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

 DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Monday, December 2,1996

Contents Page No,

Governor presents insignia and commendations to 129 people.............. 1

Town planners strive to make HK a better place.......................... 8

Accomodation consultant for World Bank/IMF meetings engaged........ 9

Aeronautical search and rescue exercise to be held tomorrow............ 10

Contract to be signed with agents for sale of surplus flats........ 11

Interest on Tax Reserve Certificates revised....................... 11

Staff member of unlicensed guesthouse fined............................ 13

Parcel delievery centre in Sha Tin opened.......................... 13

Flushing water cut on Tsing Yi......................................... 14

Water storage figure................................................... 14

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

1

Governor presents insignia and commendations to 129 people ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, presented insignia and commendations to 129 people at a ceremony at Government House this (Monday) evening.

Following is the list of recipients:

CBE

Professor Ho-kei Chung Ma

Professor Chia-wei Woo

The Honourable Mr Justice Woo Kwok-hing

QBE

Mr Daniel Koo Shing-cheong

Mr Billy Lam Chung-lun

Dr Harry Lee Nai-shee

Professor John Leong Chi-yan

The Honourable Eric Li Ka-cheung

Mr Louis Kar-chit Wong

MBE

Mr Chan Shing-chung

Mr Chong Yuk-lau

Mr Michael Stanley Nicholas Farlie

Mr Ho Hau-shiu

Mr Ho Kwok-fong

2

Mr Peter Ho Wing-ko

Mr Ko Tam-kan

Mr Lai Wah-tung

Mr Joseph Lee Man-kong

Miss Sabina Leung Fuk-tai

Mrs Helen Luk Tuet Siu-wah

Mr Farley Ma Man-chiu

Mr Ng Ying-neen

Dr Pang Hok-tuen

Mr Tong Yun-kai

Dr Kenneth Wang Kuk-kei

Mrs Carrie Willis Yau Sheung-mui

Mr Wong King-wan

Mr Yip Wah

Mr Yung Tin-tack

QESM

Mr Hsu King-ping

Imperial Service Medal

Mr Leung Yan

Mr Tam Leung-fu

Mr Tang Kau

3

CPM

Mr Iain Charles Grant

Mr John Yuen Ying-lam

Mr Lee Siu-kin

Mr Tse Yee-sum

Mr Stuart Wringe

Mr Ian Robert Mackness

Mr Francis Edwin Hillier

Mr Colin Frederick Thomborrow

Mr Lai Yuen-wing

Mr Rodney John Starling

Mr Charles William Mitchell

Mr Yu Shi-cheung

Mr Lam Chi-ning

Mr Cheung Tak-yiu

Mr Leung Sheung-man

Mr Wong Long

Mr Chan Ping-chiu

Mr Wu Kang-fuk

Mr Ng Chi-keung

Mr Leung Sai-kan

4

Mr Tsang Kwong-kwai (Fire Service)

Mr Yu Ah-chu (Fire Service)

Mr Lee Kee-cheong (Fire Service)

Queen's Commendation for Bravery in the Air

Mr Raymond Chang Yao-teng

Badge of Honour

Miss Chan Tan-lui

Mr Chan Wai-chung

Mrs Florence Chuang Cheng Sai-ger

Miss Augusta Chui

Mr Hau Kam-lam

Ms Ho Kim-fai

Mr Ho Wing-chuen

Mr Hui Ka-hoo

Mr Kwok Chi-leung

Mr Lam Kwok-yin

Mr Lam Sai-hung

Mr Lee Lok-ping

Mr Benedict Lee Shui-sing

Mr Lee Siu-tin

Mrs Laura Ling Lau Yuet-fun

5

Mr Luk Kwok-hung

Mr So Pang-gen

Mr Daniel To Yau-on

Mr Wong Kam-ming

Mr Wong Kin-wing

Mr Albert Young Siu-chuen

Governor's Commendations

Mr Wong Yu-hoi

Mr Dicky Chan Kong-sang

Mr Kwok Leung-ming

Mr Sun Yuk-lun

Mr Wong Fu-shing

Mr Wayne Franklin Parsons

Mr James Arthur Stokes

Mr Calvin Shum Chi-wai

Mr Mason Ng Wai-cheong

Mr Libby Lee Kwok-leung

Order of St John

Officer Brothers

Mr Fung Kwan-chee

Mr Malcolm Andrew Bleach

6

Mr Chan Shek-leung

Mr Yuen Yat-ming

Mr So Kwong-hung

Officer Sister

Miss Yu Ngar-nei

Serving Brothers

Dr Chan Kow-tak

Dr Yeung Ho-yin

Mr Lui Shu-cheung

Mr Li Ying-sang

Mr Yeung Sai-him

Mr Lau Ting-leung

Mr Cheung Po-wo

Mr Chong Kam-ning

Mr Sum Yuk-biu

Dr To Sau-ying

Mr Yeung Siu-wai

Mr Cheng Kam-chung

Mr Lai Hing-yuen

Mr Gan Wee-sean

Mr Yau Kim-hung

7

Mr Tang Wing-yan

Mr Wong Tung-yuen

Mr Yau Shek-on

Mr Yip Chi-kwong

Mr Chan Siu-lun

Mr Lau Hon-wah

Mr Arthur Antonio Da Silva

Mr Lau Tat-choi

Mr Wong Yat-wah

Mr Cheng Kam-wah

Serving-Sislers

Dr Wai Yuk-chun

Miss Tang Sui-wan

Ms Ngai Oi-mun

Miss Au Yuen-oi

Miss Wong Ling-chi

Mrs Hu Leung Tze-wai

Miss Chiu Wai-ling

Miss Lai Kit-ming

Miss Mak Lai-yee

Miss Chow Siu-lui

End

8

Town planners strive to make HK a better place * * * * *

Hong Kong has made significant achievements in town planning as reflected in its improved living conditions, well-coordinated transport infrastructure and conservation of natural environment and historical buildings, the Director of Planning, Dr Peter Pun, said today (Monday).

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Planning Department's Out-reach Programme held at Saint Mark's School in Shau Kei Wan, Dr Pun said the Government had been playing an active role in planning and development since the 30s.

"Today, we have plenty of examples which demonstrate what good town planning can achieve. The new town and comprehensive housing developments since 1970s as well as the urban redevelopment programme have contributed to better living conditions with co-ordinated community and transport facilities," he said.

"Well-planned harbour reclamation projects have also provided new land to coincide with the overall planning for Hong Kong, such as the development of the new airport and the expansion of commercial centres in urban areas.

"In conservation of natural environment, we have also achieved good results and have successfully established environmental protection areas such as Mai Po Nature Reserve and Hoi Ha marine park."

Also officiating at today's opening ceremony were the Assistant Director of Education, Mr Wai Kwok-bong; Eastern District Officer, Mr Lui Hau-tuen; Eastern District Board Chairman, Mr Chan Ping-woon: and Principal of Saint Mark’s School, Mrs Rosalind Chan.

The Out-reach Programme is aimed at enhancing students’ understanding on town planning through exhibitions and talks. It represents the Planning Department's effort in achieving its mission to promote public awareness of the positive role of planning in shaping and improving its environment.

The exhibition at the Saint Mark's School is the first to be held at 12 secondary schools throughout the territory until May next year.

It features 12 display panels on topics including planning system, new town development, airport core projects, conservation and urban renewal. A briefing session on a town planning topic will also be given by professional town planners to students during the exhibition period.

9

Each participating school will be presented with an educational kit containing a video on "Town Planning in Hong Kong" and publications on town planning.

Dr Pun said town planning in Hong Kong was a very challenging work because of the acute shortage of land and continuous substantial growth in population.

"With the approach of the 21st Century, this will be an even more difficult job. To meet the enormous demand for land resulting from population growth, shift in the industrial sector, social-economic changes and rising expectations from members of the public, the Government must act scrupulously on all land use matters.

"Views expressed by the general public are taken well into account during the planning process. Apart from using our professional knowledge, we are also tasked with balancing the demand and interest of different parties in the society. Through public consultations, we listen to views of people from all walks of life before we formulate our plans

"We endeavour to make Hong Kong a better organised, more efficient and a desirable home for every body.” Dr Pun said

End

Accommodation consultant for World Bank/IMI* meetings engaged ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

A consultancy and service agreement has been awarded to International Conference Consultants Ltd (ICC) and PC Tour & Travel (PC) to provide hotel booking service for visitors to the 1997 World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced today (Monday).

The two companies will work together to provide assistance on hotel arrangements and shuttle bus services for participants of the Annual Meetings

HKMA has already received hundreds of requests for hotel accommodation for the Annual Meetings from around the world. These requests would be transferred to the two companies for follow-up, said an HKMA spokesman.

The two companies will contact those banks and companies which have filed requests for accommodation during the Annual Meetings and they will be required to respond before the end of December 1996. Hotel rooms arrangements will then be notified to them latest by end of January' 1997.

10

For administrative convenience and with immediate effect, future requests for hotel accommodation for visitors to the Annual Meetings should be addressed to ICC direct. ICC can be reached on (852) 2559 9973 (telephone) or (852) 2547 9528 (fax).

For official delegates, their hotel accommodation will be handled by the Joint Secretariat of the World Bank and IMF based in Washington DC.

The Annual Meetings will be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and its new extension in mid-September 1997.

End

Aeronautical search and rescue exercise to be held tomorrow * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The annual search and rescue exercise organised by Civil Aviation Department (CAD) Hong Kong will be held consecutively for three days starting tomorrow (Tuesday).

The exercise is to provide training and familiarisation in search and rescue techniques for staff of the Civil Aviation Department and other rescue units.

This year’s exercise will consist of a search and rescue symposium by the various participating units, a short range rescue demonstration in the sea area near the Ninepins group of islands and a long range exercise in the South China Sea.

The short-range rescue demonstration will comprise dropping of a rescue kit which contains an inflatable life raft and jumping of a paramedic personnel from a Cl 30 aircraft, winching of simulated survivors from the deck of a ship as well as from a life raft.

A spokesman for CAD responsible for organising and co-ordinating the exercise said today (Monday) that the main event would be held on Wednesday (December 4).

The exercise is aimed at testing the alerting, co-ordination and communication facilities of various participants. It will be activated tomorrow evening simulating an aircraft in distress about 130 kilometres south of Hong Kong.

Search aircraft, helicopters and ships will be dispatched to the area the next morning to search and locate the targets in the South China Sea.

11

In addition to CAD, other participants include the United States Air Force, United States Coast Guard, United States Navy, Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, Government Flying Service, Royal Hong Kong Police Force (Marine Region), Marine Department, Fire Services Department, Civil Aid Services and Information Services Department.

A number of search and rescue experts from the Asia-Pacific Region including China (Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Zhuhai), Macau, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei are also attending as observers.

End

Contract to be signed with agents for sale of surplus flats ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Chief Property Manager of the Government Property Agency, Mr Shum Kwok-sher, will sign agency agreements with five real estate agents tomorrow (Tuesday) to provide sales service for the disposal of government quarters surplus to requirement.

The five real estate agents are Centaline Property Agency Limited, First Pacific Davies (Hong Kong) Limited. Midland Realty (Holdings) Limited. Ricacorp Properties Limited and Treasure Land Property Consultants Limited.

The service contracts will be effective for a term of two years until December 2, 1998

Since April 1992, the Government has been selling quarters through property agents. Up to June 1995, 15 units had been sold, realising a total price of $104 million.

End

Interest on Tax Reserve Certificates revised ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Inland Revenue Department announced the revision of the current annual rate of interest payable on Tax Reserve Certificates from 4.8 per cent to 4.68 per cent (or $0.40 per $100 per month), with effect from today (Monday).

The revision was detailed in the Government Gazette published last Friday (November 29).

12

Tax Reserve Certificates bear simple interest and interest is calculated for each month or part of a month from the date of purchase to the date on which the certificate is accepted for payment of tax.

Interest is only credited when certificates are used to pay tax and no interest is due where the principal value of a certificate is repaid to the holders of such certificates.

Payments are subject to the general rule that interest ceases to accrue after 36 complete months.

The new rate will apply to all certificates issued on or after December 2, 1996. Certificates which were issued before that date will continue to eam interest at the rates prevailing on their respective issue dates as follows:

3.00% per annum for certificates issued on or after 8 July 1992 and before 30 March 1994;

3.84% per annum for certificates issued on or after 30 March 1994 and before 25 May 1994;

4.56% per annum for certificates issued on or after 25 May 1994 and before 24 August 1994;

5.04% per annum for certificates issued on or after 24 August 1994 and before 4 December 1995;

5.64% per annum for certificates issued on or after 4 December 1995 and before 4 March 1996;

5.28% per annum for certificates issued on or after 4 March 1996 and before 1 June 1996;

4.92% per annum for certificates issued on or after 1 June 1996 and before 2 September 1996;

4.68% per annum for certificates issued on or after 2 September 1996 and before 2 December 1996; and

4.80% per annum for certificates issued on or after 2 December 1996 until further notice.

End

13

Staff member of unlicensed guesthouse fined ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A worker at a guesthouse was fined $1,200 today (Monday) in South Kowloon Magistracy after pleading guilty to managing an unlicensed guesthouse in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Acting on a complaint, officers of the Home Affairs Department’s (HAD) Licensing Authority and the Police inspected the premises on the fourth floor. Golden Crown Court, 66-70 Nathan Road on August 8 and found that it was being operated as a guesthouse without a licence.

A female staff member responsible for collecting rent and allocating rooms at the premises was subsequently charged under section 5 of the Hotel and Guesthouse Accommodation Ordinance.

An HAD spokesman said unlicensed guesthouses would not be tolerated and enforcement action would continue to be taken to ensure all guesthouses were being operated with proper regard for fire and building safety.

He also appealed to members of the public to continue offering help in the crackdown on unlicensed guesthouses by reporting them to the Licensing Authority on 2881 7034.

End

Parcel delievery centre in Sha Tin opened ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The New Territories Parcel Delivery Centre was officially opened this (Monday) morning.

Located at Unit 8, ground floor. Topsail Plaza, 11 On Sum Street. Siu Lek Yuen, Sha Tin, the centre provides door-to-door parcel delivery service for the whole New Territories once every Monday to Saturday, except on public holidays.

Its operation has actually started on November 18. The operating hours of the centre are from 8 am to 4 pm, Monday to Saturday.

The telephone number of the centre is 2647 8417.

Officiating at today's opening cenremony are the Postmaster General, Mr Robert Footman, and the Chairman of Heung Yee Kuk New Territories, Mr Lau Wong-fat.

End

14

Flushing water cut on Tsing Yi

*****

The flushing water supply to all premises on Tsing Yi will be temporarily suspended from 10 pm on Thursday (December 5) to 8 am the following day for repair work on watermains.

End

Water storage figure *****

Storage in Hong Kong’s reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 94.7 per cent of capacity or 555.218 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 572.453 million cubic metres of water, representing 97.7 per cent of capacity.

End

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

Opening balance in the account Closing balance in the account Change attributable to:

Money market activity LAF today

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

5705 0930 +340

4000 1000 +340

1100 +340

-1160 1200 +340

-545 1500 -1160

1600 -1160

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.9 *+0.1* 2.12.96

15

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF Bills EF Notes/MTRC Notes

Terms Yield Terms Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.73 2 years 2811 5.72 100.45 5.55

1 month 4.62 3 years 3910 6.28 101.17 5.91

3 months 4.63 5 years 5109 7.32 103.85 6.47

6 months 4.73 7 years 7311 6.80 100.65 6.79

12 months 5.06 10 years 1610 7.37 103.25 7.03

5 years M503 7.35 102.60 6.81

Total turnover of EF Bills and Notes - $16,746 Million

Closed December 2, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Tuesday, December 3,1996

Contents PageJNo,

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

Proposals to revamp Employees Retraining Scheme....................... 4

Government intervention in market place counter-productive............ 7

Shop owners urged to keep their advertising signs safe................ 10

Blitz on unlicensed guesthouses in Yuen Long.......................... 11

Full implementation of Student Health Service......................... 12

'One-stop' land search office set up.................................. 13

HKMA launches 'Distinguished Lecture' series.......................... 14

SCOLAR holds its second meeting....................................... 16

/249 VMs......

Contents

Page

249 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flights......................... 17

Monitors' report submitted to CS....................................... 17

Census and Statistics Department new facilities opened..................... 17

Primary schools invited to join extensive reading scheme................... 18

Country parks management centres open to public on Saturday................ 19

Royal Observatory Almanac 1997 now on sale................................. 20

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results............................ 21

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

23

1

V

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

The following is the transcript of the media session of the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, aftering visiting Yiu Tung Estate today (Tuesday):

Governor: I am delighted to have had the opportunity of another visit to Chai Wan and to Eastern District -1 was here just the other day - and I am particularly pleased that I have been accompanied today by Mr Fatchett, the Labour Party's spokesman on Hong Kong, who is paying another visit to Hong Kong. He is with us for about three days and is having a wide-ranging number of meetings, as I think you know.

I have been pleased to see another example of what our Housing Authority is doing and to see the facilities for the elderly and young people.

Question: Some of the complaints made by some parents that a couple of babies ...

/ after receiving some treatment in the Princess Margaret Hospital ... Do you think it is r necessary to make an application for an inquiry board to investigate these complaints?

Governor: Obviously, the parents concerned are making a very serious point and it will need to be investigated. It has not been raised with me before but I will certainly make enquiries about it.

Question: Governor, will the civil servants who will be sent to help the Chief Executive designate belong to the secretariat grade?

Governor: It is of course tempting to share with you some of our ideas about co-j operation with the Chief Executive designate, but I think it is probably more sensible for me to talk to him first of all because as I have said on a number of occasions before, and say again, we have a number of ideas that we would like to discuss with him but obviously we do not want to impose any particular set of plans on the Chief Executive.

He will have his own views about the sort of supporting staff and the logistical support he needs and we would obviously like to go forward in co-operation with him, responding to his requests rather than imposing anything on him. We wouldn't seek to do that.

Question: While talked to the 400 Selection Committee members last week, Mr Tung had been asked by the Committee member whether he would go into your premises after he had been elected. He said your premises’s ’fung shui’ was not good and it was too crowded. Do you think he is teasing on you or ...?

2

Governor: No, Mr Tung has his own flat to which I am sure he and his wife Betty are very attached. All of us are attached to the places that we live in. I think he said he had not made up his mind and I am sure he will want to do that, if he is selected, shortly after his selection. ' ;

Obviously, we would like the staff concerned to know what their future is. That is my main consideration. I am bound to say I have never felt that Government House was particularly cramped - but there it is.

Question: Governor, right now there are around 50,000 Hong Kong people who have the right of abode in Britain, but after 1997 those people will not have protection by British Consulates.

Governor: I beg your pardon?

Question: So there are 50,000 people who have the right of abode in Britain.

Governor: Yes, there are about 150,000/160,000 people who will have British passports under the British Nationality Scheme. They are just like any other passport and I hope they will get exactly the same protection around the world as other British passport holders would get.

Question: Against the issue, you know, how are things ... for those civil servants who are sent to help SAR and Chief Executive Designate? . !

• •

Governor: There is no ...

Question: For example, now they are against the Provisional Council but all ... Chief Executive Designate, they have to provide the information may be for the Provisional Council. In a way they are in support of the British.

Governor: It will be for the Chief Executive designate to explain and justify th$ facilities that he requires and the way he uses them. It is not a matter for me. What I am pledged to do is to help him as much as possible within of course the terms of the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. I am sure he would not want me to do other than that.

As you know, the Government has made its position absolutely plain on the so, called Provisional Legislature which in our judgement and in the Foreign Secretary’s words would be reprehensible and unjustifiable.

3

Question: ... the British Nationality Scheme ... recommendation that ... has just said that Hong Kong people ... with British right of abode will not enjoy the protection of British Embassies after 1997 if based in Hong Kong. So what kind of protection will the British Government offer?

Governor: I hope they won’t need any protection but as I have said, if they are in any other country they will get exactly the same protection as anybody else travelling on a British passport would get. As to their position in Hong Kong, I suggest you direct your question to Chinese officials who have said some rather unhelpful things about the British passport.

Question: Governor, what is the practical problem - would you recommend that when ... civil servant assistant to the Chief Executive, would you recommend some kind of expert from the Legal Department who has had special knowledge in the law drafting ... they are being asked to help the CE - what if they be asked to draft some statute regarding the Provisional Legislature?

Governor: Don’t you think that rather than answering entertaining hypothetical questions it would be more sensible for me to have this discussion with the Chief Executive designate first? Yes I repeat, as far as the Government is concerned we think that there is no justification for a Provisional Legislature and we think that were a Provisional Legislature to do anything before 30 June it would be questionable in law.

Question: If the Provisional Legislature actually was held in Hong Kong next month, will the Police offer any security measures to protect...?

Governor: The Police always, operating within the law and provide people with the right to meet, the right to demonstrate within the law, the right to make their own views clear within the law, so you can tell yourself what the answer is.

But I think that the process of selecting members for the Provisional Legislature is inevitably going to be controversial. We have got a situation in which a purported legislature is going to be made up of people who are appointing one another from the Selection Committee or is going to be made up from people who have failed to get elected to a properly constituted legislature. I think inevitably, as I have said, that is going to cause controversy and argument. It is not my making, it is the making of Chinese officials. I am sure you will have noticed what the International Commission of Jurists said on the subject yesterday. Thank you very much indeed.

End

4

Proposals to revamp Employees Retraining Scheme *****

The Government proposes to revamp the Employees Retraining Scheme so that it will focus primarily on providing retraining for the hard core of the unemployed, who are aged 30 and above and have no more than lower secondary education.

The Government also proposes to extend the ERS to cover new immigrants by introducing into Legislative Council a bill on December 18 to amend the Employees Retraining Ordinance.

These proposals are part of the recommendations contained in a consultation paper on the review of the ERS which was published today (Tuesday). The review was launched in April this year with a view to improving the effectiveness of the ERS in meeting the requirements of employers and retraining needs of the local workforce.

The Government also proposes to make a capital injection of $500 million into the Employees Retraining Board in the current financial year, so as to enable it to implement the proposed expanded and enhanced retraining programme.

The other major recommendations of the review include:

* transferring ERB's role in skills upgrading for the employed to the Vocational Training Council (VTC) in phases;

* gradually phasing out the existing On-the-Job programme:

introducing a placement-tied and performance-based payment system for the training bodies, so as to encourage training bodies to find jobs for their trainees;

replacing the existing retraining allowance by a new allowance of $500 aimed at meeting the travelling and meal expenses incurred by a retrainee whilst undergoing retraining; and

* evaluating the number and composition of the training bodies with a view to improving their effectiveness and monitoring their performance and quality.

Speaking at a press conference this (Tuesday) afternoon to announce the results of the review of the Employees Retraining Scheme(ERS). the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong said the proposals were put forward after taking into account the outcome of the review of the ERS and the results of the recent strategic and organisational review of the VTC conducted by the Government.

5

"In the review, the Government has looked at the management structure of the ERB, the current mode of operation of the ERS and the various types of retraining courses with a view to finding ways and means to improve the effectiveness of ERS in meeting the employers’ needs and retraining needs of local workers. Upon completion of this review, we reckon that the ERS does serve to help workers adjust to changes in the labour market. However, there is considerable scope for improvement,” Mr Wong said.

Explaining the proposal to focus the ERS primarily on the unemployed including new immigrants, who are aged 30 or above and have attained lower secondary education or below, Mr Wong said that since this group is at the lower end of the social and educational spectrum, "they constitute the ’hard-core’ of the unemployed who are most vulnerable to the adverse effects of any structural change in the economy and who also stand the highest chance of being displaced from the labour market."

"However, the ERB could apply both the age and the educational attainment criteria flexibly in individual cases, in particular for new immigrants, given their different educational and vocational backgrounds," he added.

Mr Wong said that the new retraining programme would take the form of a specially-designed and structured package of job-oriented intensive courses, aimed at helping the retrainees to secure and hold down their jobs.

"In order to focus the ERS on training the ’hard core’ of the unemployed including new immigrants, the Government has proposed that all the skills upgrading courses for the employed persons, and the ancillary retraining courses for the elderly and the disabled now being offered under the ERS, should in future be provided by the VTC instead. In this process, we will also ensure that the retraining needs of the needy group, in particular the elderly and the disabled will not be adversely affected.

"Given its remit, experience and facilities, the VTC should be well placed and equipped to fulfil this role. With this clear demarcation of training responsibilities and target clienteles, the ERB and the VTC will be able to develop their individual strengths, thus avoiding duplication.

"This proposal will enable the ERB to re-deploy some 40 per cent of its current annual expenditure (around $110 million in 1995-96) on skills upgrading to the development of better-quality retraining programme for the unemployed and for training more people, including new immigrants," Mr Wong said.

6

"As regards the proposed placement-tied and performance-based payment sx >iem for the training bodies, all training bodies will be required to attain a reasonable percentage of placements for their trainees — those capable of overachieving the target will receive a higher than normal reimbursement from ERB, yv iilst those which underachieve will receive less. In this context, a successful placement for funding purposes is defined as one where the retrainee is employed on the job for at least two to three months. We nevertheless need to consider and draw up the detailed rules and conditions in conjunction with the ERB first," Mr Wong explained.

"We plan to implement the recommendations in phases, starting with the inclusion of new immigrants in the Scheme upon the enactment of the Employees Retraining (Amendment) Bill, if approved by LegCo, early next year. As for the other recommendations of the review, we will, subject to the outcome of the consultation exercise, work closely with the ERB to ensure that the ERS will move gradually from its present mode to one which is tightly focused on the target unemployed over a period of about one year," Mr Wong said.

Turning to the Employees Retraining (Amendment) Bill 1996, Mr Wong said that the bill seeks to give legal effect to the proposal to extend the ambit of the ERS to cover new immigrants.

"On account of their working experience and educational background, many new immigrants who wish to seek jobs may not possess the skills and expertise required by the local labour market and may experience difficulties in finding and securing employment in Hong Kong.

"Under the existing Employees Retraining Ordinance, they are not eligible to apply for retraining since only 'local employees' defined as Hong Kong permanent residents who have been ordinarily resident in Hong Kong for a continuous period of not less than seven years are eligible."

Under the Bill, the term "local employee" under the Employees Retraining Ordinance will be replaced by ' eligible employee'. this proposal will in effect mean that all persons, who are legally remaining and free to take up any employment with any employer in Hong Kong, will be eligible to apply to attend a retraining course or programme funded by the ERB.

"Apart from new immigrants from the PRC, the other categories of persons who may qualify as "eligible employees" are unlikely to draw on the resources of the ERB in a significant way, given their educational standing, economic status and background.

7

"On the other hand, temporary residents on employment and student status, including foreign domestic helpers and workers imported under the labour importation schemes will be excluded as they are subject to a condition of stay which prohibits them from taking employment outside that stipulated under their employment contracts."

The Employees Retraining (Amendment) Bill will be gazetted on December 6 (Friday) and be introduced into the Legislative Council on December 18 (Wednesday).

"As the labour market remains dynamic and Hong Kong's economic restructuring continued, there will be a continued need for a well-managed, properly-focused and cost-effective retraining programme to ensure that Hong Kong's workforce can adequately cope with the changing needs of the economy. We welcome views from any interested parties on proposals arising from the review of the ERS during this consultation period which will last about a month from now," Mr Wong said.

End

Government intervention in market place counter-productive

*****

The Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, said today (Tuesday) that government intervention in the market place would be counter-productive and wasteful in resources in the long run.

He was responding to proposals made by commentators that Hong Kong should "pick winners” and adopt a policy of industrial targeting; and that the Government should intervene in the economy to rescue a declining industry and seek to strike a predetermined balance between the manufacturing and service sectors.

Speaking at the opening of the Hong Kong Business Summit 1996, Mr Tsang said in theory, these proposals had a certain attraction.

"Those who put them forward speak in terms of preventing unemployment, of maintaining a more balanced and less vulnerable economy or of providing a vision and a clear framework for future development," he said.

8

"These are worthy goals, but government intervention to reverse market forces will not produce such results."

He said that to go against the verdict of free and fair competition was not the way for Hong Kong to respond to its challenges, and for the Government such as Hong Kong to conduct such experiments now while the economy was already stretched at full employment or enjoying sustained growth compounded the risks involved.

"In Hong Kong we create new jobs and boost production by providing entrepreneurs and investors with the right environment. The message from the Asian region over the last two decades is very clear," Mr Tsang said.

"The more that politicians and bureaucrats abandon economic planning and economic controls the more room they create for enterprise, productivity and economic growth," he added.

He further pointed out that there was another all-important objection to following the interventionist advice.

According to Mr Tsang, the sort of policy changes the Government was being asked to accept would be a retreat from the capitalist system and an advance towards socialist policies.

"Such a change would be quite contrary to the Basic Law.ArticIe 5 of the Basic Law allows for no compromise on this matter.

"It states quite bluntly: ’The socialist system and policies shall not be practised in the Hong Kong SAR, and the previous capitalist system and way of life shall remain unchanged for fifty years.'"

In his keynote speech, Mr Tsang also gave an account of the achievements from the recent APEC meeting in the Philippines and the opportunities and challenges that the ASEAN economies present to Hong Kong into the 21st century.

Mr Tsang said there were tremendous opportunities ahead but warned that the challenges should not be underestimated.

He said that first. ASEAN economies had set up a free trade arrangement which provided for staged reduction of tariffs to five per cent or below on substantially all products among ASEAN members by the year 2003.

9

"This arrangement theoretically will divert trade and investment from nonASEAN economies including Hong Kong .

"So far the impact is minimal as ASEAN members have de facto extended their tariff concessions to non-ASEAN economies on an MFN basis. We would encourage our ASEAN partners to continue this exemplary practice and would work with them to this end in the context of the APEC liberalisation programme."

Second, as the Financial Secretary pointed out, development of ports in the two places may result in some of the goods being shipped directly instead of re-exported through Hong Kong.

"This would accelerate the structural shift in our indirect trade from re-exports to transhipment and off-shore trading," he said.

Third, there would inevitably be keen competition between Hong Kong and some of the fast growing ASEAN economies, in exporting to traditional developed country markets, in serving as a services hub, and in attracting foreign investment, Mr Tsang said.

"The challenge for us is to capitalise on our comparative advantages and develop functional specialisation which fosters complementary rather than duplication with our ASEAN partners," he said.

"And 1 am optimistic that concerted efforts in the Hong Kong-ASEAN partnership would bring about mutual benefit and enhanced growth in the region."

Mr Tsang concluded by emphasising Hong Kong's need to hold fast to its fundamental belief in free trade and non-interventionist policies.

End

6

10

Shop owners urged to keep their advertising signs safe ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Shop owners should keep their advertising signs well-maintained and remove those which they are no longer required, the Assistant Director of Buildings (Specialist), Mr Philip Lau, said today (Tuesday).

Mr Lau made the appeal during an operation by the Buildings Department this morning to remove a large abandoned and defective advertising sign at Castle Peak Road in Sham Shui Po.

The sign, measuring about five metres by one metre, was found in a dilapidated condition and posing a potential danger to pedestrians as well as the structure of the building.

Mr Lau said the Buildings Department adopted both a reactive and pro-active approach in handling defective advertising signs.

”We respond swiftly to all complaints regarding dangerous signs. In 1995, We received 230 such complaints and subsequently issued about 200 removal orders.

’’Meanwhile, since early 1995. we have carried out a planned survey throughout the territory with a view to identifying and removing dangerous or abandoned signs.

”As at mid-June this year, we have inspected about 14,000 signs and about 650 of them have been removed because of their dangerous condition,’’ Mr Lau said.

Under the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance, the Buildings Department will issue a Dangerous Structure Removal Notice to sign owners requiring them to remove their defective advertising signs within 14 days.

If the signs are not removed after the specified period, the department will arrange government contractor to carry out the work and all the cost will be recovered from the owners.

Mr Lau stressed that any person who intended to put up an advertising sign should plan carefully before carrying out the work.

’’Generally speaking, they should obtain permission from the building owners and check that the sign does not contravene the conditions of the land leases.

11

"Furthermore, a building professional should preferably be consulted and a registered contractor should be appointed for the erection work.

"The most important thing is that all advertising signs should be repaired and maintained regularly to ensure public safety. They should also be removed when they are no longer in use," Mr Lau said.

End

Blitz on unlicensed guesthouses in Yuen Long ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

The Home Affairs Department (HAD) and the Police mounted a joint operation against unlicensed guesthouses in Yuen Long this (Tuesday) afternoon.

The enforcement action was part of HAD's continuing effort to crack down on unlicensed guesthouses.

During the operation, officers from I lAD's Licensing Authority and the Police inspected eight guesthouses in Tung Lok Street and Kik Yeung Road in Yuen Long town centre.

Two guesthouses were found to be operating without a licence while three persons suspected to be involved in operating or managing the premises were taken back to police station for further investigation. They will be issued summonses charging them with operating or managing unlicensed guesthouses under the Hotel and Guesthouse Accommodation Ordinance.

A spokesman for HAD said operators of the guesthouses had already been reminded to complete the improvement works required on time; otherwise, they would have to cease operation immediately as unlicensed guesthouses would definitely not be tolerated.

"We urge members of the public to patronise only licensed guesthouses for their own safety and to help in the crackdown of unlicensed guesthouses by reporting them to the Licensing Authority on 2881 7034," the spokesman said.

End

12

Full implementation of Student Health Service *****

The Student Health Service provided by the Department of Health has received overwhelming response with more than 97 per cent of primary and secondary day schools and 680,000 students enrolled in the service.

Introduced last year, the service has been extended this academic year to cover both the primary and secondary day schools.

To mark the full implementation of the service, a ceremony officiated by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, and Mrs Patten was held today (Tuesday).

The highlight of the ceremony was the lighting up of the 11 student health service centres indicated on a map by Mr and Mrs Mrs Patten.

This was followed by a video show on the service and performance of the orchestra of Diocesan Boys’ School.

Mr and Mrs Patten also chatted with representatives of parents and students.

Recommended by the Working Party on Primary Health Care, the Student Health Service aims to promote the physical and psychological health of school children.

There are now a total of 11 student health service centres and two special assessment centres providing a comprehensive range of promotive and preventive health services to school children annually.

Each enrolled student will be given an annual appointment to attend a student health service centre for health programmes designed to cater for the health needs at various stages of the student's development.

These programmes include physical examination; screening for health problems relating to growth, nutrition, blood pressure, vision, hearing, posture, sexual development and psychological health; individual counselling and health education.

Students found to have health problems will be referred to the Special Assessment Centre for detailed assessment and follow-up or to the appropriate specialist clinics.

En^

13

'One-stop' land search office set up ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Land Registry (LR) has set up a new Central Search Office (CSO) to provide a convenient "one-stop" land search service as part of its continuing efforts to further improve services to customers.

Located on the 19th floor of the Queensway Government Offices, CSO will centralise all search services of the Urban Land Registry on the same floor.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the new office today (Tuesday), the acting Land Registrar, Mr Kelvin Chan, said new arrangements had been introduced in CSO to speed up customer services.

"With the 'All Services' counter, customers can obtain, by attending a single counter, all the land records they require, including computerised land registers, diazo copies, copies of imaged or microfilmed documents and certified copies."

Mr Chan also introduced a new Document Express Self-Order Service.

"Customers can make use of the self-service computer terminals at CSO to obtain copies of imaged records without having to queue up for normal counter services," he said.

Looking ahead, Mr Chan said the service improvement computer projects were now in full swing and progressing very satisfactorily.

"The computerisation of all land registers will be completed by April 1997, an on-line search facility, the Direct Access Services (DAS) is already in place, and all land documents are being converted to electronic images to be maintained on the Registry's Document Imaging System set up in July this year," he said.

Mr Chan added that by early 1997, subscribers of the DAS would be able to receive facsimile copies of imaged documents at their own offices.

"Our aim is to set up a fully computerised and integrated Land Registration and Search System in 1998.

"With all land records maintained in electronic format, our customers will then be able to receive the services they require with no geographical boundary restrictions.

"Subscribers of DAS will be able to access any land records from their own offices while those who call at our counters will likewise be able to have all their requirements met in a single 'one-stop' visit," he added.

End

14

HKMA launches 'Distinguished Lecture' series *****

The first Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) Distinguished Lecture was held today (Tuesday) attracting nearly 400 participants.

The President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Mr William McDonough, was the inaugural speaker for the HKMA Distinguished Lecture.

Speaking on "Asia and the World Economy - A Central Banker's Perspective", Mr McDonough offered his perspective on development of Asia's high-growth economies over the last two to three decades.

He highlighted the implications of the Asian experience for achieving sustained growth in living standards, while maintaining economic and financial stability. He also emphasised the role of market forces, international competition and appropriate policies for macro-economic management.

"The most compelling lesson of the recent Asian experience is that economic development must rely heavily on competitive market forces but that markets do not operate in a vacuum and cannot do everything. The government has a substantial and irreplaceable role in the development process," said Mr McDonough.

"The popular dichotomy of state intervention versus laissez-faire is a false one. Indeed, the experience of Asia's high growth economies tells us that when markets and governments work in harness, the results can be spectacular," he added.

Deputy Governor of the People's Bank of China (PBoC), Mr Chen Yuan, concurred with Mr McDonough's view and added that the Asian success was brought about by responsible governments, openness to trade, improved managerial and technical know-how as well as advancement in productivity.

Mr Chen was the HKMA Distinguished Lecture’s discussant.

"At the heart of the drive for the deepening of economic reforms and market liberalisation is our desire, which the Asian economies all share, for stability and steady growth," said Mr Chen.

"We are keenly aware of the inherent volatilities associated with a market economy. This explains why Chinese reforms, like most Asian reforms, are taken on a 'gradualist' approach."

15

Mr Chen added that the successful and stable growth of the Chinese economy could only be helpful to the smooth transition of Hong Kong through 1997.

Today’s HKMA Distinguished Lecture was the first of a series organised by HKMA to bring influential and distinguished persons from the international financial and academic community to Hong Kong to speak on issues of current and long-term interest.

The Distinguished Lecture series is intended to provide a forum for the Hong Kong financial community to hear and exchange views with leading world experts.

On the occasion of their visits, HKMA Chief Executive, Mr Joseph Yam. took the opportunity to exchange views with Mr McDonough and Mr Chen to improve understanding of central banking issues in general.

The areas covered included Hong Kong’s monetary arrangements after 1997, Hong Kong’s payment systems and central bank co-operation in the areas of market information exchange and linkages of payment and settlement systems.

In the discussions, Mr Yam thanked Mr McDonough and his colleagues for providing guidance and support over the years. Mr Yam said the New York Fed has been particularly helpful in the establishment of HKMA's first overseas representative office in New York and the provision of technical advice on the Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) System. The RTGS System will be implemented later this month.

Mr McDonough noted the robust monetary framework and policies that Hong Kong has put in place to ensure monetary stability in 1997 and beyond. He also noted that the linked exchange rate has served Hong Kong well for over 13 years.

Mr McDonough added that the mutually independent relationship HKMA will have with the PBoC is commensurate with the independence that all monetary authorities need to safeguard stability of the currency under their guardianship.

"I am very happy to be here today in the company of the senior representatives of the HKMA and the PBoC,” Mr McDonough said.

’’The Federal Reserve has had a positive and constructive relationship with these fine institutions for many years. I was particularly pleased to support each for their autonomous participation in the Bank for International Settlements," he added.

16

Mr Yam said: "We are grateful to Mr McDonough for his personal support to the work of HK.MA. The Hong Kong dollar is linked to the US dollar. We all feel that the link has served Hong Kong well and will continue to do so through 1997."

Mr McDonough invited HKMA and PBoC to take part in a financial seminar to be hosted by the New York Fed on February 14. 1997.

End

SCOLAR holds its second meeting *****

The Standing Committee on Language Education and Research (SCOLAR) decided at its meeting today (Tuesday) to set up a Database on Language Education and Research in Hong Kong.

The Committee Chairman. Dr Daniel Tse Chi-wai, said: "The Database will provide an updated, centralised and systematic source of information to assist the Committee in defining areas of research in language education."

The meeting also decided to adopt a long- and a short-term approach in dealing with the ECR6 priority areas.

The short-term approach includes:

the dissemination of the results of the Language Fund Projects to promote a positive awareness of language issues and language development programmes for public information;

the development of Vocational Programmes for English and Putonghua;

the investigation of the relationship between Use of English grades and the ability to cope with University study.

The more long-term approach is to identify priority areas for research. Members agreed that the areas which needed immediate attention are : the relationship between Chinese and Putonghua in the curriculum; language learning patterns for Hong Kong children acquiring their Mother Tongue; the Academic Aptitude Test and levels of language proficiency; and teacher training.

End

17

249 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flights *****

Two groups totalling 249 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) returned by air to Hanoi, Vietnam today (Tuesday) on the 81st and 82nd flights under the Orderly Repatriation Programme (ORP).

The majority of the returnees, comprising 99 men, 64 women, 46 boys and 40 girls, are from South and Central Vietnam. Eleven of the returnees are from North Vietnam.

Most of them arrived in Hong Kong in 1990, with the remaining in 1989, 1991 and 1996.

The two groups brought to 8,067 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 (Tuesday) morning have submitted their report to the Chief Secretary.

The two monitors comprised a non-official Justice of the Peace, Mr Wong Po-ming; and representative from a non-govemment organisation, Ms Gilla Nemayechi from Medecins Sans Frontieres.

End

Census and Statistics Department new facilities opened ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Commissioner for Census and Statistics, Mr Frederick W H Ho, officiated at an opening ceremony of the new facilities for the department's two service centres on trade matters today (Tuesday).

The two service centres are the public reading area of the Trade Statistics Dissemination Section and the manifest receiving and enquiry counter of the Trade Statistics Processing Section on the 19th floor and 22nd floor respectively of Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road.

18

The opening ceremony was one of the department's events in the Serving the Community Week programme organised by the Government.

Members of the Customer Liaison Group on Trade Matters of the department were invited to attend the ceremony.

A spokesman for the department stressed that the department was committed to providing the public with efficient, courteous and high quality services.

"To improve the environment in which members of the public can obtain services of the department, the two service centres have recently been re-furnished," he said.

The Trade Statistics Dissemination Section is mainly responsible for disseminating trade statistics to the public, including the handling of public enquiries on trade statistics. The public can visit the public reading area of the section during office hours to look up and extract trade statistics from publications and computer printouts.

As for the Trade Statistics Processing Section, it is mainly responsible for processing cargo manifests submitted by shipping and forwarding companies. Besides receiving cargo manifests, the section also handles enquiries from the public on cargo statistics.

The spokesman added that the department welcomed any comments or suggestions on the way the services of the two centres were delivered.

Members of the public may write to the Service Manager (Trade Matters) of the department at 17th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road or telephone 2582 4900.

End

Primary schools invited to join extensive reading scheme

*****

Primary schools are invited to participate in Phase III of the Hong Kong Extensive Reading Scheme in English next September.

A total of 40 schools will be selected to join the scheme.

19

The Education Department began implementing Phase I of the Hong Kong Extensive Scheme in English in public sector primary schools in September 1995.

At present, there are 83 schools in Phases I and II of the scheme.

The scheme is a curriculum project for upper primary pupils. It is aimed at helping upper primary students develop a reading habit in English and improving their English proficiency through reading good quality English books.

Through a well-organised reading programme, pupils will eventually be able to improve their writing abilities and other skills.

Participating schools will be provided with a complete resource package consisting of one set of 250 books graded into six different levels accompanied by reading and teaching aids.

Specialist support including seminars and induction courses will be offered to schools before implementing the scheme.

Those interested in participating in the scheme are requested to send in their application to the English Section of Education Department's Advisory Inspectorate, Room 304 Advisory Inspectorate Teaching and Resources Centre, 19 Hok Yuen Street, Hung Hom on or before December 11.

Further enquiries can be made to the section on 2333 8477 or 2892 6573.

End

Country parks management centres open to public on Saturday *****

For the first time, selected country parks management centres will be opened to the public this Saturday (December 7).

The open day is organised by the Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) as part of the Government's Serving the Community Week with the objective of introducing the work of country parks staff.

20

An AFD spokesman said today (Monday) that it was the first time to open these centres to the public and would provide an opportunity for the community to know more about the services provided in these areas.

"It is expected that visitors can have a better understanding of the department's efforts in the management of country parks," he said.

Management centres to be opened this weekend includes those at Tai Tong, Shing Mun, Hok Tau, Aberdeen and the Lions Nature Education Centre in Sai Kung.

"Activities will include guided tours for school parties, games and demonstrations.

"The displays and demonstrations will help the visitors to learn more about the work in county parks as well as the commitments of our staff," the spokesman added.

Award-winning videos portraying the country parks would also be shown and a limited quantity would be freely distributed to visitors.

Opening hours of these centres on the day are from 10 am to 4 pm. Members of the public are welcome to visit the centres and all activities are free of charge.

Telephone numbers of the management centres are: Tai Tong (2475 8774), Shing Mun (2489 8598), Hok Tau (2674 4399), Aberdeen (2553 7545), Lions Nature Education Centre (2792 3823).

End

Royal Observatory Almanac 1997 now on sale ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

The Royal Observatory Almanac 1997 has been published.

This bilingual booklet contains the traditional Chinese Calendar and times of daily sunrise, sunset, moonrise, moonset, high and low tides, arranged on a month-by-month basis.

The times of meridian passage, rising and setting of the planets are graphically illustrated in this handy almanac.

21

The duration of twilight, details of equinoxes, and solstices and eclipses in 1997 as well as climatological normals of Hong Kong and other selected major cities for each month of the year are also given in this publication.

■j

The almanac is now on sale at $12 a copy at the Government Publications Centre, Low Block, ground floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong and the Royal Observatory Headquarters, 134 A Nathan Road, Kowloon.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

Tender date : 3 December 1996

Paper on offer : EF Bills

Issue number : Q062

Issue : 4 December 1996

Maturity date : 2 January 1997

Amount applied : HK$16,000MN

Amount allotted : HK$5,000 MN

Average yield accepted : 4.54 PCT

Highest yield accepted : 4.55 PCT

Pro-rata ratio : About 84 PCT

Average tender yield : 4.59 PCT

22

Tender date : 3 December 1996

Paper on offer : EF Bills

Issue number : Q649

Issue : 4 December 1996

Maturity date : 5 March 1997

Amount applied : HK$5,850 MN

Amount allotted : HK$2,000 MN

Average yield accepted : 4.59 PCT

Highest yield accepted : 4.61 PCT

Pro-rata ratio : About 45 PCT

Average tender yield : 4.62 PCT

Tender date : 3 December 1996

Paper on offer : EF Bills

Issue number : H679

Issue : 4 December 1996

Maturity date : 4 June 1997

Amount applied : HK$2,540 MN

Amount allotted : HK$ 1,000 MN

Average yield accepted : 4.75 PCT

Highest yield accepted : 4.77 PCT

Pro-rata ratio : About 80 PCT

Average tender yield : 4.78 PCT

23

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

Tenders to be held in the week beginning 9 December 1996

Tender date : 10 December 1996

Paper on offer : EF bills

Issue number : Q650

Issue date : 11 December 1996

Maturity date : 12 March 1997

Tenor : 91 days

Amount on offer : HK$2,000 MN + 500 MN

End

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

Cumulative

Time change

Opening balance in the account 4,000 MN 0930 HR +538 MN

Closing balance in the account 4,378 MN 1000 HR +538 MN

Change attributable to: 1100 HR +538 MN

Money market activity +543 MN 1200 HR +538 MN

LAF today -165 MN 1500 HR +543 MN

1600 HR +543 MN

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 125.2 *+0.3* 3.12.96

24

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF Bills EF Notes/MTRC Notes Price Yield

Terms Yield Terms Issue Coupon

1 week 4.61 2 years 2811 5.72 100.44 5.55

1 month 4.59 3 years 3910 6.28 101.19 5.90

3 months 4.62 5 years 5109 7.32 103.89 6.45

6 months 4.74 7 years 7311 6.80 100.75 6.77

12 months 5.07 10 years 1610 7.37 103.30 7.02

5 years M503 7.35 102.63 6.80

Total turnover of EF Bills and Notes - $20,028 million

Closed Decembers, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

SUPPLEMENT

Wednesday, December 4,1996

Omtents Page No.

Legislative Council meeting: Firm position on provisional legislature............................ 1

Motion on Gas Safety (Gas Supply) (Amendment) Regulation 1996....... 2

Crimes (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill..................................... 3

Occupational Safety and Health Bill................................. 5

Law Reform Bill introduced into LegCo............................... 9

Carriage by Air Bill...........................................

SDO enacted in anticipation of CEDAW extension..................... 14

BN(O) holders enjoy visa-free access to 80 countries............... 16

Investments of the Exchange Fund............................... 16

Policy in handling demonstrations explained........................ 18

/Report on...

Cxmtcnts

Ea££_N&

Report on radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation..................... 19

Job Matching Programme................................................. 20

Training course for health workers ..................................   24

Toll for the Tsing Ma Link............................................. 27

Enrolment in special schools........................................... 28

Figures on students receiving overseas education....................... 32

Development of Students' Potential Committed........................    35

Enrolment of postgraduate students in tertiary institutions............ 40

Provision for purchase of neuroleptic drugs............................ 42

Public housing offered to Kai Cheung THA residents..................... 44

Research and campaign efforts on anti-smoking.......................... 45

Major renovation and improvement works in QE and QM.................... 50

Chairman of SFC.......................................................  51

Cases of police officers framing innocent persons...................... 52

Sentences under Her Majesty's pleasure................................. 57

1

Firm position on provisional legislature * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Nicholas Ng, at the motion debate on provisional legislature in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

The corporate position of the British Government and the Hong Kong Government on the continuity of the legislature is well known and consistent. The Prime Minister has restated the position at his recent meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Li Lanqing. The Secretary of State has also done so at the debate in the House of Commons last month. A number of members of this Council have, of course, attended that debate, and so they will be familiar with the comprehensive and unambiguous statement made by the Secretary of State. The pertinent points are worth repeating here.

On the elections held in 1994/1995, the Secretary of State said, and I quote, "those elections attracted turnouts unmatched in the history of Hong Kong. The representative bodies that they have produced have performed their different roles with exemplary diligence and notable moderation. They have shown that no one.........

has anything to fear from the measured development of democratic government that we have set in train well within the parameters of the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law."

The Secretary of State made clear that we see no justification for the establishment of a provisional legislature. Neither the Joint Declaration nor the Basic Law make any mention of such a body. China will have to explain to Hong Kong and the world why it chose to replace a body for which more than a million Hong Kong people voted with one chosen by a hand-picked electorate of 400.

The Secretary of State also pointed out, and I quote:

"We continue to make it clear to the Chinese side, in public and in private, at every level, that their planned provisional legislature is neither necessary nor desirable. It is not necessary because there is nothing that it can do that should not more properly be done by others before the handover; it is not desirable because Hong Kong already has a duly elected Legislative Council which should be allowed to continue its work, and because a provisional legislature running in parallel with the constitutional Legislative Council risks creating confusion and uncertainty when they are least needed;

2

Its establishment and operation as a parallel legislature before the handover would seriously call into question China's commitment to its obligations under the Joint Declaration, but this will be more than a legal debating point. It raises much more fundamental political questions about China's willingness to follow its own principle, enshrined in the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, of 'Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong'."

The position of the British Government and the Hong Kong Government is therefore a matter of public record. And that will remain our firm and unshakeable position.

End

Motion on Gas Safety (Gas Supply) (Amendment) Regulation 1996 ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Stephen Ip, in moving the motion to amend the Gas Safety (Gas Supply) (Amendment) Regulation 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that the Gas Safety (Gas Supply) (Amendment) Regulation 1996, which was tabled in this Council on 6 November 1996, be amended as set out in the proposed Resolution of the Legislative Council circulated to Members.

The purpose of the proposed amendment is to clarify the wording of the Chinese version of the proposed section 23 A(2) to better reflect the policy intention.

The proposed regulation 23A(2) provides that a person who carries out, or permits to be carried out, any works in the vicinity of a gas pipe shall ensure that all reasonable measures are taken to protect the gas pipe from damage arising out of the works that would be likely to prejudice safety. The proposed Resolution clarifies the Chinese wording so as to make clear that it is the "damage" to the gas pipe, rather than the "works” in the vicinity of the gas pipe, that would be likely to prejudice safety.

Mr President, I beg to move.

End

3

Crimes (Amendment) (No.2) Bill *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in moving the second reading of the Crimes (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the Second Reading of the Crimes (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill.

This Bill deals with the concepts of treason, sedition, secession and subversion which are some of the concepts covered by Article 23 of the Basic Law.

Public concerns about the precise definition of these concepts have been building up since 1995. Honourable Members of this Council, who are elected to represent the community, have since then continued to impress on the Government the need to have clear legal definitions of these concepts on our statute books at the earliest opportunity before 1 July next year.

In response to this Council's and the community's expressed concerns, we passed proposals to amend the Crimes Ordinance to the Chinese side of the Joint Liaison Group in July 1995. In July this year, we passed a draft Crimes (Amendment) Bill to the Chinese side covering the concepts of treason, sedition, secession and subversion. I also explained to the LegCo Information Policy Panel that, if we made no progress in our discussions with the Chinese side, we would explain to the public the circumstances of the disagreement.

In brief, the Chinese side considered that there is a clear difference between the adoption of existing Hong Kong laws as the laws of the Hong Kong SAR, and the enactment of laws by the Hong Kong SAR on its own in accordance with Article 23 of the Basic Law. They made it clear that they did not believe that we should make significant amendments to the Crimes Ordinance at this stage to bring it into line with the Basic Law.

We hold a different view. It is quite clear that it is the view of the community, as reflected by this Council, that we should seek to have legislation on these concepts covered in Article 23 of the Basic Law in place before 1 July 1997. We also believe that there is no reason why we should not introduce appropriate legislative amendments to the Crimes Ordinance before 1 July 1997. By producing workable legislative proposals which will need only minimal adaptation to continue beyond the transfer of sovereignty, we will indeed be facilitating the task of the future HK SAR. This will not diminish the ability of the HK SAR, under Article 23 of the Basic Law, to make laws on its own, that is to say, not to have such laws made by the sovereign power. The fact is that Hong Kong already has laws on some areas covered by Article 23; neither the existence of those laws nor any amendments to them restricts the power of the Hong Kong SAR to legislate under Article 23.

4

If the Chinese side were able to agree to our view, then we would together have contributed much towards a smooth transition and allayed the concerns of Hong Kong people. Unfortunately, we have not been able to reconcile these two viewpoints. It has recently become clear that we will not be able to reach consensus in the JLG. Given the need to respond to the concerns of the community, we have come to the view that we must take steps to fulfil our public commitments by introducing this Bill into the Legislative Council.

The Bill amends parts I and II of the Crimes Ordinance. The changes are described in detail in the Legislative Council brief. The two most important changes are-

(a) first, we have added the offences of secession and subversion which are not currently defined in the Crimes Ordinance; and

(b) secondly, we have modified the offences concerning seditious activities to reflect the position at common law, that there must be an intention of causing violence or creating public disorder or a public disturbance, by reference to which the existing statute law would, we believe, be interpreted in any event.

The remainder of the Bill is largely aimed at amending the existing legislation to allow for easy adaptation, and to remove duplication of powers appearing in other laws.

We have carefully examined the Bill to ensure that it is consistent with the Joint Declaration, the Basic Law, the Bill of Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as applied to Hong Kong. We are not introducing a Bill which is in breach of either the Joint Declaration or the Basic Law, or any of these other documents.

We have attempted to define, in the Bill, the concepts of secession and subversion in the language of the common law. We hope that the debate in this Council, and more generally in the community, would shed light on whether the definitions we have proposed are reasonable and workable, and does not unnecessarily restrict the freedom of expression. That debate will be of particular value, whether or not the future Hong Kong SAR legislature chooses to leave unchanged the substance of the Crimes Ordinance as amended, or chooses to alter it in any way. If it chooses the latter course, it would of course have to explain to the people of Hong Kong why that would be in their interest.

5

Mr President, it is through reasoned debate, in an open society where people are free to express their views, that we hope to reach conclusions as to how best to define these sensitive concepts of treason, sedition, secession and subversion to meet the wishes of the community. Given the importance of these matters, the Bill deserves the most careful scrutiny by members of this Council. I hope that all members of this Council would discharge their duty to their constituents, by taking part in this process of scrutiny. A successful conclusion to this process of discussion and debate will strengthen public confidence in the law, and the commitment of an elected legislature to uphold the law.

Thank you, Mr President.

End

Occupational Safety and Health Bill *****

Following is a speech by the Secretary for Education and Manpower. Mr Joseph W P Wong, in moving the second reading of the Occupational Safety and Health Bill in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the second reading of the Occupational Safety and Health Bill.

The Occupational Safety and Health Bill proposes to extend for the first time occupational safety and health protection to employees in the non-industrial sectors. It is a piece of milestone legislation in enhancing the occupational safety and health standards for employees in I long Kong.

At present, there are about 3.1 million people at work in Hong Kong. Some 800,000 of them are employed in industries covered by the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance, namely manufacturing, construction and catering. Most of the remaining 2.3 million workforce are employed in the non-industrial sectors and are not covered by that Ordinance.

6

In the 1995 Consultation Paper on the Review of Industrial Safety in Hong Kong, we included the recommendation of a tripartite Ad Hoc Committee under the Labour Advisory Board that safety and health legislation should be extended to cover all employees. It was recommended that new legislation should be enacted under which different regulations, to be implemented in stages, would set out specific standards for the working environment in general and regulate certain hazardous processes, equipment and substances in particular under the following six broad categories:

(a) safety, health and welfare of the workplace (including ventilation, lighting, fire precautions, lavatory, first-aid, drinking water, etc.);

(b) manual handling operations;

(c) personal protective equipment at work;

(d) dangerous substances and their labelling, handling, storage, etc.;

(e) health and safety aspects of work in the use of visual display equipment;

and

(f) use of machinery and equipment.

This recommendation has received wide support during the public consultation period.

The Occupational Safety and Health Bill is the result of the recommendation to extend protection to the non-industrial employees. It will apply to all workplaces, with the following exceptions:

(a) persons employed in land, sea and air transport, which are already protected by other legislation such as the Road Traffic Ordinance, the Merchant Shipping Ordinance and the Civil Aviation Ordinance;

(b) persons employed in maritime operations, which are regulated by the Merchant Shipping (Safety) Ordinance;

(c) persons employed in domestic services, as it is not intended to intrude into the private life of individual household; and

(d) self-employed persons, since there is no employer/employee relationship.

7

The Occupational Safety and Health Bill contains the following main provisions:

(a) Part I specifies the title of the Bill and defines certain terms used in it.

(b) Part II prescribes the general responsibilities of employers and occupiers of premises. The employers are responsible for ensuring the safety and health of their employees at work. Occupiers of premises, where persons working there are not their employees, are also responsible for ensuring the safety and health of those employees.

(c) Part III enables the Commissioner for Labour to issue improvement notices and suspension notices. It also confers a right of appeal by the employers or occupiers, against the issue of a suspension notice, to the Commissioner for Labour and the Administrative Appeal Board.

(d) Part IV provides for the reporting of accidents resulting in death or incapacity, and dangerous occurrences at the workplaces, by the proprietors, the notification by medical practitioners of cases of occupational disease, and the holding of informal and formal inquires into accidents by the Commissioner for Labour.

(e) Part V provides for the appointment and functions of public officers to administer the Bill's provisions.

(f) Part VI prescribes miscellaneous offences, such as the disclosure of the identities of complainants; interference with or misuse of equipment for safety and health at the workplace.

(g) Part VII sets out the procedure for prosecuting offences under the Bill.

(h) Part VIII empowers the Commissioner for Labour to make regulations to supplement the Bill's provisions, to issue, amend and revoke workplace codes of practice, and to amend schedules to the Bill.

(i) Part IX provides for the provisions of the Bill to prevail over any possible inconsistent provisions in the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance, and make consequential amendments to the Administrative Appeal Board Ordinance.

The Occupational Safety and Health Bill, being basically an enabling legislation, should have no major impact on the employers. We intend to introduce subsidiary regulations under the Bill in three stages, so that employers and employees can adjust themselves gradually and comply with the law progressively. As the first stage, we propose that the Occupational Safety and Health Regulation, which provides control over the safety, health and welfare of the workplace in general, and manual handling operations in particular, should be made as soon as the Bill is enacted.

8

The tragic fire at Garley Building a fortnight ago has aroused great public concern over the adequacy or otherwise of fire safety protection in older buildings. The Fire Safety (Commercial Premises) Bill is being examined by a Bills Committee. We hope that the Legislative Council will agree to it quickly so that it can be enacted. It will cover commercial premises of over 230 m2 that are used as banks; off-course betting centres; jewellery and goldsmith shops; supermarkets or department stores; and shopping arcades. The need for legislation to deal with commercial/office buildings will be considered separately, in the light of the investigation report being compiled by the Director of Fire Services on the Garley Building fire. In the meantime, as ’’workplace” defined in the Occupational Safety and Health Bill will cover all types of premises, the provisions in this bill can be used to deal with fire problems in workplaces not already covered by the Fire Safety (Commercial Premises) Bill. The Occupational Safety and Health Regulation, which will be made by the Commissioner for Labour upon the enactment of the Bill, also contains a provision that the Commissioner may require employers or occupiers of a workplace to provide fire safety measures in addition to those required by or under any other law. In exercising such power, the Commissioner for Labour will obviously take into account the physical and other constraints which may be encountered in that particular workplace, but she does have the power to ensure that adequate fire precautions are in place to ensure the safety of the people at work in a workplace.

In many ways, the Occupational Safety and Health Bill and the Regulation seek to enshrine in a consolidated piece of legislation most of the existing safety and health standards in a workplace which the average employer follows at present. We will minimise the potential financial burden on the employers, particularly those who run smaller establishment, with a phased introduction of the subsidiary regulations under the Bill.

The Administration intends to bring the provisions of the Bill and Regulation into operation 12 months after enactment. The grace period will allow time for Government to launch a public education and promotion programme, and for employers and occupiers of affected premises to become familiar with the legislation and to make the necessary preparations.

In line with the new strategy on promoting industrial safety, our approach to occupational safety and health in the non-industrial sectors will be preventive rather than curative; and promotional and educational rather than prosecution-oriented. The overall emphasis would be to encourage employers and occupiers of workplaces to identify risks and hazards, and to take steps to control or minimise them.

9

The Administration will develop, in consultation with the Occupational Safety and Health Council (OSHC), proposals for promoting general awareness of occupational safety and health among employers and employees in the non-industrial sectors. The Labour Department will also advise employers and employees about the new legislation, enforcement and compliance standards, approved codes of practice, etc. Additional staff will be provided to the Department for the implementation of the new legislation.

The enforcement of the new legislation, together with the enhanced publicity and promotional activities by Government and bodies like the OSHC should, in the long run, raise the safety and health awareness of employers and employees in all sectors. This should help to reduce the number of occupational injuries and diseases in the non-industrial sectors in Hong Kong.

The Manpower Panel of this Council was briefed on the Occupational Safety and Health Bill on 25 November and Panel Members expressed their strong support for it. I would therefore urge Members to accord high priority to the Bill so that it could be enacted as soon as possible.

Thank you Mr President.

End

Law Reform Bill introduced into LegCo * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a speech by the Attorney General, the Hon Jeremy Mathews, in moving the second reading of the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions and Minor Amendments) Bill 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

I move that the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions and Minor Amendments) Bill 1996 be read a second time.

The Bill is part of the on-going process of law reform directed at repealing obsolete statutory provisions, removing anomalies and inconsistencies in legislation and making a variety of improvements which do not justify the introduction of separate bills. This Bill proposes to devolve some of the less important powers to make subsidiary legislation from the Governor in Council to more appropriate authorities; to effect certain reforms in the law relating to marriage and children; and to modernise the law governing the keeping of records of births, deaths and marriages. It also proposes a large number of miscellaneous minor amendments to our laws.

10

Devolution of Powerslojnake Subsidiary Legislation

Clauses 2 to 24 of the Bill continue a process started some years ago of transferring the power to make subsidiary legislation of a technical nature from the Executive Council to more appropriate bodies.

In all, subsidiary law-making powers under thirteen Ordinances are affected. Depending on the circumstances, the powers are transferred to a Branch Secretary, a Departmental Head or a statutory board or committee. In three instances the power to be transferred is a power to amend Schedules to Ordinances, but in each case the schedule consists of technical detail of the kind normally found in subsidiary legislation.

Family Law Reforms

The Bill proposes to bring about reforms in four areas of family law.

Age of majoriiy

The first area relates to the age of majority. Clauses 25 to 26 of the Bill make some minor changes to the Domestic Violence Ordinance and the Adoption Ordinance to reflect the reduction in the age of majority from 21 to 18 which was introduced in 1990. It is also proposed by clause 27 to amend the Adoption Ordinance so as to eliminate an inequality in the treatment of male and female children. At present, the power of officers of the Social Welfare Department to visit and examine a child pending proceedings for adoption cease to apply once an adoption order is made in the case of a male child, but not in the case of a female child. Under the Bill the power would cease upon the making of an adoption order irrespective of the sex of the child.

Consent to marriage

The second area of family law reform relates to consent to marriage. As the law now stands, normally only the father is legally competent to give a valid legal consent to the marriage of a child who is under 21 years of age. The mother can only do so if the father is either dead or insane. Subject to such consent, a child aged 16 or over, but under 21, may marry.

Clause 28 of the Bill seeks to place the father and the mother in the same position by amending the relevant provisions of the Marriage Ordinance and introducing a new Third Schedule which sets out in detail the persons whose consents are required in various specified circumstances.

11

Maintenance of illegitimate children

The third area of family law reform relates to illegitimate children. Under the Affiliation Proceedings Ordinance the mother of an illegitimate child may apply to the court for an order against the putative father for the maintenance of the child. The Guardinaship of Minors Ordinance allows either of the parents of a minor child or the Director of Social Welfare to apply for custody of the child, irrespective of whether the parents are married to one another. At present under that Ordinance the court may grant a maintenance order against a parent, but only in favour of the person (whether parent or not) who has been granted custody of the child.

The Bill, by clause 79, proposes to amend the Guardianship of Minors Ordinance so as to enable the mother of an illegitimate child who has legal custody of that child (even though no custody order has been made under the Ordinance) to obtain a maintenance order in respect of the child. Since the proposed amendment makes the Affiliation Proceedings Ordinance redundant it is proposed to repeal it.

Obsolete matrimonial remedies

The fourth area of family law reform relates to certain obsolete remedies. Clauses 83 to 86 of the Bill arc intended to bring about minor reforms in the law of matrimonial proceedings by abolishing the now virtually obsolete decree of jactitation of marriage. This is a court order to restrain a person from wrongfully claiming to be another person's spouse. Clause 87 removes a redundant reference in subsidiary legislation to the remedy of restoration of conjugal rights which was abolished in 1972.

Keeping registers of births, deaths and marriages in non-legible form

As I mentioned earlier, the Bill proposes to modernise the law governing the keeping of records of births, deaths and marriages. The methods employed to maintain official registers of those events in Hong Kong need to be updated in the light of modern technological developments. Clauses 48 to 78 of the Bill contain a series of proposals for amending the Births and Deaths Registration Ordinance and the Marriage Ordinance for the purpose of legalising the storage of marriage records by microfilming and the storage of births and deaths records in both microfilm and computerised forms.

Miscellaneous Minor Amendments

1 now turn to some of the other miscellaneous amendments in the Bill.

12

Clauses 37 to 40 reflect the forthcoming change of sovereignty by providing for the mark on Government envelopes to be changed from ’on Her Majesty’s service’ to 'on Government service'. The new mark will enjoy the same privileges and protection as the existing one. The amendments affect the Post Office Ordinance and Regulations made under it.

Since 1994 foreign lawyers have been permitted to practise in Hong Kong subject to certain conditions and requirements imposed by the Legal Practitioners Ordinance. That Ordinance provides for the "taxation" of a solicitor's bill of costs, that is to say, it enables an application to be made to the court for a determination of what the appropriate charges should be. No similar provision presently exists in respect of foreign lawyers' bills. Clauses 41 to 43 provide that those bills of costs will be treated in the same way as solicitors' bills.

Clauses 81 and 82 seek to close two loopholes which have been identified in certain offences under the Crimes Ordinance. The first concerns the meaning of "currency note" for the purpose of counterfeiting offences. At present the definition of "currency note" is limited to a note that is lawfully issued outside Hong Kong and is customarily used as money in the country of issue. The law does not therefore criminalize the counterfeiting of foreign notes that are no longer used as money. The amendment will ensure that the definition extends to a note which is or has been customarily used as money in the country of issue. The second loophole relates to the definition of "defective" for the purpose of various sexual offences. Because the existing definition does not cover conditions such as schizophrenia, a defendant was acquitted of the offence of unlawful sexual intercourse with a defective in a case which came before the courts in 1994. The amendment proposed in clause 82 plugs this loophole by bringing the definition of'defective' in the Crimes Ordinance into line with the definition of'mental disorder' in the Mental Health Ordinance.

Clauses 88 to 120, in Parts XII and XIII of the Bill, propose a large number of minor amendments which are needed to revise penalty provisions, correct grammatical errors and errors of cross-referencing, provide Chinese equivalents for terms and expressions which at present appear only in English, and to make other purely textual changes.

As I indicated earlier, this Bill is part of continuing process of tidying up Hong Kong's statute law and effecting minor reforms. The proposals in it are largely of a routine and uncontroversial character.

Mr President. I commend the Bill to the Council.

End

13

Carriage by Air Bill

*****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Stephen Ip, in moving the second reading of the Carriage by Air Bill in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that the Carriage by Air Bill 1996 be read a second time.

At present, carriage by air is governed by relevant provisions of the United Kingdom (UK) Carriage by Air Act 1961, Carriage by Air (Supplementary Provisions) Act 1962 and the Carriage by Air Acts (Application of Provisions) Order 1967, which are currently applied to Hong Kong by two UK Orders in Council made in 1967. These UK enactments give effect to three international agreements (namely, the Warsaw Convention, the Hague Protocol and the Guadalajara Convention) which govern international carriage by air and apply similar provisions to non-intemational carriage by air and carriage of mail and postal packages. Among other things, they set out the liability limits of air carriers in respect of death or injury of passengers or damage to baggage or cargo, specify the persons who are eligible to lodge a claim against the carriers, set the time limit for bringing proceedings against carriers and specify which States have jurisdiction over cases.

The purpose of the Bill is to localise the relevant UK enactments thereby preserving the current statutory framework on carriage by air in Hong Kong after 30 June 1997. The Bill reproduces the provisions and schedules of the two 1967 Orders with some modifications in the form of presentation to conform with Hong Kong's legislative style.

The only substantive changes between the provisions currently applied to Hong Kong and that contained in the Bill are mainly technical. They relate to the replacement of UK authorities respectively by the Governor or the Governor acting on the instructions of the UK Secretary of State in the certification of contracting parties to the international agreements for evidentiary purposes in Clauses 4 and 14 of the Bill and the exemption of certain uses of aircraft from the application of the legislation in Clause 8 of the Bill. The Bill also provides for the replacement of the Governor by the Monetary Authority for the specification of Hong Kong Dollar equivalents of "francs" and "special drawing rights" for domestic enforcement of liability limits in Clauses 6 and 16 of the Bill. New provisions are also included to enable certificates of Hong Kong Dollar equivalents to be issued at a fee for evidence purposes.

14

The Bill represents a significant step in ensuring the continuation of the current civil aviation regime on carriage by air.

Mr President, with these words I commend the Bill to this Council.

End

SDO enacted in anticipation of CEDAW extension ♦ ♦ * * *

Following is a question by the Hon Lau Chin-shek and a reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In view of the extension of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) to Hong Kong on 14 October this year, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether it will introduce relevant legislation in order to comply with the spirit of Article 11.1(d) of the CEDAW regarding the right to "equal remuneration...........in respect of work of equal value";

(b) given the fact that each signatory state to the CEDAW is required to submit its first report on the status of women in its country one year after signing the Convention, whether the first such report on Hong Kong will be submitted next year by the British Government, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government or the Chinese Government; and

(c) whether the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group has deliberated on the respective roles of the HKSAR Government and the Chinese Government regarding the submission of reports on the status of women in Hong Kong after the change of sovereignty?

15

Reply:

Mr President,

Pursuant to the agreement reached at the 37th plenary session of the Joint Liaison Group, the United Nations have been notified of the extension to Hong Kong of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, which many refer to as the CEDAW. The extension took effect on 14 October 1996.

(a) Article 11.1 of the CEDAW requires States Parties to take all

appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the field of employment in order to ensure the equality of men and women. In anticipation of the extension of the Convention to Hong Kong, the Sex Discrimination Ordinance was enacted in July last year. The Ordinance specifically prohibits discrimination against women in the field of employment. Article 11.1(d) of the CEDAW refers to the need to ensure 'the right to equal remuneration, including benefits, and to equal treatment in respect of work of equal value'. In this regard, under section 69 of the Sex Discrimination Ordinance, the Equal Opportunities Commission has prepared a Code of Practice on Employment which provides practical guidance covering, inter alia, the specific requirement for the right to equal pay for work of equal value. The Code has been tabled in this Council and is currently being examined by a Sub-committee.

(b)&(c) Under the Convention, States Parties undertake to submit to the Secretary-General of the United Nations periodic reports on measures which they have adopted to give effect to the provisions of the Convention and on the progress made. In the case of Hong Kong, the first report will be due in mid October 1997. In accordance with the agreement reached at the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group, for reports on Hong Kong which are due after 30 June 1997, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government will submit a draft report to the Central People's Government of China and that the report will be incorporated into and form part of the report to be submitted to the United Nations by China, who is a State Party to CEDAW.

End

16

BN(O) holders enjoy visa-free access to 80 countries

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Mrs Elizabeth Wong and a reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council whether it is aware of the measures taken by the British Government to publicise the British National Overseas (BNO) passport and to persuade the Governments of other countries to accept the BNO passport as a legitimate travel document having the same status as other travel documents issued by the British Government?

Reply:

Mr President,

The British Government have widely publicised the BN(O) passport amongst foreign governments since its introduction in 1987. As a result, the BN(O) passport is now recognised by all countries and territories to be a valid travel document, and enjoys visa-free access to 80 countries and territories.

End

Investments of the Exchange Fund

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Emily Lau Wai-hing and a reply by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, in the Legislative Council this afternoon (Wednesday):

Question:

In his speech delivered at a seminar organised by the Bank of England and held in London on September 10, this year, the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) stated that the Exchange Fund does not currently hold assets in currencies which are not convertible and not traded in major foreign exchange markets. He also allayed fears that China would exert influence on the HKMA to use the Exchange Fund to buy Chinese Government or Renminbi debt in order to finance China's budget deficit. As some of the Chinese bonds are denominated in currencies of the G-7 countries, will the Government inform this Council if it has any information regarding the following:

17

(a) whether the HKMA is currently holding Chinese bonds; and

f. '

(b) if the answer to (a) is in the negative, in order to address the concern of the people in Hong Kong and of the international financial community whether the HKMA will state categorically that the HKMA will not hold Chinese Government or Renminbi debt?

Reply:

Regarding investments of the Exchange Fund, the following three criteria are currently adopted for inclusion in the list of approved assets:

(i) only sovereign (ie. Government) issuers with credit ratings of investment grade or above are included1;

(ii) there must be a liquid secondary market for the financial instrument; and

(iii) the underlying currencies of the bond or debt issues must be fully convertible.

The answer to (a) is that China is currently not a sovereign issuer on the list of approved assets in the investment policy of the Exchange Fund, hence the Exchange Fund does not hold any Chinese bonds.

As regards (b), whether China, or any other sovereign issuer, should in future be included into the list of approved assets of the Exchange Fund will have to be considered against the three criteria set out in the first paragraph of my reply. We will also need to take into account prevailing international best practice relating to treatment of foreign currency reserve assets and other new developments that may arise in future.

(1) Market defines investment grade as, only issuers, such as corporates, coming from countries with a credit rating BBB or above on the Standard and Poor's scale (or equivalent) are included. Exchange Fund requirements for investment grade credit are higher than market practice.

End

18

Policy in handling demonstrations explained

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Andrew Cheng and a reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The Governor has stated publicly that demonstrators would be served with hot tea and mattresses so as to facilitate them to express their dissident views. However, on 15 November this year, the police deployed more than 200 officers to stand guard outside the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The police contained the demonstrators in a restricted "demonstration area" and used force to remove the belongings of the peaceful demonstrators. Later on, the Secretary for Security also stressed that the same tactics would be adopted to handle future demonstrations. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) why there is such a serious difference between the Governor's stance on handling demonstrators and that of the Secretary for Security;

(b) whether the remarks made by the Secretary for Security represent the Government's policy in handling peaceful demonstrations in future; and

(c) whether the Secretary for Security's remarks and the recent actions of the police are in breach of the Bill of Rights and unfair to peaceful demonstrators and petitioners?

Reply:

Mr President,

There is no divergent view between the Governor and myself on the handling of public processions and gatherings. Let me take this opportunity to make it clear what the Government's policy is in handling demonstrations.

Hong Kong is a free and open society. We fully respect individual rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights Ordinance. At the same time, the Bill of Rights permits restrictions on the exercise of such rights which are necessary in the interest of, amongst other things, public safety or public order. The community would expect protesters exercising these rights to abide by the law and not to create public disorder, so that their protest could take place in a peaceful and orderly manner. We are satisfied that the recent actions taken by the Police in regulating public processions and assemblies are necessary to preserve public safety and public order, and that such actions are consistent with the Bill of Rights.

End

19

Report on radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation * * ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Henry Tang and a written answer by the Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Stephen Ip, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It is learnt that a local university commissioned by the Government has recently completed a report entitled ’’Study on Health Protection of Workers and Members of Public against Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Radiation at Radio Sites” which has identified a number of residential blocks located in areas of high concentration of radiation in the territory. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of the above residential blocks, as well as the number of residents living in such blocks; and

(b) whether it will consider publicising the exact locations and names of such blocks; if not, what the reasons are?

Reply:

Mr President,

The Final Report on the ’’Study on Health Protection of Workers and Members of the Public against Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Radiation at Radio Sites" contains the findings of a consultancy study commissioned by the Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) on the safety of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation from telecommunication transmitters. Twenty radio sites with a high concentration of radio transmitters were covered in the study.

The radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation levels inside the residential units and the normally accessible areas on the roof-tops for all sites surveyed were found to be well within the international safety limits for the general public and workers. For five roof-top sites, the radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation levels were found to have exceeded the international safety limits in the extremely unlikely event of continuous exposure over 24 hours at close proximity (i.e. within 1 metre of the antennas). It should however be stressed that the antennas in question are located in places which are not easily accessible: a person would need to climb a physical structure or a ladder to gain access to the antennas. The possibility of the public being exposed to radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation hazards under such circumstances is thus remote. These five buildings, which have about 2000 residents, are therefore safe to live in and the roof-tops are safe for normal usage. The Telecommunications Authority has already written to the Incorporated Owners and management offices of these buildings to assure residents that the buildings are safe to live in. As a precaution, transmitter owners will be required to put up warning signs advising the general public against getting close to the antennas.

20

The names of the five buildings mentioned above can readily be found in the Report which is already available to members of the public in OFTA's library. The five buildings are:

(a) Block B, Hilton Plaza, Sha Tin Centre Street, Sha Tin

(b) Ho Shun Fook Building, Y.L.T.L. 303, Sau Fu Street, Yuen Long

(c) Block A, Po Sing Centre, 1-25 Ta Chuen Ping Street, Kwai Chung

(d) Caritas Lodge, 134 Boundary Street, Mong Kok

(e) Hong Kong Mansion, 1 Yee Wo Street, Causeway Bay

A Working Group, comprising industry representatives and chaired by OFTA, is considering the recommendations of the Report, including implementation details. The Working Group is now working on a Code of Practice. The Code will cover measures to be taken by transmitter owners, workers and other maintenance personnel in installing transmitters and antennas as well as the display of warning signs. The Code will be ready later this month. OFTA will also issue a leaflet explaining the subject of radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation and publicising a channel for enquiries.

