Daily Information Bulletin - 1990s - 1997 - JAN - ENG

 DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Wednesday, January 1,1997

Contents Eagfi^o.

New appointments to APA Council........................................... 1

Periodic test of electrical installations compulsory...................... 2

Deadline of BN(O) Registration Programme Phase XI................... 3

Heritage Year logo selected............................................... 4

Yau Tong government lot to let

5

1

New appointments to APA Council ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Governor has appointed Mrs Anna Pao Sohmen Chairman and Mr Stanley Pong Kit Deputy Chairman of the Council of the Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts.

In addition, Mr Eddy Fong Ching has been appointed Treasurer. Four new members, Ms Mona Fong, Mr Richard Li Tzar-kai, Mr Benjamin Rodger Sumner and Mrs Too So Kwok-chun, will join the Council and 10 serving members have been reappointed.

All appointments are for two years with effect from today (Wednesday).

The following is a full list of members of the Council:

Mrs Anna Pao Sohmen (Chairman)

Mr Stanley Pong Kit (Deputy Chairman)

Mr Eddy Fong Ching (Treasurer)

Mr Clarence Chang Ching-po

Mr Vincent Chow Wing-shing

Mr David G Eldon

Ms Mona Fong

Dr Lam Tai-hing

Mr Richard Li Tzar-kai

Mr Raymond K P Liu

Mr Lo King-man (ex-officio as Director of the Academy)

Mr Fedric Mao Chun-fai (elected staff representative)

Mr Benjamin Rodger Sumner (elected staff representative)

Mr Peter James Thompson

Mrs Too So Kwok-chun

Mr Philip Tse Wan-chung

Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport

Deputy Director of Education

Xi I

End

2

Periodic test of electrical installations compulsory * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) today (Wednesday) reminded the public that all fixed electrical installations which were already in use before June 1, 1992 should be inspected before June 1 this year.

"There are about 42,000 in total of such installations in the territory," said a spokesman for the department.

Under the Electricity (Wiring) Regulations which took effect on June 1, 1992, property owners, incorporated owners, estate management agents, occupiers and tenants must have the electrical installations in their buildings inspected, tested and certified by a registered electrical contractor at least once every five years.

"This means that if the installations were connected to electricity supply before June 1, 1992, the first test should take place before June 1,1997," the spokesman said.

"This applies to all fixed electrical installations in factories with an approved loading exceeding 200A, and those in commercial and private buildings with an approved loading exceeding 100A, hotels, hospitals, schools and child care centres," he explained.

The spokesman stressed that the requirements were aimed at reducing safety hazards such as fire and electrical accidents caused by improper maintenance of electrical installations.

He urged the public to arrange for the test immediately for their own safety. In doing so, the last minute rush for completing the test before the deadline could be avoided.

"Failure to comply with the regulations is liable to a maximum fine of $10,000," he said.

The spokesman added that EMSD would launch a publicity campaign from tomorrow (Thursday) to promote public awareness of the periodic test and the deadline.

"Publicity activities include broadcasting the message on radio and television, advertisements in Mass Transit Railway stations and newspapers, and the publication of a newsletter for distribution to the public.

3

"Seminars on the periodic test will also be organised for office-bearers of owners corporations, mutual aid committees and resident groups," he said.

Copies of an information leaflet on the periodic test requirements are available at all district offices and the Customer Liaison Office of EMSD.

For more information, please telephone 2882 8011 or write to EMSD's Electricity Legislation Division, 98 Caroline Hill Road. Causeway Bay, Hong Kong.

End

Deadline of BN(O) Registration Programme Phase XI *****

A Government spokesman today (Wednesday) reminded the public that the final date for Hong Kong British Dependent Territories citizens (BDTCs) bom in 1996 to apply for British National (Overseas) BN(O) passports will be March 31, 1997.

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

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

Parents or legal guardians of eligible children born in 1996 must submit their applications on or before March 31, 1997. They should apply for a Hong Kong permanent identity card on behalf of the children at the same time. To avoid a last minute rush, they are advised to apply early.

Hong Kong BDTCs living abroad are also required to observe the cut-off dates if they want to apply for a BN(O) passport. However, they are not required to return to Hong Kong for their applications. They should submit their applications to the nearest British passport issuing office either by post or in person. The required overseas application forms can be obtained at those offices or the Hong Kong Immigration Department.

- 4 -

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

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

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

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

Further information can be obtained by telephoning 2824 1177 (English) or 2824 1717 (Chinese).

End

Heritage Year logo selected

*****

A creative design has been selected from among 402 entries in a competition to be the logo for the Year of the Heritage in 1997.

The winning entry in the Public Section is designed by Miss Au Kit-yee. Illustrated in a lively style with brushstroke in bright green and orange, the logo is inspired by the image of historical artefact. It also contains a red heart which symbolises people's care and concern for the protection of the heritage in Hong Kong.

The logo will be used in all publicity material of the Year of Heritage to be jointly organised by the Antiquities and Monuments Office of the Broadcasting, Culture and Sport Branch, the Antiquities Advisory Board (AAB) and the Lord Heritage Trust.

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Miss Au will be awarded $10,000 while the winner of the Student Section, Mr Fan Chi-ho, will receive $4,000. There are also four merit prizes in the Public Section ($2,000 each) and 10 merit prizes in the Student Section ($1,000 each).

Prizes and certificates will be awarded to all winners at the grand opening ceremony of the Year of Heritage at Chater Garden, Central, on February 21, 1997.

Adjudicators of the logo design competition were Chairman of the AAB, Professor David Lung; Chairperson of the Education and Publicity Committee of the AAB, Ms Jane Cheung; Board Member, Mr Poon Huen-wai; and Principal Assistant Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport, Mr Raymond Tam.

End

Yau Tong government lot to let * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Lands Department is inviting tenders for the short-term tenancy of a piece of government land at Tung Yuen Street, Yau Tong, Kowloon.

The lot is divided into three sections and has a total area of about 9,270 square metres. The tenancy is for one year, renewable quarterly.

Site A shall be used for cargo handling and storage of non-dangerous goods (including storage, loading and unloading of cement, sand and aggregate but excluding concrete/asphalt production) while site B and C shall be used for parking of vehicles.

The tender offer will close at noon on January 17 (Friday).

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

Tender plans can also be inspected at these offices.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, January 2,1997

Contents Page No,

Year of the Ox special stamps to be issued.............................. 1

Telephone enquiry system to be suspended................................ 3

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results............................. 3

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity........................ 4

1

Year of the Ox special stamps to be issued ♦ ♦ * * *

The Postmaster General, Mr Robert Footman, announced today (Thursday) that a set of special stamps on the theme of the Year of the Ox will be issued on January 17.

This is the 11th in the current series of Lunar New Year special stamps released by the Post Office commencing with the Year of the Rabbit in 1987.

There will be four denominations - $1.3, $2.5, $3.1 and $5. A souvenir sheet incorporating the four stamps will also be issued. A stamp booklet containing six each of the $1.3 and $3.1 stamps will be available at $26.4 each.

The stamps were designed by Mr Kan Tai-keung and printed by Joh Enschede of the Netherlands.

As from tomorrow (Friday), 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 January 10. The minimum number of covers per order is five.

A restriction of two stamp booklets, five souvenir sheets and two sheets of stamps of each denomination (namely 100 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 January 17.

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 January 17, 1997. A special postmark will also be introduced.

The GPO-1 hand stamp will also be available for hand-back service at the following 19 philatelic offices:

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

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

Kowloon City Post Office

As on previous occasions of first day issue of new stamps, the following 23 post offices will open at 8 am on January 17:

Hong Kong Island

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

Qutlyin^Islaiids

Cheung Chau

Kowloon

Tsim Sha Tsui, Airport, 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

3

Telephone enquiry system to be suspended

*****

The Education Department's 24-hour Automatic Telephone Enquiry System on 2891 0088 will be suspended from noon on Saturday (January 4) to 8.30 am on Monday (January 6).

The suspension is to facilitate work on the electricity supply system of Wu Chung House.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results

*****

Tender date : 2 January 1997

Paper on offer : EF Bills

Issue number : Q066

Issue date : 3 January 1997

Maturity date : 31 January 1997

Amount applied : HK$3,250 MN

Amount allotted : HKS3.250 MN

Average yield accepted : 4.40 PCT

Highest yield accepted 4.48 PCT

Average tender yield : 4.40 PCT

End

- 4 -

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity *****

TIME AGGREGATE BALANCE OF SETTLEMENT ACCOUNTS

OPENING AGGREGATE BALANCE 474 MN 0930 HR 11,009 MN

CLOSING AGGREGATE BALANCE 450 MN 1000 HR 18,430 MN

CHANGE ATTRIBUTABLE TO : 1100 HR 21,563 MN

MONEY MARKET ACTIVITY - 6 MN 1200 HR 25,893 MN

LAF REVERSAL +8,037 MN 1500 HR 27,074 MN

LAF TODAY - 8,055 MN 1600 HR 35,733 MN

LAF RATE 4.00% BID/6.00% OFFER TWI 125.2 *-0.1* 2.1.97

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF Bills EF Notes/MTRC Notes

Terms Yield Terms Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.34 2 years 2811 5.72 100.23 5.66

1 month 4.34 3 years 3910 6.28 100.59 6.13

3 months 4.48 5 years 5112 6.57 99.41 6.82

6 months 4.69 7 years 7311 6.80 98.80 7.14

12 months 5.05 10 years 1610 7.37 100.64 7.41

5 years M5O3 7.35 101.55 7.07

TOTAL TURNOVER OF EF BILLS AND NOTES - $14,645 MN

CLOSED JANUARY 2, 1997

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Friday, January 3,1997

Contents Page No.

Closure of Whitehead Detention Centre and a review of 1996.............. 1

Transfer of VMs from Whitehead Detention Centre today................... 2

Statement by the Medical Council of Hong Kong........................... 3

Plans to resume land in Mong Kok announced.............................. 4

DB plays important monitoring role in district affairs.................. 5

Voters urged to support Wong Tai Sin District Board by-election..... 6

Electors reminded to vote in by-election on Sunday...................... 7

Tech Week '97 to be launched next week.................................. 7

Full portability of telephone numbers achieved.......................... 9

Hong Kong Island lot for sale by tender................................. 9

Fees for Certificate of Competency to operate boilers.................. 10

Sewerage and road works planned for Tai Po............................. 10

Upgrading of Ting Kok Road in Tai Po proposed....................... 11

Proposal for further improvements to Victoria Road..................... 12

Road works proposed for Ngau Tam Mei Treatment Works................... 13

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity....................... 15

1

Closure of Whitehead Detention Centre and a review of 1996 ♦ ♦ * * ♦

The Whitehead Detention Centre for Vietnamese migrants (VMs) is closed today (Friday) as the VM population in Hong Kong drops to a record low of 6,300 since the late 1970s.

The acting Refugee Co-ordinator, Ms Sally Wong, said that since 1989, more than 63,000 VMs had been repatriated to Vietnam under the voluntary (Volrep) and orderly repatriation programmes.

She added that in 1996, the pace of repatriation was accelerated in May and again in October, resulting in several records being made in the year :

* a total of 15,100 VMs were repatriated, the highest annual repatriation record;

7,000 VMs were repatriated under ORP, the highest ORP figure

achieved since the programme commenced in November 1991;

* 2,155 VMs were repatriated (under Volrep and ORP) in November

alone, the highest monthly figure;

over 700 VMs returned to Vietnam voluntarily on four flights on December 19, the highest daily Volrep figure.

The VM population, which stood at over 20,000 at the beginning of 1996, fell to about 6,300 at the end of the year, which was the lowest figure since the late 1970s.

With the successes in repatriation and the declining VM population, Tai A Chau Detention Centre was closed in September 1996. The main camp of Whitehead Detention Centre is also closing down today, leaving only two voluntary repatriation centres, a unit for Ex-China Vietnamese Illegal Immigrants, and the security unit in the camp to provide temporary holding facilities for some VMs immediately prior to their repatriation under ORP.

The bulk of the remaining VMs are now accommodated in High Island Detention Centre.

"We are pleased that the transfer operation today at Whitehead has proceeded smoothly," Ms Wong said. "This is likely to be the last major operation at the camp."

2

The Whitehead Detention Centre was first opened in January 1989 when the VM population in Hong Kong stood at about 11,000. When the VM population reached its height of nearly 60,000 in October 1991, the centre provided accommodation for about 25,000.

"The Government is firmly committed to resolving the problem of the remaining VMs in Hong Kong as soon as possible," Ms Wong said.

"Should the current rate of repatriation continue, it should be possible to close all VM camps by the middle of this year.

"The closure of the Whitehead Detention Centre is a watershed in the whole VM saga, signalling the beginning of the end of the problem," she said.

End

Transfer of VMs from Whitehead Detention Centre today *****

A total of about 530 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) will be transferred from Section 6 of Whitehead Detention Centre (WHDC) to the security units of WHDC and High Island Detention Centre (H1DC) today (Friday) 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 January 7 and 14.

All remaining VMs in Section 6 will also be transferred to HIDC today.

The transfers will be observed by independent monitors.

After the transfers, the main camp of WHDC will be closed down, leaving only the two voluntary repatriation centres, about 270 ex-China Vietnamese illegal immigrants, and the security unit in the camp to provide temporary holding facilities for some VMs immediately prior to their repatriation under ORP.

End

3

Statement by the Medical Council of Hong Kong ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The following is a statement issued by the Chairman of the Medical Council of Hong Kong, Professor Rosie Young, in response to views expressed yesterday (Thursday) by Hong Kong students studying medicine abroad:

The Medical Council of Hong Kong considers it important to point out that the Universal Licensing Examination is not intended to bar medical students graduating from the UK, Australia or other Commonwealth countries from coming back to Hong Kong to practise medicine.

It merely requires them to pass a qualifying examination followed by a period of assessment for the purpose of registration; a system to ensure that those who return from abroad and are allowed to practise medicine in Hong Kong are at a standard that the Medical Council can recommend to our public.

The Medical Council believes that the holding of a Universal Licensing Examination for all overseas medical graduates seeking to practise in Hong Kong now and in future is the fairest way to all.

In this regard, the Medical Council trusts that these bona fide medical graduates from the UK, Australia or other Commonwealth countries should have no difficulties in passing the uniform standard of assessment set by the council.

Within the ambit of the law as it now stands, the Medical Council has explored some administrative means to help these medical graduates wherever possible. For example, the Medical Council will explore all possible means to minimise the time gap between the holding of different parts of the Licensing Examination so that students may complete the entire examination within the shortest time span, that is about three months' time.

Besides, they may be exempted from taking Part II of the Licensing Examination provided that English is used as the medium of instruction in the course of their medical training.

Concerning the 12-months' period of internship training following the Licensing Examination, the Medical Council will recommend to the Licentiate Committee to consider reducing the period of assessment within its authority on the basis of individual performance and upon application by the medical graduates concerned.

4

Furthermore, when these medical graduates undertake their internship training in our local hospitals, they will be employed by the Hospital Authority at a monthly salary of $18,595 (rate as at January 1, 1997), which in a way may alleviate the financial burden of their family, if any, before they become a registered medical practitioner in Hong Kong.

These medical graduates will also be able to serve the community under limited registration if they obtain an employment in those institutions under the Medical Council's Promulgation (No. 2), for example the University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Department of Health and public hospitals administered by the Hospital Authority.

In respect of the problem faced by some Australian students in securing intern placements in Australia, the Medical Council considers that the internship training should, in fact, be part and parcel of their undergraduate medical training. Nevertheless, the Medical Council has provided assistance to these students to seek intern placement in Australia.

End

Plans to resume land in Mong Kok announced ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

The Lands Department announced today (Friday) plans to resume 1,082.20 square metres of land at Argyle Street and Shanghai Street in Mong Kok.

The land will be resumed under the Crown Lands Resumption Ordinance for the implementation of a development scheme by the Land Development Corporation (LDC).

Details of the land lots affected are contained in a notice in the Government Gazette published today.

A government spokesman said the Government was satisfied that the LDC had taken all reasonable steps to acquire these interests on terms that were fair and reasonable, as required by the Land Development Corporation Ordinance.

"A total of 62 interests in Argyle Street, Hong Lok Street, Nelson Street, Portland Street, Reclamation Street and Shanghai Street will revert to the Government when the resumption notice expires in three months' time," the spokesman said.

5

"Owners and tenants affected may make statutory claims under the Crown Lands Resumption Ordinance and, if the claim cannot be settled by agreement, may apply to the Lands Tribunal for adjudication.

"Eligible domestic occupiers will be offered rehousing or ex-gratia cash allowance in lieu of rehousing by the LDC."

The spokesman added that upon completion of the resumption and clearance, a total of about 11,990 square metres of land would be granted by land exchange to the LDC for redevelopment.

The site will be developed as multi-storey commercial buildings with "Govemment/Institution/Community" facilities including a public light bus terminus, a cooked food centre and neighbourhood community centres.

"A public open space with an area of about 1,100 square metres will also be provided for environmental improvement," he said.

End

DB plays important monitoring role in district affairs

*****

The Wan Chai District Board has played a vital role in reflecting residents' opinions and improving their livelihood as well as offering them a wide range of cultural, recreational and community activities, the Director of Home Affairs, Mrs Shelley Lau, said today (Friday).

Speaking at the opening ceremony of Wan Chai Festival '97, Mrs Lau said the ’ Government attached great importance to district boards as a consultative and monitoring body in the provision of services at district level.

"Take Wan Chai District Board as an example, it has implemented a large-scale conservation programme that involved planting more than 700 trees to beautify the environment over the past few years.

"The board has also lobbied the Land Development Corporation (LDC) to reconsider its redevelopment of Wan Chai Road and Tai Yuen Street with a view to improving the environment and traffic in the area.

6

"LDC has since adopted the board's suggestions. The project has since been approved by the Town Planning Board and Executive Council and work will start soon," she said.

On the organising of community activities, she noted that Wan Chai was the first district to organise a district festival.

The festival for this year offers more than 30 activities for people from all walks of life, senior citizens, handicapped people, Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients and new arrivals.

Mrs Lau added that the festival had provided an opportunity for residents to establish contact with those in need of care and assistance, thereby fostering a harmonious community.

End

Voters urged to support Wong Tai Sin District Board by-election ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Wong Tai Sin District Officer, Miss Diane Wong, today (Friday) urged registered voters of San Po Kong constituency to cast their ballots in the Wong Tai Sin District Board by-election in respect of the constituency on Sunday (January 5).

Miss Wong said that advisory in nature, the district boards had made valuable contributions towards improving the well-being of residents in the districts - in terms of the provision of services and facilities at district level.

: :. I •

The balloting will be held from 7.30 am to 10.30 pm.

Two polling stations will be set up, one at Ho Lap College, 15 Tseuk Luk Street and the other in Kai Tai East Indoor Games Hall, 30 Luk Hop Street, San Po Kong.

Two candidates - Mr Mak Hoi-wah and Mr Lee Tat-yan - will be vying for the seat vacated by Mr Josephs Chan (alias Canon Chan).

San Po Kong constituency comprises all private buildings and two squatter areas (Ha Yuen Leng and Tai Hom Village) within the area bounded by Choi Hung Road, Lung Cheung Road and Prince Edward Road East. It has an electorate of 5,875.

7

Registered voters are reminded to bring along their identity cards and their poll cards to the polling stations.

Enquiries can be made to the Wong Tai Sin District Office on 2323 5668 ext 23.

End

Electors reminded to vote in by-election on Sunday ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

The Registration and Electoral Office (REO) today (Friday) reminded the 5,875 electors of San Po Kong constituency to vote in the Wong Tai Sin District Board byelection in respect of their constituency on Sunday (January 5).

Two polling stations will be set up. one in Ho Lap College, 15 Tseuk Luk Street and the other in Kai Tak East Indoor Games Hall, 30 Luk Hop Street, San Po Kong. They will be opened from 7.30 am to 10.30 pm.

An REO spokesman said an elector must bring along his identity card to the polling station as specified in the poll card sent to him earlier. It would facilitate polling proceeding if he could also bring along the poll card.

For enquiries, please call 2827 1122.

End

Tech Week '97 to be launched next week *****

A five-day programme of events featuring a technology exhibition, an Asian industrial and technology congress, seminars on technology, a business and technology exchange forum, and a symposium on a study on the further development of Hong Kong's manufacturing industries will be held between January 6 (Monday) and 10 at the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Centre.

Announcing details of the Hong Kong Technology Week '97 at a press conference today (Friday), the chairman of the organising committee for the event, Professor Charles Kao, said the Technology Week was the first of its kind in Hong Kong.

8

"The objectives of organising the event are to demonstrate Hong Kong’s technological achievements to local and overseas manufacturers and investors, and to promote public awareness and generate public interest in the latest technology advances," said Professor Kao.

"The programme of the Technology Week will show all of us that Hong Kong does have a robust group of technology-based industries and research organisations, and is highly competitive in many technology areas."

Commenting on the theme of the Technology Week, "Better Living, Brighter Future", Professor Kao said: "It depicts the fact that modem technologies have wide applications in our daily lives and will help improve our way of living and create a brighter future for us all.

"For example, developments in information technology has overcome the geographical constraints in communication through the use of the Internet, electronic mail and video conferencing; wrinkle-free fabric has saved us much time and trouble in handling some of our daily chores; the waste treatment technologies have alleviated the pollution problem and improved our environment."

Also speaking at the press conference, the Director-General of Industry, Mr Francis Ho, said the Technology Week would be kicked off with an opening ceremony to be held at noon on January 6.

The opening ceremony will be officiated by the Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, and some 300 guests from the business and academic community have been invited to attend.

Ilie core programme of the week, the Technology Exhibition, will be open to the public free of charge from 1 pm on January 6 to 2 pm on January 9.

"The Technology Exhibition, the first of its kind in Hong Kong, will have some 200 exhibitors from the commercial sector, tertiary institutions, industry support bodies and trade associations displaying the latest advances in seven technology areas," Mr Ho said.

Co-organisers of the Technology Week include The Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong, the Federation of Hong Kong Industries, the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, the Hong Kong Industrial Technology Centre Corporation, the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the Hong Kong Productivity Council and the Young Industrialists Council.

End

9

Full portability of telephone numbers achieved ♦ * * * *

The Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) announced today (Friday) that Hong Kong has successfully achieved full portability of telephone numbers using the intelligent network and database technique.

Hong Kong is the first city in the world to achieve full number portability.

"To the consumers, this means that all fixed telephone users can keep their numbers wherever they move their homes or offices within Hong Kong," a spokesman for OFTA said.

"They can also keep their numbers if they change their subscription from one telephone company to another."

• OFTA will conduct a study in the near future to consider the applicability and desirability of introducing number portability to mobile telephone services.

End

Hong Kong Island lot for sale by tender *****

The Lands Department is inviting tenders for the sale of a piece of government land at Pok Fu Lam Road on Hong Kong Island.

The Rural Building Lot No 1135 has an area of about 810.6 square metres. It is intended for use as a petrol filling station (excluding any ancillary vehicle servicing or lubricating facilities) and the retail sale of confectionery, drinks and motor vehicle accessories.

The closing date for submission offenders is noon on Friday, January 31.

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/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, Tuen Mun, Tsuen Wan, Kwai Tsing, Sai Kung and Islands.

End

10

Fees for Certificate of Competency to operate boilers ♦ * * * ♦

The Government proposes to increase the fees for the issue of a Certificate of Competency to operate boilers and pressure vessels from $275 to $330 starting from February 14, 1997 subject to the approval of the Legislative Council.

It is also proposed to increase the fees for carrying out examinations for the purposes of the issue or endorsement of such certificates from $510 to $610 from the same day.

The proposals are provided for under the Boilers and Pressure Vessels (Amendment) Regulation 1997 gazetted today (Friday). The regulation will be laid before the Legislative Council on January 8, 1997.

"It is 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.

"The fees were last revised in January 1995. The proposed fee increases are required to reflect the cost of services at 1996-97 price level."

End

Sewerage and road works planned for Tai Po

*****

The Director of Environmental Protection has proposed the installation of trunk sewerage along Ting Kok Road between Tai Mei Tuk and Sam Mun Tsai Road.

This is part of the continuing programme for the development of the Tai Po New Town.

The works include the construction of approximately 3.5 kilometres of gravity sewer and rising mains as well as sewage pumping stations.

Works will commence around mid-1997 for completion in mid-1999. During the construction period. Ting Kok Road between Shuen Wan Lei Uk and Tai Mei Tuk will be upgraded.

11

Details of the proposed sewerage works and the road upgrading works were published in the Government Gazette today (Friday).

The plans and schemes of the proposed works are now available for public inspection at:

* Central and Western District Office, Public Enquiry Service Centre, ground floor, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central.

* Tai Po District Lands Office and Tai Po District Office, Tai Po Government Office Building, Ting Kok Road, Tai Po, New Territories.

Any person who wishes to object to the proposed works should submit his objection to the Director of Environmental Protection, 28th floor, Southom Centre, 130 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai not later than March 3, 1997.

End

Upgrading of Ting Kok Road in Tai Po proposed ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government proposes the upgrading the section of Ting Kok Road between Shuen Wan Lei Uk and Tai Mei Tuk in Tai Po to a single-lane dual carriageway.

The road upgrading works form part of the continuing programme for the development of the Tai Po New Town.

Works will involve widening and improving about 3.5 kilometres of road, footpath and cycle track of the existing section of Ting Kok Road.

There will be improvement of the existing road bends adjacent to Sheun Wan Lei Uk and Tai Po Town Lot No 140 and modification of the two road junctions at Ting Kok Road and Shan Liu Road, and at Ting Kok Road and Tung Tsz Road.

Construction of run-ins to village tracks, footpaths, amenity areas, drainage networks, slope treatment works, retaining wall and noise barriers will also be included.

12

Works will start around September this year for completion in 1999.

A notice covering the proposed road upgrading works was gazetted today (Friday).

Plans and schemes showing the proposed works can be seen at Central and Western District Office, Central Enquiry Service Centre, ground Floor, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central, Hong Kong; Tai Po District Lands Office and Tai Po District Office which are located at the Tai Po Government Office Building, Ting Kok Road, Tai Po, New Territories.

Any person who wishes to object to the works or the use, or both, must send his objection in writing to the Secretary for Transport, Central Government Offices, East Wing, second floor, Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong, before March 4, 1997 describing his interest and the manner in which he alleges that he will be affected by the works or the use.

End

Proposal for further improvements to Victoria Road *****

The Highways Department proposes to upgrade Victoria Road to the latest standards.

A department spokesman said today (Friday) that the Victoria Road Improvements Stage II Phase 2 works would enhance pedestrian and vehicular traffic on the section of Victoria Road between Sassoon Road and Pok Fu Lam Road.

The proposed works include:

(i) widening and realignment of sections of Victoria Road;

(ii) construction of two link roads connecting Wah King Street;

(iii) extension of the link road leading to Pok Fu Lam Kennels;

(iv) construction of footpaths and bus bays;

(v) construction of a vehicular bridge and retaining walls; and

(vi) associated landscaping, slope and ancillary works.

13

The proposed works are expected to commence in February 1998 for completion in mid-2000.

Details of the proposal were published in the Government Gazettee today.

The plans and scheme of the proposed works may be inspected during office hours at:

* Public Enquiry Service Centre, Central and Western District Office, ground floor, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central;

* Hong Kong South District Lands Office, 20th floor, Southom Centre, 130 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai; and

* Public Enquiry Service Centre, Southern District Office, Shop 25, ground floor, Mei Fung Court, Aberdeen Centre, 7-11, Nam Ning Street, Aberdeen.

Any person who wishes to object to the works or the use, or both, is required to address his objection in writing not later than March 4, 1997 to the Secretary for Transport, second floor, East Wing, Central Government Offices, Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong.

End

Road works proposed for Ngau Tam Mei Treatment Works

*****

The Government plans to execute road works to improve the section of the existing access road leading to the proposed Ngau Tam Mei Treatment Works in Yuen Long.

The proposed road works form part of the Ngau Tam Mei Treatment Works project, which is to be implemented to increase fresh water supply to northwest New Territories.

The road works will commence in March 1998 for completion in 12 months. They will include the widening and realignment of a section of the access road and construction of associated earth retaining structures, earth works and drainage works.

14

In accordance with a notice published in the Government Gazette today (Friday), any person who wishes to object to the works or the use, or both, is required to address his objection in writing to the Secretary for Transport, Central Government Offices, East Wing, second floor, Lower Albert Road, Central, Hong Kong, before March 4, 1997.

The written objection should describe the interest and the manner in which he alleges that he will be affected by the works or the use.

The notice in both English and Chinese can be seen on a notice board posted on the site.

The plan (No 4201/3) and scheme describing the proposed works are available for public inspection during office hours at:

* Central and Western District Office, Public Enquiry Service Centre, ground floor, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central, Hong Kong;

* Yuen Long District Lands Office, Yuen Long Government Offices, ninth to 11th floors, 2 Kiu Lok Square, Yuen Long, New Territories;

and

* Yuen Long District Office,

Yuen Long District Office Building,

269 Castle Peak Road, Yuen Long, New Territories.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity

*****

TIME AGGREGATE BALANCE OF SETTLEMENT ACCOUNTS

OPENING AGGREGATE BALANCE 450 MN 0930 HR 9,671 MN

CLOSING AGGREGATE BALANCE 678 MN 1000 HR 13,942 MN

CHANGE ATTRIBUTABLE TO : 1100 HR 13,942 MN

MONEY MARKET ACTIVITY -254 MN 1200 HR 24,005 MN

LAF REVERSAL +8,056 MN 1500 HR 24,105 MN

LAF TODAY - 7,574 MN 1600 HR 37,028 MN

LAF RATE 4.00% BID/6.00% OFFER TWI 125.3 ♦+0.1* 3.1.97

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF Bills EF Notes/MTRC Notes

Terms Yield Terms Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.38 2 years 2811 5.72 100.13 5.72

1 month 4.40 3 years 3910 6.28 100.45 6.19

3 months 4.52 5 years 5112 6.57 99.18 6.88

6 months 4.73 7 years 7311 6.80 98.50 7.20

12 months 5.11 10 years 1610 7.37 100.17 7.48

5 years M503 7.35 101.25 7.15

TOTAL TURNOVER OF EF BILLS AND NOTES - $12,539 MN

CLOSED JANUARY 3, 1997

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Saturday, January 4,1997

Contents Page No,

International conference on school effectiveness.......................... 1

Monitors’ report submitted to CS.......................................... 2

Fresh water cut in Tai Po................................................. 2

Flushing water cut in Aberdeen............................................ 3

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity.......................... 3

Sunday, January 5,1997

Contents Page No,

Airport Core Programme heads towards completion.......................... 4

Know more about North DB's work through festival......................... 9

Results of English essay contest announced.............................. 10

Flushing water cut in Sham Shui Po and Mong Kok..................... 11

1

International conference on school effectiveness ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Seven members of the Education Commission (EC) today (Saturday) departed for the tenth annual meeting of the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement (ICSEI), which will be held in Memphis, USA, from January 5 and 8.

They are the Chairman, Professor Rosie Young; Mr Moses Cheng; Ms Sansan Ching; Mr Kenneth Mak; Mr Tai Hay-lap; Sister Margaret Wong; and Director of Education, Mrs Helen C P Lai Yu.

Apart from the EC delegation, there are some 20 other participants from Hong Kong. They include representatives of the Education Department, the Hong Kong Institute of Education, academics, school principals and educational bodies.

Professor Young noted that the theme of the Congress is "A World of World Class Schools". The goal is to examine diverse methods for creating and sustaining "world class" education.

"The EC will publish in early 1997 its report no. 7 (ECR7) on quality school education. In view of the relevance of the ICSEI meeting to the development of quality education in Hong Kong, it is considered beneficial for EC members to participate in the meeting and study the practical experience of school reform in overseas countries," she said.

At the Congress, there will be international presentations on recent school reform movements and local school visits. Participants will also have ample opportunities to exchange views on issues relating to school effectiveness and improvement.

The Director of Education, Mrs Helen Yu, will host a Hong Kong Symposium on "the Latest Initiatives for School Effectiveness and Educational Quality in Hong Kong".

"This will give us the valuable opportunity to take reference and to confer with overseas policy-makers and leading advocates of quality education. This prepares us for the education reform to result from ECR7. The Congress will also enable our colleagues to establish and extend contacts overseas. For Education Department, we see this an occasion for staff development." Mrs Yu said.

The ICSEI is a group of researchers, policy specialists and school practitioners dedicated to building a base for research, practice and policy in the areas of school effectiveness and school improvement.

2

The first ICSEI meeting was held in London in 1988 and subsequent annual meetings have been held at various cities, including Rotterdam, Melbourne, Jerusalum, Cardiff and Victoria.

Senior officers of the Education Department have attended previous ICSEI conferences, which are considered to be a useful venue for researchers and school practitioners from different countries to share experience, and to keep abreast of the latest developments in school reforms in other parts of the world.

End

Monitors' report submitted to CS

*****

The monitors appointed to observe the Vietnamese migrants transfer operation at the Whitehead Detention Centre yesterday (January 3) have submitted their report to the Chief Secretary today (Saturday).

The four monitors comprised two non-official Justices of the Peace, Mr George Ng Sze-fuk and Mr Michael Lai Kam-cheung ; and representatives from two non-govemment organisations. Mr Augustine Ng Cheuk-tai from Caritas, Hong Kong and Mrs Anthea Strickland from Save the Children Fund.

End

Fresh water cut in Tai Po *****

Fresh water supply to some premises in Tai Po will be temporarily suspended from 9 pm on Tuesday (January 7) to 7 am the following day for watermain connection.

The suspension will affect all premises in Ting Kok Road from Ha Hang Village to Bride's Pool Road. Fortune Garden, Sam Mun Tsai San Tsuen, Sha Lan Village, Wong Yue Tan Village, Chim Uk Village, Chan Uk Village, Lei Uk Village, Po Sum Pai Village, Lai Pek Shan Village, Ting Kok Village, Shan Liu Road, Hoi Ben Village, Lo Tze Tin Village, Lung Mei Village. Wong Chuk Village, Tai Mei Tuk Village. Tai Mei Tuk Water Sports Centre, Bride's Pool Road Government Staff Quarters, Agriculture and Fisheries Department's Tai Mei Tuk Centre and Tai Mei Tuk Pumping Station.

End

3

Flushing water cut in Aberdeen ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Flushing water supply to all premises in Aberdeen, Tin Wan and Shum Wan will be temporarily suspended between 9 am and 7.30 pm on Tuesday (January 7) for maintenance work on watermains.

The affected areas will include Shek Pai Wan Estate; all premises bounded by Tin Wan Hill Road, Yue Kwong Road and Aberdeen Praya Road, and those along Shum Wan Road. Welfare Road and Nam Long Shan Road.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

TIME AGGREGATE BALANCE OF SETTLEMENT ACCOUNTS

OPENING AGGREGATE BALANCE 678 MN 0930 IIR CLOSING AGGREGATE BALANCE 856 MN 1000 I IR CHANGE ATTRIBUTABLE TO : 1100 HR MONEY MARKET ACTIVITY +2 1130 HR LAF REVERSAL +7,780 MN LAF TODAY - 7,604 MN 9,987 MN 10,559 MN 9,102 MN 9.047 MN

LAF RATE 4.00% BID/6.00% OFFER TWI 125.5 *+0.2* 1/4/97

Closed January 4 1997

End

4

Airport Core Programme heads towards completion

*****

Eight of the 10 Airport Core Programme (ACP) projects are heading towards completion as the countdown begins to the opening of a new transport corridor from Central to Tung Chung on Lantau Island.

In a review of progress made in 1996, the Director of the New Airport Projects Co-ordination Office (NAPCO), Mr Billy Lam, said today (Sunday), "1996 has been a year of remarkable progress for the 10 projects of the ACP and 1997 will see us starting to reap the benefits of the programme as eight of the projects come to fruition."

Mr Lam said that starting from February, the 34-kilometre long transport corridor, linking the new town at Tung Chung and the new airport at Chek Lap Kok to the urban areas, will be progressively opened to traffic.

The first project to cross the ACP "finishing line" will be the expressway that runs along the West Kowloon Reclamation, known as the West Kowloon Expressway, and the Kwai Chung Viaduct section of Route 3. This 7.2 kilometre stretch of six-lane expressway will be opened soon after the Chinese New Year in February.

"A major benefit of this opening will be to ease traffic congestion in the west Kowloon area," said Mr Lam.

The next major ACP project set for completion is the two-kilometre Western Harbour Crossing linking Sai Ying Pun to the West Kowloon Reclamation which is due to be opened to traffic in April, ahead of schedule.

The remaining roads of the ACP highways network, that is the Lantau Link, the Tsing Yi section of Route 3 and the North Lantau Expressway, will open in May.

Looking back over the past year, Mr Lam said that excellent progress continued to be made on all of the 10 ACP projects. As at the end of November, the Government's seven ACP projects were 93 per cent complete, while overall, including the new airport, the Airport Railway and the Western Harbour Crossing, the ACP was about 73 per cent complete.

"It is a remarkable achievement that work has been progressing so well on a 10-project programme of this size and complexity," said Mr Lam.

5

Apart from maintaining good momentum on the ACP, one of the significant achievements of the year was the reduction of $1,850 million in the overall ACP budget from $158,169 million to $156,364 million.

"This reduction was made possible principally as a result of the Government's rigorous cost control on the works," he said.

This was the second time that the ACP budget had 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 infrastnicture projects that we have been able to reduce costs and have done it twice," said Mr Lam.

Looking ahead, Mr Lam said that despite excellent progress in 1996, the next 12 months will be an important period for the construction of the new airport and the airport railway where there is much to be done.

"To maintain momentum on the two projects there will be a need for more workers." he said.

The following provides a rundown of the progress of the ACP based on percentage figures as at the end of November:

New airport al Chek Lap Kok

Development of the new airport at Chek Lap Kok has entered its most intensive phases on all fronts. The southern runway will be substantially completed for airfield trials early this year (1997) when the first plane will land on the runway.

As at the end of November, the Airport Authority (AA) works were 73 per cent complete. Including those of the Government and franchisees, the airport project was 61 per cent complete overall.

In mid-September, the AA signed two Supplemental Agreements valued at $1.9 billion with the main contractors for the Passenger Terminal Building. The supplemental agreements re-established a works programme that supported the April 1998 target opening date and settled outstanding claims and related matters with the contractors.

6

The payment of $1.9 billion was within the overall budget of $49.8 billion for the construction of the new airport and the AA is confident that it can complete the airport works within the overall budget.

Another significant development in the past year was the agreement reached by the British and Chinese sides of the Airport Committee on the AA's proposal to bring forward the construction of the second runway at the new airport at Chek Lap Kok.

The second or northern runway will be operating at the end of 1998 . The second runway and related facilities are estimated to cost about $4.9 billion. The AA has estimated that the construction costs of its works will be about $4.3 billion, to be financed by the authority through borrowings. The Government will provide additional facilities and equipment to support the operation of the second runway at an estimated cost of about $600 million in money of the day.

Looking ahead, the AA will be pressing ahead with various works on the airport island, especially with fitting out, and the electrical and mechanical works iri the passenger terminal building. The authority will also be continuing to work on its operational plans in readiness for airport opening in April 1998.

Airport Railway

The structural completion of the Airport Railway’s immersed tube tunnel under the harbour in October marked a major milestone in the project, which is being undertaken by the Mass Transit Railway Corporation (MTRC).

The 1.3 kilometre crossing runs from the southern part of the West Kowloor Reclamation to the Central Reclamation where the Hong Kong Station is being built.

Track-laying started on the main line in March last year and to date over 50 per cent of the work has been completed. Work has also begun on the electrical and mechanical installations.

The topping out of the Tai Kok Tsui Station in August represented another important milestone for the project as it signified the structural completion of the first of the seven Airport Railway stations.

This was followed in December by the topping out of the Tung Chung station, the terminus of the Lantau Line.

The project was 62 per cent complete as at the end of November, and the Airport Railway remains on target for completion in .lune 1998.

7

When completed, the Airport Express which has been designed as an all-seated, business class-type service will carry passengers between the airport and Central District in Hong Kong in just 23 minutes.

Western Harbour Crossing

The breakthrough of the Western Harbour Crossing in September last year marked an important milestone on the way to completion of the project. The six-lane crossing, Hong Kong’s third and largest cross harbour road tunnel, is scheduled to be opened in April, three months ahead of schedule.

Charging a toll of $30 each way, the tunnel will be used by about 75,000 vehicles a day when it opens.

Lantau Link

Another significant milestone in the ACP works was achieved with the completion of the erection of the last main deck units for the Tsing Ma and Kap Shui Mun Bridges in March last year. This linked the island of Lantau to the rest of Hong Kong.

The installation of electrical and mechanical systems and other finishing work is now in progress. Together with the completion of concrete construction of Ma Wan Viaduct, work on the Lantau Link was 94 per cent complete at the end of November. It is well on target for completion in May.

Formerly known as the Lantau Fixed Crossing, the project's name was changed to Lantau Link in October.

The "Lantau Fixed Crossing" was essentially an engineering term to describe the 3.5 kilometre dual three-lane expressway and railway link connecting Tsing Yi with Lantau Island.

In preparation for its opening, the shorter name which is clearer, simpler and more suitable for everyday use was introduced.

Tung Chung New Town

Situated on Lantau Island adjacent to the new airport at Chek Lap Kok, the new town at Tung Chung has been designed as a support community for the new airport and is the first new town to he built on an outlying island.

8

The first phase of public housing development in the new town will be ready for occupation in the second half of 1997 to provide homes for 15,000 people. Community services and facilities will be available to meet the daily needs of residents. Seven bus routes will come into operation in mid-1997, linking Tung Chung with the New Territories, Kowloon and the new airport, when the first batch of residents move in.

Moreover, when completed in 1998, the Lantau Line of the Airport Railway will provide speedy access to Kowloon and Central.

Workers

Mr Lam said that more than 32,000 workers were employed on the projects, of which 26,800 were local workers and the rest imported workers.

He said that with work on the new airport and the airport railway moving ahead rapidly there will be a need for even more workers. While every effort will continue to be made to recruit local workers to fill these posts, there will be a need to import workers if there are not sufficient locals to fill the vacancies.

Mr Lam stressed that in carrying out the ACP, the Government paid close attention to safety on the ACP works sites.

"So far, our efforts in promoting safety have proven to be sound, with the accident rate on ACP sites comparably better than the construction industry as a whole," he said.

ACP Exhibition Centre

As part of its continuing effort to keep the public informed about the 10 projects, NAPCO set up an exhibition centre on the Airport Core Programme in January last year. Located on Castle Peak Road in Ting Kau, the centre is an ideal location from which to view the Lantau Link, Hong Kong's newest landmark.

The centre has become a popular tourist spot for both local and overseas visitors, attracting more than 480,000 people since its opening in January last year.

NAPCO also organises guided tours of the centre for primary and secondary schools and local organisations. So far 34,339 people from 240 schools and 220 community organisations have visited the centre.

End

9

Know more about North DB's work through festival

*****

The Sixth North District Festival, which promises to be the biggest community event in the district, was launched today (Sunday) amidst much fanfare at North District Sports Ground in Sheung Shui.

Speaking at the kick-off ceremony, the Chairman of the North District Festival Organising Committee, Mr Tang Kun-nin, said: "We hope by providing residents and local groups with the opportunity of organising and participating in festival activities, we can create a more cohesive community."

< i-

"We believe this spirit of co-operation will spread to other spheres of activities in the district.

"Furthermore, the rich programme of activities reflect the significant development we have achieved in the district in recent years.

"Equally important, the festival provide an appropriate means for residents to get to know more about the functions and accomplishments of the district board, and it's work in improving the district's traffic and transport, district development, environment, social services, recreation, culture and overall safety," Mr Tang said.

The festival, which will end with a musical extravaganza on February 16, also serves to mark the 15th anniversary of district administration, Mr Tang added.

The ceremony was followed by demonstrations of lion and dragon dances, Chinese Kung Fu, Tai Chi and performances by orchestral bands and local artistes.

Other festival events to be featured later include Chinese opera, a carnival and an exhibition as well as competitions in slogan, writing and commemorative cover design.

Also officiating at the ceremony are the Director of Home Affairs, Mrs Shelley Lau; Police Region Commander (N.T North), Mrs Wong Leung Kam-shan, North District Board Chairman, Mr Tang Kwok-yung; and North District Officer, Mr Tommy Yuen.

The festival will cost an estimated $1.4 million, of which $600,000 will be met by the district board, $550,000 by the Regional Council and the balance by local donations.

End

10

Results of English essay contest announced ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Sixteen secondary school students have outstripped some 150 other participants in an English essay competition aimed at paying tribute to teachers.

These winners in the Respect Our Teachers English Essay Contest have written outstanding pieces, in prose or fiction of fewer than 2,000 words on "A Memorable Encounter with my Teacher” or "A Tribute to My Teacher”. A prize-giving ceremony will be held in late-March this year.

The champion for Group A (Secondary 4 and 5) of the contest is Joanna Law of St Paul’s School (Lam Tin) while the first and second runners-up are Connie Yan Tin-yee of Maryknoll Convent School and Dara Lee of Diocesan Girls’ School respectively.

In Group B (Secondary 6 and 7), the champion is Tim Beyer of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong. The first runner-up is Denise Woo of Diocesan Girls’ School and the second runner-up Jenny Chung of Heep Yunn School.

Other winners in Group A are Tejaswini Dhavale of Sear Rogers International School, Man Hoi-yee of Buddhist Ma Kam Chan Memorial English Secondary School, Rufina Lam of Our Lady's College, Cynthia Tang Wai-wing of Holy Family Canossian College and Hanny Wan of Belilios Public School.

Merit prizes in Group B go to Elaine So of Heep Yunn School, Michael Leung Yee-lun of La Salle College, Juliana Fong Ngo-sai of Holy Family Canossian College, Lee Wai-ping of Belilios Public School and Jennifer Man of Diocesan Girls’ School.

The winners will receive a trophy. In addition, the champion of each group will be awarded a cash prize of $2,000 while the first and second runners-up will receive $1,500 and $1,000 respectively. Five merit prize winners of each group will each receive $400.

Winners were selected by a panel of judges comprising prominent academics of English, lecturers of the Hong Kong Institute of Education and inspectors of the Education Department.

The contest, jointly organised by the Committee on Respect Our Teaches Campaign and the Education Department and sponsored by Hongkong Standard, is aimed at increasing awareness of respect for teachers and promoting their image.

End

11

Flushing water cut in Sham Shui Po and Mong Kok

*****

Flushing water supply to some premises in Sham Shui Po and Mong Kok will be temporarily suspended from 10 pm on Wednesday (January 8) to 6 am the following day for alteration work on watermains.

The suspension will affect all premises in the area bounded by Castle Peak Road, Po Lun Street, Sham Shui Po and Tai Kok Tsui seafronts, Cherry Street, Tong Mi Road, Mong Kok Road, Sai Yee Street, Bute Street, Kowloon Canton Railway, Cornwall Street, Nam Cheong Street and Ching Cheung Road.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Monday, January 6,1997

Contents Page No.

ESB responds to enquiries on HK Electric corporate restructuring........ 1

Government creates best environment for technology promotion............ 1

Civil Aid Services celebrates 45th anniversary.............................. 3

Wong Tai Sin DB by-election results......................................... 4

Land Registry 1996 statistics released...................................... 4

First quarter rates due on January 31....................................... 6

Over 400 blankets distributed to street sleepers............................ 7

EPS payment service introduced at Inland Revenue offices.................... 8

Water storage figure........................................................ 8

Tender for 14th issue of three-year Exchange Fund notes..................... 9

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity........................... 10

ESB responds to enquiries on HK Electric corporate restructuring *****

In response to press enquiries on the corporate restructuring proposals involving the Hong Kong Electric Company, a spokesman for the Economic Services Branch said today (Monday) that the relationship between the Company and the Government is governed by the Scheme of Control Agreement between the two parties.

He said that the corporate restructuring proposals involving the company announced today appear not to precipitate any changes in this relationship, therefore the interests of consumers will not be affected.

He said that the Scheme of Control Agreement does not require the Government to be notified in advance of change of ownership of the company or of any changes in shareholdings in the company. Therefore the Government has no role in the restructuring proposals.

The current Scheme of Control Agreement between the Government and Hongkong Electric was signed in 1993 and lasts until 2008. It enables the Government to monitor the financial affairs of the electricity-related activities of the Hongkong Electric Company.

End

Government creates best environment for technology promotion *****

The Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang said today (Monday) that in the promotion of technology, the most important role of Government was to create the best environment for technological innovation and application to emerge and mature.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Technology Week ’97 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Mr. Tsang said Hong Kong as the freest economy in the world had created a highly competitive and efficient economic system where technological pursuits might thrive in all sectors of the economy.

’’The system is reinforced by the rule of law, including the protection of intellectual property rights for innovations and inventions, a level playing field, as well as the free flow of information,” Mr Tsang said.

w

- 2 -

In citing the telecommunications sector as an example, Mr Tsang noted that free enterprise, free access to and free application of latest technology transfer as well as deregulation and government encouragement of competition had together resulted not only in reduction in costs to consumers, but also in one of the best telecommunications systems in the world.

Commenting on the relevance of technology on the economic progress, Mr Tsang said that the industrial future of Hong Kong lay in our ability to use higher technology processes to produce higher value added products.

As a result of the globalisation process, Mr Tsang said that the idea of a vertically integrated manufacturing architecture wholly based in Hong Kong had become impractical and irrelevant.

“Increasingly we see that value chain in the production of goods being divided geographically based on the principle of comparative advantage.

“We have seen in the past fifteen years or so a major expansion of Hong Kong manufacturing base in the region.” Mr Tsang added.

The expansion of the manufacturing base would not have been possible, according to Mr Tsang, had Hong Kong not been able to secure the necessary technology to manage a widening network of offshore production processes radiating from the base in Hong Kong.

While addressing recent comments on the social consequences of the structural change in our economy, Mr Tsang said "the line between manufacturing and services is getting very fine as they become strongly related to, and dependent on, on another.”

"The increase in outward processing of our manufacturing industry has spurred the demand of services. And the upgrading of our services industries had enabled our manufacturing network to grow both in its footprint and output. A major link between them is technology."

In explaining the role of government in technological development, Mr Tsang cited the well known policy of "minimum intervention, maximum support", and said the government had put in much resources in education, training and had set up various funding schemes to facilitate applied industrial research.

He added that the Government had put in place a scheme to encourage collaborative efforts between Hong Kong and mainland firms and institutions. Two studies were in progress and these were designed to explore the opportunities of cooperation between Hong Kong and the Mainland in the fields of information technology and biotechnology.

- 3 -

"The Hong Kong Industrial Technology Centre is showing good promise in its incubation programme for helping to start up technology intensive companies," he said.

"And we are also refining our proposals for a science park. A site for this has been identified and may be made available for development in the first quarter of next year."

End

Civil Aid Services celebrates 45th anniversary *****

The Civil Aid Services (CAS) has organised a series of celebrations to commemorate its 45 th year of service to the community of Hong Kong this year.

The premiere was a grand reception held this (Monday) evening attended by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten and many distinguished guests.

Other coming celebrations include an anniversary dinner and a special publication.

Since its establishment in 1952, the CAS has matured into a volunteers' organisation with diversified skills and professionalism, capable of undertaking a wide range of emergency duties and helping to relieve the pressures on Hong Kong's full-time emergency forces.

It has been and still is performing a number of operational duties such as the management of the Vietnamese migrant or refugees centres, country fire protection patrol, crowd control on election days and at charity walks, as well as other civic duties.

It also maintains a professionally trained mountain rescue service in Hong Kong.

The CAS has an establishment of 3,634 adult members and a Cadet Corps of 3,232 youths.

End

Wong Tai Sin DB by-election results ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The following is the number of votes received by the two candidates of the Wong Tai Sin District Board by-election in respect of San Po Kong constituency on Sunday (January 5):

Mr Mak Hoi-wah 812 votes

Mr Lee Tat-yan 841 votes

Mr Lee Tat-yan was declared elected by the Returning Officer, Miss Diane Wong.

End

Land Registry 1996 statistics released

*****

The Land Registry (LR) today (Monday) released land registration statistics for the year 1996 as well as those for December last year.

A total of 147,423 sale and purchase agreements for building units, including both residential and non-residential, were received for registration by the LR in 1996.

This figure represents an increase of 51 per cent and 28.3 per cent compared with 1995 and 1994 respectively.

The total amount of the considerations involved in these agreements was $474.66 billion which was up by 78.6 per cent and 12 per cent compared with 1995 and 1994 respectively.

During 1996, 159,520 assignments of building units were lodged for registration, compared with 112,212 and 137,876 respectively recorded during 1995 and 1994, showing an increase of 42.2 per cent and 15.7 per cent respectively.

The total amount of the considerations involved amounting to $412.42 billion, indicated increases of 33.3 per cent and 3.6 per cent respectively when compared with the two preceding years.

5

The total amount secured under mortgages (other than building mortgages) was $75.28 billion, showing a decrease of two per cent and 26.2 per cent compared with 1995 and 1994 respectively.

A table summarising the above figures and other related statistics for 1996, together with the corresponding statistics recorded in 1995 and 1994, was released today by the registry.

Searches of land records made by members of the public during 1996 totalled 4,313,948, up by 46.8 per cent and 24 per cent compared with 1995 and 1994 respectively.

Meanwhile, for the month of December 1996, the LR received for registration 16,843 sale and purchase agreements for residential and non-residential building units.

This figure represents an increase of 5.2 per cent from that of November 1996 and an increase 58.7 per cent compared with December 1995.

The total consideration of these agreements in December 1996 was $69.3 billion, up 17.6 per cent and 159.5 per cent respectively when compared with the amounts for November 1996 and December 1995.

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

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

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

- 6 -

First quarter rates due on January 31

*****

Ratepayers are informed that rates for the first quarter of this year are due and payable on or before January 31.

Payment can be made either by autopay, or by the Payment by Phone Service (PPS), or by post addressed to the Director of Accounting Services, P O Box 8000, GPO, Hong Kong, or in person at any of the following offices:

(a) The Treasury Headquarters Collection and Payment Office, Immigration Tower, first floor, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong;

(b) The Central Sub-Treasury, Central Government Offices (West Wing), 11 Ice House Street, Hong Kong;

(c) The North Point Sub-Treasury, Max Share Centre, first floor, 373 King's Road, Hong Kong;

(d) The Sai Wan Ho Sub-Treasury, Eastern Law Courts Building, ground floor, 29 Tai On Street, Sai Wan Ho, Hong Kong;

(e) The Yau Ma Tei Sub-Treasury, Kowloon Government Offices, fourth floor, 405 Nathan Road, Kowloon;

(f) The Kowloon City Sub-Treasury, Man Sang Commercial Building, first floor, 348-352 Prince Edward Road West, Kowloon;

(g) The District Offices at Sai Kung, Sha Tin, Tai Po, North, Yuen Long, Tuen Mun, Tsuen Wan or Kwai Tsing.

Rates Demand notes for the quarter have been issued. Ratepayers who have not received their demand notes should bring along rates demand notes for any previous quarter to any of the Treasury Collection Offices listed at (a) to (f) above, and replacement rates demand notes will be issued to them.

Payment can then be made at any of these offices. If the ratepayers cannot produce rates demand notes for any previous quarter, they should inquire at the Rates Accounts Section of the Rating and Valuation Department, Hennessy Centre, 23rd floor, 500 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong or call 2881 1033.

- 7 - ’ • A-

Non-receipt of the demand note does not alter the requirement that the rates must be paid on or before January 31, 1997 and unless so paid, ratepayers may be subject to a surcharge of 5% under Section 22 of the Rating Ordinance. A further surcharge of 10% may be levied on the outstanding amount (including the 5% surcharge) which remains unpaid six months after the due date.

Ratepayers who have submitted a valid direct debit authorization should note that payment should still be made by other means as stipulated in the demand note unless the wording 'PAYMENT TO BE MADE BY AUTOPAY1 is shown on the demand note in which case their payment of rates will be made by direct debit to their bank accounts on 31 January 1997. In this connection, ratepayers should ensure that their bank accounts contain the necessary funds on that date.

To avoid queuing, ratepayers are urged to settle payment by autopay under which ratepayers' bank accounts will only be debited on rates due dates or by the Payment by Phone Service (PPS). Application forms for autopay are obtainable from Treasury Collection Offices, District Offices and all major banks in Hong Kong or by telephoning 2881 1033. For additional information regarding PPS, please call 9000 0222 329.

End

Over 400 blankets distributed to street sleepers ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Staff of the Social Welfare Department last (Sunday) night distributed a total of 440 blankets to street sleepers in a territory-wide operation during the cold weather.

Of the total, 190 were distributed in West Kowloon, 21 in East Kowloon, 156 on Hong Kong Island, 53 in New Territories East and 20 in New Territories West.

End

- 8 -

EPS payment service introduced at Inland Revenue offices

* ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

To improve the payment service to the taxpaying public, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has installed an EPS terminal at each of its payment offices in Wan Chai, Mong Kok and Tsuen Wan since last month (December 1996).

This new service of payment of tax by EPS is an additional payment method to Payment by Phone, Payment by Post, Payment over Counter, and By Cheque Deposit Box in IRD payment offices currently offered by the Inland Revenue Department.

A spokesman for the department today (Monday) urged taxpayers who opt to pay their tax bills over the counter to pay by cheque or to make use of the new service to avoid carrying large quantities of cash to IRD for their own safety and convenience.

No application for use of the new service of payment of tax by EPS is required. Taxpayers who are holders of ATM cards of 30 major banks can now transfer a sum ranging from $20,000 to $50,000 for each ATM card or account each day for payment of tax at the designated counter at each of three IRD payment offices during office hours.

To save a trip to IRD, taxpayers are reminded that they may post their payment by cheque to IRD or pay by telephone via the 24-hour Payment-by-Phone Service. For enquiries, please telephone IRD's hotline 2877 9111 or 187 8033, or the PPS hotline 9000 0222 329.

End

Water storage figure

* * * * *

Storage in Hong Kong’s reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 79.7 per cent of capacity or 466.897 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 483.561 million cubic metres of water, representing 82.5 per cent of capacity.

End

9

Tender for 14th issue of three-year Exchange Fund notes ♦ * * * *

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority announced today (Monday) that the tender for the fourteenth issue of three-year Exchange Fund notes will be held on Monday, January 13 for settlement on Tuesday, January 14.

Similar to the previous issue, an amount of HKS500 million three-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 January 14, 2000 and will carry interest at the rate of 6.17% per annum payable semi-annually in arrears.

Members of the public who wish to tender for the notes may do so through any of the Market Makers or Recognised Dealers on the published list which can be obtained from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, 30th floor, 3 Garden Road, Hong Kong (telephone 2878 8150).

r

Each tender must be for an amount of HK$50,000 or integral multiples thereof.

Tender information for the 14th issue of three-year Exchange Fund notes:

Issue number : 3001

Tender date and time : Monday, 13 January 1997, 9.30 am to 10.30 am

Issue and settlement date .< r 1 : Tuesday, 14 January 1997

Amount on offer : HKS500 million plus an additional HKS100 million as reserve stock for the Monetary Authority

Maturity : Three years 01.

Maturity date : 14 January 2000

Interest rate ■>. : 6.17% per annum payable semi-annually in arrears

Interest payment dates : 14 Jul 1997, 14 Jan 1998, 14 Jul 1998, 14 Jan 1999, 14 Jul 1999, 14 Jan 2000

10

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 Recognised Dealers on the published list.

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

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity ♦ ♦ ♦ * *

TIME AGGREGATE BALANCE OF SETTLEMENT ACCOUNTS

OPENING AGGREGATE BALANCE 856 MN 0930 HR 16,058 MN

CLOSING AGGREGATE BALANCE 677 MN 1000 HR 19,123 MN

CHANGE ATTRIBUTABLE TO : 1100 HR 23,274 MN

MONEY MARKET ACTIVITY - 12 MN 1200 HR 30,901 MN

LAF REVERSAL +7,400 MN 1500 HR 35,727 MN

LAF TODAY - 7,567 MN 1600 HR 38,379 MN

LAF RATE 4.00% BID/6.00% OFFER TWI 125.6 *+0.1 * 6.1.97

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF Bills EF Notes/MTRC Notes

Terms Yield Terms Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.36 2 years 2811 5.72 100.22 5.67

1 month 4.40 3 years 3910 6.28 100.59 6.13

3 months 4.50 5 years 5112 6.57 99.38 6.83

6 months 4.70 7 years 7311 6.80 98.79 7.15

12 months 5.09 10 years 1610 7.37 100.53 7.42

5 years M503 7.35 101.45 7.10

TOTAL TURNOVER OF EF BILLS AND NOTES - $11,154 MN

CLOSED JANUARY 6, 1997

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Tuesday, January 7,1997

Contents Page No,

Appointments of High Court Judges............................................ 1

Chief Executive (Designate)’s office......................................... 3

Arguments for scale fees shown to be groundless............................. 4

NLB franchise renewal....................................................... 10

Way forward to complete construction of sewage collection tunnels...... 11

Volume and price statistics of external trade in October................... 12

New set of definitive stamps to be on sale on January 26................... 19

Civil Aviation Department adopts new logo.................................. 21

257 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flights............................. 21

Monitors’ report submitted to CS.......................................• 22

Construction output for third quarter of 1996.............................. 22

Travellers reminded to avoid Lunar New Year holiday rush................... 24

Contractor fined for safety offences....................................... 25

Licensing of cordless access service deferred.............................. 26

First nomination received for Tai Po DB by-election........................ 27

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

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity........................... 29

1

Appointments of High Court Judges ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Judiciary announced today (Tuesday) the appointment of Judge Pang Kin-kee and Mr William Stone QC as Judges of the High Court and the appointment of Judge Clare-Marie Beeson as Chief District Judge.

It also announced the appointment of Mr D L Duggan, Mr G Tailentire, Mrs J Wai-ling Barnes, Ms Mary Yuen Lai-wah and Mr Louis Tong Po-sun as Principal Magistrates and Mr Lung Kim-wan as Principal Presiding Officer of the Labour Tribunal.

Apart from Mr Stone QC, all appointments take effect today. Mr Stone’s appointment will be effective from January 20, 1997 when he assumes office.

The biographical notes of the newly-appointed Judges and Principal Magistrates are as follows:

Judge Pang Kin-kee

Judge Pang was bom in China in 1947. He studied law at the Council of Legal Education in London from 1975 to 1978 and was called to the English Bar in 1978. He was admitted as a solicitor and barrister in Australia in 1983. Before joining the Hong Kong Judiciary in 1985 as magistrate, he was in private practice. He was appointed as a District Judge in 1987 and has been appointed as Deputy Judge of the High Court on a number of occasions since 1993. Judge Pang is married with two sons.

Mr William Stone. QC

Mr William Stone QC was bom in England in 1946 and received his education in Wales and in Canada. He came to Hong Kong in 1971 as a law lecturer at the then newly established Department of Law at Hong Kong University and taught at the University for seven years, commencing with the first graduating class of 1972, many of whose members are now leading lawyers. He was called to the English Bar in 1976 and to the Hong Kong Bar in the same year and has been in private practice since 1977. He was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 1995 and sat as Deputy Judge of High Court for the month of May 1996. Mr Stone QC is married and has a son and a daughter.

2

Judge Clare-Marie Beeson

Judge Beeson was bom in 1948 in New Zealand. She was admitted as a solicitor and barrister in New Zealand in 1972. Before joining the Hong Kong Legal Department as Crown Counsel in 1975 and Senior Crown Counsel in 1980, Judge Beeson was in private practice. She joined the Judiciary in 1984 as magistrate and became a principal magistrate in 1990. She was appointed as a District Court Judge in 1991. Judge Beeson is married and has two daughters.

Mr D L Duggan

Mr Duggan was bom in 1947 in New Zealand and educated in the Victoria University of Wellington. He was admitted as a solicitor and barrister in 1970. He joined the Hong Kong Judiciary as magistrate in 1987. Mr Duggan is married with one daughter and two sons.

Mr G Tailentire

Mr Tailentire was bom in 1950 in England and educated in the University of Nottingham. He was admitted as a solicitor in 1975. He was appointed magistrate of the Hong Kong Judiciary in 1988. Mr Tallentire is married with two sons and two daughters.

Mrs J Wai-Ung Barnes

Mrs Barnes was bom in 1952 in China. She studied law at the University of Hong Kong and was called to the Hong Kong Bar in 1982. Before joining the Hong Kong Judiciary as magistrate in 1989, she was in private practice. Mrs Barnes is married with one son and one daughter.

Ms Mary Yuen Lai-wah

Ms Yuen was bom in 1955 in Hong Kong and was admitted to the Hong Kong Bar in 1983. She joined the Hong Kong Legal Department as Assistant Crown Counsel in 1984 and became Crown Counsel in the same year. She was appointed magistrate of the Judiciary in 1991. Ms Yuen is married with two sons.

3

Mr Louis long P o-sun

Mr Tong was bom in 1955 in Hong Kong. He received his education in Canada and Hong Kong and was called to the Hong Kong Bar in 1985. He has been in private practice since 1985 and was appointed as temporary magistrate on various occasions since 1990. He became magistrate in 1991. Mr Tong is single.

Mr Lung Kim-wan

Mr Lung Kim-wan was bom in Hong Kong in 1953 and was educated at the University of Hong Kong from 1975 to 1978. He was admitted as a solicitor in Hong Kong in 1984 and was appointed as magistrate of the Hong Kong Judiciary in 1990. Mr Lung is married with two sons.

End

Chief Executive (Designate)'s office ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following consultation with the Chief Executive (Designate), Mr Tung Chee Hwa, the Government announced today (Tuesday) that accommodation will be made available for his private office in Asia Pacific Finance Tower at 3 Garden Road.

"The Chief Executive (Designate)'s office will be located at Asia Pacific Finance Tower, which is conveniently located in Central District, and in the vicinity of the Government Secretariat," a government spokesman said.

"The office has an area of about 600 square metres and overlooks the Hong Kong Park."

Fitting-out works will proceed immediately and will be completed in about four weeks. The Chief Executive (Designate) and his team expect to move into the new office after the Chinese New Year.

End

4

Arguments for scale fees shown to be groundless

*****

Research conducted by the Administration has found that the Law Society's main argument against abolition of scale fees for conveyancing work - that price competition leads to shoddy work - is self-serving and unsubstantiated.

In a report compiled by the Legal Department, entitled "The Case Against Scale Fees for Conveyancing", it is noted that the debate on scale fees is often conducted as if scale fees were uniformly charged for conveyancing transactions.

A spokesman for the department, quoting from the report, pointed out that this is not the case.

"Many solicitors waive the fees for certain aspects of their work - they may, for example, waive the fees for the sale and purchase agreement and mortgage, and charge only die scale fee for the assignment.

"These types of waivers are permissible, even though the scale fees are, in effect, undercut. It is also understood that some solicitors improperly charge less than the scale fees for their conveyancing work," he said.

"If, as the Law Society maintains, it is essential for scale fees to be charged in order to stop a vicious price war and shoddy work, why does it tolerate these activities and why does it not discipline those who improperly undercut the scale fees?" he asked.

Among other issues covered, the report identifies eight main problems caused by scale fees:

Clients are not charged fees for conveyancing that are based on the value of the work done;

Solicitors have no incentive to be more efficient and cost-effective in order to offer competitive fees, and consumers are not able to benefit from such fees;

Fees are kept at an artificial level and do not respond to the supply of, and demand for conveyancing services. Consumers cannot therefore benefit from reduced profits that would normally result from the growing number of conveyancers;

5

New entrants to the solicitors’ profession cannot compete for conveyancing work with existing solicitors by offering more cost-effective services;

* The system encourages some solicitors to act unethically, by undercutting scale fees in order to get business;

The artificial level of conveyancing fees distorts the market for other legal services that are subsidised by conveyancing fees;

* There is no satisfactory way to fix the fees scales; and

* There is no reason why the profit levels of conveyancers should be artificially maintained by statutory rules.

Another report, entitled ’’The Abolition of Scale Fees for Conveyancing in England" demonstrates the fallacy of using the English experience of abolition to support retention of scale fees in Hong Kong. At the same time, myths and misconceptions on scale fees that have circulated have been identified and they are refuted as follows:

Arguments of Principle

Myth 1 - Statutory scale fees are long-established and work well.

Fact 1 - Statutory scale fees were only introduced in Hong Kong in 1970,

just two years before they were abolished in England.

Scale fees have prevented consumers of conveyancing services from enjoying price competition, and are unfairly charged on the basis of the price of the property, not the value of the work done.

Myth 2 - Scale fees prevent overcharging.

Fact 2 - A mechanism for preventing lawyers from overcharging is

already in place for other types of legal work and would apply to conveyancing if scale fees were abolished.

If the true purpose of scale fees was to prevent overcharging, this could be achieved by setting maximum fees, instead of compulsory fees.

6

Myth 3 - It is reasonable to charge higher fees for more expensive

properties, since this reflects the facts that more experienced lawyers deal with more expensive properties, and that the risk involved is higher.

Fact 3 - It is not true that more experienced lawyers always handle the

more expensive properties. For example, in a small firm of solicitors, the same lawyers may handle all conveyances.

The risk of having to compensate a client for negligent work is covered by insurance under the Solicitors Professional Indemnity Fund. The contribution made by a solicitor to that fund is not based on the value of properties handled.

Myth 4 - If scale fees are too high, the answer is to adjust the scales and

review them regularly.

Fact 4 - Scale fees are objectionable in principle, since they prevent price

competition and are unfairly based on the price of the property involved, not on the value of the work done.

Even if the scales were adjusted in the light of current property prices and solicitors overheads, they could become unfair within a very short time because of the volatility of the property market.

Myth 5 - Even though the scale fee for a particular transaction may not

reflect the value of the work done, the scale operates in such a way that the total fees earned by solicitors are a reasonable return for all the work done.

Fact 5 - That may be the theory behind scale fees, but the theory is

unsound.

No satisfactory formula has been devised for setting the fee scales.

There is no reason why solicitors should be guaranteed a certain level of income.

7

Myth 6

Fact 6

Myth 7

Fact 7

Myth 8

Fact 8

Myth 9

Fact 9

Myth 10

Scale fees ensure quality service and ethical conduct by solicitors.

It is self-evident that negligent work and unethical conduct can, and do, occur despite the existence of scale fees.

Without scale fees, there will be no way to ensure quality and ethical conduct.

Most areas of legal work are not subject to scale fees, yet lawyers provide quality services and behave ethically in those areas.

Solicitors, who are members of a profession, have a legal and professional duty to provide quality legal services, regardless of whether scale fees are payable.

If scale fees are abolished, the black sheep will comer the market.

Lawyers have a monopoly over conveyancing services on the basis that they have the necessary expertise, ethical standards and professional discipline to provide a proper service to consumers.

The legal profession therefore has the responsibility of ensuring that such a proper service is provided and that "black sheep" are disciplined or prevented from practising.

The Government is responsible for failing to adjust scale fees in the past, and should have ensured that they were at an appropriate level.

The Law Society knows better than anyone else whether there is a need to adjust the scales of fees. It could have called for a general revision of scale fees in recent years, as it did several times in the 1970's and 1980's.

The Government believes that scale fees are wrong in principle and does not, therefore, support any tinkering with the fee scales.

The Costs Committee is an independent body which can properly decide what fees are fair.

8

Fact 10 - Half of the members of the Costs Committee are solicitors. They

could, therefore, block any proposal that they did notapprove.

There are no economists or accountants on the committee, or consumer representatives.

Myth 11 - Scale fees allow those buying or selling lower-priced properties

to be subsidised by buyers and sellers of higher-priced properties. The abolition of scale fees would mean an increase in fees for the former.

Fact 11 - The fact that the scale fees for lower-priced properties are less

than those for higher-priced properties does not necessarily mean that fees for the former would increase if scale fees were abolished. After abolition, there will be price competition and fees will be determined by market forces.

Myth 12 - Only under a system of scale fees can consumers know in

advance how much they will be charged.

Fact 12 - A consumer can always ask in advance for an indication of the

fee for any legal service, regardless of whether scale fees are charged. Lawyers should provide more information about their services, in order to help consumers make an informed choice.

Myth 13 - Consumers need special protection in respect of conveyancing

since a home purchase is likely to be the most expensive transaction in their lives; any mistake in the transaction may have disastrous consequences; and such a mistake may not be discovered until many years later.

Fact 13 - Consumers do indeed need to obtain a proper legal service when

buying property, but scale fees are irrelevant to that need. A consumer who obtains the services of a qualified solicitor is entitled to a quality service, regardless of whether scale fees are charged.

Myth 14 - The proposed abolition of scale fees is a ploy to destabilise Hong

Kong's legal system close to the transfer of sovereignty.

9

Fact 14 - The transfer of sovereignty is entirely irrelevant to this proposal,

which is to abolish a restriction on competition that is contrary to Hong Kong’s free market economy.

Myth 15 - There is a need for the proposal to be studied further by an

independent commission.

Fact 15 - The proposal has been studied at length for nearly two years. It

was the subject of a public consultation paper, and an independent public opinion survey, and is now being closely scrutinised by a Bills Committee of the Legislative Council. There are no new arguments or considerations that need to be studied further.

The English experience

Myth 16 - The abolition of scale fees in England has been a disaster.

Fact 16 - The English Consumers' Association has stated that the abolition

of scale fees was far from disastrous and that the re-introduction of scale fees would not be in the public interest.

The Office of Fair Trading also does not believe that the abolition of scale fees has been harmful to consumers.

Myth 17 - The abolition of scale fees in England caused a vicious price war.

Fact 17 - Scale fees were abolished at the end of 1972 and a Royal

Commission study, published in 1979, revealed no such development.

Myth 18 - Cut-price conveyancing has led to shoddy work and a great

increase in claims for compensation.

Fact 18 - Price competition has enabled some lawyers to offer lower prices

than others. However, no link between low-price conveyancing and negligent work has been established.

Myth 19 - Conveyancing fees are so low that many solicitors have been

forced into bankruptcy.

10

Fact 19 - Financial difficulties faced by many solicitors in England were a

result of the worst recession this century, during which the volume of conveyancing halved and prices fell in real terms by 45%.

Myth 20 - Scale fees would have prevented such financial difficulties.

