like this. I think we should be getting a move on and Chinese officials should realise how important this issue is to people's confidence in the future.

Question: But the Chinese representative reiterated that it is a matter of sovereignty. So it concerns mainly the Chinese nationality law and has nothing to do with Britain.

Governor: It is obviously of concern to everybody who has got the best interests of Hong Kong at heart as we have. And I hope Chinese officials will show that they have the interests of Hong Kong at heart too.

Question: On CT9, is there any progress in the discussion?

Governor: I think that there're still talks going on between the consortiums and between the commercial operators. I think that the sooner we can get those resolved the better. I think people in Hong Kong are rather frustrated about the amount of time which has taken. Again, I think the Chinese officials and British officials have made it absolutely clear what our position is, and the sooner we have a deal between the commercial operators the better.

Question: Mr Patten, with your visit to Lantau earlier, has the Government made any decision to extend the North Lantau country park? I understand that about HK$20 million has been allotted ...?

' ' ■ . • . • >

Governor: We haven’t, I don't think, come up with the firm ... let me ask the District Officer. No, we haven't. I am right. Of course, there are other issues affecting Lantau, not just the district park but development issues which were raised with me by some of the residents when I arrived on Lantau. And those are being addressed in the strategic plan covering this part of the territory and obviously the sooner we can complete that work the better.

Question: ... the way you are received in Peng Chau ...?

Governor: I have been delighted. I was delighted that people were so enthusiastic and I must say that I'm invariably greeted very kindly by people wherever I go. It makes my district visits particularly agreeable.

3

Question: I understand you are the first Governor to come to Peng Chau, do you think it’s long overdue?

Governor: Well, if it’s taken 150 years, it probably is rather overdue. But I'll certainly try to come back before I depart on June 30, 1997. No, it is a very beautiful island and I've been all round it before, that's on the sea. And I've been of course to Lantau and Discovery Bay. I am sorry I haven't set foot here before, but it looks very attractive and there seems to be a large number of the sort of restaurants that I'd like to spend some time.

Question: Director Lu Ping says the Preparatory Committee’s plenary is not likely to hold meetings in Hong Kong but their sub-groups. Does it mean that Vice Premier Qian Qichen is not likely to meet you here?

Governor: Well, I think it would be a pity if senior Chinese officials don’t come to Hong Kong. I think it’s one of the questions I very much, I very' often get asked. Why senior Chinese officials don’t actually come to Hong Kong rather more and see it for themselves. I think it would help them to understand our ambitions, our worries, our concerns. It would help them to understand what makes Hong Kong tick. It’s rather curious to be talking about the future of Hong Kong but never coming here. But I hope between now and June 30, 1997 we'll be able to deal with that.

Question: Is there any reply to your standing invitation?

Governor: No, 1 mean I occasionally read reports in newspapers which cause me from time to time to raise one eyebrow, but I no longer raise two.

End

Contract for Post Office's track and trace system awarded

*****

A contract has been awarded to EDS Electronic Data Systems (HK) Limited for managing the procurement and implementation of a track and trace System for the Hong Kong Post Office, the Postmaster General, Mr Robert Footman, announced today (Wednesday).

The contract also includes the maintenance of its existing computer systems and provision of advice on its information technology projects.

4

To mark the event, a signing ceremony for the assignment was performed at the Conference Room of the General Post Office by Mr Footman, the Director of Information Technology Services, Mr K H Lau, and the managing director of the EDS Electronic, Mr Stephen K M Lau.

According to Mr Footman, the Track and Trace System was an advanced computer system with workstations at all the branch post offices and sorting centres.

Its main function is to enable the Post Office to tell customers almost instantly the whereabouts of certain categories of their mail, such as Speedpost, because the movements of such mail arc logged into the computer at every transfer point until delivery to the recipient.

Through international electronic data interchange networks, data can be exchanged with overseas postal administrations, making it possible to track down mail at their overseas destinations.

The main purpose of the System is to reduce the response time in handling customer enquiries under the present manual system.

However, the Track and Trace System is also able to capture information that will serve internal accounting and management control purposes.

The total cost of the assignment is about $10.4 million and EDS Electronic will work closely with the Post Office and other relevant government departments during the assignment period to procure a cost-effective Track and Trace System to meet the Post Office's requirements.

The System will be implemented in phases, the first of which for tracking Speedpost is planned for completion in May 1997, and the remaining phases for tracking mail bags, parcels, registered, recorded delivery and insured mail are planned to be completed a year later.

The Track and Trace system will bring better service to customers of Post Office and at the same time result in significant savings in its operating cost, because of the elimination by the computerised system of a lot of manual writing and filing work.

It is expected that the cost of the project will be paid back six years after the Track and Trace System is fully commissioned.

End

5

Human rights education important in HK: Solicitor General *****

Hong Kong is very conscious of the importance of human rights education and since the passage of the Bill of Rights in 1991, has started a programme of public education in human rights, the Solicitor General, Mr Daniel Fung QC, said in Chicago on Tuesday (February 6).

Addressing a luncheon meeting of the Chicago Bar Association during his tour of the United States, Mr Fung said Hong Kong was especially proud of its human rights programme which reflected the social change Hong Kong had experienced since the signing of Joint Declaration 14 years ago.

"We were given high praise in November 1994 when the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights examined Hong Kong and pronounced us as having done more than any other country or territory in propagating human rights and in promoting human rights education for its people,” Mr Fung said.

Government action included the supply of teaching kits and videos to all Hong Kong's high schools so that students were taught human rights in lay terms as part of their civic education, he said.

The Solicitor General went on to explain to his audience of US attorneys and other professionals that the law had become part of daily life in Hong Kong today.

’’The people of Hong Kong take the law for granted today in Hong Kong in much the same way as the people in the US take it for granted,” Mr Fung Said.

"If you were to ask whether the law really is an invisible but indispensable component of Hong Kong people's everyday lives, in other words, whether Hong Kong is a civil society, speaking today, in 1996, I would give you a categorical affirmative response: there has been a sea change in public attitudes over the past 14 years."

Following the speech, Mr Fung briefed the editorial page editor of the Chicago Tribune and gave a lecture to the North Western University Law School. He finished the day's programme with a live interview with CNN World News.

After Chicago, Mr Fung will travel to California on the final leg of his US speaking tour which also included Washington DC, New York and Atlanta.

End

6

Banking Ordinance Notice amendment to be gazetted *****

The Banking Ordinance (Amendment of Seventh Schedule) Notice 1996 will be published in the Gazette on Friday (February 9).

A government spokesman said the Notice would achieve the effect of removing the reciprocity requirement in respect of banking applications for authorisation under the Banking Ordinance from companies which were incorporated in World Trade Organisation (WTO) members.

The amendment would enable Hong Kong to fulfil a commitment under the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services, the spokesman said.

"A core group of WTO members which included Hong Kong reached an agreement in July 1995 to provide access to their markets on a most-favoured-nation basis.

"As Hong Kong considered the overall commitments made by other participants generally satisfactory, we agreed, inter alia, to remove the reciprocity criterion in respect of banking applications from other WTO members," he said.

He said the amendment would not have any adverse impact on Hong Kong's banking authorisation system as the reciprocity criterion was only one of the many authorisation criteria of vetting banking applications.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) would continue to ensure that applicants from overseas countries meet all the other fit and proper tests (for example adequacy of home supervision, fitness and propriety of directors, controllers and managers, adequate financial resources) set out in the relevant schedule of the Banking Ordinance, he added.

At present, where a company incorporated outside Hong Kong is seeking authorisation to carry on banking business in Hong Kong, it is required under the Banking Ordinance that there is, in the opinion of HKMA, an acceptable degree of reciprocity in respect of banks incorporated in Hong Kong seeking to carry on banking business in the place where the company is incorporated.

End

7

Survey on civil servants' performance ♦ * * ♦ ♦

A public opinion survey conducted in January by the Home Affairs Branch (HAB) has shown that 55 per cent of the respondents felt that the working attitudes of civil servants were good.

Releasing the latest findings of the bimonthly survey, an HAB spokesman said the figure represented an increase of four percentage points from 51 per cent in November last year.

The survey also indicated that 43 per cent of the respondents regarded the civil service as efficient, compared with 40 per cent in the previous poll.

Asked about their views of the present situation in Hong Kong, the percentage of people expressing satisfaction has remained at 62 since last September.

On the future, 55 per cent of the respondents showed confidence that the territory would continue to be prosperous and stable, a slight increase from 53 per cent.

More than half (51 per cent) also expected the situation to improve or stay about the same in the next 12 months, up from 47 per cent.

Of the three most often mentioned problems facing the territory, labour-related issues continued to top the list at 65 per cent, a marginal drop compared with November's 66 per cent.

The percentage of respondents concerned about "housing-related problems" and "economy-related problems" both stood at 24 per cent. The corresponding figures in the last survey were 30 per cent and 21 per cent respectively.

The survey was the 62nd in the series to gauge the trend of public opinion on perceived problems in Hong Kong and the community's views of the general situation.

Through a random sampling of residential telephone numbers, 1,515 persons’ aged between 15 and 64 were interviewed.

End

8

Governor visits Islands District

*****

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, today (Wednesday) visited Tung Chung on Lantau Island and Peng Chau for an update on the latest developments in the Islands District.

Accompanied by the Director of Home Affairs, Mrs Shelley Lau, the Islands District Officer, Mr Christopher Wong, and the Chairman of Regional Council, Mr Daniel Lam, the Governor first proceeded to a look-out point in Tung Chung where he was briefed on the full range of housing and related facilities that would be provided in Tung Chung New Town in 1998 and beyond.

Before departing for Peng Chau, Mr Patten toured Tung Chung Fort and learned about its colourful history.

On Peng Chau, Mr Patten proceeded to the Regional Council Complex where he was briefed on the major development projects being planned for the island.

Before concluding the visit, the Governor met district board members and local community leaders at a reception.

End

Insider Dealing Tribunal hearing *****

The Insider Dealing Tribunal will hold a preliminary hearing on the CNPC (Hong Kong) Ltd (formerly known as Paragon Holdings Ltd) case tomorrow (Thursday).

This is the third case referred by the Financial Secretary to the Tribunal since the Securities (Insider Dealing) Ordinance came into effect in September 1991.

The Tribunal's Chairman is Mr Justice Yam. On December 28 last year, the Financial Secretary had appointed Mr Lawrence Tse and Ms Connie Tsui as lay members to hear the CNPC case.

9

At the preliminary hearing, the Tribunal will announce its terms of reference and procedures for this inquiry, state its duties and powers, receive applications for representation and set a date for the main hearings.

The hearing will start at 10 am at Room 702, Peregrine Tower, Lippo Centre, 89 Queensway, Hong Kong.

End

Harmless azocolours certification scheme announced *****

The Industry Department announced the launching of a certification scheme commencing today (Wednesday) on harmless azocolours to help manufacturers comply with a new German regulation banning the importation of consumer goods containing certain harmful or carcinogenic substances, namely azocolours which can split into any of the 20 banned amines.

The regulation will take effect from April 1, 1996.

I he Institute of Textiles and Clothing (ITC) of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University has been commissioned by the Industry Department to provide certification certifying dyestuffs used in a particular dye or printed lot of fabric or garment does not contain the banned amines.

Explaining the procedures involved in the scheme at a press conference, the Deputy Director-General of Industry', Mr Dominic Law said: "Manufacturers are to submit the list of dyestuffs they use to ITC whose experts will check whether the dyestuffs are included in the Voluntary Registration Scheme (VRS) list and certify accordingly.

"'fhe certification service will be provided free of charge to local manufacturers and traders."

Mr Law said the Industry Department, on the advice of the Textiles and Clothing Committee (TCC) of the Industry and Technology Development Council, had earlier commissioned the ITC to establish the VRS, with the aim to compile a list of dyestuffs which are free of those harmful amines specified by the German Government.

10

ITC started preparing the harmless list in October 1995 and it had gained active support from major dyestuff manufacturers.

"By now, a list of the harmless dyestuffs commonly used in Hong Kong has been compiled and it is promulgated to industrialists through the Internet at http://www.polyu.edu.hk/~itc," Mr Law said.

"Being an independent and highly respected tertiary institution, ITC is well positioned to do the certification.

"This certification is expected to be able to gain a certain extent of recognition by German importers and if so, the industrialists would be able to minimise the testing requirement to be conducted," he said.

"The certificate bearing the stamp of ITC will no doubt be more creditable than the current self declaration by the manufacturers or traders.

"This will also demonstrate the keenness of Hong Kong industry to comply with the new German regulation and will in turn impress upon the German importers that it is safe to place orders to Hong Kong," he added.

The certification scheme will be promoted through a number of channels, including the Industry Department's overseas offices; Product Standards Information Bureau's Health and Safety Standard Circular, Trade Department’s commercial information circulars; Hong Kong Trade Development Council as well as various industry and trade organisations, such as the Hong Kong Exporter Association.

Mr Law said the Industry Department had commissioned the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) to conduct an "Initial Study of the Impact of the New German Regulation Regarding Harmful Azocolours in the Textiles and Clothing Industries of Hong Kong" in 1994.

In a report submitted to the department, HKPC had recommended that the industry should consider the establishment of a "Voluntary Registration Scheme for Harmless Dyestuffs", a "Dyehouse Certification Scheme (DCS)" and a "model procedure for buying and control" to help itself lo cope with the new German regulation, Mr Law said.

11

Commenting on news that the German Government would soon announce a standard method for the testing of the harmful amines, Mr Law said the Industry Department would consider developing a laboratory accreditation scheme for testing when the standard was known.

’’Further support services like the model procedure for buying and control and dyehouse registration scheme will also be considered,” Mr Law said.

End

Provision of urgent relief for PWIF’s applicants

*****

The Labour Department today (Wednesday) introduced a new hotline service to provide emergency financial assistance to destitute applicants for the Protection of Wages on Insolvency Fund (PWIF).

Set up by the Wage Security Unit (WSU) of the Department, the new hotline 2923 5329 is aimed at providing prompt relief to PWIF’s applicants who are in genuine financial hardship in the form of advance partial payment of their entitlements.

"Employees who are owed wages for prolonged period, have difficulties in seeking new employment due to old age, illness or disability or are still unemployed long after the insolvency of their employers, are all eligible to apply for the contingency relief," a Senior Labour Officer of the WSU, Mrs Marian Li said.

Subject to basic verification of the applicant's claims, an amount of the advance partial payment will be made not exceeding 50 per cent of the claims or $10,000, whichever is the less.

"However, applicants will be informed that their payments will be released only upon conclusion of the investigations if their applications are dubious or lacking in essential evidence," she said.

Under the circumstances where the amount of claims is substantial and the presentation of a winding-up or bankruptcy petition is required, payment will be made after the petition has been filed.

12

"Nevertheless, subject to the discretionary power of the Commissioner for Labour, partial payment may also be made to those applications with sufficient evidence to support the claims but are unreasonable or uneconomical to present a petition as soon as the basic verification is completed," Mrs Li added.

End

113 VMs depart on Orderly Repatriation Flight

*****

A group of 113 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) has returned by air to Hanoi, Vietnam, today (Wednesday) on the 30th flight under the Orderly Repatriation Programme (ORP).

All but five of the returnees, comprising 56 men, 24 women, 21 boys and 12 girls, arc from South and Central Vietnam.

The majority of them arrived in Hong Kong in 1991, with the remaining in 1989, 1990 and 1995.

The group brought to 2,071 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 (Wednesday) morning have submitted their report to the Chief Secretary.

The monitors were Mr Dakchison Yiu Chung-lap, a Justice of the Peace, and Miss Jackie Leung Chin-ha from Oxfam.

End

13

Tuen Mun lot to let * ♦ ♦ * *

The Lands Department is inviting tenders for the short-term tenancy of a piece of government land in Tuen Mun.

Located at Siu Lun Street, Area 14, Tuen Mun, the lot has an area of 1,470 square metres for use as a fee-paying public car park.

The tenancy is for one year, renewable quarterly.

The closing date for submission of tenders is noon on Friday, March 1, 1996.

Tender form, tender notice and conditions may be obtained from the District Lands Office, Tuen Mun, sixth floor, Tuen Mun Government Office, 1 Tuen Hi Road, Tuen Mun; the District Lands Office, Kowloon, 10th floor, Yau Ma Tei Car Park Building, 250 Shanghai Street, Kowloon; and the Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road. Central.

Tender plans can also be inspected at these offices.

.End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results

*****

fender date 6 Feb 96

Paper on offer EF bills

Issue number Q606

Issue date 7 Feb 96

Maturity date 8 May 96

Amount applied

HK$ 11,520 MN

14

Amount allotted

Average yield accepted

Highest yield accepted

Pro rata ratio

HK$ 1,500 MN

5.10 PCT

5.10 PCT

About 21 PCT

Average tender yield 5.11 PCT

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

Tenders to be held in the week beginning 12 Feb, 1996

Tender date 12 Feb 96 13 Feb 96 13 Feb 96

Paper on offer EF notes EF bills EF bills

Issue number 2802 Q607 H658

Issue date 13 Feb 96 14 Feb 96 14 Feb 96

Maturity date 13 Feb 98 15 May 96 14 Aug 96

Tenor 2 Years 91 days 182 days

Amount on offer HKS500+100MN HK$1,5OO+3OOMN HKS800+160MN

Coupon 5.16 PCT

End

- 15 -

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,953 0930 -453

Closing balance in the account 2,776 1000 -453

Change attributable to : 1100 -453

Money market activity -450 1200 -450

LAF today +273 1500 -450

1600 -450

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TW1 123.5 *+0.1* 7.2.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.00 2 years 2711 5.60 100.92 5.11

1 month 5.02 3 years 3901 5.57 100.85 5.32

3 months 5.01 5 years 5012 6.38 102.55 5.85

6 months 5.00 7 years 7211 6.82 104.06 6.17

12 months 5.00 5 years M502 7.30 105.02 6.16

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $36,182 million

Closed February 7, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

SUPPLEMENT

Wednesday, February 7, 1996

Contents Page No,

Legislative Council meeting:

MPF advantageous to HK's financial services sector......................... 1

Maintaining HK as an international financial centre........................ 2

Coroners Bill......................................................... 8

Immigration Service (Amendment) Bill 1996................................. 10

Effectiveness of methadone treatment programme............................ 12

Progress of road pricing study explained.................................. 14

Enrolment of traditional Chinese medicine practitioners................... 16

Tax exemption for student organisation.................................... 17

Inspection of trams....................................................... 19

/Hospital acquired....

Contents

Page No.

Hospital acquired infections suffered by patients........................ 21

Land resumption in North District....................................

Lifts reserved forjudges and staff in court buildings.................... 23

More resources to improve ambulance services............................. 24

Policy on development of ambulance service............................... 26

Slope maintenance works in private land.................................. 29

Paper cutter used to commit crime.................................... 31

Fiscal reserves deposit with the exchange fund........................... 32

Theft or embezzlement in post office..................................... 34

Education of "gifted" children........................................... 36

Foreign countries visits by members of Parliament........................ 42

Staffing in family service centres....................................... 43

Change of land use in Central Market site................................ 48

Noise nuisance in Choi Yuen estate....................................... 49

Mental patients' right under Patients' Charter...................•... 50

Measures to combat gambling by prisoners................................. 52

1

MPF advantageous to HK's financial services sector *****

The Government is committed to meet and will continue to meet the ongoing challenge of maintaining Hong Kong's leading position as an international financial centre, the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, said today (Wednesday).

Speaking at a motion debate in the Legislative Council, Mr Hui reiterated the very advantageous 'side effect' of the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) Scheme where Hong Kong's financial services sector would be given a timely and invaluable boost on the establishment of the Scheme.

The potential benefits to the Hong Kong debt market, fund management and associated sectors and the economic activities so generated were obvious and this was indeed a very substantial and tangible gain for Hong Kong's status as an international financial centre, Mr Hui said.

He urged members who had already indicated their support for MPF and those who had not decided and those who were previously opposed to it to reconsider.

Mr Hui emphasised that a rejection of the MPF proposal would deprive Hong Kong of an invaluable opportunity to enhance its position in an increasingly competitive world.

End

2

Maintaining HK as an international financial centre ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech of the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, in the motion debate on maintaining Hong Kong's competitiveness as a leading international financial centre in the legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President:

I very much welcome today's debate on an issue which is crucial to the continued stability and prosperity of Hong Kong. By most international standards, Hong Kong is already a leading international financial centre. It has been a wide ranging and valuable debate and Honourable Members have put forward to us some valuable suggestions on how Hong Kong can maintain our competitive edge, in the face of keen competition. I wish I could acknowledge and respond to the views of each and every member who has spoken but obviously time does not permit this. And I, therefore, look forward to having continued discussion with Members, market practitioners and the public over this very important topic. And indeed a number of items raised this afternoon could well be very usefully and constructively discussed and further discussed at the Financial Affairs Panel.

I cannot agree more with Mr Paul Cheng that Hong Kong's future prosperity depends on a great degree on maintaining our competitiveness as a leading financial centre. Indeed, in the past decade or so, financial services have been a key growth component in our economy. The average growth rate for trade in financial services since 1980 stood at an impressive 21% per annum in value terms.

I will not quote further statistics today to illustrate our astounding achievement in becoming one of the leading financial centres in the world. Mr Paul Cheng had done so in his speech as have other members as well as Ms Loh. I wilj only reiterate, however, that despite these remarkable achievements, the Government has never been complacent. And I believe that this is true for the private sector as well. Indeed, there is no place for complacency. Asia, being the fastest growing region in the world and expected to continue to be so in the future, presents immense opportunity in financial services. While Hong Kong is well placed to tap this potential and the associated benefits, both established players and emerging aspiring financial centres in the region are also seeking to capture the same potential and benefits. And as Ms Loh has pointed out, it is not a zero-sum game, we are keenly conscious of the need to maintain Hong Kong's competitiveness, in the face of increasing competition.

3

Over the years, we have regularly reassessed the role of the Government in supporting the efforts of the private sector but we continue to believe that our marketbased economic philosophy and policies are sound. They have served Hong Kong so well over the decades and it is this very distinctive feature that has given us the edge over other competitors in the region. We also believe that there is considerable consensus over markets, enterprise and free trade in the community and I am glad to know that Mr Cheng is not advocating governmental intervention. Government should not actively manage the financial markets or interfere with market forces. Our role should be to support business by helping to enhance productive capacity, improve efficiency and sharpen competitiveness; in other words to maintain a competitive and favourable operating environment.

Through our regular consultation with market practitioners and experts in the international arena, there exists a consensus that Hong Kong’s comparative advantages primarily draw from a host of factors. To name just a few,

(a) sound economic fundamentals such as strong international trade performance and prudent fiscal position;

(b) strategic geographical, e.g. our time zone, location;

(c) robust supervisory framework which inspires confidence and an effective anti-corruption regime;

(d) advanced infrastructure such as telecommunication links, settlement and clearing systems;

(e) business-friendly policies - predictable and low taxes, the rule of law, free flow of people and capital, open markets, etc., and finally

(f) special, long-standing experience and expertise and relationship with the China market.

The list can go on and on. This not only reflects the width and depth of our strengths, but also presents a daunting task for Government and the private sector to keep up the very high standards in the face of increasingly keen competition. As many members have pointed out, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority has compiled a strategy paper last year on Hong Kong as an international financial centre. The paper reaffirmed the many opportunities and threats for Hong Kong and identified a number of continued work on various fronts. These include initiatives to further develop our debt market, engagement of sectoral studies on individual sectors, improvements to the operating environment in general and workforce upgrading in particular.

4

Most of these proposals represent ongoing efforts which predate the HKMA study and these will continue. The evolving markets and the competition and opportunity that these bring effectively present us with a never-ending challenge. While some new initiatives have been launched, the dynamism of the environment dictates that we keep moving ahead. Since then, we have, for example, engaged in new studies, initiated structured consultations with the industries, and I can assure Members that we will continue to maintain the momentum. And as pointed out by Dr. Huang, the key issues and tasks involved in the concerted promotion of Hong Kong services are the subjects under active consideration by a Task Force of Services Promotion, chaired by the Financial Secretary which was set up last year. A series of new initiatives, including proposals to consolidate Hong Kong's leading position as an international financial centre, will be announced by the Financial Secretary in association with this budget.

At this juncture, perhaps I should respond in brief to the four areas of focus identified by Mr Paul Cheng in the original motion, and in the process the three areas advanced by Ms Loh in her amendment.

The first area referred to by both Members relates to promoting Hong Kong's strengths as an international financial centre. I fully agree that this is an important task. Indeed, it is very much on Government's list of ongoing commitments. Promoting Hong Kong's role as an international financial centre has been one of the major themes of our publicity efforts both in Hong Kong and overseas in recent years. These include promotion tours by senior government officials, speaking engagements in local and overseas seminars, and active participation in international organisations and forums. Through such efforts, we have raised Hong Kong’s profile internationally. I can assure Members that we will continue to our endeavour and seek to further improve our promotional activities by undertaking more focused, finely targeted and co-ordinated campaigns specially adapted for use in the promotion of financial services.

Both Members have called for improvements to our market infrastructure, manpower training and access to our financial markets. Again I should express Government's full support of the idea. In respect of market infrastructure, Hong Kong's present set-up is amongst the most advanced in the world. The technologies and infrastructural support available to, say, our banking, securities and futures and insurance industries all measure up to international standards. We continue to move forward progressively. In the banking sector, we are introducing a payment system based on real time gross settlement later this year. In the debt market, after the link-up of our local custodian and settlement systems with two established international clearing systems, we will seek to expand the range of services of our system to non-Govemment debt papers and further upgrade its efficiency.

5

The markets themselves are of course very much alive to the need to improve market infrastructure. For instance, the recent launch by the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong of the second trading terminal has enhanced the operational efficiencies of the Exchange's trading system, expanded market capacity, shortened communication time and provided more secure back-up facilities. Government fully supports such initiatives, and encourages the markets to continue such efforts.

One of the most invaluable assets of Hong Kong is our well-trained and adaptable workforce. In the financial services sector human resources are of particular importance. Government is committed to ensuring that there is an adequate supply of trained manpower at various levels to continue to service our financial services industries. A case in point is the focus on language proficiency, arguably one of the most essential ingredients for a competent workforce for the financial services sector. And 1 am Glad that almost all members this afternoon have also expressed concerns regarding the standards of our language skills of our workforce. Related initiatives include the establishment of a Language Fund with a Government injection of $300 million to fund projects to raise the standards of English and Chinese. The draft Education Commission Report Number Six has specifically addressed the subject of language proficiency where it is recommended that, as a priority, Government should put in place an institutional framework to enable research to be conducted into the language needs of Hong Kong, to develop policies, and to have such policies monitored and evaluated in a coherent and systematic manner.

Regarding access to our financial markets, Hong Kong is probably one of the most open systems in the world. International service providers are free to enter the Hong Kong market, subject to their meeting the prudential criteria for admission, which seek to ensure that fit and proper persons are admitted. There is no discriminatory treatment against overseas companies. We have actively participated in the negotiations on the General Agreement on Trade in Services in the context of the World Trade Organisation and intend to maintain our open system and seek to ensure access for Hong Kong companies. As for investors and buyers of financial products available in Hong Kong, there is again no barrier for entry into our markets. Such openness has attracted a critical mass of providers of financial services and products, as well as investors to Hong Kong. Their presence and active participation in Hong Kong’s financial markets have ensured liquidity and diversity - all essential ingredients to a successful financial market. We are firmly committed to maintaining our open system.

6

The third area referred to by both members relates to a sound regulatory framework and legal requirements to ensure that the financial markets operate, fairly and efficiently, thus improving the protection of investors. 1 should reiterate that Government is again fully committed to this, and over the years this has indeed been one of our primary objectives. We recognise that the integrity and effectiveness of the financial services regulatory regime is of utmost importance to our financial markets. The system must be fair and transparent so as to inspire confidence of market practitioners and investors. Hong Kong has always sought to adopt the leading international prudential standards so as to protect the interests of depositors, shareholders, insurance policy-holders, members of registered retirement schemes, and so on. and regular reviews of the relevant legislation, e.g. the Banking Ordinance, Insurance Companies Ordinance and securities and futures legislation have resulted in a number of amendment legislation and subsidiary legislation which have contributed to the continued robustness and effectiveness of our regulatory system. Nevertheless, without compromising our supervisory regime, we also strive to ensure that the system is as market-friendly as possible, and to be ever vigilant regarding over-regulation.

Several members have sounded a very important warning that we should be extremely worried about over-regulation. I am very grateful for this reminder. Indeed, the Government and the financial services regulators must always be mindful of the impact of over-regulation which undermines the attractiveness and competitiveness of our market. However, at the same time, we must be mindful that the primary objective of our financial services regulations is to protect the interest of the investors. To live up to its reputation as a leading international financial centre, Hong Kong financial services regulatory system must measure up to international standard which is a form of quality control, if you like, of the high quality products we are trying to sell. It is essential, therefore, that Hong Kong adheres to the high industrial standards set by international bodies. What is involved therefore is a balancing act to enhance market friendliness without promising the robustness and effectiveness of our regulatory system. To this end, Government is committed to review regularly our regulatory requirements so as to ensure that they continue to be sound and effective in the face of rapidly changing environment, but also to streamline procedures and lessen the reporting burden wherever appropriate and to ensure that the criteria for authorisation and reporting requirements of Hong Kong’s regulatory regime are objective and transparent. Examples of lessening the regulatory burden in recent years include the promotion of self-regulation e.g. in the insurance industry and in the streamlining of listing securities by vesting more power in the stock exchange of Hong Kong from the Securities and Futures Commission and we shall continue such endeavour. And talking about the stock exchange and the SFC, I note, Mr Chim by now categorically strong, and passionate feeling for the SFC which I am sure will take careful note of the view from one of its most ardent critics. I also note that market development is in fact a statutory responsibility of the SFC. But I also accept that the role of market development should rest primarily with the market and the industry concerned.

7

Mr Cheng’s has further advocated the use of tax and other incentives to continue to attract key financial services. I note that Ms Loh has considered this unnecessary. As Members know the Financial Secretary will deliver his Budget on 6 March. Today therefore is obviously not an opportune time for me to pre-empt his Budget proposals on taxation matters, if any. Perhaps I should echo what the Financial Secretary has recently alluded to on this subject. It is worth repeating that the standard profits tax rate in Hong Kong is already very low by international standards. It has helped to foster a competitive business environment as a whole and which the financial services sector benefits. If what Mr Cheng meant by tax incentives refer to preferential tax rate for selected industries for a certain period of time, it may compromise our current simple, predictable and easy to understand taxation system. Selective preferential treatment entails picking of winners by the Government and would ultimately be tantamount to Government making commercial decisions on behalf of the private sector - an area which bureaucrats anywhere may not be very good at.

In conclusion, Mr President, maintaining Hong Kong’s leading position as an international financial centre is an ongoing challenge which Government is committed to meet and will continue to do so. Come 1997, this will even become a mandatory requirement, as Article 109 of the Basic Law stipulates that ’’the HKSAR shall provide an appropriate economic and legal environment for the maintenance of the status of Hong Kong as an international financial centre”.

Mr President, before I end today, I should express my gratitude for the overwhelming support of Members in working to maintain Hong Kong’s leading status as an international financial centre. There is one major initiative which success will greatly enhance such a position. I am referring, Mr President, of course, to the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) Scheme. As Members are aware, we have submitted for the approval of the Finance Committee a funding proposal for the MPF Scheme the day after tomorrow. While the System is intended for the much needed but long delayed retirement protection of our workforce, I should take this opportunity to reiterate the very advantageous ’’side effect" of the MPF System where Hong Kong's financial services sector will be given a timely and invaluable boost on the establishment of the System. The potential benefits to the Hong Kong debt market, fund management and associated sectors and the economic activities so generated are obvious. Mr Paul Cheng has in fact alluded to the importance of fund management having their operation localised in Hong Kong and in our regular and frequent contacts with the fund management industry in Hong Kong, the message is loud and clear -forget about special incentives, not even tax concessions, just get on with the MPF. This is indeed a very substantial and tangible gain for Hong Kong's status as an international financial centre.

8

I am most grateful to those Members who have already indicated their support for the MPF and would urge those Members who have not yet decided and those who were previously opposed to it to reconsider, having regard to what Members have said today in this debate, including Mr Andrew Cheng’s strong support for developing our debt market for which to MPF is an ideal vehicle. I am certain that they will seriously ponder over their position, as a rejection of the MPF proposal will deprive Hong Kong of an invaluable opportunity to enhance our position in an increasingly competitive world.

Thank you.

End

Coroners Bill

*****

Following is the speech by the Attorney General, the Hon Jeremy Mathews, in moving the second reading of the Coroners Bill in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that the Coroners Bill be read the second time. The Bill aims to reform the coroners system in Hong Kong.

The Coroners' Court was first established in 1967. In April 1984, the Law Reform Commission appointed a sub-committee to review the coroners system, including the duty to report a death to coroners, the arrangements relating to the reporting of deaths to coroners, the investigatory role of the coroners and the functions of the Coroners’ Court relating to a death.

The Law Reform Commission Sub-committee completed its deliberations in October 1986 and the Law Reform Commission itself subsequently issued a Report on Coroners in August 1987. Extensive public consultation was carried out by the Law Reform Commission in the course of the compilation of its Report. A number of defects were identified in the existing system and a comprehensive reform of the system was recommended.

9

The Administration accepts almost all the recommendations of the Report. In view of the substantial legislative changes required to implement the recommendations of the Report, the Bill will have the effect of repealing and replacing the existing Coroners Ordinance. I shall now outline the salient points of the Bill.

At present, there is no legal duty to report any death to the coroner. A list of reportable deaths is now prescribed in Part I of Schedule 1 of the Bill. Clause 4(1) also imposes a duty on certain categories of persons specified in Part 2 of Schedule 1, including, for example, doctors, the Registrar of Births and Deaths and the Police, to report a death specified in Part 1 of that Schedule as soon as is reasonably practicable after the death comes to their knowledge.

The powers of a coroner are enhanced by the Bill. Clause 10 empowers a coroner to issue a warrant to a police officer to enter and search any premises where the coroner is satisfied on reasonable grounds that relevant evidence is likely to be found in such premises. Clause 11 empowers a coroner to first conduct a pre-inquest review to determine how the inquest may be disposed of in a just, expeditious and economical manner.

Clauses 13 to 19 set out the circumstances in which a coroner may or must hold an inquest. Clause 13 provides that a coroner may hold an inquest, whether with or without a jury, where a person dies suddenly, by accident or violence or under suspicious circumstances. Clause 14 makes it mandatory for a coroner to hold an inquest with a jury where a person has died in official custody. Clause 15 makes it mandatory for a coroner to hold an inquest when required by the Attorney General to do so. Clause 19 provides that the High Court may, on the application of a properly interested person or the Attorney General, order an inquest to be held into a death including, where an inquest has already been held, a new inquest into that death.

The present three-person jury will be expanded to a five-person jury. Clause 22 provides that five jurors shall be selected to form the jury at an inquest.

Clause 34(1) provides that the coroner may during the course of an inquest refer a case to the Attorney General for a decision as to whether or not criminal proceedings should be instituted against a person, and obliges the coroner to do so where the suspected criminal offence is murder, manslaughter, infanticide or death by reckless driving.

Clause 40 empowers a coroner to issue in certain circumstances a certificate of the fact of death to assist in the transport of a dead body to another country for burial, in particular w'here the relevant authorities of that country require official documentation that the deceased did not die from an infectious disease.

10

Clause 46 makes it an offence for a person to obstruct, resist or delay a coroner, including a person assisting a coroner, in the lawful discharge of his duties and lawful exercise of his powers under the Bill.

Mr President, this Bill represents a further reform to the administration of justice in Hong Kone and I commend it to this Council for early passage into law.

End

Immigration Service (Amendment) Bill 1996 *****

Following is the speech by Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai. in moving the second reading of the Immigration Service (Amendment) Bill 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that the second reading of the Immigration Service (Amendment) Bill 1996 be read the second time. This Bill seeks to give members of the Immigration Service powers of investigation into offences relating to registration matters, and in certain forgery offences under the Crimes Ordinance. It also seeks to regularise the procedures relating to the handling of persons arrested by members of the Immigration Service.

The Immigration Service took over the work of the Registration of Persons Office in April 1977 and the work of registration of births, deaths, and marriages in July 1979. Members of the Immigration Service, however, do not have clearly defined powers to deal with the investigation of offences relating to these responsibilities. When such offences are encountered, immigration officers may make initial enquiries into the suspected offences and, if there is prima facie evidence, they are obliged to refer the cases to the Police for full investigation and prosecution. This gives rise to unnecessary duplication of work and inefficiency.

Members of the Immigration Service are at present empowered to investigate certain offences relating to forged documents, but they do not have powers to investigate other forgery offences involving forged dies, stamps and instruments which may be used in making the forged documents. When these forgeries are encountered during investigation, they have to be referred to the Police for further action. This duplication of work and the separate handling of evidence again gives rise to inefficiency.

11

The proposed Bill enables members of the Immigration Service to pursue the investigation of these offences entirely on their own. These powers include the power to stop, search, and to arrest suspected persons; to enter places and search for suspects; and to search for and seize evidence under warrant.

To regularise the handling of arrested persons, we propose to give members of the Immigration Service the power to detain and arrest persons and to grant bail. We also propose to extend the time limit to deliver an arrested person to the police station from the existing 12 hours to 48 hours, in line with the requirement imposed on other law enforcement agencies. The 12 hour period has caused practical difficulties in that there is insufficient time for members of the Immigration Service to make enquiries in order to determine whether the person should be charged, delivered to a police station, or released. This is particularly so when a large number of illegal workers are arrested during operations against illegal employment.

The offences for which these new powers are applicable will be specified in a Schedule to the Ordinance.

Mr President, the proposed amendments will enable the responsibility of investigating the specified offences to be entirely assumed by the Immigration Service. This would allow the investigation of these offences to be conducted more effectively and efficiently, since members of the Immigration Service are specifically trained to deal with offences in their own areas of responsibilities. It would also allow Police resources which are tied up in dealing with these offences to be redeployed for other important Police work in maintaining law and order. The powers we have proposed for the Immigration Service in respect of the specified offences are in line with existing powers already conferred on the police and other disciplined services, and are also consistent with the Bill of Rights Ordinance.

To prevent the possibility of abuse, the exercise of these new powers will also be subject to the same stringent safeguards that are now applicable to existing powers entrusted to the Immigration Service. A set of guidelines has been established for law-enforcement officers to follow when questioning suspects and taking statements. These rules also stipulate the rights and the facilities available to persons when they are arrested or questioned. Further, the Director of Immigration has, under Section 9 of the Immigration Service Ordinance, issued standing orders governing the proper exercise of statutory powers by immigration officers. They are subject to supervisory control of their senior officers and are liable for disciplinary action under Section 8 of the same Ordinance for any abuse of power.

Thank you, Mr President.

End

12

Effectiveness of methadone treatment programme ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Ngan Kam-chuen and the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the effectiveness of the methadone treatment programme and the operation of methadone treatment centres, will the Government inform this Council :

(a) whether methadone treatment can help drug addicts to abstain from

drugs;

(b) whether it will review the effectiveness of the methadone treatment programme and its future development;

(c) whether it will review the methadone taking procedure and the security measures in methadone treatment centres, and whether it will consider increasing the number of staff on duty so as to prevent drug addicts who receive treatment in these centres from smuggling methadone out of the centres; and

(d) whether consideration has been given to eliminating the nuisance caused to nearby residents by the patients of methadone treatment centres?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) Drug addiction is a chronic relapsing medical condition affected by complex socio-psychological factors. We have a long-standing policy of adopting a multi-modality approach in treatment and rehabilitation to cater for the varying needs of different drug abusers. The out-patient Methadone Treatment Programme provides an alternative treatment model to those addicts who are not suitable and receptive to residential treatment. It includes both maintenance and detoxification schemes for patients. Detoxification treatment, which aims to wean patients off drugs by gradually reducing their daily dosage of methadone until they are completely drug-free, is more suitable for those abusers with short addiction history. However, international experience has shown that it is difficult and unrealistic to aim at total detoxification for all drug abusers. Indeed, most drug-abusers opt for the maintenance programme which is a more realistic objective for them. This programme enables the drugabusers to resume a normal and economically productive life, and protects them from the health hazards and crime activities associated with illicit drug use.

13

(b) A comprehensive policy review was carried out on all drug treatment and rehabilitation services, including the methadone treatment programme, in 1992. The review reaffirmed the role of the programme in our overall treatment and rehabilitation strategy, which provides a readily accessible, legal and medically safe and effective alternative to illicit administration of opiate drugs by drug abusers. It brings about positive benefits in reducing the demand for drugs and the harms caused by drug abuse to the community.

In March 1994, we engaged Dr Robert Newman, a widely regarded international expert in the field of drug addiction, as a consultant to Hong Kong to provide advice in relation to, inter alias, the methadone treatment programme. He reaffirmed the value of the programme and commended it as "a cornerstone of the successful containment of drug addiction in Hong Kong."

In November 1995, ACAN commissioned the Hong Kong Council of Social Service to carry out a research study reviewing objectives and outcomes of various drug treatment modalities adopted in Hong Kong, including the methadone treatment programme. This study will take three years to complete.

(c) The Department of Health has put in place a comprehensive security system to prevent the hoarding of prescribed methadone by patients. Patients are required to attend a fixed clinic where the dosage is prescribed by doctors and monitored closely. All the prescribed methadone are required to be consumed in the clinic under the supervision of the clinic's staff before the patients leave the clinic. Generally, this system has worked well. There is at present no need to increase staff for the treatment centres. The Department of Health will in addition keep the operation of the programme under constant review, and improvements will be made in the light of operating experience and new developments in this field.

(d) We believe that the most effective approach to address the nuisances complained of by local residents is to tackle the problem through co-ordinated inter-departmental efforts, including :

i) stepping up law enforcement action by the Police against illegal activities in the vicinity of the clinics;

ii) strengthening education and counselling. This includes reaching out to drug abusers in the districts, educating them on the proper disposal of used syringes, persuading them to seek treatment, and arranging antidrug publicity in the districts.

14

iii) carrying out environmental improvements, such as frequent cleansing to remove discarded syringes, and improve street lighting in the area; and

iv) encouraging methadone patients to make use of the social and recreational services provided by a number of voluntary agencies.

The measures are being carried out by the concerned Departments.

End

Progress of road pricing study explained *****

Following is a question by the Hon Wong Ping-wai and a reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday).

Question:

In regard to the Electronic Road Pricing Feasibility Study being carried out by the Transport Department, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the present progress of the study and its expected completion date;

(b) whether the existing establishment of professional staff in the Transport Department is adequate to handle the extra workload arising from the study;

(c) if the answer to (b) is in the negative, whether additional staff have been or will be recruited; if so, what are the details; and

(d) whether a forecast has been made of the additional manpower resources required for implementing the recommendations of the study; if so, what are the details?

15

Reply:

Mr President,

Our proposal for Electronic Road Pricing, as a measure to combat traffic congestion, received general public support during the consultation exercise. Indeed, during the debate in this Council last February, the consensus also was that ERP should be supported in principle. Honourable Members, quite understandably, asked that they be further consulted on details before implementation.

The Administration believes that ERP, which adopts the user-pays approach, offers a more efficient, equitable and flexible way of dealing with traffic congestion.

The brief for the feasibility study on ERP has just about been completed. We shall consult the LegCo Transport Panel on the broad approach regarding the study later this month prior to approaching Finance Committee in April for funds to both appoint consultants to carry out a feasibility study on ERP and for a pilot project. The study is expected to start later in the year and will take about two years to complete. The study will include the development of a transport model to evaluate various ERP strategies and to assess their impact, the evaluation of suitable technologies for an ERP system including field evaluation of the equipment, and the preparation of a conceptual design for the system.

Given existing and other commitments, it will not be possible for Transport Department to handle the extra workload arising from the ERP study without additional staff. To manage and supervise the study, funds have been sought in the 1996-97 estimates for the creation of a small, dedicated project team comprising professional engineering and technical staff.

It is too early to indicate the staffing requirements for the implementation of a full ERP system. One of the tasks of the consultants will be to look into the resources required.

End

16

Enrolment of traditional Chinese medicine practitioners *****

Following is a question by the Hon Mok Ying-fan and a reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

With regard to the enrolment of Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM) practitioners which closed on 21 January this year, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the total number of people who have applied for enrolment;

(b) of the number of applications which have been returned to applicants to date and the major reasons for returning the applications;

(c) whether there is any mechanism to enable the applicants referred to in

(b) to make appeals after their applications have been returned; and

(d) what follow-up action will be taken by the Government after the enrolment process has been completed?

Reply:

Mr President,

At the closing date of 21 January 1996 for application for enrolment of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioners in Hong Kong, a total of 7504 applications have been received.

The Sub-committee of the Preparatory Committee on Chinese Mcdicine(PCCM) has set up a vetting group to vet the applications. As at 21 January 1996, the group had vetted 4237 applications out of which 79 have been rejected.

Reasons for rejections of the 79 applications include:

* cases where the applicant was unable to provide adequate documentation in support of the application

17

* 13 applications which were outside the scope of the enrolment exercise

(i.e. from "tui-na", "qi-gong" practitioners, Chinese medicine manufacturers, etc.)

7 applications from non-Hong Kong residents

The Secretariat of the PCCM will inform the rejected applicants in writing to explain clearly the reasons for rejection and to remind the applicants that they may appeal within 14 days. The decision of the Preparatory Committee will be final.

After the vetting has been completed, data collected will be entered into a computer for analysis. We expect that the analysis results will be available in early July. These results will enable the PCCM to understand more fully the practising situation and training background of TCM practitioners in Hong Kong. This in turn will help the PCCM to advise on legislation providing a statutory framework for the promotion, development and regulation of TCM in Hong Kong, incorporating a system of professional registration. Such legislation will also provide upon its enactment for the establishment of a statutory body to replace the PCCM

En(i

Tax exemption for student organisation *****

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Cheung Bing-leung and a reply by the Secretary for the Treasury, Mr Kwong Ki-chi, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It is reported that the Inland Revenue Department has written to a university students’ union requesting the students' union concerned to amend the clause in its constitution concerning its political objective and to stop engaging in activities of a political nature, so that it can still be regarded as a charitable institution within the meaning of section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance. In this regard, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) how many student organisations of the tertiary institutions are presently regarded as charitable institutions within the meaning of section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance and thus exempt from tax;

18

(b) what specific criteria are adopted for determining whether a student organisation could be regarded as a charitable institution within the meaning of section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance;

(c) how the Government determines whether the activities organised by such student organisations for the promotion of civic education and awareness of current affairs and social issues are in contravention of the criteria referred to in (b) above?

Reply:

Mr President,

The answer to the Honourable Member's three-part question is as follows:

f.

(a) There are three student organisations of the tertiary institutions which are recognised by the Inland Revenue Department as charitable organisations for tax exemption purpose.

(b) In accordance with established tax principles, the Inland Revenue Department accepts "advancement of education" as a charitable purpose for granting tax exemption status under the Inland Revenue Ordinance.

Student organisations of the tertiary institutions are regarded as falling within the "advancement of education" category as their activities are an integral part of tertiary education in its wider sense.

(c) For a charitable organisation to maintain its tax exempt status, it should only undertake activities which can reasonably be regarded as directed at achieving the charitable purpose for which it is established. Thus, to maintain its tax exempt status, a student organisation should only undertake activities which can reasonably be regarded as directed at achieving the purpose of "advancement of education".

Generally speaking, the organisation of activities for promoting civic education and social awareness amongst students can be regarded as for educational purposes. However, if these activities are organised for non-educational purposes, they would fall outside the criterion of "advancement of education" for the purpose of tax exemption.

End

19

Inspection of trams *****

j

Following is a question by the Hon Chan Wing-chan and a reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Recently, a number of traffic accidents involving trams have cast doubts about the reliability of trams of the Hong Kong Tramways Limited (HK Tramways) and the quality of its tram drivers. It is learnt that the HK Tramways provides training for their drivers and conduct tests on their driving skill, ability to handle emergencies and knowledge of traffic rules. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council :

(a) whether the Government will consider introducing legislation requiring newly recruited tram drivers to be tested by the Transport Department on their driving skill so as to ensure that they are capable of handling emergencies, thereby protecting the safety of passengers and pedestrians; and

(b) how does the Electrical and Mechanical Sendees Department operate the monitoring system for the inspection and maintenance of trams, and whether consideration will be given to introducing a spot-check system for the HK Tramways similar to the one being applied to the three franchised bus companies?

Reply:

Mr President,

The occurrence of several tram accidents recently has understandably caused a degree of alarm. But, in perspective, the fact remains that tram accidents account for less than 1% of the annual number of accidents on our roads.

Section 38 (1) (e) of the Tramway Ordinance provides for the Governor- inCouncil to make regulations for the licensing of tram drivers. However, no such regulations have been made. The Administration's view is that Hong Kong Tramways Ltd is in the best position to train and qualify its drivers. This approach is consistent with international practice for operators of transport modes running on fixed tracks.

20

What is important is that Hong Kong Tramways has a comprehensive training programme that provides drivers with the requisite skills covering road use, the handling of tram equipment, passenger safety, procedures in dealing with emergencies, and practical on-the-road training. At the end of the course, trainees are required to pass a written and a driving test.

In view of the recent incidents, the Company has decided to appoint a consultant to review and advise on its recruitment procedures and training programme. The Administration welcomes this initiative. The findings should be available in about three months’ time and on which the Administration will be consulted. Meanwhile, the Company will provide a dummy tram in the depot for practical fire drill and emergency practice during the initial and annual re-certification training of tram drivers.

Hong Kong Tramways is responsible for the maintenance and inspection of its tram cars. General functional checks are carried out on all tram cars daily before they leave the depot and also on their return. The Company has a well established preventive maintenance programme under which various components of tram cars are regularly checked, replaced and maintained.

In addition to this programme, engineers from the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department carry out inspections on tram cars before giving approval for any modification or improvement works proposed by the Company. They also carry out investigations into tram accidents, making recommendations for necessary remedial action and monitoring their implementation. Although this system has worked satisfactorily, the Director of Electrical and Mechanical Sendees will in conjunction with the Company, review the existing maintenance programme to determine whether Tramway Regulations need to be strengthened to prescribe operational and maintenance requirements to further enhance safety.

End

21

Hospital acquired infections suffered by patients

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Cham Kam-lam and a reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday): (Final Draft)

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of patients and health care personnel who have become infected with pathogenic bacteria in public hospitals, Government clinics and private hospitals respectively in the past three years; and through what channels have they become so infected;

(b) whether any patients have died of complications resulting from pathogen infection in the past three years;

(c) whether the Government has drawn up any procedures governing the cleansing and sterilising of medical equipment frequently used by patients such as oxygen masks and ureters;

(d) whether other measures will be adopted to reduce the chance of patients and health care personnel becoming infected with pathogenic bacteria; and

(e) whether, in regard to hospitals and clinics which are situated in the neighbourhood of residential areas, the Government has adopted measures to prevent pathogenic bacteria spreading in the air so as to ensure that the health of the residents nearby will not be affected?

Reply:

Mr President,

The vast majority of all hospital acquired infections are inflicted by organisms from the patients' own bacterial flora. The principal cause of these infections is the weak immune system of patients while undergoing medical treatment.

22

The data requested by the Honourable Chan Kam-lam in part (a) and (b) of the question is not available. However, a study conducted earlier by the Hospital Authority indicated that the prevalence rate of hospital acquired infections in Hong Kong is about 7%. This compares favourably with some developed countries with a rate of up to 10%.

As for health care personnel, they have relatively stronger bodily defences compared with patients and are thus less prone to hospital acquired infections. Nevertheless, measures have been taken to reduce their occupational hazards through infection control programmes, regular staff education and protocol or procedures for handling patients with communicable diseases.

The Hospital Authority has promulgated a set of guidelines on proper procedures for the disinfection of all medical devices and equipment. Infection control committees are set up in all public hospitals to co-ordinate action in reducing hospital acquired infections. Furthermore, private hospitals are required to follow the "Guide to Hospital Standards" issued by the Department of Health providing for development and review of policies and procedures on infection control.

Bacteria that can stay in the air and spread from person to person by air are rare. The chances of people contracting communicable diseases from patients attending public or private clinics for treatment are no higher than that through ordinary exposure in the community. There is thus no question of potential risk to residential areas in the neighbourhood of medical facilities.

End

Land resumption in North District *****

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

Question:

It is learnt that the river training project in the North District will involve the resumption of approximately 10,000 private lots, and that there is a lack of sufficient manpower resources in the District Lands Offices, North to handle the resumption work. In this regard, will the Government inform this Council of the following:

23

(a) whether Government will provide more manpower to the District Lands Office to handle the land resumption work mentioned above; if so, how many additional posts will be created; and

(b) if the answer to (a) is in the negative, whether the existing manpower resources in the District Lands Office will be re-deployed to undertake the resumption work; if so, whether such a deployment will affect the normal work of the District Lands Office?

Answer:

Mr President,

(a) The various river training projects in North District require the resumption and clearance of around 465 hectares of private and Government land. 38 additional posts have been approved and a special team set up in the District Lands Office to undertake the task. An interdepartmental steering group is also looking at ways to further speed up land acquisition.

(b) Internal staff re-deployment in the North District Lands Office has already taken place without affecting other normal duties of the office.

End

Lifts reserved forjudges and staff in court buildings

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Andrew Cheng Kar-foo and a written reply by the Chief Secretary, the Hon Anson Chan, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It was reported that the defendant of a case heard in the Wan Chai District Court sometime ago left the court building by using the elevator reserved for the exclusive use of judges and court Staff in order to circumvent interviews and phototaking by the press. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of the following:

24

(a) whether there are any regulations prohibiting members of the public from using such elevators; if so, what the details are, and how the defendant mentioned above was able to use the elevator in question;

(b) what follow-up action will be taken by the Government to prevent the recurrence of similar incidents; and

(c) if the answer to (a) is in the negative, whether it will consider formulating regulations to prohibit the public from using such elevators; and if so, when will such regulations be implemented?

Reply:

Mr President,

The elevators reserved for the use by Judges and Judiciary staff are located within the restricted areas of the Wan Chai Law Court Building. Only authorised persons are allowed access to the restricted areas through electronically-controlled doors. These are administrative arrangements made by the Judiciary. No regulations apply, nor are any considered necessary.

In the case referred to by the Honourable Member, the Judiciary was not able to ascertain exactly how the defendant entered the restricted areas.

In the light of the reported incident, the Judiciary has stepped up security measures in the Wan Chai Law Court Building to ensure that only authorised persons are allowed access to the restricted areas.

End

More resources to improve ambulance services

*****

The Government will seek additional resources to improve the performance of ambulance services so that the 1 O-minute travel time target can be met on a regular basis.

In a written reply to a question by the Hon Elizabeth Wong at the Legislative Council today (Wednesday), the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, pointed out that the delivery of ambulance services had been reviewed by a consultancy study in 1995.

25

The current efforts in developing the ambulance service were also concentrated in hiving off the remaining non-emergency ambulance services, he added.

Noting that the Hospital Authority had completed taking over all its nonemergency services in October 1995, Mr Lai said: "We are now pursuing the hiving off of the remaining non-emergency caseload, so that the Ambulance Command of the Fire Services Department may focus its resources on emergency ambulance sendees.”

The Government will also try to achieve efficiency improvements in the short term through a better distribution of ambulance stations, more effective deployment of personnel and similar management initiatives.

The 1995 consultancy study also recommended the following long-term measures to develop the ambulance sendees :

* To provide an additional 31 ambulances and crew and 10 ambulance aid motorcycles, identified as necessary to meet the 95 per cent performance target.

* To adopt a new establishment manning formula that will allow for relief for staff absences, including training, leave and sickness.

* To plan for new ambulance depots at North Point, Sheung Wan, Kwai Chung and Kowloon Tong.