End

Job Matching Programme *****

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

Question:

In regard to the Job Matching Programme, will the Government inform this Council of:

21

(a) the total number of persons registered under the Programme during the period from the commencement of the Programme on 1 April 1995 up to the end of September this year, the number of registrants who have successfully obtained employment and the proportion of these persons to the total number of registrants;

(b) the trades in which registrants under the Programme were formerly engaged; the numbers of registrants who have been unemployed for less than three months and for a period of three to six month respectively, and their respective proportions to the total number of registrants;

(c) the types of jobs in which the majority of the successfully placed registrants were employed, and the respective proportions of those employed as office assistants, unskilled workers and watchmen to the total number of successfully placed registrants;

(d) comparative figures on the types of jobs, wages, working hours, working environment, employee benefits and employees' compensation before and after the registrants have obtained employment, as well as the number of these registrants receiving the median wage of their respective trades; and

(e) the respective proportions of registrants who have declined a job offer on account of dissatisfaction with its job nature, wage level and working hours to the total number of registrants?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) A total of 11,712 job seekers have registered with the Job Matching Programme (JMP) during the period from 1 April 1995 (the commencement date of the MP) to the end of September 1996. Of these, 8,982 registrants have been successfully offered employment, representing a success rate of 76.7%.

22

(b) The breakdown of registrants by the industry sector of their previous occupation is as follows:

Percentage(%)

(ba^^jninning

Industry total as_at 30.9,96)

Clothing 20.0

Plastic 1 -4

Electronics/Electrical 9.4

Other Manufacturing 11.9

Construction 3.0

Wholesale, Retail & Import/Export Trade 15.8

Catering 13.1

Hotel 0.8

Transport, Storage & Communication 3.5

Finance, Insurance & Business Services 6.1

Community, Social & Personal Services 7.9

Others —Li

Total 100.0

The breakdown of registrants unemployed by period of unemployment is as follows:

Unemployment period Runnmg_tfital (as at 30.9.96) Percentage(%) £based_on running total)

Less than 3 months 6,278 53.6

3 to 6 months 2,009 17.1

More than 6 months 3,425 29.3

Total 11,712 100.0

(c) The majority of registrants were placed in the following jobs : clerk (15.3% of the total number of placements), labourer (13.8%) and messenger/office assistant (12.9%). The percentage for watchmen is 3.7%.

(d) The comparison between the distribution of successfully placed registrants by former occupation, and that by current occupation is as follows:

23

Occupational Group Former Occupation (%) Current Occupation (%)

Professional, technical and 9.8 6.4

related worker

Administrative and managerial 4.9 0.9

worker

Clerical and related worker 25.9 38.2

Sales worker 5.8 5.3

Service worker 11.2 20.9

Agricultural, animal husbandry 0.2 0.2

and forestry workers and

fisherman

Production and related worker 32.6 23.3

Others 8.6 4.8

Total 100.0 100.0

We have no detailed information on the wages, working hours, working environment and other employees' benefits pertaining to both the current and previous jobs of these registrants.

Since the wages of registrants who are placed through JMP are categorised into broad salary groups--$4,001 - $5,000, $5,001 - 6,000, $6,001 - 7,000 and so on, the median wages in respect of individual placements arc not available. Therefore, no direct comparison between the median wages of JMP job placements with those of the respective trades in the labour market can be made.

(e) The breakdown of registrants who declined job offers by reason is as follows:

Reasons for Declining Offers %

(i) Dissatisfaction with:

- Work Place 26.0

- Job Nature 20.7

- Working Hours 16.6

- Wage Level 12.1

(ii) Found Work 15.0

(iii) Other reasons 9.6

Total 100.0

End

24

Training course for health workers

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Ms Chan Yuen-han and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The Social Welfare Department has organised a four-month Training Course for health workers in conjunction with the Hong Kong College of Nursing, Hong Kong Red Cross and St. John Ambulance Association and Brigade. Participants of the course are required to pay a course fee of $2,200. They are also required to sign an undertaking which stipulates that they have to pay an indemnity of HK$3,300 or part thereof to the Social Welfare Department should they fail to obtain employment as a health worker within six months after completing the course or if they work in such capacity for less than one year. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the following, since the holding of the first training course for health

workers:

(i) the ratio between the number of participants completing the course and the number of such participants who are successful in obtaining employment as health workers;

(ii) the reasons why some participants have failed to obtain employment;

(iii) the number of participants who have failed to comply with the stipulations of the undertaking and have to pay an indemnity;

(iv) the number of applications for exemption from payment of indemnity as well as the numbers of approvals for exempting full or partial payment of indemnity; and the criteria for granting such exemptions;

(b) of the overall demand and shortfall situations of health workers in govemment-subvented residential care homes, financially independent non-profit-making residential care homes and private residential care homes;

25

(c)

(d)

Reply:

(a)

whether the Government will consider imposing restrictions on residential care homes employing enrolled nurses to take up the duties of health workers, so as to safeguard the employment prospects of health workers registered under the Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons) Ordinance, and to ensure that the resources being put into the training of health workers are not wasted; and

whether the Government will review the effectiveness of the course; if so, when the review will be completed; and the reasons why the Government has held the sixth training course before the completion of the review?

In order to meet the requirements for nursing and health care staff as stipulated by the Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons) Regulation and to enhance (he service standards of elderly homes, the Social Welfare Department, in conjunction with several professional organisations, has organised a series of training courses for health workers since August 1995. People who graduate from the courses can register under (he Regulation as health workers to work in elderly homes.

(i) Based on the estimation of the demand for health workers in April 1995. the Social Welfare Department has applied to the Lotteries Fund to organise 37 health worker training courses to offer 1190 places for people who wish to join the profession. As at mid-November 1996, a total of 26 courses are organised and the number of students who have completed the course is 800.

I'he undertakings signed by the course participants stipulate that they must join the profession within six months after completing the course and should work for no less than one year. As at October 1996, there are 320 participants from the first ten courses who have already graduated for six months. The Social Welfare Department has issued letters to ask them on their employment situation. Based on the responses received, 160 out of the 320 (50%) are employed as health workers.

(ii) According to these graduates, the reasons why they have failed to obtain employment are as follows:

26

more than half of them consider the employment conditions in elderly homes unsatisfactory, e.g. long working hour, heavy workload;

others claim personal reasons such as sickness, lack of interest in the job or working for the elderly.

(iii) The Social Welfare Department has received the first tranche of applications for exemption from payment of indemnity in November. Applications are being processed. At present, no participants have been asked to pay indemnity for failure to comply with the undertaking.

(iv) The Social Welfare Department has received 100 applications for exemption from payment of indemnity. To qualify for exemption, the applicant must provide sufficient proof that he has already tried his best but to no avail; or that he has personal reasons (e.g. health conditions) which results in his failure to get a job as a health worker.

(b) According to the manpower requirement set out in the Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons) Regulation, the overall demand for health workers is 1100, encompassing the demand from subvented, selffinancing non-profit-making and private elderly homes. As at October 1996, there are 700 health worker vacancies in 558 elderly homes, as recorded by the Social Welfare Department.

(c) The Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons) Ordinance and the Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons) Regulation stipulate the ratio of nursing staff (including nurses and health workers) to elderly residents. However, it is not stipulated that the elderly homes must employ a fixed number of nurses or health workers. As reflected by the figures, there is a large number of health worker vacancies which means that health workers have good employment opportunities.

(d) Since the introduction of the courses in August 1995, the Social Welfare Department has constantly reviewed the course with the organisations in order to make appropriate improvements. The Social Welfare Department will conduct an overall review in mid-1997 when all the courses are completed so as to determine the necessity to offer more courses.

End

27

Toll for the Tsing Ma Link

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Chan Wing-chan and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Gordon Siu, in the Legisaltive Council this afternoon (Wednesday):

Question:

The Transport Advisory Committee's recommendation that taxi passengers using the Western Harbour Crossing need only pay a tunnel toll of $40, instead of $60, for the taxi's return journeys has aroused opposition from the taxi unions as well as the public's concern about similar recommendation being made for the Tsing Ma Bridge. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) how the toll for taxis using the Tsing Ma Bridge will be determined; and whether different toll charging schemes will be adopted for taxis and other types of vehicles using the Tsing Ma Bridge;

(b) whether, in the event that it is specified that taxis using the Tsing Ma Bridge are required to pay a toll for the return journeys, the toll should be borne by passengers travelling to the new airport at Chek Lap Kok or by those travelling to the urban area; and

(c) whether urban and New Territories taxis can both carry passengers to and from the new airport at Chek Lap Kok; if so, whether they will be charged the same toll for using the Tsing Ma Bridge?

Reply:

Mr President,

Different types of vehicles will be charged different tolls for using the Lantau Link. In determining the toll levels, various factors such as the operating costs, an appropriate rate of return on the capital employed, and public acceptability will be taken into account.

28

Since the Lantau Link provides the only vehicular access to Lantau, the Transport Study for the New Airport commissioned by the Transport Department has recommended that taxi passengers using the Lantau Link should pay a double toll irrespective of their direction so as to ensure that taxi drivers are not out of pocket if they do not have any passengers on the return journey.

Both urban and NT taxis will be permitted to serve the Ground Transportation Centre of the new airport at Chek Lap Kok. They will be charged the same toll for using the Lantau Link.

End

Enrolment in special schools

*****

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

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether there are shortfalls in the intake of student in various types of special schools, if so, what the reasons are, and provide a breakdown of the ratios between the number of students admitted and the number of school places in the various types of special schools; and

(b) whether it has estimated the number of students who need to attend special schools but have not enrolled in such schools?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The enrolment situations in various categories of special schools as at September 1996 are detailed as follows :

29

Category September 1996

Capacity Enrolment % Waiting List**

Blind 225 150 66.7 2

Deaf 720 526 73.1 1

Mildly MH* 3040 2680 88.2 76

Moderately MH 1920 1593 83.0 69

Severely MH 776 674 86.9 14

Physically Handicapped 720 642 89.2 35

Hospital School 481 353 73.4

Maladjusted 945 479 50.7 35

Total 8827 7097 80.4 232

Note: * MH stands for Mentally Handicapped

*♦ Pupils on waiting list are due to the following reasons:

(a) Referrals being processed by schools;

(b) Deferred admission as requested by parents; and (c) Awaiting admission to boarding places.

It is worth noting that the enrolment situation in these schools may fluctuate in the course of the year because special schools of all categories admit students all year round and it is the present policy in special education that children with special educational needs should be integrated into ordinary schools as far and as early as possible.

The reasons for the comparatively low enrolment of below 80% in four of the above categories of special schools are summarised below:

1) Special schools for visually impaired children:

There are only 2 special schools for visually impaired children in the territory. One caters for visually impaired children with normal intelligence while the other caters for those with mental handicap. In order to maintain the minimum class structure to cater for visually impaired children, there is a need to have two special schools for visually impaired children despite a relatively low enrolment situation.

30

2) Special schools for hearing impaired children:

There are 4 special schools for hearing impaired children in the territory. Two are located in Hong Kong, one of which is a secondary school while the other is a primary school. The other two schools are located in different districts of Kowloon to cater for both primary and secondary pupils with hearing impairment in Kowloon. In order to maintain the minimum class structure to cater for hearing impaired children in the territory, there is a need to have four special schools for hearing impaired children despite a relatively low enrolment situation.

3) Hospital school:

There is only one hospital school operating in 16 hospitals to cater for hospitalised compulsory school-aged children in different districts. The enrolment situation in the hospital school fluctuates throughout the year owing to the number of pupils admitted to and discharged from the hospital. For example, in July 1996, the enrolment figure was 458, which was 95.2% of the capacity.

4) Special schools for maladjusted children:

Maladjustment is a transient problem. Children with maladjustment will return to the mainstream as soon as they are ready for re-integration. Thus, the turnover rates in these schools are high.

According to our records, there has been an average of 122 declined cases annually for the maladjusted, which is comparatively higher than those in other categories of special schools. Most of these children declined special school placement for the following reasons:

i) Objection from parents who are concerned with the possible stigmatizing effect of this type of special school;

ii) Objection from pupils;

31

iii) Some of the referrals were court cases. The children refused placement once they were discharged from the court;

iv) Some parents/pupils preferred placement in practical

schools as an alternative; and

v) Some parents/pupils preferred to stay in mainstream

schools.

(b) The estimated number of children who have been assessed to have the need to attend special schools in the 1995/96 school year but have declined placement in such schools is as follows:

Category No.

Blind 1

Deaf 7

Mildly MH 85

Moderately MH 13

Severely MH 2

Physically Handicapped 9

Hospital School

Maladjusted 122

Total 239

The declined cases in the mildly mentally handicapped category are mainly due to parents’ preference for integration in mainstream schools. 43 out of the 85 declined cases for the mildly handicapped are now receiving mainstream schooling while the other 42 cases are attending resource classes in ordinary schools or adjustment programmes operated by the Education Department. The reasons for the 122 declined cases in special schools for maladjusted children are as explained in paragraph (4) of part (a) above.

All declined cases are followed up by the referring workers. Those children enrolled in ordinary schools but are absent for a long time will be followed up by officers of the Non-attendance Cases Team of the Education Department should they be under the age of 15.

End

32

Figures on students receiving overseas education *****

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

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of local students who went abroad to undertake undergraduate or postgraduate courses in the past three years;

(b) of the number of persons who returned to Hong Kong after completing undergraduate or postgraduate courses abroad in each of the past three years; and

(c) whether, in the light of the figures given in the answers to (a) and (b) above, there is a problem of brain drain among those who have completed higher education abroad, or whether there is an increase in the number of such persons returning to Hong Kong; and of the impact such a situation will have on the territory?

Reply:

Mr President,

Since the Government does not require Hong Kong residents to reveal the purpose of their entry into or exit from the territory, we do not have a record of the exact numbers of local students going abroad for undergraduate or postgraduate courses in the past three years or the numbers of persons returning to Hong Kong after completing those courses abroad. However, the following data may be of interest to Members -

33

(a) Eight countries, namely the United States of America (USA), Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom (UK), the Netherlands, Germany, New Zealand and France, voluntarily report the numbers of student visas issued each year to the Census and Statistics Department through their respective Consulates in Hong Kong. The statistics for 1993 to 1995 are set out at Annex A. However, the UGC in its Review of Higher Education in Hong Kong estimated that the numbers of full-time students studying overseas in 1994/95 were 13,000 in the USA, 10,000 in the UK, 9,000 in Australia and 6,500 in Canada. Numbers for other places of study, such as Mainland China and Taiwan, were smaller but might amount to another 2,000 in all.

(b) According to an enquiry on higher education attained outside Hong Kong which was conducted by the Census and Statistics Department via the General Household Survey in the fourth quarter of 1991, 57,200 persons aged 18 and above had returned to Hong Kong after completing their matriculation or higher education courses overseas (excluding China and Macau). Of these, 62% completed undergraduate courses and 23% completed postgraduate courses.

(c) Since most undergraduate courses last from three to four years while the length of postgraduate courses varies widely from one to six or seven years, students who went abroad for undergraduate or postgraduate courses in the past three years and those who returned over that period are in most cases not the same persons. It is not possible, therefore, to identify whether there has been an increase or decrease of local students returning to Hong Kong after completing their studies abroad in the past three years based on the data mentioned above.

However, the 1996 by-census estimates that about 526,000 Hong Kong residents have completed or are attending their first-degree or postgraduate courses at local or overseas institutions or through distance learning. They represent about 8% of the total resident population in Hong Kong, which is two times the figure in the 1991 census (i.e. 255,979 persons, 4% of total population). This indicates that the educational attainment of our population has been significantly upgraded between 1991 and 1996. Both the rapid expansion of tertiary education in Hong Kong since 1989 and the increase of returning students and highly educated people from abroad have contributed to this process.

End

Annex A

Number of Student Visas Issued by Consulates in Hong Kong in 1993 to 1995

Year USA UK1 Canada Netherlands Germany Australia 1 2 3 New Zealand France

1993 5 025 3 477 (53%) 1 2 828 0 0 3 153 (25%) 362 (4%) 70

1994 4 555 3 222 (49%) 2 787 0 7 3 109 (31%) 387 (8%) 70

1995 4 187 2 979 (48%) 2 603 0 10 3 579 (32%) 401 (5%) 67

1 Figures include renewal of visas (about 5%).

2 Figures include renewal of visas (about 10%).

3 The percentage in brackets denotes the proportion of applicants who indicate their intention to pursue undergraduate or postgraduate courses in the countries concerned.

35

Development of Students' Potential Committed

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Ambrose Lau Hon-chuen and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, in the 1 egislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question

It is learnt that some 6,000 primary and secondary students in the territory have recently taken part in the Third Mathematics and Science Study organised by the International Association for the Study of Educational Achievement. The University of Hong Kong has examined the results of the Study and found that the development in mathematics and science in the territory has remained static, and that the territory is trailing behind other developing countries in Asia in this regard. Researchers have attributed this to insufficient emphasis being placed on education by the Government In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the proportion of the funding on education to the territory's GNP in the past ten years:

(b) whether any study has been conducted on the respective proportions of the education funding to the GNP in Singapore, South Korea. Japan and Taiwan in the same period; and

(c) whether it has formulated any long-term education strategy, particularly in the areas of teaching science and mathematics, to ensure that bright and qualified people will be trained up to promote high technology development in the industries of the territory0

Reply:

Mr President.

The target group under the Third Mathematics and Science Study conducted by the International Association for the Study of Educational Achievement (IEA) was the two grades with the largest population of 13-year-olds. which in the context of Hong Kong corresponds to Secondary 1 and 2 students. Senior secondary students were not included in the study.

36

Our junior secondary curriculum aims to provide a balanced general education. When students move to the senior secondary level, they will follow either the science, arts, commercial or technical streams according to their interest and aptitude. According to the findings of the IEA Second Mathematics and Science study in 1988, our students at the senior secondary level performed extremely well, especially in Chemistry and Physics, although their performance at the junior secondary level was less satisfactory. Therefore, the results of a single study may not accurately reflect the overall performance of our students.

I now turn to the questions raised by the Member:

(a) We are unable to provide statistics on funding on education as a percentage of Hong Kong’s Gross National Product (GNP) in the past ten years as relevant figures are not available. Instead, we have attached at Appendix A a table showing the total funding for education as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

(b) Appendix B shows a comparison of total funding on education as a percentage of GDP among a number of countries/territories from 1985 to 1995. However, funding for education as a percentage of GDP may not be the most appropriate indicator of the proportion of public resources spent on education as our overall Government expenditure is only about 17% of GDP whereas the corresponding figures in many countries/territories are generally higher.

(c) The Government is committed to developing the full potential of our children through education. We have taken a number of steps to ensure that our system of education and our curriculum, including the subjects of science and mathematics, are able to respond to the changing needs of the society. These include:

Regular updating of the school curriculum. Revised syllabuses for Mathematics at primary and secondary levels will be issued in 1999 and that for Science at junior secondary level in 1997:

Monitoring and advising schools on the quality of teaching through regular school inspections;

Providing in-service education programmes to teachers to upgrade their professional skills and update them on latest developments. The Education Department also provides teaching resources and guidelines as necessary;

37

Mathematics and Science are among the compulsory subjects for pre-service teachers in both Curriculum and Academic Studies at the Hong Kong Institute of Education; and

Promoting the Target Oriented Curriculum (TOC) at primary levels which is expected to enhance the performance of students in problem solving and communication skills in mathematics in the long run.

In addition, mathematics and science education is also enhanced through informal activities such as:

Inter-school and international mathematics and science activities such as Chemistry Olympiad and Mathematical Olympiad to promote students' interest in these subjects;

Public lectures on topics of current interest for teachers and students to familiarise them with the latest developments. Some events are organised in collaboration with non-govemment organisations. In the past two years, a total of 24 lectures and 10 workshops were organised and participated by over 670 teachers and 5,300 students. In the 1996/97 school year, 11 lectures and 5 workshops will be organised.

In the tertiary sector, all the University Grants Committee (UGC)-funded institutions have been made aware of the updated manpower forecast of the territory and the projection of the demand for graduates in the various disciplines for their planning of the courses. Information on student enrolment for the past five years indicated that there has been a 52% increase in the student numbers in the science, mathematics and engineering subjects and even more so in respect of the number of postgraduate students in the UGC-funded institutions.

Teaching and learning at the tertiary level is also enhanced through research projects. The total amount of Earmarked Research Grants (ERG) disbursed to the Research Grants Council for the 1995-1998 triennium was $1,003 million. Out of the grants designated for 1995/96, 54% was allocated to science, mathematics and engineering research projects carried out by researchers in the UGC-funded institutions.

Apittadix-A

Total Funding for Education 1987/88 to 1996/97

1987-88 1988-89 1989-90 1996-91 1991-92 1992-93 1993-94 1994-95 1995-96 Revised 1996-97

Actual Actual Actual Actual Actual Actual Actual Actual Estimates Estimates

$_M IM $M IM IM S_M IM IM

Total Funding for Education — (a) 9,450 11,653 13,392 16,542 19,431 22,158 25,409 28,878 33,781 39,825

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) — (b) 384,488 455,022 523,861 582349 668,512 779,335 897,463 1,016367 1,111391 1348,788

Total Funding for Education as % of GDP — (a)/(b) 2.5% 2.6% 2.6% 2.8% 2.9% 2.8% 23% 2.8% 3.0% 33%

Total Funding for Education as percentage of Total 17.6% 18.0% 163% 17.4% 18.0% 17.9% 16.4% 17.4% 17.3% 17.5%

Government Expenditure

Source: Finance Branch, Hong Kong Government

FnWaiaXexp-ed

39

Appendix B

Total Funding for Education as percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Country/Territory .1985 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995

Hong Kong 2.8A 2.6 2.8 2.9 2.8 2.8 2.8 3.0

U.S.A. 5.1 5.3 5.5 5.8 5.8 N.A. N.A. N.A.

U.K. 4.8 4.8 4.8 5.1 5.3 5.3 5.2 N.A.

Japan 5.6 5.0 5.1 5.0 5.1 5.2 N.A. N.A.

China 2.5 2.4 2.5 2.5 2.3 2.2 2.2 N.A.

Korea, Republic of 3.7 3.5 6.2 3.6 4.1 4.1 3.9 N.A.

Malaysia 5.6 5.5 5.8 5.3 5.5 5.2 5.6 N.A.

Philippines 2.0 3.0 3.1 2.7 3.0 2.6 3.1 N.A.

Singapore 4.6 3.0 3.0 3 1 3.6 3.2 3.0 N.A.

Taiwan 4.! 4.1 4.7 5.1 5.4 5.7 5.7 N.A.

Thailand 3.8 2.6 2.8 3.0 3.1 3.5 3.5 N.A.

Comparative figures for 1986-) 988 are not available.

A Expenditure on 'Special Education’ are not Included.

• Revised Estimate

N.A. - Not available

Fn:\data\txp-gdp<>

End

40

Enrolment of postgraduate students in tertiary institutions ♦ ♦ ♦ * *

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

Question:

Is the Government aware of:

(a) whether the intakes of postgraduate students in various local tertiary institutions have reached the prescribed annual admission targets in the past three years;

(b) the ratio between local and non-local postgraduate students in various tertiary institutions in each of the past three years, and the regions/countries where these non-local students have come from;

(c) whether the University Grants Committee has any plan to relax the requirement that non-local students taking postgraduate courses should not exceed 20% of the total number of postgraduate students; if not, why not; and

(d) whether the requirement that non-local postgraduate students should not exceed 20% of the total number of postgraduate students is consistent with the objective of developing the territory into an Asian education centre?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The target and actual enrolment, in full-time-equivalent (fte) terms, of research postgraduate (RPg) and taught postgraduate (TPg) students in the University Grants Committee (UGC)-funded institutions for the past three academic years were as follows -

41

RPg target

RPg enrolment1

TPg target

TPg enrolment2

Note

1993/94 1994/95

2.217 2,746 2,995

2,303 2,547 2,952

3,742 4,219 4,558

3.904 4.236 4.921

The slight under-enrolment of RPg students in 94/95 and 95/96 was due to difficulties encountered by some institutions in recruiting qualified local RPg students. The UGC considered such slight under-enrolment acceptable.

The TPg enrolment figures include the non-local students that institutions are permitted to enrol beyond their target.

(b)

Between 1993/94 and 1995/96. the UGC-funded institutions have been permitted to enrol 2% of non-local undergraduates (Ug) and TPg students beyond their target number of Ug and TPg and 20% of nonlocal RPg students within their target number of RPg. The ratio between local and non-local TPg and RPg students in the UGC-funded institutions in the past three academic years were as follows -

1993/94 1994/95 1995/26

Local RPg: non-local RPg 4.4:1 3.1:1 2.9:1

(% of non-local RPg students in relation (19.3%) (22.7%) (25.5%) to target RPg number)

Local TPg: non-local TPg 57:1 52:1 55:1

(% of non-local TPg students in relation (1.8%) (1.9%) (2.0%)

to target TPg number)

There is a slight excess enrolment of non-local students in the RPg category. This is because the institutions may. in addition to the nonlocal RPg students enrolled within their approved student number targets, enrol additional non-local RPg students who are supported by the Earmarked Research Grants awarded by the Research Grants Council (RGC). by other public sources of funding such as the Industry and Technology Development Council's Applied Research and Development Scheme and the Co-operative Applied Research and Development Scheme, or by private funding agencies such as the Croucher Foundation and the Flong Kong Jockey Club.

42

The non-local students came mainly from the People’s Republic of China, the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Malaysia and other Asian and European countries.

(c) The Government has recently accepted the UGC’s recommendation in its Review Report: Higher Education in Hong Kong that the number of non-local students should be increased. The permitted proportion of non-local RPg students has now be raised from 20% to 33% within the RPg target, and the non-local of Ug and TPg has been revised from 2% beyond the target of local students to include a further 2% within the local student target number.

(d) This policy is consistent with our aim of developing Hong Kong’s tertiary institutions as an internationally recognised education centre for the region as a whole.

End

Provision for purchase of neuroleptic drugs

*****

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

Question:

It is known that new antipsychotic drugs are more readily accepted by patients, and this has reduced the number of cases of patients failing to turn up for follow-up consultation and treatment. In this connection, is the Government aware of the following data for the past year:

(a) the amount of provision earmarked by the Hospital Authority (HA) for the purchase of neuroleptic drugs, and the proportion of such provision to HA’s total expenditure on drugs;

(b) the average expenditure by the HA on drugs per mental patient and per non-mental patient respectively; and

43

(c) the respective amounts allocated by the HA for the purchase of antischizophrenic drugs and new antipsychotic drugs, and the respective proportions of these amounts to the total provision for the purchase of neuroleptic drugs?

Reply:

In 1995/96, the amount of provision earmarked by the Hospital Authority for the purchase of neuroleptic drugs was $30.75 million, representing 3.14% of the total spending on drugs. A comparison between the average drug cost for psychiatric and non-psychiatric patients based on data obtained from the month of October 1996 is provided below -

Psychiatric Patients Non-psychiatric Patients

Average cost per in-patient discharged $1,119 $705

Average cost per specialist out-patient attendance $115 $80

The amount of provision allocated for the purchase of antischizophrenic drugs and new antipsychotic drugs, as well as their respective proportions in relation to the total spending on neuroleptic drugs in 1995/96 are as follows -

Expenditure ($ni) % of Total Budget for Neuroleptic Drugs

Antischizophrenic drugs 14.2 46.2%

New antipsychotic drugs 1.89 6.1%

For 1996/97. an additional provision of $3.3 million has been earmarked specifically for the procurement of new antipsychotic drugs.

End

44

Public housing offered to Kai Cheung THA residents *****

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

Question:

The Government has recently provided the LegCo Panel on Housing with information regarding the clearance of Kai Cheung Temporary’ Housing Area ( I HA) According to the information, 62.7% of the residents affected have been offered rehousing in new public rental housing (PRH) flats. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the numbers and percentages of residents in the squatter areas and fl IAs, which are earmarked for clearance in the same period as that for the Kai Cheung THA, who have been offered rehousing in new and old PRH flats respectively;

(b) whether the overall percentage of residents referred to in (a) above being allocated new PRH flats is lower than that of Kai Cheung IHA residents; if so. what the reasons arc; and

(c) how the Housing Department determines whether residents of squatter areas and THAs affected by clearance will be allocated new or old PRH flats?

Answer:

Mr President,

The numbers of residents in squatter areas and lemporary Housing Areas, who are being cleared at about the same period as Kai Cheung lemporary Housing Area and who have been offered rehousing in new or refurbished public rental housing flats, arc as follows -

45

Residents rehoused in new flats Number (percentage) Residents rehoused in refurbished flats Number (percentage) Total Number (percentage)

Squatter areas 965 (53%) 862 (47%) 1.827 (100%)

Temporary Housing Areas 10,847 (74%) 3.896 (26%) 14.743 (100%)

Squatter areas and Temporary Housing Areas 11.812 (71%) 4.758 (29%) 16,570 (100%)

The percentage of Kai Cheung Temporary Housing Area residents allocated new public rental housing flats is a little lower than that for residents of squatter areas and Temporary' Housing Areas during this period.

The type of flat offered to eligible residents of squatter areas and Temporary Housing Areas depends mainly on the availability of flats at the time, both new and refurbished, and, to some extent, on the personal preferences of residents. Residents who are more selective have to wait significantly longer.

End

Research and campaign efforts on anti-smoking *****

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

Question:

According to figures released by the Census and Statistics Department in March this year, 14.8 % of people aged fifteen and over smoke daily, compared with 14.9 % in 1993. The percentage of young male smokers aged 15-19 has risen sharply from 2.4 % to 5.9 % since 1993, whereas the percentage of young female smokers of the same age group has increased from 0.9 % in 1993 to 1.3 % this year. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:

46

(a) it has conducted any research to find out the causes of the rising rate of young smokers;

(b) it has taken into account the rising rate of young smokers in planning anti-smoking campaigns; if not, how it plans to counter this trend in its campaign strategy; and

(c) the Health and Welfare Branch will consider launching a large scale anti-smoking campaign with emphasis being placed on educating young people about the adverse effects of smoking?

Reply:

To set the record straight, the Census and Statistics Department survey, conducted in January 1996, showed that 5.9% of males aged 15-19 are daily smokers. They constitute 2.1% of the total daily smoking male population. These compare with figures of 7.5% and 2.4% respectively for surveys conducted in 1993. In other words, the proportion of males aged 15-19 who smoke daily has declined in terms of rate in that age group (from 7.5% in 1993 to 5.9% in 1996), in percentage out of the total daily smoking male population (from 2.4% in 1993 to 2.1% in 1996) and in absolute numbers (from 14,800 to 14,100 in 1993 and 1996) respectively.

The rate of young female smokers has indeed increased from 0.9% to 1.3% of the 15-19 age group between 1993 and 1996.

A table showing daily smokers by age and sex for 1993 and 1996 is at Annex A. A table showing the longer-term trend for the 15-19 age group from 1982 to 1996 is at Annex B. While the smoking rate for both sexes aged 15-19 has fluctuated over the years, the rates today are still higher than the lowest recorded in 1984.

Apart from research into the causes of juvenile smoking in other countries, both I he Chinese University of Hong Kong and the University ol Hong Kong carried out similar research in Hong Kong in 1994 . I hey found a positive relationship between cigarette advertising and smoking. Additionally, the CUHK's research found that the influence of close friends and family members, attitudes towards the effect of smoking on health, and age were important variables in predicting teenage smoking behaviour.

These local and overseas studies validate Government's current multi-faceted anti-smoking strategy. This looks to legislation to restrict tobacco advertising, publicity to inform the community about the health hazards of smoking, and education to influence individual and peer group attitudes towards smoking.

As an important part of our strategy, the Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health (COSH) -- a statutory body wholly funded by Government - has focussed its campaign efforts towards helping young people to establish a correct perception about smoking, namely that it is hazardous to health and is not healthy, glamourous, trendy or "cool". A total of $7.5 million has been granted to COSH to intensify its activities in this area. COSH has produced three Announcement of Public Interests broadcast on TV targeted particulary at youth. Apart from this form general publicity, COSH have staged 80 anti-smoking drama performances and delivered 69 health talks in schools in 1995/96.

The Department of Health, which is responsible for primary health care, also plays a part through its Health Ambassador Scheme. Each year, about 1,000 secondary schools students are trained by the Department of Health as Health Ambassadors. They are taught about health issues and healthy lifestyles, with antismoking being one of the topics. These Ambassadors then organize different programmes in their schools, districts and neighbourhoods with advice from the Department. Anti-smoking messages are thus disseminated effectively through these channels to our young people as well as their friends and families. As an on-going effort to promote a smokefree culture, leaflets on the hazards of smoking are placed in the Department's Student Health Service Centres, so that students coming to the centre for checkings can take the information home with them.

While anti-smoking publicity and education are mainly carried out by COSH and the Department of Health, Government plays its part by providing a legislative framework which includes no-smoking areas, health warnings for tobacco products and restrictions on tobacco advertising. We have already banned tobacco advertising on TV, on radio and in cinemas. Since April last year, we have also prohibited the sale or giving of tobacco products to people under the age of 18. We are currently considering further legislative measures and aim to introduce these into the Legislative Council next year.

* Research references:

Department of Community Medicine, HKU, The Youth Smoking and Health Survey 1994 - Youth Smoking, Health and Tobacco promotion, Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health, Report No. 1, November 1994.

Leo Y M Sin, Cigarette Advertising and Juvenile Smoking Behavior : A Logit-Model Analysis, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, October 1994.

48

Annex A

Table 2a Daily smokers by age sod sex

Aus - Sep 1993 enquiry______ _

Male Female Overall

Ase sroup No. (’000) % Rate* No. fOOOj % Rate* No. C000) % Rate*

15-19 14.8 2.4 7.5 1.8 2.8 0.9 16.6 2.4 4.2

20*29 109.0 17.5 23.8 11.2 17.7 2.2 120.2 17.5 12.5

30*39 161.5 25.9 28.1 10.8 17.0 1.8 172.2 25.1 14.8

40-49 136.3 21.8 34.1 3.6 5.7 1.0 139.9 20.4 18.6

50-59 92.4 14.8 34.8 6.7 10.7 3.1 99.1 14.4 20.7

£60 109.9 17.6 27.5 29.2 46.1 6.4 139.0 20.2 16.3

Overall 623.8 100.0 (90.8) 27.2 63.2 100.0 (9.2) 2.7 687.1 100.0 (100.0) 14.9

Jan 1996 enquiry

Male Female Overall

Ase group No. (’000) % Rate* No. (’000) % Rate* No. Cooo) % Rate*

15-19 14.1 2.1 5.9 • 2.4 3.1 1.3 • 16.5 2.2 3.8 -

20-29 99.7 15.1 23.0 22.0 27.5 4.1 121.7 16.4 12.5

30*39 173.6 26.3 29.0 15.9 19.8 2.5 189.5 25.6 15.2

40-49 148.6 22.5 30.0 11.0’ 13.7 2.4 159.6 21.6 16.8 - '•?

50-59 99.7 15.1 35.3 9.8 12.2 4.1 109.4 14.8 20.9

£60 124.7 18.9 29.7 19.0 23.7 4.0 143.7 19.4 16.1

Overall 660.3 100.0 (89.2) 26.7 80.1 100.0 (10.8) 3.1 740.4 100.0 (100.0k 14.8

* Asa percentage of all persons aged 15 or over to the respective age and sex sub-group.

Note: Figures in brackets represent the proportion to all daily smokers.

Source : General Household Survey, Census and Statistics Department

49

Annex B

Smoking Statistics: Daily Smokers

Age Group : 15 -19

Year Male (%) Female (%) Both sexes

1982 7.9 0.4 4.2

1983 6.3 0.3 3.4

1984 4.6 NA 2.3

1986 7.3 0.5 4.0

1988 5.5 1.3 3.4

1990 7.8 1.1 4.6

1993 7.5 0.9 4.2

1996 5.9 1.3 3.8

NA-Not available

Source : General Household Survey, Census and Statistics Department (snwkc'figurej

End

50

Major renovation and improvement works in QE and QM

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Christine Loh and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok. in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the renovation and improvement works undertaken in Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Queen Mary Hospital since 1992, is the Government aware of:

(a) the total financial provision earmarked for the renovation and improvement works in Queen Elizabeth Hospital (inclusive of donations from the Hong Kong Jockey Club) and the amount spent so far; and

(b) the total financial provision earmarked for the renovation and improvement works in Queen Mary Hospital and the amount spent so far?

Reply:

The total approved project estimates and cumulative expenditure of major renovation and improvement works undertaken in Queen Elizabeth Hospital since 1992 are as follows -

Project Title Approved Project Estimate (Smillion) Date of Finance Committee Approval Cumulative Expenditure as at 30.10.1996 (S million)

*Block B Extension Phase 11 - Air Conditioning to Existing Wards 316.0 21.2.1992 300.2

Refurbishment and Improvement to Blocks A, C, E, G & H 432.0 21.2.1992 353.0

Redevelopment of Specialist Out-Patient Clinic 238.0 17.6.1994 136.9

Redevelopment of the Operating Theatre Block and Rehabilitation Block 671.3 12.1.1996 7.8

Hong Kong Jockey Club Institute of Radiotherapy and Oncology 350.0 N/A 201.5

- 51 -

The total approved project estimates and cumulative expenditure of major renovation and improvement works undertaken in Queen Mary Hospital since 1992 arc as follows -

Project Title Approved Project Estimate (Smillion) Date of Finance Committee Approval Cumulative Expenditure as at 30.10.1996 (S million)

Reprovisioning of the Sai Ying Pun Specialist Out-patient Clinic 377.5 5.7.1996

Radiotherapy Department Extension 113.6 8.3.1996 4.5

♦ A total of $255 million at July 1986 prices was approved by the FinanceCommittee on 23.7.1986. The approved project estimate was subsequently revised to $316 million at November 1991 prices by the Finance Committee on 21.2.1992.

End

Chairman of SFC

*****

Following is a question by the 1 Ion Chim Pui-chung and a written reply by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council of -

(a) the expiry dates of the agreements of the current chairman and deputy chairman of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC);

(b) the criteria adopted by the authority concerned for determining whether the agreements of the current chairman and deputy chairman of the SFC will be renewed; and

(c) whether the authority concerned has considered selecting the chairman and deputy chairman of the SI C through open recruitment?

52

Reply:

(a) The agreement of the current Chairman of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) will expire on June 30, 1997. The Deputy Chairman’s agreement expires on December 31, 1996 and it has been agreed that it be extended for one year.

(b) In considering whether the agreements of the Chairman and Deputy Chairman, and for that matter, those of all executive directors should be extended, the Administration will have regard to the need for continuity of senior staff at a particular point in time, as well as the suitability and the wish of the persons concerned to continue their service with the SFC,

(c) Open recruitment procedures have been, and will continue to be used when appropriate. In the case of the current Deputy Chairman, a decision was taken to extend his agreement by one year.

End

Cases of police officers framing innocent persons

*****

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

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of complaints received by the Police in each of the past three years concerning police officers framing innocent persons, together with a breakdown of such cases by category relating to false accusations of "possession of dangerous drugs", "obstructing a police officer in the due execution of his duty", "robbery", "wounding" and "assaulting a police officer", as well as the number of complaints alleging police officers taking fingerprints by force to fabricate evidence for the purpose of bringing about a conviction; the number of complaints found to be substantiated in each category and the punishment imposed on the police officers concerned;

53

(b) in regard to those complaints which have been found to be substantiated, of the reasons why police officers have framed innocent persons; and

(c) of the mechanism in place within the Police Force to prevent the occurrence of cases of police officers framing innocent persons?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) (i) Detailed breakdown on complaints received alleging Police

officers framing innocent persons in each of the past three years is at Annex. The Police do not keep separate statistics on complaints alleging taking fingerprints by force to fabricate evidence. They keep statistics on such complaints according to the offences arising from the alleged fabricated evidence. As such, the figures at Annex have already included cases, if any, related to taking fingerprints by force.

(ii) For cases substantiated in 1993, 4 officers were convicted with imprisonment ranging from 3 to 7 months. 5 others were disciplined with 1 receiving caution and 4 interviewed by their senior officers with an entry of the incident in their record of service. Disciplinary proceedings against the 10 officers under the category of “obstructing / assaulting a police officer" are in progress.

(iii) For cases substantiated in 1994, I officer was disciplined with "severe reprimand" and barred from promotion for two years. The other officer is under interdiction in connection with another criminal trial. As such, disciplinary action against that officer will be taken after the conclusion of his criminal trial.

54

(b) The reasons behind the 6 substantiated cases at Annex are as follows:

Year/ Nature of Cases Reasons for framing

1993 "Others" A traffic warden wrongly issued 8 fixed penalty tickets and fabricated evidence when the mistake was discovered. He was disciplined with a "caution".

"Others" 4 police officers were accused of stealing property from an illegal immigrant. During the investigation, the 4 officers gave false information regarding the circumstances under which the illegal immigrant was arrested. They were interviewed by senior officers with an entry into their record of service.

"Obstructing/ assaulting a police officer" (2 cases) 4 police officers were convicted of unlawfully assaulting 5 persons during a stop and search action with imprisonment ranging from 3 to 7 months. These officers together with another 10 officers attending the scene fabricated evidence afterwards to support the arrest. Disciplinary action against the 10 officers are in progress.

1994 "Obstructing/ assaulting a police officer" An off duty police officer involved in a traffic accident falsely accused the driver of another vehicle of assault. Disciplinary action against the officer will be taken after the completion of his criminal trial in connection with another case.

"Others" A police officer summonsed a shop owner for "Articles Obstruction" when the owner was away from Hong Kong. The officer was disciplined with "severe reprimand".

(c) The following mechanism is in place to prevent the occurrence of cases of police officers framing innocent persons -

(i) enhancing the quality of police officers through careful recruitment and training;

(ii) inculcating a high standard of ethics and values among police officers through different channels;

- 55 -

(iii) examination of all evidence to be presented before the Court for prosecution of all criminal cases by officers of or above the rank of inspector in order to determine their reliability and cogency;

(iv) taking a serious view on police officers framing innocent persons and instituting criminal/disciplinary action against officers concerned by the Police Force senior management; and

(v) enhancing the existing complaint system comprising the Complaints Against Police Office with oversight by the Independent Police Complaints Council to ensure that any complaint against police officers , including fabrication of evidence, will be thoroughly investigated.

End

Annex

Statistics on Complaints of Fabrication of Evidence

1993 1994 1995

No. of No. of Cases No. of No. of No. of Cases No. of No. of No. of Ca.*.es No. of

Cases Received Substantiated Officers Convicted/ Disciplined Cases Received Substantiated Officers Convicted/ Disciplined Cases Received Substantiated Officers Convicted/ Disciplined

Possession of Dangerous Drugs 97 0 0/0 77 0 0/0 ICO 0 0

Obstructing/ Assaulting a Police Officer 40 2 4/10 45 1 0/1 2” 0 0

Robbery 10 0 0/0 8 0 0/0 8 0 0

Wounding 12 0 0/0 16 0 0/0 9 0 0

Others 133 2 0/5 133 1 0/1 126 0 0

Total 292 4 4/15 279 2 0/2 272 0 0

57

Sentences under Her Majesty’s pleasure ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Leung Yiu-chung and a written reply by the Secretary for Security. Mr Peter Lai. in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It is learnt that section 70 of the Criminal Procedure Ordinance, under which the court could order a young offender who was under 18 when the offence was committed to be detained until Her Majesty's pleasure shall be known, was repealed in 1993. At present, there are still such prisoners being detained pending the Governor's decision on their sentences, and some of them have already been detained for 10 years or more. The Board of Review on Long Term Prison Sentences (the Board) now reviews such cases once every year, and after the prisoners concerned have reached the age of 21, the cases are reviewed once every two years, so that recommendations may be made to the Governor regarding the remission of the sentences of the prisoners concerned. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether the prisoners concerned and their families will be advised of the outcome of the Board's review and the reasons for the Board's recommendations; if not, what the reasons are;

(b) of the appeal channels open to the prisoners concerned if they are dissatisfied with the outcome of the Board's review;

(c) given that such prisoners are not allowed to apply for parole as their sentences have yet to be determined, whether the Government has considered if the existing arrangement of detaining such prisoners pending the Governor's decision on their sentences has deprived the rights of such prisoners, and if such prisoners may suffer greater mental stress than other prisoners; and

(d) whether there is a minimum length of sentence imposed on such prisoners and whether the Government will consider setting a deadline (e.g. within one year after the prisoner reaches the age of 21) for determining the length of sentence for such prisoners, so as to ensure that these prisoners will not have to serve sentences longer than those served by adult prisoners committing the same offences?

58

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The results of reviews by the Board of Review, Long Term Prison Sentences (the Board) are conveyed to the prisoners concerned by the Prison Superintendent or his representative, and to the prisoners' families upon request. The Board does not disclose any information on its decision-making process, i.e. deciding whether to recommend to the Governor the exercise of the prerogative of mercy.

(b) Prisoners who are dissatisfied with the outcome of their reviews may make representations to the Governor.

(c) The existing arrangement does not deprive prisoners serving sentences under Her Majesty's pleasure their right of receiving regular reviews of their sentences by the Board. The Board reviews each of these cases ever}' year until the prisoner has reached the age of 21, and thereafter every two years. If the prisoner's sentence is changed to a determinate one on the recommendation of the Board, he will be eligible for consideration for release under supervision in accordance with the provisions of the Prisoners (Release Under Supervision) Ordinance or the Post-Release Supervision of Prisoners Ordinance. At present, we are preparing legislation to establish a statutory Board of Review, Long Term Prison Sentences, and one of the proposals under consideration is to allow an appropriate tariff period to be determined in each of these prisoners' cases, and to enable the new Board to consider their suitability for release after the prisoners have served their tariff periods.

(d) Sentences under Her Majesty’s pleasure are not subject to a minimum length because they are indeterminate sentences. The actual length of sentence served will depend on, among other things, the length of the determinate sentence if recommended by the Board and granted by the Governor. The Board considers each case on its merits.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, December 5,1996

Contents PageAo.

Governor's Statement to Legislative Council....................... 1

Transcript of Governor's question-and-answer session.............. 3

Governor's opening remarks at summit......................... 16

Governor's media session after summit............................ 19

Governor's closing remarks at summit......................... 22

Chief Secretary's question-and-answer session.................... 23

FS: Government continues to support business................. 26

Whitehead Detention Centre to close next month............... 27

Campaign to promote public knowledge on film classifications. 28

Findings of surveys on manufacturing industries released..... 29

Contents Page No.

Aiming at zero fatality and minimal accidents in workplace............. 32

Two nominations received for Wong Tai Sin DB by-election............... 33

Crown rents due on December 25......................................... 33

Sha Tin Water Treatment Works open day on Saturday..................... 36

Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works open to public on Saturday.............. 37

Royal Commonwealth Essay Competition 1996/97 invites entries........ 38

Hong Kong students do well in mathematics.............................. 39

HK Chinese sailors to take part in last naval divisions................ 41

Two-day exhibition of statistical work and data........................ 41

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results............................ 43

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations................... 43

1

Governor's Statement to Legislative Council

*****

The following is the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten's Statement to the Legislative Council today (Thursday):

Mr President, there has been considerable interest - and a good deal of misunderstanding - about consular protection for British Nationals in I long Kong after 30 June 1997. I wanted to come to the Council today to set the record straight and to try to clear up some of the concerns which Honourable Members may have.

Can I straightaway express my gratitude to the Council for, as it were, accommodating me at short notice. I have just come from a summit this afternoon on disability and transport - the fourth one we have held. That stopped me coming to the Council earlier this afternoon and I would just like once again to express my gratitude to the Council for making it possible for me to come here, which is the right place to come to deal with some of the anxieties which have been expressed in the last few days.

1 want to deal with four of the myths which have, I think, arisen in the last 48 hours.

First Myth: that British passports issued under the British Nationality Selection Scheme are second-class documents, and will be treated differently by British authorities from British citizen passports obtained in other ways. This is completely untrue. All British citizen passports are identical. There is only one form of British citizenship - I am not talking here about BNOs and BDTCs. but British citizens. The British Government draws no distinction whatsoever between British citizenship acquired under the British Nationality Selection Scheme or acquired in any other way. The BNSS is a means to a destination - British citizenship. Once you have reached that destination, it becomes utterly irrelevant how you got there.

Second Myth: that the British Consulate will not extend consular protection to holders of passports issued under the British Nationality Selection Scheme, but it will do so to those who have obtained their passports in other ways. That is not true. There are no differences between the documents. The British Government, and the future British Consulate-General, will offer consular protection to British Nationals in Hong Kong - BNSS and non-BNSS - irrespective of how that nationality was obtained, except in cases of dual nationality. Our consular officials will not be able to tell from a British citizen passport how it was obtained by its holder. Nor will China have any means of knowing.

2

Third Myth: that Britain accepts that international law limits the ability of the UK to provide consular protection to BNSS recipients who are dual nationals, but does not accept it in the case of other British Nationals. Again, untrue. Let me read to you the relevant sentence, based on international law, that is printed in every single British passport, BNSS or otherwise, including this passport, which happens to have a certain meaning for me since it is my own. Let me quote - if I can read it -1 am getting shortsighted:

’’British Nationals who are also nationals of another country cannot be protected by Her Majesty’s representatives against the authorities of that country.”

Britain accepts - that is my passport and it is the same as any other British passport - Britain accepts that international law limits the ability of the UK to provide full consular protection to dual nationals in the country or territory of their nationality. But it is a matter for the United Kingdom to decide what representations it makes in any individual case; and, crucially, Britain does not accept that the way in which a British citizen obtained his or her passport would of itself be evidence of dual nationality.

Fourth Myth: that Britain will regard any BNSS recipient seeking consular protection at the British Consulate as a dual national. Again, that is not true. British consular officials will not know from individual’s passports whether they have obtained their passports under the BNSS scheme, and they will not ask them whether they have done so, because as far as Her Majesty’s Government is concerned, that is completely irrelevant. A British citizen is a British citizen, full stop. British practice in Hong Kong will be exactly the same as it is in France, or Belgium, or the United States, or Canada or anywhere else in the world where British Nationals may be in difficulty. If an individual presented himself or herself at the British Consulate, claiming to be a solely British National, the British Consulate would accept that and act on his or her behalf, unless it was presented with acceptable evidence of dual nationality. The Consul-General would not seek such evidence. Even if Britain were persuaded that someone was a dual national, that would not in itself stop it from making representations on his or her behalf. That is something which Honourable Members know perfectly well we do already, including in cases in China.

The British Government takes seriously its responsibilities to all British Nationals in Hong Kong, irrespective of how their British nationality was obtained and of whether they hold Chinese nationality. Britain would not - repeat not - regard any claim by the local authorities that a British passport had been obtained under the British Nationality Selection Scheme as of itself relevant or acceptable evidence of dual nationality. It is for the British Government and the British Government alone to determine whether or not an individual holds British nationality. Britain cannot accept any suggestion that this can ever be a matter for any other government.

3

Finally, let me say this. Britain has a good record of standing up for its nationals in distress whether they come from Hong Kong or anywhere else. In the case of Hong Kong, we do so even in cases of dual nationality today, and we will continue to do so after the handover. Britain will not sit idly by if British Nationals are in trouble. I understand Honourable Members' concern and the community's concern about some of the reports they have heard, many of which have been misleading in recent days. Those concerns are ill-founded. I will be very happy to take any questions.

End

Transcript of Governor's question-and-answer session ♦ * * * *

The following is the transcript of the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten's special question-and-answer session in the Legislative Council this (Thursday) afternoon:

Dr Yeung Sum (in Chinese): Thank you Mr President. Today the Governor is attending this sitting probably because a British official has said that holders of the BNSS passports will not be protected by the Consulate-General after 1997. I would like to ask a question about the credibility of the British and Hong Kong Governments. Now. when the BNSS was introduced to Hong Kong was it made clear to the people of Hong Kong that consular protection would not be accorded to those with dual nationality? If that was made clear then it is not necessary to hold this meeting. Why didn't the British and Hong Kong Governments make this clear to the people of Hong Kong? Is this a question of credibility?

Governor: I am sure the 1 lonourablc gentleman would accept that in every country, in every country in the world, under the I lague Convention and under international law people with a dual nationality have difficulty in claiming full consular protection, and it states that explicitly, as I mentioned earlier, in every British passport. Not passports issued under the British Nationality Scheme, but every passport. I would think it highly likely that it says it also in the passports issued by other governments and countries. The Honourable Member is nodding his head next to Dr Yeung Sum. I am sure that is the situation.

What I want to make clear is that people in Hong Kong will be treated in exactly the same way as they would be treated anywhere else. We will not accept that there is any distinction between one form of British passport for a British National and another. A British National, a British citizen, is a British National, is a British citizen.

4

There is something else I would like to say about consular protection. The fact that full consular protection cannot always be provided in certain cases does not mean that a British Consulate or a British Embassy turns those who are in trouble away.

Let me just tell the Honourable gentleman what it says in the Guide which is available to the public on consular protection. It tells the public what a consul can do: issue emergency passports, contact relatives and friends and ask them to help with money or tickets and so on and so on. And at the bottom of the list, the sort of things that are of concern to all Honourable Members: contact and visit British Nationals under arrest or in prison and in circumstances arrange for messages to be sent to relatives or friends; give guidance on organisations experienced in tracing missingpersons; make representations on your behalf to the local authorities in certain circumstances.

And then it says the things that a Consul can't do and it mentions intervening in court proceedings, getting you out of prison, etc. And it says at the bottom that a Consul cannot formally assist dual nationals in the country of their second nationality. Note the word "formally" assist - can't "formally" assist under the international convention. But certainly can assist and would assist as British Embassies, as British Consulates do all over the world, even where a British National has dual nationality. That happens already.

The point I want to stress, again, is that there is no difference between a passport acquired under the BNS Scheme and any other passport. As far as Britain is concerned, those passports give somebody full consular protection, unless, as I said, evidence could be established to the contrary. And we do not and could not accept that your holding of a passport which you may have acquired under the BNS Scheme is. as it were, adequate evidence of dual nationality. That is the point which I think there has been confusion about and that is the point that 1 want to make very clearly today.

Dr Yeung Sum (in Chinese): I think those who know the law will understand that dual nationals may not be protected by the British Consulate in the country of second nationality. But what I asked was why the British Government did not make clear to the people of Hong Kong that after acquiring a British passport under the BNSS they might not be offered consular protection after 1997? I just want to know why this point was not simply made clear to the people of Hong Kong and why is it that the Governor has to make clear the point now?

5

Governor: Let me, if the Honourable Member does not mind correcting on one point. The Honourable Member is suggesting that there is something particular about having a passport which is acquired under the BNS Scheme. That is not the case. The way you acquire a British passport does not affect the validity, does not affect the value, does not affect British authorities’ attitudes to that passport in any way. The BNS is a route to acquiring a passport - like marriage can be a route to acquiring a passport, like birth can be a route to acquiring a passport. But once you have got that passport it is exactly the same for everyone. And for everyone, in whatever country they are in, the same rules apply regarding dual nationality.

I want to make it clear that we would provide consular protection, full consular protection for anyone with a British passport which they may have acquired under the BNS Scheme or under any other scheme, and we would provide that consular protection after 1997 unless there was evidence that dual nationality. And even where there was evidence of dual nationality, it does not mean we would wash our hands of whoever came to the British Consulate with a case about which they were concerned.

Miss Margaret Ng: Mr President, I do not have a written record but perhaps the Governor can obtain a written record of a meeting between a delegation of this Council to London - 1 think it was in February or March. I raised the matter with the Foreign Secretary. Subsequent to that, in Government House during the Prime Minister's visit I raised that same question with the Prime Minister on dual nationality. 1 was given the answer that dual nationality does not prevent a holder of a British passport from obtaining consular protection in Hong Kong. I must confess I was a little surprised at the time but that was the unequivocal answer I was given. I do not know whether it was because my question was not correctly asked or because I misunderstood the answer but may 1 ask the Governor to check the written record.

But my question really is pertaining to something the Governor has just told this Council which is that China has no way of telling how the passport was obtained, and presumably that includes whether the passport was obtained through the BNSS. Now may I ask the Governor to elaborate on why we could feel assured that this is the case?

Governor: First of all on the important first point the Honourable lady made - and I have too much respect for the Honourable lady to be implying in what I say to her that she has not told us the situation as she recalls it and as she believes it to have been -but I would be extremely surprised if either the Prime Minister or the Foreign Secretary had stated that anyone with dual nationality could receive formal consular protection. They can certainly receive consular assistance and I would believe it as one of our moral responsibilities to go on showing concern for and providing assistance to people who had dual nationality. But I would be very surprised if they had said something which as the Honourable lady knows, as a lawyer, is made absolutely clear in international covenants to which we are all signed-up.

6

I do not believe that there is any way in which Chinese authorities will know how somebody acquired a British passport. But I must say that the Honourable lady has touched on the reason why this issue causes so much concern to people. There was a statement in the Hong Kong Standard this morning which I regard as particularly chilling. And 1 very much hope that the Xinhua News Agency will disclaim that statement. Let me read it out to the Legislative Council:

An official of the Xinhua News Agency, Beijing's representative office in Hong Kong, said that identified BNSS passport holders would be regarded as Chinese Nationals even if they had lived in Britain and returned to Hong Kong as British citizens. China would be able to trace such people even though their files were kept by Britain, the official said, on condition of anonymity.

What is it. what state of mind is it that brings people to make statements like that when what we are all attempting to do is to give people in Hong Kong reassurances about their future, about their future stability and about their future freedoms?

I can give this Legislative Council, this Honourable House, all the assurance -supported by the British Prime Minister and Cabinet - all the assurance at my command about the status of a British passport, however it was acquired, after 1997. What I cannot do is to pretend to this I louse that the way that Chinese nationality law is framed and the way it is often implemented does not cause worries and shocks. It does that now in China. I invite Members to consider the consular cases involving other countries. I invite them to consider the case of Mr James Pangf?) There is a case of somebody with an Australian passport who has the greatest consular difficulties because of the way that Chinese officials interpret their nationality law.

Now if that attitude obtains in Hong Kong after 1997 there will clearly be a large number of arguments on consular issues, not just with Britain - not just with Britain - but with other countries who have citizens holding a passport in Hong Kong. That is the truth of the matter and Members in this Legislative Council know that to be the case.

So I hope we can have less of this sort of chilling statement and a little more reassurance, and a little less of seeming to want to target people who have this particular passport or that. Those who are advising Chinese Mainland officials, those who are joining other organisations in Shenzhen, have a particular responsibility, in my judgment, to make sure that statements like that arc not made.

•?

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Miss Margaret Ng: A little more assurance in that case. Leaving the Chinese Government aside - and I quite understand the Governor's frustration - but concentrating just on the Hong Kong Government and the British Administration in Hong Kong, at the time when people applied for British Nationality under the BNSS there were certain documents submitted to the Hong Kong Government. Now may I ask the Governor to inform this Council what happened to those documents, those applications, information contained anywhere within the government files in Hong Kong or in London about the names and the particulars of people who have applied and subsequently people who had obtained the British Nationality?

Governor: That is an extremely important point and I would not wish to mislead the Legislative Council in any respect in giving a comprehensive answer. So what I will do, I will give the Honourable lady a brief answer of what I understand the position to be and then I will make clear that we give this Council a statement on exactly what the position is, where exactly all the information is, and what is happening to the information.

As I understand it, the Immigration Department at present have some of this information; it is being sent back through the British Consulate-General to the UK and when the British Consulate-General take over all their responsibilities in relation to passport issues at the beginning of next year they will have all the information with them. But I do not want there to be any possibility of misleading the Council so that is a qualified and conditional answer and I will write to the Honourable lady and make sure the letter is published giving exactly what that information is.

We arc not unaware - not least because of statements like that - of the sensitivity of this information and those documents and I want to assure everybody in Hong Kong that we will do everything humanly, technologically possible to keep that material secure and to keep that material confidential. The Honourable lady will know that it would be illegal for us to make information acquired under the BNS Scheme public.

Mr Bruce Liu (in Chinese): Mr President, I agree with the international law that dual nationals should not get full consular protection. Mr Governor, concerning Hong Kong people who applied for the BNS, most of them are trying to get political insurance. The insurance coverage should have covered British nationality, British consular protection. However, for those who have taken out such political insurance, all of a sudden discover today that concerning the British consular protection there is one rider in the insurance policy, that is if they have dual nationality then they will be regarded as exceptional cases. So now they have discovered this and this is my question for you Mr Governor.

Will the UK Government and/or the Hong Kong Government with regard to these policy holders of political insurance and who have been misled, will compensation be made to them? Say a refund, or compensation in other forms?

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Governor: I don't know whether the Honourable gentleman is - I don't know whether I am being inarticulate or whether perhaps the Honourable gentleman has not fully grasped what I am saying. The only qualification as far as British consular protection is concerned, for somebody who acquired a passport under the British Nationality Scheme, is exactly the same qualification as applies to the Governor of Hong Kong. Because of the international conventions which are referred to in a British passport we cannot give full consular protection when there is dual nationality. But the fact that somebody has a British passport under the British Nationality Scheme is not itself relevant to or evidence of dual nationality. It is an extremely important point that people should recognise and that people should accept.

I repeat one other point - or make it perhaps in more robust language. If somebody turns up at the British Consulate after 1 July 1997 and says, "I've got a British passport, I'm a British citizen, I want consular protection". Somebody at the British Consulate is not going to say, "Did you get your passport through the British Nationality Scheme? If you did I'm afraid that we can't offer you full consular protection." They are going to say, "You have got a British passport, we will offer you full consular protection." If the authorities then provided evidence of dual nationality, the British Consulate in those circumstances would not say, "Sorry, there is absolutely nothing we can do to help you", they would say, "Formally, under the Hague Convention we can't give you the assistance which we would otherwise have been able to provide but we can still help you as before 1997 we were helping people with dual nationality who got into consular difficulties in China".

So I want the Honourable gentleman to recognise that there is no concession that holding a passport under the British Nationality Scheme implies or explicitly makes the point that one has dual nationality.

Mr Bruce Liu (in Chinese): I have not misunderstood the situation because I really have looked into the exceptional cases very carefully. I would like to know why is it that four years ago when the UK Government was pushing the BNSS as a form of political insurance, why did it not then make it clear to Hong Kong citizens that consular protection would not be afforded in full in the situation of dual nationality? I would like to know whether any officials have been guilty of negligence of duty?

Governor: No, I don't believe they have. What I hope has been said at every stage is that a passport acquired under the British Nationality Scheme is the same as the passport that I have got and it gives you the same entitlements in Hong Kong as in Papua New Guinea, or Panama City or Patagonia. Anywhere, you have the right to full consular protection unless - unless - there is evidence, satisfactory evidence of dual nationality. If there is satisfactory evidence of dual nationality it does not mean that a British Embassy or British Consulate is not prepared to go in and bat for you, is not prepared to fight your corner. What it does mean is there arc restrictions on the extent to which it can do that. That is the same in Hong Kong as everywhere else, Hong Kong is not being put in a special category.

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Mr Albert Ho (in Chinese): Just now the Governor has already explained the legal situation very clearly but I think Hong Kong people now should know more about the political reality that we face after 1997, especially since the Chinese Government has already made clear its policy. In the past few years it has already said that it would not recognise British Nationality received under BNSS. Say, after 1997, there is a Hong Kong person holding a British passport and presenting himself to a British Consulate in Hong Kong asking for consular protection and the Hong Kong Government then, or the Chinese Government then says that this is a Chinese National. So, would the British Consulate do nothing unless it is clarified whether this person has got dual nationality, or would assistance be given at the same time when the Hong Kong Government or Chinese Government are producing evidence proving the dual nationality?

Or. say, the Chinese Government or Hong Kong Government releases a very clear piece of legislation stipulating that all these people who received British Nationality under BNSS would be presumed or regarded legally as Chinese Nationals, then in that case would the British Consulate not do any investigation and simply regard them as indeed having dual nationality and would not afford them full consular protection? I would like to know what would the political reality be?

Governor: It is an important question and I am going to have to be slightly repetitive in answering it because we tend to be circling the same passports or the same passport issue. But let me just make one point by way of introduction because it has been, I think, mis-stated in one of this morning’s newspapers. It was said in the otherwise admirable South China Morning Post this morning in its editorial: Both countries -that is Britain and China - are agreed that Scheme passport holders are Chinese Nationals, as was made clear by both sides with reference to holders of British Dependent Territories Citizen and British National Overseas Documents in Memoranda attached to the Joint Declaration.

Well, the second part of the statement is true. The first part of the statement is not true and could not conceivably be true since the British Nationality Scheme came into being seven years after the Joint Declaration. There is no agreement between Britain and China that Scheme passport holders are Chinese Nationals.

Let me make the point the other way round. What would China think if Britain said it was going to tell China who was a Chinese National? China would think that was the most monstrous impertinence. It would think it was an attack on Chinese national sovereignty. Nobody can tell Britain or the British Government who is a British citizen and who is not. That is a matter within our sovereign gift and we are not going to throw it away for anyone.

10

The Honourable Member asked what would happen if somebody turned up with a passport which they had acquired under the British Nationality Scheme and asked for consular protection. Let me make the point once again that what will not happen is that there won't be any question at the British Consulate about how they got their scheme implying that if they got it through the British Nationality Scheme it somehow entitles them to less than if they got it through birth or marriage or in some other way. They will get full consular protection until it can be established or unless it is established that they are a dual national.

Now, what would be the sort of evidence that would establish that? It is always extremely dangerous to get involved in hypotheticals and I am not going to do that this evening, but I will give you one obvious example where it would be difficult to refute that the person was a dual national. Let me read what it says in an SAR passport - if it is in slightly larger letters. An SAR passport says, in the notes on page 2, number 2:

"The bearer of this passport is a Chinese citizen."

So it would be quite difficult to argue that somebody who had an SAR passport was not a dual national. But I repeat, that does not mean that that person, in the British Consulate, would not receive - not the formal consultation which I was reading out about earlier - but would not receive assistance in the way that people with dual nationality receive assistance today. We have a particular obligation to our citizens whether they are dual nationals or not. We have an enhanced obligation to those citizens where they are not dual nationals.

Mr Albert Ho (in Chinese): Was the Governor saying this: in future, be it the SARG or the Chinese Government, if it issues an announcement or an order to the effect that those who acquired the British passport under the BNSS will be regarded as a Chinese citizen, now in future if such a person goes to the British Consulate and asks for consulate protection, can the Governor tell us that the British Consulate will disregard the announcement or the order made by the SARG or the Chinese Government because there is no way to prove whether or not that particular person has obtained the British passport under the selection scheme, and therefore full consular protection would be offered to that person?

Governor: The Honourable gentleman is home in one. The point that I have been seeking to make is that no one else can tell Britain who is a British citizen, who has a British passport, and we would not accept it - to repeat myself - as relevant to or evidence of dual nationality whether somebody had acquired their passport under the British Nationality Scheme. So far as we are concerned - let me repeat again - a passport is a passport is a passport.

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To go back to earlier questions, that does not of course mean that there may not be circumstances in which somebody who did acquire their passport under the BNS Scheme is actually, with good evidence, a dual national. That will happen. I gave an example a moment or two ago. But the Honourable gentleman’s clear assessment of the situation was correct. You turn up at the British Consulate with a British passport - whatever Chinese officials have said, whatever any officials anywhere have said - if you have got a British passport, legally issued by the British Government, that’s that.

Mrs Selina Chow (in Chinese): Thank you Mr President. I believe that many Members here will recall that in fact the LegCo has asked many, many times, questions about this issue of Hong Kong people holding British passports and whether or not they will be accorded British consular protection alter 1997,and 1 think my colleagues will agree with me that never has there been a clear answer. And today the Governor makes it clear to us that a British passport obtained under the BNSS is no different from other British passports; they are all British passports, they enjoy the same status, there is no question of a second-class passport.

Well, our concern is when a Hong Kong person holds a British passport, whether it is a passport obtained under the BNSS or a passport obtained after residence in the United Kingdom, will he be accorded consular protection alter 1997? Because yesterday we read a statement from the FCO and just now the Governor also mentioned that how the passport is obtained will not produce any different treatment to the holder. Now if a person holding this passport under the BNSS approaches the British Consulate, here it is said that ’without acceptable evidence of dual nationality’. The statement seems to be saying that if somebody is to come up with some other evidence of dual nationality then the consular protection offered may be different.

Now can the Governor tell us clearly what is meant by 'acceptable evidence of dual nationality'? For an ordinary person in Hong Kong, after 1997 he will be treated as a Chinese citizen, so is that an acceptable evidence of dual nationality? If that is the case, then does it mean that whoever, holding a British passport and approaching the British Consulate may be turned away?

Governor: 1 said earlier that it is not for the Chinese authorities to say who is or who is not a British citizen. And 1 also, earlier - I think the Honourable lady at the time - I don’t say it critically - I think was studying the Basic Law - I said earlier that I could give one perfectly straightforward example of what would presumably be regarded by most fair-minded people as acceptable evidence of dual nationality, and that is the holding of an SAR passport, since an SAR passport declares very explicitly that the bearer of this passport is a Chinese citizen. If you actually have one of these passports and travel on it with that written inside, it would be quite difficult for a British Consul-General to argue that dual nationality did not apply. I am sure the Honourable lady would accept that point.

12

In those circumstances, even if formal support could not be provided, I am sure that the British Consulate would want to assist in every possible way, short of all that is provided for in the Hague Convention. But 1 repeat, it is not for China to say who is a British citizen any more than it is for Britain to say who is a Chinese citizen.

Mrs Selina Chow (in Chinese): Mr President, the Governor made it very clear just now that if a person holds another passport then it is evidence of dual nationality. But of course that particular person has to apply for another passport. If a Hong Kong person has not applied for any other passport, he is just holding the ID card proving that he is a permanent resident of Hong Kong, and he also holds a British passport, he does not have any other passport, then will he be considered as having dual nationality?

Governor: What I can’t conceivably do, as the Honourably lady will know, is to say that the only case in which you could demonstrate dual nationality was one in which somebody was an SAR passport holder. Anybody would be exceptionally foolish who tried to define every conceivable circumstance which would provide evidence of dual nationality. What I am saying is as far as the British Government is concerned, as far as the British Consulate-General after 1997 is concerned, holding a British passport entitles you to formal consular protection unless there can be acceptable evidence to the contrary. If we did not take that view I am sure that many people would regard the consequences as being justiciable.

Dr C.H. Leong: Governor, in 1990 the former foreign Secretary, Douglas Hurd, actually mentioned what you just said and that is, no matter where you get your British citizenship you will get the same consular protection. And 1 think you mentioned that just now quite succinctly. I think you used that to say that the two types of passport are similar in the sense that the holder of the passport, of British citizenship like yourself and those from the BNS Scheme arc similar. But can I put it to you that there are basically some subtle difference or a little bit more than a subtle difference because people who acquired British citizenship like yourself, or anybody not from the BNS Scheme, will not have dual nationality. But those who apply through the BNSS Scheme will, according to what China has always said, will always have dual nationality.

Now of course the crux of the matter, therefore, is dual nationality itself. So, you mentioned just now repeatedly, you said that no one can tell the British Government who is a British citizen. Could I reverse the question and ask you. Governor, who can tell the British Government that a person has dual nationality, and using what method? You mentioned one as an SAR passport but in your mind arc there other areas that you would consider?

13

Governor: Let's follow through a likely course of events. Mr X goes to the British Consulate-General and says, "I'm in trouble, I'm a British citizen, I have a British passport, I want consular protection". The British Consul says, "Fine. I will take up your problem with the authorities, with the government". He goes to the government and somebody says to him, "You can't make formal representations on behalf of Mr X because we don’t think that he is a solely British citizen, we think he has got dual nationality". The Consulate-General would presumably then say, "Where is your evidence? Show me your evidence". If the evidence that was shown seemed satisfactory to the Consul-General in the circumstances, he would still presumably wish to go on giving the person who had come to his door as much assistance as he conceivably could. If he disagreed with the authorities about the evidence of dual nationality then he would presumably argue about it and there would be a row.

A point I was seeking to make earlier is, if the sort of attitude expressed in that Xinhua statement, if the sort of attitude that one saw in the case of Mr James Pang, if that prevails in Hong Kong after 1997 there are going to be - if you will excuse my demotic - a hell of a lot of rows on issues like this. And not just with the British Government and the British Consulate but with other consulates as well.

Dr C.I I. Leong: Mr President, I would like to change the question a little bit if I may and ask the Governor whether he could inform this Council what prompted the high-ranking British official to make that statement two days ago that caused all this problem?

Governor: Well. I think it is fair to say - and this is not a criticism of the media and it is not a criticism of legislators - these issues are invested with huge sensitivity. 1 wish they weren't. The sensitivity with which they are invested is itself in a sense an expression of concern about civil liberties and related matters in the future. In those circumstances an attempt, honestly, to answer what would be the consequences if someone held dual nationality turned into a misunderstanding that what was being said was that nobody who had got a passport under the BNS Scheme could get consular protection. That is not. as I hope - perhaps I have made heavy weather with the point, repeating it over and over again - but that is not the case.

But again to repeat myself. From Patagonia to Papua, New Guinea, if you are a dual national then the help you can get from a British Consulate or a French Consulate or a German Consulate or any Consulate is limited because of the international conventions and because of the international law. I think that it is understandable why the issue came up. The Chief Secretary and I were extremely keen to give as much and as clear reassurance as soon as possible, as comprehensively as possible, that is why we asked the Foreign Office to put out a statement yesterday and that is why that statement having been made. I wished to come to this Council as soon as possible to go through all the arguments again myself.

14

Miss Emily Lau: First of all I want to thank the Governor for agreeing with such alacrity to come to this Council to answer questions on this deeply controversial subject; a subject which stirs up not only high emotions but feelings of resentment, bitterness and abandonment in many Hong Kong people. And it touches on the question of Britain's honour, integrity and credibility.

Mr President, in spite of what the Governor has just told us earlier this afternoon, I think what is implicit in what Mr Cornish said two days ago and implicit in the Foreign Office statement, is that the British Government probably suspects that the Chinese Government have already got a list of all the beneficiaries of the Nationality Selection Scheme and now what you want to do is to abdicate your responsibility for looking after those people as long as they are in Hong Kong after 1997.

I want the Governor to demonstrate to us that that is not the case. But I can assure you that is the feeling of many people in Hong Kong, and not just the beneficiaries because there are about only 140,000 of those, but it is a very widely shared view that you found out that is the case - whether that is to do with Lawrence Leung or whatever - and you say this is going to be an unholy mess and we are going to walk away from it. Can you tell us, what sort of assurance arc you going to give not just to the beneficiaries of the BNSS but to all the other British Nationals too? How will Britain look after them when they come under Communist rule?

Governor: Can I first of all assure the Honourable lady - and I don't know how. if one’s veracity is suspected, how one can put the point more strongly than I am going to - I know of no evidence, have no evidence that Chinese officials have lists of those people who arc beneficiaries under the British Nationality Scheme. I have no evidence whatsoever of that. I am not surprised, when things like this are said, that people worry. I can understand it. I would worry myself. But I want to make it absolutely clear that we have no evidence of that whatsoever. 1 would not, 1 hope, even if I was a liar, put the point as explicitly, as comprehensively as I have just pul it.

The second point I want to make - with equal passion - the second point 1 want to make is this. I am not unaware of the vital importance of Britain being seen to discharge its obligations, whether one likes the way it does it or not. as honourably as possible. It would be thoroughly dishonourable for Britain to walk away from its responsibilities to those who hold a British passport as a British National in Hong Kong. They are entitled. I repeat, to full consular protection however they acquired that passport. And they will get the same full consular protection in Hong Kong as they would get anywhere else in the world. The terms in which that is provided or the conditions on which that can be provided arc those that I referred to earlier and the question of dual nationality, a question of international law, applies in Hong Kong and everywhere else.

15

I el me go on from that. Even in those cases - even in those cases where there was dual nationality, I believe that a British Government and a British Consulate would still feel obliged to provide as much assistance as they possibly could, even if they were not able under the Hague Convention and so on to provide "full consular protection". We can't simply walk away from those responsibilities and we will not do so. And if the Honourable lady ever has any evidence to the contrary in years to come, she can come and hang those words around my neck wherever she finds me.

Miss Emily Lau: Mr President, just a very brief follow-up. I want to ask the Governor - because earlier Mrs Chow referred to the statement issued by the Foreign Office and said something about "until you are presented with acceptable evidence of dual nationality". If the Chinese authorities should come to the British Consulate in future and show you that list - the famous 50,000 people list - would that be accepted as an acceptable evidence of dual nationality? And also, given the unique situation of Hong Kong, do you not think Britain should do a bit more than what you normally do for other nationals in terms of protecting their safety after 1997, within the confines of international law?

Governor: We have a record of doing more than is formally required of us in dealing with consular cases. There is a Member of this Council who has good reason to know that. There are other people who know that very well. So the answer is that we will do more and do do more, and I am glad we do.

And on the Honourable lady's first point, the Honourable lady, asking a dramatic question, is overlooking the point that I keep on making. The fact that you have a passport which was acquired under the British Nationality Scheme is not relevant to nor is it evidence of dual nationality. So even if a Chinese official came with the list that the Honourable lady referred to. it would not be evidence of dual nationality. But 1 do not believe - I have no evidence to suppose - that Chinese officials have such a list.

There are Honourable Members here today listening to the suggestions that Chinese officials may have such a list in a sort of poe-faccd way, as though that is the sort of thing they do, as though that is the sort of thing they might be considering doing. And some of those Members looking in that poe-faccd way are 1 lonourable Members who advise Chinese officials on what should happen in 1 long Kong. I hope that they will express some of the anxieties which are represented by this controversy when they next talk to Mainland officials. And 1 hope, in particular, that they will join me in deploring the remarks made by this anonymous Xinhua official sometime yesterday.

End

16

Governor's opening remarks at summit *****

The following is the transcript of the Governor, the Rt Mon Christopher Patten’s opening remarks at the Summit on Transport Facilities for the Disabled this (Thursday) afternoon:

Good afternoon to everyone.

Can I say straightaway how delighted I am to welcome you all here today. It does not seem, I am bound to say, four years since the first of these summits. But it is the fourth in the series that we have held since December 1992 to discuss how we might make public transport facilities more accessible and more user-friendly for people with a disability.

1 am particularly glad to see that our colleague, Charles Leung from Rehab Power, who suggested that these summits be held at one of my first public meetings in October 1992, is again with us today. And 1 am sure that the report that Rehab Power have recently done will be one of the subjects that comes up in some of our discussions.

As with previous summits, our aim this afternoon will be first of all to review progress since our last meeting, and second, to take into account any new suggestions for further improvements.

It has been some 18 months since we last met. Over that period, as a result of the commendable efforts of everyone concerned, there have been further significant improvements which have enabled disabled people to use public transport facilities more conveniently.

At our last meeting 1 picked out a few key areas on which I hoped we would see some progress and perhaps I could briefly review the achievements in these and in other areas.

As you may recall, one of our targets was that the ‘Guide to Public Transport for People with a Disability’ should be updated. I am very glad to say that this has been done and the latest edition has been issued. It is full of useful, clearly presented information about facilities on public transport for people with a disability. And if 1 may say so, 1 think it is a credit to all those who were involved in the production.

Turning to the two rail corporations, we shared the hope at our last summit that they would be able to expand their existing programmes and to introduce more facilities to improve access for those with a disability.

17

In the case of the MTRC, there has been a good deal of renovation work; additional ramps at stations have been provided; staff lifts have been converted for use by wheelchair users, and the Wheelchair Aid scheme has been put to good use. As a result, all but three MTR stations are now accessible - from street to platform - to wheelchair users. I think this is an extremely welcome development.

For those with visual problems, the MTR is providing 'tactile guide paths' at all of its stations and it plans to install audible warning devices at all escalators. Passenger information display units are also being installed at all station entrances and I think that should be particularly helpful to those who are audibly impaired.

The MTRC has also established clear design guidelines for new stations and new trains. This will ensure that in future, purpose-built facilities will automatically be provided to facilitate travel by those with a disability.

In the case of the KCRC, at all but one of the LRT and KCR stations, all passengers, including wheelchair-users, may gain access to the platform from the street, either directly or by means of a lift or a ramp.

The KCR's recent efforts have therefore focused on improving the facilities at its stations and on its trains. Improvements include the provision of audible devices for escalators, induction-loop intercom systems, tactile guide paths, audible dooropening signals on trains, and door-closing signals on platforms.

On the LRT system the installation of digital announcement and electronic information displays inside vehicles is well under way and should be completed early next year. Plans are also being made to widen LRT platforms for easier access by wheelchair users and the general public.

Moving on now to bus services. At our last meeting we expressed the hope that a trial scheme for the introduction of low-floor buses could be devised as soon as possible.

Both Kowloon Motor Bus and Citybus have taken delivery of their first super low-floor single-decker buses which are fitted with access ramps for use by wheelchair passengers. These have been operating on a trial basis on selected routes. Indeed, they are outside this building today and we will have the opportunity to have a good look at them later this afternoon.

