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

 DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Friday, November 1,1996

Contents PageJVo,

Governor's transcript.................................................. 1

Transcript of FS's media session....................................... 3

Regulation to protect gas pipes........................................ 4

New ordinance to control noise from vehicle alarm................. 5

Bill on construction professionals gazetted...........................  5

Law to be amended to ban monkey feeding........................... 6

Gambling licence fees to be revised in December................... 7

Film censorship fees to be revised................................ 8

Fees for dangerous goods services revised......................... 10

Appointment to Council of the Stock Exchange...................... 11

Tender invitation for Hiram's Highway improvement works........... 11

Contents

Page No,

Slipway to be built at Sha Tau Kok......................................... 12

Tenders invited for school improvement project............................. 13

Tenders invited for building three secondary schools................... 13

Tenders invited for sewer construction works........................... 14

Students invited to participate in Schools Dance Festival.................. 15

18

EMSD works supervisors awarded Imperial Service Medal...................... 15

Post offices to introduce Easy Payment System.............................. 16

Garment company fined for false declaration............................ 17

j

Supply of exchange fund bills to increase.................................. 18

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

1

Governor’s transcript * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The following is the transcript of the media session given by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, at the opening of the New Hong Kong St John Ambulance Headquarters this (Friday) afternoon.

Question: Two members from the liberal flagship have flown to Beijing yesterday and were expelled by the Chinese police during a petition towards the preparatory committee and have been sent back to Hong Kong. What would be your comments on this ?

Governor: Well, I haven’t seen the details of the case and the detail reasons of their return to Hong Kong so rapidly. All that I would say is that these sort of things wouldn’t happen if senior Chinese officials were prepare to talk to representatives of majority opinion here in Hong Kong. There will be plenty of opportunities for them to do so in the coming weeks, and I very much hope they take advantage of those opportunities.

Question: What does this spell for post-1997 ....?

Governor: Well, the point I want to stress is the importance of dialogue. Last August I think it was, vice-premier Qian Qichen suggested that contacts with the democrats could be open up and that a real debate with them could commence. I think the sooner we see that happen the better. You can’t simply freeze out majority opinion in Hong Kong, you can't simply anathematise majority opinion, you have to talk to people, you have to involve everybody in the decision making about the future of this territory, not just a chosen few.

Question: The selection committee....409 shortlist members and the high proportion

of businessmen.......Would you comment on that ? The Chinese government would

like...businessmen ruling Hong Kong future.

Governor: Well, as you know the promise is that Hong Kong people should run Hong Kong , and I hope that means everybody being involved in the process, but I don’t want to comment particularly on the membership of the selection committee. I am sure the community will form a view about that and form a view about the whole process.

Question: Would you comment on the report that Xu Jiatun has said that... British tries to increase influence after 1997?

Governor: Who said that?

2

Question: Xu Jiatun, the former head of NCNA.

Governor: He said that from California, did he?

Question: It was reported in the Far Eastern Economic Review.

Governor: I saw the article by Frank Ching. But I glanced that rather than read it in detail. I’ll have to go back and read it in more detail though it doesn’t sound to me like an article which I'll agree with. Hong Kong is an international city and will remain an international city. There is American investments in Hong Kong. There's British investments in Hong Kong. Britain has a particularly close relationship with Hong Kong because of history. There are many people from Hong Kong at schools and universities in Britain, many people from Hong Kong own property in Britain and there are large exports in both directions. I'm sure that will continue after 1997 and of course Britain has a continuing moral responsibility to ensure that the Joint Declaration is followed and implemented as closely as possible. We can't simply walk away from that responsibility in 1997. But I don’t think that is an attempt to increase our influence. I think that’s not a very sensible suggestion.

Question: Qian Qichen and Lu Ping will come later this month...

Governor: You know perfectly well,the whole community knows perfectly well that the problem has never been one of members of the Hong Kong Government meeting Chinese officials. It's been Chinese officials who haven't been able to find times in their ver}7 crowded diaries to meet the Hong Kong Governor or senior officials. So the onus is on them. But I think that it w'ould be more important, to be honest, if when Mr Qian Qichen comes, he's able to meet some of the members of the Democratic Party. He talked about that last August and I think the whole community will welcome it if he wras able to begin that dialogue sooner rather than later. But I repeat that we are infinitely courteous and polite and if ever Mr Qian or Mr Lu can find time for a meeting, we will be delighted to see them and of course so w'ould the whole community here in Hong Kong. Just look at the polls, just look at what people would like to happen.

Queston:... A final will to meet Mr Qian Qichen?

Governor: If I have to list all my ambitions in life, while it will be ver}’ nice to meet Mr Qian, that isn't the number one. The number one is that a dialogue should start between the representatives of majority opinion in Hong Kong and Chinese mainland officials. That's the most important meeting that should take place.

Question: Are you optimistic they will meet the democrats when they come here ?

Governor: I don't know’ what was meant by the remarks made last August unless that's going to happen quite soon.

End

3

Transcript of FS’s media session ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the transcript of a media session given by the Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, this (Friday) afternoon:

FS: You know that I have just completed a cycle of meetings with Legislative Councillors. I have met them on seven occasions. 1 have altogether now received six written requests or submissions, and I have also had very valuable verbal representations put to us during these sessions. During these sessions, I have met almost all Councillors. Their advice and their views are quite valuable. What I am going to do is, my colleagues and I would, are going to examine these proposals in great detail from the beginning of, perhaps, from the beginning of next week. We would examine them one by one. I would then consider my recommendations for next year, and I would account for my decision in the Budget debate. I also took the opportunity' of updating Members on the state of consultation with China. I have told them that we have already come to a consensus on the expenditure side of the Estimates. In accordance of this consensus, various departments and branches are now preparing their annual estimates which again will be completed round about December/ January. And we would again be presenting our recommendations to the Legislative Council for approval on Budget day or post-Budget day. The coming Estimates would be a twelve month budget covering a full twelve month cycle beginning 1 April 1997 go right to the end of March, 1998. I have got now. as I have told you, six petitions, six letters from Members, written ones. I have also asked them to let me have any supplementary letters, supplementary views as early as possible so that my colleagues and 1 can consider them very carefully, professionally and fully. In order to let you know what we have done, what materials we have furnished to LegCo Members, my colleague, Alan Siu there, would be holding a separate briefing for you later this afternoon at 3.30. He would let you have copies of all materials made available to Members, so you know what they are. These materials are related largely to the performance of the revenue side, this year. 1996/97 and the various concessions we made in the last Budget. That will form a basis of Members’ recommendations to us.

Question: Mr Tsang, on welfare expenditure..will there be in fact a cut from 25 to 20 per cent. Could you elaborate on what concerned Legislators in that area when you take consultation?

FS: In my experience in the public service we have never cut welfare spending at all. And I do not think we should do that in 1997. The question is, to what extent welfare spending would be increased, and this is a matter which I will account fully in the Budget debate.

4

Question: It came from Simon Li that there would be cap on growth in spending for social welfare expenditure for infrastructural spending and that there will be a 4.75 per cent target for GDP growth next year. Would you like to comment...?

FS: I don’t >vant to comment on speculative comments of the others. The Chinese side have commented fully on that. Some of the figures which you mentioned are quite unfamiliar to me. Thank you very much.

End

Regulation to protect gas pipes

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Gas Safety (Gas Supply) (Amendment) Regulation 1996, gazetted by the Government today (Friday), controls in the interests of safety, construction works in the vicinity of gas pipes.

The amendment Regulation requires that construction works should not be carried out near a gas pipe unless its position has been checked and steps taken to ensure that it will not be damaged by the works.

The new regulation provides that a person not taking all reasonable measures to protect a gas pipe from damage arising out of his construction works that is likely to prejudice safety commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of $200,000 and to imprisonment for 12 months.

The regulation reflects the Government’s concern at the frequent damage to gas pipes through careless excavation work. There were 93 such incidents in 1995 and 71 in the first 10 months of 1996. While the consequences of most of these incidents are relatively minor, damage to a gas pipe may lead to a major fire or explosion. The regulation aims to minimise the potential for such hazards.

The Government intends to bring the regulation into effect in December 1996. A code of practice on avoiding damage to gas pipes will be issued at the same time by the Gas Authority (the Director of Electrical and Mechanical Services) to assist the gas supply companies and the construction industry to comply with the new requirements.

The Regulation will be tabled in the Legislative Council on November 6, 1996.

End

5

New ordinance to control noise from vehicle alarm

MM*

Noise from vehicle alarm systems will be controlled under the Noise Control (Amendment) Ordinance 1996 to be effective from April 1 next year.

Under the new ordinance gazetted today (Friday), registered car owners are required to ensure that their vehicle alarm systems will not sound unless the vehicles are being tampered with.

Moreover, the alarms should not sound for more than five minutes.

Failure to comply with any of the two requirements will be liable to a fine of $10,000.

Explaining the new ordinance, Principal Environmental Protection Officer of the Environmental Protection Department, Mr K S Chan, said that noise from the false activation of vehicle alarms had been a constant source of disturbance to many people in the past few years, especially during late hours.

"False alarms are mostly due to improper installation or incorrect sensitivity settings. Some of the alarms are so sensitive that they would be triggered even when there has been no physical contact.

"Very often, such problems can be solved by just simple adjustments to the alarm system setting," he said.

"If vehicle owners suspect their vehicle alarms are too ensitive, they should immediately have the alarms checked or serviced by competent persons such as those recommended by authorised dealers of vehicles," he added.

End

Bill on construction professionals gazetted ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A bill seeking to empower the registration boards for architects, engineers, surveyors and planners to make orders for costs incurred in disciplinary proceedings is gazetted today (Friday).

A Government spokesman said at present, registration boards were established under the Registration Ordinance respectively for architects, engineers, surveyors and planners.

6

The main functions of these boards are to deal with the registration and disciplinary matters relating to their respective professions.

The spokesman said that however, there was no provision under these ordinances to empower the Boards to make orders for costs related to disciplinary proceedings and if the situation persisted, the possible financial burden might make the boards difficult to operate.

By giving the boards power to make orders for costs, the Architects, Engineers, Surveyors and Planners Registration (Miscellaneous Amendment) Bill 1996 seeks to reduce the chance of the Boards having financial difficulties arising from disciplinary proceedings.

It will also bring them in line with the position of other tribunals, such as disciplinary tribunals, which have similar powers to make orders for costs, he added.

In addition, the Bill will also provide for the Boards to engage professional advisers in connection with all their statutory duties.

Another provision of the Bill proposes that any rules regulating the procedure of meetings of the boards should be lodged with the Secretary for Works, who heads the policy branch having the most dealings with these professionals, instead of the Director of Administration as in the past.

The Bill will be introduced into the Legislative Council on November 13, 1996.

End

Law to be amended to ban monkey feeding ♦ * ♦ ♦ *

The Government has proposed amendments to the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance to prohibit the feeding of monkeys and other wild animals at specified places.

Under the Wild Animals Protection (Amendment) Bill 1996, published in the Gazette today (Friday), any person doing that will be liable to prosecution.

A government spokesman said the prohibition was to curb the unnatural growth of monkeys and to discourage their aggressive behaviour and possible spread of disease. It would also prevent them from losing their skill to forage natural food in the wild.

7

’’The amendment is needed as there have been numerous reports of monkey nuisances and some incidents of attacks.

”A study sponsored by the World Wide Fund For Nature Hong Kong in 1992 revealed that feeding by humans is an important factor leading to nuisances and attacks by monkeys in certain areas in Kowloon Hills.

”It also recommended that actions be taken to discourage and ultimately ban people from feeding monkeys,” he said.

The spokesman pointed out that the proposed amendment would also increase the maximum penalty to $100,000 fine and one year's imprisonment upon conviction for illegal hunting, trapping and selling of protected wild animals.

The current level of penalties set at the enactment of the Ordinance in 1976 has little deterrent effect for potential offenders.

The proposed legislation would also give the Director of Agriculture and Fisheries additional powers to search and seize evidence and to detain, release or dispose of the animals so seized in order to protect the welfare of the animals.

It will replace an existing burden of proof provision in the ordinance and narrow the presumption to limited circumstances only.

The amendment will also add to the existing ordinance new provisions for appeals. If a person is aggrieved by a decision of the Director of Agriculture and Fisheries in not granting him a permit or cancelling his permit, he can appeal to the Administrative Appeals Board.

End

Gambling licence fees to be revised in December ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Licence fees covering lotteries, tombolas, games of amusement with prizes, trade promotion competitions and games in which mahjong or tin kau are used, will be revised from December 13.

Details of the increases were set out in the Gambling (Amendment) Regulation 1996 published in the Gazette today (Friday).

A spokesman for the Home Affairs Branch said it was government policy that fees should in general be set at levels sufficient to recover the full costs of providing the services.

8

The last costing review for the grant or renewal of mahjong/tin kau licence was conducted in 1994-95 and that for other licences in 1995-96.

All licence fees were last revised in November 1995 based on the full cost at 1995-96 prices.

"To reflect the cost at 1996-97 prices, the Government proposes to increase the fees by about nine per cent in accordance with the movement of the government consumption expenditure deflator from 1995-96 to 1996-97," the spokesman said.

The new licence fees are as follows:

Lottery

Tombola

Amusements with prizes Trade promotion competition Mahjong/Tin Kau

$2,930

$12,000

$2,840

$1,480

$1,070 per table

The spokesman believed that the revised fees would not substantially increase the operating costs of the licensees, adding that charitable organisations would continue to qualify for a waiver or reduction of fees under section 6 of the Gambling Regulations.

End

Film censorship fees to be revised * * » ♦ *

The Film Censorship (Amendment) Regulation, which seeks to revise the fees charged under the Film Censorship Ordinance, was published in the Gazette today (Friday).

"The proposed fee revision is in line with the government's policy that fees should in general be set at a level sufficient to recover the full costs of providing the services," a spokesman for the Broadcasting, Culture and Sport Branch said.

The fees will be increased by about nine per cent to reflect the cost at 1996-97 prices. Details of the existing and revised fees are as follows:

9

Existing fee ($) Revised fee ($)

Censorship fee for a still film 20 22 . i. - .J

Censorship fee for any film other than a still film (per minute of running time or part thereof) 72 78 ■ ».

Fee for the issue of a replacement certificate 157 170 -7; , tfl • ; "

Exemption fee for a still film 31 c. 34 !

Exemption fee for any film other than a still film (per minute of running time or part thereof) 24 26

Fee for the approval of Category III videotape/ laserdisc packaging 402 440 - -J . < • L1*

Fee for viewing or inspecting videotape, laserdisc, packaging or advertising material in the repository (for a 2-hour period or part thereof) 613 670

Fee for the approval of advertising material (per item) 130 140

The amendment regulation will be tabled in the Legislative Council on November 6 and come into effect on December 13.

End

10

Fees for dangerous goods services revised

*****

Fees for services set out in four regulations related to mining and the manufacture, storage, conveyance and usage of explosives have been revised from today (Friday).

The four regulations are the Mining (General) (Amendment) Regulation 1996, Mines (Safety) (Amendment) Regulation 1996, Dangerous Goods (Government Explosives Depots) (Amendment) Regulation 1996 and Dangerous Goods (General) (Amendment) Regulation 1996.

A government spokesman said the revised fees were necessary to recover the administrative and operating costs involved.

’’The effect of the new fees on the construction industry as a whole will be minimal as the cost of explosives used for blasting constitutes a very small part of the total cost of construction projects,” he said.

The old and new fees for some of the major services set out in the four regulations are as follows:

Old New

Permit for discharge of explosives $31,200 $38,920

Licence to store explosives $23,800 $26,060

Permit to move explosives $ 105 $ 170

Renewal of a mine blasting certificate $ 1,200 $ 1,910

Delivery of explosives exceeding 50 $ 4,075 $ 4,850

kilogram but not exceeding 100 kilograms

The spokesman said the Dangerous Goods Standing Committee with representatives from the private sector, including those from the chemical, shipping, petroleum and godown industries, had been consulted and had no objection to the revision.

End

11

Appointment to Council of the Stock Exchange ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A Financial Services Branch spokesman announced today (Friday) that the Government had re-appointed Mr Lee Hon-chiu to the Council of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited.

Mr Lee was first appointed to the Council in 1994. His current term will expire on November 22.

"We are very pleased to re-appoint Mr Lee who has made significant contribution to the work of the Council of the Stock Exchange in the past two years," the spokesman said.

Mr Lee's re-appointment is for one year up to and including the annual general meeting of the Stock Exchange in 1997.

End

Tender invitation for Hiram's Highway improvement works ♦ * * * *

The Highways Department is inviting contractors to submit tenders for the Hiram's Highway Improvement Phase 2 works at the junction with Clear Water Bay Road.

Aimed to provide additional capacity to Hiram's Highway and its junction with Clear Water Bay Road to cope with the development in Sai Kung, Clear Water Bay Peninsular and Tseung Kwan O New Town, the project will improve road safety at the junction.

The project comprises the construction of a flyover, a footbridge, a vehicular underpass, and related slopeworks and roadworks.

Work will commence in January 1997 for completion in July 1999.

Details of the tender invitation was published in the Government Gazette today

(Friday).

The Highways Department's New Territories Regional Office has commissioned Maunsell Consultants Asia Limited to design the project and to supervise its construction.

12

Tender forms and particulars may be obtained from Maunsell Consultants Asia Limited, Room 601, World Commerce Centre, Harbour City, 11 Canton Road, Kowloon.

Completed tenders must be clearly marked outside of the envelope and addressed to the Chairman of Central Tender Board. It should be placed in the Government Secretariat Tender Box at the lift lobby, Lower Ground Floor, East Wing, Central Government Offices, Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong by noon on Friday, November 22, 1996.

Late submission will not be accepted.

End

Slipway to be built at Sha Tau Kok ♦ * * * *

Authorisation has been given for the construction of a slipway at Sha Tau Kok within an area of about 89 square metres of foreshore and sea-bed at Sha Tau Kok Hoi to improve loading and unloading facilities for fishermen.

Work will commence this month for completion in February next year.

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

Any person who considers that his interest, right or easement in or over the foreshore and seabed involved will be injuriously affected may deliver to the Director of Lands a written claim of compensation on or before November 1, 1997.

He should state in his submission the sum of money which he is willing to accept in full and final settlement of his claim and should submit such particulars which he possesses to substantiate his claim.

The notice together with related plans can be seen at the Lands Department’s Survey and Mapping Office, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong (where copies can be purchased on order), and at the North District Office, third floor, North District Government Offices, 3 Pik Fung Road, Fanling, New Territories.

End

13

Tenders invited for school improvement project

*****

The Architectural Services Department is inviting tenders for extension works to four existing aided schools.

Scope of works for the project includes extension of total gross floor area of 3,417 square metres and conversion of total gross floor area of 598 square metres including drainage works.

Work will start in January next year for completion in about 15 months.

Tender forms and further particulars can be obtained from the Architectural Services Department, 34th floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.

Tender offer for the project will close at noon on November 29.

End

Tenders invited for building three secondary schools

*****

The Architectural Services Department is inviting tenders for the construction of three secondary schools in the New Territories.

The three schools, to be located at Area 14, Tin Shui Wai, Area 49A, Fanling and Area 9, Tai Po, will be built under three 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 two interview rooms, a staff common room, a student activity centre, playground area and facilities for the disabled.

Work for all the three school projects will start in January next year for completion in about 19 months.

14

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

Tenders offer for the three projects will close at noon November 29.

End

Tenders invited for sewer construction works

*****

The Drainage Services Department is inviting tenders for sewer construction works in central and western districts on Hong Kong Island.

The works will form part of the Central, Western and Wan Chai West Sewerage Scheme which will improve future sewage flows. It will also reduce maintenance costs and pollution to storm drains and watercourses through the removal of improper connections and overflows.

About 8,500 metres of existing sewers with diameters ranging from 225 mm to 1,050 mm will be reconstructed at Belcher's Street, Pok Fu Lam Road, Bonham Road, Caine Road, Hollywood Road, Robinson Road, Conduit Road and Queen's Road Central.

Cut and cover methods and where applicable trenchless techniques will be used to minimise disruption.

Construction will commenc? in January next year for completion in 36 months.

Details of the tender are contained in the Government Gazette published today (Friday).

Tender forms and further particulars may be obtained from the consulting engineers, Maunsell Consultants Asia Limited, 14th floor, 1 Kowloon Park Drive, Kowloon.

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 November 29.

Late tenders will not be accepted.

End

15

Students invited to participate in Schools Dance Festival ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

All primary and secondary schools, including special schools, are invited to share their experience in the art of dancing by participating in the 33rd Schools Dance Festival.

Jointly organised by the Education Department, the Hong Kong Schools Sports Council, the Urban and Regional councils, the festival will be held at Sha Tin Town Hall and Ko Shan Theatre between January 8 and 25, 1997.

Schools may enter solo, duet, trio and group dances in any of the four categories, that is, western folk dance, Chinese dance, oriental dance and modem dance.

A primary school and a secondary school which have participated in the festival for three consecutive years with the greatest progress will be presented with the most progressive school awards.

Champion awards will be given to the top scoring primary and secondary schools in each of the four categories of dance.

Overall challenge awards will be presented to four primary and four secondary schools with the highest total score in their best four dances in the festival.

Schools with outstanding dances will be invited to perform in the winners performances and prize presentation ceremony to be held at Tsuen Wan Town Hall and City Hall in April 1997.

Trophies will be presented to winning schools at the ceremony.

End

EMSD works supervisors awarded Imperial Service Medal ♦ ♦ * * ♦

Two works supervisors from the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) have been awarded the Imperial Service Medal for their long and diligent service.

They are Works Supervisor I, Mr Tam Leung-fu, and Works Supervisor II, Mr Tang Kau, who have a combined total of 76 years in Government service.

16

Since joining the department in 1959, Mr Tam worked in the former Projects and Plant Management Branch until he proceeded on pre-retirement leave in July this year.

Mr Tam worked primarily for the air-conditioning plant section which is responsible for the operation and maintenance of more than 1,000 air-conditioning plants in Government office buildings. He was promoted to his present rank two years ago.

"His invaluable suggestions have enabled air-conditioning plants under his supervision to enjoy a high degree of reliability and efficiency," a spokesman for the EMSD said.

Mr Tang Kau joined the department in March 1957. After working several years in the Electrical Section, he was transferred to the Cultural Services Group in 1962 and had been there until his retirement last month.

The Cultural Services Group provides the services of operation and maintenance of stage lighting, stage engineering, electrical, mechanical and air-conditioning installations to all performing venues of the two municipal councils.

"Mr Tang is one of the most conscientious, industrious and loyal works supervisors in the Group.

"His valuable contributions have included the improvement and upgrading of the stage lighting system at Lut Sau Hall in Yuen Long to meet sophisticated requirements of clients," the spokesman added.

End

Post offices to introduce Easy Payment System * * * * *

The Post Office have entered into an agreement with the Electronic Payment Services Co (HK) Ltd to introduce the Easy Pay System (EPS) in 49 post offices with Speedpost acceptance counters, the Postmaster General, Mr Robert Footman, announced today (Friday).

"Starting from today, customers may use their ATM cards or credit cards with ATM function issued by the EPS member banks to pay postage at the Speedpost, parcel and philatelic counters in these offices," said Mr Footman.

; V. I

17

The new service should provide an added convenience to members of the public who may not wish to settle the postage by cash.

"This is part of the Post Office's plan for continuous improvement in serving our customers better and providing a higher quality of service," Mr Footman said.

To mark the event, a contract signing ceremony was held today at the Conference Room of the General Post Office. Mr Footman and the General Manager of the Electronic Payment Services Co (HK) Ltd, Mr Clive Dellora, officiated the ceremony.

End

Garment company fined for false declaration *****

A garment manufacturer was fined $460,000 today (Friday) at North Kowloon Magistracy for making false declaration.

Sun Sun Knitting Factory Limited had pleaded guilty before magistrate, Mr R B McNair, to five counts of making a false statement regarding compliance with quota utilisation conditions for free quotas in export licence application.

The goods involved were about 2.000 dozen men's 100 per cent wool knitted vests worth over 2.1 million. They were for export to the USA.

The count heard that an investigation by officers of the Customs and Excise Department revealed that the declaration made by Sun Sun in each export licence application was false.

The company had in fact subcontracted the knitting and the assembling processes to be done by a local factory and a factory in China respectively before submission of the export licence applications.

Conditions for manufacturers allocated with free quotas for the export of piece knitted garments must perform the knitting of the knit-to-shape panels of the piece knitted garments, or the assembling of the piece knitted garments.

End

18

Supply of exchange fund bills to increase

* ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) today (Friday) announced that with effect from November 12, it will increase the tender and reserve amounts of the 3-month and 6-month exchange fund bills to facilitate the smooth implementation of the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system in early December.

Under the RTGS system, banks can make use of exchange fund bills and notes to obtain interest free intraday liquidity by carrying out intraday repurchase (repo) transactions with HKMA.

A recent survey conducted by HKMA indicates that many banks intend to increase their holding of short-term, 3-month and 6-month, exchange fund bills for this purpose.

The tender and reserve amounts of the 3-month and 6-month Exchange Fund Bills will be increased as follows:

Existing amount Proposed amount

Tender amount Reserve Tender amount Reserve

91-day Bills $1,500 mn $300 mn $2,000 mn $500 mn

(+ $500 mn) (+ $200 mn)

182-day Bills $800 mn $160 mn $1,000 mn 300 mn

(+ $200 mn) (+ $140 mn)

After a full cycle of 13 issues, the amounts of exchange fund bills outstanding will be increased by $13.5 billion.

The Exchange Fund Bills Programme was launched in March 1990 to provide an additional instrument for HKMA to conduct open market operations. The Programme also helps develop the Hong Kong dollar debt market by providing a benchmark yield curve at the short end.

The demand for exchange fund bills has been very strong with average oversubscription rates of three to four times at tenders. Daily turnover rate typically amounts to 30 per cent of the average amount outstanding.

End

19

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

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,903 0930 -2

Closing balance in the account 2,959 1000 -2

Change attributable to: 1100 -2

Money market activity -9 1200 -3

LAF today +65 1500 -3

1600 -9

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.9 *+0.1 ♦ 1.11.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/MTRC

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.93 2 years 2808 6.00 100.73 5.64

1 month 4.88 3 years 3910 6.28 100.68 6.11

3 months 4.90 5 years 5109 7.32 102.99 6.69

6 months 4.92 7 years 7308 7.24 101.68 7.04

12 months 5.21 10 years 1610 7.37 101.00 7.36

5 years M503 7.35 100.76 7.03

Total turnover ofEF bills and notes - $15,258 million

Closed November 1, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Saturday, November 2,1996

Contents Pa^No.

Concern about suicide deaths....................................... 1

Mission Hill morning walk trail in Sham Shui Po opens today... 2

New office to raise sheltered workshops productivity............... 3

English version for hiking safety booklet now available....... 4

Students to be quizzed on careers............................. 5

Autumn fair attracts thousands of people...................... 6

Flushing water cut in Tai Po..................................

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations.......... 7

Sunday, November 3,1996

Contents Page.N&

Governor’s ’’Letter To Hong Kong” broadcast................... 8

Press statement on stationing of PLA advance personnel........ 10

$255 million Lotteries Fund approved ......................... 11

Rat prevention campaign launched.............................. 12

Company fined for unlawful dismissal of pregnant employee..... 13

Postage-prepaid Christmas cards............................... 14

New post office for Kennedy Town.............................. 15

Radio programme to promote teachers' image.................... 15

1

Concern about suicide deaths

*****

The government is concerned about the increasing number of suicide deaths in recent years and points out that a range of social welfare services is already available to help those in need, the Director of Social Welfare, Mr Andrew Leung Kin-pong, said today (Saturday).

’’Family caseworkers and medical social workers are ready to offer counselling and to help needy individuals or families with different support services such as financial assistance, accommodation and day or residential care service according to their needs,” Mr Leung said.

’’For the adolescents, school social workers, outreaching social workers, children and youth centre workers can also provide counselling and support to students or young people in or outside school," he added.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the new centre of the Samaritan Befrienders Hong Kong at Choi Hung Estate, Mr Leung said suicide is a very complex problem and is caused by various reasons including social, psychological, emotional and situational factors.

Noting that the suicide rate among the elderly aged 65 and above is relatively high, totalling 199, 223 and 210 deaths in 1993, 1994 and 1995 respectively, Mr Leung said the high rate warranted special attention.

The Government set up a Working Group on Care for the Elderly in November 1993 which examined, among others, the elderly suicide problem.

He said that the problem of teenage suicide is of equal concern to the Government, adding that the known deaths among the age group of 10 to 19 in the last three years were 27, 34 and 23 respectively.

A Working Group on Services for Youth at Risk was also set up in July 1993 to examine the problem, among other major youth problems.

Believing timely counselling and support could help prevent a suicidal act, Mr Leung said that hotline service had a significant role to play.

He appealed to those who are in trouble to seek immediate help from social workers and professional counsellors and to members of the public, whose relatives or friends showing signs of depression, to approach these professionals for assistance.

2

"By doing this, you may help save a life," he stressed.

The Director also praised the Samaritan Befrienders Hong Kong for setting up the first hotline service for people with suicidal thought.

End

Mission Hill morning walk trail in Sham Shui Po opens today * * * ♦ ♦

Morning walkers in Sham Shui Po district will be able to enjoy a more beautiful and comfortable environment with the opening of the Mission Hill morning walk trail today (Saturday).

The $2.3 million improvement project is part of the improvement programme under Home Affairs Department's Urban Environmental Improvement (UEI) scheme. Initiated by Sham Shui Po District Office in 1993, the project will up-grade the morning walk facilities in Mission Hill, a favourite morning walk spot for the 120,000 nearby residents.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Mission Hill morning walk trail, Director of Home Affairs Mrs Shelley Lau said a total of $15 million under the UEI scheme had been allocated since 1994 for improvement works in nine urban districts.

Improvement works of the Mission Hill morning walk trail include paving of foot paths and staircases, erecting of railings, construction of rain-shelters and sitting-out and 'Tai-Chi' areas, Mrs Lau said. In view of the size of the area covered, the improvement projects are being carried out in stages.

Today also saw the laying of foundation stone for a Chinese-style pavilion in the sitting-out area at the southern side of Mission Hill. The $500,000 project is expected to be completed in mid-1997 to further improve the environment. Another $500,000 has been set aside to pave smaller foot paths near the top of the hill and construct more fitness facilities.

Of the $3.3 million already spent on these projects, $2.5 million is allocated from the UEI scheme with the balance of $800,000 coming from Urban Council funds.

3

UEI projects were aimed at improving the living environment in urban areas. These projects usually included improvement works for local roads and paths, amenity planting and other environmental improvement projects identified and endorsed by the district boards.

A total of 30 UEI projects costing $8 million have been undertaken by HAD’s Urban Works Section in 1994-95 and 1995-96. Of these, 5 projects worth about $1.7 million were carried out in the Sham Shui Po district.

Other officiating guests at today's ceremony included Director of Lands Mr Robert Pope and Sham Shui Po District Officer Mr John Leung.

New office to raise sheltered workshops productivity *****

The Government has set up a new office - the Marketing Consultancy Office (Rehabilitation) - in October this year to raise the productivity of sheltered workshops.

This was stated by the Deputy Director (Services) of Social Welfare, Mrs Patricia Chu Yeung Pak-yu, when she officiated at the opening ceremony of the Wai Ji Christian Service's Hor Ping Sheltered Workshop cum Hostel and Yuet Ping Supported Hostel in Yuen Long today (Saturday).

"We hope the new office could introduce new management concept for sheltered workshops so as to strengthen their competitiveness and to raise income of individual workers," Mrs Chu said.

She said the Government had attached great importance to the provision of employment training for people with a disability in recent years.

The Wai Ji Christian Service, established in 1979, has been providing a wide range of rehabilitation services to meet the needs of disabled people.

End

4

English version for hiking safety booklet now available *****

The English version of a booklet outlining basic safety hints and guidelines for hikers is now available free for members of the public at a number of locations throughout the territory.

A total of 5,000 copies of the English ’’Safety Hints on Hiking” booklet is produced. The Chinese version, which was launched in May, was well received and more than 70,000 copies had been distributed.

Both versions are obtainable at Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) managed visitor centres at country parks in Aberdeen, Tai Mo Shan, Sai Kung, Clear Water Bay and Shing Mun; as well as the Lions Nature Education Centre, Tsiu Hang, Sai Kung.

They are also available on request at the public enquiry service centres of all district offices.

AFD country park management officer, Dr Yeung Ka-ming, hoped that the English version of the booklet would also benefit part of the community, especially those safety-conscious hikers who may not be able to read Chinese.

He said the main objective of producing the pocket-sized booklet was to promote safety in hiking and hill walking at country parks.

The booklet comprises several sections, including basic guidelines and hints, hiking preparations, points to note during journeys, potential dangers, methods of seeking assistance in accidents and a list of useful telephone numbers.

Although special techniques are not required for hiking, proper training and adequate preparation would always help hikers to cope with unpredictable changes in the countryside.

He hoped that hikers would study the booklet carefully and make reference on other relevant written materials and the most up-to-date maps when planning their journeys.

The printing cost of the booklets was sponsored by the Friends of the Country Parks, Countryside Heritage Society of Hong Kong and International Lions Clubs District 303.

End

5

Students to be quizzed on careers ♦ ♦ ♦ * *

Over 140,000 students from 300 secondary schools in Hong Kong will be tested next week to see how much they know about different careers and education opportunities.

"The 15th Careers Quiz, an annual event organised by the Labour Department’s Careers Advisory Service, aims at enhancing students’ awareness of the importance of choosing a suitable career as well as encouraging them to actively look for information on careers and further educational opportunities," Senior Labour Officer, Mrs Louisa Poon, said today (Saturday).

The Quiz, to be held from November 4 to 8, requires participating Secondary 3 to Secondary 5 students to answer 50 multiple choice questions in 30 minutes.

They will be asked questions on careers information, tertiary educational opportunities, technical and vocational training, employment legislation and services offered by the Labour Department.

Winning schools and students will be awarded a total of about 1,000 prizes sponsored by Pentax camera, Cerruti 1881 sunglasses and Laser Computer Ltd. The answer sheets of the Quiz will be processed by the Information Technology Services Department (ITSD).

Mrs Poon expressed appreciation of the generous donations by the sponsor and the tremendous technical support by ITSD.

"The Career Quiz is an associated activity of the 7th Education and Careers Expo to be held from February 20 to 23, 1997, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

"The quiz questions will be displayed at the Expo and members of the public are welcome to try the questions there," she said.

End

6

Autumn fair attracts thousands of people *****

Visitors enjoyed a relaxed and day of fun at the Autumn Fair of the Correctional Services Department (CSD) at Stanley today (Saturday).

The event, popular among locals as well as tourists, was held at Stanley Football Field near to Stanley Prison.

This 44th Autumn Fair of the Department has been especially memorable this year because it was the last time the fair to be held at the football field soon to be converted into a medium security prison.

A variety of quality products made by inmates of various penal institutions were on sale at more than 30 stalls. The products including arts and handicraft items, toys, rattan and wooden furniture.

Proceeds raised at the fair are for charity purposes.

There were also games stalls and food stalls.

Apart from making bargain purchases, visitors enjoyed throughout the day a rich programme of entertainment and performances, including marching display by inmates of Tai Tam Gap Correctional Institution and the Cape Collinson Correctional Institution, dog show of CSD's Dog Unit, Wushu performance and parachuting display.

End

7

Flushing water cut in Tai Po ♦ * * * ♦

The flushing water supply to some premises in Tai Po (South) will be temporarily suspended from 2 pm on November 5 (Tuesday) to 2 am on November 7 (Thursday) for conversion to salt water flushing.

The suspension will affect all premises in Kwong Fuk Estate, Wang Fuk Court, Nam Wan Road south of Tai Po Tai Wo Road , Plover Cove Road, Po Wu Lane, Tung Mau Square, Tung Sau Square, Tung Fat Square, Tung Cheong Street, Luk Heung Lane, Kwong Fuk Road, Po Heung Street, Po Yick Street, Sui On Street, Yan Hing Street, Fu Shin Street, Tsing Yuen Street, Hei Yuen Street, Yan Wo Lane, Pak Shing Street, Shung Tak Street, On Fu Road, Wan Yan Street, Nam Shing Street, Wai Yi Street, Po Heung Square, Tai Wing Lane, Heung Sze Wui Square, Heung Sze Wui Street, Kwong Fuk Lane, Kwong Fuk Square, Tai Ming Lane, Tai Kwong Lane, Wan Tau Street, Wan Tau Square, Wan Tau Kok Lane, Tai Po Market Station, Uptown Plaza, Elegance Garden, Pan Chung Road, Yat Nga Court, Wan Tau Tong Estate, Tak Nga Court, King Nga Court, Classical Garden, Ma Wo Road, Ma Chung Road, Kam Shan Road, Kam Shek New Village and Shek Lin Road.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

♦ * * ♦ ♦ 1 Cumulative

Time Change

$ Million (Hours) (S Million) ' "

Opening Balance in the account 2,959 09:30 -400

Closing Balance in the account 2,459 10:00 -400

Change Attributable to: 11:00 -400

Money Market Activity +400 11:30 -400

Laf Today -900

Laf Rate 4% Bid/6% Offer TWI 124.8 *-0.1* 2.11.96

End

8

Governor's "Letter To Hong Kong" broadcast *****

Following is the text of the Governor, Mr Christopher Patten's "Letter to Hong Kong" broadcast on RTHK today (Sunday):

Just over a week ago, I opened an excellent exhibition in Edinburgh which showed what Hong Kong was like in the past, what it is like today, and what it could be like in the future. There were photographs, architects' models, videos and even some bamboo scaffolding. I was specially pleased that the exhibition homed in on two aspects of our life. First, it showed how ordinary people live - the development in public housing from the simplest housing blocks which replaced the squatter settlements destroyed by fire to today's more comfortable and roomy public Housing Authority flats. Second, it showed some of our projects for the future - the ones that are going to give us one of the finest urban infrastructures in the world. The bridges. Renewal projects for old, run down areas of the city. The extension to the Convention Centre, where next summer's handover ceremony will be held.

But of all the exhibits, one made a particularly strong visual impact on me. It was a blown-up photograph of the narrow end of a Mark 1 housing block, with the landings packed with people. Apparently, it was shot in Wong Tai Sin in 1965 during Chinese New Year. The people were all looking down towards the street as a parade of lion dancers went past.

It's a very striking photo. Full of action, and laughter, and the evidence which social history draws on. The poor clothing. The rough, unfinished cement on the walls. The graffiti - far more than you'd see in a housing estate today. The cheerful sense of community solidarity - working people and their families taken out of themselves for a moment by some happy spectacle.

The people in the photo are every age, from grand-parents to babes in arms. They are not rich, that's for sure. They are city strivers, street sharp I'd imagine, and they probably needed to be to survive and prosper in a tougher economic climate.

So what would have concerned them? What would they have worried about. Rice bowl issues I'd guess. Their welfare. The roof over their heads: was it now safe from fire and landslip? How could they fit granny into the flat? What chance of the kids getting secondary education? How to deal with that hacking cough they'd had for years? Would they get a wage rise this year for making more plastic flowers and toys? How long would water-rationing last this year? Would it be possible to get a place on the bus for an outing to the beach at the weekend?

9

I doubt whether many of them worried much about the subjects which seem to cause so much controversy these days - freedom of speech, the rule of law, accountable government. Life was a bit more basic. It tends to be the case everywhere that economic and social development creates its own political agenda. Look elsewhere in Asia. And I suppose that 1997 contributes to this process, too.

Most of the people in that photo must still be alive. Not all of them, of course, will be in Hong Kong. Some will have emigrated. But I should think the majority are still here. And still worrying about welfare issues.

But those issues will have changed a bit. How to afford to buy a flat here on the sort of income which would make it pretty straightforward in a lot of other places? How to get granny into a specially built flat of her own or even a care and attention home? How to get retrained to move from a factory job to an office one? How to brush up your English or Mandarin? How to help your student children pay their way through college? Can you manage a holiday in Malaysia this year, or a trip to visit relatives in the States?

Naturally, there are still some basic needs which have to be met. But as absolute standards have risen for nearly everyone, the social agenda has become more complicated and more sophisticated. That doesn’t mean that solving our social problems has suddenly become cheaper. In the debate that’s going on elsewhere about Hong Kong's future needs. I’m struck by the fact that no one seems to think we’re a welfare state which can strip down its social programmes. We seem to have put all that nonsense behind us.

The people in the photo are likely overall to have rather different concerns and worries than they had all those years ago. That's because of what I mentioned earlier -the politics of progress, and it's also because of 1997, or rather some of the things that are said about 1997.

Is that a groundless assertion? Is that importing politics into areas where politics was never previously thought about, never discussed. That's sometimes the charge. "Forget about that freedom stuff. No one is interested." Not true. The big survey that was carried out by one of our universities this summer suggested that fewer than 1 in 10 of those questioned worried about the effect on their standard of living in 1997. But almost 6 in 10 worried about the effect that 1997 would have on their political freedoms and their civil liberties, and about the prevalence of corruption in Hong Kong. Another poll this week showed a similar order of priorities.

10

So what do you conclude? Most families have worries and ambitions about day-to-day living. But in most cases those are dwarfed by the questions they raise about the quality of our society and the quality of their lives.

I hope that in due course events, experience will give decent and convincing answers to those questions. But there are one or two things that could be said and done hopefully in the meantime.

It would help for a start if we could hear some reaffirmations of the promises and values contained in the Joint Declaration instead of statements which cast doubt on those pledges to Hong Kong.

It would help, too, if pledges to work for and stand by the Joint Declaration didn’t slide off so often into conditional clauses and qualifications.

And it would help as well if we could be sure that all shades of opinion will be welcome to play a part in working out Hong Kong’s future. The real question you know isn’t whether the present government will co-operate with a few appointed politicians; the question is whether the future government will co-operate with those men and women who most clearly enjoy by every fair test public favour and support. I hope that happens. If it doesn’t, then Hong Kong will lose out. Everyone will lose out.

Hong Kong has grown up. And grown-ups should be treated like grown-ups, wherever they live - especially if that's what they’ve been promised.

End

Press statement on stationing of PLA advance personnel *****

A government spokesman today (Sunday) has the following response to the statement made by Cheng Shousan, Deputy Director of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office:

"The JLG has the first round of preliminary exchanges at the defence expert talks on October 24 and 25 on the Chinese side's proposal to station PLA advance personnel in Hong Kong before July 1, 1997.

11

"We have asked the Chinese side a number of specific questions and are awaiting detailed answers from them before we can take the discussions forward.

"No decision has been made and no agreement has been reached."

On the question of the Garrison Law, the spokesman said he hopes that the Chinese side will take into account the views of all sectors in the Hong Kong community before the Law is finalised.

End

$255 million Lotteries Fund approved *****

A total of $255,377,825 has been approved from the Lotteries Fund to finance various social welfare service programmes during the third quarter of 1996, a spokesman for the Social Welfare Department said today (Sunday).

"Of the amount, $13,452,625 are earmarked to family and child welfare services, $186,397,500 to elderly and medical social services, $50,008,400 to rehabilitation services, $4,862,600 to youth services, $78,900 to community development services and $577,800 to social welfare support programmes," the spokesman said.

The Lotteries Fund was established for the purpose of financing, by way of a grant, loan or an advance, the operation or development of social welfare services and medical or educational projects with a welfare content.

End

12

Rat prevention campaign launched * ♦ ♦ * ♦

The Department of Health is now launching a territory-wide education campaign to remind the public of the importance of rat prevention and to provide them with some basic rat prevention knowledge.

A spokesman for the Department said today (Sunday) that the campaign, bearing the theme "A clean environment prevents rats", was organised with the sponsorship of the Urban Council and the Regional Council.

"Rats are carriers of infectious diseases such as plague and murine typhus. They can also indirectly transmit gastro-intestinal diseases such as food poisoning.

"Besides, rats can gnaw on home fittings and furniture causing financial loss and may occasionally bite people of lower mobility," he said.

The spokesman added that the fundamental method in rodent control was to improve the sanitation of the environment.

During the campaign period, printed educational handouts such as posters, advisory letters and leaflets will be distributed to building management offices, incorporated owners and mutual aid committees to appeal for their adoption of rat prevention measures.

The printed materials will also be sent to the District Environmental Health Offices of the Urban Services Department and the Regional Services Department, District Offices of the Home Affairs Department, the Housing Department and the Education Department for wider publicity.

Members of the public can also make use of the new 24-hour telephone hotline 2380 2580 to listen to rat prevention messages in Cantonese and to obtain the information through facsimile. They can also choose to listen to other health educational topics such as environmental hygiene, food hygiene and food safety.

Further advice or assistance on rat prevention can be obtained from the Pest Control Units of the respective District Environmental Health Offices of the two municipal services departments.

13

Meanwhile, the spokesman advised the public to take the following precautionary measures to prevent rat infestations:

Keep the premises clean. Store all food properly and put all refuse and food remains into a proper dustbin so as to leave no food for rats.

* Seal off any holes on ceilings, walls and floors. Inspect regularly the bottom and back of bulky furniture and concealed places so as to eliminate breeding places for rats promptly.

* Keep drain gratings in good repair. Render all ventilation openings ratproof by installing strong wire nettings with narrow gauges to keep rats away from the premises. Affix metal plates to the lower part of wooden doors to keep away rats.

End

Company fined for unlawful dismissal of pregnant employee *****

The Labour Department today (Sunday) warned employers not to dismiss any female employee who had given notice of her intention to take maternity leave.

Advanced Creation Enterprises Limited was recently fined $30,000 at the Eastern Magistracy for sacking a pregnant employee after she had submitted a notice of intention to take maternity leave to the company.

’’Under the Employment Ordinance, a female employee is protected from termination of her employment from the date on which she gives notice of her intention to take maternity leave to the date on which she is due to return to work, if she has completed 12 weeks' sendee with the same employer,” acting Senior Labour Officer (Prosecutions), Mrs Tonia Leung, said.

A female employee who has worked for the same employer under a continuous contract for not less than 26 weeks immediately before the expected date of her commencement of maternity leave is entitled to maternity leave.

14

She is also eligible for maternity leave pay if she has worked continuously for the same employer for not less than 40 weeks immediately before the expected date of her commencement of maternity leave and if she has no more than two surviving children.

Mrs Leung said that failure to comply with these provisions could incur a maximum fine of $100,000.

End

Postage-prepaid Christmas cards *****

The Postmaster General, Mr Robert Footman, announced today (Sunday) that two sets of Christmas greeting cards will be issued on November 12, 1996.

These Christmas Greeting Cards, which are prepaid in postage and to be sold in sets of six, were designed by Touch Media and printed by the Government Printer, Hong Kong.

The set for local use will be sold at $21 while the other set for sending to any overseas destinations by airmail will be sold at $30.

The design of the cards is based on a reproduction of the Christmas stamps released in 1990.

Mr Footman said that the postage-prepaid Christmas greeting cards would provide a convenient and more environmental friendly alternative to people sending Christmas cards in envelopes.

"First, these cards obviate the need for stamps and envelopes. Furthermore, they cards are printed on paper made from wood pulp derived from renewable forest, thus helping to preserve our tropical rain forests," he noted.

As from November 5 (Tuesday), the Christmas greeting cards will be on display for the advance information of the public at the General Post Office, Tsim Sha Tsui Post Office, Tsuen Wan Post Office and Sha Tin Central Post Office.

No special postmark will be introduced but on the first day of issue, hand-back service will be provided at all post offices to these greeting cards.

End

15

New post office for Kennedy Town *****

A new Kennedy Town post office will be open in a week's time to replace the existing one, the Postmaster General, Mr Robert Footman, announced today (Sunday).

The new office, located at Shops C and D, Chi Ping Building, ground floor, 38 Hau Wo Street, Kennedy Town, will open at 9.30 am on November 11 and the old one at Shops A2 to 3, ground floor, 34 Forbes Street, Kennedy Town, will be close for business at 1 pm on Saturday (November 9).

The business hours and telephone number of the new office will remain the

same.

A special handback service will be available at the new Kennedy Town Post Office on the day of opening.

Unregistered fully postage prepaid covers prepared privately, and bearing the superscription "first day cover" and a local address, will be accepted over the counter, impressed with the normal post office datestamp and handed back to the person presenting them.

End

Radio programme to promote teachers’ image *****

A new radio programme on "Respect Our Teachers and Love Our Students" will be broadcast from Tuesday (November 5).

An Education Officer, Mrs Lau Tam Lai-yi, said: "The programme is aimed at arousing awareness in respecting our teachers and loving our students, and promoting teachers’ image."

The programme is jointly organised by the Education Department, Commercial Radio I and Sing Tao Limited.

Its target audience is teachers, students and parents.

16

Mrs Lau said that the programme, in the form of radio drama, will start with a song and end with a proverb with contents based on real experience and touching stories of teachers, students and parents. The programme will be performed by celebrities from different sectors while the teachers, students and parents involved will also be interviewed on their feelings.

During the programme, the audience can phone in to answer questions and be awarded gift sets, she added.

The three-minute programme will be broadcast on Commercial Radio I in the morning between 6 and 9 am and repeated in the evening between 7 and 9 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays between November 5, 1996 and May 1, 1997.

The broadcast stories will be published in Sing Tao Daily on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Enquiries on the programme and contributions should be directed to Education Department's Teacher Image Promotion Unit at Room 1404, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, or by phone on 2892 5783 or by fax to 2891 2593.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Monday, November 4,1996

Contents PageNo...

Government statement on PLA advance party.................................. 1

Review on ex gratia payment and regulatory mechanism of the outbound travel industry completed................................................. 2

Draft Copyright Bill for consultation...................................... 4

Gross domestic product for the second quarter released............... 6

Land Registry statistics for October released........................ 10

Students invited to take part in radio play contest.................. 10

Water storage figure................................................. 11

Tender for 15th issue of 2-year Exchange Fund Notes.................. 12

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

1

Government statement on PLA advance party ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

In response to further press enquiries on statements by Mr Cheng Shousan, Deputy Director of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, a government spokesman issued the following statement today (Monday):

"The request by the Chinese side to station PLA advance personnel in Hong Kong before July 1, 1997 is a matter of confidential discussions in the Joint Liaison Group (JLG).

”We were shocked therefore to see details of these talks being publicly revealed by a senior Chinese official yesterday. This is a serious breach of JLG confidentiality about which we have protested strongly to the Chinese side today.

"As we have made clear on a number of occasions recently, the Chinese request is still in the discussion stage. We have asked the Chinese side a number of specific questions and are awaiting detailed answers from them before we can take the discussions forward.

"We must emphasise again that no decision has been taken and no agreement has been reached on the Chinese side's request for the stationing of PLA advance personnel in Hong Kong before the handover.

"The community is naturally very sensitive about this issue and would expect the British side to proceed carefully and cautiously. The Governor has made it clear that any arrangement agreed would involve a minimum number of troops who would be subject to Hong Kong law before July I, 1997.

"On the question of members of the advance party bringing weapons with them, as suggested by Mr Cheng, we do not see the need for this, nor do we believe the community would see that this was either necessary or desirable."

End

2

Review on ex gratia payment and regulatory mechanism of the outbound travel industry completed *****

A review on the rate of ex gratia payment under the Travel Industry Compensation Fund (TICF) and the regulatory mechanism of the outbound travel industry commenced in June this year has been completed.

The review was conducted by the Government in conjunction with the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong (TIC), the Advisory Committee on Travel Agents (ACTA) and the TICF Management Board.

A Government spokesman said, ”We note that there is no consensus on the suggestion that the rate of ex gratia payment from the TICF should be increased from 80% to 100%.”

"However, after having examined the arguments for and against full compensation in detail, the ACTA and the Management Board have advised that the rate of ex gratia payment under the TICF should be revised from the existing 80% to 90%."

"This recommendation has also the support of the TIC," the Government spokesman said.

As regards the regulatory mechanism of licensed travel agents, the spokesman said the ACTA has advised that the existing regulatory regime is functioning effectively and should therefore be retained.

"Moreover, the retention of the existing regulatory system is further justified by the occurrence of few default cases in the past six years."

"The ACTA and the Management Board have endorsed the review recommendations. In order to enhance the protection of consumers, they have advised that the recommendations should be implemented as soon as possible," the spokesman added.

During the review, comments of the ACTA and the TICF Management Board on the review recommendations regarding the rate of ex gratia payment and regulatory regime have been sought.

3

Recommendations of the review of the

regulatory mechanism of the outbound travel industry preventive measures

(a) In case of financial difficulties of a major travel agent, a task group should be set up to advise the Registrar of Travel Agents (RTA) and the TIC on necessary actions to be taken which may include reduction of the scale of operation of the travel agent, cutting down its advertisement and number of branches, etc. The task group should comprise representatives from ACTA, TICF Management Board, Consumer Council, TIC and the Travel Agents Registry (TAR).

(b) The TIC should step up its efforts to ensure that receipts for outbound package tours issued by licensed travel agents are properly and adequately franked.

(c) The organisation and management effectiveness of the Executive Office of the TIC should be reviewed to further improve the quality and efficiency of service to its members and the public.

(d) The TAR should made regular reports to the ACTA on the performance standards and targets as set out in its Performance Pledge.

(e) Each licensee shall, within one month of receipt of the auditor’s report on statements of accounts in respect of the business of the previous financial year, submit a copy of the report to the RTA.

(f) Upon request by the RTA, a licensee shall submit a quarterly return on the financial position of its business in a form specified by the RTA.

(g) The TIC and Consumer Council should continue to refer substantiated complaints against quality of service to the RTA who will take them into account when applications for renewal of licences are considered. If a travel agent fails to improve the quality of service provided to travellers in spite of repeated advice, disciplinary actions such as verbal warning, written warning, warning for revocation of licence, suspension and revocation of licence, should be taken against the company.

(h) More publicity should be given to the work of the TIC with regard to the protection of outbound travellers, e.g. its complaints handling mechanism.

4

Remedial Measures:

(i) The Management Board should be requested to examine the TICF (Procedure for Ex Gratia Payments) Rules so as to reduce the time for processing applications for ex gratia payments under the TICF.

(j) The task group mentioned in (a) above should also co-ordinate follow-up actions required immediately after the closure of a major travel agent, e.g. assistance to travellers stranded overseas and arrangements for clients affected to proceed with their package tours as originally planned as far as practicable.

Recommendations (d), (e), (f) and (g) are being implemented and actions will be taken to implement the remaining recommendations as soon as practicable.

End

Draft Copyright Bill for consultation *****

A draft Copyright Bill and a consultation paper on the Bill have been issued for consultation today (Monday).

The Government today issued a draft Copyright Bill to a number of organisations, including copyright owners and users in the relevant sectors as well as those in the professional and academic fields for their comments.

The consultation will last until December 2 this year.

A spokesman for the Trade and Industry Branch said: ’’The draft Copyright Bill is in line with prevailing international standards on intellectual property rights protection, such as the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) under the World Trade Organisation, and the relevant international intellectual property conventions.

’’The Bill largely follows the recommendations made by the Law Reform Commission in its report (November 1993) on reform of the law relating to copyright, which was formulated after extensive consultations.

5

"The 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 Copyright Bill will provide a modem, local and independent copyright regime in Hong Kong," the spokesman said.

Some of the main legislative proposals include -

A level playing-field for copyright protection worldwide - any original copyright works created by any person or published by any person anywhere in the world would qualify for protection in Hong Kong.

Additional legal tools to facilitate Hong Kong Customs' enforcement and to facilitate co-operation with copyright owners and enforcement authorities in other jurisdictions.

Customs border measures maintained against pirated copyright works.

Decriminalisation of parallel importation; but civil remedies against parallel import maintained. Exclusive licensees may take civil action against those who arrange for parallel importation in breach of exclusive licence agreements.

Rental right for sound recordings and computer programs but not for films. Protection is accorded through civil remedies.

Permitted acts include those for fair dealing, educational purposes, copies kept by or provided by libraries and archives, public administration, re-transmission of signals and transient storage and transmission of material on the INTERNET.

The legitimate interests of copyright owners protected for copyright works on the INTERNET.

Registration on a voluntary basis for collective copyright administration societies to ensure essential information such as scales of royalty charges will be available to public.

Clarified and expanded jurisdiction for the Copyright Tribunal, which will replace the existing Performing Rights Tribunal, to encourage aggrieved parties to seek redress through the Tribunal.

6

"We will invite the organisations we are consulting to attend two seminars to be held on November 14 and 16 on the draft Bill," the spokesman said.

"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," he added.

The consultation document in English and Chinese, together with a draft of the Bill in English, can be obtained on the INTERNET at http://www.houston.com.hk/hkgipd/consult.html.

End

Gross domestic product for the second quarter released ♦ * ♦ * ♦

Hong Kong's gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 4.3% in real terms in the second quarter of 1996 over the same quarter in 1995, following an increase of 3.3% in the first quarter.

The preliminary estimates for the GDP for the second quarter of 1996 were released today (Monday) by the Census and Statistics Department. Revised estimates of GDP and its components for the first quarter of 1996 and earlier periods were also released today.

Amongst the major GDP components, re-exports registered a year-on-year growth rate of 6.5% in real terms in the second quarter of 1996 over a year earlier, following a 7.5% growth in the first quarter. On the other hand, domestic exports decreased by 9% in real terms in the second quarter, after a 7.4% decline in the first quarter.

Imports of goods decelerated further from a 5.2% growth in real terms in the first quarter to 2.2% in the second quarter. This was attributable partly to the slowdown in re-export growth and partly to inventory adjustment leading to a marked slowdown in retained import growth.

Exports of services grew by 5.2% in real terms in the second quarter of 1996 over a year earlier, following an increase of 9.5% in the first quarter.

A government spokesman said that while tourism continued to sustain a robust growth, offshore trading slowed down in the second quarter after a strong increase in the first quarter.

7

Transport service should have been weak affected by the marked deceleration in trade in goods. However, finance, business and professional services should have maintained a healthy growth.

Imports of services increased by 0.5% in real terms in the second quarter of 1996 over the same quarter of 1995, following an increase of 1.6% in the first quarter.

On investment spending, gross domestic fixed capital formation recorded a ycar-on-year increase of 10.4% in real terms in the second quarter of 1996. The corresponding increase in the first quarter was 11.5%.

Within this component, construction output in the public sector recorded an increase of 3.3%, after a large increase of 23.8% in the first quarter. Construction output in the private sector also increased, by 2.2%, after having registered year-on-year declines for five consecutive quarters. Taken together, overall expenditure on construction rose by 2.6%.

Expenditure on machinery and equipment remained robust, registering an increase of 15.8% in the second quarter, and 16.8% in the first quarter.

Private consumption expenditure showed a year-on-year increase of 2.5% in real terms in the second quarter, after 3.4% in the first quarter. Government consumption expenditure increased by 5.2% in real terms in the second quarter of 1996 over a year earlier, following 2.9% in the first quarter.

The implicit price deflator of the GDP. as a broad measure of overall inflation in the economy, rose by 6.5% in the second quarter of 1996 over a year earlier, following 6% in the first quarter.

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

More details on the annual and quarterly estimates of GDP are published in a report entitled "Quarterly Report of Gross Domestic Product Estimates Second Quarter 1996".

This bilingual report is now on sale at $14 per copy at the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, Ground Floor, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong. It may also be purchased at the Publications Unit of the Census and Statistics Department, 19th Floor. Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong. Telephone enquiries may be directed to the National Income Branch (1) of the Census and Statistics Department on 2582 5077.

8

Table 1 Expenditure-based GDP Estimates

first quarter of 1994 to second quarter of 1996

GDP at Constant

Year/quarter GDP at Cunent Market Prices (1990) Market Prices (-AAO¥) rfitO+M

HKSMn % change over same period of the preceding year HKSMn % change over same period of the preceding year

1994 1,013,217 12.9 726,862 5.3

1995 1,108,189 9.4 761,707 4.8

1994 1 232,884 15.2 169,773 6.6

2 245,065 14.0 174,095 5.5

3 264,322 11.2 190,432 4.2

4 270,948 11.6 192,562 5.1

1995 1 256,096 10.0 180,082 6.1

2 268,418 9.5 183,156 5.2

3 288,479 9.1 199,229 4.6

4 295,196 8.9 199,241 3.5

1996 1 280,313 9.5 185,937 3.3

2 298,385 11.2 190,970 4.3

9

Table 2 Expenditure-based GDP Estimates

Year-on-year growth rates, first quarter of 1995 to second quarter of 1996

% change over same period of the preceding year

Expenditure Components of GDP

Private Government Total Gross

consumption consumption exports of Imports of Exports of Imports of Domestic

expenditure expenditure Gross domestic fixed capital formation goods goods services services Product

&A«S MS WUtUa WM&J sg®5»t±l ratJiA Total of which: «8!+ M+:

Machinery and

Construction equipment

At Current Market Prices

Year/quarter

1995 10.2 14.3 11.7 9.3 35.5 14.9 19.2 19.0 14.9 9.4

1995 1 10.5 14.4 10.7 3.5 47.6 20.1 27.5 17.7 17.5 10.0

2 11.7 12.8 14.7 18.7 33.9 16.7 21.5 20.4 16.8 9.5

3 10.5 15.3 15.3 9.8 51.0 15.3 18.9 20.6 14.4 9.1

4 8.5 14.5 6.6 7.1 16.3 8.9 11.3 17.5 11.1 8.9

1996 I 10.0 11.7 12.8 18.6 16.1 5.7 6.4 15.2 4.8 9.5

2 8.9 12.4 8.4 10.0 5.9 3.1 0.4 10.3 1.5 11.2

At Constant (1990) Market Prices

Year/quarter

1995 0.7 4.4 9.0 1.4 24.2 12.0 13.8 11.2 5.6 4.8

1995 1 0.4 4.0 10.1 •1.9 37.2 17.6 21.7 9.7 6.6 6.1

2 1.2 2.7 8.2 10.3 15.3 12.7 * 13.6 12.4 6.2 5.2

3 1.0 5.8 14.5 0.8 39.3 12.2 13.5 12.8 5.3 4.6

4 0.4 5.3 3.9 •1.7 11.3 6.8 8.0 10.0 4.4 3.5

1996 1 3.4 2.9 11.5 9.7 16.8 4.9 5.2 9.5 1.6 3.3

2 2.5 5.2 10.4 2.6 15.8 3.9 2.2 5.2 0.5 4.3

End

10

Land Registry statistics for October released *****

A total of 13,889 sale and purchase agreements for building units, which include both residential and non-residential properties, were lodged with the Land Registry last month (October).

The figure represents an increase of 31.7 per cent from that of September this year and an increase of 121.7 per cent compared with October last year.

The total consideration of these agreements in the month is $48.4 billion, representing an increase of 65.8 per cent and 193.1 per cent respectively when compared with the amounts for September 1996 and October last year.

The figures are contained in the monthly statistics released today (Monday) by the Land Registry on deeds relating to property transactions received for registration in the Urban and New Territories Land Registries in October 1996.

Relevant statistics for September 1996 and October 1995 were provided for comparison. Figures on sale and purchase agreements received for the past 12 months and the year-on-year rate of change were also released.

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

End

Students invited to take part in radio play contest

*****

Secondary and primary students arc invited to participate in a radio play contest - Respect our teachers and love our students.

"The contest is aimed at providing an opportunity for students to develop their creative potential in radio play and to work closely with teachers and parents,” Education Officer, Mrs Lau Tam Lai-yi, said.

11

"School heads are encouraged to bring the details to the attention of their teachers and students and to display a related poster in a prominent area within the school compound."

The contest is jointly organised by the Education Department, Commercial Radio I and the Sing Tao Daily.

The theme of the play is campus life and should be about five to 10 minutes

long.

Entries are categorised into three levels: primary (Pl to P6), junior secondary (SI to S3) and senior secondary (S4 to S7). Each school can submit one entry for each level.

Entries will be weighed against their theme, content, creativity, participation of students, time management and sound effects.

Winning teams will be awarded trophies and certificates for merit, best script, best actor and best sound effect.

All entries together with completed entry forms should be sent to the Promotion Department, Sing Tao Limited, third floor, Tower A, Sing Tao Building, 1 Wang Kwong Road, Kowloon Bay, Kowloon, on or before December 21.

Enquiries on the contest should be directed to the Education Department’s Teacher Image Promotion Unit on 2892 5783.

End

Water storage figure

*****

Storage in Hong Kong’s reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 96.5 per cent of capacity or 565.351 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 580.196 million cubic metres of water, representing 99 per cent of capacity.

End

12

Tender for 15th issue of 2-year Exchange Fund Notes ♦ ♦ ♦ * *

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority announced today (Monday) that the tender for the 15th issue of 2-year Exchange Fund Notes would be held on Monday, November 11, 1996 for settlement on Tuesday, November 12, 1996.

:i < i

Similar to the previous issue, an amount of HKS500 million 2-year Notes will be on offer. In addition to that, another HKS100 million will be held as reserve by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority for supply to Market Makers in the secondary market. The notes will mature on November 12, 1998 and will carry interest at the rate of 5.72% per annum payable semi-annually in arrears.

• 'J -■ •

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

Tender information for the 15th issue of 2-year Exchange Fund Notes is as follows:

Issue Number : 2811

Tender Date and Time : Monday, 11 November 1996, 9.30 am to 10.30 am

Issue and Settlement Date : Tuesday, 12 November 1996

Amount on Offer : HK$500 million plus an additional HK$100 million as reserve stock for the Monetary Authority

Maturity : Two years

Maturity Date : 12 November 1998

Interest Rate : 5.72% per annum payable semi-annually in arrears

Interest Payment Dates : 12 May 1997, 12 Nov 1997, 12 May 1998, 12 Nov 1998

13

Tender Amount

Other details

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

: Please see Information Memorandum published or

approach Market Makers or Recognized Dealers

End

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

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,459 0930 +439

Closing balance in the account 2,355 1000 +439

Change attributable to : 1100 +439

Money market activity +371 1200 +439

LAF today -475 1500 +448

1600 +371

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.7 ♦-0.1* 4.11.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/MTRC

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.94 2 years 2808 6.00 100.06 5.71

1 month 4.93 3 years 3910 6.28 100.57 6.16

3 months 4.97 5 years 5109 7.32 102.86 6.72

6 months 5.01 7 years 7308 7.24 101.54 7.07

12 months 5.29 10 years 1610 7.37 100.85 7.38

5 years M5O3 7.35 101.68 7.05

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $22,062 million

Closed November 4, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Tuesday, November 5,1996

Contents Page No,

1996 Population By-census summary results announced........................ 1

Surrender scheme for textiles quotas affected by US measures............... 4

Consultant to advise on selection of global custodian...................... 6

Appointment to the Hong Kong Securities Clearing Company................... 7

Hong Kong Urban Heritage special stamps to be on sale...................... 7

Joint stamp exhibition with five Guangdong cities.......................... 9

247 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flights............................ 10

Monitors' report submitted to CS.......................................... 10

Taxpayer fined for making incorrect tax returns........................... 10

Sex education course for primary school teachers...................... 11

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results............................... 12

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

1

1996 Population By-census summary results announced *****

The resident population of Hong Kong in March 1996 was 6,218,000, an increase of 722,000 or some 13 per cent over that 10 years ago, according to the results of the 1996 Population By-census.

The results have also shown significant improvements in educational attainment, housing condition and income of the population.

There have also been substantial changes in the geographic distribution of the population and the industrial distribution of the working population.

Announcing the by-census results at a press conference today (Tuesday), the Commissioner for Census and Statistics, Mr Frederick Ho Wing-huen, said the population growth was much faster in the second half than the first half of the 10-year period.

He said the annual growth rate averaged 1.8 per cent over the period 1991-1996, but only 0.6 per cent over the period 1986-1991.

Of the 6,218,000 residents, 6,017,000 were present in Hong Kong at the By-census reference moment (that is 3 am on March 15, 1996) and 201,000 temporarily away from Hong Kong.

Including 83,000 transients and 21,000 Vietnamese migrants, the number of people present in Hong Kong at the by-census reference moment was 6,121,000.

The Commissioner pointed out that there was substantial internal migration of the population during the last decade. While 10 years ago, Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories had respectively 22 per cent, 43 per cent and 35 per cent of the population, by now the respective proportions are 21 per cent, 32 per cent and 47 per cent.

"Many districts in the New Territories like Sai Kung, Tai Po, Tuen Mun, Yuen Long, Sha Tin and North recorded a substantial population growth because of new towns development, whereas old urban districts like Sham Shui Po and Yau Tsim Mong experienced substantial population decrease," Mr Ho said.

Meanwhile, the population became older during the last ten years with the median age rising from 28 to 34. This is attributable to mortality improvement and the continuously low fertility rate.

The sex ratio, that is the number of males per 1,000 females, dropped from 1,057 in 1986 to 1,000 in 1996.

2

The proportions of the "never married" increased substantially for both males and females in the prime marriageable ages. This suggests a trend towards higher bachelorhood and spinsterhood.

Mr Ho also said the labour force increased from 2.8 million in 1986 to 3.2 million this year, despite a drop in the overall labour force participation rate from 66 per cent to 63 per cent over the same period.

About 30 per cent of the working population were managers, administrators, professionals and associate professionals. Workers in elementary occupations such as cleaners, messengers, watchmen and freight handlers made up one-fifth of the working population.

The distribution of the working population by industrial sector had also changed significantly. "Wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels" became the largest sector employing one quarter of the working population, followed by "community, social and personal services", which employed about onefifth of the working population.

Mr Ho said the median income from main employment of the working population was $9,500 this year, an increase of 269 per cent during the last 10 years. Over the same period, the inflation rate, as measured by the increase in Consumer Price Index (A), was 125 per cent.

"This suggests that there has been substantial improvement in the earnings of workers in real terms," he said.

About one million persons worked in Kowloon, another 0.9 million on Hong Kong Island and 0.8 million in the new towns in the New Territories.

Among persons studying full-time in schools or educational institutions in Hong Kong, 85 per cent attended schools in the same area as they lived.

The educational attainment of the population substantially improved over the decade. The proportion of the population aged 15 and over with secondary or higher education increased from 57 per cent in 1986 to 68 per cent this year. The proportion of those with tertiary education in degree courses, in particular, increased from four per cent to ten per cent.

Cantonese was the most common language/dialect spoken at home by 89 per cent of the population. Another seven per cent claimed that they could speak the dialect. About one quarter of the population could speak Putonghua either as the usual language/dialect or as another language/dialect.

- 3 -

English was spoken at home by three per cent of the population while another 35 per cent claimed that they could speak the language.

Over the last decade, the number of domestic households increased by 28 per cent from 1.5 million to 1.9 million. As it increased at a faster rate than the population, the average household size decreased from 3.7 to 3.3.

About 64 per cent of the domestic households consisted of only one unextended nuclear family, that is, a married couple with or without never married children or a single parent with one or more never married children.

Mr Ho said that some 3.1 million persons, or almost half of the population, lived in public housing, including public rental housing and subsidized sale flats. Another 2.9 million or so lived in private permanent housing. About 0.12 million persons lived in temporary housing.

Housing conditions improved significantly during the last ten years. The degree of sharing, which is measured by the average number of domestic households in a dwelling, decreased from 1.11 to 1.05.

The proportion of domestic households living in rooms/cocklofts/bedspaces in private residential flats decreased significantly from 13 per cent in 1986 to five per cent this year and that in temporary housing decreased from eight per cent to two per cent.

The median income of domestic households this year was $17,500, an increase of 239 per cent over that 10 years ago.

Both the English and the Chinese versions of the report ’’Summary Results” will be on sale as from tomorrow (Wednesday).

Purchase of the publications can be made at the Government Publications Centre, ground floor, Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong. The publications are also on sale at the Publications Unit of the Census and Statistics Department, 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong.

A series of reports on the more detailed results of the 1996 Population Bycensus will be published later in stages.

4

Mr Ho said the by-census results, at various levels of detail, would be widely used in government administration and planning. The statistical data would also be used by business people and the general public for various purposes.

He also said the data collection operation of the by-census was very smooth, thanks to the public's co-operation, which he attributed to the general public's awareness of the important role that good statistics play in building Hong Kong's future.

End

Surrender scheme for textiles quotas affected by US measures * ♦ * * ♦

The Trade Department today (Tuesday) launched a Special Surrender Scheme for quota holders of the categories of textiles products which are subject to US additional import measures or on a US watch list, to assist the trade to tide over the difficulties caused by the confusion and uncertainty brought about by the US measures.

A Trade Department spokesman said: "The scheme is operated from today to November 16. It covers categories 336/636 (dresses), 342/442/642 (skirts), 351 (nightwear), 352/652 (underwear), and 443 (suits) which have been subject to US additional import measures since June 17 this year.

"It also covers categories 331 (cotton gloves), 338/339 (cotton knit shirts), 348 (women's cotton pants) and 350 (cotton dressing gown) which have been placed on a US watch list since September 1."

Under the Special Surrender Scheme, quota holders of the specified categories may from today to November 16 surrender to the Trade Department any balances of their own quotas. Companies/registered businesses which surrender their quotas in these categories under the scheme will:

a) receive an allocation entitlement in 1997 in the corresponding category equivalent to 100% of the quantity surrendered; and

b) have their quota entitlement for 1997 in the corresponding category calculated on the basis of shipment performance against the original allocation less the quantity surrendered under the scheme.

5

The spokesman said that during this period, the Special Surrender Scheme would replace the normal 1996 Surrender Scheme for the specified categories.

’’Quotas in the specified categories surrendered under the normal 1996 Surrender Scheme between June 17 and November 4 will be deemed to have been surrendered under this Special Surrender Scheme and will be subject to the special terms of surrender,” he added.

The spokesman reminded traders that companies which had from today to November 11 submitted applications for free quotas under Phase II of the 1996 Free Quotas Export Authorisation Scheme III would not be allowed to surrender their own quota holdings in the same category under the Special Surrender Scheme.

On the other hand, the spokesman continued, traders who had applied for surrender of quotas under this scheme would not be allowed to apply for free quotas in the same category under the above-mentioned free quota scheme.

Companies which have surrendered quotas under the Special Surrender Scheme may nonetheless apply for free quotas under the 1996 Year-End Special Shipment Scheme (YESSS) to be operated in December. However, they will not be entitled to any allocation in 1997 against their free quota performance under the YESSS in the category in which they have surrendered quotas.

Interested companies should complete an application form obtainable from the Trade Department and return it by hand to Counters Nos 23 and 24 of the Trade Department's USA Textiles Licensing Office on Bl floor, Trade Department Tower, 700 Nathan Road, Kowloon at or before 12.30 pm on November 16.

Late applications will not be accepted. Applications once submitted cannot be withdrawn. Applicants will be informed in writing on or before November 23 whether their applications for surrender of quotas have been approved.

For further enquiries, the following officers should be contacted:

Mr W L Shum 2398 5419) Group II Cotton Garment

Ms Y K To 2398 5420) Quota Categories

Miss C T Ho 2398 5421) Group 11 Man-made Fibre Garment Quota Categories

Mr K C Yu 2398 5422) Group II Wool and Man-made

Fibre Garment Quota Categories

End

6

Consultant to advise on selection of global custodian *****

The Treasury has appointed Towers Perrin Forster & Crosby, Inc, an international consulting organisation, to advise on the selection of a global custodian for assets of the Grant Schools Provident Fund and the Subsidised Schools Provident Fund.

The Funds are statutory defmed-contribution retirement schemes covering teachers employed by the grant schools and subsidised schools respectively.

Currently, the combined assets of the Funds amount to over HK$20 billion. The global custodian will be appointed to administer assets (for example, overseas quoted shares and fixed interest securities) placed under the management of external managers which will initially amount to about HK$5 billion. Certain classes of assets (for example, fixed interest securities) managed internally by the Treasury for the Funds may also be placed under the custody of the global custodian subject to services and fees being appropriate.

Towers Perrin will be using its specialist team experienced in conducting custodian searches on this assignment. The team members include Greg Cooper, Director of Actuarial and Asset Consulting at Towers Perrin, Hong Kong and David Taplin, Director of Custody Consulting at Towers Perrin, Australia.

It is envisaged that request for proposals will be invited this month (November) from the short-list of providers of global custody services compiled by Towers Perrin and that implementation of the new custody arrangement would occur around February next year.

End

7

Appointment to the Hong Kong Securities Clearing Company ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Financial Secretary has appointed Mr. Michael Liu, a solicitor, and reappointed Professor Chan Yuk-shee, Messrs Stuart Leckie and Denis Ho, as independent directors of the Hong Kong Securities Clearing Company Limited (HKSCC) for two years until the date of the 1998 Annual General Meeting of the HKSCC.

Announcing this today (Tuesday), a Financial Services Branch spokesman said: ’’Under the Articles of Association of the HKSCC, the Financial Secretary may at any time appoint not more than five persons as directors of the HKSCC to represent the public interest.

’’The fifth independent director is Mr Derek Murphy,” he added.

End

Hong Kong Urban I leritagc special stamps to be on sale

*****

The Postmaster General Mr Robert Footman, announced today (Tuesday) that a set of special stamps on the theme of Hong Kong Urban Heritage would be issued on November 20 (Wednesday).

This set of stamps depicts four of the old western style buildings in I long Kong. The $1.30 stamp depicts the Main Building of the University of Hong Kong. The $2.5 stamp depicts Western Market. The $3.1 stamp depicts the Old Pathological Institute and the $5 stamp depicts Flagstaff House.

"Like the Hong Kong Rural Heritage stamps issued in May 1995, this set of stamps has two main features which make them a prestigious collection,” Mr Footman said.