* To extend paramedic services, which are currently provided in up to 13 per cent of the total ambulance fleet, to all ambulances and ambulance aid motorcycles.

End

26

Policy on development of ambulance service

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Elizabeth Wong and a written reply by the Security for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council what is the policy on the development of ambulance service in the territory?

Reply:

The Government's policy on the development of ambulance service is based mainly on the conclusions of two consultancy studies, carried out in 1986 and 1995 respectively.

Stemming from the recommendations of the 1986 consultancy study, the following main policy guidelines were established:

(i) a ten minute travel time target, within which 95% of emergency calls should be answered, should be adopted throughout the territory;

(ii) ambulance depots should continue to be built in strategic locations, with temporary use of fire stations to station ambulances;

(iii) non-emcrgency calls should be responded to as soon as practicable without jeopardising the resources for responding to emergency calls, which must be accorded higher priority;

(iv) the quality of pre-hospital care to patients should be improved by expanding the existing paramedic ambulance service on a phased basis; and

(v) the Fire Service Communication Centre (FSCC) should ensure effective mobilising and control of ambulance resources and should provide operational information on ambulance services.

The delivery of ambulance services was reviewed by a consultancy study in 1995. The Executive Summary of this consultancy study was circulated to Honourable members on 13 November 1995. A list of the various recommendations are annexed.

27

Our current efforts in developing the ambulance service are concentrated in three areas:

(a) to hive off the remaining non-emergency ambulance services. The Hospital Authority completed taking over all its non-emergency services in October 1995. We are now pursuing the hiving off of the remaining non-emergency caseload, so that the Ambulance Command of the Fire Services Department may focus its resources on emergency ambulance services;

(b) to achieve efficiency improvements in the short term, through a better distribution of ambulance stations, more effective deployment of personnel and similar management initiatives; and

(c) to seek the additional resources necessary to improve the ambulance services’ performance so that we can meet our travel time target on a regular basis.

28

Arnies

Measures recommended bv the 1995 ConsultancY.Stn.dY

Short-term Measures

(a) To station ambulances in fire stations in addition to ambulance depots to extend emergency ambulance cover. The fire stations involved include North Point, Kotewall Road, Ap Lei Chau, Kwai Chung, Sheung Shui and Sha Tau Kok.

(b) To redeploy ambulances and their crews from stations with relatively adequate manning to those where manning is inadequate to meet local demand.

(c) To streamline the operational procedures for ambulance deployments to achieve more effective mobilisation.

(d) To transfer the residual non-emergency cases to another agency to enable FSD to better concentrate on its delivery of emergency ambulance services.

(e) To include the performance of ambulance aid motorcycles (AAMCs), which provide life-saving first aid before an ambulance reaches the scene, in the calculation of emergency ambulance performance.

Long-term Measures

(a) To provide an additional 31 ambulances and crew and 10 ambulance aid motorcycles, identified as necessary to meet the 95% performance target.

(b) To adopt a new establishment manning formula that will allow for relief for staff absences, including training, leave and sickness.

(c) To plan for new ambulance depots at North Point, Sheung Wan, Kwai Chung and Kowloon Tong.

(d) To extend paramedic services, which are currently provided in up to 13% of the total ambulance fleet, to all ambulances and AAMCs.

End

29

Slope maintenance works in private land ♦ * * ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Ip Kwok-him and a written reply by the Secretary Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It is reported that the maintenance works to the slope at Smithfield Terrace in Kennedy Town have been delayed due to a dispute over the question of who is responsible for the maintenance of the slope. This has led to the issuance of a Repair Order by the Buildings Department, and the banks have refused to offer mortgage loans for flats of this building and this has affected the interests of the flat owners. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the present number of flats in private buildings which are in a similar situation, as well as the geographical distribution of these buildings; and

(b) whether it will consider adopting measures requiring property developers to complete slope remedial works within a specified time after the receipt of a Repair Order, so as to minimise the inconvenience caused to property owners?

Answer:

Mr President,

(a) The Buildings Department does not compile statistics on the number of flats affected by its repair orders relating to slope maintenance/repair. Given the large number of repair orders issued, it is also not practicable to extract the number from records. Nevertheless, the numbers of outstanding orders in each district arc as follows:

30

Number of Outstanding Orders

District

Central & Western 52

Wan Chai 32

Eastern 16

Southern 19

Islands 12

Kowloon City 2

Kwun Tong 1

Sai Kung 5

Tsuen Wan 10

Tuen Mun 2

Wong Tai Shin 1

Sha Tin 8

Kwai Tsing 1

Total: 161

There are no outstanding repair orders relating to slope maintenance/repair in four districts, i.c. Yuen Long, Sham Shui Po, Yau Tsim Mong and the North District.

(b) The duty to maintain private slopes rests with the owners. As regards public slopes, the duty generally rests with the Government, although sometimes the relevant lease conditions impose the duty on owners of adjoining lots.

The Buildings Department always specifies a time limit in its repair orders within which the concerned owners shall complete the remedial works. The time limit given will depend on the scale and complexity of works involved.

End

31

Paper cutter used to commit crime *****

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

Question:

In regard to the recent trend of criminals using paper cutters by criminals to commit crimes, will the Government inform this Council of the following:

(a) whether any measures will be taken to combat this problem; and

(b) whether there is any loophole in the law which could be plugged in order

to prevent such crimes?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) We do not keep separate statistics on crimes involving the use of paper cutters. However, they are grouped under the category crimes involving the use of "razor blades". Honourable Members may wish to note that while the number of reported cases of robbery committed using razor blades has increased from 253 in 1993 to 336 in 1994, it actually decreased to 293 in 1995. These in any case represent a small proportion of the total number of reported cases of robbery involving the use of different kinds of weapon; viz. 3.6% for 1993, 5.4% in 1994 and ‘5.3% in 1995. In addition, the total number of reported cases of robbery has also declined by 21% between 1993 and 1995.

Police officers on front-line operational duties are regularly briefed on the latest trends in crimes, including the types of weapon used, so that special attention can be given to suspects in possession of these weapons.

(b) Under SI7 of the Summary Offences Ordinance, CAP 228, any person who has in his possession any offensive weapon or other instrument fit for unlawful purpose, with intent to use the same for any unlawful purposes, shall be liable to a fine of $5,000 or to imprisonment for 2 years.

32

In addition, S33 of the Public Order Ordinance, CAP 245, provides that any person who, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, has with him in any public place any article made or adapted for use, or suitable, for causing injury to the person, shall be liable to imprisonment for 3 years.

Although the possession of a paper cutter is not an offence per se, the criminal who has in his possession a paper cutter and intend to use it to commit crime will be arrested and prosecuted. The criminal intent can be proved from the prevailing circumstances, such as the nature and condition of the article, the time, the place, what legitimate use it might have at such a time and in such a place, and the reaction of the person when approached by the Police etc. Thus, during the last three years, a total of 273 persons were successfully prosecuted for illegal possession of razor blades (including paper cutters).

These provisions give adequate powers to the Police to tackle the problem of using paper cutters for committing crimes.

End

Fiscal reserves deposit with the exchange fund *****

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Huang Chen-ya, and a written reply by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It is learnt that the fiscal reserves of the Government are deposited with the Exchange Fund and banks to earn interest. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the amount of fiscal reserves deposited with the Exchange Fund, the amount of interest earned and the rate of return in each of the past three financial years, as well as the basis and justifications for determining the rate of return; and

33

(b)

Reply:

(a)

if the rate of return of fiscal reserves deposited with the Exchange Fund given in the answer to (a) is different from the rate of return of the Exchange Fund itself in the corresponding periods, what are the reasons for the differences?

The amount of fiscal reserves deposited with the Exchange Fund, the amount of interest earned and the rate of return in each of the past three years are set out in the following table:

Year* Fiscal reserves placed with the Exchange Fund at the end of the year HKSmillion Interest earned HK$Million Rate return (per annum)

1993 115,683 3,845 3.63%

1994 131,240 5,330 4.32%

1995 125,916 7,436 5.78%

The rate of return is the percentage calculated by dividing the interest earned in the year by the average fiscal reserves placed during the year, i.e. opening balance plus closing balance divided by two.

The yields on the placement of the fiscal reserves with the Exchange Fund are determined by reference to the corresponding yields of Exchange Fund Bills (for placements not exceeding 12 months) and U.S. Treasury Notes (for placements over 12 months). Investment of the fiscal reserves is guided by the following principles:

(i) the Government's fiscal reserves should, as far as possible, be made immune from exchange rate and other risks;

(ii) the availability of funds to enable the Government to effect timely payment must not be placed in jeopardy; and

(iii) within these constraints, the Government should through the Exchange Fund seek to obtain the best possible yield on its investment.

34

The above arrangement ensures that the Government is able to meet its liquidity requirements and to insulate the fiscal reserves from the various investment risks that would otherwise have to be assumed if they were directly invested in financial assets.

(b) The rates of return of fiscal reserves deposited with the Exchange Fund as shown in the last column of the table at (a) above differ from the rates of return of the Exchange Fund in the corresponding periods. The Exchange Fund’s figures for 1993 and 1994 are 6.80% and 0.28% respectively. The year end figure for 1995 is not yet available.

The major reason accounting for the difference is that while the rates of return of fiscal reserves are affected by the prevailing interest rates which are determined at the time of placement, the corresponding rates of return of the Exchange Fund are affected by a host of other factors, e.g. currency fluctuations, movements in interest rates and prices of bonds and equities. Unlike the fiscal reserves, the Exchange Fund needs to assume investment risks through exposure to different financial assets in various currency markets.

♦ The Exchange Fund uses calendar year accounting periods. To facilitate direct comparison between the Exchange Fund and the fiscal reserves, the data provided are on the basis of the Exchange Fund’s financial years.

End

Theft or embezzlement in post office

*****

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

Question:

It is learnt that during the period from 1992 to 1993, the losses suffered by the Post Office as a result of embezzlement or theft amounted to some $400 000. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of the following:

35

(a) how the Post Office deals with losses arising from embezzlement or theft since it has started to operate on a trading fund basis in August last year;

(b) whether consumers will be required to bear the losses referred to in (a) above; and

(c) What measures the Government will adopt to prevent theft in the Post Office?

Reply:

(a) Since the Post Office changed to trading fund operation in August 1995, there has not been any loss arising from embezzlement or theft. As a general rule, losses arising from embezzlement or theft, if proven to be irrecoverable, are written off in the accounts. A civil servant, whether in a vote-funded department or a trading fund, is subject to the standard Government surcharge provision and will be held liable for any losses caused by mismanagement.

(b) Since the Post Office has not suffered any loss after the change to trading fund, the question of consumers bearing losses does not arise. Whereas it is the standard procedure to write off any irrecoverable loss, the amount involved, even by taking the 1992/93 losses as an example, would have negligible effects on the costs of services. In that year, the losses of $400,000 represented 0.016% of the total service costs of $2,475 million.

(c) The Post Office has taken the following measures to prevent theft:

(i) For stamp vending machines installed at the frontage of post offices, additional bolts and locks have been installed after the 1993 incident. Furthermore, the Police have offered assistance by alerting policemen on beat patrols to pay closer attention to the machines after office hours.

36

(ii) As to control measures to safeguard the security of cash and valuables held under the custody of the staff, after the 1992 incident, additional monitoring procedures have been introduced to help detect possible irregularities, including daily checks on sales revenue by a centralised accounts office at the Post Office Headquarters. Furthermore, a review of the overnight cash holding limit for each branch post office has been conducted and the limits have been adjusted downwards to minimise risk.

(iii) As regards prevention of burglary, after the 1992 incidents, on the advice of the Crime Prevention Bureau of the Police, additional security measures, including installation of security alarm systems and roller shutters at external doors of post offices, have been introduced.

End

Education of “gifted” children

* ♦ * * *

Following is a question by Dr the Hon John Tse and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the education of "gifted” children, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether the Government has any knowledge of the number of gifted children in other countries; and if so, how do these figures compare with that in the territory; if there are significant differences, whether the Government is aware of the reasons;

(b) what resources and facilities have been provided by the Government in the identification and assessment of gifted children; whether there are sufficient professional staff to undertake this task, what problems have been encountered and what long-term strategies have been adopted by the Government for making improvements;

37

(c) whether the Government has provided pre-service and on-the-job training to teachers in the education of gifted children; if so, how many serving teachers have received such training;

(d) what kind of curricula and supplementary resources have been provided by the Government for gifted children; and

(e) whether the Government has any plan to conduct an overall review on the effectiveness of the education currently provided for gifted students, what difficulties have been encountered in the implementation of the existing plan for the education of gifted children, and whether the Government has any long-term strategy for making improvements?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) Academically gifted children, as referred to in Education Commission Report No. 4, are those who show exceptional achievement or potential in one or more of the following areas :

(i) high level of intelligence, as measured on standardised intelligence tests;

(ii) specific academic aptitude in one or more subject areas; or

(iii) high ability in creative thinking.

To ascertain the number of academically gifted pupils in Hong Kong, the Education Department commissioned a study on a sample of 81 primary schools by a team of researchers from the University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University between 1992 and 1995. The initial findings of the study revealed that around 1,240 pupils or about 2% of the pupils in these schools could be classified as academically gifted. This is in line with the percentage of academically gifted pupils identified in other developed countries. On this basis, we estimate that there are some 20,000 academically gifted pupils aged between 6-18 in Hong Kong.

38

(b) In the past three years, the research team conducted studies on suitable assessment tools for the identification and assessment of academically gifted pupils. On the basis of these studies, the research team recommended the following assessment tools:

* a behavioural rating scale for completion by parents;

* a behavioural rating scale for completion by teachers;

* the Hong Kong Attainment Tests on the three basic subjects i.e. Chinese, English and Mathematics;

* the Hong Kong Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children or equivalent standardised intelligence tests administered by psychologists; and

* the Hong Kong Torrance Tests of Creativity administered by psychologists.

Academically gifted children were identified through behavioural rating scales completed by teachers and parents who had received the required training from the research team. These children were then assessed by the team’s psychologists or personnel with training in assessment and interpretation of test findings. No problem was encountered in the assessment process.

(c) Of the 81 schools which had participated in the research study referred to in para (a) above, 19 volunteered to participate in a three-year Pilot School-based Programme for Academically Gifted Children commencing in September 1994.

Training in gifted education has been provided to teachers of these 19 schools by the Education Department (details at Annex). Educational psychologists of the Education Department also make regular visits to the schools in the pilot project to give the teachers the necessary support.

There is no formal pre-service teacher training programmes on gifted education. The Education Department has made suggestions to teacher education institutions to include gifted education as one component in their teacher training courses. Nevertheless, the Department of Education of the University of Hong Kong has incorporated gifted education in its in-service teacher training programme. In 1994/95 and 1995/96, the School of Continuing Education of the Hong Kong Baptist University conducted two training courses on "Identifying and Helping Gifted Children", each attended by 25 teachers.

39

(d) For the 19 schools which have participated in the pilot project, they provide the academically gifted children with enrichment or extended learning programmes to supplement their normal curriculum. Such programmes take the form of:

(i) additional learning materials and exercises given by the teachers of the schools; and/or

(ii) additional courses or programmes conducted at the Fung Hon Chu Centre for the Gifted Children established in July 1995.

Regarding (i): the school teachers from the 19 schools are responsible for the extra learning intended for the children concerned.

Regarding (ii) : the teachers at the Centre are responsible for extra learning that will take place when the gifted children from the 19 schools are brought together to attend courses or programmes.

The additional learning resultant from (i) and (ii) is complementary to each other.

(e) The Education Department will conduct a review in 1996/97, when the pilot project is completed and the outcome more clearly identified and measured. The review will focus on the effect of the support programmes provided to students, parents and teachers. The improvements in the students and the attitudinal change in parents and teachers will be assessed. Improvements to, and extension of the programme including its mode of delivery as well as the long-term strategies for its development will be considered in the light of the findings from the review.

40

Annex

Training provided for school heads and teachers on Gifted Education

Topic Number of Participants Dates (Duration)

Seminar for school heads to brief on the plan of Pilot School-based Programme for Academically Gifted Children 80 school heads 14.5.94 (1 day)

Teacher Training Workshop I 45 teachers 11.7.94-20.7.94 (9 days)

Teacher Training Workshop II 45 teachers 12.12.94- 15.12.94 (4 days)

Two repeated video seminar on teaching strategies - “Challenging the Gifted in Regular Classroom” 60 teachers 25.3.95 & 1.4.95 (1 day)

11th World conference on the Gifted & Talented 29 teachers 31.7.95-4.8.95 (5 days)

Seminar on assessment and teaching of creativity by consultants from Taiwan 200 teachers 19.12.95-20.12 95 (2 days)

Workshops on the teaching of English : teaching to multiple intelligence, whole language strategies, performance-based teaching and testing, creative rhythms, learning centres. 50 teachers 5.1.96 & 6.1.96 (2 days)

41

Topic Target Dates (Duration)

Experience sharing session with school heads 12 school heads and 2 teachers 1.12.95 (halfday)

Seminar on identification, enrichment programmes, and programme evaluation by consultants from U.S.A. 200 teachers 8.1.96- 10.1.96 (3 days)

End

42

Foreign countries visits by members of Parliament *****

Following is a question by the Hon Emily Lau and a written reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mt Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It is reported that the British Parliament has passed a- resolution prohibiting Members of Parliament (MPs) who have paid visits to foreign countries at the sponsorship of their governments from speaking in the Parliament on matters concerning those countries. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether it has any information about the content of the resolution; if so, what are the details;

(b) whether it will assess the impact of the resolution on the territory and review the current practice of sponsoring MP's visits to the territory; and

(c) of the total number of MPs who have visited the territory in the past three years at the invitation of the Hong Kong Government and the total expenditure incurred on such sponsored visits?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) A UK Parliamentary Committee chaired by Lord Nolan published recommendations in May 1995 relating to disclosures of interest and the holding of consultancies by MPs. These recommendations were considered by the House of Commons Select Committee on Standards in Public Life. A new Select Committee was subsequently set up called the Select Committee on Standards and Privileges which proposed the post of Parliamentary Commissioner of Standards. The Commissioner is now considering the recommendations including the issue of paid visits to foreign countries. No decision has yet been taken.

(b) The practice of sponsoring British MPs to visit HK will be reviewed in the light of any decisions reached by the House of Commons.

43

(c) The information is set out below:

1993/9.4 1994/95 J9.9.5Z96 (up to end Jan 96)

Fully-sponsored Visits by UK MPs 16 15 15

Partially-sponsored Visits by UK MPs 6 II 8

Programme-only Visits arranged for UK MPs 5* 7(H)* 3(4)*

Total Expenditure (in HK$) 0.79m 0.78m 0.88m

* Figures outside the brackets denote the number of delegations; Figures inside indicate the number of individual visitors.

End

Staffing in family service centres *****

Following is a question by the Hon Zachary Wong Wai-yin and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

(Jurslion

Regarding the staffing situation in the Social Welfare Department's family service centres, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the population and its annual growth rate in each of the districts covered by the respective District Social Welfare Office in each of the past three years, as well as the staffing situation and the number of cases handled in the family service centres in each District Social Welfare Office in the corresponding period:

44

(b) of the number of cases each caseworker is required to handle according to the approved manning ratio, and the average number of cases handled by each caseworker at present;

(c) of the number of District Social Welfare Offices where the average number of cases handled by each caseworker has exceeded the ratio mentioned in (b) above;

(d) whether the Government has assessed if an excessive workload will affect the quality of service of caseworkers; and

(e) whether the Government will consider providing more manpower in order to reduce the workload of caseworkers; if so, when will this be put into effect and how the Government will determine the criteria for providing more manpower; if not, why not?

Reply:

(a) Annex I shows the population in each of the districts served by the 13 District Social Welfare Offices of the Social Welfare Department (SWD) as at end March of 1993, 1994 and 1995, and the year-on-year growth rates. Annex II shows the caseload and the number of caseworkers in the Family Services Centres (FSC’s) under each District Social Welfare Office as at end December of the corresponding years.

(b) A manning ratio of 1 caseworker : 70 cases was set in the 1991 White Paper on Social Welfare into the 1990s and Beyond. As at the end of 1995, each caseworker was handling an average number of 71 cases.

(c) As at the end of 1995, there were seven District Social Welfare Offices where the average number of cases handled by each caseworker had exceeded the ratio mentioned in (b) above.

(d) Excessive workload will obviously affect the quality of service provided by caseworkers. While efforts arc being made to provide more caseworkers to reduce the caseload per worker, measures have been introduced to help maintain the service standard. These include the strengthening of staff supervision, close monitoring of case management, streamlining of administrative procedures, enhanced skills training for caseworkers and the provision of additional family support services such as family aide and clinical psychology services.

45

(e) We are committed to meeting the increase in demand for family casework services without reducing the quality of service provided to individuals and families in need. In 1995-96, 103 additional

caseworkers have so far been provided in FSC’s of SWD. 26 more caseworkers will be provided by the end of this financial year. Subject to the approval of the Legislative Council, we will be proposing that resources should be provided to increase the manpower in 1996-97 by providing an additional 49 caseworkers. With these improvements, the caseload per worker is expected to reduce to an average number of 68 cases.

Annex I

The Population and its Growth Rates in Each District Served by District Social Welfare Qffices.ot SWD

District j ♦Population as at 31.3.93 (A) ♦Population as at 31.3.94 (B) ^Population as at 1 31.3.95 (C) Growth Rate from 93 to 94 Q) (A) ... Growth Rate’ from 94 to 95 CO (B)

Central, Western & Islands 304600 312400 319100 2.56% 2 14%

Eastem/Wanchai 743800 752200 742400 1.13% -1.30%

Southern 273400 277600 242700 1.54% -12.57%

Kowloon City 379900 361500 351800 -4.84% -268%

Yau Tsim & Mongkok 283000 256800 289100 -9.26% 12.58%

Shamshuipo 356900 371300 336600 4.03% -9.35%

KwunTong 575700 576100 520800 0.07% -9.60%

Wong Tai Sin/Sai Kung 476700 505200 572700 5.98% 13.36%

Tsuen Wan/Kwai Tsing 728100 723800 689800 -6.18% -4.70%

Tuen Mun 409400 409800 451200 0.098% 10.32%

Yuen Long 149400 184600 320400 23.56% 73 56%

Shatin 533000 550600 525300 3 3% -4.59%

Tai Po/North 393000 424500 464800 8.02% 9.49%

Total 5606900 5706400 5326700 1.77% 2.11%

i

I

♦Source Estimates of Population Distribution - 1993, 1994 by the Planning Department

# Source- Population Forecasts by District Board Districts (1992 - 2001) - December 1992 by the Planning Department

End

Annex H

The Caseload and Number of Caseworkers in

FainjlY Services Centres under Each District Social Welfare Office of Social Welfare Department

(Position as at 31 December)

District Social Welfare Office 1993 1994 1995

Total Caseload No. of Caseworkers Average Total Caseload No. of Case workers Average Caseload Total Caseload No of Caseworkers Average Caseload

Central, Western & Islands 862 11 78 943 9 105 762 11 69

Eastem/Wanchai 3049 34 90 3328 37 90 3356 47 71

Southern 1092 11 99 995 12 83 942 14 67

Kowloon City 1531 16 96 1642 16 103 1818 22 83

Yau Tsirn & Mongkok 1897 22 86 1923 21 92 1741 26 67

Shamshuipo 2910 35 83 2998 40 75 3704 50 74

Kwun Tong 2841 35 81 2929 37 79 3241 48 67

Wong Tai Sin/Sai Kung 2944 36 82 3323 40 83 3717 53 71

Tsuen Wan/Kwai Tsing 2797 32 87 2813 33 85 2776 39 71

Tuen Mun 1730 25 69 1923 22 87 2316 35 66

Yuen Long 1368 14 98 1542 16 96 1828 24 76

Shatin 1989 23 87 2302 29 79 2580 37 70

Tai Po/North 1856 22 84 1928 28 71 2550 35 73

Total 26866 316 85 28594 340 84 31331 441 ™ i

48

Change of land use in Central Market site *****

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

Question:

It is reported that the Planning, Environment and Lands Branch intends to change the land use of the Central Market site and put the site up for sale by auction. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) Whether it will consult the Urban Council, the Town Planning Board, relevant local bodies and the public before making a decision on the matter; and

(b) of the specific plan and the timetable for the auction.

Answer:

»-

Mr President,

The possible redevelopment of the Central Market site has been considered from time to time during the last twenty years or so. There is as yet no firm plan or timing for this to be done. More studies would need to be carried out before the proposal can be drawn up. When this is available, the Administration will consult the Urban Council, Town Planning Board, District Board on the specific proposals, as well as the public through amendments to the Outline Zoning Plan.

. * . • .•

End

- 49 -

Noise nuisance in Choi Yuen estate *****

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

Question:

In view of the noise nuisance problem caused to residents in Choi Yuen Estate as a result of the opening of the border for 24-hour traffic, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of any short-term and long-term measures to tackle the noise nuisance problem mentioned above: and

(b) whether it will, in the planning of any new project, take into consideration any noise nuisance problem which may arise and draw up comprehensive preventive measures before the implementation of the project?

Reply:

Mr President

(a) Before the 24-hour opening of the Lok Ma Chau border road crossing from 3 November 1994. the following noise mitigation measures had been put in place as recommended by consultants:

(i) laying of a noise reduction friction course along the New Territories Circular Road near Choi Yuen Estate;

(ii) installation of a noise barrier on the side of the flyover facing Choi Yuen Estate:

(iii) installation of noise barriers on San Sam Road; and

(iv) installation of noise barriers on the section of New Territories Circular Road near Chuk Yuen Tsucn.

These measures have brought about a noise reduction.

f

- 50 -

To address the longer term problem, a second consultancy study was carried out in 1995. A series of further measures including, for example, the paving of noise reduction surface layer, erection of noise barriers, noise canopies and noise enclosures at certain location were examined by the consultants. Their report is nearing completion.

(b) Since 1992, all public projects have been required to carry out Environmental Impact Assessments to ensure that potential environmental problems, including noise nuisance, are identified and that comprehensive prevention and mitigation measures are implemented. The Environmental Impact Assessment Bill, which was gazetted on 19 January 1996, will make such arrangements statutory and provide for the enforcement of preventive measures through an Environmental Permit.

End

Mental patients' right under Patients' Charter

*****

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

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council whether mental patients have the same rights as any other patients under the Patients' Charter; if so, what rights under the Patients' Charter do mental patients have; if not, why not?

Reply:

The Patients' Charter promulgated by the Hospital Authority makes no distinction between different types of patients. All patients of Hong Kong's public hospitals are entitled to the rights as set out in the Patients' Charter, and mental patients are no different.

51

I he rights enjoyed by all patients, including mental patients, include the right to receive medical advice and treatment which fully meets the currently accepted standards of care and quality; the right to information about what health care services are available and what charges are involved; the right to be given a clear description of the medical condition with diagnosis, prognosis and treatment including common risks and appropriate alternatives; the right to know the names of any medication to be prescribed, its normal action and potential side-effects; the right to accept or refuse any medication, investigation or treatment and to be informed of the likely consequences of doing so; the right to a second medical opinion; the right of access to medical information relating to the condition and proposed treatment, and to have such information kept confidential; the right to make a complaint through the appropriate channels and to have the complaint dealt with properly and fairly; the right to choose whether or not to take part in medical research programmes.

The Mental Health Ordinance confers further rights on mental patients by regulating their reception, detention and treatment. An application to a District Judge or magistrate for the detention of a patient in a mental hospital for observation shall be founded on the written opinion of a registered medical practitioner who has examined the patient, and the patient shall have right to see the District Judge or magistrate prior to their determination on whether to approve the application. A mental patient can only be detained in a mental hospital for observation, investigation and treatment upon certification by two registered medical practitioners and a District Judge.

Furthermore, an application may be made to the Mental Health Review Tribunal for the case of any mental patient to be examined alter 12 months of detention in a mental institution. If the person or his relative does not exercise this right to apply to the Tribunal 12 months after the right first became available to him. the officer in charge at the mental institution shall, at the expiration of the period for making the application, refer the patient's case to the Tribunal.

End

- 52 -

Measures to combat gambling by prisoners * * * * *

Following is a question by the Hon Ip Kwok-him 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) whether gambling among prisoners is widespread in prisons, if so, what forms of gambling prisoners indulge in and whether such gambling activities have created any difficulties for the Correctional Services Department (CSD) in managing the prisons; and

(b) what measures the CSD is planning to take to curb gambling activities in prisons?

Reply:

Gambling in prisons takes various forms, such as betting on horses, playing self-made cards and self-made pai kau and is usually conducted amongst long-term prisoners. Gambling sometimes gives rise to disputes between prisoners, particularly over debts. These disputes undermine discipline and order in prisons and pose management problems, such as when indebted prisoners seek protection from the management from their creditors, refuse to work or refuse to return to accommodation which they share with their creditors.

Because of the potential problems gambling by prisoners can cause, the Correctional Services Department is determined to keep the problem under control. As with other discipline problems in prisons, the Department adjusts its priority in accordance with the prevalence of the problem. Activities have been stepped up to combat gambling by prisoners in response to the rise in number of illegal betting slips found in prisons. These activities include strengthened supervision and increased searches. Those caught gambling will be subject to disciplinary action, as provided in the Prison Rules. These measures have proved to be effective and will continue.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, February 8, 1996

Contents Page Na,

Views invited on UN treaty................................................. 1

Response to comments on legal services recommendations..................... 2

Japanese contractor strikes gold in safety award........................... 3

Education and Careers Expo opens......................................

Proposal to acquire an actuary of an insurer endorsed...................... 8

More residential facilities for elderly underway........................... 9

Chairperson of Equal Opportunities Commission sought...................... 10

Informal consultations with EC prove useful........................... 11

Tuen Mun District Board by-election scheduled............................. 12

Revision of car parking fees at Kai Tai Airport........................... 12

HK Trade and Industrial Organisations directory published................. 13

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations...................... 14

I

Views invited on UN treaty

*****

The Government has invited the views of the Legislative Council, nongovernment organisations and other interested parties on a supplementary report on Hong Kong under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

In October 1995, the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) considered the fourth periodic report on Hong Kong under ICCPR. In its concluding observations, the Committee asked that a brief further report be submitted by May 31 for examination in the Autumn of this year.

This report should, the Committee asked, cover new developments pursuant to the recommendations in its concluding observations and the statement by its Chairman.

In 1994, the Government undertook that - before making submissions to the UK - it would give the Legislative Council, non-government organisations and other interested parties a formal opportunity to express their views on the state of implementation in Hong Kong of the various UN covenants and conventions applying to the territory.

Accordingly, letters have been issued to the LegCo Secretariat today (Thursday), inviting views in respect of the supplementary report.

A government spokesman said the Hong Kong Government would prepare a draft submission to the United Kingdom.

"To enable the Government to take into account views expressed during the drafting of its contribution to the UK Government’s report - and to meet the deadline for submission to the United Nations - comments will need to reach the Government by March 8 this year.

"To facilitate comments, the Government has prepared an outline of topics which it intends to include in the draft report. The outline includes an annex containing the UNHRC’s recommendations and the Chairman’s statement," the spokesman said.

2

Non-govemment organisations or individuals who would like to express their views can write to the Secretary for Home Affairs before March 8.

Copies of the outline of the draft report can be obtained from the Home Affairs Branch, 31st floor, Southorn Centre, Wan Chai, on request, and are also available at the Marketing Office of the Government Information Services on the 17th floor, Siu On Centre, 176-192 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai.

End

Response to comments on legal services recommendations

*****

In response to comments made by the Law Society on the administration's implementation of legal services recommendations, a spokesman for the Legal Department today (Thursday) rejected allegations that the department had applied double standards to the Bar Association and Law Society.

The same standard was applied, namely: is the proposal in the public interest, he said.

He also emphasised that the proposal to permit solicitors to acquire extended rights of audience has not been dropped. Further study was, however, needed in the form of:

(a) a public opinion survey on this issue; and

(b) research into the state of the Bar in other common law jurisdictions where solicitors can appear in the higher courts.

The proposal, if implemented, would certainly have some impact on the Bar, since some work currently only performed by barristers could be performed by solicitors. The question that needs to be addressed is whether that would undermine the strength and independence of the Bar, he explained.

The strength and independence of solicitors are of equal importance, but the proposal in respect of conveyancing fees would not take away any work currently performed by solicitors. There is therefore no question of the strength and independence of solicitors being undermined.

With regard to the question of whether a solicitor should be responsible for paying a barrister's fees, even though the lay client has not paid the solicitor, the spokesman said this was dealt with in the Report on Legal Services. The Administration has made it clear that this question is a matter of professional ethics, with which the Administration does not wish to interfere.

End

3

Japanese contractor strikes gold in safety award *****

Aoki Corporation has taken four of the six gold awards of the 1995 Airport Core Programme (ACP) Construction Safety Award Scheme organised by the New Airport Projects Co-ordination Office (NAPCO) to promote safety among contractors and their workers.

And the sites with the best safety records last year were for contracts on Tung Chung, West Kowloon Reclamation and North Lantau.

The winners of the gold and other awards were honoured by the NAPCO at an award presentation ceremony at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre this (Thursday) afternoon for implementing sound safety management systems to ensure that construction work was carried out in a safe manner.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Chairman of Consultative Committee on the New Airport and Related Projects (ACC), Mr Hu Fa-kuang, called upon the award winners to keep up their good efforts, saying that they had set a very good example for others to follow.

He was pleased that stringent safety requirements had been incorporated into ACP contracts and other complementary safety measures had been introduced with the aim to achieving a high safety standard for ACP.

"So far, the ACP safety record is among the best when compared with other construction sectors in Hong Kong, and an improving trend is being maintained," he said.

However, he cautioned against complacency and called on ACP contractors to continue to do all they could to achieve a safety record that everyone could be proud of.

Mr Hu said one of ACC’s key concerns was the industrial safety of the workers at various ACP sites, and the consultative committee’s Planning, Environment and People’s Livelihood Sub-committee had on numerous occasions discussed and advised the Government on this subject.

"ACC members, including myself, firmly believe that the safety of workers must take priority over programme and cost considerations," he stressed.

4

However, he added, pressure on completing tasks in the least possible time must not, under any circumstances, be taken as an excuse for compromising construction safety.

"We want to see completion at the least possible cost, not only in monetary term but also in terms of injuries and fatalities during construction," he said.

Also speaking at the award presentation, the Secretary for Works, Mr H S Kwong, said the joint efforts by the Government and ACP contractors in construction safety had produced positive results but more needed to be done.

Looking ahead, he said the Government was taking action to step up the various effective safety measures that were already in place to maintain the improving trend and to achieve the safety targets. These include:

* Distributing souvenirs bearing the "safety first" message to workers at ACP sites to improve their safety awareness;

* Introducing a new report on contractors’ performance which will highlight the importance of safety among other contract requirements. Contractors with a poor safety performance will be given ratings which will lead to suspension in tendering Government contracts; and

* Introducing in new Public Works Programme contracts a Pay for Safety Scheme to reward those contractors who comply with safety requirements, and to punish those who do not.

He said the fatal and non-fatal accident rates of ACP contracts in 1995 were 0.6 fatalities per thousand workers per year and 62 accidents per thousand workers per year respectively.

The rates were five per cent and 33 per cent respectively lower than the rates of ACP contracts in 1994.

"The improvements were achieved despite a more than 50 per cent increase in the labour force. For comparison, the corresponding fatal and non-fatal accident rates for the construction industry as a whole were 0.85 and 274 in 1994," he said.

Despite the improvement, Mr Kwong said, the overall ACP accident rates were still higher than the target of zero fatality and less than 60 reportable accidents per thousand workers per year.

5

”1 therefore appeal to you all, workers, contractors, consultants and government staff alike, to increase your safety endeavours in every way possible,” he urged.

Mr Kwong said besides a scries of safety management measures introduced in the past, the Government had made further efforts on ACP projects last year. These included:

* More staff have been assigned by works agents to strengthen monitoring

of contractors' activities;

* Labour Department has further expanded its special team responsible for enforcing safety legislation at ACP sites and conducting safety talks for the management and supervisory staff of contractors;

* Fire Services Department has conducted fire safety talks for contractors' safety officers;

* Marine Department has conducted marine industrial safety talks for workers and supervisory staff on board vessels at ACP sites; and

* NAPCO has arranged for the display of safety materials at ACP sites.

The Gold, Silver and Bronze ACP Construction Safety Management Awards were presented by Mr Hu, Mr Kwong and the Director of NAPCO, Mr Billy Lam, respectively.

The other prizes of the ACP Construction Safety Record Award and the ACP Construction Safety Promotion Award were presented by the Chairman of the Hong Kong Construction Industry Employees General Union, Mr Poon To-chuen; the Vice President of the Hong Kong Construction Association, Mr David Gem; the Chairman of the Occupational Safety and Health Council, Professor Leung Ping-chung; the Commissioner for Labour, Mr Stephen Ip; and the Director of Fire Services, Mr Peter Cheung.

The full list of winners are:

ACP Construction Safety Management Awards

Gold Award:

Silver Award:

Bronze Award:

Meritorious Awards:

Aoki Corporation;

Kumagai-Macda-CRABC JV; China State-Leighton-Hochtief JV; Airport Platform Contractors JV, Aoki Corporation, and Dragages et Travaux Publics.

6

ACP Construction Safety Record Awards (for major contracts)

Gold Award: Aoki Corporation;

Silver Award: Kumagai-Maeda-CRABC JV;

Bronze Award: China State-Leighton-I lochtief JV;

Meritorious Awards: Kumagai Gumi-Entrecanalcs-Cubiertas, Aoki Corporation, Maeda-Kumagai JV, Airport Platform Contractors, Leighton-China State-Van Oord ACZ-Lau Cheong Kee JV, and BCJ JV.

ACP Construction Safety Record Awardsffor general contracts)

Gold Award: Aoki Corporation and Kier-SFK-CFCITEC JV;

Silver Award: Shun Shing Construction & Engineering Co Ltd;

Bronze Award: Hsin Chong Construction Co Ltd;

Meritorious Awards: Realty Cheng & Partners Construction Ltd, China State Construction Engineering Corporation, Dragages el Travaux Publics, Maeda-CSCES JV, Ready Mixed Concrete (HK) Ltd, Yau Lee Construction Co Ltd, Maeda Corporation, Leighton-Lama J V, AMEC International Construction Ltd- Shui On Civil Contractors Ltd-China Fujian Corporation, Shui On JV, Laing-Hip Hing JV, and GTM International-Wan Hin & Company Ltd-Compagnie D'Entreprises CFE SA JV.

ACP Construction Safety Promotion Awards

Gold Award: SOGEA-Campenon Bernard-Franki JV;

Silver Award: Kumagai-Maeda-CRABC JC;

Bonze Award: Anglo Japanese Construction JV.

End

7

Education and Careers Expo opens ♦ ♦ * ♦ *

The public are given a chance to get the most comprehensive and updated information on careers, education and training opportunities at the sixth Education and Careers Expo which opens today (Thursday).

Jointly organised by the Labour Department and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, the Expo is the largest of its kind I long Kong has ever seen.

It consists of a careers section organised by the department and an education section staged by the Council.

Senior Labour Officer (Careers Advisory and External Employment Services), Mrs Bernadette Lai, said the Labour Department's exhibition booth was the largest in the careers section.

"It occupies a total of six booths and adopts an integrated approach in the presentation of the multi-dimensional employment services provided by the department for different client groups such as young people, the disabled and the unemployed.

"Colourful displays in the booth carry information on the Job Matching Programme, Job Matching Promotion Team, careers advisory, employment and selective placement services as well as summer job traps and working abilities of the disabled." she said.

There are also computer games to test participants' knowledge of career options and services provided by the department as well as slide and video shows on various trades.

Mrs Lai noted that response from schools to the Expo was overwhelming as over 12,000 students from about 100 school had enrolled for group visit, representing an increase of 20 per cent over last year.

8

The Expo is participated by about 180 exhibitors from various trades, government departments, professional bodies as well as local and overseas educational institutes.

It opens from 10.30 am to 7.30 pm today, 10 am to 7.30 pm tomorrow and on Saturday (February 9 and 10), and 10 am to 6 pm on Sunday (February 11). Admission is free.

End

Proposal to acquire an actuary of an insurer endorsed ♦ * * * ♦

The Insurance Advisory Committee has endorsed a proposal of the Insurance Authority to require an appointed actuary of an insurer to certify that, in performing his duties, he has complied with the professional guideline issued by the Actuarial Society of Hong Kong.

The Insurance Authority will proceed to consult the relevant parties on the proposal before implementation.

At present, an insurer carrying on long term business is required under the Insurance Companies Ordinance to appoint an actuary to advise on the financial condition of its long term business. The role and duties of an appointed actuary, however, are not defined in the ordinance.

To address this problem, the Insurance Authority proposed that the law should be amended.

The professional guideline, which clearly sets out the role and duties of an appointed actuary, was issued by the Society in 1993 in consultation with the Insurance Authority.

End

9

More residential facilities for elderly underway *****

The Government, recognising a growing trend of a general lengthening of life expectancy, has been rapidly developing various types of services for the elderly with a view to keeping elderly people to remain active members of the community for as long as possible.

This was stated by the Director of Social Welfare, Mr Ian Strachan, when he officiated at the opening ceremony of the Yan Chai Hospital Artiste Training Alumni Association Care and Attention Home in Tsuen Wan today (Thursday).

Mr Strachan pointed out that in the throes of rapid urbanisation and industrialisation, coupled with the weaning of the traditional value of tightly knit family, elderly people were now much more in need of residential service than before in order that they could enjoy a comfortable and dignified old age.

He said against the background of these social changes, the Government had made forward plans to enhance residential facilities for the elderly, in particular to improve the quality of life of those who could no longer be cared for at home.

Of the various initiatives taken in this pursuit, Mr Strachan noted that in addition to provision of additional places in care and attention homes and aged homes, the Government would continue to plan for the construction of six nursing homes, implement the Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons) Ordinance and establish an integrated waiting list for applicants for all residential care services for the elderly.

On the role of non-governmental organisations, he especially paid tribute to the Yan Chai Hospital that the care and attention home opened today was a remarkable and latest example of its contribution in its distinguished history of 23 years of community services.

End

10

Chairperson of Equal Opportunities Commission sought *****

The Government welcomes qualified candidates from both the public and private sectors to apply for the post of chairperson of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC).

The chairperson is to steer the Commission to fulfil its statutory functions and powers under the Sex and Disability Discrimination ordinances to eliminate discrimination and promote equal opportunities

A government spokesman said press advertisements will be placed on Saturday (February 10) to invite applications to fill the post of the EOC chairperson.

"We are looking for candidates who have interest in the work of the EOC, possess rich administrative and managerial experience, leadership qualities and good interpersonal skills.

"Candidates with legal background and a good command of English and Chinese will be preferred," the spokesman said.

The Sex Discrimination Ordinance also requires that the chairperson should be appointed on a full-time basis.

Remuneration for the chairperson will be equivalent to Point 8 of the Directorate Pay Scale in the Civil Service - a basic salary of $157,250 a month. A monthly cash allowance of $70,320 in lieu of housing, passage and other benefits will also apply.

The spokesman said the successful candidate will be appointed by the Governor on a full-time basis for a period of three years initially.

The open invitation follows the Government's earlier attempts to search for a chairperson for the EOC.

"We had identified a number of suitable candidates during the past few months. Unfortunately, for one reason or another, none of them felt able to take up the proposed appointment," the spokesman said.

Applications should reach the Equal Opportunities Commission Preparatory Office on 15th floor, Southorn Centre. 130 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, by March 8.

End

11

Informal consultations with EC prove useful *****

The informal bilateral consultations held between Hong Kong and the European Commission (EC) on February 6 in Brussels concerning EC's initiation of anticircumvention investigation on imports of 3.5-inch microdisks originating in Hong Kong and eight other countries proved to be a useful exchange.

Notwithstanding this, Hong Kong would continue its dialogue with EC with a view to reaching a mutually satisfactory solution to the matter.

The Assistant Director-General of Trade, Miss Emma Lau, who led the Hong Kong delegation, said today (Thursday): "We had a very useful round of consultations with the EC. We were able to clarify with the EC on the scope of its anticircumvention action applied to Hong Kong."

Miss Lau said EC had repeatedly emphasised that the objective of its anticircumvention action was to ensure the correct collection of anti-dumping duties imposed on the People's Republic of China (PRC) and Taiwan.

She noted that in the case of Hong Kong, EC’s investigation would be looking into whether these duties were circumvented through false declaration of the origin of the microdisks from the territory.

"As far as Hong Kong is concerned, the anti-circumvention investigation was basically on origin fraud matters," Miss Lau emphasised.

She pointed out that EC did not enter into discussion with Hong Kong on the multi-lateral basis for their anti-circumvention action and they considered their action justified under the scope of the Council Regulation imposing the anti-dumping duties on the PRC and Taiwan in 1993.

"We will continue our dialogue with the EC in an attempt to bring the matter to a satisfactory conclusion," Miss Lau added.

End

12

Tuen Mun District Board by-election scheduled

*****

A by-election to fill a seat of the Siu Hei constituency of the Tuen Mun District Board will be held on March 24.

This is the second district board by-election scheduled for the same month. The first one, for the Tin King constituency of the Tuen Mun District Board, will be held on March 3.

The office of the member of the Siu Hei constituency will be declared vacant in a gazette notice to be published tomorrow (Friday), following Mr Ng Wai-cho's resignation which became effective on February 1.

Nomination period for the by-election will be from tomorrow to February 23.

Nomination forms are now available at Tuen Mun District Office, second floor, Tuen Mun Government Offices, 1 Tuen Hi Road. Tuen Mun, and the Registration and Electoral Office, 10th floor, Harbour Centre, 25 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.

The Siu Hei constituency, comprising mainly Siu Hei court, Yuet Wu Villa, Miami Bridge Tower and Marina Garden, has an electorate of 10,242.

Poll will be held unless the seat is uncontested.

End

Revision of car parking fees at Kai Tak Airport

*****

The fees charged for vehicle parking at Hong Kong International Airport at Kai Tak will be increased from April 1, a government spokesman announced today (Thursday).

"The fees were last revised on April 1, 1995. Since then, car parking rates in prime parking locations and the vicinity of the airport have risen.

"The increase in fees is to discourage casual parking by non-airport users and long stay parking at the airport," the spokesman explained.

13

’’The proposed increase will also help to ensure that airport carparks are used efficiently so as to provide enough spaces for members of the public using the airport,” the spokesman added.

Details of the fee revision are as follows:

Present Fee

New.Fee

Public Car Park

At Multi-storey Car Park and Cargo Circuit Car Park

(a) First and second hours or part thereof

$16 per hour

$19 per hour

(b) Every subsequent hour or part thereof

$32 per hour

$38 per hour

At Concorde Road Car Park

$14 per hour

$16 per hour

Monthly Parking

Private car

Commercial vehicle

$ 1,680 per month $2,065 per month

$2,250 per month $2,465 per month

End

HK Trade and Industrial Organisations directory published *****

The Industry Department today (Thursday) announced the publication of the latest edition of its annual directory Hong Kong Trade and Industrial Organisations.

"Covering some 250 trade and industrial bodies in Hong Kong, the publication serves as a quick source of reference for traders, manufacturers and members of the public who wish to get in touch with these bodies,” a spokesman for the Industry Department said.

14

They include government-funded/statutory organisations such as the Hong Kong Productivity Council, the Hong Kong Industrial Technology Centre Corporation and the Hong Kong Industrial Estates Corporation; chambers of commerce, district trade and industrial organisations and representative bodies of various industries and trades.

’’Key information on each organisation including the address, telephone and fax numbers, names of principal office-bearers, size of membership and annual election dates, have been included,” the spokesman added.

Enquiries or requests for copies of the free directory can be addressed to the Development Support Division, Industry Department, 14th floor, Ocean Centre, 5 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, or on 2737 2409.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,776 0930 -275

Closing balance in the account 2,479 1000 -275

Change attributable to : 1100 -275

Money market activity -274 1200 -275

LAF today -23 1500 -274

1600 -274

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 123.8 *+0.3* 8.2.96

15

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.00 2 years 2711 5.60 100.95 5.09

1 month 5.00 3 years 3901 5.57 100.86 5.32

3 months 5.00 5 years 5012 6.38 102.54 5.85

6 months 5.00 7 years 7211 6.82 103.95 6.19

12 months 4.99 5 years M502 7.30 105.13 6.13

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $10,426 million

Closed February 8, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Friday, February 9, 1996

Contents Page No.

Repurchase agreement between HKMA and Bank of China signed....... 1

HKMA granted first banking licence................................... 2

$4M relief fund granted to help earthquake victims................... 3

Satellite broadcasting survey completed.............................. 4

Purchase of office accommodation for LegCo approved.................. 5

Scheme to improve site safety........................................ 5

Recommendations adopted to develop ambulance service................. 6

Volume and price movements of external trade in November.........

Contact card given to bedspace tenants for emergency................ 14

Royal Navy sailors to help earthquake victims....................... 14

Special mail delivery for Lunar New Year's Eve...................... 15

Kwai Chung Outline Zoning Plan approved............................. 15

Tenders invited for three primary schools........................... 16

Laying of submarine pipeline to Yim Tin Tsai........................ 17

Prequalification tenders

■ '

Contents Page No.

Prequalification tenders for Ngau Tam Mei Treatment Works.............. 18

Tenders invited for landfill operation..................................... 19

Construction of Public Records Office in Kwun Tong......................... 19

Imperial Service Medal for Works Supervisor................................ 20

Lots of opportunities open for government apprentices...................... 21

Booklet on building management published................................... 22

Two more trails have distance posts........................................ 23

List of environmental reports released..................................... 24

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

Repurchase agreement between HKMA and Bank of China signed ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A bilateral repurchase agreement has been signed today (Friday) by the People's Bank of China (PBoC) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the two institutions jointly announced.

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the repurchase of US dollar government securities was signed by Deputy Governor of PBoC, Mr Chen Yuan, and Chief Executive of HKMA, Mr Joseph Yam, in a move to further strengthen the ties between the two institutions.

The MOU signed with PBoC is HKMA's sixth such agreement. HKMA has earlier signed similar memoranda with the central banks of Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand.

A repurchase agreement, "repo", or buy/sell back transaction, is the • simultaneous agreement to buy securities for an agreed amount of cash and to sell back the same securities at a specific later date for a specified amount.

Entering into these well secured repos with central banks, whose credit standings are generally higher than those of private sector banks, would improve the liquidity of the Exchange Fund under minimal risk and strengthen regional central bank co-operation.

Mr Chen said: "We are pleased to have signed the MOU with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority which underscores our close co-operation.

"This kind of close policy co-ordination will continue through 1997 and beyond. The People's Bank of China fully supports the present monetary arrangements in Hong Kong, especially the linked exchange rate system."

Mr Yam said: "Our agreement with the PBoC is of particular importance as it will improve liquidity of the Exchange Fund and further strengthen our ties with the PBoC which will be of long-term benefit to Hong Kong.

"This is another demonstration of China’s commitment to the implementation of the 'one country, two systems' principle."

End

2

HKMA granted first banking licence

*****

The Iyo Bank (IYO) Ltd had been granted a banking licence to conduct business in Hong Kong, a spokesman of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced today (Friday).

It is the first banking licence granted by HKMA since it became the licensing authority for all three types of authorised institution after the Banking (Amendment) Ordinance 1995 came into operation on November 15 last year.

IYO is a Japanese regional bank founded in 1941 by the merger of three local banks.

It operates 159 domestic branches mainly centred in Ehime Prefecture and • other areas of the Seto Inland Sea, with branches located in major Japanese cities such as Tokyo and Osaka.

It has an overseas branch in New York, three representative offices in London, Shanghai and Hong Kong, and a deposit-taking company subsidiary in Hong Kong, Iyo Finance (Hong Kong) Limited.

In Hong Kong, IYO has been operating a representative office since June 1989 and a deposit-taking company since January 1992. The bank wishes to upgrade the representative office to a branch to provide its customers with broader financial services in East and Southeast Asia.

The spokesman said the continuing interest of foreign banks in entering the local market reflected Hong Kong's continued importance and attractiveness as a major international financial centre.

There are now 185 licensed banks in Hong Kong, of which 154 are incorporated outside the territory.

End

3

$4M relief fund granted to help earthquake victims

* ♦ ♦ ♦ *♦

The Disaster Relief Fund Advisory Committee has today (Friday) approved a grant of $4,195 million to Hong Kong Red Cross as a contribution to the immediate relief programme for people affected by the recent earthquake in Lijiang and Zhongdian counties, Yunnan.

A government spokesman said the Advisory Committee was concerned about the severe conditions the victims had to face after the earthquake.

"The Committee hopes that the people affected can at least be provided with food and shelter before the Lunar New Year," he said.

To ensure that the grant will be used for the designated purpose, the Hong Kong Government will require Hong Kong Red Cross to submit an evaluation report and an audited account on the use of the grant.

The spokesman noted that public donations and appropriations from the general revenue were the main sources of the fund.

"Members of the public are welcome to donate to the fund for general relief purposes," he said.

Enquiries can be made to the Secretary to the Disaster Relief Fund Advisory Committee at Room 553, East Wing, Central Government Offices or on 2810 3503.

The Advisory Committee is chaired by the Chief Secretary'. Other members are Dr Raymond Ch’ien, Mr J D McGregor, Mr Cheung Hon-chung, Mr Lau Chin-shek, the Secretary for Health and Welfare and the Secretary for the Treasury.

End

4

Satellite broadcasting survey completed *****

The report on the Satellite Broadcasting Survey 1995 - the first public opinion survey on satellite broadcasting ever commissioned by the Broadcasting Authority -has been completed by Survey Research Hongkong.

In 1995, there were about 426,000 Satellite Master Antenna Television outlets in Hong Kong, including about 395,000 domestic households. In other words, about one in every five of the 1,791,000 domestic households had access to satellite television.

The survey involved face-to-face interviews with 1,560 randomly selected respondents aged 12 or above who had watched Star TV for 15 minutes or more in the past seven days.

The most widely watched Star TV channel was the Chinese Channel (52 per cent). However, viewers liked the Prime Sports channel best with 35 per cent of the respondents considered it to be the most preferred channel.

On average, a viewer watched Star TV for about 1.3 hours per week. This is slightly less than that spent by an average individual on TVB Pearl channel which is 1.7 hours according to the 1993-94 Television Broadcasting Survey.

About half of the Star TV viewers considered the overall programming of Star TV to be average, about 40 per cent were satisfied and about 10 per cent felt the opposite.

Less than one-tenth of its viewers has noted any bad language, triad jargon, sex, nudity, violence or indecent materials in Star TV's programmes.

Thirty eight per cent of Star TV viewers found advertisements on Star TV very/quite credible, nine per cent thought otherwise and 53 per cent had no comments. The incidence of finding any indecent materials appearing in the advertisements was low (13 per cent).

The penetration of Star's satellite radio service was low with only 117 out of the 1,560 Star TV viewers claiming to have access to the radio service at home. The level of listening in the past seven days was only 12 per cent among those who could receive the Star radio programmes.

5

"The Broadcasting Authority will take the survey findings into account when formulating its recommendations to the Governor-in-Council concerning the mid-term review of the licence of Hutchvision Hong Kong Limited, which operates the Star TV.

"The BA expects to be able to submit its report to the Governor-in-Council in the next month or so," a spokesman said.

End

Purchase of office accommodation for LegCo approved

*****

The Financial Committee today (Friday) approved a government plan to purchase some 5,800 square metres of office accommodation for the Legislative Council.

A copy of the Finance Committee Paper giving details of the plan is available for inspection at the office of the Government Property Agency on 31st floor, Revenue Tower, 5 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

End

Scheme to improve site safety *****

The Works Branch today (Friday) signed a consultancy agreement with the Occupational Safety and Health Council for the Council to manage the Independent Safety Audit Scheme that will further enhance the safety of larger government construction sites.