Both companies plan to expand their services with this type of bus and they will be introducing more such buses to their routes in the new year. They have also ordered a prototype super low-floor double-decker bus for trial operation on their routes.

18

Whilst China Motor Bus and North Lantau have no immediate plans to introduce super low-floor buses, CMB has indicated an interest in seeing the low-floor double-decker bus, when it arrives, in order to consider whether it is suitable for introduction on its own routes.

Since the last summit Rehabus has expanded its service considerably. By next March scheduled routes will have increased from 41 to 53. Rehabus has also strengthened its full dial-a-ride service by adding two more vehicles to its fleet of nine. Three larger and better designed vehicles will also be delivered in March next year to further improve the services.

In response to a suggestion that the Rehabus services should provide connections to more MTR stations, a scheduled Rehabus route connecting Ngau Tau Kok Station to the United Christian Hospital has been on trial since August 1996.

Many other suggestions made at previous meetings have also been considered by the Commissioner for Transport's Working Group and where it has proved possible, they have been implemented or are being tried. For example:

Membership of the Working Group has been expanded to include representatives of taxi and mini-bus operators. Dropped kerbs have been on trial at a number of taxi stands and consideration is being given to expanding the scheme to include more taxi stands.

The taxi permit scheme, which permits the pick-up and drop-down in restricted zones of passengers with adisability has been improved and extended to cover disabled private car passengers.

All new buses operated by Citybus are fitted with a PA system and drivers are being encouraged in its use. KMB is testing the use of such equipment on its own buses.

KMB, CMB and Citybus have agreed to provide training programmes for ex-mentally-ill persons on how to make use of their bus services. Two sessions have already been provided by CMB.

An additional 34 reserved parking spaces have been designated over the territory for disabled drivers.

To make ferries even more user-friendly for disabled people the ferry companies have installed more call bells at pier entrances to enable disabled passengers to obtain staff assistance.

Clearly, this catalogue of improvements together with other improvements that have been made or are planned, constitute a very welcome move forward.

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The transport operators, the Commissioner for Transport's Working Group, the concerned departments, the representatives of disabled groups who have put forward their suggestions, and everyone else involved, are to be warmly congratulated and thanked for their efforts in bringing these improvements about.

In a moment I look forward to hearing the views of the representatives of disabled groups on the plans made and on the actions that have been taken so far. I would also welcome, I am sure we would all welcome, any suggestions that they may have for further improvements.

As for the transport operators, again the two railway corporations have prepared some videos to explain what they have been doing. The bus companies and the ferry and tram companies have also prepared photo displays of their own improvement projects. I will be inviting them to make their reports a little later.

We will then have some time for questions and comments from the floor. After that, I will try to draw the discussion together with a few concluding remarks and I will then invite you all to view the exhibition and demonstrations in the car-park outside.

Can I now invite Karen Mak to speak on behalf of the Federation of Handicapped Youth.

End

;fc».

Governor's media session after summit

*****

Following is a transcript of the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten's media session after attending the Summit on Transport Facilities for the Disabled at the Central Government Offices this (Thursday) afternoon:

Governor: This is the seventh summit that we have had to discuss disability issues since the first one at the end of 1992. We have had four to discuss the transport needs of people with a disability and we have had three to discuss the employment needs of people with a disability. .1

Let’s be absolutely clear what our community's objective is and should be, and that is to make sure that everybody with a disability is able to make a contribution to the rest of society, is able to develop to their full potential. And that requires assistance and help and understanding from both the public and the private sectors.

20

Transport is particularly important because if you are to open up educational and employment prospects for people with a disability, let alone access to shopping and recreation and entertainment, then it is vital that people who are in a wheelchair or on crutches or who are visually impaired or have hearing impairment should be able to move around as easily as possible.

We have made a very considerable amount of progress on transport issues in the last four years, which is not to sound complacent, there is still a great deal to do. But I think the progress made has been agreed and accepted by the groups representing people with a disability and I think it marks the value of co-operating constructively in trying to deal with the sort of problems that we have faced.

I would like to pay a particular tribute to the groups representing those with a disability, for their patience but determination to get things done. They have been consistently intelligent and forceful in the agenda that they have pursued but they have also been reasonable, they have been persuasive and they have had the good grace to say thank you to the public transport operators when we have seen progress.

I was delighted that since the last summit we have been able to bring up to date our Guide for Public Transport for People with a Disability. I am very pleased at the further progress that the MTRC and K.CRC have made in ensuring that people with a disability have, in most of the stations and facilities operated by our rail companies, much better access; they really have made very considerable progress in the last four years and I am grateful to them for their commitment to these objectives.

I am also pleased that we have seen, today, the determination of KMB and Citybus to purchase new buses to add to their existing fleet, with low floor - giving easier access for people with a disability. They, too, have committed themselves wholeheartedly to this project. And I am delighted, as well, that we have seen a continuing increase in the number of routes provided by Rehabus from 41 at the time of the last summit to 53.

Now, we all know that there is still more to do - and there were a number of other improvements that were discussed today and a number of other proposals for the future which were brought forward - but I think that if we can build on what has been achieved so far, then we will give people with a disability the deal which they deserve.

Obviously, it is not for me to say what should happen after July 1, 1997, but I am sure that the Government will in future continue to give these issues a high priority and I am sure that groups with disability will continue to lobby hard and energetically and eloquently for a cause in which all of us believe.

Question: Governor, what do you think about the CMB and the bus (company) on Lantau Island; they did not do much about work for the disabled?

21

Governor: 1 think you should probably put those questions to them. Representatives from both companies expressed their views at the summit. The representative of the Lantau bus company pointed out that the topography of Lantau made it questionable how much they could introduce low-floor buses but they are hoping to borrow one of the vehicles from one of the other companies to give it a few trial runs on Lantau.

The CMB which you mentioned, their representative said that because of the withdrawal of some of their routes they did not have as much of a requirement for single-decker buses any more but they were prepared to look at the double-decker low-floor buses when they are brought in by other companies. But I think it is fairest if you put the points to them.

What 1 can tell you is that KMB and Citybus who have made a considerable effort to help in this field do, I think, reckon that it improves the quality of their service, it improves the quality of their provision for their customers and passengers, and 1 am sure is therefore good for business overall and good for their profits.

Question: ...(inaudible)... to provide facilities for the disabled ...(inaudible)...

Governor: 1 think it is best to proceed as we have been doing, by consultation and agreement. 1 think if you talk to the bus companies themselves you will discover just how many low-floor buses they arc going to be purchasing over the coming months and years. 1 think their heart is very much in the right place and obviously we want to , get them to move forward as rapidly as possible. I think we are achieving results through co-operation and I hope that will continue.

Any other questions?

Question: Are there any substantial agreements made in the meeting bj ....?

Governor: Well. 1 said in my earlier remarks the progress that we have made since the last summit. There were a number of other additional ideas that were produced this afternoon, some by groups representing those with a disability - and I am sure that they will be happy to mention those points to you - and we will, as we have done at other summits, review all those points, review all those arguments, and tell the groups with disabilities where we think we can take things forward, where it is more difficult, so that by the time of the next summit - if there is one and I hope there is - we will be able to report yet another move forward.

Okay. I must go to the Legislative Council. Thank you ven much indeed.

End

22

Governor’s closing remarks at summit *****

Following is the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten's closing remarks at the Summit on Transport Facilities at Central Government Offices this (Thursday) afternoon:

At the last summit I referred to the goodwill and constructive spirit that has always characterised our meetings. I am very pleased that this afternoon's meeting has followed in the same mould.

It is obviously fair to say that we are making good progress. The public transport system is becoming more accommodating and accessible to people who have a disability.

Further improvements are, as you have heard, either planned or are under way. This is good news and I am sure we very much welcome it. I am grateful for the new and sensible suggestions that have been made this afternoon. I can assure you that I and my colleagues, and I am sure the Chief Executive Designate in due course, will follow all these up.

We really cannot afford to slacken our efforts. We need to press on with the formula which has been instrumental to our success so far. This has been our willingness to move ahead, look for common ground and co-operate with each other to bring about the improvements we all want to sec.

We know, of course, that not everything can be achieved overnight. Sometimes, financial, technical or operational considerations may mean that certain improvements are going to take a bit longer than others. There is a limit, for example, to how much we can do in the short term about the topography of Lantau. Though we were doing quite a lot about the topography of Lantau to the northern side. I am particularly grateful to the disabled groups represented here today for combining intelligent patience with their quite proper determination to get things done as rapidly as they can get done.

And 1 would also like to thank again our public transport operators who have risen to the challenges and have done so much to improve the facilities on their systems to assist those with a disability.

As I have said, with regard to the future, while I cannot speak for the future Chief Executive, I am quite certain that he will appreciate the benefits that flow from a thorough and open discussion of these issues between all the concerned parties, and I hope that he will wish to continue this process.

23

In the meantime both the Secretary for Transport and the Secretary for Health and Welfare will, through their contacts with the transport operators and representatives of the disabled groups, ensure that the momentum we have built up continues.

May I once again thank you for coming this afternoon. It has been a privilege for me to chair these meetings and to see the progress we have made. I hope you will all now join me at the exhibition downstairs.

It has been a real pleasure to see the genuine progress that's been made over the last few years. I think, to repeat myself, I think that is a tribute to our ability to work together intelligently without too much rhetoric but a lot of determination to ensure that all our citizens in Hong Kong gets as fair a deal as possible and get the maximum opportunity to make full use of their abilities and talents.

Thank you very much indeed.

End

Chief Secretary's question-and-answer session *****

I he following is the transcript of the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson C han’s question-and-answer session after receiving the International Association of Business Communicators Hong Kong Chapter's Communicator of the Year Award today (Thursday):

Question: (inaudible)

Chief Secretary: I think I would take as my starting point the provisions in the Basic Law and Joint Declaration which guarantee the future SAR Government all forms of freedom. And of course, one of the most precious freedoms wc have in I long Kong is freedom of the press - of expression, of assembly and others.

I think that there are two parties to this particular issue. On the part oi the Government, we have always recognised, and indeed particularly in recent years we have done our very best to review all our legislation to make sure that they conform with the Bill of Rights Ordinance, that our legislation does not in any way inhibit or prevent freedom of expression of the press. And to that extent, we have made suitable amendments to the law, we have removed certain restrictions, but at the same time having very much regard to the need to balance on the one hand the rights of the individual, of the press, to the way that they operate, against the rights of the public for protection of privacy, etc. And I believe that we have struck the right balance.

24

This review of our legislation and everything that we are doing in the context of that review, we will complete before July 1, 1997. So, insofar as the Government is concerned, we have done and will continue to ensure that these freedoms arc protected and defended after 1997. But that said, I think that the practitioners, whether it is proprietors of newspapers, reporters, journalists, communicators like yourself', also have a very, very important role to play.

Now, we do not wish to see self-censorship creeping into the press, the media, after 1997, and this is where I think the practitioners themselves do have a role to play in preserving and protecting the integrity of their own professions.

Question: I would like to ask you as a woman in the work place in 1996. how do you manage to balance your home life and your work life?

Chief Secretary: By trial and error. I can tell you that it isn't easy, but I have, after all, had 34 years of experience. I joined the Hong Kong Government in 1962. And I do often feel that it is much harder for a woman to hold down a career and at the same time still be able to perform reasonably well your other roles as a wife and as a mother. But I think it is a choice that each of us has to make. And that choice does not necessarily lead, in my view, to coming down in favour of a career and neglecting your other duties. If you choose a career then I think both partners to a marriage have a responsibility of ensuring that the other responsibilities are discharged and discharged well.

I think in Hong Kong, women are probably in a better position to balance a career with the demands of a wife and mother because first of all we do have the availability of domestic-help. But more importantly, the extended family system in Hong Kong does provide very immediate support for the working mother, particularly when the children are young.

1 have to say that when my children were young it was sometimes extremely difficult, particularly in certain jobs - for example, when I was in the f inance Branch and having to work on estimates until near enough midnight. It was a very, very difficult period. So in that context, I also believe that it is crucially important to have a very understanding and supportive husband. A husband who understands and who will not try and make you feel that you arc always having to make very, very hard choices, and a husband who is willing to share family responsibilities with you. I don't think I could have survived so far without the understanding and support of my husband, so I think that that is crucially important.

But at the end of the day, I think it also depends on the individual woman organising her time in such a way that you try reasonably to balance all your responsibilities. I don't think you can expect to get the best of all worlds but if you manage your time well and with a degree of support, I think you can probably manage to discharge most of your responsibilities reasonably well. But it is very much by trial and error and learning to adjust your time and your priorities.

25

Question: ...under way to accommodate and deal with the 6,000-plus journalists that

are coming to Hong Kong to cover 1997? And perhaps also as a follow-up to that, what we might be able to do as professionals - what we might be able to help with as professional communicators?

Chief Secretary: We do anticipate that the degree of media interest in Hong Kong and everything that happens in Hong Kong will increase very rapidly in the remaining months of the transition. And as you say, it is anybody's guess as to how many journalists and reporters and whatnot will actually descend on Hong Kong round about June 30. We estimate that it will be at least probably several thousand - 4,000 or 5,000. We are going to deal with these journalists in exactly the same way as we deal with journalists now and if there is an accreditation system it will be according to international standards.

We do intend to provide a press and broadcasting centre that will cater to the needs of the different media groups - the electronic media, the press and whatnot - and we are busily sorting out the details. And from that point of view we would welcome communication and discussions with - including your association, so that we can on the one hand tell you what we have in mind but also get very important feedback from you as to how you think the demands of your particular members can be met nearer the time.

Question: Do you remember the one time in 1996 that was very interesting, amusing, as a communicator?

Chief Secretary: I think I need notice of that question. So much has happened to me in the year. I will give you an answer later.

Question: (inaudible)

Chief Secretary: No. quite. I promise to give you a reply before the end of 1996.

End

26

FS: Government continues to support business ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, today (Thursday) vowed to continue providing the incentives, infrastructural support and information that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) needed to compete effectively and to succeed.

Speaking at the Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation’s 30th Anniversary Celebration, Mr Tsang said that the Government saw its responsibility as providing a favourable, modem and business-friendly environment to business enterprises - some 98 per cent of which was classified as SMEs.

"We provide a sound framework within which businesses are well rewarded when the risks they take are successful. We encourage our SMEs to try new ideas when existing ones do not seem to work.

"At the end of the day, the onus of creating successful enterprises rests with the SMEs themselves," the Financial Secretary said.

While elaborating on Hong Kong fundamental economic philosophy, Mr Tsang emphasised that central economic planning had no place in Hong Kong.

"We leave commercial decisions to our entrepreneurs. They are far more sensitive to market forces than we are within Government, and they are set to gain or lose according to the decisions they make," Mr Tsang said.

Putting the free market policy into practice. Mr Tsang said that the Government role was to maintain a low, simple and predictable tax regime so as to encourage creation of wealth; create a level playing field for all enterprises; maintain an impartial legal and judicial system and to provide a clean and efficient civil service.

"At the same time, we invest heavily in human and physical infrastructure to meet the needs of enterprises, small, medium or large." Mr Tsang added.

In highlighting the many endeavours that the Government provided for SMEs, the Financial Secretary said that the Government had provided support to SMEs in areas concerning training, industrial support funding, marketing information, industrial consultancy and export insurance.

27

He said that funding was made available to many different support groups to enable them to provide training and skill-upgrading programmes at affordable prices. The Government had injected $250 million into the Industrial Support Fund this year to finance projects that were beneficial to the industrial and technological development of Hong Kong.

“In 1996-97, the Government injected another $50 million to set up a Services Support Fund to assist services-related projects,” he added.

In addition to the infrastructural support rendered by the Government, Mr Tsang also said that when SME's access to market had been unreasonably restricted by unjustified actions of foreign governments, the Government would go all out to ensure that they got a fair hearing and adjudication.

"Our independent membership in the World Trade Organisation gives us the channel to do so, and we do not shy away from using it," Mr Tsang said.

In response to the globalisation of economic activities, intense competition in the market and rapid technological changes, Mr Tsang said the Government had established a Small and Medium Enterprises Committee to listen more closely to their views, and to strengthen the partnership with them to compete in the global market.

Mr Tsang said:" We are always there to support our SMEs in generating profit, creating prosperity, and providing new employment opportunities for Hong Kong."

End

Whitehead Detention Centre to close next month *****

The Whitehead Detention Centre for Vietnamese migrants (VMs) will be closed on January 3. 1997, the Refugee Coordinator, Mr Brian Bresnihan, said today (Thursday).

Since 1989, over 61,000 VMs have been repatriated to Vietnam under the voluntary (volrep) and orderly repatriation programmes (ORP). As at December 4, about 7,700 VMs remained in Hong Kong, of whom approximately 1,700 are in Whitehead.

Mr Bresnihan said that the rate of repatriation had been successfully accelerated over the past few months.

28

"In November alone, a total of 2,155 VMs were repatriated (including voluntary and orderly repatriation), the highest monthly figure since repatriation began in 1989," he said.

"Should the current rate of repatriation continue, it should be possible to close all VM camps in the territory by mid 1997."

Mr Bresnihan said that in view of the declining VM population, the authorities had decided to consolidate the remaining VMs in the High Island Detention Centre.

"The main camp in Whitehead will be closed down, leaving only the two voluntary repatriation centres, 267 Ex-China Vietnamese Illegal Immigrants, and possibly the security unit in the camp to provide temporary holding facilities for some VMs immediately prior to their repatriation under ORP," he said.

The Whitehead Detention Centre was first opened in January 1989 when the VM population in Hong Kong stood at about 11,000. When the VM population reached its height of nearly 60,000 in October 1991, the centre provided accommodation for about 25,000.

"The closure of the Whitehead Detention Centre is a watershed in the whole VM saga, signalling the beginning of the end of the problem," Mr Bresnihan said.

End

Campaign to promote public knowledge on film classifications *****

The Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority (TELA) will step up publicity efforts to promote public knowledge of the film classification system in Hong Kong.

A spokesman for TELA said the campaign aimed to increase the awareness of the public and youngsters in particular of Cat. IIA[mcl] (Not Suitable for Children) and Cat. IIB (Not Suitable for Young Persons and Children) classifications and their significance in the choice of films.

Another objective of the exercise is to enhance a better understanding among parents of the film classification system and a greater awareness of their role in providing guidance for their children.

29

An animated television API will be screened tomorrow (Friday) to encourage parents to advise their children when watching Cat. IIA or IIB films which may contain elements not suitable for children. Two versions of radio APIs along similar themes will be broadcast on radio stations.

TELA will also produce an information kit for distribution to secondary schools, parent/teacher associations and other interested parties for their reference. The kit contains pamphlets, posters and fact sheets on the current three-tier film classification system.

In addition, film censors will visit secondary schools and parent-teacher associations to give talks on the film classification system. The talks will be followed by the viewing of a demonstration video, question-and-answer sessions and group discussions.

The spokesman also called on the public to join the statutory Panel of Advisers to assist in the classification process.

"There are at present about 280 such advisers drawn from a wide cross-section of the community,” he said. "Their views are vital in ensuring that our classification standards reflect the expectations of the society."

Those who have reached the age of 18 and are fluent in both English and Chinese are eligible to apply. Application forms are available at TELA. 39th floor. Revenue Tower. 5 Gloucester Road. Wan Chai and at various District Offices.

End

Findings of surveys on manufacturing industries released *****

A continued growth in external investment in Hong Kong’s manufacturing sector reflects the continued attractiveness of Hong Kong as a manufacturing base, the Director-General of Industry, Mr Francis Ho, said today (Thursday).

Mr Ho made the remarks at a press conference to announce the findings of the latest surveys conducted by the Industry Department on external investment in Hong Kong's manufacturing industries and regional representation by overseas companies in Hong Kong.

He also gave an account of the actions taken by the department to promote inward investment in the services sector.

30

On external investment in the manufacturing sector, Mr Ho said the value of external investment in.,Hong Kong’s manufacturing industries was $48 billion at original cost at the end of 1995.

"This is a 10 per cent growth (by $4.3 billion) over that of 1994, and a four-fold increase on the external manufacturing investment of $11.4 billion in 1984, when the first survey was conducted," Mr Ho said.

Japan kept its position as the leading source country of investment in Hong Kong’s manufacturing industries, accounting for 39 per cent of the total. The US (with 28 per cent) was the second largest investor, followed by China (seven per cent) and the UK (five per cent).

For the two leading countries, Japan and the US, their investment had increased by 27 per cent and 13 per cent respectively when compared with 1994.

Electronics, textiles and clothing, electrical products and chemical products were the industries receiving the lion's share of the external investment, accounting for about 60 per cent of the total external investment in 1995.

"One reason for the Industry Department to promote inward investment in Hong Kong's manufacturing sector is that this can help bring in new product, technology and management techniques to I long Kong," Mr Ho said.

"In this regard, our survey reveals that 35 per cent of the companies with external investment were joint ventures with local partners, which is a form of cooperation that facilitates technology transfer.

"Forty-one per cent of the companies with external investment also reported that they had benefited from the managerial, professional and technical skills of experts sent to work in I long Kong by the parent overseas companies," he added.

On the attractiveness of Hong Kong as a manufacturing base, more than 80 per cent of the respondents considered Hong Kong's banking and financial facilities and infrastructure as favourable factors, Mr Ho said. Other favourable factors included Hong Kong's tax regime, rule of law, availability of managerial skill, government economic policy and clean government.

Commenting on the 1996 Survey of Regional Representation by Overseas Companies in Hong Kong. Mr Ho said: "The survey reaffirmed the increasing importance of Hong Kong as a major regional business centre for overseas companies."

31

The survey identified 2,307 regional operations in Hong Kong as at June 1, 1996. They included 816 regional headquarters and 1,491 regional offices. This represents a 12 per cent increase in the total number of regional operations since 1995.

The US had the largest number of regional headquarters in Hong Kong, with 188 companies, followed by Japan (with 122), the UK (90) and China (85). As for regional offices, Japan had the largest number of regional offices (338), followed by the US (226), China (128) and the UK (123).

On the perception of Hong Kong as a regional centre, more than 90 per cent of the respondents considered banking and financial facilities and infrastructure to be the most important and favourable factors. Other important and favourable factors mirrored those identified in the survey on external manufacturing investment.

On promotion of inward investment in Hong Kong's services industries, Mr Ho said the Industry Department was given the task in the Addendum to the 1996/97 Budget.

He said the department had been conducting an inward investment promotion programme in respect of Hong Kong's manufacturing sector for more than 20 years.

"As demonstrated by the results of the two surveys on industrial investment and regional representation, the promotion work has been producing results," he added.

In consultation with government policy branches and other departments, the department has identified a number of service industries for its investment promotion programme. They include: services for production, retail, maritime transport, reinsurance and captive insurance, environmental management, building management, project development and management, and regional headquarters and offices.

On the basis of the existing promotional framework and methods, the department will strengthen the service components of the business plans of its overseas Investment Promotion Units.

"The Industry Department will step up its overseas marketing efforts in the promotion of inward investment in Hong Kong's service industries. Within Hong Kong, it will certainly involve the Government and public-sector agencies in such efforts to achieve better synergy," Mr Ho said.

End

32

Aiming at zero fatality and minimal accidents in workplace ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Labour Department will join hands with other concerned parties to achieve zero fatality and minimal accidents in workplace.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 12th Annual Seminar on Boilers and Pressure Vessels Safety and Technical Development today (Thursday), the Commissioner for Labour, Miss Jacqueline Willis, said these parties included equipment makers, engineering contractors and professionals, competent persons and owners.

She said the Labour Department on its part would play an enforcement and facilitator role in ensuring high standards of installation and maintenance consistent with the best international practice.

"We will organise events for the exchange of ideas to promulgate the concept of self-regulation and for the protection of workers safety and the public against any potential hazards,” Miss Willis said.

She said the launching of the Occupational Safety Charter in September this year and the introduction of a new Occupational Safety and Health Bill into the Legislative Council yesterday were milestone events.

"The seminar today shows our commitment, as well as your commitment, to promote a better safety culture through involvement and participation of all those who have a duty of care," Miss Willis said.

"This year, we are honoured to have the largest number of overseas and local speakers. Many of them are international experts or authorities in their own right from the United States, the United Kingdom, the People’s Republic of China and Japan," she added.

The aim of the seminar is to facilitate the exchange of safety and technical experience among boilers and pressure vessels professionals.

This year's seminar is jointly organised by the Labour Department and the Occupational Safety and Health Council; and supported by China Light and Power Co Ltd, The Hong Kong Electric Co Ltd, Hong Kong Land Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors Association Ltd, Hong Kong Oxygen and Acetylene Co Ltd, Hong Kong Institution of Engineers and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers International.

End

Two nominations received for Wong Tai Sin DB by-election *****

A total of two nominations were received for the Wong Tai Sin District Board by-election in respect of San Po Kong constituency to be held on January 5, after the two-week nomination period closed today (Thursday).

Details of the nominations are as follows:

Name (Age)

Mak I loi-wah

Lee Tat-yan

Occupation

Lecturer

2712 0195 (night)

Executive

TelJNo

2788 8981 (day)

2350 2455 (day)

7116 3399 - 1943 (pager)

End

Crown rents due on December 25 *****

Demand Notes have been issued for Crown rents for the half year ending on December 25 in respect of an amount exceeding $100 per year, a spokesman for the Treasury said today (Thursday).

Payment can be made by using the Payment by Phone Service (PPS) or by post addressed to the Director of Accounting Services. P O Box 8000. GPO, Hong Kong, or in person at any of the following Offices:

a) the Treasury Headquarters Collection and Payment Office. Immigration Tower, first Eloor. 7 Gloucester Road. Wan Chai. Hong Kong:

b) the Central Sub-Treasury. Central Government Offices (West Wing). 11

Ice House Street, Hong Kong;

c) the North Point Sub-Treasury. Max Share Centre, first Floor, 373 King’s Road. North Point. Hong Kong:

d) the Sai Wan Ho Sub-Treasury, Eastern Law Courts Building, ground floor. 29 Tai On Street, Sai Wan 1 Io, Hong Kong;

34

e) the Yau Ma Tei Sub-Treasury, Kowloon Government Offices, fourth Floor, 405 Nathan Road (Market Street entrance), Kowloon;

f) the Kowloon City Sub-Treasury, Man Sang Commercial Building, first Floor, 348-352 Prince Edward Road (corner of Prince Edward Road and Junction Road), Kowloon;

g) the District Office at Sai Kung, Sha Tin, l ai Po, North, Yuen Long, Tuen Mun, Tsuen Wan or Kwai Tsing.

Crown rent payers who have not received their demand notes should bring along Crown rent demand notes for any previous period to any of the six Treasury collection offices listed above.

Duplicate Crown rent demand notes will be issued to them. Payment can then be made at any of these offices.

If the payers cannot produce Crown rent demand notes for any previous period, they should inquire at the Crown Rent Unit of the Treasury at Immigration Tower, 30th floor, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong. Non-receipt of the demand note does not alter the requirement that the Crown rents must be paid on or before December 25.

Crown rent payers who have submitted a valid direct debit authorisation should note that if the wording ’’Payment To Be Made By Autopay” is shown on the demand notes, payment of Crown rents will be made by direct debit to their bank accounts on December 27. They should then ensure that their bank accounts contain the necessary funds on that date.

If the above wording is not shown on the demand notes, Crown rent payers should make payments according to the payment instructions as stipulated in the demand notes.

To avoid the possible inconvenience of queueing, the spokesman urged Crown rent payers use the Payment by Phone Service, or pay by post using cheques or cashier orders, or by early personal attendance at any of the collection offices.

However, the most convenient method for payment of Crown rents is autopay under which Crown rent payers' bank accounts will only be debited on Crown rent due dates, he added.

Applications for autopay are obtainable from Treasury Collection Offices, District Offices and all major banks in I long Kong or by telephoning 2829 4998.

For additional information regarding the Payment by Phone Service, please call 900 00 222 329.

The spokesman advised Crown rent payers to note the following points:

a) To avoid legal action for re-entry of a property the owner for the time being of that property is obliged to pay Crown rent including any arrears as demanded.

b) The Crown rent payable under a lease of a property which has been renewed under the Crown Leases Ordinance and re-developed, will be 3% of the rateable value of that property as assessed following the redevelopment. Pending completion of the assessment and other related procedures, Crown rent demands will be based upon the preredevelopment rateable value. In due course, Crown rent for the difference between the rent based upon pre and post redevelopment rateable values will be demanded and the owner for the time being is obliged to pay the rent as demanded. If he does not, legal action for reentry of the property may be instituted.

c) Demand or acceptance of Crown rent in respect of any property with unauthorised structures does not imply in any way that the unauthorised structures are authorised or otherwise recognised by Government. Government expressly reserves the right to take whatever action in respect of such unauthorised structures it considers appropriate, including demolition or removal of the structures or re-entry of the property.

He also advised purchasers of property to instruct their solicitors to ensure that at the time of purchase the Crown rent is paid up to date.

If a property is subject to the Crown Leases Ordinance and has been redeveloped but the rental paid up to the date of the purchase is not based upon an assessment of the rateable value of the property since its redevelopment, appropriate steps should be taken by the purchaser or his solicitors to protect the purchaser.

Enquiries on outstanding accounts in respect of Crown rent may be addressed to the Director of Accounting Services. The fee is $80 for each enquiry per property.

36

Sha Tin Water Treatment Works open day on Saturday

♦ * * * *

Members of the public will have a chance to see and know more about the water treatment process by visiting Hong Kong's largest water treatment works in Sha Tin this Saturday (December 7).

The Sha Tin Water Treatment Works supplies almost half of the water consumed in the territory, serving mainly Sha Tin, Ma On Shan, Central Kowloon and part of the Hong Kong Island.

It will be open to public from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday as one of the events organised by the Water Supplies Department during the Serving the Community Week.

By joining the guided tour on site, visitors can have a close look at various strategic components of the treatment works, which include the "clarifiers" for settlement of suspended particles in water, and the "filter beds" where more finely divided suspensions are retained on sand layers while colour and odour in water are removed by the filtration process.

After touring around the plant, visitors can see eight display panels outlining the functions of the Water Supplies Department, the current and future sources of our water and other treatment works in the territory.

They can also visit the largest waterworks laboratory in the territory - the Mainland East Laboratory - and be briefed on the water quality monitoring system of chemical, bacteriological and biological examinations of water samples taken at various points of the water supply system.

The Sha Tin Water Treatment Works, located at 12 Keng Hau Road, Hin Tin, is within walking distance from the Hin Keng Estate bus terminus.

Visitors can also make use of the free shuttle bus service running between the Kowloon Canton Railway Tai Wai Station and the treatment works.

End

37

Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works open to public on Saturday

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works, one of the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia, will be open to the public this Saturday (December 7) between 9.30 am and 5 pm.

The open day, organised by the Drainage Services Department (DSD) to tie in with the Serving the Community Week, will give the community a better understanding on how sewage is treated and how the process will help protect our environment.

It also serves to introduce to members of the public the various facilities and services of DSD, which include flood prevention works in the New Territories and regular maintenance of the public sewers, drains and streamcourses to avoid blockages and flooding.

Apart from joining the guided tours around the plant, visitors can also look at models and display panels or view demonstrations on the use of safety equipment and removal of blockages in sewers with high pressure jetting.

Visitors may also have a chance to win souvenirs by try their hands at the games stalls during the visit.

Free shuttle bus service will be available at the Kowloon Canton Railway University Station, Sha Tin Centre Street fronting Sha Tin Plaza in Sha Tin and near the Kowloon Tong MTR Station at Kent Road.

Serving the Sha Tin New Town, the Ma On Shan New Town and the surrounding villages, the Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works is designed on a three-stage approach.

Commissioned in 1982 and 1986 respectively, Stages I and II of the treatment works can now treat a dry weather flow of about 200,000 cubic metres per day serving an equivalent population of more than half a million.

Stage III development is being planned to meet the increasing sewage flow in the area.

End

38

Royal Commonwealth Essay Competition 1996/97 invites entries

*****

Primary and secondary students are encouraged to enter the Commonwealth Essay Competition 1996/97. This international contest is open to some 50 countries and territories worldwide.

The competition is organised in four age bands and entrants must not exceed 18 years old on December 31, 1996.

A local committee has been set up for entries to be judged by a panel of examiners for the purpose of awarding local prizes and selecting meritorious entries to the international competition, an Education Officer, Mr Paul Lui, said today (Thursday).

<

"Local prizes in the form of book coupons ranging from $4,000 to $750 will be awarded to the first three winners in each of the four groups by the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce and the Royal Commonwealth Society in Hong Kong.

"Furthermore, the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce will present 10 consolation prizes to entrants commended by local examiners.

"The success achieved by Hong Kong students in this competition over the past years reflects their high standard of literacy and creativity as compared with their counterparts from all parts of the Commonwealth," Mr Lui said.

Schools are requested to return the reply slip to the Education Department on or before Wednesday, December 18.

rhe essays for the local competition should be sent to the department's Information and Public Relations Section at Room 1645, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong not later than January 18, 1997.

For enquiries, please call 2892 6192.

End

39

Hong Kong students do well in mathematics ♦ * * * *

Hong Kong students have quite a flair for mathematics, with student teams winning more than 140 awards in international mathematics contests at primary and secondary school levels over the last three years.

The Deputy Director of Education, Mr T F Kwan, noted that at the secondary school level, Hong Kong teams have brought home five silver and 11 bronze medals from the International Mathematical Olympiad in 1994 in Hong Kong. 1995 in Toronto and 1996 in Mumbai.

At the primary school level, Hong Kong teams put up a splendid performance at the Primary Mathematics Olympiad in China between 1994 and 1996 and in the First Po Leung Kuk Asian Cities Primary Mathematics Contest 1996.

In these primary school international contests, Hong Kong teams won a total of three Group Championships, two Group First-runner Ups. three Group Fourth Place Awards. 16 First Class Awards. 65 Second Class Awards and 36 Third Class Awards.

Mr Kwan also welcomed the results of the widely reported Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), which recently put Hong Kong fourth in Mathematics among 41 participating countries and territories worldwide. The target group of the study was the two grades with the largest population of 13-year-olds, which in the Hong Kong context corresponds to Secondary 1 and 2 students.

Mr Kwan noted that Hong Kong students’ mean achievement score was 564, way above many mathematically advanced countries such as the USA (476). United Kingdom (476). France (492). Germany (484) and Russian Federation (501), and was very close to the three highest scores in the study (Singapore at 601. Korea at 577 and Japan at 571).

"In fact, according to the summary report issued by the researchers for TIMSS. the differences between the scores of I long Kong. Korea and Japan are statistically insignificant," Mr Kwan said.

"And although we did not come first in the world in this particular study, we can nevertheless take pride in a school system that aims to reduce pressure on students. We try our best to avoid a highly competitive and selective school system. Young students are offered general subjects at primary and junior secondary levels. There is no public examination at these levels and they are not streamed until they reach senior secondary levels.

40

"We know that some countries may stream their students at an earlier age,” Mr Kwan said.

’’The Hong Kong system strikes a more rational balance between achievement on the one hand and pressure on students on the other. We implement nine years' free and compulsory universal education, with the same core curriculum in Mathematics offered to all students all the way to Secondary Three."

Mr Kwan said the Hong Kong system aims to reduce pressure on students to a minimum and encourage pleasurable learning.

"Our senior secondary students did come first in Chemistry and Physics, and fifth in Biology at the Second International Mathematics and Science Study published in 1988, although performance of our junior secondary students in science was less satisfactory at the recent as well as in the 1988 study. That is because our young students are offered general education at primary and junior secondary level and are streamed into science and other groups only at senior secondary classes," he said.

In the Second International Science Study, Hong Kong was only significantly better than a few countries. However, in the newly completed third study, the mean science achievement for Hong Kong junior secondary students (522) is above the international average (516).

"It is therefore wrong to assume that performance of science among our junior secondary students has not progressed," Mr Kwan said.

"We shall nevertheless request the Curriculum Development Council to take the research findings into consideration in revising our junior secondary science curriculum. Also, we shall promote science education through the informal curriculum, such as inter-school competitions and public lectures on science topics of current interest to familiarise teachers and students with latest scientific developments.

"From our contacts overseas, it has been reflected to us that Hong Kong students pursuing further studies there have received a lot of praises in respect of their achievements in Mathematics and science subjects."

Mr Kwan paid tribute to Mathematics and science teachers in Hong Kong schools for their dedication and professionalism, adding that we will by no means be complacent and that the teaching of these subjects is under constant review with a view to seeking further improvements.

End

41

I IK Chinese sailors to take part in last naval divisions ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

More than 160 Hong Kong Chinese sailors will be on parade tomorrow (Friday) when they take part in their final Royal Naval Divisions at HMS Tamar.

I he parade will also provide the opportunity for the ships’ companies of HMS Tamar, the Royal Navy’s shore establishment, and of Her Majesty’s ships Peacock and Plover, to applaud the hard work and loyalty of the Locally Enlisted Personnel (LEP) over the years.

There to take the salute at Stonecutters Island will be Chief of Staff and Senior Naval Officer. Commodore Peter Melson. Also present will be the Commanding Officer of I IMS Tamar. Commander Ross I hoburn. who will bid his Chinese sailor a ceremonial farewell before he leaves the territory in a few weeks time to take up a new post in the United Kingdom.

Music for the occasion will be provided by the Cape Collinson Marching Band.

LEP are known to have served in warships from the very early days of the Royal Navy in Hong Kong, but were not the organised, uniformed force of today.

They saw service throughout the whole of the British Fleet until 1974 when, for the first time, the LEP no longer had any commitment other than that of the immediate policing and defence of Hong Kong. The only opportunity for service outside the territory in recent years has been a deployment in one of the three ships of the Hong Kong Squadron, although a small number have been drafted to the I ’nited Kingdom to undergo professional courses to enhance their technical knowledge.

As their histon illustrates, the I long Kong I EP have long been a loyal group of Royal Naval personnel.

End

Two-day exhibition of statistical work and data ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

As part of the Serving the Community Week programme organised by the Government during the week of December I to 7, the Census and Statistics Department will hold an exhibition of Statistical Work and Data tomorrow (Friday) and on Saturday (December 7).

"We provide quality statistics. We serve the community." is the main theme of the event.

42

A spokesman for the Census and Statistics Department said today (Thursday): "Through the exhibition, we hope to inform the general public about:

* the work of the department and the statistics compiled;

* the publications and services that are available; and

* the roles of the general public in the statistical process, both as data suppliers and users of statistics."

The exhibition will particularly focus on those statistics which are able to relate closely to the daily life of the general public.

Visitors at the exhibition can also try to access the I loinepage of the Census and Statistics Department on the World Wide Web.

Launched in March this year, this Homepage signifies a major step in the electronic dissemination of information. Internet users in Hong Kong and world-wide can, through the Homepage, access up-to-date statistics and press releases covering major social and economic aspects of Hong Kong.

Key publications released will also be displayed for sale at the exhibition. To facilitate the general public in understanding the exhibits, professional statisticians will be on site to give explanations and to answer questions.

All those who are interested are welcome to visit the exhibition to be staged on the ground floor of Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.

The opening hours of the exhibition are from 10 am to 5.30 pm tomorrow and from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday.

Those who are interested in more details relating to the exhibition, can call the staff of Census and Statistics Department on 2582 5041 or 2582 5025.

End

43

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results

*****

Tender date 5 December 1996

Paper on offer EF Bills

Issue number Q063

Issue 6 December 1996

Maturity date 3 January 1997

Amount applied HK$11,950 MN

Amount allotted HK$10,000 MN i • ”

Average yield accepted 4.44 PCT

Highest yield accepted 4.52 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 45 PCT

Average tender yield : 4.46 PCT

End

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

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

Opening balance in the account 3,356 0930 +1177

Closing balance in the account 4,112 1000 +1177

Change attributable to: 1100 +1177

Money market activity +1,018 1200 +1090

LAF today -262 1500 +1090

1600 +1018

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 125.0 *-0.1* 5.12.96

44

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF Bills EF Notes/MTRC Notes

Terms Yield Terms Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.00 2 years 2811 5.72 100.36 5.60

1 month 4.25 3 years 3910 6.28 100.99 5.98

3 months 4.57 5 years 5109 7.32 103.57 6.53

6 months 4.78 7 years 7311 6.80 100.30 6.86 13/. 6

12 months 5.09 10 years 1610 7.37 102.83 7.09 • • j

5 years M5O3 7.35 102.38 6.86 . i

Total turnover of EF Bills and Notes - $29,985 million

Closed December 5,1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Friday, December 6,1996

Contents PagcJNo.

JLG Joint Communique......................................................  1

Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance effective in fortnight............. 1

Unauthorised developments in NT............................................ 3

STI to attend WTO First Ministerial Conference....................... 4

Full honour funeral service for fire fighter............................... 5

Appointment to Management Committee of Consumer Legal Aid Action Fund...................................................................... 6

Volume and price statistics of external trade in September...........

Majority satisfied with present situation: HAB poll.................. 13

Ozone Layer Protection Ordinance streamlined......................... 14

/SWD distributes.....

Contents

Page No.

SWD distributes blankets to street sleepers................................ 15

Education prepares visually impaired for a career.......................... 15

105 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flight.............................. 16

Monitors' report submitted to CS........................................... 16

Publicity on Calling Number Display under way.............................. 17

Tax evasion conviction and sentence appeal dismissed....................... 17

RTGS system to commence on Monday.......................................... 18

Get to know more about Social Welfare Department........................... 20

Industry Department joins the Serving the Community Week................... 20

Christmas postal service arrangements...................................... 22

Board amends draft Tsim Sha Tsui Outline Zoning Plan....................... 22

Building of access roads to developments on Ma Wan......................... 24

Prequalification exercise for runway monitor tower......................... 25

Tenders for public sewerage facilities in Sai Kung invited................. 25

Reconstruction of jetty at Ha Keng on Lantau.............................   26

Tenders for construction of water treatment facilities..................... 27

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

1

JLG Joint Communique

*****

The Joint Liaison Group held its 38th meeting in Hong Kong from December 4 to 6, 1996.

The group had a discussion about the Transfer of Government, including the transitional Budget and related matters, transfer of Archives, Government assets, the Handover Ceremony etc; matters relating to Hong Kong's international rights and obligations; Hong Kong's Air Services Agreements; Civil Service matters; the Defence of Hong Kong and Public Order; franchises, contracts and major infrastructural projects extending beyond 1997; Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements between Hong Kong and relevant countries; Surrender of Fugitive a Offenders Agreements between Hong Kong and relevant countries; the Reciprocal Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in civil and commercial matters between Hong Kong and foreign countries; the Transfer of Sentenced Persons Agreements; Agreements on Mutual Legal Assistance in criminal matters between Hong Kong and foreign countries; Localisation of Laws; Adaptation of Laws; the Court of Final Appeal; the implementation of the provisions of the Joint Declaration relating to the Right of Abode in Hong Kong after 1997; Visa Abolition Agreements; and Vietnamese Migrants in Hong Kong (boat people and refugees).

The next meeting of the Joint Liaison Group will take place at a time and place to be decided.

End

Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance effective in fortnight

*****

The core provisions of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance will come into force on December 20. The commencement notice bringing them into effect was published in the Gazette today (Friday).

A spokesman for the Home Affairs Branch said with the implementation of the core provisions, an individual (a data subject) will have the right to find out from data users, such as private firms or Government departments, whether they hold his or her personal data. If they do, the individual will have the right to obtain a copy of such data and correct any mistake of the records.

2

"The data users must comply with such an access request unless there is an applicable exemption. For example, there is an exemption where the personal data concerned are held for the prevention or detection of crime and the compliance with the access request would prejudice this purpose," the spokesman said.

Schedule 1 of the Ordinance sets out six Data Protection Principles aimed at protecting individuals' interests. Apart from Principle 6 which specifies data subjects' rights, the others are formulated to impose obligations on data users.

Under these Principles, data users:

must not collect more data than necessary for the purposes of their activities;

must not use the data for another purpose without the data subject's consent;

must take practicable steps to ensure the accuracy of the data and to safeguard the security of the data;

must be open about the kinds of personal data they hold and the main purposes for which personal data are used.

The spokesman said the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, Mr Stephen Lau, has earlier recommended that while the core provisions should take effect in the latter half of December 1996, the commencement of two remaining sections of the Ordinance - which provide for specific control on the automated matching of personal data (section 30) and the transfer of personal data outside Hong Kong (section 33) -should be deferred. The Privacy Commissioner, an independent authority appointed by the Governor to administer the Ordinance, made the recommendation after consulting the Personal Data (Privacy) Advisory Committee.

"The Secretary for Home Affairs has accepted the recommendation because feedback from data users, particularly private sector organisations, indicated a need for the Privacy Commissioner to give more specific guidance on how to comply with the two sections and for data users to be allowed more time to act on such guidance," the spokesman noted.

He added that even with the deferral of the two sections that specifically control the automated matching of personal data and transfer of such data outside Hong Kong, these activities will still, with effect from December 20, 1996, be subject to the general provisions in the Ordinance. For example, the data users concerned must comply with the data protection principle that data should not be used, without the data subject's consent, for a purpose other them that for which the data were collected.

End

3

Unauthorised developments in NT

♦ * * * *

In response to press enquiries, a Government spokesman today (Friday) said that the Government is already adopting a sensible and sensitive approach in enforcement and prosecution towards the unauthorised developments (UD) in the New Territories.

However, haphazard and unauthorized developments in the rural parts of the NT are causing serious problems to the environment, traffic, safety, flooding and health, the spokesman said, adding that Government had received numerous complaints from the local residents, District Boards and the Legislative Council.

"To control the unscrupulous proliferation of UDs, Planning Department will continue to carry out its statutory planning enforcement functions sensitively as an integral part of our efforts to clean up the environmental black spots."

As regards the Government's position on the demands by the four associations involved in organising a vehicle procession in the North NT today, he said that suitable sites had been reserved on statutory town plans in the rural NT for vehicle repair workshops and associated industries, and port back-up uses including container storage.

"The Department is also continuing with actions to identify additional sites for such purposes.

"Rezoning proposals can be made to the Town Planning Board for consideration while applications to regularise unauthorized developments can also be made to the Board for approval," he added.

The spokesman said that the Government welcomes the suggestion for setting up a committee on which both Government and the operators are represented to identify suitable sites for the relocation of the UDs.

He said that in fact the Government had been meeting the Hong Kong Container Depot and Repairer Association Ltd on a regular basis in this regard.

End

4

STI to attend WTO First Ministerial Conference ♦ * * ♦ ♦

Secretary for Trade and Industry, Miss Denise Yue, will lead a Hong Kong delegation to Singapore tomorrow (Saturday) to attend the first Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), to be held from 9 to 13 this month.

The Ministerial Conference will review the performance of the WTO since its establishment in 1995. It will also consider the future direction and work programme of the WTO.

"Being a trading economy, Hong Kong attaches a great deal of importance to the WTO," Miss Yue said.

"A WTO which is effective in promoting a free, open and stable international trading system and in liberalising trade and investment is vital to Hong Kong."

At Singapore, ministers from 127 WTO member governments will review the progress made by members on implementing their obligations committed in the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations.

Ministers will also assess the progress of ongoing work, particularly the negotiations on basic telecommunications and financial services which are due to be concluded next year. In addition, they will consider the future work programme of the WTO.

Efforts will also be focused on concluding an information technology agreement. This agreement aims to eliminate substantially tariffs on a wide range of computer and telecommunications-related products by the year 2000. Hong Kong strongly supports this initiative and participates actively in the negotiations.

Miss Yue said: "We hope that the meeting would deliver concrete results that would lend further credibility to the WTO and sustain the momentum of progressive trade liberalisation."

"Hong Kong would play an active role in the Ministerial Conference to help achieve a successful outcome," she added.

5

Apart form attending the Ministerial Conference, Miss Yue will hold bilateral meetings with ministers of some WTO member governments to exchange views on matters of mutual interest.

i' i.’'

The Hong Kong delegation includes the Director-General of Trade, Mr Alan Lai; Hong Kong’s Permanent Representative to the WTO, Mr Stuart Harbinson; the Director-General of Telecommunications, Mr Alex Arena; and officers from Trade and Industry Branch and Trade Department.

End

jI t . * .

Full honour funeral service for fire fighter

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

An official funeral service in full honour for the late Senior Fireman Liu Chi-hung will be held outside Cheung Sha Wan Fire Station at 10.30 am on Monday (December 9).

At the official ceremony, the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten; the Director of Fire Services, Mr Peter Cheung; representatives of various government departments; and local dignitaries will lay wreaths and pay respects to the late senior fireman.

Senior Fireman Liu Chi-hung died while fighting a No 5 alarm fire at Garley Building, 233-239 Nathan Road, on November 20. The fire broke out at 4.49 pm and was put out at 1.47 pm the following day.

A Buddhist religious ceremony will first be held on Monday at the Universal Funeral Parlour, Hung Hom.

Following the religious ceremony, the cortege will proceed to the fire scene at Garley Building where an "on scene" ceremony will be held at about 10.10 am.

After the official funeral service outside Cheung Sha Wan Fire Station, the cortege will leave at about 10.50 am for Gallant Garden, Wo Hop Shek Cemetery, for the burial service.

A spokesman for the Fire Services Department said today (Friday) that the department was doing all it could to assist Mr Liu's family.

6

An advance payment of $180,000 from death gratuity had been made available to the late senior fireman's family today.

The Director of Fire Services also presented donation cheques to Mr Liu's family as the department received more than $636,000 of donations from members of the public.

End

Appointment to Management Committee of Consumer Legal Action Fund

* * * * ♦

A Government spokesman announced today (Friday) that the Secretary for Trade and Industry has reappointed all ten members of the Management Committee of the Consumer Legal Action Fund for a period of two years with effect from today.

The ten members are Ms Anna Wu Hung-yuk, Mr Geoffrey Ma Tao-li, QC, Mr George Chan Wing-yau, Mrs Pamela Chan Wong-shui, JP, Ms Audrey Eu Yuet-mee, JP, Dr John Ho Dit-sang, Mr Ho Shut-kan, Mr Lee Man-ban, MBE, JP, Mr Ng Shui-lai, JP and Mr Edmund Young Kak-sun.

The Consumer Legal Action Fund was established on November 30, 1994 in the form of a trust to provide legal assistance to consumers in taking legal action against unscrupulous traders. The term of reference of the Management Committee is to assist the Consumer Council in managing the Fund and determining the eligibility of the applicants in seeking legal assistance from the Fund.

End

- 7 -

Volume and price statistics of external trade in September ♦ * * * ♦

In the first nine months of 1996, the volume of re-exports increased by 7.3% over the same period last year, while the volume of domestic exports decreased by 8.9%, according to the statistics released today (Friday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

Taking re-exports and domestic exports together, the volume of total exports increased by 4.6%. Meanwhile, imports increased by 3.6% in volume.

Comparing September 1996 with September 1995, the volume of re-exports increased by 3.7%, while that of domestic exports decreased by 13%. Taken together, the volume of total exports increased by 1%. The volume of imports increased by 1.4%.

The growth in the volume of trade is derived from the growth in trade value with the effect of price changes discounted.

• 'J • 1 • • . •. •

As regards price changes in the first nine months of 1996 over the same period last year, the prices of re-exports decreased by 0.4%, while that of domestic exports increased by 0.6%. Import prices decreased by 1.1%.

Comparing September 1996 with September 1995, the prices of re-exports and domestic exports both decreased by 1.4%. Import prices also decreased, by 2.5%.

Price changes are reflected by changes in unit value indices which are compiled based on average unit values or, for certain commodities, based on specific price data.

The terms of trade index, defined as the ratio of total export price index to import price index, recorded an increase of 0.9% in the first nine months of 1996 over the same period last year.

/■• • » • . • I

The changes in the value, unit value and volume of re-exports by end-use category are shown in Table 1.

Analysed by end-use category, increases in volume were recorded for reexports of foodstuffs (+25%); capital goods (+9.9%); and consumer goods (+4.1%)in September 1996 over a year earlier.

On the other hand, the volume of re-exports of fuels; and raw materials and semi-manufactures decreased by 15% and 1.2% respectively.

8

Over the same period of comparison, increases were recorded in the prices of re-exports of fuels (+23%); and foodstuffs (+0.6%).

On the other hand, re-export prices of raw materials and semi-manufactures; and capital goods decreased by 4% and 2.1% respectively. Meanwhile, re-export prices of consumer goods recorded no significant change.

The changes in the value, unit value and volume of domestic exports by principal commodity group are shown in Table 2.

Comparing September 1996 with September 1995, commodity groups which recorded significant increases in volume of domestic exports included textile yam and thread (+14%); and metal manufactures (+7%).

On the other hand, the volume of domestic exports of radios of all kinds; and textile made-ups and related articles decreased by 63% and 58% respectively.

Commodity groups which recorded more notable increases in domestic export prices included metal ores and scrap (+12%); and textile made-ups and related articles (+7.6%).

On the other hand, domestic export prices of electronic components; and domestic electrical appliances decreased significantly, by 8.4% and 3.6% 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 12% in September 1996 compared with September 1995.

Significant increases in import volume were noted of soya bean oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil and lard; and sugar. However, decreases were recorded in the import volume of milk, butter, cheese and eggs; and rice.

Over the same period of comparison, the import volume of consumer goods decreased by 1.3%.

Decreases in import volume were noted of alcoholic beverages; and radios, television-sets, gramophones, records, tape recorders and amplifiers. However, increases in import volume were recorded for passenger motor cars; and footwear.

9

The import volume of raw materials and semi-manufactures increased by 1.6% in September 1996 compared with September 1995.

Increases in import volume were recorded for most commodities in the end-use category of raw materials and semi-manufactures. Significant increases in import volume were noted of plastic material; and paper and paperboard. However, decreases were noted of wool and other animal hair; and yam of man-made fibres.

Imports of fuels decreased by 12% in volume in September 1996 compared with September 1995.

As regards capital goods, the volume of imports increased by 6.7% in September 1996 over September 1995.

Notable increases were recorded in the import volume of transport equipment; and office machinery. The import volume of construction machinery however decreased.

Comparing September 1996 with September 1995, import prices of fuels and consumer goods increased by 20% and 1.1% respectively.

On the other hand, import prices of raw materials and semi-manufactures; capital goods; and foodstuffs decreased by 7.2%, 3% and 0.6% respectively.

Details of the above statistics are published in the September 1996 issue of Hong Kong Trade Index Numbers.

The report will be available on sale around December 9 at $14 per copy at either the Government Publications Centre, ground floor, Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway or the Publications Unit of the Census and Statistics Department, 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.

Enquiries regarding regular subscription to this report may be directed to the Publications (Sales) Office of the Information Services Department, 28th floor, Siu On Centre, 188 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong (Tel: 2598 8194) and enquiries on trade indices to the Census and Statistics Department on 2582 4918.

10

Table 1 i Changes in re-exports by end-use category

Comparing SEP 1996 with 8BP 1995 Comparing JAN-SEP 1996 with JAN-SEP 1995 % changes

End-use category i % changes

Value Unit Value Volume Value Unit Value Volume

Foodstuffs 24.5 0.6 24.9 14.8 * 14.9

Consumer goods 4.5 ♦ ■ 4.1 5.7 0.7 4.3

Raw materials and semi-manufactures -5.2 -4.0 -1.2 3.6 -2.0 5.7

Fuels 3.1 23.4 • -14.6 23.4 14.0 10.3

Capital goods 5.3 -2.1 9.9 13.1 -1.2 17.1

ALL COMMODITIES 2.2 -1.4 3.7 6.7 -0.4 7.3

less than 0.05%

a

11

Table 2 : Changes in domestic exports by principal commodity group

t Commodity group Comparing SEP 1996 with SEP 1995 % changes Unit Comparing JAN-SEP 1996 with JAN-SEP 1995 % changes Unit

Value Value Volume Value Value Volume

Clothing -11.7 -1.3 -10.3 -7.6 0.6 -7.8

Textile fabrics 1.7 -0.8 1.5 -3.7 -0.2 -4.2

Textile yarn and thread 21.1 6.8 14.4 22.2 5.3 17.0

Textile made-ups and related articles -55.7 7.6 -57.8 -33.7 1.9 -34.4

Radios of all kinds -59.0 7.1 -62.6 -8.8 6.6 -18.9

Electronic components -27.4 -8.4 -23.6 -12.7 -2.3 -12.3

Footwear -40.0 -3.0 -33.8 -53.3 -3.5 -52.0

Metal manufactures d.4 0.8 7.0 -8.3 5.1 -13.0

Metal ores and scrap -11.5 11.8 -20.3 -12.9 9.4 -19.0

Watches and clocks -14.9 0.5 -15.2 -9.6 -0.2 -9.6

Travel goods, handbags and similar articles -40.9 2.5 -42.7 -18.2 1.3 -19.8

Domestic electrical appliances -8.0 -3.6 -2.8 30.1 -3.3 35.6

ALL COMMODITIES -13.5 -1.4 -13.0 -9.0 0.6 -8.9

- 12 -

Table 3 : Change® in import® by end-use category

Comparing SEP with SIP % changes 1996 1995 Comparing JAN-SEP 1996 with JAN-SEP 1995

% changes

End-use category Value Unit Value Volume Value Unit Value Volume

Foodstuffs 11.1 -0.6 11.6 6.1 * 6.2

Consumer goods 0.1 1.1 -1.3 2.0 1.5 0.4

Raw materials and semi-manufactures -4.8 -7.2 1.6 -0.9 -3.4 2.6

Fuels 7.6 20.2 • -11.7 16.7 9.6 5.7

Capital goods 4.5 -3.0 6.7 7.6 -3.3 11.0

ALL COMMODITIES -0.2 -2.5 1.4 2.5 -1.1 3.6

les® than 0.05%

End

13

Majority satisfied with present situation: HAB poll ♦ * * * *

The latest public opinion survey conducted by the Home Affairs Branch (HAB) in November has shown that 74 per cent of the respondents were satisfied with the present situation in Hong Kong.

The percentage, slightly up from 73 per cent in the last bimonthly survey in September, has indicated a rising trend since May which then stood at 70 per cent, an HAB spokesman said today (Friday).

Fifteen per cent of the respondents expected the situation to improve in the next 12 months while 46 per cent believed it would stay about the same. This compared *•' with 15 per cent and 47 per cent respectively in the last survey.

As to the overall performance of the Government, 54 per cent expressed satisfaction, a slight increase from 52 per cent, while the number of people feeling dissatisfied had decreased from 27 per cent to 25 per cent.

Respondents regarding civil servants' working attitudes as good also rose from 55 per cent to 56 per cent while those who took the opposite view had gone down from 29 per cent to 27 per cent.

Of the three most often mentioned problems facing Hong Kong, housing issues continued to top the list at 41 per cent, the same as in the last survey.

Among this group of respondents, 75 per cent considered that the Government had exerted effort in solving the problem, which represented an increase of three percentage points. Twelve per cent also said the Government had handled the problem well, up from 11 per cent.

The percentage of respondents concerned about labour-related problems dropped marginally from 32 per cent to 31 per cent while those concerned about Hong Kong's future, the third most often mentioned issue, remained unchanged at 25 per cent.

The survey was the 67th in the series to gauge the trend of public opinion on perceived problems in Hong Kong, Government's overall performance and the community's views of the general situation.

Through a random sampling of residential telephone numbers, 1,513 persons aged between 15 and 64 were successfully interviewed.

End

14

Ozone Layer Protection Ordinance streamlined ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government proposes to streamline the operation of the Ozone Layer Protection Ordinance enacted in 1989 to provide for the handling of ozone depleting scheduled substances which are seized but for which an owner cannot be traced.

A Government spokesman said today (Friday) that at present, the Ordinance prohibits local manufacturing of ozone depleting substances, restricts their import and export, and deals with seized items for which an owner can be identified.

To improve upon the current situation, an Ozone Layer Protection (Amendment) Bill 1996 will be introduced to empower the Director of Environmental Protection to handle seized items for which no apparent owner can be identified so that a notice can be served to invite claim for ownership.

If no claim has been established within 30 days, the Director may apply for forfeiture of the seized items.

The Bill, gazetted today, will be introduced into the Legislative Council on December 18.

It will also provide for the petition by the owners to the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands to claim the return of forfeited items within six weeks after the forfeiture.

Another purpose of the Bill is to transfer the powers to make regulation and amend the schedule to the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, after consultation with the Advisory Council on the Environment.

The appeal hearing function will also be transferred from the Governor to the Administrative Appeals Board as the appeals concern primarily registration and licensing matters.

”By improving the efficiency of the current procedures and strengthening the enforcement arrangements, the proposed amendments will enable Hong Kong to discharge more effectively its international obligations to protect the earth’s ozone layer,” the spokesman said.

"The Bill has been endorsed by the Advisory Council on the Environment. All registered importers and exporters of scheduled substances and major trade organisations raised no objection to the proposed amendments."

End

15

SWD distributes blankets to street sleepers *****

Staff of the Social Welfare Department distributed a total of 371 blankets to street sleepers in a territory-wide operation during the cold spell early this (Friday) morning.

Of the total, 141 were distributed in West Kowloon, 28 in East Kowloon, 154 on Hong Kong Island, 36 in New Territories East and 12 in New Territories West.

Meanwhile, the department's hotline 2343 2255 received a total of 29 calls between 12 am and 9 am this morning.

Among the calls, eight were relating to cold spell matters where two of them required further outreaching service.

End

Education prepares visually impaired for a career

*****

One of the fundamental aims of the educational effort is to prepare visually impaired students for the pursuit of a satisfying career upon leaving school, the Director of Education, Mrs Helen C P Lai Yu, said today (Friday).

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the Asian and Pacific Regional Seminar on Information Technology for the Visually Impaired People, Mrs Yu noted that information technology played a key role in enhancing the life of visually impaired people.

The Education Department has since 1990 provided adaptive aids to facilitate the use of computers, and the Government subvented essential technical devices including circuit television, navigator, optacon for the training of visually impaired students in special schools, she said.

"To meet our students' needs in different educational settings and to promote full integration, visually impaired students in mainstream schools are given assistance to use the high-tech aids at the Ebenezar School, a special school for visually impaired children," Mrs Yu said.

16

She hoped that visually impaired people could increasingly benefit from the technological advances in varied aspects of life.

"Given suitable technical devices, visually impaired people can do better still and contribute more extensively to services for our community," she added.

End

105 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flight ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

A group of 105 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) returned by air to Hanoi, Vietnam today (Friday) on the 83rd flight under the Orderly Repatriation Programme (ORP).

All the returnees, comprising 35 men, 25 women, 28 boys and 17 girls, are from South and Central Vietnam.

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

The group brought to 8,172 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 (Friday) morning have submitted their report to the Chief Secretary.

The two monitors comprised a non-official Justice of the Peace, Ms Christina Ting Yuk-chee ; and representative from a non-govemment organisation, Ms Kitty Wan Chi-yin from Oxfam, Hong Kong.

End

17

Publicity on Calling Number Display under way ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following the issue of a statement by the Telecommunications Authority on September 16 this year which allows the introduction of Calling Number Display . (CND) service in Hong Kong, a number of operators have expressed interest in offering the service.

- .4 (.

The first CND service will be provided by some fixed and mobile operators from December 16.

To enhance public awareness of this service which has a bearing on all telephone users in Hong Kong, the Government has started a publicity programme, and will see to it that service providers are giving sufficient notice to their customers on how the service operates.

Besides explaining the benefits of CND, the Government would also ensure that the public understands the privacy implications of the service.

To know more about the CND service and the rights of individual telephone users, a detailed information leaflet on CND is available from any of the Post Offices or District Offices.

For general enquiries, a hotline 2961 6655 is also available during office hours.

End

Tax evasion conviction and sentence appeal dismissed *****

The Court of Appeal today (Friday) dismissed an appeal lodged by a 39-year-old insurance agent against both the conviction of tax evasion charges and sentence.

The appellant, Paul Ng Wing-keung, is a senior agency manager of National Mutual Company Limited and the proprietor of Paul Ng & Company.

He was convicted of eight counts of tax evasion on May 27. On June 24, he was sentenced to three months' imprisonment on each charge to run concurrently and was ordered to pay a fine of $10,000 on each charge and a further fine of $840,000, approximating three times of the total tax evaded. The total fine imposed was $920,000.

18

The Court of Appeal with acting Chief Justice Power, Justices Bokhary and Stuart-Moore after hearing the submission made by the counsel for the appellant, immediately dismissed the appeal against conviction and confirmed the sentence.

A spokesman for the Inland Revenue Department today reminded the public that tax evasion is a criminal offence.

Upon conviction, the maximum sentence is three years' imprisonment, a fine of $50,000 on each charge and a further fine of trebles the amount of tax undercharged.

End

RTGS system to commence on Monday

♦ * * * *

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced today (Friday) that it has informed the banks that the interbank payment system will proceed with data conversion this weekend with a view to cut-over to the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system on Monday (December 9).

The announcement was made after a series of simulation tests which finished on December 4.

To tie in with the launch of RTGS on Monday, a Gazette notice was issued today to invoke the commencement of several sections of the Hong Kong Association of Banks (Amendment) Ordinance 1995 in order to conform with the new settlement structure for interbank payments.

Under the new structure, all licensed banks are required to open accounts with the Monetary Authority on behalf of the Exchange Fund for settlement purposes.

The HKMA will convert the data from the present system to the new system during this weekend to prepare for full implementation of the RTGS system at 9 am on Monday.

Following the implementation of the RTGS system, the format of the Reuters screen showing interbank liquidity will be slightly modified (see revised screen format below).

19

The format is very similar to the existing format. There will be a time track showing the aggregate balance of the Settlement Accounts maintained by banks with the HKMA.

In addition, the screen will also show the opening and the closing aggregate balances of the Settlement Accounts and information on LAF and money market operations.

The preparation of the RTGS system dates back to January 1994 when the HKMA Working Party on Payment and Settlement System recommended that Hong Kong should move to RI GS as soon as possible.

A Committee on Payment System, chaired by the Chief Executive of HKMA with representatives from leading banks in I long Kong, was set up on May 31, 1994 to provide policy input on the implementation of R I GS in Hong Kong.

The Committee agreed in early 190S to move speedily to RTGS with a scheduled commencement date before the end of 1996. I his timetable has been met.

f ormat of Reuters Screen

HONG KONG MONEI ARY At JII IORI I Y INTERBANK LIQUIDITY

(Date) TIME AGGREGATE BALANCE OF SE TTLEMENT ACCOUNTS

OPENING AGGREGATE BALANCE MN 09:30 HR MN

CLOSING AGGREGATE BALANCE MN 10:00 HR MN

CHANGE ATTRIBUTABLE TO : 11:00 HR MN

MONEY MARKET ACTIVITY MN 12:00 HR MN

LAF REVERSAL MN

LAF TODAY MN 15:00 HR MN

16:00 HR MN

LAF RATE % BID/ % OFFER TWI

End

- 20 -

Get to know more about Social Welfare Department * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Members of the public may not know the full range of welfare services that is being offered to them by the Social Welfare Department.

But they will get the answer from an exhibition and professional workers during the department’s open day tomorrow (Saturday).

Twenty departmental service units throughout the territory w ill open their doors to visitors as part of its week-long activities to tie in with the Government’s Serving the Community Week programme from December 1 to 7.

The opening hours will vary between 10 am and 9 pm to between 10 am and 5 pm.

Highlighting the qpen day event will be a grand opening ceremony at the Princess Alexandra Community Centre at Tai Ho Road, Tsuen Wan, starting 2 pm.

Officiating guests will be the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok; the Chairman Qf the Legislative Council Welfare Panel, Mr Li Wah-ming; Legislative Councillor Dr Law Chi-kwong; the Chairman of the Social Welfare Advisory Committee, Mr Peter Wong: the Chairman of the Rehabilitation Advisory’ Committee, Dr Raymond Wu; and the Chairman of the Tsuen Wan District Board, Mr Chan Lau-fong.

Visitors will be able to see an exhibition, a band performance, boy scout skill demonstration and a calligraphic display, and to take part in a quiz and several games stalls.

End

Industry Department joins the Serving the Community Week ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Standards and Calibration Laboratory (SCL) of Industry Department held an open day today (Friday) as part of the Serving the Community Week programme.

The Serving the Community Week, which runs from December I to 7, is initiated by the Efficiency Unit of the Government Secretariat with the aim of promoting the importance of delivering quality services to the community by government departments.

21

Guided tours were organised for some 200 invited guests throughout the day. The guests included leading industrialists, representatives from tertiary education institutions, industrial support organisations, and clients of SCL.

They were first briefed on the organisation and work of the Quality Services Division of the Industry Department in helping Hong Kong industry maintain its competitive edge.

They were then taken on a tour of the various laboratories of SCL and saw for themselves the state-of-the-art measurement systems and facilities there. These laboratories were: Direct Current Laboratory, Low Frequency Laboratory, Radio Frequency Laboratory, Temperature Laboratory, Mass Laboratory and Dimensional Laboratory.

’’Set up in 1984, SCL forms part of an important technological infrastructure provided by the Government to promote high-tech manufacturing in Hong Kong,” said Mr A J Rocha, head of SCL.

The guests were told that the laboratory, which had in recent years upgraded some of its measurement standards, maintained a number of primary standards which were of the highest accuracy. These included the primary standards of time and frequency, electrical voltage, microwave power and impedance, and temperature.

SCL provides comprehensive calibration services to enable manufacturers and other organisations to achieve quality assurance in their measurement systems.

Its clients include government departments and organisations from the private sector, covering a diverse range of activities including testing services, power generation, telecommunication services, transportation, manufacturing industry, construction, tertiary education, environmental and health, weights and measures.

At the end of the visit, Mr Rocha said: "The Industry Department will continue its effort in promoting the application of quality assurance and excellence in industrial performance through the operation of SCL."

Apart from the open day programme, the department took part in the "Serving the Community Carnival" on Sunday (December 1) in Fa Hui Park.

End

22

Christmas postal service arrangements ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The acting Postmaster General, Mr P C Luk, announced today (Friday) that the latest date for posting Christmas mail for local delivery before Christmas is Friday, December 20.

"Postings after this date might run the risk of not being delivered in time because of anticipated seasonal pressure of work," he said.

He advised members of the public to post as early as possible to avoid a last minute rush.

Mr Luk also said that a special mail delivery would be provided on Sunday, December 22 and Thursday, December 26. No delivery would be made on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

All post offices will be closed during the Christmas and New Year holidays. However, one mail collection will be arranged for all street posting boxes except those on outlying islands and in remote areas. The time of collection is shown on the time-plate of each posting box.

"This arrangement will serve to advance the processing of letters posted during the holidays and hence improve our quality of letter service to the public," said Mr Luk.

End

Board amends draft Tsim Sha Tsui Outline Zoning Plan

*****

The Town Planning Board today (Friday) announced amendments to the draft Tsim Sha Tsui Outline Zoning Plan.

The amendments cover three government sites in Tsim Sha Tsui area, namely the old Kowloon Market and its extension, the Marine Police Headquarters Compound (MPHQ) and Canton Road Police Married Quarters.

23

The old Kowloon Market and its extension at the junction of Peking Road and Kowloon Park Drive, with an area of about 0.21 hectare, has been rezoned from "Comprehensive Development Area" ("CDA") to "Commercial".

Meanwhile, the set of notes of the "CDA" zoning of MPHQ, which is adjoining the old Kowloon Market site, has been revised to reflect the planning intention of preserving the historical and urban design significance of the compound.

The Canton Road Police Married Quarters site located at the junction of Canton Road and Austin Road, with an area of about one hectare, has been rezoned from "Govemment/Institution/Community" to "Residential (Group A)" for the development of about 1,640 private residential flats.

The amendment plan (No S/Kl/10) is available for public inspection until December 27. 1996 during normal office hours at:

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

Kowloon District Planning Office, 11th floor, Leighton Centre, 77 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong; and

* Yau Tsim Mong District Office, Mong Kok Government Offices, ground floor, 30 Luen Wan Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon.

Any person affected by the amendments may submit written objections to the Secretary of the Town Planning Board, c/o Planning Department, 13th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong before December 27, 1996.

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

End

24

Building of access roads to developments on Ma Wan *****

The Govemor-in-Council has authorised the construction of roads to provide access to developments on Ma Wan Island.

The main feature of the project is the construction of two six-metre wide elevated slip roads with one lane in each direction from the Lantau Link (formerly known as Lantau Fixed Crossing) to Ma Wan.

On Ma Wan Island, there will be two-way single carriageway roads of about 6.75 metres in width; and footpaths varying from 1.6 metres to two metres in width on one or both sides.

Emergency vehicular access roads within the proposed village development and the proposed theme park will also be built. At the same time, other ancillary earthworks, drainage and landscaping works will be carried out.

The project will support the proposed developments shown on the Ma Wan Outline Zoning Plan and provide a road network for traffic circulation, emergency access and pedestrian movements on Ma Wan Island. In addition, it will facilitate restricted vehicular access from Lantau Link to Ma Wan.

The project will involve resumption of some private land on Ma Wan Island. Affected land owners and persons will be compensated in accordance with provisions under the Roads (Works, Use and Compensation) Ordinance.

It is expected that works on the project will commence in the middle of next year and takes about four years to complete.

End

25

Prequalification exercise for runway monitor tower ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Architectural Services Department (Arch SD) is inviting approved contractors to participate in a prequalification exercise for the construction of a precision runway monitor tower and back-up air traffic control (ATC) facilities at the new airport in Chek Lap Kok.

The project comprises the construction of a five-level monitor tower built on top of a four-level back-up ATC complex to accommodate the precision runway monitor system, the back-up ATC Centre and back-up communication centre as well as all necessary equipment for various government departments.

Those on the Approved Contractors for Public Works List I in Group C for Building Works (confirmed) or on the List II for Building Works (confirmed) are invited to apply for pre-qualification documents from Chief Architect/1, Arch SD, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.

Completed applications should be submitted as directed not later than noon on December 27.1996.

End

Tenders for public sewerage facilities in Sai Kung invited

*****

The Drainage Services Department is inviting tenders for the laying of sewers and rising mains and construction of six sewage pumping stations in Sai Kung.

Public sewerage facilities will be built in the areas of Silverstrand, I ai Wan and Sha Ha to improve the sanitary condition of the existing unsewered areas and the water quality of Port Shelter.

The project will involve the laying of about 6,500 metres long sewers with diameters ranging from 150 to 450 millimetres, and about 2,100 metres long rising mains with diameters ranging from 100 millimetres to 300 millimetres.

Six sewage pumping stations will also be built. They arc lai Wan Pumping Station^ Ngan Yan Road Pumping Station, Silver Star Path Pumping Station, Silver Cape Road Pumping Station, Sapphire Path Intermediate Pumping Station and Pik Sha Road Pumping Station.

26

Following the completion of the sewerage works, sewage generated from Silverstrand areas will be collected and conveyed to the existing Tseung Kwan O Sewage Treatment Works while that collected from Tai Wan and Sha Ha areas will be conveyed to the existing Sai Kung Sewage Treatment Works for treatment and disposal.

As a result, the pollutant currently being discharged from these areas into Port Shelter will be reduced.

Construction will commence in March next year for completion in about two

years.

Details of the tender invitation are contained in the Government Gazette published today (Friday).

Forms of tender and further particulars may be obtained from the Chief Engineer, Sewerage Projects Division. Drainage Services Department, 44th floor. Revenue Tower, 5 Gloucester Road, 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 on the lower ground floor. Central Government Offices (East Wing), Lower Albert Road. Hong Kong, before noon on Friday. January 3. 1997.

Late tenders will not be accepted.

End

Reconstruction of jetty at Ha Keng on Lantau ♦ ♦ * * *

The Government intends to reconstruct the jetty at Ha Keng in Lantau within an area of about 660 square metres of foreshore and seabed.

The project is to provide direct access to the south-eastern coast of the Chi Ma Wan peninsula.

Works will commence in February for completion in June next year.

27

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

Any person who considers that he has an interest, right or easement in or over the foreshore and seabed involved may submit a written objection to the Director of Lands on or before February 6, 1997.

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

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

The plan can also be seen at the Lands Department's Survey and Mapping Office, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong (where copies can be purchased on order) and at the Islands District Office, 20th floor, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central, Hong Kong.

End

Tenders for construction of water treatment facilities ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Water Supplies Department is inviting tenders for the construction of sludge treatment and disposal facilities at its three water treatment works in Shek Lei Pui, Tai Po Road and Tsuen Wan respectively.

The contract will involve construction of two sludge thickening tanks, five sludge balancing tanks, four washwater recovery tanks and ancillary works in the three treatment works.

Works are expected to commence in March next year for completion in about 12 months.

Forms of tender and further particulars may be obtained from the office of Montgomery Watson Hong Kong Limited, 1911 Windsor House, 311 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong.

Tender offers will close at noon on Friday, January' 31, 1997.

End

28

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market pperations

*****

Time Cumulative change

Opening balance in the account Closing balance in the account Change attributable to: Money market activity LAF today 4,112 MN 4,155 MN +2,363 MN - 2,320 MN 0930 HR 1000 HR 1100 HR 1200 HR 1500 HR 1600 HR +390 MN +390 MN +400 MN +401 MN +2366MN +2363MN

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.7 *-0.3* 6.12.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF Bills EF Notes/MTRC Notes

Terms Yield Terms Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.33 2 years 2811 5.72 100.21 5.68

1 month 4.34 3 years 3910 6.28 100.73 6.08

3 months 4.56 5 years 5109 7.32 103.04 6.67 X MA

6 months 4.76 7 years 7311 6.80 99.63 6.99

12 months 5.13 10 years 1610 7.37 101.73 7.25 Z’ AA

5 years M5O3 7.35 101.88 6.99

Total turnover of EF Bills and Notes - $54,199 million

Closed December 6, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Saturday, December 7,1996

Contents Page No.

Hong Kong joins WTO Government Procurement Agreement........ 1

$20 billion earmarked for upgrading drainage system......... 2

SG to visit US.............................................. 4

Public briefing session on ECR7 Consultation Document....... 5

Round-the-clock emergency services for dangerous buildings.. 7

Late payment of wages incurs fine........................... 8

Seminar to promote sound building management................ 9

Tsing Yi Fire Station open day.............................. 10

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

Sunday, December 8,1996

Contents PageJSo.

Governor's Letter to Hong Kong.................................. 12

Public invited to attend hearing on Metro Broadcast......... 15

Discussions on AIDS services development........................ 16

ED's new performance pledges launched........................... 17

Injured employees should be duly paid....................... 18

1

Hong Kong joins WTO Government Procurement Agreement ***** ti.

Hong Kong will soon become a party to the World Trade Organisation Agreement on Government Procurement following a unanimous agreement by all signatories of the Agreement on December 5 to accept Hong Kong's participation.

The Agreement on Government Procurement provides for a set of rules that govern the procurement of goods and services by government and other public entities of signatories.

x- -

Under the Agreement, each signatory is obliged to treat the products, services and suppliers of other signatories in public procurement as if they were of domestic origin.

The Agreement also stipulates very detailed rules on tendering procedures, technical specifications and challenge procedures. The objective of all these requirements is to ensure that foreign products and suppliers can compete on a level playing field with domestic products and suppliers for public procurement contracts.

"We are pleased that Hong Kong can become a party to the Agreement. This will provide greater opportunities for our exporters and suppliers to tap into overseas government procurement markets," a Government spokesman said.

"Our participation in the Agreement would also reinforce the confidence of overseas and local suppliers in our already open and non-discriminatory government procurement system."

The exact coverage for each signatory is defined in its schedule of commitment attached to the Agreement.

Hong Kong's schedule includes the procurement of goods, services and . construction works above certain specified contract values by all government departments as well as by the Urban and Regional Councils, Hospital Authority, Housing Authority, Airport Authority, Mass Transit Railway Corporation, and Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation.

The Agreement was first concluded in 1994. Although Hong Kong participated actively in the negotiations then, it did not sign the Agreement because other , negotiating parties included at the final stage of negotiations some discriminatory ■■ provisions in the Agreement which were objectionable in principle to Hong Kong.

2

"We have now secured agreement from signatories to remove the discriminatory provisions targeted specifically against Hong Kong, and to conduct an early review of the Agreement with a view to removing other discriminatory elements," the Government spokesman explained.

Other parties to the Agreement include Canada, the twelve member states of the European Community, Israel, Japan, Korea, Aruba, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland and the US.

End

$20 billion earmarked for upgrading drainage system ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Drainage Services Department is committed to a programme of works to upgrade the sewerage, sewage treatment and storm drainage systems at a total estimated cost of around $20 billion over the next 10 years.