Fact 20 - The English Law Society’s own special working party on

conveyancing services concluded that, because of the state of themarket, fee scales would have been unworkable and ineffective.

End

NLB franchise renewal

*****

Following consultation with the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group, the Govemor-in-Council has approved the grant of a new franchise to New Lantao Bus Company (1973) Limited (NLB) which confers upon the company the right to operate a public bus service for ten years from 1 April 1997.

A government spokesman said today (Tuesday) that a number of changes and several new provisions were incorporated into the new franchise, including a new requirement for a mid-term review.

’’The mid-term review is to be conducted alter the fourth year of the new franchise. Based on the outcome of such a review, the Governor in Council may, if necessary, and with the consent of NLB. amend the terms of the franchise,” the spokesman added.

End

11

Way forward to complete construction of sewage collection tunnels *****

The Government has decided to proceed first with completing two of the six sewage collection tunnels taken back from the contractor last month (December) to enable an addition of 25 per cent of the sewage flow to be conveyed to the Stonecutters Island Sewage Treatment Works for treatment at an early date.

A Government spokesman today (Tuesday) said that completion of the two northern tunnels would increase the total sewage flow volume being collected for treatment to 50 per cent of capacity, thereby reducing the amount of pollution in our Harbour and improving our environment.

"After careful consideration of what would be the most appropriate way forward, we have decided to proceed as quickly as possible with all of the necessary preparatory work to enable us to let the contract for and restart the construction of the two northern tunnels," the spokesman said.

"There are sufficient funds in the capital account of the Sewage Services Trading Fund (SSTF) to enable the completion of the two northern tunnels."

He expected that the two northern tunnels could be completed in mid-1999.

"Because of the time required for preparing the tender and contract documents and the tendering procedures for the four remaining tunnels, which are in the Main Harbour, we will not be in a position to award the new construction contract for these works until the second half of 1997."

"The completion of construction of these four tunnels will also require the prior approval by the legislature of additional funding for the Strategic Sewage Disposal Scheme (SSDS) Stage 1 because the SSTF has insufficient funds available for this purpose," he added.

It might be possible to complete the works on these four tunnels by the end of 1999, if approval of the additional funding can be obtained in the second half of 1997.

"The total sewage flow volume being collected for treatment will be increased to 100% when the four tunnels in the Main Harbour are commissioned," the spokesman said.

12

Commenting on the design of the vertical shafts and tunnels, the spokesman said that it was sound. ’’The shafts and some of the tunnels are already partially completed. Obviously the most appropriate way forward would be to complete the tunnels as soon as possible.”

The spokesman said that adopting this approach would enable all elements of the sewage treatment facilities in Stage I of the SSDS to be commissioned within the shortest feasible timeframe, having regard to all the circumstances. Once commissioned these facilities will significantly improve the environment of our Harbour on a permanent basis for the benefit of us all.

End

Volume and price statistics of external trade in October *****

In the first 10 months of 1996, the volume of Hong Kong’s re-exports increased by 7.6% over the same period last year, while the volume of domestic exports decreased by 8.6%, according to the statistics released today (Tuesday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

Taking re-exports and domestic exports together, the volume of total exports increased by 4.8%. Meanwhile, imports increased by 4% in volume.

Comparing October 1996 with October 1995, the volume of re-exports increased by 9.8%, while that of domestic exports decreased by 6.5%. Taken together, the volume of total exports increased by 7%. The volume of imports increased by 7.3%.

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 10 months of 1996 over the same period last year, the prices of re-exports decreased by 0.4%, while that of domestic exports increased by 0.4%. Import prices decreased by 1.2%.

Comparing October 1996 with October 1995, the prices of re-exports and domestic exports decreased by 0.8% and 0.6% respectively. Import prices also decreased, by 2%.

13

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 10 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.

Analysed by end-use category, increases in re-export volume in October 1996 over a year earlier were recorded for foodstuffs (+30%); capital goods (+20%); raw materials and semi-manufactures (+11%); and consumer goods (+4.8%).

On the other hand, the volume of re-exports of fuels decreased by 7.1%.

Over the same period of comparison, increases were recorded in the prices of re-exports of fuels (+27%); and consumer goods (+0.5%).

On the other hand, re-export prices of raw materials and semi-manufactures; and capital goods decreased by 3.3% and 1.9% respectively. Meanwhile, re-export prices of foodstuffs recorded no significant change.

The changes in the value, unit value and volume of domestic exports by principal commodity group are shown in Table 2.

Comparing October 1996 with October 1995, commodity groups which recorded significant increases in the volume of domestic exports included textile yam and thread (+30%); metal ores and scrap (+27%); and footwear (+23%).

On the other hand, the volume of domestic exports of radios of all kinds; textile made-ups and related articles; and travel goods, handbags and similar articles decreased by 80%, 48% and 35% respectively.

Commodity groups which recorded more notable increases in domestic export prices included metal ores and scrap (+8.9%); and textile made-ups and related articles (+8.4%).

On the other hand, domestic export prices of electronic components decreased significantly, by 7.1%.

14

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 7.7% in October 1996 compared with October 1995.

Significant increases in import volume were noted of rice; and fruit. However, decreases were recorded in the import volume of tea and coffee; and animals of the bovine species, live.

Over the same period of comparison, the import volume of consumer goods increased by 2.1%.

Increases in import volume were noted of cameras, flashlight apparatus and supplies for photography; and watches. However, decreases in import volume were recorded for passenger motor cars; and tobacco manufactures.

The import volume of raw materials and semi-manufactures increased by 8% in October 1996 compared with October 1995.

Increases in import volume were recorded for most commodities in the end-use category of raw materials and semi-manufactures. Significant increases in import volume were noted of woven fabrics of wool and mixtures; and base metals other than iron and steel. However, decreases were noted of raw cotton; and plastic materials.

Imports of fuels increased by 5.5% in volume in October 1996 compared with October 1995.

As regards capital goods, the volume of imports increased by 17% in October 1996 over October 1995.

Notable increases were recorded in the import volume of office machinery; and transport equipment. The import volume of construction machinery however decreased.

Comparing October 1996 with October 1995, import prices of fuels and consumer goods increased by 26% and 1.8% respectively.

On the other hand, import prices of raw materials and semi-manufactures; capital goods; and foodstuffs decreased by 6.6%, 3.4% and 0.2% respectively.

15

Details of the above statistics are published in the October 1996 issue of the Hong Kong Trade Index Numbers.

The report will be available on sale around January 9, 1997 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

Table 1 : Change* in re-exporta by end-u*e category

Comparing OCT 1996 Comparing JAN-OCT 1996

With OCT 1995 with JAN-OCT 1995

% change* % change*

End-use category Value Unit Value Volume Unit

Value Value Volume

Foodstuff* 28.8 * 30.1 16.3 * 16.5

Consumer good* 5.3 0.5 4.8 5.7 0.7 4.4

Raw materials and semi-manufactures 7.5 -3.3 11.0 4.0 -2.2 6.3

Fuels 20.4 27.5 -7.1 23.0 15.5 8.2

Capital goods 15.2 -1.9 20.5 13.4 -1.3 17.5

ALL COMMODITIES 8.2 -0.8 9.8 6.9 -0.4 7.6

les* than 0.05%

17

Table 2 : Changes in domestic exports by principal commodity group

Comparing OCT 1996 Comparing JAN-OCT 1996 with OCT 1995 with JAN-OCT 1995

Commodity group % changes % changes

Value Unit Value Volume Value Unit Value ' Volume

Clothing -2.3 0.3 -2.6 -7.0 0.6 -7.2

Textile fabrics -1.6 -0.2 -2.2 -3.4 -0.3 -4.1

Textile yarn and thread 30.8 1.0 29.9 22.9 4.9 18.3

Textile made-ups and related articles -47.4 8.4 -48.0 -34.9 2.3 -35.7

Radios of all kinds -79.3 4.7 -80.2 -18.6 6.2 -26.7

Electronic components -14.8 -7.1 -11.3 -12.9 -2.8 -12.2

Footwear 13.6 -3.0 22.7 -47.3 -3.6 -44.6

Metal manufactures -0.7 0.5 -0.2 -7.6 4.6 -11.8

petal ores and scrap 37.0 8.9 27.4 -8.2 9.7 -14.9

Watches and clocks -11.1 2.1 -13.3 -9.7 0.1 -10.0

Travel goods, handbags and similar articles -34.2 1.9 -34.9 -19.9 1.3 -21.4

Domestic electrical appliances 3.3 -3.7 11.5 26.9 -3.3 32.7

ALL COMMODITIES -6.5 -0.6 -6.5 -8.7 0.4 -8.6

18

Table 3 : Changes in imports by end-use category

Comparing OCT 1996 with OCT 1995 Comparing JAN-OCT 1996 with JAN-OCT 1995 % changes

End-use category % changes

Value Unit Value Volume Value Unit Value Volume

Foodstuffs 8.8 -0.2 7.7 6.5 * 6.3

Consumer goods 3.4 1.8 2.1 2.2 1.6 0.6

Raw materials and semi-manufactures 1.5 -6.6 8.0 -0.6 -3.7 3.1

Fuels 29.4 25.5 5.5 18.1 11.2 5.7

Capital goods 12.8 -3.4 16.6 8.1 -3.3 11.6

ALL COMMODITIES 5.2 -2.0 7.3 2.8 -1.2 4.0

less than 0.05%

End

19

New set of definitive stamps to be on sale on January 26 *****

The Postmaster General, Mr Robert Footman, announced today (Tuesday) that the current set of definitive stamps showing the Queen's portrait will be withdrawn from general sale at the close of business on Saturday, January 25, 1997.

"They can however be used up to June 30, 1997 for the pre-payment of postage," he added.

A new set of definitive stamps will be put on sale on Sunday, January 26. It comprises 16 denominations, namely 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, $1, $1.2, $1.3, $1.4, $1.6, $2, $2.1, $2.5, $3.1, $5 (low values); and $10, $20, $50 (high values).

The stamps which have a neutral design with no connotation of sovereignty have been agreed by the British and Chinese sides of the Joint Liaison Group. The stamps can be used before and after July 1,1997.

The whole set when placed together features a continuous stretch of the waterfront of Hong Kong. The 13 low value stamps in small format depict a day scene while the three high value stamps in large format depict a night scene.

Two souvenir sheets will also be introduced on this occasion. One of these, comprising all the 13 low value denominations in a continuous stretch, will be sold at $22 whereas the other, comprising the three high value denominations in a continuous stretch will be sold at $80.

The stamps were designed by Mr Kan Tai Keung. The sheet stamps are printed by Ashton Potter of Canada while the reel stamps are printed by Joh Enschede of the Netherlands.

A new aerogramme bearing a $2.3 definitive stamp will also be introduced on January 26 to replace the two kinds of pictorial aerogrammes currently on sale. The aerogrammes are printed by Mercury Walsh Ltd of Australia.

A sale restriction of 10 souvenir sheets of each type, for each customer queuing will be imposed on January 26.

The stamps and aerogramme will be displayed for advance information of the public at the General Post Office, Tsim Sha Tsui Post Office and Sha Tin Central Post Office as from Friday (January 10).

20

Official first day covers at $2 each will be placed on sale at all post offices as from Friday. Advance orders for serviced first day covers will be available from Friday to January 16. The minimum number of covers per order is five.

A special postmark will be introduced on January 26. A hand-back service will be provided on the same day to all official and privately made covers bearing the first day indication.

Two presentation packs containing the definitive stamps will also be put on sale as from January 26. The one containing a full set of 16 denominations will be sold at $135 and the one containing 13 low value denominations from 10 cents to $5 will be sold at $40. New reel stamps of the same design with the new definitive stamps will be available through the stamp vending machines as from January 26.

Three stamp booklets each containing 10 pieces of $1.3, $2.5 or $3.1 definitive stamps will be available at all the 7-Eleven stores as from January 26. The booklets are printed by Ashton Potter of Canada.

I

To mark the withdrawal of the current definitive stamps, "Last Day" covers will be put on sale at all post offices as from Friday at $2 each. Advance orders for serviced last day covers will be available from Friday to January 16. The minimum number of cover per order is five. A hand-back service will be given on January 25 at all post offices to official and privately made covers bearing the "Last Day" indication.

The withdrawn definitive stamps will continue to be put on sale at the philatelic counters as stock lasts.

Mr Footman added that for the convenience of customers, the opening hours of all post offices on January 25 and 26 January will be the same as on normal weekdays. A fall range of counter service will be provided.

End

21

Civil Aviation Department adopts new logo

*****

The Civil Aviation Department (CAD) announced today (Tuesday) the adoption of a new departmental logo.

A CAD spokesman said: "The new logo is simple but meaningful. The gradual change of colour from blue to light blue and then white creates an impression of speed, while the logo itself has visual impact and produces a distinctive effect.

"By symbolising parallel runways, the design identifies the important role of the Civil Aviation Department as the provider of air traffic control services at the new airport."

During the transition from Kai Tak and subsequent to the opening of the new airport the CAD will continue to fulfil its responsibility as the regulatory body for civil aviation, particularly in respect of safety and aviation security matters.

"In this regard the logo expresses the letters 'HK' illustrating the department's commitment to a safe and efficient air transport system for Hong Kong," the spokesman added.

End

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

Two groups totalling 257 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) returned by air to Hanoi, Vietnam today (Tuesday) on the 89th and 90th flights under the Orderly Repatriation Programme (ORP).

Most of the returnees, comprising 94 men, 73 women, 45 boys and 45 girls, are from Central and South Vietnam. Only two of the returnees are from North Vietnam.

The majority of the returnees arrived in Hong Kong in 1990, with the remaining in 1988, 1989, 1991 and 1996.

The two groups brought to 9,043 the total number repatriated on ORP flights since November 1991.

End

22

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 Lo King-man; and representative from a non-govemment organisation, Ms Gilla Nemayechi from Medecins Sans Frontieres.

End

Construction output for third quarter of 1996 ♦ * * * ♦

The gross value of construction work, in nominal terms, performed by main contractors amounted to $28.8 billion in the third quarter of 1996, according to the preliminary results of the Quarterly Survey of Construction Output released today (Tuesday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

This represented an increase of 16.7% over the same quarter last year.

Based on the provisional estimate, the gross value of construction work, measured at constant (1990) market prices, performed in the third quarter of 1996 increased by 10.2% over the same quarter last year.

The gross value of construction work, in nominal terms, performed at public sector sites amounted to $11.7 billion, representing an increase of 25.4% in nominal terms and 19.5% when measured at constant (1990) market prices over the same quarter last year.

The gross value of construction work, in nominal terms, performed at private sector sites totalled $9.5 billion, representing an increase of 10.7% over the same quarter last year. When measured at constant (1990) market prices, it was up by 2.6%.

The gross value of construction work, in nominal terms, performed by contractors at locations other than construction sites amounted to $7.6 billion, 12.5% higher than in the third quarter of 1995. When measured at constant (1990) market prices, it increased by 7.5%. Work in this category included minor new construction activities and renovation work at erected buildings and structures; and electrical and mechanical fitting work.

23

Analysed by end-use, residential building projects (including commercial and residential composite buildings), accounted for the greatest portion of the gross value of construction work performed at construction sites. The gross value of construction work performed for these projects was $6.5 billion, representing an increase of 37% over the third quarter of 1995.

Transport projects, which covered airport construction projects, represented the second largest category of construction site work. The gross value of construction work performed for these projects was $6.5 billion, 5.3% higher than in the third quarter of 1995.

Commercial building projects constituted the third largest category of construction site work. The gross value of construction work performed for these projects totalled $2.9 billion, representing a remarkable increase of 76% over the third quarter of 1995.

Compared with the second quarter of 1996, the gross value of construction work, in nominal terms, performed by main contractors in the third quarter of 1996 increased by 4.6%.

The gross values of construction work at constant (1990) market prices are derived by deflating the nominal values with appropriate price indices to the price level of 1990.

Owing to the widespread sub-contracting practices in the construction industry, a construction establishment can be a main contractor for one contract and a subcontractor for another contract at the same time.

The gross value of construction work performed by main contractors covers only those projects in which the construction establishment takes the role of a main contractor, but not projects in which it takes only the role of a sub-contractor. However, sub-contractors’ contribution to projects should have been included in the gross value of construction work performed by main contractors for whom they worked.

More detailed statistics on construction output are given in the Report on the Quarterly Survey of Construction Output, 3rd Quarter 1996. The report is now on sale at $15 per copy at the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, or at the Census and Statistics Department Publications Unit. Wanchai Tower, 19th floor, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai. Regular subscription may also be arranged.

Enquiries about the survey may be directed to the Building, Construction and Real Estate Statistics Section of the Census and Statistics Department on 2805 6426.

End


24

Travellers reminded to avoid Lunar New Year holiday rush *****

Members of the public who intend to travel abroad during the Lunar New Year holidays should apply for travel documents as early as possible.

"The number of people travelling outside Hong Kong will be greatly increased during this time of the year," a spokesman for the Immigration Department said today (Tuesday).

"In order to avoid last-minute rush, people are advised to apply for passports and certificates of identity well in advance of the date on which they intend to travel."

Under the present arrangement, applications for British National (Overseas) passports and Hong Kong certificates of identity can be submitted to the Immigration Department by post or deposited into the drop-in boxes installed at the Immigration Headquarters or at any immigration branch offices.

"Other than applications for Hong Kong travel documents, applications for identity cards and other Registration of Persons services are also on high demand during this time of the year," the spokesman said.

"To avoid congestion, applicants are also requested to submit their applications before school or public holidays."

The spokesman also encouraged applicants to make use of the Automated Telephone Appointment Booking System which is operating 24 hours a day. The telephone number is 2598 0888.

Information leaflets on application procedures and documents required are issued together with application forms which are available at the Immigration Headquarters and all Immigration Offices.

For enquiry, members of the public may telephone 2824 6111 or use faxline 2877 7711.

End

25

Contractor fined for safety offences *****

The Labour Department today (Tuesday) reminded building contractors to ensure that their construction sites are safe, otherwise they are liable to heavy fines or imprisonment.

Chevalier Construction (HK) Ltd, the principal contractor of a construction site at Lung Poon Street, Diamond Hill, Kowloon was recently fined a total of $154,000 at San Po Kong Magistracy for committing eight offences under the industrial safety regulations.

Of which, a maximum penalty of $50,000 was ordered on the charge for failing to provide safety helmets for workers working on the site, breaching regulation 48(1 )(b) of the Construction Sites (Safety) Regulations.

The contractor was charged for failing to fence a cable duct opening; failing to provide safety helmet; failing to fence working platform; failing to provide suitable scaffold; failing to provide eye protector; failing to provide a riving knife for a circular saw; failing to provide a guard for the saw blade of a circular saw and failing to provide electrical apparatus of proper construction.

A spokesman for the department said today that these irregularities were found by the factory inspectors during a special task force exercise in July last year to inspect active sites and sites with unsatisfactory safety records.

Follow-up inspection was conducted in December last year in which workers were still found without safety helmets.

The spokesman reminded building contractors that they were required by law to provide a safe system of work, safety training and instructions and suitable personal protective equipment such as safety helmets for the workers.

End

26

Licensing of cordless access service deferred *****

The Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) announced today (Tuesday) that the licensing of cordless access service (CAS) as public telecommunication services will be deferred.

"The Telecommunications Authority (TA) has decided to defer the licensing of CAS as public telecommunication services," said a spokesman for OFTA.

"The situation would be reviewed in 12 months' time. We shall then decide whether to invite new applications having regard to the then prevailing market environment."

The decision was made after consulting the eligible applicants.

"The deferral should not be interpreted as a lack of investment interest in this sector of the telecommunications industry of Hong Kong," the spokesman said.

"The prevailing market conditions simply do not favour the launch of the lower mobility public CAS at this point in time."

Technological developments in the CAS are not yet mature enough for the technology to be fully deployed as a public mobile service in Hong Kong.

In particular, the development of CAS dual-mode handsets which forms a crucial part of the CAS business plans in the Hong Kong environment has been delayed. The significant reduction in both handset price and air-time charges of mobile telephones makes CAS less competitive in the prevailing mobile phone market.

The TA invited applications in November 1994 for the grant of up to four licences for the provision of CAS in Hong Kong. Six applications were received by the closing date of June 30, 1995.

Processing of CAS applications had to put on hold until the licences for personal communications services (PCS) were granted, so as to assess the changes to the mobile telecommunications market brought about by PCS licensing.

The CAS technologies will in the meantime be permitted to be used in Hong Kong for private applications such as cordless telephones at homes and wireless telephone/data systems in offices.

End

27

First nomination received for Tai Po DB by-election * * * ♦ ♦

One nomination was received today (Tuesday) for the Tai Po District Board byelection in respect of Shuen Wan constituency to be held on February 23.

The nomination was submitted by Mr Chan Mei-tak, a 39-year-old company director.

This is the first nomination received for the by-election since the nomination period started on January 3 (Friday).

Mr Chan can be contacted on 2638 1144 (daytime) and 2665 6115 (night time).

Nomination will last until January 16 (Thursday).

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

Tender date : 7 January 1997

Paper on offer : EF Bills

Issue number : Q702

Issue date : 8 January 1997

Maturity date : 9 April 1997

Amount applied : HK$9.390 MN

Amount allotted : HKS2.000 MN

Average yield accepted : 4.51 PCT

Highest yield accepted : 4.52 PCT

Pro rata ratio : About 45 PCT

Average tender yield : 4.68 PCT

* ♦ ♦ ♦ *

28

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

l enders to be held in the week beginning - 13 Jan 1997

Tender date : 13 January 1997

Paper on offer : EF Notes

Issue number : 3001

Issue date : 14 January 1997

Maturity date : 14 January 2000

Tenor : 3 Years

Amount on offer : HKS500 MN+ 100 MN

Coupon : 6.17 PCT ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

Tender date : 14 January 1997

Paper on offer : EF Bills

Issue number : Q703

Issue date : 15 January 1997

Maturity date : 16 April 1997

Tenor : 91 Days

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

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

29

Tender date

Paper on offer

Issue number

14 January 1997

EF Bills

H756

Issue date

Maturity date

Tenor

Amount on offer

15 January 1997

16 July 1997

182 Days

HK$ 1,000 MN + 300 MN

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

TIME AGGREGATE BALANCE OF SETTLEMENT ACCOUNTS

OPENING AGGREGATE BALANCE 677 MN 0930 HR 10,747 MN

CLOSING AGGREGATE BALANCE 532 MN 1000 HR 16,026 MN

CHANGE ATTRIBUTABLE TO : 1100 HR 20,543 MN

MONEY MARKET ACTIVITY +63 MN 1200 HR 29,312 MN

LAF REVERSAL +7,567 MN 1500 HR 28,983 MN

LAF TODAY - 7,775 MN 1600 HR 32,901 MN

LAF RATE 4.00% BID/6.00% OFFER TWI 125.3 *-0.3* 7.1.97

30

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF Bills EF Notes/MTRC Notes

Terms Yield Terms Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.34 2 years 2811 5.72 100.24 5.65

1 month 4.37 3 years 3910 6.28 100.61 6.12

3 months 4.50 5 years 5112 6.57 99.37 6.83

6 months 4.71 7 years 7311 6.80 98.77 7.15

12 months 5.10 10 years 1610 7.37 100.44 7.44

5 years M503 7.35 101.49 7.08

TOTAL TURNOVER OF EF BILLS AND NOTES - $9,876 MN

CLOSED JANUARY 7, 1997

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Wednesday, January 8,1997

Contents Page No.

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

Government response on VM issue................................ 6

US District Court decision will be appealed............................. 7

Trade Unions Bill....................................................... 8

Meeting of JLG expert group on preparation of transitional Budget... 9

Plea for information on illicit cigarettes.............................. 9

New arrangement for the sale of definitive stamps...................... 10

Sha Tin lot to let.................................................. 11

Hong Kong Monetary Authority Interbank Liquidity.................... 11


- 1 -

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

The following is the transcript of the media session by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, at Central Government Offices lobby this (Wednesday) morning:

Governor: Sorry to keep you waiting in the cold. As you know, I am returning to London tonight for a short duty visit. Almost certainly the last that I will pay to the United Kingdom before the general election later this year. I am seeing the Prime Minister for lunch, the Foreign Secretary at dinner, and I am seeing the Home Secretary tomorrow afternoon. I am also seeing the leader of the opposition, Mr Blair, his deputy Mr Prescott, and Robin Cook the Labour Foreign Affairs spokesman. I am also seeing other parliamentary leaders, including members of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee.

I am giving a lecture tomorrow night under the auspices of the National Westminster Bank on Hong Kong and Asia. And, of course, meeting Foreign Office officials for extensive discussions. So it will be quite a busy visit, perhaps earlier in the year than I have customarily done but that is because there are particular circumstances in the United Kingdom this year. But I am happy to take questions about the visit or about any other matters that any of you would like to (raise).

Question: Governor, would you comment on the Jerry Lui case, that the United States is afraid to honour the extradition treaty fearing that there will be a trial by Chinese courts and that seems to bring the whole rule of law into question here? Is the United States acting in a responsible way and should people be afraid to extradite here?

Governor: Well, it is not a question of the United States, it is a question of one particular judge in the United States. I have to say that we were literally amazed by the decision, not least because similar arguments to those used by the defendant in this case have been put forward in other jurisdictions and totally rejected. Recently, that was the case in Canada, for example. We will be urgently seeking an appeal and seeking to delay the release of the gentleman in question.

We think it is imperative that people recognise that under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, the common law and the administration of justice continue after 1997 as they are today, that Hong Kong will be a separate jurisdiction, in terms of the administration of justice, from China. That is embodied in the international treaty and we do not think should be questioned by anyone. So the simple answer to your question is that we will be urgently appealing the decision.

- 2 -

Question: Mr Patten, during your visit back home will you be urging Mr Rifkind and the UK Government to repeat its challenge to China to take ... of the provisional legislature to the International Court?

Governor: I think the Foreign Secretary has made the British Government's position abundantly plain. That position will in due course, I am sure, be made equally plain in the British Government's regular report to parliament on Hong Kong but 1 don't think any further statement from Mr Rifkind or from the British Government is required.

Question: Governor, what is your comment about the speech delivered by Mr Howe about the co-operation between China and Hong Kong in order to smooth the handover of Hong Kong? And will you still maintain that the provisional legislature ... China to the International Court about that?

Governor: Well, let us just recall exactly what the position is as far as the International Court of Justice is concerned. What the British Government has said is that in the British Government's view it is difficult to see how the establishment of a so-called provisional legislature is in compliance with the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. But if China is convinced that it has a solid legal basis for scrapping the existing legislature, if it thinks the existing legislature is against the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, if it thinks that what it is doing is in line with the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, then let China join Britain in seeking independent arbitration at the International Court of Justice. That is the position that the British Government have taken up and I suspect that China's refusal to accept that sensible suggestion is itself eloquent of the paucity of the Chinese case.

Now, you wanted to know about my views on Lord Howe's proposals that we should be all as co-operative as possible. Absolutely! That is what the Joint Declaration, Article 30, says. It says that Chinese officials, that China should cooperate with Britain until 30 June 1997, while we are the sovereign power. Quite difficult, I think, to understand how you can square that commitment to co-operation with recent Chinese decisions about the provisional legislature.

Question: Of course, Lord Howe, three things that he said. First of all his warning to Hong Kong that the leaders of public opinion here should not allow Hong Kong to become a bridgehead for revolution in China. Second of all, his warning to the press not to shock China. And on the provisional LegCo, that Britain, Hong Kong and China should join hands and conciliate on the matter of the provisional LegCo which should not be taken to any international court.

Governor: I think your last point is a slight extension of what he said. But let me deal with the first two and then repeat my position and the British Government's position on the third. I have followed with interest his remarks.

3

Of course, everyone is in favour of responsible behaviour. It would be difficult to make a convincing speech in favour of irresponsibility. But I have to say that I have been in Hong Kong, now, getting on for five years - over four and a half years - as some of you may have noticed, and I think Hong Kong is as responsible and moderate a place as I have ever lived in. I think it is arguably the case that there is a lot less extremism, politically, in Hong Kong than anywhere else that I have lived in my increasingly long life. So I don’t think that anything in Hong Kong, any of Hong Kong's values, the espousal of those values, represents a threat to anybody else.

I don’t want to pick an argument with anybody but I am not quite sure what the threat which Hong Kong is supposed to represent actually consists of. What we do have here in Hong Kong is a set of values which people hold dear, which have helped to make Hong Kong a decent and economically successful place. And what, I think, would concern everybody is any action which undermined or threatened those values and those principles. I think that is, clearly from the opinion polls and clearly from what I heard being expressed on radio phone-in programmes yesterday, that is what concerns people, not extremism directed at anybody else.

As for the press, well, I thought there was a very good speech made on freedom of the press on Monday night by the Chief Secretary, in which the Chief Secretary said what I am sure you all feel. That newspapers should report without fear or favour, responsibly, what needs to be reported in a free society. I would not have chosen to change a word in that speech, had I been sufficiently eloquent to make it myself, and I guess that most members of this free, open, pluralist, unthreatening community would feel exactly the same.

Question: I would like to ask you a subsidiary question. I asked Lord Howe, yesterday, what made him think that there were subversives in Hong Kong who were going to cause this kind of revolution and he said to me that this was Peking’s view, that it was not something which he had sensed here but that this is what Peking was worried about, that there would be subversion.

Governor: I have said many times that I thought that Chinese leaders should trust Hong Kong and should relax about Hong Kong. One country, two systems, implies that that is what they should do. Hong Kong and its system is different from China and its system. Hong Kong, as I think the New York Times suggested the other day, is a reflection of the future in Asia. It is a decent, free, open society and will long remain that, and I don't think that should be regarded by anybody as a threat.

Question: Some provisional legislators, including Mr Leung Chun-ying who is the Vice Chairman of the Preparatory Committee, plainly mentioned yesterday that the provisional legislature is no longer a designate one...?

Governor: I cannot hear what you are saying, I'm sorry.

- 4 -

Question: According to some provisional legislators who say that the PL is no longer a designate one but that means the structure can operate formally before July this year and then it can pass laws which will conic into effect after June this year. So what can the British Government do with that and what can the I long Kong Government do to stop that?

Governor: I think that anybody who says that should have a conversation with the Chinese Vice Premier, Mr Qian Qichen, who made it perfectly clear last April that there could only be one Legislative Council before 30 June 1997. And we have one which was elected by over a million people, rather than one that was selected by 400 hand-picked people by China.

Question: Would you expect the Foreign Secretary to tell you, okay, how much you should ... the question of (he provisional legislature through the International Court?

Governor: Would I what?

Question: Would you expect the Foreign Secretary to tell you ... questions of the provisional legislature to the International Court?

Governor: As you will know, if you have been attending any previous press conferences with me. the British Foreign Secretary cannot do that. No government can do that on its own. In order to unilaterally take an issue to the International Court of Justice you have to go through the General Assembly of the United Nations and there isn't a General Assembly meeting until next autumn. So it is not very relevant to the question of the existence of the provisional legislature at the moment.

Question: Are you saying that the British Government has nothing to do with the challenge...?

Governor: But I know precisely what the British Government have said and done and we had many entertaining press conferences about that before Christmas.

Question: Flow far do you agree with Lord Howe's comments that Chinese leaders need sympathy and support? That is what Lord I lowe said.

Governor: 1 have already, I think, answered that question fairly extensively, genially, gently, moderately, without any extremism. Let me offer, free, a piece of New Year good cheer. I think everybody needs sympathy and support. I am in favour of sympathy and support for everybody - the Governor of Hong Kong, the Chief Secretary, Lord Howe, the Chief Executive Designate, Chinese leaders. We all need sympathy and support and I am sure that we will all get it from Hong Kong's responsible, vigorous press corps.

5

Question: Do you include the press in deserving sympathy?

Governor: I am madly sympathetic about the press. Perhaps I could just say one other thing. Obviously, in the Administration we have been keeping a very close eye on the property market. We are clearly concerned at some of the anxieties that arc being expressed about what is alleged to be a new bout of speculative activity. We arc keeping the situation under urgent review - and I mean urgent. We are keeping as close an eye as possible on things and if there does appear to be unacceptable speculation producing a bubble in the market, we won't hesitate to take whatever action may be necessary.

We were, I think, extremely successful a couple of years ago in preventing the increase of speculation which had started and I think that demonstrated our concerns. But obviously, in the long term it is important to increase the supply of Hats which should be a consequence of the increase in land available for residential accommodation which we made available in the last two and a half years.

Question: To w hat extent does the timing of your visit indicate that the British general election is imminent?

Governor: I think it suggests that it is not going to be in the next week. I he next British general election has to be. I think, before about the middle of May. But clearly, people arc going to be much preoccupied with that over the Easter period when I would normally have gone to the UK. so I thought it was sensible to go at this stage.

1 also want to talk about things like the regular reporting to parliament which the Foreign Secretary spoke about before Christmas, and I thought it was also time to update the Leader of the Opposition and the Foreign Affairs Select Committee on what has been happening.

Question: ... about the war widow passports. Isn’t it time they actually got them?

Governor: Yes. but without going into detail, it is not solely a question of administrators not being speedy enough. 'I here have been problems about filling in forms and so on but we arc trying to address that. The nationality issue, w hich obviously 1 w ill be pursuing with the Home Secretary, is the question of the ethnic minorities. Thank you very much.

End

6

Government response on VM issue

*****

The Government today (Wednesday) responded to media reports on recent comments by a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman on the Vietnamese migrant (VM) population in the territory.

A Government spokesman said that a total of 63,415 VMs had been returned to Vietnam since 1989, 15,101 in 1996 alone.

"If repatriation continues at the rate seen in the latter half of 1996, we are confident that it will be possible to close our camps by the middle of this year," he said.

The spokesman said that the policy of first asylum was adopted by the Hong Kong Government and was not imposed on the territory by the United Kingdom. This is borne out by the findings of a recent report by the Director of Audit to the Legislative Council.

"Hong Kong could not have resolved the VM problem on its own; it was dependant on the cooperation of the international community.

"The policy of first asylum was part of a package of measures agreed in the context of the Comprehensive Plan of Action (CPA). Through the CPA, we have been able to reduce our VM population from a peak of 59,240 in late 1991 to 6,000 today," he added.

"We have never sought to release VMs from detention or disseminated information in the camps to persuade VMs from returning home.

"The integrity of our detention policy is crucial to our ability to draw the VM saga to a close. We shall continue to defend it. However, we are also committed to the rule of law and will not be a party to the illegal detention of anyone in the territory, including VMs," the spokesman stressed.

The spokesman said that early repatriation from Hong Kong of all VMs is an important objective of the British Government.

"In the course of 1996, the British Prime Minister raised the issue with his Vietnamese counterpart. During a visit to Hanoi in November, the Foreign Secretary strongly urged the Vietnamese Government to join others in redoubling their efforts to resolving this problem before the transfer of sovereignty later this year," he said.

"As in the past, we shall continue to do our utmost to expedite the repatriation of all VMs to Vietnam in accordance with the dictates of the law and in compliance with the principles set down in the CPA." the spokesman concluded.

End

7

US District Court decision will be appealed *****

In response to media reports today (Wednesday) on a decision by a US District Court to grant Mr Jerry Lui Kin-hong a writ of habeas corpus, a Legal Department spokesman issued the following statement:

"We will be mounting an urgent appeal against this decision and we will move on this as quickly as possible. In the meantime we will be applying for a stay of the order of release and will be applying for Mr Lui's further detention pending the hearing of our appeal.

"We are still awaiting the full written judgment but. based on the newspaper reports, we are amazed that the District Judge seems to have ignored completely the guarantees contained in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law about the continuation of Hong Kong's Common Law system and the rule of law. as part of the separate system for 1 long Kong under the "One country, two systems" concept.

"We would point out that District Judge Lauro's decision flies in the face of a number of other recent extradition decisions from other jurisdictions where the courts had no problem about the ordering of the return to I long Kong of those alleged to have committed serious crimes here. For example, in a recent extradition case, the Canadian courts rejected arguments similar to those put forward by Mr Lui.

"We will be stressing in the appeal that Hong Kong will continue to enjoy a legal system separate from that of China after I July 1997 as guaranteed in the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law and with all the protections that afforded to defendants in criminal cases.

"Hong Kong has signed a number of extradition agreements with other jurisdictions that will last beyond 1 July 1997. The Legislative Council is currently studying a Fugitive Offenders Bill which, when enacted, will give legal force in Hong Kong to those agreements. We look forward to the early enactment of that Bill which will play a vital part in our continuing extradition arrangements."

End

8

Trade Unions (Amendment) Bill

*****

The Government does not support the Member's Bill introduced into the Legislative Council tonight (Wednesday) by Legislative Councillor Mr Lee Cheuk-yan which seeks to amend the Trade Unions Ordinance.

A spokesman For the Education and Manpower Branch said today that the bill was not conducive to the healthy development of trade union movement in Hong Kong.

"For example, the bill allows the use of funds of a trade union for political purpose. This is contrary to the objective of a trade union," the spokesman said.

Another provision of the bill seeks to repeal the present requirement of the Governor's approval for a trade union to be a member of trade unions outside I long Kong.

The spokesman pointed out that the requirement to obtain the Governor's consent for affiliation with overseas unions or organisations "is a necessary safeguard to prevent local trade unions from being unduly influenced or controlled by overseas political bodies".

"However, the Government has been flexible in the exercise of power and has not refused any past application from local trade unions for affiliation with overseas unions or organisations."

The spokesman said that as a matter of principle, the Government would only consider proposed amendments to labour legislation if they had been discussed by the Labour Advisory Board.

"The Board has not been consulted on this bill." he added.

End

9

Meeting of JLG expert group on preparation of transitional Budget ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Sino-British Joint Liaison Group will hold their sixteenth round of Expert Talks on January 9 and 10 in Hong Kong to discuss the preparation of Hong Kong’s transitional Budget and related matters.

The British team will be led by 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

Plea for information on illicit cigarettes ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Deputy Commissioner of Customs and Excise, Mr Raymond Li Wai-man, today (Wednesday) appealed to members of the public for more information on illicit cigarettes.

Speaking at a signing ceremony to renew a reward scheme inviting information on illicit cigarettes, Mr Li stressed that the department was determined to repress all illicit cigarettes activities.

"The reward scheme was first introduced in early 1994 as a result of the enhancement of the co-operation between the Tobacco Institute of Hong Kong Limited and the department in the fight against illicit cigarettes," he said.

The Institute will continue to finance a total reward of $500,000 for the year 1997.

The present reward scale is:

Quantity of cigarettes seized on any one occasion Rate of reward

Between 500,000 and 1,000,000 $10,000

Between 1,000,001 and 1,500,000 $20,000

Between 1,500,001 and 2,000,000 $30,000

Over 2,000,000

$50,000

10

The reward offered by the Institute and paid in the past three years under the Scheme are as follows:

Cigarette seized

Reward offered Reward paid in this connection

1994 $300,000 $50,000 50 million

1995 $300,000 $140,000 10 million

1996 $500,000* $350,000 30 million

* effective from August 96

Information can be provided to the Customs and Excise Department by:

(a) Calling 25456182 ( 24-hours hotline);

(b) Fax 25434942 (24 hours );

(c) ’’Customs Crime Report" obtainable at any Customs and Excise Office or District Office;

(d) Letter to GPO Box 1166; and

(e) Reporting in person at any Customs and Excise Office.

End

New arrangement for the sale of definitive stamps

* * * ♦ ♦

The Postmaster General, Mr Robert Footman, announced today (Wednesday) that due to the unprecedented demand for definitive stamps, the Post Office with immediate effect will not sell such stamps by the sheet.

> ■

"This will ensure that the general demand for postage stamps for normal postal purposes can be met from now up to the issue of the neutral definitive stamps on January 26, 1997," he said.

The Post Office will review this arrangement after January 25, 1997 to see if the arrangement for selling sheets of stamps can be reintroduced.

End

- 11 -

Sha Tin lot to let

*****

The Lands Department is inviting tenders for the short-term tenancy of a piece oI government land at the junction of On Ping Street and On Sum Street, Area 11, Sha Tin.

fhe lot has an area of about 3,050 square metres and is intended for use as an open storage (excluding storage of containers) or a fee-paying public car park. The tenancy is for three years, renewable quarterly.

fhe closing date for submission of tenders is noon on January 24 (Friday).

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 Sha Tin.

fender plans can also be inspected al these offices.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority Interbank Liquidity * * * * *

Time Aggregate Balance of Settlement Accounts

Opening aggregate balance 532 mn 0930 hr 9.756 mn

Closing aggregate balance 59 mn 1000 hr 12.177 mn

Change attributable to : 1100 hr 18,777 mn

Money market activity -39 mn 1200 hr 29,255 mn

LAF reversal +7,776 mn 1500 hr 29,151 mn

LAF today -7,810 mn 1600 hr 31,233 mn

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer Twi 125.3 *+0.0* <3.1.97

- 12 -

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

I I bills EF notes/MTRC notes

1 erins Yield Terms Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.33 2 years 2811 5.72 100.22 5.67

1 month 4.37 3 years 3910 6.28 100.58 6.14

3 months 4.52 5 years 5112 6.57 99.33 6.84

6 months 4.74 7 years 7311 6.80 98.69 7.17

12 months 5.10 10 years 1610 7.37 100.39 7.44

5 years M503 7.35 101.43 7.10

Total turnover of ef bills and notes - $15,808 inn

Closed January 8, 1997

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

SUPPLEMENT

Wednesday, January 8,1997

Contents Page No.

Legislative CounciLmeeting:

Initiatives to step up fire safety measures in high-risk premises... 1

Companies (Amendment) Bill.......................................... 3

Banking (Amendment) Bill........................................ 5

Legal Aid (Amendment) Bill 1996 .................................... 7

Enduring Powers of Attorney Bill................................ 8

Powers of Attorney (Amendment) Bill............................. 11

Freight Containers (Safety) Bill................................... 12

Costs in Criminal Cases Ordinance.................................. 13

Police procedures on vulnerable individuals' cases................. 14

Access facilities for person with a disability..................... 16

/Ex-gratia zonal..

Contents

Page No.

Ex-gratia zonal compensation for land resumption........................... 18

Housing Society to cater for the needs of tenants affected by rehousing ... 19

Liaison psychiatry service................................................. 21

Distribution of household income in Hong Kong.............................. 22

Fight against triad influence in schools................................... 24

Nurses working in private hospitals........................................ 30

Admissions of mental patients.............................................. 31

Organ donation............................................................. 32

Labour Tribunal's cases involving award of costs........................... 35

Third party liability insurance............................................ 36

Non-franchised bus routes.................................................. 38

•. f F

Tolo Harbour Effluent Export Scheme........................................ 40

Visitors to HK before handover............................................. 42

Business of insurance industry............................................. 43

No intention to legislate designation of no smoking areas.................. 44

Private tutorial schools under government supervision...................... 46

1

Initiatives to step up fire safety measures in high-risk premises *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, at the motion debate on "Comprehensive review of fire safety measures" in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

The views expressed by Honourable Members in this debate clearly reflected the community's strong concern on adequate fire safety measures. The Government shares the same concern. There arc clearly lessons to be learnt from the Garley Building tragedy.

The two investigation reports completed by the Director of Fire Services two weeks after the incident concerned the cause of the fire and the reason why so many people died and were injured. A statutory Commission of Inquiry with a comprehensive remit has also been set up to inquire into the causes of the fire, to advise on the adequacy and co-ordination of the response of the emergency services to the fire, and to make recommendations on actions needed to prevent such a tragedy from happening again. Meanwhile, specific investigations are being carried out by concerned departments. The Buildings Department, Labour Department and Electrical and Mechanical Services Department investigations are near the final stage of completion. Police investigations into the cause and circumstances connected to the deaths which occurred during the fire are continuing.

Relevant government departments briefed the LegCo Panel on Security and the LegCo Panel on Planning. Lands and Works on 16 December 1996 on the findings and recommendations of the investigation reports by the Fire Services Department. The government has accepted all the 13 recommendations in the reports by the Fire Services Department. We are indeed already pursuing some of these recommendations. We will review progress by various government departments within three months. By that time, we would be able to submit a progress report on the follow up actions to the relevant panel of this Council.

In the meantime, we are undertaking a number of initiatives to step up publicity and enforcement, and legislation for up-to-date fire safety measures in high-risk premises.

2

A. Publicity

On publicity, various departments have plans in hand to step up publicity on fire safety over the next few months. More publicity will be targeted at the importance of fire safety measures when carrying out welding works, the usefulness of carrying out regular fire drills, and the consequences of unauthorized alterations to protected means of escape, wedging open of smoke doors etc. The Fire Services Department will also be more proactive in disseminating fire safety messages to Owners' Corporations, through the support of the liaison network of the Home Affairs Department.

B. Enforcement

On enforcement, the Fire Services Department, Buildings Department and Labour Department are stepping up their enforcement actions. In addition to acting on complaints, the departments will be conducting more inspections and visits to buildings to examine their fire safety standards and installations.

C. Legislation

On the legislative side, the Fire Safety (Commercial Premises) Bill is now under scrutiny by a LegCo Bills Committee. This Bill requires enhancement to current standards in the provision of fire service installations, means of escape and access, and fire resisting construction in certain prescribed commercial premises. Most of the outstanding issues have been discussed in the Bills Committee and I hope the Bill can be enacted very soon. The Occupational Safety and Health Bill was introduced into this Council on 4 December 1996. This Bill covers all workplaces, including those in commercial buildings like Garley Building. Under subsidiary regulation to be made upon enactment of the Bill, there are provisions setting out fire precaution and safety measures to be taken in workplaces. Where necessary, the Commissioner of Labour may require employers to provide fire safety measures in addition to those required under any other law. We hope that the Council can expedite consideration and passage of this Bill.

The Government agrees with the community's views on the need to review the fire safety measures in buildings like Garley Building in order to prevent such tragedy from recurring. We consider that tackling the fire safety problem at old commercial/office buildings should be a matter of priority because the fire risk in these buildings is higher. Industrial buildings are more frequently inspected by the Labour Department and the Fire Services Department; early enforcement action can be taken against any irregularity or deficiency identified during these inspections. Fire load in residential buildings is comparatively lower, and in the event of fire the magnitude and degree of damage would be relatively less serious.

3

Therefore, as a first step, we are reviewing what additional measures ought to be taken to enhance fire safety in old commercial/office buildings like Garley Building. A sample survey of 40 old commercial/office buildings is being conducted by the Fire Services Department and the Buildings Department. These buildings are likely to be without sprinkler installations and are therefore less adequately protected in the event of a fire. On the basis of the results of the survey, we would assess the feasibility of extending similar requirements as in the Fire Safety (Commercial Premises) Bill to such buildings, and then come to a view on the appropriate legislative proposals. In the meantime, we are pleased to listen to the views expressed by Members of this Council.

To conclude, we agree with the main thrust of the motion in that we will seek improvements to the control measures for fire protection. However, in taking forward such improvements, we believe it would be in the interest of the community to take a targeted and step by step approach. Our priority should be the type of buildings which have a higher fire risk, such as old commercial buildings. >

Thank you, Mr President.

■ iV End

Companies (Amendment) Bill * * * * ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, in moving the second reading of the Companies (Amendment) Bill in the Legilsative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President

May I first of all express my gratitude for the work of the Bills Committee, and in particular its Chairman, the Honourable Miriam Lau, on a bill that encompasses certain highly complex legal concepts and issues.

The Companies (Amendment) Bill 1996 contains two main proposals - first, the abolition of the outmoded principle of ultra vires and revision of the related doctrine of constructive notice and, secondly, the de-regulation of company forms.

4

There has been considerable discussion by the Bills Committee on the question of the abolition of “ultra vires”. Members of the Committee, and also the wider business community, expressed support for the principles involved but, at the same time, were interested to examine the different approaches to the problem taken in different common law jurisdictions. Certain positive and constructive suggestions arose from this process and these have resulted in technical improvements to the Bill. I shall be moving the resulting amendments at the committee stage.

On the de-regulation of forms, the Bills Committee and professional associations were again in support of the principle but were concerned that any discretion given to the Registrar of Companies to amend the forms administratively should not be too wide. The Committee suggested that the powers of the Registrar to make alterations should be limited to form and not substance. I shall therefore be moving amendments to define the limits within which the Registrar of Companies may exercise his powers in determining the contents of the forms.

Members of the Committee felt that any proposals for substantial change to the type of information sought in the forms should still be required to go through the existing legislative procedures. This arrangement is acceptable to the Registrar of Companies who is primarily seeking the flexibility to be able to respond to changes such as developments in information technology that may make revisions in the format of the forms desirable. Having said this, I understand that the providers of business services would not welcome frequent changes given the time required to gear up for revisions to company forms. We will endeavour to be sensitive to this when considering the need for change.

Mr President, with these remarks, I commend the Companies (Amendment) Bill 1996 to Members.

End

5

Banking (Amendment) Bill

*****

The following is the speech by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, in moving the second reading of the Banking (Amendment) Bill 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

The Banking (Amendment) Bill 1996 seeks to provide a legal framework for the regulation of the issue of multi-purpose stored value cards and of foreign exchange and deposits brokers operating in the wholesale market. The Bill also streamlines the appeal and penalty provisions.

I am very grateful to the Chairman of the Bills Committee, Dr the Hon Huang Chen-ya, and Members of the Committee for their careful and meticulous consideration of the Bill. I would also like to thank the Hong Kong Association of Banks and the Hong Kong Foreign Exchange and Deposit Brokers Association for their useful comments on the Bill. The amendments to be moved at the Committee Stage are the product of dialogue in a series of meetings between the Administration, the Bills Committee, the banking and money broking industries, and prospective issuers of stored value cards over the past few months.

When the Bill was introduced into this Council last year, I said that the Administration would study Members' suggestion of limiting the maximum value that can be stored on single-purpose stored value cards as a means to protect cardholders. We have concluded that the regulation of single-purpose stored value cards, which is in fact similar to pre-payment for goods and services, is outside the scope of the Banking Ordinance. It has little to do with the traditional banking supervisory concern of protecting the stability of the banking and payment system. With the agreement of the Bills Committee, we have decided not to include the regulation of this kind of card in the Bill.

The Bills Committee considered that there should be adequate protection for the funds pre-paid by cardholders in the event of the liquidation of a bank issuer of stored value cards. In fact, in the case of cards where the value is originated and issued by the bank itself, the nature of the stored value issued is similar to deposits. We agree with the Bills Committee that such stored value should be given similar protection to deposits and should thus receive priority payment in the case of the bank's liquidation. I will be moving an amendment to include a new deeming provision to remove any uncertainty in this regard.

6

Under the existing Bill, special purpose vehicles whose principal business consists of issuing or facilitating the issue of multi-purpose stored value cards may apply for authorization as a restricted licenced bank or a deposit-taking company. The Bills Committee was concerned that such an arrangement might cause confusion. To address this concern, I will move an amendment to provide that a special purpose vehicle should only be authorized as a deposit-taking company.

Another point raised by the Bills Committee was that there should be fair competition among issuers of stored value cards and that issuers should be prohibited from unreasonable anti-competition practices. The Administration fully endorses this principle. It has been our policy to support healthy competition and to maintain a level playing field for market participants. The Monetary Authority will formally bring this to the attention of the banking industry and all authorized or exempt issuers of multipurpose stored value cards.

The existing Bill provides for the Monetary Authority to exempt certain issuers from authorization. The Bills Committee emphasized the importance of allowing nonbank entities to issue stored value cards and to improve the efficiency of their services without compromising the integrity of the payment system. We fully agree with this principle. The Monetary Authority is now formulating the detailed exemption criteria in the light of the principle and will consult potential non-bank issuers. The criteria will be published in the form of guidelines to applicants. We will review the exemption policy from time to time in light of prevailing circumstances.

The Bill proposes that all money brokers would be required to take up membership of the Hong Kong Foreign Exchange and Deposit Brokers Association so that all money brokers would be subject to the Code of Conduct to be issued by the Association. The Bills Committee considered that this arrangement might restrict entry of new comers as money brokers. I will be moving an amendment to provide that a money broker approved by the Monetary Authority need not be a member of the Association and the Monetary Authority will issue a guideline on the Code of Conduct which will apply to all money brokers approved by the Monetary Authority.

Mr President, I will also move a number of other detailed amendments of a more technical nature to improve the provisions of the Bill. With these remarks, I commend the Bill to Members.

End

7

Legal Aid (Amendment) Bill 1996 *****

Following is the speech by the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, in moving the second reading of Legal Aid (Amendment) Bill 1996, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that the Legal Aid (Amendment) Bill 1996 be read the second time. The Bill primarily aims to increase the financial eligibility limits for the legal aid schemes operated by the Legal Aid Department.

As stated in our Policy Commitment published with the Governor's 1995 Policy Address, we are committed to reviewing the financial eligibility limits for the standard legal aid scheme and the self-financing Supplementary Legal Aid Scheme operated by the Legal Aid Department every two years to take account of inflation.

We have recently completed a review of the financial eligibility limits and propose that they be revised in line with inflation. We have also taken the opportunity to review the monetary amounts that may be waived by the Director of Legal Aid under the Ordinance, and propose that they be also revised in line with inflation. I now outline briefly the major elements of the Bill.

Clauses 2 and 3 of the Bill provide for increases in the financial eligibility limits for both the standard legal aid scheme and the Supplementary Legal Aid Scheme. The increases are in line with the accumulated inflation rate of 17.9% for the period from July 1994, when the amounts were last reviewed, to June 1996. This will mean that the financial eligibility limit for applicants under the standard legal aid scheme will be increased from $144,000 to $169,700 and the lower and upper financial eligibility limits for the Supplementary Legal Aid Scheme will be increased from the present $144,000 and $400,000 to $169,700 and $471,600 respectively.

Clause 4 provides that the amount of payment of maintenance for a spouse or former spouse that may be exempted from the Director's first charge be revised from $4,100 per month to $4,800 per month.

Clause 5 provides that the maximum amount that may be reduced by the Director under section 19B( 1 )(a) be increased from $30,000 to $57,400. This is in line with the accumulated inflation rate of 91.4% for the period from July 1989, when the amount was last reviewed, to June 1996.

8

At present, this Council may, by resolution, amend the amounts of financial resources specified in section 5, the amounts of income and financial resources specified in section 5A, and Schedules 2 and 3 to the Ordinance. However, the maximum amount of maintenance payment that may be exempted from the Director's first charge specified in section 18A(5) and the maximum amount that may be reduced by the Director under section 19B(l)(a) cannot be amended by resolution of this Council. As the amounts specified in these two sections have to be reviewed regularly to bring them in line with inflation, it would be more appropriate if they could also be amended by resolution of this Council rather than requiring primary legislation as at present. Clause 6 of the Bill empowers this Council to make amendments to the monetary amounts specified in section 18A(5) and section 19B(l)(a) by subsidiary legislation rather than primary legislation.

Mr President, this Bill represents merely an updating of the Legal Aid Ordinance and an immediate improvement to the legal aid scheme in Hong Kong and I commend it to this Council for early passage into law.

Lastly, I should also like to mention that we are conducting a comprehensive review of the criteria used to assess the financial eligibility of legal aid applicants for legal aid services provided by the Legal Aid Department in accordance with our Policy Commitment. We will also take this opportunity to consider carefully proposals to extend the scope of civil legal aid and possible improvements to the operation of the Legal Aid Ordinance.

End

Enduring Powers of Attorney Bill

*****

Following is a speech by the Attorney General, Mr Jeremy Mathews, in moving the second reading of the Enduring Powers of Attorney Bill in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

1 move that the Enduring Powers of Attorney Bill be read a second time.

The purpose of the Bill is to make provision for a new kind of power of attorney, which will be effective after the person who gave it has become mentally incapable of managing his or her own affairs.

9

A power of attorney is an arrangement whereby one person empowers another to act on his behalf and in his name. Unfortunately, as the law now stands a power of attorney is automatically revoked when the donor of the power loses the mental capacity to enter into contracts or exercise his or her legal rights in other ways. Thus, the holder of a power of attorney loses the power to act in the management of a person's affairs at the very time when his or her assistance is perhaps most needed.

The need for a power of attorney which is capable of surviving the onset of mental incapacity has been felt for some time. Many countries in the common law world have already introduced legislation to provide for a mechanism of this kind, which is known as an enduring power of attorney. We have been able to draw on such legislation in preparing our own proposals for dealing with the problem.

The proposals contained in the Bill have been the subject of consultation with the legal profession and other interested organisations such as the Hong Kong Council of Social Service and the Hospital Authority. The need for some kind of enduring power of attorney was evident from the responses to that consultation. With substantial numbers of Hong Kong people emigrating in recent years, there has been a growing need for owners of property to create powers of attorney for the administration of property which they are no longer able to manage personally. At the same time, chronic and degenerative illnesses affecting mental capacity have become more common in the community, as the proportion of old people increases.

Existing legal procedures for managing the affairs of a mentally disordered person are cumbersome, time-consuming and costly. They require an application to the High Court for the appointment of a receiver to manage that person’s property and affairs. Such an application is normally made by a close relative or friend. But the serious drawbacks of the present system are likely to deter most people from seeking the assistance of the court when this is called for.

There can be little doubt that there is a need for a less complicated means of dealing with the problem. This Bill is designed to meet that need by providing a simple, straight-forward and inexpensive legal mechanism. I will now describe the main provisions in the Bill.

Under clause 3, an enduring power of attorney must be executed in a form which will be prescribed by regulations and which contains certain prescribed explanatory information. Clause 5 provides that the instrument creating the power must be signed by the proposed attorney, and must be executed by the donor in the presence of both a solicitor and a registered medical practitioner. The solicitor is required to certify that the donor of the power appears to be mentally capable, whilst the medical practitioner must be satisfied that the donor is mentally capable. For these purposes the Bill adopts a new definition of mental incapacity, which I will explain when introducing the Powers of Attorney (Amendment) Bill later this afternoon.

10

Clause 4 of the Bill provides that a power of attorney which is executed in accordance with the formalities I have just described will not be revoked if the donor subsequently becomes mentally incapable. But before the attorney becomes competent to act under the power conferred on him or her, the document must be registered at the Supreme Court. This must be done as soon as the attorney has reason to believe that the donor is or is becoming mentally incapable.

The mechanics of registration are provided for in clause 9. Registration is not a guarantee of the validity of the document - it will not validate a document which is otherwise invalid. The purpose of registration is that it will enable third parties to inspect the powers of attorney on the register, on payment of a fee. In this way, enduring powers of attorney will be made a matter of public record. A further measure of publicity for the protection of the donor's interests is provided by clauses 18 and 19, which allow the donor to nominate persons who must be notified before the attorney applies for registration. In any legal proceedings relating to an enduring power, the court may draw an adverse inference from a failure to notify such persons.

A person who has created an enduring power of attorney and who subsequently becomes mentally incapacitated will be in a position of considerable vulnerability. The Bill therefore contains provisions which are designed to protect the donor from both malpractice and lesser shortcomings on the part of the attorney. Clause 12 places an attorney under a legal duty of utmost good faith towards the donor, and requires the attorney to exercise his or her powers honestly and diligently, to keep proper accounts and records, to avoid conflicts of interest and to keep the donor's property separate from any other property. Provision is made in clause 11 for any interested party to apply to the court for a variety of remedial orders. The court will have power to require an attorney to produce records and accounts, to revoke an enduring power and to remove the attorney. The circumstances in which an enduring power is revoked are set out in clause 13. Clause 16 invalidates any attempt to dispense with the requirements of the Bill, while clause 17 ensures that an attorney cannot disclaim his or her responsibility at any time when the donor is mentally incapable or after the enduring powers has been registered, except with the consent of the court.

Mr President, this Bill offers a useful and needed reform. The recognition of enduring powers of attorney has the support of those who were consulted on this issue and I believe that these instruments will be generally welcomed by the community. I commend the Bill to the Council.

End

11

Powers of Attorney (Amendment) Bill *****

Following is a speech by the Attorney General, Mr Jeremy Mathews, in moving the second reading of the Powers of Attorney (Amendment) Bill 1996 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

1 move that the Powers of Attorney (Amendment) Bill 1996 be read a second time.

The purpose of this Bill is to introduce a uniform definition of mental incapacity, which will be applicable to any purpose relating to a power of attorney.

Mental capacity is a crucial issue in relation to powers of attorney for two main reasons. First, the person granting a power of attorney ("the donor") must possess the requisite capacity at the time he or she creates the power. Secondly, the subsequent onset of mental incapacity in the donor has the effect of revoking the attorney's authority to act on behalf of the donor under the power. That principle would not apply to enduring powers of attorney that could be made if the Enduring Powers of Attorney Bill is enacted, but it would still apply to ordinary powers of attorney.

Much difficulty and confusion has resulted from the fact that there are different tests to determine, on the one hand, whether a donor was mentally capable of creating a valid power of attorney and, on the other, whether the donor's mental capacity had subsequently declined to the point that his attorney was no longer permitted to act for him.

The present position is that, while it is sufficient for the creation of a valid power that the donor should understand the nature and effect of the power, the power can no longer be validly exercised once the donor loses the capacity to manage his property and affairs. The second of these tests of mental capacity is more stringent than the first.

The Bill proposes to eliminate this difference, and the uncertainty it causes, by adopting a single definition which is applicable for all purposes. The proposal is in line with a recommendation of the English Law Commission and is generally supported by the legal profession and other interested organisations.

The new definition is contained in clause 2 of the Bill. This provides that a person is regarded as suffering from mental incapacity for any purpose relating to a power of attorney in two situations. The first is where he or she is suffering from mental disorder and is either unable to understand the effect of a power of attorney or is unable, because of that disorder, to make a decision to grant such a power. The second situation is where a person is unable to communicate an intention or wish to grant a power of attorney.

12

For the purposes of the definition, "mental disorder" is given the same meaning as under the Mental Health Ordinance. This covers mental illness, arrested or incomplete development of mind, psychopathic disorder and any other disorder or disability of mind. The Administration is currently re-examining this definition in the context of a review of the Mental Health Ordinance. Subject to the approval of the Executive Council a Bill to amend that Ordinance will be introduced in this Council in the near future.

The Bill is not intended to affect any question as to the validity or revocation of a power of attorney created before the Bill comes into operation as law. Clause 3 therefore specifically provides that such questions would continue to be decided in accordance with the existing law.

The desirability of the proposed new definition of mental incapacity became evident in the course of preparing the Enduring Powers of Attorney Bill, which I have just introduced. However, since the new definition should apply to all types of powers of attorney, it is appropriate to place it in the Powers of Attorney Ordinance.

Thank you Mr President.

End

Freight Containers (Safety) Bill *****

Following is a speech by the acting Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Leo Kwan, in moving the second reading of the Freight Containers (Safety) Bill in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that the Freight Containers (Safety) Bill be read a second time.

The purpose of this Bill is to implement in Hong Kong the International Convention for Safe Containers 1972. The main objective of this Convention is to ensure the safe and efficient transport of containers. It standardises requirements for the testing, inspection and approval of containers, and prescribes procedures for their maintenance, examination and control. It applies to containers used for international transport by sea and on land, but excluding containers specially designed for air transport.

13

Though the Convention only covers containers used for international transport, we propose that our local legislation should also apply to containers used for domestic transport, as we are of the view that the same safety standard should apply to containers used for international transport and local transport.

The main objective of the Bill is to safeguard the construction and safety of containers used in Hong Kong. Specifically, the Bill requires the owner of, or the person responsible for, a container to ensure that the container being handled is approved by recognised authorities, fixed with a safety approval plate, properly maintained, examined according to the approved procedures and that markings on it are consistent with information on the safety approval plate.

The Bill also provides that containers used in Hong Kong shall be subject to control by the Director of Marine and inspectors appointed by him. Random checks on containers will be conducted by the Marine Department, with the assistance of other government departments as necessary, to ensure compliance with the requirements set out in the legislation. If any of the requirements are not met, the Director of Marine is empowered to prohibit the use of or detain the container in question.

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

End

Costs in Criminal Cases Ordinance

*****

Following is a speech by the Attorney General, Mr Jeremy Mathews, in moving the motion on Costs in Criminal Cases Ordinance in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

1 move the resolution standing in my name in the Order Paper. The resolution is to the effect that the Costs in Criminal Cases Rules, made by the Acting Chief Justice on 25 November 1996, be approved.

The Costs in Criminal Cases Ordinance was enacted in July last year. It reforms the existing law governing the award of costs in criminal cases by removing anomalies and by providing a clear set of principles applicable to all levels of criminal courts. It also provides that in circumstances where costs are wasted as a result of any failure to appear or lateness (without reasonable cause) on the part of any legal or other representative, the court may make an order that the wasted costs be borne by that lawyer or representative. The Ordinance has not yet been brought into operation, since there is a need for rules providing for the practice and procedure under the Ordinance.

14

The Acting Chief Justice has now made rules setting out the procedure relating to the making of wasted costs orders; the procedure on appeal against an award of costs; the details to be provided in a claim for costs; the manner in which an application for taxation of costs is to be determined; the procedure on a review of taxed costs; and the court fees payable upon such appeals and taxation.

The approval of the rules today will complete the necessary preparations for the reforms contained in the Ordinance. If the rules are approved, I intend to bring the Ordinance into operation later this month.

Mr President, I beg to move.

End

Police procedures on vulnerable individuals' cases

*****

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

Question:

It is learnt that the Police manuals stipulate the standard procedures for police officers to follow when discharging their duties. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the reasons why the Police has not released the Police manuals for public information following the implementation of the Code of Access to Information on 1st April 1996;

(b) whether the procedures set out in the Police manuals are consistent with the provisions of the Hong Kong Bills of Rights Ordinance; and

(c) given that certain groups such as battered spouses, handicapped persons and marginal youth have complained that police officers do not respect their legal rights or neglect their special needs when handling cases involving them, whether the Government will consider consulting these groups with a view to making appropriate changes to the Police manuals so as to safeguard the interests of the groups concerned?

15

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The Code of Access to Information was only extended to the Police Force with effect from 23 December 1996, consistent with the Government’s commitment to extend the Code to all branches and departments by the end of 1996. The Police Force is in the last batch of departments to join the Code as it was planned that this should coincide with the amendments to the Commissioner for Administrative Complaints Ordinance, recently passed on 18 December, which empowers the Commissioner (now the Ombudsman) to investigate complaints against the Police of non-compliance with the Code . Members of the public may apply for access to information, including Police procedures, from the Police’s Access to Information Officer.

(b) The existing Police procedures are consistent with the provisions of the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance.

(c) The Police Force has drawn up special procedures for handling cases involving battered spouses, juveniles/children and handicapped persons in an appropriate manner. There are established channels for Police to liaise closely with relevant parties, such as the Social Welfare Department and non-government organisations, to exchange views on handling these cases. Front-line Police officers are regularly trained to ensure that they are familiar with the relevant procedures so that vulnerable individuals are handled with care and sensitivity.

End

16

Access facilities for person with a disability *****

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

Question:

Regarding the provision of facilities to wheelchair users, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the percentage of public places in the territory such as restaurants and cinemas which are provided with access facilities for wheelchair users;

(b) of the current number of at-grade crossings provided with dropped kerbs to facilitate crossing by wheelchair users;

(c) of the Government's plans to improve access facilities for wheelchair users; and whether the Government has considered introducing legislation requiring the provision of such facilities in non-domestic premises built before 1984; and

(d) how the Government ensures that the access facilities originally designed for wheelchair users in privately-owned premises are actually made available for use by wheelchair users upon occupation of the premises?

Answer:

Mr President,

(a) We do not have the statistics on the number of public places (such as restaurants and cinemas) that have installed facilities for access by persons with a disability. Generally speaking, for public places constructed or having undergone major alterations after 1985, the Buildings Department would require the provision of such facilities as far as possible and reasonable.

(b) Again we do not have the statistics on the number of pedestrian crossings that are provided with dropped kerbs. The policy since 1981 is that the provision of dropped kerbs has become standard for all newly constructed or reconstructed pedestrian crossings.

.1

17

(c) Buildings and pedestrian crossings constructed or undergone major alteration since 1985 and 1981 respectively have to provide facilities to enable access by persons with a disability. The requirements are promulgated in a Design Manual available to building professionals. The Manual has just been updated and extended to designated common parts of domestic buildings. We are preparing legislative amendments to the Buildings Ordinance and the Codes of Practice issued by the Fire Services Department and the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department to enforce the obligatory requirements of the Manual. These policies would gradually enlarge the activity areas for disabled persons.

In addition, s25 of the Disability Discrimination Ordinance stipulates that it is unlawful to discriminate against a person with a disability in relation to the provision of access to premises that the public or a section of the public is entitled or allowed to enter or use. It makes no reference to their years of construction. The section does not apply if the premises are so designed or constructed as to be inaccessible to a person with a disability and any alteration to the premises to provide for the access would impose unjustifiable hardship on the person who so discriminates the person with a disability. Upon receiving complaints from the public, the Equal Opportunities Commission would assist the parties concerned to determine, on a case by case basis, whether and what access should be provided. On the other hand, if a person feels he has been discriminated against, he may institute legal proceedings against such discrimination.

(d) The answer to the question is two-fold. First, the Buildings Authority is empowered under s24 of the Buildings Ordinance to take action against unauthorised alteration to approved building works. The alteration of facilities provided for disabled persons falls into this category. The public can report to the Buildings Department such unauthorised alterations through the complaint hotline or in writing. The Buildings Authority can serve an order to require the owners to rectify the unauthorised alteration. Immediate enforcement actions will be taken where appropriate.

Second, there may be cases where the owner or the management agent of a premises ceases the usage of certain facilities designed for disabled persons. A complaint may be lodged with the Equal Opportunities Commission which will then investigate the case and endeavour to assist the relevant parties to reach a settlement by conciliation.

End

18

Ex-gratia zonal compensation for land resumption ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Ngan Kam-chuen and a reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Under the ex-gratia zonal compensation system in the New Territories, a uniform rate will be applied across different compensation zones in the resumption of land for a single project. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council :

(a) of the reasons for not applying a uniform rate for land resumption in the Route 3 project, which is a large scale road project stretching across several compensation zones;

(b) given that the Western Railway Project requires the resumption of vast stretches of land in the New Territories, whether the Government will apply a uniform rate across different compensation zones in the resumption of land for this project; if not, why not; and

(c) having regard to the latest amendment to the ex-gratia zonal compensation system classifying "those areas that are affected by essential projects with territory-wide significance" as "Zone A", whether the different compensation zones covered by the Western Corridor Railway Project will be upgraded to "Zone A" as a result of this amendment; if so, of the additional amount of compensation that the Government has to pay for land resumption; if not, why not?

Answer:

Mr President,

(a) Under the existing ex-gratia zonal compensation system, a uniform rate is generally applied to resumption for a single project which covers different compensation zones. However, as Members were informed in the Finance Committee on 6 December 1996, we consider that there are some projects where an exception to this practice is justified. Examples include long stretches of a road across different compensation zones such as Route 3 where different zonal rates were applied. The Committee on Planning and Land Development has to look at the merits and specific situations of each case.

19

(b) A firm decision has not yet been taken regarding the resumption of land and compensation arrangements for the Western Corridor Railway.

(c) The Committee on Planning and Land Development will need to consider the ex-gratia zonal compensation for the Western Corridor Railway. In doing so, the Committee will make reference to precedent cases such as the new airport at Chek Lap Kok, the Container Terminals at Kwai Chung and Black Point Power Station and seek the advice of the relevant policy branch.

End

Housing Society to cater for the needs of tenants affected by rehousing ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Ip Kwok-him and a reply by the acting Secretary for Housing, Mr Keith Kwok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It is reported that over 10,000 residents will be affected by the Housing Society’s redevelopment programmes at Kwun Lung Lau and Tanner Hill Estate. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether the Housing Branch will provide assistance to the residents affected by the above redevelopment programmes; if so, what the details are; and

(b) given that a number of the affected residents had been on the Housing Authority's Waiting List before moving into the above estates, whether the Government knows if the Housing Authority will consider allocating public housing units to these residents as a resettlement option?

20

Answer:

Mr President,

The planned redevelopment of Kwun Lung Lau Phase I and Tanner Hill Estate will affect 1,119 families currently living in these estates. According to the present plan, these families will be rehoused by 1999 to enable the redevelopment to go ahead. Phase II of the redevelopment of Kwun Lung Lau will affect another 1,354 families, who will be rehoused by 2003. The total number of residents affected is 8,804. The Housing Society has carefully considered the rehousing needs of these families and has been able to offer them a variety of choices to match their affordability levels and personal preferences.

The Housing Society has drawn up plans which would cater for the rehousing needs of all families affected, although some of the families are likely to make their own arrangements as past experience has shown. We estimate that about 80% of the families will choose rental housing in flats in other estates of the Housing Society on Hong Kong Island and 20% will prefer to purchase flats under the Housing Society's Flats for Sale Scheme. The Society will make available sufficient flats in both categories to meet the likely demand. In line with the Government's policy of encouraging home ownership, it has accorded first priority to these families to purchase flats under the Flats for Sale Scheme. Additionally, all families affected are offered a removal assistance package to facilitate their relocation.

The Housing Society's cunent rehousing arrangements ensure that the needs of families affected by the planned redevelopment are met. Nevertheless, those families who wish to apply for the purchase of Home Ownership Scheme or Private Sector Participation Scheme flats built by the Housing Authority or loans under the Authority's Home Purchase Loan Scheme may do so as Green Form applicants.

End

21

Liaison psychiatry service ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

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

Question:

Does the Government know:

(a) which public hospitals have psychiatric wards and which public hospitals only provide psychiatric consultation service; and

(b) of the number of non-psychiatric cases, as well as the categories of such cases, in public hospitals requiring psychiatric consultation in the past year; and the number of patients in these cases who had to wait for more than 24 hours before receiving psychiatric consultation service?

Reply:

A list of public hospitals with an established department of psychiatry and psychiatric in-patient facilities is set out at Annex.

All patients seeking medical treatment in public hospitals can have access to psychiatric consultation service, where necessary. This is achieved through hospital clustering and service networking. The liaison psychiatry service offers hospitals without psychiatric units in each cluster with professional assistance ranging from telephone conversation between the psychiatrist and non-psychiatrist concerned to formal psychiatric assessment and consultation on the patient. Some 11,500 referrals were made through this service during the past year but data is not readily available to classify these cases by category.