The Council will formulate the safely audit to be used with effect from April and has commenced work on accrediting safely auditors.

A spokesman for the Works Branch said:"The scheme is very important part of a package construction site safety initiatives. The purpose of the Scheme is to rigorously and independently check government contractors' attitude to site safety on a quarterly basis."

6

Under the scheme, payment for safety items in a public work contract will only be made when these arc verified as properly done. Those who do not comply will not be paid. Those who persist in non-compliance will be liable to further sanctions which may include the suspension of the contractor's right to tender for Government work.

The scheme will be reviewed before the end of this year, and if it proves successful in lowering accident rates, the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council will be asked to provide the funds to expand the Scheme to all Government construction contracts.

End

Recommendations adopted to develop ambulance service ♦ * * * *

The Government is taking forward the recommendations of a consultancy study, commissioned on its own initiative, in a bid to develop the ambulance service, the Deputy Secretary for Security, Mr Alex Fong, said today (Friday).

During a meeting with representatives of the staff side of the ambulance service, Mr Fong said the Government was fully aware of the pressure faced by the staff side due to an increase in their workload.

He told the staff representatives that the fact that the Government had taken the initiative last year to commission a consultancy study on the delivery of the ambulance service indicated its recognition of the need to review ambulance service delivery and its determination to seek improvements in the service.

"The Government l^s already implemented the recommendations of the consultancy to achieve efficiency improvements in the short-term, through a better distribution of ambulance stations, more effective deployment of personnel and similar management initiatives," he said.

"We will be making bids to obtain the needed resources to implement other recommendations in the report."

These measures include further efficiency improvements, improvements in staffing levels and development of further ambulance depot facilities in areas of increased local demand.

7

For example, new ambulance depots are to be planned for in North Point, Sheung Wan, Kwai Chung and Kowloon Tong.

Another long-term measure is to provide an additional 31 ambulances and crew and 10 ambulance aid motorcycles, identified as necessary to meet the 95 per cent performance pledge.

Paramedic services, which are currently provided in up to 13 per cent of the total ambulance fleet, are also to be extended to all ambulances and ambulance aid motorcycles.

Mr Fong added : "In our next submission for resources allocation, we will also take into account the views expressed by the staff side."

Mr Fong also exchanged views with the staff side on the process of the Resource Allocation Exercise.

”We will be working together with the staff side and hope that the ambulance service could be further developed in the next couple of years," he said.

End

Volume and price movements of external trade in November *****

In the first 11 months of 1995, the volume of re-exports increased by 14% over the same period last year, while the volume of domestic exports increased by 2.3%, according to statistics released today (Friday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

Taking re-exports and domestic exports together, the volume of total exports increased by 12%. Meanwhile, imports increased by 14% in volume.

The growth in the volume of trade is derived from the growth in trade values with the effect of price changes being discounted.

As regards price changes over the same period of comparison, the prices of reexports and domestic exports increased by 3.6% and 2.5% respectively. Import prices increased by 5.3%.

8

Price changes are reflected by changes in unit value indices, which are compiled based on average unit values or, for certain commodities, based on specific price data.

The terms of trade index, defined as the ratio of total export price index to import price index, decreased by 1.7% in the first 11 months of 1995 over the same period last year.

Comparing November 1995 with November 1994, the volume of re-exports increased by 5.6%, while that of domestic exports decreased by 9.7%. Taken together, the volume of total exports increased by 2.7%. Meanwhile, the volume of imports grew by 3.6%.

Over the same period of comparison, the prices of re-exports and domestic exports increased by 2.9% and 2.2% respectively. Import prices increased by 3%.

The changes in the value, unit value and volume of re-exports by end-use category are shown in Table 1.

Comparing November 1995 with November 1994, the volume of re-exports of most of the end-use categories recorded increases of various magnitudes: fuels (+112%), capital goods (+20%), raw materials and semi-manufactures (+2.3%), and consumer goods (+1.6%).

On the other hand, the volume of re-exports of foodstuffs decreased by 4.8%.

Over the same period of comparison, increases in the prices of re-exports were noted of most of the end-use categories: raw materials and semi-manufactures (+5.6%), consumer goods (+2.3%), foodstuffs (+1.7%), and capital goods (+0.4%).

On the other hand, the re-export price of fuels decreased by 4.5%.

The changes in the value, unit value and volume of domestic exports by principal commodity group are shown in Table 2.

Comparing November 1995 with November 1994. commodity groups which recorded increases in volume of domestic exports included radios of all kinds (+172%); and travel goods, handbags and similar articles (+11%).

9

On the other hand, the volume of domestic exports of textile made-ups and related articles; and footwear decreased by 47% and 43% respectively.

Commodity groups which recorded increases in domestic export prices included metal ores and scrap (+11%); and textile yarn and thread (+7.5%).

On the other hand, the domestic export price of footwear and domestic electrical appliances decreased by 2.7% and 1.9% 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 3.3% in November 1995 compared with November 1994.

Significant increases in the import volume were noted of wheat and flour; and meat and meat preparations. However, decreases in the import volume were noted of rice; and sugar.

Over the same period of comparison, the import volume of consumer goods decreased by 1.4%.

Signi ficant decreases in the import volume were noted of passenger motor cars; and watches. However, increases in import volume were recorded in alcoholic beverages; and tobacco manufactures.

The import volume of raw materials and semi-manufactures increased by 3.4% in November 1995 compared with November 1994.

Significant increases in import volume were noted of man-made fibres; and cotton yarn and thread. However, the import volume of silk fabrics; and yarn of wool and mixtures declined.

Imports of fuels increased by 21% in volume in November 1995 compared with November 1994.

As regards capital goods, the import volume increased by 12% in November 1995 over November 1994.

10

Notable increases were recorded in the import volume of construction machinery; and transport equipment. The import volume of industrial machinery (other than electrical machinery and textile machinery); and textile machinery however declined.

Comparing November 1995 with November 1994, the import prices of most of the end-use categories increased : raw materials and semi-manufactures (+5.3%), foodstuffs (+3.7%), consumer goods (+2.4%), and capital goods (+0.9%).

On the other hand, the import price of fuels decreased by 6.3%.

Details of the above statistics are published in the November 1995 issue of the Hong Kong Trade Index Numbers.

The report will be on sale around February 12 at $14 per copy at either the Government Publications Centre, ground floor. Low Block. Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway; or the Publications Unit of the Census and Statistics Department on the 19th Floor, Wanchai Tower. 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.

Enquiries regarding regular subscription to this report may be directed to the Publications (Sales) Office of the Information Services Department at 28th floor, Siu On Centre, 188 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, Tel 2598 8194; and enquiries on trade indices to the Census and Statistics Department, Tel 2582 4918.

11

Table 1 : Changes in re-exports by end-use category

Comparing NOV 1995 Comparing JAN-NOV 1995 with NOV 1994 with JAN-NOV 1994

% changes % changes

End-use category Value Unit Value Volume Value Unit Value Volume

Foodstuffs -4.9 1.7 -4.8 15.4 2.0 14.4

Consumer goods 4.1 2.3 1.6 9.9 2.2 7.6

Raw materials and semi-manufactures 8.3 5.6 2.3 27.6 8.4 17.5

Fuels 106.1 -4.5 112.3 56.7 0.4 55.9

Capital goods 17.6 0.4 20.1 23.4 0.4 27.3

ALL COMMODITIES 8.1 2.9 5.6 17.5 3.6 14.3

Table 2 : Changes in domestic exports by principal commodity group

Comparing NOV 1995 Comparing JAN-NOV 1995 with NOV 1994 with JAN-NOV 1994

Commodity group % Value changes Unit Value Volume % changes

Value Unit Value Volume

— Clothing -8.9 2.0 -10.1 1.9 1.7 0.9

Textile fabrics -12.7 2.8 -18.3 -6.2 4.2 -11.1

Textile yarn and thread -13.7 7.5 -18.9 -7.8 5.0 -12.7

Textile made-ups and rela bed articles -48.8 -0.2 -47.3 -2.0 7.4 -9.2

Radios of all kinds 202.4 6.0 172.4 39.4 3.0 39.6

Electronic components 3.1 4.5 0.1 19.8 4.6 16.7

Footwear -44.8 -2.7 -43.0 -58.1 2.7 -60.4

Metal manufactures -4.8 6.7 -12.1 2.5 3.6 -1.4

Metal ores and scrap 15.9 11.4 6.5 29.4 6.5 22.4

Watches and clocks -19.4 0.7 -20.2 4.8 1.8 2.2

Travel goods, handbags an< 1 similar articles 11.1 0.3 10.6 5.5 -1.0 7.7

Domestic electrical appliances -12.6 -1.9 -14.1 -5.7 0.4 -5.9*

ALL COMMODITIES -7.8 2.2 -9.7 4.7 2.5 2.3

13

Table 3 : Changes in imports by end-use category

Comparing NOV 1995 Comparing JAN-NOV 1995 with NOV 1994 with JAN-NOV 1994

K

% changes % changes

End-use category Value Unit Value Volume Value Unit Value Volume

Foodstuffs 6.6 3.7 3.3 16.0 4.4 11.2

Consumer goods 1.3 2.4 -1.4 9.8 3.7 6.2

Raw materials and semi-manufactures 8.5 5.3 3.4 26.7 8.4 16.9

Fuels 14.0 -6.3 21.3 17.8 -1.7 20.2

Capital goods 14.2 0.9 12.3 30.0 3.8 25.9

ALL COMMODITIES 6.8 3.0 3.6 19.7 5.3 14.0

End

14

Contact card given to bedspace tenants for emergency

*****

Bedspace apartment (BSA) tenants are being given a telephone contact card listing the numbers of the government departments to which they may turn for immediate assistance if they encounter problems with their accommodation, the Director of Home Affairs, Mrs Shelley Lau, said today (Friday).

Distributing the card during her visit to a BSA in Kwai Chung, Mrs Lau said the it provided BSA tenants with a means to obtain help and advice in case of emergency from Home Affairs and Social Welfare departments’ respective district offices.

"The card is in pocket size, making it easy to carry at all times. BSA lodgers are therefore encouraged to keep it so that they can get help quickly if they run into problems with their BSAs," Mrs Lau said.

During the visit, Mrs Lau also distributed to the tenants blankets and red packets donated by the Lions Club of Kwai Tsing.

She was accompanied by the Kwai Tsing District Officer, Mr Ngai Wing-chit, and representatives of the Lions Club of Kwai Tsing.

Six youth ambassadors of the Leo's Club of Kwai Tsing were also present to show their concern for the lodgers by helping to distribute the gifts.

End

Royal Navy sailors to help earthquake victims

*****

Sailors from the Royal Navy patrol craft HMS Peacock will give up their spare time tomorrow (Saturday) to help earthquake victims in Yunnan, China.

The 15 men will help TVB load boxes of blankets and warm clothing on to container lorries for onward despatch to the province where over 250 people were killed and more than 14,000 injured in last week's earthquake.

15

Since announcing their appeal to help the Yunnan people, TVB's studio at TV City, Clearwater Bay, has been inundated with donations.

As the boxes began to pile up, the TV company realised help was needed to ensure the early despatch of the emergency relief.

They called upon the British Garrison for assistance and sailors from HMS Peacock immediately volunteered to help.

End

Special mail delivery for Lunar New Year’s Eve

*****

The acting Assistant Postmaster General (Postal Services), Mr Kingsley Li, today (Friday) announced that a special mail delivery would be provided on Sunday, February 18 - Lunar New Year’s Eve.

No delivery would be made on February 19, 20 and 21 and all post offices would be closed during the Lunar New Year holidays.

End

Kwai Chung Outline Zoning Plan approved

* * * * *

The Governor-in-Council has approved the Kwai Chung Outline Zoning Plan.

The plan would provide a statutory planning framework to guide public and private development in the Kwai Chung area, a spokesman for the Town Planning Board said today (Friday).

The approved plan (No S/KC/11) is available for public inspection until February 16 at:

16

* 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; and

* Kwai Tsing District Office, 10th floor, Kwai Hing Government Offices Building, 166-174 Hing Fong Road, Kwai Chung, New Territories.

Copies of the 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

Tenders invited for three primary schools *****

The Architectural Services Department is inviting tenders for the construction of three primary schools - two in Whampoa Garden in Hung Hom and one in I seung Kwan O.

The two primary schools in Whampoa Garden will be located at Tak Fung Street and Tak On Street while the one in Tseung Kwan O will be constructed in Area 37.

Each school will cover a total floor area of 7,484 square metres, complete with piling foundation, drainage and external works.

On completion, each school will have 30 classrooms, five special rooms, three remedial teaching rooms, an assembly hall and ancillary facilities, a basketball court, covered playground and car park.

17

In addition, there will be rooms for guidance activities and interviews, a staff common room, a student activity centre, a library and facilities for the disabled.

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

Tenders must be clearly marked and addressed to the Chairman of the Central Tender Board. They must be placed in the Government Secretariat tender box in the lift lobby, lower ground floor, Central Government Offices (East Wing), Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong before noon on March 8.

Late tenders will not be accepted.

End

Laying of submarine pipeline to Yim Tin Tsai *****

I he Governor-in-Council has authorised the laying of a submarine pipeline within an area of about 10,150 square metres of foreshore and sea-bed at Sai Kung Hoi in Sai Kung.

Works will involve dredging the sea-bed to replace marine deposit with selected material for the construction of a submarine pipeline 100 millimetres in diameter from Tsam Chuk Wan headland to Yim Tin Tsai North Shore to provide water to Yim Tin Tsai and Kau Sai Chau.

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 seabed involved will be injuriously affected may deliver a written claim for compensation to the Director of Lands on or before February 9, 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.

18

The notice (in both English and Chinese) together with the related plan can be seen at the Lands Department Survey and Mapping Office, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, I long Kong (where copies can be purchased on order), and at the Sai Kung District Office, ground floor, Sai Kung Government Offices, 34 Chan Man Street, Sai Kung, New Territories.

End

Prequalification tenders for Ngau Tam Mei Treatment Works * * $ * *

The Water Supplies Department is inviting prequalification tenders for the construction of the Ngau Tam Mei Treatment Works and associated facilities in Yuen Long.

Works will involve all civil, building and electrical and mechanical works for the proposed treatment works project.

These will include construction of the Ngau Tam Mei Treatment Works with a capacity of 230,000 cubic metres per day and the Ngau Tam Mei Primary Service Reservoir with a storage capacity of 40,000 cubic metres per day.

There will be provisions for future expansion for both the treatment works and the primary service reservoir to an ultimate capacity of 450,000 cubic metres per day and 80,000 cubic metres per day respectively.

Associated water transfer facilities will be constructed. These include the Ngau Tam Mei Pumping Station and Ngau 'fam Mei Treated Water Pumping Station both constructed to its ultimate size of 450,000 cubic metres a day but initially have a reliable output of 230,000 cubic metres a day.

About 500 metre long raw water tunnel with associated raw water main and 3,600 metre long pumping main and delivery mains will also be laid, together with the carrying out of road and slope works.

Prequalification documents are available from Camp Dresser and McKee International Inc at Room 4305-10, Metroplaza l ower I, 223 Hing Fong Road, Kwai Fong, New Territories.

Completed prequalification applications should be submitted as directed not later than noon on March 29.

End.

19

Tenders invited for landfill operation *****

The Civil Engineering Department (CED) is inviting tenders for operating the Pillar Point Valley Landfill in Tuen Mun.

Works will comprise the landfilling of about 0.7 million tonnes of refuse, excavation of about 0.5 million cubic metres of earth from an adjoining borrow area and progressive covering of part of the landfill site.

The contract will also include associated road and drainage works, soft landscaping and environmental monitoring.

’’Landfilling consists essentially of spreading and compacting refuse in layers and covering each layer daily with earth as landfilling proceeds," a spokesman for CED said today (Friday).

"The final layer over the completed portions of the landfill is to eliminate environmental nuisance and fire hazards."

Works are expected to commence in May and to be completed in 11 months.

Tender forms and further particulars of the project can be obtained from the Chief Engineer, Development and Airport Division, Civil Engineering Office, Civil Engineering Department, second floor, Civil Engineering Building. 101 Princess Margaret Road, Ho Man Tin, Kowloon.

Tender offers for the project will close at noon on March 8.

End

Construction of Public Records Office in Kwun Tong

*****

The Architectural Services Department is inviting tenders for the construction of a Public RecordsjOffice Building at Tsui Ping Road in Kwun Tong.

Works will involve the construction of an 11-storey public records office building covering 5,894 square metres of gross floor area, together with drainage and external works.

20

On completion, the building will comprise a reference library, a records repository, a library repository, a lecture/training room, a small exhibition hall, conservation and microfilm processing areas, a car-parking area, a cover loading and unloading area and ancillary facilities.

Works will start in May this year for completion in about a year.

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

Tenders must be clearly marked and addressed to the Chairman of the Central Tender Board. They must be placed in the Government Secretariat tender box at the lift lobby, lower ground floor, Central Government Offices (East Wing), Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong before noon on Friday, March 8.

Late tenders will not be accepted.

End

Imperial Service Medal for Works Supervisor

*****

A Works Supervisor II of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department has been awarded the Imperial Service Medal by the Queen in recognition of his exemplary service.

Mr Wong Tong, aged 58. has been working in the Airport Services Subdivision of the department since joining the Government in 1963. He retired from the service late last year.

During his 30 years' of service, Mr Wong was mainly responsible for the operation and maintenance of the air-conditioning plants at the Hong Kong International Airport.

The Director of Electrical and Mechanical Services, Mr Hugh Phillipson, today (Friday) praised Mr Wong for his strong sense of responsibilities throughout the period he worked for the department.

21

"His sound knowledge and ample experience in the operation and maintenance of air-conditioning plants has helped to ensure the performance of the plants at their best at all times.

"Mr Wong is always keen to acquire knowledge in the field particularly of new design/model and is most willing to share his experience and knowledge with his colleagues and subordinates.

"He has set a very good example to his colleagues and his service is greatly valued by his senior officers," Mr Phillipson said.

End

Lots of opportunities open for government apprentices ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

Hong Kong's continual prosperity and its rapid integration into the strong economy of China provide lots of opportunities for newly graduated government apprentices.

This was said by the Director of Water Supplies, Mr Hu Man-shiu, when he officiated at a graduation ceremony for government craft apprentices today (Friday).

Mr Hu said Hong Kong was the hub of the world's fastest growing region, and the Government would continue to invest heavily in its infrastructure to strengthen and capitalise on its unique position in the region.

"The many major infrastructure projects now under way and the many more that will commence in the next few years, coupled with the fact that Hong Kong is also undergoing a rapid integration into the strong economy of China, have created a great demand for well trained craftsmen." he said.

Graduating today are 23 craft apprentices who have successfully completed a four-year training programme comprising both theoretical learning and practical work through studying at technical institutes and attachments to the various workshops of the participating government departments.

22

The Government Apprentice Training Scheme was introduced in 1969 with an aim to providing trained craftsmen and technicians for government service as well as the community.

Over 2,000 craftsmen have successfully completed their training and are making valuable contribution to meeting the needs of various industries in Hong Kong.

The scheme is being run by the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, jointly sponsored by the Water Supplies and Fire Services departments.

The present annual enrolment figure for craft apprentices is 110, by two intakes per year. Another 307 craft apprentices are still undergoing training.

End

Booklet on building management published *****

The Home Affairs Department has revised a booklet on building management and the procedure for organising owners’ corporations (OCs) to help promote effective building management.

The ’’Handbook on Building Management” serves as a guide on the various aspects of good building management and the ways of tackling related problems.

It consists of 16 chapters covering topics such as Deeds of Mutual Covenant, formation of OCs and Mutual Aid Committees, roles and duties of the management committee, financial management, building maintenance and repairs, and the jurisdiction of the Small Claims Tribunal and the Lands Tribunal.

Published in Chinese, it provides a wide spectrum of information and advice from relevant government departments on issues ranging from crime and fire prevention to environmental hygiene and the handling of unauthorised structures.

Enquiry telephone numbers of these departments are also listed to facilitate the public's access to further information and advice.

The booklet is now available free of charge at all district offices.

23

Owners of buildings and residents wishing to get more information on building management and formation of OCs are welcome to contact the district office's liaison officers in their own districts.

End

Two more trails have distance posts *****

Two more of the territory's walking trails, the Hong Kong Trail and the Lantau Trail, will now have a series of distance posts to help hikers.

The distance posts have been installed by the Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) to assist hikers in identifying their position while using the trails.

The AFD's Country Parks Protection Officer, Mr Edmond Lam said: "These facilities are useful because in case of emergencies, hikers can make use of the nearest post to indicate their location so as to facilitate search and rescue operations."

Response by hikers to the first batch of distance posts at MacLehose Trail, set up in May last year, had been encouraging, he said.

On the 50-kilometre Hong Kong trail, Mr Lam pointed out that there would be a total of 100 posts, stretching from the Peak to Shek O. The distance posts are running in serial numbers from H001 to Hl00. The distance between two posts is about 500 metres.

Turning to the Lantau Trail, he said that this circular route would have both the starting and ending points set at Mui Wo ferry pier. Starting from South Lantau Road, this 70-kilometre trail passes through Wan Tsai before ending at Mui Wo ferry pier again. The posts, also in 500-metre intervals, run in serial numbers from L001 to L139.

He took the opportunity to remind hikers and picnickers to always observe the safety hints during their outings at the countryside so as to prevent accidents.

The suggested safety hints include the awareness of own physical limitations, careful planning of walking routes, identification of difficult areas, sufficient equipment and clothing as well as alertness of weather changes during trips.

End

24

List of environmental reports released * * ♦ * *

The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) today (Friday) released a list of environmental impact assessment(EIA) reports of major development projects completed between November and December 1995 as well as those which will be completed in the coming 12 months.

A complete list of all ongoing EIAs is available for public inspection at the Environmental Resource Centre at 221, Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Following is a list of major E1A reports completed between November and December 1995:

1. Engineering Infrastructure on Hung Hom Bay Reclamation (Territory Development Department)

2. San Miguel Brewery, Yuen Long Industrial Estate (San Miguel Brewery)

3. Ting Kau and Sham Tseng Sewerage Scheme (Drainage Services Department)

4. Permanent site for Mid-stream Operation at Stonecutter Island (Territory Development Department)

5. Route 3 Tai Lam Tunnel & Yuen Long Approach Northern section, Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (Route 3 Contractors Consortium)

6. Sheung Shui Slaughter House (Regional Services Department)

7. Tsung Pak Long Flood Protection Scheme (Territory Development Department)

8. Reclamation for shipyard at To Kau Wan, North Lantau.

EIA for operation phase

(Civil Engineering Department)

25

9. Lamina Power Station - Navigation Channel; HK Electric Co Ltd (The Hongkong Electric Company Ltd)

Major EI As that are likely to be completed in the next 12 months include:

1. Backfilling of Marine Borrow Pits North Lantau and South Tsing Yi, Feasibility Study/EIA

(Civil Engineering Department)

2. Green Island Cement Manufacturing and Concrete Batching, Area 17, Southwest Tsing Yi

(Green Island Cement Co Ltd)

3. Hong Kong Cement I Concrete Batching Plant and Material Storage Facilities at Northwest Tsing Yi Island

(Hong Kong Cement Co Ltd)

4. Main Drainage Channel for Fanling, Sheung Shui and Hinterland (Civil Engineering Department)

5. Main Drainage Channels for Ngau Tam Mei, Yuen Long and Kam Tin (Territory Development Department)

6. Kam Tin By-pass

(Highways Department)

7. Commercial I Residential Development at Shui Wing Steel Mill Site

in Tseung Kwan O Area 72

(Shui Wing Steel Ltd)

8. Residential Development at Hong Kong Oxygen Plant Site in Area 50 & 51, Tseung Kwan O

(Hong Kong Oxygen & Acetylene Co Ltd)

9. Island West Refuse Transfer Station (Environmental Protection Department)

10. Route 16 : From West Kowloon to Shatin

(Highways Department)

26

11. Sham Tseng Link Feasibility Study (Highways Department)

12. Sand Extraction and Backfilling of Eastern Waters Marine Borrow Areas (Civil Engineering Department)

13. Central Reclamation, Phase III (Territory Development Department)

14. Sha Lo Tung Revised Development Supplementary EIA (Sha Lo Tung Development Co Ltd)

15. Discovery Bay Development Extension (Hong Kong Resort Co Ltd)

16. Strategic Sewage Disposal Scheme Stage 1. Implementation Stage EIA (Drainage Services Department)

17. KCR Western Corridor Railway (Kowloon Canton Railway Corporation)

18. MTR Tseung Kwan O & Quarry Extensions (Mass Transit Railway Corporation)

19. KCR Hung Hom Extension cum Ma On Sha Rail Link (Highways Department)

20. Aviation Fuel Pipeline from Tsing Yi to CLK (Provisional Airport Authority)

21. Central I Wan Chai Bypass and Island Eastern Corridor Link (Highways Department)

22. Supplementary EIA for dredging of Anchorage Area for Stonecutters Island Naval Base (Civil Engineering Department)

23. Feasibility Study for South East Kowloon Development (Territory Development Department)

27

24. Backfilling of Marine Borrow Area at East Tung Lung Chau (Civil Engineering Department)

25. Wan Chai East and North Point Sewerage (Drainage Services Department)

26. Improvement to Ying Yip Road and J/O Hang Hau Road/ Clear Water Bay Road

(Territory Development Department)

27. Tsuen Wan Bay Further Reclamation (Territory Development Department)

28. Feasibility Study for Castle Peak Road Improvement between Ka Loon Tsuen and Tsuen Wan

(Highways Department)

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

Time Cumulative change

$ million (hours) (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account Closing balance in the account Change attributable to :

Money market activity LAF today

2,479 0930 +325

2,375 1000 +325

1100 +314

+316 1200 +316

-420 1500 +316

1600 +316

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 123.6 *-0.2* 9.2.96

28

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.85 2 years 2711 5.60 101.08 5.01

1 month 4.85 3 years 3901 5.57 101.05 5.25

3 months 4.87 5 years 5012 6.38 102.76 5.80

6 months 4.87 7 years 7211 6.82 104.25 6.14

12 months 4.88 5 years M502 7.30 105.40 6.06

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $20,040 million

Closed February 9, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Saturday, February 10,1996

Contents

Transcript of Governor's media session............................... 1

Consultancy for MPF legislation appointed............................ 2

Home Affairs Department embarks on new initiatives................... 3

Newspaper advertisements on water cut................................ 5

The weather of January............................................... 6

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

Sunday, February 11,1996

Contents EagfeNiL

Inter-departmental team to submit hill fire report................... 10

Counselling for hill fire students and teachers offered.............. 10

Water Supplies Department joints Internet............................ 11

Trade Department to launch interactive voice enquiry hotline......... 12

Government car parks monthly tickets sale re-scheduled............... 13

Employers warned against sacking injured employees................... 14

New geological map published......................................... 15

1

Transcript of Governor's media session *****

Following is the transcript of the media session by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, after visiting victims of the Pat Sin Range hill fire at the Prince of Wales Hospital today (Saturday}:- -

Governor: When my wife and I heard about today's appalling accident, we wanted to come to the hospital to offer our sympathy to the parents and families of those who have been injured and to thank the medical staff who are giving such marvellous treatment to the casualties of today's disaster. We've seen the parents and met the medical staff in the Intensive Care Unit where six of the children are receiving treatment and also met the staff and in the Bums Unit where two of the children are receiving treatment. One other casualty is in the neuro surgery department and I think one other in serious condition. As you would expect the teams looking after these young people are working flat out, giving them the best possible, most professional attention. I am sure the whole community will be grateful for that. I would like to offer my sympathy not only to the relatives and families of those who have been injured, but my condolences to those who've been bereaved, who have lost loved ones. It's been an awful disaster, we will obviously-want, in the days and weeks ahead, to learn any lessons that may be required to try to avoid anything like this happening again. But, of course, it's impossible to rule out every accident in life. The Education Department produce guidelines every year, covering school outings like this. We will have to see whether more is required. What I think is important that all the parents and families of the injured should know is that they will receive all the support that is required and they won't need to worry about the treatment which their children are receiving. I know the whole community will be joining me in thanking the medical staff and in offering sympathy to the injured and their families.

Question: What lessons are to be learned in this accident?

Governor: Look, this has just happened. It doesn't make very much sense for any of us whether Government, Fire Service, doctors, Education Department, Governor or journalists to start jumping to conclusions. We've got to, first of all, deal with the poor children and teachers and so on who have been affected by this disaster and then in due course you would expect us, in the most open way, to try to find out whether there are lessons for us to learn. But it would be grossly irresponsible for anyone to try jumping to conclusions within hours of this disaster when we don't even know all the facts, when there is still one person missing and one was still not sure about the condition of another victim who has been brought into the hospital.

Question: Were you face to face to talk with the parents?

Governor: Yes.

2

Question: What are their response?

Governor: They are as disturbed and upset as you or I would be.

End

Consultancy for MPF legislation appointed

*****

The Government has appointed a consortium to undertake a 12-month consultancy for the development of the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) subsidiary legislation.

The consortium, headed by Watson Wyatt and comprising Price Waterhouse and State Street, will provide a team of 10 consultants including auditors, actuaries, solicitors, trustees, custodians and investment managers with expertise and experience in retirement schemes business.

They will work closely with the civil service staff of the MPF Office to be established shortly.

Signing the agreement with the consortium today (Saturday), Deputy Secretary for Financial Services and Director of the soon-to-be set up MPF Office, Mrs Pamela Tan, said: "The Government is committed to completing the MPF legislation by 1996, which means we will have to adhere to a very tight time frame.

’’The consultants are expected to commence work from next week and draw up proposals on key issues for incorporation in the MPF subsidiary legislation.

"The consultants will also be required to make operational proposals necessary for the MPF Authority and service providers when implementing the MPF System."

Earlier on November 24 last year, the Government had successfully bided a sum of $22 million from the Legislative Council Finance Committee for the engagement of consultants to provide the MPF Office with technical support for the development of the MPF subsidiary legislation.

Its request for creation of civil service posts for the MPF Office was withdrawn from the Establishment Sub-Committee of the Finance Committee on December 13 in the light of comments by LegCo members.

The revised proposal was passed at yesterday’s Finance Committee.

3

"Now that we have all the resources at hand, we can proceed with the drafting work at full swing," Mrs Tan said.

"We aim to submit to the Legislative Council our draft subsidiary legislation by end 1996, " she added.

Altogether 36 consultancy firms were invited for the project and the Wyatt team was selected out of the three groups which had submitted detailed proposals.

End

Home Affairs Department embarks on new initiatives *****

Since the re-organisation of Home Affairs Department (HAD) in December 1994, the department has embarked on a number of new initiatives to serve the community, the Director of Home Affairs, Mrs Shelley Lau, said today (Saturday).

At a meet-the-media session to review the work of the department, Mrs Lau said: "One of the key initiatives is to support and boost District Administration."

A series of programmes and activities have been planned in conjunction with 18 district boards to raise the profile of district administration. These include a project to promote tourism in 18 districts, a DB chairmen visit to Macau, an 18-district health competition and activities to celebrate the 15th anniversary of district administration in November 1996.

Another new initiative, Mrs Lau said, was to implement strategies, both shortterm and long-term, to address problems relating to bedspace apartments.

These include regular visits by the Director and her staff to bedspacc apartments to ensure the building and fire safety of these premises.

As a long-term solution, Mrs Lau introduced the purpose-built singleton hostel which would be built in Shun Ning Road to provide accommodation for 600 people. The project is making good progress and is expected to complete on target in mid-1998. Concurrently, the department continues to purchase suitable premises in different districts for conversion into singleton hostels. ,.

In the meantime, HAD is distributing to bedspace apartment lodgers a "telephone contact card", providing them with telephone numbers of government departments concerned in case of need.

4

Deputy Director, Mr Lee Lap-sun, said HAD was also serving the community in a concrete manner by vigorously carrying out projects under the Rural Planning and Improvement Strategy (RPIS).

"Fifty-one projects costing $131 million are now under construction and more will be done next year," he added.

Following the Governor's policy address in October last year, HAD has taken up the new task of monitoring and assessing services for new arrivals from China.

Deputy Director, Miss Sandra Lee, explained: "Our aim is to assist the new arrivals to integrate into the local community smoothly and as quickly as possible, and to ensure that they are aware of the support services which are available to them.

"To this end, the Director of Home Affairs personally chairs a Steering Committee which comprises representatives of government departments which provide dedicated services to new arrivals. Representatives from voluntary agencies and other departments which provide general services are also invited to participate as necessary. There are also similar set-up in each of the 18 Districts to complement the work of the steering committee."

To establish a means to communicate with the new arrivals and to identify the residing districts in which they live, HAD has arranged with the Immigration Department to invite new arrivals to fill in a simple survey form when they apply for their identity cards seven days after landing in Hong Kong. They are invited to supply information on their age, as well as those of their children; the dialects they speak; and their addresses and telephone numbers.

In conclusion, Mrs Lau stressed that the year 1995 had been an exciting foundation year for the department, and she and her colleagues looked forward to the community's support in implementing the new initiatives in 1996.

She gave credit to staff of the 18 district offices, Office of the Licensing Authority and the RPIS team for their hard work in the past year.

She thanked all community organisations and members of .the public in particular for their understanding and support for HAD in forging ahead with its new initiatives.

"I am fully confident that my colleagues will continue to discharge all their duties with dedication and enthusiasm,” Mrs Lau stressed.

End

5

Newspaper advertisements on water cut *****

Advertisements listing major water supply suspensions planned in the following week are being placed every Friday in six Chinese and one English newspapers.

This is part of the Water Supplies Department's continuing efforts to enhance its service to customers by keeping them informed well beforehand of major suspensions of water supply.

The seven papers are Hong Kong Economic Times, Ming Pao, Oriental Daily News, Sing Pao, Sing Tao Evening News, South China Morning Post and Ta Kung Pao.

The advertisements would contain only those suspensions of which the affected areas were large and distribution of notices to every individual customers was not practicable, a spokesman for the department said today (Saturday).

"It will supplement the current practice of announcing major planned supply suspensions through the radio and press release.

"At the same time, distribution of individual notices to major housing estates and buildings will also be carried out as far as practicable," he said.

The spokesman said for planned supply suspensions of a smaller scale, consumers would continue to be informed directly by notices distributed to their premises or buildings or through their management offices.

"Urgent supply suspensions will be announced through the radio as soon as possible," he added.

End

6

The weather of January *****

January was warmer than normal. The mean temperature of 17.8 degrees was the fifth highest for January. The mean minimum and mean maximum temperatures also ranked the fourth and eighth highest for the month.

While rain was recorded on 14 days, the total rainfall amounted to only 1.3 millimetres, 22.1 millimetres below normal. The sunshine duration of 134.4 hours was also 18 hours below the normal figure.

The cool, fine and dry weather at the end of 1995 continued in the first four days in the new year. Easterly winds freshened on the night of January 3 and cloud cover gradually increased the next day. Winds moderated on January 5 and a maritime airstream brought some light rain the next day.

A cold front accompanied by strong northerly winds passed the South China coast on the morning of January 8. For the next five days, temperatures stayed below 20 degrees.

Meanwhile, winds turned easterly on January 9 and freshened on the early morning of January 11 with light rain patches.

Fine weather returned two days later but was followed by cloudy conditions early on January 15. Cloudy weather with patches of light rain prevailed the next 10 days.

However, sunny periods on January 18 brought the temperature up to 24.1 degrees, the highest for the month, before the arrival of a weak replenishment of fresh cool northerly winds that evening.

As the winds subsided on January 22, it became hazy and visibility inside the harbour fell to 2,000 metres in the afternoon. A strong easterly airstream cleared the haze early on January 24.

Another northerly surge of the winter monsoon brought cooler air on January 25. Temperatures stayed well below 20 degrees for the next five days.

The lowest temperature for the month, 12.1 degrees, was recorded at the Royal Observatory on the morning of January 27. In the northern part of the New Territories, temperatures fell below 10 degrees.

Milder conditions returned as clouds over Hong Kong cleared on the last day of the month.

7

There was no tropical cyclone over the western North Pacific and the South China Sea in January.

Details of the issuance/hoisting and cancellation/lowering of various wamings/signals in the month are summarised in Table 1.1.

I •

Monthly meteorological figures and departures from normal of January are tabulated in Table 1.2.

Table 1.1 Warnings and signals in January 1996

Wamings/Signals Effective date and time

Strong Monsoon Signal 8 Jan 1135- 9 Jan 0745

Fire Danger Warnings

Red 24 Dec 0605 - 2 Jan 0600

Yellow 2 Jan 0600- 6 Jan 1320

Yellow 9 Jan 0600- 11 Jan 0710

Yellow 14 Jan 0600- 15 Jan 0600

Yellow 19 Jan 0600- 19 Jan 1800

Yellow 20 Jan 0640- 21 Jan 1800

Yellow 26 Jan 0600 - 30 Jan 0600

Yellow 31 Jan 0600- 1 Feb 0600

Gas Heater Alerts 29 Dec 1630- 1 Jan 0830 19 Jan 1630- 20 Jan 0630

26 Jan 1630- 28 Jan 0830

8

Table 1.2 Figures and Departures from Normal - January 1996

Total Bright Sunshine

Mean Daily Global Solar Radiation

! .. f • ; ' t ». . •

Total Rainfall

Mean Cloud Amount

Mean Relative Humidity

Mean Daily Maximum Temperature

Mean Air Temperature

Mean Daily Minimum Temperature

Mean Dew Point

Total Evaporation

Remarks:

All measurements were made at the solar radiation and evaporation which were recorded

134.4 hours; 18 hours below normal

10.47 MJ/SQM; 1.16 MJ/SQM below normal

1.3 mm; 22.1 mm below normal

63%; 5% above normal

71%; normal

- : ... -V

19.9 Degree Celcius;

1.3 Degree Celcius above normal

17.8 Degree Celcius;

2.0 Degree Celcius above normal

15.8 Degree Celcius;

2.2 Degree Celcius above normal

12.3 Degree Celcius;

2.1 Degree Celcius above normal

77.3 mm; 20.2 mm below normal

Royal Observatory except sunshine, at King's Park.

End

9

I long Kong Monetary Authority money market operations *****

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

Opening balance in the account 2.375 09:30 4-190

Closing balance in the account 1.672 10:00 4 190

Change attributable to: 11:00 + 190

Money market activity U90 11:30 + 190

LAF today -893

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TW1 123.6 *+0.0* 10.2.96

line!

10

Inter-departmental team to submit hill lire report

*****

An inter-departmental investigation team, jointly set up by Fire Services, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Education departments, is expected to complete a report on the Pat Sin Range hill lire in four weeks.

The team, headed by the Deputy Chief l ire Officer (New Territories), Mr Kwok Jing-keung. will look into the cause of the lire and the circumstances leading to the high number of casualties.

It will also make recommendations to prevent recurrence of similar incident.

The team had held a meeting with representatives from the Police. Civil Aid Services and Government Flying Services at the New Territories I ire Command Headquarters in Sha fin this (Sunday) morning.

The report will be submitted to the heads of Fire Services. Agriculture and Fisheries and Education departments.

End

Counselling for hill lire students and teachers offered

*****

Five officers including education psychologists and student counsellors from the Education Department this (Sunday) morning visited Fung Yiu King Memorial Secondary School in Ma On Shan to give counselling service to some of the students, teachers and staff who might be emotionally affected by yesterday’s hill Ure in Pat Sin Leng.

A team of education psychologists would visit the school again tomorrow morning to offer similar service, a spokesman lor the department said.

Small group counselling would be organised if necessary, the spokesman

added.

Meanwhile, the Director of Education. Mrs Helen C P Lai Yu. and Senior Education Officer (Sha Tin). Mr Chan Hin-mou. visited the injured students at the Prince of Wales 1 lospital again this afternoon to extend her concern to the students and their families.

End

11

Water Supplies Department joins Internet ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Water Supplies Department will join the Internet from tomorrow (Monday) as part of its continuing efforts to improve its service to customers.

From tomorrow, the department will maintain a home page in the World Wide Web (WWW) which is accessible to all Internet users.

Through this home page, users can obtain information on water supplies in Hong Kong, the department's principal functions and services, calculation of water charges, water consumption statistics, the department's performance pledge, various types of customer services, channels of enquiries and complaints, the department's Customer Liaison Group and the Newsletter "Waterlink".

In addition, a list of the department's publications, details of the forthcoming Water Hong Kong '96 Conference and Exhibition as well as other technical information relating to water supplies will also be accessible.

Users may also use the Suggestion Box page to leave messages or give their comments. They can also use the system to lodge enquiries or complaints, obtain advice on water supply application procedures and to obtain printed copies of the application forms.

Internet users who have installed suitable Chinese software (Chinese Windows) may also access the information in Chinese.

fhe home page of the Water Supplies Department can be accessed anytime at: hit p ://www. i n fo. gov. h k/wsd/

End

12

Trade Department to launch interactive voice enquiry hotline ♦ ♦ * * ♦

The Trade Department will launch a new customer service next week to provide a modern and convenient channel for the public to obtain important trade information during and outside office hours.

Starting from Wednesday (February 14), members of the public can utilise the new service - an Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) - in obtaining such trade information as fees and charges, certification, licensing and application requirements and procedures and the validity period of different kinds of certificates and licences, in either English, Cantonese or Putonghua by just calling a 24-hour hotline 2392 2922.

The number is easy to remember if they memorise it as 23-922-922. Through the IVRS hotline, they can also obtain application forms and information leaflets on various services offered by the department and request for these to be sent to their fax machines.

Announcing this today (Sunday), a spokesman for the Trade Department said the new service was an important part of a phased programme implemented by the department to enhance the level of its services to meet increasing customer demands.

"Following the installation of a multi-media touch screen enquiry system in 1994, the department’s telephone system was upgraded in May last year to enable customers to get through the lines more easily," the spokesman said.

"As there are at present more than 40 telephone enquiry numbers in the department dealing with different trade subjects, members of the public may need to undergo a process of dialling and re-dialling before they get to the right telephone number.

"To solve this problem, we are introducing the new IVRS service from where the public could obtain different trade information by just making one telephone call at any time of the day, seven days a week."

Apart from providing a centralised enquiry service, the spokesman said, the IRVS would help enhance staff productivity as the system could effectively handle most of the simple and general enquiries, thus enabling department staff to concentrate on other aspects of trade-related duties, to handle the more complicated enquiries and take necessary follow-up actions.

1'he spokesman said IVRS would be operating on two major functions: audiotext and fax transmission.

13

"It will provide a front-line service to the public, automatically receiving all incoming telephone calls, prompting the.callers by a digitised human voice to choose from a selection of pre-recorded messages or forms by pressing the specified numbers on a touch-tone telephone," the spokesman said.

"The callers can either listen to standard voice messages or request for a form or information leaflet to be sent to their fax machines. The system also’allows callers to talk to the operator who will transfer their calls to the appropriate unit for further consultation."

The following are the main categories of trade information which can be obtained from the IVRS:

* Business hours;

Fees and charges;

* Location of Trade Department and its counters;

* Procession time required and validity period of various applications;

* Registration procedures;

* Application and subscription procedures;

* Other enquiries, and

Fax of forms and information leaflets.

The spokesman urged the public to make full use of the new enquiry hotline which is a time-saving service designed for their convenience.

Apart from the new IVRS service, in-person enquiries would continue to be handled during office hours by the department's General Enquiry Counter at the ground floor lobby of the Trade Department Tower, 700 Nathan Road, Kowloon and by enquiry counters in different branches of the department, he added.

End

Government car parks monthly tickets sale re-scheduled ***** •

The date for selling the monthly tickets of five government car parks for March will be re-scheduled from February 20 to February 23, the Transport Department announces today(Sunday).

"The reason to re-schedule the ticket selling date is to avoid affecting the car park users to enjoy the Lunar New Year holidays," a spokesman for the department said.

14

"Time for selling the monthly tickets on February 23 will remain unchanged at 7.30 am," he added.

The five government car parks are: Garden Road and Rumsey Street in Central, Electric Road in Tin Hau, Market Street in Yau Ma Tei and Sai Lau Kok Road in Tsucn Wan .

"However, the selling date of monthly tickets for April will be resumed to normal on March 20," the spokesman said.

End

Employers warned against sacking injured employees *****

Employers are reminded today (Sunday) not to dismiss any employee who is entitled to compensation under the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance (ECO) under certain conditions.

These conditions, whichever occurs first, are: the employer has note entered into an agreement with the injured employee under the ordinance to settle the claim directly; or the Labour Department has not certified the amount of compensation payable or the Assessment Board has certified the percentage of the loss of earning capacity suffered by the injured employee.

Recently, the owner of Wong Chiu Kec l imber in l ai Po was fined $10,000 at Sha Tin Magistracy for dismissing an employee wounded at work before an Ordinary Assessment Board had issued a Certificate of Assessment (Form 7).

"Under the ECO, an injured employee who is likely to suffer from permanent incapacity would be assessed by an Ordinary Assessment Board on his loss of earning capacity permanently caused by the injury.

"A Certificate of Assessment will be issued by the board after the assessment," Labour Officer (Prosecutions), Mrs Tonia Leung, explained.

15

She said the objective of the relevant provisions of ECO was to ensure that an injured employee would not be without employment until he was certified fit to resume work or when compensation for permanent incapacity became payable.

’’The department takes a serious view on this matter and will not hesitate to prosecute any employer who commits such offence which carries a maximum penalty of $25,000," Mrs Leung said.

End

New geological map published * * * ♦ ♦

The Geotechnical Engineering Office (GEO) of the Civil Engineering Department has published a new 1:20,000 geological map known as ’Sheet 14 (Cheung Chau)'.

"The map is the latest in the series of 15 maps being produced by the Hong Kong Geological Survey of the GEO following the systematic geological mapping of the territory," the head of GEO, Dr Andrew Malone, said today (Sunday).

"It covers the extensive offshore area of the West Lamma Channel and the surrounding land areas including the Chi Ma Wan peninsula of Lantau Island, Cheung Chau, Shek Kwu Chau and parts of Hei Ling Chau and Lamma Island.

"Geologically, most of the map portrays the offshore sediments of the West Lamma Channel.

"Thick marine mud deposits form the sea floor and a very extensive area of natural organic gas exists in the north-central part of the channel.

"To the south of Cheung Chau is the sea-bed mound of a disposal site for uncontaminated mud.

"The land areas are mainly composed of rhyolite dykes intruded medium-grained granite rocks. Coarse-grained volcanic rocks occur on the northern tip of Lamma Island and at the landward end of the Chi Ma Wan peninsula," he said.

Dr Malone pointed out that the new map would be of interest and value to earth and marine scientists, engineers, environmentalists, developers, planners, teachers and students.

"A memoir describing the geology of the area, together with that depicted in the adjacent Lantau district sheets 9,10 and 13 will soon be published," he said.

All published maps and memoirs of the Hong Kong Geological Survey are available from the Government Publications Centre and map sales outlets of the Lands Department.

Further information on the geology of specific areas in Hong Kong can be obtained from larger-scale unpublished maps and archival records of the Hong Kong Geological Survey.

Arrangements to inspect these maps and records can be made by contacting the head of the Geological Survey on 2762 5380.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Monday, February 12,1996

Contents Page

Increase transparency sought from gas company................................ 1

Govt Flying Service’s reponse on hill fire incident.......................... 3

Hongkong Electric's proposal still being studied............................. 4

Land and building committee discusses development procedures............ 5

$3 million grant to Oxfam approved........................................... 6

Emergency relief given to hill fire victims' families........................ 7

HK's external trade statistics by country and commodity...................... 8

Container throughput averages at one million per month.................. 18

Border crossing opening hours during Lunar New Year......................... 19

Special clinic services for Lunar New Year holidays......................... 20

First nomination received for Siu Hei constituency by-election.............. 20

Water storage figure........................................................ 21

Air Quality Report for January.............................................. 21

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results................................. 23

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

1

Increase transparency sought from gas company

*****

Proposals for the Hong Kong and China Gas Company to be more transparent with its justification for tariff increases and for a new Energy Advisory Committee are contained in a report published by the Government today (Monday).

These proposals are made in response to the Consumer Council’s study on the competition in the domestic water heating and cooking fuel market.

Explaining the proposals before the LegCo Economic Services Panel this afternoon, Deputy Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Leo Kwan, said: "The Government's response has been prepared on the basis of a detailed analysis of the Consumer Council's Report and public comments on it.

"The Government is fully committed to the promotion of fair trade and competition and subscribes to the view that market forces and minimum Government intervention is the best formula for enhancing competition on the one hand and keeping costs and prices down on the other.

"However, where necessary, the Government will use appropriate and pragmatic measures to rectify any unfair business practices, safeguard competition and protect consumer interests and this approach has been adopted by the Government response to the gas report."

In its report, the Consumer Council proposed that the Hong Kong and China Gas Company should be subject to some form of regulatory control.

The Government's analysis concludes that, over the past decade, the gas company has achieved high profitability and that its market share has grown significantly.

Over the same period, the price of towngas has been higher than that of piped LPG but less than that of electricity and cylinder LPG, indicating that the company is operating in a competitive environment, with electricity tariffs acting as a check on towngas tariffs.

The Government's response concludes that regulation of the company is unnecessary as its rates of return are broadly in line with the two power companies (which operate under Schemes of Control) and there is no evidence that it is abusing its dominant position in the domestic gas market.

2

However, the Government notes that it is likely the company will increase its dominance of the domestic gas market and that this could generate further unease in the community.

The Government therefore wants a formal agreement with the company to increase transparency of its tariff-setting mechanism and justification for tariff increases through special consultation arrangements.

’’The gas company has indicated support in principle to this proposal and has volunteered to consult the Government on its tariff increases in future and to brief members of the LegCo Economic Services Panel,” Mr Kwan said.

On the recommendation that a co-ordinated energy policy be formulated and an Energy Commission be established to co-ordinate, monitor and regulate the energy industry and advise the Government on energy policy, the Administration considers that immediate creation of an Energy Commission is not warranted.

Instead, the Government proposes that an Energy Advisory Committee be set up this year to advise the Administration on energy policy and other related matters referred to it by the Government and that the new committee will absorb the functions of the existing Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee.

The Government's response also addresses other recommendations made by the Consumer Council in its report.

One of them was that the gas distribution network should be opened up for the use of different gas suppliers through a ’’common carrier” system, so as to increase competition in the market.

The idea is that different suppliers of the same type of gas can supply customers through a shared distribution network, possibly through licensed gas retailers.

Noting that the system is used overseas for industrial consumers, the Government said it was untried for domestic consumers but the United Kingdom would start a pilot project soon and the Government would study the feasibility of introducing a common carrier system in Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, the Government also expresses support for the idea that industry players should be encouraged to bring natural gas to Hong Kong and will study any such proposals by the private sector.

3

Security of supply and potential benefits to consumers and the economy would be key factors to consider in examining any proposal, the Government’s response said.

Turning to the point of encouraging developers to install three-phase electricity supply in new housing developments, so that consumers could choose between gas and electric instantaneous water heating and vice versa, the Government's response said households would pay more to switch from towngas water heaters to instantaneous electric water heaters as additional costs would be involved.

The Government sees no need to intervene in developers' choice of energy supply for new developments, as developers build and equip flats taking into account market demand.

End

Govt Flying Service's response on hill fire incident *****

In response to press enquiries on the rescue operation in Pat Sin Range, the Government Flying Service issued the following statement:

"The rescue operation was undertaken under very difficult circumstances given the steepness of the terrain and the advancing flames.

"On arrival, the crew spotted a group of children who were panicking seeing the flames and the heavy smoke. The scene was in a state of confusion.

"Two children were immediately winched up to safety into the helicopter but the second attempt was less fortunate and two children fell as the helicopter tried to move the group to a place of safety away from the flames.

"The crewman was then lowered again to continue with the rescue operation and picked up two other children. By that time, the crewman was burnt and in much pain. Notwithstanding this, he went down to pick up a further child who was one of the two children who had fallen.

"The helicopter then quickly flew to the nearby base to load off the casualties and returned immediately with a replacement crewman.

4

"On return to the scene, the crew spotted two children. Both children were then winched aboard and the winch operator asked them if either was the one who had fallen off the strops.

"One replied in the affirmative and both children were taken to Plover Cove.

"Based on this information, the crew believed they had recovered all casualties from that area.

"There was no positive way of establishing how many children were on the hillside at that time due to the flames and the heavy smoke plus a great deal of understandable panic and confusion amongst the children."

End

Hongkong Electric's proposal still being studied

*****

The Government is still studying the proposal by the Hongkong Electric Company to build additional generating capacity to meet demand in the early part of the next decade, a spokesman for the Economic Services Branch said today (Monday).

He was referring to a report in a Chinese newspaper on HEC's proposal.

"Consultants have been appointed to assist the Government in assessing the proposal.

"All factors relevant to the assessment will be taken into consideration in the consultants' study.

"It is too early to speculate on the outcome of the assessment," he said.

End

5

Land and building committee discusses development procedures *****

The Land and Building Advisory Committee (LBAC) today (Monday) discussed the procedures a development proposal had to go through and the time required for each procedure.

Members were of the view that the processing of simple and minor applications by the Town Planning Board should be simplified and expedited. They also expressed concern about the time taken by the departments to comment on building plans under Buildings Department’s Centralised Processing System.

Members were briefed on Part 1 and Part 2 of the Final Technical Report on Territorial Development Strategy Review-1995 (TDSR).

The primary goal of TDSR was to establish a broad, long term land use-transport-environmental planning framework to enable Hong Kong to continue to grow as a regional and international city and become a better place in which to live and work.

Part 1 of the Report was the culmination of a scries of inter-connected studies to provide an overview of development trends in the wider region, the hub functions of Hong Kong and key issues that call for ongoing debate and examination.

Within this context, Part 2 covered:

(a) the general review processes,

(b) explanations of the generation of development scenarios,

(c) assessment of sectoral land use demands,

(d) analyses of environmental conditions and transport systems,

(e) an estimation of strategic development needs,

(f) the identification of potential solution spaces,

(g) the steps involved in formulating and evaluating strategic development options, and

(h) the setting out of principles for formulating and testing of a series of Preferred Options.

The Preferred Options would be assessed in Part 3 of the Review which would be made available at a later stage.

6

Members were also briefed by the Lands Department on the property market in the second half of 1995. They noted that price cutting sales tactics by developers predominated during the third quarter of 1995 with a number of developments being marked at prices below prevailing secondary market.

Such price cutting for new developments had inevitably led to a slowdown in sales and further price falls in the secondary market.

At the start of the fourth quarter, however, there were signs that the market had stabilised. Prices for later phases of developments were higher than earlier releases. There were reports that in some areas prices in the secondary market started to rise slightly.

Regarding the office market, companies in general seemed to have been looking to cutting costs. This had resulted in a continuing trend to decentralise, either all office operations or at least those functions which did not require central locations.

In general, prices appeared to have dropped 30 to 40 per cent from the peak in mid 1994.

However, the outlook of the property market was better than six months ago.

LBAC was chaired by Mr Cheng Hon-kwan.

End

$3 million grant to Oxfam approved *****

The Disaster Relief Fund Advisory Committee has today (Monday) approved a grant of $3 million to Oxfam Hong Kong as a contribution to Oxfam's emergency relief programme for the earthquake victims in Lijiang and Zhongdian, Yunnan, China.

This is. the second grant for the purpose from the Disaster Relief Fund. The first being a grant of $4,195 million to Hong Kong Red Cross.

To ensure that the money will be used for the designated purpose, the Hong Kong Government will require Oxfam to submit an evaluation report and an audited account on the use of the grant.

7

"Organisations receiving grant from the Disaster Relief Fund for the same purpose will also be required to liaise with each other to ensure that there is no duplication of efforts in their relief projects," a government spokesman said.

"The Committee is happy to hear that relief materials begin to reach the people there."

The Advisory Committee is chaired by the Chief Secretary. Other members are Dr Raymond Ch'ien, Mr .1 D McGregor. Mr Cheung Hon-chung. Mr Lau Chin-shek. the Secretary for Health and Welfare, and the Secretary for the Treasury.