This was stated by the Director of Drainage Services, Mr John Collier, at the opening ceremony of the Drainage Services Department Open Day at Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works today (Saturday).

"Every day, two million cubic metres of wastewater are generated and discharged into our surrounding waters. If left untreated, it would damage our natural environment," he said.

Also officiating at today’s Open Day were two former directors of the Drainage Services Department, Mr Ng Yee-yum and Mr Siu Chuen.

The Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works, one of the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia, is open to the public today as part of the "Serving the Community Week" programme.

The plant provides full biological treatment to the sewage entering the plant and is capable of serving an ultimate population of 500,000 in Sha Tin and Ma On Shan. Similar secondary treatment plants are in operation in Tai Po, Fanling and Yuen Long.

Mr Collier said that new capital projects for extending our sewerage and sewage treatment systems were at various stages of planning, design and construction.

3

"These include new sewers being laid over the entire territory under the sewerage master plans and new sewage treatment facilities in Pokfulam, Sham Tseng and Lantau Island.

"On completion of the $9.4 billion High Priority Programme, wastewater from areas around Victoria Harbour will be collected and conveyed through a network of deep tunnels to the Stonecutters Island sewage treatment works for chemical treatment before discharging through a long submarine outfall into the sea," he said.

Turning to flood protection, Mr Collier said major drainage works were being carried out in the New Territories to build up a comprehensive river channel system for carrying away flood water to the sea.

These works include training by stages of Shenzhen River, Indus River and Beas River in the northern areas, and the on-going training of Shan Pui River and Kam Tin River in the north-western part.

"Upon completion by 2002, they will bring significant relief to the flooding problem in the New Territories," Mr Collier said.

To augment the main river training project, village flood protection schemes are being completed.

"They typically comprise earth bunds around the villages to protect them from flood water overflowing the river banks, and a flood pumping station to pump away the surface runoff collection within the villages.

"Fifteen schemes are currently in operation with another 12 schemes under construction, planning and design.

"Other short term measures include local drainage improvement works, maintenance activities to identify and remove drain blockage, and surveillance activities to ensure that the integrity of the drainage system is preserved," he added.

Looking ahead, Mr Collier said one of the department's major initiatives this year was to carry out the Drainage Master Planning Studies.

"The studies will review the condition and performance of the existing stormwater drainage system, and provide a comprehensive and prioritised programme for upgrading the stormwater drainage system to meet the present and future development needs," he said.

4

Mr Collier said another area of concern was drainage impact arising from developments.

"Proponent of infrastructural projects are now required to carry out drainage impact assessments whenever there is potential adverse drainage impact" he said.

Mr Collier pointed out that in the past, maintenance of many of the main watercourses passing through private land was also a problem.

"However, the Land Drainage Ordinance enacted in 1994 has provided for a better control of these watercourses.

. r.

"To protect the community from the risk of flooding, government’s effort alone is not sufficient. The society as a whole needs to act responsibly to avoid blocking the stormwater drainage system so as to minimise the likelihood of flood occurrence,” he stressed.

End

SG to visit US ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Solicitor General, Mr Daniel R Fung, QC, will engage in a speaking tour in the United Stated of America next week to reassure influential members of the American Government, Congress and the investing public of the continuation of Hong Kong's legal system post 1997.

During his tour, he will meet officials of State Department, Senators, Congressmen, businessmen, lawyers, members of influential think-tanks, and be giving interviews to both the print and electronic media.

Mr Fung will depart this (Saturday) evening and before his return to Hong Kong on December 13 will have taken up 13 speaking engagements and briefings in New York and Washington.

His programme in New York includes briefing the Business Council for International Understandings, an interview by the Wall Street Journal and a luncheon meeting with the National Committee on US-China Relations and the Hong Kong Association of New York.

5

While in Washington, Mr Fung is invited as a keynote speaker to address the Atlantic Council US Conference on "China 2010: The Rule of Law and Prospects for Institutionalizing Change". He will give an account on Hong Kong's role in contributing to the establishment of the rule of law in China.

He will meet with Senator Craig Thomas, and is scheduled to meet with the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs, Mr Winston Lord, and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Mr Jeff Bader, and attend briefings for US . think-tanks, Congressional staffers and the Council on Foreign Relations.

Mr Fung will also address the US-China Business Council, US Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers and will give an interview to the CNN programme - "World View".

. a

The theme of the speaking tour is the "Rule of Law in Hong Kong and its impact on the Chinese legal system".

Mr Fung will be accompanied by Mr Llewellyn Mui, Senior Crown Counsel of the Legal Policy Division of the Legal Department.

End

Public briefing session on ECR7 Consultation Document ♦ * * * *

Members of the public are invited to participate in a briefing session next Saturday (December 14) to give their views on quality school education, the theme of the Education Commission Report No. 7 Consultation Document.

The briefing, which will be held at Wellington College in Telford Gardens, Kowloon Bay, at 10 am, is one of a series of sessions conducted by the EC to solicit views from various sectors on the recommendations in the consultation document.

Present at the briefing will be the EC Chairman, Professor Rosie Young; an EC member, Ms Sansan Ching; and officials of the Education Department.

Similar briefings are scheduled for Legislative Councillors, principals, teachers, school councils and sponsors, advisory boards and committees, education faculties of tertiary institutions, and District Board members during the two-month consultation ending on January 15.

6

A spokesman for the Education Commission said today (Saturday): "The views collected will be taken into account before finalising and presenting the recommendations to the Government early next year.

"The Consultation Document was published on November 19 with recommendations aimed at helping schools to improve their performance and ensuring that resources for school education are used in the most effective, efficient and accountable manner.

"It represents the Commission's vision of a quality school education system which will have lasting benefits to the generations to come," the spokesman said.

The major recommendations are on the development of school-based management; the introduction of pilot incentive schemes for schools; the establishment of a framework for developing and monitoring quality of school education; the role of the Education Department; and training of key players in the school system.

This is the second phase of the Commission's two-round consultation exercise to gauge public response. The first round of public consultation on broad principles was held in June this year.

Copies of the ECR7 Consultation Document are available at all district offices and the sub-offices of the Education Department. It is also available at the E-mail address: embinfo@emb.gcn.gov.hk.

Views can be forwarded before January 15, 1997 to the Secretary, Education Commission, ninth floor, Central Government Offices (West Wing), 11 Ice House Street, Central (fax: 2537 4591 or e-mail address: embinfo@emb.gcn.gov.hk.)

End

7

Round-the-clock emergency services for dangerous buildings ♦ * ♦ ♦ *

The Buildings Department received a total of 500 calls for emergency services to remove dangers from buildings during the first 11 months this year, the Assistant Director of Buildings (Structural Engineering), Mr Ng Hon-keung, said today (Saturday).

About 25 per cent of the cases involved loose finishes and rendering, 15 per cent on advertising signs, while about 12 per cent were related to dangerous appendages or canopies.

Other problems ranged from structural defects of building, unstable slopes, dangerous scaffolding to defective drains or leakage.

Mr Ng said that the Buildings Department, in recognition of the importance of public safety, was committed to maintain a 24-hour services to the community.

"The Department provides expert advice on private buildings and developments in case of danger. Our professional officers attending an emergency scene will make an initial assessment of the situation and decide what immediate action should be taken in order to protect public safety.

"In many cases, government contractors are called to carry out emergency works to remove dangers from the affected building," Mr Ng said.

During office hours, emergency calls are directed to the relevant case officers. After office hours, two professional officers are on emergency call on a rotation basis. They will be informed of emergencies by the police control and command centre.

Mr Ng pointed out that the department had pledged a performance standard of inspecting and responding to any emergency situation within three hours.

"We are glad that in 1995, we had met our performance target in 97.4 per cent of the cases. The shortfall was mainly due to the engagement of the duty officers in other emergency cases or heavy traffic condition," he said.

When tropical cyclone No. 8 warning signal is hoisted or the rainstorm black warning is issued, or during a major emergency situation, an emergency duty centre will be set up at the Buildings Department office.

8

Professional officers will be on duty round-the-clock at the centre to provide and co-ordinate expeditious professional services to handle dangerous buildings, private slopes, scaffolding, or advertising signs.

Noting that the emergency system had been functioning for more than 20 years, Mr Ng said that it would be reviewed from time to time to see how best the services can be improved.

"Through its 24-hour emergency services, the Buildings Department undertakes to provide a safe and healthy building environment for our community," he said.

End

Late payment of wages incurs fine *****

Labour Department today (Saturday) reminded employers that wages have to be paid at the end of a wage period and in any case not later than seven days thereafter.

Sonic Asia Limited was recently fined $40,000 in Sha Tin Magistracy for not paying wages to an employee within the statutory period.

Acting Senior Labour Officer (Prosecutions), Mrs Tonia Leung, said section 25 of the Employment Ordinance stipulated that on termination of employment, wages and any other sums due should be paid to the employee on the day of termination and in any case, not later than seven days after termination of employment.

"Moreover, under section 23 of the ordinance, wages are due at the end of the wage period, and must be paid on expiry of the wage period and in any case, not later than seven days after the end of the period," she added.

Any employer who fails to comply with these provisions commits an offence which upon conviction may incur a fine of $200,000 and one year's imprisonment.

"Employees whose wages are not paid within the statutory period could approach the Labour Relations Service for advice and assistance," Mrs Leung said.

End

9

Seminar to promote sound building management ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Members of Owners' Corporation (OCs) and Mutual Aid Committees (MACs) as well as residents and various government departments should work together closely to promote sound and effective building management, Wan Chai District Officer, Mrs Elaine Tang, said today (Saturday).

Speaking at the closing of the 1996 Wan Chai Building Management Seminar, Mrs Tang said the Wan Chai District Office and Wan Chai District Board had all along taken steps to promote building management.

"The District Office organised for the first time a workshop in September to share with OCs and residents in Wan Chai the concepts of good building management," she said.

"I hope the seminar in these two days would further increase participants’ understanding and encourage their adoption of correct building management techniques."

During the seminar, representatives from the Fire Services Department, a lift company, the Hong Kong Electric Company, the Buildings Department, a survey company and the Urban Services Department, and a lawyer, each gave a talk on building management from their professional perspective to more than 200 residents as well as members of OCs and MACs.

Topics discussed included fire precautions, lift maintenance and repairs, examination of electrical installations, unauthorised buildings works, major building repair works, environmental hygiene, deed of mutual covenant and Building Management Ordinance.

The two-day seminar was jointly organised by Wan Chai District Office and Wan Chai District Board's Environmental Improvement Committee with the aim of raising participants' awareness of effective building management.

End

- 10 -

Tsing Yi Fire Station open day * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Tsing Yi Fire Station will be open to members of the public from 10 am to 5 pm tomorrow (Sunday).

The open day is part of the Fire Services Department's effort to promote the 1996/97 Fire Prevention Campaign.

Members of the public visiting the fire station will have a chance to learn more about fire prevention.

They can see various types of modern fire appliances such as hydraulic platform, major pump and turntable ladder.

They can also see various kinds of fire-fighting and rescue equipment, including fireman's chemical protection suit, thermal imaging camera and defibrillator.

Two fire-fighting and rescue demonstrations by firemen will take place at 10.30 am and 3 pm respectively.

There will be a set of display boards on fire safety advice. A video tape on fire prevention in industrial premises will also be shown.

Officers from the department's Fire Protection Bureau will be on hand to give fire safety advice and to distribute information leaflets to visitors.

Tsing Yi Fire Station is located at 11 Tsing Yi Heung Sze Wui Road, Tsing Yi.

Meanwhile, Tai Po Fire Station will hold an open day on December 15 (Sunday) in support of the fire prevention campaign.

Wong Tai Sin Fire Station and Sai Wan Ho Fire Station will also be open to members of the public in January and February.

End

11

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

Time Cumulative change

Opening balance in the account 4155 MN 0930 HR +550 MN

Closing balance in the account 4860 MN 1000 HR +550 MN

Change attributable to: 1100 HR +550 MN

Money market activity +550 MN 1130 HR +550 MN

LAF today + 155 MN

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.9 *+0.2* 7.12.96

Closed December 7, 1996

End

12

Governor’s Letter to Hong Kong ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

The following is the broadcast of the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, on Radio Television Hong Kong's "Letter to Hong Kong" this (Sunday) morning:

Later this week, the first Chief Executive of the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong will be selected. It will be a proud moment for him, a proud moment for his family, and a proud moment for Hong Kong.

The winner will have gone through a long and, I'm sure, often demanding selection process. But I'm equally sure that he will be pleased that the process didn’t exclude public questioning and public campaigning. The candidates have had to say where they stand on the issues. They’ve had to get out into the community - meeting interest groups and political parties, seeing problems for themselves, discussing livelihood issues and matters of high politics.

The process is a reflection of how much more open Hong Kong has become. People these days expect to be involved, to have access, to be able to ask questions. I’m sure that expectations of doing things in a more accountable way are here to stay.

I’ve made it clear that once a Chief Executive Designate is chosen, we will extend a warm hand of friendship. We want to co-operate within - naturally enough -the terms of the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. And I believe the whole community will want to see co-operation and a willingness to work together all round. What we are talking about, after all, is securing the good government and the wellbeing of Hong Kong.

I don't wish to appear unrealistic. The Chief Executive and I are not going to be able to agree on everything. For example, he will know our position on the Provisional Legislature. But I for my part will do all in my power to work closely and sensibly with the Chief Executive (Designate) in the interests of Hong Kong.

It will be in that spirit that we'll be offering the Chief Executive an a la carte menu of co-operation and support, not a table d’hote. We don’t want to say, "Here's what we propose - take it or leave it". Nor do we want to overwhelm the Chief Executive with effusive good ideas. He's his own man. He'll have his own plans. His own agenda. His own working style. But I hope that we'll be able to satisfy his requests.

There's one very obvious distinction to make. What happens in Hong Kong after 1997 is his responsibility. It’s for him to answer for that, and for him to determine and shape that. Those are not matters for me, and I won't seek to interfere in them.

13

But what happens before 30th June next year is just as clearly my responsibility. And Article 30 of the Joint Declaration pledges China’s co-operation in my discharge of that responsibility. I intend that Hong Kong should continue to be run as competently and decisively as possible, while being well aware of the ticking of the clock and the passing of the hours.

We’re not in a countdown to the end of good government in Hong Kong. It's my duty to ensure that Hong Kong is well run before the middle of next year in order to make certain that the government after that has a secure and broad foundation. Good government in Hong Kong, good government anywhere, can’t be turned on and off like a car engine.

The foundations today - just taking a rain check on where we’ve got to - are in good shape. Who predicted a few years ago that the economy would be as strong today as it is? Our institutions are also very healthy - the civil service, the police, the courts system. We’ve got a comprehensive network of community programmes. We’re investing heavily in our infrastructure. Crime is falling. All of that doesn’t mean that there are no problems ahead. There are. The Chief Executive candidates themselves have focused on some of these. We have to go on working away at our competitiveness. We have to address new social needs when they arise. But we’re well placed to tackle those issues. There’s money in the bank - and a lot of international goodwill, too.

So while the Chief Executive will have one of the toughest jobs in the world, he’s going to be running a thriving city. Hong Kong is a going concern. The job will be a vast challenge for the Chief Executive, but not an impossible one and not a challenge bereft of interest, excitement and sheer enjoyment.

The Chief Executive will also know that the whole community is willing him to do well, that everyone will want him to make a big success of the job. Because his success will be Hong Kong’s success. That is a source of great strength and should help him to take all those decisions that will help to convince Hong Kong opinion and international opinion that Hong Kong is going to remain free, largely autonomous, stable and prosperous.

There’s one other issue that I want to mention this morning in order to put some doubts that arose this week to rest. Let me repeat today what I told the Legislative Council on Thursday afternoon. British passports received under the British Nationality Selection Scheme - the BNSS - are identical to British citizen passports received through any other route. They are the same passports as my passport or John Major's passport. The British Government draws no distinction whatsoever between passports acquired under the BNSS and British citizen passports acquired in any other way - and nor, after 30 June next year, will the British Consulate-General in Hong Kong.

14

What is the issue that has caused anxiety this week? It is whether holders of BNSS passports would receive consular protection from the British Consulate-General in Hong Kong after 1997. People are worried that because they hold passports acquired under the BNSS rather than in any other way, that an official at the door of the Consulate would turn them away. That is not true. As far as Britain and the British Consulate are concerned, a British citizen is a British citizen, full stop. It doesn't matter how you got your passport, and officials at the Consulate will not ask that question.

It is the case - and this is a matter of international law - that those who hold dual nationality are not entitled to receive formal consular protection in the country or territory of their second nationality. This limitation, which Britain accepts, applies to all British citizens regardless of how they acquired their citizenship. A note about it is printed in every single British passport, including mine. But that docs not mean that Britain will regard any BNSS recipient seeking consular protection at the British Consulate as automatically being a dual national. The officials at the Consulate will. I repeat, not know whether someone is a BNSS recipient from his or her passport, and they will not ask. As far as they are concerned, it is completely irrelevant. If you present yourself at the Consulate with a British citizen passport, claiming to be a solely British citizen, then the Consulate will accept that at face value and act on your behalf - unless it is presented with acceptable evidence of dual nationality, such as an SAR passport. And what if you do have dual nationality? In that case, the Consulate will not just wash its hands and turn you away. It is true that it won't be able, formally, to assist you. Note the word formally. Il can and will do everything it can to help - just as Britain does today when Hong Kong residents get into difficulty, for example in China.

So. let me repeat. BNSS passport holders will get exactly the same treatment from the British Consulate - whether dual nationals or not - as every single British passport holder around the world from Panama to Papua New Guinea. I hope that we can set those anxieties to rest.

End

15

Public invited to attend hearing on Metro Broadcast *****

Members of the public are invited to attend a hearing for the mid-term review of Metro Broadcast’s sound broadcasting licence.

The public hearing, to be organised by the Broadcasting Authority, will take place at Studio Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, from 7 pm to 10 pm on Wednesday (December 11).

The licence of Metro Broadcast Corporation Limited was first granted in 1991 for a term of 12 years, expiring in 2003. "The licence carries a condition providing its renewal by the Governor in Council on a date not before June 1, 1997,” a spokesman for the Broadcasting Authority said.

”As the statutory body regulating the commercial broadcasters in Hong Kong, the Authority will evaluate the licensee’s performance against the various statutory requirements and licence conditions and consider whether to recommend any changes to these conditions,” he added.

The hearing will concentrate mainly on the station’s performance in the areas of programming and advertising. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided.

”We call on members of the community to come forward to express their views on how well the licensee has performed in these two areas," he said.

The Chairman of the Broadcasting Authority, Sir Roger Lobo, and the Commissioner for Television and Entertainment Licensing, Mr Eddy Chan, will address the opening of the hearing. The Deputy Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport, Mrs Rita Lau, will also be present.

Further enquiries can be made at the Office of the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority at 2594 5725.

End

16

Discussions on AIDS services development *****

Provision of services to people living with HIV/AIDS in Hong Kong was discussed at the first meeting of the new term of AIDS Services Development Committee of the Advisory Council on AIDS (ACA) held recently.

At the meeting, the committee supported the Government’s aim of integrating AIDS services into other health programmes in Hong Kong, through the establishment of suitable health care services.

Members were concerned about objections against the Kowloon Bay Primary Health Care Centre and Nursing Home for the Elderly.

They understood that this might result in unnecessary delay in the provision of much needed services planned for people living with HIV/AIDS and those with other health needs.

The committee also noted the progress made by Hospital Authority and the community in planning for the provision of hospice care to people living with HIV/AID. This point would be reviewed by the committee from time to time.

The AIDS Services Development Committee is one of the three committees under the ACA. The chairman of the new term committee is Dr Homer Tso, who has been appointed to ACA since 1993.

The terms of reference of the committee are:

to recommend on the strategy of developing clinical and support services for HIV infected individuals in Hong Kong;

* to co-ordinate available services and facilitate their accessibility to people with HIV/AIDS and their relatives who require them; and

* to evaluate the quality and availability of AIDS services in the territory.

End

17

ED’s new performance pledges launched ♦ ♦ * * *

The Education Department has launched its new performance pledges with new targets and services to further improve its efficiency.

I’he department pledges to provide immigrant children from China aged between six and 15, who have arrived in Hong Kong for less than one year, with special programmes to adapt to the school environment.

Another new target is to set up by stages an information system in public sector schools.

It is expected to extend the computer network to about 1,100 schools and offered 40,000 computer training places to school staff before September 1998.

The department further commits to help children seeking admission to public sector schools up to Secondary Three by arranging the first interview within 14 working days and admission within three months.

The department also pledges to issue teacher registration certificates or teaching permits between January and August within 25 working days, shortened by three days.

The period committed to complete processing of applications for provisional school registration between December and July is also shortened from 30 to 25 working days.

Among other pledges for teachers, the department is committed to provide training and resources to support new initiatives for quality school education.

In order to serve the public better, the department also provides fact sheets, leaflets and booklets on its major services and response promptly to telephone enquiries.

If replies cannot be provided immediately, the department will return call as soon as possible and in any case within two working days.

The department launched its performance pledges in 1993. Since then most of the targets have been achieved.

Enquiries should be directed to the department’s Serving the Community Section on 2961 7435.

End

18

Injured employees should be duly paid *****

The Labour Department today (Sunday) reminded employers that periodical payment for an injured employee have to be paid within seven days after the due day for payment.

The principal contractor and the employers of two injured employees, who had sustained injuries in a construction site in Kennedy Road, were recently fined a total of $73,500 in Eastern Magistracy for failing to pay periodical payments within the statutory period.

Labour Officer (Prosecutions), Mr Raymond Ho. said that under section 10 of the Employees' Compensation Ordinance, injured employees are entitled to receive periodical payments calculate at the rate of two-thirds of the monthly earnings at the time of accidents on their normal pay-days.

Failure to comply with this provision is liable to a maximum fine of $100,000 with effect from July 1, 1996.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Monday, December 9,1996

Contents EageHo.

More analytical information on residential property market................ 1

LBAC discusses property market............................................ 2

Measures to attract people to join construction industry............ 4

Draft Registered Designs Bill issued for consultation............... 4

Full honour funeral service for fire-fighter........................ 6

Appointments to the Education Commission announced.................. 8

More views on TDS Review and Town Planning White Bill sought........ 9

Junk Bay Columbarium opens.......................................... 10

Better fire protection for residents................................ 11

Labour Department improves services to the public................... 12

Four reports on 1996 Population By-Census published................. 14

Dog Unit gets new home at Stanley Prison............................ 15

Water storage figure................................................ 16

Smooth implementation of Real Time Gross Settlement system.......... 16

Tender for the tenth issue of 5-year Exchange Fund Notes............ 17

Hong Kong Monetary Authority Interbank Liquidity.................... 19

1

More analytical information on residential property market

*****

The Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic Wong, today (Monday) said the Government had decided to form an inter-departmental group with the task of analysing the residential property market situation in view of the recent concern over the alleged speculative activities, particularly in the luxury flats market.

Mr Wong said the Government was also concerned about the alleged speculative activities, especially their possible impact on the massive end-users’ market.

The inter-departmental group, to be led by the Housing Branch, will include representatives from the Planning, Environment and Lands Branch, Finance Branch, Rating and Valuation Department, Land Registry and the Inland Revenue Department dealing with property stamp duties.

Mr Wong said that in the past two-and-a-half years, the Government had already made much more land available for residential development. He expected flat supply from 1998 onwards would increase steadily, and the improved situation would in itself stabilise the residential property market.

”In parallel, we will continue to make available sufficient land for housing development so as to meet demand,” he added.

"Before we have more analytical information, it would not be appropriate for us at this stage to consider or talk about taking any further action.”

Mr Wong said that as Hong Kong is a free market economy, he hoped that market forces would operate in a healthy manner.

-5 -

^•End

2

LBAC discusses property market *****

The Land and Building Advisory Committee (LBAC) discussed the recent speculation activities in the property market and the Government's move to speed up land exchange and lease modifications cases today (Monday).

Chaired by Dr Cheng Hon-kwan, the Committee expressed concern about the recent speculative activities in the property market, especially in respect of luxury flats.

The Committee noted that Government had set up a working group to analyse the market situation and the effect of the speculation activities on end users.

Dr Cheng said, "We think an increase in land supply for housing will be very helpful. We also need to examine the situation carefully and identify the crux of the problem before making any decision which may have implications on the free market.

"The Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands has undertaken to identify more land for housing development.

"As a related issue, we understand that the estimated number of flats to be produced from land transactions executed by Government in 1996 is about 45,000. Together with the land transactions taken place in the private sector, about 60 000 flats could be produced. This figure is encouraging as compared with those of the last few years.

"The Committee also suggests Government to critically review their industrial land policy in view of the shift of the manufacturing industry to China.

"We understand that at present the Government has been rezoning and giving approvals to applications to convert old or obsolete industrial sites to other uses and will continue to do so where circumstances permit.

"The Government is also conducting a study on the future demand of industrial land. As a move to meet the pressing need for housing, we think the rezoning of not just part of the old industrial areas but also land reserved for industrial use would be helpful," said Dr Cheng.

The Committee also noted that the Lands Department had recently conducted a consultancy study with a view to expediting and improving the processing of land exchanges and lease modifications.

3

The study has recommended a number of measures including simplified process, more pro-active handling and managed target time-scales, enhanced training programmes for staff, further delegation of authority to approve certain minor cases and more computer-assisted support and information system.

"We are glad to hear that the Government has implemented most of the recommendations. We shall closely monitor the results of these new measures to ensure that the processing of such applications will be streamlined and expedited. This will be conducive to the production of more housing units within a shorter period of time," said Dr Cheng.

The Committee also noted the latest codes on fire safety standards devised by the Building Authority.

The Committee understood that the Government regularly reviewed and updated the codes on fire safety.

One of the major changes in the latest updating exercise is that the Building Authority may accept the use of a "fire engineering approach" as an alternative to the conventional approach of adhering to the prescriptive provisions stipulated in the Codes.

Where certain prescribed requirements cannot be met due to design or other constraints, fire engineering approach provides a framework for practitioners to make up for any deficient prescribed requirements, by bringing up the standards in other safety requirements.

Dr Cheng said: "To assist the building industry in designing building proposals to comply with the revised requirements, a committee consisting of various professional institutes and the Building Authority was established to formulate guidelines on application of the requirements. The recommendations of the committee will be incorporated into a practice note to provide guidance for building professionals.

**' '■>. 1/ • • ■

"We note that Government has introduced the Fire Safety (Commercial Premises) Bill to the Legislative Council in May this year. We look forward to the early enactment of this Bill which will empower Government to seek improvements in fire safety measures," said Dr Cheng.

End

4

Measures to attract people to join construction industry ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, today (Monday) welcomed the joint initiative by the Hong Kong Construction Association (HKCA) and the Construction Industry Training Authority (CITA) to encourage local workers to join the construction industry.

"Their initiative in encouraging people to take part in the training courses being offered for the trades of 'Formwork Carpenter' and 'Reinforcement Bar Bender' is commendable," said Mr Wong.

"I am also happy to see that not only will the trainees receive a monthly allowance, but also that the HKCA and CITA will assist them to obtain employment. The Government welcomes this commitment by the construction industry to create more jobs and enhanced employment opportunities," he added.

"To offer training to local workers is the right approach to address labour shortage. I hope the new initiative will succeed and the HKCA and CITA will expand the scheme to other trades where necessary. In addition, consideration should be given to offer training to more mature workers who may also want to join the construction industry," said Mr Wong.

End

Draft Registered Designs Bill issued for consultation ♦ ♦ * * *

A draft Registered Designs Bill and a consultation paper on the Bill were issued for consultation last Saturday (December 7).

The Government issued a draft Registered Designs Bill to a number of organisations, including design owners and users in the relevant sectors as well as those in the professional and academic fields for their comments.

The consultation will last for four weeks until January 6, 1997.

5

A spokesman for the Trade and Industry Branch said: "The draft Registered Designs Bill is in line with prevailing international standards on intellectual property rights protection, such as the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) under the World Trade Organisation, and the relevant international intellectual property conventions.

"In preparing the draft Bill, we have taken into account the recommendations made by the Law Reform Commission in its report (January 1994) on reform of the law relating to copyright, which was formulated after extensive consultations.

"The draft Bill also reflects the agreement reached in the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group in November 1995 on localisation of law proposals.

"The Basic Law provides that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government shall formulate its own policies on and protect by law intellectual property rights. This draft Registered Designs Bill will provide a modem, local and independent registered design system in Hong Kong", the spokesman added.

Some of the main legislative proposals include:

A design will be registrable if it is new.

Any original owner of a design is entitled to file an application for design registration.

Hong Kong will establish an independent Designs Registry. The proposed Hong Kong design protection system requires no substantive examination. There will be a formality examination only.

The period of protection of a design registered with Hong Kong Designs Registry will be for an initial period of five years. Registration may be extended for four periods of five years each upon payment of the prescribed renewal fee. The maximum duration of protection therefore will be 25 years.

After the commencement of the new law, designs already registered in the United Kingdom will be deemed as Hong Kong registered designs for continuity.

"We will be inviting the organisations we are consulting to attend a seminar to be held on December 16 from 4 pm to 6 pm in the Conference Hall of the New Annexe, Central Government Offices.

6

"The Government plans to introduce the Bill into the Legislative Council in February 1997. The Bill has been accorded priority by the Government for enactment before July 1997,” the spokesman added.

The consultation document in English and Chinese together with the draft Bill in English, can be obtained on the Internet at http://www.houston.com.hk/hkgipd/designs.html.

End

Full honour funeral service for fire-fighter *****

An official funeral service for the late Senior Fireman, Liu Chi-hung, was held with full honour outside the Cheung Sha Wan Fire Station today (Monday).

Mr Liu died while actively fighting a No 5 alarm fire at Garley Building, 233-239 Nathan Road, on November 20.

The coffin, on board an old-modelled fire appliance and draped with the Union Jack, was accompanied by six pall-bearers first proceeded to Garley Building where the fire broke out for an "on scene" ceremony. Representatives of local communities paid the last respect to the deceased and rituals were performed.

The cortege then arrived at the Cheung Sha Wan Fire Station at 10.30 am.

A Fire Service contingent of 51 members from various formations paraded outside the Fire Station when the cortege was approaching.

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten; the Director of Fire Services, Mr Peter Cheung; representatives from various government departments and community dignitaries laid wreaths and paid the last respect to the late Senior Fireman.

On completion of the wreath laying in front of the hearse, the Fire Station sounded the "last alarm" bell in the sequence of four distinct rings - three three-second and one 3O-second.

An escort contingent of two Senior Station Officers and 20 firemen from the Kowloon Command marched alongside the hearse in two equal files on the outside of the pall-bearers. Each file was led by a Senior Station Officer.

7

Two pipers from the Royal Hong Kong Police Force played the ’’Funeral March” until the completion of the official ceremony.

The cortege then left the Station for Gallant Garden, Wo Hop Shek Cemetery, for the burial service.

On arrival at Gallant Garden, the cortege was met by the Director of Fire Services, his aides and the Police bugler.

The pall-bearers stood to attention as the undertakers removed the coffin from the hearse.

The escort contingent then dismounted and each took a wreath to stand attention along the route leading to the grave yard.

The Police bugler sounded the ’’Last Post” upon completion of the religious burial service.

To show respect to the deceased, all Fire Services flags on the Department’s premises and fire boats are flown at half mast from 8 am until 6 pm today.

The following is a brief biography of the late Senior Fireman 4818 Liu Chi-hung:

The late Mr Liu Chi-hung was bom on December 23, 1955. He joined the Fire Services Department as Fireman in 1977 and was promoted to Senior Fireman in August 1988. During his 19 years of service, He had served in Lei Muk Shue Fire Station, Kwai Chung Fire Station and Cheung Sha Wan Fire Station.

Mr Liu Chi-hung was a diligent and courageous service member and had been well respected for his devotion to duty. Proof of his good work is evidenced by the award to him of the Colonial Fire Brigades Long Service Medal in 1995.

Mr Liu Chi-hung died at the age of 41, during his splendid and dedicated operation against a No 5 alarm fire at Garley Building on November 20, 1996. He was single up to the time of his death.

End

8

Appointments to the Education Commission announced ♦ * * * ♦

The Government today (Monday) announced the appointments to the Education Commission for its next term of office with effect from January 1,1997.

Professor Rosie Young has been re-appointed as the Chairman for a further year.

Professor Cheng Kai-ming, Ms Sansan Ching, Mr Peter Lee, Mr Tai Hay-lap, Mr Andrew Leung and Sister Margaret Wong, whose tenure of membership will expire on December 31 1996, have also been re-appointed for a further term of one year.

Three new members have been appointed. They are Professor Kenneth Young, Mrs Judy Chua and Mr Yeung Yiu-chung.

Professor Kenneth Young is the Dean of the Graduate School and also one of the Pro-Vice Chancellors of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He has been a member of the University Grants Committee since 1993.

Mrs Judy Chua is the Headmistress of the St Stephen Girls' Primary School and a member of the Educational Aims Implementation Sub-committee of the Board of Education. She is also serving on a number of sub-committees of the Curriculum Development Council.

Mr Yeung Yiu-chung is the Principal of Heung To Middle School and the President of the Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers.

Other Commission Members include the Hon Cheung Man-kwong, Mr Irving Koo, Mr Mak Kwai-po, Mr Michael Tien and Mr Benjamin Wong.

Ex-officio members of the Commission include the Chairmen of the Advisory Committee on Teacher Education and Qualifications (Professor the Hon Felix Lieh-Mak), the Board of Education (Mr Moses Cheng), the University Grants Committee (Mr Antony Leung) and the Vocational Training Council (Dr the Hon Samuel Wong), and the Director of Education.

End

9

More views on TDS Review and Town Planning White Bill sought

* ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Planning Department today (Monday) reminded members of the public to express their views on the Territorial Development Strategy (TDS) Review 1996 and the Town Planning White Bill before the public consultations end this month.

The TDS Review and the White Bill were released separately in July this year for public comments up to the end of December this year.

Consultation documents were published to let people understand more about the topics and to encourage them to express their opinions, according to a spokesman for the Planning Department.

"About 30,000 copies of the bilingual Consultative Digest on the TDS Review and over 9,000 copies of the Consultation Paper on the Bill have been collected.

"We have also published a bilingual leaflet outlining the main points of the TDS Review for collection in a series of 10 exhibitions launched in October throughout the territory. The exhibitions were well received with over 140,000 visitors," he said.

Seminars and talks for professional bodies, briefings for Legislative Councillors, district boards members, trade associations and media representatives had been organised.

"More than 50 and 30 of such functions were held respectively for the TDS Review and the White Bill," said the spokesman, adding that he expected more written submissions to arrive towards the end of the consultation period.

"All views and comments will be carefully considered and analysed before we finalise the TDS Review and proposals on the White Bill," he stressed.

The TDS Review was prepared to create a broad land use-transport-environmental framework within the context of existing policies and standards, so as to provide a basis for the preparation of more detailed plans and programmes to meet the development needs of Hong Kong up to 2011.

10

The Town Planning White Bill, on the other hand, seeks to make the statutory planning process more open and accountable to the public, to streamline procedures and enhance efficiency. It gives more emphasis on environmental and urban design considerations, add certainty to the planning system and enhance effectiveness in planning control.

Views on the TDS Review and the Town Planning White Bill should be sent in writing before December 31, 1996 to the Planning Department, 16th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong (Fax: 2877 0389 or E-mail: orta@pland.gcn.gov.hk).

End

Junk Bay Columbarium opens ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The seventh and largest columbarium directly administered by the Board of Management of the Chinese Permanent Cemeteries was opened today (Monday) in Junk Bay Chinese Permanent Cemetery.

The aesthetically designed project soared over eight stories on a gentle slope overlooking the tranquil waters of Junk Bay. Occupying a total floor area of more than 14,800 square metres, it has over 57,000 niches.

Speaking after unveiling a memorial plaque marking the official opening of the columbarium, the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, who is also ex-officio Chairman of the Board, said the project site has room for future expansion, noting that it is relatively distant from densely populated areas.

Mr Suen added that Phase I of the columbarium, which took 15 months to complete at a cost of $140 million on December 15, 1995, would provide 38.5 per cent of the 149,000 niches in the seven columbaria administered by the Board.

Mr Suen also noted that a special area has been designated in the columbarium prohibiting the burning of joss sticks and joss papers. This is to accommodate those people, particularly the Catholics and the Christians, who refrain from such acts in paying respects to their deceased relatives.

11

Commenting on the white-tiled structure, Mr Suen observed: "The predominantly white and pink colours of the building should impart a warm feeling to visitors and make them feel at ease while in the foyer at the entrance is a pair of granite murals depicting flocks of crane flying towards heaven. The murals symbolise the transition from the material world to the eternal paradise.

"From the spacious entrance foyer extending to the north and south wings, the open design of the columbarium provides natural ventilation and allows for mercurial play of light throughout the day to the interior.

"The landscape deck features a progression of planters and colonnades that leads to a traditional Chinese pavilion, creating an ambience of dignity and serenity while the north and south wings stretch gently to the sky like a bird," Mr Suen said.

The Sai Kung District Officer, Mr Tony Dickinson, was also present at the ceremony along with about 100 invited guest representatives of other government departments and companies involved in the project and local community leaders.

End

Better fire protection for residents *****

Fire protection for central Hong Kong and Hong Kong east has improved tremendously since the commissioning of Tung Lo Wan Fire Station last May.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the fire station today (Monday), the Director of Fire Services, Mr Peter Cheung, pointed out that the station had provided fire cover for the vacuum area between North Point Fire Station and Wan Chai Fire Station.

"Before the station's commissioning, travelling time of fire appliances attending fire calls from this area frequently exceeded the target set out in our performance pledge.

"With the new station in service, the average travelling time of fire appliances attending fire calls in the area is about four minutes, which is indeed a great improvement." Mr Cheung said.

12

The fire station has attended more than 200 fire calls and over 150 special service incidents since its commissioning on May 27.

Mr Cheung noted that two ambulances were also stationed in Tung Lo Wan Fire Station to provide better ambulance services to residents in Causeway Bay and Wan Chai.

Tung Lo Wan Fire Station, a modern station cost about $30 million, is provided with three fire appliances and manned by 75 fire personnel.

The Fire Services Department at present operates 65 fire stations and plans to commission three more in 1997.

End

Labour Department improves services to the public *****

The Labour Department will further improve its services to the public by adding six new pledges on performance standards and targets to its Performance Pledge 1997, said the Commissioner for labour, Miss Jacqueline Willis.

Speaking at a press conference on "Serving the Community Week" and "Performance Pledge 1997" today (Monday), Miss Willis said these additional standards and targets were under the service areas of employment service for able-bodied and disabled job-seekers, promotion of industrial safety, and also the adjudication of minor employment claims by the Minor Employment Claims Adjudication Board.

These new targets are as follows:

* To provide written guidelines to able-bodied job-seekers for employment assistance;

♦ To entertain immediately requests from non-governmental organisations and schools for free loan service of videos from Selective Placement Division;

13

To serve a Suspension Notice within 24 hours after issuing to a proprietor a Notice of Intention to prohibit hazardous work or process in an industrial undertaking;

lo lift the Suspension Notice within 24 hours upon verifying the compliance with the notice by the proprietor;

To arrange appointments for filing claims with Minor Employment Claims Adjudication Board within one week upon telephone request from claimants; and

* To conduct adjudication of employment claims within six weeks.

She said other services already covered in 1996 were also included in the Performance Pledge 1997.

"These include conciliation of labour disputes, promotion of labour relations, protection of wages on insolvency, registration of trade unions and pressure equipment, employees’ compensation, licensing of employment agencies, attestation of contracts for employment outside Hong Kong, careers guidance for young people, administration of the importation of labour schemes as well as the General Enquiry Telephone Services."

Miss Willis said that during the first eight months of 1996, on the average over 99 per cent of all the cases handled met the pledged standards.

"Indeed, out of a total of 37 targets, 30 targets scored 100 per cent achievement during the period. I am glad to say that so far we have not received any complaint on non-fulfilment of pledges."

During the Serving the Community Week, the Labour Department has organised eight activities and they included:

* Games stall at Serving Community Carnival at Fa Hui Park;

* Reaching Out Day at New Town Plaza;

* Seminar on the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance and the Sex and Disability Discrimination Ordinances for about 300 personnel managers;

Tour of four Labour Department branch offices by the Customers Liaison Group to select the Best Customer Service Office;

14

Seminar on "Boilers and Pressure Vessels Safety and Technical Development";

* Careers seminar on open employment for disabled students;

Presentation of the Customer Service Awards to two Labour Department front-line staff by the Governor; and

* Presentation of 90 awards to winners of the Staff Motivation Scheme and Staff Suggestion Scheme.

A newly published bilingual booklet on "Labour Department Performance Pledge 1997" are now available for collection at all Labour Department offices and district offices of the Home Affairs Department.

End

Four reports on 1996 Population By-Census published *****

Four reports based on the results of the 1996 Population By-census were published by the Census and Statistics Department today (Monday).

They are:

Tables for District Board Districts and Constituency Areas: Population by Age and Sex;

* Tables for Tertiary Planning Units: Population by Age and Sex;

* Tables for District Board Districts and Constituency Areas: Quarters.

Households and Population by Type of Quarters; and

Tables for Tertiary Planning Units: Quarters, Households and Population by Type of Quarters.

Their prices are $22. $15, $20 and $16 respectively.

15

The reports present detailed statistics on the population and household characteristics by District Board Districts and their Constituency Areas as well as by Tertiary Planning Units.

Maps showing the boundaries of District Board Districts and Constituency Areas and those of Tertiary Planning Units are also published separately in the form of map packs.

They are entitled "Boundary Maps Complementary to Tables for District Board Districts and Constituency Areas" and "Boundary Maps Complementary to Tables for Tertiary Planning Units" and are priced at $88 and $144 respectively.

These four reports and two map packs, all of which are in bilingual form, are now on sale. Purchases can be made at the Government Publications Centre, ground floor. Lower Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.

They are also available at the Publications Unit, Census and Statistics Department, 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

The publications follow the report on Summary Results, released last month, as part of the publication programme of the by-census results. More reports are forthcoming in stages.

End

Dog Unit gets new home at Stanley Prison ♦ * ♦ * *

The Correctional Services Department's Dog Unit at the Stanley Prison area has a new home for the 28 canines who provide search and security cover to the maximum security prison as well as the medium security prison at Tung Tau Correctional Institution, and the general vicinity.

The new Kennel Complex of the Unit was officially opened today (Monday) at a ceremony performed by the Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Raymond Lai Ming-kee.

The Kennel Complex has been built inside Stanley Prison as part of the Redevelopment Project of the Stanley area and was designed and constructed by the Architectural Services Department.

16

The old kennel, located near Tung Tau Correctional Institution, has been pulled down to make way for the redevelopment of the institution.

Established in 1989, the CSD Dog Unit now has a total of 40 dogs.

The Department’s second dog unit, with 12 canines, is stationed at Ma Po Ping Prison on Lantau Island.

End

Water storage figure ♦ * * ♦ ♦

Storage in Hong Kong’s reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 91.5 per cent of capacity or 536.230 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 555.21 1 million cubic metres of water, representing 94.7 per cent of capacity.

End

Smooth implementation of Real l ime Gross Settlement system ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system was launched smoothly today (Monday, December 9) after three years of preparation.

A total of 11,712 CHATS (Clearing House Automatic Transfer System) payment transactions, involving $319 billion, were completed during the day.

Nearly 300 debt securities transactions (involving $12.3 billion) were also processed and successfully completed by the Central Moneymarkets Unit (CMU) of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and, for the first time, making use of the DvP (Delivery versus Payment) arrangement.

17

During the course of the day, the performance of the system was stable and satisfactory. The response time for CHATS and CMU transactions and enquiries was also satisfactory.

Banks made good use of the intraday repurchase (repo) facility to obtain intraday liquidity. The amount of intraday repo done during the day was $25 billion. Banks borrowed $900 million from and placed $6.2 billion with the HKMA through Liquidity Adjustment Facility. Net injection by the HKMA into the banking system was $1.9 billion. The closing aggregate balance of all Settlement Accounts was $3 billion.

End

Tender for the tenth issue of 5-year Exchange Fund Notes *****

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority announced today (Monday) that the tender for the tenth issue of 5-year Exchange Fund Notes will be held on December 16, 1996 (Monday), for settlement on, December 17, 1996 (Tuesday).

Similar to the previous issue, an amount of HK$500 million 5-year Notes will be on offer. In addition to that, another HK$100 million will be held as reserve by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority for supply to Market Makers in the secondary market. The Notes will mature on December 17, 2001 and will carry interest at the rate of 6.57% per annum payable semi-annually in arrears.

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

18

HONG KONG MONETARY AUTHORITY EXCHANGE FUND NOTE PROGRAMME TENDER INFORMATION

Tender information for the tenth issue of 5-Year Exchange Fund Notes

Issue Number : 5112

Tender Date and Time : Monday 16 December 1996, 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Issue and Settlement Date : Tuesday 17 December 1996

Amount on Offer : HKS500 million plus an additional HK$100 million as reserve stock for the Monetary Authority

Maturity : Five years

Maturity Date : 17 December 2001

Interest Rate : 6.57% per annum payable semi-annually in arrears

Interest Payment Dates : 17 Jun 1997, 17 Dec 1997, 17 Jun 1998, 17 Dec 1998, 17 Jun 1999, 17 Dec 1999, 19 Jun 2000, 18 Dec 2000, 18 Jun 2001, 17 Dec 2001

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

Hong Kong Monetary Authority Interbank Liquidity

*****

AGGREGATE BALANCE OF SETTLEMENT

TIME ACCOUNTS

OPENING AGGREGATE BALANCE 4860 MN 0930 HR 28,868 MN

CLOSING AGGREGATE BALANCE 3080 MN 1000 HR 28,984 MN

CHANGE ATTRIBUTABLE TO : 1100 HR 34,772 MN

MONEY MARKET ACTIVITY 1933 MN 1200 HR 42,153 MN

LAF REVERSAL +1615 MN 1500 HR 43,396 MN

LAF TODAY - 5328 MN 1600 HR 42,420 MN

LAF RATE 4.00% BID/6.00% OFFER TWI 124.9 *+0.0* 9.12.96

HONG KONG MONETARY AUTHORITY

EF BILLS EF NOTES/MTRC NOTES

Terms Yield Terms Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.03 2 years 2811 5.72 100.30 5.63

1 month 4.27 3 years 3910 6.28 100.88 6.02

3 months 4.56 5 years 5109 7.32 103.24 6.61

6 months 4.82 7 years 7311 6.80 99.82 6.95

12 months 5.12 10 years 1610 7.37 102.21 7.18

5 years M503 7.35 102.10 6.93

TOTAL TURNOVER OF EF BILLS AND NOTES - $12,289 MN

CLOSED DECEMBER 9, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Tuesday, December 10,1996

Contents Page

UN Committee issues concluding observations.................................. 1

More student hostels for UGC-fimded institutions............................. 2

243 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flights............................... 4

Monitors’ report submitted to Chief Secretary................................ 4

32 new building plans approved in October.................................... 4

Seminar on handling of chemicals and chemical wastes......................... 5

Drug education courses for secondary school teachers......................... 6

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results.................................. 7

Bulk clearing payments go through RTGS system................................ 9

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity............................ 10

1

UN Committee issues concluding observations *****

The United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has issued its concluding observations and recommendations on the treatment of economic, social and cultural rights in Hong Kong.

The report is published following the Committee’s examination of the United Kingdom's third periodic report on Hong Kong under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Geneva on November 26-28. A Hong Kong team led by the Solicitor General attended the hearing as part of the United Kingdom delegation.

A Government spokesman welcomed the Committee’s recognition of the measures the Government had taken in recent years to secure and improve the enjoyment in Hong Kong of the rights enshrined in the Covenant.

"The Government has worked hard to realize the economic, social and cultural rights contained in the Covenant," he said.

The spokesman said that the Government was pleased by the Committee's acknowledgement of the quality of the report and the written information provided which had resulted in a constructive dialogue with the Committee.

"I am sure that the Committee will have been impressed by the awareness and value placed on the rights enshrined in the Covenant in Hong Kong and the importance that is attached to the process of reporting to the Committee," he said.

The spokesman noted that the Committee had raised a number of important issues.

On the continued application of the Covenant in Hong Kong and the submission of reports, the spokesman welcomed the Committee's strong support for these to continue after 1997.

"Hong Kong people highly value the protection afforded by the international covenants and the provision that is made in the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law for their continuation beyond 1997. Britain has urged China to work with them to find a solution which will enable reports on Hong Kong under the covenants to continue to be submitted to the United Nations after the handover," he said.

4

- 2 -

The spokesman said that the Government would consider carefully all the points made by the Committee.

"There is much to reflect on in the concerns expressed by the Committee. The Government will wish to examine these points very carefully. We remain committed to securing and improving the enjoyment in Hong Kong of all the rights set out in the Covenant," he said.

Copies of the concluding observations are now available at the Marketing Office of the Information Services Department on the 17th floor, Siu On Centre, 176-192 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai.

End

More student hostels for UGC-funded institutions *****

The Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong announced today (Tuesday) a new policy for the provision of publicly-funded student hostels in the degree-awarding UGC-funded institutions.

"Under this new policy, an additional 11,000 hostel places will be provided in six UGC-funded institutions, including the City University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Baptist University, and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University which have hitherto not been provided with publicly-funded hostels," Mr Wong said.

The following criteria will be used to calculate the level of provision of publicly-funded student hostels -

(i) undergraduate students should be given the opportunity to stay in student hostels for at least one year of their courses;

(ii) all research postgraduate students should be granted student hostel places;

(iii) all non-local students should be granted student hostel places; and

(iv) undergraduate students whose daily travelling time exceeds four hours should be provided with student hostel places throughout their courses.

3

As part of its overall review of the development of higher education in Hong Kong, the UGC has advised that hostel life facilitates the achievement of the objectives of university education. They provide an opportunity for students of different disciplines and backgrounds to meet and participate in extra-curricular activities, thus improving their communication and social skills.

"Based on the UGC's advice, we agree that all undergraduate students should be given an opportunity to stay in a hostel for one year. We also see a specific need for hostels for non-local students, students with long travelling time and research postgraduate students who generally work long and irregular hours.

"Implementation of this policy is of course subject to the availability of suitable sites and the competitive bidding for Government resources in the annual resource allocation exercises. The capital cost to Government of the additional student hostels is $1,636 million at June 1996 prices.

"The Government’s decision underlines our commitment towards the development of higher education in Hong Kong. It is a clear and strong signal that the Government is willing to spend a huge amount of resources if they are considered worthwhile to improve the quality of our university students," Mr Wong said.

Under the new policy, where institutions have obtained 100% private finance of a student hostel project, only one quarter of the number of places involved will be counted against the provision of publicly-funded hostel places. This is in line with the existing policy of requiring institutions to secure private funding towards 25% of the capital cost of the Government-built hostels.

The new policy will not apply to Lingnan College for which a more generous provision of providing hostel places for 50% of its student population was agreed by Government in 1993 in recognition of the College's mission to develop into a small and fully residential liberal arts college serving Hong Kong and the Asia Pacific Region.

End

J

- 4 -

243 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flights

*****

Two groups totalling 243 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) returned by air to Hanoi, Vietnam today (Tuesday) on the 84th and 85th flights under the Orderly Repatriation Programme (ORP).

Most of the returnees, comprising 103 men, 60 women, 47 boys and 33 girls, are from South and Central Vietnam. Only 12 are from North Vietnam.

The majority of the returnees arrived in Hong Kong in 1990, with the remainingin 1989, 1991 and 1996.

The two groups brought to 8,415 the total number repatriated on ORP flights since November 1991.

End

Monitors' report submitted to Chief Secretary *****

The monitors appointed to observe the Orderly Repatriation Programme operation this (Tuesday) morning have submitted their report to the Chief Secretary.

The two monitors comprised a non-official Justice of the Peace, Mrs Joyce Tai Poon Ching-sheung ; and representative from a non-govemment organisation. Mrs l oo So Kwok-chun from Save the Children Fund.

End

32 new building plans approved in October *****

The Buildings Department approved 32 building plans in October this year.

Of the plans, 10 are for Hong Kong Island, six for Kowloon and 16 for the New Territories.

The approved plans include 19 for apartment and apartment/commercial developments, six for commercial developments, three for factory and industrial developments, and four for community services developments.

5

In the same month, consent was given for work to start on 51 building projects, which involve 188,593 square metres of usable domestic floor area and 241,979 square metres of usable non-domestic floor area.

During the same period, the Department also issued 47 Occupation Permits - 11 for Hong Kong Island, five for Kowloon and 31 for the New Territories.

Of the buildings certified for occupation in the month, the usable floor areas for domestic and non-domestic uses are 68,977 square metres and 57,792 square metres respectively.

The declared cost of new buildings completed in the month totalled about $2,193 million.

In addition, 21 demolition consents involving 54 buildings and structures were issued.

In October, the Buildings Department’s Control and Enforcement Division received 876 complaints of unauthorised building works, and issued 178 Removal Orders on unauthorised works.

End

Seminar on handling of chemicals and chemical wastes ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Education Department, the City University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Chemical Society will jointly organise a seminar on the handling of chemicals and control of chemical wastes this Saturday (December 14) between 9 am and 12.15 pm.

The seminar aims at familiarising science teachers and laboratory technicians with the general requirements for safe handling of chemicals and proper control of chemical wastes in secondary schools.

Conducted in Cantonese, the seminar will be held at Lecture Theatre I, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon. Similar seminar had been organised in December 1993.

6

Topics will include safe handling of chemicals in school laboratories, material safety data sheet, control of chemical wastes and collection and disposal of chemical wastes.

Representative of the Hong Kong Chemical Society and Senior Chemist of the Occupational Safety-Support Services Division of the Labour Department, Dr K S Leung; Laboratory Manager of Faculty Laboratory Centre of the City University of Hong Kong, Mr Silas Foo; Environmental Protection Officer of Waste and Waste Management Group of the Environmental Protection Department, Ms Shirley Yuen; and Laboratory Manager of the Enviropace Limited, Mr Lawrence Wong will address at the seminar.

A welcoming speech and an opening remark will respectively be given by the Chairman of Safety Committee of the City University of Hong Kong, Professor Rudolf Wu; and Principal Inspector (Physical Sciences) of the Education Department, Mr K B Chan.

All applications should be submitted through heads of secondary schools. Enquiries may be made at the Physical Sciences Section of the Education Department at 2892 6539 or 2892 6535.

End

Drug education courses for secondary school teachers *****

Schools that still do not have teachers trained on drug education are urged to nominate their teachers to attend two one-and-a-half-day condensed courses on drug education for secondary school during the Christmas holiday. Teachers from other schools are also welcome to apply to the courses.

Nomination will be closed on Friday (December 13).

Organised by the Education Department, the courses aim to enhance teachers' knowledge on substance abuse and its effect to health, promote their understanding with substance abuse at schools, develop their skill and strategies for conducting preventive education against substance abuse at schools, and equip them with skills for helping pupils with substance abuse.

Speakers of the two courses are training personnel from the Community Drug Advisory Council and the Hong Kong Christian Society - PS 33.

7

The courses will be held on December 23, 24, 28 and 30, 1996 at Room A, Hong Kong Teachers’ Centre, fourth floor, 5 Tonkin Street, Cheung Sha Wan.

The enrolment for each course is 30 and priority will be given to schools that do not have teacher trained on drug education. Acceptance is treated on first-come-first-served basis.

An attendance certificate issued by the Education Department will be awarded to teachers who have successfully completed the courses.

Further enquires should be directed to the Biological Sciences Section of the Education Department’s Advisory Inspectorate Division on 2892 6546 or 2892 6543.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Tender date : 10 December 1996

Paper on offer : EF Bills

Issue number : Q650

Issue : 11 December 1996

Maturity date : 12 March 1997

Amount applied : HK$7,110MN

Amount allotted : HK$2,000 MN

Average yield accepted : 4.61 PCT

Highest yield accepted : 4.65 PCT

Pro rata ratio : About 19 PCT

Average tender yield

4.66 PCT

8

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

Tenders to be held in the week beginning - 16 Dec 1996

Tender date : 16 December 1996

Paper on offer : EF Notes

Issue number : 5112

Issue date : 17 December 1996

Maturity date : 17 December 2001

Tenor : 5 Years

Amount on offer : HK$500 MN + 100 MN

Coupon : 6.57 pct

Tender date : 17 December 1996

Paper on offer : EF Bills

Issue number : Q651

Issue date : 18 December 1996

Maturity date : 19 March 1997

Tenor : 91 Days

Amount on offer

HK$2,000 MN + 500 MN

9

Tender date 17 December 1996

Paper on offer EF Bills

Issue number H680

Issue date 18 December 1996

Maturity date 18 June 1997

Tenor 182 Days

Amount on offer HK$ 1,000 MN+ 300 MN

End

Bulk clearing payments go through RTGS system ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system entered its second day of operation today (Tuesday), the first typical production day including for the first time the settlement of the bulk clearing items.

A total of 10,782 CHATS payment transactions, involving $264 billion, were completed today.

The three bulk clearing runs for the net settlement for stock market transactions, low-value bulk electronic payment items and paper cheques were all completed well within the specified clearing periods. The total value involved was $47 billion.

A total of 345 debt securities transactions (involving $18 billion) were processed and successfully completed by the Central Moneymarkets Unit of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

The performance of the system continued to be stable and satisfactory. The response time for CHATS and CMU transactions and enquiries was also satisfactory.

End

- 10 -

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity * * * * *

Aggregate balance of settlement accounts

Opening aggregate balance Closing aggregate balance Change attributable to :

Money market activity Laf reversal

LAF today

3080mn 0930 hr 10950

2097mn 1000 hr 26598

1100 hr 30616 -2568 mn 1200 HR 36896

+5238 mn 1500 hr 42957

-3743 mn 1600 hr 30191 mn

! i i 11

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 125.0 *+0.1* 10.12.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/MTRC notes

Terms Yield Terms Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.22 2 years 2811 5.72 100.26 5.65

1 month 4.37 3 years 3910 6.28 100.83 6.04

3 months 4.66 5 years 5109 7.32 103.22 6.62

6 months 4.90 7 years 7311 6.80 99.78 6.96

12 months 5.18 10 years 1610 7.37 102.28 7.17

5 years M5O3 7.35 102.05 6.94

Total turnover of ef bills and notes - $17,519 mn

Closed December 10, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Wednesday, December 11,1996

Contents Es»lNq.

Statement by the Governor................................................. 1

Transcript of the Governor's media session................................ 2

Transcript of remarks by the Chief Secretary.............................. 5

Transcript of remarks by the Financial Secretary.......................... 5

The way forward for three Priority Railway Projects................. 6

New KCRC Chairman and Chief Executive appointed..................... 9

Comments on Crimes (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1996 ................... 9

No change on recognition of HKCI.................................... 10

DBs help shape gov't policies with communities' aspirations......... 11

Contents

Page No,

DB contributes to prosperity of Yau Tsim Mong: DHA.......................... 12

Advice on preparing vegetables.............................................. 13

Two lots sold for $821 million at land auction.............................. 14

Weather of November......................................................... 15

Transfer of VMs from High Island Detention Centre today..................... 17

Monitors' report submitted to Chief Secreatary.............................. 18

VMs transferred in preparation for repatriation............................. 18

1996 edition of HK Annual Digest of Statistics published.................... 19

Hong Kong Monetary Authority Interbank liquidity............................ 19

1

Statement by the Governor ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a statement by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, on the selection of the first Special Administrative Region Chief Executive today (Wednesday):

Along with my colleagues in the Hong Kong Government, I welcome the selection of Mr Tung Chee-hwa as the first Special Administrative Region Chief Executive.

The job of the first Chief Executive is enormously challenging and carries great responsibility. Mr Tung will be playing a central role in the establishment of the Special Administrative Region and the Special Administrative Region Government. He will be charting the course for Hong Kong as it enters a new era. And he will be at the helm of what is at once an economic powerhouse and a dynamic, sophisticated metropolis.

The community will be looking to the Chief Executive to provide strong leadership with vision, integrity and determination; to defend Hong Kong's interests and the autonomy guaranteed to it under the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law; and to preserve the cornerstone of Hong Kong's success - the rule of law, a level playing field for business, the protection of individual rights and freedoms in an open and accountable society, and a first class economic infrastructure.

I wish Mr Tung every success in his endeavour and I have congratulated him personally. The Government is committed to providing all necessary assistance to Mr Tung to help him in his preparations for assuming the office of Chief Executive on July 1, 1997. We stand ready to discuss with Mr Tung the level and type of assistance he may require.

End

2

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

The following is the transcript of the media session by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, after presiding at the Hong Kong Baptist University Commencement this (Wednesday) afternoon:

Governor: As you know I've put out a statement about the selection this morning of Mr C H Tung as the Chief Executive designate of the Government of the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong. I would like to send my warmest wishes to Mr Tung and Betty and his family. I've sent him a personal letter and I spoke to him on the telephone this afternoon to express my good wishes and to underline what I was saying on the radio last Sunday that the Government will look forward to co-operating with him. We are both, of course, agreed that I am responsible for the administration of Hong Kong until June 30, next year and after that he is responsible. And I will not during the course of next months seek to interfere in any way in matters which are properly his responsibility as the Chief Executive after the July 1 next year. We all know that he has a difficult and challenging job ahead of him, but in my judgement he will have the good wishes of the community, the hopes and aspirations of the community will go with him. And I am sure many people's prayers will be with him as well.

Governing Hong Kong is not a straight forward or easy job. I guess that only Mr C H Tung and I, over the next few years, will know just how tough it can be from time to time. But I am sure that he will do the job well, standing-up for Hong Kong's autonomy which is of course essential. I am sure the whole community will also hope that he will stand-up for Hong Kong's rule of law and stand-up as well for all those things which have made Hong Kong so successful over the last few years. When the Special Administrative Region Government comes into being, it will find that it is taking on responsibility for one of the most successful cities in the world. There are very strong foundations on which Mr Tung and his team will be able to build and I am sure that they will wish to do so. But today is a proud one for Mr Tung and it's a proud one for his family. And all of us, I think would want to congratulate him and congratulate his wife and congratulate his family on what is a very special day for them.

Question: So, when will you meet Mr Tung?

Governor: Well, I spoke to him on the telephone about that. We'll obviously meet once he's got the formalities of the next few days out of the way.

Question: So, do you think he is a credible Chief Executive?

3

Governor: He is the Chief Executive who’s been chosen by the Selection Committee. He was a member of my Executive Council for four years. I had to work very hard in 1992 to persuade him to put a foot outside business and to join my Executive Council. And he was a hard working and committed member of my Executive Council.

Question: But he is a supporter of the Provisional Legislature.

Governor: That is an issue on which we disagree.

Question: What will be the concrete measures of co-operating with Mr Tung?

Governor: Well, I am quite often interest in - how many times I’m asked the same question. And you mustn’t accuse me of being unreasonably if I give the same answer. I actually set out in some detail my thoughts on co-operating with the Chief Executive in the ’’Letter to Hong Kong” that I wrote last Sunday. You know perfectly well that it would be totally unreasonably of me to set out in public before I’ve met Mr Tung, exactly what we think should form our manual of co-operation. He will have his views about the support that he wants. We have of course got some ideas about personnel about office accommodation and so on. But I don't want to set out all that in public before I have a chance of discussing it with Mr Tung. I am sure everybody in the community will believe that’s the right way to behave.

Question: But when can this assistance be given to Mr Tung?

Governor: As soon as we’ve had a chance of talking about what he wants. But I mean some assistance, I am sure, that we’ll be helping to ensure that Mr Tung is able to move around speedily and safely.

Question: This morning outside the Convention Centre, do you think the Police have reacted.....?

Governor: I think that every one in this community knows that people have strong views about political issues, they are entitled to express those views within the law. But if they overstep the bounds of what the law says, then the Police have to act and I think that it’s important that people do try to express their views in a way which is underwritten by the law which is acceptable in legal terms. I just like to add this : in the last few years, despite the enormous scale of the issue which Hong Kong has been facing and debating, Hong Kong has been a very peaceful and stable place. It's been a place in which political debate has been conducted in a pretty moderate way. We haven't had much in a way political violence, demonstrations have been carried out, I think remarkably peacefully. I hope that moderation, I hope that stability will continue in the future as they've continued in the past. Of course, Governments have a responsibility to try to work to ensure that there is a peaceful and stable and moderate political climate. The government has to contribute to that as well as those who feel passionately about political issues, contributing to it as well. But I want Hong Kong, if at all possible to go on having a reputation around the world for being a decent, moderate stable place.

4

Question: Mr Tung........about the provisional legislature....?

Governor: Mr Tung knows what the position is on the provisional legislature. The whole community knows what the position is on the provisional legislature. It's no point in you trying to manufacture new arguments out of that. There is an argument which exists. You know perfectly well we've set out our view on the provisional legislature, the British Government has set out its view on the provisional legislature, the American Government has made its position clear on the provisional legislature. Other governments around the world have made their positions clear on the provisional legislature. We are not going to change our mind, but I very much hope that where there are possibilities of disagreement we can minimise those disagreements rather than maximise them. It is inevitably a consequence of dealing with these sensitive issues at press conferences like this. Sometimes arguments get maximised. It is not in Hong Kong’s interest that we try to make this disagreement more substantial than it is. But I can assure you that the Hong Kong Government and the British Government are not going to change their minds on this issue.

Question: About the preparation..........?

Governor: I hope not because Mr Tung knows what the position is just as every body else in the community knows what the position is. I think I am entitled to say this much to you. For four years and a bit, you’ve asked me questions at press conferences like this and I told you what the situation is, I have told you what I wanted to do and I have gone ahead and done it. I think I have established in four and a half years if nothing else that the Government does what we say we will do. We have made our position abundantly plain on the provisional legislature and it is not going to change. But let me add this, long before people were talking about the provisional legislature, there exists in the Joint Declaration Article 30 under which the Chinese Government are pledged to co-operate with the British Government which is the sovereign power in Hong Kong until the 30 of June 1997. I suggest that you ask some of these questions about co-operation to the Hong Kong Macau Affairs Office and the Xinhua News Agency. Thank you very much indeed and nice to talk to you again.

End

5

Transcript of remarks by the Chief Secretary ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The following is the transcript of a media session given by the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, at the CGO this (Wednesday) afternoon :

Chief Secretary: I think today is a very important and very happy day for Hong Kong and speaking personally and on behalf of the entire civil service, I would like to extend our warmest congratulations to Mr C. H. Tung on his being elected as the SAR Government’s first Chief Executive designate. I have known Mr Tung for many years now. He is a person of great ability and integrity. I believe that he will devote his entire resources and his energy to Hong Kong, and that he will do his very best for the community here. On our part, my colleagues and I very much hope that after July 1997, we will be able to work together with him for the interest of Hong Kong. Before this period, as the Governor has already said, we will of course be giving every possible help to Mr Tung in order that he can prepare for the assumption of his office.

End

Transcript of remarks by the Financial Secretary ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a transcript of the remarks made by the Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, to reporters at the Central Government Offices this (Wednesday) afemoon:

FS: Together with my colleagues, we have the warmest congratulations on the selection of Mr Tung. We know him well, we admire his ability and integrity. He will certainly have the co-operation of myself and my colleagues in ensuring a smooth transition across 1997. I am pretty confident they will be able to deliver that for the community of Hong Kong.

Q: Have you congratulated him yet?

FS: No, I haven't. I haven't. I am sure it will take place at some stage. I am sure he has a lot of things to do and lot of things in his mind. And he would certainly wish to come to talk to the civil servants when he is ready.

Q: What do you think ...?

6

FS: What would? Sorry,. I can’t hear that...?

Q: What effect it seems to have ...?

FS: I think he seems to have command wide community support and that's what the civil service wants, in that whoever becoming our Chief Executive should have wide community support and his personal integrity is well know. So I think he will be a very popular person in the civil service. Thank you very much.

End

1/ ! ' ,

<

The way forward for three Priority Railway Projects ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Secretary for Transport, Mr Gordon Siu today (Wednesday) announced that the domestic passenger line of the Western Corridor Railway (WCR) would be built first and the cross border and freight lines at a later date.

He also pointed out that the MTR Tseung Kwan O Extension (TKE) should be constructed to provide the much needed transport services by residents in the new town.

At the same time, the MTR Quarry Bay Congestion Relief Works would be implemented as a matter of urgency, Mr Siu added.

The Secretary for Transport said that the Governor in Council endorsed the way forward for the two projects after considering the Government consultants’ findings.

He explained that KCRC’s proposal for the WCR would provide three services: a Port Rail Line (freight rail), a cross border passenger service and a domestic passenger service linking West Kowloon to Tuen Mun.

”We recognize that there is an urgent need for a domestic passenger rail link from Kowloon to Northwest New Territories (NWNT).

’’However, we are still some way away from reaching any definitive conclusions on the development and timing of the new rail border crossing at Lok Ma Chau/Huanggang and the freight rail, and will need more time to study this.

7

“With these considerations in mind, we concluded that the domestic passenger line from West Kowloon via Tsuen Wan, Kam Tin, Yuen Long and Tin Shui Wai to Tuen Mun should be built first (Phase 1), leaving the cross border passenger and freight services(Phase II) to a later date after further study,” said Mr Gordon Siu.

”We anticipate that construction of Phase I could begin in mid 1998 and on the basis that land resumption , clearance and phased handing over of sites would proceed in parallel with construction, the project might be completed by end-2002 to Yuen Long and by September 2003 to Tuen Mun.

"The project cost as estimated by our consultants would be in the region of $50 billion and the KCRC would require direct government support of some $24 billion, fhese figures will need to be further refined as KCRC proceed with their technical studies.

Mr Siu also said that construction of the domestic passenger line first would reduce the land resumption and clearance requirements by some 40 percent compared with those in the original plan. It was now estimated that about 230 hectares of land would be required. Land resumption cost would be reduced from about $5.4 billion to $3.5 billion.

As regards TKE, Mr Siu said that the MTR extension would run from Po Lam via Hang Hau, Tseung Kwan O, Tiu Keng Ling, Yau Tong and the Eastern Harbour Crossing to Quarry Bay, while the existing Kwun Tong Line (KTL) would interchange with the TKE at Yau Tong and Tiu Keng Leng.

He said that there was an urgent need on safety and operational grounds to extend the KTL beyond Quarry Bay to relieve congestion at the Quarry Bay Station -Quarry' Bay Congestion Relief Works (QBR), irrespective of whether the I KE was built.

"There is a need to extend the MTR to the Tseung Kwan O to provide a public mass transit system between the new town and the urban area.

"Our consultants have considered MTRC’s proposal acceptable on operational grounds, though the mode of operation and technical details will need to be further refined at the detailed design stage.

"MTRC would therefore proceed with the detailed planning and design of the TKE. We aim to commence construction of the TKE in early 1999 for completion by mid 2002.

8

"On safety and operational grounds, MTRC should also proceed with the QBR as soon as possible," said Mr Siu.

He pointed out that MTRC estimated the cost of the TKE, based on an opening date of mid 2002, to be $25 billion. Estimated construction cost of the QBR, based on a completion date of December 2000, was $4.2 billion.

The MTRC had proposed to finance the two projects by themselves without financial support from Government, Mr Siu added.

He emphasized that both the WCR and the TKE were much needed to support the continued social and economic development in the territory.

"In the coming year, we will finalize with both KCRC and MTRC the detailed project scope, financing and implementation programme for the two projects.

"We will proceed with all necessary preparations leading to the drawing up of project agreements with the two Corporations for approval in 1998," said Mr Siu.

"We will be informing the Legislative Council, the Transport Advisory Committee and the relevant District Boards of our plans for the two projects in the coming weeks," he added.

Mr Siu also said that the Governor in Council had approved the Railways Bill which was scheduled for introduction into the Legislative Council on December 18. 1996.

The Bill contains provisions for the preparation and publication of railway schemes and plans, objections, payment of compensation to persons whose interests are affected, reclamation of land, resumption of land or strata, creation of temporary and permanent easements and wayleaves.

The Railways Bill is an enabling legislation to facilitate land resumption and compensation procedures for the construction of railways in general and is modeled mainly on the Roads (Works, Use and Compensation) Ordinance.

"Enactment of the Bill does not signify any commitment to implement individual railway projects. As and when we come to a decision to build any railway project, necessary approvals will need to be obtained, and a project agreement has to be entered into with the prospective builder," said Mr Siu.

End

9

New KCRC Chairman and Chief Executive appointed

*****

The Governor has appointed Mr Yeung Kai-yin as the Chairman and Chief Executive of the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) for a period of three years with effect from December 24, 1996.

Mr Yeung is well known to both Government and the private sector. He was a former senior civil servant who held a number of important positions including Secretary for the Treasury and Secretary for Transport. He left the Civil Service in 1993 to become an Executive Director of Sino Land. His combined administrative, financial and corporate experience would be valuable in leading the KCRC in the years ahead. •

The current Chairman and Chief Executive of the KCRC, Mr Kevin Hyde, was appointed in 1990. In August 1996, he gave notice that he would not seek another term at the expiry of his second contract on December 23.

An executive search agency was engaged in September to conduct a recruitment exercise. Advertisements were placed in a number of major local and overseas publications. A selection panel chaired by the Chief Secretary unanimously recommended that Mr Yeung Kai-yin should be appointed.

Over the past six years, Mr Hyde has given the Corporation a clear sense of direction and commitment. During his tenure, the Corporation has made significant progress in customer service, safety, reliability, training and development.

End

Comments on Crimes (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 1996

*****

In response to press enquiries on some comments made yesterday (December 10) on the Crimes (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 1996, a Government spokesman said today (Wednesday) that there is no question whatsoever of the Hong Kong Government usurping the legislative authority of the future Special Administrative Region Government by introducing the amendment bill.

’’Under the current system, no legislative council can restrict the freedom of action of a future legislature,” he said.

10

"If for any reason the future legislature wants to change the law in any way, they are not precluded from doing so,” he added.

’’But of course they must explain to the public why the change is necessary.”

He believes that at the end of the day, what will be enacted by the Legislative Council, which is a fully elected legislature, will be a law acceptable to the majority of the people in Hong Kong.

"I see no reason why such a law should be overturned by a future legislature if that legislature is equally responsive to the majority view of the people of Hong Kong,” he said.

"Article 23 of the Basic Law stipulates that there will be offences of subversion and secession and the Basic Law will come into effect on July 1, 1997.

"A lot of people in Hong Kong do want to know what exactly amounts to the offences. If we do not try to define the offences before then, they will be quite worried that after that day, there are such offences but it is not clear on the statute book of Hong Kong exactly what the offences will be.”

End

No change on recognition of HKC1 ♦ * * * ♦

In response to media enquiries, a Government spokesman said today (Wednesday) that the Government understood that there was no change on the recognition of the Hong Kong Certificate of Identity (HKCI) by the Indonesian Government.

Press reports said some holders of the HKCI who had obtained visit visas issued by the local Indonesian Consulate were refused entry into Indonesia over the past few days.

The spokesman confirmed that the Hong Kong Government had not received any notice from the Indonesian Government on this matter.

’’All holders of HKCI are permanent residents of Hong Kong. They are fully returnable to Hong Kong even if their document has expired," he said.

11

'’Unexpired HKCI can be used after June 30, 1997. as agreed between the British and Chinese Governments in 1986.’’

The Hong Kong Government will continue to clarify the incidents reported in the press with the Indonesian Government.

In the meantime, Hong Kong residents who hold HKCI and wish to visit Indonesia are advised to double-check with the local Indonesian Consulate on the validity of their visas.

End

DBs help shape gov’t policies with communities' aspirations ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The views and advice of District Board (DB) members on district and territorywide issues play a crucial part in enabling the Government to shape its policies in accordance with the aspirations of local communities, the Director of Home Affairs, Mrs Shelley Lau, said today (Wednesday).

Speaking at the luncheon meeting of the Rotary Club of Kowloon West, Mrs Lau said the DBs, set up under the District Administration Scheme introduced in 1981, had become the largest consultative body in Hong Kong over the past 15 years.

"Currently there are 18 fully elected DBs with 373 members working tirelessly for their respective constituents." Mrs Lau said.

" fhe DBs are the basic source of strength and vitality of community building in the districts, and the drive and enthusiasm shown by the DBs have led to much good work being done under the District Administration."

Mrs Lau noted that the DBs got themselves involved with community building in one way or another apart from organising or sponsoring community activities. These included the promotion of tourism in the districts, the signing by 18 DB chairmen of the AIDS Charter and the support to the anti-discrimination initiative to help the disabled integrate into the community.

Mrs Lau also cited examples of how DBs affect the work of the department. She said since December 1994, the department has been responsible for the $1.6 billion Rural Planning and Improvement Strategy (RPIS) projects.

12

"With our strong connections and close relationship with the rural communities, we will have, by the end of this financial year, taken forward close to half a billion dollars worth of projects including bridges, roads, footpaths and piers since 1994/95.

"As these projects are small - costing less than $15 million each - they may never have been built, or would have had to wait their turn behind the higher priority major infrastructure projects without the RPIS and the co-operation between the DBs, Heung Yee Kuk and the Government," she said.

On building management, Mrs Lau said the department had been very active in promoting effective building management and was committed to assisting owners in the formation of owners’ corporations (OCs) to enable them to address building management problems.

"There are currently more than 4,600 OCs in the territory and I expect there will be close to 5,000 by the beginning of 1998. Through a variety of seminars, exhibitions, training courses, handbooks, leaflets and videos, the department is assisting building owners to help themselves by ensuring their buildings are cleaner, safer and better managed.

"We are also working closely with the University of Hong Kong to ensure that our staff are given the necessary training to enable them to offer timely practical and accurate advice to building owners on how to look after their properties."

She added that a central unit to collect information and collate experiences in building management had been set up as reference for the staff so that they might deal with problems more effectively.

End

DB contributes to prosperity of Yau Tsim Mong: DHA *****

The prosperity of Yau Tsim Mong district was proof of district boards’ effective input in district administration, the Director of Home Affairs. Mrs Shelley Lau, said this tonight (Wednesday).

Officiating at the opening ceremony for the Yau Tsim Mong District Festival 1996/97, Mrs Lau complimented the Yau Tsim Mong District Board for keeping close contacts with various Government departments and reflecting residents' views on Government policies to help create a better living environment.

13

Mrs Lau noted that the district board had been a faithful practitioner of the district festival's theme - "building a better Yau Tsim Mong and share the prosperity".

Organised by the Yau Tsim Mong District Festival 1996/97 Organising Committee and sponsored by the Yau Tsim Mong District Board and the Urban Council, the district festival will last until January 31.

It will feature more than 60 activities, including Christmas and New Year lighting and parties, carnivals, Chinese operas, Chinese painting and calligraphy exhibition, football contests, photo competition, outings and day camp.

Mrs Lau hoped that all organising parties would uphold the Government's "serving the community" spirit in working for the welfare and prosperity of the district.

The opening ceremony was followed by a variety show with performances by famous singers and fireworks displays.

Also present at the ceremony were the Yau Tsim Mong District Officer. Mr Bart Ireland and the Chairman of the Yau Tsim Mong District Board, Mr Chow Chun-fai.

End

Advice on preparing vegetables ♦ * * ♦ *

Members of the public are today (Wednesday) urged to wash and blanch vegetables thoroughly before cooking and to avoid making soup with vegetables.

The appeal was made by the Assistant Director of Health. Dr Leung Pak-yin, following reports of one confirmed case and three suspected cases of food poisoning related to pesticide contaminated vegetables in the past two days.

The four cases affected 10 persons in four families. All were related to consumption of Garland Chrysanthemum.

Dr Leung said the Department of Health had stepped up checking and sampling at Man Kam To Food Control Office and retail outlets.

14

These food poisoning cases were the first few cases related to vegetables contamination reported to the Department recently. Before that, there were only two confirmed food poisoning cases related to pesticide contaminated vegetables in 1996, both of them occurred in January.

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

do not patronise unlicensed hawkers;

do not buy vegetables with an obvious strange smell;

* wash well before cooking;

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

out;

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

* cook thoroughly before consumption.

End

Two lots sold for $821 million at land auction ♦ * * * *

Two lots of government land were sold for a total of $821 million at a public land auction held by the Lands Department this (Wednesday) afternoon.

The first lot, located at Electric Road in North Point, was sold to Best Origin Limited at $760 million, with bidding opened at $480 million.