Liaison psychiatry service has been rendered to about 85% of patients within two days of referral. There are established procedures whereby patients with urgent and complex psychiatric conditions are accorded priority for treatment within the same day as far as possible. Arrangements can also be made to transfer patients with propensity to violence or who are likely to harm themselves or others to psychiatric hospitals for immediate management.

22

Annex

Public Hospitals with an Established Department of Psychiatry and Psychiatric In-patient Facilities

Castle Peak Hospital

Kwai Chung Hospital

Lai Chi Kok Hospital

Kowloon Hospital

Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital

Prince of Wales Hospital

Queen Mary Hospital

Shatin Hospital

Tuen Mun Hospital

United Christian Hospital

End

Distribution of household income in Hong Kong

*****

Following is a question asked by the Hon Lau Chin-shek and a written reply by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the current Gini coefficient reflecting the distribution of wealth in the territory according to the data obtained from the 1996 Population Bycensus;

(b) assuming that all households in the territory are equally divided into ten groups according to their income, of the respective ratios of the total income of the various groups to the territory’s total household income; and

(c) whether consideration will be given to publishing the median household income and the above ratios in the quarterly reports of the General Household Survey?

23

Reply:

(a) Based on data on household income obtained from the 1996 Population By-census, a Gini coefficient can be compiled to reflect the distribution of household income in Hong Kong. Its value is 0.518. However, as no data are available on the wealth of households, it is not possible to compile a Gini coefficient on the distribution of wealth in the territory.

Also, because a Gini coefficient calculated on the above basis does not take into account various elements of "social wage" including the heavily subsidised public housing and services of public health, education, social welfare etc, the coefficient itself does not fully reflect the effective distribution of the well-being of households in Hong Kong.

(b) Based on the results of the 1996 Population By-census, the decile distribution of household income is shown below:

Decile group

Percentage share of all household income

1st (lowest) 1.1

2nd 2.6

3rd 3.6

4th 4.6

5th 5.7

6th 7.0

7th 8.5

8th 10.6

9th 14.5

10th (highest) 41.8

Total 100.0

Note: Each of the 10 decile groups contains the same number of households, ranked by income. The first decile group encloses those households falling below the first decile, the second decile group encloses those households falling between the first and second deciles, and so on.

24

(c) As the Quarterly Report of the General Household Survey (GHS) produced by the Census and Statistics Department mainly aims at presenting the results of the survey in respect of the labour force characteristics of Hong Kong, it contains detailed statistics mostly on employment, unemployment and underemployment.

The contents of the report are nevertheless reviewed periodically to ensure that statistics frequently used by the public are included. The median monthly household income figure based on the survey is currently available to the public upon request. Consideration will be given to including it in the report in the next round of review.

Regarding the decile distribution of household income, owing to the limited sample size of the GHS, the accuracy of the income information particularly at the two ends of the decile distribution is subject to sampling effects such that the income distribution, in overall terms, has not attained the necessary degree of reliability. Hence the current practice is that the decile distribution of household income is compiled on the basis of the results of a population census/by-census only.

End

Fight against triad influence in schools *****

Following are a question by the Hon Cheung Man-kwong and a written reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the infiltration of triad elements into schools and students committing criminal offences, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the numbers of cases in which students were prosecuted and convicted respectively for involvement in triad activities in each district in the past three years, together with a breakdown of such cases by category of offence and number of students/schools involved;

25

(b) how the authorities concerned handle cases of students involved in triad activities; and what measures are in place to curb the infiltration of triad elements into schools;

(c) of the numbers of cases in which students were prosecuted and convicted respectively for criminal offences (other than involvement in triad activities) in each district in the past three years, together with a breakdown of such cases by category of offence, number of students/schools involved; and

(d) how the authorities concerned handle cases of students committing the offences mentioned in (c) above; and what measures are in place to enhance the cooperation with schools in preventing commission of crimes by students?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) We do not keep separate statistics on the number of students and schools involved in triad activities. We keep statistics on offenders for involvement in "unlawful society offences". Under the current education system, it can be assumed that most offenders aged 7 to 16 are students. The total number of offenders in this age bracket prosecuted and convicted for "unlawful society offences" were 79 in 1994, 69 in 1995, and 32 in the first half of 1996 (statistics on the second half of 1996 are not yet available). A detailed breakdown on various types of "unlawful society offences" in each Police district for 1994-1996 (up to June) (Annex A).

(b) The Government accords high priority in the fight against triad influence in schools by adopting the following measures -

Prevention

(i) The Police School Liaison Officer in each district visits schools regularly to liaise with Discipline Masters and delivers lectures to students on general law and order issues including triad influence;

(ii) The Police Anti-Triad School Support Team in each district visits schools regularly to disseminate anti-triad messages. They also visit places frequented by students to deter them from being recruited by triads and formulate strategies to combat triads;

26

(iii) To assist schools to deal with delinquent students, the Education Department has issued a guidance circular and provided teaching kits on anti-triad activities. It also regularly organizes training courses for Discipline Masters on ways to handle students involved in "unlawful society offences";

(iv) The Social Welfare Department provided 44 additional social workers in the past two years to schools with more student problems and higher percentage of low academic achievers; and

(v) Both the Social Welfare Department and the non-govemment organisations provide services for children and youth at risk, including outreaching social work service and children and youth centres.

Enforcement

(i) In 1995/96, we assigned 45 additional Police officers to tackle triad-related and other serious crimes. In 1996/97, we have created 232 additional Police posts to strengthen the anti-triad units at regional and district levels; and

(ii) Apart from prosecution in serious cases, the Police could also caution the students concerned in minor cases under the Police Superintendents' Discretion Scheme (PSDS). The latter approach will provide an opportunity for young persons to have a new start without getting a criminal record.

Rehabilitation

(i) Where the offenders are cautioned under the PSDS, referrals will be made as appropriate to the Education Department , the Social Welfare Department and agencies under the Community Support Service Scheme for follow-up; and

(ii) Where the offenders are prosecuted, the Correctional Services Department and the Social Welfare Department provide aftercare services to rehabilitate them through their programmes and probation order service.

27

(c) The total number of offenders aged between 7 to 16 prosecuted and convicted for criminal offences (other than involvement in ’’unlawful society offences”) were 2,278 in 1994, 2,152 in 1995 and 909 in the first half of 1996. This compares to the total population figure for this age bracket of 828,400 in 1994, 831,900 in 1995 and 837,000 in 1996. A detailed breakdown on different categories of criminal offences in each Police district (Annex B).

(d) The measures mentioned in part (b) are also applicable to the handling of students committing offences in general. To enhance co-operation between government departments and schools in tackling delinquent students in schools, the Education Department organises on a district basis annual seminar on ’’Unruly and Delinquent Behaviours of Students". These seminars are attended by School Heads, Discipline Masters and representatives of the Education Department, Police and the Social Welfare Department.

• j Aw*A

Ntb.pf.dfclMlOT (wsd 7-14) prosecuted and convicted for upiawfal society offepcei by type of crime by Polfcc district for the periodj3f„m4-1996_(Jaihjufl>

>

Polks -Eteris Types of Crime

Betas *« efBce- bearer efaa attentat aoetety mnnoernup etc. oi oa oriental mcMt (other thue triad society Bring a member of triad torieiy Acting as a member of triad society Possessing triad society docammts Preferring or claiming to be a triad member Inciting, ric. a person to become a number of on unlawful sodety Total

1221 1225 1996 (**• /jR> 1224 1223 1996 (Jan-Jm») 1224 2225 1996 (Jan-Jra) 1224 1225 1996 (Jan-•JWT) 122« 1995 1996 (Jn- 2224 1225 1294 1223 1996 (Jon-LvJ 1224 3995 1996 (Jan-to}

Central 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1 0 0 0 1 3 1

Wmdwi 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 4 2 0

Vtfltni 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 1 2 3 3 2

Eonem 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 4 1 0 0 0 3 4 2

Tei Sin 0 0 0 I 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1 0 0 0 1 3 1

SauMsu Pmg 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 9 0 1 0 1 0 7 3 2 0 0 0 16 4 4

Kww To"S 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 10 3 0 0 2 0 12 6 10 q 2 0

A“r* Vm» Tria 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

MorMl 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 i 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 U 0 0 0 1 2 1

Shan ShriPo 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 8 5 2 0 0 2 8 6 5

Kowloon Cay 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 I 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 2 0 1 0 4 3 3

TriPb 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 4 0 3 0 4 .4 . 6

Border 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Leng 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 .2 0 0 0 2 1 2

Turn 0 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 9 1 2 1 0 5 13 I

Twer Wan 0 0 0 0 0 0 I 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 I 2 0

Sha Tn 0 0 0 1 0 0 6 I 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 4 1 0 0 0 11 3 1

H 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 3 1 0 0 0 3 4 1

n»uw 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 c <1 0 0 0

Idand 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Total 0 3 0 2 0 0 8 9 5 22 s 0 1 0 44 47 18 3 9 4 79 69 32

Gavri

Total 79 69 32

|MA/2ANA4JA|

End

Anagc.B

• J

NO, or rffcpdcn (aged 7-lfl prcuwnttd and CQBYiCted for ClfaiMbrtfaKCT t>¥ tyre of crjn.e.bjf.P.llu; diMrid, 1M4-19K

Fala RbMd TypeafCrtna . _

Wrodteg 4k Stdout Aaaanfc Robbery Burglary Sexto os Namjttea Offence* Taldai Ctaovtyaoce Without Authority Thefts Other Criminal Offences* Total

1221 IK 1996 (Jan-Jani J994 1995 1996 (Jan-Jcn) 1224 1995 1996 Jun) 1994 IK 1996 (Jan-Jgjtl 1994 ms 1996 (Jan-Junl 1994 IK 1996 (Jan-Jot) 1994 >995 IK 1995 rh

Central 9 6 II 5 3 0 8 5 1 1 1 0 0 i 0 11 7 4 3 8 3 37 31 19

Wmdul 4 5 0 10 7 2 7 1 1 2 3 0 1 i 0 30 13 8 12 13 2 66 43 13

Watem 13 8 1 16 8 2 9 9 2 1 4 2 8 3 1 52 37 14 22 23 2 123 92 24

EaMara 15 8 11 IS 14 6 P 14 13 3 3 5 3 2 1 0 46 29 16 36 23 8 131 93 49

W«r Tai Sin 28 91 12 28 13 3 20 5 7 18 6 2 0 0 0 48 40 7 34 27 5 176 124 36

StaMw Pmx 28 28 16 38 26 14 9 10 5 9 6 7 0 1 0 48 41 8 32 28 13 164 140 63

Kwiai Took 21 24 4 21 13 1 6 29 2 10 15 1 3 I 1 55 43 24 39 28 8 155 133 41

Airport 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2

Yau Taira 11 9 9 12 4 2 3 4 2 14 5 3 1 I 1 27 25 10 19 16 6 87 64 33

Mawfak 0 6 3 10 8 3 13 8 3 0 6 0 1 0 0 20 24 10 14 21 7 58 73 26

Skxra 22 20 2 7 >2 1 6 27 5 8 6 1 0 0 0 40 55 13 30 31 20 113 151 42

KcmIooo City 13 11 4 20 17 1 6 13 3 4 6 2 0 2 1 31 34 5 46 31 9 120 104 25

Td Fo 20 43 14 38 26 13 11 15 It 1 10 3 6 3 2 106 97 54 30 44 17 212 240 114

Border 2 0 0 2 1 0 7 9 1 0 I 0 2 0 2 1 3 4 2 1 1 16 15 8

Yuen 1 17 6 12 14 J 9 20 9 11 17 11 1 2 3 37 40 20 31 23 17 102 133 71

Tuea Man 33 35 14 36 55 6 17 14 7 12 3 4 3 1 2 98 91 39 48 52 20 247 233 92

Trmb Wan >0 15 17 29 12 7 11 8 $ 13 3 3 1 1 1 42 49 27 19 19 13 125 109 73

Sha Tn 39 29 16 36 13 7 18 21 II 3 7 1 2 0 2 72 68 56 35 28 15 207 166 108

Kwai Taing !3 22 1) 20 1! 6 6 31 9 7 6 1 1 0 0 41 43 23 24 30 12 112 143 62

iUrioux 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 0 1 3 0

hUnd 1 3 0 0 1 0 13 to 2 0 2 0 2 0 0 6 1 1 4 S 3 26 22 6

Total 283 320 151 355 260 77 193 252 92 119 116 46 34 20 18 811 730 344 481 454 181 1278 2152 909

Grand Total 2278 2132 909

I

\D

I

•Other criminal offences: This excludes unlawful society offences at Annex A

J44A/1AXB41A)

30

Nurses working in private hospitals * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

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:

Since the implementation of the Nurses Registration (Amendment) Ordinance in 1996, the use of the term "nurse" is restricted to registered nurses and enrolled nurses only. Does the Government know:

(a) of the number of persons without recognised nursing qualifications currently employed in patient care work in private hospitals;

(b) the number of persons employed in patient care work in private hospitals who have been dismissed for not possessing a recognised nursing qualification, since the enactment of the above Ordinance; and

(c) whether the Government will request the management of the private hospitals concerned to consider employing the persons mentioned in (a) above on a short-term contract basis, so as to enable them to continue with their patient care work until they have obtained a recognised nursing qualification?

Reply:

(a) As far as we know, there are about 80 persons without recognised nursing qualification currently employed in patient care work in private hospitals.

(b) The law does not prohibit the employment of persons not possessing a recognised nursing qualification to work in private hospitals under the supervision of registered nurses. The law, does however, prohibit such persons from using the title of "nurse". We do not know the reasons behind private hospitals’ decisions to dismiss staff

(c) As terms of appointment are a matter between the employer and the employee, it would be inappropriate for us to interfere in the management of private hospitals by suggesting specific terms of appointment.

End

31

Admissions of mental patients * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

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 psychiatric patients, together with a breakdown of the categories of psychiatric illness of such patients, admitted into public hospitals in the past year; and

(b) the respective numbers of new and known psychiatric patients admitted through the accident and emergency departments in public hospitals, together with a breakdown of the categories of psychiatric illness of such patients, in the same period?

Reply:

A breakdown by major mental illnesses of the 9,181 in-patient admissions into public psychiatric hospitals and units in the past year is provided below -

Category of Mental Illnesses

Number of Admissions

Schizophrenic psychoses

Affective psychoses

Other psychoses

Neurotic/personality disorders

Senile/presenile organic psychotic conditions Alcohol dependence syndrome and drug dependence Other mental disorders

5,269 (57.4%)

1,368 (14.9%)

891 ( 9.7%)

395 ( 4.3%)

248 ( 2.7%)

239 ( 2.6%)

771 ( 8.4%)

Total:

9,181 (100%)

A total of 3,329 admissions were made through the accident and emergency departments, including 1,092 new and 2,237 known cases. We do not have readily available data to break down further the disease categories involved but the Hospital Authority is planning to start a new Psychiatric Clinical Information System to enhance the access of information in this regard.

End

32

Organ donation *****

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 reported that the number of registered new organ donors is drastically below the number of people in need of kidney transplant, and that doctors fear a slowdown in the number of registered organ donors may have serious repercussions over the next five years. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of registered new organ donors in each of the past three

years;

(b) of the reasons for the public's reluctance to register as organ donors;

(c) whether additional resources will be provided for the launching of publicity campaigns to enhance the public's awareness of the importance of organ donation?

Reply:

The Department of Health does not have a registration system for organ donors. To promote organ donation, the Department distributes voluntary organ donation cards for members of the public to take, fill in and carry with them. The card is an acceptable legal document for the purpose of authorising organ donation and further consent by next of kin is not required. Between 1994 and mid-1996, a total of over 1.5 million cards were distributed.

The Hong Kong Medical Association (HKMA) keeps an Organ Donation Register. According to information provided by them, the Register contained 170,101 entries as at 24 December 1996. This represents the total number of organ pledges, including 26,025 people pledging their kidneys. A breakdown is at Appendix. The number of entries is not the same as the number of organs or organ donors, since a person can choose to donate multiple organs. The HKMA does not maintain a yearly breakdown.

33

The reluctance of people to donate organs can be attributed to several reasons. The main reason is the traditional belief that the body should be buried intact after death. Another reason is fear that once their willingness to donate organs is made known to the doctor, the doctor will not make the greatest effort to save their lives.

To rectify misconceptions and to change people's traditional thinking, the Department of Health has been actively promoting organ donation through health talks, audio-visual resource material production and loan-out service, telephone hotlines and mass media interviews. It has also organised out-reaching promotion programmes such as road-shows at strategic locations as well as for specific target groups.

The Department also collaborates regularly with other agencies. In August to September 1996, it co-organised with the Hospital Authority, Metro Broadcast and TVB to launch a function called "New Life" Organ Donation Campaign which incorporated a press conference, an opening concert, road shows, hospital visits and a closing TV show.

Programmes in progress include a series of organ donation exhibitions held at various KCRC stations until June 1997. Starting in early 1997, a mobile health education centre will be operated by the Department using a "Donormobile" funded by a grant of $4.4 million from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Trust Fund.

34

Appendix

Hong Kong Medical Association

Imago System - Analysis of Donated Organs Paga ’

Count On Percentage CountOn Percentage Count On

Organ Donated Female On Female .. Male Of Male • Total

13838 13.63 * 9357 13.65 % 23195

Corena Heart Kidney Liver Lung Any organ 13142 14391 15314 14526 14.91 % 14.17 % 15.28 * 14.31 % 10422 9643 10511 9731 15.20 % 14.07 % 15.33% 14.19% 25564 24034 26025 24257

14236 14.04 % 9534 13.91% 23790

13877 13.67 % 9359 13.65 % 23236

Total: 101544 100.00 % 6855? 100.00 % . 170101

-

End

35

Labour Tribunal’s cases involving award of costs ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

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

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the number of cases heard before the Labour Tribunal involving the award of costs to either party in each of the past three years, together with the details of such cases relating to the following:

(i) the numbers of cases in which costs were awarded to employers and employees respectively;

(ii) a breakdown of such cases by different ranges of costs awarded; and

(iii) the largest and smallest amounts of costs awarded; and

(b) the numbers of cases adjudicated by each presiding officer in the past three years involving the award of costs to employers and employees respectively?

Reply:

Mr President,

We have consulted the Judiciary Administrator who has advised that the Judiciary does not keep a record of the decisions made by the courts and tribunals, including the Labour Tribunal. To compile the requested information would involve a disproportionate amount of time, effort and cost.

End

36

Third party liability insurance

* * * * *

Following is a question by the Hon Law Cheung-kwok and a written reply by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, in the Legislative Council toady (Wednesday):

Question:

It is reported that the Accident Insurance Association of Hong Kong has advised motor insurance companies of its proposed increases in premiums for motor insurance cover for 1997, with the premiums for third party liability insurance cover for various categories of private motor vehicles increasing by 50%. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether the Government has any mechanism to monitor the adjustment of third party liability insurance premiums for motor vehicles; if not, why not; and

(b) whether it has any knowledge of the mechanism adopted in the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan and Singapore in monitoring the level of third party liability insurance premiums for motor vehicles?

Reply:

(a) There is no mechanism for the Government to control the premium fixing of third party liability insurance for motor vehicles.

The Government’s aim in regulating insurance companies is to ensure that such companies are controlled and managed by fit and proper persons and are financially capable of meeting their liabilities. As regards the level of insurance premiums, the Government believes that these should best be achieved through market forces.

The recommended rates by the Accident Insurance Association are advisory in nature and its members are not obliged to follow. In practice, it is common for insurers to offer premium discounts in order to be competitive. Presently, Hong Kong has 93 insurers authorized to carry on motor vehicles insurance, thus providing a competitive market. Motorists may compare the policies and terms offered by these companies before choosing the one that is best suited to their needs.

37

(b) Based on available information, the situations in the UK, USA, Japan and Singapore are as follows -

The UK

The UK government, as well as the governments in other European Community ("EC") countries, are subject to an EC Directive not to play any role in the fixing of premiums or vetting of the terms of the policies. Therefore, there is no mechanism for the government to control the level of motor vehicle insurance premiums.

USA

In the USA, insurance legislation varies significantly among different states and accordingly the laws and practices relating to fixing of premiums differ. We therefore do not have any comprehensive information in this regard.

Japan

Motor vehicle insurance premium rates are fixed by the Automobile Insurance Rating Association of Japan. They must be approved by the Ministry of Finance and are binding on all insurers. However, Japan has recently agreed to liberalise the fixing of premiums on a gradual basis.

Singapore

There is no mechanism for the Singapore Government to control premium rates. Similar to Hong Kong, motor vehicle insurance premium rates are recommended by the trade association and are advisory in nature. Insurers are not obliged to follow the recommended rates.

End

38

Ndn-ftanchised bus routes

*****

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

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the total number of non-franchised bus routes awarded by the Transport Department in the past three years;

(b) Of the number of applications for the operation of non-franchised bus routes rejected by the Transport Department in the past three years and the reasons for rejection;

(c) of the average time taken by the Transport Department to process applications for the operation of non-franchised bus routes, as well as the present number of non-franchised bus routes pending approval;

(d) of the total number of non-franchised bus routes known to be operating illegally in the past three years, and the major districts in which these bus routes were operated; and

r

(e) whether the problem of illegal operation of non-franchised bus routes is worsening; if so, what the reasons are?

Reply:

Mr President,

In the pa^t three years (1994 - 1996), Transport Department approved 89 applications fof the operation of non-franchised bus routes, i.e. residents' services.

During this period, 47 applications were rejected, mainly for the following reasons ■»

(a) the routeing of the proposed residents' services substantially duplicated the existing ones of franchised bus services or green minibus services and duplication of service was undesirable on these routes; and/or

39

(b) the terminating points and stopping places proposed by applicants were not acceptable from a traffic management point of view.

The average time taken to process and approve a residents' service application is three months. Cases which require a more detailed examination of routeing and terminal points take a slightly longer time. At the end of December 1996, 36 applications were being processed.

During the past three years, a total of 32 cases of illegal operation of nonfranchised bus routes were identified, and a breakdown is annexed. The numbers of illegal bus routes operated in Tuen Mun and Sha Tin were higher than those in other districts.

The problem of illegal operation of non-franchised bus routes is not deteriorating. The number of illegal bus routes declined from 19 in 1995 to 9 in 1996. All the nine illegal bus routes have ceased operation at the end of December 1996.

Annex

No. of identified cases

1994 4

1995 19

1996 9

Total 32

End

40

Tolo Harbour Effluent Export Scheme ♦ * * * *

Following is a question by the Hon Emily Lau and a written reply by the Secretary for Works, Mr Kwong Hon-sang, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The Government informed the Advisory Council on the Environment on 28 October last year that the two pumps at the Shatin and Taipo sewage treatment plants, which were designed to transport industrial and farm waste from Tolo Harbour to Victoria Harbour, have failed to function properly and this has resulted in the two sewage treatment plants functioning at below half of its capacity. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the reasons for the two pumps failing to function properly;

(b) the magnitude of the problem arising from such failure and its effects on

the residents in the neighbourhood of the two sewage treatment plants;

(c) the name of the contractor who was responsible for building the two sewage treatment plants; and

(d) the remedial actions which have been taken by the authority concerned, and the party which will pay for the cost of the repair works?

Answer:

Mr President,

The two sewage treatment plants in Shatin and Taipo were built and commissioned in stages in the early 80's. They treat sewage including domestic, industrial and farm waste collected from their respective districts. The treated effluent used to be discharged into the Tolo Harbour before the Tolo Harbour Effluent Export Scheme (THEES) was introduced and implemented.

Under the THEES commissioned in 1996, fully treated effluent from the two sewage treatment plants are transported to a new pumping station at Shatin, and are exported to Victoria Harbour for discharge through a series of sewer pipes and tunnel.

41

I wish to clarify, therefore, that the THEES is not designed ”to transport industrial and farm waste” from Tolo Harbour to Victoria Harbour and no such information has ever been conveyed to the Advisory Council on the Environment. The purpose of the Scheme is to export fully treated effluent from the Shatin and Taipo sewage treatment plants to Victoria Harbour in order to reduce the risk of red tides in Tolo Harbour caused by excessive nutrients in the treated effluent.

The answers to the various parts of the question are as follows:

(a) The two pumps (out of a total of four) of the new pumping station at Shatin were found during commissioning to be damaged due to installation defects.

(b) The above problem arising from the defective pumps does not affect the sewage treatment function of the Shatin and Taipo treatment plants and it does not affect the residents in the neighbourhood of these two plants either. The problem with the two pumps and other technical difficulties encountered in the present commissioning phase do interrupt the operation of the pumping station such that not all treated effluent is pumped to Victoria Harbour. However, it should be emphasized that the Tolo Harbour Effluent Export Scheme is aimed at long term improvement to protect the waters of Tolo Harbour from excessive nutrients enrichment. The current problem with the newly installed pumps is of a short term nature which will be rectified in the near future, and therefore should have no long term effects.

(c) The contractor who was responsible for the supply and installation of the two pumps in question is Jebsen & Company Limited.

(d) Jebsen has been instructed to replace the damaged parts. At the moment, the replacement parts for the two pumps are being manufactured by the German manufacturer. Repair work will be carried out when these parts are delivered to Hong Kong. The contractor is contractually responsible for rectifying the problems of the two pumps in question and will bear the costs of the repair.

End

42

Visitors to HK before handover

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Howard Young and a written reply by the acting Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Leo Kwan, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council whether it has an estimate of the extra benefits which will be brought to the tourism industry as a result of an upsurge in the number of visitors arriving in the territory in the period immediately before the transfer of sovereignty on 1 July this year; if so, what the details are?

Answer:

Mr President,

The number of visitors coming to Hong Kong in the period immediately before the transfer of sovereignty on 1 July 1997 will be constrained mainly by the capacity of the hotel industry. All the hotel rooms in Hong Kong are expected to be occupied during that period. Assuming that the current room sharing rate of 1.7 persons per room will remain applicable, the maximum number of additional visitors which the hotel industry can accommodate will be in the region of 8300.

Assuming that 8300 additional visitors will stay in Hong Kong for an average of ten days and these visitors will spend, on average, $3000 per day (which is approximately the average spending of visitors staying in four-star hotels), their total net additional spending is estimated at around $250 million.

The above estimate may nevertheless turn out to be conservative for the following reasons. First, some of the visitors may stay in guesthouses or with friends and relatives, thereby enabling visitors to be accommodated beyond the hotel room capacity constraint. Secondly, with such an upsurge in demand, hotels may charge higher room tariff for all visitors, thus generating a higher revenue. Thirdly, if some of the visitors opt to stay longer than ten days, their spending will correspondingly increase.

End

43

Business of insurance industry ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

Following is a question asked 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:

In view of the significant decline in the business of the insurance industry in the past year, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether the above situation is caused by vicious competition within the industry; and

(b) whether it has assessed the impact of any serious incident (such as the closing down of an insurance company) on the entire insurance industry and the reasonable protection of the insured will be ensured?

Reply:

(a) We believe that the decrease in gross insurance premiums written in the past year is mainly attributable to the slowing down of economic growth during that period. For instance, the poor car sales in 1996 has led to a drastic fall in motor premiums. Keen competition has been a regular feature of the industry for a long time. Cyclical downturns from time to time cannot be directly attributable to competition, ’vicious' or otherwise.

(b) Our insurance regulatory framework aims at ensuring the financial soundness of authorised insurers. The Insurance Companies Ordinance prescribes, among other things, financial requirements such as minimum capital and solvency margin requirements and asset valuation method to be complied with by insurers, thus protecting the insuring public. In addition, general business insurers are required to maintain assets in Hong Kong to match the liabilities pertaining to their Hong Kong business, and long term business insurers are required to segregate the assets and liabilities attributable to long term business to form a separate life fund. The assets within the life fund are protected by law against any claim by third parties outside the life fund. The law also empowers the Insurance Authority to take actions to safeguard the interests of the policy holders where he considers appropriate e.g. to appoint a manager to manage the affairs, business and property of an insurer where there appears to be a risk of the insurer's insolvency.

44

With proper and prudential supervision of the insurance industry, we believe that the likelihood of major mishaps affecting the entire industry or of the closure of an individual insurance company having a knock-on effect on the entire industry is remote.

In the event of insolvency of an insurer, the insuring public are protected in a number of ways. For a long term business insurer, the Insurance Companies Ordinance provides that the liquidator shall, unless the court otherwise orders, carry on the business with a view to transferring it, as a going concern, to another insurer. Failing this, the Insurance Companies Ordinance specifically provides that the assets representing the life fund shall only be available for meeting the liabilities within the same fund.

For a general business insurer, although the liquidator is not mandated to carry on the business, liquidators in the past had always attempted to transfer the business to another insurer to minimise the loss to policy holders. If the attempt fails, Hong Kong policy holders are given statutory priority, after liquidation expenses, wages and crown debts, over other creditors, including overseas creditors, under section 265(1 )(e) of the Companies Ordinance.

Claimants for compensation in respect of bodily injuries caused by motor vehicles or for employees' compensation are further protected by the Insolvency Fund and the Employees Compensation Assistance Fund financed by levies on the relevant insurance premium and maintained by the Motor Insurers' Bureau of Hong Kong and the Employees' Compensation Assistance Fund Board respectively. Where there are claims which remain unsettled due to the insolvency of an insurer, the claims will be met from the appropriate Fund(s).

End

No intention to legislate designation of no smoking areas

*****

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

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council whether it has considered introducing legislation requiring the designation of non-smoking areas in public places such as offices, restaurants and department stores; if not, what the reasons are?

45

Reply:

The Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance (Cap. 371) already designates some public places as statutory no smoking areas. This includes all public transport carriers, cinemas, theatres, concert halls, public lifts and amusement game centres. Smoking inside these areas is an offence attracting a maximum fine of $5,000.

The Ordinance also empowers the principal officer of any Government department or other organization specified in Schedule 3 to the Ordinance to designate any area under his control as a statutory no smoking area. At present, five Government departments are in the process of designating public parts of their premises as statutory no smoking areas.

We are now considering to amend the Ordinance to provide a mechanism for managers of restaurants, department stores, supermarkets, banks and shopping malls to designate all or part of the places under their control as statutory no smoking areas if they so wish.

We do not intend to make it compulsory for such places to be designated statutory no smoking areas because enforcement will initially rest with the managers themselves. They are in the best position to determine whether or not their premises should be no smoking, and how to enforce the prohibition if imposed.

While offices cannot be regarded as ’’public areas", we are still encouraging private organizations to provide a healthy working environment for their staff by making their offices smokefree. This can be done administratively. To set an example, all Government premises have been smokefree since 1 April 1996. The Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health has also been promoting the concept of a smokefree workplace among private organizations. It has invited private organizations to sign its "Smokefree Workplace Charter" to signify their pledge to make their organization a smokefree workplace. Up to November 1996, a total of 73 organizations have signed the Charter. We believe that with the gradual building up of a smokefree culture through legislation and education, more and more organizations will voluntarily provide a smokefree environment for their staff and customers.

End

46

Private tutorial schools under Government supervision ♦ * * * ♦

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

Question:

Regarding the operation of private schools for specialised subjects or private tutorial centres ("private tutorial schools") and the safety facilities in the premises of these schools, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of complaints lodged with the Education Department in the 1995-96 school year regarding private tutorial schools operating without registration, and how such complaints were handled by the Education Department;

(b) of the number of Inspectors of Schools deployed to inspect private tutorial schools periodically to check whether they have been registered, together with the number of schools found to be unregistered and the number of warning letters issued, in the corresponding period, as well as the reaction of the private tutorial schools concerned;

(c) whether any prosecutions were instituted against unregistered private tutorial schools in the corresponding period; if so, of the number of successful prosecutions and the highest and lowest penalties imposed by the court;

(d) how the authorities concerned ensure that the premises of private tutorial schools are in conformity with the provisions in the relevant legislation regarding fire escape, sanitary condition and enrolment limit, so as to protect the students' personal safety; and

(e) whether consideration will be given to stepping up inspections and increasing the penalties prescribed in the relevant legislation so as to achieve a deterrent effect and protect the interest of the consumers?

47

Reply:

Mr President:

(a) In the 1995-96 school year, the Education Department received 126 complaints concerning unregistered private tutorial schools. On receiving the complaints, the relevant District Education Officers would initiate site inspections to establish the facts. A verbal warning would be given to the operators if the complaints were substantiated. The operators would also be advised of the registration procedures and the case would be referred to the Registration Office for follow-up action. Further inspection visits would be made to monitor the situation. Should an operator continue to contravene the relevant legal provision upon further inspections, warning letter will be issued and, where appropriate, the case will be referred to the Attorney General's Chambers for prosecution.

(b) There are 112 Inspectors of Schools who are responsible for the supervision of all schools within their districts including monitoring of operation standards, vetting of funding requests, provision of staff resources and placement assistance. As part of their duties, they also undertake inspections to private tutorial schools when required. In the 1995-96 school year, they undertook 200 inspections to private tutorial schools and found 91 of them falling within the definition of "schools" under the Education Ordinance but operating without registration. Altogether, 19 warning letters were issued to operators and teachers who persistently contravened the legal requirements. Upon Education Department's verbal and/or written warnings, 38 private tutorial school operators either applied for registration or cut down the enrolment to a level below the registration requirements and 51 ceased operation.

(c) In the 1995-96 school year, prosecutions were instituted against three unregistered schools, but the charge against one of them was withdrawn after the school agreed to cease operation. Proceedings against the other two are still underway. A person convicted of the offence of operating an unregistrated school would be subject to a maximum fine of $25,000 and imprisonment for two years.

48

(d) All private tutorial schools, being registered under the Education Ordinance, are subject to the same level of supervision by the Education Department as any other schools. They are required to comply with the laws and regulations concerned, including the provisions on approved accommodation and requirements on hygiene and fire prevention. To ensure continued compliance by all private tutorial schools, site inspections are frequently carried out. Warnings will be issued if irregularities are found and further follow-up inspections will be conducted. Legal action will be taken against persistent offenders.

(e) School operators are made aware of the registration requirements through existing guidelines. The Education Department, in consultation with relevant authorities, has recently reviewed the procedures of applications for registration with a view to speeding up the process. To further enhance the deterrent effect and to reduce irregularities, the Department will step up its monitoring and prosecution actions against persistent offenders. The level of penalties is currently under review to preserve its deterrent effect.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, January 9,1997

Contents Page No.

Visit by The Prince of Wales welcomed..................................... 1

Garley fire preliminary hearing to be held on January 16.................. 1

Hong Kong is committed to protect intellectual property rights............ 2

Athletes Fund now stands at $13 million................................... 4

Bill to revise administration of justice provisions....................... 5

Curtain raised for building safety........................................ 5

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity.......................... 7

1

Visit by The Prince of Wales welcomed

*****

In response to the announcement in London today (Thursday) about the visit of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to Hong Kong in June this year, a Hong Kong Government spokesman said,

"We warmly welcome the presence of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales as the representative of Her Majesty The Queen at the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong and associated events."

End

Garley fire preliminary hearing to be held on January 16

*****

The Commission of Inquiry into the Garley Building Fire will hold a preliminary hearing on January 16 (Thursday).

The commission of inquiry was set up on December 17 last year and Mr Justice Woo Kwok-hing was appointed as the commissioner.

The terms of reference of the commission will be set out in a notice in the Government Gazette tomorrow (Friday).

"Mr Justice Woo has already started work on the inquiry and the purpose of the preliminary hearing is for any person who wishes to make representations to the commission to attend and inform the commissioner of his interest in the inquiiy," a spokesman for the commission said.

"Any interested party should contact the Secretary to the commission on 2921 8833."

A hotline has also been set up to enable any member of the public to ring in with any information concerning the fire, the rescue operations or any suggestion or recommendation to prevent the recurrence of the tragedy.

The hotline - 2921 8833 - is manned from 9 am to 5.30 pm on Mondays to Fridays and from 9 am to noon on Saturdays.

2

The commission was appointed by the Govemor-in-Council to conduct an independent inquiry into the No. 5 Alarm fire at Garley Building, Yau Ma Tei on November 20 last year.

The fire, which took the lives of 40 people, was the worst fire that happened in a high-rise building in Hong Kong's history.

The terms of the reference of the commission are as follows:

(a) to inquire into the causes of the fire and the circumstances leading to the Garley Building tragedy on November 20, 1996;

(b) to consider the response of the emergency services to the fire, and to advise on the adequacy and the co-ordination of that response; and

(c) to make recommendations as to the actions needed to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.

• -.y

End

Hong Kong is committed to protect intellectual property rights ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Hong Kong is fully committed to the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR), and will continue to maintain a strong, local IPR system to the highest international standards after the transfer of sovereignty, the Director of Intellectual Property, Mr Stephen Selby, said today (Thursday).

Speaking at a meet-the-media session, Mr Selby said much work had been done by his department in the past year in updating and modernising intellectual property legislation.

Mr Selby said the enactment of the Intellectual Property (World Trade Organisation Amendments) Ordinance 1996 in May last year was a good example of the territory's efforts in IPR protection.

"Its enactment enables Hong Kong to meet its obligations under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), of which Hong Kong is a founding member," he said.

3

Among the main features of the ordinance are new copyright piracy offence provisions to help tackle masterminds of cross-border piracy activities more effectively.

A Patents Bill which establishes an independent patent system in Hong Kong for the protection of inventions in line with international standards, was introduced into the Legislative Council in June last year.

In addition, three bills, namely, Copyright Bill, Registered Designs Bill and Trademarks Bill, had been drafted.

"Over 70 submissions had been received on the Copyright Bill when the consultation closed in November. We are particularly concerned to ensure that Customs has sufficient powers to enforce effectively against copyright piracy. Consultation on the Registered Designs Bill ended on January 6 while that on the Trademarks Bill will take place between January and February," Mr Selby said.

"The Government plans to have these three bills introduced into the Legislative Council in the first quarter of the year," he added.

On other developments over the past year, Mr Selby said closer co-operation had been forged between the Intellectual Property Department (IPD), the Customs and Excise Department and IPR-related enforcement agencies in China to combat piracy.

On the progress of computerisation, Mr Selby said IPD established a computerised Trade Mark Registry System in the past year and a Patents Computerisation System would be implemented in July this year.

Mr Selby said the department's registry performance in the past year had seen an increase in productivity.

"Workload-in-hand of trademark applications awaiting issue of first report was reduced from 16,000 in November 1995 to 12,000 in November 1996. This represents an increase of through-put of 25 per cent," he said.

Looking into 1997, Mr Selby said the department was planning to launch a major public campaign at a cost of $1-2 million in conjunction with the private sector to promote understanding and protection of intellectual property rights.

End

4

Athletes Fund now stands at $13 million * ♦ ♦ * ♦

The Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport, Mr Chau Tak-hay, announced today (Thursday) that a total of $5,136 million in donations to the Hong Kong Athletes Fund had been received by the Broadcasting, Culture and Sport Branch by the end of 1996.

Mr Chau said it was encouraging that the public had responded so well to the call for donations. "I would like to thank all those who have donated so far, in particular, Dr Stanley Ho, Dr Wilson T S Wang and the Hong Kong Jockey Club, who each contributed $1 million; and Dr Albert Hung and Mr Robert Ng who each donated $500,000.

"Their generous donations will help greatly to support the development of Hong Kong athletes in the coming years."

To encourage further contributions from the community and to show the Government's firm commitment to local athletes' development, Mr Chau said the Government had already agreed to inject $8 million into the Fund.

"The total amount in the Fund is therefore now more than $13 million," he said. "The Government has not set a 'cut-off date for donations to the Fund, and further contributions from the community are welcome."

The eligibility criteria and the procedure for applications to the Athletes Fund will be announced shortly by the Hong Kong Sports Development Board, which has agreed to manage the operation of the Fund. It is intended that grants from the Fund would be awarded starting the coming academic year.

End

5

Bill to revise administration of justice provisions ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Administration of Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 1997 will be gazetted tomorrow (Friday) and introduced into the Legislative Council on January 22, 1997.

The Bill seeks to revise, improve or repeal a number of legislative provisions relating to the administration of justice and other matters which contain colonial connotations or are obsolete.

One of the main objectives of the Bill is to amend the law to modernise the judicial qualifications for appointment as a judge of the Supreme Court, a District Judge, an adjudicator of the Small Claims Tribunal and a Coroner, so that they refer to common law jurisdictions rather than Commonwealth jurisdictions.

It also aims to amend the Defamation Ordinance to provide for the functions of the judge and jury in a trial on indictment for criminal libel as well as to amend the Magistrates Ordinance to permit a police officer or bailiff to make a statutory declaration as proof of service of a summons to a person where the summons is left with a third person at the recipient’s last or most usual place of abode.

A number of Ordinances which have become obsolete will also be repealed under the Bill.

The Bar Association and the Law Society have been consulted on the draft Bill.

End

Curtain raised for building safety *****

Curtain for the 1997 Building Safety Campaign will be raised this Saturday (January 11) with a roving exhibition to be launched at Dragon Centre in Sham Shui Po.

The Building Safety Campaign is an annual event organised by the Buildings Department to bring home the importance of building safety and to educate members of the public on the needs and standards in maintaining their buildings, said a spokesman for the department.

6

’’Other highlights of the campaign include a new 30-second film to remind residents of the need to maintain the interior and exterior of their properties. It will be broadcast on the television from this Saturday, with the same message to go on the radio some time next week.

”We have also produced a booklet entitled 'Maintaining Your Building’ to guide residents on proper ways to maintain their properties for public safety and their own benefit. Copies will be distributed free at the roving exhibition.

”In addition, posters on building maintenance will be distributed to owners' incorporations and property management companies to further spread out the message," he said.

Comprising 10 well-designed and colourful panels, the exhibition at Dragon Centre illustrates the most common building defects with lively graphics and photographs.

It also spells out the legislative requirements on building maintenance and repair, as well as providing hints and advice to building owners for compliance with the statuary orders issued by the Buildings Department.

Two panels are devoted to fire safety in buildings, highlighting on the danger of making illegal alterations to means of escape and fire-resistance facilities, and the need for remedial actions.

The exhibition at Dragon Centre will run until January 13 (Monday). It will be open to public daily from 10 am to 10 pm and admission is free.

The exhibition will also be held at the following venues :

Venue

Tai Yau Arcade in Wan Chai Times Square in Causeway Bay Kowloon City Plaza in Kowloon City New Town Plaza in Shatin Metro Plaza in Kwai Fong

Date

January 14-20

January' 21-23

January 25-27

January 28-30

January 31- February 2

End

7

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

TIME AGGREGATE BALANCE OF SETTLEMENT ACCOUNTS

OPENING AGGREGATE BALANCE 459 MN 0930 HR 9,318 MN

CLOSING AGGREGATE BALANCE 436 MN 1000 HR 11,352 MN

CHANGE ATTRIBUTABLE TO: 1100 HR 18,430 MN

MONEY MARKET ACTIVITY +12 MN 1200 HR 27,973 MN

LAF REVERSAL +7,811 MN 1500 HR 32,199 MN

LAF TODAY - 7,846 MN 1600 HR 34,743 MN

LAF RATE 4.00% BID/6.00% OFFER TWI 125.6 *+0.3* 9.1.97

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF Bills EF Notes/MTRC Notes

Terms Yield Terms Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 Week 4.39 2 Years 2811 5.72 100.21 5.67

1 Month 4.44 3 Years 3910 6.28 100.58 6.14

3 Months 4.55 5 Years 5112 6.57 99.36 6.84

6 Months 4.76 7 Years 7311 6.80 98.59 7.18

12 Months 5.11 10 Years 1610 7.37 100.23 7.47

5 Years M503 7.35 101.50 7.08

TOTAL TURNOVER OF EF BILLS AND NOTES - $19,095 MN

CLOSED JANUARY 9, 1997

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Friday, January 10,1997

Contents Page No,

Press Statement by Secretary for the Civil Service......................... 1

Sufficient housing land will be provided................................... 2

Tsing Yi South Bridge structurally safe and sound.......................... 4

Auxiliary Forces Pensions (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill.................. 5

International congress a two-way exchange.................................. 7

Advisory Council on AIDS holds 20th meeting................................ 8

Views on quality school education invited.................................. 9

September 1996 employment and vacancy statistics released................. 10

Review group on pilot NLCDPs invites views................................ 16

Tenders for engineering works in Yung Shue Wan invited.................... 16

Prequailification tenders invited......................................... 17

Garment manufacturer heavily fined for malpractice..................... 18

Reciprocal Postal agreement signed..................................... 18

Second nomination received for Tai Po DB by-election...................... 19

Hong Kong Monetary Authority Interbank Liquidity.......................... 20

1

Press Statement by Secretary for the Civil Service ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a statement by the Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr W K Lam:

"The retirement of former Director of Immigration, Mr Laurence Leung is an employment matter between the Hong Kong Government and Mr Leung himself. I want to state that the UK Government was not involved in the matter in any way.

■ c.

I have made it clear in my evidence to the LegCo Select Committee that when I meet an officer to discuss their personal career situation, what passes between us remains confidential and should not be disclosed to third parties without the officer's consent. Now that Mr Leung has revealed the substance of my meeting with him on 5 July, he has clearly waived the implied confidentiality of the meeting in question. I can confirm that I invited him to the meeting on 5 July. At the meeting, I told Mr Leung that I was considering making a representation to the Governor under Colonial Regulation 59 that his retirement would be desirable in the public interest. But he could if he chose to retire voluntarily with immediate effect.

Under CR 59, before a report is made to the Governor, an officer must be informed of the grounds on which his retirement is contemplated and be given the opportunity to make representations. If Mr Leung had chosen not to retire voluntarily, he would have been informed of the grounds on which CR 59 action was contemplated and would have been given the opportunity to make representations. The report and any representations made by Mr Leung would then have been submitted to the Governor for a decision whether, having regard to all the circumstances the officer should be required to retire.

It was Mr Leung's choice to retire rather than to face Colonial Regulation 59 action.

Mr Leung volunteered to reveal today that he was the subject of an ICAC investigation and you will have seen a statement from the ICAC confirming that this was the case. I must explain again that in the absence of that disclosure by Mr Leung and confirmation by ICAC, I could not properly confirm or deny whether Mr Leung had been the subject of an investigation. I can further confirm that a copy of the ICAC's report was forwarded to the Administration to consider whether any disciplinary or administrative action against Mr Leung was necessary.

I will now have to consider the transcript of Mr Leung's evidence very carefully, in particular, his points about further disclosure of information. When we have done so, we will then consider whether we have anything more to say."

End

2

Sufficient housing land will be provided ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government is fully aware of the public’s concern about housing land supply and is committed to, as we have been, providing sufficient land to meet our housing demand, the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung said.

Speaking at a dinner hosted by the Chinese Executives Club tonight (Friday), Mr Leung said the notion that the Government had not provided enough land to enable the Housing Authority to achieve our public housing programme aims was not correct.

He noted that the level of demand for public housing changed over time because of such factors as population and income growth, redevelopment and clearance programmes, prices and rents of private housing and so on, which was a constantly moving target.

”Our aim has always been to provide sufficient land to meet clearly identified public housing demand over a period and this is reviewed regularly.

’’For example, when the Housing Authority adjusted income limits and eligibility criteria in 1992 and 1993, the Government promptly found 49 hectares of extra land to meet the additional demand.

• * 7 * X.3

”In 1995, the Government earmarked another 30 hectares of land for allocation to the Housing Authority for construction of public housing up to the year 2000-01.

"In the last five years, we have disposed of 257 hectares of land for subsidised home ownership and rental public housing.

"We also aim to make available 327 hectares of new land for subsidised home ownership and rental public housing in the next five years. A considerable portion of this land will be in areas such as North-east New Territories, Tseung Kwan O New Town and Tin Shui Wai New Town."

Mr Leung said the Government had not ignored the need to make available land for private housing.

"In the last five years, we have disposed of 145 hectares of land for private housing.

3

"In the next five years, 260 hectares of land will be made available for private housing.

"This is over 100 hectares more when compared with the total of the last five years.

"We shall aim to programme for their disposal in a phased and orderly manner, ensuring an even spread.'

He said a number of strategic growth areas including South-east Kowloon and Kai Tak airport, the remaining phases of Tung Chung New Town and Tseung Kwan O New Town and Au Tau-Kam Tin had also been identified in the Territorial Development Strategy Review as target areas for further residential development between 2001 and 2006.

"We are identifying a list of potential in-fill sites for detailed feasibility study to provide for more land for housing."

These are sites in selected locations previously designated for industrial and unspecified Government, Institution and Community uses, or sites within comprehensively designed areas where existing community services and infrastructure systems have spare capacity. They also include potential new development sites on the periphery of planned or developed areas to which new roads and infrastructure can be extended without undue difficulty.

Mr Leung said the Government had commissioned studies on the potential in converting old or obsolete industrial areas into residential use and recommendations were expected shortly.

"We shall then be able to review our industrial land policy and where possible, rezone not just part of the old industrial areas but also land reserved for industrial use but not yet taken up as such to meet the more pressing need for housing in Hong Kong.

"These actions will be completed when we finalise the new Territorial Development Strategy later this year."

"As you may be aware, we have been rezoning and giving approvals to applications to convert old or disused industrial sites to other uses."

4

A large number of residential developments in Sham Tseng, Tsuen Wan and Quarry Bay, for example, and commercial development in Kwun Tong, have been provided in this manner.

"We shall continue to process such applications and give approval to them on their merits."

On the Territorial Development Strategy, Mr Leung said its primary goal was to establish a broad long-term land use-transport-environmental planning framework within which the necessary land and infrastructure could be provided to meet our development needs, having regard to resource availability and current policies.

"I am pleased that we have reviewed the Strategy and received considerable comments and views on the outcome of the review.

"We aim to complete a final strategy this year so as to set our plans and programmes in place and implement them to take Hong Kong into the next century."

End

Tsing Yi South Bridge structurally safe and sound

*****

In response to recent public concerns about the allegedly excessive movement of joints of the Tsing Yi South Bridge, the Government has today invited a consultant to examine the structural safety of the bridge.

"The consultant has confirmed the Government's earlier findings that the bridge is structurally safe and sound," a spokesman for the Highways Department said today (Friday).

"The vertical movement of some of the joints is all within the designed safety margin, and the bridge is capable of handling the existing traffic, including heavy goods vehicles."

The Highways Department has been carrying out regular inspections of the bridge at quarterly intervals. The last routine inspection was conducted in midDecember, the spokesman said.

5

’’However, in view of the public concern, the Department will carry out routine inspections on a monthly basis from now on," he said.

The spokesman said the construction of the Duplicate Tsing Yi South Bridge is in good progress and is scheduled for completion at the end of 1998.

"The completion of the new bridge will not only bring about improved local traffic condition but will also provide a good opportunity for more extensive maintenance works to be carried out to the existing bridge," he added.

End

Auxiliary Forces Pensions (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government will introduce legislative amendments to provide for a unified scheme for the payment of pensions and gratuities to members of the auxiliary forces or their dependants.

The Auxiliary Forces Pensions (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 1997, which seeks to ensure fairness and uniformity in this respect for all auxiliary forces, is gazetted today (Friday).

The auxiliary forces are : the Auxiliary Medical Services, the Civil Aid Services, the Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Police Force and the Government Flying Service (Auxiliary Section).

A Government spokesman said that some deficiencies were identified in a general review of the present provisions governing the payment of pensions and gratuities to members of the different auxiliary forces.

"These include differences in the calculation and payment of pensions to members of different auxiliary forces, and the ineligibility of the widower and dependants of a deceased female member for pension benefits," he said.

The spokesman said that to overcome the deficiencies, the Bill proposed to introduce a unified scheme of calculation and payment of pensions and gratuities under the Auxiliary Forces Pay and Allowances Ordinance.

6

"This will also ensure that pension benefits for members of the auxiliary forces will be no better than those for members of the civil service," he said.

The major proposals under the unified scheme include :

* An injury pension will be granted to a member who is permanently injured while on duty and whose service has to be terminated. This pension will be calculated according to the percentage of permanent impairment to his capacity ;

* A death gratuity will be granted in respect of a member who dies as a result of any injury sustained in the discharge of his duty. In addition, a dependant pension will be paid to the spouse (covering both widows and widowers) and dependants of such member ;

Increases to pensions will be paid in line with those applicable to members of the civil service ; and

* Free medical treatment in respect of injuries sustained in the course of duty will be provided to a member who has retired because of that injury.

The spokesman added that under the proposed scheme, members could opt for either pension benefits under the regulation to be made under the Bill, or compensation under the Employees' Compensation Ordinance, the Pneumoconiosis (Compensation) Ordinance or the Occupation Deafness (Compensation) Ordinance as appropriate.

"The Bill also proposes to empower the Government to recover the commuted amount of the pension benefits paid to a member from a third person, if that person is found to be liable for the member's injury or death." he added.

The Bill is expected to be introduced into the Legislative Council on January 22 this year.

End

7

International congress a two-way exchange ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

Hong Kong's respect for education and the Government's investment in the development of the full potential of young people in the territory are the messages delivered in the United States this week by the Director of Education, Mrs Helen C P Lai Yu.

"Parents value education as the key to their children's success and to social mobility. Government views our young as Hong Kong's most important resource. Public spending on education is our largest item of recurrent expenditure and is our major contribution to social and economic stability," she said.

Mrs Yu chaired the Hong Kong Symposium as part of the 10th International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement (ICSEI).

More than 600 education experts from at least 25 territories were at the international meeting this week in Memphis, Tennessee, USA.

"In Hong Kong, our mission in education is to develop the full potential of our young to guide them to be independent and responsible citizens. Our aim is to help them learn, to live fully as individuals and to fulfil their responsibilities to their families and the community," Mrs Yu told her audience at the Hong Kong Symposium entitled "The latest Initiatives for School Effectiveness and Education Quality in Honp Kong" during the congress.

Speakers at the symposium included the Chairman of the Education Commission, Professor Rosie Young; Chairman of the Board of Education, Mr Moses Cheng; Chairman of the Towards a Better School Movement, Mr Issac Tse; and Director of the Research Centre of the Hong Kong Institute of Education, Professor Cheng Yin-cheong.

The common theme developed by all of the speakers was the need for quality school education. The audience of the symposium was impressed by the concerted commitment demonstrated by education advisors, government officials, school practitioners and researchers towards school effectiveness and education quality in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong's participation in the 10th ICSEI has generated considerable interest in the territory's education development and its strategy for reform.

8

Addressing concern over the continuity of Hong Kong's education system after the handover, Mrs Yu told congress participants and the US media that it would be business as usual and that Hong Kong would continue to improve.

"The Basic Law provides that the Government of the Special Administrative Region shall, on its own, formulate policies on the development and improvement of education, and that educational institutions of all kinds may retain their autonomy and enjoy academic freedom," she said.

During the five-day congress, the Hong Kong delegation had the opportunity to take reference from views and ideas of educators worldwide. In turn, the Education Commission delegation shared Hong Kong's experience with them.

There were also visits to schools in the Memphis area for first-hand insights into some of the educational initiatives in the US.

"We appreciate the warm interest in Hong Kong shown by overseas delegates," Mrs Yu said. "Many have told us that they admire the value placed on education by our community, underlined by the low rates of non-attendance and drop-out. All in all, they wish to learn from us, in particular in this respect."

"However, it is a two-way exchange. We, too, by attending a conference such as this, have our hands full of reference materials and our heads filled with ideas," Mrs Yu added.

End

Advisory Council on AIDS holds 20th meeting

*****

At a meeting of the Hong Kong Advisory Council on AIDS (ACA) today (Friday), it was decided that the Second Hong Kong AIDS Conference should be held in two to three years' time focusing on the wider perspective of the Pearl River Delta region instead of Hong Kong alone.

At today's meeting, members examined the report of the Organising Committee of the First Hong Kong AIDS Conference held in November 1996.

Encouraged by the active participation in that event, it was resolved that the conference should be convened every two to three years.

9

The council also endorsed a proposal to strengthen the HIV surveillance programme on young people in the community.

It also approved the adoption of a new Chinese name and a new logo for the council.

The new logo was adapted from the one designed for the First Hong Kong AIDS Conference.

The ACA was first appointed by the Governor in March 1990. It is currently chaired by Dr Conrad Lam.

The council meets every three months and is underpinned by three committees -Committee on Education and Publicity on AIDS; AIDS Services Development Committee and Scientific Committee on AIDS.

End

Views on quality school education invited

*****

Members of the public are reminded to send their views on quality school education to the Education Commission before the consultation period ends on January 15 (Wednesday).

Quality school education is the theme of the Education Commission Report No 7 Consultation Document which was published last November for a two-month public consultation.

A spokesman for the Education Commission said today (Friday): "We are pleased with the initial response to the consultation document. From the views collected, it can be seen that the main thrust of the recommendations is generally supported by the community."

The spokesman pointed out that around 20 consultation and discussion sessions had been arranged so far for Legislative Councillors, principals, teaching professionals, educational bodies, school councils and sponsors, advisory boards and committees, parents, the business community and district boards to gauge their views. Around 60,000 copies of the consultation document have been distributed.

10

"The Commission will take into account all the views collected before finalising their recommendations for consideration by the Government," he said.

The recommendations in the consultation document are aimed at helping schools to improve their performance and ensuring that resources for school education are used in the most effective, efficient and accountable manner.

"It represents the Commission's vision of a quality school education system which will have lasting benefits to generations to come," the spokesman added.

Copies of the consultation document are available at all district offices and the sub-offices of the Education Department. It is also available at the Hong Kong Government Home Page - Hong Kong Government Information Centre (http://www.info.gov.hk).

Public are welcome to forward their views before January 15 (Wednesday) to the Secretary, Education Commission, ninth floor, Central Government Offices (West Wing), 11 Ice House Street, Central. (fax:2537 4591 or E-mail address : embinfo@emb.gcn.gov.hk.)

End

September 1996 employment and vacancy statistics released

* ♦ ♦ * ♦

According to the figures released today (Friday) by the Census and Statistics Department, employment in all major service sectors increased in September 1996 when compared with September 1995.

Meanwhile, employment in the manufacturing sector remained on a downtrend, whereas employment at construction sites registered a significant year-on-year increase over the same period.

Vacancies in most of the major service sectors showed year-on-year increases in September 1996. However, vacancies in the manufacturing sector continued to decrease when compared with a year earlier. Vacancies at construction sites fell as employment surged.

There were around 50,600 vacancies in September 1996 for all major sectors surveyed taken together, as compared to 47,500 vacancies recorded in June 1996.

11

In terms of the number of persons engaged, the wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels sector was the largest, employing 1,046,600 persons in September 1996. This was followed by the financing, insurance, real estate and business services sector, with an employment of 391,200; the manufacturing sector, 327,500; the community, social and personal services sector, 314,500; and the transport, storage and communications sector, 179,800. Also, there were 76,600 manual workers at construction sites.

In terms of change from a year earlier, employment at construction sites (for manual workers only) picked up to show a notable increase, by 16.3% in September 1996. This was followed by employment in the transport, storage and communications sector, rising by 5.8%; the community, social and personal services sector, by 5.4%; the financing, insurance, real estate and business services sector, by 4.2%; and the wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels sector, by 1.5%. Employment in the manufacturing sector, on the other hand, fell by 15.2%.

The respective employment figures are shown in greater detail in Table 1.

As regards the vacancy situation in individual sectors, the wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels sector had the largest number of vacancies, at 21,160 in September 1996. This was followed by the financing, insurance, real estate and business services sector, with 10,640 vacancies; the community, social and personal services sector, 8,260 vacancies; the manufacturing sector, 5,870 vacancies; and the transport, storage and communications sector, 3,230 vacancies. Also, there were 1.460 vacancies for manual workers at construction sites.

In terms of change from a year earlier, vacancies in the wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels sector fell by 3.6% in September 1996, and those in the manufacturing sector by 14.5%. Vacancies for manual workers at construction sites had a further decline of 42.6%. But vacancies in the financing, insurance, real estate and business services sector had a significant increase of 24.2%. Vacancies in the community, social and personal services sector also rose, by 5.8%. Those in the transport, storage and communications sector were likewise higher, by 3.6%.

Job vacancy figures are shown in greater detail in Table 2.

Of the total of some 50,600 vacancies (other than those in the Civil Service) recorded in September 1996, the majority fell into four major occupation groups, namely, associate professionals; clerks; service workers and shop sales workers; and elementary occupations. They together accounted for over three-quarters of the total number of vacancies in all the major sectors surveyed.

12

In September 1996, vacancies in the craft and related workers, plant and machine operators and assemblers, and clerks categories continued to decline over a year earlier, albeit at a more moderate rate than in June 1996. They fell by 24%, 12.3% and 10.2% respectively over a year earlier. Vacancies in the managerial and administrative occupation category also recorded a decline of 4%. But vacancies in the professionals, associate professionals, as well as the service workers and shop sales workers categories all showed increases, by 6.1%, 19.4% and 8.2% respectively over a year earlier. Vacancies in the elementary occupation category also bottomed out to show only a marginal decline of 0.4% over the same periods of comparison.

Vacancy figures broken down by major occupation group are shown in Table 3.

The above statistics for September 1996 were derived from the Quarterly Survey of Employment and Vacancies, the Supplementary Survey of Job Vacancies and the Quarterly Employment Survey of Construction Sites conducted by the Census and Statistics Department.

In the former two surveys, some economic activities (for example, those where self-employment are predominant, such as taxi operators, hawkers and freelance authors) are not covered and hence the respective employment and vacancy figures relate only to those selected industries included in the surveys. In the latter survey on construction sites, employment and vacancy figures relate to manual workers only.

Detailed breakdowns of the above statistics are available from the Quarterly Report of Employment, Vacancies and Payroll Statistics, September 1996 and the Quarterly Report of Employment and Vacancies at Construction Sites, September 1996. They will be available at $48 and $19 per copy (both exclusive of postage) respectively at the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong and the Publications Unit of the Census and Statistics Department, 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

- 13 -

Table 1 : Employment figures and percentage changes hv selected major sector

Persons engaged (employment)

Percentage change

Selected major sector Seo. 95 Jun. 96 Sen, 96 Sep. 96 over Sen. 95 Sep. 96 over Jun. 96

Manufacturing 386 100 336 700 327 500 -15.2 -2.7

Construction sites (manual workers only) 65 800 72 600 76 600 + 16.3 + 5.5

Wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels I 030 900 1 031 600 1 046 600 + 1.5 + 1.5

Transport, storage and communications 170 000 176 300 179 800 + 5.8 + 1.9

Financing, insurance, real estate and business services 375 400 386 900 391 200 + 4.2 + 1.1

Community, social and personal services 298 300 310 100 314 500 + 5.4 + L4

- 14 -

Table 2 : Vacancy figures and percentage changes by selected major sector

Number of vacancies

Percentage change

Selected major sector Sep. 95 Jun. 96 Sen. 96 Sep. 96 over Sen, 95 Sep. 96 over Jun. 96

Manufacturing 6 860 5 860 5 870 -14.5 + 0.1

Construction sites (vacancies for manual workers only) 2 550 1 520 1 460 -42.6 -3.4

Wholesale,retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels 21 950 19 980 21 160 -3.6 + 5.9

Transport, storage and communications 3 120 2 870 3 230 + 3.6 + 12.5

Financing, insurance, real estate and business services 8 570 8 970 10 640 + 24.2 + 18.7

Community, social and personal services 7 810 8 320 8 260 + 5.8 -0.7

- 15 -

Table 3 ; Vacancy.figures and percentage changes by major occupation group

Number of vacancies Percentage change

Major occupation group Sen, 95 Juil_26 Sen. 96 Sep. 96 Qy£LSep. 95 Sep. 96 Qy.gr Jun, 96

Managers and administrators 1 030 1 220 990 -4.0 -19.0

Professionals 2 810 3 250 2 980 +6.1 -8.3

Associate professionals 7 280 7 450 8 700 + 19.4 + 16.7

Clerks 11 510 10 120 10 330 -10.2 . V ' 9 +2.1

Service workers and shop sales workers 11 800 11 040 12 770 + 8.2 + 15.6

Craft and related workers 4 560 3 760 3 470 -24.0 -7.7

Plant and machine operators and assemblers 4 340 3 700 3 800 -12.3 +2.8

Elementary occupations 7 640 7 000 7 600 -0.4 + 8.6

End

16

Review group on pilot NLCDPs invites views ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Review Group on Pilot Neighbourhood Level Community Development Projects (NLCDPs) in Old Urban Areas held its first meeting last Wednesday (January 8). The Review Group has agreed to invite written submissions from the welfare sector, interested parties and general public.

The principal task of the Review Group is to examine the effectiveness of the two existing pilot NLCDPs in Nam Cheong and Mong Kok and to make recommendations on the need for the continuation of the two pilot projects and whether NLCDP services should be extended to other old urban areas.

Interested parties should send in their submissions on or before January 31 this year to the Secretary of the Review Group on Pilot NLCDPs in Old Urban Areas, 31st Floor, Southom Centre, 130 Hennessy Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong. The Facsimile number is 2591 6002.

End

Tenders for engineering works in Yung Shue Wan invited ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Civil Engineering Department is inviting tenders for engineering works for Yung Shue Wan Development, Phase I, on Lamma Island.

Works comprise the reclamation of about 1.1 hectares of land and the construction of 300 metres long vertical seawall, 170 metres long rubble mound seawall, an emergency vehicular access, and associated drainage and sewerage works.

The contract will also include the reconstruction of an existing pier at Yung Shue Wan.

Construction will commence in April this year for completion in 21 months.

The works have been designed and construction will be supervised by the Development and Airport Division of the Civil Engineering Office of the Department.

17

Tender forms and further particulars can be obtained from the Chief Engineer of the division, second floor, Civil Engineering Building, 101 Princess Margaret Road, Ho Man Tin, Kowloon.

Tender offer will close at noon on Friday, January 31.

End

Prequailification tenders invited ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Architectural Services Department (Arch SD) is inviting contractors to participate in a prequalification exercise for the supply and installation of a stage wagon and elevators for a civic centre at Yuen Long Tai Yuk Road in the New Territories.

The contract also includes the supply and installation of maple flooring at the main stage of the civic centre.

Contractors with a proven track record of carrying out this type of specialist works, and overseas contractors who have a local presence or will undertake to set up a local office if the contract is awarded, can apply for prequalification.

Prequalification documents can be obtained from Chief Building Services Engineer 2, Arch SD , 37th floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.

Completed prequalification applications should be submitted before noon on January 31 (Friday).

Meanwhile, the department is also inviting tenders for conversion and extension works, including associated drainage, for four aided schools.

Works will start in June this year for completion in August 1998.

Tender forms and further particulars can be obtained from the Arch SD, 34th floor, Queensway Government Offices.

Tender offer for the school project will close at noon on February 14 (Friday).

End

18

Garment manufacturer heavily fined for malpractice ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A garment factory partner was fined $398,004 at North Kowloon Magistracy today (Friday) after pleading guilty to five counts of making a false statement regarding the origin of goods in certificate of origin application.

The court heard that the factory submitted five applications for certificates of origin covering 840 dozens of ladies' knitted dresses for export to the United States on April 1 last year.

It was stated in the applications that the goods were of Hong Kong origin.

However, investigations by officers of the Customs and Excise Department found that the production of the goods were done in China.

A spokesman for the Customs and Excise Department said the offences were serious.

The department would step up its enforcement actions to track down such malpractices to protect the commercial reputation of Hong Kong and to ensure that the confidence of its trading partners in Hong Kong's textiles control system would not be undermined by some dishonest businessmen, the spokesman stressed.

The maximum penalty for making a false statement in certificate of origin application is a $500,000 fine plus two years' imprisonment.

End

Reciprocal postal agreement signed

*****

An agreement was signed between the Hong Kong Post Office and Canada Post Corporation for the reciprocal marketing of stamps today (Friday).

For the first time, Hong Kong stamps will be on sale in Canadian Post Offices and Canadian stamps will go on sale in the 19 Hong Kong Post Office Philatelic Offices.

- 19 -

The agreement was signed by Mr Robert Footman, the Postmaster General, and Mr Andre Ouellet, the Chairman of the Board of Canada Post Corporation.

The agreement represents a strengthening of ties between the two administrations and allows them to better serve their mutual customers.

Hong Kong has similar marketing agreements with four other postal administrations - China, Macau, Malaysia, and Singapore.

At the signing ceremony the Canadian Lunar New Year stamp for the Year of the Ox was unveiled. This will be the first Canadian stamp that will be sold in Hong Kong.

Details of sales arrangement will be announced in due course.

End

Second nomination received for Tai Po DB by-election *****

One nomination was received today (Friday) for the Tai Po District Board byelection in respect of Shuen Wan constituency to be held on February 23.

The nomination was submitted by Mr Man Chen-fai, a 42-year-old executive director.

This is the second nomination received for the by-election since the nomination period started on January 3.

Mr Man can be contacted on 9042 9052 or 7988 0088 (daytime) and 2656 9393 (night time).

Nomination will last until January 16 (Thursday).

End

20

Hong Kong Monetary Authority Interbank Liquidity ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Aggregate

Balance Of

Settlement

Time Accounts

Opening aggregate balance 436 mn 0930 hr 9,008 mn

Closing aggregate balance 594 mn 1000 hr 19,301 mn

Change attributable to : 1100 hr 23,552 mn

Money market activity -349 mn 1200 hr 32,701 mn

LAF reversal +7,847 mn 1500 hr 32,608 mn

LAF today -7,340 mn 1600 hr 34,426 mn

Laf rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer Twi 125.5 *-0.1* 10.1.97

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

Ef bills Ef notes/Mtrc notes

Terms Yield Terms Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.38 2 years 2811 5.72 100.24 5.65

1 month 4.44 3 years 3910 6.28 100.66 6.10

3 months 4.53 5 years 5112 6.57 99.70 6.75

6 months 4.75 7 years 7311 6.80 99.11 7.08

12 months 5.09 10 years 1610 7.37 100.97 7.36

5 years M503 7.35 101.77 7.01

Total turnover of ef bills and notes - $23,920 mn

Closed January 10, 1997

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Saturday, January 11,1997

Contents Page No.

SCS to make statement to select committee................................. 1

No alteration to fire exits............................................... 1

Villagers benefit from rural improvement works in Tuen Mun................ 2

Customs and Excise recruits urged to update skills........................ 3

First insectarium in Hong Kong opens...................................... 4

Weather of December 1996 ................................................. 6

Wong Tai Sin Fire Station Open Day........................................ 9

Wong Nai Chung Carnival marks district festival.......................... 10

Hong Kong Monetary Authority Interbank Liquidity......................... 10

Sunday, January 12, 1997

Contents Page No.

District board helps improve residents’ living condition.............. 11

Street carnival marks district festival.................................. 12

1

SCS to make statement to select committee ♦ * * ♦ ♦

A government spokesman announced today (Saturday) that the Administration has suggested to the Hon Ip Kwok-him, Chairman of the LegCo ’’Select Committee to Inquire into the Circumstances Surrounding the Departure of Mr LEUNG Ming-yin from the Government and Related Issues”, that Mr W K Lam, Secretary for the Civil Service, would be prepared to make a statement to the Select Committee as soon as practicable. Mr Ip has agreed to make arrangements for the Select Committee to reconvene some time early next week.

End

No alteration to fire exits ♦ * * ♦ ♦

Illegal alterations to means of escape and fire resistance construction pose a great threat to the occupants in case of fire, the Director of Buildings, Dr Choi Yu-leuk, said today (Saturday)

"Conversion of wooden doors to glass doors, removal of doors at fire exits, and making openings through fire resisting wall are the most common types of dangerous alteration.

"We will take actions to rectify the situation as soon as we know about such problems," he said.

Dr Choi was speaking at the launching ceremony of the 1997 Building Safety Campaign held at the Dragon Centre in Sham Shui Po.

Also officiating at the ceremony were Legislative Councillors Mr Edward Ho and Mr Frederick Fung.

Dr Choi said the improvement of building safety and fire safety relied mainly on the support and co-operation of owners to take good care of their properties.

He said that the increasing number of accidents which involved falling loose concrete and rendering had already set an alarm.

"Nearly half of the 50,000-odd buildings in the territory are over 20 years old. Some of these buildings have already shown signs of aging such as loose or bulging rendering with cracks around them, spalled concrete, and deep cracks in concrete with visible rust stains.

"Remedial actions should be taken immediately whenever these problems

appear.

2

"A well-maintained building will benefit the owners and occupants by not only enhancing their own safety, but also prolonging the service life of the building and upkeeping its market value,” said Dr Choi.

The Building Safety Campaign, organised by the Buildings Department, is aimed at educating members of the public on the needs and standards of maintaining their buildings.

Highlights of the campaign include a roving exhibition on building maintenance throughout the territory, a new 30-second promotional film to be broadcast on television from today, and distribution of leaflets and posters on building safety.

A booklet entitled 'Maintaining Your Building' is also published to guide residents on proper ways to maintain their properties. Copies will be distributed to all owners' corporations in the territory.

The roving exhibition on building maintenance will be held at the following venues:

Venue

Dragon Centre in Sham Shui Po Tai Yau Arcade in Wan Chai Times Square in Causeway Bay Kowloon City Plaza in Kowloon City New Town Plaza in Sha Tin Metroplaza in Kwai Fong

Date

January 11-13

January 14-20

January 21-23

January 25-27

January 28-30

January 31- February 2

End

Villagers benefit from rural improvement works in Tuen Mun ♦ * * * ♦

Two thousand and five hundred villagers living in So Kwun Wat and nearby area will directly benefit from the Home Affairs Department's latest rural environmental improvement project at So Kwun Wat Tsuen, Tuen Mun, the Director of Home Affairs, Mrs Shelley Lau, said today (Saturday).

Speaking at an opening ceremony marking the completion of an open channel improvement project under the Department's Rural Planning and Improvement Strategy (RPIS) minor works project, Mrs Lau said the project was aimed at minimising the flooding risk posed on villagers in the area.

3

She said the channel project, costing about $5 million, was implemented in three phases undertaken by the Tuen Mun District Office. The first and the second phases had already been completed while the construction of the third phase was in progress.

She complimented the Tuen Mun District Office for achieving remarkable results in implementing RPIS minor works programme, revealing that the office had completed a total of 26 RPIS minor projects costing an estimated $32.5 million, while projects worth another $36 million will be commenced in 1997/98.

Presently, projects worth a total of $42.4 million are in progress, she added.