End

Emergency relief given to hill fire victims' families

*****

Families of the injured and the deceased in the Pat Sin Leng Country’ Park hill fire tragedy have each been given $5,000 in emergency relief from the General Chinese Charities Fund by the Sha Tin and Tai Po district offices this (Monday) afternoon.

Giving out the cash reliefat the Princess of Wales Hospital, Sha Tin District Officer, Miss M L Wong, said staff of her office and other concerned government departments would keep close contact with the victims' families to see if further assistance was needed.

She said a working group comprising representatives from the Hospital Authority, the Home Affairs, Social Welfare, Education departments and a representative from Fung Yiu King Memorial Secondary School has been formed to help the victims and their families.

End

8

HK's external trade statistics by country and commodity *****

Detailed statistics on external trade with breakdown by country/territory and commodity for December and the whole year of 1995 was released by the Census and Statistics Department today (Monday).

The value of re-exports continued to increase, by 16% over a year earlier to

$95.2 billion in December 1995.

Comparing December 1995 with December 1994, the value of re-exports to all of the main destinations showed increases of various magnitudes: Japan (+34%), China (+25%), South Korea (+25%), France (+21%), Singapore (+18%), Taiwan (+16%), the United Kingdom (+15%), the Netherlands (+14%), Germany (+12%) and the United States (+2.9%).

Changes in the value of Hong Kong’s re-exports to 10 main destinations are shown in Table 1.

The value of re-exports for the whole year of 1995 was $1,112.5 billion, 17% higher than that in 1994.

Comparing the year 1995 with the year 1994, the value of re-exports to all main destinations showed increases of various magnitudes: Japan (+28%), Singapore f (+28%), France (+28%), Taiwan (+24%), the Netherlands (+23%), China (+19%), the United Kingdom (+18%), South Korea (+17%), Germany (+10%) and the United States (+10%).

Table 2 shows changes in the value of re-exports of 10 principal commodity divisions.

Comparing the year 1995 with the year 1994, increases of various magnitudes were recorded in the value of re-exports of most principal commodity divisions.

More notable increases were registered for electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $30.9 billion or 37%); office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $20.3 billion or 55%); telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $19.5 billion or 20%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of baby carriages, toys, games and sporting goods (by $19 billion or 15%); textiles (by $10.7 billion or 13%); and plastics in primary forms (by $9.9 billion or 47%).

9

Over the same period, re-exports of clothing fell by $1.4 billion, representing a decrease of 1.5% over a year earlier.

The value of domestic exports in December 1995, at $20.2 billion, increased marginally by 0.2% over a year earlier.

Comparing December 1995 with December 1994, increases were recorded in the value of domestic exports to Taiwan (+28%), China (+8.4%) and the Netherlands (+0.1%).

However, the value of domestic exports to Canada, France, Singapore, Germany, the United States, Japan and the United Kingdom decreased by 15%, 7.8%, 5.8%, 4.8%, 4.7%. 2.2% and 2.2% respectively.

Changes in the value of domestic exports to ten main destinations are shown in Table 3.

Comparing the year 1995 with the year 1994, increases were recorded in the value of domestic exports to Taiwan (+31%), Japan (+14%), France (+13%), the Netherlands (+7.9%), the United Kingdom (+6.3%), China (+4.2%), Canada (+3.6%) and Singapore (+0.1%).

However, the value of domestic exports to Germany and the United States decreased by 4.9% and 0.3% respectively.

Taking all destinations together, the value of domestic exports in the year 1995, at $231.7 billion, increased by 4.3% over the same period in 1994.

Table 4 shows changes in the value of domestic exports of 10 principal commodity divisions.

Comparing the year 1995 with the year 1994, increases in the value of domestic exports were registered for electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $7.1 billion or 29%); photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies, optical goods, watches and clocks (by $884 million or 5.5%); clothing (by $715 million or 1%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of jewellery, goldsmiths' and silversmiths' wares (by $604 million or 3.1%); and plastics in primary' forms (by $557 million or 14%).

Over the same period, decreases in the value of domestic exports were recorded for telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $1 billion or 8.9%); and textiles (by $1 billion or 6.7%).

10

The value of imports continued to increase, by 14% over a year earlier to $127.7 billion in December 1995.

Changes in the value of imports from 10 main suppliers are shown in Table 5.

Comparing December 1995 with December 1994. the value of imports from all main suppliers showed increases of various magnitudes: France (+130%), Malaysia (+32%), the United States (+30%), South Korea (+19%), the United Kingdom (+16%), Taiwan (+11%), Singapore (+11%), Germany (+9.0%), Japan (+8.6%) and China (+7.4%).

Comparing the year 1995 with the year 1994, the value of imports from all main suppliers showed increases of various magnitudes: France (+88%), Malaysia (+43%), the United States (+29%), South Korea (+27%), Singapore (+26%), Taiwan (+20%), the United Kingdom (+20%), China (+15%), Japan (+13%) and Germany (+12%).

The value of imports in the year 1995, at $1,491.1 billion, increased by 19% over the same period in 1994.

Table 6 shows changes in the value of imports of ten principal commodity divisions.

Comparing the year 1995 with the year 1994. increases were recorded in the value of imports of most principal commodity divisions.

More notable increases were registered for electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $47.1 billion or 34%); telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $25.4 billion or 21%); office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $20.3 billion or 42%); plastics in primary forms (by $15.6 billion or 55%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of baby carriages, toys, games and sporting goods (by $13.1 billion or 14%); and textiles (by $12.2 billion or 10%).

Over the same period, a decrease in the value of imports was recorded for road vehicles (by $5.3 billion or 10%).

All the trade statistics described here arc 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 December 1995 will be released in early March.

11

Detailed trade statistics analysed by commodity and by country/territory are published in trade statistics reports.

The December 1995 issue of the Hong Kong External Trade with detailed analyses on the performance of Hong Kong's external trade in December and the whole year of 1995 will be on sale at $122 per copy around February 27.

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.

12

TABLE 1 : RE-EXPORTS TO TEN MAIN DESTINATIONS

z DESTINATION DEC 1995 (HKD Mn.) DEC 95 OVER DEC 94 (% CHANGE) JAN-DEC 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN-DEC 95 OVER JAN-DEC 94 (% CHANGE)

CHINA 35,581 + 25.1 384,043 + 19.0

UNITED STATES 16,629 + 2.9 230,997 + 10.0

JAPAN 6,266 + 34.0 70,081 + 28.0

GERMANY 4,366 + 12.4 45,770 + 10.0

UNITED KINGDOM 2,729 + 15.5 32,257 + 18.1

TAIWAN 2,350 + 16.2 27,758 + 23.8

SINGAPORE 2,232 + 18.4 26,011 + 27.8

SOUTH KOREA 1,705 + 24.9 19,292 + 17.0

FRANCE 1,617 ♦ 20.7 17,452 + 27.7

NETHERLANDS 1,547 + 14.0 16,702 + 23.3

13

TABLE 2 : RE-EXPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

7 COMMODITY DIVISION DEC 1995 (HKD Mn.) DEC 95 OVER DEC 94 (% CHANGE) JAN-DEC 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN-DEC 95 OVER JAN-DEC 94 (% CHANGE)

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY BABY CARRIAGES, TOYS, GAMES AND SPORTING GOODS) 10,345 <■ 8.6 142,223 * 15.4

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT •* 9,440 - 2.1 119,009 • + 19.5

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 10,145 + 29.9 114,628 + 36.8

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 7,467 + 4.0 92,840 4- 13.0

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 7,533 + 0.9 90,951 - 1.5

FOOTWEAR 5,213 + 16.0 60,167 4- 12.9

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 5,792 + 40.2 57,347 4- 54.8

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 4,760 + 22.6 50,767 + 21.3

TRAVEL GOODS, HANDBAGS AND SIMILAR CONTAINERS 2,812 ■ + 13.3 35,010 + 14.1

PLASTICS IN PRIMARY FORMS 2,902 * 55.7 30,636 + 47.5

14

TABLE 3 : DOMESTIC EXPORTS TO TEN MAIN DESTINATIONS

/

DESTINATION DEC 1995 (HKD Mn.) DEC 95 OVER DEC 94 (% CHANGE) JAN-DEC 1995 (HKD Mn.) . JAN-DEC 95 OVER JAN-DEC 94 (% CHANGE)

CHINA 5,275 + 8.4 63,555 + 4.2

UNITED STATES 5,307 - 4.7 61,250 - 0.3

SINGAPORE 981 - 5.8 12,236 + 0.1

GERMANY 1,320 - 4.8 12,178 - 4.9

JAPAN 978 - 2.2 11,877 + 13.6

UNITED KINGDOM 1,079 - 2.2 10,941 + 6.3

TAIWAN 626 + 27.6 7,971 * 31.2

NETHERLANDS 595 + 0.1 5,152 + 7.9

CANADA 387 - 15.3 4,324 + 3.6

FRANCE 304 - 7.8 3,174 + 12.9

- 15 -

TABLE 4 : DOMESTIC EXPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION DEC ... 1995 (HKD Mn.) DEC 95 OVER DEC 94 (% CHANGE) JAN-DEC 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN-DEC 95 OVER JAN-DEC 94 (% CHANGE)

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES * 7,111 - 6.9 73,301 + 1.0

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 3,054 + 44.1 31,889 + 28.5

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY JEWELLERY, GOLDSMITHS' AND SILVERSMITHS’ WARES) 1,485 + 3.2 19,876 + 3.1

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 1,359 - 14.8 17,866 + 1.4

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, •WATCHES AND CLOCKS 1,426 - 7.7 17,091 + 5.5

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 1,072 - 11.8 14,030 - 6.7

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 787 - 10.7 10,587 - 8.9

MANUFACTURES OF METALS 454 + 32.9 4,689 + 2.1

PLASTICS IN PRIMARY FORMS 356 + 9.3 " 4,506 + 14.1

PAPER, PAPERBOARD, AND ARTICLES OF PAPER PULP, OF PAPER OR OF PAPERBOARD 222 - 0.5 2,940 + 1.0

16

TABLE 5 : IMPORTS FROM TEN MAIN SUPPLIERS

SUPPLIER DEC 1995 (HKD Mn.) DEC 95 OVER DEC 94 (% CHANGE) JAN-DEC 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN-DEC 95 OVER JAN-DEC 94 (% CHANGE)

CHINA 45,164 + 7.4 539,480 + 14,6

JAPAN 18,590 + 8.6 221,254 + 13.4

TAIWAN 10,979 + 11.4 129,266 + 20.5

UNITED STATES 10,050 + 30.2 115,078 * 28.8

SINGAPORE 6,347 + 10.5 78,027 + 25.9

SOUTH KOREA 5,916 + 18.6 73,268 + 27.3

GERMANY 2,810 + 9.0 32,038 + 11.8

UNITED KINGDOM 2,680 + 15.8 30,448 + 19.9

FRANCE 3,382 +129.6 28,930 + 88.3

MALAYSIA 2,648 + 31.8 28,797 + 42.9

17 -

TABLE 6 : IMPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

/ COMMODITY DIVISION DEC 1995 (HKD Mn.) DEC 95 OVER DEC 94 (% CHANGE) JAN-DEC 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN-DEC 95 OVER JAN-DEC 94 (% CHANGE)

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS' THEREOF 15,703 + 16.2 185,943 + 33.9

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 12,609 + 16.5 145,976 + 21.0

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 10,385 + 0.2 130,422 + 10.3

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY BABY CARRIAGES, TOYS, GAMES AND SPORTING GOODS) 7,665 + 0.1 104,051 + 14.4

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 8,478 + 2.7 97,886 +. 1.7

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 6,765 + 32.8 68,737 + 41.8

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 5,119 + 1.8 62,759 + 15.5

FOOTWEAR 4,690 + 11.3 52,715 + 11.9

ROAD VEHICLES 3,726 - 3.6 46,163 - 10.2

PLASTICS IN PRIMARY FORMS 3,847 * 41.1 44,078 + 55.0

End

18

Container throughput averages at one million per month ♦ ♦ * ♦ *

Hong Kong had handled more than 10 million twenty-foot-equivalent (TEU) container boxes in the first 10 months of 1995, averaging about one million TEUs a month, the Deputy Director of Marine, Mr S Y Tsui, said today (Monday).

Releasing the container statistics for October 1995, Mr Tsui said based on the trend from January to October last year, it was estimated that Hong Kong had probably handled more than 12 million TEUs in 1995.

"The figures underline the need for the further development of Hong Kong container facilities and also our capabilities to meet current demand," he said.

The total container throughput from January to October last year was 10,414.737 TEUs, an increase at 13.6 per cent over the same period of 1994.

In the first 10 months of 1995, the operators at container terminals in Kwai Chung and Stonecutters Island had handled 6,892,414 TEUs, representing an increase of 14.1 per cent; the stream operators 2,433,055 TEUs, an increase of 2.8 per cent; and river trader operators 1,089,268 TEUs, a 43.4 per cent increase.

"With Government and private sectors putting together a number of measures to enhance the productivity at the container terminals and for the stream and river operations, our handling capability is expected to meet the demand up to 1998." Mr Tsui said.

He urged the consortiums involved in container terminal operation to reach an agreement over the berthing arrangements in Kwai Chung and on Stonecutter Island as early as possible.

"In line with Marine Department's objective to better serve the community, the monthly figures on container throughput compiled by the department arc now available at the department's homepage on the Internet." Mr Tsui said.

The address for Marine Department homepage on the Internet is http://www.info.gov.hk/mardep/

19

The comparative container statistics in TEUs are:

First 10 months Qf.19.95 First 10 months of I-9-94 Percentage Increase

Kwai Chung/Stonecutters 6,892,414 6,038,830 14.1

Stream and Elsewhere 2,433,055 i ; J * 2,367,275 2.8

River Trade • 1,089,268 759,393 4.3 j *

Total 10,414,737 9,165,498 13.6

End

Border crossing opening hours during Lunar New Year *****

The Hong Kong Government and the relevant authorities of the Shenzhen Municipal People's Government announced today (Monday) that the Lok Ma Chau/Huanggang 24-hour border crossing will only be open from 7 am to 10 pm daily for 10 days over the Lunar New Year period from February 18 to 27.

The 24-hour service will be resumed at 7 am on February 28 (10th day of the Lunar New Year).

A Hong Kong Government spokesman explained that cross border traffic was expected to be very low during the Lunar New Year period.

This was the case last year when there were only 200 to 6,000 vehicles a day from the first day to the ninth day of the Lunar New Year, compared with the daily average of over 10,000 on a normal day, he said.

For the overnight facility (10 pm to 7 am), the number of vehicles had dropped from the normal level of around 1,000 to 180 - 400 from the nights of the sixth day to the ninth day of the Lunar New Year, he added.

End

20

Special clinic services for Lunar New Year holidays

*****

The Department of Health today (Monday) announced special arrangements of general out-patient services for the coming Lunar New Year holidays.

Eight will be open between 9 am and 1 pm on February 18 (Lunar New Year's Eve) and February 21 (third day of Lunar New Year).

They are the Violet Peel Health Centre and Shau Kei Wan Jockey Club Clinic on Hong Kong Island; the Kwun Tong Jockey Club Health Centre, the Robert Black Health Centre and Yau Ma Tei Jockey Club Clinic in Kowloon; and.the Lady Trench Polyclinic, Shek Wu Hui Jockey Club Clinic and Yuen Long Jockey Club Health Centre in the New Territories.

There will be no clinic service on February 19 and 20 (Lunar New Year's Day and the second day of Lunar New Year).

The evening clinic service will also be suspended between February 19 and 21.

End

First nomination received for Siu Hei constituency by-election *****

One nomination was received today (Monday) for the Tuen Mun District Board by-election in respect of Siu Hei constituency to be held on March 24.

The nomination was submitted by Mr Yim Tin-sang, a 43-year-old Regional Councillor.

This is the first nomination received for the by-election since the nomination period started last Friday.

Mr Yim can be contacted on 2459 6108 (daytime) and 2452 3605 (night time).

Nomination will last until February 23.

End

I

21

Water storage figure ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Storage in Hong Kong’s reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 79.6 per cent of capacity or 466.416 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 408.288 million cubic metres of water, representing 69.7 per cent of capacity.

End

Air Quality Report for January *****

The Environmental Protection Department today (Monday) released air quality information for January.

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/Western and Kwai Chung, which represent three important land use types in the territory:

* locations close to road traffic in built-up urban areas,

combined commercial and residential districts, and

* districts close to industrial areas.

The reported air pollutants include sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), total suspended particulates (TSP) which comprise all sizes of dust particles, and the respirable fraction of the dust (RSP).

All these pollutants can affect respiratory health in sufficient concentration.

In January, there was one exceedance of the 24-hour Air Quality Objectives (AQO) and one measurement almost reaching the AQO limit at the three monitoring stations.

n

On January 3, NO2 levels were high throughout the territory and those recorded at Mong Kok had breached the 24-hour limit.

The records at other monitoring stations also showed exceedances of the 24-hour NO2 AQO at Kwun Tong and Sham Shui Po.

The high NO2 levels were due to low windspeed, which provided a stable atmosphere for pollutants to accumulate. As there were fresher winds from the sea on January 4, pollutant levels therefore substantially decreased.

On January 25, a TSP level of 259 microgrammes per cubic metre was recorded at Mong Kok, almost reaching the 24-hour Objective I SP limit of 260 microgrammes per cubic metre.

The gases and particles described originated from various sources. SO2 is mostly produced when fuels that contain sulphur are burned. NO2 is formed during combustion by the combination of nitrogen and oxygen, and by the atmospheric oxidation of nitric oxide (NO), also a product of combustion.

Vehicle exhaust is an important source of NO and NO2 interms 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

23

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results

*****

Tender date 12 Feb 1996

Paper on offer EF notes

Issue number 2802

Issue date 13 Feb 1996

Maturity date 13 Feb 1998

Coupon 5.16 PCT

Amount applied HK$2,920 MN

Amount allotted HKS500 MN

Average price accepted (yield) 100.42 (5.00 PCT)

Lowest price accepted (yield) 100.41 (5.00 PCT)

Pro rata ratio About 41 PCT

Average tender price (yield) 100.38(5.01 PCT)

End

24

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

'* $ million Time (hours) Cumulative change ISmillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,672 0930 +1,127

Closing balance in the account 2,775 1000 + 1,127

Change attributable to : 1100 +1,133

Money market activity +1,133 1200 +1,133

LAF today -30 1500 +1,133

1600 +1,133

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 123.6 *+0.0* 12.2.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.77 2 years 2711 5.60 101.14 4.97

1 month 4.81 3 years 3901 5.57 101.13 5.22

3 months 4.87 5 years 5012 6.38 102.70 5.81 ■

6 months 4.88 7 years 7211 6.82 104.14 6.16

12 months 4.86 5 years M502 7.30 105.21 6.11

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $15,032 million

Closed February 12, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Tuesday, February 13,1996

Contents Page Ng.

Citybus and CMB fare increases approved by ExCo........................... 1

Findings on parking demand released....................................... 2

Video-on-Demand regulatory proposals published............................ 5

New security company licensing scheme in good progress.................... 7

Territorial development review to complete in mid-1996 ................... 8

Teachers involve in hill fire commended.............................. 11

Relief fund for teachers killed in hill fire approved................ 12

Trade involving outward processing in China statistics................... 12

Governor to visit counselling centre for substance abusers............... 17

Injured employees must be protected.................................. 17

Employers reminded of statutory holidays entitlement..................... 19

Enquiry Hotline for Trade Department comes into operation tomorrow... 19

Second nomination for Siu Hei constituency by-election................... 21

63 pollution cases in January............................................ 21

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results.............................. 22

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations..................... 23

1

Citybus and CMB fare increases approved by ExCo *****

The Govemor-in-Council today (Tuesday) approved fare increases for Citybus and China Motor Bus (CMB).

A 9.5 per cent fare increase for Citybus’s Hong Kong Island routes, and a 10 per cent fare increase for its cross harbour routes were approved to take effect on March 3.

A government spokesman said: ’’The fare increase is well below the anticipated inflation since Citybus’s last fare adjustment.

"The accumulated inflation is forecast to increase by 12.8 per cent between the last fare increase on Citybus's Hong Kong Island routes in September 1994 and March 1996, when the new fares are to take effect; and by 17 per cent between the last fare increase on its cross harbour routes in April 1994 and March 1996.

"Without a fare increase, Citybus will suffer sizable losses in 1996 and 1997. The fare increase will give Citybus a reasonable level of return in the next two years and provide incentive for the company to improve its services.

"With the new fares, 78 per cent of Citybus’s passengers will pay no more than 40 cents more per trip."

Meanwhile, a 10.7 per cent fare increase was approved for CMB's Hong Kong Island routes, and a 10 per cent fare increase was approved for its cross harbour routes. The new fares will also take effect on March 3.

The spokesman said the increase was well below the anticipated inflation since CMB’s last fare increase.

"The accumulated inflation is expected to increase by 14.5 per cent between CMB’s previous fare increase on its Hong Kong Island routes in July 1994 and March 1996, when the new fares are to be implemented; and by 17 per cent since the last increase in CMB's cross harbour fares in April 1994," he said.

"As most cross harbour routes are jointly operated by CMB, Citybus and KMB, it is necessary to maintain a common fare scale so as to avoid confusion to the commuters.

2

’’For this reason, a 10 per cent fare increase will also be applied to the cross harbour routes operated by KMB on March 3.

’’Without a fare increase, CMB will suffer sizable losses in 1996 and 1997. With the fare increase, the company will earn a small profit in 1996 but incur a loss in 1997.

’’The increase will also provide some incentive for the company to improve its services. With the new fares, about 67 per cent of CMB's passengers will pay only 30 to 40 cents more per trip.”

The spokesman noted that CMB will also extend its elderly concessionary fare scheme to cover all its cross harbour routes at the same time when the new fares come into effect.

End

Findings on parking demand released *****

A study on the parking demand in Hong Kong reveals that facilities for private cars are in general meeting current and future demand.

However, the study finds that a serious territory-wide shortfall of goods vehicle parking spaces exists and the situation will deteriorate if the problem is not immediately addressed.

This was said by the Deputy Commissioner for Transport, Mrs Dorothy Chan Yuen Tak-fai, at a press conference today (Tuesday) to announce the findings of the Parking Demand Study (PDS) and the Government’s remedial actions.

The study, commenced in November 1993 and completed in December last year, aimed to prepare a detailed inventory of existing parking spaces, to assess the existing and fiiture demand/supply situation, to identify problems and make recommendations to resolve them.

The study covered all districts, except Lantau and the Outlying Islands, and all types of vehicles with particular emphasis on goods vehicles and private cars.

3

On private cars, Mrs Chan noted that there were about 406,000 designated parking spaces for cars in the first quarter of 1994 - about 221,000 were domestic (residential) spaces, 167,000 were non-domestic (usage related, within commercial developments for example) and about 18,000 were on-street spaces.

In the same period, there were some 265,000 licensed private cars in the territory and the deficit in domestic parking spaces for private cars was about 26,000 spaces.

On a district basis, most of the demand in the 17 districts were met except Eastern, Yau Tsim Mong, Wong Tai Sin and Kwun Tong where the problem was more apparent.

On goods vehicles, Mrs Chan said the findings showed there was a serious territory-wide shortfall of parking spaces for this type of vehicles which is expected to deteriorate in the future if the problem is not addressed immediately.

In 1994, there was an overall shortfall of 76,000 overnight parking spaces and 37,000 daytime parking spaces for goods vehicles.

The night time parking problem was mainly found in Tuen Mun, Kwai Tsing, Yuen Long and Kwun Tong while Yau Tsim Mong, Kwai Tsing, Kwun Tong and Central and Western districts experienced problems in parking at day time.

Mrs Chan noted that the number of goods vehicles had almost doubled in the 10 year period between 1984 and 1994 from 68,000 to 124,000.

"This growth is very high and reflects the growth in Hong Kong's economy over that period.

"Certainly the Government would not want to restrict the growth of the economy. Inevitably therefore the demand for goods vehicle parking outstripped supply.

"The Government recognises the problem and that it cannot be satisfactorily solved on a piecemeal basis. The PDS was therefore commissioned to identify clearly the size of the problem and to examine ways of containing it.

"The deteriorating situation in terms of supply/demand assumes that no remedial measures are implemented.

4

"It is our intention to address this problem to prevent further deterioration and to implement appropriate remedial measures," she said.

To address the problem on goods vehicle parking, Mrs Chan said the Transport Branch had already set up a working group to look at this problem and would develop an action plan for implementation.

Other recommendations of the Study will also be examined by this working group. ♦

On means to address the parking problem in general, the Assistant Commissioner for Transport (Technical Services and Planning), Mr Lee Shu-chee, said the consultants, Ove Arup and Partners, had recommended a number of measures to address the situation.

These measures included the revision of the Hong Kong Planning and Standards Guidelines (HKPSG), and the provision of additional facilities such as multi-storey vehicle parks, short-term tenancy sites and on-street overnight parking, he added.

"Although these remedial measures are not new, the PDS has successfully identified the size and location of the problems so that we now know where and in what time frame they are needed.

"It is the Government’s intention to carry forward the general recommendations of the PDS and to examine how these can be implemented on a district basis," Mr Lee said.

A three-month public consultation exercise will be carried out following the release of PDS on the consultants' recommended remedial measures.

End

5

Video-on-Demand regulatory proposals published ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government proposes to introduce a new category of licence’ under the Television Ordinance for Video-on-Demand (VOD) programme services, and has published a consultation paper outlining the suggested regulatory approach for public comments.

"We shall be inviting the comments of interested parties including the general public over the next four weeks, so that we can frame appropriate amendments to the Television Ordinance," the Secretary for Recreation and Culture, Mr T H Chau, said today (Tuesday).

"We believe that it is important to put the regulatory framework in place as soon as possible, and so we aim to introduce legislation to the Legislative Council before the end of this session."

It is the Government’s position that VOD will be one of several types of multimedia sendee which is transmitted over broadband telecommunication networks.

Those who are connected to such a digital network will be able to call up films and television programmes on to their television screens at times of their own choice.

In addition, it will also be technically possible for multimedia service providers to offer a number of other services, such as home banking, home shopping, and a wide variety of information services.

As VOD programme services will be available to a majority of households within a few years, Mr Chau stressed that the content of such widely available services should be regulated to ensure that it met the basic standards of taste and public decency which the community expect.

"Since we believe that VOD programme services will compete for much the same audiences as pay TV, we consider that the conditions applicable to VOD programme service providers should be similar to those which apply to pay TV licensees.

"It is inevitable, given the various competing interests, that not everyone will like all aspects of our approach.

"But we believe that our proposals represent a fair balance between the interests of consumers, broadcasters and prospective VOD programme service providers," Mr Chau said.

6

The Broadcasting Authority (BA) will be invited to draw up Codes of Practice similar to those which apply to pay TV, and the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority will be responsible for the performance of programme service licensees to ensure compliance with the Television Ordinance and the terms of their licences.

However, the Government does not wish to broaden the controls to cover other services transmitted by multimedia service providers, that is, home banking and home shopping, which should be treated as forms of electronic publishing.

"Just as we do not regulate other published matter in printed form, such as newspapers and magazines, we do not think that it would be necessary or desirable to regulate the content of multimedia sendees which do not constitute television programming,” Mr Chau said.

’’The Government will continue to monitor the development of multimedia services, so that if there appears to be a need to regulate any aspect of them, we can consider what action should be taken.”

On the eligibility conditions for a programme service licence, the Secretary said they would be substantially the same as those applying to all licensees under the Television Ordinance.

For example, licensees under the ordinance will be disqualified from holding more than 15 per cent of a programme service licence; unqualified voting controllers (that is, persons who are not ordinarily resident in Hong Kong) will not be able to exercise more than 49 per cent of the voting control over a licensee; and BA’s approval will also be required for unqualified voting controllers to hold two per cent or more of the voting shares in the licensee.

The existing ban on certain categories of persons, including companies transmitting sound or television material, from holding more than 15 per cent of a programme service licensee might be waived or removed from the Television Ordinance. Mr Chau said.

He added that the question of whether licences should be available to any eligible applicant or should be limited in number would be looked into during the pay TV review, the outcome of which was expected to be published next month.

The consultation paper is obtainable from the Recreation and Culture Branch, 41 st floor. Revenue Tower. 5 Gloucester Road. Hong Kong. Comments and suggestions should be sent to the Branch either by mail or by fax (2827 0119) on or before March 15.

End

7

New security company licensing scheme in good progress ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Security and Guarding Services Industry Authority (SGS1A) has received over 60 applications for security company licence since the commencement of the application period in November last year.

The Authority’s Chairman, Mrs Miriam Lau, said today (Tuesday) that the response was encouraging.

Under the new Security and Guarding Services Ordinance, a licence would be required for companies providing services such as guarding, armoured transportation, and installation and design of security devices with effect from June 1 this year.

Mrs Lau said she understood many companies were actively studying the licensing requirements and introducing improvements to their operations in preparation for the application.

"To allow sufficient time for the Police and the SGSIA to complete the processing of applications before June L it would be in their interest to apply as soon as possible," she said.

Mrs Lau said in determining an application for a security company licence, SGSIA would examine the company's background, its equipment and facilities, and its supervisory methods with reference to an investigation made by the Police.

"Each application will be considered at a public hearing session attended by representatives from the applicant company and the Police.

"So far the processing work for licence applications has progressed smoothly. The first public hearing was conducted last week to consider nine applications, and the first batch of licences will be issued within this month," she said.

Mrs Lau also reminded employees engaged in security work of the need to apply for security personnel permits under the Ordinance.

With effect from June 1, watchmen of residential buildings, armed or unarmed security guards, and technicians responsible for installation or design of security devices will need to possess a permit issued by the Commissioner of Police.

Mrs Lau said the Police had received over 2,000 applications and issued 1,083 permits so far.

8

In addition to appealing to security companies, she said, SGSIA had sent letters to all Mutual Aid Committees (MACs) and Owners Corporations (OCs) inviting their attention to the new ordinance.

"The key objective of the ordinance is to promote the quality of security service in residential and commercial premises, thereby aiding the fight against crime.

"The support and co-operation of MACs and OCs are essential in achieving this objective," Mrs Lau said.

Enquiries about permit applications should be directed to the Police Licensing Office on 2866 0300. As for licence applications, enquiries should be made to SGSIA on 2801 6181.

End

Territorial development review to complete in mid-1996 * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Territorial Development Strategy Review is now scheduled for completion in mid-1996, the Director of Planning, Dr Peter Pun, said today (Tuesday).

Speaking at his annual mect-the-media session. Dr Pun said the recommended strategy would comprise long-term (2011) development options under two scenarios and a medium-term (2006) strategy.

"A consultative report with a bilingual digest summarising all the key issues and principal findings of the review will be prepared for easy reference of the public," he said.

In the Metro area, the development statements for West Kowloon, Tsuen Wan/Kwai Tsing and South East Kowloon has been completed, while those for Hong Kong Island West and for Central and East Kowloon are nearing completion.

A review of the Metroplan was being planned, said Dr Pun.

"The review is required to take account of altered demographic and socioeconomic assumptions/data as well as decisions made on major infrastructure and development projects in recent years.

9

"In addition, the Development Statements completed/under preparation for the Metro districts have revealed that current development/redevelopment pressures have resulted in levels of development far exceeding the quantum recommended by the Selected Strategy."

Significant progress has also been made on the review of development strategies for various sub-regions in the New Territories (NT).

The Northeast NT Development Strategy Review has been approved in principle by the Committee on Planning and Land Development and an executive summary of the Review will soon be published for public inspection.

"Both the Northwest NT and Southwest NT Development Strategy reviews have reached their final stages of work and are expected to be completed by mid-1996," Dr Pun said.

During the past year, the department had been making substantial efforts in actions against unauthorised development (UD) in the NT, said Dr Pun.

He noted that a resolution to increase substantially the level of fines to a maximum of $1 million for repeated offences under the Town Planning Ordinance was passed by the Legislative Council last June.

In 1995, 379 cases of suspected UD were established for enforcement action, mainly in Yuen Long and North East NT.

A total of 374 enforcement notices, 3X reinstatement notices and 179 compliance notices were issued.

Meanwhile, a total of 67 planning applications in respect of UD were submitted to the Town Planning Board (TPB). Of these, 22 were approved, 34 rejected and 11 being processed.

"The increasing number of planning applications shows that people are becoming more familiar with the statutory planning requirements and are aware of Government's determination to clear the black spots in the NT," Dr Pun said.

By the end of 1995, 255 UD involving 83 hectares of land had discontinued and 81 cases involving 47 hectares of land were regularised.

Of the 47 summonses issued last year, a total of 45 defendants in 35 cases were convicted by the courts.

10

Dr Pun also disclosed that the department was co-ordinating a crosslinks study to assess the impact of the proposed Lingdingyang Bridge and Shenzhen Western Corridor on transport infrastructure, land use, environment and other related aspects of Hong Kong.

"The study, already commenced in September 1995, is expected to complete by May 1996," he said.

Meanwhile, action is in hand to introduce a Town Planning (Amendment) Bill which aims at making the planning system more open and accountable to the public, streamlining procedures and adopting a planning certificate system.

Several legislative amendments have been proposed in an interim amendment bill to overcome some of the imminent problems in the existing system and to further improve the efficiency in the operation of TPB.

"These include the setting up of committees to hear objections, provision for the appointment of more than one Deputy Chairman for the Town Planning Appeal Board (TPAB), definition of'public officer' to put it beyond doubt that a judge may be appointed to the Appeal Board, and clarification on the nature of a continuing offence.

"This interim amendment bill was introduced into the Legislative Council on November 15, 1995, and is currently being considered by the Bills Committee," Dr Pun said.

Turning to the work achieved by TPB and its planning committees and TPAB, Dr Pun said two new outline zoning plans (OZPs) and 14 amended OZPs were formulated by the Board during the year. It also gave preliminary consideration to over 1,500 objections and heard about 160 objections.

Last year, the planning committees and TPB had considered about 750 planning applications and 130 reviews respectively. Of these, about 500 cases were approved upon first consideration while 63 approved upon review.

Since the introduction of the Town Planning (Appeals) Regulation in November 1991, a total of 90 appeals were received by TPAB as at the end of last year.

"In 1995, the TPAB received 31 appeals and heard 10 cases. By the end of the year, four out of the 90 appeals have been allowed. 33 have been dismissed, 29 have been abandoned or found invalid and 24 were awaiting to be heard," he said.’

11

Reviewing other major planning studies commissioned by the department, Dr Pun said a consultancy study would be commissioned to help formulating a comprehensive urban renewal strategy and programme.

The study will take nine to 12 months to complete.

End

Teachers involve in hill fire commended * ♦ ♦ ♦ *

In response to media enquiries on measures to commend the teachers involved in the Pat Sin Leng hill fire incident, the Director of Education, Mrs Helen C P Lai Yu, said today (Tuesday):

"Government commends the four teachers in the Pat Sin Leng hill fire incident who so bravely and fully demonstrated their professionalism and determination to protect their students against all odds.

"We have received a number of proposals from several organisations for commemorating them.

"I have had initial discussions with some departments including the Agriculture and Fisheries and Radio Television Hong Kong. We are now considering the best way forward. We will co-ordinate and confer to follow up with departments and other appropriate bodies.

"On extra-curricular activities, I must emphasise their value in grooming young Hong Kong. They must continue."

End

12

Relief fund for teachers killed in hill fire approved ♦ ♦ * ♦ *

The Social Welfare Department has approved a total of $105,750 from the Emergency Relief Fund to the families of the two teachers who were killed in a hill fire at Pat Sin Leng Country Park last Saturday.

The family of Miss Wong Sau-mei will receive $56,250 ($9,000 as burial grant and $47,250 as death grant) while the family of Mr Chau Chi-chai will get $49,500 ($9,000 as burial grant and $40,500 as death grant).

Arrangements of burial grants to the families of the two deceased students are being processed.

Meanwhile, social workers and clinical psychologists of the department will continue their counselling and support services to the students and teachers of the Fung Yiu King Memorial Secondary School as well as family members of those hospitalised students at the Prince of Wales Hospital.

End

Trade involving outward processing in China statistics

*****

In the third quarter of 1995, 49% of Hong Kong's total exports to China were for outward processing; the figure was 75% for domestic exports, and 45% for reexports while on the other hand 76% of Hong Kong's imports from China were related to outward processing.

According to statistics released today (Tuesday) by the Census and Statistics Department, over the same period, 80% of Hong Kong's re-exports of China origin to all countries other than China were produced through outward processing in China.

The corresponding proportions in the third quarter of 1994 were 51% for total exports to China, 74% for domestic exports to China, 47% for re-exports to China, 80% for imports from China and 82% for re-exports of China origin to all countries other than China.

13

In January - September 1995, 49% of Hong Kong’s total exports to China were for outward processing; the figure was 71% for domestic exports, and 45% for reexports. On the other hand, 75% of Hong Kong’s imports from China were related to outward processing.

Over the same period, 82% of Hong Kong’s re-exports of China origin to all countries other than China were produced through outward processing in China.

The corresponding proportions in January - September of 1994 were 47% for total exports to China, 73% for domestic exports to China, 43% for re-exports to China, 78% for imports from China and 81% for re-exports of China origin to all countries other than China.

To provide a better understanding of the nature and importance of outward processing in China initiated by Hong Kong firms, the Census & Statistics Department has been conducting a sample survey as from the third quarter of 1988 to distinguish Hong Kong's exports to China into those which arc for outward processing and those which are not.

The scope of the survey has been extended as from the first quarter of 1989 to segregate Hong Kong’s imports from China into those which are related to outward processing and those which are not.

Starting from the first quarter of 1991, the scope of the survey has further been extended to cover Hong Kong’s re-exports of China origin to all countries other than China.

The results for the third quarter and January - September 1995 are now available.

In value terms, $56,154 million of Hong Kong’s total exports to China in the third quarter of 1995 were for outward processing, representing an increase of 10% over the third quarter of 1994.

The value of domestic exports to China for outward processing increased by 6% to $12,244 million whilst the value of re-exports to China for outward processing grew by 11% to $43,909 million.

Over the same period of comparison, the value of imports from China related to outward processing increased by 9% to $113,756 million. On the other hand, $138,581 million of Hong Kong’s re-exports of China origin to all countries other than China were produced through outward processing in China, representing an increase of 13%.

14

In January - September 1995, $160,588 million of Hong Kong’s total exports to China were for outward processing, representing an increase of 22% over January -September 1994.

The value of domestic exports to China for outward processing increased by 5% to $32,778 million while that for re-exports to China for outward processing grew by 27% to $ 127,810 million.

Over the same period of comparison, the value of imports from China related to outward processing increased by 14% to $298,271 million.

On the other hand, $361,960 million of Hong Kong’s re-exports of China origin to all countries other than China were produced through outward processing in China, representing an increase of 19%.

For the purpose of the survey, exports to China for outward processing refer to raw materials or semi-manufactures exported from or through Hong Kong to China for processing with a contractual arrangement for subsequent re-importation of the processed goods into Hong Kong.

Imports from China related to outward processing refer to processed goods imported from China of which all or part of the raw materials or semi-manufactures have been under contractual arrangement exported from or through Hong Kong to China for processing.

Re-exports of China origin to all countries other than China involving outward processing in China refer to processed goods re-exported through Hong Kong of which all or part of the raw materials or semi-manufactures have been exported from or through Hong Kong to China for processing with a contractual arrangement for subsequent re-importation of the processed goods into Hong Kong.

• <, • • *

In interpreting the statistics, it should be noted that the value and proportion of imports from China and re-exports of China origin to all countries other than China involving outward processing in China refer to those of the entire goods instead of just the value added contributed by outward processing in China.

A sample of trade declarations in respect of Hong Kong's trade with China (domestic exports and re-exports to China, and imports from China) as well as Hong Kong's re-exports of China origin to all countries other than China is selected for enumeration to obtain the required information from the establishments concerned.

15

A spokesman for the Census and Statistics Department explained that under the internationally accepted system of recording trade flows, all movements of goods (except transhipments and goods-in-transit) across the border, whether for outward processing or not, are recorded as external trade. Thus the movements of goods associated with outward processing are correctly included in the regular trade statistics.

The findings of the survey, however, facilitate a more informed analysis of the nature of Hong Kong-China trade. In this respect, the survey results are a useful supplement to the regular trade statistics.

The results of the survey will be included in the December 1995 issue of the report Hong Kong External Trade.

The report will be on sale by the end of this month at the Government Publications Sales Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, 66 Queensway, and at the Publications Unit of the Census and Statistics Department, 19th Floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai at $122 a copy.

Enquiries on the survey results may be directed to the Trade Surveys and Research Section of the Census and Statistics Department on 2582 5037.

16

ESTIMATED VALUE AND PROPORTION OF TRADE INVOLVING OUTWARD PROCESSING IN

CHINA, 3RD QUARTER AND JANUARY - SEPTEMBER 1995____________________________

3rd qtr. 1995 (HKD Mn.) Percentage change over 3rd atr. 1994 (%) Jan. - Sep. 1995 (HKD Mn.) Percentage change over Jan. - Sep. 1994 (%)

Total trade value * : Total exports to China 114,290 +14.2 327,668 + 17.8

Domestic exports to China 16,433 + 4.5 . 46,051 + 6.6

Re-exports to China 97,857 +16.0 281,616 + 19.8

Imports from China 150,383 +14.8 398,323 + 17.7

Re-exports of China origin 173,051 + 16.7 442,427 + 18.0

to all countries other than China

Estimated value involving outward processing in China :

Total experts to China 56,154 + 9.8 160,538 +21.9

Domestic experts to China 12,244 + 5.6 32,778 + 4.5

Re-exports to China 43,909 + 11.0 127,810 +27.3

Imports from China 113,756 + 8.9 298,271 + 13.6

Re-exports of China origin 138,581 +13.4 361,960 -18.6

to all countries ether than China

Estimated proportion involving outward processing in China :

3rd 3rd Jah. - Jan. -

qtr. qtr. Sep. Sep.

1995 1994 1995 1994

(%) (%) (%) (%)

Total exports to China 49.1 51.1 49.0 47.4

Domestic exports to China 74.5 73.7 71.2 72.6

Re-exports to China 44.9 46.9 45.4 42.7

Imports from China 75.6 79.8 74.9 77.6

Re-exports of China origin 80.1 82.4 81.8 81.4

to all countries other

than China

* The value excludes commodi ties and transactions not classified

according to kind.

End

17

Governor to visit counselling centre for substance abusers

*****

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, will visit a counselling centre for psychotropic substance abusers, PS33 (Psychotropic Substance 33), on Thursday (February 15) afternoon to look at the operation of the centre.

This is the seventh in a series of visits to agencies contributing to the reduction of drug abuse following the summit meeting chaired by the Governor in March last year.

Set up in March 1988, PS33 is the first centre for psychotropic substance abusers in Hong Kong. It is funded by government subventions and run by the Hong Kong Christian Service.

Major services provided by PS33 include casework counselling, telephone enquiry services and drop-in enquiries, case assessment and referrals for medical treatment.

The centre also conducts preventive-educational programmes to the general public and professional training to other helping professionals.

End

Injured employees must be protected

*****

Employers must protect their employees who are injured at work in accordance with the Employees' Compensation Ordinance (ECO) otherwise they will face severe punishment.

A Senior Labour Officer of the Labour Department's Employees' Compensation Division, Mrs Jenny Chan, gave the warning today (Tuesday) following a recent court case in which the Wan Fa Design and Decoration Engineering Company Limited in Chai Wan was heavily fined in the Eastern Magistracy for violating the ECO.

The offence came to light as a result of investigations by Labour Department officers into a complaint made by an injured employee of the company in late January 1995.

18

Wan Fa was subsequently charged under ECO with three counts of failing to pay to the injured employee periodical payment within seven days after the date on which the compensation was due; one count each of failing to give notice to the Commissioner for Labour in the prescribed form within 14 days of the accident involving the injured employee and failing to take out insurance policy issued by an insurer for the full amount of liability of the employer.

The company was convicted of the offences in early January and was fined a total of $70,000, of which $20,000 was imposed on failing to provide insurance cover for the worker it employed.

Mrs Chan pointed out that the maximum penalty for failure to take out an insurance policy for an employee under Section 40 (1) of ECO is a $25,000 fine plus one year's imprisonment on summary conviction.

"In 1995, we secured 513 convicted summonses under this Section of the ECO, an increase of 182 successful cases or 55 per cent when compared with the figures in 1994. The total amount of fines had also increased substantially from $930,700 in 1994 to $1,561,262 in 1995," sh^said.

Mrs Chan said the objective for employers to provide their employees with insurance cover was to ensure that an employer could fulfil his legal obligation to compensate his employees who were injured or die in a work-related accident.

This statutory requirement applies to employers hiring full-time and part-time employees as well as domestic helpers, she said.

"An employer must observe this legal requirement even though he employs only one employee," Mrs Chan stressed.

End

19

Employers reminded of statutory holidays entitlement ♦ ♦ * * ♦

The Labour Department today (Tuesday) reminded employers that the first three days of the Lunar New Year (February 19 to 21) are statutory holidays for employees.

Under the Employment Ordinance, all employees, irrespective of their wage levels, are entitled to statutory holidays and must be paid for the day off if they have worked continuously for the same employer for three months or longer before the statutory holiday.

Holiday pay should be equivalent to an employee's earnings on a full working day and should include basic wages as well as allowances that can be expressed in money terms such as meals and cost of living allowances.

Where the earnings vary from day to day, holiday pay should be the average daily earnings during every complete wage period, which could be between 28 and 31 days, preceding the holiday.

If an employee is required to work on a statutory holiday, he must be given an alternative day off within 60 days before or after the holiday.

Enquiries about statutory holidays may be made at the Labour Department's General Enquiry Telephone Service on 2717 1771.

End

Enquiry Hotline for Trade Department comes into operation tomorrow *****

The Trade Department's new Enquiry Hotline - 2392 2922 - will come into operation tomorrow (Wednesday) to provide the public with a convenient source of trade data and to handle requests for the department's application forms and information leaflets during and outside office hours.

The new service, an Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS), will offer a 24-hour enquiry service in either English, Cantonese or Putonghua as part of the department's on-going efforts to enhance the level of its services to meet increasing customer demands.

20

A department spokesman said today (Tuesday): "Members of the public can obtain such trade information as fees and charges, certification, licensing and application requirements and procedures and the validity of different kinds of certificates and licences by just calling the hotline number, 2392 2922.

"They can also obtain application forms and information leaflets on various services offered by the department through the IVRS and request for these to be sent to their fax machines."

Explaining the mode of its operation, the spokesman said IVRS would be operating on two major functions: audiotext and fax transmission.

"It will automatically receive all incoming telephone calls, prompting the callers by a digitised human voice to choose from a selection of pre-recorded messages or forms by pressing the specified numbers on a touch-tone telephone.

"The callers can either listen to standard voice messages or request for a form or information leaflet to be sent to their fax machines. The system also allows callers to talk to the operator who will transfer their calls to the relevant unit for further consultations," the spokesman said.

The following categories of trade information are obtainable from IVRS:

* Business hours;

* Fees and charges;

* Location of Trade Department and its counters;

Procession time required and validity period of various applications;

* Registration procedures;

* Application and subscription procedures; and

Other enquiries.

End

21

Second nomination for Siu Hei constituency by-election *****

One more nomination was received today (Tuesday) for the Tuen Mun District Board by-election in respect of Siu Hei constituency to be held on March 24.

This is the second nomination received since the nomination period started last Friday.

The nomination was submitted by Miss Wong Yin-ping. She is a 34-year-old administrator.

Miss Wong can be contacted on 2476 5555.

Nomination will last until February 23.

End

63 pollution cases in January *****

A total of 63 convictions were recorded in courts last month for breaching antipollution legislation enforced by the Environmental Protection Department.

Among them, 20 were made under the Water Pollution Control Ordinance, 17 under the Noise Control Ordinance, 12 under the Air Pollution Control Ordinance, another 12 under the Waste Disposal Ordinance and two under the Ozone Layer Protection Ordinance.

The fines imposed on the offenders ranged from $2,000 to $40,000. Liu Kam-chuen, who operated the Yuet Heung Yuen Soy Factory, was fined $40,000 for discharging polluting matter in the Deep Bay Water Control Zone.

End

22

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results *****

Tender dale 13 Feb 1996 13 Feb 1996

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q607 H658

Issue date 14 Feb 1996 14 Feb 1996

Maturity date 15 May 1996 14 Aug 1996

Coupon

Amount applied HKS9,790 MN HK$6,780 MN

Amount allotted HKS 1,500 MN HKS800 MN

Average yield accepted 4.84 PCT 4.85 PCT

Highest yield accepted 4.85 PCT 4.86 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 45 PCT About 12 PCT

Average tender yield 4.87 PCT 4.88 PCT

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

Tenders to be held in the week beginning 22 Feb 1996

Tender date 22 Feb 1996 22 Feb 1996

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q608 Y686

Issue date 23 Feb 1996 23 Feb 1996

Maturity date 22 May 1996 19 Feb 1997

Tenor 89 days 362 days

Amount on offer HKS1,500+300 MN HKS5OO+15O MN

End

23

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

Time Cumulative change

$ million [hours) (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,775 0930 +26

Closing balance in the account 2,417 1000 +26

Change attributable to : 1100 +26

Money market activity +25 1200 +25

LAF today -383 1500 +25

1600 +25

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 123.5 *-0.1* 13.2.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.73 2 years 2802 5.16 100.40 5.01

1 month 4.78 3 years 3901 5.57 101.20 5.19

3 months 4.86 5 years 5012 6.38 102.94 5.76

6 months 4.87 7 years 7211 6.82 104.52 6.09

12 months 4.87 5 years M502 7.30 105.40 6.06

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - SI7,353 million

Closed February 13. 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

SUPPLEMENT

Wednesday, February 14, 1996

Contents Page Nq.

Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Fees) Regulation...................... 1

Merchant Shipping (Fees) (Amendment) Regulation...................... 3

Companies Ordinance (Amendment of Eighth Schedule) Order......... 3

Limited Partnerships Ordinance Order............................. 4

Legal Practitioners (Amendment) Bill............................. 5

Insurance Companies (Amendment) Bill 1996 ....................... 6

Buildings (Amendment) Bill 1996.................................. 8

Dutiable Commodities (Amendment) Bill............................ 9

Companies (Fees and Percentages) (Amendment) Order............... 11

Registered Trustees Incorporation Ordinance Order................ 12

Bankruptcy (Fees and Percentages)(Amendment) Order............... 12

Bankruptcy (Amendment) Rules..................................... 14

Companies.....

Contents

EageNo,

Companies (Fees and Percentages)(Amendment)(No 2) Order................... 15

Companies (Winding-up)(Amendment) Rules................................... 16

Buses park overnight at housing estates............................... 17

Air-conditioning buses................................................ 18

Policies in handling refugees and illegal immigrants...................... 19

Marine traffic safety..................................................... 20

Indoor air pollution...................................................... 22

Use of tear gas........................................................... 24

Telephone lines for elderly under CSSA Scheme............................. 26

Fuel supply to airlines at airport........................................ 27

Court's interpretation of "owner" under HOS property...................... 29

Reference date for expenditure guideline projections...................... 30

Complaints on withholding imported workers' visas..................... 31

"Shenzhen - Hong Kong convergence" concept................................ 33

"Pre-recorded" telephone enquiry sendee................................... 34

Pilot scheme to bring professionals from China............................ 35

Government departments to bear own postal cost............................ 37

Rental allowance to District Board members to be introduced................ 38

Traffic flow after Western Harbour Crossing opening........................ 39

Attendance record of HK Museum of Art...................................... 41

Manpower resources for transport-related studies........................... 44

1

Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Fees) Regulation ♦ * * * ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Gordon Siu, in the motion on the Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Fees) Regulation in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

First, I'd like to take up Mrs Chow’s point that the Administration stands ready, stands ready, to come back and provide any justification, any fact, any figures needed with the hope that we will convince members that what we have proposed is fair and reasonable. If 1 may, Mr President, I just like to make a few points on the motion.

Firstly, the Motion proposes the repeal of several items of legislation where no increases are actually sought in the fees charged - these items concern fees for miscellaneous services set under section 8 of the Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Fees) Regulation and fees payable in relation to crew accommodation under Part I of the Schedule to this regulation. These are existing fees, presently included in regulations made under the Merchant Shipping Ordinance, and they are transferred to the new Seafarer's Ordinance. The Motion, in effect, asks Members to repeal fees which have already been agreed by this Council and which have been in force for some months. Moreover, all fee items under section 8 and Part I of the Schedule are paid by shipping companies in respect of services. The livelihood of seafarers are in no way affected.

Secondly, the Motion proposes the repeal of the great majority of fees to be set under the Seafarers' Ordinance and the Merchant Shipping Ordinance where fee increases are indeed proposed.

The consequence of this motion would be two-fold:

♦ firstly, if Members were to vote today to repeal fees for miscellaneous services provided under the Seafarers' Ordinance, the Director of Marine would no longer have the ability to charge any fee for any such miscellaneous service under that Ordinance.

2

* secondly, and more importantly, the great majority of fees to be made under the Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Fees) Regulation falls under a new piece of primary legislation which is the Seafarers' Ordinance. The coming into force of this Ordinance is entirely reliant on there being in place a comprehensive body of supporting regulations. These regulations, I believe have already been agreed by members with the exception of the three regulations. If we are unable to set fees for the services to be provided by the Marine Department under the new ordinance, then clearly that puts in doubt the wisdom of bringing into effect the new Ordinance. We would have then to continue to rely on using an old and outdated piece of legislation. The primary, the new ordinance whose purpose is to regulate the welfare of seafarers then cannot come into effect notwithstanding that it has, in its entirety, the support and backing of Hong Kong's maritime community. This Ordinance provides for the legal backing of various international conventions, including those of the International Labour Organisation as they apply to the seafarers. It cannot be, I suggest the intention of the Legislature when they actually approved the Seafarers' Bill in June 1995, that such a circumstance could be allowed to happen.

I would also like to point out that none of the fees involve any real livelihood dimension - in dollar terms the proposed increases are modest and will have a minimal impact if any on inflation. For example, the fee

in relation to Engine Room Watch Rating Certificates and Navigational Watch Rating Certificates will increase from $140 to $155. In percentage terms, around 10% similar to that which is proposed for the majority of the items involved. There will only be a handful of items which will have a greater rate of increase - but in respect of most of these items there have been no increases since 1966, 30 years ago, and 1975.

Mr. President, I know some Members have strong feelings on the matter of Government fees. I can assure Members that the Administration has been very cautious and reasonable in proposing the fees for the Seafarers' Ordinance. Indeed, the Administration will still only recover less than 30% of the costs for this group of services even if the fees are implemented. Let me say again these are not livelihood issues - many of the fees concerned are paid by employers, not seafarers; it would be sad if Members were, in rejecting the fees, forcing us to put on the back burner a piece of modem legislation designed to protect the seafarer, his employer and the industry as a whole; a piece of legislation agreed in all aspects by the seafarers themselves.

Mr President, I am afraid I have to urge Members, to reject the Motion.

End

3

Merchant Shipping (Fees) (Amendment) Regulation

*****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Gordon Siu, in the motion on Merchant Shipping (Fees) (Amendment) Regulation 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

In response to Mrs Chow's second motion, I have already explained the rationale behind the proposed fee revisions. May I just make the point again that in fact in June 1995 this council approved the new ordinance. Since then we have been working on the whole set, a complete set of regulations and I think members have actually approved all of them with the exception of fees. Now, with this set of regulations on fees being approved, I am afraid we cannot bring in the new ordinance and therefore we are still relying on the use of the outdated existing ordinance. I also would like to reiterate that in fact the increases proposed are very modest, 10% and they were last revised actually 1994 and since then inflation has actually exceeded this level that we have now proposed. Most of the items related to legal notice no. 10 are for examination fees; fees for examinations for certificates of competency as Trawler Masters and Trawler Engineers. These are not fees that have to be paid regularly. Clearly, the proposed increases will have little impact on the livelihood of seafarers as such.