"First, they are printed by both Lithography and Intaglio. Second, the stamps are printed in mini-sheets of ten, instead of 50 as is the normal practice. The sheets have a selvage featuring the special architectural designs of the building which are also printed in intaglio."

The stamps were designed by Mr Tommy Li and printed by Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd.

8

As from tomorrow (Wednesday), the stamps will be on display for the advance information of the public at the General Post Office, Tsim Sha Tsui Post Office, Tsuen Wan Post Office and Sha Tin Central Post Office. Official first day covers will be put on sale at all post offices at $1 each as from the same day. Advance orders for serviced first day covers will be accepted at all post offices from tomorrow to November 13. The minimum number of covers per order is five.

A restriction of two sheets (20 pieces) of stamps of each denomination (that is 20 sets of stamps) per customer queuing will be imposed on the first day of issue.

A beautifully designed presentation pack containing the four stamps will be available for sale at $20 each at all post offices as from November 20.

Serviced first day covers affixed with the set of stamps and cancelled with the first day of issue postmark will be placed on sale on November 20 at the following 19 philatelic offices at $15.4 each:

Airport Post Office Aberdeen Post Office Cheung Chau Post Office Cheung Sha Wan Post Office General Post Office Granville Road Post Office Harcourt Road Post Office Hennessy Road Post Office Kowloon Central Post Office Kowloon City Post Office

Mong Kok Post Office

Peak Post Office

Sha Tin Central Post Office

Shau Kei Wan Post Office

Tai Po Post Office

Tucn Mun Central Post Office

Tsim Sha Tsui Post Office Tsuen Wan Post Office Yuen Long Post Office

On the first day of issue, hand-back service will be provided at all post offices to official and privately-made covers bearing indication of the first day of issue on November 20.

As on previous occasions of first day issue of new stamps, the following 22 post offices will open at 8 am on November 20.-

llong Kong

General Post Office. Aberdeen, Shau Kei Wan, Sai Ying Pun, Tsat Tse Mui, Wan Chai, Wah Fu

Outlying Islands

Cheung Chau

9

Kowloon

Tsirn Sha Tsui, Cheung Sha Wan, Kowloon Central, Kowloon City, Kwun Tong, Tseung Kwan O, To Kwa Wan

New Territories

Yuen Long, Sha Tin Central, Sai Kung, Shek Wu Hui, Tuen Mun Central, Tai Po, Tsuen Wan

End

Joint stamp exhibition with five Guangdong cities ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Postmaster General, Mr Robert Footman, announced today (Tuesday) that the Hong Kong Post office would jointly hold a stamp exhibition with the Guangdong Philatelic Company (China) from November 14 to 18 at five cities in Guangdong.

The five cities are: Guangzhou (exhibition on November 14), Panyu (November 15), Shunde (November 16), Zhongshan (November 17) and Zhuhai (November 18).

To commemorate the exhibition, a specially designed souvenir cover will be placed on sale at all post offices at $2 each as from Saturday (November 9).

A special postmark and a cachet for general cancellation purpose will be introduced at all post offices on November 14. Hand-back service will be provided at all post offices to official and privately-made covers bearing an indication of the event on November 14.

The cachet will also be available for cancellation at the exhibition venues during the five days of exhibition.

End

10

247 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flights ♦ * * ♦ ♦

Two groups totalling 247 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) returned by air to Hanoi, Vietnam today (Tuesday) on the 71st and 72nd flights under the Orderly Repatriation Programme (ORP).

The majority of the returnees, comprising 92 men, 63 women, 47 boys and 45 girls, are from South and Central Vietnam. Twenty-two of the returnees are from North Vietnam.

Most of them arrived in Hong Kong in 1990, with the remaining in 1988, 1989, 1991, 1995 and 1996.

The two groups brought to 6,936 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 Yip Wah ; and representative from a non-government organisation, Mr Thierry Taveaux from Medecins Sans Frontieres.

End

Taxpayer fined for making incorrect tax returns *****

A taxpayer pleaded guilty in the Sha Tin Magistracy of making incorrect statements in his Salaries Tax Return and Tax Return - Individuals without reasonable excuse, contrary to Section 80(2)(b) of the Inland Revenue Ordinance.

The defendant was fined a total of $18,000 today (Tuesday).

Ho Chi-kwong, was charged with making incorrect claims for dependent parent allowance in his tax returns for the years of assessment 1992/93 and 1993/94.

- 11 -

Despite the death of his mother on July 13, 1991, the defendant still put down his mother’s name on his tax returns and claimed for the Dependent Parent Allowance for the aforesaid years of assessment.

A spokesman of the Inland Revenue Department today reminded taxpayers that they must file correct tax returns.

Under the Inland Revenue Ordinance, a tax evader is liable to a maximum sentence of three years’ imprisonment and a fine of $50,000 on each charge, in addition to a further fine equivalent to three times the amount of tax undercharged.

End

Sex education course for primary school teachers ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Schools heads arc invited to nominate teachers of their schools to attend a four-half-day course on sex education for primary schools teachers this month (November).

Organised by the Education Department, (he course aims at introducing the content and methods of sex education in primary schools and enhancing teachers’ understanding on selected sex education topics, including puberty, child abuse and AIDS.

The course will also help the participants to appraise their readiness for conducting sex education and to enable them to share experiences relating to sex education.

Speakers of the course include experts from the Education Department, the Department of Health and Against Child Abuse.

The course will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from November 26 to December 5 at Hong Kong Teachers' Centre at Pak Fuk Road, North Point.

An attendance certificate issued by the Education Department will be awarded to teachers who have successfully completed the course.

Completed reply slip should be returned to the Biological Science Section, Advisory Inspectorate, Education Department at Room 1208. Wu Chung House, 213 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai on or before November 13 (Wednesday).

For enquiries, please call 2892 6547 or 2892 6548.

End

12

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results ♦ ♦ * * *

Tender date 5 Nov 1996 5 Nov 1996

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q645 H677

Issue date 6 Nov 1996 6 Nov 1996

Maturity date 5 Feb 1997 7 May 1997

Amount applied HK$8,240 MN HK$4,330 MN

Amount allotted HK$ 1,500 MN HKS800 MN

Average yield accepted 4.92 PCT 4.97 PCT

Highest yield accepted 4.93 PCT 4.99 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 54 PCT About 30 PCT

Average tender yield 4.95 PCT 5.01 PCT

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

Tenders to be held in the week beginning 11 Nov 1996

Tender date 11 Nov 1996 12 Nov 1996

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number 2811 Q646

Issue date 12 Nov 1996 □ Nov 1996

Maturity date 12 Nov 1996 12 Feb 1997

Tenor 2 years 91 days

Amount on offer HKS500+100 MN HK$2,000+500 MN

Coupon 5.72 PCT

End

13

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

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

Opening balance in the account 2,355 0930 +545

Closing balance in the account 2,349 1000 +545

Change attributable to: 1100 +545

Money market activity +544 1200 +544

LAF today -550 1500 +544

1600 +544

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.7 *+0.0* 5.11.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/MTRC

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.93 2 years 2808 6.00 100.61 5.71

1 month 4.93 3 years 3910 6.28 100.59 6.15

3 months 4.95 5 years 5109 7.32 102.93 6.71

6 months 5.00 7 years 7308 7.24 101.59 7.06

12 months 5.27 10 years 1610 7.37 100.94 7.37

5 years M503 7.35 101.71 7.04

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $8,833 million

Closed November 5, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Wednesday, November 6,1996

Contents Page No-

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

Need to safeguard students from biased political information................ 1

19 nominated for LAB election............................................... 3

First AIDS conference in Hong Kong to open on Friday........................ 5

International Water Supply Association to meet in Hong Kong................. 6

EMSD pushes ahead with energy efficiency................................

Builders' lift and tower working platforms fees revised..................... 8

List of environmental reports released...................................... 9

Tour of China'96 souvenir sheet and serviced cover on sale................. 12

Three lots of land to let.................................................. 13

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

1

Transcript of Governor's media session

*****

The following is a transcript of the media session given by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, after presiding over the Hong Kong Institute of Education graduation ceremony at the Hong Kong Coliseum, Hung Hom, this (Wednesday) afternoon:

Question: Can you talk about Bill Clinton who has been re-elected. Do you think there will be any impact to Hong Kong ?

Governor: I don't think that the results of the election should make any difference to Hong Kong. As you may remember, I met President Clinton and Senator Dole when I was in the United States in May. They were both very well briefed on Hong Kong and both very supportive of Hong Kong recognising that Hong Kong's future success is important to the region, is important to APEC, and is important to the world. So, I don't think there would have been any difference whatever the outcome. But given that the president's election victory and I'd like to congratulate him very warmly. It is obviously a substantial victory. I very much hope that American policy will continue to be as helpful and supportive of Hong Kong as it has been over the last several years.

Question: Governor, in the morning you said you worried about self-censorship ...before 1997. Why are you worried about that ? Is there any phenomenon so that there is self-censorship of journalists of Hong Kong ?

Governor: 1 think all of you know it's a point that has been put to me on a number of occasions by a number of people including in the past proprietors and I think the views that I reflected not just this morning, but on a number of occasions, reflect a general view in the society. I think it would be very sad if we gave away some of our freedoms, rather than standing up for them. And obviously, editorial independence and independent commentary is an important part of life in a free society. You may have noticed from time to time that newspapers and the media criticise the Governor and the government. Well, whether or not we like it, that is part of living in a free society, and 1 think Hong Kong would be much the poorer, both as a society and as an economy if we would lose that editorial independence, that freedom of speech or give it away. And that is the point that 1 have made on a number of occasions.

Question: Why you avoid on comments on Chinese side have revealed confidential information of PLA advance group. Do you think Hong Kong government has over reacted on this issue ?

2

Governor: No, certainly not. We've set out our position very plainly. I think these things are best discussed confidentially and I thought the remarks that were made were very unhelpful and that is why we protested in strong terms to Chinese officials. I think the whole community recognises that there should be some, I repeat some advance personnel for the PLA in Hong Kong to learn about sites and to secure military sites before the first of July, 1997. But those numbers don't need to be large, they don't need to arrive until rather later and they must certainly be subject to the law's of Hong Kong and I can see no justification for people carrying weapons.

End

Need to safeguard students from biased political information ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Administration sees the need to retain legislative power to make regulations to control the dissemination of information, or expression of opinion, of a clearly biased political nature in schools.

This was stated today (Wednesday) by the Secretary' for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong in response to a Member's Bill introduced by the Hon Christine Loh in the Legislative Council to repeal section 84(1 )(m) of the Education Ordinance and regulation 98(2) of the Education Regulations.

"The provisions should be retained in some form to safeguard the interests of the students. Therefore we do not support repealing these provisions. However, we are prepared to consider appropriate amendments to the wording of the existing provisions," Mr Wong said.

He pointed out that the Education Department has issued circulars to schools stressing the need to present a balanced view and to educate students to think for themselves. "These have been supplemented by the new guidelines on civic education issued in September 1996 emphasising the importance of developing students' critical thinking," Mr Wong said.

End

3

19 nominated for LAB election ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Labour Department has received 19 nominations from registered employee unions for election as representatives of employees on the Labour Advisory Board (LAB).

"Of the 19 candidates, five will be elected to the board for a two-year term starting next January,” a spokesman for the Labour Department said today (Wednesday).

The election will be held at 3 pm on November 30 (Saturday) in the hall of Making Wong Technical Institute at 702 Lai Chi Kok Road, Cheung Sha Wan, Kowloon.

The candidates are:

Mr Cheung Kwok-bui

Hong Kong Civil Servants General Union

Mr Leung Chau-ting

Clerical Grades Civil Servants General Union

Mr Leung Yek-chuen

Hong Kong Customs Officers Union

Mr Lam Him

Hong Kong Customs Officers Union

Mr Leung Tsz-leung

Hong Kong and Kowloon Free Clerical Workers’ Union

Mr Louie Tin

Hong Kong and Kowloon Candle, Paper and Paper-work Workers’ Union

Mr Leung Ping-fai

Hong Kong Construction Industry Professional Plant-operators and Mechanics Association

Mr Chan Ngan-yau

Hong Kong Construction Industry Professional Plant-operators and Mechanics Association

4

Mr Sam Chiu-fai

Hong Kong Construction Industry Professional Plant-operators and Mechanics Association

Mr Leung Fu-wah

Hong Kong and Kowloon Rubber and Plastic Workers General Union

Mr Poon Siu-ping

Hong Kong Storehouses and Transportation Staff Association

* Mr Wai Kam-tim

Government Schools Clerical Staff Association

* Mr So Ping-chi

Hong Kong Marine Department Local Professional Officers' Association

* Mr Tse Siu-hung

Hong Kong Marine Department Local Professional Officers' Association

* Mr Cheng Yeung-ming

Hong Kong Marine Department Local Professional Officers' Association

* Mr Lee Kwai-bor

Kowloon Motor Bus (1933) Co., Ltd. Staff Association

* Mr Or Din-man

Kowloon Motor Bus (1933) Co., Ltd. Staff Association

* Mr Mak Kwok-fung

Association of Hong Kong Nursing Staff

* Mr Cheng Sei-fung

Association of Hong Kong Nursing Staff

"Meanwhile, about 307 employee unions have so far registered with the Labour Department as electors for the coming LAB election," the spokesman added.

"Each elector may appoint up to two authorised representatives, who must either be paid-up members, officers or paid staff of the union, to attend the election," he said.

5

The LAB is a tripartite consultative body which advises the Commissioner for Labour on labour matters including legislation and the application of International Labour Convention and Recommendations.

It comprises 12 members, six each on employees' and employers' sides, with the Commissioner for Labour or her deputy as the ex-officio chairman.

One employer and one employee members will be appointed directly by the Government.

End

First AIDS conference in Hong Kong to open on Friday *****

A two-day AIDS conference, the first of its kind in Hong Kong, will be held on Friday (November 8) and Saturday (November 9) at the Lam Woo International Conference Centre of the Hong Kong Baptist University.

Hosted by the Advisory Council on AIDS (ACA) and sponsored by the Department of Health (DH), the conference will comprise a plenary session, symposiums, forums, workshops, exhibitions and cultural events.

Mrs Lavender Patten will officiate at the opening ceremony. Other officiating guests include ACA chairman, Dr Conrad Lam; the Chairman of the Organising Committee, Ms Carlye Tsui; the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok; and the acting Director of Health, Dr Paul Saw.

DH's HIV/AIDS surveillance statistics for the third quarter of this year will be released at the session of Symposium A at 2 pm on Friday.

Highlights of the two-day conference include plenary session on Friday (11 am to 12.30 pm). Professor Zhang Kong Lai of CHINA AIDS NETWORK, Dr Emile Fox of UNAIDS China and Ms Anna Wu will speak at the session.

Themes of the six symposiums are: Symposium A - Public Health Aspects of HIV/AIDS (Friday, 2 - 3.30 pm); Symposium B - Clinical Management of HIV Infection (Friday, 4 - 5.30 pm); Symposium C - Social Impacts and Responses (Friday, 4 - 6.30 pm); Symposium D - Prevention and Education (Saturday, 9.30 am - 12 noon); Symposium E - Psychosocial Aspects of HIV Care (Saturday, 2 - 3.30 pm); and Symposium F - Role of NGO in HIV Prevention and Care (Saturday, 4 - 5.30 pm).

End

6

International Water Supply Association to meet in Hong Kong

*****

Hong Kong is having this week the largest gathering of water supply experts from all over the world.

The International Water Supply Association (IWSA) will hold a series of meetings including Executive Board Meeting from November 7 to 9 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) in Wan Chai.

The IWSA, of which Hong Kong is a corporate member, is the world's renowned international organisation on water supply, a spokesman for the Water Supplies Department (WSD) said today (Wednesday).

"With interests and influence spanning the whole world, the association's membership covers more than 70 countries with responsibilities for 95 per cent of the world's water supply.

"IWSA is holding its meetings in Hong Kong for the first time because the territory has long been recognised as a centre for the international interflow of knowledge and technology.," he said.

Following the IWSA meetings, the biennial highlight and showcase of the Association's activities - IWSA-Asia Pacific Group Regional Conference and Exhibition - Water Hong Kong' 96, will be held at the same venue between November 11 and 15.

"Hosted by the WSD, the regional conference will be attended by over 450 delegates from all over the world. Some 90 technical papers will be presented in the sessions," the spokesman said.

The programme of the five-day conference comprises technical meetings, a plenary session, technical visits and post conference tours.

Meanwhile, an exhibition by consultants, contractors, suppliers and manufacturers related to the water supplies industry will be held between November 12 and 15 at the HKCEC. Admission is free.

End

7

EMSD pushes ahead with energy efficiency ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Energy Efficiency Office of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department is implementing several initiatives on energy efficiency and conservation.

This was stated by the Director of Electrical and Mechanical Services, Mr Hugh Phillipson, today (Wednesday) at the opening of a symposium on electrical services in buildings.

"We are working on building energy codes and an energy end-use data base, energy efficiency labelling for household electrical appliances, and energy and environmental management of government and public buildings.

"We are in dialogue and have been working with the two power companies on several pilot studies for energy efficiency lighting.

"Also, there have been several innovations in tariffs to encourage off-peak use of power, including a pilot ice storage air-conditioning tariff," Mr Phillipson said.

He noted that over the world, there was a common view amongst responsible organisations, whether government, professional institutions or companies, about the serious potential problems relating to energy - in particular the limited future of fossil fuels and the adverse environmental impacts of increasing energy production and use.

"In Hong Kong a high-level body called the Energy Advisory Committee has been set up to advise the Government on energy policy, including energy supply and demand and energy conservation and efficiency.

"Chaired by Professor Charles Kao and with distinguished membership representing academic institutions, professional bodies, industry and the Government, the committee will have a major impact in advising the Government on the way in which energy issues should be dealt with in Hong Kong in the critical period ahead." he said.

Turning to electrical safety, Mr Phillipson said the Electrical Products (Safety) Regulations which aimed at enhancing the safety of domestic electrical appliances would be enacted and enforced in the current Legislative Council session.

"A recent regulation of plugs and adaptors has been very successful in eliminating some dangerous adaptors and plugs that used to be on sale.

8

"Under the Electricity Ordinance and several sets of associated regulations, we ensure adequate standards of safety are adopted and maintained in new and existing buildings.

"It is our top priority that electricity should be used safely and efficiently in buildings," he added.

End

Builders' lift and tower working platforms fees revised

*****

The Government is to revise specific fees charged under the Builders' Lifts and Tower Working Platforms (Safety) (Fees) Regulation.

"This is in line with government policy that fees should in general be set at levels sufficient to recover the full costs of providing the services," a government spokesman said today (Wednesday).

"The fees, which were introduced in July 1995, will go up by nine per cent with effect from December 20 this year to reflect the cost of services at 1996/97 prices. The proposed increase is based on the movement of the Government Consumption Expenditure Deflator from 1995/96 to 1996/97."

Details of the revision are as follows:

Description of Fee Items Existing Fee Proposed Fee 0)

For inclusion in the register of examiners of a person who qualified under Section 3(2) of the Builders’ Lifts and Tower Working Platforms (Safety) Ordinance 725 790

* For inclusion in the register of examiners of a person who does not qualify under Section 3(2) and whose qualifications are being considered under Section 3(3) of the ordinance 3,210 3,500

9

* For the renewal of registration of a registered examiner 480 525

For inclusion in register of contractors 2,990 3,260

* For the renewal of registration of a registered contractor 480 525

For the examination of a report and certificate of test and examination issued by a registered examiner after installation or re-erection of a builder’s lift or tower working platform in accordance with Section 18( 1 )(a) or (b) of the ordinance 1,720 1,870

For the examination of a report and certificate of test and examination issued by a registered examiner after the carrying out of major alteration work to a builder’s lift or tower working platform in accordance with Section 18( 1 )(c) of the ordinance 1,230 1,340

* For the examination of a certificate of test and examination issued by a registered examiner after the carrying out of periodic and examination of safety equipment 330 360

End

List of environmental reports released *****

The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) today (Wednesday), released a list of environmental impact assessment(EIA) reports of major development projects completed between July and September this year as well as those which will be completed in the coming 12 months.

A complete list of all ongoing EIAs is available for public inspection at the Environmental Resource Centre at 221, Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

10

Following is a list of major EIA reports completed between July and September 1996:

1. Additional Treatment and Water Transfer Facilities for Metropolitan Area and NENT (Tai Po Treatment Works)

(Water Supplies Department)

2. Tai Po Development - Formation and Servicing of Area 12 (Part) and 39 Pak Shek Kok

(Territory Development Department)

3. Proposed 2nd 132 KV Submarine Cable Link to Shekou China (China Light & Power Co Ltd)

4. Main Drainage Channels for Ngau Tam Mei, Yuen Long and Kam Tin (Territory Development Department)

5. Strategic Sewage Disposal Scheme Stage I, Principal Collection and Treatment System

(Drainage Services Department)

6. Proposed Reclamation and Relocation of United Floating Dock, Tsing Yi

(Hong Kong United Dockyards Ltd)

7. Three Potential Housing Development Sites - Sham Tseng, Canton Road, and Hollywood Road.

(Housing Branch)

8. EIA for Site Formation for Packages 1 and 2 in Reserve Zone, Tin Shui Wai

(Territory Development Department)

9. River Trade Terminal at Tuen Mun Area 38 Environmental Impact Assessment Study

(River Trade Terminal Co Ltd)

Major EIA's that are likely to be completed in the next 12 months from September onwards include:

1. Main Drainage Channel for Fanling, Sheung Shui and Hinterland (Civil Engineering Department)

2.

Route 16: From West Kowloon to Sha Tin (Highways Department)

11

3. Sham Tseng Link Feasibility Study (Highways Department)

4. Sand Extraction and Backfilling of Eastern Waters Marine Borrow Areas

(Civil Engineering Department)

5. Central Reclamation, Phase III (Territory Development Department)

6. MTR Tseung Kwan O and Quarry Extensions (Mass Transit Railway Corporation)

7. KCR Hung Hom Extension cum Ma On Sha Rail Link (Highways Department)

8. Aviation Fuel Pipeline (Airport Authority)

9. Central/Wan Chai Bypass and Island Eastern Corridor Link (Highways Department)

10. Backfilling of Marine Borrow Area at East Tung Lung Chau

(Civil Engineering Department)

11. Wan Chai East and North Point Sewerage (Drainage Services Department)

12. Tsuen Wan Bay Further Reclamation (Territory Development Department)

13. Feasibility Study for Castle Peak Road Improvement between Ka Loon Tsuen and Tsuen Wan

(Highways Department)

14. Road DI5 Linking Lok Shun Path and Tai Po Road (Territory Development Department)

15. Kowloon Point Development Feasibility Study

(Territory Development Department)

12

16. Hiram’s Highway - Improvement between Nam Wai and Ho Chung and Upgrading Local Access Road

(Highways Department)

17. Engineering Works (Roads & Drains) - Aldrich Bay Reclamation (Highways Department)

18. Kennedy Road Improvement and Queen's Lines Link (Highways Department)

19. South East Kowloon Development Feasibility Study (Territory Development Department)

20. Disposal of Contaminated Mud in the East Sha Chau Marine Borrow Pits

(Civil Engineering Department)

End

Tour of China'96 souvenir sheet and serviced cover on sale ♦ ♦ * * *

The Postmaster General, Mr Robert Footman, announced today (Wednesday) that a souvenir sheet and a serviced cover issued by the United States Postal Service to commemorate the US professional cycling team's participation in the Tour of China 96' will be placed on sale at 19 philatelic offices from Friday (November 8).

The selling prices of the souvenir sheets and serviced covers are $8 and $20 respectively.

The Tour of China 96' is an international cycling event which commenced on November 1 and will end on November 11. The tour began at Stonecutters Island of Hong Kong and ends at Xinzhuang of Jiangsu in China. Eleven professional and five amateur teams, representing 18 countries, are participating.

The souvenir sheet contains two US50c stamps depicting cycling. The serviced cover is affixed with the souvenir sheet and cancelled by the postmark of November 1, 1996.

13

On the first day of sale, a restriction of 10 souvenir sheets and 10 serviced covers per customer queuing will be imposed. The 19 philatelic offices are:

Airport Post Office

Aberdeen Post Office

Cheung Chau Post Office

Cheung Sha Wan Post Office

General Post office

Granville Road Post Office

Harcourt Road Post Office

Hennessy Road Post Office

Kowloon Central Post Office

Kowloon City Post Office

Mong Kok Post Office

Peak Post Office

Sha Tin Central Post Office

Shau Kei Wan Post Office

Tai Po Post Office

Tuen Mun Central Post Office

Tsim Sha Tsui Post Office

Tsuen Wan Post Office

Yuen Long Post Office

End

Three lots of land to let ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Lands Department is inviting tenders for the short-term tenancies of three pieces of government land in Tuen Mun and Yuen Long.

Two of the lots are located at Yick Yuen Tsuen in Tuen Mun and have an area of about 13,500 and 7,670 square metres respectively.

Both are designated for open storage, excluding storage of motor vehicles, containers, container tractors and trailers, scrapped metals, cement/sand or chemical products. The tenancy is for one year only.

Covering an area of about 8,020 square metres, the third lot is located in Tin Shui Wai Area 3, Yuen Long. It is intended for use as a fee-paying public car park and the tenancy is for one year, renewable quarterly.

14

The closing date for submission of tenders is noon on November 22 (Friday). J

Tender forms, tender notices and conditions can be obtained from the Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road and the District Lands Offices of Kowloon, Yuen Long and Tuen Mun.

!

Tender plans can also be inspected at these offices.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,349 0930 +548

Closing balance in the account 2,655 1000 +548

Change attributable to: 1100 +548

Money market activity +546 1200 +546

LAF today -240 1500 +546

1600 +546

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 125.0 *+0.3* 6.11.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/MTRC

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.96 2 years 2808 6.00 100.68 5.66

1 month 4.93 3 years 3910 6.28 100.67 6.12

3 months 4.94 5 years 5109 7.32 103.08 6.67

6 months 4.99 7 years 7308 7.24 101.88 7.00

12 months 5.25 10 years 1610 7.37 101.43 7.30

5 years M503 7.35 101.78 7.02

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $19,954 million 5 • l.t ■ .

Closed November 6, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

SUPPLEMENT

Wednesday, November 6, 1996

Contents Page No,

Legislative Council meeting:

Rabies (Amendment) Regulation 1996.;.......................... 1

Fugitive Offenders Bill....................................... 2

Securities and Futures Commission Amendment Bill.............. 4

Street lighting in rural areas................................ 5

Measures to enhance safety of era le operation................ 6

Dispute over private land ownership........................... 8

Updated list of property assets by Government................. 9

Police to enforce inviolability of consular premises....... 11

UGC's recommendations on hostel policy being considered...... 12

Treatment of HIV infection................................... 13

Salary scales for academic staff of UGC-funded institutions.. 14

/Survey on...

Contents

Page N.Qi

Survey on cost impact of labour legislation being conducted................... 16

Wife battering and child abuse cases.......................................... 19

Work on Broadcasting Bill..................................................... 21

Sandwich Class Housing Scheme................................................. 22

Measures to combat crimes related to stolen ID cards.......................... 23

HOS flat owners responsible for slope maintenance............................. 25

Water quality monitoring incorporated in works contracts...................... 26

Public housing for elderly people ............................................ 28

Taxi licencing systems differ from cities to cities....................... 31

Certificate of Compliance for PSPS flats...................................... 32

Transaction clearance of the HK Futures Exchange.............................. 33

i ..... .


1

Rabies (Amendment) Regulation 1996

*****

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

Mr President,

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

As I mentioned in the last sitting, the Economic Services Branch and the Attorney General Chambers have decided, in response to the request of the Legal Service Division of the Legislative Council, to move this Resolution to amend the Rabies (Amendment) Regulation 1996 tabled in the Council on 2 October 1996, so as to clarify the relationship between the policy intention and the wording of several sections of the Regulation.

In order to ensure the proposed Resolution is presented in its best form, the manner in which the Rabies (Amendment) Regulation should be amended, has been agreed with the Legal Service Division.

The proposed Resolution introduces provisions to clarify the particulars to be specified in a dog licence, the purpose of the microchip that is to be implanted into a dog and the transitional arrangements in respect of licensing and microchip implantation.

Specifically, part (a) of the resolution adds a new section 19A to set out the particulars to be specified in a dog licence, these being antecedent to the requirement in section 20A to report changes to important particulars supplied in the licence application.

Part (b) amends section 20A(l) to clarify that it is the person to whom a dog licence has been granted, rather than the keeper of the dog at any particular time, who must report such changes.

Part (c) substitutes for a proposed amendment to section 27(1 )(c) a clearer provision, in a new section 27A, empowering an authorised officer to implant a microchip into a dog. It also creates a consequential offence of unauthorised implantation. Finally, it clarifies that the microchip serves not only as evidence of vaccination against rabies, but also as a means of identification of the dog.

2

Parts (d) and (f) provide for minor consequential amendments.

The intention of proposed section 28(2) is to provide that the keeper of a dog that has been vaccinated against rabies shall ensure that his dog is implanted with a microchip. Part (e) of the resolution adds a new section 28A to provide for transitional arrangements in this respect. It clarifies that the keeper of a licensed dog that has already been vaccinated against rabies before commencement of section 28(2) is required to comply with that section only as and when the licence is renewed.

Mr President, I beg to move.

End

Fugitive Offenders Bill * * * * ♦

Following is the speech by the Acting Secretary for Security, Mrs Carrie Yau, in moving the second reading of the Fugitive Offenders Bill in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that the Fugitive Offenders Bill be read a second time.

Surrender of fugitive offenders is an important area of international cooperation in law enforcement. This co-operation is based on the principle that an offender should not be able to avoid trial or serving a sentence by moving from one jurisdiction to another. The need to be able to return and seek the return of fugitive offenders is a key element of the administration of justice in criminal matters. This need has to be balanced by sufficient safeguards to protect the fundamental rights of the individuals involved.

Hong Kong's arrangements for the surrender of fugitive offenders are at present contained in UK extradition agreements and reciprocal arrangements with Commonwealth jurisdiction. These UK agreements and Commonwealth arrangements have been extended to Hong Kong by the relevant UK Orders in Council, but they cannot continue to apply to Hong Kong after 30 June 1997. With the agreement of the Chinese side in the Joint Liaison Group, we are therefore establishing a network of Hong Kong's own bilateral agreements with other jurisdiction for the surrender of fugitive offenders which will remain in force beyond 1997. However, we cannot bring any of our new agreements into operation until the Bill is passed into law.

3

The main purpose of the Bill is to provide the appropriate legal framework to enable Hong Kong to implement these new agreements. It is necessary to ensure our continued co-operation with other jurisdictions after the handover and the successful implementation of the programme for the surrender of fugitive offenders.

The Bill contains provisions to ensure that fugitive offenders are only surrendered for specified, serious offences. The Bill also contains provisions to safeguard an individual's rights. For example, the Bill provides for-

a requirement that the evidence against the fugitive would be sufficient to justify his committal for trial if the offence had been committed in Hong Kong (i.e. the prima facie rule);

specialty protection (i.e. offenders will not be tried for offences other than those for which they were originally surrendered);

a requirement that there be no surrender unless the conduct constituting the offence is contrary to the law of both jurisdictions (i.e. double criminality);

the normal exclusions in relation to political offences and political prejudice; and

* protection against resurrcndcr to a third jurisdiction.

The Bill is similar to the existing UK legislation applied to Hong Kong and follows existing procedures for handling requests for surrender. These procedures involve decisions by the courts and by the Governor who has the final say as to whether a person should be surrendered. The Bill also provides for a channel of appeal for fugitive offenders.

4

We cannot afford to have Hong Kong become a haven for fugitives or to allow criminals to avoid justice and the rule of law by seeking refuge in other places. It is well recognised that if Hong Kong is to continue its success, to maintain its reputation as a law-abiding community, and to strengthen its status as an international commercial and financial centre, it is important that we should not allow any gap in the relations with our law enforcement partners on surrender of fugitive offenders after 30 June 1997. The Chinese side in the Joint Liaison Group have confirmed their agreement to this localisation of laws item at JLG XXXVII in September 1996. Our immediate task ahead is to ensure that this localised legislation can take effect as soon as possible and well before the handover. I therefore urge Members' urgent consideration and support for the Bill. The early enactment of the Bill would enhance the international community's confidence in the future of the rule of law in Hong Kong and our criminal justice system.

Thank you, Mr President.

End

Securities and Futures Commission Amendment Bill *****

Following is the speech by the Acting Secretary for Financial Services. Mrs Lessie Wei in moving the Second reading of the Securities and Futures Commission (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the second reading of the Securities and Futures Commission (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 1996.

The Bill seeks to amend the Securities and Futures Commission Ordinance to provide more flexibility for specifying the levy on any transaction on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited and the Hong Kong Futures Exchange Limited.

Under section 52 of the Ordinance, the Govemor-in-Council may specify different levy rates in respect of different classes of securities traded on the Stock Exchange, and different amounts in respect of different leviable transactions in futures contracts traded on the Futures Exchange. However, there is no provision for a fixed amount to be specified as the levy on the sale and purchase of securities. There is also no provision for a percentage of the consideration to be specified as the levy on the leviable transactions in futures contracts. These provisions are not sufficiently flexible, given the proliferation of products with entirely different characteristics and modes of operation in the market. Section 52 of the Ordinance therefore needs amending.

5

The proposed amendments are technical. They seek to provide maximum flexibility for specifying the levy on any transaction in the securities and futures market, such that a levy can be specified as a percentage of the consideration, a fixed amount, nil rate or nil amount for each transaction, or a rate as otherwise calculated under the order of the Govemor-in-Council. We hope the change will enable the law to keep pace with market developments.

Thank you, Mr President.

End

Street lighting in rural areas ♦ * * * ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Albert Ho Chun-yan and a reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the resources allocated for improving street lighting in rural areas as well as the number of applications for installing street lights in the Tuen Mun district and the number of street lights installed in each of the past three years;

(b) whether the Government has assessed the demand for street lighting in rural areas; and

(c) whether the Government will consider making any performance pledge regarding the improvement of street lighting in rural areas?

Reply:

The Highways Department and Home Affairs Department work together to provide street lighting in rural areas. Under the existing arrangements, around 1,000 lights are installed every year in villages in the NT. For 1996/97, the resources allocated for improving street lighting in rural areas amount to $10.9 million. We plan to increase the annual quota from 1,000 to 1,200 starting in 1997/98 subject to the availability of funds.

6

District Officers process applications for the installation of lights from local villagers. The actual number of street lights to be installed in Tuen Mun is recommended by District Officer (Tuen Mun) following consultation with the villagers. In the past three financial years, funds were approved for installation of 85, 20 and 35 village lights respectively in Tuen Mun District. The number of village lights actually installed was 77 in 1994/95, 8 in 1995/96 and 14 as at todate in the 96/97 programme. The progress of the construction works is affected by a number of factors such as land availability, technical problems, power supply, etc.

The Administration regularly assesses the demand for village lighting through the District Offices which consult and hold joint site visits with villagers to ascertain the detailed requirements for village lighting improvements in their districts.

It is not easy to introduce a performance pledge for providing village lighting because the successful implementation of any application for village lighting depends on factors which are often beyond the control of the Administration such as technical problems, power supply, land availability, etc. Where the proposed village light encroaches on private land, the consent of the land owner needs to be sought before works can commence. The lead time required to install village lights therefore varies greatly and depends very much on local situation. Nonetheless, under normal circumstances we aim to have the lights installed within 12 months from the approval of funds.

End

Measures to enhance safety of crane operation

*****

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

Question:

It was reported that on the morning of 2 October this year, the crane of a heavy duty crane truck collapsed while carrying out lifting work in Chatham Road in Tsim Sha Tsui. The fallen crane blocked the entire road, causing serious traffic congestion. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

7

(a) of the number of accidents that have occurred since January 1993 in which the cranes of heavy duty crane trucks collapsed while carrying out lifting work, and the number of persons who have been injured or killed in these accidents; and

(b) whether the existing regulatory measures over the operation of such vehicles will be improved so as to prevent the occurrence of similar incidents?

Reply:

Mr President,

Regarding part (a) of the question, since January 1993, there were 13 accidents in which the cranes of heavy duty crane trucks collapsed while carrying out lifting work. Three workers were injured in three accidents.

Regarding part (b) of the question, the requirements for the safe operation of cranes are clearly set out in the Factories and Industrial Undertakings (Lifting Appliances and Lifting Gear) Regulations. Under the Regulations, crane owners must ensure that -

(i) the cranes are safe to operate, including that the cranes are structurally sound and stable, and are installed with an automatic safe load indicator, and that the loading is within a safe working load capacity;

(ii) the cranes are not used unless they have been thoroughly examined and tested by registered professional engineers (RPEs) jn the preceding 12 months and certified to be in safe working conditions. Cranes which have been substantially repaired or re-erected, or which have failed, overturned or collapsed, cannot be used unless they have passed another certification process by RPEs; and

(iii) the cranes are operated only by competent persons holding a valid certificate issued by an organisation authorised by the Commissioner for Labour.

8

During their routine inspections to construction sites where cranes are being used, factory inspectors will check all the certification required by the law regarding the safe operation of a crane. The owner of a crane which has not been properly examined and tested but is found to be in use is liable to prosecution. In the first six months of 1996, 70 summonses were taken out relating to the unsafe use of lifting equipment.

The regulatory measure has been further improved following an amendment to the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance in July 1996, which empowers the Commissioner for Labour to issue improvement notices and suspension notices. So far, 27 improvement notices on the safety standards of lifting equipment have been issued. These new powers have been found to be useful in preventing accidents.

End

Dispute over private land ownership *****

Following is a question by the Hon Zachary Wong and an oral reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It is reported that recently some villagers in the New Territories have been harassed and threatened by developers because of disputes over land ownership rights. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of complaints, concerning villagers being harassed and threatened by developers because of disputes over land ownership rights, received by the department concerned in each of the past three years; and

(b) how the departments concerned handled such complaints so as to safeguard the safety of the villagers?

9

Answer:

Mr President,

(a) Neither the Police nor the Lands Department has any readily available statistics on the sort of complaints mentioned in the question. Police cases are classified according to the criminal offence indicated by the reported facts, not according to the causes of, or parties to, an incident. We understand that the Police received report on one case during the recent months on disputes believed to be related to land ownership.

(b) The general practice of the Lands Department is that the parties concerned are advised to seek independent legal and professional advice in cases of disputes of private land ownership. If allegations of harassment and threats are made, they are also advised to make a report to the Police.

The Police respond to every report and request for assistance. The response is flexible and will depend on the reported facts. If the reported facts indicate that an incident is in progress, the Police will despatch uniformed officers to the scene. Where the initial indications are that a criminal offence has been committed, the case will be fully investigated and every effort will be made to apprehend the perpetrators.

End

Updated list of property assets by Government ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Ambrose Lau and a reply by the Secretary for the Treasury, Mr K C Kwong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It is mentioned in the Policy Commitments of this year's Policy Address that in January this year the Administration handed over to the Chinese Government an updated list of property assets owned by the Hong Kong Government, but no mention is made of when the Hong Kong Government will give the Chinese Government an updated list of other assets owned by the Hong Kong Government. In this connection, will the Administration inform this Council:

10

(a) of the reasons for not mentioning whether the Administration will hand over to the Chinese Government before July 1997 an updated list of assets other than property assets owned by the Hong Kong Government: and

(b) whether the debt amounting to $1 billion owed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to the Hong Kong Government in connection with the expenses on the care and maintenance of Vietnamese migrants will be included in the list of assets of the Hong Kong Government; if not, why not, and whether the noninclusion of the debt in the list of assets of the Hong Kong Government will prejudice the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government in recovering the debt from the UNHCR?

Reply:

Mr President,

The list of property assets owned by the Hong Kong Government which we handed over to the Chinese side in January this year is an updated version of an earlier list which we had agreed to compile and passed to the Chinese side in November 1994. We will update this list regularly to reflect changes over time to the Hong Kong Government's property portfolio. We are not, at present, committed to compiling similar lists in respect of non-property assets owned by the Hong Kong Government; hence, the absence of any reference to non-property assets in my Policy Commitments.

I now turn to the second part of the question relating to the advances made by the Hong Kong Government to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in connection with the care and maintenance of Vietnamese migrants in Hong Kong. As Members will see from the Annual Report of the Director of Accounting Services for the year ended 31 March 1996, which I have tabled in this Council today, the outstanding balance of expenditure incurred on Vietnamese migrants on behalf of the UNHCR forms part of the Hong Kong Government's assets and is so reflected in the statement of assets and liabilities of the General Revenue Account. Like all other assets of the Hong Kong Government, this sum will become the asset of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government on 1 July 1997. In a letter dated 24 April 1996 to the UK Ambassador in Geneva, the Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees has reiterated the UNHCR's commitment to the 1988 Statement of Understanding regarding reimbursement to the Hong Kong Government and confirmed that this commitment is "not bound by a timeframe".

End

11

Police to enforce inviolability of consular premises * ♦ ♦ * ♦

Following are a question by the Hon Lee Wing-tat and a reply by the Acting Secretary for Security, Mrs Carrie Yau, at the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the police's recent action to prohibit petitioners from gaining access to the Japanese Consulate, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the detailed legal basis for prohibiting petitioners from gaining access to the Japanese Consulate;

(b) what factors have been taken into account by the police in deciding on the restrictions imposed on the time, venue and target group of such prohibition; and

(c) whether the prohibition has been imposed at the request of the Japanese Consulate or other organizations?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The Hong Kong Government has an obligation to enforce the inviolability of consular premises in Hong Kong in accordance with Article 31 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Accordingly, the Police are under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the consular premises against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the consular post or impairment of its dignity and to take such steps as they judge may be necessary for that purpose under the Police Force Ordinance.

(b) In carrying out their duties, the Police would consider what appropriate action should be taken having regard to the circumstances of each case. In the light of an intrusion into the Japanese Consulate on 9 October 1996, the Police considered it necessary to take pre-emptive action to prevent any recurrence. Such action included the exclusion of those persons who had participated in the earlier incident from entering the lift lobby of the consular premises. In so acting the Police were taking lawful measures to preserve the public peace and to prevent injury to life and property.

12

(c) The Police are charged with the responsibility for maintaining public order and enforcing the inviolability of consular premises. Of course, the Police are in touch with the Consulate General about the security arrangement in the vicinity of the Japanese Consulate but decisions as to what operational measures are necessary for the security and to keep the peace are entirely a matter for the Police.

End

UGC's recommendations on hostel policy being considered ♦ * * * ♦

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

Question:

In view of the serious shortage of hostel places for university students, will the Government inform this Council whether resources will be allocated to publicly-funded tertiary institutions which do not at present have student hostels, so as to enable such institutions to provide hostel accommodation for their students in order that they may enjoy a full campus life; if so, what the details are?

Reply:

Mr President,

Publicly-funded student hostels are not provided for three of the University Grants Committee (UGC)-funded institutions at present, i.e. the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), the City University of Hong Kong (CityU) and the Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU). The UGC has submitted recommendations for a review of the existing student hostel policy to the Government. The Administration is now considering whether, in the light of our UGC's recommendations, the existing policy should be revised.

End

13

Treatment of HIV infection * * ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Law Chi-kwong and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In view of the medical advancement in the treatment of HIV infection reported last year, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether the Department of Health or the Hospital Authority provides new drugs (notably protease inhibitors) and viral load measurement to patients infected with HIV;

(b) whether there is any policy on making protease inhibitors, drug combinations and viral load measurement available to patients infected with HIV; and

(c) of the policy on the funding of new HIV treatment methods and

research?

Reply:

(a) Protease inhibitors and viral load measurements are recent advances in the management of patients infected with HIV. Currently two protease inhibitors have been registered in Hong Kong. Since both protease inhibitors and viral load measurement are new to Hong Kong, they have been introduced by the Department of Health and Hospital Authority on a pilot basis. In the case of protease inhibitors, these are made available to selected and indicated AIDS patients at higher progression risk, in line with the current consensus of experts that they should best be reserved as a second line drug rather than to be used as part of the initial drug regimen for HIV patients.

14

(b) The use of protease inhibitors, drug combinations and viral load measurement for patients is decided by the attending doctor based on clinical indications and established treatment protocols. The introduction of any new drug within the public hospitals and Department of Health’s clinics is governed by established mechanisms whereby assessment has to be made to the risks and benefits, supporting scientific evidence of clinical efficacy and cost effectiveness before approval can be given for the procurement of the new drug. New investigative procedures follow a similar approach.

(c) Both the Department of Health and the Hospital Authority follow similar procedures to subject requests for new drugs or new treatment methods to medical technology assessment which include cost benefit analysis and evidence based medical practice considerations to optimise healthcare benefits within the resources available. Funding for research in HIV/AIDS is available in tertiary institutions and funds such as AIDS Trust Fund.

End

Salary scales for academic staff of UGC-funded institutions

*****

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

Question:

It is learnt that in many overseas universities different salary levels are set for teaching staff of different departments. In this connection, does the Government know whether:

(a) the current salary levels of teaching staff of different departments holding similar positions in the territory’s universities are the same; and

(b) the authorities will consider conducting a study on the feasibility of setting the salary levels of university teaching staff according to the supply and demand in the market, if not, why not?

15

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The salary scales for academic staff of the University Grants Committee (UGC)-funded institutions are linked to civil service salary scales, as approved by the Government. The current salary levels of academic staff in different departments of the institutions holding similar positions are broadly the same because these salary levels are based on salary scales common to all the UGC-funded institutions.

The UGC-funded institutions adopt a common set of salary scales for academic staff primarily engaged in degree-level work. For staff not engaged primarily in degree level work and employed by those institutions which run sub-degree courses, namely the City University of Hong Kong (CityU), the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and the Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd), their pay levels are lower, but the pay scales are broadly the same across institutions.

There are also separate salary scales for clinical academic staff. Clinical staff at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) and the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) are remunerated on a different salary scale, which has been set by reference to the remuneration package of Government medical consultants, senior medical officers and medical officers under the current civil service Directorate and Master pay scale.

(b) To the extent that the salary scales of academic staff of the UGC-funded institutions are linked to civil service pay under the present policy, the Government has no plan to commission a feasibility study to review the setting of pay scales for academic and equivalent administrative staff of tertiary institutions to follow market supply and demand. We will keep this policy under periodic review.

End

16

Survey on cost impact of labour legislation being conducted *****

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

Question:

As some employers claim that changes to the labour legislation over the past two years have resulted in their payroll expenses being inflated by 15%, will the Government provide this Council with a breakdown of the increases in payroll expenses arising from each amendment to labour legislation in the past two years, taking into account the median wage, average age and average years of service of the work force, the ratio between male and female staff and other relevant factors?

Reply:

Mr President,

The Government’s assessment of the cost impact of labour legislation is based on its estimate of the difference in overall labour cost in the economy before and after each amendment to labour legislation has come into effect. The increase in labour cost is expressed as a percentage of the total wage bill, covering both the private and the public sectors. This estimate of cost impact has been compiled on the basis of the wage and other characteristics of the labour force obtained from the latest survey on the impact of labour legislation on the economy conducted by the Census and Statistics Department in collaboration with the Labour Department in 1992.

Using this methodology, the estimated increase in labour cost as a result of the amendments to labour legislation enacted in the past two years which have a cost impact amounts to around 0.25% of the total wage bill. Of the 0.25%, 0.06% was attributable to amendments to the Employment Ordinance while 0.17% and 0.02% were due to the amendments to the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance and the Occupational Deafness (Compensation) Ordinance respectively. The itemised breakdown of this estimate is at Annex.

We are conducting another survey on the cost impact of labour legislation to update the information collected during the last survey in 1992 in the light of the changes in the labour market. The survey is expected to be completed early next year; and we will inform Members of the results as soon as they are available.

17

Annex

cost impact due to labour legislation enacted during 1992-1995

Legislative Items

Estimated cost impact as a% Qf total wage hill

(A) Under the Employment Ordinance 0»06%

(i) Improving the provisions of severance payment (SP) and 0.03% long service payment (LSP)

(effective on 20.1.95)

(ii) Revising the monthly wage limit for die purpose of 0.01 %

calculating of SP and LSP from $15,000 to $22,500

(effective on 23.6.95)

(iii) Lowering the qualifying years of service from 10 years 0.01% to 5 years for eligibility for LSP on retirement on ground of old age

(effective on 14.7.95)

(iv) Increasing the rate of maternity leave pay from two- 0.01 %

thirds to four-fifths of wages of employees

(effective on 14.7.95)

(B) Under the Employees Compensation Ordinance 0.17%

(ECO)

(i) Revising the prescribed percentage of loss of earning capacity of specified injuries for the purpose of calculating compensation

(effective on 1.1.94)

(ii) Revising the levels of compensation

(effective on 1.1.94)

(iii) Setting a limit on the coverage of compulsory employees compensation insurance (effective on 1.8.95)

18

(C) Occupational Deafness (Compensation) Ordinance 0.02%

(i) Setting up a compensation scheme for workers suffering from occupational deafness (effective on 1.6.95)

(D) Protection of wages on Insolvency Ordinance Negligible*

(i) Increasing the amount of ex-gratia payment payable in respect of severance payment from $8,000 plus 50% of excess entitlement to $24,000 plus 50% of excess entitlement

(effective on 21.7.95)

(ii) Increasing maximum limit of cx-gratia payments on arrears of wage, for wages in lieu of notice and SP (effective on 2.2.96)

Total : 0.25%

Note : (•) No additional cost implications involved as the changes did not result in a need to raise the annual levy of $250 on each business registration certificate.

End

19

Wife battering and child abuse cases

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Choy Kan-pui and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding wife battering and child abuse cases in the territory involving new arrivals from China, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of these two kinds of cases in the past three years;

(b) whether it has examined the causes of such incidents; and

(c) what measures are in place to prevent the number of such incidents increasing in the face of a continuing rise in the number of new arrivals from China?

Reply:

(a) The Social Welfare Department (SWD) does not have readily available statistics on child abuse cases before July 1994. During the two-year period from July 1994 to July 1996, 23 cases (or 2 % of all reported child abuse cases) involved new arrivals from China - 15 cases involved new arrivals who had been in Hong Kong for around one year, and 8 cases involved new arrivals who had resided in Hong Kong for between two and three years. Of these 23 cases, there were four in which both the abuser and the abused child were new arrivals, 18 in which only the abused child was a new arrival and one in which only the abuser was a new arrival.

Social Welfare Department has no statistics indicating the number of wife battering cases involving new arrivals from China. According to the Department’s reporting system, there were 196 new battered spouse cases in 1993; 220 in 1994; and 250 in 1995. 99% of these cases involved victims who were women. The Department is aware of the need for more detailed statistics for these cases and has started a pilot scheme to improve information systems in this respect.

20

•<

(b) The Director of Social Welfare chairs two Working Groups - one on Child Abuse and the other on Battered Spouses. These Working Groups comprise representatives from all relevant professional disciplines as well as representatives of relevant non-governmental organisations. They have recommended the establishment of better information systems in order to be better placed to assess the most likely causes of these crimes and how their causes may be addressed.

The most common causes of child abuse include a lack of parenting skills and an inadequate family support to help parents resolve their family problems. The causes of wife battering are often multi-faceted and complex. Relevant factors usually include personality clashes, adjustment problems, and the pressure caused by financial, housing and child care problems.

(c) We see providing support to the family as crucial in the prevention of family problems and have in place a comprehensive network of services which are available to all members of the community including new arrivals from China:

family life education programmes which focus on marriage preparation, marriage enrichment, management of marital conflicts and development of proper child-rearing skills;

services to strengthen local family support networks and to assist families in trouble;

child care services to help working parents with child care problems; and

family aide services to provide home-based training for parents in general household management.

21

We are aware of the importance of public education as a prevention strategy. To promote public awareness of child abuse, we conducted a territory-wide publicity campaign in 1995 to educate the public on the early identification and reporting of such cases, and launched the first phase of the campaign on prevention of child sexual abuse in April this year which will be followed by a second phase towards the end of the year. At the district level, District Committees on Child Abuse have now been set up in all Districts to co-ordinate multi-disciplinary efforts in tackling the problem and organising public education activities.

With regard to spouse battering, we held a seminar in March this year to help foster a better understanding of the problem by professionals of various disciplines and their co-operation in handling such cases. Publicity leaflets to encourage victims to seek assistance and to publicize services available for them will be introduced early next year.

End

Work on Broadcasting Bill ♦ ♦ * ♦ *

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Samuel Wong and a written reply by the Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport. Mr Chau Tak-hay, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In the Policy Commitments of last year's Policy Address, it was stated that the Government was conducting a thorough review of the existing broadcasting legislation with the aim of bringing all forms of broadcasting within the purview of a comprehensive piece of legislation, so as to make the regulatory framework more user-friendly and adaptable to the rapid changes in technology in the broadcasting industry. However, it was mentioned in the Progress Report of the 1996 Policy Address that work on the proposed Broadcasting Bill has been suspended in order to take forw ard other higher priority tasks. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council whether it remains committed to implementing the proposed Broadcasting Bill; if so, w’hen the drafting work on the proposed Broadcasting Bill is expected to complete; if not, why not?

22

Reply:

It remains the intention to resume work on the Broadcasting Bill when more pressing business has been completed. We hope that it will be possible to do so in the short term, rather than the long term. But as it is not yet possible to say when work will resume, we cannot say when the work will be concluded.

End

Sandwich Class Housing Scheme

*****

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

Question:

It is mentioned in the Policy Commitments of this year's Policy Address that the Government will consider permitting public housing tenants who meet the relevant eligibility criteria to purchase Sandwich Class Housing Scheme (SCHS) flats. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the effectiveness of the SCHS since its introduction; and

(b) whether it has taken into account the fact that the above proposal might diminish the prospects of the sandwich class acquiring their own homes, given that the SCHS is the only scheme through which the sandwich class can purchase their own homes, whereas public housing tenants are already given priority in the purchase of Home Ownership Scheme flats and are also eligible for applying for interest-free loans to purchase their homes?

23

Answer:

Mr President,

The Sandwich Class Housing (SCH) Scheme, introduced in 1993, has been effective in helping middle-income families to buy their own homes. It comprises a construction scheme and a loan scheme. Under the construction scheme, we have pledged to build 30,000 subsidised flats by 2003 for sale to eligible families. Flat production is on schedule. The first four projects were well received and oversubscribed. Under the loan scheme, financial assistance has been provided so far to over 4,000 families to buy flats in the open market. A further phase will be launched in the near future.

In the 1996 Policy Commitments, we have indicated the intention to promote home ownership and to complement efforts to release public rental housing flats for those in genuine need by considering to permit the sale of SCH flats to public rental housing tenants who meet the normal eligibility criteria. While these tenants may have a widen choice of subsidised housing schemes, they can exercise only one option and there is no question of double benefits. While the proposal may, in theory, diminish the prospects of sandwich class tenants living in private housing, the impact is not expected to be great.

End

Measures to combat crimes related to stolen ID cards

*****

Following are a question by Dr Hon Law Cheung-kwok and a written reply by the Acting Secretary for Security, Mrs Carrie Yau, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the number of reported cases of loss of identity cards in each of the past three years, as well as the circumstances under which the majority of such cases occurred;

- 24

(b) the major types of crimes committed by criminals using stolen identity cards; and

(c) the measures in place to combat criminals using stolen identity cards to commit crimes?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The number of reported cases of loss of identity cards are as follows:

1993 166 750

1994 163 441

1995 154 043

1996 (January - September) 102 940

No official information has been kept on the reasons for loss of identity cards. Based on the experience of Immigration Department in issuing replacement identity cards, most people attribute the losses of their cards to thefts, burglaries or misplacements.

(b) Based on the operational experience of law enforcement agencies, some of the stolen identity cards are used for -

i) seeking illegal entry into Hong Kong;

ii) facilitating illegal employment or residence in Hong Kong;

iii) committing fraud and deception offences;

iv) covering up one’s genuine identity; and

v) lawful registration of personal identity for purposes such as admission into hospitals for deliver)' of baby and birth registration.

(c) The Police and the Immigration Department have taken the following measures to combat crimes relating to use of stolen identity cards:

i) Employers are encouraged to make use of the telephone and fax ‘hotline’ service provided by the Immigration Department if they have doubts on the authenticity of identity cards produced by job applicants. The public can also use the 'hotline' to report immigration-related offences which may involve the use of stolen identity cards for illegal purposes.

25

ii) The Immigration Department will immediately update its computer system once a loss of identity card is reported. This ensures that only genuine cardholders can use their identity cards for arrival and departure clearance. With information being updated, the Police will also be able to authenticate identity cards on streets with their beat radio.

iii) Both the Police and the Immigration Department cultivateintelligence on and conduct operations against syndicates using altered identity cards.

iv) The Commercial Crime Bureau monitor closely altered identity cards which may come to light and inform police officers of flaws and features of these falsified cards.

v) The Police liaise closely with commercial organisations to advise them to report immediately any cases involving identity cards which are suspected to be counterfeit or in false possession.

End

HOS flat owners responsible for slope maintenance *****

Following are a question by the Hon Sin Chung-kai and a written reply by the Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council of the following:

(a) who is responsible for monitoring the safety of slopes within the boundaries of Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) estates; and

(b) having regard to the statement set out in the ’’Layman’s Guide to Slope Maintenance” issued by the Geotechnical Engineering Office that slope maintenance work should be carried out by the owner or the party assigned with such maintenance responsibility, whether the Government or owners of HOS flats should be responsible for maintaining the slopes within the boundaries of HOS estates?

26

Answer:

Mr President,

The ’’Layman's Guide to Slope Maintenance" states that the responsibility for maintaining slopes rests with the owner of a flat or the party assigned with such responsibility, who can be identified from records kept at the Land Registry.

Maintenance responsibility for slopes in Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) estates rests with owners, as stipulated in land grants. On behalf of HOS flat owners, the Housing Authority carries out inspection and maintenance to ensure slope safety. The cost for such work is charged to management funds contributed by flat owners.

End

Water quality monitoring incorporated in works contracts *****

Following is a question by the Hon Lee Wing-tat and a written reply by the Secretary for Works, Mr Kwong Hon-sang, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the large number of dead fish found in the fish culture zones at Lantau Island, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether the above phenomenon is due to the pollution of the waters in the proximity of the fish culture zones caused by the construction works on the Hei Ling Chau Typhoon Shelter project;

(b) whether it monitors the water quality in the waters near the site of the above project; if so, of the recent changes in the water quality in the area concerned; and

(c) if the answer to (a) is in the affirmative, whether it will consider compensating the fish farmers?

27

Answer:

Mr President,

(a) According to investigation carried out by Government, there is no evidence that the high fish mortality in the Cheung Sha Wan Fish Culture Zone at Lantau Island had been due to water pollution caused by the construction works under the Hei Ling Chau Typhoon Shelter Project. Results of water quality monitoring carried out regularly in conjunction with the typhoon shelter works since construction and dredging work started have indicated that water quality in the vicinity of the works site as well as the Fish Culture Zone has been maintained within the acceptable standards set by the Environmental Protection Department.

(b) A comprehensive water quality monitoring programme has been incorporated in the works contract. The programme is closely supervised by the Civil Engineering Department and includes regular monitoring at 10 monitoring and control stations around the works site, of which two are close to the concerned Fish Culture Zone. Monitoring parameters include dissolved oxygen, suspended solids and turbidity. The monitoring results are checked against baseline water quality results obtained over the period from December 1995 to January 1996 prior to the commencement of dredging works in February 1996.

During the period from February to June 1996 immediately after commencement of the dredging works, water quality monitoring was carried out daily. The results were satisfactory and the frequency of monitoring has subsequently been reduced to 3 days per week since July 1996. The monitoring has been independently audited by Environmental Protection Department regularly since February 1996. The Agriculture and Fisheries Department also conducted regular water quality monitoring at the Fish Culture Zone and findings have so far agreed well with Civil Engineering Department's results.

Monitoring results to date have remained satisfactory and do not indicate any significant change in water quality since construction work started.

In response to recent reports on high mortality of fish in the Fish Culture Zone, the Environmental Protection Department had independently monitored water quality adjacent to the Fish Culture Zone on October 11 at approximately 2 hour intervals between 12 noon to 7 p.m. The prevailing wind was north-easterly, towards the Fish Culture Zone, on that day. Turbidity and dissolved oxygen were found to be normal.

28

Staff from Agriculture and Fisheries Department, Civil Engineering Department and Environmental Protection Department also had a joint site visit with the fishermen on October 16, 1996. The gills of a dying fish and the netcapes and floats showed no sign of any mud accumulation. Sampling undertaken on that day by Government indicated that water quality was satisfactory.

Since October 17, 1996, Civil Engineering Department has arranged to step up water quality monitoring frequency to daily at mid-ebb, midflood and in the evening. Monitoring will also be conducted at any time upon request from mariculturists. Agriculture and Fisheries Department has also stepped up patrols to the Fish Culture Zone in order to monitor the fish mortality situation. The numbers of dead fish actually observed in the fish cages during patrol inspections were relatively low despite mariculturists' claim that large quantity of fish had died since September.

(c) The Administration have not seen any evidence to support the conclusion that the construction works at Hei Ling Chau Typhoon Shelter have had an adverse effect on water quality at the Fish Culture Zone, the matter of compensation is therefore not relevant. However, under the existing arrangement, mariculturists will be eligible for an ex-gratia allowance when the concentration of suspended solids in the water reaches either 100% more than the highest pre-construction baseline level recorded at the Fish Culture Zone or 50mg/l (above which fish may exhibit inferior growth or be more susceptible to disease infection).

End

Public housing for elderly people ♦ * * ♦ *

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

Question:

Regarding the Government's plan to build 11,413 public rental units and refurbish 20,305 such units for elderly people between 1995/96 and 2000/01, will the Government inform this Council whether it is aware of:

29

(a) of the estimated annual number of elderly people in need of public housing, and the estimated number of public rental units provided to elderly people annually, in the period between 1996/97 to 2000/01;

(b) whether, given that the Progress Report published by the Government this year points out that there are 27,000 elderly people living in substandard accommodation who are not registered on the Housing Authority’s waiting list, the Housing Department will take the initiative to register such elderly people for public housing;

(c) whether the Housing Department has estimated the waiting time for the 27,000 elderly people mentioned in (b) above to be allocated housing units after they have been registered as waiting list applicants; if so, what the average waiting time is;

(d) of the number of elderly singletons who have been on the waiting list for two years or more and have no particular preference for the location of the housing unit but who have not been allocated housing units for the elderly, in each of the past three years, despite the pledge made by the Government in the Policy Commitments of the 1994 Policy Address that all elderly singletons would be allocated public housing within two years; and;

(e) of the average waiting time for an elderly singleton who opts for a single-person public housing unit to be allocated a unit?

Answer:

Mr President,

We plan to provide sufficient public rental flats to meet the projected demand of 34,500 elderly people during the period from 1996-97 to 2000-01, as follows:

Elderly people

1996-97 7,100

1997-98 6,200

1998-99 4,800

1999-00 7,400

2000-01 9,000

About 22,000 elderly people will be accommodated in one-person flats or flats under the Housing for Senior Citizens Scheme, and the remaining 12,500 will share public housing flats with other elderly people.

30

We have taken the following initiatives to encourage elderly people living in sub-standard private accommodation, who are not registered on the Waiting List, to apply for public housing-

(a) publicity campaigns were launched to solicit registration, and roving exhibitions in community centres and shopping centres were mounted to encourage applications under various priority schemes for the elderly;

(b) elderly people were invited to join guided tours to visit Housing for Senior Citizens flats;

< -a; -,

(c) Housing Information Centres were set up in target districts to enable elderly people to gain easy access to information on public housing; and

(d) home visits were made to elderly people living in private tenements and bedspace apartments to encourage them to apply for public rental housing.

These initiatives will be repeated regularly.

In the 1994 Policy Commitments, we pledged to give priority to elderly people who apply for public rental housing, and to allocate accommodation within two years to elderly couples and singletons who apply in groups of two or three. In the past three years, all eligible elderly applicants, who opted for this scheme at the time of registration, were offered rehousing within the time mentioned.

There are 10,100 elderly persons on the Single Person Waiting List, and less than 2,400 of them have waited for more than two years. The average waiting time for an elderly singleton applying for a single-person public housing unit is about four years.

End

- 31 -

Taxi licencing systems differ from cities to cities ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Law Cheung-kwok 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:

(a) of the respective numbers of urban, New Territories and Lantau Island taxi licences issued, as well as their respective tender premiums, in each of the past three years; and

(b) whether the urban taxi licence premium in the territory is higher than that in other cities?

Reply:

Mr President,

The last taxi licence tender exercise was conducted in September 1994. On that occasion, 300 urban taxi licences were issued at an average premium of $1.7 million and 100 NT taxi licences at an average premium of $1.1 million.

j . f

Different cities have different taxi licensing systems. For instance, taxi licences in London, Singapore and Shanghai are not transferable and hence do not have any transfer value.

Taxi licences in New York City are issued through public auction and are transferable. The current market price for a licence permitting an owner-driver to operate on a single shift is about HK$L6 million (US$200,000). and that for a licence permitting a company to operate a service on more than one shift is about HK$3.6 million (US$460,000).

32

In Brisbane, taxi licences are also transferable. A licence allowing a taxi to operate in the metropolitan district has a current transfer value of about HKS1.2 million (A$200,000). On the other hand, a licence for a taxi to operate in the Gold Coast area has a transfer value of about HK$1.8 million (A$300,000).

It should be noted, however, that taxis in different cities operate under different social, economic and operational environment. It is therefore not entirely relevant to simply compare the transfer value or the premium for taxi licences.

End

Certificate of Compliance for PSPS flats ♦ * * * ♦

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

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council whether the Certificate of Compliance in respect of Home Ownership Scheme estates is issued by the Housing Department itself, and what the purpose of issuing such a Certificate is?

Answer:

Mr President,

In the case of Home Ownership Scheme flats built and sold by the Housing Authority, issue of Certificates of Compliance (CC) is not required. In the case of Private Sector Participation Scheme flats built by private developers and sold by the Housing Authority, the Lands Department issues CCs when it is satisfied that all the obligations stipulated in the Conditions of Sale in land grants have been complied with.

End

33

Transaction clearance of the HK Futures Exchange

*****

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:

During the "stock market crash" in October 1987, a company named International Commodities Clearing House (HK) Limited was responsible for the transaction clearance of the Hong Kong Futures Exchange at the time. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it knows if the company has completed the transaction clearance work and whether the authorities concerned will make known to the public the problems encountered by the company in handling such work as well as the work during the past nine years?

Reply:

At the time of the "stock market crash" in October 1987, the clearing and guarantee functions of the Hong Kong futures market were handled by two separate bodies, namely International Commodities Clearing House (Hong Kong) Limited (ICCH(HK)) and the Hong Kong Futures Guarantee Corporation Limited (HKFGC) respectively. ICCH(HK) operated the clearing house of the Hong Kong Futures Exchange under contract and at the same time managed the HKFGC under another contract.

Following the events of October 1987, Lifeboat loans were provided to the HKFGC to enable it to finance the settlement of contracts in Hang Seng Index futures that were delayed or not met. To provide for the repayment of principal and payment of interest on these Lifeboat loans, the Special Levy Fund was established in October 1987 under the Exchanges (Special Levy) Ordinance (Cap. 351). The collection of the Special Levy was suspended in August 1993 and the Lifeboat loans were fully repaid, with interest, in June 1995. ICCH(HK) ceased to manage HKFGC in May 1994. We have been informed that neither ICCH(HK) nor HKFGC encountered any problems in handling the related work.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, November 7,1996

Contents Page

Transcript of Governor's media session at CUHK.................... 1

Transcript of Governor's media session............................ 2

Hong Kong's foreign reserves reach US$62 billion.................. 2

Plans to regulate VOD services announced.......................... 4

District Administration Scheme advances representative government. 5

VM saga is coming to a close: CSD Commissioner.................... 7

Roof-top transmitters are safe....................................

Macau delegation to see local heritage preservation.............. 10

District Court (Amendment) Bill 1996 to be gazetted............... 11

Submarine Telegrpah Bill 1996..................................... 11

Chinese vernacular architecture conference to be held in HK...... 12

HKMA launches first Chinese book................................. 13

Seminar on pleasurable and effective learning to be held......... 14

Last Remembrance Day Parade for British Forces................... 14

Staff member of unlicensed guesthouses fined...................... 15

Sai Kung DB publishes commemorative report........................ 16

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations............. 17

1

Transcript of Governor's media session at CUHK ♦ * * ♦ *

The following is the transcript of the media session given by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, after attending the Congregation Ceremony at the Sir Run Run Shaw Hall of the Chinese University in Sha Tin this (Thursday) afternoon;

Question: Mr Governor, I want to ask a newspaper reveals that the resignation of Laurence Leung, the reason is that he gave ... SAR passport to. ... would you like to comment on that?

Governor: I don't have anything to add to what the Secretary for the Civil Service has said already.

Question: Mr Patten ...?

Governor: Obviously, a small group of students felt very strongly about their role in this afternoon's proceeding. 1 think they were handled with maximum restraint, quite properly, very gently, and I offer them the opportunity of talking to me about it if they let people into the hall more rapidly. I think they are so overwhelmed by the occasion and by your attempt to .... by the drama that they wouldn't shift. But I don't think any body has lost their cool, which is a good thing, and you know what it is like. University students sometimes behalf more noisily.

Question: What do you think about their grievances?

Governor: I think I am told that the Vice-Chancellor had already agreed to meet them for discussion. So may be it would be better to proceed with those sort of channels and have a discussion with the Vice-Chancellor. 1 had exceptionally said that I would talk to them today if they wanted. But they turn it down. It's what they are entitled to do. Looking at them over there now, they seem to look very cheerful and obviously they had a rather tiring afternoon and ... quite a few presidents, and prime ministers and chief justices start off like that.

End

2

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

Following is a transcript of the media session given by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, after officiating at the foundation stone laying ceremony at the Yan Chai Multi-Services Complex in Tsuen Wan today (Thursday):

Governor: Couldn't disappoint you because you've been standing out in the sun for so long without your hats on. This is a terrific project. You heard what I said about it and I think one of the remarkable things is how quickly the Yan Chai Hospital have got on with it. It is obviously going to make a very great contribution to life in Tsuen Wan.

Question: Mr Patten can you comment on legislative councillors endorsed a motion calling China to release Wang Dan?

Governor: No, it's a matter entirely for the Legislative Council how it conducted its affairs, I think clearly as I said last week what the Legislative Council have said reflects a great deal of concern which is felt in the community. And I think they’ve expressed in a way that legislature would right around the world.

Question:... over thousands of civil servants are enjoying double housing benefits?

Governor: I don't want to add anything to what has already been said in the response to the Director of Audit Report. Thank you very much.

End

Hong Kong's foreign reserves reach US$62 billion ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced today (Thursday) that the amount of foreign currency assets held by the Exchange Fund, including forward transactions which had not yet been settled, amounted to US$62.1 billion as at the end of September 1996.

This represents an increase by 8.6% or US$4.9 billion over the position of US$57.2 billion at the end of December 1995 and an increase of 3.5% or US$2.1 billion in the third quarter.

3

Net foreign currency forward transactions outstanding at the end of September amounted to US$6.7 billion. This relatively high figure is due to swap transactions during the third quarter to meet market intervention needs and seasonal drawdowns of fiscal reserves from the Exchange Fund by the Government.

If such forward transactions were excluded in the computation, the amount of foreign currency assets in the Exchange Fund at the end of September 1996 would stand at US$55.4 billion. This is the same level as that recorded at the end of December 1995 but 3.3% less than that at the end of June 1996, reflecting seasonal drawdowns of fiscal reserves.

Exchange Fund Foreign Currency Assets (US$ bn)

End-of: Excluding forward transactions Net forward transactions Including forward transactions

March 95 52.4 (0.2) 52.2

June 95 53.6 - 53.6

September 95 51.8 2.8 54.6

December 95 55.4 1.8 57.2

March 96 58.1 1.7 59.8

June 96 57.3 2.7 60.0

September 96 55.4 6.7 62.1

End

4

Plans to regulate VOD services announced *****

The Government today (Thursday) published its plans to regulate video-on-demand (VOD) television services through amendments to the Television Ordinance.

The Television (Amendment) Bill 1996, endorsed by the Governor in Council early this week, provides for the creation of a new category of "programme service” licence for those wishing to provide VOD television services on a point-to-point basis within Hong Kong.

The Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport, Mr Chau Tak-hay, said the Bill would provide the necessary legal framework to ensure that VOD television services were properly regulated. The scope of licensing will be limited to services comprising television programmes, including films, he added.

The Bill will not seek to regulate VOD television services originating outside Hong Kong. "Even though such services would not be commercially practicable for some time, we considered carefully whether we should attempt to regulate VOD services transmitted to subscribers here from points outside Hong Kong," said Mr Chau. f

"But quite apart from the difficulty of detecting such services amongst the mass of data flowing over telecommunication systems in Hong Kong, we think that it would be wrong to interfere with people’s freedom and privacy of communications."

Mr Chau also expected the growth of the Internet to have a significant impact on VOD services within the next two to four years. Although VOD services on the Internet were not a practicable commercial proposition for the time being, he said, it was likely that the spread of broadband networks would bring such services closer to reality within a few years. For this reason, the Broadcasting, Culture and Sport Branch would review the regulation of VOD as part of its 1998 review of the television environment.

Mr Chau said that, depending on how soon the legislation was enacted, it might be possible to invite applications for VOD television service licences by the end of the first quarter of 1997, and to issue licences by the middle of the year. He added that, while all applications would be considered carefully, the Government had in mind to issue just two licences, pending a review of the television environment in 1998.

5

The Bill will also allow licensees under the Television Ordinance to invest in satellite broadcasting ventures without limits on their shareholding, or the need to obtain the prior approval of the Broadcasting Authority.

Mr Chau said that this would clear the way for TVB to be given a licence for its Galaxy satellite broadcasting venture and for other licensees to invest in similar ventures.

In addition, newspapers publishers will be disqualified from exercising control of any licensee under the Television Ordinance unless they obtain a waiver from the Governor in Council.

"This would give effect to a long-standing Government undertaking to limit cross-media holdings, so as to prevent the media frAm being dominated by a few large companies,” Mr Chau stated.

The new rule will not apply to any newspaper publishers who exercised control of a licensee on or before March 21, 1996, when the Government announced its policy.

The Television (Amendment) Bill 1996 will be published in the Gazette on November 15 and introduced into the Legislative Council for first and second readings on November 27.

End

District Administration Scheme advances representative government *****

The District Administration Scheme (DAS) has been successful in bridging the gap between the Government and the community it serves and in enabling residents to participate in the running of their own community, the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, said today (Thursday).

Addressing the "Serving the Community through District Administration" seminar organised by the Home Affairs Department to mark the 15th anniversary of DAS, Mr Suen noted that the Government, being always sensitive to the needs and aspirations of the community, had introduced the Scheme in 1981 and that the most important component of which was the setting up of District Boards (DBs) in 1982.

6

"In a span of just 15 years, DBs have matured from having the District Officer as chairman to fully elected membership.

"In the process, much have been achieved and the fact is, thousands of issues were discussed and hundreds of presentations were made to DBs over the past 15 years," he said.

"As DBs mature and become accepted by local residents, members' workload also become heavier. A review will give us some pointers as to how we should go on from here," Mr Suen added.

In this connection, Mr Suen said it would be timely for past and present DB members to get together and discuss issues such as the role of DBs, how Government branches and departments can further support ther, and how members can "deepen" their contacts with the residents who elected them so as to enable the members to carry out their duties better.

"The very definition of representative government dictates that while officials consult members at DB meetings, DB members themselves must contact and explain to their constituents who will be directly affected by what has been proposed or explained at DB meetings," he added.

Mr Suen also presented certificates of appreciation to 149 DB members with 10 or more years of service.

About 350 guests, including serving and former DB members and district personalities, took part in the seminar.

Guest speakers, including Mr Andrew Wong, Mrs Peggy Lam and Mr Lau Wong-fat, shared their experiences as veteran DB members.

Participants held discussions on topics such as "Review of the role of DBs in District Administration", "How Government officials could further support District Administration" and "Conditions of service for DB members" during the workshop session. Many constructive suggestions and comments were made.

End

- 7 -

VM saga is coming to a close: CSD Commissioner ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Raymond Lai Ming-kee, has given an assurance to implement the wishes of the international community in ensuring that all screened-out Vietnamese migrants are returned to their home.

Speaking at a lunch meeting of the Rotary Club of Kowloon, Mr Lai noted that with the last of the Vietnamese from Tai A Chau now having moved to Whitehead Detention Centre (WHDC), this long, often sad, sometimes uplifting saga was coming to a close.

The commissioner said the policy of detaining Vietnamese migrants and repatriating those who were deemed to have left for economic reasons was here to stay. "And it will continue until the last screened-out Vietnamese migrant has returned to Vietnam," he said.

"The job of managing these people has changed over the years and, in particular, how the Correctional Services Department (CSD) intends to face up to the challenge of managing the last batch of Vietnamese in the territory."

He said the management of VMs would continue much the same way as it used to by allowing them to live together as a community, providing them with food, lodging services and with the CSD doing the policing. "And we do our best," he said.

"We have been accused of managing the detention centres through the thugs and criminal elements who are unfortunately a part of any community.

"Such an accusation surfaces from time to time, and we have got used to it."