The Executive Council had earmarked $1.6 billion for the 10-year implementation of RPIS minor works programme with the aim of improving the infrastructure and living environment in rural areas.

The strategy was divided into two parts with Territory Development Department being responsible for all major works projects and HAD for minor works projects valued less than $15 million each. This was decided to take advantage of the close ties established between HAD and local communities to expedite the implementation of RPIS Minor Works.

To further speed up the implementation, HAD also introduced a two-tier administrative structure, including the RPIS Minor Works Steering Committee and the nine NT District Working Groups to facilitate local participation in the formulation of the programme and consultation with rural residents.

Mrs Lau thanked members of the NT district boards, Heung Yee Kuk and Rural Committees for their support in identifying and prioritising local improvement projects and revolving many of the difficulties in implementing the programme.

End

Customs and Excise recruits urged to update skills *****

New recruits of the Customs and Excise Department were today (Saturday) reminded to update their skills and techniques to deal with criminals who are constantly changing their tactics.

The reminder was given by the Commissioner of Customs and Excise, Mr Lawrence Li Shu-fai, when taking the salute of a passing-out parade of 14 probationary inspectors and 51 probationary Customs officers.

4

For its part, Mr Li pointed out, the Customs and Excise would have to modify its tactics and training.

"You will all receive further training as your careers progress but those who go furthest will be those who make their own efforts on self learning and self development," he added.

Mr Li also reminded the new recruits that the change of sovereignty would pose a great challenge to them as their performance had an impact on Hong Kong's stability and prosperity.

Earlier, Mr Li called on the recruits to uphold the Customs and Excise Department's good reputation as an honest and effective organisation.

"Our trading partners have confidence in us and in our integrity.

"It is therefore a duty of everyone of us to make sure that this confidence does not diminish and Hong Kong's trade and reputation round the world continue to grow," he added.

End

First insectarium in Hong Kong opens

*****

Members of the public will be presented with the wonderful and diverse world of insects following the opening of Hong Kong's first ever insectarium this (Saturday) morning.

Situated at the Lions Nature Education Centre (LNEC) in Sai Kung, the $6-million insectarium is one of the very few similar facilities in southeast Asia designated for the display of insects of all kinds.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Director of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr Lawrence Lee, said the insectarium was indeed an additional attraction to the popular LNEC.

Dr Lee said the insectarium would serve as a catalyst which could arouse more public interest and concern on the study and conservation of the mysterious and yet extremely important group of creatures that Hong Kong was fortunate enough to possess.

5

’’Hong Kong has a very rich insect fauna despite it is a highly-urbanised commercial city. The country parks and conservation programme have successfully preserved a wide range of indigenous insects,” he said.

’’Notwithstanding the negligible size of Hong Kong compared to China, onetwelfth of the mainland’s insect species can be found locally."

Dr Lee also took the opportunity to thank the Sir Murray MacLehose Trust Fund and the Vegetable Marketing Organisation for sponsoring the construction costs of the buildings and the installation of the displays respectively. He also paid tribute to Mr William Lee for donating the lantemfly model for the insectarium.

The insectarium composes of an indoor display hall of 1,700 square feet and a net house of 2,000 square feet which provides a semi-natural environment for live insects.

It houses exhibits of over 1,000 insect species. The main focus is on indigenous species though some exotic ones are also included.

Exhibits are displayed in the form of live insects, specimens as well as descriptive panels and interesting games.

There are also a number of enlarged models, showing rare species or those important insects which are hard to be seen in the natural environment due to their small size.

Part of the information and specimens are contributed by the Natural History Museum (UK), the Booth Museum and governments from over 30 countries.

In addition, the Northwest Agricultural University, Shanghai Entomology Research Institute, Nanjing Institute of Termite Control, South China Agricultural University and Guangdong Entomological Institute have all contributed to the success of the insectarium through their valuable advice and assistance in various aspects.

Also present at today's opening ceremony were the District Governor of Lions Clubs International (Hong Kong and Macau), Mr So Chun-yu; LNEC Committee Chairman, Mr Shum Lok-nin; the Chairman of the Sai Kung District Board, Mr Ng Sze-fuk.

End

4

- 6 -

Weather of December 1996 *****

December 1996 was generally fine and dry. The mean temperature of 18.3 degrees was 0.7 degree higher than normal. The mean relative humidity was 64 per cent and fire danger warnings were in effect on 27 days in the month.

Only a trace of rainfall was recorded against a normal of 27.3 millimetres in the month. The accumulated rainfall of 2,249.1 millimetres since January 1 was two per cent above normal.

The first day of the month was fine and sunny. Cloud amount increased as easterly winds set in that evening. Winds were strong offshore early the next morning with some light rain patches in the evening.

A cold front crossed the south China coast on the morning of December 5, bringing drier air to the territory.

Winds strengthened from the north on December 6 and temperatures dropped to 13.5 degrees, the lowest in the month. A hill fire broke out in Shing Mun Country Park and lasted for 27 hours, scorching an area of 150 hectares.

Easterly winds returned on the afternoon of December 7 and it became cloudy.

A dry continental airstream reached the territory on December 9, clearing the clouds the next day. The weather became generally fine and sunny for the next few days. Temperatures rose to 24.8 degrees on December 17, the highest in the month. A surge of the northeast monsoon reached the south China coast that evening with winds freshening offshore. Temperatures dropped about three degrees on December 18.

It was cloudy and hazy on December 19 but it turned sunny again the next day. Fine weather prevailed until Christmas Day, with temperatures falling below 10 degrees under clear skies at night over the northern part of the New Territories.

There were some light rain patches early on December 26 but fine and sunny weather returned during the day and it remained fine until the end of the month apart from some cloudy periods on December 29.

Two tropical cyclones occurred in the western North Pacific and the South China Sea in the month.

7

Details of the issuance/hoisting and cancellation/lowering of various warnings/signals in the month are summarised in Table 1. Monthly meteorological figures and departures from normal of December are tabulated in Table 2.

Table 1 Warnings and Signals in December 1996

Warnings/Signals

Strong Monsoon Signals

Effective date and time

2 Dec 0315-2 Dec 0745

5 Dec 2025 - 6 Dec 0925

Fire Danger Warnings

Yellow Red Red Red Red

Yellow Red

Yellow Red

Yellow Red

Yellow Red

Yellow

30 Nov 0600 - 1 Dec 0545

1 Dec 0545 - 2 Dec 0600

5 Dec 1800-9 Dec 1730

10 Dec 0600- 12 Dec 0600 13 Dec 0600- 14 Dec 0600 14 Dec 0600- 16 Dec 0600 18 Dec 0000- 18 Dec 1800 18 Dec 1800-21 Dec 0600 21 Dec 0600- 22 Dec 0600 22 Dec 0600 - 23 Dec 0600 23 Dec 0600-23 Dec 1730 23 Dec 1730-24 Dec 0600 24 Dec 0600 - 24 Dec 1730 24 Dec 1730 - 30 Dee 0730

Gas Heater Alert

6 Dec 1630 - 7 Dec 1630

8

fable 2 Figures and Departures

Total Bright Sunshine

Mean Daily Global Solar

Radiation

Total Rainfall

Mean Cloud Amount

Mean Relative Humidity

Mean Daily Maximum

Temperature

Mean Air Temperature

Mean Daily Minimum

Temperature

Mean Dew Point

Total Evaporation

from Normal - December 1996

177.3 hours; 4.2 hours below normal

11.19MJ/SQM;

0.84 MJ/SQM below normal

Trace; 27.3 mm below normal

49%; normal

64% ; 4% below normal

20.4 Degrees Celsius;

0.1 Degree Celsius below normal

18.3 Degrees Celsius;

0.7 Degree Celsius above normal

16.4 Degrees Celsius;

1 Degree Celsius above normal

11.1 Degrees Celsius;

0.1 Degree Celsius below normal

85.6 mm; 25.9 mm below normal

Remarks: All measurements were made at the Royal Observatory except sunshine, solar radiation and evaporation which were recorded at King's Park.

End

9

Wong Tai Sin Fire Station Open Day *****

Wong Tai Sin Fire Station will be open to members of the public from 10 am to 4 pm tomorrow (Sunday).

The open day is part of the Fire Services Department's effort to promote the 1996/97 Fire Prevention Campaign.

Members of the public visiting the fire station will have a chance to learn more about fire prevention.

They can see various types of modem fire appliances such as Hydraulic Platform, Turntable Ladder, Reserve Heavy Pump, Mobile Command Unit, Light Rescue Unit and Mobile Casualty Treatment Centre.

They can also see various kinds of fire-fighting and rescue equipment, including rescue cushion, slice cutting set, power lifting bags, fireman's chemical protection suit, thermal imaging camera and defibrillator.

Four fire-fighting and rescue demonstrations by firemen will take place at 11 am, noon, 2 pm and 3 pm respectively.

There will be a set of display boards on fire safety advice. A video tape on fire prevention in industrial premises will also be shown.

Officers from the Department's Fire Protection Bureau will be on hand to give fire safety advice and to distribute information leaflets to visitors.

Wong Tai Sin Fire Station is located at 28, Fung Tak Road, Kowloon.

Sai Wan Ho Fire Station will also be open to members of the public on February 16.

End

10

Wong Nai Chung Carnival marks district festival

*****

Thousands of people enjoyed an afternoon of entertainment in a carnival in Wong Nai Chung today (Saturday) to mark Wan Chai Festival '97.

The carnival featured a puppet show by Quan Zhou Puppet Troupe, juggling, trick cycling, magic show, dancing, Taekwondo and performances by pop singer Miss Chiu Hok-yee.

Carnival goers had their palms read and visited game stalls.

Demonstrations of traditional craft such as grasshopper weaving, dragon beard candy making, string weaving and balloon twisting attracted sizeable gatherings.

The event was organised by Wong Nai Chung Area Committee with the assistance of Wan Chai District Office to mark the triennial district festival.

Among the officiating guests at the Carnival's launching ceremony were Wan Chai District Officer, Mrs Elaine Tang; Chairperson of Wan Chai District Board, Mrs Peggy Lam; and Chairman of Wan Chai Festival Organising Committee, Mr Stephen Lam.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority Interbank Liquidity

January 11, 1997

Time Aggregate Balance Of Settlement Accounts

Opening aggregate balance 594 mn 0930 hr 8,511 mn

Closing aggregate balance 1,121 mn 1000 hr 8,534 mn

Change attributable to : 1100 hr 8,623 mn

money market activity -28 mn 1130 hr 8,213 mn

LAF reversal +7,369 mn

LAF today t -6,814 mn

Lafrate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer Twi 125.6 *+0.1* 11.1.97

Closed January 11, 1997

End

11

District board helps improve residents’ living condition *****

The success of many improvement projects in Kwun Tong is the result of cooperation and concerted efforts of members of the Kwun Tong District Board, area committees, mutual aid committees, owners' corporations, various government departments and voluntary agencies under the district administration scheme, the Deputy Director of Home Affairs, Mr Dominic Law, said today (Sunday).

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Kwun Tong District Festival '97, Mr Law said the many improvement projects that had been carried out in Kwun Tong in the past 10 years had not only brought the district a new appearance but also an improvement to residents' living environment.

He said there was a special meaning for the Kwun Tong District Festival '97 to use "15th Anniversary of District Administration" as its theme as Kwun Tong was the first urban district to practise district administration.

Mr Law said the Kwun Tong District Board had assumed an important role in reflecting the needs and views of residents in the past years. He hoped such practice would continue with more active involvement of local residents.

The festival, jointly organised by the Kwun Tong District Board, the Kwun Tong District Office and the Urban Council, will last until January 19. Major activities include "Night for Songs of the Oldies", film shows, Chinese operas and slogan competition.

A series of activities were organised to mark the opening ceremony, including lion and dragon dances, performances by popular singers and children chorus, dancing performance, magic show and traditional Chinese handicraft stalls.

Also present at the opening ceremony were the President of Legislative Council, Mr Andrew Wong; the Kwun Tong District Officer, Mr Tsang Hing-kay; and the Chairperson of Kwun Tong District Board, Mrs Winnie Poon.

End

- 12 -

Street carnival marks district festival *****

Paterson Street in Causeway Bay was turned into a carnival site today (Sunday) to celebrate the Wan Chai Festival ’97.

Visitors were enthralled by dragon and lion dances, a puppet show by Qian Zhou Puppet Troupe, martial arts demonstrations, dancing and singing by Miss Kelly Chan and Mr Leo Ku as well as children's choirs.

The children was amused by inflatable castles, photo sessions with cartoon characters and game stalls.

Other stalls demonstrating grasshopper weaving, sketch drawing, Chinese calligraphy, dragon beard candy making and palm reading also drew large audiences.

The Causeway Bay Carnival was organised by the Causeway Bay Area Committee with the assistance of the Wan Chai District Office.

Among the officiating guests at the Carnival's kick-off ceremony were Wan Chai District Officer, Mrs Elaine Tang; Chairperson of Wan Chai District Board, Mrs Peggy Lam and Chairman of Wan Chai Festival Organising Committee, Mr Stephen Ng.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Monday, January 13,1997

Judiciary well prepared for changeover: acting CJ............................. 1

Labour Department launches construction safety campaign....................... 3

Board of Education minutes to make public..................................... 6

113 applications for Services Support Fund received........................... 7

Inoculation centre to move to Ngau Tau Kok.................................... 8

External trade statistics for November 1996................................... 9

Service industries business receipts for third quarter 96.................... 19

38 new building plans approved in November................................... 23

Ceremonial opening of 95-year-old time capsule to be held.................... 24

Simple but solemn funeral for postman killed on duty......................... 24

Water cut in Yuen Long....................................................... 25

Water storage figure......................................................... 26

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results.................................. 26

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity............................. 27

1

Judiciary well prepared for changeover: acting CJ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Judiciary is committed to the establishment of a court system which will be capable of operating as is appropriate in both English and Chinese, the acting Chief Justice, Mr Justice Power, said today (Monday).

Addressing the Ceremonial Opening of the 1997 Legal Year, which was the last such ceremony before the change of sovereignty, Mr Justice Power said implementation of that commitment was proceeding at a measured pace and each step taken towards the establishment of the dual system was a cautious one.

’’The Basic Law has stipulated in the most positive way that the common law shall remain the cornerstone of the legal system of the Special Administrative Region. Important as the setting up of the dual system of courts is it must be done so that it does not in any way, derogate from the capability of the courts to apply the common law," he added.

Mr Justice Power told the gathering that progress in the use of Chinese in courts is as follows:

At present, over 60 per cent of cases were heard in Chinese in the Magistrates’ court while over 90 per cent were heard in Chinese in the Labour and Small Claims Tribunals.

Since Chinese was authorised to be used in the District Court in February last year, 549 cases had been conducted in Chinese.

Appeals from the Magistrates’ courts, the Labour and Small Claims Tribunals were allowed to be conducted in Chinese since December 1 last year. Eight magistracy appeals were set down for hearing on January 24.

In the High Court civil jurisdiction, five cases have already been heard and four criminal appeals have been set down for hearing in Chinese in the Court of Appeal on February 4.

Delay has occurred as regards jury trials in Chinese as the Jury Ordinance must be amended before this can proceed. Steps are now being taken by the administration to amend that ordinance.

2

’’The establishment of a bilingual common law system is a formidable task. Attempts made in other jurisdictions have met with mixed success. We have no doubt that our measured and pragmatic approach will succeed,” Mr Justice Power concluded.

On the judicial establishment, Mr Justice Power said: ’’Worries have been expressed about the departure of senior judges and judicial officers during the past year and of impending departures in the months leading up to June 30.

"It is clearly a matter of concern prematurely to lose experienced judicial officers but the extent of the loss, about six per cent of the total strength, is well within manageable proportions and we have no doubt that it will be filled by suitable candidates in the coming months."

On the Court of Final Appeal, Mr Justice Power said the conversion of the French Mission Building was almost complete and a working draft of the rules of the court was being finalised.

"We look forward with confidence to the establishment of our final court in the coming months providing for the first time a fully integrated system of courts in Hong Kong," he added.

Commenting on the concept of open justice, Mr Justice Power said there had been some criticisms that some hearings were not open to the public.

He noted that given the criticisms that had been made, working parties had been set up under Mr Justice Nazareth, to examine the civil side, and Mr Justice Stuart-Moore, to examine the criminal side. Their final reports are about to be delivered

"Finally, let me say that open justice is a matter which concerns us all and it is one which will have our continued attention," he said.

On court waiting time, Mr Justice Power said "justice delayed is justice denied" was an old saw but a true one.

Citing London, New York and Sydney as examples, Mr Justice Power said despite that Hong Kong had by far the smallest judicial complement, Hong Kong had waiting times very considerably less than the times in the other three areas.

"With a smaller number of judicial officers we are at almost every level able to bring both civil and criminal matters to a speedier conclusion than is achieved in the other centres. This is so you may be assured because of the dedication and hard work of Hong Kong’s judicial officers," Mr Justice Power said.

3

Turning to the importance of the independence of the Judiciary, Mr Justice Power stressed that it was essential that judges stood aloof and be insulated from the political arena which gave birth to the laws which they must interpret.

He said the Judiciary must equally stand apart from and be independent of the executive.

"It is true that the Judiciary provides the mechanism through which the coercive powers of the executive are exercised.

"It must, however, at the same time ensure that citizens are protected against any abuse of those processes. In the last resort the freedom of us all rests with the courts," he said.

Mr Justice Power assured the gathering that Hong Kong's Judiciary did stand independent and was firmly resolved to maintain the independence in the coming years.

"Let me finally assure all of the people of Hong Kong that they have an independent, capable and hard- working judiciary versed in the common law and that they have a judiciary which will, without fear or favour, administer that law in the coming years," he said.

End

Labour Department launches construction safety campaign

*****

Construction companies are invited to take part in a territory-wide Construction Safety Award Scheme to promote safety on construction sites.

Speaking at a press conference today (Monday) to announce details of the scheme, the Deputy Commissioner for Labour (Occupational Safety and Health), Mr Lee Kai-fat, said the scheme was aimed at reinforcing the commitment of construction industry to ensure safety and health at work and increasing the safety awareness among workers, by recognising and rewarding contractors, site management and workers who had particularly outstanding safety and occupational health performance.

Mr Lee added that while there were several similar annual award schemes, there was not a single one which covered both public and private sector projects.

4

He said that it was Government's intention to promote construction safety by involving the whole industry and all those who had a role to play in reducing accidents.

The Construction Safety Award Scheme is jointly organised by the Labour Department and Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) and co-organised by the Hong Kong Construction Association (HKCA), the Hong Kong Construction Industry Employees General Union (HKCIEGU) and the Occupational Safety and Health Council (OSHC).

Also present at today's press conference were the Executive Director of OSHC, Mr Tang Wah-shing; Secretary General of HKCA, Mr Patrick Chan; Chairman of HKCIEGU, Mr Poon To-chuen; and Head of Radio 2 of RTHK, Mr Luke Tsang.

During the promotion period from January to March this year, RTHK Radio 2 Morning Suite will broadcast short dramas and promotional messages to arouse public awareness in construction site safety.

"Invitation letters and application forms have been be sent to construction companies. Additional copies are available from the Labour Department's field offices of the Occupational Safety and Health Branch," Mr Lee said.

Completed application forms should be returned to the department on or before January 25.

The competition is divided into six award categories. Gold, silver, bronze and meritorious prizes will be presented to winners in each categoiy.

The six award categories are:

. 1 -•v' ' - ' .

Best Building Works Site Award;

Best Building Works Contractor Award;

Best Civil Works Site Award;

Best Civil Works Contractor Award;

Best Safety Team Award; and

Safety Workers Award.

5

To be eligible, all participating sites must satisfy the following criteria:

* the site is located in Hong Kong;

works on site should commence before July 1, 1996 and finish after July 1, 1997;

a building site should have at least 50 workers and a civil site at least 30 workers during this period;

* no fatal accident occurred at the site in 1996; and

no suspension notice has been served by the Labour Department to the

site.

For the Best Sites and Contractor Awards, evaluation of safety performance on individual sites will be conducted in two rounds: a preliminary assessment and a final assessment.

The preliminary assessment will start at the end of this month and the final assessment in mid-February. A gala evening and presentation ceremony will be held at the end of March this year.

The preliminary assessment will be conducted by factory inspectors of the Labour Department to shortlist sites with better performance.

The final assessment will be conducted by an assessment team, comprising representatives from the Labour Department, OSHC, HKCA and HKCIEGU.

The assessments will be based on physical site conditions and safety management system.

Physical conditions include working at height, use of lifting appliance, scaffolding safety, use of gondola, control of falling objects, use of machinery and personal protective equipment.

Safety management system includes safety policy, safety committee, safety personnel, safety training, safety rules and regulations, accident investigation and follow-up actions.

For the Best Safety Team Award, assessment will be based on the team's actual performance in implementing safety measures and its contribution to site safety arrangement.

Assessment for the Safety Worker Award is based on the individual's safety performance and a test of his safety knowledge.

For further enquiries on the award scheme, please contact the Labour Department's Safety Promotion Office on 2852 3565.

End

Board of Education minutes to make public *****

The Board of Education (BOE) has decided to make public its minutes of meeting to further increase the transparency of its work.

At a meeting today (Monday), BOE members considered the existing measures relating to transparency appropriate.

Currently, BOE agenda, certain papers and reports are available for the media and the public. BOE also organises public consultations on important educational issues and proposals. In addition, press releases on BOE activities are regularly issued. V

However, BOE members agreed that in addition to press briefings after each meeting, minutes of its main committee meetings should be made available to the media and members of the public on request in future.

At the meeting, BOE members were also told that the Committee on Home-School Co-operation was planning to set up a pilot Parent's Centre this year.

The centre will provide a social meeting place for parents and Parent Teacher Association (PTA) members and also serves as a meeting venue for PTA federations.

The Chairman of the Committee on Home-School Co-operation, Mr Tik Chi-yuen, said: "It is believed that the Parent's Centre, through the provision of updated information on education, parent education and family learning programmes for parents, will also serve as a bridge between the Education Department, PTAs and parents."

He also told the meeting that the first district-based PTA federation was formed last summer.

7

"It is expected that more PTA federations will be formed in the years ahead with the home-school work further extended to involve also the community," Mr Tik added.

The number of PTAs in Hong Kong in early 1993 was about 100. At present, the number stands at 479.

On the School Administration and Management System (SAMS), Assistant Director of Education, Mr Kwok Wai-kwong, told BOE members that in order to strengthen the support services to schools, plans were in hand to enlist assistance of expei icnced and advanced SAMS users to bring up those who were less conversant.

"Our target is to enable all users to be at home with SAMS applications. In line with these plans, a pilot Regional Support Centre is being set up in Queen Maud Secondary School in Tseng Kwan O to enable users to share experience and practise operating SAMS," he noted.

Mr Kwok added that an end-user computing (EUC) resource centre was also planned to encourage EUC activities.

"The centre will be installed with high-technology equipment, providing a convenient place for gathering of enthusiastic SAMS users to facilitate crossfertilisation of ingenious ideas," he said.

End

113 applications for Services Support Fund received ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Industry Department received 113 applications under the first batch of applications for funding support from the Services Support Fund (SSF) which closed on December 31 last year.

The applications cover a wide spectrum of service sectors, including information technology, telecommunications, wholesale and retail, import and export trade, banking and financial services.

All the applications will be considered by the SSF Vetting Committee, which makes recommendations to the Director-General of Industry. The vetting results will be announced in March/ApriL

8

The SSF, which has funds of $50 million, was set up by the Hong Kong Government to provide financial support for projects which can contribute to the overall development and the competitiveness of Hong Kong's service industry. It is administered by the Industry Department.

There are three tranches of applications under the fund. The second tranche of applications will be invited around March/April this year.

End

Inoculation centre to move to Ngau Tau Kok ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Department of Health announced today (Monday) that from January 20 (Monday), the Kowloon Regional Health Office Inoculation Centre, which is currently located in Tsim Sha Tsui, will move to Ngau Tau Kok Jockey Club Clinic.

The new address of the centre is: LG1, Ngau Tau Kok Jockey Club Clinic, 60 Ting On Street, Kowloon.

The centre will continue to provide injection service to the public after the removal and its opening hours will remain unchanged.

It will be open from 9 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 5 pm on weekdays; and from 9 am to 1 pm on Saturdays.

The telephone number of the new centre is 2753 8095.

End

9

External trade statistics for November 1996

*****

In November 1996, the value of re-exports grew by 7% over a year earlier to $100.4 billion, while the value of domestic exports decreased by 4.4% to $18 billion. Meanwhile, imports increased by 4.9% to $131.1 billion.

The Census and Statistics Department today (Monday) released detailed statistics on external trade with breakdown by country/territory and commodity for November 1996.

Changes in the value of Hong Kong’s re-exports to 10 main destinations are shown in fable 1.

Comparing November 1996 with November 1995, increases were recorded in the value of re-exports to China (+13%), Singapore (+12%), the United States (+11%), France (+8.9%), Japan (+3.2%), the United Kingdom (+1%) and the Netherlands (+1%).

However, decreases were recorded in the value of re-exports to South Korea (-7.1%), Germany (-3.8%) and Taiwan (-0.2%).

Comparing the first 11 months of 1996 with the same period in 1995, the value of re-exports to most main destinations showed increases of various magnitudes: Japan (+16%), the United Kingdom (+12%), the Netherlands (+9.9%), China (+8.7%), France (+8.7%), Singapore (+7.9%), South Korea (+5.2%), Germany (+5.1%) and the United States (+4.5%).

However, the value of re-exports to Taiwan decreased by 4.3%.

Taking all destinations together, the value of re-exports in the first 11 months of 1996 was $1,087.3 billion, 6.9% higher than that in the same period in 1995.

Table 2 shows changes in the value of re-exports of 10 principal commodity divisions.

Comparing the first 11 months of 1996 with the same period in 1995, more notable increases in the value of re-exports were registered for office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $12.1 billion or 24%); clothing (by $9.1 billion or 11%); electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $8.8 billion or 8.5%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of baby carriages, toys, games and sporting goods (by $7 billion or 5.3%); photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies, optical goods, watches and clocks (by $5 billion or 11%); and footwear (by $5 billion or 9.1%).

10

Over the same period, decreases in the value of re-exports were registered for telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $2.4 billion or 2.2%); and plastics in primary forms ($1.0 billion or 3.6%).

Changes in the value of domestic exports to 10 main destinations are shown in Table 3.

Comparing November 1996 with November 1995, the value of domestic exports to most main destinations showed decreases of various magnitudes: Singapore (-25%), Taiwan (-16%), Canada (-11%), the United States (-5.9%), Japan (-5.6%), Germany (-3.4%), the United Kingdom (-2.1%), France (-1.4%) and the Netherlands (-1.3"n).

However, the value of domestic exports to China increased by 6.6%.

Comparing the first 11 months of 1996 with the same period in 1995, the value of domestic exports to all main destinations showed decreases of various magnitudes: Singapore (-18%), Taiwan (-16%), the United States (-12%), Canada (-9.8%), the Netherlands (-8.3%), France (-7.3%), Germany (-5.7%), Japan (-3.5%), China (-3.3%) and the United Kingdom (-1.7%).

Taking all destinations together, the value of domestic exports in the first 11 months of 1996, at $193.9 billion, decreased by 8.3% over the same period in 1995.

Table 4 shows changes in the value of domestic exports of 10 principal commodity divisions.

Comparing the first 11 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 office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $4.5 billion or 27%); clothing (by $4 billion or 6.1%); telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $1.9 billion or 20%); photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies, optical goods, watches and clocks (by $1.8 billion or 11%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of jewellery, goldsmiths' and silversmiths' wares (by $1.7 billion or 9.3%); and electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $851 million or 3%).

Over the same period, an increase in the value of domestic exports was registered for professional, scientific and controlling instruments and apparatus (by $354 million or 13%).

11

Changes in the value of imports from 10 main suppliers are shown in Table 5.

Comparing November 1996 with November 1995, increases were recorded in the value of imports from Germany (+25%), Italy (+21%), Malaysia (+16%), the United Kingdom (+12%), China (+6.6%), Japan (+3.5%), South Korea (+3.4%) and the United States (+1.7%).

However, the value of imports from Singapore and Taiwan decreased by 5.2% and 4.3% respectively.

Comparing the first 11 months of 1996 with the same period in 1995, increases were recorded in the value of imports from Malaysia (+17%), Italy (+16%), the United Kingdom (+8.9%), the United States (+6%), China (+6.0%), Germany (+4.7%) and Singapore (+4%).

However, decreases were recorded in the value of imports from Japan (-6.5%), Taiwan (-4.9%) and South Korea (-0.1%).

Taking all sources together, the value of imports in the first 11 months of 1996, at $1,404.2 billion, increased by 3% over the same period in 1995.

Table 6 shows changes in the value of imports of 10 principal commodity divisions.

Comparing the first 11 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 $11.8 billion or 19%); electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $8.9 billion or 5.2%); clothing (by $6.9 billion or 7.7%); footwear (by $3.9 billion or 8.1%); and miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of baby carriages, toys, games and sporting goods (by $3.4 billion or 3.6%).

Over the same period, decreases in the value of imports were recorded for telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $4.4 billion or 3.3%); textiles (by $2.3 billion or 1.9%); and non-metallic mineral manufactures (by $914 million or 2.3%).

All the trade statistics described here are measured at current prices and no account has been taken of changes in prices between the periods of comparison.

A separate analysis of the volume and price movements of external trade for November 1996 will be released in early February 1997.

12

Detailed trade statistics analysed by commodity and by country/territory are published in trade statistics reports.

The November 1996 issue of Hong Kong External Trade with detailed analyses on the performance of Hong Kong's external trade in November 1996 will be on sale al $129 per copy around January 20.

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 l ower, 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 on 2582 4915.

13

TABLE 1 : RE-EXPORTS TO TEN MAIN DESTINATIONS

DESTINATION NOV 1996 (HKD Mn.) NOV 96 OVER NOV 95 (I CHANGE) JAN-NOV 1996 (HKD Mn.) JAN-NOV 96 OVER JAN-NOV 95 (% CHANGE)

CHINA 36,575 + 13.0 378,938 + 8.7

UNITED STATES 19,313 + 11.3 224,077 + 4.5

JAPAN 7,083 + 3.2 74,240 + 16.3

GERMANY 3,946 - 3.8 43,522 + 5.1

UNITED KINGDOM 3,131 + 1.0 33,160 + 12.3

SINGAPORE 2,628 + 12.0 25,657 + 7.9

TAIWAN 2,450 - 0.2 24,312 - 4.3

SOUTH KOREA 1,521 - 7.1 18,510 + 5.2

FRANCE 1,568 + 8.9 17,212 + 8.7

NETHERLANDS 1,541 + 1.0 16,656 + 9.9

14

TABLE 2 : RE-EXPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION NOV 1996 (HKD Mn.) NOV 96 OVER NOV 95 (% CHANGE) JAN-NOV 1996 (HKD Mn.) JAN-NOV 96 OVER JAN-NOV 95 (% CHANGE)

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY BABY CARRIAGES, TOYS, GAMES AND SPORTING GOODS) 11,508 - 2.3 138,838 + 5.3

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 11,044 + 12.3 113,325 + 8.5

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT * *• w \ ’ 10,286 + 1.9 107,124 - 2.2

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 7,707 + 6.0 92,563 + 11.0

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 8,294 12.9 88,479 + 3.6

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 6,820 + 27.3 63,704 + 23.6

FOOTWEAR 5,074 + 9.7 59,943 + 9.1

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 4,819 - 1.3 51,048 11.0

TRAVEL GOODS, HANDBAGS AND SIMILAR CONTAINERS 2,904 + 12.4 33,659 + 4.5

PLASTICS IN PRIMARY FORMS 2,335 8.7 26,729 3.6

15

TABLE 3 : DOMESTIC EXPORTS TO TEN MAIN DESTINATIONS

DESTINATION NOV 1996 (HKD Mn.) NOV 96 OVER NOV 95 (% CHANGE) JAN-NOV 1996 (HKD Mn.) JAN-NOV 96 OVER JAN-NOV 95 (% CHANGE)

CHINA 5,479 + 6.6 56,357 - 3.3

UNITED STATES 4,559 - 5.9 49,008 - 12.4

JAPAN 956 - 5.6 10,522 - 3.5

GERMANY 995 - 3.4 10,238 - 5.7

UNITED KINGDOM 913 - 2.1 9,692 - 1.7

SINGAPORE 755 - 25.1 9,276 - 17.6

TAIWAN 601 - 16.3 6,204 - 15.5

NETHERLANDS 344 - 1.3 4,181 - 8.3

CANADA 268 - 11.1 3,552 - 9.8

FRANCE 260 - 1.4 2,660 - 7.3

16

TABLE 4 : DOMESTIC EXPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION NOV 1996 (HKD Mn.) NOV 96 OVER NOV 95 (% CHANGE) JAN-NOV 1996 (HKD Mn.) JAN-NOV 96 OVER JAN-NOV 95 (% CHANGE)

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 5,910 + 3.9 62,651 - 6.1

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 2,604 - 6.8 27,984 - 3.0

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY JEWELLERY, GOLDSMITHS' AND SILVERSMITHS' WARES) 1,593 - 8.5 16,673 - 9.3

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 1,275 - 21.6 13,867 - 11.5

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 1,187 + 1.0 12,672 - 2.2

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 1,099 - 18.7 12,054 - 27.0

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 740 - 1.1 7,880 - 19.6

MANUFACTURES OF METALS 339 - 9.5 3,868 - 8.7

PLASTICS IN PRIMARY FORMS 307 - 14.0 3,575 - 13.8

PROFESSIONAL, SCIENTIFIC AND CONTROLLING INSTRUMENTS AND APPARATUS 337 + 38.9 3,004 + 13.4

17

TABLE 5 : IMPORTS FROM TEN MAIN SUPPLIERS

SUPPLIER NOV 1996 (HKD Mn.) NOV 96 OVER NOV 95 (% CHANGE) JAN-NOV 1996 (HKD Mn.) JAN-NOV 96 OVER JAN-NOV 95 (% CHANGE)

CHINA 48,303 + 6.6 523,852 + 6.0

JAPAN 17,713 + 3.5 189,477 - 6.5

TAIWAN 10,488 - 4.3 112,443 - 4.9

UNITED STATES 10,179 + 1.7 111,349 + 6.0

SINGAPORE 6,767 - 5.2 74,530 + 4.0

SOUTH KOREA 6,106 + 3.4 67,263 - 0.1

MALAYSIA 2,993 + 16.3 30,711 + 17.4

GERMANY 3,035 + 25.3 30,612 * 4*7

UNITED KINGDOM 2,946 + 12.3 30,252 + 8.9

ITALY 2,957 + 20.7 28,880 + 16.3

18

TABLE 6 : IMPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION NOV 1996 (HKD Mn.) NOV 96 OVER NOV 95 (% CHANGE) JAN-NOV 1996 (HKD Mn.) JAN-NOV 96 OVER JAN-NOV 95 (% CHANGE)

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 17,415 + 11.5 179,157 + 5.2

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 12,025 + 2.3 128,939 3.3

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 10,751 + 2.3 117,737 - 1.9

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY BABY CARRIAGES, TOYS, GAMES AND SPORTING GOODS) 8,633 - 4.1 99,814 + 3.6

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 8,675 + 8.6 96,302 + 7.7

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 7,543 + 24.0 73,784 + 19.1

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 5,185 - 5.5 57,632 *

FOOTWEAR 4,601 + 10.6 51,914 + 8.1

GENERAL INDUSTRIAL MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT, AND MACHINE PARTS 3,138 + 1.7 40,538 + 5.4

NON-METALLIC MINERAL MANUFACTURES 3,965 + 7.1 39,654 - 2.3

* DENOTES LESS THAN 0.05%

End

19

Service industries business receipts for third quarter 96 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

The business receipts in most of the service industries continued to show year-on-year increases in value terms in the third quarter of 1996.

The financing (except banking) industry registered the fastest growth, by 24%. The communications and the business services industries also grew by 19% and 15% respectively.

These are the provisional figures on business receipts indices for service industries released today (Monday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

The strong growth in business receipts in the financing (except banking) industry was mainly due to an increase in the stock market turnover.

The significant increase in the communications industry was related to the rapid expansion of mobile telephone services; while the growth in the business services industry was attributable to marked increases in the demand for legal services and various miscellaneous business services.

Meanwhile, considerable increases in business receipts were also registered in the following service industries: banking (+10%); hotels (+9%) and transport(+8%).

On the other hand, business receipts in the wholesale industry dropped by 3% in value terms. This was due mainly to a decrease in business receipts in wholesale of raw materials and semi-manufactures.

Compared with the second quarter of 1996, and bearing in mind that such comparison might be affected by seasonal factors, business receipts in most of the service industries recorded increases of various magnitudes. Among them, business receipts in the transport and business services industries registered the most rapid growth, by 12% and 10% respectively.

On the other hand, business receipts in the hotels and wholesale industries dropped by 3% and 1% respectively. The decrease recorded in the hotels industry was probably affected by seasonal factors.

Table 1 presents provisional business receipts indices for service industries for the third quarter of 1996 and revised indices for the second quarter of 1996, with the quarterly average of business receipts in 1992 taken as 100.

20

Also tabulated are comparisons of the results of the third quarter of 1996 with those of the second quarter of 1996 and the third quarter of 1995.

Table 2 shows the time series of quarterly business receipts indices. Annual indices are also included.

Statistics on banking are obtained from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority; and those on retail and restaurants businesses are obtained from two existing surveys regularly conducted by the Census and Statistics Department.

The report “Quarterly Business Receipts Indices for Service Industries, Third Quarter 1996" is now on sale at $8 per copy at the Government Publications Centre of the Information Services Department, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong. It can also be purchased from the Publications Unit of the Census and Statistics Department, 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Enquiries about the survey results may be directed to the Business Services Statistics Section of the Census and Statistics Department on 2894 8120.

21

Table 1

Business Receipts Indices for Service Industries for 2nd Quarter and 3rd Quarter 1996

(Quarterly average of 1992 » 100) > 100)

Service Industry 2nd Quarter 1996 (Revised figures) Mn? (WJR?) 3rd Quarter 1996 (Provisional figures) -AAA? MH? (ffi^KT) 3rd Quarter 1996 compared with 2nd Quarter 1996 -AAA?MH?» -AAA?MH?tt« 3rd Quarter 1996 compared with 3rd Quarter 1995 —AAA?MH?& - AAE?|8J?tttt 1st to 3rd Quarters 1996 compared with 1 st to 3rd Quarters 1995 -AAA?«-MM=?W -AAs?isjm»

Points (B) Points (B) Points (B) % Points (B) % (S&?) Points (B) % (S^?)

Wholesale itte 120.4 118.8 - 1.6 - 1.3 - 3.6 - 2.9 - 0.6 - 0.5

Import / Export 142.7 147.0 + 4.2 ♦ 3.0 ♦ 2.3 ♦ 1.6 ♦ 5.5 ♦ 4.0

Retail(n ww 130.8 142.1 # ♦ 11.3 ♦ 8.6 + 8.6 + 6.5 ♦ 7.5 ♦ 5.8

Hotels 161.5 157.4 - 4.0 - 2.5 ♦ 12.5 ♦ 8.6 ♦ 15.3 ♦ 10.6

Restaurants m 114.2 123.3 ♦ 9.1 ♦ 8.0 ♦ 6.9 ♦ 5.9 + 4.7 ♦ 4.1

Transport 151.0 169.8 ♦ 18.8 + 12.4 + 12.4 + 7.9 ♦ 12.3 ♦ 8.6

Storage M 136.9 139.8 ♦ 3.0 ♦ 2.2 ♦ 2.5 1.8 ♦ 9.5 ♦ 7.7

Communications arc 180.3 186.9 ♦ 6.6 ♦ 3.6 ♦ 30.4 + 19.4 + 28.2 + 18.9

Banking a> Off 153.9 158.4 ♦ 4.5 ♦ 2.9 + 14.3 ♦ 9.9 + 17.2 + 12.5

Financing (except banking) w 150.5 151.9 ♦ 1.4 + 0.9 ♦ 29.7 ♦ 24.3 ♦ 19.7 ♦ 14.2

Insurance 175.5 180.3 ♦ 4.8 + 2.8 ♦ 11.8 ♦ 7.0 ♦ 10.1 + 6.1

Business services 144.2 157.9 + 13.7 + 9.5 + 20.0 ♦ 14.5 ♦ 15.1 ♦ 11.1

Notes:

(1) Based on the survey results of the Monthly Survey of Retail Sales

(2) Based on the survey results of the Quarterly Survey of Restaurant Receipts and Purchases

(3) Business receipts data are obtained from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority

(4) Excluding investment and holding companies

# Revised figure

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

* turn*

Table 2 : Time Series of Quarterly Business Receipts Indices for Service Industries

(Quarterly Average of 1992 ”100) x 100)

Year Quarter * 9 Wholesale Import/Export Retail Hotels Restaurants Transport

Indices ffift Compared with preceding year/same quarter a year ago Indices 18ft Compared with preceding year/same quarter a year ago Indices Compared with preceding year/same quarter a year ago Indices ffift Compared with preceding year/same quarter a year ago Indices 18ft Compared with preceding year/same quarter a year ago Indices ffift Compared with preceding year/same quarter a year ago ft

* % % % %

1993 106.3 6.3 108.8 8.8 112.7 ♦ 12.7 112.5 ♦ 12.5 106.1 6.1 111.8 ♦ 11.8

1994 121.0 ♦ 13.8 123.7 ♦ 13.6 126.1 ♦ 11.9 131.1 ♦ 16.5 110.1 3.7 123.1 ♦ 10.1

1995 125.0 3.3 142.5 ♦ 15.2 132.0 4.7 154.2 ♦ 17.6 115.2 4.7 145.6 ♦ 18.3

1994 3 129.2 ♦ 17.9 130.4 ♦ 10.2 128.8 9.0 120.2 ♦ 12.5 109.6 - 1.7 134.2 ♦ 10.7

4 134.8 ♦ 17.7 142.7 ♦ 24.0 133.2 ♦ 10.6 158.8 ♦ 15.9 111.2 - 3.7 134.9 ♦ 17.6

1995 1 123.9 ♦ 14.2 128.7 ♦ 19.1 131.8 ♦ ' 6.8 142.8 ♦ 17.7 116.1 1.6 128.6 ♦ 14.6

2 117.5 5.3 138.8 ♦ 22.2 124.0 4.2 145.3 ♦ 17.1 110.8 5.4 141.5 ♦ 27.4

3 122.4 - 5.3 144.6 ♦ 11.0 133.4 3.6 144.9 ♦ 20.6 116.4 6.2 157.4 ♦ 17.3

4 136.2 1.0 157.7 ♦ 10.5 138.8 4.1 183.9 ♦ 15.8 117.6 5.8 154.7 ♦ 14.7

1996 1 122.7 - 1.0 138.9 8.0 138.9 5.4 159.9 ♦ 12.0 119.9 3.2 143.5 ♦ 11.6

2 120.4 2.5 142.7 2.9 130.8 5.4 161.5 ♦ 11.t 114.2 3.1 151.0 6.7

3 • 118.8 - 2.9 147.0 1.6 142.1 1 6.5 157.4 8.6 123.3 5.9 169.8 7.9

Storage Communications Banking Financing (except banking) Insurance Business services

aSK

Compared with Compared with Compared with Compared with Compared with Compared with

Year Quarter preceding year/same preceding year/same preceding year/same preceding year/same preceding year/same preceding year/same

Indices quarter a year ago Indices quarter a year ago Indices quarter a year ago Indices quarter a year ago Indices quarter a year ago Indices quarter a year ago

* £ 18ft ffift fflft Ifift ffift

% % X % % %

1993 98.5 - 1.5 118.8 ♦ 18.8 116.6 ♦ 16.6 148.7 ♦ 48.7 119.3 ♦ 19.3 117.3 ♦ 17.3

1994 106.6 8.2 136.1 ♦ 14.5 122.5 5.1 169.4 ♦ 13.9 146.9 ♦ 23.1 127.4 8.7

1995 125.1 ♦ 17.4 154.5 ♦ 13.5 143.4 ♦ 17.0 140.7 - 16.9 167.0 ♦ 13.6 137.6 8.0

1994 3 114.8 ♦ 13.6 135.7 ♦ 11.8 120.6 - 1.1 157.9 7.6 146.4 ♦ 20.3 130.8 7.9

4 110.3 ♦ 15.3 149.7 ♦ 14.4 137.0 ♦ 10.9 154.3 - 30.3 149.1 ♦ 21.7 130.3 - 8.3

1995 1 105.8 ♦ 11.2 141.9 9.6 129.3 ♦ 10.6 154.7 - 29.6 169.4 ♦ 12.8 146.5 ♦ 16.6

2 127.0 ♦ 19.7 149.6 ♦ 15.7 138.8 ♦ 20.4 139.2 - 4.5 160.3 ♦ 12.9 123.8 0.7

3 137.4 ♦ 19.7 156.5 ♦ 15.3 144.1 ♦ 19.5 122.2 - 22.6 168.5 ♦ 15.1 137.9 5.4

4 130.3 ♦ 18.1 170.0 ♦ 13.5 161.2 ♦ 17.7 146.8 - 4.9 169.6 ♦ 13.8 142.3 9.2

1996 1 122.1 ♦ 15.4 165.5 ♦ 16.6 151.4 ♦ 17.1 172.7 ♦ 11.7 172.6 1.9 151.4 3.3

2 136.9 7.8 180.3 ♦ 20.5 153.9 ♦ 10.9 150.5 8.1 175.5 9.5 144.2 ♦ 16.4

3 ♦ 139.8 1.8 186.9 ♦ 19.4 158.4 9.9 151.9 ♦ 24.3 180.3 7.0 157.9 ♦ 14.5

Motes : • : Provisional figure : • :

* ■ Revised figure « ;

I

I

23

38 new building plans approved in November ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Buildings Department approved a total of 38 building plans in November last year - seven for developments on Hong Kong Island, five for Kowloon and 26 for the New Territories.

The approved plans covered 12 for apartment and apartment/commercial developments, eight for commercial developments, two for factory and industrial developments, and 16 for community services developments.

Consent was given in the month for work to start on 44 building projects, which involved 263,555 square metres of usable domestic floor area and 166,065 square metres of usable non-domestic floor area.

During the same month, the department also issued 36 occupation permits - 11 for Hong Kong island, seven for Kowloon and 18 for the New Territories.

Of the buildings certified for occupation in November, the usable floor areas for domestic and non-domestic uses were 37,813 square metres and 29,170 square metres respectively.

The declared cost of new buildings completed totalled about $2,003 million.

In addition, 12 demolition consents involving 19 buildings and structures were issued.

The department's Control and Enforcement Division received 786 complaints of unauthorised building works, and issued 252 removal orders on unauthorised works.

End

24

Ceremonial opening of 95-year-old time capsule to be held

*****

After a long and undisturbed rest, a time capsule buried in a stone block in the Prince of Wales Barracks will be opened on Wednesday (January 15), 95 years after it was entombed.

The capsule was laid in 1902 by the wife of Commodore Powell to commemorate the laying of the foundation stone of the dockyard. Originally positioned at the head of the dock, the tablet stone was set into place and a sealed capsule interred into a ready made cavity.

The contents of the capsule are unknown, although it is rumoured to include newspapers and coins of the day. At a later and unknown date, the stone was lifted to its present position and more artefacts were added.

In keeping with tradition, the wife of the present Commodore, Mrs Janet Melson, will open the capsule at 11 am on Wednesday, using the original trowel of her predecessor. A small Royal Navy guard will also be in attendance.

End

Simple but solemn funeral for postman killed on duty

*****

The funeral of a postman, Mr Ng Sik-ho, was held on January 8 (Wednesday) at the Universal Funeral Parlour at Hung Hum.

Mr Ng lost his life in a traffic accident at Clearwater Bay Road on December 24 last year when his mail van was hit by a coach travelling in the opposite direction and crashing the road divider. He was certified dead after being admitted to United Christian Hospital.

Following a customary ceremony, the cortege moved to the International Mail Centre where Mr Ng worked for colleagues there to pay their last respects. It then proceeded to Clearwater Bay Road for an on-scene ceremony.

Mr Ng's body was later delivered to Gallant Garden at Wo Hop Shek for burial. Gallant Garden is a special burial ground and columbarium for civil servants killed on duty.

25

"The funeral was simple but solemn," the Postmaster General, Mr Robert Footman, said.

Many colleagues and representatives of government departments and policy branches attended the funeral and sent wreaths. The whole process went smoothly with the assistance of the Royal Hong Kong Police Force.

Mr Ng was bom on March 30, 1964. He joined the Post Office as a postman on September 29, 1982.

"Mr Ng was responsible, hardworking, helpful and courteous. He was very dedicated to his work and had provided quality service to the community during his 14 years' service with the department.

"The department was greatly saddened to lose Mr Ng and is rendering assistance to his family," Mr Footman said.

End

Water cut in Yuen Long

*****

Fresh and flushing water supply to some premises in Yuen Long will be suspended from 11 pm on Thursday (January 16) to 6 am the following day for waste detection work on watermains.

The suspension will affect areas to the south of Castle Peak Road (Ping Shan Section) between Shui Pin Tsuen and Long Bin Temporary Housing Area, including Shui Pin Tsuen, Long Bin Temporary Housing Area, Yuen Long Town Park, Town Park Road North and Town Park Road South.

End

26

Water storage figure *****

Storage in Hong Kong’s reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 79.2 per cent of capacity or 464.167 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 471.211 million cubic metres of water, representing 80.4 per cent of capacity.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results *****

Tender date: 13 January 1997

Paper on offer: EF notes

Issue number: 3001

Issue date: 14 January 1997

Maturity date: 14 January 2000

Coupon: 6.17%

Amount applied: HK$ 1,490 MN

Amount allotted: HKS500 MN

Average price accepted (yield): 99.96 (6.28 PCT)

Lowest price accepted (yield): 99.95 (6.28 PCT)

Pro rata ratio: About 23 PCT

Average tender price (yield): 99.94 (6.29 PCT)

End

27

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity

*****

AGGREGATE BALANCE OF SETTLEMENT

TIME ACCOUNTS

OPENING AGGREGATE BALANCE 1,121 MN 0930 HR 12,223 MN

CLOSING AGGREGATE BALANCE 484 MN 1000 HR 14,748 MN

CHANGE ATTRIBUTABLE TO : 1100 HR 19,457 MN

MONEY MARKET ACTIVITY - 1 MN 1200 HR 27,658 MN

LAF REVERSAL +6,816 MN 1500 HR 34,857 MN

LAF TODAY -7,452 MN 1600 HR 34,965 MN

LAF RATE 4.00% BID/6.00% OFFER TWI 125.7 *+0.1* 13.1.97

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF Bills EF Notes/MTRC Notes

Terms Yield Terms Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.40 2 years 2811 5.72 100.10 5.74

1 month 4.44 3 years 3910 6.28 100.47 6.18

3 months 4.54 5 years 5112 6.57 99.49 6.80

6 months 4.77 7 years 7311 6.80 98.87 7.13

12 months 5.12 10 years 1610 7.37 100.76 7.39

5 years M503 7.35 101.58 7.06

TOTAL TURNOVER OF EF BILLS AND NOTES - $14,417 MN

CLOSED JANUARY 13, 1997

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Tuesday, January 14,1997

Contents Page Nq.

Promotions in the Administrative Service........................................ 1

Policy on rehabilitation and reintegration of prisoners......................... 2

20 pre-sale consent applications approved....................................... 4

Weather of 1996............................................................

Licence needed for import/export of strategic commodities....................... 7

256 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flights.................................. 8

Monitors' report submitted to .................................................. 8

Issue of Year of the Ox special stamps postponed................................ 9

Airmail services to Afghanisan temporarily suspended............................ 9

Directory on services and facilities to be published........................... 10

Third nomination received for Tai Po DB by-election........................ 11

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results................................ 11

Hong Kong Monetary Authority Interbank Liquidity............................... 14

1

Promotions in the Administrative Service ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government announced today (Tuesday) the following promotions in the Administrative Service with effect from January 1, 1997 :

To the rank of Administrative Officer Staff Grade. A

Present Post

Robert Footman Shelley Lau Fanny Law Chris Jackson Alan Lai

Postmaster General

Director of Home Affairs

On secondment to assist Mr Tung Chee Hwa

Minister, HK Economic and Trade Office, Washington

Director-General of Trade

To the rank of Administrative Officer Staff Grade Bl

Present Post

Leo Kwan Leung Chin-man Pamela Tan Thomas Chan Rita Lau Stella Hung Kevin Ho Carrie Yau Matthew Cheung Francis Ho Sandra Lee John Tsang

Deputy Secretary for Economic Services

Director, HK Economic and Trade Office, Toronto

Director, Mandatory Provident Fund Office

Director, HK Economic and Trade Office, San Francisco

Deputy Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport

Deputy Secretary for Home Affairs

Deputy Secretary for the Treasury

Deputy Secretary for Security

Deputy Secretary for Education and Manpower

Director-General of Industry

Deputy Secretary for the Civil Service

Private Secretary, Government House

2

To the rank of Administrative Officer Staff Grade B

Present Post

Nicholas Yek Eddy Chan

Lolly Chiu Sarah Wu Simon Lord Andrew Wells Isaac Chow Anissa Wong Mike Arnold Janet Wong Kim Salkeld Carrie Lam Andrew Wong

Deputy Judiciary Administrator

Commissioner, Television and Entertainment Licensing

Authority

Policy and Administration Co-ordinator, Legal Aid Dept

Deputy Judiciary Administrator

Clerk to the Executive Council

Deputy Secretary for Housing

Deputy Secretary for Transport

Deputy Director-General of Industry

Principal Assistant Secretary for Economic Services

Administrative Assistant to Chief Secretary

Director of Community Relations, ICAC

Deputy Private Secretary, Government House

Deputy Secretary for the Treasury

End

Policy on rehabilitation and reintegration of prisoners ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Penal institutions in Hong Kong provide a disciplined but humane environment where inmates can receive appropriate counselling, where they can receive educational and vocational training, and where they can prepare themselves to return to society after release.

The Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, said this today (Tuesday) at the opening ceremony of the Pacific Rim Regional Conference on "Reintegration of Discharged Prisoners: Rehabilitation, Employment and Prevention of Recidivism".

Mr Lai said that the two major aspects of the Government's penal policy were rehabilitation and aftercare service.

On rehabilitation, he said that all inmates in Hong Kong's penal institutions could receive education or training in one form or another.

3

"Young inmates are required to attend classes daily; adult inmates may also pursue an education by taking evening classes or self-study courses. Some of them have obtained impressive results in local and overseas examinations," he said.

In addition to education, the Government also provides opportunities for work in penal institutions.

Mr Lai said that all adult inmates carried out some kind of work, such as printing, laundry, and gardening.

"The objective is to keep them engaged in meaningful work, so that they can focus their mind on constructive activities.

"In addition to working within penal institutions, inmates held in minimum security prisons may also take part in community work under supervision, such as repairing footpaths and repainting walls in suburban areas.

"These activities provide opportunities for their interaction with the outside world and can better prepare them for re-entry into society later," he said.

As for reintegration of inmates into society, Mr Lai noted that this tended to be more difficult for inmates who had served long periods of detention than those on short-term sentences.

In view of the needs of long-term sentence inmates, Mr Lai said that the Government had been providing a number of aftercare programmes to help discharged inmates return to society as law-abiding citizens.

"Recently, for example, we have introduced a Post-Release Supervision Scheme to provide certain inmates with guidance and assistance after release.

"Under this scheme, home visits may be carried out; post-release counselling and assistance with job placement may be provided, depending on individual needs," he said. '■■ v

"Our objective is that all discharged inmates can return to society and lead a normal, useful life," he added.

End

4

20 pre-sale consent applications approved ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Lands Department approved 20 applications for consent to the pre-sale of residential and non-residential units in uncompleted developments between October and December 1996.

Of the 20 applications, 14 were for the pre-sale of 8,292 residential units on Hong Kong Island and outlying islands, and in Kowloon, Kwai Tsing, Sai Kung and Sha Tin. The majority of these units are estimated to be completed before end of 1997.

The other six applications were for the pre-sale of non-residential units on Hong Kong Island and outlying islands, and in Kowloon, Sha Tin, Tuen Mun and Tai Po.

In addition, four consents to assign residential units were approved where occupation permits had been issued involving 1,904 units on Hong Kong Island and in Kowloon, North and Sha Tin.

A total of 16 deeds of mutual covenant and management agreement, four deeds of mutual covenant, three management agreements and four sub-deeds of mutual covenant for residential or non-residential developments were also approved during the quarter.

At the end of December 1996, a total of 20 applications for pre-sale consent involving 13,679 residential units and 11 applications in respect of non-residential developments were being processed.

These developments are located throughout the territory. The majority are estimated to be completed between late 1997 and March 1998.

The Lands Department has given consent to a total of 29,280 residential units since the introduction of new measures for the pre-sale of residential units in June 1994.

Four Private Sector Participation Scheme projects (totalling 5,810 units), four Sandwich Class Housing developments (totalling 3,602 units) and three Flat-for-sale Scheme projects (totalling 3,030 units), which are not subject to the new measures, have also been given pre-sale consent since June 1994.

End

5

Weather of 1996 *****

1996 was a warm year. The annual mean temperature of 23.3 degrees was the sixth highest on record.

It was also dry with a mean relative humidity of 76 per cent which ranked the fourth lowest. The year's total rainfall was near normal and amounted to 2.249.1 millimetres, only two per cent above the normal of 2 214.3 millimetres.

In the year, seven tropical cyclones necessitated the hoisting of local Tropical Cyclone Warning Signals as compared to the annual average figure of about six and the No. 8 Gale or Storm Signal was hoisted once.

January 1996 was warmer and cloudier than normal. The mean temperature of 17.8 degrees was the fifth highest for January. The month was also drier with total rainfall of only 1.3 millimetres which was 22.1 millimetres below normal.

Cold winter monsoon dominated most of February. Daily minimum temperatures of below 10 degrees were recorded each day from February 18 to 24. the sixth-longest cold spell recorded in February. The monthly total rainfall amounted to only 27.2 millimetres, 43 per cent below normal.

March was slightly warmer than normal. The monthly total rainfall amounted to 83.1 millimetres. 16.2 millimetres above normal. Nevertheless, the accumulated rainfall since January 1 was still 19 per cent below average.

It was cooler than normal in April and the minimum temperature of 10.9 degrees on April 3 was the third lowest recorded for the month. Three episodes of heavy rain contributed to most of the month's rainfall of 228.7 millimetres which was 67.2 millimetres above normal.

May was slightly cooler with near normal rainfall.

June 1996 was the hottest June on record. The mean temperature of 28.8 degrees equalled the previous record in 1977 and 1938. The monthly mean pressure of 1.008.8 hectopascals was the third-highest for June due to the dominance of the subtropical ridge over South China. Both the monthly total rainfall and the accumulated rainfall for the year were seven per cent above normal for the same periods.

6

It was hot in July 1996. The mean temperature of 29.2 degrees and the absolute maximum of 34.3 degrees ranked the sixth and ninth highest respectively on record for July. Occasional showers and thunderstorms affected the territory but the monthly rainfall of 230.3 millimetres was still 29 per cent below normal. During the second half of the month, two tropical cyclones, namely Frankie and Gloria necessitated the hoisting of the Stand By Signal No. 1.

August was cloudier than normal and there were nine days with thunderstorms. The weather was unstable from August 14 to 18 with rainfall amounting to 206.1 millimetres. Torrential rain on August 15 caused flooding in many places. The Stand By Signal No. 1 was hoisted on two occasions during the approach of tropical cyclones Lisa and Niki.

The total rainfall of 604 millimetres recorded in September 1996 was the sixth highest for the month and was more than twice the normal figure of 299.7 millimetres. Typhoon Sally rapidly traversed the northern part of the South China Sea, bringing thundery and frequent squally showers to Hong Kong and the No. 8 Gale or Storm Signal was hoisted early on September 9. Gales were recorded at Waglan and Cheung Chau with the maximum hourly winds exceeding 80 kilometres per hour.

October was warmer and drier than normal. The mean temperature of 26 degrees was the sixth highest for October. With only 44.8 millimetres recorded, the monthly rainfall was 69 per cent below normal.

With less frequent continental cold air affecting Hong Kong, November was warmer than normal. The mean minimum temperature of 21.1 degrees was the highest for November. The month was also rather dry with 3.5 millimetres of rainfall recorded against a normal of 35.1 millimetres.

December was generally fine and dry. Only a trace of rainfall was recorded and Fire Danger Warnings were in effect on 27 days in the month.

End

7

Licence needed for import/export of strategic commodities ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Customs and Excise Department today (Tuesday) stressed that it is an offence to import or export strategic commodities without a licence.

A spokesman for the department made the appeal following a shipping company was fined $250,000 in Western Magistracy today after pleading guilty to one count of importing strategic commodities without a licence.

The strategic commodities involved were 603 specially designed components of artillery gun systems worth $9.5 million.

The court heard that in an investigation into a shipment of 710 wooden crates, manifested as ’’raw materials, finished products, spare parts and finished tools”, on August 22 last year on board a vessel, officers of the Customs and Excise Department discovered that the shipment actually comprised tyres, sand and pebbles, lubricating oil and metal pieces of different sizes.

The metal pieces were later examined by a bomb disposal officer of the Royal Hong Kong Police Force, who confirmed that they were in fact specially designed components of artillery gun systems.

Based on the Police report and after examination, the Trade Department further confirmed that the goods were strategic commodities under the Munitions List of Schedule 1 to the Import and Export (Strategic Commodities) Regulations.

Follow-up investigations by officers of the Customs and Excise Department revealed that the shipping company was the local agent of the vessel and was responsible for the handling of cargo on board the vessel.

"The goods in question were intended to be transhipped to Syria. However, the import of the goods was not covered by any valid import licence," the spokesman said.

He pointed out that under the Import and Export Ordinance, no person shall import or export strategic commodities into and out of Hong Kong except under and in accordance with a licence granted by the Director-General of Trade.

8

The licensing control is aimed at ensuring Hong Kong's continued access to high-tech goods and up-to-date technology and at the same time preventing the territory from being used as a conduit for the proliferation of strategically-sensitive goods, arms, munitions or weapons.

On summary conviction, the maximum penalty for importing strategic commodities without a licence is a $500,000 fine plus two years' imprisonment.

End

256 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flights *****

Two groups totalling 256 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) returned by air to Hanoi, Vietnam today (Tuesday) on the 91st and 92nd flights under the Orderly Repatriation Programme (ORP).

The majority of the returnees, comprising 129 men, 62 women, 30 boys and 35 girls, were from Central and South Vietnam. Sixty-one of the returnees were from North Vietnam.

Many of the returnees arrived in Hong Kong in 1990, with some in 1989, 1991, 1995 and 1996.

The two groups brought to 9,299 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 Stephen Lau Man-lung ; and representative from a non-government organisation, Mr Daniel Chu from Christian Action.

End

9

Issue of Year of the Ox special stamps postponed ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

The Postmaster General, Mr Robert Footman, announced today (Tuesday) that the issue of special stamps for the Year of the Ox, which was scheduled on Friday (January 17), will be postponed to February 27.

"We have a number of issues in January and February, and February 27 is the earliest practicable alternative date," Mr Footman said.

"I apologise to our customers for any inconvenience this may cause them. It is most unfortunate that the stamps cannot be delivered on time as originally planned because of production problems, hence the revision of the issue date."

The Post Office will make available on February 27 corrigendum sheets at all post offices for customers to amend the date of issue printed on the first day covers they have bought.

Customers who have ordered serviced first day covers through the advance order service are advised that the revised collection period of the serviced covers will be from March 20 to April 17.

Those who have ordered their stamps through the Local Standing Order Service may collect their orders from their designated post offices as from March 3.

End

Airmail services to Afghanisan temporarily suspended

*****

The Postmaster General, Mr Robert Footman, announced today (Tuesday) that due to the civil war in Afghanistan, all airmail services to Afghanistan, including air letter and air parcel, are temporarily suspended with immediate effect.

Further announcement will be made as and when services resume.

End

10

Directory on services and facilities to be published * * * * *

The Small and Medium Enterprises Committee held its fourth meeting today (Tuesday) to discuss suggestions that can provide support to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Hong Kong.

To follow up an earlier proposal considered by the committee to publish a directory on services and facilities available to SMEs, the committee decided that the directory be published by the middle of this year and that a working group be formed to oversee the project.

"Members agreed that major industrial and trade organisations should be invited to participate in the preparatory work so as to ensure that the information to be included is of relevance to SMEs," the chairman of the committee, Mr Denis Lee, said.

The committee discussed a preliminary plan for the organisation of an SME conference and agreed that a conference should be held in the latter half of the year.

"Such a conference will provide an opportunity for exchange of views among this committee, industry and trade organisations, industry-support agencies and SMEs," Mr Lee said.

"The objective is to gain a more thorough understanding of the issues facing SMEs in their development and to propose measures to deal with them."

"Members decided that a working group should be formed to organise the event." he added.

The committee also considered a proposal for an overseas exhibition for local SMEs.

"After some discussions, members agreed to give further consideration to the proposal when further information on various options of organising or participating in an overseas exhibition is available," Mr Lee said.

"We will continue to discuss other recommendations that will help enhance the competitiveness of SMEs in Hong Kong," he said.

End

11

ThircLnomination received for Tai Po DB by-election

*****

One nomination was received today (Tuesday) for the Tai Po District Board byelection in respect of Shuen Wan constituency to be held on February 23.

The nomination was submitted by Mr Roger Li Kwok-keung, a 45-year-old accountant.

This is the third nomination received for the by-election since the nomination period started on January 3.

Mr Li can be contacted on 2651 1899 (daytime) and 2657 8177 (night time).

Nomination will last until Thursday (January 16).

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results

*****

l ender date : 14 January 1997

Paper on offer EF bills

Issue number : Q7O3

Issue date : 15 January 1997

Maturity date 16 April 1997

Amount applied I1KS7.375 MN

Amount allotted : HK$2,000 MN

Average yield aceepted 4.58 PC I

11ighest yield aecepted 4.60 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 92 PCT

Average tender yield

4.75 PCT

12

l ender date : 14 January 1997

Paper on offer : EF bills

Issue number : H756

Issue date : 15 January 1997

Maturity date : 16 July 1997

Amount applied : HKS3.925 MN

Amount allotted : HKS 1.000 MN

Average yield accepted : 4.83 PCT

1 lighest yield accepted 4.85 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 86 PCT

Average tender yield 4.93 PC I

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tenders to be held in the week beginning 20 Jan 1997:

l ender date 21 January 1997

Paper on offer EF bills

Issue number Q067

Issue date 22 January 1997

Maturity date 19 February 1997

Tenor 28 days

Amount on offer

HKS5.000 MN

13

Tender date : 21 January 1997

Paper on offer : EF bills

Issue number : Q704

Issue date : 22 January 1997

Maturity date : 23 April 1997

Tenor • : 91 days

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

Tender date : 21 January 1997

Paper on offer : EF bills

Issue number : Y785

Issue date : 22 January 1997

Maturity date : 21 January 1998

Tenor : 364 days

Amount on offer : HKS500MN+ 150 MN

End

14

Hong Kong Monetary Authority Interbank Liquidity ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Aggregate

Balance of

Settlement

Time Accounts

Opening aggregate balance Closing aggregate balance Change attributable to: Money market activity LAF reversal LAF today 484 mn 506 mn -12 mn +7,453 mn -7,419 mn 0930hr lOOOhr HOOhr 1200 hr 1500 hr 1600 hr 8,282 mn 9,450 mn 21,041 mn 25,366 mn 28,331 mn 26,477 mn

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 125.7 *+0.0* 14.1.97

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/MTRC notes

Terms Yield Terms Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 1 month 3 months 6 months 12 months 4.40 4.45 4.58 4.81 5.16 2 years 3 years 5 years 7 years 10 years 5 years 2811 5.72 3001 6.17 5112 6.57 7311 6.80 1610 7.37 M503 7.35 100.04 5.77 99.85 6.32 99.43 6.82 98.83 7.14 100.73 7.39 101.46 7.09

Total turnover of ef bills and notes - $15,751 mn

Closed January 14, 1997

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Wednesday, January 15,1997

Contents Page No,

Airport Committee to meet tomorrow..................................... 1

Cut-off date set for appeals to Privy Council.......................... 1

Secretary for Transport to brief PC Economic Sub-group................. 2

Heavier sentences for exploiting youngsters proposed................... 2

Two lots sold for $488 million at land auction......................... 4

Symposium to improve building safety................................... 5

Air quality report for December 1996 released.......................... 6

Ngau Chi Wan lot to let by tender...................................... 7

Special rate for music royalties agreed................................ 7

Public invited to visit Job Matching Services exhibition............... 8

Student Discipline Section new office opens............................ 8

Hong Kong Monetary Authority Interbank Liquidity....................... 9

1

Airport Committee to meet tomorrow ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A meeting of the Airport Committee of the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group will take place in Hong Kong tomorrow (Thursday, January 16) on the comprehensive review of progress in the 10 Airport Core Programme projects that took place in the second half of 1996.

End

Cut-off date set for appeals to Privy Council

*****

The Registrar of the Privy Council has set March 1, 1997 as the guiding cut-off date after which the Privy Council would be unlikely to be able to dispose of new business from Hong Kong before July I, 1997.

The date is for guidance only and is not a guarantee that a case submitted before that date will be finally disposed of before July 1, 1997.

"It should assist appellants and their lawyers in deciding whether to lodge their appeals to the Privy Council after March 1, 1997,” a Government spokesman said today (Wednesday).

The Joint Declaration and the Basic Law provide that a Court of Final Appeal (CFA) will be set up to replace the Privy Council as Hong Kong's highest appellate court.

On June 9, 1995, the British and Chinese Senior Representatives to the Joint Liaison Group signed an agreement on the establishment of the CFA on July 1, 1997 and the Hong Kong CFA Ordinance was passed by the Legislative Council on July 26, 1995.

Under the Ordinance, any appeal in respect of which the Privy Council or the Court of Appeal has granted conditional, final or special leave to appeal to the Privy Council and the appeal has not been finally disposed of on or before June 30, 1997 shall proceed in the Court of Final Appeal.

End

2

Secretary for Transport to brief PC Economic Sub-group ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

On the invitation of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Preparatory Committee (PC) Secretariat, Secretary for Transport, Mr. Gordon Siu, will lead a delegation to give a briefing on the Western Corridor Railway and the Tseung Kwan O MTR Extension to the PC Economic Sub-group at its meeting in Peking on January 16 and 17.

The delegation will comprise the chairmen and representatives of the MTRC and KCRC.

End

Heavier sentences for exploiting youngsters proposed

*****

The Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill 1997, which seeks to stipulate heavier sentences for adult offenders convicted of drug offences involving persons under the age of 18, will be published in the Government Gazette on Friday (January 17).

In recent years, figures show that there has been a rapid increase in the number of young persons arrested for trafficking and manufacture of dangerous drugs. Between 1991 and 1995, the number was more than doubled, from 170 to 344.

The Commissioner for Narcotics, Mrs Clarie Lo, today (Wednesday) said: "There is evidence to show that drug traffickers are making increasing use of young persons in their illegal trade.

"Drug traffickers exploit young people as they are cheaper to employ, easier to control, less prone to attract police attention and more likely to receive lenient punishment if arrested."

The bill empowers the court to pass a more severe sentence on an adult offender convicted of a specified drug offence, if the court is satisfied beyond reasonable doubt on the involvement of a minor in the commission of the specified offence.

3

’’The proposed legislative amendments would send a strong and clear message, to drug traffickers and the general public, that the exploitation of young persons in this way is a serious crime," Mrs Lo said.

The following offences under Part II and Part V of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance are defined as specified drug offences upon which a heavier sentence may be imposed:

Part II

trafficking in a dangerous drug;

trafficking in a purported dangerous drug;

* supplying or procuring a dangerous drug to or for unauthorised persons;

* manufacture of a dangerous drug;

possession of a dangerous drug otherwise than for trafficking, and consumption of a dangerous drug; and

* offences related to the cannabis plant and opium poppy.

Part V

keeping or managing a divan for the taking of a dangerous drug;

* possession of equipment fit and intended for consumption of a dangerous drug; and

* permitting premises to be used for unlawful trafficking, manufacturing or storage of a dangerous drug.

The bill extends the court’s power to pass a more severe sentence to cover conspiracy to commit, inciting another to commit, attempting to commit, and aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring the commission of a specified drug offence.

It prescribes that information relating to the involvement of minors in the commission of specified drug offences which would be admissible in evidence in criminal proceedings may be furnished to the court, and allows the person convicted of a specified drug offence to object to the reception of the information.

- 4 -

The bill also stipulates that the enhanced sentence passed for a specified drug offence must not exceed the maximum penalty permitted by law for that offence.

"The bill meets the public demand for express provision in our legislation for heavier sentences for this type of crime. However, it would not prejudice the existing rights of the defendant to present mitigating circumstances to the court.

"The Government is determined to deter adults from exploiting young persons in the commission of drug offences," Mrs Lo said.

End

Two lots sold for $488 million at land auction *****

Two land lots were sold for $488 million at a public auction held by the Lands Department this (Wednesday) afternoon.

Both sites were bought by Eton Properties Ltd.

The first lot, adjoining 12 South Bay Road, Repulse Bay, was sold for $230 million, with bidding opened at $135 million.

It has an area of about 2,008 square metres for private residential development.

The developer has to complete a gross floor area of not less than 700 square metres on or before March 31, 2000.

The second lot located in Area 48, So Kwun Wat, Tuen Mun, was sold for $258 million, with bidding opened at $130 million.

With an area of about 5,080 square metres, the lot is also earmarked for private residential development.

The developer has to complete a gross floor area of not less than 3,965 square metres on or before March 31, 2000.

Held in the Concert Hall of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui, the auction was conducted by Government Land Agent, Mr Francis Ng Hang-kwong.

End

5

Symposium to improve building safety ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

More than 300 building professionals, contractors, and academics are attending a two-day symposium starting today (Wednesday) on building construction to share their experience and expertise.

Organised by the Buildings Department, the symposium aims to review the current practice on building construction and site supervision strategies and examine ways to improve building safety.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the symposium, the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, said the Government was dedicated to solving the building safety problems in the territory.