I do urge Members again to reject the motion.

End

Companies Ordinance (Amendment of Eighth Schedule) Order

*****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, in the motion on the Companies Ordinance (Amendment of Eighth Schedule) Order 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

First of all, I am grateful that some Members have indicated that they are prepared to approve the various fee proposals put forward by the Companies Registry.

4

By way of response to the Honourable Selina Chow, perhaps I will make one particular point regarding deficits and interests and loans related to the Companies Registry. The point was made that the Registry would be operating at a deficit without the fee increases on the ground that without the repayment of interest or the loan to the Registry by the government there would be no deficit. The point here is that the Registry is operating at arm's length from the government and is financed partly by a loan from the government. If it is to operate on a quasi-commercial basis as intended, then it is to be expected that it should pay interest on any loans. The Registry were to be given free money on no interest loans, then in financial terms it would make no sense for the government to establish it in the first place. And I am sure we all recall that the setting-up of the trading fund system for the Companies Registry was passed by this council as recently as 1993.

The objective of funding services in this way is to enable those services to respond more effectively to the needs of their users by giving management the financial flexibility to run the services in a more commercial way.

Mr President, the last point I wish to make is this, this Order and the related legislative amendments in fact constitute part of a package of fee proposals in respect of the Companies Registry, two elements of which Members were good enough earlier to support this afternoon and I therefore look forward to your continued support, and to approve the fee revisions.

End

Limited Partnerships Ordinance Order *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Flui, in the motion on the Limited Partnerships Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule) Order 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I will only make one point and that is this is again like the previous motion, the increase is needed so as to enable the Companies Registry operating under the trading fund system to continue to develop and to upgrade to meet demands from the users. Not to have the increase will of course means the tax payers would be subsidising the users, although the users themselves are very keen in fact to have the new developments and the new improvements which would be quite different from what they were used to many years ago almost the Keynesian conditions inside our Companies Registry, and therefore I would continue to urge Members to support the fee adjustment. Thank you.

End

5

Legal Practitioners (Amendment) Bill *****

Following is the speech by the Attorney General, the Hon Jeremy Mathews, in moving the second reading of the Legal Practitioners (Amendment) Bill 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that the Legal Practitioners (Amendment) Bill 1996 be read the second time. The Bill introduces a local appointment system for notaries public in Hong Kong. It provides a statutory basis for the existing practice whereby only solicitors admitted in Hong Kong are appointed as notaries public. It also establishes the criteria and procedures for the appointment of notaries public.

The functions of a notary public in Hong Kong, as in other common law jurisdictions, are primarily to attest, authenticate or certify the due execution of documents and to take oaths and declarations in respect of documents for use in other countries.

Under section 40 of the Legal Practitioners Ordinance, the Registrar of the Supreme Court is required to register every notary' public who produces his notarial faculty and who files in the High Court an affidavit of identity and pays the enrolment fee. In practice, all notaries public in Hong Kong are solicitors who have been granted notarial faculties by the Archbishop of Canterbury in England. At present, the Archbishop does not grant notarial faculties to applicants from Hong Kong without the prior approval of the Chief Justice. The applicants also have had to sit and pass a notarial examination organised by the Master of Facilities (who is a High Court Judge) in England. These arrangements, however, have no statutory basis.

The Bill provides new arrangements for examining and appointing applicants as notaries public in Hong Kong. Firstly, it amends the Legal Practitioners Ordinance to give the Chief Justice power to appoint as notaries public solicitors admitted in Hong Kong who are of at least 7 years' standing and who have passed a qualify ing notarial examination. Second, it empowers the Chief Justice to set the qualifying examination and to remove from registration, suspend, restore and lift a suspension in respect of a notary public. Third, it specifies the powers of notaries public. Fourth, it provides for the continued keeping of a Hong Kong Register of Notaries Public. Fifth, it preserves the professional position of persons who are notaries public in Hong Kong immediately before the commencement day of this Bill if enacted. Finally, I should make clear that the Bill does not affect the notarial powers of consular officers under the Consular Relations Ordinance.

Mr President, I commend this Bill to this Council.

End

6

Insurance Companies (Amendment) Bill 1996 * ♦ ♦ ♦ *

Following is the speech by the Secretary for the Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, in moving the second reading of the Insurance Companies (Amendment) Bill 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the Insurance Companies (Amendment) Bill 1996 be read the second time. The Bill seeks to amend the Insurance Companies Ordinance to enhance protection for the insuring public.

The three main objectives of the Bill are -

(a) to update the minimum capital requirements for general and long term insurers and the minimum solvency margin requirements for general insurers;

(b) to ensure that the solvency margin is commensurate with the level of risk covered by the insurer; and

(c) to restrict use of the words "insurance” and "assurance” to persons regulated under the Insurance Companies Ordinance.

A number of other relatively minor or technical amendments are proposed to improve the operation of the Ordinance.

The purpose of the minimum amount of paid-up capital is to ensure that the insurer has a minimum level of financial resources with which to pre-finance its operations and to provide a reasonable safeguard against the risk that its assets may be inadequate to meet liabilities arising from unpredictable events. These minimum requirements are important safeguards of the interests of policy holders.

The current levels of these minimum requirements have not been updated since the Insurance Companies Ordinance was enacted in 1983. Aggregate inflation since then has been about 146%. The real value of these requirements has therefore been eroded and is now inadequate to provide the level of protection for policy holders originally intended. The Administration therefore proposes a 100% increase for the two requirements. The minimum paid-up capital requirement for an insurer intending to carry on or carrying on either general or long term business will be increased from $5 million to $10 million, whilst that for both general and long term business or general business alone but including compulsory business (for instance, employees' compensation insurance business) will be raised from $10 million to $20 million.

7

Similarly, the minimum amount of solvency margin will be raised from $5 million, or $10 million where the general business includes compulsory business, to $10 million or $20 million respectively. This increase will not only compensate for the effect of inflation but will bring the solvency margin requirement more into line with equivalent requirements in Australia, Singapore and Malaysia.

As any increase higher than 100% at this stage would be considered excessive by the insurance industry , we propose to review the need for a further increase within 12 months' time.

The solvency margin required of a general business insurer is also deficient in that it is determined solely by the premium income of an insurer without regard to his claim liabilities. Hence policy holders of an insurer which has no premium income but has outstanding claims are exposed to considerable risks represented by the absence of a solvency margin commensurate with the amount of his claim liabilities. To remedy this, we propose that a general business insurer be required to maintain a solvency margin determined on a "premium basis" or "claim liabilities basis", whichever is the higher.

The bill also proposes to increase by 100% the level of fines set in 1983 for contraventions of the Insurance Companies Ordinance, so as to maintain their deterrent effect.

We further propose to prohibit use of the word "insurance" or "assurance" in business names without the consent of the Insurance Authority, unless the user is an authorised insurer, an appointed insurance agent or an authorised insurance broker regulated under the Insurance Companies Ordinance. The purpose is to prevent the public from being misled as to the authorised status and true nature of the business carried on by persons not regulated under the Ordinance. The proposal is in line with the Banking Ordinance, which restricts use of the word "bank" by persons other than banks.

To allow time for insurers to comply with the proposed capital and solvency margin requirements, a transitional period up to 31st October 1997 is proposed. For restriction on the use of the word "insurance" or "assurance", a transitional period of one year from enactment of the Amendment Ordinance is proposed, since some companies not engaged in the insurance business may be using these words in their business names. Other proposed provisions will apply with effect from the date of enactment.

Thank you, Mr President.

End

8

Buildings (Amendment) Bill 1996 ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

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

Mr President,

I move the Second Reading of the Buildings (Amendment) Bill 1996.

The Bill seeks to improve the Buildings Ordinance in three areas.

First, as shown in the Kwun Lung Lau landslip, leakage of drains and sewers may affect slope safety. It is therefore essential to ensure that investigations of drains and sewers are done regularly, so as to enable any defect or leakage to be rectified as soon as possible. For public drains, sewers and water mains, Government departments have completed inspection of these buried services in 1995 and necessary follow-up repair will be completed before the wet season this year. In addition, programmes have been drawn up for periodic inspection of these buried services in future. Owners of private properties also have the duty to properly maintain the private drains and sewers serving their buildings. We therefore propose that the Building Authority should be empowered to require owners to hire an authorised person to investigate if there is any leakage, defect or inadequacy with the drains and sewers which serve their buildings, where such drains or sewers are laid in or in the vicinity of any slope or earth-retaining structure, and submit a report of the results to him. The Building Authority will be allowed to exercise this power only if he thinks leakage, defect or inadequacy of the drains or sewers may result in landslips or collapse of structures, and such landslip or collapse may cause a risk .of injury to any person or damage to any property.

We also propose that failure to comply with the Building Authority's order or knowingly misrepresenting a material fact in the investigation report will be made offences.

Second, it is important to facilitate the recovery of costs of works carried out by the Building Authority. Under the existing Buildings Ordinance , the Building Authority may, for reasons such as ensuring public safety, serve statutory orders on building owners to carry out building works. In case of non-compliance, the Building Authority will carry out the works on behalf of the owners, and the costs of works should be recovered from the owner of the property at the time when the order is served.

9

In Hong Kong, properties change hands frequently. An owner served with the order may have already sold his property before the works carried out by the Building Authority are completed. Since the previous owner no longer has an interest in the property, it is often difficult to trace him and recover costs from him.

Since the works in question will enhance the value and assure the safety of the property, we propose that a person who is the owner at the time when the works are completed should be charged for the costs instead. To protect property buyers, the Building Authority will be allowed to do so only if he has registered the order at the Land Registry upon the service of that order. A prospective buyer will therefore have notice of his potential liability before he buys the property.

Third, under the existing Buildings Ordinance, the Building Authority is empowered to apply to the court for a closure order to close a building for, say, safety reasons. When the building becomes fit for re-occupation, the Building Authority will issue a notice of expiry of the closure order and post a copy on the building. However, the building may be demolished subsequent to being served with the closure order. There is currently no provision effecting the automatic withdrawal of a closure order upon the demolition of the concerned building. We therefore propose to amend the Buildings Ordinance to dispense with the service of a notice of expiry of a closure order, when the building to which it relates is demolished or ceases to exist.

Mr President, I commend the Bill to this Council.

End

Dutiable Commodities (Amendment) Bill ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

Following is the speech by the Secretary for the Treasury, Mr K.C Kwong, in moving the second reading of the Dutiable Commodities (Amendment) Bill 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President.

I move that the Dutiable Commodities (Amendment) Bill 1996 be read a second time.

10

The Dutiable Commodities Ordinance was enacted in 1963. It deals with the taxation and control of dutiable commodities. With the passage of time, the Ordinance has become inadequate in meeting modern day needs in trade operation and enforcement control. It has also not kept pace with developments in other areas. A major aim of the Bill is to modernise the legislation in order to facilitate trade operation and to improve enforcement and control of dutiable commodities. Thus, the Bill includes provisions for -

(i) streamlining of procedures in the assessment of duty and licensing;

(iij improvements to ensure conformity with Bill of Rights requirements; and

(iii) introduction of a compounding scheme.

I should say a few words about the compounding scheme. Under the Bill, if a person enters Hong Kong at an entry point carrying with him dutiable goods in excess of the duty free concession and he fails to make a declaration or makes a false declaration to Customs officers, he commits an offence. The Bill proposes that the compounding scheme empower the Commissioner of Customs and Excise to compound that offence if the duty payable in respect of the excess dutiable goods does not exceed $10,000. The person involved will be subject to a fine equivalent to five times the duty payable. This will allow speedy settlement of the case. However, the person involved will have the right to elect not to have the offence compounded but to have it tried in court. Similar schemes operate in other countries like the United Kingdom. Australia and Singapore where they have proved successful.

Finally, we have also taken the opportunity of this exercise to propose various updating and adaptation measures.

Mr President. I commend the Bill to Members.

End

11

Companies (Fees and Percentages)(Amendment) Order *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, in the motion on the Companies (Fees and Percentages)(Amendment) Order 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

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

The Companies (Fees and Percentages)(Amendment) Order 1996 was made by the Chief Justice. It increases certain fees payable to the Registrar of Companies in relation to the inspection and photocopying of liquidators' statements sent to the Registrar under the Companies Ordinance.

The fees are increased, on average, by 9.2% in line with the increase in costs due to inflation as measured by the Government consumption expenditure deflator. These fees were last revised in August 1994.

As a trading fund, the Companies Registry is required to provide an efficient and effective service while meeting the cost of the services that it provides from the income it receives. Since its establishment as a trading fund in August 1993, the Registry has introduced a number of measures to improve its services. These include obtaining customers’ views with present and proposed services by way of visits, questionnaires and surveys, and introducing additional services such as on-line indexes of documents and listed company directors in refurbished and user-friendly premises. The latest service introduced last week is a facility to allow customers to have remote access to the registry's names and document indexes and to order company searches by fax. The Registry has budgeted for these modest fee increases to * enable it to continue with its programme of developments and improvements in technology and services while ensuring that it can cover its increased costs. The revised fees, if approved, will come into operation on 1 March 1996.

Mr President, I beg to move.

End

12

Registered Trustees Incorporation Ordinance Order » *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, in the motion on the Registered Trustees Incorporation Ordinance (Amendment of Second Schedule) Order 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

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

The reasons for this proposal are identical to those I have just outlined in moving the first motion except that the proposed revised fees in this case are in relation to inspection, certification and registration of documents, and related matters, under the Registered Trustees Incorporation Ordinance.

Thank you. Mr President.

Fnd

Bankruptcy (Fees and Percentages)(Amendment) Order

*****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, in the motion of the Bankruptcy (Fees and Percentages)(Amendment) Order 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

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

The Bankruptcy (Fees and Percentages)(Amendment) Order 1996, and the next three motions that I am going to move namely the Bankruptcy (Amendment) Rules 1996, the Companies (Fees and Perccntages)(Amendment) (No. 2) Order 1996, and the Companies (Winding-up)(Amendment) Rules 1996 were all made by the Chief Justice. These arc to increase the fees payable to the Official Receiver’s Office in relation to proceedings in bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Ordinance and in the winding-up of companies under the Companies Ordinance.

13

Most of the fees were last revised in November 1994. We propose to revise them generally in line with the increase in costs due to inflation. This is measured at 9.2% as calculated by the movement of the Government Consumption Expenditure Deflator. The actual fee revisions will sometimes differ slightly from the inflation rate due to the need to round fees up or down so as to facilitate collection.

Where a fee has not been revised since 1988, the increase has been confined to 25% even though inflation since then has been 104.5%. This is to reduce the impact of the revision to a reasonable level. We propose to revise these fees each year by up to a maximum of 25% until they have reached the same level, in real terms, as in 1988. In relation to the costs of summoning a meeting of creditors, provision is also made for an additional charge for room hire. This is to reflect properly the extra costs that are incurred when it is necessary to hire rooms for meetings attended by numbers of creditors that are too large to be accommodated in the Official Receiver’s Office.

The expected revenue from the fee being revised represents only around 11% of the Official Receiver's total revenue. This is because the majority of his revenue is derived from fees which are calculated according to fixed percentages, based on the realisation of assets, dividends paid out and interest on bank deposits.

Due to the nature of insolvencies, the amount of fees and charges collected presently falls far short of the costs incurred by the Official Receiver's Office. In the current financial year, the total revenue is estimated to be $88.3 million, representing only 52% of the total expenditure. The low cost recovery rate is due mainly to the fact that approximately 83% of insolvency cases have realisable assets of less than $50,000, an amount insufficient to meet the Official Receiver's costs. The increases in fees and charges being proposed in relation to personal bankruptcies and company windings-up, are estimated to produce a total additional income of around $215,000 per annum. As a consequence, the cost recovery rate would increase only marginally to 52.12%.

The level of fee increases proposed takes careful account of the ability of those who are required to pay the fees to bear additional charges. For this reason, 1 am not recommending more substantial revisions which might otherwise be justified.

The Bankruptcy (Fees and Percentage) (Amendment) Order 1996 deals with the 14 fees and charges under bankruptcy. The total amount of additional income from the proposed increases in bankruptcy fees and charges is estimated to be about $105,000 per annum. This represents an average increase of just 0.8% when expressed as a percentage of the total bankruptcy income, estimated to be $12.8 million for the year 95 and 96.

Thank you. Mr President.

End

14

Bankruptcy (Amendment) Rules *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, in the motion on the Bankruptcy (Amendment) Rules 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

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

The Bankruptcy (Amendment) Rules 1996 revise the amount of deposit payable upon the presentation of a bankruptcy petition and in respect of compositions or schemes of arrangements put forward by debtors.

At present, a creditor presenting a petition for the bankruptcy of a debtor must deposit $10,000 with the Official Receiver to cover the Official Receiver's initial costs and expenses of administration of the estate. A debtor who petitions for his own bankruptcy must also deposit $10,000 with the Official Receiver.

We propose to reduce the amount of deposit in respect of a debtor's petition following the recommendation of the Bankruptcy Report of the Law Reform Commission published on 29 May 1995. The Report considered that people should not be discouraged from recourse to bankruptcy proceedings because of an unnecessarily high level of deposit required.

The Report recommends that, at 1991 price levels, the level of deposit should be reduced from $10,000 to $5,000. Having regard to inflation since then, we now propose that the level of deposit be now reduced from $10,000 to $8,000.

Although the Law Reform Commission recommended a similar reduction in the deposit payable in respect of a creditor's petition, we consider a higher level of deposit is not beyond the reach of creditors, most of whom are trade creditors, financial institutions or banks. Given that the existing level of deposit of $10,000 was set 11 years ago, we consider that a modest increase of 12.5 per cent to $11,250 is now justified.

15

The Bankruptcy (Amendment) Rules 1996 also revise the deposit payable when a bankrupt or a debtor lodges a proposal for a composition on satisfaction of his debts or a scheme of arrangement of his affairs out of monies to be provided by another person. The existing level is $10,000 and was last revised in November 1993. The inflation rate since then has been 17.8%. We propose to increase this level only by 12.5% to $11,250. This reflects the significant amount of work that the Official Receiver may be required to undertake in connection with such procedures.

Thank you. Mr President.

End

Companies (Fees and Percentages)(Amendment) (No 2) Order *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, in the motion on the Companies (Fees and Percentages)(Amendment) (No 2) Order in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

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

The Companies (Fees and Percentages)(Amendment) (No 2) Order 1996 deals with the 13 fees and charges applicable to company windings-up. As with the related fees under the Bankruptcy (Fees and Percentages)(Amendment) Order 1996, we propose to increase these fees generally in line with inflation to cover increases in costs, except where they have not been revised for some years, where we are proposing a more gradual adjustment.

The total amount of additional fee income from the proposed increases in fees and charges for company winding-ups is estimated to be $110,000 per annum. This represents an average increase of just 0.2% when expressed as a percentage of the total income for winding-ups, estimated to be $45.6 million for 1995-96.

Thank you. Mr President.

End

16

Companies (Winding-up)(Amendment) Rules *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, in the motion on the Companies (Winding-up)(Amendment) Rules 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

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

The Companies (Winding-up)(Amendment) Rules 1996 revise the amount of deposit for the presentation of a petition for the winding-up of a company and rationalise the cost of summoning a meeting of creditors or contributories.

The present level of deposit of a petition is $10,000 and we propose to increase it to $11,250, being the same as that proposed for the deposit for a creditor's petition under the Bankruptcy (Amendment) Rules that I moved earlier.

The existing fee for all disbursements, printing, stationery and postage when the Official Receiver summons a meeting of creditors or contributories is calculated in a cumbersome and obscure manner, involving a sliding scale per creditor or contributory depending on the number of such persons attending. We propose now to update this to a fixed fee and bring it into line with the parallel fee under the Bankruptcy (Fees and Percentages) (Amendment) Order 1996, which we have proposed to increase from $1,320 to $1,440, with the additional charge for room hire when the numbers of creditors are too large to be accommodated in the Official Receiver's Office.

Thank you. Mr President.

End

17

Buses park overnight at housing estates *****

Following is a question by the Hon Cheng Ka-foo and a reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The Traffic and Transport Committee of the Southern District Board has passed a motion urging the Government to forbid the China Motor Bus Co Ltd (CMB) and Citybus Ltd to have their buses parked overnight at the bus terminals in public and private housing estates in the Southern District in order to avoid causing nuisance to nearby residents. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it will put into effect the measure mentioned above in the Southern District; and if so, whether similar measure will be implemented at the bus terminals in public and private housing estates in other districts?

Reply:

Mr President,

In response to the motion passed by the Traffic and Transport Committee of the Southern District Board in November 1995, the Transport Department has conducted a comprehensive review of the overnight parking of buses at terminals in the Southern District.

The findings were submitted to the Traffic and Transport Committee last month following which it accepted that arrangements for overnight parking of buses at 3 out of the 4 terminals can be continued. The exception is the Ap Lei Chau Bus Terminal because of its very close proximity to housing blocks. The parking of buses overnight at this terminal will cease before the end of March this year. With the agreement of the Committee, the buses so displaced will instead be parked overnight along the section of the Heung Yip Road in the Wong Chuk Hang industrial area. This particular problem has therefore been solved.

The overnight parking of buses at terminals, and at some on-street locations, is a long standing practice necessitated by operational needs. The bus companies must first obtain the specific approval from the Commissioner for Transport who in turn consults the relevant District Board and government departments concerned before granting permission. All District Boards arc aware of these arrangements.

End

18

Air-conditioning buses * * * * *

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

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of air-conditioned buses and non air-conditioned buses of three of the franchised bus companies (i.e., the Kowloon Motor Bus Company Limited, the China Motor Bus Company Limited and the Citybus Limited), as well as the proportion between these two types of buses in the fleets of each of the three franchised bus companies, in each of the past three years;

(b) of a breakdown of the existing number of air-conditioned buses and non air-conditioned buses of the three franchised bus companies operating on each specified route, together with the increase in the number of air-conditioned buses in each of the three franchised bus companies in each of the past three years;

(c) of the difference in fares on average between air-conditioned buses and non air-conditioned buses; and

(d) how the three bus companies determine the number of air-conditioncd buses and non air-conditioned buses to be deployed on each route and the difference in fares between the two types of buses?

Reply:

Mr President,

The Hon Wong Wai-yin has asked for a lot of facts and figures. For easy reference, 1 have provided these in the Annex to my reply.

Turning to the deployment of buses on each route, our feedback is that most commuters welcome air-conditioned buses since they are cleaner, more comfortable and quieter. Having said this, some commuters of course opt for non air-conditioned buses because of the lower fares.

19

There are different fare scales for both air-conditioned and non air-conditioned buses. The main reason is because the vehicle price as well as operating costs for air-conditioned buses are higher than those for non air-conditioned buses. The Traffic and Transport Committees of the District Boards are consulted on service proposals and recommended fares.

End

Policies in handling refugees and illegal immigrants

*****

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

Question:

With regard to the recent statement made by Chinese officials that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government may repatriate all Vietnamese migrants immediately upon their entering the territory after the change in sovereignty in 1997, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the existing laws which govern the policies relating to the handling of refugees and illegal immigrants;

(b) how these policies are now enforced; and,

(c) under what circumstances will the existing policy of "repatriation upon arrest" be implemented?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The law governing the handling of illegal immigrants in general is set out in Sections 4, 11, 18, 19 and 38 of the Immigration Ordinance (Cap. 115). The law relating to the handling of illegal entrants of Vietnamese origin is contained in Part III A of the Immigration Ordinance. Extracts of the relevant parts of the Ordinance are attached as Annex to the written version of this reply.

20

(b) In general, our policy requires that illegal immigrants, unless there are exceptional humanitarian or compassionate grounds, be repatriated to their country of origin at the earliest opportunity. Exceptions are made in respect of certain types of illegal entrants, e.g. those found in workplaces, or those who committed other crimes, where the illegal entrants are repatriated to their country of origin after they have served whatever sentences imposed by the courts. In the case of illegal entrants of Vietnamese origin, we have undertaken as part of the Comprehensive Plan of Action to examine and determine their refugee status in accordance with UNHCR's criteria (i.e. whether they have a well-founded fear of persecution). Those who are determined to be non-refugees are repatriated to Vietnam as soon as they are accepted for return by the Vietnamese Government and when appropriate arrangements can be made for their repatriation. As regards those who are screened in as refugees, the UNHCR arranges for their resettlement elsewhere.

(c) Repatriation of illegal immigrants depends not only on the powers available under the Immigration Ordinance, but also on the agreement of the receiving country or region to accept back persons believed to be its citizens. Normally, when the receiving country is able to verify the identity of the illegal immigrant, repatriation can then be effected. In the case of illegal immigrants from China, we have an arrangement with China to immediately repatriate illegal immigrants arrested in Hong Kong without any verification of the illegal immigrants' identity by China.

End

Marine traffic safety *****

Following is a question by the Hon Miriam Lau and a reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

A number of reclamation projects are now in progress and this has resulted in the narrowing of the fairways in the harbour. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of traffic accidents which have occurred in the territory's waters over the past three years, and the number of such accidents which have resulted in injury and death; and

21

(b) what is the number of traffic accident blackspots in the territory's waters, and what measures are in place to reduce traffic accidents at these spots?

Reply:

(a) First of all I would like to clarify that no fairways in Hong Kong waters will be narrowed as a result of reclamation projects. Of course, while construction work is being carried out in some areas, in connection, for example with the western harbour crossing and the new MTR railway tunnel, the fairways might be nanowed on a temporary basis. Once these projects are completed by the end of 1996 or early 1997, all fairways will return to their original width, i.e. at least 380m. I can assure Members that no fairways will be narrowed permanently as a result of any reclamation project.

Turning to part (a) of the question, the number of marine traffic accidents over the last 3 years are:

1993 -286 1994-239

1995 - 294

The majority of these accidents are minor incidents. Of these, 16 accidents led to injury or death in 1993, 9 in 1994 and 7 in 1995.

(b) As regards marine traffic accident blackspots, the Director of Marine has identified three areas - near Tsing Yi, Yaumatei, and Central where minor accidents have tended to be more frequent. Positive action has been taken by the Marine Department to enhance marine safety in these particular spots as well as in other areas within Hong Kong waters. These activities include:

(i) the realignment of fairways and anchorages to ease the movement of oceangoing vessels and reduce conflict areas;

(ii) the implementation of marine pilotage reform, including to provide more training opportunities for pilots, and require all vessels of 3,000 tonnes or above to take a pilot;

22

(iii) the upgrading of our Vessels Traffic System by deployment of additional staff, new equipment and additional control centres. An example of this is the opening of a new marine traffic control station at Ma Wan to supervise the increasing marine traffic in this area;

(iv) the expansion of working hours of harbour patrols and the addition of more launches to patrol services. It is our target, ultimately, to provide 24-hour patrol service; and

(v) the amendment of vessel speed limits to take account of traffic level and operational needs.

In addition to the above marine traffic management improvements, a study, taken by the Marine Department, on Risk Assessment and the Strategic Use of Hong Kong Waters is now in progress. This study will be completed within this year and should assist us to formulate future policies on the optimum use of Hong Kong waters.

End

Indoor air pollution

*****

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

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council of the following:

(a) what are the principal indoor air pollutants commonly found in commercial buildings, factories and residential premises in Hong Kong, and what effects these pollutants have on public health;

(b) whether such buildings are designed and operated to provide sufficient outside air for each unit inside each building; if so, whether there are guidelines specifying the minimum level of fresh air to be provided, and what action will be taken if the supply of fresh air is below the specified level;

23

(c) whether the Government has carried out any research to gather data and information on indoor air quality and its associated health risks; if so, how many buildings are affected by indoor air pollutants, and how many occupants are put at health risk due to the presence of indoor air pollutants;

(d) whether any measures, apart from the publication of educational materials, have been adopted to prevent building-related illnesses (e.g. Legionnaires’ disease) occurring; and

<e) whether any strategics or plans have been drawn up to improve indoor air quality; if so, what are the details?

Reply:

Mr President

(a) The most commonly found air pollutants in commercial and residential buildings include carbon dioxide, tobacco smoke, volatile organic compounds, microbes, radon gas, and air-borne particulates. The types of pollutants found in factories are setting specific, depending on the chemicals and processes employed. Long-term exposure to high concentrations of indoor air pollutants may have harmful effects on health. Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke can lead to lung cancer while a microbe found in water-cooled air conditioning system can cause Legionnaires’ Disease.

(b) Buildings in Hong Kong are designed to provide sufficient fresh air for each occupant. The Building (Planning) Regulation sets out the required standards of ventilation for office and residential buildings. The Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance requires adequate ventilation in factories and notifiable workplaces. The Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance also requires owners of public places such as restaurants and cinemas to design and operate their ventilation systems to ensure adequate circulation of fresh air. Offenders are liable to penalties such as fines and suspension of business licence.

(c) We have recently commissioned a consultancy study on indoor air pollution in offices and public places. When completed in mid 1997, the study will provide information for the assessment of the nature and extent of indoor air quality problems and the need for prevention and mitigation measures.

24

(d) An effective means to prevent building related illnesses is to ensure adequate ventilation; this is currently effected through legislation governing buildings and workplaces. In addition, the prohibition of smoking in public places under the Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance can reduce the health impact of environmental tobacco smoke. As regards Legionnaires’ Disease, preventive measures include a code of practice issued in December 1994 on the design, installation, operation and maintenance of air-monitoring and water systems, monitoring the occurrence of Legionnaire’s Disease and investigating notified cases. Apart from information leaflets on the disease, a hotline has been set up by the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department to handle public enquiries. A territory wide survey on cooling towers is also being carried out and will be completed by April this year. The data from this survey will assist in identifying the source of the disease in case of an outbreak.

(e) The need for longer term measures to improve indoor air quality will be assessed in the light of the findings of the consultancy study on indoor air pollution mentioned earlier. In the meantime, we propose to extend the statutory provisions governing ventilation in factories and industrial undertakings to office buildings. The proposed new legislation, which will cover matters such as ventilation and maintenance requirements, will be submitted to this Council later this year.

End

Use of tear gas *****

Following is a question by the Hon Margaret Ng 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 dates and locations when tear gas was used in Hong Kong in the last five years, together with the circumstances giving rise to such use and the quantity used on each occasion;

(b) whether there are any policies and guidelines governing the use of tear gas; if so, what the details are; and

25

(c) whether any tests have been conducted regarding possible harmful effects of tear gas on human beings, particularly when used in confined areas; if so, what the results are?

Reply:

Mr President.

Between 1991 and 1995, the Police used CS ((-chloro-benzylidenemalononitrilc) gas on 25 occasions to maintain order in Vietnamese migrant detention centres (five times), to prevent smugglers escaping in "Tai Fei” or "Chung Fei" (17 times), to arrest armed or violent criminals (twice), and to deal with a civil disorder (once). From 1991 to 1995, the Correctional Services Department have used CS gas on 15 occasions in the Whitehead. High Island and Nei Ku Detention Centres to restore order during disturbances or during camp transfer operations. The quantity of CS gas used on each occasion varied from one round to over 3,800 rounds of CS cartridges and grenades.

The use of CS gas is subject to the general principle of use of minimum force in achieving specific objectives. This principle is provided in, e.g.. Rule 38 of the Immigration (Vietnamese Migrants) (Detention Centres) Rules, Rule 238 of the Prisons Rules and the relevant internal guidelines on the use of force of the Police Force. In essence, these provide for the following:

(a) only the minimum level of force should be applied:

(b) the use of force is to restore order quickly;

(c) whenever possible, warning will be given;

(d) force will not be used as a punitive measure;

(e) force will cease immediately the objective has been achieved;

(f) the degree of force permissible is determined by the senior officer present; and

(g) the decision to use CS gas within buildings, if required, rests with the senior off present.

26

The Government does not conduct tests itself but keeps itself abreast of . research conducted overseas on the effects of the use of tear gas. In the late 1970s, the Police Force replaced CN (u)-chloroacetophenone) with CS smoke because the latter had been proven to be a much less toxic chemical agent. In addition, research so far has not been able to establish that tear smoke will cause prolonged or seriously harmful effect if it is used properly.

End

Telephone lines for elderly under CSSA Scheme

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Law Chi-kwong and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

According to guidelines of the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) Scheme, only those elderly people who live alone or are physically handicapped or have special needs are eligible for subsidy from the Social Welfare Department for the provision of telephone lines, whereas other elderly people have to apply for subsidy from certain welfare funds for such a purpose. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) how many of the elderly people in receipt of CSSA payments are living alone and how many arc not;

(b) how many of the elderly people in each of the groups mentioned in (a) above receive subsidy from the Social Welfare Department for the provision of telephone lines and how many do not;

(c) what criteria are adopted by the Social Welfare Department for approving applications for subsidy for the provision of telephone lines made by those elderly people who are not living alone; and

(d) whether consideration has been given to allowing all elderly people in receipt of CSSA payments to be granted subsidy for the provision of telephone lines: if so, what is the outcome?

27

Reply:

(a) Of the elderly persons currently in receipt of CSSA, about 53,300 are living alone, about 23,900 are living in residential institutions and about 16,600 are living in a family.

(b) We estimate that about 8,400 elderly clients living alone and about 3,700 elderly clients living in a family are receiving special grants to pay for their monthly telephone charges. We have no readily available statistics on the number of elderly CSSA clients who have received special grants for the provision of telephone lines.

(c) Elderly CSSA clients not living alone may be provided with special grants for installing telephone lines if they can demonstrate a need for this facility to maintain contact and communication with other people. This special grant would be provided, for example, if all other members of the household were habitually not at home during the day and the elderly person thus left alone had no other easy access to a telephone.

(d) Special grants for installing telephone lines are provided to those who need such a facility. It would not be appropriate to provide this special grant to all elderly clients regardless of whether they have such a need. For example, most elderly clients living in residential institutions already have access to communal telephones; many already have their own telephone lines installed before they join the CSSA Scheme; and some living in private tenements are able to use communal telephones provided by their landlords.

End

Fuel supply to airlines at airport *****

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

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

28

(a) of the circumstances leading to the necessity for adoption of special arrangements for the distribution of fuel to airlines at Kai Tak airport immediately before Christmas last year;

(b) what is the prescribed minimum level of fuel supply at the airport and whether the level of supply will be increased upon the commissioning of a new fuel tank; and

(c) what is the present progress regarding the project to construct additional fuel receiving facilities; and whether the commencement of the project has been delayed, and if so, what the reasons are?

Reply:

(a) On 27 December 1995, the management of the Oil Companies Tank Farm at Kai Tak airport advised the Director of Civil Aviation that scheduled deliveries of aviation fuel from Singapore to the Tsing Yi oil depots would be delayed by 2-3 days because heavy seas on the delivery route required the oil companies' tankers to reduce speed. Consequently the total stock of aviation fuel in Hong Kong fell below the usual level maintained by the oil companies. Fuel rationing at Kai Tai airport was put into effect on that date and lifted on 2 January 1996 upon arrival of the tankers and replenishment of stocks.

(b) The oil companies supply aviation fuel continuously from the Tsing Yi oil depots so as to maintain the stock at the airport close to the maximum level of about 27000 cubic metres, which is equivalent to 2.7 days' consumption. A new fuel tank is expected to be commissioned in March 1996. This will increase the total storage capacity at Kai Tak to 35000 cubic metres, which is equivalent to 3.5 days' consumption.

(c) The additional fuel receiving facilities currently being constructed by the oil companies at Kai Tak comprise the new fuel tank mentioned in (b) above and a second dolphin for off-loading fuel from barges. Construction of the new dolphin was due to commence in September 1995 but has been delayed due to objections raised by a utility company, which has expressed concern that the works may affect a submarine gas pipe. Discussions are under way between the companies concerned to resolve the matter.

End

29

Court's interpretation of "owner" under HOS property ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Bruce Liu Sing-lee and a written reply by the Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In the judgment in M.P. 3630 of 1994 (Chan Chi Hung and Law Lai Wan vs Tse Ying Piu and Wong Yin Lai Flavia) (the "said judgment") delivered in September 1995, the judge interpreted paragraph (a) of the Schedule to the Housing Ordinance, Cap 283 to mean that an owner of a Home Ownership Scheme Property ("HOS Property") shall have "first paid to the Authority the amount of the premium" before completing the sale of the property to a new purchaser. That is to say, such owner cannot use the proceeds of sale to pay the premium to the Authority. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether the administration accepts the reality which is that an owner of HOS property would sell his property and concurrently on completion of his sale pay the premium to the Authority from the proceeds of such sale; and

(b) if so, in order to remove any doubt cast by the said judgment, whether the Administration intends to amend the Schedule to the Housing Ordinance?

Answer:

Mr President,

When a Home Ownership Scheme (IIOS) flat is sold, it is common practice for the purchaser's solicitor to send the assignment document and the sale proceeds to the vendor's solicitor, subject to an undertaking that the vendor will pay the premium to the Housing Authority before the completion of the sale. The assignment takes effect only after payment of the premium. In this way, the vendor can cover the required premium payment from the sale proceeds. The use of this form of transaction is subject to mutual agreement between the vendor and the purchaser.

The requirement for payment of premium under the Schedule is clear, and solicitors have generally not encountered difficulties in handling the sale of HOS flats either before or after the court case mentioned.

Find

30

Reference date for expenditure guideline projections ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Sin Chung-kai and a written reply by the Secretary for the Treasury Kwong Ki-chi, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It is mentioned in the "Practitioner's Guide - Management of Public Finances" published in March 1995 by the Finance Branch that the reference date for expenditure guideline projections is 1990-91 and that the expenditure ceiling for 1990-91 has been used to determine the expenditure guideline projections for subsequent years. Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the criteria adopted for choosing 1990-91 as the "reference date" for expenditure guideline projections; and

(b) whether a new reference date for the 1996-97 expenditure guideline projection will be adopted; if so, how many expenditure guideline projections will be covered by this new reference date?

Reply:

The government has for many years followed the fundamental principle that government expenditure, over time, should be planned to grow at a rate no faster than the forecast trend growth rate of the economy measured in terms of the Gross Domestic Product. This broad working hypothesis was reinforced with the introduction of the Medium Range Forecast in 1986-87. From that time, the additional resources which could be made available each year to fund new/improved government services was controlled by reference to the forecast trend growth rate of GDP. However, at that time there were no formal overall expenditure guidelines.

In 1990, given the substantial infrastructural investment planned over a number of years, particularly in connection with the Airport Core Programme, and the need to assure ourselves that this investment could be accommodated without breaching the principle of controlling expenditure referred to above, the Financial Secretary adopted a fixed reference point for the purpose of planning future government expenditure. This fixed reference point was based on projected spending in 1990-91 and was used to determine the expenditure guidelines for 1991-92. These guidelines were published, for the first time, in the printed version of the Budget speech in March 1992.

31

Since that time, the expenditure guidelines have been rolled forward each year to take account of -

(i) the forecast trend growth rate of GDP;

(ii) the effect of price changes; and

(iii) changes in the scope of government activities (for example the guidelines have been reduced to reflect the creation of government trading funds, the expenditure on which ceases to be a charge on the General Revenue Account).

The expenditure guidelines for 1996-97 have been prepared on this same basis. There is no intention, at this time, to adopt a new reference date in calculating the expenditure guidelines for future years.

End

Complaints on withholding imported workers’ visas

*****

Following is a question by the Hon l.au Chin-shek and w written reply by the Secretary for Security. Mr Peter Lai, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It was reported that on 18 December last year more than 30 imported workers employed by a construction and transportation company lodged a complaint with the police about the withholding of their Chinese passports by a labour service company. Before the police has informed the workers concerned of the results of the investigation, the labour service company has intimated recently that the passports of these workers are already kept in Guangzhou. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) how the police will handle complaints from imported workers about the withholding of their passports by labour service companies (including those operated by people from mainland China and those operated by Hong Kong people);

32

(b) whether the police will institute legal proceedings against labour service companies or individuals following investigations that the labour service companies or individuals concerned are found to have withheld the passports of imported workers; and

(c) what measures does the Government have to assist those imported workers whose passports are being withheld in mainland China so that they can return to their homes as early as possible?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) Upon receipt of complaints from imported workers about the withholding of their passports by labour service companies, irrespective of their country of origin, the Police will investigate to ascertain if any criminal offence has been committed. Where necessary, the Police will also liaise through established channels with the appropriate authorities in the country of origin of the workers or the companies concerned.

(b) The fact that a person may be holding another person's passport does not necessarily mean that a criminal offence has been committed. There are, however, certain specific charges that can be considered where the circumstances justify, such as possession of unlawfully obtained travel document under Section 42(2)(c)(i) of the Immigration Ordinance, or being a money lender demanding or accepting the passport as security for a loan contrary to Section 29(5) of the Moneylenders Ordinance. The Police will decide whether to institute legal proceedings against the labour service companies concerned depending upon the merits of the case, and may if necessary seek advice from the Attorney General's Chambers.

(c) When necessary the Immigration Department, in consultation with the Labour Department, will liaise with the relevant authorities in China through established channels to assist those imported workers who do not have valid travel documents with them, with the aim of facilitating their return to China.

End

33

’’Shenzhen - Hong Kong convergence" concept ♦ ♦ * * *

Following is a question by the Hon Allen Lee Peng-fei and a written reply by the Financial Secretary, the Hon Donald Tsang, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The economic development and people’s livelihood between Hong Kong and the Shenzhen and Zhuhai Special Economic Zones in Guangdong Province in China are becoming increasingly closer, and there are reports that the officials in Shenzhen have drawn up a proposal on economic co-operation between Shenzhen and Hong Kong advocating the so-called "Shenzhen - Hong Kong convergence" concept. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:

(a) it is aware of the details of the above-mentioned proposal and whether it knows of the "Shenzhen-Hong Kong convergence" concept; if so, whether the Government has discussed the proposal with the Chinese officials; and

(b) it has discussed the comprehensive and long-term economic co-operation between I long Kong and Shenzhen/Zhuhai with the officials in Shenzhen and Zhuhai or other Chinese officials; if so, what are the details?

Reply:

The Hong Kong Government has not received any report or proposal from the Chinese side on the subject of "Shenzhen - Hong Kong convergence", nor has the subject been raised with us by Chinese officials. No discussion of such a report has taken place between the Government and (he Chinese side.

We believe it is essential to maintain a high level of economic co-operation between Hong Kong and the neighbouring regions in Guangdong Province. We pursue this fully. For example, the Hong Kong Government plays an active part in developing the border liaison network with relevant authorities in Guangdong Province. More recently, the Infrastructure Co-ordinating Committee (ICC), brings together senior officials on both sides to co-ordinate the development of cross-border road, bridge, marine channel and railway projects, as well as air traffic control and airspace management in the Pearl River Della. However, there has been no focused discussion on comprehensive and long-term economic co-operation between Hong Kong and Shenzhen/Zhuhai.

34

We remain committed to strengthening economic ties between Hong Kong and neighbouring regions in Guangdong Province, while leaving our private sector to identify and pursue the commercial opportunities. We are always willing to consider any new proposals for improving bilateral economic links, which are consistent with the principle of ’’one country, two systems” and with Hong Kong’s status as a separate customs territory. Given the spirit of the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law and our international commitment to the World Trade Organisation, Hong Kong's economic relationship with Shenzhen/Zhuhai, Guangdong or the rest of China should be one of mutual benefit, pursued on the basis of separate economic systems and policies.

End

"Pre-recorded” telephone enquiry service *****

Following is a question by the Hon Chan Kam-lam and a written reply by the Chief Secretary, the Hon Anson Chan, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council :

(a) whether the ’’pre-recorded” telephone enquiry service currently provided by various government departments in Cantonese and English will also be provided in Putonghua, so as to facilitate members of the public, particularly the elderly and new immigrants, to use this service;

(b) whether the government will consider training telephone operators or personnel responsible for answering telephone enquiries to use Putonghua; and

(c) of the estimated additional costs that will be incurred annually in providing such service?

35

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) Many departments have recognised the need to improve their telephone enquiry systems to meet the needs of the public, particularly the elderly and new immigrants. At present there are eight computerised telephone enquiry systems which provide services in Putonghua. These include the Department of Health (on Aids counselling and pharmaceutical services), the Social Welfare, Regional Services, Labour, Census and Statistics and Civil Aviation Departments and the Office of the Telecommunications Authority. The Rating and Valuation and the Education Departments also plan to introduce Putonghua to their computerised telephone enquiry system during 1996.

Other departments which have a major interface with the public such as the Immigration, Legal Aid, Water Supplies and Customs and Excise Departments are also considering introducing this service in future.

(b) Training courses on handling telephone calls in Putonghua are being provided by the Government to personnel responsible for answering telephone enquiries.

(c) Where a computerised telephone enquiry system exists, the additional cost of adding Putonghua as a language is not substantial, although this does vary depending on the complexity of the programming work involved.

End

Pilot scheme to bring professionals from China *****

Following is a question by the Hon Leung Yiu-chung and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The Government launched a pilot scheme in March 1994 under which 1,000 employment visas are to be issued to bring in professionals from China to fill professional and managerial vacancies in non-Chinese funded firms in the territory. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:

36

(a) the Government has assessed if the scheme has impeded the training of local professionals and their career development;

(b) any corresponding interim and long-term policies have been formulated since the introduction of the pilot scheme to train up local professionals with a view to abolishing the scheme at a later date; and

(c) consideration will be given to reviewing the scheme as soon as the number of employment visas issued has reached a level of 50% of the quota under the Scheme?

Reply:

Mr President,

As regards part (a) of the question, the pilot scheme to bring in professionals from China is strictly restricted to those who possess special qualifications and experience of China which are in demand, but not readily available in Hong Kong. All employers wishing to apply for quota under the scheme are required to establish and substantiate their need for a particular professional from China and each application is carefully scrutinised by the Immigration Department before deciding whether it should be approved.

As of 31 January 1996, 688 out of the 1,000 quotas allocated have been approved for which 374 employment visas have been approved. It is not likely that the small number of such professionals who have so far entered Hong Kong for employment, will have any impact on the training and career prospect of the local professionals.

As regards parts (b) and (c) of the question, the pilot scheme is a limited extension to the existing policy on the entry of overseas professionals who possess special skill, knowledge or experience of value to but not readily available in Hong Kong. Whether the pilot scheme should continue depends on the local demand and supply of such professionals from China. In view of the slow take-up and utilisation rate of the quotas under the pilot scheme, we will closely monitor the progress and conduct a review as and when a sufficiently large number, say 75% of the visas have been approved.

End

37

Government departments to bear own postal cost * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

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

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether government departments will be required to stamp all letters sent out as from 1 April this year; if so, whether the new arrangement will cause extra work to government departments;

(b) if the answer to (a) is in the affirmative, will the Government provide a breakdown by department of the estimated increase in expenditure on staff cost in the financial year 1996/97 arising from the introduction of the arrangement mentioned in (a) above?

Reply:

(a) Government departments are required to pay individually for their own postage with effect from 1 April 1996 under the Post Office Trading Fund operation. The purpose is to reflect the true cost of the postal service used by government departments and to introduce a financial discipline on them to economise on the use of such services. This, however, does not mean that they have to affix stamps to every letter they send. Same as for the private sector, apart from using stamps to pay for postage, government departments can use franking machines to frank postage or post letters vide the Prepayment In Money or Permit Mailing systems. These arrangements, which are designed to meet the needs of business and bulk posters, obviate the need for affixing stamps.

(b) Given the availability of alternative means for paying postage, we envisage that only a very small proportion of letters sent by government departments would need to be affixed with stamps. The workload involved would be minimal and can be coped with by existing staff of all departments.

End

38

Rental allowance to District Board members to be introduced

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Ambrose Lau and a written reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It is mentioned in the Policy Commitments published by the Government last year that an accountable office rental allowance of $4,500 will be introduced to assist District Board members to set up ward offices in their constituencies so that they could discharge their duties more effectively. Will the Administration inform this Council -

(a) of the effective date of the introduction of the allowance;

(b) whether the Administration agrees with the prevalent view of District Board members that the amount of the allowance is insufficient for such purpose;

(c) whether the Administration will consider raising the allowance to a more realistic amount to achieve the intended purpose;

(d) whether maximum flexibility will be allowed in the use of the allowance so that its intended purpose can be achieved; and

(e) whether the procedural steps for the disbursement of ihe allowance will be kept to a minimum?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) We intend to submit a proposal for introducing a new Office Rental Allowance for District Board members to the Finance Committee on 8 March 1996. Subject to Finance Committee's approval, the allowance will be payable to District Board members from 1 April 1996.

39

(b) The allowance is intended to assist District Board members to set up and maintain ward offices to enable them to discharge their duties in relation to District Board business more effectively. The amount of $4,500 was worked out on the basis of a survey conducted in 1995 which established that the rent for an office of 30 square metres ranged from $5,000 for offices in public housing estates to $9,000 for those in commercial buildings. An average rental of $7,000 was thus considered a reasonable ceiling. Given that a rental element equivalent to $2,500 is already included in the existing honorarium for District Board members, this new office rental allowance has been set at $4,500 per month.

(c) The amount is considered reasonable. Subject to the approval of Finance Committee, the allowance will be revised annually.

(d) We intend that recipients of the new allowance will be able to use it against rental costs as well as other office maintenance costs including rates, management charges and utilities expenses. District Board members may also pool their allowance to run joint offices. We consider this approach to be one which will give District Board members maximum flexibility in determining how they choose to spend their office rental allowance.

(e) The allowance will be accountable and tax-exempted. District Board members will have to provide supporting documentation when claiming reimbursement. This procedure will be simple and straightforward.

End

Traffic flow after Western I larbour Crossing opening * * * ♦*

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Huang Chen-ya and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport Mr Haider Barma, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The Western Harbour Crossing (WHC) is scheduled to be completed and open to traffic in 1997. The increased traffic flow arising from the opening of the WHC will bring a heavy burden on the narrow roads in the Central and Western District. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council:

40

(a) of the anticipated increase in traffic and pedestrian flow in the District after the opening of the WHC; and

(b) whether there are any road and footpath improvement projects to tie in with the opening of the WHC; if so, what progress has been made to date, and whether these projects will be completed on time?

Reply:

Mr President,

Whilst the opening of the Western Harbour Crossing (WHC) is not expected to result in any significant increase in traffic in Central District, there will be an increase in through traffic in Western District. At present, an average of about 55,000 vehicles a day travel through Western District with peak hourly flows of 4,000 vehicles in the morning and 4,200 in the afternoon. This is forecast to increase to 74,000 vehicles with peak hourly flows of 5,400 in the morning and 5,600 in the afternoon. We do not expect the WCH to have any adverse impact on pedestrian flow.

To cope with the increase in traffic, seven road improvement projects, with suitable pedestrian facilities, are in hand. Five will be completed in 1996 and the remaining two before mid 1997. Details are provided in the Annex.

Annex

(1) Belcher Bay Link

Progress remains good and the scheduled completion date is September 1996

(2) Rock Hill Street Extension and associated traffic management measures

Work is on schedule with completion in July 1996.

(3) Smithfield Extension

Work is proceeding at full speed. The scheduled completion date is June 1997

41

(4) Victoria Road ImpiQyemept Stagg 2 phase 1

Under construction with scheduled completion date in November 1997.

Improvement works on carriageway will be completed by mid-1997.

(5) Junction of Victoria Road/Cadogan Street Widening

Upon partial termination of the tenancy affected, works will commence in August 1996. The scheduled completion date is December 1996.

(6) Pedestrian $ubway_.aQ_d junction improvements at

Pok Fu Lam Road/Pokfield Road

Work is in hand and the scheduled completion date is June 1996.

(7) Pok Fu Lum Road Widening-- Stagg-V

Work is in hand and the scheduled completion date is September 1996.

End

Attendance record of UK Museum of Art

*****

Following is a question by Dr the Hon David Li Kwok-po and a written reply by the Secretary for Recreation and Culture, Mr T H Chau, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In order to boost public attendance at the Hong Kong Museum of Art (the Museum) and enhance the public’s appreciation of the art treasures on display in the Museum, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the attendance record of the Museum in the past three years:

(b) whether the Government will consider allowing groups to tour the Museum free of charge;

42

(c) whether additional provision will be allocated for the launching of publicity campaigns to publicise the Museum's activities; and

(d) whether the Museum will establish closer ties with its counterparts in overseas countries, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and arrange the loan of exhibits from these overseas organisations to add variety to its own exhibits?

Reply:

I am replying on behalf of the Urban Council.

Concerning the first part of the question, the attendance record of the Hong Kong Museum of Art in the past three years is as follows:-

Year 1222 1224 1995

Attendance 155,000 147,000 143,000

These figures do not include attendance at the Flagstaff House Museum of Teawarc in the Hong Kong Park, where part of the Museum's collection of Chinese tea wares and antiquities are on display, or attendance at educational and extension activities organised by the Museum. The attendance record of the Flagstaff House Museum of Teaware and educational and extension activities in the past three years is set out below:-

Attendance

Ygar leawgre Museum Educational & Extension Activities

1993 224.000 16,000

1994 185.000 27,000

1995 173.000 38,000

43

As regards the second part of the question, the Urban Council at present charges $10 for normal admission and $5 for admission by the disabled, students and senior citizens aged 60 or over. To attract more visitors to the Museum, the Urban Council has implemented a number of incentive schemes. These are:

(a) A 30% group discount for groups of 20 visitors or more, for both normal and concessionary admission.

(b) An annua! museum pass for unlimited admission to Council's four main museums (Art. History. Space and Science) at $100 for normal admission and $50 for concessionary admission. A 50% discount is offered for museum pass purchased after 1 October as they are only valid for six months.

(c) A group pass which admits four visitors but is valid for one visit only. The pass is calculated at the normal rate for the admission of two and is $20 each.

(d) A monthly pass, mainly targeted at tourists, at $50 each and is valid for one month from the date of issue. A 10% discount is offered to holders of the pass at all museums' shops and the Council's publication centres.

(e) For pre-booked group visits of 20 people or more, the group leader is admitted free and a free guided tour is given by docents trained by the Museum.

The Urban Council is currently examining ways and means to further popularise museum facilities, particularly those of the Hong Kong Museum of An.

Regarding the third part of the question, publicity for museum activities is an ongoing effort of the Urban Council's Public Information Unit and a variety of methods are used. These include issuing press releases and feature articles to the electronic and print media, placing advertisements for major exhibitions in newspapers and magazines, advertising packages at MTR stations. Star Ferry Approaches, on TV stations and radios, arranging press conferences and previews of exhibitions for the media and inviting the mass media to attend opening ceremonies of exhibitions. In addition, the Museum produces posters, handouts, exhibition catalogues, and souvenirs to help publicise special events. As part of the Urban Council's current exercise to formulate a 5 Year Plan for the museum services, the need for additional publicity will certainly be examined.

44

Finally, on the question of maintaining closer ties with overseas museums, since the opening of the Museum of Art in Tsim Sha Tsui in November 1991, the Museum has jointly organised 18 major exhibitions with museums and institutions in Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. The Museum will continue to maintain an international character in its exhibition programmes.

End

Manpower resources for transport-related studies

*****

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Samuel Wong Ping-wai and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In regard to the manpower resources required for various transport-related studies (such as the Bus-only-lane Study, the Freight Transport Study and the Parking Demand Study) being carried out by the Transport Department, will the Government inform this Council :

(a) whether the existing establishment of professional staff in the Transport Department is adequate to handle the extra workload arising from the above studies;

(b) if the answer to (a) is in the negative, whether additional staff have been or will be recruited; if so, what are the details; and

(c) whether a forecast has been made of the additional manpower resources required for implementing the recommendations of the studies; if so, what are the details?

45

Reply:

Mr President,

Of the three studies mentioned, the Freight Transport Study and the Parking Demand Study have been completed with the assistance of consultants under the management of Transport Department. These studies are being examined by the Administration.