"It is almost as if the accusers, realising there is nothing new to say, drag out this tired old story, dust it off, and wave it around as ’news’.

»

"In addition to being boring, it displays a woeful lack of understanding on the part of its propagators. Or may be not, if they think it serves their interest and there is still a market for it," the commissioner noted.

"Long service has taught all of us in the corrections business that unless the authorities are the ’top dog*, someone else will be. And once someone else gains the ascendancy, then the ability to run the institutions is destroyed."

8

’’Anyone who knows or understands this could not possibly make or believe such an accusation. It would mean that, not only were we conniving in acts of criminal intimidation and threatening behaviour, but we would be undermining the very basis of order and stability that is essential if the centres are not to degenerate into total chaos,” he explained.

Mr Lai acknowledged that there had been clear instances of outbreaks of disorder or chaos, but pointed out that these were neither systemic nor endemic.

’’When there is an incident, it is just that: an event. It happens, and then it goes away.

"The chaos I am talking about is the state of permanent disorder which arises from the abdication of authority by those who are supposed to wield it. The difference is akin to that between a mass punch-up in Wan Chai, and handing over the reins of Government there to the triads," he added.

Mr Lai pointed out that it was despair that caused the periodic outbreaks of violence in the detention centres.

"Imagine that you have left your homeland in search of a better life, only to find yourself in a place like Whitehead for six or seven years.

"What sustains you is the hope that, one day, you will live in a big house in San Francisco. Then the hope is gone.

"You will not go to San Francisco but back to the same place whence you came. You have wasted six or seven years of your life, but worse, you have wasted six or seven years of your children's lives - an all for nothing," said Mr Lai.

He noted that the Vietnamese migrants would clutch at any "last straw" if one was there.

"Now there are people in Hong Kong and elsewhere in the world who are prepared to encourage the Vietnamese to remain behind the fences of a detention centre without offering them a realistic prospect of an alternative.

"Why these people do so is a matter between them and their consciences. The sad thing is the effect that this has on the very people whom they think, or profess, they are helping," Mr Lai said.

9

’’The Vietnamese quite simply see it as the prolongation of hope. Maybe San Francisco is a real prospect after all. Of Course, it is not, but who in their situation would not want to think it is.

”So when the time comes for repatriation, which is the only realistic outcome, it is not surprising that the Vietnamese resist."

End

Roof-top transmitters are safe ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

There have been reports in some newspapers in the last few days on the possible radiation hazards generated by radio transmitters situated on some roof-tops. An Office of the Telecommunication Authority (OFTA) report on investigations of the radiation levels on a number of buildings has also been quoted.

The Telecommunications Authority considers that these reports have not accurately reflected the actual situation and have been based on certain misinterpretations on the OFTA report.

In view of the possible public alarm which might have arisen unnecessarily based on wrong facts, the Telecommunications Authority considers it necessary to make a public statement to clarify this issue.

The facts are that OFTA commissioned a consultancy study on the safety of electromagnetic radiation from telecommunication transmitters situated on rooftops. The study has concluded that even in the most densely packed transmitter arrangement on some roof-tops in Hong Kong, the buildings are absolutely safe to live in. The study found that the levels of electromagnetic radiation inside the residential units and the normally accessible areas on the roof-tops are well below the safety limits set by the International Radiation Protection Authority.

The only possible danger identified in the study is the extremely remote case of someone climbing up to the antennas and stay within a foot or so of the antenna for over 24 hours. This could hardly happen in actual practice but the Telecommunications Authority is in the process of advising antenna owners to put up suitable warning signs on antennas which might be accessed in the extremely unlikely events.

10

The Telecommunications Authority reassures the public that the current transmitters on roof-tops are safe and the public should continue to enjoy their daily living habits and the use of all building facilities including the normal use of the roof top.

The authority has also written letters to the owners' incorporations and management offices of the buildings mentioned in the report to assure them that their buildings are safe to live in.

End

Macau delegation to see local heritage preservation * * * ♦ *

To facilitate cultural exchange between Hong Kong and Macau, a delegation of five members from the Cultural Institute of Macau will visit the territory this weekend (November 9 and 10) to familiarise themselves with the work of heritage preservation here.

The delegation will be led by the Head of the Cultural Heritage Department, Mr Luis Antonio Durao.

The Chairman of the Antiquities Advisory Board, Professor David Lung, will brief members on the history and local development of heritage preservation on Saturday.

This will be followed by a guided tour to a number of monuments and historical buildings, including the Tea Ware Museum, St. John's Cathedral, the former French Mission Building, Legislative Council Building, Western Market and Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb.

On Sunday, the delegation will visit the Kowloon Walled City Park and some monuments in Kam Tin, Yuen Long.

End

II

District Court (Amendment) Bill 1996 to be gazetted ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The District Court (Amendment) Bill 1996 will be published in the Gazette tomorrow (Friday).

The Bill seeks to raise the various financial limits of the civil jurisdiction of the District Court to enable more civil cases dealing with claims in contract or tort to be heard in the District Court and also to cover inflation and the rise in property prices and rental values since these limits were last reviewed.

Other amendments to the District Court Ordinance are also proposed.

A Working Part} under the chairmanship of the Hon Mr Justice Kempster was appointed by the Chief Justice in October 1991 to review the Ordinance. The recommendations in a report submitted to the Chief Justice in June 1993 were accepted.

The legal profession has been consulted on the draft bill. The Bill will be introduced into the Legislative Council on November 20.

End

Submarine Telegraph Bill 1996 ♦ ♦ * * ♦

The Executive Council has approved the introduction of the Submarine Telegraph Bill 1996 into the Legislative Council.

The purpose of the Bill is to localise the UK Submarine Telegraph Act 1885 which currently forms part of the law of Hong Kong.

A Government spokesman said today (Thursday): "The Bill provides protection for submarine cables landed in Hong Kong. Persons who deliberately break or damage such cables are liable unless they come within the scope of certain defences such as showing that the action which led to the damaging of the cable was necessary' to avoid injury, loss of life or of a vessel.

"The Bill confers jurisdiction over acts committed outside Hong Kong’s territorial waters against such cables."

12

The spokesman noted: "It is important to maintain this protection over submarine cables landed in Hong Kong. These cables form an essential part of Hong Kong's modem telecommunications infrastructure.

"Cable is the principal means by which our international telecommunications links are maintained," he added.

The Bill will be gazetted tomorrow (Friday) and then introduced into the Legislative Council on November 20.

End

Chinese vernacular architecture conference to be held in HK ♦ * * * *

The 8th National Conference on Chinese Vernacular Architecture, the first of its kind to be held in Hong Kong next year, will focus on Chinese traditional houses and modem architecture, the Director of Architectural Services, Mr Kenneth Chan, said today (Thursday).

The conference, which will take place between August 16 and 29 next year, is jointly organised by the Architectural Services Department (Arch SD) and the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Hong Kong.

Mr Chan said the conference aimed at sharing experience in the design and conservation of traditional houses and ancient buildings, and discussing the relationship between traditional houses and modem buildings.

"Renowned experts and academics on research and restoration of historical buildings from China, Taiwan, the United States of America and Hong Kong will meet at the conference to share their views and experience," he added.

Programme for the 8th Chinese National Conference will include presentation of research papers, visits to historical buildings and a photographic display.

Mr Chan invited interested parties to attend the conference and submit papers related to the theme.

13

Application forms for attending the conference can be obtained from the Training Officer of Arch SD, 34th floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.

Any submission of papers should be sent to the Organising Committee at Room 3416F, Queensway Government Offices before the end of this year.

Enquiries on the conference can be made on 2867 3733 or 2867 3636.

End

HKMA launches first Chinese book

M M ♦

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) today (Thursday) launched its first Chinese book titled Hong Kong’s Monetary and Banking System - Review and Outlook.

The publication is a compilation of speeches and articles explaining HKMA's philosophy of operations and policies on monetary and banking matters.

The articles are grouped into five sections, including the linked exchange rate system; the Exchange Fund; banking policy and supervision, and payment system.

The last section of the book is about the monetary relations between mainland China and Hong Kong in the run up to and beyond 1997. This section includes several recent and important speeches by senior officials of the People’s Bank of China and the HKMA.

“This Chinese book will widen the readership of HKMA’s publications. This is part of our effort to promote transparency and public understanding of Hong Kong's monetary and banking policies," said a spokesman for the HKMA.

The book is available at the Government Publication Centre (Queensway) and major bookstores at $120 per copy.

End

14

Seminar on pleasurable and effective learning to be held ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

Heads of secondary schools will have opportunities to exchange experiences on pleasurable and effective learning at a seminar at the end of this month (November).

Dr S K Tse from the Department of Curriculum Studies of the University of Hong Kong will present the report of "The Survey on Pleasurable and Effective Learning" at the seminar.

Principal Curriculum Officer (Integrated Studies) of the Education Department, Mr K S Wong, will introduce the concepts of this type of learning.

In the afternoon session, participants can exchange their ideas on topics including school management, extra-curricular activities, student-teacher interaction, school-based curriculum and discipline and guidance.

Organised by the Curriculum Development Institute Steering Committee on "Towards Pleasurable and Effective Learning", the whole-day seminar and experience sharing session will be held at the Auditorium, the Boys’ and Girls’ Club Association of Hong Kong, 3 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai on November 29 (Friday) at 8.45 am.

End

Last Remembrance Day Parade for British Forces *****

For the last time before their departure from the territory next year, British Forces will attend the annual Remembrance Day ceremony on Sunday (November 10) to honour those who gave their lives on active service.

Men from the Royal Navy, the Army and the Royal Air Force will form up at the Cenotaph in Statue Square, Central, alongside veterans of the Second World War, some of them have travelled from the United Kingdom for the ceremony.

On parade will be a detachment from A Company, 1st Battalion the Staffordshire Regiment (1 Staffords), along with a 20-man flight from Royal Air Force Sek Kong in the New Territories. The Royal Navy’s detachment will be drawn from HMS Tamar on Stonecutters Island.

15

Also taking part in the ceremony will be members of the Hong Kong Military Service Corps (HKMSC) and four Cenotaph sentries from the Queen's Gurkha Signals.

Music will be provided by the Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas, visiting Hong Kong from its headquarters at Church Crookham in the UK, and the Corps of Drums from 1 Staffords.

Among those Garrison personnel laying wreaths during the ceremony will be the Commander British Forces, Major General Bryan Dutton; Senior Naval Officer and Chief of Staff, Commodore Peter Melson; Senior Royal Air Force Officer, Wing Commander Barrie Simmonds; and Inspector HKMSC, Lieutenant Colonel Nick Southward.

End

Staff member of unlicensed guesthouses fined ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Guesthouse operators are reminded today (Thursday) that they must operate their establishments only after they have obtained a licence from the Home Affairs Department (HAD) or risk facing a maximum penalty of $200,000 in fines and two years' imprisonment.

An HAD spokesman issued the warning after a staff member of two unlicensed guesthouses was fined a total of $15,000 in San Po Kong Magistracy.

During an operation in December last year, officers of HAD's Licensing Authority inspected the two premises on the ground floor and first floor, 41 Cumberland Road and found that they were being operated as guesthouses without a licence, contrary to Section 5 of the Hotel and Guesthouse Accommodation Ordinance.

The spokesman said unlicensed guesthouses would not be tolerated and enforcement action would continue to be taken to eliminate such premises.

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

End

16

Sai Kung DB publishes commemorative report *****

The Sai Kung District Board has just produced a commemorative publication on the 15th anniversary of the Board and the District Administration Scheme.

Echoing the theme "Serving the Community Through District Administration", the report traces Sai Kung's colourful history and its rapid development from a sleepy village to a vibrant district, now home to Hong Kong's latest new town at Tseung Kwan O.

The 80-page report contains personal accounts of the serving and former Sai Kung District Officers and Sai Kung District Board chairmen and photographs showing Governors and other dignitaries visiting the district on special occasions or on inspection trips.

The district officers and district board chairmen recall landmark developments during their respective tenure in the district, which is well-known for its rich traditions and practices.

Printed in Chinese, the publication also incorporates the latest working reports of the board's five committees, namely the Recreation and Sports Committee, Community Affairs Committee, Environmental Improvement Committee, Traffic and Transport Committee and Housing and Development Committee.

Copies of the report will be distributed from today (Thursday) to the Executive Council, the Legislative Council, the Regional and Urban Councils, public libraries and the district's schools, area committees and rural committees, mutual aid committees and voluntary organisations.

End

17

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

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,655 0930 +241

Closing balance in the account 2,895 1000 +241

Change attributable to: 1100 +241

Money market activity +245 1200 +245

LAF today -5 1500 +245

1600 +245

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.6 *-0.4* 7.11.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/MTRC

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.89 2 years 2808 6.00 100.60 5.71

1 month 4.90 3 years 3910 6.28 100.53 6.17

3 months 4.94 5 years 5109 7.32 102.90 6.71

6 months 5.00 7 years 7308 7.24 101.78 7.02

12 months 5.27 10 years 1610 7.37 101.23 7.32

5 years M503 7.35 101.73 7.03

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $14,886 million

Closed November 7, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Friday, November 8,1996

Contents Page No.

UN Committee calls for continued reporting on human rights in HK after 1997................................................................   1

Overall VM population now below 10,000............................... 2

Privacy Commissioner’s recommendation being studied................... 2

Law reform on offence of fraud gazetted............................... 3

Factory audit checks to enhance HK's textiles control................. 4

New forms for employees to report accident details ................... 6

Support from the community is essential to combat AIDS................ 7

Man Kam To Food Control Office opening................................ 9

Family plays an important role in society............................ 10

HIV/AIDS situation in third quarter.................................. 10

Request to refrain from sounding whistles or sirens.............. 11

BFBS marks Remembrance Day with two-minute silence............... 11

/CAS Band.....

Contents

Page No,

CAS Band to hold Beating Retreat on Sunday.................................. 12

Volume and price statistics of external trade in August..................... 13

Newly-built roof-top structure in Kwun Tong to be closed.................... 19

Courses on drug education for secondary school teachers..................... 19

Family Sports Cup competitions to kick off tomorrow.......................   20

Recovery rate for treating MARPOL waste to increase......................... 21

Three footbridges proposed for Tsing Yi..................................... 22

Footbridge to be built across Yen Chow Street............................... 23

Improvement to van track at Ping Kong proposed.............................. 23

Sha Tau Kok lot for sale by tender.......................................... 24

Slope stabilisation works at Shum Wan Road.................................. 25

Tenders invited for two building contracts.................................. 25

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations........................ 26

1

UN Committee calls for continued reporting on human rights in HK after 1997 *****

The Government welcomes the Concluding Observations published today (Friday) by the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) following its hearing in Geneva on October 23 on the supplementary report on Hong Kong under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

A Government spokesman said: "The British and Hong Kong Governments agree entirely with the Human Rights Committee's main conclusion that human rights treaties devolve with territory and the protection of human rights under the Covenant cannot be denied to the people of Hong Kong merely by virtue of transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong from Britain to China. Moreover, China is obliged under the Joint Declaration to ensure the continued application after July 1, 1997 of all the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights including that of submitting periodic reports on Hong Kong.

"The British Government has urged the Chinese Government to work with them and to agree on a way for this to be done," he added.

On the Committee's suggestions and recommendations on Britain's responsibilities in respect of Hong Kong, the spokesman said: "The Prime Minister has made it clear that the British Government takes its responsibilities towards Hong Kong and its people very seriously. It has an abiding concern that the promises set out in the Joint Declaration will be met in full both before and after the transfer of sovereignty. To this end, the British Government will continue to work with their Chinese counterparts to arrive at a satisfactory solution to the question of the continued application of the Covenant to Hong Kong."

Commenting on the Committee's request for a further report, the spokesman said: "The British Government will submit a further report to the Human Rights Committee to cover the period up to the transfer of sovereignty."

The spokesman indicated that the Committee's Concluding Observations would be passed to the Chinese Government.

End

2

Overall VM population now below 10,000 *****

A total of 237 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) returned to Vietnam on a voluntary repatriation flight this (Friday) morning and with their departure, the overall VM population fell below 10,000 for the first time since December 1988.

As at 12 noon today, there are 9,924 VMs in Hong Kong.

Commenting on this morning's flight, the Refugee Co-ordinator, Mr Brian Bresnihan, expressed satisfaction at the current rate of repatriation.

"Some 11,413 VMs have returned to Vietnam so far this year, 1,772 in October alone, the highest monthly figure in 1996," he said.

Mr Bresnihan said that in recent weeks, the Vietnamese authorities had agreed to voluntary repatriation flights landing in Ho Chi Minh City.

"This agreement was announced by UNHCR in the Whitehead Detention Centre on October 30 and was a factor which prompted a record 1,041 VMs in that camp to volunteer to go home in advance of the forthcoming cycle of Orderly Repatriation Programme flights.

"We remain determined to resolve this problem as soon as possible and, if the current repatriation trends continue, it should be possible to close our camps by mid-1997," he said.

End

Privacy Commissioner's recommendation being studied

*****

A spokesman for the Home Affairs Branch said today (Friday) that the Government has received a recommendation by the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data that the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance, other than sections 30 and 33, should commence operation in the latter half of December 1996.

The spokesman said it is the Government's intention all along to bring the Ordinance into effect within this year.

3

"However, regarding the recommendation to defer the implementation of sections 30 (on matching procedures) and 33 (on transfer of personal data to places outside Hong Kong), we appreciate that data users would require sufficient time to prepare for compliance with these two particular sections.

"We are studying the recommendation carefully and will make a firm decision within this month," he added.

End

Law reform on offence of fraud gazetted *****

A proposal by the Law Reform Commission (LRC) in July this year to remove existing deficiencies in the law on the offence of fraud has been accepted by the Administration and is now put forward in a Fraud Bill 1996 published in the Government Gazette today (Friday).

The proposal is for the creation of a substantive offence of fraud, and abolition of the offence at common law of conspiracy to defraud.

A government spokesman explained that at present, Hong Kong does not have a general offence of fraud. Instead, fraudulent conduct is dealt with under various laws, both statutory and at common law under the conspiracy charge.

Among the defects of the law identified by the LRC are:

the offence extends to conduct which would not amount to an offence if committed by a single individual;

* it is arguably artificial to charge parties with an agreement to commit a crime where the fact of an agreement is often inferred from the fact that the crime has been committed;

* the breadth of the offence is so wide that its boundaries may go beyond the limitations of a fraud-related offence in the Theft Ordinance and may cover conduct which arguably ought not to be criminal at all;

4

* there are practical difficulties in bringing the charge of conspiracy to defraud, e.g. trials tend to be more complicated and lengthy than those of other offences;

* where fraud has a foreign element, an analysis of factual issues relating to jurisdiction (such as, where the offence took place) can present difficulties both before and during trial; and

extradition from certain countries may be unavailable in conspiracy to defraud cases.

The spokesman pointed out that the advantage of a new offence of fraud is that it would enable an individual acting alone to be properly charged with a substantive offence, without the necessity of involving a secondary participant.

The new offence would also avoid the artificiality of the present conspiracy to defraud charge where the fraud has actually been committed and the fraudster has achieved his ends.

It would also place fraudulent conduct within more precise bounds by tying it to deceit rather than dishonesty, he said.

He noted that the new offence of fraud would correspondent to what most people believe should be the law and would be a welcome contribution to the fight against crime, adding to Hong Kong's reputation as international financial centre.

End

Factory audit checks to enhance HK's textiles control

*****

To protect the integrity of Hong Kong's Textiles Export Control System and the Certification System and to further improve control, factory audit checks will be carried out on manufacturers, subcontractors and exporters of textiles goods to supplement the existing consignment check system with immediate effect, the Trade Department announced today (Friday).

Also with immediate effect, the Trade Department will make the requirement of compliance with the factory audit checks an additional condition for the issue of export licence and certificate of origin.

5

Giving details of the new measure, a Trade Department spokesman said: "A factory audit check is a combination of consignment check, factory inspection and production capacity verification where all certificates of origin and certificate of origin applications and/or licences and licence applications taken out or submitted by a manufacturer will be verified against the relevant manufacturing records and export documentation to ensure the accuracy of the material particulars declared on the certificates and/or licences.

"At the same time, all particulars declared on the application for factory registration and the production capacity information supplied by the manufacturer will also be verified."

The spokesman said factory audit checks would be conducted by authorised officers of the Customs and Excise Department on any manufacturers, subcontractors or exporters as and when required.

Officers of the Customs and Excise Department are empowered by law to enter the premises of the manufacturers, subcontractors, exporters and any other parties involved in the manufacture and export of textiles consignments and to conduct checks at any reasonable time.

The spokesman said in the event of factory audit checks, the responsible person of the factory would be required to complete a questionnaire and all parties concerned including the manufacturer, the exporter and the subcontractor should render all necessary assistance and co-operation to officers of the Customs and Excise Department in conducting the checks.

In particular, they are reminded to observe the following:

a) the manufacturer, the exporter and the subcontractor must make the goods available for inspection and produce the relevant commercial and shipping documentation and manufacturing records as appropriate to show that the goods have been manufactured and will be properly exported in accordance with the provisions of the Textiles Export Control System;

b) the manufacturer, the exporter and the subcontractor must produce the manufacturing records and other documents to substantiate the origin of textiles products. The manufacturer must also furnish the relevant records for verification of its declared production capacity; and

6

c) if the goods in question have not been exported at the time of the factory audit check, the manufacturer, the exporter or the subcontractor concerned must make the goods available for inspection before shipment, including, if necessary, the opportunity for inspection at the point of exit of the goods from Hong Kong and the manufacturer, the exporter or the contractor concerned will be expected to provide shipping information to facilitate customs consignment checking at the point of exit.

"Failure to comply with the factory audit check requirement or failure to render all necessary assistance and co-operation to officers of the Customs and Excise Department in conducting the factory audit check will result in the suspension of all licensing and certification of origin facilities as well as other facilities provided under the Textiles Export Control System." the spokesman warned.

"The Director-General of Trade may also cancel, suspend and/or revoke the relevant certificates of origin, licences and/or production notifications, and may discount the shipment performance gained by all licences taken out by the parties concerned during a specific period for the purpose of future quota/permit allocation. In addition, other administrative actions may be taken."

Breach of any of the provisions of the Textiles Export Control System and the Certification System will be taken seriously. Offenders are liable to a maximum penalty of a fine of $500,000 and two years' imprisonment upon conviction under the Import and Export Ordinance.

End

New forms for employees to report accident details *****

Under the Employees’ Compensation (Amendment) Regulation 1996 gazetted today (Friday), an employer will be required to provide more information to the Commissioner for Labour in the event that his/her employee is killed or injured in a work-related accident.

The Employees’ Compensation Ordinance provides that an employer is required to give notice to the Commissioner for Labour in a prescribed form of any accident which causes death to an employee or incapacitates him/her for more than three consecutive days immediately following the accident. The form requires the employer to provide information relating to the accident. A separate form has been prescribed for reporting occupational disease in respect of an employee.

7

To facilitate the processing of employees' compensation claims, these new forms require an employer who is the subsidiary of a group of companies to submit information about the holding company if its liabilities are covered by an insurance policy taken out by the holding company.

In addition, an employer who is a sub-contractor or a subsidiary will be required to provide the business registration certificate number of the principal contractor or the holding company.

Under the new form for reporting accidents, employers will be required to provide information on the location of the accident and activity carried out thereat; the nature of injury sustained by the employee and the part of his/her body injured; the cause of injury and agents involved in the accident.

"These additional details will help the Labour Department compile comprehensive statistics on work-related accidents," a Labour Department spokesman said.

Since the majority of serious or fatal industrial accidents have taken place on construction sites, employers on these sites are required to furnish further information on the type of work performed by the employee and the machinery involved in the accident.

"Information collected from these forms will provide useful references for the Labour Department to target its enforcement actions and set priorities for improving industrial safety," the spokesman said.

The amendment regulation will be tabled at the Legislative Council on November 20, 1996. If approved, the new forms will be used from January 1, 1997.

End

Support from the community is essential to combat AIDS ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Prevention and education are the best ways to control AIDS, Mrs Lavender Patten said today (Friday).

Speaking at the opening ceremony of Hong Kong’s first AIDS Conference, Mrs Patten said: "In spite of the medical advances and our rising awareness of the disease, AIDS is still an incurable condition, affecting young and productive people in our society."

8

She pointed out that the impact of AIDS was significant even if the number of infected patients was apparently small in Hong Kong.

"The seemingly low rate of HIV infection in Hong Kong should not breed complacency. We must continue our efforts to control the disease," she said.

"Local and international experience tells us that for prevention to be effective as a society we must face up to behaviour with a high risk of leading to infection. In other words, subjects like sexual habits, drug abuse, the treatment and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases should be tackled when drawing up prevention programmes."

Mrs Patten said that in Hong Kong a target-oriented approach for preventing AIDS had been adopted which ensured, to a certain extent, that people get the right message which might lead to changes in behaviour or attitude.

She said support of the whole community was needed to develop an effective programme for AIDS. She appealed to the public to be understanding and compassionate to those living with the disease.

Also speaking at the ceremony, the Chairman of Advisory Council on AIDS, Dr Conrad Lam, said: "The conference represents a milestone in our history. It will pave the way for better collaboration of all parties involved in AIDS prevention, care and control in Hong Kong."

"The policy, social, public health, clinical and care issues concerning HIV/AIDS will be addressed by local workers in the Conference and through their active participation, new ideas would be generated.

"I am hopeful that these ideas can be translated into useful strategies for the Advisory Council on AIDS in due course." he said.

The Chairman of Organising Committee of AIDS Conference, Ms Carlye Tsui also said the conference provided a timely and unique opportunity for Hong Kong to look back into the past, evaluate its efforts and plan for the coming future.

"Local efforts in the past 11 years towards the prevention, care and control of the disease succeeded to enhance public AIDS awareness, keep the epidemic under control, and provide support for people living with AIDS," she said.

9

’’What we have achieved so far is a good base for us to strengthen the AIDS programme in Hong Kong. Togetherness will be the key to build new hope for the society and patients.”

The two-day AIDS Conference, the first of its kind in Hong Kong, was organised by the Advisory Council on AIDS and sponsored by the Department of Health.

Programmes of the conference include a plenary session, symposiums, workshops, exhibitions and cultural events.

End

Man Kam To Food Control Office opening ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Man Kam To Food Control Office set up by the Department of Health to strengthen surveillance of food items imported from China will be officially open on November 18 (Monday).

Funded and supported by the two municipal councils, the purposely-built checkpoint comprises, among other things, a laboratory capable of conducting confirmatory analyses for vegetables.

Officiating at the opening ceremony will be the Director of Health cum Chairman of the Hygiene Services Committee (HSC). Dr Margaret Chan.

Other officiating guests include HSC members and Urban Councillors, Mr Joseph Chan and Mr Wong Kwok-hing; HSC members and Regional Councillors Mr Ting Yin-wah and Mr Leung Che-chcung; and the Director of Architectural Services, Mr Chan Yat-sun.

Following the opening ceremony will be a tour of the various facilities of the Man Kam To Food Control Office.

End

10

Family plays an important role in society ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Director of Social Welfare, Mr Andrew Leung Kin-pong, spelt out the importance of the family unit, describing it as "a vital component of society".

V t. ' ■ .« ■ ■

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Social Welfare Department's (SWD) Ma On Shan Family Services Centre today (Friday), Mr Leung said the family unit was an intimate environment in which personal care, mutual support and emotional security were provided.

"The increasing number of broken families resulted from separation and divorces, and the more and more families moving to new towns, would affect the mutual care between these families and their relatives," he said.

"The establishment of the family services centres, staffed by professional social workers, is designed to help individuals and families to cope with their problems."

SWD at present runs 42 such centres throughout the territory to maintain and to strengthen the effectiveness of the family unit in district level.

Mr Leung noted that there was a significant increase in population in the developing Ma On Shan new town, rising from 80,000 in 1992 to 130,000 at present.

He urged local residents with difficulties to approach this new family services centre for help without delay to avoid any unpleasant mishaps.

In general, problems handled by family services centres mainly involve interpersonal relationship problems, single parents, care or protection of children and young people, children or adolescents with behavioural problems, and people with mental or physical disabilities.

End

HIV/AIDS situation in third quarter *****

A total of 36 persons were found to be positive for the HIV Antibody Test in the third quarter of 1996, the Department of Health announced today (Friday). This brings the number of HIV infected persons in Hong Kong to 738.

Fourteen new AIDS cases were reported during the same period.

11

Up to the end of September, the total number of confirmed AIDS cases is 228.

Of the 738 HIV-infected, 364 acquired the infection through heterosexual sex and 234 through homosexual or bisexual sex; 14 were injecting drug users; three were mother-to-child transmissions around the time of birth; and 66 acquired the infection through contaminated blood or blood products before 1985 when HIV Antibody Test and safe heat treated clotting concentrates were not available.

As for the remaining 57, the information available was inadequate for classification.

End

Request to refrain from sounding whistles or sirens ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Marine Department requests shipowners, shipmasters, officers and persons in charge of vessels, as far as possible, to refrain from sounding whistles or sirens within Victoria Harbour during the Remembrance Day service from 10.30 to 11.30 am on Sunday (November 10).

A spokesman for the Marine Department said today (Friday): "In particular, this should be observed during the two-minute silence period from 11 to 11.02 am.

"The beginning and ending of this period of silence will be indicated by the firing of a gun in Central."

End

BFBS marks Remembrance Day with two-minute silence ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS), based at the Prince of Wales Barracks in Central, will observe two minutes of silence at 11 am on Sunday (November 10) in honour of those men and women who gave their lives on active service.

The silence will be followed by the sounding of the Last Post.

End

12

CAS Band to hold Beating Retreat on Sunday * * * * *

The Civil Aid Services (CAS) Band is to hold its Beating Retreat 1996 on Sunday (November 10) evening at the Gun Club Hill Barracks in Tsim Sha Tsui.

The biennial event will comprise a series of performances by the CAS Pipe Band and Brass Band as well as the Hong Kong Boys' Brigade Band.

The programme includes traditional band marching and pipes and drums parades. The highlight of the hour-long evening performance is the finale - Beating of Retreat.

The principal guest at the performance is the Deputy Secretary for Security, Mr Alex Fong.

The CAS Band, which is financed by the Government, was first formed in 1976 when the bugle and drum bands of the CAS Aberdeen and Sham Shui Po Cadet Units amalgamated into a brass band. It was expanded in 1977 by including one pipe band which can perform either independently or together with the brass band as a marching band.

In addition to staging performances at CAS events and major government functions, the band is becoming more and more popular by providing concert and martial music for the public on various occasions both locally and overseas.

The "Beating Retreat" is generally believed to have originated in the 16th Century. At that time, it was signalled by sounds made from drums, trumpets, pipes or other instruments on ramparts, half an hour before closing gates of a garrison town at night. The purpose of which was to recall troops within the walls, and to warn civilians as well.

At the same time, the night watch was set or guards mounted and the flag was lowered at nightfall. A ceremony was later set up to regulate these duties.

Nowadays, at places where troops are stationed, the Beating Retreat becomes the basis of military spectacles and serves as an entertainment for the public.

End

13

Volume and price statistics of external trade in August

*****

In the first eight months of 1996, the volume of re-exports increased by 7.8% over the same period last year, while the volume of domestic exports decreased by 8.2%, 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 5.1%. Meanwhile, imports increased by 3.9% in volume.

Comparing August 1996 with August 1995, the volume of re-exports increased by 7.7%, while that of domestic exports decreased by 11%. Taken together, the volume of total exports increased by 4.6%. The volume of imports increased by 2.1%.

The growth in the volume of trade is derived from the growth in trade value with the effect of price changes discounted.

As regards price changes in the first eight months of 1996 over the same period last year, the prices of re-exports decreased by 0.1%, while that of domestic exports increased by 0.7%. Import prices decreased by 0.9%.

Comparing August 1996 with August 1995, the prices of re-exports and domestic exports decreased by 1.6% and 0.8% respectively. Import prices also decreased by 2.7%.

Price changes are reflected by changes in unit value indices which are compiled based on average unit values or, for certain commodities, based on specific price data.

The terms of trade index, defined as the ratio of total export price index to import price index, recorded an increase of 1% in the first eight months of 1996 over the same period last year.

The changes in the value, unit value and volume of re-exports by end-use category are shown in Table 1.

Comparing August 1996 with August 1995, increases in volume were recorded for all the end-use categories of re-exports : foodstuffs (+30%); fuels (+29%); capital goods (+12%); raw materials and semi-manufactures (+6.2%); and consumer goods (+5.9%).

14

Over the same period of comparison, increase in the prices of re-exports was only noted of fuels (+13%).

On the other hand, the re-export prices of raw materials and semi-manufactures; capital goods; foodstuffs; and consumer goods decreased by 4.1%; 1.8%; 0.2% and 0.1% respectively.

The changes in the value, unit value and volume of domestic exports by principal commodity group are shown in Table 2.

Comparing August 1996 with August 1995, commodity groups which recorded significant increases in volume of domestic exports included textile yam and thread (+18%); and domestic electrical appliances (+10%).

• -j ~

On the other hand, the volume of domestic exports of textile made-ups and related products; and radios of all kinds decreased by 66% and 61% respectively.

Commodity groups which recorded increases in domestic export prices included metal ores and scrap (+12%); and radios of all kinds (+8.9%).

On the other hand, the domestic export prices of electronic components; and domestic electrical appliances decreased by 7.3% and 4.9% respectively.

The changes in the value, unit value and volume of imports by end-use category are shown in Table 3.

The import volume of foodstuffs increased by 15% in August 1996 compared with August 1995.

Significant increases in import volume were noted of soya bean oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil and lard; and fruit. However, decreases were recorded in the import volume of animals of the bovine species, live; and sugar.

Over the same period of comparison, the import volume of consumer goods increased by 3.9%.

Increases in import volume were recorded in miscellaneous made-up articles of textile materials; and footwear. However, decreases in the import volume were noted of passenger motor cars; and alcoholic beverages.

The import volume of raw materials and semi-manufactures increased by 3% in August 1996 compared with August 1995.

15

Increases in import volume were recorded in most of the raw materials and semi-manufactures. Significant increases in the import volume were noted of lime, cement, and fabricated building materials except glass, clay construction materials and refractory construction materials; and woven fabrics of man-made fibres. However, decreases were noted of raw cotton; and man-made fibres.

Imports of fuels decreased by 49% in volume in August 1996 compared with August 1995.

As regards capital goods, the volume of imports increased by 6.3% in August 1996 over August 1995.

Notable increases were recorded in the import volume of transport equipment; and office machinery. The import volume of industrial machinery, other than textile machinery and electrical machinery; and construction machinery however decreased.

Comparing August 1996 with August 1995, the import prices of fuels and consumer goods increased by 12% and 1.2% respectively.

On the other hand, the import prices of raw materials and semi-manufactures; capital goods; and foodstuffs decreased by 7.1%, 4% and 0.6% respectively.

Details of the above statistics are published in the August 1996 issue of the "Hong Kong Trade Index Numbers".

The report will be available on sale around 11 November 1996 at $14 per copy at either the Government Publications Centre, ground floor, Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway or the Publications Unit of the Census and Statistics Department, 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.

Enquiries regarding regular subscription to this report may be directed to the Publications (Sales) Office of the Information Services Department, 28th floor, Siu On Centre, 188 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong (Tel 2598 8194) and enquiries on trade indices to the Census and Statistics Department (Tel 2582 4918).

16

j*i ..*6- . j

Table 1 : Changes in re-exporta by end-uae category

Comparing AUG 1996 Comparing JAN-AUG 1996 with AUG 1995 with JAN-AUG 1995

End-use category % changes % changes

Value Unit Value Volume Value Unit Value ’ Volume

Foodstuffs 27.0 -0.2 29.8 13.6 * 13.7

Consumer goods 6.6 -0.1 5.9 5.9 0.9 4.3

Raw materials and semi-manufactures 1.7 -4.1 6.2 4.7 -1.8 6.6

Fuels 44.7 13.2 29.2 26.3 12.8 14.1

Capital goods 7.9 -1.8 11.8 14.2 -1.1 18.1

ALL COMMODITIES 6.0 -1.6 7.7 7.4 -0.1 7.8

less than 0.05%

17

Table 2 : Changes in domestic exports by principal commodity group

Comparing AUG 1996 Comparing JAN-AUG 1996 with AUG 1995 with JAN-AUG 1995

% changes % changes

Commodity group Value Unit Value Volume Unit

Value Value Volume

Clothing -6.6 -0.5 -5.5 -6.9 0.9 -7.4

Textile fabrics 4.7 -1.9 6.8 -4.2 -0.2 -5.1

Textile yarn and thread 22.7 5.2 18.1 22.2 5.2 17.3

Textile made-ups and related articles -67.0 2.7 -66.1 -31.0 1.1 -31.4

Radios of all kinds -57.1 8.9 -61.0 -1.2 6.9 -13.0

Electronic components -25.4 -7.3 -21.5 -10.6 -1.5 -10.6

Footwear -28.2 -2.6 -25.9 -53.8 -3.4 -53.9

Metal manufactures -12.0 2.4 -13.7 -10.1 5.6 -15.2

Metal ores and scrap -22.3 11.7 -30.3 -13.0 9.2 -18.9

Watches and clocks -6.3 0.3 -6.1 -9.0 -0.2 -8.8

Travel goods, handbags and similar articles -37.3 1.6 -38.4 -14.6 1.1 -16.1

Domestic electrical appliances 2.8 -4.9 10.1 36.1 -3.3 41.6

ALL COMMODITIES -11.5 -0.8 -10.9 -8.3 0.7 -8.2

18

Table 3 : Changes in Imports by end-use category

Comparing AUG 1996 with AUG 1995 Comparing JAN-AUG 1996 with JAN-AUG 1995

End-use category % changes % changes

Value Unit Value Volume Value Unit Value Volume

Foodstuffs 14.9 -0.6 15.3 5.5 * 5.5

Consumer goods 5.1 1.2 3.9 2.3 1.6 0.6

Raw materials and semi-manufactures -3.2 -7.1 3.0 -0.4 -3.0 2.7

Fuels -40.0 11.5 - -48.6 18.1 8.2 8.3

Capital goods 2.6 -4.0 6.3 8.0 -3.3 11.5

ALL COMMODITIES 0.7 -2.7 2.1 2.9 -0.9 3.9

less than 0.05%

End

19

Newly-built roof-top structure in Kwun Tong to be closed ♦ * ♦ * *

The Buildings Department announced today (Friday) that a newly-erected rooftop structure at Nos. 19-29 Mut Wah Street. Kwun Tong will be closed for demolition.

A Notice of Intention was issued to the owners of the building this morning informing them that the department would apply from the Hong Kong District Court for closing the structure on March 14, 1997.

The department's Chief Building Surveyor (Control and Enforcement), Mr Au Choi-kai, said the structure was found under construction upon an inspection to the building.

"Priority enforcement action will be taken against all unauthorised structures who are either newly-erected or under construction to contain the growth of illegal structures.

"A demolition order will then be served on the owners. We will not hesitate to initiate prosecution action if they fails to comply with the Order," Mr Au said.

End

Courses on drug education for secondary school teachers ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A number of vacancies of drug education courses are still available for secondary school teachers, the Principal Inspector (Biological Sciences) of the Education Department. Mr Ho Chung-nin, said today (Friday)

’’School heads arc urged to nominate their teachers to attend these courses,” he

said.

A total of five courses on drug education will be held between November 16 and December 13.

"Aided and government schools may apply for employment of supply teachers to take up the lessons of teachers attending the course which is held on school days," Mr Ho said.

"To support the Government’s efforts to beat drug, the department has set the target to train one teacher on drug education for every local secondary school by 1997.

20

"At present, about two thirds of all secondary schools have their teachers completed these courses. We hope that the remaining schools will send teachers to attend these courses," he said.

The three-day courses consist of talks and workshops.

They aim to enhance participants’ knowledge on substance abuse and its effect to health, promote their understanding with substance abuse at schools, and develop their skills for conducting preventive education against substance abuse at schools and helping pupils with substance abuse.

Priority will be given to schools without teachers trained in drug education, Mr Ho added.

End

Family Sports Cup competitions to kick off tomorrow

*****

Four teams, including Legislative Councillors, representatives from parentteacher associations (PTAs), the Hong Kong Rats (ex-footballers) and the Hong Kong United Press (reporters), will tomorrow (Saturday) participate in the Family Sports Cup Soccer Tournament.

Jointly organised by the Committee on Home-School, Co-operation and the Hong Kong Sports Development Board, the soccer tournament will be held at the Hong Kong Sports Institute in Sha Tin.

It serves as a kicking-off ceremony for the Family Sports Cup, a series of sports events for PTAs to build up a "sporting culture" in family.

The Chairman of the Committee on Home-School Co-operation, Mr Tik chi-yuen: "The Family Sports Cup is to encourage schools to set up parent-teacher associations and to enhance parents' involvement in education, especially that of the fathers."

Present at the kicking-off ceremony will be Mr Tik and the Director of Corporate Services of the Hong Kong Sports Development Board, Mr Patrick Ho as well as captains/managers of the four competing teams.

End

21

Recovery rate for treating MARPOL waste to increase *****

Fees charged by the Chemical Waste Treatment Centre (CWTC) for receiving and treating wastes containing oil or noxious substances discharged from ships (known as MARPOL waste) will be increased.

A Government spokesman today (Friday) said that when the CWTC opened in April 1993, a free service was initially provided to encourage ship operators to dispose of their wastes properly. In accordance with the polluter pays principle, a charging scheme was introduced from 1 August 1995 to recover some of the cost of providing the service.

The initial charges were set to recover the full administrative costs and approximately 20 per cent of the variable operating cost (VOC) of the CWTC.

The VOC recovery rate will be increased from 20 to 25 per cent from 20 December 1996. This is in line with the new charges for the disposal of land-based chemical waste at the CWTC, made effective since June this year.

"Ship owners will still only pay a fraction of the cost of treating their waste. The Government will continue to bear about 75 per cent of the VOC, as well as the full fixed operating cost and capital cost of constructing the CWTC," the spokesman said.

The revised charges are set out in the Merchant Shipping (Prevention and Control of Pollution)(Charges of Discharge of Polluting Waste)(Amendment) Regulation 1996 published in the gazette today (Friday).

Under the MARPOL Convention for the prevention of pollution from ships, ship operators are restricted from discharging MARPOL wastes into the sea.

At the same time. Governments are required to ensure that adequate reception facilities are available for the disposal of such wastes.

End

22

Three footbridges proposed for Tsing Yi *****

The Government proposes to construct three footbridges in Area 3 of Tsing Yi.

Two of the footbridges will span across Tsing King Road while the other one will run over Tsing Luk Street.

The contract will also comprise construction of a staircase and a ramp linking Tsing Yi Garden and Tsing Yi Town Clinic together with footway and road widening works at the proposed footbridge locations, and construction of planter, safety fence, associated landscaping and ancillary works.

Details of the proposed works were contained in a notice published in the Government Gazette today (Friday).

Plans showing the extent of the proposed works together with a scheme description can be seen at the Central and Western District Office, Public Enquiry Service Centre, ground floor, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central, Hong Kong; the Kwai Tsing District Office, Public Enquiry Service Centre, second floor, Kwai Hing Government Offices Building, 166-174 Hing Fong Road, Kwai Chung, New Territories; and the Tsuen Wan District Lands Office, 10th floor, Tsuen Wan Station Multi-storey Carpark Building, 174-208 Castle Peak Road, Tsuen Wan, New Territories.

Any person objecting to the proposed works should submit a written objection reaching the Secretary for Transport, Central Government Offices, East Wing, second floor. Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong not later than Tuesday, January 7, 1997.

He should describe his interest and the manner in which he alleges that he will be affected.

End

23

Footbridge to be built across Yen Chow Street

*****

The Govemor-in-Council has authorised the construction of a footbridge across Yen Chow Street at Ki Lung Street in Sham Shui Po to improve road junction capacity and enhance road safety there.

A government spokesman said that following the completion of a number of developments in the vicinity recently, it was anticipated that the pedestrian crossing demand across Yen Chow Street would increase significantly. It was therefore proposed to build a new footbridge to cope with the increased demand.

The project will include the construction of a five-metre wide footbridge across Yen Chow Street at Ki Lung Street with a staircase and escalator at one end and a connection to the existing landing at the first floor of Dragon Centre at the other end.

Associated ground level works and drainage works will also be included.

Work is expected to start later this month (November) for completion in 12 months.

End

Improvement to van track at Ping Kong proposed ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government is proposing to improve the existing van track from Po Kin Road to Ping Kong, Shcung Shui to increase traffic capacity and to improve the safety of users.

rhe proposed improvement works will include:

* reconstruction and widening of the track section to approximately 3.5 metres with passing bays at suitable locations;

construction of an approximately 1.6-metre wide footpath along the eastern side of the track section; and

* associated street furniture, drainage works and a vehicular and pedestrian crossing over the existing stream.

24

Details of the proposed works were published in the Government Gazette today (Friday).

The plan and scheme on the proposed works can be inspected at:

Central Enquiry Service Centre, Central and Western District Office, ground floor, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central, Hong Kong;

North District Lands Office, sixth floor, North District Government Offices, 3 Pik Fung Road, Fanling, New Territories; and

North District Office, third floor, North District Government Offices, 3 Pik Fung Road, Fanling, New Territories.

Any person, who wishes to object to the works or the use or both, is required to send his objection in writing to the Secretary for Transport, second floor, East Wing, Central Government Offices, Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong not later than January 7, 1997.

End

Sha Tau Kok lot for sale by tender *****

The Lands Department is inviting tenders for the sale of a piece of government land in Area 17, Sha Tau Kok.

With an area of about 1,167 square metres, Lot No. 1000 in Demarcation District No. 40 is intended for non-industrial purposes excluding godown and service apartment.

The closing date for submission of tenders is noon on December 6.

Tender form, tender notice and conditions can be obtained from the Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong and the Kowloon District Lands Offices, 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

25

Slope stabilisation works at Shum Wan Road ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Civil Engineering Department is inviting tenders for stabilisation works to slopes at Shum Wan Road in Aberdeen.

Following the landslide at Shum Wan Road in August 1995, temporary stabilisation works were implemented. With the completion of a full investigation into the landslide and adjacent areas, permanent upgrading works to the slopes can be undertaken.

Works will comprise trimming and excavation of slopes, installation of soil nails, construction of retaining walls and provision of surface drainage.

Landscaping work will be included as part of the construction to restore as much vegetation as possible on the slopes.

Works will start in January 1997 for completion in 12 months.

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, November 29, 1996.

End

Tenders invited for two building contracts ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

The Architectural Services Department is inviting tenders for two building contracts in Tseung Kwan 0 and Kowloon Bay respectively.

The contract for works in Tseung Kwan O involves the construction of a swimming pool complex , a district library, an indoor recreation centre and a district open space in Area 24.

26

The swimming pool complex will comprise a standard pool, a leisure pool with waterslides, two teaching pools, a training pool, a diving pool, a spectator stand accommodating 1,173 persons and ancillary facilities.

Work will commence in February 1997 for completion in March 1999.

The other contract is for the construction of a primary health care centre and a nursing home for the elderly in Kowloon Bay.

The primary health care centre will have a general out-patient clinic, a student health service centre, an integrated day treatment centre, a general radiography centre and a regional store.

The nursing home will provide 200 residential care places for elderly people in need of regular medical, nursing and personal care.

Work will start in March 1997 for completion in October 1998.

Tender forms and further particulars of both contracts can be obtained from the Architectural Services Department, 34th floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.

Tender offers for both contracts will close at noon on Friday, December 6.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

Time Cumulative change

$ million (hours) (Smillion.)

Opening balance in the account 2,895 0930 +5

Closing balance in the account 3,100 1000 +5

Change attributable to: 1100 +5

Money market activity +5 1200 +5

LAF today +200 1500 -25

1600 +5

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TW1 124.5 *-0.1 ♦ 8.11.96

27

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/MTRC

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price

1 week 4.84 2 years 2808 6.00 100.67

1 month 4.87 3 years 3910 6.28 100.63

3 months 4.93 5 years 5109 7.32 103.12

6 months 4.99 7 years 7308 7.24 102.09

12 months 5.25 10 years 1610 7.37 101.64

5 years M5O3 7.35 101.90

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $9,903 million

Yield

5.67

6.13

6.66

6.96

7.26

6.99

Closed November 8, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Saturday, November 9,1996

Contents Page No,

Agreement on CMB workers’ retirement benefits reached........... 1

Announcement of regulations on labour exportation welcomed...... 1

HK-Guangdong talks on boundaries of administration.............. 2

Public invited to join "enjoy safe hiking campaign" contests.... 2

Fresh water cut in northern New Territories..................... 3

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations............ 4

Sunday, November 10,1996

Contents Page No,

Transcript of Governor’s media session.......................... 5

Guidelines to help children adjust to local education........... 9

District festival should be widely promoted: DHA............... 10

First hiking practice trail opens.............................. 11

Slope maintenance exhibition opens at Luk Yeung Sun Chuen...... 12

Curriculum Development Council delegation visits Europe........ 13

38 new building plans approved in September.................... 13

Fresh water cut in Kowloon East................................ 14

1

Agreement on CMB workers’ retirement benefits reached ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The management and staff representatives of the China Motor Bus (CMB) Company have reached an agreement on workers’ retirement benefits at a resumed meeting tonight (Saturday). The Special Conciliation Officer, Mrs Chan Mak Kit-ling, and Senior Labour officer of the Labour Department, Mr Stephen Leung Mak-kwan, also attended the meeting.

The meeting started at 8.10 pm and lasted for about two and a half hours.

Mrs Chan welcomed the agreement. She said that the trade dispute between the management of the bus company and its employees was settled through frank and sincere negotiation.

A draft agreement covering the terms of settlements has been initialled by the two parties immediately after the meeting. A formal agreement will be signed next week.

End

Announcement of regulations on labour exportation welcomed ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong today (Saturday) welcomed the announcement made by China’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation (MOFTEC) on a series of new regulations on the control and monitoring of contract workers exported from China to Hong Kong.

’’This comprehensive series of regulations set out clear guidelines covering aspects like selection of personnel, labour service fees, contract-signing, contract obligations, penalties, registration of labour service companies under Hong Kong law, and prohibition of the use of ’middleman’. This will increase the transparency and effectiveness of the control procedures of labour exportation and reinforce the safeguards against abuses under Hong Kong’s labour importation schemes,” Mr Wong said.

"The Hong Kong Government is committed to protecting the rights and benefits of workers imported under our labour importation schemes. The Government has, through its liaison efforts, built up a close rapport with authorities of the labour exporting countries over the regulation of the labour exportation activities, so that any problems can be resolved promptly through co-operation." He added.

End

2

HK-Guangdong talks on boundaries of administration ♦ * * * ♦

Further discussions on matters relating to the boundaries of administration between Hong Kong and Guangdong will take place in Guangzhou on November 12 and 13 between the Hong Kong Government and the Guangdong provincial authorities, a Government spokesman said today (Saturday).

The Deputy Political Adviser, Mr John Ashton, will lead the Hong Kong team.

Mr Xiao Jinzhe, Deputy Director of the Foreign Affairs Office of the Guangdong Provincial Government, will lead the Guangdong team.

End

Public invited to join "enjoy safe hiking campaign" contests ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Members of the community are invited to take part in two competitions under the Enjoy Safe Hiking Campaign organised by the Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) which is now in full swing.

An AFD spokesman said today (Saturday) that participants were welcome to join either one or both competitions which were to test their innovations. The first is the warning sign design contest and the other is slogan invention competition.

For the warning sign competition, entrants are required to design a two-colour sign informing hikers the steep and slippery path ahead. Entries should be made on an A4 size cardboard.

On the second competition, the spokesman said a slogan of no more than 20 words promoting the message of hiking safety should be created.

Each entry should be accompanied or completed with an application form, and submitted to AFD's Education Section, Room 319, Canton Road Government Offices, Kowloon not later than February 28 next year.

Each competition will be divided into two groups, junior (aged 15 or under) and senior (over 15). The overall winner of each group will be awarded a $1,500 cash prize and a trophy.

3

The spokesman said the winning design or slogan might be used for the department’s publicity and educational purposes in the future.

Turning to the four-month long safety campaign, he said that a number of activities were being held with the main objective of enhancing public awareness on hiking safety.

Apart from the above competitions, a round-the-territory exhibition on the hiking safety theme is being staged on Sundays in shopping malls of public housing estates.

Tomorrow (Sunday), the exhibition will be staged at the shopping arcade in Shek Kip Mei Estate. It will be followed in successive Sundays at public housing estates in Lei Cheng Uk (November 17), Yiu Tung (podium near car park No 1, November 24), Tai Wo (Phase I podium, December 1), Cheung Wah (near shop No 107, December 8), Chuk Yuen (December 15) and Butterfly (December 22).

The campaign is sponsored by the Lions Clubs International District 303 Hong Kong and Macau.

Enquiries on the two competitions or the activities of the campaign can be directed to AFD's Education Section on 2733 2121.

End

Fresh water cut in northern New Territories ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

Fresh water supply to some premises in Fanling, Ta Kwu Leng and Sha Tau Kok will be suspended from 10 pm on November 12 (Tuesday) to 6 am the following day for watermains connections.

The suspension will affect:

* villages along Sha Tau Kok Road between Lung Yuek Tau and Sha Tau Kok, including Burma Lines, Ma Liu Shui San Tsuen, Ko Po, Hung Leng Tsuen, Kan Tau Tsuen,Tan Chuk Hang Tsuen, Hok Tau Tsuen, San Uk Tsai, Sze Tau Leng, Ma Mei Ha, Ta Tong Wu, Loi Tung, Man Uk Bin, Wo Hang, Au Ha, Ma Tseuk Leng, Yim Tso Ha, Wu Shek Kok, Muk Min Tau, Tam Shui Hang, Kong Ha and Sha Tau Kok Market;

4

* villages along Lau Shui Heung Road, including Tong Po and Lau Shui Heung Tsuen;

* villages along Ping Che Road, including Hung Leng Tsuen, Ping Che, Shui Lau Hang, Sham Kai Wat, Tai Po Tin, Ping Yeung, Lei Uk, Tong Fong, Fung Wong Wu, Chau Tin Tsuen, Kan Tau Wai and Ta Kwu Leng;

* villages along Luk Keng Road, including Nam Chung, Luk Keng; Kat Kuk Shu Ha; and

villages along Lin Ma Hang Road, including Chuk Yuen, Tsung Yuen Ha, Heung Yuen Wai and Ta Kwu Leng.

End

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

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

Opening balance in the account 3,100 09:30 -200

Closing balance in the account 2,370 10:00 -200

Change attributable to: 11:00 -200

Money market activity -200 11:30 -200

LAF today -530

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.4 *-0.1* 9.11.96

End

5

Transcript of Governor's media session

*****

Following is the transcript of the media session given by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, at the LegCo Building this (Sunday) afternoon:

I thought I would save you the trek to Kai Tak again by saying something about my trip at lunch-time and giving you the opportunity to ask any questions.

I am away until Friday. I am going to the United Kingdom for a day to address the Confederation of British Industry Annual Conference on Asia and Hong Kong, then I am going to Paris for about 24 hours and Bonn for about 24 hours, before flying back from Germany on Thursday.

The main purpose of my visit is to go to Paris and Bonn, albeit extremely briefly. I will be meeting Chancellor Kohl, the French and German Foreign Ministers, and other political leaders in both countries. I am also making speeches to two thinktanks, one in Paris and one - the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung or Academy, in Bonn.

What I will be doing, obviously, is briefing people on the latest state of play in the transition. 1 will be encouraging them to recognise that the European Union has a considerable stake in a successful transition here in Hong Kong. But above all. 1 will be pressing them to ensure that there is the easiest possible access for people with passports from Hong Kong to travel after 1997.

Now that raises, in particular, the question of SAR passport holders. 1 think that the main issue there as far as France and Germany are concerned, is to try to ensure that the question of entry by SAR passport holders to member states of the European Union is a matter for national decision and that the SAR passport is not placed on what is called the Common Visa List which would mean that there was then no distinction between the SAR passport and the PRC passport.

It is an extremely important matter for us to ensure that individual countries can make up their own minds - as Britain has done - rather than have a European Unionwide decision which would be against our interests. So I will be making that point extremely strongly in France and Germany. Both those are countries which at present have very tough visa regimes and I think that whether you are talking about somebody travelling with a BNO passport or somebody travelling with an SAR passport, it is quite difficult to imagine them changing their overall regime but it will be a success if we can persuade them that the SAR passport should not - repeat not - be placed on the Common Visa List.

6

Question: Governor, Director Lu Ping will come to Hong Kong on Friday, so will you plan to have a meeting with him after you come back to Hong Kong?

Governor: It depends how long he is here. I get back from Germany at about, I should think, half-past-six on Friday evening and I go straight to the Royal Hong Kong Police Beating the Retreat. But if Director Lu wishes to see me or to see the Chief Secretary, Anson Chan, then we would be happy to see him if it was possible. But I repeat, my diary, unless we could meet in mid-air, seems to make it rather difficult.

Question: Would you noj clear a space in your diary to meet Director Lu?

Governor: Yes, but if I cleared a space in my diary, it would be a space at about 30,000 feet because on Friday I will be actually flying back from Frankfurt.

Question: Would you rather change your diary to meet him?

Governor: I can't change my return now, but if he would like to stay on for a few hours I would be delighted to see him. But you know this has become a ritual. You know perfectly well what the position of the Hong Kong Government is, you know perfectly well how courteous and open we have been in our invitations to Director Lu. The whole community knows where the problem lies.

Question: What about Mr Qian Qichen, are you going to meet him?

Governor: The position is identical. If he has time to meet either the Chief Secretary or me, we would be delighted to see him.

Question: And it is purely a coincidence then you are unable to meet him?

Governor: If you look back in your own newspaper files you will discover that the announcement about my trip to Europe preceded by some time any announcement of Mr Qian Qichen's visit to Hong Kong. But I understand Mr Qian will be coming on future occasions as well and anytime Mr Qian Qichen would like to see the Governor or the Chief Secretary of Hong Kong we would be delighted to see him.

I repeat, you should not be putting these questions to us, you should be putting these questions to Chinese officials. And you know perfectly well what the answer you would get would be. This becomes a ridiculous ritual. We are prepared to behave in a sensible and adult and constructive way.

Question: Mr Patten, on the Remembrance Day Ceremony for next year, would you expect the government will be represented?

7

Governor: That will be a matter for my successor but I think that it would be surprising if there was not some government representation. After all, what we are remembering is those who sacrificed their lives, not least to defend Hong Kong and its freedoms, and those who sacrificed their lives included very many brave local Chinese.

Question: Mr Patten, how will you persuade ... during your trip to Europe ... about free entry for SAR passport holders?

Governor: If you look back at your notes you will see that I gave a fairly extensive reply to that, pointing out that the main issue as far as Paris and Bonn is concerned is a question of whether or not SAR passports are placed on the Common Visa List. The first thing we have to do is to ensure that they are not placed on the Common Visa List.

Question: How confident is that you can successfully persuade them to ...?

Governor: We have had some hopeful earlier exploratory discussions at official level and I think that people in the European Union now understand our position much ♦ better and understand the importance of this issue to us, so 1 hope that I will be able to capitalise on that increase in understanding. The European Union, which has such a large stake in Hong Kong, must understand the importance to Hong Kong of the easiest possible travel and of the easiest possible access for our people with our passports to their countries.

Question: Are you going to organise any orientation programme for the Chief Executive Designate?

Governor: Any orientation programme?

Question: Yes.

Governor: I think the Chief Executive Designate will have his own ideas about what sort of briefing he wants - now we know it is going to be a he - and we will be happy to provide that briefing in the sort of way the Chief Executive would like. Clearly, there are one or two areas where it is important for us to ensure that briefing is as comprehensive as possible.

8

There seems to be some misunderstanding about our position on the garrison and the law after 1997. The position that we have put to the Legislative Panel is absolutely clear. We think that any civil cases, any cases involving a tort, should be dealt with in Hong Kong's courts. So far as criminal cases are concerned, we accept that where something is done on duty it should be dealt with under military law by the PRC but where it is off-duty we think it should be dealt with in Hong Kong courts. There is not very much difference, I don't think, between ourselves and Chinese officials on that second point, although we do want to be a little clearer about what on-duty and off-duty mean. We would like the definitions to be the same, roughly speaking, as they are today.

The real issue and the real point of difference between us is over the question of torts or civil cases. If you have a bump in a car with a PLA lorry, we think that should be dealt with in a Hong Kong court under Hong Kong law, not under Mainland law in a military court. And I think that is a very clear point, I think it is rather an important point for Hong Kong, and I hope that all those who are responsible for the future or may be responsible for the future administration of Hong Kong will recognise it.

Question: The Chief Executive Designate has come out in endorsement...?

Governor: It did not seem to me that their endorsement reflected as full an understanding of the Hong Kong Government's position as I would have wished but I hope that I have now made the point clear.

Question: The Chinese side has stressed that the garrison law is the responsibility of the Chinese Government, not the Hong Kong Government. Can you say something about that?

Governor: But the Basic Law is perfectly clear on the position of the garrison and I would have hoped that the military law passed by the PRC would be in line with the letter and of course the spirit of the Basic Law on these matters. What we are talking about is important practical issues of day to day life and of course they relate to one or two fundamental principles, but I think the point that I have just enunciated would be accepted as fair by most people in this community and by most people in other communities. Thank you very' much indeed.

End

- 9 -

Guidelines to help children adjust to local education *****

Subject guidelines have been issued to schools to help children recently arriving in Hong Kong from various parts of China adjust to the education provided in local schools.

The Curriculum Development Institute of the Education Department has produced two booklets on Chinese Language and English Language for teachers’ use and reference.

The booklets give suggestions and directions on how to help students from China adjust to local school education.

A series of half-day seminars will be conducted in December to explain the concepts and strategies suggested for English Language.

School heads who wish to nominate teachers to attend the seminars should return completed nomination form to the Principal Inspector of the English Unit of the Education Department’s Curriculum Development Institute by fax 2573 5299 or by mail to Room 1318, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai on or before November 23.

Enquiries on the booklets should be directed to the Curriculum Development Institute of the Education Department on 2892 5876 or 2892 5893 for Chinese Language and 2892 5888 or 2892 5873 for English Language.

Meanwhile, the departmem has prepared two course outlines on Mathematics and social adjustment for the institutions and tutors who wish to conduct induction programmes for Mathematics and social adjustment.

End

10

District festival should be widely promoted: DHA * ♦ ♦ ♦ *

District. festival activities have led to greater community involvement by residents and they should be widely encouraged, the Director of Home Affairs, Mrs Shelley Lau, said today (Sunday).

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Wong Tai Sin District Festival '96, Mrs Lau said district festivals had encouraged residents' participation in district affairs and strengthened their sense of belonging.

With this aim in mind, the Wong Tai Sin district has organised its biggest district festival ever this year with more than 30 events, including family fun days, carnivals, day camps, exhibitions, concerts, feasts for the elderly and essay and photo competitions.

Mrs Lau said this year's Wong Tai Sin District Festival had a special meaning as this year also marked the 15th anniversary of the introduction of district administration.

She called on residents to actively participate in the district festival activities to help promote the theme - share the fun and participate in building a better Wong Tai Sin.

• ;T.\ ;< :

The district festival, which lasts until December 1, is organised by the Wong Tai Sin District Board with the assistance of the District Office.

Mrs Lau also officiated the kicking-off ceremony of a parade of ten festooned buses, which toured the district today to help publicise the festival.

.. iu.'.<<£• • ■ .<• :-(ii ?•

Also at the opening ceremony are the Chairman of the Urban Council, Dr Ronald Leung; the Wong Tai Sin District Officer, Miss Diane Wong; and the Chairman of the Wong Tai Sin District Board, Mr Chan Kam-man.

End

11

First hiking practice trail opens ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The territory's first hiking practice trail, where visitors can do hill walking in a maintained path and at the same time learn more about skills and safety hints in hiking, is officially open for public use today (Sunday).

The one-kilometre trail is at Tai Mo Shan Country Park with its entrance located near the Rotary Garden, Tsuen Kam Au, Route Twisk.

A spokesman for the Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) said the trail was suitable for people who had limited knowledge and skills in hiking but want to pursue this activity in a safe manner.

He pointed out that information provided along the trail could help visitors of all ages get a better understanding on basic and practical knowledge, skills and safety features in hiking activities.

With 18 check points, the trail takes about only 30 minutes for a return trip.

"After all, this trail is good for hiking beginners," the spokesman said, adding that it would be included as an itinerary under AFD's country park guided tours in future.

To introduce the new hiking facility, a new leaflet has been published for distribution at the country park visitor centres in Plover Cove, Aberdeen, Tai Mo Shan, Clear Water Bay, Shing Mun and the Lions Nature Education Centre, Sai Kung.

Apart from having a map of the trail, there are 10 major points on hiking knowledge and techniques in the leaflet. An itinerary planner listing major reminders for hikers before journeys is also included.

"The leaflet is particularly useful if it can be referenced together with the hiking safety booklet produced earlier in the year by the department,"

"The two publications are also good reference materials for hiking leaders in their training," the spokesman added.

He also thanked the Lions Clubs International District 303 Hong Kong and Macau for sponsoring the printing cost and the Hong Kong Scout Association for providing the expert information for the leaflet.

12

This morning's opening and trial run on the trail is one of the activities organised for the "Enjoy Safe Hiking" Campaign launched last month.

Officiating at the opening ceremony were the Chairman of Country and Marine Parks Board's Country Parks Committee Dr Tam Wing-kun and an AFD assistant director, Mr Wong Fook-yee.

End

Slope maintenance exhibition opens at Luk Yeung Sun Chuen ♦ * * ♦ ♦

An exhibition on slope safety and maintenance will begin tomorrow (Monday) at Luk Yeung Sun Chuen in Tsuen Wan.

Organised by the Civil Engineering Department, the exhibition will be open daily between 10 am and 10 pm until November 17 at the exhibition square of Luk Yeung Sun Chuen Shopping Arcade. Admission is free.

It is the third of a series of roving exhibitions organised to promote public awareness of slope safety and the importance of slope maintenance.

"The two exhibitions held in China Hong Kong City in Tsim Sha Tsui and Heng Fa Chuen in Chai Wan were well received and attracted hundreds of visitors," a spokesman for the department said today (Sunday).

The exhibition will feature various aspects of proper slope maintenance through display of colourful illustrations and photographs.

Information on landslip warning messages, warning signs, evidence of landslip danger and precautionary measures to take when the landslip warning is in force, will also be displayed. Leaflets on slope safety and maintenance will also be available free for collection by the public.

A promotional video on slope maintenance will be shown at the exhibition venue.

A similar exhibition will be staged at Cheung Fat Estate in Tsing Yi between December 2 and 8.

End

13

Curriculum Development Council delegation visits Europe

*****

A seven-member delegation of the Curriculum Development Council has left for a seven-day visit to the Netherlands and Belgium in Europe.

The Chairman of the Council, Dr Cheng Hon-kwan, said before departure on Saturday (November 9) that the objective of the delegation was two-fold.

"The trip is to share experience on how to enhance the professionalism and productivity of a curriculum development agency," he said.

"It also aims to exchange views on how the curriculum can be more responsive to the fast changing needs of the community.

"We will visit the ministry of education and curriculum development organisations in the Netherlands and Belgium.

"Discussions with officials and educators will be held to exchange ideas and share experience on curriculum development matters with a view to enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of the Curriculum Development Council."

End

38 new building plans approved in September *****

The Buildings Department approved 38 building plans in September this year.

Of the plans, 12 are for Hong Kong Island, five for Kowloon and 21 for the New Territories.

The approved plans include 14 for apartment and apartment/commercial developments, 11 for commercial developments, three for factory and industrial developments, and 10 for community services developments.

In the same month, consent was given for work to start on 55 building projects, which involve 219,937 square metres of usable domestic floor area and 241,129 square metres of usable non-domestic floor area.

14

During the same period, the department also issued 24 occupation permits -seven for Hong Kong Island, six for Kowloon and 11 for the New Territories.

Of the buildings certified for occupation in the month, the usable floor areas for domestic and non-domestic uses are 21,854 square metres and 103,657 square metres respectively.

The declared cost of new buildings completed in the month totalled about $2,769 million.

In addition, 20 demolition consents involving 37 buildings and structures were

issued.

In September, the Buildings Department’s Control and Enforcement Division received 842 complaints of unauthorised building works, and issued 309 removal orders on unauthorised works.

End

Fresh water cut in Kowloon East ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The fresh water supply to some premises in Kowloon East will be temporarily suspended from 10 pm on Wednesday (November 13) to 6 am the following day for repair work on watermains.

The suspension will affect Kung Lok Road, Hong Lee Road, a section of Hong Ning Road between Hip Wo Street and Kung Lok Road, Lok Wah North Estate, Lok Wah South Estate, Sau Mau Ping police station, Ngau Tau Kok Upper Estate, Lok Nga Court, Shun Lee Estate, Shun Tin Estate, Shun On Estate and the staff quarters of United Christian Hospital.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Monday, November 11, 1996

Contents Page No.

Government's position on garrison and the law................................. 1

Transcript of FS's media session.............................................. 2

Electricity generating capacity under review.............................

Major reduction in ACP budget................................................. 4

STI to attend APEC Meeting on Industrial Science & Technology............ 6

External trade statistics by country and commodity.......................

CITES holds regional enforcement training seminar in HK...................... 17

Don't attach retrieving line to towing line.............................. 18

Post Office launches home page on Internet................................... 19

HK students win prizes in English essay competition.......................... 20

<• 71

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

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

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations......................... 22

1

Government's position on garrison and the law * * * * ♦

The Government would expect the future legal framework governing the garrison to be one which is familiar to the people of Hong Kong to ensure its acceptability, a spokesman for the Security Branch said today (Monday).

Speaking after branch officials attended a meeting of the Legislative Council Panel on Security on the Government's position on garrison and the law after 1997, he said "Greater clarity is needed in determining whether local courts or courts outside HKSAR should have jurisdiction."

"At present, criminal cases to be tried in military courts are confined to very limited circumstances only," he said.

"Only when the alleged offence is against another member of the garrison, or is against the property of the UK Government or other garrison members, or arises out of and in the course of his duty, will the case be dealt with in military courts."

Even under such circumstances, the normal practice now is to hand over a case to Hong Kong courts if an offence resulted in a serious incident or injury to a civilian, or if there is a civilian accomplice.

"A soldier may commit an offence whilst he is on duty but such an offence may not have arisen out of and in the course of his duty." the spokesman explained.

"Drink driving whilst a soldier is on duty is a classic example. At present, such cases involving criminal charges will be dealt with by Hong Kong courts.

"We believe this present arrangements in respect of criminal jurisdiction should continue to apply in respect of the future garrison law "

On civil cases, the spokesman said the Government's view was that any civil cases involving the future garrison should be dealt with in Hong Kong courts.

He pointed out that all members of the British Forces were now subject to the civil jurisdiction of Hong Kong courts irrespective of whether they were acting in the course of their duties.

"One example is a traffic accident involving a British soldier carrying out an urgent messengerial duty. The civilian whose vehicle has been knocked down during the accident can sue the British soldier locally." he said.

2

The British garrison as the employer is vicariously liable for torts committed by military personnel in the course of their employment.

As regards claim against the British garrison as a whole, this may be pursued through the UK civilian courts if it cannot be settled through administrative means. The law of tort and contract in the UK is of course similar to that in Hong Kong, both based on the common law.

"After 1997, where a member of the PLA commits a tortious act which arises out of and in the course of duty, it is important that he and the garrison collectively should both be subject to the jurisdiction of Hong Kong courts, namely, the civil cases can be adjudicated in accordance with the common law principles as at present," he said.

End

Transcript of FS's media session * * * ♦ *

Following is the transcript (English) of the media session by the Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, at the North District Hospital Topping Out Ceremony this (Monday) afternoon:

Question: Mr Tsang, can you comment on the latest Sino-US trade war and its possible impact on Hong Kong?

FS: Well, China and the USA are respectively Hong Kong's largest trading partners, so any trade dispute between the two major partners are not likely to bring any benefits to Hong Kong. We are obviously concerned but looking at the products under dispute, the direct trade impact is not likely to be serious. But my colleagues are examining the implications involved. 1 just hope that this dispute will be resolved satisfactorily without any further escalation.

End

3

Electricity generating capacity under review ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government said today (Monday) that it had invited Hongkong Electric to do detailed site search and environmental impact assessment studies for new generating facilities likely to be needed in 2003.

The Government also said that it had urged China Light and Power to defer the last four units of its Black Point Power Station by 5 years so as to reduce its reserve margin.

The Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Stephen Ip, announced these decisions at a meeting of the Legislative Council’s Panel on Economic Services today. He said that in reaching these decisions, Government had taken into account the interests of the consumer and the community.

Mr Ip said that a review by the Government’s consultants of demand for electricity in Hongkong Electric’s supply area up to 2005 had shown that the company would need additional generating capacity by 2003 if reliable supplies were to be maintained.

He said that the Executive Council had agreed last week that Hongkong Electric should continue with the preparatory work for new generating capacity, but without commitment on the part of the Government. The company had been informed.

Mr Ip stressed that the decision to invite the company to do further site and environmental studies did not mean that the Government had approved the company’s proposal to build a new power station on Po Toi Island or anywhere else.

He said that it was necessary to proceed with the further studies now so that the Government is in possession of all of the necessary data when the time comes to make a final decision. He added that the studies will assume that there are two fuel options - coal and natural gas - and that Hongkong Electric will also make an intensive search for a supplier of natural gas.

Mr Ip went on to say that a review by the Government’s consultants of demand for electricity in China Light and Power’s supply area up to 2005 had shown that the company would have an excess of generating capacity up to that date.

4

He said that the review had shown that it would be justifiable to ask the company to address this problem by deferring the last four 312 megawatt units due to be installed at Black Point Power Station for 5 years. (The units are currently due to be installed in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001.). The Executive Council had agreed last week that the company should be urged to submit such a proposal to the Government within three months (by early February 1997). He said that the company had been informed.

Mr Ip said that there had been much public interest in the possibility of the two power companies co-operating over power supply, particularly as to whether China Light and Power's excess capacity could supply consumers on Hong Kong Island.

He said that this option was not so straightforward. The consultants had advised that an additional transmission line (interconnector) between the two companies, costing about $470 million, would be required, but it would only be needed for 3 years. This option was therefore less economical than others and hence not in the best interests of consumers. Furthermore, it would use only one of the four CLP units requiring deferral.

He added that the Government would nonetheless continue to study the feasibility of power transfer between China Light and Power and Hongkong Electric for possible application in the future.

End

Major reduction in ACP budget ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

The Government today (Monday) announced that the Airport Core Programme (ACP) budget has been reduced by $1,805 million principally as a result of significant savings on three of the seven government core projects.

The Director of the New Airport Projects Co-ordination Office (NAPCO), Mr Billy Lam, said that as a result of rigorous control over costs and a small reduction in scope of the ACP, the Government had achieved considerable savings from the Lantau Link, Route 3 and the West Kowloon Reclamation projects.

The savings were identified following a comprehensive review of the ACP by the Government.

5

Speaking at a special briefing of the Airport Consultative Committee, he told members that as a result of these savings the overall cost estimate for the 10 projects in the Airport Core Programme had been reduced from $158,169 million to $156,364 million.

This is the second time that the ACP budget has been reduced. In January 1994 the ACP budget was cut from $163,730 million to $158,169 million mainly because of savings arising from government contracts being awarded below the original estimates.

’’Many major infrastructure projects overseas have been hit by massive cost over-runs. It is therefore a major achievement on one of the world's largest infrastructure projects that we have been able to reduce costs and to have done it twice.

’’The savings were achieved as a result of the strenuous efforts by all concerned, in particular the staff of the works agents, to control costs," Mr Lam said.

The bulk of the savings have been identified in the Lantau Link, Route 3 and West Kowloon Reclamation projects while some savings have also been achieved from various utility and other works.

As at the end of September, the Government's ACP projects were 91 per cent complete while overall, including the airport, airport railway and the Western Harbour Crossing, the ACP was about 68 per cent complete.

Mr Lam said the seven projects funded directly by the Government and the Western Harbour Crossing would be completed before June 30, 1997, save for a few minor works items.

The airport and the airport railway are on target for completion in April and June 1998 respectively. Some of these works will straddle mid-1997 because work has been rescheduled in order to better tie in with the airport and airport railway which are scheduled to open in April and June 1998 respectively.

He said that although these minor works would not be completed by mid-1997, they would not in any way affect the opening and operation of the 34-kilometre long transport corridor from Central to the new airport at Chek Lap Kok and the new town at Tung Chung.

He said provision had been made within the overall ACP budget to meet expenditure on these minor works.

6

Mr Lam said that of the reduction of $1,805 million in the budget, $1,584 million was achieved by savings while $221 million was accounted for by a reduction in the scope of the ACP.

He said that 12 of the original 334 hectares of land originally planned for the West Kowloon Reclamation project together with the provision of a permanent ferry pier had been excluded from ACP works. These works are not expected to commence until 1998 to tie in with the proposed Kowloon Point Development.

End

STI to attend APEC Meeting on Industrial Science & Technology ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Secretary for Trade and Industry, Miss Denise Yue, will head a Hong Kong delegation to Seoul to attend the second Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) Ministers’ Conference on Regional Co-operation in Industrial Science and Technology.

Miss Yue will leave tomorrow (Tuesday) and return on Friday (November 15).