It has an area of about 1,222.6 square metres for non-industrial purposes, excluding godown, warehouse, hotel, service apartment, petrol filling station and private residential use.

The developer has to complete a gross floor area of not less than 11,000 square metres on or before December 31,2000.

15

The second lot situated at the junction of Tseuk Luk Street and Hong Keung Street in San Po Kong was bought by Profit Source Properties Limited at $61 million, with bidding opened at $38 million.

With an area of about 222 square metres, the lot has to be developed into a gross floor area of not less than 999 square metres on or before December 31, 1999.

The lowest three floors of the building to be developed should be used for nonindustrial purposes excluding godown, hotel, service apartment and petrol filling station. The remaining floors will be for private residential use.

Held in the Concert Hall of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui, the auction was conducted by Government Land Agent, Mr Nigel Burley.

End

Weather of November

*****

November 1996 was warmer than normal. The mean minimum temperature of 21.1 degrees was the highest for November. The mean temperature and mean maximum temperature of 23 and 25.3 degrees were the second and seventh highest for the month respectively.

With less frequent continental cold air affecting the area, the monthly mean sea-level pressure of 1,015.8 hectopascals was the sixth lowest for November.

The month recorded only 3.5 millimetres of rainfall against a normal of 35.1 millimetres but the accumulated rainfall since January 1 of 2.249.1 millimetres was still three per cent above the normal for the same period.

The first day of the month was fine and sunny. The maximum temperature of 29.8 degrees recorded that afternoon was the highest for the month.

A cold front reached the south China coastal area on November 2. Easterly winds strengthened and there were some light rain patches during the night. Two scaffoldings collapsed in strong winds in Tsz Wan Shan Estate and Tsim Sha Tsui on November 3. Winds subsided on November 4 and the weather turned sunny. Fine weather prevailed during the next few days.

16

Northerly winds took over from November 9 and it became cloudy on November 11. Light rain patches affected the territory the next couple of days. With winter monsoon intensifying over China coupled with the effect of Tropical Depression Ernie over the northern part of the South China Sea, local winds started to strengthen from the east on the evening of November 13. The sky cleared on November 14 but clouds returned the next day and there were light rain patches on November 16.

A dry northerly surge of the winter monsoon reached the south China coastal area on November 17. Winds were strong offshore on November 17 and 18. Several cases of hill fire were reported. The minimum temperature recorded on the morning of November 18, 16.3 degrees, was the lowest for the month.

While conditions remained quite dry, winds gradually turned to the east on November 20. Easterly winds and generally fine and dry weather prevailed from November 21 until November 29.

A cold front crossed the south China coast on the afternoon of November 29 bringing drier and cooler northerly winds to the territory on the last day of the month.

Five tropical cyclones occurred in the western North Pacific and the South China Sea in the month. Details of the issuance/hoisting and cancellation/lowering of various wamings/signals in the month are summarised in Table 1. Monthly meteorological figures and departures from normal of November are tabulated in Table 2.

Table 1 Warnings and Signals in November 1996

Wamings/Signals

Strong Monsoon Signals

Effective date and time

2 Nov 1420- 4 Nov 1030

14 Nov 0130- 14 Nov 0530

17 Nov 1930- 18 Nov 1135

Fire Danger Warnings

Yellow

Yellow

Yellow

Yellow

Red

Red

Yellow

Yellow

2 Nov 0645 -2 Nov 1800

3 Nov 0830- 3 Nov 1800

9 Nov 0600 - 11 Nov 0600 17 Nov 0600- 17 Nov 1720 17 Nov 1720-22 Nov 0600 22 Nov 1035 - 23 Nov 0600 23 Nov 0600-24 Nov 1800 30 Nov 0600 - 1 Dec 0545

17

Table 2 Figures and Departures from Normal - November 1996

Total Bright Sunshine

Mean Daily Global Solar Radiation

Total Rainfall

Mean Cloud Amount

Mean Relative Humidity

Mean Daily Maximum Temperature

Mean Air Temperature

Mean Daily Minimum Temperature %

Mean Dew Point

Total Evaporation

Remarks:

End

171.3 hours; 10.2 hours below normal

12.74 MJ/SQM; 0.65 MJ/SQM below normal

3.5 mm; 31.6 mm below normal

63%; 10% above normal

69%; normal

25.3 Degrees Celsius; 1.1 Degrees Celsius above normal

23 Degrees Celsius; 1.6 Degrees Celsius above normal

21.1 Degrees Celsius; 1.9 Degrees Celsius above normal

16.8 Degrees Celsius; 1.6 Degrees Celsius above normal

105.5 mm; 23.6 mm below normal

All measurements were made at the Royal Observatory except sunshine, solar radiation and evaporation which were recorded at King's Park.

Transfer of VMs from High Island Detention Centre today * * * ♦ ♦

A group of about 110 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) in High Island Detention Centre (HIDC) will be transferred from the Centre's South and North Camps to its Security Unit today (Wednesday) in preparation for their return to Vietnam under the Orderly Repatriation Programme.

They will join another group of about 140 VMs, who have voluntarily presented themselves for transfer to HIDC’s Security Unit yesterday (Tuesday), for pre-flight documentation and medical checks prior to their repatriation on December 17.

The transfer will be observed by independent monitors.

End

18

Monitors' report submitted to Chief Secretary

* * * * ♦

The monitors appointed to observe the transfer of Vietnamese migrants selected for the Orderly Repatriation Programme from the High Island Detention Centre's North and South camps to its Security Unit today (Wednesday) have submitted their report to the Chief Secretary.

The four monitors comprised two non-official Justices of the Peace, Mr Michael Chan Hung-kee and Mr Justein Wong Chun ; and representatives from two non-govemment organisations, Ms Harriet Sewell from Christian Action and Mr Thierry Taveaux from Medecins Sans Frontieres.

End

VMs transferred in preparation for repatriation

*****

A total of 110 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) at High Island Detention Centre (HIDC) were this (Wednesday) morning transferred to the Security Unit of the Centre in preparation for their return to Vietnam under the Orderly Repatriation Programme.

The VMs began packing their belongings early this morning in preparation for the transfer and by about 9.50 am all VMs were accounted for and processed.

The group, together with another 140 VMs who presented themselves voluntarily for transfer yesterday (Tuesday), will be processed for pre-flight documentation and medical checks prior to their repatriation on December 17.

End

19

1996 edition of HK Annual Digest of Statistics published ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The 1996 edition of the Hong Kong Annual Digest of Statistics, published by the Census and Statistics Department, is now on sale.

The report contains statistics on a wide range of topics including population; births and deaths; labour; external trade and inward investment; industrial production; distributive trades; food supplies; transport services; building and construction; communications and tourism; public accounts; money and finance; prices; housing; education; medical and health; social welfare; law and order; culture, entertainment and recreation; the environment; climate and geography; and national accounts.

There are altogether 269 tables in 18 sections. Most of the data are presented for seven years, spanning over a period of ten years.

The report is on sale at $50 per copy at the Government Publications Centre located at Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, 66 Queensway. It can also be purchased at the Publications Unit of the Census and Statistics Department, 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

*

For enquiries about the contents of the report, please call 2582 4068 or 2582 4256.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority Interbank liquidity ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Aggregate time balance of settlement accounts

Opening aggregate balance 2097 mn 0930 hr 19928 mn

Closing aggregate balance 804 mn 1000 hr 20442 mn

Change attributable to: 1100 hr 26977 mn

Money market activity -5028 mn 1200 hr 32603 mn

Laf reversal 4-3743 mn 1500 hr 36228 mn

Laf today -8 mn 1600 hr 41458 mn

LAF RATE 4.00% BID/6.00% OFFER TW1 124.9 *-0.1 ♦ 11.12.96

20

Hong kong monetary authority

EF bills EF notes/MTRC notes

Terms Yield Terms Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 3.89 2 years 2811 5.72 100.25 5.66

1 month 4.19 3 years 3910 6.28 100.83 6.04

3 months 4.58 5 years 5109 7.32 103.19 6.63

6 months 4.84 7 years 7311 6.80 99.65 6.98

12 months 5.15 10 years 1610 7.37 102.10 7.19

5 years M503 7.35 101.92 6.98

Total turnover of ef bills and notes - $30,489 mn

Closed December 11, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

■I •

SUPPLEMENT

Wednesday, December 11,1996

Contents Page No.

Legislative Council meeting;

Speech by Secretary for Housing on rent control (first resolution).. 1

Speech by Secretary for Housing on rent control (second resolution). 3

Securities and Futures Commission (Amendment) (No. 3) Bill........... 4

Whaling Industry (Regulation) Bill................................... 5

ID card holders' eligibility for public-funded services.............. 6

Subvention for non-govemment organisations........................... 8

Infant mortality rate among best in the world........................ 9

Opening of Route 3 Expressway will not be affected.................. 12

Control on overhanging signboards................................... 14

Reimbursement of rates and rent for kindergartens................... 16

Listing Rules of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited............ 18

/Drivers are..

Contents Page NQm

Drivers are encouraged to switch off engines while waiting................. 19

Issue of ID cards to non-BDTCs............................................. 20

Ex-gratia allowance for Lam Tin shop tenants.......................... 21

Workload statistics of community psychiatric nurses........................ 23

Legal aid cases handled by private sector lawyers.......................... 25

Management responsibility of MACs in HOS estates........................... 27

Compilation of the Hang Seng London Reference Index........................ 27

Cook duties at police stations............................................. 29

Housing Society provides flats for public housing.......................... 30

Provision of public transport facilities of the new airport........... 31

• ' . ..

Hospital Authority Head Office staff ................................. 31

K

J- ’Um. ,O;,;


• j

1

Speech by Secretary for Housing on rent control (first resolution) ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic Wong, in response to the motion debate on the first resolution on Landlord and Tenant (Consolidation) Ordinance moved by the Hon James To in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

The motion moved by the Honourable James To, if passed, will be a retrograde step and a major setback in the final process of abolishing rent control for pre-war residential premises. I wish to highlight some of the bad effects of this resolution, if passed, and, in so doing, correct a few misconceptions.

The existing rent control provisions were introduced for pre-war residential premises in 1947 as short-term measures to counter the unusually high rent increases at a time when there was an acute shortage of rented accommodation in Hong Kong. But the reasons for this measure have disappeared in recent years. Private, or in general, housing stock in Hong Kong has increased manifolds and market rents have also stabilised. Rent increases average about 7.5% a year in the past five years and 5% per year for the past three years. Hence, in June 1993, this Council passed an amendment to the Ordinance to abolish rent control three years later, and that is, on 31 December this year. Average rent now ranges from 80% to 90% of the market level. It is surprising therefore that some Members of this Council are now trying to overturn the Council’s previous decision, and to put the clock back by extending rent control for another two years for a small group of residents.

Rent control is against our free market economy policy, and is a hidden subsidy to tenants at the expense of landlords. Rent control is introduced only on exceptional grounds, those grounds that I have already outlined. The effect of rent control is that even those tenants who can afford to pay more for better housing hold on to the controlled premises so as to take advantage of the low rent. On the other hand, as some Members have mentioned, landlords are deprived of the right to charge market rent, and this is not fair to them. Hence, they arc reluctant to spend money on maintaining and refurbishing the buildings. The outcome is building deterioration, slums and social immobility. In the end, they will neither benefit the tenants nor landlords.

Mr President, I think we must not mix up rent control with social welfare subsidy, which is means-tested. Rent control is not a means-tested scheme, and is not devised to help the poor. It is applied regardless of tenants’ financial position. In another word, the poor and the rich all get it. Those in genuine financial hardship should turn to the Comprehensive Social Security Scheme which gives rent allowance of up to $4,600 a month for those in need. Where is the argument for rent protection of a small group of residents whose financial position is similar to the rest of the community?

2

Some Members argue that rent control should be extended for two years because of the shortage of public rental housing in Hong Kong. I’m afraid this is not a good argument, because only a small proportion, or roughly 24% of protected tenants in Hong Kong have actually applied for public rental housing. The rest are families who are either not eligible for public rental housing or simply prefer the existing low rent accommodation.

Again, some Members have suggested that a rent subsidy should be given to eligible tenants on the Housing Authority’s Waiting List for public rental housing. I must point out that public housing is not a social welfare provision. Those in need of public housing should wait for their turn. If people really face financial hardship, as I have said they may apply for Comprehensive Social Security Assistance and receive the appropriate amount of rent assistance.

Well, most of the extra amount of rent which an affected tenant will have to pay upon de-control of rent , if compare with a situation if rent control continues, will likely to be small.

In dollar terms, our estimates of the additional increases are $15 a month for cocklofts, $47 for bedspaces, $93 for bedrooms and about $570 a month for those people who rent the whole flat. This is a figure which assumes that landlords will increase rent to the full market level but this may not be the case. But in many cases, the projected increases are still generally affordable. It is, therefore, difficult to claim hardship against de-control.

Some people have again misunderstood that upon de-control landlords can immediately charge market rent. It is not true, there are transitional provisions already in the Ordinance which will cushions tenants from the impact of de-control for another two years from the dates when their rents were last increased.

I think that some Members have again missed another important point. Even after de-control, all former tenants will continue to enjoy security of tenure. Landlords while still cannot charge exorbitant rents and if the two parties cannot agree on the level of rent, they may apply to the Lands Tribunal for adjudication. This mechanism in itself effectively protects tenants from being asked to pay unreasonably high rents. There is no need, therefore, to extend rent control arrangement.

3

In conclusion, Mr President, rent control was introduced as a temporary measure many years ago to deal with a particular situation of a serious shortage of rented accommodation and the unreasonably high rents. I have already explained that this situation has completely changed now in Hong Kong and the grounds for extending rent control no longer exist. I appeal to Members to keep and remember the basic principles, and should not be guided by populist and generally hasten sentiment.

With these remarks, Mr President, I urge Honourable Members to vote against the resolution.

End

Speech by Secretary for Housing on rent control (second resolution) ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic Wong, in response to the motion debate on the second resolution on Landlord and Tenant (Consolidation) Ordinance moved by the Hon James To in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President.

I have already pointed out in my first speech some of bad effects of extending rent control and some of the misconceptions supporting an extension. I have to repeat that this resolution, together with the last, are unjustified. This second resolution, in particular, seeks to reduce the permitted rent increases now provided in the law to what was allowed two years ago. This is clearly a retrograde step and a major setback in the whole process of de-control.

I have to reiterate that this second resolution, which seeks to lower rent increase levels, will widen the gap between controlled rent and market rent, and will therefore be financially more painful for affected tenants when the extended period comes to an end two years later.

Mr President. 1 do not wish to repeat all other arguments I would like to urge Honourable Members to vote against the second resolution and not to be guided by popular sentiment.

End

4

Securities and Futures Commission (Amendment)(No.3) Bill ♦ ♦ ♦ * *

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, in moving the second reading of the Securities and Futures Commission (Amendment)(No.3) Bill in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President, I move that the Securities and Futures Commission (Amendment) (No.3) Bill 1996 be read a second time.

The Bill seeks to provide statutory protection to auditors of listed companies who report in good faith to the Securities and Futures Commission (Commission) or the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (Stock Exchange) any suspected fraud or misconduct discovered in their capacity as auditors. The Bill does not seek to impose any duty on an auditor to communicate any such information or opinion to the Commission or the Stock Exchange, nor does the Bill seek to confer any power on the Commission or the Stock Exchange to require an auditor to communicate such information or opinion to either of them. The Bill does not have any regulatory objective. No additional regulation will be introduced. Without the statutory protection, auditors making reports could face possible civil liabilities for breach of auditor-client confidentiality.

Under section 61 of the Banking Ordinance (Cap. 155), section 53D of the Insurance Companies Ordinance (Cap. 41), section 89A of the Securities Ordinance (Cap. 333) and section 51A of the Commodities Trading Ordinance (Cap. 250), an auditor is granted statutory protection and immunity when reporting in good faith to the appropriate regulatory authority reasonable suspicion of fraud or wrongdoing which he comes across in his capacity as an auditor of a company in the regulated sector. Our aim is to introduce amendments to the law which mirrors these provisions to enable auditors of listed companies to report reasonable suspicions to the Commission or the Stock Exchange. However, whereas auditors of companies in the regulated sectors are required to report suspicions of fraud to the authorities under certain circumstances, we are not seeking the same treatment for auditors of listed companies. There will be no mandatory requirements to report.

The Bill is the result of very long consultation between Government, the regulators and the Hong Kong Society of Accountants (HKSA). We are grateful to the various parties for their advice, and in particular for their participation in a Working Group set up in May this year to study how best to refine our proposal, and to try to address the concerns and reservations on the part of those who did not support the proposed legislation. The Working Group comprises representatives from HKSA, the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, the Institute of Directors, the Hong Kong Institute of Company Secretaries and the Law Society of Hong Kong, the Commission, the Stock Exchange, the Commercial Crime Bureau of the Police, the IC AC, the Attorney General’s Chambers and Financial Services Branch.

5

As a result, we have now taken on board some of HKSA's suggestions and have introduced a number of changes to the Bill. I would mention perhaps just two. One is the inclusion of a commencement clause. The idea is to allow sufficient time to enable professional guidelines to be drawn up before the Bill comes into operation. This may be contrasted with the regulated sectors, where the statutory protection provision became effective immediately after the law was passed and that guidelines were only developed afterwards. Another suggestion we have taken on board is in relation to the definition of "associated company". We have now effectively adopted HKSA's definition, based on the equity method of accounting.

Mr President, the Bill of course is not a single, complete solution to corporate fraud, but we have never set out to do so in one single amendment bill. Rather, we believe that the Bill is one more step towards the goal of combating corporate fraud in an on-going, continuing, and incremental process towards better corporate governance.

Thank you, Mr President.

End

Whaling Industry (Regulation) Bill ♦ ♦ * ♦ *

The following is the speech by the Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Stephen Ip. in moving the third reading of the Whaling Industry (Regulation) Bill in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

The Whaling Industry (Regulation) Bill has passed through the Committee without amendment. I move that this Bill be read the third time and do pass.

End

6

ID card holders' eligibility for public-funded services

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Howard Young and a reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

At present, people living in the territory hold Hong Kong Permanent Identity Cards or Hong Kong Identity Cards. Will the Government inform this Council whether there are:

(a) any other categories of Identity Cards that are related to the residential status of the holder; and

(b) any differences in eligibility for publicly funded services such as public housing, medical and health, education and social welfare between different categories of identity card holders.

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) In addition to the Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card and the Hong Kong Identity Card, there is a third type of identity card which is issued to consuls, consular staff, their spouses and dependent children of the age of 11 years and above. The Consular Corps Identity Card is issued under the provisions of the Registration of Persons Ordinance. Cap. 177. It is different in form from the Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card and the I long Kong Identity Card.

(b) The eligibility in respect of the four types of public-funded services is as follows:-

Public Housing

Holders of Hong Kong Permanent Identity Cards may apply for public rental housing (PRH) and subsidised home ownership flats provided they satisfy the 7 year residence rule and other eligibility criteria relating to income and property ownership. Those who have not yet fulfilled the residence rule but satisfy other eligibility criteria may apply and be placed on the Waiting List for public rental housing. They will be allocated flats only when they have fulfilled the residence rule and when their turn comes.

7

Holders of Hong Kong Identity Cards with permission to stay unconditionally may apply for public rental housing, provided they satisfy the 7 year residence rule and other eligibility criteria relating to income and property ownership. Those who have not yet fulfilled the residence rule but satisfy other eligibility criteria may apply and be placed on the Waiting List. They will be allocated flats only when they have fulfilled the residence rule and when their turn comes.

As regards the purchase of subsidised home ownership flats, holders of Hong Kong Identity Cards are excluded.

Exception applies if the holder is a member of a household, the majority of whom are permanent residents of Hong Kong. In this case, he may join other household members in the allocation of a public rental flat, or he may join the others in the purchase of a subsidised home ownership flat in the usual way.

Holders of Hong Kong Identity Cards with conditional stay (such as persons on employment contract or overseas students) are not eligible for both types of public housing.

Medical and Health Services & Welfare Services

Holders of all categories of Hong Kong Identity Cards are entitled to receive the same public healthcare and welfare services, subject to their satisfying the eligibility criteria for different types of services.

Furthermore, assistance available under schemes to provide financial assistance to victims of road traffic accidents, crimes of violence or of natural and other disasters, is granted to the victims, including visitors, who are legally in Hong Kong.

Education

Children holding a Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card or a Hong Kong Identity Card which does not bear the symbol "C" (for conditional stay) are eligible for admission to public sector schools. Children holding a Hong Kong Identity Card which bears the symbol ”C" arc also eligible for admission to public sector schools, provided that they have a valid travel document confirming that they are not subject to any condition of stay other than a limit of stay, and that the limit of stay has not expired.

End

8

Subvention for non-govemment organisations ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Chan Yuen-han and a reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It is learnt that the Government currently does not provide housing allowance to employees of subvented welfare agencies, but individual agencies can use the financial resources at their disposal to provide housing allowance to their employees. This has given rise to public concern about the spending of funds in subvented welfare agencies. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) Whether the Government has considered extending the housing benefits for civil servants to employees of subvented welfare agencies; if not, why not;

(b) the number of subvented welfare agencies which provide housing allowance to their employees, together with the name of the agencies concerned, the number of employees receiving the allowance and the amount of allowance received by each employee; and the sources from which individual agencies have obtained financial resources to provide housing allowances to their employees; and

(c) whether the Government agrees that subvented welfare agencies can use charitable donations to provide housing allowance to their employees; if so, of the mechanism put in place to monitor the expenses on the provision of housing allowance to employees by such agencies:

Reply:

Mr President,

At present, the Administration subvents 174 non-govemment organisations (NGOs) to provide various social welfare services. The amount of subvention is sufficient to cover staff salaries (including provident fund), and specified administrative expenses.

NGOs are independent organisations outside the Government structure. Apart from subvented services, many of them run other non-subvented projects for the community, through their own sources of funds. NGOs have autonomy in determining the remuneration package which enable them to employ and retain personnel that they consider best suit for their organisations.

9

Against the above, my replies to the question are as follow:

(a) Under the current system, the amount of subvention on staff cost is based on the level of staff salaries. However, Management Board of NGOs can decide whether or not to use their own sources of funding to pay their staff other terms and conditions, including whether they can enjoy housing benefits. The Administration does not intervene on this matter.

(b) Government subvention to NGOs in the welfare sector does not include housing allowance to their staff. If Government funds were found to be used by NGOs for such purpose during audit inspection, the NGO concerned will be demanded to reimburse the full sum to the Administration. The Administration does not monitor NGOs' use of their own resources for payment of housing allowance to their staff. There is no requirement for NGOs to report the use of their own resources. We therefore have no information to this part of the question.

(c) The Administration mainly monitors the use subvention by NGOs. Where NGOs raise their own funds, it would be a matter for the Management Boards of NGOs to be accountable to their donors for the appropriate and prudent use of donations, through publishing their annual audited accounts in their report for the information of their donors and the general public. The Administration does not impose a mechanism to monitor NGOs using its own funds to provide housing allowance to employees by NGOs.

End

Infant mortality rate among best in the world *****

Following is a question by the Hon Leung Yiu-chung and a reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In her reply to a question raised at the Sitting on 20 November this year concerning cases involving babies lapsing into a "vegetative" state as a result of birth asphyxia, the Secretary for Health and Welfare stated that no such cases were reported by public hospitals in the past three years, and that advice would only be given to the patients by clinicians in public hospitals after the patients concerned had given consent to the delivery' method to be adopted. In this connection, is the Government aware of:

10

(a) in the light of the public statement made by the management of the Princess Margaret Hospital on 26 November this year that the hospital’s childbirth records and statistics confirmed that there were cases of birth asphyxia in the past three years and that some of the affected babies had subsequently died, there is a difference between the Hospital’s statement and the Secretary for Health and Welfare’s reply; the number of babies born in public hospitals who have lapsed into a ’’vegetative” state because of birth asphyxia and have remained in such a state since birth or have died over the past three years, and the causes leading to the occurrence of birth asphyxia to the babies concerned;

(b) how the Hospital Authority (HA) ensures that clinicians in public hospitals will only give advice to patients after the patients concerned have given consent to the delivery method to be adopted;

(c) whether the HA will consider requiring the clinician-in-charge to be ultimately responsible for the work of the medical staff of obstetric units in public hospitals in attending to women in labour and carrying out related medical procedures or treatment; and

(d) whether any mechanism is in place to monitor the operation of, and the system adopted in, obstetric units in public hospitals; and whether a comprehensive review of the operation of these units will be undertaken?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) In order to clarify any misunderstanding the Honourable Member may have about my reply to him on 20 November 1996, allow me, Mr President, to recapitulate. In my reply, I explained that the term ’’vegetative stage” is often used to describe patients with sustained, complete loss of cognition while other autonomic functions such as sleeping and breathing remain relatively intact. This condition can follow acute, severe brain damage. I also explained that although birth asphyxia remains a major cause of brain damage leading to various degrees of mental disability, my understanding is that it is extremely rare for such cases to result in babies lapsing into what clinicians describe as "vegetative state", and no such cases had been reported by public hospitals in the past three years.

11

The public statement issued by Princess Margaret Hospital referred to two new-borns who suffered severe brain damage as a result of birth asphyxia but had not lapsed into a ’’vegetative state” as described. The cases are now being investigated by three independent experts.

My reply on 20 November 1996 and the statement issued by Princess Margaret Hospital were responding to requests for different information, and thus are not at variance with each other. My reply today to the Honourable Member’s question on the number of babies born in public hospitals who have lapsed into a "vegetative state” because of birth asphyxia and remained in such a state since birth or have died over the past three years is still the same, that is no such cases have been reported by public hospitals in the past three years. But if the Honourable Member is seeking information on the number of deaths of infants between birth and under one year old whose principal cause of death was birth asphyxia in all hospitals in the past three years, the answer is 26, 21 and 13 in 1993, 1994 and 1995 respectively.

Premature labour, multiple birth, prolapsed umbilical cord, severe maternal bleeding, and maternal hypertension arc factors which may lead to high risk deliveries including birth asphyxia. Furthermore, congenital abnormalities is also a common cause of complications during the delivery process.

(b) The HA advocates natural delivery as the preferred way of child birth, recognising that caesarean section carries higher potential risks. If in the best interest of the patient based on prevailing clinical indications caesarean section is recommended, the patient will be advised and her consent has to be obtained.

(c) The clinician-in-charge is responsible for supervising the provision of service in the obstetric units in public hospitals. In fact, all medical, nursing and allied health staff in the clinical team share a common goal of delivering the best possible quality of patient care. Furthermore, as professionals, they are accountable to the respective professional bodies such as the Medical Council, the Nursing Board and the Midwives Board for their conduct.

12

(d) The Hospital Authority has developed a framework to ensure professional standards of practice in public hospitals. Within this overall framework, mechanisms of professional accountability, such as clinical guidelines, protocols and procedures as well as regular monitoring, review and evaluation of patient cases and treatment in quality assurance programmes are in place. These mechanisms are applied across all public hospitals in all specialities, including obstetrics. The quality of obstetric service in Hong Kong is reflected in our infant mortality rate of about 4.5 per 1,000 live-births in recent years, a figure which is among the best in the world.

End

Opening of Route 3 Expressway will not be affected

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Ho Chun-yan and a reply by the Secretary for Works, Mr Kwong Hon-sang, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It is learnt that on 11 November this year the Environmental Impact Assessment Subcommittee under the Advisory Council on the Environment has discussed the option put forward by the Route 3 Consortium for the disposal of additional excavated materials. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the Subcommittee’s views and suggestions on the option put forward by the Consortium;

(b) of the number of other feasible options being studied by the Government

and the up-to-date progress of such studies; and

(c) whether the scheduled completion date of Route 3 will be affected as a result of the above problem?

13

Answer:

Mr President,

Slope cutting works was required for forming the Route 3 - Country Park Section. It was found that some of the slopes had to be cut flatter than the designed gradient to achieve stability. The resulting additional spoil requires additional effort and time for removal from the site. As a contingency measure to ensure that all the surplus spoil can be removed in good time, the contractor proposed to dispose of the spoil by filling up a valley adjacent to the site if later found necessary.

(a) The Environmental Assessment Sub-Group of the Advisory Council on the Environment (ACE) was not supportive of utilising a natural wooded valley adjacent to the Route 3 project to accommodate the additional spoil. They required the contractor to explore in greater detail all other options before they were prepared to give the proposal any further consideration.

(b) The Contractor for this Build, Operate and Transfer project employed by the Franchisee is studying the following alternative solutions :

(i) Improving the efficiency and performance of the conveyor system.

This would involve 24 hour operation of the conveyor, and a reduction in the number of hours dedicated to preventive maintenance. It also entails carrying out mitigation measures to protect local residents from noise. Increased conveyor output has already recently been observed but the contractor is concerned that reduced preventive maintenance could result in more frequent conveyor breakdowns in the future and eventually a loss in productivity.

(ii) Removing the excess spoil by road

This will entail adding more traffic to Castle Peak Road during off peak hours. A traffic impact assessment is being conducted by the contractor and will be discussed and agreed with relevant Government Departments before any such scheme is implemented.

14

(c) At present, the contractor does not expect that the removal of additional spoil would affect the opening of the Route 3 Expressway in July 1998. The proposals he is now considering are prudent contingency measures just in case that the present disposal arrangement would not be able to take care of the additional spoil without causing serious delay.

End

Control on overhanging signboards *****

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

Question:

It is reported that in the recent catastrophic blaze that broke out in Garley Building, the neon signs and signboards erected on the external walls of the building and the vehicles parked nearby have caused obstruction to both rescue and firefighting operations. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:

(a) it will introduce regulations to regulate the dimension of signboards, the distance between signboards and other related issues; and whether such regulations will restrict the number of signboards and their dimensions in each building according to the floor area of the building and the width of the adjoining streets;

(b) it will introduce a licensing system to tackle the problem of an increasing number of large signboards;

(c) there is any plan to carry out inspections of the streets in the territory in the near future, with a view to identifying those streets having similar potential hazards; and

(d) it will set up an inter-departmental task force responsible for the inspection, on a long term basis, of signboards erected on buildings and facilities in the ground floor and in the adjoining streets (including legal parking spaces), so as to ensure that no obstruction is caused to the operation of fire engines; if so, what the details are?

15

Answer:

Mr President,

(a) as I explained in this Council on 31 January this year, there are a number of legislative and administrative measures to control the erection of overhanging signboards outside buildings. The primary concern of the Government as regards these signboards is public safety. The policy is to ensure that signboards which could pose a threat to public safety (including whether they obstruct rescue or fire-fighting operations)-are removed either by the owners themselves or, if necessary, by the Buildings Department. The size of a signboard, including its positioning, and its physical condition are factors to be taken into account;

(b) in 1994, we carefully considered the possibility of introducing a licensing system for overhanging signboards, and concluded that such a system would be resource intensive and costly and would not offer any significant advantage over the existing enforcement arrangements. This conclusion is still valid;

(c) at present, the Buildings Department focuses its efforts on removing signboards that are dangerous or liable to become dangerous, on a district-by-district basis and upon receipt of complaints. Moreover, if the Fire Services Department identifies any signs that obstruct their rescue and fire fighting operations during fire incidents/incidental drills at site, they will report to the Buildings Department for their removal. As regards the risk of vehicles parked on the roads, legal car parking spaces are designated at locations which do not obstruct fire rescue and fighting operations. We will consider whether the existing arrangements need to be improved; and

(d) we would undertake a review of the existing arrangements and the issue of whether an inter-departmental task force should be set up to carry' out street inspections on a long term basis will form part of our consideration.

End

16

Reimbursement of rates and rent for kindergartens

*****

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

Question:

Regarding the applications from non-profit-making kindergartens for reimbursement of rates and rent, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the criteria adopted for determining whether such applications should be approved;

(b) the number of kindergartens whose applications for reimbursement of rates and rent were rejected in the past two years, together with the amount of reimbursement requested by each of the kindergartens concerned; and whether the authority concerned has explained clearly the reasons for rejecting these kindergartens; and

(c) whether the Government will consider improving the existing system for processing such applications, such as introducing a point reckoner or waiting list system to enable the kindergartens to know when their applications will be accepted?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) All non-profit making schools including kindergartens are entitled to reimbursement of rates subject to their being granted exemption as charitable bodies by the Commissioner of Inland Revenue under Section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance.

As for rent reimbursement, the criteria for assessing applications are:

i) the demand for kindergarten places in the district on the basis of the Hong Kong Planning Standards & Guidelines;

ii) compliance with the Education Ordinance and Regulations;

iii) operating standards in both management and professional aspects; and

iv) reasonable rate of rent per pupil per annum.

17

(b) All applications for rates reimbursement are approved once the applicants produce proof of exemption under Section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance.

In the past two school years, there were 34 new applications for rent reimbursement. Ten cases were unsuccessful. Reasons for rejection were clearly explained to individual kindergartens. The respective amounts of reimbursement requested in these cases are listed in the Annex.

(c) Under the existing system, applicants meeting all the criteria in (a) above are given rent reimbursement. Unsuccessful kindergartens may apply again after they have taken appropriate measures in accordance with the advice of the Education Department as appropriate. As the present system is operating satisfactorily, we do not intend to introduce a point reckoner or waiting list system at this stage. The scheme is reviewed from time to time for improvement.

Unsuccessful cases Amount of Monthly Rent Applied for

1994/95 school year

1. $6,000

2. $10,000

3. $16,000

4. $70,000

Unsuccessful cases Amount of Monthly Rent Applied for

1995/96 school year

1. $20,000

2. $25,000

3. $32,000

4. $58,720

5. $60,000

6. $115,000

End

18

Listing Rules of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hong Eric Li Ka-cheung and a written reply by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Under Clause 8.17 of the Listing Rules of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited, all listed companies are required to have a named secretary who is either a professional accountant, lawyer or Chartered Secretary who has the requisite knowledge and experience in discharging the complex statutory and regulatory functions of the post. Will the Government inform this Council whether it will request the Stock Exchange and the Securities and Futures Commission to consider introducing regulations requiring all listed companies to engage professional accountants at the senior management level with designated responsibilities for overseeing the accounting and financial reporting functions of listed companies, including:

(a) ensuring that the increasingly complex financial reporting requirements under both the Listing Rules and the generally accepted accounting principles are complied with;

(b) ensuring that information of a high quality is provided; and

(c) accessing the audit committee of listed companies;

if so, what the details are; if not, why not?

Reply:

The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (SEHK) has studied earlier this year a similar proposal in a report of the Working Group on Corporate Governance set up by the Hong Kong Society of Accountants. The proposal is one amongst many in the report and would require all listed companies to appoint a chief finance officer who is a professional accountant to the board of directors. The SEHK has concluded that there is no immediate need to implement the proposal because -

(a) under the Companies Ordinance, every company is required to cause to be kept proper books of account as are necessary to give a true and fair view of the state of the company’s affairs. It is the directors' responsibility to ensure that the financial statements give a true and fair view and that competent and sufficient personnel or other resources are devoted for this purpose; and

19

(b) under the Companies Ordinance and the SEEK Listing Rules, every listed company must appoint independent professional accountants as auditors who must verify, in accordance with auditing standards, whether the financial statements of the company are in compliance with accounting standards and give a true and fair view. Therefore, the audit requirement has already provided a check on a company’s compliance with the accounting standards.

In addition, the SEEK has also reviewed the listing rules of many other exchanges for similar requirements and has learnt that these exchanges also do not have any mandatory requirement for the appointment of an accountant as finance officer of a listed company.

The Administration is of the view that from a public interest angle, it is the external audit requirement (and the separation of duties) which would assure the quality of financial statements prepared by the company, rather than the qualification of the persons responsible for the finance function within the company. Eaving regard to this and against the background of the SEEK’s study mentioned above, the Administration has no plans at this stage to request the SEEK and the Securities and Futures Commission to consider introducing regulations requiring all listed companies to engage professional accountants at the senior management level.

Finally, the SEEK Listing Rules do not require that the secretary of a listed company must be either a professional accountant, lawyer or Chartered Secretary. Instead, it also allows the secretary to be an individual who, by virtue of his academic or professional qualification or relevant experience, is, in the opinion of the SEEK, capable of discharging the functions. There is at present also no requirement for a listed company to have an audit committee.

End

Drivers are encouraged to switch off engines while waiting

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

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

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council whether it has considered introducing legislation requiring motorists to switch off the engines of vehicles while waiting so as to reduce vehicle emissions, thus causing less air pollution; if not, why not?

20

Reply:

Mr President,

We are considering the practicability of legislation to require motorists to switch off the engines of their vehicles during waiting time. To this end we are gathering information about regulatory controls elsewhere and shall examine the likely impact of such control measures on the operating practice of various transport modes. In the meantime, we are also planning to launch a publicity campaign to encourage drivers to switch off their vehicles while waiting.

End

Issue of ID cards to non-BDTCs

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Henry Tang Ying-yen 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 whether any non-British Dependent Territories citizen with less than seven years' residency in the territory was issued with a Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card in the past; if so, what the reasons for this were, and the number of cases in which Hong Kong Permanent Identity Cards were issued to such persons in each of the past 5 years?

Reply:

Mr President,

Hong Kong Permanent Identity Cards are issued to persons who have the right of abode in Hong Kong. The categories of persons who are Hong Kong permanent residents are defined in Schedule 1 to the Immigration Ordinance, Cap. 115.

Category 3 in Schedule 1 comprises Commonwealth citizens who immediately before 1 January 1983 was a British subject married or had been married to, or was a child of, a person who immediately before 1 January 1983 was :-

(i) a British subject who was bom in Hong Kong;

(ii) a British subject by naturalisation in Hong Kong; or

21

(iii) a British subject by registration in Hong Kong under section 7(2) of the British Nationality Act 1948.

These persons may not be able to acquire the Hong Kong British Dependent Territories citizen status under the current British Nationality Act which entered in force on 1 January 1983 but they are Hong Kong permanent residents as defined in Schedule 1. Thus they are issued with Hong Kong Permanent Identity Cards regardless of how long they have resided in Hong Kong.

The number of Hong Kong Permanent Identity Cards issued in each of the past five years is as follows:-

1992

1993

1994

1995 ,

1996 (January-October)

421,571

458,979

500,961

503,702

517,607

The Immigration Department does not keep a separate record of the number of Hong Kong Permanent Identity Cards issued to Hong Kong permanent residents who are non-British Dependent Territories citizens and who have resided in Hong Kong for less than seven years.

End

Ex-gratia allowance for Lam Tin shop tenants ♦ * * * ♦

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

Question:

A group of Lam Tin Estate Grade B shop tenants affected by the Housing Authority (HA)'s Comprehensive Redevelopment Programme have recently lodged a complaint with the Office of the Commissioner for Administrative Complaints to express their discontent with the method of calculating the ex-gratia payment adopted by the Housing Department (HD). The shop tenants pointed out that the tenancy cards signed between the former Resettlement Department (RD) and the tenants did not specify the areas of the shops premises concerned, and that the area of the shop premises specified in the Light Refreshment Restaurant Licences issued to these shop tenants by the Urban Council was determined by reference to the floor area of the shop premises in accordance with the Food Business (Urban Council) By-laws (Cap. 132). However, when calculating the ex-gratia payment for these shop tenants, the HD has not included the area of the frontal section of the shop premises. According to the HD, this was because rent had not been charged in respect of the area of the frontal section of the shop premises in the past. In this connection, is the Government aware of:

22

(a) the reasons for the HA not issuing another type of tenancy cards to the shop tenants to clarify the floor area and the grading of the shops when the HA took over the public housing estates from the former RD;

(b) whether the HD keeps copies of the business licences or related documents obtained by the shop tenants, so that the floor area of the shop premises can be obtained from such documents;

(c) the reasons for the HD and the Urban Council having different criteria for determining the size of the same shop premises, and which of the sizes determined should be regarded as accurate if a discrepancy occurs;

(d) the justification for not charging rents in respect of the frontal section of the shop premises in the past, and whether rates have been charged in respect of the frontal section of these shop premises; and

(e) the number of appeal cases lodged by Grade B shop tenants who were dissatisfied with the method of calculation of the ex-gratia payment since the implementation of the Comprehensive Redevelopment Programme in 1988, and the outcome of such appeals?

Answer:

Mr President,

After the merger of the former Resettlement Department (RD) with the Housing Authority in 1973, there was a proposal to replace the tenancy cards used by the RD by a new form of tenancy agreement. The proposal was dropped owing to strong protests from tenants to maintain the status quo.

2. It has been the practice of the Housing Department in calculating the area of shops in Group B estates not to include the frontal section. As a result, rent is charged only on the lettable area of the shop, and ex-gratia allowance is also calculated on the same basis.

3. Government Departments and independent organisations are responsible for drawing up their own operational guidelines, and for implementing them through appropriate statutory and administrative arrangements. Thus separate rules, regulations and statutory requirements may be adopted. It is therefore not meaningful to say that a particular method of determining the size of shop premises is more "accurate" than another method.

23

4. The Housing Department does not keep copies of business licences or related documents issued by other Departments.

5. The Rating and Valuation Department charges rates for the use of the frontal section of a shop as rates are normally based on the actual area of occupation.

6. Since the Comprehensive Redevelopment Programme began in 1988, no shop tenant has appealed against the Housing Department’s method of calculating ex-gratia allowances, particularly as the allowance is not a statutory form of compensation.

End

Workload statistics of community psychiatric nurses

*****

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

Question:

Is the Government aware:

(a) the current numbers of psychiatric outpatients and community psychiatric nurses respectively in each of the hospital clusters of the Hospital Authority (HA);

(b) the average daily number of cases handled by each community psychiatric nurse in public hospitals, together with a breakdown of the categories of such cases; and

(c) whether the HA will provide more resources so as to improve the psychiatric service in public hospitals; if so, what the details are?

Reply:

Since workload statistics are kept by the Hospital Authority on the basis of attendance rate rather than number of patients, a breakdown showing the total number of psychiatric out-patient attendance and community psychiatric nurses in each of the hospital clusters is provided below -

24

Hospital Cluster Psychiatric Out-patient Attendance in 1996-97 No of Community Psychiatric Nurses

Hong Kong East 33,853 6

Hong Kong West 37,522 4

Kowloon East 24,090 4.5

Kowloon Central 34,603 20*

Kowloon West 750

New Territories South 111.784

New Territories North 56,679 11*

New Territories East 21,088

♦ Community psychiatric nurses share the caseload within these hospital clusters.

The average daily number of home visits made by each community psychiatric nurse was 2.4 in 1995/96. The frequency of home visits will tend to vary according to individual circumstances but in general, each patient will be visited once every' three to four weeks. Apart from home visits, community psychiatric nurses also provide direct assistance or advice to patients, their families and other community carers through telephone consultation. About 80% of the patients involved are suffering from schizophrenia, while the other 20% are related to depression, anxiety neurosis and substance abuse. Home visits may sometimes be carried out jointly by two community psychiatric nurses to provide quality management, particularly for initial visits, crises intervention or patients with relapsing symptoms, and to reduce potential risks associated with remote locations.

The Hospital Authority has identified the need to improve medical services for psychiatric patients as a priority area. To this end, new initiatives are being considered in its annual plan for 1997/98 to enhance community psychiatric service, to develop psychiatric rehabilitation service and forensic psychiatric service, to improve psychiatric coverage to general hospitals as well as to establish comprehensive child and adolescent psychiatric services.

End

25

Legal aid cases handled by private sector lawyers

*****

Following is a question by Dr the Hon David Li Kwok-po and a written reply by the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question: It is learnt that the Legal Aid Department will issue formal warnings to lawyers practising in the private sector who do not handle legal aid cases in a professional manner. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) how the Legal Aid Department determines whether or not a lawyer in the private sector handles legal aid cases in a professional manner;

(b) of the proportion of legal aid cases assigned to lawyers in the private sector to the total number of legal aid cases in each of the past three years;

(c) of the total expenditure on fees paid to lawyers in the private sector handling legal aid cases in each of the past three years; and

(d) of the number of complaints received by the Legal Aid Department regarding the professional misconduct of private sector lawyers in each of the past three years; and of the findings of the investigation into these complaints?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) Lawyers in the private sector handling legal aid cases are expected to observe the rules governing their conduct as set out in the codes of conduct issued by the professional legal bodies and in the relevant legislation, and to exercise professional skill, care and diligence in the discharge of their duties and obligations towards their clients. All cases assigned out to lawyers in the private sector are monitored by the Legal Aid Department and the lawyers concerned also have to make regular reports to the Department.

-A

(b) In the past three years, about 75% of civil legal aid cases were assigned to lawyers in private practice. The details are as follows:

26

Year Percentage

1994 79%

1995 70%

1996 (January - October) 75%

As regards criminal legal aid cases in the same period, on average 37% of such cases were assigned out to solicitors in the private sector to act as instructing solicitors. The details are as follows:

Year Percentage

1994 36%

1995 41%

1996 (January - October) 37%

In the past three years, on average 83% of criminal cases were also assigned to barristers in the private sector to act as advocates in Courts. The details are as follows:

-j- Year Percentage

'•'te

1994 70%

1995 91%

1996 (January - October) 87%

(c) In the past three years, on average about $210 million a year has been spent on legal costs on cases assigned to lawyers in the private sector. The details are as follows:

Financial Year Legal costs

1993/94 $180.8 million

1994/95 $212.5 million

1995/96 $238.3 million

» r <« .

(d) Hitherto, the Legal Aid Department has not kept statistics on the number or the nature of complaints against assigned lawyers. However, no assigned lawyer has been removed from the Legal Aid Panel for professional misconduct. The Legal Aid Department now intends to keep and analyse such information systematically as part of its computerization programme. This plan is currently being considered in the context of the Feasibility Study of the Legal Aid Department’s Information Systems Strategy.

End

27

Management responsibility of MACs in HOS estates

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Miss Lau Wai-hing, Emily and a written reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It is learnt that any person (including a Legislative Councillor) or organisation wishing to deliver printed materials into the letter boxes of residents in Home Ownership Scheme estates, or to mount publicity boards in these estates, has to obtain the prior consent of the mutual aid committees (MACs) of the estates concerned. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether these MACs, which are non-statutory bodies, have the right to prevent Legislative Councillors from distributing printed materials such as their work reports to the residents in these estates?

Reply:

MACs are residents' organisations formed by owners and tenants of the same buildings. They have responsibility, among other things, for the proper management of the buildings concerned.

There are no provisions in the law and in the MACs' constitutions for MACs to restrain distribution to residents of information material from Legislative Council members or, for that matter, from any other persons and organisations. However, MACs may do so at the request of the owners and tenants of the building or if they had consulted and obtained prior authorisation from them.

End

Compilation of the Hang Seng London Reference Index

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Chim Pui-chung and a written reply by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Does the Government know:

- 28 -

(a) which organisation is responsible for compiling the Hang Seng London Reference Index (the Index) which reflects the price movements of Hong Kong stocks traded in London;

(b) whether the authority concerned will consider asking the organisation concerned to publish daily the movement of the Index and transaction details of Hong Kong stocks traded in London for public reference; if not, why not; and

(c) whether the authority concerned has considered the possibility of the Index being exploited as a tool for market manipulation?

Answer:

(a) The Hang Seng London Reference Index (the Index) is compiled by the HSI Services Limited (the company), a subsidiary of the Hang Seng Bank Limited, which is also the publisher of the Hang Seng Index.

(b) Neither the Administration nor the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) have plans to ask the company to publish daily the movement of the Index and transaction details of Hong Kong stocks traded in London, not only because the SFC has no regulatory authority over the company, but also because many other service providers are already publishing a variety of transaction information including the ones mentioned in the question.

(c) A financial index, such as the Hang Seng London Reference Index, primarily reflects the performance of its constituent stocks in a particular market and would have no greater influence over the market than the trading activities of its constituent stocks. There are a variety of factors affecting the performance of Hong Kong stocks and the level of related indices, including the state of our economy and the world's leading economies, movements in interest rates, and trading activities of Hong Kong stocks in other overseas markets. The possibility of the Index being exploited as a tool for market manipulation is no higher than that inherent in the actual trading of its constituent stocks.

End

29

Cook duties at police stations ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

Following are a question by Dr the Hon Law Cheung-kwok and a written reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of police officers deployed to work as cooks in police stations, and the average monthly salary of these officers;

(b) of the qualifications for the post of cook in police stations and whether,

in the recruitment advertisement for police officers mention is made that police officers may be deployed to work as cook in police stations; and

(c) whether the posts of cook in police stations can be filled by non-police officers; if not, why not?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) There are a total of 139 police officers consisting of 2 Station Sergeants, 14 Sergeants and 123 Police Constables working as cooks. Their midpoint monthly salary for 1996/97 are $27,415 for Station Sergeants, j $22,010 for Sergeants, and $15,980 for Police Constables.

(b) It is not mentioned in the recruitment advertisement that police officers recruited may be deployed to work as cooks. Cooking skill is not an entry requirement for police officers.

(c) The Police plan to civilianise or contract out catering services including cook duties at all Police stations in phases. However, a number of Police cooks will be retained to perform catering services for Field Patrol Detachment units which operate on a 24 hour basis and inside restricted areas as well as to provide emergency catering services in internal security situations.

30

Housing Society provides flats for public housing

*****

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

Question :

Does the Government know:

(a) of the total number of rental flats provided by the Hong Kong Housing Society (the Society) to the Hong Kong Housing Authority for allocation to the applicants on the Public Housing Waiting List in the past five years;

(b) whether the Society will continue to make rental flats available for rehousing people affected by the Urban Renewal Scheme; if so, how the Society will determine the number of such flats; and

(c) whether the Society will reduce the number of rental flats to be produced in its development plan for the next five years; if so, what the reasons are and whether this will aggravate the problem of an inadequate supply of public rental flats?

Answer:

Mr President,

In the past five years (1991-92 to 1995-96), the Hong Kong Housing Society provided about 3,100 rental flats for allocation to applicants on the Waiting List maintained by the Housing Authority.

2. In the next five years (1996-97 to 2000-01), the Hong Kong Housing Society will build 3,200 rental flats, with 2,000 earmarked for rehousing people affected by urban renewal projects of the Land Development Corporation.

3. Subject to the provision of suitable land by the Government, the Hong Kong Housing Society will continue to produce rental flats. The combined production of public rental flats planned by the Housing Authority and the Housing Society over the six-year period up to March 2001 will enable us to meet the target of producing 141,000 public rental flats.

End

31

Provision of public transport facilities of the new airport ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Howard Young and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Gordon Siu, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question.

Will the Government inform this Council whether it has drawn up plans regarding the provision of public transport facilities during the period between the opening of the new airport at Chek Lap Kok in April 1998 and the commissioning of the Airport Railway in June 1998?

Reply

Mr President, : ■ j ■. •

The consultants for the Transport Study for the New Airport have put forward a number of proposals regarding the provision of public transport facilities if the new airport were opened in advance of the commissioning of the Airport Railway. However, the Mass Transit Railway Corporation has a good track record of completing projects ahead of schedule and within budget. It is liaising with the Airport Authority with a view to, if necessary, accelerating the works of the Airport Railway to match the opening of the new airport. We will closely monitor progress on the Airport Railway project and acceleration measures and will continue to keep the need for contingency public transport plans under review.

End

Hospital Authority Head Office staff ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Mr Michael Ho and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The Hospital Authority (HA)’s plan to reduce the number of staff in various ranks in the HA Head Office has been implemented for several years. Is the Government aware of:

32

(a) the respective numbers of directorate staff (equivalent to level 1 or above of the Directorate pay scale in the Civil Service) and nondirectorate staff in the HA Head Office in each of the four financial years from 1992/93 to 1995/96; and

(b) the target of the reduction in the establishment of the HA Head office, and the date when this target will be achieved?

Reply:

A breakdown showing the number of directorate staff and non-directorate staff in the HA Head Office in the past four years is provided below -

Year Number of Staff (as at September)

Directorate Non-directorate Total

1993 31 509 540

1994 34 490 524

1995 34 453 487

1996 32 420 452

HA’s target is to reduce the total number of staff in the Head office to 400 by the first quarter of 1998.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, December 12,1996

Contents f age No.

Public briefing session on ECR7 Consultation Document.................. 1

Special campaign to recruit local workers for ACP jobs................. 2

Trial of timed charge for public payphones............................. 3

Recommendations on winding up allowance accepted....................... 4

External trade statistics for October.................................. 5

$2.7 million relief fund grant to fire victims........................ 15

Central Fairway to revert to its original alignment................ 15

Licence fees for employment agencies revised.......................... 17

Occupational Safety Seminar for civil servants........................ 17

BOE members visit skills opportunity school........................... 18

Garrison to bid farewell to Hong Kong Chinese soldiers................ 19

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity...................... 20

1

Public briefing session on ECR7 Consultation Document

*****

Members of the public are invited to participate in a briefing session on Saturday (December 14) to give their views on quality school education, the theme of the Education Commission Report No 7 Consultation Document.

The briefing, which will be held at Wellington College in Telford Gardens, Kowloon Bay, at 10 am, is one of a series of sessions conducted by the EC to solicit views from various sectors on the recommendations in the consultation document.

Present at the briefing will be the EC Chairman, Professor Rosie Young; an EC member, Ms Sansan Ching; and officials of the Education Department.

Similar briefings are scheduled for Legislative Councillors, principals, teachers, school councils and sponsors, advisory boards and committees, education faculties of tertiary institutions, and District Board members during the two-month consultation ending on January 15.

A spokesman for the Education Commission said today (Thursday): ’’The views collected will be taken into account before finalising and presenting the recommendations to the Government early next year.

"The Consultation Document was published on November 19 with recommendations aimed at helping schools to improve their performance and ensuring that resources for school education are used in the most effective, efficient and accountable manner.

"It represents the Commission's vision of a quality school education system which will have lasting benefits to the generations to come," the spokesman said.

The major recommendations are on the development of school-based management; the introduction of pilot incentive schemes for schools; the establishment of a framework for developing and monitoring quality of school education; the role of the Education Department; and training of key players in the school system.

This is the second phase of the Commission’s two-round consultation exercise to gauge public response. The first round of public consultation on broad principles was held in June this year.

2

Copies of the ECR7 Consultation Document are available at all district offices and the sub-offices of the Education Department. It is also available at the E-mail address: embinfo@emb.gcn.gov.hk.

Views can be forwarded before January 15, 1997 to the Secretary, Education Commission, nineth floor, Central Government Offices (West Wing), 11 Ice House Street, Central (fax: 2537 4591 ore-mail address: embinfo@emb.gcn.gov.hk.)

End

Special campaign to recruit local workers for ACP jobs *****

The Labour Department will be playing an active part in the special Local Workers Recruitment Campaign for the new airport and related projects which will run for two weeks from next Monday (December 16) to December 31.

This recruitment campaign will be jointly organised by the Government, the Airport Authority and the Mass Transit Railway Corporation, and will be based at both the Airport Core Programme Job Centre and the Local Employment Service of the Labour Department.

The purpose of this campaign is to enable contractors concerned to make an extensive trawl of the market for suitable local workers for those job vacancies which have to be filled within the next three months in order to meet the tight works schedule of the projects.

On the basis of the results of this recruitment campaign, the Government will give expeditious approval of applications for imported workers to fill any particular shortfall of labour established through the two-week recruitment exercise during this campaign.

Assistant Commissioner for Labour (Employment Services), Mrs Jennie Chor, said today (Thursday) that both the Local Employment Service and the Special Placement Team (SPT) for the Airport Core Programme of the Department would step up their efforts in helping local construction workers to find jobs in the new airport and related projects during this campaign.

During the two-week campaign period, information on job vacancies will be displayed in the SPT and all LES offices throughout the territory.

3

The SPT will also send the vacancy information to over 20 relevant trade unions, encouraging their members to apply for the jobs.

To strengthen the placement service to local workers, the SPT on the second floor of Tsuen Wan Government Offices will extend its working hours on Saturdays from noon to 5.30 pm during the campaign.

Mrs Chor urged local construction workers interested in the airport-related jobs to register at the SPT or any of the LES offices. They could also call the "jobs hotline" 2492 2001 for more information of the vacancies.

End

Trial of timed charge for public payphones ♦ * ♦ * *

The Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) announced today (Thursday) that a trial of timed charges for public payphones will be conducted by the Hong Kong Telephone Company Limited (HKTC) for a three-month period from December 18, 1996 to March 18, 1997. About 400 payphones have been selected for the trial. The call charge for a local call on these phones will be $1 for 5 minutes.

"At present, the charge for making a local call at all HKTC operated public payphones is $1. There is no time limit to the length of the call. From time to time, OFTA receives submissions from the public about their concern over the prolonged occupation of some public payphones located in busy areas. The prolonged occupation of payphones is causing inconvenience to other users," a spokesman for the OFTA said.

"The purpose of this trial is to gather information on customers attitude and usage pattern on public payphones, in particular, whether putting a time limit to the $1 payphone charge will help ease the long queue problem in busy areas," the spokesman continued.

The kiosks of the payphones selected for the trial will be clearly labelled for easy identification. Buntings will be hung at the entrance to the kiosks of the payphones under trial and a label will be adhered to the phone informing users about the trial tariff. In addition, customers will be reminded 20 seconds before expiry of the paid call duration by a tone and a LCD display to insert another coin for continual usage.

4

During the trial period, HK.TC will commission an on-site survey to collect responses and comments from payphone users.

At the completion of the trial, OFTA will assess the information and feedback collected to find out the opinion of the public on such a charging scheme and whether such a payphone charging system is helpful to ease the long queue.

’’This exercise is conducted to collect the views of the public to overcome the problem of long queues on payphones. It has no connection whatsoever with the exercise on timed local calls for residential and business lines”, the spokesman said.

End

Recommendations on winding up allowance accepted *****

The Commission on Remuneration for Members of the Legislative Council has completed its consideration of the report on Review on Winding Up Allowance for LegCo Members and accepted most of the recommendations contained in it.

The report was submitted by the Legislative Council Subcommittee on Review of Allowances for Members of the Legislative Council.

"The Commission’s report has been fully accepted by the Government," a Government spokesman said today (Thursday).

"The Commission's recommendations, which are of general application, have taken into account LegCo Members' practical needs and at the same time maintain the accountability principle. We will seek the approval of the Finance Committee next month to implement these proposals," he added.

The main recommendation of the Commission is that the winding up allowance should no longer be set at $180,000, but should consist of two elements-

(i) a fixed amount equivalent to the total monthly operating expenses reimbursement and district office allowance, payable on a reimbursement basis (for example, a total of $92,780 at present rates), of which $10,000 may be claimed against certified claims of expenses incurred, to enable LegCo Members to cover all expenses incurred (including liabilities arising from premature termination of tenancy agreements) when they have to leave office for reasons beyond their control: and

5

(ii) a separate amount with no pre-set ceiling, payable on the basis of the actual severance payment that needs to be paid to staff employed using the operating expenses reimbursement.

The Commission is chaired by the Hon J D McGregor. Its members at the time the report was produced were Dr Cheng Hon-kwan, Mr Christopher Cheng Wai-chee, Mr Lawrence Lam Yin-ming, Dr Thomas Leung Kwok-fai and Miss Gladys Li Chi-hei.

End

External trade statistics for October

*****

In October 1996, the value of re-exports grew by 8.2% over a year earlier to $110.5 billion, while the value of domestic exports decreased by 6.5% to $19.4 billion. Meanwhile, imports increased by 5.2% to $138.1 billion.

The Census and Statistics Department today released detailed statistics on external trade with breakdown by country/territory and commodity for October 1996.

Changes in the value of Hong Kong's re-exports to ten main destinations are shown in Table 1.

Comparing October 1996 with October 1995, increases were recorded in the value of re-exports to Singapore (+19%), the Netherlands (+18%), China (+14%), Japan (+13%), South Korea (+12%), the United Kingdom (+8.5%) and the United States (+4.9%).

However, decreases were recorded in the value of re-exports to Taiwan (-4.1%), France (-1.5%) and Germany (-0.5%).

Comparing the first ten months of 1996 with the same period in 1995. the value of re-exports to most main destinations showed increases of various magnitudes : Japan (+18%), the United Kingdom (+14%), the Netherlands (+11%), France (+8.7%), China (+8.3%), Singapore (+7.5%), South Korea (+6.5%), Germany (+6.1%) and the United States (+3.9%).

However, the value of re-exports to Taiwan decreased by 4.8%.

6

Taking all destinations together, the value of re-exports in the first ten months of 1996 was $986.9 billion, 6.9% higher than that in the same period in 1995.

Table 2 shows changes in the value of re-exports of ten principal commodity divisions.

Comparing the first ten months of 1996 with the same period in 1995, the value of re-exports of most principal commodity divisions rose. More notable increases were registered for office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $10.7 billion or 23%); clothing (by $8.7 billion or 11%); electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $7.6 billion or 8.1%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of baby carriages, toys, games and sporting goods (by $7.2 billion or 6.0%); photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies, optical goods, watches and clocks (by $5.1 billion or 12%); footwear (by $4.5 billion or 9.0%); and textiles (by $2.2 billion or 2.8%).

Over the same period, a decrease in the value of re-exports was registered for telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $2.6 billion or 2.6%).

Changes in the value of domestic exports to ten main destinations are shown in Table 3.

Comparing October 1996 with October 1995, the value of domestic exports to China and Germany increased by 7.1% and 2.6% respectively.

On the other hand, decreases were recorded in the value of domestic exports to Singapore (-34%), Taiwan (-17%), the United States (-14%), Canada (-12%), France (-9.4%), the Netherlands (-8.7%), Japan (-4.6%) and the United Kingdom (-4.4%). Nevertheless, domestic exports to many of these markets showed smaller declines in October than in September.

Comparing the first ten months of 1996 with the same period in 1995. the value of domestic exports to all main destinations showed decreases of various magnitudes : Singapore (-17%), Taiwan (-15%), the United States (-13%), Canada (-9.7%), the Netherlands (-8.8%). France (-7.9%), Germany (-6.0%), China (-4.3%). Japan (-3.2%) and the United Kingdom (-1.7%).

Taking all destinations together, the value of domestic exports in the first ten months of 1996, at $175.9 billion, decreased by 8.7% over the same period in 1995.

7

Table 4 shows changes in the value of domestic exports of ten principal commodity divisions.

Comparing the first ten months of 1996 with the same period in 1995, the value of domestic exports of most principal commodity divisions decreased. More notable decreases were registered for clothing (by $4.3 billion or 7.0%); office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $4.2 billion or 28%); telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $1.9 billion or 21%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of jewellery, goldsmiths' and silversmiths' wares (by $1.6 billion or 9.4%); photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies, optical goods, watches and clocks (by $1.4 billion or 10%); and electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $661 million or 2.5%).

Over the same period, an increase in the value of domestic exports was registered for professional, scientific and controlling instruments and apparatus (by $260 million or 11%).

Changes in the value of imports from ten main suppliers are shown in Table 5.

Comparing October 1996 with October 1995, increases were recorded in the value of imports from the United Kingdom (+23%), Malaysia (+16%), Italy (+14%), the United States (+13%), Germany (+11%), China (+9.5%) and Singapore (+0.9%).

However, decreases were recorded in the value of imports from Taiwan (-13%), South Korea (-3.6%) and Japan (-2.1%).

Comparing the first ten months of 1996 with the same period in 1995, increases were recorded in the value of imports from Malaysia (+18%), Italy (+16%), the United Kingdom (+8.6%), the United States (+6.5%), China (+5.9%), Singapore (+5.0%) and Germany (+2.9%).

However, decreases were recorded in the value of imports from Japan (-7.4%), Taiwan (-5.0%) and South Korea (-0.5%).

Taking all sources together, the value of imports in the first ten months of 1996, at $1,273.2 billion, increased by 2.8% over the same period in 1995.

Table 6 shows changes in the value of imports of ten principal commodity divisions.

8

Comparing the first ten months of 1996 with the same period in 1995, more notable increases in the value of imports were registered for office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $10.4 billion or 19%); electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $7.1 billion or 4.6%); clothing (by $6.2 billion or 7.6%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of baby carriages, toys, games and sporting goods (by $3.8 billion or 4.3%); and footwear (by $3.4 billion or 7.9%).

Over the same period, decreases in the value of imports were recorded for telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $4.7 billion or 3.9%); textiles (by $2.5 billion or 2.3%); and non-metallic mineral manufactures (by $1.2 billion or 3.2%).

All the trade statistics described here are measured at current prices and no account has been taken of changes in prices between the periods of comparison.

A separate analysis of the volume and price movements of external trade for October 1996 will be released in early January 1997.

Detailed trade statistics analysed by commodity and by country/territory are published in trade statistics reports.

The October 1996 issue of the "Hong Kong External Trade" with detailed analyses on the performance of Hong Kong’s external trade in October 1996 will be on sale at $ 129 per copy around December 21,1996.

The report can be purchased at either (i) the Government Publications Centre, ground floor, Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong, or (ii) 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. No. 2598 8194) and enquiries on trade statistics to the Census and Statistics Department (Tel. No. 2582 4915).

- 9 -

TABLE 1 : RE-EXPORTS TO TEN MAIN DESTINATIONS

DESTINATION OCT 1996 (HKD Mn.) OCT 96 OVER OCT 95 (% CHANGE) JAN-OCT 1996 (HKD Mn.) JAN-OCT 96 OVER JAN-OCT 95 (% CHANGE)

CHINA 37,872 + 13.8 342,363 + 8.3

UNITED STATES 23,480 + 4.9 204,771 + 3.9

JAPAN 7,877 + 12.6 67,157 + 17.9

GERMANY 4,148 - 0.5 39,575 + 6.1

UNITED KINGDOM 3,593 + 8.5 30,029 + 13.6

SINGAPORE 2,738 + 18.8 23,029 + 7.5

TAIWAN 2,388 - 4.1 21,862 - 4.8

SOUTH KOREA 1,826 + 12.4 16,988 + 6.5

FRANCE 1,640 - 1.5 15,644 + 8.7

NETHERLANDS 1,673 + 18.1 15,115 + 10.9

10 -

TABLE 2 : RE-EXPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION OCT 1996 (HKD Mn.) OCT 96 OVER OCT 95 (% CHANGE) JAN-OCT 1996 (HKD Mn.) JAN-OCT 96 OVER JAN-OCT 95 (% CHANGE)

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY BABY CARRIAGES, TOYS, GAMES AND SPORTING GOODS) 14,991 - 0.3 127,330 + 6.0

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 12,116 + 12.2 102,281 + 8.1

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 11,279 - 3.8 96,838 - 2.6

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 9,534 + 14.9 84,867 + 11.4

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 8,904 + 10.2 80,184 + 2.8

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 6,799 + 27.9 56,884 + 23.1

FOOTWEAR 5,214 + 4.4 54,869 + 9.0

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 5,367 + 15.9 46,228 + 12.4

TRAVEL GOODS, HANDBAGS AND SIMILAR CONTAINERS 3,225 + 7.4 30,755 + 3.9

GENERAL INDUSTRIAL MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT, AND MACHINE PARTS 1,944 + 15.3 24,820 + 8.8

TABLE 3 : DOMESTIC EXPORTS TO TEN MAIN DESTINATIONS

DESTINATION OCT 1996 (HKD Mn.) OCT 96 OVER OCT 95 (% CHANGE) JAN-OCT 1996 (HKD Mn.) JAN-OCT 96 OVER JAN-OCT 95 (% CHANGE)

CHINA 5,898 + 7.1 50,877 - 4.3

UNITED STATES 5,393 - 14.1 44,449 - 13.0

JAPAN 962 - 4.6 9,566 - 3.2

GERMANY 914 + 2.6 9,242 - 6.0

UNITED KINGDOM 899 - 4.4 8,779 - 1.7

SINGAPORE 697 - 34.4 8,521 - 16.9

TAIWAN 656 - 16.9 5,603 - 15.4

NETHERLANDS 298 - 8.7 3,837 - 8.8

CANADA 339 - 11.5 3,284 - 9.7

FRANCE 231 - 9.4 2,401 - 7.9

- 12 -

TABLE 4 : DOMESTIC EXPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION OCT 1996 (HKD Mn.) OCT 96 OVER OCT 95 (% CHANGE) JAN-OCT 1996 (HKD Mn.) JAN-OCT 96 OVER JAN-OCT 95 (% CHANGE)

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 6,718 - 2.3 56,741 - 7.0

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 2,683 - 8.3 25,380 - 2.5

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY JEWELLERY, GOLDSMITHS’ AND SILVERSMITHS’ WARES) 1,752 - 6.1 15,079 - 9.4

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 1,349 - 14.4 12,593 - 10.3

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 1,261 - 0.6 11,485 - 2.5

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 1,098 - 20.7 10,955 - 27.7

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 806 - 19.5 7,140 - 21.1

MANUFACTURES OF METALS 363 - 6.1 3,529 - 8.6

PLASTICS IN PRIMARY FORMS 357 - 19.1 3,269 - 13.8

PROFESSIONAL, SCIENTIFIC AND CONTROLLING INSTRUMENTS AND APPARATUS 306 + 18.9 2,667 + 10.8

13 -

TABLE 5 : IMPORTS FROM TEN MAIN SUPPLIERS

SUPPLIER OCT 1996 (HKD Mn.) OCT 96 OVER OCT 95 (% CHANGE) JAN-OCT 1996 (HKD Mn.) JAN-OCT 96 OVER JAN-OCT 95 (% CHANGE)

CHINA 53,420 + 9.5 475,549 + 5.9

JAPAN 18,568 - 2.1 171,764 - 7.4

TAIWAN 10,729 - 12.6 101,954 - 5.0

UNITED STATES 11,449 + 12.7 101,170 + 6.5

SINGAPORE 6,649 + 0.9 67,763 + 5.0

SOUTH KOREA 6,130 - 3.6 61,157 - 0.5

MALAYSIA 2,877 + 16.0 27,717 + 17.6

GERMANY 2,681 + 10.6 27,577 + 2.9

UNITED KINGDOM 3,124 + 22.9 27,306 + 8.6

ITALY 2,895 + 14.3 25,923 + 15.9

14 -

TABLE 6 : IMPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION OCT 1996 (HKD Mn.) OCT 96 OVER OCT 95 (% CHANGE) JAN-OCT 1996 (HKD Mn.) JAN-OCT 96 OVER JAN-OCT 95 (% CHANGE)

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 18,452 + 7.7 161,742 + 4.6

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 12,732 - 10.9 116,914 - 3.9

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP

ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 11,269 + 1.1 106,986 - 2.3

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY BABY CARRIAGES, TOYS, GAMES AND SPORTING GOODS) 10,178 + 4.5 91,181 + 4.3

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING

ACCESSORIES 10,397 + 13.7 87,628 + 7.6

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA

PROCESSING MACHINES 7,646 + 29.7 66,241 + 18.5

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 5,758 + 7.3 52,446 + 0.6

FOOTWEAR 4,639 + 7.2 47,313 + 7.9

GENERAL INDUSTRIAL MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT, AND MACHINE PARTS 2,937 + 5.0 37,400 + 5.7

NON-METALLIC MINERAL MANUFACTURES 3,724 + 5.5 35,689 - 3.2

End

15

$2.7 million relief fund grant to fire victims * * * * *

'fhe Social Welfare Department (SWD) has granted more than $2.7 million under the Emergency Relief Fund to victims and family members affected by the No. 5 alarm fire at Garley Building, Yau Ma Tei.

A department spokesman said today (Thursday) that staff of SWD’s family services centres and social security field units have already reached out and contacted all 121 families of the injured and the deceased.

"Among them, 91 families have been provided with the various welfare services including financial assistance, counselling, clinical psychologist services, child care, home help and care for the elderly," the spokesman said.

The department's clinical psychologists have also organised five Critical Incident Stress Debriefing sessions for the victims and their families, members of the public as well as staff of the Chow Sang Sang Jewellery Company.

Meanwhile, caseworkers of the SWD will continue to contact the families of the injured and deceased to offer appropriate assistance.

End

Central Fairway to revert to its original alignment

*****

The Central Fairway, one of the busiest traffic lanes in Victoria Harbour, will revert to its original alignment on December 16 (Monday), the Assistant Director of Marine (Port Services), Mr Roger Tupper, announced today (Thursday).

The fairway was first re-aligned in February 1994 and subsequently in December 1994 and January 1996 to facilitate marine works associated with the Western Harbour Crossing and the Airport Railway Tunnel within Victoria Harbour.

"As the marine works for the two major projects are approaching completion, it is now possible to revert the current realigned Central Fairway to its original alignment," Mr Tupper said.

16

All other fairways adjoining the Central Fairway will also be reverted to their original alignments in the same exercise. The navigational and special marker buoys demarcating the Central Fairway and the related fairways will be relocated starting from 10 am on Monday.

Mr Tupper was pleased that the marine accidents remained at an acceptable level even though the normal pattern of traffic was disrupted when the marine works were in progress.

"The effort by the Marine Department to maintain the safety of the harbour and the co-operation from the port users to make our port a safe one have paid off," he said.

As part of its effort to maintain a safe harbour when the marine works are in progress, the department has marked the works areas with special marker buoys to guide masters.

"We issue them with notices from time to time to inform them the changes and the new arrangements. At the same time we deploy additional patrol launches to give on-the-spot advice and regulate traffic," he said.

To keep the traffic volume at an acceptable level, the department discouraged ocean-going vessels from transiting the central harbour, Mr Tupper said.

In addition it mounted a series of marine safety campaigns in the central harbour and organised seminars for masters to remind them of the rules of the road.

As a safety precaution, navigational warnings on the fairway realignment will be broadcast at regular intervals and additional patrol launches will be deployed to regulate traffic.

For the first three days after the fairway reversion, marine works in the vicinity of the Central Fairway will be suspended.

Mr Tupper appealed to masters and operators of vessels to be vigilant at all times.

"They tend to relax when the marine works areas begin to disappear, but that does not mean they can be less watchful," he said.

End

17

Licence fees for employment agencies revised

*****

The fee for the issue or renewal of licence for an employment agency under the Employment Agency Regulations will be adjusted with effect from January 17, 1997.

The adjustment, which has been approved by the Secretary for the Treasury under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance, is set out in the Employment Agency (Amendment)(No. 2) Regulation 1996 gazetted on December 6, 1996.

’’The licence fee for an employment agency and the fee for the duplicate licence for each of the branch office of the employment agency has been revised from $1,400 and $280 to $1,870 and $360 respectively," a spokesman for the Labour Department said today (Thursday).

The spokesman explained that under the Employment Ordinance, any person wishing to operate an employment agency must apply to the Commissioner for Labour for a licence and that an employment agency which operates at more than one location is required to apply for a duplicate licence for each branch location.

The fees were last revised in December 1994 and the present revision aimed at recovering the full administrative cost incurred.

Enquiries about the licence fees may be directed to the Employment Agency Administration of the Labour Department on 2852 3535 or 2852 3541.

End

Occupational Safety Seminar for civil servants ♦ * * * ♦

Some 300 civil servants representing 50 departments attended today (Thursday) a seminar on occupational health and safety practices in offices, which was jointly organised by the Civil Service Branch and Occupational Safety and Health Council.

Officiated by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, the seminar provided a forum for civil servants to share their experience in promoting good occupational health and safety practices in offices.

18

This was the first of two seminars aimed at helping departmental management and staff understand the Occupational Safety Charter better.

The Charter, launched in September this year, carries the theme “safety is a shared responsibility".

It conveys constructive and meaningful messages to employees so that they understand their rights to enjoy a safe working environment. The Charter also outlines the responsibilities of employers to prevent workplace accidents and promote occupational health.

The Deputy Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr Lau Lai-chiu, elaborated on the role of the Civil Service Branch in the promotion of occupational health and safety in the civil service.

Participants were briefed on the Charter by the Acting Deputy Commissioner for Labour, Mr Mak Sai-yiu and Executive Director of the Occupational Safety and Health Council, Mr Yip Yuk-lun.

Other panel speakers included the staff side representative of the CSB Working Group on Occupational Safety and Health in the Civil Service, Mr Wong Hyo; Acting Chief Factory Inspector, Mr Wong Wai-chi and Occupational Health Officer of Labour Department, Dr Lo Tsun-yan.

The next seminar on the Charter will be held on December 17.

End

BOE members visit skills opportunity school ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Board of Education Chairman, Mr Cheng Mo-chi, and three other members today (Thursday) visited CCC Nim Tsi School in To Kwa Wan. They were accompanied by the Assistant Director of Education (Services), Mr David Pun. The three members were Mr Chan Tak-hang, Mr Ronald Lau Yiu-fai and Mr Issac Tse Pak-hoi.

On arrival, they were greeted by the school head, Mr Rodney Wong. Mr Wong briefed the visitors on various aspects of the school, and accompanied the group on a tour of the classrooms and workshops.

19

CCC Nim Tsi School was founded in 1980 under the sponsorship of the Church of Christ in China (Hong Kong Council). It is now an aided whole-day co-educational SI.ills Opportunity School for students with serious learning difficulties aged between 12 and 16. It operates Secondary 1-3 classes, with five classes at each level, providing a total of 300 places.

Academic and non-academic subjects take up 60 percent and 40 per cent respectively of the school curriculum. A range of extra-curricular activities are offered. Four school social workers provide case work, group work, parent counselling services and career guidance for students. An educational psychologist visits the school every fortnight.

End

Garrison to bid farewell to Hong Kong Chinese soldiers ♦ * * * *

A long and illustrious association with the British Garrison will come to a ceremonial end when members of the Hong Kong Military Service Corps (HKMSC) hold their disbandment parade on Stonecutters Island on Saturday (December 14).

Over 270 Hong Kong Chinese soldiers will take part in the parade which will also be attended by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, the Adjutant General, General Sir Michael Rose, and Commander British Forces, Major General Bryan Dutton.

The Corps is a unique part of the British Army and is thought to be the last locally raised regular force which once stood at some 1 400 but which now, since drawdown, numbers 500 officers and men.

Among those taking part in the final parade are the Lion and Dragon Dance teams, the Motorcycle Display Team from 29 Transport Regiment of the Royal Logistic Corps, men from Dragon Company of the HKMSC's infantry unit, guard dog teams from the Defence Animal Support Unit and Royal Military Police from the Adjutant General's Corps.

Following the Governor's inspection of the troops, the Corps' flag will be lowered for the last time and paraded through the ranks before being handed over to the Hong Kong Soldiers' Association for safekeeping.

20

The history of the Hong Kong Chinese soldiers with the Army began in the 1880s when locals were employed by the Royal Engineers in building barracks and defence works.

Members of the Hong Kong Chinese Regiment fought against the Japanese in 1941 and in 1948 the Hong Kong Chinese Training Unit was formed. This later became the Hong Kong Military Service Corps in 1962, a change in both name and organisation which offered local soldiers the opportunity to pursue a full career in the Army.

Today there are 500 Hong Kong Chinese officers and soldiers serving throughout the Garrison in a wide variety of roles and employments.

Sadly the Corps will disband on March 31, 1997 as part of the Garrison's drawdown prior to the transfer of sovereignty but its reputation for loyal service and excellence will live on.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity

*****

TIME AGGREGATE BALANCE OF SETTLEMENT ACCOUNTS

OPENING AGGREGATE BALANCE 804 MN 0930 HR 27580 MN

CLOSING AGGREGATE BALANCE 1243 MN 1000 HR 28200 MN

CHANGE ATTRIBUTABLE TO : 1100 HR 42993 MN

MONEY MARKET ACTIVITY +13414 MN 1200 HR 49205 MN

LAF REVERSAL +8 MN 1500 HR 52738 MN

LAF TODAY -12983 MN 1600 HR 51329 MN

LAF RATE 4.00% BID/6.00% OFFER TWI 124.8 *-0.1* 12.12.96

21

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF Bills EF Notes/MTRC b lotes

Terms Yield Terms Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.09 2 years 2811 5.72 100.10 5.74

1 month 4.30 3 years 3910 6.28 100.59 6.14

3 months 4.63 5 years 5109 7.32 102.70 6.75

6 months 4.90 7 years 7311 6.80 98.91 7.12

12 months 5.18 10 years 1610 7.37 101.10 7.34

5 years M503 7.35 101.43 7.10

TOTAL TURNOVER OF EF BILLS AND NOTES - $17,989 MN

CLOSED DECEMBER 12, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Friday, December 13,1996

Contents EageJiOx

Transcript of remarks by the Chief Secretary......................... 1

Appointment of statutory Commission of Inquiry recommended........... 1

Official Secrets Bill gazetted today................................. 3

NT Land Exchange Entitlements (Redemption) Ordinance................. 4

Some progress on telecommunications accord........................... 5

Efforts to fight against spread of cancer underlined................. 6

Bill on assessment and collection of Govt rents gazetted............. 7

Draft Chek Lap Kok OZP published..................................... 9

110 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flight........................ 11

Monitors’ Report submitted to CS..................................... 11

New LAB members appointed............................................ 12

Contents

Page No.