The Bus Only Lane Study will also be assigned to consultants who will assist in evaluating and designing bus-only lanes and implementing recommended schemes. Transport Department is now preparing a consultancy brief and the Study is scheduled to commence in August this year. A special team comprising a Senior Engineer, an Engineer and one Senior Transport Officer, has been set up through the temporary redeployment of staff. Funds have been sought for the creation of these posts :n the 1996/97 estimates.

Two other important studies will also commence later this year. These arc the Third Comprehensive Transport Study (CTS-3) and the Electronic Road Pricing Feasibility Study. While the former will be undertaken using existing departmental resources, the latter will require the creation of a dedicated project team comprising professional engineering and technical staff. Funds have also been sought in the 1996/97 estimates for this purpose.

The longer term manpower resources that may be required for implementing the recommendations of the various studies will be considered when specific action plans are drawn up.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, February 15, 1996

Contents Ra&e No.

Transcript of the Governor’s media session ................................ 1

Report on Fei Tsui Road landslide released................................. 5

Package tour accident contingency fund scheme.............................. 6

Access code to be extended................................................. 8

Government statement on unauthorised building works in NT.................. 9

Substantial progress on anti-drug actions................................. 10

Domestic export statistics by industrial origin........................... 10

Study on inner harbour waves commissioned............................. 13

Works contract for explosives complex awarded............................. 14

Third District Board by-election scheduled................................ 14

Tender for second issue of 7-Year exchange fund notes................. 15

Importation of fireworks warned........................................... 17

Tunnels to remain open during Lunar New Year holiday.................. 18

Welfare payment arrangement for Lunar New Year holidays................... 19

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

1

Transcript of the Governor's media session *****

Following is the transcript of the media session given by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, after visiting PS 33 of the Hong Kong.Christian Service, this (Thursday) afternoon:

Governor: Good afternoon. I'm delighted to have been able to visit PS 33 run by the Hong Kong Christian Service today. It's one of the major providers of counselling services for those who are abusing psychotropic substances and that has unfortunately been a growing problem among young people in Hong Kong. It's one of the more damaging parts of the drug problem that we are trying to address and that we have been trying to address more vigorously since my drug summit last March. We think the job that PS 33 is doing is a first-class one. We'll be providing them with more resources in 1996-97 to do their job and we'll be opening a centre in the western New Territories for counselling psychotropic substance abusers. So I think that underlines our commitment to help this extremely important work. Today, we are publishing the third quarterly report on the progress that we've made with the schemes that we launched at my drug summit last year. And you'll see from that the very substantial achievements that we've notched up so far. But obviously there are still much to do. So we'll be holding a further drug summit in May, on May 23, when we can review progress during the first year, when we can see what we've achieved and when we can look at other things that are required and that the community will expect us to give priority to. Before then, we'll be going to the Finance Committee of LegCo with a bid for $350 million for our beat-drugs fund to support a range of new projects and development of existing projects which can all play a part in the campaign to beat drugs. It remains one of our foremost priorities. As I've said before, we want to stop Hong Kong being hit in the same way that other communities have been. We've got a difficult problem at the moment, but it's containable, and what we need to do is to drive the figures down and to make sure that everybody is united in trying to beat drugs. It's one of the most important things that we can do to ensure our young generation doesn't suffer in the way that the young are suffering in other communities.

Question: Legislators have complained that the meeting between them and John Major will be held behind closed doors. They're saying that it should be held in open. What is your comment...?

Governor: I don't think that many legislators have made that complaint. Which ones are you thinking of?

Question: There are several referred to.

2

Governor: Well. I think that one or two may have said that. But I think overwhelmingly legislators are delighted that the Prime Minister is coming to Hong Kong and very pleased that he's quite properly giving them a good deal of his time while he's in Hong Kong, to listen to what they've got to say and to answer their questions. The Foreign Secretary is the departmental minister with direct responsibility for Hong Kong. He therefore thought it was right to go down to the Legislative Council and I think for the first time to answer their questions in the open. I think that was an important development. Prime Minister is in a different situation. But he'll of course be holding a press conference so that all of you can ask him questions with your usual severity.

Question: Was Mr Major taking precautions against any potential embarrassment that occurred in Rifkind's appearance in LegCo...?

Governor: I don't think there was any embarrassment. If, as happens with any British Prime Minister, you spend two question times every week answering questions from members of parliament, I can assure you that the last thing you're concerned about is appearing in front of legislators.

Question: What do you hope Major's visit will achieve? Do you think it is mainly symbolic...? Or perhaps we can get some clarifications on matters such as right of abode...?

Governor: I very much hope first of all that it will give Mr Major the opportunity of updating himself on what we've achieved in Hong Kong and what we still need to achieve. He'll of course have been from the previous couple of days at the summit in Bangkok at which European Union leaders and Asian leaders will be discussing the future relationship between Europe and Asia and I'm sure that he'll take to that meeting some pretty firm views about Hong Kong and that he'll want to tell people when he comes to Hong Kong some of the things which have been said about the overall Asia-Europe relationship at that meeting. I think he will also want to hear for himself the views of people in Hong Kong on issues like visa-free access for SAR passport holders. He'll want to address Hong Kong on some of the economic problems that we've got to tackle and some of the challenges that lie ahead. He'll want to talk about Hong Kong in the context of what's happening in the region as a whole and I'm sure that he'll regard his days in Hong Kong as being well spent and as having contributed to his experience because the British Government will have to continue taking decisions about Hong Kong over the next 500 days. But I'm sure that he will also want to make it absolutely clear that his interest and the British Government's interest in Hong Kong doesn't end on the June 30, 1997, but continues into the indefinite future.

3

Question: Will Mr Major bring along any presents to the community with the message that the Cabinet will grant visa-free to SAR passports as taking the lead?

Governor: I said in reply to an earlier question that I'm sure he'll want to hear the views of the community on that issue. You know what my views are, I've told him what my views are. I very much hope that the British Government takes my views, those of legislators, those of businessmen, and those of the whole community very seriously.

Question: Mr Governor, returning to the Pat Sin Leng fire disaster. The whole community is closely concerned about the progress of the treatment to those injured students. But, today there has been reporting concerning the misco-ordination between the two teaching hospitals. The Queen Mary Hospital has a huge reserve of skin-bank, but at the same time, the Prince of Wales Hospital is urging the public to donate skin to those students and the students are suffering unnecessary pain and suffering with the transplanting of their own skin to cover those wounds. How would the Government monitor about that?

Governor: Well, neither you nor I are medical experts. And I would be reluctant to be as explicit as you've just been about the treatment which patients are receiving. Clearly all of us want to ensure that the patients get the best possible treatment over the coming days and weeks and months. And I can assure you that the Hospital Authority and the Secretary for Health and Welfare and the Director of Health will be doing all that they can to ensure that the resources available to the health service in Hong Kong are focused on ensuring that those young people get the support which the community expects them to receive, and which their families deserve. I would just add one other thing. Clearly there are issues of legitimate public interest in what happened last weekend. My own greatest concern is that the families of those who suffered and those who suffered and are now in hospital should not be caused unnecessary worry and anguish by the pressure which is put on some of them, by those who want to find out more about what's been going on. I'll be restrained at that point and won't go any further. But I do hope that everybody will remember that all our principal concern should be with the recovery of the patients and the well-being, mental and physical as well as financial, of their families.

Question: Can Government reassure those sad families of the injured that there will be proper management about the medical treatment given to the students and there won't be any mismanagement?

Governor: Of course.

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Question: ... Should Mr Major meet the legislators in public?

Governor: I've answered that question which is not one of very considerable public controversy or interest in Hong Kong. I've answered it at least twice. And I don't think I've got anything else to add. I'm delighted that Mr Major will be spending an hour or more with legislators. I think it's entirely appropriate to do it in the way that he is proposed. I don't believe it is an issue of substantial controversy in the Legislative Council. I've heard Legislative Councillors themselves say that the most important thing is that he's talking to the Legislative Councillors and answering Legislative Councillors' questions. And I really think it's probably important to get on and talk about real issues rather than to make up controversies where they don't exist.

Question: With five hundred days to go to the change of sovereignty, do you think we should approach certain things in a different way? Is there anything we should do?

Governor: I've been in Hong Kong, we've worked it out, for almost three times as long as there is still to go until June 30, 1997. I've been here I think just over 1,300 days and I think that the messages which are appropriate to the next 500 days are rather similar to the ones that I've been uttering and others have been uttering for the last 1,300. I'm sure that Hong Kong's system will survive so long as people in Hong Kong want it to survive, so long as we're true to ourselves and true to our values and true to all those things that have created the way of life here which is at one on the same time successful, stable and decent. So long as we do those things, Hong Kong will be a success story after 1997 and even greater success story than it is today. So in that spirit, I wish you all a very happy 500 days. More particularly I wish you a very happy year of the Rat during which I trust that you'll have an enjoyable time and that Hong Kong will have an enjoyable time as well. Thank you very much indeed.

Question: Governor, will Mr Major meet any Chinese officials in Hong Kong during his visit?

Governor: I don't think that arrangements for his visit have been finalised. But I don't think there're any particular intentions. He will be wanting to spend as much time as possible meeting Executive Councillors, Legislative Councillors, business and community leaders and seeing as much of Hong Kong as he can.

Question: Do you think he may have met some Chinese officials to talk about Hong Kong while he is in Bangkok?

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Governor: Well, I think you better probably address that question either to number 10 Downing Street or the Foreign Office. Well, I’m sure you'll have a very full, comprehensive, honest, straight forward answer. Thank you.

End

Report on Fei Tsui Road landslide released *****

The Goetechnical Engineering Office (GEO) today (Thursday) released a report on the investigation into the landslide which occurred at Fei Tsui Road, Chai Wan. on August 13 last year.

Elaborating on details of the investigation, head of GEO, Dr Andrew Malone, said the landslide was caused by the presence of an extensive clay seam and a rise of groundwater pressure on the layer following a prolonged period of heavy rainfall.

The report, comprising Volume 1 and Volume II, contains respectively the views and observations of an independent reviewer, Sir John Knill, and the findings of a comprehensive investigation by GEO into the incident.

"The contents of Volume II was reviewed and agreed by Sir John," Dr Malone

noted.

Dr Malone said he agreed with Sir John's view on the need to recognise adverse geological structures in volcanic rock cuttings.

"Although this matter was already referred to in GEO guidance documents, greater attention to such adverse geology was essential," he said.

Dr Malone also pointed out that tests had been undertaken to detect possible leakage from the salt water service reservoir and the water mains at the crest of slope to the west of the landslide site.

"Although there were signs of contamination of the ground and groundwater by chloride, indicating some long term leakage, there was no evidence of gross leakage having contributed to the triggering of the landslide.

6

"The Government is mindful of the potential adverse effects of leakage from water-carrying services and the Works Branch has formed an inter-departmental committee to look into measures of reducing this risk," he said.

Copies of the report are available at the Reception Counter of the Civil Engineering Department, ground floor. Civil Engineering Building. 101 Princess Margaret Road, Ho Man Tin, Kowloon.

End

Package tour accident contingency fund scheme

* * ♦ * *

Outbound travellers on package tours (and/or their representatives) who were killed or injured in accidents while touring abroad will be provided with financial assistance under a package tour accident contingency fund scheme with effect from tomorrow (Friday).

The Chairman of the Travel Industry Compensation Fund (TICF) Management Board, Dr James Kung, today (Thursday) announced that the Management Board had made rules to provide for the setting up of the scheme.

The Management Board, appointed by the Governor to hold, manage and apply the Fund, has agreed that the ambit of TICF should be widened to cover the funding of the scheme.

The rules made pursuant to section 32G of the Travel Agents Ordinance are Travel Industry Compensation Fund (Amount of Ex gratia Payments and Financial Penalty) (Amendment) Rules 1996 and Travel Industry Compensation Fund (Procedure for Ex gratia Payments) (Amendment) Rules 1996.

The purpose of the contingency fund scheme is to provide financial assistance in the form of ex gratia payments to outbound travellers on package tours (and/or their representatives) who were killed or injured in accidents while touring abroad.

In order to be eligible for assistance under the scheme, travellers have to produce franked outbound fare receipts to show payment of the fund levy. Outbound travellers are therefore advised to leave their original receipts with relatives in Hong Kong and bring along photocopies of the receipts with them.

7

The ex gratia payments will cover medical expenses reasonably incurred in the relevant territory, trip expenses of victims' representatives, and expenses for cremation or returning the dead body or ashes in a case where the accident results in the death of the outbound traveller.

The maximum amount payable to an outbound traveller (and/or his representative) is $ 180,000.

As at January 31, the Fund has accumulated $192 million assets. The assessment is that it should be adequate to meet its liabilities arising from defaults of travel agents and the projected outlay under the contingency fund scheme.

Dr Kung said: "the provision of ex-gratia payments to outbound travellers under the contingency fund scheme is expected to complement, but not replace, insurance coverage for both outbound travellers and the travel agents.

"Both outbound travellers and travel agents are still encouraged to take out their own insurance policies to protect themselves.

"Having consulted the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong and the Advisory Committee on Travel Agents, the Management Board has agreed that all activities in a package tour including those which are of dangerous nature should be covered by the contingency fund scheme.

"In the event of a package tour accident happened abroad, the travel agent concerned will provide emergency services to its clients and then co-ordinate applications of its clients for assistance from the TICF.

"The Government will process the applications submitted by outbound travellers. It is hoped that clients of travel agents will be afforded better protection after the implementation of scheme."

The Amendment Rules will come into effect upon its gazettal on February 16.

End

8

Access code to be extended *****

The Government today (Thursday) announced that a further 18 branches and departments would come under the Code on Access to Information on February 26.

This will bring to a total of 75 out of the 90 government agencies covered by the Code.

A spokesman for the Efficiency Unit of the Government Secretariat reiterated that the Administration remained committed to extend the Code to all branches and departments by the end of this year.

He said: "The full text of the Code is now published on the Internet, together with the full internal guidelines to departments on how they should interpret and apply the Code, and contact details for all departmental Access to Information Officers.

’’Anyone who wishes to see this material can do so at the World-Wide Web Government Information Centre on http://www.info.gov.hk. The ’Access to Government Information' pages can be found by clicking on 'Topical Information’ on the Government Information Centre front page."

Since the Code was first introduced on a trial basis last March, there has been a total of 652 requests for access to information. Of these, 24 have been rejected, and 18 partially declined.

Three complaints of non-compliance have been made to the Commissioner for Administrative Complaints, of which one was found to be unsubstantiated and the investigation of another was discontinued when the agency concerned decided of its own volition to release the information at issue. The remaining complaint is still under investigation.

The 18 Government agencies to be added to the Code are:

Civil Aviation Department

Economic Services Branch

Education and Manpower Branch

Electrical and Mechanical Services Department

Finance Branch

Health and Welfare Branch

flong Kong Monetary Authority

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Housing Department

Inland Revenue Department

Intellectual Property Department

Registries of all Courts and Tribunals within the Judiciary and the Judiciary Administrator’s Office Labour Department Legal Aid Department

New Airport Project Co-ordination Office

Office of the Commission of Insurance Planning, Environment and Lands Branch Security Branch

I iniversily Grants Committee Secretariat

End

Government statement on unauthorised building works in NT *****

The Government broadly agrees with the conclusions of the report of the Office of the Commissioner for Adminstrativc Complaints (COMAC) on unauthorised building works in New Territories Exempted Houses.

The Adminstration would nevertheless need to study the report and examine the implications in detail, particularly on staff resources, of implementing the recommendations.

Unauthorised building works in the New Territories are not neglected. The Lands Department is responsible for lease enforcement work and the Director of Land accords equal priority to dealing with unauthorised building works in New Territories Exempted Houses and unauthorised building works in multi-storey buildings and takes lease enforcement work against misuse of buildings in the New Territories. The Buildings Department is responsible for enforcement action on breaches of the Building Ordinance and serious cases of unauthorised building works.

Ihe Government agrees with COMAC that villagers in the New Territories should have a clearer understanding of the government policy of non-tolerance of unauthorised building works in New Territories Exempted Houses and will step up publicity in this regard accordingly.

End

10

Substantial progress on anti-drug actions

*****

The Government has made good progress on the two anti-drug action plans which resulted from the Governor's Summit Meeting on Drugs in March last year, the third quarterly progress report, covering the period from October 1 to December 31, revealed today (Thursday),.

The major achievements in the quarter covered by the report are:

* the Customs and Excise Department has set up a new team to implement controls on precursor chemicals(used in the illicit manufacture of drugs). The new control system commenced on January 1;

* Education Department has revised and improved the assistance package to every residential drug treatment agency to provide education for their clients;

* the video targeted at parents on the handling of drug problems among their children has been produced; and

* the new team of six specially trained social workers to help young abusers has started operation in October last year as scheduled.

End

Domestic export statistics by industrial origin

*****

The four major industries of textiles; wearing apparel; machinery, equipment, apparatus, parts and components; and consumer electrical and electronic products together accounted for 69% of 1 long Kong's total domestic exports of manufactured goods in 1995, according to statistics released today (Thursday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

In 1995, domestic exports of machinery, equipment, apparatus, parts and components increased significantly, by 24% over a year earlier to $39.6 billion. Those of wearing apparel increased by 3% to $42.3 billion.

On the other hand, domestic exports of textiles and consumer electrical and electronic products both decreased by 3% to $45.7 billion and $31.6 billion respectively.

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As for other industries, significant absolute increases in the value of domestic exports were also recorded for chemicals and chemical products (+839 million or +11%); professional and optical equipment (+$797 million or +5%); basic metals and fabricated metal products (+$774 million or +9%); and paper and paper products (+$643 million or +8%).

For the industry of petroleum and coal products, although the change in absolute value was not as large, a marked percentage increase of 37% was recorded.

On the other hand, a notable absolute decrease in the value of domestic exports was recorded for non-metallic mineral products (-$222 million or -31%).

For the industry of footwear, although the change in absolute value was not as large, a marked percentage decrease of 59% was recorded.

The above statistics of domestic exports classified by industrial origin are derived by re-grouping the merchandise export items originally grouped under the external trade classification system according to the industries in which these merchandise items are normally produced. Transactions in gold and specie are excluded.

The industrial classification used is the Hong Kong Standard Industrial Classification (HSIC). HSIC is to be distinguished from the United Nations Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) used in the regular trade statistics reports.

In comparison, HSIC is more related to production processes whereas SITC is more geared to end uses of products.

Caution should be taken when referring to these domestic export statistics classified by industrial origin. There may be several intermediate processing stages in the production of certain merchandise export items.

In compiling the above statistics, the total value of such an item has however been wholly related to the industry in which the item is finally produced. The above domestic export statistics of a particular industry' may include products which are secondary products by establishments of other industries.

Further details of merchandise domestic export statistics classified by industrial origin may be found in the attached table which is obtainable from the General Economic Surveys Section of the Census and Statistics Department, Tel 2805 6642.

A table showing more detailed breakdowns of similar statistics for major manufacturing industries is also included in the report "Hong Kong External Trade, December 1995"

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Domestic exports of maiULfatiUgd ZQods classified by industrial origin for 1995

$ million

Industrial origin of the commodities exported Merchandise domestic exports

1995 1994 Value change % change

Food 2,770.0 2,507.7 +262.3 + 10.5

Beverages 718.7 641.4 +77.2 + 12.0

Tobacco manufactures 2,214.5 2,393.7 -179.2 -7.5

Textiles (including knitting) 45,716.7 47,130.6 -1,413.9 -3.0

Wearing apparel, except footwear 42,265.2 41,144.2 + 1,121.1 +2.7

Leather and leather products, except footwear and wearing apparel 1,630.3 1,493.4 + 136.8 + 9.2

Footwear, except rubber, plastic and wooden footwear 75.1 182.7 -107.6 -58.9

Wood and cork products, furniture and fixtures 351.5 377.2 -25.7 -6.8

Paper and paper products, printing and publishing 8,448.6 7,805.7 + 642.8 +8.2

Chemicals and chemical products 8,375.0 7,535.7 +839.3 + 11.1

Products of petroleum and coal 23.0 16.8 + 6.3 +37.4

Rubber products 72.9 110.9 -38.0 -34.3

Plastic products 4,803.2 4,921.8 -118.6 -2.4

Non-metallic mineral products, except products of petroleum and coal 493.2 714.9 -221.8 -31.0

Basic metals and fabricated metal products 9,858.1 9,084.5 +773.6 + 8.5

Machinery, equipment, apparatus, parts and components 39,647.3 32,098.7 ' +7,548.6 +23.5

Consumer electrical and electronic products 31,567.6 32,519.4 -951.8 -2.9

Transport equipment 84.5 83.7 +0.9 + 1.0

Professional and optical equipment 16,803.0 16,005.8 +797.3 + 5.0

Other manufacturing industries 13,290.6 13,881.8 -591.3 -4.3

Total 229,208.9 220,650.6 + 8,558.3 +3.9

Notes: 1. Individual entries of a column may not add up exactly to the corresponding total due to rounding. All percentage changes are calculated from unrounded figures.

2. The statistics presented in the above table are derived by re-grouping the merchandise export items (except gold and specie) under the external trade classification system according to the industries in which these items are normally produced. As from 1992, the Standard International Trade Classification, Revision 3 (SITC R3) has been adopted in place of the Revision 2 (SITC R2) for the classification of trade statistics. The above statistics may not be strictly comparable with those published for earlier years due to the change in trade classification.

General Economic Surveys Section, Census & Statistics Department, Hong Kong.

Tel. : 2805 6642

February 1996

End

13

Study on inner harbour waves commissioned *****

The Civil Engineering Department (CED) today (Thursday) signed a $4.2 million consultancy agreement to commission the University of Hong Kong to conduct a study on inner harbour waves and their reduction.

The consultancy aims to assess the wave conditions in Victoria Harbour and examine types of wave energy dissipating seawalls that can be adopted in Hong Kong, a spokesman for CED said.

"As part of a three-phase study to address the wave agitation problem in the Victoria Harbour, the consultancy study will also identify other short-term and longterm engineering solutions which could effectively ease the problem.

"The second and third phase of the study will entail monitoring and testing on the recommended wave energy dissipating seawalls and detailed design of the seawalls," he added.

Victoria Harbour is in general well sheltered. Under normal weather conditions, wind-generated waves and swells are low and pose no significant problems to the operations of vessels.

However, in recent years, cargo handling, berthing and similar marine activities have become more difficult, and passage of small vessels has become less comfortable in certain parts of the harbour.

"The main cause of the confused sea state was the ship waves generated by the increase of marine traffic. The situation is aggravated by waves reflected from solid vertical seawalls around the harbour," the spokesman said.

Managed by the Civil Engineering Office of CED, the consultancy will commence this month for completion in 12 months.

The consultancy agreement was signed by the Government Civil Engineer, CED, Mr Tam Wing-kwong, and Professor Allen Chwang of the University of Hong Kong.

End

14

Works contract for explosives complex awarded

*****

A $190-million contract for the building, mechanical and electrical works of an explosives complex at Kau Shat Wan, Lantau Island, was awarded to Aoki

Corporation today (Thursday).

The complex, comprising underground rock caverns for the storage of explosives, will replace the existing facilities on Stonecutters Island, said acting Government Civil Engineer (Project Management), Mr Tin Hon-wai, after signing the contract.

"The works will include the construction of buildings and magazines for the storage of explosives, provision of mechanical and electrical facilities and a security system as well as roads and landscaping works.

"Works will commence at the end of this month for completion in mid-1997," he said.

Mr Tin said the construction of the complex had been divided into two contracts: the civil works contract and the building, mechanical and electrical contract.

The civil works contract had been awarded in December 1994. Works are proceeding smoothly and will be completed in mid-1996.

Upon completion, the explosives complex will be managed by the Civil Engineering Department.

End

Third District Board by-election scheduled ♦ * * ♦ *

A by-election to fill a seat qf the Kam Ping constituency of the Eastern District Board will be held on March 31 (Sunday).

This is the third district board by-election scheduled in March.

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The two other by-elections, for the Tin King and the Siu Hei constituencies of the Tuen Mun District Board, will be held, also on Sundays, on March 3 and 24 respectively.

The office of Mr Chiang Yu-tui, the district board member of the Kam Ping constituency had been declared vacant in a gazette notice published on February 9 in accordance with section 14 (1) of the District Boards Ordinance. His office became vacant on January 29.

Nomination period for the by-election will be from tomorrow (Friday) to March 1.

Nomination forms are now available at Eastern District Office, 11th floor, Eastern Law Courts Building, 29 Tai On Street, Sai Wan Ho, and the Registration and Electoral Office (REO), 10th floor, Harbour Centre, 25 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.

The Kam Ping constituency, comprising 20 buildings including Metropole Building, Kam Ming Yuen, Ming Yuen Mansion and Kam Ping Building, has an electorate of 8,855.

Poll will be held unless the seat is uncontested.

Meanwhile, REO will send out poll cards today (Thursday) to 8,387 electors of the Tin King constituency reminding them the by-election date.

Those who do not receive the poll cards by February 26 may call the REO hotline on 2827 1122.

End

Tender for second issue of 7-Year exchange fund notes ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

Tender for the second issue of 7-ycar exchange fund notes will be held on February 26 for settlement on February 27, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announces today (Thursday).

An amount of $500 million 7-ycar notes will be offered while another $100 million will be held as reserve by HKMA for supply to market makers in the secondary market.

16

I'he notes will mature on February 27, 2003, and will carry interest at the rate of 6.02% per annum payable semi-annually in arrears. Terms and conditions of the issue are described fully in the Information Memorandum.

Members of the public who wish to tender for the notes may do so through any of the market makers or recognised dealers on the published list which can be obtained from HKMA at 30th floor, 3 Garden Road, Hong Kong, or on 2878 8150.

Each tender must be for an amount of $50,000 or integral multiples thereof.

Following is the tender information for the second issue of 7-Year exchange fund notes:

Issue number : 7302

Tender date and time : Monday February 26, 1996, 9.30 am to 10.30 am

Issue and settlement date : Tuesday February 27. 1996

Amount on offer : $500 million plus an additional $100 million as reserve stock for the Monetary Authority

Maturity : Seven years

Maturity date : February 27, 2003

Interest rate : 6.02% per annum payable semi annually in arrears

Interest payment dates : Aug 27. 1996, Feb 27, 1997, Aug 27. 1997. Feb 27. 1998. Aug 27. 1998. Feb 26. 1999. Aug 27. 1999, Feb 28. 2000, Aug 28, 2000, Feb 27.2001, Aug 27, 2001, Feb 27, 2002, Aug 27, 2002. Feb 27. 2003

17

Tender amount

Other details

: Each tender must be for an amount of $50,000 or integral multiples thereof. Members of the public who wish to tender for the notes may approach market makers or recognised dealers on the published list

: Please see Information Memorandum published or approach market makers or recognised dealers

End

Importation of fireworks warned

*****

Members of the public are reminded not to bring any fireworks into Hong

Kong.

Anyone found in possession of fireworks would be charged under the Dangerous Goods Ordinance, a spokesman of the Customs and Excise Department said today (Thursday).

In the past week, customs officers at control points had found a total of 13.2 Kg of assorted fireworks from incoming lorries and passengers. Two drivers were arrested.

The spokesman pointed out that the maximum penalty for committing the offence under the Dangerous Goods Ordinance is a tine of $25,000 and imprisonment for six months.

In 1995, Customs had seized over 7,600 Kilogrammes of fireworks, valued al about $480,000.

End

18

Tunnels to remain open during Lunar New Year holiday *****

The Transport Department announces today (Thursday) that the Five Government tunnels will remain fully open during the coming Lunar New Year holiday periods.

They are the Aberdeen Tunnel, Lion Rock Tunnel, Airport Tunnel, Shing Mun Tunnels and Tseung Kwan O Tunnel.

A spokesman for the department said from February 18 to 22, no tube of any of the tunnels will be closed for maintenance, and the radio broadcast of safety messages would be stepped up.

Furthermore, there will be additional control and safety measures on tunnel operations during the holidays, he said.

Likewise, the spokesman said, operators of the three private tunnels - Cross Harbour 'Funnel, Tate’s Cairn Funnel and Eastern Harbour Crossing - would take the same measures as far as they possibly could.

He said motorists also had a part to play in avoiding accidents inside tunnels by observing the following safety guidelines:

* Do not follow too close to the vehicle in front. Leave a two-second gap for safety;

* Observe the speed limit;

* Keep in lane;

* Observe traffic ahead;

* Use dipped headlights;

* Avoid wearing earphones or using mobile telephones when driving and

* Do not drink any alcohol before and/or when driving.

The spokesman urged motorists to drive with care and patience no matter they were driving inside the tunnels or on open roads.

End

19

Welfare payment arrangement for Lunar New Year holidays *****

Recipients of Comprehensive Social Security Assistance under the bank payment system may receive their payments on Saturday (February 17) if their paydays fall on the coming Lunar New Year holidays (February 18 to February 21).

A spokesman for the Social Welfare Department said today (Thursday) that special payment arrangements would also be made for recipients of Social Security Allowance whose pay-days fell on February 18 to February 21.

Those who have bank accounts in Hong Kong Bank or Hang Seng Bank will receive their payments on Saturday (February 17) whereas those with accounts in other banks will receive their payments next Thursday (February 22).

In case of doubt, recipients are advised to contact their respective social security field units

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

Time Cumulative change

$ million (hours) (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,651 0930 + 149

Closing balance in the account 2,381 1000 + 149

Change attributable to : 1100 + 152

Money market activity +152 1200 +152

LAF today -422 1500 +152

1600 + 152

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 123.3 *-0.1* 15.2.96

20

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.60 2 years 2802 5.16 100.35 5.04

1 month 4.83 3 years 3901 5.57 101.13 5.22

3 months 4.90 5 years 5012 6.38 102.80 5.79

6 months 4.89 7 years 7211 6.82 104.26 6.13

12 months 4.89 5 years M502 7.30 105.33 6.08

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $24,028 million

Closed February 15, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Saturday, February 17,1996

Contents Eage_No,

DGT to attend Multilateral Trade Agenda conference..................... 1

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

Sunday, February 18, 1996

Contents Page Nq.;

Governor's Lunar New Year message......................................... 3

Blankets distributed to street-sleepers................................... 6

t

- 1 -

DGT to attend Multilateral Trade Agenda conference *****

The Director-General of Trade, Mr Tony Miller, will join senior representatives of other member economies of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to attend a three-day conference in Australia.

The purpose of the meeting, to be held between February 21 and 23 in Brisbane, is to discuss the shape of the new multilateral trade agenda and the ways of moving it forward within the WTO framework.

It is jointly organised by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia and the Queensland Government.

The conference, entitled "The future directions for the multilateral trading system", will also consider the agenda for the inaugural WTO Ministerial Conference scheduled for December in Singapore.

Mr Miller has been invited to be one of the two lead speakers at the conference's final session and will give a speech on "Mobilising the Multilateral Trading System: Towards Another Round?".

"As a staunch supporter of free trade, Hong Kong is anxious to maintain the momentum for trade and investment liberalisation," Mr Miller said today (Saturday).

"We have one of the world's most liberal trade and investment regimes, and fully support efforts to develop a consensus for more movement in the multilateral arena towards freeing up the global flow of goods, services and capital."

"With these objectives in mind, Hong Kong looks forward to contributing constructively to the forthcoming conference," he added.

The conference will be chaired by the Australian Minister for Trade and will be opened by the Minister of Trade and Industry for Singapore, the host of the 1996 WTO Ministerial Conference.

In addition to academics and international trade and business commentators, participants will include senior trade officials from WTO member economies as well as senior representatives from the Organisation of Economic Co-operation Development (OECD), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and WTO, led by its Director-General, Mr Renato Ruggiero.

End

9

- 2 -

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

Cumulative

Time change

S million (hours.) ($ million)

Opening balance in the account 2,712 09:30 +90

Closing balance in the account 2,007 10:00 +90

Change attributable to: 11:00 +90

Money market activity +90 11:30 +90

LAF today -795

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 123.2 *-0.1* 17.2.96

End

3

Governor's Lunar New Year message *****

Following is the transcript of the Lunar New Year address by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, to be delivered this (Sunday) evening:

Hello.

At this time of year when people are - if they can possibly manage it - with their families and their friends, it’s natural for all of us to think back over the previous months at all the highlights: the things that went well, and perhaps to look ahead to what’s going to happen in the coming year: the exams, the holidays, the things we have to do at work, and so on.

Well, what we do in our own families we do as a community too, and looking back over the last year in Hong Kong we can see an awful lot that’s gone well, for a start things that have gone well for those institutions, those parts of our community, which actually make things work, which run things.

We had, for a start, the most successful - the most democratic - elections in our history. More people registered to vote, more people exercised their civic right to vote, and the whole thing was carried off with a great deal of good humour and moderation, as you’d expect in Hong Kong.

We’ve also seen an agreement on the successful transfer of our administration of justice through 1997, which will make a tremendous difference to the possibilities for the Rule of Law; and as we know the Rule of Law is one of the real key ingredients in Hong Kong's well-being.

And all the time we’ve seen the civil service continuing to do the job they do so well, so magnificently well - One of the best civil services in the world, serving you -the men, women , and children of Hong Kong - doing so in a more open and accountable way than ever before, always willing to learn to do things better if they get the sort of advice on how to manage that.

So it's been a good year, 1 think, for all those parts of our community. 1 think we can also point to an improvement in the atmosphere and the relations between Britain and China. Mr Qian Qichen who runs the preparatory committee so is in a key position in China to help to shape our future, Mr Qian Qichen as Vice-Premier and Foreign Minister went to London last autumn and had some good solid working meetings with British ministers.

4

And then Malcolm Rifkind, his opposite number, the Foreign Minister in the UK, went back to Peking in January and also had a very successful visit, so I hope that will help us to clear away some of the problems we've had on the negotiating table over the last years, and I hope it will help us to work through some of the backlog of issues that all of us want to clear up before the middle of 1997.

I very much hope that we'll see faster progress in the coming months. We certainly need to do so.

Our economy has done much better than some of the gloomiest predictions suggested.

We've continued to grow, although not perhaps quite as fast as we'd all like. We've seen inflation edging down, although it's still - I'm afraid - a bit too high, and we've seen unemployment - alas -going up a little (not as high as in other places) and reminding us of the absolutely crucial importance of us doing more in training and retraining to ensure that people if they lose a job - are only out of work for a very short while before they can get back into rewarding employment.

We really - it's our number one priority in the social area - we really want to ensure that everybody who wants to work in Hong Kong can do so, can make their contribution.

We've made progress too on the social side, more facilities for the elderly, more for the disabled, and I'm delighted that we've finally got in place the building blocks for our mandatory provident fund, which is going to be the source of financial support for the elderly in the future.

We really should make sure that the elderly get the fair deal which they're entitled to. After all, they made Hong Kong what it is today.

We look ahead from that pretty successful year, and we look ahead I suppose over 500 days - to the transition to Chinese sovereignty in the middle of 1997 - less than 500 days now - and when I speak to you this time next year it'll be less than 150, so time is galloping past, and there's still quite a bit to do

But I'm reasonably confident that - given the better atmosphere between Britain and China we'll sort out the remaining problems. There's of course a big job to do for the Chief Executive Designate when he or she is chosen later in the year, and I know that whoever gets that crucial job, following me as the head of the first SAR government -1 know that whoever gets that job -will be able to count on the goodwill and support of the whole community.

5

I suppose that I'm asked more than anybody else, and it's the most frequent question 1 get, I'm asked: Is it all going to work? Is Hong Kong going to continue to be as successful and decent and good a place to live in the future, as it is today? And I answer - I answer optimistically. Not mindless optimism. Nobody believes you if you deny that there are any difficulties or problems, but I think we can take those in our stride.

I answer optimistically for two reasons:

First of all, and for me it's a very important reason, first of all because of the resilience, the courage, of the people of Hong Kong, who've taken an awful lot of more difficult things in their stride in the last forty or fifty years.

We've got a system here which we know works. We're committed to it, and provided we stick to it, provided we're prepared to stand up for it, provided we're true to ourselves, then I'm sure that Hong Kong will continue to be very, very, successfill in the future.

The second reason why I'm optimistic is equally simple and equally clear. I see an awful lot of the young people of Hong Kong. 1 see them in schools, and universities, in training institutes, in technical colleges like Tsing Yi and Chai Wan. I saw a group the other day in a broadcasting studio and they asked me questions for about an hour. I addressed - a couple of weeks ago - a whole school at their assembly and I am struck over and over again by the quality of the young people of Hong Kong - enthusiastic , cheerful, humorous, committed, determined not just to do their best in their own careers, not just to make the most of the education and training they're getting, but determined to build an even better future for Hong Kong than its past.

I think that they will help to shape a marvellous city in the 21st century - in the decades that lie ahead.

Sun Chun Fai Lok

End

Blankets distributed to street-sleepers *****

The Social Welfare Department had distributed a total of 398 blankets in a territory-wide operation last (Saturday) night.

Among the blankets distributed, 136 were given to street-sleepers on Hong Kong Island, 32 in Kowloon East, 177 in Kowloon West, 36 in New Territories East and 17 in New Territories West.

"It is a normal practice for the department to distribute blankets to street sleepers when the temperature drops to or near 10 degrees Celsius," a department spokesman said.

It was the fourth such exercise during the current winter season.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Tuesday, February 20, 1996

Contents Ea&e Nil

HKMA to act as Bank of Japan's intervention agent........................ 1

Condolences offer to family of hill fire victim.......................... 1

New office to promote sheltered workshop productivity.................... 1

Dischargers urged to make early licence applications..................... 3

Wednesday, February 21, 1996

Contents Page No.

Advertising signs must be kept safe...................................... 4

Green Manager Scheme a success........................................... 5

First Student Heritage Festival to be held............................... 6

Cantonese and China studies course for expatriate officers............... 7

Post Office to participate in stamp exhibition........................... 8

Environmental Protection Department joins Internet....................... 8

Labour Department's enquiry service well-received .

9

HKMA to act as Bank of Japan’s intervention agent * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

It has been agreed between the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Bank of Japan (BoJ) for HKMA to intervene in the local foreign exchange market on behalf of the Japanese authorities to enhance the stability of Yen against US dollar.

BoJ has entered into similar arrangements with the Monetary Authority of Singapore while the arrangement with the Reserve Bank of Australia already exists.

Hong Kong, as a leading international financial centre, has a daily foreign exchange turnover of more than US$91 billion. This places Hong Kong in the fifth position among the world's largest foreign exchange trading centres.

A spokesman for HKMA said: "The HKMA is pleased to assist BoJ as its intervention agent in the Hong Kong forex market. This is another example of practical co-operation between central banks in the region."

End

Condolences offer to family of hill fire victim ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

In learning the death of Yu Hiu-woon who was injured in the Pat Sin Range hill fire, the acting Secretary for Education and Manpower, Miss Jacqueline Willis, and the Director of Education, Mrs Helen C P Lai Yu, expressed their condolences this evening (Tuesday) to her family.

End

New office to promote sheltered workshop productivity ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Social Welfare Department (SWD) will soon set up a new marketing consultancy office to enhance employment opportunities for the disabled.

A $6 million grant has been approved by the Subventions and Lotteries Fund Advisory Committee for the establishment of the office, which will be operational on an experimental basis.

2

The new office, which will be heavily involved in the operation of 43 sheltered workshops and 14 supported employment units, has the following responsibilities:

* to promote marketing strategies among sheltered workshops;

* to promote and provide training for sheltered workshop personnel to enhance their market orientation;

* to promote the image of sheltered workshops and supported employment in the local economy;

* to co-ordinate sheltered workshops in marketing, business development and management of resources;

to market the product and services of the sheltered workshops and the working abilities of disabled persons engaged in sheltered work;

* to seek marketing professional’s/training institutes’ support for external consultation assistance on marketing and resources for sheltered workshops; and

to provide advice and assistance to SWD on supported employment and marketing issues.

The office will report to the Advisory Committee on Marketing and Resources for Sheltered Workshops formed last October. The committee comprises an SWD representative and members from non-governmental organisations and commercial sector.

"We will shortly launch a recruitment exercise for professionals to run this office,” said the Assistant Director of Social Welfare (Youth and Rehabilitation), Mr Carlos Leung, who is also a member of the Advisory Committee.

"It will be headed by a marketing expert who will be assisted by two marketing officers and supporting staff,” he said.

End

3

Dischargers urged to make early licence applications *****

Existing dischargers from industrial, manufacturing, commercial, institutional and construction activities in Phase II of the Victoria Harbour Water Control Zone (VHWCZ) are reminded that they must make a licence application for their discharges before April 1.

Assistant Director of Environmental Protection, Mr John Boxall, said they should apply for a licence as soon as possible and initiate improvement action so that they would have sufficient time to provide for or upgrade their pollution control facilities to meet the required standards.

This water control zone which covers Sham Shui Po, Yau Tsim Mong, Kowloon City, Wong Tai Sin and a small part of Sha Tin, has been in effect since September 1 last year.

"Any existing discharger in these areas who docs not make a licence application or whose discharge does not meet the discharge standards and requirements of the licence after April 1 will commit an offence and be liable to prosecution," Mr Boxall said.

"Among the 6,100 existing dischargers identified in the Phase II area, only 1,900 of them have made licence applications," he noted.

The maximum fine for discharging polluting matters into a water control zone is S 200,000 for the first offence and $400,000 for any subsequent offence. Offenders may also be liable to six months imprisonment.

In addition, if the offence is a continuing one, a fine of $ 10,000 for each day may be imposed.

"To help dischargers understand the requirements of the legislation, we have sent to all of them advisory letters and information booklets in the past months.

"Three public seminars also were held in last October," said Mr Boxall.

Dischargers can contact EPD’s local control offices on 2402 5200 (for Sham Shui Po, Yau Tsim Mong and Kowloon City area) and 2707 7534 (for Wong Tai Sin and Sha Tin area) for enquiries on licensing and control matters.

End

- 4 -

Advertising signs must be kept safe

*****

All signs attached to buildings should only be put in place under close supervision of building professionals and be properly maintained, Senior Structural Engineer of the Buildings Department, Mr Koon Chi-ming, said today (Wednesday).

The comment was made following a recent clearance operation undertaken by the department against dangerous and abandoned signs in Kowloon City.

In the operation, a total of 1,248 signs were inspected and 168 were found to be potentially dangerous.

Of the 168 signs, 34 were repairable and had been fixed by their owners following advice by the department.

"Out of the 134 signs which needed to be removed, 124 had been voluntarily removed by the owners. The remaining 10 signs were removed by the government’s contractor and the costs incurred were subsequently recovered from the owners,” said Mr Koon.

He reiterated that the department was very concerned about the safety of overhanging signs.

"Similar actions against dangerous signs are being carried out in other districts, including Kwun Tong, Wong Tai Sin, Kowloon Bay, Yau Ma Tei, Tai Po and Sheung Shui.

"To solicit assistance and co-operation from the area committees in the districts and the local residents through their respective District Boards, we have sent letters to the chairmen of the area committees inviting them to report to us of any suspected abandoned and dangerous signs," he said.

People wishing to put up overhanging signs should seek professional advice for safe design and installation, stressed Mr Koon.

"After installation, they should maintain their signs regularly to prevent them from becoming a potential danger or a nuisance to the public," he added.

End

5

Green Manager Scheme a success

*****

The Government's Green Manager Scheme is making contribution to the worldwide "Save Our Forests" effort - thanks to the success of the campaign to reduce paper consumption.

The success is quantified by the significant 25 per cent drop in the Government's paper consumption in the first six months last year compared with the same period in 1994.

The Government had consumed 147,477 reams (over 73 million sheets) of paper less in the first half of 1995.

This was achieved largely through the efforts of it's green managers to encourage printing on both sides of a sheet whenever possible, cutting down on photocopying and using the clean side of a used paper for note taking and drafting.

The reduction in paper consumption would roughly save 6,200 trees from being felled for their destination to paper mills.

A government spokesman said: "Our green managers have also achieved saving in electricity consumption through energy conservation measures.

"For example, staff are encouraged to switch off lighting and air-conditioning whenever the office is not occupied, such as during the lunch break.

"The success of the scheme provides new impetus for the Government to produce new guidelines for the Environmental Audit and to encourage the business community to set up their own Green Managers Scheme.

"Apart from achieving cost reduction, the scheme would increase competitiveness and enhance corporate image by turning a business operation into more environmentally friendly.

"The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) has produced a guideline on green managers in business for issue to the business community.

6

“The guideline gives senior management pointers on how to set up a Green Manager Scheme and how to make it work to the benefits not only to them, but to the community as a whole."

The guideline is available for collection from EPD Headquarters at 28th floor, Southorn Centre, Wan Chai. Copies will be sent to various business associations and educational institutes in early March

End

First Student Heritage Festival to be held *****

The first territory-wide Student Heritage Festival will be held from March 11 to 24 with a series of events aims at promoting students’ interest in cultural heritage.

It is hoped that students will be able to learn to appreciate the need and importance in preserving historic treasures by participating in the programme.

A major event in the festival will be an exhibition on the Lord Wilson Heritage Project Scheme displaying heritage projects carried out by 20 schools last year.

The free-for-all display will be staged at the Antiquities and Monument Office (AMO) of the Recreation and Culture Branch, 136 Nathan Road, Kowloon.

During the festival, there will also be demonstrations on traditional craftsmanship such as wood carving and wall painting.

Highlights of the festival include heritage tours to be organised for Primary Four to Form Seven students to visit the newly opened Kowloon Walled City Park where historic relics dating back to the Qing Dynasty are on display.

Other historic sites to be visited will be the Liu Man Shek Tong Ancestral Hall in Sheung Shui, Kun Lung Wai in Fanling and Tsang Tai Uk in Sha Tin.

For those who wish to flex their muscles and take an active part in the preservation of monuments, they can join the two grass cutting activities to be held at the Tai Fu Tai in San Tin and Kang Yung Study Hall in Sha Tau Kok on March 18 and 22 respectively.

7

The more academically inclined students from Forms Four to Seven can, on the other hand, attend the four archaeological workshops which will be conducted at Tung Wan Tsai in Ma Wan or at AMO.

The festival is jointly organised by AMO and the Education Department. Details of the programme can be obtained by calling AMO on 2721 2326.

End

Cantonese and China studies course for expatriate officers

*****

A group of nine expatriate civil servants who are prepared to serve beyond 1997 are now attending a special full-time training course to enhance their proficiency in Cantonese and knowledge about China.

Making the announcement today (Wednesday), a spokesman for the Civil Service Branch said the course will give impetus to government's ongoing efforts to help expatriate officers improve their Cantonese ability and understanding of China.

The first part of the course on Cantonese training now being conducted in the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has already begun at the end of January.

On completion of the language programme on March 1, team members will move on to a China studies training programme to be held at Zhongshan University in Guangzhou from March 4 to 15.

The second leg of the course, focusing on China's political, economic, legal and social systems, will provide further chances for course members to improve their Cantonese as they will be using Cantonese when attending seminars, discussion sessions and visiting Chinese institutions in Guangdong.

Registrar of Companies, Mr Gordon Jones, is the course leader. Members include Mrs Rachel Cartland, Mr Peter Mann, Mr Gavin Ure and Mr Jonathan McKinley from the Administrative Service and Mr Kevan Cooper, Mr John Cox, Mr Nigel Ashmore and Mr David Boyton from the Police.

End

8

Post Office to participate in stamp exhibition *****

The Hong Kong Post Office will take part in the HONGPEX ’96, a stamp exhibition organised by local philatelic societies from February 23 to 26, Assistant Postmaster General, Mr Allan Chiang, announced today (Wednesday)

To commemorate the Post Office’s participation, a specially designed souvenir pack containing the Year of the Rat stamps issued by Hong Kong, China and Macau will be issued.

It will be available at $30 each at the Hong Kong Post Office booth Nos 66 and 68 at the exhibition to be held at the Hong Kong Exhibition Centre, Wan Chai. A restriction of five packs per customer queuing will be imposed on February 23.

During the four days of exhibition, a cachet will be introduced for general cancellation purposes at the Post Office’s booth.

End

Environmental Protection Department joins Internet

*****

The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) has joined the Internet to help disseminate to the public general environmental information of Hong Kong.

Through a home page established by the department in the World Wide Web, users can obtain information on environmental legislation and pollution control.

The main ordinances cover including air pollution control, dumping at sea, noise control, ozone layer protection, water pollution control and waste disposal.

’’The home page also contains information on the provision and development of waste facilities, including the strategic landfills, refuse transfer stations and the Chemical Waste Treatment Centre.

’’Tenders and consultancy notices of projects managed by the department will also be made available on-line,” EPD's Technical Secretary, Dr David Ha, said.

In addition, users can have access to the department’s performance pledge as well as channels for making enquiries and lodging complaints with the local control offices against environmental nuisances.

9

There is also information on EPD's Environmental Resource Centre, the facilities of which include a touch-screen environmental information system and a reference library.

’’There are plans to progressively add more information to the Home Page. Items that might be available in future could include reports on air pollution levels and beach water quality,” Dr Ha said.

EPD’s home page can be accessed anytime at: http://info.gov.hk/epd.

End

Labour Department's enquiry service well-received

*****

The General Enquiry Telephone Service (GETS) provided by the Labour Department was well-received in 1995 during which 1,620,100 calls were received, representing a 14 per cent increase over the previous year.

"To meet the increasing needs of the society, the round-the-clock Interactive Voice Processing System (IVPS) under GETS was expanded last year to enable more people to gain access to this telephone enquiry service," Senior Labour Officer (Labour Inspection), Mr Chan Kwok-kuen, said today (Wednesday).

Since last October, IVPS has been expanded from 30 telephone lines to 36 to enable the public to gain access to the service more easily. Furthermore, Putonghua was introduced in July as a new language option in addition to Cantonese and English.

"According to our statistics, most of the telephone enquiries were related to the Employment Ordinance, Employees' Compensation Ordinance and foreign domestic helpers which, respectively, made up 31 per cent, 10 per cent and 8.5 per cent of the total calls," he said.

Through IVPS, the public can also obtain information on labour relations promotion activities, employment services, Minor Employment Claims Adjudication Board, industrial safety and health as well as boilers and pressure vessels.

This computerised answering system is supplemented by staff operators to handle more complicated enquiries during office hours.

- 10 -

"To facilitate more efficient use of our system and for the greater convenience of our users, a User's Guide on GETS, which can be obtained through fax transmission of the system, has been published to provide users with a comprehensive list of number codes Tor their quick search of corresponding topics that they are interested in," said Mr Chan.

Copies of the Guide can be pick up from all the offices under the Labour Inspection Division and the department's six major offices at Canton Road Government Offices, Kowloon East Government Offices, Tsuen Wan Government Offices, Tuen Mun Government Offices, Citylink Plaza in Sha Tin and Southom Centre in Wan Chai.

"We will continue to strengthen our role of providing useful information on labour-related matters to serve the public even better in the coming years," said Mr Chan.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, February 22,1996

Contents Page No.

Estimated population of Hong Kong........................................ 1

Value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand in December....................... 1

SWD to distribute blankets to street sleepers............................ 3

Water storage figure..................................................... 3

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results.............................. 4

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations..................... 5

Estimated population of Hong Kong

*****

The estimated population of Hong Kong at the end of December 1995 was 6,307,900, according to figures released by the Census and Statistics Department today (Thursday).

This represents an increase of 158,800 persons or 2.6 per cent as compared with end-1994 when the estimated population was 6,149,100.

In 1995, there were 69,400 births and 31,200 deaths in Hong Kong. The balance of births and deaths thus amounted to 38,200 and accounted for 24 per cent of the population growth.

During the same period, the balance of total arrivals and departures showed a net inflow of some 120,600 persons. ■

End

' .. . • . V; • •

" ‘ ’ 1 .

Value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand in December

*****

The value of' manufacturers' orders-on-hand for local production in December 1995 increased by 4% over a year earlier, according to the provisional results of a monthly survey released today (Thursday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

Comparing December 1995 with December 1994. increases in the value of orders were registered in the electronic products industry (+14%). the printing and publishing industry (+10%). the electrical products industry (+6%) and the fabricated metal products industry (+5%).

The value of orders for the wearing apparel industry and plastic products industry showed little change.

On the other hand, a significant decrease in the value of orders was recorded in the textiles industry (-16%).

Compared with November 1995, and bearing in mind that this comparison may be affected by seasonal factors, the value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand in December 1995 showed little change.

The Monthly Survey of Orders-on-hand covers a sample of some 300 manufacturing firms engaging 50 or more workers.

2

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 December 1995, at $6 a copy, is now on sale at the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, Queensway, and at the Census and Statistics Department Publications Unit, 19th Floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.

Enquiries about the survey results may be made to the Industrial Production Statistics Section of the Census and Statistics Department on 2805 6441.

The following table shows the year-on-year percentage changes in the value of orders-on-hand in different manufacturing industries.

Percentage changes in the value

of orders-on-hand in

November 1995 December 1995 over November 1994 over Deeem.ber.1994

(Revised) (Provisional)

All industries covered in the survey + 4 + 4

- Wearing apparel - 1

- Textiles -20 - 16

- Electronic products +17 + 14

- Electrical products + 12 + 6

- Fabricated metal products +9 + 5

- Plastic products - 1 *

- Printing and publishing + 14 +10

* Changes within +/-0.5%

End

3

SWD to distribute blankets to street sleepers *****

The Social Welfare Department (SWD) will distribute blankets to street sleepers in a territory-wide operation tonight (Thursday).

"It is a normal practice for the department to distribute blankets to street sleepers when the temperature drops below or near 10 degrees Celsius," a spokesman for the department said.

It will be the fifth such exercise during the cunent winter season. The most recent one was conducted last Saturday (February 17).

Meanwhile, SWD will provide blankets through various channels to single elderly people who are in need of extra blankets during the current cold spell.

End

Water storage figure

*****

Storage in Hong Kong's reservoirs at 9 am today (Thursday) stood at 79.5 per cent of capacity or 465.990 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 405.650 million cubic metres of water, representing 69.2 per cent of capacity.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results

*****

Tender date 22 Feb 1996 22 Feb 1996

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q608 Y686

Issue date 23 Feb 1996 23 Feb 1996

Maturity date 22 May 1996 19 Feb 1997

Amount applied HK$3,460 MN HKS 1,650 MN

Amount allotted I IKS 1,500 MN HKS500 MN

Average yield accepted 4.92 PCT 4.99 PCT

Highest yield accepted 4.93 PCT 5.02 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 80 PCT About 40 PCT

Average tender yield 4.94 PCT 5.02 PCT

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

Tenders to be held in the week beginning 26 Feb 1996

Tender date 26 Feb 1996 27 Feb 1996 27 Feb 1996

Paper on offer EF notes EF bills EF bills

Issue number 7302 Q609 H659

Issue date 27 Feb 1996 28 Feb 1996 28 Feb 1996

Maturity date 27 Feb 2003 29 May 1996 28 Aug 1997

Tenor 7 years 91 days 182 days

Amount on offer HKS500+100MN HKS1.500+300MN HKS800+160MN

Coupon 6.02 PCT

End

1

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

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

Opening balance in the account 2,007 0930 +795

Closing balance in the account 2,573 1000 +795

Change attributable to : 1100 +795

Money market activity +796 1200 +796

LAF today -230 1500 +796

1600 +796

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 123.2 *+0.0* 22.2.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.68 2 years 2802 5.16 99.92 5.27

1 month 4.81 3 years 3901 5.57 100.43 5.48

3 months 4.94 5 years 5012 6.38 101.62 6.08

6 months 4.99 7 years 7211 6.82 102.74 6.41

12 months 5.04 5 years M502 7.30 104.18 6.36

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $25,123 million

Closed February 22, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Friday, February 23, 1996

Contents Page.Nm

Improvements to law on evidence proposed................................... 1

Consumer Price Indices for January......................................... 3

Analysis of Hong Kong's re-export trade statistics................... 10

Free Legal Advice Scheme extended.................................... 14

Environmental Study for Tsing Yi North Coastal Road.................. 14

Four lots of land up for auction..................................... 15

Two nominations received for DB by-election.......................... 16

Contractors summonsed for alleged breach of employment law........... 16

Direct supervision gives strength to HK penal system................. 17

Tenders for footbridge improvement works invited..................... 18

SWD distributes blankets to street sleepers.......................... 19

Hong Kong Monthly Digest of Statistics now on sale................... 19

Application for part-time teachers invited........................... 20

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations................. 21

Improvements to law on evidence proposed ♦ * * * ♦

The Government will introduce into the Legislative Council amending legislation to improve on the law governing the taking of evidence in Hong Kong in relation to criminal proceedings in overseas jurisdictions.