The meeting, to be opened by President Kim Young Sam, will be attended by ministers with responsibility for science and technology from all APEC member economies.

Discussion will focus on the policy principles for APEC’s cooperative efforts to enhance the scientific and technological capability of the region and to acknowledge the progress made in areas such as information flow, human resources development and joint research in science and technology.

These areas were discussed at the first APEC Ministers' Conference held in Beijing last year.

While in Seoul, Miss Yue will also pay a courtesy call on Mr Park Jae Yoon, Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy of the Republic of Korea.

Other members of the delegation include the Director-General of Industry, Mr Francis Ho, and Assistant Director-General of Industry, Miss Annie Choi.

End

7

External trade statistics by country and commodity *****

The Census and Statistics Department today (Monday) released detailed statistics on external trade with breakdown by country/territory and commodity for September 1996.

In September 1996, the value of re-exports grew by 2.2% over a year earlier to $107.8 billion, while the value of domestic exports decreased by 14% to $18.3 billion. Meanwhile, imports decreased marginally by 0.2% to $130.7 billion.

Changes in the value of Hong Kong’s re-exports to 10 main destinations are shown in Table 1.

Comparing September 1996 with September 1995, increases were recorded in the value of re-exports to the Netherlands (+20%), the United Kingdom (+16%), the United States (+11%), Singapore (+9.2%) and South Korea (+0.7%).

However, decreases were recorded in the value of re-exports to Taiwan (-5.2%), France (-1.9%), Japan (-1.7%), Germany (-0.3%) and China (-0.2%).

Comparing the first nine months of 1996 with the same period in 1995, the value of re-exports to most main destinations showed increases of various magnitudes: Japan (+19%), the United Kingdom (+14%), the Netherlands (+10%), France (+10%), China (+7.7%), Germany (+6.9%), Singapore (+6.1%), South Korea (+5.8%) and the United States (+3.8%).

However, the value of re-exports to Taiwan decreased by 4.8%.

Faking all destinations together, the value of re-exports in the first nine months of 1996 was $876.5 billion, 6.7% higher than that in the same period in 1995.

Table 2 shows changes in the value of re-exports of 10 principal commodity divisions.

Comparing the first nine 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 $9.2 billion or 23%); clothing (by $7.5 billion or 11%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of baby carriages, toys, games and sporting goods (by $7.3 billion or 6.9%); electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $6.3 billion or 7.5%); photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies, optical goods, watches and clocks (by $4.4 billion or 12%); footwear (by $4.3 billion or 9.5%); and general industrial machinery and equipment, and machine parts (by $1.8 billion or 8.3%).

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 $2.2 billion or 2.5%).

Changes in the value of domestic exports to 10 main destinations arc shown in Table 3.

Comparing September 1996 with September 1995, the value of domestic exports to all main destinations showed decreases of various magnitudes : Taiwan (-27%), Singapore (-21%), the United States (-20%), China (-9.7%), Canada (-8.2%), the United Kingdom (-8%), Japan (-7.4%), the Netherlands (-6.9%), France (-3.1%) and Germany (-2.1%).

Comparing the first nine months of 1996 with the same period in 1995, the value of domestic exports to all main destinations also showed decreases of various magnitudes : Taiwan (-15%), Singapore (-15%), the United States (-13%), Canada (-9.4%), the Netherlands (-8.8%), France (-7.8%), Germany (-6.8%), China (-5.5%), Japan (-3.1%) and the United Kingdom (-1.4%).

Taking all destinations together, the value of domestic exports in the first nine months of 1996, at $156.5 billion, decreased by 8.9% over the same period in 1995.

Table 4 shows changes in the value of domestic exports of 10 principal commodity divisions.

Comparing the first nine 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 $4.1 billion or 7.6%); office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $3.9 billion or 28%); telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $1.7 billion or 21%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of jewellery, goldsmiths' and silversmiths' wares (by $1.5 billion or 9.9%); photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies, optical goods, watches and clocks (by $1.2 billion or 9.8%); and plastics in primary forms (by $434 million or 13%).

Over the same period, an increase in the value of domestic exports was registered for professional, scientific and controlling instruments and apparatus (by $211 million or 9.8%).

Changes in the value of imports from 10 main suppliers are shown in Table 5.

9

Comparing September 1996 with September 1995, increases were recorded in the value of imports from Malaysia (+14%). Germany (+9.9%), South Korea (+2.9%), Italy (+2.5%), China (+1.9%) and Singapore (+0.9%).

However, decreases were recorded in the value of imports from the United Kingdom (-11%), Japan (-8.2%), Taiwan (-4.9%) and the United States (-3.6%).

Comparing the first nine 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 (+7%), the United States (+5.7%), China (+5.5%), Singapore (+5.5%) and Germany (+2.1%).

However, decreases were recorded in the value of imports from Japan (-8%), Taiwan (-4%) and South Korea (-0.1%).

Taking all sources together, the value of imports in the first nine months of 1996, at $1,135.1 billion, increased by 2.5% over the same period in 1995.

Table 6 shows changes in the value of imports of 10 principal commodity divisions. ,

Comparing the first nine 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 $8.6 billion or 17%); electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $5.8 billion or 4.2%); clothing (by $5 billion or 6.9%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of baby carriages, toys, games and sporting goods (by $3.3 billion or 4.3%); and footwear (by $3.1 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 $3.1 billion or 2.9%); textiles (by $2.7 billion or 2.7%); and non-metallic mineral manufactures (by $1.4 billion or 4.1%).

All the trade statistics described here are measured at current prices and 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 September 1996 will be released in early December 1996.

Detailed trade statistics analysed by commodity and by country/ territory are published in trade statistics reports.

10

The September 1996 issue of the Hong Kong External Trade with detailed analyses on the performance of Hong Kong's external trade in September 1996 will be on sale at $129 per copy around November 22.

The report can be purchased at either the Government Publications Centre, ground floor, Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong or the Publications Unit of the Census and Statistics Department, 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Enquiries regarding regular subscription to this report may be directed to the Publications (Sales) Office, 28th floor, Siu On Centre, 188 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong (Tel 2598 8194) and enquiries on trade statistics to the Census and Statistics Department (Tel 2582 4915).

11

TABLE 1 : RE-EXPORTS TO TEN MAIN DESTINATIONS

DESTINATION SEP 1996 (HKD Mn.) SEP 96 OVER SEP 95 (% CHANGE) JAN-SEP 1996 (HKD Mn.) JAN-SEP 96 OVER JAN-SEP 95 (% CHANGE)

CHINA 33,066 - 0.2 304,485 + 7.7

UNITED STATES 26,463 + 10.5 181,292 + 3.8

JAPAN 7,513 - 1.7 59,280 + 18.7

GERMANY 4,154 - 0.3 35,427 + 6.9

r ? 1 h .

UNITED KINGDOM 3,858 + 15.6 26,436 + 14.4

SINGAPORE 2,544 + 9.2 20,291 + 6.1

TAIWAN 2,310 - 5.2 19,474 - 4.8

SOUTH KOREA 1,727 + 0.7 15,162 + 5.8

FRANCE 1,665 - 1.9 14,005 + 10.0

NETHERLANDS 1,718 + 20.0 13,443 + 10.1

12

TABLE 2 : RE-EXPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION SEP 1996 (HKD Mn.) SEP 96 OVER SEP 95 (% CHANGE) JAN-SEP 1996 (HKD Mn.) JAN-SEP 96 OVER JAN-SEP 95 (% CHANGE)

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY BABY CARRIAGES, TOYS, GAMES AND SPORTING GOODS) 17,425 + 10.0 112,339 + 6.9

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 10,829 - 4.6 90,165 + 7.5

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 11,156 - 5.2 85,559 - 2.5

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 10,496 + 5.7 75,333 + 11.0

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 7,618 - 4.0 71,281 + 1.9

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 6,133 + 19.6 50,085 + 22.5

FOOTWEAR 5,540 + 7.2 49,654 + 9.5

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 5,225 + 10.7 40,862 + 12.0

TRAVEL GOODS, HANDBAGS AND SIMILAR CONTAINERS 3,262 + 3.3 27,530 + 3.5

GENERAL INDUSTRIAL MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT, AND MACHINE PARTS 1,904 + 1.4 22,877 + 8.3

13

TABLE 3 : DOMESTIC EXPORTS TO TEN MAIN DESTINATIONS

DESTINATION SEP 1996 (HKD Mn.) SEP 96 OVER SEP 95 (% CHANGE) JAN-SEP 1996 (HKD Mn.) JAN-SEP 96 OVER JAN-SEP 95 (% CHANGE)

CHINA 5,154 - 9.7 44,986 - 5,5

UNITED STATES 5,141 - 19.8 39,056 - 12.9

JAPAN 866 - 7.4 8,604 - 3.1

GERMANY 874 - 2.1 8,328 - 6.8

UNITED KINGDOM 964 - 8.0 7,881 - 1.4

SINGAPORE 765 - 20.6 7,824 - 14.8

TAIWAN 576 - 26.7 4,947 - 15.2

J'u

NETHERLANDS 351 - 6.9 3,538 - 8.8

CANADA 354 - 8.2 2,945 - 9.4

FRANCE 236 - 3.1 2,169 - 7.8

>■

14

TABLE 4 : DOMESTIC EXPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION SEP 1996 (HKD Mn.) SEP 96 OVER SEP 95 (% CHANGE) JAN-SEP 1996 (HKD Mn. ) JAN-SEP 96 OVER JAN-SEP 95 (% CHANGE)

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES c 6,503 - 11.6 50,022 - 7.6

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 2,412 - 17.8 22,697 - 1.8

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY JEWELLERY, GOLDSMITHS’ AND SILVERSMITHS' WARES) 1,600 - 8.9 13,327 - 9.9

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 1,255 - 18.9 11,243 - 9.8

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 1,130 + 1.2 10,225 - 2.8

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 1,081 - 32.8 9,857 - 28.4

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 709 - 26.8 6,334 - 21.3

MANUFACTURES OF METALS 355 - 0.8 3,167 - 8.9

PLASTICS IN PRIMARY FORMS 337 - 15.4 2,918 - 12.9

PROFESSIONAL, SCIENTIFIC AND CONTROLLING INSTRUMENTS AND APPARATUS 273 + 10.0 2,361 + 9.8

15

TABLE 5 : IMPORTS FROM TEN MAIN SUPPLIERS

SUPPLIER SEP 1996 (HKD Mn.) SEP 96 OVER SEP 95 (% CHANGE) JAN-SEP 1996 (HKD Mn.) JAN-SEP 96 OVER JAN-SEP 95 (% CHANGE)

CHINA 53,116 + 1.9 422,129 + 5.5

JAPAN 17,325 - 8.2 153,196 - 8.0

TAIWAN 9,906 - 4.9 91,225 - 4.0

UNITED STATES 9,333 - 3.6 89,720 + 5.7

SINGAPORE 6,572 + 0.9 61,114 + 5.5

SOUTH KOREA 6,082 + 2.9 55,027 - 0.1

GERMANY 2,673 + 9.9 24,896 + 2.1

MALAYSIA 2,905 + 13.6 24,840 + 17.8

UNITED KINGDOM 2,646 - 11.0 24,182 + 7.0

ITALY 2,350 + 2.5 23,031 + 16.1

16

TABLE 6 : IMPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION SEP 1996 (HKD Mn.) SEP 96 OVER SEP 95 (% CHANGE) JAN-SEP 1996 (HKD Mn.) JAN-SEP 96 OVER JAN-SEP 95 (% CHANGE)

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 16,333 - 9.6 143,290 + 4.2

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 12,548 - 10.1 104,183 - 2.9

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 9,809 - 5.0 95,717 - 2.7

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY BABY CARRIAGES, TOYS, GAMES AND SPORTING GOODS) 10,981 + 3.2 81,003 + 4.3

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 10,478 + 3.1 77,231 + 6.9

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 7,044 + 10.6 58,595 + 17.2

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 5,460 - 2.3 46,689 - 0.2

FOOTWEAR 4,673 + 2.8 42,674 + 7.9

GENERAL INDUSTRIAL MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT, AND MACHINE PARTS 2,845 - 2.2 34,464 + 5.7

NON-METALLIC MINERAL MANUFACTURES 3,512 - 16.9 31,965 - 4.1

End

17

aCITES holds regional enforcement training seminar in HK

•: !>.. *****

A Hong Kong Government-funded regional enforcement training seminar organised by the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was officially opened by Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Stephen Ip Shu-kwan, today (Monday).

The five-day seminar, part of CITES' effort for training enforcement officers all over the world, has attracted more than 80 participants from 11 south-east Asian countries and territories. It is organised with the assistance of the Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD).

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr Ip said he was glad that Hong Kong had been able to make a contribution of US$150,000 to the CITES Secretariat, part of which was used to organise the seminar.

Mr Ip noted that CITES had been established as a foundation for international co-operation to protect species of animals and plants threatened by over-exploitation through international trade.

He said Asia was a region where cultural influences, growing affluence and consumerism were taking an unsustainable toll on many species of animals and plants.

"This has created lucrative markets for illegal trade in endangered species. Effective enforcement of the convention has therefore become a particularly demanding, and even more pressing, responsibility throughout the region," he said.

On Hong Kong's effort relating to CITES, Mr Ip said that the territory had implemented a four-point action plan.

. • । < ( ii.

Firstly, an Endangered Species Protection Liaison Group was formed to coordinate enforcement of the convention and liaison with overseas enforcement agencies and local non-governmental organisations. The group is led by AFD as Hong Kong's CITES Management Authority, with other members from the Customs and Excise Department and Police.

Secondly, Hong Kong increased the maximum penalties under the related legislation for implementing the Convention to a $5 million fine and two years' imprisonment.

18

Also, the much heavier fines and prison sentences handed down for contraventions of the related legislation had indicated that the Judiciary recognised the increased concern in the community over illegal trade in endangered species and was prepared to punish offenders severely, he said.

Mr Ip pointed out that the third point was that Hong Kong had embarked on a comprehensive programme of public education on the need to protect all endangered species. The main objective is to change public attitude towards consumption of endangered species and increase public awareness of the relevant legislation.

Fourthly, Hong Kong was committed in improving enforcement through better training of enforcement officers, both in the territory and overseas, Mr Ip added.

CITES Secretariat’s Enforcement and Training Co-ordinator, Mr J P Le Duc pointed out that it was very grateful to the authorities of Hong Kong to have made possible this training seminar for enforcement officers of the south-east Asian region.

’’Co-operation between CITES Management Authorities and enforcement agencies, particularly customs and police, is crucial to achieve better enforcement of the convention and to prevent the illegal trade in wildlife from threatening the survival of species of animals and plants,” Mr Le Duc added.

End

Don’t attach retrieving line to towing line *****

The Marine Department advises owners, operators and masters of towing vessels not to attach a retrieving line to a towing line because this practice is unsafe.

A spokesman for the Marine Department said today (Monday) that it was difficult to pay out the towing line and the retrieving line simultaneously in a safe manner.

He added that the chances of the retrieving line getting entangled with the vessel's fixtures leading to accidents were very high.

A recent investigation of a fatal injury to a crew member of a tug revealed that the death was caused by the backlash of a retrieving line which parted.

19

>

A synthetic fibre rope of a diameter of 16 millimetres had been attached to the towing line as a retrieving line to facilitate recovery of the tow line.

One end of the 55-milIimetre diameter synthetic fibre towing line was secured to the towing hook and the other end had been made fast on the tow.

As the tug moved ahead to take the weight on the towing line, the retrieving line became entangled in fixtures on the vessel, thus shortening its length and causing it to part.

End

Post Office launches home page on Internet *****

The Postmaster General, Mr Robert Footman, announced today (Monday) that the Post Office has established its own home page on the Internet.

All Internet users can access the Post Office Home Page directly at http://www.info.gov.hk/hkpo/ or through the Government Information Centre (GIC) Home Page at http://www.info.gov.hk.

The Post Office Home Page contains information in four sub-groups, namely:

Facts about the Hong Kong Post Office;

Postage Rates and Services;

Philately; and

Speedpost - International Courier Service

"The Post Office Home Page is both user-friendly and rich in graphical illustrations," Mr Footman said.

Apart from a wealth of information about the Post Office and its services, the home page offers attractive features such as e-mail forms for requesting certain services and offering comments, and a ready-reckoner for Speedpost postage.

"We will continue to improve the home page. Plans are in hand to incorporate our development plans and performance pledges in the near future," Mr Footman added.

End

20

HK students win prizes in English essay competition ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Nineteen Hong Kong students were awarded prizes and commended in the 1995/96 Royal Commonwealth Society Essay Competition for local students.

The success achieved by local students in the competition reflects their high writing skills compared with other students from all parts of the Commonwealth.

The acting Deputy Director of Education, Mr Hsu Show-hoo; the Honorary Treasurer of the Royal Commonwealth Society in Hong Kong, Mr James Foulton; and the Assistant Director (Industrial and Corporate Affairs Division) of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, Dr Cheung Yiu-sing, presented prizes and certificates to the winners.

This yean a total of 313 Hong Kong students from 50 schools took part in the contest, competing with 4,581 students from 50 commonwealth countries and territories.

The competition is divided into four classes - Class A for students aged between 16 and 18, Class B for aged 14 and 15, Class C for aged 12 and 13 while Class D for those aged 11 and below.

The first three winners in each of the four classes were awarded book coupons ranging from $750 to $2,000 by the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce.

In addition, the first prize winner in class A, Miss Fiona Lam of St Paul's School (Lam Tin), were presented with the Royal Commonwealth Society in Hong Kong Award. The award is a book voucher in the sum of $2,000.

The annual competition is organised by the Education Department and sponsored by the Royal Commonwealth Society in Hong Kong and the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce.

End

21

Water storage figure ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Storage in Hong Kong’s reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 96.4 per cent of capacity or 564.787 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 579.049 million cubic metres of water, representing 98.8 per cent of capacity.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

l ender date 11 Nov 96

Paper on offer EF notes

Issue number 2811

Issue date 12 Nov 96

Maturity date 12 Nov 98

Coupon 5.72 PCT

Amount applied IIKS2.600 MN

Amount allotted I IKS500 MN

Average price accepted (yield) 100.04(5.78 PCT)

Lowest price accepted (yield) 100.03 (5.79 PCT)

Pro rata ratio About 38 PCT

Average tender price (yield) 100.02(5.79 PCT)

End

- 22 -

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

Sjnillion Time (hours) Cumulative change (SmilliQii)

Opening balance in the account 2,370 0930 +529

Closing balance in the account 2,589 1000 +529

Change attributable to : 1100 +529

Money market activity +529 1200 +529

LAF today -310 1500 +529

1600 +529

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.3 *-0.1 * 11.11.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills

EF notcs/MTRC

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.87 2 years 2808 6.00 100.66 5.67

1 month 4.89 3 years 3910 6.28 100.60 6.14

3 months 4.95 5 years 5109 7.32 103.02 6.68

6 months 5.02 7 years 7308 7.24 102.02 6.98

12 months 5.26 10 years 1610 7.37 101.63 7.27

5 years M503 7.35 101.83 7.01

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $7,381 million

Closed November 11, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Tuesday, November 12,1996

Contents Page No,

HK’s debt market - high-flyer in the services sector : FS................... 1

TAC endorses tram fare increase............................................. 3

More calls to transport complaints hotline.................................. 3

Concerted efforts to preserve and protect water sources..................... 4

Together we develop our working abilities: Labour chief..................... 6

SME committee discusses human i esources and financing...................... 7

245 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flights.............................. 8

Monitors’ report submitted to CS............................................ 9

Two lots of land up for auction............................................. 9

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

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

1

HK's debt market - high-flyer in the services sector : FS *****

The Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, said today (Tuesday) that the Government aimed to develop a world-class debt market infrastructure in Hong Kong to sustain the territory’s attractive investment environment well in the next century.

Speaking at the Annual Dinner of the Hong Kong Institute of Investment Analysts, Mr Tsang pointed out that the thriving debt market in Hong Kong had built up within a relatively short period of time a critical mass for further development within a relatively short period of time.

Although the size of the debt marketmarket was small compared with the equity market and the banking sector, the total outstanding public and private sector debt issues had increased by eight-fold, from about $27 billion at end 1989 to $236 billion at end-September 1996, Mr Tsang said.

”In anticipation of these opportunities, the Government has done its part in paving the way for the take-off of our debt market," Mr Tsang said.

Actions taken to date included the launching of the first batch of 10-year Exchange Fund Notes; provision of an efficient central clearing and settlement system; upgrading of payment and settlement system; and lessening of the tax burden on the issue of high quality debt instruments.

The Financial Secretary emphasised that Hong Kong would continue to apply the philosophy of allowing the private sector initiatives to be the guiding force for the development of the market.

Mr Tsang said two new Government initiatives were in the pipeline. He told the audience that the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) System and the Mortgage Corporation would immensely benefit Hong Kong’s debt market both on the demand and supply sides.

He said that the estimated annual contributions under the MPF System would amount to about $30 - 40 billion.

"This large pool of reserves will filter into demand for various investment vehicles. In particular, there will be demand for instruments that can produce a steady stream of income over the medium to long term to match the underlying retirement liabilities."

2

"The MPF will inevitably spurs the development of a full variety of hedging instruments," he added.

On regulation and supervision of MPF investment managers, trustees and other service providers, Mr Tsang said the Government would seek to strike the right balance between protecting the MPF assets and allowing the investment managers sufficient flexibility to maximize the yield.

Turning to the Mortgage Corporation, Mr Tsang said that it would promote stability in the banking and monetary sectors, as well as facilitating home ownership."

Mr Tsang said the Corporation would initially be 100 per cent owned by the Government with a capital base of $1 billion.

"The Corporation will be a wholesale financial intermediary, mainly purchasing residential mortgages from authorised institutions in accordance with a set of prudent criteria," Mr Tsang said.

In conclusion, Mr Tsang said that Hong Kong's debt market was geared up for further expansion in the coming years.

"Given our critical mass of financial institutions, excellent market infrastructure, advanced telecommunications, sound legal system and accounting and logistical support, Hong Kong can certainly play a leading role in financial intermediation in the region," he said.

"In particular, we are in an unrivalled position to carve a niche in arranging for China’s debt issues," he added.

End

3

TAC endorses tram fare increase *****

The Transport Advisory Committee (TAC), at a meeting today (Tuesday), endorsed a 40 cents increase in adult fares to $1.60 for the Hongkong Tramways Ltd from January 1997. Monthly tickets will increase by $35 to $135.

In recommending the increase, members noted the company’s plans to improve tram safety through upgrading of the electrical equipment of the tramcars, as well as better training and working conditions for its staff.

Members also took into account the company’s financial performance, its past profit levels and the public acceptability of the new fares.

After the increase, 83.7 per cent of fare-box passengers will pay 40 cents more and 16.3 per cent (children and senior citizens) will pay 20 cents more.

Hongkong Tramways last revised its fares on February 6, 1994 from $1.00 to

$1.20.

Consumer Price Index (CPI) (A) is forecast to have increased by 23.5 per cent between then and January 1997. The increase in tram fares will only contribute to a 0.0067 per cent increase in CPI(A).

After the increase, tram fares would still be relatively low when compared with those of the other modes of public transport.

End

More calls to transport complaints hotline ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The number of complaints and suggestions received by the Transport Complaints Unit (TCU) of the Transport Advisory Committee for the period between April 1, 1996 and June 30, 1996 increased by 1.7 per cent to 3,395 as compared with 3,338 in the previous quarter.

During the period, the major areas of complaint were related to public transport (74 per cent), road traffic conditions (11 per cent) and enforcement (9 per cent).

4

The number of complaints about public transport increased by 1.1 per cent from 2,474 in the previous quarter to 2,502.

Statistics indicated that there were increases in the number of complaints against taxi driver malpractices (up from 1,285 to 1,364), China Motor Bus (up from 171 to 186) and rail services (up from 72 to 89).

However, complaints about Kowloon Motor Bus dropped by 17.4 per cent from 321 to 265. There were also fewer complaints against Citybus (down from 95 to 81) and ferry services (down from 62 to 52).

Complaints about the malfunctioning of traffic signs and aids increased by 90.3 per cent from 31 to 59. There were also more complaints about road conditions (up from 69 to 91) and traffic congestion (up from 178 to 196).

During the same period, the number of suggestions for additional traffic signs and aids dropped from 93 to 89. Complaints about enforcement action also dropped from 338 to 322.

All suggestions and complaints received by TCU had been referred to the relevant authorities and government departments for investigation.

Members of the public are welcome to make suggestions and complaints directly by dialling the 24-hour Transport Complaints Unit hotline 2577 6866 or 2889 9999.

End

Concerted efforts to preserve and protect water sources

*****

Concerted effort of water bodies at regional, national and international levels is essential to preserve and protect the world's precious water resources.

The Secretary for Works, Mr Kwong Hon-sang, made the remarks when addressing the opening ceremony of the 10th International Water Supply Association (IWSA) - Asia Pacific (ASPAC) Group Regional Conference and Exhibition - Water Hong Kong '96 this (Tuesday) morning.

5

Mr Kwong said economic development and rapid growth of the global population had created an increasing demand of water supply and brought along pollution which posed severe threats to existing water sources.

"The search for new water sources and protection of existing water sources are therefore two of the major issues facing many water authorities in the world, especially in the developing countries," he said.

"The development and protection of water resources are often beyond the control of individual water authorities. It is not uncommon that the water supply to a large area covering a number of water authorities or even countries depends on one single water source.

"It would require the co-operation of the concerned bodies at regional, national or even international levels to preserve and protect our precious water sources."

Mr Kwong took the opportunity to congratulate the IWSA on its achievements in promoting mutual understanding and harmonious working relationship amongst national water bodies, which are vital for future collaboration.

The IWSA, of which Hong Kong is a corporate member, is the world’s most renowned international organisation on water supply.

Also speaking at today's opening ceremony, Mr Hu Man-shiu, the Director of Water Supplies and Chairman of ASPAC Group of the IWSA, said local wisdom and foreign expertise had worked in harmony in Hong Kong to make the best use of the huge resources put in by the Government for the development of water supply infrastructure.

"Our ability to maintain an adequate, uninterrupted and high quality water supply has helped and sustained the rapid growing commercial and industrial developments in Hong Kong in the past two decades.

"Our success in overcoming our long-standing problem can be attributed to the steady and reliable supply of raw water from Guangdong, and the readiness of Hong Kong in adopting the latest experience and technology in the water supply industry developed locally and in other parts of the world," he said.

Other speakers at the opening ceremony included the President of the IWSA, Mr Pierre Giacasso; the President of the American Water Works Association, Mr Rocky Wiley: and the President of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers, Mr B J Stubbings.

6

With the theme ’’Meeting the Challenges of the future - the Asian Perspective", the five-day conference had attracted over 400 delegates from 37 countries and cities in the world.

Programme of the conference, which is being held until Friday (November 15), includes technical meetings, a plenary session, technical visits and post conference tours.

Intemationally-renowned speakers from over 20 countries and cities will present some 90 papers on topics including drinking water quality, treatment technology, maintenance and operation of water supply system, strategy for corrosion control, global planning for prevention of water pollution and effective water supply management.

In conjunction with the conference, an exhibition on the latest technology and products of the water supplies industry is being held on the fifth floor of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The exhibition is open to the public between 10 am and 6 pm until Thursday (November 14) and between 10 am and noon on Friday (November 15). Admission is free.

End

Together we develop our working abilities: Labour chief *****

Twelve disabled employees and 10 employers were commended today (Tuesday) at the presentation of souvenirs ceremony of the Outstanding Disabled Employees Award (ODEA) 1996.

The employees were praised for their exemplary work performance while the employers were awarded for their open-mindedness in employing disabled persons.

Organised by the Selective Placement Division of the Labour Department, the ceremony was to pay tribute to employers who had made significant contribution in employing people with a disability.

It also commended disabled employees who had demonstrated outstanding performance at work.

4

- 7 -

Speaking at the presentation ceremony, the Commissioner for Labour, Miss Jacqueline Willis, said people with a disability could actualise their working potentials only if they were given equal opportunities.

’’They all manage to overcome their physical or mental handicap and excel in their respective work position,” said Miss Willis.

’’Because of their good work attitude and their impressive work performance, they have won a positive vote from their employers.”

The award-winning employers were selected because they had adopted a positive employment policy that gave equal opportunities to people with a disability.

"I sincerely hope that other employers can be inspired by the efforts made by these enlightened employers," said Miss Willis.

"In doing so, our working community will be providing more opportunities for our disabled counterparts. With our concerted efforts, I am sure we can achieve the goal of’Together we develop our working abilities’," she added.

The ODEA is an annual event which aims at giving formal recognition and appreciation to disabled employees with outstanding achievements in employment.

End

SME committee discusses human resources and financing *****

The Small and Medium Enterprises Committee held its third meeting today (Tuesday) to discuss reports of the Task Groups on Human Resources Development (HRD) and Financing.

The task groups were set up by the committee in September to follow up on suggestions prioritised by the committee on providing support to SMEs in those areas.

The Task Group on HRD for SMEs held two meetings to deliberate on the issue. Its recommendations were discussed by the committee at today’s meeting.

The committee agreed to accord priority to identifying practical measures to facilitate matching of the provision of training facilities and the demand of SMEs.

8

A number of proposals including a survey to ascertain the training needs of SMEs, and the establishment of short training courses at district level were raised. The Task Group on HRD will further develop these recommendations into detailed proposals.

On financing, the relevant task group put forward a number of recommendations.

"Of these, the committee decided that the group should examine in detail the feasibility of a pilot Credit Guarantee Scheme of limited scope, with a view to putting together a detailed proposal to the Committee for discussion as soon as possible," the chairman of the committee, Mr Denis Lee said.

The committee also decided to publish a directory on services and facilities available to SMEs jointly with major trade and industrial organisations to cover the various services provided to SMEs in Hong Kong.

End

245 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flights

*****

Two groups totalling 245 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) returned by air to Hanoi, Vietnam today (Tuesday) on the 73rd and 74th flights under the Orderly Repatriation Programme (ORI4).

• • I

The majority of the returnees, comprising 122 men, 67 women, 29 boys and 27 girls, are from South and Central Vietnam. Twenty-two of the returnees are from North Vietnam.

Most of them arrived in Hong Kong in 1990, with the remaining in 1988, 1989, 1991, 1995 and 1996.

♦ s

The two groups brought to 7,181 the total number repatriated on ORP flights since November 1991.

End

9

Monitors' report submitted to CS

*****

The monitors appointed to observe the Orderly Repatriation Programme operation this (Tuesday) morning have submitted their report to the Chief Secretary.

The two monitors comprised a non-official Justice of the Peace, Professor William Ian Rees Davies; and representative from a non-govemment organisation, Mr Tai Kie-ying from Christian Action.

End

Two lots of land up for auction

*****

The Lands Department will auction two lots of land in Yuen Long and Mui Wo tomorrow (Wednesday).

The public auction will begin at 2.30 pm in the Concert Hall of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui.

The first lot, located at the junction of Yuen Long Tai Yuk Road and Ma Tin Road, has an area of about 4,206 square metres. It is for non-industrial purposes, excluding petrol filling station, hotel and godown.

The basements may be used for residents' car parking and other purposes ancillary to private residential purposes. However, approval in writing from the Director of Lands is required.

The ground floor can be used for retail purposes and loading or unloading of goods and service vehicles, the first and second floors for fee-paying car park and the remaining floors for residential use.

Covering an area of about 720 square metres, the second lot is located in Mui Wo, Lantau Island. It is also for non-industrial purposes excluding residential, godown, hotel, guest house and service apartment.

End

10

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results

*****

Tender date 12 Nov 1996

Paper on offer EF bills

Issue number Q646

Issue date 13 Nov 1996

Maturity date 12 Feb 1997

Coupon -

Amount applied HK$14,176 MN

Amount allotted HK$2,000 MN

Average yield accepted 4.93 PCT

Highest yield accepted 4.94 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 1 PCT

Average tender yield 4.96 PCT I long Kong Monetary Authority

Tenders to be held in the week beginning 18 Nov 1996

Tender date 19 Nov 1996 19 Nov 1996

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q647 11678

Issue date 20 Nov 1996 20 Nov 1996

Maturity date 19 Feb 1997 21 May 1997

Tenor 91 days 182 days

Amount on offer HK$2,000+500 MN HK$ 1.000+300 MN

End

11

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

^million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,589 0930 +311

Closing balance in the account 2,577 1000 +311

Change attributable to: 1100 +311

Money market activity +288 1200 +311

LAF today -300 1500 +311

1600 +288

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.2 *-0.1* 12.11.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/MTRC notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.87 2 years 2811 5.72 100.00 5.80

1 month 4.89 3 years 3910 6.28 100.59 6.15

3 months 4.95 5 years 5109 7.32 102.99 6.69

6 months 5.01 7 years 7308 7.24 101.99 6.98

12 months 5.27 10 yeais 1610 7.37 101.60 7.27

5 years M503 7.35 101.85 7.00

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $13,608 Million

Closed November 12, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Wednesday, November 13,1996

Contents Page No,

Agreed Minute on transfer of Exchange Fund signed...................... 1

Experts to discuss transfer of Hong Kong’s archives.................... 1

Post-Release Supervision of Prisoners (Amendment) Bill 1996 ........... 2

New member appointed to Law Reform Commission.......................... 2

Seminar on draft Copyright Bill........................................ 3

Two lots sold for $380 million at land auction......................... 4

Labour Department to organise job matching exhibition.................. 4

Weather of October..................................................... 5

Sai Kung lot to let by tender.......................................... 7

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

1

Agreed Minute on transfer of Exchange Fund signed

*****

The senior representatives of the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group signed an Agreed Minute this (Tuesday) morning on the question of the arrangements for the transfer of the Exchange Fund of Hong Kong.

The Agreed Minute signed today makes clear that the "Exchange Fund of Hong Kong shall on the commencement of July 1, 1997 be transferred in its entirety to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, which shall manage the Fund on its own in accordance with the relevant laws of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region".

The Agreed Minute also specifies that "All documents, contracts and agreements signed by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority up to June 30, 1997 shall continue to be valid after June 30, 1997 and be protected by the laws of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region."

These arrangements will clearly ensure continuity in the management of the Exchange Fund by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. There will be no gap in the transfer process and no possibility of any doubt concerning the ownership of the Exchange Fund by Hong Kong.

The Chinese and the British sides have agreed to appoint a reputable international audit firm in Hong Kong to audit the accounts of the Exchange Fund. They have also agreed to continue to strengthen consultation and co-operation on matters relating to the transfer of the Exchange Fund.

End

Experts to discuss transfer of Hong Kong's archives

*****

Experts from the two sides of the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group will meet in Hong Kong on November 14, 1996 to discuss the transfer of Hong Kong's archives.

The British side will be led by British Representative, Mr Alan Paul. The Chinese side will be led by Chinese Representative, Mr Wang Weiyang. They will be assisted by experts from the two sides.

End

2

Post-Release Supervision of Prisoners (Amendment) Bill 1996 *****

The Government is seeking to amend existing legislation to empower certain officers to arrest, and take into custody, a person who has failed to comply with the terms of a supervision order issued under the Post-Release Supervision Scheme, a Government spokesman said today (Wednesday).

The Post-Release Supervision of Prisoners (Amendment) Bill 1996, to be gazetted on Friday (November 15), seeks to give such powers to Police officers and certain ranks of Correctional Services officers.

"It is desirable and necessary to specify such powers in the Ordinance because without them, it will hamper the effective implementation of the Scheme," the spokesman explained.

The objective of the recently-announced Post-Release Supervision Scheme is to provide discharged prisoners with guidance and supervision to help them reintegrate into society and lead a normal, useful life, thus minimising recidivism.

The Scheme is needed because many prisoners, after serving long periods of detention and with limited preparation for what to expect after their release, often do not know how best to adapt to a law-abiding life upon their return to the community.

- - ■ V /.

The Bill is expected to be introduced into the Legislative Council on November 27 this year. -

End

New member appointed to Law Reform Commission *****

The Chairman of the Law Reform Commission, the Attorney General, Mr Jeremy Mathews, today (Wednesday) announced the appointment of a new member to the Commission. Dr Lawrence Lai, Deputy Director (Corporate Affairs) of the Hospital Authority, has been appointed a member of the Commission for a term of three years.

Mr Mathews welcomed Dr Lai's appointment and said he looked forward to working with him on the Commission. Mr Mathews also announced the reappointment of Professor Yash Ghai, Mr Gage McAfee and Mr Justein Wong for a second three year term. Mr Mathews said he was pleased that Professor Ghai, Mr McAfee and Mr Wong had accepted another term, saying that it was important to the Commission to have continuity of membership.

3

Dr Lai replaces Mrs Miriam Lau who is retiring after serving on the Commission as a member for six years. Mr Mathews paid tribute to the hard work and dedication of Mrs Lau. He noted that Mrs Lau would continue to chair the Commission's sub-committee on Guardianship and Custody.

With the latest appointment, the Law Reform Commission now consists of 12 members appointed by the Governor. They are: Mr Justice Chan, Mr Eric Cheung, Professor Yash Ghai, Professor H C Kuan, Dr Lawrence Lai, Mr Andrew Liao, QC, Mr Gage McAfee, Mr Alasdair Morrison, Mr Robert Ribeiro, QC, Professor Derek Roebuck, Professor Peter Wesley-Smith and Mr Justein Wong. The Attorney General, the Chief Justice and the Law Draftsman are ex officio members.

End

■f

Seminar on draft Copyright Bill ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

Two seminars will be organised by the Trade and Industry Branch to explain details of the draft Copyright Bill.

The Government has issued a consultation paper on the Bill early this month to a number of organisations, including copyright owners and users in the relevant sectors as well as those in the professional and academic fields to seek their comments.

They are invited to attend two seminars which will be held tomorrow (Thursday) and on Saturday (November 16) to express their views.

The Bill is planned to be introduced into the Legislative Council in February 1997 and is expected to be enacted before July 1997.

Speakers at the seminars will include the Deputy Secretary for Trade and Industry, Mr Augustine Cheng, Director of Intellectual Property, Mr Stephen Selby and Head of Intellectual Property Investigation Bureau of the Customs and Excise Department, Mr Ronny Tsang.

More than 120 participants are expected to attend the two seminars.

End

4

Two lots sold for $380 million at land auction *****

Two lots of government land were sold for a total of $380 million at a public land auction held by the Lands Department this (Wednesday) afternoon.

The first lot, located at the junction of Tai Yuk Road and Ma Tin Road in Yuen Long, was sold to Dragon View (HK) Limited at $370 million, with bidding opened at $180 million.

It has an area of about 4,206 square metres for non-industrial purposes, excluding petrol filling station, hotel and godown.

The developer has to complete a gross floor area of not less than 13,880 square metres on or before December 31,2000.

The second lot, in Mui Wo, Lantau Island, was bought by J K N International Limited at the opening price of $10 million.

With an area of about 720 square metres, the lot is for non-industrial purposes excluding residential, godown, hotel, guest house and service apartment.

The developer has to complete a gross floor area of not less than 860 square metres on or before December 31,1999.

Held in the Concert Hall of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui, the auction was conducted by Government Land Agent, Mr Roger Harding.

End

Labour Department to organise job matching exhibition * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Members of the public are invited to visit a two-day job matching services exhibition organised by the Labour Department on Friday (November 15) and Saturday.

The exhibition - open from 10 am to 6 pm daily at Gallery A and B of the New World Centre, Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui - is aimed at promoting the free job matching services of the Labour Department to both employers and job-seekers.

5

The exhibition will include display panels introducing the job matching services offered by the Job Matching Programme (JMP) and the Job Matching Centre.

There will also be a on-the-spot registration service for employers wishing to make use of the free recruitment service offered by the JMP or job-seekers wishing to join the JMP.

Publicity leaflets introducing the JMP will also be distributed at the venue.

Vacancies registration under the Supplementary Labour Scheme will also be available. Job-seekers who wish to apply for these vacancies can register on the spot.

The JMP was first set up in April 1995 to provide special employment assistance to unemployed local workers aged 30 or above to find jobs. The programme is now operating at nine Local Employment Services offices.

Since its inception the JMP has registered over 12,600 job-seekers and secured over 9,600 job offers, achieving a success rate of 76 per cent.

End

Weather of October ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

October 1996 was warmer and drier than normal. The mean temperature of 26 degrees was the sixth highest for October. The mean minimum temperature of 24 degrees was the seventh highest for the month. With only a total of 44.8 millimetres recorded, October’s rainfall was 69 per cent below normal.

The accumulated rainfall since January 1 of 2,245.6 millimetres was four per cent above the normal for the same period. The Stand By Signal No. 1 was hoisted on one occasion in the month.

The first day of the month saw light showers but also sunny periods during the day. There were again light showers on the afternoon of October 2 but it turned fine and hazy on October 3.

The weather was mainly fine from October 4 to 6, albeit there were some heavy showers at Sha Tin and Kat O on the morning of October 6. On October 7, it became fairly hot with a maximum temperature of 30.3 degrees, the highest in the month.

6

On October 8, a cold front crossed the South China coast early in the morning. The northerlies behind the cold front brought slightly cooler weather and some showers to the territory. Generally fine weather returned and persisted for the next few days.

An area of low pressure over the northern part of the South China Sea enhanced the Northeast monsoon over southern China and brought cloudy weather and light rain to the territory on October 14 and 15. It turned sunny on October 16 and remained fine for the next couple of days.

Typhoon Beth entered the South China Sea on October 18. As it edged closer to Hong Kong, the combined effect of Beth and a strengthening monsoon resulted in strong winds offshore and over high grounds. Under the influence of the outer rainbands of Beth, it was rainy on October 20 and temperatures fell to 20.5 degrees, the lowest in the month. As Beth weakened and drifted away, the weather improved on October 21 and it was fine from October 22 to 25.

On October 26, winds freshened from the north bringing cool and dry weather. Winds turned easterly on October 27 and generally fine weather prevailed until the end 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 1.1. Monthly meteorological figures and departures from normal of October are tabulated in Table 1.2.

Table 1.1 Warnings and Signals in October 1996

Warnings/Signals Effective date and time

Tropical Cyclone (TC) Warning Signal

Name of TC Signal No,

Beth 1

Fire Danger Warnings

Yellow

Yellow

19 Oct 1145 -20 Oct 1400

12 Oct 0630- 13 Oct 1730

19 Oct 0600-20 Oct 1640

Red

25 Oct 1100-27 Oct 1800

7

Table 12_figures,and Departures,fromfl.oniial-..QctQ.b.er. 1996

Total Bright Sunshine 201.1 hours; 6.1 hours above normal

Mean Daily Global Solar Radiation 14.60 MJ/SQM; 0.86 MJ/SQM below normal

Total Rainfall 44.8 mm; 100.0 mm below normal

Mean Cloud Amount 58%; 2% above normal

Mean Relative Humidity 74%; 1 % above normal

Mean Daily Maximum Temperature 28.2 Degrees Celsius; 0.3 Degree Celsius above normal

Mean Air Temperature 26 Degrees Celsius; 0.8 Degree Celsius above normal

Mean Daily Minimum Temperature 24 Degrees Celsius; 0.9 Degree Celsius above normal

Mean Dew Point 20.8 Degrees Celsius; 1 Degree Celsius above normal

Total Evaporation 119.9mm; 32.3mm below normal

Remarks: All measurements were made at the Royal Observatory except sunshine, solar radiation and evaporation which were recorded at King’s Park.

End

Sai Kung lot to let by tender * * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Lands Department is inviting tenders for the short-term tenancy of a piece of government land at Tseng Lan Shue, Sai Kung.

With an area of about 740 square metres, the lot is intended for use as a plant nursery. The tenancy is for three years, renewable quarterly.

8

The closing date for submission of tenders is noon on Friday, November 29.

Tender form, tender notice and conditions can be obtained from the Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong, and the District Lands Offices of Kowloon and Sai Kung.

Tender plan can also be inspected at these offices.

End

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

^million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,577 0930 +319

Closing balance in the account 2,451 1000 +319

Change attributable to: 1100 +319

Money market activity +314 1200 +319

LAF today -440 1500 +319

1600 +314

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.4 *+0.2* 13.11.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/MTRC notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.90 2 years 2811 5.72 100.10 5.75

1 month 4.89 3 years 3910 6.28 100.74 6.09

3 months 4.92 5 years 5109 7.32 103.28 6.62

6 months 4.99 7 years 7308 7.24 102.41 6.90

12 months 5.23 10 years 1610 7.37 102.20 7.18

5 years M503 7.35 102.00 6.96

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $17,669 million

Closed November 13, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

SUPPLEMENT

Wednesday, November 13,1996

Contents Page No.

Legislative Council meeting:

Concerns about selection procedures for SARCE will be reflected... 1

Motor Vehicles (First Registration Tax) Bill 1996 .................... 2

Second reading of Wild Animals Protection (A) Bill 1996 .............. 4

Progress of the Athletes Fund......................................... 5

Repeal of Women and Young Persons (Industry) Regulations.............. 6

Accidents arising from children left alone at home.................... 8

Financial assistance for Chinese language classes in UK.............. 13

On-going discussions on sewage tunnelling works................... 15

Home Ownership Scheme and Private Sector Participation Scheme..... 17

/Treatment of....

Contents

Page No,

Treatment of discarded vehicle lubricating oil........................... 20

Control on Chinese medicine.............................................. 21

Freedom of expression and assembly....................................... 23

Alleged gas cylinder mislabelling case explained......................... 25

Attendance at public hospitals' A&E departments.......................... 26

Owners' corporations..................................................... 27

Patients suffering from mental breakdown................................. 28

Metroplan principles applied on a case by case basis..................... 30

Status of VMs released on recognisance............................... 31

Waterproof roofing system for public housing blocks...................... 32

Issuing of bulk tender to Internet Service Providers....................  34

Facilities in Government-aided primary and secondary schools......... 35

Supervision fee to meet overhead and staff cost.......................... 36

1

Concerns about selection procedures for SARCE will be reflected ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Nicholas Ng, in the Legislative Council motion debate on ’’Political Platforms of the SAR Chief Executive Candidates" today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

The HKSAR Chief Executive (Designate) will be selected next month. As we all know, the Chinese Government and the SAR Preparatory Committee are responsible for devising the selection method for the Chief Executive, as well as for its implementation. As stipulated in the Basic Law, the first Chief Executive, once selected, will be reported to the Central People's Government for appointment.

As the first Chief Executive will be playing a crucial role in the formation of the SAR and the SAR Government, it is perfectly natural that the community is concerned about the selection procedures for the Chief Executive as well as the candidates’ platforms. It will not be appropriate for the Administration to comment on the selection arrangements. But we share the community's expectation that the selection process should be open, fair, and transparent; and that the candidate chosen is able to command confidence and respect both locally and overseas. We would continue to reflect the community's expectation to the Chinese side at every available opportunity. In this connection, Chinese officials have also, on many occasions, stressed that the Chief Executive should uphold the principle of "one country, two systems" and be acceptable to all sectors of the community.

Mr Lee's motion advocates election of the Chief Executive by universal suffrage. The method for selecting the Chief Executive is prescribed in the Basic Law and the Decision of the National People's Congress on 4 April 1990. Implementation of these provisions is a matter for the Chinese side and the future HKSAR Government. I would, therefore, only want to state a point of fact here: Article 45 of the Basic Law provides that "the ultimate aim is the selection of the Chief Executive by universal suffrage upon nomination by a broadly representative nominating committee in accordance with democratic procedures".

2

The coming eight months will be a critical period for Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Government is fully committed to working towards a successful transition by continuing its effective and accountable administration, and through practical cooperation with the Preparatory Committee and the Chief Executive (Designate).

We believe that the Hong Kong community will also look to the Chief Executive (Designate) to fully implement the principles of "high degree of autonomy", "Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong", and "one country, two systems" as stipulated in the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, and lead Hong Kong towards a bright future.

End t • •

Motor Vehicles (First Registration Tax) Bill 1996 *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for the Treasury, Mr K C Kwong, in moving the second reading of the Motor Vehicles (First Registration Tax) (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that the Motor Vehicles (First Registration Tax) (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1996 be read the second time.

The Motor Vehicles (First Registration Tax) Ordinance provides the legislative framework within which the first registration tax system for motor vehicles operates. The current system was introduced in August 1994. We then undertook to review the operation of the system after its implementation. We have completed the review. Members may recall that in the context of the 1996-97 Budget, we introduced legislation to tackle the problem of over-declaration of the value of tax exempted items, i.e. exempted vehicle accessories and distributor's warranty, in order to manipulate the price structure of vehicles, thereby reducing the first registration tax payable. This is one of the main issues identified in the review. The legislation was passed by this Council and came into operation on 3 June 1996.

The Bill before Members today aims to deal with other issues identified in the review. It seeks to improve the operation of the first registration tax system, to facilitate trade operation, and to further reduce opportunities for tax evasion. However, no major change to the first registration tax policy has been proposed. Let me briefly explain the amendments.

3

First, to improve operation of the first registration tax system. Under the Bill, we seek to provide clear definitions in law so as to minimise uncertainty and disputes in tax assessment work. To strengthen enforcement, the Bill includes provisions to allow Customs officers to enter the non-domestic premises of a registered vehicle importer or distributor at a reasonable time to inspect motor vehicles for tax assessment purposes. The time limit within which legal proceedings against offences under the legislation can be initiated will also be extended from six months to two years after the date on which the offence is committed or six months after the date on which the Commissioner for Transport first has knowledge that the offence has been committed, whichever is earlier.

The Bill also provides that all costs incurred in relation to the importation of a vehicle have to be declared in the import return and taken into account in the calculation of first registration tax. This seeks to ensure that vehicles imported for personal use are taxed on the same basis as those imported by registered operators for trade purposes. To further provide a level playing field, resale of vehicles originally imported for personal use may also be subject to additional first registration tax where appropriate, on the same basis as the existing arrangement for vehicles imported for trade purposes. On equity grounds, the Bill also provides that depreciation would be allowed in respect of the taxable value of a vehicle which is registered in a place outside Hong Kong by an importer before its importation into Hong Kong for personal use. This is in line with the present arrangement whereby depreciation allowance is provided for vehicles which have been legally used in Hong Kong before first registration.

Second, to facilitate trade operation. We seek to improve the system for filing import return. The Commissioner for Transport will allow flexibility for late submission of import return under special circumstances and upon application by the importer. Moreover, under the Bill, the filing requirement will no longer apply to special vehicles used in the airport, cargo terminals or construction sites. These vehicles are not subject to first registration tax but they are caught by the filing provisions under existing law. The Bill also includes provisions for currency conversion to facilitate the trade in their declaration work.

Third, to tackle tax evasion. We also identify in the review that some vehicle traders provide distributor's warranty, which is currently not subject to tax, on a mandatory basis to buyers and seek to manipulate the price structure of vehicles so as to reduce the first registration tax payable. The Bill seeks to plug this loophole by stipulating that the value of any warranty provided on a mandatory basis will be subject to first registration tax.

4

We have consulted the Motor Traders Association of Hong Kong on the proposals as contained in the Bill. The Association supports these proposals.

Mr President, with these remarks, I commend the Bill to Members.

End

Second reading of Wild Animals Protection (A) Bill 1996 ***** '

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

Mr President,

I move that the Wild Animals Protection (Amendment) Bill 1996 be read the second time.

One of the main purposes of the Bill is to make the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance consistent with the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance. Under the existing legislation, a person suspected to be guilty of an offence under section 8 or 9 is required to prove that the protected wild animal or the eggs of the protected wild animal he possessed is not taken or killed in Hong Kong. The Bill proposes that this be replaced by presumption provisions which are only to operate in two sets of specified circumstances, outside which the prosecution would need to prove all elements of the relevant offence. The first is when the suspect is caught with the protected wild animal or the eggs of a protected wild animal in a nature area. The second is when the suspect is caught with the same for commercial purposes.

'Hie Bill also introduces necessary provisions to facilitate enforcement of measures for the better protection of wild animals. First, the Bill seeks to prohibit the feeding of wild animals in specified places. The new provision is needed, for example, a monkey habitat where there have been numerous reports of monkey nuisances and some incidents of attacks by monkeys. It has been found that feeding by humans is an important factor leading to such nuisances and attacks. By restricting the areas where feeding is allowed, we believe there would be fewer cases of nuisance and attack, and the likelihood of transfer of diseases from human beings to monkeys and vice versa would be minimised.

5

Second, the Bill proposes to give the Director of Agriculture and Fisheries additional powers to search, seize and forfeit evidence, detain the protected wild animals and eggs so seized and the conditions for releasing or disposing the protected wild animals and eggs. The additional powers would enable the Director to discharge his duties under the Ordinance more effectively.

Third, the Bill revises the level of fines under the Ordinance. These fines have not been reviewed since the enactment of the Ordinance in 1976. The Bill now proposes four levels of fines, with each level reflecting the seriousness of the different offences.

Finally, the Bill adds new provisions for appeals. It is proposed that a person aggrieved by a decision of the Director of Agriculture & Fisheries in cancelling his permit or not granting him a permit can appeal to the Administrative Appeals Board. This is in line with the government’s practice to open up channels for appeal.

Thank you, Mr President.

End

Progress of the Athletes Fund * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Andrew Cheng and a reply by the Secretary for Broadcasting. Culture and Sport. Mr Chau Tak-hay, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The Government has recently announced the setting up of the Athletes Fund (the Fund) and pledged to match community donations to the Fund on a dollar-for-dollar basis (with the Government's commitment being capped at $8 million) until the size of the Fund reaches $16 million. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the latest progress of the Fund;

(b) whether, in the event of public donations to the Fund falling short of the expected $8 million, the Government will consider injecting more money into the Fund so as to ensure that the size of the Fund reaches the target of $16 million; and

6

(c) whether the Government will draw up any guidelines on the operation of the Fund such that individual athletes or sports organisations can apply to the Fund on an equal footing?

Reply:

Mr President,

Public donations to the HK Athletes Fund at present amounts to $4.08 million.

Government has already agreed to inject $8 million into the fund. We will continue to appeal for donations from the community, with the aim that the size of the fund should reach at least $16 million this financial year. While the Government currently has no plans to inject more money into the fund, we would be prepared to review the situation at a later date in the light of experience in running the fund.

In consultation with the Sports Development Board and other major sports organizations, we are currently drawing up detailed application procedures for the fund. These will be made public in due course.

End

Repeal of Women and Young Persons (Industry) Regulations ♦ * * ♦ ♦

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

Question:

Regarding the Labour Advisory Board’s recent endorsement of the Government's proposal to repeal the provisions in the Women and Young Persons (Industry) Regulations applying to women, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) having regard to the fact that the provisions in section 4 of the Regulations were formulated for the purpose of implementing the Underground Work (Women) Convention (International Labour Convention No. 45) in Hong Kong, whether the present proposal to repeal the Regulations is in breach of the above Convention; if so, of the remedial measures which will be taken by the Government and the timetable for the implementation of such measures; and

7

(b) whether, in putting forward the proposal to repeal the Regulations, the Government has sought the medical sector’s opinion as to whether the repeal of the provisions in the Regulations relating to carrying of weights by women may result in women suffering from gynaecological diseases (such as excessive menstrual flow, menstrual pain, stoppage of menstruation and prolapse of uterus) while moving heavy objects at work; if so, what the details are; if not, why not?

Reply:

Mr President,

Before I reply to the specific parts of the Question, I should point out that Regulations 4 and 6 are two of the eight Regulations containing women-specific employment restriction provisions under the Women and Young Persons (Industry) Regulations. These provisions will become legally incompatible with the Sex Discrimination Ordinance(SDO), after the grace period for exempting such provisions from the application of the SDO expires on 13 July 1997 under Section 57 of the Ordinance. It is therefore technically necessary to repeal these provisions under these Regulations before the aforesaid date in order to render the entire set of Regulations compatible with the SDO.

As regards Part (a) of the Question, Regulation 4 of the Women and Young Persons (Industry) Regulations prohibits the employment of women (and young persons) from underground work in any mine or quarry, or in any industrial undertaking involving a tunnelling operation.

This Regulation is in line with International Labour Convention (ILC) No.45 which prohibits the employment of female workers from underground work in any mines. ILC No. 45 was ratified by the United Kingdom (UK) in 1936 and extended to Hong Kong without modification in 1950 by virtue of UK’s ratification of ILC No.83, which provides that a ratifying member should make a declaration on the extent to which the provisions of a prescribed list of ILCs should be applied to its NonMetropolitan Territories. In 1988, UK denounced ILC No. 45 on the ground of providing equal employment opportunities for men and women. The Convention, however, continues to apply to Hong Kong by virtue of the above declaration made by UK under ILC No. 83 in 1950. Following the repeal of Regulation 4 of the Women and Young Persons (Industry) Regulations, the UK has to make a declaration to the International Labour Organisation that ILC No. 45 ceases to apply to Hong Kong.

8

As regards Part (b) of the Question, Regulation 6 of the Women and Young Persons (Industry) Regulations prohibits a woman (or young person) employed in an industrial undertaking from carrying any load which is unreasonably heavy having regard to his or her age and physical development.

In putting forward the proposal to the Labour Advisory Board, medical advice was not sought on the impact of the repeal of Regulation 6 of the Women and Young Persons (Industry) Regulation on the health of women. This is because the repeal of the women-specific provision under this Regulation will not amount to a reduction of the protection of female workers in respect of carrying of heavy weights, as the same protection is already in place under Section 6A of the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance. The latter provision, which was brought into effect in 1990 (i.e. after the making of the Women and Young Persons (Industry) Regulations), prescribes the general duties of a proprietor to ensure the health and safety at work of all persons (both male and female) employed in industrial undertakings. Such duties include the duty to ensure safety and absence of risks to health in connection with the use, handling, storage and transportation of articles and substances. Under this provision, no worker, male or female, should be permitted to carry any load which is unreasonably heavy to damage his or her safety and health.

End

Accidents arising from children left alone at home

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Edward Ho Sing-tin and a reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It was reported that between 1989 and 1994, over 100 children lost their lives in accidents which occurred when they were left alone at home. Another such incident occurred recently when a five-year-old child, who was at home by himself, played with fire and got severely burnt. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the distribution of child care centres in various districts, the proportion of these centres to their target clients, and the utilization rate in these centres;

9

(b) whether consideration has been given to introducing 24-hour child care services in these centres; and

(c) of the measures adopted to prevent the recurrence of such incidents?

Reply:

Before answering the specific points raised, 1 should like to stress that we consider that the primary responsibility for providing adequate care to children must lie with their parents or legal guardians. While, therefore, we too are very concerned by tragic incidents arising from children being left alone at home, our priority is to educate parents of the dangers and unacccptability of this practice.

(a) Nevertheless, in order to assist those parents who cannot look after their children during the day, we have child care facilities in the form of day creches for babies and day nurseries for those between 2 and 6 years of age. Occasional child care services are also provided in some of these centres for children whose carers are unable to take care of them for brief periods during the day and extended hours' services are available to cater to the special needs of working parents or single parent families. In addition, after-school care provides half-day care, lunch, homework tuition, guidance and play activities for primary pupils who come from families with social and financial needs and who lack adequate adult care and supervision outside school hours. To help low income families who cannot afford the fees charged by child care centres, there is a comprehensive fee assistance scheme.

The distribution of day nursery, day creche, occasional child care and after-school care places in various districts is shown in Annex I tabled for Members' information.

Because our planning ratio is on a territory-wide basis, we do not have planning targets on a district by district basis. Based on our territorywide planning ratio of 100 aided day nursery places for every 20 000 of the general population, the estimated total target requirement for aided day nursery places is currently 30 137 places as against a provision of 24 229 places or around 80% of the target.

The enrolment rates in aided day nurseries and day creches and the utilization rates of the occasional and after school care services are provided in Annex II which I am also tabling.

10

(b) Child care services are only one form of family support service for parents. We also provide a range of residential child care services for children and young persons who need 24-hour out-of-home care due to domestic crises such as family illness, death, desertion, imprisonment or child abuse. These services are to cater for exceptional circumstances.

No parent should as a normal practice expect to be able to place his child in care on a 24-hour basis: children should return to their parents and siblings in the evening to enjoy and benefit from a normal family life.

(c) As I said at the start of this answer, our main concern is to ensure parents act responsibly towards caring for their children. To foster this attitude, we have enhanced our public education and publicity through the mass media as well as through talks, seminars, exhibitions and other activities at district level. During the past two years, a total of 500 programmes, attended by around 180 000 participants, have been organized.

We are also seeking to improve both the availability and security of childminding services. Amendments to the Child Care Centres Ordinance which were introduced into this Council on 27 June this year are designed to facilitate the development of more mutual self-help child care groups by exempting them from many of the more onerous requirements set out in the Ordinance. The amendments will also enable parents to seek confirmation that a childminder does not have any criminal record which might make him or her unsuitable to be placed in charge of a child.

These measures are in addition to the ongoing major expansion of child care facilities. For example, in the four-year period between April 1993 and March 1997, we expect to have provided 4 047 new day nursery places.

11

Annex I

Distribution of Child Care Places

Districts Day Nursery Places Day Creche Places Occasional Child Care Places After-school Care Places

Central/Westem 1362 60 18 88

Islands 388 0 6 12

Southern 1312 0 21 120

Eastern 4079 166 27 472

Wanchai 1792 80 12 503

Kowloon City 4349 132 30 91

Shamshuipo 2149 64 51 151

Yau Tsim Mong 1150 85 18 255

Kwun Tong 2871 143 57 595

Wong Tai Sin 2167 104 54 291

Sai Kung 568 60 12 415

Shatin 3602 70 51 273

Tai Po 1589 70 30 243

North 1412 60 21 238

Yuen Long 1482 60 27 183

Tuen Mun 3247 120 60 539

Tsuen Wan 1330 88 9 158

Kwai Tsing 2562 184 69 726

Total: 37411 1546 573 5353

12

Annex II

Enrolment and Utilization Rates :

Aided Dav Nurseries and Day Creches, Occasional Care and After-school Care

District Enrolment in Aided Day Nurseries Enrolment in Aided Day Creches Utilization Rate of Occasional Child Care Service Utilization Rate of After-school Care Programme

Central/Westem 93% 100% 62% 98%

Islands 100% N.A. 51% 75%

Southern 94% N.A. 63% 85%

Eastern 92% 67% 115% 81%

Wanchai 95% 67% 79% 86%

Kowloon City 88% 94% 89% 100%

Shamshuipo 94% 97% 78% 78%

Yau Tsiin Mong 96% 100% 135% 72%

Kwun Tong 95% 61% 103% 79%

Wong Tai Sin 95% 54% 63% 126%

Sai Kung 90% 43% 53% 67%

Shatin 95% 54% 58% 95%

Tai Po 99% 61% 55% 91%

North 95% 53% 74% 84%

Yuen Long 97% 63% 49% 117%

Tuen Mun 94% 40% 53% 99%

Tsuen Wan 99% 95% 80% 96%

Kwai Tsing 88% 54% 60% 74%

Average: 94% 69% 73% 89%

End

13

Financial assistance for Chinese language classes in UK ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Lo Suk-ching and a reply by the acting Secretary for Trade and Industry, Mr Tam Wing-pong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Among the Chinese residing in the United Kingdom (UK), many are second or third generation descendants of indigenous villagers of the New Territories and have a close relationship with Hong Kong. The Liaison Section of the London Office of the Hong Kong Government previously granted subsidies to the Chinese schools in the UK for the provision of Chinese language education. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) of the amount of subsidies granted to the Chinese schools in the UK in each of the past five years;

(b) whether the London Office’s decision to cease granting subsidies to these Chinese schools and to dissolve the Liaison Section is related to the return of the territory’s sovereignty to China; and

(c) whether it will consider resuming the granting of subsidies to these Chinese schools, so that future generations of the indigenous villagers of the New Territories residing in the UK are equipped with sufficient proficiency in the Chinese language to serve the community upon their return to Hong Kong?

Answer:

The scheme to provide assistance to Chinese community language classes in the UK by the London Office started in the late 1960s as a community service in response to requests made by immigrants from Hong Kong to the UK who had difficulty in finding schools providing lesson for their children to learn the Chinese language. Help was rendered by way of supplying classes organized by local organizations, usually held on weekends, with Chinese language textbooks which were in short supply in those days and some cash subsidies which was no more than a token of appreciation for the services provided for the community. The expenditure incurred in providing such financial assistance during the last five-year period before the phasing out of the scheme are given as below:

14

Year Text-book costs GBP Subsidies GBP

90-91 37,940 58,700

91-92 33,120 50,000

92-93 41,000 34,000

93-94 25,230 32,150

94-95 18,600 -

The scheme was phased out and eventually suspended in 1994-95, partly as a result of the major reorganization of the London Office to refocus the office’s efforts to meet changing needs, taking into account:

’(a) the need to plan for, in the long term, the role of the London Office as an economic and trade office under the Sino-British Joint Declaration; and

(b) a more efficient utilization of resources.’

as was reported to this Council on 2 November 1990 when the Finance Committee was asked to note, inter alia, the reorganization of the London Office into an economic and trade office. As part of the reorganization exercise, the then Community Services Division of the London Office, which had all along handled the scheme, was disbanded in September 1995, because liaison with the Hong Kong community, among others, would cease to be a function of the re-structured London Office.

At the same time, with the change in circumstance in UK, it was deemed that there was no paramount need to continue providing financial assistance for Chinese language class. With the increased affluence of immigrants in the local community, they are now much more able to self-support running of the classes themselves. These classes are well-established and ably run. The withdrawal of financial assistance by the London Office has not caused serious hardship. In fact, as far as we are aware, no class was closed for financial reasons as a result. As regards textbooks, by 1994-95, the UK Federation of the Chinese Schools had developed their own set of textbooks up to GCSE level which are widely circulated and better suited for children living in the UK. There was therefore no further need for the London Office to supply Hong Kong textbooks to the classes.

Moreover, following an inquiry by the House of Common in 1984-85, a report entitled ’Chinese Community in Britain’ was published which affirmed that the local governments should support Chinese language teaching in the Chinese communities. As a result, the Chinese residents have been able to make some success in getting regular support from local governments for classes for Chinese language studies.

15

Since the Chinese language classes organized by community organizations treat all pupils the same and do not differentiate them by countries of origin, there should be no problems for descendants of indigenous villagers of the New Territories residing in the UK to enroll in these classes.

Because of the reasons stated above, the Government has no plan to resume the granting of subsidies for running Chinese language classes in the UK.

End

On-going discussions on sewage tunnelling works * * ♦ ♦ *

Following is a question by the Hon Henry Tang and a written reply by the Secretary for Works, Mr Kwong Hon-sang, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In regard to the Stage I Strategic Sewage Disposal Scheme project, will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the problems which have arisen in the above project resulting in the temporary suspension of the construction works;

(b) the party which should be held responsible for such problems; and

(c) the costs of the improvement works arising from such problems?

Answer:

Mr President,

(a) Stage 1 works for the Strategic Sewage Disposal Scheme (SSDS) provides for the collection, treatment and disposal of 1.7 million cubic metres of domestic and industrial wastewater per day from urban Kowloon and the northeastern parts of Hong Kong Island by -

(i) upgrading of seven preliminary treatment works;

16

(ii) construction of a deep sea tunnel outfall;

(iii) construction of a new chemically enhanced primary treatment works on Stonecutters Island; and

(iv) construction of six sections of deep sewage collection tunnels.

All construction contracts of the SSDS Stage I have already been let and the works are generally progressing well on the works under items (1) to (iii) above. However, problems have arisen with part of the tunnel works under item (iv).

Tunnel boring works for the $1.3 billion deep sewage tunnels contract commenced on site early this year. Towards the middle of the year, the Contractor encountered water seepage through the rock into two of the six tunnel sections. From mid June to end July, the Contractor suspended the tunnel boring work progressively, leading eventually to works stoppage at all six tunnel sections although no technical obstacles related to water seepage were encountered in the other four tunnel sections.

(b) In response to the Contractor's actions, Government has engaged independent tunnelling experts to advise on the technical issues and discussions have been held with the Contractor's representatives in an effort to get the tunnelling works back on track. As discussions are still on-going, it would be inappropriate to disclose further details of the process and premature to say who should be held responsible for the problems.

(c) The details of any improvement works that may prove necessary have yet to be agreed upon. It is thus too early to say how much those additional costs will be.

End

17

Home Ownership Scheme and Private Sector Participation Scheme

*****

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

Question:

Is the Government aware of:

(a) the number of flats produced in respect of each phase of the Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) in the past five years;

(b) the following information under the green-form and white-form categories in respect of each phase of the HOS in the past five years:

(i) quota allocation;

(ii) number of applications;

(iii) oversubscription rate;

(iv) number of cases involving purchasers of uncompleted HOS flats failing to complete sale and purchase agreements after payment of deposits; and

(v) number of cases involving owners of HOS flats surrendering their flats to the Housing Authority on account of default in mortgage repayment;

(c) the reasons for the increase in the number of forfeiture of deposit cases in respect of HOS flats; and

(d) whether the Housing Authority will adjust the production rate and prices of HOS flats in the light of the reasons given in the answer to (c) above; if so, how the rates of such adjustments will be determined?

18

Answer:

Mr President,

The required information is given in the table attached (note).

The main reasons for purchasers of uncompleted Home Ownership Scheme and Private Sector Participation Scheme flats failing to complete sale and purchase agreement after payment of deposits are changes in family circumstances (such as moving out of grown-up children upon marriage, death of principal income earner), emigration and change of mind instead to purchase flats in the private property market.

The mortgage repayment default rate in the past five years is very low. The number of cases is given below-

Default cases

1991-92 1992-93 1993-94 1994-95 1995-96 26 33 18 14 39

A breakdown by white form and green form applicants is not available.

Affordability remains the primary consideration for setting prices of Home Ownership Scheme and Private Sector Participation Scheme flats. Prices for each phase are determined with reference also to the market value of comparable private sector flats in similar locations, with a discount of at least 30% of market value (the discount being around 45% in the last eight phases). The high subscription rate is evidence that the flats are affordable. There is no need to make price adjustments.

The number of flats for sale in each phase will be determined in the light of demand and the flat production rate.

End

Home Ownership Scheme and Private Sector Participation Scheme Flats

Annex

Month/Year Phase No. of Flats for Sale Allocation Ratio (%) No of Applications Subscription Rate (round figures) No. of Rescission Case (as at 31.10.96)

GF WF Total GF WF GF WF Total GF WF Overall GF WF Total

4/91 13A 4024 1982 6006 67 33 23773 35868 59641 6 18 10 67 9 76

8/91 13B 4132 2035 6167 67 33 21193 36120 57313 5 18 9 84 6 90

12/91 13C 4319 2128 6447 67 33 29023 59706 88729 7 28 14 99 10 109

4/92 14A 4338 2136 6474 67 33 16559 53812 70371 4 25 11 121 7 128

8/92 14B 4591 2261 6852 67 33 22385 61252 83637 5 27 12 145 8 153

12/92 14C 5002 2464 7466 67 33 19425 48994 68419 4 20 9 195 20 215

4/93 15A 3034 3033 6067 50 50 14702 52694 67396 5 17 11 140 45 185

8/93 15B 2294 2293 4587 50 50 20488 52410 72898 9 23 16 114 16 130

12/93 15C 2999 1477 4476 67 33 28495 52534 81029 10 36 18 253 13 266

4/94 16A 3550 1749 5299 67 33 25482 58414 83896 7 33 16 265 29 294

9/94 16B 5469 2694 8163 67 33 35069 77276 112345 6 29 14 492 49 541

4/95 17A 5446 2682 8128 67 33 24604 53984 78588 4 20 10 244 23 267

11/95 17B 3601 1400 5001 67 33 16743 36338 53081 5 26 11 34 5 39

4/96 18A 3292 793 4085 67 33 21828 29955 51783 7 38 13 11 1 12

8/96 18B 5217 1262 6479 80 20 19946 32492 52438 4 26 8 - -

Legend : GF = Green Form WF = White Form Rescission ® forfeiture of deposit for uncompleted flats

SASNRCDOC

20

Treatment of discarded vehicle lubricating oil

*****

The following is a question by the Hon Ngan Kam-chuen and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the treatment of discarded vehicle lubricating oil, will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the estimated quantity of discarded vehicle lubricating oil requiring treatment in each of the past three years;

(b) the respective quantities of discarded vehicle lubricating oil collected by the Tsing Yi Chemical Waste Treatment Centre and a privately-run waste collection plant in each of the past three years;

(c) the number of prosecutions against illegal dumping of discarded vehicle lubricating oil in each of the past three years; and

(d) the measures currently adopted by the Government to facilitate the collection of discarded vehicle lubricating oil?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) An estimated 8,000 tonnes of waste vehicle lubricating oil are generated in Hong Kong every year.

(b) The quantities of waste vehicle lubricating oil treated at the Chemical Waste Treatment Centre (CWTC) on Tsing Yi Island and recycled at the private recycling plant during the past three years are as follows:

CWIL (tonne) Private Recycling Plant* (tonne)

1994 2.808 0

1995 2,966 2,541

1996(up to Oct) 1,414 4,344

* commissioned in early 1995

21

A large quantity of waste lubricating oils were also exported for recycling elsewhere in the past.

(c) We have taken legal action against one case of illegal disposal of waste lubricating oil in 1994, six cases in 1995 and seven cases during the first ten months of 1996. We are maintaining pressure on those who ignore the law, whilst the statistics at (b) indicate that an increasing proportion of waste lubricating oil is recycled.

(d) It is government policy to encourage waste recovery and recycling activities. The Environmental Protection Department is in regular contact with vehicle and drivers' associations and garage operators to promote their awareness of the importance of proper disposal of waste lubricating oil. In addition, one of the oil companies will soon set up reception facilities on a trial basis at some of its petrol-filling stations to collect waste lubricating oil from drivers and vehicle owners for recycling. Government supports private-sector initiatives such as this and will encourage and assist similar schemes in future.

End

Control on Chinese medicine *****

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

Question:

The Department of Health recently announced that several brands of Niu Huang Chieh Tu Pien (a kind of Chinese patent medicine) in the market were found to contain high levels of arsenic, and this has aroused concern among the public about the regulation of Chinese patent medicines. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the categories of Chinese patent medicines selected by the Department of Health for testing, together with the number and results of such tests, in each of the past three years;

22

(b) of the criteria adopted for determining the categories of Chinese patent medicines to be tested, the number of such tests and the methods of conducting such tests;

(c) of the progress made by the Preparatory Committee on Chinese Medicine regarding the Committee’s work on the regulation of Chinese herbs and Chinese patent medicines;

(d) whether the Department of Health has considered bringing Chinese patent medicines under the regulation of the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance and setting up a labelling system for Chinese patent medicines; if so, when the relevant measures will be implemented; if not, why not; and

(e) whether the Department of Health at present has regular contacts with the Chinese Ministry of Public Health and the State Chinese Medicine Regulating Bureau; if so, what the details are; if not, whether regular contacts with these two bodies will be made in future?

Reply:

(a) The number of tests on Chinese proprietary medicines carried out during

the past 3 years, and their outcomes, are as follows :

No. of samples No. found to No. found to

analysed contain western drug contain unacceptable levels of heavy metal

1993 242 6 1

1994 252 10 4

1995 433 9 2

Medicines selected for tests include those for rheumatism, colds.

influenza, etc.

(b) Proprietary Chinese medicines are selected for testing upon import or from the local market. Special emphasis is placed on those medicines which are more popular among consumers or have had a record of failure to meet test standards. They arc analysed for the presence of western drug ingredients and of the level of heavy metals, namely, arsenic, mercury, lead and since 1996, cadmium.

The number of proprietary medicines taken for analysis and the results are set out in (a) above.

23

(c)&(d) The Preparatory Committee on Chinese Medicine (PCCM) has done an assessment on the trade of Chinese medicine in Hong Kong. It is now deliberating on the mode of regulation of Chinese proprietary medicine and herbal medicine.

Currently, the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance provides for the regulation of western medicine. The PCCM considers that Chinese proprietary medicine should be regulated under separate legislation which should include registration and labelling requirements. The PCCM expects to draw up proposals for Government’s consideration in 1997.

(e) The Department of Health has contacts with the Ministry of

Public Health in China on public health issues. It also has regular contacts with the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China. The Department will inform the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine of any incidents involving Chinese medicine in Hong Kong for their follow up actions. In August this year, members of the PCCM made a 5 day visit to the unit and other related institutions in Beijing to understand the current regulatory system of Chinese medicine and its development in China.

End

Freedom of expression and assembly *****

Following is a question by the Hon Lee Wing-tat and a written reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In a recent interview with an overseas newspaper, the Chinese Vice Premier-cum-Foreign Minister made certain remarks about the freedom of assembly, freedom of expression and freedom of the press in the territory after the transfer of sovereignty in 1997. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

24

(a) whether the Hong Kong Government will request the British Government to seek clarification from the Chinese Government regarding the remarks made by the Chinese Vice Premier-cum-Foreign Minister; and

(b) whether the Hong Kong Government will consider enacting legislation to further protect the freedom of assembly, freedom of expression and freedom of the press in the territory?

Answer:

Mr President,

Freedom of expression and assembly are essential and fundamental aspects of Hong Kong’s open society and way of life.

(a) We are very conscious of the concern caused in Hong Kong by the reported remarks of the Chinese Vice Premier and Foreign Minister on freedom of expression and assembly in Hong Kong after 1 July 1997. The Governor discussed this issue with the Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister during his recent visit to Britain. The Foreign Secretary subsequently expressed concern about these remarks in the Debate on the Queen’s speech in the House of Commons. He noted that no mention had been made in either the Joint Declaration or the Basic Law of the restrictions suggested in the reported remarks. The Foreign Secretary has raised this matter with the Chinese Vice Premier and Foreign Minister.