"We have amended the Buildings Ordinance last year to provide a legal framework for the supervision of building works in construction sites for safety. We are now in the process of drawing up the necessary Technical Memorandum and Code of Practice for a new site supervision plan system.

"Meanwhile, the Buildings Department has commissioned a consultancy study on buildings built after 1958 so as to better understand their structural condition.

"Furthermore, the Government has also proposed legislation to require certain types of commercial buildings to have their fire safety provisions enhanced to current standards," Mr Leung said.

Also speaking at the opening ceremony, the Director of Buildings, Dr Choi Yu-leuk, said a number of measures were being implemented by his department to address the building safety problem.

"Apart from introducing the supervision plan system, we have been improving and streamlining the procedures for the submission and approval of building proposals.

"We have also been reviewing and updating codes of practice, and drawing up new ones to meet the latest requirements on the design, construction and repair of buildings," he said.

End

6

Air quality report for December 1996 released ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Environmental Protection Department today (Wednesday) released air quality information for December 1996.

There was one violation of the total suspended particulates 24-hour air quality objectives at the Mong Kok roadside air monitoring station on December 17, 1996.

"The nitrogen dioxide and respirable suspended particulates levels were high in the territory on that day. The Air Pollution Indices of the day ranged from 88 to 101,” Principal Environment Protection Officer (Air Service), Mr Pang Sik-wing, said.

He said the high level of air pollution was caused by accumulation and chemical reaction of emissions from motor vehicles under calm wind and stagnant weather conditions.

The December report includes the monitoring results from Mong Kok, Central/Western and Kwai Chung, which represent three important land use types in the territory:

* locations close to road traffic in built-up urban areas;

* combined commercial and residential districts; and

* districts close to industrial areas.

Air pollutants reported include sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, total suspended particulates and respirable suspended particulates. All these pollutants can affect respiratory health in sufficient concentration.

Air pollution originates 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

7

Ngau Chi Wan lot to let by tender ♦ * * ♦ ♦

The Lands Department is inviting tenders for the short-term tenancy of a piece of government land at Fung Shing Street, Ngau Chi Wan, Kowloon.

The lot has an area of about 1.25 hectares and is intended for use as an open storage (excluding containers) or a car park (excluding container vehicles with trailers/chassis).

The tenancy is for one year, renewable quarterly.

The closing date for tenders is noon on January 31 (Friday).

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 Office/Kowloon East, 10th floor, Yau Ma Tei Car Park Building, 250 Shanghai Street, Kowloon.

Tender plans can also be inspected at these offices.

End

Special rate for music royalties agreed

*****

The Education Department has reached an agreement with the Composers and Authors Society of Hong Kong Limited under which the Government will pay a reduced annual royalty of $5,000 for the use of copyright music in over 80 government schools in Hong Kong.

Education Officer (Government Schools), Mrs W Y Au, said the reduced royalty generally would apply to school activities in which no admission fees were charged.

The initial agreement is for the 1996/97 school year, covering the period from September 1, 1996 to August 31, 1997.

Covered in the agreement are 46 government primary schools, 37 government secondary schools and a practical education centre.

Earlier, the Composers and Authors Society of Hong Kong Limited has made similar concessionary agreements with the Hong Kong Subsidised Primary Schools Council and Hong Kong Subsidised Secondary Schools Council.

End

8

Public invited to visit Job Matching Services exhibition

*****

Members of the public are invited to visit a two-day exhibition on the Job Matching Services organised by the Labour Department on Friday (January 17) and Saturday.

The exhibition is aimed at promoting the free job matching services of the department to both employers and job-seekers. It will be opened daily from 10 am to 6.30 pm at the West Bridge, second floor, The Landmark, Central.

It will include display panels introducing the job matching services of the Job Matching Programme (JMP) and the Job Matching Centre. Leaflets on these services will be distributed to visitors.

On-the-spot registration service will be provided to employers who wish to make use of the free recruitment service offered by the JMP or job-seekers wishing to join the JMP.

Vacancies registered 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 introduced in April 1995 to provide special employment assistance to unemployed local workers. The programme is now operating at nine Local Employment Services offices.

End

Student Discipline Section new office opens

*****

The new office of Education Department's Student Discipline Section was officially opened by the Director of Education, Mrs Helen C P Lai Yu, today (Wednesday).

Also present at the opening ceremony were representatives from the Advisory Committee on School Guidance, Discipline and Support Services, the Hong Kong Association for School Discipline and Counselling Teachers and various divisions of the department.

4

- 9 -

Located at Room 402, Chinachem Exchange Square, 1 Hoi Wan Street, Quarry Bay, the new office consists of a resource centre.

Reference materials including teachers’ handbooks, school regulations and samples of discipline work are available at the centre.

There are also books, resource kits and audio visual materials which can be on loan or for reading at the centre.

It also provides a meeting place for teachers to share and exchange views on student discipline matters.

Established at September 1996, the Student Discipline Section has conducted both centre-based and school-based workshop.

. . A 4

Staff of the section have visited about 70 schools. During these visits, assistance was offered to schools in reviewing and formulating related strategies and programmes.

A leaflet on the resource centre and a newsletter have been published and will be distributed to all primary and secondary schools in late January.

At present, 96 secondary schools have opted for general mode of support and nine schools requested for intensive support.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority Interbank Liquidity ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Time Aggregate Balance Of Settlement Accounts

Opening aggregate balance 506 mn 0930hr 8,695 mn

Closing aggregate balance 467 mn 1000 hr 10,153 mn

Change attributable to: 1100 hr 16,992 mn

Money market activity -1,324 mn 1200 hr 20,282 mn

LAF reversal +7,420 mn 1500 hr 27,012 mn

LAF today -6,135 mn 1600 hr 34,759 mn

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 125.9 ♦+0.2* 15.1.97

- 10 -

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/MTRC notes

Terms Yield Terms Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.36 2 years 2811 5.72 100.16 5.70

1 month 4.44 3 years 3001 6.17 100.12 6.22

3 months 4.60 5 years 5112 6.57 99.89 6.70

6 months 4.82 7 years 7311 6.80 99.65 6.98

12 months 5.12 10 years 1610 7.37 101.86 7.23

5 years M5O3 7.35 101.92 6.97

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $19,621 mn

Closed January 15, 1997

End

Hi

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

SUPPLEMENT

Wednesday, January 15,1997

Coote.nis PageJVOt

Legislative Council meeting:

Further measures to dampen property speculation through companies. 1

Motion debate on "Anti-smoking”................................... 3

Motion debate on competition policy...............................

Human Reproductive Technology Bill.............................. 9

Insurance Companies (Amendment) Bill 1997......................... 10

Exchange Fund.................................................. 12

Financial resources declaration of CSSA recipients............. 13

New office for HKSAR Chief Executive-designate.................... 15

Traffic accidents at two locations in Causeway Bay................ 17

Operation of insurance companies.................................. 18

Prevention of corporate fraud and mismanagement................... 20

A package of measures to speed up urban renewal.................... 23

Standard licentiate examination................................... 24

/Language training.

Contents Page Nth

Language training courses organised for university students............. 27

Housing Department to launch territory-wide public education campaign 39

Insider Dealing Tribunal to safeguard interests of investors......... 41

Trading of warrants and covered warrants................................ 42

Linked exchanged rate system............................................ 45

Unemployed people in receipt of CSSA.................................... 46

Hospital Authority's reviews on service utilisation..................... 48

Transaction levies in trading stocks.................................... 50

Overseas medical treatment for civil servants........................ 51

CSSA cases in past three years.......................................... 53

4

Further measures to dampen property speculation through companies *****

The Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic Wong, warned today (Wednesday) that if voluntary measures adopted by property developers fail to curb speculation, the Government will take action to restore the proper operation of the market in the public interest.

In reply to a question raised by the Hon Chan Wing-chan in the Legislative Council, Mr Wong said that the Government was concerned about the revival of speculative activities in the property market, especially in the upper end of the market and particularly through the use of shell companies and the sale of "chips".

"We welcome the introduction of new sales arrangements announced by the Real Estate Developers Association of Hong Kong (REDA) last Friday (10 January) as a first step to dampen speculation through companies. We have urged REDA yesterday to adopt additional measures to help to bring the present bout of speculative activity to an end," Mr Wong said. "REDA members have decided to introduce with immediate effect the following measures:

* To prohibit the resale of uncompleted flats under the Consent Scheme through companies by way of change of directorship in the period between registration and completion of assignment (i.e. issue of the certificate of compliance or consent to assign, whichever is the earlier).

* Flat sale to companies will be limited to the last 15 per cent of each batch of flats under the Consent Scheme put up for sale so as to ensure that genuine end-users' interests are protected;

* To promulgate clearly in sales brochures and newspaper advertisements the total number of flats available for pre-sale in each housing development under the Consent Scheme;

* To ensure that the 10 per cent of flats under the Consent Scheme disposed by private sale will only go to genuine end-users and will not become available in the open market for speculation; and

* REDA will also encourage its members to adopt the above measures for sale of flats which have already been given consent for pre-sale, and sale of flats which fall outside the Consent Scheme.

Mr Wong welcomed the additional measures. "The prohibition of resale of uncompleted flats under the Consent Scheme by way of change of company directorship will effectively tackle speculation through the sale of chips and through companies by ensuring parity of treatment for company and individual purchasers.

- 2 -

"The requirement to provide clearer information in brochures and newspaper advertisements will enhance the transparency of the residential property market, and will also help flat buyers to make informed decisions and to avoid panic buying. The restriction on private sale will close another loophole for potential abuse.

"All these measures are consistent with the spirit of the Consent Scheme. Taken together, they will help to protect the interests of genuine flat buyers and greatly dampen speculation in the residential property market."

Mr Wong stressed that the Government would continue to monitor closely the residential property market and the effectiveness of the new arrangements. "If voluntary compliance with these measures by developers does not achieve the desired objectives, we will not hesitate to take action to introduce appropriate measures to restore the proper operation of the market."

Mr Wong also emphasised the need for longer term measures to increase flat supply.

"The supply of flats will increase steadily from 1998 onwards. A provisional estimate for flat supply in 1998 is about 36,000 flats. There is no cause for panic buying," he added.

"In the short term, the Government will help to ease demand at the top end of the market by disposing its surplus staff quarters, which are large flats, through lease or sale. So far, about 150 such flats have been put out for rent on the market, and more flats will shortly be ready for leasing. 14 flats were sold last December, and we are finalising a programme to sell up to 400 more flats in 1997," Mr Wong said.

"The Government will continue to make land available for private housing. In the last five years, we have disposed of 145 hectares of land for this purpose. In the next five years, 260 hectares of land will be made available. The sites will be disposed of in a phased and orderly manner, ensuring an even spread," Mr Wong emphasised.

"We are aware of the possibility of extending the permitted pre-sale period for uncompleted flats under the Consent Scheme, so as to increase flat supply. A year ago, we relaxed the pre-sale period from 9 months to 12 months. We may consider a further extension to facilitate flat supply, but we need to be satisfied that in doing so it will not fuel future property speculation," Mr Wong said.

End

Motion debate on "Anti-smoking" ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

The following is a speech by the acting Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Doris Ho, at the Motion Debate on "Anti-smoking" moved by Dr the Hon Leong Che-hung in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I thank Honourable Members for their interest in this important issue. As the Secretary responsible for health matters, I am particularly gratified to see concern being shared by so many. The need to protect individual and public health, and especially the health of the young, is a matter on which we are all agreed. There can be little doubt that smoking is hazardous to health. Who among us could say that smoking is a habit to be encouraged, rather than discouraged? What is being debated today is therefore not whether there is a need to reduce smoking in our community - only the scope of measures to be taken to achieve this.

First of all, I would like to stress that Government's policy on smoking has always been a progressive and evolving one. As more medical evidence about the hazards of smoking emerged in the 1970s, we reviewed the situation and determined that this was an area where legislative control was required. That was how the Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance came into being in 1982. The Ordinance provides a regulatory framework for control of the sale, use and promotion of tobacco products, as well as a vehicle for the setting up of no smoking areas.

Since then, we have regularly reviewed the need for further legislative measures, taking into account world trends and local views. Over the past 15 years, the Ordinance has been amended and updated several times, gradually moving towards a more comprehensive control scheme.

To inform people of the health hazards of smoking, all tobacco advertisements and tobacco products are required to carry a prescribed health warning. In the beginning, we had only one general health warning, stating that "smoking is hazardous to health". Since 1994, we have had four stronger and more specific health warnings. We are now planning to introduce new ones.

We have set an upper limit on the tar content allowed in cigarettes and require cigarette packets and advertisements to display a tar group designation. The purpose of this is to restrict the level of harmful substances in cigarettes and to enable smokers to make an informed choice. We propose to reduce further the maximum tar content and revise the information required to be provided on packets and in advertisements.

4

We impose a duty on tobacco. This seeks to discourage cigarettes consumption. The tobacco industry and others have pointed out that a high duty encourages smuggling and reduces Government revenue. The question here is whether cigarettes should be made cheap and thereby encourage smoking when we know full well that even greater community cost will be incurred in the form of increased ill-health and medical expenses to treat smoking-related illnesses.

To protect non-smokers from passive smoking, a number of public places have already been designated as statutory no-smoking areas. These include all public transport carriers, cinemas, theatres, concert halls, amusement game centres and public lifts. We intend to introduce a mechanism to allow managers of restaurants, supermarkets, banks and shopping malls to designate all or part of the places under their control as statutory no-smoking areas if they so wish.

Apart from setting up statutory no smoking areas in public areas, the Hon Member Mr Tse Wing-ling will be pleased to learn that the Government also sees the need to promote the idea of smokefree workplaces. Since a working person stays in the workplace for many hours every day, it is important that they are provided with a safe and healthy working environment. As a responsible employer and to set a good example for other employers in the private sector, we have implemented a smokefree workplace policy for all Government premises since 1 April 1996. I note with pleasure that these Chambers also have such a policy in place, thanks to the Hon Member Mr Martin Lee's efforts. The Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health (COSH) has contributed by inviting private sector organizations to sign a "Smokefree Workplace Charter". Seventy-three organizations have already signed it. We hope that more will follow suit.

We know that most smokers started the habit before they became adults. We also know that once people start smoking, it is extremely difficult to quit, and some never succeed. To reduce the smoking population, we therefore need to prevent young people from taking up the habit in the first place. This was why we set up COSH in 1984. The good work carried out by COSH has been commented by the Hon Members tonight but I would like to inform Members more of COSH's untiring efforts. Its designated task is to undertake public education, publicity and information dissemination among the public, in particular among the young in schools. Between 1992/93 and 1996/97; Government's injection of resources into COSH has increased by more than 80%, from $2.8m to over $5m. On top of that, an additional funding of $7.5m has been given to COSH to intensify its efforts targeted at youth. These figures indicate that Government has been substantially increasing the resources devoted to the anti-smoking campaign over the years. With the increased funding, COSH has produced innovative TV announcements targeted particularly at youth, conducted many school projects, including talks and drama performances to get the anti-smoking message across to school children. To achieve the maximum result in our efforts to discourage smoking among the young, we have stepped up legislative control by prohibiting the sale of tobacco products to minors under the age of 18 since April 1995. There have been some 20 prosecutions for underaged sales during the period from April 1995 to June 1996.

5

The Department of Health, which is responsible for primary health care, also plays an important role in Government's anti-smoking efforts by promoting the concept of a healthy lifestyle to the public. In 1994, the Department set up the Health Ambassador Scheme targeted primarily at students and provided intensive training courses to the Health Ambassadors. The training course covers all aspects of a healthy lifestyle, including anti-smoking. With advice from the Department, these Ambassadors then organize different programmes in their schools, districts and neighbourhoods. Anti-smoking messages are thus disseminated effectively through these channels to our young people as well as their friends and families. The Scheme has been gradually extended also to women, teachers, and the elderly. This year, there are about 1,000 Health Ambassadors, and the number will further increase in the coming years.

All these measures and input of resources demonstrate Government's concern and continuing efforts to reduce smoking and thus avoid the ill-health that is associated with it. We have been successful in substantially decreasing the smoking population from 23.3% in 1982 to 14.8% in 1996. This is a good record, but so long as smoking causes ill-health, we cannot afford to be complacent. Not only must we continue to lower the number of smokers in our community, but more important, we must not allow a reversal in the trend.

From time to time, we are asked why Government doesn't ban smoking completely or prohibit the sale of tobacco products when all medical evidence points to the hazards of smoxing. I have no doubt that we ail share the same objective, namely, to protect individual and public health. Attempts to control through legislation are not the panacea for all social problems. We believe that public education, in combination with a step-by-step approach to regulatory legislation represents a more effective and appropriate approach. We do not believe that the problem would be solved by forcing the smoker or tobacco retailer to become a criminal. All that would happen then is that the problem would be driven underground, with increased smuggling and illegal sales posing an enforcement nightmare, and smokers being harder to reach through public education efforts. However, I do not agree with the Hon Member Mr Chim Pui-chung's comparison of cigarettes with motor vehicles. Vehicles, used according to the manufacturer's instructions, do not kill.

Mr President, let me reaffirm Government's commitment to tackling the problem. We have already taken major strides in the war against smoking by banning all tobacco advertising on TV, in cinemas and on radio. In time, it may be appropriate for Hong Kong to do what many other countries have done and also ban tobacco advertisements in the printed media and on display. Meanwhile, we believe that there is nothing healthy, attractive, glamorous, or grand or cool about smoking and we will see what can be done about advertisements which allude to such qualities.

6

The industry has often maintained that tobacco sponsorship of sporting and cultural events does not constitute tobacco advertising or attract people to smoke. Hence, there is no need to restrict tobacco sponsorship through legislation. I am sure that all Members will wish to see the industry demonstrate the truth of this by eliminating the coincidental similarity in style and imagery that now exists between their sponsorship advertisements and tobacco advertisements.

The advertising industry has called for a voluntary code instead of legislation, despite their poor record of compliance in the past. Even with regard to health warnings, which are a statutory requirement, advertisers repeatedly try to make these as indistinct as possible.

The advertising industry claims that further controls on tobacco advertising will cost them $1 billion in revenue and threaten up to 1,000 jobs. As the Hon Member Mr Leong Chi-hung has pointed out, a similar agrument was advanced before advertisements were prohibited on television in 1990, but evidence showed that the revenue of the two TV stations actually increased, rather than declined. Against revenue from tobacco advertising, we must also bear in mind the social and economic costs - up to $4 billion in medical bills and lost productivity and around 4,600 deaths per year due to smoking.

In implementing our strategy, we must exercise care, lest our good intentions result in actions which are perceived as draconian or unwarranted infringement of an individual's rights. I am therefore mindful of all the suggestions that have been expressed in this Council today as to how we should proceed. I will give these views careful consideration.

To conclude, I assure this Council that the Administration is determined, as it has always been, to combat smoking. We will do what needs to be done. If we are truly to succeed, we need to build up a smokefree culture where everyone values a smokefree living and working environment. Such a smokefree culture has to be built up with contributions from each and every one of us in the community.

To coin a phrase: "a smokefree environment starts with me".

By discussing the issue here today, Members have already advanced the issue. The Administration will continue to promote it through publicity, education and legislation. We all look forward to the day when Hong Kong is a healthier, smokefree place in which to live, work and enjoy life.

End

7

Motion debate on competition policy

*****

Following is a speech by the Secretary for Trade and Industry, Miss Denise Yue, in response to the Hon Fred Li's motion and the Hon James Tien's amendment motion on competition policy in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I have listened very carefully to the views expressed by Honourable Members on both the motion and the amendment motion moved by Hon Fred Li and Hon James Tien respectively. I would like to thank Honourable Members for all the valuable comments made on this important subject, which I am sure will be most helpfill to the Government in preparing the Government Response to the Consumer Council's study report on competition policy. I would also like to congratulate again the Consumer Council on its completion of this important study.

Since 1993, the Government has provided funds for the Consumer Council to conduct a series of studies on competition. Six sector-specific studies on banking, supermarkets, domestic water heating and cooking fuel market, telecommunications, television broadcasting and private residential property market have been published. The Government has responded, positively and constructively, to five reports and the Government Response to the one on private residential property market is intended to be published later this month.

The last in the series is a study on the overall assessment of the competition environment in Hong Kong. The study report was published by the Consumer Council on 25 November 1996. The Chairman of the Consumer Council briefed Honourable Members of the Panel on Trade and Industry on the findings and recommendations of the study report at its meeting held yesterday [14 January 1997].

In brief, the Council's Report puts forward four main recommendations -

(a) the adoption of a comprehensive competition policy for Hong Kong;

(b) the enactment of a competition law to cover horizontal and vertical collusive agreements and abuse of dominant position;

(c) the establishment of an independent Competition Authority outside the Government to investigate and decide on possible breaches of the competition law and advise the Government on competition policy; and

(d) the setting up of an Appeal Body to hear appeals against decisions by the Competition Authority.

8

Honourable Members may recall that at the last motion debate on the same subject held in this Council on 29 May 1996, I outlined the Government existing policy on the promotion of competition in Hong Kong. The Government is fully committed to the promotion of free trade and competition which is the best guarantee of economic efficiency, low prices and consumer protection. The Government subscribes to the basic economic philosophy of minimum Government intervention in market forces, which we believe is the best formula for enhancing competition and efficiency on the one hand, and keeping costs and prices down on the other. However, where necessary, the Government does take appropriate and pragmatic measures to rectify any unfair business practices, safeguard competition and protect consumer interests.

Mr President, although we do not have a comprehensive competition law, we do have a competition policy. The Government, in the pursuit of its competition policy, is adopting a step-by-step, pragmatic approach in the formulation of instruments and framework that are most suitable for promoting competition in the different sectors of Hong Kong’s economy. The Government is taking a sector-specific approach to promote greater competition in the relevant business sectors.

I believe Honourable Members will agree that the recommendations in the Council's Report will have far-reaching implications for the future development of Hong Kong's economy. I believe that there is no disagreement within the community on the fundamental principles of promoting competition and giving consumers adequate protection. However, as evidenced from this afternoon's debate and the previous debates held in this Council, there are divergent and even conflicting views as to what regulatory framework, or what means, Hong Kong should adopt in order to enhance competition. The different approaches advocated by Honourable Members reflect the diverging views of the community towards any reform of the existing competition policy framework in Hong Kong.

Mr President, the Government is open-minded as to whether or not a comprehensive competition law should be introduced and whether a Competition Authority should be established in Hong Kong. The Trade and Industry Branch is examining the recommendations of the Consumer Council’s report together with other relevant Government branches and departments. We have also invited the public and more than 110 interested organisations to comment on the recommendations of the report by 6 January 1997. So far, about 40 responses have been received, half of which requested us to extend the deadline by one to three months. Acceding to this request would certainly cause a delay to the formulation of a Government Response which we feel should reflect as much of the community’s view as possible. However, in view of the importance and complex nature of the subject matter, the Government is giving serious consideration to the request. I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to all interested parties to let the Government have their views and comments as speedily as possible.

9

Finally, Mr President, I would like to comment briefly on both the motion and the amendment motion. Firstly, on the amendment motion proposed by Hon James Tien, Honourable Members may rest assured that the Government fully recognises the far-reaching implications of the recommendations of the Council’s report on a wide range of sectors of Hong Kong’s economy. We will consider the implications of any new or additional market regulations for the smooth functioning of the market mechanism, economic efficiency, freedom of contract, consumer choice and Hong Kong's competitiveness in the international arena. As regards the motion moved by Hon Fred Li, as the Government is still receiving and considering the various comments of the public and interested organisations on the recommendations of the report, it is not yet in a position to agree or disagree with what have been advocated by the Consumer Council, namely enactment of a competition law, the establishment of a Competition Authority and an Appeal Body in Hong Kong. Respecting the fine tradition of working together with LegCo and the community at large, the Government will certainly consult this Council and the public in determining the specific details and contents of the law if we do decide that a competition law should be enacted in Hong Kong.

With these remarks, I conclude my speech. Thank you Mr President.

End

Human Reproductive Technology Bill * * * * *

Following is a speech by the acting Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Doris Ho, in moving the second reading of the Human Reproductive Technology Bill in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

I move that the Human Reproductive Technology Bill be read the second time.

The Human Reproductive Technology Bill aims to put in place statutory measures to ensure that human reproductive technology will be safely practised and the rights of consumers protected.

A Provisional Council on Reproductive Technology was established in 1995 to advise Government on the drafting of legislation and a Code of Practice. Following public consultations and advice from the Provisional Council, we propose to establish a statutory Council on Human Reproductive Technology which will be responsible for licensing providers of reproductive technology services and persons conducting embryo research. The Council will also monitor their compliance with operational guidelines in a code of practice.

10

We propose to prohibit sex selection through human reproductive technology for non-medical reasons, for example because of a family’s particular preference for one or the other sex children. Its use for medical reasons, to prevent sex-linked diseases, will be allowed subject to control. Commercial surrogacy, that is, the use of a woman who is paid to carry another couple’s child, will be prohibited. Also prohibited will be trading in gametes and embryos or fetal ovarian and testicular tissues.

Having taken into account the majority of public views that the welfare of children could be best protected when they are brought up by married couples, we propose to limit generally the provision of human reproductive technology services to persons who are married to each other.

Human reproductive technology is a sensitive subject which is often complicated by ethical considerations. An Ethics Committee has therefore been set up by the Provisional Council to consider carefully the ethical aspects of human reproductive technology and make recommendations which the majority of the public finds acceptable. The Bill provides for the setting up of a statutory Ethics Committee.

Three public consultations have been conducted to gauge public views on the subject. All views expressed were carefully considered and examined by the Provisional Council and Government when drafting the Bill.

Mr President, I beg to move.

End

Insurance Companies (Amendment) Bill 1997 * * * * *

Following is a speech by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, in moving the second reading of the Insurance Companies (Amendment) Bill 1997 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that the Insurance Companies (Amendment) Bill 1997 be read a second time.

The main objectives of the Bill are to amend the Insurance Companies Ordinance to provide regulatory concessions for captive insurance in Hong Kong and to empower the Insurance Authority to make regulations to specify professional standards to be observed by Appointed Actuaries for enhanced protection of policy holders.

11

It is the Government’s aim to enhance Hong Kong’s status as a regional insurance centre and the development of captive insurance business has been identified as one of the means to achieving this. We believe that the development of captive insurance would promote competition in the market place and provide a wider range of insurance options. Moreover, the establishment of captive insurance companies would also bring about an inflow of capital funds and new business, and also provide additional job opportunities.

To encourage multinationals and overseas conglomerates to set up captive insurance companies in Hong Kong, we propose to relax some of the regulatory requirements under the Insurance Companies Ordinance. The proposed regulatory concessions include the lowering of the minimum paid-up capital and solvency margin requirements, and exemption from the local asset requirement and the valuation regulation.

The proposed concessions are considered appropriate because a captive insurance company only underwrites business from its group companies and no outside parties are involved. To ensure that the protection afforded to third party claimants under compulsory insurance requirements on employees’ compensation, and motor and vessel liabilities insurance in respect of risks located locally, a captive insurance company is not allowed to underwrite such business, even from its own group. We believe that our proposal strikes a balance between our wish to be competitive on the one hand and the need for maintaining the integrity and reputation of Hong Kong's regulatory regime on the other.

The Bill also empowers the Insurance Authority to make regulations to specify professional standards to be observed by an Appointed Actuary of a long term business insurer and to monitor the compliance with such standards by the actuaries. This proposal will enable the Insurance Authority to implement the full-fledged Appointed Actuary System, such as that practised in other jurisdictions whereby the Appointed Actuary is not only responsible for valuation of liabilities but also for reporting on other aspects of the financial condition of the business such as reserving and investment policies. This will enhance the protection of policy holders.

The opportunity is also taken to incorporate the detailed provisions of the Life Assurance Act 1774 of the UK into the Insurance Companies Ordinance. This Act requires that a person taking out an insurance contract must have an insurable (pecuniary) interest in the life or event insured. Such requirement is an important safeguard against abuses by policy holders whose motives are to profit from wagering on lives and events which they have no insurable interest. The Act currently applies to Hong Kong through the Application of English Law Ordinance. It is however referred to by title only in that Ordinance and it would be tidier and more transparent if the detailed provisions of the Act are incorporated into the Ordinance itself.

12

Finally, the Bill seeks to recognise that a parent has an insurable interest in the life of his/her child. This is to rectify the anomaly recently identified by the insurance industry that juvenile policies, whereby a parent takes out insurance on the life of his/her child and naming the parent as a beneficiary, are illegal in Hong Kong, following the UK’s common law. In addition, the Bill also recognises that a guardian has an insurable interest in the life of his/her ward to cater for the situation where the parents are deceased and the maintenance of a child depends upon the guardian.

Thank you, Mr President.

End

Exchange Fund

*****

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

Question:

Will the Administration inform this Council whether the recent proposal of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to use a sum of HK$1 billion from the Exchange Fund for the purpose of establishing a Mortgage Corporation is in breach of section 3(1 A) and 3( 1B) of the Exchange Fund Ordinance; if not, whether there are any restrictions on the uses to which the Exchange Fund may be put?

Reply:

The use of the Exchange Fund to provide the initial capital for the establishment of the Mortgage Corporation is fully consistent with sections 3(1 A) and 3(1 B) of the Exchange Fund Ordinance. Section 3(1 A) of the Ordinance provides that, in addition to using the Fund for its primary purpose, the Financial Secretary may, with a view to maintaining Hong Kong as an international financial centre, use the Fund as he thinks fit to maintain the stability and the integrity of the monetary and financial systems of Hong Kong. Section 3( IB) provides that the Financial Secretary, in using the Fund for the purpose specified in section 3(1 A), shall have regard to the Fund's primary purpose of affecting the exchange rate of the Hong Kong dollar.

13

The Financial Secretary, having consulted the Exchange Fund Advisory Committee, is of the view that the establishment of the Mortgage Corporation will be conducive to the maintenance of the stability and the integrity of Hong Kong’s banking and monetary systems. The establishment of the Mortgage Corporation will improve banking stability by reducing the concentration and liquidity risks of mortgage lending. It will also reduce the maturity mismatch in mortgage lending by channelling long term savings to meet the rising demand for long term home financing. Furthermore, the establishment of the Mortgage Corporation will enhance the resilience of the monetary system to interest rate shocks by encouraging the origination of fixed rate mortgages, which will help to insulate borrowers from shortterm interest rate fluctuations.

The proposed capital injection of $1 billion by the Exchange Fund to the Mortgage Corporation represents 0.2% of the total assets of the Fund. The Financial Secretary, having consulted the Exchange Fund Advisory Committee, is satisfied that the use of the Fund for the establishment of the Mortgage Corporation will not adversely affect the use of the Fund for its primary purpose of maintaining the stability of the exchange rate of the Hong Kong dollar.

The uses to which the Exchange Fund may be put are already specified in the various provisions of the Exchange Fund Ordinance. Under section 3(1), the control of the Fund by the Financial Secretary is exercised in consultation with the Exchange Fund Advisory Committee. In relation to the strategic purposes of the Fund, sections 3(1) and 3(1 A) of the Ordinance require that the use of the Fund must serve either the primary purpose of affecting the exchange rate of the Hong Kong dollar or the secondary purpose of maintaining the stability and integrity of the monetary and financial systems of Hong Kong.

End

Financial resources declaration of CSSA recipients

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Mrs Wong Chien Chi-lien and a reply by the acting Secretary for Health and Welfare. Mrs Doris Ho, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council whether the children of elderly persons are required to declare that they cannot or will not support their parents before these elderly persons can receive assistance under the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme; if so, what the reasons arc?

14

Reply:

The Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) Scheme provides a 'safety net' for those members of our community who do not have sufficient means to support themselves. It is a non-contributory scheme and is funded entirely from General Revenue. It is necessary to ensure that benefits provided under the Scheme are available only to those who are genuinely in need. Beneficiaries are therefore means-tested, both to determine their eligibility and assistance entitlement.

To determine their financial status, all CSSA applicants are required to declare their financial resources. Elderly persons applying for CSSA go through the same procedures as CSSA applicants in other age groups.

An elderly CSSA applicant, who has hitherto been supported by his/her children, is asked to submit a declaration by the children confirming

(a) the extent of the support; or

(b) that the support will cease.

If the declaration from the children is not forthcoming, a declaration by the elderly applicant to the same effect will suffice. This process is also applicable to applicants of other ages, who claim that they have been receiving some form of support from other family members.

This requirement is part of the process to ascertain the financial resources available to and the needs of the applicant. It is to ensure that assistance is provided only to those in need and that public funds are properly spent.

Having said this, 1 want to emphasise that no elderly person in need of assistance has been deprived of CSSA simply because he/she has not been able to provide a declaration on this count.

End

15

New office for HKSAR Chief Executive-designate

*****

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

Question:

It is reported that the arrangement made by the Government in providing a new office for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Chief Executive-designate at Edinburgh Tower in the Landmark has been widely criticised, and the Chief Executive-designate has indicated openly that the location of the office premises picked by the Government is not suitable. In this regard, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the criteria adopted in selecting the office premises for the Chief Executive-designate;

(b) whether it has consulted the Chief Executive-designate before deciding on the location of the office premises mentioned above; if not, why not;

(c) whether it has signed the lease for renting the above office premises; if so, what the monthly rent is; and

(d) of the amount of public (including payment of rent, deposit and other expenses) which will be wasted in the above office site selection exercise, as the Chief Executive-designate has not accepted the office premises in question.

Reply:

First of all, let me say that any criticism of the offer to the Chief Executive (Designate) of the office in the Edinburgh Tower is somewhat misplaced; furthermore although he may not have found these premises suitable, we have readily been able to accommodate him to his satisfaction in other offices that we have identified.

I nevertheless welcome this opportunity to set the record straight on this issue in a number of respects.

16

The administration has never made a decision that the It has always been our intention to consult the Chief Executive (Designate) on the provision of office accommodation to meet his requirements. While it would not have been possible for us to consult the Chief Executive (Designate) until he had been selected, it would clearly be desirable if we could have identified potentially suitable accommodation ready for his consideration as soon as possible after his selection. The office premises at Edinburgh Tower This simply emerged as such an a possible option after we had considered other office premises available in the market at that time, having regard to location, accessibility, size and quality.

We consulted Mr Tung on 28. December 1996 on the possibility of using the space at Edinburgh Tower as his new office. We then arranged a site visit two days later to let Mr Tung see for himself whether the space could fully meet his requirements. After Mr Tung had indicated that the premises would not meet all his requirements we immediately identified alternatives for his consideration, including the premises in Asia Pacific Finance Tower which he has now accepted.

The Edinburgh Tower premises were leased in November for an initial period of three years to provide tribunal accommodation for the Judiciary and that remains their purpose. They and we now intend on grounds of urgency to make them available for use by the Commission of Inquiry into the Garley Building tragedy. As rental levels are commercially sensitive information, I would prefer not to disclose the actual rental agreed. I can, however, assure members that it is at a discount to the current market rate., and that no public funds have been wasted in the exercise.

To date the works that have been carried out in Edinburgh Tower consist of basic building services such as partitioning, electrical work and air conditioning. In order to accommodate the requirements of the Garley Building Inquiry, some repartitioning is necessary, but the cost of this is minimal. Overall the fit-out works for the Edinburgh Tower premises is near the lower end of the range of costs that we normally expect to incur for works of this type. These works are essential to all office accommodation regardless of use.

End

17

Traffic accidents at two locations in Causeway Bay *****

Following is a question by the Hon Howard Young and a reply by the acting Secretary for Transport, Mr Paul Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday).

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council whether there has been any marked increase in traffic accidents at the road junctions and pedestrian crossing at the Sogo Department Store and Times Square in Causeway Bay since the operation of Luminescent Electronic Display (LED) advertising signs at such locations?

Reply:

Mr President,

From the installation of the advertisement sign at Sogo Department Store in late 1993 up to the end of 1996, there were 16 traffic accidents in the section of Hennessy Road between Percival Street and Great George Street. There were six accidents in 1994, two in 1995 and eight in 1996. Eight of the accidents involved sudden stopping or starting of bus or tram and passengers losing balance; four involved careless changing of lane by vehicles; two were related to disobeying traffic light; one to jaywalking and one to a passenger being trapped by the door of a bus.

Regarding the sign at Times Square on Russell Street, there were 23 accidents in that location during the period from the installation in late 1993 to 1996. There were eight cases in 1994, eleven in 1995 and four in 1996. Nine of the accidents involved jaywalking; four cases involved vehicles turning negligently; three were related to careless driving; two to vehicles starting negligently; one to driving too fast; one to careless lane cutting; one involved a person being hurt by the door of a vehicle and two involved unknown causes.

At both locations, an analysis of the causes of traffic accidents does not reflect any correlation between the installation of the advertisement signs and traffic accidents in the areas.

End

18

Operation of insurance companies

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Andrew Cheng and a written reply by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the operation of insurance companies, will the Government inform

this Council:

(a) how the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (the Office) regulates the sale of the assets and liabilities of one insurance company to another or the merger of one insurance company with another;

(b) of the protection provided for policy holders under the circumstances described in (a) above; whether it is obligatory for the insurance company concerned to obtain the consent of its policy holders prior to transferring their policies to another company, and whether the policy holders can recover the premiums paid if they object to such a transfer; and

(c) the total number and categories of complaints concerning the operation of insurance companies received by the Office over the past three years?

Reply:

(a) and (b) Under common law, the transfer of insurance business from one

insurer to another can only be executed with the prior consent of each and every policy holder. This represents a ’’novation” of the contract and the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance is not involved in the process.

Such a process is, however, extremely time-consuming and costly, particularly where a large number of policies are involved. The Insurance Companies Ordinance ("ICO”) therefore provides for an alternative mechanism for transfer of insurance business which will not only save time and costs for the insurer concerned but also ensure that policy holders are properly and readily protected with another policy issued by an existing authorised insurer.

19

The ICO provides that transfer of general business may be effected with the approval of the Commissioner of Insurance. As for the transfer of long term business, due to the long term nature of the policies, the sanction of the High Court is required, and the Commissioner of Insurance has the right to be heard. Regarding corporate mergers, if they involve the transfer of insurance business, the above provisions will apply.

The Commissioner of Insurance or the High Court will approve or sanction the transfer only if they are satisfied that the transferee is or will be authorised to carry on the relevant business in Hong Kong and that other conditions stipulated in the ICO for the protection of policy holders have been fulfilled. These conditions, inter alia, require the transferor to publicise the scheme of transfer in the newspapers and to notify the affected policy holders in writing.

The affected policy holders are given an opportunity to make representations which must be properly considered by the Commissioner of Insurance or the High Court. The most important consideration is whether a policy holder would be adversely affected by the transfer.

A policy holder who feels aggrieved by the decision may apply for leave for judicial review in the case of a decision by the Commissioner of Insurance, or appeal to a higher court against the decision of the High Court in the case of a court sanction.

A policy holder can also choose to terminate the policy and obtain, in the case of a general business policy, refund of the unexpired portion of premium, or in the case of a long term business policy, payment of the "surrender value" of the policy. The "surrender value" of a policy is determined on an actuarial basis in accordance with the terms of the policy.

20

(c) The total number and categories of complaints concerning the

operation of insurance companies received by the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance in 1994, 1995 and 1996 are as follows:

Nature of Complaints Number of Complaints

1994 1995 1996

Delay in Settlement - 2 6

Quantum of Indemnity/ Surrender Value 4 6 6

Repudiation of Liability - 5 5

Cancellation/Non-renewal of Policy 2 - 3

Twisting of Policies 1 2 -

Misrepresentation - 2 4

Transfer of Business - - 2

Poor Service - 3 4

Quality of management of insurer - 4 -

Others 2 5 10

Total 9 29 40

End

Prevention of corporate fraud and mismanagement

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Eric Li Ka-cheung and a written reply by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council whether it is aware of the specific actions taken by the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (SEHK) and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) since January 1995 to improve corporate governance with a view to preventing corporate fraud and mismanagement; if so, does the Government know of the following:

(a) the total provisions set aside by SEHK and SFC respectively for the above purpose in the last two years;

21

(b) the results of any evaluations conducted by SEHK or SFC on the impact of their preventive actions; and

(c) the respective number of cases involving corporate fraud and mismanagement reported to SEHK and SFC monthly since January 1995?

Answer:

The statutory framework on corporate governance is provided under a number of ordinances, including

the Securities (Disclosure of Interests) Ordinance (Cap. 396) which obliges directors and substantial shareholders to disclose their interests in shares of the company;

the Securities (Insider Dealing) Ordinance (Cap. 395) which governs the use of price sensitive information; and

the Companies Ordinance (Cap. 32) which deals with the reporting of unfit directors by liquators of companies being wound up.

In addition, the corporate governance framework is strengthened by the Takeovers Code issued by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) which obliges directors to consider the interest of their shareholders in takeovers, and the Listing Rules issued by the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (SEHK) which set out the compliance requirements.

Specifically, section 29A of the Securities and Futures Commission Ordinance empowers the SFC to investigate cases of suspected fraud, misconduct or inadequate disclosure to shareholders in relation to listed companies. It also empowers the SFC to inspect listed companies' books or records and if the inspection reveals impropriety, to apply to the High Court for orders including injunction against directors and the appointment of a receiver to the listed companies concerned. In 1995 and 1996, the SFC invoked these powers on five occasions.

The SEHK is the front line regulator of corporate activities. Under the Listing Rules, companies are required to sign listing agreements before they are listed on the SEHK. One of the major corporate governance initiatives of the SEHK is the education of listed company directors of their fiduciary duty and duty of care owed to the company. This message has been reinforced through the SEHK's publications, conferences and public statements, the work of four SEHK-sponsored working groups on corporate governance, and through enforcement of the Listing Rules.

22

The specific action taken by the SFC and the SEHK to improve corporate governance since January 1995 include:

In 1995, the SEHK's Listing Rules were amended to require all listed companies to include in their annual and interim reports a compliance statement with respect to their code of best practice.

In 1995 and 1996, the SFC and the SEHK jointly hosted conferences on the duties of directors of listed companies under the SEHK's Listing Rules.

In 1996, SEHK's Listing Rules were amended to set out the procedures for director's declarations and undertakings that must be completed by all directors.

In 1996, the SEHK set up a Working Party on Corporate Governance in which the SFC also participated. Amongst other matters, the Working Party is considering the Hong Kong Society of Accountants' report on corporate governance.

In 1995 and 1996, the SFC and the SEHK assisted the Administration in the drafting of legislation which seeks to provide statutory protection for auditors of listed companies who report in good faith suspected fraud, unlawful conduct, misfeasance or other misconduct discovered in the course of audit to the SFC and the SEHK.

The answers to the three sub-questions are as follows:

(a) Budgetary provision

Neither the SFC, nor the SEHK has prepared the budget for the last two years in a format which could clearly delineate the budgetary provision for investigation work on listed companies or for the prevention of corporate fraud and mismanagement.

(b) Evaluation on preventive measures

Neither the SFC nor the SEHK has carried out specific evaluation on the impact of the preventive action they have taken. Nevertheless, the SFC believes that the enforcement action taken under section 29A of the Securities and Futures Commission Ordinance would be an effective deterrent and should help prevent corporate fraud and mismanagement.

23

(c) Statistics on reports

The SEHK does not maintain statistics on cases of corporate fraud and mismanagement reported by members of the public. The statistics from the SFC are as follows:

Number of cases reported

Year suspected mismanagement suspected fraud

1995 4 1

1996 13 1

End

A package of measures to speed up urban renewal *****

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

Question:

In the policy statement on ’’Urban Renewal in Hong Kong” issued by the Administration in June 1996, it was stated that in ten years' time, more than 40 per cent of the private housing stock in the urban area will be over 30 years old, as compared with the present figure of 20 per cent. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it plans to commit more resources to speed up the urban redevelopment programme; if so, what the details are?

Reply:

Mr President,

In the policy statement on "Urban Renewal in Hong Kong" published in June 1996, we proposed to introduce a package of immediate measures to facilitate and speed up planned urban renewal schemes and, in the longer term, to consider more fundamental changes to the existing arrangements to increase the speed and scale of urban renewal.

24

Resources have been committed to a number of immediate measures which are being implemented. These measures include establishing dedicated urban renewal teams in the Planning, Environment and Lands Branch, Lands Department and Planning Department, and commissioning studies to prepare for the introduction of a building safety inspection scheme. Resources have also been earmarked for other measures, including granting land at reduced premium to the Hong Kong Housing Society for the construction of rehousing units, and testing the linked-site approach by which a profitable site is granted to cross-subsidise a financially non-viable redevelopment project.

In the longer term, we are considering a number of proposals which will likely have significant resource implications for the Government. These proposals include transforming the Land Development Corporation into an Urban Renewal Authority, and setting up a rehabilitation fund to provide low-interest or interest-free loans to owners of domestic units to renovate common parts of buildings and upgrade building services.

End

Standard licentiate examination

*****

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

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of candidates who took the licentiate examination for nonCommonwealth trained medical practitioners in 1996, together with a breakdown of the examination results by different ranges of marks in the written and oral examinations;

(b) of the criteria adopted by the Medical Council of Hong Kong (the Medical Council) in marking and how the pass mark of the licentiate examination is determined; and

25

(c) whether, in notifying the candidates of the examination results, the Medical Council provides them with the marks they have obtained in different parts of the licentiate examination; if not, why not and whether the Medical Council will consider enhancing the transparency of the licentiate examination by providing the above-mentioned marks to candidates?

Reply:

(a) The number of candidates who participated in the Licentiate Examination for non-Commonwealth trained medical practitioners held by the Hong Kong Medical Council in 1996, and their results, are shown in the Annex.

(b) The standard of the Licentiate Examination and the criteria for assessing the candidates are pitched at that of a local final MB BS/MB ChB examination.

(c) The candidates are informed of their performance in each and every part of the Licentiate Examination, in either actual marks or grades obtained.

26

Annex

Results of Licentiate Examination held in 1996

Licentiate Exam 19%(J»n) Multiple Choice Paper on Professional Subjects Licentiate Exam 19% (MsrXMay) Written Paper on Professional English Licentiate Exqm

19% (Jul) Oral Examination on Professional Knowledge

Cher all marks* Result (No grading is given for this part of tlu exam.) Grade Obtained Median a/ Paedica tries Surgery & Ortho Surgery Obstetrics i Gynaecology

0-20 52 A 0 0 0

21-40 162 B 5 1 5

41-60 46 C 25 22 27

over 60 0 D 11 17 13

E 10 4 2

Total no. of Candidates 260 Total no. of Candidates 14 Total no. of Candidates* • 58 58 58

Total no. of Candidates passed 13 Total no. of Candidates passed 11 Total no. of Candidates passed 22

The overall mark only serves as an indicator of the examination result In order to pass the examination, a candidate is required to obtain a minimum mark/grade In each individual subject of the paper.

♦* Includes candidates who were absent and who passed some of the subjects in earlier examinations. The number therefore does not equate the sum of candidates with grades listed above.

27

Language training courses organised for university students ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

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:

Is the Government aware of:

(a) the respective language training courses organised by each of the universities in the territory for students with lower Chinese language and English language standards, so as to improve their language proficiency; and

(b) the mechanism in place in each university to assess the proficiency in the Chinese and English languages of each undergraduate on a periodic basis?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) Details of language training courses organised by each of the publicly-funded universities in the territory for students with lower Chinese language and English language standards are set out at Annex A.

The City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology require their first-year undergraduate students with low grades in Chinese and/or English language subjects in the Hong Kong Advanced Supplementary Level Examination to attend compulsory language courses.

At the University of Hong Kong, all first-year undergraduates are required to attend English enhancement courses. Chinese language enhancement programmes are offered mainly on a voluntary basis, but are compulsory for students in the Department of Architecture.

The Chinese University of Hong Kong offers elective Chinese proficiency and English proficiency courses as well as disciplinespecific English courses on a credit-bearing basis. With effect from 1996-97, compulsory language course requirements have been introduced for all first-year undergraduate students in the Faculties of Business Administration, Engineering and Social Sciences.

28

The Lingnan College, which is also a degree-awarding institution, requires their students with low grades in Chinese and English language subjects to attend compulsory courses.

In addition, all degree-awarding institutions have independent language learning centres where students can improve their language skills on a self-initiated and self-paced learning basis.

(b) All publicly-funded universities have in place mechanisms to monitor their students’ proficiency in Chinese and English on an on-going basis during their courses. Students' proficiency is assessed in a variety of ways including assignments, tests, projects, oral presentations and examinations. Details are set out in Annex B.

29

Annex A

Language Enhancement Programmes Conducted by Publicly-funded Universities

A. The Chinese university of Hong Kong

1. Compulsory Courses :

English for Specific Purposes (ESP) Courses were started in 1996-97 for all first-year students in the Faculties of Business Administration, Engineering and Social Science. The courses are credit-bearing and specially designed to meet the specific needs of students of different disciplines. Details are as follows:

Faculty

Business Administration

Engineering

Social Science

ESP Courses

Communication for Business Studies Technical Communication one of the following courses: Business Chinese Chinese for Executives

English Improvement Strategies n Introduction to Academic Writing Business Communication

Intensive Language Enhancement Courses. The University is actively planning for the introduction of compulsory intensive courses on English, Cantonese and Putonghua for undergraduate students.

2. Elective Chinese Proficiency Courses, English Proficiency Courses and Putonghua Courses are credit-bearing. To provide students with greater opportunities to enrol in language proficiency courses, summer sessions have been introduced from summer 1996.

3. Independent Learning Centre is a bilingual language centre encompassing a Chinese Section and an English Section, with the objective of encouraging students to adopt a self-initiated and self-paced learning approach in improving their language ability. The Centre continues to explore a greater variety of multi-facet language enhancement programmes and activities. It is also planning to extend its opening hours so as to enable students to make full use of its facilities.

4. Language Enhancement Programmes on English, Chinese and Putonghua are organised by the University’s four Colleges in less formal setting with smaller groups, and in more flexible hours and dates, so as to cater for different needs of students. A total of $4 million has been assigned for this purpose in 1996-97.

30

B. The city university of Hong Kong

1. Compulsory Courses for Full-time First-year Students:

English Foundation Programme for Undergraduate Students:

Intensive Pre-sessional English Course (78 hours) for students who score Grade E or below in Use of English in the Advanced Supplementary (AS) Level Examination.

Core English Foundation Programme (28 hours) for students who score Grade D or below in Use of English in the AS Level Examination.

English Foundation Course for Diplotna/Higher Diploma Students;

Supplementary English Course for College Students (30 hours) for students who score Grade E or below in Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE) English Language (Syllabus B).

Core English Foundation Programme (28 hours) for students who score Grade D or below in HKCEE English (Syllabus B).

2. Optional Courses:

Chinese Foundation Programmes for Degree Students (28 hours) for first-year undergraduate students who score Grade D or below in Chinese Language and Culture in AS Level examination and who enrol in courses of study that have a Chinese communication skills component.

Chinese Foundation Programme for Dlploma/Higher Diploma Students (28 hours) for first-year Diploma/Higher Diploma students who score Grade D or below in HKCEE Chinese Language.

Putonghua Foundation Programme (56 hours) for beginners and is open to all.

English Enhancement Programme for Research Degree Students for selected students, having taking into account the English Diagnostic Test after admission. These students are invited to attend the following courses -

Grammar workshop (30 hours)

Writing research paper (30 hours)

Speaking workshop (30 hours)

3. Other Enhancement Service Open to AU Students:

English Enhancement Service (various modules 14- 26 hours)

Chinese Enhancement Service (various modules 14- 26 hours)

31

Putonghua Enhancement Service (various modules 14- 26 hours)

4. Self-Access Language Learning Centre (open to all students).

5. Other Language Enhancement Activities Introduced in 1996-97 organized to promote the facilities provided in the Self-Access Language Learning Centre. For example, four clubs are organized to boost student motivation, and to promote the use and the learning of English in an informal setting: the Conversation Club, the Listening Club, the Extensive Reading Club and the Writing Club on the World Wide Web.

C. the Hong Kong Baptist University

1. Mandatory Bridging Courses for Full-time First-year Students (44 hours) who score Grade E or below in the Use of English in the Hong Kong Advanced Supplementary (AS) Level examination. These students are required to take this bridging course before they start their programme of studies at the University. It is a graduation requirement for these students.

2. Optional Non-credit-bearing Enhancement (not remedial) Courses for all university students to supplement their regular language courses.

Supplementary English Course

Supplementary Putonghua Course (at Elementary, Intermediate, Higher and Advanced Levels)

3. Language Facilities Open to All Students:

English and Chinese Writing Enhancement Service (WES) helps students improve their writing skills in English by means of one-to-one tutorials; produces self-study materials; publishes a newsletter providing information on language enhancement, etc.; and conducts workshops. Some students are sent to the WES by their lecturers by referral.

Writing Laboratory (WL) is equipped with 586-based computers and some audio-visual equipment and tapes, CALL programmes, newspaper clippings and books on grammar and various language skills. Apart from improving their language skills through the use of these facilities, students can do their assignments using the computers and other facilities in the Laboratory and get on-the-spot help on language matters from the tutor on duty.

32

D. the hong Kong polytechnic University

1. Compulsory Courses;

Supplementary English Programme is compulsory for those students who are identified by their English class teacher as in need of additional help with their English (783 students in 1995/96). The Supplementary English Programme and the Regular “Service English” programmes require students to reach a pass standard of Grade D or above in the University’s common grading scheme.

Chinese Enhancement Programme is compulsory for 59 degree course entrants who have not scored Grade E or above in the AS Level subject Chinese Language & Culture. It is a 42 contact hour course specially designed for remedial purpose. There will be formal assessment and the results will be reported to the respective host departments for their consideration. The programme will prioritise the Chinese enhancement needs of students who have no Chinese component in their own curriculum.

2. English Summer Programme

3. Independent Learning Scheme

4. Centre for Independent Language Learning

E. The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

1. Compulsory Courses for First-year Students:

English for Academic Purposes is conducted for all first-year students admitted with a grade below °C” in the Use of English in the AS Level examination.

Business Communication Programme. All Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) programmes require students to acquire the enhanced English proficiency provided by Business Communications course.

Technical Communications. All Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) programmes (except those in Civil & Structural Engineering and Mechanical Engineer), and Bachelor of Science (BSc) programmes in Biochemistry and Chemistry require students to acquire the enhanced English proficiency provided by Technical Communications course.

2. Elective Courses:

Advanced English Reading and Writing and Advanced English Reading and Speaking courses are offered as elective courses to provide advanced communication skills for business students.

Chinese Language Enhancement Programmes arc elective and non-credit bearing.

3. English Writing Centre

4. Self-Access Centre

F. THE LINGNAN COLLEGE

1. Compulsory Courses :

English Foundation Course is a non-credit-bearing programme for most first-year students. It is run alongside regular courses and is designed to equip students with the basic skills needed to function successfully in an Englsih-medium tertiary institution. Students with Grade “D” or above in the Advanced Supplementary Level ,cUse of English” subject may be exempted from this course.

Chinese Foundation Courses are designed for students who do not meet any of the following requirements:

obtained a Grade “C” or above in Chinese Language in the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination;

obtained a Grade “E” or above in Chinese Literature or a Grade “C” or above in Chinese Language & Culture in the Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination;

obtained a Grade “C” or above in the course “Communication in Modem Chinese” in the College; or

completed one of the Chinese Foundation courses.

(Students may also enrol in these courses on a voluntary basis.

2. Language Centre has been recently established to co-ordinate and extend the provision of language courses throughout the College.

3. Self-Access Centre is a language resource centre where students will find extensive language learning materials for four main languages. English, Putonghua, Japanese and French. A variety of media and trained staff are available to assist the students. As part of this centre, the Writing Centre offers help to students with writing problems in English, where one-to-one consultation with English teachers is available. Conversation groups are also offered.

34

G. The University of Hong Kong

1. Compulsory Courses:

English Enhancement Courses are compulsory for all first-year undergraduates in all faculties. Typically, these are run in both semesters with a total of 60 hours, including a component of guided self-access work The number of students taking such courses in 1995-96 was 3 035.

HKU normally requires candidates for admission to have obtained a Grade D in the Use of English examination. Candidates with good HKCEE results but only a Grade E in the Use of English in the AS Level are, according to the University’s announced policy, eligible for admission to a number of BSc programmes and to the BEng curriculum. Such students are identified at the start of the English enhancement programmes, and their progress is carefully monitored by the English Centre. They are encouraged to take advantage of the self-access learning facilities and provided with advice and assistance by the consultants of such services.

Business Communication Course (24 hours) are funded by the Business School as an additional compulsory course for second-year undergraduate students. This course involves 136 students.

Chinese Language Enhancement Programmes are offered to students from the Faculties of Architecture, Engineering, Law, Medicine, Science and the School of Business in 1995-96, and also the Faculty of Social Science starting in 1996-97. In the case of Medicine, the course was specifically designed for first-year MBBS students. Only the Department of Architecture has made this programme compulsory for its students.

2. Optional Courses

Additional Putonghua and Intensive Putonghua Course.

Intensive Voluntary Course (including the Summer Institute and other intensive courses) In the summer of 1996, an additional Putonghua course was specifically offered to Engineering students, and an intensive Putonghua course to students in the School of Economics and Finance. These courses will be offered again in the summer of 1997, with an additional intensive Putonghua course to the Medical students.

English Enhancement Programmes for Postgraduate Students (on Writing support service, Thesis writing workshop and Oral English skills.)

3. Self-Access Consultancy Services

35

Annex B

Mechanism adopted by the publicly-funded Universities to assess Students’ Standard in English and Chinese Languages

Institution Details of mechanism adopted by the institution to assess students* standard in English and Chinese languages

CUHK Credit-bearing Courses As a formal mechanism for assessing the language standards of students who take the credit-bearing elective language proficiency courses and the language courses required by Faculties, they have to sit for and pass the examinations for the courses before they can earn the credits. Students who fail the examinations have to take the courses again and re-sit for the examinations. Non-credit-bearing Courses It is planned that students have to sit for and pass the examinations for the compulsory enhancement courses on English, Cantonese and Putonghua which are being planned for introduction in the University. The intensive courses will not be credit-bearing but the University will consider recording the results of the examinations in the students' transcripts.

CityU Credit-bearing Course? Language modules are offered as part of the undergraduate curricula as appropriate and are credit-bearing. Each module has its own assessment method, for example, by coursework and/or examination which is related to the specific objectives of the module rather than to overall language proficiency. Students are required to pass all modules, including these language modules, before they can progress or graduate. Students may need to fulfil pre-requisite requirement before they are allowed to take another language module and they should obtain a pass in the module for successful completion of the course they enrolled in. At present, there is no exit Chinese or English requirement as such. Mon-credit-bearing (bourses All language enhancement courses organized by the Language Institute are non-credit-bearing but students are required to take achievement tests at the end of the course.

HKBU Credit-bearing Courses There is on-going assessment, through the reading'writing assignments, written projects, oral presentation, written tests, etc for students taking the required creditbearing language courses. Final examinations are also required for most of these courses. Though students who fail in any of the required language subjects are still

36

Institution Details of mechanism adopted by the institution to assess students’ standard in English and Chinese languages

HKBU (coat’d) allowed to progress into subsequent years of undergraduate study, they will have to repeat the subjects concerned until a pass is achieved for graduation. All examination papers and the markings are monitored by External Examiners. Non-credit-bearingCourses There is on-going assessment. Students’ progress is monitored closely and individual needs are addressed when necessary.

PoiyU English language • There is continuous assessment of the English Language ability of all students on the “Service-English” programmes through a series of assignments, tests and lecturers’ evaluation and, in one or two cases, an examination. • Currently there is no pre-requisite language requirement before students graduate from their studies except that they have to successfully complete the specified English components of their course (if any). All degree students from the 1997/98 academic year onwards will be required to undertake two components (one component for subdegree students) each of 42 hours of English tuition as a mandatory nrinimum requirement Students will be required to pass the English component(s) of their course before they can graduate. • The University is introducing the Graduating Students Language Proficiency Assessment (GSLPA) in 1998. This will be compulsory for all language-based courses but ’’voluntary*' for students of other courses. Puneselanguagg • Where a subject on Chinese language skills forms an integral part of a programme of study, there will be formal compulsory assessment usually in the form of continuous assessment (as opposed to end-of-period examination), which includes a series of test^tasks throughout the period of the subject, with or without a larger-scale test at the end of the period. In general, before a student progresses, he is required to pass a subject (whether a language subject or not) which is considered to be a pre-requisite for another subject in the following year of study.

37

Institution Details of mechanism adopted by the institution to assess students’ standard in English and Chinese languages

PolyU (Coat’d) • In 1995/96, exit tests on Chinese language proficiency, comprising a test on written Chinese proficiency and a test on Putonghua proficiency, were launched. The tests were made available to graduating students of programmes with a substantial Chinese language component. These students were encouraged to take the tests on a voluntary basis. However, starting from 1998/99, students of language-oriented programmes will be required to undergo the GSLPA,

HKUST Students whose grade on the Use of English AS Level examination are below C must get a pass in the English for Academic Purpose course, or face dismissal. With rare exceptions, this requirement must be satisifed by the end of the summer session preceding the second year of study. All students on the BBA and BEng programmes are also required to obtain a pass in the specific English enhancement courses designed for them. • The University is considering to require all its students to take English language enhancement courses in all six semesters of study. These courses will be creditbearing and students’ performance will be assessed on a continuous basis.

LC Exit Language Examination

The College requires all students on its undergraduate programmes to sit “Exit” tests in English and Chinese. The “Exit” tests will be introduced tentatively to students admitted from the 1997-98 academic year. • These tests are general proficiency tests aimed to ensure that graduates are competent to fulfill the language needs of the workplace. • The scores for these tests form part of a student’s official transcript and are presented as Fail, Pass, Credit, or Distinction. Graduation is not dependent on successfill completion of the exit tests. Students who fail one or more of the tests may retake the following year and may be awarded a Pass grade if successful, and only the latest results will be shown in the transcript. Credit-bearing courses Assessment is either in the form of a year-end examination or continuous assessment throughout the term/year when the course is undertaken. Graduation is dependent on successful completion of these courses.

38

HKU English language Enhancement Programme • Most compulsory English Enhancement programmes are credit-bearing courses, and grades usually appear on academic transcripts. Most courses are assessed by means of assignments and a final written test, although the Business Communication course is assessed by means of assessed course-work tasks. Failure in an English Enhancement programme does not normally bar progression to later years of study, but falling students will be required to repeat the programme. English Enhancement courses are normally a requirement before graduation is possible. • Voluntary courses are nonnally not assessed, but students may obtain an attendance certificate if they wish. Ci^ue^LgmagQEi^R§mgnt Programing The Chinese language enhancement courses are normally non-credit-bearing and are taken by students on a voluntary basis. The Department of Architecture, however, makes the Chinese language course compulsory for its second-year students. The Faculties of Science and Social Sciences require students to take one-paper examination at the end of the course. Continuous assessment is conducted during all these courses.

End

39

Housing Department to launch territory-wide public education campaign ♦ ♦ * * *

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:

At the LegCo sitting on 16 October 1996, the Secretary for Housing stated that the occurrence of incidents of injuries caused by falling objects in public housing estates was more obvious in Tseung Kwan O and Tuen Mun. In this connection, does the Government know:

(a) of the five districts in which the problem of incidents of injuries caused by falling objects was most serious in the last three years, together with the number of such incidents in each district; and

(b) of public housing estates in the districts mentioned in the answer to (a) above which are not provided with covered walkways; and what measures have been put in place by the Authority concerned to ensure the safety of residents living in these estates?

Answer:

Mr President,

In the past three years, there were 38 reported incidents of injury caused by falling objects in public housing estates. The highest number of incidents occurred in Tseung Kwan O (seven incidents), Tuen Mun (six incidents), Shatin (five incidents), Kowloon West (three incidents), and Hong Kong West (three incidents). A breakdown by estates is at Annex.

Covered walkways have been provided in all the estates listed in the Annex, except Tin King Estate, Sha Kok Estate and Cheung Sha Wan Estate. A covered walkway in Sha Kok Estate will be completed by the end of this month. Construction work for a covered walkway in Tin King Estate 2 will begin in mid-1997. No covered walkway can be provided in Cheung Sha Wan Estate owing to site constraints. Nevertheless, alternative measures, such as increased patrol and regular use of estate newsletters and posters to remind residents of the danger resulting from falling objects, are in place to safeguard residents’ safety.

40

In addition to providing covered walkways, the Housing Department will continue to remind residents of the importance of preventing objects failing from their flats. The Department has launched a territory-wide public education campaign in public housing estates and one of the key themes is on 'falling objects from above'. The campaign uses posters, estate newsletters, roving exhibitions and the media to remind residents of their responsibility and the danger to other people posed by falling objects.

Annex

District Estates Number of incidents Total number of incidents in the district

Tseung Kwan 0 Po Lam Estate 5 7

Tsui Lam Estate 2

Tuen Mun Tin King Estate 2 6

Leung King Estate 2

Tai Hing Estate 1

Wu King Estate 1

Shatin Chuk Shek Estate 2 5

Sun Tsui Estate 1

Sha Kok Estate 1

Kwong Yuen Estate 1

Kowloon West Cheung Sha Wan Estate 1 3

Shek Kip Mei Estate 2

Hong Kong West Shek Pai Wan Estate 2 3

Lei Tung Estate 1

End

!

- 41 -

Insider Dealing Tribunal to safeguard interests of investors ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

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

Question:

It is learnt that the Insider Dealing Tribunal has recently ordered a chairman of a company identified as an insider dealer not to be a director of a listed company for one year, but the ban will not take effect until December 1997. The Insider Dealing Tribunal has also ordered him to pay a fine of $1.46 million and imposed an added penalty of $1.7 million. It is also learnt that the person concerned has resigned from the chairmanship of the company with effect from 1 December last year and has appointed his wife to replace him as the company’s chairman, but he would continue to render his expertise and experience to the company. In this connection, will the Administration inform this Council of the measures which will be taken by the authorities concerned to safeguard the interests of investors should similar incidents occur in the future?

Answer:

We believe that the question is in relation to a recent case dealt with by the Insider Dealing Tribunal which ordered, inter alia, that

(a) a chairman (the person concerned) of a listed company identified as an insider dealer shall not for a period of one year from 1 December 1996 without leave of the High Court be a director or a liquidator or a receiver or manager of the property of any listed company or the subsidiaries of any listed company or in any way, whether directly or indirectly be concerned in, or take part in the management of any listed company or its subsidiaries; and

(b) penalties of $3.16 million (i.e. $1.46 million, being the full amount of the loss avoided plus $1.7 million, being the penalty) be imposed against the person concerned.

Any person who is subject to a prohibition order and who participates in any way in the affairs of a company to which the prohibition applies should take care that his participation is not in breach of the scope of the prohibition. Under section 30 of the Securities (Insider Dealing) Ordinance (Cap. 395), contravention of a prohibition order is a criminal offence, punishable by fines and imprisonment.

42

The order of the Insider Dealing Tribunal in question does not pose any bar whatsoever against the wife of the person concerned from serving as a director of the concerned company or any other company. It was announced by the company on 13 December 1996 that the person concerned resigned as director and executive director on 28 November 1996 but would continue to render his expertise and experience to the company as a consultant under a service contract. Our legal advice is that no action would need to be taken as long as the activities and action of the person concerned are not in contravention of the prohibition order. The Securities and Futures Commission, as the regulator of the securities market, will take the necessary action within its powers under the law if it appears that there has been a breach of the prohibition order, or the interests of investors are compromised.

End

Trading of warrants and covered warrants ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

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:

Regarding the trading of warrants and covered warrants, does the Government

know:

(a) given that each listed company may have, in addition to its ordinary shares, a number of warrants and covered warrants which can be traded in the market, whether the authorities concerned have examined if such trading will affect the development of the market; if so, what the details are;

(b) whether the authorities concerned have considered introducing legislation or issuing guidelines to regulate such trading; and

(c) whether the authorities concerned have assessed the impact of these products on the levy of stamp duty on securities?

43

Answer:

(a)

(b)

An active derivative market is a positive feature and a natural development of a sophisticated financial market as long as the risk management systems and the regulatory aspects involved have been fully addressed. Warrants and derivative warrants provide companies alternatives for raising capital. They also add to the range of products available to the investing public, and are useful instruments for hedging and spreading risks.

There has been growing demand from retail investors for derivative warrants in particular. The trend is indicative that warrants have provided them access to certain securities which used to be the preserve of institutional investors and high net worth individuals.

Hong Kong’s warrants and covered warrants market is now relatively mature and is one of the most active in Asia. Studies by academics and market professionals have indicated that the introduction of derivatives has not affected the trading volume of the underlying securities or increased their volatility. While there is evidence of futures-induced short-run volatility, such as that occuring on futures contract expiration days, such volatility does not appear to carry over to longer periods of time. On the contrary, since warrants have a limited life, transaction volumes would be increased when new warrants are replaced or reissued after expiration of the old warrants. In general, the development of the market has helped to consolidate Hong Kong’s position as a premier regional financial market.

There is a comprehensive set of rules governing the listing and trading of warrants and covered warrants. These rules aim at ensuring the quality and independence of the issuers, the appropriateness of the underlying shares for the issue of such warrants, and the number of warrants that may be issued on particular securities. For example:

Issuers or guarantors must be of suitable financial standing with net assets of over $1 billion if regulated by specified bodies (namely, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, overseas regulatory authorities acceptable to the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Ltd (SEHK), or those which are regulated by the SFC as registered dealers under the Securities Ordinance), or $2 billion otherwise.

Controlling shareholders are prohibited from issuing warrants on their own shareholdings.

44

Issuers must make periodic financial reports to the SEHK.

Underlying securities must have market capitalization of at least $10 billion and public float of at least $4 billion, or otherwise have exceptionally high liquidity as required by the SEHK.

The aggregate number of warrants over a particular underlying share must not exceed 20% of total issued shares or 30% of public float.

These rules are closely monitored and revised from time to time to keep abreast of changes in the market.

In addition, the SFC maintains a data base in relation to derivative warrants and regularly tracks the market values of outstanding warrants and the expected changes in such values under various hypothetical market movements using options pricing models. This is done on a per warrant basis, per underlying stock basis, per issuer basis, and in aggregate. The SFC also collects periodic data on the hedging positions of warrant issuers, including hedging in underlying stocks.

(c) While warrants trading may appear to reduce stamp duty revenue in the sense that warrants could be perceived as a lower priced proxy for the underlying securities, its impact on revenue is usually positive because warrant issuers often hedge their exposures via delta hedging, involving purchases and sales of the underlying securities, which in turn generate stamp duty revenue. Moreover, stamp duty is payable if the warrants are exercised into the underlying securities and stamp duty is also payable for the trading of warrants. The impact of derivatives warrants trading on stamp duty must therefore be positive.

End

45

Linked exchanged rate system ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Christine Loh Kung-wai and a written reply by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

At present, the linked-rate system linking the exchange rate of the Hong Kong dollar to the United States dollar is an administrative practice and is not enshrined in law. As Article 111 of the Basic Law stipulates that the issue of Hong Kong currency must be backed by a 100 per cent reserve fund and that the system regarding the issue of Hong Kong currency and the reserve fund system shall be prescribed by law, will the Administration inform this Council whether it plans to introduce legislation establishing the linked exchange rate system on a firm legal basis before 30 June 1997; if not, why not?

Reply:

We have already met the requirements of Article 111 of the Basic Law referred to in the question. The Exchange Fund Ordinance provides for the legal framework for the reserve fund system. Section 4(1) of the Ordinance requires note-issuing banks to pay to the Financial Secretary for the account of the Exchange Fund the face value of the bank notes they issue or the equivalent in foreign exchange against a certificate of indebtedness issued by the Financial Secretary which they hold as backing for their note issue. Section 3(3A) of the Ordinance stipulates that the value of any coinage issued shall be credited to the Exchange Fund. This provides that the face value of the coins will go to and in effect be backed by the Exchange Fund. The Legal Tender Notes Issue Ordinance and the Coinage Ordinance respectively provide for the legal framework for the issue of legal tender notes and coins in Hong Kong.

46

The Hong Kong Government is fully committed to the maintenance of the linked exchange rate system, as demonstrated by the track record in the past 13 years as well as our efforts to strengthen the monetary management system for the purpose of ensuring exchange rate stability. These include the introduction, in the past several years, of the Accounting Arrangements which allows the Exchange Fund to have effective control over the level of inter-bank liquidity; the Exchange Fund Bills programme which strengthens the Hong Kong Monetary Authority's (HKMA) ability to conduct open market operations; the Liquidity Adjustment Facility which enables the HKMA to influence short-term inter-bank interest rates. Recently, the HKMA has signed a series of bilateral repurchase agreements (involving the use of United States Treasury papers as collaterals) with eight central banks in the region to enhance further their co-operation in the efforts to maintain currency stability. There is now a high degree of credibility, both locally and internationally, on the Hong Kong Government's commitment and ability to maintain the link in the future.

Given that we have already met the requirements stipulated in Article 111 of the Basic Law and that the linked exchange rate is already a well-established system, we do not consider it necessary to introduce any new and separate legislation in respect of the exchange rate which, in any case, is not a matter for specific legislation in most other places.

End

Unemployed people in receipt of CSSA ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Li Wah-ming and a written reply by the acting Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Doris Ho, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It is reported that the number of recipients of unemployment assistance at the end of last year has risen by nearly 90 percent, compared to those at the end of the previous year. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the reasons for the substantial rise in the number of recipients of unemployment assistance whereas the unemployment rate last year, as released by the Census and Statistics Department, showed a continuous decrease; and

47

(b) whether the Government has any plan to grant additional allowances (such as allowances for transport expenses and monthly fee for pager service) to recipients of unemployment assistance, to enable them to meet the necessary expenses while seeking employment, and to encourage them to actively look for jobs; if so, when such a plan will be implemented; if not, why not?

Reply:

(a) The increase in the number of unemployed people in receipt of Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) benefits may be due to a number of factors, such as greater public awareness of the Scheme, improved level of benefits as well as a change in attitude towards receiving CSSA.

Greater efforts have been made to publicize the Scheme. For example, the Labour Department informs all those who register as unemployed about the Scheme, and new immigrants are also specifically informed about the Scheme on arrival in Hong Kong.

The improvements to the CSSA Scheme introduced in April 1996 have also allowed more people to become eligible for CSSA.