The amendments also touch on the rules of evidence relating to corroboration in respect of sexual offences.

The proposals are set out in the Evidence (Amendment) Bill 1996 published in the Government Gazette today (Friday).

On the first proposal, a government spokesman explained that the courts at present were subject to restrictions when taking evidence for overseas jurisdictions.

’’The restrictions are that the request must be made by or on behalf of a ’court or tribunal’, and that the evidence can only be obtained for proceedings which have been instituted or which arc likely to be instituted,” he said.

The spokesman pointed out that these restrictions created particular difficulty in relation to civil law jurisdictions.

”In a recent case relating to a request from Italy, the Hong Kong court held that it did not have jurisdiction to give effect to the request as it was issued by a magistrate performing the function of public prosecutor under the Italian law and not by or on behalf of a court or tribunal.

"In addition, the restrictions prevent evidence from being obtained for the purpose of proceedings before an examining magistrate who, under the European system, conducts the investigation.

"In such case, it cannot be said with certainty that, if the evidence in question is provided, proceedings are likely to be instituted," he said.

He noted that the inability to respond satisfactorily to requests for juridical assistance would damage the reputation of I long Kong as an important legal, financial and commercial centre.

2

Clauses in the Bill to be introduced provide for definition of terms to clarify the range of mattery which may be covered in the taking of evidence on request from another jurisdiction.

They also deal with matters in respect of which the High Court must be satisfied before it may exercise the new powers conferred upon it; the forms of assistance that the High Court may provide in response to a request for such assistance by another jurisdiction; and the restrictions subject to which the assistance may be provided.

On the proposed improvements to corroboration rules in respect of sexual offences, the spokesman explained that there were at present two rules.

"One requires that, where the allegation against an accused is supported by one witness only, that witness's evidence shall be corroborated in some material particular by evidence implicating the accused.

"In the absence of such corroborative evidence, the accused cannot properly be convicted of the offence alleged, even if the judge or jury is convinced of the accuser's guilt," he said.

"The other rule requires a judge to give a warning of the dangers of convicting a person on the uncorroborated evidence of a victim.

"A failure to give such a warning is likely to lead to a conviction being quashed on appeal, even though the evidence was, in fact, corroborated," he added.

There are seven types of sexual offences under the Crimes Ordinance for which prosecution evidence must be corroborated. The second rule, requiring the giving of warning by a judge, applies to all other types of sexual offences.

1 he spokesman pointed out that these rules had increasingly been criticised as unsatisfactory in many common law jurisdictions.

"Their application to sexual offences works particularly to the disadvantage of victims of sexual offence, whose evidence is characterised as inherently unreliable.

"In addition, the rules arc extremely difficult to explain and apply, and are rigid in their application," said the spokesman.

3

The published Bill abolishes the rule requiring a corroboration warning to be given in respect of sexual offences, both in the case of a judge sitting with a jury, and in the case of a judge or a magistrate sitting alone.

* • • . r < • • . J.

The requirement of corroboration in respect of seven sexual offences under the Crimes Ordinance, including the procuring of a person by threats or intimidation to do an unlawful sexual act, and the procuring of a person to become a prostitute, will also be repealed.

End

Consumer Price Indices for January

*****

Consumer price inflation in terms of the Consumer Price Index (A) showed a remarkable further easing, to 5.9% in January 1996, from 8.2% in November and 6.6% in December 1995. This is the lowest inflation rate recorded since September 1987.

The latest Consumer Price Indices was released by the Census and Statistics Department today (Friday).

Similar moderation was also recorded in the Consumer Price Index (B). In January 1996, CPI(B) rose by 6.8%, compared with 7.3% in December 1995. The corresponding increase for Hang Seng CPI was 7.9%, which was the same as that in December 1995.

Composite CPI, which is compiled based on the combined expenditure pattern of all households, thus had a less rapid year-on-year increase of 6.8% in January 1996, against 7.2% in December 1995.

A government spokesman commented that the marked moderation in consumer price inflation in January, particularly as measured by CPI(A), was partly a reflection of continued moderation in inflationary pressures from both domestic and imported sources, a trend which emerged in the latter part of last year.

A less stringent local resource situation, together with slower increase in import prices brought about by a stronger US dollar, had contributed.

4

However, the CPI figures for the month were also likely to have been distorted by the difference in timing of the Chinese New Year, which occurred in mid-February this year, but in end-January/early February last year.

Because the prices of those consumer items popular for the occasion were generally higher just before the festival, the increase in CPI on a year-on-year comparison tended to be dampened for the month of January, but lifted for the month of February this year.

Thus for analysis of trend, it was better to combine the figures for the fist two months, rather than viewing them in isolation.

Contributing the most to the slower rate of increase in CPI(A) in January 1996 as compared to December 1995 was the prices of foodstuffs, which were influenced directly by the timing of the Chinese New Year.

The prices of miscellaneous consumer services, transport and durable goods also showed less rapid increases. The prices of miscellaneous goods recorded a decline over a year earlier, mainly due to the cheaper prices of some newspapers.

On the other hand, more rapid increases in prices were recorded for clothing and footwear, fuel and light, and alcoholic drinks and tobacco.

Analysed by component, those components with relatively faster price increases than the overall average for January 1996 over January 1995 were housing (10.6% in CPI(A), 11% in CPI(B), 14% in Hang Seng CPI and 11.8% in Composite CPI); and clothing and footwear (10%, 11.4%, 8.7% and 10.1%).

Meanwhile, those components with relatively slower price increases than the overall average for January 1996 over January 1995 were food (excluding meals bought away from home) (1.5% in CPI(A), 2.5% in CPI(B), 3% in Hang Seng CPI and 2.1% in Composite CPI); and durable goods (3.5%, 3.3%, 4.4% and 3.7%).

The miscellaneous goods category recorded a decline for January 1996 over January 1995 (-6.8% in CPI(A), -2.8% in CPI(B), -0.2% in Hang Seng CPI and -3.6% in Composite CPI). This was mainly due to the impact of the decreases in the prices of some Chinese newspapers, books and periodicals.

Comparing January 1996 with December 1995, CPI(A) CPI(B) increased by 0.1% and 0.3% respectively. The corresponding increases for Hang Seng CPI and Composite CPI were 0.1% and 0.2% respectively.

5

For the three months ended January 1996, CPI(A) and CPI(B) were, on average, higher by 6.9% and 7.5% respectively over a year earlier. The corresponding increases for Hang Seng CPI and Composite CPI were 8.2% and 7.5% respectively.

For the 12 months ended January 1996, CP1(A) and CPI(B) were, on average, higher by 8.4% and 8.9% respectively than the preceding 12-month period. The corresponding increases for Hang Seng CPI and Composite CPI were 9.3% and 8.8% respectively.

Seasonally adjusted series arc also available for the CPIs. The seasonally adjusted monthly rate of increase in CPI(A) decreased by an average of 0.1% during the three months ended January 1996, while CPI(B) increased by only 0.1%. The corresponding increases for Hang Seng CPI and Composite CPI were 0.3% and 0.1% respectively.

Further details are shown in Tables 1-2 and Charts 1-4.

More details are given in the Consumer Price Index Report for January 1996, which is on sale at $37 per copy from the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.

It is also available from the Publications Unit of the Census and Statistics Department, 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

For local and overseas mailings, contact should be made with the Information Services Department, 28th floor, Siu On Centre, 188 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

For enquiries about the indices, please telephone the Consumer Price Index Section of the Census and Statistics Department on 2805 6403. Details regarding Hang Seng CPI are contained in the Hang Seng CPI Report issued by the Economic Research Department of Hang Seng Bank Ltd.

6

Table 1 i Consumer Price Indices and Rates of Increase for January 1996

(Oct. 89 - Sep. 90 = 100) Composite CPI

CPI(A) CPI(B) Hang Seng CPI

Index % change Index % change Index % change Index % change

for over for over for over for over

Component Jan 96 Jan 95 Jan 96 Jan 95 Jan 96 Jan 95 Jan 96 Jan 95

Food 153.0 +3.8 155.5 +4.4 157.3 +3.7 154.8 +4.0

Meals bought away from hone 165.8 +5.9 165.2 +5.7 164.8 +4.0 165.3 +5.4

Food, excluding meals bought away from heme 140.4 +1.5 142.1 +2.5 144.3 +3.0 141.7 +2.1

Housing 194.5 +10.6 200.2 +11.0 209.6 +14.0 201.4 +11.8

Fuel and light 137.4 +6.8 136.8 +6.6 135.1 +5.2 136.8 +6.5

Alcoholic drinks and tobacco 201.3 +6.4 190.6 +6.9 184.8 +7.4 195.2 +6.7

Clothing and footwear 154.9 +10.0 158.3 +11.4 165.1 +8.7 159.7 +10.1

[Xirable goods 118.0 +3.5 117.3 +3.3 124.0 +4.4 119.5 +3.7

Miscellaneous goods 129.4 -6.8 130.5 -2.8 131.7 -0.2 130.4 -3.6

Transport 161.7 +5.9 160.9 +5.7 159.3 +5.2 160.7 +5.7

Miscellaneous services 186.8 +8.7 178.3 +7.5 162.3 +5.4 176.1 +7.3

All items 163.2 +5.9 166.0 +6.8 170.7 +7.9 166.2 +6.8

Monthly consumer price indices are ccnpiled on the basis of (a) expenditure patterns of relevant households and (b) prices collected currently in the month. The expenditure patterns underlying the 1989/90-based consumer price indices are based on those patterns derived from the 1989/90 Household Expenditure Survey. The CPI (A) is based on the expenditure pattern of about 50% of households in Hong Kong, which had an average monthly expenditure of $2,500-89,999 in 1989/90(broadly equivalent to $3,900-$16,000 at 1995 prices). Ihe CPI(B) is based on the expenditure pattern of the next 30% of households, which had an average monthly expenditure of $10,000-$17,499 in 1989/90(broadly equivalent to $16,000-$28,500 at 1995 prices). Ihe Hang Seng CPI is based on the expenditure pattern of the next 10% of households, which had an average monthly expenditure of $17,50O-$37,499 in 1989/90(broadly equivalent to $28,500-$61,000 at 1995 prices).

Uhereas the CPI (A), CPI(B) and Hang Seng CPI are based on the expenditure patterns of groups of households with different magnitudes of household expenditure, the Composite CPI is compiled based on the expenditure pattern of all these households taken together. Thus, while the CPI (A), CPI (B) and Hang Seng CPI show the impact of consumer price changes on different groups of households, the Ccnposite CPI shows the impact of consumer price changes on the household sector generally.

7

Table 2 Year-on-year Rate of Change (%) in Consumer Price Indices for January 1993 - January 1996

Year/month CPI(A) CPI(B) Hang Seng CPI Composite CPI

1993 January 10.1 10.3 10.1 10.2

February 8.6 9.1 9.1 8.9

March 7.8 8.5 9.2 8.4

April 7.7 8.5 9.5 8.5

May 8.5 8.8 9.8 8.9

June 8.6 8.7 9.5 8.8

July 8.2 8.5 9.2 8.6

August 8.5 8.5 9.2 8.7

September 7.9 8.1 9.2 8.3

October 9.0 8.7 9.4 9.0

November 8.4 8.4 9.5 8.7

December 8.6 8.5 10.2 9.0

1994 -January 6.2 6.9 9.0 7.2

February 7.8 8.1 9.8 8.4

March 8.0 8.2 9.2 8.4

April 7.7 8.2 9.9 8.4

May 7.8 8.4 10.0 8.6

June 7.5 8.1 10.1 8.4

July • 8.5 8.6 9.9 8.9

August 9.8 9.5 10.4 9.8

September 8.6 9.0 10.2 9.2

October 7.9 9.0 10.5 9.0

November 8.6 9.5 10.6 9.5

December 8.9 9.5 10.3 9.5

1995 January 10.1 10.4 10.3 10.3

February 8.9 9.6 9.7 9.4

March 9.5 10.0 9.9 9.8

April 9.6 9.9 9.8 9.8

May • 9.1 9.5 9.5 9.3

June 8.9 9.6 9.7 9.4

July 8.5 9.2 10.1 9.2

August 8.3 9.0 9.8 9.0

September 8.9 9.1 9.8 9.2

October 8.4 8.8 9.4 8.8

November 8.2 8.3 8.9 8.4

December 6.6 7.3 7.9 7.2

1996 January 5.9 6.8 7.9 6.8

8

Chart 1 Year-on-year Rates of Increase in CPI(A)

'i

Chart 2 Year-on-year Rates of Increase in CPI(B)

9

End

Chart 3 Year-on-year Rates of Increase in Hang Seng CPI

Chart 4 Year-on-year Rates of Increase in Composite CPI

10

Analysis of Hong Kong's re-export trade statistics

*****

Re-exports accounted for 83% of the value of total exports and 39% of the total value of external trade of Hong Kong in 1995. In 1994, the corresponding shares were 81% and 39% respectively.

These figures, affirming the importance of re-export trade, are among the detailed re-export statistics released by the Census and Statistics Department today (Friday).

China remained the largest partner for Hong Kong's re-export trade. Of the total $1,112.5 billion of re-exports going through Hong Kong in 1995, 88% or $984.3 billion involved China in either direction.

As a source, re-exports originating in China accounted for 57% of Hong Kong's re-export value in 1995. As a destination, China's share was 35%.

It is noted that much of the re-export trade involving China is related to outward processing, as raw materials and semi-manufactured goods are exported to China for processing, with the final products subsequently returned to Hong Kong, and re-exported to overseas markets.

Other main origins of Hong Kong's re-exports in 1995 included Japan (accounting for 12%). Taiwan (7.5%). the United States (5%) and South Korea (3 4%).

The main destinations in 1995, besides China, included the United States (accounting for 21%). Japan (6.3%). Germany (4.1%) and the United Kingdom (2.9%).

Table 1 shows the changes in the value of re-exports from the 10 main origins in 1995 compared with 1994.

Comparing 1995 with 1994, increases of various magnitudes were recorded in the value of re-exports from all main origins: Singapore (+44%), Malaysia (+41%). South Korea (+37%). Italy (+34%), the United Stales (+27%), the United Kingdom (+19%), China (+17%), Taiwan (+16%), Japan (+7%) and Germany (+2%).

Of the value of re-exports originating in China in 1995. 34% went to the United States. 9.3% to Japan and 6.7% to Germany.

II

For goods of Japan origin, 71% of the value of re-exports through Hong Kong in 1995 went to China, 4.9% to the United States and 3.6% to South Korea.

For re-exports originating in Taiwan, an overwhelming proportion (93% of the value in 1995) went to China.

As regards re-exports originating in the United States, 69% of the value in 1995 were shipped to China, 3.9% to Taiwan and 2.9% to South Korea.

Table 2 shows the changes in the value of re-exports to the 10 main destinations.

Comparing 1995 with 1994, increases of various magnitudes were recorded in the value of re-exports to all main destinations: Japan (+28%), Singapore (+28%), France (+28%), Taiwan (+24%), the Netherlands (+23%), China (+19%), the United Kingdom (+18%), South Korea (+17%), Germany (+10%) and the United States (+10%).

Analysed by commodity, significant increases in the value of re-exports to China were recorded for plastics in primary forms (by $9.8 billion or 50%); textiles (by $9 billion or 16%) and electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $7.9 billion or 33%).

However, decreases in the value of re-exports to China were recorded for road vehicles (by $14.4 billion or 60%); and machinery specialised for particular industries (by $329 million or 2.7%).

As regards re-exports to the United States, significant increases in value were recorded for electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $5.6 billion or 33%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of baby carriages, toys, games and sporting goods (by $5.1 billion or 9.1%); and office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $3.3 billion or 37%).

However, decreases in the value of re-exports to the United States were recorded for clothing (by $3.4 billion or 14%); and chemical materials and products (by $124 million or 26%).

Detailed statistics of Hong Kong’s re-export trade are published in the December 1995 issue of the Hong Kong External Trade report which will on sale at $122 per copy around February 27.

12

The report can be purchased at either the Government Publications Sales Centre, ground floor, Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong; or the Publications Unit of the Census and Statistics Department on 19th Floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.

Enquiries regarding 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.

TABLE 1 : RE-EXPORTS FROM THE TEN MAIN ORIGINS

ORIGIN JAN-DEC 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN-DEC 1994 (HKD Mn.) YEAR-ON-YEAR CHANGE

(HKD Mn.) (% CHANGE)

CHINA 636,392 545,831 + 90,561 + 16.6

JAPAN 130,511 121,936 + 8,575 + 7.0

TAIWAN 83,307 72,060 + 11,247 + 15.6

UNITED STATES 55,636 43,678 + 11,958 + 27.4

SOUTH KOREA 37,615 27,444 + 10,171 + 37.1

SINGAPORE 21,678 15,069 + 6,609 + 43.9

GERMANY 14,886 14,588 + 299 + 2.0

MALAYSIA 13,334 9,461 + 3,873 + 40.9

ITALY 10,899 8,153 + 2,747 + 33.7

UNITED KINGDOM 10,661 8,983 + 1,678 + 18.7

TABLE 2 : RE-EXPORTS TO THE TEN MAIN DESTINATIONS

DESTINATION JAN-DEC 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN-DEC 1994 (HKD Mn.) YEAR-ON-YEAR CHANGE

(HKD Mn.) (% CHANGE)

CHINA 384,043 322,835 + 61,208 + 19.0

UNITED STATES 230,997 210,077 + 20,920 + 10.0

JAPAN 70,081 54,745 + 15,336 + 28.0

GERMANY 45,770 41,617 + 4,153 + 10.0

UNITED KINGDOM 32,257 27,318 + 4,939 + 18.1

TAIWAN 27,758 22,416 + 5,342 + 23.8

SINGAPORE 26,011 20,346 + 5,665 + 27.8

SOUTH KOREA 19,292 16,483 + 2,809 + 17.0

FRANCE 17,452 13,671 + 3,781 + 27.7

NETHERLANDS 16,702 13,542 + 3,161 + 23.3

14

Free Legal Advice Scheme extended *****

To meet growing public demand for free legal advice, the Central and Western District Office has been designated the sixth Home Affairs Department (HAD) Free Legal Advice Interview Centre.

It will be open every Monday night for volunteer lawyers on duty to provide such service to members of the public.

The Free Legal Advice Scheme is jointly organised by HAD and the Duty Lawyer Service. The other five centres where free advice are given one night a week are at the district offices in Wan Chai, Yau Tsim Mong, Kwun Tong, Sha Tin and Tsuen Wan.

Members of the public who need free legal advice can approach any of the 19 Public Enquiry Service Centres. District Office staff will arrange appointments after taking note of the requisite particulars of the case.

Last year, a total of 4,042 appointments had been made under the scheme.

For more information, members of the public can contact the Public Enquiry Service Centres or call HAD's Central Telephone Enquiry Centre at 2835 2500.

End

Environmental Study for Tsing Yi North Coastal Road

* * * * *

The Highways Department today (Friday) signed a $1.08 million consultancy agreement with Mouchel Asia Limited for the environmental and drainage impact assessments for Tsing Yi North Coastal Road.

The proposed dual-two road will link up Tsing Tsuen Bridge and Lantau Fixed Crossing.

In view of its proximity to Cheung On Estate and across several natural stream courses, a consultancy is therefore commissioned to study and provide information on the extent of environmental and drainage impact resulting from the proposed road works and to recommend mitigation measures.

The assessment will start this month for completion in August.

End

15 -

Four lots of land up for auction *****

Four lots of government land, two on Hong Kong Island, one each in Hung Hom and Tai Po, will be offered for sale at a public auction on March 18. It was notified in the Gazette today (Friday).

The auction will start at 2.30 pm in the Concert Hall of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui.

The first lot, located in Hong Man Street, Chai Wan, has an area of 1,590.7 square metres for non-industrial use, excluding godown, hotel, and service apartment.

The developer has to complete a gross floor area of not less than 8,523 square metres on or before March 31,1999.

Located at the junction of Wyndham Street and Arbuthnot Road, the second lot has an area of 1,585 square metres. It is intended for non-industrial use, excluding private residential, hotel, service apartment and godown.

The developer will be required to complete a gross floor area of not less than 14,265 square metres on or before March 31, 2000.

With an area of 15.073 square metres, the third lot is located at Hung Hom Bay Reclamation, southwest of Whampoa Street and Po Loi Street. The lot is earmarked for non-industrial use, excluding godown and petrol filling station.

The developer will need to complete a gross floor area of not less than 82.417 square metres on or before April 1, 2001.

The fourth lot located in Area 2, Tai Po. has an area of 465.8 square metres for non-industrial use, excluding godown.

The developer has to complete a gross floor area of not less than 1.700 square metres on or before March 31,1999.

Full particulars and conditions of the land sale may be obtained from the l ands 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, l ai Po, North and the Islands.

End

16

Two nominations received for DB by-election *****

A total of two nominations were received for the Tuen Mun District Board byelection in respect of Siu Hei constituency to be held on March 24, after the two-week nomination period closes today (Friday).

Details of the nominations are as follows:

Name/Age Occupation Tel No

Mr Yim Tin-sang (43) Regional Councillor 2459 6108 (day)

2452 3605 (night)

Ms Wong Yin-ping (34) Administrator 2476 5555

End

Contractors summonsed for alleged breach of employment law *****

The Labour Department has recently issued a total of 21 summonses to five building contractors for suspected non-grant of statutory holidays to a number of imported workers from China in August and September last year.

Five of the summonses under Section 39 of the Employment Ordinance were served on Shui On Civil Contractors Limited on February 9 for not granting to five imported workers a statutory holiday on September 9 which was the Chinese MidAutumn Festival.

The case will be heard in the Western Magistracy on March 8. The defendant is the contractor of the Airport Railway's Siu Ho Wan Depot Phase I on Lantau Island under the new airport and related project.

In another case, 16 summonses were served on four sub-contractors of the Airport Railway's Tsing Yi Station project on February 16 for not granting 16 imported workers a statutory holiday on August 28.

17

These sub-contractors included Benco Engineering Company (1 summons); Cheukman Engineering Company Limited (five summonses); Sun Wing Kee Foundation Engineering Limited (five summonses) and Croll Engineering Limited (five summonses).

The case has been scheduled for hearing in Tsuen Wan Magistracy on May 7.

End

Direct supervision gives strength to HK penal system ♦ * * ♦ *

The strength of Hong Kong's penal system lies in the method of management by direct supervision, the Commissioner of Correctional Sendees, Mr Raymond Lai Ming-kee said today (Friday).

Speaking at the Rotary Club Kowloon North luncheon meeting, Mr Lai said the method allowed the Correctional Services Department to maintain control even under the most difficult circumstances.

"Hong Kong runs a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual prison system," he said, adding that this, coupled with overcrowding, could lead to a volatile situation.

The multi-ethnic mix means there will be communication problem, different eating habits, religious belief and all these would lead to tension and an "us and them" mentality among prisoners.

"We have seen incidents of mass fights, food refusals, work stoppages as a result," said Mr Lai.

"The trivia are the main cause of discontent among prisoners is because the big issues which cause problems in some prison systems - sex, drugs, alcohol - are absent in Hong Kong."

Hong Kong prisons did facc a problem with gambling, he admitted: "But the resolution with which we tackle this issue means that it rarely gets out of hand, and never causes the sort of problems which occur elsewhere.

"The downside of direct supervision, for the prisoners, is that they do not get the freedom of choice they would need to be able to wrest control from the management," Mr Lai concluded.

End

18

Tenders for footbridge improvement works invited

*****

The Highways Department is inviting tenders for the improvements to the footbridge across Kwun Tong Road at Tsun Yip Lane.

The works include the demolition of the existing footbridge across Kwun Tong Road at Tsun Yip Lane; construction of a covered footbridge with ramps and two-way escalators at both ends to replace the existing footbridge; construction of sewer; and associated footway re-construction and drainage works.

Construction is scheduled to commence in May for completion in May 1998.

A notice on the tender invitation is gazetted today (Friday).

Tender forms and particulars can be obtained from Regional Highway Engineer/Kowloon, Highways Department. 13th floor, Room 1321, Nan Fung Commercial Centre, 19 Lam Lok Street, Kowloon Bay, Kowloon. The contact telephone number is 2707 7436.

Tenders must be clearly marked and addressed to the Chairman, Central Tender Board, and placed in the Government Secretariat l ender Box at the lift lobby on the lower ground floor of the Central Government Offices (East Wing), Lower Albert Road (at its junction with Garden Road), Hong Kong, before noon on March 22.

Late tenders will not be accepted.

The works have been designed and construction will be supervised by Kowloon Region of Highways Department.

End

19

SWD distributes blankets to street sleepers ♦ ♦ ♦ * *

Staff of the Social Welfare Department (SWD) had distributed a total of 863 blankets to street sleepers in a territory-wide operation last (Thursday) night.

Among the blankets distributed, 291 were given on Hong Kong Island, 12 in East Kowloon, 446 in West Kowloon, 43 in New Territories East and 71 in New Territories West.

"It is a normal practice for the department to distribute blankets to street sleepers when the temperature drops to or near 10 degrees Celsius,” a department spokesman said.

It was the fifth such exercise during the current winter season.

Yesterday, SWD had delivered 500 blankets each to its 13 district offices for distribution to single elderly people through the following channels:

♦ staff in Family Services Centres and Social Security Field Units would identify vulnerable single elderly clients and check whether they need extra blankets or any other services; and

* SWD staff would contact Non-governmental organisations running multiservice centres for the elderly and home help teams to identify similar elderly clients who may need help.

End

Hong Kong Monthly Digest of Statistics now on sale

*****

A feature article entitled ’’Analysis of Hong Kong’s retained imports, 1989-1994" is published in the February 1996 issue of the Hong Kong Monthly Digest of Statistics.

20

Hong Kong's imports cover both goods for domestic use - retained imports -and goods for re-exportation. Statistics on retained imports are of significant value in economic analysis as they measure local demand for imports.

Hong Kong being an important trading centre, a large proportion of imports are re-exported to other countries/territories with the rest being retained for use locally.

The feature article introduces the basic concepts of retained imports and the compilation method of the statistics. The movements of retained imports during the period 1989 to 1994 are also analysed.

The February issue of the Monthly Digest is now on sale at $50 a copy. It contains most up-to-date information on Hong Kong's situation regarding economic growth, the labour market, inflation and many other social and economic issues.

Purchase can be made at the Government publication Centre, ground floor, Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.

It is also available for sale at the Publications Unit of the Census and Statistics Department, 19th Floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Regular subscription can be arranged with the Publications (Sales) Office of the Information Services Department, Tel 2598 8194.

End/

Application for part-time teachers invited * * * * *

The Education Department is inviting qualified teachers to fill the evening part-time teaching vacancies in various courses to be given in the 1996-97 school year.

The department's Adult Education Section has organised a number of courses, including English, government evening secondary school and adult education, in centres throughout the territory.

A spokesman for the department said: "Applicants should be qualified teachers with a genuine interest in teaching adults in the evening.

21

"Experience in teaching English language, Chinese language or arts subjects at post-secondary, secondary six or senior secondary levels; science, social or commercial subjects at senior secondary levels and possession of a Diploma/Certificate in Education or Advanced Certificate in Teacher Training would be an advantage."

The pay scale for part-time teaching is as follows:

* $365 per hour for post-secondary or secondary six level subjects;

* $305 per hour for senior secondary level subjects;

* $240 per hour for junior secondary level subjects; and

* $220 per hour for primary level subjects.

Application forms can be obtained from the Adult Education Section of the Education Department at Wu Chung House, 11th floor, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai.

Completed forms should reach the Adult Education Section on or before March 23. If applicants are not called for interview by May 1, they should assume that their applications have been unsuccessful.

For further information, please contact the Adult Education Section on 2892 6669.

End

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

lime Cumulative change

$ million (hours) (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,573 0930 +228

Closing balance in the account 2,771 1000 +228

Change attributable to : 1100 +228

Money market activity +228 1200 +228

LAF today -30 1500 +228

1600 +228

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% ofTer TW1 123.3 *+0.1* 23.2.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

I week 4.61 2 years 2802 5.16 100.00 5.23

1 month 4.75 3 years 3901 5.57 100.57 5.43

3 months 4.91 5 years 5012 6.38 101.91 6.00

6 months 4.97 7 years 7211 6.82 103.11 6.34

12 months 5.00 5 years M502 7.30 104.43 6.29

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $20,641 million

Closed February 23, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Saturday, February 24, 1996

Contents Page. N\o.

Residents’ support needed for district improvement........................ 1

Direct visa application extended.......................................... 2

Firing practice in March.................................................. 3

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

Sunday, February 25, 1996

Contents

Page No.

Fund-raising schedule for March............................................ 4

1

Residents' support needed for district improvement

*****

It is absolutely necessary for the Government to know the views of local residents and have their support in order to improve living environment and community facilities in the districts, the Director of Home Affairs, Mrs Shelley Lau said today (Saturday).

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Sai Kung District Festival, Mrs Lau thanked the Sai Kung District Board and local leaders for organising cultural and recreational activities for local inhabitants.

She also praised them for reflecting the residents' opinion through the Sai Kung District Office to the Government.

She pointed out that over the past year, the Sai Kung District Office, other government departments and local bodies had achieved remarkable results in the area of housing, community facilities and rural environmental improvement.

Mrs Lau cited the completion of Hong Kong's largest golf centre, the Kau Sai Public Golf Centre, which would not only provide healthy recreational activities for residents but also benefit the district by promoting tourism.

Referring to the Rural Planning and Improvement Strategy (RPIS) Minor Works projects, Mrs Lau noted that nine major RPIS projects, such as the provision of water supply at Tung Lung Island, were completed in the past year at a total cost of $10 million.

In conclusion, Mrs Lau said: "We will continue to work hard to strive for the early implementation of the construction of the MTR extension to Tseung Kwan O and the district hospital."

End

2

Direct visa application extended *****

As from Monday (February 26), overseas applicants may apply for visit and transit visas to Hong Kong directly from the Immigration Department, it is announced today (Saturday).

Starting from October 1994, people from overseas can apply for visas to enter Hong Kong for employment, residence and study to the Hong Kong Immigration Department either directly by post or through a local sponsor, as an alternative to submitting applications through the British Visa Posts overseas.

This direct visa application machinery is now extended to cover visits and transits, as part of the department's plans to improve customer services. Visa application forms with guidance notes are obtainable from the department and the British Visa Posts.

"The new arrangement does not apply to applications from residents in China and Taiwan, the procedures for which will remain as at present," a spokesman of the department stressed.

For enquiries, members of the public may telephone 2824 6111 or use the faxline 2877 7711.

End

3

Firing practice in March *****

Firing practice will take place at the Ha Tsuen/Castle Peak Range on seven days this month. The public is advised not to enter the area when red flags are hoisted.

Following are the dates and times for the firing practice:

Date Time

March 7 (Thursday) 8.30 am - 5 pm

March 14 (Thursday) 8.30 am - 5 pm

March 25 (Monday) 8.30 am - 5 pm

March 26 (Tuesday) 8.30 am - 5 pm

March 27 (Wednesday) 8.30 am - 5 pm

March 28 (Thursday) 8.30 am - 5 pm

March 29 (Friday) 8.30 am - 5 pm

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change $ million

Opening balance in the account 2,771 09:30 +30

Closing balance in the account 1,956 10:00 .+30

Change attributable to: 11:00 +30

Money market activity +30 11:30 +30

LAF today -845

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 123.2 *-0.1* 24.2.96

End

4

Fund-raising schedule for March

*****

Eight organisations have been granted permission to raise funds next month, a spokesman for the Social Welfare Department (SWD) said today (Sunday).

They will either sell flags, tokens or similar items, or place donation boxes in designated public places.

Members of the public can call the Department’s hotline 2343 2255 in case of doubt.

Any organisation planning to hold activities involving collection of money or sale or exchange for donation of badges, tokens or similar articles in a public place for charitable purposes should apply for a public subscription permit from SWD.

The spokesman appealed to organisers to take precautions against any possible fraud.

’’Sellers should display the permit or carry copies of the permit for inspection upon request if the fund-raising is mobile," he said.

The spokesman also advised them to prepare guidelines for sellers, setting out the places and the times for selling and the collection points for bags.

"Organisers should inform the Police in case of loss of property, and seek their help when fraudulent acts, such as tampering of collection bags or making unauthorised selling, are found," he added.

Permits are given to the following organisations for raising funds next month:

Fla&Day

Event Date Organisation

March 2 Fung Kai Public School

March 9 The Lok Sin Tong Benevolent Society, Kowloon

March 16 Hong Kong Blind Union

March 23 The Salvation Army

March 30 Hong Kong PHAB Association

5

Subscription

Event Day Organisation

March 3, 10, 17, 24&31 Jesus is Lord School of Ministry (HK) Ltd

March 9 Guideposts Kindergarten (Guideposts Educational Foundation Ltd)

March 30 Sowers Action

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Monday, February 26, 1996

Contents


Death of elderly persons during cold weather................................. 1

Provisional statistics of retail sales for 1995 ............................. 3

Consultancy studies on language benchmarks invited........................... 6

Further grant from Disaster Relief Fund approved............................. 7

Places available at Govt primary schools..................................... 7

Water storage figure......................................................... 8

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results............................. 9

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

1

Death of elderly persons during cold weather *****

Responding to concerns about'reported deaths of elderly people during the recent cold weather, a government spokesman said today (Monday) that the Administration had always placed a high priority on improving services for the elderly and on promoting community care for them.

The spokesman said the Government would examine whether improvements could be made to the existing arrangements for dealing with prolonged cold weather. At the same time, he appealed to families and the community to look after their elderly relatives and neighbours during cold weather.

"The sick and the elderly are more vulnerable to sudden changes in temperature," he said.

The Director of Health, Dr Margaret Chan, has, nevertheless, confirmed that none of the post-mortems conducted over the past 10 days had shown hypothermia to be the cause of death of the persons involved.

The spokesman noted that the number of deaths that had occurred over the last 10 days was comparable to the average number of deaths during the winter of previous years.

"During the cold spell, the Home Affairs Department opened in each district a temporary shelter providing hot drinking water, hot meals and now mattresses for sleeping on," said the spokesman.

"But we cannot force street sleepers into the shelters; we can only persuade and encourage them," he added.

Government staff have actively been meeting street sleepers to persuade them to go into shelters and to pass them blankets to keep them warm. For the last two evenings, street sleepers have been offered transport to take them to the shelters.

"The real challenge has been to provide care to elderly persons living alone," he said.

The Social Welfare Department (SWD) has mobilised a wide range of resources to reach out to these people during this period.

2

Social workers in Family Service Centres have been instructed to check the needs of their elderly clients; Social Security Field Units have also been checking up on their single elderly Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients.

SWD’s district staff have been contacting non-governmental organisations running local multi-service centres for the elderly and home help teams to check up on any elderly clients who might be particularly vulnerable.

The home help teams which have worked throughout the holiday period making 670 visits to clients needing their services have been a particularly useful outreaching service.

"But there are more than 80,000 elderly persons living alone in Hong Kong. There is a limitation to what the Government can do in providing personal care to each of them," said the spokesman.

The Government must take the lead in meeting the needs of those most vulnerable in the community but it could not possibly hope to fulfil a role more properly met by basic neighbourliness and family values, he said.

The spokesman added that the Government had placed a very high priority on improving services for the elderly.

"This year we will have spent S9 billion on health, welfare and social security services for them - a 50 per cent increase in real terms over three years," he said.

But for elderly living alone the main answer was old-fashioned community spirit, the spokesman added.

The Secretary for Health and Welfare is drawing up plans with the Directors of Home Affairs and Social Welfare to further promote the need for everyone to show more care for the elderly in the community.

No matter how much resources were devoted to services for the elderly, in the final analysis, the Government could not replace the family in providing support for elderly persons living at home, said the spokesman.

End

3

Provisional statistics of retail sales for 1995

*****

X

According to the provisional figures released today (Monday) by the Census and Statistics Department, the value of total retail sales in December 1995, estimated at $20.3 billion, increased by 4% when compared with December 1994.

After discounting the effect of price changes over the period, total retail sales dropped by 1% in volume in December 1995.

For the year of 1995 as a whole, total retail sales rose by 5% in value but dropped by 1% in volume when compared with 1994. Compared to the respective increases of 12% in value and 6% in volume in 1994, this reflected a general slackening in consumer spending in 1995.

In December 1995, sales of motor vehicles continued to show a significant decline compared with a year earlier, by 47% in value and 50% in volume. Sales of other consumer durable goods, although having virtually no change in value, also recorded a decrease of 4% in volume.

Meanwhile, sales in supermarkets rose by 6% in value but dropped by 3% in volume. Sales of jewellery, watches and clocks and valuable gifts and those of fuels showed growth of 2% and 1% respectively in value, but respective decreases of 2% and 5% in volume.

Nevertheless, sales of clothing and footwear continued to increase notably, by 16% in value and 9% in volume. Increases were also registered for sales of miscellaneous consumer goods (13% in value and 8% in volume) and food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (7% in value and 5% in volume). Concurrently, sales in department stores increased by 7% in value and 1% in volume.

Compared with November 1995. but bearing in mind that this comparison is affected by seasonal factors, total retail sales in December 1995 increased by 19% in value and 20% in volume.

For the year of 1995 as a whole, there was a slight decline in volume of total retail sales. This was however mainly attributable to the considerable drop in sales of motor vehicles, which fell by 29% in value and 35% in volume when compared with 1994.

4

Meanwhile, sales in supermarkets showed an increase of 8% in value and virtually no change in volume. Sales in department stores also recorded an increase of 4% in value, despite a decrease of 4% in volume.

Furthermore, sales of fuels and food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco increased by 5% and 4% in value respectively. In volume terms, they decreased both by 2%.

On the other hand, increases were still recorded for sales of miscellaneous consumer goods (14% in value and 9% in volume); clothing and footwear (14% in value and 4% in volume); as well as jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts (6% in value and 4% in volume).

The volume of retail sales is derived from the value of retail sales after adjusting for price changes. The relevant components of the Consumer Price Index are used as deflators.

Table 1 presents the revised total retail sales figure for November 1995 and the provisional figure for December 1995.

Table 2 shows the value and volume indices of retail sales in December 1994, November and December 1995 for all retail outlets and by type of retail outlet, with average retail sales from October 1989 to September 1990 taken as 100. Comparisons of the December 1995 results with those for November 1995 and those for December 1994, as well as comparisons of retail sales in the period from January to December 1995 with the same period in 1994 are also given.

The report containing the analysis of the December 1995 results is now on sale at $4 per copy at the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, ground floor, Low Block. 66 Queensway; and the Publications Unit of the Census and Statistics Department. 19th floor. Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.

Enquiries about the survey results may be directed to the Wholesale and Retail Trade Statistics Section of the Census and Statistics Department, Tel 2802 1258.

5

TABLE 1 : TOTAL RETAIL SALES

Total Retail Sales for December 1995 (Provisional Figure) = HK$20,320.2 million

for November 1995 (Revised Figure) 3 HKS17,129.6 million

TABLE 2 : VALUE ANO VOLUME INDICES OF RETAIL SALES FOR DECEMBER 1994, NOVEMBER ANO DECEMBER 1995

(Month 1 y average of Oct 89 - Sept 90 = 100)

Index Nurtoer X Change

Type of Outlet Type of Index December 1994 (Revised figures) November 1995 (Revised figures) December 1995 (Provisional figures) Dec 1995 compared with Nov 1995 Dec 1995 compared with Dec 1994 Jan Jan - Dec 1995 compared with • Dec 1994

(A) FOR ALL RETAIL OUTLETS Value Volume (Point) 208.8 159.1 (Point) 182.4 131.2 (Point) 216.4 157.0 (X) ♦18.6 ♦ 19.6 (X) ♦3.6 -1.4 (X) ♦4.7 •1.3

(8) BY TYPE OF RETAIL OUTLETS

Food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (other than supermarkets) Value Volume 142.6 104.3 140.0 100.0 152.2 109.4 ♦8.7 ♦9.4 ♦6.7 ♦4.9 ♦4.3 -2.3

Supermarkets 0 Value Volume 171.5 119.3 154.0 98.8 181.1 116.1 ♦17.5 ♦17.5 ♦5.6 -2.7 ♦7.6 -0.4

1 Fuels Value Volume 158.1 108.8 141.0 91.2 159.0 103.1 ♦ 12.8 ♦13.1 ♦0.6 -5.3 ♦4.6 -2.3

Clothing, footwear and allied products Value Volume 321.2 210.3 314.8 188.7 371.1 229.1 ♦17.9 ♦21.4 ♦15.5 ♦8.9 ♦13.9 ♦4.0

Consuner durable goods Value Volume 202.7 165.6 154.0 122.2 165.2 134.0 ♦7.2 ♦9.7 -18.5 -19.1 -12.6 •15.5

- Motor vehicles and parts Value Vo I cine 190.6 132.7 125.7 82.9 101.7 66.7 -19.1 -19.5 -46.6 -49.8 •29.4 -35.0

1 - Consuner durable goods other than motor vehicles and parts Value Volume 211.4 189.4 174.5 150.6 211.1 182.8 ♦20.9 ♦21.4 -0.1 -3.5 -0.1 -3.9

Department stores Value Volune 210.2 145.3 153.9 98.2 224.2 147.1 ♦45.6 ♦49.7 ♦6.6 ♦1.3 ♦4.4 -3.8

Jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts Value Volune 206.0 196.5 177.1 162.8 210.4 192.1 ♦18.8 ♦ 18.0 ♦2.1 -2.3 ♦5.9 ♦3.6

Other consuner goods not elsewhere classified Value Volune 235.7 182.1 227.1 166.9 266.7 197.1 ♦17.4 ♦18.1 ♦13.2 ♦8.2 ♦14.0 ♦8.6

NOTE : 0 Not including supermarkets operating in department stores. The underlined figures were rounded up to 5. . - • • •

End

Consultancy studies on language benchmarks invited

*****

The Advisory Committee on Teacher Education and Qualifications (ACTEQ) is inviting interested parties to express intention to carry out consultancy studies on language benchmarks for teachers in schools as proposed by the Education Commission in its draft Report No 6 on language proficiency.

i

Announcing this today (Monday), a spokesman for the ACTEQ said the No 6 Report recommended that the proposals should take forward as a matter of priority.

The studies therefore should focus on one or both of the following studies:

\' •» '* j ‘ r J 7

(1) Consultancy on benchmarks for teachers using English as the medium of instruction and English language teachers in primary and secondary schools;

(2) Consultancy on benchmarks for teachers using Cantonese as the medium of instruction and Chinese language (including Putonghua) teachers in primary and secondary schools.

Interested parties may write to the Secretary of ACTEQ for details of the studies and a consultancy brief.

Their proposals should be submitted to the Secretariat on or before March 8 (Friday). Consultants should be prepared to present their proposals before an assessment panel if so required.

All correspondence should be sent to:

The Secretary,

Advisory Committee on Teacher Education and Qualifications

c/o Education and Manpower Branch,

Room 920A, Central Government Offices (West Wing), Ice House Street, Hong Kong.

In case of enquiries, ACTEQ secretary, Ms Olivia Nip, can be contacted on 2810 3950 or by fax 2537 4591.

7

Further grant from Disaster Relief Fund approved

*****

The Disaster Relief Fund Advisory Committee has today (Monday) approved a grant of $1.95 million to Medecins Sans Frontieres as a contribution to its emergency relief operation for earthquake victims in Lijiang, Yunnan, China.

This is the third grant for such purpose from the Fund, the first two being a $4,195 million grant to Hong Kong Red Cross and a $3 million grant to Oxfam Hong Kong.

The Government will require Medecins Sans Frontieres 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.

"Medecins Sans Frontieres is already working in the earthquake affected areas. The grant will assist its field operation staff in providing shelter and treatment for the wounded," a government spokesman said.

The Advisory Committee is chaired by the Chief Secretary. Other members are Dr Raymond Ch'ien, Mr J D McGregor, Mr Cheung Hon-chung, Mr Lau Chin-shek, the Secretary for Health and Welfare, and the Secretary for the Treasury.

End

Places.available al Govt primary schools *****

Parents wishing to apply for Primary 2 to 6 school places for their children in government schools in the new academic year commencing this September will be able to do so from this Friday (March 1).

Senior Education Officer (Government Schools), Mrs Fok Yu-hing. said children aged six years and eight months or above on September 1 this year are eligible to apply for admission.

Details of vacancies will be displayed at the main entrance of government primary schools and application forms will be available during working hours from individual schools between March 1 and March 9.

8

Enquiries should be made direct to individual schools to see if there are vacancies at any level.

Mrs Fok advised parents to return the completed forms of the school of their choice on or before March 9.

Selection of applicants will be made on March 15.

Application forms are free and no entrance fee is charged for any admission to any Government school.

Mrs Fok said, "Children will normally be admitted to schools in the district in which they live. Care will be taken to ensure as far as possible that children from the same family will be studying at the same school."

"To facilitate the process of application, parents should provide all the particulars asked for in the application form," Mrs Fok said.

Meanwhile, parents are reminded that all children in the six to 12 age group who are not in school should apply for admission.

End

Water storage figure

*****

Storage in Hong Kong's reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 79.5 per cent of capacity or 465.925 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 404.377 million cubic metres of water, representing 69 per cent of capacity.

End

9

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results *****

Tender date 26 Feb 1996

Paper on offer EF notes

Issue number 7302

Issue date 27 Feb 1996

Maturity date 27 Feb 2003

Coupon 6.02 PCT

Amount applied HK$ 1.930 MN

Amount allotted HKS500 MN

Average price accepted (yield) 99.77 (6.52 PC I )

Lowest price accepted (yield) 97.75 (6.53 PC I )

Pro rata ratio About 47 PCT

Average tender price (yield) 97.62 (6.55 PCT)

End

- 10 -

I long Kong Monetary Authority money market operations *****

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,956 0930 +846

Closing balance in the account 2.482 1000 +846

Change attributable to : 1100 +846

Money market activity +826 1200 +826

LAF today -300 1500 +826

1600 +826

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TW1 123.1 *-0.1* 26.2.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.68 2 years 2802 5.16 99.89 5.29

1 month 4.80 3 years 3901 5.57 100.29 5.53

3 months 4.93 5 years 5012 6.38 101.35 6.14

6 months 5.00 7 years 7211 6.82 102.36 6.48

12 months 5.04 5 years M502 7.30 103.85 6.44

Total turnover of EF hills and notes - $11.223 million

Closed February 26. 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Tuesday, February 27,1996

Contents Page No.

Cardinal public finances rule - live within our means: FS..................... 1

Contractors reminded of employment priority................................... 2

Membership of MPF panel of specialists announced.............................. 4

Governor briefed on marine refuse collection programme...................

HK team to attend UN hearing on racial discrimination......................... 9

Fewer transport complaints in fourth quarter............................. 10

Consult professionals on building works.................................. 11

Analysis of external trade statistics by mode of transport................... 12

DHA and DB members to visit Macau........................................ 21

Film public advisers' decision in line with censors...................... 21

Gurkhas' to cook up recipe of delights....................................... 22

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results.................................. 23

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

1

Cardinal public finances rule - live within our means: FS ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, reiterated that the cardinal rule of Hong Kong's public finances was to "live within our means".

Speaking at the Hong Kong Association of Banks' Half-Yearly Dinner this (Tuesday) evening, Mr Tsang said the Government had kept its spending under careful control.

"As a result we have not left behind major burdens for future generations. On the contrary, we are leaving to our successors a healthy reserve," he said.

Explaining the importance of fiscal balance to the economy, Mr Tsang said Hong Kong for a generation had been doing basically the right thing.

"We do not have government deficits as a rule and we have substantial reserves rather than debt.

"Therefore there is no fiscal imbalance to harm our economic performance," he said.

"Although we are forecasting a small deficit for the current financial year, the Hong Kong government has no outstanding debt.

"That is to say we do not have to focus on the choice between spending reductions and tax increases precisely because we have already kept our spending under careful control."

Mr Tsang said the Administration must be continually vigilant against proposals which would lock the Government into unfunded pension and health care programmes.

"That is why all of our proposals in these important areas are and must remain fully funded," he said.

"We must also work hard to garner public support for the fiscal policies that we pursue because they are in the best long term interests of everyone - and I stress everyone - in Hong Kong."

Mr Tsang said provided Hong Kong kept on with these policies - a requirement under the Basic Law - there was no question of any burden becoming unsustainable.

2

He added that the best way to keep an economy growing was to maintain a tax system which was low, predictable and fair.

"Thus whilst politicians elsewhere flirt with the idea of a flat tax, we in Hong Kong in effect already have one," he said.

Mr Tsang said it was important for the financial community, including the banking sector, to contribute to the keeping of a vigorous Hong Kong economy.

End

Contractors reminded of employment priority *****

The Director of the New Airport Projects Co-ordination Office, Mr Billy Lam, today (Tuesday) reminded contractors of the Airport Core Programme(ACP) projects to give local workers priority in employing labour for their ACP works.

He also warned that those who failed to do so might not be allowed to import labour from overseas.

Mr Lam reinforced his message to the contractors at a meeting to discuss the ACP Labour Importation Scheme and the ACP Job Centre set up jointly by the Airport Authority (AA) and the Mass Transit Railway Corporation (MTRC).

Representatives of principal contractors for the new airport and the airport railway attended this (Tuesday) morning's meeting chaired by the Secretary for Works, Mr H S Kwong.

The acting Secretary for Education and Manpower, Miss Jacqueline Willis, the Commissioner for Labour, Mr Stephen Ip, an Assistant Director of Immigration, Mr Ambrose Lee, and representatives from AA, MTRC and Hong Kong Construction Association also briefed contractors at the meeting.

Speaking to media representatives after the meeting, Mr Lam said the placement rate of the job centre was not as good as expected.

"The Management Committee of the job centre will take a critical look at the placement rate and study how it can be improved," he said.

3

He said the fact that the centre had been in operation for only six weeks might have some bearing on the placement rate and he was optimistic that given more time more local workers would be recruited through the job centre.

’’Establishment of the job centre underlines our commitment to give employment priority to local workers,” he stressed.

Mr Lam went on to cite statistics to show that more local workers had been recruited on ACP projects.

"At the end of January this year,’there were a total of 23,274 ACP workers of whom only 4,570 were from overseas. Local workers represent 80 per cent of the total ACP work force," he said.

"We've been telling contractors that they should employ local workers as far as possible, and this has been our target and commitment. In due course we'll consider bringing this message to sub-contractors and sub-sub-contractors."

Also speaking at the media briefing, the Secretary General of the Hong Kong Construction Association, Mr Patrick Chan, said: "We support the ACP Job Centre. The contractors are aware of the services provided by the centre.

"I think it's a question of the contractors getting used to making use of the services. Given more time, the centre will do better."

Mr Chan also cited statistics to show that more local workers had been employed in the construction industry.

"Last year we had 64,000 construction workers, while the 1994 figure was 57,000 - an increase of 7,000," he noted.

The Project Director of AA and Chairman of the ACP Job Centre’s Management Committee, Mr Doug Oakervee, pledged to find out from contractors the reasons for their rejection of applicants after interviews.

"I think by working together with the contractors, and going though on a case-by-case basis, we will improve the actual situation greatly," he said.

End

4

Membership of MPF panel of specialists announced

*****

The Government today (Tuesday) announced the membership of a panel of specialists to provide technical advice on the development of subsidiary legislation for the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF).

The 22-member panel is made out of professionals such as trustees, custodians, investment managers, pension scheme administrators, scheme consultants, accountants, auditors, actuaries and lawyers.

It also comprises representatives from relevant professional associations and industry bodies including Hong Kong Society of Accountants, the Actuarial Society of Hong Kong, the Law Society of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Trustees Association, Hong Kong Investment Funds Association and the Hong Kong Federation of Insurers.

A government spokesman said the panel was one of the essential parts of the MPF consultative machinery.

Another essential part of the consultative machinery - the MPF Advisory Board which served to advise on policy and strategic issues relating to the MPF System -would be established shortly, he said.

"We will also consult widely with the relevant industries, employers' and employees' groups as well as the relevant panel and committee of the Legislative Council to make sure that the legislation developed is feasible and widely understood," he said.

Six specialist groups with members drawn from the panel will be formed to work on specific areas of the MPF System.

Individual groups will focus on issues relating to scheme operations, residual scheme and compensation fund, accounting and auditing issues, service providers, investment guidelines and interface with schemes under the Occupational Retirement Schemes Ordinance.

"The specialist groups will work closely with the MPF Office to provide it with advice on technical aspects of the MPF System," the spokesman said, adding that the first panel meeting would be held tomorrow (Wednesday).

"The purpose of the meeting is to brief members on the work programme for the next few months, and the role of the six specialist groups," he said.

5

The spokesman pointed out that the immediate task now was to develop ideas regarding operation of the MPF System.

"The MPF Office will then consult widely on such ideas in finalising the subsidiary legislation.

"With the help from various professionals, we hope to be able to finish the drafting of the subsidiary legislation for submission to the Legislative Council within twelve months," the spokesman said.

The following is the membership list of the panel of specialists:

MPF Members of the Panel of Specialists

Profession Member

T rustee/C ustod i an Mr Andrew Au Managing Director Citibank Global Asset Management (Asia) Ltd .i >• ‘ ■ J' • i * Mr Stanley Yip Director - Pension Funds Bermuda Trust (Far East) Ltd

Investment Managers Mr Desmond Chan Director Jardine Fleming Investment Management Services Ltd Mr William Cheng Director Schroder Investment Management (HK) Ltd Ms June Wong Director HSBC Asset Management (HK) Ltd

Scheme Consultant Mr Anthony Griffiths Managing Director GML Consulting Limited

6

Scheme Administrators/ insurers Ms Carolyn Butler Regional Pension Director - Far East American International Group Mr Raymond Chan General Manager - Mandatory Provident Fund Division National Mutual Insurance Co Ltd Mr David Lee Group Vice President Manulife Ms Margaret Wu General Manager, Administrative Operations HSBC Life (International) Ltd

Accountant and Auditor Mr Edwin Cheung Partner Coopers and Lybrand Mr Isaac Yan Senior Manager KPMG Peat Marwick

Actuaries Mr Mark Baxter Director and Manager - Hong Kong William M Mercer Ltd Mr Grahame Stott Managing Director and Actuary The Wyatt Co (HK) Ltd

Lawyers Mr Martin Lister Partner Deacons Graham and James Mr Paul Tan Partner Baker and McKenzie

7

Representative from the Association

The Actuarial Society of Hong Kong Mr Yam Chi-fai General Manager, Finance Jardine CMG Life Assurance Ltd

The I long Kong Federation of Insurers Mr Dennis J Pedini Managing Director East Asia Aetna Insurance Group

Hong Kong Investment Funds Association Mr Peter Lord Managing Director LG r Asset Management

Hong Kong Society of Accountants • Mr Albert K K Li • Partner KPMG Peat Marwick

Hong Kong Trustees Association Mr Jonathan Hubbard Managing Director IISBC Trustee (Hong Kong) I .Id

The Law Society of 1 long Kong Mr Gregory Willis General Manager, Operations HSBC Life (International) Ltd

End

Governor briefed on marine refuse collection programme

*****

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, was today (Tuesday) given a detailed briefing on the Marine Department’s four-year programme to tackle marine refuse and the department's action to fulfil Hong Kong's international obligation to eliminate pollution by garbage from ocean going vessels.