(b) Freedom of expression and assembly are among the most important rights in the Joint Declaration, the Basic Law, the Bill of Rights Ordinance and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in Hong Kong. Since 1992, we have reviewed 53 provisions in 27 Ordinances which could affect these freedoms. We have amended or repealed 32 of these provisions and left 11 unaltered as they are consistent with the Bill of Rights Ordinance and serve to protect the right to privacy, the public interest or the right to a fair trial. We will complete this exercise as a matter of the highest priority to ensure that freedom of assembly, expression and the press are protected in Hong Kong now and in the future.

End

25

Alleged gas cylinder mislabelling case explained *****

Following is a question by the Hon Leong Che-hung and a written reply by the Attorney General, the Hon Jeremy Mathews, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It was reported that the Legal Department recently dropped the charges against the Hong Kong Oxygen and Acetylene Company for mislabelling a gas cylinder. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the reasons for the Legal Department dropping the charges;

(b) how the above ’’mislabelling” incident was discovered; and

(c) whether the above "mislabelling" incident has caused injuries to persons or damages to properties?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) On 5 June 1996, a summons was laid against the Hong Kong Oxygen and Acetylene Company under section 10(a) of the Dangerous Goods Ordinance (Cap. 295). That section creates a summary offence, and proceedings in respect of it must be commenced within 6 months from the time an offence occurs. The summons alleged that the company had sent to a customer an acetylene cylinder, on which the true name or description of the contents was not distinctly marked. It was subsequently discovered that the date on which the cylinder was sent, and therefore the date of the alleged offence, was 18 April 1995. Proceedings in respect of that alleged offence were therefore time-barred before the summons was issued and, indeed, before the alleged mislabelling was discovered. In the circumstances, the prosecution offered no evidence in respect of the charge. The Administration is considering whether to propose a change to the law so that, in future, similar cases could be prosecuted.

26

(b) The cylinder in question was delivered to the customer on 18 April 1995 and placed inside a dangerous goods store. On 20 March 1996 the customer attended the store for collection of the cylinder and discovered the alleged mislabelling.

(c) The cylinder had not been used. It had caused no injuries or property damage.

End

Attendance at public hospitals' A&E departments

*****

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

Question:

It is learnt that many privately-run clinics are closed during long holiday periods, resulting in a significant increase in the number of patients seeking treatment at the accident and emergency departments of public hospitals during such periods. Does the Government know what measures the Hospital Authority will take to relieve the workload of medical and nursing staff at the accident and emergency departments of public hospitals during long holiday periods?

Reply:

The Hospital Authority is aware of the increase in the number of attendance at its accident and emergency units during extended public holidays and has adopted measures to alleviate the workload borne by the staff working at these units.

First, additional staff and other resources will be deployed as and when necessary to meet the prevailing operational needs of individual hospitals.

Secondly, in collaboration with the Hong Kong Medical Association, efforts are being made to promote the use of Medilink, a telephone hotline to assist patients in seeking information on the availability of alternative primary health care services.

27

Thirdly, vigorous efforts have been made to enhance public awareness on the appropriate use of accident and emergency services. These include distribution of information pamphlets, issuing of press releases and setting up of a multi-media enquiry system to provide patients with details about the location and opening hours of public general out-patient clinics as well as simple tips on the treatment of minor illnesses or injuries.

Finally, the Hospital Authority is exploring with the Department of Health the feasibility of strengthening the general out-patient clinic service at strategic locations to divert non-urgent patients from accident and emergency units.

End

Owners' corporations ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Albert Chan Wai-yip and a written reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Since the Building Management Ordinance was amended in 1993, many owners' corporations have been formed by owners of private housing estates. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the legal status of a management committee which has been reappointed by the owners' corporation but which has not yet applied to the Land Registrar for registration; and

(b) whether any legal document signed or resolution passed by a reappointed management committee is valid prior to the completion of the registration process; if not, what measures have been put in place by the departments concerned to tackle the problem?

Reply:

Mr President,

My reply is as follows:

28

(a) a management committee re-appointed by the owners’ corporation in accordance with the provisions of the Building Management Ordinance (the Ordinance) shall perform the duties and exercise the powers of the owners' corporation by virtue of section 29 of the Ordinance. The Ordinance does not require a further registration of the owners of a building as a corporation on the re-appointment of a management committee. However, the secretary of the management committee of an owners' corporation is required under section 12(3) of the Ordinance to give notice to the Land Registrar within 28 days of any change in certain particulars of the corporation specified under section 12(2); and

(b) any legal document signed or resolution passed by a re-appointed management committee in accordance with the provisions of the Ordinance is valid.

End

Patients suffering from mental breakdown *****

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 of the following in each of the past three years,:

(a) the number of schizophrenia patients admitted into public hospitals, as well as the number of old-case patients hospitalised due to sudden deterioration of their illness and the number of such admissions;

(b) the number of schizophrenia patients under the care of the out-patient departments of public hospitals;

(c) the average and longest waiting time for schizophrenia patients to get their first appointment for follow-up out-patient service in public hospitals; and

29

(d) the number of schizophrenia patients receiving follow-up out-patient service, the number of attendance of these patients and the number of occasions when these patients fail to turn up at the appointment time?

Reply:

The number of patient episodes of schizophrenia handled by public hospitals in 1993/94, 1994/95 and 1995/96 were 4,671, 4,797 and 5,294 respectively. Most of these patients are suffering from symptoms of a chronic nature which require hospitalisation or regular out-patient consultation. A review conducted in 1994 and 1995 indicated that about 25% of schizophrenic patients were re-admitted for treatment within a period of one year to 18 months after hospital discharge.

The Hospital Authority's computer information system is capable of capturing the total number of mental patients receiving out-patient consultation, but not a breakdown of patients by different types of illnesses. In terms of new cases, a total of 1,748, 2,155 and 2,571 new schizophrenic patients were registered with our psychiatric out-patient clinics in 1993/94, 1994/95 and 1995/96 respectively. The Authority is developing a new Psychiatric Clinical Information System to provide more specific data on the profile of patients. A pilot project of this new system will be implemented in Castle Peak Hospital and Kwai Chung Hospital in mid-December 1996 before consideration is being given to rolling it out to other hospitals.

Since no separate waiting list is kept for different types of mental illnesses, the average waiting time for first appointment at psychiatric out-patient clinics in respect of schizophrenic patients is not available. However, a triage system is in place to ensure that patients showing significant signs of behavioural disorder will receive immediate treatment.

All psychiatric out-patient clinics operated by the Hospital Authority have established systems to recall patients who failed to attend scheduled appointments. Based on a recent survey, about 10% of mental patients have failed to turn up for follow-up consultation. Contacts will be made through various means such as telephone, letter and home visits to ensure that the patients arc being provided with appropriate medical attention.

End

30

Metroplan principles applied on a case by case basis *****

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

Question:

In his reply to a question raised at the sitting on 9 October this year regarding the Town Planning Board's approval of a property development plan, which includes a high-rise building of 400 metres in height, at the site of the Hong Kong Central Station of the Airport Railway, the Secretary for Planning, Environment & Lands stated that the requirement that new building developments in the Central district on Hong Kong Island should not protrude the view of Victoria Peak and its ridgeline is no more than an administrative guideline. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether there are any existing high-rise buildings on Hong Kong Island which contravene the above guideline; if so, please provide the names and locations of the buildings concerned; and

(b) whether it will adopt such guideline as a government policy so as to protect the view of Victoria Peak and its ridgeline; if not, why not?

Answer:

Mr President,

The administrative guideline refers to the general principle in the Metroplan that new development/redevelopment should make allowance for the retention of at least 20 to 30 per cent visibility of enclosing peaks and ridgelines when viewed from the opposite side of the harbour. The objective is to ensure that, as far as possible, building heights do not prejudice the important role played by the city's peaks and ridgelines as a key scenic backdrop of Hong Kong. Nevertheless, Metroplan also recognises the need to use taller buildings to define important economic focal points (such as new office zones) and other key landmarks or visual focal points within the city. No building approved since the promulgation of Metroplan in 1991 breaches the above guideline. However, two buildings approved before that time may be seen to protrude above the ridgeline of Victoria Peak when viewed from some particular locations. They are the Bank of China Tower and the Central Plaza.

The Metroplan principles have been adopted as broad guidelines at the district planning level and would be applied on a case by case basis when development and redevelopment proposals are processed. In specific cases, visual impact studies will have to be made by the project proponents before approval is given to the project.

End

31

Status of VMs released on recognisance ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

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

Question:

It is reported that the Hong Kong Government has recently released another 130 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) whose applications for repatriation have been rejected by the Vietnamese Government or who have been stranded in the territory for a number of years pending repatriation. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the estimated number of the above two categories of VMs being stranded in the territory at present;

(b) what measures does the Government have at present to resolve the problem of these VMs being stranded in the territory before the return of sovereignty to China; and

(c) what status will these VMs have in the event that they still remain in the territory after the return of the territory’s sovereignty to China?

Reply:

Mr President,

On 18th October 1996, 130 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) were released on recognisance. They fell into two groups, namely, those who had been rejected by the Vietnamese authorities for return under the Orderly Repatriation Programme, and those who had volunteered to go home but had been awaiting clearance for an unreasonable period of time. The continued detention of these VMs would have been unlawful. Twelve of the 130 have since returned to Vietnam following their clearance by the Vietnamese authorities. At present, there is a total of 546 VMs released on recognisance.

32

To resolve the VM problem we have been negotiating with the Vietnamese authorities on the repatriation of all VMs to Vietnam. A technical meeting was held with Vietnamese officials last month to discuss means to speed up the clearance of VMs for return. During his visit to Hanoi from 31st October to 2nd November, the British Foreign Secretary also urged the Vietnamese authorities to resolve the problem of the remaining VMs in Hong Kong. We shall continue our discussions with Vietnamese Government with a view to securing the return of all VMs to Vietnam as soon as possible.

As the VMs released on recognisance were without travel documents, have been found not to be refugees, and have been refused permission to remain in Hong Kong, they are in the same position as illegal immigrants. Their status would not be affected by the change of sovereignty in 1997. They will be removed under S.13E of the Immigration Ordinance when that can be arranged.

End

Waterproof roofing system for public housing blocks

*****

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

Question:

Recently, many public housing tenants living in the top floor flats of slab housing blocks built in the nineteen-eighties have complained about the problem of water leakage in the ceilings of their flats. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of complaints received by the Housing Department (HD) over the past three years regarding water leakage in the ceilings of the flats mentioned above;

(b) whether the water leakage is in any way related to the thermal insulation design of the rooftops of the housing blocks concerned; if not, what the causes of leakage are;

33

(c) whether the HD has carried out any waterproofing works on the rooftops of the housing blocks concerned at the time of their completion; if not, why not; and

(d) whether the HD will inspect the rooftops of all slab blocks in the territory to ascertain if the waterproofing measures in place are effective, and carry out remedial works on the rooftops of those blocks which have a similar water leakage problem?

Answer:

Mr President,

During the period from April 1995 to October 1996, the Housing Department received 10,300 requests for repair of ceiling seepage in public rental flats and has completed repairs for 95% of them. Earlier statistics are not kept, nor are separate figures for top floor flats built in the 1980’s.

Common causes of water seepage are material wear and tear, and tenants’ unauthorised modifications. There is no evidence to suggest that water leakage is related to the heat insulation design of rooftops of housing blocks. The heat insulation layer is made of light-weight material, and provides additional protection to the roofing system.

All public housing blocks are provided with waterproof roofing systems at the construction stage, and are inspected at six-yearly intervals and repaired, as necessary7. In the meantime, minor roof leakage defects are rectified under usual management procedures. Repairs will normally '-c carried out within 14 days.

End

34

Issuing of bulk tender to Internet Service Providers

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Emily Lau and a written reply by the Secretary for the Treasury, Mr K C Kwong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The Information Services Department and the Information Technology Services Department announced earlier this year that a bulk tender would be issued to all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) by May of this year, so as to meet the huge demand for Internet services by the Government and to reduce administrative costs. However, it is learnt that the bulk tender has not yet been issued up to the present moment. In this connection, will the Administration inform this Council:

(a) whether it has laid down any guidelines regarding its acquisition of Internet services from ISPs; and

(b) of the reasons for the delay in issuing the bulk tender and when such a tender will be issued?

Reply:

(a) The Information Technology Services Department ("ITSD") has advised Departments on the acquisition of Internet services from ISPs. The advice requires Departments -

* to acquire services only from licensed ISPs,

* to consider the support services offered by the provider and the

type of transmission bandwidth on offer, and

* to use only a dial-up service to connect to those of their workstations not connected in any way to their operational network.

ITSD has also advised Departments that they may acquire Web page design services directly from ISPs or other companies that offer this kind of service.

1

- 35 -

The acquisition of all such services is governed by the Stores Regulations in the usual way.

(b) We did plan originally to issue a bulk tender to procure ISP services. However, in the light of the rapid developments in the market and the high degree of competition in the industry, we have reviewed our original plan. We now feel that we should not issue a bulk tender because this would tie us to a single provider. Even if the contract had provision for price adjustments, this would not be as flexible as having the ability to obtain services from several different providers. Accordingly we are now formulating a revised ISP procurement strategy. We expect to draw up for departments' reference early next year a short-list of suppliers who can provide such services.

End

Facilities in Government-aided primary and secondary schools ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Law Cheung-kwok 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 the facilities in government-aided primary and secondary schools (such as school halls, playgrounds and classrooms etc.) are open for public use outside school hours; and

(b) whether it has formulated any policy regarding making such school facilities available for public use; if so, what the details are?

- 36 -

Reply:

Mr President,

■: . t

(a) Facilities of government-aided primary and secondary schools, such as school halls, playgrounds and classrooms, are generally not open to the public outside school hours, as the schools themselves often use them for a wide range of functions such as extra-curricular activities and parentteacher association events. However, outside organisations can apply to individual schools for the use of school facilities for their activities.

(b) Schools are encouraged to make the best use of the space available to them for educational purposes. In addition, the Education Department has issued guidelines to both government and aided schools on hire of accommodation to outside organisations for a variety of functions including organising public examinations and charitable functions; use of premises as polling/counting stations during elections; holding interschool competitions; and operating adult/evening classes. In accordance with these guidelines, supervisors of government-aided primary and secondary schools can decide whether to allow an outside organisation to use the school facilities, having regard to the pupils' welfare and the nature and purpose of the proposed activities.

■ ■ >• ,-f* 11

End

Supervision fee to meet overhead and staff cost *****

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

Question:

Does the Government know whether the Housing Authority’s levy of a supervision fee on the management fees collected by the companies managing Home Ownership Scheme estates is for profit-making or cost-recovery; if not, of the use to which the supervision fee is put?

37

Answer:

Mr President,

The Housing Authority monitors and supervises the management and maintenance of Home Ownership Scheme estates by property management agents, in order to ensure that the services provided meet specified standards. To cover the administration overheads and staff costs incurred by the Housing Authority, a supervision fee is paid by property management agents and is recovered from management fees collected from flat owners.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, November 14,1996

Contents Page No.

Wong Tai Sin DB by-election to be held on January 5....................... 1

AFD to implement microchip programme for dogs next month.................. 1

Drop kerbs to help wheelchair users to take taxis......................... 3

Statistics on trade involving outward processing in China................. 4

Long and Meritorious Services Certificates presentation................... 7

Secretary for Works to take salute it CSD passing-out parade.............. 8

BFBS to auction rare commemorative covers on Sunday....................... 9

Garment exporter fined for furnishing false statement.................... 10

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

1

Wong Tai Sin DB by-election to be held on January 5 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A by-election to fill a seat of the San Po Kong constituency of the Wong Tai Sin District Board will be held on Sunday, January 5, 1997, a spokesman for the Registration and Electoral Office (REO) said today (Thursday).

The office of the member of the San Po Kong constituency will be declared vacant in a gazette notice published tomorrow (Friday) following the death of the late Mr Josephs Chan (alias Canon Chan) on November 2.

Nomination period for the by-election will be from November 22 to December 5 (both dates inclusive). Nomination forms are available at the Wong Tai Sin District Office, fourth floor, San Po Kong Government Offices Building, King Fuk Street, San Po Kong or the REO, 10th floor, Harbour Centre, 25 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.

To qualify for nomination, a candidate must satisfy the relevant provisions laid down under the law, such as he must be aged 21 or over, be a registered elector and has ordinarily resided in Hong Kong for the three years immediately preceding nomination.

Each nomination must be subscribed by at least 10 registered electors of the constituency.

The San Po Kong constituency has an electorate of 5.349.

Poll will be held unless the seat is uncontested.

Enquiries may be made to REO on 2827 1122.

End

AFD to implement microchip programme for dogs next month ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) will implement the microchip programme for the identification of dogs in Hong Kong from December 2 (Monday).

All dogs over the age of five months are required to be microchipped when they are first vaccinated against rabies and licensed. Dogs which are currently licensed will be implanted with the microchip when they are next vaccinated.

- 2 -

Announcing the commencement of the programme at a press conference today (Thursday), an AFD senior veterinary officer, Dr Dick Rubira, said the programme was implemented in accordance with the provisions of the Rabies (Amendment) Regulation 1996.

The regulation requires all dogs at rabies vaccination and licensing to be identified by the implantation of a microchip, which contains a unique identification number.

’’This identification system is safe, accurate, permanent and tamper proof and will allow better management and control of dogs,” Dr Rubira said.

’’The next time your dog is vaccinated against rabies it will receive a second injection of a computer chip. The chip is the size of a grain of rice and is placed just under the skin at the base of the neck.

’’The injection of the chip causes only mild discomfort at the time but provides permanent identification for the dog.

"The identification code on the microchip can be read by a scanner, which is passed over the dog. The record of the vaccination and identity of the keeper is stored in a separate government computer data base.

"If a dog is lost, it will be easier for the keeper to identify his pet and to be reunited with it. The system also enables the Department to identify and prosecute irresponsible dog keepers."

Vaccination and microchipping will be carried out at government kennels and rabies inoculation centres as well as authorised veterinary clinics and Royal Society for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) clinics.

The new regulation also imposes a licence fee of $70 for dogs vaccinated by a government officer and $40 for a dog vaccinated by an authorised person such as a veterinary surgeon. The authorised person will charge for his professional services in addition to the licence fee. The licence is valid for three years, when the dog must be revaccinated and licensed again.

Dr Rubira reminded all dog keepers to ensure that their dogs had been vaccinated, microchipped and licensed. Failure to do so constitutes an offence and the offender is liable to a maximum fine of $10,000.

3

Dog keepers must also advise AFD of any change of ownership or address within five days, to ensure that the information is kept up-to-date. Failure to do so is an offence and renders the keeper liable to a fine of up to $5,000. In addition, failure to notify renders the original keeper responsible for the dog's actions until the notification is made.

Further details on the programme can be obtained from AFD on 2733 2235 or any government kennels. The telephone numbers of the kennels are: Victoria Road (2551 8586); Sung Wong Toi (2362 4147); Sha Tin (2691 2191) and Shek Wu Hui (2670 2201).

End

Drop kerbs to help wheelchair users to take taxis * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A trial scheme to help people with a disability use wheelchairs to board and alight taxis conveniently will be launched tomorrow (Friday).

The Transport Department has selected three taxi stands for the six-month trial. They are Edinburgh Place, Central; Star Ferry Concourse, Tsim Sha Tsui; and Lung Poon Street. Diamond Hill.

Announcing details of the scheme, the department's Chief Transport Officer/Taxi, Ms Regina Yeung, said it had been the Government's policy to improve the accessibility of disabled persons to public transport services and facilities.

"The idea of providing drop kerbs at taxi stands to help disabled persons has the support of disabled persons' associations, the Police, and taxi drivers' and operators' associations," she said.

The construction of drop kerbs requires improvement to the existing pavement at the start of a taxi stand, or at its end, by making it slightly slanting towards the road side for easy movement of wheelchairs.

Disabled persons using wheelchairs are encouraged to make use of these drop kerbs and send their feedback to the Transport Department during the trial period.

4

”We will review its effectiveness and acceptance. More locations will be identified if response to the scheme is favourable.

"The choice of location depends on the actual demand and permission of site conditions," Ms Yeung added.

End

Statistics on trade involving outward processing in China

*****

In the second quarter of 1996, 48% of Hong Kong’s total exports to China were for outward processing; the figure was 72% for domestic exports, and 45% for reexports.

On the other hand, 80% of Hong Kong’s imports from China were related to outward processing, according to statistics released today (Thursday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

Over the same period, 85% of Hong Kong’s re-exports of China origin to all countries other than China were produced through outward processing in China.

The corresponding proportions in the second quarter of 1995 were 49% for total exports to China, 70% for domestic exports to China, 46% for re-exports to China, 73% for imports from China and 82% for re-exports of China origin to all countries other than China.

In the first half of 1996, 46% of Hong Kong’s total exports to China were for outward processing; the figure was 71% for domestic exports, and 42% for re-exports. On the other hand, 81% of Hong Kong's imports from China were related to outward processing.

Over the same period, 86% of Hong Kong’s re-exports of China origin to all countries other than China were produced through outward processing in China.

The corresponding proportions in the first half of 1995 were 49% for total exports to China, 69% for domestic exports to China, 46% for re-exports to China, 74% for imports from China and 83% for re-exports of China origin to all countries other than China.

5

To provide a better understanding of the nature and importance of outward processing in China initiated by Hong Kong firms, the Census & Statistics Department has been conducting a sample survey as from the third quarter of 1988 to distinguish Hong Kong’s exports to China into those which are for outward processing and those which are not.

The scope of the survey has been extended as from the first quarter of 1989 to segregate Hong Kong’s imports from China into those which are related to outward processing and those which are not. Starting from the first quarter of 1991, the scope of the survey has further been extended to cover Hong Kong’s re-exports of China origin to all countries other than China.

The results for the second quarter and the first half of 1996 are now available.

In value terms, $58,204 million of Hong Kong’s total exports to China in the second quarter of 1996 were for outward processing, representing an increase of 2% over the second quarter of 1995. The value of domestic exports to China for outward processing decreased by 6% to $10,849 million, whilst the value of re-exports to China for outward processing grew by 4% to $47,354 million.

Over the same period of comparison, the value of imports from China related to outward processing increased by 15% to $111,518 million. On the other hand, $131,192 million of Hong Kong’s re-exports of China origin to all countries other than China were produced through outward processing in China, representing an increase of 11%.

In the first half of 1996, $103,687 million of Hong Kong's total exports to China were for outward processing, representing a decrease of 1% over the first half of 1995. The value of domestic exports to China for outward processing decreased by 4% to $19,765 million while that of re-exports to China for outward processing was estimated to be $83,922 million which was, about the same as in the first half of 1995.

Over the same period of comparison, the value of imports from China related to outward processing increased by 14% to $209,635 million. On the other hand, $247,779 million of Hong Kong’s re-exports of China origin to all countries other than China were produced through outward processing in China, representing an increase of 11%.

For the purpose of the survey, exports to China for outward processing refer to raw materials or semi-manufactures exported from or through Hong Kong to China for processing with a contractual arrangement for subsequent re-importation of the processed goods into Hong Kong.

6

Imports from China related to outward processing refer to processed goods imported from China of which all or part of the raw materials or semi-manufactures have been under contractual arrangement exported from or through Hong Kong to China for processing.

Re-exports of China origin to all countries other than China involving outward processing in China refer to processed goods re-exported through Hong Kong of which all or part of the raw materials or semi-manufactures have been exported from or through Hong Kong to China for processing with a contractual arrangement for subsequent re-importation of the processed goods into Hong Kong.

In interpreting the statistics, it should be noted that the value and proportion of imports from China and re-exports of China origin to all countries other than China involving outward processing in China refer to those of the entire goods instead of just the value added contributed by outward processing in China.

A sample of trade declarations in respect of Hong Kong's trade with China (domestic exports and re-exports to China, and imports from China) as well as Hong Kong's re-exports of China origin to all countries other than China is selected for enumeration to obtain the required information from the establishments concerned.

A spokesman for the Census and Statistics Department explained that under the internationally accepted system of recording trade flows, all movements of goods (except transhipments and goods-in-transit) across the border, whether for outward processing or not, are recorded as external trade. Thus the movements of goods associated with outward processing are correctly included in the regular trade statistics.

The findings of the survey, however, facilitate a more informed analysis of the nature of Hong Kong-China trade. In this respect, the survey results are a useful supplement to the regular trade statistics.

The above survey results will be included in the September 1996 issue of the Hong Kong External Trade. This report will be on sale by the end of November 1996 at the Government Publications Sales Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, 66 Queensway and the Publications Unit of the Census and Statistics Department, 19th Floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai at $ 122 a copy.

Enquiries on the survey results may be directed to the Trade Surveys and Research Section of the Census and Statistics Department on 2582 5037.

End

7

Long and Meritorious Service Certificates presentation * ♦ * ♦ *

Veteran Administrative Officers who have served in the government for more than two decades are presented with Long and Meritorious Service Certificates today (Thursday) at a presentation ceremony officiated by the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan. Those with over 30 years’ service also received a gold pin for their long and distinguished service.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr W K Lam, told the recipients that the awards were a recognition of their commitment and contributions over the years. "It has been a long and exciting road leading to the certificate, but I am sure colleagues would agree that it is one well worth taking for the challenge and satisfaction it gives," he said.

The Administrative Service also made use of the occasion to welcome 37 new appointees and bid farewell to the former Director of Social Welfare, Mr Ian Strachan and Deputy Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mr Robert C Wilson.

Mr Strachan retired from the service last month after serving 25 years in the Government. Mr Wilson, who has served the Government for 17 years, will retire later this month.

Following is the list of Administrative Officers receiving Long and Meritorious Service Certificates:

30 years' certificates and gold pins

Mr Haider Barma (now on pre-retirement leave)

Mr Michael Suen

Mrs Katherine Fok

Mr Leung Chin-man*

Mr Michael Lee*

Mr Tony Cooper

Mr Peter Cheung

Mr Paul Wong

8

20 years' certificates

Mr C I C Jackson*

Mrs Doris Ho

Mr Michael Stone

Mrs Rita Lau

Mrs Stella Hung Mr Francis Ho* Mr Peter Pelham Mr Eddy Chan Mr Isaac Chow Mr Gary Yeung* Mr M J C Waters Mrs Jenny Wallis Mr Peter Mann* Mr Gavin Ure Mr Barton Ireland Mr Arthur Ho* Mr Angus Miu* Mr Eric Johnson Mrs Nancy Hui* Mr Stephen Chung* Mrs Charlotte Li*

(* Officers who have been unable to attend the ceremony.)

End

• a ' >

if ' Y - ' .

Secretary for Works to take salute at CSD passing-out parade * * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Secretary for Works, Mr Kwong Hon-sang, will take the salute at a passing-out parade of the Correctional Services Department (CSD) tomorrow (Friday) afternoon at the CSD Staff Training Institute.

Graduating are 151 assistant officers II who have just completed a 23-week basic training course.

The parade will feature the marching team of the Tai Tam Gap Correctional Institution and the marching band of the Cape Collinson Correctional Institution.

End

9

BFBS to auction rare commemorative covers on Sunday ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

The British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS), based at Prince of Wales Barracks, will auction two rare signed commemorative covers during this year’s annual fund-raising appeal in aid of Wireless for the Blind and Project Orbis.

Among the premier items available for the station's radio phone-in auction on Sunday (November 17) are two commemorative covers signed by Commander British Forces, Major General Bryan Dutton; and the Commander of Hong Kong’s future People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Garrison, Major General Liu Zhenwu.

The covers, which were donated by Major General Dutton, have not been released for general sale and as only 25 of each were signed they are now highly desirable collectable items.

One of the covers, which were issued on the occasion of the 69th anniversary of the founding of the PLA, commemorates Major General Liu's visit to the British Garrison in Hong Kong while the second features an inscription for the PLA issued by Chinese President Jiang Zemin.

As interest in stamps with a Hong Kong connection has increased over recent months these rare covers are expected to attract considerable interest.

BFBS takes to the air between 10 am and 5 pm on Sunday (November 17) and listeners will be able to phone in their bids not only for the first day covers but for a selection of items including a six-day bicycling holiday in Canada, a day out at sea on board the Royal Navy's Hong Ko g patrol craft, HMS Starling, dinner at Peninsula's Spring Moon Restaurant and much more.

All money raised by the auction will benefit Wireless for the Blind and Project Orbis.

For further details about the auction please contact Sarah Ridley on 2802 4520.

End

10

Garment exporter fined for furnishing false statement

*****

A garment exporter cum manufacturer, Hermes Textile Industry (HK) Limited today (Thursday) pleaded guilty to five counts of furnishing false statement in export licence applications and one count of importing textile products not under and in accordance with a valid import licence at the Tsuen Wan Magistracy.

It was fined a total of $365,000 by the magistrate, Mr H M Sinclair.

The court heard that officers of the Customs and Excise Department conducted an investigation and found that the defendant had exported 15,517 pieces China-origin cotton woven shorts/trousers/anoraks to Denmark but falsely declared on five export licence applications that the goods were made by its factory in Hong Kong.

Investigation also revealed that the defendant had imported from China 18,242 pieces of garments without a valid import licence.

End

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

r . । • t . ^million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,451 0930 +448

Closing balance in the account 2,309 1000 +448

Change attributable to: 1100 +448

Money market activity +448 1200 +448

LAF today -590 1500 +448

1600 +448

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.4 *+0.0* 14.11.96

11

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/MTRC notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.93 2 years 2811 5.72 100.07 5.76

1 month 4.92 3 years 3910 6.28 100.67 6.11

3 months 4.94 5 years 5109 7.32 103.10 6.66

6 months 5.02 7 years 7308 7.24 102.11 6.96

12 months 5.25 10 years 1610 7.37 101.83 7.24

5 years M5O3 7.35 101.91 6.99

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $11,359 million

Closed November 14, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Friday, November 15,1996

Contents Fag<?

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

Government committed to combating tax evasion: FS........................ 3

SFS stresses the need to sharpen HK's competitive edge................... 5

Land sales revenue set to exceed $36 billion this year................... 6

Prices on the community electronic trading service approved.............. 7

Electronic restrained textiles export licences fee approved.............. 8

APEC Meeting on Science & Technology..................................... 9

New SWAC Chairman appointed............................................. 10

Empty taxis using Cross Harbour Tunnel............................... 11

Air quality report for October released................................. 12

Domestic export statistics by industrial origin...................... 13

/Student Discipline...

Contents

Page No,

Student Discipline Section renders support to schools...................... 16

Wan Chai to hold road safety carnival tomorrow............................. 17

Public invited to join country parks liaison group meeting................. 18

Man Kam To Food Control Office to be open on Monday........................ 19

Another contract for Shenzhen River project awarded........................ 20

Tai Mo Shan weather radar station building tenders invited................. 20

Two lots of land for auction........................................... 21

Tai Po government land for sale by tender.................................. 22

Dragon design aerogramme to be issued next Friday.......................... 22

Gurkha colonel fires noon day gun.......................................... 23

Sea Cadets' final parade at HMS Tamar...................................... 24

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

1

Transcript of the Governor's media session

*****

Following is the transcript of the media session given by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, at the Kai Tak Airport on his return from London this (Friday) evening:

Governor: Sorry to keep you waiting. I just had to do a quick change because I am going off to a Police Beating the Retreat.

I have had a very good, if extremely rushed, visit to Europe. It began on Monday with a speech I made about Hong Kong and Asia to the Confederation of British Industry Conference in Harrogate; then I went to Paris to make a speech and to have high-level meetings with officials, including the Foreign Minister and the President of the Senate; and I then went on to Bonn where again I made a speech, met the Chancellor, the Foreign Minister, the Vice Minister at the Interior Ministry, and a number of Parliamentarians.

While I was, of course, setting out the case for rational optimism about the future of Hong Kong, what 1 was also doing in particular was pressing on France and Germany - which are of course two of the biggest and most important players in the European Union - the case for visa-free access for people from Hong Kong after 1997. And I was pressing, in particular, that the European Union should leave it to individual member states to decide what to do about SAR passport holders, rather than add SAR passports to what is called the Common Visa List, which would in effect be an attempt to get all of the European Union countries to insist on a visa. That is something that I have argued strongly against, pointing out what a very bad signal it would send to everybody in Hong Kong about Europe's future relationship with Hong Kong.

I received a very courteous and friendly hearing at the highest level and I think it was important to be able to register these strong arguments with Chancellor Kohl and with the two Foreign Ministers.

Question: Mr Patten, Qian Qichen this morning said the selection process for the Chief Executive does not mean the end of democracy but the beginning of democracy as the British Government has never consulted the opinions of Hong Kong people over the selection of a governor. So what do you think on this? And Qian Qichen and Lu Ping, they are now in town, would you manage to meet them tonight? If not, are you disappointed?

2

Governor: I think, actually, you are wrong on the second point. I think they are in the process of leaving town. But shall we have a pact on these questions? You know perfectly well that the person to ask that question to is Mr Qian Qichen or Director Lu Ping. You know perfectly well that I and the Chief Secretary have always been extremely courteous and open in saying that we would meet senior leaders from China whenever they liked. It is senior leaders from China who appear to have diaries which are too busy, too blocked, to do what everybody in Hong Kong would like them to do. So you put the questions to them and I am sure you will get interesting answers.

As to the first point, I think that people in Hong Kong will, over the course of the next weeks, reach their own decisions about the openness and the transparency of the system for selecting a Chief Executive. If this is a good time for democracy, then perhaps the best way of underling that would be for Mr Qian to make it absolutely clear that the present Legislature will continue until the end of its natural term, rather than thrown away and replaced by a rubber-stamp.

On the other hand, if Mr Qian has it in mind to introduce electoral arrangements which are even more democratic than ours, I am sure the whole community would be interested in listening to that.

But I hope that Mr Qian and Director Lu enjoyed their visit to Hong Kong. I think it is the first - I hope the first of many visits which Mr Qian will make to Hong Kong - and I am sure they will have seen for themselves what a splendidly successful and stable community this is. I hope that they will get courteous receptions whenever they come and I very much hope, as well, that they will be able, during the course of their visits, to talk to the whole range of community opinion and not just some people from the community.

Question: Mr Patten, how do you think about the protest today outside the Convention Centre and why do the police have to move the protesters out from the Convention Centre? And is it the pressure from the Chinese Government?

Governor: You know perfectly well that that is a ludicrous thing to suggest. You know that perfectly well. Do you seriously suppose that I or the Chief Secretary would interfere in the decisions made about policing by the Commissioner of Police and his senior officers? I hope you won't start giving the impression that the way Hong Kong conducts its affairs, the way Hong Kong, for example, polices public assemblies and public demonstrations, is going to be changed by interventions from anyone. It is not.

3

Now let me reply to the first part of your question and say that freedom of assembly is allowed under the law, but it must be within the law. If people have breached the law, then they will be charged and taken to court. I don’t know whether that has happened. But I leave these matters to the police operating within the terms of the law and operating according to the International Covenants and the Bill of Rights. That is how things will continue to be, as far as I am concerned, right up to midnight on 30 June 1997. Have no doubt about that whatsoever. And I very much hope they will be like that after 30 June 1997 because that is what is supposed to happen under the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law.

Question: The result of today’s first round of the selection process revealed that Tung has got over 200 votes - 206; that T L Yang has 82; and Peter Woo has 54. Is that of any surprise to you, the results?

Governor: I do not think it is proper for me to comment on these matters. I hope that the whole selection process will be carried out in a way which the community regards as satisfactory and open. Thank you very much indeed. Sorry to keep you waiting.

End

Government committed to combating tax evasion: FS ♦ ♦ * * *

The Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, said that the Government was firmly committed to combating tax evasion and minimising opportunities for tax avoidance.

Speaking at the annual luncheon of the Board of Review of the Inland Revenue today (Friday), Mr Tsang said the tax system in Hong Kong was simple and there was no excuse for not paying them in full.

To fight tax evasion, the Inland Revenue Department had set up nine field audit teams and had collected more than $3 billion in back taxes and penalties over the past two years, Mr Tsang said.

”We expect to receive a further $1.8 billion this year because of their work," he

added.

On the use of service companies to avoid or reduce salaries tax liabilities, Mr Tsang said the Government would strictly enforce the new legislation on the books.

4

’’Since the enactment of the legislation summer last year, the Inland Revenue Department has re-assessed 310 cases involving disguised employment and over 150 cases involving the payment of inflated management fees by professional firms," he said.

"As a result, the Department has recovered about $70 million in tax. There are about 1,000 further cases still under assessment."

Mr Tsang said the Government was also applying its attention and energy to the new legislation requiring proper and adequate business records for tax purposes.

In 1994 and 1995, the Government conducted two surveys on business establishments. The results recorded a score of 85 per cent of business establishments maintaining adequate records in 1995 compared with 60 per cent in 1994. This could be attributed to the legislation introduced in mid-1995 specifying minimum record standards for tax purposes and which increased the penalty for non-compliance.

"This is an encouraging sign, and we will strive to ensure that the number gets as close as possible to 100%."

To strengthen the system for the collection of tax debts, the Government would streamline the procedures relating to the imposition of the five per cent surcharge on tax overdue cases.

"We will also impose a further 10 per cent surcharge on tax debts overdue for more than six months, in line with the recommendation of the Public Accounts Committee of the Legislative Council," he said.

"All these measures show our determination to fight tax evasion and reduce the scope for tax avoidance," he added.

Turning to taxation development in Hong Kong, Mr Tsang noted that it was important to publish decided cases of tax appeal for the information of taxpayers and tax practitioners.

"We arc in the process of putting new decisions of the High Court on tax appeal cases on the Inland Revenue Department's homepage on the Internet," he said.

"Our next step will be to put the Board of Review decisions on the Internet as well." he added.

End

5

SFS stresses the need to sharpen HK's competitive edge ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, said the Government was committed to ensuring that Hong Kong’s firm foundation would continuously be improved in keeping with developments in the financial markets internationally.

Speaking at the Hong Kong Management Association Theme Year Talk on Finance this (Friday) evening, Mr Hui said Hong Kong was and would be sharpening its competitive edge in financial intermediation in the face of increasing regional competition.

He stressed that Hong Kong could not be complacent and would need to continue with investments into the future if it was to continue to be successful.

Mr Hui said these investments included physical infrastructure, telecommunications, human resources and training.

"All such investments need to be financed and this is where financial intermediation features," he said.

Mr Hui said financial intermediation presented as one of the major challenges for Hong Kong which would be featured prominently as a leading international financial centre in the region.

Mr Hui noted that most Asian economies were improving their financial "prisms", which would in turn contribute to more effective financial intermediation, and hence greater economic efficiency.

The financial "prisms", according to Mr Hui, is the five pre-conditions for effective financial intermediation:

"P" stands for abundance and sophistication in financial PRODUCTS;

"R" stands for effectiveness in RISK assessment;

"I" stands for robustness in market INFRASTRUCTURE;

"S" stands for SUPERVISORY prudence; and

"M" stands for MONETARY stability.

In his speech, Mr Hui also explained in length the "prisms" in Hong Kong.

End

6

Land sales revenue set to exceed $36 billion this year

*****

Revenue from land transactions this year is likely to exceed the forecast figure of $36 billion, the Director of Lands, Mr Bob Pope, said today (Friday).

Addressing a seminar on "Investing in Hong Kong's Property Market: 1997 and Beyond", Mr Pope said that in keeping with previous years' estimates, the figure was shown to be too conservative and indications currently were that our revenue would exceed this figure.

He said that of the $36 billion forecast revenue from land transactions, only $13 billion, or 36 per cent, would come from sales by public auction or tender.

"In recent years, due to the large developments above the airport railway stations serving the new airport there has been a larger amount of land disposed of by private treaty grant to the Mass Transit Railway Corporation who in turn tender out development contracts with consortia of local and overseas developers.

"Total revenue from land transactions in the past five years has been a remarkable $157 billion of which $80 billion, or 50 per cent came from sales by auction. $31 billion from sales by private treaty and $46 billion from lease modifications and exchanges," Mr Pope said.

Looking ahead, Mr Pope said the long term prospects still look good.

"Property supply figures are expected to increase from 1997 onwards. Major infrastructure projects spanning 1992 to 2001 are under way or planned with the $158.2 billion airport and related road and rail systems entering their final stages.

"Hong Kong will maintain its position as a major financial and business centre and transport hub for the region and as a result, the property and stock markets will remain strong and real long-term growth in values well into the next century can be expected," Mr Pope said.

End

7

Prices on the community electronic trading service approved ♦ ♦ ♦ * *

A Government spokesman announced today (Friday) that the proposed prices submitted by Tradelink Electronic Document Services Ltd relating to the provision of the Community Electronic Trading Service (CETS) have been approved by the Governor in Council.

As part of Government’s agreement with Tradelink, the company has been granted the exclusive right to provide services through CETS for handling a range of Government trade-related transactions. Prices to be charged by the company for the exclusive services would be subject to the prior approval of Government.

’’Tradelink will charge the prices approved when it commences its commercial phase in January 1997,” the spokesman said.

At present, about 50 companies are using the CETS to apply for Restrained Textiles Export Licences (RTEL). Their feedback is being used by Tradelink and the Government to fine-tune the systems before full commercial launch of the RTEL service in January 1997.

Testing for the Trade Declaration (TDEC) service has started and the current plan is to launch a commercial TDEC service in April 1997.

"The commencement of Tradelink’s commercial phase is an important event for the Hong Kong business community. From that time on, the use of paper forms will be phased out in favour of electronic trading, the preferred method of conducting business internationally," the spokesman added.

End

8

Electronic restrained textiles export licences fee approved ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A licence fee of $132 for Restrained Textiles Export Licences (RTEL) applied through the Community Electronic Trading Service (CETS) has been approved by the Governor in Council.

The service, to be launched commercially in January 1997, is provided by Tradelink , the company which was granted the exclusive right to provide services through CETS for handling a range of Government trade-related transactions.

The new licence fee, proposed under the Import and Export (Fees) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulation 1996, will be gazetted on November 22.

A Government spokesman said currently, the licence fee for paper RTEL applications submitted to the Government is $202. This licence fee will continue to apply if the applications are submitted to the Government in paper.

"The licence fee payable to Government for each RTEL applied through the CETS will be $132," the spokesman said.

"Taken together with Tradelink’s charge of $70, the combined Government and Tradelink charges for each RTEL applied through the CETS will not be more than the licence fee payable to the Government in respect of applications submitted in paper."

The spokesman said it is Government’s intention that the relevant receiving counters in Trade Department, which handles paper applications, will all be closed by December 1998.

From January 1999 onwards, RTEL applications will all be processed through the CETS.

"The new licence fee aims at encouraging the use of the CETS in the meantime," the spokesman added.

End

9

APEC Meeting on Science & Technology

*****

The Secretary for Trade and Industry, Miss Denise Yue. participated in the Second Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers' Conference on Regional Science and Technology Cooperation in Seoul, South Korea, on November 13 and 14.

The Conference, chaired by Dr Koo Bohn-Young, Korean Minister of Science and Technology, was attended by 18 APEC economies.

At the Conference, member economies shared their experience regarding recent developments in their science and technology policies and systems.

Miss Yue, in her keynote speech, recounted Hong Kong's experience in economic restructuring, and thus the need to focus more on higher value-added and higher technology economic activities.

Miss Yue said that improving technology information flow, improving researcher exchange, transparency of regulatory framework and facilitation of joint research, are closest to our hearts.

'They are of particular relevance to Hong Kong as an economy committed to free trade, free market and free enterprise, and where government acts as a supporter and facilitator of the economic process,' she said.

Ministers of the 18 economies also discussed means to enhance researcher mobility and creativity, as well as the need to promote gender equality in science and technology endeavours.

At the end of the Conference, Ministers issued a Seoul Declaration reaffirming member economies' commitment to develop individual plans to promote interest in science and technology and encourage further technological exchange by the year 2010, and welcomed the offer by Mexico to host the next Science and Technology Ministers' Conference in 1998.

The 18 APEC economies are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, People's Republic of China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand and the United States.

End

10

New SWAC Chairman appointed ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government announced today (Friday) the appointment of Mr Peter Wong Hong-yuen as the Chairman of the Social Welfare Advisory Committee (SWAC) for a term of two years with effect from November 6,1996.

Mr Wong, a former Legislative Council Member, served as a Member of SWAC in the 1980s and currently holds a number of important posts including Chairman of the Advisory Council on the Environment and Board Member of both the Housing and Hospital Authorities.

His interest in social welfare matters is shown in his active involvement with various non-governmental organisations. He replaces Mr Eric Li Ka-cheung who has served as Chairman of the Committee for four years.

The Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, said she was extremely grateful to Mr Wong for accepting appointment as Chairman in addition to his many other duties and expressed confidence that he would show great skill and dedication in this new role.

Mrs Fok also paid tribute to Mr Li for his hard work and dedication while serving on the Committee. She was pleased to note that Mr Li would continue to play an active role in social welfare matters.

Also announced was the appointment of three new members and reappointment of three incumbent members to SWAC.

The three new members are Miss Elle Shum Mun-ling, Miss Deborah Wan Lai-yau and Mr Stephen Yau How-boa. Together with an incumbent member, Mr Stephen Ng Chi-wing, they have been appointed for two years with effect from December 1, 1996.

Miss Elsie Leung Oi-sie and Professor Wong Hoi-kwok have been re-appointed as members for one year, also with effect from December 1, 1996.

The main functions of SWAC are to keep social welfare services under continuous review and to advise the Government on all matters of social welfare policy.

The above appointments were published in the Gazette today.

End

11

Empty taxis using Cross Harbour Tunnel

*****

In response to press enquiries, a spokesman for the Transport Department (TD) said today (Friday) that the department's recent surveys showed an average of about 12 per cent of empty taxis used the Cross Harbour Tunnel (CHT) from 11 pm to 7 am on weekdays.

The survey recorded nine per cent of empty taxis used CHT on November 7, 13 per cent and 12 per cent on November 13 and 14 respectively during the same period.

The spokesman was responding to a recent survey done by taximen on empty taxis using the CHT claiming that the vacancy rate averaged about 30 per cent between 11 pm on November 13 and 7 am the next day.

The spokesman added that TD's survey found the vacancy rate was as low as 4.6 per cent at 11 pm and slowly climbing up as the hour grew. The highest rate was noted on November 14 between 6 am and 7 am when 30 per cent of taxis using the CHT were empty.

For reference purpose, listed below are average percentages of empty taxis using CHT based on results of TD's various surveys:

Daytime : 11 %

Nighttime : 9%-13%

24 hours : 10%

The spokesman said: "The findings are very much in line with our earlier survey results which showed the vacancy rate was between 10 per cent and 15 per cent on the average for a normal day although the percentage might be a bit higher for some special hours."

End

12

<

Air quality report for October released * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Environmental Protection Department today (Friday) released air quality information for October, 1996.

Except on one occasion in the month, air quality levels in October were within the 24-hour air quality objectives (AQO) limits.

On October 3, the total suspended particulates concentration was 290 microgrammes per cubic metre at a roadside air quality monitoring station at Mong Kok. It was 12 percent higher than the AQO. The levels of respirable suspended particulates and nitrogen dioxide levels were also high, though not exceeding the relevant AQOs.

The report includes the monitoring results from Mong Kok, Central/Westem and Kwai Chung, which respectively represent three important land use types in the territory:

* locations close to road traffic in built-up areas,

* combined commercial and residential districts, and

* districts close to industrial areas.

Air pollutants reported include sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, total suspended particulates, and the 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

13

Domestic export statistics by industrial origin ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The four major industries of textiles; wearing apparel; machinery, equipment, apparatus, parts and components; and consumer electrical and electronic products together accounted for 70% of Hong Kong's total domestic exports of manufactured goods in the third quarter of 1996, according to statistics released today (Friday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

In the third quarter of 1996, domestic exports of consumer electrical and electronic products; machinery, equipment, apparatus, parts and components; wearing apparel; and textiles decreased by 21%, 18%, 9% and 4% over a year earlier to $6.5 billion, $8.7 billion, $11 billion and $13.7 billion respectively.

More notable decreases in the value of domestic exports were also recorded for professional and optical equipment (-$554 million or -13%) and basic metals and fabricated metal products (-$ 186 million or -7%).

For the transport equipment industry, although the change in absolute value was not as large, a marked percentage decrease of 48% was recorded.

On the other hand, a notable increase in the value of domestic exports was recorded for food (+$125 million or +19%).

The above statistics of domestic exports classified by industrial origin are derived by re grouping the merchandise export items originally grouped under the external trade classification system according to the industries in which these merchandise items are normally produced. Transactions in gold and specie are excluded.

The industrial classification used is the Hong Kong Standard Industrial Classification (HSIC). The HSIC is to be distinguished from the United Nations Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) used in the regular trade statistics reports.

In comparison, the HSIC is more related to production processes whereas the SITC is more geared to end uses of products.

Caution should be taken when referring to these domestic export statistics classified by industrial origin. There may be several intermediate processing stages in the production of certain merchandise export items.

14

In compiling the above statistics, the total value of such an item has however been wholly related to the industry in which the item is finally produced. The above domestic export statistics of a particular industry may include products which are secondary products by establishments of other industries.

Further details of merchandise domestic export statistics classified by industrial origin may be found in the table which is obtainable from the General Economic Surveys Section of the Census and Statistics Department on 2805 6642.

A table showing more detailed breakdowns of similar statistics for major manufacturing industries is also included in the Hong Kong External Trade, September 1996, report.

15

Domestic exports of manufactured goods classified by industrial origin for the third quarter of 1996

$ Million

Industrial origin of the commodities exported Merchandise domestic exports

1996 3rd qtr. 1995 3rd qtr. Value change % change

Food 793.4 668.6 +124.8 +18.7

Beverages 161.9 167.5 -5.6 -3.3

Tobacco manufactures 512.4 518.2 -5.8 -1.1

Textiles (including knitting) 13,678.6 14,222.8 -544.3 -3.8

Wearing apparel, except footwear 11,047.1 12,138.5 -1,091.4 -9.0

Leather and leather products, except footwear and wearing apparel 359.6 414.9 -55.4 -13.3

Footwear, except rubber, plastic and wooden footwear 10.3 15.2 -4.9 -32.2

Wood and cork products, furniture and fixtures 72.9 76.7 -3.7 -4.8

Paper and paper products, printing and publishing 2,299.1 2,400.0 -100.8 -4.2

Chemicals and.chemical products 2,132.0 2,071.0 +61.1 +2.9

Products of petroleum and coal 8.3 7.3 +1.1 +14.9

Rubber products 15.8 17.8 -2.1 -11.5

Plastic products 1,151.5 1,240.9 -89.3 -7.2

Non-metallic mineral products, except products of petroleum and coal 83.2 123.5 -40.2 -32.6

Basic metals and fabricated metal products 2,329.3 2,515.7 -186.3 -7.4

Machinery, equipment, apparatus, parts and components 8,710.2 10,670.8 -1,960.5 -18.4

Consumer electrical and electronic products 6,545.2 8,242.1 -1,696.8 -20.6

Transport equipment 20.6 39.9 -19.2 -48.3

Professional and optical equipment 3,785.1 4,339.3 -554.3 -12.8

Other manufacturing industries 3,336.2 3,288.9 +47.3 +1.4

Total 57,052.9 63,179.4 -6,126.5 -9.7

Notes: 1. Individual entries of a column may not add up exactly to the corresponding total due to rounding. All percentage changes are calculated from unrounded figures.

2. The statistics presented in the above table are derived by re-grouping the merchandise export items (except gold and specie) under the external trade classification system according to the industries in which these items are normally produced. As from 1992, the Standard International Trade Classification, Revision 3 (SITC R3) has been adopted in place of the Revision 2 (SITC R2) for the classification of trade statistics. The above statistics may not be strictly comparable with those published for earlier years due to the change in trade classification.

General Economic Surveys Section, Census & Statistics Department, Hong Kong.

Tel.: 2805 6642

November 1996

End

16

Student Discipline Section renders support to schools

*****

Heads and discipline masters/mistresses of secondary schools receiving professional support from the Student Discipline Section (SDS) of the Education Department are invited to participate in the regional network meetings.

Four regional network meetings organised for schools on Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, New Territories East and New Territories West will be held on November 20, November 21, November 27 and November 28 respectively.

"The regional meetings aims at providing schools in the same region with information on the relevant resources available," Chief Student Discipline Officer, Mrs Ruth Lau, said today (Friday).

"Participants will share their experiences in student discipline work and explore resources available in the region.

"Outreach social workers are also invited to brief participants on the services they render to help students spend their time in a more purposeful way during lunch hour and after school."

She added that since November 8, the SDS had been liaising with and visiting schools joining the support service.

"Student discipline officers also give talks in one of the series of seminars organised by the Hong Kong Association for Student Discipline and Counselling Teachers held between October 19 Jtd November 23," she said.

The response to the two seminars on Positive Student Discipline in Schools organised by the SDS last month (October) was very encouraging.

Representatives from 363 schools, or over 78 per cent of secondary schools in the territory, attended the seminars.

An information folder has been sent to those schools which have not attended the seminars.

As at November 11, a total of 89 secondary schools have opted for general mode of support and nine schools requested for intensive support.

Among them, seven are government, 86 aided and five private schools.

17

The SDS aims at providing professional support, guidance and training to secondary schools on matters relating to student discipline.

It also assists schools in reviewing and formulating related strategies and programmes.

Support was offered to all secondary schools, and it is not limited to schools with clusters of academically weak students, Mrs Lau added.

Besides consulting the relevant advisory bodies and organisations on discipline, the Psychological Services (Professional Support) Section, Student Guidance Section, and Careers and Guidance Section of the Education Department have contributed a lot in setting up the SDS.

Student discipline officers of the SDS are experienced discipline masters/mistresses recruited from government schools with an average of seven years’ experience in discipline work.

Some of them had taught in teaching primary, aided and private secondary schools.

End

Wan Chai to hold road safety carnival tomorrow ♦ ♦ * * ♦

Members of the public are welcome to take part in a colourful carnival to be held at Southorn Playground, Wan Chai, tomorrow (Saturday) to get a better understanding of road safety.

There will be an exhibition of classic cars, a Road Safety Town, game stalls, a magic show, marching band performance, lion dance and singing to educate the public on the importance of observing traffic rules.

Participants can also take part in quizzes to test their knowledge of road safety.

Community leaders will also tour the district in an open-top double-decker to distribute to pedestrians leaflets and tissue packs printed with road safety messages.

18

Officiating at the carnival's opening ceremony tomorrow are the Wan Chai District Officer, Mrs Elaine Tang; the Chairperson of Wan Chai District Board, Mrs Peggy Lam; the Wan Chai District Commander of the Royal Hong Kong Police Force. Mr A K McLoughlin; and the Chairman of the Wan Chai District Board's Traffic and Transport Committee, Mr Stephen Ng.

The carnival is jointly organised by the Wan Chai District Road Safety Campaign Working Group and the Royal Hong Kong Police, with the assistance of the Wan Chai District Office and sponsored by the Wan Chai District Board. Admission is free.

End

Public invited to join country parks liaison group meeting ♦ * * * ♦

Countryside visitors with good suggestions in mind to improve services and facilities at the territory's country parks are invited to enrol as participants in the coming Country Parks Visitor Liaison Group meeting in .January next year.

Other members of the public with first-hand experience of country parks are also welcome to take part in the discussions on January 18 (Saturday) with Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) staff on matters relating to these public scenic parks.

An AFD spokesman said the coming meeting would be the seventh round of discussions of the liaison group since its establishment in late 1993.

He said: "The previous meetings had proved useful as there were direct and frank exchanges of views between participants and AFD on services provided at country parks and on suggestions concerning the provision of these services.

"We hope that participants would put forward more suggestions in the January 18 meeting which will be held between 2.30 and 4.30 pm at the Ranger Head Office, Shing Mun Country Park."

19

Those interested to take part can collect enrolment forms at AFD’s Country Parks Management Office at Room 1462, Canton Road Government Offices, 393 Canton Road, Kowloon. Forms are also obtainable from the Country Parks Information Post at Mui Wo Pier, visitor centres at country parks in Aberdeen, Plover Cove, Shing Mun, Clear Water Bay and Tai Mo Shan as well as in the Lions Nature Education Centre, Sai Kung.

Completed forms should be returned by mail to the Country and Marine Parks Authority or in person to any of the country park visitor centres on or before December 28. Successful applicants will be notified by post before January 8.

End

Man Kam To Food Control Office to be open on Monday *****

The Man Kam To Food Control Office set up by the Department of Health to strengthen surveillance of food items imported from China will be officially open on Monday (November 18).

Funded and supported by the two municipal councils, the purposely-built checkpoint comprises, among other things, a laboratory capable of conducting confirmatory analyses for vegetables.

Officiating at the opening ceremony will be the Director of Health cum Chairman of the Hygiene Services Committee (HSC), Dr Margaret Chan.

Other officiating guests include HSC members and Urban Councillors, Mr Joseph Chan and Mr Wong Kwok-hing; HSC members and Regional Councillors Mr Ting Yin-wah and Mr Leung Che-cheung; and the Director of Architectural Services, Mr Chan Yat-sun.

Following the opening ceremony will be a tour of the various facilities of the Man Kam To Food Control Office.

End

20

Another contract for Shenzhen River project awarded ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

The Drainage Services Department has awarded a $I26-million contract for the Stage II, Phase I works of the Shenzhen River regulation project.

The contract was signed today (Friday) by the Assistant Director of Drainage Services (Operations and Maintenance), Mr Victor Bradley, and a representative of the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation.

Speaking after signing the contract, Mr Bradley said the contract mainly comprised the reprovisioning of the border road between Lok Ma Chau and Tam Kon Chau and its security facilities.

"A 3.6 kilometres long new border road, security fence and ancillary drainage works will be constructed,” he said.

The works, said Mr Bradley, were to provide land for the main river improvement works under Stage II of the Shenzhen River regulation project which included the widening and deepening of 6.6 kilometres of the river to reduce flooding in northern New Territories and Shenzhen City.

“Works on the contract will commence next week for completion in 22 months. Measures will be implemented to minimise the impact on the environment,” he said.

End

Tai Mo Shan weather radar station building tenders invited

*****

The Architectural Services Department is inviting tenders for the construction of a weather radar station at Tai Mo Shan, New Territories.

The scope of works covers the construction of a single storey main building with a structural steel radome tower, two single storey ancillary buildings for generator and switch rooms including all associated building services installations, drainage and external works.

Works will commence in February 1997 for completion in April 1998.

21

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

The tender offer will close at noon on Friday, December 6.

End

Two lots of land for auction ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Two pieces of government land will be put up for auction at 2.30 pm on December 11 (Wednesday) at the Concert Hall of Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui, it is gazetted today (Friday).

The first lot, located at Electric Road in North Point, has an area of about 1,222.6 square metres. It is intended 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.

Covering an area of about 222 square metres, the second lot is situated at the junction of Tseuk Luk Street and Hong Keung Street in San Po Kong.

The developer has to complete 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.

Full particulars and conditions of sale can be obtained from the Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong; and the District Lands Offices, Kowloon, 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

22

Tai Po government land for sale by tender *****

The Lands Department is inviting tenders for the sale of two pieces of government land in Area 12, Tai Po.

With an area of about 1,190 square metres and 1,410 square metres respectively, the lots are intended for use as petrol and diesel filling stations and for vehicle servicing or lubricating facilities.

The closing date for submission of tenders is noon on Friday, December 13.

Tender forms, tender notices and conditions can be obtained from the Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong, and the District Lands Office/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

Dragon design aerogramme to be issued next Friday

*****

The Postmaster General, Mr Robert Footman, announced today (Friday) that the Post Office will issue a dragon design aerogramme with the new denomination of $2.3 on November 22 (Friday).

This is a pictorial aerogramme with a dragon design feature released in 1992.

A hand-back service will be provided on November 22 at all post offices for these aerogrammes bearing an address.

Aerogrammes tendered for the hand-back service must be sealed. There is, however, no objection if the aerogramme tendered for the hand-back service is sealed on one side and the other two side flaps are folded and not sealed.

End

23

Gurkha colonel fires noon day gun *****

Lieutenant Colonel Bijaykumar Rawat, the Commanding Officer of the last Gurkha Infantry Battalion in Hong Kong and the first Nepalese ever to command a British Gurkha Infantry Battalion is to have a surprise opportunity to fire the famous Noon Day Gun today (Friday).

As the last Gurkha Infantry Battalion to be based in Hong Kong, 1st Battalion rhe Royal Gurkha Rifles (1RGR) departs the territory tomorrow, firing the Noon Day Gun is an appropriate farewell gesture.

The firing of the Noon Day Gun is an abiding Hong Kong tradition which was initiated by a former Senior Naval Officer Hong Kong. As a punishment, he ordered Jardines to fire a daily gun as a time-check for the ships in port after they had upset him by firing a salute to their own Taipan, who was entering the harbour aboard his yacht.

The original Noon Day Gun was lost during the war and the one now used was a gift to Jardines from the Royal Navy. A three-pounder Hotchkiss manufactured before World War I, it is identical to the three saluting guns mounted for many years at the former Royal Navy base at HMS Tamar in Central (now the Prince of Wales Barracks).

The last known examples of their type, the three Royal Navy guns have been returned to Britain as museum pieces, leaving the Jardines gun as the only known operational weapon of its kind anywhere in the world.

Lt Col Bijaykumar Rawat was born in 1955. He enlisted into the Brigade of Gurkhas in October 1972. He was commissioned in 1981 from the Royal Academy Sandhurst and was awarded the Sword of Honour. He spent some time in the United Kingdom and returned to regimental duty in Hong Kong in March 1972 as a company commander and served with the 10 Gurkha Rifles. He was appointed Second-in-Command of the 1st Battalion in August 1994 to September 1995 and returned as Commanding Officer on December 8, 1995.

End

24

Sea Cadets’ final parade at HMS Tamar *****

More than 200 young Sea Cadets will be on parade this Sunday (November 17), when they take part in their last annual divisions at HMS Tamar.

HMS Tamar’s Commanding Officer, Commander Ross Thobum, will inspect the divisions.

This is the last time the 8-14 year old boys and girls will parade at the Naval Base, on Stonecutters Island, which is due to be decommissioned next April in preparation for the drawdown of British Forces and the handover of sovereignty to China.

The Sea Cadets undergo drill instruction and spend days at sea with the Hong Kong Squadron and this year, they will participate in the Garrison’s final Open Days, on November 23 and 24, where they will be helping with crowd control and escorting visitors on board the Squadron's patrol craft.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

Smillion Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillkm)

Opening balance in the account 2,309 0930 +588

Closing balance in the account 2,396 1000 +588

Change attributable to: 1100 +591

Money market activity +577 1200 +591

LAF today -490 1500 +591

1600 +577

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.3 *-0.1* 15.11.96

25

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills

EF notes/MTRC notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.92 2 years 2811 5.72 100.15 5.72

1 month 4.92 3 years 3910 6.28 100.81 6.06

3 months 4.94 5 years 5109 7.32 103.30 6.61

6 months 5.01 7 years 7308 7.24 102.43 6.90

12 months 5.25 10 years 1610 7.37 102.21 7.18

5 years M503 7.35 102.04 6.95

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $7,664 million

Closed November 15, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Saturday, November 16,1996

Contents Page No,

EIA study for proposed rural drainage scheme completed............... 1

Law on contracts for overseas employment must be observed............ 2

Education bus launched to promote oral health........................ 3

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations................. 4

Sunday, November 17, 1996

Contents Page No*

Digitisation of land boundary records completed...................... 5

1

ELA study for proposed rural drainage scheme completed ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Drainage Services Department has completed an environmental impact assessment (EIA) study for the proposed Rural Drainage Rehabilitation Scheme (RDRS) in northern New Territories.

The study assessed the impacts on water quality, ecology, visual and landscape features, noise and air quality, and waste management from the construction and operation of the proposed scheme.

"Mitigation measures have been proposed to minimise the environmental impacts, and it is anticipated that these will be incorporated into the detailed design for the RDRS," a spokesman for the department said today (Saturday).

"The study also recommended that the application and success of the recommended mitigation measures be checked through an environmental monitoring and audit programme.

"This will be defined and reported during the detailed design phase of the RDRS."

Copies of the EIA Final Assessment Report and its executive summary can be inspected and collected on a first-come-first-served basis at the office of the Drainage Services Department. Room 4213, Revenue Tower, 5 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

The need for the RDRS and other drainage improvement schemes was identified in the Territorial Land Drainage and Flood Control Strategy Study - Phase II. the spokesman said.

"The study has proposed improvements to the existing natural stream-courses in northern New Territories in order to minimise flooding, restore flow capacities and facilitate maintenance," he said.

The scheme will cover nine streams in north-west and north-east New Territories.

2

"These streams lie in a landscape comprising primarily flat agricultural land interspersed with small towns and rural villages, the largest of which is Yuen Long.

"Drainage improvement will be achieved by engineering works to widen, straighten and/or deepen natural river beds, constructing structures such as silt traps and weirs within the new channels, then lining the channels with materials including concrete and natural linings," the spokesman said.

End

Law on contracts for overseas employment must be observed ♦ * * * *

The Labour Department reminds the public that every contract for employment outside Hong Kong must be signed by the employer or his representative and the employee before the employee leaves Hong Kong.

The contract must contain all particulars required by the Contracts for Employment Outside Hong Kong Ordinance to define the rights and obligations of both parties and be presented to the Commissioner for Labour for attestation before the employee's departure.

Labour Officer (External Employment Service), Miss Corrina Cheng, said today (Saturday) that the ordinance applied to all contracts entered into in Hong Kong by manual employees and those non-manual employees with monthly wages not exceeding $20,000 who were employed to work outside Hong Kong by employers who were not in Hong Kong and were not running a business locally.

"An employer or his agent will commit an offence if he fails to enter into a written contract or present the written contract for attestation by the commissioner before the employee leaves Hong Kong.

"Moreover, a person will commit an offence if he induces an employee to enter into a contract which does not comply with the Ordinance or leave Hong Kong to take up employment before the contract is attested," Miss Cheng said.

The maximum fine for each offence is $50,000.

Enquiries on overseas employment may be made to the department's External Employment Service on 2852 3511 or 2852 3540.

End

- 3 -

Education bus launched to promote oral health *****

A cheerfully-designed education bus will visit every comer of Hong Kong to promote through lively activities the importance of oral health.

The Oral Health Education Bus introduced by the Department of Health's Oral Health Education Unit is well- equipped with advanced audio-visual facilities to make learning more fun and interesting.

It includes touch screen interactive multi-media computers which feature a variety of oral health materials in the format of computer games, video clips and self-learning tutorials.

Speaking at the launching ceremony of the Oral Health Education Bus today (Saturday), the Director of Health, Dr Margaret Chan, said the introduction of the mobile oral health education service was a major step towards improving the oral health status in Hong Kong.

"The Department of Health had always attached great importance to the promotion of oral health," Dr Chan said.

"To reach out to a wider segment of the community, the idea of setting up a mobile education centre for oral health education had been actively explored since 1993.

"I am glad that with the support of the Sir Murray MacLchose Trust Fund and the technical assistance of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, this oral health education bus came into being this year."

Dr Chan said the new service had been put on trial since June this year and received overwhelming response from the public with more than 5,800 people having visited the bus.

She hoped that the new service would raise the oral health awareness in the community and help people establish good oral care habits.

End

<

- 4 -

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

Smiilkm Time (hours! Cumulative change ($million)

Opening balance in the account 2,396 0930 +400

Closing balance in the account 2,446 1000 +400

Change attributable to: 1100 +400

Money market activity +400 1130 +400

LAF today -350

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TW1 124.3 *+0.0* 16.11.96

Closed November 16, 1996

End

- 5 -

Digitisation of land boundary records completed

*****

The Survey and Mapping Office of the Lands Department has successfully completed the digitisation of all land boundary records in Hong Kong into the Land Information System.

Announcing this today (Sunday), a spokesman for the department said land boundary records were essential reference for land developers, construction firms, engineering consultants, public utility companies and other government departments in planning, land administration and engineering development.

"The availability of such records in digital format will enable them to identify the boundary of a certain land lot and its relevant information in a much quicker and easier way.

"The land boundary digital data is also available in a number of popular graphical formats so that users can make use of the data under different computer environments," the spokesman said.

The land boundary digital data is available to the public at $1,120 per standard sheet (an area of 750 metres x 600 metres) plus media (tape or diskette) costs at the department’s Land Information Centre, 15th floor, Murray Building, Central, Hong Kong.

It is also available on paper or transparency in four formats at a scale of 1:1,000 as follows:

(1) whole standard sheet (area 750 m x 600 m)

* on paper $1,134

* on transparency $ 1,240

(2) half standard sheet (area 375 m x 600 m)

on paper $567

on transparency $620

(3) A3 size paper (area 275 m x 270 m) $192

(4) A4 size paper (area 170 m x 195 m) $96

*

- 6 -

The spokesman added that digital maps at a scale of 1:1,000 specification had been available on sale at the Land Information Centre since 1995.

"The Survey and Mapping Office is currently compiling digital maps at scale of 1:5,000 and 1:20,000 which are scheduled to be ready by July 1997 and March 1997 respectively,” he said.

Enquiries on the digital land boundary data or other digital map products of the office can be made to Mr Ho Wing-kun on 2848 6136.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Monday, November 18, 1996

Contents Page No-

Changes to be made to immigration status of British citizens............. 1

DGT optimistic of good Manila Action Plan for APEC....................... 2

Man Kam To Food Control Office officially opened......................... 3

Unemployment and underemployment statistics.............................. 4

Discussions between teachers and ED proved effective..................... 6

Non-graduate Teacher Qualifications Assessment Scheme................

New series of hologram postcards to be issued next Wednesday............ 10

Employer fined for violating employees' compensation law............. 11

Water storage figure.................................................... *2

Tender for fifth issue of seven-year exchange fund notes................ 12

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

1

Changes to be made to immigration status of British citizens

*****

The Government is looking at a number of proposals to make changes to the immigration status of British citizens to bring it in line with that of other foreign nationals, a Government spokesman said today (Monday).

The spokesman said that in recent months, local labour unions, the British citizens themselves as well as their employers had expressed concern about possible changes in this respect.

Currently, British citizens enjoy some special immigration status because of the special relation between Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.

After an internal review, the Government has concluded that changes should be in place before the change of sovereignty to remove the differences between British citizens and other foreign nationals regarding their immigration status.

Under the new proposals, British citizens who come to Hong Kong for employment, residence or education will need to apply for a visa.

"These proposals will bring the immigration status in line with that for other foreign nationals," the spokesman said.

At present British citizens coming for visit can enjoy a visa-free period of stay of 12 months.

Under the proposals, the visa-free period will be six months. The British Government offers six monthly visa-free visit to British National (Overseas) passport holders. They will offer the same treatment to future Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport holders.

The spokesman said that also proposed was the removal of the right to land currently granted to British citizens who had stayed in Hong Kong continuously for seven years or more, and the special deportation arrangements.

"With the removal of the right to land, it is intended that British citizens who currently enjoy the right to land status will be given an unconditional stay status.

"Those who are eligible to acquire the right of abode under Basic Law Article 24 can apply to change their status to the right of abode status.

2

"Details of the arrangements for acquiring right of abode status for non-Chinese nationals are still under discussion at the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group.

"The special deportation arrangements will be replaced by arrangements that apply to all other nationals," the spokesman added.

The Government plans to finalise its proposals by the end of the year and introduce the changes before July 1 next year, but the exact implementation date has yet to be decided.

End

DGT optimistic of good Manila Action Plan for APEC * * * * ♦

The major achievements of Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) forum this year will be outlined in the Manila Action Plan for APEC (MAPA) which will be finalised for submission to APEC Ministers and Economic Leaders at their meetings later this week.

The Director-General of Trade, Mr Alan Lai, said this today (Monday) before departing for a series of APEC meetings scheduled to take place this week in the Philippines.

He said: "A concrete and substantive MAPA represents putting APEC vision into reality. It will send a clear message to the world that APEC means business.

"I am optimistic that we shall come up with such a MAPA in Manila."

The MAPA comprises the Individual Action Plans (lAPs) prepared by all 18 APEC member economies and the Collective Action Plans (CAPs) prepared by lead economies to implement trade and investment liberalisation and facilitation, as well as joint activities in economic and technical co-operation.

Mr Lai said the third APEC Economic Leaders Meeting held in Osaka last November had set out the action agenda for achieving the Bogor goal of free and open trade and investment in the Asia Pacific region by 2010 and 2020 respectively for industrialised and developing economies.

"Throughout this year, APEC member economies have been working to draw up their lAPs and contribute to the CAPs in respect of the programme areas under Trade and Investment Liberalisation and Facilitation set out in part one of the Osaka Action Agenda.

3

"At the same time, various working groups and other APEC forums have been undertaking joint activities in the programme areas under Economic and Technical Co-operation set out in Part Two of the Osaka Action Agenda," he said.

In addition to MAPA, Senior Officials of APEC will also discuss, during the coming informal Senior Officials Meeting to be held in Manila on November 20 and 21. the APEC membership policy, including membership criteria and whether the three-year moratorium should be extended. Senior Officials will submit their recommendations to Ministers for consideration.

Mr Lai will attend the Informal Senior Officials Meeting and will accompany the Secretary for Trade and Industry, Miss Denise Yue, to the Eighth APEC Ministerial Meeting scheduled for November 22 and 23. He will also accompany the Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, to the Fourth APEC Economic Leaders Meeting to be held in Subic on November 25.

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

End

Man Kam To Food Control Office officially opened ♦ * * ♦ ♦

The setting up of the new Man Kam To Food Control Office has strengthened the surveillance on imported food items from China and minimised the risk of the public being affected by pesticide contaminated vegetables, the Director of Health. Dr Margaret Chan said today (Monday).

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the department's new Man Kam To Food Control Office, Dr Margaret Chan said: "Since the office came into operation in February this year, no poisoning case related to pesticide contaminated vegetables has been reported."

"The success could partly be attributed to the increased surveillance after setting up of the new office and measures taken in China to ensure the safety of vegetables exported to Hong Kong."

Dr Chan pointed out that the number of staff at the border checkpoint had doubled since the setting up of the new office.

4

With the enhanced facilities, results of the quick tests would be known within 30 minutes.

If excessive pesticide residues were found, immediate actions would be taken to recall the contaminated vegetables, she said.

Dr Chan said there were more than 200 trucks carrying vegetables cross the Man Kam To checkpoint every day and almost all of them were now inspected at the control office before going to the markets.

"Between April and October this year, a monthly average of 36,900 kilograms of vegetables suspected of carrying prohibited or excessive pesticide residues were surrendered voluntarily for destruction.

"This compared with only 6,000 kilograms before the commissioning of the new office."

In addition to the quick tests, a portion of samples would be taken for detailed analyses in the laboratory of the food control office where presence of pesticide at a very low concentration could be detected, she added.

Dr Chan, however, stressed that the Health Department would not be complacent and would try its best to maintain food safety.

Funded and supported by the two municipal councils, the purposely-built Man Kam To Food Control Office cost about $35 million. It has a floor area of about 1,800 square metres and comprises a laboratory capable of conducting confirmatory analyses for vegetables, cold storage facilities and a 300 square metres vehicle parking area.

End

Unemployment and underemployment statistics *****

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the period July to September 1996 was 2.6%, and the underemployment rate was 1.4%, according to the latest labour force statistics released today (Monday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

For the period August to October 1996, the provisional seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged, at 2.6%, while the provisional underemployment rate was marginally higher, at 1.5%.

5

Commenting on the latest figures, a government spokesman said that for the latest period August to October 1996, declines in the unemployment rates were seen in the construction and the community, social and personal services sectors, while slight increases were observed in the manufacturing and transport sectors. As a result, the unemployment rate was kept unchanged in overall terms.

As to the underemployment rate, the slight increase occurred mainly in the manufacturing sector, while the underemployment situation in the other major sectors was generally stable.

Growth in total employment continued to outpace that of labour supply. In the three months ending September 1996, total employment showed a notable increase of 3% over a year earlier, while total labour supply grew by 1.9%.

During the period July to September 1996, the number of unemployed persons with previous jobs was estimated at 68,200. Another 12,700 unemployed persons were first-time job-seekers. The number of underemployed persons was estimated at 42,000.

The 1996 Population By-census conducted in March 1996 provided a benchmark for revising estimates of the population made since the 1991 Population Census. Labour force statistics were therefore recompiled using the revised population estimates and hence they may be different from those released earlier.

Nevertheless, the effect of the revision on the unemployment rate and the underemployment rate is practically nil.

The unemployment and underemployment statistics were obtained from a continuous General Household Survey. The survey for July to September 1996 covered a quarterly sample of some 23,000 households or 78,300 persons, selected scientifically to represent the land-based civilian non-institutional population in Hong Kong. Data were obtained from the survey by interviewing each member aged 15 or over in the households sampled.

In the survey, the definitions used in measuring unemployment and underemployment follow closely those recommended by the International Labour Organisation.

"Seasonally adjusted" refers to adjustment for seasonal variations in the proportion of first-time job-seekers in the labour force.

6

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, ground floor, Low Block, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong, by the end of December.

End

Discussions between teachers and ED proved effective ♦ * * ♦ ♦

The Board of Education was today (Monday) informed that seminars and small group discussions are effective in strengthening communication between teachers in aided schools and the Education Department.