Nevertheless, it should be noted that while the number of CSSA unemployed cases did grow substantially by about 90% between 1995 and 1996, the growth rate slackened towards the end of 1996 to about 60% on a year-to-year basis.

(b) Travelling expenses incurred in registering with the Labour Department and job interviews are covered by a special grant under the CSSA. There are also special grants for telephone charges (one-off and recurrent). We do not think that there is a case for introducing additional allowances for such items as pagers which are not essential for jobhunting purposes. According to Commissioner for Labour, a contact address or a contact telephone number should be able to provide adequate avenue for keeping in touch with potential employers.

It has always been our policy to encourage CSSA recipients, especially those who have the ability to work, to seek employment to support themselves rather than rely on Government assistance -

48

(i) able-bodied adult CSSA recipients aged between 15 and 59 are required to register with the Labour Department : these job seekers are offered priority in their registration with the Local Employment Service; and they will be advised to join the Employee Retraining Scheme, if it is considered useful in helping them to find employment; and

(ii) there are provisions in the Scheme which encourage unemployed persons to look actively for work. These include the arrangement to disregard, when making an assessment on CSSA entitlement, any retraining allowance received by the unemployed person.

End

Hospital Authority's reviews on service utilisation

*****

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

Question:

As the Utilisation Reviews conducted by the Hospital Authority have assisted in containing expenditure on medical expenses and reducing wastage, does the Government know:

(a) whether the Hospital Authority has conducted any Utilisation Review on the number of admissions, length of hospitalisation, diagnostic and surgical procedures as well as use of drugs in the various specialist services; if not, why not; and

(b) if the answer to (a) is in the affirmative, of the items in each specialist service which have been identified as inappropriately utilised, their utilisation rates, the reasons for inappropriate utilisation, and the proportion of the wasted resources to the total expenditure in each specialist service?

Reply:

The Hospital Authority adopts good management practice by examining regularly the utilisation pattern, mode of delivery and cost-effectiveness of different services to identify potential scope for economisation and/or resource redeployment. Variations from agreed benchmarks are carefully examined with a view to improving service efficiency.

49

f.

Apart from the annual planning process which provides a broad basis for each hospital to indicate the service volume, quality and performance targets in the form of a service agreement, some major reviews on service utilisation carried out by the Hospital Authority are set out below:

medical audit provides a peer review mechanism in which the entire clinical care process, including length of hospitalisation and method of treatment, is critically appraised to evaluate and improve the standard of service.

drug utilisation review committees have been established at both the hospital and head office levels to contain expenditure through dissemination of data on consumption patterns, prudent introduction of new drugs and implementation of good prescription practices.

accident and emergency service is reviewed at periodic intervals to monitor the utilisation pattern and trend of admission, as well as to identify pressure points for better demand management, service reorganisation and staff deployment.

value for money studies are carried out in respect of selected clinical support services, including diagnostic procedures, to promote the use of best practices and optimal utilisation.

specialty costing is conducted each year to generate service utilisation profile as an agreed benchmark for each clinical specialty.

in line with the corporate strategy of "outcome focused service delivery" and evidence based medical practice, information on patient's casemix, treatment outcome and costing is systematically collected and analysed to formulate clinical guidelines/protocols.

New initiatives arising from the above reviews cover "continuous quality improvement" and "outcome management" projects to enhance clinical outcome and optimise resource utilisation, more vigorous public education on the proper use of accident and emergency services, rationalisation of service induced by unfavourable variance compared with the benchmark set by specialty costing, as well as efforts to minimise variations in clinical management among different hospitals through clinical guidelines and protocols. Although the impact of these improvement measures cannot be clearly quantified, they have contributed significantly towards enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of services delivery.

End

50

Transaction levies in trading stocks * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

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:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) given that the Government favours the adoption of the user-pay policy, of the reasons for requiring investors to bear the transaction levies in addition to brokerage and to pay stamp duties in trading stocks;

(b) whether the authorities concerned will consider abolishing the transaction levies imposed on investors; if not, why not; and

(c) whether the authorities concerned have considered if the above multipletax and multiple-fee policy will affect the territory’s status as an international financial centre?

Reply:

(a) The arrangement whereby the purchaser and the seller of securities recorded on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (SEHK) are required to pay a transaction levy is provided under section 52 of the Securities and Futures Commission Ordinance (Cap. 24). The transaction levy now contributes towards the funding of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the SEHK which are the bodies responsible for the regulation and operation of the securities market. To the extent that the two bodies serve the interests of the investing public, the levy arrangement is in line with the user-pay principle.

51

(b) As always, we are prepared to consider any proposal to reduce the total transactions costs of which transaction levy only forms a part. The securities market is well aware of our position.

(c) We do not think that the present level of costs for securities transaction would adversely affect Hong Kong’s status as an international financial centre. Our overall transaction costs compare favourably with those of other securities markets in the region, including Singapore and Tokyo. Nevertheless, we are mindful of the need to keep securities transaction costs in Hong Kong as low as possible. Over the years, we have taken a number of steps to reduce costs. The stamp duty has been reduced on three occasions since 1991 from 0.30% to 0.15%. The transaction levy has also been reduced twice since 1993 from 0.025% to 0.013%, and the Special Levy was suspended in August 1993. Regrettably, the same cannot be said of the third element which makes up the total transaction cost, namely fixed commissions. There are on-going discussions between the SFC and the SEHK, as well as within SEHK itself, regarding further ways of reducing transaction costs.

End

Overseas medical treatment for civil servants ♦ * * ♦ ♦

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

Question:

It is learnt that the medical expenses amounting to HK$1 million incurred by a directorate officer of the Architectural Services Department, who went to the United States several months ago for treatment of disorders of cardiac blood vessels, were paid for by the Government. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:

(a) it is aware of the above case; if so, of the basis on which the authorities

concerned granted approval for the expenses to be paid by the Government; and what monitoring measures are in place to prevent the abuse of the arrangement of permitting civil servants to receive medical treatment in a foreign country;

52

(b) there is an upper limit on the amount of payment by the Government in respect of the medical expenses incurred by a civil servant who is permitted to receive medical treatment in a foreign country; and

(c) all civil servants are eligible to apply for receiving medical treatment in a foreign country?

Replay:

Mr President,

(a) The Government is aware of this case. The officer was recommended to receive medical treatment in the United States for a serious and rare health condition. The form of treatment prescribed is not available in Hong Kong. Under existing policy, serving civil servants may be sent abroad for medical treatment and be reimbursed for the necessary costs involved provided that the treatment is essential on medical grounds, that such treatment is not available in Hong Kong, and that prior approval has been obtained from the Director of Health. In processing applications, advice will be sought from the attending Hospital Authority doctor, a second doctor in the Hospital Authority headquarters, and a third doctor in the Department of Health. These criteria have been applied in the case in question. The amount reimbursed was about $640,000.

(b) There is no upper limit set on the reimbursement of the cost of overseas medical treatment. However, only the cost of treatment which fulfils the relevant criteria will be reimbursed. The cost of any follow-up treatment which could be carried out in Hong Kong will not be reimbursed. The criteria are applied strictly and we are confident that there have been no abuses of these arrangements.

(c) Civil servants are eligible to apply to receive medical treatment in a foreign country, subject to the conditions listed in my answer to part (a) of this question.

End

53

CSS A cases in past three years

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Cheng Yiu-tong and a written reply by the acting Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Doris Ho, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council of the following in the past three

years:

(a) the respective proportions of Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) cases in the unemployed and low-income categories to the total number of CSSA cases;

(b) the average number of unemployed persons per household of the CSSA recipients in the unemployed category, together with a breakdown of the trades in which they were formerly engaged and the types of jobs in which they were employed.

(c) the number of CSSA recipients in the unemployed category who were unemployed for a total period of -

(i) less than six months,

(ii) six months to less than one year,

(iii) one to less than two years,

(iv) two to less than four years, and

(v) four years or above,

and the total number of recipients in the above groups who were aged between 20 and 50 and processing academic qualifications above secondary three level; and

(d) the average number of working persons per household of the CSSA recipients in the low-income category, together with a breakdown of their respective occupations and positions held?

54

Reply:

(a) During the period 1994 to November 1996, the percentage of "unemployed" and "low earnings" cases to all Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) cases is set out as follows:

as a percentage of all CSSA cases

Year "Unemployed" cases "Low camings"cases

1994 4% 1%

1995 6% 1%

1996( Jan-Nov) 8% 2%

(b) In the same period, a CSSA "unemployed" household had, on average, one unemployed eligible member. We do not have information on the trades and jobs in which these people were previously engaged.

(c) In the past three years, about 70% of the CSSA recipients in the "unemployed" category were aged between 20 to 49. We do not have ready information on the duration of unemployment nor the education attainment of CSSA recipients.

In the past three years, a CSSA "low earnings" household had, on average, one working eligible member. We do not have ready information on the trades and positions in which these recipients were engaged.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, January 16,1997

Contents Page No.

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

FS speaks on Helping Business Programme................................... 3

TAC endorses urban and NT taxi fare increase applications................. 5

Hong Kong's free trade policy continues................................... 6

HK-Guangdong talks on boundaries of administration........................ 8

Latest unemployment and underemployment statistics out.................... 8

Changes to Mental Health Ordinance proposed............................... 9

Pilotage dues to be revised from March 1............................. 11

1996 third quarter industrial production index released.................. 12

Three nominations received for Tai Po DB by-election..................... 14

Garment manufacturer fined for malpractice............................... 14

Secretary for the Civil Service visits penal institutions................ 15

Royal Navy patrol craft to visit Macau............................... 15

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity......................... 16

1

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

The following is a transcript of the media session by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, at the airport this (Thursday) afternoon after a duty visit to London:

Governor: Excuse my voice. I left with a Hong Kong cold. I added the London cold to it. So I've got a sort of ... voice. I had a useful visit to London. I saw the Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary, Home Secretary, the leader of the opposition and the deputy leader of the opposition, the shadow Foreign Secretary, the leader of the liberal democrats. I had a good session with the Foreign Affairs Select Committee of the House of Commons and with the Hong Kong Parliamentary Group. I talked a good deal about the present situation in Hong Kong. About the statement which the Foreign Secretary made before Christmas on the most unfortunate, unwise, unjustified decision to set up a so-called "provisional legislature" with all the damages that could do to Hong Kong and to the SAR Government. And I discussed some of the nationality and immigration questions which have been live on our agenda over the years. I think we are now in a situation in which 29 out of the 30 Hong Kong war widows would have received their passports by the end of this month. And in particular, I pressed in my meetings, all my meetings, I pressed the question of the ethnic minorities and their position in Hong Kong obviously we were pleased that the small move made by the government and the more substantial move made by the opposition. But I want to try to convince the government as well as the opposition parties that it is imperative before June 30 that this matter is dealt with and dealt with generously. So I'll be continuing to argue that and to make that case in the weeks and months ahead. Any questions?

Question: When the Government decided to take action against Laurence Leung, in other words, he left as immediate as he did. What sort of consideration that the Government made in terms of how it would affect integrity of the administration?

2

Governor: We were concerned about the integrity of the Immigration Department and their ability to do their job effectively at a very difficult time. Perhaps you'll just let me add this to the froth of words that has been written and uttered on this subject. W K Lam, our Secretary for the Civil Service, is an example of the sort of civil servant who has made Hong Kong a decent, clean and successful place, and the sort of standard of competence and integrity which he represents are the bulwark between Hong Kong being successful and Hong Kong declining into sleaze and cronyism. I have been utterly amazed at the suggestions which I have read in some places that the matters referred to in the letter that we would have issued under CR 59 to Mr Laurence Leung somehow were minor matters. I am amazed by that suggestion. The notion that somebody who is in charge of one of our most important and sensitive departments could not pass an integrity check but should, in some people's views, merely have been slapped on the wrist, allowed to continue; the idea that the commercial issues raised in that letter didn't fall well below - well below - the standards of conduct and integrity that we rightly expect of our public service; the suggestion that somehow all this is small beer - that it doesn't matter - I think reflects very poorly on those who apparently think you can run a decent public service without policing matters effectively and properly. If you had discovered that the director of the immigration service couldn't pass an integrity check, but the Government had swept it under the carpet and let him stay in office, you would have pilloried the Government and rightly. I believe that W K Lam, and others concerned, have taken the right decisions - and I just want to make this absolutely clear - at every single stage in this argument and this controversy. I am sure the Chief Secretary, whose integrity and competence I don't imagine anybody here questions, will be making exactly those points when she appears in front of the Legislative Council committee next week, when I hope that the Legislative Councillors will behave with the courtesy which the Chief Secretary deserves. But I imagine that the Chief Secretary will make it absolutely clear to them what she thinks about some of these questions about integrity and conduct. Now that is all I have got to say about this issue at this stage. I think there has been a lot of self-indulgent nonsense written and said about this case. But at the end of the day, the executive is accountable, but the executive takes decisions and the decisions the executive have taken in this case have been entirely in line with the best traditions of honourable service for which public service in Hong Kong is renowned. Thank you very much indeed.

End

3

FS speaks on Helping Business Programme ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, said today (Thursday) that the Government must engender a helping business culture.

Speaking at a luncheon organised by the British Chamber of Commerce, Mr Tsang said to achieve this, it would require a great commitment by the civil service.

"At the same time, we will be looking for responsible members of the business community to volunteer their thoughts, their ideas and their time; to help us to help business," he said.

"Because at the end of the day, our success in these efforts will mean more and better opportunities for all of you."

The Financial Secretary said Hong Kong was already the best place in the world to do business and "together we can make it even better".

Mr Tsang said business was recognised as the lifeblood of Hong Kong and one of the main tasks of the Financial Secretary must be to ensure that the Government provided the best possible environment for businesses to flourish.

"More business means more jobs," he said. "And a growing economy means more revenue for the Government to provide new and improved services for the public, without raising taxes."

Mr Tsang said to provide the right business environment, the Government deliberately restrained its share of GDP so as to leave the bulk of the economy’s resources in the hands of the private sector.

"We believe - we are sure - that that is where those resources can be put to their most productive use," he said.

"So we allow Government spending to grow each year only as fast as the trend growth rate of the economy.

"At present Government spending takes up only about 14 per cent of GDP. And even if we broaden the definition to bring in the Housing Authority and the Municipal Councils - the public sector- that still adds up to only around 18 per cent, a very low percentage by international standards."

4

I he end result was that there was plenty of room for the private sector to keep the economy growing; and tax rates stayed low, Mr Tsang said.

"But if we are broadly on the right lines at the macro level, that does not mean we can be complacent at the micro level,” he said.

"That is why in my Budget Speech last year I placed great emphasis on the need for the Government to become positively - as distinct from passively - business friendly."

According to Mr Tsang, over the last nine months, the Secretary for the Treasury had chaired a task force to turn these words into action.

He said: "The first phase of our Helping Business Programme was centred on seven pilot studies. All of these were completed, on schedule, by the end of November."

These included the provision of a "Hong Kong Background Information" service; putting public forms on the Internet; looking at ways to speed up land exchanges and lease modifications; looking at methods of payment and collection for the Government’s own business transactions; and looking at the concept of a Business Licence Information Centre.

"This is only the beginning," Mr Tsang said. " The work to date has been ably carried out by the Efficiency Unit, as a key component of the 'Serving the Community' programme, and as a neutral extension of their work on making the Government machinery more efficient."

He said it was now time to focus in greater depth on the whole interface of the Government and the business community. To try as far as possible to see things from the business sector's perspective, a Business Advisory Group was recently set up.

The Group would be supported by a new unit whose head would report directly to the Financial Secretary. The Group had agreed to establish three working groups, one each to look at deregulation, cost of compliance, and the transfer of services out of the public sector to the business sector. Each working group would be chaired by a businessman.

"In this way, the central co-ordination of the Helping Business Programme will be strengthened," Mr Tsang added.

End

5

TAC endorses urban and NT taxi fare increase applications *****

At its meeting held this (Thursday) afternoon, the Transport Advisory Committee (TAC) endorsed a 6.3 per cent increase for urban taxi fares and a 7.4 per cent increase for New Territories taxis to help operators meet rising costs.

The recommendations will be submitted to the Executive Council for consideration. If approved, the fare increases will take effect in late April this year.

I he TAC recommended that for urban taxis, the flagfall charge for the first two kilometres should be increased by 50 cents to $14.50, while the fare for every subsequent 0.2 kilometre and the waiting time charge per minute should be increased by 10 cents to $1.30. The telephone booking surcharge and baggage surcharge should remain unchanged at $5.

As for New Territories taxi fares, the TAC recommended a flagfall charge of $12.50 for the first two kilometres, an increase of 70 cents over the existing fares, and the fare for every subsequent 0.2 kilometre to be increased by 10 cents to $1.20. The telephone booking surcharge and baggage surcharge should remain unchanged at $4.

Members felt that the fare increases were reasonable and necessary to ensure the financial viability of taxi operations, taking into consideration changes in revenues and operating costs.

The increases would also help maintain an acceptable level of taxi service and to maintain a reasonable differential between taxi fares and those of other public transport modes.

Members believed that the recommended increases would be acceptable to the public.

Urban and NT taxi fares were last increased by 8.5 per cent in February 1996.

End

6

Hong Kong’s free trade policy continues *****

Hong Kong will continue to practise unwaveringly a free trade policy and to play a leading role in world trade liberalisation after June 30, the Director-General of Trade. Mr Alan Lai, said today (Thursday).

Speaking at a luncheon meeting of the Hong Kong Exporters’ Association, Mr Lai said: "The Joint Declaration (JD) states clearly that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) shall retain the status of a free port and continue a free trade policy.

"The changeover will not affect Hong Kong’s bilateral relations with our trading partners as the JD provides clearly that the Hong Kong SAR may on its own maintain and develop economic and trade relations with all states and regions.

"In accordance with the JD and the Basic Law, the Hong Kong SAR will continue to be a separate customs territory with full autonomy in the conduct of our external commercial relations and that it shall continue to participate, using the name ’Hong Kong, China', in international organisations including the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC).

"Hong Kong has been participating actively and constructively in the international trade forums and will continue to do so when it becomes an SAR," Mr Lai said.

He noted that Hong Kong had achieved very positive results in playing a leading role in world trade liberalisation in both the WTO and the APEC last year.

Mr Lai said that 28 members of the WTO including Hong Kong and economies in the process of acceding to the WTO, which accounted for some 83 per cent of world trade in information technology (IT) products, concluded an agreement in the First Ministerial Conference in Singapore last December to eliminate tariff on a wide range of IT products on a Most Favoured Nation basis by the year 2000.

"Parties to the IT agreement agreed to start implementing the first rate reductions no later than July 1, 1997, provided that participants representing about 90 per cent of world trade in IT products have no later than April 1 this year notified their acceptance," he said.

"Its Implementation will greatly enhance market access opportunities for our manufacturers and exports in those countries and economies which participate in the agreement.

7

"We estimate that the value of Hong Kong’s domestic exports of the products covered by the ITA totalled at least HK$39 billion to the world and over HK$30 billion to the 27 participants at present already signed up to the agreement.

"Thus, one of our priorities this year is to secure the actual implementation of the agreement by the largest number of participants."

Mr Lai said another achievement of the Ministerial Conference was the launch of a balanced and forward looking future work programme to carry forward the momentum of trade liberalisation under the WTO.

The main features of the work programme, which are also the main focus of Hong Kong's work in 1997, include:

* Commitment to faithful implementation of the Uruguay Round agreements which includes full and faithful implementation of the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC). The ATC provides for a 10-year programme for progressive elimination of quotas on textiles and clothing products.

* Commitment to achieve a successful conclusion of the negotiations on basic telecommunications on February 15 and financial services which will resume in April. A successful conclusion will open up a huge market globally, estimated at over US$500 billion per annum, with enormous market access opportunities for Hong Kong services suppliers.

* Establishment of two working groups to separately deal with the relationship of investment and competition with trade.

"APEC is an informal dialogue grouping formed in 1989 in response to the growing inter-dependence among Asia-Pacific economies," Mr Lai said.

"Since our admission into APEC in 1991, Hong Kong's main objective is to open up markets for traders and investors in the region and to convince our trading partners that free trade will benefit their own economic development.

"Our main priorities in APEC this year will be to sustain the dynamic process of trade and investment liberalisation and facilitation in the region.

"More specifically, we will build on the Manila Action Plan for APEC (MAPA) which was endorsed by Economic Leaders in Subic last November and promote new liberalisation initiatives, including early voluntary sectoral liberalisation," Mr Lai added.

End

8

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 Shenzhen tomorrow (Friday) between the Hong Kong Government and the Guangdong provincial authorities, a Government spokesman said today (Thursday).

The Deputy Political Adviser, Mr John Ashton, will lead the Hong Kong team.

Mr Xiao Jinzhe, Deputy Director General of the Foreign Affairs Office of the Guangdong Provincial Government, will lead the Guangdong team.

End

Latest unemployment and underemployment statistics out

*****

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the period September -November 1996 was 2.7%, and the underemployment rate was 1.5%, according to the latest labour force statistics released today (Thursday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

For the period October - December 1996, the provisional seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged at 2.7%, while the provisional underemployment rate was marginally higher, at 1.6%.

Commenting on these figures, a government spokesman said that for the latest period, October - December 1996, slight declines in the unemployment rate were seen in the transport, community, social and personal services, and real estate and business services sectors, while a slight increase was observed in the wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels sector. The overall unemployment rate thus remained unchanged over the period.

As to the underemployment rate, the slight increase occurred mainly in the transport sector, while the underemployment situation in the other major sectors was generally stable.

Total employment continued to show robust growth, at a faster pace than total labour force. In the three months ending November 1996, total employment increased by 3.6% over a year earlier, while total labour supply increased by 2.5%.

9

During the period September - November 1996, the number of unemployed persons was estimated at 83,500, and the number of underemployed persons at 47,600.

The unemployment and underemployment statistics were obtained from a continuous General Household Survey. The survey for September - November 1996 covered a quarterly sample of some 23,100 households or 77,900 persons, selected scientifically to represent the land-based civilian non-institutional population in Hong Kong. Data were obtained from the survey by interviewing each member aged 15 or over in the households sampled.

In the survey, the definitions used in measuring unemployment and underemployment follow closely those recommended by the International Labour Organisation.

’’Seasonally adjusted” refers to adjustment for seasonal variations in the proportion of first-time job-seekers in the labour force.

Detailed analysis of labour force characteristics is given in the report on the General Household Survey which is published four times a year.

fhe next report covering the quarter ending December 1996 will be on sale at the Government Publications Centre, ground floor. Low Block, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong, by the end of March.

End

Changes to Mental Health Ordinance proposed *****

The Executive Council has endorsed proposals to amend the Mental Health Ordinance to better protect the rights of mentally disordered and mentally handicapped persons, as well as their carers.

The existing Ordinance associates mental handicap with mental illness by subsuming the two under the same definition "mental disorder". "This may encourage a common misconception that the two disabilities are the same,” a spokesman for the Health and Welfare Branch said today (Thursday).

10

Under the Mental Health (Amendment) Bill 1997, the definition of “mental disorder” will be redefined so that persons with only a mental handicap will be excluded. A new definition of "mental handicap" will also be introduced.

In addition, mentally disordered or mentally handicapped persons will be referred as "mentally incapacitated persons" under the Bill.

Another proposal is to set up a separate and independent Guardianship Board to improve the existing arrangements for guardianship of adult mentally incapacitated persons.

"At present, the Director of Social Welfare plays various roles in relation to applications for guardianship, i.e. he makes assessment and grants approval on the applications, and he can even be the applicant himself," the spokesman said.

"It is therefore proposed that in the interests of impartiality, the Guardianship Board will take over the functions and duties of the Director of Social Welfare as the approval authority."

The Board may confer on guardians more legal powers for the protection and well-being of mentally incapacitated persons. For example, guardians may be empowered to give consent for medical or dental treatment on behalf of the mentally incapacitated persons if the latter are incapable of so doing.

The Bill further empowers a doctor or a dentist to administer treatment without consent in the event of an emergency or where it is necessary and in the best interests of the mentally incapacitated person to receive the treatment. For special treatment, i.e. treatment of an irreversible or controversial nature, consent from the High Court will be required.

The powers of the High Court in handling cases in respect of management of property and affairs of mentally incapacitated persons and the relevant application procedures are also more clearly stated in the Bill.

The Mental Health (Amendment) Bill 1997 will be gazetted on January 24 and introduced into the Legislative Council on January 29.

End

11

Pilotage dues to be revised from March 1 ♦ * * * *

The minimum pilotage due will be revised from $3,140 to $3,330 from March 1, a Marine Department spokesman said today (Thursday).

The Pilotage Authority, who is the Director of Marine, will make an order to give effect to the revision in the Government Gazette tomorrow (Friday).

"For an average-size ship of 16,000 gross registered tons, the increase of pilotage due will be about 4.5 per cent," the spokesman said.

Other revised pilotage dues are as follows:

* additional pilotage due for any pilotage service performed in the movement of oil rigs is increased from $1,100 to $1,400 per hour;

* any pilotage service performed beyond a pilotage boarding area will attract additional due and that due is increased from $550 to $700 per half an hour;

* the additional pilotage due for pilot boarding and disembarking off Ngan Chau is increased from $1,800 to $2,100;

the additional pilotage due for pilot boarding and disembark off East Brother Island is increased from $1,800 to $1,900; and

* the fee for cancelling an engagement of a pilot within in one hour of the requested time is increased from $3,140 to $3,330.

The additional due charged for gross registered tonnage will remain the same at 6.5 cents per ton.

The revised dues are accepted by the Hong Kong Pilots Association which charges the fees and the Hong Kong Liner Shipping Association's members who will pay the fees. The new pilotage dues for 1997 was then endorsed by the Pilotage Advisory Committee.

End

12

1996 third quarter industrial production index released *****

The index of industrial production for the third quarter of 1996 decreased by 4.8% over the same quarter in 1995, according to the results of a survey released today (Thursday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

Analysed by industry group, the production of the textiles (including knitting) industry and the wearing apparel (except footwear) industry both decreased by 8.4%.

Output of the industry group of electrical and electronic products, machinery, professional equipment and optical goods recorded a decrease of 8.3%. Within this group, the production of consumer electrical and electronic products decreased by 13.5%, whereas the production of machinery, equipment, apparatus, parts and components decreased by 4.2%.

Decreases were also registered in the basic metals and fabricated metal products industry (-5.8%); and the paper products and printing industry (-2.5%).

Production of the chemical, rubber, plastic and non-metallic mineral products industry increased only marginally, by 0.2%. But within this group, the production of plastic products decreased by 1.3%.

On the other hand, an increase of 8.7% was recorded in the food, beverages and tobacco industry.

Compared with the second quarter of 1996, the index of industrial production showed a considerable increase of 10.4%. This increase was, however, partly seasonal as manufacturing activities usually entered into peak season in the third quarter.

The index of industrial production reflects changes of local manufacturing output in real terms. In other words, it measures the volume of local production after discounting the effect of price changes.

More detailed information can be obtained from the Quarterly Index of Industrial Production, 3rd Quarter 1996 report, which is on sale at $11 a copy at the Government Publications Sales Centre, Low Block, ground floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong and the Census and Statistics Department Publications Unit, 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai. Regular subscription may also be arranged.

Enquiries about the survey result may be directed to the General Economic Surveys Section of the Census and Statistics Department on 2805 6643.

13

Indices of industrial production by industry grow and selected component industry (1986=100)

Industry group / Selected component industry Index for 3rdQtr. 1996 % change over

3rdQtr. 1995 2nd Qtr. 1996

1. Food, beverages and tobacco 177 +8.7 +16.2

2. Wearing apparel (except footwear) 116 -8.4 + 11.5

3. Textiles (including knitting) 122 -8.4 +21.4

4. Paper products and printing 299 -2.5 +8.7

5. Chemical, rubber, plastic and non-metallic mineral products 65 +0.2 +2.8

within which : Plastic products (39) (-13) (+15.0)

6. Basic metals and fabricated metal products 91 -5.8 +10.5

within which : Fabricated metal products (except machinery and equipment) (89) (-7.3) (+14.0)

7. Electrical and electronic products, machinery, professional equipment and optical goods 175 -8.3 +8.4

within which : Consumer electrical and electronic products (109) (-13.5) (+5.2)

: Machinery, equipment, apparatus, parts and components (281) (-4.2) (+10.2)

8. Miscellaneous manufacturing industries 85 +1.0 +2.6

ALL MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES 131 -4.8 +10.4

Notes : 1. Four selected component industries, which carry relatively large weights and are major components of their relevant industry groups, arc also included in the above table. For easy reading, the figures of these selected component industries are shown in brackets.

2. As from the first quarter of 1992, the Hong Kong Standard Industrial Classification (HSIC) is used to form the industry groups and selected component industries presented in the above table. For the exact coverage of the industry groups and component industries in terms of HSIC codes, please refer to the publication 'Quarterly Index of Industrial Production, 3rd Quarter 1996'.

End

14

Three nominations received for Tai Po DB by-election

*****

A total of three nominations were received for the Tai Po District Board byelection in respect of Shuen Wan constituency to be held on February 23, after the two-week nomination period closed today (Thursday).

Details of the nominations are as follows:

Name (Age)

Occupation

Telephone No

Mr Chan Mei-tak (39)

Company director

2368 1144 (day)

2665 6115 (night)

Mr Man Chen-fai (42)

Executive director

9042 9052 or

7988 0088 (day)

2656 9393 (night)

Mr Li, Roger Kwok-keung (45)

Accountant

2651 1899 (day)

2657 8177 (night)

End

Garment manufacturer fined for malpractice

*****

A garment manufacturer was fined $388,000 at San Po Kong Magistracy today (Thursday) after pleading guilty to 10 counts of making a false statement regarding the origin of goods in licence applications.

The court heard that the factory submitted 10 applications for export licences to the Trade Department covering more than 1,200 dozens of ladies dresses for export to the United States in 1995.

It was stated in the applications that the goods were of Hong Kong origin.

However, investigations by officers of the Customs and Excise Department found that the production of the goods were carried out in China.

A spokesman for the Customs and Excise Department said the offences were serious.

15

The department would step up enforcement actions to track down such malpractice to protect the commercial reputation of Hong Kong and to ensure that the confidence of its trading partners in Hong Kong's textile control system would not be undermined by some dishonest businessmen, the spokesman stressed.

The maximum penalty for making a false statement in licence application is a $500,000 fine plus two years' imprisonment.

End

Secretary for the Civil Service visits penal institutions

*****

The Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr Lam Woon-kwong, today (Thursday) visited a maximum-security and a medium-security prison to learn about the management and operation of the penal system, and to see firsthand, the working environment of Correctional Services officers.

Accompanied by the Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Raymond Lai Ming-kee, Mr Lam first visited Stanley Prison where he was briefed on the management of Hong Kong's largest maximum-security prison and the current project to redevelop the institution as well as the surrounding area.

Mr Lam toured different workshops in Stanley Prison and saw prisoners producing various products.

At Tung Tau Correctional Institution, Mr Lam was briefed on the work to build an annex to the prison to provide more places for prisoners to ease prison overcrowding.

End

Royal Navy patrol craft to visit Macau

*****

Two Royal Navy patrol craft of the Hong Kong Squadron, HM ships Starling and Plover, will sail for Macau this weekend on what is likely to be the last such visit to the Portuguese enclave.

Chief of Staff and Senior Naval Officer, Commodore Peter Melson, will embark on HMS Starling when the two ships arrive in Macau tomorrow (Friday). The patrol craft will return to Hong Kong on Monday (January 20).

End

16

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity

*****

TIME AGGREGATE BALANCE OF SETTLEMENT ACCOUNTS

OPENING AGGREGATE BALANCE 467 MN 0930 HR 6,884 MN

CLOSING AGGREGATE BALANCE 552 MN 1000 HR 9,016 MN

CHANGE ATTRIBUTABLE TO : 1100 HR 20,152 MN

MONEY MARKET ACTIVITY - 119 MN 1200 HR 23,097 MN

LAF REVERSAL +6,136 MN 1500 HR 29,435 MN

LAF TODAY - 5,932 MN 1600 HR 32,638 MN

LAF RATE 4.00% BID/6.00% OFFER TWI 125.8 ♦-0.1* 16.1.97

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF Bills EF Notes/MTRC Notes

Terms Yield Terms Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.37 2 years 2811 5.72 100.17 5.69

1 month 4.43 3 years 3001 6.17 100.15 6.21

3 months 4.59 5 years 5112 6.57 99.92 6.70

6 months 4.81 7 years 7311 6.80 99.75 6.96

12 months 5.10 10 years 1610 7.37 102.20 7.18

5 years M503 7.35 101.93 6.97

TOTAL TURNOVER OF EF BILLS AND NOTES - $14,638 MN

CLOSED JANUARY 16, 1997

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Friday, January 17,1997

HK/Guangdong Boundary of Administration agreed................................. 1

Consultation on draft Code of Banking Practice commences....................... 3

Initial study finds wearing of rear seat belts effective....................... 5

Payroll and wage statistics for third quarter of 1996.......................... 6

Registrar of Companies releases figures for 1996.............................. 10

Historical study hall open to public...................................... 11

Fire safety equipment loan scheme launched.................................... 12

HAB publishes booklet on CEDAW................................................ 13

Fees under three registration ordinances to be revised........................ 13

Land resumptions for public works gazetted.................................... 16

Errors on draft Sha Tin Outline Zoning Plan rectified..................... 18

Draft Cheung Sha Wan Outline Zoning Plan amended.............................. 19

Hong Kong Island lot for sale by tender....................................... 20

Water cut in Central and the New Territories.................................. 20

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity.............................. 21

1

HK/Guangdong Boundary of Administration agreed ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) concerning the Boundary of Administration between Hong Kong and Guangdong was initialled today (Friday).

The agreement sets out a clear boundary of administration for all sectors: the land boundary between the northern New Territories and Shenzhen; the boundary in Deep Bay and Mirs Bay; and the sea boundary to the West, South and East of Hong Kong.

It is the product of 13 rounds of talks between Hong Kong and Guangdong, which began in 1988.

Initialling the document this morning in Shenzhen were the Deputy Political Adviser. Mr John Ashton, on behalf of the Hong Kong Government, and the Deputy Director General of the Foreign Affairs Office of the Guangdong Provincial Government, Mr Xiao Jinzhe.

Speaking at a press conference in Hong Kong this afternoon, Mr Ashton described the agreement as a good outcome for Hong Kong.

"The boundary between Hong Kong and Guangdong is one of the busiest in the world. Millions of people cross it every month, as do large numbers of cars, lorries, ships and boats, carrying a formidable and growing amount of cross-border trade.

"Management of such a boundary poses a special challenge to all the agencies involved on each side, from our respective Police and Customs authorities to those responsible for flood control and environmental protection.

"Their task is clearly easier if both sides know and agree upon exactly where the boundary runs at every point. The fact is that, until now, this has not been the case," he said.

Mr Ashton said that this agreement would not make enormous changes to the existing boundary.

"Nobody who now lives in Hong Kong will find themselves living in Guangdong. But it is very good news for everyone concerned with policing the boundary and managing cross-border activities.

2

’’For example, it will for the first time enable Police vessels to patrol around west Lantau without entering Chinese waters,” he said.

The new boundary is based far more than hitherto on clearly identifiable natural features rather than the arbitrary lines on maps.

Mr Ashton said that it removed ambiguities which had arisen over the years, for example where the Shenzhen River had changed course.

"It fully meets the operational requirements of all those on the Hong Kong side concerned with running the border.

’’Indeed, for the Police in particular, it reflects operational practices which have evolved over the years, and puts them for the first time on a firm foundation,” he said.

The agreement sets out a sector by sector definition of the new boundary. There is no substantial change to the existing line between the Hong Kong and Guangdong-administered parts of Sha Tau Kok town. The boundary then runs westwards following the centre lines of the Sha Tau Kok and Shenzhen Rivers; and the bottom of the valley floor between the sources of the two rivers.

The MoU specifies that, after the realignment of the Shenzhen River, the boundary will follow the new centre line of the river.

Mr Ashton said that as a result of Phase I of the Shenzhen River realignment project, some 100 hectares of land currently under Guangdong administration, including some 96 hectares of land within the river loop at Lok Ma Chau, would end up on the Hong Kong side and some nine hectares of Hong Kong land on the Guangdong side of the new boundary.

It had been agreed between the two sides in 1992 that the land in the Lok Ma Chau loop would be treated as Shenzhen's cross border farming land.

Further to the east, some 3.4 hectares of privately registered land at San Kwai Tin on the northern side of the valley floor, will become subject to Guangdong administration.

Mr Ashton said that the Government would resume the private land affected under the Crown Lands Resumption Ordinance. He noted that the land was uninhabited and largely barren; and that it was inaccessible from Hong Kong.

3

As for the two bays, the boundary is for the first time defined in relation to clearly recognisable geographical features.

"A clear agreed boundary in the two bays in which we have sea room adequate for our own operational purposes meets a long-standing practical need. It removes ambiguities that have led in the past to problems in law enforcement and disputes between the two sides,” he said.

Mr Ashton expected that the agreement would reduce the risk of incursions by Chinese security vessels into Hong Kong waters.

The rest of the sea boundary follows largely the existing "square box" line except for three new "bubbles" south of Po Toi, the Soko Islands and west of Lantau where the new boundary extends beyond the existing line to include the waters up to one nautical mile offshore.

The three newly created "bubbles" provide additional sea room which will allow our law enforcement agencies to operate more effectively to combat illegal immigration and smuggling in those areas.

"We intend to sign the MoU, and thereby give effect to the new boundary, as soon as we have resumed the private lots at San Kwai Tin," Mr Ashton said.

End

Consultation on draft Code of Banking Practice commences *****

A draft of the Code of Banking Practice is issued today (Friday) for consultation.

Executive Director (Banking Policy) of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), Mr Raymond Li, said: "The introduction of such a code will help promote good banking practices and a fair and transparent relationship between authorised institutions and their customers.

"In the end, customer loyalty and confidence will be enhanced, thus contributing to the stability of the banking system.

4

’’The purpose of the code is to set minimum standards with which banks should comply. It should be noted that the standards being proposed are in line with that of other financial centres."

The draft code was developed by a working group formed in early 1996 by the HKMA and representatives of the banking industry. The section dealing with the use of referees and the chapter on debt collection were issued last year in advance of the full code.

"The consultation exercise is important. We would like to produce a code that can strike a reasonable balance between consumer rights and efficiency of banking operations," said Mr Li.

”1 would stress that the draft code, being what it is, is subject to further changes taking into account comments received during the consultation period."

The draft code comprises five chapters. It covers, among other things, the relationship between banks and customers, opening and operation of accounts and loans, card services, payment services and debt collection. The code is non-statutory and will be issued by the industry on a voluntary basis. Institutions will however be expected to observe the code and the HKMA will monitor compliance.

The draft code will be made available to all authorised institutions in Hong Kong through the Hong Kong Association of Banks and the Deposit-taking Companies Association, Legislative Council Panel on Financial Affairs, the Consumer Council, the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, the Chairperson of the Equal Opportunities Commission and other relevant bodies for comment. Interested parties can request in writing a copy of the draft or retrieve it from the HKMA Internet web site: http://www.info.gov.hk/hkma.

The consultation period will end on February 28. The final code is expected to be issued in the first half of 1997.

End

5

Initial study finds wearing of rear seat belts effective ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

There has been a reduction in casualties in traffic accidents involving rear seat private car passengers following the implementation of compulsory wearing of rear seat belts last June, according to an initial study conducted by Transport Department.

Senior Engineer of the Transport Department’s Road Safety and Standards Division, Miss Ying Fun-fong, said today (Friday) the improvement was attributed to the compulsory wearing of rear seat belts.

’’Although we cannot fully establish that wearing rear seat belt has a direct implication on the drop in accidents and reduction in severity of casualties, it is undoubtedly a contributing factor to the decline in the latter half of last year,” she said.

Statistics showed there were 7,276 private cars involved in traffic accidents in 1996, a reduction of five per cent from 1995 (7,634 cases). Private car casualties were 4,353 in 1996 compared to 4,697 in the previous year, a drop of seven per cent.

Miss Ying noted that the trend was more encouraging when looking at the percentage reduction in the number of casualties involving private car rear seat passenger. There were 1,277 casualties in 1996 compared to 1,401 in 1995, a reduction of nine per cent.

Miss Ying pointed out that the improvement was more significant when comparing statistics for the first six months after implementation and the same period of last year.

Between June and November in 1996, there were 592 casualties involving rear seat private car passengers while the number for the six-month period in 1995 was 717, a reduction of 17 per cent.

Same level of improvement was found on the severity of casualties, 99 people were killed or seriously injured in traffic accidents in this period compared to 119 in 1995.

The Government introduced compulsory fitting and wearing of rear seat belts of private cars registered on or after June 1. 1996. The wearing of rear seat belts was also made compulsory from the date for those private cars in which they are fitted.

6

Miss Ying urged rear seat private car passengers to wear their seat belts while travelling if their car is fitted with them.

"With the growing increase in wearing rear seat belts in private cars, the community can expect a further reduction in both the number and severity of injuries in traffic accidents involving private cars," she said.

End

Payroll and wage statistics for third quarter of 1996 » ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

According to statistics released today (Friday) by the Census and Statistics Department, average labour earnings covering all major sectors surveyed, as measured by payroll per person engaged, recorded an increase of 8.6% in nominal terms in the third quarter of 1996 over a year earlier. After discounting changes in consumer prices, the increase was 3.1% in real terms.

Most of the major sectors surveyed recorded increases in average labour earnings, both in nominal terms and in real terms. Analysed by sector, the wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels sector recorded the fastest increase in average payroll per person engaged, by 10.8% in nominal terms or 5.2% in real terms in the third quarter of 1996 over a year earlier.

This was followed by the community, social and personal services sector, by 8.4% in nominal terms or 2.9% in real terms; the financing, insurance, real estate and business services sector, by 8.1% in nominal terms or 2.6% in real terms; and transport, storage and communications sector, by 6.5% in nominal terms or 1.1% in real terms.

Average labour earnings in the manufacturing sector also rose, by 4.4% in nominal terms, but with a slight decrease in real terms.

The overall wage index covering selected major sectors showed a relatively less rapid increase than average labour earnings. This index rose by 6.4% in nominal terms in September 1996 over a year earlier. After discounting changes in consumer prices, the index showed a 1.2% increase in real terms.

7

The relatively faster increase in earnings as compared to wages was due to more overtime pay and the issue of irregular payments in some sectors, which were covered in earnings but not in wages. This can be seen as an indication of intensive manpower utilisation in the sectors concerned.

The wage indices for most of the major sectors, including manufacturing, transport services, financing, insurance, real estate and business services and personal services, showed increases of various magnitudes in real terms between September 1995 and September 1996.

On the other hand, the wage indices for the wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels sector recorded a marginal decrease in real terms.

Year-on-year changes in the indices of payroll per person engaged and wage indices for selected major sectors, in both nominal and real terms, are shown in Table 1 and Table 2 respectively.

Statistics on average payroll per person engaged are compiled at quarterly intervals based on the results of the Labour Earnings Survey conducted by the Census and Statistics Department. The wage indices are compiled from the same survey at half-yearly intervals for March and September of the year. The wage indices cover both manual and non-manual workers up to the supervisory level.

Average payroll includes wages as well as all other irregular receipts such as bonuses and overtime payments. Statistics on average payroll tend to show larger quarter-to-quarter changes, affected by the number of hours actually worked and the timing of payment of bonuses and back-pay.

Detailed breakdowns of the above statistics are published in the "Quarterly Report of Employment, Vacancies and Payroll Statistics, September 1996" and the "Half-yearly Report of Wage Statistics. September 1996". They will be available shortly, at $44 and $57 per copy respectively, at the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong and the Publications Section of Census and Statistics Department, 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road. Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

For enquiries about statistics on average payroll per person engaged, please contact the Census and Statistics Department on 2582 5076. As for enquiries on wage statistics, please call the department on 2582 4744.

8

Table 1: Year-on-Year Change in Indices of Payroll Per Person Engaged by Selected Major Sector

% change for 3rd Quarter 1996 over 3rd Quarter 1995

Selected Major Sector in nominal terms in real terms

Manufacturing + 4.4 -0.9

Wholesale, Retail and Import/Export Trades, Restaurants and Hotels +10.8 +5.2

Transport, Storage and Communications + 6.5 +1.1

Financing, Insurance, Real Estate and Business Services + 8.1 +2.6

Community, Social and Personal Services + 8.4 +2.9

All Sectors * + 8.6 +3.1

9

Table 2: Ycar-on-Year Change in Wage Indices by Selected Major Sector

Selected Major Sector % change for September 1996 over September 1995 in nominal terms in real terms

Manufacturing + 7.5 +2.2

Wholesale, Retail and Import/Export Trades, Restaurants and Hotels + 5.0 -0.1

Transport Services # + 7.0 +1.7

Financing, Insurance, Real Estate and Business Services + 8.4 +3.0

Personal Services ## + 6.1 +0.9

All Sectors * +6.4 + 1.2

# Excluding industries related to storage and communications

## Excluding industries related to community and social services

* Including the electricity and gas sector

End

10

Registrar of Companies releases figures for 1996 ♦ * * * *

Figures released by the Registrar of Companies, Mr Gordon Jones, today (Friday) indicated an increase of activity in most areas for the calendar year 1996 by comparison with 1995.

The Companies Registry figures showed that the total number of companies registered under the Companies Ordinance had reached 483,181, 2.4% more than 471,883 at the end of 1995. The number of new companies registered during the year was 49,734, 16,726 more than 1995.

The total number of overseas companies registered under Part XI of the Companies Ordinance stood at 4.604 at the end of the year, 287 more than 1995. The number of new oversea companies establishing a place of business in Hong Kong and registered under Part XI of the Companies Ordinance in 1996 was 665, an increase of 14% over 1995.

The number of charges on the assets of companies registered in 1996 increased by 16% from 29,046 to 33,788 compared with 1995 and the amount secured by those charges increased by 8% from $74,414 million to $80,009 million.

The number of certificates of satisfaction, issued when charges are repaid, amounted to 21,838 in 1996, a rise of 18% from 1995, while the amount of indebtedness released, showed an increase of 24% to $15,240 million.

During the year a total of 247 prospectuses of public companies, including 92 in respect of mutual funds, were registered compared with 182 prospectuses, including 86 in respect of mutual funds, during the previous year.

The total number of documents received for filing during the year increased by 23.4% from 1,261,267 to 1,556,838 and the number of searches made by the public during 1996 as compared with that in 1995 increased by 0.4 per cent from 1,870,112 to 1,878,431.

A total of 195 summonses were issued by the Registrar of Companies in 1996 against companies and their directors for breaches of the Companies Ordinance, mainly for late filing of returns of alteration made in the directors or secretary of an overseas company or in their particulars. Another 26 summonses were outstanding from 1995. Of this total of 221 summonses, 200 resulted in convictions and nine remain to be heard by the court.

The total amount of fines imposed for convictions in 1996 was $3,888,555 compared with $3,357,395 in 1995.

End

11

Historical study hall open to public ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The 200-year old Chueng Chun Yuen in Shui Tau Tsuen, Yuen Long will be open to the public following a rehabilitation ceremony to be held this Sunday (January 19).

Probably built in the 1860's by one of the descendants of the Tangs in Kam Tin as one of the several study halls, the monument was mainly devoted to the training of martial arts.

Three antique iron "Guan Dao", a traditional Chinese weapon with spear and a long blade, which were used for training are still kept in the building. They weigh 62, 85 and 112 catties respectively and are about nine feet long each. The parade ground immediately adjacent to the building were also a place for villagers to practice martial arts.

The ancestral altar with family soul tablets of Cheung Chun Yuen presides at the centre of the main hall named Lau Kang Tong. The roofs and wooden bracket systems are simple in design and decoration. The two round openings at the top of the front facade form part of the former defence mechanism. There is also a fung shui wall in front of the building to ward off evil spirits.

Cheung Chun Yuen was deemed a monument in November 1994.

The ceremony on Sunday will mark the completion of restoration work which began in 1995 by the Architectural Services Department under the supervision of the Antiquities and Monuments Office of the Broadcasting. Culture and Sport Branch.

End

12

Fire safety equipment loan scheme launched ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Registered bedspace apartments (BSAs) will have their fire safety standards improved with a $2.5 million donation from The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust for the Home Affairs Department’s fire-fighting and fire-prevention equipment loan scheme.

Under the loan scheme, fire services equipment including fire extinguishers, fire blankets and alarm systems will be installed free at charge at those BSAs which have joined the scheme. Free maintenance services will also be provided.

In order to help BSA operators and tenants fully understand the operation of the equipment, clear instructions in Chinese on the use of the equipment will be provided.

The Director of Home Affairs, Mrs Shelley Lau, together with the Director of Corporate Affairs and Charities of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, Mr David Yau, today (Friday) handed the fire safety equipment to the operator of a BSA in Sham Shui Po.

Mrs Lau said the installation of the equipment had already begun in the BSAs which had indicated an interest in joining the scheme, and that it would take about two months to complete the fitting of portable equipment in these premises.

She also thanked The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust for making the loan scheme possible.

’’With the Jockey Club’s $2.5 million donation, fire safety in BSAs will be greatly improved.” she said.

Also present at today’s distribution ceremony was the Deputy Director of Home Affairs, Mr Dominic Law; and Sham Shui Po District Officer, Mr John Leung.

End

13

HAB publishes booklet on CEDAW

* * * * *

A bilingual booklet carrying in full the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) has been produced by the Home Affairs Branch (HAB) and is now available to the public.

A spokesman for HAB today (Friday) said the publication of the booklet was part of the Government’s enhanced human rights publicity strategy to make the public aware of the provisions of the Convention and their application in Hong Kong.

The CEDAW, extended to the territory in October last year, has been recognised as a further development in the protection of human rights.

’’The significance of the extension of the Convention is that it places Hong Kong under continuing international obligations to protect the rights of women, eradicate discrimination and provide for their interest,” the spokesman added.

Free copies of the booklets are available at District Offices and the Marketing Office of the Information Services Department on the 17th floor, Siu On Centre, 176-192 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai.

End

Fees under three registration ordinances to be revised

*****

A number of fees under the Dentists Registration Ordinance, the Midwives Registration Ordinance and the Nurses Registration Ordinance will be revised with effect from March 1, 1997.

A spokesman for the Health and Welfare Branch explained today (Friday) that the fees relating to registration of dentists, midwives and nurses and to other service provided to them were last revised in December 1994 in line with the movement of the Government Consumption Expenditure Deflator.

It is Government policy that fees should in general be set at levels sufficient to recover the full cost of providing the service.

14

In this fee revision exercise, he noted, the Government proposes to increase the fees to their full cost level based on costing results, except the entrance fee for examination payable under the Dentists (Registration and Disciplinary Procedure) Regulations.

For the exception, which is substantially below cost, the Government intends to phase in the full cost recovery in order to lessen the impact of the fee revision.

Details of the existing and proposed fees are as follows:

Comparison of Existing and Proposed Fees

1. Fees payable under the Second Schedule to the Dentists (Registration &

Disciplinary Procedure) Regulations (Cap 156 sub. leg.)

h p ■ Existing fee . $ Proposed fee $ .. ■ O’

Registration 835 1,720

Re-registration 500 1,500

Certificate of standing 335 430

Certificate verifying registration 250 430

Alteration to the register 250 560

Certified copy of an entry in the register ... 335 430

Duplicate certificate of registration 335 480

Certified copy of certificate of registration 335 480

Entrance for examination, in each part 835 3,820

2. Fee payable under the Regulation 4(4) of Ancillary Dental Workers (Dental Hygienists) Regulations

Existing fee Proposed fee

$ $

Enrolment fee for a Dental Hygienist

165

1,500

15

3. Fees payable under the Third Schedule to the Midwives (Registration and Disciplinary Procedure) Regulations (Cap 162 sub. leg.)

Existing fee $ Proposed fee $

Registration fees a) payable on first registration

i) by midwives trained

in Hong Kong ii) by midwives trained 250 300

outside Hong Kong 250 940

b) payable on re-registration Fee for certified copy of certificate 42 140

of registration 115 175

Annual practising fee 42 65

Entrance fee for examination 165 1,310

4. Fees payable under the Second Schedule to the Nurses (Registration

Disciplinary Procedure) Regulations (Cap 164 sub. leg.)

Existing fee Proposed fee

For registration in any part of the register- $ $

a) person qualified in Hong Kong 250 325

b) person qualified elsewhere 250 975

For practising certificate For certified copy of certificate of 75 180

registration or practising certificate For restoration of name to any part 115 165

of register Entrance fees for examination - 42 225

a) any examination 250 565

b) any re-examination 250 565

and

16

5. Fees payable under the Second Schedule to the Enrolled Nurse (Enrolment and Disciplinary Procedure) Regulations (Cap 164 sub. leg.)

Existing fee $ Proposed fee $

For enrolment in any part of the roll -

a) person qualified in Hong Kong 115 325

b) person qualified elsewhere 115 940

For practising certificate 75 180

For certified copy of certificate of

enrolment or practising certificate 115 165

For restoration of name to any part j. ...

of roll 42 225

Entrance fees for examination -

a) any examination 165 605

b) any re-examination 165 605

The proposed fees are published in the Gazette today.

End

Land resumptions for public works gazetted * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government plans to resume a number of private lots in Tai Po and North District of the New Territories and Tung Chung on Lantau Island for public works programmes.

In Tai Po, a total of 40 private lots in Lin Au, She Shan Tsuen and Mui Shue Hang will be resumed for the construction of water treatment and water transfer facilities to meet expected rising demand for treated water in the metropolitan area and the north-eastern part of the New Territories.

These lots cover 80.9 square metres of building land and 33,990.5 square metres of agricultural land.

17

The project will include construction of a water treatment works and a treated water pumping station in Tai Po near Lin Au Village, a primary service reservoir at Butterfly Valley in Lai Chi Kok, and two aqueducts.

Works will begin in April this year for completion by April 2000.

The land resumption in North District of the New Territories is for the implementation of the Stage II remaining works of the Shenzhen River Regulation Project.

A total of 114 private agricultural lots covering 79,938.9 square metres of land will be resumed.

The works, scheduled to start in April and to be completed in about 42 months, will help relieve flooding hazard in the area.

Two sections of the Shenzhen River will be widened and deepened: from downstream of the existing Lok Ma Chau bend to the estuary and from the existing Liu Pok bend to the Lok Ma Chau bend.

The works will include the construction of part of the river embankments on both sides of these two sections, and the associated ecological mitigation measures such as restoring the old river at the Lok Ma Chau bend.

In Tung Chung, 601 private lots with a total area of 127,529.6 square metres will be resumed for residential development and construction of infrastructure as part of the Tung Chung New Town Development Phase IIB project.

The lots to be resumed comprise 126,939 square metres of agricultural land and 590.6 square metres of building land, and the project will begin in May this year for completion in about 27 months.

Details of the lots affected in these three areas are contained in the Government Gazette published today (Friday).

Plans of the affected areas in Tai Po and North District can be seen at the respective District Land Offices, while that for Tung Chung is available for public inspection at the Lands Department's New Airport Section (New Territories Office), 22nd floor, Tsuen Wan Government Offices, 38 Sai Lau Kok Road, Tsuen Wan.

End

18

Errors on draft Sha Tin Outline Zoning Plan rectified

*****

The Town Planning Board published in the Government Gazette today (Friday) a corrigendum for cartographic errors shown on the draft Sha Tin Outline Zoning Plan, No. S/ST/8.

The cartographic errors shown on the draft plan referred to in the Gazette Notice 5486 in Government Gazette No. 48 of November 29, 1996 relating to two areas in Sha Tin Planning Areas 4 and 38 have been corrected.

The zoning for an area in Sha Tin Planning Areas 4 and 38 to the south of Heung Fan Liu Street and northeast of Lower Shing Mun Road should be "Govemment/Institution/Community”, "Green Belt” and ’’Residential (Group B)”, whilst the zoning for an area in Sha Tin Planning Area 4 to the south of Heung Fan Liu Street and west of Mei Tin Road should be ’’Residential (Group B)”.

The errors and corrections made do not affect the amendments incorporated in the plan No. S/ST/8.

A copy of the corrigendum and a plan No. R/S/ST/8 showing the corrections made are available for public inspection until February 10 during office hours at:

Planning Department,

16th floor, Murray Building,

Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong;

Sha Tin, Tai Po and North District Planning Office, ground floor, Sha Tin Government Offices, 6 Tung Lo Wan Hill Road, Sha Tin, New Territories; and

Sha Tin District Office, sixth floor, City Link Plaza, Sha Tin Station Circuit, Sha Tin, New Territories.

End

19

Draft Cheung Sha Wan Outline Zoning Plan amended *****

The Town Planning Board announced today (Friday) amendments to the draft Cheung Sha Wan Outline Zoning Plan.

Part of the Cheung Sha Wan shipyards site to the south of Lai Chi Kok Road, with an area of about 3.84 hectares, has been rezoned from "Industrial" to "Comprehensive Development Area(l)" ("CDA(l)") to facilitate a composite hotel/residential development.

Another amendment is to rezone a 0.6 hectare-site at Sham Shui Po Park to the north of Tung Chau Street near Kiu Kiang Street from "Open Space" ("O") to "Govemment/Institution/Community" for a primary school development.

To make up for the loss of the open space, a 0.82 hectare-site at Lai Kok Estate to the north of Lai Chi Kok Road has been rezoned from "Residential (Group A)" to "O".

A corresponding technical amendment to the plan is to incorporate a set of Notes for the new ”CDA(1)" zone.

The amendment plan (No. S/K5/12) is available for public inspection until February 10 during office hours at:

* Planning Department,

16th floor, Murray Building,

Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong;

* Tsuen Wan, Kwai Tsing and Sham Shui Po District Planning Office, 27th floor, Tsuen Wan Government Offices, 38 Sai Lau Kok Road, Tsuen Wan, New Territories; and

* Sham Shui Po District Office, sixth floor, 290 Un Chau Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon.

20

Any person affected by the amendments may submit written objections to the Secretary of the Town Planning Board, c/o Planning Department, 13th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong, before February 10.

Copies of the draft plan are available for sale at the Survey and Mapping Office, Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong and the Kowloon Map Sales Office, ground floor, 382 Nathan Road, Kowloon.

End

Hong Kong Island lot for sale by tender * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Lands Department is inviting tenders for the sale of a piece of government land at Shouson Hill Road on Hong Kong Island.

The Rural Building Lot No. 1136 has an area of about 1,241.5 square metres. It is intended for use as a shopping centre comprising retail shops and ancillary facilities.

Tenders must be submitted before noon on February 14 (Friday).

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/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, Tuen Mun, Tsuen Wan, Kwai Tsing, Sai Kung and Islands.

End

Water cut in Central and the New Territories *****

Fresh and flushing water supply to some premises in Fanling, Tai Po and Central will be suspended early next week to facilitate waste detections on watermains.

In Fanling and Central, the suspension will start at 11 pm on Monday (January 20) and last until 6 am the following day.

- 21 -

In Fanling, the affected areas include Heung Yuen Wai, Ha Heung Yuen, Tsung Yuen Ha, Chuk Yuen and Kaw Liu Village along Lin Ma Hang Road; and Kan Tau Wai, Tong Fong, Fung Wong Wu, Chow Tin Tsuen and Lei Uk along Ping Che Road.

f ; ;•

In Central, the suspension will affect all premises between 119-145 Caine Road.

The suspension in Tai Po will be from 11 pm on Tuesday (January 21) to 6 am the following day.

All premises along the section of Ting Kok Road between Tai Yuen Estate and Dai Fu Street and Yue Kok, Kau Shi Wai, Fung Yuen, Tin Sam and Fung Yuen Lo Tsuen along Fung Yuen Road will be affected.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority Interbank Liquidity

*****

TIME AGGREGATE BALANCE OF SETTLEMENT ACCOUNTS

OPENING AGGREGATE BALANCE 552 MN 0930 HR 7,837 MN

CLOSING AGGREGATE BALANCE 1,607 MN 1000 HR 12,529 MN

CHANGE ATTRIBUTABLE TO : 1100 HR 18,927 MN

MONEY MARKET ACTIVITY +90 MN 1200 HR 23,747 MN

LAF REVERSAL +5,933 MN 1500 HR 33,819 MN

LAF TODAY - 4,968 MN 1600 HR 37,269 MN

LAF RATE 4.00% BID/6.00% OFFER TWI 125.8 *+0.0* 17.1.97

- 22 -

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF Bills EF Notes/MTRC Notes

Terms Yield Terms Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.37 2 years 2811 5.72 100.14 5.71

1 month 4.42 3 years 3001 6.17 100.09 6.23

3 months 4.59 5 years 5112 6.57 99.90 6.70

6 months 4.81 7 years 7311 6.80 99.84 6.94

12 months 5.11 10 years 1610 7.37 102.33 7.16

5 years M503 7.35 101.90 6.98

TOTAL TURNOVER OF EF BILLS AND NOTES - $12,069 MN

CLOSED JANUARY 17, 1997

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Saturday, January 18,1997

Contents Page Nm

Press statement on disclosure of reports................................... 1

Pre-sale consents for 18,323 residential units issued...................... 2

Record number of placements for people with a disability................... 3

Wong Tai Sin School Anti-drug Ambassador Scheme launched................... 4

$199 million from Lotteries Fund approved.................................. 5

Anti-rabies inoculation drive in fishing ports............................. 5

Firing practice in February............................................

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity........................... 8

1

Press statement on disclosure of reports *****

In response to media enquiries, a government spokesman today (Saturday) issued the following statement with regard to the remarks made by Chairman of the LegCo Select Committee, Mr Ip Kwok-him, yesterday concerning the disclosure of the ICAC Operations Review Committee Report and the Integrity Report.

The spokesman said: "We would like to make it abundantly clear that to date no decision on disclosure has been made.

"We were amazed that the Chairman of the Select Committee chose to say what he had said yesterday as his remarks might have led the public to believe that he had already made up his mind on the matter.

"Under section 14 of the Legislative Council (Powers and Privileges) Ordinance and the procedures approved thereof by the LegCo, a witness before the Select Committee is entitled to all the rights and privileges of a witness before a court. If that witness claims public interest immunity in relation to any document, he is entitled to put his reasons before the Chairman for a ruling," the spokesman said.

"We are sure that if and when the Chairman faces a claim of public interest immunity, he will consider the claim and the grounds upon which it is made.

"Pending the next meeting of the Select Committee, it is unhelpful to speculate." the spokesman emphasised.

The Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr W K Lam, and the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, will attend the next Select Committee hearing on January 22, at 8.30 am and 11.30 am respectively.

End

2

Pre-sale consents for 18,323 residential units issued ♦ * * ♦ ♦

The Lands Department issued 36 consents to the pre-sale of 18,323 residential units in 1996, the Principal Solicitor of the Lands Department, Mr Tom Berry, said today (Saturday).

’’The majority of these units are estimated to be completed by the middle of this year. Some of them have already been put on sale in the market while the remainder are still in the hands of the developers,” Mr Berry said.

"Four developments by the Hong Kong Housing Society will be completed after June 1998."

He added that 14 of the 36 consents were granted in the fourth quarter of last year, covering 8,292 residential units located on Hong Kong Island and outlying islands, and in Kowloon, Kwai Tsing, Sai Kung and Sha Tin.

"Most of these units are estimated to be completed before the end of 1997," Mr Berry said.

As at the end of last month (December), the Lands Department was processing 20 applications for pre-sale consent, which cover 13,679 residential units, said Mr Berry.

Of these 20 applications, one is a Private Sector Participation Scheme project (with 2,340 units) and two are Hong Kong Housing Society’s Flat-for-Sale developments (with a total of 1,432 units). The remaining 17 developments totalling 9,907 units are private developments subject to the 1994 measures.

"These developments are located throughout the territory and most will be completed within late 1997 and March 1998," he said.

The Lands Department has given consent to 29,280 residential units since the introduction of new measures for pre-sale of residential units in June 1994.

Four Private Sector Participation Scheme projects (totalling 5,810 units), four Sandwich Class Housing developments (totalling 3,602 units) and three Flat-for-Sale Scheme projects (totalling 3,030 units), which are not subject to new measures, have also received pre-sale consent since June 1994.

End

3

Record number of placements for people with a disability ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Labour Department’s Selective Placement Division (SPD) successfully found 1,430 jobs for disabled job-seekers in 1996, breaking all previous records.

Senior Labour Officer (Selective Placement), Mr Siu Lap-kei, attributed the encouraging results partly to the changing attitude of the public, especially employers, towards the disabled.

’’The Government's escalated efforts in promoting employment for people with a disability and integrating them into society is also essential in achieving the results,” Mr Siu said today (Saturday).

He described 1996 as a fruitful year for the SPD. The seminar on Open Employment for People with a Disability held last October, for instance, attracted some 400 employers, human resource managers and members from the rehabilitation field to participate.

In addition, it was encouraging to see that about 12,000 visitors were recorded for the eight exhibitions organised by the SPD last year to promote employment of people with a disability.

"In order to further enhance public awareness of the working potentials of people with a disability, the SPD has jointly produced television and radio programmes with Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK)," Mr Siu said.

The 10-episode TV programme "Under the Same Sky - Part 3" and the 10-episode radio programme "Outstanding Disabled Persons" have been broadcast since early December last year.

"Our division will continue to make every effort to help more people with a disability to enter the employment market," he added.

The SPD will set up a booth in the Education and Careers Expo' 97 to be held between February 20 and 23 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai.

- 4 -

"The Expo is targeted at youngsters and we hope to promote peer group acceptance of people with a disability through the younger generation. Exhibition, quiz and trade tests will be conducted at the venue to publicise the working abilities of the disabled," Mr Siu said.

Various promotional activities will also be launched to promote employment of people with a disability, including the distribution of quarterly newsletters and other publicity materials to employers, exhibitions, seminars, talks and the annual Outstanding Disabled Employees' Award.

End

Wong Tai Sin School Anti-drug Ambassador Scheme launched

*****

Young people should remember that there is "no take two for life" and that they should actively participate to help beat drug. Wong Tai Sin District Officer, Miss Diane Wong, said today (Saturday).

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the School Anti-drug Ambassador Scheme, Miss Wong said it was good news that drug abuse among young people in the district was not serious compared with other districts. However, the issue should be treated seriously as it would have long-term effect on society.

She said the Governor opened in 1995 the first summit meeting on drug abuse by young people with the objective of working out strategic plan and co-ordinating various departments to deal with the issue.

The School Anti-drug Ambassador Scheme, organised by the Action Committee Against Narcotics, Wong Tai Sin District Fight Crime Committee and Wong lai Sin District Schools Liaison Committee, was aimed at assisting youngsters to gain a better understanding of drug abuse problem and promoting the "say yes to life, say no to drug" message.

Exhibitions will be arranged from today to mid-February to spread the antidrug message.

- 5 -

At today’s ceremony, winners of the Fight Crime, Anti-Narcotics and AntiCorruption Slogan Competition were presented with prizes. Following the opening ceremony were singing performance, magic show and drama by various youth centres.

Also present at the ceremony were the Principal Assistant Secretary for Security (Narcotics), Ms Cathy Chu; the Chairman of Wong Tai Sin District Board, Mr Chan Kam-man; and the Wong Tai Sin District Commander, Mr Ng Man-kim.

End

$199 million from Lotteries Fund approved *****

A total of $199,241,590 has been approved from the Lotteries Fund to finance various social welfare service programmes during the last quarter of 1996, a spokesman for the Social Welfare Department said today (Saturday).

"Of the amount, $17,927,300 are earmarked to family and child welfare services, $147,699,490 to elderly and medical social services, $24,453,000 to rehabilitation services, $5,509,600 to youth services, $3,133,000 to community development services and $519,200 to services for offenders," 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

Anti-rabies inoculation drive in fishing ports ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

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

Starting from Monday (January 20), AFD's mobile dog inoculation teams will go to the territory's fishing ports and make boat-to-boat visits between 10 am and 4 pm daily. The inoculation schedule is as follows:

Port

Date

Sha Tau Kok Aberdeen Sam Mun Chai Shau Kei Wan Castle Peak Bay Cheung Chau Sai Kung

January 20

January 20 and 21

January 21 and 22

January 22 and 23

January 23 and 24

January 27 and 28

January 28 and 29

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

An AFD senior veterinary officer, Dr Leslie Sims, said the drive was part of the Government's continuing effort to prevent rabies in Hong Kong.

"Hong Kong has enjoyed rabies-free status since July 1989. It is a status which we intend to maintain," said Dr Sims.

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

Under the Rabies Ordinance, all dogs more than five months old are required to be inoculated against rabies, microchipped and licensed. Failure to do so will render the owner liable to a maximum fine of $10,000. A licence fee of $70 will be charged per dog.

End

Vi <

7

Firing practice in February *****

Firing practice will take place at the Ha Tsuen/Castle Peak Range on 13 days next month (February). The public is advised not to enter the area when red flags are hoisted.

Following are the dates and times for the firing practice:

Date Time

February 3 (Monday) February 4 (Tuesday) February 5 (Wednesday) February 6 (Thursday) February 13 (Thursday) February 17 (Monday) February 18 (Tuesday) February 19 (Wednesday) February 20 ( Fhursday) February 24 (Monday) February 25 (Tuesday) February 26 (Wednesday) February 27 (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 8.30 am - 5 pm 8.30 am - 5 pm

End

8

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity

*****

TIME . I : AGGREGATE BALANCE OF SETTLEMENT ACCOUNTS

OPENING AGGREGATE BALANCE 1,607 MN 0930 HR 8,140 MN

CLOSING AGGREGATE BALANCE 784 MN 1000 HR 9,364 MN

CHANGE ATTRIBUTABLE TO : 1100 HR 10,968 MN

MONEY MARKET ACTIVITY NIL MN 1130 HR 9,467 MN

LAF REVERSAL +6249 MN

LAF TODAY - 7072 MN

LAF RATE 4.00% BID/6.00% OFFER TWI 126.00 *+0.2* 18.1.97

CLOSED JANUARY 18, 1997

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Sunday, January 19,1997

Cnnlents Page No,

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

Response to enquiries on SARPC legal sub-group recommendations....... 1

Youngsters recognised for outstanding volunteer services................. 2

Meet-the-public session on slope safety continues........................ 3

Spring scrolls to spread child care message.............................. 4

Special speedpost offer starts tomorrow.................................. 4

Fresh water cut in Tai Kok Tsui and Sai Kung............................. 6

1

Transcript of the Governor's media session

*****

The following is the transcript of the media session by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, after attending the Community Chest Walk for Million at So Kon Po in Happy Valley this(Sunday) morning:

Question: Governor, do you think the ICAC report on Laurence Leung should be released to Legco hearing?

Governor: I think you will get a full response from that, from the Chief Secretary and the Secretary for the Civil Service this week. Okay?

Question: Governor, what sort of role you are playing in this case?

Governor: About what?

Question: About your role?

Governor: I don't think there is any confusion at all. I think the Secretary for the Civil Service has made it absolutely clear.

Question: Would you make the order?

Governor: I don't make any orders. But I know what's going on. And everything that's been done by the Secretary for the Civil Service and others has been with my complete support and endorsement.

End

Response to enquiries on SARPC legal sub-group recommendations

*****

In response to media inquiries on certain recommendations made by the Legal Sub-group of the SARPC, a government spokesman said:

"These recommendations are sadly predictable and a retrograde step which will deal a body blow to human rights protection in Hong Kong.

i

- 2 -

”We see no legal justification whatever for repealing Sections 2, 3 and 4 of the Bill of Rights Ordinance(BORO). These provisions are fully consistent with the Basic Law and do not give the BORO a status superior to the Basic Law.

"We would also regard it as extremely damaging to repeal the Public Order Ordinance and the Societies Ordinance and to reinstate the two old ordinances which we believe to be inconsistent with the International Convenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

"It is hard to reconcile this with the provisions of the Basic Law which provide for the continued application of the ICCPR to Hong Kong after 1997.

"We hope that these misguided recommendations are not adopted as this would only send a most worrying signal to the people of Hong Kong and the international community."

End

Youngsters recognised for outstanding volunteer services *****

Forty-four young volunteers were awarded scholarships in recognition of their contributions to the Summer Youth Programme(SYP).

At the Summer Youth Programme Scholarship Presentation Ceremony today (Sunday), 44 SYP volunteers aged 15 to 26 were awarded scholarships to join either a 18-day Outward Bound Training Course or a study tour to Kagoshima, Japan.

Of the 44 awardees, 33 are students and 11 are clerical staff, engineers, technicians and advertising professionals.

One of the awardees, 20-year-old Chan Hak-lun, is particularly pleased with the recognition. Mr Chan was diagnosed to be of low intelligence and suffered from autism in primary one and was admitted to study in a special school. With his perseverance and his determination to excel, he attended a government evening institute to keep up with the normal grammar school's curriculum. With an intelligence score of 90, he is continuing his studies at a vocational training centre for the disabled.

- 3 -

Mr Chan was nominated for the award for his outstanding performance in a SYP programme organised by the Richmond Fellowship. The programme included five sessions of lectures on mental illness and two days of practical work. According to his nominator, Ms L A Barker, he has "demonstrated strong leadership, a high degree of commitment as well as genuine concern for the well-being of his fellow participants."

Mr Chan impressed the selection board as very articulate and versatile. His artistic talent is beyond doubt as his paintings had been sent more than once to represent Hong Kong in the International Exhibition of Art organised by the Royal Society for Mentally Handicapped Children and Adults, UK. In 1994 he won the Outstanding Disabled Persons Award by Rotary International.

Mr Chan has opted to join the Study Tour to Kagoshima. Japan in July.

End

Meet-the-public session on slope safety continues

*****

Government engineers and building surveyors will meet members of the public again on January 28 (Tuesday) to provide them with firsthand information on slope safety.

This is the third meet-the-public session organised jointly by the Civil Engineering Department and the Buildings Department to further promote among the public the importance of maintaining their slopes on a regular basis, and what should be done to ensure slope safety.

The session will be held from 2.30 to 5 pm at the conference room of the Central and Western District Office, 11th floor. Harbour Building. 38 Pier Road. Central.

Members of the public who arc interested in attending the session can make

prior appointments on 2852 3492 during office hours. Appointments will be arranged on a first-come, first-served basis.