New guidelines aimed at helping teachers................................. 13

Deadline for deafness compensation applications extended................. 14

Town Planning Board publishes Annual Report.............................. 15

Philatelic collection set for the Year of the Ox......................... 16

Air quality report for November.......................................... 17

CPCE produces Basic Law calendar..................................... 18

Tenders invited for two secondary schools................................ 19

Sale of land by Letter A/B or cash tender  .............................  19

Two architectural projects in Kwun Tong.................................. 20

Deadline for Chiristmas mail............................................. 21

Flushing water cut in Tsuen Wan and Kwai Chung........................... 21

Hong Kong Monetary Authority Interbank Liquidity......................... 22

1

Transcript of remarks by the Chief Secretary ♦ * * * *

Following is the transcript of the Chief Secretary. Mrs Anson Chan’s remarks to the media at Government Secretariat today (Friday):

Question: (on invitation for Mrs Chan to become chief secretary for administration of the Special Administrative Region.)

Chief Secretary: I did have an opportunity today, the first opportunity I’ve had to speak with Mr Tung and of course to congratulate him on his election. I am also very happy to know that Mr Tung has confidence in me. I very much hope that he will make a decision on the rest of his team as early as possible and certainly in terms of giving confidence and maintaining morale and stability in the civil service, it would be a very good thing if all existing principal officials could carry on with their work after 1997.

End

Appointment of statutory Commission of Inquiry recommended

*****

The Government will recommend to the Executive Council the appointment of a statutory Commission of Inquiry to look into the fire at Garley Building last month.

Releasing the reports by two Fire Services Investigation Teams on the No. 5 fire today (Friday), a Government spokesman said that an independent inquiry chaired by a judge was appropriate and commensurate with the scale of the disaster and the public concern over the incident.

He said the Government had accepted and would implement immediately where possible the recommendations made by the Investigation Teams.

“In fact, the administration is already pursuing some of the recommendations," he added.

These include the Fire Safety (Commercial Premises) Bill which is now under scrutiny by a Legislative Council Bills Committee. It requires enhancement to current standards in the provision of fire service installations, means of escape and access, and fire-resisting construction in certain prescribed commercial premises.

2

’’The Government is reviewing what additional measures ought to be taken to enhance fire safety in old commercial/office buildings like Garley Building,” the spokesman said.

"We will conduct a sample survey on old commercial/office buildings in order to assess whether it is feasible to extend similar requirements as in the Bill to these buildings.

"We aim to complete the survey by January next year and then come to a view on the appropriate legislative proposals."

In addition, he pointed out that the Government had introduced the Occupational Safety and Health Bill earlier this month.

"If enacted, the Commissioner for Labour may require employers to provide fire safety measures in addition to those required under any other law," he said.

"This will cover workplaces in commercial buildings like Garley Building.

"We will review progress by various Government departments within three ’ months with a view to follow through the implementation of all the recommendations."

The two Fire Sendees Investigation Teams were set up to look into the cause and rapid spread of the fire as well as the circumstances leading to the multiple casualties.

The main recommendations of the reports by the teams arc as follows:

* Review the feasibility of introducing mandatory requirements for upgrading fire service installations and equipment in old commercial buildings to bring them into line with the prevailing safety standards.

Review the feasibility of introducing mandatory requirements for lift contractors to provide proper compartmentation when lift landing doors are required to be removed for re-construction works.

* Publicity about fire safety should be stepped up, in particular to educate workers on the importance of observing fire safety measures when carrying out any welding works.

3

* The Buildings Department and the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department to review regulations on maintenance of Fire Resisting Period for lift shafts, and on hot work during lift maintenance works.

The Labour Department to review fire safety procedures involving industrial activities such as welding process in non-industrial premises.

The spokesman said that the main parts of the two reports were released in full to the public today.

Acting upon legal advice, some appendices to the reports which contain witness statements are withheld. They will be produced to the Coroner or to a Commission of Inquiry if one is established.

"The conclusions of the reports represent the preliminary views of the reporting teams. They are based upon the information available at the date of completion of each report and may require modification to take account of a reassessment of that information or of further information that comes to light either before or during a coroner's inquest or a Commission of Inquiry," he said.

Copies of the reports will be made available to the families of the fire victims at a briefing session held by officers from the Security Branch, Fire Services Department, Home Affairs Department and Legal Aid Department.

Copies will also be deposited at all district offices for inspection by other interested parties.

End

Official Secrets Bill gazetted today *****

The Official Secrets Bill, which will localise the provisions of the UK Official Secrets Acts currently applied to Hong Kong, was gazetted today (Friday).

A Government spokesman said, "We have consulted the Chinese side, through the Joint Liaison Group, on the Bill. Both sides have agreed that the Bill should proceed.

"The Bill will be introduced into the Legislative Council next Wednesday (December 18)."

4

”At present, official secrets in Hong Kong arc governed by the UK Official Secrets Acts as applied to Hong Kong. These Acts will lapse after June 30, 1997.

’’Hong Kong, as with any territory, will continue to need legislation to protect official information from July I. We need local laws to replace the UK Acts,” the spokesman explained.

"The Bill modifies some aspects of the Acts to reflect local circumstances. For example, it removes a number of provisions in the Acts which are duplicated in other Hong Kong legislation," he said.

"The Bill includes a safeguard in the provision requiring a person to give information to the Police to ensure that the information cannot be used against the person in criminal proceedings," he added.

End

NT Land Exchange Entitlements (Redemption) Ordinance *****

Ihe Government intends to make land exchange entitlements, commonly known as Letters A/B, redeemable for cash only rather than land from a date to be announced in the near future.

A government spokesman said the New Territories Land Exchange Entitlements (Redemption) Ordinance gazetted today (Friday) sought to extinguish all other rights against the Government in respect of a land exchange entitlement.

The rates for redemption money payable to holders of the entitlements under the Ordinance are also gazetted.

After the Ordinance comes into operation, an owner of a land exchange entitlement may lodge his/her claim for payment of redemption money with the Director of Lands.

The spokesman said that the entitlements would not become valueless after the enactment of the Ordinance.

"They can be redeemed for cash which will bear interest from the commencement date of the ordinance to the date of payment.

5

"We estimate that the amount of existing outstanding entitlements stands at about 6.75 hectares of equivalent building land. Out of them, 4.68 hectares are held by property developers.

"Sufficient land has been made available in 1996-97 to redeem all the 6.75 hectares of outstanding commitments."

The spokesman noted that about 2.07 hectares of entitlements would likely remain untraceable and would not surface.

"It is hoped that holders of these entitlements would note the implications of this Ordnance and exchange the entitlements for land before the Ordinance comes into operation."

NT land exchange entitlements were issued between 1960 and 1983 to landowners in the NT whose land was required for development. Holders of these entitlements are entitled to exchange the entitlements for land or cash. The issue of entitlements was stopped in 1983 because of increasing difficulties in meeting the exchange commitment.

End

Some progress on telecommunications accord *****

The Secretary for Trade and Industry, Miss Denise Yue, said today (Friday) that in parallel discussions at this week’s Singapore Ministerial Conference (SMC), there had been some progress registered on the negotiations on basic telecommunications.

"I welcome the significant number of new or improved offers announced over recent weeks or in the course of this week. New offers arc forthcoming from four World Trade Organization (WTO) members. Another has advised that it is seriously studying and considering making an offer. Seven WTO members have advised that they will also improve their offers."

Miss Yue said that this increased participation was a demonstration of some political will to bring these negotiations to a successful conclusion on February 15, 1997 and that if more new and improved offers come forward, these would be welcome so as to ensure the success of the telecommunications negotiations.

6

Also during the week, Director-General of Telecommunications, Mr Alex Arena, chaired a series of discussions on a variety of outstanding technical issues.

Mr Arena said that a common view was emerging that the outstanding horizontal issues relating to technical matters, for example, regarding satellite based services and possible distortions to international services have been further clarified and that solutions are clearly emerging.

Current expectations are that none of these issues should constitute an impediment to the successful conclusion of an agreement in February' 1997.

On the importance of the telecommunications negotiations, Miss Yue noted the increasing reliance that the Hong Kong economy now places on a reliable and worldclass telecommunications industry to support our services industries.

"Our economy is now heavily services based and our telecommunications industry will help to maintain Hong Kong’s competitiveness in all the services sectors.”

Miss Yue said, "During the course of the SMC, many speakers commented to the effect that telecommunications is a generator of economic growth and employment and that, if we are successful in the WTO. basic telecommunications liberalisation will spur investment and the use of new technologies across the globe.

"As the Director-General of the WTO. Mr Renato Ruggiero, said in his plenary address in Singapore, the importance of this agreement cannot be over-estimated. Information, know-how. ideas he said arc the new forces that are driving the global economy forward and telecommunications arc the global aqueducts."

End

Efforts to fight against spread of cancer underlined *****

Cancer remains the number one killer disease in Hong Kong claiming victims of different ages, sex and ethnic groups.

Last year alone, more than 76.000 cancer patients were admitted into public hospitals while some 9,600 people died from the disease. These represented an increase of over 150 per cent and 50 per cent respectively over the figures in 1980.

7

’’There is a great need to enhance our preventive, curative and palliative care to cope with this rising trend,” the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, stressed at the 33rd Annual General Meeting of the Hong Kong Anti-Cancer Society this (Friday) evening.

Mrs Fok told the meeting that the Hospital Authority had designated cancer as a priority disease group for focused and co-ordinated action in the context of its annual planning exercise.

’’Some new initiatives include a pilot radiosurgery programme using X knife, improved drugs for chemotherapy, and the addition of three new high dependency unit beds for paediatric patients requiring bone marrow transplants. The Authority has also undertaken to provide 40,000 additional cytology tests to enable more timely medial intervention," the Secretary said.

"In addition, the breast and cervical cancer screening programmes offered by the Department of Health’s two women’s health centres have been met with positive response and a third centre will be set up next year."

The Anti-Cancer Society also complements these efforts by reaching out to the community through its own screening programmes, hotline enquiry service and media promotion campaigns to strengthen public awareness of the common causes and pre\ ention of cancer.

Mrs Fok paid tribute to the Society for playing a leading role through its professional expertise and international linkage in identifying risk factors, vulnerable groups and prognosis associated with different types of cancer.

On hospice care, Mrs Fok expressed hopes that with the completion of the Nam Long Hospital extension next year, the Society would continue to serve a major resource centre for the specialised training of healthcare personnel, and the promotion of mutual support among cancer patients.

End

Bill on assessment and collection of Govt rents gazetted *****

A Bill which seeks to provide for the payment arrangements for Government rents payable under Annex III to the Joint Declaration (JD), without imposing any new liability in addition to the JD requirements, is gazetted today (Friday).

A Government spokesman said that the Government Rent (Assessment and Collection) Bill merely sought to codify and standardise the method of assessment, collection and payment of these rents.

8

"Government rent is not a new Government policy. The requirement to pay Government rents under Annex III to the JD was publicised when the JD was signed in 1984. and subsequently made known to property owners when their non-renewable leases were renewed, or when they were granted a new lease.

"About 1 million properties will be affected." the spokesman said.

Of the 1 million properties, approximately 60% are small residential flats (up to 70 square metre saleable area) for which the rents payable should generally be less than $200 per month, 6% are medium sized residential flats (70 square metre - 100 square metre) for which the average rent will be around $500 per month and 4% are large residential flats (100 square metre and over) for which the rent should average around $1,200 per month.

The Bill will be introduced into the Legislative Council on December 18, 1996.

Government rents are already being collected in respect of a few leases that have been extended. Most of the leases for which Government rents will be payable are in the New Territories including New Kowloon. These rents will be payable from 28 June 1997, the day following that when the leases would have expired, had they not been extended until 30 June 2047 under the New Territories Leases (Extension) Ordinance.

"No premium is charged for the extension of non-renewable leases nor for those leases in the New Territories including New Kowloon. Instead, Government rents at 3% of the rateable value of the land leased will be charged. This amounts to about half of the rates being paid by property owners," he added.

The above Government rents are not payable in respect of rented Housing Authority flats constructed on land vested in the Housing Authority; most properties on Hong Kong Island and Kowloon south of Boundary Street; certain rural properties owned by indigenous villagers and by tsos or tongs; and very low value properties such as small agricultural lots and ruined houses.

There will be about 1.2 million properties under these categories which are not affected.

The Government spokesman explained, "Paragraph 2 of Annex III to the JD and section 9 of the New Territories Leases (Extension) Ordinance make specific provisions for exempting certain rural holdings held by indigenous villagers and by tsos or tongs from the liability to pay Government rents.

9

"The lessees of these rural holdings are still required to pay the rent as provided in the lease documents. Exemptions from liability to pay Government rents are not a perpetual right and will cease if the eligibility criteria are not met.”

The Rating and Valuation Department will be responsible for collecting these rents. For the convenience of the public, Government rents will be included in the quarterly rates demands from July 1997 onwards, thus enabling the public to pay both Government rents and rates at the same time.

The rateable value of the land leased will be assessed and updated in the same manner as provided for under the Rating Ordinance. Provisions for proposals, objections, alterations and appeals to the rateable values in the Government Rent Roll are similar to those under the Rating Ordinance.

The leases for which Government rents are payable are as follows -

(a) those leases in the New Territories (including New Kowloon) which would expire on 27 June 1997, had they not been extended until 30 June 2047 under the New Territories Leases (Extension) Ordinance;

• •

(b) those non-renewable leases in the urban area which have been extended;

(c) leases granted since the entry into force of the JD; and

(d) those special purpose leases, which contain a provision requiring payment of ground rent equivalent to 3% of the rateable value from time to time of the land leased.

Those who wish to know whether they will be liable to pay Government rents can phone the Rating and Valuation Department at 2805 7704 during office hours.

End

Draft Chek Lap Kok OZP published ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Town Planning Board today (Friday) announced the publication of the new draft Chek Lap Kok Outline Zoning Plan (OZP).

The main purpose of the plan was to provide a broad landuse zoning and transport framework for the development of the new airport and associated facilities, a spokesman for the Board said.

10

’’The plan covers a total area of about 1,266 hectares including land produced by levelling of hill slopes and by reclamation from the sea around the then Chek Lap Kok and Lam Chau Islands,” he said.

About 1,017 hectares of land has been designated for the accommodation of airport operational and supporting facilities including two runways, air traffic control towers, air passenger terminal and concourses, air cargo handling, aircraft fuelling and aircraft maintenance facilities.

In support of the airport operation and development, some 45 hectares and 116 hectares of land have been earmarked respectively for business park and commercial development.

The business park is intended to provide accommodation for airport related business including freight forwarding, airline headquarters and related offices. The commercial area will provide land for a wide range of commercial activities including hotel, ground transportation centre and retail facilities.

Access to the airport will be mainly via the North Lantau Expressway and the Airport Railway. An area on the north-eastern coast of the airport island has been reserved for pier development to facilitate sea transport.

The draft Chek Lap Kok OZP (No. S/I-CLK/1) is available for public inspection until February 13, 1997 during normal office hours at:

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

Sai Kung and Islands District Planning Office(Islands Office) 10th floor, Leighton Centre 77 Leighton Road Causeway Bay Hong Kong; and

Islands District Office 20th floor, Harbour Building 38 Pier Road Central Hong Kong.

11

Any person affected by the draft plan may submit written objections to the Secretary of the Town Planning Board, c/o Planning Department, 13th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong before February 13, 1997.

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

End

110 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flight

*****

A group of 110 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) returned by air to Hanoi, Vietnam today (Friday) on the 86th flight under the Orderly Repatriation Programme (ORP).

Most of the returnees, comprising 59 men, 23 women, 12 boys and 16 girls, are from South and Central Vietnam. Twenty-four are from North Vietnam.

The majority of the returnees arrived in Hong Kong in 1990, with the remaining in 1989, 1991, 1995 and 1996.

The two groups brought to 8,525 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 (Friday) morning have submitted their report to the Chief Secretary.

The two monitors comprised a non-official Justice of the Peace, Mrs Chong Wong Chor-sar ; and representative from a non-govemment organisation, Mr Edward Chan from Oxfam, Hong Kong.

End

12

New LAB members appointed ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government today (Friday) announced the appointment of 12 employer and employee representatives to the Labour Advisory Board (LAB) for a two-year term starting from January 1, 1997.

A list of new LAB members was published in today's Gazette. They are :

Employee representatives elected by registered employees unions on November 30 this year:

Mr Felix Cheung Kwok-bui

* Mr Leung Chau-ting

* Mr Leung Fu-wah

Mr Leung Tsz-leung

* Mr Poon Siu-ping

Employer representatives nominated by employers associations :

* Mr Martin Hayton of the Employers' Federation of Hong Kong

Mr Ho Sai-chu of the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce

* Mr Stephen Lau Kwong-chuen of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce

Mr Joseph Lau Man-wai of the Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong

* Mr Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen of the Federation of Hong Kong Industries

Appointed members :

* Mr Cheung Wood-lun, representing employees

* Dr Harry Lee Nai-shee, representing employers

Mr Leung Chau-ting and Mr Stephen Lau Kwong-chuen are newly appointed to the board, while the rest are all incumbent members.

13

The LAB is a tripartite consultative body which advises the Commissioner for Labour on labour matters including legislation and the application of the International Labour Conventions and Recommendations.

The new Board will hold its first meeting in January 1997. /

End

New guidelines aimed at helping teachers ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

In response to media enquiries on whether additional resources will be provided to schools in connection with the teaching guidelines entitled ’’English Language for Children Arriving in Hong Kong from Various Parts of China”, which was recently issued by the Education Department, a department spokesman explained that the guidelines are designed to help teachers rather than give them additional commitments which require extra resources.

The spokesman said: "The guidelines are not meant to require teachers to provide these children with tutorial classes after school, as many have already understood. Rather, the guidelines draw the attention of teachers and tutors to the specific needs of these children in learning English and provide a framework of language areas essential to them and strategies to help them.

"The guidelines point out that except for those coming from major cities and those given special preparation by the family, most children from the mainland have had minimal exposure to the English language before arrival in Hong Kong. The guidelines then recommend strategies, teaching contents and modes of delivery best suited to these children. Sample plans and tasks as well as specific learning contents are suggested.

"Like some of their local counterparts, children from the mainland may benefit from additional or withdrawal lessons. Such additional lessons are in fact being provided by some schools to local pupils, drawing on existing resources. The guidelines suggest what can be done for these children if the same opportunities are given to them.

14

"The guidelines also suggest that a self-learning comer can be set up if it has not been done yet for all children. Such an arrangement will also help increase English exposure for children from China by making available to them a range of self-learning materials. These may include audio materials, junior class books, worksheets, for example, those accumulated from the implementation of the Activity Approach, and a self-learning package to be released by the Education Department soon."

The spokesman added that the guidelines are also good reference for those voluntary agencies which have been commissioned by the Education Department to run the free-of-charge English Extension Programme for these children.

End

Deadline for deafness compensation applications extended *****

Eligible employees who have missed the deadline to apply for compensation under the Occupation Deafness Compensation Scheme may submit their applications from today (Friday) until June 30, 1997.

The extension of the deadline was contained in the Occupational Deafness (Compensation) (Amendment) Ordinance 1996 published in the gazette today. The original deadline for applications was June 30, 1996.

A spokesman for the Labour Department said the amending Ordinance was aimed at extending the deadline for application to June 30 next year enabling employees who had inadvertently missed the deadline especially those who were away from Hong Kong to submit their applications.

The spokesman said: "The Occupational Deafness Compensation Scheme, which came into operation on July 1, 1995, provides compensation to employees suffering from noise-induced deafness by reason of their employment.

*

"To be eligible for applying compensation, employees who suffer occupational deafness should have at least 10 years of employment in aggregate in any of the 17 specified noisy occupations in Hong Kong.

15

"Those who have been employed under a continuous contract in the occupations within 72 months before the commencement of the Scheme but have left their employment for more than 12 months could, with effect from today, submit their applications for compensation not later than June 30, 1997," he said.

The spokesman advised eligible employees who had missed the deadline for applications for compensation to submit their applications on or before June 30, 1997 at the Occupational Deafness Compensation Board, 15th floor, Grand Centre, 8 Humphreys Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui

End

Town Planning Board publishes Annual Report ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Town Planning Board has published its 1995 annual report.

Since the publication of its first annual report in 1990, the Board has been taking an active and systematic approach in informing the public of its work in the year under review and the statutory planning and application procedures.

Apart from a description and statistics of work, the 1995 annual report also outlines the statutory planning process in terms of plan-making and implementation as well as the planning permission system.

In the foreward of the report, the Chairman of the Board, the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, said that the Board last year devoted its efforts to assist the supply of suitable land for the development of housing.

"In 1995, the Board has published five new Outline Zoning Plans (OZPs), made amendments to 23 OZPs, given preliminary consideration to 1,584 objections and further consideration (hearing) to 158 objections. It has also considered a total of 747 planning applications under section 16 and reviewed 130 applications under section 17 of the Town Planning Ordinance," he said.

Looking ahead, Mr Leung said the Board would publish amended and new plans to meet changing circumstances and community requirements. It would continue to publish guidelines on development in various land use zones as when the need arises.

16

The Town Planning Board 1995 Annual Report is divided into three parts. The first part covers the establishment and functions of the Board; the second gives an account of the work of the Board in 1995; and the third explains its work involved in housing supply and elaborates the selected cases of the Board’s involvement in housing supply.

The English version of the report is available at $22 per copy at the Government Publications Centre, ground floor, Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.

The Chinese version is being prepared and will be put on sale once it is available.

End

Philatelic collection set for the Year of the Ox ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) and World Wide Fund for Nature Hong Kong (WWF HK) today (Friday) announced the launching of a philatelic collection set to celebrate the "Year of the Ox”.

The set comprises one Normal Cover, two editions of Special Covers, one set of Postcards and one set of Souvenir Pack for limited distribution.

The special first day covers and postcards feature four different oxen with information about each ox, making them educational as well as collectable.

The production of the items is timed to tie in with the new special stamps of ox to be issued by the Post Office on January 17.

WWF HK’s Executive Director Mr David Melville said that Water Buffalo, African Buffalo, Yak and Banteng were chosen for the design this year.

"Ox is a symbol of spring and agriculture. Buffalo plays an important role in rice cultivation, being used to either trample or plough paddy fields before planting. Uncontrolled hunting has had a major impact on Yaks and Banteng and some other species," he said.

17

Mr Melville pointed out that there are 12 species of wild cattle, of which nine are currently regarded as endangered or threatened and four have been domesticated.

f

The loss of habitat and the spread of disease from domestic to wild animals resulted in the extinction of the African Buffalo in southern Africa.

AFD’s Assistant Director (Conservation), Mr Frank Lau, paid tribute to WWF HK for producing these items.

’’Like WWF HK, we are concerned about the environment. Oxen are important in ecological balance and in agriculture,” he said.

"It is essential to protect the environment for all forms of wildlife."

Purchasing these philatelic products is a valuable way to support WWF HK’s conservation and education work.

The quantity for distribution includes 10,000 Normal Covers, 10,000 sets of Postcards, 1,000 pairs of Special Covers and sets of Souvenir Packs.

Anyone interested can either place in advance order while stock last or through shop sale.

The Normal Covers and Postcards will be on sale from December 28 (Saturday) and the Special Covers and Souvenir Packs will be available from January 25 (Saturday) at the WWF HK Office, No. 1, Tramway Path, Central.

Z 1 —■

.M*

Enquiries on the collection set can be directed to Ms Maxine Chu or Mr Tony Tam of WWF HK on telephone 2526 1011 or fax 2845 2734.

End

Air quality report for November ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Environmental Protection Department today (Friday) released air quality information for November 1996.

Air quality levels in November were within the 24-hour air quality objectives of Hong Kong though the background levels of particulates and nitrogen dioxide were relatively high.

18

The report includes the monitoring results from Mong Kok, Central/Westem and Kwai Chung, which represent three important land use types in the territory :

locations close to road traffic in built-up

urban areas, combined commercial and residential districts, and

districts close to industrial areas.

Air pollutants reported include sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, total suspended particulates, and respirable suspended particulates. All these pollutants can affect respiratory health in sufficient concentration.

Air pollution originated from various sources, including combustion, industrial and construction processes. In terms of impact on local air quality, motor vehicle exhaust is the most important source of nitrogen dioxide and airborne particulate matter, especially the smaller respirable particles.

End

CPCE produces Basic Law calendar ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education (CPCE) has produced a calendar for 1997 adopting the Basic Law as its theme to promote public awareness of this constitutional document.

The calendar, highlighting articles which are closely related to the daily life, is a follow-on from another promotional publication - "An ABC Guide to the Basic Law" - which has been well received by the community.

Members of the public can obtain the calendar at the Civic Education Resource Centre on the second floor, Tung Sun Commercial Centre, 194-200 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, on a first-come, first-served basis.

Copies of the calendar will be distributed directly to schools and other educational bodies, voluntary agencies and community organisations.

End

19

Tenders invited for two secondary schools ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Architectural Services Department is inviting tenders for the construction of two secondary schools in the territory.

The two schools, to be located in Siu Sai Wan, Hong Kong and Area 25, Tseung Kwan O, will be built under two separate contracts.

On completion, each school will comprise 26 classrooms, 14 special rooms, three remedial teaching rooms, an assembly hall and ancillary facilities, two basketball courts, covered playground and car park.

In addition, there will be a guidance activity room, two interview rooms, a staff common room, a student activity centre, playground area and facilities for the disabled.

Both projects will start in March next year for completion in July 1998.

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

Tender offers for both projects will close at noon on Friday, January 10, 1997.

End

Sale of land by Letter A/B or cash tender ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ »

The Lands Department is inviting tenders by Letter A/B or by cash for a piece of land in Sha Tin.

Covering an area of about 6,500 square metres, the lot is located at Area 11, junction of On Lai Street and On Ping Street.

It is intended for use as non-industrial purposes excluding godown, residential, hotel, service apartment and petrol filling station.

20

Details of the tender notice are contained in the Government Gazette published today (Friday).

Application forms, notices and conditions of grant can be obtained from the Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong; the District Lands offices/Kowloon, Yau Ma Tei Car Park Building, 10th floor, 250 Shanghai Street, Kowloon; and the District Lands Offices of Sha Tin, Tuen Mun, Yuen Long, Tsuen Wan, Kwai Tsing, Tai Po, North, Sai Kung and Islands. Sale Plans are also available in these offices for inspection.

Completed application forms, addressed to the Director of Lands, should be placed in the Public Works Tender Box at the lift lobby, 34th floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong, before noon on January 10, 1997 (Friday).

End

Two architectural projects in Kwun Tong ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Architectural Services Department is inviting tenders for the construction of Hang On Street Market in Kwun Tong.

The works will include the construction of a two-storey market building including associated building services and drainage installations.

The project will begin in March next year for completion in August 1998.

Tenders are also invited for the construction of Hong Ning Road Park Phase I in Kwun Tong.

The project will comprise the construction of an open car park, a single storey building and recreational facilities including four tennis courts, a jogging path, garden areas and children's play area.

Site formation, associated roadworks, drainage and building services installations will also be included in the contract.

Works will start in March next year for completion in April 1998.

21

Tender forms and further particulars of both projects can be obtained from the Architectural Services Department, 34th floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.

Tender offers for both projects will close at noon on Friday, January 10, 1997.

End

,, Deadline for Christmas mail

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Postmaster General, Mr Robert Footman, today (Friday) reminded the public that the deadline for posting Christmas mail for local delivery before Christmas is December 20 (Friday).

He advised members of the public to post as early as possible to avoid a last minute rush.

End

£ '■ <•

Flushing water cut in Tsuen Wan and Kwai Chung

*****

The flushing water supply to some premises in Tsuen Wan and Kwai Chung will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm on Monday (December 16) to 8 am the following day for alteration work on watermains.

The suspension will affect all premises in Tsuen Wan and those in Upper Kwai Chung, Lower Kwai Chung and Kwai Chung container terminus.

End

22

Hong Kong Monetary Authority Interbank Liquidity

♦♦♦♦♦♦

Aggregate balance of settlement time accounts

Opening aggregate balance 1,243 mn 0930hr 17,075 mn

Closing aggregate balance 730 mn 1000 hr 23,659 mn

Change attributable to : 1100 hr 29,235 mn

Money market activity -6,441 mn 1200 hr 33,899 mn

LAF reversal +12,983 mn 1500 hr 37,069 mn

LAF today -7,055 mn 1600 hr 40,168 mn

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.9 ♦+0.1* 13.12.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/MTRC notes

Terms Yield Terms Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.11 2 years 2811 5.72 100.10 5.74

1 month 4.30 3 years 3910 6.28 100.57 6.15

3 months 4.63 5 years 5109 7.32 102.63 6.77

6 months 4.88 7 years 7311 6.80 98.85 7.13

12 months 5.17 10 years 1610 7.37 100.90 7.37

5 years M503 7.35 101.42 7.11

Total turnover of ef bills and notes - $13,623 mn

Closed December 13, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Saturday, December 14,1996

Contents Page No,

7th Fight Crime Conference................................................ 1

Family of traffic accident victim granted $80,700......................... 2

Open day for CSD Staff Training Institute................................. 3

Tai Po Fire Station open day.............................................. 3

EPS service extended to Kowloon Licensing Office.......................... 4

Eastern District Festival caters for all age groups....................... 5

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations...................... 6

Sunday, December 15,1996

Contents Page No,

Care concept in welfare services.......................................... 7

Southern District Festival caters for special groups...................... 8

ACP projects highlighted on Internet...................................... 9

Calendar cards to promote child care..................................... 10

ACP Exhibition Centre closes during X’mas holidays................... 11

Flushing water cut on Hong Kong Island................................... 12

1

7th Fight Crime Conference ♦ * * ♦ ♦

Useful discussions and reports presented at the 1996 Fight Crime Conference this (Saturday) morning have provided insight into ways to fight crime and reinforced the community's determination to do so.

This was stated by the Chairman of the Conference, Ms Rosanna Wong, at the biennial session held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The seventh Conference was aimed to encourage community participation in the fight against crime and strengthen communication between the Fight Crime Committee (FCC) and the 18 District Fight Crime Committees (DFCCs).

The Conference, with "Fight Crime - Everybody's Responsibility" as its theme, served as a forum for exchange of views on ways to combat crime.

Ms Wong said that participants had focussed their discussions on the findings of the five group discussions which had taken place prior to the Conference on the responsibility of various sectors to fight against juvenile delinquency, triads as well as organised and serious crimes.

These sectors range from the community, legislators, law enforcement agencies, the judiciary, educators, rehabilitation workers to the media.

Ms Wong said that the views and recommendations put forward would be further considered by the FCC and the Government, and that follow-up action would be taken as appropriate.

The Governor, the Rt Hon Chris Patten, officiated at today's Conference which was attended by some 400 FCC members as well as Chairmen and members of DFCCs.

Government officials taking part in the session included the Chief Secretary. Attorney General. Secretary for Security, Secretary tor Home Affairs. Secretary for Health and Welfare, Secretary for Education and Manpower, Commissioner of Police and Commissioner of Correctional Services.

End

2

Family of traffic accident victim granted $80,700 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Social Welfare Department has granted $80,700 from the Traffic Accident Victims Assistance (TAVA) Fund to the family members of a woman killed during a traffic accident last month.

The woman, aged 20, was the passenger on board a motor-cycle which lost control and fell beneath the flyover at Princess Margaret Road on November 19. The deceased was survived by her parents, two brothers and a sister.

The driver of the motor-cycle, who was also injured during the accident, was awarded an injury grant totalling $7,800.

A spokesman for the department said today (Saturday) that the TAVA scheme aimed at providing prompt financial assistance to traffic accident victims or their dependants, regardless of the means of a family or the fault element in the accident.

"Beneficiaries under the scheme will retain the right to make claims for legal damages or compensation from other sources in the usual way.

"However, those who receive other damages or compensation relating to the same accident are required to repay the amount of assistance already received from the TAVA scheme.

"But in any case, the amount repaid will not exceed the amount of damages or compensation awarded," the spokesman said.

Enquiries about the scheme may contact the SWD’s TAVA Section at Room 942, ninth floor, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, or on telephone 2834 7472.

End

3

Open day for CSD Staff Training Institute ♦ * * * *

The Staff Training Institute of the Correctional Services Department will hold an Open Day on December 21 (Saturday) to enable the public to know more about the training and administrative aspects of the Department which is at the receiving end of the criminal justice system of our society.

The Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr Lam Woon-kwong, will officiate at the opening ceremony at 10 am. The Institute, located at Stanley, will remain open to the public until 4 pm.

In addition to exhibitions in classrooms, visitors will see demonstrations staged by the CSD Dog Unit and the Anti-riot Squad. Entertainment will be provided by the Cape Collinson and Tai Tam Gap Marching Bands.

Other facilities of the Institute will also be open to visitors. Of particular interest are the historical items kept in the museum, including a miniature execution chamber and corporal punishment apparatus that have disappeared from Hong Kong prisons with the abolition of these punishments.

End

Tai Po Fire Station open day *****

Tai Po Fire Station will be open to members of the public from 10 am to 5 pm tomorrow (Sunday).

The open day is part of the 1996/97 Fire Prevention Campaign.

Members of the public visiting the fire station will have a chance to learn more about fire prevention.

They can see various types of modem fire appliances such as Hydraulic Platform, Reserve Major Pump and Light Rescue Unit.

They can also see various kinds of fire-fighting and rescue equipment, including survivor detection system, slice cutting set, power lifting bags, fireman’s chemical protection suit, thermal imaging camera and defibrillator.

4

Two rescue demonstrations by firemen will take place at 10.30 am and 3 pm respectively.

There will be a set of display boards on fire safety advice. A video tape on fire prevention in industrial premises will also be shown.

Officers from the Department's Fire Protection Bureau will be on hand to give fire safety advice and to distribute information leaflets to visitors.

Tai Po Fire Station is located at 3 Ting Kok Road, Tai Po, New Territories.

Wong Tai Sin Fire Station and Sai Wan Ho Fire Station will be open to members of the public in January and February respectively.

End

EPS service extended to Kowloon Licensing Office * ♦ * * *

The Transport Department is to extend the Easy Pay System (EPS) scheme to its Kowloon Licensing Office from Monday (December 16).

A spokesman for the department said: "The scheme, on a pilot basis, has been well received by members of the public since it was introduced to the Hong Kong Licensing Office in September.

"The second phase of the scheme is to extend the service to the Kowloon Licensing Office (ninth floor, Park-In Commercial Centre. 56 Dundas Street, Kowloon) from next Monday.

"It is our policy to look for ways to improve our facilities to better serve the clients. The EPS scheme offers an alternative method for the payment of fees and charges in our licensing offices," the spokesman said.

5

Members of the public applying for a full driving licence in the Kowloon Licensing Office can now pay the fee by EPS. They could submit their applications and pay the fees at the same counter to save time and reduce the volume of cash in hand.

The spokesman said the service would be further extended to the other two licensing offices in Kwun Tong and Sha Tin in the future, when resources are available.

End

Eastern District Festival caters for all age groups

*****

The Eastern District Festival will offer a rich programme of 48 cultural, recreational, community and sporting events for people of all ages, the Director of Home Affairs, Mrs Shelley Lau, said today (Saturday).

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Eastern District Festival 1996/97, Mrs Lau said this festival is the largest community building programme in the district over the past few years.

The opening ceremony was followed immediately by a variety show featuring singing of the festival's theme song by the Eastern District Children's Choir and performances by famous singers, namely Mr Aaron Kwok, Miss Cass Pang, Mr Emil Chow and Miss Nancy Sit.

Mrs Lau called on residents to take part actively in the festival events starting today until January 26. These include the Industry and Trade Expo, a colourful parade, a food fair, carnivals, singing competitions, photo contests, Cantonese operas, Chinese calligraphy competitions, and a day camp for mentally handicapped children.

Mrs Lau said the theme of the festival, "Work together and enjoy prosperity", reflects the determination and hope of residents from all walks of life in the district to work hand in hand for the prosperity of the Eastern District.

She was pleased that community groups are brought closer together in the course of organising the activities, thereby enhancing their community spirit.

6

The month-long festival is organised by the Eastern District Festival Coordinating Committee with the assistance of the Eastern District Office and the Eastern District Board.

The Eastern District Officer, Mr Lui Hau-tuen; the Chairman of the Eastern District Board, Mr Chan Bing-woon; and the Chairman of the Eastern District Festival Co-ordinating Committee, Mr Wong Kwok-hing were also present at the opening ceremony

End

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

TIME AGGREGATE BALANCE OF SETTLEMENT ACCOUNTS

OPENING AGGREGATE BALANCE 730 MN 0930 HR 8,214 MN

CLOSING AGGREGATE BALANCE 816 MN 1000 HR 8,173 MN

CHANGE ATTRIBUTABLE TO : 1100 HR 8,346 MN

MONEY MARKET ACTIVITY NIL 1200 HR 9,967 MN

LAF REVERSAL +7,150 MN 1500 HR

LAF TODAY - 7,064 MN 1600 HR

LAF RATE 4.00% BID/6.00% OFFER TWI 125.0 *+0.1* 14.12.96

Closed DECEMBER 14, 1996

End

7

Care concept in welfare services ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Director of Social Welfare, Mr Andrew Leung Kin-pong, reiterated that the ’’care” concept had all along been the cornerstone of Government’s provision of welfare services in Hong Kong.

He said the ’’White Paper on Social Welfare into the 1990s and Beyond" had long recognised the importance of community support in the form of a network of informal care provided by families, friends and neighbours.

"The 1994 Report of the Working Group on Care for the Elderly and the 1995 White Paper on Rehabilitation also echo this spirit," he said.

Speaking at the Hong Kong Charity Day TV variety show this (Sunday) evening, Mr Leung pointed out that the government had been providing a variety of community support services for the elderly.

He said these included home help service, day care centres, social centres, multi-service centres, community geriatric services, psychogeriatric services, holiday centres, and elderly health centres.

"More recently, we have launched a social networking project for the elderly to link formal and informal support together.

"This social networking sets out to mobilise community efforts, government and non-governmental organisations, corporations, district boards, mutual aid committees, church groups and schools alike, in a co-ordinated effort to deliver the care and support our elderly people deserve," he added.

End

8

Southern District Festival caters for special groups * * * * ♦

The Southern District Festival will offer special programmes to cater for the elderly and handicapped in addition to a wide range of other activities which will appeal to the community at large, the Director of Home Affairs, Mrs Shelley Lau, said today (Sunday).

Speaking at a ceremony to launch the festival, Mrs Lau said one of its objectives was to encourage wider participation in district events among senior citizens and handicapped people in order to raise their sense of belonging to the district.

"By the same token, this would allow the community at large to get to know these special groups better and show their respect and concern," Mrs Lau said.

The opening ceremony was followed immediately by a variety show highlighting the special characteristics of the district. Some of the best known local artistes, including Mr Aaron Kwok, Miss Vivian Chow, Miss Sammi Cheng and a number of RTHK disc jockeys, also performed on the occasion.

A total of 23 activities are to be organised between today and January 5 to mark the festival. They include carnivals, ball games, Cantonese operas, karaoke singing contests for the handicapped and an athletics meet for senior citizens.

"With the support of the Southern District Board, the festival is the positive fruition of district administration and an example of what can be achieved by promoting community involvement and communication within the district," Mrs Lau said.

The three-week festival is organised by the Southern District Festival Organising Committee with the assistance of the Southern District Office.

The Southern District Officer, Mrs Erika Hui; the Chairman of the Southern District Board, Mr Ko Tam-kan; and the Chairman of the Southern District Festival Organising Committee, Mrs So Chau Yim-ping were also present.

End

9

ACP projects highlighted on Internet

* ♦ * * ♦

An Airport Core Programme (ACP) homepage has been created on the Internet to highlight the massive infrastructure development which will play a vital role in Hong Kong's future.

The homepage, produced by the New Airport Projects Co-ordination Office (NAPCO), outlines the 10 major projects in the ACP, ranging from an international airport and a new town to six-lane highways and bridges that are among the world's largest.

The 38-page presentation is illustrated with over 40 photographs and graphics. These highlight the scope of the projects, and how the 2.2 kilometre Tsing Ma Bridge, main part of the Lantau Link, has become a new landmark.

The homepage includes a list of contracts awarded, which reflects the international nature of the ACP, with companies from many countries involved. The contracts exceed $95 billion in value.

In setting up the homepage, NAPCO has joined the growing number of government branches, departments and agencies that are publicising their work and services on the Internet.

"Our homepage will help bring people worldwide up to date on how the ACP is progressing," said Mr Billy Lam, Director of NAPCO.

"Eight of the projects - such as the Western Harbour Crossing, the West Kowloon Expressway and the Lantau Link - are over 90 per cent complete and will come on stream in the next six months, so this is a timely development.

"Internet users can make themselves more familiar with these projects and what they will mean for Hong Kong."

Works overall, including the new airport at Chek Lap Kok and the Airport Railway, are about 70 per cent complete, Mr Lam noted.

The homepage describes how the $156.4 billion ACP, besides providing a new airport which will begin operations in 1998, is bringing about major changes in Hong Kong's infrastructure and how these will have important benefits for the community.

10

A large area of new land has been provided at the Kowloon peninsula, which will be used for a variety of purposes besides accommodating part of the airport transport network.

New land at the Central waterfront, where the Hong Kong Station of the Airport Railway is being built, already has new ferry piers in operation on it.

At Tung Chung, adjacent to the new airport site, an entire new town is being developed, and the public and private housing being built in the first phase will be home to an estimated 20,000 people.

The 34-kilometre transport network serving the new airport will have its own benefits for the travelling public.

The road network beginning on Hong Kong Island will play a part in improving traffic flow at district level and the Western Harbour Crossing, between Sai Ying Pun and reclaimed land at west Kowloon, will ease traffic congestion in the existing crossharbour tunnels.

The domestic service of the Airport Railway, which also opens in 1998, will have an interchange with the existing Mass Transit Railway (MTR) at Lai King, and this will help ease peak-hour passenger congestion on the MTR's Tsuen Wan Line.

Initially in English, the homepage will be developed into a bilingual presentation. The address is http://www.info.gov.hk/napco/

By a hyperlink, users can also learn more about the new airport at Chek Lap Kok through the homepage of the Airport Authority.

End

Calendar cards to promote child care *****

The Social Welfare Department (SWD) has produced 150,000 copies of calendar card for the year 1997 in an effort to spread the message of home safety.

The calendar cards, which convey a message appealing members of the public to make use of occasional child care service, are now available for collection from all district offices, SWD district offices and sub-offices and the Hong Kong Council of Social Service.

11

"Children should under no circumstances be left unattended at home, even for a short while," a department spokesman said today (Sunday).

At present, there are 194 child care centres providing a total of 597 occasional child care places to needy families.

Child care centres offer temporary care for children aged under six on two-hour, half-day or whole day basis. The fee for a two-hour session is $15.

Members of the public interested in the service may call the department's hotline 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," the spokesman said.

End

ACP Exhibition Centre closes during X’mas holidays ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Airport Core Programme (ACP) Exhibition Centre will close during the Christmas holidays, New Year's day and the Lunar New Year holidays.

The closure dates will be December 25 and 26, January 1, 1997 and February 6, 7 and 8, 1997.

After these holidays, the centre will open as usual from 10 am to 5 pm from Tuesday to Friday, and 10 am to 6.30 pm on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays. But it will close on Monday, except when it is a public holiday.

The exhibition centre, set up by the New Airport Projects Co-ordination Office (NAPCO), has attracted more than 430,000 visitors since its opening in January this year.

The centre draws an average of 8,000 visitors on Sundays and public holidays. Therefore, members of the public are advised to visit the centre on weekdays and Saturdays to avoid queuing up for entry and to have more time to view the exhibits and make use of its facilities.

12

The centre is designed to give members of the public a chance to learn more about the 10 ACP projects which are the largest infrastructure development ever undertaken in Hong Kong.

NAPCO organises guided tours of the centre for primary and secondary schools and local organisations. At the end of November, about 40,000 people from 516 schools and 557 community organisations had visited the centre.

Enquiries on free guided tours can be made to NAPCO's Community Relations Division on 2829 6282 or fax 2827 8446.

Located on Castle Peak Road, Ting Kau, the centre is an ideal location to view the Lantau Link, which has become a new landmark in Hong Kong.

On display at the centre are the latest information on the works progress of the 10 projects, illustrated by photographs, models and video presentations. Telescopes have been set up at the viewing platforms at the centre's garden and rooftop for visitors to view the Tsing Ma and Kap Shui Mun Bridges, which form the Lantau Link.

End

Flushing water cut on Hong Kong Island

*****

The flushing water supply to some premises in Kennedy Town, Western District, will be temporarily suspended from 10 pm on Wednesday (December 18) to 6 am the following day for alteration works on watermains.

The suspension will affect all premises along Kennedy Town New Praya, Catchick Street, Hau Wo Street, Belcher's Street, Forbes Street, a section of Victoria Road between Sai Ning Street and Cadogan Street, Ka Wai Man Road, Sai Ning Street, Lung Wah Street, Smithfield, Sands Street, North Street, Davis Street, Cadogan Street, Kwan Yick Street, Sai See Street, Sai Wan Estate, Kwun Lung Lau and Kennedy Town Police Quarters.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Monday, December 16,1996

Contents Eagfi-Nfl.

Governor's statement on Index of Economic Freedom Report.......... 1

SWD's response to alleged industrial action............................. 2

Latest unemployment and underemployment statistics...................... 2

LRC publishes Report on Interception of Communications............ 3

Support for Education Commission Report........................... 5

Consultant appointed to inspect defective buildings............... 5

Market survey on emergency alarm systems welcomed................. 6

Job Fair for Locally Enlisted Personnel........................... 7

Immigration mobile office in Sai Kung............................. 8

Water storage figure.............................................. 8

Flushing water cut in Central, Sheung Wan and the Mid-Levels...... 9

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results....................... 9

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity.................. 10

r

■ 1 -

Governor's statement on Index of Economic Freedom Report

*****

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, issued the following statement after receiving the Index of Economic Freedom Report today (Monday):

"I am delighted that Hong Kong has once again been voted the world's freest economy in the Index of Economic Freedom published jointly by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal. This is a prestigious report by prestigious organisations.

This is the third year in a row Hong Kong has topped the poll - ahead of Singapore, the US and other major trading partners.

The report highlights all the ingredients which we know underlie our economic achievements.

our free and open market;

our low and predictable taxes;

the close link we maintain between government spending and economic growth;

the fact that regulations applied by the Government are not burdensome - and are applied uniformly and consistently.

The report points out that despite the increases we have made in spending on social welfare, "government spending as a percentage of GDP continues to decrease".

It also emphasises that "private property rights in Hong Kong are completely protected", and that "the legal system to protect these rights is both highly efficient and effective".

In short, this report reaffirms once again the close relationship between the freedoms we enjoy in Hong Kong and our economic success.

It's a pat on the back for Hong Kong today; and a useful reminder to us all of the need to protect our freedoms and free economy if Hong Kong is to top the poll next year and on into the new millennium."

End

- 2 -

SWD's response to alleged industrial action ♦ * * ♦ ♦

In response to a Chinese newspaper report today (Monday) that some front-line social workers of Tsuen Wan Ecumenical Social Service Centre would take industrial action tomorrow over a labour dispute, a Social Welfare Department spokesman that cases which warranted urgent assistance would be looked after by the department's various service units and non-governmental organisations in the districts.

The Govemment-subvented agency at present runs four teams of Neighbourhood Level Community Development Project (NLCDP), three in Tsuen Wan/Kwai Tsing and one in Hung Hom, and a Social Centre for the Elderly in Tsuen Wan.

End

Latest unemployment and underemployment statistics ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the period August - October 1996 was revised marginally downwards to 2.5%, which was 0.1 of a percentage point lower than the provisional figure released last month. No revision was made to the underemployment rate, at 1.5%.

For the period September - November 1996, the provisional seasonally adjusted unemployment rate edged slightly higher to 2.7%, while the provisional underemployment rate remained unchanged at 1.5%.

These are latest labour force statistics released today (Monday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

Commenting on these figures, a Government spokesman said that for the latest period September - November 1996, the increase in the unemployment rate occurred mainly in the restaurant and the transport sectors. The unemployment situation in the other major sectors was broadly stable. The underemployment situation in most of the major sectors was likewise stable.

Total employment continued to show robust growth, at a faster pace than total labour force. In the three months ending October 1996, total employment had a further notable increase of 3.2% over a year earlier, while total labour supply grew by 2%.

f

- 3 -

During the period August - October 1996, the number of unemployed persons was estimated at 79,900. The number of underemployed persons was estimated at 45,200.

The unemployment and underemployment statistics were obtained from a continuous General Household Survey. The survey for August - October 1996 covered a quarterly sample of some 23,000 households or 77,900 persons, selected scientifically to represent the land-based civilian non-institutional population in Hong Kong. Data were obtained from the survey by interviewing each member aged 15 or over in the households sampled.

In the survey, the definitions used in measuring unemployment and underemployment follow closely those recommended by the International Labour Organisation.

'Seasonally adjusted' refers to adjustment for seasonal variations in the proportion of first-time job-seekers in the labour force.

Detailed analysis of labour force characteristics is given in the report on the General Household Survey which is published four times a year.

The next report covering the quarter ending September 1996 will be on sale at the Government Publications Centre on ground floor, Low Block, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong, by the end of this month.

End ■

LRC publishes Report on Interception of Communications ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

The Law Reform Commission today (Monday) published a report on "Privacy: Regulating the Interception of Communications". The report follows the issue of a consultation paper on "Privacy: Regulating Surveillance and the Interception of Communications" in April 1996 by the Commission's Privacy sub-committee. The consultation paper proposed that interception of communications should be prohibited unless carried out pursuant to a warrant granted by the court.

Mr Stuart Stoker, the Secretary to the Commission, said that the overwhelming majority of those who responded to the consultation paper supported the proposal that interception of communications should be regulated by law.

w

. 4 -

The report concludes that section 33 of the Telecommunication Ordinance and section 13 of the Post Office Ordinance do not provide sufficient protection against unlawful or arbitrary interference with the individual’s right to privacy. In order to comply with the requirements of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Basic Law, legislation must be in place to regulate the interception of communications.

The report recommends that it should be an offence intentionally to intercept or interfere with a telecommunication, a sealed postal packet or a transmission by radio on frequencies which are not licensed for broadcast while the message or packet is in the course of transmission.

Only the Administration and its law enforcement agencies may apply for a warrant authorising the interception of communications. The application should be made to a High Court judge. A warrant may be issued only if the interception is to be carried out for the purpose of preventing or detecting serious crime or safeguarding public security in respect of Hong Kong.

The report recommends that material obtained through interception of telecommunications carried out pursuant to a warrant shall be inadmissible as evidence and shall be destroyed as soon as the authorised purpose has been fulfilled. However, material obtained through interception of postal mail shall be admissible and may be retained for the purpose of any criminal proceedings.

The report further recommends that a judge of the Court of Appeal be appointed to be the supervisory authority to keep the warrant system under review. He may examine on his own initiative whether a warrant has been properly issued and whether its terms have been properly complied with. An aggrieved person who believes that his communications have been unlawfully intercepted may request the supervisory authority to investigate whether there has been a contravention of the statutory requirements relating to the issue of warrants.

To increase public accountability for interception activities carried out by the law enforcement agencies, the supervisory authority should furnish annually a public report to the Legislative Council and a confidential report to the Governor.

The Commission's Privacy sub-committee will now move on to consider the law relating to surveillance in a separate report.

Anyone who wishes to have a copy of the report on Interception of Communications should contact the Secretary to the Commission, 20th Floor, Harcourt House, 39 Gloucester Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong.

End

5

Support for Education Commission Report

*****

Members of the Board of Education (BOE) supported, in principle, the recommendations of the Education Commission Report (ECR) No. 7, but expressed their concern over the proposed future role of BOE.

At a regular meeting today (Monday), BOE members had a lengthy discussion on the EC Report No. 7. It was agreed that the board's views on quality school education and comments on the proposed future role of BOE will be consolidated for EC's consideration.

The ECR 7 suggested that the BOE should take a more macro perspective in considering educational issues.

It said: "Without encroaching on the statutory powers and duties of other related organisations, the Board should take the initiative to discuss areas of common concern with these organisations.

"For example, the Board may discuss with the Hong Kong Examinations Authority ways to improve the examination system, and the feasibility of introducing new subjects and school-based assessment. The Board may also discuss with teacher education institutions ways to improve teaching and learning at school."

Professor Rosie T T Young, Chairman of the Commission, briefed BOE members on the spirit and recommendations of the ECR 7.

The public consultation on ECR 7 will end on January 15, 1997.

In a separate issue, BOE members endorsed a report on the work of the Educational Services Liaison Sub-committee.

End

Consultant appointed to inspect defective buildings * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Buildings Department has appointed a building consultant to inspect buildings with potential problems in structural safety and to recommend suitable remedial works for public safety.

A $3.7 million term contract was awarded today (Monday) to Messrs Binnie Consultants Limited/Maurice Lee and Associates Limited.

6

Fhe consultancy will last for 24 months commencing from January 1, 1997, and will cover about 150 assignments.

Speaking after the contract signing today, the Assistant Director of Buildings (Specialist), Mr Philip Lau, said an Investigation Order would be served by the Building Authority to owners of buildings found to have potential safety problems.

"On receipt of the Order, building owners will be required to appoint an Authorised Person to investigate the condition of their buildings and to carry out the necessary repair works.

"If the owners fail to comply with the order, services of the consultants will be called upon to carry out the inspection and prepare proposal for remedial works which will then be carried out by a government contractor.

"Full costs, including supervision charges, will be recovered from the building owners upon completion of the works," Mr Lau said.

Mr Lau pointed out that if building owners identified such common building defects as loose or bulging rendering or surface tiles with cracks around them, spalled concrete with cracks or deep cracks in concrete with visible rust stains, they should employ a building professional to investigate or repair or immediately report to the Buildings Department.

"Prevention is always better than cure. Building owners should take good care of their buildings and enlist the service of a building professional who can advise on the safety conditions of their buildings and necessary improvement works," he said.

End

Market survey on emergency alarm systems welcomed *****

The Social Welfare Department today (Monday) welcomed the Consumer Council’s market survey on some emergency alarm systems which are designed to summon immediate rescue to the elderly or disabled in distress.

A department spokesman pointed out that the department had worked closely with the Council to initiate this survey following the introduction of these new systems into the local market in recent months in order to provide users some advice on the device.

7

"The department is providing financial allowance to elderly recipients of Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) to install the emergency alarm system." he said, adding that about 600 elderly people had been awarded such allowance and more applications were expected.

"Opportunity will be taken of the visits by volunteers under the social networking scheme for the elderly to introduce to old people the availability and the benefits of such a device", he said.

On whether it is desirable to introduce legislation or licensing on the system, the spokesman said since the concept was quite new to the local market, the authority needed to study it carefully before reaching a decision.

He also pointed out that there is now no legislation governing the quality control on the device in some developed countries.

End

Job Fair for Locally Enlisted Personnel *****

Hong Kong's Locally Enlisted Personnel (LF.P). due to be made redundant as the Garrison draws down, will have the opportunity to meet prospective employers at a Job Fair tomorrow (Tuesday).

The Fair has been jointly organised by the Hong Kong Military Service Corps (HKMSC) and the Hong Kong Government Employees Retraining Board (ERB).

The Job Fair, to be held in Osborn Barracks, Kowloon l ong, is also open to Locally Engaged Civilians (LEC) employed by the Garrison. It aims to provide companies with high-calibre staff and facilitate the smooth transfer of ex-Servicemen from military to civilian employment.

Twenty-five of Hong Kong's top employers, including First Pacific Davies Property Management Ltd, Jardine Securicor Ltd, Swire Properties Management Ltd, Conrad International and UPS Parcel Delivery Service Ltd, have been invited to attend the Fair, which will be opened by Commander British Forces, Major General Bryan Dutton, and ERB's Chairman Mr Tam Yiu-chung and Executive Director Mr Chow Tung Shan.

8

In the past, FIKMSC and Royal Navy LEP have undergone a variety of resettlement training. In addition to their own trades, most of them have achieved qualifications in areas such as fire prevention, security management and mechanical and transport administration, and as first aid instructors, safety officers and hygiene supervisors. They are also well-trained in leadership and organisational abilities and are adaptable, self-motivated and committed.

Since April 1994. the British Garrison has been very successful in placing redundees in jobs, with the current track record running at 95 per cent.

End

Immigration mobile office in Sai Kung * * * * *

The Immigration Department announced today (Monday) that its Mobile Office currently operating at the Sai Kung (South) Rural Committee Office. 1 Po Tung Road. Sai Kung, will be closed next Monday (December 23) for renovation work.

It will move to operate temporarily at 25 Man Nin Street, Sai Kung (address of the former Man Yi Public School) on the same day.

For enquiries, members of the public may telephone 2824 6111 or use faxline 2877 7711.

End

Water storage figure *****

Storage in I long Kong's reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 88.3 per cent of capacity or 517.759 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 536.637 million cubic metres of water, representing 91.6 per cent of capacity.

End

- 9 -

Flushing water cut in Central, Sheung Wan and the Mid-Levels ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

The flushing water supply to some premises in Central, Sheung Wan and the Mid-Levels will be temporarily suspended from 10 am to 6 pm on Thursday (December 19) for alteration works on watermains.

The suspension will affect all premises in the areas bounded by Ice House Street, Pedder Street, Aberdeen Street, Wing Wo Street, Upper Albert Road, Caine Road and Connaught Road Central.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Tender date

16 December 1996

Paper on offer

Issue number

Issue date

Maturity date

Coupon

Amount applied

Amount allotted

EF Notes

5112

17 December 1996

17 December 2001

6.57%

HK$2,730 MN

HK$500 MN

Average price accepted (yield)

Lowest price accepted (yield)

Pro rata ratio

Average tender price (yield)

99.61 (6.77 PCT)

99.61 (6.77 PCT)

About 37 PCT

99.57 (6.78 PC I )

End

- 10 -

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity ♦ * ♦ ♦ *

TIME AGGREGATE BALANCE OF SETTLEMENT ACCOUNTS

OPENING AGGREGATE BALANCE 816MN 0930 HR 16.508 MN

CLOSING AGGREGATE BALANCE 1,306 MN 1000 HR 19,351 MN

CHANGE ATTRIBUTABLE TO : +2,769 MN 1100 HR 25,386 MN

MONEY MARKET ACTIVITY 1200 HR 32,656 MN

LAF REVERSAL +6.971 MN 1500 HR 38,422 MN

LAF TODAY - 9,250 MN 1600 HR 39,197 MN

LAF RATE 4.00% BID/6.00% OFFER TWI 125.0 *+0.0* 16.12.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF Bills EF Notes/MTRC Notes

Terms Yield Terms Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.16 2 years 2811 5.72 100.14 5.72

1 month 4.33 3 years 3910 6.28 100.68 6.10

3 months 4.62 5 years 5109 7.32 102.79 6.73

6 months 4.86 7 years 7311 6.80 99.08 7.09

12 months 5.16 10 years 1610 7.37 101.16 7.33

5 years M5O3 7.35 101.58 7.06

TOTAL TURNOVER OF EF BILLS AND NOTES - $6,070 MN

CLOSED DECEMBER 16. 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Tuesday, December 17,1996

Contents Page No.

Governor appoints Commissioner of Inquiry................................. 1

Senior government appointments announced.................................. 2

Tram fare increase approved by ExCo....................................... 3

TAC welcomed way forward for Railway Priority Projects.................... 4

High air pollution index recorded today................................... 5

Duke of York visits Staffordshire Regiment................................ 6

261 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flights............................ 6

Monitors' Report submitted to CS.......................................... 7

Young drug abusers down 11 per cent in third quarter...................... 7

Consultancy study on customer services in Post Office..................... 8

Protection for employees on wage claims improved.......................... 9

Young inmates acquire certificates with promising results................ 10

Comic book on oral health for youth published............................ 10

74 convicted pollution cases recorded in November........................ 11

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results.............................. 12

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity......................... 14

- 1

Governor appoints Commissioner of Inquiry ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Governor in Council has appointed the Honourable Mr Justice Woo Kwok-hing as the Commissioner of Inquiry to conduct an independent inquiry into the No. 5 alarm fire at Garley Building, Yau Ma Tei on November 20 this year.

A Government spokesman said today (Tuesday) that an independent inquiry chaired by a judge was appropriate and commensurate with the scale of the disaster and the public concern over the incident.

"The establishment of an independent Commission of Inquiry does not reflect a lack of confidence in the professional emergency response by departments, or on the various investigations undertaken by them," he added.

To be set up under the Commissions of Inquiry Ordinance, reference of the inquiry are:

the terms of

To inquire into the causes of the fire and the circumstances leading to the Garley Building tragedy;

To consider the response of the emergency services to the fire, and to advise on the adequacy and the co-ordination of that response; and

To make recommendations as to the action needed to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.

"The Commissioner will prepare an interim report to the Governor within six months, covering the cause of the fire and the scale of casualties; and to submit a final report within one year," the spokesman said.

"Subject to any advice that the Commissioner may have, both reports are expected to be made public."

End

2

Senior government appointments announced ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government announced today (Tuesday) the appointments of Dr Lam Hung-kwan as Director of the Royal Observatory and Mr Brian Dagnail as Director of Accounting Services.

Dr Lam, currently Assistant Director of the Royal Observatory, will take over from Mr Robert Lau with effect from December 22, 1996. Mr Lau will be retiring after 30 years of service in Government.

Mr Dagnail, currently Deputy Director of Accounting Services, will succeed Mr Alan Richardson with effect from February 3, 1997. Mr Richardson will have served 21 years when he proceeds on pre-retirement leave.

Mr W K Lam, Secretary for the Civil Service, expressed full confidence in both Dr Lam and Mr Dagnail. He also thanked Mr Lau and Mr Richardson for their dedicated and meritorious service in Government.

Following are their biographical notes:

Mr Lau Chi-kwan. Robert. JP

Mr Lau Chi-kwan, Robert joined the civil service as Scientific Officer in August 1966 and was promoted to Senior Scientific Officer in January 1978. He has been Director of the Royal Observatory since May 1995. Mr Lau will proceed on preretirement leave on December 22, 1996 at the age of 55.

Dr Lam Hung-kwam JP

Aged 49, Dr Lam Hung-kwan joined the civil service as Assistant Education Officer in October 1970 and was appointed Scientific Officer in August 1971. He was promoted to Senior Scientific Officer in May 1980 and Assistant Director of the Royal Observatory in July 1990. He has acted as Director on a number of occasions.

Mr Alan Richardson. JP

Aged 54, Mr Richardson joined the Hong Kong Government as a Chief Treasury Accountant in 1976. He was promoted to Assistant Director of Accounting Services in 1981, to Deputy Director of Accounting Services in 1993 and to his present rank of Director of Accounting Services in 1994. On his retirement, Mr Richardson will have completed over 20 years of service with the Hong Kong Government.

3

Mr Brian Dagnail. JP

Aged 55, Mr Brian Dagnail first joined the Hong Kong Government as Chief Treasury Accountant in October 1981. He was promoted to Assistant Director of Accounting Services in June 1988 and to his present rank of Deputy Director of Accounting Services in April 1994.

End

Tram fare increase approved by ExCo ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Govemor-in-Council today (Tuesday) approved a fare increase for the Hongkong Tramways Limited (HKT) with effect from January 12, 1997.

Under the new fare structure, adult fares will be increased from $1.20 to $1.60, child fares from 60 cents to 80 cents, and monthly ticket from $100 to $135 accordingly.

A Government spokesman said that tram fares were last increased on February 6, 1994 and the recommended increases were small in absolute terms.

He noted that tram fares were still relatively low compared with those of other modes of public transport.

The spokesman also pointed out that HKT was expected to incur a loss in 1996, and its projected profit for 1997, even after the fare increase, was much lower than its average profit in the past five years.

"A lower rate of increase would not enable HKT to recover its operating costs and would make a higher fare increase in the future inevitable.

"HKT has also drawn up plans to improve tram safety through the upgrading of tram cars, an accelerated track replacement programme, and better training for staff," he added.

End

4

TAC welcomed way forward for Railway Priority Projects

♦ * * ♦ ♦

The Transport Advisory Committee (TAC) today (Tuesday) welcomed the government's decision to implement the Western Corridor Railway (WCR) in phases and to proceed with the detailed planning and design of the Tseung Kwan O Extension.

Members supported the decision to construct the domestic passenger line of WCR first as there is an urgent need for a rail link to service the rapidly growing population in the North West New Territories.

The domestic passenger line - phase I of the WCR - would comprise of a domestic passenger line running from West Kowloon via Tsuen Wan, Kam Tin, Yuen Long and Tin Shui Wai to Tuen Mun.

TAC also noted that provision such as reinforced tracks and higher tunnels etc. would be made during construction of Phase I to accommodate the cross border passenger and freight services at a later date.

As for the Tseung Kwan O Extension, members noted that there was a clear need to extend the MTR to Tseung Kwan O which was forecast to have a population of 250,000 by 2001 and 450,000 by 2011.

Members also welcomed the government’s decision to invited MTR to build the Quarry Bay Congestion Relief Works to relieve congestion that had been rapidly building up at Quarry Bay station.

Members also discussed the comments submitted by a TAC working group which met four times since August 1996 to examine in depth the Territorial Development Strategy Review's recommendations relating to transport issues.

After discussion, members agreed that views of the Working Group would be conveyed to the Planning Department as part of its public consultation exercise.

The working group's comments was that town planning in the future should emphasise on vision, flexibility and far-sightedness. Objective of the review should aim at strengthening Hong Kong's competitiveness with other cities in China and the Asia Pacific region by establishing useful linkages with other cities or provinces in China.

Members were also briefed by the Tate's Cairn Tunnel Company on a business and marketing plan which included proposals to increase the company's revenue, including non-toll revenue, reduce expenses, improve services and a long-term strategy for financial management.

End

5

High air pollution index recorded today *****

A high air pollution index (API) of 101 is recorded at Yuen Long today ( Tuesday). The APIs for the rest of Hong Kong arc below 100. with 96 for the industrial area and 88 for the urban area.

The Principal Environmental Protection Officer of the Environmental Protection Department. Mr Pang Sik-wing. explained that today's poor air quality was due to high nitrogen dioxide levels.

"Air pollutants accumulated because of the persistence of light wind condition over the night and the temperature inversion effect. Subsequently nitrogen dioxide was formed from chemical reactions among the pollutants," he said.

"When the wind becomes stronger later in the day. the air pollution will reduce," he added.

He pointed out that the concentration was higher in Yuen Long because more pollutants had been accumulated in the Deep Bay area due to the stronger inversion effect over the inland.

Mr Pang said that the current air quality condition should have little health effect on normal people.

"When the API exceeds 100. people already suffering from asthma, lung or heart illnesses are advised to reduce physical exertion and laborious outdoor activities." he said.

The API forecast for the territory tomorrow (Wednesday) is 75 for the urban area, 80 for the industrial area and 85 for the new development area.

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

End

6

Duke of York visits Staffordshire Regiment

*****

His Royal Highness the Duke of York arrived in Hong Kong last night, for a two day visit to the 1st Battalion the Staffordshire Regiment, in his capacity as their Colonel-in-Chief.

The visit started this (Tuesday) morning, when Prince Andrew took the salute at the Staffords' annual Ferozeshah Parade, in commemoration of their main Regiment Battle Honour. During the parade the Dragon Company, of the Hong Kong Military Service Corps handed to D Company of 1 Staffords the Dragon Banner, to be carried in perpetuity in honour of the Hong Kong Chinese soldiers who served with the British Garrison. In the afternoon Prince Andrew visited C Company, at the Battalion's training camp at High Island.

Prince Andrew will, among other activities, be viewing various aspects of training on Stonecutters Island tomorrow (Wednesday).

End

261 VMs depart on orderly repatriation Hights *****

Two groups totalling 261 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) returned by air to Hanoi, Vietnam today (Tuesday) on the 87th and 88th flights under the Orderly Repatriation Programme (ORP).

Most of the returnees, comprising 183 men, 41 women, 15 boys and 22 girls, are from North Vietnam. Only three of the returnees are from Central and South Vietnam.

The majority of the returnees arrived in Hong Kong this year, with the remaining in 1988, 1989, 1991 and 1995.

The two groups brought to 8,786 the total number repatriated on ORP flights since November 1991.

End

7

Monitors' Report submitted to CS *****

Ihe monitors appointed to observe the Orderly Repatriation Programme operation this (Tuesday) morning have submitted their report to the Chief Secretary.

The two monitors comprised a non-official Justice of the Peace. Mr So Hing-woh; and representative from a non-govcrnmcnt organisation, Mr Liu Ping-cheung from Caritas, Hong Kong.

End

Young drug abusers down 11 per cent in third quarter ♦ * * ♦ ♦

Members of the Action Committee Against Narcotics (ACAN) discussed at a meeting today (Tuesday), the drug statistics for the third quarter of 1996 compiled by the Government's Central Registry of Drug Abuse.

I he figures indicated that the number of reported drug abusers under 21 decreased by 11.6 per cent to 1,263 in the third quarter of 1996 compared with 1,428 in the corresponding period in 1995.

Among them. 413 were newly reported, representing a decrease of 20.6 per cent from 520 in the same period last year.

The number of reported drug abusers under 21 was 1.47 per thousand of the young population.

ACAN members noted that though drug abuse among young persons has shown a downward trend since the beginning of 1995. the Government will continue to campaign vigorously to beat drugs.

The newly-formed Task Group on Preventive Education Strategy is to review and improve the anti-drug preventive education strategy, in particular the preventive education and publicity programmes targeted at young persons.

For reported drug abusers of all ages, the figure remains stable, with a slight increase of 0.3 per cent to 7,409 compared with 7,385 in the corresponding period in last year. However, the number of newly reported individuals decreased by 3.9 per cent from 1,095 to 1,052.

8

For female of all ages, the percentage rose from 10.7 per cent (787) to 12.0 per cent (887). For female under 21, an increase of 1.7 percentage points was recorded although the actual figure decreased from 302 to 288.

Compared with the second quarter of 1996, the number of reported individuals and newly reported individuals have decreased by 3.6 per cent and 8.2 per cent respectively.

For drug abusers of all ages, the major types of drugs abused were heroin (87.7 per cent), cannabis (6.2 per cent), cough medicines (3.1 per cent) and methylamphetamine or commonly known as ’ice’ (2.7 per cent).

For those under 21, major types of drugs abused were heroin (65.5 per cent), cannabis (16.3 per cent), methylamphetamine (9.3 per cent) and cough medicines (8.4 per cent).

On treatment statistics, a total of 4,136 persons were admitted to the three government-funded treatment programmes in the third quarter of 1996.

Of them, 1,037 persons or 25.1 per cent were first-time admissions. These represented an increase in total admissions by 8.4 per cent and an increase in new admissions by 4.9 per cent.

End

Consultancy study on customer services in Post Office *****

The Postmaster General, Mr Robert Footman, announced today (Tuesday) the award of a consultancy contract on the development of customer services functions in the 1 long Kong Post Office to Coopers & Lybrand Consultants Ltd.

"It represents a determined move of the Hong Kong Post Office towards upgrading customer care and achieving high levels of customer satisfaction,” said Mr Footman.

The Post office has always prided itself on providing very good customer service. The trading fund will enable us to develop further in this area.

"Although the Post Office has in the past won the best government service awards organised by some of the media, there is no room for complacency," he said.

9

"As the economy becomes more service-oriented, customers' expectations for superior quality of service increase. As a result, we have to work harder to stay even," he pointed out.

"The Hong Kong Post Office is a successful organisation. We have a dedicated and hard working workforce. I am confident that we, working as a team, will build on this success and continue to provide excellent service to our customers."

The consultancy contract was awarded today at a contract signing ceremony attended by the Postmaster General and the Executive Director of the Coopers & Lybrand Consultants Ltd., Mr Nigel Knight at the conference Room of the General Post Office.

The consultant is required to assist in formulating customer service strategies and plans that would enable Post Office to anticipate and meet the changing customer needs, to establish measures for customer satisfaction and on-going monitors, to review and develop policies and procedures and standards. It is anticipated that the consultancy study would lead to a great number of customer service improvement initiatives.

End

Protection for employees on wage claims improved

*****

The Protection of Wages on Insolvency (Amendment) Ordinance 1996 which aims to improve protection for employees by allowing them longer time to make applications to the Protection of Wages on Insolvency Fund has come into effect on December 6, 1996.

A Labour Department spokesman said today (Tuesday) that the Ordinance extended the period for employees to make applications for ex-gratia payments from four months to six months.

“Employees of insolvent employers can now apply to the Fund for ex-gratia payments within six months from the last day of service in respect of arrears of wages, and within six months from the date of termination of employment in respect of wages in lieu of notice and severance payment,” the spokesman said.

"Besides, the coverage period for arrears of wages of four months will be counted back from the last day of service instead of from the date of application."

10

Ex-gratia payments under the Fund covers wages of an employee for services rendered up to $36,000; wages in lieu of notice up to one month's wages or $22,500, whichever is the less; and severance payment up $36,000, plus 50 per cent of that part of the employee's entitlement to severance payment in excess of $36,000.

"All employees who are owed wages by their employers are advised to approach the Labour Relations Division of the Labour Department for assistance," the spokesman added.

End

Young inmates acquire certificates with promising results ♦ * * ♦ ♦

Forty-five inmates of Tai Tam Gap Correctional Institution were today (Tuesday) presented with their certificates with promising results in various public examinations.

The inmates acquired a total of 74 certificates from the City and Guilds Food and Beverage Service, LCC1 Book-keeping and Accounts, Pitman English, Typewriting and Word-processing.

In addition, 65 discharged inmates who obtained 80 certificates, were also presented with their certificates at a ceremony performed by the Chairman of the Prisoners' Education Trust Fund Committee, Mr Paul Young Tze-kong.

End

Comic book on oral health for youth published *****

A fun yet educational comic book on oral health will be distributed to all primary and secondary schools and other organisations in the coming weeks to raise public's awareness on the issue.

Jointly published by the Department of Health and the Hong Kong Dental Association, the attractively-designed comic book is targeted at teenagers with an aim to help them establish good oral health habits.

11

The book, written in Chinese, contains many colourful pictures. It features the adventure of a lovely computer character. Through its experience in real life, messages on the importance of oral health are sent out.

A special feature of the book is the inclusion of the winning entries of the 1993 'Drawing and Comic Strips Competition' organised by the Department of Health, Education Department and Hong Kong Dental Association, which lace together to form the theme of the book.

A total of 10,000 copies of the book have been published and will be sent out to all primary and secondary schools, universities, libraries, youth centres, hospitals, private and government dental clinics and other organisations shortly.

End

74 convicted pollution cases recorded in November *****

A total of 74 convictions were recorded in the courts in November for breaching anti-pollution legislation enforced by the Environmental Protection Department.

Among them, 38 were convictions made under the Water Pollution Control Ordinance (WPCO), 12 under the Noise Control Ordinance (NCO), 13 under the Air Pollution Control Ordinance (APCO), 3 under the Ozone Layer Protection Ordinance (OLPO) and 8 under the Waste Disposal Ordinance (WDO).

The fines ranged from $1,500 to $160,000. Yucking Limited was fined $160,000 for discharging polluting matter into the Tolo Harbour and Channel Water Control Zone.

End

12

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results *****

: 17 December 1996

: EF Bills

: Q651

Tender date

Paper on offer

Issue number

Issue

Maturity date

Amount applied

Amount allotted

Average yield accepted

Highest yield accepted

Pro rata ratio

Average tender yield

Tender date

Paper on offer

Issue number

Issue

Maturity date

Amount applied

Amount allotted

Average yield accepted

Highest yield accepted

Pro rata ratio

Average tender yield

18 December 1996

19 March 1997

HK$5,13OMN

HKS2.000 MN

4.62 PCT

4.63 PCT

About 63 PCT

4.64 PCT

17 December 1996

EF Bills

H680

18 December 1996

18 June 1997

HK$3,770 MN

I IKS 1.000 MN

4.88 PCT

4.89 PCT

About 11 PCT

4.90 PCT

13

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

Tenders to be held in the week beginning - 23 Dec 1996

Tender date : 24 December 1996

Paper on offer : EF Bills

Issue number : Q652

Issue date : 27 December 1996

Maturity date : 26 March 1997

Tenor : 89 Days

Amount on offer : HK$2,000 MN + 500 MN

Tender date : 24 December 1996

Paper on offer : EF Bills

Issue number : Y697

Issue date : 27 December 1996

Maturity date : 24 December 1997

Tenor : 362 Days

Amount on offer : HKS500MN + 150 MN

Tender date : 24 December 1996

Paper on offer EF Bills

Issue number : Q064

Issue date : 27 December 1996

Maturity date : 22 January 1997

Tenor : 26 Days

Amount on offer : HK$5,000 MN

End

14

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Aggregate balance of settlement time accounts

Opening aggregate balance 1,306 mn 0930 hr 15,855 mn

Closing aggregate balance 604 mn 1000 hr 17,837 mn

Change attributable to: 1100 hr 24,355 mn

Money market activity -37 mn 1200 hr 28,369 mn

LAF reversal +9,251 mn 1500 hr 33,107 mn

LAF today -9,916 mn 1600 hr 32,137 mn

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.9 <0.1 ♦ 17.12.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/MTRC notes

Terms Yield Terms Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.21 2 years 2811 5.72 100.11 5.73

1 month 4.35 3 years 3910 6.28 100.60 6.13

3 months 4.63 5 years 5112 6.57 99.52 6.80

6 months 4.89 7 years 7311 6.80 99.00 7.11

12 months 5.16 10 years 1610 7.37 101.05 7.35

5 years M503 7.35 101.61 7.06

Total turnover of ef bills and notes - $12,360 mn

Closed December 17,1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Wednesday, December 18,1996

Contents Page

Transcript of Governor’s media session.................................. 1

Financial Secretary’s remarks on IMF.................................... 3

Widely held confidence in Hong Kong’s prospects - IMF says.............. 3

Governor visits Kowloon City district................................... 5

EMSD signs Entrustment Agreement with Airport Authority................. 6

Students urged to guard against corruption.............................. 7

New teaching kit on drug education for schools......................

Five government lots to let............................................. 8

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity........................ 9

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 Kowloon City District this (Wednesday) afternoon:

Governor: I am sorry to keep you waiting. What a fantastic hotel! I am pleased to have made another visit to Kowloon. It is, I think, the third district visit I have made and of course I have been here on many other occasions, and I was particularly pleased to see the school and the Eye Hospital which is one of Hong Kong's best hospitals and does marvellous work for the community.

Question: So ... Tung Chee-hwa has made it clear that his position about the Government heading recently ... don't you think you are on a road to inevitable friction if you don't...?

Governor: Mr Tung and the whole community know what our position is on the Legislative Council and the Provisional Legislature. They know what our position has been for years and I don't think anybody is expecting us to change it.

Question: But you have pledged to co-operate fully with the Chief Executive, I don't understand how you can co-operate if you don't come to some sort of terms on the Provisional Legislature that is actually going to come into effect, isn't it?

Governor: Well, it doesn't demand a very large leap of your imagination to see that the position is. We have always made it clear that we would co-operate within the terms of the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. You know perfectly well what the position is as regards the Provisional Legislature. And just to save you asking the same questions over and over again, the answer that 1 give next week and the week after will be exactly the same answer as I gave last week and the week before. 1 am sure there will be further statements about the position later in the week.

I would remind you of the Joint Declaration and Article 30, in which of course Chinese officials are pledged to co-operate with this Government in administering and running Hong Kong until June 30 next year. As far as Mr Qian Qichen is concerned, there can only be one Legislative Council until June 30 next year and that is the one we have today. I am sure Mr Qian has not changed his mind on that and 1 have not changed my mind either.

Question: But will this difference affect the co-operation between you and Mr Tung?

Governor: It certainly won't affect the willingness on our part to provide all reasonable co-operation to Mr Tung.

2

Question: Are you going to meet him soon?

Governor: Well, we have agreed that we should meet after his visit to Peking and after all the formalities of his appointment are out of the way. He confirmed that in a letter to me the other day. And I am sure when we meet we will let you all know about it.