Some 680 teachers attended six seminars on Teachers’ Professionalism 1996 under the theme of Profiling Pupils’ Special Educational Needs between May 23 and June 7.

A lecturer from the Faculty of Education of the University of Hong Kong, Mr Yung Ka-kui, briefed the participants on pupils' special education needs in different classroom settings.

Meanwhile, a total of 33 small group discussions on a district basis were held on March 29.

Some 890 teachers from special schools, and ordinary secondary and primary schools participated in these discussions on matters concerning terms and conditions of service.

Among the items discussed, the main concerns of teachers from ordinary schools were the Mortgage Interest Subsidy Scheme, provident fund, graduate posts in primary schools, teachers’ workload and their promotion.

Concerns of teachers from special schools were communication, terms and conditions of service, education policy and teacher training.

Board members also learned the progress of the work of the Educational Aims Implementation Sub-Committee (EAIS).

7

To arouse public awareness of the Aims of School Education, an information leaflet on Support the Aims of School Education had been distributed to all parents and students through schools.

Besides, a promotion package on the implementation of the aims was produced for loan to schools.

Up to last month, a total of 42 schools had made use of the package at school functions.

A video tape with the same contents of the promotion package was produced and distributed to all schools last month (October).

Members also noted that, a computer package, School Aims Implementation Folio (SAIF), to translate the aims into concrete and measurable terms for school use was produced in July.

fhe educational aims and indicators are re-organised under different domains and areas to suit the context of local schools.

Members also agreed that the long-term task of EAIS was to help create a culture of quality education in schools and the short-term task was to encourage development of qualitative performance indicators for different educational aims.

End

Non-graduate Teacher Qualifications Assessment Scheme * * * * *

The Education Department will shortly invite applications for participation in the last cycle of the Non-graduate Teacher Qualifications Assessment (NGTQA) Scheme.

Successful candidates in the NGTQA examinations are eligible to teach in local primary schools.

The NGTQA Scheme aims at providing qualification assessment for Hong Kong residents who have obtained their qualifications and training outside Hong Kong.

8

It is to determine if their academic standard, professional knowledge and skills are comparable to those of the non-graduate teachers trained locally.

The 1997 cycle is the last cycle of the scheme.

Upon the completion of the 1997 cycle, the department will continue to honour its commitments made to eligible candidates regarding resitting arrangements for the various subjects of assessment and the conduct of supervised practical teaching and tests of English proficiency.

Application forms for the 1997 cycle will be distributed between November 20 (Wednesday) and December 18 (Wednesday).

To be eligible for admission to the assessment, a candidate must:

produce valid graduation certificate as documentary evidence of having satisfactorily completed a post-secondary full-time course of not less than three years, or equivalent, in an educational institution outside Hong Kong after completing a five-year secondary course;

* be of good character as testified by two referees; and

* be eligible to stay in 1 long Kong and not be subject to any restriction on employment imposed by the Immigration Department, Hong Kong.

The 1997 cycle is for people intending to teach in primary schools. The assessment comprises three parts:

Part I (General Education)

Candidates are assessed on their standard of knowledge in the primary school subjects they will teach.

A total of nine subjects under two groups are offered - Chinese, English, Mathematics, General Studies, Music, Physical Education and Art and Craft with Science and Social Studies being open to resit candidates only.

Each candidate will have to select two subjects of the appropriate combination in Part I.

Part II (Meduim of Insturction)

This part assesses candidates' ability to communicate effectively as primary school teachers.

Two media of instruction are offered - Chinese and English.

9

All candidates are required to take "Chinese as a Medium of Instruction", and those who do not take "English as a Medium of Instruction" in this part must take the "English Language Proficiency Test".

Those who take English in Part I must take "English as a Medium of Instruction" in addition to "Chinese as a Medium of Instruction".

Part III (Professional Training)

This part will be open only to those candidates who can produce evidence of having successfully completed a formal teacher education course in the relevant subjects outside Hong Kong.

Candidates who failed in only one subject of assessment in the 1995 or 1996 cycle may apply to resit the examination on that subject in accordance with the regulations stipulated in the Handbook for Applicants.

Those who failed in more than one subject (except the "English Language Proficiency Test") will be required to take the whole Assessment again, if they apply this year.

The fee for taking Parts 1 and II of the assessment is $2,310. Candidates who also take Part III are required to pay an additional $645. The fee for resitting one subject is $635.

Applications must be made in prescribed forms. Application Forms, copies of Handbook for Applicants and Examination Syllabuses will be available for distribution at the following offices from November 20 (Wednesday):

Non-graduatc Teacher Qualifications Assessment Section at Room 1138A, 11th floor, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Yau Tsim District Education Office, seventh floor, Kowloon Government Offices, 405 Nathan Road, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon.

* Sha Tin District Education Office, third floor, Citylink Plaza, 1 Shatin Station Circuit, Sha Tin, New Territories.

Applicants must return the completed application forms in person to the above offices during the period from November 27 to December 18 inclusive.

Further information may be obtained by calling the NGTQA Section on 2892 6216 and 28926217 or the Automatic Telephone Enquiry System of the Education Department on 2891 0088.

End

10

New series of hologram postcards to be issued next Wednesday *****

The Postmaster General, Mr Robert Footman, announced today (Monday) that Hong Kong Post Office Hologram Postcard Series Nos. 3 to 8 will be released on November 27 (Wednesday) to commemorate the HONG KONG'97 Stamp Exhibition to be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from February 12 to 16, 1997.

The postcards will be put on sale in sets at all post offices. The selling price is $30 per set of six. A sales restriction of three sets of hologram postcards per customer queuing will be imposed on the first day of issue.

The hologram postcards were designed by Mr Arde Lam and the photographs were taken by Mr Frank Fischbeck. Each postcard shows a different aspect of Hong Kong including sea crafts, land transport, contemporary buildings, historical architecture, landmarks and Hong Kong by night.

On the front of each postcard, three special stamps previously issued by the Hong Kong Post Office on the same theme as that of the postcard are reproduced while the fourth one is in form of a hologram.

The special stamps reproduced come from the issues of Hong Kong Sea Craft (1968), Mass Transit Railway (1979), Rural Architecture (1980), Hong Kong by Night (1983), Historical Buildings of Hong Kong (1985), Hong Kong New Buildings, Hong Kong Buildings for the Future (1989), 100 Years of Transport (1991) and Hong Kong Landmarks (1991).

The hologram postcards bear a postage paid insignia on the address side. Ilie insignia is a reproduction of the hologram special stamp.

The price of the postcards includes sufficient postage for sending them either locally or overseas. However, the public are reminded that the postage paid insignia cannot be cut out for use as a postage stamp and hence is not valid for prepayment of postage on other mail items.

A hand-back service will be provided at all post offices on November 27 for the hologram postcards and privately-made mail items bearing an indication of the event. A special postmark will be introduced.

As on previous occasions of first day issue of new stamp products, the following 22 post offices will open at 8 am on November 27:

Hong Kong

General Post Office, Aberdeen, Shau Kei Wan. Sai Ying Pun, Tsat Tsz Mui, Wan Chai, Wah Fu

11

Outlying Islands

Cheung Chau

Kowloon

Tsim Sha Tsui, Cheung Sha Wan, Kowloon Central, Kowloon City, Kwun Tong, Tseung Kwan O, To Kwa Wan

New Territories

Yuen Long, Shatin Central, Sai Kung, Shek Wu Hui, Tuen Mun Central, Tai Po, Tsuen Wan

End

Employer fined for violating employees' compensation law ♦ * * * *

}• ‘I. > _

The Labour Department today (Monday) reminded employers to observe the provisions of the Employees' Compensation Ordinance (ECO) or they will face prosecution.

' • • • 'i- -.f.. . ■ • » • .

This appeal was made following a recent court case in Western Magistracy in which the owner of Eastern Worldwide Co Ltd was fined $15,000 for dismissing an employee injured at work before the Certificate of Compensation Assessment (Form 5) had been issued by the Commissioner for Labour.

Labour Officer (Prosecutions), Mr Raymond Ho, said: " Under section 48 of the ECO, no employer should dismiss, or give notice to dismiss, an injured employee who is entitled to compensation under the ECO until the Commissioner for Labour has issued the Certificate of Compensation Assessment (Form 5); or until the employer has entered into an agreement under the ordinance to settle the claim directly; or until an Ordinary Assessment Board or Special Assessment Board has issued the Certificate of Assessment (Form 7 or Form 8), or the Certificate of Review of Assessment (Form 9 or Form 10), whichever occurs first."

The maximum fine under this provision has been revised to $100,000 with effect from July 1, 1996.

End

12

Water storage figure

*****

Storage in Hong Kong's reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 96.1 per cent of capacity or 563.387 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 577.546 million cubic metres of water, representing 98.5 per cent of capacity.

End

Tender for fifth issue of seven-year exchange fund notes

*****

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority announced today (Monday) that the tender for the fifth issue of seven-year exchange fund notes will be held on Monday (November 25) for settlement on Tuesday (November 26).

An amount of HKS500 million seven-year notes will be offered. Another HKS100 million will be held as reserve by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority for supply to market makers in the secondary market.

The notes will mature on November 26, 2003 and will carry interest at the rate of 6.8% per annum payable semi-annually in arrears. Terms and conditions of the issue are described fully in the Information Memorandum.

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

Tender information for the fifth issue of seven-year exchange fund notes is as follows:

Issue Number : 7311

Tender date and time

Monday, 25 November 1996, 9.30 to 10.30 am

Issue and settlement date

Tuesday, 26 November 1996

13

Amount on offer : HKS500 million plus an additional HKS100 million as reserve stock for the Monetary Authority

Maturity : Seven years

Maturity date : 26 November 2003

Interest rate : 6.8% per annum payable semi-annually in arrears

Interest payment dates : 26 May 1997, 26 Nov 1997, 26 May 1998, 26 Nov 1998, 26 May 1999, 26 Nov 1999, 26 May 2000, 27 Nov 2000, 28 May 2001,26 Nov 2001, 27 May 2002, 26 Nov 2002, 26 May 2003, 26 Nov 2003

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 money market operations

*****

SjniUkm Time (hours) Cumulative change Onillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,446 0930 +452

Closing balance in the account 2,469 1000 +453

Change attributable to: 1100 +453

Money market activity +453 1200 +453

LAF today -430 1500 +453

1600 +453

14 -

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.3 *+0.0* 18.11.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

i-.-' :.

EF bills EF notes/MTRC notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon •? Price Yield

1 week 4.90 2 years 2811 5.72 100.10 5.75

1 month 4.91 3 years 3910 6.28 100.73 6.09

3 months 4.93 5 years 5109 7.32 103.16 6.64

6 months 5.01 7 years 7308 7.24 102.23 6.94

12 months 5.25 10 years 1610 7.37 101.96 7.22

5 years M503 7.35 101.95 6.98

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $7,628 million

Closed November 18, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Tuesday, November 19,1996

Contents Pago No.

EC invites views on quality school education............................. 1

Government welcomes publication of draft ECR 7 report.................... 3

Governor to visit Japan.................................................. 4

STI to attend eighth APEC ministerial meeting............................ 5

LRC discusses report on interception of communications................... 6

HKMA to issue special issues of 28-day exchange fund bills............... 6

86 convicted pollution cases recorded in October.....................

245 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flights.......................

Monitors' report submitted to CS......................................... 8

Stamp sheetlet to mark Serving the Community Week........................ 8

Restoration for Temple of Two Gods completed............................ 10

Garrison to open gates to public for the last time...................... 10

Flushing water cut in Sham Shui Po and Mong Kok...................... 11

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results............................. 12

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

1

EC invites views on quality school education ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

I he Education Commission is inviting views from the community on the consultation document for its Report No 7 (ECR 7) published today (Tuesday) with a series of recommendations aimed to enhance the quality of school education.

At a press conference to launch the consultation document. Chairman of the Commission, Professor Young pointed out that the Report represents the Commission's vision of a quality school education system which will have lasting benefits to the generations to come.

She pointed out that during a three-year study on school quality and school funding, the Commission found that there was a general lack of a quality culture in the present school system. "There is also no incentives for schools to take the initiative or to accept the responsibility for achieving quality education," Professor Young said.

To address the problems, the Commission had drawn up recommendations to help schools improve their performance and to ensure that resources for school education are being used in a most effective, efficient and accountable manner.

Professor Young outlined the major recommendations in the ECR 7 consultation document which focus on the development of school-based management; the introduction ol pilot incentive schemes for schools, the establishment of a framework for developing and monitoring quality of school education; the role of the I ducation Department; and training of key players in the school system

Recognising that quality reform must be school-based, the Commission feels that schools should be given the responsibility to develop their own objectives and targets because they are in the best position to assess the abilities and aptitudes of their students They should then be required to measure their performance against those objectives and targets.

"The Commission therefore recommends that all schools should by the year 2000 practise school-based management in the spirit of the existing School Management Initiative. The move is aimed at helping schools to develop quality education according to needs of their students and at requiring the key players in the school system to be more accountable for school performance.

To build a quality culture, the Commission proposes two pilot incentive schemes to encourage schools to strive for continuous improverhent.

"The concept of value-added achievement is important in providing an equitable basis for assessing performance. As an encouragement, the Commission recommends to start a pilot scheme in 1998 to give cash rewards to schools with impressive value-added improvement. As the main purpose of the awards is to give recognition to such schools, the amount does not need to be substantial and a token of not more than $100,000 per school is suggested," Professor Young said.

2

"The honour that comes with the awards will help boost the morale of members of school staff and will probably be treasured more than the cash involved. Recognition other than in monetary forms should also be considered," Professor Young said.

In order to encourage schools to strive for excellence and continuous improvement, the Commission also recommends the introduction of a pilot Quality Development Grant in 1997 to fund worthwhile innovative projects on a competitive basis.

It is suggested that initially, each successful application be granted a sum of not more than $100,000, depending on the nature and complexity of the project involved.

In addition, the Commission recommends the setting up of a Quality Development Committee to advise the Director of Education on all matters relating to quality school education.

The Commission supports the Education Department's initiative to adopt a new whole-school approach to inspections. Under this proposal, the Education Department will set up an integrated Quality Assurance Inspectorate to co-ordinate the work and to optimise the resources of the various inspection divisions of the department.

Recognising that the school funding arrangement should be more conducive to school quality reform, the ECR 7 consultation document recommends that schools should be given the necessary flexibility in the use of resources under a clear management and accountability system.

In order to achieve quality education, the Commission recommends that schools should develop a proper appraisal system for the timely counselling, training and development as well as performance appraisal of their staff members.

It is also suggested that training for key players in financial and human resources management should be strengthened in order to prepare them for the development of school-based management.

Other recommendations of the ECR 7 consultation document include :

Education and Manpower Branch (EMB) should undertake a comprehensive review of the present advisory system in education to coordinate the efforts of numerous committees to improve the quality of school education;

Education Department should review the roles and functions of inspectors of schools in the light of the development of school-based management;

3

* EMB should co-ordinate studies regarding the interface between school curricula, examinations and tertiary admission criteria; and

tertiary education institutions and employers should give weight to school-based assessments of a student’s achievement.

The ECR 7 consultation document 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.

Professor Young appealed to interested parties to give their comments to the Commission before the consultation exercise ends on January 15, 1997. "We will take into account public comments before finalising and presenting our recommendations to the Government early next year” Professor Young said.

Views on the ECR 7 consultation document should be sent to the Secretary, Education Commission, 9/F, Central Government Offices (West Wing), 11 Ice House Street, Central (Fax : 2537 4591) (E-mail address : embinfo@emb-gcn.gov.hk).

Copies of the consultation document are available at all District Offices and the sub-offices of the Education Department.

End

Government welcomes publication of draft ECR 7 report *****

The Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, today (Tuesday) welcomed the publication for public consultation, Education Commission’s consultation document for Report No 7 on Quality School Education.

’’The Administration shares the Commission’s vision of a quality school education and supports the main thrust of the draft report,” Mr Wong said.

He stressed that Hong Kong's school system must be able to deliver the quality of education required to develop the full potential of students; to sustain Hong Kong's social and economic growth and to meet the aspirations of the community.

He noted that the Commission's major recommendations are designed to inculcate a quality culture in the school system, to provide a framework for an accountable and efficient school-based management and a quality assurance mechanism, and to provide incentives for innovations and continuous improvement.

4

Mr Wong urged members of the public, particularly key players in the school system such as school sponsoring bodies, school management committees, principals, teachers, parents and relevant advisory bodies, to convey their views to the Commission before the end of the two-month consultation period on January 15, 1997.

Mr Wong thanked the Commission for undertaking a thorough study of the various important issues which will have a far-reaching effect on improving the quality of Hong Kong's school education system.

He said the Government would look forward to receiving the Commission’s final recommendations which will be drawn up following the public consultation.

End

Governor to visit Japan *****

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, will visit Japan next week to further foster the close economic and trade relationship between Hong Kong and Japan.

He will brief ministers, parliamentarians and senior officials of the Japanese Government on the latest developments in Hong Kong and exchange views with them on matters of mutual interest.

Mr Patten will be a guest of Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In Tokyo the Governor will officiate at the opening of the 19th plenary session of the Hong Kong-Japan Business Co-operation Committee and Japan-Hong Kong Business Co-operation Committee.

He will be speaking at a number of functions in Tokyo and at a reception for business and political leaders from the Kansai region in Osaka.

The Governor will leave for Japan on November 26 and will be back in Hong Kong on December 1.

End

5

STI to attend eighth APEC ministerial meeting * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Secretary for Trade and Industry, Miss Denise Yue, will represent Hong Kong at the eighth Ministerial Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to be held in Manila, the Philippines on November 22 and 23, 1996.

"At the coming meeting, Ministers will consider and assess the Manila Action Plan for APEC (MAPA) drawn up by Senior Officials," said Miss Yue.

"The MAPA will contain APEC members' Individual Action Plans detailing the trade and investment liberalisation and facilitation measures that they will take between 1997 and the target dates set in Bogor to achieve free and open trade and investment in the region", she added.

The MAPA will also include APEC members' collective action plan on trade and investment liberalisation and facilitation, and joint activities on economic and technical cooperation. It will be finalised by APEC Senior Officials at their informal meeting in Manila on November 20 and 21. Mr. Alan Lai, Director-General of Trade, is Hong Kong's Senior Official to APEC.

Apart from attending the Ministerial Meeting, Miss Yue will take the opportunity to exchange views with Ministers from other APEC economies on trade and economic issues of concern to Hong Kong.

APEC is an informal forum for high level govemment-to-govemment dialogue on trade and economic issues, and at present comprises 18 members. Besides Hong Kong, other members are : Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile. China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Singapore. Chinese Taipei, Thailand and the USA.

At their meeting in Bogor, Indonesia in November 1994, APEC Economic Leaders declared a goal of free and open trade and investment in the region, with industrialised economies achieving this goal by the year 2010 and developing economies by 2020.

A year later, in November 1995, Economic Leaders adopted in Osaka, Japan an Action Agenda which set out a comprehensive blueprint of measures necessary to attain the Bogor goal. The Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, represents Hong Kong at the Economic Leaders Meeting.

End

6

LRC discusses report on interception of communications ♦ * ♦ ♦ *

I he Law Reform Commission met today (Tuesday) to discuss the first part of the Privacy sub-committee’s report on interception of communications. The report follows consideration by the sub-committee of comments made in response to initial proposals contained in a consultation paper on this subject which was published by the sub-committee earlier this year. That paper proposed a new statutory scheme requiring application for a judicial warrant to authorise any interception of communications.

The Chairman of the Commission, Attorney General Jeremy Mathews, said that the subject was complex and important. He expected that the Commission would hold further meetings to discuss the sub-committee's report and hoped that the Commission would complete its discussions by early December. Mr Mathews said that as with every subject considered by the Commission, the Commission's final conclusions on interception of communications would then be published and made available to the public.

Mr Mathews said that the Privacy sub-committee would be turning their attention next to the question of surveillance, and whether surveillance activities should be regulated by law.

End

HKMA to issue special issues of 28-day exchange fund bills *****

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced today (Tuesday) that it will tender two special issues of 28-day exchange fund bills to facilitate the smooth implementation of the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system in early December.

The two tap issues of 28-day exchange fund bills, each with an issue amount capped at $5 billion, will be tendered next Tuesday (November 26) and December 3 (Tuesday). Tender notices of the two issues will be published one week prior to their respective tender dates.

Under the RTGS system, banks can make use of exchange fund bills and notes to obtain interest free intraday liquidity by carrying out intraday repurchase (repo) transactions with the HKMA.

7

The decision to launch the two tap issues of 28-day exchange fund bills is in response to the request of licensed banks and the strong demand for short-term exchange fund bills. While the $54-billion exchange fund bills and notes held by banks should provide adequate liquidity to meet the requirement of the interbank payment system, it is expected that some banks may wish to play safe by holding a larger amount of exchange fund paper than is required by their payment obligations in the initial stage of RTGS implementation.

The demand is evidenced by the high over-subscription rate of the bills at recent tenders and the widening spread between exchange fund bills yields and HIBOR notwithstanding the recent announcement on the increase in the supply of three-month and six-month exchange fund bills.

Further issuance of tap issues or an increase in the size of normal maturity exchange fund bills will be reviewed in the light of market demand and actual experience in the implementation of the RTGS.

End

86 convicted pollution cases recorded in October ♦ * * * ♦

A total of 86 convictions were recorded in the courts in October for breaching anti-pollution legislation enforced by the Environmental Protection Department.

Among them, 25 were convictions made under the Water Pollution Control Ordinance (WPCO), 18 under the Noise Control Ordinance (NCO), 33 under the Air Pollution Control Ordinance (APCO) and 10 under the Waste Disposal Ordinance (WDO).

The fines ranged from $2,000 to $100,000. Rich Fortress Limited was fined $100,000 for failure to comply with the requirement in a noise abatement notice.

End

245 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flights

*****

Two groups totalling 245 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) returned by air to Hanoi. Vietnam today (Tuesday) on the 75th and 76th flights under the Orderly Repatriation Programme (ORP).

8

Almost all of the returnees, comprising 83 men, 65 women, 46 boys and 51 girls, are from South and Central Vietnam. Only one of the returnees is from North Vietnam.

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

The two groups brought to 7,426 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 Paul Fan Chor-ho; and representative from a non-govemment organisation, Mr Thierry Taveaux from Medecins Sans Frontieres.

End

Stamp sheetlet to mark Serving the Community Week

* * * * *

The Postmaster General Mr Robert Footman, announced today (Tuesday) that a $5 stamp sheetlet will be issued on December 4 (Wednesday) to commemorate the Serving the Community Week.

The week is organised by the Efficiency Unit to give members of the public an opportunity to learn more about services on offer to the community, and to launch a number of service improvements within government departments.

The stamp sheetlet contains a $5 stamp reproduced from the issue Hong Kong People released in 1989. It has been designed in cartoon form depicting the activities of various government departments.

A souvenir cover with a similar design will be put on sale at all post offices as from Thursday (November 21) at $1 each. A message from the Chief Secretary is printed on the back of the envelope.

9

The stamp sheetlet was designed by Mr Arde Lam and printed by Walsall Security Printers Ltd of the United Kingdom. The selling price of this stamp sheetlet is $5.

It will be on display for the advance information of the public at the General Post Office, Tsim Sha Tsui Post Office, Tsuen Wan Post Office and Sha Tin Central Post Office as from Thursday. Advance orders for serviced souvenir covers will be accepted at all post offices from November 21 to 27. The minimum number of covers per order is five.

A restriction of 10 stamp sheetlets per customer queuing will be imposed on the first day of issue.

A special postmark will also be introduced on December 4.

On the first day of issue, hand-back service will be provided at all post offices to official and privately-made souvenir covers.

As on previous occasions of first day issue of new stamps, the following 22 post offices will open at 8 am on December 4:

1 long Koiig

General Post Office, Aberdeen, Shau Kei Wan, Sai Ying Pun, Tsat Tsz Mui, Wan Chai, Wah Fu

Outlying Islands

Cheung Chau

Kowloon

Tsim Sha Tsui, Cheung Sha Wan, Kowloon Central. Kowloon City. Kwun Tong, Tseung Kwan O, To Kwa Wan

New Territories

Yuen Long, Sha Tin Central, Sai Kung, Shek Wu Hui, Tuen Mun Central, Tai Po, Tsuen Wan

End

10

Restoration for Temple of Two Gods completed

*****

A rehabilitation ceremony to mark the opening of I Shing Kung, which literally means the Temple of Two Gods, in Yuen Long will be held tomorrow (Wednesday).

The temple was declared a monument in June 1996 and is one of the 63 in Hong Kong.

Being a rare surviving example of its kind, it has retained most of its original features. The green-brick two hall structure has an open courtyard, with covered aisles on both sides. The left aisle was formerly used as a kitchen to prepare basin meals during the Ta Chiu Festival. The roof ridge is of simple geometric design and wall friezes are decorated with leafy and floral moulding.

The temple was built by the villagers in Wang Chau area in Yuen Long to worship the two deities, Hung Shing and Che Kung. According to inscriptions on the temple bell, which is the oldest surviving relic, the building was probably constructed in the 57th year of the Kangxi reign (1718) of the Qing Dynasty.

Other relics of the temple include couplets, plaques and bronze incense burners.

The Jockey Club funded restoration was carried out by the Architectural Services Department under the supervision of the Antiquities and Monuments Office of the Broadcasting, Culture and Sport Branch. It took six months to complete.

End

Garrison to open gates to public for the last time

*****

Ships, helicopters and assault craft will feature in spectacular action displays when the Royal Navy and the territory’s own soldiers, the Hong Kong Military Service Corps (HKMSC) open the gates of Stonecutters Island to the public this weekend.

On what will be the last ever Open Days held by the British Garrison, the two branches of the Armed Services will be mounting a weekend-long programme of public events on Saturday (November 23) and Sunday (November 24).

11

Highlights of the weekend will include action displays in the basin of HMS Tamar and a full programme of arena demonstrations by the Motorcycle Display Team from 29 Transport Squadron of the Royal Logistic Corps, the Dog Display Team from the Hong Kong Defence Animal Support Unit together with traditional lion and dragon dances.

Music throughout the weekend will be provided by the Band of the Brigade of the Gurkhas and the Corps of Drums from 1st Battalion, The Staffordshire Regiment.

The final Garrison Open Days are being staged to raise money for the Locally Enlisted Personnel Trust, the charity established by the British Forces to provide funds for Hong Kong Chinese ex-members of the Garrison who may find themselves in need of assistance after 1997. The two-day event will also allow the public access to various units of the military and demonstrate how the Garrison operates.

Also open to the public will be a variety of souvenir shops, games stall and military displays, some of which will provide opportunities to examine and handle selected items of military equipment.

End

Flushing water cut in Sham Shui Po and Mong Kok *****

The flushing water supply to some premises in Sham Shui Po and Mong Kok will be temporarily suspended ft :m 9 am to 5 pm on Friday (November 22) for alteration works on watermains.

The suspension will affect all premises in the area bounded by Castle Peak Road, Po Lun Street, Sham Shui Po seafront, Cherry Street, Tong Mei Road, Mong Kok Road, Sai Yee Street, Bute Street, Kowloon Canton Railway, Cornwall Street, Nam Cheong Street and Ching Cheung Road.

End

12

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results

*****

Tender date 19 Nov 1996 19 Nov 1996

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q647 H678 "a/-

Issue date 20 Nov 1996 20 Nov 1996

Maturity date 19 Feb 1997 21 May 1997

Coupon - -

Amount applied HK$9,817MN HK$3,080 MN

Amount allotted HK$2,000 MN HK$ 1,000 MN i.

Average yield accepted 4.90 PCT ‘ 5.00 PCT

Highest yield accepted 4.91 PCT 5.01 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 60 PCT About 66 PCT

Average tender yield 4.93 PCT 5.02 PCT Hong Kong Monetary Authority Tenders to be held in the week beginning 25 Nov 1996:

Tender date 25 Nov 1996 26 Nov 1996

Paper on offer EF notes EF bills

Issue number 7311 Q648

Issue date 26 Nov 1996 27 Nov 1996

Maturity date 26 Nov 26 Feb 1997

Tenor 7 years 91 days

Amount on offer HKS500+100 MN HK$2,000+500 MN

Coupon

6.80 PCT

13

Tender date 26 Nov 1996 ~ 26 Nov 1996

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Y696 Q061

Issue date , 27 Nov 1996 27 Nov 1996

Maturity date 26 Nov 1997 27 Dec 1996

Tenor 364 days 30 days

Amount on offer HK$500+150MN HK$5,000 MN

Coupon - -

End

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

^million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,469 0930 +428

Closing balance in the account 2,168 1000 +428

Change attributable to: 1100 +428

Money market activity +434 1200 +437

LAF today -735 1500 +437

1600 +434

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.3 *+0.0* 19.11.96

14

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/MTRC notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.90 2 years 2811 5.72 100.09 5.75

1 month 4.90 3 years 3910 6.28 100.70 6.10

3 months 4.93 5 years 5109 7.32 103.10 6.66

6 months 5.01 7 years 7308 7.24 102.18 6.95

12 months 5.25 10 years 1610 7.37 101.85 7.23

5 years M503 7.35 101.91 6.99

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $5,929 million

Closed November 19, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Wednesday, November 20,1996

Contents Page No*

Governor's speaks on the no. 5 alarm fire in Kowloon...................... 1

Governor's media session after visiting hospital.......................... 1

JLG experts to meet on preparation of transitional Budget................. 2

Monetary co-operation among east Asian countries : FS..................... 3

HK to grow as a regional broadcasting hub after handover.................. 4

New royalty scale and licence fees for ATV and TVB........................ 5

Government team to attend UN hearing..................................

October residential mortgage survey results released...................... 8

Two tropical cyclone and monsoon signal stations cancelled................ 9

Call for a quality culture in education................................... 9

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

- 1 -

Governor’s speaks on the no.5 alarm fire in Kowloon *****

The following is the transcript of what the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said today (Wednesday) after visiting the scene of the no 5 alarm fire in Kowloon:

Governor: I wanted to come here this evening to pay a particular tribute to our fire service and to our police who’ve done a magnificent job under extremely harrowing circumstances. This has obviously been an appalling fire which has been handled with very great bravery and very great competence by our fire services and by the police and ambulance service. I want to pay a particular tribute to our fire service officers who’ve behaved with the bravery and the competence which you’d expect of them. As you know, we are at present legislating to tighten up the regulations which we hope, we hope, will prevent disasters like this happening in the future. There are obviously needs to be investigations into exactly what has happened this evening and I don’t want to say anything prematurely. I am now going to go to the hospital to see the medical staff there and to see some of the relatives of those who’ve been injured and to see some of those who’ve themselves been injured. But above all this evening I want to pay tribute to our very, very brave fire service officers, and to everybody who's been involved in dealing with this disaster.

End

Governor’s media session after visiting hospital *****

The following is the transcript of the media session of the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, after visiting the fire victims in Queen Elizabeth Hospital today (Wednesday):

Governor: Can I just make one plea to you. I know you've got your job to do, and I know you want to take photographs and write down what has been happening. But there're a lot of sick people here and their needs and concerns are much more important than yours. I'll be very grateful if we could keep things as quiet as possible and as orderly as possible. Alright, is that a deal? As you wouldn't like to be in hospital and they didn't like to be in hospital, alright?


2

I've been to the scene of this evening's tragedy. And I want to come after that to the hospital, to the QE where most of the victims have been brought. Just over forty were brought here and thirty-four have been admitted to the hospital. And about twenty-six are at Kwang Wah. I wanted at the scene of the disaster to thank the Fire Services and the other emergency services for the extremely competent and brave and professional job which they have done. And here I wanted to thank all those who cope with this emergency for the equally good job that they have done. It is an awful thing when our emergency services need to be tested. It does seem that tonight our Fire Services, our Police, our Ambulance and our medical staff have behaved extremely well, with great professional skill and with enormous hard work and dedication. Obviously, as I said at the scene of the disaster, there will need to be investigations into what's happened. And I also said at the scene of the disaster that I very much hope that the legislation which were at present putting through the Legislation Council to improve the standard of safety against the hazards of fire will now be passed as rapidly as possible. It's been discussed quite properly, comprehensively in the Legislative Council, but obviously what's happened today underlines the importance of this tightening up on the safety regulations against fire.

I want once again to thank every one tonight, particularly those who risk their lives in order to save others for what they have done for the community and I want here at the QE hospital to thank all the medical staff. I've been to the QE hospital before and seen for example the intensive care unit when it's not been cope with a disaster but it was very impressive to see the staff tonight and to see every thing that they were doing. I spoke to a fireman who's been burnt and expressed to him on behalf of every one in Hong Kong our gratitude for what he's done today, to rescue his fellow men and women. I hope that after those remarks from me. You remember that while a free press is extremely important, while you've got your job to do in getting across Hong Kong the news which everybody in Hong Kong will want to know about. I hope you'll also remember that even more important job being done by the doctors and medical staff in saving lives and looking after those who have been injured. Thank you very much indeed.

End

JLG experts to meet on preparation of transitional Budget *****

The Sino-British Joint Liaison Group will hold their fourteenth round of Expert Talks on November 21 and 22 in Hong Kong to discuss the preparation of Hong Kong's transitional Budget and related matters.

The British team will be led by Mr K C Kwong, Secretary for the Treasury of the Hong Kong Government. The Chinese team will be led by Mr Chen Zuo'er, Chinese Representative on the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group. They will be assisted by experts.

End

3

Monetary co-operation among east Asian countries : FS ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Financial Secretary, Mr. Donald Tsang, said today (Wednesday) that the region must work together for monetary co-operation so as to maintain currency stability, and to meet the challenge of volatility of capital flows.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum 1996 Europe/East Asia Economic Summit, Mr. Tsang said monetary co-operation was not an end in itself, but a means to the end of greater prosperity and stability in the Region.

He noted that Asia had high growth, high savings, strong fiscal discipline and over 40 per cent of the world's official reserves.

"Yet, in the wake of the Mexico crisis, we felt the ripples. The lesson we can draw is that no modem economy can totally shield itself from the vibrations of large external shocks," Mr. Tsang said.

He pointed out that with greater financial deregulation, innovation and globalisation in financial markets, capital flows had become increasingly rapid and volatile.

Mr. Tsang said how this volatility of capital flows could be dealt with was one of the policy challenges.

"If somehow we could make Asian financial intermediation more efficient, whereby we can apply greater Asian savings to finance Asian investments at lower risks. Asian economies would become far less reliant on fund flows from outside the region and thus less vulnerable to external shocks," he said.

Policy response in Hong Kong to the challenges came at the domestic and regional levels, according to Mr. Tsang.

"At the domestic level. Hong Kong is adhering to sound macro economic policies and tight fiscal discipline to produce robust economic fundamentals that would attract capital inflows and yet would not be over-dependent on them," he said.

"We are endeavouring to develop the local debt market and to install a resilient and efficient financial infrastructure." Mr Tsang added.

At the regional level, Mr Tsang said there was greater cross border co-operation in the management of currency market stability via the signing of US dollar bilateral repurchase agreements. Steps were also being taken to enhance the effective intermediation of savings and investments by improving the infrastructure of the regional capital markets.

4

"Hong Kong has signed with eight central banks and monetary authorities in the region and the matrix of bilateral repos among these authorities is rapidly being filled up," he said.

"These agreements send an important signal to the market - we mean business in maintaining exchange rate stability," he added.

In formulating a policy response to effective intermediation of savings and investments at the regional level, Mr Tsang said:"Hong Kong has put forward the concept of AsiaClear, a network to link domestic Central Securities Depositories in the region to facilitate cross-border investment in securities in the Asian time zone."

Projecting to the future, Mr. Tsang stressed that the Asian Monetary Network was more than a zero-sum game.

He said all participants were equal partners and that consensus among countries was the key to the way forward.

End

HK to grow as a regional broadcasting hub after handover ♦ * * ♦ ♦

Welcoming the decision by MGM Gold to set up the regional headquarters for its new movie channel in Hong Kong, the Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport, Mr Chau Tak-hay, expressed confidence that Hong Kong would continue to grow as a regional broadcasting hub after the handover.

Hong Kong had a first class infrastructure and facilities to broadcast throughout the Asia-Pacific region, he said, as well as some of the best talent in broadcasting and post-production in Asia. In addition, the Copyright Ordinance would soon be amended to protect all broadcast material, no matter where it originates.

Many broadcasters were also attracted by Hong Kong's proximity to China, said Mr Chau at the opening ceremony of Cable and Satellite Asia '96 conference today (Wednesday).

"Growing affluence and unsatisfied demand for television choice make China a mouthwatering market. Estimates suggest that there are already 40 million pay TV subscribers, with the number set to climb to over 200 million by the turn of the century.

5

’’There is no doubt that entering the Chinese market is hard work but you can't afford to ignore one of the world’s largest and fastest growing economies.

"And from next year, those of you based in Hong Kong won’t need to hover on China’s doorstep. You will have your foot in the door already," Mr Chau told delegates to the conference.

The Secretary noted that Hong Kong-based satellite and cable broadcasters, including Star TV, CNBC Asia and TNT/Cartoon Network, had been quick to launch new channels customized to local tastes, or stepped up dubbing and subtitling of their programmes in Chinese and other Asian languages during the past 12 months.

Mr Chau also told the conference that next year would see the launch of new Video on Demand programme services which would revolutionize the television industry.

He noted that there had been considerable debate about whether VOD was really television and that some had argued that it should be treated like a video rental store.

But Mr Chau pointed out that VOD subscribers who wished to see programmes would call them up with a remote control while sitting at home, just as they might order a pay-per-view movie.

"So there is no real reason to treat it any differently from any other television service. Which is precisely why we have decided to regulate it under the Television Ordinance," he added.

End

New royalty scale and licence fees for ATV and TVB

*****

The Governor in Council has approved proposals to slash the advertising royalties paid by the commercial television broadcasters.

"The advertising royalties paid by ATV and TVB will be reduced by a combined total of about $65 million," a spokesman for the Broadcasting, Culture and Sport Branch said today (Wednesday).

6

Responding to concern expressed by legislators and commercial television broadcasters about the increasing competition for advertising revenue faced by ATV and TVB, the Government has agreed to introduce a new scale of advertising royalties, and to cut the top rate from 10 per cent to nine per cent.

It is intended that royalties will be reviewed as part of the 1998 review of the television environment.

"On the basis of advertising revenues in 1995/96, this would save ATV about $45 million a year, while TVB, which will benefit from the cut in the top rate, would save about $20 million," said the spokesman.

The new scale, introduced in the Television (Royalty and Licence Fees) (Amendment) Regulation 1996, is as follows:

Advertising Revenue Rate

On the first $200 million On the next $100 million On the next $100 million On the next $100 million On the next $100 million On the next $100 million On the next $100 million On the next $100 million On the next $100 million On the next $100 million On the next $100 million On the next $100 million

0%

1%

3%

5%

7%

9%

11%

13%

15%

17%

19%

21%

23%

On amounts above $1,300 million

(Subject to a maximum royalty of nine per cent of advertising revenue.)

New full-cost licence fees were also introduced under the same regulation. Until now, ATV and TVB have paid nominal licence fees of $1,000, with the cost of administering the licences being borne by taxpayers.

ATV and TVB will now be required to pay licence fees which reflect the costs incurred by the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority (TELA) and the Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) in administering their licences, including monitoring television broadcasts, and ensuring compliance with licence conditions and codes of practice.

Both TELA and OFTA have streamlined their operating procedures in order to keep costs down, the spokesman said.

7

Full-cost licence fees will be phased in over a five-year period. In 1997, ATV and TVB will have to pay 20% of the assessed full cost, and in 1998, they would pay 40% of the assessed full cost, and so on until full-cost recovery is achieved in 2001. The new licence fees will amount to about $1.8 million for each licensee for the year starting from 1 January 1997.

The new fees will be introduced with effect from 1 December, subject to approval of the regulation by the Legislative Council.

End

Government team to attend UN hearing *****

Solicitor General, Mr Daniel R Fung QC, will lead an eight-member Hong Kong Government team, as part of the British delegation, to attend a hearing of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (UNCESCR) to be held in Geneva on November 26 and 27.

During the hearing, the UN Committee will examine the Third Periodic Report in respect of Hong Kong under Articles 2 to 16 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).

The report, submitted under ICESCR, covers developments in Hong Kong on a wide range of social issues, including housing, social welfare, education, health and employment.

The Hong Kong team will assist the British delegation in answering any questions arising from the report by the Committee members.

The last report to the UNCESCR made by the British Government on behalf of Hong Kong was submitted in November 1994, regarding Articles 10 to 15 of the ICESCR.

Apart from Solicitor General, Mr Daniel R Fung, the Hong Kong team comprises Deputy Solicitor General, Mr Stephen Wong, Principal Assistant Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Jeremy Croft, Principal Assistant Secretary Education and Manpower, Mr Tony Reynaids, Principal Assistant Secretary for Security, Mr John Sherwin, Principal Assistant Secretary for Health and Welfare. Ms Miranda Chiu, and Principal Assistant Secretary for Housing, Mr William Shiu.

End

8

October residential mortgage survey results released *****

The growth of residential mortgage loans for the purchase of properties in Hong Kong grew rapidly in October, according to the results of the latest monthly survey conducted by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA).

The latest figures show that the total amount of outstanding mortgage lending by the 33 institutions in the survey rose by 2% in October (1% in September) to $313.9 billion. The growth rate is highest since June 1995 and is well above the monthly average of 1.4% over the last 12 months.

"The rapid growth in lending reflected the increased activity in both the primary and secondary residential property markets in September," said the Deputy Chief Executive of HKMA, Mr David Carse.

The annualised rate of growth in lending over the last three months increased to 14.7% from 12.8% in the three-month period to September. The 12-month average of outstanding loans showed an annualised growth rate of 17%, compared with 15.5% in September.

The amount of new loans approved but not yet drawn further increased by $1.6 billion (15.7%) to $11.5 billion in October.

"These figures, and the continued activity in the secondary residential property market in October, suggest that loans will continue to grow at a rapid rate in November," said Mr Carse.

The amount of residential mortgage loans associated with co-fmancing schemes accounted for 3.5% of total mortgage lending of the 33 surveyed institutions at end-October. Of the $18.3 billion new loans approved during October, about 84.5% was accounted for by properties aged 15 years or below.

Lending for the purchase of properties in China increased by 1.8% to $6 billion in October. Gross loans made in October increased both in number (to 348 from 214) and in amount (to $216 million from $133 million). New loans approved in October increased in number (to 319 from 316) but decreased in amount (to $286 million from $308 million).

End

9

Two tropical cyclone and monsoon signal stations cancelled

*****

The Royal Observatory announced today (Wednesday) that with immediate effect, day and night signals will no longer be displayed at the two tropical cyclone and strong monsoon warning signal stations at Stanley Police Station and Tai O Police Station.

Visual signals will continue to be displayed at the six signal stations at the following locations:

Aberdeen Marine Office;

Cheung Chau Meteorological Station;

Lau Fau Shan Police Station;

Sha Tau Kok Sewage Treatment Works (Sha Tau Kok Police Station);

Shau Kei Wan Marine Office; and

Tai Lam Small Boat Unit Headquarters.

Signal stations convey very little information. Also the signals may be obscured by high-rise buildings and during adverse weather conditions.

When tropical cyclone or strong monsoon warning signals are hoisted, information on the signal status, the weather and precautions to take are broadcast frequently by radio and television stations.

Residents in Hong Kong are therefore advised to listen to the radio or watch television for the latest information.

Additionally, the public can obtain such information by calling 2835 1473 of the Home Affairs Department's Public Enquiry Service Centre or the Royal Observatory's Dial-a-Weather Service on 187 8066 for recorded English weather service and on 187 8200 for recorded Cantonese weather service.

End

Call for a quality culture in education *****

The Director of Education, Mrs Helen C P Lai Yu, calls for an evolution towards a quality culture within the education sector.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the 18th Congress of Pan-Pacific Association of Private School Education today (Wednesday), Mrs Yu said: "It is only through close communication and partnership with all involved in education that our schools can provide students with an enjoyable and fruitful learning experience."

10

Collaboration among teachers, parents and students was crucial for quality education, she said.

The recently released consultation document of the Education Commission Report No 7 recommends the strengthening of this partnership.

”It reaffirms and underlines Government’s declared mission in education: to develop young Hong Kong in-the-round, not just academically but folly, to become a community of well educated and motivated individuals committed to the betterment and development of Hong Kong,” Mrs Yu said.

The report also promotes the concept of’’adding value” in education, that is, the determination to improve performance.

”To improve, not just in academic achievements but equally in extra-curricular activities, in management and in general output in all aspects," Mrs Yu said.

Mrs Yu said the Education Department had allocated resources to enhance the quality of school education.

Measures including target oriented curriculum, School Improvement Programme and School Management Initiative aimed to strengthen the ability of schools to enhance the effectiveness of teaching, to keep abreast with technological advances and ultimately to improve the quality of education for students, she added.

End

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

Smillion Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,168 0930 +729

Closing balance in the account 2,847 1000 +729

Change attributable to: 1100 +729

Money market activity +719 1200 +719

LAF today -40 1500 +719

1600 +719

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.3 *+0.0* 20.11.96

11

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/MTRC notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.90 2 years 2811 5.72 100.17 5.71

1 month 4.89 3 years 3910 6.28 100.79 6.07

3 months 4.89 5 years 5109 7.32 103.29 6.61

6 months 4.99 7 years 7308 7.24 102.42 6.90

12 months 5.23 10 years 1610 7.37 102.25 7.17

5 years M503 7.35 102.05 6.95

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $18,344 million

Closed November 20, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

SUPPLEMENT

Wednesday, November 20, 1996

Contents PagC-No.

Legislative Council meeting: Garrison Law has to be acceptable to HK people.................... 1

Fraud Bill introduced in LegCo................................... 4

District Court (Amendment) Bill introduced into LegCo............ 6

Submarine Telegraph Bill 1996....................................

Hong Kong Institute of Education (Amendment) Bill 1996........... 9

Measures to prevent VM arrival................................... 10

Efforts to curb spouse-battering explained....................... 11

Standard of concrete for public housing.......................... 14

Overhead traffic signs in Hong Kong.............................. 22

/LRT traffic

Contents

Page No,

LRT traffic accidents................................................... 23

Provision of NT medical services closely monitored...................... 24

Measures to improve fire and ambulance services in NT................... 25

Radon concentrations in public places within international standards. 27

Vehicle emission standards reviewed regularly........................... 29

Conditions of issue of HK permanent ID cards............................ 30

Speed limits for roads in Hong Kong..................................... 32

Transfer between public hospitals....................................... 33

Placement fees paid by Filipino workers................................. 34

Provision of acute beds in public hospitals............................. 35

"Permanent vegetative state" in newborn babies rare..................... 36

Daily average turnover at Hong Kong Futures Exchange.................... 38

Wastewater samples from hotels.......................................... 39

Garrison Law has to be acceptable to HK people ♦ ♦ * * ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, at the motion debate on Garrison Law in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

This is the second motion debate on the Garrison Law in four months. It reflects the degree of interest and concern on this subject within this Council and in the community more generally.

Such intense interest, following the announcement that the draft Garrison Law has been submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress for examination, is hardly surprising. The Garrison Law will be an important piece of legislation which sets out the framework for the operation of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) in the HKSAR from 1 July 1997 It governs the legal relationship between the people of Hong Kong, the HKSAR Government and the military. It determines how the commitment in Article 14 of the Basic Law, that "in addition to abiding by national laws, members of the garrison shall abide by the laws of the HKSAR". will be implemented in practice.

The Chinese Government have assured the community that the garrison to be stationed in Hong Kong SAR will be a high standard, law abiding model military force But no one can entirely rule out the possibility that a soldier might break the law, or infringe upon the rights of a civilian in Hong Kong. As such, a series of difficult questions will need to be addressed: Who should handle or try the offender? How will the law ensure that justice can be done, and be seen to be done? How can we achieve a fine balance between the need to protect the rights of the soldier and those of the civilian? What arrangements will be acceptable to both the military and the community?

At present, a member of the British Forces in Hong Kong will normally be tried in Hong Kong courts if he commits a criminal offence under Hong Kong law. However, under the UK Forces (Jurisdiction of Colonial Courts) Order 1965. if the alleged offence is against another member of the garrison, or is against the property of the UK government or other garrison members, or arises out of and in the course of his duty, the case will be dealt with under military jurisdiction. The Commanding Officer of the British Forces may waive military jurisdiction and hand over a case to be dealt with by Hong Kong courts even where one of the exceptions above applies. He will normally do so if an offence resulted in a serious incident or injury to a civilian, or if there is a civilian accomplice.

2

Using a common example, a British soldier driving a military vehicle on duty and committing the offence of drink driving will be subject to the jurisdiction of the local courts, because it is inconceivable that he is acting under the instructions of his commanding officer to be drunk. Therefore, the offence does not "arise out of and in the course of his duty", and the case will be tried in Hong Kong courts.

These principles have been firmly in place in our legal system for more than 30 years and regarded as fair, sensible and workable. Their continued application after 1997 are consistent with Articles 14 and 18 of the Basic Law. We believe that under the draft Garrison Law and in so far as criminal cases are concerned, things done by military personnel" in the course of their duties" should be dealt with by courts-martial. It would help reassure the community if the Chinese Government can clarify this key phrase and to define it, in law and in practice, as narrowly as possible in the same way as at present.

As regards civil cases, members of the British Forces are subject to the jurisdiction of Hong Kong courts when acting in their private capacities. They are also liable for any acts or omissions in the course of their duties and can be sued locally. The British Garrison is vicariously liable for torts committed by military personnel in the course of their employment. Although the British Government is immune from suit in Hong Kong courts under the Crown Proceedings Ordinance (Cap. 300), in practice, civil claims against the military are normally dealt with by administrative settlement through the claims branch of the British Forces. If this fails, the claimant may pursue his case in the UK civilian courts, in accordance with the UK Crown Proceedings Act 1947.

Using another example, if a British soldier driving a military lorry on duty crashed into a civilian vehicle because of his negligence, the Garrison will attempt to settle the case out of court. Failing that, the civilian may sue the soldier in Hong Kong courts. The military will back him up in the case, because the tort is committed in the course of the soldier's duties. If the civilian wants to sue the soldier's employer, i.e. the British Government, he will have to bring a civil action in the civilian courts in the UK.

The present arrangement under Cap. 300 can work because the common law system, in particular the law of tort and the law of contract, and the judicial system are substantially the same in Hong Kong and the UK. After 1997, where a member of the PLA commits a tortious act which arises out of and in the course of duty, it is important that he and the Garrison collectively should both be liable and be subject to the jurisdiction of Hong Kong courts. We believe that this approach is consistent with Articles 8, 14, 18 and 19 of the Basic Law. If the case is to be heard in the Supreme People's Court of the People's Republic of China, which operates under an entirely different legal and judicial system, it cannot be adjudicated in accordance with common law principles as at present.

3

Members want to know how the Garrison Law would be applied to Hong Kong. It would be for the Chinese side to explain how this is to be done in a manner consistent with the Basic Law. It is important to ensure that the Garrison Law can be firmly rooted in Hong Kong’s legal and judicial systems and can be effectively applied locally.

Mr President, I am sure that Honourable Members have noticed that these points sound familiar. They are consistent with what we have said in this Council during the motion debate on 10 July and on other previous occasions. Naturally, Honourable Members could expect us to convey the same points to the Chinese side, including of course the point that the Garrison Law must be consistent with provisions in Article 14 of the Basic Law governing the PLA's exercised duties in areas other than the defence of the HKSAR. We will, of course, also seek to clarify other important points arising from the text of the Garrison Law which they handed over to us through the JLG channel. We have at the same time expressed our wish to continue the very useful informal contacts between experts of both sides on this urgent and important matter.

We are fully aware of the Chinese side’s position that the Garrison Law is a matter within China's sovereignty. We have no intention to challenge their right to take final decisions on it. Nevertheless, the task of drafting the Garrison Law is both challenging and difficult. It has to bridge the gap between two entirely different legal and judicial systems. It has to firmly adhere to the principles of ’’one country, two systems”, "a high degree of autonomy”, and other commitments in the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. More importantly, it has to be acceptable to the people of Hong Kong. For these reasons, we urge the Chinese side to listen to the views of Hong Kong people on this subject. On our part, we will be failing our responsibility if we do not offer our assistance to the Chinese side to complete this complicated job. Given their wide experience in Hong Kong’s legal system, our experts have constructive views and ideas which can assist the Chinese side in arriving at a Garrison Law which helps to remove any worries that the public and foreign investors may have. We hope that the Chinese side can be as transparent as possible in their handling of the matter, and take into account the different views expressed in finalising the Garrison Law, so that at the end of the day Hong Kong will have a widely accepted and supported legislation.

Thank you, Mr President.

End

4

Fraud Bill introduced in LegCo *****

Following is the speech by the Attorney General, the Hon Jeremy Mathews, in moving the second reading of the Fraud Bill in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that the Fraud Bill be read a second time.

The purpose of the Bill is to improve the existing law in respect of fraud-related crimes by creating a new statutory offence of fraud, and abolishing the existing common law offence of conspiracy to defraud, which will be replaced with a statutory conspiracy to commit the new offence of fraud.

The Bill follows recommendations contained in a report by the Law Reform Commission published in July this year, in which the Commission argued that the existing law was illogical and unsatisfactory.

It would probably come as a surprise to many to learn that there is at present in Hong Kong no general offence of fraud, either at common law or under any Ordinance. Instead what might loosely be described as fraudulent conduct is dealt with in a variety of ways.

* Firstly, the Theft Ordinance creates a number of specific offences of fraud-related dishonesty, such as obtaining property by deception. But these offences, because they are drawn in very specific terms, are too restrictive and technical. Developments in modem technology' have revealed serious weaknesses in these offences. For example, a recent judgement from England has shown that mortgage fraud involving the electronic transfer of money did not amount to obtaining by deception. That decision, from the highest English court, has caused much confusion and uncertainty;

* Secondly, some fraudulent conduct can only be prosecuted by charging the offenders with the common law offence of conspiracy to defraud. But the trouble with this is that the essence of a conspiracy only applies to the actions of two or more persons. The actions of a single person fall outside the offence of conspiracy to defraud and arc only criminal if one of specific fraud-related offences applies.

5

An additional problem is that the common law offence of conspiracy to defraud is so wide that it may cover almost every offence in the Theft Ordinance, and conduct which perhaps ought not to be criminal at all. The width of the offence has also been criticised insofar as it enables the prosecution to charge a person with conspiracy instead of with a substantive offence. This can materially affect the way the trial is conducted.

The Law Reform Commission noted in their report on the ’’Creation of a Substantive Offence of Fraud” that a number of jurisdictions, including Canada, Scotland and South Africa, have had a general offence of fraud for many years. Their experience is that it works well, and can readily be understood by laymen and lawyers alike. The Law Reform Commission report concluded that a general offence of fraud should be enacted in Hong Kong.

fhe Commission further recommended that once a general offence of fraud is created, any prosecution for conspiracy to defraud should be a prosecution for conspiracy to commit that general offence and the existing common law offence should be abolished.

Before the Law Reform Commission published its report, a consultation exercise was conducted, fhe overwhelming majority of those who responded to the Commission’s consultation paper agreed with the recommendations. Following the publication of the Commission’s report, the Bar Association and the Law Society have been consulted. Both support the recommendations.

The Administration also accepts the Law Reform Commission’s recommendations. A new offence of fraud would remedy the deficiencies and shortcomings in the existing law, would correspond to what most people believe should be the law, would be a welcome addition in the fight against crime and would add to Hong Kong’s reputation as an international financial centre.

Let me now turn to the Bill. Clause 2 creates the offence of fraud. The offence will be committed when a person by deceit induces another to act or to make an omission resulting either in prejudice, or a substantial risk of prejudice, to another, or benefit to the fraudster or another. The advantage of the new offence is that it would enable conduct to be properly charged as a substantive offence against an individual acting alone, without the necessity of involving another participant. The new offence would also avoid the artificiality of charging a person with conspiracy to defraud where the fraud has actually been committed and the fraudster has achieved his ends. The new offence would place fraudulent conduct within more precise bounds by tying it to deceit rather than dishonesty.

6

Clause 3 abolishes the common law offence of conspiracy to defraud.

Mr President, this Bill is short but important. By putting in place a general offence of fraud, and abolishing the common law offence of conspiracy to defraud, it will rid our law of many defects, technicalities and loopholes, and will enable us to deal more effectively with all types of fraud. 1 commend the Bill to the Council.

End

District Court (Amendment) Bill introduced into LegCo *****

Following is a speech by the Attorney General, the Hon Jeremy Mathews, in moving the second reading of the District Court (Amendment) Bill 1996, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

1 move that the District Court (Amendment) Bill 1996 be read the second time. The Bill aims to encourage a greater flow of civil work directly into the District Court and to improve the District Court Ordinance in various respects.

First established in 1953, the District Court is the second tier of the court system in Hong Kong. At present, the District Court has a general jurisdiction to deal with claims in contract or tort where the amount claimed is, or is worth, not more than $120,000. In relation to such matters as the administration of an estate or the execution of a trust, the District Court also has jurisdiction where the property is worth not more than $120,000. Where the proceedings are for the recovery of land, or relate to the title to land, the rateable or annual value of the land must be not more than $100,000 in order for the District Court to have jurisdiction.

These financial limits were set in July 1988. The accumulated inflation rate from 1 July 1988 to 30 June 1996, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (A), was 98.2%. Property prices and rental values have also increased significantly during this period. Many civil cases that would in the past have been within the jurisdictions of the District Court now fall outside the court's jurisdiction. The result is that there is increasing pressure on, and delay in, the High Court.

In October 1991, the Chief Justice appointed a Working Parly under the chairmanship of the Hon Mr Justice Kempsler to consider the terms of the District Court Ordinance, the District Court Civil Procedure (General) Rules and the District Court Civil Procedure (Forms) Rules and to recommend amendments. The Working Party submitted its report in June 1993 and the Chief Justice accepted its recommendations in August 1993.

7

After further consultation and consideration, the Administration has accepted the Working Party's recommendations. The implementation of these recommendations will entail extensive amendments to the District Court Ordinance. Some of the Working Party’s recommended financial limits also have had to be revised further to take account of inflation and the increase in property prices and rental values since the Report was completed.

The Bill proposes to raise the various financial limits of the civil jurisdiction of the District Court to enable more civil cases dealing with claims in contract or tort to be heard in the District Court, and also to reflect inflation and the rise in property prices and rental values since these limits were fixed. These proposals include revising the general jurisdiction of the District Court in respect of contract and tort from $120,000 to $300,000; and in respect of the recovery of land or the title to land from a rateable value of $100,000 to $500,000. For claims in respect of personal injuries, the Bill proposes a financial ceiling of $600,000.

The Bill also makes clear that the District Court has jurisdiction over applications made under section 6 of the Married Persons Status Ordinance. That section enables a married person to seek a determination by the court of any question between the married couple as to the title to or possession of property, fhe various amendments to the jurisdiction of the court are found in amendments contained in clauses 19 to 21.

The proposed increase in the District Court’s jurisdiction may mean that some cases are started in that court which would more appropriately be dealt with in the High Court. It is therefore proposed that the District Court should have the power, either on its own motion or on the application of any party, to order the transfer to the High Court of all or part of the proceedings before it. This power is set out in the proposed new section 43, in clause 21. That clause also contains new sections providing for the transfer to the District Court of cases inappropriately commenced in the High Court and vice versa. A court that orders a transfer of proceedings in the situations I have described is empowered to make an order for costs both prior to the transfer and in respect of the transfer.

The increase in the jurisdictional limit of the District Court is also likely to result in additional judicial work being handled by the Registrar of the District Court. This is reflected in amendments to the Ordinance that recognize the Registrar’s role in the court process. For example, the proposed new section 71A of the Ordinance, in clause 38. empowers the Registrar to apply to the Court for an order giving directions to a court bailiff in a difficult or doubtful case. And proposed new section 7 IB, in the same clause, provides protection to the Registrar for acts done by a bailiff in accordance with directions given by the Registrar or the Court.

8

It is also considered appropriate to bring the powers of the District Court into line with those of the High Court in two respects. First, the proposed new section 48B, contained in clause 22, gives a District Judge the same powers as a judge of the High Court to punish a person for disobeying a court judgment or order, or a breach of undertaking. Secondly, new sections contained in clause 22 introduce procedures for disclosure in respect of proceedings for personal injuries, and proceedings arising out of the death of a person. These procedures will enable a person who is, or is likely to be, bringing such proceedings to apply to the court for an order requiring another person to produce to the applicant’s legal or other professional adviser documents that are relevant to the claim.

Clauses 13, 14 and 15 provide for heavier penalties for various offences by officers of the court who abuse their authority, and clauses 16 and 17 provide for heavier penalties for persons who wrongfully retake goods seized by the court, or who assault officers of the court. Most of the existing penalties were set in 1962.

Mr President, this Bill represents a further reform to the administration of justice in Hong Kong and I commend it to this Council for early passage into law.

End

Submarine Telegraph Bill 1996 *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Stephen Ip, in moving the second reading of the Submarine Telegraph Bill 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that the Submarine Telegraph Bill 1996 be read a second time.

The purpose of this Bill is to localise the UK Submarine Telegraph Act 1885 which currently forms part of the law of Hong Kong. The Act and the Convention for the Protection of Submarine Cables on which the Act is based are still relevant to Hong Kong today. The main purpose is to protect submarine cables which are an essential part of our modem telecommunications infrastructure.

The Bill basically replicates the provisions of the UK Act but with modifications to conform to Hong Kong's legislative style, with updated penalties and with omissions where there are already comparable provisions or where the Act’s provisions are archaic.

9

The Bill will continue the protection given by the Act to submarine cables landed in the territories of Contracting Parties to the Convention for the Protection of Submarine Cables. This includes submarine cables landed in Hong Kong and this will continue to be the case after 30 June 1997. The Bill provides that persons who deliberately break or damage such a cable are liable unless they come within the scope of certain defences. Where any offence under the Bill is committed by means of a vessel, the master of a vessel is deemed to be in charge of and navigating it unless some other person can be shown to have been so.

Clause 3 establishes that the Convention will continue to have the force of law.

Clause 4 makes it an offence for persons to damage submarine cables landed in the territory of Contracting Parties to the Convention (including Hong Kong). Certain defences, such as showing that the action which led to the damaging of the submarine cable was necessary to avoid injury, loss of life or of a vessel, are provided under clause 5.

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

End

Hong Kong Institute of Education (Amendment) Bill 1996 *****

Following is a speech by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, in moving Committee Stage Amendment to the Hong Kong Institute of Education (Amendment) Bill 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that clause 10 of the Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd) (Amendment) Bill 1996 be amended as set out in the paper which has been circulated to Members. Clause 10 proposes to repeal the whole of section 22(3) in the Ordinance so as to relieve the HKIEd of the requirement for gazetting its rules.

We have subsequently received legal advice that repealing section 22(3) of the Ordinance altogether may give rise to a legal argument that the intention is to turn the rules made by the HKIEd Council into subsidiary legislation for the purpose of section 34 of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance. This is because subsection 22(3) expressly specifies that rules made under that section shall not be treated as subsidiary legislation.

10

To avoid possible doubts and to reflect the intention of the Administration accurately, we therefore propose that, instead of repealing the whole of section 22(3) of the Ordinance, it should be amended by substituting the words ’’shall be published in the Gazette but” with ’’shall be published, for information, in such manner as the Council thinks fit and”. The new proposed amendment has the added advantage of enabling the HKIEd Council to determine how the rules are to be published.

The proposed Committee Stage Amendment to clause 10 of the Bill has been agreed by the House Committee of this Council.

Mr President, I beg to move.

End

Measures to prevent VM arrival *****

Following are a question by the Hon Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee and a reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, at the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It is reported that there has been a significant increase in the number of Vietnamese migrants (VMs) arriving in the territory in recent months. Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the up-to-date figure of VMs who have arrived in the territory since January this year and how this figure compares to those in the previous two years; and

(b) what measures have been put in place to prevent VMs from arriving in

the territory?

Reply:

Mr President,

As at 15 November 1996, 967 Vietnamese migrants have arrived in Hong Kong this year. The four months of July - October have seen the highest number of arrivals, averaging 178 VMs per month. Since then, the arrival rate has slackened: in the first half of this month, the number of arrivals went down to 24. The number of Vietnamese migrants arriving in HK in 1994 and 1995 were 363 and 460 respectively.

11

We have raised the problem of new arrivals with the Vietnamese Government. We have requested them to take steps to prevent departures from Vietnam, and asked them to accelerate the clearance of new arrivals for repatriation, as we believe that speedy repatriation would deter more Vietnamese from coming. During the Secretary of State’s visit to Hanoi from 31 October - 2 November, the Vietnamese Government gave him a clear and helpful response to the question of new arrivals. Since then, the Vietnamese Government have cleared 131 Vietnamese migrants for return.

We have also sought the assistance of the Chinese Government in stopping the eoast-hopping activities of Vietnamese migrants along the coast of southern China before arriving in Hong Kong.

Most of the new arrivals have come to Hong Kong for economic reasons, e.g. to seek illegal employment. The quashing of a syndicate producing forged Vietnamese refugee cards in August, and the stepped up identity card checks by the Police at certain locations should help discourage this.

End

Efforts to curb spouse-battering explained *****

f ollowing is a question by the Hon Lee Cheuk-yan and a reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It is reported that there are more than 200 spouse-battering cases each year in the territory. Will the Government inform this Council whether:

(a) details of the education and publicity work on the prevention of spouse battering over the past two years; and whether it has allocated funds to the Working Group on Battered Spouses to carry out such work; if so, ol the amount of allocation and the breakdown of the allocation by expenditure items;

(b) it will consider setting up half-way houses for battered wives who are unable to return to their former dwelling places and unable to find suitable accommodation, having regard to the fact that such women can only stay in temporary shelters for women for up to a period of three months;

12

(c) it will consider increasing the penalties on spouse battering offences so as to enhance the deterrent effect; and

(d) it will, in the longer term, consider the inclusion of the concept of sex equality in the textbooks of primary and secondary schools, so as to foster a harmonious relationship between the sexes in the community, thereby preventing spouse-battering cases occurring?

Reply:

(a) The Working Group on Battered Spouses convened by the Social Welfare Department (SWD) in April 1995 comprises representatives from seven Government departments - Health, Education, Housing, Information Services, Legal Aid, Legal and the Police. Representatives from the Hospital Authority, the Hong Kong Council of Social Services and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) running two of the refuges - Harmony House and Serene Court - are also members. A representative from the Health and Welfare Branch is in regular attendance.

The Working Group assumes essentially a steering and co-ordinating role and does not therefore require specific funding for the activities concerned.

Public education work aimed at reducing the incidence of spouse battering is a focal point of the Working Group. Such public education work had in fact started well before April 1995. In particular, an extensive publicity campaign was launched in 1994 to mark the International Year of the Family which emphasised the importance of harmonious matrimonial relationships.

The Working Group has further developed this preventive education approach by adopting a theme of’’marriage enrichment" for all its family life education programmes between 1995 and 1997. $124 million had been allocated for family life education programmes during 1994/95 and 1996/97, the bulk of which will be used by Government and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to conduct programmes to promote the awareness of the problem, encourage victims to seek assistance and publicize services available for them.

13

During the period from October 1995 to September 1996, a number of public education programmes, attended by more than 6,000 participants, were organized by the SWD. In the meantime, a wide range of activities, totalling over 300, are being organised by the SWD and the NGOs to educate married couples on how to manage marital stress and handle conflicts. 45 more of such programmes will be run before April next year.

Apart from ensuring that the activities organised by the SWD and various NGOs complement one another in terms of timing, content and target participation, the Working Group takes the lead in instigating training programmes for professionals, such as social workers, police officers, clinical psychologists, doctors, lawyers etc., and publicity through the mass media. A seminar was held in March this year with the view to fostering a better understanding of the problem amongst the professionals in various disciplines and their greater co-operation in handling such cases : it was well attended by over 350 professionals.

Publicity efforts will be stepped up. In this connection, the Working Group intends to introduce television and radio announcements, posters and leaflets early next year to give yet wider coverage to the problems associated with battered spouses. The SWD has set aside $500,000 for this purpose.

(b) At present, three refuge centres are operated by the SWD and subvented NGOs; one of these was newly opened this year. Together they provide temporary accommodation of up to three months for up to 120 battered women and their children. Experience indicates that the victims of domestic violence normally stay in these refuge centres for about 3 weeks. When circumstances so require, they can always stay in the refuge centres for a longer period.

Social workers try as far as possible to reconcile victims with their spouses. In the case of irreconciliable relationships, the SWD will assist those victims with longer term housing needs through the compassionate rehousing programme. The victims can apply for a conditional tenancy in a public housing estate under this programme if they need e.g. to live apart from their abusers while going through divorce proceedings. Between 1993/94 and 1995/96, victims involved in 635 cases were rehoused under this conditional tenancy arrangement. This system is working well and there seems to be no need, therefore, to set up halfway houses for this purpose.

14

(c) Cases of spouse battering are dealt with under the Offences Against the Person Ordinance. This Ordinance provides for offences of violence including murder and manslaughter, as well as wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm, wounding or inflicting grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault. Depending on the gravity of the offence, penalties may include a fine and various periods of imprisonment, and, in very serious cases, life imprisonment. These penalties are kept regularly under review and are considered adequate. It is a matter, of course, for the Courts to decide on the penalty appropriate in individual cases.

(d) Equality between the sexes and respect for each other’s needs in the family are already covered in relevant textbooks since they constitute core elements of the existing syllabus under General Studies at primary school and under Social Studies and Liberal Studies at secondary school level. Separately, the Education Department has also suggested, in its guidelines on sex and civic education to schools, the inclusion of the equality of the sexes as a topic for discussion in activities such as classteacher periods, school assemblies and guidance and counselling sessions.

End

Standard of concrete for public housing

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Chan Wing-chan and an oral reply by the Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the strength of concrete in existing public housing blocks, is the Government aware of:

(a) the standard of concrete strength in public housing blocks, and whether such standard complies with the international safety standard;

(b) the extent of the difference between the actual concrete strength of blocks built with sub-standard concrete and the standard concrete strength, the reasons for such a difference, and the remedial measures taken by the Government in respect of these blocks;

15

(c) the number of housing blocks built with sub-standard concrete and the proportion of such blocks to the total number of public housing blocks; the names of those housing estates having this problem, and the dates of completion of these housing estates; and

(d) the number of contractors involved in building housing blocks which are found to be of sub-standard concrete strength, the number and names of these contractors who are still taking part in the public housing building programme, and the reasons why their continued participation is permitted by the authority concerned?

Answer:

Mr President,

Before 1980, the standard of concrete for public housing blocks was 20 MPa (Megapascal), which was then the common international standard. Since 1980, the standard has been progressively raised to 30-35 MPa, again in compliance with common international standards.

Normally, a building is designed to a much stronger strength than it actually needs to take the loading upon it. This strength reserve is added at the design stage to cater for uncertain situations, such as variations in workmanship and future usage. Non-compliance with the design specifications does not necessarily imply danger for the building. Causes of non-compliance of strength include mainly the varying standards of workmanship and material. In order to make a realistic assessment of the structural safety of an existing building, it is necessary to look at the actual load carrying capacity of various parts of the building.

During the period from 1981 to 1985, the Housing Department investigated the structural safety of all public housing blocks built before 1981. Concrete samples were taken from 836 blocks for testing. All the blocks were found to be structurally safe. 411 of them were found to have average concrete strength which did not fully comply with the originally designed specifications. Of these, 201 have already been demolished under the Housing Authority’s Comprehensive Redevelopment Programme. The remaining 210 blocks (information just tabled - Annex 1) represent 17% of the existing stock of public rental housing. Of these, 76 do not require strengthening work. Work on strengthening 125 was completed by mid-1996, and one more block will be completed in the near future. We are conducting a detailed appraisal of the remaining 8 blocks to see whether strengthening work is required.

Twenty-five contractors were involved in the construction of the 411 above-mentioned blocks. Three (Annex 2) are still on the Housing Authority’s approved list of contractors for new works as they fulfill the criteria set by the Housing Authority. As a general practice, the Housing Authority closely monitors the performance of contractors, and will remove from the list any contractor who fails to perform satisfactorily.

16

Annex 1

List of the 210 sub-standard public housing blocks with average concrete strength less than the designed strength (as at 31.10.96)

Estate Block Name Handover Date

1 Chai Wan 1 * 9 1965-66

2 Chai Wan 1* 13 1965-66

3 Chai Wan 1 14 1965-66

4 Chai Wan 1 15 1965-66

5 Cheung Sha Wan 1 1963 -64

6 Cheung Sha Wan* 2 1963 - 64

7 Cheung Sha Wan* 3 1963-64

8 Cheung Sha Wan 4 1963 -64

9 Cheung Sha Wan* 5 1963 -64

10 Cheung Sha Wan 6 1963 -64

11 Cheung Sha Wan* 8 1963 -64

12 Cheung Sha Wan 9 1963 -64

13 Cheung Sha Wan 10 1963 -64

14 Cheung Sha Wan* 11 1963-64

15 Cheung Sha Wan* 12 1963 - 64

16 Cheung Sha Wan 14 1963-64

17 Choi Hung cm MEI 1962-64

18 Choi Hung Kam W.an 1962-64

19 Fuk Loi WING NING 1963

20 HingWah2* Fung hing 1976

21 Ho Man Tin 1 1972-75

22 Ho Man Tin 2 1972-75

23 Ho Man Tin 3 1972-75

24 Ho Man Tin 4 1972-75

25 Ho Man Tin 6 1972 - 75

26 Ho Man Tin 8 1972-75

27 Hung Hom* 1 1956

28 Hung Hom* 2 1956

29 Kwai Chung 1* 21 1964

30 Kwai Chung 1 22 1964

31 Kwai Chung 1 * 24 1964

32 Kwai Chung 1 ♦ 25 1964

33 Kwai Chung 1 * 26 1964

34 Kwai Chung 1 27 1964

35 Kwai Chung 1* 35 1964

36 Kwai Chung 2 12 1964-65

37 Kwai Chung 2* 13 1964-65

38 Kwai Chung 2* 14 1964-65

39 Kwai Chung 2 15 1964 - 65

40 Kwai Chung 2* 18 1964-65

41 Kwai Fong 3 1972-73

42 Kwai Fong* 6 1972-73

43 Kwai Shing East 12 1972

44 Kwai Shing West 1 1976-77

45 Kwai Shing West 6 1976 - 77

17

Estate Block Name Handover Date

46 Lai King 1 fung King 1975-76

47 Lai King* 2 WO KING 1975 - 76

48 Lai King 4 Ming King 1975 - 76

49 Lam Tin 1* 2 1967

50 Lam Tini* 3 1967

51 Lam Tin 1 * 4 1967

52 Lam Tin 3* 7 1967-70

53 Lam Tin 3- 8 1967 - 70

54 Lam Tin 3* 10 1967-70

55 Lam Tin 3 15 1967 - 70

56 Lei Muk Shue 9 1971-72

57 Lei Muk Shue* 10 1971-72

58 Lei Muk Shue 11 1971 -72

59 Lei Muk Shue 12 1971-72

60 Lei Yue Mun Road 1 1962-63

61 Lei Yue Mun Road 2 1962-63

62 Lei Yue Mun Road 3 1962-63

63 Lei Yue Mun Road* 4 1962 - 63

64 Lei Yue Mun Road 5 1962-63

65 Lei Yue Mun Road 6 1962-63

66 Lek Yuen FookHoi 1976

67 Lek Yuen FuYu 1976

68 Lek Yuen wing shut 1976

69 Lower Ngau Tau Kok 1* 3 1967-68

70 Lower Ngau Tau Kok 1 4 1967-68

71 Lower Ngau Tau Kok 1 5 1967-68

72 Lower Ngau Tau Kok 1 * 6 1967- 68

73 Lower Ngau Tau Kok 1* 7 1967-68

74 Lower Ngau Tau Kok 2* 9 1969

75 Lower Ngau Tau Kok 2* 10 1969

76 Lower Ngau Tau Kok 2* 11 1969

77 Lower Ngau Tau K “>k 2* 12 1969

78 Ma Tau Wai Hibiscus 1962

79 Ma Tau Wai Magnolia 1962

80 Ma Tau Wai ROSE 1962

81 Mei Tung MH TUNG 1974

82 North Point West Court 1957

83 PakTin* 4 1969

84 Pak Tin 5 1969

85 PakTin* 6 1969

86 Sai Wan Centre terrace 1958-59

87 Sai Wan East Terrace 1958-59

88 Sai Wan* South Terrace 1958 - 59

89 San Fat 1 1971

90 San Fat 2 1971

91 San Fat 3 1971

92 San Fat 4 1971

18

Estate Block Name Handover Date

93 Sau Mau Ping 1 19 1968 - 69

94 Sau Mau Ping 1 20 1968-69

95 Sau Mau Ping 1 28 1968-69

96 Sau Mau Ping 1 29 1968-69

97 Sau Mau Ping 1 31 1968-69

98 Sau Mau Ping 2 21 1971

99 Sau Mau Ping 2 22 1971

100 Sau Mau Ping 2 23 1971

101 Sau Mau Ping 2 24 1971

102 Sau Mau Ping 2 25 1971

103 Sau Mau Ping 3 35 1967-68

104 Sau Mau Ping 3 37 1967 - 68

105 Sau Mau Ping 3 38 1967 - 68

106 Sau Mau Ping 3 39 1967-68

107 Sau Mau Ping 3 40 1967-68

108 Sau Mau Ping 3 41 1967 - 68

109 Shatin Pass 1 1967 - 68

110 Shatin Pass 2 1967 - 68

111 Shek Kip Mei* 3 1954-79

112 Shek Kip Mei* 15 1954-79

113 Shek Kip Mei* 16 1954-79

114 Shek Kip Mei 17 1954 -79

115 Shek Kip Mei 22 1954 - 79

116 Shek Kip Mei* 27 1954-79

117 Shek Kip Mei* 28 1954-79

118 Shek Kip Mei* 29 1954-79

119 Shek Kip Mei* 30 1954-79

120 Shek Kip Mei* 34 1954-79

121 Shek Kip Mei* 36 1954-79

122 Shek Kip Mei* 37 1954-79

123 Shek Kip Mei* 38 1954-79

124 Shek Lei 1 1 1968

125 Shek Lei 1 2 1968

126 Shek Lei 1 3 1968

127 Shek Lei 2* 8 1966-71

128 Shek Lei 2* 9 1966-71

129 Shek Lei 2* 10 1966 - 71

130 Shek Lei 2* 11 1966 - 71

131 Shek Lei 2 12 1966-71

132 Shek Lei 2 16 1966 - 71

133 Shek Pai Wan 1 1966-68

134 Shek Pai Wan 3 1966 - 68

135 Shek Pai Wan* 4 1966-68

136 Shek Pai Wan* 5 1966-68

137 Shek Pai Wan 6 1966-68

138 Shek Pai Wan* 7 1966 - 68

139 Shek Yam 4 1968

19

Estate Block Name Handover Date

140 SoUk* AZELEA 1960 - 63

141 SoUk Begonia 1960-63

142 SoUk Camelia 1960 - 63

143 SoUk Gladiolus 1960 - 63

144 SoUk Larkspur 1960-63

145 So Uk LILAC 1960-63

146 SoUk LOTUS 1960-63

147 SoUk* Marigold 1960-63

148 SoUk* Orchid 1960-63

149 So Uk Peony 1960-63

150 SoUk Willow 1960-63

151 Tai Hang Tung* TungFu 1956

152 Tai Hang Tung* tung Wan 1956

153 Tai Hang Tung* TUNG WING 1956

154 Tai Hang Tung* TUNG WO 1956

155 TungTau 1 22 1965-66

156 Tung Tau 1 23 1965-66

157 Uh Chau Street 4 1969

153 Un Chau Street 5 1969

159 Un Chau Street 6 1969

160 Un Chau Street 7 1969

161 Upper Ngau Tau Kok 2 1967-68

162 Upper Ngau Tau Kok 3 1967-68

163 Valley Road 1 1964-65

164 Valiev Road* 2 1964 - 65

165 Valley Road 3 1964-65

166 Valley Road* 4 1964-65

167 Valiev Road* 5 1964-65

168 Valley Road 6 1964-65

169 Valley Road* 7 1964-65

170 Valley Road 8 1964-65

171 Valley Road* 9 1964-65

172 Valiev Road* 10 1964-65

173 Valley Road* 11 1964-65

174 Valley Road* 12 1964-65

175 Valley Road* 14 1964-65

176 Valley Road* 15 1964-65

177 Valley Road* 17 1964 - 65

178 WahFu Wah Cheung 1968-70

179 WahFu Wah Chun 1968-70

180 WahFu Wah Hing 1968 - 70

181 WahFu WahKee 1968-70

182 WahFu Wah Kwong 1968-70

183 Wah Fu Wah Lok 1968-70

20

Estate Block Name Handover Date

184 Wo Lok CHEUNG ON 1962 - 63

185 Wo Lok FUON 1962 - 63

186 Wo Lok Hing On 1962-63

187 Wo Lok Kin On 1962 - 63

188 Wo Lok ManOn 1962 - 63

189 Wo Lok Ping On 1962-63

190 Wo Lok Tai On 1962-63

191 Wo Lok yeeOn 1962-63

192 Wong Chuk Hang* 1 1968-73

193 Wong Chuk Hang 2 1968-73

194 Wong Chuk Hang 5 1968-73

195 Wong Chuk Hang 7 1968 - 73

196 Wong Chuk Hang 8 1968 - 73

197 Wong Chuk Hang 10 1968 - 73

198 Yau Tong* 1 1964-65

199 Yau Tong 2 1964-65

200 Yau Tong* 3 1964-65

201 Yau Tong 8 1964-65

202 Yau Tong 11 1964-65

203 Yau Tong* 12 1964 - 65

204 Yau Tong* 14 1964-65

205 Yau Tong 15 1964-65

206 Yau Tong 16 1964-65

207 Yuen Long* 1 1966-67

208 Yuen Long* 3 1966-67

209 Yuen Long* 4 1966-67

210 Yuen Long* 5 1966-67

Total 210

* Strengthening work has not been done on these 84 blocks. 76 of them do not require strengthening work. We are conducting a detailed appraisal of the remaining 8 blocks to see whether strengthening work is required.