Accompanied by the Director oi Marine, Mr Ian Dale, Mr Patten also inspected the department's current refuse collecting services.

8

Mr Patten was told that with the recent approval by the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council of $50.4 million, the department will embark on its plans to modernise its refuse collection and scavenging fleet.

"We will be placing orders to buy six new purpose-built vessels to modernise and expand our existing scavenging fleet," Mr Dale said.

"The new craft, about 20 metres in length and capable of steaming at 13 knots, will be fitted with mechanical scoop refuse containers and able to perform scavenging services in remote areas," he said.

"Two of the new craft will each be fitted with a motorised dinghy, enabling them to collect floating refuse at littoral areas," Mr Dale added.

The department has plans to hire 29 additional commercial vessels including five motorised cargo boats and 18 motorised sampans for collection of ship refuse and another three motorised cargo boats and three motorised sampans for scavenging.

The department currently operates seven specialised scavenging vessels and employs 26 commercial vessels to collect domestic refuse from ships in the Victoria Harbour and for scavenging services.

In addition, it hires three commercial vessels to collect refuse from local craft in typhoon shelters in Aberdeen, Causeway Bay and Shau Ki Wan and Yau Ma 'l ei.

Mr Patten was told that the department's pollution control unit has identified ways to enhance its efficiency in collecting marine refuse. Among these new initiatives are the setting up of four new marine refuse collection points at strategic locations in Tsing Yi, Tuen Mun, Sai Kung and Tai Po.

"These new collection points and the existing ones located in Causeway Bay and Cha Kwo Ling will be fitted with cranes to facilitate lifting of marine refuse from the scavenging and collection vessels Mr Dale said.

On fulfilling Hong Kong’s international obligation to eliminate pollution by garbage from ocean-going vessels, Mr Dale said that Hong Kong will fully discharge its duties under the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ship 1973 and the Protocol of 1978.

The department would deploy an addition of 23 vessels of various sizes in this area of our services to the port, Mr Dale added.

9

The Governor was also briefed on the work of a working group, comprising representatives from the Marine Department, Agriculture and Fisheries Department, Regional and Urban Services Departments, the Environment Protection Department, and the Planning, Environmental and Lands Branch to tackle the marine refuse problem corporately, particularly in the aspects of prevention, collection and enforcement.

The group, chaired by Mr Dale since its inception on August 5, 1994, has identified a series of immediate and long term measures to tackle the problem.

These include measures to prevent rubbish being dumped into the sea, to conduct joint clean up operations at identified blackspots and to step up enforcement actions to deter littering.

The department collected 3,855 tonnes of Boating refuse and 910 tonnes of ship and boat refuse in 1995 through the deployment of more than 30 Government and commercial vessels.

End

UK team to attend UN hearing on racial discrimination *****

A four-member I long Kong Government team led by Principal Crown Counsel, Mr Stephen Wong, will attend a United Nations (UN) hearing in Geneva on March 4 and 5.

The team is part of the British delegation on Hong Kong's 13th periodic report under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).

A government spokesman said today (Tuesday) that during the hearing, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination would examine the report submitted by the United Kingdom Government last year.

"Apart from assisting the British delegation in answering questions on the implementation of the Convention in the territory, the Hong Kong team will also explain the contents of the report and provide information on the latest developments to the Committee," the spokesman said.

The report was tabled in the Legislative Council and made public last October.

10

The Convention was ratified by the United Kingdom Government in 1969 and was extended to Hong Kong in the same year.

Apart from Mr Wong, the other team members are Principal Assistant Secretary for Security, Mrs Maureen Chan; Assistant Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr John Dean; and Senior Crown Counsel, Mr Peter Wong.

End

Fewer transport complaints in fourth quarter *****

The number of complaints and suggestions received by the Transport Complaints Unit of the Transport Advisory Committee in the fourth quarter last year dropped by 11.1 per cent to 3,556 compared with 4,001 in the previous quarter.

During the period, the major areas of complaint were related to public transport (74 per cent), road traffic conditions (11 per cent) and enforcement (10 per cent).

The number of complaints about public transport increased by 0.3 per cent from 2,620 in the previous quarter to 2,629.

During the quarter, there were increases in the number of complaints against taxi driver malpractices (up from 1,153 to 1,378) and China Motor Bus (up from 248 to 255).

However, complaints about green minibuses dropped by 31.9 per cent to 222 from 326. There were also fewer complaints against Kowloon Motor Bus (down from 337 to 277), Cilybus (down from 147 to 135), ferry services (down from 72 to 41) and rail services (down from 58 to 40).

Complaints about traffic congestion dropped by 45.9 per cent to 238 from 440. Complaints about road conditions also dropped by 25.3 per cent to 71 from 95.

During the same period, the number of suggestions for additional traffic signs and aids dropped from 115 to 93. There were also fewer complaints about the malfunctioning of such facilities (down from 60 to 50) and traffic enforcement action (down from 478 to 350).

All suggestions and complaints received by Transport Complaints Unit had been referred to the relevant authorities and government departments for investigation.

End

11

Consult professionals on building works *****

Members of the publie should consult the building professionals before carrying out any building works, the Assistant Director of Buildings (Legal and Management), Mr Edward Lok, said today (Tuesday).

Mr Lok made the appeal after four persons were convicted at the Eastern Magistracy this morning for carrying out demolition works at 12 Sai On Street, Aberdeen on August 1, 1994 without prior approval.

The demolition eventually resulted in the collapse of a canopy, killing one passer-by and injuring several others.

Two of the defendants - a restaurant owner and a building contractor - were each fined $20,000. The other two, who were workers on site, were each fined $1,000.

Mr Lok pointed out that under the Buildings Ordinance, property owners should obtain prior approval from the Building Authority before carrying out any buildings works, such as construction, demolition, alteration or addition.

The maximum penalty for violating the Ordinance is a fine of $100,000 and two years’ imprisonment.

"Our prime concern is public safety. Buildings works without proper planning and supervision are not only hazardous to the workers, but also pose a great danger to the life and property of the general public.

"All of us have a duty to observe safety rules. Contractors, in particular, have the responsibility to supervise and ensure that all building and demolition works are carried out in a safe manner," Mr Lok said.

End

12

Analysis of external trade statistics by mode of transport

* * * * *

The value of Hong Kong's external trade by ocean accounted for 49% of Hong Kong's external trade in 1995, according to the statistics released by the Census and Statistics Department today ( Tuesday).

Another 25% was transported by land and yet another 20% by air. The remaining 5.3% included shipment by river, postal parcels, and accompanied goods of passengers travelling on various means of transport.

Shipment by ocean amounted to $1,389.5 billion in 1995, with an increase of 15% over that in 1994. Hong Kong's external trade by land went up by 13% to $720.9 billion while that by air also went up by 28% to $573.5 billion in 1995.

Table 1 shows changes in value of Hong Kong's external trade analysed by mode of transport in 1995 compared with 1994.

The United States remained the largest destination for Hong Kong's total exports (including domestic exports and re-exports) by ocean, accounting for a share of 32% in value terms in 1995. The value of total exports by ocean to the United States went up by 7.7% in 1995.

The value of total exports by ocean to Japan increased by 24% in 1995 over 1994. Increases were also recorded in seaborne total exports to the other main destinations: China (+16%) and the United Kingdom (+13%).

Japan was the largest supplier of Hong Kong's imports by ocean, accounting for a share of 23% in value in 1995. The value of imports by ocean from Japan went up by 8.4% in 1995 over 1994.

Increases were also recorded in seaborne imports from the United States (+31%), South Korea (+24%), China (+21%) and Taiwan (+17%).

Table 2 shows changes in value of external trade by ocean with main trading partners in 1995 compared with 1994.

In 1995, the value of total exports by air to the United Slates accounted for 26% of the value of Hong Kong's total exports by air and increased by 7.5% over 1994.

13

The value of total exports by air to Taiwan and Japan increased by 37% and 28% respectively in 1995 over 1994. Increases were also recorded in airborne total exports to the other main destinations: Singapore (+22%) and Germany (+7.9%).

Airborne imports from all main suppliers increased considerably in 1995. The percentage increases in value in 1995 over 1994 were: France (+169%), Singapore (+41%), Taiwan (+38%), Japan (+29%) and the United States (+27%).

Table 3 shows changes in value of external trade by air with main trading partners in 1995 compared with 1994.

More detailed figures on changes in value of external trade by ocean between 1995 and 1994 analysed by principal commodity division are shown in fable 4.

Significant increases were recorded in value of re-exports by ocean for miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of baby carriages, toys, games and sporting goods (by $16.5 billion or 15%); telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $15 billion or 21%); and electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $10.6 billion or 30%).

Large increases were also recorded in value of imports by ocean for plastics in primary forms (by $15.3 billion or 55%); and textiles (by $9.6 billion or 12%).

However, decreases were recorded in the value of imports by ocean for road vehicles (by $4.2 billion or 9.1%) and in the value of domestic exports by ocean for textiles (by $807 million or 10%).

Changes in value of external trade by air between 1995 and 1994 analysed by principal commodity division are shown in fable 5.

Comparing 1995 with 1994, significant increases were recorded in the value of imports by air for electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $29.9 billion or 40%); telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $12.2 billion or 57%); and office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $10 billion or 46%).

14

As regards exports by air, increases were recorded for re-exports of electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $14.4 billion or 49%); office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $11.6 billion or 95%); photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies, optical goods, watches and clocks (by $3.7 billion or 20%); and for domestic exports of electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $5.5 billion or 33%).

However, decreases were recorded in value of domestic exports by air for office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $857 million or 7.6%) and in the value of re-exports by air for clothing (by $791 million or 3.8%).

Changes in value of external trade by land between 1995 and 1994 analysed by principal commodity division are shown in Table 6.

Comparing 1995 with 1994, significant increases were recorded in value of imports by land for electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $8.4 billion or 34%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of baby carriages, toys, games and sporting goods (by $8.1 billion or 14%); telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $6.4 billion or 14%); and footwear (by $5.4 billion or 15%).

As regards exports by land, increases were recorded for re-exports of textiles (by $7.8 billion or 15%); plastics in primary forms (by $6.1 billion or 36%); and electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $4.2 billion or 28%); and for domestic exports of clothing (by $1.2 billion or 27%).

Detailed statistics of Hong Kong’s external trade analysed by mode of transport are published in the December issue of the Hong Kong External Trade report which is now on sale at $122 per copy.

The report can be purchased at either the Government Publications Sales Centre on the ground floor, Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong, or the Publications Unit of the Census and Statistics Department on the 19th Floor, Wanchai 'l ower, 12 I (arbour Road, Wan Chai.

Enquiries regarding regular subscription to this report may be directed to the Publications (Sales) Office of the Information Services Department at 28th Floor, Siu On Centre, 188 Lockhart Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong, Tel 2598 8194, and enquiries on trade statistics to the Census and Statistics Department on 2582 4915.

15

TABLE 1 : EXTERNAL TRADE BY MODE OF TRANSPORT

MODE OF TRANSPORT/ TYPE OF TRADE

JAN-DEC 1995

HKD Mn.

JAN-DEC 1994

HKD Mn.

YEAR-ON-YEAR CHANGE

HKD Mn. %

OCEAN

DOMESTIC EXPORTS 95,134 93,062 + 2,073 + 2.2

RE-EXPORTS 615,552 541,675 + 73,877 13.6

TOTAL EXPORTS 710,637 634,737 + 75,949 + 12.0

IMPORTS 678,812 577,636 101,176 17.5

TOTAL BY OCEAN 1,389,499 1,212,374 + 177,125 + 14.5

AIR

DOMESTIC EXPORTS 75,610 70,128 + 5,482 + 7.8

RE-EXPORTS 168,131 130,078 + 38,053 + 29.3

TOTAL EXPORTS 243,740 200,206 + 43,535 21.7

IMPORTS 329,789 247,421 + 82,368 + 33.3

TOTAL BY AIR 573,529 447,626 + 125,903 4. 28.1

LAND 1

DOMESTIC EXPORTS 53,155 52,200 + 955 + 1.8

RE-EXPORTS 235,919 208,375 + 27,544 + 13.2

TOTAL EXPORTS 289,074 260,575 +• 28,499 + 10.9

IMPORTS 431,778 379,868 + 51,910 + 13.7

TOTAL BY LAND 720,852 640,443 80,409 + 12.6

OTHERS

DOMESTIC EXPORTS 7,758 6,702 + 1,057 + 15.8

RE-EXPORTS 92,868 67,793 + 25,074 + 37.0

TOTAL EXPORTS 100,626 74,495 + 26,131 35.1

IMPORTS 50,742 45,783 + 4,959 + 10.8

TOTAL BY OTHERS 151,368 120,279 + 31,090 + 25.8

ALL MODES OF TRANSPORT

DOMESTIC EXPORTS 231,657 222,092 + 9,565 + 4.3

RE-EXPORTS 1,112,470 947,921 + 164,549 + 17.4

TOTAL’ EXPORTS 1,344,127 1,170,013 + 174,114 + 14.9

IMPORTS 1,491,121 1,250,709 + 240,412 + 19.2

TOTAL TRADE 2,835,248 2,420,722 + 414,526 + 17.1

16

TABLE 2 : EXTERNAL TRADE BY OCEAN BY MAIN TRADING PARTNER

MAIN TRADING PARTNER

JAN-DEC 1995

HKD Mn.

JAN-DEC 1994

HKD Mn.

YEAR-ON-YEAR CHANGE

HKD Mn. %

DOMESTIC EXPORTS (DESTINATION)

UNITED STATES 36,089 35,834 + 256 + 0.7

GERMANY 7,490 8,104 - 615 - 7.6

UNITED KINGDOM 7,431 7,333 + 99 + 1.3

JAPAN 4,882 4,009 + 873 + 21.8

CHINA 4,147 3,591 + 556 + 15.5

ALL COUNTRIES 95,134 93,062 + 2,073 + 2.2

RE-EXPORTS

(DESTINATION)

UNITED STATES 192,239 176,232 + 16,007 + 9.1

CHINA 58,045 50,150 + 7,895 + 15.7

JAPAN 48,557 38,944 + 9,612 + 24.7

GERMANY 37,136 33,965 + 3,171 + 9.3

UNITED KINGDOM 26,584 22,724 + 3,861 + ■ 17.0

ALL COUNTRIES 615,552 541,675 73,877 + 13.6

TOTAL EXPORTS

(DESTINATION)

UNITED STATES 228,329 212,066 + 16,263 + 7.7

CHINA 62,192 53,742 + 8,451 + 15.7

JAPAN 53,439 42,953 + 10,485 + 24.4

GERMANY 44,626 42,069 + 2,557 + 6.1

UNITED KINGDOM 34,016 30,056 + 3,959 + 13.2

ALL COUNTRIES 710,687 634,737 + 75,949 + 12.0

IMPORTS

(SUPPLIER)

JAPAN 158,956 146,573 + 12,383 + 8.4

TAIWAN 106,067 90,553 + 15,514 + ' 17.1

UNITED STATES 62,643 47,977 + 14,666 • + 30.6

SOUTH KOREA 59,090 47,793 + 11,297 + 23.6

CHINA 51,313 42,514 + 8,799 + 20.7

ALL COUNTRIES 678,812 577,636 + 101,176 + 17.5

17

TABLE 3 : EXTERNAL TRADE BY AIR BY MAIN TRADING PARTNER

MAIN TRADING PARTNER JAN-DEC 1995 HKD Mn. JAN-DEC 1994 HKD Mn. YEAR-ON-YEAR C HKD Mn. HANGS %

DOMESTIC EXPORTS (DESTINATION) UNITED STATES 1 1 25,137 25,563 426 1.7

SINGAPORE 9,252 9,418 165 - 1.8

JAPAN 6,941 6,384 + 557 + 8.7

GERMANY 4,673 4,688 - 15 0.3

TAIWAN 4,426 3,023 + 1,403 + 46.4

ALL COUNTRIES 75,610 70,128 + 5,482 + 7.8

RE-EXPORTS

(DESTINATION)

UNITED STATES 38,682 33,784 + 4,898 + 14.5

JAPAN 21,376 15,675 + 5,702 + 36.4

TAIWAN 13,921 10,342 + 3,579 + 34.6

SOUTH KOREA 11,069 8,247 + 2,822 + 34.2

SINGAPORE 10,313 6,673 + 3,639 + 54.5

ALL COUNTRIES 168,131 130,078 + 38,053 + 29.3

TOTAL EXPORTS (DESTINATION)

UNITED STATES 63,819 59,347 + 4,472 + 7.5

JAPAN 28,317 22,059 + 6,258 + 28.4

SINGAPORE 19,865 16,091 3,474 + 21.6

TAIWAN 18,347 13,365 + 4,982 + 37.3

GERMANY 13,278 12,308 + 970 + 7.9

ALL COUNTRIES 243,740 200,206 + 43,535 + 21.7

IMPORTS (SUPPLIER)

JAPAN ■ > 62,098 48,151 + 13,947 + 29.0

UNITED STATES 52,317 41,267 + 11,050 + 26.8

SINGAPORE 30,695 21,779 + 8,915 + 40.9

TAIWAN 23,145 16,714 + 6,431 + 38.5

FRANCE 19,854 7,389 + 12,465 + 168.7

ALL COUNTRIES 329,789 247,421 + 82,368 33.3

18

TABLE 4 : EXTERNAL TRADE BY OCEAN BY MAIN COMMODITY DIVISION

MAIN COMMODITY DIVISION JAN-DEC 1995 HKD Mn. JAN-DEC 1994 HKD Mn. YEAR-ON-YEAR CHANGE

HKD Mn. 1 %

DOMESTIC EXPORTS ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 50,127 49,897 + 229 + 0.5

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY PRINTED MATTER) 8,045 7,809 + 236 + 3.0

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 7,017 7,824 - 807 10.3

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES . 4,742 4,184 + 558 + 13.3

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 3,975 3,491 + 484 + 13.9

RE-EXPORTS MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY BABY CARRIAGES, TOYS, GAMES AND SPORTING GOODS) 124,724 108,222 16,503 + 15.2

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 85,601 70,634 + 14,967 + 21.2

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 69,340 69,715 - 375 0.5

FOOTWEAR 56,584 50,278 + 6,306 * 12.5

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 45,400 34,812 + 10,588 + 30.4

IMPORTS TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 88,445 78,817 + 9,628 + 12.2

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 58,235 51,664 + 6,571 + 12.7

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 43,959 36,016 + 7,944 + 22.1

PLASTICS IN PRIMARY FORMS 43,029 27,696 + 15,334 + 55.4

ROAD VEHICLES 42,060 46,272 4,212 9.1

19

TABLE 5 : EXTERNAL TRADE BY AIR BY MAIN COMMODITY DIVISION

MAIN COMMODITY DIVISION JAN-DEC 1995 HKD Mn. JAN-DEC 1994 HKD Mn. YEAR-ON- HKD Mn. -YEAR CHANGE %

DOMESTIC EXPORTS

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 22,164 16,629 5,535 + 33.3

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 17,801 18,537 - 735 4.0

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 10,963 10,791 + 172 + 1.6

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 10,356 11,213 - 857 7.6

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY JEWELLERY, GOLDSMITHS’ AND SILVERSMITHS' WARES) 7,101 6,463 + 638 + 9.9

RE-EXPORTS

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 43,754 29,365 + 14,389 + 49.0

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 23,829 12,245 + 11,584 + 94.6

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 22,784 19,035 + 3,748 + 19.7

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 19,753 20,543 - 791 3.8

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 13,200 9,775 + 3,425 + 3 J. 0

IMPORTS

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 105,109 75,233 + 29,8*’6 + 39.7

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 33,586 21,383 * 12,203 ♦ 57.1

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 31,723 21680 + 10,043 + 46.3

NON-METALLIC MINERAL MANUFACTURES 29,205 2GS56 + 2,649 + 10.0

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 28,510 24,949 + 3,560 14.3

- 20 -

TABLE 6 : EXTERNAL TRADE BY LAND BY MAIN COMMODITY DIVISION

MAIN COMMODITY DIVISION JAN-DEC 1995 HKD Mn. JAN-DEC 1994 HKD Mn. YEAR-ON-YEAR CHANGE

HKD Mn. %

DOMESTIC EXPORTS TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 7,270 8,005 735 9.2

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 5,851 6,031 - 180 - 3.0

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 5,785 4,564 + 1,221 + 26.8

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 5,271 4,363 + 908 + 20.8

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY BABY CARRIAGES, TOYS, GAMES AND SPORTING GOODS) 4,204 4,425 - 221 5.0

RE-EXPORTS TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 59,312 51,497 + 7,815 + 15.2

PLASTICS IN PRIMARY FORMS 23,097 16,952 + 6,144 + 36.2

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 19,259 15,097 + 4,162 + 27.6

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 14,994 14,231 + 763 + 5.4

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 9,326 7,347 + 1,979 + 26.9

IMPORTS ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 76,797 75,022 + 1,774 2.4

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY BABY CARRIAGES, TOYS, GAMES AND SPORTING GOODS) 66,351 58,266 + 8,085 + 13.9

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING 4 • APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 52,850 46,486 + 6,364 ■ + 13.7

FOOTWEAR 42,731 37,314 + 5,416 + 14.5

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL • PARTS THEREOF 33,468 25,057 + 8,411“ • + 33.6 i. •

End

21

DI IA and DB members to visit Macau *****

The Director of Home Affairs, Mrs Shelley Lau, together with the chairmen or representatives of the 18 district boards, will pay a one-day visit to Macau tomorrow (Wednesday).

They will be briefed by local officials on the public administration in Macau before meeting the Secretary for Public Administration, Education and Youth Affairs, Mr Jorge Rangel.

The delegation will also visit the Macau Airport, the municipal council, a community complex and a new incinerator in Taipa.

The team, expected to return tomorrow night, will also be accompanied by the Deputy Director of Home Affairs, Mr Lee Lap-sun, and three District Officers from the Central and Western, Islands and Yau Tsim Mong districts.

End

Film public advisers’ decision in line with censors

*****

Hong Kong's film classification system had been working well and its censorship standards were in line with those generally accepted by the community, the Commissioner for Television and Entertainment Licensing, Mr P T Cheung, said.

A key factor in this was the contribution made by some 280 members of the public serving on the Panel of Advisers (Film Censorship), he added.

Speaking at the spring reception he hosted for the advisers today (Tuesday), Mr Cheung noted that they viewed films together with censors in the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority (TELA) and played an active part in the classification of films.

"As reflected by the statistics in the fourth quarter of last year, in 92 per cent of the cases, the censor's decisions are in line with advice given by the public advisers.

"In six per cent of the cases, the censor's decisions are more stringent while in the remaining two per cent, the censor's decisions are more lenient," he said.

- 22 -

Film public advisers come from a diversity of background: business executives, merchants, teachers, social workers and housewives. The ratio of female advisers has been improved from 32 per cent last year to the present 42 per cent.

As the majority of cinema-goers nowadays are young people, TELA also accepts applications by post-secondary students to become advisers. They now comprise 10 per cent of panel members.

Mr Cheung told the gathering that to further broaden the base of panel members, TELA would introduce evening viewing sessions next month so that more people, in particular office workers, could become film advisers.

In addition, TELA would appoint a consultancy firm to conduct a large scale biennial film standards survey in April and May to gauge community standards more accurately. The survey will involve a sample of 600 members of the public.

During the reception, Mr Cheung also presented long service awards to 35 film public advisers who have served between five and nine years with the Panel.

As the Panel is in constant need of new blood, Mr Cheung called on those who are aged 18 or above and understand English and Chinese to apply to TELA to become a film public adviser.

End

Gurkhas’ to cook up recipe of delights *****

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion the Royal Gurkha Rifles (1RGR), based in Malaya Lines, will take part in the regiment's cooking competition tomorrow (Wednesday).

The "chefs" and their assistants will take to the playing field at Borneo Lines, Sek Kong, and cook up a recipe of delights for the judges, who will include Deputy Chief of Staff at Headquarters British Forces, Colonel Howard Bentley-Merchant.

This is the second year 1RGR have organised the competition which is aimed at improving and maintaining the standard of cooking in the soldiers', senior noncommissioned officers’ and officers' messes.

End

23

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results

*****

Tender date 27 Feb 1996 27 Feb 1996

Paper on offer Issue number EF bills EF bills Q609 H659

Issue date 28 Feb 1996 28 Feb 1996

Maturity date 29 May 1996 28 Aug 1996

Coupon —. — -

Amount applied HK$6,500 MN HK$4,320 MN

Amount allotted HK$ 1,500 MN HKS800 MN

Average yield accepted 4.94 PCT 5.01 PCT

Highest yield accepted 4.95 PCT 5.02 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 24 PCT About 7 PCT

Average tender yield 4.98 PCT 5.05 PCT Hong Kong Monetary Authority

Tenders to be held in the week beginning 4 March 1996

Tender date 5 March 1996

Paper on offer EF bills

Issue number Q610

Issue date 6 March 1996

Maturity date 5 June 1996

Tenor 91 days

Amount on offer HK$ 1,500+300 MN

End

24

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time Ch.QU.rs) Cumulative change . CSmi.Uion)

Opening balance in the account 2,482 0930 +320

Closing balance in the account 1,931 1000 +320

Change attributable to : 1100 +320

Money market activity +322 1200 +324

LAF today -873 1500 +324

1600 +322

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 123.0 *-0.1* 27.2.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.71 2 years 2802 5.16 99.76 5.36

1 month .4.83 3 years 3901 5.57 100.02 5.64

3 months 4.95 5 years 5012 6.38 101.01 6.23

6 months 5.05 7 years 7302 6.02 97.14 6.64

12 months 5.08 5 years M502 7.30 103.50 6.52

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $24,439 million

Closed February 27, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Wednesday, February 28, 1996

Contents Page No.

Expert talks on new mobile communications services....................... 1

Technical talks on Vietnamese migrants held in Hanoi..................... 1

Bills for better investor protection to be introduced.................... 2

Bill to update HK bankruptcy law to be introduced........................ 3

Judiciary's response to press report..................................... 4

Further grants from Disaster Relief Fund approved........................ 4

New classification for marine pilots proposed............................ 5

Comic book to promote rights of the child published...................... 6

DB Chairmen's Macau visit a success...................................... 7

Two lots of land to let.................................................. 8

Salt water cut in Kowloon................................................ 9

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

1

Expert talks on new mobile communications services ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Talks between experts of the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group on new mobile communications services will take place in Hong Kong on February 29.

The British team will be led by British Representative Mr Alan Paul. The Chinese team will be led by Chinese Representative Mr Chen Zuo'er. They will be assisted by experts from the two sides.

End

Technical talks on Vietnamese migrants held in Hanoi ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A technical meeting was held in Hanoi today (Wednesday) between officials of the Hong Kong and Vietnamese governments to review progress on the repatriation of about 19,400 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) still in the territory.

Representatives of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the British Embassy were also present.

A government spokesman said the meeting noted the steady progress made in recent months in the clearance of VMs for return to Vietnam.

"About 12,400 had now been cleared and the Vietnamese side undertook to use their best endeavours to clear the remaining caseload as soon as possible," he said.

At a meeting held in December last year, agreement was reached on bilateral arrangements for the repatriation of VMs arriving in Hong Kong after June 15, 1995.

On this occasion, it was agreed that the first batch of VMs in this category would be returned on the Orderly Repatriation Programme flights scheduled to take place next month.

Commenting on the talks, the Refugee Co-ordinator, Mr Brian Bresnihan, emphasised the cordial atmosphere in which they had taken place.

2

"The exchanges were very useful and we built on the accords reached with our Vietnamese counterparts last year.

"We are particularly pleased that the repatriation of new arrivals has been put on a firm footing," he said.

End

Bills for better investor protection to be introduced *****

Two bills which seek to strengthen the relevant risk management systems and to enhance protection for investors will be published in the Government Gazette on Friday (March 1).

The Leveraged Foreign Exchange Trading (Amendment) Bill 1996 and the Securities and Futures Commission (Amendment) Bill 1996 will be introduced into the Legislative Council on March 13.

A Financial Services Branch spokesman said: "The Leveraged Foreign Exchange Trading (Amendment) Bill 1996 seeks to require a trader licensed under the Leveraged Foreign Exchange Trading Ordinance (LFETO) to obtain the consent of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) prior to the sale or issue of substantial holdings in its shares.

"Likewise, the Securities and Futures Commission (Amendment) Bill 1996 seeks to amend the SFC Ordinance so that the consent of the SFC is required prior to the sale or issue of substantial holdings in shares in a company registered with the SFC as dealers or investment advisers."

The spokesman added that the Leveraged Foreign Exchange Trading (Amendment) Bill 1996 also amended LFETO so that the making of orders by the High Court under section 13 would apply to any person, instead of to licence holders only, and any such order might specify assets other than currency.

End

3

Bill to update UK bankruptcy law to be introduced *****

The Bankruptcy (Amendment) Bill which seeks to updating and streamlining the existing Bankruptcy Ordinance will be published in the Gazette on Friday (March 1).

A government spokesman today (Wednesday) said the Bill makes a number of significant legal and procedural changes to the law of bankruptcy in Hong Kong.

’’The present legislation is out of date in terms of its concepts and procedures. The Administration, after taking into consideration the Law Reform Commission’s Report on Bankruptcy published in May 1995, proposes to adopt virtually all the recommendations in the report, except for revising some technical issues," the spokesman said.

The salient changes to the existing law include the abolition of the Acts of Bankruptcy and bankruptcy notices and their replacement by a system of statutory demands for a debtor to pay his debts due; new procedures for automatic discharge from bankruptcy and for independent voluntary arrangements between debtors and their creditors; simpler and/or more flexible court procedures and arrangements for meetings of creditors; and new "anti-avoidance" provisions to overturn disposals of property made by a debtor prior to bankruptcy that are contrary to the interests of the estate.

Other clauses in the Bill make amendments that are essentially technical or consequential to these changes.

"The Bill should be welcomed by the business community as it updates and simplifies bankruptcy procedures and should help to reduce the time and costs involved," the spokesman said.

9

"This is also in line with the needs of the economy as business activities continue to expand and increase in complexity.

"Insolvency legislation forms a key part of our overall legal framework for the operation of business. The changes that we propose to make provide a further demonstration that Hong Kong remains responsive to the demands of its status as a forward-looking, international business centre."

The Bill will be introduced into the Legislative Council in mid-March.

End

4

Judiciary's response to press report

*****

In response to press enquiries about South China Morning Post's story entitled "Judge Chua tries to stop report of court remarks" and similar reports in Sing Tao Daily today (Wednesday), a Judiciary spokesman stated that the judge realised that she erred in asking the press not to report her remarks.

The Chief Justice had asked to see the judge this morning. After speaking with the Chief Justice, the judge acknowledged that it was not appropriate for her to approach the press on the question of reporting as she did.

End

Further grants from Disaster Relief Fund approved

*****

The Disaster Relief Fund Advisory Committee today (Wednesday) approved a grant of $2.5 million to the World Vision Hong Kong and $1.18 million to the Salvation Army as contributions to their relief operations for earthquake victims in Lijiang, Yunnan, China.

So far, the Advisory Committee has approved a total of $12,825 million from the Disaster Relief Fund for various relief projects to assist the victims of the earthquake in Lijiang and Zhongdian counties in Yunnan.

Grants previously approved include $4,195 million to the Hong Kong Red Cross, $3 million to the Oxfam Hong Kong, and $1.95 million to the Medecins Sans Frontieres.

"The Advisory Committee is encouraged to see the response from members of the public towards the plight of the people in this earthquake," a government spokesman said.

"It shows that the Hong Kong people are generous towards the less fortunate."

As in the previous cases, the Hong Kong government will require both the World Vision Hong Kong and the Salvation Army 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.

End

5

New classification for marine pilots proposed ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Marine Department is proposing to introduce a new classification structure of licensed pilots which is characterised by the length of ships to ensure competency for each class of pilotage, a Marine Department spokesman said today (Wednesday).

Under the current classification, Class IIC is pilotage of ship not exceeding 153 metres. Class 11B not exceeding 168 metres, Class 11A not exceeding 229 metres and Class 1 pilotage is for ships of any length.

"As the number of container ships between 220 and 260 metres arriving Hong Kong have increased considerably in recent year, there is a need to review our pilotage structure," the spokesman said.

In August 1993, the Marine Department had commissioned the Rotterdam Pilots Consultancy to conduct a review on pilotage.

"Based on the recommendations of the consultancy report, the department decided to revise the current structure." the spokesman said.

The proposed classification structure is:

Class 11D is pilotage of ships not exceeding 150 metres;

* Class 11C is pilotage of ships not exceeding 165 metres;

* Class I IB is pilotage of ships not exceeding 220 metres;

* Class IIA is pilotage of ships not exceeding 260 metres;

* Class I is pilotage of ships of any length.

The proposal is incorporated in the Pilotage (Amendment) Order 1996 which will be gazetted on Friday (March 1).

"It is intended to bring the amendment Order into operation on April 9, 1996," the spokesman said.

The new classification structure will apply to those who arc applying a licence after April 9.

6

The Pilotage (Amendment) Order 1996 also provides changes to ensure that an apprentice pilot can obtain the necessary experience in handling naval ship after the demolition of HMS Tamar Naval and to update the information of floating docks listed in Table 1 of the Pilotage Order.

Currently the Pilotage Order requires that an apprentice pilot should accompany a licensed pilot to carry out two berthing and two unberthing operations at HMS Tamar Naval Dockyard.

"It is necessary to introduce changes to this provision following the demolition of the naval dockyard in February 1995," the spokesman said.

"As some of the floating docks listed in the order have been sold and tow away, it is necessary to update the list also."

End

Comic book to promote rights of the child published

*****

To promote public understanding of the rights of the child, the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education (CPCE) has produced a comic book to introduce the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on collaboration with the Hong Kong Committee for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

The Convention was extended to Hong Kong in 1994, a spokesman for CPCE said today (Wednesday): "The significance of the extension of the Convention is that it places Hong Kong under continuing international obligations to protect the rights of children and provide for their interests.

"The Convention obliges signatory states to respect and protect the rights of children as set out in the Convention, such as the right to health care and education, and to protect children from discrimination, abuse and neglect, among other things.

"The promotion of the Convention is part of the human rights publicity programme launched by the Government.

7

’’The CPCE has organised a number of events and programmes that include promotion of the Convention, for example, at the Civic Education Exhibition held last summer and in the human rights teaching kit for school children which has been published recently.”

The 64-page comic book, written in Chinese, provides a clear and interesting illustration of the Convention in colourful pictures and simple words. The full text of the Convention is also included for easy reference.

The booklet will be widely distributed to schools, libraries and community organisations.

It is now available for members of the public at the Civic Education Resource Centre on the second floor, Tung Sun Commercial Centre, 194-200 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong. Enquiries can be made on 2802 0131.

End

DB Chairmen's Macau visit a success ♦ * * ♦ *

The 18 District Board (DB) chairmen and their representatives today (Wednesday) paid the first-ever visit to Macau in a one-day trip arranged and coordinated by the Home Affairs Department (HAD).

fhe delegation of DB chairmen and HAD officials were warmly received by the Secretary’ for Public Administration. Education and Youth Affairs of the Government of Macau, Mr Jorge Rangel.

It also paid a courtesy call on the Macau Municipal Council.

"This is indeed a historic trip." said the Director of Home Affairs. Mrs Shelley Lau. who led the delegation.

"Hong Kong and Macau shared so much in common and a lot to learn from one another in terms of district administration and how to improve our services to the community.”

8

Apart from calling on government and Municipal Council representatives, the delegation also toured a community centre above a market complex, a modem incinerator and the new Macau Airport.

"We are most impressed by the new development in Macau in recent years, as well as the success of the campaign to keep the city clean," said the Chairman of the Kwun Tong District Board, Mrs Winnie Poon.

"We also appreciated the chance to exchange views with Mr Jorge Rangel on how to encourage voter turnout in their forthcoming elections."

In summing up the successful one-day visit, Mrs Lau said she wished there would be opportunities for DB chairmen to visit other territories in the future.

She also expressed the hope that government officials and the municipal councillors from Macau could visit Hong Kong in the near future so that the Hong Kong government and DBs could reciprocate the hospitality received.

End

1'wo lots of land to let *****

The Lands Department is inviting tenders for the short-term tenancies of two pieces of government land in Kowloon and the New Territories.

The first lot. located in Area 26C. Kwai Chung, has an area of 3.38 hectares for use as a fee-paying public car park for container tractors and trailers only.

The tenancy is for 18 months, renewable quarterly.

With an area of 1.070 square metres, the second lot is located at the junction of Ko Shan Road and Shansi Street in Hung I lorn. Il is earmarked for use as a fee-paying public car park for vehicles excluding containers, container vehicles, tractors and trailers.

The tenancy is for three years, renewable quarterly.

Closing date for submission of both lenders is noon on March 15.

9

Tender forms, tender notices and conditions may be obtained from the Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, and the respective district lands offices of Kwai Tsing and Kowloon West.

Tender plans can also be inspected at these offices.

End

Salt water cut in Kowloon

*****

Flushing water supply to all premises in Hung Hom, Kowloon City. Wong Tai Sin and adjacent areas will be temporarily suspended from 9 pm on Friday (March 1) to 8 am the following day to allow maintenance works of watermains to be carried out.

The temporary suspension will affect Hung Hom, To Kwa Wan, Tung Tau, Wong Tai Sin, Lok Fu, Kowloon City, Wang Tau Hom, Chuk Yuen, Kowloon l ong, Ma Tau Wai, Ma Tau Kok, the Hong Kong International Airport and the Kowloon Hospital.

End

I long Kong Monetary Authority money market operations *****

$ million fime (htiuisj Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1.931 0930 +871

Closing balance in the account 2,776 1000 . +871

Change attributable to : 1100 +871

Money market activity +871 1200 +878

LAF today -26 1500 +878

1600 +871

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 123.0 * H).O* 28.2.96

10

< f

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.71 2 years 2802 5.16 99.67 5.41

1 month 4.82 3 years 3901 5.57 99.87 5.70

3 months 4.95 5 years 5012 6.38 100.84 6.27

6 months 5.04 7 years 7302 6.02 97.03 6.66

12 months 5.10 5 years M502 7.30 103,27 6.58

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $29,191 million

Closed February 28, 1996 I

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, February 29,1996

Contents EageJNo.

Prime Minister to pay two-day visit to Hong Kong...................... 1

HK government delegation to visit China...............................

Kadoorie Agricultural Aid Loan Fund (Amendment) Bill..................

Factory Inspectors set new prosecution record.........................

Views sought on prevocational and technical education.................

Resource centre to boost child care service...........................

Disposal of recalled Vitasoy products.................................

External trade figures for January....................................

Office hours back to normal for BN(O) passports collection............ •1

37 new building plans approved in December.......................

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money ma*et operations.......... ........

1

Prime Minister to pay two-day visit to Hong Kong *****

The British Prime Minister, the Rt Hon John Major, will arrive in Hong Kong in the late evening of Saturday (March 2) for an official two-day visit after attending the inaugural Asia-Europe Summit in Bangkok.

He will start the first working day of his visit - Sunday - with a briefing and discussions with the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten.

After lunch, Mr Major, accompanied by the Governor, will begin a packed programme with a visit to the Lantau Fixed Crossing to see the progress of work on the Tsing Ma Bridge which will be the world's longest suspension bridge carrying both road and rail traffic.

Afterwards, he will travel by helicopter to Chek Lap Kok to visit the site of the new airport. This will be his first opportunity to see the development of this project since he signed the Memorandum of Understanding on the airport with Premier Li Peng in Peking in September 1991.

Later in the evening. Mr Major will attend a dinner at Government House hosted by the Governor and Mrs Patten in his honour for more than 150 political, business and community leaders.

On Monday (March 4) morning, the Prime Minister will visit the new Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre extension where he will unveil a foundation stone to commemorate his visit to Hong Kong.

He will then meet members of the Executive and Legislative Councils al Government I louse.

Mr Major will deliver a keynote speech at a luncheon jointly hosted by the British Chamber of Commerce and the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce at the Grand Hyatt I long Kong Hotel in Wan Chai.

In the afternoon, he will pay a visit to Sha fin District where he will stop at the Hong Kong Sports Institute, the Baptist Lui Ming Choi Primary School and the Sha Tin New Town Plaza to meet young athletes and sportsmen, students, teachers and local residents.

Before leaving Hong Kong for Seoul. Korea, later that evening, the Prime Minister will hold a press conference at the Central Government Offices New Annexe. Lower Albert Road.

End

2

UK government delegation to visit China

*****

The Secretary for Works, Mr Kwong Hon-sang, will be visiting Beijing and Dalian from March 3 to 12 this year, a Government spokesman announced today (Thursday).

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

’’This is one in a scries of China visits started in 1988 for the purpose of general familiarisation," the spokesman said.

End

Kadoorie Agricultural Aid Loan Fund (Amendment) Bill

*****

The Kadoorie Agricultural Aid Loan Fund (Amendment) Bill 1996, which aims at improving the administration of the Fund, will be gazetted tomorrgw (Friday).

Fhe Kadoorie Agricultural Aid Loan Fund Ordinance provides for the Fund to be administered by a committee of six members, the composition of which includes Lawrence Kadoorie (the late Lord Kadoorie) and Horace Kadoorie (the late Sir Horace Kadoorie).

A Government spokesman said: "As there are only four members remained in the loan fund committee now, the committee is unable to function as effectively as before.

"The Bill therefore proposes that the membership of the committee be increased to seven through the addition of one member nominated by Sir Elly Kadoorie & Sons Limited and two other new members."

The spokesman said: "The membership changes will ensure that the loan fund committee retains a link with the Kadoorie family and there are more opportunities for different representatives of the agricultural sector to experience the workings of the committee.

3

"The Bill also updates the definition of "agriculture" in the Ordinance, which already includes fish culture, to include all forms of aquaculture, to make it clear that both pond fish farmers and mariculturists may apply for loans from the Fund," he added.

The Bill will be introduced into the Legislative Council on March 13.

The Kadoorie Agricultural Aid Loan Fund was established in 1955 with donations from Lawrence Kadoorie, Horace Kadoorie and the Government for the purpose of encouraging and improving agriculture in Hong Kong by the issue of loans to farmers or groups of farmers.

Since its inception, nearly 80.000 loans totalling some $170 million have been made from the Fund.

End *

Factory Inspectors set new prosecution record

***** 9

I'he Factory Inspectorate Division (FID) of the Labour Department had achieved a new record last year in the number of prosecutions against those who breached industrial safety laws, the Deputy Commissioner for Labour (Special Duties), Mr Lee Kai-fat, said this (Thursday) afternoon.

Mr Lee said a record 3,252 summonses involving breaches of the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance (FIUO) and its subsidiary regulations had secure a conviction last year, representing a significant increase of 29 per cent over 1994.

Out of these cases, 592 were against employers who failed to effectively guard the dangerous parts of machinery; 369 related to failing to provide workers in construction sites with safety helmets; and 327 were against contractors for failing to provide guard rails or coverings to dangerous places to prevent the fall of persons.

Fines totalling $38.8 million were imposed by the courts last year as a result of the successful prosecutions.

"It was the highest record of total fines ever imposed on industrial safety offences, representing a 73 per cent increase over the previous year.

0

- 4 -

"It was also the first time that the average fine for each convicted summons had exceeded the $11,900 mark. These are encouraging signs," Mr Lee said.

He attributed the success to the concerted efforts of the factory inspectors, particularly those who had conducted nearly 22,000 inspections to construction sites and another 61,000 to other industrial undertakings in 1995.

Turning to the implementation of recommendations in the Consultation Paper on the Review of Industrial Safety in Hong Kong, Mr Lee said FID of the department was being restructured to reflect the changes.

"Sixty-six new posts, including 44 Factory Inspector posts, three senior engineer and one senior chemist posts are expected to be created in April this year to help implement the recommendations.

"Following a successful year of prosecutions, our prime target this year will focus on the promotion of safety management at the enterprise level so that safety and health issues could be tackled more effectively," he said.

He said an amendment to FIUO was expected to be made in May to empower the Commissioner for Labour to issue suspension notices and improvement notices to stop hazardous processes, the operation of dangerous machines or the use of working methods until proprietors had taken specific safety measures to eliminate the risks.

The Commissioner also intends to make a new set of regulation to require proprietors of large or hazardous industrial undertakings to implement safety management systems in the workplace.

Later in the year, the proposed regulation will prescribe the key process elements of a safety management system and provide for its effectiveness to be measured by safety audits or safety reviews depending on the size of an undertaking or the nature of a process.

Furthermore, a number of existing industrial safety laws are being amended to enhance their control on work safety and to follow up on the recommendation of enhanced law enforcement.

Another major move by FID is to extend the protection of work safety and health to other occupations which are at present outside the ambit of existing safety legislation.

5

•"To achieve this target, a new enabling ordinance and two subsidiary regulations, namely - one on basic safety and health provisions in the workplace and another one on manual handling operation, will be introduced shortly," Mr Lee said.

In its promotion of occupational safety in the territory, 1 ID has launched a number of activities last year which included seminars and more than 510 safety training courses for some 16.500 participants.

With the support of the Information Services Department, the 1995-96 industrial safety campaign is now in full swing.

Three films promoting the need to wear safety belts, hearing protection and work safety in confined spaces, will be broadcast in I long Kong's three major television stations from March I.

A fourth promotion Ulm on safety helmet is being produced.

End

Views sought on prevocational and technical education

*****

1-ducators and members of the public are being invited to submit views on I long Kong's prevocational and secondary technical education system, which is being reviewed by the Government.

The Education Department has set up a working group to conduct a comprehensive review of prevocational and secondary technical education in Hong Kong, covering such topics as curriculum, interface with tertiary institutes, leaching facilities and teacher training.

Members of the public are invited to send their views to the Secretary. Working Group to Review Prevocational and Secondary Technical Education at Room 1404. Wu Chung House. 213 Queen's Road I ast. Wan Chai. Hong Kong, before April I. 1996.

6

Interested parties are also welcome to participate in any one of the two public forums organised by the Working Group to be held this Saturday (March 2) and the following Saturday (March 9) at Harbour View Room, 3rd floor, the Excelsior Hotel. 281 Gloucester Road. Causeway Bay. I long Kong, from 9.30 am to noon.

Enquiries may be made on 2892 6315.

End

Resource centre to boost child care service *****

A new resource centre will be opened tomorrow (Friday) to boost the standard of child care service in the territon

The Child Care Service Resource Centre (CCSRC), operated by the Child Care Centres Advisory Inspectorate of the Social Welfare Department, aims to provide supportive service primarily to child care sen ice professionals for the development of child care services in Hong Kong.

"The resource centre will he opened to front-line registered child care staff, child care service personnel, child care training personnel as well as approved child care training course students," a spokesman for the department said today (I hursday).

Situated on the 23rd floor of Southern Centre. 130 Hennessy Road. Wan Chai, the CCSRC will be opened from 9 am to I pm and 2 pm to 5 pm on weekdays and from 9 am to 12 noon on Saturdays. It will be closed on Sundays and public holidays.

"Services provided include on-the-spot study and loan of reference materials; preview and loan of audio-visual materials; exhibition of self-made quality teaching aids and activity projects; and production of Cantonese-dubbed version of foreign video programmes.

" The resource centre has initially more than 1.000 items of reference materials including books, periodicals, reports, newsletters, pamphlets/lcallets and newspaper clippings." the spokesman said, adding that new items will be added from time to time.

In order to provide better service to users, the CCSRC will adopt an extended service hours scheme on every first Saturday of the month.

7

The extended service hours, opened from 1 pm to 5 pm. will be implemented on a trial basis for six months.

Enquirers may contact the CCSR.C on telephone 2835 2712.

End

Disposal of recalled Vitasoy products *****

In response to media enquiries, a Principal Environmental Protection Officer of the Environmental Protection Department. Dr Ellen Chan, today (Thursday) confirmed that the disposal trials through landfilling, incineration and sewage treatment of recalled Vitasoy products had been completed.

According to Vitasoy International Holdings Ltd, about 8 200 tonnes (liquid plus cartons) of their products that were recalled from the market in January this year will need to be disposed of.

So far, a total of 1 400 tonnes of these products have been disposed of at the North East New Territories (NENT) Landfill, the South East New Territories (SENT) Landfill, the Kwai Chung Incineration Plant and Sai Kung Sewage Treatment Works on a trial basis.

Dr Chan said that (he disposal trials at the two landfills had been found to be satisfactory.

” I he disposal has caused no effect on groundwater or surface water as the landfills are completely lined and the leachate collected is being pumped to on-site treatment facilities for treatment before discharging to the sewerage system," she noted.

"As such, the NENT and SEN I landfills can increase their daily intake from 10 tonnes to at least 20 and 50 tonnes respectively with effect from March 1," Dr Chan added.

8

Dr Chan also noted that the disposal of recalled Vitasoy products by means of incineration and secondary sewage treatment had also been found to be acceptable with no discernible effect on either the operation or the environmental performance of the plants.

The Kwai Chung Incineration Plant would continue a daily intake of about 10 tonnes before the plant closes down for routine maintenance in mid March 1996 while the Sai Kung Sewage Treatment Works can accept at least 30 tonnes of liquid products a day, she said.

"According to this disposal plan, all the recalled Vitasoy products are expected to be disposed of by the end of April or early May," she added.

As for the costs for disposal, Dr Chan said Vitasoy had been informed that details of the charges to be levied were now being worked out by the Government.

End

External trade figures for January

*****

Both re-exports and imports showed marked increases in January 1996 over a year earlier and domestic exports also registered a moderate increase, according to the external trade figures for January released by the Census and Statistics Department today (Thursday).

The value of total exports (comprising re-exports and domestic exports) increased by $18.9 billion or 19% over a year earlier to $120.2 billion in January 1996. Within total exports, the value of re-exports, at $101.2 billion in January this year, was $ 18 billion or 22% higher.

The value of domestic exports, at $19 billion, increased by $815 million or 4.5%. Meanwhile, the value of imports increased by $25.3 billion or 24% to $130.3 billion.

As the value of total exports in January 1996 was smaller than that of total imports, a visible trade deficit of $10.1 billion, equivalent to 7.7% of the value of imports, was recorded. This compared with a deficit of $3.6 billion, equivalent to 3.5% of the value of imports, in January 1995.

9

A government spokesman said the strong export performance in January, involving an accelerated growth in both domestic exports and re-exports, was encouraging.

Meanwhile, the value of retained imports also showed a marked increase, by 29% over a year earlier, reflecting continued strong import demand for production and capacity expansion purposes.

The table annexed presents the external trade figures in January 1996.

A more detailed analysis of Hong Kong's external trade for January 1996, by commodity and country, will be released in mid-March 1996.

* • • -10-

EXTERNAL TRADE FIGURES FOR JANUARY 1996 1 MERCHANDISE: Domestic Exports : $18,993 million Re-exports : $101/192 million Total Exports : $120,185 million Imports : $130,279 million Trade balance : -$10,093 million

COMPARATIVE FIGURES Latest 3 months : Domestic Exports 1 (% of Total Exports) Re-exports iZ Nov 95 to Nov 94 to Change Jan 96 Jan 95 HKS Mn. HKS Mn. HKS Mn. % 57,996 58,751 -755 -1.3 (16.7%) (18.9%) 290,150 251,941 +38,209 + 15.2

Total Exports j Imports 348,146 310,692 +37,454 +12.1 382,872 333,613 +49,259 +14.8

Trade balance Same month last year j Domestic Exports ’ (% of Total Exports) I Re-exports Total Exports Imports Trade balance Last month । Domestic Exports (% of Total Exports) I Re-exports ' Total Exports Imports Trade balance Last 12 months 1 Domestic Exports -34,726 -22,921 -11,805 Januasv January Change 1996 1995 HKS Mn. HKS Mn. HKS Mn. % i 18,993 18,178 f815 +4.5 j (15.8%) (17.9%) 101,192 83,143 +18,049 +21.7 120,185 101,321 +18,864 +18.6 130,279 104,944 +25,335 +24.1 -10,093 -3,623 -6,470 January December Change i 1996 1995 HKS Mn. HKS Mn. HKS Mn. % | 18,993 20,157 -1,164 -5.8 (15.8%) (17.5%) 101,192 95,153 +6,038 +6.3 120,185 115,311 +4,874 +4.2 130,279 127,689 +2,589 +2.0 -10,093 -12,378 +2,285 Feb 95 to Feb 94 to Change Jan 96 Jan 95 HKS Mn. HKS Mn. HKS Mn. % 232,473 224,930 +7,543 +3.4

, (% of Total Exports) i Re-exports Total Exports Imports Trade balance End (17.1%) (18.9%) 1; 1,130,519 964,293 +166,226 +17.2 1,362,991 1,189,223 +173,769 +14.6 1,516,456 1,275,275 +241,181 +18.9 -153,464 -86,052 -67,412 1 29 February 1996 1 CENSUS AND STATISTICS DEPARTMENT |

11

Office hours back to normal for BN(O) passports collection

*****

The Immigration Department will cease to operate extended working hours on Saturdays for collection of BN(O) passports at the Travel Documents (Passport) Section at its Headquarters and nine branch Offices, a spokesman of the department announced today (Friday).

With effect from March 1, the following offices will not extend services on Saturdays up to 3 pm. Their normal office hours are:

* Travel Documents (Passport) Section

Mondays - Fridays 8.45 am to 4.30 pm

Saturdays 9 am to 11.30 am

* Hong.KongJsland Re-entry Permit and Passport Issuing Office » A J

Mondays - Fridays 9 am to 4.30 pm

Saturdays 9 am to 12.30 pm

Other Immigration Offices are:

(i) Kowloon Office

(ii) West Kowloon Office

(iii) Sha Tin Office

(iv) Tai Po Office

(v) Fanling Office

(vi) Tsuen Wan Office

(vii) Tuen Mun Office

(viii) Yuen Long Office

Mondays - Fridays 9 am to 12.45 pm and 2 pm to 4.30 pm

Saturdays 9 am to 12.30 pm

Applicants who have been notified to collect their BN(O) passports are reminded that they should pick them up at the specified office within two months from the date of notification.

12

If they do not do so within this period, they may be required to collect their passports at another office.

For enquiry, members of the public may phone 2824 6111 or fax 2877 7711.

End

37 new building plans approved in December *****

The Buildings Department had approved 37 building plans in December last year.

Of the plans, 13 are for Hong Kong Island, nine for Kowloon and 15 for the New Territories.

The approved plans include 14 for apartment and apartment/commercial developments, nine for commercial developments, seven for factory and industrial developments, and seven for community services developments.

In the same month, consent was given for work to start on 28 building projects, which involve 90,870 square metres of usable domestic floor area and 71,349 square metres of usable non-domestic floor area.

During the same period, the department also issued 33 occupation permits -seven for Hong Kong Island, 14 for Kowloon and 12 for the New Territories.

Of the buildings certified for occupation in the month, the usable floor areas for domestic and non-domestic uses are 105,131 square metres and 132,219 square metres respectively.

The declared cost of new buildings completed in the month totalled about $2,628 million.

In addition, 10 demolition consents involving 18 buildings and structures were issued.

The Buildings Department's Control and Enforcement Division had received 553 complaints of unauthorised building works, and had issued 325 removal orders on unauthorised works.

End

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

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,776 0930 +24

Closing balance in the account 2,050 1000 +24

Change attributable to : 1100 +24

Money market activity +49 1200 +24

LAF today -775 1500 +49

1600 +49

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 123.4 *+0.4* 29.2.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.72 2 years 2802 5.16 99.52 5.49

1 month 4.83 3 years 3901 5.57 99.65 5.78

3 months 5.00 5 years 5012 6.38 100.54 6.34

6 months 5.09 7 years 7302 6.02 96.62 6.74

12 months 5.16 5 years M502 7.30 103.12 6.62

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $15,352 million

Closed February 29, 1996

End