End

4

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

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

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

"Children should under no circumstances be left alone, even for a short while," an SWD spokesman said today (Sunday).

"At present, there are 195 child care centres offering a total of 600 occasional child care places to families in need of the service."

Child care centres offer temporary care for children aged under six on two-hour, half-day or whole day basis. The fee for a two-hour session is $15.

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

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

End

Special speedpost offer starts tomorrow

*****

The Postmaster General, Mr Robert Footman, announced today (Sunday) that a special speedpost offer, "SpecdpostPak", will be launched from tomorrow (Monday) to March 15, 1997 (eight weeks).

The SppedpostPak offer, at five and 10 kilogram, will be available for many destinations in Asia, North America and Europe at rates representing a discount of some 10 per cent to 60 per cent.

"Our objective is to continuously provide our customers with best value international courier service," said Mr Footman.

5

"The SpeedpostPak offer is a special offer for customers to make good savings on every delivery. In fact, the five-kilogram SpeedpostPak is unique in the market. Furthermore, we provide Speedpost pick-up service on Sundays and Public Holidays."

To take advantage of the offer, customers need to use Postpak boxes. Account customers can call or fax the Speedpost Pick-up Service Centres to order the boxes which will be delivered to them and charged to their accounts. Others can purchase the boxes at any post office.

Enquiries about the SpeedpostPak offer and the pick-up arrangements on Sundays and Public Holidays may be made to the Postal Marketing Division on 2921 2277 (Fax 2541 4868).

Details of the postage rates are as follows:

Destinations Postage Rates

5-kg Option (using Code 01 Postpak carton boxes) 10-kg Option (using Code 02 Postpak carton boxes)

South East Asia Zone Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laso, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam $188 (up to 5 kg) $15 (for each additional 500 g above 5 kg) $338 (up to 10 kg) $15 (for each additional 500 g above 10 kg)

North America and Europe Zone Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Irish Republic, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portgual, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and USA $368 (up to 5 kg) $35 (for each additional 500 g above 5 kg) $718(up to 10 kg) $35 (for each additional 500 g above 10 kg)

End

6

Fresh water cut in Tai Kok Tsui and Sai Kung

*****

Fresh water supply to some premises in Tai Kok Tsui and Sai Kung will be suspended from 11 pm on Wednesday (January 22) to 6 am the following day for waste detections on watermains.

In Tai Kok Tsui, the suspension will affect areas bounded by Cherry Street, Tai Kok Tsui Road, Li Tak Street, Kok Cheung Street, including Ming Kei College and Sharon Lutheran School.

In Sai Kung, the suspension will affect Pik Uk San Tsuen, Ta Ku Ling San Tsuen, Tai Po Tsai San Tsuen, Pik Shui San Tsuen, Hong Hay Villa, Tai Po Tsai Ha Tsuen and Cheng Chek Chee Secondary School.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Monday, January 20,1997

Contents Page No,

Statement by the Governor............................................... 1

Proposal to be considered in light of long-term plan.................... 3

Value of manufacturers’ orders-on-hand in November 1996................. 3

Tender for second issue of 10-year Exchange Fund notes.................. 6

Premium vegetable production seminar on Thursday........................ 7

Provision of non-confidential establishment particulars................. 8

Water storage figure................................................ 9

Water cut in Yuen Long................................................. 10

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity....................... 10

1

Statement by the Governor

*****

The following is a statement by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, on the recommendations announced yesterday (Sunday) by the Legal Sub-Group of the Preparatory Committee to repeal or amend 25 Hong Kong ordinances.

"These proposals will cause enormous concern, both in the community and among those around the world who want to see a successful transition in Hong Kong. Some of them appear to be aimed solely at undermining the legal basis for civil liberties in Hong Kong, and they will certainly have that effect.

There is no doubt at all that the Bill of Rights Ordinance (BORO) is entirely consistent with the Joint Declaration (JD) and with the Basic Law (BL). All the Ordinance does is to embody in Hong Kong law the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) as applied to Hong Kong. The continued application of the Covenant is itself promised in the JD, and in Article 39 of the BL.

During the years in which the BORO has been a matter of public discussion, no one has at any time been able to put forward a legally respectable case as to why it, or any part of it, should be inconsistent with the BL. The proposition that it somehow purports to have a status superior to the BL is based on a misunderstanding of the common law system. There is nothing more fundamental to the success of the 'one country, two systems’ concept than the preservation intact and without ambiguity of the common law in Hong Kong.

Equally, no serious justification, either in terms of the BL or in terms of stability in Hong Kong, has ever been advanced for reimposing obsolete restrictions of the kind which the Sub-Group appears to envisage under the Societies Ordinance and the Public Order Ordinance. Hong Kong is one of the most moderate and law abiding communities in the world. Is anyone seriously worried that the unlicensed use of loud hailers in demonstrations somehow threatens to plunge Hong Kong into turbulence and anarchy? The Societies Ordinance and Public Order Ordinance in their current forms are consistent both with the BL and with the ICCPR. Any attempt to repeal amendments which were expressly required to bring them into line with the ICCPR would raise serious questions about whether the promises about civil liberties in the BL will be fulfilled. In short it will create a situation of incompatibility with the BL.

2

These proposals will also lead to new and damaging uncertainties about Hong Kong's laws and legal system. What could happen if, absurdly, the SAR authorities decided to use repressive new public order laws to prosecute someone for holding a peaceful but unlicensed march on July 2. Would the legal basis for that prosecution be open to challenge under the BL, and if so, how would the courts respond to such a challenge? These are legitimate questions which will now be asked in response to the Sub-Group's recommendations.

So these proposals are bad news. They strike at the heart of Hong Kong's civil liberties. They appear to be based on politically motivated pretexts rather than real inconsistencies with the BL. They also fly in the face of the clear and deeply held views which the community has expressed in discussion of these matters over the years. And they are a recipe for confusion and uncertainty in the operation of our legal system after June 30.

The Hong Kong and British Governments have taken every available opportunity to urge the Chinese authorities to reject earlier proposals to gut the Bill of Rights and to reinstate obsolete legislation which has been shown to be inconsistent with the Covenants. We will now go back to them to underline in unambiguous terms the damage which these proposals, if adopted, will do to confidence in Hong Kong, both at home and abroad. In doing so, we will urge that China draw back from accepting the misguided and damaging advice now being put forward by the Legal Sub-Group of the Preparatory Committee.

Let me make one further point about this ill-judged activity in the Preparatory Committee. We now have a Chief Executive (Designate). He is in the process of putting together his administration. It should be for them - the Chief Executive and his team - to consider what, if any, changes need to be made to the laws and policies of Hong Kong. Under the JD and BL Hong Kong people are to be trusted to run Hong Kong. Civil liberties are plainly nothing to do with foreign affairs or defence. It really is about time that Chinese officials and the Preparatory Committee stopped trying to close off options for the SAR Government and stopped creating problems which that government will have to cope with after the handover. It should be for Mr Tung and his team, once in office, to take decisions freely on how they wish to administer Hong Kong."

End

3

Proposal to be considered in light of long-term plan

*****

In response to media enquiries about a proposal to expand the existing Kowloon premises of the Hong Kong Teachers' Centre, the Deputy Chief Inspector of Schools of the Education Department, Mr K C Ng, said today (Monday):

"The proposal to expand the premises of the Kowloon Centre of the Hong Kong Teachers' Centre will be considered in the light of a long-term policy to be formulated on the future development of all Education Department centres.

"To maximise cost-effectiveness, the department is actively considering centralising its resource and teaching centres which are providing advisory and supporting services to teachers.

"Preferably, the Hong Kong Teachers' Centre (Kowloon) and the future centralised resource and teaching centres should be accommodated in the same premises for the convenience of teachers who are the major users of these facilities. The move will also release much needed accommodation for whole-day primary schooling.

"The key consideration of the department is, of course, the effective use of premises in the long term. Naturally, our supporting services to teachers are expected to improve with centralisation. Consideration will take some time."

End

Value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand in November 1996 * * ♦ ♦ ♦

I he value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand tor local production in November 1996 decreased by 5% over a year earlier, according to the provisional results of a monthly survey released today (Monday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

Comparing November 1996 with November 1995, the value of orders of the fabricated metal products industry increased by 9%. The textiles industry and the wearing apparel industry both recorded a slight increase of 1%, comparing with the consecutive declines for a number of months. The value of orders for the electrical products industry was virtually unchanged.

4

On the other hand, decreases in the value of orders were recorded in the printing and publishing industry (-16%), the plastic products industry (-11%) and the electronic products industry (-11%).

Compared with October 1996, and bearing in mind that this comparison may be affected by seasonal factors, the value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand in November 1996 increased by 3%.

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 Census and Statistics 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 November 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.

Enquiries about the survey results may be made to the Industrial Production Statistics Section of the Census and Statistics Department on 2805 6441.

5

1 he 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

Oct 1996 (Revised) Nov 1996 over Nov 1995 (Provisional)

All industries covered in the survey - 6 - 5

- Wearing apparel - 1 + 1

- Textiles + 1

- Electronic products -11 -11

- Electrical products - 3 *

- Fabricated metal products + 5 + 9

- Plastic products -10 -11

- Printing and publishing -14 -16

* Changes within +/-0.5%

End

6

Tender for second issue of 10-year Exchange Fund notes ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority announced today (Monday) that the tender for the second issue of 10-year Exchange Fund notes will be held next Monday (January 27) for settlement on Tuesday (January 28).

An amount of HKS500 million 10-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 January 29, 2007 and will carry interest at the rate of 6.89% 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 second issue of 10-Year Exchange Fund notes

Issue number : 1701

Tender date and time : Monday, 27 January 1997,

9.30 am to 10.30 am

Issue and settlement date : Tuesday, 28 January 1997

Amount on offer : HK$500 million plus an additional 1 IKS 100 million as reserve stock for the Monetary Authority

Maturity : Ten years

Maturity date : 29 January 2007

Interest rate

: 6.89% per annum payable semi annually in arrears

V

- 7 -

Interest payment dates : 28 Jul 1997, 27 Jan 1998, 28 Jul 1998, 28 Jan 1999, 28 Jul 1999,28 Jan 2000, 28 Jul 2000, 29 Jan 2001, 30 Jul 2001,28 Jan 2002, 29 Jul 2002, 28 Jan 2003, 28 Jul 2003, 28 Jan 2004, 28 Jul 2004, 28 Jan 2005, 28 Jul 2005, 30 Jan 2006, 28 Jul 2006, 29 Jan 2007

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

Premium vegetable production seminar on Thursday ♦ * * ♦ »

Local farmers and people interested in vegetable farming are invited to take part in a seminar on premium vegetable production to be held at the Tai Lung Experimental Station this Thursday (January 23).

The seminar, jointly organised by the Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) and the Federation of Vegetable Marketing Co-operative Societies, is aimed at promoting the cultivation of exotic vegetable varieties and the use of environmentally friendly measures in pest and disease control.

An AFD agricultural officer, Ms Wendy Ko, said today (Monday) that the focus of this seminar would be on exotic vegetable varieties suitable for cultivation in cool weather.

Ms Ko said most of these vegetables supplied in Hong Kong were imported and sold at higher prices.

- 8 -

"However, there is not much difference in the production cost of exotic vegetables and that of the local varieties," she said.

"Local fanners can make use of the winter season to cultivate premium vegetables, in addition to growing local produce, to meet market demand."

The varieties to be introduced will include compositae vegetables such as romaine lettuce, red butterhead lettuce and radicchio; crops with special outlook such as red pear tomato, yellow pear tomato and pearl-like tomato; the newly introduced squash variety; and popular exotic vegetables like basil and broccoli.

This one-day seminar is part of AFD's continued programmes to transfer technical know-how and expertise to local farmers.

Topical lectures by the department's agricultural officers on cultivation methods, pest and disease control measures, as well as market situation for exotic vegetables would be given.

Participants will also have a field visit to learn more about the production of these premium vegetables.

The seminar will be held at the Tai Lung Experimental Station, Lin Tong Mei, Sheung Shui at 10 am on Thursday. As the seating capacity is only 50, priority will be given to farmers if more participants turn up.

Further enquiries on the seminar and other related farming issues can be directed to AFD's Horticulture Section or Plant Protection Section on 2679 4294 or 2679 4354.

End

Provision of non-confidential establishment particulars

*****

The Census and Statistics Department maintains a comprehensive and up-to-date computerised Central Register of Establishments which contains information relating to some 350,000 active establishments in Hong Kong.

The Register serves mainly as the sampling frame for various economic surveys conducted by the department. Besides, many other government departments and private organisations also make use of the records kept in the Register in their publicity, business promotion, survey and research work.

9

"Information kept in the Central Register of Establishments is updated on a quarterly basis," a spokesman for the department said today (Monday).

"Updated information in respect of the third quarter of 1996 is now available. A sample listing containing 20 per cent of the records randomly selected from the Register is accessible by prospective users."

Application for the supply of non-confidential particulars (including the name, address, major type of economic activity and employment size class) of all or part of the listed records can be made to the Central Register of Establishments Section of the department.

The information can be supplied in the form of photocopies or specially-run magnetic tapes. A charge will be levied for this service, at the following rates:

$6.1 per page of photocopy for the first 20 pages and $1.4 for each

additional page thereafter; or

a charge of about $1,000 for a job requiring special computer run (exact amount depending on the complexity of the job concerned), if the information is required on magnetic tapes. The magnetic tape can be provided by the applicant, or by the department at a charge of $143 per tape.

Further details about the provision of this service can be obtained from the Central Register of Establishments Section of the department on 2582 4760.

End

Water storage figure ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Storage in Hong Kong's reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 78.7 per cent of capacity or 461.210 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 470.396 million cubic metres of water, representing 80.3 per cent of capacity.

End

10

Water cut in Yuen Long

*****

Fresh and flushing water supply to some premises in Yuen Long will be suspended from 11 pm on Thursday (January 23) to 6 am the following day for waste detections on watermains.

The suspension will affect those premises along Kam Tin Road between Ko Po Tsuen and Kam Sheung Road, including Tsz Tong Tsuen, Tai Hong Tsuen, Kat Hing Wai and Shek Wu Tong Tsuen.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity

*****

TIME AGGREGATE BALANCE OF SETTLEMENT ACCOUNTS

OPENING AGGREGATE BALANCE 784 MN 0930 HR 9,358 MN

CLOSING AGGREGATE BALANCE 514 MN 1000 HR 10,318 MN

CHANGE ATTRIBUTABLE TO : ••'.C . - 1100 HR 17,575 MN

MONEY MARKET ACTIVITY +294 MN 1200 HR 23,509 MN

LAF REVERSAL +5,793 MN 1500 HR 27,701 MN

LAF TODAY - 6,357 MN 1600 HR 32,333 MN

LAF RATE 4.00% BID/6.00% OFFER TWI 126.2 *+0.2* 20.1.97

11

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF Bills EF Notes/MTRC Notes

Terms Yield Terms Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.38 2 years 2811 5.72 100.20 5.68

1 month 4.43 3 years 3001 6.17 100.19 6.19

3 months 4.57 5 years 5112 6.57 100.12 6.65

6 months 4.80 7 years 7311 6.80 100.18 6.88

12 months 5.10 10 years 1610 7.37 102.92 7.07

5 years M5O3 7.35 102.13 6.91

TOTAL TURNOVER OF EF BILLS AND NOTES - $18,681 MN

CLOSED JANUARY 20, 1997

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Tuesday, January 21,1997

Contents Page No,

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

Government House spokesman on Indian group's press statement.......... 2

Customs’ response on normal inspections on PLA............................. 3

Business as usual for HK’s budgetary and fiscal planning................... 3

BA to open up committee meeting............................................ 5

Alarm system and phone allowances for single elderly....................... 6

Sham Shui Po DB organises seminar on new arrival students.................. 7

AFD staff commended for suggestions........................................ 8

Industry Department’s Home Page launched................................... 9

Red packets given to elderly.......................................... 11

Transfer of VMs from HIDC’s South Camp today.......................... 11

Monitors’ report submitted to CS.......................................... 12

Insider Dealing Tribunal lay members appointed............................ 12

58 convicted pollution cases recorded in December......................... 13

January issue of Monthly Digest of Statistics on sale..................... 13

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

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity.......................... 19

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 today's (Tuesday) ExCo meeting:

Governor: Good morning. Among other things, we discussed in the Executive Council this morning the extremely disturbing announcement made on Sunday by the Preparatory Committee "Legal" -1 think that is how they describe themselves - Subcommittee. We very much share the widespread concern throughout the community about the proposals which have been made by this group of people. I hope they will have noticed just how deep the anxieties in the community are. I think those concerns focus on three things.

First of all, these proposals would undermine the rule of law, and it is the rule of law which is fundamental to Hong Kong's decency and prosperity. They are, to be honest, legal nonsense and they would raise serious question-marks over the early days and weeks and months of the S AR Government.

Secondly, these proposals undermine the promise that Hong Kong people themselves will run Hong Kong. These are decisions about the protection of civil liberty which should be taken in Hong Kong - of course in line with the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law and the International Covenants which are applied through the Basic Law to Hong Kong.

Thirdly, I am afraid these proposals send a very powerful and disturbing message to this community and to the international community about China's view of human rights in Hong Kong. It is a disturbing message and I hope the damage which has been done can be corrected as rapidly as possible.

Question: What concrete steps will the British and Hong Kong Governments be taking now?

Governor: We are discussing with London the diplomatic steps that we will now take. That will include, of course, raising our very deep concerns through the Joint Liaison Group machinery but we will be going further than that and as soon as we have an announcement we will make one.

Question: Mr Patten, now that China insists that the covenants appeared to contradict with the Basic Law, and if Britain doesn't agree with this will it suggest to take the case to the International Court?

2

Governor: Nobody agrees with this. There will be lawyers, I hope, making the position absolutely plain to the Legislative Council later this week. There is no attempt whatsoever to justify these decisions by pointing out exactly how some of these Bill of Rights provisions infringe the Basic Law, no attempt to do that at all. There aren't legal arguments insofar as legal issues are raised, and what is proposed is complete nonsense.

Question: How far can the British and Hong Kong Governments go? What makes you think that you can take any sort of action that will result in some sort of reversal? It didn't seem to work with the creation of the provisional legislature. What makes you think that any steps you take now will have any effect at all?

Governor: We are looking at what more we can do. But clearly, we are concerned about what appears to be the reckless disregard which some Chinese officials seem to show for the impression created about Hong Kong, about its future, about its freedom, about its success and stability. China must learn to trust Hong Kong. Hong Kong is a moderate and responsible place. Look out there, this isn't a community which is on the edge of social chaos. It is not necessary to do these things which China is talking about. Chinese officials have got to learn to trust this community which is sophisticated, stable and successful. And it has got to leave these decisions to the SAR Government. Thank you very much.

End

Government House spokesman on Indian group's press statement ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

In response to enquiries about a claim made in a press release issued by the Indian Resources Group that Government House has strictly specified that no press be allowed at an Indian Association luncheon attended by the Governor tomorrow, a Government House spokesman said Government House has never made that request.

"In fact, Government House has made it clear to the Indian Association that we are happy to have the presence of the news media, but they have decided that they wish the event to be private.

"We respect their wish. The speech that the Governor will be delivering will be released to the press afterwards," the spokesman said.

End

3

Customs' response on normal inspections on PLA ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Replying to press questions on whether the PLA would be subject to normal customs inspections on entering or leaving Hong Kong, the Commissioner of Customs and Excise, Mr Lawrence Li Shu-fai, today (Tuesday) said that the present law is clear that anyone who enters or leaves I long Kong is subject to customs inspections unless he is exempted from such control (for example those who are accorded with diplomatic privileges) under the law.

"At present such exemption does not apply to the PLA under the current legislation," Mr Li said.

Following the handover the arrangements in this respect would depend on what the law says at that time, he added.

End

Business as usual for UK's budgetary and fiscal planning

*****

The Secretary for the Treasury, Mr K C Kwong, today (Tuesday) said the prudent fiscal policies that had worked so well in the past had continued to guide the formulation of the Budget in the forthcoming year. They would also continue to guide the formulation of future Budgets after the transition.

Speaking to a visiting delegation from the French Bankers Association, Mr Kwong said he was confident that as far as Hong Kong’s budgetary and fiscal planning was concerned, it would be business as usual.

He said the reason was simple. "We have our fiscal policies enshrined in the mini-constitution of the future Hong Kong Special Administrative Region - the Basic Law," he said.

"Article 107 of the Basic Law states that - ’The Hong Kong Special Administration Region shall follow the principle of keeping expenditure within the limits of revenues in drawing up its budget, and strive to achieve a fiscal balance, avoid deficits and keep the budget commensurate with the growth rate of its gross domestic product.’

4

"This article enjoins us to continue to maintain a small government and live within our means."

But, Mr Kwong said, that was not the end of the story.

"Article 108 of the Basic Law states that - ’The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall, taking the low tax policy previously pursued in Hong Kong as reference, enact laws on its own concerning types of taxes, tax rates, tax reductions, allowances and exemptions, and other matters of taxation.’

"Not only does this article require us to maintain our low (simple and predictable) taxation system, it makes it clear that Hong Kong will have autonomy in the decision of its tax policies from the Chinese Central Government," he added.

Turning to the philosophy of Hong Kong’s fiscal policies, Mr Kwong said insofar as the role of the Government is concerned, "we are great believers in the adage that small is beautiful".

"We firmly believe that it is the private sector which generates the wealth on which all else depends. We have no wish to see a public sector which grows disproportionately and which competes with the private sector for resources. The implications in terms of higher taxation, reduced competitiveness and distorted investment decisions are simply unacceptable to us," he said.

"The consequences of this philosophy is that as a share of the economy, measured by GDP, we have kept the public sector at below 20 percent."

The Secretary for Treasury said a corollary of the "small government" philosophy was that "we live within our means".

"We spend only what we can afford (both economically and fiscally). In the past ten years, we have seen only one year in which there has been a budget deficit. That was in 1995-96 because of our substantial investment in the new airport and related infrastructure, an investment which will bring us enormous long term dividends," he said.

"Yet, despite the deficit in 1995-96, we have added over HKS120 billion to our reserves in the last ten years. And we are one of the few governments in the world to have no outstanding debt."

Mr Kwong went on to explain how the Government puts this philosophy into practice.

5

"On expenditure, we keep strict control over government spending. We do not allow it to grow, over time, faster than the trend growth rate of the economy. It is worth emphasising that we are focusing not on expenditure growth in one year, but in a number of years over time," he said.

"To achieve this medium term control on expenditure growth, we adopt a five year planning horizon. Each year, in considering our fiscal health and the Budget for the coming year, we look at our expenditure commitments and economic prospects in the current and upcoming four years."

On revenue, he said, Hong Kong maintains a low, simple and predictable taxation system.

"A low taxation system ensures resources are left as far as possible in the private sector. A simple taxation system ensures efficiency in tax collection by minimising the scope for tax avoidance. A predictable taxation system provides the necessary assurance to investors to invest in the medium and longer term," he said.

Mr Kwong noted that this successful two-pronged approach had raised sufficient revenue to meet Hong Kong's spending needs and built up a very healthy level of reserves.

"Applying these principles has generated the resources for a modem infrastructure, for better homes, for better health care, for better schools and social welfare," he added.

End

BA to open up committee meeting ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Broadcasting Authority will open up its Codes of Practice Committee meeting to the public this Saturday (January 25).

The Committee has been set up to review the codes of practice relating to programme, advertising and technical standards for broadcasting services and to make recommendations regarding amendments to the codes to the Broadcasting Authority.

6

The meeting on Saturday, to be chaired by Mr Clement Tao Kwok-lau, will discuss the draft codes of practice on programme and advertising standards for programme services which are expected to be licensed upon enactment of the Television (Amendment) Bill.

Members of the public are welcome to observe the proceedings of the meeting which will take place at 9.30 am at the Conference Room of the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority, 39th Floor, Revenue Tower, 5 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai. As seating capacity is limited, they should ring 2594 5707 to reserve a seat.

End

Alarm system and phone allowances for single elderly ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Social Welfare Department has awarded a special grant to some 1,100 single elderly people to help them install an emergency alarm system designed to summon immediate rescue when in distress.

A department spokesman said today (Tuesday) that the number of applications for the grant had been increasing steadily and that the trend would continue.

He said the experience of the cold spell early last year showed that elderly people living alone were not always aware of the importance of effective communication at times of emergency.

The SWD launched a four-month exercise last August to reach out to all single elderly Comprehensive Social Security Allowance (CSSA) recipients who were not receiving a subsidy for telephone charges to help them install a telephone if they needed one.

The exercise found that as at the end of December 1996, out of 56,000 single elderly CSSA recipients living alone, about 53,000 (or 95 per cent) were known to have a telephone available for use in emergency.

"Among the 53,000, we have granted telephone allowance to some 23,000, or 41 per cent," the spokesman pointed out.

7

"The other 30,000 were found to have access to a telephone either through their landlords or fellow-tenants."

Most of the remaining 3,000 recipients who rejected the telephone offer said they found the device disturbing.

Others gave the reason that they intended to leave Hong Kong or to move house, he said.

"During this exercise, our staff also took the opportunity to introduce to the elderly the social networking scheme and the availability of the emergency alarm system grant for those in special need," the spokesman said.

End

Sham Shui Po DB organises seminar on new arrival students * * * * *

Principals, teachers and social workers providing services for new arrival students in Sham Shui Po and new immigrants are invited to participate in a seminar on February 1 (Saturday).

Co-organised by the Sham Shui Po District Board's Working Group on Youth and Sham Shui Po District Office, the seminar is aimed at examining the characteristics of new arrival students in the district and reviewing the existing services provided for them.

Guest speakers, including the Chairman of Sham Shui Po Group and Community Services Co-ordinating Committee, Mr Leung Suet-chung: a social worker of International Social Service Hong Kong Branch. Ms Liu Kam-fung; and Deputy Headmaster of Sham Shui Po Kai Fong Welfare Advancement Association Primary School. Ms Tse King-chee, will give their views on a survey conducted by the working group last year on adaptation and needs of young new arrivals from China in the district.

Sham Shui Po District Officer, Mr John Leung; Sham Shui Po District Social Welfare Officer. Miss Leung Chuen-nam: and Sham Shui Po Senior Education Officer. Mrs Jeanne Chan, will talk about services provided to new arrival students.

8

New arrival families and students will be invited to share their experiences with other participants.

The seminar will be held from 9 am to 1 pm at the City University of Hong Kong. For enrolment and enquiries, please call 2720 4251 Ext 2.

End

AFD staff commended for suggestions *****

Thirteen staff members of the Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) were commended under the Departmental Staff Suggestions Award Scheme by their director, Dr Lawrence Lee, this (Tuesday) morning.

Speaking at the AFD's annual presentation ceremony held at the department’s headquarters, Dr Lee praised the award winners, all attached to country’ parks management centres, for their innovative and practical suggestions.

Mr Lam Tak-choi from the Clear Water Bay Country Park Management Centre emerged as the overall winner and was awarded SI0,000 for his innovative method to improve the collection and clearing of ashes from barbecue pits.

The suggestion to replace aluminium litter stockade plate by concrete plate earned Mr Wong Shing-lung and Mr Cheng Shun-ming a cash award of S3.000. Both of them work in the Pak Tam Chung Management Centre.

A team of six from Tai Tong Management Centre was awarded $3,000 for a method to construct concrete tree imitation barbecue pit.

Four other country parks management staff were presented with cash prizes and certificates of commendation for suggestions to improve efficiency and costeffectiveness in their work.

At the ceremony, Dr Lee also presented a letter of commendation to a fisheries technical officer, Mr Chan Hung-tao, for his effort in the successful development and promotion of the use of moist pellet fish feed.

Meanwhile, 29 staff received certificates for their long and meritorious service. They have served in the department for either 20 or 30 years.

9

Retirement souvenirs were also presented by Dr Lee to 58 colleagues, whose length of service ranged from 14 to 42 years.

Dr Lee said the long-serving colleagues had made contributions to the department's work on agriculture, fisheries, conservation and country parks.

End

Industry Department's Home Page launched ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

The Industry Department has set up an information centre on the Internet World Wide Web to disseminate to the public and industrialists information on the work of the department and support services available to manufacturers.

Over 38 million global users of the world-wide computer system can also access services of the Department on facilitation of foreign direct investment in Hong Kong on its Investment Promotion Home Page.

Information on direct services provided to the public, including laboratory accreditation, standards and calibration, product standards information and environmental support to manufacturers, is available on the Home Page.

Details of various industry-support funding schemes introduced by the Government to support projects beneficial to the development of Hong Kong's manufacturing and services industries are placed on the Internet.

These funding schemes include Applied Research and Development Scheme, Industrial Support Fund, Co-operative Applied Research and Development Scheme and Services Support Fund.

Apart from a full list of the Industry Department's contact and enquiry telephone numbers, brief descriptions on some industry-support organisations, such as the Hong Kong Productivity Council and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, are also included.

Hyperlinks to Inetemet Home Pages of these organisations have been given whenever possible.

10

The address of the Industry Department's Home Page is at http://www.info.gov.hk/id.

The Department's Investment Promotion Home Page disseminates information on the Industry Department's investment promotion programme.

The programme is organised by a network of seven industrial promotion units (IPU) attached to Hong Kong Government's Economic and Trade Offices in Tokyo, New York, San Francisco, London, Brussels, Toronto and Sydney and by the "One Stop Unit" of the Department.

"The objective of the investment promotion programme is to encourage technology or knowledge transfer to promote quality and productivity of local manufacturing and services sectors," a spokesman for the Industry Department said today (Tuesday).

"Hong Kong is already well-established as one of the principal services centres and a manufacturing control centre. It has well proven capabilities for high value-added and technology or knowledge-based undertakings in both services and manufacturing industries.

"The Internet World Wide Web is an obvious choice for putting across our message, since our target audience is both local and overseas," he added.

Users of the Internet will have access to the locations and the services provided by the IPUs and the One Stop Unit, as well as the Department's quarterly newsletter which highlights Hong Kong's technological capabilities in the manufacturing sector and the service industries.

The Investment Promotion Home Page is at http://www.info.gov.hk/investmcnt.

End

11

Red packets given to elderly ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

About 40 residents from the Ho's Clansman Association Hostel for the Elderly were each presented a red packet (Lai See) today (Tuesday) to celebrate the forthcoming Lunar New Year, thanks to the Tang Shiu Kin and Ho Tim Charitable Fund.

The red packets were distributed by the Director of Social Welfare, Mr Andrew Leung Kin-pong; Dr Ho Tim; and Mr Richard Tang at a ceremony in Po Leung Kuk.

About 8,500 single-parent families receiving Comprehensive Social Security Allowance and 950 other elderly people will also be given red packets in the next few days.

Each single-parent family will receive 150 and an elderly person $100.

More than $1.38 million from the fund has been earmarked for the purpose this year.

The fund, administered by the Social Welfare Department, provides immediate financial assistance to individuals or families cope with sudden hardship.

End

Transfer of VMs from HIDC's South Camp today

*****

A group of about 200 Vietnamese migrants, mainly from the South Camp in High Island Detention Centre, will be transferred to the Centre's Security Unit today (Tuesday) 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 January 28.

The transfer will be observed by independent monitors.

End

rn.i

12

Monitors' report submitted to CS ♦ * * ♦ ♦

The monitors appointed to observe the transfer of Vietnamese migrants selected for the Orderly Repatriation Programme from the High Island Detention Centre to the Centre's Security Unit this (Tuesday) morning have submitted their report to the Chief Secretary.

The four monitors comprised two non-official Justices of the Peace, Mr Chiu Chun-bong and Professor Nelson Chow Wing-sun; and representatives from two nongovernment organisations, Mr Thierry Taveaux from Medecins Sans Frontieres and Mr Neil Papenfus from Oxfam, Hong Kong.

End

Insider Dealing Tribunal lay members appointed ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Financial Secretary had appointed Messrs Selwyn Mar and Ian G McEvatt as lay members of a division of the Insider Dealing Tribunal to hear the Chevalier (OA) International Limited insider dealing case, a Government spokesman announced today.

The Chevalier case is the sixth insider dealing case referred by the Financial Secretary to the Tribunal since the Securities (Insider Dealing) Ordinance came into effect in September 1991.

The spokesman pointed out that Mr Mar was an accountant by profession and was the managing director of an accounting firm. Mr McEvatt was the chief executive of an asset management company, he added.

He said that the Tribunal would hold a preliminary hearing on the Chevalier (OA) International Limited case on January 23, 1997. Mr Justice Burrell, Chairman of a division of the Tribunal, will preside over the inquiry.

At the preliminary hearing, the Tribunal will announce its terms of reference and procedures for the inquiry, state its duties and powers, receive applications for representation and set a date for the main hearing.

The preliminary hearing will start at 2.30 pm and will be held in Room 702, Peregrine Tower, Lippo Centre, Queensway, Hong Kong.

End

13

58 convicted pollution cases recorded in December ♦ * * ♦ ♦

A total of 58 convictions were recorded in the courts in December 1996 fa breaching anti-pollution legislation enforced by the Environmental Protection Department.

Among them, 17 were convictions made under the Water Pollution Control Ordinance (WPCO), 14 under the Noise Control Ordinance (NCO), 17 under the Air Pollution Control Ordinance (APCO), two under the Ozone Layer Protection Ordinance (OLPO), six under the Waste Disposal Ordinance (WDO) and two under the Dumping at Sea Ordinance (DASO).

The fines ranged from $500 to $150,000. Chun Wo Construction Limited was fined $150,000 for using powered mechanical equipment not in accordance with permit conditions.

End

January issue of Monthly Digest of Statistics on sale ♦ * * * ♦

Two feature articles entitled Employment Situation of First Degree Graduates 1995 and Indicators on the Provision of Health Facilities and Manpower are published in the January 1997 issue of the Hong Kong Monthly Digest of Statistics, which is now on sale.

The higher education institutions funded by the University Grants Committee conduct Graduate Employment Surveys annually to collect information on the employment situation of all full-time graduates of the year. The survey findings provide valuable information for academic planning by the University Grants Committee and the institutions themselves.

The feature article. Employment Situation of First Degree Graduates 1995, summarises the findings of the 1995 survey in respect of first degree graduates.

The population of Hong Kong, amounting to some six million, is provided with a comprehensive range of medical and health services. Such provision of services can be reflected through indicators on the provision of health facilities and manpower.

14

The commonly used indicators, compiled on the basis of statistics on the provision of hospital beds, doctors and dentists, are analysed in the article, Indicators on the Provision of Health Facilities and Manpower, to reflect progress on these aspects during the period between 1980 and 1995.

During the period, the growth rates for hospital beds, doctors and dentists all compared favourably with the population growth rate. Therefore, the ratios of bed-to-population, doctor-to-population and dentist-to-population have all shown improvement from 1980 to 1995.

Comparison of these indicators with selected countries/territories is also made in the article. The ratio of bed-to-population for Hong Kong was comparable to those of the United States of America and the United Kingdom, while the ratios of doctor-to-population and dentist-to-population for Hong Kong were lower than those of these two countries.

Apart from the above two feature articles, the January 1997 issue 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.

The January 1997 issue of the Hong Kong Monthly Digest of Statistics is now on sale at $34 a copy. Purchase can be made at the Government Publications Centre, ground floor. Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, and 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

15

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Tender date : 21 January 1997

Paper on offer : EF Bills

Issue number : Q067

Issue date : 22 January 1997

Maturity date : 19 February 1997

Amount applied : HK$ 14,080 MN

Amount allotted : HK$5,000 MN

Average yield accepted : 4.53 PCT

Highest yield accepted 4.60 PCT

Pro rata ratio : About 76 PCT

Average tender yield

4.69 PCT

16

Tender date : 21 January 1997

Paper on offer : EF Bills

Issue number Q704

Issue date 22 January 1997

Maturity date 23 April 1997

Amount applied HK$7,684 MN

Amount allotted : HK$2,000 MN

Average yield accepted : 4.60 PCT

Highest yield accepted : 4.61 PCT

Pro rata ratio : About 8 PCT

Average tender yield : 4.70 PCT

Tender date : 21 January 1997

Paper on offer : EF Bills

Issue number : Y785

Issue date : 22 January 1997

Maturity date 21 January 1998

Amount applied IIK$6,000 MN

Amount allotted HK$500 MN

Average yield accepted 5.13 PCT

Highest yield accepted : 5.13 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 16 PCT

Average tender yield 5.26 PCT

17

Hong Kong Monetary Authority Tenders to be held in the week beginning - 27 Jan 1997:

Tender date : 27 January 1997

Paper on offer : EF Notes

Issue number : 1701

Issue date : 28 January 1997

Maturity date : 29 January 2007

Tenor : 10 Years

Amount on offer : HKS500MN+ 100 MN

Coupon : 6.89 PCT

fender date : 28 January 1997

Paper on offer * : EF Bills

Issue number : Q068

Issue date : 29 January 1997

Maturity date : 26 February 1997

Tenor : 28 Days

Amount on offer

HKS5.000 MN

18

Tender date : 28 January 1997

Paper on offer : EF Bills

Issue number : Q705

Issue date : 29 January 1997

Maturity date : 30 April 1997

Tenor : 91 Days

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

Tender date : 28 January 1997

Paper on offer : EF Bills

Issue number : H757

Issue date : 29 January 1997

Maturity date : 30 July 1997

Tenor : 182 Days

Amount on offer : HK$ 1,000 MN + 300 MN

End

4

- 19 -

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity

*****

TIME AGGREGATE BALANCE OF SETTLEMENT ACCOUNTS

OPENING AGGREGATE BALANCE 514 MN 0930 HR 7,243 MN

CLOSING AGGREGATE BALANCE 530 MN 1000 HR 19,383 MN

CHANGE ATTRIBUTABLE TO : 1100 HR 27,650 MN

MONEY MARKET ACTIVITY + 161 MN 1200 HR 33,216 MN

LAF REVERSAL +6,376 MN 1500 HR 30,656 MN

LAF TODAY -6,521 MN 1600 HR 33,807 MN

LAF RATE 4.00% BlD/6.00% OFFER TWI 126.3 *+0.1* 21.1.97

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF Notes/MTRC Notes

EF Bills

lerms Yield Terms Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.43 2 years 2811 5.72 100.11 5.73

1 month 4.46 3 years 3001 6.17 100.12 6.22

3 months 4.60 5 years 5112 6.57 100.06 6.66

6 months 4.82 7 years 7311 6.80 100.12 6.89

12 months 5.12 10 years 1610 7.37 102.81 7.09

5 years M503 7.35 102.06 6.93

TOTAL TURNOVER OF EF BILLS AND NOTES - $18,775 MN

CLOSED JANUARY 21, 1997

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Wednesday, January 22,1997

Contents Page

Chief Secretary's statement.............................................. 1

Chief Secretary's press statement........................................ 4

CS to strengthen ties with USA.......................................

Governor to inspect CSD annual parade.................................... 6

Fee revision to operate ropeways and lifts and escalators................ 6

Workload of language teachers to be reviewed.........................

Hong Kong Monetary Authority Interbank Liquidity......................... 8

1

Chief Secretary’s statement ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the text of the statement by the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, at the Legislative Council Select Committee today (Wednesday):'

With your permission Mr Chairman, I should like to make a statement to address the concerns that have arisen in the course of this enquiry. These concerns seem to fall into four main contentions -

(a) that the Administration has lied and misled this Committee in an attempt to cover up the reasons behind Mr Laurence Leung’s sudden departure from the Civil Service.

(b) that the reasons provided by the Administration for Mr Leung’s sudden departure do not justify such harsh treatment.

(c) that the Governor had forced the early retirement of Mr Leung for political reasons. t

(d) that sensitive information concerning the operations of the Immigration Department had been passed on to unauthorised parties by Mr Leung.

On point (a): I wish to make it clear that the Administration has not lied nor sought to mislead this Committee. All officers appearing before Members have tried to answer questions put to them as honestly as they could bearing in mind the limitations imposed by the rule of confidentiality. As the Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr W K Lam, has made clear, it is an unwritten rule well understood by all civil servants that matters discussed between an officer and the Secretary for the Civil Service concerning personal and employment matters should remain confidential and should not be divulged publicly unless and until the officer concerned consents to disclosure. Strict adherence to this rule is crucial for the good management of the Civil Service. Mr Lam gave his word to Mr Leung that he would regard Mr Leung’s retirement as a personal matter between him and the Government. Despite persistent questioning he has kept his word until Mr Leung himself waived the rule of confidentiality. I can well understand Members’ frustration but until that stage, Mr Lam was simply not in a position to give this Committee as comprehensive a response as you would have liked. I hope you will make allowance for the constraints facing Mr Lam and other officers who were summoned before this Committee.

Since Mr Leung chose to waive the rule of confidentiality, Mr Lam has set out clearly the reasons for contemplating action under CR 59 against Mr Leung. Our decision was based on information gathered during the ICAC investigation, reinforced by the findings of the integrity checking which Mr Leung failed. There are no other reasons for our action.

2

On point (b): It has been suggested by some that non-disclosure of assets and investments and failure to repay a housing loan were mere indiscretions or technical breaches, not sufficiently serious to warrant instant dismissal or forced retirement. As head of the Civil Service, I have to say that I disagree strongly. Mr Leung has blatantly disregarded rules, despite having his attention drawn specifically to the requirements and warned of the consequences of non-compliance, that is disciplinary action or dismissal. Mr Leung headed an important disciplinary force responsible for a range of sensitive issues that could affect every man, woman and child in Hong Kong as well as overseas visitors. On his leadership depended the reputation of the entire Immigration Department,. not only in the eyes of the local community but also with overseas Governments. In the course of his normal duties, Mr Leung himself would have taken disciplinary action against junior officers for similar or other breaches. Rules governing conduct and discipline apply equally to both junior and senior staff. Indeed we take a more serious view of breaches by senior staff from whom we demand a high standard of personal integrity, absolute honesty and accountable behaviour. The community would expect no less. In our view, each of the offences listed in the letter which would have been sent to Mr Leung was sufficiently serious on its own to warrant action. Taken together, they cast serious doubt over Mr Leung's integrity, character and his suitability to remain in post. These breaches and Mr Leung's failure to pass his integrity checking left us no choice but to act and to act decisively. We decided that Mr Leung must leave the service quickly. Our concern was to minimise the adverse impact on staff morale, and to avoid tarnishing the image of the Immigration Department which could in turn have undermined the confidence which other countries have in our immigration services. It was Mr Leung's own choice to retire immediately (as he was perfectly entitled to do). If Mr Leung had chosen to face action under CR 59, he would have been interdicted from duty immediately. There could be no question of his remaining in post whilst facing CR 59 proceedings. Equally, it would have been imprudent to allow Mr Leung to remain in charge of sensitive issues and systems whilst serving his period of notice, however short, given the circumstances of his departure. In this instance, it is entirely reasonable for us to require Mr Leung to leave his post with one day's notice. Indeed in the private sector, little notice is given in similar circumstances.

On point (c): As head of the Administration, the Governor is naturally consulted on any actions against senior staff. In Mr Leung's case, the Governor was kept fully in the picture but he did not at any stage issue any directive. He relied on my judgement as head of the Civil Service and I of course took into account the views of the Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr Lam and the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai who was Mr Leung's immediate superior officer. We all agreed to initiate action under CR 59 unless Mr Leung chose to retire voluntarily. I wish to make it clear that no political motives were involved. The grounds for proceeding against Mr Leung have been clearly set out by Mr Lam. There are no other grounds.

3

On point (d): I wish to state categorically that there is no evidence to suggest that the integrity and security of any systems handled by the Immigration Department have been compromised and I include in that the process for issuing the new SAR passports. Let me address the specific newspaper allegations made against Mr Leung:

(a) There is no evidence and no reason to suppose that Mr Leung is or was a "Chinese Agent".

(b) There is no evidence and no reason to believe that the list of BNSS beneficiaries has been compromised. In any case, Mr Leung, as Director of Immigration, did not personally hold such a list.

(c) Nor do we have any evidence and reason to believe that he has passed any information on asylum seekers in Hong Kong to unauthorised parties. He did not personally hold this information, nor do we have any record of his seeking to acquire it.

Mr Chairman, we have in Hong Kong a Civil Service that is the envy of many communities elsewhere. We are known for our efficiency and high standard of integrity and probity. That reputation has not come about by chance. It has been hard won by good management and scrupulous adherence to well tried rules and regulations governing civil servants' work and private lives. These rules have evolved over the years and contain sufficient checks and balance to prevent arbitrary and unfair behaviour on the part of management. They are designed as much for the protection of individual officers as to provide effective tools for the Administration to manage a body of 180,000 officers. This is not an easy task. At this sensitive and critical stage of the transition when there is concern over maintaining standards in the Civil Service after 1997. it seems to me all the more important that we should re-affirm our standards, and be seen to deal decisively with a very senior officer who by his own acts or omissions has demonstrably fallen well below the standards we expect of him and in whom we no longer have any confidence or trust.

The Administration fully accepts that it is accountable to this Legislature. At the same time, we must be allowed to manage the Civil Service and to take the necessary decisions affecting individual officer's careers. It is never easy to ask a senior colleague to leave. In the final analysis, it is a matter of judgement as to whether an officer remains suited or unsuited for high office. We have made that decision in so far as Mr Leung is concerned and we stand by that decision.

Mr Chairman, I hope that my testimony today together with Mr Lam's testimony earlier this morning will satisfy Members as to the reasons for Mr Leung's sudden departure. I urge the Committee to bring this enquiry to a close as soon as possible in order to avoid further damage to the morale and image of the Immigration Department.

4

Members have asked me to produce ”a copy of the ICAC Investigation Report forwarded to the Administration for consideration as to whether any administrative and disciplinary action was necessary.” I should explain that what was sent to me by the Commissioner was a letter with certain enclosures. I have taken the advice of the Commissioner and I am prepared to disclose the letter to the Committee and do my best to answer any questions thereon, in camera. Members will appreciate however that there are limits to the extent to which the inner-workings of the ICAC can be revealed without compromising its future operations and I propose therefore that further discussion on the issue be conducted in camera.

End

Chief Secretary’s press statement *****

The following is the transcript of the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan’s press statement today (Wednesday) after attending a Legislative Council Select Committee meeting on Mr Laurence Leung’s departure :

Chief Secretary: I am very glad to have this opportunity to appear before the select committee in order to clarify the reasons as to why we proceeded against Mr Leung and asked for his retirement from the civil service. I stressed the reasons we have already laid out very, very clearly. They have everything to do with his conduct, with his integrity and it was because he had breached fairly blatantly these regulations and rules that we no longer had confidence in his ability to continue to lead a very important disciplinary force.

I particularly feel it important to maintain the very high standard of integrity and probity that we expect of senior officers in the civil service, particularly officers who are in charge of disciplinary forces. It is crucially important to maintain the reputation of the civil service, particularly given the community's concern about maintenance of a high standard of behaviour and conduct in the civil service after 1997.

We feel within the administration that based on the actions and omissions of Mr Leung, there was full justification in requiring him to leave the service. I made it quite plain that other than the reasons that have already been clearly stated, there are no political motives. I stress, no political motives. I also clarified that we have no reason to believe and no evidence to suggest that any of the systems operated within the Immigration Department have in any way been compromised. I very much hope of course that the inquiry can be brought to a close speedily.

5

I have also in camera offered to disclose the letter that the Commissioner of ICAC sent to me together with certain enclosures. But members require more time to look at these papers and of course after they have perused these papers I shall be very happy to answer further questions and other officers, including the Secretary for the Civil Service and the Secretary for Security would also be happy to answer farther questions arising from those disclosures.

End

CS to strengthen ties with USA ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, will depart tomorrow (Thursday) for a visit to the United States. This is her second trip to the US since June 1996. She will be attending a conference in Monterey, and conducting speaking engagements in San Francisco, Dallas and Houston.

The first leg of Mrs Chan’s visit is to Pebble Beach of Monterey. There sht attends a conference organised by the Asia-Pacific Roundtable. She will deliver a speech on ”HK Beyond 1997".

Upon adjournment of the three-day conference in Pebble Beach, Mrs Chan will depart for San Francisco in the evening of January 26.

While in San Francisco, Mrs Chan will visit the University of California. Berkeley where she will address a luncheon hosted by Chancellor Tien. She will renew her business contacts there.

She will deliver a keynote speech on January 28 at the luncheon jointly hosted by The World Affairs Council of Northern California, Hong Kong Association of Northern California and The Commonwealth Club of California.

Mrs Chan will arrive at Dallas. Texas in the evening of January 28. There she will meet Mayor Kirk of Dallas the following day and deliver a keynote speech at the inauguration dinner of the Hong Kong Association of Northern Texas.

The last stop of Mrs Chan's visit is Houston where she will have a private meeting with the former US President George Bush and call on Mayor Robert Lanier. She will deliver a keynote address at a luncheon meeting hosted by the Houston Forum and the Asia Society.

6

At the gala dinner hosted by the Asia Society the following evening, she will receive an award in recognition of her contribution to international understanding and an honorary citizen award of the City of Houston.

Mrs Chan will be back to Hong Kong in the evening of February 3.

End

Governor to inspect CSD annual parade ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, will take the salute at the annual inspection of the Correctional Services Department (CSD) this Friday (January 24) at the CSD Staff Training Institute in Stanley.

Mr Patten will also present Colonial Prison Service medals to 30 CSD officers.

The ceremony will feature pipers and marching performances by inmates of the Tai Tam Gap Correctional Institution and the marching band of inmates of the Cape Collinson Correctional Institution.

End

Fee revision to operate ropeways and lifts and escalators * ♦ * * *

The Government proposed that specific fees charged under the Aerial Ropeways (Safety) Ordinance and the Lifts and Escalators (Safety) Ordinance would be increased with effect from 8 March 1997, subject to the Legislative Council's approval.

A Government spokesman today (Wednesday) said the proposed general rate of increase was 9 per cent which was based on the movement of the Government Consumption Expenditure Deflator. Regarding the fees for registering as aerial ropeways operator and for amending their limited certificates, the proposed increase was 44 per cent.

7

“These two items were last revised based on a two-year cost recovery phasing programme. This year is the last phase of the programme and the proposed increase is to achieve full cost recovery,” the spokesman said.

"Although the 44 per cent increase which is proposed in accordance with this principle appears to be quite high, the monetary increase is only $390.

"The impact on the operating cost of the single aerial ropeways operator in Hong Kong is therefore minimal," he added.

End

Workload of language teachers to be reviewed ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Education Department has commissioned the Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd) to conduct a review of the workload of language teachers in primary' and secondary schools in a bid to improve language teaching and learning.

The review, which was recommended in Education Commission Report No 6, is to find out whether the total workload of these teachers, including preparation, delivery and marking, is in general no greater than that of teachers of other subjects.

It was also recommended that the teaching methods for language subjects, the curriculum and examinations should all be reviewed as they affect the acquisition of language proficiency and have a bearing on teachers’ workload.

The review by the Hong Kong Institute of Education will take place from this month (January) until April 1997, and will involve a survey through questionnaires and interviews, followed by consultation.

The Education Department called on teachers, school principals and related educational organisations to co-operate with the researchers if they are approached for assistance.

An Education Department working group formed in response to the Education Commission recommendation will monitor the progress of the HKIEd review, discuss the survey findings and make recommendations to the Director of Education.

End

8

Hong Kong Monetary Authority Interbank Liquidity * ♦ * ♦ ♦

Time Aggregate Balance of Settlement Accounts

Opening aggregate balance 530 mn 0930 hr 8,105 mn

Closing aggregate balance 695 mn 1000 hr 9,857 mn

Change attributable to : Money market activity -39 mn 1100 hr 1200 hr 19,141 mn 19,145 mn

LAF reversal +6,521 mn 1500 hr 22,553 mn

LAF today -6,317 mn 1600 hr 34,714 mn

LAF rate 4.00% bid/6.00% offer TWI 126.4 *+0.1* 22.1.97

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EE bills

EF notes/Ml RC notes

Terms Yield Terms Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.13 2 years 2811 5.72 100.26 5.64

1 month 4.32 3 years 3001 6.17 100.28 6.16

3 months 4.51 5 years 5112 6.57 100.35 6.59

6 months 4.75 7 years 7311 6.80 100.54 6.81

12 months 5.09 10 years 1610 7.37 103.28 7.02

5 years M5O3 7.35 102.25 6.88

Total turnover Of Ef bills and notes - $37,208 mn

Closed January 22, 1997

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

SUPPLEMENT

Wednesday, January 22,1997

-Contents Page No,

Legislative Council meeting: Administration of Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill.............. 1

Auxiliary Forces Pensions (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 1997 ....... 3

Efforts made to help CSSA recipients find jobs........................ 4

Supplementary Labour Scheme........................................... 7

Action against unauthorised building works............................ 8

Issue of medical certificates to patients............................ 10

Criteria for turning rental flats into flats for sale................ 12

Fund-raising activities on flag days................................. 13

Buildings identified for comprehensive improvement................... 16

/High occupancy.....

Contents

Eage No,

High occupancy rate in Housing Society's rental flats................... 17

Psychiatric services in public hospitals................................ 18

Criteria for appointing judges and judicial officers.................... 19

Overseas medical students............................................... 19

Conventional door-phone systems well received........................... 21

Emergency alarm systems for elderly singletons.........................  36

Assignment of judges.................................................... 38

Overpayment of tax...................................................... 38

CSSA statistics......................................................... 40

Mandatory Provident Fund................................................ 41

Traffic accidents caused by tail-gating................................. 42

1

Administration of Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill *****

Following is a speech by the Attorney General, Mr Jeremy Mathews, in moving the second reading of the Administration of Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 1997 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that the Administration of Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 1997 be read the second time. The Bill aims to amend seven Ordinances which relate to the administration of justice and which need revision or improvement, and to repeal eight Ordinances which are no longer needed or do not suit Hong Kong’s present circumstances. The main elements of the Bill are as follows.

Part II of the Bill amends the Supreme Court Ordinance, the District Court Ordinance, the Small Claims Tribunal Ordinance and the Coroners Ordinance to modernize the qualifications for judicial appointment under those Ordinances.

At present, some of the professional qualifications and post-qualification experience required for judicial appointment contain colonial connotations. For example, under section 5 subsection (1) of the District Court Ordinance, no person shall be appointed to be a District Judge unless, among other matters, "he is qualified to practise as an advocate or as a solicitor in a court in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland or some other part of the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland having unlimited civil or criminal jurisdiction in that country". There are similar provisions in the Small Claims Tribunal Ordinance and the Coroners Ordinance. Furthermore, under section 9 subsection (2) of the Supreme Court Ordinance, service as a member of the Colonial Legal Service, the Legal Branch of Her Majesty’s Overseas Civil Service, or Her Majesty's Overseas Judiciary is recognized as relevant experience in the consideration of a person’s qualification for appointment as a judge of the Supreme Court. It is necessary to modernize these outdated provisions.

We propose to replace those overseas qualifications by a standard requirement that, to be eligible for judicial appointment, an applicant who is not qualified to practise in Hong Kong as a barrister or solicitor must be qualified to practise as an advocate in a court in another common law jurisdiction. This is consistent with Article 92 of the Basic Law, which provides that judges and other members of the judiciary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be chosen on the basis of their judicial and professional qualities and may be recruited from other common law jurisdictions, and will also assist Hong Kong in retaining its links with the common law world.

2

Although this is not the purpose of the proposal, the amendments will also have the effect of widening the pool of eligible candidates for judicial appointment. For example, an overseas advocate with no Hong Kong or colonial experience is at present eligible for appointment as a High Court judge only if he has 10 years' experience as an advocate or solicitor in the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland. Under the proposed amendments an advocate with 10 years' experience in any common law jurisdiction will be eligible. I would, however, emphasize that the Judiciary remains committed to attracting Hong Kong lawyers to become judges and magistrates.

Part III of the Bill amends the Application of English Law Ordinance and the Defamation Ordinance in order to tidy up the legislative provisions concerning the functions of the judge and jury in a trial on indictment for criminal libel. At present, the Application of English Law Ordinance provides that the English Libel Act 1792 applies in Hong Kong. That Act states that it is the members of the jury, rather than the judge, who are to decide whether the words complained of in a libel case refer to the plaintiff, and whether the words have a defamatory meaning. We propose to amend the Defamation Ordinance to include provisions similar to those in the Libel Act. Consequently, the Bill provides for the reference to the Act in the Application of English Law Ordinance to be repealed.

Part IV of the Bill repeals the General Loan and Stock Ordinance, the Hong Kong Treasury Bills (London) Ordinance, the Public Stores Ordinance, the Essential Commodities Reserves Ordinance, the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Amendments) Ordinance, the Norwegian Seamen's Mission Incorporation Ordinance, the Institute of the Soeurs des Missions Etrangeres Incorporation Ordinance and the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce Special Relief Fund Ordinance. These Ordinances are either redundant or no longer suitable to Hong Kong and should be repealed.

Finally, Part V of the Bill amends the Magistrates Ordinance in respect of the proof of service of a summons. At present, under section 8 subsection (3) of the Magistrates Ordinance, a statutory declaration made by a police officer or bailiff stating that he personally delivered a summons to the person named in the summons is admissible as evidence of service without further proof. However, such a declaration only covers a situation where the summons was personally delivered to the relevant person. Where the summons was left with a third person at the recipient's last or most usual place of abode, the person serving the summons must currently appear in court to give evidence of its service. This has resulted in the inefficient deployment of the police officer's or bailiffs time. The proposed amendment to section 8(3) will recognize a statutory declaration as proof of service where the summons was left with a third person at the recipient's last or most usual place of abode.

Mr President, this Bill is a further move to modernize and tidy-up outdated or redundant legislative provisions. I commend it to this Council for early passage into law.

End

3

Auxiliary Forces Pensions (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 1997 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in moving the second reading of the Auxiliary Forces Pensions (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 1997 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that the Auxiliary Forces Pensions (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 1997 be read a second time.

This Bill seeks to introduce a unified scheme of calculation and payment of pensions and gratuities for the auxiliary forces.

Members of the auxiliary forces, unlike civil servants, are not eligible for pension emoluments upon normal retirement. However, a pension and/or a gratuity may be awarded to a member or his dependants if he is permanently injured or killed in connection with his duties. The payment of such pension and gratuity is provided for in the respective Ordinances of individual auxiliary forces.

There are a number of deficiencies in the present legislation concerning the calculation and payment of pensions and gratuities to members of the different auxiliary forces. For instance, the widow and dependants of a deceased member would be eligible for pension benefits, but not the widower and dependants if the deceased member is a female. There are differences in the calculation and payment of pensions for different auxiliary forces, and existing legislation does not provide for the necessary medical treatment for a member of the auxiliary forces who has retired because of an injury sustained in the course of his/her duty.

The Auxiliary Forces Pensions (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 1997 aims to provide a common basis and benchmark for the calculation of pensions and gratuities for different auxiliary forces in order to ensure fairness and uniformity. It will also bring the system for auxiliary forces into line with that for the Civil Service.

Under the unified scheme as provided for in the Bill -

(a) an injury pension will be granted to a member who is permanently injured while on duty and whose service has to be terminated. Such an injury pension will be exempt from salaries tax;

4

(b) a death gratuity will be granted to a member who dies as a result of any injury sustained in the discharge of his duty;

(c) in addition to death gratuity, a dependant pension will be paid to the spouse, covering both widows and widowers, and the dependants of a member who dies as a result of any injury sustained in the discharge of his duty;

(d) increases to pensions will be paid in line with those applicable to members of the Civil Service; and

(e) free medical treatment in respect of injuries sustained in the course of duty will be provided to a member who has retired because of that injury.

rhe Legislative Council Panel on Security was briefed on 28 October 1996 on the proposed legislation, and has not raised any queries. Early enactment of this Bill will be welcomed by members of the Auxiliary Services, who have done and will continue to do so much in support of the overall Government's efforts to maintain order, security and safety of the community. I urge Honourable Members to give this Bill speedy consideration.

Thank you, Mr President.

End

Efforts made to help CSSA recipients find jobs

*****

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

Question:

In view of the continuing increase in the number of Comprehensive Social Security Assistance ("CSSA") cases in the unemployed and low-income categories in recent years, will the Government inform this Council:

5

(a) of the measures in place to assist CSSA recipients in the unemployed and low-increase categories to regain employment and to increase their income;

(b) whether it will strengthen the liaison between the Labour Department and the Employees Retraining Board so as to promote the Employees Retraining Scheme (the "ERS") actively among CSSA recipients and encourage them to enrol in the ERS courses;

(c) how many of the 90000-plus workers who have undergone retraining under the ERS -

(i) are CSSA recipients, or

(ii) have now regained employment and are no longer receiving assistance under the CSSA Scheme, together with a breakdown of the trades in which they are engaged and the types of jobs in which they are employed; and

(d) whether consideration will be given to requiring all CSSA recipients eligible for receiving ERS retraining to enrol in the ERS courses, so as to increase their chances of regaining employment; if not, why not?

Reply:

Mr President,

First of all, I would like to thank the Hon CHENG Yiu-tong for this timely question on retraining for the unemployed, as the Employees Retraining Scheme is currently under review. My answer is as follows:

(a) It is Government policy to help CSSA recipients who have the ability to work to join the workforce so that they can support themselves rather than rely on social welfare. Under the CSSA Scheme, able-bodied adults aged between 15 and 59 are required to register with the Labour Department for employment assistance. The Local Employment Service (LES) of the Labour Department provides job seekers with a full range of employment services. Priority to such services is given to CSSA recipients. They can either choose to use the self-help mode of employment service or join the Job Matching Programme which provides in-depth interviews and counselling as well as job matching and placement services. For disabled CSSA recipients who wish to seek open employment, the Selective Placement Division of the Labour Department provides specialised placement services for them.

6

In addition, the Employees Retraining Board (ERB) offers a wide range of courses to help displaced workers acquire new or enhanced vocational skills which will facilitate them to find alternative employment. Many training bodies also provide placement services for retrainees. As an added incentive to CSSA recipients who are unemployed to receive retraining and actively look for work afterwards, any retraining allowance they receive is disregarded when determining their CSSA entitlements.

(b) The Labour Department and ERB maintain close liaison at both policy making and working levels. The Commissioner for Labour is a member of the ERB. She actively participates in formulating the retraining policy and monitoring the effectiveness of the Employees Retraining Scheme. At the working level, the LES and ERB maintain close ties in the referrals of job seekers for retraining. Leaflets introducing the Employees Retraining Scheme and monthly prospectus of the retraining programmes are distributed at all the nine LES centres and the Job Matching Centre of the Labour Department. For those CSSA recipients who are actively looking for jobs but require retraining to improve their job search skills and those who wish to acquire new vocational skills, they will be referred to the ERB and accorded priority in enrolling in suitable courses to enhance their employability.

(c) The Employees Retraining Scheme (ERS) is primarily designed to help the unemployed to re-enter the labour market through retraining, irrespective of whether they are CSSA recipients or not. Hence, retrainees are not required to provide information as to whether or not they are CSSA recipients.

(d) The Administration will consider the possibility of requiring CSSA recipients eligible for receiving ERS retraining to enrol for ERB courses.

End

7

Supplementary Labour Scheme ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

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

Question:

As the number of imported labour approved under the Supplementary Labour Scheme has exceeded the quota of 2000. Will the Government inform this Council whether:

(a) the Labour Advisory Board will stop vetting applications for import labour quota thus putting the Supplementary Labour Scheme to a halt; and whether the industrial and commercial organisations in the territory should continue to apply for imported labour to fill those job vacancies where local employees are not available; and

(b) there is an upper limit on the quota under the Supplementary Labour Scheme, if so, what the exact number is?

Reply:

Mr President,

The twin objectives of the Supplementary Labour Scheme (SLS) are -

(a) to ensure that local workers have priority in employment; and

(b) to allow those employers who have proven difficulties in recruiting

suitable local workers to import foreign workers to fill the necessary vacancies.

The objectives and main features of the SLS were drawn up following extensive public consultations and have been broadly accepted by employer and employee representatives and the community at large.

Under the SLS, the Labour Advisory Board (LAB), which is a tripartite body made up of representatives in equal numbers from employers and employees as well as the Labour Department, is consulted on all eligible applications. As the Secretary for Education and Manpower, I am grateful to the LAB for its thorough examination of these applications. Since the SLS commenced operation on 1 February 1996, 1 have accepted in full the advice from the LAB on whether an application should be approved or rejected.

8

So far, approval-in-principle for the importation of 2458 workers has been granted under the SLS. As at 18 January this year, out of the 1289 visa applications received, the Immigration Department has approved a total of 485 visas for importation of labour.

As regards part (a) of the question, the LAB has been most responsible in its monitoring role, and it continues to examine eligible applications and renders advice to the Government. It is therefore open to industrial and commercial organizations to apply for imported workers under the SLS if they believe they have genuine difficulties in recruiting suitable local workers. In this respect, all eligible applications must undergo a local recruitment exercise, which includes advertising the vacancies in local newspapers and joining the Labour Department's Job Matching Programme, before they can be further considered by the LAB.

As regards part (b) of the question, unlike the previous General Labour Importation Scheme, the SLS considers applications for imported workers on a case by case basis. There is therefore no quota ceiling under the SLS.

When the SLS was launched, the Government undertook to conduct a review of the scheme in consultation with the Labour Advisory Board to ensure that the SLS is achieving its policy objective when a total of 2 000 visa applications have been approved, that is to say, when 2,000 imported workers have arrived or will soon arrive in Hong Kong. This was explained clearly in the Legislative Council Brief -"Importation of Labour : The Way Forward", issued to Members on 9 January 1996. I have since reiterated the Government's position on various occasions.

End

Action against unauthorised building works *****

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

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

9

(a) of the number of cases involving the illegal alteration or redevelopment of small houses on private rural building lots in the New Territories over the past three years;

(b) whether there are any laws prohibiting the carrying out of such works; and

(c) if the answer to (b) is in the affirmative, whether any prosecutions have been instituted over the past three years against the property owners in the cases mentioned in (a) above; if so, of the total number of prosecutions instituted and the highest and lowest penalties imposed amongst the successful prosecutions; if not, why not?

Answer:

Mr President,

(a) The Government does not have records on illegal alteration or redevelopment of small houses on private rural building lots in the New Territories. However, over the past three years, the Buildings Department has received a total of 784 complaints about unauthorised building works relating to New Territories Exempted Houses (NTEHs), including small houses, either from the public or Government departments.

These complaints concern three main areas, namely NTEHs built without obtaining certificates of exemption under the Buildings Ordinance (Application to the New Territories) (Cap 121), NTEHs built larger than the specifications stipulated under the Ordinance, and additional structures to NTEHs in the form of roof-top structures, additional storeys, or enclosed balconies;

(b) the Buildings Department may take enforcement action against any building works relating to an NTEH which are in breach of the specifications laid down in the Buildings Ordinance (Application to the New Territories) Ordinance (Cap 121) and are in contravention of the Buildings Ordinance (Cap 123). However, building works relating to an NTEH can be exempted from the Buildings Ordinance (Cap 123) if certificates of exemption are obtained from the Director of Lands under Cap 121. In non-compliance cases, the Director of Lands may consider retrospective approval if the NTEH does not breach the specifications under Cap 121 nor the lease conditions. If necessary, he may take lease enforcement action (including re-entry of the land) under the Crown Rights (Re-entry and Vesting Remedies) Ordinance (Cap 126); and

10

(c) the Buildings Department's cunent practice, in both the urban area and New Territories, is to take enforcement action against unauthorised building works if they pose a danger to life and property. The Department has examined each of the complaints in (a) above, and confirmed that the cases did not pose a danger to life and property. On the other hand, the Lands Department may take lease enforcement action on breaches of lease conditions leading to re-entry/vesting of the property concerned. The Department also intends to register, in the Land Registry, a notice of a breach of lease conditions against the titles of properties with unauthorised building works. The notice would warn of the breach and the intended formal lease enforcement action. Such a registration is likely to put pressure on the offender to rectify the breach if he intends to sell his property.

It is our wish to tackle the problem more actively in the future. To this end, the Lands Department intends to conduct a sampling survey to quantify the extent of the present problem. On the basis of such information, we will consider how the current policy and procedures should be amended and whether additional resources are required.

Furthermore, one of the conditions for rates exemption for village houses inhabited by indigenous villagers is that the house is free from illegal structures. If illegal structures are found in subsequent random checks, the rates exemption will be withdrawn.

End

Issue of medical certificates to patients

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Chan Yuen-han and a reply the the acting Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Doris Ho, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the issue of medical certificates by medical officers in public hospitals, does the Government know:

11

(a) of the criteria adopted by the public hospitals under the management of the 1 lospital Authority for determining the level of the fee charged on medical certificates issued to patients, and the proportion of the fee charged to the cost involved in issuing such a certificate;

(b) the respective figures on the number of medical certificates issued by medical officers in public hospitals and the income therefrom in each of the years since the establishment of the Hospital Authority; and

(c) the reasons usually put forward by patients in requesting medical officers in public hospitals to issue them with medical certificates; and the average time taken by the medical officers concerned in issuing medical certificates to patients?

Mr President,

(a) I would like to start by explaining the different types of documents pertaining to a patient's conditions issued by the Hospital Authority in order to avoid any misunderstanding.

The Hospital Authority issues certificates to patients at their requests, which are usually in a standard form, or in a memo or letter format. A certificate contains very little clinical information on the patient and is usually for the purpose of certifying sick leave or fitness or unfitness of a patient to perform duty.

On the other hand, medical reports issued by the Hospital Authority contain detailed information on the medical history and conditions of individual patients.

Not all certificates and medical reports are issued at a charge. For example, certificates issued for sick leave purposes or for certifying fitness or unfitness to perform duty arc issued free of charge. Medical reports requested by a non-Hospital Authority medical practitioner for the sole purpose of continued care by that medical practitioner are also issued free of charge. For certificates and medical reports issued for other purposes, a fee varying from $555 to $2,200 per certificate or medical report is charged.

12

The underlying principle for charging or not charging for this service is that where the certificate or medical report has a direct bearing on the immediate care of the patient, no charge is levied. Where the certificates or medical reports requested have no direct bearing on medical care or treatment of the patient, such as in the case of medical reports issued for legal proceedings, a fee is charged which covers the cost involved in the production of these documents, and is non-profit making.

(b) The total number of medical certificates and reports requiring a fee issued to patients was 25,000 in 1994/95 and 28,000 in 1995/96, with a corresponding income of $11 million and $14 million respectively. The figures in 1991/92, 1992/93 and 1993/94 are not available as they were not collected in those years by the hospitals.

(c) Some of the most common reasons for requesting certificates and medical reports include legal proceedings; immigration applications; insurance or employee compensation claims; and sick leave. The time required to produce such documents is influenced by the level of complexity involved. Simple certificates certifying sick leave are issued on the spot while the compilation of a medical report could take four to six weeks.

End

Criteria for turning rental flats into flats for sale ♦ * * * *

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

Question:

It is learnt that upon the completion of the redevelopment projects at Kwun Lung Lau and Tanner Hill Estate, the Hong Kong Housing Society (the Society) will put the units of the two housing estates up for sale, as opposed to the existing units in these two housing estates being put to rental use. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of the criteria adopted in permitting the Society to sell the units of the redeveloped Kwun Lung Lau and Tanner Hill Estate?

13

Answer:

Mr President,

In deciding whether a redevelopment site will be used for building flats for sale or rental flats, the Hong Kong Housing Society takes into account the demand for subsidised home ownership flats generally and by Housing Society tenants.

The decision to redevelop a particular estate is taken by the Executive Committee of the Housing Society. Such a decision does not require the policy approval of the Government. If a site is to be converted from rental use to flats for sale, the Housing Society is required to apply to the Lands Department for lease modification.

End

Fund-raising activities on flag days

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Li Wah-ming and a written reply by the acting Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Doris Ho, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding fund-raising activities on ’’flag days”, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the following in each of the past three years -

(i) the number of charitable organizations which applied for permission to sell flags to raise funds;

(ii) the organisations whose applications were approved and the dates of the "flag days" allocated to these organisations;

(iii) the organisations whose applications were rejected and the reasons for rejection;

14

(b) of the criteria adopted for granting approval to such applications and for determining the allocation of the "flag days"; and

(c) whether an organistion permitted to raise funds on a "flag day" in a year is required to raise a specified amount of money in order to gain permission to sell flags to raise funds in the following year; if so, what the reasons are?

Reply:

(a) (i) The Social Welfare Department received applications from 68, 70

and 91 organisations to hold "flag days" in 1995, 1996 and 1997 respectively.

(ii) A total of 50, 52 and 52 organisations were approved to hold "flag days" in, respectively, 1995, 1996 and 1997.

(iii) The main reasons for rejection were as follows:

(1) the purpose of flag day is outside the ambit of welfare/medical/community services;

(2) the amount of donation required is relatively small and can be met by other forms of fundraising;

(3) the amount' x lunds raised by the appplicant in a previous flag day »j well below average compared with net proceeds raised in flag days in that year;

(4) the applicant’s expenses ratio in a previous flag day exceeded 10% of its gross proceeds.

Where the number of organisations that meet the assessment criteria exceeds the number of "flag days" available in a year, the Social Welfare Department will allocate the "flag days" by ballot.

(b) The Director of Social Welfare has developed a set of general criteria for assessing applications in consultation with the Subventions and Lotteries Fund Advisory Committee (SLFAC). They include the following -

15

* the applicant must demonstrate to be of good integrity, and have good management capability and performance record of its services;

* funds raised must be used to support charitable activities. Priority will be given to those applications relating to the provision of essential social welfare, medical and health services to meet local needs;

* the applicant must demonstrate a genuine need for fundraising. The Department would assess the applicant's financial status based on the annual statement of account taking into consideration its operating deficit or surplus, amount of usable reserve and the availability of other sources of funding; and

* the applicant must have the ability to organise a flag day effectively.

The Community Chest and six specified organizations, namely the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals, the Po Leung Kuk, the Pok Oi Hospital, the Yan Chai Hospital, the Yan Oi Tong and the Lok Sin Tong Benevolent Society Kowloon are automatically allocated a flag day every year in recognition of their long standing contributions to help the disadvantaged and vulnerable groups in our community.