21

Annex 2

Contractors involved in building housing blocks with sub-standard concrete strength before 1981

1. Hing Lee Construction Co Ltd

2. WanHin&CoLtd

3. Wing Hong Contractors Ltd

End

22

Overhead traffic signs in Hong Kong * * * * ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Choy Kan-pui and replied by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Gordon Siu, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

At present, directional traffic signs (such as those indicating right turn, left turn and straight ahead ... etc.) are painted on the road surface and mostly in positions at a short distance from traffic lights and road junctions. Will the Government inform this Council whether, in order to enable motorists to have sufficient time to see these signs and to change lanes at an appropriate distance from traffic lights, it will consider:

(a) adopting the practice in other countries (e.g. the United States) of displaying such signs in overhead positions; and

(b) erecting such signs on roads at a further distance, say 20 to 30 metres, from traffic lights and road junctions?

Reply:

Mr President.

In Hong Kong, overhead signs are already used in expressways and major trunk roads to guide motorists to the appropriate lane. Their use in congested urban areas poses difficulties because such signs, particularly those over the nearside lane, would be obscured or distracted by large advertisement signs. However, where suitable sites can be found, road-side signs are erected in addition to directional signs on the road surface.

As regards directional arrows painted on the road surface, in order to give motorists as much advance notification as possible before road junctions, normally two directional arrows are painted in each lane. On roads with a speed limit of 50 km/h. the first directional arrow is located 15m from the stopline, and the second, 45m from the stopline. For difficult locations where there are queues of stationary traffic at traffic lights, a third directional arrow is provided, at 90m from the stopline.

For high-speed roads, larger directional arrows are painted at 25, 75 and 150 metres from the stopline.

End

23

LRT traffic accidents

*****

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Samuel Wong and replied by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Gordon Siu, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Is the Government aware of:

(a) the total number of traffic accidents involving Light Rail Transit (LRT) trains, and the number of persons who have sustained serious injuries or died as a result of such accidents, since the commencement of the LRT service in 1988;

(b) the total estimated cost of the losses arising from damage caused to locomotives and carriages of LRT trains in the above traffic accidents; and

(c) whether the Government and the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation have taken steps to prevent the occurrence of accidents at level crossings, and whether consideration has been given to reducing the number of such crossings?

Reply:

Mr President,

Since the Light Rail Transit (LRT) system commenced operation in September 1988. there have been 187 accidents involving Light Rail Vehicles (LRV). These accidents resulted in 376 casualties, including passengers of other vehicles. All together 23 persons were killed, 84 persons were seriously injured and 269 persons sustained slight injuries.

A total of $3 million has been spent on repairs and maintenance arising from these accidents. In July 1994, a container lorry collided with a LRV, resulting in substantial damage to the LRV. Subsequently the LRV had to be written off at its original cost of $7.5 million. Part of the expenses incurred have been recovered from insurance or damages claimed from the other parties involved in the accidents.

24

The Administration has been making a conscious effort in conjunction with the K.CRC to promote road safety at LRT junctions. A working group, comprising representatives from the KCRC, Transport Department, the Police, Territorial Development Department, and the Hong Kong Railway Inspectorate, meets once every three months to consider issues concerning vehicular and pedestrian safety at LRT junctions. So far, they have introduced over 200 safety improvement measures at 87 locations. Moreover, since October 1994, one of my Deputies has convened an Inter-departmental Committee to co-ordinate efforts to improve safety at LRT junctions and to enhance publicity and public education. After all these efforts, the numbers of such accidents have shown a downward trend.

Since June this year, we have installed Red Light Cameras at 13 junctions in the LRT area to discourage drivers from jumping lights and to collect evidence for the prosecution of offenders. The Police have given high priority to taking enforcement action at LRT junctions against drivers who disobey traffic light signals.

In 1997, Transport Department will undertake a traffic study in the Yuen Long and Tuen Mun districts. This study will, inter alia, look into the safe and efficient operation of the LRT, particularly at road junctions and will examine the need for, and explore the feasibility of, grade separating some of the busier junctions, taking into account land, environmental and other constraints.

End

Provision of NT medical services closely monitored

*****

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

Question:

In view of the continuing growth in population in the West New Territories district in recent years, does the Government know whether the medical services currently provided by Tuen Mun Hospital and Pok Oi Hospital are able to meet the demand for such services in the district over the next ten years; if not, what measures does the Hospital Authority have to tackle the problem?

25

Reply:

We are monitoring closely the impact of projected population growth on the provision of medical services in the New Territories West region, particularly in Yuen Long and Tin Shui Wai where new residential developments are concentrated.

The Hospital Authority has established a mechanism to assess regularly the projected supply of and demand for public hospital beds in Hong Kong. A major review will be conducted after each population census and by-census, while a minor review will take place in between. The last major review was completed in 1992, leading to the construction of North District Hospital and Tsueng Kwan O Hospital, and the next exercise will be carried out once results of the 1995 by-census is known.

The opening of North District Hospital with 618 new beds in early 1998 will serve not only to strengthen the quality and scope of medical services for residents in this region, but also to improve the networking between Tuen Mun Hospital, Fanling Hospital and Pok Oi Hospital. In the longer term, we are working with the Hospital Authority on a proposal to redevelop Pok Oi Hospital with expanded facilities to meet the needs of the growing population.

Although the number of hospital beds can be regarded as a useful indicator, the optimal mode of service delivery is influenced by other factors such as demographic structure, disease pattern and development of medical technology. Prevalent use of day surgery and ambulatory care, for instance, has reduced the need for hospital admission in the interest of patient comfort, and led to a decreasing trend of hospital beds in many developed countries.

End

Measures to improve fire and ambulance services in NT

*****

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

Question:

At present, many villages located in the remote parts of the New Territories do not have direct access roads for fire engines and ambulances in the event of an emergency, and this has resulted in rescue efforts being delayed. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

26

(a) of the number of cases in which rescue efforts have been delayed due to the above problem in each of the past three years;

(b) of the difference between the time taken for fire engines and ambulances to reach the scene of accidents in the areas mentioned above and the arrival time in other areas; and

(c) whether there are any short-term or long-term measures to reduce the difference in arrival times mentioned in the answer to (b) above, so that the lives and properties of residents in the villages located in the remote parts of New Territories can be better protected?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The number of cases in the past three years where the Graded Response Time (GRT) for fire calls, and the target travelling time for emergency ambulance calls could not be met due to long distance travelling in the rural areas in the New Territories (NT) is as follows -

Year No. of fire calls where GRT could not bejiicl As % of total no. of lire calls No. of emergency ambulance calls where target travelling time could not be met As % of total no. of emergency ambulance calls

1994 70# 6.28 314* 0.37

1995 125 5.77 253 0.21

1996 61 4.17 234 0.23

(up to Oct)

# Data only available since September 1994

* Data only available since April 1994

(b) The average time taken for the fire engines to respond to fire calls in the rural areas in the NT in the past three years exceeds the GRT by 6.9 minutes due to long distance travelling; whereas the average time to respond to fire calls in other built-up areas in the NT exceeds the GRT by 2 minutes due to the same reason. As regards the emergency ambulance service, we do not have such statistics readily available.

27

(c) Measures adopted by the Fire Services Department to improve the fire and ambulance services in the NT include -

Fire.Serv.iges

To better serve the rural areas in the NT, we plan to commission new fire stations in Tuen Mun and Sham Tseng within the next three years and to procure two additional Light Pumping Appliances in 1997/98 to enable land crews to gain access to remote areas where access by major fire appliances is difficult or impossible.

Ambulance Services

We plan to deploy six additional Ambulance Aid Motor Cycles (AAMC) in the NT to cover Tin Sum, Ma On Shan, Tai Po, Lei Muk Shue, Tin Shui Wai and Kwai Chung in the next two years. AAMC can respond to emergency cases at locations inaccessible by a standard town ambulance due to road configuration. A new ambulance depot at Sham Tseng will be completed in 1997/98. The department will then re-deploy the ambulance fleet with the new resourcesto the new ambulance depot to further improve the emergency ambulance cover in the NT by reducing the travelling time.

End

Radon concentrations in public places within international standards *****

Following is a question by the Hon James To Kun-sun and a reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

According to the findings of a study by the City Polytechnic University to measure the levels of radon daughter (which is a potentially lung-cancer-causing radioactive substance) in Mass Transit Railway (MTR) stations in the territory, 23 out of the 31 underground MTR stations have levels of radon daughters exceeding the average level in the world. The study has also found that workers engaged in overnight maintenance work on MTR tracks are exposed to a level of radiation one-sixth higher than the level to which ordinary people are exposed. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council whether:

28

(a) it will consider introducing statutory control on radon levels in public places; and

(b) it is aware of any steps taken by the Mass Transit Railway Corporation to re-assess the quality of air in MTR stations in the light of the findings of the study; if so, what measures the Corporation will adopt to improve the air quality in MTR stations?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) May I first of all say that it is the view of the MTRC that the findings of the City Polytechnic University study referred to by the Hon Member are open to dispute, for example, the measurements for health assessment were taken from only one station at day time and considerable extrapolation and assumptions were made to apply them to night workers. Indeed, the MTRC h?s sufficient misgivings about the report that it would publish a rebuttal shortly in the Journal of Radiological Protection. For the Administration's part, we do not consider it necessary to introduce statutory control on radon levels in public places at this point in time. Surveys on radon levels conducted by the Environmental Protection Department in 1993 and by the Labour Department in 1995 indicated that radon concentrations in public places including MTR stations are within well established international standards and will not have adverse health impacts on the public and MTRC maintenance workers. Nevertheless, we have distributed publicity pamphlets, and will continue to educate the public, on measures to prevent udon pollution.

(b) The MTRC follows the Labour Department and the Environmental Protection Department's regulations and guidelines on the protection of the health and safety of its staff. A survey undertaken by the Labour Department in 1995 indicated that the radon exposure for MTRC maintenance workers was about 0.01 to 0.022 Working Level, which is very low against the recommended Working Level of 0.05 adopted by the International Commission of Radiological Protection. There is therefore no need to take action to reduce radon levels in the railway premises although MTRC will continue to regularly review the situation.

End

29

Vehicle emission standards reviewed regularly ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon David Chu Yu-lin and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning* Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the air pollution problem in the territory, will the Government inform this Council whether it will:

(a) review the vehicle emission standards which have been in use for over ten years; H

(b) take steps to tighten the enforcement of the vehicle emission standards; if so, what the details are; and

(c) consider hiving off the Environment Protection Department from the Planning, Environment and Lands Branch and upgrading the Department to a separate policy branch so as to give the new set-up greater independence and flexibility in the redeployment of its resources towards tackling the air pollution problem, particularly in the control of emissions from motor vehicles?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The assertion in part (a) of the question is not true. On the contrary, the emission standards for new vehicles are reviewed regularly arid have been progressively tightened in tandem with the latest international standards and technological advancement. The standard for petrol vehicles was last tightened in 1991, which required new vehicles registered after 1992 to use unleaded petrol and be fitted with a catalytic converter. The standard for diesel vehicles was also upgraded in 1995 in line with the Euro I standard. The more stringent Euro II standard, which was adopted in Europe in October 1996, will be implemented on large diesel vehicles in April 1997. We are now reviewing the standard for small diesel vehicles. In addition, in-use vehicles on the road are required to meet a smoke emission standard of 60 Hartridge Smoke Unit (HSU) to ensure that they are maintained to a satisfactory condition. Since 1995, vehicles manufactured in or after 1990 are required to meet a more stringent test standard of 50 HSU.

30

(b) Under the Road Traffic (Registration and Licensing of Vehicles) Regulations, vehicles unable to comply with the specified emission standards will not be registered. On the other hand, in-use commercial vehicles, and private cars over six years old, have to attend annual inspections during which they have to pass an emissions test before they can have their licences renewed by the Transport Department. Moreover, emission of excessive smoke is an offence under the Road Traffic (Construction, and Maintenance of Vehicles) Regulation, which is enforced by the Environmental Protection Department and the Police. We are now working on measures to further strengthen the emission inspections and to increase the penalties on repeated offenders.

(c) We do not support transforming the Environmental Protection Department into a separate policy branch. Like other government departments, the Environmental Protection Department already enjoys a large degree of autonomy and flexibility in deploying resources to meet its priorities and to ensure effective and efficient implementation of

environmental protection policies. Given that the prevention and abatement of pollution requires concerted efforts in planning and land controls, there is a clear need to ensure that environmental protection work is integrated with planning and land administration procedures, and that environmental control is co-ordinated with land and building control. The existing integrated set-up of the Planning, Environment and Lands Branch provides this essential linkage and collaboration at the policy level and it would not be cost effective to establish a dedicated branch for environmental protection.

End

Conditions of issue of HK permanent ID cards ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

Following are a question by the Hon Henry Tang Ying-yen and a written reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, at the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council whether any person 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?

31

Reply:

Mr President,

. *» ■ > I

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.

Not all Hong Kong permanent residents have to have resided in Hong Kong for ‘ seven years to acquire the right of abode status: Hong Kong British Dependent Territories citizens (HKBDTCs) are Hong Kong permanent residents regardless of how long they have resided in Hong Kong. HKBDTCs who acquired this status through being bom in Hong Kong or by descent, for example, have this status at birth. Thus they are issued with Hong Kong Permanent Identity Cards even if they have not resided in Hong Kong for seven years.

The number of Hong Kong Permanent Identity Cards issued in each of the past five years is as follows:-

1992 421,571

1993 458,979

1994 500,961

1995 503,702

1996 (January-October) 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 have resided in Hong Kong for less than seven years.

End

32

Speed limits for roads in Hong Kong *****

Following is a question by the Hon Chan Wai-yip and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Gordon Siu, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

There are many types of vehicles and in great numbers, running on the limited number of roads in the territory. Furthermore, the capacity of many roads, particularly expressways, is not fully utilised because of the imposition of speed limits on such roads. For example, private cars are subject to a speed limit of 70 kilometres per hour when running along Tuen Mun Highway, and this has resulted in private cars not being able to make effective use of Tuen Mun Highway. In this connection, will the Government inform this council whether:

(a) it will follow the practice in other places and impose different speed limits on different types of vehicles using expressways; and

(b) it will carry out a pilot scheme to assess if the measure mentioned in (a) above will result in an improvement to the utilisation of the territory’s expressways?

Reply:

Mr President,

When setting speed limits for roads in Hong Kong, the Administration has regard primarily to safety and takes into consideration a number of factors including :

(a) the length of the route;

(b) the topography and geometric design of the route;

(c) the road surface characteristics;

(d) the accident history; and

(e) the speed generally adopted by vehicles using the route.

33

For most roads in the urban areas where pedestrian flow is heavy and junctions are closely spaced, a speed limit of 50 km/h applies. For trunk roads and expressways, a higher speed limit is allowed and it ranges from 70 km/h to 100 km/h depending on the topography, design etc. However, medium goods vehicles, heavy goods vehicles and buses are not allowed to travel in excess of 70 km/h on these roads.

As to the suggestion of increasing the speed limit to increase the capacity of roads, it should be noted that permitting higher vehicle speed would not necessarily increase road capacity as a longer distance between vehicles is required for safe braking. The speed limit for Tuen Mun Highway is set at 70 km/h for safety reasons having regard to the hilly terrain with extensive cuttings and fillings influencing the alignment and gradient of the road.

End

Transfer between public hospitals ♦ * * * *

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 of:

(a) the number of patients transferred from one public hospital to another as well as the number of such transfers in each of the past two years; and the reasons for such transfers; and

(b) whether an electronic data transfer system has been adopted in public hospitals to facilitate the transfer of patients' data between hospitals in a prompt and reliable manner?

34

Reply:

Transfers between public hospitals are mainly caused by the need for patients to receive specialised medical treatment or make use of sophisticated equipment which cannot be provided in every hospital. Furthermore, introduction of service networking and hospital clustering has facilitated tertiary referrals as well as patient movements between acute and convalescent hospitals for the continuity of care. A total of 66,453 and 60,851 transfers were made during the 12-month period ending October 1995 and 1996 respectively. Since any one patient might be involved in more than one transfer, the corresponding number of patients were 63,319 and 58,101

Although medical records are not yet fully computerised, we are capable of transferring electronically some basic information between hospitals, such as patient demographics, brief diagnostic data and medical history. Progressive development of information technology applications will soon enable more clinical information to be transferred electronically, both within each hospital and between different hospitals. While these developments are taking place, paper medical record is still currently the major medium of capturing patient information. Over the past few years, the Hospital Authority has been reforming its medical record management system to improve efficiency and reliability.

End

Placement fees paid by Filipino workers ♦ * * * *

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

Question:

It is learnt that some Filipino workers have paid exorbitant placement fees to certain recruiting agencies which supply foreign labour for the Airport Core Programme projects. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether any complaints have been received in this regard; if so, of the number ot complaints which have been investigated and the number of prosecutions, if any, which have been instituted as a result of such investigations?

35

Reply:

Mr President,

The operation of employment agencies in Hong Kong is subject to the Employment Agency Regulations under the Employment Ordinance. The fees which these employment agencies may collect from job applicants are prescribed in Part II of the Second Schedule of the Regulations. These Regulations prohibit employment agencies in Hong Kong from charging job registrants any amount more than that prescribed under the Schedule. The Labour Department has the responsibility to monitor the operation of the local employment agencies in accordance with the Regulations.

The Labour Department has so far not received any complaints from imported Filipino workers on the new airport sites about being charged excessive placement fees by employment agencies in Hong Kong. It will continue its enforcement efforts to ensure that all employment agencies in Hong Kong comply with these Regulations.

At the same time, the Government has. through its liaison efforts, built up a close rapport with authorities of the labour exporting countries over the regulation of labour exportation activities. In the case of Filipino workers, the Labour Department has maintained regular contacts with the Philippines Consulate for this purpose. We will continue with such efforts to ensure that all imported workers are sufficiently aware of their rights and benefits, and that any problems can be resolved promptly through co-operation.

End

Provision of acute beds in public hospitals

*****

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:

Is the Government aware of:

(a) the current provision of acute beds in public hospitals on Hong Kong Island; and

36

(b) the provision of acute beds in each of the following hospitals upon becoming fully operational:

(i) Prince of Wales Hospital;

(ii) Tai Po Nethersole Hospital;

(iii) North District Hospital;

(iv) Tseung Kwan O Hospital?

Reply:

The current provision of acute beds in public hospitals on Hong Kong Island is 4,239 as at 31 March 1996. The information requested for each of the four individual hospitals is as follows -

Hospital No of Acute Beds

Prince of Wales Hospital 1.294

Tai Po Nethersole Hospital 642

North District Hospital 618

Tseung Kwan 0 Hospital 458

End

"Permanent vegetative state" in newborn babies rare *****

Following is a question by the Hon Leung Yiu-chung and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the occurrence of cases in public hospitals involving babies lapsing into a ’vegetative’ state because of deficiency of oxygen in the brain during birth, does the Government know:

(a) of the number of such cases which have occurred in public hospitals in the past three years and their causes; and whether these causes are related to the staffing establishment for obstetric services in public hospitals or the fact that a woman in labour is allowed to choose between natural delivery and delivery by caesarean section;

37

(b) how the incidence of such cases in the territory compares with those in other countries; and

(c) what measures have been put in place in public hospitals to prevent newborn babies lapsing into a ’vegetative’ state?

Reply:

The term "persistent vegetative state" is often used to describe patients with sustained, complete loss of cognition whilst wake/sleep cycles and other automatic functions remain relatively intact. This condition can either follow acute, severe bilateral brain damage or develop at the final stage of progressive dementia.

Severe brain damage among newborn babies occurs most commonly as a result of birth asphyxia. Although statistics are not steadily available, it is extremely rare for "permanent vegetative state" to be caused by birth asphyxia and as far as we can ascertain, no such cases was reported by public hospitals in the past three years.

There is no recognised indicator for the comparison of "permanent vegetative state" as a result of birth asphyxia. The indicator most widely used internationally to compare the health status of newborn babies is the Infant Mortality Rate. At less than 5 per 1,000 live births in recent years, the Infant Mortality Rate in Hong Kong ranks among the best in the world.

Ail obstetric units in our public hospitals are managed by qualified professional staff, including midwives, to ensure quality patient care. Additional resources will be allocated by the Hospital Authority to individual units through the annual planning process, where necessary, to meet prevailing operational needs. The Authority is also refining its manpower indicators with a view to reflecting more accurately the casemix and patient acuity prevalent in different hospitals.

Unless fully justified on medical grounds, natural delivery is advocated for child birth in public hospitals. When caesarean section for the delivery is needed, advice will be given to the patient whose prior consent must be obtained.

Many conditions such as premature labour, multiple birth, prolapsed umbilical cord, severe maternal bleeding, maternal hypertension and toxaemia may give rise to birth asphyxia. About 70% of these complicated pregnancies can be detected in advance and the risk minimised with good fetal monitoring as well as perinatal care. All public hospitals with obstetric units have established practices and procedures to prevent or reduce the occurrence of birth asphyxia.

End

38

Daily average turnover at Hong Kong Futures Exchange ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

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:

Is the Government aware of:

(a) the daily average turnover of stock futures since their introduction at the Hong Kong Futures Exchange (HKFE); and

(b) if the turnover mentioned in the answer to (a) above is lower than expected, whether consideration will be given to asking the HKFE to cease stock futures trading?

Answer:

(a) Since the introduction of stock futures contracts in the Hong Kong Futures Exchange (HKFE) in March 1995. the average daily turnover up to end October is 11.3 contracts.

(b) The HKFE did not indicate the level of turnover it expected at the time of the launch of stock futures contracts. The HKFE is licensed under the Commodities Trading Ordinance and is subject to regulation by the Securities and Futures Commission. So long as the HKFE complies with the regulatory requirements, it is free to decide whether to continue or discontinue the trading of any products on the Exchange. So far, the HKFE has no plans to discontinue trading of stock futures contracts.

End

39

Wastewater samples from hotels *****

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

Question:

Regarding the collection of wastewater samples from hotels by the Environment Protection Department (EPD) for the purpose of obtaining information that is needed in determining the rate of trade effluent surcharge, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the criteria adopted by the EPD for selecting the location of the wastewater outlet in hotel premises for taking wastewater samples; and

(b) whether the Government will consider allowing hotels to connect different wastewater outlets to a single outlet so that a joint sample reading of the different categories of wastewater can be taken?

Reply:

Mr President,

1 have to clarify at the outset that the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) collects wastewater samples from hotels for the purpose of enforcing the Water Pollution Control Ordinance (WPCO), and not for determining the Trade Effluent Surcharge (TES) which is handled by the Drainage Services Department. Samples taken by EPD are used to assess the instantaneous quality of the wastewater discharge and monitor compliance with the conditions of the discharge licence issued under the WPCO. The samples cannot be used by the Drainage Authority (DSD) for purposes related to the TES scheme because they may not conform to the requirements of the Technical Memorandum promulgated under the Sewage Services Ordinance, which requires composite samples collected over a longer period, whereas samples taken for enforcing the WPCO are grab samples.

40

(a) The criteria adopted by the EPD in selecting the location of a sampling point for taking wastewater samples for enforcement of the WPCO are that the sample taken must be from the wastewater which is discharged to the sewers or waters; the location of such sampling point is set out in the discharge licence issued under section 14 of the WPCO. In determining the location of such sampling point, the Department will take into account practical requirements such as accessibility, convenience and minimal interference in the activities of the discharger. Section 29 of the WPCO provides that the licencee may appeal within 21 days of the issue of a licence if he is not satisfied with the sampling points identified in the licence.

(b) While combining wastewater streams into one discharge is not prohibited for discharge to sewers or waters, dilution of the discharge to achieve compliance with licence conditions is prohibited by the Technical Memorandum under the WPCO. If dilution occurs due to combination of wastewater streams, the wastewater streams will be controlled separately under the Ordinance. If the premises produces a wide range of different types of wastewater, the decision to control the combined wastewater streams as a single discharge will be taken on a case by case basis taking into account the prohibition against dilution.

t

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, November 21,1996

Contents Page No,

Messages from the Queen and Foreign Secretary........................... 1

Governor's statement on fire at Garley Building......................... 1

Governor's question-and-answer session in LegCo......................... 4

Transcript of the Chief Secretary's media session................... 18

Tsim Sha Tsui fire update.............................................. 19

Tsim Sha Tsui fire round-up............................................ 20

Building Dept sets up special teams for Yau Ma Tei fire................ 23

Labour Department to offer assistance to fire victims.................. 24

JLG reaches agreement on HK-Japan Air Services Agreement............... 24

Localisation of UK enactments on Carriage by Air....................... 25

Consumer price indices for October released............................ 26

Week to show what government does for you.............................. 32

Some 50 officers attend workshop on Ramsar Site conservation........... 33

/Transfer of...

Contents

Page No.

Transfer of VMs from Whitehead Detention Centre today........................ 35

District school liaison committee to inaugurate.............................. 35

November issue of Monthly Digest of Statistics now on sale................... 36

Garrison to open gates to public for the last time........................... 37

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations......................... 38

1

Messages from the Queen and Foreign Secretary * * * * *

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, has received messages of sympathy for the victims and families and friends of the Garley Building fire from Her Majesty the Queen and the Foreign Secretary, the Rt Hon Malcolm Rifkind. The text of the messages are as follows:

Message from Her Majesty the Queen:

"Please convey my heartfelt sympathy to all those who lost members of their families or friends, or who suffered injury, in yesterday's tragic fire. My thoughts are with you at this difficult time.

Elizabeth R"

Message from the Foreign Secretary:

"I was appalled to hear the news of the tragedy in Kowloon. On behalf of the British Government I send you our deepest sympathy.

Malcolm Rifkind"

End

Governor's statement on fire at Garley Building

*****

Following is a statement by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, on the fire at Garley Building, Jordan in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

I would like to begin this afternoon by making a statement and taking your questions on the appalling fire that occurred in Jordan yesterday evening. If there is time, then we can go on later to discuss my recent visit to Europe to lobby for visa free access and the question of human rights reporting. But it is obviously the tragedy which took place in Hong Kong last night which is on all our minds today.

2

Let me tell the Council what we understand to be the latest position. I am sure that the Council will understand that it is difficult at present to be precise about the figures. We are still trying to identify bodies and relate those who were reported missing to the bodies that can be identified. But the position as I left to come to the Legislative Council this afternoon was that 37 people have been confirmed killed. There may be two other confirmed fatalities. Seventy-eight people have been injured. Thirty-nine people have been reported missing. But this number may include some of those whom we already know have been killed, but whose bodies have not yet been identified. As Honourable Members will understand there are considerable difficulties in identifying the bodies that have been found, many of which have been very badly burned. The Fire Services Department, assisted by forensic experts from the Police, are in the process of combing the entire building. It will not be until this lengthy process is completed that we will be in a position to issue final casualty figures.

This is plainly a terrible tragedy. I would like to extend on behalf of the community our deep sympathy to the families of all of those who have lost loved ones. Let me pay tribute to Senior Fireman Liu Chi-hung, who lost his life battling courageously to save the lives of others.

Let me pay tribute also to the great bravery and skill of our emergency services in tackling this disaster. The Fire Service, the Police, the Ambulance Service, the Government Flying Service, the Auxiliary Medical Services, the Hospital Authority and the St John’s Ambulance worked tirelessly to fight the fire and rescue the victims. Their efforts are still continuing. I wish to pay a special tribute to the Fire Services Officers who have behaved with the bravery and dedication which we know and expect from them. I visited the scene of the fire yesterday evening as well as the hospitals treating the injured; and the Chief Secretary has been there this morning. We saw for ourselves the scale of the disaster and the difficulties facing the emergency services.

Our task now is to do everything we can to assist the victims of this fire and to help the families of those who have lost their lives. I have instructed that no effort should be spared to make sure this happens. A press conference will be held at 4 pm this afternoon by the Director of Fire Services, the Director of Home Affairs, the Director of Social Welfare and a representative of the Hospital Authority to provide as much information as possible on the fire, and what we are doing in its aftermath.

We must also make absolutely sure that we all learn lessons from this tragedy, and do everything we can to minimise the risk of it ever happening again in our crowded, congested city. The Director of Fire Services will conduct an immediate investigation into the fire. This investigation will try to establish the cause of the fire and the reasons why so many people died and were injured. Its preliminary findings will be available within two weeks, and we will make public everything that we are legally able to make public at that stage. In the light of these findings, I will decide whether to establish a full Commission of Inquiry chaired by a Judge.

3

Obviously what happened last night underlines the importance of one thing -the importance of this Council passing as rapidly as possible the legislation which we have put to it, and which it has quite properly been considering thoroughly, to tighten up fire safety regulations. The Fire Safety (Commercial Premises) Bill was put to this Council on 29 May this year. When this legislation is in place, it will allow our Fire Services to take action to improve fire safety in places like Garley Building. Those improvements will help to retard the rapid spread of fire on the lower floors of a building like the one in this incident. The Bill also contains measures to improve emergency escapes and means of access for fire fighting and rescue. These will allow the Fire Services speedier access to such buildings. I am not criticising this Council for examining this Bill in detail. It is an important Bill. But let us now act as quickly as possible to put this legislation on to the Statute Book so we can start to implement it on the ground. We will obviously, in the light of this incident and the investigation into it, urgently wish to see whether a further Bill is required, for example to extend the scope of the new legislation specifically into office premises.

Before I take your questions, let me make a final plea. I do hope that in the coming days all of us will act with the greatest possible sensitivity towards the injured, and towards the families of those who have been injured or killed. They have quite enough to deal with already without undue and unwanted intrusions into their grief.

Hong Kong is a great city. It has achieved some of the greatest economic successes known to any city over the last half century. But our life is still marred by too many preventable tragedies. Trying to put in place the sort of regulations which can and do save lives is not a hindrance to Hong Kong's competitiveness, not an intolerable addition to the costs of business in Hong Kong, not unnecessary intrusion or interference by Government. It is merely a recognition of what is required in any prosperous and civilised society tc give its citizens the protection in their daily lives which they deserve and which they have a right to expect.

End

4

Governor's question-and-answer session in LegCo * ♦ * * ♦

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

Mr Eric Li (in Chinese): Mr Governor, I am sure all colleagues in this Council would join me in supporting you for the efforts you have made in this appalling fire and we would also like to join you to pay tribute to the emergency services, including the Fire Services officers. And also to the injured and to the families of victims, we would also like to express our sympathy. But to fulfil my duty as a member of this Council I have to ask a difficult question and I hope the Governor could answer it.

A simple question. Now, last night, Mr Governor, you went to the scene of the fire. Did you join in the supervision of the fire-rescue work?

Governor: No, certainly not. The job is one for the Operational Commander on the spot. When I visited the scene of the fire it, I think, appeared to those who had been fighting it that all those who were alive had been got out of the building. When I arrived the fire was still being fought but I think I am right in saying that there was no indication of any people who were still alive who needed to be rescued.

But I am bound to tell the honourable gentleman that I was impressed, as ever, by the quiet competence and bravery of those who briefed me about what had happened and who told me what they thought the position was.

Mr Eric Li (in Chinese): Mr President, Mr Governor went to visit the scene of the fire; he also gave encouragement to those involved in the rescue operation and I could fully appreciate that. But, today, I have heard some comments from the public, i.e. towards the evening last night, when there were the highest number of casualties, that was the time when many dignitaries went to visit the scene, so that was the time when there were the highest number of casualties and fatalities. Now, I do not know if that is true but, Mr Governor, could you conduct a thorough investigation to see if that is a fact?

And also, in future, under similar circumstances, would you be able to ensure that when dignitaries visit the scene of the fire they would not be in any way hindering the rescue operation? Because maybe officers would have to brief you and that would distract them from their rescue operations, so could you lay down some clear principles or guidelines for that purpose?

5

Governor: 1 think that the honourable gentleman needs to be careful with this line of questioning. Let me tell him what my own position was and remains. I was kept informed during the evening of the tragedy, and shortly after having gone out to dinner was telephoned with the news of an escalation in the number of those who were apparently injured, was told that the fire itself was under control, that there were no other people waiting to be rescued in the building, and it was suggested that I should go to the hospital and perhaps the scene of the incident. Since I was told that the rescue of people inside the building was no longer at issue I decided to go to the scene of the tragedy before going on to the hospital.

I would under no circumstances go to a tragedy or, for example, go to a stakeout by the police, if there was an operation being carried on at that time which could affect whether or not people’s lives were saved. I think if there were any dignitaries who went - to borrow the honourable gentleman’s phrase - any dignitaries who went to the incident earlier, it would have been in the line of duty. When I arrived at the scene, for example, the Secretary for Security, quite properly, was there, since it is the men and women for whom he is responsible who were actually dealing with the incident. But he certainly would not, any more than I would, seek to intervene in operational matters.

I think there were several visits later on by other people to the hospital. And, as the honourable gentleman will know, the Chief Secretary herself visited this morning. But I am not aware of any case of the operation being hindered by dignitaries at the scene of the accident before I was there. And I repeat what I said to the honourable gentleman about the timing of my arrival.

Mr James To (in Chinese): Mr President, I'd just like to ask the Governor this, because yesterday and today it seems that in his opening statement he said that the relevant legislation is now with the LegCo and that is the Fire Safety Commercial Premises Bill. And it is said that the Bill will have a direct applicability on buildings similar to the one involved in the fire disaster. I would like to get a clarification from the Governor.

Actually, as a matter of fact, for the Bill in its present form no mention has been made of regular commercial premises, apart from the five specified uses. For instance, for the regular office premises, actually the Bill has no specific application on those. And so what the Governor has said, actually, was kind of misleading to the public in the sense that the present legislative proposal is now being scrutinised by LegCo, but that is not actually the case. I would like to get clarification from the Governor on this.

6

Governor: Well, let me give that clarification and tell the honourable gentleman why what I’ve said isn’t misleading the public.

Why have we introduced the Bill? We introduced the Bill, as the honourable gentleman will know, following the tragic fire in the bank at Shek Kip Mei in January, 1994. The legislation will cover premises where the fire safety measures no longer meet current standards. The investigation into that fire in 1994, showed that certain types of premises, including banks, off-course betting centres, jewellery and goldsmith shops, supermarkets, department stores and shopping arcades presented particular risks because of their size and the large numbers of people passing through. This legislation has been carefully developed to address precisely those risks. The legislation covers commercial premises. The fire safety measures necessary for such places are not necessarily the same as those for say business or residential buildings and we'll review the need for new legislation to cover other types of premises in the light of the investigation report, as I said in my remarks.

So I do believe that since the bottom floors of the building in question are commercial premises they would’ve fallen within the scope of the legislation.

Mr James To (in Chinese): Mr President, I would like to follow-up. ... must clarify that the Bill will cover five premises but not regular commercial offices. I would like to ask the Governor this; does he feel that, actually we don't have to wait until the investigation results are out, actually over the years, all along the Administration knows that for old commercial buildings such problem already exists. I don't want to go back too far, for instance Mr Samuel Wong, sitting right next to me, years ago has written to the Administration calling for action in this field. I would like to know whether we necessarily have to wait until the investigation is completed and whether we have to wait until the enquiry is completed, or can the Administration start considering it right now?

Governor: Let me be extremely restrained in my reply. While we've been discussing this legislation, I'm not aware that the Government has been pressed to get on with things more rapidly. I'm sure, perfectly understandably, the pressures on the Government have been to make sure that we're not demanding too much of commercial premises in a short time. Perhaps what we need to do with issues like this is to strike a sensible balance. We want to put in place proper regulations. We want to do it as rapidly as possible. Of course, it’s quite proper for this Council and others to be able to comment on the adequacy of the regulations we’re seeking to put in place but I don’t think we should be in a position in which before tragedies happen we want too much discussion and after tragedies happen we don’t want any. What we have to do is to make sure that we put in place sensible arrangements which are properly considered and which can prevent tragedies like this happening.

7

Miss Margaret Ng: Mr President, I would respectfully join the Governor in his appeal to the community not to intrude into the grief of the families of these fire victims. However, I am also concerned that because this is a commercial building and people caught in it are working wage-earners, and therefore I am concerned that these families may be in some immediate financial worries. Has the administration been doing anything to make discreet enquiries as to whether ... might be brought to the families of these victims, the families concerned?

Governor: Can I thank the honourable lady for the first remark that she made which I am sure the whole Council would endorse and which I hope will be taken account of by everyone in the community, by all sections of the community, over the coming days and weeks. It is an important issue. I am not going to be any more specific than that but I hope people will take what I have said and what the honourable lady has said to heart.

Secondly, she is entirely right about the importance of not only counselling in providing psychological support but also counselling in offering financial support if it is required. A package of assistance is available from emergency relief funds including: injury grant, disability grant, burial grant and death gratuity. We can also provide assistance to families in need with child-care. So there is a range of financial support which is available and I can assure the honourable lady that we will be going into a little more detail about that in the press conference that will be held at 4 o'clock.

1 think there is a real problem in any community when a tragedy like this happens and it is a problem which I have discussed today with the Chief Secretary, and that is how you make sure that the relatives of those who may have been injured or killed, who may have a family member missing, are kept as informed as possible in circumstances where information is partial, is not complete and is changing all the time as you learn more about a tragedy which has taken place. It is very difficult to get it right but we have to try even harder than we are at the moment.

Dr Leong Che-hung: ... in grief, just like you, by what has happened in Garley Building yesterday, and 1 am sure all members of this Council would join with you and also be very appreciative of your concern for not only the victims but also the staff that have been working very hard to do their best. What we should really be looking for is lessons that can be learned so that, hopefully, such accidents or incident won't happen again.

8

Governor, you mentioned that there was a bill introduced into this Council sometime in May, which if it had taken effect could well have prevented to a certain extent such incidents as happened yesterday. I do hope that, Governor, you are not implying that had this bill been passed by this Council earlier this would not have happened. Because I am sure you would understand that there is a certain machinery in this Council on scrutinising bills and that every bill introduced into this Council is as important as any other one and that members of this Council have been working very diligently to achieve that certain direction. And I have to say this simply because I do represent the House.

Governor: Can I remind the honourable gentleman what I said because I went out of my way to avoid, I hope, sounding as though I was putting any criticism on the Council for quite properly considering this measure thoroughly. I said:

"The Fire Safety Commercial Premises Bill was put to this Council on 29 May this year. When this legislation is in place it will allow our Fire Services to take action to improve fire-safety" etc, etc.

And I said earlier that the Council had been quite properly considering the bill thoroughly. Let me also remind the honourable gentleman what I said in response to his honourable friend.

"1 think we have to strike a nice balance between before something happens thinking we have got all the time in the world and after it happens thinking we must rush at it."

This is not a moment when any of us should be criticising one another on these matters but we have got to work together to get a decent properly considered set of regulations in place.

Mr Albert Chan (in Chinese): Mr President, Mr Governor, on this tragic incident I'm sure all members are very concerned about it and on the part of the fire services and others involved in the rescue, we do pay tribute to their bravery.

Now on the fire fighting itself, I think members of the public and the media saw something from TV reports and they inevitably would ask some questions. Now I have no intention to query the way the fire sendees handled the incident, but we are in a very crowded city and we are talking (about) a major catastrophe. Now do they have enough equipment, are they properly equipped? I have some doubts. I'm not querying them but 1 have some doubts. I could see there were many people waiting to be rescued next to windows. They had to wait a long time before they were rescued and also we saw only a small number of hydraulic platforms put in action. And also for a long time we could see there was fire spreading and w'e could see the flames burning and it was a long time before we saw hoses being directed at them.

9

So the impression we gathered was that we had a Government with a huge reserve but was it providing enough equipment to our fire services, so that they could do their job in a congested city like ours, especially when they are involved in high rise rescue operations? So are they properly equipped? Will that be included in the investigation, the review so that in future when there is a similar incident our fire services will be properly equipped to handle such an incident?

Governor: The honourable gentleman mentioned the scenes on television and of course, one reason why this tragedy will have made such an impact on so many people is because of those graphic pictures that people saw on television of people waiting to be rescued and of the brave operations of the fire services and others.

I think it’s dangerous, and I’m glad the honourable member avoided the trap, I think it’s dangerous for any of us until there’s been a full investigation to jump to conclusions about operational issues about the availability of equipment and so on.

But let me make two points to the honourable member; the fire was reported, I'm advised, at 4.48 pm and the fire services were at the scene within three minutes. They sent in all 86 appliances and 460 firemen to the scene. In addition they provided 75 ambulances and 236 ambulancemen. I asked the Director of Fire Services, specifically, this morning whether they had enough equipment, enough appliances, on the spot and he believed that they had had enough on the spot. But obviously that is something which he will want to review and others will want to review when they look at the detail.

I can assure the honourable gentleman that if it’s clear from this enquiry that we need to spend more on equipment, on appliances, then we will have no hesitation in doing so and 1 think I can speak with the authority of having the Financial Secretary next to me. You can't cut costs or cut corners when you're faced with a tragedy like this.

Can I add something that I should’ve said when I was asked a question, quite properly, by the Chairman of the House Committee. The Chairman represents the medical functional constituency and I saw many of his members, some of whom I'm sure voted for him, some of whom may not have voted for him. working last night. I'd seen similar scenes after the tragedy involving the children at Sha Tin a few months ago. I didn't, ah, the honourable gentleman has left. I didn't stay long enough to get in the way of those who were seeking to bandage the injured, to give them the initial cosmetic care they needed for bums or certainly to get in the way of those who were working very hard in the intensive care unit, but ever}’ honourable member, the honourable member saw it for himself as well, every honourable member who’d been in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital last night and I'm sure the same was true in Kwong Wah and elsewhere, would have been very impressed by the number of those working, by their dedication and hard work, by their energy and professionalism. We have, in Hong Kong, a medical service of which we can be very proud.

10

Mr Albert Chan (in Chinese): Thank you Mr Governor, for your reply and I would also like to thank the Government for giving priority to resources consideration if it is proven necessary in the provision of fire services equipment.

Now in the course of the review, that may take some time and it will be some time before we have the findings. If in this review the fire services could first of all complete section on equipment, then would the Government first of all consider that instead of waiting for the completion of the entire report?

Governor: Well, if it becomes apparent very quickly in the review that there is a real problem of equipment, we'H of course have to address that very rapidly. But I think what we first of all need to do is to get the report, within the next fortnight. It may well be the case that, as happened with the Lan Kwai Fong tragedy at New Year 1992/93, it may well be the case that we will feel and the community will feel that there should be a full commission of enquiry under a judge. But I thought it was right, first of all, to get the facts as quickly as possible and if those facts suggest courses of action which we should take very rapidly, then we won't hesitate to do so.

Mrs Selina Chow (in Chinese): Thank you Mr President. First of all I would hope that the Governor would know this, that is about the Bill: there is a Bills Committee and we are sitting on that committee and this very morning the Chairman or the Convenor to the Bills Committee, Mr James To, concerning the branches and departments that work with us on the Bill, we have paid tribute to them because this is a ven* complex Bill and within a short period of time we managed to resolve many problems and we managed to come to some sort of a decision. And 1 just want to let you know, Mr Governor, that we did not have too much discussion before, we had an appropriate level of discussion and now the problems have been resolved satisfactorily. And 1 hope that by telling you thisyou would become more reassured.

About last night, just now the Governor said that when he was there last night there was an Operational Commander. I would like to know who that was. The reason why I ask this is this: because in the past when we had emergencies there was the Emergency Co-ordination Centre which was supposed to co-ordinate all disaster relief efforts because these efforts probably would involved more than one government department. And ever since June this year, it seems that the Emergency Co-ordination Centre is renamed the Emergency Monitoring and Support Centre.

I would like to ask the Governor this question - last night the disaster happened - whether the Emergency Centre played any part? If not, who was in overall charge of the entire rescue operation?

11

I am not trying to pick on the heads of the departments that were involved in the rescue operation, I am sure all of them have done their very best, but in a major disaster of this kind, inter-departmental efforts have to be co-ordinated by some party. I would like to know who was responsible for that last night. And if there was no overall co-ordinator last night, would you in the upcoming review consider setting up such a co-ordinating mechanism so that in future - heaven forbid of course - if a similar disaster occurs and inter-departmental efforts are called for, a co-ordinator will be there to co-ordinate all the efforts?

Governor: Can I first of all say once again that I think the honourable member and I are at one in recognising that important pieces of legislation cannot simply be ushered through the Legislative Council on the nod. they require thorough deliberation and discussion in the Council. As I said to the honourable gentleman, I think we need to strike a sensible balance.

On the second point, perhaps I can let the honourable lady know exactly how this emergency was handled in terms of departmental co-ordination in due course. It is obviously one of the issues that will come out of the investigation. We do regularly review our emergency arrangements and earn out tests of them from time to time. We did so only recently. So 1 think we are capable of handling emergencies pretty well, although we can always do better.

In this particular case, when I arrived on the scene the Director of Fire Sen'ices and the Secretary for Security were both on the spot. There were senior police officers on the spot and of course the District Officer but the actual fire-fighting was under the command of one of the Director of Fire Sen ices’ senior deputies. I do not think there was a problem of co-ordination between the various emergency sen ices but I can let the honourable lady have a detailed reply to that in due course.

Mrs Selina Chow (in Chinese): In the past when these disasters occurred, everyone knew that all government departments would do their utmost to rescue people but very often the problem arose out of the issue of co-ordination. 1 hope that in the upcoming review you will really concentrate on this particular point because, really, we would want very good co-ordination so that there would not be any chaos.

And also, in terms of information dissemination, there'll also be co-ordinated efforts being made so that everyone will feel assured. I hope that in your upcoming review you are going to concentrate on this point because in the past comments have been made.

12

Governor: Those are important issues that we must look at but can I just say one thing to the honourable lady about information. I think one reason why awareness of the number of fatalities was so limited earlier in the evening was that nobody had provided anything like accurate estimates of those who were missing. It was only, I think, very late that the full figures for those who were missing were brought to our attention.

Another difficulty with accuracy of information is the one I mentioned in my statement - the problems of identification of very badly burnt bodies. But we must learn from our experiences in, of course, the hope that we do not need to deal with these things again but in human society that, alas, is very rarely the case.

Dr Yeung Sum (in Chinese): Thank you, Mr President. Just now a number of Members asked about the fire incident and of course the community is very concerned about it. But now I'd like to change subject.

I want to talk about the performance of the police. Recently there were two incidents. Firstly, I'd like to ask the Governor this; is there a policy that in future when people go to protest at the Japanese Consulate, be they reporters or any members of the public, that it will be limited to a group of 20? If that's the case, would it not stand in the way of reporters covering the incident?

And the second incident; recently there were about 20/30 protesters outside the Convention and Exhibition Centre, but the police actually deployed some 300/400 officers to the scene. 1 want to know if the Chinese Government ever made a formal request to you to take such a precaution?

And secondly, would you not think that in the whole incident the police overreacted, because the police actually charged into the crowd leading to some commotion?

Governor: I’d like to take those two points separately and dwell a little longer on the second of them, making as I do so, one or two points which I hope the Council and some outside the Council will take to heart over the coming months, which may be occasionally difficult.

The first question, the Japanese Consulate. Police officers responsible for protecting the Consulate must decide how best to carry out their duties, having regard to the circumstances in the building, for example what's happening there, the physical constraints imposed by the building and the mood of those who are seeking, for instance, to petition in the building. They can't be entirely unmindful of what's happened in that building in the past.

13

1 think, if I may say so, that if members of this Council want this city to retain its international reputation, to retain its links with other communities overseas, then they should be aware of the importance of protecting the consular facilities of other communities here in Hong Kong. I don't wish to relate this comment to conduct by any honourable members, or to any particular incident, but I do think that it's particularly important for those who make the laws to abide by the laws in a full hearted spirit.

Now let me turn to the second of the honourable gentleman's questions. The policing of every event while I'm Governor will be entirely a matter for the Hong Kong police and it will be a matter for the judgement of the Commissioner of Police, operating within the law, operating according to the Bill of Rights, exactly how any operations under his command are carried out. I have not, am not today, and will not give the Commissioner of Police any instructions about how to do his job. We have an outstanding police which is extremely well led and as far as I'm concerned, that is the end of the matter. I wouldn't instruct the Commissioner of Police how to do his job, any more than I would seek to intervene in the affairs of the Attorney General's Department and his independent decisions.

Now let me go on from that. It is the case that before the meeting at the Convention Centre we had representations, as one might have expected, from Chinese officials about the importance of security during the visit to Hong Kong of Mr Qian Qichen and Director Lu Ping. 1 hope that they will realise that they don't really need to advise us of matters like that. Provided we know when guests are coming, we will do everything possible to look after their security. But it's not surprising that they got in touch with us because exactly the same would have happened if we'd been having the Secretary of State from the United States or the Canadian Prime Minister or other distinguished visitors. They would've got in touch with us as well, but we would of course of said to them you can trust us, you can leave it to us and that's exactly what we say to representations from China.

So any policing of any demonstration over the coming months will be determined by our police, operating under their own command and not being subjected to political influence or political pressure from anyone.

One last point, I very much hope that people in Hong Kong will continue to exercise their freedoms in the mature and responsible way which has characterised expressions of public concern, sometimes public grief, sometimes public anger, over the years. I think that the rest of the world should be impressed by the mature and moderate and restrained and responsible way in which a community which has faced some very substantial issues in the last few years, has discussed those issues and occasionally has protested and demonstrated about those issues.

14

I hope we can continue to earn that reputation for moderation over the coming months, just as much as I hope passionately that nobody in the future will ever seek to constrain the rights and freedoms which are given people under the Bill of Rights and apparently are given them under the Basic Law.

Dr Yeung Sum (follow-up question in Chinese): Thank you, Mr President. The Governor mentioned the Japanese Consulate. In fact those involved made a public apology afterwards and I think that was appropriate enough. I also agree that the Consulate is a special place. I am sure in future the members of the public would pay more attention to that point.

Just now you mentioned the Bill of Rights and future policing to be the job of the police and you also appealed to the public to remain calm and cool when they engage in demonstrations. But, Mr Governor. I hope you would see this: if there is excessive use of force by the police that also does not bode well for a free society like Hong Kong because we already have the Bill of Rights. So I hope you won't just give a lopsided view. Because I was involved in demonstrations and protests myself and I always knew how to conduct myself but I hope w hen you look at this issue you will look at both sides of the issue.

The Police have taken a lot of video-tapes of the incident and they have plenty of tapes on that. So, Mr Governor, if there is nothing wrong, fine. But at least try to learn a lesson from that, just like you want to learn a lesson from the way the fire incident was handled just now. I think that is only a fair request. So please go through all the video-tapes taken by the police. If you do not have time ask someone you trust, ask your deputy to look at the tapes. But the way they treated the petitioners, they actually barricaded them and people could not even go to the toilet. There were three layers of police officers. So please take a look at the tapes.

I agree with you that we have the Bill of Rights, we are an open society and we must exercise restraint when we demonstrate but at the same time, 1 hope you will look at the other side of the coin. I want you to see whether the police overreacted in the case. If not, then it is fine. So would you not take some time to look at those tapes?

Governor: I will certainly consider that suggestion by the honourable gentleman but I do not believe that looking at the tapes would affect what I have said about the Commissioner and the police.

If I can add one point. I greatly respect the dignified way and the eloquent way in which the honourable gentleman makes points about which he feels passionately strongly. And some of those points we share. I think that his leadership should help to ensure the moderation and responsibility which I have mentioned.

15

I hope that some of those who advise Chinese officials and some of those who seek to do so on a more permanent basis, apparently, will advise Chinese officials on how to encourage moderation and restraint in Hong Kong.

I think some members of this Council are taking curious decisions about how best to convey that advice but I dare say that is a matter which they will be able to live with and their consciences, presumably, will be able to live with.

Mr Tsang Kin-shing (in Chinese): Thank you, Mr President. First of all I would like to praise the Governor, the CS and the Secretary for Security for what they did in the fire rescue operation and also they were there on the scene in order to boost the morale of the rescue personnel and this is something very commendable. In a civilised humane society, officials of the Administration would do just that.

Now I would like to turn to the topic of political development. Mr Governor, in the past few years you have promoted democracy in our election. However, in a forum which is called District Administration 15 year Anniversary, the Director of Home Affairs Department, Madame Lau, said publicly that appointed members actually are very good because they are willing to put in effort, they are willing to put in money. Now we are moving closer and closer to 1997, 1 would like to know whether the administration is making a change in its direction? It’s moving closer towards Beijing and it's trying to bring back the appointment system and turn the clock back?

Governor: No, that's certainly not the administration's policy. When we first proposed to have wholly elected district boards and municipal councils, or pretty well wholly elected, I remember being told that this would produce disasters in the districts and in the City and the New Territories. One of those many disasters which are much advertised as bed-mates of democracy but haven't appeared to show up. I go round the district boards with great regularity and they seem to me to be in extremely good spirits and doing an extremely good job.

As it happens, I was fortunate enough to be able to entertain at lunch yesterday, all the Chairmen of the district boards and we discussed some of their problems with Shelley Lau, who has done a marvellous job in increasing the enthusiasm with which the District Boards work together and promote grass roots representative Government. If the Honourable Member were to look a little to his left, he would see somebody else who was able to share my hospitality yesterday.

And let me add one thing to the Honourable gentleman. I saw Shelley Lau in the middle of last night at the hospital and I saw her this morning having clearly been up all night, and I saw her at the Sha Tin disaster, the fire on the hill, and I've seen her again and again helping the families of the children who were burnt on that occasion and I won't hear a word against Shelley Lau.

16

Mr Tsang Kin-shing (in Chinese): So the Governor said that Madame Shelley Lau did a lot of service for the fire victims, but that was her job. However, what she said and what she advocated was that the appointed members were wealthy and I’m really worried that after 1997, only wealthy people can be members. Now you have put together an electoral package that is based on one person, one vote. However, one of your subordinates is advocating that. Is it that you are losing power and your subordinates are not listening to you anymore and you cannot direct them anymore? And is it that your subordinates are trying to move closer to the new sovereign power?

Governor: Well, I can't think that if one was trying to move closer to the new sovereign power you would make speeches extolling the democratic credentials of billionaires and millionaires. How would that move you closer to the future sovereign power?

To be serious, I haven't seen Shelley Lau's speech. If she was commending the work that, in the past, was done by many appointed members of district boards then I'd join her in that. If she was commending the work done by appointed members of municipal councils, 1 would commend her in that. But I'm sure, like me, she recognises the important developments in grassroot democracy which have taken place in the last few years. And as for the suggestion that she was only doing her job, well she was doing her job in a sense, but she happens to be one of those people who does her job 25 hours a day and I'm extremely proud to have her in my team and any Chief Executive after 1997, who has a few Shelley Laus in his team will be equally lucky.

Mr Liu Sing-lee (in Chinese): Mr President, on dangerous slopes, I know the Government has some statistics, so my question is: does the Government have any statistics to show for multi-storey buildings like the Garley Building for instance? Do you have any statistics on such dangerous buildings like the Garley Building or buildings even more dangerous than Garley? Do you have some statistics of this sort so that in future when a bill is passed into law you will be able to target these buildings in your action plan?

Governor: I think, and I believe it is fairly fundamental to the bill, we have statistics and information about the age of buildings and that will help us bring the provisions of the bill into operation in sequence. But I do not think we have comparable statistics to the ones we have on dangerous slopes. But I will look at that and see first of all whether I am right. If not, I will let the honourable gentleman know. Secondly, if I am right I will see whether there is anything we should do about it.

17

Mr Liu Sing-lee (in Chinese): There are many modem cities in the world with such raging inferno cases and then they always learn from their experience and take remedial measures to prevent a recurrence of similar incidents. So would you take reference of their measures? Although your report will be focused on this incident but would you come up with some comprehensive preventive measure to prevent any more infernos?

Governor' Yes As I said earlier, we must see what lessons can be learnt from this appalling tragedy and lake what measures we can All of us know that it is impossible in this world to prevent all tragedies but there are some tragedies which society should be able to do more to prevent. There are some tragedies this society should be able to do more to prevent

I very much salute the work that a number of honourable members in this I cgislative ( ouncil have done, for example to increase health and safety at the place «>l work We are still trying to catch up there with things that perhaps should have been in place a little earlier

As for fire prevention, there is more that we can do. more that we must do. and I hope that the future of this great city will not be marked and marred quite as frequently by tragedies which should be prevented in a civilised, successful, prosperous and decent community

hnd

18

Transcript of the Chief Secretary’s media session ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The following is the transcript of the media session given by the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, after seeing the injured persons and relatives of the deceased at Queen Elizabeth Hospital this (Thursday) morning:

Question: Could you just explain what the latest situation is?

Chief Secretary: First of all, I would say that we all deeply affected by this fire which affected so many people, particularly I would like to extend my sympathy to the deceased families. I have also just been to the scene of the fire to understand the current situation. The Director of Fire Services has now established two working groups, particularly to investigate the reasons for the fire and in particular why the fire spread so very, very quickly and affected so many people. I also just now visit those who have been affected by smoke inhalation or otherwise affected by this fire. Fortunately, the doctors tell me that of the 34 currently in this hospital, 20 can expect to be discharged from hospital by the week's end. There will be only 10 for need to remain for slightly longer. The other 30 who are in Kwang Wah Hospital are fortunately affected to a lesser extend. I hope they will make a very, very speedy recovery. Of course, we will on the basis of the findings, even preliminary findings from the two working groups, wc will be in particular wishing to establish what lessons can be learnt from this. I’ve also been very concerned for those families whose loved ones are currently situation are still unknown. We will be providing relevant information as soon as possible.

Question: Can you explain how in 1996 with Hong Kong as developed city as it is. how a tragedy like this can still happen, while the fire regulations couldn’t stop something like this?

Chief Secretary: I have to say I cannot explain this at the moment, but this is clearly an area that we will be following of very quickly and in great depth. We want particularly to know what lessons can be learnt from this, if the law is inadequate, what can be done. We know particularly that this building was a pre-1973 building, that is not caught by existing legislation. So clearly one of the areas that wc will be looking at is the need to enforce the statutory conditions, but also whether in the mean time, other steps can be taken to prevent the recurrence of this tragedy

End

19

Tsim Sha Tsui fire update *****

The tragic No. 5 alarm fire which has raged for more than 19 hours and resulted in 32 deaths at Garley Building in Tsim Sha Tsui is still ablaze.

As at 12.30 pm today (Thursday), the total number of persons injured is 79. This includes 11 fire officers.

All-out efforts by government departments concerned to take remedial measures to assist victims and their families is now underway.

On the part of the Social Welfare Department, social workers of the department are now liasing closely with their counterparts at Queen Elizabeth Hopital and Kwong Wah Hospital to assist those admitted to the hospitals and to follow up with families.

Departmental clinical psychologists will be deployed to provide critical incident stress debriefing at 2.30 pm on Saturday (November 23) at the Henry G. Leong Yau Ma Tei Community Centre to victims and family members affected the the fire. They will follow up with those dsicharged.

Meanwhile, family services centre personnel will reach out to the family members of those deceased and those discharged from hospitals.

Appropirate assistance, such as financial aid in terms of burial grants, charitable funds and CSSA, child care arrangements and counselling, will be offered when necessary.

kiic.'.

The department has established links with the Police to ensure information on missing persons be made available to family members. Follow-up actions will be taken by social workers and psychologists.

Affected family members who want to enquire about welfare services may contact the Medical Social Work Unit of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on telephone 2958 7078.

On traffic situation, according to the latest information from the Transport Department, 22 bus routes from Tsim sha Tsui northbound have to re-route via Canton Road; 13 soutbound routes to Jordon and China/HK Ferry Terminal via Shanghai Street and Canton Road; and seven westbound routes via Gascogne Road.

Meanwhile, the Home Affairs Department has also mobilised staff of all District Officers to visit families of the deceased and injured, and is in close liaison with the Social Welfare Department, to render every assistance to those in need.

End

20

Tsim Sha Tsui fire round-up ♦ * * * *

The Fire Services Department has set up two special teams to investigate respectively the cause of the No. 5 alarm fire at Garley Building in Tsim Sha Tsui as well as the reasons why it had spread so fast and caused so many casualties.

Speaking at the press conference on the tragedy this (Thursday) afternoon, the Director of Fire Services, Mr Peter Cheung, expressed his deepest sympathy and extended condolences to the families of the fire victims.

The fire was eventually put out at 1.47 pm today after firemen fought the blaze in extremely difficult conditions for more than 21 hours.

Mr Cheung confirmed that, after thorough searches by fire personnel on the whole building, no further casualties were found so far. The death toll of the fire now stands at 39 (comprising 38 people who had been reported missing and the 36-year-old senior fireman Liu Chi Hung, who died during the fire fighting operation).

Over 50 fire engines and some 300 firemen were deployed to combat the blaze with ambulances shuttling more than 100 times between hospitals and the fire scene for taking casualties to hospitals.

Mr Cheung noted that six fire engines were still on standby at the scene to assist in follow-up forensic searches by the Police.

The Police has set up a Disaster Victims Identification Unit and a Casualty Enquiry Unit to help family members of the fire victims to identify the dead bodies and to answer public enquiries.

Appeal to the victims' family members to provide information to facilitate police identification has also been made.

So far, six out of 39 bodies of the fire victims have been identified by family members. The identities of the rest are still unknown.

Up to 4 pm today, more than 630 public enquiries, including 370 on missing persons, were received by the Casualties Enquiry Unit.

The Buildings Department has also set up two special teams to carry out technical investigations on the building.

21

One team, headed by a Chief Structural Engineer, will identify defects and recommend measures for their removal.

I he second team, headed by a Chief Building Surveyor, will carry out a comprehensive investigation into the cause of the tragedy, focusing on the provision of means of escape and the overall building design standards.

According to the Deputy Director of Hospital Authority (Operations), Dr Ko Wing-man, immediately after notified of the fire, the Hospital Authority activated its disaster contingency plan. Two hospitals - Queen Elizabeth and Kwong Wah Hospital - were alerted.

Additional medical and nursing staff were deployed to standby in anticipation of the large number of casualties.

At the height of the fire, a mobile medical team was despatched to the scene at 6.15 pm yesterday (Wednesday).

At Queen Elizabeth and Kwong Wah Hospitals, additional clinical psychologists from other hospitals were deployed to counsel patients and relatives.

On post-incident assistance, the Hospital Authority had also liaised with its clinical psychology division, the Hong Kong Psychological Society to arrange hotline service to the public who might require counselling service after witnessing the incident.

Meanwhile, all-out efforts are being made by the government departments concerned to assist the victims and their families.

On the part of the Social Welfare Department, its staff, in conjunction with their counterparts of the Home Affairs Department, have contacted victims admitted to or discharged from the hospitals. Their cases are being followed up immediately by staff of the two departments as well as clinical psychologists, in the respective districts where they live.

Visits will also be paid by staff of the two departments to families whose members have been killed in the fire to offer immediate relief and assistance.

A Critical Incident Stress Debriefing will be held at 2.30 pm on Saturday (November 23) at Henry G. Leong Yau Ma Tei Community Centre by clinical psychologists for anyone who might need help after the psychological trauma.

22

Comprehensive Social Security Assistance will be offered to families which may face financial hardship due to loss of a bread winner in the fire.

In addition, financial assistance is available from emergency relief funds and other charitable resources for the fire victims and their families.

The following hotlines have been set up and are now in operation for enquiries of matters relating to the fire:

Hotline Enquiries

Kwong Wah Hospital 2781 5220 casualties of fire

Police’s Casualty Enquiry Unit • 1878 999 casualties of fire

Police's Disaster Victims Identification Unit 2353 5037 identification of bodies

Labour Department 2852 4036 employees' compensation matters

Medical Social Work Unit of of Queen Elizabeth Hospital 2958 7078 welfare services for affected family members

Transport Department 2866 8111 latest traffic diversions and bus sendees affected

Legal Aid Department 2380 0316 application for legal aid

Urban Services Department 2571 7270 2394 6957 special arrangements for cremation and funeral parlour

Post Office 2928 6230 2928 6239 collection of mail by affected shops, companies and residents of the building

End

23

Buildings Dept sets up special teams for Yau Ma Tei fire

*****

The Director of Buildings, Dr Choi Yu-leuk, said today (Thursday) that he has set up two special teams to carry out technical investigations on a Yau Ma Tei building which caught fire yesterday.

While extending his condolences to the relatives of the fire victims, Dr Choi said one team, headed by a chief structural engineer, would identify defects and recommend measures for their removal.

The second team, headed by a chief building surveyor, will carry out a comprehensive investigation into the cause of the tragedy, focusing on the provision of means of escape and the overall building design standards.

The occupation permit of the affected commercial building was issued in December 1975. It has 16 floors and a basement.

Dr Choi said his department had been keeping under review the need for improvements in the administrative and enforcement practices with a view to further enhancing fire safety in private buildings.

”To provide a more strengthened and detailed fire protection approach for new buildings, we have in the last two years completely revised and updated the Code of Practice (COP) for Means of Escape, the COP for Fire Resisting Construction and the COP for Means of Access.

“The three COPs provide a better fire protection assurance to the building owners and occupants, as well as the general public," Dr Choi said.

Regarding the Fire Safety (Commercial Premises) Bill, which is being scrutinised by a Bills Committee of the Legislative Council, Dr Choi said the proposed legislation was a very important safeguard against fire.

"We are aware that certain commercial premises, especially those of 20 to 30 years old, fall short of present-day standards.

"The Bill seeks to remedy the shortfall. If endorsed by the Legislative Council, the Bill will make it easier for us to ensure adequate protection of life and property against fire. Public safety is our prime concern," Dr Choi said.

End

24

Labour Department to offer assistance to fire victims ♦ ♦ * * *

The Commissioner for Labour, Miss Jacqueline Willis, expressed her deep concern and condolences to the families of the deceased in the No. 5 Alarm fire in Tsim Sha Tsui.

The Labour Department has set up a hotline to answer enquiries on employees' compensation matters from relatives and friends of those employees who were injured or killed in the fire.

The hotline number is 2852 4036 and operates from 9 am to 5.30 pm.

Two teams of labour officers from the Employees' Compensation Division went to Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Kwong Wah Hospital this (Thursday) morning to offer assistance to relatives of the deceased employees and other employees who were injured in the fire.

Under the Employees' Compensation Ordinance, injured employees and dependants of deceased employees are entitled to employees' compensation.

The maximum amount of compensation for an employee who is killed in a work related accident is $1,512,000 or 84 months' pay and for those suffering permanent incapacity is $1,728,000 or 96 months' pay whichever is the less.

End

JLG reaches agreement on HK-Japan Air Services Agreement ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The British and Chinese sides of the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group (JLG) reached agreement on the initialled text of the Air Services Agreement between Hong Kong and Japan on November 20, 1996.

The two sides agree that the Hong Kong Government shall under due authorisation formally sign the agreement with its Japanese counterpart.

End

25

Localisation of UK enactments on Carriage by Air

*****

The Carriage by Air Bill with the objective to ensure the continuation of the current civil aviation regime in Hong Kong will be gazetted tomorrow (Friday).

A Government spokesman said: "At present, carriage by air is governed by UK enactments which have been 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 spokesman noted: "The Bill, if enacted, will localise relevant UK carriage by air enactments to ensure the continued application of the three international agreements governing carriage by air and similar provisions relating to non-intemational carriage by air and the carriage of mail and postal packages to the HKSAR after June 1997. The localisation proposals have been agreed in the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group.

"The localization of the relevant UK enactments on carriage by air will preserve the current statutory framework on carriage by air in Hong Kong for post 1997." he added.

The Bill will be introduced into the Legislative Council on December 4, 1996.

End

26

Consumer price indices for October released * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Consumer price inflation remained moderate. As measured by the Consumer Price Index (A), the year-on-year rate of increase was 5.4% in October 1996. This was only slightly higher than the 5.2% increase recorded in September.

The year-on-year rate of increase in the Consumer Price Index (B) at 5.8% in October, was slightly slower than the 5.9% increase in September. The corresponding rate of increase in the Hang Seng CPI was 6.0% in October, which was higher than the 5.6% increase in September.

The Composite CPI, which is compiled based on the combined expenditure pattern of all households, showed a year-on-year increase of 5.7% in October 1996, against 5.6% in September.

The Census and Statistics Department today (Thursday) released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures for October 1996.

A Government spokesman said that the slightly faster year-on-year increase in the CPI(A) in October than in September was partly due to faster increases in the prices of fuel and light (caused by the rise in electricity charges), alcoholic drinks and tobacco, some basic food items as well as some consumer goods.

The slower increase in the CPI(B) in October than in September was mainly due to continued easing in private housing rentals.

As for the Hang Seng CPI, the faster increase in October than in September was mainly due to a faster increase in the prices of outerclothing.

Analysed by component, faster year-on-year increases than the overall average in October were recorded for clothing and footwear (10.6% in CPI(A) and 9.4% in Composite CPI); housing (8.2% in CPI(A) and 8.6% in Composite CPI); miscellaneous services (7.1% in CPI(A) and 6.4% in Composite CPI); fuel and light (6.3% in CPI(A) and 6.4% in Composite CPI); alcoholic drinks and tobacco (6.3% in CPI(A) and 6.2% in Composite CPI) and transport (6.1% in CPI(A) and 5.8% in Composite CPI).

Meanwhile, those components with slower year-on-year increases in prices than the overall average were food (excluding meals bought away from home) (1.4% in CPI(A) and 1.7% in Composite CPI); durable goods (1.5% in CPI(A) and 1.6% in Composite CPI); meals bought away from home (3.4% in CPI(A) and 3.2% in Composite CPI) and miscellaneous goods (4.6% in CPI(A) and 3.9% in Composite CPI).

27

Comparing October 1996 with September 1996, the CPI(A) and CPI(B) increased by 0.3% and 0.7% respectively. The corresponding increases for the Hang Seng CPI and Composite CPI were 1.1% and 0.7% respectively.

Taking the first ten months of 1996 together, the increases in the CPI(A) and CPI(B) averaged at 5.9% and 6.4% respectively over a year earlier. The corresponding increases in the Hang Seng CPI and Composite CPI were 6.6% and 6.3% respectively.

For the three months ended October 1996, the CPI(A) and CPI(B) were, on average, higher by 5.2% and 5.7% respectively over a year earlier. The corresponding increases for the Hang Seng CPI and Composite CPI were 5.8% and 5.6% respectively.

For the 12 months ended October 1996, the CPI(A) and CPI(B) were, on average, higher by 6.1% and 6.6% respectively than the preceding 12-month period. The corresponding increases for the Hang Seng CPI and Composite CPI were 6.8% and 6.5% respectively.

The seasonally adjusted monthly rates of increase in the CPI(A) and CPI(B) averaged at 0.4% and 0.6% respectively during the three months ended October 1996. The corresponding increases for the Hang Seng CPI and Composite CPI were 0.6% and 0.5% respectively.

Further details are shown in Tables 1-2 and Charts 1-4.

More details are given in the Consumer Price Index Report for October 1996, which is available at $37.0 per copy from the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong; or from the Publications Unit of the Census and Statistics Department, 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong. For local and overseas mailings, contact should be made with the Information Services Department, 28th floor, Siu On Centre, 188 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

For enquiries about the indices, please telephone the Consumer Price Index Section of the Census and Statistics Department on 2805 6403.

28

Table 1 Component Consumer Price Indices and Rates of Increase for October 1996

(Oct. 94 - Sep. 95 = 100) Ccmposite CPI

CPI(A) CPI(B) Hang Seng CPI

Index for Oct. 96 % change over Oct. 95 Index for Oct. 9 % change over 6 Oct. 95 Index for Oct. 96 % change over Oct. 95 Index for Oct. 96 % change over Oct. 95

Food 105.8 +2.5 105.9 +2.6 105.3 +2.8 105.8 +2.6

Meals bought away fran heme 106.7 +3.4 106.3 +3.1 105.2 +3.0 106.3 +3.2

Food, excluding meals bought away fran heme 104.6 +1.4 105.2 +1.9 105.7 +2.3 105.0 +1.7

Housing 114.8 +8.2 115.4 +8.3 117.6 +9.4 116.0 +8.6

Fuel and light 108.1 +6.3 107.9 +6.3 108.6 +6.9 108.1 +6.4

Alcoholic drinks and tobacco 109.4 +6.3 109.8 +6.4 109.3 +5.9 109.5 +6.2

Clothing and footwear 118.7 +10.6 120.1 +11.4 112.8 +5.7 117.4 +9.4

EKirable goods 104.1 +1.5 104.5 +2.0 104.4 +1.2 104.4 +1.6

Miscellaneous goods 108.4 +4.6 107.1 +4.0 105.7 +3.0 107.1 +3.9

Transport 109.8 +6.1 109.4 +5.8 108.4 +5.5 109.2 +5.8

Miscellaneous services 112.8 +7.1 111.6 +6.8 108.9 +5.5 111.0 +6.4

All items 109.9 +5.4 110.6 +5.8 110.9 +6.0 110.5 +5.7

Monthly consumer price indices are carpiled on the basis of (a) expenditure patterns of relevant households and (b) prices collected currently in the men th. The expenditure patterns underlying the 1994/95-based ccnsuner price indices are based on those patterns derived f ran the 1994/95 Household Expenditure Survey. The CPI (A) is based on the expenditure pattern of about 50% of households in Hong Kong, which had an average ninthly expenditure of $4,000-$15,999 in 1994/95. The CPI(B) is based cn the expenditure pattern of the next 30% of haisebolds, which had an average monthly expenditure of $16,000-$29,999 in 1994/95. The Hang Seng CPI is based cn the expenditure pattern of the next 10% of households, which bad an average monthly expenditure of $30,000-$59,999 in 1994/95.