Question: Mr Patten, for French TV. This is the last Christmas for British authorities here in Hong Kong. What do you feel... of all?

Governor: I look around, I look out of that window for example, at that view of a magnificent city, and I feel proud that Hong Kong is one of the greatest cities in the world. A refugee community which has become so spectacularly prosperous and so stable, thanks to the combination of the hard work, the vigour, the skill of Chinese men and women, many of whom came here as refugees, combined with the rule of law, decent, clean public administration and all the freedoms that all of us would associate with an open society.

I think that has been a spectacular combination. It has produced a very successful, thriving city. We have an economy which has been praised as the freest in the world in recent days by an American think-tank, which has received a very substantial endorsement for its economic management recently from the IMF. I am very proud of Hong Kong and I will remain very proud of Hong Kong.

Question: Do you think it could continue ... with Beijing ...?

Governor: I think that if Chinese mainland officials stick to what they have promised in the Joint Declaration, I think if they trust Hong Kong and if they trust Mr Tung to govern Hong Kong with the autonomy which has been promised, then I am sure that Hong Kong will continue to be very successful.

Question: Are you optimistic?

Governor: I am as optimistic as I have just sounded.

End

3

Financial Secretary's remarks on IMF * * * * *

Following is the transcript of the remarks on the IMF made by the Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, at a media session at the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question: Mr Tsang, the report again apply to Hong Kong's ... It seems that Mr Tung Chee-hwa has a slightly different view and 1 wonder how comfortable you ... carrying out policy that you don't seem to agree with their principles.

Financial Secretary: I don't think there is any major difference in principle. The policy of Hong Kong is very well accepted and proved to be very successful in Hong Kong. As far as Hong Kong's economy is concerned, it continues to evolve. The debate on how we are able to deal with our industrial development in the future is a lively one and we'll continue to have that. I am pretty open-minded on that issue. But as far as our fundamental principle of our fiscal management, the way in which we deal with the economy, of course I have rather strong views. And I will adhere to those strong views. But I will continue to listen, and I am quite sure that we can work together very well. And I know Mr Tung very well, and I don't think we have any fundamental views of difference.

End

Widely held confidence in Hong Kong’s prospects - IMF says

*****

The recent Mission of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) gave a very positive assessment of Hong Kong's economic performance in 1996 and its prospects in 1997.

• The assessment was made in a Concluding Statement by an IMF Staff Mission following an annual consultation with Hong Kong.

The Financial Secretary. Mr Donald Tsang, has decided to make public the Concluding Statement for the first time as part of the Government's efforts to enhance openness and transparency.

4

In its Concluding Statement, the IMF noted that, compared to last year, there is a significant reduction of uncertainties over the transition in 1997 and widely held confidence concerning Hong Kong's prospects.

The IMF Mission said that the current macroeconomics conditions in Hong Kong are healthy, providing a conducive environment for a smooth political transition. 1 ne Mission noted that a moderate recovery is underway, with a real GDP growth rate reaching 4-1/2 to 4-3/4 per cent in 1996; and that the recovery would continue to broaden and strengthen, reaching a 5-5-1/4 per cent real growth in 1997.

The Mission added that confidence was helped by reassurances made by the Chinese on keeping Hong Kong's economic and legal system intact. In particular, China's commitment to maintain two separate monetary systems and currencies, and two mutually independent monetary authorities was noted. The Mission also pointed out that the rule of law, neutrality of the civil service, impartiality of the judiciary, and freedom of information are values which arc key to Hong Kong's economic future.

Under Article IV of the IMF Articles of Agreement, the IMF consults its members and their territories on their economic policies. The IMF annually sends a Mission to conduct an economic review on Hong Kong and has done so since 1990.

Earlier this month, the IMF Staff Mission came to Hong Kong for ten days and held discussions with the private sector and government officials. At the end of the consultation, the Mission summarised its views in a Concluding Statement.

"The independent, candid and authoritative views and advice we receive each year from the IMF are insightful and thought-provoking. They are both important and helpful," said Mr Tsang.

"1 am delighted to publish the IMF Mission's views as a further step to promote the openness, transparency and accountability of the public financial systems in Hong Kong."

The IMF Mission gave firm and clear endorsement of the continuation of Hong Kong's existing policy framework — prudent fiscal policy, the linked exchange rate and firm financial regulation. The Mission also urged Hong Kong to promote competition policy in the service-based industries.

On monetary policy, the IMF Mission agreed that the linked exchange rate should remain the overriding monetary policy objective and that it is important to the continued economic stability and growth in the future. "In the Mission's view, the linked rate is in line with the fundamentals of the economy and it is backed by substantial and rising reserves," the Concluding Statement pointed out.

5

The IMF Mission also welcomed initiatives by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) to improve the financial sector infrastructure, including the implementation of the Real Time Gross Settlement system to minimise payment risk in interbank transactions. The Mission also endorsed HKMA’s priority on maintaining high standards of prudential supervision.

"We are pleased to learn that the IMF Mission, after a thorough and rigorous analysis, has found that our policies and principles are sound," said the Chief Executive of the HKMA, Mr Joseph Yam.

On fiscal policy, the IMF Mission supported Hong Kong’s traditional noninterventionist approach and the principle of a small government. It advised the government to resist calls for fiscal stimulus to encourage the recovery that is underway. Despite a medium term forecast of an annual budgetary surplus representing 1 to 2 per cent of GDP, the IMF Mission urged continued fiscal prudence to offset upward pressure on inflation and the real exchange rate. The IMF Statement noted that land revenues will constitute a greater proportion of overall government revenues and urged that "over the medium term, expenditures should continue to be primarily covered by recurrent rather than capital revenues".

The IMF Mission acknowledged the important steps taken by the authorities to deregulate markets. Noting that future development would depend critically on the competitiveness in the service-based industries, the IMF Mission encouraged the authorities to move even faster on promoting competition in such areas as telecommunications, transportation, utilities and broadcasting.

"Given the sound fundamentals of Hong Kong’s economy, increased transparency can only strengthen investor interest and confidence in Hong Kong's future," the Concluding Statement said.

End

Governor visits Kowloon City district . j;

♦ » » ♦ ♦

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, was updated on the general situation in Kowloon City district during his visit today (Wednesday).

Mr Patten first visited the Hong Kong Eye Hospital where he was briefed on the ophthalmic services provided by the hospital. The Hong Kong Eye Hospital has been in operation since 1992 to provide secondary ophthalmic service for patients in the Kowloon region. It also organises regular ophthalmology training programmes for student nurses and doctors.

6

The Governor then went to the Kowloon Lok Sin Tong Primary School where he was told of the arrangements made by the school to assist new arrival students. Over 80 per cent of the 300 students of the school are new immigrants who have arrived in Hong Kong for less than two years. Special classes are being arranged to assist them to adapt to the local curriculum.

The Governor also visited the Kowloon City Plaza, which is the largest and newest shopping and entertainment complex in the district.

The visit ended with a tea reception in the Harbour Plaza where Mr Patten met local district board members and community leaders.

Accompanying the Governor were the Director of Home Affairs, Mrs Shelley Lau, and the Kowloon City District Officer, Mr William Yap.

End

EMSD signs Entrustment Agreement with Airport Authority ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) has been entrusted by the Airport Authority to procure a new fleet of specialist fire fighting vehicles for the new airport at Chek Lap Kok.

An Entrustment Agreement was signed yesterday (Tuesday) by the Director of Electrical and Mechanical Services, Mr Hugh Phillipson, and the Chief Executive Officer of the Airport Authority, Dr Henry Townsend.

Speaking after signing the agreement, Mr Phillipson said that the new fleet would include a rapid intervention fire fighting vehicle meeting the most stringent standards for an international airport.

"The EMSD has provided similar professional vehicle procurement services to the Civil Aviation Department for the Kai Tak International Airport for more than 25 years. We are proud to carry on with the work and will ensure the availability of the specialist vehicle fleet for runway testing well before the airport opening," he said.

End

- 7 -

Students urged to guard against corruption ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

. . >!

The Deputy Director of Eduction, Mr T F Kwan, today (Wednesday) urged students to be always on guard against corruption and to help preserve justice and fair play in society.

Addressing the Annual Speech Day of Tang Shiu Kin Victoria Technical School, Mr Kwan said it was discomforting to note from an ICAC survey that youngsters nowadays have rather permissive attitudes towards corruption, with some feeling that bribes are necessary to operate business.

..•cL

"Don't think that corruption is a far far away issue and don't underestimate its impact on your life," Mr Kwan said.

"Think about the restaurant in which tables are offered to latecomers just because they offer 'tea money' to the waiters while you have been queuing for a long time.

"Corruption spoils the fruits of our labour. If corruption prevails, we cannot have equal opportunity and privileges will be given to those who offer bribes.

"A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough. In the same way, corruption can undermine the stability and prosperity of Hong Kong. We must therefore always be on guard against corruption," he said.

Mr Kwan noted that in the 1950s and early 1960s, corruption was very serious.

"What you are now enjoying, i.e., a clean Government, is the result of the dedicated efforts of the ICAC and the whole community."

End

New teaching kit on drug education for schools *****

A new Education Department teaching kit for primary schools stresses love for life and a positive way of living as an effective deterrent from drug abuse.

The teaching kit entitled "Towards a Fruitful Life", which is in Chinese only, is being distributed to all primary schools by the Humanities Unit of the Education Department's Curriculum Development Institute.

8

The teaching kit provides teachers of General Studies with suggestions on learning activities and a wealth of resources on topics related to drug education. It is supplemented by a chess game, a story cassette tape and a number of jigsaw puzzles.

"The problem of adolescent drug abuse and lowering of age of first-time drug users are matters for concern," the Principal Inspector (Humanities) of the Curriculum Development Institute, Ms W N Bau, said.

"The kit reinforces the subject of General Studies in primary schools. It encourages pupils to participate actively in learning activities rather than just receive information on drugs. The teacher provides hints to get the learning activities under way.

"The kit does not only provide an understanding about drugs, but also the interrelationship among people, the environment and drugs, which are crucial factors for adolescent drug abuse.

"The material is classified into four modules: understanding drugs, understanding oneself, the right choice and leading a positive life. In each module, the objectives, teaching emphasis and a range of suggested learning activities are given in the Teacher's Handbook," added Ms Bau.

The Education Department will organise seminars to familiarise teachers with the teaching kit, and to provide an opportunity for teachers to discuss and exchange views on drug education.

End

Five government lots to let

*****

The Lands Department is inviting tenders for the short-term tenancies of five pieces of government land in Kowloon and the New Territories.

The first lot located in Lai Fat Street, Cheung Sha Wan, has an area of about 8,530 square metres. The tenancy for the lot is one year, renewable quarterly.

The second lot at On Chun Street, Area 100, Ma On Shan, has an area of about 5,280 square metres. The tenancy for the lot is two years, renewable quarterly.

Both lots are intended for use as fee-paying public car parks.

- 9 -

Covering an area of about 2,450 square metres, the third lot is situated at Area 10B, Kwai Shing Circuit, Kwai Chung. The tenancy is for three years, renewable quarterly.

The fourth lot at Tam Kon Shan Road, Area 9, Tsing Yi, has an area of about 268 square metres. The tenancy is for 18 months, renewable quarterly.

The third and fourth lots are designated for open storage except storage of containers, container tractors and trailers, motor vehicles, offensive goods, dangerous goods and construction materials.

With an area of about 10,600 square metres, the fifth lot is situated at Tsing Mui Street, Area 16, Tsing Yi. It is intended for use as a fee-paying public car park. The tenancy is for one year, renewable monthly.

Tender forms, tender notices and conditions can be obtained from the Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong, and the respective District Lands Offices of Kowloon, Sha Tin, Tsuen Wan and Kwai Tsing.

Tender plans can also be inspected at these offices.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Aggregate balance of settlement time accounts

Opening aggregate balance Closing aggregate balance Change attributable to:

Money market activity LAF reversal

LAF today

604 mn

769 mn

-1,426 mn

+9,917 mn

-8,326 mn

0930 hr 18,167 mn

1000 hr 19,448 mn

1100 hr 23,494 mn

1200 hr 29,710 mn

1500 hr 32,529 mn

1600 hr 37,174 mn

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.9 *+0.0* 18.12.96

- 10 -

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/MTRC notes

Terms Yield Terms Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.18 2 years 2811 5.72 100.09 5.75

1 month 4.32 3 years 3910 6.28 100.55 6.15

3 months 4.63 5 years 5112 6.57 99.38 6.83

6 months 4.88 7 years 7311 6.80 98.77 7.15

12 months 5.17 10 years 1610 7.37 100.76 7.39

5 years M503 7.35 101.38 7.12

Total turnover of ef bills and notes - $14,323 mn

Closed December 18, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

SUPPLEMENT

Wednesday, December 18,1996

Contents Page No.

Legislative Council meeting;

Sex Discrimination (Proceedings by the EOC) Regulation........... 1

Code of Practice on Employment under Sex Discrimination Ordinance .... 1

Disability Discrimination (Formal Investigations) Rules.......... 2

Code of Practice on Employment................................... 2

COMAC (Amendment) Bill 1996 (resumed debate)..................... 3

COMAC (Amendment) Bill (committee stage)......................... 5

COMAC (Amendment) Bill 1996 (3rd reading)........................ 7

Bankruptcy (Amendment) Bill 1996 (second reading)................ 8

Bankruptcy (Amendment) Bill 1996 (committee stage)............... 9

Bankruptcy (Amendment) Bill 1996 (committee stage).............. 11

Submarine Telegraph Bill 1996................................... 12

/Railways Bill.

Contents

Page No.

Railways Bill.......................................................... 12

Official Secrets Bill.................................................. 14

Government Rent (Assessment and Collection) Bill.................... 15

Provision of official residence....................................... 18

■ * ' • • • - • ; • /,.

Disputes between main contractors and subcontractors...................... 19

-• • v/'-

Fire rescue measures in tall buildings.................................... 20

Ways to curb illegal activities of TWP holders............................ 21

Shelters at taxi stands................................................... 24

Manpower of KCRC - West Rail Division..................................... 25

Contract for MTRC refurbishing train cars................................. 27

Codes of conduct of SFC and Stock Exchange Hong Kong Limited.......... 28

Directorate succession well planned....................................... 30

Figures on Supplementary Labour Scheme.................................... 32

Unemployment statistics................................................... 34

/Substantial land .

Contents

Page No.

Substantial land zoned for port back up and open storage uses................ 39

Transitional issues to be resolved by JLG.................................... 40

HA mental health hotline service............................................. 41

Housing Department to speed up recruitment process........................... 42

Rights and benefits for employees on overseas duty trips..................... 43

MTRC - Island West Extension................................................. 46

Allocation of revenue from rates............................................. 47

Nature of assistance offered by British Embassy in Peking.................... 48

Plans to meet airlines' operation requests................................... 49

- 1 .

Sex Discrimination (Proceedings by the EOC) Regulation ♦ ♦ » ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, in moving the resolution of the Sex Discrimination (Proceedings by the Equal Opportunities Commission) Regulation in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the resolution standing in my name on the Order Paper. The resolution is to the effect that the Sex Discrimination (Proceedings by the Equal Opportunities Commission) Regulation made under section 89 of the Sex Discrimination Ordinance be approved.

The Sex Discrimination (Proceedings by the Equal Opportunities Commission) Regulation, if passed, will enable the Equal Opportunities Commission to bring court proceedings in its own name when it appears to the Commission that the claim is well founded, and where the case raises a question of principle and it is in the interests of justice to do so.

The Regulation will also enable the Commission in any such proceedings to seek a declaration that the act which is the subject of the proceedings is an unlawful act or an injunction in respect of such act or both.

Mr President, I beg to move.

End

Code of Practice on Employment under Sex Discrimination Ordinance

*****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, in moving the resolution to amend the Chinese text of the Code of Practice on Employment under the Sex Discrimination Ordinance in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that the Chinese text of the Code of Practice on Employment under the Sex Discrimination Ordinance, tabled in this Council on 20 November 1996, be amended as set out in the proposed Resolution of the Legislative Council circulated to Members.

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The purpose of the amendments is to better achieve consistency of translation between the English and the Chinese texts of the Code of Practice.

Mr President, I beg to move.

End

Disability Discrimination (Formal Investigations) Rules

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Following is the speech by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in moving die resolution on the Disability Discrimination (Formal Investigations) Rules today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

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

The Disability Discrimination (Formal Investigations) Rules (L.N. 474/1996) were introduced into this Council on 20 November. The purpose of this amendment is to rectify a textual error in the Form of Notice in Schedule 1 to the rule. This is to reflect, correctly, the proper source under which the Equal Opportunity Commission has delegated its function to a person to serve a notice to furnish information for the purpose of an investigation.

Mr President, I beg to move.

End

Code of Practice on Employment

*****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in moving the resolution on the Code of Practice on Employment under the Disability Discrimination Ordinance today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

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


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To ensure consistency of the Chinese and English versions of the Code of Practice on Employment under the Disability Discrimination Ordinance (G.N. 5204) which was introduced into this Council on 20 November 1996, I propose a textual amendment to the gazetted English version of the Code and a total of 17 textual amendments to the Chinese version as specified in my resolution.

a

Mr President, I beg to move.

End

COMAC (Amendment) Bill 1996 (resumed debate)

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Following is the speech by the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, at the resumed debate of the Commissioner for Administrative Complaints (Amendment) Bill 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President, I would like to thank the Honourable Mrs Selina Chow, the Chairman of the Bills Committee, and the other members of the Bills Committee for their hard work and efficiency in examining this Bill. In a relatively short space of time they have looked carefully at all aspects of the Bill.

In the light of concerns expressed by members on the particular aspect of the Bill, I shall move amendments during the committee stage.

The Bill seeks to empower COMAC to investigate complaints and non-compliance with the Code on Access to Information, against the Police, the ICAC and the Secretariats of the Independent Police Complaints Council and the Public Service Commission. To improve COMAC's working procedures and to change COMAC's English title to "The Ombudsman".

The Administration has stated publicly that the Code on Access to Information, the Code, will be extended throughout the Government by the end of this year. We are committed to this undertaking. The Code will be extended to the last of the 90 government departments and branches later this month. For the more efficient operation of the Code we consider it preferable to have a single independent review body for all agencies included under the Code. The Bill therefore seeks to amend the COMAC Ordinance to enable COMAC to investigate complaints and non-compliance with the Code against the four agencies, i.e. the Police, the ICAC and the Secretariats of the Independent Police Complaints Council and the Public Service Commission, which are at present not subject to COMAC's jurisdiction.

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A member of the Bills Committee considers that COMAC’s jurisdiction should be expanded so that he may investigate all general complaints of maladministration on the part of the Administration. The Administration is strongly against this proposal. I shall explain our position during the committee stage.

Other members of the Bills Committee point out that our proposed amendments to Schedule 2 of the Ordinance seem to go further than our expressed intention in that it was not limited to actions involving the Police and the ICAC. The Administration accepts this point. I will therefore be moving a committee stage amendment to spell out more clearly our intention.

The Bill proposes two improvements to COMAC’s working procedures. First, the existing secrecy provision under section 15 of the COMAC Ordinance is unnecessarily restrictive. The Bill seeks to facilitate COMAC and its staff in their investigation of complaints. The Bills Committee agrees with our proposal.

Secondly, the proposed amendment to section 16(1) of the COMAC Ordinance will make the reporting requirements of COMAC under the section discretionary instead of mandatory. This will enable COMAC to have more flexibility in handling simple and minor complaints so that he can put the resources available to him to the most effective use.

COMAC will exercise this discretion very carefully, taking into account the nature of individual complaint cases. He will continue to inform the complainant the result of his investigation and be required to provide a report on the outcome of his investigations to the head of an organisation concerned under section 17(2) of the Ordinance if he has not already done so under section 16(1). This proposal, too, has been approved by the Bills Committee.

Finally, the proposed change of COMAC’s English title to ’’The Ombudsman” will reflect more accurately his present powers and jurisdiction which are now more akin to those of a traditional Ombudsman following the legislative changes effected in June 1994. It will also bring him into line with international practice. The Bills Committee has also agreed to this proposal.

Mr President, the Bills Committee has indicated support for the Bill, subject to the amendment of schedule 2, and one minor amendment to the Chinese text which I shall move during the committee stage. I hope that members of this Council will support these CSA’s and the Bill as a whole and oppose the amendment that will be moved by the Honourable James To.

I would like to make it clear that for the reasons which I shall give during the committee stage, if these amendments are agreed to by this Council, the Administration will have no option but to withdraw the Bill before it is given its third reading. Thank you Mr President.

End

5

COMAC (Amendment) Bill (committee stage) *****

Following is the speech by the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, at the committee stage of Commissioner for Administrative Complaints (Amendment) Bill 1996 at the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr Chairman, the Administration strongly opposes the amendments moved by the Honourable James To to extend the Commissioner for Administrative Complaints (COMAC’s) general jurisdiction to cover the Royal Hong Kong Police Force and the Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Police Force.

Complaints against the police are already monitored and reviewed by the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC). On July 10, 1996, the Administration introduced into LegCo the IPCC Bill which proposes to make the IPCC a statutory body. This will provide the legal basis for the IPCC to discharge its functions of monitoring and reviewing the investigations by the Complaints Against Police Office (CAPO) into complaints against police officers. It will increase the credibility of the IPCC and enhance public confidence in the existing police complaints system.

Members of this Council have started to examine this Bill. The first meeting of the Bills Committee was held on December 16. We consider that any proposal to improve the police complaints system should be examined in the context of the IPCC Bill. The COMAC (Amendment) Bill is not the appropriate forum.

Apart from introducing the IPCC Bill, the Administration has already implemented a number of measures to improve the police complaints system. These include:

in July 1994, enabling the IPCC to interview witnesses, including both the complainant and the complainee;

in September 1994, installing closed-circuit television, video or taperecording facilities in the CAPO to ensure transparency during interviews;

in April 1996, introducing the IPCC Observer Scheme whereby IPCC members may participate in scheduled and surprise observations of CAPO investigations to enhance the credibility and transparency of the system.

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In addition, we will be implementing the recommendations arising from an independent review of CAPO procedures and a comparative study of overseas police complaints system. These will ensure that complaints are handled thoroughly, impartially, and with due expedition. For example, by setting time limits for investigation and by setting up a special panel of the 1PCC to monitor serious cases.

The above measures demonstrate that we are committed to improving the existing police complaints system. We strongly oppose the proposal to involve an additional statutory body, COMAC, in investigating complaints against the police. This will result in drastic changes to the existing system which has been running smoothly and to which improvements are being made.

It will also cause considerable confusion. What, for example, would be the role of the IPCC under the new system? Is it envisaged that the IPCC would monitor the investigations carried out by COMAC? If so, how would that square with COMAC’s independence?

We should also not underestimate the effect that these changes would have on the police themselves. At this time more than any other, we need a police force that is focused on its work and confident in its ability to serve the community, not one that is distracted by other issues and that feels under attack from members of this Council.

One other important point is that the proposal to place the police under COMAC’s general jurisdiction would have serious practical implications for COMAC’s operations. The large number of complaints handled by CAPO in recent years would mean a very substantial increase in the number of complaint cases COMAC would have to deal with. In 1994 and 1995, for example, CAPO handled 4.328 general complaints of maladministration against the police. This is about 1.4 times the total number of complaints received by COMAC during the same period. Apart from requiring a significant increase in staff resources, COMAC would also need special expertise to handle these new cases. Experience has shown that investigations of complaints against police officers are often associated with matters concerning criminal investigations. COMAC would find it difficult, if not impossible, to conduct these investigations effectively without the assistance of highly trained and experienced professional investigators. This applies equally to complaints of a noncriminal nature. The special circumstances of police work are such that for complaints to be investigated by outsiders could be very difficult and possibly counter-productive.

At a time when COMAC is beginning to work off a large backlog of cases arising from the introduction of the direct access policy in 1994, the Administration strongly believes that even if it were desirable to give him jurisdiction over all complaints against the police - which it is not - it would not be feasible or in the public interest for him to take them on.

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Mr Chairman, to sum up, we consider that it would be quite wrong to include the police and the auxiliary police under COMAC's general jurisdiction. The Administration cannot accept these amendments. As I said in my speech during the second reading debate on this Bill, if they are approved by members we do not have any option but to withdraw the Bill. I therefore strongly urge members to vote against the amendments.

I have thought it necessary to make clear the Administration's position on this issue, now, before we proceed further. This is not intended in any way to be political intimidation, rather I would say that it is simply having the courage to make clear the Administration's position rather than springing a surprise on members at the third reading stage.

As Mr To has pointed out, the Administration rarely withdraws a bill before the third reading and would not do so if the Administration was able to accept the amendments proposed by members. That we have chosen to invoke our right on this occasion reflects the very strong objections we have to the amendment for both policy and resource reasons. Thank you Mr President.

End

COMAC (Amendment) Bill 1996 (3rd reading)

♦ * * * *

Following is the speech by the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, at the third reading of the Commissioner for Administrative Complaints (Amendment) Bill 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr Chairman, I move that clauses 8 and 10 be amended as set out under my name in the paper circulated to members. The amendment to clause 8 is a minor one in the Chinese text which clarifies the intention of our proposal to enable COMAC to have greater flexibility in handling simple and minor complaints. The amendment to clause 10 is in response to the concern expressed by members in the Bills Committee and is supported by the Committee.

When the Police and the ICAC are brought within COMAC's jurisdiction for the purpose of the Code on Access to Information, we need to ensure the security of sensitive materials relating to the prevention, detection or investigation of crime. The amendment seeks to clarify the intention of our proposed new item 10 in schedule 2 of the Ordinance by stating explicitly that the proposed restriction on COMAC's investigation into matters relating to the prevention, investigation and detection of crime, should be limited to actions involving the Police and the ICAC.

End

8

Bankruptcy (Amendment) Bill 1996 (second reading) * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, at resumption of second reading debate of Bankruptcy (Amendment)Bill 1996, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I am grateful to the Members of the Bills Committee, and in particular its Chairman, the Honourable Ronald Arculli, for the detailed scrutiny that they have given to the Bankruptcy (Amendment) Bill 1996 which is a long and technical bill. We are grateful for their support of the Bill and also for the constructive suggestions that they have made in relation to it.

I outlined the main elements of this Bill when it was introduced into the Council earlier this year and I do not propose to repeat them again now. Suffice to say the Bill will modernise and streamline the legislative framework and procedures for the administration of personal insolvencies and also represents the first phase in a comprehensive overhaul of our insolvency system.

Mr President, I shall be proposing a limited number of amendments to the Bill at the Committee Stage, all of which have been agreed with the Bills Committee. These amendments, which are mainly technical, are being proposed primarily in response to specific concerns raised in submissions made to the Bills Committee, notably by the Hong Kong Association of Banks and the Hong Kong Society of Accountants, and well as issues raised by the Bills Committee itself.

Of particular concern to the accountancy sector was the possibility that tax information relating to a bankrupt that was obtained by the trustee in bankruptcy might also become available to creditors or other unrelated parties. To allay this concern I shall move an amendment to provide suitable safeguards in relation to maintenance of tax secrecy.

One aspect which received close attention from the Bills Committee was the proposed time period leading up to the automatic discharge from bankruptcy for a first-time bankrupt. The Bill proposes that this should be 3 years based on the precedents set under the UK Insolvency Act 1986 and the Australian Bankruptcy Amendment Act 1981. However, the Bills Committee felt that this may not be sufficiently long, noting also that under bankruptcy legislation in Singapore the corresponding period is 5 years. Members of the Committee considered that 4 years rather than 3 would be more appropriate for Hong Kong's situation. I am prepared to defer to their judgement particularly in view of the fact that it is open to a bankrupt to apply for early discharge. I will be moving an amendment to reflect this change.

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Under the existing Bill, there are no specific provisions for sanctions if a discharged bankrupt subsequently fails to co-operate with the trustee after his discharge from bankruptcy. At the request of the Bills Committee, I will move an amendment to provide for sanctions to be imposed for such non-co-operation.

Under the Bill, a new statutory duty is imposed on the trustee to adjudicate proofs of debts within four years or to seek an extension of time from the court, in cases where there is a reasonable prospect of a dividend being paid. We have subsequently agreed with the Bills Committee that the specific period will be prescribed in the rules.

With these remarks. I commend the Bill to Honourable Members.

End

Bankruptcy (Amendment) Bill 1996 (committee stage) ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a speech by the Secretary for Financial Services. Mr Rafael Hui. in moving the Committee Stage Amendment to the Bankruptcy (Amendment) Bill 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Chairman.

1 move that the clauses specified be amended as set out in the paper circulated to Members.

Under clause 20 of the Bill, a first-time bankrupt is discharged from bankruptcy at the expiration of 3 years from the commencement of the bankruptcy, subject to there being no valid objection from the trustee or a creditor. As I mentioned earlier, the Bills Committee felt that a period of 4 years would be more appropriate in the context of Hong Kong. Appropriate amendments are therefore made to sections 30A(2) and 30C(2), the latter of which is a transitional provision covering existing bankrupts. The amendment to section 30A(3) is consequential to this change and reflects the position taken by the Bills Committee that even where objections to automatic discharge are raised by the tnistee or a creditor and the period of bankruptcy is subsequently extended, the total maximum period of a bankruptcy should remain at 8 years.

The amendment to section 30A(8) make it clear that if a discharged bankrupt subsequently fails to co-operate with the trustee after his discharge from bankruptcy, such non-co-operation will constitute contempt of court for which sanction is already available.

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The Hong Kong Society of Accountants and Members of the Bills Committee expressed concern over the extent of section 30D of the Bill which deals with the ability of the court to order the Commissioner of Inland Revenue to produce certain documents relating to a bankrupt before the court. The proposed amendment to clause 21, new section 30D of the Bill, limits the production of such documents to private examinations held in Chambers, restricts access to this information to suitably qualified trustees and also imposes a duty of confidentiality on the trustee. The Commissioner of Inland Revenue is also empowered to apply to the court for the discharge or variation of the order.

Clause 25 of the Bill adds claims in tort to the types of unliquidated damages that are provable in bankruptcy. Amendments are made to clause 25 to clarify that a trustee may refer debts or liabilities relating to such unliquidated damages to the court for valuation. At the request of the Hong Kong Association of Banks a further clarification is made in respect of the conversion method used when dividends are paid in foreign currency.

The new section 34(7A) provides that the trustee shall be obliged to make a decision on a proof of debt within a period to be prescribed in the rules.

Under new section 51A of the Bill, where a person has benefited indirectly from a ’’transaction at an undervalue” or an "unfair preference" undertaken by a debtor and that person "was an associate of, or was connected with" the debtor or the person with whom the debtor dealt in the first instance, then the interest or benefit received is presumed to have been received other than in good faith and suitable redress may be sought by the debtor’s estate. The Hong Kong Association of Banks queried the extension of the provision to "connected" persons which is not defined and could inadvertently catch an innocent bank dealing with a debtor in the normal course of business. We accept that these words can be deleted without materially altering the objective of the sub-section and I, therefore, propose that clause 36 be amended accordingly.

The proposed amendment to clause 47 of the Bill takes on board a concern raised by the Bills Committee in relation, particularly, to the issue of tax secrecy. It widens the classes of persons who may make a complaint to the court about the conduct of a trustee so as to include the Official Receiver, the bankrupt or any other person.

The other amendments proposed are either technical or textual in nature or to amend the Chinese text of the Bill to reflect drafting improvements. All the amendments have been agreed by the Bills Committee.

Mr Chairman, I beg to move.

End

11

Bankruptcy (Amendment) Bill 1996 (committee stage) ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a speech by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, in moving committee stage amendment to the Bankruptcy (Amendment) Bill 1996, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr Chairman,

I move that new clauses 47A and 75A as set out in the paper circulated to Members be read the second time.

The new clause 47A amends section 87 of the Ordinance to provide for the fee that may be charged by the trustee or the Official Receiver for supplying a creditor with the list of creditors and debts due, to be prescribed in subsidiary legislation rather than being specified in the principal Ordinance as it now is.

The new clause 75A makes a consequential amendment to the Companies Ordinance. It is consequential to clause 36 of the Bill which repeals sections 47 to 51 of the Bankruptcy Ordinance, dealing with "fraudulent preferences", and replaces them with new provisions on "transactions at an undervalue" and "unfair preferences", which are concepts that are defined under the relevant sections of the Bill.

The concept of "fraudulent preferences" is also employed in sections 266 and 266A of the Companies Ordinance and account therefore needs to be taken of the changes brought about by this Bill. The proposed section 266B deems a "fraudulent preference" to be an "unfair preference", as provided for under section 50 of the Bankruptcy Ordinance, in the case of a company being wound up after the commencement of the Bankruptcy (Amendment) Ordinance 1996. For a winding-up commenced before this date, the present provisions of the Companies Ordinance will continue to apply.

Mr Chairman, I beg to move.

End

12

Submarine Telegraph Bill 1996

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Following is a speech by the Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Stephen Ip, in moving the third reading of the Submarine Telegraph Bill 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

The Submarine Telegraph Bill 1996 has passed through Committee without amendment. I move that this Bill be read the third time and do pass.

End

Railways Bill * ♦ * * *

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Gordon Siu, in moving the second reading of the Railways Bill in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

1 move that the Railways Bill be read the second time. This Bill is new legislation designed to support in general the implementation of railway projects.

The Railway Development Strategy formulated in 1994 accorded high priority to three railway projects for implementation. One of the three projects, the Western Corridor Railway, will be one of Hong Kong's largest heavy rail projects. The sheer length of the railway means that many private lots will be affected and large scale land resumption will have to be undertaken.

In the course of studying the feasibility of the project, we have also examined a number of our existing ordinances which have land resumption provisions and found that none are entirely adequate on its own for the implementation of railway projects. It was decided that new legislation should be drafted to take forward the new projects.

A suitable legal framework would need to contain provisions for the preparation and publication of plans, objections, payment of compensation to persons whose interests are affected, reclamation of land, resumption of land or strata, creation of temporary and permanent easements and way leaves.

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The Railway Bill is modelled mainly on the Roads (Works, Use and Compensation) Ordinance. The improvements are based on past experience and are to speed up the land resumption process without compromising the rights of affected parties.

While there are basic differences between roads and railways, the Roads Ordinance contain many of the provisions that are required for the implementation of railway projects. In particular, the existing land resumption procedures and compensation matters under the Roads Ordinance have been in use for almost two decades and the system is tried and trusted.

The Railway Bill consists of five Parts. Part I deals with preliminary matters. Part II provides for the preparation of a railway scheme, its publication, objections, the power to amend the scheme and make corrections, minor works, resumption, easements and other rights, the effect on utility services and related issues. Part III addresses the right to compensation and claims procedure. A Schedule supplements with specific provisions on compensation procedure. Part IV gives jurisdiction to the Lands Tribunal to assess and award compensation and Part V covers a number of miscellaneous issues.

It is our intention that the Railways Bill will apply to all future railway projects including those to be constructed by the Mass Transit Railway Corporation. As such, the Mass Transit Railway (Land Resumption and Related Provisions) Ordinance (Cap 276) should be repealed following the enactment of the Railways Bill. However, in order not to delay the progress of the Quarry Bay Congestion Relief Works which is urgently needed to relieve congestion and improve safety at the Quarry Bay Station, we intend to proceed with this project under Cap 276. It should be noted that the scale of land resumption involved in the Quarry Bay Congestion Relief Works is relatively small.

Mr President, the early enactment of the Railways Bill is essential for the Western Corridor Railway project. While certain planning work could be undertaken prior to the enactment, the alignment cannot be finalised until all the required preparatory works are completed. Such works include site inspections and surveys of private properties which KCRC is not currently empowered to enter. Even more important, the new legislation has to be in place before the railway scheme could be gazetted. It is therefore our aim to have the Bill enacted in the early part of 1997 to enable the timely implementation of this project.

Thank you, Mr President.

End

14

Official Secrets Bill

*****

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

Mr President,

I move the Second Reading of the Official Secrets Bill.

This Bill localises the provisions of the UK Official Secrets Acts currently applying to Hong Kong. These Acts will lapse on 1 July 1997; we thus need to introduce local legislation to replace them.

The Bill deals with two broad categories of offences: espionage, and unlawful disclosure of official information. In drafting the Bill, we have modified various provisions in the Acts to reflect local circumstances. For the unlawful disclosure offences, the Bill covers six key areas of information: security and intelligence, defence, international relations, information obtained in confidence from other states or international organisations, crime, and special investigations under statutory warrants. These areas of information, if disclosed without lawful authority, would cause or be likely to cause substantial harm to the public interest.

There are a number of provisions in the Acts which have not been reproduced in the Bill. These include provisions dealing with matters already covered in other Hong Kong legislation, such as the power of arrest. We have also removed an outdated provision which requires persons in the business of receiving postal packets to register with the Police. We have, in addition, included a new safeguard in the provision requiring a person to give information to the Police about suspected espionage, to ensure that the information he gives cannot be used against him in criminal proceedings.

We have not included from the UK Acts the rebuttable presumption of purpose in relation to espionage, by which a person’s guilty purpose is presumed in certain circumstances unless he can prove otherwise. This sort of presumption is out of step with current Hong Kong legislative practice, and there is no merit in retaining it in the localised legislation.

There have been some suggestions that ’’public interest" and "prior disclosure" defences should be included in the Bill. Such defences, which do not exist in other common law jurisdictions, are not a feature of the existing Acts applying to Hong Kong. As 1 have mentioned, the Bill specifies six areas of protected information; we believe that, given the nature of the information concerned, any unauthorised disclosure would of itself be likely to harm the public interest. To provide statutorily for a "public interest" defence for disclosing information relating to matters under one of these areas set out in the legislation would be contradictory.

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Furthermore, the Official Secrets Bill is a localising Bill, not a law reform exercise. It would thus be inappropriate to include such defences in the Bill. Ultimately, it would be for the courts to decide whether an offence has been committed under the Bill and, if so, what penalties might be appropriate in all the circumstances.

Evidence of prior disclosure will be relevant in deciding whether a particular disclosure does, in fact, cause harm of a kind specified in the legislation. Where there has been a prior disclosure it will be open for a defendant to argue that the disclosure, which is the subject of the prosecution, has done no further harm. This may not always be the case, however, as there may be circumstances in which the timing and placing of a fresh disclosure may cause harm which an earlier disclosure had not. That is why the Bill leaves the matter of prior disclosure to the courts to decide, rather than creating a blanket defence.

We have consulted the Chinese side, through the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group, on our proposals to localise the Official Secrets Acts. The Chinese side have agreed that the localising legislation should proceed.

Thank you, Mr President.

End

Government Rent (Assessment and Collection) Bill *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in moving the second reading of the Government Rent (Assessment and Collection) Bill in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the second reading of the Government Rent (Assessment and Collection) Bill.

The Bill does not introduce a new Government policy. Its main purpose is to implement Annex III to the Sino-British Joint Declaration (JD). The requirement to pay new Government rents was publicised when the JD was signed, and subsequently made known to property owners when their non-renewable leases were renewed, or when they were granted new leases. These leases include those in the New Territories (including New Kowloon), which would expire on 27 June 1997 had they not been extended to 30 June 2047 under the New Territories Leases (Extension) Ordinance, and those special purpose leases which the Government has granted or extended with a provision requiring the payment of ground rent on similar terms. It should be noted that no premium is charged upon the extension of the leases concerned.

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The new Government rents to be charged are equivalent to 3 per cent of the rateable value of the land leased. In other words, they amount to approximately half of the rates currently being paid by property owners. Most of these Government rents will be payable only after 27 June 1997. We estimate about 950,000 properties will be affected. Out of these properties, approximately 60% are small residential flats (up to 70 square metre saleable area) for which the rents payable should generally be less than $200 per month. 6% are medium sized residential flats (70 square metre - 100 square metre) for which the average rent will be around $500 per month and 4% are large residential flats (100 square metre and over) for which the rent would average around $1,200 per month.

Certain properties will not have to pay the new Government rents. These are Housing Authority rented flats constructed on land vested in the Housing Authority; most properties on Hong Kong Island and Kowloon (south of Boundary Street); certain rural properties owned by indigenous villagers and tsos and tongs; and very low value properties such as small agricultural lots and ruined houses.

Mr President, this Council may wish to note that since the entry into force of the JD in May 1985, those non-renewable leases and those special purpose leases in the urban area that have been extended are already paying the new Government rents under the provisions in their lease documents. Most of the properties which will be required to pay the new Government rents are those whose leases will be extended to 30 June 2047 under the New Territories Leases (Extension) Ordinance. Although that Ordinance provides for the power to make regulations to govern the assessment and collection of the new Government rents, it only applies to leases in the New Territories and New Kowloon. It is therefore necessary to introduce new legislation to embrace all the affected leases. Indeed, from an administrative point of view, it is essential to adopt a uniform and standardised approach in assessing and collecting all the new Government rents.

The Bill is modelled largely after the Rating Ordinance. It seeks to codify and standardise the method of assessment, collection and payment of the new Government rents. Like rates, the new Government rents will be assessed on a tenement basis.

Under the Bill, landowners are primarily responsible for the payment of the new Government rents as lessees, but, for practical reasons, the Government has the power to demand the new Government rents from the ratepayer who, in most cases, is also the lessee. Where the ratepayer is not the lessee, the sum so paid shall be a debt due to the ratepayer by the lessee unless there is prior agreement otherwise.

The Commissioner of Rating and Valuation will assess and update the rateable value of the land leased in the same manner as provided for under the Rating Ordinance. Specific provisions have been incorporated for the assessment of the rateable values of those properties which are not liable for assessment to rates, e.g. agricultural land and land not yet developed or under redevelopment.

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The Commissioner will prepare a Government Rent Roll, containing the address or description of tenements subject to payment of the new Government rents, and the rateable value of such tenements. The rateable values in the Government Rent Roll will be reviewed and updated in the same manner, and at the same frequency, as the Valuation List under the Rating Ordinance. The Government Rent Roll will be available for public inspection. The Commissioner will also be responsible for collecting the new Government rents. As in the case of rates, late payment of the new Government rents will be subject to surcharge.

The Bill provides for an appeal mechanism. Where the entries of tenements are not identical in the Government Rent Roll and the Valuation List, proposals to alter the Government Rent Roll can be made under the Bill in July, August and September 1997 for the first Government Rent Roll, and in April and May each year for subsequent Government Rent Rolls. However, where the entries of tenements are identical, any proposal, objection or appeal against the rateable value shall be made under the Rating Ordinance only, and any consequential change to the rateable value will be made in both the Government Rent Roll and the Valuation List. A person who is aggrieved by the Commissioner's decision on his proposal, objection or appeal may appeal to the Lands Tribunal.

Similarly, an indigenous villager or a tso or tong aggrieved by the need to pay the new Government rents in respect of a rural holding may appeal to the Director of Lands. Where he is aggrieved by the decision of the Director, he may appeal to the Lands Tribunal.

Mr President, we would be grateful if Honourable Members would give priority to the scrutiny of the Bill with a view to enacting it as soon as possible. It is important that we have the legislative framework for the collection of the new Government rents in place well before the lessees concerned will need to pay them. Early enactment of the Bill will enable other related and very necessary actions to be taken before June 1997. These include bringing into force the regulations required, preparing the Government Rent Roll, arranging publicity on the assessment procedures and rent collection before the first batch of demand notes are issued, and fine-tuning the computer system for the billing and collection of the new Government rents. We envisage the above actions will need a few months to complete.

Thank you, Mr President.

End

18

Provision of official residence

*****

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

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

a) Whether any specific guidelines have been formulated and, if so, by which public officer and when, regarding the provision of official residence for public officers, and whether, in determining the provision of official residence for public officers, consideration has been given to the constitutional status, authority and job nature of these public officers as well as the existing facilities available for their use; and

b) Whether the Government will conduct reviews regularly in order to determine if the provision of official residence will be extended to other public officers of equal status to those who are presently provided with official residence; if not, why not?

Reply:

Mr President,

Official residences are only provided to top officials in the Government, taking into account their status in the Government hierarchy and such relevant factors as representational obligations, authority and nature of job. Provision of official residence is made on a highly selective basis as it includes free utilities (water, gas and electricity), non-accountable entertainment allowance and provision of domestic servants. Each application is considered on its individual merits.

In approving the designation of an official residence, it is necessary to consult the Standing Commission on Directorate Salaries and Conditions of Service before a submission is made to the Finance Committee for approval of the financial implications.

We are satisfied that the present number of official residences is adequate in respect to the existing government hierarchy. The small number of such residences and the very critical scrutiny given to any proposals to create a new residence means that this is not a subject amenable to review.

End

19

Disputes between main contractors and subcontractors * * * ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Ngan Kam-chuen and a reply by the Secretary for Works, Mr Kwong Hon-sang, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It is learnt that in July this year, the developer of a construction site in Tai Po terminated the contract with the contractor for alleged delays in the construction work. The contractor subsequently went into liquidation, and the subcontractors were thus unable to reclaim payments on wages and materials amounting to over $30 million. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the channels with which the subcontractor can lodge complaints or claims for compensation if he is in dispute with the contractor or the developer; and

(b) whether there is any legislation requiring a contractor to notify, within a certain period of time following receipt of a notice of termination of contract from the developer, the subcontractor to cease work?

Answer:

Mr President,

(a) For a construction project, whether for private or public works, subcontractors and main contractors negotiate and enter into private contracts between them. Contractual disputes between sub-contractors and the main contractors are private commercial/contractual matters which arise in any form of business and are settled in accordance with the terms of their contracts. These are private matters between the various private parties and Government does not intercede.

The subject matter involves the liquidation of the main contractor, in respect of which the appointed liquidator would apply the relevant statutory provisions of the Companies Ordinance (Cap. 32). Any debts and compensation owed to any of the entitled parties must be taken care of under the rules of the above Ordinance.

(b) There is no legislation requiring a contractor, following receipt of a notice of termination of contract from the developer, to notify his subcontractors to cease work. Such matters would normally be dealt with in the contracts between the main contractor and the sub-contractors.

End

/

- 20 -

Fire rescue measures in tall buildings *****

Following is a question by the Hon Chim Pui-chung and a reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) the total number of fire engines fitted with tower ladders operated by the Fire Services Department (FSD), and the districts in which such fire engines are stationed;

(b) the maximum height reachable by these tower ladders in high-rise rescue operations; and

(c) the rescue measures adopted by the FSD in the event of a fire occurring in a building with its height exceeding that mentioned in the answer to (b) above, and whether the FSD will review and strengthen its firefighting equipment so as to better equip itself for high-rise rescue operations?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The Fire Services Department (FSD) is equipped with 19 turntable ladders and 3 major snorkels. Of the turntable ladders, 6 are deployed in the Hong Kong Region, 6 in Kowloon and 7 in the New Territories. As regards major snorkels, there is one in Kowloon and two in the New Territories.

(b) There are two types of turntable ladders. They can reach a maximum height of 50 metres and 37 metres respectively. A major snorkel can reach a maximum height of 30 metres.

21

End

(c) During fire operations, apart from using aerial equipment like turntable ladders to fight the fire externally, the firemen crew will also conduct internal fire suppression and rescue operation inside a building through staircases. The fire service installations in a building, including, for example, fire hoses and sprinkler system, will also be used to extinguish or to limit the fire.

FSD conducts regular review on the provision of fire fighting and rescue facilities, including the adequacy of aerial equipment for fire-fighting in high-rise buildings.

Ways to curb illegal activities of TWP holders

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Yum Sin-ling and a reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of people entering Hong Kong from China on two-way exit permits and the number of such people who have overstayed, in the past twelve months;

(b) whether the Government will review the penalties for overstayers to ascertain if these penalties have any deterrent effect; if not, why not;

(c) in view of the fact that some of the two-way permit holders are involved in illegal activities (such as fraud, prostitution, illegal hawking and working a illegal foreign workers), what measures are in place to prevent such people from engaging in these illegal activities during their stay in the territory and to ensure that the offenders will not be able to come to the territory again; and

(d) whether it has discussed with the Chinese Government the problem of two-way permit holders committing crimes in the territory; if so, whether a consensus has been reached with the Chinese authorities for combating such activities?

22

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) From 1 December 1995 to 30 November 1996, 298,775 Two-way Permit holders came to Hong Kong. During the same period, 28,636 Two-way Permit holders were found to have overstayed. Compared with the figures for the same period for the previous year, the percentage of overstayers has decreased from 15% to 9%.

(b) Any persons, including the Two-way Permit holders, who have breached their condition of stay in Hong Kong, will be charged for breach of condition of stay under Section 41 of the Immigration Ordinance (Cap. 115). In January 1996, a legislative amendment was introduced to increase the maximum fine for breach of condition of stay by ten times from $5,000 to $50,000. After the revision, the usual fines imposed by the Courts on Two-way Permit overstayers have increased considerably from the former range of $500 - $1,000 to the current range of $1,500 -$2,000, with about 4% of the convicted overstayers fined $5,000 -$10,000. The decrease in number of Two-way Permit overstayers from a monthly average of 3,188 in 1995 to 2,345 in 1996 indicates that the increased fines coupled with the stepping up of enforcement measures are effective deterrents.

The Administration will keep its immigration policy under constant review, but we do not have any plan to revise the penalties for overstaying at present.

(c) Any persons who are found to have committed an offence in Hong Kong will be apprehended and charged under the relevant provisions of the laws of Hong Kong.

In addition to the normal law enforcement measures taken by the Police and other departments, the following actions have been taken -

(i) Regular and frequent raids and prosecution actions against Two-way Permit illegal workers and their employers have been launched. In the first eleven months of 1996, 1,523 anti-illegal worker operations were conducted. As a result, 2,191 Two-way Permit illegal workers and 778 employers hiring them were arrested. 2,066 of the Two-way Permit illegal workers and 329 employers were subsequently prosecuted.

23

(d)

(ii) A territory-wide publicity campaign against illegal employment was launched. Posters and APIs were prepared to send out a clear message to employers not to employ illegal workers.

(iii) Since March 1996, information leaflets were distributed to Two-way Permit holders at immigration control points to alert them to the fact that it is an offence for them to take up employment, to establish or join in any business, to study or overstay, and that they would be prosecuted and repatriated if they commit any immigration offence.

(iv) With effect from January 1996, the maximum fines have been increased from $5,000 to $50,000 for any person taking up illegal employment, and, for employers of such illegal workers, from $250,000 to $350,000.

(v) Immigration Department will include the details of blatant offenders, whether of PRC origin or otherwise, in a stop-list to prevent them from coming to Hong Kong again.

Close and regular liaison is maintained with the Chinese authorities with a view to curbing illegal activities and abuses of the Two-way Permit system.

The liaison between the Police and the PRC law-enforcement agencies is done at both bilateral meetings and in the course of routine liaison through Interpol.

The Immigration Department and the relevant PRC authorities also exchange information on a regular basis. Information concerning blatant overstayers from China has also been passed to the Chinese side for their follow-up actions. The response from the Chinese authorities has been very positive. This is evidenced by their ready assistance to verify doubtful identities, confirmation of acceptance of persons to be repatriated, tightened control at their control points, and so on. We also understand that they have tightened up the issue of Two-way Permits to blatant offenders.

End

24

Shelters at taxi stands

* ♦ * * *

Following is a question by the Hon Choy Kan-pui and a reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Gordon Siu, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It is learned that most taxi stands are without shelters except those located at large shopping centres. Given that a considerable number of bus stops are already provided with shelters, will the Government inform this Council whether it will consider providing shelters at those taxi stands where the construction of such shelters is feasible, for the benefit of passengers queuing up for taxis; if so, of the number of taxi stands where the provision of shelters is intended; the expected commencement and completion dates of the projects concerned and the criteria adopted for determining the priority of the construction of shelters at taxi stands?

Reply:

Mr President,

Covered shelters are provided for taxi passengers at many major public transport interchanges and commercial developments where taxi stands are located: For example, the taxi stands at the Edinburgh Place Ferry Concourse, Tsim Sha Tsui Ferry Concourse, Macau Ferry Terminal and Kai Tak Airport are all under cover. In the New Territories, covered taxi stands are also available at major transport interchanges and commercial complexes in Sha Tin, Fanling, Sheung Shui, Kwai Fong, Tsuen Wan and Tuen Mun. Covered taxi stands will also be provided at future transport interchanges such as those at the new airport and new MTR stations along the Airport Railway. We will also take the opportunity to provide cover for existing taxi stands under transport terminus modification projects, for instance, at Fu Heng Estate in Tai Po. In addition, some taxi stand shelters have been funded by District Boards. Many road side taxi stands, particularly those in the urban area, are already protected by buildings, where purpose-built shelters are neither feasible nor necessary. The need for cover is more urgently felt at taxi stands which are exposed and heavily utilized. A number of these stands are in the New Territories. We are drawing up a list of such locations, in order of priority, and preparing a programme for implementation.

End

25

Manpower of KCRC - West Rail Division

* * » * *

Following is a question by the Hon Lo Suk-ching and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Gordon Siu, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It is learnt that the Managing Board of Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) has endorsed the plan to reduce 50% of the staff of its West Rail Division (WRD), and that only about a dozen out of the one hundred or so employees retained are local staff. However, despite this reduction, the monthly expenditure of the WRD still comes to about $20,000,000. This has given rise to public concern about whether the number of expatriate staff and the monthly expenditure of the WRD are still on the high side. In this connection, does the Government know:

(a) having regard to the fact that only about a dozen local employees of the WRD are retained, whether there is any impact on the Division in the long term in such areas as technology transfer, localisation and communication with the Chinese side; if so, what the remedial measures are;

(b) whether the monthly expenditure of the WRD is spent entirely on monitoring consultancy contracts which amount to an average monthly cost of about $20,000,000; if so, of the reasons for this 1:1 ratio of supervision fees which differs from the normal ratio of 1:5;

(c) if the answer to (b) is in the negative, whether part of the monthly expenditure is spent on commissioning the study on Phase II projects; if so,

(i) of the respective percentages of the amounts spent on monitoring consultancy contracts and commissioning the study on Phase II projects; and

(ii) whether it is appropriate to commence the study on Phase II projects at the present stage?

26

Reply:

Mr President.

At its meeting on 18 November 1996, the Managing Board of the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) decided to downsize the West Rail Division from 267 to 110 professional staff and 25 clerical and administrative staff members, and consequently the monthly expenditure of the West Rail Division will be cut by about half. This reduced monthly expenditure is dedicated mainly towards managing the Phase I technical studies, which are urgently needed to firm up the alignment and establish the land requirement of the Western Corridor Railway (WCR) project.

There are currently 10 KCRC staff members on the project team. Seven of them are Hong Kong permanent residents, while the remaining three are expatriates who have been working in Hong Kong for at least 7 years. All ten will remain on the down-sized team. The remaining 100 professional staff members will continue to be filled by consultant staff. In the longer term, KCRC envisage a progressive build up of their staff as planning for the project advances. KCRC are now in the process of increasing the proportion of KCRC staff on the team through internal transfer and external recruitment.

As regards the specific points raised:

(a) The relatively small number of KCRC staff at present is not a permanent arrangement. As indicated above, KCRC are in the process of progressively replacing consultant staff with their own staff. Such an approach should ensure a smooth transfer and retention of experience within the Corporation. As regards KCRC's recruitment policy, the main criterion is to get the right person for the job. Localisation is an important factor as the Corporation advertise overseas if and only if no suitable local candidates can be found.

(b) As will be seen from paragraph 1 above, the monthly expenditure of the West Rail Division is incurred mainly for work relating to the Phase I technical studies. We are not aware of the ratio referred to by the Honourable Member; and

(c) There is no current spending on Phase II technical studies. However, in the light of Government's decision last week to construct the domestic passenger line of the WCR project first, there will be a need, in the months ahead, to move on to those parts of the Phase II technical studies which are necessary for the detailed design of this domestic passenger service. This will be the subject of further discussions between Government and the KCRC when the new Chairman of the Corporation is in post.

End

27

Contract for MTRC refurbishing train cars ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Lau Chin-shek and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Gordon Siu, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It is learnt that the Mass Transit Railway Corporation will spend more than a billion dollars to refurbish some 700 of its train cars. In this connection, does the Government know -

(a) whether the contract for this project will be awarded through open tender; if so, when the tendering exercise will be conducted; and

(b) of any specific measures in place to ensure that this project is cost-effective and will not lead to fare increases in the future?

Reply:

Mr President,

The Mass Transit Railway Corporation intends to award a contract for this project through public tender. The Corporation is now preparing the tender documents and expects to issue them early next year to a number of international companies which have been assessed and qualified as being suitable to carry out this project. The contract will be awarded in the last quarter of 1997. The target completion date for the whole project is 2001.

The costs and benefits of the project have been rigorously scrutinized by the Corporation and the capital expenditure required has been included in the Corporation’s long-term financial forecasts. Since the capital expenditure will be spread over many years, it will not have any direct impact on fares.

End

28

Codes of conduct of SFC and Stock Exchange Hong Kong Limited

♦ ♦ ♦ * *

Following is a question by the Hon Chim Pui-chung and a written reply by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Does the Government know:

(a) of the respective dates of the introduction of rules and codes of conduct by the Securities and Futures Commission and the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited, which spell out clearly the principles and practices which registered stock brokers or their staff should follow when dealing in transactions either for their own accounts or for their clients;

(b) whether, prior to the introduction of the above rules and codes of conduct, it was beyond the power of the authorities concerned to intervene in the way in which registered stock brokers or their staff handled their own transactions or those made on behalf of their clients; and

(c) whether the Financial Secretary or the Secretary for Financial Services has the authority to ensure there is check and balance in the application of the existing rules and codes of conduct; if not, why not?

Answer:

(a) The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issued a Code of Conduct for persons registered with the Securities and Futures Commission in February 1994.

In addition, in 1986, the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (SEHK) promulgated the Exchange Rules and Regulations. In November 1993, the SEHK further issued a Code of Conduct Regulations which specifically expanded on the conduct requirements of the Exchange Rules and Regulations in compliance with the principles set out by the International Organisation of Securities Commissions.

Together, they set out the principles and practices which registered stock brokers and their staff should follow when dealing in transactions either for their own accounts or for their clients.

29

(b) Under the Securities and Futures Commission Ordinance, the SFC is responsible for supervising and monitoring the activities of the SEEK; to take all reasonable steps to safeguard the interest of persons dealing in securities; to promote and encourage proper conduct amongst members of the SEEK; to suppress illegal, dishonourable and improper practices in dealing in securities; and to promote and maintain the integrity of registered persons.

These legislative requirements, either taken alone or together with the SFC’s Code of Conduct, form the basis upon which the SFC carries out its surveillance and enforcement activities.

Separately, the Stock Exchanges Unification Ordinance requires the SEEK to ensure an orderly and fair market in securities trading through the facilities of the SEEK and to act in the interests of the public, having particular regard to the interests of the investing public. Since its inception, the SEEK has been monitoring the activities of its members and their employees in accordance with the obligations and powers stipulated in its Memorandum and Articles of Association, which provide that the SEEK should, inter alia, promote and protect the interests of all members of the public having dealings on the SEEK or with its members; make, amend and repeal rules and by-laws affecting the conduct of its members; and establish committees for the interpretation and enforcement of any such rules, by-laws and the requirements under the Stock Exchanges Unification Ordinance. In pursuit of these objects, the SEEK has made the Rules and Regulations referred to in Part (a) of this reply.

As the front-line regulator of the securities market, the SEEK has a duty to monitor compliance by its members and their staff of the Rules and Regulations and to ensure that they would deal with clients honestly and fairly, give clients priority in all trading and disclose fully to clients information relevant to dealing in securities for or on behalf of clients.

It is therefore the considered view of the Administration that there is no question of the SFC and the SEEK acting beyond their authorities in monitoring the registered persons or their members’ dealing activities and in taking the necessary enforcement action to safeguard the interests of the investing public prior to the introduction of the relevant rules and codes of conduct.

30

(c) Any amendment to the Memorandum and Articles of Association, or to the Rules and Regulations of the SEHK proposed by the SEEK Council are subject to the approval of the SFC as set out in these documents and the Stock Exchanges Unification Ordinance.

The SFC in turn is subject to checks and balance stipulated in the law and under common law. For example, under the Securities and Futures Commission Ordinance (Cap. 24), the SFC is required to consult the Financial Secretary before exercising certain powers under the Ordinance, and under the same Ordinance, the Governor may give to the SFC such directions in writing as regards the performance of any of its functions as he considers appropriate, and the SFC must comply with any such direction. The SFC's disciplinary powers to suspend or revoke a registration is also subject to appeal to the SFC Appeals Tribunal, an independent body appointed by the Governor; and the common law requires due process and reasonable exercise of the SFC's authorities. Failure to do so would expose the SFC to a judicial review.

End

Directorate succession well planned *****

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

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the numbers of serving directorate staff in the civil service who have opted for the new Pension Scheme and the old Pension Scheme respectively, together with the names and ages of those directorate staff who have opted for the old Pension Scheme as well as the policy branches or departments in which they are now serving; and

(b) how the authority concerned works out the succession plans in those departments with a relatively large number of directorate staff reaching the age at which they can opt to retire, so as to avoid a succession gap caused by staff wastage?

31

Answer:

Mr President,

(a) The age profile of the 1 379 directorate officers (as at 1 October 1996) in

the civil service and the pension scheme options of those on permanent and pensionable terms are as follows -

age Pension Schemes below 40 40 -44 above 45 -49 50 -54 54 Total

New Pension Scheme (NPS) 87 146 263 216 198 910

Old Pension Scheme (OPS) 6 16 118 117 15 (20%) J 272

Agreeemnt Terms 16 30 65 53 33 197

Total 109 192 446 386 246 1379

(8%) (14%) (32%) (28%) (18%) (100%)

Since which pension scheme an officer has opted for is a matter of an individual’s privacy, it would be inappropriate to provide Members with a name list of directorate officers and their pension scheme options and ages.

(b) The Administration has a long established mechanism for planning directorate succession in each department. The overall objective is to ensure smooth succession and to identify and groom younger officers in departments for higher responsibilities. Directorate succession plans are reviewed and updated at half-yearly intervals to identify possible and suitable successors to directorate posts and to discuss training and other career development needs for senior officers.

32

As part of this process, we consider carefully those departments which may have a relatively larger proportion of directorate officers approaching their retirement age. These include Education Department, Social Welfare Department, Information Services Department and the Royal Hong Kong Police Force. Retirement of officers is a natural process and offers the chance of renewal. Through proper planning, we have worked together with the Heads of Departments and have developed a pool of candidates suitable for directorate positions. The age profile and experience level of professional officers in these departments, and our succession reviews, indicate that there arc suitable officers ready to rise up the directorate ranks to fill vacancies that might arise.

End

Figures on Supplementary Labour Scheme ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

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

Question:

Regarding the Supplementary Labour Scheme, will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the total number of applications for the importation of foreign workers which have been approved, as well as the total number of workers involved, since the implementation of the Scheme in February this year; and

(b) the total number of foreign workers who have already entered the territory to work under the Scheme during the same period, together with a breakdown of such workers by industry, type of work and post?

Reply :

As at 17 December 1996, we have approved 378 applications for a total of 1,948 workers under the Supplementary Labour Scheme.

33

(b) As at 17 December 1996, for the 1,948 workers approved under the Supplementary Labour Scheme, 783 visa applications have been received. Of the 783 applications, 169 have been approved and 552 are under processing. 101 workers (with approved visas) have entered Hong Kong for employment.

A breakdown of the 101 workers by industry is as follows:

Industry No. of workers

Construction 87

Wholesale, Retail and

Import/Export 5

Manufacturing 4

Agriculture and Fishing 3

Catering

Total : 101

The breakdown by job title is as follows:

Job Title

No. of workers

Driller

Mechanical Engineering

Technician

Foreman

Electrician

Plant and Equipment Operator

Gardening Worker

Stock Supervisor

Captain

Production Technician Electric Arc and Gas Welder Plant Mechanics

Precast Erection Operator

Paper Joss Stick Craftsman

Merchandiser

Machine Operator

12

11

10

8

3

2

2

2

2

Total: 101

End

34

Unemployment statistics

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Cheng Yiu-tong and a written reply by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the statistics on unemployment, will the Government inform this Council of the following in each of the past five years:

(a) the median duration of unemployment;

(b) the respective quarterly proportions of the unemployed in the following industries, who were unemployed due to dismissal or lay-off or who left employment because of dissatisfaction with their jobs, to the total number of unemployed persons :

(i) manufacturing,

(ii) wholesale, retail, import and export trade,

(iii) catering,

(iv) hotels; and

(c) the quarterly proportion of unemployed persons believed to have no chance of 'finding employment to the total number of unemployed persons?

Reply:

(a) Statistics on the median duration of unemployment for each of the past five years from 1991 to 1995 and for the third quarter of 1996 are given below:

Median duration of unemployment(days)

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996 Q3

54

60

66

70

77

66

35

These statistics indicate that the median duration of unemployment had lengthened to 77 days in 1995 when the unemployment rate showed a marked rise. But as labour market conditions improved thereafter, the median duration of unemployment also fell, to 66 days by the third quarter of 1996, a level which was broadly the same as in 1993.

(b) Breakdowns of the unemployed in the manufacturing sector by the reason of leaving their last job are provided in Table 1, and for the wholesale, retail, import/export trades, restaurants and hotels sector in Table 2.

Further breakdowns into the wholesale, retail and import/import trades sub-sector, and into the restaurants and hotels sub-sectors are however not available, as such breakdowns are subject to relatively large sampling errors.

In 1995, the proportion of dismissals/lay-offs in the manufacturing sector averaged at around 72%, and the proportion of the unemployed due to dissatisfaction with the job was around 22%. For the wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels sector taken together, the proportion of dismissals/lay-offs was lower, at around 42%, while the proportion of the unemployed due to dissatisfaction with the job was higher, at around 46%.

(c) Statistics gathered from the General Household Survey (GHS) on the proportion of discouraged workers, i.e. those unemployed persons who believe to have no chance of finding employment, are given in Table 3. Quarterly figures are subject to larger sampling errors and hence only the annual figures are presented here.

The total number of discouraged workers averaged at 1,900 in 1995, representing around 2% of the total number unemployed.

In the GHS, discouraged workers arc defined as those unemployed persons who are available for work but have not sought work because they believe work is not available to them. The definition and coverage used in this regard follow closely the guidelines and recommendations of the International Labour Organisation. Currently, the GHS is based on a scientifically selected sample of some 27,000 living quarters covering around 80,000 persons in each quarter.

- 36 -


Table 1 Unemployed persons with a previous job in the manufacturing industry by mode of leaving last job

Mode of leaving last job

i

Leaving job on own accord

Dismissed or laid off ar^sstft Dissatisfied with job Others * i

Year W Quarter No. Aft % No. % E&tt No. % Aft Total mt

1991 1st Quarter (M-*) 6 300 47.7 5 500 42.0 1400 10.2 13 200

2nd Quarter 7 400 47.1 6 200 39.2 2200 13.7 15 800

3rd Quarter (»=?) 4 600 34.8 6 000 45.7 2 600 19.6 13 200

4th Quarter (ME5) 4 500 39.7 5 500 48.7 1300 11.5 11400

1992 1st Quarter (M-5) 9 400 55.3 5 800 34.2 1 800 10.5 17 000

2nd Quarter 8 000 44.7 7200 39.8 2 800 15.4 18 000

3rd Quarter (»=?) 6 400 45.8 5 100 36.5 2 500 17.7 13 900

4lh Quarter 8 600 • 57.4 4 300 28.7 2 100 13.9 15 000

1993 1st Quarter 11 900 72.1 3 600 21.8 1000 6.1 16 500

2nd Quarter 8 300 58.8 4 600 32.6 1200 8.5 14 000

3rd Quarter 4th Quarter (M=$) (W23^) 9 500 7 500 64.8 53.3 3 700 3 600 25.0 25.9 1500 2 900 10.2 20.7 14 700 14 100

1994 1st Quarter 2nd Quarter 3rd Quarter (M-S) 9 200 6 700 8 500 61.2 48.3 56.0 3 200 4 500 4 400 21.2 32.4 29.3 2 600 2 700 2 200 17.6 19.2 14.6 15 000 13 800 15 200

4th Quarter 10 500 70.4 3 500 23.3 900 6.3 14 900

1995 1st Quarter 2nd Quarter (3S-3) (»-£) 14 200 12 700 68.4 62.3 5 800 5 600 28.1 27.4 700 2100 3.6 10.3 20 700 20400

3rd Quarter (M=3) 21 100 75.4 5 600 20.1 1200 4.4 27 900

4th Quarter (»E$) 19 000 78.2 3 700 15.1 1600 6.6 24 300

Notes : ♦ Including those leaving the previous job because of illness, going to school and personal business. Owing to rounding, there may be a slight discrepancy between the sum of individual items and the total as shown in the above table.

- 37 -

’ Table 2 Unemployed persons with a previous job in the wholesale, retail and import/ export trades, restaurants and hotels sector by mode of leaving last job

Year Quarter Mode of leaving last job

Dismissed or laid off Leaving job on own accord Total &I+

Dissatisfied with job Others ♦ Mfifc *

No. A« % 5^-tt No. A® % No. ASfc S %

1991 1st Quarter 2 700 23.1 7 900 67.9 1 100 9.0 11 700

2nd Quarter 3 600 21.7 10 700 65.1 2 200 13.2 16400

3rd Quarter 3 400 22.6 9100 60.4 2 600 17.0 15 200

4th Quarter 3 200 23.4 8 400 61.7 2 000 14.9 13 700

1992 1st Quarter (38-^) 3 700 24.8 9 500 63.4 1 800 11.9 15 000

2nd Quarter 2 500 15.7 10 800 68.5 2 500 15.7 15 800

3rd Quarter 2 000 15.4 8 700 65.9 2 500 18.7 13 200

4th Quarter (5^=) 3 900 27.7 6 800 48.9 3 300 23.4 13 900

1993 1st Quarter (S-?) 4 500 26.1 11 000 63.7 1 800 10.3 17 200

2nd Quarter 3 400 20.1 11600 67.8 2 100 12.1 17100

3rd Quarter 5 100 35.0 7 300 50.6 2 100 14.4 14 500

4th Quarter (MS?) 3 800 27.7 9 000 65.5 900 6.8 13 700

1994 1st Quarter 4 100 26.2 9 000 58.3 2 400 15.5 15 500

2nd Quarter (S-^) 5 100 34.4 7 500 50.5 2 200 15.1 14 800

3rd Quarter 6 200 30.1 12100 58.3 2 400 11.6 20 700

4th Quarter ot?) 4 900 34.9 8000 57.5 1 100 7.6 14 000

1995 1st Quarter 6 800 32.4 11300 54.0 2 800 13.6 21 000

2nd Quarter 9 900 38.6 12 500 48.7 3 300 12.7 25 600

3rd Quarter <$=£) 12 000 44.4 12 800 47.4 2 200 8.2 27 000

4th Quarter (^29^) 14 600 47.8 10 800 35.4 5 200 16.8 30 600

Notes: * Including those leaving the previous job because of illness, going to school and personal business. Owing to rounding, there may be a slight discrepancy between the sum of individual items and the total as shown in the above table.

- 38 -


Table 3 & = Discouraged workers

Year Number As a % of total unemployed persons Aft ttJS^AftW^fct

1991 1 500 3.0

1992 1 300 2.4

1993 1 300 2.3

1994 900 1.6

1995 1 900 2.0

End

tt

39

Substantial land zoned for port back up and open storage uses ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Chan Wing-chan 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 over 100 trucks and private cars recently took part in a slow-drive protest against the Government’s failure to provide sufficient land for parking container trucks and storing containers and for use as scrap-yards. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the current total provision of land in the territory for the above purposes and whether any assessment has been made regarding the demand for land for such uses;

(b) of the proportion of agricultural land in the New Territories being used as unauthorised car parks;

(c) of the number of prosecutions over the past three years in respect of the unauthorised use of agricultural land in the New Territories as car parks; and

(d) whether consideration will be given to extending to five years the term for short-term modification of land use in the New Territories?

Answer:

Mr President,

(a) 356 hectares of land have been zoned on statutory plans for port back up

and open storage uses. This is substantially more than the 243 hectares of land zoned for such uses in 1990. In addition, 192 hectares of land zoned ’'Industrial’’ or "Industrial (Group D)’’ on statutory plans can be used for vehicle-related trade such as vehicle repair workshops and industrial developments with provision of floorspace for such uses. We are monitoring the demand for land for such uses as an on-going exercise.

(b) We estimate that about 36 hectares of land in the rural New Territories is being used as unauthorised container trailer parks.

40

(c) Over the past three years, the owners of nine unauthorised container trailer parks have been prosecuted. Apart from prosecution, warning letters and enforcement notices are also issued as a means to stop unauthorised land uses.

(d) The time limit for temporary planning permission to be granted by the Town Planning Board is stated in the Notes attached to an Outline Zoning Plan. Applications for extension of the time limit can be submitted to the Town Planning Board, which will consider each case on its individual merits.

End

Transitional issues to be resolved by JLG ♦ * * * *

Following are a question by the Hon Henry l ang Ying-yen and a written reply by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Nicholas Ng, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In view of the Government’s decision to legislate on offences involving subversion and secession, will the Government inform this Council whether there are major transition issues now under consideration by the Joint Liaison Group over which the Chinese side and the British side have serious disagreement, which may lead again to the Hong Kong Government enacting laws on such issues?

Reply:

The main transitional issues that remain to be resolved by the Joint Liaison Group include :

(a) right of abode and related immigration issues;

(b) transfer of defence responsibilities;

(c) other transfer of government issues;

(d) localisation of laws;

(e) adaptation of laws

(0 international rights and obligations;

(g) the programme of bilateral agreements;

(h) air services agreements (ASAs);

(i) the two United Nations human rights covenants; and

(j) legal and procedural arrangements between Hong Kong and mainland China in civil and commercial matters.

41

Many of these issues are of a legal or technical nature. While good progress is being made, there is still a lot of ground to cover. We are actively engaging the Chinese side and we have every intention to continue to do so. Where legislation is needed before 1 July 1997 to implement a JLG agreement, we will always strive to reach agreement with the Chinese before introducing the legislation.

It is therefore very much the Hong Kong Government's intention to complete the work on the Joint Liaison Group agenda before 1 July 1997. With the Chinese side's cooperation, there is no reason why we cannot achieve that objective.

End

HA mental health hotline service ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

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

Question:

With regard to the mental health hotline service provided by the Hospital Authority (HA), is the Government aware of:

(a) the total number of calls for assistance received in the past twelve months;

(b) the categories of such calls and the ways of handling the calls; and

(c) what publicity plans does the HA have to enhance the public's awareness of the service?

Reply:

A total of about 900 calls were received by the 24-hour psychiatric hotline provided by the Hospital Authority in the past 12 months. The majority of these calls were related to general information such as the clinical condition of different mental illnesses and their corresponding medical treatment, as well as the availability of mental health services in Hong Kong.

42

The Hospital Authority has formulated a set of guidelines for the handling of incoming calls to the 24-hour psychiatric hotline. Callers seeking general information are normally advised on the spot. Callers who require other more specific assistance are provided with details about the appropriate service agencies or referred to public hospitals and specialist out-patient clinics for management.

Mental health services currently provided by the Hospital Authority, including the psychiatric hotline, are promoted through territory-wide publicity campaigns such as the Mental Health Month, information pamphlets and periodic broadcasts or announcements of public interest in the electronic media. The Authority will also liaise regularly with the relevant government departments to assess the need for enhancement to its psychiatric services.

End

Housing Department to speed up recruitment process

*****

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

Question:

It is learnt that the Housing Department is facing a severe staff shortage problem, with more than 500 posts remaining vacant despite strenuous efforts made to fill them. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the breakdown of the vacancies by grade;

(b) the causes of a large number of vacancies in the Department; and

(c) the measures which will be taken by the Department to resolve the staff shortage problem?

Answer:

Mr President,

(a) As at 1 December 1996, the number of vacancies in the Housing Department was 440, or nearly 3% of total establishment. A breakdown by grades is as follows :

43

Grades

Number of vacancies

Professional grades

Technical and inspectorate grades

Housing management grades

General grades and other staff

23

184

74

159

Within the next three months, 262 new recruits are expected to report for duty. Assuming no further vacancies arise during this period, the actual number of vacancies will be reduced to 178, or 1.2% of total establishment.

(b) The vacancies arise from normal turnover of staff. The 3% vacancy rate is within the normal limit, and is not a cause for concern.

(c) In order to speed up the process of recruitment, the Housing Department will also conduct walk-in or phone-in interviews, and intensify its publicity efforts, such as advertising through the Housing Authority home page of the Internet. Closer contacts with the Local Employment Service of the Labour Department and the Construction Industry Training Authority will also be maintained.

End

Rights and benefits for employees on overseas duty trips ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Leung Yiu-chung and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joesph W P Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

At present, many employees recruited locally are often required to work in Mainland China and Southeast Asian countries for long or short periods. However, the employers may not have obtained from the governments of these countries work permits for their employees before requiring them to work in the countries concerned. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) which of the above countries currently require foreign workers to obtain work permits before they are allowed to work in the countries concerned;

44

(b) of the current estimated number of locally recruited employees in various trades and industries who are required by their employers to work overseas for long or short periods;

(c) if the employees are required by their employers to work in the countries mentioned in the answer to (a) above on tourist visas and without work permits and:

(i) are consequently prosecuted or detained by the governments concerned; or

(ii) met with accidents, fallen ill, sustained injuries or die while at work overseas.

What responsibilities do the employers have for their employees and what protection do such employees get under Hong Kong's employment or other legislation; and

(d) whether employees can refuse to take up overseas assignments in the countries mentioned in the answer to (a) above if their employers have not obtained the required work permits for them; whether employers are permitted to dismiss their employees for such refusals, and whether employers are liable to prosecution for dismissing the above-mentioned employees who refuse to work overseas?

Reply:

(a) The Government does not keep a record of the work permit requirements of other countries and regions. However, we believe that, as a general rule, a person who wishes to take up employment in a place outside Hong Kong is required to obtain an appropriate visa before going there. Hong Kong residents should contact the relevant authorities of the country or region concerned for information on the visa requirements.

(b) The Government does not have any statistics on the number of locally recruited employees who are required by their employers to work outside Hong Kong for any period of time. This is because employers are not required by law or by any administrative rules to report such employment to Government.

45

(c) There is no provision in the Employment Ordinance, Cap. 75 ("EO”) requiring an employer to obtain a work permit for his employee before assigning him or her to work outside Hong Kong. However, it is advisable for an employer who wishes to send an employee on a work-related trip outside Hong Kong to ascertain the relevant entry requirements of that country, in particular whether or not a work permit is required for his employee. For their own protection, employees should also make similar enquiries to ensure that their overseas work assignments will not constitute illegal employment in the country concerned.

As regards the responsibilities of employers for their employees who have been prosecuted or detained by the governments concerned, or who fall ill, sustain injuries or die accidentally whilst on duty outside Hong Kong, the various areas of protection under the law are broadly set out in the following paragraphs.

Where such employees who are working outside Hong Kong are employed by employers in Hong Kong, they are entitled to all the rights and benefits provided by Hong Kong’s labour legislation, as if they are working in Hong Kong, provided that they fulfil the qualifying requirements for the relevant benefits. The protection will be available to such employees regardless of whether or not they have obtained a work permit to work in a place outside Hong Kong.

For instance, such employees who have fallen ill or injured by accident will be entitled to sickness allowance benefits under the Employment Ordinance. Where such employees are injured or die in an accident arising out of and in the course of their employment, they will be entitled to compensation from the employer as laid down under the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance, Cap 282 ("ECO"). The employer is also required under the ECO to take out an insurance policy to cover his or her liability both under the ECO and at common law for injuries or death at work for their employees.

Also, employees have remedies against their employer independently of the ECO and may seek damages from the employer where injury has resulted from any negligence, breach or other wrongful act or omission for which the employer are responsible.

(d) An employee can refuse to perform any duty which is illegal or which is not provided for in his employment contract. He can also refuse to work outside Hong Kong without a valid work permit if he knows this is illegal. Under these circumstances, the employer cannot invoke Section 9 of the EO to dismiss the employee summarily for failing to obey a reasonable or lawful order.

End

46

MTRC - Island West Extension

*****

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

Question:

Regarding the project for the construction of the Island West extension of the Mass Transit Railway (i.e. extending the Mass Transit Railway Line from Sheung Wan to Western District on Hong Kong Island), does the Government know:

(a) of the present progress of the above project;

(b) whether consideration will be given to constructing the above extension before the Green Island Reclamation Area is developed; if not, why not; and

(c) when the construction work is expected to commence and when it will be completed:

Reply:

Mr President,

The Railway Development Strategy (RDS) announced in December 1994 recognizes the need in the longer term to extend the existing MTR Island Line from Sheung Wan, via Kennedy Town, to the proposed Green Island reclamation. Its implementation was to have regard to the scale and timing of the Green Island reclamation.