(c) As explained in para (a)(iii)(3) above, one of the reasons based on which an application for fundraising is rejected is that the amount of funds raised by the applicant in a previous flag day is well below average compared with the net proceeds raised in flag days in that year. However, the Director of Social Welfare would take into account justified causes such as inclement weather before taking a decision on whether to reject the application on such ground. This requirement is to ensure that organisers will make the best use of the limited number of "flag days" to maximise proceeds.

End

16

Buildings identified for comprehensive improvement *****

Following is a question by the Hon Christine Loh Kung-wai and a written reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

At the meeting of the Home Affairs Panel of the Legislative Council held on December 20 last year, the Government informed the Panel that about 1,000 private buildings in the territory with potential fire and safety hazards had been put on a ’’watchlist”. It is learnt that a total of 331 of these buildings are located on Hong Kong Island. In this connection, will the Government provide this Council with a list of the names and addresses of the 331 buildings located on Hong Kong Island?

Reply:

Mr President,

The Home Affairs Department’s District Offices in Eastern, Wanchai and Central & Western, like their counterparts in other districts, co-ordinate government efforts in assisting the owners concerned in enhancing the management of private buildings. This is done through Building Management Co-ordination Teams (BMCT) which include professional officers seconded from the Housing Department. The BMCTs identify buildings with building management problems and select them as the target for comprehensive building management improvement. Buildings so targeted may not necessarily be those with potential fire and safety hazards. Moreover, the Home Affairs Department does not use the term ’’watchlist’’ but simply regards such buildings as those which can benefit from additional co-ordination efforts to improve their management.

End

17

High occupancy rate in Housing Society’s rental flats ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

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

Question:

Regarding rental flats under the management of the Housing Society (HS), does the Government know:

(a) of the total number of rental flats managed by the HS;

(b) of the proportion of vacant rental flats to the total number of rental flats,

together with the number of such flats being left vacant for over a year, in each of the past five years; and

(c) whether the HS has considered lowering the rent of the flats being left vacant for over a year so as to attract potential tenants?

Answer:

Mr President,

The Hong Kong Housing Society manages 33,271 rental flats. In the past five years, the average occupancy rate is about 99%. Details are given as below:

Average occupancy rate

1991-92 99.3%

1992-93 99.1%

1993-94 99.2%

1994-95 99.6%

1995-96 99.1%

In the past five years, only about 30 rental flats in Kwun Lung Lau have been left vacant for over a year, in order to facilitate slope repair following the slope failure in 1994.

As the rental flats are popular and the vacancy rate is minimal, there is no need to lower rents.

End

18

Psychiatric services in public hospitals

*****

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

Question:

Is the Government aware of the following data in public hospitals in 1995-96:

(a) the respective numbers of psychiatric patients and non-psychiatric patients who were hospitalised and the respective numbers of psychiatric patients and non-psychiatric patients who attended the out-patient departments;

(b) the respective numbers of psychiatric and non-psychiatric patients who were hospitalised for more than 28 days; and

(c) the establishment and strength of medical doctors and nurses in psychiatric service and non-psychiatric service respectively?

Reply:

Activity statistics are captured by the Hospital Authority based on the number of in-patient discharges rather than individual patients. In 1995/96, there were 8,709 discharges from psychiatric hospitals and units compared with 644,779 discharges from non-psychiatric hospitals and units. Among these cases, a total of 5,199 (59.7%) were involved with psychiatric patients and 27,820 (4.3%) with non-psychiatric patients whose length of hospital stay exceeded 28 days. The number of out-patient attendance for psychiatric and non-psychiatric patients during this period were 320,369 and 3,832,335 respectively.

The planned staffing positions and actual strength of medical and nursing staff providing psychiatric and non-psychiatric services as at March 1996 are as follows:

Planned Staffing Positions Actual Strength

Medical staff Psychiatric Non-psychiatric 167 2,814 161 2,808

Nursing staff Psychiatric Non-psychiatric 1,893 16,872 1,866 16,772

End

19

Criteria for appointing judges and judicial officers * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Chim Pui-chung and a written reply by the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council of the criteria adopted for appointing judges to the different levels of the court?

Reply:

Judges and judicial officers are selected on the basis of their judicial and professional qualifications. They are appointed by the Governor on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission. Their qualifications are stipulated in the legislation relevant to their respective tiers of the courts.*

End

Overseas medical students

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Emily Lau and a written reply by the acting Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Doris Ho, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Under the Medical Registration (Amendment) Ordinance 1995 which came into effect on 1 September last year, all medical graduates other than those of the local universities have to pass the Universal Licensing Examination before they can practise medicine in the territory. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of local residents who, before the commencement of the above Ordinance, had already enrolled in courses at recognised overseas medical institutions and are therefore exempted from the former Licentiate Examination; whether there are any of these students who are not eligible for taking the Universal Licensing Examination and if so, what the details are; and whether such students will, in consequence, become ineligible for registration as medical practitioners in the territory;

20

(b) whether the Government has advised the overseas medical institutions concerned of the amendments to the Medical Registration Ordinance; if not, when such institutions will be advised; and

(c) whether the students mentioned in (a) above will be given a grace period so that they can be exempted from taking the Universal Licensing Examination; if not, what other kinds of assistance will be provided to these students?

Reply:

(a) We have no information on the number of Hong Kong residents who were enrolled in courses at recognised overseas medical institutions exempted from the former Licentiate Examination requirement prior to the commencement of the Medical Registration (Amendment) Ordinance 1995.

Some individual students, studying medicine in Australia and Ireland, have informed the Hong Kong Medical Council that they feared they might have difficulty in securing internship training overseas which is a requirement for candidates of the Licensing Examination under the Medical Registration (Amendment) Ordinance 1995. To date, the Hong Kong Medical Council has been able to resolve satisfactorily all cases seeking the Council's help by approaching the overseas Medical Councils. At present, we are not aware of any student studying medicine abroad who cannot fulfill the requirements to sit the Licensing Examination.

(b) Upon enactment of the Medical Registration (Amendment) Ordinance in 1995, the Hong Kong Medical Council wrote to overseas Medical Councils including UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand to set out the details of the amendments to the Medical Registration Ordinance and to explain the new requirements. In mid-1996, the Hong Kong Medical Council through the Hong Kong Government Office in London issued a press release, informing the Hong Kong medical students in UK the details of the amendments and the implementation date.

(c) The Ordinance does not provide a grace period for the Hong Kong medical students under (a) above. Other than assisting these medical students in satisfying the requirement for internship in order to qualify for the Licensing Examination, the Hong Kong Medical Council announced in November 1996 that it would use administrative measures to facilitate them to register in Hong Kong, for example:

21

(i) the Hong Kong Medical Council will try to minimize the time gap between the holding of different parts of the Licensing Examination so that the medical graduates may complete the entire examination within the shortest time span;

(ii) the medical graduates may be exempted from taking Part II (Use of Professional English) of the Licensing Examination provided that English is used as the medium of instruction in the course of their medical training;

(iii) the Hong Kong Medical Council will recommend to the Council's Licentiate Committee to consider adjusting the 12 months' period of internship training following the Licensing Examination, on the basis of individual performance and upon application by the medical graduates concerned.

These medical graduates may also be able to serve the community under limited registration if they obtain employment in those institutions specified under the Medical Council's Promulgation (No. 2) i.e. the University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Department of Health and the public hospitals administered by the Hospital Authority. While serving under limited registration, they can apply for and complete the Licensing Examination.

End

Conventional door-phone systems well received * * * * *

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

Question:

At present, all new public housing blocks are equipped with door-phone systems ("the old systems"). In this connection, does the Government know:

(a) of the names of the housing estates, and the total number of public housing flats involved, which arc equipped with the old systems, together with the total costs of the installation of the old systems in these estates;

22

(b) whether those public housing flats already equipped with the old systems will switch to the entry phone control systems ("the new systems"); if so, what the reasons are and how the authority concerned will dispose of the old systems;

(c) of the names of the housing estates, and the total number of public housing flats involved, which will be equipped with the new systems, together with the total costs of the installation of the new systems in these estates; and

(d) of the number of public housing blocks under construction which will not be equipped with the new systems because the tendering procedures for the installation of the old system in these housing blocks have been completed?

Answer:

Mr President,

Details of public housing estates, involving 24,937 rental flats, which are equipped with conventional door-phone systems, are given at Annex A. The total installation cost is about $26 million.

The conventional door-phone systems have generally been well received by residents. There is no plan to replace these systems by the telephone-entry door-phone systems. However, in 11 blocks within four estates, involving 7,335 flats, where a large amount of door-phone circuit wiring has become faulty as a result of tenants changing the location of their handsets without permission, the conventional doorphone systems are being replaced by telephone-entry door-phone systems. Details of the housing estates concerned arc at Annex B.

Details of public housing estates, involving 198,449 rental flats, which are equipped or will be equipped in the near future with telephone-entry door-phone systems, are given at Annex C. The total installation cost is about $4.7 million.

The conventional door-phone system will be installed in all the 73 new public housing blocks now under construction. The Housing Department will conduct an overall review later this year of the effectiveness of the different types of security systems used in public housing estates.

Annex A

Public rental housing blocks equipped with conventional door-phone systems

Estate Number of blocks House Number of flats

Shek Lei I 1 Shek On 681

KoYee 2 KoChi 420

Ko Yuen 491

Lok Fu 4 Lok Him 360

Lok Tsui 360

Lok Man 340

» Lok Tai 460

Yiu Tung 2 Yiu On 360

Yiu Fung 375

Choi Fai 2 Choi Wah 681

Choi Yip 681

Ka Fuk 3 Fuk Tai 454

Fuk Lok 723

Fuk On 681

Block 5A” 145

Wah Sum 2 Wah Koon 671

(Phase 1) Wah Min 665

Block 6A** 145

Shek Yam East 3 Yam Yue 754

(Phase 1) Yam Hing 757

Yam Heng 759

Block AX** 145

Annex block to the existing block

24

Estate Number of blocks House Number of flats

Sau Mau Ping 2 Block 3 749

(Phase 3) Block 4 830

Tsui Ping 4 Tsui Wing 827

Tsui Heng 827

Tsui Hon 749

Tsui Lok 749

Tsz Oi 2 Block B 390

(Phase 2) Block BX 145

Hing Tung 3 Hing Cho 681

(Phase 2) Hing Fung 681

Hing Hong 681

Ming Tak 2 Ming Kok 788

(Phase 1) Ming Toa 775

Kam Peng 1 Kam Peng 255

Kwai Fong 2 Kwai Ching 795

(Phase 4) Kwai Ming 798

MOS Area 90 1 Chung Tak 787

(Phase 1)

Lam Tin 3 Block 4 759

(Phase 1) Block 2 750

Block 3 813

Total

39

24,937

?5

Annex B

Blocks requiring replacement of conventional door-phone systems by telephone-entry door-phone system^

Estate Number of blocks House Number of flats

On Yam 5 Tak Yam 681

Yiu Yam 681

Chak Yam 608

Fung Yam 658

Shing Yam 592

Tsz Ching 2 Ching Hong 742

Ching On 681

Shek Lei (II) 2 ShekWah Shek Kai 665 665

Tsz Lok 2 Lok Tin 681

Lok Cheung 681

Total

11

7,335

26

Annex C

Existing Harmony and Trident Blocks equipped/will be equipped with telephone-entry door-phone systems

Estate Number of blocks House Number of flats

Cheung Fat 1 King Fat 1024

Cheung Hang 6 Hang Chun 749

Hang Yee 642

Hang Lai 893

Hang Chi 659

Hang Chui 567

> Hang Yip 659

Cheung Hong 4 Hong Cheung 1166

Hong Fung 800

Hong Mei 800

Hong Shun 1264

Cheung On 6 On Chiu 800

On Hoi 816

On Kong 814

On Mei 792

On Pak 1088

On Yeung 816

Cheung Wah 2 Cheung Chi 816

Cheung Tak 792

Choi Ha 3 Choi Sing 864

Choi Yat 594

Choi Yuet 693

27

Estate Number of blocks House Number of flats

Chuk Yuen 8 Cheung Yuen 816

North Chung Yuen 768

Mui Yuen 808

Pak Yuen 808

Toa Yuen 816

Tung Yuen 816

Wai Yuen 1088

Yung Yuen 816

Fu Heng 6 Heng Cheong 712

Heng Lung 714

Heng Tai 714

Heng Tsui 816

» Heng Wing 792

Heng Yiu 1054

FuShin 6 Shin King 792

Shin Kwan 1134

Shin Lun 1134

Shin Mei 816

Shin Tsui 816

Shin Nga 816

Fung Tak 5 Chu Fung 748

Suet Fung 612

Toi Fung 816

TszFung 1054

PikFung 816

Fung Wah 2 HiuFung 611

Sau Fung 607

28

Estate Number of blocks House Number of flats

Hau Tak 6 TakChak 681

Tak Chi 665

V TakFu 681

•> Tak Hong 665

Tak On 672

Tak Yue 681

Heng On 6 Heng Fung 908

Heng Hoi 816

Heng Shan 816

Heng Sing 816

r. Heng Yat 816

» Heng Yuet 816

HinKeng - - 8 HinFu 612

HinPui 808

Hin Tak 816

s Hin Wan 612

. i - Hin Yau 808

'■> > ■f \ Hin Yeung 792

f >■ Hin Hing 816

Hin Kwai 612

Hing Tin 3 Choi Tin 816

Mei Tin 816

YanTin 816

Kin Sang 4 Hong Sang 714

Lok Sang 612

Tai Sang 714

Yue Sang 612

King Lam 5 King Min 891

King Nam 714

King Tao 1054

King Yu 816

King Yung 707

29

Estate Number of blocks House Number of flats

Kwong Tin 4 Kwong Hin 665

Kwong Nga 665

Kwong Yat 681

Kwong Ching 442

Kwai Fong 1 Kwai Kin 442

Kwai Shing East 2 Shing Hing 681

Shing On 390

Kwong Fuk 2 Kwong Chi 816

Kwong Shung 808

Kwong Yuen 6 Alder 1056

Banyan 612

Crypress 612

Kapok 896

Oak 612

Pine 612

Lai On 5 Lai Ching 420

LaiLim 260

Lai Ping 280

Lai Tak 280

Lai Wing 260

Lee On 5 Lee Fung 749

Lee Hing 749

Lee Shing 636

Lee Wah .749

Lee Wing 749

30

Estate Number of blocks House Number of flats

Lei Tung 8 Tung Cheong 816

Tung Hing 1460

Tung Mau 1218

Tung On 800

Tung Ping 816

Tung Sing 808

Tung Yat 824

Tung Yip 792

Leung King 7 Leung Chun 952

Leung Kit 612

Leung Shui 1088

Leung Wah 792

* Leung Wai 1088

Leung Yin 816

Leung Ying 612

Li Cheng Uk 2 Hau Chi 408

HauLim 414

Lok Wah South 4 Hei Wah 1226

Man Wah 1224

On Wah 1224

Wun Wah 1224

Long Ping 3 Hay Ping 816

Wah Ping 792

Yuk Ping 812

Lower Wong Tai 4 Lung Fung 714

Sin (I) Lung Tat 714

Lung Yat 612

Lung Yue 612

31

Estate Number of blocks House Number of flats

Lower Wong Tai 7 Lung Hei 442

Sin (II) Lung Moon 442

Lung Wo 442

Lung Cheong 442

Lung Tai 442

Lung Chi 442

Lung Wai 442

Ma Hang 4 Chun Ma 176

Leung Ma 176

Kin Ma 176

Koon Ma 132

Mei Lam 1 Mei Wai 1224

On Yam 3 Cheung Yam 681

Hong Yam 681

Kar Yam 681

PakTin 2 Tsui Tin 204

Yue Tin 204

Po Lam 4 Po Chi 768

PoTai 816

PoTak 816

PoYan 816

Pok Hong 3 Pok Chi 792

Pok Tai 816

PokYat 808

Sau Mau Ping 1 2 SauFu 390

Sau On 442

32

Estate Number of blocks House Number of flats

Shan King 6 King Lai 1224

King Lok 814

King Mei 1224

»: King On 816

King Wah 1176

r King Yip 816

Siu Sai Wan 7 SuiFu 558

J Sui Hei 594

SuiKeung 558

<• . 7 Sui Lok 594

Sui Lung 681

Sui Ming 665

» Sui Tai 662

TaiWo 6 FookWo 792

Hei Wo 1077

KuiWo 906

Lai Wo 816

Sun Wo 816

Tsui Wo 952

Tai Wo Hau 3 FuTai 681

> • FuTak 681

h FuYin 681

Tak Tin 5 Tak Lok 612

Tak Lung 816

c. Tak Shing 1088

r-i • TakShui 816

TakYee 612

j ■ Tin King 3 Tin Tsui 612

Tin Tun 792

Tin Yue 816

33

Estate Number of blocks House Number of flats

Tin Ping 6 Tin Cheung 816

Tin Hee 816

Tin Hor 816

Tin Long 714

Tin Mei 816

Tin Yee 816

Tin Shui 12 Shui Choi 630

Shui Chuen 681

Shui Fai 642

Shui Fung 642

Shui Kwok 610

Shui Lam 608

Shui Lung 681

Shui Moon 679

Shui Shing 681

Shui Sum 681

Shui Yee 681

Shui Yip 608

Tin Yiu 12 Yiu Chak 642

Yiu Cheong 642

Yiu Foo 884

Yiu Fung 642

Yiu Hing 714

Yiu Hong 612

Yiu Lung 642

Yiu Man 1020

Yiu Shing 642

Yiu Tai 642

YiuWah 642

Yiu Yat 816

Tsz Man 3 Man Kin 681

Man Tai 681

Man Yue 681

34

Estate Number of blocks House Number of flats

Tsz Ching 1 Ching Tak 454

Tsing Yi 4 YeeKui 812

Yee Wai 606

Yee Yat 516

Yee Yip 808

Tsui Lam 4 Choi Lam 816

Fai Lam 816

Nga Lam 816

Yan Lam 816

Tsui Ping 3 Tsui Chung 714

Tsui Tung 693

> Tsui Yung 816

Tsui Wan 4 Tsui Fuk 540

Tsui Hong 630

Tsui Ning 630

J Tsui Shou 540

Tung Tau 2 Chun Tung 576

Kwai Tung 576

Wah Kwai 5 Wah Hau 612

Wah Lai 612

Wah Lim 612

Wah Sin 714

Wah Yin 714

Wah Ming 7 Chung Ming 612

FuMing 612

Hong Ming 612

Lai Ming 816

Shun Ming 1056

Tim Ming 816

Yiu Ming 816

35

Estate Number of blocks House Number of flats

Wan Tau Tong 3 Wan Hang 816

Wan Lam 918

Wan Loi 952

Wang Tau Hom 4 Wang Cho 442

Wang Lai 442

Wang Wai 442

Wang Yiu 442

Yiu On 6 Yiu Chung 612

Yiu Him 792

Yiu Ping 612

Yiu Shun 800

Yiu Wing 612

Yiu Yan 612

Yiu Tung 9 Yiu Fook 675

YiuFu 681

Yiu Lok 681

YiuWah 677

Yiu Cheong 300

Yiu Fai 279

Yiu Hing 390

Yiu Kwai 204

Yiu Ming 230

Total 275 198,449

End

36

Emergency alarm systems for elderly singletons ♦ * * ♦ ♦

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

Question:

Regarding elderly singletons residing in public housing units, does the Government know:

(a) of the number of elderly singletons presently residing in public housing units which are planned to be redeveloped in three years’ time or thereafter, and the number among this group of elderly singletons who are residing in Mark IV public housing units;

(b) how many of the elderly singletons referred in the answer to (a) above are Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients; and

(c) in the light of the incident which took place at the end of last year in which an elderly singleton living in a public housing unit, which was not equipped with an emergency alarm system, was killed in a fire caused by the short circuit of a mosquito extinguisher, whether the authority concerned has:

(i) conducted any review for the purpose of preventing the occurrence of similar incidents; and

(ii) any plan in the near future to assign staff to visit elderly singletons living in public housing units who are not CSSA recipients, so as to assist them in applying for the installation of an emergency alarm system; if so, when the plan will be implemented; if not, why not?

37

Answer:

Mr President,

There are about 42,700 elderly singletons living in public rental housing estates managed by the Housing Authority. About 11,700 of them are living in flats planned for redevelopment in three years' time or thereafter; of these, about 4,000 are living in Mark IV blocks. The numbers of elderly singletons who are Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients are given as below :

Elderly singletons who are CSSA recipients

Number of elderly singletons

Elderly singletons living in public rental housing estates

Elderly singletons residing in estates which are due for redevelopment in three years' time or thereafter

CSSA recipients

32,000

8,700

Elderly singletons residing in Mark IV

42,700

11,700

4,000

3,000

blocks which are due for redevelopment in three years' time or thereafter

The incident of the elderly singleton in Sau Mau Ping Estate killed in a fire caused by the short circuit of a mosquito extinguisher last year was an isolated one. The victim was a CSSA recipient who refused the offer to install an emergency alarm system for personal reasons.

The Housing Department has written to all elderly singleton tenants informing them of the procedures involved in applying for the installation of emergency alarm systems. Department staff make regular contacts with these elderly tenants by telephone or through home visits to encourage and help them to apply.

End

38

Assignment of judges

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Chim Pui-chung and a written reply by the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council whether the plaintiff in civil proceedings has the right to make requests to the court regarding the assignment of judges; if not, of the reasons why cases involving certain organisations are always adjudicated by the same judges?

Reply:

In any trial, litigants have no right to choose judges or to make requests to the court regarding the assignment of judges.

The Judiciary maintains several specialist lists of cases, and assign judges with expertise in these particular areas to hear these cases. Cases falling within the specialist lists are therefore usually heard by judges assigned to those lists.

End

Overpayment of tax

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Albert Chan Wai-yip and a written reply by the Secretary for the Treasury. Mr K C Kwong in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

At present, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) imposes a surcharge not exceeding 5% of the tax in default on a taxpayer who has not paid the tax by the specified date. However, in the event of overpayment of tax by a taxpayer due to the IRD's incorrect assessment, no interest is paid to the taxpayer when the excess tax is refunded. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council whether the IRD has any plan to pay interest to taxpayers who have paid excess tax; if so, when such a plan will be implemented; if not, why not?

39

Answer:

The surcharge imposed by the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) on tax overdue is a penalty and a deterrent against default or late payment in tax.

Overpayment of tax by taxpayers would normally arise in the following circumstances:

(a) the amount of provisional tax paid by a taxpayer exceeds his final tax liability for the same year of assessment due to reduced income, increase in tax allowances or other reasons; or

(b) correction of an error or omission in the taxpayer’s tax return.

In respect of (a) above, a taxpayer may apply to have the whole or part of his provisional tax held over if his net chargeable income for the year concerned is likely to be less than 90% of that assessed provisionally, or if he has become entitled to additional tax allowances in the year in question. In respect of (b) above, the need for revision of assessment and refund of tax paid can be much reduced if taxpayers exercise care in completing their tax returns and file them in good time. There is no provision under existing law for payment of interest on tax refunded under the above circumstances.

Separately, however, interest is payable in respect of certain tax reserve certificates (TRCs) purchased by taxpayers in connection with their objection to the tax assessment made by the IRD. Under the existing law, if the taxpayer is aggrieved by IRD’s assessment, he may lodge an objection. The Commissioner of Inland Revenue will consider his claim and may hold over the whole or part of the tax in dispute on the condition that the taxpayer purchases an equal amount of TRCs. If upon determination of the objection, the whole or part of the tax held over has to be discharged, the taxpayer can redeem the corresponding amount of TRCs purchased and will receive interest on them.

There are thus adequate means under the existing system for taxpayers to avoid overpayment of tax and we do not consider that there is a need for payment of interest on tax refunded.

End

40

CSSA statistics ♦ * * * ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Cheng Yiu-tong and a written reply by the acting Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Doris Ho, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council of the number of Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients who were among the unemployed and low-income categories of CSSA cases in the past three years but who are no longer receiving assistance under the CSSA Scheme, and the respective numbers of these former CSSA recipients who have not applied for CSSA either because their current income exceeds the stipulated income requirement or because of other reasons?

Reply:

Mr President,

The Social Welfare Department does not have information on the number of CSSA cases classified under the categories of "unemployment" and "low earning" who are no longer receiving assistance under the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme. According to the records of the Department, about 1,500 'unemployment' cases under the Scheme were closed in 1994, 2,300 in 1995 and 4,000 in 1996 but no statistics are available on the specific reasons for closing these cases.

End

41

Mandatory Provident Fund * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Christine Loh and a written reply by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It is learnt that the Administration has proposed that a specified proportion of the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) is to be denominated in Hong Kong dollar. In this connection, will the administration inform this Council:

(a) of the percentage of the MPF which it has proposed to be held in Hong Kong dollar;

(b) of the objective of imposing the above restriction, and whether such a restriction in effect imposes a ceiling on the MPF’s exposure to foreign currency; and

(c) whether such a restriction contravenes Article 112 of the Basic Law which stipulates that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will not adopt foreign exchange controls?

Answer:

(a) It has been proposed that the percentage of the MPF assets to be held in Hong Kong dollar should be 30%. Nevertheless, hedging of foreign currency assets into Hong Kong dollars is allowed for the purpose of determining compliance with the limit.

(b) The objective of imposing such a requirement is to protect the contributors and pensioners against excessive currency risk. It is also a prudential measure designed to ensure that MPF funds are so managed that they will have adequate Hong Kong dollar assets on their balance sheet to meet their predictable Hong Kong dollar obligations, given that most MPF beneficiaries will retire in Hong Kong.

While such a requirement effectively imposes a ceiling on the MPF’s exposure to foreign currency, through hedging of the foreign currency assets into Hong Kong dollars, a scheme could have all its assets invested in foreign currency assets provided that there is appropriate currency forward contracts in place to convert foreign currency into Hong Kong dollars.

42

As a matter of fact, this requirement is similar to the prudential measures imposed by other regulatory regimes. Many countries, including Germany, Canada, and Japan, which have no exchange control policy, also set maximum foreign currency exposure limits on pension funds on prudential grounds.

(c) Such a requirement is not foreign exchange control and, therefore, it is not in conflict with Article 112 of the Basic Law. First of all, foreign exchange control policies would be those which impose controls on the ability of holders of Hong Kong dollars to exchange them for a currency of another country. The proposed MPF regulation would not have such an effect. It would not prohibit the exchange of Hong Kong dollars for their equivalent in money in either Hong Kong dollars or currency of another country.

Secondly, the proposed regulation does not contain a specific requirement that MPF assets denominated in Hong Kong dollars have to be maintained in Hong Kong. There would be no restriction on the freedom of movement of capital in and out of Hong Kong. This is a feature that is inconsistent with the notion of exchange control.

Exchange control regulations are usually imposed for reasons of conserving gold and foreign currency reserves, protecting the currency itself and/or helping to maintain the balance of payments. The proposed MPF regulation relating to the maximum limit on foreign currency exposure is not devised for any of these reasons. It is, instead, a prudential measure designed to protect the interest of MPF beneficiaries.

End

Traffic accidents caused by tail-gating ♦ * * * *

Following is a question by the Hon John Tse Wing-ling, and a written reply by the acting Secretary for Transport, Mr Paul Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

As the occurrence of some traffic accidents is due to tail-gating, will the Government inform this Council:

43

(a) of the number of traffic accidents caused by tail-gating, as well as the number of casualties arising from such accidents, in each of the past five years; and

(b) whether it will consider introducing legislation to prohibit tail-gating by motorists so as to prevent the occurrence of such accidents?

Answer:

Mr President,

(a) Statistics on traffic accidents caused by driving too close to the vehicle in front and the associated number of casualties in the last five years are summarised at Annex.

(b) In a rear-end collision, the driver of the second vehicle may be charged with careless driving. It is impractical to introduce legislation to prohibit driving too close to the vehicle in front because keeping a safe distance cannot be easily defined. A safe distance varies with the prevailing speed of the vehicles and other factors such as road conditions.

However, as a general guideline, the Road Users' Code suggests the use of a two-sccond gap under normal conditions in judging whether or not a sufficient distance is kept from the vehicle in front.

In July last year, we introduced, as a trial, chevron markings on a section of Tolo Highway near Hong Lok Yuen Interchange to assist motorists in

I keeping a safe distance. These markings give a two-second gap on the basis of the maximum speed allowed on that stretch of the road.

We believe continuous vigilance on enforcement and publicity is needed to reduce the hazards of driving too close to the vehicle in front. Government publicity is made through various channels, including the Road Safety Quarterly, Government announcements on radio and pamphlets issued by the Transport Department.

44

Annex

Table 1 : Traffic accident caused by driving too close to vehicles in front

Severity of Accident

Year Fatal Serious Slight Total

1992 7 169 1,280 1,456

1993 11 159 1,323 1,493

1994 14 173 1,499 1,686

1995 7 207 1,452 1,666

1996 14 > 181 1,396 1,591

pte: These accidents constitute about 10% of the annual accident totals.

Table 2 : Casualties associated with accidents in Table 1

Degree of Injury

Year Fatal Serious Slight Total

1992 8 190 2,290 2,488

1993 11 181 2,325 2,517

1994 17 200 2,518 2,735

1995 7 ■ 244 2,620 • 2,871

1996 17 . 215 2,427 2,659

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, January 23,1997

Contents Page No,

Statement by the Governor to the Legislative Council....................... 1

Governor’s question-and-answer session..................................... 2

Going for win/win with HK/US trade relations: FS.......................... 19

Stranded waste to leave Hong Kong......................................... 22

Consumer price indices for December 1996 released......................... 23

Measures to enhance proper use of the Internet announced.................. 29

New licence to facilitate media coverage of handover...................... 30

New recorded delivery service to be introduced........................ 31

International conference on drug education to be held..................... 32

Royal Observatory awards it best weather announcers....................... 33

Courier of fake documents given two years' imprisonment................... 35

Hong Kong Monetary Authority interbank liquidity.......................... 36

1

Statement by the Governor to the Legislative Council *****

Following is the statement by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, to the Legislative Council today (Thursday):

As Honourable Members may know, I visited London from 9-15 January. I wanted to visit Britain well in advance of the General Election, which must be held before the middle of May this year.

During my visit, I delivered the Annual NatWest Lecture, and saw a large number of Ministers and Parliamentarians.

In particular, I had meetings with the Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary and the Home Secretary, as well as with the Minister of State for Hong Kong. I discussed with Ministers the latest developments concerning the transition, including China’s extremely misguided decision to appoint a body to replace this properly elected legislature. I also pressed with Ministers once more the deserving claims of the nonChinese ethnic minorities to full British citizenship. Most of my meeting with the Home Secretary was devoted to this subject, but it formed an important part of my meeting with the Prime Minister and my meeting with the Foreign Secretary as well.

I also had meetings with Tony Blair, John Prescott, and Robin Cook, as well as Paddy Ashdown. I raised the issue of the ethnic minorities with them too. As Honourable Members may know, the Labour Party has now joined the Liberal Democrats in supporting full British citizenship for the ethnic minorities. Robin Cook, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, made clear in the debate in the House of Commons in November that his party would support legislation to grant them citizenship. This pledge was reaffirmed in my meeting with Labour Party leaders, and by John Prescott in Hong Kong this week. I also raised the ethnic minorities in meetings with the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, and with the British Hong Kong Parliamentary group. Both were extremely supportive.

As for the British Government’s position, while I very much welcomed the Prime Minister’s strengthened reassurance to the ethnic minorities which he gave during his visit in March, I am sorry that the Government has still not yet accepted that this unique group of people merit full British passports. I will continue to press their strong case as hard as I can over the remaining months.

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In general, I found in London considerable and growing interest in Hong Kong and the handover - interest coupled with optimism about Hong Kong's economic prospects, but concern at some of the recent actions by China on the political front. The announcement this week by the Legal, Legal, Sub-Group of the Preparatory Committee will, I Tear, have done little to dispel those worries. Britain and the Hong Kong Government have made very clear where they stand on the Sub-Group’s proposals to undermine Hong Kong's Bill of Rights and to restore outdated ordinances which are in conflict with the Bill of Rights and the International Covenant.

I would be happy to take Honourable Members’ questions on the latter subject, as well as on issues arising from my visit to London.

End »■

Governor’s question-and-answer session ♦ * * ♦ ♦

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

Mr Cheung Bing-leung (in Chinese): Mr Governor, under the original through-train model, for certain laws which need to be localised, amended or adapted, they should first go through the JLG channel so that before July 1, 1997, the Hong Kong Government would introduce such Bills into this Council and we will pass it into law. But now, the Chinese Government as well as the Preparatory Committee has indicated that the Provisional Legislature will go through the three readings of such legislation before July 1st 1997. Does it mean the model originally proposed is a failure?

Governor: Well, I am not entirely sure what it’s proposed that the Provisional so-called Legislature is going to do. But as the honourable gentleman knows, if it purports to legislate - even if that is localising laws - if it purports to legislate before 30 June, that action is almost certain to be the subject of legal challenge after 30 June. We are still proceeding with our localisation programme which has gone pretty well. It has been one of the more successful areas of the work of the JLG. I think I am right in saying that there are only 8 localisation items which still need to be agreed with the Chinese side in order for all localised Bills to be enacted by June 1997. So we have made pretty good progress and I hope we can continue to do so through those channels which are agreed between Britain and China.

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Mr Cheung Bing-leung (in Chinese): Mr President, some officials from China indicate that the Provisional Legislature, before July 1st, 1997 will pass certain Bills into legislation - before July 1st 1997 - and just now the Governor said they will be subject to legal challenge. So I would like to know: the Hong Kong Government as well as the British Government, over the past few months, through what channels have you ascertained with the Chinese Government about this issue and what sort of explanation have you received from the Chinese side?

Governor: The simple point is that the Provisional so-called Legislature can't legislate; it has no constitutional power to legislate or purport to legislate for Hong Kong. I'll tell you what sort of assurances we have had. The clearest assurances we have had have been from the Vice Premier of the People's Republic of China who made it clear to the British Foreign Secretary, in April, that there could be only one legislature before 30 June - and I assume after 30 June - just as there could be only one judicial appeal system and only one governor and government. If Mr Qian Qichen is now seeking to resile from that commitment made to the British Foreign Secretary, I think he should explain why.

Mr Fred Li (in Chinese): Mr President, 1 would like to ask a question about livelihood. Recently, certain organisations have released a report on a survey on poverty in Hong Kong. Can I ask such a question? And the result of the survey shows that many low-income earners actually are becoming more and more worse-off and the poverty situation is getting from bad to worse, and the Administration has yet to make one single comment on these survey findings. I would like to know whether departments of the government have done any study on the reports and whether they have come up with any measures in order to reduce the hardships faced by people from the lower-income group?

Governor: The honourable gentleman should not forget that he is addressing the question to somebody who has been widely denounced for his excessive socialism and welfare-spending over the last four and a half years. I am grateful to be attacked from the other flank on this occasion.

1 have to say that the report to which the honourable gentleman refers was not a prominent issue on my agenda when I went to London, though perhaps it should have been. Had it been. I am sure that I would have been able to point out that among sociologists and economists there are a number of different models for defining people’s poverty and for discussing redistribution of income. I think that this particular model underestimates the impact on people's living standards over the last few years not just of increases in CSSA payments but of increases in investment in health-care, in education and in other things which help to raise the overall standard of living of those who are poor.

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But obviously, the future of social policy in Hong Kong is an extremely important political issue now and over the next few years and this community, like others, will need to find ways in which it can share its growing wealth with those in need without pushing up taxes so as to choke-ofT further growth.

Mr Fred Li (in Chinese): I do not intend to dispute with the Governor what is the definition for poverty but the fact is many people are having a very low standard of living. So my question, to follow-up, is: Because poverty involves many government branches and departments - EMB and HWB - I would like to know whether an interdepartmental working group will be set up in order to look al these reports and then to come up with a response?

Governor: These reports, inevitably, involve government in looking across departments at the impact of our overall policies on those groups concerned, and 1 am sure that will be done in this particular case. I don’t seek to belittle the importance of the honourable gentleman’s argument in pointing out that for most people in Hong Kong over the last few years the standard of living has risen very substantially. Most people have shared in the spectacular economic growth which Hong Kong has enjoyed. But all of us have to be aware of those who have been left behind while the economy has surged forward and I agree with the honourable gentleman that we have to try to ensure that our welfare policies help them too.

Mr Lee Wing-tal (in Chinese): Mr President, I would like to ask a question in relation to human rights. About ten days ago, when the Vice Premier of China visited France, he said China was considering whether she would accede to the two International Covenants. The Democratic Party supports such a move. But one week later in the Preparatory Committee, the Legal Sub-group recommended that two laws should be repealed, one is the Public Order Ordinance and the other is the Societies Ordinance. This created some confusion in the international community and that is they do not know whether China wants to improve the human rights situation in Hong Kong rather than restrict human rights in Hong Kong.

So I would like to ask you, Mr Governor, a question. I am sure you have received all these two messages. I don't know whether you get confused as well. And have you asked the Chinese Government through diplomatic channels what the Chinese Government is up to; whether China wants to improve the human rights situation in Hong Kong or restrain or hobble 1 long Kong’s human rights?

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Governor: I noticed the report which the honourable gentleman refers to. I think, to be fair to the Chinese side, it represented, though it was not denied, the French Government's version of the meeting rather than the PRC Government's version of the meeting. But nevertheless, it sounded helpful and hopeful, and 1 think that the whole international community, and certainly people in Hong Kong, would greatly welcome any positive indication that the PRC was intent on becoming a signatory of the International Covenants. I think it would send a message of confidence to Hong Kong and would greatly please the international community.

That statement was completely at variance with the message which came out of the Legal Sub-committee to which I referred a moment or two ago, a message which -if I can borrow a word which perhaps has been over-used in the last 24 hours - a message which certainly shocked people in Hong Kong and shocked people outside Hong Kong as well.

But I just want to say this. These are recommendations - recommendations -and 1 very much hope that wiser views will prevail. People very often say, "What is Britain or what is the international community going to do about this or that issue in Hong Kong?" And those are reasonable questions to put to a British Governor. But there are things that people in Hong Kong can do in this particular case, and one thing they could do is to recall what they have done and said in the past. 1 hope honourable members will bear with me if I recall some of the past discussions of human rights here in Hong Kong.

We look back to the Bill of Rights itself, the Bill of Rights which was agreed by an Executive Council containing many very distinguished members whose names I will recall to you in a few moments. During those debates, in the first debate - let me get the date right - on 27 June 1990. one speaker, Maria Tam, then a member of this Legislative Council, set out the issue on one question which has been raised in the last few days which she then dealt with extraordinarily cogently. Let me quote:

"There has been worry expressed as to the method of entrenchment and the question of supremacy. The convenor of the ad hoc group had already explained how the group dealt with the Administration's proposal of indirect entrenchment through amendment of the Letters Patent and the administrative measure that could be taken in later days to ensure that future legislation would not conflict with the Bill of Rights. This I regard as the best way to answer any worries that either the Bill of Rights will be superior to the Basic Law or override the interpretation of the Basic Law under Article 159."

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Then again, when the Bill of Rights was debated on 5 June 1991, Maria Tam said as follows:

"The Bill before Council today does no more than transform the contents of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as it is applied to Hong Kong, into a local piece of legislation to make such provision enforceable in the courts of Hong Kong, and I believe we have not contravened the Basic Law. I believe this to be a proper arrangement in safeguarding the rights of those who live in this territory now and in the years to come."

Other people made extremely good speeches, as well. We have a speech here, in 1990, on the same legislation, by the former honourable member, Peggy Lam:

"With its present day progress, Hong Kong has a genuine need to introduce legislation to safeguard human rights instead of relying solely on international covenants. In my view, the promulgation of a Bill of Rights Ordinance should be regarded as a factor conducive to the maintenance of stability and prosperity in Hong Kong, and a step forward in promoting Hong Kong's rule of law system. It is, moreover, an indispensable part of the journey towards civilised social development."

"It is apparent" - she went on "that the Bill of Rights Ordinance, once enacted, will not claim superiority over the Basic Law. I think that the enactment and promulgation of the Bill of Rights Ordinance will be conducive to perfecting Hong Kong's laws and promoting Hong Kong people's consciousness of human rights."

Then we had a particularly moving speech from the honourable member. Mr Paul Cheng:

"It is only right that a Bill of Rights is put into place at a time when the Hong Kong community begins its evolution towards a self-government under 'one country, two systems'. Given the responsibility of contributing to a successful transfer of sovereignty, we Legislative Council Members are enabled through this draft Bill of Rights to strengthen the foundations of the existing legal system by giving due recognition to the civil and political rights of our territory."

"It is incumbent upon us as legislators preparing for the effective running of Hong Kong as a special administrative region to ensure that we will entrench essential freedom in line with the International Covenant. A Bill of Rights will allow for this in the most expedient manner."

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There was a very good speech by the honourable member Mr Edward Ho:

"As the sovereignty over Hong Kong, a blatantly capitalist society, will be transferred back to China, a steadfast communist society" - the honourable member's words - "there is a natural and deep concern amongst the people of Hong Kong that the values attached to fundamental freedoms and rights of the individual, as we know them, will be different. Few would disagree with me that our worst fear of the future is not so much a lowering of our standard of living; but the diminution of our freedoms, and the rule of law. Thus, it is natural that the people of Hong Kong desire that their civil liberties be codified and enshrined in the legal system, so that, as far as possible, such liberties would be protected against the abuse of public powers."

The honourable gentleman then made a passionate and extremely well-informed contribution to the question of whether or not the Bill of Rights would contravene the Basic Law and whether or not it would take precedence over the Basic Law. And he came down on the same side as Maria fam on those issues - and I hope that he still does.

We had an extraordinarily good speech, as well, from the honourable member Selina Chow, and I want to conclude this anthology with the honourable member's remarks:

"1 am convinced" - 27 June 1990 - "I am convinced a Bill of Rights however imperfect, will boost the confidence of our people. It should be seen as an integral part of our democratic evolution."

I'm not quite sure where the provisional legislature fits in to our democratic evolution.

"I cannot agree with the thinking that we should let well alone. Is that not a familiar system? The fundamental flaw in the 'Don’t rock the boat' school of thought is a failure to recognise that the boat is rocking."

You can say that again.

"Sir there is much to be done and we have lost much time. 1 appeal to Government to do all it can to promote the concept of human rights within a free and responsible society in anticipation of the Bill which clearly enjoys the support of our people."

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Thinking back to the remarks of the ubiquitous Foreign Affairs spokesman in Peking the other day, I am not quite sure who is misleading whom.

I'd go on, we have a moving speech from the honourable member Mr Arculli, in which he criticises the Bill of Rights for not going far enough.

Now, that Bill of Rights was introduced by the Government when members of the Executive Council included the aforementioned Maria Tam, Mr Allen Lee and Mrs Rita Fan. It was passed by the Legislative Council on a voice vote with nobody voting against it.

What about the Societies Ordinance? Well, among those existing Legislative Council members who supported the Societies Ordinance, which is now apparently to be struck down, were Mr Allen Lee, Mrs Selina Chow, Mr Ngai Shiu-kit, Andrew Wong, Lau Wong-fat, Edward Ho. Ronald Arculli. Miriam Lau, Leung Chi-hung, Eric Li, Philip Wong and Howard Young.

The Public Order Amendment Bill was passed by a voice vote with nobody voting against it.

Then we come to the Boundaries ... or the Societies Ordinance, perhaps 1 should mention one or two other people who voted for the Societies Ordinance. They included, on the third reading, Rita Fan and Elsie Tu.

We then come to the Boundaries and Election Committee - a Bill which was passed by this Legislative Council because this Legislative Council believes that these matters of electoral arrangements should be handled by an independent body in order to ensure that the arrangements are fair.

I am not quite sure what it is about having fair elections which is thought to contravene the Basic Law, but I will leave that to others to describe.

Boundaries and Election Committee - members of the present Legislative Council who voted for it included Selina Chow, Ngai Shui-kit, Andrew Wong, Edward Ho, Ronald Arculli, Miriam Lau, Leung Chi-hung and so on.

So, to return to my starting point, whether or not these vital elements in maintaining Hong Kong’s way of life are maintained is very much in the hands of Hong Kong people - some very distinguished Hong Kong people who have already told us how important this legislation is.

9

President (in Chinese): That was a very thorough answer. I don’t believe there is any room for follow-up.

Mr Lee Wing-tat (in Chinese): I think the Governor should express appreciation towards my question because it gave him a chance to read out parts of history. But one thing the Governor has yet to learn is that many Legislative Councillors actually can make an about-turn or change their position, even at this point in time.

Concerning the recommendation from the Legal Sub-group, the Chinese Government is going to make a final decision only next week. I would like to know, in the remaining week, in the remaining time, what else can you do about this?

Governor: I just make one gentle remark in relation to what the honourable gentleman has said about about-turns. There is a difference between an about-turn and a revolving-door. And I really do think that people are going to be required to stand up for the way of life which they say they believe in and which has been guaranteed by the Joint Declaration.

But let me tell you what 1 am going to do - what I'm going to do. I am going to go on speaking out for those values which have made Hong Kong so successful. I notice that that same Foreign Affairs spokesman said the other day that the PRC had changed in the last 40 or 50 years, hadn't we realised that? Absolutely! I am sure that he has noticed that Hong Kong has changed as well; that Hong Kong today is one of the most sophisticated cities in the world and it would be extraordinary to argue that a first-world economy should be saddled with the sort of political institutions which would be rejected by a third-world economy. That's the truth of the matter, and the Foreign Affairs spokesman should. I think, recognise that.

I think the honourable gentleman will have noticed that it is not just the Governor of Hong Kong who has expressed his concern. Right around the world newspaper editorials, governments, political leaders and others have expressed their concern. So I really do urge those who are responsible for these matters to think again and think again hard. This is a very responsible community. It is a mature community. It is a law-abiding community. Allowing people to use a loud-hailer is not going to bring civilised society as we know it crashing down.

Governor (cont'd): I would remind some of those who will be responsible for Hong Kong in the future, of a very wise remark of the political philosopher Edmund Burke -(1729-97) In a letter to Charles James Fox. 8 October 1777 - he wrote:

"People crushed by law have no hope ... If laws arc their enemies, they will be enemies to laws;"

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The law has to serve the values and decency of a society like this. The law does serve those values at the moment. I hope it will continue to do so.

Mrs Elizabeth Wong: Mr President, with deference to Mr President, sir, I would like to ask the Governor a question, and the question I would like to ask the Governor is this. Governor, are you sitting comfortably, right next to an honourable gentleman who aspires to be the President of the Provisional Legislature that you considered a moment ago to be illegal?

Governor: Well. I am a man of legendary charity...

President: Same here.

Governor: ... and everybody has to justify their actions, particularly to those in a democracy who elected them, and everybody has to be, I guess, easy with their own conscience, and 1 don't seek to be judgmental about individuals. But I do take the view that if Hong Kong is to have the democratic evolution of which the honourable member spoke and which has been promised to it, then it is perfectly clear that those who are going to play the most prominent part in that democratic evolution are those who stand for the principles of democracy and don't compromise them.

1 think that The New York Times was right the other day when it said that Hong Kong is a place of the future - "represents a slice of the future" to get it absolutely accurate - and I think the future in Hong Kong will combine political and economic liberty, whatever the problems of the next year or two.

Mrs Elizabeth Wong: One follow-up. In many countries, parliamentary members can't really serve two sovereign powers at once because it would offend in one way or another the law of that particular land. Have you considered, Governor, or has your Administration considered, the legality of honourable members of this distinguished council serving under the sovereign power of another council either simultaneously or consecutively or concurrently? In other words, is the legal position very clear that honourable members of this Council under British sovereignty can sit at the same time as members of the Provisional Legislature coming under the Chinese sovereignty?

Governor: Well, it's said by Mr Qian Qichen not to be a legislature. It is clearly going to be a rather exotic debating society which meets on occasional Saturday mornings in Shenzhen. But if what it then does purports to be legislation and if that legislation takes effect on 1 July 1997, 1 imagine that there will be people who will wish to challenge it under the Basic Law. 1 mean I don't do other than repeat what every lawyer in town will tell you.

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Mr Chan Wai-yip (in Chinese): Mr Governor, previously you said that you are more familiar with the Basic Law than the Bible. I think recently you must have read the LegCo record of proceedings more frequently than the Bible. Just now you read out many speeches from the past and they were made by Legislative Councillors and many words from those speeches were inspiring and Hong Kong people would really like to study those very closely. I would like to know whether you would recommend your department to compile all these very inspiring speeches into publications so that in future when we study democracy and we study human rights we can really learn from the wisdom of our predecessors? I am talking about my seniors, so I would like to correct my choice of words. It looks like these past few days LegCo has made quite a number of errors with regard to choice of words, so are you going to compile them into books?

Governor: it is certainly an interesting suggestion. I think that I am far too charitable to want to inflict on too wide a community too large a selection of readings from speeches made, even in a chamber as august as this one. I think that on reflection, having read some of these speeches and having read again the Basic Law, I am in future going to spend more time reading the Bible.

Mr Andrew Cheng (in Chinese): Mr Governor, the British side has summoned the Chinese Ambassador in Britain in opposition of the proposal of the Legal Sub-group. But in the Hong Kong Government, apart from the statement - which I think is not strong enough - which you made on Monday, you did not take any concrete measure. And recently, I understand that you are going to second 27 AOs to the Chief Executive designate. In view of the fact that the Chinese Government is quite insistent on restoring these draconian laws, I would like to know how the Hong Kong Government can assure that these officials who are going to be seconded to the Chief Executive designate will not do anything which will breach the Bill of Rights or the human rights situation in Hong Kong? And how can you make sure that they will not be serving as accomplices to the restoration of draconian laws?

Governor: I think the honourable member will recognise the difficulty, the dilemma that we face. We wish, and it is a genuine wish, to be as helpful to Mr Tung as possible. At the same time we don’t wish to put civil servants in difficult or awkward or embarrassing situations. I have taken the view, and the Chief Secretary and Financial Secretary I think share that view, that the best way we could try to deal with this dilemma was to second civil servants to Mr Tung’s private office in the same way that we would second civil servants to bodies outside government. Mr Tung has said that he recognises the importance of not putting civil servants in awkward situations and I hope that that can be avoided. But ultimately, 1 guess, Mr Tung is going to have to explain what he asks civil servants to do and the reasons for those actions.

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I certainly think that the community also recognises that it would be totally wrong of us to provide parliamentary draftsmen to draft legislations for the Shenzhen politicians. So we have to try to deal with these matters in a way which helps meeting Mr Tung's legitimate requirements while at the same time ensuring that the civil service retains its reputation for being politically neutral and meritocratic.

I just want to add a couple of points. It is not unusual for civil servants to be seconded to bodies which take a different line from the government. I don't say that it is a strictly accurate analogy but it is, I think, worth bearing in mind.

And the second point that I wanted to make is that civil servants will still be, of course, obliged to operate according to the high standards of conduct which would have applied if they had not been seconded. They will be expected to abide by the Official Secrets Act, they will be expected to abide by the Civil Service Regulations and so on.

Mr Andrew Cheng (in Chinese): Mr President, it seems to me that Mr Governor fails to provide me with a satisfactory reply. I would like to follow-up. I am not opposing the Hong Kong Government in seconding officials to the Chief Executive designate's office. But if two policies are contradictory to each other, what sort of concrete action could you take? Well, at the very least, would you talk to the Chief Executive designate and reflect your views about the recommendation to restore draconian laws to the Chief Executive?

Governor: I think the Chief Executive designate is very well aware of my views and he heard my views on this human rights legislation for a number of years in the Executive Council. I understand that he is going to give his own thoughts on this issue tonight and I think the whole community will welcome that and will be interested in what he has to say. I hope he has had the benefit, as I have, of reading what some of his friends and acquaintances and colleagues have themselves said on this question, the sagacious advice they have been able to give in the past.

I do think we have got to address one pretty central question. Are Hong Kong’s freedoms, civil liberties, after 1997, going to be the same as they are today, yes or no? If the answer to that question is: "Yes, of course they are; don’t confuse people, don’t worry people." Then why the need for these changes in the law? And why the refusal - which is all of apiece with these changes and which raises our anxieties even further - why the continuing refusal, to which many honourable members have referred in the past, to accept the reporting obligations to Geneva under the International Covenants? If there is nothing to worry about, why be concerned about reporting?

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If, on the other hand, Hong Kong isn’t to have the same freedoms as it has got today - a point which many people have inferred from what, for example, Vice Premier Qian Qichen has said - then we are entitled to know in what way those liberties are going to be curtailed and how that is consistent with the Joint Declaration, with the Basic Law and of course with the International Covenants which are applied to Hong Kong? I think that is the central question which has to be addressed and I hope it will be clearer as a result of today’s speech.

Mr Howard Young: You mentioned just now the subject of ethnic minorities and you said that the Labour Party and the Liberal Party would support legislation to grant them full British nationality, and they may or may not command the majority in parliament, it depends who turns up to vote or who is away at the time. But the Governing Party has not said that they will initiate legislation and the Labour Party merely said that they would support legislation, so if no one initiates it there is nothing to support. Can you tell us whether you are aware, is there any sentiment within the ruling party in UK now to initiate the legislation so that it can be supported? Or on the other hand, is it a topic that is possible to be dealt with by Private Members’ Bills from the Opposition?

Governor: At the moment it is being dealt with by a Private Member's Bill which was started in the House of Lords - and I think has been introduced by a Conservative Peer in the House of Lords. The Bill is proceeding through the House of Lords and I think I am right in saying that a Conservative Member of Parliament is minded to introduce the Bill in the House of Commons; a Conservative Member of Parliament, Sir Patrick Cormack who was here a few months ago and was totally convinced by the arguments he heard from a number of honourable members about the ethnic minorities.

I have to say that I detect in the House of Lords, in the House of Commons, very little opposition among ordinary back-bench members to the proposal that the ethnic minorities should get a fair and honourable deal. I am pleased that the Labour Party has officially changed its position. It would be a curious paradox if I was to prove more successful in convincing Labour politicians of these matters than those who belong to other parties. But the Labour Party has, I think, changed its position officially and I don’t think that there is any sleight of hand on the part of Labour politicians. I think when they say they would support legislation the implication is that if they were in government they would propose legislation as well. They have moved from a position in which they supported right of abode for the ethnic minorities, which was a substantial step forward, to a position in w'hich they support outright legislation on nationality.

I hope that in the weeks and months which remain to me, I will be able to convince the Conservative leadership of the importance of moving beyond the position which Mr Major staked-out in a welcome statement last March.

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I said yesterday in a speech, that as far as I was concerned this was one of the main tasks for my last weeks and months as Governor. I would find it - and I will say this very openly to the Council - I would find it very difficult to depart on 30 June -that is not to suggest that I am not going to depart on 30 June - I would find it extremely difficult to depart on 30 June leaving behind some thousands of people who had right of abode in Hong Kong but no nationality here, a sort of nationality in Britain but no right of abode there. That may not, literally, be statelessness but it looks awfully like statelessness to those who are in that position. I think it would be an exceptionally unfortunate way for Britain to bring the curtain down in this last of its great colonial dependencies.

Mr Howard Young: With your knowledge of parliamentary experience in London, if the Election is held as late as, say, middle of May, does it look likely that such a Bill could physically pass through Parliament, bearing in mind the Easter recess and all of that?

Governor: I think, to be honest, whenever the Election came, a commitment by the government of the day, either not to oppose Private Members’ legislation or to put forward legislation itself, would pretty well deal with the question of the ethnic minorities even if that legislation had not completed all its stages before 30 June. I think they would be content to know that they were going to get a passport. In an ideal world that would all be accomplished before the middle of the summer but I think, to be realistic, those who have campaigned so eloquently and so decently for a fair deal for the ethnic minorities would be pretty satisfied by a pledge to legislate even if it could not be guaranteed that that legislation would be in place before the change of sovereignty.

Mr Sin Chung-kai (in Chinese): I would like to go back to the question on human rights. Assuming that the Preparatory Committee is going to go along with the views of the Legal Sub-group to repeal the Societies Ordinance and Public Ordinance, do you think such a move is in breach of the Joint Declaration? If that is the case, what can the Hong Kong and British Governments do?

Governor: Well, what is it in breach of if this is done? First of all, it seems to me that what is proposed is in breach of all sense. As I understand it, what has been proposed is that these Ordinances should be struck-down, and the implication is that the old out of date colonial Ordinances should be put in their place. But if you repeal these Ordinances you do not automatically put another law in their place, unless, that is, that the NPC says that it is now going to legislate for these matters in Hong Kong as well. If you just strike the legislation down you are left with a legal vacuum. So what would the Public Order legislation in Hong Kong be on the 1st of July or the 2nd of July? The proposal makes no sort of legal sense.

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Secondly, we would be left in a situation in which there were provisions of the International Covenants which were directly contradictory to the laws on the Hong Kong Statute Book, and that would be bound to lead to one legal challenge after another in Hong Kong's courts. It is also, of course, the case that some provisions of the Basic Law - for example those that deal with freedom of assembly and freedom of association - would be contravened by Bills being put back on to the Statute Book which have been amended or changed precisely because of our concerns about their relationship to the International Covenants.

So the whole thing would create, in our judgment, a terrible legal muddle. It would mean, inevitably, that the early months of the SAR Government would be dominated by battles fought out in Hong Kong's courtrooms. And I can't for the life of me think how that is thought to be for the good of Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity. We hear quite a lot about Hong Kong being too politicised these days. If you want to know how to really politicise Hong Kong, follow that course of action.

So quite apart from the fact, as I said, that these proposals seem to us to be in breach of the International Covenants and therefore a challenge to what has been promised in the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, they are also in breach of all good sense and they are clearly in breach of what is in the best interests of Hong Kong.

Mr Sin Chung-kai (in Chinese): Mr Governor, there is a comment saying that the Provisional Legislature could immediately legislate to restore the colonial laws, for example the original Public Order Ordinance and Societies Ordinance. If that is the case, would that constitute a breach of the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law?

Governor: My first observation is, I am not quite sure why it is that anybody should want the first act of the SAR Government after the return of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty to be to put out of date so-called colonial laws on the Statute Book, laws which are no longer appropriate to a sophisticated modem city like Hong Kong. But precisely whether anything is in breach of the Joint Declaration or in breach of the International Covenants depends, I suppose, on what precisely is done and what precisely the law says. But it is incredibly difficult to imagine how putting a law back on the Statute Book which had been taken off the Statute Book because it was in contravention of the International Covenant, could be other than in contravention of the International Covenant. And the Chinese side have signed-up to the International Covenants being applied to Hong Kong, both in the Joint Declaration and in the Basic Law.

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Dr Yeung Sum (in Chinese): I am sorry to see that concerning the ethnic minorities the British Government is still falling short of giving them a full passport. I think it is not only a moral question for anybody but it is also a moral question for the British Government.

Now, back to the Legal Sub-group of the Preparatory Committee, they are recommending that the (inaudible) of legislation and if it is passed by the Preparatory Committee then NPC would accept it and they will have to legislate before 1997. When the Provisional Legislature is to proceed with legislating for these Ordinances, are you going to pass this issue to the Hong Kong courts for handling?

Governor: Just on the first point the honourable gentleman made. I agree it is a moral issue and a question of honour.

Secondly, if the Provisional Legislature purports to legislate before 30 June, I don't even think that some of its noisiest and most ideological and dogmatic adherents have suggested that what it does can become law before 30 June. But if it is involved in a process which clearly produces a law after 30 June, then that is - I think what lawyers have all said - is likely to be challenged in the courts. But these Shenzhen ‘ debates, I don't think could come under any present Hong Kong law. In our judgment they have no constitutional status or legal status whatsoever.

Can I just add one point about the central issue. It is sometimes argued that this has to be done because these are Bills which were introduced since 1984. Now, is it suggested that the clock should have been stopped in 1984? I don't hear Chinese officials saying, "All the economic growth and development, all the infrastructure investment that has taken place since 1984 in Hong Kong should be removed". I don't know - taken back to Britain, donated to Oxfam - I'm not sure what the proposal is.

Nor do I understand how anybody can suggest that Hong Kong could have lived without changing the law from time to time since 1984. There have been hundreds of new laws passed since 1984. But it is just this handful which appear to '■ have some relationship to political control, which the Chinese side have turned their fire on.

And does the Bill of Rights represent the sort of fundamental change which the Chinese side say they are legitimately opposing? What we are talking about is not legislation which fundamentally changes Hong Kong, but legislation whose purpose is to try to ensure that Hong Kong doesn't change. It is the Chinese side, it is this so-called Legal Sub-group which is proposing the changes, and very fundamental changes they would be too.

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Dr Yeung Sum (in Chinese): My question is very simple. When the NPC says that the Societies Ordinance and the Public Order Ordinance violate the Basic Law, if that happens, will you, before 1 July 1997 when Hong Kong is still under your rule, turn this matter over to the courts for handling, if that happens before 1 July 1997?

Governor: I am not sure that an action by the NPC in Peking would be justiciable in the Hong Kong courts before 30 June. I don't think it would have any standing in the Hong Kong courts before 30 June. I mean I will take legal advice on that. The honourable gentleman and I both suffer from the disadvantage, or have the advantage, of not being lawyers, but I think that would be my understanding of the situation.

What I repeat though, is perfectly clear, is even if the NPC can strike-down Hong Kong laws, the consequence of striking-down those laws is not the reinstatement of the laws which were there before. That requires new legislation. Unless, that is, the NPC is proposing to take on a legislative role in Hong Kong in relation to matters which are specifically - specifically - part of Hong Kong's autonomy under the Basic Law and under the Joint Declaration.

Dr Yeung Sum: Are you prepared to take some legal advice?

Governor: Yes. Absolutely.

Miss Christine Loh: I would like to go back to the problem of statelessness. There are actually two groups here. One group is the ethnic minorities which the Governor has addressed. But to follow on from that -1 am happy to hear, Governor, that you say you will press as hard as you can in the final months - is there something that this Council can do? If there is something that in your opinion will be helpful to the cause, I think we would like to know.

Secondly, just now you talked about the possibility of legislation only being passed perhaps even after 30 June 1997. If that is the case, in order to identify the deserving cases amongst the ethnic minorities that will qualify for full British citizenship, can we be assured of having the full co-operation of the Hong Kong Immigration Department? I believe that is where the files rest for those people right now in Hong Kong.

Governor, the other group that could be a problem are the Vietnamese migrants; a small group of people where Vietnam has said that these people are not their nationals. They are right now in Hong Kong. It seems that if that continues to be the situation, even if they volunteer to go back to Vietnam, Vietnam won't take them, they will have nowhere to go and they could very well, also, effectively become stateless. Hong Kong should be doing the decent thing; if they have nowhere to go, perhaps that very small group of people will have to stay until some other international solution is found. Has Britain been looking into this issue and whether there is any update on what might be a possible course of action?

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Governor: Yes, Britain has been looking at this issue and exploring it at every opportunity and at every level with representatives of the Vietnamese Government. It has been raised by the Prime Minister, by the Foreign Secretary and by the Minister of State, to take three examples. I think there are two problems, and they have to be set against the considerable success we have had over the last year in reducing the number of migrants in the camps. Last year, I think I am right in saying we sent home over 15,000 migrants which should have put us well on course for completing the task before 30 June.

The problem we have is the number of Vietnamese in the camps who still are not cleared for repatriation to Vietnam and the number of that group who are ethnically-Chinese and whom the Vietnamese authorities have been resisting taking back for reasons which we have discussed in this chamber before. Principally, the fact that the Vietnamese authorities clearly see them as a precedent for the 260,000 or so ethnically-Chinese Vietnamese migrants who are in China at the moment. I hope that the Vietnamese authorities will speed-up the clearance of migrants and will, in particular, address this question more positively of the ethnic-Chinese migrants.

And it would be more helpful for, I think, the Chinese authorities to help on that issue rather than just wagging their fingers at the British authorities from time to time and saying we are not dealing with the problem rapidly enough. We have dealt with the problem extremely rapidly over the last year and I think that should, with assistance, help us to reach a complete solution.

On the question of the ethnic minorities. First of all, so far as legislation is concerned - I don't want to get the matter out of proportion - I would hope that legislation could be passed before 30 June. The point I was trying to make was that if that did not prove possible, I was sure that the ethnic minorities would recognise that the commitment to legislate, even if the legislation came a bit later, would pretty well satisfy their demands. And I can't imagine that the Hong Kong Immigration Department would find any difficulty in being helpful. After all, these are a group who can't acquire Chinese nationality because of the ethnic provisions of Chinese Nationality law. So it would be a bit unreasonable not to give them at least some assistance in those circumstances.

The honourable lady's first question?

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Miss Christine Loh: Basically, in your opinion, whether there is something that this Council can do to promote the cause of the ethnic minorities.

Governor: I think this Council has been extremely helpful in promoting their cause. It has been a considerable help that both the Executive Council and all sides of this Council have been united on this issue. It has been a considerable help in lobbying visiting Members of Parliament, in lobbying Ministers. I think the Council should continue to keep up the pressure but I don't think there is any particular new initiative which the Council needs to take.

End

Going for win/win with HK/US trade relations: FS *****

The Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, today (Thursday) described the Hong Kong/United States trade relations in 1997 and beyond as a win/win position.

Speaking to a luncheon of the American Chamber of Commerce, Mr Tsang said the diligence, vigour and entrepreneurship of Hong Kong people were second to none, and a smooth and successful transition was their common aim.

He said: "I fully understand and appreciate our trading partners' interest in Hong Kong's success in the transition. A strong message that Hong Kong matters to them is coming from all round, loud and clear.

"To the United States, Hong Kong certainly matters a great deal."

Quoting statistics, Mr Tsang said Hong Kong was an excellent market for US exports, taking more American goods per capita than almost anywhere else in the world.

Hong Kong is also the base for over 1,000 US firms and over 30,000 Americans doing business with the entire Asia-Pacific Region as well as the destination of US$14 billion foreign direct investment from the States, the second largest destination for US investment in Asia following Japan.

He said there was a tremendous amount of goodwill in the United States towards Hong Kong.

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"We have worked hard for it. And we do not work just to please others," Mr Tsang said.

The Financial Secretary referred particularly to the work which the Government had carried out in preserving and enhancing the integrity of Hong Kong's trade control system in three areas - protection of intellectual property rights, strategic trade control > and action against illegal transhipment of textile products. >

He said there had been questions about the Government's determination in this regard.

In response to these questions, Mr Tsang said : "In the current important period of Hong Kong’s development, we simply cannot afford to let any doubt germinate and undercut the very foundation of our status as an international trade and financial centre.

"I wish to say loud and clear that we are going the extra mile in exerting the rule of law. We are co-operating actively with our trading partners within the confines of our law, and we are taking vigorous enforcement to eradicate irregularities and’ malpractices.

"We know, more than anyone, how much free trade depends upon confidence and trust. And we can only build confidence and trust on well established enforcement regimes."

He went on to elaborate the work done in these three areas.

On protection of intellectual property rights, Mr Tsang said Hong Kong took very seriously its obligations under the World Trade Organisation Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and other treaties and conventions.

Apart from establishing and maintaining close contacts with IPR enforcement authorities in China and foreign enforcement authorities, he said territory-wide mega raids had also been conducted by customs officers to tackle the problem of intellectual property right infringement at retail level.

"We have enacted laws to empower customs officers to tackle organised syndicates that mastermind cross-border copyright piracy activities," he said.

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"We are preparing new comprehensive legislation to localise our laws in respect of patents, copyright and registered designs and to modernise trade marks law."

He said that the Government would continue to do its utmost to put in place a stringent IPR regime and to enforce the regime robustly.

"We look forward to working together with IP right owners from the US and other countries to bring offenders of our IP laws successfully to the justice of the courts," he said.

Turning to strategic trade control, Mr Tsang cited the recent case of seizure as a vivid example of the effectiveness of the Hong Kong system.

He said Hong Kong certainly had a more stringent system than that of most of its trading partners.

"Our requirement for both import and export licensing means that each and every shipment of goods in transhipment is subject to our licensing control," he said.

"The scope of our control follows closely the international control lists and is fully backed up by law. Our enforcement is vigorous and results oriented."

On action against illegal transhipment of textile products, the Financial Secretary said for a long time, the Government had been devoting a lot of resources and attention to maintain an effective control against illegal transhipment.

"Again, I do not claim our system to be the best but it must rank top class by international standards," he said.

"We keep on improving it to meet changing circumstances. For example, we have adopted a new targeted strategy in factory checks. Our determination is clear.

"In the spirit of co-operation, the Hong Kong Customs has invited two teams of US Customs officers for a month-long joint factory visits.

"They are in town now. We hope to find a mutually satisfactory solution to the current problem between the US and Hong Kong in this area at the end of the joint visit."

Summing up, Mr Tsang said as a free trader, Hong Kong did not impose control on the circulation of goods and services, unless there were very good reasons to do so.

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"Once we have established the need, we will make every effort to maintain the highest standard of control, both in terms of enforcement and legislation, as from 1 July 1997.

"We know what the result will be if we start compromising our standards or relaxing our strict adherence to the law," he added.

.A.. i ' • , . . ,

End

Stranded waste to leave Hong Kong ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) announced today (Thursday) that 50 containers of municipal and soiled plastic waste stranded in Hong Kong are scheduled to return to the Netherlands on Monday (January 27).

"The carrier who brought the waste, around 700 tonnes in weight, into Hong Kong will undertake the ship back operation," Principal Environmental Protection Officer (Waste and Water Management) of the EPD, Dr Ellen Chan, said.

She pointed out that the waste had been stored in the original containers and none of it was disposed of in Hong Kong.

"The German and Dutch authorities have agreed to the return of the waste to Rotterdam, the Netherlands. They will continue to sort out the responsibilities and disposal arrangement of the waste in Europe," she added.

.......

The waste, believed to be mostly of German origin, was shipped from the Netherlands in three separate shipments and was left unclaimed since its arrival in Hong Kong in April last year.

"After learning of the incident in late October 1996, the EPD has been liaising closely with the relevant authorities in Europe.

"As these shipments were despatched to Hong Kong without any prior notification or consent, they were considered to be 'illegal traffic' as defined under the Basel Convention and therefore must be returned to the country of export/origin as soon as possible," Dr Chan explained.

1

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Enhanced control on the import and export of waste in Hong Kong under the Waste Disposal Ordinance came into operation on September 1, 1996.

Any person who imports or exports hazardous or non-recyclable waste (including municipal waste) without a permit issued by the EPD is liable to a maximum fine of $200,000 and six months’ imprisonment upon first conviction.

End

Consumer price indices for December 1996 released

*****

Consumer price inflation, in terms of the year-on-year rate of increase of the Consumer Price Index (A), was 6.7% in December 1996, as compared with the corresponding figure of 5.8% in November 1996.

The year-on-year rates of increase in the Consumer Price Index (B) and Hang Seng CPI were also higher in December than in November - 6.5% against 6.1% for the CPI(B); and 6.7% against 5.8% for the Hang Seng CPI.

The Composite CPI, which is compiled based on the combined expenditure pattern of all households, showed a year-on-year increase of 6.6% in December 1996, against 5.9% in November.

The Census and Statistics Department released today (Thursday) the Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures for December 1996.

A government spokesman said the faster increases in the CPI(A) and CPI(B) in December than in November were largely due to a low base of comparison in the preceding year, particularly in respect of some fresh food items and miscellaneous consumer goods. Moreover, higher prices of fuel as well as higher public housing rentals also contributed to the pick-up in consumer price inflation.

As for the Hang Seng CPI, the faster increase in December than in November was mainly due to faster increase in the prices of outerclothing.

Analysed by component, faster year-on-year increases than the overall average in December were recorded for clothing and footwear (11.7% in CPI(A) and 12.5% in Composite CPI); housing (9.6% in CPI(A) and 9% in Composite CPI) and fuel and light (8.7% in both CPI(A) and Composite CPI).

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Meanwhile, those components with slower year-on-year increases in prices than the overall average were durable goods (2.1% in CPI(A) and 2.4% in Composite CPI); meals bought away from home (3.8% in CPI(A) and 3.4% in Composite CPI); food (excluding meals bought away from home) (4.5% in CPI(A) and 4.4% in Composite CPI); transport (6% in CPI(A) and 5.8% in Composite CPI) and alcoholic drinks and tobacco (6.1% in both CPI(A) and Composite CPI).

Comparing December 1996 with November 1996, the CPI(A) and CPI(B) increased by 0.6% and 0.3% respectively. The corresponding increases for the Hang Seng CPI and Composite CPI were both 0.4%.

For the three months ended December 1996, the CPI(A) and CPI(B) were, on average, higher by 6% and 6.1% respectively over a year earlier. The corresponding increases for the Hang Seng CPI and Composite CPI were 6.2% and 6.1% respectively.

For 1996 as a whole, the CPI(A) and CPI(B) were, on average, higher by 6% and 6.4% respectively than 1995. The corresponding increases for the Hang Seng CPI and Composite CPI were 6.6% and 6.3% respectively.

The seasonally adjusted monthly rates of increase in the CPI(A) and CPI(B) averaged at 0.7% and 0.6% respectively during the three months ended December 1996. The corresponding increases for the Hang Seng CPI and Composite CPI were 0.7% and 0.6% respectively.

Further details are shown in Tables 1 and 2 and Charts 1 to 4.

More details are given in the "Consumer Price Index Report" for December 1996, which is available at $37 per copy from the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, 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. 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.

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Table 1 Consumer Price Indices and _Rates_ofIncrease fQr December 1996 (Oct. 94 - Sep. 95 = 100)

Component CPI(A) CPKBJ Hang Seng CPI Composite CPI

Index for Dec. 96 % change over Dec. 95 Index for P.Ck 9.6 % change over Dec. 95 Index for Dec, 96 % change over Dgg-95 Index for Dec. 96 % change over Dec. 95

Food 106.4 +4.1 106.5 +3.8 105.5 +3.1 106.4 +3.8

Meals bought away from home 107.4 +3.8 107.0 +3.4 105.3 +2.6 106.9 +3.4

Food, excluding meals bought away from home 105.1 +4.5 105.6 +4.4 106.0 +4.5 105.4 +4.4

Housing 117.6 +9.6 117.0 +8.5 119.1 +9.2 117.8 +9.0

Fuel and light 111.4 +8.7 111.1 +8.5 111.6 +9.0 111.3 +8.7

Alcoholic drinks and tobacco 109.0 +6.1 109.1 +6.3 108.2 +6.1 108.9 +6.1

Clothing and footwear 118.8 +11.7