Whereas the CPI (A), CPI(B) and Hang Seng CPI are based cn the expenditure patterns of groups of households with different magnitudes of liousehold expenditure, the Carposite CPI is caspiled based on the expenditure pattern of all these households taken together. Thus, while the CPI (A), CPI(B) and Hang Seng CPI show the inpact of ccnsuner price changes cn different groups of households, the Ccnposite CPI shows the ijipact of consumer price changes on the liousehold sector generally.

29

Table 2 Consumer Price Indices and Year-on-year Rates of Change for _________________________October 1995 - October 1996___________________ (Oct. 94 - Sep. 95 = 100)

Year/month CPI(A) CPI(B) Hang Seng CPI Composite CPI

Index Year-on-year rate of change (%) Index Year-on-year rate of change (%) Index Year-on-year rate of change ft) Index Year-on-year rate of change (%)

1995 October 104.3 8.0 104.5 8.4 104.7 104.5 8.4

November 104.3 7.8 104.7 8.1 105.4 8.2 104.7 8.1

December 103.9 6.4 104.6 7.2 104.9 7.2 104.5 7.0

1996 January 104.1 5.8 104.8 6.6 105.1 7.3 104.7 6.5

February 105.4 6.4 105.9 7.0 105.7 7.5 105.7 6.9

March 106.1 6.5 106.4 7.0 106.3 7.5 106.3 7.0

April 107.3 6.8 107.8 7.0 107.5 7.1 107.6 7.0

May 107.1 6.1 107.9 6.6 108.5 6.9 107.8 6.5

June 107.8 6.1 108.3 6.4 109.1 6.6 108.4 6.4

July 108.0 6.1 108.5 6.4 108.6 6.2 108.4 6.2

August 108.2 4.9 108.7 5.5 108.9 5.9 108.6 5.4

September 109.6 5.2 109.9 5.9 109.7 5.6 109.7 5.6

October 109.9 5.4 110.6 5.8 110.9 6.0 110.5 5.7

30

Chart 1 Year-on-year Rates of Increase in CPI(A)

Chart 2 Year-on-year Rates of Increase in CPI(B)

31

End

Chart 3 Year-on-year Rates of Increase in Hang Seng CPI

Chart 4 Year-on-year Rates of Increase in Composite CPI

32

Week to show what government does for you ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Have you ever wondered what is going on behind the walls of all those imposing Government buildings, or about the full range of services offered by the civil service?

If so, you can now easily get the answer through the participation in over 100 activities to be organised by more than 50 government departments during the "Serving the Community Week" from December 1 to 7.

A spokesman for the Efficiency Unit of the Government Secretariat which coordinates the event said today (Thursday) that since the "Serving the Community" programme was launched in late 1992, a great deal of work has been done to engender in the civil service a culture that goes beyond the provision of the bare minimum, i.e. a culture that recognises the public as a customer and treat him or her accordingly.

"Serving the Community Week, which aims to promote the importance of delivering good quality civil service to the community, will help publicise the message further," she added.

The Week starts off with a carnival at Fa Hui Park on December 1, to be officially opened by the Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, and all his Policy Secretaries colleagues.

The carnival will feature a programme of entertainment and 60 game stalls to help publicise the work of Government departments.

Throughout the Week, open days, exhibitions, talks, competitions and training courses will be organised by various departments.

These will include a Cantonese opera and guided tours of a police station by the Police; open days of various community centres and a sand piling competition on the Gold Coast Beach in Tuen Mun by the Social Welfare Department; the launching of a CD-ROM on computer aided learning by the Education Department; and special concerts, together with free entry to the Science Museum and the Museum of Art for schools, by the Urban Services Department.

Service improvements to be announced during the Week include the opening of the first "Postshop" by the Post Office, which offers a one-stop shop for all postrelated things, such as cards, wrapping paper etc.

33

In addition, the Education Department, the Transport Department and the Independent Commission Against Corruption will all be making new Performance Pledges on the standards of service their customers can expect - covering matters as diverse as services to children newly arrived from China to the level of pollution in our road tunnels.

Serving the Community Week is certainly the first of its kind in Hong Kong, and probably the first in the world. ’’Its success will depend on the support of the public at large and all civil servants, including their families and friends,” the spokesman stressed.

Copies of the foil programme of events are available from District Offices. Those who are interested can also call the Serving the Community Week Hotline on 2810 2216, or access to the Hong Kong Government Information Centre web site on the Internet at http://www.info.gov.hk.

End

Some 50 officers attend workshop on Ramsar Site conservation ♦ ♦ ♦ * *

Some 50 officers from various government departments are expected to gain better understanding on the conservation of Mai Po and Inner Deep Bay Ramsar Site by taking part in a workshop held today (Thursday).

This one-day workshop was organised with the main aim of increasing awareness and knowledge of relevant government staff, who will be involved in the implementation of the conservation strategy and management plan of the site.

It would also facilitate the exchange of information on Ramsar issues, international co-operation and the needs for intersectoral planning.

In his welcoming address this morning , the Director of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr Lawrence Lee, stressed that the listing of Mai Po and Inner Deep Bay as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention (Ramsar Site) in September 1995 meant that Hong Kong had taken upon itself the obligations to comply with the requirements under the convention.

34

"These include the formulation and implementation of a planning strategy to promote the conservation of the wetlands within the territory and the development of a management plan and the provision of adequate wardening for the Ramsar Site," he said.

He added that the Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) had commissioned a nine-month consultancy study in May to develop a conservation strategy and management plan for the site.

"The purpose of this workshop, being part of the study, is to promote a better understanding amongst ourselves of the conservation of the Ramsar Site and to provide opportunities for participants to share experience and discuss ideas," he said.

Dr Lee also thanked the counterpart departments of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the Ramsar Bureau, Wetlands International, World Wide Fund for Nature Hong Kong (WWFHK) and the department’s consultant for their contribution to the workshop.

Major presenters of the function included Director General of the Ministry of Forestry, PRC, Mr Zhen Rende; Ramsar Bureau Senior Policy Advisor, Mr Mike Smart; Wetlands International Technical Programme Director, Mr Mike Ounsted, coordinators Mr Chen Kelin and Dr Taej Mundkur, WWFHK Executive Director, Mr David Melville and an AFD assistant director Mr Frank Lau.

They gave talks on objectives of the Ramsar Convention, the implementation of the convention and related issues, the Ramsar Strategic Plan and relevant recommendations, as well as co-operation with Chinese authorities and agencies.

These were followed by discussion sessions which allowed participants to discuss issues related to the Site informally.

End

35

Transfer of VMs from Whitehead Detention Centre today ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

A group of about 1,130 Vietnamese migrants will be transferred from Sections 4 and 6 of Whitehead Detention Centre (WHDC) to the Security Unit of WHDC and Victoria Prison today (Thursday) in preparation for their return to Vietnam under the Orderly Repatriation Programme.

They will go through pre-flight documentation and medical checks prior to their repatriation on November 25 and 28, and on December 3, 6, 10 and 13.

The transfer will be observed by independent monitors.

End

District school liaison committee to inaugurate * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Yau Tsim Mong District Officer, Mr Bart Ireland, will officiate at the inauguration ceremony of Yau Tsim Mong District School Liaison Committee and Logo Design/Colouring Competition prize-presentation ceremony tomorrow (Friday).

The Yau Tsim Mong District School Liaison Committee was established in September by merging the Yau Tsim School Liaison Committee and the Mong Kok District School Liaison Committee. The 71 members are all incumbent headmasters of registered kindergartens, primary and secondary schools in the district.

The committee is aimed at enhancing inter-school relations through community activities. It also maintains close relationship with the District Board and government departments to help promote better understanding.

Twelve winners of the Logo Design/Colouring Competition will be awarded certificates and prizes for their outstanding works.

The inauguration and prize presentation ceremony is sponsored by Yau Tsim Mong District Board. Also officiating at the ceremony will be the Chairman of the Yau Tsim Mong District Board, Mr Chow Chun-fai and a Principal Education Officer, Mr Poon Chung-shing, of the Education Department.

End

36

November issue of Monthly Digest of Statistics now on sale ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

Two feature articles entitled "Statistics on job vacancies for June 1995 to June 1996" and "Involvement of juveniles and young persons in crime" are published in the November 1996 issue of the Hong Kong Monthly Digest of Statistics, which is now on sale.

The article "Statistics on job vacancies for June 1995 to June 1996" presents statistics on job vacancies for June 1995 to June 1996, analysed by major industry sector and by broad level of occupation and skill.

A brief account of the general survey methodology in relation to the collection of data on detailed characteristics of job vacancies is also given.

According to the statistics shown in the article, the total number of job vacancies in the major industry sectors of Hong Kong decreased from some 52,000 to 48.000 between June 1995 and June 1996.

These vacancies were mainly concentrated in the wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels sector, followed by the financing, insurance, real estate and business services sector; the community, social and personal services sector; and the manufacturing sector.

Analysed by major occupation group, "clerks" and "service workers and shop sales workers" were the groups with the largest number of vacancies, while the group "managers and administrators" had the smallest number of vacancies.

The causes of crimes committed by juveniles and young persons have always been a subject of concern to the community. The article "Involvement of juveniles and young persons in crime" aims to give an overview of crimes committed by these people in the past seven years based on data collected by the Royal Hong Kong Police Force through the Integrated Law and Order Statistical System.

"Juveniles" refer to persons who are aged between 7 and 15 and "young persons" refer to those aged between 16 and 20. Various characteristics of these offenders, such as age, sex, type of offence committed and triad affiliation, are analysed.

The Police Superintendents' Discretion Scheme, which allows offenders under the age of 18 to be cautioned for certain minor offences rather than being prosecuted, is also discussed.

37

The November 1996 issue of the Hong Kong Monthly Digest of Statistics is now on sale at $50 a copy. Apart from the above two feature articles, it contains the most up-to-date information on Hong Kong's development regarding economic growth, labour market, inflation and many other social and economic issues.

Purchase of the publication can be made at the Government Publications Centre, ground floor, Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong. The publication is also available for sale at the Publications Unit of the Census and Statistics Department, 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Regular subscription can also be arranged with the Publications (Sales) Office of the Information Services Department on 2598 8196.

End

Garrison to open gates to public for the last time * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Ships, helicopters and assault craft will feature in spectacular action displays when the Royal Navy and the territory's own soldiers, the I long Kong Military Service Corps (HKMSC) open the gates of Stonecutters Island to the public this weekend.

On what will be the last Open Days held by the British Garrison, the two branches of the Armed Services will be mounting a weekend-long programme packed with events on Saturday (November 23) and Sunday (November 24).

Highlights of the weekend will include action displays in the basin of HMS Tamar and a full programme of arena demonstrations by the Motorcycle Display Team from 29 Transport Squadron, Royal Logistic Corps, the Dog Display Team from the Hong Kong Defence Animal Support Unit together with traditional lion and dragon dances.

Music throughout the weekend will be provided by the Band oi the Brigade ol the Gurkhas and the Corps of Drums from 1st Battalion, The Staffordshire Regiment.

38

The final Garrison Open Days are being staged to raise money for the Locally Enlisted Personnel Trust, the charity established by the British Forces to provide funds for Hong Kong Chinese ex-members of the Garrison who may find themselves in need of assistance after 1997. The two-day event will also allow the public access to various units of the military and demonstrate how the Garrison operates.

Also open to the public will be a variety of souvenir shops, games stall and military displays, some of which will provide opportunities for visitors to view and handle selected items of military equipment.

End

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

fime Cumulative change

$ million ihouisj (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2.847 0930 +52

Closing balance in the account 2,899 1000 +52

Change attributable to: 1100 +52

Money market activity +52 1200 +50

LAF today NIL 1500 +30

1600 +52

LAP rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TW1 124.2 *-0.1* 21.11.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/MTRC notes

1 erms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.95 2 years 2811 5.72 100.18 5.70

1 month 4.91 3 years 3910 6.28 100.83 6.05

3 months 4.89 5 years 5109 7.32 103.38 6.59

6 months 4.97 7 years 7308 7.24 102.54 6.88

12 months 5.21 10 years 1610 7.37 102.52 7.14

5 years M503 7.35 102.13 6.93

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $12,624 million

Closed November 21, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Friday, November 22,1996

Contents

Financial Secretary’s transcript............................................ 1

Judgement on AECS’s appeal against localisation............................. 2

Three MOUs signed with Canada..............................................  3

Sino-British Land Commission to meet on Monday.............................. 3

STI makes proposals at Manila APEC Ministerial Meeting...................... 4

First nomination received for DB by-election................................ 5

Legislation to safeguard health and safety of all employees................. 5

$408-million contract for Tung Chung development awarded................... 10

Counselling session for fire victims................................... 11

Twelve per cent growth recorded in insurance industry.................. 11

/Salary indices....

Contents

Page No.

Salary indices for managerial and professional employees................... 13

Value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand in September........................ 16

Sha Chau and Lung Kwu Chau Marine Park designated.......................... 17

Minor amendments to Miscellaneous Ordinances proposed...................... 18

Kwai Tsing arts festival promises to be an instant hit..................... 20

New measures to deter use of duty-not-paid hydrocarbon oil................. 21

Tenders invited for engineering works at treatment plants.................. 21

Tenders for improvements to village in Tsuen Wan invited................... 22

Tenders for building at Repulse Bay beach invited.......................... 23

Applications for HCFCs free quota invited.................................. 23

Tenders invited for mainlaying in Southern District........................ 24

Proposed submarine cable transmission link to Shekou....................... 25

Monitors' report submitted to CS........................................... 25

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations....................... 26

1

Financial Secretary's transcript *****

Following is the transcript of the Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, who spoke to the media this (Friday) afternoon before attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) Economic Leaders Meeting:

Question: Mr Tsang, this will be the last meeting before the handover, will there be any special issues to raise and also can you comment on China's entry into WTO ...?

Financial Secretary: No, the main purpose of the meeting of this occasion is to discuss the individual action plan for trade liberalisation, that will be my main focus and I am sure there will be further discussion on new membership as well and layout the plan for the next Leaders Meeting in Canada, we'll push this Meeting forward. China's accession to the WTO is not on the agenda at the moment. This is certain not something which will be discussed by the leaders at large. But if this matter comes up in any conversation between myself and President Jiang, of course, my point of view , we are wholly supportive of China's application to accede to the WTO, which is important in that China is a very large trading entity and it would be quite wrong for it not to be included in the trade treaty.

Question: ... Hong Kong is slow in the deregulation ...?

Financial Secretary: Deregulation in telecommunication ... in Hong Kong ...?

Question: Yes, in Hong Kong ...

Financial Secretary: Well, Hong Kong telecom market is one of the freest in the world. You are talking about one little franchise which is now in the hands of the Hong Kong Telecom which we all know we are bound until 2006. Before that, it is not a matter for Hong Kong government to override that contract or that franchise. But of course, if the franchisee wishes to discuss with us ways in which we are able to make it more liberal we will certainly be interested.

Qustion: What else are in your agenda?

Financial Secretary: My agenda is quite clearly to focus on what we are going to do and what others are going to do in the comprehensive action plan for trade liberalisation. That will be my main mission. I want to make sure that our trading environment will be free, both of trading goods and trading services and our investment. That was important to us.

End

2

Judgement on AECS’s appeal against localisation ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Court of Appeal handed down this morning (Friday) the judgment on the appeal by the Association of Expatriate Civil Servants (AECS) and the cross appeal by the Government against some of the decisions in the judgment made by the High Court in October 1995 on the Government’s localisation policy.

The judgment concerns 13 matters under appeal by AECS and two matters under cross appeal by the Government.

Commenting on the judgement, the Deputy Secretary for the Civil Service, Ms Sandra Lee said the Government would need some time to consider the implications of the judgment.

"The decisions under challenge were measures taken by the Government to implement its localisation policy. These measures were taken after very careful consideration, taking into account the interests of different groups of officers,” she said.

The Coir, of Appeal has upheld the Opening Up Arrangements currently in place for renew, of agreements and transfer of overseas agreement officers who are permanent residents to locally modelled conditions of service.

"The main thrust of the current localisation policy has remained intact. While ruling seven Government decisions as unlawful, the Court of Appeal has acknowledged that the Government acted in good faith throughout." said Ms Lee.

"We need to study the details of the judgment of the Court of Appeal very carefully and discuss its implications with our legal adviser before formulating and proposing the next course of action."

"There is no suggestion that localisation is in itself unlawful," said Ms Lee quoting the judgment. "We remain committed to the localisation policy of the civil service. As we have done before, we will carefully consider the interest of different groups of officers in proposing any course of action."

End

3

Three MOUs signed with Canada ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Hong Kong and Canada today (Friday) announced that they have reached an understanding to accept the return of their residents who have been determined to be inadmissible to the other place and to help combat illegal immigration.

Commenting on three Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) which were signed today, a Government spokesman said: "We have been informed by the Canadian government that they consider these as an important milestone before they render a decision on whether to offer visa-free access to Canada for qualified residents of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.”

Detailing a uniform set of procedures and practices, two MOUs codify already existing practices under which the Immigration Department of Hong Kong will accept the return of any Hong Kong resident who has been determined to be inadmissible to Canada. In turn, Canada will provide the same courtesy to Hong Kong.

"Under the third MOU, Hong Kong and Canada will further their co-operation in investigating and prosecuting immigrant smugglers and dealers in fraudulent documents," the spokesman said.

"In addition, they will guard against, and thoroughly investigate any abuse of their respective passports and immigration documents, and exchange information on illegal migration and smuggling activities."

The MOUs come into effect immediately.

End

Sino-British Land Commission to meet on Monday ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The two sides of the Sino-British Land Commission have agreed that the Commission’s thirty-third meeting will be held on November 25, 1996. The meeting will review the 1996/97 Land Disposal Programme and discuss the 1996/97 average cost of land production.

End

4

STI makes proposals at Manila APEC Ministerial Meeting ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Secretary for Trade and Industry, Miss Denise Yue told the Manila Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting this (Friday) afternoon that Hong Kong was delighted that the Individual Action Plans (IAP) submitted by all 18 member economies contained concrete deliverables on trade liberalisation and business facilitation.

However, she said that it remained imperative for member economies to refine and improve their lAPs progressively over time until the ultimate goal of free and open trade and investment was attained.

“Continuous improvements to and effective implementation of our lAPs are the only means to demonstrate to the world that APEC can really deliver.

“The steps we take may not be big and drastic all the time, but they must be continuous and progressive,” she said.

Referring to the requirement for annual reviews of implementation of lAPs , Miss Yue made a proposal at the meeting for APEC Ministers’ consideration.

“I propose we instruct our Senior Officials to devise an annual review mechanism with, wherever possible, clear and measurable yardsticks to monitor implementation of our commitments in the lAPs over time.

“This mechanism should be transparent and should facilitate the comparability of lAPs,” she said.

Miss Yue further proposed that Senior Officials should solicit input from the business communities and other pertinent private sectors in the review process.

"I look forward to receiving positive review reports from our Senior Officials next year," she added.

End

5

First nomination received for DB by-election ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

One nomination was received today (Friday) for the Wong Tai Sin District Board by-election in respect of San Po Kong constituency to be held on January 5, 97.

The nomination was submitted by Mr MAK Hoi-wah, a 45-year-old lecturer.

This is the first nomination received for the by-election as the nomination period started today (Friday).

Mr Mak can be contacted on 2788 8981 (daytime) and 2712 0195 (night time).

Nomination will last until December 5 (Thursday).

End

Legislation to safeguard health and safety of all employees ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government is introducing new legislation to extend the protection of health and safety at the workplace to all employees.

The Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong said today (Friday) that the proposed legislation - the Occupational Safety and Health Bill - was a milestone move to give greater protection to non-industrial employees who were currently not covered by existing laws.

At present, there are some 3.1 million workers in Hong Kong. Of these, about 800,000 who are employed in manufacturing, construction and catering industries are protected by the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance. However, most of the remaining 2.3 million employees in the non-industrial sectors are not so covered.

’’There have been calls in recent years to extend the scope of safety and health legislation to cover all employees. Given the predominance of the service industries in Hong Kong’s economy, it is logical that the occupational safety and health of the nonindustrial employees should also be protected by law,” he said.

The Bill, however, will not cover those employed in land, sea or air transport, as well as maritime operations as they are already covered by other ordinances. Also excluded will be those employees in domestic services, as it is not intended to intrude into the private life of individual households. Self-employed persons will be exempted too as there is no employer/employee relationship.

6

Subsidiary regulations will be made under the Bill to set out specific standards for the working environment in general and regulate certain hazardous processes, equipment and substances under six broad categories :

(a) safety, health and welfare of the workplace (including ventilation, lighting and fire precautions);

(b) manual handling operations;

(c) personal protective equipment at work;

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

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

(f) use of machinery and equipment.

The Government intends to implement the regulations in three stages. As the first stage, the Occupational Safety and Health Regulation will cover the general safety, health and welfare aspects of the workplace and manual handling operations. There will be provisions to cover lighting, ventilation, washroom facilities, first-aid, drinking water, fire precautions, etc.

"In effect, this will mean extending protection to all non-industrial employees upfront. Manual handling operations are included in the first stage because of the relatively large number of occupational injuries arising from such operations," Mr. Wong said.

The Secretary explained that in many ways, the Bill and the Regulation sought to enshrine in a consolidated piece of legislation most of the existing safety and health standards in a workplace which the average employers follow at present.

"Most of the proposed provisions in the Regulation, for example, those on fire precaution and fire escapes are based on standards adopted in existing legislation and, as such, should not be onerous for employers," he said.

Mr Wong said the potential financial burden on employers should not be significant and would be minimised by the phased approach to be taken by the Government.

"We propose also to exempt small business from some of the provisions. For instance, those employing less than 150 employees will be exempted from the requirement to have at least one employee who is trained in first-aid," he said.

The proposed new legislation is part of the recommendations of the Consultation Paper on the Review of Industrial Safety in Hong Kong published last year. The recommendations in the Report received wide public support.

7

Mr Wong pointed out that the provisions of the Bill and Regulation would be brought into operation one year after enactment. "This will allow time for launching public education and promotion programmes, and for employers and occupiers of affected premises to become familiar with the legislation and to make the necessary preparations."

Mr Wong said that in line with the new strategy on promoting industrial safety, the Administration's approach to occupational safety and health in the non-industrial sectors would 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.

"The Administration, in collaboration with the Occupational Safety and Health Council (OSHC), would develop 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."

"The enforcement of the new legislation, together with the enhanced publicity and promotional activities by Government and organisations such as OSHC, should in the long run raise the safety and health awareness of both employers and employees in all sectors.

"This should help reduce the number of occupational injuries and diseases in the non-industrial sectors in Hong Kong," he said.

The Bill will be introduced to the Legislative Council on December 4, 1996.

Following is a summary of the main features of the Bill:

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

8

(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.

(For example, in the case of a department store, the occupier has a duty for the safety and health, including general facilities and amenities, of all persons working therein, but the safety and health of employees who are posted by a franchised company to work in a sales booth in the department store is the responsibility of the company, while such employees are working within the company’s booth)

(c) Part III enables the Commissioner for Labour to issue improvement notices and suspension notices, the latter against any activity at the workplaces which creates, or is likely to create, an imminent risk of death or serious bodily injury to the employees. It also confers a right of appeal by the employers or occupiers, against the issue of suspension notice, to the Commissioner for Labour and the Administrative Appeals Board. Failure to comply with an improvement notice or a suspension notice constitutes an offence punishable by a fine of up to $200,000 and $500,000 respectively, and imprisonment for up to 12 months.

(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 inquiries 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; prevention, obstruction or delay in the provision of aid to an employee who has sustained an injury or illness in a workplace, etc.

(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 of the Ordinance, and makes consequential amendments to the Administrative Appeals Board Ordinance.

9

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

(a) Part I provides for the commencement of the Regulation and defines certain expressions used in it.

(b) Part II contains provisions to prevent accidents in the workplace - such as the guarding of the dangerous part of plant; and the fencing of platform, pits or openings and vessels containing dangerous substance.

(c) Part III outlines the special fire prevention measures to be taken on premises where workplaces are located - such as keeping fire escape route in a safe condition and free of obstruction; and the provision of illuminated exit signs at egress doorways etc.

(d) Part IV contains provisions to enhance workplace environment - such as the provision of adequate ventilation and lighting etc.

(e) Part V contains provisions to enhance hygiene and amenity standards in workplaces - such as lavatories and washing facilities; clean drinking water etc.

(f) Part VI specifies requirements with respect to the provision of first-aid facilities in the workplace - such as a first-aid box for every 100 employees; and for a workplace employing 150 or more employees, at least one out of every 150 employees in the workplace is trained in first-aid.

(g) Part VII imposes on employers and occupiers of premises requirements with respect to manual handling operations in workplaces under their control. These include the making of a general assessment to identify such operations, avoidance of hazardous operations, and reducing the risk of injury by automating or mechanising the process. This Part also imposes miscellaneous responsibilities on employers, including responsibilities with respect to training and the provision of information, as well as certain responsibilities on employees to take care of other employees and co-operate with their employers.

End

10

$408-million contract for Tung Chung development awarded ♦ * * * *

The $408-million main contract for Tung Chung Development Phase IIB will . provide land for developing residential and community facilities as well as roads and drainage system to serve a population of 35,000.

The Project Manager (Hong Kong Island and Islands) of the Territory Development Department, Mr Pang Ho-che, said this after signing the contract with a representative of Sun Fook Kong (Civil) Limited at the Tung Chung work site today (Friday).

"Advanced work for the site formation of village resite area started in late 1994 and is substantially complete," he said.

"The main contract comprises the formation of about 26 hectares of land for residential and community facilities development, construction of about two kilometres of dual two-way carriageway, local roads, footpath, cycle track, two pedestrian and cycle bridges, stormwater and sewerage channels, three sewage pumping stations, river training, laying of watermains and landscape works."

Works will commence next week for completion in mid-2000.

"Meanwhile, public housing construction in Phase IIB area has commenced for completion in late 2000 to accommodate a population of 35,000," Mr Pang said.

Tung Chung Development Phase II, which is designed for a population of 64,000 and will involve formation of a total of 65 hectares of land, is part of the Government's programme to develop Tung Chung as the territory's ninth new town on North Lantau.

Phase I of the development was being launched as one of the 10 projects on the Airport Core Programme, said Mr Pang.

"It is designed to serve an initial community of about 20,000 people to support the operation of the new airport.

"Reclamation and site formation commenced in April 1992 and was completed in May 1994 in which 67 hectares of land has been formed.

"Construction works in progress include the second sea channel bridge crossing to the new airport at Chek Lap Kok, local roads and associated storm water drainage and sewerage system, a footbridge, four subways, public transport interchange facilities, water mains and other utilities.

"These are scheduled for completion in January next year," he said.

End

11

Counselling session for fire victims ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Social Welfare Department will run a counselling session tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon for all those affected by the Yau Ma Tei No 5 Alarm fire to overcome their stress problems.

The session will take place at the conference hall on the first floor of Henry G Leong Yau Ma Tei Community Centre, 60 Public Square Street, Kowloon, from 2 pm to 6 pm.

More than 10 departmental clinical psychologists will be deployed to provide critical incident stress debriefing to victims and family members distressed by the fire.

Members of the public who witnessed the tragedy or have any distress problems resulted from the disaster are also welcome to attend the session.

Meanwhile, the department's caseworkers will continue to contact and outreach family members of the deceased and injured to offer help.

Affected family members who want to enquire about welfare services may contact the Medical Social Work Unit of Queen Elizabeth Hospital on telephone 2958 7078.

End

Twelve per cent growth recorded in insurance industry * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The insurance industry as a whole grew by 12 per cent in 1995 in terms of premium income, with long term business contributed most to the overall growth.

According to provisional statistics on the Hong Kong Insurance Market released today (Friday) by Commissioner of Insurance, Mr Alan Wong, total income of general business and long term business amounted to $43.8 billion in 1995 which represented about four per cent of the Hong Kong Gross Domestic Product.

12

Growth in the general business sector had slowed down considerably. Gross premiums of general business registered only a marginal growth of two per cent to $20.1 billion in 1995, compared with an increase of 16 per cent in 1994. Direct business and reinsurance business recorded $15.2 billion and $4.9 billion respectively.

Except for goods in transit business, most major classes of general business experienced much slower growth in gross premiums in 1995 than those in 1994. General liability and accident and health business premiums grew by three per cent and 11 per cent respectively in 1995, compared with 46 per cent and 21 per cent in 1994.

On the other hand, motor vehicle business premiums continued to show a decline of 10 per cent in 1995.

Property damage business remained the largest contributor to general business premiums, accounting for 30 per cent of total gross premiums in 1995. As a result of the decline in motor vehicle business premiums, general liability business replaced motor vehicle business as the second largest class with a market share of 20 per cent which is marginally higher than that of motor vehicle business of 19 per cent.

Compared with the growth of gross premiums, net premiums rose by a relatively higher rate of seven per cent to $13.3 billion in 1995. This can be explained by the increase of retention ratio from 63 per cent in 1994 to 66 per cent in 1995.

Total claims paid of general business was $7.8 billion. After deducting reinsurance recoveries of $ 2.7 billion, total net claims paid amounted to $5.1 billion.

The overall net claims incurred ratio, i.e. net claims incurred to net earned premiums, deteriorated from 52 per cent in 1994 to 54 per cent in 1995.

As regards underwriting performance, Mr Wong pointed out that the general insurance industry continued to enjoy a profit for the third consecutive year in 1995. An overall underwriting profit of $0.7 billion was made, which represented five per cent of net earned premiums.

In the long term business sector, Mr Wong said the total office premiums in force amounted to $23.7 billion in 1995, representing a growth of 22 per cent.

Major contribution continued to come from individual life business with office premiums in force amounting to $16.6 billion at the end of 1995, representing premium per capita of about $2,630. The number of individual life policies in force exceeded 2.8 million which covered about 45 per cent of the Hong Kong population, compared with 41 per cent in 1994. Net liabilities for these policies increased by 25 per cent to $32.6 billion in 1995.

13

During the year, 604,613 new individual life policies were sold, of which more than 97 per cent were non-linked policies. Office premiums for these new policies amounted to $4.7 billion, an increase of eight per cent over those of the previous year. About three quarters of these premiums came from non-linked business and one quarter from linked business which attracted a significant amount of single premiums. Whole life insurance remained the main product sold, which accounted for about half of total office premiums for new individual life policies.

In 1995, retirement schemes business managed by insurance companies registered phenomenal growth. Both total number of retirement scheme policies and contributions arising therefrom increased by 30 per cent to 14,414 and $6.4 billion respectively. Net liability grew by 25 per cent to $27.9 billion.

Other business like group life insurance, annuity and permanent health insurance also recorded growth in 1995.

As at October 31, 1996, there were 221 authorised insurers. Among them, there were 158 general insurers, 44 long term insurers and 19 composite insurers. As regards insurance intermediaries, there were 311 insurance brokers and 31,088 insurance agents.

End

Salary indices for managerial and professional employees ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The average salary rate for middle-level managerial and professional employees, as measured by the overall Nominal Salary Index (A), increased by 7.9% between June 1996 and June 1995.

The overall Nominal Salary Index (B), which measures changes in the average salary rate only for those middle-level managerial and professional employees who remained in the same occupation and in the same company in both 1995 and 1996, rose by 10.1% over the same period.

The above results are based on the findings of the 1996 Survey of Salaries and Employee Benefits - Managerial and Professional Employees (Excluding Top Management) released today (Friday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

14

Both Salary Indices (A) and (B) are designed for the purpose of measuring changes in salary rates for middle-level managerial and professional employees of the companies covered by the survey.

As the Salary Index (B) covers only those employees who remained in the same occupation and in the same company in 1995 and 1996, it only accounts for salary changes due to general increment, meritorious increase and gain in seniority. On the other hand, the Salary Index (A) takes into account the effects of labour mobility as well.

The rate of increase of the Salary Index (B) is usually higher than that of the Salary Index (A) because the latter includes the salaries of newly recruited and newly promoted employees, who tend to be paid comparatively lower salaries than those already in the same rank.

Year-on-year changes in the Nominal Salary Index (A) and Nominal Salary Index (B) for June 1996 in respect of major economic sectors are shown in the table below.

By deflating the Nominal Salary Indices by the Hang Seng Consumer Price Index, the Real Salary Indices are obtained to measure changes in the purchasing power of the amount of money earned. Comparing June 1996 with the same month in 1995, the overall Real Salary Indices (A) and (B) registered increases of 1.2% and 3.3% respectively.

Among the middle-level managerial and professional employees covered in the survey, 73% of them were entitled to profit-sharing bonus, 42% to housing benefits of some kind and 89% to provident/retirement fund or pension. It was also found that 98% of them were entitled to guaranteed year-end extra pay.

The Census and Statistics Department has been conducting the Annual Survey of Salaries and Employee Benefits - Managerial and Professional Employee (Excluding Top Management) since 1984 to measure changes in salary rates for middle-level managerial and professional employees.

A sample of about 200 companies is selected for the survey in 1996. One hundred and eighty companies were successfully enumerated, involving 5,754 employees covered by the survey.

In the survey, the salary rate is defined to include, in addition to basic salaries, cost-of-living allowance, guaranteed year-end extra pay, commission and tips, and other guaranteed and regular bonuses and allowances. Apart from salary payment, fringe benefits also constitute an important element of pay package for employees at middle-level managerial and professional levels.

15

As there are practical difficulties in expressing fringe benefits in money terms, statistics on fringe benefits are expressed in terms of percentages of employees entitled to them.

Details of the salary movement, average salary rate for major occupations, and statistics on employee entitlement to various fringe benefits, together with a description of the survey methodology, are published in the 1996 Report of Salary and Employee Benefits - Managerial and Professional Employees (Excluding Top Management).

The report is available at $25 per copy (exclusive of postage) at the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor. 66 Queensway, Hong Kong and the Publications Unit of Census and Statistics Department, 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Enquiries concerning the salary indices can be directed to the Wages and Labour Costs Statistics Section of the Census and Statistics Department on 2582 4746 or 2582 5595.

Year-on-year changes in

Nominal Salary Indices (A) and (B) for June 1996 in respect of major economic sectors

% change for June 1996

over June 1995

Selected major economic sector Nominal Salary Index (A) Nominal Salary Index (B)

Manufacturing, electricity and gas +6.8 + 11.0

Building and construction and related trades +8.3 + 9.4

Wholesale, retail and import/export trades +8.4 +10.2

Transport, storage and communications +8.5 +10.3

Financial institutions and insurance +6.7 + 10.3

All sectors above

+7.9 +10.1

End

16

Value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand in September ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand for local production in September 1996 decreased by 11% over a year earlier, according to the provisional results of a monthly survey released today (Friday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

This was in line with the generally weak domestic export performance.

Comparing September 1996 with September 1995, increases in the value of orders were recorded in the fabricated metal products industry (+3%) and the electrical products industry (+1%).

On the other hand, decreases in the value of orders were recorded in the electronic products industry (-21%), the plastic products industry (-16%), the printing & publishing industry (-9%), the textiles industry (-3%) and the wearing apparel industry (-2%).

Compared with August 1996, and bearing in mind that this comparison may be affected by seasonal factors, the value of manufacturers’ orders-on-hand in September 1996 decreased by 7%.

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 for 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 September 1996, at $7 a copy, is now available for sale at the Government Publications Centre. Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor. Queensway and the Census and Statistics Department Publications Unit. 19th Floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.

17

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

August 1996 over August 95 (Revised) September 1996 over September 95 (Provisional)

All industries covered in the survey - 9 -11

♦ Wearing apparel - 2 - 2

* Textiles - 3 - 3

* Electronic products -17 -21

* Electrical products - 3 + 1

♦ Fabricated metal products + 5 + 3

* Plastic products -12 -16

♦ Printing and publishing -15 - 9

End

Sha Chau and Lung Kwu C hau Marine Park designated ♦ * * ♦ ♦

Sha Chau and Lung Kwu Chau has been designated as the third marine park in the territory following the approval of the draft map by the Executive Council last month.

A spokesman for the Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) said today (Friday) that the designation of the marine park would enable this ecologically important marine area to be protected under the Marine Parks Ordinance.

18

It would help the conservation of marine environment and promotion of biodiversity of the area, he said.

He added that the Director of Agriculture and Fisheries, as the Country and Marine Parks Authority, will manage this newly-designated marine park for the purposes of conservation, education, research and environmental enhancement.

The Sha Chau and Lung Kwu Chau Marine Park is situated in the western part of Hong Kong waters and covers a sea area of about 1,200 hectares.

The area supports a variety of fish and other organisms. It is also where the Indo-Pacific Humpbacked Dolphins (commonly known as Chinese White Dolphins) are often seen.

An order designating the area shown on the approved map on Sha Chau and Lung Kwu Chau Marine Park, was published in the Government Gazette today.

Copies of the map are now available for public inspection at the AFD headquarters, the Land Registry, Tuen Mun New Territories Land Registry, Yuen Long New Territories Land Registry, Tsuen Wan New Territories Land Registry, Islands New Territories Land Registry and the Marine Department headquarters.

End

Minor amendments to Miscellaneous Ordinances proposed

*****

A Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions and Minor Amendments) Bill 1966 is published in the gazette today (Friday) for introduction to the Legislative Council at its session on December 4.

A government spokesman explained that the Bill makes minor, technical and largely non-controversial amendments to the Laws of Hong Kong. Among the proposed changes are:

Transfer of powers to make subsidiary legislation:

Certain powers to make regulations or orders which are not considered important enough to merit the attention of the Governor in Council are to be transferred to a Branch Secretary, a Departmental head or a statutory board or committee, depending on the circumstances.

19

Amendments relating to the age of majority:

The definitions of "child" and "infant" in the Domestic Violence Ordinance and the Adoption Ordinance are to be amended to reflect the reduction of the age of majority from 21 to 18 in 1990. Furthermore, a distinction between male and female "infants" in a provision in the Adoption Ordinance will be removed.

Consent to marriage:

A section of the Marriage Ordinance which allows the father to give consent to the marriage of a child under 21 years of age, but the mother only if the father is dead or insane will be amended to place either parent in the same position.

Amendments to the Post Office Ordinance:

The Post Office Ordinance and regulations under it will be amended to replace the 'On Her Majesty's Service" mark on government envelopes with "On Government Service" to ensure that government mail bearing this new mark will enjoy the same protection and privileges.

Taxation of foreign lawyers' bills of costs:

Provision under the Legal Practitioners Ordinance for the "taxation" of a solicitor's bill, that is for an application to be made to the court for the court to determine what the appropriate charge should be, will be amended to cover foreign lawyers' bills.

References to ex officio and official members of the Legislative Council:

References to 'official' and 'ex officio' members of the Legislative Council that still appear in the Legislative Council Commission Ordinance, the Po Leung Kuk Ordinance and the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Ordinance will be removed.

Certain registers to be kept in non-legible form:

The Births and Deaths Registration Ordinance and the Marriage Ordinance will be amended to legalise the storage of marriage records by microfilming, and the storage of births and deaths records in both microfilm and computerised forms.

Maintenance of illegitimate children:

The Affiliation Proceedings Ordinance will be repealed. Its provisions will be covered by the Guardianship of Minors Ordinance which requires some amendment to achieve that purpose.

20

Plugging loopholes in the Crimes Ordinance:

A loophole arising from the definition of "currency notes" in the Crimes Ordinance will be plugged so that counterfeit bank notes will include currency notes issued in another country that are no longer in circulation but are still legal tender. The definition of 'defective' is also to brought into line with the definition of 'mental disorder" in the Mental Health Ordinance to cover mental disorders such as schizophrenia.

End ...

Kwai Tsing arts festival promises to be an instant hit

*****

Organisers of the 10th Kwai Tsing District Arts Festival are confident that the festival, which will feature some of the hottest names in the local pop scene, will be an instant hit with residents when it is launched tomorrow (Saturday).

Apart from the traditional cultural fare of Chinese opera, dance and instrumental music performances and exhibition of Chinese paintings, one of the highlights of the festival programme will be a concert featuring pop stars - Miss Joyce Lee, Miss Karen Tong and Mr Ray Chan and the popular band, the Zen.

Admission tickets for the festival's events, except those for the pop concert on January 4, have already been distributed on a first-come-first-served basis at the Kwai Tsing Public Enquiry Service Centre and its sub-offices. Tickets for the pop concert will be on sale at all ORBTIX offices on December 4.

The Chairperson of the Kwai Tsing Festival District Arts Festival Committee, Mrs Suen Lo Wai-Ian, said: "We believe the rich variety of cultural events, both traditional and modem, will satisfy residents' varied tastes.

"By enriching their lives with a wide variety of recreational and cultural activities, we hope the festival will help engender in them a sense of belonging and promote harmony in the community."

The festival is jointly organised by the 10th Kwai Tsing Arts Festival Committee and Kwai Tsing District Board with the assistance of the Kwai Chung and Tsing Yi District Culture and Arts Co-ordinating Association Limited, Kwai Tsing District Office and Kwai Tsing area committees.

It is estimated to cost $1 million and will be paid for by local donations and sponsorship from the Kwai Tsing District Board and the Regional Council.

End

21

New measures to deter use of duty-not-paid hydrocarbon oil ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Customs officers of the Diesel Oil Enforcement Division of the Marine and Land Enforcement Command today (Friday) cracked down a smuggling venture which used cross-border dump trucks to deliver duty-exempted diesel oil from China.

The smuggled diesel oil was for distributing to illegal refuelling stations at an open ground in Sha Tau Kok Road near the border.

Three men were arrested and 2,500 litres of duty- exempted diesel oil worth $16,900 and attracting a duty potential of $7,225 was seized. Two cross-border dump trucks and one light goods vehicle were detained.

A spokesman for the Customs and Excise Department said that in view of the current rampant situation of illegal use of duty-not-paid hydrocarbon oil, the department was taking new measures to deter vehicle drivers and owners from using duty-not-paid hydrocarbon oil as fuel.

Two new measures will be implemented shortly. Firstly, a driver or owner of a vehicle who commits an offence of using duty-not-paid hydrocarbon oil as fuel will be fingerprinted by the Police and will therefore have a criminal record upon conviction. In sentencing an offender, the court may draw reference to his previous convictions. The criminal record might also have an adverse effect on the offender’s future.

Secondly, Customs will detain and apply for forfeiture of vehicles which are found using contraband hydrocarbon oil twice within a six-month period.

The spokesman urged drivers not to use illicit hydrocarbon oil as fuel as the new measures would directly affect themselves. Vehicle owners will also cause themselves heavy financial losses instead of savings from using cheap contraband oil. The criminal record will also tarnish their status as good citizens.

End

Tenders invited for engineering works at treatment plants ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Drainage Services Department is inviting tenders for two separate contracts for general engineering works and disposal of sludge and solid water at the department’s various sewage treatment plants and pumping stations.

Both contracts will last for 24 months starting from April 1 next year.

22

One of the contracts is for the provision of services of general engineering works while the other is for the disposal of sludge and solid wastes.

Forms of tender and further particulars can be obtained from the office of the Contracts Section of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, 98 Caroline Hill Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong.

Tenders for the general engineering works must be addressed to the Chairman of the Public Works Tender Board and placed in the Public Works Tender Box at the lift lobby, 34th floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong on or before noon on Friday, December 20.

Tenders for the disposal of sludge and solid wastes must be addressed to the Chairman of the Central Tender Board and placed in the Government Secretariat Tender Box at the lift lobby, lower ground floor, Central Government Offices, East Wing, Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong before noon on Friday, December 20.

Late tenders will not be accepted.

End

Tenders for improvements to village in Tsuen Wan invited * * * * *

The Territory Development Department is inviting tenders for improvements to San Tsuen Road and San Tsuen Village as part of the continuing programme for the development of Tsuen Wan new town.

The project will improve and extend the existing San Tsuen Road and form land for improving the living environment and accommodating San Tsuen Village expansion.

It will also include the installation of utilities and provision of open space and other amenities.

Work will start in January next year for completion in about 22 months.

Forms of tender and further particulars may be obtained from the consulting engineers, Messrs Ho Tin & Associates Consulting Engineers Limited, Room 1704, Leighton Centre, 77 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong.

23

Tenders must be clearly marked and addressed to the Chairman of the Central Tender Board. They must be placed in the Government Secretariat Tender Box at the lift lobby, lower ground floor, Central Government Offices (East Wing), Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong, before noon on Friday, December 13.

Late tenders will not be accepted.

End

Tenders for building at Repulse Bay beach invited * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Architectural Services Department is inviting tenders for the construction of a beach building at Repulse Bay in Southern District.

• '

The project will include the demolition of five existing beach buildings, and construction of a new beach building with changing facilities, showers, toilets, store, offices, refuse collection point, look-out towers and other ancillary facilities.

Works will commence in February 1997 for completion in April 1998.

Tender forms and further particulars can be obtained from the Architectural Services Department, 34th floor. Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.

Tender offers will close at noon on Friday, December 13.

End

Applications for HCFCs free quota invited ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) invites applications for free quotas for imports for local consumption of 34 types of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) for 1997.

Applications are open to all companies which have registered under the Ozone Layer Protection Ordinance. Allocations will be on a need basis.

A Senior Environmental Protection Officer of EPD, Mr Perry Lai, said the quotas were used to control the local consumption of HCFCs, a requirement of the Montreal Protocol to protect the ozone layer. Hong Kong’s consumption of HCFCs would have to be reduced in phases to zero by the year 2030.

24

"According to the protocol, HCFC quotas for Hong Kong in 1997 should be no more than 2,526 tonnes. EPD will distribute 60 percent of the quotas to importers active in 1996 according to their records of imports. The remaining 40 percent will be allocated as free quotas." he said.

Mr Lai added that EPD would allocate the free quotas in two phases, each phase distributing half of the quotas.

Applications for the Phase 1 free quota should be made in person by December 20, 1996. For application forms or further details, please visit EPD's Air Management Group on 33rd Floor, Revenue Tower, 5 Gloucester Road. Wan Chai or call 2594 6242.

End

Tenders invited for mainlaying in Southern District ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Water Supplies Department is inviting tenders for mainlaying works in Southern District as part of the government's plans to provide a salt water flushing system and sewerage facilities for the area.

The contract will include the installation of about 8.8 kilometres of salt water mains with diameters ranging from 100 to 400 millimetres along Pokhilam Road. Mount Davies Road, Bisney Road and Sassoon Road together with 360 metres ol sewer pipe of 300 millimetres diameters along Sassoon Road.

Works are expected to commence in February 1997 for completion in about 21 months.

Tender forms and further particulars can be obtained from the Water Supplies Department, 44th floor, Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Tender offers will close at noon on Friday, December 13.

End

25

Proposed submarine cable transmission link to Shekou

*****

The China Light and Power Company Limited has proposed the laying of a 132 kV electricity cable within an area of about 150 millimetres in width and nine kilometres in length of foreshore and seabed at Deep Bay.

This is to reinforce the interconnection between the company and Shekou in

China.

The work is scheduled to commence in the first quarter for completion in the second quarter of next year.

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 January 22, 1997.

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

The notice together with related plans 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 Yuen Long District Office, ground floor, Yuen Long District Branch Offices Building, 269 Castle Peak Road, Yuen Long, New Territories.

End

Monitors' report submitted to CS

*****

The monitors appointed to observe the transfer of Vietnamese migrants (VMs) selected for the Orderly Repatriation Programme from Sections 4 and 6 of the Whitehead Detention Centre yesterday (November 21) have submitted their report to the Chief Secretary this (Friday) morning.

The VMs were transferred to Whitehead Section 8 and Victoria Prison.

26

The four monitors comprised two non-official Justices of the Peace, Mr Yeung Po-kwan and Mr Luk Hing-too; and representatives from two non-govemment organisations, Mrs Anthea Strickland from Save the Children Fund and Mr Tik Chi-yuen from Oxfam.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

Cumulative

Time change

Smillion (hours') (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,899 0930 -3

Closing balance in the account 2,939 1000 -3

Change attributable to: 1100 -3

Money market activity NIL 1200 -2

LAF today +40 1500 NIL

1600 NIL

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.2 ♦+0.0* 22.11.96

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/MTRC notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.00 2 years 2811 5.72 100.11 5.74

1 month 4.92 3 years 3910 6.28 100.74 6.08

3 months 4.91 5 years 5109 7.32 103.29 6.61

6 months 4.99 7 years 7308 7.24 102.47 6.89

12 months 5.24 10 years 1610 7.37 102.42 7.15

5 years M503 7.35 102.11 6.93

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $15,199 million

Closed November 22, 1996

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Saturday, November 23,1996

Contents Page No.

Part of Garley Building to be closed...................................... 1

APEC enters action phase: STI............................................. 2

Removal of unauthorised display materials prior to by-election............ 4

Government lawyers to study China law at Fudan University................. 4

Help given to new arrivals in Wan Chai.................................... 5

Firing practice in December............................................... 6

Tide tables for 1997 published............................................ 7

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations...................... 7

Sunday, November 24,1996

Contents Page No,

FS's transcript...................................................... 8

Fire safety in industrial premises................................... 8

Guidelines for provision of parking facilities revised.................... 9

Precautionary measures against food-borne diseases....................... 10

Public invited to design logo for Year of Heritage....................... 12

1

Part of Gailey Building to be closed

* ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Director of Buildings, Dr Choi Yu-leuk, announced today (Saturday) that in view of severe fire damage, the top three storeys of Garley Building at No. 233-239 Nathan Road would be closed for carrying out permanent repair works.

An emergency closure order will be applied from the Court on Monday (November 25) for closing the premises.

Dr Choi said that the investigation yesterday revealed severe structural damage to the roof as well as the 15th floor.

"Some of the roof beams have sagged considerably with cracks developing. It is necessary to erect temporary shoring to these beams and both the 15th and 14th floors will need to be closed because of the imminent dangers.

"A closure order will also be applied for part of the 13th floor because of a portion of the floor slab was severely damaged by the fire and is liable to become dangerous," Dr Choi said.

A statutory order under section 26A of the Buildings Ordinance will be issued to the owners requiring them to appoint a building professional to carry out a detailed investigation to the premises and submit a repair proposal.

A demolition order will also be issued requiring the owners to remove an illegal structure on the roof.

Further inspections will be carried out to the premises from basement to 3rd floor as they were not accessible yesterday.

Meanwhile, the Buildings Department (BD) will carry out emergency works to remove immediate dangers. These works include:

a catch platform will be erected at the first floor external wall facing Nathan Road as a precautionary measure against possible falling of loose mosaic tiles.

All the loose window frames and damaged air-conditioners will be removed.

2

All the loose rendering, wiring and window glass along the two staircases of the building will be removed to restore a safe clear passage.

Barriers to all the lift door openings at each floor will be erected.

Dr Choi said that all these emergency works would commence on Monday.

"Our staff will closely monitor all these emergency works and other repairs works to ensure the safety of the occupants and the general public.

I

"At the same time, another BD team is carrying out a comprehensive investigation into the building works as at the time of the tragic accident so as to ascertain whether there is any deficiency in the fire protection of the building works or in the provision of means of escape in the building.

"We will examine what can be learnt in order to further enhance the protection to the public against building fire," Dr Choi said.

End

APEC enters action phase: STI

*****

The Secretary for Trade and Industry, Miss Denise Yue, said the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) has now entered the action phase with the adoption of the Manila Action Plan for APEC (MAPA).

Making the remarks after the successful conclusion of the Eighth APEC Ministerial Meeting today (Saturday) in Manila, Miss Yue pointed out the last few years had been the vision and goal setting phase for APEC.

At the Ministerial Meeting, Ministers adopted the MAPA and agreed on some joint initiatives for the first World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Singapore next month. They also decided to end the moratorium for additional members.

’’APEC members will, starting next year, progressively reduce barriers to trade and investment to achieve ultimately the free flow of goods, services and capital in the region. They will also introduce practical business facilitation measures to reduce the cost of doing business”, she said.

3

"As our contribution to this process, Hong Kong will bind tariff at zero percent in the WTO on all imports in three stages by the year 2010, to provide certainty for business," she said.

"We will work to establish mutual recognition arrangements for product certification, and align standards for electrical appliances, pipes and fittings, and a range of food products with international standards".

The MAPA also sets out some 320 economic and technical cooperation projects being undertaken by APEC in a wide range of areas including human resources development, telecommunications, transportation and environmental protection.

On APEC’s contribution to the WTO Ministerial Conference, Ministers endorsed the efforts at the WTO to conclude an information technology agreement by the Ministerial Conference and urged all other WTO members to work toward that end.

"I am pleased to see a strong commitment to successfully complete the WTO ongoing negotiations on financial services and basic telecommunications within the agreed time frames next year," Miss Yue said.

"An agreement on global liberalisation of these two sectors would provide greater overseas market access opportunities for Hong Kong's service providers."

"I am also delighted that there is a clear recognition of the need to ensure that the WTO is responsive to developments in the global economy", said Miss Yue.

APEC Ministers also decided not to extend the moratorium for new members which expires this year. They agreed that at the Ministerial Meeting next year the set of admission criteria would be adopted after being refined and updated. They further agreed that in 1998, new members would be announced based on the adopted criteria. New members would be admitted in 1999.

In 1994, APEC set a goal of free and open trade and investment to be attained by 2010 for industrialised economies and 2020 for developing economies.

In 1995, APEC adopted a blueprint of measures, called the Osaka Action Agenda, to achieve this goal. Under this Action Agenda, each member is required to draw up this year an Individual Action Plan setting out the actions that it will take to liberalise and facilitate trade and investment. In addition, members will undertake collective liberalisation and facilitation actions and economic and technical cooperation activities.

4

The MAPA is a document consolidating all these plans and activities, which will be formally submitted to APEC Economic Leaders for endorsement when they meet in Subic Bay, the Philippines on 25 November.

Hong Kong became a member of APEC in 1991 and is a founding member of the WTO. After June 1997, Hong Kong will continue to be a separate member of APEC and the WTO in its own right and on an equal basis using the name ’’Hong Kong, China”.

End

Removal of unauthorised display materials prior to by-election

*****

A joint clearance operation will be launched by the Wong Tai Sin District Office, the Urban Services Department and the Lands Department on November 25 (Monday) to clear all unauthorised display materials in public areas within the San Po Kong constituency of the Wong Tai Sin District Board.

A spokesman for the Wong Tai Sin District Office said today (Saturday):” With the by-election for the San Po Kong constituency of the Wong l ai Sin District Board to be held on January 5 next year, the joint clearance operation is conducted as part and parcel of the process to ensure fair and equal treatment for all candidates in the display of election advertisement."

’’Any unauthorised articles still on display in public areas within the San Po Kong constituency will be removed on November 25. The Government reserves the right to recover the removal costs from the parties concerned," the spokesman said.

End

Government lawyers to study China law at Fudan University

*****

Eight government lawyers will attend a short course on Chinese law tailor-made for them at Fudan University Law School in Shanghai next week.

The lawyers are at non-directorate level and include five counsel from the Legal Department, two legal aid counsel from the Legal Aid Department and one lawyer from the Intellectual Properly Department.

5

The seven-day course, which is the first of its kind to be held and organised by the China Law Unit of the Legal Department, will commence on Monday (November 25).

A spokesman for the Legal Department noted that in accordance with the Basic Law, from July 1, 1997, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will continue to adopt a common law system in contrast to the civil law system in the rest of China.

’’It is essential that in order to ensure the two different systems coexist smoothly and interact efficiently, there must be mutual understanding of each other's legal system," he said.

He pointed out that the China Law Unit of the department has been taking steps, through briefings and visits, to enhance understanding of the Hong Kong legal system in China. Steps have also been taken by the Unit to promote knowledge of PRC law in the Hong Kong government through organising seminars on PRC law for counsel in the department as well as other government lawyers.

For the Fudan University course, the spokesman said there would be a balance of classroom teaching and visits.

The course contents cover Chinese constitutional law, nationality law, administrative law, as well as the Basic Law of Hong Kong, lawyers' law, civil law, criminal law, practice & procedure, and intellectual property law, he said.

End

Help given to new arrivals in Wan Chai ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

New arrivals from China who settled in Wan Chai were briefed today (Saturday) on the wide range of services designed to smooth their integration into the local community.

The new immigrants were visited in their homes by the Wan Chai District Officer, Mrs Elaine Tang, and members of the Wan Chai District Board and area committees in the district as part of the programme of home visits under the "Wan Chai District Visit New Immigrants Day".

Jointly organised by the Wan Chai District Office and four area committees, the programme aims to instil in the new arrivals a sense of belonging in the district ascertain the difficulties they might have encountered and offer, when necessary, practical advice and assistance to overcome their problems of adjustment. It is also held to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the District Administration Scheme in Hong Kong.

6

The new arrivals took a keen interest in Mrs Tang’s briefing on the work of the District Office's Public Enquiry Services Centre, the district board and the area committees and the information leaflets they were given on Hong Kong's education system, employment situation, housing facilities and other relevant facts which may affect their daily lives.

The visitors in turn took a genuine interest in how the new immigrants had tried to adapt to life in Hong Kong, and obtained first-hand information on their needs. Some useful advice was offered to them on the spot and some of them were directed to appropriate government departments or non-governmental organisations for assistance.

"We also encouraged the new arrivals to take part in a wide range of community involvement activities including the territory-wide 'Serving the Community Week' from December 1 to 7 and the Wan Chai Festival in January, 1997.

"We hope we can better understand the needs of the new arrivals and respond to them more effectively," Mrs Tang said.

The next series of visits will take place on December 1.

End

Firing practice in December *****

Firing practice will take place at the Ha Tsuen/Castle Peak Range on 11 days next month (December). Members of the public are advised not to enter the area when red flags are hoisted.

Following are the dates and times for the firing practice:

Date

Time

December 2 (Monday)

December 3 (Tuesday)

December 4 (Wednesday)

December 5 (Thursday)

December 9 (Monday)

December 10 (Tuesday)

December 11 (Wednesday)

December 12 (Thursday)

December 17 (Tuesday)

December 18 (Wednesday)

December 19 (Thursday)

8.30 am - 5 pm

8.30 am - 5 pm

8.30 am - 5 pm

8.30 am - 5 pm

8.30 am - 5 pm

8.30 am - 5 pm

8.30 am - 5 pm

8.30 am - 5 pm

8.30 am - 5 pm

8.30 am - 5 pm

8.30 am - 5 pm

End

7

Tide tables for 1997 published *****

The ’Tide Tables for Hong Kong 1997', published recently by the Royal Observatory to provide an informative reference on tides in Hong Kong, is now available for sale.

The publication contains detailed information on the predicted heights and times of daily high and low waters at eight locations in the territory. They are: Chi Ma Wan, Ko Lau Wan, Lok On Pai, Quarry Bay, Tai O, Tai Po Kau, Tsim Bei Tsui and Waglan Island. Phases of the moon are also given.

At $9 a copy, the publication can be purchased from the Government Publications Sales Centre, Marine Department Headquarters and Royal Observatory Headquarters. The publication is useful reference material for engineers, shipping and wharfmg companies, container terminal operators, yachtsmen, fishing and water sports enthusiasts.

End

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

Smillion Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,939 0930 -60

Closing balance in the account 2,369 1000 -60

Change attributable to: 1100 -60

Money market activity -60 1130 -60

LAF today -510

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 124.2 *+0.0* 23.11.96

Closed November 23, 1996

End

8

FS’s transcript *****

Following is the transcript of the media session by the Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, after meeting the Canadian Prime Minister in Manila today (Sunday):

Question: Just what came out of your talk specifically on the SAR passports with Canada?

Financial Secretary: I again emphasised our wish that the visa free access for Hong Kong residents, particularly for the SAR passports holders, will be given to them by Canada after July 1997. I got a very sympathetic hearing from Prime Minister Chretien. I am pretty confident that some good announcement will be made very shortly on this.

Question: Within this summit?

Financial Secretary: No. I don't want to be more specific on timing.

End

Fire safety in industrial premises ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

As both commerce and industry develop rapidly in Hong Kong, coupled with population growth, the chances of fire outbreaks also increase, the Director of Fire Services, Mr Peter Cheung, said today (Sunday).

Speaking at the launching of the fire prevention campaign, Mr Cheung said the tragic No.5 Alarm fire in Jordan proved that the nature of fires nowadays also became more complicated.

In the past two years, fire personnel attended about 60.000 fire calls and fires claimed a total of 64 lives and caused 1.131 injuries.

Among the casualties, about 10 per cent were injured in fires in industrial premises.

Mr Cheung said: "Most of the fires in industrial premises are caused by negligence and carelessness of people. Careless handling of dangerous goods is also another major cause of fire.”

9

’’These include wedging of smoke lobby doors, inadequate repairs and maintenance of fire service installations, means of escape being obstructed or locked, over storage of dangerous goods and illegal alteration of partitions or design of buildings.”

Mr Cheung said: ”We have continuously sent out letters to remind factory owners or persons in charge of old industrial buildings in the territory, hoping they will consider upgrading the fire service installations such as sprinkler system in the buildings.

’’The Department also frequently arranges fire prevention talks for building management agents and staff of industrial undertakings to publicise and strengthen fire protection education.

Following last year's emphasis on fire prevention in commercial premises, the campaign this year takes on the theme "Fire Prevention in Industrial Premises".

Mr Cheung said the Fire Services Department had produced a set of video and pamphlets on the theme for distribution to major industrial organisations to enhance public awareness.

At the ceremony, Mr Cheung also presented copies of the video production to representatives from the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Hong Kong Industries, the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, the Hong Kong Plastic Association Union Limited and the Labour Department.

In addition to the distribution of the publicity materials, the Department will organise a series of open days in fire stations and radio programmes to publicise fire safety messages.

Mr Cheung thanked the Kwong On Bank for their continuous sponsorship of the campaign.

End

Guidelines for provision of parking facilities revised ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Chapter Eight of the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines (HKPSG) on internal transport facilities has been revised.

Based on the findings and recommendations of the "Parking Demand Study" completed in December 1995, revisions were made on the planning standards and guidelines relating to the provision of parking and loading/unloading facilities, a spokesman for the Planning Department said today (Sunday).

10

’’Under the revised standards and guidelines, the provision of parking facilities for major land uses including public and private residential, commercial and industrial developments have been raised.

’’New parking standards have also been prepared for new land uses including industrial/office and sandwich class housing developments," he said.

The new standards and guidelines are set out in a new Table 11 of the revised chapter. No major changes have been made to the remainder of the chapter which covers standards and guidelines for roads, public transport terminals and rail facilities.

Copies of the updated Chapter Eight are being printed and will be available for sale by the end of this year.

In the mean time, the revised standards and guidelines of Chapter Eight are available for inspection at the Planning Information and Technical Administration Unit of the Planning Department, 16th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong.

HKPSG comprises a series of 11 chapters, each of which is devoted to a particular aspect of land use or facility. They are being sold on an individual chapter basis at the Government Publications Centre, ground floor, Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.

End

Precautionary measures against food-borne diseases

*****

The Department of Health today (Sunday) called on members of the public to adopt proper food hygiene practices when having hotpots in winter.

In making the appeal, the Assistant Director of Health (Hygiene), Dr Leung Pak-yin, warned the general public of the possible food-borne diseases such as food poisoning and hepatitis A.

"Staff of food establishments should always observe hygiene practices in preparing food for hotpots," Dr Leung said.

"Customers, on the other hand, should make sure that food items are thoroughly cooked before consumption."

11

Housewives should also observe good hygiene practices when preparing hotpots at home.

Dr Leung advised the public to observe the following precautionary measures:

For shellfish -

Use only wholesome and preferably live ones;

* Remove the dirt with a brush and rinse shellfish thoroughly in clean

water;

Discard the intestines and other dubious or inedible parts such as shells;

Cook thoroughly before consumption; and

Keep under refrigeration if not for immediate consumption.

For vegetables -

Do not patronise illegal hawkers:

Do not buy those with an obvious strange smell;

Remove the outer leaves;

Wash well in clean water and immerse in water for one hour;

Or use boiling water to blanch the vegetable for one minute. Water used for blanching should be discarded; and

Cook thoroughly.

"Wholesome raw materials, proper washing and handling, and thorough cooking are the best measures against gastro-intestinal diseases. Members of the public should observe these hygiene practices at all times," Dr Leung added.

End

12

Public invited to design logo for Year of Heritage

*****

Those who wish to test their creativity are invited to help design a logo for the 1997 Year of Heritage, jointly organised by the Antiquities and Monuments Office of the Broadcasting, Culture and Sport Branch, the Antiquities Advisory Board and the Lord Wilson Heritage Trust.

The logo should be artistic and able to help arouse public understanding of the importance of heritage preservation.

The competition is divided into two sections - the Open Section for Hong Kong residents and the Student Section for secondary students.

Entry forms, together with the specifications of the design required, are obtainable from various District Offices and the Antiquities and Monuments Office at 136 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Entries must be submitted to the Office on or before December 20.

The entries will be adjudicated by a panel consisting of members of the Publicity and Publication Task Force of the Year of Heritage and representatives from the Antiquities Advisory Board and the Broadcasting, Culture and Sport Branch. The decision of the panel is final.

The champion of the Open Section will be awarded $10,000 and the Student Section $4,000. There will be four merit winners for the Open Section ($2,000 each) and ten merit winners for the Student Section ($1,000 each). Certificates will also be presented to all winners.

The winning entry selected as the logo of the Year of Heritage will be used in posters, souvenirs and related educational and promotional activities.

Further enquiries can be made at 2721 2326.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Monday, November 25,1996

Contents Eagfi-NiL

FS’s statement at APEC Economic Leaders Meeting................ 1

APEC Declaration a firm commitment to free trade............... 2

Consumer Council’s Study Report on Competition Policy.......... 3

Sino-British Land Commission meeting........................... 4

Exercise to test the Daya Bay Contingency Plan................. 5

Rights report made public...................................... 6

Experimental project to network the elderly launched........... 6

Fund to support Hong Kong's service industry................... 7

193 VMs depart on Orderly Repatriation Flights................. 8

Monitors’ Report submitted to CS............................... 9

Stanley Prison inmates score well in examinations.............. 9

X-

Provisional statistics of retail sales for September........... 10

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

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results.................... 13

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

1

FS's statement at APEC Economic Leaders Meeting ♦ * ♦ ♦ *

Following is a statement (English only) by the Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, on the inclusion in a time capsule sealed at the meeting of APEC Economic Leaders in Subic, Philippines today (Monday):

Three and half centuries ago, the philosopher Francis Bacon declared there were four pillars of government: religion justice, counsel and treasure.

Hong Kong treasures four pillars, too: the rule of law, level playing field, corruption free government, and the free flow of information.

The rule of law means simply that our society operates under laws that are published for all to see and understand. People know pretty well what they can and cannot do in all spheres of life. They also know that these rules apply equally to everyone in the community. That was what Bacon meant by "justice” in the early 17th century and it remains so as I write late in the 20th.

Free enterprise on a level playing field forms the second pillar. That means the freedom to do business, protected by fair and equitable laws, and in an open market. I ’nder the terms of the Basic Law that will pertain in Hong Kong. China recognises the importance for business of clear, reliable laws, especially the law of contract that helps to ensure people keep their word.

These activities take place under and within a civil administration that is honest, efficient, and the minimum practicable size. Hong Kong's public sector spending is about 18 per cent of its GDP - a remarkably low figure in the world's eight largest trading economy. Our civil service is generally untainted by corruption and we work hard to keep it that way. Economies in this part of the world are booming, and some people may be tempted to seek more than their fair share of the wealth we are creating. Corruption, like cancer, destroys the body from within, eating away unseen until it is too late.

That is what makes the fourth pillar so important: freedom of speech and a free flow of information. This is often described as "freedom of the press" but it relates to most business activities as well, since it is impossible to plan confidently when information is deliberately withheld from the market. A free and active news media operates like chemotherapy against the cancer of corruption. Sometimes there may be side effects that we do not welcome but these must be endured to achieve the aim of restoring a whole, well body.

2

When this statement again sees the light of day, 14 years from now, we will be well into the 21st century. Hong Kong's condition then will depend on how the four pillars have borne up under the changes time brings, not least, of course, the change of sovereignty.

In an effort to allay the uncertainties that always accompany change, China has committed itself to propositions under the Basic Law that will keep Hong Kong's capitalist system and way of life unchanged for 50 years. At that time, 2047, we shall be halfway through what many commentators now call the "Pacific Century". As it happens, this time capsule is in the form of a treasure chest to symbolise the galleon trade between Manila and Acapulco which began in the 1600s. Francis Bacon was listing his four pillars at the same time and that, too, was a "Pacific Century" - the first of many.

Looking back from 2010, Hong Kong's success will be seen, even more clearly, as due to the strength of the four pillars supporting its economic system. With the foundations laid by successive Hong Kong governments, I believe they will bear up.

End

APEC Declaration a firm commitment to free trade

*****

The Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, said today (Monday) that the APEC Economic Leaders Declaration together with the endorsement of the Manila Action Plan for APEC signified a firm commitment from member economies to achieve the goal of free and open trade and investment by 2010/2020.

"Each economy has submitted an Individual Action Plan (1AP) which contained concrete proposals to bring forward the liberalisation process. The progress of the implementation of the IAPs will be reviewed continuously.

"All the commitments made in Hong Kong's IAP go beyond its Uruguay Round commitments. We shall bind tariff at zero for all items of imports by 2010," Mr Tsang said.

Speaking at the Economic Leaders Meeting. Mr Tsang emphasised that APEC should not venture into non-economic issues. He pointed out that globalisation was an irreversible phenomenon.

’’Globalisation is posing new challenges to the multilateral trading system. It presents abundant opportunities," he said.

3

"Hong Kong has undergone major restructuring of our economy. The decline in the manufacturing sector has been more than offset by a rapid expansion in the services sector.

"Services industries now account for some 80 per cent of our GDP," he added.

"We do not adopt any interventionist policies. Instead we let market forces prevail. We give our businessmen a free hand. This nurtures their entrepreneurship, dynamism and willingness to meet new challenges.

"The Government only seeks to create a favourable environment and provide maximum infrastructural support, rather than to interfere or direct business decisions," he said.

Noting that East Asia is emerging as the principal driver of the global economy of the 21st century, Mr Tsang urged member economies to take a fresh look at the existing rules to ensure that the multilateral trading system respond to modem commercial realities.

"I am glad that the Leaders Declaration reaffirms the primacy of an open multilateral trading system based on the WTO," he said.

Mr Tsang was also delighted that reference to information technology was made in the Leaders Declaration.

During the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting, Mr Tsang held several meetings with other member economies and discussed with their Leaders on matters of mutual interest.

End

Consumer Council's Study Report on Competition Policy

*****

The Government welcomes the publication of the Consumer Council's Study Report on Competition Policy today (Monday).

"We congratulate the Consumer Council on its completion of the study," a Government spokesman said. "The Council has put in much effort in the past three years in conducting a series of studies on competition and in publishing six sectorspecific study reports as well as this main study report."

4

T he spokesman said: "The recommendations in the Report on competition policy will have significant implications for the future development of Hong Kong's economy.

"We would like to invite views and comments from the public and interested parties on the findings and recommendations of the Report.

"We will examine the recommendations in the report carefully and consider comments received with a view to publishing a Government Response in six months' time," the spokesman added.

Members of the public may send their views on the Report in writing to the Trade and Industry Branch, Government Secretariat, Hong Kong Government on eighth floor, Wing, Central Government Offices, Ice House Street, Central before January 6, 1997.

End

Sino-British Land Commission meeting *****

The thirty-third meeting of the Sino-British Land Commission was held on 25 November 1996. The two sides reached agreement on the adjustment of this year's Land Disposal Programme and average cost of land production.

The two sides agreed to adjust the 1996/97 Land Disposal Programme. In the special requirements category, a total of 153.50 hectares will be granted, including 70.19 hectares of land for the development of Container Terminal 9, and 76.40 hectares of railway track and related facilities for the Airport Railway. In the normal requirements category. 3.66 hectares will be granted, comprising an additional 1.66 hectares for the Hong Kong Station of the Airport Railway and 2 hectares of land for residential use.

Both sides agreed that the average cost of land production for 1996/97 in Hong Kong Dollars would be $5,480 per square metre.

End

5

Exercise to test the Daya Bay Contingency Plan ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government will conduct an exercise to test the response capability of branches and departments involved in the event of an accident occurring at the Guangdong Nuclear Power Station (GNPS), a Security Branch spokesman said today (Monday).

The exercise, involving over 30 branches and departments, will be held on December 12 and 13 with a warm-up exercise on December 2.

"The exercise will primarily be a command post exercise to practise the Government’s command, control and communications during the full activation of the DBCP,” the spokesman said.

"The public will in no way be affected by the exercise."

"The Hong Kong Government is fully capable of coping with even the most remote chance of an accident at GNPS," he added.

Similar exercises were conducted in November 1990 and May 1993. Fhese exercises are conducted regularly to ensure that the relevant branches and departments are familiar with the contingency plan, and to test the workings of the plan to identify areas that can be further improved.

The spokesman said that overseas experts from the United Nation’s International Atomic Energy Agency, the Emergency Committee of Guangdong Province for Nuclear Power Accident and the New South Wales Emergency Service had agreed to take part in the exercise as observers.

After the exercise, the Exercise Planning l earn in Security Branch will conduct an evaluation of the exercise.

End

6

Rights report made public ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The United Kingdom Government's fourteenth periodic report on Hong Kong under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) has been sent to Legislative Councillors today (Monday). It will be formally tabled in the Legislative Council on Wednesday (November 27).

The report covers developments since the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) considered the thirteenth report in March this year. It addresses the points raised in the CERD's concluding observations.

"We aim to publish a bound version for general release before the end of December. Meanwhile, photocopies of the report are available to members of the public. It can also be downloaded from the Home Affairs Branch Internet Home Page," a Government spokesman said.

"We expect that the CERD will examine the report at its 50th session in March 1997," the spokesman added.

Free copies of the ICERD report (in English and Chinese) 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

Experimental project to network the elderly launched * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

An inter-departmental and territory-wide social networking for the elderly project is launched today (Monday) on a trial basis for two years to supplement the formal welfare services network.

The Director of Social Welfare, Mr Andrew Leung Kin-pong, said this today at a luncheon meeting of the Association of Chairman of the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals.

He said the project was designed to identify and maintain a list of elderly persons requiring networking service in each district; and to identify service providers and volunteers to establish a network for maintaining contacts with elderly persons, providing them with support including making appropriate referrals for formal services.

7

"It involves the joint efforts of the Health and Welfare Branch, Social Welfare, Housing and Home Affairs departments, non-governmental organisations and interested bodies in the community such as service groups, church groups and schools," Mr Leung said.

The service would target at those aged 60 and above who were in need of social support and wished to be regularly contacted by volunteers, he said, adding that priority would be given to those who were more vulnerable or at risk.

On the working mechanism, the Director pointed out that a steering committee with representatives from the relevant branch and departments mentioned above and the Hong Kong Council of Social Service was formed to formulate strategies and oversee the implementation of the project.

At the district level, a district committee would pool resources from different sources to network the elderly persons, he said.

"The participating multi-service centres for the elderly will set up their local coordinating mechanism to facilitate effective matching of vulnerable elderly persons with volunteer organisations," he added.

Mr Leung called for community support to the project, describing it as "a responsibility to be shared by the whole community".

"Without the concerted efforts of all concerned, success of social networking is difficult to come by." he said.

End

Fund to support Hong Kong's service industry

*****

The Government has recently set up the Services Support Fund (SSF) to provide financial support for projects which can contribute to the overall development and the competitiveness of Hong Kong's service industry.

The $50-million fund is administered by the Industry Department.

A project to be funded should be non-profit making in nature, except for the purpose of the project's long-term self-sufficiency.

Four main types of organisations are eligible to apply for funds from the SSF. They are services-support bodies, trade and industry associations, higher education institutions, and professional bodies and research institutes. Locally- incorporated companies may also be considered if their projects will benefit the service industry that go beyond the interests of individual enterprises.

8

Recipient organisations will be required to disseminate the project results to the relevant service sector.

Funding support is normally given as a grant. In special cases, it may also take the form of an interest-free or interest-bearing loan.

’’The Director-General of Industry will approve projects on the recommendations of the SSF Vetting Committee, the advisory body set up to advise on the administration of the fund,” a spokesman for the Industry Department said.

"The vetting committee will also advise on the terms and conditions of funding support for the approved project.”

There are three tranches of applications in a year under the SSF. The first batch of applications for funding support are now being invited, and the deadline for applications is December 31, 1996. Interested organisations are urged to send their applications to the Industry Department as soon as possible.

Application forms and information leaflets introducing the SSF can be obtained from the Services Support Fund Secretariat, Room 1445, 14th floor, Ocean Centr