MTRC have in the meantime completed a feasibility study to extend the MTR Island Line to the western part of Hong Kong in two phases; viz. Phase I to Kennedy Town and Phase II to the Green Island Reclamation. The Corporation are still considering the results of their study, including the financial viability of the two Phases. The Administration will consider MTRC's proposal when it is received. Our priority at this stage is the implementation of the three priority railway projects i.e. Western Corridor Railway, MTR Tsueng Kwan O Extension and a rail link between Ma On Shan and Tai Wai together with a KCR Extension from Hung Hom to Tsimshatsui.

End

47

Allocation of revenue from rates *****

Following is a question by the Hon Sin Chung-kai and a written reply by the Secretary for the Treasury, Mr K C Kwong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the basis for determining the allocation of the revenue from rates to the Government’s General Revenue Account and to the Urban Council and Regional Council;

(b) of the basis for determining the amount, debited from the rates allocated

to the Government’s General Revenue Account, to be used for meeting the expenses of the Water Supplies Department; and

(c) whether the revenue from rates allocated to the Government’s General Revenue Account is used for other specific purposes apart from meeting the expenses of the Water Supplies Department; if so, please specify the purposes to which the revenue from rates is put, the basis for allocation and the amount involved in each of the past three years; if not, why not?

Reply:

(a) Revenue from rates is shared between Government and the two Municipal Councils on the basis of specified rates percentages stipulated in the Rating Ordinance which are determined once every three years to tie in with the triennial rates revaluation cycle. The allocation of revenue from rates to Government and to the Municipal Councils is determined on the basis of the expenditure requirements of the Councils, their financial position, and the Government’s budgetary position and policies. The allocations thus determined are then translated into specified rates percentages for the General Rates and the respective rates for the Municipal Councils. Changes to the specified rates percentages are subject to the approval by resolution of the Legislative Council under the Rating Ordinance.

48

(b) Revenue from General Rates is all credited to the General Revenue Account. This revenue then becomes an integral part of the General Revenue, like revenue from any other sources contributing to it. Money in the General Revenue Account is used to meet Government expenditure without any distinction as to source of revenue or type of expenditure; and there is no direct hypothecation of the revenue from General Rates for meeting the expenses of the Water Supplies Department. The contribution from rates to the revenue of the Water Authority, as shown in the Authority’s operating accounts, is only notional income.

(c) As explained in (b) above, once the revenue from General Rates is credited to the General Revenue Account, it becomes an integral part of the General Revenue which is used to meet all types of Government expenditure. There is no hypothecation of the revenue from General Rates for meeting any specific purposes.

End

Nature of assistance offered by British Embassy in Peking *****

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

Question:

In his comments on the controversy over whether beneficiaries of the British Nationality Selection Scheme can get consular protection, the Governor has reportedly stated that any British citizen going to a British Embassy or Consulate to ask for assistance, the British Government will do everything it can to help, just like what it has been doing when Hong Kong residents get into difficulty in China. Will the Administration inform this Council of:

(a) the number of Hong Kong residents who have approached the British Embassy in Peking for assistance since 4 June 1989;

(b) the number of people in (a) above who have been provided with assistance and the nature of such assistance; and

(c) the number of people in (a) above whose requests for assistance have been refused and the reasons for refusal?

49

Reply:

Mr President,

fhe answers to the Honourable Member’s questions, in the order they are raised, arc as follows:-

(a) The number of Hong Kong residents who have approached the British Embassy in Peking for assistance since 1991 amounts to 40 where action has been necessary. There have, however, been numerous other cases where only advice on various matters such as nationality, passports, marriage, legal/contractual disputes, lost documents was sought and given. Records before 1991 are not available.

(b) All Hong Kong residents who have contacted the Embassy in Peking have received the assistance asked for. Such assistance includes obtaining funds from relatives and friends in Hong Kong, helping to trace missing persons, obtaining details of Hong Kong residents detained in China, arranging hospital visits, and obtaining replacement travel documents. The Embassy has also offered assistance by giving advice on nationality and marriage matters, and provided lists of lawyers in cases of legal dispute.

(c) The British Embassy in Peking has never refused a request for assistance. There have been in some cases a limit to the assistance the Embassy can give. This is particularly true in cases involving company/contractual/business disputes. However, the Embassy has made every possible effort in helping Hong Kong residents.

End

Plans to meet airlines’ operation requests *****

Following is a question by the Hon Howard Young and a written reply by the Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Stephen Ip, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council how it plans to meet the airlines’ requests for operating scheduled and non-scheduled services during the summer months in 1997?

50

Answer:

Mr President,

A total of 3,510 applications for scheduled flights per week during the summer months in 1997 have been received from the airlines. Over 90% of the requests have been met. For those applications which have been unsuccessful, the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) is liaising with the airlines concerned to see whether their requests can be accommodated by making use of the slots which are still available, mostly in the early morning period between 6:30 am and 7:55 am.

From past experience, it is most likely that some airlines may also submit applications to operate non-scheduled flights during the summer months. CAD has asked the airlines to submit any plans for the operation of non-scheduled services during the summer period by the end of March 1997. Any such applications will be considered on a case by case basis and airlines will be allocated vacant slots which have not been utilised by scheduled carriers.

In addition, CAD is examining measures to increase runway capacity temporarily to cope with the additional demand.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, December 19,1996

Contents EagtNfix

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

FS: HK to build upon established policy................................ 1

Information code extended to all branches and departments.............. 4

Increase of ex-gratia payment to outbound travellers................... 5

Energy Advisory Committee meeting...................................... 6

Antiquities Advisory Board meets today................................. 7

Military storage facilities at Shek Kong Camp.......................... 8

Medical examination results announced.................................. 9

Popular demand for Year Book........................................... 10

Wong Tai Sin district by-election forum................................ 11

No flag selling on Saturday............................................ 11

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity....................... 12

1

Transcript of Governor's media session

*****

Following is the transcript of a brief media session given by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, before the recording of his fourth "Governor's Christmas Choice" programme for RTHK Radio 3 this (Thursday) morning:

Governor: I hope Hong Kong will have another happy and successful year and that the transition will be very successful and that Mr Tung will have a successful time as Chief Executive.

Question: So, any significant meaning to the selected songs to yourself?

Governor: No, they are just ten or eleven discs which I like a lot. This is the fourth time I've been allowed to do this for Christmas Day. Each time I have a different collection of music and each collection has been very different as you see from this one. I hope the people will enjoy the music.

Question: So, the number ten is that "As Time Goes By", any specific meaning to yourself?

Governor: No, it is because I like the film "Sleepless in Seattle" and I also like "Casablanca". And as you know, "As Time Goes By" is a wonderful recording of the number by Jimmy Durante. Okay.

End

FS: HK to build upon established policy

*****

The Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, tonight (Thursday) said that Hong Kong had to build upon its established policies, systems and institutions in order to achieve greater economic success in the run-up to 1997 and long beyond.

Speaking at a dinner hosted by the Chinese Manufacturers Association, Mr Tsang said that he would not alter the judicious way to deal with Hong Kong's current economic issues nor would he change the basic non-intervention policy.

"Our basic non-interventionist stance remains a virtue. Yet at the same time we need to be alert to the rapid changes around us and be even more pro-market and proactive," he said.

2

Mr Tsang reiterated the importance of the four vital ingredients; namely the rule of law, a level-playing field, lean and corruption-free civil service, and free flow of information for Hong Kong's continued economic advancement.

Jh .Z, . A

In dealing with current economic issues, the Financial Secretary said that the Government had to strike a balance to ensure that whatever actions the Government pursued would be adequate and not excessive.

"And in all cases a thorough understanding of the situation is necessary," he added.

In the case of property speculation, Mr Tsang said excessive speculation caused concerns and there was evidence to suggest that speculation at the high end of the property market was now going on at a rampant pace.

He explained that one of the reasons for concern was excessive speculation induced spreading of upward price pressures across the property market.

"A short term price spiral could lead genuine home buyers in the mass market into haphazard purchase decision which strain their affordability.

"Second, should the situation develop into a speculative bubble, the risk of precipitating an abrupt downturn would be very much greater, with adverse implications not only for the property sector but also for the banks and the economy at large.

"Too much heat in the market is not a healthy development," he added.

Mr Tsang said that in the light of such a strong surge in demand, the best way to counter-balance the market was not to curb the demand artificially but to raise the volume of supply to the maximum extent possible.

"Given the enthusiastic response to sales of flats, developers should all be keen to get more projects going. If we can make more land available for development, the volume of housing supply in the pipeline would grow and prices would stabilise.

"Moreover, we can moderate land prices when more land is put out for disposal. The prospect of a lesser price increase would in turn help dampen speculation.

"We must work harder on larger supply across the whole spectrum of land sale, conversion of land use in form of residential development and streamlining of planning or approval procedures," he noted. , . ,

- 3 -

In addressing the common concern about the change in the mode of Hong Kong’s trade, Mr Tsang pointed out that Hong Kong was still in control of the trade in goods and related services.

"Most of the owners of the extensive manufacturing services of our traded goods were traced back to Hong Kong, although the locations of manufacturing tend to radiate far into China and South East Asia.

"Then we have been active in reinforcing our efforts in trade promotion and in sharpening our management expertise in the conduct of trade. The challenge now is to re-enforce the global links and trade repute that we have built up over the years."

On the future of the manufacturing sector, the Financial Secretary said that Hong Kong's manufacturing enterprise was far from dwindling.

"Taking into account our extended manufacturing outposts in China and in South East Asia, our effective manufacturing capacity has grown manifold over the past twenty years."

Mr Tsang said that the best approach for industrial development was to let private sector manufacturers to be at the helm in charting the course ahead, with the Government collaborating closely and actively, in a pro-market manner.

"By this I mean collaborating in such areas as infrastructure refinement, specialist training, productivity enhancement, applied research, and technology transfer.

"The Government would continue to provide a wide range of industrial support services, where facilitation and direct involvement by public bodies will help underpin the development particularly of small and medium-sized enterprises."

Mr Tsang said that the Government always stood by industrialists in building up a robust, competitive, and high-value manufacturing network with a firm base in Hong Kong.

On the issue of income disparity, Mr Tsang said that Hong Kong would continue the existing policy of letting market performance distribute wealth and incomes according to performance while the government took proper care of those individuals who could not compete on the open labour market.

However, he emphasised that there was no question of Hong Kong turning itself into some kind of "welfare state".

4

Mr Tsang said that Hong Kong would not follow some countries by using highly redistributive fiscal policies involving a steep taxation scale for the higher income groups and a more generous financial assistance at present for the poorer ones.

"Not only would it ruin our tax system by doing away with the low tax rate, it would also tend to weaken the incentive for work and in turn create a heavier social burden for those working. This road to welfarism would surely mess our recipe for economic success in the long run," he added.

End

Information code extended to all branches and departments

* * * * ♦

The Code on Access to Information will be extended to the remaining nine government agencies next Monday (December 23).

Announcing this today (Thursday), a Government spokesman said this would bring all the 91 branches and departments in the Government under the Code.

The nine agencies are Audit Department, Constitutional Affairs Branch, the General Office of Government House, Independent Commission Against Corruption, the Offices of the Chief Secretary and the Financial Secretary, Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Police Force, Royal Hong Kong Police Force, the Secretariat of the Independent Police Complaints Council, and the Secretariat of the Public Service Commission.

"Under the Code, anyone can seek access to information and records held by government departments. A department must provide access to the requested information unless there are specific grounds for refusal," the spokesman said.

Anyone who thinks that a department has not complied with the Code may ask the department to review its original decision, or complain to the Ombudsman (previously known as COMAC).

5

The Code has been operating smoothly since its introduction in March last year. A total of 1,677 requests for access to information were received by departments. Of these, only 52 were rejected and 39 partially declined.

Copies of the Code are available at all District Offices. The full text of the Code, together with its internal guidelines on application and interpretation and the contact details of departmental Access to Information Officers, have also been published at the World-Wide Web Government Information Centre on http://www.info.gov.hk/access/index.htm.

End

Increase of ex-gratia payment to outbound travellers

*****

The Travel Industry Compensation Fund (TICF) Management Board, after having consulted with the Financial Secretary, has made rules to increase the maximum rate of ex-gratia payment under the TICF from 80 per cent to 90 per cent of the outbound fare paid upon default of travel agents.

The Travel Industry Compensation Fund (Amount of Ex-gratia Payments and FinancialPenalty) (Amendment) (No. 2) Rules, will be published in the Government Gazette tomorrow (Friday).

The objective of the amendment Rules is to increase the maximum rate of ex-gratia payment under the TICF to 90 per cent so as to enhance protection of outbound travellers upon default of travel agents.

"The revision of the maximum rate has been endorsed by the Advisory Committee on Travel Agents and has also the support of the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong," Dr James Kung. Chairman of the Management Board said.

"The amendment Rules will come into operation upon its gazettal on December 20, 1996 so as to enable outbound travellers to benefit from the enhanced rate before the holiday season in Christmas.

"The TICF is now in a healthy state. It has accumulated a reserve of over $220 million and there is no need to revise the rate of levy to cope with the potential liabilities," he added.

End

6

Energy Advisory Committee meeting

♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

At the third meeting held today (Thursday), the Energy Advisory Committee agreed that the Energy Efficient Building Award Scheme '97 should be organised under the auspices of the Committee.

The aim of the Scheme is to promote energy efficient architectural design and building services. It is targeted at commercial, industrial and institutional buildings.

The first award, organised by the former Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee in 1994, aroused substantial interest among building professionals and achieved its objective of raising awareness of energy efficiency in the design of buildings and building services.

Today's meeting reviewed the position on the potential for generating electricity from household waste incinerated in facilities able to meet our stringent emission standards.

The Committee noted Government's intention to conduct a feasibility study on waste-to-energy incineration as a priority. Among other things, the study will examine the potential for connecting electricity produced by the waste-to-energy facilities to the existing transmission system.

The Committee was briefed by the I long Kong and China Gas Company on the considerations involved in provisioning future demand for towngas, including the potential for demand side management for gas supply.

The meeting also noted the present position on implementing 14 energy policy principles agreed at the first Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) Energy Ministers Meeting in Sydney, Australia in August 1996.

Generally, the principles promote more open energy markets, removal of excessive regulation of the energy sector and sustainable use of energy resources.

While further work is required in some areas, notably in connection with identification of feasible measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Hong Kong is well positioned to integrate the APEC principles into energy policy.

The Committee, which is chaired by Professor Charles Kao Kuen, CBE, advises the Government on energy policy matters, including energy efficiency and conservation. The next meeting will be held in April 1997.

End

- 7 -

Antiquities Advisory Board meets today

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

At its meeting held on December 19, 1996, the Antiquities Advisory Board (AAB) recommended that the King Law Ka Shuk at Tai Po Tau Tsuen, Tai Po should be declared historical building under the Antiquities and Monument Ordinance.

The Board also endorsed the position papers on the Town Planning White Bill and the Territorial Development Strategy (TDS) Review.

In respect of the Town Planning White Bill, the Board in general welcomed the introduction of the Special Design Area (SDA) concept and was pleased to see that the definition of "environment" included the cultural environment. The Board, however, urged that the following views be incorporated to and considered for the final draft of the White Bill:

A list of gazetted monuments, existing and future, should be included in the explanatory statements of the respective Outline Zoning Plans, and their status clearly stipulated.

Archaeological sites should be either regarded as "sites of special scientific interest" or included under SDA.

A formal mechanism should be set up to consult AAB on the selection for designation of SDAs in relation to heritage and on development/planning proposals affecting the SDAs.

The environs of monuments gazetted under the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance should be automatically designated as SDAs.

As to the TDS Review, the Board considered that heritage preservation had not been treated fairly and equally with the natural environment and other infrastructural needs. The Board had a number of long-term plans for the furtherance of heritage preservation and requested that the team working on the TDS to liaise closely with the Antiquities and Monuments Office (AMO) in their future endeavours.

The Board strongly urged that:

Adequate resources had to be fully provided for the protection, preservation and conservation of both the built heritage and archaeological sites.

8

Part of the TDS should incorporate requirements for any necessary marine archaeology.

The data collected and the comprehensive inventory established by the two territory-wide surveys conducting by the AMO should be fed into the TDS Review machinery to guide planning for territorial development.

End

Military storage facilities at Shek Kong Camp

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

About two-thirds of the works in the reprovisioning of military storage facilities at Shek Kong Camp have been completed, the Director of Architectural Services, Mr Kenneth Chan, said today (Thursday).

’’Works are progressing smoothly and are expected to be completed on time in March next year," he said.

Mr Chan was speaking at today's topping-out ceremony of the reprovisioned military storage facilities at Shek Kong Camp.

Also officiating at today’s ceremony were the Counsellor of the Office of the Chinese Senior Representative, Sino-British Joint Liaison Group, Mr Yang Jianhua, and Mr Wong Kam Shing, Managing Director of the Wang Chong Construction Company Limited.

The reprovisioning of military storage facilities at Shek Kong Camp is one of the four projects being undertaken by the Architectural Services Department for the future Chinese garrison in Hong Kong.

Other projects include the Naval Base at South Shore of Stonecutters Island, the Military Hospital at Gun Club Hill Barracks and the Joint Movement Unit at Chek Lap Kok Airport.

"We did encounter some difficulties during the design and construction stages. We have to work on a very tight schedule and are obliged to complete the whole project, from detailed design, fund application, tendering, site formation, piling to actual superstructure construction, in only three years' time.

9

"Most of the problems have been resolved with the joint efforts of all parties concerned, and I am pleased to say that the works are progressing smoothly,” said Mr Chan.

Occupying a site area of about 24,000 square metres , the Shek Kong military storage facilities will serve as a base for storing and supplying equipment and military provisions.

They include buildings to store bedding, clothing supply, vehicles and barracks necessities as well as accommodations for canteen and offices.

End

Medical examination results announced *****

The Licentiate Committee of the Medical Council of Hong Kong announced today (Thursday) that 12 out of the 40 candidates who have sat the clinical examination of the 1996 Licensing Examination recently have passed, representing a pass rate of 30 per cent.

The examination, held between December 7 and 13, 1996, was a clinical examination to test candidates’ ability in applying professional knowledge to clinical problems.

The examination covered subjects in medicine, surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology and paediatrics, where candidates were examined respectively by two panels of examiners.

Those successful candidates will be required to undergo a 12-month assessment and training as interns in hospitals arranged by the Central Internship Committee.

End

10

Popular demand for Year Book *****

Additional copies of the latest Hong Kong Annual Report have been printed due to popular demand.

Hong Kong 1996 is the 50th Anniversary edition of the year book and it has received an enthusiastic response from the public, Chief Information Officer of the Information Services Department, Mr Paul Brown, said today (Thursday).

He said the Chinese edition of the book had almost sold out by November and it was necessary to order a reprint to meet the continued demand, particularly for the Christmas season when publications were purchased as gifts.

"The book is a handy compendium of official facts and figures relating to the past year as well as about Hong Kong generally, and its publication coincides with a time of heightened interest in information about the territory," Mr Brown said.

He said the increased public interest was probably also due to the fact that it was an anniversary edition and because of the special features that were included in the book.

The Review Chapter of the book is written by The Baroness Dunn, who comments on the necessary ingredients for Hong Kong’s success. It was one of her last public acts before leaving Hong Kong after many years of public service, including as Senior Member of both the Legislative and Executive Councils.

In keeping with anniversary editions, the book includes a photographic retrospective showing how Hong Kong has changed in the past 50 years. There is also a foreword which provides a taste of what life was like in the immediate post-war period.

To put readers in the picture with regard to the achievements made during the transitional period, the book lists the agreements which have been reached since the Joint Liaison Group was established in 1984 and the multilateral treaties that Hong Kong is now a party to.

Another special feature of the book is the inclusion for the first time of a map of the territory showing it in its southern China setting and illustrating the city centres, airports and other major facilities in the Pearl River Delta and southern Guangdong.

Copies of Hong Kong 1996 are available in English and Chinese at the Government Publications Centre, ground floor, Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong. They are also available at leading book shops and the Government's District Offices.

11

V

The book can also be purchased by mail order from the Publications Sales Office, Information Services Department, 28th Floor, Siu On Centre, 188 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai. Enquiries can be made by telephone on 2598 8194-7 or by fax on 2598 7482.

ong Kong 1996 is priced at $80 per copy.

End

Wong Tai Sin district by-election forum *****

Local residents are invited to attend a District Board by-election forum for the Wong Tai Sin district San Po Kong constituency organised by the Wong Tai Sin District Office tomorrow (Friday) night.

The forum will allow the candidates to elaborate on their respective platforms and give residents an opportunity to engage in a floor discussion with them.

Two candidates, Mr Mak Hoi-wah and Mr Lee Tat-yan, who have signed up to contest the vacancy will attend the forum which will begin at 8 pm at the Ho Lap College at Tseuk Luk Street, San Po Kong.

End

No flag selling on Saturday * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Social Welfare Department today (Thursday) announced that there will be no flag day on Saturday (December 21).

A department spokesman said the flag day permit originally issued to the Tsuen Wan Ecumenical Social Service Centre for December 21 has now been withdrawn by the agency because of a labour dispute.

End

12

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity *****

TIME AGGREGATE BALANCE OF SETTLEMENT ACCOUNTS

OPENING AGGREGATE BALANCE 769 MN 0930 HR 15,054 MN

CLOSING AGGREGATE BALANCE 410 MN 1000 HR 17,006 MN

CHANGE ATTRIBUTABLE TO : 1100 HR 21,810 MN

MONEY MARKET ACTIVITY -304 MN 1200 HR 30,553 MN

LAF REVERSAL +8,327 MN 1500 HR 33,155 MN

LAF TODAY - 8,382 MN 1600 HR 31,042 MN

LAF RATE 4.00% BID/6.00% OFFER TWI 125.0 *+0.1* 19.12.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF Bills EF Notes/MTRC Notes

Terms Yield Terms Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.22 2 years 2811 5.72 100.07 5.76

1 month 4.34 3 years 3910 6.28 100.48 6.18

3 months 4.61 5 years 5112 6.57 99.27 6.86

6 months 4.86 7 years 7311 6.80 98.62 7.18

12 months 5.14 10 years 1610 7.37 100.57 7.42

5 years M503 7.35 101.35 7.12

TOTAL TURNOVER OF EF BILLS AND NOTES - $8,084 MN

CLOSED DECEMBER 19. 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Friday, December 20,1996

Contents EagtNtL

Statement by the Foreign Secretary...................................... 1

Statement by Hong Kong Government....................................... 3

Governor's transcript................................................... 4

HK/US Agreement for Surrender of Fugitive Offenders signed......... 6

HK-Guangdong Environmental Protection Liaison Group meets............... 8

Implementation of the TRIPS Agreement................................... 9

MOU on meteorological science co-operation signed.................. 10

Disability Discrimination Ordinance comes into full force.......... 11

Sex Discrimination Ordinance in full effect from today............. 12

Local workers urged to register for ACP jobs....................... 13

Emergency relief grants for victims in Kivu crisis................. 14

Review group for NLCDPs in old urban areas appointed............... 15

Value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand in October.................. 16

/Deadline of...

Page No.

Contents

. ‘i. t

Deadline of BN(O) Registration Programme Phase X....................... 18

New booklet on countryside walks....................................... 19

Two lots of land for auction........................................... 21

Kowloon Bay lot for sale by tender..................................... 21

Clinic service during Christmas holiday................................ 22

Tenders invited to manage Govt multi-storey car parks.................. 23

Proposal of permanent closure of Sau Mau Path.......................... 24

• • •'A. . „ /. r.

TPB to review Kwai Chung OZP........................................... 25

Draft Ting Kok Outline Zoning Plan amended............................. 25

Draft South West Kowloon OZP approved.................................. 27

Improvements to roads and drains on Cheung Chau........................ 28

Tenders invited for slope upgrading works.............................. 29

* • ;--v . 3

Tenders invited for two secondary schools.............................. 30

Refuse transfer station proposed in Tuen Mun........................... 31

New footbridge in Tuen Mun............................................. 32

Hong Kong Monetary Authority Interbank Liquidiity...................... 33

1

Statement by the Foreign Secretary

* * ♦ * ♦

Following is a statement by the Foreign Secretary issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at 0800 hours on Friday, December 20, 1996 (London time):

British policy on Hong Kong is governed by the Sino-British Joint Declaration on the Question of Hong Kong of 1984 (the JD). The JD is a binding treaty between Britain and China, registered at the United Nations.

The present electoral arrangements in Hong Kong are entirely consistent with the Joint Declaration. Independent legal experts confirmed this in evidence to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee in 1994. Our proposals commanded strong public support in Hong Kong, as was shown by opinion polls and record levels of voter registration and turn-out.

Hong Kong's stability and prosperity have been enhanced, not damaged, by a legislature elected on an open and fair basis.

There is no justification for China to replace a legislature elected openly and fairly by more than one million Hong Kong people. This will be a serious set-back for the development of representative government in Hong Kong foreseen in the JD and China's Basic Law for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (the BL). China should be prepared to trust Hong Kong people with the measure of democracy we have introduced.

There is no basis for a provisional legislature in the JD or the BL. Common sense suggests that a body chosen by a hand-picked 'electorate' of 400 is not, in any reasonable sense, a "legislature constituted by elections”, as required by paragraph 49 of the JD.

We take an equally serious view of China's plan to have a provisional legislature start operating six months before the handover. All the tasks China apparently has in mind for a provisional legislature before the handover can and should be accomplished by others, notably the Chief Executive (designate) and his team. China has solemnly committed itself in the JD to cooperating with British administration of Hong Kong until the handover, in the interest of maintaining and preserving Hong Kong's prosperity and stability (JD30).

After the handover China will continue to be bound by its promise that the legislature of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will be constituted by elections. A provisional legislature composed on the basis proposed by China cannot meet this promise. China thus has a clear duty to return as soon as possible to unambiguous implementation of the JD and to minimise the damage which a provisional legislature may cause.

2

We are therefore calling on China, in the interests of Hong Kong,

first, in accordance with its JD commitment to cooperate with British administration of Hong Kong, strictly to honour the undertaking given me by the Chinese Foreign Minister, Vice Premier Qian Qichen, in April this year that "the PL will not assume its functions before 1 July 1997"; and

second, to ensure that the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region takes steps as soon as possible after the handover to replace the provisional legislature with a substantive legislature constituted by genuine elections in the sense in which any reasonable person would understand that term.

If China were seriously to argue that its action was consistent with its JD commitments, we would be willing to join China in submitting the question to independent legal settlement, for example to the International Court of Justice. We should also welcome the views of respected international independent legal institutions on the matter.

The British Government will also take steps to promote future implementation of the Joint Declaration :

first, we reaffirm that our commitment is to work with the constitutional legislature of Hong Kong. We will do nothing to undermine that;

second, the British Government will step up its monitoring of, and reporting on, developments in Hong Kong, before and after the handover. To this end we will report to Parliament on developments in Hong Kong at six-monthly intervals, starting with a report on the period January-June 1997. These reports will focus on the work of the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group, covering the implementation of the Joint Declaration, with special reference to the protection of human rights in Hong Kong. These reports will be available to the UN Treaty Monitoring Bodies in Geneva. These six-monthly reports will continue at least as long as the Joint Liaison Group exists, that is until 1 January 2000;

3

third, we will work closely with the United States, the European Union and other international partners in monitoring observance of the provisions of the JD in Hong Kong after the handover. The US Administration has already made clear its view that the provisional legislature is ’’unwise, unjustified, unnecessary”. In Dublin the European Council underlined the European Union's full support for the specific status of the SAR and its citizens in all respects, including their right to representative democratic institutions as already established. Within the last week we have been again in contact with these and other major governments to urge them to make known again to the Chinese Government the concern which their plans for the legislature have aroused around the world.

End

Statement by I long Kong Government ♦ ♦ ♦ * *

Following is a statement by the Hong Kong Government on the provisional legislature:

The Hong Kong Government fully supports the Foreign Secretary’s statement on the provisional legislature issued in London earlier today (Friday).

The position of the British Government and the Hong Kong Government on this issue is well known. There is no basis for a provisional legislature in the Joint Declaration or the Basic Law. Its establishment will adversely affect a successful and . smooth transition.

If a provisional legislature were to start operating before I July 1997. this would only make a bad situation worse. It would confuse the community and place the civil service in a very difficult position. It is also unnecessary : the bulk of any preparatory work for the establishment of the Special Administrative Region Government is for the Chief Executive (Designate) and his team.

Nor is it necessary for the provisional legislature to prepare legislation that may have to be in place on 1 July 1997. Indeed, if a provisional legislature were to involve itself in any legislative process before 1 July 1997. the validity of any legislation resulting from this could be in doubt and vulnerable to legal challenge. It can hardly be in the interest of the Special Administrative Region if its legislative institution and its laws were questioned from day one.

4

The Hong Kong Government very much regrets the developments which are taking place to establish a provisional legislature. We join the British Government in urging China to return as soon as possible to unambiguous implementation of the Joint Declaration, and to minimise the damage which a provisional legislature may cause. We call on the Chinese Government to honour the undertaking given by Vice Premier Qian Qichen to the Foreign Secretary in April that there will only be one legislative body operating prior to the handover and that any provisional legislature will not assume its functions before 1 July 1997.

Until 1 July 1997, Hong Kong's only constitutional legislature is the Legislative Council, elected openly and fairly by a record number of voters, and with a clear and legitimate mandate. We reaffirm our commitment to work with it. We will not do anything which will undermine its credibility or legitimacy.

End

Governor's transcript *****

Following is the transcript of the media session by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten after attending the International Salon of Photographic Exhibition this (Friday) afternoon:

Question: Mr Patten, the provisional legislature will be formed tomorrow, what is your opinion?

Governor: The British Government has put out a statement in the name of the Foreign Secretary. And the Hong Kong Government has also issued a statement endorsing Mr Rifkind's remarks. I think that tomorrow will be a sad and bad day for Hong Kong. I very much agree with what Mr Rifkind has said. If Chinese officials are seriously arguing that this is in compliance with the Joint Declaration, then the British Government has proposed that we should both of us go jointly to the International Court of Justice to ask for them to give an independent arbitration if Chinese officials think that they have got right on their side, then they have got nothing to worry about. So I would very much hope that they would join us in going to the international court. The British Government has also made it plain that it now intends to start reporting every six months to Parliament on the implementation of the Joint Declaration in Hong Kong on the protection of our civil liberties and the development of democracy as promised in the Joint Declaration. And it would make those reports available to the UN Treaty Monitoring bodies in Geneva. We've also said that we intend to work with the international community to ensure that there continues to be a focus of interests on Hong Kong, to ensure that Hong Kong has the best possible chance of remaining a free, as well as a prosperous society.

5

Question: Governor, are you saying that you are reluctant ... the reality of the setting up of the provisional legislature?

Governor: The reality - are the promises that China, as well as Britain made in 1984, and if China thinks that by doing what's going to happen tomorrow, China is keeping those promises then our challenge is this, let's go to the international court and see what independent arbitration says about it. The fact of the matter is - and it's quite nice to be able to finish the answers to your very good questions. The fact of the matter is, there is no reference to a provisional legislature in the Joint Declaration or the Basic Law. There is one Legislative Council in Hong Kong. Mr Qian Qichan himself has said that there is only one legislature in Hong Kong before July 1, 1997, and I hope he will standby his word.

Question: Do you think that Mr C H Tung's pledge to minimise the conflicts with the current Legco can be a good common ground to co-operate ... Hong Kong administration?

Governor: I think that there is one thing that you should all accept and that is the good faith of Mr Tung and myself in trying to find as much common ground as possible in the months ahead. Both of us know one and other's views on issues very well, because we debated these matters for four years in the Executive Council. I think we will both be working to minimise the disagreement rather to maximise the disagreement. I have no doubt at all that there will be our joint objective and one which I hope will be able to secure.

Question: Do you think that you will agree to disagree to what ... to cooperate on provisional legislature with Mr C H Tung ?

6

Governor: Mr Tung knows what the British Government's position is. He knows what the Hong Kong Government's position is. He knows that these decisions aren't taken. These very serious decisions aren't taken by governments lightly. So, he knows that these are not matters on which we are intending to change our mind or our point of view. I very much hope that despite that we will be able to cooperate on a broad range of issues. But I do have this worry. Frankly, the establishment of the provisional legislature is much more of a problem for the SAR government than it is for the government before the first of July 1997. Why ? Because it's going to raise substantial question marks in people's minds, in people's minds in Hong Kong and beyond about the survival of Hong Kong as a free and successful and prosperous and decent society. I think that is a very unfair inheritance for the SAR to start off with. The SAR will receive on the first of July as it were the keys to the government of one of the most successful places in the w'orld. But that success has a question mark hanging over it because of tomorrow's unseemly events. I think it is a sad day for Hong Kong, but I hope that Chinese officials will get back in unquestionable compliance with the Joint Declaration as soon as possible. That's what we should all want to see. Everybody is now talking about the legal question marks over the provisional legislature, not just me that is talking about this, everybody including some who support the provisional legislature are talking about these legal doubts and uncertainties. So, this is not a good day for Hong Kong and not a good day for the SAR government. But I just to repeat that when Mr Tung and I meet at 4 o’clock on Monday for a discussion, 1 know that both of us will be wanting to search for common ground rather than magnify any differences between us. I do hope that while you've all got your job to do in the media, you'll recognise that I am sure be our objective. Thank you very much.

End

HK/US Agreement for Surrender of Fugitive Offenders signed ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

An agreement for the Surrender of Fugitive Offenders which will remain in force after 1997 was signed between Hong Kong and the United States today (Friday).

This is the sixth Agreement which Hong Kong has signed in this important area of cooperation against international crime. The other five were signed with the Netherlands (November 2, 1992), Canada (September 7, 1993), Australia (November 15, 1993), Malaysia (January 11, 1995), and the Philippines (January 30. 1995).

7

Signing the Agreement today on behalf of the Hong Kong Government was the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai. The Consul General of the United States to Hong Kong, Mr Richard Boucher, signed on behalf of the US.

The Agreement sets out the conditions for the surrender of fugitive offenders between the two places, and contains the usual safeguards found in similar international agreements. These include :

* the double criminality rule: the act in respect of which a fugitive's return is requested must constitute a crime in both jurisdictions;

the prima facie rule: there must be a prima facie case against a person whose return is requested by the US from HK;

* the speciality rule: a returned fugitive shall not be tried for offences other than those for which he was surrendered, without the consent of the requested party;

* the political offences rule: return may be refused if the offence in question is a political offence; and

protection against resurrender to a third jurisdiction, without the consent of the requested party.

"The Agreement is a major step forward in the cooperation between the United States and Hong Kong in law enforcement," Mr Lai said.

"It signifies our commitment to work even closer together in the fight against international crime in future." he added.

The negotiated agreement has been endorsed by the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group.

The agreement will come into force after the enactment in Hong Kong of a localised legislation on surrender of fugitive offenders which will provide the necessary legislative backing, and ratification by the President of the US with the advice and consent of the Congress.

The Fugitive Offenders Bill was introduced into the Legislative Council on November 6 this year, and is being examined by a Bills Committee.

End

8

HK-Guangdong Environmental Protection Liaison Group meets

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Hong Kong - Guangdong Environmental Protection Liaison Group (EPLG) successfully held its seventh meeting in Hong Kong this week. The meeting was cochaired by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, and the Director of Environmental Protection Bureau of Guangdong Province, Mr Wang Yinkun. Both sides agreed to further enhance their co-operation on environmental issues of mutual concern.

The EPLG noted and endorsed the report made by its Technical Sub-Group (TSG) on the work programme carried out in 1996, which includes:

the progress in the exchange of information on priority projects,

* the workshop on thermal power station pollution control,

the Stage I Phase 1 report on the Mirs Bay study, and

* progress of the Deep Bay Water Quality Regional Control Strategy study.

The meeting also discussed nine other topics of mutual interest concerning:

* the Ramsar site in Hong Kong,

* the marine parks and reserves,

* Chinese White Dolphins,

* transboundary shipment of waste,

* Hong Kong’s Territorial Development Strategy Review, and

environmental planning in Guangdong.

The EPLG endorsed the work programme for 1997 which includes:

a workshop on environmental impact assessment to be held in mid-1997 in Guangdong Province,

Stage 2 of the exchange of information on priority projects,

Stage I Phase 2 of the Mirs Bay study, continuation of the Deep Bay Water Quality Regional Control Strategy Study,

further exchanges of air and water quality monitoring data in relation to the Deep Bay joint monitoring study carried out previously, and

the setting up of study groups under the Technical Sub-Group to study the conservation and protection of the Chinese White Dolphins and the air quality in the Pearl River Delta Region.

9

Both sides agreed to further exchange of experience in the areas of:

environmental protection legislation,

environmental monitoring quality control,

air pollution index,

* construction noise control, and

* conservation of potable water resources.

Before the meeting which was held on Thursday (December 19), the Guangdong delegation visited the Stonecutters Sewage Treatment Works site, the Air Pollution Indexing and Forecasting System of the Environmental Protection Department and the Black Point natural gas-fired power station.

End

Implementation of the TRIPS Agreement *****

A spokesman for the Trade and Industry Branch said today (Friday): "All the provisions of the Intellectual Property (World Trade Organization Amendments) Ordinance 1996 (the TRIPS Ordinance) have come into operation starting from today.

"It enables Flong Kong to fulfill its obligations under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) some three years ahead of the deadline."

The spokesman said: "The early implementation of the TRIPS Agreement demonstrates Hong Kong’s total and firm commitment to a high level of intellectual property protection. It shows that Hong Kong is living up to its international reputation as a staunch supporter of intellectual property protection, and is a responsible trading partner in the multilateral trading system."

Hong Kong is a founding member of the WTO. The TRIPS Agreement sets out the standards with which WTO Members are obliged to comply in respect of various types of intellectual property rights protection, including copyright, trade marks, patents, industrial designs and topographies of integrated circuits. It also sets out the requirement for enforcement of intellectual property rights.

The TRIPS Ordinance was enacted on May 3, 1996. Half of the provisions of the TRIPS Ordinance which required no subsidiary legislation commenced operation on May 10. 1996. These provisions include the new copyright piracy offence to tackle masterminds of cross-border copyright piracy activities and provisions to facilitate disclosure of information by the Hong Kong Customs to copyright owners for civil actions or to other Customs authorities for international cooperation.

10

The remaining provisions requiring subsidiary legislation come into operation today (Friday). The main features include-

* New customs border measures to enable copyright and trademark owners to apply for court orders to detain suspected imports of pirated copyright or counterfeiting goods so as to facilitate their initiation of civil proceedings. This measure is in addition to the existing criminal enforcement by the Hong Kong Customs.

The definition of "trade mark” is widened to cover any sign that is visually perceptible and capable of being represented graphically. This will include the registration of shapes, provided they fulfill the criteria of the Trade Marks Ordinance for registration.

* Owners of copyright in sound recordings and computer programmes will be able to prevent such products from being rented out commercially without their permission. The existing Performing Right Tribunal will be renamed as Copyright Tribunal with expanded jurisdictions to determine the reasonable level of royalties to the copyright owners for rental of their copyright works.

* Performers will be granted the right to prevent their live performances from being recorded and distributed commercially or broadcast without their permission.

End

MOU on meteorological science co-operation signed *****

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Royal Observatory Hong Kong and The China Meteorological Administration this Wednesday (December 18) on long-term scientific and technical co-operation on the fields of atmospheric sciences, including weather forecasting and warning services, meteorological telecommunications, data exchange, research and training.

In 1975, a direct meteorological telecommunications link was set up between Hong Kong and Beijing. This circuit was upgraded to a higher speed in 1990 to allow exchange of more meteorological information, including weather radar data and digital facsimile weather charts.

11

To enhance monitoring of tropical cyclones, a co-operative programme to establish automatic weather stations (AWS) on Chinese islands in the vicinity of the Pearl River Delta region commenced in the mid-1980s. The first AWS was set up in 1985 at Huangmaozhou, an island located about 40 kilometres south of Lantau Island. Two more AWSs were set up recently, one at Neilingding Island to the west, and one at Tuoning Islands to the east, of Hong Kong.

Since 1985, a seminar on hazardous weather in the Pearl River Delta region is held each year alternately in Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Macau. Commencing 1996, Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Macau exchange information on warnings issued on tropical cyclones and rainstorms affecting south China and its coastal areas. Experience has been exchanged through these activities, which play a positive role in improving the forecasting and warning of hazardous weather.

The Memorandum of Understanding will lay the ground for further cooperation in the future. Its implementation will further advance the meteorological services in Hong Kong and the mainland of China, enhance the standard of services, safeguard lives and property, and effect the socio-economic benefits that meteorological services can contribute to the economic prosperity and social stability of Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta region.

End

Disability Discrimination Ordinance comes into full force ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The following supercedes press release G1S961220008 issued at 11 am today. Please note that the last paragraph should read:

"Also taking effect today are the provisions relating to building approvals. A public authority shall not approve building plans unless the authority is satisfied that access as is reasonable in the circumstances to the buildings in question will be provided for persons with a disability. The public authority may refer to the "Design Manual: Access for the Disabled 1984" drawn up by the Government, the spokesman noted."

The Disability Discrimination Ordinance (DDO), which was enacted on August 3 last year and has been brought into effect in phases since May this year, came into full force with the gazettal of the commencement notice today (Friday).

12

Provisions providing for the establishment of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) and enabling the EOC to issue codes of practice have already come into force; those relating to education, provision of goods, facilities or services, disposal or management of premises, eligibility to vote for and to be elected or appointed to advisory bodies, and activities of clubs and of government have also commenced operation.

With the introduction of a Code of Practice on Employment by the EOC, the Government is now ready to bring the remaining outstanding provisions into effect.

A Government spokesman said: "It is now unlawful to discriminate against or harass a person in, among other things, the employment field on the ground of disability.”

"Behaviours such as publishing discriminatory advertisements, engaging in serious vilification and aiding unlawful acts constitute criminal offences," he added.

Also taking effect today are the provisions relating to building approvals. A public authority shall not approve building plans unless the authority is satisfied that access as is reasonable in the circumstances to the buildings in question will be provided for persons with a disability. The public authority may refer to the "Design Manual: Access for the Disabled 1984" drawn up by the Government, the spokesman noted.

End

Sex Discrimination Ordinance in full effect from today *****

The entire Sex Discrimination Ordinance (SDO) becomes effective today (Friday) with the commencement of the provisions prohibiting discrimination and sexual harassment in the employment field.

A spokesman for the Home Affairs Branch said that following the Legislative Council's approval of the Code of Practice on Employment under the SDO on December 18, the Government has brought into effect these remaining provisions of the Ordinance. A commencement notice to this effect was gazetted today.

"With the SDO in full force now, it is unlawful to discriminate against a person in specified areas of activity including employment, education, provision of goods, facilities and services, disposal and management of premises, eligibility to vote for and to be elected or appointed to advisory bodies, activities of clubs, and activities of Government. Sexual harassment in these areas of activity is also unlawful under the Ordinance," he pointed out.

13

On the Code of Practice on Employment under the SDO, the spokesman said it was prepared and issued by the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC).

“The Code provides practical guidelines to facilitate compliance by both employers and employees with the Ordinance. Non-compliance with the Code, although not unlawful by itself, is admissible as evidence in court,” he said.

The spokesman said aggrieved persons may seek the assistance of the EOC which has started full operation since September 1996.

"The Commission will, as required under the SDO, handle complaints, conduct investigations and encourage conciliation between parties in dispute to effect a settlement as far as possible," he said, adding that the EOC may also provide legal or other forms of assistance to those aggrieved.

Meanwhile, a separate commencement notice which brings the Sex Discrimination (Proceedings by Equal Opportunities Commission) Regulation into immediate operation is also gazetted today. The Regulation was approved by the Legislative Council on December 18.

"The Regulation will enable the EOC to bring court proceedings in its own name when it appears to the Commission that the claim is well founded, and where the case raises a question of principle and it is in the interest of justice to do so," the spokesman said.

He noted that the Regulation will also enable the EOC in any such proceedings to seek a declaration by the court that the act, which is the subject of the proceedings, is an unlawful act or seek an injunction in respect of such act or both.

End

Local workers urged to register for ACP jobs *****

Local construction workers interested in airport-related jobs are urged to register as soon as possible at any of the nine Labour Department’s Local Employment Service offices and the Special Placement Team (SPT) for the Airport Core Programme as well as the Airport Core Programme Job Centre in Mong Kok.

A spokesman for the Labour Department said today (Friday) that more than 2,900 airport-related job vacancies would need to be filled within the next three months under the Special Recruitment Campaign for the new airport and related projects.

14

The recruitment campaign running from December 16 to December 31, is being jointly organised by the Airport Authority, the Mass Transit Railway Corporation and the Government.

The purpose of this campaign is to enable contractors concerned to make an extensive trawl of the market for suitable local workers for those job vacancies which have to be filled within the next three months in order to meet the tight works schedule of the projects.

On the basis of the results of this recruitment campaign, the Government will give expeditious approval of applications for imported workers to fill any particular shortfall of labour established through the two-week recruitment exercise during this campaign.

Both the Local Employment Service and the SPT for the Airport Core Programme of the Labour Department have stepped up their efforts in helping local construction workers to fill vacancies in the new airport and related projects. Also, vacancy information has been sent to over 20 relevant trade unions, encouraging their members to apply for the jobs.

To strengthen the placement service to local workers, the SPT on second floor, Tsuen Wan Government Offices will extend its working hours on Saturdays from noon to 5.30 pm during the campaign.

Local workers are also welcome to approach the ACP Job Centre in Mong Kok which opens from 9 am to 8 pm on Mondays to Saturdays.

Interested workers can also call the "job hotline" 2492 2001 for more information of the vacancies.

End

Emergency relief grants for victims in Kivu crisis *****

The Disaster Relief Fund Advisory Committee has approved a grant of $2 million for emergency relief assistance for victims in the Kivu crisis in Central Africa.

Announcing this today (Friday), a Government spokesman said the grant was made in response to an application from Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) to help scores of refugees returning from Zaire to Rwanda and the Zaireans displaced in their own country.

15

MSF’s relief programme aims to meet the essential needs of the returning refugees through the provision of medical care and the supply of water and high protein biscuits.

”To ensure that the grant will be used for the designated purposes, MSF will be required to submit to the Committee evaluation report and an audited account on the use of the grant," the spokesman said.

The Committee is chaired by the Chief Secretary. Members are Dr Raymond Chien Kuo-fung, Mr James McGregor, Mr Lau Chin-shek, Mr Cheung Hon-chung, the Secretary for Health and Welfare and the Secretary for the Treasury.

End

Review group for NLCDPs in old urban areas appointed *****

The Government has appointed Professor Felice Lieh Mak as the Chairperson of the Review Group for the Pilot Neighbourhood Level Community Development Projects (NLCDPs) in Old Urban Areas. Ten other members have also been appointed to serve on the Review Group.

Announcing this today (Friday), a Government spokesman said the review of the two pilot NLCDPs now serving the old urban areas of Mong Kok and Nam Cheong was decided upon by the Executive Council (ExCo) in December 1995 following consideration of requests to extend the service of NLCDPs.

"The principal task of the Review Group is to examine the effectiveness of these two existing pilot NLCDPs, and to make recommendations on the need for the continuation of the pilot scheme and whether NLCDP services should be extended to other old urban areas," he said.

Members of the Review Group are drawn from a wide cross-section of the community, the spokesman noted. In addition to professionals, academics and community leaders, members include two representatives of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service and a team leader of a subvented agency. They are:

Mr Tung Chi-fat - Executive Director, The Neighbourhood Advice Action Council

* Prof Wong Siu-lun - Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Hong Kong

16

Mrs Camille Tang Yeh - Executive Director, SBC Warburg in Asia; member of the Subventions and Lotteries Fund Advisory Committee

* Prof Yeh Gar-on, Anthony - Assistant Director, Centre of Urban Planning and Environmental Management, University of Hong Kong; registered professional planner

Mr Wan Chi-keung, Aaron - Managing Director, Associated Surveyors & Auctioneers; Chairman of Yan Chai Hospital

* Mr Hui Yung-chung - Teacher; official member of Aberdeen Kaifong Welfare Association Ltd.

Ms Lilian Law - Community Development Division Officer, the Hong Kong Council of Social Service

* Mr Wong Kwok-kei - Vice Chairperson of Community Development Division, the Hong Kong Council of Social Service

* Representative from the Home Affairs Branch

* Representative from the Social Welfare Department

"We hope that the Review Group would be able to formulate its recommendations by March 1997," the spokesman said, adding that the Government's aim is to submit the findings of the Review Group to ExCo by May 1997.

End

Value of manufacturers’ orders-on-hand in October ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

The value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand for local production in October 1996 decreased by 6% over a year earlier, according to the provisional results of a monthly survey released today (Friday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

Comparing October 1996 with October 1995, an increase in the value of orders was recorded in the fabricated metal products industry (+5%). The value of orders for the wearing apparel industry and textiles industry were both virtually unchanged.

On the other hand, decreases in the value of orders were recorded in the printing & publishing industry (-14%), the electronic products industry (-12%), the plastic products industry (-10%) and the electrical products industry (-3%).

- 17 -

Compared with September 1996, and bearing in mind that this comparison may be affected by seasonal factors, the value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand in October 1996 decreased by 4%.

The Monthly Survey of Orders-on-hand covers a sample of some 300 manufacturing firms engaging 50 or more workers.

Manufacturers' orders-on-hand refer to orders and parts of orders received earlier by manufacturers for local production which remain unfilled as at the end of the reference month. Orders received by traders not engaged in production are included if such orders are further placed to manufacturers for production locally. However, orders placed to manufacturing firms for production in China and other places outside Hong Kong are not included in this series of orders-on-hand statistics.

A spokesman of the Department pointed out that caution should be exercised in interpreting the manufacturers' orders-on-hand figures in a single month. Instead, the trend movement of the series as displayed over a wider span of time points should be looked at.

The survey report for October 1996, at $7 a copy, is now available for sale at the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, Queensway, and at the Census and Statistics Department Publications 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

Sept 1996 over Sept 1995 (Revised) Oct 1996 over Oct 1995 (Provisional)

All industries covered in the survey -11 -6

Wearing apparel -3

Textiles -3

Electronic products -21 -12

18

Electrical products +1 -3

Fabricated metal products +2 +5

Plastic products -16 -10

Printing and publishing -9 -14

Changes within +/-0.5%

End

Deadline of BN(O) Registration Programme Phase X *****

A Government spokesman today (Friday) reminded the public that the final date for Hong Kong British Dependent Territories citizens (BDTCs) bom between 1992 and 1995 to apply for British National (Overseas) BN(O) passports will be December 31, 1996.

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

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

Parents or legal guardians of eligible children bom between 1992 and 1995 must submit their applications on or before December 31, 1996. They should apply for a Hong Kong permanent identity card on behalf of the children at the same time.

Further publicity will be made in respect of BDTCs bom in other years (i.e. between 1996 and June 30, 1997) so that they may submit their applications by phases according to their age groups. They are of course free to submit their applications now.

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

19

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

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

Applications for BN(O) passports may be submitted to the Immigration Department either by post or in person. Applicants may also deposit their applications into the drop-in boxes installed at the Immigration Headquarters or at any Immigration Branch Offices throughout the territory. Application forms are available at all Immigration Offices and District Offices.

Hong Kong BDTCs living, working or studying abroad, are also required to observe the cut-off dates if they want to apply for a BN(O) passport. However, they are not required to return to Hong Kong for their applications. They should submit their applications to the nearest British passport issuing office either by post or in person. The required overseas application forms can be obtained at those offices or the Hong Kong Immigration Department.

Further information can be obtained by telephoning 2824 1177 (English) or 2824 1717 (Chinese).

End

New booklet on countryside walks

*****

A new guidebook "Enjoy Countryside Walks", which introduces a number of new trails and promotes safety in hill walking, will be available free to members of the public from next week.

The pocket-size booklet is published by the Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) with its printing cost sponsored by Hong Kong Telecom.

An AFD country parks management officer, Dr Yeung Ka-ming, said the 16-page colour booklet, printed in Chinese, contained information and maps of 12 country trails, the newly-built Twisk Nature Trail, Ho Pui Reservoir Family Walk, as well as the Hiking Practice Trail at Tai Mo Shan Country Park.

20

"Information about location, length, level of difficulty and special features of each of these trails is included with the aim of making hill walking in the countryside safer and more interesting," said Dr Yeung.

"By studying the information provided in the guidebook, visitors can have better planning before starting off their trips." .

Dr Yeung said that the 12 country trails were footpaths originally maintained by AFD, but now named with more maps and signs being set up.

* 1 W '

These country trails are situated in a number of country parks in the territory. They are: South Lantau Country Trail, Wong Lung Hang Country Trail, Hok Tau Country Trail, Lau Shui Heung Country Trail, Tung Ping Chau Country Trail, High Junk Peak Country Trail, Lung Ha Wan Country Trail, Ma On Shan Country Trail, Tai Tam Country Trail, Pak Tam Country Trail, Cheung Sheung Country Trail and Luk Wu Country Trail.

r - dft

"We hope that visitors can have safe and enjoyable walks in countryside by following the trails introduced in the guidebook." ;

Dr Yeung also advised that the guidebook should be used together with the hiking safety booklet and the itinerary planner published by AFD earlier this year.

Other trails in country parks, namely tree walks, family walks, jogging trails, fitness trails, nature trails and long-distance hiking trails are also listed in the guidebook for easy reference.

Copies of the "Enjoy Countryside Walks" booklet will be distributed to participants of a seminar on hiking safety to be held at the Hong Kong Scout Association's (HKSA) Oi Kwan Road Office at 2.30 pm tomorrow (Saturday).

These booklet will be obtainable from AFD-managed country parks visitor centres from Monday (December 23) onwards. These visitor centres are at country parks in Aberdeen, Plover Cove, Tai Mo Shan, Clear Water Bay and Shing Mun as well as the Lions Nature Education Centre in Sai Kung.

They may also be available at the HKSA's offices at Oi Kwan Road, Wan Chai and Austin Road, Tsim Sha Tsui next week.

End

21

Two lots of land for auction ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

Two pieces of government land will be put up for auction at 2.30 pm on January 15 (Wednesday) at the Concert Hall of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon.

Both lots are earmarked for private residential developments.

The first lot, adjoining No. 12 South Bay Road, Repulse Bay, has an area of about 2,008 square metres.

The developer has to complete a gross floor area of not less than 700 square metres on or before March 31, 2000.

Covering an area of about 5,080 square metres, the second lot is located in Area 48, So Kwun Wat, Tuen Mun.

The developer has to complete a gross floor area of not less than 3,965 square metres on or before March 31, 2000.

Details of the land auction are contained in a notice published in the Government Gazette today (Friday).

Full particulars and conditions of sale can be obtained from the Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong; and the District Lands Offices of Kowloon, Yau Ma Tei Car Park Building, 10th floor, 250 Shanghai Street, Kowloon.

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

End

Kowloon Bay lot for sale by tender ♦ * * * *

The Lands Department is inviting tenders for the sale of a piece of government land at the junction of Cheung Yip Street and Lam Chak Street in Kowloon Bay.

The lot has an area of about 6,541 square metres and is intended for industrial or godown purposes excluding offensive trades.

22

The closing date for submission of tenders is noon on Friday, January 17, 1997.

Tender forms, tender notices and conditions can be obtained from the Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong, and the District Lands Offices/Kowloon, 10th floor, Yau Ma Tei Car Park Building, 250 Shanghai Street, Kowloon.

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

Clinic service during Christmas holiday *****

The Department of Health announced today (Friday) that eight general outpatient clinics would be open from 9 am to 1 pm on December 25 (Wednesday) and 26 (Thursday), which are public holidays.

The eight clinics are Violet Peel Health Centre and Shau Kei Wan Jockey Club Clinic on Hong Kong Island; Kwun Tong Jockey Club Health Centre, Robert Black Health Centre, and Yau Ma Tei Jockey Club Clinic in Kowloon; and Lady Trench Polyclinic, Shek Wu Hui Jockey Club Clinic and Yuen Long Jockey Club Health Centre in the New Territories.

Further details on the opening of these clinics during the Christmas holiday are available by calling the Department of Health’s Central Health Education Unit hotline 2833 0111.

Maps indicating the locations and ways of getting to the eight government clinics will be on display at those public hospitals with Accident and Emergency Unit to facilitate members of the public to visit the clinics.

End

23

Tenders invited to manage Govt multi-storey car parks ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Transport Department today (Friday) invites tenders for the management and operation of Government multi-storey car parks, abandoned vehicle surrender centres and the design, production and distribution of tickets for Government tunnels and Tsing Ma Control Area.

Two packages of contracts comprising three agreements are available

(a) Contract for Agreement A which involves the management and operation of the following seven Government multi-storey car parks and two abandoned vehicle surrender centres:

Star Ferry, City Hall. Murray Road. Aberdeen. Middle Road. Kwai Fong and Tsuen Wan Transport Complex multi-storey car parks; and

To Kwa Wan and Sha Tin Abandoned Vehicle Surrender Centres.

(b) Contract for both

* agreement B which involves the management and operation of the seven Government multi-storey car parks at Garden Road, Rumsey Street, Shau Kei Wan, Tin Hau. Yau Ma Tei, Sheung Fung Street and Tsuen Wan MIR Station; and

♦ agreement C which involves the design, production and distribution of toll tickets for Government tunnels and Tsing Ma Control Area.

Commencing on May 1. 1997 or a date within six months after, these three agreements would be for a period of four years with an option for extension by the Government for a further period of up to six months, a spokesman for Transport Department said.

"Interested parties including joint ventures may tender for one or both of the packages. However, under no circumstances will a single tenderer be awarded both contract packages. The Government shall have the absolute discretion to determine whether two tenderers, because of any form of partnership, should be treated as one tenderer.

"As a pledge of bona Tides, each tenderer is required to make a tender deposit of $100,0(0 with the Hong Kong Government for each package of contract," he added.

24

Interested parties may obtain the tender documents by producing a company letter indicating their interest during office hours from Transport Department Headquarters on 41st floor, Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Details of tender invitation to the two contract packages were published in the Government Gazette today.

Completed tender documents must be sealed, clearly marked with tender reference number and addressed to the Chairman of the Central Tender Board. They should be placed in the Government Secretariat Tender Box in the lift lobby on lower ground floor of the East Wing of Central Government Offices, Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong by noon on January 24, 1997.

"Late submission will not be accepted,” the spokesman said.

Enquiries can be made to Mr P K Cheung of Transport Department on 2829 5484.

End

Proposal of permanent closure of Sau Mau Path *****

The Government proposes to close permanently Sau Mau Path in September 1997 to facilitate the redevelopment of Sau Mau Ping Estate Phase 7.

The area to be closed will be partly turned into landscaped open space and partly for constructing an integrated commercial centre with market, bus terminus and community facilities.

Details of the proposed closure were published in the Government Gazette today (Friday).

The plan and scheme of the proposal may be inspected during office hours at:

* Public Enquiry Service Centre, Central and Western District Office, ground floor. Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central;

25

* Kowloon East District Lands Office, 10th floor, Yau Ma Tei Carpark Building, 250 Shanghai Street, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon; and

<

* Sau Mau Ping (Central) sub-office, Kwun Tong District Office, Estate Community Centre, Sau Mau Ping Estate, Sau Ming Road, Kowloon.

Any person who wishes to object to the works or the use, or both, is required to address his objection in writing to the Secretary for Transport, second floor, East Wing, Central Government Offices, Lower Albert Road, Central, Hong Kong not later than February 18, 1997.

End

TPB to review Kwai Chung OZP *****

The Governor-in-Council has recently referred the approved Kwai Chung Outline Zoning Plan (OZP) to the Town Planning Board for consideration and amendment to incorporate the latest land use proposals, a spokesman for the Board announced today (Friday).

The Kwai Chung OZP (No. S/KC/11) was last approved by the Govemor-in-Council on January 30, 1996.

”The plan, after revision by the Board to incorporate the latest amendments, will be exhibited for public inspection in due course under the provision of the Town Planning Ordinance," the spokesman added.

End

Draft Ting Kok Outline Zoning Plan amended *****

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

The first amendment is to rezone an area of 16.97 hectares to the west of Ting Kok Road at Shuen Wan from "Agriculture" to "Conservation Area" to conserve its ecological value as a feeding ground for birds from the nearby Shuen Wan Egretry.

26

The other amendment is the rezoning of an area of 6.05 hectares to the east of Wong Yue Tan from '’Agriculture” to ’’Green Belt” to preserve the natural state of the area.

The amendment plan (No. S/NE-TK/3) is available for public inspection until January 10, 1997 during normal office hours at:

* Planning Department

16th floor, Murray Building

Garden Road

Central

Hong Kong;

* Sha Tin, Tai Po and North District Planning Office Ground floor

Sha Tin Government Office

6 Tung Lo Wan Hill Road

Sha Tin

New Territories; and

* Tai Po District Office

Tai Po Government Offices Building

Ting Kok Road

Tai Po,

New Territories.

Any person affected by the amendments may submit written objections to the Secretary of the Town Planning Board, c/o Planning Department, 13th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong before January 10, 1997.

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

End

27

Draft South West Kowloon OZP approved ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Govemor-in-Council has approved the draft South West Kowloon Outline Zoning Plan (OZP), a spokesman for the Town Planning Board said today (Friday).

The approved OZP will establish a statutory land use framework to guide development within the South West Kowloon Area.

The OZP covers about 323 hectares of land which will accommodate a population of about 102,000 upon full development.

On the plan, about 30.92 hectares of land has been zoned "Comprehensive Development Area" for the Airport Railway Tai Kok Tsui and West Kowloon Stations, and the associated residential and commercial developments as well as supporting facilities such as transport interchange.

About 18.35 hectares of the land has been zoned "Industrial" for general industrial uses. The provision will also facilitate the relocation of existing industries to areas closer to the new port and airport facilities.

About 8.41 hectares and 28.62 hectares of land have been zoned "Commercial" for office, retail and hotel uses, and "Residential (Group A)" for public and private housing development respectively.

Another 25.11 hectares of land has been zoned "Govemment/Institution/Community" ("G/IC") to serve the need of the local residents and the wider district. It also helps to redress shortfalls of some of the public facilities in the hinterland in West Kowloon.

About 46.16 hectares of land has been zoned "Open Space" to cater for both active and passive recreational uses which include a regional park and a promenade to the south of the Western Harbour Crossing (WHC) Toll Plaza.

About 43.72 hectares of land has been zoned "Other Specified Uses" for uses including the Western Wholesale Market, industrial-office developments, bus depot, piers, petrol filling station, the WHC Toll Plaza, cargo working areas and airport railway stations.

In addition, an area of 70.7 hectares water area has been designated as Typhoon Shelter which will replace the former Yau Ma Tei Typhoon Shelter.

28

The approved OZP (No. S/K20/3) is available for public inspection during normal office hours at:

* Planning Department 16th floor, Murray Building Garden Road Central

Hong Kong;

* Kowloon District Planning Office 11th floor, Leighton Centre 77 Leighton Road Causeway Bay Hong Kong;

.T. .

Yau Tsim Mong District Office Ground floor, Mong Kok Government Offices 30 Luen Wan Street Mong Kok Kowloon; and

Sham Shui Po District Office Sixth floor

290 Un Chau Street Sham Shui Po Kowloon.

Copies of the approved OZP 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

Improvements to roads and drains on Cheung Chau ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Territory Development Department is inviting tenders for improvements to existing roads and drains in Cheung Chau old town.

Works will involve reconstruction of the existing Tung Wan Road and Cheung Chau Hospital Road to emergency vehicular access standard, and construction of an emergency vehicle access along the coast of Tung Wan linking the reconstructed road to the helipad.

29

Foul water and storm water drainage systems, two foul water pumping stations and local open space will be built. The Tung Wan children's playground will also be reconstructed.

Construction will commence in April next year for completion in 24 months.

•fl

Forms of tender and further particulars may be obtained from the office of the consulting engineers, Messrs Ho Tin & Associates Consulting Engineers Limited, Room 1704, Leighton Centre, 77 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, 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 on the lower ground floor, Central Government Offices (East Wing), Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong before noon on Friday, January 17, 1997.

Late tenders will not be accepted.

End

Tenders invited for slope upgrading works ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Civil Engineering Department is inviting tenders for upgrading 35 slopes and retaining walls throughout the territory under its Accelerated Landslip Preventive Measures (LPM) Programme.

The works are expected to be completed in 18 months' time.

Of these 35 slopes and retaining walls, 12 are under the maintenance of Highways Department, 12 with Architectural Services Department, three with Housing Department, three with Water Supplies Department, two with Urban Services Department and three are on unallocated government land.

The contract will be the eleventh to be offered under the Accelerated LPM Programme which commenced in April last year.

Under the Accelerated LPM Programme, upgrading works to government-owned man-made slopes in the 1977 Slope Catalogue will be speeded up.

30

Only contractors on the List of Approved Suppliers of Materials and Specialist Contractors for Public Works in the Category of ’’Landslip Preventive/Remedial Works to Slopes/Retaining Walls” are invited to tender.

Tender forms and further particulars can be obtained from Halcrow Asia Partnership Limited, Room 3201, Central Plaza, 18 Harbour Road, Hong Kong.

Tender offers for the project will close at noon on Friday, January 31, 1997.

End

Tenders invited for two secondary schools ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Architectural Services Department is inviting tenders for the construction of two secondary schools in the New Territories.

The two schools, to be located in Area 3, Tai Po and Area 40, Fanling, will be built under two separate contracts.

On completion, each school will comprise 26 classrooms, 14 special rooms, three remedial teaching rooms, an assembly hall and ancillary facilities, two basketball courts, covered playground and car park.

In addition, there will be a guidance activity room, two interview rooms, a staff common room, a student activity centre, playground area and facilities for the disabled.

Both projects will start in March next year for completion in July 1998.

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

Tender offers for both projects will close at noon on Friday, January 17, 1997.

End

31

Refuse transfer station proposed in Tuen Mun

♦ * * ♦ ♦

The Government proposes to construct the North West New Territories Refuse Transfer Station in Tuen Mun.

A Government spokesman said today (Friday) that the station, which was an integral part of the Waste Disposal Strategy, would provide adequate capacity to transfer waste arising from the northwest New Territories to the West New Territories Landfill.

"The handling and transfer of solid waste will be improved and carried out in compliance with stringent environmental performance requirements.

"An initial Environmental Impact Assessment of the project has concluded that by specifying performance requirements on noise, air quality, odour, water quality and including appropriate mitigation measures and controls in the contract documents, the Director of Environmental Protection will keep the environmental impacts of the construction and operation of the station within established standards and guidelines to minimise any adverse impact on local residents," the spokesman said.

On environmental nuisance from refuse collection vehicles, the spokesman said the station would be equipped with a vehicle washing system through which all refuse collection vehicles must pass before leaving the station.

"The Regional Services Department will also wash Shun Tat Street every day and the contractor for the station will be required, under the contract, to supply a street washing vehicle and to wash the access road as necessary," he said.

Construction of the station will commence in mid-1997 for completion in 16 months.

To enable the works to be carried out, a notice was published in the Government Gazette today announcing government's plans to resume five private lots with a total area of 4,017.2 square metres.

This comprises 3,895.7 square metres of agricultural land and 121.5 square metres of building land.

Details of the lots affected are contained in the Gazette notice.

Plans of the affected area can be seen at the Tuen Mun District Lands Office, 6th floor, Tuen Mun Government Offices, No. 1 Tuen Hi Road, Tuen Mun, New Territories.

End

32

New footbridge in Tuen Mun

*****

The Highways Department proposes to construct a covered footbridge alongside the existing Choy Yee Bridge in Tuen Mun.

Aimed to provide additional pedestrian path and to improve capacity, the project will include:

construction of a covered footbridge across the nullah;

construction of a footpath at each end of the covered footbridge;

widening and reconstruction of a portion of an existing footbridge to link the proposed

footpath and covered footbridge, and

construction of the associated drainage and landscaping works.

Details of the proposed works were published in the Government Gazette today (Friday).

The plan and scheme of the proposed works can be seen during office hours at:

(a) Public Enquiry Services Centre, Central and Western District, ground floor, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central;

(b) Tuen Mun District Lands Office, , sixth & seventh floor, Tuen Mun Government Offices, 1 Tuen Hi Road, Tuen Mun, New Territories; or

(c) Tuen Mun District Office, second floor, Tuen Mun Government Offices, 1 Tuen Hi Road, Tuen Mun, New Territories.

Any person who wishes to object to the works or the use, or both, is required to address his objection in writing to the Secretary for Transport, second floor, East Wing, Central Government Offices, Lower Albert Road, Central, Hong Kong on or before February 18, 1997.

End

33

Hong Kong Monetary Authority Interbank Liquidity ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Aggregate balance of settlement time accounts

Opening aggregate balance 410 mn 0930 hr 10,481 mn

Closing aggregate balance 561 mn 1000 hr 12,105 mn

Change attributable to: 1100 hr 16,803 mn

Money market activity -396 mn 1200 hr 22,678 mn

LAF reversal +8,383 mn 1500 hr 30,904 mn

LAF today -7,836 mn 1600 hr 37,820 mn

LAF rate 4.00% BID/6.00% offer TWI 125.1 *+0.1 ♦ 20.12.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/MTRC notes

Terms Yield Terms Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.25 2 years 2811 5.72 100.22 5.67

1 month 4.32 3 years 3910 6.28 100.72 6.08

3 months 4.57 5 years 5112 6.57 99.67 6.76

6 months 4.80 7 years 7311 6.80 99.25 7.06

12 months 5.09 10 years 1610 7.37 101.31 7.31

5 years M503 7.35 101.74 7.02

Total turnover of ef bills and notes - $8,751 mn

Closed December 20, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Saturday, December 21,1996

Contents

Page Nq»

Governor’s transcript...................................................... 1

US Special 301 "Out-of-Cycle" Review on Hong Kong.......................... 2

Firing practice in January 1997 ........................................... 8

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity........................... 9

Sunday, December 22, 1996

Contents

Page No.

Public reminded not to bring back endangered species..................... 10

Christmas party for underprivileged children.......................... 11

1

Governor's transcript *****

Following is the transcript of the media session by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, after attending the North District Pet Show at Fanling Recreation Ground this (Saturday) morning:

Question: Governor, Qian Qichen said that Britain lacked the courage to face the reality, and the statement is nothing new, so what is your response?

Governor: Let's us be clear what reality is. Reality is over a million people in Hong Kong voted for the present Legislative Council and up over the border now, four hundred people, four hundred in a bizarre farce are voting for a so-called "provisional legislature" that is the reality. Over a million in Hong Kong voting for a decent Legislative Council and four hundred voting for one another in these bizarre scene in Shenzhen. I'll tell what else is reality. Reality is that the people of Hong Kong were promised that they would have step by step democracy here, they were promised by China as well as Britain. Britain has lived up to its share of that bargain, we'll see whether the China does. I'll tell you what else the reality is. The reality is also that Britain has said to China , okay, if you think what you are doing is in line with the Joint Declaration, why don't you have the courage to go with us to the International Court of Justice and ask for independent arbitration. If China won't do that, the world will draw the obvious conclusion. I'll tell you what the other reality is. The other reality is simply this - Hong Kong is a first world economy which some Chinese mainland officials are trying to get to accept the sort of political institutions which third world countries would find unacceptable. That is the other reality. So I think that if we can start talking about reality in Hong Kong, those are the realities that some Chinese officials should face up to.

Question: Mr Patten, Qian Qichen also said the British's statement issued yesterday was helpless, is Britain helpless?

Governor: I think that what Mr Qian should be asking is whether some people in Hong Kong feel helpless. If they have this sort of institution produced to the farcical procedures foist upon them. I don't actually think that people in Hong Kong are helpless. And I'll tell you why, because among other things, the whole world is watching what's happening over the border this weekend. The whole world is watching what is going to happen in Hong Kong and the whole world wants to see Hong Kong remain not helpless, it wants to see Hong Kong remain a free, open, successful society. Britain is committed to doing everything we can to ensure that happens and will be continuing well beyond 1997 to ensure that the international community not helplessly, but the international community watches it very closely, what happens in Hong Kong. One more.

2

Question: You said yesterday China is sick, can you elaborate ?

Governor; No, I said that this procedure was stomach-turning. That’s what I said. I think that some Chinese language, well, one Chinese language newspaper said the proceedings in Shenzhen are a farce. I think everybody knows that you don't have to see it on television this morning for a nanosecond to know what is going on as people nominate one another as they vote for themselves and vote for each other. It's only a few months ago, less than 18 months that the leader of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong, here in Hong Kong, was saying that he would deplore, that was his word, he would deplore anybody who having been defeated for this Legislative Council tried to get in by the back door into the provisional legislature. What's happening today ? What's he doing today ? What a member of the Democratic; Alliance is doing today ? I wonder whether he still deplores that sort of action.

Question: When will the British Government put the problem to the International Court of Justice ?

Governor: What we've said it will be interesting to see whether China responds to this straight forward challenge. What we've said is that if China is so confident in its position, then let it go for independent arbitration to the International Court of Justice with us. It actually takes two countries, two parties to a treaty to go to the 1CJ. And if China is so convinced of its own sense of reality then let it go to the ICJ with us. We'll just see what the outcome is.

End

US Special 301 "Out-of-Cycle" Review on Hong Kong *****

The Hong Kong Government notes that the US Trade Representative (Ag.USTR) has just announced the outcome of the US Special 301 "Out-of-Cycle" Review on Hong Kong, amongst other trading partners, in respect of intellectual property protection, in which Hong Kong will not be placed on the watch list.

"We are pleased to note that due recognition has been given by the Acting USTR to Hong Kong's determination to solve the piracy problem and the steps taken by the Hong Kong Government to tackle piracy," a spokesman for the Trade and Industry Branch today (Saturday) said.

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’’The Hong Kong Government remains determined to do its utmost to put in place the best intellectual property right regime and to enforce the regime robustly. We have always acted, and will continue to act, decisively against IPR infringers within Hong Kong's rule of law. We will continue to work together with copyright owners from the US and other countries and seek active support from them in our efforts to enforce against piracy activities,eg.by testifying in our courts of law," he said.

In this year, the Government has taken additional pro-active measures to combat copyright piracy on the following fronts with good results:

(a) closer liaison with IPR enforcement authorities in China to stop pirated copyright products from entering Hong Kong;

(b) vigorous enforcement action at the retail, distribution and importation levels;

(c) legislative measures to strengthen enforcement capabilities;

(d) introduction of deterrent penalties; and

(e) closer liaison and cooperation with copyright owners in taking enforcement and prosecution actions.

The spokesman noted that at the retail level, Customs raided 1,045 shops and hawker stalls, arrested 1,028 persons and seized 495,019 CDs, VCDs and CD-ROMs worth HKS26 million in the first ten months of 1996.

Separately, in the first ten months of this year, Customs arrested 117 persons in connection with piracy cases at the importation, storage and distribution levels. A total of 249,324 CDs, VCDs and CD-ROMs with an estimated value of HKS11.8 million were seized. They represent an increase of 148 per cent and 132 per cent of the figures for the whole of 1995.

Under Special 301 provisions, the USTR publishes annually lists of countries/territories which, in the view of the US Administration, offer inadequate IPR protection to US IPR investments in these countries/territories. The lists are ranked in the following descending order in terms of seriousness in IPR violation: "Priority Foreign Country List", "Priority Watch List" and "Watch List". There is also the lowest category "Other Observation" in the Report.

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In this year's Report published by the USTR on 30 April, Hong Kong was mentioned under the "Other Observations" category, amongst 19 other trading partners, and is subject to "out-of-cycle" review by the USTR.

Except for countries/territories named in the "Priority Foreign Country List", the US law does not require Special 301 action against countries/territories named in any of the other categories. Hence there will not be any threat of trade sanction against Hong Kong.

Following is a detailed summary of measures undertaken by the Hong Kong Government to combat copyright piracy:

Closer liaison with IPR enforcement authorities in China

* We recognise the importance of forging closer liaison and cooperation with IPR enforcement authorities in China to stop pirated copyright products from entering into Hong Kong.

* We have established specific contact points with the IPR enforcement authorities in the Guangdong Province and we have been doing the same with respect to the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone.

* Agreement has also been reached on the exchange of information and intelligence, the organisation of visits and seminars and, where appropriate, the mounting of parallel operations by the Hong Kong and relevant Chinese authorities at the Hong Kong-China border.

* A number of high-level visits and seminars have been and will be organised to enhance greater cooperation with the IPR authorities in China.

Vigorous enforcement action at the retail, distribution and importation levels

* At the retail level, a series of territory-wide mega-raids was mounted. In each territory-wide mega-raid, the Hong Kong Customs raided shopping arcades throughout Hong Kong, including Golden Shopping Arcade and Wanchai 298. Raids were conducted at various times and days of the week in order to maximise the surprise element and hence effectiveness.

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* At the retail level, Customs raided 1,045 shops and hawker stalls, arrested 1,028 persons and seized 495,019 CDs, VCDs and CD-ROMs worth HK$26 million in the first ten months of 1996. Where appropriate, the Customs join hands with the Police and other Government departments in their enforcement actions.

* In blackspots such as Golden Shopping Arcade, Customs officers monitor the shops almost on a daily basis and carry out raids whenever appropriate.

* At the distribution and importation levels, Customs have conducted many successful raids on storage premises and stepped up enforcement actions at the various border control points. Customs have been liaising and coordinating closely with the Police on surveillance and intelligence gathering. The two forces are also maintaining close contacts with other enforcement authorities such as the US FBI on this front.

In the first ten months of 1996, Customs have already arrested 117 persons in connection with piracy cases at the importation, storage and distribution levels. A total of 249,329 CDs, VCDs and CD-ROMs with an estimated value of HK$11.8 million were seized.

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* As a result of such vigorous enforcement actions at the retail, distribution and importation levels, the quantity and value of seizure in the first ten months of 1996 are already 148 per cent and 132 per cent respectively of that for the w'hole of 1995.

* Enforcement against copyright piracy activities is very manpowerintensive. For the three-year period form 1994 to 1996, manpower in the Intellectual Property Investigation Bureau (IPIB) of the Hong Kong Customs has been increased by 40%. We will further increase the manpower of the IPIB by a further 15% to enhance its capabilities in intelligence gathering, surveillance, border interceptions and prosecutions in 1997. This will make the IPIB one of the most powerful IP enforcement agencies in the region.

Legislative measures to strengthen enforcement capabilities

* We amended legislation in May 1995 and May 1996 respectively to increase substantially the level of penalties on copyright pirates and to provide Customs with additional legal power to tackle organised syndicates masterminding cross-border copyright piracy activities.

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* New customs border measures, a requirement under the TRIPS Agreement, has come into operation starting from 20 December 1996 to enable Customs to seize suspected imports of pirated copyright products at the border on the basis of court orders applied by copyright owners in advance. These measures will facilitate copyright owners in initiating civil court actions against persons bringing in pirated goods into Hong Kong.

* We have also proposed to introduce additional legal tools in our new Copyright Bill to enhance Customs' ability to enforce against copyright piracy and to facilitate cooperation with copyright owners and enforcement authorities of other countries. Such tools include release of samples of seizures to copyright owners, forfeiture provisions to enable Customs to forfeit seized suspected pirated copyright works, additional presumptions for prosecution, modifications and clarified provisions for use of affidavits.

Introduction of deterrent penalties

* Following the substantial increase in the penalties against copyright piracy activities in May 1995, the Hong Kong courts have taken note of the seriousness of copyright piracy as evidenced by the heavier penalties handed down. In the first nine months of 1996, a total of 87 persons received immediate custodial sentences for offences relating to copyright piracy compared to 18 for the whole of 1995.

* In delivering the judgement of the first case tried under the enhanced penalty provisions by the District Court which was concluded in July 1996, the presiding Judge took note of the adverse effects and criticised the criminal behaviour of copyright pirates.

* Two more District Court cases have recently been concluded pending sentencing. Another two cases have been scheduled for hearing in the coming few months.

* In appropriate cases where the sentence imposed for copyright piracy is manifestly inadequate or wrong in principle, the Attorney General will consider applying to the Court of Appeal for the sentence to be reviewed. If the review is granted and the sentence is increased, that will serve as a binding precedent on the lower courts.

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Liaison and co